Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Restoring America

Whether it is the restoration of the south Louisiana way of life or salvaging the American way of life, Washington, D.C. needs to hear the message.

From Rep. Charles Boustany, R-LA, on the Louisiana way of life:

Boustany Urges Administration to Move Quicker to Restore Louisiana Way of Life
Aug 27 2010

Lafayette, LA – U.S. Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr., (R-Southwest Louisiana), today urged the Obama Administration to move quicker to restore the way of life for thousands of Louisiana families following the re-opening of the federal fishery area off the western coast of Louisiana.

"While today’s re-opening of the federal fishery area off the Southwest Louisiana coast is welcome, this Administration needs to do more to help the people of the Gulf Coast,” said Boustany. “The Administration’s continued delay, whether with resources, re-opening federal waters to fishing or lifting the job-killing moratorium, threatens our way of life. Louisiana remains a ‘Sportsman’s Paradise’ with diverse habitats, and I will continue to work to ensure we maintain this important legacy.”

And, from Florida's U.S. Senate race, Marco Rubio on the American way of life:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Voter Registration Fraud Cited In Houston

Houston, we have a voter registration fraud problem. This speaks to the mess that has been uncovered in Harris County.

Here you can watch a report from a local Fox affiliate.

Not long ago, I learned of an organization from fellow Houston blogger, David Jennings - who publishes the Big Jolly Politics blog. He attended an event put on by HoustonVotes and a couple of his points from the event caught my attention about their voter registration incentives for their workers: *Houston Votes currently has 50 paid canvassers working four hours per day, averaging 6 registrations per worker per hour and
*They are giving away Astros tickets and a condo vacation as incentives to the workers who register the most voters.

These two points sent up red flags to me as they smack of the potential for corruption. Monetary and other compensations as 'rewards' or incentives don't always bring out the best in people. I'm just sayin'.

Delving a bit and learning more about the folks behind the event, I find that Houston Votes is a get out the vote offshoot of Texans Together Education Fund.

An excellent post by blogHouston's Kevin Whited concisely describes the organization and its board members' backgrounds.

A Houston area organization, King Street Patriots, has developed a program named True the Vote. The True the Vote initiative began after Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of King Street Patriots, witnessed what she considered potentials for voter fraud during the last election. She was concerned with actions she saw as she worked the polls. While Houston Votes would like to brush them off as just another Tea Party organization, the fact is that King Street Patriots works with more than local Tea Party organizations. They show on their website cooperation with other organizations, too. The common thread is fiscal conservatism and working against corruption in government. So, there is the friction between liberal vs conservative organizations. As Texas Watchdog points out, though Texans Together claims to be non-partisan, it is decidedly liberal in leadership posts.

Leo Vasquez, a Republican soon to be out of office, is Harris County Voter Registrar. He is called "a liar and a political hack" by Fred Lewis, head of Texans Together. Vasquez alleges Lewis and his organization "have violated Texas Election Code, submitted falsified documents and 'possibly violated federal election laws.", according to the article by Texas Watchdog. Vasquez says he'll turn over information received from King Street Patriots on voter registration fraud to the Secretary of State's office. He alleges he has over 5,000 voter registrations in question.

News conferences from all parties were called and publicized. Then an interesting development made news. All of the Harris County election pieces of equipment - 10,000 in total - were destroyed in a warehouse fire. This warehouse is the only place where the voting equipment is stored. The building is not one that is required to have a sprinkler system and does not. Arson teams are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Quite a coincidence.

With Early Voting for the November elections beginning in mid-October, a scramble has begun to purchase or borrow voting equipment.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Orleans Recovers Five Years After Katrina

As we pause and remember the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, let us look to the future. No doubt the media will highlight all the less positive stories, look for the disgruntled and angry, spotlight the ugly side of desperate human behavior and the political corruption involved but it is for us to push past that and not be distracted.

A city built up below sea level. Originally, the city founders settled the French Quarter section and that is not below sea level. It stands today as it did immediately after the hurricane's flooding destroyed sections of the city. That infrastructure held. Electrical service went out but that happens from time to time in storms anyway.

The levees broke. The technology used was from the 1920's so it is hardly a shock that the ensuing years without proper maintenance or upgrading would provide an atmosphere waiting for disaster. Hurricane Katrina herself did not take out New Orleans. The flooding after the storm destroyed parts of the city.

It is important to remember that in the midst of all the finger pointing after the destruction that it was the initial failure of local and the state leadership that set the stage for the impending disaster. Governor Blanco was completely inept and unable to make important decisions. More importantly, she was too politically partisan to request from a Republican president the federal help she needed to put into place response efforts before the storm came ashore. That is shameful and unforgivable. There are many reports that President Bush all but begged the woman to request the necessary federal action to put the process into place.

Mayor Naguin was also completely paralyzed, for whatever reason. Incompetence? Probably. Waiting until the last hours to proclaim a mandatory evacuation was not the way to go. Allowing rows and rows of empty school buses to set idle while the poor and infirmed were without transportation out of their homes is unforgivable.

The federal response was slow but looking back, what would be different? The response teams couldn't get into the city due to flooding and storm conditions. Once the relief was able to get there and respond, there were mistakes, yes. The president looked disinterested by doing the flyover in Air Force One. That was a p.r. mistake. He was engaged but that was not made clear.

It was made clear again that the federal government cannot respond quickly to anything. Mistakes will be made and human beings will falter. It is imperative that people realize that personal responsibility cannot be replaced by bureaucracy. Neighbors have to help neighbors. Family must come together and provide support. Local charities and religious organizations are available to take up slack. This is America. This is what we do.

Political corruption is rampant in New Orleans, as with other places. The board charged with managing the levee system was one of political favors and patronage. Old style corruption and greed. Not a new story. Federal monies sent to maintain and improve the system were not properly applied.

New Orleans is a magical city to many of us. We love her no matter what. We were heartbroken as we watched with horror the damage and the stories of humans ill-equipped to cope. Generations allowed to remain dependent on government aid, mostly for political expediency, suffered the most. They were the ones on the roofs and stuck on the bridge waiting for someone to help. These are the truly tragic stories.

The silver lining is that the city will bounce back and lessons have been learned. New beginnings will allow better schools, a hope of new leadership, and the realization that we are stronger than we think. It is up to us all to remember that we make our own destiny. And, never say die. New Orleans is too important to the cultural fabric of our country to drown.

New Orleans is coming back. Slowly. Stronger than ever.

Friday, August 27, 2010

President Barack Obama's Endgame

Health care was not about reduced premium costs, increased options, greater accessibility, it was about ideology. It was a left wing power grab of 1/6 of our national economy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Support the Gulf Coast - Buy Gulf Seafood

The Gulf oil spill has shown to be not only an environmental tragedy but also to the tourist industry and the seafood and fishing community. Thanks to 24 hour coverage of the disaster - both legit and trumped up stories on the extent of the damage - it appears that not only are families cancelling vacations but also not eating Gulf seafood.

Please know this - the Gulf seafood being sold in markets and in restaurants is safe. It has been tested and re-tested. Gulf seafood for sale has never been safer. Increased scrutiny insures safety.

This article speaks to an independently run test that verifies the complete safety in eating Gulf of Mexico seafood.

“Normally, at this time, the buyers are hunting me down and this year it seems like I’m working on securing buyers,” said Kim Chauvin, a third-generation shrimper and co-owner of Mariah Jade Shrimp Company, part of Louisiana’s $1.3 billion pre-spill shrimp industry. “Demand has fallen off drastically. Sales that were secure prior to the spill were canceled. I had one customer who said that he bought Indonesian shrimp instead.”

Chauvin says that less than a quarter of the area’s shrimp fleet was out at sea last week—the industry employs 14,000 people in Louisiana alone—due to low prices. Many of them, ironically, have chosen instead to work for BP on oil cleanup, via its Vessels of Opportunity program. “Our biggest hurdle is going to be to try and get our market back,” said Chauvin. “If we can’t build the confidence back into the consumer, we are done.”

There is a glimpse into the ignorance within the restaurant industry, too. Fortunately, there was a Chicago chef present at this Taste of Chicago festival to protest the spreading of fear of Gulf coast seafood consumption.

The economic atmosphere is bad enough in our country. Let's not add to it needlessly. Support your brothers and sisters on the Gulf coast. Buy and eat seafood. It's a delicious way to share the love.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Hearings Move to Houston

Senator Mary Landrieu was deliberately stonewalled by the Obama administration on the findings that the oil drilling moratorium was, in fact, producing mass unemployment on the Gulf coast. This article points to the fact that Landrieu was asking for testimony from administration officials a good two to three weeks after the numbers were available yet she was not given the testimony she requested.

As written at RedState.com the effects of the moratorium were available on July 10, 2010. Landrieu, a critic of the moratorium, asked that Dr. Christina Romer, Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers testify at her committee hearing on July 28 on the results. She was not allowed to testify by the White House. Romer "indicated" that the data was not available because the White House didn't have it. All of this was three weeks after Michael Bromwich, the regulator installed by the White House to preside over oil and gas and energy issues, told Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that the 6 month long moratorium would result in direct unemployment increases along the Gulf coast among rig workers and small businesses supporting the industry.

Bromwich was correct, of course, but not so much in his prediction that employment would resume as soon as the moratorium lifted. Nothing happens overnight in the oil drilling industry. Many of the rigs have moved elsewhere by now anyway. Why would they sit idle for a loss when they can be moved and work overseas?

The joint commission hearings on the Deepwater Horizon disaster have moved to Houston. The main reason is to use the subpoena power available for the residents involved living in the area.

The hearings are marred with incompetence and arrogance on the part of the co-chairs. The co-chair from the Coast Guard, Capt.Hung Nguyen, has caused the addition of two legal eagles to the commission in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion hearings. As pointed out in The Washington Post, there is a discrepancy in the transcript of a previous hearing between what Nguyen asserted and what was recorded in reply to a statement in testimony.

Nguyen told a Transocean lawyer at the last hearing in the New Orleans area that the board could "put aside federal rules of evidence." Many of the witnesses scheduled to testify invoked Fifth Amendment rights or canceled at the last minute. Nguyen said, "It's possible we can use it (federal rules). It's possible we don't have to use it." The Transocean lawyer, Edward F. Kohnke IV, said "It doesn't say you don't have to. It says they should be followed..." to which Nguyen said, "Should, not shall." But in the official transcript released by the panel, according to the WaPo article, Nguyen's response is "Sure, sure."

So, on Thursday, the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (formerly MMS) who are holding the joint hearings added two new members - Wayne R. Anderson, a retired federal judge and Capt. mark R. Higgins, a Coast Guard staff judge advocate, as reported in the article. Continuing, the article quoted David Dykes, an Ocean Energy Management co-chair, as saying, "They will assist us with some of the legal and procedural issues...and allow the other members of the team to continue to focus on gathering the facts."

We'll see how this week turns out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Obama Lacks the Statesman Gene

As many of us ponder the utter lack of statesmen - or stateswomen - in political office, it is apparent that the absence of such leaders comes from the top down. An important lesson adults learn is that we lead by example. What example does the President set?

From an op-ed in the Washington Post:

The candidate who pledged to reach across party lines passed his agenda in a steady march of party-line votes and strong-arm legislative maneuvers. The candidate who sought to transcend partisan divisions is viewed in a recent Democracy Corps poll as "too liberal" by 56 percent of likely voters. The candidate who said he would "fundamentally change the way Washington works" has seen public distrust of government grow to pre-French Revolutionary levels

And this: Few presidencies have been built so consciously or completely on an idealistic brand, with its own distinctive language and icons. But this "new kind of politics" has proved conventional in its conduct, predictable in its content and exceptional only for the depth of division it has inspired. The Obama administration is presented not just with the prospect of electoral repudiation but also with a question: How will it adjust to the death of the belief that gave it birth?

Democrats running for office are, in fact, running away from Obama. A recent poll by a Democratic polling company found that in key Democratic races:
The advice from Democratic consultants and strategists is almost unanimous: Run away from the president, and fast. A prominent Democratic pollster is circulating a survey that shows George W. Bush is 6 points more popular than President Obama in “Frontline” districts — seats held by Democrats that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sees as most vulnerable to Republican takeover. That Bush is more popular than Obama in Democratic-held seats is cause for outright fear.

But disassociating oneself from an incumbent president is never easy, and Democrats have to walk a narrow line.

Little in the way of leadership comes from President Obama. He shows he is not up to the job of acting as a statesman with his style of campaigning for the mid-term elections. Knowing from the results of numerous polls that the Democrats will take a strong hit in November, the leader of the Democratic party, Barack Obama, President of the United States, lowers himself to sniping low level partisan attacks on Republicans. He lowers himself so easily that it is a bit alarming. He doesn't seem to understand that the office of The President demands a bit of decorum, a need to nuance statements towards your opposition. His level is fine for a state senator from Illinois - the office he held longest - but not for the Presidency. How sad.

At a time when Americans are feeling the lagging economic recovery, it would behoove Obama to lift up his fellow Americans - even Republicans. It serves no good purpose to jump into the fray and encourage deeper chasms. He promised better of himself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

President Bush and Laura Welcome Troops Home

President Bush and Laura welcome home troops at Dallas/Ft Worth airport. Notice Bush shakes each hand, passes over a commemorative coin and poses for photos.

Welcome home. Job well done.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ann Coulter and Free Speech

The kerfuffle between Ann Coulter and Human Events is the nasty side of those who label themselves as conservative. Ann Coulter confirms that Joseph Farah, editor for WorldNetDaily disinvited her to speak for as part of his upcoming event. The reason? Coulter has accepted an invitation to speak at Homocon 2010.

A spokesman for WorldNetDaily (WND) said there was no place for conservatives to work with groups that focuses on issues like gay rights.

“Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about ‘taking America back’ when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very ‘unconservative’ agenda represented by GOProud,” said WND Chief Executive Office
Joseph Farah. “The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning.”

Find out more about Homocon 2010 and GOProud here.

Do you know why an event like Homocon 2010 is needed? The event is needed because of the folks on the right who think as Farah does. And, in today's world, that thinking is unacceptable. Is it really breaking news that homosexuals are human beings, too? Perhaps Farah didn't read the part in The Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.

It serves no purpose to assume that accepting an invitation to speak is an endorsement of all ideas presented by any group. It is small-minded and doesn't invite others to listen to your message.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The fact that Farah wishes to deny Ms. Coulter's right to free speech - to deliver a speech to a group with whom he may disagree - is unacceptable. Add to that the assertion by Ms. Coulter that it is for publicity and the insult worsens.

As Matt Larimer writes in The Daily Beast, Coulter has carefully cultivated her public persona and in private is a genuine and good person. He speaks of his personal intersection with her as a young, newly adult human arriving in Washington, D.C. and going to work there.

In response to the publicity, Log Cabin Republicans weighed in:
A spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group that condemned Ann Coulter after she called then-presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot” in 2007, said they welcome her and any conservatives who are striving for increased inclusion of the gay community.

“If she can help other conservatives turn the corner on equality for gays and lesbian Americans … then more power to her,” said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans.

About Coulter’s comments three years ago: “People are allowed to evolve. If Ann Coulter is going to be another conservative voice among a growing chorus of conservative voices advocating for equality, that is welcome.”

"Both groups said that while they are encouraged that Coulter has agreed to speak, they are still awaiting whether Coulter will express her support for issues like gay marriage at the GOProud event. When asked about the content in Coulter’s talk, LaSalvia merely replied, “Our folks are going to be very pleased with what she has to say.”

In an update to the article in The Daily Caller:
GOProud Board Chairman Christopher R. Barron issued this statement Wednesday morning: “We did not invite Ann Coulter to speak at Homocon 2010 because we believe she has ‘evolved.’ Quite the contrary, we invited Ann Coulter because of who she is, who she has been, and who we know she will continue to be – the smartest, funniest, most provocative conservative author and columnist around.

“If anyone needs to evolve, it’s the uber-PC gay left and their enablers not Ann Coulter.”

Enjoy her columns and agree with her opinions or not, the fact is that Coulter is one smart cookie. The continued focusing on social issues over economic issues is not truly conservative. The exalted leaders of the conservative movement - William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would not be acceptable to the far right fringe of the Republican party. Unfortunately, it is this fringe that continues to receive publicity.

This is the time to promote solid, common sense answers to our sagging economy and encourage those who agree to join in with us to vote Republican in November. Farah should be more concerned about "taking back" America to solid economic footing and world leadership.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pelosi Threatens Those Who Oppose GZ Mosque

Speaker of the House Pelosi said she is in favor of an investigation into those who fund the public opposition of the location of a building - the Cordoba center - near Ground Zero. Pelosi refers to the debate as one of meddling into a local zoning issue. Well, that would be a normal reaction from Pelosi, I suppose, as her husband has made his personal fortune worth millions thanks to construction and real estate dealings.

She told an audience in her home district of San Francisco that she "joins those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded." To whom does Pelosi refer, these calling for an investigation? Is she parroting far left sources? Is she simply leveling a threat to those who may think differently than her?

Whom does she suggest be investigated? The families of those who were murdered on 9/11? Some of those family members have started foundations and speak out against terror-related issues. Are they to be shut down? Are they to be labeled as "astroturf" as Pelosi labeled the Tea Party participants last summer?

Pelosi's office has issued a statement that Pelosi simply wants transparency in who is behind the funding of the opposition. Sure. Where is her desire in transparency in the background of those who will finance the building of the center/mosque? I don't recall any calls for that from her. She tries to pull together her political thuggery with the concerns by the ADL of who is funding the Islamic center and then ties it up with a plea for her own political agenda, a bill pending in the House. Keep it classy, Nancy.

In typical Pelosi nonsensical speak:
"The freedom of religion is a Constitutional right. Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.

"I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that 'We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center. At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.'

"For all of those expressing concern about the 9/11 families, we call upon them to join us in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act when Congress returns in September."

This is the latest in the nasty political world of Nancy Pelosi. She is also sending written material to senior citizens inviting them to join "Team Pelosi", along with Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), a loyal mouthpiece for Pelosi and President Obama in attacks against the minority party.

The ironic wording in this appeal for support by the senior citizens - a population of dedicated voters - is the use of the term "elite". How appropriate that the appeal states :

Let’s show the Tea Party crowd that they’re no match for our grassroots strength. Stand with us against the Right’s despicable attacks and their fat cat fundraising by joining Team Pelosi — an elite group of grassroots Democrats who are leading the fight against radical Republican candidates in races nationwide.

If this interests you, after sending in your contribution here is what you'll receive:

As a member of Team Pelosi you will receive the inside scoop on what’s happening in our campaign to strengthen and secure our House Majority. You will be invited to attend members-only phone and web-based political briefings by top Democratic experts and receive special Red Alerts about breaking campaign news .


Fat cats? There are plenty of those on the Democratic party side, too. The President has been working his favorite role - campaigner - in - chief - and raising beaucoup bucks for the DNC. Dinners at $30,500 a ticket? Sure. Lots of those advertised as a chance to dine with Obama.

Frankly, I thought the term "fat cat" went out in the 1980's but apparently the Democrats can't run on the mess they have made with the country's economic recovery so they are ramping up the tired old arguments of the past as their default campaigning positions.

It is also ironic that the plea distributed by Wasserman-Schultz mentions "fat cat" fundraising as it applies to the GOP. Obama and the DNC have been utilizing their database of "fat cat" Democratic contributors as the President goes across country picking up money for the left's coffers. Standard dinners with Obama have been reported as $30,500 per ticket affairs. Who is buying those tickets?

Pelosi is an embarrassment. She is of the old school of say anything to get elected. That is not the change we were sold during the last election. Are we to believe she is simply interested in transparency now? Don't make me laugh. She has dragged her feet on ethics investigations since she took over in 2007. She seems only interested in a one-sided form of transparency. America deserves better.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ted Olson Comes Under Fire From Conservatives

I knew it was just a matter of time before it began. The vilifying of the austere legal career of Ted Olson. Mr Olson won a tough, long court battle recently involving the Constitutional rights of gay Americans to marry. He and David Boies, his liberal counterpart, are in the spotlight for the victory in California. The decision now goes to the liberal leaning 9th Circuit Court. It will work its way to the Supreme Court, of that we can be certain.

Now Mr. Olson is taking heat from the far right in their quest of conservative purity. Conservatives loved him as he argued, successfully, for George W. Bush in Florida against Mr. Boies, as the 2000 election results were in play. They loved him as he ascended to Solicitor General in the Bush administration. They loved him as the husband of Barbara Olson, a smart lawyer and GOP commentator and author who was tragically killed on 9/11/01. Now? Not so much. Now his legal heft is in question by the same folks. Now he is a judicial activist.

It is sad and predictable coming from the far right. Something that is evident - judicial activism is in the eye of the beholder. It would appear that just as anyone not agreeing with another person 100% of the time equates to being labeled a RINO on the far right of the GOP, then the same is true of a judge being labeled an activist. Granted, the decision wasn't written in the most scholarly terms, but it did allow for an explanation of the judge's justification in the decision.

The problem arises that this will continue on through the judicial system and end up at the door of the Supreme Court. Just as with the issue of abortion, gay marriage will be decided by nine people instead of allowing the issue to be one for the states. Gay marriage and abortion are not the business of government. Neither subject resides in the Constitution. It seems to me that the conservative thought would be to allow it to be a states right issue.

The public is fractured when those nine people sitting on the Supreme Court pass judgement on a basic individual right. We are all created equal. The Constitution was amended to allow the tragic history of slavery to be undone with equal rights for those of color - at the time specifically black Americans.

John Yoo makes the case for states rights:

This distortion of the judicial role and rending of the political fabric are wholly unnecessary. The Constitution creates a far better approach to decide contentious moral issues: federalism. Under our decentralized system of government, states offer different combinations of taxes, spending and rights. Citizens can vote with their feet and live in the states that satisfy their preferences. Arizona, Oregon and Hawaii can compete to attract gay couples dissatisfied with Prop 8 (as if California's fiscal mismanagement weren't reason enough to leave).

As "laboratories of democracy," in Justice Louis Brandeis's famous words, states can test a diversity of policies and produce a wealth of information on their effects. If gay marriage depresses heterosexual marriage, increases divorce, or leads to lower birth rates, we will see the proof soon enough.

Watch this video of two young men - gay Tea Party members - as they explain a very common sense approach to marriage as it relates to federal government involvement. They also discuss the anger aimed at them, not for being gay but for being conservatives, especially in the company of liberals.

Common sense. Our nation's political discourse is in dire need of basic, common sense.

Obama's Faux Gulf Swim and the Ramadan Dinner

Why does President Obama have the need to flagrantly re-write American history or his part in it? Two examples have presented themselves today.

From the President's speech marking the dinner acknowledging Ramadan:

Tonight, we are reminded that Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity. And Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America. The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan—making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.

As talk show host Michael Medved points out, the re-writing of history is rampant in speeches delivered by this President. Tunisia, as is referred to in this speech, was not even a country at the time. And, as for the marking of Ramadan, this is pure fiction. The dinner was traditional for a visiting ambassador, not for the Muslim holy days. Also, no mention was made of the ambassador's request of President Jefferson - to provide concubines. Wonder why that was deleted from the description? Jefferson referred him to his Secretary of State on the concubine request.

Also, there is a brief reference to the Obama family vacation at the northwest corner of Florida over the weekend. A mere 27 hours of fun in the sun was all the President could devote to promoting tourism along the Gulf coast, so severely crippled due to the oil spill. He announced he would be swimming in the Gulf to prove his confidence in the safety of doing so.

With only one White House photographer allowed to tag along, Obama and daughter Sasha were snapped smiling in the water. This article shows the fakery at play as the President and his young daughter are photographed frolicking in the Gulf of Mexico.

A bit of information about St. Andrews Bay: Unique among Florida estuaries, St. Andrews Bay lacks input from any major river system, but does receive freshwater from numerous creeks, bayous and wastewater treatment plants. The restricted amount of freshwater allows the influence of Gulf of Mexico water to dominate the bay. Connection with the Gulf is via two passes on the eastern and western ends of Shell Island.

Perhaps a bit too nitpicky, true, but it is the description of the Bay. The Bay is not the Gulf. If Obama had been honest and transparent, as he pledged to be as President, he would have either taken a dip in the actual Gulf of Mexico or said he was in a bay.

There is also this question: Why Florida? That state was least affected by the oil spill. Why not the coast of Mississippi or Alabama, also known as beach vacation destinations and harder hit? Is Obama again favoring states based on his own political agenda? Just something to ponder.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Maxine Waters Speaks On Ethics Charges

Rep Maxine Waters, (D-CA) is a longtime member of the House of Representatives. She used her press conference Friday to begin making her case to the voters that she is wrongfully charged with ethics violations. Her grandson was by her side and performed a PowerPoint presentation on her behalf. Her grandson is her Chief of Staff. Yes, her grandson is her Chief of Staff.

As a full throated member of the Bush Deranged Syndrome chorus, she turned her corrupt - allegedly - self on the former President as the cause of her woes.

The California Democrat said in a Capitol Hill news conference -- an event rarely held during a congressional recess -- that she reached out to then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in late 2008 when his department failed to respond to the National Bank Association's request for a meeting.

"The question at this point should not be why I called Secretary Paulson, but why I had to," she said. "The question at this point should be why a trade association representing over 100 minority banks could not get a meeting at the height of the crisis."

But the House ethics committee, which is investigating Waters for allegedly improperly using her position for personal gain, says in its report of charges that when the meeting was held, the officers of only one bank came -- OneUnited.


Clearly, there is a conflict of interest with Waters' husband, Sidney Williams and the bank for which she is in a questionable relationship. Sidney Williams, served as a member of OneUnited's board of directors from January 2004 until April 2008, and was a stockholder in the bank.

Waters would like us to believe it is not all about her - that it is about access and minority owned banks. "It's about access for those who are not heard by decision makers, whether it's having their questions answered or their concerns addressed", she told Politico. Waters is of the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton school of racial politics.

You may remember when Maxine Waters threatened the CEO of Shell Oil with " This liberal will be all about socializing, er....." until she caught herself and then said the government will be running "all your companies". This was during the hearings in Congress over high fuel prices and John Hofmeister, the threatened man, was heading Shell at the time. Now he is a successful author of an excellent read about the bedeviled Big Oil - "Why We Hate the Oil Companies".

The arrogance is apparent.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Obama Weighs In On Ground Zero Mosque

President Obama weighed in on the controversary continuing in the country over a proposed Islamic community center/mosque to be built just two blocks from Ground Zero. The property is owned by a Muslim Iman and a public utility company. The proposed building would be a thirteen story facility used as an educational community center with a mosque included. The building looks like an ordinary urban building and its outside appearance would not be turned into a traditional looking mosque. Obama made his first remarks on it at the annual White House dinner honoring the Islamic holy days of Ramadan. His spokespeople had been questioned by the press for several days as to his opinion of the proposed project. They have all demurred that Obama wouldn't be giving his opinion on a "local matter". Then, at a Ramandan dinner with an audience of Muslims before him, he deliberately weighed in.

He votes present.

After the headlines hit the presses that Obama voiced his support of the building of the center, he did what is his pattern of behavior. He backtracked. As is his habit, he weighs into an issue of local concern - in this case of concern to the whole country - and then when his opinion creates a backlash from critics, he walks the remarks back. In this case, he claims he meant to say he supports the right of the Islamic community to build an educational center and mosque there, but that he didn't mean it was the right thing for them to do. His point was meant to be the right of freedom of religion of all Americans would allow the center. Gee, thanks, Mr. President. Good thing you are heralded as such a Constitutional scholar so us stupid people out here would know the First Amendment.

From The Washington Times: Speaking to a gathering at the White House Friday evening to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Obama said that he believes "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country."

"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

Asked Saturday about the issue during his trip to Florida, Obama said: "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding."

The issue, of course, is not that those opposing the construction so close to Ground Zero are religiously intolerant. The issue is the proxmity to the site. Americans are still grieving the attack to our nation that produced massive death and casualities and took us to war. The perpetrators of the attack were Muslim men. We have heard for several decades that the goal of the radical faction of Islam demands the killing of infidels - those not Muslim in faith. This appears to many as a deliberate finger in the eye of a nation under attack.

Essentially, this is a local issue for the people of New York. Though the terrorist attack was a blow to everyone in our country, it was the people of New York that suffered the greatest. The decision was made by a local governing board in Manhattan to allow the community center/mosque to procede forward. This board heard the objections of many yet voted in the affirmative.

Instead of listening, the President continues to lecture. In this case, the issue isn't religious freedom, it is doing the right thing. Now the President says he will not weigh in on if the construction is the right thing for the Muslim community to do just two blocks from Ground Zero. He weighs in only for political points with the Muslim audience he spoke before at the Ramadan dinner. That is standard procedure for Barack Obama. This is where his complete lack of leadership skills is apparent. This is why he is walking back his remarks now. He wants America to be lectured on a basic tenet of our Bill of Rights - the right of freedom of religion for all - but he really doesn't have the courage to give a complete answer to the question.

The power of the presidency is to explain. The president is not there to lecture us on the Bill of Rights. He had an obligation to state where he stands on the issue and explain why. He didn't do that. He lectured on freedom of religion and then declared he would not say if it is the right thing to do, to build the center there at that location. Those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack - the worst our nation has experienced - deserve better from the President of the United States.

Obama made the remarks at the Ramadan dinner using a written speech. He knew what the speech delivered and he delivered it. If now the White House mouthpieces have to get out and explain the remarks, Obama lost the point. Obama has proven again that he has no emotional connection with the American people. He offered no empathy to those who lost loved ones. He was, in fact, completely clear in his speech. Everyone in that room came away thinking Obama gave his blessing to the project. The press certainly reported it was his ok he uttered. That is why now the clarification of his remarks is so phony - it is only because of the reaction he received to the speech. It shows again his lack of core principles.

Having the right to religious freedom doesn't make it the right thing to do to built a religious center so close to Ground Zero. There are hundreds of mosques in New York. There is no doubt of the expression of religious freedom in the city. Sensitivity has to come from both sides. This Iman is used by this administration to help create understanding between Islam and other religions. Former President Bush called upon Imam Feisal Rauf to travel to the Middle East and send the message that America is tolerant. The Obama administration is set to send him to Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE. The Iman is restricted from raising money for the Cordoba Initiative. Just last week, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "the Obama administration has no position on Rauf's plans, which he termed a local zoning matter for New York", according to The Washington Post.

This is not a red state/blue state issue, as the President's defenders would have you believe. Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida, Jeff Greene, said "President Obama has this all wrong and I strongly oppose his support for building a mosque near ground zero especially since Islamic terrorists have bragged and celebrated destroying the Twin Towers and killing nearly 3,000 Americans," said Greene. "Freedom of religion might provide the right to build the mosque in the shadow of ground zero, but common sense and respect for those who lost their lives and loved ones gives sensible reason to build the mosque someplace else."

Americans, especially conservative Americans, support religious freedom as well as property rights and right for communities to decide on "zoning", if this is how the President wants to frame the issue. All Americans, however, deserve a President capable of making a principled decision and delivering that decision clearly to us. An American President must do more than vote "present".

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tx Attorney General Abbott Files Suit Over Moratorium

Despite the reasoning of the office of Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar that the offshore oil drilling ban is "simply common sense", Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit against the Obama oil drilling moratorium Thursday. The issue is whether the Obama administration overstepped its boundary in the relationship of the federal government in relationship to the State of Texas, as a Gulf coast state.

"Affected states are guaranteed the right to participate in offshore drilling-related policy decisions, but the Obama administration did not bother to communicate, coordinate or cooperate with Texas," Abbott said Wednesday. "Worse, the secretary of the interior failed to consider the economic consequences of his decision."

Abbott contends the Obama administration didn't live up it the requirement of consulting with the state before enacting the drastic measure of halting deep water oil drilling. In The Wall Street Journal we learn the targets in the law suit: Filed on behalf of Texas, the legal action names the U.S. Department of Interior and its secretary, Kenneth Salazar; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and its director, Michael Bromwich, as defendants.

More power grabbing by the Obama administration, violating states rights under the Constitution.

USA Colored With Unemployment

Our nation - a map of recession.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Texas GOP Responds to White's Racist Rhetoric

A political blog on The Dallas Morning News website reports on a racist statement made by candidate for Texas governor, former Houston mayor Bill White. He would like the vision of slavery to pop into the heads of black supporters at the mention of current Governor Rick Perry. Hopelessly stuck in nasty politics? Flailing about as he continues to drop in the polls, White reverts to the same kind of racist language to potential voters as did Senator Harry Reid. Democrats are predictable. When all else fails, toss the race bait.

This is the quote from remarks White made at a recent forum in Dallas, in front of a black audience: "We need a governor who's a servant, as opposed to Rick Perry, who wants to be treated as master." Classy, right?

This is a pattern. At the Kingwood Tea Party White said: "We need as our governor somebody who is a servant, not a career politician who's acting as if they're in control and they're the master."

The Republican Party of Texas responds:

“It is very disappointing in this day and age, when it is so important for public figures to promote unity and harmony among our state’s diverse population, that Bill White would choose language that when viewed in context of the group to which he was speaking, clearly can be interpreted as a racially divisive statement," said Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri. "Bill White’s use of the word ‘master’ when speaking to an African-American group no doubt was a political calculation on his part to conjure up a racially divisive message. There is no place in modern day politics for a statewide candidate to try to exploit racial discord. I call upon Bill White to apologize to Gov. Perry for the use of this language, as I know the governor to be committed to representing Texans of all backgrounds. And I call upon Bill White to cease his inflammatory rhetoric.”

Texas deserves better than the tired old politics of racial division.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ted Cruz - Hands Off Texas Rally 8-9-10

Texas GOP Young Gun, Ted Cruz:

Harry Reid's Racist Hispanic Remarks

"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK," Reid said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"Do I need to say more?" he asked.

Well, yes you do need to say more, Senator Reid.

Yet another oafish remark from the Senate Majority Leader. Whether it is declaring the Iraq war lost in 2007 from the floor of the Senate, or to speak of candidate Obama as "articulate", or now with this latest racist remark, it is laughable when the GOP hears disparaging remarks towards us by Reid. The man is a foolish, old, out of touch Democrat in Washington, D.C. His sons are successful lobbyists in D.C. and is all goes well, soon he can join them. He is in the battle of his political life and he is flailing.

Reid spoke to a Hispanic audience in Las Vegas. In his own racist mind, he equates Republican opposition to comprehensive immigration reform put before securing the borders as the GOP hates brown people. Or any color of skin other than white. How quaint and wrong. Democrats falling back on the old race card. Not very dignified for the leader of the Senate.

Reid blames the GOP for blocking legislation, while anyone with the ability to count can tell him that Democrats don't need Republican votes. They proved that in the health care reform legislation along with other major spending bills. It is simply easier to point a finger of accusation rather than actually work with the other party.

More from Politico:

“Immigration is nothing new,” Reid said. “My wife's father was an immigrant from Russia…He and his family were driven out of Russia. They came for the peace and quiet and safety of the United States.”

Linking past groups of immigrants to Hispanics that have come to the United States via the southern border, Reid said that just “because the wave of immigrants we have now — their skin's a tone darker than ours — doesn't make it any different.”

Did his wife's father come here illegally? Or, did he come here legally? Does Reid know the difference in the two paths into our country? Harry Reid is a dishonest man. He knows that the GOP opposition is to ILLEGAL immigration, not to immigration itself. Everyone has a story of family immigration story, unless the family is Native American. These stories are why we are the greatest, most free country on earth. We celebrate diversity. We do not, however, celebrate criminal acts. Illegal immigration is an illegal act from the beginning. Our nation's social services are overburdened and hard working taxpayers - if they are employed in today's economic climate - are at the boiling point.

Actually, the Republican party is a natural fit for the Hispanic voter. We are the party of low taxes, less government involvement in business and national security. Hispanic immigrants are small business owners. Hispanic families have conservative values of hard work and not depending on the government to support their families.

From Politico a quote from GOP Senate candidate from Florida, a first generation Cuban American, Marco Rubio:
“The reason why Americans of Hispanic descent should be Republicans is that the Democratic leadership is trying to dismantle the American free enterprise system, the only system in the world where parents like mine who work hard and play by the rules can give their children the opportunities they themselves did not have,” he said.

And this:
Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, also took a shot at Reid, writing in a statement to POLITICO that the Nevada Democrat's comments were "extremely condescending and are insulting to all Latinos."

"Hispanic voters don't have a 'herd mentality,'" said Aguilar. "They have shown that their vote cannot be taken for granted by any party and that they will support candidates who will defend the principles they believe in — the sanctity of the family, the dignity of the human person, hard work and entrepreneurship, among others. We're tired of politicians like Mr. Reid who expect our ‘minority’ vote, but don't respect us or our values."

What old Democrats like Reid do is called projection. He has these racist thoughts of his own and assumes everyone else does, too. He assumes Hispanic voters will do as black Americans do and vote as a block for Democrats. He will be proved wrong. The sooner, the better.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rep Charlie Rangel Demands House Action on Charges

Speaker of the House Pelosi called back the House of Representatives from August recess for a day to pass another mega spending bill that will produce more bad than good in our economy. She and the Democrats, however, billed it as helping America's teachers and 'the children'. That is a smoke screen, but predictable justification for such a stunt. What Speaker Pelosi didn't anticipate was Rep Charlie Rangel (D-NY) coming to the podium and exercising his right to addressing the House on his own behalf.

Let the good times roll.

It was a rambling, tinged with arrogance and humility all rolled together, kind of speech to his fellow House members. It was not his finest moment. It was, however, his right to address the allegations against him and his right to demand action.

As The Observer starts off: Embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel just took a moment of personal privilege on the House floor during the debate over aid to the states to address his colleagues about the charges he is facing.

Rangel was an equal opportunity scolder: He told his fellow party members, "I was the guy that was raising money in Republican districts to get you here," but added, "I mean, do what you have to do."

And for his colleagues across the aisle, he said. "And Republicans. You don't have much to run on, but I mean, what the hell, Rangel is an embarrassment based on newspaper articles. I can see why you would do it."

The New York Daily News reports: In his floor speech, Rangel charged that the ethics committee had yet to give him a firm date for the start of the "accusatory" hearing that would amount to a trial on the charges against him.

"Don't leave me swinging in the wind until November," Rangel said

And, Rangel is right. The House Ethics Committee has looked into Rangel's ethical 'challenges' for over two years now. It is well past time to get the show on the road. He has now been accused and deserves to have his trial. The Committee is at fault for letting it go until just before an election. It is not the fault of Rangel, who now faces the wrath of his fellow Democrats for bringing the bad press into the mid-term elections when Democrats are expected to take a beating anyway.

Rangel stepped down from the powerful slot of chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He has maintained a relatively low key public presence as the news hit of the accusations brought against him. Let him answer the charges that he is corrupt.

Rangel stated in no uncertain words that he is not going anywhere in the meantime. He is not resigning. He is not admitting guilt. He is who he is.

You can watch the video of Rangel's speech here: http://dailyradar.com/beltwayblips/video/charlie-rangel-house-floor-speech/?vpc=1

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

R.I.P Senator Ted Stevens

Senator Ted Stevens was killed in a plane crash, en route to a fishing trip with his son and other friends - like former NASA director, Sean O'Keefe. His was a stellar life story of service to his country and his family. He was old school politician - fight mightily for the Republican party and then enjoy a social evening with a friend from the other side.

Rest in peace, Senator Stevens.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Obama Comes to Texas - Bill White Hides

Remember when Bill White was a big fan of Barack Obama - in public? Now, not so much. Obama comes to Texas today and White is conveniently busy with other things, schedule conflicts, you know.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Democrats & Border Security In Mid-Term Elections

Hey look! The Democrats in Congress have slowly but surely recognized that the immigration and border security issue is not going away in this re-election year and they are perceived as on the wrong side of the popular opinion. So, being good politicians polling low in re-election bids, they are coming around to the importance of securing our borders. Most specifically, our southern border which has exploded with violence and human carnage despite the Obama administration's insistence that all that can possibly be done, is being done.

In direct contrast to the agenda of Team Obama, Senate Democrats presented legislation that would booster border security in the near future. Instead of demanding to do the entire immigration reform before securing the border, as Obama has expressed a desire to do, even Senate Democrats have seen the light. Now even the House leadership is considering making border security a priority in the emergency special session called by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

What does all of this mean? It means the Democrats are running scared. November is looking really grim for the Democratic majority in Congress and even the most vitriol of the Democratic leadership is making gestures to the need for securing the border before all else. Without a secure border, all else is meaningless. Republicans have been asking for measures to be taken to secure the border and now with the escalating violence and drug trafficking, the need is growing ever more.

The Senate took a vote Thursday and the easy passage surprised even the Democratic leadership. Republicans voted with Democrats to approve $176 million for 1,000 additional border patrol guards and $89 million for 500 more customs and immigration personnel. Also, $32 million will be allotted to deploy drones on the border. Last, $196 million will be given to the Justice Department to add U.S. marshals, FBI, DEA and ATF agents along the border.

Speaker Pelosi has called back the House to cut short the August recess. She wants a vote on a $26 billion bill to give to teachers and states for health care costs. Now word is the House may consider the Senate bill on border security, too, in its special session. One vocal critic of the Obama agenda on immigration reform, an Arizona Democrat, sponsored a $700 billion border security bill which passed in the House just before the recess break. She is urging House leaders to include a border security bill in the special session. Rep Ann Kirkpatrick said she wants the leaders to commit to "not ending this session without passing the border security bill."

President Obama has not visited the southern border during his presidency. He refused to meet with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer until the public sentiment was so strong that he could no longer avoid a meeting. She flew to Washington and visited the White House while there. Nothing was really accomplished other than the fact that now he can say he met with her. He has not taken her up on an invitation to visit the border with her to see the devastation and problems caused by lax border enforcement. Obama has not met with Texas Governor Perry, though he, too, has extended an invitation to tour the border with Mexico. Now that re-election is just around the corner for House members, Obama will now give the governor a few minutes at the airport as he comes to Austin to do some fundraising.

According to The Houston Chronicle Governor Perry has been granted a bit of time with President Obama as he lands in Austin for fundraising. Bill White, the Democrat hoping to have Governor Perry's job, is still keeping his distance from Obama. "We're spending way too much time on immigration and not enough time on border security. The reason I want to meet with the president Monday, I want to sit down with the president, matter of fact I'll stand up, and share with him how to secure the border," Perry said. "That's the issue that's important. If you don't secure the border, if you have a revolving door at the border, then the 14th Amendment issues or immigration issues are just that. They're an interesting debate for you guys to write about, but there's frankly no substance there for finding a solution to this issue." So, they will meet at the airport and Perry will get his chance to speak with the president.

Common sense tells us that both parties can come together to help those charged with border security. Common sense tells us that immigration reform can not happen until our border is secure. Common sense tells us that is the first step. It is time for a tone deaf administration to respond.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Michelle Obama Does Spain

The disconnect between the occupants in the White House and those living in real America grows. Any future claims of the Democratic party being the legitimate party of the average Joe has vanished. The Obama family has picked up where the Clinton family left off. The latest example is playing out now.

The President went to Chicago to celebrate his 49th birthday with swell pals like Oprah and attended fundraisers for the DNC where the entrance fee was $30,500 per person. The odd part is that wife Michelle and daughter Sasha are in Spain with 40 of their friends on vacation. The older daughter, Malia, is at camp.

The Washington Times runs an editorial on Michelle Obama's grand vacation trip to Spain with this: Everyone is entitled to some R & R, though Mrs. Obama's jaunt is her eighth holiday this summer. Tone-deaf White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended vacation numero ocho by saying, "The first lady is on a private trip. She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip. And I think I'd leave it at that." Note to the flack: Most private citizens don't have access to $150,000 in taxpayer funds and exclusive use of a jumbo jet.

Let them eat cake.

We Americans have been told, repeatedly, since the beginning of the current recession that the financial atmosphere is the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment is holding steady at 9.5%. The huge stimulus/spending program put into place by the Obama administration and the Democratically controlled Congress has not worked. Recovery, if it is there, is very slow and not going to produce the results needed to get Americans back to work at the current pace. Americans are worried.

In the current political climate, the Obama family appears oblivious to others. Entertaining in the White House is back in a big way, despite the reality of two wars and economic recession. The President is the target of jokes about his obsession with golf. Michelle enjoys a weekly soiree with friends and celeb entertainment from Hollywood or Broadway.

In the past, this was standard procedure. Living large in the White House was taken for granted - especially under the watch of Jackie Kennedy or Nancy Reagan. Formal dinners and entertainment galore. Let the good times roll. Now, however, a more modest White House is appropriate. As our nation went to war, former President Bush, for example, stopped his regular golf games out of respect to the military families. There is something unseemly about the Commander-in-Chief living it up as the troops are in harm's way. The Bush administration did little in the way of formal dinners or entertaining for the same reason. Serious times call for serious leadership. President Bush was criticized for frequent trips back to his ranch in Crawford but the fact is that his trips back to Texas were very low key and as little press as possible. It was a very 'normal' kind of experience. Plus, the ranch was outfitted for everything necessary for a working White House.

No one begrudges the First Family and staff a vacation. But, public demonstrations of excess are not the best idea right now. And, with unemployment so high and tourism dollars low, maybe a better idea is to highlight domestic travel in our own country. There is no shortage of swank resorts here in the U.S.A. Now that Michelle admits to being proud of her country "for the first time", now that her husband is President, maybe she can spread the goodwill around. Right here at home.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Real Housewives of Washington, D.C. Debuts

It's summer. It's hot. Let's talk about trashy television. It's a great diversion from the crazy that is out there in the real world.

The shows on the cable network that claim to document the 'real' lives of 'real' housewives is nonsense, of course. There is little real about these folks. Plastic surgery galore, multiple marriages, and the like, sure, that's how life is now. But to think that any of these women would be described as housewives is amusing. All of the women who sign on to this series do so to promote professional ambitions.

The newest offering to join those in NYC, NJ, Orange County, California and Atlanta is the housewives of D.C. The added spice to this show is the political undercurrents. Only in the Atlanta show are black women the key figures. One white woman in Atlanta rounds out the cast. None of the other shows were integrated at all. D.C. Housewives has one black member. She made it clear that racism will be a topic of this show. Unfortunate.

The cast consists of 5 women living in or near Washington, D.C. One is the granddaughter of Arthur Godfrey and lives with her husband of 24 yrs and 5 children in a suburb in Virginia. One is the owner of a modeling agency who is divorced and dating a black man half her age. One is a successful realtor in D.C. proper. One is a Brit married to a White House photographer. One is the White House state dinner party crasher. Let the fun begin!

The state dinner party crasher is a highly animated, bouncy, outgoing woman. Not the sharpest, she provides some head shaking moments. Some of the others are concerned she is too thin- possible eating disorder alert. They all enjoy drinking wine, which is standard on any of the housewives shows. We are told at the opening of the show that it is all about who you know in D.C. and that flashing money is not cool. Ok, then.

There is a segment about the U.S. Polo team's opener in D.C. with the party crashers in charge. Husband in the party crasher duo is a team member and is the grand poohbah. One housewife - the modeling agency owner - talks about her billing from the previous year at the event going unpaid and calls it a "goat rodeo" and the Brit remarks that it is not much of an event - compared to the polo matches in England. So, there's that.

As the realtor hosts a girl's night with a celebrity chef in her home - the guy cooks for Janet Jackson - the atmosphere goes awkward thanks to blunt talk from the Brit. As she name drops as it pertains to her husband's career, the WH photog, she mentions she can't tolerate Tyra Banks. Oh no. Then, after the black hostess comes to the aid of Tyra's specialness, the Brit disses the Obamas. Blasphemy! Brit says both GWB and Obama were invited to her wedding 2 years ago to photog, an old friend she was reunited with after 18 years, because hubby worked for both White Houses. He was on the campaign trail with Obama, too. Seems GWB RSVP'd for said wedding but Obama didn't. Much was made over manners and common courtesy. Hostess rose to the occasion and defended Obama - he's running a country, you know. He wasn't then but never mind. Brit said he respected and liked Bush, the man. Policies aside. Arthur Godfrey's granddaughter agrees about Bush, the man. She's solidly Democratic, born and raised in D.C. and grew up with the Kennedy clan so it is good to see old Washington civility still exists from her. Hostess represents current climate of vitriol, which is unfortunate. Then the race card comes up. Hostess questions Brit's true feelings since she dissed Tyra then Obama and did so in the black hostess's home in front of a black chef. Not to mention hostess's event planner is also black and present. She is seen shaking her head in disapproval and frowning at Brit. Oh my.

A little icing on the cake moment occurred as the Godfrey granddaughter shows us her closet. It is a large walk-in closet, natch, but the kicker is that it can only be accessed by scanning her fingerprint into the locking mechanism. Only she can get in. She has a 24 year old daughter and we are told they wear the same size clothes and have the same taste in styles so disaster is averted with the extra security measure taken to protect her wardrobe. Wow. Just wow.

Good times.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

CLEAR Act Passed in House

From an article at Human Events: Most voters’ knowledge of the oil industry begins and ends at the self-serve pump, and Congress is a sucker for a villain in a black hat. In targeting bad guys, however, Congress is the original “Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” Its strategies to punish Big Oil usually miss the intended target, with a result that is as negative as it is predictable.

The House passed legislation on a vote of 209-193 that claims to toughen offshore drilling safety while lifting caps on liability for spills though this will further dampen domestic production.

This article questions the extent the Coast Guard played in the oil spill. Who will hold them accountable as they conduct investigations into the tragedy? To listen in on the hearings as they were broadcast on C-SPAN, the bias of some questioners was obvious. Some questions were asked as though there was a snarl in the questioner's voice. Some of the questioned were on the drilling rig as newly-hired members of the drill crew. Some were longtime veterans of the drilling company, Transocean. Some of the more technical panels were interesting to those in the business but for those not - and the Coast Guard representatives are clearly not experts in oil drilling - a lot of it was over our heads. It was clear that a justification for shutting down drilling was on the minds of those who snarled.

In the CLEAR Act (H.R. 3534), sold to House members as a response to the Gulf oil spill crisis, the vote was 209-193. Thirty-nine Democrats voted against the bill and two Republicans voted for it. It was reported that the bill "is aimed at improving environmental and safety protections in the wake of the spill, and bolstering oil spill response capacity", in The Hill.

The glitch for the members voting against the bill sponsored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WVA), from coal country, was the extra junk added. Opponents say the bill adds new barriers to drilling. New fees on both onshore and offshore production are included. An interesting amendment approved was from Rep Charlie Melancon (D-LA. It lifts the moratorium immediately that meet new standards for safety. The GOP pushed for an outright lifting of the ban.

"With this bill, Democrats are exploiting the Gulf oil spill tragedy as a political opportunity to push through provisions that are unrelated to the spill response or reforms to offshore drilling. The latest version of the CLEAR Act imposes job-killing changes and higher taxes for onshore by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which affects not just leasing for natural gas and oil.", said Doc Hastings.

Speaker of the House
stripped out the provision to name a commission of technical experts to study the oil spill - in direct contrast to the Obama administration's commission comprised of non-techs. Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), top Republican on the Natural Resources Committee said the Obama’s administration’s commission was set up to protect the President.

“By deleting the bipartisan, independent oil spill commission that’s received bipartisan support in both House and Senate committees, Democrats have shown they are more interested in protecting the President than getting independent answers to what caused this tragic Gulf spill. Some of the biggest failures that contributed to the Gulf disaster are the direct responsibility of the federal government and by deleting this bipartisan, independent commission, Democrats ensure that only the President’s hand-picked commission will be digging into any failures of his own Interior Department appointees. There is widespread agreement that no member of the President’s commission possesses technical expertise in oil drilling, and several are on the record in opposition to offshore drilling and support a moratorium that will cost thousands of jobs,” Hastings said.

Next, the bill goes for a vote in the Senate, where it has been pulled from a vote by Majority Leader Reid. The voting timeline is now uncertain.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Cornyn Places Hold on Justice Dept Nominee

Senator Cornyn has placed a hold on the nomination of James Cole. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, has put a legislative hold on the already troubled nomination of James M. Cole to be deputy attorney general until the attorney general ensures full protection for voting rights of our military (and associated civilian personnel) stationed abroad. The senator is right to raise a ruckus.

In 2009, Senator Cornyn co-authored a law stating that at least 45 days before an election, states must mail out absentee ballots to military serving overseas. It appears that this law is not in line with the priorities of the Holder Justice Department.

In 2008, more than 17,000 military votes were denied. On the Justice Department website the old standard of a 30 day time frame is still listed. The Justice Department website does, however, devote a large section to felons looking to regain voting privileges.

Rebecca Wertz, a Justice Department official, spoke to a conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State in February and is reported to proclaim to the audience that the new law is open to interpretation. One attendee said she deliberately undermined the law to the audience.

Senator Cornyn looked over the minutes of the conference and decided to place a hold on James M. Cole, a nominee to become deputy attorney general and a personal friend of Eric Holder. It is to demand attention into this deliberate decision of the Holder Justice Department to undermine the voting rights of military personnel.

Cornyn wrote, "The statute does not create any discretion for the executive Branch to decide whether or not to enforce its legal requirements." He informed Holder that Wertz's comments "fly in the face of the clear statutory language, undermine the provisions in question and jeopardize the voting rights of our men and women n uniform." He included four steps for Holder to address the 45 day deadline, including a state by state accounting of compliance efforts.

Is it too much to ask that the Justice Department set aside obvious attempts to politicize the department - military votes are generally thought to be conservative votes - and ensure the right to vote in a presidential election be extended to our military personnel serving overseas? Who is more deserving?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Chelsea Clinton Gets Married

A blog post tells the tale of the author's wife's anger towards the Chelsea Clinton wedding. Several points are made that spotlight liberal hypocrisy. Nothing new, if you ask me.

Much was made about the amount of money guesstimated that the wedding cost the former president. Was it $3 million? $5 million? Who cares? It is Clinton money to spend. Chelsea is the only child of wealthy parents. They spoil her. Is this breaking news? Hardly. Chelsea is, by all accounts, a level-headed, mature grown-up young woman. Let her have her day.

Comparisons are made with the Jenna Bush wedding. Jenna chose to be married on the Crawford ranch and by all accounts, it was a low keyed event, per Jenna's wishes. No surprise there, either.

What is interesting is the recognition that surfaces on the acquisition of wealth. Clinton 'earned' his fortune from a lifetime career as a public servant. There is something fundamentally wrong in our political system that allows a politician to become personally wealthy. Bill Clinton will be a wealthy man the rest of his life because of his ability to win elections. He was never in the private sector. Now he reaps the benefits as a former president, a former public servant. His presidential library and charitable work will provide him with the funds to lead a very comfortable life. Plus, he has the bonus of a high profile wife and her career, thanks to his former life. It all worked out quite nicely for them.

Recognition of the hypocrisy within the liberal community on the green movement is there, too. The ranch in Crawford is noted for its environmentally friendly design and maintenance. Clinton's VP Al Gore is the head hypocrite in the green movement. Not only has he made millions on phony climate change propaganda and even received a Nobel Peace prize for it, he is the owner of multiple properties without being environmentally friendly. Do as he says, not as he does, you little people.

In the end, a basic logic is needed. It was the Clinton's money to spend. They earned it and they are entitled to spend it as they see fit. Grousing about the amount or trying to dictate how someone else spends money is what liberals do, not Republicans.

Best of luck to the newlyweds. They'll need it.

Are House Ethics Charges Racist?

As Speaker Pelosi's newly created bi-partisan ethics committee finds two prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus at odds with the rules of the House of Representatives, the panic has set in at the White House. Already facing a very bad night in November, the majority party now has to beat back the flames of outright corruption within its ranks. The process with Rangel took more than two years, but, hey, they've been busy in the House. What with ramming through wildly unpopular legislation and painting the growing Tea Party as racists and Nazi astroturf, there are only so many hours in the day.

This is the response from President Obama when asked his thoughts on the mess Rep Charlie Rangel finds himself in: "I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well, but these allegations are very troubling, and, you know, he's somebody who is at the end of his career, 80 years old.
"I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is that happens."

Well, now. How's that for support? Obama refers to Rangel in the past tense and all but says "he's outta here". No one was particularly surprised by the statement. Barack Obama is not known for his loyalty traits.

Now, there is the case against Rep Maxine Waters hitting the headlines. She was only looking out for minority-owned banks in the TARP bailout days, you know. One of those minority-owned banks happens to use her husband on its board of directors and he holds stock in the bank, but never mind. She might have forgotten to mention that while she lobbied to include that particular minority-owned bank in the TARP disbursements.

To add more to the narrative, on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams mentioned that it is a case of racism that these two high profile members of the Congressional Black Caucus are now readying for Congressional public trials. Yeah, the predictable charge of racism has entered the fray. When fellow panel member Liz Cheney asked Williams if he himself believed that this was racism, he replied, "no". But, he said, the case will be made.

Interesting. It is the same as any other thorny issue concerning the majority party since the election of Barack Obama. Any dissension at all, any reprimand at all, is, in the minds of the irrational, racist. The term has been so completely diluted by the constant use that it no longer hold much of a sting. The post-racial presidency of Barack Obama never materialized.

The time nears when the term will no longer hold attention grabbing ability at all.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

14 Weeks - Republican Governors Association

"We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow". - Ronald Reagan

If you watch no other video this political season, watch this one.

14 Weeks from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

I see November from my house. Do you?