Saturday, December 27, 2008

What is the world coming to? Mexican lawmakers demand probe of beauty pagents

Man, if you can't believe in the sanctity of a Mexican beauty pageant, what is there left to believe in?

Friday, December 19, 2008

The hits just keep on coming...Minnesota recount slashes Coleman's 300+ vote lead to just 2 votes

It's a good thing they scrutinized Franken's challenges first. That way, they knew exactly how many votes they had to create in order to swipe the election. It reminds me of the 2004 Washington Governor's race. It took three recounts to add enough Democrat votes to win the election. Then, when the Dem had the lead, they called the election over.
Update: At the 1:30 pm ABC Radio news update it was reported that Franken has taken the lead in this election for the first time.
Where's Jimmy Carter to observe and police this election? He's obviously MIA, perhaps looking for something to blame on US Oil Companies.

Wall Street Journal's Auto Bailout factsheet

Here's what the Automakers MUST do:
Binding Terms and Conditions: The binding terms and conditions established by the Treasury will mirror those that were voted favorably by a majority of both Houses of Congress, including:
Firms must provide warrants for non-voting stock.
Firms must accept limits on executive compensation and eliminate perks such as corporate jets.
Debt owed to the government would be senior to other debts, to the extent permitted by law.
Firms must allow the government to examine their books and records.
Firms must report and the government has the power to block any large transactions (> $100 M).
Firms must comply with applicable Federal fuel efficiency and emissions requirements.
Firms must not issue new dividends while they owe government debt.

Here are the "targets" (read: stuff that sounds like a good idea, but the UAW wouldn't agree to it in the Senate version of the bailout, so you don't have to do it if you don't feel like it as long as you can come up with a good excuse, but we're trying to not look like total sell outs, so we're putting it into the verbiage):

Targets: The terms and conditions established by Treasury will include additional targets that were the subject of Congressional negotiations but did not come to a vote, including:
Reduce debts by 2/3 via a debt for equity exchange.
Make one-half of VEBA payments in the form of stock.
Eliminate the jobs bank.
Work rules that are competitive with transplant auto manufacturers by 12/31/09.
Wages that are competitive with those of transplant auto manufacturers by 12/31/09.
These terms and conditions would be non-binding in the sense that negotiations can deviate from the quantitative targets above, providing that the firm reports the reasons for these deviations and makes the business case to achieve long-term viability in spite of the deviations.

Spender-In-Chief defies the wishes of the taxpayers. US automakers lose their best chance to become competitive and profitable

-No reorganization
-No mandated end to paying UAW workers to sit and play cards
-No mandated deadline as to when UAW and executive concessions must take effect
-No oversight as to the use of the $13+ billion in taxpayer funds
-No built-in incentive to become leaner, sharper and smarter
-No guarantee that this won't all happen again just months from now - with (future) American taxpayers being $13 billion poorer

Thanks, George. I'm sure you would have done the same for any of us if we were hurting. Oh, wait. We are.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pope Benedict on Christmas during tough economic times

VATICAN CITY - The world economic crisis might mean fewer Christmas
presents, but Pope Benedict XVI says that tough times can give back simplicity
and solidarity to holiday celebrations. Benedict has expressed hope that the
financial crisis will help people focus on the spiritual meaning of Christmas,
when Christians worldwide mark the birth of Jesus.
Benedict says the crisis can help people to rediscover what he calls "the warmth, simplicity, friendship and solidarity" contained in authentic Christmas values.
The pope reflected on economic suffering during his traditional Wednesday audience with pilgrims and tourists at the Vatican.

Minnesota Canvassing Board could finish this week. Legal challenges are expected

One has to wonder, how did they determine who's challenged ballots would be evaluated first? Did they go though Franken's challenges first so they would know how many votes they would need to produce in order to swipe the seat? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Canvassing Board sorts through challenged ballots

How did the first 15-20 minutes go?

Of the first five challenges, the panel rejected three, restoring votes
that had originally gone to Coleman. It upheld two challenges, one adding a vote
to Franken and the other taking one away from Coleman.

Now they move on to the remaining 995 or so challenged ballots. It is now officially ugly.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Minnesota update: Coleman seeks delay of recount until rules are established

According to The Hill, Norm Coleman wants the MN Supreme Court to stop the recount until consistent rules in the way challenged ballots will be scrutinized, handled and counted can be established. In addition, the Coleman camp alleges there are "hundreds" of ballots which have been double counted and is asking them to be reconsidered.

Undoubtedly, Al Franken, the alleged comedian, will break out the tired Democrat tactic of accusing Coleman of trying to "disenfranchise" Minnesota voters. Has it gotten ugly yet?

How can we really rev up the economy with the rest of that bailout money? A two-month complete federal tax holiday

Texas Representative Louie Gohmert has proposed legislation in which American workers will pay no federal personal income tax or FICA withholdings for January and February. According to Rep. Gohmert, this is a way to take the remaining $350 billion of the bailout package and put it in the hands of consumers.

I love the idea, and I am not the only one. This proposal is gaining support. Newt Gingrich, Congressman Mike Pence and recently a small business advocacy group, the National Federation of Independent Businesses have endorsed it.

Will this proposal get anywhere? Well, it seems like a great idea that would actually work, so probably not, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

The Minnesota recount enters the next phase tomorrow. Is this seat being Blagojeviched?

The Minnesota Senate recount saga is moving into the next phase. Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman narrowly won the first certified count. Coleman's win was upheld with the hand recount. Now the Canvassing Board begins the tedious process of pouring over each of the ballots that Coleman and his challenger, alleged comedian Al Franken have challenged. At one point, the total number of challenged ballots was over 6,000. Since then, both camps have removed their challenges on a number of these with hopes that the process will be completed sooner.

Power Line, a Minnesota-based blog written by attorneys who have been warily following the recount process, printed this update. Though Coleman holds a 200 vote lead at this point, they seem to suggest Franken seems to be getting the procedural breaks. I've said it all along. This is going to get ugly.

Here's the Power Line piece:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Here's what defeated the auto bailout: the Corker auto bailout amendment. The UAW would not agree to it

Here is the text of the Corker Amendment. According to reports, this was the sticking point that caused negotiations to break down. Tell me, what do you (the person putting up the money for this bailout) find so unpalatable?

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) has proposed an amendment to auto bailout legislation. Here is the text of the Corker auto bailout amendment.
The Corker Amendment requires the following in order to receive bailout financing:
-Reduce unsecured debt by 2/3 (does not include pensions and employee benefit obligations)
-Reduce compensation, including wages and benefits, to the average per person per hour of Nissan, Toyota, and Honda
-Ensure parity of work rules with those of Nissan, Toyota, and Honda
-At least 1/2 of payments to VEBA account must be in the form of stock, not cash
-Suspends continued payments to UAW Jobs Bank recipients

Thursday, December 11, 2008

FBI affidavit: Blago was offered $500,000-$1,000,000 by emissaries for Candidate # 5

According to the FBI affidavit in the case, emissaries for Senate Candidate 5 offered Blagojevich up to $1m for the Senate seat.
Describing the offer in an October 31 conversation recorded by the FBI, Blagojevich said: "We were approached 'pay to play'. That you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him [Senate Candidate 5] a senator."

Wall Street Journal: Blago's 2 hour conference call--who was on the line in D.C.?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jessie Jackson, Jr.: "I haven't missed a vote, (sniffle, sniffle) my sister is proud of me...

...and I'm Candidate Number 5. On the advice of council, no further questions."

Break out the popcorn. This Governor Blago saga is becoming increasingly entertaining

This things got more twists than a Hitchcock movie on steroids. New and breaking today:

Representative Jessie Jackson, Jr. admits to being "Candidate number 5" (yes, break out the Lou Bega parodies) who was reported to be willing to raise $500,000 for Blago's campaign war chest:

Deputy Governor Bob Greenlee, who is rumored to be "Candidate number 4" has resigned for unknown reasons (probably just wants to spend more time with the family):

It's gonna be fun to watch.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ABC's Brian Ross: Recap of the Blago corruption arrest

"If Illinois isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it sure is
one hell of a the competitors," said the head of the FBI's Chicago office,
Robert Grant. He said veteran FBI agents were "disgusted, sick" as they listened
to the intercepted conversations of the Illinois governor.

Senate seat for sale? Illinois Governor Blago taken into custody
Chicago politics at its best. The question immediately comes to mind: Is there a trail of corruption to be followed?
From The Smoking Gun:

Feds: Blagojevich saw Obama's vacated job as a "valuable thing"
DECEMBER 9--The criminal complaint filed today against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich contains a remarkable section detailing the Democratic politician's alleged attempt to cash in on his ability to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Heritage Foundation: Don't tax the masses to pay lofty wages for the few

This is a very good policy piece from one of my favorite think tanks, The Heritage Foundation.

UAW spokespeople have roundly condemned the estimate of labor costs in
excess of $70 per current worker hour. They assert these figures include the
cost of current retiree pension and health benefits. They have done so, however,
without marshalling evidence to support their case.
The Detroit automakers
explain in their SEC filings that their benefit expenses are for current
workers, not former employees. This is because they follow generally accepted
accounting principles in preparing these estimates. If the figures did include
current retiree benefits, the average hourly amount would be much higher than
they actually report. UAW employees earn far more than most Americans do.
Congress should not tax all Americans to bailout the Detroit automakers in order
to preserve high earnings for a few.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Recounting is done-now on to the challenged ballots

Republican Norm Coleman is up by 192 votes. Alleged comedian, Al Franken claims there are 133 ballots missing because of a discrepancy between the physical ballot count and the machine count at one Minneapolis voting site. Election workers at the polling place suspect these 133 "missing" ballots don't exist. They theorize the discrepancy is the result of someone erroneously sliding 133 absentee ballots (which should have been kept separate) through the polling machine.

Focus now moves to the nearly 6,700 challenged ballots as they are scrutinized beginning December 16.

"Terrorist-like" figurine causes outrage. Legos are a toy of peace!

I personally prefer this to the "Don't ask, Don't tell" Ken Doll.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Minnesota recount ends tomorrow. Will Franken accept the outcome with grace?

Here's a good rundown of the current situation in the Minnesota Senate recount from Minneapolis attorney, Scott W. Johnson, in a blog on the National Review Online:

The mandatory recount has proceeded by hand throughout Minnesota on a precinct-by-precinct basis in a mostly orderly fashion for the past three weeks, with results reported each day to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. The recount will come to an end tomorrow, with some 6,000 challenged ballots – roughly half challenged by each side — to be considered by the five-member canvassing board called under state law to preside over the recount.

According to news organizations comparing the reported recount results to the originally certified tally, as of last night Coleman’s margin over Franken had expanded to 316 votes (excluding the approximately 6,000 challenged ballots).

...Franken isn’t talking or acting like a winner. As I wrote on Power Line this week, I conclude that Franken anticipates losing the recount. Franken has already resorted to litigation over rejected absentee ballots and threatened further litigation over the rejection of certain absentee ballots. He has met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the subject and won Reid’s expression of concern implicitly raising the threat that the Senate Democratic majority may overturn the result reached in Minnesota if the rejected absentee ballots in issue aren’t counted. Al Franken hasn’t been funny in a very long time, but that is really unfunny.

Canadian Car Chase

Thanks to Tim Weber for forwarding this to me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Politico: Jeb considering 2010 Senate run

Younger (and considerably more conservative) Bush brother, Jeb Bush, is considering running for the Florida Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mel Martinez. Martinez announced earlier this week that he would not be seeking reelection when his term is up in 2010.

Jeb, of course, is the former Governor of Florida and still enjoys considerable popularity throughout the state.

Saxby saves the Senate. No Dem super-majority in the upper chamber

As predicted here almost 1 month ago, incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss soundly defeated his Democrat challenger Jim Martin in what is shaping up to be a 60%-40% vote differential. Fresh off his own resounding victory, President-Elect Obama pledged his extensive campaign war chest and political machine to assist Martin in the runoff. Obama, himself, was noticeably absent during this campaign, however. One would assume he was reluctant to add his face to what was surely a difficult pickup for his party.

Now the focus goes to the Senate recount being conducted in Minnesota between another incumbent Republican, Norm Coleman and his Democrat challenger, alleged comedian Al Franken. Last update had Coleman strengthening his extremely slight lead. The Franken camp is hinting they may dispute the recount, claiming 1,000 absentee ballots that had to be thrown out should, in fact, be counted. This one could get ugly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Top 10 clues your cruise ship has been taken over by pirates

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Seven Seas are dangerous. A resurgence in pirate activity off the coast of Somalia has been all over the news. It is important for your safety, that you be educated in the subtle signs of pirate infestation. As a service to you, we present:

Top 10 clues your cruise ship has been taken over by pirates.

10. Isaac the Bartender begins wearing a puffy shirt behind the bar.

9. Formal dinner at the Captain’s table is black eye patch only.

8. For days after the cruise is over you can’t get that “Yo ho yo ho, a pirate’s life for me” song out of your head.

7. Optional on-shore excursions include rummaging, pillaging and setting fire to port buildings.

6. The room service menu includes cannonballs and gun powder.

5. Morning step aerobics is held on a dead man’s chest.

4. Snorkeling activities begin every afternoon at the plank.

3. The on board beauty salon offers five different styles of dreadlocks and beard braiding.

2. Strawberry margaritas are served with mini Jolly Roger flags instead of paper umbrellas.

1. You begin developing parrot-shaped tan lines on your shoulder.

Big 3 automakers return. UAW "considers" reopening contracts

From the Detroit News:

The Bloated 3 return to Congress with hats and business plans in hand seeking more than the $25 billion in tax dollars they were awarded this fall. In the spirit of generosity and cooperation, the UAW offers to "consider reopening contracts." Unconfirmed reports claim the existence of a double secret union meeting in which they will consider what they call "givebacks" or "concessions." How gracious. According to the Detroit News:
A person familiar with one automaker's plan said a variety of topics are being
explored. Key issues include reopening the contract, eliminating the
controversial jobs bank that still pays workers even when they are laid off, and
how much and how quickly the automakers will contribute to a trust fund to be
run by the UAW that will take over responsibility for retiree health care
beginning in 2010. The health care trust was a key part of the landmark
contracts negotiated last year.

Unless you're aboard a pirate-commandeered cruise ship, you've heard the latest pro-auto bailout argument: "This is just a loan. It will all be paid back. Remember when Chrysler did it?" Well, here's this tidbit, again from the Detroit News:

All three companies' plans will disclose how much cash they have on hand and how much they need in the short term to survive. Chrysler said it had burned
through $5 billion in the first nine months of the year, and was down to $6.1 billion as of Sept. 30. GM lost more than $20 billion in the first nine months
of the year and burned through $6.9 billion in the third quarter. Ford ran
through $7.7 billion in the third quarter.

With that kind of financial track record, would you be granted a loan from your neighborhood bank branch?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Palin campaigns for Chambliss in GA runoff

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is firing up the base for incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss in Georgia. Traditional voting in the runoff between Chambliss and his Democrat challenger Jim Martin begins tomorrow. Early voting has been going on for the past couple of weeks.

Polling has Chambliss supporters optimistic. The Republican candidate has consistently been polling 4 points ahead. In addition, McCain won the state with 52 percent of the vote despite a record 30 percent African-American vote. According to Shannon McCaffrey of, the early black vote has been at 23 percent.

The get out the vote effort for runoffs and special elections is vital to victory, as voting numbers typically drop off.

Rumormill bombshell: Senator Slick Willie from the great state of New York?

Things that make you go "hmmmmm"

Rumors are fun -- especially political rumors. Here's a new one gaining some strength: Senator Bill Clinton.

Here's how it goes. Hillary seems almost inevitably to be the Secretary of State. In order to be named to the cabinet, there were certain concessions that her husband would have to make so there would be no potential for "quid pro quo" impropriety with his dealings overseas. What incentive would the former President have to do so? How about being appointed to her former Senate seat? Democrat New York Governor Patterson has the sole power to fill that opening until the next general election. Could a deal have already been worked out?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Six ideas for Fox News after Alan Colmes leaves Hannity and Colmes

This week, Radio Equilizer broke the news, which was later confirmed by Fox News, that Alan Colmes would be leaving Hannity and Colmes after 12 years on the air. The question as to what will happen between Bill O'Reilly and Gretta Van Susteren (I mean the time slot between) is still unanswered. In an effort to help the big wigs at Fox, here are a few ideas to help fill the void.

  • Hannity and Abdul. Who better to offset the hard-hitting style of Sean Hannity than the softy judge from American Idol, Paula Abdul. I can hear it now: "First of all, Congressman, you look great and you know I love you. I just wanted to say, that legislation maybe wasn't the right choice for you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't introduce any legislation, maybe just a different bill more your style. But keep it up. You're going to do great. This just wasn't your week. Sean?"

  • Hannity and Julianne. Ok, I'm not sure where Dancing With The Stars' professional dancer Julianne Hough sits politically, but I'm sure Hannity would not mind sitting across from her. Seriously, have grown men ever taken a keener interest in the Paso Doble since she hit the scene?

  • Hannity and Rosie. Just imagine the shootouts they would have. They could somehow add an element of full contact martial arts.

  • Hannity and Alf. I have long suspected that Alan Colmes was actually a sophisticated muppet operated by James Carville under the desk. It wouldn't be much of a stretch if the muppet was replaced by everyone's favorite 80's stuffed alien.

  • Hannity and Madden. "Ha Ha. Ok, Senator McCain. Have you considered Brett Favre as your running mate. I mean, boom! you'd go out and give a speech and you wouldn't even need Secret Service. I mean, if he saw someone coming after you, he'd boom! and take out the whole group of terrorists. I know if there was anyone I'd want on my team it'd be Brett Favre."

  • The Wit Hits the Fan tv hour. So far, this one has my vote. Actually, who am I kidding? It's my second choice after Julianne.

Pennsylvania ACORN worker sentenced to house arrest and fine

The 34-year-old Chester man must serve
six to 23 months of home confinement after his sentencing Monday in Delaware

Barksdale must also pay the group $574 restitution after pleading
guilty to forgery, theft and other charges. ACORN officials say Barksdale is a
"bad apple."

Not bad for an admitted forger. This genius registered names like "Ben Dover" and didn't think he was going to get caught. Looks like he could be out just in time for the 2010 election.

Monday, November 24, 2008

SNL big 3 bailout skit from this weekend

Fr. Barron on Advent, patience and the virtue of waiting

Fr. Robert Barron provides these great, extremely thoughtful youtube videos about everything from Church philosophy to Bob Dylan music. I really enjoy his perspective. Check him out. The address for his website is or you can search "Fr. Barron" on youtube.

Hear me now und believe me later: Obama skips church, but hasn't missed a workout

Does Obama think church is for girly men? He hasn't attended a single service since winning the election, but he is achieving perfect butt-ness in the gym. It's just a matter of priorities.

(Matthew 6:19-24): "For Where Your Treasure Is, There Your Heart Will Be Also"

Reuters: Obama may delay "tax-cut rollback" for wealthy

The headline of this article is hilariously full of Obamaspin. Does this guy write those cheesy late-night infomercials? "It's not a tax hike -- it's a tax-cut rollback for the wealthy! And if you act now, we'll throw in 2 years of universal citizenship corps service!"

The body of the article shows a little indication that the President-elect may be listening to some of his more supply side advisers. He's not exactly becoming Adam Smith, but at least he not trying to tax his way out of these economic doldrums--for now. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bloomberg: Obama looking into "prepackaged" auto bankruptcy. Showdown with Congressional Dems on the horizon?
In a possible hint that the President-Elect may, in fact, govern from the center, Obama has floated the idea of a prepackaged and negotiated bankruptcy reorganization plan. The idea of such a plan was introduced by Republican lawmakers like Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and would minimize taxpayer exposure.

Leaders in the Democrat-controlled Congress and officials representing the big 3 automakers have outwardly rebuffed the idea, setting up a potential showdown.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Fairness Doctrine has hit this blog. From the pen of Baghdad Bob--

Blogger's note:

It has been my commitment for these past couple of months to provide the truth in this blog. Well, with the looming threat of a Fairness Doctrine, I have decided to be proactive and offer a recurring feature which will provide the opposite -- just to be fair. Who would be better to provide the opposite of the truth than everyone's favorite minister of propaganda, Baghdad Bob. Please note, I have very little control over the things he says, so hate mail should be addressed to him, not me.

From the Pen of Baghdad Bob

Yes. It is being a pleasure to me to be writing to you this glorious day. I come here to defy the stinking, lying pigs that have multiplied upon the internets like stinking pigs – who lie… and multiply. (Did I already say that?)

Let me place today needful comment upon the pitiful, washed-up members of the hateful Republican Party. Surrender. You have no hope. You are destined to become a mere useless fixture in history who’s time has come and has gone – much as the Whig Party or underarm deodorant.

Even though there is no possible way that your pitiful party can be returning to power in your Congress or Presidency, I will provide to you the benefit of my advice.

Do not look to the winning strategy of holding fast to such outdated and mindless theories as letting capitalist American pigs keep more of their extravagant wages. Do not profess the antique virtues of less government spending. Who can know better how to distribute the fruits of American’s meager labors? Of course the answer is faceless, unaccountable government bureaucratic agents.

And though there is no possible means by which the Republican Party can be more than a burdensome fly to be swatted back to the camel dung from which it has emerged, there are those few enlightened members who have sage advice that should be closely followed. Just look to the success of Senator Lincoln Chafee, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Colon Powell (not when he weakly led the invading Zionist forces against my homeland, but when he heroically endorsed Barack Obama for President).

Another wise Republican, Kathleen Parker, has written this glorious piece to be heeded.

If Republicans wish to return to power (which they cannot do – it is hopeless – surrender) they must eject all mindless lemmings who are the – as you say – the “religious right.” Reject your constraining values! Compromise! Pro-life – blah! One man one woman marriage – blah! Talk of God in your propagandist “Pledge of Allegiance” – blah! As we say in my glorious homeland “a big tent!”

I must now leave you this day in my writings. Heed my advice, though there is no hope. If Republicans wish to be of any significance (which they can never do – surrender) stray from the wretched teachings of your Ronald Reagan and your lies found in the 1994 “Contracts with Americans.” Become lukewarm and middle of the road. It is a wonderful place to be.

Do not resist my words. It is no use.

Baghdad Bob
The Minister of Propaganda

Can you tell who this vote is for? Al Franken is not sure

Franken is challenging this ballot due to its ambiguity. Maybe his comedy is funny after all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

House Republicans elect new leadership team. Stalwarts Pence and Sessions highlight a more conservative group

Ohio Congressman John Boehner remains the Republican leader, but the makeup of the rest of the team suggests an ideological shift to the right. New Conference Chairman Indiana Congressman Mike Pence has been an outspoken voice for fiscal responsibility and smaller government--sometimes putting him at odds with his own party.

Boehner showed some fight during debate on the bailout package. He stood strong with other House Republicans as the only real opposition to the original bailout legislation. This group was successful in stripping obscure language from the bill that would have handed 20% of any profits gained from the acquisition of "high risk" assets to ACORN. They also held their ground in removing an amendment Senator Harry Reid tried to sneak through that would have extended the ban on shale oil exploration.

I'm hopeful this leadership team will keep it up and actually provide opposition when appropriate.

Here's how the new team breaks down:

Republican Leader: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
Republican Whip: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Conference Chairman: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)
Policy Committee Chairman: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
Conference Vice-Chair: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Conference Secretary: Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
NRCC Chairman: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

Despite ACLU lawsuit, Indiana remains God's country

Freedom of religion does not mean coercion from religion.

US Senate update: Stevens defeated in AK, recount in MN, early voting begins in GA run-off

Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens lost his bid for reelection yesterday, giving Democrats 56 seats in the Upper Chamber. By making nice with Joe Lieberman yesterday, Senate Democrats have 58 members in their caucus (Lieberman and Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders meet as Democrats).

All eyes now focus on two undetermined Senate races: Minnesota incumbent Norm Coleman (R) vs. liberal talk radio host/comedian (I'm being generous in calling him that) Al Franken (aka Stuart Smalley) and Georgia incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) vs. State Assemblyman Jim Martin.

The initial vote count in Minnesota ended yesterday with Coleman ahead by 215 votes out of 2.9 million votes cast. By state statute, a recount is automatically conducted on races determined by less than one-half of one percent. The recount is not expected to be completed until mid December.

In Georgia, Saxby Chambliss won, but because there was a third-party candidate in the general election, he did not get the state-mandated 50% majority needed to be awarded the seat. A run-off election between the top two candidates is being held. Early voting has already begun and Obama has dedicated his vast campaign money and political machinery to help the Democrat win the seat.

The Democrat hopes of gaining a 60-vote majority (the number necessary to override filibusters) hinge on winning both seats. In my opinion, these two seats will determine the ideological tone of the next two years. If Dems get both, it increases the viability of hard-left legislation like the Fairness (censorship) Doctrine or redistributive tax policy. All Republicans have to do is win one.

My prediction is that Chambliss will soundly win in Georgia. I'm cautiously optimistic that the re-count in Minnesota will widen Coleman's lead, however I fear this may be a race decided in the courts. We've already seen bitter debate over ballot eligibility and surprise votes appearing in the trunks of cars.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Filmmaker John Ziegler puts together "How Obama Got Elected" as a statement on what Obama voters remembered from media coverage

It's a 10 minute video, but pretty interesting and mildly amusing. The purpose of the video is not to disparage the intellect of Obama voters (in fact these 12 seem relatively intelligent) but to show what these people remember from the media coverage of the election.

Check out the site at:

Update: Dems vote to allow Lieberman to continue meeting in Democratic Caucus

According to breaking news reports, Independent Senator and John McCain supporter, Joe Lieberman, will be allowed to caucus with the Democrats in the upcoming Senate. It also appears he will retain his committee chair status.

While the "bloated 3" beg for bailout money in D.C., Honda dedicates its newest production plant in Greensburg, Indiana

It kind of defies the argument that we can't competitively and successfully build vehicles in America.

Fox News columnist: Put the breaks on the automaker bailout

Good read.

What must happen is a serious reworking of the industry’s labor agreements, restructuring of its financial obligations and new management that is charged with making these companies sharper, more nimble and more competitive. New executives should be handed incentives aplenty, based on five-year performance targets, to get the job done. Displaced workers need help with retraining, and with relocating, if necessary. It won’t be easy, but it is inevitable.

Detroit Free Press: 6 myths about the Detroit 3

As national debate continues about the multi-billion dollar automaker bailout, here is a little quick hitter from the Free Press. It made me feel a little better about the Big 3.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Catholic vote in the 2008 election--what happened?

No other Presidential candidate has had as explicit and extensive of a pro-abortion voting record as Barack Obama. He made the campaign promise during the Democratic Primary that one of his first priorities would be to sign "Freedom of Choice" legislation, overriding all abortion limitation laws in the individual states.

The United States Council of Catholic Bishops placed the protection of the unborn as the most important issue in the 2008 election, superseding every other issue, and that Catholics must vote their conscience.

But after election day, exit polls showed those labeling themselves as Catholic voted 55%-45% for Obama. Among regular mass-attending Catholics, the exit polls show McCain only won 55%-45%. Why did so many Catholics stray from their tradition and the urgings of the bishops? An op-ed in the Washington Times places a substantial amount of the blame on Catholic academics in church affiliated and supported universities.

It's an interesting theory. I personally think the author, Patrick Reilly, president and founder of the Cardinal Newman Society, over-estimates the sway these professors have with the Catholics across the country. The article does present, however, a sad picture of the way these academics, who draw much of their salary from the collection plates of the Catholic Church, find no problem in undermining its teachings.

Check it out:

First he had to decide what kind of puppy to get, now he's looking into a college football playoff system

With all these tough issues to deal with, he's barely got time to put together that economic plan-thingy. Oh, well. I guess we just prioritize.

Good read for future political architects: The Four Hard Lessons of Campaign 2008

Here's a good read from Carol Platt Liebau on for my fellow armchair political strategists who are already plotting the next election cycle.

In a nutshell, according to Ms. Liebau:

1. It is impossible for any Republican presidential candidate to garner
favorable mainstream media coverage, so long as s/he represents the more
socially conservative electoral choice.

2. Campaign finance “reform”
will always have a disproportionately negative impact on Republicans.

3. Republicans can’t win over Latinos through appeals on the illegal immigration

4. “Mavericks” end up leading a party of one.

We all know what happens when we don't learn from the lessons of history. Let the Karl Roves of tomorrow move on with these lessons in hand.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things that make you go "hmmmmm": if Hillary becomes SOS, is a Rudy Giuliani Senate race on the horizon?

According to unnamed leakers (I mean sources), Hillary Clinton has flown into Chicago to perhaps meet the President-Elect about the Secretary of State position in his cabinet. If true, one wonders what the future holds for her abandoned Senate seat. If I am not mistaken, the Governor of New York is charged with appointing an interim Senator who would serve until the citizens of New York could elect someone in 2010.

Rumor has it that Governor Paterson will appoint environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., setting the stage for a potential Rudy/RFK election in 2010. That is assuming Rudy wants the job. It has been widely thought that Giuliani really wants to become Governor (which would also be up for election in 2010).


Will low income school children in DC have the same educational opportunity as the Obama daughters?

Here's a nice opinion piece by Cal Thomas from the Washington Times:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do American automakers deserve to be bailed out? Before you answer, read this

Warning: may cause rational and logical thought contrary to the Washington herd mentality.

Seems to me, throwing billions of dollars in bailout money to the automakers in their current state would be like shoveling sand into a bottomless pit.

US Conference of Bishops to ACORN: "No loot for you"

Due to ACORN's wide-spread occurrences of fraudulent voter registrations, embezzlement of $1 million and actions counter to their stated mission, the US Council of Bishops has permanently cut all funding to the community organizing group.

No word yet on any changes in ACORN's long-standing deal with the devil, however. (just jokes)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Newt Gingrich speaks in Indy: Two things needed to win elections

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke before the Indiana Chamber of Commerce last week. It was his first major speech after the 2008 election. Acording to the Indianapolis Star, Gingrich articulated two keys that should be taken to heart for future campaigns.

1) Incumbents must govern well in order to be re-elected. Elected officials must follow through on campaign promises and need to stay true to their core vision and values.

2) A well-oiled campaign organization, complete with a strong and enthusiastic ground game is critical in winning elections.

The Republican Party should take note in selecting strong candidates and providing a network of support in order to recoup the losses sustained over the past few election cycles.

Top 10 leaked surprises from the Bush/Obama White House tour

On Monday, Barack and Michelle Obama joined the President and First Lady for a White House tour and informal briefing. One day later, the Bush camp voiced displeasure that some of the conversational details were leaked to the press. In the interest of keeping you the most informed readership in the world, here are a few other leaked details that have been suppressed up to this point.

Top 10 leaked surprises from the Bush/Obama White House tour

10. You have to jiggle the handle of the toilet outside the oval office to keep it from running.

9. The walls of the second floor residence are covered by Willy Wonka lickable wallpaper.

8. The bust of Abraham Lincoln flips up to reveal the button which opens the panel hiding the fireman poles leading to the bat cave.

7. The Clinton Bedroom still contains the original stripper pole and magic fingers vibrating mattress.

6. The liquor bottles in the wet bar were secretly filled with colored water after a rogue house party held by the Bush twins.

5. Jimmy Carter never filled out a change of address form, so he stops by every Thursday to pick up his credit card applications and Victoria's Secret catalogues.

4. Long-time White House Press Corps reporter Helen Thomas (just like Kim Jong Il and Alan Colmes) is actually a muppet and is operated from a hole cut in the press room floor.

3. In a little-known detail of the Constitution, the founding fathers dictated that all incoming Presidents must get a "keep on truckin'" tattoo on the left bicep.

2. Legislation is currently in committee to replace the Presidential Primaries with a reality TV show in which candidates are stranded on a tropical island and viewers call in to determine who is kicked off every week.

1. The position of President is really just a front for the real ruler of the United States, Jack Bauer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RNC Chair update: Steele may officially announce on Thursday, and is seeking Newt's support

Fox News has the latest update on the run for Republican National Committee Chair. Michael Steele could make an official announcement by Thursday. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run and his support is being sought by Steele.

Good times ahead for Republicans? Conservative heavyweights seeking to take hold of the party reigns

There may not have been a Ronald Reagan presidency without Jimmy Carter. There may not have been a 1994 Republican revolution without the Bill Clinton/Democrat Congressional majority election in 1992. What will the Obama presidency and Democrat victories in the 2008 election bring? I don't know, but I like what I'm seeing.

Conservatives across the country are more motivated than ever to retake their party and regain leadership in D.C. If you have any doubts about that, look at the star power positioning itself for leadership of the Republican National Committee.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and architect of the sweeping Republican victories in 1994, is reported to be seeking the RNC Chairmanship according to the Washington Times.

Michael Steele, former Lt. Governor of Maryland, current chair of GOPAC and shining conservative star, is also reportedly positioning for the Republican top spot.

In addition, rumors began swirling around conservative circles on Monday that former Tennessee Senator and actor, Fred Thompson's name was being thrown out there as a candidate for RNC General Chair.

Quin Hillyer of the Washington Examiner explains the position of General Chair as follows: "The General Chairman usually provides overall direction and philosophical moorings, and acts as the public face of the party doing media and speeches, etc., and also is available probably for big-money phone calls and events -- but the Chairman, with an Executive Director under him, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the RNC. Think Chairman of the Board vs. CEO, perhaps. "

Republicans can't go wrong with any one of these three running the show. What the party needs is to find a way to have all three playing some role. It's clear the motivation is there. With the right leadership in place, look for good things in the future of the Republican Party.

Happy Veterans Day to all who served and all who currently serve

Thank you and God bless you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Now you see it; now you don't. Obama removes manifesto from his website

On Friday, I published a screenshot of Obama's "" website, outlining his plan for mandatory community service. Today, those specifics, along with all the others, are gone from the page. Let's hope this means they are also gone from his agenda. But, lest we all forget, here's the way it looked on Friday:

Rasmussen: Americans voted for Reaganism, not "change"

The Republican candidate may have lost this election, but post election polls show the fundamental Republican ideal of lower taxes won it. According to the Wall Street Journal Opinion page:

Mr. Obama's tax-cutting message played a key role in this period of economic anxiety. Tax cuts are well-received at such times: 55% of voters believe they are good for the economy. Only 19% disagree and see them as bad policy. Down the campaign homestretch, Mr. Obama's tax-cutting promise became his clearest policy position. Eventually he stole the tax issue from the Republicans. Heading into the election, 31% of voters thought that a President Obama would cut their taxes. Only 11% expected a tax cut from a McCain administration.

In addition, the same poll shows President-Elect Obama should not take his victory as a mandate to unveil government program upon government program.

A Rasmussen survey conducted Oct. 2 found that 59% agreed with the sentiment expressed by Reagan in his first inaugural address: "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Just 28% disagreed with this sentiment. That survey also found that 44% of Obama voters agreed with Reagan's assessment (40% did not). And McCain voters overwhelmingly supported the Gipper.

Will the new President govern more like FDR or Ronald Reagan? Only time will tell, but the voters have voiced their preference.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's next? Hugh Hefner as family values advisor?

In yet another sign that Obama is an impeccable judge of talent, the President-Elect has named Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to his 17 member economic advisory council. With her, Granholm brings such qualifications as presiding over the nation's most depressed economy, being named "the worst governor in Michigan history," by longtime political commentator Bill Ballenger and having raised income taxes 17 percent in her five years in Lansing.

Tell me again who voters said they trusted more with the economy?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ask not what your country can do for you. Let me tell you what you're gonna do for your country

Is this for real? Yup. Here's the link:

Is it too late for a do over of Election Day?

Update: Lieberman to caucus with the Republicans?

Why not, he's more of a Republican than Olympia Snowe.

By his actions we will know him

A very good friend of mine forwarded a great link to me about President-elect Obama’s choice as Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. It is an August 2006 document that outlines Emanuel’s “new contract with America.”

The thing rings pretty Orwellian. Among the components of his plan are Universal Citizen Service, Universal College Access, Universal Retirement Savings, and Universal Children’s Health Care.

Universal? Does that mean available to everyone? Does it mean mandated for everyone? Hard to tell, but it certainly means paid for by everyone (and by everyone I mean those evil, greedy, unpatriotic and selfish people who want to pay less taxes).

Under the heading of “A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare as we know it” we get this little redistributive tidbit:

We can only achieve universal service, college, pensions, and children’s health care if we’re willing to cut and invest to pay for it.
That is exactly what Joe the Plumber would call income redistribution. I would call it socialism.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself:

As my friend put it in his e-mail, “So much for the speculation that Obama might lead from left of center despite his liberal record.”

Obama laughed off the “socialist” tag the McCain campaign hit him with, but his first presidential act was to appoint a guy with this type of manifesto out there.

Rasmussen: Two out of three Republicans say Palin helped McCain

In other shocking news: the Earth may be round!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Do not let history be written by the losers

Winston Churchill, a prominent member of my all-time list of favorite guys, is famous for saying, “History is written by the victors.” Vladimir Lenin, prominently not on my list of all-time favorite guys is quoted as saying, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Today, the losers are trying to write history by repeating a lie.

The savaging of Sarah Palin has begun and it’s coming from staffers within the McCain campaign. It’s pure, petty and pitiful CYA politics. It can’t go unchecked.

Perhaps a little insight into the nature of a political staffer is in order. As a recovering staffer myself, I have found there are two kinds of career political staffer. Those who choose this as a life-long vocation can be broken down into the true-believers and the parasites.

The true-believers are there to do their part to advance a cause. Usually these types of people knowingly do so for less pay than they would make in the private sector. Typically, the true-believers are genuine and beneficial.

Parasites are true-believers whose causes are themselves. Parasites, true to their name, latch on to a candidate for reasons of self-importance. They live vicariously through their candidate and convince themselves that their candidate could not win without them. What happens when their candidate loses? You find a scapegoat and scandalize him or her.

That’s what we find happening right now with Sarah Palin. The parasites are willing to sabotage her good name and her aspirations in order to shift the blame. Words like diva, tantrums, simplistic, naïve, uncontrollable, and uninformed are being bandied about by the press. They have been whispered in the ears of reporters by “inside sources” who don’t have the courage to show their faces or back them up.

The facts are as follows:

-Sarah Palin was elected the first female Governor of Alaska.
-She remains the most popular governor (in terms of approval ratings) in the United States.
-She rose to that position without the benefit of family wealth, power or influence.

To paint her as incompetent is to insult the 75% of Alaskans who love her.

It has been debated that she was a drag on the campaign. I submit that McCain didn’t take a lead over Obama until she was named his running mate. I also submit she packed venues at campaign stops all over the country. In addition, Sarah Palin pumped up the enthusiasm of a base that was ready to stay home on Election Day due to McCain’s mutually lukewarm relationship with conservatives. I would argue that McCain was a drag on Palin’s campaign.

Don’t let the parasitic losers write the history on Sarah Palin. The repeated lie that she was the reason McCain lost cannot become the truth.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I think they're getting the hint

Do I sense a real fundamental change ahead for the loyal opposition? Here's a quote from the Politico:

Already Tuesday night, angry conservatives hinted of retaliation against their party leaders.

"Republicans suffered very serious setbacks in the last two years in both the Senate and the House," said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a thorn in McConnel's side for months. "We have got to clean up, reform and rebuild the Republican Party before we can ask Americans to trust us again. This must begin with either a change of command at the highest levels or our current leaders must embrace a bold new direction."

"Republicans must admit the Wall Street bailouts were a trillion-dollar bust, and immediately fight for free-market solutions that create jobs and increase freedom," DeMint said. "This election reflects a failure of Republicans to keep their conservative promises."

To paraphrase a wise man: "It only took 50 lost Congressional seats, the loss of the presidency and an approval rating in the teens and I changed at the snap of a finger."

Looking for someone to run against Barack Obama in 2012? Check this guy out

It's a long read, but it'll make you feel better about our future.