What Radicalization?

Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat who represents a portion of my hometown (Houston, TX) in the House of Representatives, opened her yap in a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee yesterday and shined a bright light on the ignorance of liberals when it comes to radical Islam:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBAmPxSI8bo&feature=player_embedded]

First, she brings up Vernon J. Merrill, who wrote a letter detailing how radical Islam is spreading like wildfire in our prisons – then points out that he bombed an abortion clinic. The problem is that I can’t find a single article about the man and have no way to verify what she’s claiming. Her point is that the man listed is a Christian militant – and she says, “information is welcome, condemnation is not.” I’m sorry, but how is it that the intel being quoted by the former head of the New York Department of Corrections is NOT welcome information? Then she goes on a bent about how Christian militants also wish to undermine America. Sure, they’re out there, but when was the last time you saw a Christian preaching conversion or death? When was the last time you saw a Christian trying to commit mass murder? Sorry, abortion clinic bombings are as horribly wrong as what the occupants of those clinics do but that’s not mass murder and there’s not a church in this country that would be stupid enough to train people to do that. To accuse Christians of militancy and trying to bring down America is beyond absurd. It is a patently outrageous lie.

Dare I mention where I used to work for the umpteen jillionth time? Meet Mack Gordnattaz, whom I met while he was incarcerated with the juvenile corrections facility in Phoenix. He openly fantasized about having a son whom he would raise to be a Muslim jihadist and assassin. Here’s Luther Davis, the “legend” of my academy class (every prison academy has one), and the most violent little bastard I ever came across among juveniles. He was extremely racist; he openly hated white people and spoke frequently of wanting to kill Americans for the sake of jihad (he was also illiterate and had a mother and grandmother who thought he walked on water). I knew of others in adult prison, but these two will be out in a couple of years while the others I knew were in for life.

While Fox News reported that not all of the witnesses at today’s hearing agreed with radical Islam spreading in our prisons, I noticed a sharp disparity between the witnesses. Democrat Laura Richardson openly called the hearings “racist” and decried the fact that Islam was being singled out:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3u_L2TBpeA]

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) rightly calls her out for her one-sided comments. He is correct in that every single time the subject of gang members and similar criminal organizations have extended beyond the prisons, nobody has never had a problem with it – as long as they were white. Now all of a sudden it’s a problem (never mind the fact that not all Muslims are black or Middle Eastern or whichever skin color you prefer – Jose Padilla was radicalized and he was Hispanic).

I’d pose this question to Rep. Richardson: who the hell else is plotting to blow us all to kingdom come?!?

Democrat Bennie Thompson felt it necessary to point out prison statistics:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6dfcVmsqHM]

His most astounding remark was about murder victim James Byrd, Jr. He said, “let’s not forget that James Byrd was dragged to his death on a back road in Texas by right-wing gang members who were radicalized in jail.”

Wait…huh???

Of the three men who murdered Byrd, Shawn Berry hadn’t done hard time and there was almost no evidence to prove that he was a racist. The other two, Lawrence Brewer and John King, had done hard time and had been documented members of the Aryan Brotherhood – they had joined the gang for protection. What they did was reprehensible, but they were hardly right-wing and his comment that they were part of a “right-wing gang” was a completely perverse accusation that conservatives are racists.

Then, Thompson makes the comment I have been waiting to hear from a Democrat: the Adam Gadhan “gun show” video. He says that Gadhan announces that you can legally buy fully-automatic guns at gun shows, and “that is correct.” Horsehockey. Fully-automatic weapons are illegal for civilian sale or ownership without a federal firearms license, and those are not easy to obtain. He talks about 250 people on a terror watch list being cleared to buy guns – how many of them were cleared under the unbelievable “Fast and Furious” operation? He is, of course, shooting his own argument full of holes (pun definitely intended); he starts out by claiming that radical Islam isn’t much of a threat, then he ends up right back at radical Islam actually posing a threat. Then he says that we’re not in danger from people who are already locked up, but he follows that by saying that we’re in danger from gangs who use prisons as a base for criminal operations. This guy doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

The only actual witness who said there’s no evidence of radical Islam spreading in prisons was Bart Udeem, the professor from Purdue. All he could point to were the “low number of confirmed cases”. Outside, an imam who was protesting said the hearing was unfair and singled out Muslims. Inside, the only people on the Committee who attacked the hearings did so by essentially calling them politically incorrect and didn’t know their facts. There’s an important pattern here…take a look at the witnesses who testified that radicalization is becoming a serious problem: Patrick Dunleavy is retired from the executive staff of the New York Department of Correctional Services; Kevin Smith is a former federal prosecutor from California; and Michael Downing is a deputy chief with the LAPD. These are men who have decades of experience in working with the criminal element. They know what they’re talking about. I would like to know what experience Bart Useem, Laura Richardson, Sheila Jackson-Lee and Bennie Thompson have in law enforcement.

None? Okay. Stop calling these questions politically incorrect and face reality. The sad fact is that Islam knows perfectly well that a good portion of America is afraid of offending them (such as the aforementioned braindead Democrats). They are using that against us. Taking away our basic rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure isn’t stopping them from plotting to kill us. Taking away our guns will only make us sitting ducks. Plugging your ears and going, “LA LA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA LAAAAA” isn’t going to make the threat go away. They are thanking Allah for your ignorance while they plan to slaughter you. We all know what’s going to happen when they start trying to kill us; you’ll run and hide in the corner, and the rest of us who have real spines will be the ones who grab our gear and run toward the danger. You don’t want to fight? Fine. Get out of the way and let us do it. When it’s over you can go back to calling us racists and screaming about how it’s Unconstitutional to fail to provide for people who refuse to work.

The only sanity I found was when those with the experience and the backbone to apply it were speaking:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAWWIfTMhsA]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrzHBCNx3NI]

Allen West Will Not Be Intimidated

News reports are coming out this week that Democrats are trying desperately to rally the troops (so to speak) to have the kind of turnout and reaction that Republicans saw during the health care town hall protests. They’re forgetting a few things…first of all, not everything that went on at those protests was very good. Both Democrats and Republicans behaved poorly. There were plenty of disruptions and more than a few fights. Many were arrested and some even ended up in the hospital.

Yesterday, however, newly-elected Rep. Allen West of Florida – a retired Marine Lt. Colonel – held a townhall. A handful of liberals called upon by their leaders did turn out, and they tried to heckle Rep. West and disrupt the meeting. They were soundly booed, and when they were asked by police to leave, the entire crowd cheered:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9h1XHlEPjo&feature=player_embedded]

The woman you see being arrested in the last half is Nicole Sandler, former Air America jockey and now a private radio-show host. She posted on her own blog. If you go to the YouTube page for the video linked above and read the comments, you see the same old, same old: profiteering is evil, he didn’t answer her question, Allen West is a thug, I don’t recall Republicans getting arrested during the health care town halls, all conservatives are Nazis and need to be run out of the country, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, liberals…let’s take another lesson in reality.

-There WERE quite a few arrests during the health care town hall meetings. Both Democrats and Republicans were arrested for assaults, destruction of property, refsuing to obey police orders, and a few other charges. Shouting matches turned into near-riot situations, including in St. Louis, where one man had his shirt ripped off and another was beaten unconscious by liberal protesters (six were arrested in those two incidents).

-Allen West is not responsible for directing law enforcement at a town hall event. He didn’t make any gestures, didn’t say anything, he didn’t argue – Nicole was removed by a police sergeant who had already removed one heckler. You can’t call him a thug unless he was personally responsible for a violent act. I’m sorry, but the only violence I saw was coming from Nicole herself.

-After the outrageous behavior that occurred during the health care town halls, police were on heightened alert to avoid the same embarrassment this time around. Anybody who was seen as a disruption would have been immediately asked to leave; part of that would have been at the direction of the owners of the property where the meeting was being held. There is nothing wrong with being asked to leave. At that point, she wasn’t being arrested.

-As the officer was escorting her from the building, she kept stopping to talk to people. That was when the officer gave her some quiet, gentle redirection. He wasn’t yelling, wasn’t saying much at all – he just put a hand on her back to let her know which direction she was supposed to be headed in. That was when she decided to escalate the situation by turning, screaming, cursing, wagging a finger in the officer’s face and making demands. You cannot do that to a police officer. By training, he sees that as aggression and will immediately arrest you.

-The officer still didn’t yell. He quietly said what was going to happen, told her what she was being arrested for, and ended up with people STILL disobeying his orders. Nicole was trying to do things she wasn’t allowed to do (give her belongings to another person, insinuating that the officer would erase footage on her camera), and her friends were refusing to back away – they kept trying to step in, kept asking why she was being arrested, and only barely complied when asked to back away.

-AT NO POINT DID ANY PERSON INFRINGE ON NICOLE SANDLER’S RIGHTS. She was not being told that she couldn’t speak her mind freely. She was simply being asked to do so elsewhere. If she’d wanted to stand on the corner outside the event and scream at people as they left, as long as she kept her distance and didn’t get into a fight, she would have been allowed to do it. She could have quietly left, written a letter to Rep. West, and if she didn’t get a response the way she wanted, she could have vented in any forum she wanted as long as her speech didn’t include death threats.

Nicole Sandler was not arrested for her political speech; she was asked to leave because of her behavior, and later arrested when she deliberately escalated that behavior. You cannot behave any which way you like and expect that it will be protected. When you attend a certain event, there will be a format and rules. Fail to obey them and you can be asked to leave. There’s nothing Unconstitutional about it. All of the claims of Nazism, thuggery and infringement of rights? I will again refer you to my post about Nazis being left-wing.

My favorite part of the whole thing? It was when Allen West quietly listened to her yell, gave her some wiggle room, and finally said, “I will not be intimidated.” I like Allen West. When is he gonna run for the Presidency?

Facts are stubborn things

Democrats have long relied on emotions to garner support from the masses, as evidenced by the myriad of bills passed with names like “Affordable Health Care for America Act,” which doesn’t make health care (or health insurance) more affordable, but does impose hundreds of taxes and fees, and allows for the government takeover of student loans and other provisions which have nothing to do with health care.

This tactic is currently going on in the state of Nevada as newly-elected Republican Governor Brian Sandoval attempts to fix a looming budget crisis. At his State of the State address in January, Gov. Sandoval announced he would be reducing the amount of funding to high education with a “less than 7% cut” from the state’s general fund. He went on to say that counting stimulus dollars from 2009-10, the net result would be a 17.66% decrease in funding for higher education.

Immediately the Democrats went to work! Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, who gave the Democrats’ response to Sandoval’s address, said the cuts to higher education would “feel like a 36% cut.” Oceguera’s math skills are just another glaring example of the poor education system in Nevada, but nevertheless, this hyperbole should not be allowed to continue.

On Thursday, January 27th, UNLV President Neal Smatresk appeared on “Face to Face” with Jon Ralston – a local political show in Nevada. Smatresk said, “Our current budget is $172 million. It would go down to $125 million. That’s a huge reduction by any measure.”

Smatresk is right! That’s a decrease of $47 million, or 27.3%!

But what is UNLV’s budget? Is it $172 million as Smatresk says?

According to the Nevada Policy Research Institute, UNLV’s total operating funds for fiscal year 2011 (which we are currently in) is $642,517,830. That’s not exactly $127 million, now is it?

In fact, a $47 million cut from $642.5 million is around 7% — not 27%, and not 36%.

Many, including the Young Democrats at UNLV, are now saying that Gov. Sandoval is cutting 29.1% from higher education in Nevada. This number is achieved if you consider the roughly $557 million higher education received from the state’s general fund in the 2009-10 biennium, compared with the $395 million it will receive in 2013.

But, if you consider that the state’s general fund only accounts for 30% of the entire Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) budget, all of these arguments fall completely flat on their face.

The total operating funds for the NSHE in FY2011 is $1,744,202,381. A cut of $162 million is roughly 9% – not 29.1%, not 27%, and not 36%.

In fact, a reduction of $162 million from the NSHE budget will still leave the system with 3.6% more money than it had in 2007, just before the economic crisis began.

Not too shabby.

So, why all the hyperbole and doomsday proclamations? Here’s your answer.

When Smatresk claimed, in his “Face to Face” interview, that UNLV had already faced $49.6 million in budget cuts over the past four years, he neglected to mention that UNLV’s total operating budget from FY2007 – FY2011 actually INCREASED 10%!

Poor guy.

The argument is now being made that tuition may need to be increased 73% to make up for these “unprecedented” cuts. That’s remarkable, because from FY2000-FY2010, tuition at UNLV went up 74%! Student fees over the same time period went up 770.8%!

The NSHE, as well as education officials like UNLV President Smatresk, have an obligation to be cheerleaders for higher education. I get that. And obviously their priority is the education of students, right?

Over the past decade, the number of administrators-per-student at UNLV has gone up 90%, while the number of instructors-per-student has gone down 6.6%. How exactly does that help educate students?

Since 2000, UNLV’s total spending has increased 140%, and per-pupil spending from 2003-2010 has increased over 18% (adjusted for inflation). Has education at UNLV improved 140%? Have the graduation rates improved 18%? The answer to both is: No.

The 4-year graduation rate at UNLV is a dismal 11%. The 8-year “Van Wilder Plan” graduation rate stands at an embarrassingly low 48%. That means more than HALF of UNLV’s 24,000 students will NEVER graduate, and we’re supposed to believe money is the problem?

So while Nevada’s Republican Governor tries to save the state hardest hit by the housing market crash and ensuing economic disaster, Democrats are once again politicizing an issue that shouldn’t be political.

Most people, Republican, Democrat or otherwise, care about education, even if we disagree on methods and policy. But twisting numbers to fit an agenda does nothing to help solve the problem. In fact, placing the blame on Gov. Sandoval prevents any focus from being put on how UNLV and the NSHE spend the money they already have.

Surely the NSHE can find a way to cut 9% out of its $1.7 billion total budget. Sure it may suck to have to renegotiate the contracts of high-paid tenured professors and non-educators, but that’s life. Maybe UNLV can’t buy the old Carl’s Jr. building for a cool million. Perhaps the brand-new 40,000-seat domed stadium will have to wait. These guys get paid the big bucks to make tough decisions. UNLV head honcho Smatresk makes $25k/year less than President Obama – and I don’t hear Obama complaining about how stressful his days are.

Ultimately, the budget cuts are a matter of simple math. The cuts are $162 million, and the total NSHE budget is $1.7 billion. Do the math. Its 9%.

$1.7 billion – $162 million = a 9% cut.

9%.

Not 17%, not 22%, not 29%, not 36%.

9%.

Neal Smatresk: “I estimate we lose a third to up to half of our whole programs if that cut actually goes through.”

9%.

Point that out, and you’re called a liar – or worse. They can spin it all they want, but it is still 9%.

Meanwhile, Nevada leads the nation in bankruptcies, foreclosures, and unemployment, and has the worst graduation rates in the nation.

The 200,000 unemployed Nevadans saw their income decrease by 100%.

The NSHE will see a 9% cut.

It’s 9%.

“Life Must Go On As Usual”

It’s hard to admit making a mistake, but I owe the regular visitors of this website; along with my fellow contributors here, an apology.

The same day Congresswoman Giffords was shot, I reacted badly to the first article written by the AP on the story.  The article, which I linked to on my post where I specifically blamed the left, was written about 30 minutes after the tragedy.  This early on they were already linking Sarah Palin and the tea party to it.  In all honesty, my post was a reaction to that. (Along with a Facebook page I had found that has since been deleted portraying Loughner as a liberal).

As much as I disagree with liberals on pretty much everything, it was wrong for me to link the violent behavior of one idiot to an entire political party.  What I did was no better than what liberals (some of them) were doing to Sarah Palin.  As such, I shall remember that not everyone on the left is clinically insane and I apologize to Mel, Mark, Chris, and Philip (along with our regular visitors) who have to “share” this space with me.

That being said, I’d like to move forward with another aspect of how our country is prematurely responding to this tragedy. 

Aside from Sheriff Dumbnik’s running around and blaming everyone on the right; taking the attention away from him and the Police Department there in Tucson who had been getting warnings about Jared Loughner for the past three years, I have a huge problem with shutting down Congress over this.

It sends the wrong message.

On October 12, 1984, Margaret Thatcher was headlining the annual conservative conference in Brighton.  While the workaholic Iron Lady was preparing documents at 2 a.m. for business at the conference the next day, a bomb went off in the hotel.  Luckily, Margaret Thatcher and her husband had been moved to another room earlier in the day.  Nevertheless, many were killed and injured.  Mrs. Thatcher was immediately treated and examined for light injuries sustained and went to the police station. 

Almost immediately, the media and others speculated whether or not the conference would remain scheduled.  Upon exiting the police station, Lady Thatcher made her first statement to the media:

You hear about these atrocities, these bombs, you never expect them to happen to you.  But life must go on, as usual.

She also added that her conference would not be cancelled and would continue to go on “as usual” she said sternly.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXTJ6g3no5M&feature=related]

The next day with very little sleep, Mrs. Thatcher kept her committment and arrived to the conference.  She not only defied the wishes of the bomber, she also showed up on time and said:

The fact that we are gathered here today, shocked but composed and determined, is a sign not only that this attack has failed but that all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.

Lady Thatcher wasn’t showing cruelty to the victims who lost their lives.  As a leader of a nation, she had to resume business as usual to let the enemies of civilization and freedom know that she and her people in majority were in control and their rights to freedom and political process would not end. 

Similarly, as a political leader, John Boehner made a very decent and honorable statement in honor of Congresswoman Giffords.  Now, members of the media at the Washington Post are questioning his sincerity because he did not cry when he made the statement and also thought it was wrong for him to point out the fact that public servants of all levels were and always will be at some risk, but it was no reason to be deterred from doing their jobs.

Perhaps someone should tell the writer, Courtland Milloy, that we are supposed to learning a lesson about political rhetoric from this.

To reassure you, the shooting made us all sad, Mr. Milloy.  But on Saturday, I had to stay at my office anyway.  I had to get our income tax software ready for our filing season.  I had to make sure my files were cleaned out ready to be filled with new paperwork.  I had to organize my desk and clean out my drawers.  Then on Sunday, I had to go back.  Monday, I had to work and meet with clients.  Today, I had to go to a tax seminar to further prepare for my work that is vastly approaching.

Similarly, Congress should not be shutting down over this.  The best way to let lunatics like Loughner know that the only thing their potential dangerous violence is going to get them is a one-way ticket to the electric chair is to not allow our daily lives to be changed.  The world keeps on turning and “life must go on as usual.”

Joy Behar and other liberals — obviously ignoring Sheriff Dumbnik’s warning of political rhetoric — responded to Boehner by calling him “Boner” (the same party who created the term “teabagger”) — and somehow turning his promise to the people who elected the new Congress that they would indeed proceed with their promise to begin doing what we sent them there to do into an act of hate.  It makes you wonder who decides what political rhetoric is.  It also makes you wonder what “hate” is.

I have faith in the American people that they understand the bigger picture.  Boehner reserves his tears for moments of triumph.  When we overcome obstacles and tragedies and evils and plow through it in a way that only American exceptionalism can guarantee.

It seems to me that the people blaming Sarah Palin, criticizing Boehner, and everyone else on the right are the ones spreading the hate now.  It also seems to me that they reserve their tears in a sad effort to exploit tragedies to argue for bigger government and more infringements on our freedoms and liberties.

Americans are learning and we won’t forget.  But one thing remains true: “life must go on, as usual!”

Death Panels and Brewers and Nazis, Oh My!

I have some of the most interesting conversations with liberals. Sometimes, like tonight, I’m both amused and think I should beat my head against the wall for all the good I’m doing. I thought you might like to hear about this one.

Remember during the big debate over nationalized health care, when Sarah Palin started talking about death panels? We all remember what happened. The Keith Olbermanns and Rachel Maddows of the left-wing press laughed until they cried, accusing her of using fear-mongering tactics to scare conservatives into being against universal health care. Well, things sure have changed since then. Jan Brewer, governor of my current home state of Arizona (yes, I still consider myself a Texan – AZ is my second home), has been forced to make cuts across the board to try to balance the state budget. Among those cuts are major cuts to AHCCCS, the state-funded health care system for the poor and uninsured. Democrats around the country have decried Brewer and ordered that she stop her DEATH PANELS and undo the cuts she signed for.

Don’t hold your breath, folks…the fact that liberals are now using the term themselves is about as close as we’re ever going to get to an apology. We’ll never see them give that sheepish look and hear them say, “okay, so…they do exist!” It ain’t gonna happen. Suggest, however, that they stop being as hysterical as they’ve accused us of being, and they go monkeynuts. Take a look:

Mel Maguire: Here and I thought death panels didn’t exist.

Dorothy Wellington: It is my prayer that Arizona will not become a “Hitler State.” Yourself and many others are on the right path and God’s will, will be accomplished.

Barbara Friedkin: She is a irrational woman cruel B—- Karen…Watch this!!! She is one sick blood thirsty! Bitch! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5muf5oBSppA

(Note, the video she linked had absolutely nothing to do with the conversation.)

MM: Please, Dorothy, do not demean the realities of Hitler’s Germany by claiming that we’re on the path to becoming a “Hitler state”. It isn’t just childish, it is disrespectful to those who survived the horrors that Hitler visited upon the world.

BF: I am a child from a polish survivor family. This is just how it began there!

MM: Really, Barbara? Seriously? It began with the government making cuts to health care? You are delusional. Nazism took hold because the government was broke and the people were so desperately demoralized after they were forced to abide by the Treaty of Versailles after WWI that they welcomed a charismatic individual who promised to give them their pride back.

BF: Really Mel It sounds like Sarah Palin to me! I am a student of the Holocaust. There were many reasons for it. First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me. by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

MM: Barbara, as I recall Sarah Palin was the first to bring up the notion of death panels – and liberals verbally flayed her for suggesting it was a possibility. Olbermann and Maddow laughed her off as a loon, saying she was being hysterical a…nd there would be no death panels in universal healthcare in the US. Now, as we can see, even when the government isn’t in control of all health care, those death panels DO exist. I haven’t heard a single liberal admit their mistake.

If you’re a student of that barbaric time in recent history, you’d know that the Jews call it Shoah, not the Holocaust (calling it that is an insult to Judaism as it refers to a burnt offering in Greek). While the quote is a powerful one, quoting Niemoller doesn’t justify you calling what’s going on now the next step toward a second Shoah. That is a hysteria that most conservatives point to when they try to prove that all liberals are insane.

BF: Mel it is waste of my time to even go there but the death panels she spoke of were end of life wishes that everyone should have in place and are MANDATORY UNDER ALASKA LAW! SARAH SIGNED THE BILL IN ALASKA AND HAD A DAY TO CELEBRATE IT! Go get an education but I sure you are against that too. http://pubrecord.org/politics/3560/palin-backed-end-of-life-counseling/

(Stop and read that last comment one last time. She is referring to a law that Palin signed that required that the elderly and terminally ill be counseled on advance directives by their medical care providers.)

MM: Unlike you, I have an education, hon. The death panels she was talking about were bureaucratic groups that exist in every government health care organization who convene to determine what they are capable and/or willing to pay for. Pay attention, sweetie. End-of-life counseling is a far cry from the death panels she talked about and what’s going on now. You didn’t even read three lines into that article you linked.

BF: Mel we got it you are a selfish self serving individual who has no interest in his community. We got it. You can’t handle the truth! It was the end of life counseling that she referred to as Death panels.

MM: An “advance directive” is what we in the health care field use to determine what a person’s legal wishes are. Yes, some people need counseling on the legal issues. I went on a call once for a man who died peacefully, surrounded by his fam…ily, after a long illness. According to his family, it was his wish that he die at home exactly as he did – however, because he didn’t understand what the law says about that sort of thing, the police had to round up the family, keep ’em in one place, question them all (and there were quite a few of them – including children) and investigate the man’s death.

Advance directives for those who are nearing the end of life due to either age or illness are important, believe it or not. Legal counseling on those issues is a good thing.

BF: Did they see your picture before they let you in their house. What are you afraid of Mel?

MM: Barbara…I would try correcting you again, but you are apparently so convinced of what you’re saying that you’re not going to listen or admit that you may have misunderstood the issue. I’m not afraid of anything. I’ve been stabbed, had guns pointed at me, been thrown off the second tier of an inmate housing unit, attacked with bare fists, thrown furniture – I have no fear, particularly not of a liberal who shows up for a battle of wits completely unarmed.

BF: IT IS YOU KIDS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THIS I HAVE BEEN AN ACTIVIST SINCE I WAS 16! MEL YOU ARE ONE ANGRY KID I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO.

There was a courageous gal named Karen also responding, but to cut down on the space, I only brought one part of the conversation over (it is all cut-and-pasted, spelling errors and all). Click here to read the entire exchange.

ROFL!!!

This absolutely made me laugh so hard my evening beer came out my nose…yes, it hurt…get out both your tissue and your barf bags, because you’ll either laugh until you cry or you’ll forcefully regurgitate what you had for breakfast yesterday after reading this.

Remember Paul Rubi, from the last post? You know…the guy who (as described by AirForceWife) essentially put his fingers in his ears and went, “LALALALALA”? Well, Senator-elect Sinema went to Washington DC and this was what our buddy Paul Rubi had to say to her:

“Please communicate to the President that he is a man of great intellect and talent and that I believe in him and his vision for America; what I don’t like is that he is failing to forcefully communicate to the American people the accomplishments of his administration. He needs to be as energetic and articulate as he was in his a campaign for president. Please tell him: STOP BEING NICE TO THE REPUBLICANS! We are fighting for the soul of America. Can you please share these sentiments with him? Tell him the DREAM Act must be passed!”

Oh, holy good Godfrey…THAT is funny!

Failing to forcefully communicate the accomplishments of his administration? Honey, he’s communicated that just fine. We’re well aware of his accomplishments – the problem is that we don’t like them. We don’t see his “accomplishments” as a positive thing. He hasn’t been nice to the Republicans once since he took office, and his ramming of the crap sandwich down our collective throats is what pissed us all off in the first place! I guess if he gets out there and screams a little louder we’ll all start believing him, right? Oh, wait – HE ALREADY TRIED THAT! I suppose since so many people are unhappy with him he should “forcefully communicate” that conservatives aren’t allowed to use his name without his express permission, the way Hugo Chavez did today. This isn’t a free country, after all. We’re not allowed to think for ourselves in America.

OY. Some peoples’ kids…

Send Rangel Packing!

(Note: I just read news on one of my hometown’s news sites – click here – that Sarah Palin’s daughter Willow used gay slurs against another Facebook user. Some kid named Tre commented, albeit dishonestly, that “Sarah Palin’s Alaska is failing so hard right now”. This was said despite the fact that the show garnered more viewers on its debut episode than any other show in TLC’s history. Willow fired back calling him a “faggot” and posted on his wall, “Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I’ve seen pictures of, your disgusting.” All of us here, myself included, have long supported and defended Sarah and her family and I am stung by this latest revelation. Sarah is going to be in Phoenix, which is where I now reside, next week and I had planned to attend the event. I will personally follow this story and report on what happens, if anything.)

I would write a post about the brave soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor today, but the good sergeant is uncomfortable in the spotlight and doesn’t feel he deserves it. While I respectfully disagree, there is another matter that caught my attention.

New York Democrat Charlie Rangel, a member of the US House of Representatives for 40 years, was found guilty today by a panel of four Republicans and four Democrats of 11 of the 13 charges against him.

In 2008, the New York Times reported that Rangel had rented four rent-controlled units in a Harlem apartment complex at less than half the market value. He was living in three, which had been combined to one unit, and was using the fourth as his campaign headquarters. The same story claimed that one of the owners of the property (a member of the Olnick Organization) had contributed heavily to Rangel. It was later reported that he’d failed to report income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic – and he was supposed to report that income both to the IRS and to the House of Representatives. It came out that, while occupying his rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, he was also claiming a homestead tax break on a home in the District – and when he sold that home in the Capitol, he failed to report that income as well. He fought for tens of millions of dollars in tax shelters for Nabors Industries, which had contributed $1 million to the City College of New York to have a school named after Rangel. He paid $80,000 to his son’s internet server company to create a PAC website that was so poorly designed that experts said it shouldn’t have cost more than $100. It was discovered he had upwards of $500,000 in a credit union checking account, two properties in New Jersey, stock in PepsiCo and other companies – all of which he failed to report.

Then, about a year ago, Rangel used his clout as the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to stop legislation that would have brought to a screeching halt nearly $4 billion in bailouts for a British rum distillery, Diageo, to make rum in the US Virgin Islands. Just before he did this it was discovered he received an undisclosed amount of campaign contributions for the deal.

In March of this year, Rangel announced he was taking a leave of absence from his post on the House Ways and Means Committee (which, by the way, writes legislation relating to tax codes). Yesterday, his hearing before the aforementioned board began. However, just a short while into the hearing, Rangel announced that he could no longer afford legal representation after paying his lawyers $2 million and refused to defend himself (despite being a lawyer). He walked out of the hearing. Of the 13 charges against him the panel found him guilty of 11. What’s astounding was his salty reaction: “How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the ethics subcommittee when I was deprived of due process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room? I can only hope that the full committee will treat me more fairly, and take into account my entire 40 years of service to the Congress before making any decisions on sanctions.”

That’s rich. After 40 years in Congress, he is caught greasing palms and accepting inappropriate favors, and he walks out on his own hearing, refusing to even stand in his own defense – and it’s somehow the panel’s fault? I’m sorry, but I was pretty sure this was a CONGRESSIONAL panel, not a court of law. The Constitution doesn’t necessarily apply to House Ethics Panels. If you break the rules of the House (which are not listed in the founding documents, BTW), you are subject to a different set of rules – much like the military and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). You’re not facing jail time, Charlie. We’re talking about loss of Congressional seniority and privileges. It’s a tad different.

Somehow, though, I get the feeling that the man will die in office, just as Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy did before him. He’ll refuse to retire. His constituents will refuse to abandon him no matter how crooked he is. He will ride that wave of ridiculous loyalty to his grave because his constituents are just as crooked as he is and are only looking out for Number One. When the shoe’s on the other foot, though, they’ll accuse everyone else in America of the same damn thing while they demand free healthcare and housing.

Wonder why Rangel cursed and walked away from Jason Mattera in 2008 when Mattera had the gall to question him on his ethics? Because he’s guilty and he has no defense.

Tuesday’s Revolution

I love foreign affairs, foreign policy issues, international news, etc.  But I also enjoy peeking around the corner to understand foreign perspectives on American events – particularly politics.  The London Daily Telegraph is always a great source.  And this article by Janet Daley is more introspective in terms of Tuesday’s elections than any American source I have read.  It’s amazing how much clarity is realized from the outside looking in.

More than three centuries ago, the residents of America staged a rebellion against an oppressive ruler who taxed them unjustly, ignored their discontents and treated their longing for freedom with contempt. They are about to revisit that tradition this week, when their anger and exasperation sweep through Congress like avenging angels. This time the hated oppressor isn’t a foreign colonial government, but their own professional political class.

Daley appropriately identifies the Tea Party movement as a grassroots reaction against the political establishment rather than some arm of the Republican Party.  And she correctly identifies the terms of the Tea Party’s tentative support of the GOP in this election in her evaluation of the upcoming midterm elections.

My Republican friends, perhaps surprisingly, were not gloating. They were too furious. But contrary to the superficial British assumption (heavily promoted by the BBC), they were not devoting their excoriation exclusively to the Obama Administration – or even to its clique of Congressional henchmen, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. That they were opposed to the Big State, European social democratic model of government which Obama had imported to Washington went almost without saying. But they were at least as angry with the leadership of their own party for having conceded far too much of the argument…..

So the Republicans are, if anything, as much in revolt against the establishment within their own party as they are against the Democrats. And this is what the Tea Parties (which should always be referred to in the plural, because they are not a monolithic movement) are all about: they are not just a reaction against a Left-liberal president but a repudiation of the official Opposition as well.

Assuming that the GOP benefits resoundingly from voter anger on Tuesday, the Republican leadership should be fully aware that this mandate is not a response to their establishment policies or agenda.  It is not even an endorsement of the GOP platform.  Their mandate will come from a total rejection of Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s attempts to push Big Government.  And many of the voters who put the GOP into power will be independent voters, unaffiliated with either political party.

I am socially conservative on most all issues.  I also want a strong miltary and an emphasis on national defense (independents won’t disagree with this).  But this election is about the economy and overbearing government intrusion.  And that intrusion finds itself creeping into many of the social causes that I hold dear.  The thing that I hold in common with the frustrated independent voters is a desire to get the government out of our lives.  This may seem libertarian, but is also a basic tenet of our nation’s founding principles.

It seems like voters are returning to those foundations in the face of the frightening alternative.  The GOP will likely benefit from this phenomenom based on the philosophical underpinnings of the Republican Party in contrast to the Democrat philosophy of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.  The GOP will be entrusted with a very specific mandate.  And if they screw up like they did last time or misinterpret that mandate – I can assure you that the wrath from voters will be equally swift next time around.

Black Republican Answers Obama

I’ll bet you didn’t know these tidbits:  1) 32 Black Republicans ran for Congressional office in the 2010 primaries, 2) 14 Black Republicans are now contesting Democrats for Congressional seats in the 2010 general election.

There are 3 Black Republicans who are well-situated to win their races.  The candidate most assured of a seat is Tim Scott who is running for a House seat in South Carolina.  I appreciated this article from theLondon Daily Telegraph – that’s London, England.

Campaigning a few miles from Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861, Tim Scott described last week how he was born into poverty and a broken home, much like Barack Obama…..

But the conclusions that Scott, 45, drew were very different from those of Obama. When he was 15, a man who ran a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant taught him “that there was a way to think my way out of the worst conditions”. Scott went on to became a small businessman and a proud “conservative Republican”.

Barring a cataclysmic upset, Scott will be elected to Congress on November 2nd. There, he will be a ferocious opponent of Obama, to whom he gives a withering “failing grade” for his presidency.

What I really love is the Telegraph’s commentary on Obama.  I had to do a double-take to make sure that the words weren’t a quote from Scott.  I’m so accustomed to the left-wing tripe from the American MSM, that this was a total shock.

Rather than ushering in a post-racial era, Obama’s election to the White House appears to have intensified racial divisions in America. This is not, as the Left asserts, because Right-wing opponents are full of white-hooded bigots who refuse to accept a black man as President. Obama’s own strange myopia on race has played a big part.

This article is too great to miss.  Be sure to read it in its totality.  The Telegraph levels a charge that the GOP has “ceded black votes to the Democrats and failed to recruit candidates like Scott to winnable congressional seats.”  And I don’t disagree with that for one moment.

While most of us would consider it self-evident that GOP values agree strongly with the traditional values of the black and hispanic communities, we must also realize that the effort to highlight those areas of agreement has been neglected by the GOP.  Republican presidents have nominated women, blacks and hispanics to the Supreme Court and have appointed them to their cabinets.  But the presence of minority GOP members of Congress has been lacking.

The obvious reason for this is that their vocal leadership and Democrat elites have convinced minority voters that the Democrat Party is the only vehicle to secure their interests.  The GOP’s failure to counteract that false message is a travesty at best and a total disservice to be sure.

If Scott is the only black Republican on Capitol Hill in 2011, he will be all too easily marginalised and treated as a curiosity. That would be a shame because he has some interesting views on cutting the deficit and shrinking government.

“I’ve been black for a long time,” Scott says wearily whenever he is asked about race. He wants to be judged on his character and policies rather than the colour of his skin. At Fort Dorchester, encouragingly enough, not one pupil asked Scott about race or why a black man would be a Republican.

Obama made history by winning the White House. But it will take the likes of Scott to break down the racial barriers in America that the first black president has been content to leave in place.

One last note – there are 3 races where Black Republicans look poised to take a Congressional seat.  Aside from Scott, there is Allen West in Florida and Ryan Frazier in Colorado.  But there are other candidates with a chance.  One of my favorites is Rev. Stephen Broden, who is trying to upend scandal-ridden Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas.  He was actually endorsed by the Dallas Morning News (who had repeatedly endorsed Johnson) over the 12-term incumbent. Visit Broden’s website and donate at http://www.brodenforcongress.com/

More Bad News For Dems – Michigan

John Dingell (D-MI) is in trouble – joining Steny Hoyer and Barney Frank in the club of Democrat leaders with endangered employment status.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

 A new independent poll has the dean of the U.S. House, Rep. John Dingell, trailing his Republican opponent, Rob Steele, by 4 percentage points.

The automated phone survey of 300 people in the 15th Congressional District showed Steele getting 43.8% of the vote. Dingell, a Dearborn Democrat and the longest-serving member of Congress, got 39.5%. About 11% were undecided. The gap is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points. The poll was conducted Monday.

Dingell was first elected in 1954–he took the seat over from his father who was first elected in 1932. So, on the upside, Dingell can always campaign on the compelling message: Are you better off now than you were 78 years ago?

Happy Days!