Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Doobie Brothers - 'Long Train Running'

So I'm reading Small Dead Animals and Kate mentions that The Doobie Brothers broke up exactly 30 years ago today. The band has an amazing history. Tom Johnston was a leading member of the band during the early years, and he wrote some of the band's most heavily rocking hits. More later...

Super Sexy Kelly Brook Weekend Rule 5

Well, enough of the left's "Anger Games" for a bit.

Here's some Kelly Brook:

And more recently at London's Daily Mail, "Don't know where to look! Kelly Brook goes for maximum exposure in see-through top and hot pink trousers," and "Bootylicious Brook! Kelly heads to her local park for a workout in some very tight leggings that show off her shapely derriere."

Plus, here's a shout out to Proof Positive: "Happy Fourth Blogiversary!"

Proof credits The Other McCain for boosting some of that blog traffic.

Either way, keep the Rule 5 ladies flowing.

Progressive Mobs Rally for Trayvon

Mob justice.

At Twitchy, "Many Rallies Taking Place Honoring Trayvon."

And at Orlando Sentinel, "Al Sharpton: Civil disobedience will escalate if Zimmerman remains free." (Via Memeorandum.) Also, "Trayvon Martin march draws thousands to Sanford" (at Memeorandum).

Plus, at Los Angeles Times, "Trayvon Martin marchers: 'We want an arrest. Shot in the chest'."

Image Credit: iOWNTHEWORLD.

Hate-Spewing Language of the Left

At the video, Sean Hannity interviews Michelle Malkin on the left's response to Dick Cheney's heart transplant.

And see John Hawkins, at Right Wing News, "The Left’s War On Women: A Day In The Life Of Michelle Malkin On Twitter (Explicit Language)."

How California's Colleges Indoctrinate Students

From Peter Berkowitz, at Wall Street Journal (via Google):
The politicization of higher education by activist professors and compliant university administrators deprives students of the opportunity to acquire knowledge and refine their minds. It also erodes the nation's civic cohesion and its ability to preserve the institutions that undergird democracy in America.

So argues "A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California," a new report by the California Association of Scholars, a division of the National Association of Scholars (NAS). The report is addressed to the Regents of the University of California, which has ultimate responsibility for governing the UC system, but the pathologies it diagnoses prevail throughout the country.

The analysis begins from a nonpolitical fact: Numerous studies of both the UC system and of higher education nationwide demonstrate that students who graduate from college are increasingly ignorant of history and literature. They are unfamiliar with the principles of American constitutional government. And they are bereft of the skills necessary to comprehend serious books and effectively marshal evidence and argument in written work.

This decline in the quality of education coincides with a profound transformation of the college curriculum. None of the nine general campuses in the UC system requires students to study the history and institutions of the United States. None requires students to study Western civilization, and on seven of the nine UC campuses, including Berkeley, a survey course in Western civilization is not even offered. In several English departments one can graduate without taking a course in Shakespeare. In many political science departments majors need not take a course in American politics.

Moreover, the evidence suggests that the hollowing of the curriculum stems from too many professors' preference for promoting a partisan political agenda.

National studies by Stanley Rothman in 1999, and by Neil Gross and Solon Simmons in 2007, have shown that universities' leftward tilt has become severe. And a 2005 study by Daniel Klein and Andrew Western in Academic Questions (a NAS publication) shows this is certainly true in California. For example, Democrats outnumbered Republicans four to one on University of California, Berkeley, professional school faculties; in the social sciences the ratio was approximately 21 to one.

The same 2005 study revealed that the Berkeley sociology department faculty was home to 17 Democrats and no Republicans. The political science department included 28 Democrats and two Republicans. The English department had 29 Democrats and one Republican; and the history department had 31 Democrats and one Republican.

While political affiliation alone need not carry classroom implications, the overwhelmingly left-leaning faculty openly declare the inculcation of progressive political ideas their pedagogical priority. As "A Crisis of Competence" notes, "a recent study by UCLA's prestigious Higher Education Research Institute found that more faculty now believe that they should teach their students to be agents of social change than believe that it is important to teach them the classics of Western civilization."
Mind-boggling, really.

PREVIOUSLY: "California State Colleges and Universities May Screen for Sexual Orientation in Admissions Applications."

Oh My! Piers Morgan Stands Up to MSNBC's Racial Bombthrower Touré

I have some newfound respect for Piers Morgan. The background's at Mediaite, "Update: Piers Morgan Books MSNBC’s Touré In Real Time To Settle Twitter Feud," and "Piers Morgan And Touré Finish Their Twitter Feud On CNN’s Air."

This is ugly, and I'm not talkin' about Morgan:

And at Big Journalism, "Piers Morgan Gets Caught In Toure's Racial Crosshairs":
Poor Piers Morgan. One of his producers must have convinced him that liberal, race-baiter Toure' from rival network MSNBC would be a compelling guest to speak on the Trayvon Martin story.  Toure', after all, is feted and lionized by the intellectual left as an important and vibrant voice bringing a fresh and important new perspective to matters of race in America.

Instead, what Morgan got for extending a gracious invitation to an employee of his network's chief competitor was a petulant and churlish attack from an over-matched and hysterically intellectual lightweight...

It was classic Toure'.  The moment his position was challenged by Mr. Morgan he immediately castigated his inquisitor for the accident of his birthplace.  You see, Morgan was not born in America, so he not only can't understand race issues in America, he is, according to Toure' unqualified to adequately report on the Trayvon Martin case.  It must have been tough for Toure' to make the pivot from race to nation of origin as a means to answer a challenge from his intellectual superior.  The MSNBC analyst's standard mode of operation is to merely blame a person's skin color for the way they think about any given subject.  But in this case, Morgan's original sin is even more insidious than his race; it's the origin of his passport.

For his part, Morgan did a fine job maintaining a cool demeanor as Toure' condescendingly patronized him on his own show.  He rightly challenged Toure' for making sick jokes about the tragic killing on his Twitter feed and then questioned his journalistic integrity for irresponsibly proclaiming Zimmerman guilty of murder while questioning Morgan's ability to properly report the story.

Toure's response?  You're British, you don't get it.

It's yet another embarrassment for NBC News as they seem to surround themselves with race-baiting demagogues who demonize anyone who dares to not fully accept their myopic racial world view.
Also at Twitchy, "Touré targets Big Skittle."

Neighbors Say George Zimmerman Not Racist

This was a front-page report at Thursday's Los Angeles Times, "In Trayvon Martin case, a complex portrait of shooter emerges."

This is a surprisingly sympathetic report. Perhaps the Times is making amends for the generalized rush to judgement across the MSM.

And see The Daily Caller, "Police surveillance video of Zimmerman may show head injury," and "Second Trayvon Martin Twitter feed identified."

Plus, at Protein Wisdom, "Does Police Video Contradict Zimmerman’s Lawyer?"

Meanwhile, at Los Angeles Times, "Spike Lee pays up for wrong-address tweet in Trayvon Martin case."

Friday, March 30, 2012

California State Colleges and Universities May Screen for Sexual Orientation in Admissions Applications

Tina Korbe beat me to this story, "California state colleges consider asking students about sexual orientation on application forms."

Korbe's commenting on this morning's front-page Los Angeles Times article, "California state colleges weigh asking students about sexual orientation." But she's missing something especially key at the report: LGBT screening will embed another layer of political correctness on campus and put pressure on instructors to satisfy the grievances of the various student constituencies. Years ago, at UCSB, a student in my Black Politics course told me that I wasn't teaching the class the right way. He said I wasn't supposed to focus on all these statistics and historical details, etc. I was supposed to teach the class from the approved perspective, to conform with the activist agenda. I was frankly shocked that a student had that much confidence to try to set the instructor straight. It was clear that I was supposed to teach in solidarity with the brothers and sisters. I was supposed to focus on the oppressed. It was a nightmare. (During that same class, I caught some black students cheating on the final exam and it turned into a disaster when the students' parents got involved. As a doctoral candidate, I had no choice but to pass the students. It didn't matter what happened. I heard talk of a lawsuit so no matter what happened during the final there would be no consequences for the students. The department chair had upbraided me earlier in the semester after minority students complained that I was grading too hard. By the time I dealt with the cheating thing I just wanted to get away from this upside down world where rules and standards didn't matter all all, at the University of California.) I'm reminded of this after reading this quote at the Times' report:
UC Berkeley student Andrew Albright, who is gay and a student government activist, said some gay and lesbian students might be initially nervous about how their responses would be used.

But he said most would participate if the potential benefits, such as increased services, are made clear and if UC keeps its promises that an individual's information will be confidential and only used in aggregates.

"I think in general it's a good thing," said Albright, a third-year political science and sociology major. Beyond counseling services, professors might alter approaches to various lectures if they know a sizable percentage of the class is gay or lesbian, he said.
If folks remember the Stalinist reaction to the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, just imagine if screening for sexual identity at colleges and universities works to create yet another politically correct group of people who will be free from the normal standards and rules of behavior. The activists are running the campuses. I can imagine how horrified some families are at the prospects of sending their kids to public universities. Things are out of control. You will be told what is acceptable to teach. It's happening already. Students are challenging professors' grading policies by filing civil rights complaints, and college administrators are jumping as fast as they can to avoid alienating key constituencies. I'm dealing with these things first hand. It seems unreal, but if you're on the inside you see how the bureaucracy functions as a system to itself. It's scary.

In any case, Fox News had a report a couple of weeks ago, and quotes Ward Connerly on sexual orientation screening:
“It’s a very bad idea," Ward Connerly, president of the American Civil Rights Institute and former regent board member for the University of California system told "I think that it will lead to another protected class”....

Connerly said schools should accept or reject students based solely on merit, and stop the practice of measuring the makeup of incoming classes by race, gender or sexual orientation.

“I don’t think a university should be asking about a student’s sexuality, race, or gender," said Connerly, who brought attention to the university system's race-based system of preferences within its admissions policies. "This is a step in the wrong direction.”
I'll have more on this later...

UPDATE: Linked at Instapundit. Thanks!

Glenn adds at trippy video, "Transfer to Sector 8!" Check it out.


The Never-Ending Phenomenon of Black Racial Victimology

I'm actually kind of surprised to see this post from Jamelle Bouie at American Prospect, "Willful Ignorance."

Bouie doesn't link to the YouGov item, which is here: "Americans Say Blacks Should Help Themselves, Not Depend On Government." But here's how Bouie frames it (via Memeorandum):

An unnervingly large percentage of white America believes that blacks just need to "work harder" to succeed...

In case you don’t know, it’s straightforward. After the Civil War, when African Americans were freed after more than two hundred years of bondage and chattel slavery, whites in the South—with, eventually, the complicitcy of whites nationwide—engaged in a brutal campaign of violence and economic deprivation against the descendants of said slaves, the result of which was to keep most blacks in a state of near-peonage, where their opportunities for social and economic advancement were extremely limited.

Not to discount the prejudice faced by many immigrant groups, but I’m reasonably sure that this wasn’t the case for anyone other than African Americans. Which, I should add, is the reason why we have affirmative action and other such programs—the effects of this state-sanctioned mistreatment were so strong and so pervasive, that they continue to have an enduring effect on the lives and livelihoods of black Americans (in the aggregate).

But, it seems, most white Americans don’t know that. Indeed, if this YouGov poll is any indication, a fair number of white Americans simply believe that black people are lazy...
Bouie's elaborating the "accumulated disadvantages" thesis that's been the basis for the left's affirmative action advocacy for generations. But with a black president in the White House and a robust black middle class, it's increasingly hard to argue that the legacies of slavery and segregation are keeping blacks chained to poverty and economic deprivation. What's too bad about Bouie, however, is that he misrepresents the YouGov data. The report does not show that white Americans are ignorant of the history of slavery. Although it does say that whites think not enough blacks are willing to work hard. And it's not like there's a lack of evidence on that. See: "Alexandra Pelosi's Latest Video Slams 'Welfare Queens' and 'Obama Bucks'." Frankly, America's historic notions of individual initiative and self sufficiency radically violate the left's endless cries of racial victimology. And progressives like Bouie also completely (and conveniently) ignore the impact of the civil rights movement and decades of social welfare policies designed to reduce racial inequality in this country. Progressives are not only dishonest, but they're hateful and vindictive. This kind of raging racial deprivation is what's beneath this national "conversation" on race we're having in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing. And it's the left that's pushing the country to the verge of racial civil war.

That's what explains the "regression" on racial progress in this country. And that's what's really depressing.

The War on Wisconsin

From Michelle:

Now is the time for all good tea partiers to come to the aid of Wisconsin. Fiscally conservative leaders in the Badger State are under coordinated siege from Big Labor, the White House, the liberal media and the judiciary. The yearlong campaign of union thuggery, family harassment and intimidation of Republican donors and businesses is about to escalate even further. This is the price the Right pays for doing the right thing.

The most visible target is Gov. Scott Walker, who faces recall on June 5 over his tough package of state budget and public employee union reforms. Three state GOP legislators — Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Sen. Van Wanggaard and Sen. Terry Moulton — also face recall. A fourth target, staunch union reformer and Second Amendment advocate Sen. Pam Galloway, announced she was stepping down last week — leaving the legislature deadlocked and Democratic strategists salivating.

Walker and the GOP majority ended the union compulsory dues racket, allowed workers to choose whether to join a union, curtailed costly bargaining rights and enacted pension and health contribution requirements to bring the government in line with private-sector practices. The Walker reform law helped prevent massive layoffs in public education by saving tens of millions of dollars in bloated benefits bills. Ending the state union monopoly on teachers’ health insurance plans allowed dozens of school districts to switch their coverage to more competitive bidders.

The free-market MacIver Institute reports that at least 25 school districts did so, saving the districts more than $200 per student. Hundreds of millions more in savings are in the works as school districts and local governments turn deficits to surpluses. And Walker’s actions have nearly wiped out the nearly $3.6 billion deficit he inherited from his free-spending predecessors.

New poll data released on Tuesday show two potential Democratic rivals neck and neck with Walker. Wisconsin politicos tell me his national name recognition has bolstered public awareness and fundraising efforts. He’s currently sitting on a $5 million war chest. Walker supporters believe the Big Labor-fueled fight will be dirty, but with vigilant backing, he’ll survive.

The outlook for the unhinged Left’s secondary targets, however, is not so bright. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a tea party candidate who is not part of the GOP establishment, is being treated as collateral damage by the party. Outside of Wisconsin, most conservative activists are not even aware that she may be booted from office for simply doing her job. Kleefisch told me that on a recent fundraising swing in D.C., national GOP leaders were shocked to learn of her plight.
Continue reading.

And at Breitbart, "WI Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch Faces Nasty, Sexist Smears Amidst Recall."

Voters in the state remain divided over the impending recall election, according to a new poll. The NBC/Marist survey released Friday showed Wisconsin voters were divided over the upcoming election. Forty-six percent of Badger State voters said they will support Walker in the race, while 48% said they will vote for the eventual Democratic candidate.

Walker's approval and disapproval figures were equal at 48%, while a majority of likely Republican voters said they are following the recall election more closely than the GOP primary race, 51% to 37%.
Via Hot Air and Memeorandum.

George Zimmerman's Brother Speaks Out on Trayvon Martin Shooting

This YouTube video is edited.

Be sure to check Althouse, "'You return force with force when somebody assaults you. George was out of breath, he was barely conscious'."

Also at CNN, "Brother: Medical records will prove George Zimmerman's story" (via Memeorandum)

'Operation Hot Mic'

You gotta love it, via HyScience:

And the whiny Rachel Maddow attack-dog Steve Benen is not pleased: "Conservatives still hot over hot-mic story."

Suck it up, big boy.

Controversial ObamaCare Mandate Won't Solve Problems Administration Claims It Will Fix

At IBD, "ObamaCare Mandate Won't Solve Uninsured, Health Costs":

The Obama administration told the Supreme Court this week that the Affordable Care Act's mandate that everyone buy insurance is vital to providing universal coverage and lower insurance costs. But ObamaCare won't solve either problem, as government reports show.

Despite the mandate, there will still be 27 million uninsured a decade from now, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The promised uninsured rate — 10% in 2022 — isn't much better than in 1980, when it was 12%, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The law also tries to cut the uninsured population by making it illegal for insurers to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, called "guaranteed issue.

But fewer than 4% cited poor health as a reason for not getting coverage, according to the CBO. Meanwhile, 71% cited the high cost of premiums.

To the extent that poor health puts insurance premiums out of reach, ObamaCare's "community rating" reform could help, since it bars insurance companies from basing premiums on health status. Nevertheless, it will still leave millions without coverage.

Premiums Won't Come Down

The administration also told the Court that the individual mandate will cut insurance costs by eliminating cost-shifting — where uninsured force others to pay for their care. But it appears that, even if the law does reduce cost shifting, the mandate will not result in lower premiums.

A number of reports suggest that, at best, the Affordable Care Act will keep premiums the same, while others say it could actually push them higher than they would otherwise be.

A recent CBO report, for example, says that premiums over the next 10 years will rise at a faster rate than they have for the past five...
At the video, "When Asked Where the Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance, Pelosi Says: 'Are You Serious?'" (via Legal Insurrection).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trademarking Trayvon

Look, if they're trademarking their son's name, it's clear they fully expect to profit off the extreme sensationalism of Treyvon's death. And the media rounds to Washington D.C.? What's up with that? A publicity tour ahead of the formal investigation? That's unseemly, to say the least.

I'm surprised CNN even headlined their video "Trademarking Trayvon Martin." There's no pride in that.

And check The Seattle Times‎, "Trayvon Martin's parents say they don't believe police report."

Surprise, surprise!

Florida AG Pam Bondi Discusses Supreme Court ObamaCare Arguments on Fox & Friends

I love her accent!


MORE: From Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, "With ObamaCare in Danger, Liberals Decide the Court’s Power Should Be Limited."

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Freedom in Cuba

At New York Times, "Pope Calls for ‘Authentic Freedom’ in Cuba":

HAVANA — In the heart of Revolution Square in Cuba, with towering images of guerrilla heroes staring back at him, Pope Benedict XVI called Wednesday for “authentic freedom” in one of the world’s most authoritarian states.

But reflecting an effort to stay in the good graces of his hosts and usher in even more religious freedom on the island, he also denounced the American economic embargo that Cuba has long blamed for most of its troubles.

And so Benedict, a critic of Marxism in general and totalitarian regimes in particular, walked the tightrope that spans the old and new Cuba, with a visit that lasted just over 48 hours and that harked back to the first papal trip here by his predecessor 14 years ago.

In his speeches and before boarding his plane for Rome, the pope pushed for more liberties, sometimes obliquely, while presenting the Roman Catholic Church as being in solidarity with the Cuban people. At the same time, he sought to assure his hosts that he was not explicitly taking sides in one of the most politically complex countries he has visited in his seven years as pope.

“The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom,” Benedict said in his homily at an outdoor Mass here, eliciting smiles from some in the crowd. “Many, however, prefer shortcuts, trying to avoid this task.”

He warned of “those who wrongly interpret this search for truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism. They close themselves up in ‘their truth’ and try to impose it on others.”

Later, Benedict met privately with Fidel Castro for what the Vatican called an “animated dialogue” in which they exchanged jokes about old age — Mr. Castro is 85, and the pope will turn 85 next month — and Mr. Castro asked for books and an explanation of what a pope does.

Afterward, Benedict reiterated the church’s longstanding opposition to the five-decade economic embargo, a rebuke the Cuban government had been waiting for.

While Cubans should use God’s strength in “building a society of broad vision, renewed and reconciled,” the pope said, they should not be hampered by limitations on “basic freedoms” or “a lack of material resources, a situation which is worsened when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people.”
And at Telegraph UK, "Pope Benedict XVI in Cuba."


Yesterday saw a hilarious hashtag game break out on Twitter: "#NewSpikeLeeMovies."

And I found Em Dee Bee and was seriously cracking up reading her timeline.

Click that link and give her a follow!


'Kill Zimmerman'

The left's lynch-mob mentality is alive and well.

At Big Journalism, "Blame Palin? 'Kill Zimmerman' Twitter Account Launched."

As of 7:50pm PDT last night, the "Kill Zimmerman" account was live.

Up is Down: Republicans 'Politicizing' Treyvon Martin's Death?

This is frankly bizarre, given all that's been going down on this.

See Jeff Goldstein, "“Obama Campaign: Republicans ‘Politicizing’ Trayvon Martin’s Death”':

Yes. Republicans. It is they who are ‘politicizing’ Martin’s death — they who are organizing marches, they who are putting out bounties, they who are selling hoodies and t-shirts, they who have scheduled mock Congressional briefings, they who used the bully pulpit to call for a national soul-searching because we’re somehow collectively complicit in a young man being shot to death while beating a neighborhood watch captain in Florida. Republicans. It is they who have blamed violence on freedom fetishists, they who have sought to turn the case into a call for federal review of state gun laws, they who stood before the nation and noted that, had they a son, he would have looked like Trayvon, while failing to show any public concern over the death of Brian Terry. It is they who have taken a local case, turned it intentionally into a national story, stoked racial animus, and are trying to orchestrate a lynch mob from the halls of Congress – all while ignoring due process....
Up is down. Black is white. Malcolm is Martin.

Rachel Bloom: Inside the Mind of a 12-Year-Old Boy

Via Blazing Cat Fur:

Trayvon Protesters Ransack Walgreens Store in North Miami Beach

A report at CBS News Tampa Bay, "Trayvon Martin protest leads to ransacking Walgreens."

And YouTube video via Pundette, "Honoring Trayvon's memory":
In a touching tribute to the slain Florida teen, Miami high schoolers looted their local Walgreens, because nothing says "rest in peace" or "you will be missed" like a swiped bag of chips...

Progressives Exploit Trayvon Martin Tragedy

A great discussion.

What's interesting is that both the Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley and the New York Post's Robert George are black. And frankly, these two demonstrate the kind of journalistic objectivity and skepticism that used to be the standard of the American press.

PREVIOUSLY: "Racial-Relations Regression."

Race Hustling Progressives

The video's from PJTV.

And see Jonah Goldberg, at National Review, "Playing the Race Card Again: Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and all the usual suspects exploit the Trayvon Martin story."

‘White Hispanic.” That’s how the New York Times, Reuters, and other media outlets have opted to describe George Zimmerman, a man who would simply be Hispanic if he hadn’t shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The term, rarely if ever used before this tragedy, is necessary in telling the Martin story in a more comfortable way.

What’s the comfortable way? It’s the way the blame for Martin’s death belongs squarely at the feet of “the system.” And “the system” is a white thing, don’t you know?

For instance, in a remarkably uncritical interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Reverend Jesse Jackson explained that with the election of President Obama, “there was this feeling that we were kind of beyond racism.” He continued: “That’s not true. His victory has triggered tremendous backlash.” Indeed, “blacks are under attack.”

Jackson apparently includes in this racist Obama “backlash” record home foreclosures for African Americans and black unemployment. It would have been nice if the L.A. Times had asked Jackson to work a little harder to connect those dots.
Jackson also laments that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business” in America.

Rachel Maddow on Late Show with David Letterman

Well, I posted on Leon Wieseltier's ultimate smack down of Rachel Maddow earlier: "Leon Wieseltier Slams Rachel Maddow's New Book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power."

Her book is here.

And here's Maddow on Letterman's show a couple of nights ago. She really hates the military, literally everything about it:

Magic Johnson Group to Buy L.A. Dodgers for $2 Billion

The main story's at the Los Angeles Times, "Magic Johnson-led group is picked as Dodgers' next owner":

A group led by Lakers legend Magic Johnson emerged Tuesday night as the new owners of the Dodgers, ending months of uncertainty for the storied but troubled baseball franchise.

Johnson, who guided the Lakers to five NBA championships during the "Showtime" era of the 1980s, is a partner in the group along with longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten and movie executive Peter Guber. The controlling owner would be Mark Walter, chief executive officer of Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago-based financial services company.

Walter and McCourt met privately in New York on Tuesday, coming to an agreement only hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three final bidders.

The winning group paid $2 billion for the team -- a record for a sports franchise -- according to an announcement issued jointly with previous owner Frank McCourt.

"I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise," Johnson said in the statement, adding the new owners "intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section."
And see: "L.A. celebrates Magic Johnson and new Dodgers owners." And more at the link.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Justices Question Extent of Federal Power

At WSJ, "Arguments Over Health-Care Law Veer Into a Challenge to Medicaid as Obama's Signature Measure Faces a Rough Ride":

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ended three momentous days of argument Wednesday over the constitutionality of the Obama administration's signature health-care law, with opponents pushing their rhetoric into fundamental questions about the limits of Washington's power.

Conservative justices suggested that if one part of the law is judged unconstitutional, the entire health overhaul with hundreds of provisions may have to fall with it. In the afternoon, the case took a twist that upended expectations, as the conservatives challenged the basis of the federal-state Medicaid program.

Together, the questions underscored the rough ride the administration suffered over the three days that left President Barack Obama's top domestic achievement in doubt. On Tuesday, justices challenged the law's centerpiece, the requirement that Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote, sharply questioned both supporters and opponents, leaving his ultimate position in doubt.

In his final minutes before the court Wednesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli sought to seize the patriotic mantle from the law's challengers, who have portrayed their effort as a defense of fundamental American values.

Expanding health coverage through the private insurance market or Medicaid, as the Obama law envisions, will extend "the blessings of liberty" to individuals hobbled by disabilities or families decimated by illness, Mr. Verrilli said. "There will be millions of people with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease" who won't have to worry about medicine, he said.

But as the marathon arguments—extended 30 minutes, at the order of Chief Justice John Roberts, to a total of 6½ hours—neared an end, it was Paul Clement, representing 26 Republican-led states opposed to the law, who had the last word.

"I certainly appreciate what the solicitor general says, that when you support a policy, you think that the policy spreads the blessings of liberty. But I would respectfully suggest that it's a very funny conception of liberty that forces somebody to purchase an insurance policy whether they want it or not," Mr. Clement said.

He added that the health law's expansion of Medicaid "is a direct threat to our federalism."
See also, the Los Angeles Times, "Justices poised to strike down entire healthcare law." (At Memeorandum.)

BONUS: Pundette has more.

Spike Lee Apologizes After Placing Elderly Florida Couple's Lives in Danger

This part of the story keeps developing. See the Orlando Sentinel, "Elderly couple abandon their home after address is posted on Twitter as that of George Zimmerman." (At Memeorandum.)

The couple is interviewed at Fox News Tampa Bay, "Spike Lee re-tweet targets wrong home."

And now after the pressure of a week-long Twitter campaign, Lee has issued an apology: "Spike Lee apologizes over tweeting wrong address."

That's laudable, but without the outrage from conservatives on Twitter, it's doubtful Lee would have come clean. The director made no attempt to even address the issues during a lecture he gave last night at the College of William & Mary. See, "Trayvon Who? – Spike Lee Fails to 'Do the Right Thing' at William & Mary":
Spike Lee comes to Va. and misses an opportunity to offer his point-of-view on the biggest racial controversy of the year.

George Zimmerman Police Surveillance Video

There's lots of reporting at CNN.

Anderson Cooper had on former L.A. ADA Marcia Clark. She was highly skeptical that Treyvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman. She argued that Zimmerman didn't look shaken up, he didn't look like someone who had been attacked.

The full story's an ABC News exclusive, "Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman."
The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning.

His lawyer later insisted that Zimmerman's nose had been broken in his scuffle with 17-year-old Martin.

In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman's head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.
But the surveillance tape changes nothing, despite ABC's attempt to recapture the narrative momentum.

I'll update when video becomes available on YouTube.

PREVIOUSLY: "Racial-Relations Regression."

UPDATE: I'm sure this is just the beginning, but see Mediaite, "New Police Video Shows George Zimmerman Unscathed on Night of Trayvon Martin Shooting" (via Memeorandum).

Again, the video changes no facts in the case. All it does is fuel speculation. The paramedics on the scene checked Zimmerman and declared him good to go in the squad car. If all the facts check out in favor of Trayvon, Zimmerman should be prosecuted. Meanwhile, due process must be afforded, despite Democrat lynch mob efforts to the contrary.

Here's the clip:

Democrats Escalate Violent Rhetoric in Trayvon Martin Case

I'm rarely surprised by Democrat racial-grievance fear-mongering and recrimination, but you've gotta admit this lady has the routine down cold.

The Right Scoop has a report, "Rep. Frederica Wilson: Trayvon hunted down like a rabid dog, shot in the street and racially profiled."

And also at Big Government, "Dem Congresswoman: Arrest Zimmerman 'For His Own Safety'."

At a Congressional forum on the Hill yesterday at which killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin’s parents were asked to testify, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) took center stage. She claimed first that Martin had been victimized by racial profiling and a “botched police investigation.” But she went even further: George Zimmerman, the shooter in the case, she said, should be arrested “immediately for his own safety.”

This has become a rallying cry for other members of the left. Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said on MSNBC several days ago that Zimmerman should be “for his own safety, let’s just go to the ultimate extreme, for your safety, Mr. Zimmerman, because people may want to execute vigilante justice against you, we want to protect you, we want to put you in jail, we want to put you under cover of the law. Nothing is reasonable here to suggest that Mr. Zimmerman should continue to go free.”

There are no legal grounds upon which somebody can be imprisoned for his or her own safety, unless they are actually a threat to harm themselves, which is not the case here. In fact, the Constitution expressly forbids such measures under the Fourth Amendment, which states that people have a right “to be secure in their persons … against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The only excuses for a criminal arrest in America are probable cause or an arrest warrant based upon probable cause. Arresting citizens “for their own safety” smacks of tyranny.
At the video, Congresswoman Wilson makes a speech on the House floor yesterday, repeating the "hunted down like a rabid dog" allegations.

See also Jawa Report, "Democratic Congresswoman Wants To Arrest George Zimmerman 'For His Own Safety'."

Democrat Congressman Bobby Rush Dons Treyvon Martin Hoodie During House Floor Debate

Well, I'd think this was a joke if I didn't see it with my own eyes.

At the Washington Examiner, "Dem pulled from House floor for Trayvon hoodie":

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., lost his right to speak on the House floor after he violated rules by putting on a hoodie and sunglasses in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen shot last month.

"May God bless Trayvon Martin's soul, his family and -- [inaudible]" Rush said as he was removed from the House floor this morning for wearing a hoodie.

Rush was wearing a grey hoodie under his suit jacket. He took off his jacket, pulled the hood over his head and put on sunglasses while saying "racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum," he said.

"The member will suspend," said a visibly frustrated Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., the speaker pro tempore administrating the morning session. "The member is no longer recognized. The chair will ask the sergeant-at-arms to enforce the rules on decorum."
What a f-king idiot.

Also at the Miami Herald, "Rep. Bobby Rush gets escorted from House floor for donning Trayvon-inspired hoodie." And The Hill, "Dem kicked off House floor for ‘hoodie’ in Trayvon Martin protest" (via Memeorandum).

Bill Maher on Trayvon Martin Case: 'The New Racism is Denying Racism'

Well, I guess when RAAAAACISM!!! is all you've got, you gotta work it for all it's worth.

And that ain't much in this case, from one of the left's most supreme misogynist a-holes.

PREVIOUSLY: "Racial-Relations Regression."

Racial-Relations Regression

From Victor Davis Hanson, at National Review (via Instapundit):
The Trayvon Martin tragedy, by the time the entire process is played out, will reflect poorly on lots of people and groups, who in mob-like fashion have weighed in before all the facts in the case are fully aired. We have reached the nadir when the civil-rights community decries the release of further pertinent information about Mr. Martin as gratuitously defaming the deceased — with the implicit understanding that incomplete and leaked information so far has been welcomed if it reflected poorly on the alleged perpetrator.

The narrative of the shooting unfortunately changes every 24 hours, which suggests the media saw a preliminary narrative it liked and then adorned it in a manner to ensure sensationalism and polarization. Now as the collective fit subsides, the vigilante becomes a neighborhood watch designee; the German-named, white racist shooter is found to be half-Hispanic with plenty of friends of all races; Trayvon Martin is not, as his widely-circulated photo suggests, a pre-teen with an unblemished school record, but a 6 foot, 2 inch 17-year old who was currently on school suspension, with some evidence of possible past drug possession and assorted disciplinary problems.

The anguished cry for help from a gunned-down victim may turn out to be the assailant’s own call, as he was pounded to the pavement. No one can quite figure out whether Mr. Zimmerman actually chased Mr. Martin; or if so, how he caught someone younger and in apparent better shape; or whether both or neither ever ran at all; or who said what or hit the other first. The supposedly racist police may well have collated eye-witness accounts, reviewed the injuries of Mr. Zimmerman, reexamined Florida law, and had cause not to charge the shooter.

The point in all of these changing narratives is that not only do we not have all the facts, but we are certain that the “facts” we currently have will be different within 24 hours, which is why it was wise to turn the matter over to state authorities for complete review of the original decisions....

So far all that is clear is that there is a growing anger among African-Americans about a failure to immediately arrest the shooter that in turn is provoking an even greater backlash against the antics of Al Sharpton, the creepy bounty offered by the New Black Panther Party, and others who inflame for their own careerist advantage, and no one — not the president, not the media, not the civil rights leadership, not the politicians — seems willing or able to call for a time-out until all the facts are reviewed and released. We have collectively regressed to the days of Rodney King and the L.A. riots and the O. J. Simpson trial — or to something far worse. Hope and change came and went.
BONUS: From Jim Treacher, at Daily Caller, "Open-and-shut Trayvon Martin case gets cluttered up with facts."

62 Percent Say ObamaCare Individual Mandate Unconstitutional in Latest Reason-Rupe Poll

At Reason, "Obamacare, Mandates and Regulatory Confusion: Reason-Rupe Poll Results with Emily Ekins."

And go straight to the survey here.

Also, "87 Percent of Americans Agree With Conservative Supreme Court Justices on Broccoli Mandate."

Al Sharpton's Conflict of Interest in Treyvon Martin Story

At the Long Beach Press-Telegram, "Sharpton controversy: News network host an activist in Trayvon Martin story":

NEW YORK - Al Sharpton's activism on the Trayvon Martin case has given him a unique role - some would say unique conflict - on MSNBC. The news network host is in the middle of a story he's been featuring every evening on the air.

Half of Sharpton's "PoliticsNation" program on MSNBC Monday was about the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, an unarmed black teenager in Sanford, Fla., leading with an interview with Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Sharpton's only reference to his own involvement in the case was a remark that "we did the press conference" earlier in the day.

The veteran civil rights activist has spoken at rallies in support of Martin. Monday before the Sanford city commission, Sharpton testified that Martin's parents had endured "insults and lies" over reports that their son attacked George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot him.

Sharpton's dual role would have been unthinkable on television 20 years ago and still wouldn't be allowed at many news organizations. While opinionated cable news hosts have become commonplace over the past decade, Sharpton goes beyond talking.

"It certainly represents a change in our traditional view of the boundaries between journalism and activism," said Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. "Al Sharpton is clearly an activist."
Well, it's okay --- Sharpton's a nationally-recognized civil rights leader (and a Democrat). If this was someone from Fox News reporting on and participating at the tea parties, we'd never hear the end of it from progressives --- especially the folks at Media Matters, for example: "REPORT: "Fair and balanced" Fox News aggressively promotes "tea party" protests."

French Police Investigate Video of Toulouse Attacks

At the Wall Street Journal (via Google):
PARIS — French police are investigating whether the suspected killer of seven people in and around Toulouse was able to mail a video of his attacks to television news channel al-Jazeera before barricading himself into his apartment, or whether the package was sent by someone else.

The Qatari-based channel said it received a video on Monday at its Paris office showing the killings of three soldiers in two separate attacks, and the shooting death at point-blank range of three children and a teacher at a private Jewish school in the southern French city.

Mohamed Merah, the suspected killer who was himself shot dead by police on Thursday after a 33-hour siege of his Toulouse apartment, used a camera strapped to his chest to record footage of the attacks, prosecutors have said.

"There is full footage of the three attacks, mixed with religious chants and Quranic verses as well as footage from the Middle East showing Palestinian children," said al-Jazeera's Paris bureau chief, Zied Tarrouche, who has viewed the film. "The video is very disturbing, horrible," Mr. Tarrouche said. He said the footage had been edited and was "broadcast ready."

Al-Jazeera said it handed the parcel's contents to the police and kept a copy of the video, which it decided not to air.

"Given the video does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, [al-Jazeera's] news channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents," said Osama Saeed, a spokesman for the group.
See also, New York Times, "Al Jazeera Decides Against Showing Video Made by Gunman in Toulouse," and Telegraph UK, "Al-Jazeera decides not to air video of Toulouse attacks."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ObamaCare Train Wreck: Hard Questions From Justices Over Insurance Mandate

An awful day at the Supreme Court for the administration.

See the New York Times, "Justices Split in Questions on Insurance Requirement." (Via Memeorandum.)

And check Althouse, "10 highlights of today's Obamacare oral argument."

Plus, at the Los Angeles Times, "10 moments from the Supreme Court debate on healthcare."

And you gotta love this, from JournoLister and ObamaCare shill Ezra Klein at the Washington Post, "Wonkbook: Do today's oral arguments matter?"

Yes, Wonder Boy, they matter. Even progressive legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was blown away, and that ought to tell you something. And that's to say nothing of PuffHo, "Huffington Post's Sad Headline."

Soledad O'Brien Will 'Search For the Truth' in Treyvon Martin Case

CNN's Soledad O'Brien will host a "Beyond Trayvon" town hall on Friday, and she pledges to "search for the truth" in the Treyvon Martin case, and she asks, "can there be justice?" and " can justice be fair?"

See: "Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America."

Hmm... "Fair justice?"

I wonder if Soledad will mention that George Zimmerman's a registered Democrat? Probably not. That's likely an inconvenient truth for the left's race-hatred narrative.

RELATED: Vetting Soledad, at Michelle's, "What’s the matter with Soledad O’Brien?"

ADDED: Linked at Big Journalism, "SOLEDAD O'BRIEN TO "DIG DEEP" FOR TRUTH IN TRAYVON MARTIN CASE," and Lonely Conservative, "Soledad O’Brien to Get to the Bottom of Trayvon Martin Case."

"Train Kept A-Rollin'"

From yesterday's drive-time, at The Sound L.A.:

And Sheri Donovan blogged yesterday as well:
Sheri's iPod Pick - Monday, March 26th

Steven Tyler is celebrating another year of life today. I saw him and Aerosmith every time they came to my hometown when I was a teenager... my first concert, in fact, for 7 bucks! And still one of my favorite bands... great memories, although some are as blurry as the video I've posted... click More to watch the boys performing "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" in 1977... and Happy Birthday, Steven!
And here's the set:
9:35 - Paint It Black by Rolling Stones

9:39 - Those Shoes by Eagles

9:44 - I'm Just A Singer (in A Rock And Roll..) by Moody Blues

9:55 - Changes by David Bowie

9:58 - Jamie's Cryin' by Van Halen

10:01 - Under The Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers

10:07 - Bloody Well Right by Supertramp

10:12 - Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot

10:16 - Train Kept A-rollin' by Aerosmith
More later...

More Flexibility

On missile defense.

After the election, after he's reelected, Obama tells Medvedev.

At New York Times, "Microphone Picks Up Obama's Private Exchange With Medvedev."
A live microphone caught a private moment of candor by President Obama on Monday as he told President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, during a discussion of the contentious issue of missile defense, that “after my election I have more flexibility.”


Obama Hoodies: Barack 2012 Capitalizing on Trayvon Martin's Death?

At Twitchy, "Is Team Obama capitalizing on Trayvon Martin’s death?"

And at JammieWearingFool, "Wild Coincidence: Obama Website Now Pimping Obama 2012 Hoodies."

BONUS: At iOWNTHEWORLD, "If Obama Had a Son ..."

Supreme Court Won't Delay on ObamaCare Ruling

The background on yesterday's oral arguments at the Supreme Court, at the Los Angeles Times, "Supreme Court appears eager to rule on healthcare law." And, "Supreme Court appears unlikely to put off healthcare ruling":

Reporting from Washington — The Supreme Court justices, beginning an epic debate over the Obama administration's healthcare law, gave no sign Monday they are inclined to put off a constitutional ruling on the legislation's mandate that all Americans have health insurance by 2014.

Instead, the justices in their comments and questions said they did not see a 19th century tax law as a legal barrier to ruling this year on challenges to the healthcare measure.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, those who do not have basic health insurance in 2014 must pay a penalty on their tax return to be filed in April 2015. Under the 19th century law, however, a taxpayer must pay his tax first and sue for a refund later.

But Justice Stephen G. Breyer, joining others, said he was not convinced that law stood in the way of action by the high court. Congress did not label the penalty a tax in the Affordable Care Act, he said. "It's up to Congress, and they did not use the word 'tax'," he said.

Justice Antonin Scalia said he was inclined to agree, but for a different reason. The courts can usually rule directly on legal challenges unless a law makes clear that judges should hold off. "It is hard to think this clear," Scalia said to laughter in the court.

During the 90 minutes of argument, none of the justices spoke strongly in favor of delaying a decision on the healthcare law.

On Tuesday, the high court is scheduled to turn its attention to the crucial question: Does Congress have the power under the Constitution to require all Americans to have health insurance?
That will be later today, and I'll update.

Meanwhile, Althouse has been blogging it like crazy. See, "'The Supreme Court Justices "seemed to be all on the same page looking for a way to go ahead and decide the case even though they had different views on what theory to use'." And more at her tag: "ObamaCare."

Communists Astroturf Treyvon Martin Protest in Los Angeles

The photo below from Pilar Marrero on Twitter.

But check the picture at the Los Angeles Times, "Trayvon Martin case: Protesters gather at Pershing Square."

Sheesh. These commies are pathetic.

The folks at the tea party grassroots have nothing to worry about.


ANSWER's page is here: "Million Hoodie March LA."

George Zimmerman Speaks Out

Well, the New York Times is catching up on the story.

See, "Shooter of Florida Teen Describes Assault":
SANFORD, Fla. — In an account given to Sanford police that was passed on to the state attorney’s office, George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, said that Trayvon had punched him and then repeatedly slammed his head into the sidewalk in the moments leading up to the shooting.

The details were the most thorough yet to be revealed from Mr. Zimmerman’s point of view, and emerged on Monday as thousands were arriving in town to march and attend a meeting about the shooting and the investigation that followed. In the 911 calls that have been released, Mr. Zimmerman is heard deciding, against a dispatcher’s advice, to follow Trayvon, whom he deemed “up to no good.”

In Mr. Zimmerman’s sequence of events to the police, he returned to his S.U.V. after he was unable to find him, Trayvon then approached Mr. Zimmerman from behind and they exchanged words. Then. Mr. Zimmerman said, Trayvon hit him hard enough that he fell to the ground — which, if true, would explain what Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyer, Craig Sonner, has said was a broken nose—and began slamming his head into the sidewalk.

The account first appeared in The Orlando Sentinel on Monday but was later confirmed by the Sanford Police Department as “consistent with the information provided to the state attorney’s office by the Police Department.”

At a news conference on Monday, the Martin family, their lawyer and supporters said the police were attempting to demonize Trayvon by leaking Mr. Zimmerman’s account to the media.

The most relevant fact in Trayvon’s death, they said, is that Mr. Zimmerman chose to pursue Trayvon, who was walking home unarmed, despite the advice of the police dispatcher to stay put in his car.

“They have killed my son,” Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, said tearfully at the news conference. “And now they are trying to kill his reputation.”

Trying to "demonize" him.

Actually, "Trayvon Martin 'Decked' George Zimmerman."

BONUS: At Blazing Cat Fur, "Obama's Imaginary Son Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Al Sharpton."

Rick Santorum Goes Off on New York Times Reporter Jeff Zeleny

Well, this is something else, at The Other McCain, "Why Was NY Times Reporter Jeff Zeleny Doing Romney Campaign’s Bidding?"

Monday, March 26, 2012

The End of Innocence? Trayvon Martin Had Multiple School Suspensions

Here's more "#NarrativeFail."

 At the Miami Herald, "Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin":

Million Hoodie March
SANFORD -- Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin was suspended from school in October in an incident in which he was found in possession of women’s jewelry and a screwdriver that a schools security staffer described as a “burglary tool,” The Miami Herald has learned.

Trayvon, who claimed that an unnamed friend had given him the jewelry, was not disciplined because of the discovery, but was instead suspended for graffiti, according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by The Miami Herald.

A lawyer for the dead teen’s family acknowledged Trayvon had been suspended for graffiti, but said the family knew nothing about the jewelry and the screwdriver, calling the information in the report an attempt to “demonize” the youth.

According to the report, on Oct. 21 staffers monitoring a security camera at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School spotted Trayvon and two other students writing “W.T.F.,” an acronym for “What the f---,” on a hallway locker, according to schools police. The security employee, who knew Trayvon, confronted the teen and looked through his bag for the graffiti marker.

Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report, which described the screwdriver as a burglary tool...

That suspension was followed four months later by another one, in February, in which Trayvon was caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it, the boy’s family’s attorney has confirmed. A schools police report obtained by The Miami Herald specifies two items: a bag with marijuana residue and a “marijuana pipe.”

The suspension was the third for the teen. On Monday, the family also acknowledged Trayvon had earlier been suspended for tardiness and truancy.
Like I said, mofos better keep working on that #JusticeForTrayvon meme.

And see Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Fight claims, pot put Fla. teen's side on defense."

Well, yeah.

See The Mad Jewess, "Who was Trayvon Martin, a Drug Dealer @NO_LIMIT_NIGGA Twitter Handle? New Picture The MSM Hid," and Pat Dollard, "Meet The Real Trayvon Martin: Evidence Emerges He Was A Drug Dealer and Gang Banger..."

PREVIOUSLY: "'Anythang 4 My Niggaz' — Yo, Check Out This Gangsta Video From Florida Rapper Selling 'Pussy Ass Cracker' T-Shirts."


'Anythang 4 My Niggaz' — Yo, Check Out This Gangsta Video From Florida Rapper Selling 'Pussy Ass Cracker' T-Shirts

Hardcore rapper Plies is the dude selling those "Pussy Ass Cracker" t-shirts now going live amid the Trayvon Martin civil rights shakedown story. See London's Daily Mail, "P**** A** CRACKER: Shocking Trayvon t-shirt bearing rapper's crude lyrics go on sale"

And here's the dude re-tweeting DJ Smalls' blog post with the clip: "VIDEO: Plies (@plies) - "Anythang 4 My Niggaz."


Racial Justice Update: Trayvon Martin 'Decked' George Zimmerman, 'Slammed His Head Into Sidewalk Several Times'

Well, Glenn's got this tagged "#NarrativeFail."

And you can say that again.

See the Orlando Sentinel, "Police: Zimmerman says Trayvon decked him with one blow then began hammering his head":

With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told the Orlando Sentinel.

That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say. There have been no reports that a witness saw the initial punch Zimmerman told police about.

Zimmerman has not spoken publicly about what happened Feb. 26. But that night, and in later meetings, he described and re-enacted for police what he says took place.

In his version of events, Zimmerman had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from behind, the two exchanged words and then Trayvon punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him.

Zimmerman told police he shot the teenager in self-defense.

Civil-rights leaders and more than a million other people have demanded Zimmerman's arrest, calling Trayvon a victim of racial profiling and suggesting Zimmerman is a vigilante.
Well, let's hope these mofos work on that #JusticeForTrayvon meme.

Also Gateway Pundit, "Nice. New “Pu$$y A$$ Cracker” T-Shirts Hit the Florida Streets."

And at Five Feet of Fury, "Those hair extensions, fake nails and menthol cigarettes aren’t gonna pay for themselves."

California Voters Back November Ballot Measure to Raise Taxes on 'Wealthy'

Well, actually, the poll finds two-thirds support for raising taxes on "high earners," but for the progressives and unions who browbeat Governor Brown, it's actually a classic soak-the-rich scheme.

See the Los Angeles Times, "Strong majority backs Jerry Brown's tax-hike initiative":
California voters strongly support Gov. Jerry Brown's new proposal to increase the sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state's budget, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they supported the governor's measure, which he hopes to place on the November ballot. It would hike the state sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar for the next four years and create a graduated surcharge on incomes of more than $250,000 that would last seven years. A third of respondents opposed the measure.

Brown's new plan, rewritten recently amid pressure from liberal activist and union groups that had a competing proposal, relies on a larger share of revenue from upper-income earners than his original measure. Correspondingly, it leans less upon sales taxes, which are paid by all California consumers. The poll shows that taxing high earners is overwhelmingly popular.

"These poll results illustrate that Brown was very smart to put together this initiative the way he did," said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

Shirley Karns, 74, an independent voter from the Northern California town of Lakeport who backs the governor's new plan, said the wealthy should pay more.

"Those who have an unbelievable amount more than those who do not should contribute more," she said. "And on the sales tax, the more you buy, the more you pay. It's pretty tough on low-income people who have to pay an extra nickel here and there, but we've got to get the money from somewhere."

Brown reached a deal with a coalition led by the California Federation of Teachers to tweak his tax measure. In exchange, the group dropped its rival proposal — also aimed at the November ballot — which would have increased levies exclusively on incomes of more than $1 million.
See what I mean? The Governor's earlier proposal would have taxed folks making more than $1 million a year, which is more in the "wealthy" neighborhood than $250 thousand annually. My wife and I cleared $150 thousand on our taxes for 2011, and I'll tell you, money's been tight. But the left's constant class warfare agenda has successfully defined down who's "wealthy," according to a Gallup poll out late last year: "Americans Set "Rich" Threshold at $150,000 in Annual Income."

Meanwhile, public employees continue to live like Bourbon royalty. See CBS Sacramento, "California Public Employees Highest Paid of Any State."

I'll have more later. Recall that executives at the California State University continue to pull down huge salaries and bonuses, while classes are being cut at CSU, and elsewhere layoffs are being threatened around the state. See: "Cal State University Executive Pay Scandal."

I'll be more sympathetic to tax hikes when I see public officials using public funds with greater care and judiciousness.

The Fight for Freedom

From the Heritage Foundation:

Three Reasons to End ObamaCare

Via Theo Spark:

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Seeks Shift by Hamas for Co-Existence With Israel

I'll believe it when I see it.

At New York Times, "Islamist Victors in Egypt Seeking Shift by Hamas":

CAIRO — As it prepares to take power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is overhauling its relations with the two main Palestinian factions in an effort to put new pressure on Israel for an independent Palestinian state.

Officials of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant Islamist movement, are pressing its militant Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, which controls Gaza, to make new compromises with Fatah, the Western-backed Palestinian leadership that has committed to peace with Israel and runs the West Bank.

The intervention in the Palestinian issue is the clearest indication yet that as it moves into a position of authority, the Brotherhood, the largest vote getter in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, intends to both moderate its positions on foreign policy and reconfigure Egypt’s.

Brotherhood officials say that they are pulling back from their previous embrace of Hamas and its commitment to armed struggle against Israel in order to open new channels of communications with Fatah, which the Brotherhood had previously denounced for collaborating with Israel and accused of selling out the Palestinian cause. Brotherhood leaders argue that if they persuade the Palestinians to work together with a newly assertive Egypt, they will have far more success forcing Israel to bargain in earnest over the terms of statehood.

“Now we have to deal with the Palestinian parties as an umbrella for both of them, and we have to stand at an equal distance from each,” said Reda Fahmy, a Brotherhood leader who oversees its Palestinian relations and is now chairman of the Arab affairs committee in Egypt’s upper house of Parliament. “Any movement of the size of the Muslim Brotherhood, when it is in the opposition it is one thing and then when it comes to power it is something completely different.”

The shift in the Brotherhood’s stance toward neutrality between Hamas and Fatah — acknowledged by officials of both groups — may relieve United States policy makers, who have long worried about the Brotherhood’s relationship with the more militant Hamas. The United States considers the Palestinian group to be a terrorist organization. But the shift in Egypt’s policies may unnerve Israel, because it is a move away from former President Hosni Mubarak’s exclusive support for the Western-backed Fatah movement and its commitment to the peace process. Israeli officials have said they will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

But Mr. Fahmy said the Brotherhood believed that Palestinian unity could break the deadlock in talks with Israel. “A Palestinian negotiator will go the table and know that all the Palestinian people are supporting his project,” Mr. Fahmy said.  “This will be a huge change and very important to both sides.” Jailed at times by the Mubarak government for his role in the Brotherhood, Mr. Fahmy spoke this month from an ornate hall of Parliament.
I'm skeptical, frankly.

According to Gallup, more Egyptians favor the 1979 peace treaty with Israel than oppose, although the numbers are down by more than 10 percent from before the revolution. See: "Egyptians Sour on U.S., Eye Closer Ties to Turkey, Iran: Perceptions of Peace Treaty with Israel steady."

But see Barry Rubin, "Egypt is a Volcano, The West Snoozes, But Israel Won't Play the Role of Pompeii":
Reality: Those who are, or will soon be, governing Egypt view themselves as being at war with Israel for all practical purposes.  It matters relatively little that there is still a peace treaty. In Cairo, there are no thoughts of peace.

This is the second biggest disaster of the “Arab Spring.” The same applies to the Egyptian government’s attitude to the United States. That is the biggest disaster.

It is a disaster that U.S. policymakers and journalists have not even begun to recognize, much less counter.
Well, there you go.

Continue reading at the link.

Marijuana Growers Cultivating More Potent Pot, Smooth and Aromatic, the Kind Expected by Ever-More Discriminating Buyers

You know, you'd think the editors at the Los Angeles Times like to bogart some fat ones, or something.

See, "'Master growers' cultivating a higher grade of marijuana":

Behind the bolted steel doors of an old brick warehouse, Big Wes meets a nutrient company scientist to see if he can increase his crop yield. Rows of hydroponic marijuana plants soak up solution flowing through plastic troughs and light blazing from high-pressure sodium lamps.

Big Wes has spent more than half his life calibrating his system of growing high-grade marijuana to its utmost efficiency. At 50 years old, he harvests a crop of dozens of plants every week from five rented warehouses scattered along the rutted streets and alleys around the docks of Oakland.

His problem is that OG Kush, the ultra-popular strain he specializes in, produces notoriously low yields of bud per plant. For this reason the scientist has come with a nutrient solution made from deep-sea algae, which he promises will boost the output. Big Wes — who asked that his real name or certain identifying traits not be revealed because his career could land him in federal prison — is going to test it against his usual concoction, and try 15 different combinations of the two.

Big Wes is new breed of cultivator, a "master grower" who produces marijuana that is potent and mold-free, tastes smooth and has a pleasing aroma — the kind of product now expected by ever-more discriminating consumers who frequent medical cannabis dispensaries.

He and others like him have revolutionized weed in recent years, growing sophisticated new varietals with scientific precision and assembly-line efficiency. Their expanding role in the burgeoning industry is shifting cultivation from clandestine rural plots to highly controlled indoor grows in urban centers.

"It's kind of becoming the big leagues now," said Kyle Kushman, a writer for High Times magazine and a grower who teaches organic and "veganic" cultivation classes. "Just like any other industry, as it gets older, the talent gets better."
No mention of who are those patrons visiting the "dispensaries." I'll bet they look more like Wiz Khalifa than some old run-down hospital patients.

This whole "medical marijuana" thing is a f-king scam. Let's just be out with it: The legalization movement is for recreational drug users, and the culture is moving towards legalization. Seriously. The Times' story is on the front page, with a full-color photograph of blooming, booming high-grade buds. So quit with the bulls-t about medical users, blah, blah. Regular folks just want to get stoned, so proponents should stop lying about it.

PREVIOUSLY: "Pot Backers' Ballot Effort in Disarray in California."

BONUS: California voters defeated Prop. 19 in 2010, and polls showed just under half of all voters opposing the measure. But nationwide, there's been a trend toward increasing acceptance of legalization. See Gallup from last October: "Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use."

More later...