Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Liberal Lion of the Senate, Redux

Frankly, I'm not surprised at the recent coverage of Kennedy in the media. His funeral was held yesterday, and even Fox News airbrushed out any mention of Mary Jo Kopeckne in their hagiographic coverage. I'm old enough to remember Chappaquiddick first-hand, and it's always bothered me. I almost can't believe some of the stuff that's been written and said about the incident since Kennedy's death.

I guess all you can do is consider the source, but this first example is despicable. Someone named Melissa Lafsky, writing at the Huffington Post, muses about what Mary Jo Kopeckne would have thought of Ted Kennedy's career. The last line of her post is all you really need: "Who knows--maybe she'd feel it was worth it."  Does Lafsky mean, maybe it was worth it for Mary Jo to survive for as long as two hours (according to the police diver who brought up the submerged car) by breathing a pocket of trapped air--and then die? Worth it? Lafsky's musings are hideous--I don't even know how to respond.

Then we get the news from one of Ted Kennedy's "close friends," former editor of Newsweek, Ed Klein, who went on a radio show and reminisced about how Chappaquiddick jokes were high on Kennedy's list: "one of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself," Klein recalls. Klein calls Kennedy's attitude "amazing. . . he still always saw the other side of everything and the ridiculous side of things, too." The "other side" of--murder? Just what "other side" might that be? Amazing? Are you kidding?

Maybe instead of Lafsky's idiot musings or Klein's amazing conclusions about Ted Kennedy's "humor," it might be better to hear from people who were closer to the event. This first video is a radio interview with John Farrar, the diver who pulled Mary Jo's body out of the car.

The next video, "Questions after Chappaquiddick," contains interviews with people who surrounded Ted Kennedy at that time, mainly K. Dun Gifford, a Kennedy campaign worker in 1969, who describes himself as "Head Dog of the Boiler Room"; also interviewed are people who were near to the Chappaquiddick incident for one reason or another, including Dominick Arena, former Police Chief of Edgartown, Mass and Steve Ewing, deck hand of the Chappaquiddick ferry.

After watching the video, one of the questions I'd like to ask is this: if there were six or eight other "Boiler Room Girls" at the party with Kennedy and his buddies that night, surely at least some of them are still alive. Has anyone tried to interview any of these women? The video says that they left the island that next morning without being interviewed by police. Surely one of them, if they were such "tough and strong" women as Dun Gifford describes, surely at least one has talked or would be willing to talk now that Kennedy is dead. They were "loyal" to the Kennedy's as Gifford described them, but did any of them feel a loyalty to Mary Jo?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Double-Down Eating

Who dreamed this up? This is the "KFC Double-down "sandwich." Hey, for those of you who want to skip the carbs in a regular bun (you know, that delicious combination of sucrose, starch, and bleach that keeps your mayonnaise in place), this may be for you! What's in this new creation? Two slices of bacon, pepper jack cheese, swiss cheese, all smothered in the Colonel's sauce, and then wrapped up in--two original recipe chicken breasts. That's right, fried chicken is the new bun. Estimated calories and fat? Really, if you're going to eat one of these things, does it matter? Someone estimated it to be the equivalent of three Big Macs. Someone else was quoted as saying that the KFC Double-down will probably become the latest "iconic, ironic" food.

I happened to hear about this newest KFC horror on the same day I was listening to a couple of late-20-or-early-30-somethings on the radio, laughing it up about the things they had eaten recently. One of their examples was Cookie-Cake-Pie. When I looked it up on the internet, I found this: Cookies, cakes and pies are basically the holy trinity of baked goods. Separately, each is wonderful in its own way. Cookies and milk after school. Birthday cake. Christmas pie. But what if--just what if--all of this awesome-ness could be combined into one singular sensation? Right. What if. The person posting this recipe says that the creation weighs more than a Thanksgiving turkey when you pick it up to put it in the oven. Excessive? Perhaps. But everyone who tried it all but licked the plate clean.

After the Cookie-Cake-Pie desecration, my radio friends went into paroxysms of laughter and delight over their recent memories of eating Funnel Cake, one of those State Fair-inspired fried dough creations (evidently any food sold at a State Fair can be deep-fried) where, if you're not careful, you end up choking on the powdered sugar you inhale into the back of your throat as you (evidently too-eagerly) bite into the thing.

And then in keeping with the "fried" theme, these guys went into their next riff which was about the best way to deep-fry a Snickers bar. The "boys" (30 is the new 15?) yukking it up on the radio pointed out that it's essential, if you want to get this one right, that you don't just deep-fry the Snickers bar; first you must dip the Snickers in batter. Batter-dipped, deep-fried--and then smothered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Good Lord.

Continuing to laugh, the two radio guys got a little more serious when they asked, "What does it say about our generation that cake or pie isn't enough, but that we need Cake-Pie, or that we would even think to "supersize" a Snicker bar?" What, indeed? I thought that was a pretty interesting question, really, since I raised one of "their generation" myself. When my kid was little, I remember the due diligence I put into giving him better food than I got when I was a kid. I fed him homemade baby food; he got homemade snacks made from a book called Taming the Candy Monster; I packed his school lunch with care--all in response to my own childhood, where breakfast was likely to be a bowl of Corn Pops, lunch a choice between peanutbutter and jelly or baloney sandwiches (on Wonder Bread, of course--"builds strong bodies 8 ways!"), and dinner often something yummy and nutritious like a frozen chicken pot pie, with never a green leaf in sight. [All this from a "stay-at-home" Mom, which begs the question, What in heck was she doing all day?--but I digress.) I only want to know, with food like that, which I don't think was atypical 1950s food, how in God's name did my generation manage to live to adulthood?

So you can probably understand why it's a little bit disturbing to me to hear men the age of my own son laughing about the most over-the-top-disgusting, "ironic" thing they've eaten that week. I'm sure these two radio guys also had mothers, who probably, just like I did, packed their school lunches with healthy intent--even hoping, perhaps, to include a subtle lesson for later about good food habits. The only way for me to make any sense of of these 30-somethings' descent into "outrageous food" is to put it on a par with my own generation turning away from our parents' alcohol and cigarettes and turning on to psychedelic drugs. Same sort of concept, I guess, with probably also similar hazardous health results if the habit is continued.

So double-down on that ironic food, guys, but don't forget: it's a long life, and you may find someday that the real irony is having to carry around that super-sized junk in your trunk.

Update: From Texas, I think I just found the mother of all ironic State Fair fried foods: deep-fried butter. No kidding. Here's how it's described: "It's like a mix between a biscuit or a croissant that is just stuffed to the gills with butter on the inside," Abel Gonzales Jr., 39, the dish's mastermind, told NBC News.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The polls really aren't going The One's way this summer. Gallup has been tracking public approval of Presidents since Harry Truman. At the end of August, Obama's job approval rating has just hit 50%.

Should his numbers continue to slide, as Gallup points out, Obama by no means will be the first President to slide below 50%. However, Obama has reached this low more quickly than most of his predecessors did. Slipping below 50% before November of the first year in office would represent "the third fastest drop" since World War II, Gallup reports. Republican Gerald Ford slipped below 50% in his third month as President, Democrat Bill Clinton during his fourth month.

On the other hand, it took President Eisenhower five years to fall below 50% in the public's estimate. Both George Bushes took three years. Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon took more than two years.

Gallup isn't the only pollster who has Obama's numbers at 50%. Rasmussen's poll numbers are at the same mark.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy, RIP
Some thoughts on hearing the "Lion of the Senate" has passed away. I hope there is a heaven, and I hope that he's now reunited with his brothers.

I'm not a Roman Catholic nor am I Irish, and although once a Democrat, I am no longer. Nevertheless, the Kennedy family has been on my radar most of my life, rather obsessively on my radar, I'll admit, perhaps because of the accident my birth year and perhaps also because of the fact that I tend to be something of a news junkie. I was in the sixth grade when John F. Kennedy was shot--an impressionable time in any kid's life. Of course I can recount "where I was" when I heard about his death, as almost any person who was alive on that day can do. I was in the Slavens Elementary School cafeteria eating lunch when a very scary, serious adult voice came over the school intercom to tell us the tragic news. I cut out every newspaper story of JFK for the next week, intending to create a scrapbook. It seemed like the right thing to do. I don't think I'd ever seen 4-inch headlines in the newspaper before. JFK's assassination and the events surrounding that time seemed to imprint the Kennedy family story on my psyche for life.

Next came the shooting of Bobby Kennedy in a cafeteria hallway of a California hotel. It was April of 1968, so I was a sophomore in high school. I had the TV on that night and was watching when Bobby gave his last speech; he had just won the California primary and made his victory speech before about 2,000 supporters in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, ending with "On to Chicago and let's win there." It was just a few minutes after midnight, so if that was Pacific time, then that means I had the TV on at 1:00 a.m. Denver time, something I didn't typically do. I remember the shock I felt watching the live TV news feed of Robert Kennedy, lying on the ground, very obviously mortally wounded. Although his eyes were open and he was still alive, you knew he wasn't going to make it because of the large pool of blood surrounding his head.

Then it was just the next year, in the summer of 1969, that "Chappaquiddick" became, forever, a word added to the Kennedy lexicon, when 37-year-old Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. Ted Kennedy managed to get himself out of the submerged vehicle, and later said that he "panicked" and fled the scene of the accident. It was hours before Kennedy reported the accident. Mary Jo's Kopeckne's body was discovered ten hours later inside the submerged car. Somehow whenever I connect the ideas of Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, I always think of it as a stupid young rich kid's stunt, perhaps because he was given a pass for killing Mary Jo as if it were just a stupid rich kid's stunt. However, his were the actions of a 37-year-old United States Senator, married and the father of three children. Kennedy was never charged for his actions that night.

Was it after Ted's disaster at Chappaquiddick that the idea of a "Kennedy curse" took hold in the American public's psyche? It seemed to take hold in the family about the time Robert was murdered when someone in the family was heard to say, "It was as if fate had turned against us. There was now a pattern that could not be ignored." Whether it was fate or hubris, bad luck or some awful combination of them all, the Kennedy family certainly seemed star-crossed: three dead older brothers (the oldest, Joseph Jr., dead in 1944 in a plane crash--rumors or more than rumors that he was on some secret war mission continue to this day); an older sister, also the victim of a plane crash, killed along with her married lover; another sister institutionalized for life after a botched lobotomy; his father, Joseph Sr., a man who spent a lifetime working to get one of his sons elected President, struck speechless with a stroke just as his son John attained that goal; Ted himself severely injured in a plane crash that killed the pilot and an aide. The list of family tragedies goes on and on, culminating, but not ending, when John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and her sister died in 1999 in another plane, piloted and crashed by John Jr.

Much has been made in the press recently about certain events being a certain politician's Waterloo. [Touched will not name names.] The same could be said for Ted Kennedy and the bridge at Chappaquiddick: perhaps the American people forgave Ted Kennedy for Chappaquiddick, but they never forgot. He would never be President, the People would see to that. What he could be was one of the most powerful U.S. Senators in history for over four decades. One of his premier legislative goals for decades was to reform our "broken system" of health care.

When Ted Kennedy received his own grim diagnosis of cancer in May of 2008, Kennedy was no stranger to putting up a fight against the disease: at the age of 12, his son Edward lost a leg to bone cancer; his second son Patrick was 20 when he had a non-cancerous tumor removed from his spine; his only daughter Kara was 45 when she was diagnosed with "inoperable" lung cancer and given one year to live. Ted Kennedy met each diagnosis head on, arming himself with an arsenal of information, embracing experimental treatments and seeking third opinions and sometimes more. In speaking about their daughter Kara and her lung cancer, which today is in remission, Kara's mother and Ted Kennedy's first wife, Joan B. Kennedy, said, "He really saved her life. I am so grateful that he is my children's father, because he has always gotten them the best medical care" [emphasis mine].

"The best medical care"--in the world, Joan Kennedy might have added, which Ted Kennedy also obtained for himself during his last illness--the best medical care in the world, right here in the U.S. of A. Yet the question begs to be asked: under ObamaCare, would a 77-year-old obese alcoholic male diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer have received "the best" care? It's more likely that he would have been offered a hemlock bag to hang around his neck, with instructions for using it when the time was right. Instead, recipient of the world's best health care, he was able, after his diagnosis, to see another Christmas, another spring, and even another summer at his beloved family compound at Hyannisport, Mass. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out on his show today, Ted Kennedy was a man who embraced life. He wanted to live, and he lived with his illness as long as he was able. In doing so, he was probably doing what most people would also want for themselves. At least he had the choice.

One hopes that Kennedy's death will not be used by the Left to push some sentimentalized form of  "TeddyCare" onto the American public, the majority of which wants no part of Obama's health reform scheme. Hopefully, instead, Ted Kennedy’s death will help to emphasize that our elected “public servants” enjoy one of the best health insurance plans in the world. The American people have let it be known that they believe it is deeply wrong that these legislators are trying to force something much less comprehensive (and less life-affirming) than their own plan onto their constituents.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Michelle Obama: "Let's play Queen, and I'll be Queen."

I didn't mind so much about Michelle Obama's $540 sneakers, except that she wore them when she went to "help" at a Washington, D.C. food bank and homeless shelter. I thought that was tacky.

I thought the ring-around-the-rosey flower garden outfit that she wore to Westminster Abbey was questionable, but. . . you can't argue taste (well, yes you can--"Wide stripes around the hips a neurotic fashion no-no," said one British sartorial reviewer). Honestly, I've never seen a goofier outfit on an adult woman in my life, but then I wear overalls at home. . . oh, but wait, that's at home. . . well, never mind.

I didn't mind too much about the too-short-shorts that she wore coming off of Air Force One. They seemed a bit casual to me, but others admired her "willingness to take fashion risks"--whatever, I don't really care. IMO, her legs aren't that great (certainly not as great as THOSE ARMS!), but if she wants to wear short-shorts more appropriate for a 25-year-old than a 45-year-old, who am I to criticize? One of the mainstream media blogg-ettes who cover this sort of thing referred to her "oh so tricky shorts. . . practical, yet bold." Seriously?

Overall, I think Michelle Obama is a fashion wreck, but some people like her goofy clothes. All I can say is, I feel soooo sorry for people who decided on fashion reporting as a career move while this woman is the First Lady.

All funny-stuff aside, and her wardrobe really is nothing more than fluff and funny-stuff, what disturbs me lately about Michelle Obama is the report coming out about her staff. It seems that Queen Michelle, in the midst of the "worst economic downturn since the Depression" (that's a quote from Michelle's husband), finds that she needs twenty-six (26) attendants to get her through the day. Salaries for this tribe of hirelings add up to (without figuring in 50% more for the gold-plated benefits that go with their jobs) $1,750,000. Michelle has hired a Social Secretary and a Deputy Social Secretary, a Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary, a Director of Policy and Projects, her own Director of Communications, a First Lady Deputy Chief of Staff, an Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff, her own Press Secretary, an Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary, a Director of Scheduling and Advance, a Director of Advance and Trip Director, a Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator, a Director of Policy and Projects, a Special Assistant and Personal Aide, a Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide, an Associate Director of Correspondence, a Deputy Director of Correspondence, a Deputy Associate Director of her Social Office, and, last but not least (and surely not the last) a Staff Assistant.

It sounds like she could also benefit from hiring a Director of the Directed Department of Redundancy Department. I am not exaggerating--these are real titles for real people being paid real salary from real tax dollars, all hired by Michelle Obama to do--what, exactly? Where is Michelle Obama having an impact as First Lady? Anybody? It's been seven months. I heard she planted a garden with some kids. Wow.

Just to get her through a normal day, (not to mention her weekly "date night" with her husband--the New York date night jaunt of this celebrity First Lady and her husband cost the taxpayers something along the lines of $250,000--but I digress) she needs all these people?

Every day I wake up hoping the country's nightmare of the Obama administration is over. I am sickened by the over-the-top extravagances of these "entitled" people. It's good to be Queen, evidently.

Ironic quote of the day: "Michelle Obama has harnessed her role as First Lady to encourage Americans to give back through volunteerism: she calls on all of the hoi polloi (did she really say that?--well, maybe not out loud) to make service a part of their daily lives." I laughed until I fell off my chair when I read that one.
He Ignores Our Own National Prayer Day, But Sends Ramadan Greetings

I have no problem with Obama recently sending Ramadan greetings to Muslims around the world. Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting. It's a time when Muslims fast for the sake of Allah. Ramadan was also the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Actually, listen to Obama's YouTube greeting--he does a much better job than I do of explaining what Ramadan is all about. I wonder if Obama will also send out Yom Kippur greetings to Jews at the end of September? Kwanzaa greetings to African-Americans in December? How about YouTube greetings to Christians next Easter? But regardless of what he may or may not do for other religious groups, for the President of the United States to ignore our country's National Prayer Day sends a strange message, I think. Particularly in light of this recent Ramadan greeting.

OK, to be exact, technically he didn't ignore the prayer day in May, since he did sign a proclamation honoring National Prayer Day, which Congress has observed since 1952. The day is set aside as a day when people all over the country are asked to come together and pray, especially for their country. During his administration, President Bush acknowledged the day with an ecumentical prayer service in the White House East Room. Perhaps still needing to show that he is "not Bush," aside from the paper proclamation, there was no observance of the day in the Obama White House. Explained WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Obama would observe the day as he does any other day, with private prayers. Gibbs, I don't think "private prayer" like any other day is the point of the day. Gibbs's glib answer seems to indicate that, just as Obama sometimes doesn't quite "get it" that the President's words carry greater weight than other people saying the same thing, he also doesn't seem to understand that his actions carry symbolic weight. On the other hand, maybe he understands very well. And OK, Obama, we get it, you're not Bush.

"Toning down" National Prayer Day in the White House, which was how a CNN headline put it, wasn't seen as much of a big deal by many people back in May. I doubt that the non-day in Obama's White House was reported by the perky Katie Couric at CBS News, for example. In fact, in some circles, Obama was praised for his non-action. Said David Silverman, national spokesperson for the organization of American Atheists, "It's not his job to tell people to pray." Will Silverman have anything to say about Obama's five-minute Ramadan greeting to Muslims around the world? I guess I won't hold my breath waiting to hear from him.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Public Option Insurance Plan: Selling Snake Oil

I'm sure there's been an administration equally (maybe even more) as duplicitous and full of chicanery as ObamaTeam. But the Obama crowd ran on and was elected on the idea that they would be so much BETTER, so much DIFFERENT, that they would bring HOPE and CHANGE, the kind of thing that the Bush administration had no clue how to do. Well, what we are finding, a mere seven months into the O'Bummer administration, is that they are no better, they are no different, and that with the Obama crowd in place, Washington continues to be full of people like this smug p-rick Jacob Hacker character who believes the electorate is a collective mob of dolts, that people like him "know better," and that he and others working with ObamaTeam will decide what the people need, regardless of what the people want.

Here's the clip:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's the Weekend, and It's Good to Laugh

This is priceless, especially if you're a Broadway musical fan; it's a parody of the the classic song from Chorus Line. People on the other of the issue side are VERY GRIM. Why be like them?

Air America: Obama a "Charming Liar" and a Fascist?

Air America interviews Greg Palast, investigative journalist (pictured at left).

First of all, who knew Air America was still around? Maybe government subsidies are keeping them propped up--it sure isn't advertising revenues. And second, who knew there was anyone working in journalism today, of whatever stripe, that could be called an investigative journalist?

This is Greg Palast being interviewed by Christiane Brown who refers to Palast as "investigative reporter extraordinaire." Greg Palast, a self-styled "progressive" investigative journalist has been lauded by the Left for his hard-hitting investigation of the Bush "cartel." Among other things, Palast wrote the New York Times best-seller, Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild, 2007.

"Doggedly independent, undaunted by power. His stories bite, they're so relevant they threaten to alter history" -Chicago Tribune

"Greg Palast is investigative journalism at its best. No one has exposed more truth about the Bush Cartel and lived to tell the story." - Baltimore Chronicle

Palast talks in the video about the $80 billion backroom deal made by Obama with Big Pharma: the pharmaceutical industry will give the federal government an $80 billion break if the feds promise not to negotiate to lower drug prices. The deal is 180 degrees from what Obama told his unquestioning supporters that he would do when they elected him President: We'll tell the drug companies, "Thanks, but no thanks" for their overpriced drugs (Obama, Oct. 2008).

Listen as Palast discusses his reaction to being "Cheneyed" by "a guy named Barack Obama." Then after a clip where Obama says that "all these negotiations" will be done on CSPAN so that the American people can follow along--the female host interviewer giggles, "He's such a, a charming liar, though. He's such a, nice guy when he lies like that."

The clip ends with Palast telling the interviewer that "I'm gonna say something that should light up your lines." What if the people out there screaming and breaking up the discussion at townhall meetings are correct? "What if," Palast ends, "we have the absolute fascist nightmare" of big government in bed with big corporate powers?

Yeah, Palast, what if? So how's the Hope & Change working out for you, fella?

When the progressives start turning on Obama, is the bloom off the rose?

Here's the clip

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gibbs: Obama is "quite comfortable" with being a one-term president

Halleluiah! You know what Barry? I think we can make that happen for ya'.

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, simply: 1-20-13. That's the day ObamaTeam leaves Washington forever and for good. Good riddance, Barry. Now, I don't believe for one minute that this disengenuous jerk, Robert Gibbs, is telling the truth. What I'm saying is that I'm willing to work to see Obama voted out of office like a second Jimmah Carter. I will work day and night to do what I can to see that it happens.

On second thought, though, it's possible that Obama would be willing to be a one-term precedent. This is the first real job he's ever had, and it must be seriously cutting into his personal down-time. I'm thinking he might be more than willing to give it up after one term. His connections with Soros will make him a gob-zillion-millionaire, so why should he work when he doesn't have to?

Update: The One (termer)
The Greatest Orator Evah: "All Wee-Wee'd Up"

I never did get the "greatest orator" thing about Obama. He can read a speech--OK, that's good, a politician should be able to read a speech. Sometimes he phones it in, but sometimes he can read a speech with feeling. What he can't do, which is odd for someone whose job description would seem to require such a skill, is speak well on his feet. When this guy goes off the teleprompter, he reveals himself to be not only a mediocre speaker, but also something of a fool. If Obama really were the great oratorical talent we've all repeatedly been told he is, then he would take his road act in front of people who don't agree with him, instead of appearing at so many events where he's merely preaching to the choir. That would be leadership.

Here's "just one of the folks" Obama, speaking, as usual, in front of a carefully selected crowd of Obamabots. It's not because he was a straight-A student that his transcripts from Columbia and Harvard are evidently some sort of state secret. But remember, Bush was the dumb one. Hey Barry, your premier legislative issue is failing. Is this the best you can do? Wee-wee'd up? Seriously?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Signs May Be Mundane, But They're Sincere

Unlike the printed and pre-packaged signs you see being held up by the real Astro-Turfers (SEIU members and ACORN), my signs and others like them are home-made. I bought the supplies for this sign from my friendly local Ben Franklin store. When was the last time you shopped at Ben Franklin? I actually saw kids in the store acting like normal kids, buying candy of all things.

Here's the sign that I've made for Saturday's August 22 Recess Rally. Have you made your sign? Have you made your plans to attend?

Go to this website if you need information:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Will the Democrats "Go It Alone" to Pass ObamaCare?

When you hear a someone from Washington talking about "going it alone" on the ObamaCare bill, what they're talking about is reconciliation. I'm not exactly sure I understand the term as it is used by Congress. I do know one thing: it sure as heck doesn't mean in Congress what it means in Webster's dictionary. Webster says "reconciliation" is: "the action of reconciling"; and "reconcile" means: "to restore to friendship or harmony." So here we go again with one of those Alice-in-Wonderland words used in Washington, a word used to mean exactly the opposite of its dictionary definition.

Wikipedia says (and I don't mindlessly trust Wikipedia, but it'a a place to start) that reconciliation is a legislative process intended to allow a contentious budget bill (hold that thought) to be considered without filibuster. Meaning, using reconciliation, the Senate can shove a marginally popular bill through Congress with only a simple majority of votes (51) rather than the 60 votes needed to keep the other side from filibustering. Confusing? Reconciliation allows the lower number of votes (51) to count as a passing vote without a filibuster challenge. Normally, to escape filibuster, the bill needs 60 votes. Clear as mud? I think it's meant to be.

Why does the issue of reconciliation matter? Public support for ObamaCare has been dropping like a hot rock. So now there's talk that if Congress can't pass their ObamaCare bill any other way, then they'll try to use this reconciliation voting trick to squeak the crap bill through. But wait a minute, you say. Wasn't reconciliation a strategy set up to be used for budget bills? That's exactly right, "Straight up," as my good friend Janeane Garafalo would say. Evidently, though, for the purposes of avoiding discussion, amendments from Republicans, and a filibuster, and for shoving an unpopular bill through the Senate, the term "budget bills" can pretty much be anything the Democrat side wants it to mean. So now we can clearly see that "reconciliation" is actually the opposite of "restoring friendship and harmony," and that brings us back to Congress's Alice in Wonderland world again.

Which also brings to mind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nevada), who has said he would "leave nothing off the table," including reconciliation, in his zeal to back up "his" President's premier issue. However, it would seem that Reid's colleagues on both sides of the aisle aren't too thrilled with the idea of using reconciliation to pass the health care bill. So concerned were they about the legislative scheme being used, not only on health care legislation, but also on cap and trade, Senators Robert Byrd (D, West Virginia) and Mike Johnanns (R, Nebraska) sent a letter to Majority Leader Reid which read, in part:

"Legislation so far-reaching should be fully vetted and given appropriate time for debate, something the budget reconciliation process does not allow. Using this procedure would circumvent normal Senate practice and would be inconsistent with the Obama administration's stated goals of bipartisanship, cooperation, and openness."

Another Senator, Judd Gregg (R, New Hampshire), had this to say about using reconciliation to shove the health care bill through the Senate: "When you are taking the entire health system of the United States, restructuring it, changing it fundamentally, moving it to the left significantly, basically nationalizing it for all intents and purposes ... without any opportunity for changes on the floor of the Senate, well, you might as well not have a Senate. You might as well just have a House of Representatives. It totally undermines the purposes of the two branches of government." Gosh, why have a Senate or a House of Representatives? Why not just let King Barack I tell the country what's what. After all, as he would remind everyone, "I won."

If Harry Reid gets his way and manages to use reconciliation to shove this ObamaCare bill down the country's collective throat, can anything be done by his Senate opponents to stop him? A suggestion has been made that if Reid goes the reconciliation route, there will be repercussions. For one, Senate Republicans can use parliamentary procedure to shut down the Senate for the next year. Senators traditionally give each other the courtesy of unanimous consent on tasks such as bill-reading, for example, to allow business to proceed at a normal pace. If Democrats try to force ObamaCare through by reconciliation, unanimous consent will evaporate; a single objection will be all it will take to wipe out unanimous consent, slowing down anything the Harry Reid Senate wants to get done.

That's what the Republicans might do. How about the moderate Democrats? What Harry Reid risks if he goes ahead with what some have called the "nuclear option" is a split within his own Democrat ranks, further dividing the "Blue Dog" moderates from the rest of the party. It was the Blue Dogs who slowed down the legislation in July; Harry Reid's frantic antics in favor of passing ObamaCare could conceivably force the Blue Dogs to dig in their heels and throw the bill out altogether.

Then there's that pesky public--you know, those "citizen mobs" who have been causing legislators such trouble during their August recess. How will they react if the ObamaCare bill is "finessed" through Congress on a 51% vote without input from those who oppose it? I've been to four events where We the People have been expressing our anger over the current health care fiasco. My take on it is this: health care is a symptom, not a cause, of people's anger at government. It seems to me they are mostly angry at the effete snob attitude of legislators who no longer listen to their constituents, who have forgotten that they work for us. I predict that if Harry Reid & Co. try to "go it alone" on a health care bill, they will set off a firestorm of grassroots anger in this country the likes of which hasn't been seen since about 1775.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hey Barry: Johnson would be a better mentor for you than Lincoln

I was not particularly aware of LBJ when he was president, 1963-1969. I was only 11 when he was elected, and politics just wasn't something that was a part of my childhood world. However, today I am a big fan of Robert Caro, a Johnson biographer. For my money, Caro's 3-volume biog of LBJ is one of the best-written biographies I've ever read. The thing about biographies is this: the subject doesn't much matter if the biog is well-written; and the converse is true--if a biography is badly written, the life story of the most interesting person alive will not overcome the bad writing. But I digress.

Robert Caro's third volume of the LBJ biography, published in 2002, is titled Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate. Johnson is remembered, if at all, by most people for his years as President. What he ought to be remembered for, in my opinion, were his years in the Senate, from 1949-1960. Caro's book is fascinating for anyone who is interested in how the Senate works, and he details how Johnson mastered the Senate as no political leader has ever done, before or since. Caro tells how Johnson became Majority Leader in only one term--the youngest and greatest Senate Leader in our history. Under his leadership, the Senate became a legislative machine that responded to Johnson's tight-fisted control.

It was Johnson's political genius that allowed him to achieve the impossible: to retain the support of the Southerners who controlled the Senate while earning the cooperation of liberals, as well as to convince his Southern constituents that, although he was firmly in their camp, it was essential that they allow him to make progress toward civil rights.

Our most recent example of Senator-turned-President is a much different political animal. Neophyte Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., unlike Lyndon Baines Johnson, chose to use his time in the Senate (all 145 days or so of it), not to learn the ins and outs of legislative power, but instead to use that office as a stepping-stone to something larger: the power, wealth, and fame of the Presidency. No wonder Obama "repeatedly" (one of the favored, overworked words in his lexicon) steps in it, making the mistakes of a rookie, including his most recent health care debacle, where he has inexplicably managed to enrage not only people on the Right, but also his base on the far Left.

Instead of misappropriating some dubious claim of a Lincolnesque comparison with himself (which, frankly, I don't see how that works on any level), Obama would do well to press the "Reset" button, made famous by his hapless Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and do a little reading up on the career of Lyndon Johnson, himself a pragmatic, ruthless, and ambitious politician, but who, unlike beginner Barack Obama, understood and played the political game with a master's consummmate skill. Johnson was his own Rahm Emmanuel. He wouldn't have needed anyone to do his dirty work for him, and he never voted "present." --Now there's a scary thought: Narcissist-in-Chief Obama with a full kit of political tools.

Seriously, if you're interested in legislative power and how the Senate works, if you enjoy biographies and like a good read, then get Robert Caro's biographies of LBJ, particularly volume 3, Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Party of "No Way"

I love Mary Matelin, this guy's wife. But how she ever married James Carville--or stays married to him--is beyond me.

So here's brilliant Democrat strategist James Carville, talking this weekend about the political advantage of letting Republicans kill health care reform: “Put a bill out there, make them filibuster it, make them be what they are, the party of no,” Carville said. “Let them kill it. Let them kill it with the interest group money, then run against them. That's what we ought to do.”

I've got news for you, James. The Republican Party is not the "Party of No." It's the party of "No Way Are We Going to Let You Shove This Crap Sandwich Down Our Throats."

Um, James, one other thing: Which party owns the White House? Which party owns the Senate? Which party owns the House of Representatives? Which party has enough votes, theoretically anyway, for a filibuster-proof vote? Come on, James, which party, exactly, is the real "Party of No"?

The Public Option: Nothing But a Shell Game

Probably most everyone has seen the shell game being played, maybe at a summer state fair: the eager, naive mark is sure he can beat the huckster, whirling the shells in front of his eyes; he's so sure which shell hides the pea, but the huckster beats the poor dumb mark, every time. The game is portrayed as a gambling game, but in reality, when money is on the line, it is a confidence trick used to perpetrate fraud. This trick is referred to as a short-con, because it's quick and easy to pull off.

ObamaTeam must have thought they had a shell game going with "health reform," and particularly with the piece of the bill that has come to be known as the public option. The public is stupid, ObamaTeam obviously believes. The public doesn't really pay attention to this stuff. Pass the public option, and maybe not right away, but eventually, everyone would be dropped from their private insurance and forced onto the government plan. The public option, once passed, would naturally lead to a single-payer option, straight up. And of course single-payer is where they really want to take us, since it's not really about health care reform, but instead it's about a government power grab the likes of which this country has never seen.

But on the way to passing his health care bill, ObamaTeam ran into a snag: in the hot month of August, when they should have been playing at the beach, the citizens started paying attention. Unlike members of Congress, some of them even read the bill. And what they found, they didn't like, particularly that piece of it known as the public option. People attending town hall meetings let their Senators and Representatives know that in this health care bill, they smelled a rat.

Then over this past weekend, it began to seem as though Washington was listening to the voices of the angry town hall citizen "mobs." CNN reported that Senator Kent Conrad (D, North Dakota), a key member of the Senate Finance Committee which is working to put out a health care bill, said that Obama should drop his push for the public option because the Senate will never pass it. He said it was futile to continue to "chase that rabbit" because the Senate doesn't have the 60 votes needed on the issue to overcome a filibuster.

Then the artless Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, told CNN that a government-run public option is "not an essential part" of health insurance reform.

Also, ham-faced Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, appeared on Face the Nation and said that fostering competition and choice were non-negotiable, but the specific mechanism to do so was up for discussion.

These comments seemed to indicate a softening of the ObamaTeam position on the public option, that they would be willing to drop the public option from the bill in order to get some sort of health reform bill passed. Well, not so fast.

This morning, The Atlantic, which ought to just be retitled The Atlantic White House Mouthpiece, published a report providing "clarity" about the intentions of the President. An "anonymous White House source" reports that Kathleen Sebelius "misspoke." The source said the White House did not intend to change its messaging, that President Obama believes the public option is the best way to reduce costs and promote competition, he has not backed away from that belief, and he continues to want to see a public option in the final bill.

Opponents of ObamaCare should be wary of any talk of "compromise" on the public option coming from Washington. ObamaTeam has shown itself to be a huckster, looking for the easy mark. We can't afford to play their shell game, because if we play, just like the easy mark, we will lose. The huckster always beats anyone dumb enough to play his game.

As a reminder, here is YouTube Obama, speaking in his own words about the public option scheme.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How Many Jokers Are in a Deck of Cards?

OK, I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I can keep myself from deleting this picture. I've always found Nancy's plastic look to be sort of icky, something like "Barbie Doll Grandma," but the Joker pic is just this side of horrifying. Clicking on my blog today has been a painful experience.

Scroll down to see YouTube Nan in 2006 expounding on being a "fan of disruptors: "There's nothing more articulate or eloquent to a member of Congress than the voice of their constituents"--yeah, she actually said that. But evidently it's true only if those "voices" are speaking on the Democrat side.

I am sick of the words coming out of this woman's mouth: "un-American" if you show up against ObamaCare (OK to be exact, she wrote that one); "Astroturfers" routinely "carrying swastikas to town meetings" (hilariously, Pelosi pronounces the word "swasti-KAH," accent on the last sylla-BLE). Dissent is unpatriotic when the Democrats come to town.

How many Jokers are in a deck? Most decks of cards have two. The Joker's use is widely varied: many card games omit the card from use entirely; others make it one of the most important in the game. Depending on its use, the Joker can be a beneficial or a harmful card. Often, the Joker is a wildcard, and thereby allowed to represent other existing cards. The term "Joker's Wild" originates from this practice. In the game of Old Maid, the Joker represents the Old Maid, a card that is to be avoided. In Crazy Eights, the Joker is a "skip" card, playable on top of any other card. In Mighty, the Joker is the second most powerful card in the game, although it cannot legally be played on the first or last trick.

Nancy Pelosi has represented the 8th Congressional District of California, which consists of four-fifths of the City and County of San Francisco, since 1987. She can be ridiculed (it's almost too easy--she's such a target-rich environment), but she should not be taken lightly; her roots in politics run deep. Pelosi is the daughter of a New Deal congressman and revered mayor who ran a political machine from his Baltimore brick row house. "Little Nancy" was part of the operation: "Our whole lives were politics," she told an interviewer during her first race for Congress. "If you entered the house, it was always campaign time, and if you went into the living room it was always constituent time."

Evidently, Nancy's San Francisco constituents like her, and like her or not, she's an astute politician, so they'll probably never be rid of her. Here in Missouri, however, we would know exactly what to do with the likes of this kind of Joker.

[Touched wonders if Claire McCaskill is paying attention? At least try to pretend you're from Missouri, Claire.]

Here's Nancy, advocating free speech in 2006. Gosh, how she's aged in just 3 short years. She ought to sue her plastic surgeon.

Clear Your Calendar for August 22 at Noon

St. Louis has been in the forefront of the recess rallies that have been popping up all around the country. Well, get ready for the big one. If you haven't been to any of these rallies yet but have been thinking you ought to show up, then this rally on August 22 is the one to attend. In cities and towns across the United States, on August 22, 2009, the American people will SURROUND our legislators' offices and say:


If you live in or near St. Louis, you can choose your location. Special events are being planned for Senator Claire McCaskill's office (5850 A Delmar Blvd., St. Louis) and Representative Russ Carnahan's office (8764 Manchester Rd.).

Here are some tips from the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition website if you attend (oops--is this "organizing"? Someone had better report me at, quick!):

  • On the day of the event, arrive at the staging area by 11:00. Bring bottled water. Wear sunscreen and bring some to re-apply. [Remember, 80% of success is just showing up.]
  • Be happy. In America we can demonstrate and change minds. In Iran and hundreds of other countries, we could be killed for this.
  • Be brave. The unions [read, SEIU, the purple-shirt people] may hire knuckle-draggers to intimidate or even to beat us. We will take their blows and march on.

    Think this is hyperbole? I watched the purple-shirt people do everything they could do at the Russ Carnahan event to goad our side into a reaction. When that didn't work, they put a conservative African-American man in the hospital. This wasn't just something I heard reported; I was standing 10 feet away when it happened. I'm convinced that the only reason these purple-shirt thugs backed off of the beating they were giving to Kenneth Gladney is because they saw they were being caught on video. So I would add one more thing to bring with you if you can: bring a video camera, and if you see something happening, use it.

For more information and to keep updated about the event, go to the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition website.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are You Serious?

Who is this woman and what role does she play in Obama's administration? Meet Dr. Regina Benjamin, Obama's nominee for Surgeon General. According to the National Library of Medicine, "Profiles in Science," the Surgeon General's main official duty has been to "advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Assistant Secretary of Health on affairs of preventive health, medicine, and health policy." [emphasis mine] In other words, the Surgeon General's role is as a mouthpiece for the administration to talk about public health issues.

So maybe I'm confused, but what has Obama been talking about as this country's main public health issue? [Answer: Not smoking; according to the Secret Service, Obama continues to light up regularly.] Isn't Obama The One who has been railing against people in this country for their obesity? Isn't Obama The One who on the campaign stump was saying that if this country could go back to the obesity levels of the 1980s, we could save gob-zillions of dollars on health care? Isn't Obama The One who has said that fighting the epidemic of this country's obesity is at the heart of his ObamaCare health plan? In fact, Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has gone so far as to say that the Obama administration will "require" health insurance plans to cover weight loss programs. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when Sebelius and Benjamin get together for a little bit of obesity "advising."

See where I'm going with this? Obama, did you notice your new pick for Surgeon General, you know, the one who is your preventive health advisor, is fat? In fact, at size 20, she's obese. At a time when nearly half of the adults and one-third of the children in this country are overweight, does choosing a fat person for Surgeon General make any sense?

Then there's that other sort of embarrassing issue, recently uncovered about Dr. Benjamin, where it turns out she's been paid $10,000 over the past year for serving on an advisory board for Burger King. Although Benjamin declined an interview to talk about this work, Burger King officials said that she served on the company's "nutritional advisory panel," formed last year as part of the company's "ongoing efforts to promote balanced diets and active lifestyle choices." I'm just wondering here, but how "active" would a person's lifestyle need to be in order to "balance" eating a Double Whopper and medium fries, at a total of 81 grams of fat?

I have no quarrel with Dr. Benjamin, herself, as an individual. No doubt she's a nice person, dedicated to her profession, with stellar professional qualifications--although as Surgeon General with her girth it's hard to see how she can make effective arguments for good lifestyle choices. My real quarrel is with Obama and the indefensible choices he's making in filling the positions in his administration. An obese woman with ties to the fast food industry, however well-intentioned those ties may be, hardly seems like a good choice for Surgeon General. It sort of reminds me, on a smaller scale, of one of Obama's other choices, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the "indispensible whiz kid," aka "Tax Cheat Timmy." It matters that Barry Obama has had so little experience in anything other than academia or community organizing: personnel choices can be tricky, and so far Barry's choices have revealed him to be the inexperienced boob we thought he was.

This is where I get to end with the obligatory, What if George Bush had done it?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Affordable Health Choices Act, 111th Congress, Senate Bill

I put a copy of the Senate bill on my Kindle. This bill was evidently voted out of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on July 15. The first I heard of a Senate bill being voted out of committee was at the Clair McCaskill town hall event two days ago. I don't remember this being reported by the media; in fact, just yesterday on Fox News I heard an anchor say that the House had a bill (the 1000+ page bill we've heard of) but the Senate did not. Well, evidently they do (or maybe they don't--see "Update" below). I should have paid more attention in Mr. Price's 8th grade civics class when he taught us "How a Bill Becomes Law." I only remember the geography tests he gave us: thanks to Mr. Price, I can pick out the Yangtze River almost with my eyes closed (although bad news for me, now it's called the Chang Jiang, but since less than 12% of today's high school graduates can find China on a map, I figure I'm still doing OK. Do people under 50 even look at maps anymore? A talking GPS with Google Earth, maybe. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) But I digress. Claire's Senate bill takes up 615 pages of a pdf file.

The HELP Committee Chairman is Ted Kennedy, who has of course been in the Senate since 1962. No one quite knows how Kennedy is faring with his brain cancer, but since ObamaCare hasn't yet become law, it's a pretty good bet that Kennedy hasn't yet been subjected to his "voluntary" (how soon will that change to "mandatory"?) end-of-life "couseling." (Mary Jo Kopechne, 1940-1969, was unavailable for comment on the bill.) Touched wishes him the best.

Chris Dodd (D, Connecticut,) is also part of the committee. Dodd is the longest-serving Senator in Connnecticut's history, having served since 1980. Dodd has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer; however, since ObamaCare has not yet become law, his cancer was caught early and his chances of recovery are about 100% under our current "broken" health care system. Lucky Chris that he doesn't live in England, where his chances of survival would drop to somewhere around 67% under British socialized health care. Touched also wishes him well.

Their health issues coming when they did was certainly good timing on the part of both of these Senators. Of course, not to worry, members of the House and Senate will be the last people on the planet to lose their excellent health care plan if ObamaCare is passed, but 30 or 50 years from now, who knows what could happen? Really, what could go wrong with a health care bill shepherded through the Senate by the likes of these two Senators, the Poster Boys for Term Limits?

I started to read this bill. Wow, it's a real snooze-fest, no surprise. My buddy Claire McCaskill said that she finished the last 200 pages while flying home from Washington(commercial, coach, she added). What a woman!

The bill can be found at

Fun Fact: The British health care system is the third largest employer in the world, second only to the Chinese Army. That's the truth--look it up.

Update: Bill Hennessey at St. Louis Tea Party Coalition reports that there are four drafts of the health care bill in the Senate. To the best of his knowledge, he writes, "the Senate has not released the complete drafts," except to Senators. So what's the deal? Was the Senate bill voted out of the HELP Committee or not? Obviously there's confusion on this issue, even among people who are paying attention. Possibly "confusion" is a goal. Hennessey accuses McCaskill of playing a shell game with the five different bills that are in various stages of completion.

Evidently Hennessey wasn't as won over by Claire's performance on Tuesday as I was, since he writes, "Claire McCaskill's slithery performance at Jefferson College on August 11 left most observers needing a shower." He called her answers "slimy and smug."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

80% of Success Is Just Showing Up

Never doubt that a few people can make a big difference.

This comes from a poll at USA Today, not exactly a conservative rag:

In a survey of 1,000 adults taken Tuesday, 34% say the sometimes heated protests at sessions held by members of Congress have made them more sympathetic to the protesters’ views; 21% say they are less sympathetic.

Independents by 2-1, 35%-16%, say they are more sympathetic to the protesters now.

The findings are bad news for President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders, who have scrambled to respond to town halls marked by aggressive questions and noisy demonstrations by those opposed to plans to overhaul the health care system…

There’s some tolerance for noisy disputes at town hall meetings. By 51%-41%, those surveyed say individuals making “angry attacks” on a health care bill reflected “democracy in action” rather than “abuse of democracy.” However, by 59%-33% they say “shouting down supporters” of a health care bill was an abuse of democracy.

ObamaCare Won't Let You Eat Fries

More from the Claire McCaskill event yesterday.

Can we talk? Perhaps it's mean to point out the failings of others, but believe me, we wouldn't have taken this picture if the woman had been wearing a shirt that said, for example, "I Love Puppies." In case you can't read the shirt without clicking on the image, it says, Women's Health Matters. This shirt caught my eye because she was part of a group of about 15 or so people wearing the same pink shirt. We took a closer look since I thought maybe they were part of Code Pink or something. So what exactly does such a slogan mean to this woman? I'm just sayin'. Lady, if women's health really matters to you, then push yourself away from the dinner table and go for a walk, because I don't want to pay for your adult-onset diabetes.

Under Claire's scheme yesterday, I wasn't chosen to ask a question. Had she chosen me, I would have asked this: In his town hall meeting today, Arlen Spector responded to a question about rationing of health care under ObamaCare as a "vicious, malicious, untrue rumor. Next question." His answer was a dismissive platitude, a non-answer about rationing of care. If you have diminished resources, and considering that the government is broke, we will have diminished resources, then you necessarily will need some sort of rationing. Under a government plan, how do you see this rationing of care being implemented?

There was one funny moment that came from a questioner, leaving Claire literally speechless, and I'm guessing that doesn't happen too often. The man's original question had been asked by someone else, so Claire brightly (Claire almost always speaks brightly) asked the guy, "Would you like to ask something else?" He sure would: "Will illegals be able to take their coverage to their homeland?" The audience guffawed.

So did I learn anything? Yes. I learned that even in Hillsboro, Missouri, where they apparently like Claire McCaskill very much, "normal" everyday people are dead set against ObamaCare. I also learned that the Senate was able to pass a bill out of committee before they left for their August break, something I hadn't heard any of the media report; you can read the Senate bill at Claire says the bill is 600 pages long. They considered 789 amendments and adopted 31 Democrat amendments and 160 Republican amendments. Claire seems to really like adding numbers to her prepared comments--she rattles them off like other people her age recite their grandchildren's ages and names. She said she read the last 200 pages while flying home from Washington--commercial flight, coach, she pointedly said.

The last thing I learned is that maybe Claire isn't Obama's poodle anymore. During the last campaign, for which she was the National Co-Chair of the Obama Campaign, Claire was talking Obama up at every opportunity, doing bodily contortions so as to appear in any shot she could with The One. Yesterday, she didn't mention Obama's name one time--not once. Interesting.

I actually came away from the event liking the woman. She brought her 81-year-old mother with her and sat her up on stage, which I thought was a nice touch. In the middle of the event, "Mom" stood up and was helped off the stage, at which point she yelled back at Claire, "I'm not leaving you, Claire. I'll be back. Like Harry Truman said, 'Give 'em hell.'" It was a nice Missouri moment.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Political Quiz
I am a right social moderate
Right: 6.23, Libertarian: 0.5

Political Spectrum Quiz

Click on the link and try taking this quiz yourself. With one click you can post it to Facebook if you want to. "Right social moderate" seems about right for me. At least it didn't call me a "Flaming radical lunatic." Actually I'm surprised I'm as Authoritarian as this shows. I don't think of myself as Authoritarian at all. On the Myers-Briggs test, I always turn out to be an INTP, a group which I believe is allergic to authority.
If You're Losing the Support of Hillsboro, then Baby, You're Losing

I said I was going to drag myself to Hillsboro today to Claire McCaskill's town hall, and I did. But oh Lord, we spent three hours sitting high up on bleachers in the college gymnasium. I don't think I've done that since about 1969. It was a LONG three hours.

The gym was filled--I estimate she had about 1500 people attending. Her process for dealing with the crowd and taking questions in such a large venue was poor, but I'm getting to know Claire much better than before, so I was not surprised. She had people write questions which were put into two glass bowls. The questions were then chosen at random. McCaskill then shouted out the name of the person who wrote the question; the person could ask their question (no one could hear when they did--they had no microphones set up for questioners in the gym) or she would read the question. The process was cumbersom and many of the questions were repetitious or, quite frankly, not very good. It would have been much better to let people line up at microphones and take their turn--that process tends to elicit better questions. But I guess Claire was trying to be "fair." Have you ever noticed how "fair" has a way of dumbing things down? I try to be "fair" with my two dogs, but otherwise the concept doesn't interest me much.

The SEIU purple shirt people evidently got the memo this time about not wearing their SEIU shirts to this event. No one showed up in purple shirts (identifying themselves as Chicago union thugs worked out so well for them at Carnahan's event/sarc). What we did see was quite a few of were people with walkers, canes, and power wheelchairs.

Claire came to the podium, accompanied by her 81-year-old mother, to enthusiastic applause and cheers. At that point, I remembered that I was in Hillsboro, MO and not University City, and I thought, this is going to be a very long afternoon. As it turned out, however, the "I'm mad as hell's" outnumbered the Soma-injesting "Obamatrons" about 5 to 1. I heard only one question out of about 30 that was even remotely pro-ObamaCare: "We need this bill sooner than 2013"--which wasn't really a question. One other guy asked if the bill would give him more workman's comp. You mean 89 weeks isn't enough? Other than that, the questions were all anti-ObamaCare. Actually, Claire had a pretty tough day, and I can only imagine the murder she must have felt in her heart for Obama later if she caught any of today's fawning, faux town hall coverage of Barry in New Hampshire. It's good to be King.

More about the questions tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My BFF Hillary and I Agree: We Are Sick and Tired

We are America, and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration. Hillary Clinton, 2003.

Who do these people in Congress think they are? Today Nancy Pelosi called those who protested against ObamaCare un-American. How moronic do you have to be to attack normal American citizens, especially those who are politically active and aware? "Elections have consequences," or so we've heard ever since King Barack I was annointed. I'd love to see Nancy Pelosi face some consequences of her own in 2010.

Hillary darlin', at least on this issue I agree with you: I am sick and tired. Even so, I'm going to drag my sorry self to Hillsboro, Missouri tomorrow morning to attend Senator Claire McCaskill's town hall meeting. From what I hear, she got an earful from another crowd today. Maybe before tomorrow she needs to call Nancy Pelosi for some tips on how to deal with an un-American angry mob. If we would just sit down and shut up, it would all go so much better for King Barack.

Here's a quotation from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural, a stark contrast to House Speaker Pelosi's "un-American" comment: "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."
Use It Against Them

"Know your enemy." That's a tactic straight from Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. So this is what I'm reading this morning. Alinsky isn't all wrong, and the Right is foolish if they merely demonize him. Instead, we need to use him: we need to read this bible of the far Left, digest it, and then use the Left's own tactics against them. Nice guys finish last. The Left has been able to count on the Right being "nice," not really paying much attention to what's going on. But I think that passive time is over now. I think Obama has succeeded in bringing "Change" to this country as he told us he would ad nauseum during his campaign; it just may not be the sort of change he had in mind.

The idea that these hot August town hall meetings are being attended with people filled with fake outrage is, well, an outrageous, faked statement. I live near St. Louis, in Dick Gephart's old Congressional district, for God's sake, hardly a bastion of conservatism. Yet people are turning out for the town hall meetings in good numbers, and they are angry, mostly because, I think, they feel like no one in Washington is listening to them. And it's not just the Left that's the target of these people's anger. "Throw all the bums out" is a common theme of these gatherings.