Monday, July 27, 2009


Imagine a politician who is elected to one office, then two years later loses in the Electoral College. Two years and seven months into the term of the first office, months after the loss, this politician resigns! Can you imagine such a "quitter" being elected POTUS in the next election? I'll bet you $20 it can happen.

Twenty-Dollar Bill (w/ Andrew Jackson Portrait)
You'd lose the bet.

Andrew Jackson resigned his US Senate seat on October 14, 1825, after two years, seven months, and ten days in that six-year term. For those keeping score, that’s a dozen days fewer than Sarah Palin served of her four-year term as Governor of Alaska. He won the 1828 election for President, the first to do so in the “Democratic Party” faction he formed from the “Democratic-Republican Party”. So the next time you hear a Democrat talk about a "quitter", remind them about Old Hickory.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CA: What is CIFTA, and why you should care.

The Blogger Formerly Known As MuscleDaddy has done another of his detailed analyses of what Big Brother wants to do forto you. This time, it's about the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms (CIFTA) treaty. Why does it matter? Because if it is signed and ratified by the US, it will make a lot of US citizens criminals, for the "crime" of reloading their own ammunition, even if it's only for their own personal use, and they never sell it to anyone. What with legislators laughing at the very idea of reading bills before they're voted into law, there's a huge risk that this beast.

I can't really do it justice by pulling quotes. Get over there and read the whole thing. But not too close to dinnertime.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Reading (Bills) is Fundamental

By now, everyone who pays attention to how the US Congress operates knows that many bills are passed into law without most Congressmen having actually read what they voted for. I was listening to KMBZ's Scott Parks explaining why Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO5), being one of the few members of Congress who is not a lawyer, might have to rely upon a staff member who is one, to read bills on his behalf and tell him what they mean.

I was gobsmacked. Cleaver has a Master of Divinity degree and is an ordained minister. That means he has more education than the average US citizen. If the laws enacted by Congress are impossible for such a man to understand, how can the rest of us, who must obey those laws, understand them well enough to do so? The entire point of a "government of laws, not of men" is that the law will be well known and understood by the people it governs, so that those people can live their lives free of the threat of force being imposed upon them.

Just as our constitution explicitly forbids ex post facto laws (which criminalize past acts, which were legal when they were committed) and Bills of Attainder (which legislatively declare guilt, without benefit of a trial), I believe legislation beyond the reading comprehension required of those expected to obey it is unconstitutional. The constitution also protects the right to trial by jury, which at the time it was adopted would have implied a random selection of people of the community in which the crime is alleged to have taken place. The Framers were well aware of the jury in Zenger nullifying a law they considered unjust. I believe it is a reasonable assumption that a jury so empowered would also acquit someone charged with violating a confusing law.

Unfortunately, judges and prosecutors conspire to deprive jurors of their inherent power. Perhaps an amendment is in order. I'd prefer one explicitly enumerating jury nullification, but I'd take this as a consolation prize: No law may be enacted that is beyond the comprehension required of high-school graduates, except if it only applies to certain industries, in which case it might apply technical language that is common knowledge in those industries.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

United Breaks Guitars

As a guitar player, this whole scenario gives me nightmares; which is why I don't fly with any of my guitars. [I don't fly United and try not to fly through O'Hare either, but that's beside the point.] But to have United show total indifference when their baggage handlers are the cause of a $3,500 Taylor guitar getting trashed makes my blood boil.

The full story can be found on the News page of Taylor's web site.

So, for your listening enjoyment, here is Canadian singer/songwriter Dave Carroll singing the first of three songs he has vowed to write and release about this event.

Dave says that he has been contacted by United and offered compensation. This is his online reply:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We have eggs!

In case you missed it over at Michelle Malkin's site here's a look at the people, defending their constitution, that The One has decided to side against in Honduras:

His sign reads: “We don’t have oil. We don’t have dollars. But we have eggs (balls)!”

[Updated just to add some linky love for Michelle, who once got bleeped on FNC for talking about whether someone has balls. Maybe she should have said "huevos" instead. -TM]

Edit: thanks to Doug for correcting the translation of the sign "Honduras is [the] example for the world. We don't have oil. Not even dollars. But we have BALLS!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Whither MuscleDaddy?

If you've been wondering where MuscleDaddy's wandered off to, wonder no more. After taking some time away from blogging, he's back, at Conservative Analysis, where he's resumed the kind of work we've seen so much of here. The title of his new site is perfect, because he brings the skills of forensic examination to Leftist talking points, making "analysis" a bit of a double entendre. He dissects with his virtual scalpel what comes out of their anal regions, a thankless, but necessary task. Mike Rowe should be contacting him for an episode of Dirty Jobs any day now.

His most recent entry is a thorough fisking of President Obama's reaction to Ricci. Go ahead and click on that link. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Has anyone see Alice lately?

'Cause I swear I've fallen down the rabbit hole....

Somehow I've gotten on the mailing list of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute, a North Carolina conservative organization who's vision is "of a North Carolina whose citizens enjoy liberty and prosperity derived from limited government, personal responsibility and civic engagement." I just got an email with the results of the June polling done by the Civitas Institute. Let's take a look, shall we?

The results fall fully in the "you can't make this stuff up" category. Question 1 asks "Do you feel things in North Carolina are generally headed in the right direction or have gotten off on the wrong track?" 54% of the respondents say "Wrong Track" vs. 33% for "Right Direction" and 13% "Not sure".

So the response to question 3 blows my mind. "If the election for state legislature were held today, would you be voting: Democrat, Republican, Neither, Not Sure". 41% said that they would vote Democrat! Hello?!? Who do you think is (and has been for way too long!) running the legislature in Raleigh? Santa Claus?

And it goes down hill from there. Question 4 asks "Opinion of Barack Obama: Favorable, Unfavorable, No Opinion". 61% said that they had a favorable opinion. Question 9: "Which party would do a better job of holding down taxes?" 45% said Republicans vs 31% Democrats. Question 10: "Which party would do a better job of creating jobs and growing the economy?" Hold on to your hats folks. 48% said the Democrats would do a better job vs 33% for the Republicans. How can you possibly reconcile the results of those two questions?

Questions 11,12 and 13: "Which party would do a better job of fighting corruption in government; improving public education and reducing health cost." The Demos win all three 48% to 38%, 41% to 25% and 46% to 30%. Oh, but look! The Republicans win "Which party will do a better job controlling illegal immigration by 42% to 31%. Wowsie Woo!

But what really frosts my cookies is the response to question 15: "Which political party, Democrat or Republican, does former governor Mike Easley belong to?" A full 19% of these (Hang on Don! Don't say anything rash!)...ahem...respondents say Easley was a Republican!! We haven't had a Republican governor in North Carolina since Jim Martin's term ended in 1993!!! WTF!!

Questions 18 through 25 ask about taxes and everyone thinks taxes are too high (Well that's a relief! I was beginning to wonder...). Question 26 asks "Do you think the public education system in NC is better or worse than other states?" 54% say worse (but we think the same bozos who've been running the show will do a better job of improving education???) I repeat: WTF?.

But as I dig deeper into the poll I began to understand. 43% say that they get their information about the NC legislature from........TV. A whopping 33% classify themselves as "Moderate". 47% of the respondents guessed it: Democrat vs 36% Republican. The geographical area is telling as well: 22% are from Charlotte vs 19% from the Triad (Greensboro/High Point/Winston Salem), 19% from the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Hippy H......uh Chapel Hill), 14% from Western NC, 14% from the Northeast and 13% from the Southeast.

So let's review: a majority of the poll respondents get their news from TV; view themselves as moderates; are Democrats and live in the Charlotte area (major metropolitan = liberal). Well shucks! That explains everything. This is the same bunch of know-nothing boobs that give us the "Hope and Change" guy that's currently getting himself bulldozed in Russia. BTW: hows that "Hope and Change" thing working out for you anyway?
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]
Edit: After some thought it appears to me that a line from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" is a better fit: "Morons! I've got Morons on my team!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"I Still Hate You, Sarah Palin"

Over at NRO, David Kahane explains all we need to know about why..."I Still Hate You, Sarah Palin"

A taste:

Not only were we offended at the sheer effrontery of McCain’s pick: How dare the Republicans proffer this déclassée piece of Wasilla trailer trash whose only claim to fame was that she didn’t exercise her right to choose? Where were her degrees from Smith or Barnard, her internships at PETA, the Brookings Institution, or the Young Pioneers? We were also outraged that the Stupid Party had just nominated a completely unqualified candidate nobody had ever heard of, a first-term governor of Alaska whose previous experience consisted of a small-town mayoralty. As opposed to our guy, Barry Soetoro of Mombasa, Djakarta, and Honolulu, a first-term senator nobody had ever heard of, whose previous experience had been as a state senator (D., Daley Machine) in Illinois. After eight long, illegitimate, lawless years of &*^%BUSH$#@! tyranny, how dare you contest this election?
Go read the whole thing. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You may even get angry.

Brian Lundmark captured it in Rockwood's standard three panels, nearly a year ago:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Send in the Clowns

Oh yeah! They're already here..

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sarah Shrugged

When I found out about Sarah Palin's decision to step down as Governor of Alaska later this month, I dropped a comment into the chatroom for Hot Air's Ed Morrissey Show that was immediately picked up by regular Friday co-host Duane Patterson as a STOP THE PRESSES moment, and dominated the remainder of the program.

It also stopped head chatroom moderator Jazz Shaw's vacation long enough for him to write a piece about it for PJTV. He doesn't much like Sarah Palin, so it's not surprising that he'd have unkind words about her. I'm used to it by now. But he really pressed my buttons with this dig:

You know, if you’re hoping to set your standard on a hill of quality, you might not want to focus on how much of your time has been spent fighting investigations into your ethical lapses.
A key word is missing from that sentence: "alleged". It presupposes that there have been such lapses. Even though every single one has been rejected by the ethics board, the accusations, by their sheer number they have become equivalent to convictions.

To really appreciate the extent of the problems Gov. Palin has had with the "anklebiters" requires some understanding of history. She campaigned on cleaning up the notoriously-corrupt AK politics, and a key part of her program was tougher ethics rules. Those rules are now used against her. The tactic could have come straight out of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals:
RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
. . .
RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
The people who file the ethics complaints have followed Alinsky's advice well. They bear no cost for doing so; the state is required to investigate each complaint, no matter how ridiculous they are, at great expense to the state and to the Governor personally. Thus far, she's run up a half million dollars in legal bills defending herself against these allegations. Perhaps the most bizarre was the charge that the very act of establishing a legal defense fund (despite the most stringent rules I've ever seen, including a limit of $150 per contributor) was itself an ethics violation. Recently, we highlighted the webathon organized to retire that debt. As can be seen in the sidebar, it has fallen far short of that goal. Palin has a book deal that might help her raise funds, but as soon as she saw a dime of it, it would have spawned yet another ethics charge. As long as Palin remains governor, she must hold up the weight of the endless ethics investigations. The solution to Palin's Predicament is clear:
"If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the rest of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders–what would you tell him to do?"

"I...don’t know. What...could he do? What would you tell him?"

"To shrug."

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
In a few weeks, Sarah Palin will no longer be subject to a process that by law forbids her or any of her representatives from publicly commenting on any pending ethics complaint, while empowering the complainers to tell whatever stories they want with impunity.

Her attorney has suggested that the gloves may be coming off very soon, in swatting down the "other shoe" theories being spun to explain the timing of the announcement. He points out in his closing paragraph that telling out-and-out lies about someone, even a public figure like Palin, is actionable. (You know, Jazz, you might want to keep that in mind.) He calls out Shannyn Moore, the blogger and Saturday-night Anchorage AM talker who has been spreading the stories on HuffPo, MSNBC, NY Times, and WaPo. She insists she "will not be muzzled", and dares the Palins to sue her. She may get her wish, say, about the day after Sean Parnell takes the oath as Governor?

Moore's response was entirely predictable, and I wouldn't be surprised if Palin's attorney had that letter (among others) written and saved on his laptop, just waiting to fill in the particulars of whoever was fool enough to try to resurrect a particular non-story. A lot of people have read the timing of the announcement as a sign that there must be "another shoe". Why else, the theory goes, would she make her announcement at 3 pm Friday of a holiday weekend?

Well, I can think of a lot of reasons why. David Letterman tapes his Friday shows on Thursdays. Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert don't do Friday shows, but they'll be in reruns next week, just dying because they can't cover this one now. Most of the big-shots on the cable networks were taking Friday night off, too. Poor Greta Van Susteren had to call in on her own show to discuss the shocking turn of events. Glenn Beck tweeted
Many write:Palin is done.U don't understand EVERYTHING is about to change. What you thought you knew, could trust or depend on is shifting
Even Rush Limbaugh felt compelled to comment while on vacation, if only to say that it's premature to write her off.

The holiday weekend was the best time to get the message out before the Journolist machinery could coalesce around the Official Talking Points, other than the reflexive "She's a quitter! She's erratic!" that would be expected in any event. The media can't comprehend a politician willingly giving up power. They didn't really understand when Bob Dole gave up his Senate seat to focus on his Presidential campaign. It didn't pay off for him, but the idea isn't unprecedented. Why, in Honduras, the Vice President resigned last year so that he would be legally allowed to run for President this year. They have a rule against people staying in power too long, which I rather like.

Meanwhile, she's directly connecting with people (over 63,000 followers for @AKGovSarahPalin on Twitter last I checked) and bypassing Charlie and Katie. If she hadn't already gotten offers from Rupert Murdoch to work for him, I'm sure she will shortly. And her career as a professional speaker is well underway. She's already booked for an August 8 Simi Valley Women's Republican Club appearance, according to an Insty reader.

I'd say she's shrugging off a lot. Perhaps even . . . a chrysalis.
[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

[Update] Corrected timing of Limbaugh's vacation

Friday, July 3, 2009

Stars and Stripes Forever!

Sitting here listening to Sousa marches. Happy Independence Day!

P. J. O'Rourke on Automobiles and Bailouts

P. J. O'Rourke is always worth listening to. This interview is no exception.