Friday, December 30, 2011

The 2011 Awards

Here are the 2011 Awards, representing the very best and worst of the year. Enjoy!

Democrats to Watch: Any Democrat up for reelection in 2012. From Obama/Biden 2012 on down to the city dog catcher, every Democrat is going to be scrutinized by the electorate. Why they’re the ones to watch is to see how many are willing to be seen with the President and Vice President on the campaign trail. If they shun Obama and Biden, it doesn’t bode well for the reelection chances.

Democrat to Forget: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. From vapid Congresswoman who says the most stupid and unbelievable things to garner attention to…vapid DNC Chair who says the most stupid and unbelievable things to garner attention. Wasserman-Schultz makes Howard Dean’s leadership look credible.

Republican to Watch: Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney has been skating for the most part this election season, so much so it seems he’s the heir apparent to the Republican nomination in 2012. That’s not the reason to watch him, though. The reason to watch Romney is to see if he’s a Trojan Horse. There are several positions Romney has taken and not quite explained away that should give any Republican voter a reason to pause. If he wins the nomination, Romney may revert to form, leaving the Republicans with a hard sell to more conservatives Republicans and Independents.

Republican to Forget: John Boehner. Over the past year, coal mines have caved in less frequently than the Speaker of the House has. As we move into the next Congressional session, there may be a movement afoot to have Boehner removed as Speaker, and I wouldn’t cry any tears if it were successful. Boehner might, but then again he is the weepy type.

Underreported Story: “Climategate.” What started out with an email stating “hide the decline” has become a major story. Now, the only decline being hidden is the decline in credibility of those who said global warming was “settled science.”

Overreported Story: Astroturf Wall Street. Remember how the media fawned over the TEA Party? Neither do I. To make up for them missing the boat with the TEA Party, they’ve given us wall-to-wall coverage of Astroturf Wall Street (well, except for the violence, drug dealing, prostitution, and anything else negative). I’m sure they’ll get around to cover the TEA Party rallies…eventually, but gosh darn it, they’re just too darn busy whitewashing Astroturf Wall Street to bother with equal coverage.

Unreported Story: The extremism of the “Arab Spring.” For all of the media coverage of the “Arab Spring,” you would think there would be some coverage of just who the protesters were. Except this is the mainstream media we’re talking about here. You know, the same media who vetted Sarah Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s mother’s dog groomer’s ex-husband’s mailman’s second cousin, but couldn’t be bothered to look at any direct ties between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers? Anyway, although Time made the protester their People of the Year, the fact is the Arab Spring protesters are more violent, more radical, and more dangerous than we’ve been lead to believe. No matter how many times the media told us “they’re just longing for freedom” the Arab Spring protestors want nothing of the sort. And our media sold us out by not doing even basic reporting on that fact.

Man of the Year: Glenn Beck. When you consider the amount of energy the Left has put into destroying Beck and the number of times Beck has emerged victorious this year, it’s clear he has more influence than his detractors think or claim he does.

R. I. P.: support for Obamacare. It may have been signed into law, but Obamacare has been challenged since then, and in some cases successfully. These challenges have made Obamacare less popular than it once was, even among Democrats who supported it. As the fight drags on, Obamacare becomes an albatross around the necks of Obama and the Democrats, and the poll numbers aren’t looking good for it.

Flash in the Pan: Astroturf Wall Street. For all of its grand proclamations and stated commitment to change the financial industry, Astroturf Wall Street has accomplished…nothing. Unless you count running up a sizable rap sheet an accomplishment, that is.

The Real Deal: scandals within the Obama Administration. Although President Obama has been touted as one of the smartest Presidents we’ve ever had, his Administration has been plagued by scandals, ranging from the relatively minor (Van Jones) to the more serious (Operation Fast and Furious). Far from being a right wing conspiracy, these scandals amount to rank incompetence, serious malfeasance, or both, and they’re not going away anytime soon.

Raw Deal: Scott Walker being “anti-union.” This is another case where the media forgot to do its job and, well, report the news. The actual collective bargaining deal Walker proposed for Wisconsin public workers wasn’t nearly as bad as the pro-union side made it out to be. If anything, the deal was far more pro-union than the pro-union side. Yet, Walker is called anti-union because he wants to keep Wisconsin’s teachers unions from getting laid off due to a lack of funds?

Missed Opportunity: Republicans sticking up for black conservatives under fire. This past year, we’ve seen black Republicans, such as Herman Cain and Allen West, get clobbered in the media and the Democrats for various things. Yet, one group has been conspicuously absent when this has happened: the Republican Party. With Republicans being painted as racist for decades, this past year was a golden opportunity to turn that around and make Democrats and their pals in the media look like hypocrites. Instead, they sat on their hands. Way to bust those stereotypes!

Defining Moment: The “Arab Spring.” The Middle East changed before our eyes this year, and not for the better. As one leader after another was marginalized, weakened, or overthrown completely, it became apparent a more extremist movement was coming to power, one that wouldn’t work and play well with us no matter how much water we would carry for them publicly. George W. Bush made the same mistake with Hamas, and now Barack Obama owns the mistakes in Egypt and Libya, among others. In both cases, these mistakes are mounting up and will eventually come back to haunt us.

Stuck on Stupid: Eric Holder. Barney Fife was a better law enforcement officer than Eric Holder is. Holder’s record as Attorney General has been rife with inconsistency, incompetence, and illegality. And that’s just Operation Fast and Furious!

The Bottom Line Award: Resa Laru Kirkland. Friendship aside, I have known few conservatives as driven and talented as Resa. She has a passion for life and politics that makes others want to try to keep up. Her vision for a conservative media presence in areas where it doesn’t have a strong foothold yet, such as making documentaries, is ambitious to say the least. For being willing to blaze a trail for others to follow and taking on all the stress that comes with it, Resa Laru Kirkland has earned the Bottom Line Award.

The Anna Nicole Smith Lifetime Achievement Award: Arianna Huffington. Take a struggling joke of an online service, combine it with a rich joke of a website editor, and what do you get? An epic fail. But at least Huffington came away with a ton of money for being ineffective and ham-fisted in her management. Way to be a credit to your gender!

The Dan Rather Award for “Excellence” in Media: Ed Schultz. Over the past two years, Ed Schultz has repeatedly put his foot in his mouth, apparently to prevent the truth from getting out. What has gotten out from Schultz is a steady string of ill-advised comments, out and out lies, and insane jealousy against conservatives in the media. Anger management classes would be more helpful to Schultz than giving him a daily and nightly forum from which to preach to an ever-dwindling audience.

The DEE DEE DEE Award: Astroturf Oakland. After coming out against big banks, where does Astroturf Oakland open up an account? Wells Fargo. Way to stick it to The Man, kids!

The “It Looked Better on Paper” Award: AttackWatch. Obama/Biden 2008 had some success with this same concept when it was known as FightTheSmears. The 2011 version, however, has been met with the one thing the Obama campaign hadn’t anticipated: mockery. Conservatives and independents have had a field day “reporting” themselves and others on AttackWatch to the point no one but the diehards take it seriously.

The Padded Resume Award: Chelsea Clinton getting a job with NBC News. Of course, she earned that gig because she did that…wait, it must have been that piece she wrote for…no, wait, it was because she went to college to study...okay, it’s because she’s a Clinton.

The 14:59 Award: All things Kardashian. When Kim Kardashian’s wedding lasted as long as a bad sitcom and had as many laughs, it’s clear the entire Kardashian 15 minutes of fame can’t expire soon enough.

The WTF Moment of 2011: Iran getting nuclear weapons (and, yes, I believe they have them and have had them for a while now), and the world being mostly okay with that.

The With Friends Like These Award: The Obama Administration’s treatment of Israel. Although it’s safe to say President Obama and Israel may not see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, it’s also safe to say the President’s not exactly a friend of Israel. Whether it’s the ill-conceived pre-1967 borders for Israel as a starting point to Middle East peace or the frequent anti-Israel sentiment coming from Administration officials from Obama on down, it’s clear Israel doesn’t need any more friends like Obama.

The Coincidence? Award: Let’s play connect the dots. The Left wants to expand the number of people who can vote to include the homeless, ex-convicts, and illegal immigrants. A part of this effort includes making it as easy as possible for said potential voters to vote. What’s a major stumbling block to that effort? Requiring those silly little details like proving you’re an actual voter with a real address and that you look like the person you claim to be. So, when states do things to curtail that effort, the Left gets mad and decides to go after those states. And who needs a lot of help to get reelected and has the power to make it tough for states to enact these laws? Why, it’s President Obama! Funny how that works out, isn’t it?

The Pot Kettle Black Award: People who want us to accept Islam without question, but bash Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow for his Christian faith.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do Republicans Have a Problem With Conservatism?

Watching the potential contenders for the Republican nomination in 2012, I've noticed something. Every time a conservative Republican comes to the forefront, the bulk of the party isn't that supportive, or are actively hostile towards him or her at the other extreme. Then, when a less conservative candidate leads the party (or in the case of Mitt Romney maintains his 21-23% of the vote), the party faithful circle the wagons to protect the candidate.

As a conservative, I find this trend disturbing. I have serious reservations about both Romney and Newt Gingrich, mainly because of their lack of conservatism. Sure, they talk a good game, but both of them have issues that should make any conservative Republican second-guess whether the candidates are truly being honest with us.

One of the biggest "offenders" in my opinion is Mitt Romney. In 2008, he was touted as one of the more conservative Republican contenders, yet a deeper review of his record showed his actions didn't match his rhetoric. Hello? Romneycare? Government takeover of health care? The blueprint for Obamacare? That's not a conservative in my book.

Gingrich isn't much better. Not only does he have the support of a Romneycare clone on his record, he has a left-leaning environmental agenda. Sitting with Nancy Pelosi may have been a mistake Gingrich has admitted making, but what has he done to distance himself intellectually from that stand?

Yet, to hear Republicans talk, we have to choose between Romney and Gingrich or else we'll get another four years of Obama. However, I would argue getting Obama Lite isn't a step in the right direction, either.

Think of it this way. If you're driving at a wall at 100 miles an hour and you slow down to 95 miles an hour, you're still not addressing the major problem: you are driving towards a brick wall at a high rate of speed. The 5 mile an hour difference isn't going to make you any less dead upon impact. Not even with airbags and seatbelts.

Once you get past the two current frontrunners, the same line seems to come up: "I like Bachmann/Santorum/Paul, but they can't win." In Ron Paul's case, they're right. But as far as Bachmann and Santorum are concerned, why can't they win? Are they polarizing? Absolutely. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. Leaders tend to be polarizing figures, while people who seek to please as many people as possible tend not to be good leaders. We're seeing that now with the current Administration and their attempts to be all things to all people and failing miserably.

So, why should we replace one failed leader with someone with the same traits as that failed leader?

I think the Republican leadership has let the Left into their heads and made it seem as though conservatism is a bad thing. It's not. Speaking personally, I want more conservative leadership, and that would certainly drive me to vote for the Republican candidate in 2012. But if you keep throwing John McCain 2.0 in my face as the "only choice to beat Obama," you will lose my vote. Say what you will about the Left, they are not afraid of what they are. Republicans, on the other hand, are and it's because the "leadership" has let the Left set the ground rules for political combat.

The GOP has a major problem within its midst right now, and it stands to ruin the party's 2012 Presidential chances, and other chances down the road.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Real Astroturf Wall Street

In my continuing "coverage" of Astroturf Wall Street, I did a bit of digging and found the following. (My responses are in bold.)


Dear fellow Americans,

We are assembled in Zucotti Park — which we’ve renamed Liberty Plaza — in the financial district of New York, because we believe that the American economy is heading in the wrong direction and we have a few ideas for what to do about it. Yeah, like taking a crap on police cars.

There is a feeling shared by a growing number of people on the streets of the world that the global economy has become a kind of Ponzi scheme, a global casino, run by and for the benefit of the 1 percent. You mean like Michael Moore?

We believe that it is possible to inject justice into the global economy. We have come up with the following list of things that can be done right now to rejuvenate democracy and economic justice in our country:

Halt foreclosures for the unemployed, sick and elderly Why? A mortgage is an agreement, and the terms of the mortgage allow for the foreclosure on people regardless of their personal circumstances. There is no exception to paying your mortgage if you get sick, lose your job, or are old.

Increase funding to public services by taxing the richest 1 percent Which will result in the rich paying more, unless they find loopholes, and resulting in nothing positive happening. What happens if those taxes don't solve the problem? What will your solution be? MORE taxes?

Forgive all student loan debt See above regarding mortgages.

Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act in order to control speculation Glass-Steagall wouldn't have prevented the current situation because it comes from the same entity that allowed the banks to do what they did. Furthermore, what about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two government or quasi-government agencies who back the majority of the loans out there?

Work with the other G20 nations to implement a 1% “Robin Hood” tax on all financial transactions and currency trades You DO realize a) it wouldn't work unless you have an overbearing bureaucracy overseeing it, and b) it would have to include every financial transaction, including donations to charity, right?

Ban high-frequency ‘flash’ trading and bring sanity to the markets In other words, deny the Internet even exists.

Break up the “too big to fail” banks that threaten our future How will this help anything? You're actually advocating weakening the banking industry to try to "save" it. If you break up a big bank into smaller banks, you are ultimately making it easier for banks TO fail, thus worsening the problem. Let's just say I'm glad you're not doctors.

Arrest the financial fraudsters responsible for the 2008 meltdown and bring them to justice If you were serious about this, you'd be trying to arrest Barney Frank.

Ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence corporate money has on our elected representatives in Washington A Presidential Commission started up by the current Administration, with a lot of former Goldman Sachs folks on the federal payroll?

If you agree with any of these demands, then join us! We will stay here in our encampment in Liberty Plaza until President Obama responds to each of these demands. This is just the beginning, there is more to come as we work together to reshape America.

— The People’s Assembly of New York City

Read more:

When looking over this manifesto, it's clear there are two motivations at work: greed and envy. Their slogan could easily be "You have what I want. I want what you have." And while we're here, is it any coincidence their "solutions" to the problems serve to make the problems worse?

Sorry, Astroturf Wall Street. Go back to the drawing board and come back when you have a serious proposal on the table.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still Want to Say Herman Cain Is Done?

The Left has been trying to portray Herman Cain as a sexual predator, but it's backfired in a big way. Cain hasn't lost much support, has seen a spike in contributions since the initial allegations of his sexual activities went public, and we keep finding inconsistencies in the accounts of the accusers.

So far, Cain is having the last laugh. Having said that, we have not heard all of the allegations from all of the women. There may be more substantive charges in the wings, but the problem the accusers face now is the environment created by those who have already come forward and been scrutinized. Even possibly legitimate claims will be cast through the prism of the claims that have been found less than honest, which means they may not be believed at first, if at all.

And the Leftists in the media will be left with a henhouse full of egg on their faces.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Is What A Rap Sheet Looks LIke!

There are two words to describe Astroturf Wall Street's attempts to appear to be peaceful citizens just upset with business and government.

Epic Fail.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rebranding OWS

Recently, I got to thinking about Occupy Wall Street and, after a little digging, I found out just how many members of the wealthiest 1% are bankrolling and/or supporting it. I mean, when one of your biggest supporters is Yoko Ono (net worth $500 million), it's hard to reconcile that with the image of OWS being "average Americans fed up with Wall Street" they're trying to portray.

Instead, I feel OWS is the very definition of what former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said was "Astroturf." Thus, the group isn't occupying Wall Street; they're Astroturfing Wall Street.

So, in that vein, I will be using AWS instead of OWS going forward. And let me tell you, they've earned that name.

The Definition of Irony

Michael Moore calling someone else a liar...

Wait. Didn't Moore recently say he was one of the 1% after denying it? Why, yes he did!

And apparently Moore's estimated net worth is $50 million.

Mikey, let me suggest you follow your own advice and stop lying.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It Depends on What Your Definition of "Peaceful" Is...

After weeks of the media portraying Occupy Wall Street as a peaceful group, with the advent of thefts, sexual assaults, and now rioting, that line may not be as easy to buy anymore.

And it's showing in public opinion. Recently, polling data showed 37% of Americans surveyed supported OWS. Within the past couple of days, that number has dropped to 30%. Might that have something to do with the Guy Fawkes mask being ripped off OWS to expose a group who is not above violence to make their points known? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Even so, the media will be out front acting like Kevin Bacon from "Animal House."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yeah. These Guys Can Police Themselves...

Because as we all know, Leftists chanting at sexual predators makes them change their ways...

OWS = Only Working Selectively?

They complain about the lack of jobs...but don't act on actual job applications?

Astroturf Anyone?

But from the start, the movement has also gotten support from a long list of experienced, well-funded organizations, unions and political committees - sometimes to the discomfort of more radical protesters who worry about their message being co-opted or watered down.

Wait. Didn't the Left say the TEA Party was "astroturf" for the same reasons?

He Must Be One of the Wealthiest 1%...

By the way, OWS's comment on their involvement with the economic slowdown on Wall Street is bogus. Yes, the police control where the barricades are placed, but if you Leftists weren't "protesting" there wouldn't be a need for the barricades. But I guess when you're full of self-righteous indignation against an entity that didn't write the rules, it's okay that you're shutting down small businesses for your "cause."

Way to stand up for the 99%, OWS!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Because I Can't Help But Laugh...

Michael Moore once again shows his hypocrisy for being a capitalist while bashing the system.

A few days ago, Moore said this on CNN.

And then a few days later, Moore talked about Republicans...during a book signing where he was benefiting from the very system he bashed on CNN.

Apparently Moore wants to replace capitalism with...Moore capitalism.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another "Anti-Science" Type?

Remember when the Leftist doppelganger of yours truly got on my case for denying global warming because I didn't use "climate scientists" to back up my claims?

And the headline?


Choke on it.

This Is What A Hypocrite Looks Like!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When I'm Right...

... I'm right.

So, Occupy Wall Street claims to be the 99%, but allows members of the 1% in their ranks without question?

And let's not forget there's another member of the 1% who has his fingerprints all over OWS: George Soros.

And how did each of these 1% members make their money? By being capitalists. But we can't pay attention to that little detail, can we?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Am the 100%

Okay, it's time to clear the air about the Occupy Wall Street slogan "We are the 99%." They're not. Oh, they claim they do, but let's take a look at this logically.

First, let's take a look at the 99% portion of the equation. I'm certainly not rich, so I would fall into the 99% the Occupy Wall Street Leftists talk about. Yet, I certainly don't agree with their multitude of stances, ranging from free college to more regulation of Wall Street, an entity that is already regulated heavily. Plus, I think some of their ideas are utterly ridiculous and unrealistic. The Occupy Wall Street types certainly don't speak for me now, and I doubt they'll ever speak for me in the future.

Now, let's look at the 1%. That 1% includes people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and George Soros, people who tend to lean in the same direction as the Occupy Wall Street types. To hear the OWS people talk, the 1% is nothing but rich fat cats, but they don't seem to mind some of the rich fat cats. Heck, most of them probably own some piece of technology or clothing made by a...capitalist! To put a finer point on it, every single one of those protesters who owns an iPhone, an iPod, or some other technological "must have" is a hypocrite of the highest order.

It's clear I'm not one of the 99% types. However, I am one of the 100%.

The 100% of people like me who think Occupy Wall Street is a massive joke.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So Crazy It Just Might Work...

President Obama's health care reform law is going before the Supreme Court soon, and there are already fireworks on both sides of the debate. There are a number of questions swirling about how the High Court will rule, who will be allowed to have a say in the verdict, and why Obama would push for it now, among others.

One question that seems to have a simple answer is how the Obama Administration hopes the USSC will rule on the law's constitutionality. The easy answer is they hope the health care reform law will be upheld. However, I'm not too sure that would be the best possible outcome as far as the Administration is concerned. After all, a victory in the High Court will give Republicans an issue they can use in the 2012 election, and with polling data mixed on whether the law is good for America, it's one that could sway voters to vote for the Republicans.

A loss in front of the USSC would be a public relations nightmare. After months of debate, harsh rhetoric, and growing public discontent, the Administration cannot afford to have their crowning achievement (and, arguably, their only achievement) taken from them. This would certainly give them ammunition and another target to attack, but it wouldn't sway more conservative voters, who aren't thrilled with the President at the moment.

So, what does that leave? A tie.

As odd as it sounds, I feel the Obama Administration is hoping the health care reform bill gets deadlocked at the Supreme Court, and there's a good chance it could happen.

As much as the Left loves to point out there's a 5-4 conservative edge to the High Court, that isn't quite the way it is. There are four known conservative Justices (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito), and four known liberal Justices (Bader Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan). That leaves Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. That would normally swing the vote in one direction or other, but not this time because of Justice Kagan's work as Solicitor General while the health care reform bill was being devised. That would be a conflict of interest, one that can't be overlooked or dismissed as insignificant.

In order to prevent a PR backlash, the Obama Administration might urge Kagan to recuse herself, leaving only 8 Justices to vote on the constitutionality of the health care reform law. Since the Left couldn't get Clarence Thomas to recuse himself because of his wife's lobbying against Obama's reform law, they can't let Kagan slide for something more directly in conflict with the spirit of the law.

Kennedy is known for being more of a centrist, which means his vote could easily swing towards the left, thus creating a 4-4 deadlock. This leads to the question of how a tie helps Obama more than a victory. Let me count the ways.

1) It doesn't go down as a loss. With Obama's poll numbers slipping, a defeat would lead to at least a short term loss of popularity, and at a crucial time in his reelection campaign. Yet, if he gets the win, Republicans have a ready-made platform that will garner a lot of support from the center. A tie keeps Obama without a costly defeat while not giving Republicans the health care reform law as an issue. It's a win-win.

2) He can use it as a reelection theme. With a 4-4 tie, Obama can go back to his base and tell them, "I tried to get health care reformed, but the Supreme Court stopped me. I need another 4 years to get another reform-minded Justice on the Supreme Court." And his base (as well as those who were counting on the reform law being upheld) will eat it up.

3) It gives Obama another "target" for campaign rhetoric. It's clear Obama has no love lost for the Supreme Court. A 4-4 tie would allow Obama to attack the Supreme Court, something he has done in the past and would have no problem doing again. This, in turn, would fire up his Leftist base, as they see the USSC the same way he does. Plus, it would help diffuse notions Obama isn't as passionate as he was in 2008.

4) It creates a Constitutional question that could take years to untangle. What happens when there's a deadlock on the Supreme Court? Neither side has the advantage, and neither side loses. That alone would keep the health care reform bill on the books and legally enforceable while the matter gets resolved. Inevitably, the resolution wouldn't be something that could be decided over coffee. It has the potential to go on for years, years where the law would officially take effect (and continue to be funded in the meantime).

There are likely more reasons, but you get the idea. This may be a time when Obama plays to tie, not to win.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day of Rage? Not So Much

This past weekend was the “Day of Rage” where Leftists stormed Wall Street (when the very people they were protesting weren't there) and talked about “economic justice.” Of course, when pressed on it, these same seemingly intelligent people couldn't describe what economic justice is.

That's because economic justice is a slogan, not an actual plan. From what I understand of it, it's where everybody would be at the same economic level. The rich would become poorer, the poor would become richer, and the middle class would become...well, more middle class.

Guess which group made up the majority of the fans of economic justice during the “Day of Rage.”

You may have noticed this, but people have different abilities and skills. Naturally, that will make them better suited for certain tasks, which can put them in great demand. By the same token, they may have shortcomings where their skills wouldn't be desirable. You may want to pay an NBA superstar millions to dunk a basketball, but you wouldn't pay him to perform brain surgery. (Not to mention, the NBA star-come-brain surgeon might try to slam dunk a patient's brain back into the skull, which opens up a LOT of malpractice suits.)

What I'm saying in short is people are different and, thus, their ability to make money will also be different. When there are differences, equality can only come from two sources: by agreement, or by force. The former requires all parties to agree to an outcome. The latter requires at least one party to agree to an outcome and the subjugation of those who disagree. Right now, those who push for economic justice are trying to persuade. When that fails, and we know it will, it will require force to create a system of equality.

Of course, that's already been tried. Remember the former Soviet Union? Yeah, that didn't work out too well.

The Soviet Union learned the hard way the problems with forcing economic justice. The people involved with the “Day of Rage” on Wall Street haven't.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Opening a Dangerous Door

This week, Palestine will be seeking official recognition from the United Nations as a state. On both sides of the debate, passions run hot. On the Left, we have people screaming about how Israel has oppressed the Palestinians, stolen their land, and committed all sorts of war crimes against them. On the Right, we have people screaming about Israel being attacked repeatedly by Palestinian terrorists with no regard for peace whatsoever.

Let me say for the sake of absolute clarity that I stand with Israel. For some, that will disqualify and discredit everything else I will say in this blog piece. For others, I will be speaking the gospel truth. Regardless of which side of the debate you're on, I ask for your indulgence as I express my thoughts on Palestinian statehood.

On the surface, it sounds like a good idea. Give the Palestinians (who have had as rough a go of it in some cases as Israel has as far as acceptance by other countries) a place to call their own, and let them stand or fall on their merits. Not as bad as it sounds, is it? For any Palestinian who wants statehood for the sake of finally having a country to call home, I say we roll out the welcome mat and allow them to join the UN as a state.

Where things get messy is when you consider other Palestinians who have ulterior motives. Let's not forget Palestinian terrorists have been launching missiles into Israel and then hiding behind women and children as human shields. These are not the types of people we would want as neighbors, right? Yet, these are a sizable portion of Israel's neighbors right now. Giving this group of Palestinians statehood is legitimizing their activities while giving them a base of operations by which to attack Israel and its allies.

So, which Palestine is pushing for statehood from the UN? We don't know. What we do know is the UN's long history of being anti-Israel, as well as the number of UN countries who would relish yet another ally in their rhetorical (and, in some cases, actual) battle against Israel. The United States has typically had Israel's back, but in recent years it's becoming more evident we're moving in a new direction, one that would leave Israel all but friendless in the world.

Because there is so much uncertainty on the part of the Palestinians, I cannot in good conscience say Palestinian statehood is a step in the right direction. It may be someday, but only once the Palestinians who want statehood for the sake of identity and not terrorism stand up and take control of their situation. As it stands, I just don't see it yet, and time is running short.

Given the Obama Administration's worldview, I feel their support of a Palestinian state being created is all but certain. They may not be able to say it in full yet, but their actions betray their true feelings on the matter. I wish I could say the Administration has given careful consideration to the implications of what I believe they are about to do, but I can't. Their support of the "Arab Spring" where more radical elements of Islam have overrun radical, yet manageable, leaders leaves me with little hope, but a full knowledge change is inevitable.

If Palestinian statehood is recognized, it's a door that can't be closed without a lot of effort and courage. With so many questions as to the heart of those pushing for statehood, I'm not sure we should be in a rush to open the door just yet.

Yet, America's hand is on the doorknob and just about ready to turn.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Snatching Victory?

With Libyan leader Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi in hiding, it appears America...I'm sorry, NATO, may have scored a victory in Libya. Yet, I can't help but feel something's not quite right with the celebrations going on in Obamaville right now. Some would chalk it up to right wing disappointment at the victory, but they'd be wrong.

Back in 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter achieved a victory over the Shah of Iran. For those who don't remember or never learned, the Shah was an Islamic leader who was by most standards more moderate than his counterparts. However, Carter undertook the overthrow of the Shah, which opened the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini, an Islamic leader who was more radical. This, in turn, caused American-Iranian relations to deteriorate, leading to the Iran Hostage Crisis that ultimately doomed Carter to being a one-term President.

Call it deja vu, but I get a feeling President Obama has repeated the Carter mistake by siding with the rebels in Libya. You may not get it from the mainstream press, but the rebels are more radical than Qaddafi was. Whether this leads to another hostage crisis, time will tell. However, it cannot be ignored that again a Democrat President sided with a more radical group of Muslims than advisable. If America "wins" anything in this venture, it may be more contempt from the radical Muslim community worldwide for letting us do their dirty work for them.

There is one additional thing to consider, one that might make the Left put down their champagne glasses for a minute.

With the fall of Jimmy Carter came the rise of Ronald Reagan.

And that's one bit of history the Left doesn't want to repeat.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa Straw Poll - Winners and Losers

Now that the dust has settled in Ames, let's take a look at the winners and losers.


Michele Bachmann:
Although this one could have been considered a lay-up for her, the victory at the Iowa Straw Poll gives her two things she needs at this stage: momentum and credibility. Bachmann has been maligned and disregarded as a serious candidate by a lot of people (namely the Left), but it's hard for them to make that argument now she's had such a high profile victory, especially over the more established Ron Paul. And speaking of Dr. Paul...

Ron Paul: For better or worse, Ron Paul has a following in Iowa. He has the same issues Bachmann has, but on a wider scale. His second place showing in Iowa shows he still has the groundswell of support for his candidacy, which will help him stay in the race longer.

Herman Cain: Cain had a pretty good showing at the Iowa Straw Poll, even in "predominantly white" Iowa, as the media loved to state in their reporting. He may not have fared as well as he would have liked, but he's showing more than a little financial acumen with how he fared. While others spent and spent, Cain didn't, and still managed to come in a respectable fifth place with a shade under 9% of the votes tallied.

Sarah Palin: Yes, she's not an official candidate, but she did wind up having an impact on the Iowa Straw Poll. The media coverage she received from merely hinting at coming to the Iowa State Fair was enough to draw attention away from some of the candidates who needed the attention (see Tim Pawlenty). She wound up being a king (or should I say queen) maker in Iowa, that's for sure!


Mitt Romney:
He shows up for a debate before the Iowa Straw Poll, and yet he bails on the Iowa Straw Poll itself? Granted, it's a fundraising event, but it doesn't bode well for the Romney campaign to ignore one of the early states in 2012. And as an Iowan, I know there will be a lot of Republicans with long memories. Then again, after he blew an easy question at the Iowa State Fair and got visibly upset, he might not have wanted to face people who could have handled the question better than he did.

Tim Pawlenty: With two people from Minnesota in the same race, Iowa voters were split. Typically, Iowans will throw their support behind a candidate from a neighboring state, and Pawlenty was counting on a better turnout than he received, which was a distant third behind Bachmann and Paul. Of course, anyone who followed Pawlenty's campaign honestly knew he wasn't lighting things up on the GOP side. His attacks on Michele Bachmann didn't help either because, unlike TPaw, Bachmann connects with Iowans on fundamental levels. That was his third strike, and as of today, he's out of the race he was never really in to begin with.

Rick Perry: He's in officially, and...not many people care. Announcing his candidacy this weekend was a major stumble on Perry's part, and it could have been avoided if his campaign had given more thought to the announcement. Granted, there's good strategy in not announcing before an event where one of his rivals was presumed to walk away with it and his non-appearance at the debate prior to the Iowa Straw Poll left him safe from scrutiny for now. Having said that, to make the announcement when he did when the media attention was elsewhere? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Rick Santorum: Like it or not, Santorum impressed a lot of people with his performance at the debate prior to the Iowa Straw Poll. That translated into a fourth place victory for him, edging out Herman Cain. So, why is Santorum with the losers? Because he hasn't run as solid a campaign as the frontrunners. On top of that, he's going to be going for the same voters as Michele Bachmann, but she's been out there stumping on her conservative beliefs, while Santorum hasn't. Assuming people know you isn't a good way to win over the hearts and minds of voters.

Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, and Thaddeus McCotter: Collectively, the three of you got less than 3% of the votes at the Iowa Straw Poll. Mitt Romney, who didn't even show up, got 3.4% of the vote. Pack it in, guys, and leave it to the real candidates, okay?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like

This is what democracy looks like...

Of course, it's being bandied about by the Left that the Wisconsin GOP rigged the election (which would, of course, explain why 2 Democrats won instead of 0). Isn't it funny how the will of the people is paramount when it's something the Left agrees with, but insignificant when it's something the Left doesn't like?

On a larger scale, the failure of Wisconsin Democrats to get the 3 seats they needed to take over the Senate may resonate until next year, when these same Wisconsin Democrats vowed to recall Governor Scott Walker. It's a long time from now until January 2012, and this setback may take the wind out of the sails of the "Recall Walker" crowd. A lot will depend on how Walker rules and how motivated the Democrats are to recall him.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Budget Deal - Winners and Losers

Since there are so many people trying to figure out who won and who lost with the recent budget battles, I figured I'd throw in my two cents' worth.


- "Moderate" Republicans
: When things looked bleak, moderate Republicans stepped in and appeared to be leaders. Of course, their idea of leadership was to disregard the TEA Party movement and the American people who said they wanted a balanced approach and gave us...something that allows us to spend more in the short term and maybe kinda sorta get some of it back later. Thanks to the tireless efforts of people like Mitch McConnell and John McCain, we're still spending with the hopes we won't later. That's a victory, pyrrhic though it may be.

- Rep. David Wu (D-OR): With all of the talk surrounding the budget, his sex scandal got very little coverage. When asked about it, Anthony Weiner said, "Sonofa..."


- President Barack Obama:
Not only was President Obama AWOL from the bulk of the discussions, when he was involved both parties wanted him out of the room. For the budget issue to get this heated and this bogged down is a failure of leadership. This was another missed opportunity for the President to lead. Instead, he went out, did some fundraising, and attacked Republicans for trying to bring spending under control.

- Speaker of the House John Boehner: Boehner got streamrolled, first by the TEA Party, and then by the Democrats and moderate Republicans. Instead of leading the charge, he looked more like a middle manager trying to move up the ladder by kissing up to people he thinks will get him ahead. The Right had a golden opportunity to make positive change and live up to its rhetoric, and they squandered it for a deal that doesn't help the problem.

- The American people: Lost in all the partisan back-and-forth was what impact any deal would have on the American people. The economy stinks, we've had out-of-control spending for decades, and the working people of America are on the hook for whatever plan comes out of Washington. And what's come out of Washington so far is...we get put on the hook for more.

Too Close to Call

- The TEA Party:
Although the TEA Party members in the House and Senate didn't get the end result they were hoping for, I feel if they weren't in power at this point in time we wouldn't have had a debate over the debt ceiling or budgetary matters. It would be business as usual. The numbers weren't with them, but to overlook their impact on this situation would be foolish.

- The Democrats: The Democrats clearly didn't bring their A-game to the table this time around, but it's too soon to tell how much of an impact it will have on their electoral future. One thing is for sure. They ratcheted up the heated rhetoric as the budget battle went on. Calling the TEA Party "terrorists" and saying they "held the country hostage" is rather extreme, and it will certainly energize the Democrat base. Whether it will play to a larger audience remains to be seen.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hitting the Debt Ceiling

The budget battles in Washington right now is contentious, but there's one element where there seems to be significant agreement is the idea of raising the debt ceiling, the artificial limit on what Congress can spend. It seems as though most proposals to deal with the looming "default" of the US involve raising the debt ceiling so we can cover our bills.

Isn't that like continuing to raise the credit limit for a shopaholic?

The problem we face isn't one that can be solved by raising the debt ceiling. We have to address the reason why we continue to hit the debt ceiling, which is...spending too much. Raising the debt ceiling doesn't address the fact we keep hitting it by spending more and more.

This is where the budget battle gets me riled up. Democrats insist we need to raise taxes now and cut taxes over 10 years, and the Republicans insist we don't need to cut taxes and we need to spend less eventually. Neither one adequately addresses the spending issue because both plans agree to spending without really looking at making real cuts in spending.

At this point, I need to clarify a point. When Congress talks about "cutting spending," they talk about reducing the rate of proposed spending. To them, saying we should spend $1 billion instead of $2 billion is a spending cut. However, they're still spending $1 billion! That's not a spending cut; that's spending!

What I want are real spending cuts. Instead of promising to spend $1 billion instead of $2 billion, I want to spend $0, especially if it's money that goes to a failed or outdated government program like the Department of Education or Superfund. Additionally, there is wasteful spending on programs that actually do provide some benefit to us, like the military. Not even the "cost-cutting" Republican plans address that. I've been skeptical of the Republican budget cut proposals for that reason, and I doubt the Democrat proposal is any better.

Until we agree to stop spending and start saving money, we're going to keep hitting the debt ceiling and going through the same charade we are now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quick Hits - Budget Battle Edition

The current debt crisis is a target-rich environment, so here we go...

Games People Play The Obama Administration and its supporters have accused Republicans of not dealing in good faith, and if you've listened to the media coverage, you might agree. However, it should be pointed out it's been the Left's position we need tax hikes, even after Republicans have said they wouldn't accept a plan that would include tax hikes. How exactly is that showing a willingness to negotiate?

Obama, the Adult? The Left has praised Obama's efforts to date to try to hammer out a budget deal. Whether it was Nancy Pelosi gushing that the President "has the patience of Job" to Leftists saying Obama was "the only adult in the room" at the negotiations, the narrative is being written and repeated without question. The problem: Obama stormed out of one of the meetings. Democrats are quick to point out Paul Ryan did the same thing earlier, but it's different when you're the President. The expectations are a lot higher, and after the image of Obama being cool and intellectual has been touted for going on 3 years, this show of emotion doesn't help his cause any. Personally, I think Obama has been less than adult and less than statesman in his approach, which the Left has seen and is trying to overcome with spin.

Lies, Damnable Lies, and Statistics At a press conference yesterday, President Obama said 80% of Americans want a balanced approach to dealing with the budget issues, which includes (according to him) modest tax increases. I beg to differ, sir. I think raising taxes is a horrible way to bring in revenue since it takes more money out of the economy and puts it into an entity that has no concept of how to make money or grow the economy. Anyone else see that as a problem? Raising taxes won't raise revenue, nor will it address the primary cause of the budget crisis: spending. Let's ask these same people if they would prefer significant budget cuts or higher taxes and see how many support you, Mr. President.

Let me repeat myself... I advised the GOP some months ago to consider making cuts in some of their pet projects as a means to show how serious they were about getting our fiscal house in order. They didn't take my advice, and now they're having to fight with the President over the budget while at the same time having to fight a PR war to try to persuade the country they're serious. Recent polling data shows the public trust Obama with the economy more than the Republicans. That could have and should have been been avoided by bringing more substance to their budget cuts.

Scare tactics are only for Republicans? During a recent interview, President Obama suggested he couldn't guarantee seniors would get their Social Security checks if the government were to shut down. Actually, sir, you don't make that call. It's Congress who does, and from the way it sounds, we have enough coming in on a monthly basis to pay Social Security and other interests and still have money left over, and that's without raising the debt ceiling. For you to resort to such blatant dishonesty is an indication you know you're losing the battle.

No Quiet on the Leftist Front Finally, Sheila Jackson-Lee said racism was the cause of the current budget crisis. She blamed the Republicans for wanting the economy to fail because Obama is black. No, ma'am. Republicans aren't opposing the President because he's black. They're opposing the President to try to get this country back into the black.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

Fox News and Media Matters have been engaging in a war of words for the past few months. It started when Media Matters announced it was engaging in a "war against Fox News" to make them a more responsible source of information, according to them. Fox News has fired back, suggesting Media Matters lose its non-profit status because it has engaged in partisan activity, which is against current law.

Although it might be easy to assume which side I'm taking on this, let me clarify a couple of points. First, Fox News isn't exactly a source of good journalism. As a j-school graduate, I can tell when news and opinion get mixed, and Fox News does a lot of that. When it does straight news, it's solid. However, when opinion shows like "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity" dominate the network's daily programming, it's blurring a line between news and opinion, one that I cannot condone. As to whether Fox News is biased, I have no doubt that it is. Having said that, I do think they're conscious of media bias and, for the most part, strive to eliminate it from their news programming. If Media Matters is truly interested in making Fox News stronger, I say bravo!

However, I don't think Media Matters is serious in its claim because it doesn't exactly hold itself to the standards to which it holds conservative media. What Media Matters often does is take a statement out of context, whip out a quick PR release bashing it, and let others run with the story as though it were true. A good case in point is an incident involving Glenn Beck. According to Media Matters, Beck called the victims of Hurricane Katrina "scumbags," which he did. However, there was an important qualifying statement that put Beck's comment into perspective. I know because I was listening to Beck that day and heard the entire comment where Beck admonished those who were looting and committing acts of violence as "scumbags." Yet, if you paid attention only to the Media Matters version of events, you wouldn't get that context. (And didn't the Left get upset at Andrew Breitbart for allegedly taking Shirley Sherrod out of context?)

The problem I have with Media Matters is the same problem I have with Fox News: being an honest dealer with information. Both entities stretch the truth, just in varying degrees. However, even a slight stretch of the truth from a media outlet can become the perceived truth if enough people believe it and don't bother looking for the truth. Having Media Matters call out Fox News for dishonesty is funny on one level, but necessary on another. We should be holding both Fox News and Media Matters to the same consistent standard: tell the truth.

Until either one can accomplish that on a consistent basis, let them try to knock each other out.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quick Hits

Yeah, I know I've been slacking with the blogging recently, so to make up for it, here is concentrated bloggy goodness for you all.

Budget brinksmanship: To hear the media talk, we're on the verge of a complete economic breakdown unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling. The Republicans want budget cuts (albeit far smaller than this blogger would like) and tax cuts, and the Democrats want budget cuts with higher taxes on the rich. Higher taxes isn't an option because that doesn't bring in the revenue necessary to keep the country afloat. Budget cuts on the level being proposed won't work because they're not really addressing the problem seriously enough. I applaud the Republicans for standing firm, but I wish they would get serious about cutting the budget in the short term. As far as the Democrats go, their calls for compromise should be taken as seriously as the calls for compromise made of them during the health care reform debate.

State governments shutting down: In a related story, many state governments are experiencing their own threats of shutdown. Of course, the Left wish to make this a political issue by comparing the state Republicans of being just like the national Republicans. Here's the thing, though: the states are running out of money, just as the federal government is. We cannot keep running up debt and expect people to keep paying for it. At some point, we have to make cuts, and the states are trying to do just that. With the economy in fragile condition as it is right now, we've come to the point where tough decisions have to be made, and some things we've taken for granted will need scrutinized. The longer we play political games, the less time we have to address the budget issues seriously. And, yes, that applies to any Republican who thought social issues were more important than dealing with the economic issues, too.

Glenn Beck signs off his Fox News show. If you heard massive cheering from the Left this week, it came because they "succeeded" in getting Glenn Beck off the air. Media Matters even held a "going away" party for him. Of course, they don't quite tell the entire story, that being the real reason Beck left Fox News: to start his own network. No matter how much you try to push the line he was fired (which begs the question of why Fox News let him keep airing his show for weeks after he was fired), Beck moved on, but he's not going anywhere. Well, except to Israel in August, but that's beside the point. Celebrate while you can, Leftists. Beck will continue to be a thorn in your sides for a while yet.

Why Sarah Palin isn't announcing yet (if at all). Given the media coverage of the Republican candidates, any candidate with an R behind his or her name is going to be scrutinized heavily. Of course, this isn't a bad thing in my opinion, provided it's done a) evenly, and b) with the intent of finding out the truth, not trying to score petty political points. So far, the media have failed miserably on both counts, in my opinion. Whether it was Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday asking Michelle Bachmann if she was a "flake" to Jon Stewart's adoption of a stereotypical "black voice" to mock Herman Cain, the media have become modern day muckrakers stumping for the Left in varying degrees. I guess when you can't defend the guy you helped get elected President, you have to cut down the people who could oppose him.

The trial everybody should have paid attention to, but didn't. Geert Wilders was acquitted of hate crime charges stemming from statements he made about Islam. Why this is such an important case is because it reaffirms freedom of speech. Oddly enough, I didn't see too many Leftists taking up for Wilders during his case, but I did see more than a few conservatives, including my good friend Warchick, taking up for him. Makes you wonder who really supports free speech in the world, doesn't it?

The trial everyone is paying attention to, but shouldn't. Yeah, I know the Casey Anthony trial has all the makings of a bad Lifetime made-for-TV movie, but should we really be spending time paying attention to it? Or at the very least, could we spend less time on it than we are? I've paid only cursory attention to the case and even that was too much. Let's spend our time on other pursuits that have a bigger impact than Casey Anthony ever will.

You know, like getting the economy going?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Aftermath of Weinergate

With Anthony Weiner's resignation, it may be thought Weinergate is finally over after three weeks. I beg to differ. The implications of what happened in that three weeks will have a lasting impact for a while yet. Here are a few examples.

Weinergate underscored a rift between the Left and the Democrats. Strip away the party affiliations for a minute and really take a look at who defended Weiner throughout the scandal without fail. It was the Left. They saw Weiner as a progressive voice within Congress, one that effectively took Republicans to task on any number of issues. When Democrats started turning on Weiner, the Leftists took it personally and started pleading with the Democrats to stand behind Weiner and to take on the Right. When that didn't happen, Leftists went ballistic. There has been a rift between Leftists and Democrats, and Weinergate not only exposed it, but widened it.

The party of women? Think again. Weinergate showed how little respect the Left has for women. When the first stories about Weiner texting a college student came out, the Left was already in "slime the woman" mode until the student came out and issued a statement that was beneficial to Weiner's defense at the time. Then, everything was fine and the "slime the woman" machine was shut down. Then, other women, including a porn star turned stripper, a single mother, and a 17 year old girl, started coming to light. In all of these cases, Leftists had to perform acrobatics to continue defending Weiner while Democrats got tired of playing Twister and tried to cut their losses. Yet, they both have to address how far they were willing to go to defend Weiner by using women. Until they do, women could have second thoughts about supporting Democrats.

A hard look at both parties. Neither major party has a clean record when it comes to sexual escapades. Whether it's David Vitter or Barney Frank, Democrats and Republicans need to clean house if for no other reason than for national security. (There are other reasons, but national security is a pretty big one in my book.) Whenever you inject sex into a political situation, there will be mistakes made. How easy would it be to have a spy seduce and then blackmail a politician? If Weiner's libido is any indication, it's not that hard at all. Therein lies the opportunity any spy would need to steal or blackmail for vital secrets. Granted, we're not going to have politicians going from super freaks to chaste overnight, but it has to be started sometime. From where I sit, that time started three weeks ago.

Cyber-Security? Yeah, right! No matter how much we lock down our computers, no matter how many firewalls and anti-virus programs we have, online information can be obtained, not if, but when. Weiner's inadvertent Tweet becoming public started Weinergate. When you consider something as small as a mistyped command can open up such scrutiny, it's safe to say we're not nearly as secure online as we think we are.

The media aren't doing their jobs. By and large, Weinergate was broken by the "new media." The mainstream media were left playing catch-up as Andrew Breitbart on the right and DailyKos on the left did the bulk of the investigative journalism on Weinergate. Even CNN, the self-professed top name in cable news, had pathetic coverage of the scandal, relying on official statements from Weiner's office instead of trying to unravel the inconsistencies that arose within hours of the story breaking. The journalism profession has taken a serious nosedive, and if their coverage of Weinergate is any indication of its future, it will hit the ground before it decides to try to ascend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Resign? It's Possible

One of the most striking statements that came from Anthony Weiner's press conference admitting he lied about not sending pictures to people was his clear denial he was going to resign. That, however, doesn't prevent people from both sides of the aisle from saying he should. Regardless of your political affiliation, it's entirely possible Weiner could reconsider for a number of reasons.

1) It creates an issue for Republicans to use in campaign ads. The timing of the Weiner scandal may not seem to be all that important to the 2012 campaign, but the longer it goes on, the more likely it becomes an issue that can be used, especially if the details are more and more salacious. At a time when Democrats are hoping to take back the House and keep the Senate and White House, a resolution to Weinergate can't come soon enough for them.

2) Weiner committed an unpardonable sin. No, I'm not talking about lying about the photos. The unpardonable sin Weiner committed is he allowed party bigwigs to unknowingly lie on his behalf. That alone cost him some support with Democrat leadership. With a looming House Ethics Committee investigation, it may buy Weiner a little time to change his mind, but it would be difficult to count on much Democrat support for him to keep his job at this point.

3) Weiner made Leftists look foolish. As predictable as ever, the Left came out in force to defend Weiner and attack Andrew Breitbart. There are some who still defend Weiner to this day, even though in the larger perspective, he's used them to provide temporary cover. To their credit, some of those Weiner defenders are coming clean and admitting they were duped and angry at Weiner for making them look foolish. The longer this scandal goes on, you can count on the erosion of Weiner's support from his grassroots, and that can have a negative impact on the party.

4) The media will keep Weinergate going. Weinergate has the perfect storm of media attention: sex, lies, social media, attractive women, a politician, and endless numbers of jokes that can be made. If that's not enough to make Weiner reconsider, nothing will be.

5) The "sympathy card" is being played. Whenever there's a sexual scandal involving a prominent politician, the focus expands to include those indirectly involved with the scandal. Weiner's wife, Huma, has become a public figure in the wake of the scandal, and that in and of itself can create a strain that can ruin her marriage and her life. That, in turn, creates sympathy or Huma and makes Weiner look even worse, especially if the rumors are true that Huma is pregnant. That won't end well for anyone.

Although this list isn't comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination, these five points lead me to believe Weiner may be resigning sometime in the future. It's a matter of whether Weiner sees the signs and when he decides to take (or not take) action.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Watchdogs? Not So Much

With Anthony Weiner's surprise announcement today confessing to his Twitter transgressions, there is bound to be some fallout. However, there is one group of people who deserve special scorn in all of this.

The so-called mainstream media.

Looking back and watching what newspapers, magazines, websites, and cable news did to cover Weinergate, I can only feel embarrassed for them because they clearly took the lazy way out. Seriously, CNN's in-depth coverage consisted of...talking to Weiner's office and accepting their word as the end of the story. CNN, let me give you some advice. When Jon Stewart mocks your coverage and essentially scoops you, you're doing something wrong.

This is a time when real reporters would have been digging more deeply than talking to a press secretary or repeating a press release. The real reporting on both sides was done by the blogosphere. You hear that, New York Times? Bloggers did your job for you. You may not have cared to spend time researching the story, but DailyKos sure did! And say what you will about Andrew Breitbart, the fact is he got the story right from the start and the rest of the world had to catch up. If you Leftists in the media want to eliminate Breitbart's effectiveness, do a better job than he's doing at uncovering the truth. Weinergate doesn't exonerate Breitbart, but it sure as hell damns the media.

At some point, the media are going to have to adjust their approach to news events. Instead of being PR puppets for whatever side they support, they need to be skeptics, verifying everything. That's not happening today, and I don't see it happening any time soon. Until then, I guess we'll have to get used to the media watchdogs lying on the porch while the blogosphere does the heavy lifting.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Weiner By Any Other Name

To call Rep. Anthony Weiner a controversial figure would be an understatement. An outspoken Leftist, Weiner has made a name for himself as a firebrand on the Left, making outrageous (and quasi-true) statements about conservatives.

Now, Weiner's finding himself in a spotlight he didn't anticipate. With the recent scandal involving his alleged sending of a photo to a Washington State coed via Twitter, Weiner's being scrutinized by people of both sides. Yet, as reliable as the sunrise, the Left is rallying around Weiner, suggesting his story holds up and it was all a conservative smear job lead by Andrew Breitbart (since it was one of Breitbart's websites that "Weinergate" broke). The pro-Weiner forces are saying it's reprehensible to post falsehoods about a politician and those responsible should be driven out of business before they do more harm to the unintended victims of this story.

Of course, this would make more sense if the Left hasn't made a cottage industry out of smearing conservatives with falsehoods. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and others are favorite targets for the kind of "reporting" the Left is decrying with Weiner. Go to any Leftist website (Media Matters, DailyKos, DemocraticUnderground, Huffington Post, FireDogLake) and you'll see lie after lie being taken as gospel (as well as any number of excuses to discount Weinergate).

When the Left can hold themselves to the standard they've set for Breitbart and the right, they'll have room to complain about how Weiner's being treated in the media.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Way to Do It

The recent brouhaha involving MSNBC's Ed Schultz and conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham has set off a series of interesting debates, but the point that's been lost in all of this is Ingraham's initial complaint about President Barack Obama and his seeming lack of regard for what is going on in the Midwest and South right now. I have to say it's a fair point and it fits with the pattern of behavior Obama has shown throughout his Presidency.

However, it was enough to make Schultz go after Ingraham with a vile, personal slam against her and her morality. Regardless of how you feel about Ingraham or Schultz, going that personal with a degrading term as the one Schultz used is beyond the pale. (I'm sure Leftists are saying, "But what about what [insert name of conservative] said about [insert name of Leftist]?" You can pull up all the factoids you want, but the truth remains calling a woman what Schultz did is only slightly less degrading than what Bill Maher, another popular Leftist mouthpiece, called Sarah Palin.

However, Ingraham didn't call for Schultz to be fired or lead a boycott of his sponsors. Ingraham took a different tack: she pretty much ignored it and Schultz. If you listen to Ingraham's acceptance of Schultz's apology, you see she's consistent in her belief there are more important things to worry about than what anyone says about her. And she's right. The people in Missouri don't give two craps about who calls who what name. They have their hands full trying to rebuild and start over.

There are times in our lives that act like a jeweler's cloth, exposing the flaws in our lives for those watching to see. Schultz's behavior in this case was that jeweler's cloth, but Ingraham shone like a diamond in the end.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From Rock Star to Stone Deaf

In 2008, Barack Obama wowed European crowds with his speeches and youthful energy. Everyone, including the media, got caught up in Obamamania. Some in the press even compared the candidate to a rock star.

Boy, what a difference 2+ years can make.

Obama's recent European trip has people scratching their heads over the President's bizarre lack of protocol. While some conservative commentators such as Glenn Beck take a semi-serious approach to the issue and its impact on American foreign policy, I tend to think of it more in terms of a fall from grace for the President.

When Obama was elected, people believed he would restore America to prominence in the world by taking a different approach to foreign policy than his predecessor, George W. Bush. Gone were the days of "cowboy diplomacy" and in came the era of smart diplomacy.

Then, Obama became President and we got to see his foreign policy shaping out to be...well, less than impressive. In trying to forge a new direction, Obama has successfully alienated two of our staunchest allies, Great Britain and Israel. Additionally, he's all but forgotten Germany, tried to buddy up with France (at Britain's expense, I might add), and taken sides in Egypt and Libya that are fraught with dangerous ties to groups that don't exactly dig our way of life.

One of the biggest problems I've seen with American foreign policy over the past few decades has been we almost seem ashamed to admit we're American. We're expected to sit there and take anything a tinpot dictator from a Third World country flings as us, truthful or otherwise. Then, we're expected to pick up the check whenever that same Third World country needs help from the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. And with Obama at the helm, that shame in America among our leaders has skyrocketed.

And that shame has translated into embarrassment for world leaders who have to deal with Obama's protocol breaches. Although some might disagree, I think this is also hurting Obama's image around the world because he doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes. All he does is make bigger, more public mistakes, leaving ally and enemy alike to mock Obama.

If Obama was a rock star in 2008, he's becoming a bad Vegas lounge act in 2011.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Then What?

In a major speech (or at least that's how it was portrayed in the media) yesterday, President Barack Obama advanced the notion Israel should return to its 1967 borders as a means to try to bring peace to the Middle East. Understandably, Israel and its allies are upset at such a notion, especially in light of the fact Obama said he would never allow Jerusalem to be split, which would happen if Israel went back to its 1967 borders.

Let's play a little game of "what if." What if Israel decides to go back to the 1967 borders? Then what? Here's what I think would happen.

1) The violence in the Middle East wouldn't stop. The hatred that's there now would still be there if Israel would go back to the 1967 borders.

2) Israel would become more concentrated. Although it would mean it would be easier for Israelis to dig in to defend themselves with less land mass to defend, it would also make it easier for Israel's enemies to do more damage with terrorist or even military strikes

3) Jerusalem would become like Berlin after World War II. One of the most tragic events after the fall of Nazi Germany was seeing Germany and Berlin in particular split, separated by a wall and an ideology. If Israel goes back to its 1967 borders, Jerusalem will be the second coming of a divided Berlin.

4) Palestinians will be further emboldened. Having Israel pushed further back would give Palestinians more of a reason to keep pushing to get more concessions. And with world opinion seemingly on their side, there will be more pressure on Israel to comply.

5) The Middle East problem will still be there.

What Obama and the people who think his idea is valid miss is the Middle East situation isn't about land. It was and is about the justification of hatred against one particular group. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the Middle East and who is the cause of the strife there. What isn't getting the attention it should is how Israel has accommodated Palestinians who want to live in peace, even being willing to scale back its previous land acquisitions to allow Palestinians a place to live. Yet, no matter how many olive branches Israel holds out, the Palestinians swat them away and hold onto their hate.

No, Mr. President, making Israel go back to its 1967 borders won't bring about Middle East peace. If anything, it will create more problems that will need to be dealt with for years to come.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Devil We Don't Know

With the death of Osama Bin Laden and recent news of intelligence on al Qaeda from Bin Laden's computer records, it appears we've struck a major blow to international terrorism. Yet, when taken as part of the totality in the Middle East, we may be looking at a vastly different and much more dangerous landscape soon.

If what I've heard recently is true, al Qaeda may have split in half on religious grounds with a more radical faction ignoring Bin Laden's leadership. If so, this is consistent with what we've seen in Egypt and Libya, where more radical factions have pushed for the removal of less strident or weaker leaders. Even more radical Islamic regimes, such as Iran, could be moving in that direction.

Whether international terrorist groups are leading the charge or going with the flow is immaterial. The real issue is the further radicalization of the Middle East and its impact on the war on terrorism. Dealing a death blow to al Qaeda (or a portion of it) is good, but if we leave it at that, we're setting ourselves up for failure yet again, a failure that could dwarf 9/11.

So, what are we doing about it? From what I'm seeing, not much. President Barack Obama can do as many victory laps as he wants, but he's already come out supporting the forces in Egypt and Libya, both of whom have clear ties to radical Islam. Even former President George W. Bush took his eyes off the ball in the war on terrorism by not following through once Iraq and Afghanistan were more stabilized after our military interventions. Sure, waterboarding and Gitmo worked to nab Bin Laden, but we've wavered on those as well.

Also, doesn't it bother anyone else how quickly the Obama Administration sided with the more radical elements in Libya and Egypt? It's not like those elements have hidden their agenda or their hatred of America, either. Yet, we're content to let them do the dirty work in getting rid of leaders we no longer "need" in power. If they succeed, something will have to fill the vacuum, and I don't think it's going to be filled by Muslims who want to peacefully co-exist with the West.

Although we can breathe a sigh of relief at Osama Bin Laden's death, the war on terrorism isn't over by that one act. There is a bigger storm on the horizon, and if recent history and current events are any indication, we're not ready for it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quick Hits - Post-OBL Edition

Because I'm a Man of My Word: I congratulate President Obama for his efforts in the operation that brought Osama Bin Laden to final justice. There were a lot of factors involved in putting together the operation and I'm glad Obama, his team, and the military personnel involved were able to come together and accomplish a major goal in the war on terrorism. Good on you, sir.

Because I'm a Man of My Word II: The speech Obama gave to the nation, to the world really, about the death of Osama Bin Laden was more than a little disappointing. Instead of focusing on those who risked their lives or those who laid the groundwork for the assault, Obama chose to talk about...himself. In a situation like that, leaders tend to focus not on taking personal credit, but spreading it around. What could have been a great speech was cheapened by his back-patting.

An Inconvenient Truth: As much as I appreciate the sheer joy of Osama Bin Laden meeting his maker, I can't help but think about those who cheered our tragedy on 9/11 and wonder how much different we are from them. And the more I think about it, the fewer differences I see.

So, Who Gets Credit?: Is it George W. Bush? Is it Barack Obama? Is it Bill Clinton? At this point, there is enough credit (and blame) to go around. Leave it at that.

The Political Fall-Out: To many, killing Osama Bin Laden has all but ensured President Obama a second term. I'm not so sure. Time will tell.

The Biggest Mistake We Can Make Right Now: I get the feeling with the death of Osama Bin Laden, people will think we can deescalate the war on terrorism. That would be a huge mistake because the war on terrorism has never been and should never be about getting Bin Laden. Now that he's out of the picture, there are others who will step up and fill the void he left. If the situations in Egypt and Libya are any indication, we may be getting cozy with people as extreme as Bin Laden was, which means another 9/11 becomes that much more certain.

Burial at Sea?: This part has me puzzled. People involved with the burial of Osama Bin Laden said they gave him a proper burial at sea in accordance with the Muslim faith. Yet, Muslim clerics have said the burial wasn't in accordance with the Muslim faith and was actually an affront to it. You know, if I were in charge of that operation, I would make sure to take extra care not to offend the Muslims any more than I did by taking down Osama Bin Laden. That's kind of something you want to be sure to get right if at all possible. Just sayin'.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Birther" of a Notion

Earlier this week, the news was focused around the White House finally releasing President Obama's birth certificate, ending years of speculation about his birthplace and citizenship. The media were among the loudest voices heard saying, "See? We told you he was born here and the 'birthers' were crazy!" Others were not as convinced, however. Even Donald Trump, the "birther du joir" as it were, said he wanted to check it out further.

Throughout this controversy, I've tried to keep an open mind. I've listened to both sides, weighed the evidence presented, and kept checking my premises when new data came in. So far, the "birthers" have presented the more convincing argument because they've at least brought forward information to be considered. The bulk of the "anti-birther" argument is thus: If you don't believe President Obama is a natural-born citizen, then you're a stupid, racist, conspiracy theory loving moron.

Wow. The Left's argument is hard to refute...without laughing.

Personally, I think there are enough questions to warrant a deeper investigation into Obama's citizenship, but it's not the only issue on which to question the President. Granted, I don't think there are that many people focused solely on the "birther" controversy, and not even the Republican candidates or presumed candidates are taking it up as a serious issue. (I am excluding Donald Trump from that list because a) he hasn't officially announced he's running as a Republican, and b) I don't think he's going to run. Those are points for a later blog.) Yet, the Left seems to think the "birther" issue is the only issue the GOP has, so if they eliminate it or diminish it, it kills the Republicans' chances in 2012.

Wishful thinking on their part, I'm afraid. Even their attempts to dispel the "birther" movement have backfired on them because they have been so lackluster. Even the attempt this week was half-hearted, but it was enough to make the media try to hammer and bully the "birthers" into submission. Just check out the video of Lawrence O'Donnell's "interview" with Orly Taitz and O'Donnell's demand for an "apology."

Regardless of where you stand on President Obama's citizenship, an honest assessment of the situation shows one side is attempting to present facts to support its point of view, while the other side resorts to name-calling and bullying tactics. Makes you wonder who the real kooks are, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Notes on Libya

To put it mildly, the Libyan situation is complex and more than a little perplexing to your humble blogger. Honestly, I'm not sure where I stand on our intervention in the region, but I do have some thoughts on some of the "smaller" issues surrounding it.

The Big Question: There's a question I haven't seen anyone but me ask since the start of hostilities in Libya: Do the Libyans want us involved? This is a vital question because a wrong answer can feed into the very perception of America we have been trying to overcome in the Middle East. The last time we got involved in a purely internal struggle was in Kosovo, and neither the Serbians nor the Albanians wanted our help. Yet, we "helped" the Albanians (and, surprise surprise, al Qaeda) to do...exactly what the Serbians were doing to them. Until we know for certain whether either side of the Libyan conflict really wants America's help, we could be making the same mistake we did in Kosovo.

Impeachment for Obama?: Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich recently raised some eyebrows when he said Obama should be impeached for launching missile attacks into Libya. He has since walked back his comments, saying impeachment would be a "non-starter." Personally, I don't think President Obama should be impeached for the missile attacks, as they were done under the auspices of the War Powers Act of 1973. The War Powers Act gives the President the ability to send troops into combat provided he gives Congress at least 48 hours notice. Since there were no troops actually engaged in the missile strikes, the President was acting in accordance with his duties as Commander In Chief, in my opinion. Thus, impeachment under Kucinich's notion would definitely be a non-starter.

However...: After Obama said there would be no ground troops involved in the Libyan conflict, it turns out there will be Marines going to Libya as ground troops. If Obama failed to give Congress notice, then a case for impeachment could be made under the War Powers Act. However, we would most likely see a similar situation to when Bill Clinton was impeached and nothing would be done. I hope no Republicans undertake an impeachment effort in this case because it wouldn't help.

A Follower, Not a Leader: I've long said Obama was more of a follower instead of a leader. The Libyan situation bears that out perfectly. Whether it was waiting for the United Nations to sign off on military action, allowing other NATO countries to spearhead the attacks while we provide the bulk of the military hardware, or his unwillingness to speak to the American people about our involvement in Libya, we are seeing a man whose actions speak louder than his words. And those actions (or lack thereof) do not speak well of his leadership.

The President's Speech: Many people on both sides of the aisle are urging President Obama to address the nation as to why we're involved in Libya. Democrat strategists, on the other hand, are saying the President doesn't need to make a speech because then the Libyan conflict would be his instead of the UN's. Granted, from a political standpoint, such a speech would be a clear indication of Obama's "ownership" of the conflict, but there is a greater dynamic at work here. Most Americans, myself included, really don't have a sense as to why we're there in the first place. If only to address those questions, the President owes it to the American people to give his rationale. And it sounds like he will on Monday.

What's In a Name?: Does anyone outside of the Administration and the press know what the name of the Libyan operation is? I had to do some digging because the name really isn't all that memorable or fear-inducing. It's Operation Odyssey Dawn. And we're not at war; we're in a "kinetic military action." Is it just me, or do neither one of these make any sense whatsoever?

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on the Libyan war...I mean the Libyan kinetic military action...soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Political Suicide

The Left has accused Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker of many things, most of them untrue. Yet, no one but the Left could have cooked up this one.

It starts with the apparent suicide of Jeri-Lynn Betts, an early childhood teacher from the Watertown school district. She had a history of depression and was greatly distressed by the current budget situation, especially concerning what it would do to the teaching jobs in Wisconsin. After her death, people guessed it, Scott Walker was to blame.

Seriously? That's your next big attack on Walker?

Depression and suicide are serious matters, folks. For anyone to even suggest Walker had anything to do with Betts' suicide is stretching the credibility of the anti-Walker crowd. Whatever good points you guys have made are going to be undercut by the people who think Walker had anything to do with the suicide. Unless you denounce these folks, like the TEA Party denounces racism in their ranks, you're going to be tainted by their statements.

And to anyone who really thinks Walker's actions had anything to do with Betts' suicide, you need to really think carefully about this. Put aside your partisanship and give an honest assessment of the situation. If you think about it and still believe Walker is responsible, so be it, but understand that kind of thinking is no different than Republicans and conservatives who blame everything bad in their lives on Barack Obama. Some things transcend politics. This is one of them. To try to make any kind of political hay out of it is beyond contemptible.