Wednesday, June 29

Democrats: "We never met a tax we didn't like--as long as someone else pays it!"

For at least the last few decades California's legislature has been controlled by Democrats. Who love public-employee unions. So the wheels were always greased for the pols to keep raising taxes, to pay for frequent wage and pension increases for their union buddies, who in turn kicked back huge sums to ensure that their Dem buddies would continue to run things.

But at some point the non-union public raised a fuss, and the result was a constitutional amendment that said the legislature had to have a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes.

However, if you think the Dem pols would obey that, you must be under 25 or so.

Silly person!

So the CA legislature has just voted to raise fees on car registration, and (here's the big one) to charge an annual fee of $150 on every home that's located outside a city.

That's a pretty huge fee, and it'll hit a lot of people. It passed without a single Republican vote.

So...all you folks who live outside city limits in CA, you're getting a pretty stiff tax hike--even if they don't call it that--courtesy of the Democrats. And that kind of "tax the rural folks" will continue, because Dem voters outnumber any other kind in that state.

Hey, you're lucky they didn't charge you a thousand bucks! Cuz' they sure could have, eh? So just shut up and pay up.

Activist judges: "Congress can do anything it wishes"

Unless you're a political junkie (um..."enthusiast") you probably haven't read the Constitution since high school--and then I'm betting the teacher just skimmed the surface of the document. Not a lot of in-depth analysis

So how much do you remember about the Constitution?

If you said "Any powers not specifically granted by this Constitution to the federal government are reserved to the states, or to the people," congratulations on a great memory.

If on the other hand you said "All powers are reserved to the federal government; the States and the people will do what we say, period" you said what a majority of "justices" on the 11th Circuit Court said in their just-released decision upholding the part of Obamacare that will compel everyone to either buy health insurance or pay a fine.

"Wait," you may be saying, "did they change the Constitution while I was asleep or something?"

No, activist judges simply interpreted it as meaning something just...a bit different than what you thought the very plain, clear words meant. And it's absolutely crucial that you understand how they arrived at this, and how utterly they inverted the original meaning of the Constitution.

The entire thrust of the Constitution is to limit the power of the central government to only a set of specifically-listed powers. The tenth amendment seals this clear purpose with the famous sentence:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Seems quite clear. But there's another clause, in the portion that grants powers to congress:
[The Congress shall have the power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
It is this clause that the morons--sorry, justices--of the 11th Circuit have interpreted as negating the clear language of the tenth amendment, and giving total power to congress to demand that citizens comply with any law it chooses to pass.

And with the benefit of the improved reading skills of this 21st century it's easy to see how they arrived at this. In fact, it's hard to believe almost all legal scholars missed this huge, tidal shift in the proper interpretation, since it's been there all along.

What? You say you don't see the big negating phrase that overturns the tenth amendment's protections?

Geez, how could you miss it? It's so obvious: "Congress shall have the power...to regulate Commerce...among the several States."

What now? You still don't see it? Okay, clearly you don't speak Activist Judge, so let me explain: Everyone agrees that this phrase gives congress the power to regulate "commerce" among the states. But in using this phrase the Founders meant that a state couldn't decide to levy an import duty on goods from a neighboring state, or decree that all wheat sold in their state had to be shipped in a special, costly bag.

(No, I won't quote sources for you. Do your own work.)

But of course, this was 1789. A century later, some congressjerk sat up and said "Hey, we want to control the sale of, um...electricity across state lines. That's obviously interstate commerce, so that clearly falls within our power."

No one objected--and thus did the camel's nose slip under the edge of the tent.

Later congress wanted to pass a law regulating wheat production. Since wheat was obviously sold across state lines on many occasions, no one objected.

Then congress found a farmer who grew wheat not for sale, but to feed his own farm animals. The farmer hadn't gotten government permission to grow what he was growing, so the government ordered it seized and burned. The government's argued that...here's where it starts to go south...by growing his own, the farmer was able to avoid buying wheat from another grower. And this, said the gummint attorneys, affected interstate commerce.

At this point conservatives saw where all this was leading, and made the logical point that if the government was allowed to regulate an activity via such a tenuous (legaleze for "bullshit") connection, what would stop it from regulating anything it wished?

After all, virtually every activity can be said to "affect" interstate commerce if one stretches far enough.

Liberals said--can you guess?--"Don't be silly, congress would never stretch the law to an extreme like that."

Comes now the 11th Circuit. Obama and the Dem congress stretched in arrogating to the gummint the power to command you to buy something--from a private seller--or pay a fine. They did this knowing that the commerce clause could be used to claim the power. And predictably, a majority of the judges on the 11th bought it.

Check the "reasoning" from the decision itself:
Congress had a rational basis for concluding that [requiring everyone to buy insurance for] health care substantially affects interstate commerce. Furthermore, Congress had a rational basis for concluding that [this requirement] is essential to the Affordable Care Act.... Finally, the Constitution imposes no categorical bar on regulating inactivity. Thus, the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause....
Note that there's no careful historical analysis of whether the commerce clause in fact gives congress the power to regulate everything--thus to pass any law it wishes, in defiance of the tenth amendment and the general principle of limited powers. Rather, the decision says, in essence, "Health care affects interstate commerce, and is *essential* to Obamacare, so...done deal."

So you can see, I hope, why I've used the term "morons" to describe the authors of this POS decision.

An attorney representing the states suing to overturn Obamacare made the following point--allegedly in the oral arguments (though I'm skeptical):
Obama--and many courts--claim that although the Constitution speaks of limited powers, with all other powers reserved to the people or the states -- that the Commerce Clause is a "take-back" clause that essentially calls bullshit on everything else in the Constitution.

That is, everything else in the Constitution is about establishing limited powers of the federal government, and expressly reserving those not specifically granted (or "necessary and proper" to undertake a named power) to the states.

But under this new theory there is really only one clause that matters in the Constitution, and that is the Commerce Clause, and that this one clause renders all 4400 other words in the Constitution null and void; because the Commerce Clause says, according to this theory, that the federal government may do anything so long as it ultimately "affects interstate commerce"--which, as is often pointed out, applies to everything.

That's spot-on.

(h/t Ace of Spades)

Tuesday, June 28

Fed judge blocks yet another state illegal-immigration law

Faced with massive, consistent refusal by the people running the federal government to enforce valid U.S. immigration laws (i.e. to enforce border security and to apprehend, jail and deport illegals), several state legislatures have passed state laws directing their police and agencies to enforce existing federal law.

In each case the ACLU and immigrant groups have sued to block the duly-passed laws from being enforced.

And just as the feds refuse to enforce federal law, federal judges consistently grant injunctions as sought by the ACLU and other plaintiffs.

The latest round is in Georgia, where judge Thomas Thrash issued a 45-page ruling granting the injunction. The rationales and explanations he uses to support that ruling inadvertently reveal how far beyond reason liberals have gone in trying to open our borders to everyone who wants to enter--even illegally.

You need to read his words to see how awful the reasoning is. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes from the decision:

"[Giving local police departments discretion on whom to question] poses a serious risk that HB87 will result in inconsistent civil immigration policies not only between federal and state governments, but among law enforcement jurisdictions within Georgia.

Oh no, NOT inconsistent policies! Would that be anything like, say, enforcement at the federal level being inconsistent with existing federal LAW??
"That risk is compounded by the threat of other states creating their own immigration laws.”
But those hypothetical future laws might well pass all legal tests. Obviously Thrash can't know because they don't yet exist. A sound decision would leave the constutionality of future laws to a time when they'd actually been passed, and had been alleged to be unconstitutional. But Thrash clearly wants to head off any such attempts by other states--and if his reasoning is allowed to stand, that will work.
Thrash added that some provisions of the law will “convert many routine encounters with law enforcement into lengthy and intrusive immigration status investigations” and burden federal authorities who are ultimately responsible for doing the immigration status checks.
Again, heaven forbid that getting stopped for a traffic violation could involve illegal immigrants in a "lengthy and intrusive immigration investigation"! We wouldn't want to inconvenience lawbreakers, eh? Nor would we want to "burden" federal authorities who are charged by federal law with doing immigration status checks. They're much happier sitting around drinking coffee.
Thrash also raised concerns about how the law would affect foreign relations. He noted that Mexico and several other nations have filed court papers in support of the ACLU’s lawsuit.
Well we *certainly* wouldn't want to pass any laws that might irritate the government of Mexico or any other foreign nation, would we? I mean, if we did that they might encourage their poor to head for the U.S. Oh, wait--they've already done that.
“These international relations concerns underscore the conflict between HB87 and federal immigration law,” Thrash wrote.
The Georgia law mirrors federal law. The only conflict is the state intends to actually enforce theirs.
“The conflict is not a purely speculative and indirect impact on immigration. It is direct and immediate.”
Yes, the law is designed to have an impact on *illegal* immigration. That's the whole point! Also, note how Thrash omits the word "illegal," and thus implies an impact on *all* immigration. Bullshit--any immigrant here legally provides the usual proof and everything's jake.
Thrash called the belief by some that the federal government is doing nothing about illegal immigration a “belief in a myth.” He cited statistics showing the federal government deports hundreds of illegal immigrants daily.
Well there ya go, then. Any problem is now solved, citizen, because we deport "hundreds" daily. Sure glad to know there's no longer any problem with illegals here. And of course that's sarcasm--if a token effort solved problems, Qadaffi would have left months ago.

Monday, June 27

Obama Executive Order?

One occasionally reads items on the Net that seem too outrageous to be true.

One such item is a report that Obama has drafted an Executive Order to force any company bidding for a federal contract to disclose any political contributions the company has made in the previous two years.

On its face that may sound innocuous, since disclosure of campaign contributions is now pretty standard. But the twist is, disclosure has always been to a critter called the Federal Election Commission. Obama's order would require the disclosure be made to the specific federal official responsible for awarding the contract being sought.

It's hard to imagine a more chilling order, because contracting officials would presumably feel some pressure to consider whether a bidder had contributed to the "right" party when evaluating competing bids.

But of course, this is just bidness as usual in Chicago.

Oh, and for those liberals who think this is just a fabrication by Fox news: Here's the link. Still think its a fake?

Religion of pieces, part 587,456

If you have a heart condition, don't read what follows.

According to a British newspaper, the Afghan Taliban bombed a police checkpoint.

They did it by using an 8-year-old girl to carry the bomb, which was detonated by remote control.

It's acts like this that start making skeptics believe that pure evil really does exist.

Sunday, June 26

How to get more people to steal cars

Brief news item: California cities lead the nation in the rate of auto thefts, with 8 of the ten highest rates in the U.S.

So how high is "high"? Well, the small-ish town of State College, PA had the nation's lowest rate, at 30 car thefts per 100,000 people.

By comparison, in a crime cesspool like Dallas over ten times as many cars are stolen, at 345 per 100,000.

But this is nothing compared to Fresno, CA, with a rate of 812, or more than twice the theft rate in Dallas.

Let's see what we might deduce from Fresno's experience: Ah--Police Chief Jerry Dyer says people arrested for auto theft are often released the same day they're booked into jail. “It is not uncommon for us to arrest the same person for auto theft multiple times in one week.”

Hmmm. If you were a car thief, and you knew you'd be released as soon as you were arrested, do ya think that might just possibly have some effect on your inclination to run right out and try again?

With a law "enforcement" system like that, I feel sorry for the law-abiding citizens of Fresno.

Ethanol again--but this time it's in the NY Times

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the idiocy of the federal policy on ethanol. Now comes a New York Times opinion piece saying virtually the same thing.

In less than a year, the price of a bushel of corn has doubled.

This isn't due to massive crop failures, but due solely and simply to the fact that the corrupt idiots in congress have given ethanol such a wealth of subsidies and price-supporting import tariffs, and then decreed that gasoline makers must add billions of gallons of the stuff to gasoline every year.

Since about 40 percent of corn is used for animal feed, a doubling of the price of corn has caused the price of bacon (to take just one example) to increase by 24 percent in the past year.

It's been calculated that due to the subsidies and other effects, each gallon of ethanol costs taxpayers $1.78. And that's before you even go to the pump.

The subsidies make ethanol less expensive on the world market too--enough so that last year American ethanol makers exported almost 400 million gallons of the stuff. Normally that would be a plus, like Boeing selling jetliners overseas. But because of the subsidies and other sweetheart perks, those exports actually cost taxpayers nearly $800 million. Insanity.

Congress deserves a lot of the blame here, along with big ethanol-producing companies who gave tons of cash to congresscritters to get the bills passed. But at least some of the blame lies with environmentalists who pushed ethanol production because they touted it as a "renewable fuel."

These words have taken on a kind of magic power with politicians and the self-styled "elite" who know so much that isn't so. Oil and gasoline, they said, was awful, terrible stuff, while ethanol was clean and could be produced from a crop. How lovely!

What most of 'em didn't know (and the ones who did would never admit) was that turning 40 percent of American corn into fuel was guaranteed to increase the price of corn. As it did.

Also, it was known that ethanol was far more expensive than gasoline--which is why ethanol makers needed the sweetheart subsidies and tariffs. But the Lying Media ignored this fact in their push to sell the deal to the public.

Now we're reaping the entirely predictable consequences of stupidity, dishonesty and greed.

Saturday, June 25

Govt to sell oil from the Strategic Reserve

If you've been paying attention you know that the Obozo administration is about to release 30 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as part of a plan coordinated by the International Energy Agency.

Supposedly the other member nations of the IEA will release an additional 30 million barrels from their individual strategic reserves.

The releases--announced as 2 million barrels per day for a month--are designed to force the price of oil down. (It's been dropping even before the announced plan due to weak demand because virtually every major economy is having problems.)

Okay, so far it seems at least plausible. But consider: After just 30 days of sales, it will end--at which point world oil prices will seek a level unaffected by this artificial meddling in the market. Right?

And if increased supply normally reduces prices--which is the goal here--what would a rational person expect would happen when you reduced supply a month later? Yep, the price of oil should rise.

At that point folks in their 20's could be forgiven for thinking the whole exercise was a wash--a net zero. But consider that the SPR will be down by 30 million barrels, so to bring things back to where they were, the gubmint will have to buy that much oil again.

But wait...won't the price of oil be higher at that point, due to the loss of the amounts being sold from the SPR?

Hmmm. So barring some hidden ace, it would seem likely that the entire exercise will result in a net loss to the federal government, and otherwise will be a wash for consumers.

Now, this stuff is such basic econ-101 that I can't believe no one in D.C. realized it. So that suggests that there's another agenda here. You might think this sale could be a ploy to win votes to re-elect Barky, but because the election is 16 months off, that's probably too far in the future for voters to remember the drop in prices 15 months earlier.

So what could the reason be? Beats me--and who knows, it may turn out to have some unexpected beneficial effect. But right now it looks to me like it's gonna be a net loser.

What a shock.

Of course regardless of the outcome, we can expect the Lying Media to gush that this was exactly the right action, a perfectly conceived plan by the smartest preznit evah, and they'll say it had all sorts of wonderful effects.

MSM always has Barky's back.

Religion of pieces, part 514,585

According to AFP, a suicide bomber in Afghanistan killed 60 and wounded 120--at a hospital.

Among the dead were numerous children and health-care providers.

Question for liberals, Democrats, "progressives" and anyone else who pushes for unfettered immigration into the U.S. ("open borders"): Please explain to the rest of us why this type of massacre can't happen here.

One of Obama's core supporters re-visited

If you want to see what this nation would--and thus certainly could--look like if Obama manages to win (or Dems help him steal) re-election next year, take another look at the famous 15-second clip of one ecstatic Obama supporter just before the 2008 election:

Local television news hooked up with swooning supporter Peggy Joseph as she was coming out of an Obama rally. “I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car," gushed Peggy. "I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. If I help him, he'll help me.”

It's not my intent to pick on Ms. Joseph here--she was simply, understandably enthusiastic about voting for a candidate whose main platform revolved around "spreading the wealth"--i.e. increasing government programs that would give her more "freebies." It's hardly surprising that the Ms. Joseph was enthusiastic about voting what she clearly viewed as her self-interest.

The problem is, there's no such thing as a "freebie"--anything the goofy bastards running what's laughably called "our" government decide to give to Ms. Joseph must be paid for by the rest of us.

Of course this requirement doesn't bother Ms. Joseph and her comrades in the least. They almost certainly are among the roughly 40 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax ("zero-liability voters") and thus couldn't care less that the cost of "the government" giving them more so-called "freebies" must be paid by the rest of us--whether by raising taxes or by devaluing the dollar by printing trillions more of 'em.

But bad as this is, the far more dire problem for our future is that Peggy Joseph and those of a similar mind now constitute roughly half of all potential voters. That is, virtually all of the 40 percent of non-taxpaying citizens vote Democrat, along with a solidly reliable ten percent who do pay taxes. This last group consists of government employees and other committed liberals/"progressives" who, though certainly able to understand the simple equation above, choose for one reason or another to ignore it.

If you're ever hard-up for entertainment, here's a fun idea: Find a liberal and ask him or her these four things:

1. If the president or congress decides to give people more "freebies," who (if anyone) must pay the cost of those benefits?

2. Can any government constantly spend far more than it takes in in revenue?

3. If a government declares bankruptcy, would a reasonable person expect that would cause a huge amount of misery to the population?

4. Do you see any way government can keep spending more than it takes in without eventually going bankrupt?

Every lib I've asked these questions gets mad. They don't want to answer them.

Hmm...wonder why?

Friday, June 24

Great news for travellers: TSA votes to unionize

Yes, the title is sarcasm.

The folks who work for the TSA--the folks who pat you down at the airport--have just voted to join the AFL-CIO.

More precisely, they've voted to join the American Federation of Government Employees, which is part of the AFL-CIO.

Hmmm...I thought I read about union organizers wanting to unionize the TSA a couple of years ago, but Republicans in congress managed to squeak out an amendment to prohibit that. Anyone else have the same memory?

If there was wone, I guess it's no longer operative. Like the War Powers Act.

Wow. Combine the mentality of the average TSA worker with union perks, "work rules" and grievance procedures and it looks like most of the future delays in air travel won't be due to weather or equipment failures, but due to the TSA going on "sick-out" mini-strikes.

You know what would fix this in a heartbeat? Forcing congresswhores to go through the regular passenger lines like the rest of us--and without being allowed to tell anyone who they were.

Congratulations, unions: You just widened the radius within which it's faster to drive than to fly, by 150 miles or so. Actually I kind of feel sorry for the airlines, because this will cut their revenue--through no fault of theirs--at a time when a lot of 'em are struggling with high fuel costs and reduced business travel.

Sigh. A once-great (and still wonderful) country, dying by inches.

A little town in a big financial hole

The plight of a small town in Rhode Island helps show how the federal government got into its current position of huge debt and unfunded financial obligations.

Central Falls, RI, was brought to financial ruin by a combination of innumeracy (failure to understand numbers), corruption and greed. The town's leaders have obligated it to pay $32 million in future health-care costs and $48 million in pensions. Problem is, the town has just 19,000 people and an annual budget of about $16 million.

For years the town's elected leaders approved overly-generous contracts with city workers. Why not? It made them more popular with the workers--at no cost to themselves, since taxpayers would pick up the tab.

One of the central actors is the town's four-term Democratic mayor, Charles Moreau. By most accounts Moreau is thoroughly corrupt, petty and vindictive, but could smile and glad-hand when necessary. When the town was put under state receivership last year Moreau was being paid $71,700 per year--which strikes me as outrageously excessive to head a town with just 19,000 residents.

And while I have seen any figures for it, I suspect his calculated pension is huge and was approved by a city council dominated by his friends.

Moreau is also being investigated for giving a friend of his a contract to board up abandoned buildings in the city--the NY Times says "dozens" of buildings--at a cost to taxpayers of $2 million.

It's hard to know whether this was excessive or whether the job was put out for bids, but the contractor seems to have given the mayor a kickback of somewhere between $850 and $6000, which suggests the contractor felt he'd gotten a sweet deal.

While this kind of activity by government officials--bribes, giving sweetheart contracts to friends, taking kickbacks--seems to be extremely common, the numbers involved are trivial compared to the costs of pensions and health-care payments to retired government workers. Most politicians indignantly claim that they didn't benefit at all from such city contracts, and yet the damage is still done.

What's needed is a way to force politicians to stay within a budget. But I don't see how to do it, because the pols control all the levers. Elect better candidates, I guess.

Thursday, June 23

"R2P" ??

Today's assignment is short and simple:

1. Define "responsibility to protect" (often shortened by Washington insiders as "R2P")

2. Who coined the phrase and the acronym?

3. What political party did they belong to?

4. Explain why the policy implied by this phrase is different from the U.S. policy that got us involved in Vietnam--at the eventual cost of 54,000 killed and countless more severely injured.

As always, googled efforts don't count--we're testing what *you* know, courtesy of your state-controlled media, not your google skills.

Answers tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 22

Democrats: "The cure for our problems? More spending!"

Help me out here. I can't recall which of these two stories is true: Is the federal government in trouble for a) spending far more than our national income; or b) spending too little?

I thought both our annual deficit and total national debt were setting new records every month, but I've been killing brain cells with ethanol for so long now that I'm not really sure. I searched the front page of the NYT and WaPo but any articles on this topic are so riddled with ambiguity that it's hard to tell.

Wait, this'll help: Reuters is reporting that Democratic leaders--and in particular, assistant senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin--called today for more government spending...to "boost the sluggish economy."

What a plan! Heck, I'll bet that if the feds were to spend...oh, say, $787 Billion or so...in grants to Democrat-run cities and states and union-run auto makers, the national unemployment rate would absolutely plummet! That's some really PhD-level thinking there, Dick.

So I guess that means we must be running a surplus, since nobody would propose spending such a huge amount if we were already spending a lot more than tax revenue took in. But it'd surely be worth it.

What? You say the gubmint doesn't have a surplus? Ya say the gubmint is actually at record debt levels, but still wants to borrow more? But...but...that sounds insane. It would mean having to borrow every penny the feds wanted to spend!

What kind of insane jackass would seriously propose such a thing?

Ah. Well of course. That explains so much.

Tuesday, June 21

What happens when half the population steals for a living?

Victor Davis Hanson lives in California, and he's watching the society around him approach the event horizon. Well worth reading.

Hanson makes the point that the collection of socialists, unionists, leftists, most government officials, Marxists, welfare vacuums, thugs and thieves that predominate in most Democrat-voting states don't produce anything useful/valuable but instead are a net drain on the output and wealth of productive people.

Example: gangbanger A shoots up gangbanger B, who's taken to the emergency room for tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer-funded surgery and post-op treatment by an MD and team of highly-trained, skilled people.

A day earlier the gangbanger would have been mugging the MD or ER team members, or stealing their car, or otherwise insulting or intimidating them. (Even after saving the banger's life the doctor is more likely to be ridiculed or sued by him than thanked.)

So what, exactly, do either of the bangers produce or do that the MD needs?

Exactly: It's a one-way street, with one group working to produce things or provide useful (sometimes life-saving) services, while the other loots and steals from the first. The bangers need the doc but not the other way 'round.

Hanson's next point was: Without the hard-working, productive members of society, what would happen to the looters, muggers and thieves?

As Hanson puts it, parasites need a host. But obviously those in the looting class--including socialist politicians and union execs--haven't thought that through. And even if someone were to lead them through that chain of reasoning, they wouldn't believe that their actions could possibly bring down the whole social network.

Except for the Marxists (now more fashionably called "progressives")--and they'd see the destruction of our society as achieving a major goal.

So...where does that leave us? Obviously gangbangers aren't gonna suddenly see the light and start lawn-service companies (or whatever). Nor is there any chance that Marxists and socialists can be re-educated to the evil and destructiveness of their chosen philosophy. That leaves one path:

We must take power away from government--at all levels. Return to Constitutional levels of government power. And then to keep vote-buying politicians from going right back to business-as-usual, violating the new (old) Constitutional rules needs to be made a capital offense.

Sunday, June 19

NBC edits Pledge of Allegiance to conform to Obama's version

NBC ran an intro clip to its coverage of the U.S. Open that featured students saying the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Except they edited the words spoken by the students.

Care to guess what was cut?

Sure--and you knew right away, didn't you? "...under God."

It's possible NBC didn't think anyone would notice, and almost certain that they thought that if anyone did notice, they wouldn't care.

Uh, wrong. Switchboard at NBC apparently lit up like a C_____mas tree.

C'mon, says my liberal niece, You can't possibly know that!

Okay, if it didn't then why did on-air commentator Dan Hicks apologize to viewers later in the broadcast?

C'mon, use your intelligence.

Oh, and that apology? Here's what Hicks actually said:
We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago. When we did, it was our intent to begin our coverage of this US Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship, held in our nation's capital for the third time. Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone, and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.
Note that they didn't mention what they'd edited out--that is, what prompted the most unusual apology!

One could easily get the impression that the network was afraid of its liberal viewers' reaction if they knew it was apologizing for having offended believers, since that would be...well, virtually unprecedented.

Can't have the liberal Lying Media acknowledge God in any way, shape or form now, can we?

Guess how many drug-related murders in Mexico

When it comes to recreational drugs I'm in the laissez-faire camp. I figure if an adult wants to ingest altering substances--and can be reliably prevented from driving while you're altered--knock yourself out.

But with that said, the fact is that unless drugs are commoditized from the outset--that is, like aspirin, they'd be available from too many sources to count--they'll end up being controlled by the cartels. And that's far too high a price to pay for anything.

I understand the arguments for legalization, but importing more cartel soldiers into the U.S. would be insane. Evidence here: Take a guess at the average number of drug-related murders each month in Mexico over the last 4 years.

According to a site that tracks those stats, in Mexico since December of 2006 there have been over 40,000 drug-related murders, or an average of about 800 murders per month.

This is carnage on the order of U.S. casualties in VietNam during the highest-fatality period. This is what supporters of illegal immigration are inviting to the U.S.--whether intentionally or not--since a flood of illegal immigrants would constitute a much larger conduit for illegal drugs.

Eight hundred murders a month?? That's outrageous.

Free booze during work hours for selected federal employees

Whaddya think about that beer and wine party for federal employees during working hours on Thursday, June 30th?

Pretty sweet, eh? And the fact that the federal government--i.e. taxpayers, which is you and me--is paying for free beer, wine and food is just too, too fabulous!

What? You didn't get the memo? Guess you don't work for the Civil Rights division of Eric Holder's Department of Injustice. Cuz they're getting this sweet deal.

Here's the memo:
The Civil Rights Division will host a get-together on Thursday, June 30th in the Main Justice Courtyard, from 3 p.m. until 6. Beer, wine and snacks will be served. Come on out and say hello to your co-workers! Hope to see you there!
Being a (statistically) overpaid government employee isn't enough anymore, the political appointees want to sweeten the pot with free booze during working hours? Boy, talk about tone-deaf.

Imagine the howls of outrage from Democrats/liberals/"progressives" if, say, the Heritage Foundation paid for beer and wine for its employees during working hours and then deducted it as a business expense, reducing their taxes. (I know, Heritage is probably a nonprofit but work with me here.)

Not a valid comparison, Dems would surely say, because Holder's division doesn't deduct it as a business expense! So there's no loss to government rev...oh, wait.

Democrat bundler pulled down millions per year at Fannie

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were established by congress (lower-case intentional, as always; the institution doesn't deserve the honor of capitalization) with the goal of increasing home ownership, by making it possible for more people to get mortgages.

For some strange reason government agencies whose mission, in essence, is to hand out taxpayer funds to lucky recipients end up being run almost entirely by Democrats, and these two agencies certainly followed that trend: the executives and directors read like a who's who of Democratic movers and shakers.

In 1991 a guy named James Johnson was appointed to head Fannie. Johnson seemed to be extremely good at working the political system, and saw to it that his agency gave big chunks of cash to outfits like Acorn, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other groups that could then be counted on for support. And the agency was also generous in making campaign contributions to members of congress.

Thus when experts testified--years before the mortgage meltdown--that Fannie was guaranteeing loans to people who were all but certain to default, all that support would enable the agency to pressure congress to defeat bills seeking to scale back its operations or funding.

You might well be asking, How could it possibly be legal for an agency created by congress and funded at least partly by tax revenue to give money to congresswhores?

Good question. The answer is that congress created Fannie and Freddie as "government-sponsored enterprises"--semi-corporations, but with taxpayers required to make good on any losses.

If you think that sounds like a guarantee of risky practices followed by huge losses, you're right.

And if you object that you can't recall congress asking you if you'd be willing to cover any losses the two GSE's incurred, you're right again. Congress doesn't need to ask your permission to do jack--even if it violates the Constitution. Because they're... the closest thing we have to royalty.

Oh, and to finish the story: In September 2004 the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported that during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998.

In 2006 a second report by the same office stated that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6–7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.

According to a major media source
--though one that I'll admit is heavily biased politically--in all James Johnson pocketed total salary and bonuses of roughly $100 million during his seven years as chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie.

And remember, this is from an entity created by congress, and which had the federal gummint (i.e. taxpayers) backstopping any losses.

Just...wow.

Oh, if you have a chance, ask some of your Democrat friends how they'd feel if the CEO of a private company pulled down that kind of deal.

Senate to solve tunnel problem: make 'em illegal.

As you may know, they keep finding tunnels between Mexico and the U.S.

What you don't know is the severity of the trend: In the 11 years between 1990 and 2001 they found 12. But in the ten years since then, they've found 125.

Either we're looking a lot harder or the drug cartels are building ten times more of the things.

So what does our worthless congress do? The linked article (at a Dem-supporting site) assures us that they're "stepping up congressional efforts to combat the growing use of tunnels along the southwest border."

Okay, so what does that involve, exactly? Well, Sen. Diane Feinstein "plans to introduce a bill that would make the use, construction, or financing of a border tunnel a conspiracy offense."

Hey, wow Diane! That'll sure fix things all right! Make dem tunnels illegal. Dat'll fix it.

Diane, you ignorant waste of carbon: Mexicans are pouring into the country illegally every day by the thousands. If they're willing to break our laws to be here, why in the world would you think yet another law would have any deterrent effect whatsoever?

Just shows how clueless congress is. Insulated from all real-world problems, concerned only with their own re-election, their inability to identify and solve real-world problems comes as no surprise.

If the GOP should win a majority in the senate, and doesn't clean up with a fire-axe, I suspect the GOP will be thrown out again post-haste.

Saturday, June 18

Religion of pieces

On June 13th someone detonated a bomb in a bank in Pakistan--not to rob it, but apparently because its floor tiles contained a design that looked somewhat similar to the Arabic characters for "Allah."

No, I'm not kidding. An Islamic fundamentalist group had written the bank complaining about the floor tile and demanding that it be changed.

However, the bank replied that the design was abstract and wasn't offensive, and refused to replace the floor tile.

So here's the question: Is any reader surprised that Islamic fundamentalists would do this?

And to our leftist friends: Tell us why you're certain this kind of thing isn't coming here.

Take all the time you need. Oh, and "because we said so" isn't enough.

Obama: "War Powers Act doesn't apply b/c no hostilities in Libya"

Obama is starting to slide into "royal" territory--in which things mean exactly what he deems them to mean, without regard to their historically-used meanings. (Caution: Following story is from a source known to have strong political biases.)
President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.

[T]he Pentagon general counsel, and...the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed [U.S.] military activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution [i.e. the law of the land, duly passed by a Democrat controlled congress], that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team — including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities.” Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged.

[Apparently we're bombing Qaddafi's troops with candy or something similar.]

Presidents have the legal authority to override the legal conclusions of the Office of Legal Counsel and to act in a manner that is contrary to its advice, but it is extraordinarily rare for that to happen. Under normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding on the executive branch.

[Clearly we aren't operating under normal circumstances, since we have a presnit who feels free to violate both the Constitution and duly-passed laws of the nation.]

A White House spokesman... said there had been “a full airing of views within the administration...” that led Mr. Obama to his view that the Libya campaign was not covered by a provision of the War Powers Resolution that requires presidents to halt unauthorized hostilities after 60 days.

Summary: This is extremely clear proof that Obama is determined to avoid submitting the Libya question to congress--a clear violation of the Constitution. It would appear that he's willing to redefine "hostilities" to some bizarre new meaning to avoid submitting to the Constitution's unambiguous delegation to congress of the power to declare war.

Reminds me of Slick trying to avoid impeachment by saying "it depends on what the meaning of "is" is."

Except Slick Willy wasn't violating the Constitution at the time.

When you expend live ordnance on humans, it sure as hell sounds like "hostilities" to me. I'd like one of my Democrat relatives or friends to show all the rest of us stupid Americans why our combat actions in Libya "fall short of hostilities."

Oh, the source of the article? That ultra-conservative paper, the "NY Times."

Friday, June 17

What do you know about ethanol?

At its best, politics can help us solve problems and correct course to better practices.

Unfortunately, most of the time politics involves politicians making deals with supporters, in which the pol agrees to vote for bills designed to enrich one group of supporters in exchange for contributions and votes from the favored group(s).

So it's been with ethanol. For those who haven't been paying attention, ethanol is called a "renewable fuel," and thus is beloved by greenies--who hate oil, gas and gas-powered cars.

Unfortunately, ethanol isn't the Great Magic Solution that its supporters claim. For one thing, in the U.S. most ethanol is made from corn. With congresscreeps having used subsidies and mandates to warp the market in favor of ethanol use, companies that make it have been buying millions of bushels of corn as raw material.

Take a guess what that's done to corn prices.

Next, ethanol contains just two-thirds as much energy as a gallon of gasoline, so to compare cost per mile you need to multiply ethanol's cost per gallon by 1.5. Needless to say, this doesn't occur to the average consumer.

But the really nasty trick pulled by congresscreeps was to grant a magic "tax credit" of 45 cents per gallon for ethanol use--and then pass a law ordering gasoline makers to add 11 Billion gallons of the stuff to gasoline.

That single trick cost the U.S. treasury--eventually that's you and me--$5.4 Billion last year.

As the TV ads say, "But wait! There's more!" Yes, congress wasn't finished: The 45 cent per gallon subsidy wasn't enough; to keep U.S. ethanol prices as high as possible, they also slapped a 54 cent per gallon tariff on any ethanol imports.

Pretty cute, huh?

But finally the senate passed an amendment that would kill the tax credit for ethanol use--though they haven't changed the requirement that gasoline be blended with 11 billion gallons of the stuff per year.

Also the tariff on imported ethanol will remain in effect, allowing U.S. producers to charge 54 cents more per gallon than they otherwise would (other things being equal).

Of course this amendment still has to pass more votes to become law, but at least someone in D.C. finally woke up.

Maybe.

Thursday, June 16

Georgia sued by Mexico for strict immigration law

You won't believe this, even after you read it.

Georgia recently passed a tough anti-illegal-immigration law. Predictably, the ACLU has sued, charging that the new law conflicts with federal immigration law, and that federal law overrides state law.

What's surprising is that Mexico and ten other Central- and South American countries have joined the ACLU in this lawsuit.

This is a huge deal because the joining nations have access to far more money than the ACLU alone. In fact they could give millions of dollars to support ACLU attorneys in pursuing the suit.

Oh, as an aside: All the countries that have joined have far stricter immigration laws than the U.S.

Tuesday, June 14

The source of most of our current problems

Here's the best analysis I've seen of the problems facing us now. Or if you prefer, how we got to where we are now.

The author blames "progressive" policies--ideas pushed by exploiting the listener's compassion, and often guilt. While the stated goals are almost always noble, the programs proposed (and duly enacted) to "solve" the stated problems are always financially unsound from the outset. Moreover, they always morph over time into bloated, inefficient monstrosities.

And in the trifecta, said programs become politically sacred, untouchable, due to the huge number of voters who love the "freebies" they provide.

I'll try to write a lot more on this later. For now, you really need to read both the linked article and the comments. In particular, note the tactics used by the handful of "progressive" commenters: cloud the issue, change the subject, play to emotions, name-calling. "You mean conservatives just want to hurt poor innocent children!"

Very enlightening.

Sunday, June 12

High gasoline prices, part 2,483

With the price of gasoline still hovering near $4 a gallon, many families are still having to pay a lot to fill even a compact car's tank. But the policies of Obama and the wackos he's appointed to head energy-related departments are absolutely, positively guaranteed to drive gas prices higher.

From a family's standpoint it's simply insane. Literally, it makes no sense--unless the goal is to reduce total miles driven by making it prohibitively expensive.

And of course, even if you could cut your driving to zero, you'll still pay the cost of high fuel prices in food and every other item you buy, since it all gets from point of production to point of sale by...trucks.

Which use diesel. Which is going up just as fast as gasoline.

So if you're an idiot Obama voter from, say, New York City, or San Francisco, and you think you won't be affected by rising fuel prices, think again.

Although a lot of factors in the price of oil are beyond our control, the U.S. could do dozens of things that would *start* the process of producing more oil domestically. For example, if you took Econ-101 you may recall something about "the laws of supply and demand." Produce more of X, and--ceteris paribus--the price of X will fall.

We could increase the supply of oil by opening up more areas for exploration, including Alaska and offshore. But astonishingly (or not, depending on your cynicism), Obama's appointees are doing the opposite.

I'm sorry, this will sound fanatical, but...this has to be the most anti-American president ever. If conservatives manage to regain a majority in congress and don't pass bills rescinding every harmful act by this administration, don't be surprised if support for the GOP evaporates. And justifiably so.

Contrast flooding in the midwest to Katrina

Clicking on this link will be well worth your time. It's a photo-essay of the huge flooding in the midwest.

Against each photo of flood devastation the author has juxtaposed a question, such as Why hasn't the Federal government begun moving Iowa people into hotels in cities outside the flood zone, at taxpayer expense?

"Where's the rampant looting?"

"When will Spike Lee say that the Federal government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines?" And so on.

It would appear there's a lesson in the huge difference in both the feds' response and the response of the flood victims in the midwest versus Katrina/New Orleans.

Here's one huge difference: Unlike with Katrina, the Lying Media isn't blaming the president and federal government for failing to respond more actively--even though the government seems to be doing a lot less for the midwesterners.

Wednesday, June 8

Dems *still* defending Weiner

Amazing: Weiner initially denied everything, and Leftists and Dems supported his denial--even devising the most outlandish, ridiculous stories to purportedly explain away the evidence known to that point.

And then 5 days later--as everyone now knows--he admitted it was all true.

You'd think that after having their support so casually betrayed like that, Leftists and Dems would be pretty mad at the guy, wouldn't you?

Shows how little you understand Leftists, sparky. With only a couple of exceptions Dems are *flocking* to Weiner's defense even after he admitted he lied.

No better example than Joan Walsh (apparently works at leftist blog Salon), appearing on leftist/wacko Ed Schultz's cable show. According to Walsh the important thing is "the motivations of the people who were bringing this to light--they wanted to destroy him." [1:05 in vid] Walsh apparently things the problem isn't his sending crotch pics to girls he'd never met, but that the icky Andrew Breitbart had the rudeness to point it out.

Walsh continues: "This is private business....You can't accuse him of hypocrisy--he's not a family-values moralizer." Which echoes what conservatives have been saying all along: Democrats get away with every possible ethical violation because they make no claim to be ethical--in any way, shape or form.

No claims to be ethical=no problems when you're discovered to be doing unethical things, eh?

"At this time I'm not going to join a call for him to resign because we don't have all the facts." What she doesn't add is that no conceivable admission of fact by Weiner would ever cause her to call for him to resign, any more than she was disturbed by Clinton's commission of perjury while president.

For liberals/Democrats/"progressives" morals and ethics are for fools and conservatives; for Dems it's about staying in office, regardless of offense. Rationalize, rationalize, rationalize, lie, lie, lie--whatever it takes to add one more vote to the D side of the ledger.

Tuesday, June 7

Compare Weiner to Republican Chris Lee

Compare and contrast:

Former New York congressman Chris Lee --a Republican, married--was found to have sent a photo of himself--sans shirt--to a 34-year-old woman he found on a social website.

Lee resigned the same day the news was published by a leftist website. No attempt to spin or lie or tapdance--just "I regret...and I resign."

Compare this with current NY Democrat congressman Anthony Weiner--like Lee, he's married: Sends pics of himself in jockey shorts, apparently in an "aroused state", to several women, at least one of whom is a college student. Gets hours of interviews with the top of the Lying Media (CNN's Wolfe Blitzer, for example) in which he looks right into the camera and denies everything, claiming "My twitter account was hacked" (implying that he didn't send the pic).

Allows his defenders on the Left to claim that the hacker is conservative author and investigative reporter Andrew Breitbart was the person responsible for the hack.

Rides this story for five days.

Faced with this serious slander, Breitbart finds other women who confirm receiving pics from Weiner--at least one of which is likely fully nude. But instead of releasing the pic, Breitbart simply implies he has it--at which point Weiner is finally forced to confess that he did send the pics and that his entire story was a total lie.

But unlike Chris Lee, Weiner says he won't resign. Though he's sorry for hurting his wife, he claims he did nothing against House rules, and didn't break any laws, so...

And the hard-Left (Kos, Democratic Underground) is shrieking about how absolutely awful Breitbart is for having the gall to expose (pun intended) one of their stars.

It's hard to imagine a clearer example of the differences between the two parties than these two events.

It's not that Republicans are immune to human failings, but rather that any Republican who does succumb and is discovered to have done so loses party support, while a Democrat in the same situation is covered and defended by Dems and the Dem-loving media.

Update: Here's an example, by "Jack Shafer" in the leftist mag Slate:
Weiner owes me no apology for his serial lies because I understand that that's what politicians do when they're cornered by their fibs or unseemly behavior.
This is classic: "All pols lie, so it doesn't bother me."

I'm not even sore with him for scapegoating the press over a problem of his own making. That, too, goes with the territory.
This is a lie: Weiner didn't "scapegoat the press" but by falsely claiming to have been the victim of a hacker and failing to fess up, he allowed his Dem attack-dog supporters to falsely claim *Breitbart* was the hacker. No wonder author Shafer is "not sore" with Weiner, since Weiner did him no harm.

Nor am I outraged that he went on national television to attempt to cover up his lies... That he was caught lying about his personal life, and not about public policy, doesn't really matter to me.


Update: One "Colby Hall" at lefty site Mediaite rationalizes Weiner's shirtless pics as follows:
What these images do reveal is that Weiner takes particularly good care of himself...and appears to be unafraid to share suggestive pictures of himself to individual (or individuals?) that he most likely has come to regret ever having trusted.
Catch that? The main takeaway for this Leftist is that Weiner "takes particularly good care of himself" and is "unafraid to share suggestive pictures of himself"!!

That is SO wonderful! In great shape and unafraid to share!! And of course it takes the whole focus off the lying straight into the camera on *numerous* national TV interviews, and shifts it to--Weiner's fearlessness regarding sharing.

You can't make this stuff up.

Any second now I expect the left to announce an annual competition named in Weiner's honor, for the married guy in the best shape who's the most fearless about sharing pics of himself with young girls.

Monday, June 6

Where did all the antiwar protesters go??

Now that a Democrat is preznit, the media's attitude toward war, closing Guantanamo, military trials for its residents and a lot of other formerly-breathless concerns seems to have...how to put it?...changed radically.

One commenter noted,
When Bush was president a small group of anti-war protesters gathered on the green every weekend in my town. The signs were always on the same themes: close Gitmo NOW!; Bush's overreach, the combined horrors of the the Iraq war and the Patriot Act. But after Obama took office there hasn't been a single weekend demonstration. Literally not one. Not even over Obama's invasion of Libya, not when he decided to maintain Gitmo, not when he opted for military tribunals.

Drawn your own conclusions.
Or as another blogger put it:
Bombs with an "R" on them: Baaad.
Bombs with a "D" on 'em: Gooood.

Sunday, June 5

You can't make this stuff up

Another news story that wouldn't be believable as fiction: (Of course it's from CBS so, y'know...may just be made up.)

Dateline Louisville, Kentucky: Seems cops found a baby in a car parked outside a strip club in the middle of the day, windows apparently either rolled up or barely cracked.

About that time a woman later identified as the baby's mother ran out of the club, started the car and rolled down the rear window.

She was followed by the baby's father. Who was wearing a home incarceration bracelet from a county in...Indiana. Not only does this doofus ignore the "incarceration bracelet" [ha ha], he won't even stay in the same state.

Then as the guy was being carted to jail, he pegged the lack-of-self-awareness meter: he complained to the cop that the back seat of the cruiser was too hot.

"Economy recovering! Really! Ignore May job numbers!!!"

By now every educated adult who's been paying attention to the news knows that according to the gubmint, the U.S. economy added 54,000 jobs in May.

Quick, is that news good, medium or awful?

None of the articles I checked on this report in the Lying Media mentioned the very crucial fact that as kids graduate into the job market and immigrants arrive, the economy needs to add around 200,000 jobs every month just to keep the employment rate at the current level. And that performance doesn't do anything to actually decrease unemployment.

No wonder the stock market dropped 290 points after the jobs report came out! That report is an absolute, unmitigated disaster for Obama and the Dems.

But of course, that's not how the MSM reports it. For example, here's how the Associated Prevaricators spun it: Under the headline, "More job-seekers give up, reducing unemployment."

Yep, that's right comrades: Economy falls short of the breakeven point for new jobs--150,000 short of what's needed--and the official gummint-furnished unemployment rate is actually down.

Woo-hoo!!! Way to go, Barack! That Hope 'n Change economic policy is really workin'!

Of course the explanation is down in the 7th paragraph: The official rate is down because half a million people have (as the headline said) stopped being reported as "looking for work."

There's no more detailed breakdown on this figure--in fact everyone purports to be mystified by it: "Where did all these people go?"

Dems and MSM to blame May numbers on George W. Bush in 5...4...3....

UPDATE: A month after this estimate for number of jobs created in May--initially 54,000--was released, it was revised. Downward. To...18,000.

Just so we're clear: The first figure was too optimistic by a factor of three.

If your job was to forecast conditions for a private company, and you were off that much, you'd probably be fired.

Saturday, June 4

Venezuela luxury prisons

A few liberals/Democrats read this blog (mostly because we're related and they want to see what nutty ideas I'm throwing out this week). And libs don't believe anything unless it's printed in the NY Times.

So...this is from that paper: Turns out that in Venezuela a few jails are mixed-sex, swimming pool, parties, drugs and gambling.

With such luxuries, would you think the average criminal would be a) more, or b) less inclined to avoid activities which could land him in jail?

If you're a liberal, you get extra time to struggle with the logic needed to answer that question.

Now: When U.S. prisons add weight rooms, basketball courts, color TVs and better food, do you think the deterrent effect of possible prison is a) increased, or b) decreased?

I'm not pushing for harsh conditions in prisons. Just tryin' t' figure things out.

Friday, June 3

Administration: Obamacare NOT a mandate because...

Obamacare: So well supported that 2000 companies have already been granted waivers exempting them from compliance with various provisions.

If you're an average working person, on the other hand, you vill purchase ze insurance or you vill pay ze fine to ze government.

Imposing such a "mandate" is widely considered unConstitutional. (Which in no way daunts Obama and liberals, who seem to have been laughing at the Constitution all along.)

But never fear: the administration's top legal minds have already anticipated these objections and have identified ways to overcome them. For example, there's an exemption to the mandatory health insurance in Obamacare for people who make less than a certain income. So according to liberals/Democrats/"progressives" the solution is simple:
President Obama's solicitor general, defending the national health care law on Wednesday, told a federal appeals court that Americans who didn't like the individual mandate could always avoid it by choosing to earn less money.
See how simple that is, you stoopid wingnuts?

This isn't unconstitutional at all, because, see, it's not reallly a "mandate"! 'Cuz there's a way to get out of it.

Next up, liberals/Democrats/"progressives" plan to make anyone who wants to own a gun have a federal license costing $2,500 per gun. But it's not unconstitutional because it's not a ban on gun ownership, see? You can still own a gun. You just have to have a license. Just like you do for a car.

See how that works? NOT a ban on guns, because you could still own whatever you wanted. And of course no one is required to own one.

NOT a mandate, because you can always avoid it by earning less money. Same logic.

If that flies, next up will be for libs to require that every kid who turns 18 volunteer two years of service in Obama's brownshirt corps. And that won't be unconstitutional because...wait for it...anyone who wants to can avoid the mandatory volunteer stint simply by...dying.

See? Not a mandate at all.

Besides, why do you stoopid wingnuts get so worked up about this "Constitution" anyway? It's just a dumb piece of paper, written by a bunch of dead white property owners a long time ago. They didn't even have television or the internet then, so how could they know jack about what life would be like today? Huh? Huh?

Plus, when you've got a preznit as super-duper-mahvahlous as mmm mmmm mmmm Barack, who needs a Constitution anyway?

You people get so worked up over the most trivial things!

Besides, Van Jones says the Constitution is racist and only raaaacists would think we need it anymore.

So there.
======

Okay, out of character for a second: I think one of the things that makes me the most uneasy about the Solicitor-General's argument is that this son of a bitch may actually believe it's logically and legally sound.

Now, I'm not at all sure he does, as pushing a totally bullshit argument in the service of what one considers a "higher cause" is par for the course for some attorneys and politicians. But there's no question that he must think ordinary American voters are...well, terminally stupid to buy this crap. And he didn't seem to be reluctant to run it by the judges of the 6th Circuit, which suggests he didn't expect any of them to recognize it as crap.

Strange. And not entirely unexpected.

Thursday, June 2

Now it can be revealed: Weiner is a REPUBLICAN!!!

Conservatives have long recognized that the Lying Media has a thorough double-standard when it comes to identifying the political party of a misbehaving public official. There's even an official game-name: "Name that party."

Object of the game is to correctly guess the miscreant's party based only on the placement of party affiliation in the story: If the bad actor is Republican, that fact will be mentioned within the first sentence--often in the first three words. But if it's a Democrat, that fact won't be mentioned 'til the tenth or 12th paragraph--and sometimes is omitted altogether.

But our innovative Lying Media never rest on their laurels, and with Weinergate the media are reaching for new lows: Reuters ran a headline today that labeled lying New York Democratic rep Weiner a Republican.

Yes, I know mistakes happen. But I thought the Lying Media were always bragging about all their layers of fact-checking and editorial oversight that made their product trustworthy and superior to solo (ick!) bloggers.

Where'd all those layers go, guys?

Oh, dat's right: Down the drain--right along with your integrity.

Headed for Sioux City

Oh you've really gotta see this. It's a 90-second video of top Obama advisor Fareed Zakaria telling a friendly interviewer what's wrong with America:
Whenever we have a problem, we tend to think 'Our Constitution is the best ever created in the history of the world, the people who created the Constitution were demigods, it never needs to be changed. Our political system is the best in the world...'
For just a tiny moment you think he's praising our Constitution, our form of government. But of course if he really felt that way Obozo wouldn't have selected him as an advisor, eh?

He goes on to say that we should learn from all the other countries that are "doing it better" than we are.

Hey you stupid asshole: What countries would that be, exactly? Mexico? The U.K., where immigrant Muslims with six wives get welfare for each of their "families", and people get $40,000 a year from welfare?

China, with their mobile execution vans and ghastly pollution?

Greece, with huge government debt and government employees unions that have been rioting because the country's lenders recognized that they're incapable of carrying on as usual?

Or maybe Zakaria has in mind some Muslim-governed paradise like Iran? Pakistan? Indonesia? Egypt?

Like those countries?

I'm sorry, but Zakaria's either a propagandist or an idiot. Which of course makes him a perfect fit with the Obama administration.

Anyone who's not a liberal/Democrat/"progressive" knows the root cause of every problem we've got: Politicians--and thus the government they control--have been thoroughly, totally violating the Constitution for decades.

They've created a very long list of programs for which there is no rational authority in the Constitution, but which absolutely ensure that roughly half the electorate--the 40 percent or so that pay no federal income tax and essentially live off government benefits--will continue to vote for them in perpetuity.

If these programs were models of sound financial practice one might be more inclined to cut their creators some slack. But instead these programs are--and were known by rational analysts from the outset to be--financial absurdities that couldn't be sustained under any plausible scenario. In other words, from a financial standpoint they were and are utter crap.

Think of us as flying in a huge jetliner. Our normally wonderful, powerful, reliable engines--the Constitution and the free market--have been crippled by a flock of socialist geese and now we're going down at a frightening rate. We've passed the point where a graceful, last-second pullout would have been possible, and if we're lucky we may be able to find a river to ditch in.

If we can't make the river...well, did you ever see the video of the crash landing in Sioux City? The pilot had lost almost all flight controls after an explosion in the center engine, but still managed--by superhuman flying skill, plus God's grace--to reach the airfield and save roughly half the passengers.

If only we'd managed to win just six more Senate seats last November we might even have been able to pull off an astonishing feat of airmanship, like Sully ditching in the Hudson. But the longer we continue without corrective action, the more limited--and costly--our remaining options become.

Looks like we're headed for Sioux City.

"Brace for impact."

Wednesday, June 1

Gov't releasing 3,500 illegal immigrants who have committed more serious crimes

It's probably just me but several things about illegal immigration really tick me off:

First is the sheer number of people sneaking into the U.S. illegally, and the government--supposedly a government that represents US (but actually does no such thing)--does essentially nothing to stop the tide.

Second is the number of illegals who commit other, more serious crimes after they get here--notably either outright murder or killing by driving drunk.

Third is the number of left/liberal/"progressives" who claim--against all evidence--that illegals don't commit any more crimes than legal citizens.

And finally, there should be a special place in prison for government officials who deliberately release--into the U.S.-- illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes, allegedly because their home countries won't take 'em back, and there's no room in U.S. prisons to hold 'em.

This problem isn't limited to just one party: It happened under Bush and is still going on today. According to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the bureau of "Immigration and Customs Enforcement" releases an average of about 3,500 illegal aliens each year who have been convicted of other, arguably more serious crimes.

The chairman--Republican Lamar Smith of Texas--has introduced a bill to stop this, and the Left is marshalling its allies in the media to see that it's defeated. For example, Ahilan T. Arulanantham, deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said Smith’s bill would cause the incarceration of immigrants who would otherwise help the economy.

I'm sorry, but I think we can easily afford to lose the "services" of 3,500 criminal aliens each year to prevent the murders of more cops or innocent drivers.

And as for the bleeding hearts who say it's just plain cruel to keep all 3,500 in jail to prevent a few hundred from killing American citizens, I ask this: Under what legal theory do you support the release of a criminal simply because the guy had the smarts to flee to the U.S.?

If anybody knows any leftists, ya might ask 'em this one. I'm really curious.

Media double-standard: Weiner edition

I'm fascinated by the way people decide what they believe is true.

This decision is rarely a careful, rational one. Rather, people seem to make up their minds on the spot, largely due to things they've heard, seen on television or read. And there's little doubt that most people are immensely affected by headlines that "spin" a story a certain way.

Take the case of New York congressman Anthony Weiner--a former staffer to Senator Chuck Schumer, a rising star in the Democratic party, and married to a top aide to Hillary Clinton.

Stop here for a moment: Have you heard anything about the guy? If so, what do you think you know about the story?

Here's the story in brief: A critic of Weiner--who watches the congresscritter's tweets closely--posted a photo he said appeared on Weiner's twitter "feed." The photo--which was removed from twitter in a matter of minutes--showed a male in jockey briefs, seemingly in an aroused state.

The photo was allegedly meant for a coed at a college in Washington state. Said coed and Weiner had "followed" each other on twitter, which is a friend-like category that would allow them to exchange private messages, as opposed to the more common public ones.

The congressman then "tweeted" to all his followers that his account had been hacked. If you're not fluent in geekspeak, that would require someone to access his account without his permission, and would imply that the photo is of someone other than Weiner.

Within 24 hours Weiner changed his story from "My account was hacked"--a serious crime that would certainly merit investigation--to "This was a prank by a political opponent." A day later Weiner had downgraded the incident even further, describing it as "a distraction" from the serious issues facing congress.

Tellingly, when asked point-blank by a CNN interviewer whether he sent the pic, and whether the pic was of himself, he repeatedly declined to answer, instead replying with a Clintonesque series of evasions.

At this point it should be obvious that the guy did indeed send the pic to the coed. Folks with Twitter experience (I don't use it) think he intended the pic to be sent as a private message to the coed, but accidentally used the more familiar command that sent it to everyone on his list of followers.

With the foregoing in mind, read how internet giant Yahoo spun the story: It made it the last of three examples of alleged hacking--the first two of which were genuine. Clever, huh?
Lastly, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter account was hacked. A fake lewd photo of the politician was tweeted to one of his followers and quickly spread throughout Twitter. Weiner is considering legal action against the culprit.
This article is dated last night, so the leftists at Yahoo had access to all the information noted above the quote. But instead of noting the two competing possibilities, the writer at Yahoo used only strong exculpatory statements: "Weiner's Twitter account was hacked"; before the word "photo" is even mentioned, it's preceded by the dismissive term "a fake." The person for whom the pic was intended is described simply as "one of his followers," conveniently omitting the fact that she was a 21-year-old who seems to be well above average in appearance.

This isn't reporting, it's a public-relations defense.

Now, after Slick Willy's dalliance with Monica, a married pol sending a comely 21-year-old an underwear photo is pretty tame stuff. But obviously the fact that Weiner is married makes the act a significant political liability in the next election. I guess this is why virtually every leftist media outlet has practically tied itself in knots trying to dismiss the incident in one way or another.

The problem--as Weiner's Clintonesque interview showed--is that there are so many known facts that are inconsistent with any of the various convoluted explanations under which Weiner theoretically didn't send the pic.

Despite the fact that none of the various exculpatory theories by the Left is consistent with the known facts, I predict the left-supporting media will continue to spin this to preserve the viability of one of their rising stars.

Exit question: What do you suppose their response would have been if the congresscritter had been a Republican--or worse yet, a [gasp!] conservative?