Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Escalde and the Conyers Family

John Conyers and his entire family disgraces public service.  Why does a congressman need a $64K truck that taxpayers pay for?  What government business is he performing in Detroit that requires this type of excess?  I realize that congressman have different offices throughout their districts that they may or may not visit when congress is out of session, but isn't this a tad excessive?  For the sake of argument that the truck is needed, what was his son doing driving it to a bar?  How do people keep re-electing these people?  Again, this is just further proof that we have done this to ourselves.  We keep electing outright criminals.  It seems to me that he belongs in the cell next to his wife, maybe then he stop reading porn in public.  Oh, and by the way, what about global warming, Congressman?  That's right, you only want me to drive the volt, you get the roomy car.

The Irony of it All - Pay Higher Taxes for Government Waste

It is one of the ironies that billionaires talk about paying higher taxes while at the same time pay scads of accountants to help them find every possible write off to lower the tax burden they pay.  Not unlike the Clintons.  It wasn't all that long ago that Hillary told a foreign journalist that the "rich" are not paying their fair share, all the while she must know that the facts don't bear that out.  The top 2% pay the vast majority of the income taxes in this country already.  Many people in this country don't pay anything above payroll taxes that they then get a refund back from. 

I would find it much more believable if people like Warren Buffett and Hillary Clinton paid taxes on their income without any write offs.  No one is stopping these people from giving money to the treasury.  The reason they don't is they know what all conservatives are aware of, the government will just waste it, yet they keep pushing for more and more government programs.  Buffett is obviously not a stupid man, but his actions don't back up his statements.  Cavuto says it best:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dennis Miller's Big Speech

This is playing on HBO this month.  If you get a chance you should watch the whole thing as it is very funny.  Miller is one of my favorite comedians. 

From the You Can't Make This Up Files - London's New Spin on a Classic Opera

An opera house in London's West End is putting on an updated version of the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.  The opera is full of dark humor about a man who is masked while trying to seduce young women and also contains some supernatural elements. 

This opera house has put a new spin on the classic.  Don Giovanni is now a rapist that wears a Jesus T-Shirt while he is committing the rapes.  Lovely. 

I wonder what the chances are that they would do this while wearing an Allah T-Shirt? 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Unintended Consquences of the Fight Against Obesity

Michelle Obama has decided obesity is the cause that she will trumpet as first lady.  While she is correct that obesity is a problem in our country, I wonder how much time she has spent looking at the intended consequences of her issue.  Eating disorders in this country are a very serious problem:

It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men

One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia

Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia

Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)

An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
The causes of anorexia vary, but one common thread is the strive for perfection.  The constant images that young women see come from magazines and billboards.  We are bombarded with models that are picture perfect.  The problem is, even the models you see don't even look like the pictures that we see.  They are all airbrushed to look that way. 

We are hearing stories of school systems sending home notices about the body mass indexes of students.  While these particular students may very well have problems with weight that need to be addressed, what about that young girl that hears about these letters who isn't obese, but a little on the chunky side?  It puts additional pressure on young kids to be thin, a pressure that already exists. 

Anorexia also has long term health risks and the risk of a premature death:

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness

A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover

The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.

20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems

It is not that I think that obesity is an issue that should be ignored, but we need to understand what the unintended consequences of this push can lead to.  More young woman die of anorexia than of obesity.  No where in the discussion have I heard this brought up.  Obama is strictly talking about being overweight.  Why is no one thinking of the young woman who is starving herself to death?  Why are they being ignored?  It seems to me that by concentrating only on obesity we are creating the atmosphere for a spike in the number of victims of this deadly illness. 

Tis The Season - Music Break

Some of my favorites

and for the kiddies in us all this time of year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quote of the Day - Byron York Edition

Despite his problems, there are still ways Obama can win. His greatest hope, as always in politics, is that the other side will screw up. Maybe the newly empowered House Republicans will do a terrible job, or the GOP will nominate an awful presidential candidate. But that just underscores a stark reality. At this point, it will be hard for Obama to save himself. He'll need a lot of help to win a second term in the White House.
Byron York on Obama's re-election changes. 

Two years is like a lifetime in poltics.  Anything that can happen.  If the economy improves much of the negativity that is surrounding the Obama administration will disappear.  The person that gets the nomination will make all the difference.  Conservatives need to stay focused and realize that thoroughly vetting the potential candidates is necessary and needs to be done based on fact and not emotion.   I am happy to see that some in the tea party have already realized this.

A Man to Consider - Mike Pence

Below is a post I came across at Commentary about Mike Pence.  It looks like even with his talk that he isn't going to run, he is at the very least considering it.  This is a candidate that needs to be looked at seriously.  His voting record speaks for itself.  This is not a man that will sell out his principles to go along with the republican in crowd.  He has a very folksy Midwestern charm that can draw in the independents.  He is very popular in his district because he is a man of principle.  He didn't give up his leadership position for no reason.  He must be at least seriously mulling a run for president.  Although, I believe it was Tammy Bruce who said that it may be Governor of Indiana that he is after.  

Pence Raises His Profile

Jennifer Rubin - 11.24.2010 - 9:45 AM

We had the Mitch Daniels flutter. Then it was the John Thune ripple (if you missed it, don’t worry — most of the country did). Now we are seeing some signs that Mike Pence is seriously considering a 2102 presidential run — and that movement conservatives are seriously looking him over. In my e-mail in-box I have word that “U.S. Congressman Mike Pence will give a major economic speech to members of the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, November 29th.”

There is this profile:

Pence identifies himself as a fiscal and social conservative and has the voting record to prove it. Elected in 2000, when compassionate conservatism was trendy, he has never been afraid to play the Grinch, voting against big-spending initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and TARP. Pence has displayed the same kind of consistency on social issues, establishing a solidly pro-life record over the last decade.

That will likely pass muster with the Tea Party crowd. And unlike Daniels, who has already alarmed social conservatives, value voters are rather comfortable with him:

“When I travel around the country,” says Gary Bauer, president of the social-conservative organization American Values, “conservative audiences seem to feel that they would love to see someone new emerge who had the sort of Reaganesque qualities that are so effective in American politics. I can imagine easily a scenario where Mike Pence could get traction and end up emerging as the candidate.”

The conventional wisdom is that a House member can’t win the presidency. I don’t buy that — the conventional wisdom also told us that Hillary Clinton would win and that a newly elected senator with no executive or foreign policy experience couldn’t be elected. As I’ve said several times, forget the election rulebook.

In a crowded field with no clear-cut front-runner, a candidate with a solid conservative record can, if he picks his spots, “break out” of the pack. A debate, a YouTube moment, or a face-off with the president can elevate a candidate like Pence. The greatest challenge he faces, I would argue, is to differentiate himself from the other, traditional Republicans (e.g., Mitt Romney, John Thune, Mitch Daniels). Why him and not one of them?

The challenge, I would argue, for the GOP is to find a Tea Party–friendly figure who is still capable of expanding the base and capturing key independent voters. There aren’t many contenders who fit that bill — Chris Christie and Paul Ryan may be the most widely discussed among GOP activists and serious conservative wonks. But Pence, if he runs a smart race and can break through the clutter, might make it into that category. We’ll find out in the next few months how serious — and effective — he is convincing both Tea Party activists and mainstream Republicans that he can fuse the two wings of the GOP.

Christmas Friendly Retailers

Today is the "official" start of the Christmas Shopping season.  We continually have the discussion about retail outlets that have fallen to the political correct view that Christmas is a dirty word.  Personally, I don't have that much of a problem with a retail outlet not using the word Christmas in all of their advertising this time of the year.  Some of the people that are buying this season are also shopping for Hanukkah as well.  They should not be left out of the equation.  The problem becomes when things like Christmas trees are called something other than a Christmas tree.  What other holiday do you decorate an evergreen tree for?  It is a Christmas tree, get over it.  The reality remains that the vast majority of this country considers themselves to be a Christian.  There is nothing wrong with saying Merry Christmas.  I have worked retail on and off throughout my life and I refused to use the generic Happy Holidays on a regular basis.  Now, I also did the politically incorrect thing of profiling.  If a woman was wearing a hijab I said nothing other than thank you.  If I happen to notice someone wearing a Star of David I would say Happy Hanukkah.  What I don't like is retailers demanding from their employees not to use Merry Christmas.  There are a lot of people that dress up in Christmas garb when they do their shopping.  If someone is wearing a Jesus pin or a Christmas sweater the words Merry Christmas are not going to drive them from the store crying from the shame of being wished Merry Christmas.  I also don't understand anyone being insulted by it.  This is a Christian nation.  That doesn't mean that other religions are not allowed, it just means that the majority of the people who live here will be celebrating Christmas in a few weeks.  I lived in Israel briefly when I was younger.  I was not insulted that I couldn't go out bar hopping on Friday nights or shopping on Saturday afternoons.  That was just the way it was.  I didn't expect anyone in that country to alter their views simply because I happen to have another point of view.  That is tolerance, it is not sweeping all views under the same generic rug.  If someone is an atheist, have at it.  It's your soul, not mine.  I shouldn't have to refrain from wishing someone a Merry Christmas; a holiday that is holy to the vast majority of residents of this country. 

Companies FOR "Christmas"

updated 11-17-10

Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Big Lots
Collective Brands
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dollar Tree
Family Dollar
Dollar General
H.E.B. Stores
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
JC Penney
JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts Stores
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Pier One Imports
Rite Aid
Super D Drug Stores
Toys R Us
Wal-Mart/Sam's Club

Companies marginalizing "Christmas"

updated 11-17-10

Banana Republic
Bath & Body Works
Gap Stores
Hancock Fabrics
Hy-Vee Stores
Old Navy
Limited Brands
Whole Foods

Companies against "Christmas"

updated 11-17-10

Barnes & Noble
CVS Pharmacy
Office Depot
Radio Shack
Victoria's Secret

Whoopi and Bill Part Deux

What is really sad about this is that she even when the fact that government crime statistics show that Jews are the religious group that faces the most persecution in this country she just dismisses it.  Those pesky little things like facts just don't matter.  Why bother with reality if it gets in the way of your world view? 

Personally, I think that Whoppi is a very talented actress.  I went to see Colored Girls and she did an amazing job.  But her thought process is just beyond me.  She says we should have discussions on differing points of view about terrorism, yet she says she doesn't know what a Madrassa is.  You can't have an intelligent conversation about terrorism if you are not even willing to find out some basic facts of what is going on in the Muslim world.  While it is true that most terrorists are not graduates of the Madrassa system, it is continuous breeding ground for the hatred toward the west that is all too prevalent in that part of the world. 

A Special Day

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oh, Thank Heavens It's Ok to Eat Pie

Don't worry about how much you eat. Just enjoy it, this is the time. Have pie."

Michelle Obama on Thanksgiving Dinner. 

Well I, for one, am very relieved that I have permission from Mrs. Obama, aren't you? 

Rhubarb isn't for everyone, but I love it.

Yummy.  I only eat this once a year, so I may just have two slices.

For the traditionalist

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to be grateful for in this country, no matter your lot in life.  I know that I have much to grateful for and I say my blessings daily.  I have also started to do my blessing for the day, just to remind myself of all that I have. 

Today is not only a day to eat, watch football, and spend with friends and family.  It is day to count all the blessings in your life and to be grateful for them. 

I also have a very special birthday to celebrate tomorrow..........So I get to celebrate my blessings two days in a row. 

I wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your loved ones today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Woman Confronts Flasher

I wish I had that much nerve to confront someone who did this.  I would just turn away.  But what is really interesting about this video is the commentary afterwards.  Somehow, this got blamed on the woman in some parts of our sick society.  The comments underneath the you tube video are crazy as well.  One actually said it is the Christians fault that flashing is taboo.  What about plain old human decency?  We live in a crazy world.  Especially to find out that a website called Dickflashers.com actually exists. 

The Dancing with the Stars Saga Continues

Last night Dancing with the Stars came to an end with Jennifer Grey as the winner.  As it should have been, she was the best dancer throughout the competition.  It is after all a dance competition or is supposed to be anyway.  The left seems to be happy that Bristol did not win and feel like they have dealt some sort of bizarre blow to the "teabaggers".  The right is either saying it was rigged so Bristol couldn't win or that conservatives have much better things to do than deal with a petty dance show.  So needless to say, I am glad this little saga has now come to an end, as it was blown totally out of proportion. 

So I am doing my mid day look around the web and I come across this article on how Brandi did not make the finals because she is black.  This is just another glaring example of the reality that blacks face in this country.  Now, I will be the first to say that Brandi was the better dancer over Bristol.  I also will admit that many Palin fans went all out to keep Bristol in the competition longer than she probably should have been when you compare her dance abilities to the other competitors.  But why did this article have to go "there"?  Especially since the person who came in second, Kyle, was a young black male who I think many people found very charming; myself included.  The article then goes on to discuss unemployment numbers between blacks and whites, and how "black" sounding names get 50% fewer callbacks than non black sounding names.

These numbers are almost always skewed for a variety of reasons.  One of which is the different levels of education.  This article specifically talks about college educated males.  According to these statistics the black man has 8.4% compared to their white counterparts of 4.4%.  I don't know where these numbers come from, so I can't say for sure if they are right or wrong.  My question is are these numbers comparing apples to apples?  If the blacks are living in more hard hit urban areas and the whites are living in more suburban areas, the numbers will be different.  If you look at the unemployment numbers broken down by state, you will find that the numbers are much higher in some areas of the country than others.  In order to get a really accurate number for this wouldn't one need to look at only one geographic area? 

There is no secret that unemployment is higher among some minorities than whites.  But, that is true even when the economy is booming.  So, the rationale for it can't be simply racism.  If someone is so racist that they won't hire blacks or Hispanics, why do these same people hire Asians or Indians?  The unemployment levels of other minority groups don't reach the same percentages of blacks and Hispanics.  Much of the difference in unemployment rates has to do with white collar vs. blue collar jobs.  Blue collar workers always suffer higher levels of unemployment during a recession.  When money is tight you are not going to hire people to do things around the house when the projects can be put off or done on your own.  That is simple math, people horde their money when they are unsure if they are going to have job in the near future.  Manufacturing jobs have taken a hit in our economy for quite some time, so again many of these workers are minorities.  This is an issue of education/training not of racism.  I realize that many will say that the lack of education is also a race issue.  In some ways I agree with that to the extent that many of the worst public school systems in the country happen to be in more urban poor areas, which happen to be populated by minorities in much larger numbers.  I personally believe that we do have to give every child in this country a good education, this is something that liberals and conservatives can agree on; the difference becomes how we get there. 

While these issues are not only worthy of discussion, it is necessary that we discuss the differences, what we really need to stop doing is turning everything into a race issue.  Brandi didn't get kicked of Dancing with the Stars because she was black, she got kicked off because Bristol got more votes.  The reasons for that are not quite as sinister as this article has made them out to be. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Exhausted Defender of Obama Has Time to Get Some Rest - Velma Hart Loses Job

Velma Hart, the woman who told President Obama at a local townhall meeting that she was exhausted defending the president has lost her job as a CEO at a non profit.  Having a great deal of experience of working with non-profits, economic downturns are very difficult for their bottom lines. 

"It's not anything she did," said Jim King, the national executive director of Am Vets. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched."

King would not say whether the organization had had other layoffs.
Hmm, interesting that the CEO gets let go.  That is not normally where people start cutting.  I hope for her sake that she really doesn't have to go back to franks and beans. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars - The Finals

All the hubbub over this is quite amusing.  For the record, I have voted for the person who I thought did the best dance on a particular evening.  I don't think she should win as she isn't the best dancer nor is she the most improved.  But, she probably will win. 

This was not a smart move to chose this dance.  It is too iconic and virtually everyone has seen what the dance is supposed to look like; very exact movements. 

Quote of the Day - Meghan McCain Edition

“I’ve already had people interested in me working, which is unbelievably flattering. I want to go out and do it all over again with somebody else — I want to go get a Republican elected. I want to kick Obama’s ass the next election and get a Republican elected."

Meghan McCain has decided that she should be a republican strategist now that author has not really worked out all that well. 

Lindsey Graham is up for re-election in two years, maybe she can work for him.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gloria Allred - The Groping Felt Good

I have not weighed in much on this topic, but this may be a good time.  The reality is that these scanners will not find many of the explosives that these intrusive needs are supposedly trying to find.  We keep hearing from the left that we can't do profiling.  OK, we already do profiling in this country.  Every police department around the country uses this method in order to catch criminals.  How many times have you heard some prosecutor or the police say that someone was acting in an unusual way?  The police have a set of guidelines that they use when interviewing a person whose family member was just killed.  That is profiling. 

We are seeing videos of small children being touched in ways that should make every parent uncomfortable.  Parents teach their children from pretty young ages about good touches and bad touches.  Having a complete stranger touching their private areas constitutes the bad touch that moms and dads have warned them about. 

While I realize that we are a much larger country with a much larger population we really need to start listening to the Israeli's when it comes to airport security.  If you are going to fly on El Al out of Israel, you need to be at the airport very early.  The population accepts that as part of the necessary security to keep the airplanes safe.  They do much of the work long before the people even arrive at the airport.  This is the type of security that we need to employ in this country.  Shock of Shockers, we are unwilling to really do what it takes to be safe.  Our federal government loves window dressing. 

The reality is that we keep treating terrorists like they are stupid.  They are not.  They listen to the news and are aware of what we are doing.  The last attempted attacks on our airplanes have all come from outside of the United States.  How is groping granny going to stop that? 

I have also heard some families of the 9/11 victims say they wish that this level of security had existed before that fateful morning.  With all due respect, the hijackers used weapons that were legal to bring on planes at the time.  So even had they gone through a more advanced search it wouldn't have mattered.  We have constitutional protections to unwarranted search and seizure in this country.  Does buying a plane ticket give the government cause to have some stranger put his hands on my breasts and inside my waistbands?  Unlike Gloria Allred, I don't think it feels good. 

Go West - Allen West on the CBC and Lewis' Racebased Defense of Ethically Challenged Charlie Rangel

Pulling out the race card to some how justify Charlie Rangel's corruption is low.  So is Lewis saying because he was at Selma in the 60's he now has a get out _________ card for the rest of his life?  Where exactly is the line drawn?  One of the things that Rangel did that was horrible was using four rent control apartments for his own use.  Four families did not get those apartments.  Aren't they part of  the reason that they went to Selma?  The majority of the people who live in Charlie Rangel's district are minorities. 

So Mr. Lewis, what exactly can't Rangel do? 

12 in 12 - Taking a Look at Presidental Contenders Chris Christie

Chris Christie is pretty popular among Tea Party Conservatives.  He actually was the winner of the Virginia Tea Party Convention Straw Poll.  He insists (quite fiercely) that he will not even consider running.  There are issues with him on the social side of the issues.  He is a typical northern republican, well not quite typical as he is a take charge fiscal conservative. 

Below are some outside chances that may throw their hats in the ring. 

Here is some commentary on the so called contenders.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Be the Party of Know

The Republicans have had the moniker of the Party of No for the past two years.  The left has also characterized them as standing in the way of passing legislation.  While that meme is completely false, for the first year in office Obama's policy agenda needed not one republican vote to move forward.  That changed slightly after the election of Scott Brown, but since the senate contains quite a few moderate republicans, it was relatively easy to pick off Brown, Snowe, Collins, or Graham had they really wanted to. 

Moving forward, in January, the republicans will now have that same luxury to pass anything through the house; not one democrat will need to be on board to pass something.  In the senate, the dems will have to get at least one more republican senator and the list above in order to move forward with any legislation.  Compromise will be necessary on both sides of aisle.  Many are saying that their should be no comprise whatsoever or that republicans should show the same type of compromise that dems showed over the past two years. 

Is this really what is best for the nation?  Our unemployment still hovers at just under 10%, much higher in some states.  Entitlement spending is out of control, we have people who have been collecting unemployment for years and there doesn't seem to be an end to the continuation of these benefits.  One could argue that this just increases unemployment, but what do you do about the person who is really looking and can't find anything?  The foreclosures show no signs of leveling out and the housing market is probably years away from a substantial recovery.  The country is in need of solid policies that will create the environment that the private sector is willing to start investing, this will then spur growth.   

The republicans had better have a clear understanding that the country is expecting results.  I am not advocating going back on principle, because I am not.  What I am advocating is passing common sense legislation with very thorough explanations of what that legislation will accomplish.  If President Obama or the democratic run senate choose to stop the legislation, that is their choice.  But they must put actions to the words over the past two years. 

Americans want solutions to the very real problems that our country is facing.  We are not interested in the infighting that goes on between the political class inside the beltway.  We want economic stability, we want to see the foreclosure to go away, we want to see the local strip malls full of life again; instead of the windows that are full of Lease Available signs.  We want the government to stop printing money out of nowhere, as we understand that inflation is not far behind. 

The election results from the past few years were very clear, we are tired of the status quo.  If we don't get the change that is necessary we will kick you out too.  Many are already stating that Obama cannot get re-elected in two years.  Wasn't that said about Dubbya six years ago?  Wasn't that said about Clinton in 94?  It is very difficult to beat a sitting president.  Re-election happens more often than not. 

If the true goal is rid the country of a second Obama term, we need to realize that a willingness to make the tough choices is what is in order.  President Reagan once said that comprise doesn't mean letting go of your core principles.  A lesson that Boehner needs to embrace. 

12 in 12 - Taking a Look at Presidental Contenders Mike Huckabee

Gov. Huckabee is very likeable and strong social conservative.  But that doesn't make him a viable presidental contender.  Rumor has it this is the match up the Obama camp is most afraid of. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big Brother's Further Encroachment in our Lives - Cell Phone Scramblers for all Cars

Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, has come up with a great idea.  He wants all new vehicles sold in the United States to be mandated to carry a cell phone scrambler.  This is to be done for safety reasons. 

The problem with his statement is that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a report saying that the number who die due to distracted drivers is about 5,000 per year.  No one is trying to diminish the tragedy of the deaths of those 5,000 people but do we really have pass yet another over-reaching law due to this?  How will someone call the police if they are in a car accident or a flat tire on less travelled road? 

On average 90 people die a year due to lightening strikes.  Are we going to outlaw leaving your home during storms? 

On average 20,000 people die a year due to complications of the common flu.  Are we going to force people to get flu shots? 

Also, lets ask another question.  I realize that this may seem far fetched, but what if someone is abducted and shoved into a van?  Should we really outlaw cell phone usage in these situations?  Again, that is not really all that common but neither is the amount of deaths due to cell phone usage in cars.  It ends up being less than one tenth of one percent of the American population. 

The government needs to learn that there are such things such as personal responsibility and common sense. 

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has some thougths on this as well:

•The scrambler would also affect the passengers in a car that want to use their cell phones, which doesn’t do anything to improve public safety.

•The presence of multitudinous scramblers in autos driving in a city will likely render cell phones used by pedestrians useless as well, or at least unreliable.

•Adding more required equipment to cars will make them more expensive, and increase the value of used cars without the scramblers.

•People who want to make calls from their cars or allow their passengers to do so will likely hold onto current vehicles longer.

•Anything installed in a car can be disabled by the owner, especially electronics. Will car owners have to submit to random searches, or annual verification of scrambler functionality? Will the federal government make that yet another unfunded mandate on the states?

•People also get distracted by eating, reading printed material, and applying make-up. Shall we ban drive-through restaurants, newspapers, and cosmetics, too?

Did these people learn nothing by this last election?  People do not want this type of intrusion into our personal lives.  Stop trying to control everything that I do!!!! 

"You're Just Given a Hammock" Allen West and the Monolithic Voice of the CBC

Allen West was to attend his first meeting with The Congressional Black Caucus yesterday.  The meeting was delayed due to the democrat caucus meeting to elect the leadership for the upcoming congress.  He was interviewed outside. 

I applaud the fact that Congressman West has decided to join this caucus.  While I agree with Tim Scott's point of groups that are broken out by color are not a good thing, the reality remains that the CBC will not be going anywhere anytime soon.  The CBC contains at least 12 members that are also members of the socialist party.  

The main message coming from The CBC is that more and more handouts are necessary.  Allen West is saying that a hand up is what is really needed.  If you fall, you will catch you and help you until you get back on your feet.  It is time that there is another voice telling people that living in generational poverty is not the American dream, nor is it the only option.

I am sure that the Caucus just can't wait to sit down with Allen West.  After all most of these people don't believe that a "real" black man can be a conservative.  According to Eleanor Norton Holmes they only "propose to be a black man". 

12 in 12 - Taking a Look at Presidental Contenders Mike Pence


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tea Partiers Still Undecided On Palin's Presidental Cred

The Daily Caller has been doing some interviews over several months and the conclusion that they have come to is that the while the Tea Party loves the voice that Sarah Palin gives them, they don't see her as presidental material. 

She’s got too many negatives, not for me, but for too many people. So I think she’s better off on the outside looking in.”
This seems to be a common thread among the people that they spoke to.  I don't think that anyone that pays attention to politics doubt the fact that Palin could win the republican nomination next summer, the question really is can she win over the independents in order to win a general election?  While her Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC broke viewing records for the network, the number who watched was about 5 million.  Not a number that gives one pause to think that many people in the middle were watching. 

The reality remains that the independents hold all the cards in elections.  You can get the base behind a candidate for each party, but unless that candidate is bringing in the middle a general election is out of reach.  One of the more recent polls is showing her negatives above 50% going as far back as July.  The number is actually increasing not decreasing. 

We have all seen the videos that show Obama voters from 2 years ago believing that Palin said things that were actually part of Tina Fey's SNL skits.  Many of those misconceptions still have not been cleared up.  There are also some other realities that must be taken into consideration.  Pro life women are much more villified than pro life men.  Of course this isn't fair, but it is a political reality.  Abortion is used as a wedge issue, especially in national elections. 

Gov. Palin's resignation is also another issue that she will have to overcome.  While it cannot be denied that the ethics issues lawsuits were a strain on both the State of Alaska and Gov. Palin personally.  There are people who will continue to look at that decision from another point of view; quitter. 

Another issue that Palin is going to have to deal with is her endorsement choices; John McCain is understandable due to a sense of loyalty.  I personally question that loyalty since the McCain family has not exactly been very loyal to her.  It seems to me that the Senator used her when he was facing a tough primary bid, and now has gone back to his usual "Oh, I don't know" answers when he is asked if he would support her presidental run.  Answering that question this far out shouldn't be as hard for him as it seems to be.  She also did another pick that made conservatives question her; Carly Fiorina over the much more conservative Chuck Devore.  Palin was absolutely correct that Devore had no chance at winning a statewide election in California, but the image was planted in the minds of some.  Her choice of Governor in Iowa is another:

In Carley’s case, though she said she “respects and admires” Palin, she said she was “disappointed” by one of Palin’s few conventional political moves: her endorsement of Iowa’s governor-elect, Jim Branstad, a Republican who is considered insufficiently conservative by many in the grassroots.

“I really respected her until she endorsed Terry Branstad,” Carley said. “I think she was positioning herself politically.”

Jim Carley, her husband, chimed in: “A lot of Iowans feel that way. She took a big nosedive.”
As it stands at the moment Palin would not win the Iowa Caucuses, she would come in second by Huckabee.  Now, we have no idea if either are actually running at this point, but she has been damaged in Iowa, the first caucus state which helps build momentum for candidates moving forward. 

Palin “is a fantastic organizer for the conservative movement — she is pitch perfect on the stump.”

“I would hope she keeps doing that through the 2012 cycle. There are other, better positioned, more qualified candidates the Republican Party could nominate,”

It seems that Tea Party members are keeping their eye on the prize; getting Obama out of office.  A candidate that will have a difficult time winning that election is not option. 

Charlie Rangel You're A Bad Man

One of the things that is very funny is that he is talking to an audience that overwhemingly votes along party lines without giving it much thought.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
You're a Bad Man, Charlie Rangel
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

John Thune Changes his Tune on Earmarks

Thune had been rumored to be against earmarks and has since decided to support it.  The main reason that I am interested in this is due to how he worded his mea culpa.  On Monday afternoon after the November Speaks rally my friend Sandy and I went to every office of republican senators that we heard were against the ban to leave notes.  The notes that we left very specifically said that we understood that earmarks are not a great deal of the total budget, what we really are opposed to is how they are used to basically bribe senators to vote yeah on tough votes.  Listen to what he says. 

12 in 12 - Taking a Look at Presidental Contenders Sarah Palin

There is no doubt that Gov. Palin can get the nomination.  The question becomes can she win a general election? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bristol Palin and the Situation PSA on Safe Sex and Abstinence

Personally, I don't feel that particular PSA will have any affect at all on choosing abstinence over birth control, but I do think it is an important message for teenagers.  What I feel would be much more effective is talk about how hard it is to try to educate yourself while raising a child.  The PSA is rather silly, but it may have a different reaction from younger girls, who are, after all, the people they are trying to reach. 

Guilty - Rangel Found Guilty on 11 Charges of Ethics Violations

Say it ain't so.  A person who has been serving in congress for forty years has problems understanding the rules of congress.  Rangel was just soundly re-elected even though the people in his district were well aware of the charges that were pending. 

One of the charges that I found so egregious is the four rent controlled apartments.  Harlem is an area that has a pretty substantial population that lives near or below the poverty line, yet he takes four affordable apartments away from them to use in violation of law.  This goes directly to his character and how he really views the people he was sent to Washington to represent.  There are families in Harlem who are not getting those rent control apartments because he is using them.  He makes a good income, I am sure that there are people who are in more need of the rent controlled apartment than he is.  This is a man who owns a brownstone in Manhattan and rental property in the Caribbean.  Somehow it seems to me that he could afford to live without rent controls.  Especially since one of those apartments was used as campaign headquarters; a violation of his lease. 

Then we can move on to his tax issues.  It is pretty hard to believe that the man who was the chairman of the committee that writes tax law doesn't understand the law.  You collect rent from property you own, you have to report it as income on your year end taxes.  That really isn't all that complicated; actually it is pretty simple. 

These findings came a day after Rangel walked out of the hearing saying he no longer had legal representation.  Rangel and his law team had some sort of falling out last month and he has yet to replace them.  The ethics committee refused to extend this hearing any longer yesterday.  The investigations into these charges have been continuing for more than a year.  More than enough time for him to set up a legal defense fund.  The law firm has released statement saying that they tried to work with Rangel within the congressional guidelines and were unable to.  I guess the question I have is why not take out a mortgage on your brownstone in Manhattan or your rental property on the beach?  That is what us commoners would have to do. 

Rangel released the following statement after the findings:

"How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the Ethics Subcommittee when I was deprived of due process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room?"

No one forced Charlie out of the room.  He choose to get up and walk out.  Something that I have this feeling that I wouldn't be able to do if I were called in front of congress.  The committe chair explained that Rangel has been given information on how to raise money for a legal defense on numerious occassions.  He continued with his statement with:

"I can only hope that the full Committee will treat me more fairly, and take into account my entire 40 years of service to the Congress before making any decisions on sanctions."

So, I guess they are supposed to look at him being a life-long legislator as a good thing?  The thing that I find the most odd is why he wanted the hearing to be put off.  He has a much better chance of not being expelled from the House from this sitting congress than the next one.  Expulsion takes a two thirds majority, a level that they will not be able to reach with the current make up. 
Even CREW isn't buying Rangel's excuses:

"All of Mr. Rangel's theatrics aside, the facts were clear: Mr. Rangel violated numerous House rules and federal laws.  Whether these violations were deliberate or inadvertent, the American people deserve to be represented by members of Congress who adhere to the highest ethical standards. Mr. Rangel should resign."

12 in 12 - Taking a Look at Presidental Contenders Mitt Romney

There really is only one word: RomneyCare.  Enough said.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Speaks - Rally at the Capitol

Today Americans for Prosperity held a rally on the grounds of the Capitol Building.  It was at noon with barely more than a weeks notice, so I was pleasantly surprised to see about 1,000 or so people there.  I was a little disappointed to find out that AFP bused people in a no cost today.  While I can understand that it was nice for the people that were able to take those buses, it is the visual that I don't like.  It plays into the narrative of the "astro-turf".  I did send an email to AFP to let them know that we have gone this long without free bus rides, there is no reason to start now.  I know, I know, I live only 20 minutes away so it is no biggie for me.  But, like I said it is the visual that our movement can do without. 

The speakers were lively.  Especially Congresswoman Bachmann.  She can give a tea party speech, there is no doubt about that.  I also got to speak to Tito the Builder for a bit.  He is looking into running for office in Virginia next year.  I offered up my fundraising skills.  I may as put them to good use. 

Again, I met people from all over the country.  Tea Party Patriots Coordinators from all over the country were here this weekend to meet with the newbies; which took place Saturday and Sunday.  Most of them stayed around for the rally today. 

I met up with some people and we did some scouting around in the offices of the senate.  We went to every republican office that has not come out in favor of the earmark ban and left notes.  I also went and spoke to my two senators; always a frustrating experience. 

We then headed over to the House buildings.  We stopped by soon to be former speaker Nanny's office.  We also went to speak with one of my all-time favorites Alan Grayson.  My friend Sandy grew up in Florida, so we kind of felt we had an in.  We expressed to them our gratitude that he lost and let them know he is an embarrassment not only to the state of Florida, but to Congress as a whole.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice and polite his staff was.  I was expecting anyone who worked for that rude man would be cut from the same cloth.  I certainly wouldn't work for a man like him. 

Here are some photos of the day:

These MSNBC signs are plastered all over the metro station closest to the Capitol.  Hmm, interesting.  I didn't see them in any of the others. 

Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars Week 9

I think this was by far her best dance. 

Dance #2 for the evening

One Tough Kitty

I am not sure why so many people were just standing around while the gators were there, not something I would be doing. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reason #10897 Why You Should Homeschool - Public School Systems Ridding Sytem of Failing Grades

Our public school systems are failing our children in a myriad of ways.  The new trend in public education in the greater DC area is to rid the system of failing grades.  Instead of the failing students receiving an F, they now will receive a I(ncomplete).  The grade of I will allow the students to then go back and finish up projects and to receive a grade.

Call me crazy, but I thought one of the purposes of an education is to prepare our young for the real world.  I don't know about you, but I have never had a job that told me "don't worry about the fact that you didn't finish your work, just get back to it when you feel like it."  Or, better yet; "Oh, you did this assignment completely wrong, but hey just take the weekend to do it again, don't worry about the fact that we just lost our biggest client."  This is the lesson that these kids are learning.  

I have heard many, like Glenn Beck, say that we shouldn't be giving out prizes to all kids.  That I don't really have a problem with when they are very young.  I don't see an issue giving four year-olds on a T-Ball team a ribbon at the end of the season.  But, we have to draw the line long before they get to high school.  I guess this the part of the slippery slope. 

"It more or less says all the hard work I'm doing isn't going to be worth anything," 16 year old student at West Potomac High. 
The liberals of the world talk about "fairness" all the time.  How exactly is rewarding a student who cannot be bothered to do the work on time fair?  Now, I am not one to throw out the concept of fairness easily.  I don't think that the world is fair, nor do I believe that it can be made so.  But, I do think that adults showing children that they can be rewarded for being irresponsible is very wrong, indeed.  It is also a very poor lesson for the children who work hard and do the assignments on time.  They are being given a backhanded lesson that they skim on their work and it just won't matter. 

These kids are going to have to go out into the real world at some point.  In the real world we don't have bosses that don't care if you are not doing your assigned responsibilities in a timely fashion.  This also is not preparing for them for the college level either.  It is time that we stop babysitting these kids and start teaching them how the real world works.  You will be required to do your work correctly and on time.  If you are unable to you have to step up and take responsibility for your mistakes and your tardiness.  The real world isn't interested in your excuses.  They simply are not going to care that you went to some high school that decided coddling students is an effective way of getting them passing grades. 

The one bright spot in the article that I read is that the teachers are mostly against this policy.  Now, the plan is that the teachers will be offering additional hours to work with the kids who have the I's to help them learn the curriculum.  So the administrators have basically added additional work hours to these teachers.  Can we guess how long it takes the unions to get involved in this matter?  Which in this case I would have to say that I agree with them.  The teachers shouldn't be forced to work additional hours or weekends because of some boneheaded idea that administrators have put into place.  Let them work on weekends if they feel so strongly that this system will work.  This system was originally put into place at the lower level grades.  Even the "grading expert" who put this into place says this program being done at the high school level is unusual. 

This is just one more example of how we are dumbing down our society and teaching our children that they do not need to be responsible for themselves and that their actions don't have consequences.  We need to teach our kids that setting the bar high is a good thing.  Striving for something is a good thing.  We also need to teach our kids that world is a competitive place.  Instead, in the greater DC area, we are teaching our kids that laziness will be rewarded.  Not a lesson that I want a school system teaching kids. 

One of the worst things about this policy is that the parents were not even notified of the change until the end of October.  Many of the parents are very opposed to the changes.  A group has been formed to combat this policy; Real World, Real Grades.  One of the questions that must be asked is what happens when these kids that took the same test four times to get a better grade get to college?  What this system is really doing is setting them up to fail.  It is time that we let go of the "feel good" policies that are taking over our school systems and teach our children that hard work has its own rewards. 

First GOP Presidental Debate Announced

Nancy Reagan announced that The Reagan Presidental Foundation will be hosting the first debate for the GOP candidates for the run at the presidency in 2012.  No exact date has been released but it is due to take place in the spring of 2011 at Reagan's library in Simi Valley. 

Now, we have not yet had anyone "officially" announce for president.  But today Gov. Pawlenty has a OP/ED piece in The Union Leader.  One of New Hampshire's largest papers.  In this piece he uses the analogy of our government spending spree like that of an open bar at wedding.  Many people will drink much more if the drinks are free than if you have to pay for them.  I have been known to do that a time or two myself.  The point being that Pawlenty is going to run, there can be little doubt about that. 

I do believe that Gingrich is also going to run, this would be his last chance to do so due to his age; but he has little chance of getting the nomination.  Herman Cain has been very public about his desire to run, but he is relatively unknown and has never held public office.  While he has been a successful businessman, it will be a long row to hoe for him.  I personally, would love to see him debate Obama, that would be a sight.

Gov. Palin is still playing coy about running, but I find it highly unlikely that she won't run.  The way she is raising money with her Pac says that she is using it to build a grassroots list.  Obama has shown how sucessful that can be when trying to raise money. 

Congressman Pence will be running for a different office in 12; either Gov. of Indiana or President.  We will have to wait to see which.  That would be the only logical reason why he has given up his leadership position in the house. 

Who else do you expect to see on that stage?  With such an early date, it should be quite crowded.  Especially when you consider the "shellacking" that President Obama and Dems just took, Obama looks like easy pickings to be a one term president. 

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quote of the Day - Grey Ghost Edition

"Hate to admit it, but Jesse's on point here and Soledad's an idiot for pretending not to know what context he made his statement in. CNN does have a problem when it comes to diversity within its news staff and while they're not as indelibly white as say MSNBC, passing off light-skinned [N]egroes to fill in your quota form just doesn't fly in the black community"
Grey Ghost Blogger and Democrat Party Member

This is in response to Soledad O'Brien's new book in which she chronicles a discussion with Jesse Jackson in which he told her that she didn't count as a black host.  I find this really odd since Clarence Thomas is not considered black enough too, at least according to Eleanor Norton Holmes.  Who exactly is black enough for the dems? 

Tea Party Plates

Virginia will be considering adding the Don't Tread On Me as one of the options for tags.  In Virginia we have about 10 or 15 tags that you can choose when you register your car.  The additional cost is only $10.  The needed signatures were collected to get the bill considered by the legislator and will come up for a vote in January.  It is expected to pass.  The next step will be for the DMV to receive enough applications before they will manufacture the plate.  350 applications will be needed. 

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