Thursday, February 28, 2013

The White House and the Press....Perfect Together

The story of Watergate legend Bob Woodward receiving a little "Chicago-love" from an unnamed White House aide (but thought to be Gene Sperling) has the chattering class of Washington aflutter.  Woodward's as big a fish in the Press Corps as they come, and you don't trifle with him lightly.  But there are an awful lot of miraculous conversions going on as Conservatives leap to Woodward's defense.  Conservatives should be careful not to get too caught up in all of this.  So the White House threatened Woodward--what's the big deal (keep in mind, I'm not one of those people who deny that he was threatened)?  Access is the coin of the realm, and the White House gets to control it.  Although it works to conservatives' advantage now to be aghast at his treatment from the White House, in general, we should be careful about running to the rhetorical rescue of Mr. Woodward.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dispatch from the Road

As hard as I try to be a hard-hitting, insightful analyst of the nation's political scene, I tend to receive much more positive feedback on my posts that are "real-life" oriented.  This is troubling, as I actually have to work and think about the political stuff, whilst the other stuff seems to write itself.  Dammit, appreciate me for my hard work.

But once again, I find myself at the airport, BWI to be exact, awaiting a flight to Dallas and then onto Lawton, OK, home of the Air Defense Artillery Branch of the US Army. 

BWI is loaded with Hassidim today, and I saw something you don't see very often.  Two male Hassidim walking with a female--who was not wearing the female, demure version of the "uniform", but was instead accoutered in skin-tight yoga pants and a tight top to reveal her voluptuousness.  Nicely done, fellas.

This will be a quick trip, back tomorrow.  BWI really is a nice airport, and no matter where I want to go, it seems to be able to get me there relatively painlessly and cheaply.  Today, I have eschewed the BWI to OKC Southwest flight (sometimes direct, sometimes through STL) in favor of an AA channel that brings me directly to Lawton.  I've tired of the hour drive across flat, featureless Oklahoma that greets me with each landing in OKC.  I'll use that time tonight to have a bit of steak.

We are readying ourselves around the household for another lengthy absence of the Kittens.  They (and their mother) will leave next week for a spring break trip abroad, leaving me with the rambunctious lab and the two cats.  I shall muddle through.

Dined last night with three Navy buddies and brother Tom in DC.  I served extensively with two of the three, and there were a lot of stories flying around the table.  Brother Tom would have made a fine naval officer.  As you already know, he is an amiable travel companion and fine company at table.  Our bartender (before being seated) bore a striking resemblance to the actress (name escapes me, sorta unimportant) who plays the CIA admin woman in the Bourne series.  I think she did a dance movie too.  Fetching.  Brother Tom decided to try out his French on her, as he is traveling to Paris late in April.  The man is simply not happy unless he has an audience--even of one. 

I have grown weary of Winter, and look forward to Spring.  Each day as I go outside at the house, I see more little wildflowers poking through, and I hear birds making more noisy evidence of their presence.  Soon, the golf clubs must emerge.

Ok--sorry this one was a bit light on...well, anything.  Talk with you later.


California Dreaming

Oh boy, California is at it again. I don't know if you saw this story but hold on to your knickers, California pays worker's comp to professional athletes. Let me explain; Terrell Owens played seven years for the Denver Broncos, he was rookie of the year (and proud recipient of a $6.8 million dollar five year contract) as well as Super Bowl MVP. He is arguably one of the all-time best NFL receivers (although burdened with a pissy attitude and a big mouth, of which I can sympathize). And according to the L.A. Times, since retirement has received nearly $200k from the good people of the State of California in worker's comp benefits. He received this money even though he played just 9 out of 88 career games in state. But Owens isn't the only one. Over the years Sacramento has awarded millions to athletes most of whom played elsewhere. One individual had played only one game in California his whole career but as did the others received compensation due to the "cumulative effects" of his professional career.

The thing is worker's comp is funded by employers and not a penny from the state. And if a professional athlete plays in California or Illinois or Texas, then that state gets the contributions. But no state pays for "cumulative effects" or out of state athletes. You would think the State of California, especially with the shape they're in would be a little more careful with other people's money, but you would be wrong.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WaPost Tries, and Fails, to Criticize the President

The title of this morning's WaPost editorial was "Sequester Offers President Obama a Time to Lead".  From it, one could potentially gather that from the standpoint of the WaPost Editorial Board, he was not leading. 

Next, the following sentence could also be viewed as leading one in that direction: "That’s what makes the minimal presidential leadership on entitlement reform so baffling."

Then, there's the Posts complete acceptance of the President's culpability in suggesting the Sequester as a tactic, and his acceptance of NO ADDITIONAL REVENUE as a condition of putting off the debt limit ceiling discussion until after the election.  So far so good.  But then, the Post returns to form and lives up to its role as a mouthpiece for the DNC.

You can always tell when the Bought and Paid For Media believes that Democrats are in the wrong...that's when they blame both sides.

This is yet another example of the practice, though in the end, the Post comes to ACTUALLY lay the blame on irresponsible Republicans while urging the ever-responsible and above ideology President Obama to "lead" on the issue.  Dig this paragraph:

"Most Republicans in Congress have been utterly irresponsible in this debate. They pretend that they could balance the budget without more revenue, an arithmetical impossibility, and they have failed to put forward realistic, near-term entitlement reforms. But we take little comfort in Mr. Obama’s being less irresponsible. He is the president; his party colleagues are increasingly intransigent on entitlement reform; and it will be his — and their — progressive goals that suffer most if the nation continues on its current path."

There is so much to unpack here--so much water carrying for Democrats.   Who are these "most" Republicans who have been "utterly irresponsible" for "pretend(ing)" they could balance the budget without more revenue?  Did we not just have a $600B tax increase?  Have Republicans not time and again offered tax reform ideas that would close loopholes and increase revenue?  And as for "realistic" entitlement reforms, there has been ONLY ONE PARTY that has put forward realistic entitlement reforms--while the President has done nothing.

Nice try, WaPost.  But another swing and a miss in the cause of balanced media coverage of the current situation. 
 

Monday, February 25, 2013


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hey Beretta--Vote with Your Feet

Sometime during my time in the Navy, we moved from the Colt .45 to a 9mm Beretta for the side-arm of choice aboard Navy vessels.  Each time I stood a quarterdeck watch, or when the ship went to security alert (drills), or even when I used flotsam as target practice from my bridgewing while in command--I would look down at the Beretta and see "Accokeek" stamped on the side, the site of Beretta's US 9mm plant in Prince George's County Maryland.

Now it seems that the State of Maryland--like other states--seeks to impose additional gun laws upon its law-abiding citizens, laws that would make the 9mm manufactured there illegal for sale in the state.

Pack up and leave, Beretta.  Go where you're welcome.  Lots of states would love to have your jobs and your tax revenue.  Perhaps Maryland can make up for the loss with some more "community activist" jobs at non-profits.



Maryland produced...for now

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Conned Once Again

Don't you get tired of being conned? I do. We have 85 billion dollars in automatic "cuts" coming up with sequestration (in fact with baseline budgeting they aren't cuts at all, just cuts in the rate of growth). But to hear the Obama administration tell it this is the end of the world (or government) as we know it. Defense Sec. Panetta said he would be forced to furlough or cut 302k defense employees and other cabinet members have indicated national parks will close, air traffic controllers laid off, TSA employees kicked to the curb, fire departments, emergency services, police; my God it's a catastrophe! And I agree, that's the word that best describes this situation; It is catastrophic stupidity by the American people.

According to the latest figures we spent $3.796 trillion in 2012 with revenues of $2.469 trillion for a deficit of $1.327 trillion. We will spend more this year than last, regardless of what happens with sequestration. $85 billion represents about 2% of the budget or 2¢ out of every dollar, so they want us to believe they can't save 2% out of a nearly four trillion dollar budget? Hey, let's look around a bit first. According to the GAO there was at least $45 billion in fraud in the Medicare program last year. With all the government workers, all the bureaucracies, are they telling us they can't police a program any better than this? And this is just one program. Just police the waste, fraud and abuse and they'll find 2% almost immediately.

But the sad fact is Obama is winning the argument. OK I know we've got some real idiots out there (very loyal idiots as it turns out), and I know we have a press that is positively in Obama's back pocket, but I blame the Republicans. This is just the kind of government you get when Rockefeller Republicans are in control. The Republican are like a Woody Allen character in therapy; "Well I'm not sure about this and gosh this sounds really stressful and I just wanna get under the covers."  In another ten years guys like David "We need to be more like Muslums" Cameron will be running the party. When that happens "conservatives" won't be trying to repeal the welfare state, they'll be trying to better manage the welfare state.

When are we going to get some conservatives with a set of balls?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Don't Think They're Not Out There

    This is a pretty typical exchange I regularly have with certain people (or entities) on Facebook. Please pardon the language but I don't use FB the way one normally uses FB (because I'm not that normal), in fact I use FB much the same as Democrats use FB. I see my mission as a search and destroy campaign targeting professional leftist propagandists. My methods include the foulest, most vile language you could imagine (and that I can get away with) coupled with a steady dose of insults and derogations. I always speak the truth as I understand it, but my goal is to make the lives of these miserable people as miserable as possible and to defend the conservative/libertarian position.
    My activities aren't limited to just Facebook. I comment at news/entertainment sites such as Politico, sites of leftist personalities like John Stewart, Randi Rhodes, Bill Maher, newspaper letters sections; just about anywhere really.
    Now we've all heard about Obama's internet/social media savvy, and it's all true. Their machine has paid professionals (I guess you could call them professionals) monitoring and trolling, ready at a moments notice to knock down any idea not to their liking, and make no mistake, this is an organized effort. Their modus operandi is to use pseudonyms so several individuals may operate under the same name. Their job is to manipulate the narrative and their methods are whatever works. THESE are the people I seek out.
    Now if you doubt what I'm saying, have a look at the exchange between Original Tea Party and myself, he/she/it admits as much. THIS friends is the battleground. THIS is why we're losing the next generation, and as Reagan said, we're only one generation away from losing our freedoms.
    So if you think my methods are harsh then you are correct, they're intended to be. But we're fighting a different kind of war here, Reason and logic are not so much the tools as verbal one-upmanship. After all we're playing to the Idiocracy. And I know my enemy, I know their tactics and I will concede nothing. I will beat them at their own game, because people are watching.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Fast becoming my favorite BFFFFA pic!
What's the matter, chum?  Wondering if your sequester-driven days off will coincide with nice golf days?  Bummed that you're in jail for providing strippers to your boy's 16th birthday party? Down about Matthew Crawley's untimely demise?

Share your pain, folks.  We're here for you.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crying Crocodile Tears for the White House Press Corps

Target of Press Corps Hissy-fit
The usually pliant White House Press Corps is in high dudgeon, kept at arms length throughout the President's boys-only golf weekend in Florida.  Twitter has been aflutter with passive aggressive posts from the Bought and Paid for Media, in a tizzy that they were not afforded access to the President while he presumably golfed, played cards and had a few beers with the boys--activities I commend to the obviously over-stressed Press Corps.

But this weekend is just the latest example of the complete and utter control this Administration has extended over the sheep reporters who cover it, and the extent to which it shapes and manages its own message through social media.  Poltico has a decent story about this today, generally informative though it does attempt to keep up the fiction that the Press Corps is not in the bag for Obama:

"Conservatives assume a cozy relationship between this White House and the reporters who cover it. Wrong. Many reporters find Obama himself strangely fearful of talking with them and often aloof and cocky when he does. They find his staff needlessly stingy with information and thin-skinned about any tough coverage. He gets more-favorable-than-not coverage because many staffers are fearful of talking to reporters, even anonymously, and some reporters inevitably worry access or the chance of a presidential interview will decrease if they get in the face of this White House."

This is of course, rubbish.  Or partially rubbish. Conservatives do not assume a cozy relationship, though they clearly exist.  Conservatives are able to see clearly how the President's team manages the news and keeps reporters at bay.  And yes, Conservatives also understand that reporters are reticent to "get in the face" of the White House for fear of having access cut off.  But the 800 lb gorilla here is blithely dismissed...and that is, that the White House Press Corps is generally supportive of the policies of the President and so gives him a pass when such largesse was clearly not extended to Presidents less to their liking....such as George W. Bush.

The Cat Still Purrs....

January 10, 2010--the day I brought her home


Just dropped her off for her 100K service.  What an absolute pleasure to drive.  They gave me a 2013 XF as a loaner, and if possible, the car is only getting better.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Updating Reaganomics: Ponnuru on a New Republican Approach

Ramesh Ponnuru is a really smart guy, and on economic/policy matters, he's got an even-keeled, common sense approach.  He should be listened to.

He's got an NYT op-ed out that urges Republicans to think anew about our current challenges, rather than just resorting to re-doing what Reagan did thirty years ago under dramatically different circumstances.

Ponnuru has always argued for family friendly policies and against focusing on the federal income tax rather than on payroll taxes.  For instance, he's often gotten my dander up in his view that Republicans who talk about those who pay no income tax are missing the point--that payroll taxes take a huge bite out of voters we want to win over.

It is hard for me to walk away from the view that everyone should pay SOMETHING in income taxes.  If Ponnuru would agree that everyone ought to pay SOMETHING (maybe a 1% bracket?) in income taxes while focusing primarily on the tax that makes the most difference in voters lives (the payroll tax), I might join him

But he is right about the general charge--it is intellectually lazy to say "if it was good enough for Reagan, it is good enough for me."  We need updated thinking.


Report from the Field: SC-1 Sanford Campaign

I drove down to Charleston SC on Friday to spend a little time with the Sanford Campaign and to look in on the Freedom Works Candidate Forum on Saturday.  The election is on the 19th of March, and if no candidate gets more than 50% in the primary, a run-off will occur on April 2.  The general election is May 7.  The district is heavily Republican, and most observers believe that the district will stay Republican irrespective of who wins the Primary.

There are 16 candidates vying for the Republican nomination.  Some novices, some with name recognition, some with State government experience.  A mixed bag of folks. 

I got to my hotel on Friday evening and decided not to venture out--it was a long drive and I was pretty tired.  Mark Sanford told me earlier in the day about a gun show in Charleston on Saturday morning, so I decided to venture out before the Candidate Forum and see what was up at the gun show.  It was, incidentally, my first ever.

Gun Show Line near Charleston SC
I was greeted by a HUGE line.  I posted the photo above on Facebook with an estimate of 80 yards long--but there were another 40 once you got through the gates.  The veteran gun show folks in line with me all testified that they'd never seen anything like it before.  There is a real sense of fear among law-abiding gun owners that the second amendment is under siege. 

Once inside, I was gobsmacked by the number and variety of weapons for sale.  Most of you know I'm not much of a gun guy, but you can't help but be a little excited by the sight of some of the goods for sale there.  Plenty of ammo for sale too, and the rising prices of both guns and ammo were a constant topic among show-goers.  Econ 101 prevails, once again.

After a quick look around--made difficult by the dense crowd--I headed back to the hotel where the candidate forum was to take place.  I made contact with both the political director of the Sanford Campaign and the Campaign manager--both of whom were really bright, young motivated guys.  It brought home for me once again the degree to which American politics depends on the labor of such people.  For anyone who knows Sanford and his legendary capacity to be tight with a buck (which extends to being tight with the taxpayer's buck--the reason I support the guy), his campaign is a high-speed low drag affair.  Just a few folks, a bunch of volunteers, and high energy. 

I sat at the Sanford table for a while, talking with voters and handing out pamphlets--folks were very nice and happy to hear that he'd decided to run.  After a while, the campaign manager informed me that Sanford wanted to talk for a while, and so I followed him to one of the "breakout" rooms where Sanford was preparing.

We had a really good conversation.  The guy's obviously been through a lot, and he doesn't back down from it.  I asked him if voters ever get really unpleasant with him--and he answered that they occasionally do.  I asked how he handled it.  "I listen, and I take my lumps".  A pretty good answer.  We talked a good bit about my work, we talked a bit about foreign and defense policy, we talked about the size of the Navy and we talked about his kids and the Kittens.  I asked a couple of tough questions about strategy and I came away with a good sense that he's moving in the right direction  About twenty minutes later, the campaign manager grabbed us because the forum was going to start.

Fuzzy picture of the candidate forum
My assessment:  this is a guy who is at peace with himself.  He's earnestly trying to promote a small-government ideology and he thinks he can win.  Most likely, he'll face Ted Turner's son "Teddy" in the primary, if polls are to be believed.  I talked to some folks there and no one thought anyone in the field could get the 50% needed to obviate a run-off. 

The race is ALL about spending.  There were a lot of Tea-Party folks in the audience, and the "fair tax" had a good bit of airplay.  The forum format was pretty bad--sixty second opening statements and then a series of questions to the candidates to which they were limited sixty seconds in reply.  But only two or three candidates got to answer the question.  Then a new question.  So Sanford got three total questions and about five total minutes of talking (between openers, closers and answers)--everyone else only got the same amount too.  I'm not sure that voters were entirely well-served, but with 16 folks it is hard to do much better.  The three weeks in between the primary and the run off should be very interesting, when the field is winnowed down to just two. 

Again--there is no question that Sanford screwed up royally.  Folks who hesitate to support him do so from very defensible positions.  My support comes from a belief that we are out of control, and that we need folks in Congress who look at the world like Mark Sanford does and who have a demonstrated record of actually reining in government.  There are some good people running in this race, but none has the record that he does in actually DOING what the people of the district want done--getting the nation's fiscal mess squared away.

If you have a few extra dollars lying around, why not contribute to Mark Sanford for Congress?


Coulda Been Worse

    I had the flu last week, probably the worst dose I've had in ten years. The all time worst was when I was a sophomore in high school (I thought I was going to die) and the second worst was in Italy when we had something go through the barracks that was unGodly awful (guys were soiling themselves in bed, not very pleasant). I recall we were so shorthanded some of the NCOs and officers actually had to get off their lazy, useless friggin' asses and actually do some work.
    But for some unknown reason I've always been interested in pandemics, as least as they relate to history. And one of the more interesting for me was the 1918 influenza pandemic. It appeared out of nowhere, killed millions and disappeared just as quickly, in fact almost overnight. It was so widespread and so deadly it could have potentially changed the course of World War I (unfortunately for the Kaiser it hit the German Army just as hard as the Allies). 600,000 Americans died from the "Spanish Flu", between 50 and 100 million worldwide (they're not really sure). One could wake up feeling fine, have a 105ยบ temperature at noon and be dead by five. It struck all ages indiscriminately; the young, the old, the healthy, the sick, it made no difference whatsoever. It's was like a plague of Egypt, some folks got it, some didn't and for no rhyme or reason. Some became infected and recovered, but most didn't.
    As it turns out this was a hybrid virus sort of half bird flu, half human flu. But what made it unique it had a particular combination of amino acids (proteins) that allowed it to attack the pulmonary sacs in the lungs which for some reason are normally imune to virus. So the victim suffocated, which of course explains why they turned blue before they died.
     By the by, that sweet young thing pictured is an Alaskan Inuit woman who died from the stuff and was buried in permanently frozen ground above the Arctic Circle. Along with her contribution and lung samples from a few soldiers from Fort Devens and Fort Riley, CDC geneticists were able to piece together the what, why and how of this killer.
   So, if you get the flu this year just keep in mind, you're gettin' off easy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Big Fat Friday Free for All



Cruise ship vacation not going as planned?  Career unexpectedly derailed by taking a sip of water?  Initially afraid to visit this blog today because you might see a revolting picture of an obese person, like last week?  Let your hair down folks, and let it down here.   

Are We Socialists or are THEY Socialists?

    Have you ever met someone who was always looking to take advantage? Someone always angling for that free lunch? Of course you have, we've become a country of freeloaders and bums. And why not? Our leaders and institutions set the example. The NFL is a case right on point.
    Did you know the NFL is tax exempt? That's right sports fans, the NFL is treated as a trade or association and pays no federal income tax. Now I personally am opposed to a corporate tax because it's just a hidden tax on consumers, but if one corporation must pay they all must pay. But again the NFL is treated as a non-profit, so about $91 billion is cheated from the taxman.
    Good deal if you can get it, and guess what(?), the owners are still not satisfied. Jerry Richardson owner of the Carolina Panthers is very troubled over the sorry state of Bank of America Stadium. Apparently the 17 year old facility is woefully inadequate and in dire need of renovation. And when one considers the positive economic impact the Panthers have on the Charlotte metropolitan area, well Jerry just wants you to know that he has no intention of moving the team. But a little State money from Raleigh sure would quell any doubts...about leaving...the team, you know from Charlotte, which by the way he has no plans to do. So Jerry will probably get our money to head off any unplanned, not even considered move by the team.
    You know, this just wrecks my head. We train the athletes in our high schools, colleges and universities at taxpayer expense, we don't require them to stay for the duration and get their education (b-ball one and done, pro football three years), we give them tax exempt status and we subsidize or outright pay for their facilities. And what do we get for our trouble? Ticket prices in section 534 for 110.00 bucks (and you better have good eyesight).
    Now, compare this to London's Arsenal Football Club (soccer for you Yanks). They built a stadium in 2003 completely financed by the club itself at a cost of 470 million pounds. NO PUBLIC FUNDS WERE INVOLVED. It makes one think exactly who are the real socialists.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Mark Sanford for Congress in SC-1

Yep, that's right. 

Not only do I endorse Mark Sanford without qualification, I am driving down to SC tomorrow morning to spend a little time helping out on the campaign.

This seat (which Sanford held for three terms beginning with the '94 election) is open because of the retirement of Jim DeMint and the elevation of Tim Scott to the Senate.

Let's face it folks.  He screwed up.  He admitted it.  He apologized to everyone he hurt (he called me twice to apologize to ME!).  He laid low. 

But the time is now for men and women in Congress who are dedicated to righting our listing ship.  No one--and I mean NO ONE was as hip to Barack Obama's train wreck earlier than Mark Sanford.  Sanford stood athwart the ridiculous stimulus bill and shouted "NO"!  He was a small government man before the Tea Party even had invitations in the mail.

I've thrown a little cash his way, and I urge you to do so too.  You can donate online here.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For Crying Out Loud

This is a real news banner on a little-watched news network this afternoon.   Yes, CNN, he is through because he took a drink of water. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nemo, Hallowed be thy Name.

It seems our Northern friends got snowed on recently, up to three feet! It was a weather "event" of such significance and magnitude as to be named "Nemo" least we forget the horror and sacrifice made by some of our bravest citizens (and undocumented immigrants).
News accounts relay the perturbation (no not that CW) of people being forced into shoveling snow (a common tactic of humiliation used by Nazi's against Jews), ambulating through treacherous frozen streets or sitting at home drinking hot cocoa and scotch. 
Friends, this is a time of trial and tribulation for our Yankee brethren. Please, won't you take a moment to pray for the best and brightest among us? They are God's chosen people (just ask them) even though they deny his existence. But what cannot be denied is they are smarter, better looking, better educated and just BETTER than the rest of us, and we owe them our loyalty and dedication (and our wealth to hear them tell it). So, fall on your knees and pray, or to kiss their ass (whatever your faith tradition deems appropriate) but do it now.     


Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Feature: Twitter Feed

I've added a running summary of my "Tweets" at the very bottom of the blog page. I spend a good bit of time over on Twitter these days, and this way, you can follow some of the back and forths I get into over there.


Bill Clinton Reveals Hillary's Election Strategy

Bill Clinton spoke to a retreat of House Democrats earlier this week, and it, he gave us a glimpse of Hillary's war plan for 2016.  Like Pippin gazing into the Palantir (below, 2:50 point), Clinton's inability to not be central forced him to give us a pretty fair sense of what is coming.

1.  Hillary will run to the right of Barack Obama.  This will be a quite a trick, especially if Joe Biden decides he wants to run.  In order to make her case, she will have to paint herself as a "new Democrat", and in the process, distance herself from the Obama Administration.

2.  One area where this will be obvious will be on healthcare.  Look for Hillary to come forward with a number of "common sense" tweaks to the Affordable Care Act--which will look reasonable when compared to current law.  Republicans must pour over video from the early Clinton Administration effort to achieve healthcare reform in order to remind voters that this new Hillary is very different from the Hillary of old--the one she must be constantly compared to,.

3.  Gun control is another place where you will see her distance herself.  Look for Hillary to be relatively passive on this front.  



Obama Gets Taken to School

I've never heard of this man before, but there's a warm place in my heart for Johns Hopkins (they put me back together once upon a time). But this is a wonderful speech about achievement, self-reliance, overcoming adversity and good government. The philosophy he relates is the philosophy of America, and he's saying it five feet away from the man who needs to hear it the most.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's bothering you, Chum?  Dramatically ignore your diet this week and afraid to step on the scale? (Yes).   Republicans got you by the short hairs on $1.2T in budget cuts and this time, the clock is ticking against you?

Sing out in pain, friends.  Share your anguish. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Jon Stewart Has Some Questions for the President

Jon Stewart -- primary news source to half of America under the age of 35 -- has a few questions for the President on his drone program and the view the Administration has that it can target for assassination US citizens without due process.




I do enjoy it when Stewart turns his humor on Democrats--a rare enough pleasure in and of itself.  What was even more enjoyable about this piece was the extent to which his normally slavish, left- of center studio audience was not able to muster its customary sense of humor, given the fact that "the one" was the in the humor cross-hairs.  Their discomfort registered in their quietude. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Take 10 Minutes to Read This

Powerline.blog has a script of David Horowitz's "How Republicans Can Win the Next Election"  It's a little lengthy (at most a 10 minute read--okay, 15 minutes if your lips move while reading) but it is well worth your time.  And it is spot on with nearly every point. 

I've long thought that we are competing in a political boxing match with an opponent who is out to win, irrespective of how he wins where we too are out to win but only in accordance with the rules of boxing.  So when we find ourselves taking punches below the belt (outright lies about who we are and what we are proposing, not being civil, being racist, hating women, etc etc) we cover ourselves and wait for some referee to break us up.  What we should be doing BEFORE we take a punch in the progeny is to step right up to our opponent and start throwing power punches right at his face and when he tries to jab, we parry or dodge and counter punch with another power punch. We are in a boxing match, not a high school debate.  Or as Horowitz states, we are at war and we are the only party that fails to realize it.

"How do you Democrats explain 50 years of "leadership" living high on the hog in Detroit, Chicago, LA, and virtually every other wrecked US city where Blacks and Latinos are being left to fight over the ruins of the streets that your policies have created?"
We have a better story of success for policies creating real opportunity for all Americans, including minorities.  But we've allowed the Democrats to define their "help" (foodstamps, endless unemployment, more government dependancy, etc) as superior and more moral.  We have all the facts in the world to disprove that fantasy.  But we are always "too polite" to hammer away at it.  Not talking about Bengazi and drilling it repeatedly into Obama's smug face (and the clearly biased referee's face as well) in the second debate was a good example. 

Anyway, I thought it an excellent piece of work and advice.  I hope we have at least a few elected officials who know how to box or who don't mind getting a bit bloodied stepping into the ring and learning how. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waterboarding Bad, Drone Strikes Good

I happened to listen in today as White House Spokesman Jay Carney attempted to answer reporter's questions about the Administration's targeted assassinations of suspected terrorists by drone strikes, to include the assassinations of American citizens who had not been charged with any crime.

I need to have a good hard think about this one, and how deep my support goes for the Administration's policy.  I'm conflicted, as I would hope you are too. 

That said, when I heard Jay Carney say the following words, I found myself with a the sneaky suspicion that I heard his words before--except then they were uttered by George W. Bush Administration figures in support of enhanced interrogation techniques--which President Obama has outlawed as "torture".  Here's what Carney said:  "We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, to prevent future attacks and to save American lives."

So--if I get this straight--it is OK to KILL American citizens without a shred of due process, but roughing up the masterminds of 9-11 somehow violates our sense of propriety?

Hmmm....

Monday, February 4, 2013

God Bless the Farmers

Hands down the best ad of the night.  Yes, I'm sure most of you saw it, but it's so beautiful it's worth watching again.  And again.

Random Super Bowl Thoughts

A couple of things come to mind.....

1.  It occurs to me that San Francisco's defense has some 'splainin' to do, after putting their offense in the position to have to come back, yet again, from way down.

2.  Kaepernick is frighteningly good.  He can move, and he has an absolute gun.  He will be back in the Super Bowl again.

3.  Flacco is also great, though he got away with some really, really lucky plays on some dubious throws.  That's what happens though, when you are on a team of destiny.

4.  I will not be sorry to see Ray Lewis go.  Putting aside for a moment his spotty legal record, he is simply an annoying human being, incredibly over the top and ridiculous.

5.  I like the Fox Football team better than the CBS team.  Not by a whole lot, but by enough.  Though I do hate those silly Fox Football animations of football players that look like machines.

6.  I nipped away to watch Downton Abbey and missed all of San Fran's comeback.  I'm still glad I watched Downton.

7.  At the end of the game, when they were on that reviewing stand/coronation float, I would love to have seen Flacco look at the Ravens owner and go into his Rod Tidwell "show me the money" act.  What a great way to position yourself for contract negotiations.

8.  I'm not a fan of the 49'ers Harbaugh.

9.  The kittens were underwhelmed by the feast I had laid before them for the game; in fact, they left the room and went up to their rooms shortly after the game started.  They were plum tuckered out from their ski trip.  Lots of leftovers...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Plans

The Kittens left me alone again this weekend, as the elder of the Kittens experienced her first go at skiing via a local rite of passage eighth grade ski trip. Neither the Kitten nor the Kittens faces cold weather all that well, but this was one of those things and a parent had to be in attendance.  I have offered to accompany #2 on her trip in two years--which was warmly received by her mother but less so by her.  Apparently, I am not "the fun" one.  Can you believe that?

They are currently making their way home from wherever it was that they were with the intention of arriving in time for the Super Bowl.  This is the only football game each year that all members of my family watch.  We have been in the habit of going back and forth between the game and The Puppy Bowl over the years, but I wonder if the girls are now old enough to want to see more of the commercials that we ordinarily skip. 

Each year, I prepare some kind of modest Super Bowl feast/spread, usually consisting of things I like most and generally resulting in much wastage.  So this year, I'm going even more modestly:

Bison Tacos
Cheesy Nachos
Steamed Shrimp
Sourdough Pretzels
Potato Chips


I posted on Facebook that I hoped the game would be well in the bag by 9PM, as I wouldn't want to miss any real action when I switch to Downton Abbey. 

Enjoy the game, folks.

Schadenfreude: Lib Encounters the Regulatory State

Frustrated Statist Matt Yglesias
I cannot contain the joy that I feel as I write this blog entry.  Matt Yglesias--writer for Slate.com, left of center gadfly, and hero to the "Too Cool For School" set--has posted a piece in which he decries the waste and inefficiency involved in setting up a small business in the District of Columbia.  Generally a fan of the regulatory state, Mr. Yglesias is apparently not so much so when it comes to his own wishes.  Delicious.  Simply delicious. 

Super Bowl Predictions

Make yours here.

I'm going with the Ravens over the 49ers 27-17.  Here's why:

1. Defense
2. Passing Game
3. Running Game
4. Feeling of Destiny.

Let's face it--both of these teams are solid in all aspects of the game.  When Baltimore got healthy at the end of the season, all the pieces that we knew were there came together.

I don't like the Ravens, and I don't like the Ray Lewis idolatry.  But I do think his presence and leadership--not to mention that today will be his final game--gives the Ravens an edge.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Big Fat Friday Free For All

Start Weight:  197.8 (1/1/13)
Last weigh-in:  188.8 (1/27/13)
Today:  190.8 

Ok, I'll start by bitching a little.  That's right--I gained two pounds in Hawaii, thinking that I was eating right and getting two nice beach runs in....

Oh well, enough of that.

What's got your goat, fellah?  A little unprepared for your Senate Confirmation Hearing?  Your highly ranked college basketball team lose to an unheralded squad from UVA? 

Bitch, bitch, bitch!

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