Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid, Memorial Day Edition

Mmmm, Fridaaaay! And three days off to boot.

While the nation waits with great anticipation, crews are doing their best to plug the oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon site. Let's wish them well. A few prayers wouldn't hurt, either.

And speaking of prayers, if you lean towards that particlular expression of belief (as do most of us), then kindly say a small prayer of thanks this Memorial Day for the many fallen who gave their lives in defense of our country, our freedom and our way of life. Fly a flag, go to the beach, cook out in the back yard, but remember them and their love for you. There is no greater love than that of a man who lays down his life for his friends.

Flags In! (h/t The Jawa Report)

That's not a milkshake, this is a milkshake. 2000+ calories, the equivalent of eating 68 strips of bacon at once. If you could hear your heart beat before you drank it, I bet you couldn't afterwards. Jus' sayin'.

Who knew that chocolate could be good for you? Us chocoholics, that's who. BTW, if you haven't added a  dose of chocolate syrup to your morning coffe (instead of that shot of bourbon), you're missing one of life's little pleasures.

Here's something from the Amazing Dog files- a miniature Doberman Pincher who can climb a fence.

And another one - not content with cat juggling, now we must endure the horror of dog surfing.

Prepare your "Awww" - a policeman gets a new partner.

And to prove that this blog doesn't discriminate against cats, may I present the drip-dry kitteh.

Have a good weekend and Go Magic!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Income Redistribution - Activate! Part II

In yesterday's episode, our heroic blog was deconstructing the myriad ways that Washington is going about destroying our economy and taking concrete action to reduce the standard of living for everyone.

Does it strike anyone as odd that the people we elect to make our lives more secure and prosperous are doing the exact opposite against our wishes? There's a word for that...

The animosity towards Americans engaged in business has now become official policy in the White House. It's a product of the Alinsky school of radical revolution, wherein professional rabble-rousers are deliberately employed to stir up public anger and unrest, oftentimes over the most trivial of perceived slights. The angry mob who demonstrated on the lawn of a private citizen last weekend is a prime example of this affront to hard-working Americans. It should be noted that Bank of America is operating under a staggering amount of governmental regulations, having been forced to lend to folks who were unable to afford a mortgage under the Community Redevelopment Act.

Aside from the division that is so gleefully welcome by this White House, an assault on business is an assault on the average American. When a government decides that business is an enemy of the people, it disregards the fact that many publicly held businesses are vital to the retirement accounts of many Americans who are aware of the coming insolvency of Social Security and seek to supplement their retirement income with an account of their own. Policies and actions that drive down the stock market affect many innocent retirement accounts. This is in addition to the negative effects on the creation of jobs, a more direct assault upon the people.

These anti-business zealots, who like nothing better than a throat upon which to rest their boot, share a common trait: ignorance, intentional or otherwise, of the basics of capitalism and wealth creation. Many in Washington adhere to the misguided notion that money cannot be created, it comes as the result of taking it away from someone else. This is very true in Washington, for that's how the government operates, by the taking away of anothers' assets.

But in the private sector, wealth is created daily. Great gushing gobs of it, in fact. If it were true that our economy was indeed a zero-sum game, it would never grow. The concept of wealth creation is foreign to many of these people due to the nature of their original day jobs as lawyers. Their unique place in our economy functions the same as the governmnent: they prosper by taking away from someone else. So it seems perfectly natural to them. This ignorance of capitalism is dangerous, for it leads to grand misappropriations of the publics' money, waste and fraud, not to mention corruption and high tax rates.

It appears that what's needed in Washington, in addition to basic economics classes for Congress and this administration, is the attitude that public servants are there to actually serve the public. This means refraining from meddlesome regulations and laws that stifle wealth creation and growth. Make no mistake, our current dismal economy is a direct result of meddling in the marketplace, with good intentions as we are always told, but with disastrous outcomes.

We need legislators who view as their priorities the economic health of the citizenry and diversity in the job market, thereby providing ample opportunity for all Americans who wish to dream the American Dream.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Income Redistribution - Activate! Part I

We certainly can't accuse Barack Obama of lying to Joe the Plumber, or to us. We all remember the infamous video clip of him saying to Joe that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

Well, folks, the glorious goal of Dear Leader has been achieved: private pay has shrunk to historic lows while government payouts have risen to historic highs. Thanks to the worst recession in memory and the Stimulus Bill, more Americans are receiving more money from Washington than they are from a job.

This wouldn't be a problem except for one teensy, tiny little detail - government does not produce wealth. All it does is confiscate the wealth created by private enterprise, the very same private enterprise that the current regime is busy treating like enemies of the people.

Maybe it's just me, but that seems a bit contradictory.

I can recall this regime painting bankers as evil and greedy. Oil companies too. And doctors. In fact, I don't remember this administration having much affection for any company that dares to make a profit, do you?

Now, I'm fairly certain that you readers out there (both of you) are somewhat connected to society. You may even actually know other people. Some of you could even have relatives. Now, out of all those people that you know, do you know someone who, maybe, works for a bank? How about a doctor? Even, perhaps *gasp* an oil company?

Do any of these people seem overtly evil to you? Do they have shifty eyes? Are they always looking over their shoulders, as if they know they've done something wrong and are waiting to be caught?

I'll bet not.

I'll bet these folks you know are just like you, decent, hard-working, and honest. Just like most Americans I know. Yeah, we all have our personal faults, but overall, we're doing the best we can to get by in life, and try to treat others the way we want to be treated.

But our President seems to think otherwise. So do those we send to Washington to do the peoples' business in our stead, which now seems to include producing legislation specifically designed to eliminate jobs. After the failures of the Stimulus Bill, Cash 4 Clunkers, TARP, and the widely unpopular HealthCare bill, Congress is about to launch another bill that's designed to fail: the Kerry-Lieberman Climate Bill.

This bill has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with insuring that we have no job growth as the burden of regulations will force companies to move their operations offshore to countries that have less restrictive policies. Spain has tried this and failed spectacularly, losing 2.5 real jobs for every new "green job" created. Read this for an example of how not to create jobs.

"Green jobs " rely on government grants and subsidies to survive, which is why they haven't been successful in our free market. The move to a "green economy" is powered by the government, with all the waste and corruption that naturally comes with it. If it were a viable idea, we'd already be doing it.

But that's not going to stop those in Washington who know what's best for the country despite the fact that these people are wrapped in the thick, warm blanket of self-importance, insulated from the outside world and rarely. if ever, venturing out into the wilds of America to gage public opinion.

How could anyone who doesn't pump their own gasoline into their own cars, or do their own grocery shopping ever craft good legislation for the country?

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Congress Leaps Into Action on Gulf Oil Spill with... a Tax Hike on Oil

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are witnessing hisory. There's really no other way to describe the swift action taken by the Obama administration as the worst environmental disaster in a generation unfolds. While oil gushes from the seabed beneath the Gulf of Mexico and is reaching the coastal estuaries and fisheries that are the lifeblood of the region, our brave and intrepid President responds by... wait for it... holding a political fundraiser in California for radical leftist Babs Boxer. (I'd link it, but it kept crashing IE).

While seemingly everyone within driving distance of the Gulf coast is there helping the cleanup efforts, this administration is busy putting it's boot on the throat of British Petroleum, holding them accountable and basically, well, holding them, um, accountable. It's very likey that unless this situation is brought under control quickly, BP won't be in business in two years.

But that's not going to stop Obama and his rapid response team of lawyers.

As if it weren't doing everything in its' power to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf, Congress is poised to unleash its most potent weapon in this disaster: a tax hike. That's right, those nasty oil droplets will shudder in fear when lawmakers gather to quadruple the tax on a barrel of crude. The widely recognized Expert on Everything, Harry Reid, said that "Taxpayers will not pick up the tab." Of course, we all know that no tax levied on a private company is ever passed along to consumers, don't we, Harry?

There are some secondary players who say they need "real help" down there in Cajun Country. Somebody named Bobby Jindal has been making a little noise about the slow reaction to the spill. He "says" he needs some kind of environmental approval for something he wants to do, like building some sort of berm for the oil to land on first instead of marshland, but, because he's just a governor, he should know he doesn't hold a candle to the awesome awesomeness of the glorious Federal Government when it comes to halting the flow of Mother Natures' forces.

However, there are some ne'er-do-wells who just don't see the awesomeness that is Obama. Like ABC, CBS, and NBC. But what do they know? How can you expect media companies who won't even do the most rudimentary investigation of a presidential candidate to be credible sources of information?

The American People know just how hard it is to be President and they all approve of the things this administration is doing to stop this spill and clean up the mess, don't they?

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Protest in Your Front Yard: SEIU Thugs on Parade

Imagine a quiet day, punctuated by the occasional bird call or jet overhead. Suddenly, 14 school buses pull up on the street in front of your house and spill their contents on your yard: 500 angry protestors. Now imagine you're not home, but your teen-aged son is there alone, defenseless against the horde should they decide to become violent. His life could very well be at stake and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it but watch in horror.

If you're Bank of America deputy general counsel for corporate law Greg Baer, you don't have to imagine this scene. It actually happened to him last Sunday.

It just so happens that Fox News contributor Neena Easton lives next door to Baer and filed this report. There's more behind the protest, namely the fact that SEIU owes BofA more than $90 million, amounting to over $4M in fees and interest alone.

We're used to protests. We see them all the time. Previously, these protests had been limited to places of business. But this one was different and disturbing because it happened at a private residence.

There are many questions that have yet to be answered concerning this violation of human rights by the SEIU thugs.

Why were the police complicit in this protest? Why wasn't a permit issued? How were these protestors allowed to tresspass on private property. How were they able to use school buses for transportation to an illegal act? Could this happen again? Are we safe from this type of protest in our homes?

Why is the MSM ignoring the virulent protest of a private citizen on his own property, yet still maintaining the Tea Parties are violent and racist?

Perhaps it's time for our side to get up close and personal with the thugs in the SEIU. This blog would start with criminal trespassing charges, incitement to riot, kidnapping of a minor (a stretch, granted, but a case could be made for false imprisonment), demonstrating without a permit and any other transgression that could be applied. Make an example of all those involved at any level and throw the book at them.

Heavy fines and some jail time will restore these protests to their proper place: in public, legally and with the police present.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid: It's Alive!

Reports of the death of the Cray supercomputer used to process this blog have been greatly exaggerated. Just as mysteriously as it died, it regained consciousness and has resumed its normal duties of decoding the human genome, predicting this seasons' hurricanes, defeating the worlds' best chess players, and picking this year's college football champion, all at the same time.

Meanwhile, another weekend is at our throats.

TARP?  Nope. Cash 4 Clunkers? Nope. ObamaCare? Nope. All of these political initiatives pale in comparison to the most important piece of legislation to come from this Congress: The Beer Bill.

Quick, hide the razor blades. Al Gore gives the worlds' most depressing commencement speech.

One of the critters in this picture has no business in the White House. The other one is a rat.

Well, it's about time. George Washington's library book is returned 211 years late. That'll be $300,000 Mr. Father of Our Country.

What the hell is this ticket for, officer?

The world's oldest sex toy is unearthed in Germany. Next up: the search for the world's oldest batteries. They couldn't be far away...

Have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!

At least this blog would draw a pic of Mohammed, if this blog could draw. So, it'll do the next best thing and write about it.

I once worked in a machine shop where the foreman one day stated, to everyone's surprise, that he couldn't stand "Florida shirts". Just about everyone either has seen them or owns one: they're loud, garishly appointed and are designed to scream "I'm on vacation!" even when you live in the Midwest and the coast is two days' drive away. We thought this was curious since the shop was located in, you guessed it, Florida.

Naturally, we all made sure we wore a Florida shirt to work on payday from then on.

Hey, we're sensitive that way.

Now, imagine that attitude towards Islam spread all over the world and you pretty much have Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Which is today.

Essentially, it's a thumb of the nose to those who take great offense at a simple illustration. You may remember the worldwide uproar over the Mohammed cartoons in 2006. Michelle Malkin does, as she reminds her readers here. Many have forgotten that the cartoons were originally published months earlier without fanfare or much notice, until a few imams decided to manufacture some outrageous outrage and issue death threats to the illustrators and challenge one of  the Wests' most cherished principles, free speech.

It should be noted that the imams attempted to deceive the public by including a few images of their own that had nothing to do with the original drawings, such as one image from a hog-calling contest.

Many other bloggers-in-arms are promoting today as the first official rejection of this blatant attempt to silence us Westerners.

National Review Online is on board. So is Pajamas Media with Zombie's thoughts here. Hot Air asks if this is a good idea with an online poll here.

But perhaps the best article to answer Hot Air's question is at Big Hollywood. Why Everyone in the Civilized World Must Support "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day".

As Islam attempts to fulfill its' mandate of world domination through the word or the sword, they can expect to meet increasingly stiff resistance. We Westerners don't take kindly to being told what to say or do. In fact, America fought wars over this idea, and we'll do it again should we need to.

After all, we're constantly reminded by those who live in the land of multiculturalism that one religion is essentially the same as another. If Christianity must endure charicatures of Jesus (or worse, far worse in many cases), then Islam must endure the same sort of thing.

We're all equal in the eyes of God. Just sayin'.

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone's drawn Mo on an Etch-A-Sketch yet?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Election Results Show America Has A Feevah

If we can't sacrifice a virgin (like we could find one in Washington), any incumbent will do.

Yesterday's election results are an indicator of things to come in November. Here's a roundup of some of the carnage:

Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, won the Republican primary in Kentucky in a flexing of Tea Party muscle. His opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, was hand-picked by the GOP and had the backing of a few prominent Republicans whom you may have heard of before, namely Mitch McConnell and some dude named Dick Cheney.

Arkansas incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln is forced into a runoff with Lt. Governor Bill Halter. Halter's running to the left of Lincoln, as if that were possible, and is funded by far-left radical/antiChrist billionaire George Soros.

Good news, bad news - the vacant seat created by the death of traitor John Murtha was won by former Murtha aide Mark Critz, another Democrat. The good news is he has to defend his seat again in November. This win was sorta predictable according to those in the know up there.

And in a harbinger of what's to come for Charlie Crist, Snarlin' Arlen Spector was defeated in the Democrat primary by Rep. Joe Sestak, who now faces Pat Toomey in the general election in November. Toomey is ahead in the polls. Specter, you may remember, switched parties in a desperate attempt to save his political bacon last year. He's a long-time RINO who voted with the Dems more often than not. He will not be missed.

We're just getting warmed up. This Novembers' election will be one of the most important mid-terms in recent history. America has had enough of HopenChange and is looking to stop the hard tack to the left that Obama has taken the country against its will. This blog looks forward to a major reorientation in Congress if not outright taking back the House. Should this occur, Obama will be a lame duck until he's thrown out in 2012. Gridlock will become the nations' best friend in the mean time.

Not only does November have the potential of repeating the Republican victory in 1994, it may set back the cause of "progressivism" in American politics for a generation, a very good thing. It hasn't taken long for the effects of that wretched abortion to ruin the country, and it's not too late to correct the damage and return us to the course our Founding Fathers set over 200 years ago: a course set by the free individual citizen, not some out-of-touch elitist in Washington.

Remember, anything the government has done, the government can undo.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Few Questions for Harry Reid

Never let a crisis go to waste. It's Rahm Emmanuels' mantra and it also serves the public well, as we get a chance to watch politicians distort the truth and pander to their special interest groups. In this case, it's Harry Reid. In an embarrassing speech on the Senate floor, he had this to say:

"Wall Street isn’t the only place where a reckless pursuit of profits has proved destructive..."
"Their greed led to 11 horrific and unnecessary deaths. It has harmed an enormous tourism industry, threatened business at countless fisheries and disrupted life for many along the Gulf Coast. As the pollution grows worse, those consequences will only compound."
Video here. (But be sure to watch it on an empty stomach.)

Well, Harry, it seems you have a genuine flair for the blatently obvious. You left out a few details, though, such as why it took nine days for this disaster to be declared an emergency. Also conveniently missing was the government's disaster response team that was devised as a direct result of the Exxon Valdez spill you noted. Why wasn't that implemented on the first day, Harry?

Harry, you also don't mention why that rig was there in the first place. Wasn't it your regulations that prevented the harvesting of oil on land and forced oil drilling to move further and further out to sea? Don't you control where oil can be harvested, not those evil, greedy oil executives, Harry?




It's precisely this kind of rhetoric that serves no purpose in American politics. How does bashing a large corporation that provides a vitally important service help anything, especially when they are doing their best to stop the leak? Does Harry really think that his empty words will help stem the flow of oil from the seabed? Or bring back the 11 oil workers who tragically lost their lives at sea?

One wonders why Reid doesn't try to actually do something to make oil drilling safer, by, say, lifting the nonsensical restrictions on land drilling, where the potential damage from the spill won't affect the shoreline. That's just one idea, but that's what many Americans consider a viable alternative: it's a real solution to a dangerous problem. One that would be far more worthy of time and effort than Harry's vapid little speech.

Here's one final question for today, Harry.

Why is your approval rating so low?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Obama Administration = The New Know-Nothings

How times have changed.

Once upon a time, we Americans assumed that the people we sent to Washington to improve our lives and defend our way of life knew what they were doing. That's why we sent lawyers up there, so they could write bills that adhered to the foundation of all our laws: the Constitution. We assumed, since they had attended law school, they had a good idea of what was Constitutional and what wasn't. We also assumed that the constitution was taught in law school.

Well, we're finding out that this isn't quite the case after all. As we saw during the ObamaCare Cramdown, corrupt progressives don't really give much thought to the legality of the laws they write (or have someone else write). In fact, Representative Alcee Hastings gave us a very short lesson in how the peoples' business is now conducted in Washington.

"When the deal goes down, uhhh, all this talk about, ahhh, rules, we make 'em up as we go along."
Hmmm. Very enlighteneing, Mr. Hastings. I guess we're supposed to forget all the times that candidate Obama promised to post all new bills online for five days of public viewing and comment prior to signing them. Follow that with the revelation that no one in Congress bothered to read many of the bills they voted for this session.

Follow that with Eric Holders' admission that he hasn't read the new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law he so gleefully opposes.

Imagine for a minute that, in your job, you were expected to know specific details about some item of action. Your boss has a question and calls you. You tell him that you don't know because you haven't read it. How much longer could you expect to be employed?

Out in the real world, you're really expected to have knowledge of things and be able to provide answers on demand. Fail that, and you'll be funemployed in no time. Why doesn't this rule apply to members of Congress or the Obama administration? How, in the name of all that's sane, are legislators permitted to get away with not knowing the substance of bills that they are endorsing?

Our country had Know-Nothings before, but not like this.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid: Dead Computer Edition

This blog's main computer, the awesome new Cray, is now a doorstop, having failed its inital boot-up this morning. So there may be some slight spieelin spawel spelling eerroors errors since the computer normally controls my fingertips. Hopefully, it won't last long.

Al Gore is getting an honorary degree from the University of Tennessee. He's getting a B.S. in BS.

Boobs do so cause earthquakes. No, they don't. Yes they do, no they don't...

I Need a Freakin' Job! Unfortunately, there are far too many who do.

Like we couldn't tell. Eric Holder hasn't read the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law he criticized.

What every hotel needs: a vending machine for gold. Original title: a gold vending machine. Well, both are accurate since it's covered with gold leaf. Could a machine that dispenses Jaguars be far away? Perhaps, but I don't think it'll fit in the lobby...

And to think, all this time I thought you were supposed to vote for the pig.

Is your Teddy Bear a bit stressed these days? Show that you love him by giving him a vacation.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eric Cantor (R-VA) Introduces YouCut - It's a Start

Virginia's Eric Cantor has created an interesting new site: YouCut. Here you can vote on a weekly list of government programs and subsidies to cut. The winner gets brought to the House floor for an up or down vote.

I'll let Representative Cantor explain it:

We all know that Washington has a spending problem – and both Democrats AND Republicans bear some responsibility. But as I wrote last week, America is at a crossroads and the choices we make at this critical time will determine what kind of country we want to be. To get back on the right path, Congress MUST start to make some choices that simply can’t be delayed any longer.
So far, so good.

While we won’t be able to solve our deficit problems overnight or with one silver bullet, we CAN and we MUST begin to replace the culture of spending that now dominates Washington with a culture of savings. Just imagine if your government was as focused on saving money as it is on spending money. Imagine if Congress spent less time naming post offices – 62 and counting – and more time reducing wasteful spending. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Why yes, yes it does, Mr. Cantor. The unfortunate part of your statement is that, right now, all we can do is imagine a responsive Washington, one that's in tune with the wishes of the majority of Americans. If this were the case, we wouldn't be staring down the barrel of a Greece-like financial meltdown here.

The wrtiting is on the wall, metaphorically speaking. We're seeing the collapse of the European welfare state in real time. Too many entitlements and unrealistic retirement pensions have brought Europe to the edge of fiscal disaster. Unions are organizing bloody protests that have turned deadly. (As an aside, this blog wonders what would happen here if someone died as a direct result of a union-organized protest that ended in the death of an innocent bystander. Could the union leaders and organizers be brought up on criminal charges?)

There is only one way to prevent a financial meltdown here: cut spending. And I'm speaking of real cuts in programs. perhaps eliminating entire departments, not merely a cut in the rate of spending increases that "progressives" scream so loudly about.

Curiously, not everyone is a fan of Cantor's effort. Allahpundit over at Hot Air calls it a "gimmick".

On the surface, this appears to be a good beginning. Remember, if you're reading this blog (and I'm talking to both of you), you're in the minority of Americans. Most are not well-versed in the goings-on in Washington. That's where Cantor's site has the most potential. I consider it an introduction to some of the ways our tax money is misspent.

Any effort to educate the public and get you more involved in politics is a good thing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Politicians Are Killing America's "Can-Do" Spirit

Florida governor Charlie Crist can't stop proving why he's the wrong type of person to send to Washington. When polling showed him far behind Marco Rubio in the upcoming Republican Senate primary race, he abandoned the Republican Party and betrayed his former supporters to become an Independent candidate.

And now, he's calling a special legislative session to try to ban oil drilling close to Florida's coast in clear defiance of popular opinion that we should be doing more offshore oil drilling. While the Deepwater spill is a tragedy with 11 oil workers dead, I don't want to downplay the importance of fixing the leak and cleaning up the results. I can't help but notice that not only is Crist grandstanding for the radical left-wing environmentalist vote, he's simultaneously doing his best to kill the "can-do" spirit of America.

This is becoming a very real problem in Washington.

Once upon a time, Americans felt like we could do anything because, well, we could do anything. Virtually nothing was beyond our reach, not even the heavens themselves. We put men on the moon even after the tragedy of Apollo I took three of our finest astronauts, Ed White, Roger Chaffee and Gus Grissom. This is only one example of the spirit of accomplishment that stirs the soul of America. Everywhere, that is, except in Washington.

There's a trend emerging and it's gaining momentum. It's not a good trend. It's the result of unthinking career politicians who are far more concerned with winning the next election than actually doing what's right for the people. While we've had to tolerate a certain amount of this trend, lately it's begun to have a decidedly negative impact on the nation.

It goes something like this:

1. Some well meaning but woefully misinformed politician decides to introduce legislation that extends the influence of government into areas that were previously left alone in an attempt to "look busy".

2. Somewhere along the line, government fails in its' duty to enforce the law that it created.

3. Disaster comes as a direct result of that failure.

4. Politicians declare the entire institution that it attempted to control a failure.

We're seeing a variation of this trend in states that border Mexico. The federal authorities fail to enforce border security, crime skyrockets as a result, forcing the state to step in and perform the duties that the federal government strangely refuses to do.

Another example is the housing bust. The main cause of our current recession is the Community Redevelopment Act, signed into law by Jimmy Carter and strengthened by Bill Clinton. This law forced lending institutions to issue loans to people who couldn't afford a house, leading to an avalanche of defaults and toxic debt that we've yet to recover from. Incredibly, there are now some "progressive" politicians who are declaring capitalism to be failed when the real problem lies in the governments' overregulation of markets, forcing businesses to become more creative in the pursuit of profits. I repeat: capitalism has not failed. It is the government intrusion into the free market that has caused the problem.

The Deepwater Platform disaster is the latest incarnation of this trend. Following the spill of the Exxon Valdez, the federal government devised a system to contain oil spills while they were a safe distance from shore. Curiously, this system was not implemented by the Obama administration, nor was its readiness evaluated. Had this system been tested for readiness, someone would have noticed the absence of the necessary equipment to contain a spill. Obama went golfing, and Ken Salazar went white water rafting instead of doing their duty to minimize the damage to the Gulf coast in the first days of the spill.

Now, Charlie Crist wants to ban offshore drilling. Why? Charlie, have you given any thought to what you're doing to the people of Florida and the nation? Do you not realize that, due to the recession, many families drive to Florida for their vacations instead of fly? And do you see any other countries who are now drilling in the Gulf of Mexico halting their drilling efforts? Are you not aware of the very important role that oil plays in our economy and that there is no equivalent substitute? You are doing nothing to benefit the people by driving up the cost of oil products.

Yes, drilling for oil is dangerous, dirty business. But we have the smarts to minimize any potential damage to life and property. Considering the importance of oil to our economy, what we should be doing is making certain that emergency plans are in place to contain spills and regularly test their readiness to respond to a disaster.

We can drill for oil safely and with minimal environmental impact, but that requires a willingness of politicians to think beyond their next electoral race and to actually do their job.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More, um, Actually Less on Nominee Kagan

Consider this an addition to yesterdays post on Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan.

What a difference a day makes. The good thing about nominating someone to the SCOTUS who doesn't have much of a paper trail is that it doesn't take long to review her career. Almost 24 hours have elapsed since President Obama announced her as his next nominee and we're finding out more about her, kinda, sorta.

Even though her confirmation appears to be a slam dunk for Obama, the country deserves a rigorous examination of her judicial propensities. There are lots of things we need to know about how she will decide cases. We should receive a fair and accurate picture of her judicial philosophy in order to find out if she truly represents the mainstream views of Americans or if she posesses some other opinions that run counter to the Constitution.

Indeed, Kagan herself thinks this should be the case. The editors of NRO agree. She has written -

“The kind of inquiry that would contribute most to understanding and evaluating a nomination is . . . discussion first, of the nominee’s broad judicial philosophy and, second, of her views on particular constitutional issues . . . seeing how theory works in practice by evoking a nominee’s comments on particular issues — involving privacy rights, free speech, race and gender discrimination, and so forth — that the Court regularly faces.”
It's been a popular evasion in recent years for nominees to decline comment on their philosophy citing the fact that they may have to decide on cases that contain such issues and that their answers could somehow be interpreted as prejudice. This argument falls flat on its face the second the nominee is sworn in. Kagan even criticized Justice Ginsburg for evasiveness during her confirmation hearings:

“I was frustrated by what I called Justice Ginsburg’s ‘pincer movement’ — the tendency to say that questions were either too specific or too general to be able to answer, with little ground in between.”
This blog concurs. There is no reason that the American public, who must live with the Courts decisions, shouldn't know everything there is to know about how a potential justice will decide a case, in depth and with clarity.

This is especially important given as how many members of Congress introduce legislation seemingly without questioning the Constitutionality of the bills they propose. They just write a bill (or have someone else write it in many cases) and leave the Supreme Court to decide. Am I the only one who finds this at least questionable, if not downright irresponsible? Aren't there already many lawyers in Washington who should know whether or not a bill is Constitutional without having to go through a legal challenge to find out? If they don't know whether or not a bill will pass muster, perhaps they should scrap the bill in question and start over. After all, it's only peoples lives we're talking about. And their freedom.

And, lest we forget, Kagan was on the list of nominees from that gave us Sonia Sotomayor last year. Michelle Malkin remembers:

Dean Kagan has taken positions that are disturbingly out of the mainstream. For example, driven by her view that the “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy adopted by a Democrat Congress and President Clinton is “a profound wrong–a moral injustice of the first order,” she argued that it violates the First Amendment for the United States to withhold funds from colleges that ban the military from recruiting on campus. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected this view.

A Pajamas Media article also questions her fitness for high office - Can Kagan be a Justice even though she's never been a judge? That question is all the more reason for us to find out as much about her as possible.

There are even some who think she may move the court towards the right. I'd post a link, but I'm too busy laughing at that idea. Does anyone truly think Obama would pick someone for the highest court that would endanger his radical transformation of the country?

Indeed, it's the perfect strategy for Obama to install two SCOTUS Justices to insure that his transformation stays in place long after he is swept from office.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Disturbing Parallels Between Obama and Kagan

President Obama today revealed his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Her nomination will be Obama's second appointment following Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

There are several parallels between Obama and Kagan, enough to raise doubts about her objectivity and her ability to impartially render decisions based on the Constitution. Some in the blogosphere, such as Ilya Somin over at the Volokh Conspiracy, consider her an adequate pick (albeit a dependably liberal one), as she has shown a willingness to entertain opposing viewpoints. Others, such as myself, look at her as a clone of Obama: steeped in academia and the theoretical applications of law, not the real-world consequences of the misapplications of law (such as the Kelo decision).

She seems to have the right qualifications: the first female Dean of the Havard School of Law, the first female Solicitor General, law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall and domestic policy advisor for the Clinton administration. She is decidedly liberal in her experience. However, she has no experience as a judge at any level, although she has argued cases before the Supreme Court in her current capacity.

My biggest point of contention with her nomination is the fact that she is decidedly anti-military. And when you display your animosity toward the very people who protect your rights, you are essentially saying that you're anti-American. Her opposition was based on the DADT rule. Her strident advocacy of social engineering in the military displays a startling lack of thought, both for national security and the disruptive role that homosexuality causes in troop morale.

When she decided to defy the law of the land and banish military recruiters from the Harvard campus, she demonstrated a contempt for the law. Not just any law, but one conceived and passed by a Democrat Congress and signed by her boss, President Clinton. Shouldn't we expect some respect for the law from a potential SCOTUS Justice? Her willingness to ignore the Solomon Amendment shows a disturbing propensity to defy the law to promote her own agenda. This should be enough to disqualify her as a Supreme Court Justice. If she doesn't respect the law, how can she decide the law? Ace of Spades HQ has an interesting thought experiment on her nomination.

Obama sees in her a kindred spirit. But with her thin resume and lack of experience as a judge, it appears as though Obama thinks she will grow into her position as a Justice.

How's that working out with our current President?

Poll after poll shows America to be center-right politically. Any nominee that doesn't reflect that fact is governing against the majority of Americans. And frankly, after nearly eighteen months of governing against the will of America, we've had quite enough of it. It's time for conservative Senators to send a clear and unambiguous message to this White House: move to the center of the political spectrum.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Bits of Tid, Mothers' Day Edition

Good ol' Friday.

And speaking of Mothers' Day, here's a gift she's sure to love: a candle that smells like a White Castle burger. (stolen from inspired by Dave Barry)

If Mom's a fan of Star Wars, here's the Star Wars Lego Trilogy in Two Minutes. No, it's not a trap.

Maybe she's a Trekkie and she'd appreciate a new dinner table decoration.

18 percent of Britons believe that haggis is a hilltop-dwelling animal. Don't tell PETA.

Shazbot! There goes my dream of a career in law enforcement.

We have the Democrat Party. The UK has their Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Compare and contrast.

And finally, the gentlemanly game of golf has driven many normally sane men to the edge of, um, poetry?

Have a good weekend. And kiss your Mom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Right On Cue, Sierra Club Wants To Ban Offshore Drilling

In an opinion piece over at, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, pens what could rightly be considered the remnants of a bad acid trip. I'm certain that the Obama administration is very pleased to read in print what they secretly think concerning our country's energy policy. There's only one thing wrong with Brune's article: everything.

Ignoring hisory, Brune begins with this little lie:

There is no safe way to drill for oil in oceans.

Really? I'm kind of old and I don't remember any oil spill of this nature anywhere in the Gulf. Not that it's completely safe, the harvesting of oil is inherently risky because oil is highly flammable. That's why we pay the oil field workers well. But Mr. Brune would have us stop an activity because it's not safe? OK, that settles it. Everyone can stay at home for the rest of their lives. That way, we can all be safe all the time.

This disaster is an impetus to halt our dependence on oil completely and move to a clean energy future fast.
 My, my. That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Let's all just snap our fingers and have all that ooky oil disappear, shall we?

Cost-benefit analysis shows this is the smart approach.
It does? Would you be so kind as to show us this specific analysis, please? I don't see a link to it in your article.

The most urgent matter, of course, is to plug the well’s leaks and launch a massive cleanup...
Gosh, Mr.Brune, I'm quite sure that no one else thinks that's a priority. Perhaps someone should've told the Obama administration on the day of the explosion. And how about that oil containment program proposed in 1994 that was never activated?

And speaking of President Obama,

Then President Barack Obama and Congress need to develop a clear, ambitious vision for weaning us off our addiction to oil within, say, 20 years. Dirty fuels are undermining our national security and contributing to the future disasters that climate disruption will bring.

And just what will we replace oil with, Mr. Brune? Is there another naturally occuring substance that equals the versatility of oil? Is there something else that can power our autos, that can be made into plastic and can soothe diaper rash? If there is, I'm certain that the world will celebrate this new substance and welcome it's introduction into our lives with parades. And keys to the city.

What is this substance? Mr. Brune?

Silly me. It's electricity!

We already have the technology to run our cars on electricity generated from wind and solar power. Feel the neck- snapping acceleration of the all-electric Tesla, and you’ll be disabused forever of the misconception that environmentally friendly travel is necessarily dull.
Are you talking about all that electicity that is only produced when the wind blows and the sun shines? How about at night or during a calm day? How do we generate electricity then? And can anyone afford a car that costs over $100,000.00. I certainly can't and I don't know many who could.

Mr. Brune? We're still waiting for a reply.

For example, when people use public transportation, they are helping to move the nation away from oil.
Are you seriously suggesting that I do my grocery shopping by bus when I can take my car on my schedule, and drive straight there and back without risking something frozen melting? Is that a truly viable alternative, Mr. Brune? I think I can safely call your solution bullshit, especially compared to the freedom we now enjoy, not to mention the safety of insuring that food doesn't spoil en route.

Gee, it seems as though your suggestions really don't work out here in the real world, Mr. Brune. It must be nice to live in your little fantasy world where there are no laws of physics and no money. There's nothing such as folks' livelihoods to think about. A place where everything is all rainbows and Skittle-shitting unicorns.

Where dreams really can come true if you wish hard enough.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Toaster Plooking and Vague Laws

Frank Zappa was a visionary. While I don't count myself as an ardent fan of his music (I have to be in just the right mood to enjoy him), his forays into philosophy were prescient at times.

This is one of those times.

Joe's Garage was a magnum opus of a work. Centered around the idea that music was outlawed and the central character of Joe having been arrested for plooking a toaster (don't ask), somewhere there is a passage that referred to a government that eventually hoped to make everything illegal.

Well, boys and girls, we aren't that far away from fulfilling Frank's dark dream. Here's the crux of the biscuit'

A conservative think tank and criminal defense lawyers are forming an unusual alliance to try to get Congress to quit writing criminal laws so loosely that they subject innocent people to unjust prosecution and prison.
Now, let's say we're in business. We want to make money. We identify a sector of society where we find a need for our services. We decide, "Hey, we can fill that need and make some money". This is how it works for the vast majority of businesses in America.

However, the rules are different when it comes to the legal industry. Since the creation of laws is the backbone of our government, the more laws we have, the greater the need for lawyers. And when one factors in the multiplication of rules and regulations to support a law, the need rises exponentially.

Voila! You can now forcibly increase the market for your services, something that an average business cannot do. Even better, you can design a law that is so convoluted, no one can comprehend it and thus increase your market share (and billable hours) through the appeals process.

I'll use another musical reference: One song on Don Henley's album Building the Perfect Beast notes that when you cross a lawyer with a godfather, you get an offer you can't understand.

*rimshot* I'll be here all week.

Our Founding Fathers valued clarity, openess, and honesty in government. For if the citizenry is to hold power, the rules must be clear and easily understood. Legal principles should be based on concepts of right and wrong that the average person knows already in his or her heart. Our legal system need not be complicated. It shouldn't require an oracle to decipher (for an hourly fee).

However, in what appears to be an effort to increase market share, our legal system is awash in unecessary and obtuse laws, so many that just counting them would take a lifetime. All this is great if you're a lawyer. If you're an average citzen, not so much. Eventually, you could become frozen with fear that you might be violating a law that you were not aware of. Even if you were to read a law and think that you were in compliance with it, there's no certainty that it couldn't be interpreted in a different way by a different judge. Then what do you do?

This situation need not be. It presents the perfect argument in favor of citizen legislators who will write clearly worded laws, ones who understand the potential impact of their actions in the everyday life of the average American, and will strive to minimize their legal footprint upon society.

Until we reach that point, do what Evelyn does. Don't plook a toaster.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Is the Gulf Oil Spill Obama's Katrina? Um, uh, Yeah.

...and in other news this morning, President Obama has announced that the Federal Department of Transportation plans to close the entire Interstate Highway System as a result of the horrendous crash Saturday that claimed the lives of a local family. A top advisor to President Obama said Sunday that no new traffic will be permitted on any of the nations' Interstate Highways until the cause of the crash has been determined.

David Axelrod, appearing on ABC's Press the Meat, said this on Sunday, "No traffic will be allowed until we find out what caused this crash. The safety of the American public is our most important concern right now." When asked when traffic could resume, Axelrod said," We have teams on the ground as we speak trying to determine the cause. As soon as we have something, you'll know."


This is merely the logical conclusion of the Obama administration's recent decision to halt new offshore oil drilling after announcing support for it a few weeks ago. The skeptic in this blog thinks this is highly suspicious. After all, if you wanted to throw conservatives a bone ( a bone that three quarters of the country wants) and announce that you're in favor of expanding the nations' energy independence, but your radical, left-wing environmental base starts screaming "No! Oil's all icky and stuff." and you want to keep their campaign money flowing into your coffer, this couldn't come at a better time. You could say "Oopsy daisy" and backtrack with impunity, with this disaster as the justification.

You could even make sure your sycophants in the media print articles by people who have no knowledge of the industry blasting the evil oil companies and greed and capitalism and anything else in an effort to justify your decison. Better yet, show the country that you're deadly serious about fixing this problem by dispatching teams of lawyers to monitor the spill. After all, nothing stops an oil leak like a strongly worded letter.

But I digress.

Out here, in the real world, we still have an ecological crisis that must be dealt with. The Obama administration wants to look like it's in control in order to avoid comparisons to President Bush and his response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After a Sunday in which various administration officials claimed they began to respond on "day one" ad nauseum, facts are surfacing that seem to indicate that this administration didn't take this emergency seriously until it was far too late.

It seems strange in light of all the debate about the negative effects of an oil spill that the federal government wouldn't have emergency teams at the ready to minimize the damage. And we're not talking about teams of lawyers, but rapid response teams that could start to attack the spill while still far away from shore.

If only we had something like that in place...


Well, surprise, surprise. It seems that we do have something like that. In fact, we've had something like that in place since 1994. It was created in response to the Exxon Valdez spill. It involves ships that deploy booms to contain the oil that can then be burned far out at sea. This sounds like a good idea. Contain a potenially disastrous spill before it reaches shore. Avert a disaster. Brilliant!

All we need is boats and booms. What? We don't have any booms? None? Anywhere? You mean after all these years of talking about the devastation an offshore oil spill would cause and spending untold millions of tax dollars to install a plan to tackle a spill before it could do too much damage, we didn't use it?

Is this Obama's Katrina? You bet your light, sweet ass it is.

Monday, May 3, 2010

SaraCuda 1 - Obama 0

Over the weekend, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama gave speeches in Michigan. Obama, in a commencement speech at the University of Michigan, derided his detractors and attempted to justify his radical transformation of Washington. Sarah Palin, in a speech to Tea Partiers, told the truth about big government. progressives, and President Obama.

Two political idealogies were on display. Both were dear to the hearts of the respective audiences. Both are seeking to gain ascendency in Washington. However, only one will win. Only one of these diametrically opposed political philosophies can guide the country toward success and freedom.

From Obama's speech:

"...what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad," said Obama, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree. "When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us."
Well, it sounds as though our President has been watching Fox News, which I heartily recommend he do frequently. While he correctly states that "government is us", he makes an error in referring to our form of government as a democracy. It is not a democracy, and one would expect a sitting president to know that, especially one who allegedly taught consitutional law. Our form of government is a democratic republic, constructed in that way by our Founders to avoid a tyranny of the majority.

After saying that our government is roads and speed limits, our military and our mine inspectors, he states that the financial meltdown was a result of too little government regulation, when history has shown that the lending institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were indeed following the law.

What led to the housing market crash was, and remains, the Community Redevelopment Act. This law had the good intention of allowing more Americans to own their homes, a worthwhile goal. But the way in which it attempted to sidestep the traditional method of homeownership in America with a good job as the foundation, led to many receiving home loans who did not make enough money to pay their mortgages. When this law was revised during the Clinton administration, it created the massive amount of toxic assets that were bundled in an attempt by financial institutions to make money from a bad law.

Soooooo, Obama misstated his point. The financial meltdown was the direct result of a bad law that remains on the books. This problem won't be solved unless and until this law is repealed.

It's just that simple.

Obama then turned to the subject of political discourse.

Obama urged both sides in the political debate to tone it down. "Throwing around phrases like 'socialists' and 'Soviet-style takeover,"fascists' and 'right-wing nut' - that may grab headlines," he said. But it also "closes the door to the possibility of compromise..."At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response."
Mr. President, when we who know history see a failed pattern about to be duplicated, it's our duty as citizens to sound a warning. We see in your administration an attempt to move away from American values and toward more governmental interference in our daily lives, and we are correct to speak up. Or as Sarah Palin correctly noted, "The fundamental transformation of America is not what we all bargained for".

Compromise, as it's been practiced for the past few generations, has meant that conservative ideas are surrendered in favor of more governmental meddling, often unneeded, and generally counterproductive. More government was not what we voted for when you were elected, Mr. President. We expected a continuation of our form of government that recognizes and reinforces the liberty and freedom of the individual.

We have not seen that during your time in office.

We've seen something foreign to us and our way of thinking. We see the philosphy of government as sole arbiter and dispenser of goodness, and the first and last solution to every problem, replacing the American people and our inherent wisdom. We, who were born and raised here, view government as a necessary evil.  Not embraced, but held at arms' length.

We'd much prefer to solve our own problems by ourselves, Mr. President, not go running to Mommy Government every time we have a dispute with our neighbor.