Saturday, July 31, 2010

And next Democrat up -- Maxine Waters

Nearly a year and a half ago I wrote about some of the questionable activities of Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California.  Now, right after Charlie Rangel gets the attention he so richly deserves, Ms. Waters gets hers.

This double barrel of Democrat trouble apparently sets a precedent.  The New York Times writes, "At no time in at least the last two decades have two sitting House members faced a public hearing detailing allegations against them."

The months leading up to the November elections promise to be interesting.  Get ready for a barage of allegations of immorality (not to mention racism) against Republicans.  The mainstream media have to do something to soften the blow for Democrats.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Congressional justice quantified

I've written previously. about Charlie Rangel's troubles. An investigative Congressional panel has issued its recommendation.  Here's how the Democrat Congress metes out justice

Republican Representative Joe Wilson's offense -- He shouted out "You lie!" as Obama addressed the Congress. Penalty: Congressional reprimand.
Democrat Representative Charlie Rangel's list of alleged offenses:
1. Conduct in violation of the solicitation and gift ban
2. Conduct in violations of Code of Ethics for Government Service (clause 5)
3. Conduct in violation of the House gift rule
4. Conduct in violation of postal service laws and franking commission regulations
5. Conduct in violation of any franking statute
6. Conduct in violation of House Office Building Commission's Regulations
7. Conduct in violation of the purpose law and the Member's Congressional Handbook
8. Conduct in violation of the Letterhead Rules
9. Conduct in violation of the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) and House Rule 16
10. Conduct in violation of Code of ethics for Government Service (clause 5)
11. Conduct in violation of Code of Ethics for Government Service (clause 2)
12. Conduct in Violation of the Code of Conduct: Letter and Spirit of House Rules
13. Conduct in Violation of the Code of Conduct: Conduct Reflecting Discredibility on the House
• House Rules state that a Member "shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House."
• Subcommittee finds Rangel violated this with the following offenses:
1. -Improper solicitations of potential donors to the Rangel Center
-Acceptance of favors and benefits from donors to the Rangel Center in a way that some might see as influence the job he does in Congress
-Knowingly accepting indirect gifts from donors to the Rangel Center
-Improperly using franking privileges to raise money for the Rangel Center
-Writing solicitations for the Rangel Center on House property
-Misusing House resources- staff, phones, e-mail and franking for work related to the Rangel Center.
2. -Misuse of Congressional letterhead to solicit donations to the Rangel Center
-Failing to disclose, from 1998 to 2007, full and complete financial statements
3. -Rangel's pattern of submitting Financial Disclosure statements that were incomplete and inaccurate
-Failing to make sure his Financial Disclosure statements were complete and accurate
-Violating the Ethics in Government Act
-Failing to report rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic on his Federal income tax returns from 1998 to 2006
4. -Violating the Internal Revenue Code
5. -Receiving rent stabilized apartment, using it for campaign activities when the lease stated it should be used only for living purposes
6. -Accepting the rent stabilized apartment in a way that could look like he was influence in his government activities by the deal
7. -By breaking the law, Rangel violated the Code of Ethics for Government Service
8. -By not adhering to the letter and spirit of House Rules
-"Respondent's pattern of indifference or disregard for the laws, rules and regulations of the United States and the House of Representatives is a serious violation"
9. -"Respondent's actions and accumulation of actions reflected poorly on the institution of the House and, thereby, brought discredit to the House"

Recommended penalty: Congressional reprimand.

What's a "saved" job?

Barack Obama made a much-ballyhooed visit to The View recently, and in response to some of his claims, Conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck asked him a question about the never-before-used measurement "saved jobs." You can watch the video of the exchange here.

A while back, Tony Fratto had a column discussing the concept of "saved" jobs. He had this great thought:

"There is only one necessary data point to make the "jobs-saved" claim: an accurate measure of expected employment levels in the future....

"To understand just how unknowable this data point is, it's not necessary to be an economist, a mathematician or a statistician.

"You only need to know this: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - thousands of the most professional and rigorous counters and analyzers of labor data in the history of mankind - makes TWO revisions of employment data for their ESTIMATE of the PREVIOUS month....

"That is, the best employment statisticians the world has ever known, people whose lives are dedicated to employment data, conducting labor surveys and research, constantly refining their complex models, have a difficult time telling you how many jobs were created in the PAST!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It took a year-and-a-half, but...

Associated Press: "Panel hits Rangel with 13 alleged ethics charges" (Note: despite the AP's attempt to soften the blow, the charges are not alleged.)

I first wrote about Charlie Rangel's ethics problems back in December of 2008. Sometimes Congress takes a while to see if one of them smells worse than usual.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Surrounded by reality

In a recent column, Rich Galen perfectly described Washington DC:  "49 square miles surrounded by reality."

(The description was originally used for San Francisco.  Tomato, tomahto.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Since racism's in the news

The Daily Caller -- admittedly a right-leaning website -- has recently posted a series of columns illuminating how Liberal media types conspired to promote the Liberal Democrat agenda, and Barack Obama's presidential campaign specifically. The series is explosive and revealing.

The media types, along with Liberal university professors and activists, were members of a now defunct listserv called Journolist. They would post comments in what they considered a private, safe and confidential environment, secure in the knowledge (or so they thought) that their posts would never see daylight. They were wrong.

Some of the participants:
Richard Kim - The Nation
Spencer Ackerman - The Washington Independent
Michael Tomasky - The Guardian
Thomas Schaller -- Baltimore Sun columnist and college professor
Jonathan Stein - Mother Jones
Jared Bernstein - eventual top economist for VP Joe Biden
Holly Yeager - Columbia Journalism Review
Joe Conason - columnist
David Greenberg - Slate contributor
David Roberts - The Grist
Todd Gitlin - journalism professor, Columbia University

Okay, you get the idea. These were people with influence. Literally hundreds of Liberal journalists were members of this listserv. The particular episode I want to address was what these folks did during the brouhaha over Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 campaign. Here are some examples of their postings during that time (with some summary.)

  • Chris Hayes of the Nation urged "those in the ostensible mainstream media” who were members of the ignore Wright.
  • Spencer Ackerman: "What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear."
  • Ackerman again: "...take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists."

Some members of Journolist, disagreed with the tactic, saying that such a gutter fight would hurt the Obama brand. Ackerman's response: "I'm not saying Obama should do this. I'm saying WE should do this."

Makes you rethink all the media talk about Tea Party racism, doesn't it? (And yes, Andrew Breitbart really did offer $100,000 to anyone who could produce a video of Tea Partiers calling black congressmen racial epithets at the protest against the healthcare legislation in March. That money remains unclaimed.)

The Daily Caller also reveals how these same media conspired to ruin Sarah Palin's 2008 VP candidacy. Check it out.

The Oil Spill has a nice graphic demonstrating what the amount of oil leaking from BP's Deepwater Horizon well looks like. This comparison really struck home:

"If the Gulf of Mexico - the 7th largest body of water in the world, containing approximately 660 quadrillion gallons of water (that's 660 with 15 zeros) - was represented by Cowboys Stadium in Dallas - the largest domed stadium in the world - how would the spill stack up? In this example, the amount of oil spilled - if the Gulf of Mexico was the size of Cowboys Stadium - would be about the size of a 24 ounce can of beer."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another reason I shop at Wal-Mart

Paul Greenburg wrote an interesting column about Wal-Mart.  The government tried to fine Wal-Mart for unsafe working conditions that led to the death of an employee.  The store had a grand opening and the impatient mob broke down the doors and trampled the unfortunate man.

But Wal-Mart has spent a couple of million dollars fighting the $7000 fine and the feds don't like it.  They finally picked on someone their own size.  Read the column, it's fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I write like...

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Shocked, but not surprised

Here's a Fox News story about a black USDA official resigning her job. Shirley Sherrod resigned because she admitted in a speech to the NAACP that she didn't help a white farmer as much as she could have. Read it carefully and fully, because there are lessons to be learned.

Okay, now here's the video, so you can see it for yourself. It's not really required viewing, other than to be able to say you saw it with your own eyes and heard it with your own ears.

Two points to be made here. First of all, Sherrod felt completely comfortable talking about her racism in a public forum. Even in the telling of her story, she displays her racism -- "one of his own" "it IS about white and black." She also tossed in that it (whatever "it" is) is about "poor versus those who have." Her whole message seems to be that opportunity is predatory. Blacks must fight whites, poor must fight those who are not poor.

Whatever the point of her story, she apparently believed that in that particular forum, the audience would either understand her racism, or sympathize with it. Now imagine the firestorm that would follow if a white official casually made such a statement. He would likely be prosecuted, and his name would be used as a verb for decades.

To its credit, the NAACP has condemned Sherrod's statements and actions. My first point is this -- why would anyone ever feel comfortable enough to admit such a thing in public? Doesn't such conduct call for head-bowing, toe-scuffing embarrassment?

My second point is at the very end of the Fox story. Here's the quote from Sherrod: "There are jobs at USDA and many times there are no people of color to fill those jobs because we shy away from agriculture. We hear the word agriculture and think, why are we working in the fields?" she said. "You've heard of a lot of layoffs. Have you heard of anybody in the federal government losing their job? That's all I need to say."

'Nuff sed.

Slanted Snopes

Just an observation that even non-political websites as trusted as has a political agenda sometimes.  This came to mind recently as Liberals jumped on a Sarah Palin tweet in which she had a typo, interpreting it as her being a "dumbass" and "anti-intellectual."

Here's how Snopes excused Barack Obama's comment during the presidential campaign that he had visited "fifty-seven states" -- First of all, they mixed that fact with e-mails in which nutjobs referred to some fifty-seven Muslim states in whacko e-mails.  In doing that, they move the rumor from being "True" to being "mixture of true and false information."

Then they say this:  " May 2008, an obviously tired Barack Obama mistakenly told a crowd..."  (highlights mine.)  And "The actual intent behind Senator Obama's misstatement is easy to discern."

First Snopes diluted the real accusation, which was entirely true.  Then they excused it.

Republicans (like me) made fun of Obama for the slip, but we understood that those things happen.  Nowhere did I ever see someone who made a serious judgment on Obama's intellect based on it.  Liberals, on the other hand, have no qualms on making such a judgment promoting the idea that Sarah Palin is intellectually sub-par. She's another in the long line of prominent Republicans who have been attacked on their supposed lack of intellect, going back (as far as I know) to Reagan, who was described in his time as an "amiable dunce."

One last note -- Al Gore and later John Kerry were described by admirers during their campaigns as "brilliant."  George W. Bush, whose mind Democrats constantly made fun of, had a higher GPA in college than both of them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Obama White House goes SCREEEECCHH as they slam on the brakes

NASA head Charles Bolden told al-Jazeera (!) that he was charged by Barack Obama to "first and foremost reach out to the Muslim world."   Here's that shocker:

Now, though, the White House says Bolden "misspoke" when revealing that tidbit.  From the video above, you can see that Bolden hid his uncertainty very well.  In fact, his statement was pretty definitive.  It's interesting how the Obama administration is now backing away from the comments, after Liberal pundits went to the trouble of defending the remarks as "noncontroversial."

Funny how cockroaches scurry for cover when the lights come on.

Democrats Play Rough, Part 2

We saw Democrat operatives rough up a journalist in Massachusetts.  A while back we saw Democrat congressman Bob Etheridge grab and manhandle a student reporter.  (Okay, if you didn't see it, here it is.)

In the latest episode of Jerry Springer -- er, Democrats in Public, Texas Democrat Congressman Ciro Rodriguez stops just short of assaulting one of his constituents at a public meeting.  But man, that lady was lucky there were witnesses around.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

All for a good cause, right?

From a Fox News story headlined "Ex-Official Accuses Justice Department of Racial Bias in Black Panther Case" (You'll recall this incident -- see the video below.)

The Bush Justice Department filed a civil suit against the Black Panthers and won a judgment.  After Obama won the election, a whistleblower testified that they were told not to pursue cases with black defendants and white victims.  The Obama administration, according to the Fox story, "moved to dismiss the charges the following month after getting one of the New Black Panther members to agree to not carry a "deadly weapon" near a polling place until 2012."
That is, not until the tactic is useful again.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Old wine in a new bottle

"He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them." -- Declaration of Independence, 1776
"Obama administration to sue Arizona over anti-immigration law" -- news headline, 2010

Born on the 4th of July

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Allegations against Gore

I've made no secret of my disdain for Al Gore in the past, and how his self-serving campaign on the theory of man-made global warming has hurt the world.
I think, however, that the sexual assault allegations made against him by a masseuse seem a little shady, at least so far. Police have reopened the investigation, and more evidence may come to light. Until that time, I have to (gulp) give Al Gore the benefit of the doubt.

Obama on immigration

I just heard a bit of Obama's speech touting comprehensive immigration reform.  In the part I heard, he discussed the struggle that Jewish immigrants had when they came to America in large numbers just over a century ago.   Very poetic and lyrical words....but he forgot to mention that the vast majority of immigrants --  millions of them -- came here in an orderly way via Ellis Island
Even as he cites the experience, Obama neglects the very thing that made that wave of immigration from the 1890s to the 1950s a boon to America.  (First of all, it was legal.)  Apparently the lessons of history are lost on him.