Thursday, December 31, 2009


"2010 is looking like 1994 all over again"

James Pethokoukis tells us why the GOP will retake the U.S. House in 2010:

1. Virginia and New Jersey. Big GOP wins in the gubernatorial races not only highlighted discontent with incumbents by recession-weary voters, they also greatly helped Republicans with candidate recruiting for 2010.

2. History. More big political change isn’t predicated on America rekindling its love for the Grand Old Party. A recent poll had the Republicans finishing a distant third in popularity behind a fictional Tea Party and the actual Democratic Party. Yet American politics has a regular ebb and flow. In 13 of the past 15 midterm elections going back to 1950, the party in control of the White House has lost an average of 22 seats in the House. In 10 of the past 15 midterms the party running the Senate has lost an average of three seats.

3. Mean Reversion. Democrats have a wide field to defend after huge victories in 2006 and 2008. Particularly in the House, there are lots of Democrats in places with a proven willingness to vote Republican. Currently 47 of them are in districts won by both John McCain in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. And voters in those districts may be especially unhappy with a Democratic legislative agenda that causes many Americans mixed feelings.

4. Obama-Reid-Pelosi Agenda. A RealClearPolitics aggregation of polling data shows Americans disapprove of healthcare reform by a 51-38 margin. And only a little more than a third think the $787 billion stimulus plan has done much good, according to pollster Rasmussen. There’s also plenty of worry among the electorate that Washington spending is creating a dangerous level of government debt.

5. Rep. Parker Griffith. Griffith, elected in 2008, could be an electoral harbinger. His district, Alabama’s 5th, gave 60 percent of its votes to Bush in 2004, and 61 percent to McCain. He just switched from Democrat to Republican, saying he couldn’t belong to a party that favors healthcare reform that massively expands the role of government. Even though Griffith voted against the stimulus, cap-and-trade and healthcare plans, he clearly felt that guilt-by-party-association threatened his re-election.

6. Unemployment. Underlying voter unease with Capitol Hill is deep concern about unemployment. And that leads to a simple equation: Joblessness drives presidential approval ratings, and it’s those ratings that drive midterm congressional results. Despite a landslide win in 1980, for instance, unemployment approaching 11 percent drove Ronald Reagan’s approval ratings down to the low 40s in November 1982 when Republicans lost 26 House seats. (And only five narrow GOP victories by fewer than 50,000 votes kept the Senate even.)

As unemployment has risen this year, Obama’s approval has steadily eroded to around 50 percent currently. The White House says it doesn’t expect employment growth until the spring. And if even the economy begins to create jobs, the actual unemployment rate could still rise as the long-term unemployed begin to actively seek jobs again and thus start being counted by the Labor Department. It would take a year of 4 percent growth generating 200,000 to 250,000 jobs a month to bring the rate down to 9 percent. And even that would be twice as high as what Americans have been used to during the past two decades.

7. Discontent with Democrats. At the same time, the generic congressional ballot has shifted from a high single-digit Democratic lead to a low single-digit Republican lead as independents veer back to the GOP. What’s more, a recent poll by the liberal Daily Kos blog found just 56 percent of Democrats definitely or probably voting in 2010 vs. 81 percent of Republicans. Note that a new Rasmussen poll has Sen. Ben "60th Vote" Nelson, who won reelection in 2006 with 64 percent of the vote, down 61-30 in a hypothetical 2012 matchup vs. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Dems in both chambers will surely take note of those numbers. Indeed, the prospect of a terrible 2010 environment has already pushed some veteran Democratic legislators in competitive districts into retirement such as John Tanner of Tennessee and Brian Baird of Washington.

Read the rest here.



From the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

Do you need any more evidence that Republicans need to pick up Senate seats? Let's review just the last 8 days:

The Democrats jammed a healthcare bill down the throats of the American people that cuts Medicare by $500 billion, raises taxes by $400 to $500 million and increases insurance premiums all while using your tax dollars to pay for abortions. Like me, I am sure watching them cut backroom deal after backroom deal was enough to make you sick.

Even more scary was knowing this country was one faulty detonator away from an American airliner being blown out of the sky. Remember right after the inauguration, it was revealed President Obama no longer wanted to acknowledge the "global war on terror" and referred to terrorist acts as "man-made disasters"? Back then you and I knew that showed a remarkable lack of understanding of the threat America faced but in the face of what nearly happened a couple days, it is even more infuriating.

To you and me and our friends throughout America, the healthcare bill is a man-made disaster. And when a foreigner tries to blow up an airliner, it is an attempted terrorist attack.

Now more than ever we need a check in the Senate to stop the radical Obama agenda down until we elect a Republican President in 2012.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Governor Bill Gibbons?

I truly am undecided about whom I'm going to vote for in next August's GOP gubernatorial primary. The more I hear about Shelby County DA Bill Gibbons, the more I like him.

I just got an education-themed fundraising letter from Gibbons, and I agree with every point he makes ...

I want every child in this state to have an opportunity like my wife, our kids, and I have had. We need more of our best and brightest choosing teaching as their profession, and we need to cut the red tape to facilitate more innovation at the local level. There are several steps we can take to foster the improved educational achievement for our children:

Develop a statewide teacher recruiting strategy.

Reward high performing teachers and remove teachers who fall short.

Make it easier for working professionals and retirees to enter the teaching profession as a second career.

Lift the cap on charter schools and expand their presence statewide.
Develop standards of parental involvement.

Allow for more parental choice of schools for their children.

That's a platform on education that only the Tennessee Education Association couldn't love. That's reason enough to give Bill Gibbons strong consideration.


"Man, Do I Hate Holiday Travel"

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab guest-blogs over at Iowahawk:

"Yesterday while I was lying in the burn ward getting my crotch bandages changed, I had a chance to catch the air disaster movie marathon on TCM. The lineup included 'Zero Hour,' 'The High and the Mighty,' 'Skyjacked,' and 'Airport '75.' For all their campy fun and unintentional laughs, those corny old films really serve as a grim reminder how the whole in-flight terror experience has gone completely downhill since the jet set golden years of the 50's, 60's and 70's. What happened to all those pretty stewardesses and polite, well dressed infidels, screaming as the plane plummeted to the ground? Time was, a suicide mission to explode an international jumbo jet was an event full of glamor and excitement; but now it seems to be a endless series of delays, hassles, pushy jerks and third-degree testicular chemical burns. And don't even get me started on the crappy airline food."

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


52 percent of us was wrong, wrong wrong ...

Red flags -- figuratively and literally -- are now bein' raised 'bout one B. Hussein Obama. To wit (from the Campaign for Working Families):

ABC is reporting that two of the jihadist leaders behind the Northwest Airlines bomb plot were formerly Guantanamo prisoners who were released in November 2007. Before the day is over, Obama operatives and their media allies will be blaming George Bush for the Christmas Day plot.

Nice try – but no sale. During Bush’s second term, every liberal senator including Barack Obama was demanding that Guantanamo prisoners be put on trial or released. Liberal courts sniped at every step the Bush Administration took to deal with the
"GITMO" prisoners. The ACLU and big media complained that the prisoners were being denied their rights. Steps taken to get information from the prisoners were condemned as torture. There were more negative stories about the U.S. soldiers guarding these thugs than about the thugs themselves. Liberal Illinois Senator Dick Durbin compared GITMO and our military prisons to a Nazi facility.

In that atmosphere, the Bush Administration started allowing limited releases from GITMO of prisoners they felt were least dangerous. At the same time, President Bush warned that some released prisoners had already gone back to the battlefield against the U.S. We were critical of the releases but also understood that it was a response to liberal pressure.

Now let’s fast forward to today. President Obama took office and his first official act was to sign an order to close GITMO, releasing as many prisoners as possible and bringing the rest to the U.S., where they would be granted all the rights of our Constitution. For the last year, Obama has fought to implement his plan in spite of all the evidence that he will make us less safe by doing so.

Now read this and weep. ABC is reporting that just this weekend the number of prisoners at GITMO dropped to fewer than 200 because President Obama transferred a dozen jihadist suspects to the governments of Yemen, Afghanistan and Somali. Meanwhile, other GITMO prisoners are getting their attorneys for the circus trials that will be held in New York as the result of another Obama decision. Finally it was Barack Obama’s administration that failed to keep an obviously high-risk individual from boarding the Northwest Christmas flight. That failure almost cost hundreds of lives.

The Obama Administration has one tune in its repertoire. It’s called "Blame Bush." But it won’t fly this time, as we become less safe with each passing day.


1975 revisited

Bill McGurn puts it right on the line ...

For a man whose whole appeal has been wrapped in powerful imagery, President Obama appears strikingly obtuse about the symbolism of his own actions: e.g., squeezing in a condemnation of Iran before a round of golf. With every statement not backed up by action, with every refusal to meet a leader such as the Dalai Lama, with every handshake for a Chavez, Mr. Obama is defining himself to foreign leaders who are sizing him up and have only one question in mind: How much can we get away with? ...

Barack Obama has spent his first year as president determined to prove to the world he is not George W. Bush. He has succeeded. Let's hope that in so doing he has not sent the message that he is the new Gerald Ford.


Ain't it funny ...?!

Ain't it funny that it took President B. Hussein Obama just a few hours before he passed judgement on the, well, judgement of Cambridge cops during the Henry Louis Gates imbroglio ... yet it took ol' President B. three days before he composed himself enough to comment on the foiled al-Qaeda plane-bombing in Detroit?

Wait, that's not so funny.

Three thoughts:

If President George W. Bush's "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" statement is an example of presidential incompetence, then surely Obama's pronouncement that the Detroit Bomber is a "lone extremist" deserves equal derision.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano -- you know, the dumb bitch who famously said terrorist attacks should be dubbed "man-caused disasters," and who quipped that folks who crash the U.S.'s Southern border aren't breaking the law "per se" -- was questioned 'bout how the Detroit Bomber was able to do what he did. In response, she said Homeland Security's "system" of fighting terrorism "worked." If not for a faulty detonator, we'd now be mourning the passing of dozens of innocents on a runway in Detroit. "Worked?!" Fire Napolitano, NOW!

Can we now all agree that the War on Terror didn't end when Saint, er, Nobel Laureate, er, President B. Hussein Obama was elected ...?!

Monday, December 28, 2009


"Bail out!"

Praying to Jesus is not your only option when you get arrested ...

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Quote of the day

"Everyone has dropped the ball on [Iran sanctions]. The president is smoking pot or something if he thinks that being nice to these guys is going to get him anywhere."

-- New York County District Attorney -- and life-long Democrat -- Robert Morgenthau

Friday, December 25, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part eight

In Hoc Anno Domini

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.

But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.

Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.

And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

This editorial, written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster, has been published annually in the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part seven

Over the last 20 years, I reckon I've watched A Christmas Story over 300 times ... and I enjoy the hell out of it every time I watch it. If, somehow, every copy of this fine movie disappeared from planet earth, I don't know what I'd do. It simply is not Christmas until I've watched A Christmas Story at least three or four times.

We're all familiar with the tounge-stuck-to-flagpole scene, and "Oh, fudge!" For me, however, it's the Old Man who steals the show in A Christmas Story. Practically everything that comes out of the man's mouth causes me to chuckle. To wit:


Vive Sénateur de Monsieur Corker!

You know, I'm damn proud that I supported Bob Corker - early - in 2006. To wit:

From Senator Corker's office:

"There is no question that the unfunded mandates in this bill violate current law," Corker said. "As commissioner of finance for the state of Tennessee and mayor of Chattanooga, there was nothing more offensive to me than for the federal government to send down a mandate to our state or city and not send the money to pay for it. A number of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, including the majority leader and the chairmen of the Budget, Finance and HELP Committees, voted in 1995 to bar the federal government from imposing these excessive costs on states, local governments and businesses. So one might ask why would they support the unfunded mandates in this bill?

"The fundamental building blocks of the Reid bill are flawed and will have serious consequences for all Americans and future generations. In addition to expanding Medicaid by imposing $25 billion in unfunded mandates on states, the bill takes $466 billion away from Medicare and leverages it to create a new entitlement, uses budget gimmickry to hide its true cost, increases federal costs and actually causes Americans to face increased taxes and premiums."

HT: Adam Kleinheider


Pic of the day

When it comes to health care reform, er, health insurance reform, here's what President B. Hussein Obama's been saying to the American people:

(HT: State Rep. Stacey Campfield)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part six

If you think Episode One: The Phantom Menace is the crappiest Star Wars creation, well, think again:

I was very young when the Star Wars Holiday Special made its one and only appearance on TV, but I remember being very, very disappointed after watching it. I mean, even I understood it was a stretch to include Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur as characters in the Star Wars universe. That said, I have to imagine that a pre-Christmas DVD release of the Holiday Special would sell like candy canes (its camp value is enormous). I'd certainly buy a copy.

Here's a quick synopsis from Wikipedia:

The Star Wars Holiday Special is important for being the first film-length Star Wars story after the original theatrical film, and for showing an expanded look at parts of that universe. The main focus of the holiday special is the Blockade of Kashyyyk [Chewbacca's home planet]. But for the most part, the plot serves as little more than a means to string together a series of musical numbers, celebrity cameos, and other variety-show acts. These include songs and comedy routines by such 1970s talents as Jefferson Starship, Diahann Carroll, Art Carney, Harvey Korman, and Bea Arthur. Easily the most notable segment is an animated cartoon featuring the pre-Empire Strikes Back debut of Boba Fett.


Straight outta the Hugo Chavez playbook

If you're not mad after reading what follows, then you really have no concept of what it means to live in a Constitutional Republic ... and you should have your voter registration card revoked:

If ever the people of the United States rise up and fight over passage of Obamacare, Harry Reid must be remembered as the man who sacrificed the dignity of his office for a few pieces of silver. The rules of fair play that have kept the basic integrity of the Republic alive have died with Harry Reid. Reid has slipped in a provision into the health care legislation prohibiting future Congresses from changing any regulations imposed on Americans by the Independent Medicare [note: originally referred to as "medical"] Advisory Boards, which are commonly called the "Death Panels."

It was Reid leading the Democrats who ignored 200 years of Senate precedents to rule that Senator Sanders could withdraw his amendment while it was being read.

It was Reid leading the Democrats who has determined again and again over the past few days that hundreds of years of accumulated Senate parliamentary rulings have no bearing on the health care vote.

On December 21, 2009, however, Harry Reid sold out the Republic in toto.

Upon examination of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment to the health care legislation, Senators discovered section 3403. That section changes the rules of the United States Senate.

To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.

Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that "it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection." The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels.

Section 3403 of Senator Reid’s legislation also states, "Notwithstanding rule XV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a committee amendment described in subparagraph (A) may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection (c)(3)." In short, it sets up a rule to ignore another Senate rule.

Senator Jim DeMint confronted the Democrats over Reid’s language. In the past, the Senate Parliamentarian has repeatedly determined that any legislation that also changes the internal standing rules of the Senate must have a two-thirds vote to pass because to change Senate rules, a two-thirds vote is required. Today, the Senate President, acting on the advice of the Senate Parliamentarian, ruled that these rules changes are actually just procedural changes and, despite what the actual words of the legislation say, are not rules changes. Therefore, a two-thirds vote is not needed in contravention to longstanding Senate precedent.

Read the rest here.


It's beginning to look a lot like 1994

We already know about the swing-district Democrat U.S. Reps who've announced that they're retiring. Now, another House Democrat has announced that he's switching to the GOP:

Rep. Parker Griffith, a conservative Democratic Congressman from northern Alabama, announced Tuesday that he is switching from the Democratic to the Republican party.

The Congressman explained his "difficult decision" at a press conference in his Huntsville district office.

"I am pro-business, pro-life, pro-second amendment and have worked hard to support our space and defense programs and represent our Alabama values," he said. "However, as the 111th Congress has progressed, I have become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies of the Democratic leadership are not good for Alabama or our nation." He added that he needs to "stand with a party more in tune with my beliefs and convictions." ...

National Republicans had targeted Griffith's 5th Congressional District as a possible Republican pick-up this year, but had also encouraged him to consider becoming a Republican. Sen. John McCain won the district in 2008 with 61 percent of the vote.

Griffith, who is an oncologist, used his announcement to criticize the Democratic agenda as "focused on massive spending, tax increases and bailouts." Afterward, he blasted the health bill now moving through Congress. "We're watching them pass a health care bill that two-thirds of America is saying don't pass it, leave it alone, start over again," he said. "And they're completely ignoring the American people at their own risk."

The news of the party-switch came as a blow to House Democrats, who have recently had several high-profile conservative members announce they will retire in 2010 rather than face reelection, including Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee and Dennis Moore of Kansas. Both men were favored to win reelection, even though their districts, like Griffith's, were in won by McCain in 2008.

Retirements, party-switchin' ... isn't that what happened in 1994?!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part five

One of my all-time favorite bands is The Smithereens. The first songs I ever learned to play from beginning to end on the guitar were Smithereens tunes; the first all-ages club show was a Smithereens gig at Nashville's famed Exit/In; and when I started tooling around in a garage band in high school, Smithereens songs - usually "I Don't Want to Lose You" and "Beauty and Sadness" - opened and closed the parties and talent shows at which we performed.

The Smithereens have kinda reinvented themselves in recent years (avoiding the inevitable "Where are they now?" appearances on VH1 programs) by giving The Who's Tommy and The Beatles' Meet the Beatles! Strats-'n-Rickenbackers-through-Marshalls power-pop treatment.

In 2007, New Jersey's finest band - sorry E Street Band - released a Christmas CD, Christmas with The Smithereens, which has played in my house, and in my car, on an almost continual basis since Thanksgiving.

I not only recommend that you add The Smithereens' Christmas CD to your collection, I urge you to play it very, very loud. (How many Christmas CDs can you play very, very loud ... and enjoy it?!)

You can hear some samples here.


What Santa, er, Obama is about to deliver to Tenn.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he has enough votes to pass ObamaCare on Christmas Eve. How fitting. Reid put favors into the bill to secure the votes of a few select Senators. Thus, ObamaCare, in its current form, is a huge lump of coal that's going to be shoved up ... er, into many state governments' stockings come Christmas morning. Take Tennesssee, for example:

To secure the vote of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, Reid put a provision into ObamaCare whereby the federal government will pick up the full cost of Nebraska's mandated Medicaid expansion, at an estimated cost of $100 million over ten years.

The Medicaid mandate, which as we've seen ain't gonna cost Nebraska a thing, is going to add billions of dollars to Tennessee's budget over the next decade.

Now, as much as I've criticized Governor Phil Bredesen over the years, I admire him for telling the truth 'bout how Tennessee's taxpayers are about to get a royal Obama screwing. As Middle Tennessee State University business professor, and former Metro-Nashville Councilman, Horace Johns pointed out in a recent Nashville Today commentary (sadly, it's not online):

"Bredesen fears that [ObamaCare] could cost Tennessee $785 million over five years, plus unknown costs, [and] could dump an extra $3 billion to TennCare from 2014 to 2019. This is because [ObamaCare] envisions state Medicaid programs like TennCare expanding health insurance coverage to millions."

An extra $3 billion from 2014 to 2019. Let that sink in for a few moments ...

If only more of Bredesen's fellow Democrat governors - whose states aren't getting federal Medicaid subsidies - had the balls to follow his truth-telling lead about what ObamaCare is going to do to already-strained state budgets. Maybe ObamaCare would've already been run over by a reindeer. As it stands, the only folks who're destined to get run over are taxpayers in states like Tennessee.


Quote of the day

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is [one] of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing."

-- Quran 5:51 (Pickhall translation)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part four

My best friend in elementary school was a kid whose grandfather and father were both members of the Grand Ole Opry (Google "Texas Troubadour" and you'll fig're out what family I'm talkin' about). There were many, many Friday and Saturday nights when my buddy and I ran wild backstage at the Opry - exploring nooks and crannies that not many people get to see - while we waited for his dad to finish his set.

I got to meet many of the great ones during those runnin'-wild adventures, including Roy Acuff, Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, the Wilburn Brothers, and Bill Monroe. My favorite of the bunch, however, was Grandpa Jones. Every time he saw my friend and me passing his dressing room, he'd call us the Katzenjammer Kids and invite us in. (Neither of us, of course, had the slightest clue as to what a Katzenjammer Kid was.)

We were backstage one night when Grandpa Jones recited his famous "Christmas Guest" poem onstage. Neither my friend nor I witnessed the performance, but we watched a dozen or so different folks come up to Grandpa Jones and tell him how they enjoyed his poem. One lady in particular, with tears in her eyes, told ol' Grandpa that she wished her recently deceased husband could've been there to hear it. That stuck with me.

It would be another five or six years before I actually heard "The Christmas Guest," but I immediately understood why that lady had tears in her eyes. Ever since, this has been one of my favorite things 'bout Christmas:


Look who's gettin' burned ...

I can make a firm pledge: Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. [Emphasis mine]

-- President B. Hussein Obama, Dover, NH, September 12, 2008

One of the "compromises" in the Senate version of ObamaCare is a new 10 percent tax on indoor tanning booths. More here.

While this isn't a direct tax on individuals who use tanning booths, tanning salons will have no choice but to pass this tax on to customers, making it an indirect tax on folks who make less than 250 grand. (There's a small tanning salon close to my house, and I can tell you that none of the folks I've seen frequenting said salon pulled up in Bentleys or Beamers.)

The Senate's tanning salon tax replaces a cosmetic-surgery tax in the House's version of ObamaCare -- which I'm sure delights the hell out of House Speaker Nancy "Botox" Pelosi. Look for the cosmetic-surgery tax to come out during conference.

As was apparent to anyone with half a brain, small businesses and ordinary, middle-class sorts are the ones who're going to get burned if and when ObamaCare becomes law ... "burned" being very, very apropos for our discussion.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


To tell the truth

Rich Galen -- my favorite "official" GOP operative -- tells us what's what:

About a month ago, Barack Obama, in complicity with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), bribed Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La) with $300 million of our tax money to add her vote to the 60 needed to bring some form of health care legislation to the floor.

That was not the last time Obama and his pals, continuing a long-cherished Chicago tradition, have offered to pay someone off to get what they want.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – no stranger to hardball politics herself – offered in Copenhagen to buy off the entire Third World by offering $100 billion A YEAR over the next ten years to … I’m not sure what the money is for but she threatened them by saying:

"In the absence of an operational agreement … there will not be that financial agreement."

Hillary can promise to spend a trillion dollars helping poor nations cope with the struggles of not having millions of automobiles belching carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but she didn’t say where that money was going to come from.

Read the rest here.

"She didn’t say where that money was going to come from." Do leftists ever tell us where the money's gonna come from when they start hatchin' their statist schemes ...?!


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part three

My favorite Christmas CD of all time is A Lump of Coal, a compilation album released in 1991 which, sadly, is out of print (you can find it on eBay for 10-15 bucks).

The first tune on the record is "Little Drummer Boy" by Australia's famous Hoodoo Gurus. (When I was a long-hair member of various dive-playing bands in Murfreesboro, Tennesseee, I often found myself playin' and singin' the Hoodoo Gurus' finest.) Last "tune" on the record is Henry Rollins reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" ... the most Halloweenish rendering of a Christmas classic I've ever heard.

That said, the best tune on the record, by far, is Clockhammer's "Here Comes Santa Claus." A jazzy jazz-rock gem, Clockhammer's "Here Comes ..." not only features vocalist/guitarist Byron Bailey crooning in his inimitable smooth-as-silk style, but also offers up a clean, heavy-on-chorus-pedal intro that jingles like the finest Jingle Bell.

For the record, Clockhammer remains the best rock 'n' roll band to ever come out of Nashville (sorry Kings of Leon fans). Defunct since about 1994, Clockhammer was a jazz/rock/metal combo that was so good, it was inevitable that it would flame out before it could gain fame and fortune. The musicianship displayed on Clockhammer's masterpiece, 1992's Klinefelter, is just as awe-inspiring today was it was when it was released. (Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine was certainly awed back in the day, calling Klinefelter a "true gem.") Check out Clockhammer on YouTube if'n you don't believe me.

Here's the entire A Lump of Coal track-list:

Little Drummer Boy" - Hoodoo Gurus
"The First Noel" - Crash Test Dummies
"Step Into Christmas" - The Wedding Present
"Blue X-mas (To Whom It May Concern)" - Drunken Boat
"O Holy Night" - Divine Weeks
"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" - Carnival Art
"Silent Night" - The Primitives
"O Little Town of Bethlehem" - Young Fresh Fellows
"Kings of Orient" - The Odds
"Here Comes Santa Claus" - Clockhammer
"'Twas the Night Before Christmas" - Henry Rollins


"I wouldn't give a squirt of piss ..."

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll reveals that 34 percent of respondents rate the current U.S. Congress as "one of the worst."

As National Review's Jim Geraghty points out only 16 percent felt that way in October 1994.

To borrow a line from Chet Donnelly, I wouldn't give a squirt of piss to be in any swing-district Democrat's shoes right now.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part two

No list of Greatest Pop-Culture Moments of the 1970s would be complete without mention of Bing Crosby's 1977 "Little Drummer Boy" duet with David Bowie. Afforded scorn and praise, in equal parts, during the the years that've followed, Bing and Bowie's Christmas crooning is something I start watching about the time I finish the last bite of left-over Thanksgiving turkey (I'm in the "praise" camp, you see); and I keep watching right up through the last hour of New Year's Day.

As you'll read below, David Bowie didn't think his vocal chops could shine singing "Little Drummer Boy." So, the producers of Bing Crosby's Christmas special suggested that Bowie should sing "Peace on Earth" while Bing "bum, bum, bum, bummed." The result was a Christmas auditory delight, indeed.

Back when 95 percent of MTV's -- er, Music Television's -- programming was devoted to music, you could count on seeing Bing and Bowie's "Drummer Boy" dozens of times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now you gotta go to YouTube to see it. To wit:

From the Bing Crosby Internet Museum:

One of the more surreal moments in pop music history took place Sept. 11, 1977, when the leading American pop star of the first half of the Twentieth Century met and performed with one of the more innovative rock 'n' rollers of the last half of the Century. Bing was in London on a concert tour and to tape his yearly TV Christmas special. It was Bing's idea that he should have as a guest on his TV show a young star. Someone suggested David Bowie. Bing had never heard of Bowie, but his kids had, and so an invitation was sent to the rock star. Bowie, as it turned out, was a secret fan of Der Bingle and jumped at the chance to perform with him.

Bing's idea was that he and Bowie would perform "The Little Drummer Boy" as a duet. Bowie felt the song did not showcase his voice very well, so the writers added "Peace on Earth," which suited Bowie's voice quite well. The two musical spokesmen of different generations met for the first time on the morning of the taping, rehearsed for an hour and finished their duet in only three takes. Bing was impressed with Bowie, and gave him his phone number at the end of the taping. Bing told an interviewer four days later that he considered Bowie "a clean cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice and reads lines well. He could be a good actor if he wanted."

Bing died a month later, and the public did not see their performance until after his death. The duet generated much interest, and was excerpted to become a perennial TV music video, a best-selling 45-rpm single, a computer CD-ROM and a popular video on YouTube. Some viewed the joint performance of Bing and Bowie as a symbol of the end of the intergenerational wars of the 1960s and '70s. In 1999
TV Guide chose the duet as one of the 25 best musical television moments of the century (June 5 issue).


Quote of the day

"For those who do not know what a reality show is, it is a chance to achieve utterly transient fame by acting like an idiot and embarrassing oneself in front of a charge-coupled device that communicates your indiscretions to the less intelligent population of an entire nation." [Emphasis mine]

-- Mark Helprin


Jim Kyle's guv-campaign coffin has been slammed shut (with SEIU nails)

The Service Employees International Union, aka SEIU, has endorsed State Senator Jim Kyle for Governor. Kyle's crowing 'bout the endorsement ...

"I am especially honored to receive the support of SEIU" Jim Kyle said. "SEIU has always taken the lead in the fight to make sure that working families are provided with equitable pay and job security. In this challenging economy we must all work together to bring jobs to our state and improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans."

... and that's why he ain't gonna be Tennessee's next governor -- that and the fact that he might just be THE biggest jackass in the Tennessee Senate.

More 'bout the f-in' low-down SEIU here and here and here.

(Hell, just Google "SEIU" and "goon" and you'll see how a GOP candidate for governor could -- notice I didn't say "will" -- have a field day with SEIU-endorsed Jim Kyle!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Pic of the day

Pic taken at the Edmonson Pike library today:

Ah, to be 12-years-old again. That kid spun himself around the libray's handrails so many times ... he was making me dizzy!


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part one

For me, Christmas don't officially start until I've watched the unapologetically Christian A Charley Brown Christmas. To wit:

If that showed up during prime-time on one of the Big Three -- or is it Big Four, or Big Five?! -- networks in this day and age, the ACLU, CAIR, and, perhaps, the President of the U.S.A. would have a collective hissy-fit.

No wonder it moves me so ...


Crashin' the party, again ...

For the second time, "uninvited" guests got close to the president:

The White House is once again explaining how uninvited guests wound up shaking hands with President Barack Obama.

This time, a Georgia couple hoping to tour the White House ended up at an invitation-only Veterans Day breakfast.

White House officials say the couple mistakenly showed up a day early and were allowed into the breakfast because there were no public tours available. They say the couple, Harvey and Paula Darden of Hogansville, Ga., were properly screened for security.

Harvey Darden, however, said there appeared to be a mix-up. No one told them about the breakfast, he said, and the Dardens thought they were starting their tour until they were ushered into the East Room and offered a buffet.

White House security is starting to look like the gang who can't shoot straight. What a perfect metaphor for the Obama Administration as a whole, n'est-ce pas?! To wit:

Less than a year after Inauguration Day, support for the Democratic Party continues to slump, amid a difficult economy and a wave of public discontent, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

The findings underscored how dramatically the political landscape has changed during the Obama administration's first year. In January, despite the recession and financial crisis, voters expressed optimism about the future, the new president enjoyed soaring approval ratings, and congressional leaders promised to swiftly pass his ambitious agenda.

In December's survey, for the first time, less than half of Americans approved of the job President Barack Obama was doing, marking a steeper first-year fall for this president than his recent predecessors.
[Emphasis mine]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Toto, this ain't 1986 no more ...

Those who wish to equate President B. Hussein Obam'as deficits with Ronald Reagan's need to read this (Toto, this ain't 1986):

Remember the 1980s and 1990s when liberals said they worried about the debt? We now know they were faking it. When the Gipper chopped income and business tax rates by roughly 25% and then authorized a military build-up, Democrats and their favorite economists predicted doom for a decade. The late Paul Samuelson, the revered dean of the neo-Keynesians, expressed the prevailing view in those days when he called the Reagan deficits "an all-consuming evil."

But wait: Those "evil" Reagan deficits averaged less than $200 billion a year, or about one-quarter as large in real terms as today's deficit. The national debt held by the public reached its peak in the Reagan years at 40.9%, and hit 49.2% in 1995. This year debt will hit 61% of GDP, heading to 68% soon even by the White House's optimistic estimates.

Our view is that there is good and bad public borrowing. In the 1980s federal deficits financed a military buildup that ended the Cold War (leading to an annual peace dividend in the 1990s of 3% of GDP), as well as tax cuts that ended the stagflation of the 1970s and began 25 years of prosperity. Those were high return investments.

Today's debt has financed . . . what exactly? The TARP money did undergird the financial system for a time and is now being repaid. But most of the rest has been spent on a political wish list of public programs ranging from unemployment insurance to wind turbines to tax credits for golf carts. Borrowing for such low return purposes makes America poorer in the long run.

By the way, today's spending and debt totals don't account for the higher debt-servicing costs that are sure to come. The President's own budget office forecasts that annual interest payments by 2019 will be $774 billion, which will be more than the federal government will spend that year on national defense, education, transportation—in fact, all nondefense discretionary programs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Boom goes the dynamite, er, the Hellfire missiles

Here's a video of insurgents in Iraq firing at U.S. troops with 2 Apache gunships flying overhead. Watch what happens:

HT: Viral Video


What a difference a year makes

It's starting to look a lot like 1994:

As "Saturday Night Live" character Emily Litella (played by the late Gilda Radner) would say, "Never mind."

Eleven months ago, still in the shadow of Barack Obama's presidential victory over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Democrats looked likely to gain anywhere from two to as many as five additional Senate seats.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) was in trouble, while GOP open seats in Florida and Missouri were clearly at risk. Doubts about the prospects of at least four other Republican incumbents - North Carolina's Richard Burr, New Hampshire's Judd Gregg, Louisiana's David Vitter and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter (who has since switched parties) - ranged from uncertain to unsettling for party strategists. And that was before Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) announced he would not run again.

But since then, GOP recruiting successes and a change in the national political environment have shifted the outlook for next year's Senate contests. Suddenly, Democratic seats started to look more and more vulnerable.

As 2009 draws to a close, Democrats now could lose seats, a dramatic change from January that could end the party's 60-seat majority in less than two years. And GOP gains could be large enough to sink any major Democratic initiatives not passed before Congress adjourns for the midterm elections.


To tell the truth

Leave it to Bernie Sanders, the only avowed socialist in the U.S. Senate, to get all candid 'bout ObamaCare:

"Can I sit up here or stand here with a straight face and say, we have got strong cost-containment provisions in this legislation? That if you're an ordinary person who has employer-based health care, that your premiums are not going to go up in the next eight years based on what’s in this bill? I can't say that. It’s just not accurate."

Monday, December 14, 2009


Paging Al "It's Settled" Gore

500 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of "Man-Made" Global Warming

Read it here.


Not Lou Ann's day ...

On my way home from work this evening I heard three Lou Ann Zelenik ads on two different radio stations. In each ad, Ms. Lou Ann was talkin' 'bout how she was going to hand it to Bart Gordon come next November. I'll bet ol' Lou Ann never, ever considered that Bart Gordon would quit when she bought those ads.

State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) is a lock to run for Gordon's soon-to-be-vacated congressional seat; State Senators Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Diane Black (R-Gallatin) are also considering running -- as are a half-dozen different Republican "activists."

Is it safe to suggest, at this point, that Lou Ann Zelenik -- whose political high-water mark was losing a primary for the Tennessee House of Representatives -- should now pull in her political trotlines? And, it is safe to assume that Mark Winslow is now regretting that he left his "Spliffy"* job at the TN GOP to go working for a candidate who went from "maybe could" to "doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell" overnight?

Yes and yes, methinks.

*First person who "gets" that should e-mail me. I'll give you four of my last five "Don't Blame Me, I Voted For McCain" bumper stickers (I'm saving the last one for posterity).


Buh-bye, Bart

Well, well, well. Another Tennessee Democrat is gettin' out while the gettin' is good. Word started leaking last night that U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon will announce his retirement today.

I've had some pretty rough things to say about ol' Bart (none of which I take back). Like this:

We Republicans like to speak of big government-lovin' Republicans as being RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only. Well, Bart Gordon is a Blue Dog In Name Only. Blue Dog Democrats fancy themselves as deficit hawks and social conservatives who ain't afraid to buck their party's leaders whey they tilt too far to the left. Bart Gordon ain't a deficit hawk, and he ain't socially conservative. And Bart Gordon has NEVER bucked his leadership on any issue. Indeed, if Nancy Pelosi called Bart Gordon today and said, "Bart, I want you to paint my house," ol' Bart would ask, "What color paint do I need to buy?"

And this:

U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon -- a "card-carrying" Blue Dog -- is basically a city councilman masquerading as a Member of Congress. In his 20+ years in Congress, Gordon has never sponsored a piece of legislation that would significantly change America's tax code or entitlement system or military or judiciary. His most important legislative achievement is a law which bars jailbirds from receiving Pell Grants. Good one, Bart.

Now, if you want to know why your grandma's Social Security check was late in coming, or if you want the bridge that straddles the creek near your house named after your semi-famous grandpa, that's when you call Bart Gordon ... and that's when he shines like the midday sun in July. Gordon is an expert when it comes to piddlin' around, but he's a 13-term amateur when it comes to grasping and tackling the major issues of the day. See what I mean when I say he's a city councilman masquerading as a U.S. Rep?

Next year, when the Tennessean and Daily News Journal are wettin' themselves telling us all what a great Representative of the People Bart's been, I'm going to tell you all an hee-larious story 'bout a message Bart Gordon - personally - left on my answering machine back in the day. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


We care a lot

Americans are the most charitable people on earth. Just thought you'd like to know ...

Friday, December 11, 2009


"C" is for crooked, corrupt ACORN

It may be a crooked, corrupt organization, but Obama and his minions in the White House apparently still love 'em some ACORN:


Any fan of Cookie Monster on Sesame Street knows that "C" is for cookie.

But at the Obama White House, "A" may be for acorn -- as in acorn cookies served at Monday's annual Christmas party.

The chocolate cookies shaped like an acorn were quite a hit with Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

"I didn't expect to see such stark symbolism," King said in an e-mail.

President Obama worked with the community organizing group ACORN in the mid-90s. But now ACORN faces a host of allegations related to voter fraud in the 2008 election and has been weakened by an undercover expose that shows employees offering tax advice to a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute.


Don't you know that I know you don't know what you're talking about

One thing I've learned from President Obama's speeches -- and from the pro-Obama spin put on his speeches by supporters -- is that everything the man says must be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Many of the on-high pronouncements that pepper Obama's speeches are thought by his supporters and sycophants to be true simply because they came out of his mouth. But a lot of what he says isn't close to being true, or it needs a whole big bunch of qualification. For example ...

In his Nobel acceptance speech, Obama said this:

"The one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

He may believe that, but it simply is not the case. Cliff May explains:

Now this is certainly a solid pillar of Judaism. Hillel, the rabbi and Jewish leader (70 B.C.E.–10 A.D.) was famously asked to relate all the Torah has to say while standing on one foot. He replied: "Do not unto your neighbor what you would not have him do unto you; this is the whole Law; the rest is commentary."

And Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, may be said to have developed this idea further when he said:

If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

In what would become the Christian view, refraining from doing to others that which you would not want done to you is insufficient — a follower of Jesus treats people better than he is treated.

I don’t think one finds either sentiment in the Koran and the Hadith. Infidels do not enjoy the same status as the Faithful — not in Allah’s eyes and not in the eyes of Allah’s servants. Not unless and until they convert.

That does not mean, obviously, that there are not Muslims who would never treat non-Muslims as inferiors. Of course, there are. I’ve been privileged to know more than a few.

But I think the truth has to matter. Obama and his speechwriters can’t simply be inventing the fundamental principles of major world religions on the basis of what sounds good and may be convenient in terms of policy promotion. This has to make them look foolish — not least to educated and sophisticated Muslims.


They're playing on our fears!

Remember when Al Gore went nuts at that dinner and started braying about how George W. Bush "played on our fears" during the run-up to the Iraq War?

Well, here's the video that was shown during the opening ceremonies of the big Copenhagen global warming confab:

If that ain't playing on people's fears - in a most exploitative way - then I don't know what is.


Something you need to know

The Campaign for Working Families PAC tells us why Obama's EPA should officially stand for Everyboy Pays out the Ass ...

Earlier this week, the Obama Administration announced that it would unilaterally regulate carbon emissions unless Congress adopted a cap and trade scheme. I’ve devoted a lot of space in this report to explaining the tremendous implications of cap and trade, but you could summarize it this way: a cap on our prosperity that trades our liberty for a radical ideology. Tuesday, the White House made clear what that ideology is – Soviet-style socialism.

Responding to the EPA’s announcement that it would begin regulating carbon, a top White House official issued a blunt threat to our elected representatives: "If you [Congress] don’t pass this legislation [cap and trade], then ... the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

That statement is a declaration of war against working families and America’s free-market economy. The White House is telling Congress to pick its poison – cap and trade or command-and-control. That’s extortion, but that’s the "Chicago way," isn’t it? And when did White House officials start using phrases like "command-and-control"? I thought command-and-control economies died with the Soviet Union.

This threat gives you some idea of just how devastating cap and trade is for the economy. The White House is unintentionally admitting, "We know cap and trade is bad. But the EPA regulations would be really, really bad." The administration is playing a game of chicken with the economy in the middle of a severe recession.

There is a way out of this – rein in the bureaucracy and reduce the size and scope of government. Congress can amend the Clean Air Act to strip the EPA of authority over carbon emissions. That would be the most logical thing to do. Sadly, the Democrat Party has been taken over by radicals, many of whom are ideologically biased against common sense and fundamental economics. (If you needed any more evidence of the radical ideology behind climate change, a leader of the Chinese delegation in Copenhagen just announced that population control "fits right into the picture.")

So, what’s the alternative? Clint Eastwood’s famous line comes to mind: "Go ahead, make my day." Pollster Scott Rasmussen found that just 24% of American adults felt the EPA should act unilaterally to regulate carbon emissions. Republicans ought to call Obama’s bluff: They should fight cap and trade tooth and nail, and dare Obama to destroy the economy with his command-and-control ideology.

Ulysses S. Grant said, "I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." Perhaps it’s time to test that method. If enough Americans get fed up with the Obama/Reid/Pelosi experiment in socialism, we can defeat a lot of obnoxious liberals and get about the business of repealing a lot of bad laws.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Quote of the day

"The great thing about opera ... is that it is all about sex and violence most of the time."

-- Nathan Gunn

Why would I be quoting an opera singer? Click here.


A deficit time-bomb waiting to happen

Medicare is already paying out more than it receives, and a Medicare Trustees Report released in May said the program'll be insolvent by 2017. Other studies indicate that Medicare will be flat-broke a lot sooner.

Majority Leader Harry Reid and his merry band of dim-witted Senate Democrats have proposed adding another 20+ million folks to Medicare (by giving the unisured the option of "buying into" the program) while simultaneously cutting billions of dollars from its budget.

One needn't hold a PhD in mathematics to know what kind of deficit-time bomb will be created if and when Reid's Super Medicare becomes law.

Charles Krauthammer had an excellent take on the subject on last night's Fox News All-Stars:

Doctors today are already complaining because payments from Medicare are extremely low. Many doctors opt out because it is so low. You have to see so many elderly patients in order to make … a decent living, and it is almost impossible to do good medicine.

On top of this, you are now going to add 20 million, 30 million people in Medicare at a time when the other part of the bill is calling for a cut of half a trillion in the payments into Medicare.

So how do you make that work? The numbers are absolutely contradictory.

So it's going to threaten the livelihood of doctors and hospitals [and] secondly, it threatens the livelihood, the solvency of Medicare itself. Already the actuaries say that in half a decade it goes over a cliff and becomes insolvent. You're going to add now 30 million people potentially into an insolvent system and think it will be stronger? It seems to me like an act of desperation.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


No wonder I admire the IDF

"[T]hree blond 19-year-old sisters are ... sticking up for one another, although this time not on the playground but in the IAF, in which they all enlisted a few months ago, making history."

Read the whole story here.

More admiring can be found here.


The pro-Taliban/pro-slavery Public at Large

Back in October, a top Democratic National Committee official said the GOP "ha[d] thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas" for suggesting that President B. Hussein Obama was unqualified to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

I guess that means two-thirds of Americans are Taliban/Hamas-sympathizers:

[V]oters say 66 – 26 percent [President Obama] does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

Earlier this week, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid compared "Republicans who oppose health care reform to lawmakers who clung to the institution of slavery more than a century ago."

Looks like a majority of Americans are pro-slavery, too:

Voters disapprove 52 - 38 percent of the health care reform proposal under consideration in Congress, and they disapprove 56 - 38 percent of President Obama's handling of health care, down from 53 - 41 percent.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


"I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me"

As always, Animal steals the show ...


Totalitarians among us

The Wall Street Journal's Brett Stephens is doing yeoman's work alerting us to the "totalitarian impulse" of Al Gore et al. Consider:

• Revolutionary fervor: There's a distinct tendency among climate alarmists toward uncompromising radicalism, a hatred of "bourgeois" values, a disgust with democratic practices. So President Obama wants to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% from current levels by 2050, levels not seen since the 1870s—in effect, the Industrial Revolution in reverse. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, insists that "our lifestyles are unsustainable." Al Gore gets crowds going by insisting that "civil disobedience has a role to play" in strong-arming governments to do his bidding. (This from the man who once sought to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.)

• Utopianism: In the world as it is, climate alarmists see humanity hurtling toward certain doom. In the world as it might be, humanity has seen the light and changed its patterns of behavior, becoming the green equivalent of the Soviet "new man." At his disposal are technologies that defy the laws of thermodynamics. The problems now attributed to global warming abate or disappear.

• Anti-humanism: In his 2007 best seller "The World Without Us," environmentalist Alan Weisman considers what the planet would be like without mankind, and finds it's no bad thing. The U.N. Population Fund complains in a recent report that "no human is genuinely 'carbon neutral'"—its latest argument against children. John Holdren, President Obama's science adviser, cut his teeth in the policy world as an overpopulation obsessive worried about global cooling. But whether warming or cooling, the problem for the climate alarmists, as for other totalitarians, always seems to boil down to the human race itself.

• Intolerance: Why did the scientists at the heart of Climategate go to such lengths to hide or massage the data if truth needs no defense? Why launch campaigns of obstruction and vilification against gadfly Canadian researchers Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick if they were such intellectual laughingstocks? It is the unvarying habit of the totalitarian mind to treat any manner of disagreement as prima facie evidence of bad faith and treason.

Read the rest here.

Monday, December 07, 2009


"Actually, Mr. President ..."

With each passing day I become more convinced that President B. Hussein Obama really isn't all that bright. Look, for example, at a comment he made today:

"On Friday we got the best jobs report that we've gotten in a very long time. And it significantly beat expectations. At minimum, it showed that for all practical purposes, we've stopped losing jobs." [Empasis mine]

Jim Geraghty tells us why that's a particularly dumb thing to say:

Actually, Mr. President, the jobs report said that 131,007,000 Americans were employed in the private sector in nonfarm work in October, and 130,996,000 were employed in that sector in November, a decline of 11,000 jobs. So for all practical purposes, we're still losing jobs, just at a slower rate. You know when we'll stop losing jobs? When that number stays the same or gets bigger than it was the previous month.


A real American Hero

The Weekly Standard's blog tells us about Lt. John William Finn, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This is good stuff:

There were fifteen men awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. Only five survived that horrible day. Only one of them remains.

Lt. John William Finn, USN (Ret.) turned 100 years old on July 23 of this year, and he'll be attending the Pearl Harbor commemoration ceremony at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial today in Hawaii, returning to the Kaneohe Bay waters where he mounted an impressive one-man attack on Japanese fighter planes in the ambush that pulled the U.S. into World War II. Because the bay was attacked several minutes before Pearl Harbor proper, Finn is often called the first Medal of Honor recipient of World War II.

Finn was 17 when he joined the Navy in 1926, eventually getting stationed at Pearl Harbor as an aviation ordnanceman, in charge of anti-aircraft guns, missiles, torpedoes, and distribution of small arms. On the morning of Dec. 7, a neighbor came to his door shouting, "They want you down at the squadron right away!"

Before he could see any battleships, he saw Japanese aircraft in the sky as he drove toward the bay. When he arrived on the scene, he wrested a .50 caliber machine gun from his squadron's painter:

"I said, 'Alex, let me take that gun,'" Finn explained. "I knew that I had more experience firing a machine gun than a painter."

"I got that gun and I started shooting at Jap planes," Finn said in the salty language not uncommon among veterans of that long-ago war.

He put the gun on a makeshift mount, moving it to an open and vulnerable area, where he could clearly see enemy aircraft. Finn was wounded - some reports say more than 20 times — as he stood in the open under Japanese fire.

Check out Finn's Medal of Honor citation here.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Unions suck

I've been disdainful of unions for a long time. My disdain got its spark during an episode at a unionized trucking company.

I worked for a local truck, tractor and trailer rental company when I was an undergraduate student. I was the only person in the office on the weekends, and it was up to me to schedule pick-ups and turn-ins from Friday night to Monday morning. Sometimes folks wouldn't return equipment when they said they would, and then I'd have to go to a competing rental company to get a truck or trailer or whatever.

One particular day, I received two phone calls in quick succession. First, a customer called to say that he wouldn't be returning his truck anytime soon; and then a customer called to inform me that he was on his way to pick up ... the truck that wasn't coming back anytime soon. I got in touch with one of our competitors - I'll call is Company R - to see if they had any trucks available. Sure 'nough they did, so off I went to fetch it.

I walked into the shop and told the shop foreman that I was there to pick up the truck. He informed me that it needed a new headlight, and he informed me that I'd have to wait because all of his mechanics were eating lunch. After waiting 20 minutes, I told him that I really needed to get the truck back to my office because I had a driver who was on his way, if he wasn't there already. Sorry ... not until his guys finished lunch.

After waiting for another 20 minutes, I politely asked the shop foreman if he could just give me the headlight and I would get one of the mechanics at my shop to put it on. Sorry ... that would violate "company policy," which really meant that it would violate some union rule.

A mechanic finally emerged to fix the truck I was waiting on. Let's just say he took his own sweet time fixin' the damned thing. I got back to my office about an hour and a half after I'd left, and then I had to deal with an irate driver who was getting on the road almost an hour later than he'd wanted.

What made the experience especially infuriating was the fact that I knew my boss would've fired any mechanic or shop foreman who sat on his ass when a customer was waiting. Indeed, I'd personally witnessed mechanics at my company leave their lunch on the table when a customer needed help.

I often think about that experience when I read stories like this ...

A Pennsylvania union leader has come under fire after threatening legal action against the city of Allentown for allowing a Boy Scout to voluntarily clear a walking path in a local park.

Nick Balzano, president of the Service Employees International Union's Allentown chapter, said last week that the union might file a grievance against the city for allowing 17-year-old Kevin Anderson to clear the hiking trail, instead of paying some of the 39 recently laid-off SEIU members to do the work.

Balzano's office did not return messages left by, but the Morning Call quoted him as telling the city council that the union would be "looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails. There's to be no volunteers." ...

Anderson, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 301 of Center Valley, spent more than 200 hours creating the 1000-foot path in Kimmets Lock Park along with fellow scouts, friends and parents.

The junior at Southern Lehigh High School said he took on the project in an effort to earn an Eagle Scout badge and allow others to walk along the river while avoiding the busy road nearby.

... and it reinforces my disdain for unions ever further.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


This should scare the $@&! outta you

In a recent press release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said constitutional objections to ObamaCare's individual mandate are "nonsensical." Why? Because, according to Pelosi, "[T]he power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited."

The fact that a sitting Speaker of the House can make such a constitutionally ignorant statement -- which has been virtually ignored, save for a few conservative bloggers -- should scare the bejesus out of every liberty-loving American. It certainly scares the bejesus out of this liberty-loving American.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Resolved: Tanner turned tail

U.S. Rep. John Tanner says his decision retire was a personal decision and not a political decision. Indeed, he said the folks who've suggested he can't survive in his becoming-more-Republican-by-the-day-in-the-age-of-Obama congressional district almost "enticed [him] to run again."

What bullshit. Tanner was out-raised by a 5-to-1 margin in the last reporting quarter by a political unknown who got most of his money from folks in the district. You can't tell me Tanner didn't factor that into his decision to retire.

Furthermore, President B. Hussein Obama -- according to the widely respected Cook Political Report -- is going to be "beyond radioactive" in key Democratic congressional districts next year. You have to f-in' know that Tanner wasn't relishing a re-election effort during which he'd have to answer dozens of questions each day as to when, or if, he was going to invite Obama to come down to Tennessee to campaign with him.

Here's the Cook Report's take on the 2010 prospects of folks like John Tanner ...

Plenty of veteran Democrats who haven't had to break a campaign sweat this decade are quickly losing their aura of invincibility. Next fall, some in this category are likelier to face tough races than many of the 42 less tenured Democrats who populate the "Frontline" list. As of today, eight House Democrats elected prior to 2006 sit in our "Lean Democratic" and "Toss Up" columns, and another 20 whom we view as potentially vulnerable sit in our "Likely Democratic" column.

This is not to say that highly influential and venerated fixtures such as Reps. Ike Skelton (MO-04), John Spratt (SC-05), Bart Gordon (TN-06), John Tanner (TN-08) and Rick Boucher (VA-09) are goners next year. Their eventual vulnerability is highly dependent on the quality of GOP nominees and the discipline of their "time for change" messages. But if these party elders decide to seek reelection rather than retire, the underlying dynamics of their districts suggest at least several will need to fight to survive.

... which Adam Kleinheider should've read before he wrote this.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


My Man Mitt

The White House is hosting a "jobs summit" at the White House today. Invited participant include Big Business leaders, union bosses, nonprofit honchos, and nutjob academics like Paul Krugman.

It's unlikely the summit will amount to a hill of beans because, quite frankly, President Obama hasn't shown any interest in enacting policies that would actually create jobs. His first attempt, the pork-filled stimulus passed earlier this year, has proven to be an abject failure; and the agenda items on the top of the president's to-do list, i.e., cap-and-tax, ObamaCare, significant tax increases in 2011, will simply heap more burdens on small businesses, which create most new jobs.

So, how can America's job engine be restarted? Well, Mitt Romney - who knows something about creating jobs - has some ideas. Perhaps Obama should consider finding a top spot for ol' Mitt somewhere in the White House (Obama's cabinet is lacking in private sector experience, after all).

Here's Mitt's ten-point plan:

• Repair the stimulus. Freeze the funds that haven't yet been spent and redirect them to immediate, private sector job-creation priorities.

• Create tax incentives that promote business expansion and hiring. For example, install a robust investment tax credit, permit businesses to expense capital purchases made in 2010, and reduce payroll taxes. These will reignite construction, technology and a wide array of capital goods industries, and lead to expanded employment.

• Prove to the global investors that finance America's debt that we are serious about reining in spending and becoming fiscally prudent by adopting limits on non-military discretionary spending and reforming our unsustainable, unfunded entitlements. These are key to strengthening the dollar, reducing the threat of rampant inflation and holding down interest rates.

• Close down any talk of carbon cap-and-trade. It will burden consumers and employers with billions in new costs. Instead, greatly expand our commitment to natural gas and nuclear, boosting jobs now and reducing the export of energy jobs and dollars later.

• Tell the unions that job-stifling "card check" legislation is off the table. Laying new burdens on small business will kill entrepreneurship and job creation.

• Don't allow a massive tax increase to go into effect in 2011 with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. The specter of more tax-fueled government spending and the reduction of capital available for small business will hinder investment and business expansion.

• New spending should be strictly limited to items that are critically needed and that we would have acquired in the future, such as new military equipment to support our troops abroad and essential infrastructure at home.

• Install dynamic regulations for the financial sector — rules that are up to date, efficient and not excessively burdensome. But do not so tie up the financial sector with red tape that we lose a vital component of our economic system.

• Open the doors to trade. Give important friends like Colombia favored trade status rather than bow to protectionist demands. Now is the time for aggressive pursuit of opportunities for new markets for American goods, not insular retrenchment.

• Stop frightening the private sector by continuing to hold GM stock, by imposing tighter and tighter controls on compensation, and by pursuing a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers. Government encroachment on free enterprise is depressing investment and job creation.


Caught green-handed

After reading this, if the folks driving around in cars that look like Marvin the Martian's helmet - and the folks who prattle incessantly about "carbon footprints" and the like - don't feel like they've been sold a container of snake oil the size of a wheat silo, well, I don't have much hope for my fellow man (and woman). A sample:

Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.

I don't think most scientists appreciate what has hit them. This isn't only about the credibility of global warming. For years, global warming and its advocates have been the public face of hard science. Most people could not name three other subjects they would associate with the work of serious scientists. This was it. The public was told repeatedly that something called "the scientific community" had affirmed the science beneath this inquiry. A Nobel Prize was bestowed (on a politician). ...

What is happening at East Anglia is an epochal event. As the hard sciences—physics, biology, chemistry, electrical engineering—came to dominate intellectual life in the last century, some academics in the humanities devised the theory of postmodernism, which liberated them from their colleagues in the sciences. Postmodernism, a self-consciously "unprovable" theory, replaced formal structures with subjectivity. With the revelations of East Anglia, this slippery and variable intellectual world has crossed into the hard sciences.

This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies. The New England Journal of Medicine has turned into a weird weekly amalgam of straight medical-research and propaganda for the Obama redesign of U.S. medicine.

The East Anglians' mistreatment of scientists who challenged global warming's claims—plotting to shut them up and shut down their ability to publish—evokes the attempt to silence Galileo. The exchanges between Penn State's Michael Mann and East Anglia CRU director Phil Jones sound like Father Firenzuola, the Commissary-General of the Inquisition.


Down and out on the left-wing

Jim Geraghty says no one has had a rougher year than left-wingers. Consider:

On January 1 of this year, they probably thought...

A stimulus bill would create jobs and lower the unemployment rate.

ACORN was a noble and trustworthy organization.

The data proving climate change was reliable (and could be found!).

Reaching out to Iran could yield dividends.

Less than 115,000 U.S. troops would be in Iraq, ten months after Obama took office.

An executive order requiring the closure of Guantanamo Bay within one year couldn't just be ignored.

The Republican party was dead in places like Virginia, and was long since irrelevant in places like New Jersey.

Gay marriage would be voted into law in New York and Maine.

That while some drop was inevitable, President Obama's approval rating would be consistently above 50 percent at the end of the year.

More than 60 percent of Democrats would indicate they would vote in the 2010 midterm elections.

With 60 Democrats in the Senate and 257 Democrats in the House, passing a health care bill with a public option would be smooth sailing.

What's that saying? "Man plans, God laughs"?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Quote of the day

"One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly."

-- Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel


Buh-bye, John Tanner

U.S. Rep. John Tanner (D-Union City) has announced that he's retiring. No, wait, he said he and his wife are retiring: [W]e have made the decision not to seek re-election to Congress." That sorta reminds me of the idiot guys who go around talking about how "we're pregnant" when their wives are expecting.

Anywho, one of the very first Nigh Seen Creeder posts dealt with John Tanner. I'm re-posting it below because, quite frankly, I'm not sad to see the man go.

Enjoy ...

An old saying suggests that a person should be willing to put his or her money where his or her mouth is. When it comes to elected officials, this catchphrase rings especially true.

U.S. Representative John Tanner, who fancies himself a fiscal conservative without peer in congress, has spent the past five years or so harping on the size of the national debt. (Tanner's also taken to complaining about the amount of U.S. debt held by foreign entities, which suggests that 1992-style anti-Asia economic hysteria still has legs in certain political circles.)

A few months back, Tanner recruited U.S. Rep. - and wannabe U.S. Senator - Harold Ford, Jr., aka Junior, to take part in his debt crusade, and he has submitted op-eds to newspapers across the state in which he predicts doomsday if the national debt continues to grow. Conspicuously absent from Representative Tanner's little rants are any concrete solutions to reduce the national debt. He simply takes issue with the "fiscal irresponsibility" of the Bush Administration, and he proposes grandiose schemes to eliminate "waste, fraud, abuse."

Complaining about the size of the national debt has apparently become John Tanner's political raison d'être. Folks who visit his congressional Web site will not only find eight or ten links dealing with the debt issue (including an impressive tutorial on T-bills and the like), but a chart indicating each citizen's "share" of the national debt is prominently displayed as well. Tanner's thoughts on how to reduce the national debt, however, are rather skimpy. This is typical Tanner-speak:

Congress and the President must make a commitment to bringing the federal budget back into balance. This last happened in the mid 1990s, when the federal government balanced its budget and even began paying down its debt.

The temporary elimination of the deficit - and the "paying down" of debt - during the 1990s occurred because the Pentagon's military capability was slashed by 40 percent. Without this deep cut in military spending, John Tanner would not be able to crow about the Clinton Administration's supposed "fiscal responsibility." Furthermore, when the war on terror began in earnest in 2001, the military found itself severely lacking in both materiel and manpower. (Deficit hawks in the Democratic Party, John Tanner included, seem unwilling to discuss this particular aspect of the supposed Clinton Boom.)

That being said, Representative John Tanner was once presented with an unprecedented opportunity to tame the federal budget ... and he quickly punted. In 1994, U.S. Representatives Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Bob Zeliff (R-NH) proposed a special session of congress during which every federal expenditure would be scrutinized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The ten-day special session would have been restricted to spending cuts and no federal program would have been off limits. John Tanner publicly supported the "A to Z" bill, but he would not sign a discharge petition to send the legislation to the House floor for a vote. Tanner caved when Democratic Speaker Tom Foley - who'd soon find himself out of a job - demanded from on high that the A to Z plan should be sh**-canned.

"Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it," Mark Twain once quipped. John Tanner likes to complain about the national debt, yet he's not prepared to offer one substantive idea to reduce said debt. Like a good Democrat, Tanner steadfastly refuses to lay a single federal program - in whole or in part - on the chopping block lest he offend the unions and liberal special interests who bankroll his and his comrade's campaigns.

Put your money where your mouth is, Representative Tanner. We're waiting ...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


"Just when you thought"

It has to suck being a Democrat these days (see here and here and here).

The 7 November National Review ain't gonna give Democrats much additional hope, indeed:

Just when you thought things might be getting better for the GOP, Gallup delivers some bad news: Among independent voters, Republicans are leading Democrats on the generic congressional ballot by 22 percent. Only 22 percent. Could there be more compelling evidence for what a rump the GOP has become, appealing only to anti-government nuts and tobacco-spitters in the South? It is always possible that the Republicans will drop all the way down to a 20-point lead among independents. And then what hope will the party have of emerging from the wilderness?

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