Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dispatch from the Land of Poetry

This dispatch comes to you from the living room couch of the McGrath Family ancestral seat in Johnston County, North Carolina, where I am reliably informed a great literary debate rages over this State's obvious love of poetry. It is written on my iPad, so please forgive the mistakes. I arrive yesterday, after a deliciously selfish evening of steak and conversation with a brilliant friend, and then sweet repose in the luxe bunk afforded me by a posh hotel in Arlington, obtained for fifty dollars and some reward points.  I rose early (for room service breakfast) and then got on the road for Chesterfield Va and the home of much older brother Tom.  There, slightly younger brother Pat and his family were abiding, waiting on my arrival to whisk his issue to NC to consort with their cousins and grandparents for the week.

Puberty is an awesome force, demonstrated by little Liam greeting me at Tom's, a manboy of 14 and somewhere north of five ten.  From his angelic face boomed the deep yet unready voice of manhood, and I found I conversed with him differently than I had in the past, as if his explosion of hormones had somehow qualified him for a new level of intellectual access. His sister Emma is a girl of interesting depth, and I aim to plumb a bit of it while I am near.

I am here for a periodic visit, timed somewhat to coincide with my sainted mother's 79th birthday. Both she and my Dad are well, in full possession of their feisty spirits, but also dealing with a variety of skeletal maladies that mark the passage of time. Dad hasn't golfed since February, but I have confidence he will be back swinging again in a few months.

There is little on my agenda for the day, save for a nap later in the afternoon. I arrived here yesterday at quarter past two, and was sound asleep by half past three. The room they put me in seems to exert an oddly gravitational pull in the afternoon, and I am powerless to resist. My folks have become used to my post arrival naps, and take no offense therefrom.

Now I will put this down and watch golf with my Dad, something I've done periodically for my whole life.  With great pleasure.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This is How You Get Sucked In

Into poetry? Me too. Nobody likes a good poem more than the Hammer household.

There once was an artist named Saint
Who swallowed some samples of paint
All shades of the spectrum
Flow out of his rectum
What a colorful lack of restraint!

Well, it seems there's much hubbub in the Old North State about our Republican Governor's choice of "Poet Laureate". What's that you say? What's a "poet laureate" and why do we need one? You must be kidding you uneducated p.o.s. redneck, of course we need a state poet and I'll tell you why...MORON! We need a Grand Master Poet Czar  for the very same reason we need a state flower or state color or state bird...because everybody else has one and Goddamnit we ain't getting left behind!

There once was a fellow McSweeny
Who spilled some gin on his weenie
Just to be couth
He added Vermouth
Then slipped his girlfriend a martini!

Anyway Gov. McCrory (a stupid ass Republican!) went out and appointed some self-published "poet" (I use the term loosely) by the name of Valerie Macon, and guess what? Our REAL poets ain't having none! Just who the hell ever heard of Valarie Macon anyway? She's obviously a tool of the right, why else would she be appointed? I'm sure she thinks she's Emily Dickinson (the stupid bitch) but we ain't impressed...besides she's not in "The Club". As you well know our past Mac Daddy poets have been household names. Who can forget Kathryn Stripling Byer or Cathy Smith Bowers (all women of importance have THREE names, preferably hyphenated). I don't know about you but when I think highbrow I 'm not thinking Tennyson, Dryden or Pope, I'm thinking Bowers! And to prove my point here's just a sample of the genius of Cathy (winner of the coveted Texas Tech Poetry Award).

I had a boyfriend once, after my mother 
and brothers and sisters and I 
fled my father’s house, who worked 
at the Piggly Wiggly where he stocked 
shelves on Fridays until midnight 
then drove to my house to sneak me out,
take me down to the tracks by the cotton mill
where he lifted me and the quilt I’d brought 
into an empty boxcar. All night 
the wild thunder of looms. The roar of trains 
passing on adjacent tracks hauling 
their difficult cargo, cotton bales 
or rolls of muslin on their way 
to the bleachery to be whitened, patterned 
into stripes and checks, into still-life gardens 
of wisteria and rose. And when the whistle 
signaled third shift free, he would lift me 
down again onto the gravel and take me home. 
If my mother ever knew she didn’t say, so glad 
in her new freedom, so grateful for the bags 
of damaged goods stolen from the stockroom 
and left on our kitchen table. Slashed 
bags of rice and beans he had bandaged
with masking tape, the labelless cans, 
the cereals and detergents in varying
stages of destruction. Plenty 
to get us through the week, and even some plums 
and cherries, tender and delicious, 
still whole inside the mutilated cans 
and floating in their own sweet juice.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's got you down, Chum?  Did a craven attack on a civilian airliner get in the way of your fundraising?  Are you forced to lay off 18,000 people a week after publicly advocating for increased immigration?  Share your pain, friends.

After ballooning to 191.6 on vacation, a week of moderate eating and exercise has me down to 187 today.  Brother Tom has continued to provide both an excellent example of the benefits of diet and exercise and of the need for more effective psychotropic drugs to control personality disorders.  And yes, Tom, I do believe that my propensity to post a timely BFFFFA is correlated with weight loss that week.

I'm working with a bunch of "young gun" right of center defense and foreign policy types in DC today and then carousing with them a bit in the early evening. Rather than fight the beachgoers all the way to Easton, only to get up at the crack of dawn for my drive to the ancestral center of the McGrath order (North Crack-a-lina), I shall hole up for the night in a posh spot in NoVa for a pittance after having redeemed stay points.

Heading down to see Ma and Pa, the former having turned a sprightly 79 on Wednesday.  I'm rolling through the Capital of the Confederacy in the AM, there to accumulate the spawn of younger brother Patrick, the artist formerly known as "Goldwater's Ghost".  Young Liam and Emma will be at brother Tom's house with their parents for a visit, and then I'll convey them down for a longer visit with their sainted grandparents.  I do hope they won't mind my propensity to blog at 100 mph.

Be well, friends.  Be well.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Israeli Defense Forces have entered Gaza to eliminate the vermin threat inside Gaza.  I wish them every success and, despite what our Hamas-loving Administration and most American leftists believe, I am confident the IDF will, while ridding the earth of their neighboring pestilence, take considerably greater measures to protect Gaza civilians than Hamas themselves have ever done for their own people to date.

And thank God there are still men of principle and conviction in this dangerous world who were able to fill the gaping hole that our nation has dug for two elections in a row.  I never thought I'd see the day when I would salute the leaders of Canada, Egypt and Israel for bucking a global shamefest and standing firmly united against the Hamas terrorists while our milquetoast, inept, unqualified and shame-worthy tyrant in chief votes "present" on the world stage. 

What in the hell are we doing, America?


From the Washington Times:

NYC Creates ID Card So 500K Illegal Immigrants Can Get
Services New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a measure that creates a municipal identification card that can now be used by illegal immigrants to access government services, rent an apartment and open a bank account.

...because you are ignorant enough to think it's really free and you don't care about whether you remain free

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Getting Older

I was filling out some TSA Frequent Traveler thing last night, and I had to indicate my hair color.  Until last night, I had always checked "Brown".  The survey last night had a the choice "Grey/Partially Grey".  Yep.  Picked that one.  Getting Old.

Politics or Duty: Should Obama Be Impeached?

I was never a fan of impeaching Bill Clinton. I thought it would turn out much like it did; no conviction, a political wash at best and in the end just a huge waste of time. Did I think he was guilty? Oh hell yes! He was clearly guilty of obstruction of justice, subornation of perjury, sexual harassment, abuse of power and a host of other crimes too numerous to mention. The man and his administration pushed the envelope of propriety, custom and Presidential privilege laying the groundwork for the current administration's abuse of power. If I had had a vote I would have asked myself what would Jefferson or Madison do? In terms of duty, honor and fidelity to the Constitution and Republic I think I would have reluctantly voted yes concluding it had to be done. So, the question today is should Barack Obama be impeached?

The liberal law professor (and Obama supporter) Jonathan Turley has been a very vocal critic of President Obama's lawless abuse of power. He is set to testify before Congress today urging Democrats and Republicans to unite in their opposition to what he calls " of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country".  Sounds pretty harsh to me, especially from a supporter.

Now I'm not a Constitutional scholar like Professor Turley, I'm just your everyday drunk at the bar spouting political opinions out my ass until I'm asked to leave. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt. But the President has a duty to defend and protect the Constitution, to enforce our laws fairly and appropriately and to do all this in good faith, in other words with an eye toward maintaining our liberty rather than subverting it. From day one and at every turn Obama and most especially his Attorney General Eric Holder have politicized the law to the point of dictatorship. From election law to IRS abuses to the the arbitrary negation of whole swaths of laws and regulations passed by the Congress, this administration treats the US Code as a cafeteria buffet where one chooses this or that depending on the current political calculation.

This is not how the system works. All Presidents are given a certain amount of leeway in terms of enforcing the law, but no President has the right to ignore or replace the law as a matter of policy. It was wrong when GWB chose not to enforce immigration law and it's wrong now that Obama has taken it to the next level and opened our borders wide open. Turley is right, the system must be respected regardless of political considerations. Boehner has taken the first step by suing the President. If Obama doesn't get the message then impeachment is the Constitutional obligation of Congress. It's a question of duty.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ruminations From Operation Bumblebee (as was)

CW and many clear thinking, independent Republicans who happen to NOT be called before House committees on a regular basis and are therefore free to express any opinion (and piss off anyone) they like, have been having a debate lately about the direction of the Republican Party. Should it be a tool of the establishment and big business or should it be the party of freedom and middle-class prosperity? Should special interest rule the day or will the rule of law? Does cheap labor trump immigration law? Bra snaps in the front or back?
A case right on point is the current fiasco happening on our southern border. Quite obviously this is a multi-facited disaster the most immediate of which is public health. Reportedly there are diseases we haven't seen in decades being imported in handy little vectors which will need to be feed and housed and educated (along with their extended families) to the tune of trillions of dollars no doubt.
So where are the screaming Republicans? In my state where is Thom Tillis? My God he should be hanging this around Kay Hagan's neck! This is the mother of all wedge issues for her. Most African-Americans see Latinos as a threat and they are as upset as Rednecks over the mayhem down in Tejas. Many liberals (not progressives mind you) are at the end of their rope. Teachers see only expense, and that expense will be funded from their hard fought pay raises. Medicaid funding is a real issue here so if we get an influx of diseased children (and adolescent MS-13 gangbangers) this could tip the balance back to recession (well worse recession). There's only so much artificially low interest rates and arbitrarily printing money can do.
But not a word from Speaker Tillis. Hagan must be beside herself with glee. The supercilious Republican Party establishment sits by and simultaneously screws the middle-class, does the bidding of the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world and ignores a game changing issue ALL AT ONCE! That's a pretty talented bunch we got running the show (thanks to David Brooks and guys like CW). We'll be lucky if WE don't have to learn Spanish. How do you say chagas disease in Mexkin?

As you well know I'm a little slow, but I eventually get it. I think I've finally figured out President Obama's political strategy. Let me see if I can describe the process...
Q:We want to "transform" the country into our progressive/fascist/socialist/communist vision. Some of the things we will have to do will be outside the law, and big things mind you. So, there is no way we can we hide all this scandalous behavior and law-breaking and they will hit the papers and we will have to deal with them. So how do we do it?
A: Scandal fatigue.
Have you noticed we've gone from one scandal to another every month or two? When the IRS and Lois Lehner becomes news we get Bo Bergdahl. When Bergdahl gets hot we get border crisis. Walk it back and you'll see it's one thing after another. The press and the American people are like the fat guy at Golden Corral... spoiled for choice. Before he can murder the chicken fried steak the mac 'n cheese with the corn flake topping catches his eye, then the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows and raisins jumps up, then the jello with the gummy bears inside...and on and on; consequently nothing gets the attention it deserves.
I underestimated Obama's team. Of course a compliant media is an absolute must for this kind of strategy. Just think, can you imagine if Bush had denied them access to a "refugee" camp like this administration did?

And last but not least a shout out to the bubbly Miss Charlotte who will be competing in the Miss World pageant in London.
I like these kinds of competitions...they're more honest. None of this playing Chopin (badly) on a borrowed Steinway, no tap dancing while waving a skimmer cap about (one of CW's favorites I hear) or embarrassing ventriloquist acts (dummies with dummies). No friends, this is all about the bikinis and if you ain't got the lungs for it you might as well stay home. They're not looking wholesome they're looking hot. So, Rose of Tralee it ain't and I think our representative has just enough slut appeal to pull it off plus if it doesn't work out Twin Peaks in the heart of the Queen City has a job waiting.

That's it from the barrier islands, now get back to your spreadsheet dipshit.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On the Tea Party (Yet Again)

Michael Gerson (RINO, Country Club Republican) has an Op-Ed in this morning's Washington Post that really sums up the way I (RINO, Country Club Republican) feel about the modern instantiation of the Tea Party.  I posted it on Facebook this morning and predictably raised the ire of this blog's most prominent Tea Partier, The Hammer.  So let's transfer the debate here, where it belongs.

The Tea Party was a wonderful thing when it began.  I attended a rally here in Maryland in 2009, and what I saw there were politically un-involved people who had had enough--enough spending, enough taxes, enough government over-reach--enough.  They wanted to be left alone, and they saw the ascendance of Barack Obama as the clearest threat to that impulse.

These were limited government people who were dealing with basic issues of economics and freedom.  I watched the movement grow and I asked very basic questions about it--here in the blog.  One of the points I made early on was my fear that the Tea Party movement would be hijacked by social issue conservatives.  I felt then (and feel now) that the movement would be weakened by diluting its brand, and would likely just appear to be a place for the crankiest among us.

I hesitate to put immigration in the category of "social issues", but for some reason it smells an awful lot like it.  At the end of the day, there is someone doing something that we feel is wrong, and there are others who are trying to tell us how wrong we are for feeling that way (i.e. gay marriage, abortion, etc).  Naturally, the modern Tea Party has jumped on it like a hobo on a ham sandwich.  Don't get me wrong--what is happening on our Southern border is an absolute disgrace, brought on by the President (and to some extent, John Boehner).  But the rhetoric is divisive, and the attacks on anyone looking to actually SOLVE PROBLEMS rather than just round them up and deport--only serve to once again, make the Republican Party look like a bunch of unsympathetic old white guys.  We need to calmly, and factually, move forward.  We will give you comprehensive immigration reform if YOU build a fence.  Yes, that means those that are here now are likely to be able to stay.

Where else has the Tea Party gone astray?  Contrary to their tendency to expropriate Ronald Reagan for their own purposes, they have made league with the enemy (Liberal Dems) to emasculate our defense budget, treating defense spending as if it is just another line item to be cut, rather than the very basic duty of our government.

The Tea Party of 2014 is a mirror image of the "Occupy" movement.  It eschews rationality, logic, and data in favor of emotion and resort to ad hominem attacks--the only difference being that the Tea Party's tactics  seem generally to support policies that at least appear to be conservative in nature.  Don't get me wrong--what the GOP did in the Mississippi Senatorial primary run-off was despicable and low-down.  But what this election showed me (as did the Virginia governor's race last year) was that responsible states have closed primaries.  Mississippi's ridiculous system that allowed Democrats to vote in a Republican primary is silly, and Virginia's even more ridiculous caucus system (as in, no primary at all) seems ripe for oldboyism and cronyism.

What is lost in this whole debate though?  The fact that the original Tea Party-- the 2009/2010 version--has changed the Republican Party for the better, which was always my hope.  Republicans today get squishy on taxes and the role of government at their own peril.  The party IS more conservative on economic matters, and that is a very, very good thing.

So that about does it.  I was very sympathetic to the Tea Party four and five years ago.  Today, not so much.

Standing by for enfilade from Mudge, Hammer.

Dispatch from the Farm

At war again with the crepe myrtle
The two weeks I took off for vacation have taken their toll.  I am underneath a ton of work and am only now beginning to climb out from the pile.  The Kitten took Kitten 2.0 away for a horse show this weekend, and so my domestic responsibilities declined dramatically at a key time.  I have been invited to testify before the House Armed Services Committee, Sub-committee on Seapower and Projection Forces this coming Wednesday, and my written testimony is due to the Committee tomorrow.  Yesterday was spent on draft one, today will be spent cleaning it up.  On Friday I'm moderating a little think tank gathering at Heritage, and then doing so again on the 24th at Hudson.  In the meantime, I'm working three different study proposals and chapter for a book being produced in Germany.  All of which comes AFTER I've done all I can do to serve my paying clients, several of whom are deeply engaged in incredibly interesting stuff.  I love what I do...but every now and then, the piper must be paid.

None of this stuff was worked on while I lollygagged on a boat, and so the chickens have come home to roost.  Yesterday's labors were particularly oppressive, as I had yet to bring the A/C down from the garage attic.  I rectified this failure this morning, and the box is now in the window providing me with aid and comfort necessary to attack the mountain.

No time of year is quite like the summer here on the Farm.  The renovation we did a couple of years ago, together with the Kitten's natural good taste in landscaping, makes this a pretty nice place to bunk, all in all.  I have renewed my ongoing battle with the crepe myrtle which befouls our lovely pool in a way that the Kittens all feel "looks pretty" but which if left un-policed, renders the filter inop.  Kitten 1.0 approached me yesterday with a moneymaking scheme that included regular pool maintenance, and so we are in heated negotiations as to scope, cost, etc.

Of course, some of you may be saying, "CW, if you're so damn busy, why are you blogging?"  Easy.  Because I like doing what I want to do.

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