Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obama Faces Voter Doubts in Backyard Meeting

At WPFO FOX23 Portland, ME.

And Glenn Reynolds picks this quote: "
It was a marked contrast to the enthusiastic university crowd that greeted Obama on Tuesday in Wisconsin when he sought to fire up his youthful base of support, and showed the obstacles his Democratic Party faces in the November 2 elections."


And Ann Althouse has the goods on the president's visit to Madison, shown above: "The University of Wisconsin had "to weigh the many benefits of a visit by a sitting president against the naked political purpose of that visit."

PJTV: Claire Berlinksi Talks With Glenn Reynolds About the Legacy of Margaret Thatcher

Via Glenn Reynolds.

Click the image to watch.

And check out Claire's
website and her book, There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.


Meg Whitman Denies SSA No-Match Letter

Listen at the clip.

And at TMZ, "
Gloria Allred: Meg Whitman Is a Liar." (Via Memeorandum. Video is here.)

And at Michelle's, "Whitman’s Illegal Alien Maid-Gate Update."

SSA Letter


The Whitman household, contrary to the candidate’s flat denials, did in fact receive the red-flag letter six years ago. Contrary to Whitman campaign supporters’ insinuations that the maid stole the letter, she was apparently in legal, legitimate possession of it. Whitman’s husband gave it to her and passed the buck.

Will the campaign deny that Whitman’s husband’s handwriting is the real deal? Will they absolve Whitman by putting sole responsibility for the matter in her husband’s hands? Will they continue to harp on the maid’s fraudulent representation of her status in 2000, instead of dealing with the red flags [not just the no-match letter(s), but also the fact that Diaz-Santillan was banned from traveling back to Mexico] from 2003 onward?

California politics. Never a dull moment.

Time for Loretta Sanchez to Face the Music

From Van Tran's new ad spot hammering Loretta Sanchez's refusal to debate.

Also, from Tim Daniel (Left Coast Rebel) at Pajamas Media, "‘The Vietnamese Are Coming!’: An Interview with California Congressional District 47’s Van Tran."

Architect's Rendering — Park51 Community Center, i.e., Ground Zero Victory Mosque

And don't forget: This is all about bridge-building!!

More at Pamela's, "
Damn the Infidels! Full Steam Ahead! Ground Zero Mega Mosque."


McDonald's Threatens to Drop Health Coverage in Response to ObamaCare Mandate — UPDATE: McDonald's Denies WSJ Report ... Or, Not

At WSJ (via Memeorandum):


McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn't loosen a requirement for "mini-med" plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.

The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don't offer health coverage, McDonald's provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald's official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain's insurer won't meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

McDonald's and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.

Democrats who drafted the health law wanted the requirement to prevent insurers from spending too much on executive salaries, marketing and other costs that they said don't directly help patients.

McDonald's move is the latest indication of possible unintended consequences from the health overhaul. Dozens of companies have taken charges against earnings—totaling more than $1 billion—over a tax change in prescription-drug benefits for retirees.

More recently, insurers have proposed a round of double-digit premium increases and said new coverage mandates in the law are partly to blame. HHS has criticized the proposed increases as unwarranted.

Democrats, looking toward midterm elections in which the health overhaul is an issue, say it already has stopped insurance practices they call abusive, has given rebates to seniors with high out-of-pocket prescription costs and has allowed parents to keep children on their insurance plans until they turn 26.
The entire legislation is abuse. Democrats are abusive.

Political Carnival and Taylor Marsh are quick on the denial update.

UPDATE II: Not so fast, says John McCormick at Weekly Standard, "...
neither Sebelius nor McDonald's officials have ruled out the possibility that the fast food giant will drop 30,000 employees' health plans."

And see LAT, "
Patients' choices may narrow as insurers adjust standards for healthcare providers":
The new federal healthcare law is bringing additional demands by insurance companies that doctors and hospitals be held to higher quality standards.

Although this push by insurers on quality implies that consumers will get better care because doctors and hospitals will be measured against the best performers, there may be an unintended consequence: It could leave patients with fewer choices of medical care providers, depending on which health plans they purchase.
And at Michelle, "Will there be a McDonald’s Inquistion now? Torquemada Sebelius tightens the screws."

Rutgers Student Commits Suicide After Dorm Video of 'Private Hurtful Material' Posted Online


It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”

That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet.

And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.

The Sept. 22 death, details of which the authorities disclosed on Wednesday, was the latest by a young American that followed the online posting of hurtful material. The news came on the same day that Rutgers kicked off a two-year, campuswide project to teach the importance of civility, with special attention to the use and abuse of new technology.

Those who knew Mr. Clementi — on the Rutgers campus in Piscataway, N.J., at his North Jersey high school and in a community orchestra — were anguished by the circumstances surrounding his death, describing him as an intensely devoted musician who was sweet and shy.

“It’s really awful, especially in New York and in the 21st century,” said Arkady Leytush, artistic director of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, where Mr. Clementi played since his freshman year in high school. “It’s so painful. He was very friendly and had very good potential.”

The Middlesex County prosecutor’s office said Mr. Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, N.J., and another classmate, Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton Junction, N.J., had each been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for using “the camera to view and transmit a live image” of Mr. Clementi. The most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of five years.

Mr. Ravi was charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy for trying a similar live feed on the Internet on Sept. 21, the day before the suicide. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, James O’Neill, said the investigation was continuing, but he declined to “speculate on additional charges.”

Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay rights group Garden State Equality, said Wednesday that he considered the death a hate crime. “We are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others’ lives as a sport,” he said in a statement.

Rutgers president addresses student suicide."

I'm slacking...

... on my Britney blogging!

See, "
Britney Spears Glee Episode Draws 13 Million Viewers." (And I'm counting this post as part of my Rule 5 material for the week.)

Democrats Find Many Big Donors Cutting Support

Even George Soros is cutting back!

At New York Times:
Many wealthy Democratic patrons, who in the past have played major roles financing outside groups to help elect the party’s candidates, are largely sitting out these crucial midterm elections.

Democratic donors like George Soros, the bĂȘte noire of the right, and his fellow billionaire Peter B. Lewis, who each gave more than $20 million to Democratic-oriented groups in the 2004 election, appear to be holding back so far.

“Mr. Soros believes that he can be most effective by funding groups that promote progressive policy outcomes in areas such as health care, the environment and foreign policy,” said an adviser, Michael Vachon. “So he has opted to fund those activities.”

The absence of these Democratic megadonors is contributing to a huge disparity in spending between pro-Republican and pro-Democratic groups. The groups wield huge influence in many House and Senate races because they can take in contributions of unlimited size.

In the last week, Republican-leaning groups outspent their Democratic counterparts on television by more than seven to one on Senate races and nearly four to one on House races across the country, according to data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. The gap shows few signs of abating, even with the midterm election season in full swing.

The donors’ reluctance stems from a variety of factors, including pessimism about the party’s prospects in November, but also President Obama’s strong condemnations of this kind of independent activity, both during the 2008 campaign and after he was elected.

For Mr. Soros, who was also a big donor in 2006 and 2008, it is a matter of being more focused on pushing to get the policy outcomes he wants than on the electoral process, Mr. Vachon said.

Mr. Soros gave $5 million each last year to organizations supporting the health care overhaul and the climate change bill, Mr. Vachon said. He also contributed $1.25 million this year to America Votes, an umbrella organization for a variety of liberal-leaning groups, which focuses on the voter mobilization that Mr. Soros has supported over the years.

Daniel Webster Gets Boost After Alan Grayson Smears

At NYT, "Grayson Opponent Lines Campaign Coffers Off Taliban Ad."

And Webster, at the clip, says the latest Grayson attack ad was "another trick, a rather nasty trick, to try to impugn my character:

Obama's Socialist Machine

Newt Gingrich was never my favorite. Meeting him in person only confirmed the feeling. I don't question his often brilliance, but some of his recent gaffes weigh too heavily on him. That said, he's making sense here. Kinda piggybacking on the tea parties actually, but I like it:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rule 5 Encore

King Shamus enjoyed last night's "Beautiful Woman" entry (for Rule 5). So here's another (c/o Theo Spark):

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

Obama's Gangsta Playlist

Not everyone's diggin' on it: "NIGGA RUN THE COUNTRY, STOP TRYNA PLACATE HIP HOP NIGGAS" — says some brotha down wit Rap Radar.

the cached copy of yesterday's Fox Nation piece. Lefties have been freakin' ever since. Here's a pathetic Jason Linkins putting some spin on it:
Obviously, I don't know how you take a guy who's way into Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan and John Coltrane, whose "rap palate" is "improv[ing]", and who'd just been introduced to Lil Wayne by Reggie Love into a "lover" of "gangsta rap," but then I'm basically of the mind that "gangsta rap" is a quaint term that was invented by media to describe a meta-genre of hip-hop that's largely not being made these days.
Well, no, actually. 50 Cent. Juvenile. And Ice Cube's talkin' it up, yo!
Ice Cube claims gangster rap which doesn't come from the US West Coast is not "authentic".

The veteran rapper and actor said his forthcoming album 'I Am The West' will see him return to the distinctive, largely Californian rap sound of the late 80s and early 90s, which he pioneered with all star group N.W.A and in his early days as a solo rapper.

Ice told RWD magazine: "If you want the West Coast Hip Hop you should be getting from: me, Snoop Dogg, some of the other homies on the West Coast that's doing it, you know what I mean.

"If you look for hardcore gangsta rap and you're getting it anywhere else, you're not getting it authentic; it's not coming from the source."
And Nas? The "black president" listens to that s***. Dude's got some nasty stuff.

... It was just cool like, smooth night wit' my jewels bright
Goons left goons right, coupe wit' blue lights
Bad girls in black pearls, gave us cat calls
Took 'em back to the crib to break they ass off
In the loft mixin' hash and 'dro
Honey spreaded that asshole like a wide mouth bass
Sippin' wine out the glass, Teddy Pendergrass blast
When the phone ring, the house lights flash
Turned down the sound, let's get down to bidness
Shit about to go down wit' some foul niggaz
What the voice said, "what up pop? Who want it?"
I put the guap up, get the boy popped
He say "son stop, it's dudes you feedin'
Who feedin' other dudes, but they really not eatin'"
Dog, why you callin' me? This our food
You, handle the mouths that it trickles down to
Niggaz want beef, I want some of that cow too
But I'm in my princely robe, simply rich
Don't bother me wit' silly shit, call Rico
He said "it IS Rico, of all people
Gave his moms furs, called up the mayor
To get his crime pardoned, his son's godfather"
Said the nigga shot up my cars
Last night he laid for me to come out my doors?


Niggaz always on that bullshit
To make a nigga wanna open up a full clip

Niggaz always on that bullshit
Now ya funeral, the preacher's at the pulpit
Niggaz always on that bullshit
To make a nigga wanna open up a full clip
Niggaz always on that bullshit
Now ya funeral, the preacher's at the pulpit
You can't kill me


High, fly, send a fella loaf or glass?
Fold up cash, you ain't heard the soldier's half
You speakin' hogwash, silly shit, ??? to dash
I got the live sparked, Phillies lit, smoker's jacket on
The son of a Cap-ricorn, my dad's a don
What you think that he spawned? A slacker? Nah
Packed the nines, yo this nigga's asinine
Smack ya mom, relaxed and calm, then mack ya mom
In a casket, you'll get ya fashion on
You'll be in a suit and tie, you'll die
You'll make maggots turn to flies, fuckin' wit' Nas
Remember anyone can get it at anytime
Lames'll swear by ya name, when they lie
Get hit wit' the lone star, ripped where ya bones are
So tell me how yo' ass gon' run, from a C-Z-P-O-1?
In the midst of real steel movers, you a loser
Merk you wit'cha own shooters
All you want is a name, pissed and insane
My security system, my playspot a fireplace, listen
Then it goin' off, start spittin'
Niggaz try to bring it where I live in
Trustin' you, knew where all of the cribs at
So we waited wit' the cigs blat, blat, blat!

Nicky Diaz Santillan, Meg Whitman's Former Housekeeper, Alleges 'Emotional and Financial Abuse'

TMZ is all over this, but SF Gate has the background:
Nicky Diaz Santillan, former housekeeper to California gubernatorial candidate and ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman, is accusing the candidate of firing her for being an illegal immigrant after looking the other way for nine years, TMZ reports.

According to Sanillan's [sic] attorney, Gloria Allred, Whitman clearly knew about Santillan's status as an illegal from the beginning, but only took action when she became a political candidate.

Allred says that during her time with Whitman, Santillan was "exploited, disrespected, humiliated, and emotionally and financially abused," and that working for her was a "nightmare."

Whitman has dismissed the allegations, and says the timing, so close to the election, is proof that this is nothing but a cheap political smear.
Check the TMZ links above. Whitman's denying it. But Michelle's on top of it: "Meg Whitman’s illegal alien maid problem."

I've never liked Whitman. And nothing I've seen so far has made me rethink my opinion. This episode is just totally unsurprising. Whitman's phony through and through. We saw it in the primary campaign (she was for amnesty before she was against it) and this is just more same old same old.

Memeorandum as well.

Alan Grayson Trails Dan Webster in Florida's 8th District


Poll: Obama, Dems Poised to Lose Grayson House Seat" (via Memeorandum). And at RCP:
In the only independent polling we've seen of this race, Alan Grayson trails former state Senator Dan Webster. The poll, conducted by Sunshine State News, shows Webster leading 43 percent to 36 percent. An incumbent congressman at 36 percent almost never wins; Grayson is in real trouble.
And at Fire Andrea Mitchell, "Marxist Meltdown – Contessa Brewer VS. Alan Grayson over Taliban Dan ad":

Big Labor: Workers' Enemy, America's Enemy

At Michelle's, "Big Labor, not Tea Party, is workers’ worst enemy":
The Service Employees International Union plans to send 25,000 rank-and-file workers on 500 buses to Washington this weekend to protest the tea party movement, Republicans and Fox News. If SEIU members had any sense, they’d be demonstrating at their own bosses’ D.C. headquarters. It’s the Big Labor Left, not the Tea Party Right, that is flushing rank-and-file union workers’ hard-earned dues down the collective toilet in these hard times.

The co-organizer of the so-called “One Nation” protest by a coalition of progressive groups is George Gresham, president of the behemoth SEIU Local 1199 based in New York. (This is the same SEIU affiliate that employed current Obama domestic policy adviser Patrick Gaspard as chief lobbyist for nine years.) Peeved by all the attention that grassroots conservatives and limited government activists have received over the past year, Gresham spearheaded the rally plans earlier this summer to “counter the Tea Party narrative” and reclaim the voice for “working people.” Perhaps Gresham should pay more attention to his workers’ pensions than to tea party leaders’ media appearances.

SEIU Local 1199′s Upstate Pension Fund has plunged from 115 percent funded in 1999 to 75 percent funded, and its Greater New York Pension Fund was funded at only 58 percent of its future obligations as of 2007, according to Hudson Institute analyst Diana Furchtgott-Roth. The union fat cats blame Wall Street. But while the pensions of SEIU workers nationwide are in “endangered status,” the pensions of SEIU top brass have been protected and remain fully funded.

The D.C.-based Alliance for Worker Freedom, which monitors labor union abuses, reported last year that 13 major local SEIU pension funds are in serious financial jeopardy. Indeed, fewer than one in every 160 union-represented workers is covered by a union pension with required assets. Local 1199 workers — already subject to wage freezes to salvage their pensions — might want to know how their leaders were able to pony up $1 million for Haiti earthquake relief in January while their retirement funds wither on the vine.

SEIU leaders have shown a special talent for squandering their workers’ dues. They poured $10 million down the drain in Arkansas on a failed bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln. They spent $10 million on a nasty lawsuit against a competing union in California. They’ve burned through union dues to transport SEIU radicals to bully bank execs and their families at their private homes and to bus workers to Arizona to protest crackdowns on illegal aliens, who depress the wages of law-abiding working-class Americans.
More at the link.

Big Unions

RELATED: "Former union leader Andy Stern investigated."

NewsBusted — '60 Minutes' Whitewashes Jimmy Carter

Via Theo Spark:

Sexual Abstinence Might Be a Good Thing

Actually, I know it's a good thing for the young to be abstinent, especially teenagers. But see Steven Crowder, "Why NOT Having Sex Might be Good for You":

Sex. Some of us do it, most of us like it and we all think about it…. A lot. I know I do (though I was told that it’s normal). Gettin’ busy really isn’t the taboo subject that it once was.

Whereas once upon a time the conversation was relegated to whispers behind closed doors, nowadays it’s discussed openly and without shame. As a stand-up comedian, I’ve seen hacks openly depict the most depraved, explicit sexual acts they can think of just to get a laugh out of the audience. Clearly, telling wiener jokes is no longer the treading of new territory that it once was.

Funnily enough, today there is one area of sex that when discussed, still makes people’s posteriors pucker with discomfort… abstinence.

The idea of abstinence has become somewhat of a punchline in this country. From the myth of unrealistic “abstinence only” education, to the media’s constant portrayal (and mockery) of young, nerdy, out of touch Christians riddled with chastity pendants, the message on abstinence being pumped through pop-culture is clear; If you’re abstinent it’s either because A) you’re ugly or B) you’re a loser. In my case, it was often both.

Maybe it’s just the lack of fun-factor, or maybe it started with harlotry being misused as a fulcrum for women’s liberation, but if you so much as suggest to someone that abstinence might be beneficial, you’ll often find yourself vilified as a judgmental jackass faster than Bill Maher can throw up his dainty hands.

Listen, one doesn’t need to be religious (nor a rocket scientist) to see the value of abstinence. Let’s disregard the immediately eliminated risk of increasingly popular STD’ and STI’s. Heck, let’s even discount the statistical data showing that sexual exclusivity seems overwhelmingly conducive to a successful marriage .Abstinence also provides an incomparable bond of trust in a relationship.
More at the link, especially this part:
While we’re on the subject, has the whole floozie shtick really empowered any women out there? I would imagine that immediate sexual gratification being assumed in modern relationships would do more damage to your gatekeeper status than good. I’d also have to imagine that sex with someone whom you share trust, loyalty and open communication would be far more liberating than the thrill of any one-night stand you could enjoy.

Then again, what do I know? I’m just a young, sexless, STD-free-moron in love. You should try it sometime...though I’m not here to judge.
And Melissa Clouthier has commentary on the clip above. See, "When Did Being A Slut Become The Morally Superior Option?"

Beautiful Woman

Midweek Rule 5, via Guns and Bikinis:

Beautiful Woman

Needed a little diversion from politics. See also Bob Belvedere, Theo Spark and TigerHawk.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Germany Pays Off Reparations Imposed at Versailles — 92 Years Later!

Fascinating piece, at the Times of London, "First World War Officially Ends" (at Memeorandum):
The First World War will officially end on Sunday, 92 years after the guns fell silent, when Germany pays off the last chunk of reparations imposed on it by the Allies.

The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.

Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.

The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.

The bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not reneged on reparations during his reign.

Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following armistice, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.

"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, the country's biggest selling newspaper.

Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was made to sign the 'war guilt' clause, accepting blame for the war.

France, which had been ravaged by the war, pushed hardest for the steepest possible fiscal punishment for Germany.

The principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, John Maynard Keynes, resigned in June 1919 in protest at the scale of the demands.

"Germany will not be able to formulate correct policy if it cannot finance itself,' he warned.

When the Wall Street Crash came in 1929, the Weimar Republic spiralled into debt. Four years later, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany.
Yes, Keynes was right (see, The Economic Consequences of the Peace), but it's a much more complicated story. The United States was deeply implicated in the harsh settlement at Versailles. Americans would not agree to inter-Allied debt forgiveness for Britain and France, both of whom were facing financial collapse from the war, which in turn compelled them both, and especially France, to demand a punitive armistice with steep reparations. (And then there's the infamous "War Guilt Clause," Article 231, which made Weimar Germany responsible for damages caused by the war. There's a bit of historiographic controversy on this, discussed at Wikipedia. The word "guilt" appears nowhere in the article and it was actually designed to make Germany responsible only for the civilian costs of the war and not TOTAL costs. See William Keylor, The Twentieth-Century World and Beyond. That said, historical memory imputes tremendous symbolism to the war guilt clause, and over time it has come to represent intense allied vindictiveness and short-sightedness. Note how the Times article above is sure to cite it.)

Versailles. A flawed peace. Paved the way for the Second World War.

Obama Loves Gangsta Rap

Well, yeah.

Lil Wayne doin' time for
attempted weapons possession, yo! And some lefty lamebrains have issues? You mean, it's RAAAAACIST!! to be snarkin' dat POTUS BE DOWN WID DE FATTY BLUNTS AND MENTHOLS, MOFO CRACK PIPE AND GANGSTA RAP? (That's paraphrasing Fox Nation, before anyone gets uptight about it — hilarious, if you ask me!)

She's on fire
Put her out, as a matter of fact, take her out
Got on my knees and asked my lord to keep me clear from the devil cause my girl
She's on fire

Yeaaa, And everything is so cool
I want them back shots
I said shorty let me play up in them matchbox
shorty she’s on fire,
shorty let a n-gga rub this stick cos this a matchbox,
she’s steaming, she’s screaming,
she’s she’s screaming
she’s feinding I redeem it
I get between it, like her, like her,

now hit me,
now shes on fire,
Yeahh, I let the steam blow, yeah
but everything is cool...

RELATED: "Lil Wayne Readies New Album as Release From Prison Nears."

'9-11 Frame Up/Inside Job'


Says Ann Althouse, "
Pictures from the periphery of the Obama rally":


Bob Beckel Goes Off on Pamela Geller: 'You Better Be Very Careful About Saying Who I Carry Water For'

He's a Democrat. They're assholes. It's understandable:

Jennifer Grey on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Everybody's talkin' about the Palins, Sarah who was (allegedly) booed and Bristol who was voted up. But I just loved Jennifer Grey, and I love stories of beating cancer:

Digby Says F*** The Taliban

And that's the American Taliban, for the record.

Responding to the Fact Check rebuttal to
Rep. Alan Grayson's vile campaign ad this week, Digby writes:
At this point in the United States it is permissible for Republicans to attack Democrats as treasonous, Godless/Muslim socialists and compare them to Hitler and Stalin but Democrats are only allowed to attack Republicans for their differences in policy. Can we see the asymmetry here? Is it any surprise that they have dominated politics for the past 30 years? Sure, every once in a while there are moments when their act gets old and the nation will look for hope and change rather than fear and loathing, but let's just say that their willingness (and institutional support) will give them the advantage most of the time.
It's a long post, so read the rest. Digby digs up some obscure religious explication to rebut the Fact Check rebuttal. In other words, Republican Daniel Webster really is an American Taliban!

Sally Menke, 'Pulp Fiction' Film Editor, May Have Died of Heat Stroke

I tweeted this story earlier today. Heat stroke is dangerous yet fascinating. The effects of high body heat apparently cause a rapid deterioration of function. I remember a few years ago a boy and his father died of heat exposure in Landers, not far from mom's house in the high desert east of Palm Springs. See, "A Father-and-Son Desert Trip Ends in Death." I recall that their car got stuck in the sand, and after passers-by helped them out, they gave them "extra" water bottles as thank-yous. That was 100 degree weather. Yesterday it was 113 in Los Angeles, all the more dangerous for the 'Pulp Fiction' film editor.


The Los Angeles County coroner's office says a longtime Quentin Tarantino film editor may have died from heat stroke while hiking.

The body of 56-year-old Sally Menke was found early Tuesday morning in a residential area near Canyon Drive, just on the edge of the sprawling 4,200 acre park, Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter confirmed with KTLA.

Coroner's Lt. Fred Corral says investigators Menke died of hyperthermia.

Menke and a friend were hiking in Griffith Park Monday morning when the editor complained of feeling dizzy and said she would return to her car.

Another hiker reported seeing her disoriented on a trail, but Menke refused help.

She was reported missing by her friends after she failed to come home in the evening.
My prayers go out to Menke's family.

David Horowitz at 'Securing America's Future' in Beverly Hills

Here's the scene as I walked up to the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills Sunday night:

Securing America's Future

It's an old-fashioned venue with a balcony and ornate interior. Kinda fun. Here's a shot of the crowd a few minutes before opening introductions. The event was well-attended:


The event press release is here. Michael Medved moderated. And the panel was awesome: Cliff May, Mona Charen, and David Horowitz.

Medved's opening question asked the panelists: "What was the most important threat" facing country today?" Medved tapped David Horowitz first. Without hesitation, Horowitz said that "Islamo-Nazism" was the most important threat facing the United States. And he noted that it wasn't just the threat of Islamist terrorism but the even greater danger of the "fifth column of the international left" (hellbent on America's destruction). Mona Charen followed Horowitz. And she agreed, although she stressed that the Western European democracies have suffered from a loss of self-confidence. They have turned inward and are ready to submit to creeping Islamization. This hollowing out indicates Europe's long abandonment from the defense of Western civilization. Charen added that in the American case, the party in power (the Obama/Dems) was working on the Europeanization of the United States. But she stressed that the American people have refused to capitulate to the left's statist power grab. The U.S. continues as the bastion for the defense of the West. And the coming election in November was looking to bring about a major reckoning in American politics. Last to respond was Cliff May. He agreed with the others but placed the debate on security in the context of America's support for Israel and our leadership in the war on terror. "Israel is on the front lines," May said. The security of Israel directly affects the security of the United States.

As this was a bit uniform, Michael Medved broke out of the moderator's role to suggest that the "bankruptcy" of America's fiscal policy was perhaps the greatest threat to America's long-term security. "This will destroy the American dream," he said. Cliff May and Mona Charen seemed fairly warm to that discussion, but David Horowitz placed the current huge budget deficits in historical context, suggesting that as a percentage of GDP the deficits America incurred in WWII were much larger than today's, and after the war we paid them down and went about building the postwar prosperity. "The deficits are a problem of political will" not economic crisis, he said. Horowitz was to return to the theme of political willpower throughout the night.

While I was impressed with both Cliff May and Mona Charen --- and I was thrilled at the chance to see them speak --- the night truly belonged to David Horowitz. During the audience question time, one attendee --- sitting in the front row a few seats to the left of me --- asked about Israel's security, that by defending the country by force didn't Israel "risk World War III?" This question really animated David Horowitz, and he came back again to the issue of political willpower. He said the it wasn't just the PA or Hamas that rejected Israel's right to resist, but the Palestinians themselves. They'd been trying to drive the Jews into the sea since the 1920s. Current efforts at "peace" were thus systematically doomed to fail since there is no support among Palestinians for the preservation of the Israeli state. Whenever Israel had made concessions to the peace process the security situation has deteriorated. What the Palestinians would understand is hard power. Israel should have "carpet bombed" Gaza after the rockets started raining down
on schoolyards in Sderot after the 2005 Israeli withdrawal. Until the Israel government is willing to "crush" the Arabs militarily there will never be any movement toward lasting peace.

Horowitz belts it out when he gets on an emotional roll, and he elicited huge applause a number of times. I stopped taking notes just after a few minutes, as I was so enthralled with this discussion --- and not just Horowitz. Michael Medved is a deeply thoughtful man and eminently reasonable. He appealed repeatedly to the humanity of the Jewish people and in closing he implored attendees to visit Israel --- 80 percent of American Jews have not been there --- and also suggested they get involved with their communities and synagogues. One more question from the audience asked whether President Barack Obama was likely to be reelected to a second term. I'm straining my recollection here, but Mona Charen returned to the notion of the November reckoning once more, and David Horowitz indicated that he was supremely optimistic, stressing that the polls were probably underestimated the likely scale of Democratic losses; and that tea party movement has turned out to be the salvation of American politics. And Horowitz further stressed the importance of taking back the grassroots from the left. Despite the total destruction of communist ideology after the collapse of the Soviet Union --- and he hammered the point that today's Democrats are a true hard-left party, carrying the banner of international socialism --- the left continues to push on relentlessly, despite objective failure, until they hit the brick wall. "We have to be that brick wall," Horowitz said. We have to engage and participate at the grassroots just like the left has.

Medved thanked the Jewish Policy Center upon wrapping up, and both Cliff May and Mona Charen exited surprisingly quickly. David Horowitz lingered for some time, however. Audience members approached the stage. I saw Orly Taitz speaking to him, for example. (She's an incredibly beautiful woman, by the way.) And I was fortunate to catch his attention, and he gladly signed my book, The Politics of Bad Faith: The Radical Assault on America's Future.
A great night all around:

Securing America's Future

Monday, September 27, 2010

'Super Rich' Law Professor Todd Henderson Bails on Blogging After 'Electronic Lynch Mob' Attack

Glenn Reynolds had this earlier, but you gotta read Kashmir Hill. She's got the best off-beat take on all things the web. See, "‘Super Rich’ Law Professor Retires From Blogging After ‘Electronic Lynch Mob’ Attacks His Position on Taxes."


Naturally, it's the comments at his post that freaked him out. I'm still winding my through them, but this stuff is mild compared to the excrement Sadly No! will rain down your blog. Professor Henderson apologized for the post here, and he announced his blogging retirement here. One of my rules is not to blog too much about my personal life, and especially details about my family. No one says it better than the professor himself:
The reason for this note is because I’ve decided to hang up my blogging hat. I was a fool, and I didn’t anticipate how this kind of thing could happen. As many of our readers and my students know, I’m opinionated and willing to push boundaries. This is what I think is the role of a professor, and blogging allowed me to do it in an informal and diverse manner. But I misunderstood the technology, and the consequences are devastating for me personally. I wish I had just stuck to blogging about corporate law and such, but I couldn’t help myself. Self restraint would have been the better course. Perhaps someday I will return and limit my commentary to my academic areas of interest. For now though, I have to say good bye. I’ve enjoyed the experience and the interactions I’ve had with readers and, of course, my co-bloggers. I am sad to leave, but my family has to come first, and my blogging has caused them incalculable damage.
Kashmir Hill responds:
That, with all due respect, is the wrong move. By exiting from the conversation, he’s losing a strong defender of his ideas, as well as the chance to take back control of his Google footprint. His post was a huge success, generating a serious conversation about a tax hike and how to define “rich.” Among the productive comments driving the conversation forward were personal attacks on Henderson, as noted and lamented by Henderson’s co-blogger Larry Ribstein. “If the comments to this blog over the last week represent the state of the discussion we are having about economic policy,” wrote Ribstein. “Then I truly fear for this country’s future.”
Again, as I'm posting this, I'm still working my way through the comments. I've yet to find something truly vicious. (And recall I recently had a commenter suggest: "... get over yourself douchebag, you're nothing but a bag of meat and your thoughts and desires are meaningless and you are a worthless" piece of shit.) That said, I'm astounded at how a few of the comments indicate that Professor Henderson isn't entitled to keep his own money, nor decide how he should spend it:
The gist of it is this guy is whining that his GARDENER and his HOUSEKEEPER will suffer and you are CRYING for him??? Shame on your greedy little hearts. He’s going to have to give up extra lessons for his kid? He may have to *gasp* enroll them in PUBLIC SCHOOL??? Will the tragedy never end for him? I love the (implied) impossibility of finding a home with a lower mortgage in a less chic area (by the way, before you hop on your fear stallions, not everything that is “less chic” is a “cesspool of seething drug crime”. Even in Chicago).

No one ENVIES this putz. We PITY him for his tremendous effort to cling to his undeserved entitlement issues. This isn’t an “increase” in taxes. It’s a roll back.

Think of it like this: you get a coupon from the supermarket and now cereal is cheaper. Then the coupon EXPIRES. Then you cry and sue the supermarket. Wait… you DON’T cry and sue the supermarket? Then, please, shut up. Whiner.The tax rate is going BACK to what it WAS. Was this guy BORN in 2001? If not, he survived prior to the roll back.
And again, in another iteration:
The entitlement issue is being able to afford a gardener, a maid, a nanny, private school and side classes for his kids and still have money left over because he gets to keep the temporray tax rate and make it permanent. If he isn’t “rich”, then the private school, gardener, et al, are sacrifices that will cost him just like they would the REST of us “not rich” folks. Hey, guess what? Most of us DON’T GET THOSE THINGS BECAUSE WE CAN’T AFFORD THEM (being “not rich” and all).

Only someone who BELIEVES he DESERVES those things would cling to them in a time of financial crisis. That sounds like an “entitlement issue” to me (See… it means he believes he deserves it= “entitlement” and it is causing him stress and problems= “issue”. Get it?).
Scrolling down, I found a pretty angry attack on Professor Henderson, which concludes:
Your essay was not amusing. It illustrates the selfish, mean-spirited, whining, wimpering, short-sighted, scrofulitic tone that now pervades politics from the right.
But that's about the meanest thing I've found, and I've learned that "scrofulitic" means "morally degenerate." And for what? As one of the commenters defending Professor Henderson pointed out, the guy's already paying $100,000 a year in income taxes. His spending is out of whack, sure, but whose isn't? Brad DeLong takes him to task for that and uses poor family budgeting as a case for paying more in taxes. If it were me, I'd see if we could cut spending, especially on Social Security, Medicare, state welfare entitlements, and education. And yes, defense spending. Americans are over-taxed. Maybe Professor Henderson should have been more judicious in his blogging, not to mention his household budgeting. But what's really alarming is how the leftists think that what he earns is theirs. And that's anti-American.

Record-Setting Heat in Southern California

At KABC-TV Los Angeles and Los Angeles Times. It was 108 degrees in Irvine at 3:30pm, when I picked my oldest son up from his high school. I called my youngest son's after school program to make sure they kept him inside. I'll update if I see any reports on claims of "global warming."

Dan Webster's Wife Blasts Alan Grayson's 'Taliban' Attack Ad

Well, yeah.

At Politico (via

Twenty-four hours after Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson launched a scalding TV attack comparing his opponent to the Taliban for his positions on women’s issues, Florida Republican Daniel Webster is pushing back.

In a statement from the campaign Monday afternoon, Webster’s wife and campaign manager derided Grayson’s ad as “shameful” and “ludicrous.”

But the response does not refute any of the charges leveled in the ad – titled “Taliban Dan Webster” - which claimed that Webster, a former state Senate majority leader and state House speaker, wanted to make divorce illegal and deny abused women health care. Grayson’s ad even claims that Webster “tried to prohibit alimony to an ‘adulterous wife’ but not an adulterous husband,’” and that he “wants to force women to stay in abusive marriages.”

Webster’s response also does not address footage in the ad of Webster saying, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husband,” and “She should submit to me – that’s in the Bible.”

In her statement, Sandy Webster said: "Alan Grayson's latest attack on my husband is shameful. Mr. Grayson seems to have a problem telling the truth and no problem misleading the public. Dan has been an amazing husband and father, and the finest man I have ever known. Mr. Grayson should be ashamed of his nasty smears against my husband."
Even if the facts are correct --- and I don't care either way --- it's shameful that policy differences would lead Grayson to compare Webster to the Taliban. This is the Daily Kosification of congressional elections. It's dishonest and despicable. (And that's why Digby's down with it.)

Trust in Congress Falls to Record Low in New Gallup Poll

There's a decline in trust of all the three branches of government, but especially in Congress. See, "Trust in Legislative Branch Falls to Record-Low 36%":


A record-low 36% of Americans have a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the legislative branch of government, down sharply from the prior record low of 45% set last year. Trust in the judicial branch and trust in the executive branch also suffered sharp declines this year but remain higher than trust in the legislative branch.

Gallup has measured these trends each year since 2001 as part of its annual Governance survey, and prior to that on an occasional basis in the 1990s and the 1970s. While trust in the legislative branch has been steadily declining for years, trust in the other two branches of government -- the executive and the judicial -- had risen in 2009 compared with 2008. All in all, between last year and this, trust in the legislative branch fell 9 percentage points, trust in the executive branch fell 11 points, and in the judicial branch, 10 points.

Trust in the legislative branch was highest, at 71%, in May 1972, and remained generally high from that point to the mid-2000s. It then dropped to 50% in 2007, 47% in 2008, and 45% in 2009, all record lows at the time they were measured. This year's 36% legislative confidence rating marks still another record low, and is the lowest trust level in any of the three branches of government in Gallup's history.
RELATED: At Pat in Shreveport's, "Obama Under Water." The link there is to Politico, "Poll: Rocky road seen ahead for Obama." And also at Politico, not worth believing, from CELINDA LAKE, DANIEL GOTOFF, AND MATT PRICE, "Poll analysis: Competitive midterm landscape for Dems." (I say "not worth believing" because Celinda Lake is a Democratic political consultant and I doubt current polling is capturing the historic scale of voter discontent. That is, the tidal wave that's coming on November 2nd will be bigger than the most dire assessments for the party in power. This is historic. I can't wait.)

BONUS EXTRA: If you're not hip on the Ramirez cartoon, see Warner Todd Huston, "Mentally Retarded Now Have ‘Intellectual Disability’."

Marilyn Monroe

A belated Rule 5 post, since William Teach missed my entry on Blake Lively.


Hat Tip: Ghost of a Flea.

'Morning in America'

From Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign. At that time we'd had some of the worst economic circumstances since the Great Depression. Voters returned Reagan to office overwhelmingly (over Democrat-socialist Walter Mondale, who pledged to raise taxes). I'm betting Barack Obama will be a one term president. One of the main reasons is because he too wants to raise your taxes. And in 2012, he won't be able to campaign on the promise of "Morning in America."

GOP Taps Tough-On-Immigration Hispanics in Fall Campaigns

A deep lineup of Hispanic Republicans is running for high office this year, giving the party new avenues to court the growing bloc of Latino voters who have largely deserted the GOP in recent years but will be crucial in the 2012 presidential election.

In a twist, many of these candidates are defending the strict, new Arizona law and other measures cracking down on illegal immigration—appealing to white conservatives and to the portion of Hispanic voters who share concerns about border security.

In Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and elsewhere, GOP candidates with names like Martinez, Rubio and Sandoval are staking out tough immigration views.

"There is a stereotype that Hispanics must be in favor of different policies than I am expressing, and that's not what I'm finding at all," said New Mexico GOP gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez, who would be the country's first elected female Hispanic governor.

Ms. Martinez, a prosecutor, has aired television ads in which she stands at the border and promotes her record convicting criminals who sneaked in from Mexico. She promises to end state laws that she says make it easy for illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, is stepping down due to term limits.

The three most prominent Hispanic Republicans on the ballot in November—Florida U.S. Senate hopeful Marco Rubio, Nevada gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval, and Ms. Martinez—are leading in polls and performing well among Hispanic voters. Hispanic GOP House candidates in Florida, Texas and Washington are presenting a similarly conservative agenda.

Within the Republican Party, some strategists see the unusually large number of major Hispanic GOP candidates as key to correcting a misstep in the party's outreach to the nation's fastest-growing voter bloc. Many Hispanics are attracted by the GOP's opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

When ex-President George W. Bush made an effort to win Hispanic voters, his share of that electorate rose to 40% in 2004, from the 34% he won in 2000.
The trick will be for conservatives to highlight the racism and anti-Americanism that's inherent to the hard-left Democrat-Hispanic agenda. Get a few more folks like Loretta Sanchez speaking out against other minorities on the record, and fair-minded pro-American Hispanics will bolt the Democrat Party.

RELATED: At Left Coast Rebel, "
Van Tran Denounces Loretta Sanchez, Controversy Carried in Los Angeles Times."

Amanda Colmenero

No doubt she started smokin' pot. That's how people get introduced to hard drugs, like cocaine, and crystal meth for Amanda Colmenero.

See, "
Amanda Colmenero Discovers the Downside of Using Her Vagina as Meth Storage Facility":


Leave it to those wacky meth heads to provide zaniness and hijinks where ever they go. 22-year-old Amanda Colmenero was busted in Coos Bay, Oregon this week on drug charges. When she entered the jail, she was given the standard strip and cavity searches...

But being a forgetful meth head, Amanda decided to store her chemical intoxicants deep in her vagina, lest she get too high and lose them. And because she stored them so deep, deputies missed them during her cavity search ...

Our hero was placed in a holding cell. But when jailers checked on her the next morning, they found her unconscious and nearly dead. While Amanda had taken special care to not misplace her meth, that same care hadn't been given to the bags she used to hold her dope. One of them broke, which caused the meth to seep into her vaginal apparatus, which in turn caused her to be in deep shit.

She was rushed to a hospital where doctors discovered her secret storage compartment and removed the offending items. She's now in critical condition. Detectives believe this will teach her to use name-brand bags from Hefty in the future, instead of relying on discount products not recommended for vaginal drug storage.
Another poster girl for drug decriminalization. Just JBW's kind of woman.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Securing America's Future

I'm heading out to Beverly Hills for a talk at the Saban Theatre, "Michael Medved to Host September 26 JPC Forum in Los Angeles."
Washington, D.C.- The Jewish Policy Center today announced that it will hold its next national policy forum event in Los Angeles, at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Sunday, September 26, at 7:30 pm.

Moderated by author and nationally-syndicated radio talk show personality Michael Medved, the event is titled "Securing America's Future."

Confirmed panelists for the September 26 forum include David Horowitz, founder and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Mona Charen, syndicated columnist, author, and political analyst.

"This group of experts will explore the many issues that concern Americans at this critical time," said Matthew Brooks, Executive Director of the JPC. "Energy, the War on Terror, Obamacare, the role of government, and foreign policy - there is no shortage of topics that will be covered in this interactive and wide-reaching discussion about securing America's future."
More blogging later.

'Holy War: Should We Be Afraid of Islam?'

Christiane Amanpour announced an upcoming special report on ABC News:
And we just also wanted to give you a word about a special program next week. The plans to build that Islamic center near Ground Zero has unleashed an international debate, raising questions about America's uneasy relationship with Islam. So next Sunday, we're going to hear from all sides in this debate. It's called to be called "Holy War: Should We Be Afraid of Islam?" You can submit questions to on my Facebook page or at our Web site,

And this coming Friday, Diane Sawyer anchors a special edition of "20/20," reporting on Islam and taking all the questions and answers.
Maybe this woman will submit a question. I saw her down by the Freedom Tower on September 11:




San Francisco Chronicle: No Endorsement in California Senate Race

This is another thing I've been saying all year. At SF Chronicle (via Memeorandum):

Californians are left with a deeply unsatisfying choice for the U.S. Senate this year. The incumbent, Democrat Barbara Boxer, has failed to distinguish herself during her 18 years in office. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation. The challenger, Republican Carly Fiorina, has campaigned with a vigor and directness that suggests she could be effective in Washington - but for an agenda that would undermine this nation's need to move forward on addressing serious issues such as climate change, health care and immigration.

It is extremely rare that this editorial page would offer no recommendation on any race, particularly one of this importance. This is one necessary exception.
What I'd stress differently is not that Fiorina wouldn't move forward in addressing the nation's needs, but that's she's basically RINO. Yeah, she talks the good talk on fiscal policy, etc., and has tooted the right notes on immigration, etc., but down deep she's got some radical leftist sensibilities, on feminism and the role of the state in the social sphere. (See, "McCain-backed GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina hearts Jesse Jackson — and radical gender politics.") That said, I'm more inclined to vote for Fiorina than I am for Meg Whitman. It's the same story in the governor's race, as I noted previously. We have weak candidates all around. The state remains in the grips of the Democrat-SIEU corruption complex. Spending is out of control. Voters have repeatedly rejected big tax-and-spending projects placed before the electorate. As for Barbara Boxer, she's a classic Democrat Party hack. Up and down the line it's big government, radical leftist politics and the expansion of the state sector. Looking at the attack ad above all she can really do is attempt to smear Carly Fiorina over the air waves. It's all distortion, and she knows it, which is why she refuses to meet Fiorina for face-to-face debates. She'll be hammered as a corrupt out-of-touch bureaucrat, and I have to give Fiorina props on her ability to defend her record as HP CEO. In the end though, it's the voters who lose. Candidates are spending big money to gain and hold power, and they're refusing to really provide the electorate with the information and contact that would facilitate choice and accountability. If 2010 means anything, especially at the national level, when the Obama-Dem-Socialists get the boot, it's that the country's up for a realignment of our political ethics. People really want to take back government. They want responsiveness and good policy. They want elected officials to put the needs of average folks first, especially on the economy. Democrat pork-barrel projects have obviously not revived the economy, and voters don't think the recession's ended. But the beauty of democracy is that change is possible. And we're heading into that perfect storm this year. I can't wait.