Thursday, March 31, 2011
Welcome to another exciting episode of...
...Bill explores YouTube!
Now the other day when I was listening to Pandora, low and behold, on came the late, great Bing Crosby singing "Mountain Greenery."
(Notice folks; no link provided; I can't seem to find a linkable freebie of Bing actually performing, so I leave it to you if you're interested in hearing the ULTIMATE version!)
As is often the case, one thing led to another and before I knew it I was discovering all sorts of neat performances of this class Rogers and Hart tune from "The Garrick Gaieties".
Com'on... you guys know this song!
Now... as I've noted... I wasn't able to find the ULTIMATE rendition of "Mountain Greenery" - the Bing Crosby recording - but I was able to find Perry Como doing a credible job.
Not bad... (Not Bing... but not bad...)
And now... something really neat!
See... this is what I mean! There is just so much really cool stuff on YouTube...
(*GRIN*) (*NOD*) (*SIGH OF APPRECIATION*)
And finally folks... last but certainly not least... the late, great Lady Ella performing "Mountain Greenery" and "Our Love Is Here To Stay" at a 1979 televised concert special.
My God... it sends a chill down your spine, doesn't it?! It does mine... I'll tell ya that!
What a voice! What absolute tonal perfection!!!
Anyway, folks, I could spend all day doing this... browsing through YouTube.
God bless the America I grew up knowing...
God save the country we're left with today.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
From the Travelzoo Newsdesk:
As a Travelzoo VIP, you are receiving this Newsflash email before other subscribers.
NEW YORK--MARCH 29, 2011-- For the next 96 hours in an exclusive sale for Travelzoo subscribers, any worldwide flight on British Airways from the United States on any spring date is $150 off the lowest published fare.
This sale includes fares to London from New York City for $214 each way ($632 roundtrip, including the discount and taxes) for travel April 15 thru June 11, 2011.
O.K., my friends... let's do a bit of math:
$214 x 2 (a round trip ticket) = $428.
$632 is... er... more than $428 - correct?
Indeed, $632 minus $428 = $204.
Basically we're talking what... taxes and fees of more than 30%?
This is insanity.
By what moral right does a government supposed Of, By, and For the People impede the Peoples' freedom of travel (in an economic sense) to this extent?
Folks... I've addressed travel charges (car rental taxes and fees; package tour taxes and fees; etc.) time and again, but it's like I'm alone in this.
Is there any end to the amount of abuse a once free people will swallow at the hands of a rapacious government?
(Frankly... I fear the answer is "no." I fear we are no longer worthy inheritors of the legacy of our forefathers.)
Obviously I'm referring to Barak Hussein Obama.
I mean, folks... it started with the very first sentence of the President's address!
Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya...
I mean is this clown kidding...?!?!
France and Great Britain led international efforts with regard to dealing with Qaddafi! Anyone who's been paying even the least attention to events in Libya over the past few weeks is aware of this!
My God... our President is simply lying. The lengths to which this man will go in order to credit himself with false praise... simply stunning.
I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats...
Our dedicated diplomats...???
Does he mean the same dedicated diplomats whose job it is to ensure that our men and women in uniform don't have to put their lives at risk? Does he mean these state department diplomats?
The Libyan opposition and the Arab League appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. And so at my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass a historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.
At his direction? Without authorization from Congress? With America's Secretary of Defense publicly stating that what happens in Libya is not a vital American interest and with Libya posing no immediate "ticking time bomb" military threat to the United States or even any of our allies?
Folks... there is simply no constitutionally justified excuse for Obama's misuse of his authority as Commander-In-Chief.
Member of U.S. House of Representatives and Senate once again bring shame upon themselves and the Legislative Branch of Government by renouncing their constitutionally mandated powers and responsibilities.
No my friends, I'm not saying that absent a declaration of war Obama's actions are unconstitutional. I'm not hung up on the "form" of the authorization as such. What I'm saying is that with regard to wars of choice - military attacks launched upon sovereign powers - the Congress of the United States was tasked by our Founders (and mandated by our Constitution) to share responsibility with the president (to be the ultimate decision maker in fact) regarding matters of "war" as opposed to peace.
I note with deep distress that my own Congresswoman, Dr. Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19) is according to all evidence remaining silent on the issue. Nothing on her website, no statements I could find via a Google News search.
I authorized military action... We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi... We hit Qaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya... We hit Qaddafi’s air defenses... We targeted tanks and military assets...
All without the explicit support and approval of Congress.
All without a Congressional vote... all without Members of Congress putting their names to a document acknowledging their responsibility for sending Americans to war and spending hundreds of millions - perhaps ultimately billions - of dollars in a time where it's expected our nation will need to borrow up to $1.65 trillion dollars just to meet the federal government's operating expenses for this fiscal year alone! (This on top of the $14 trillion already owed with no way to pay it back.)
Understand, people... while Obama is a shameless liar and absolute incompetent, most Members of Congress are as bad if not worse when it comes to assuming responsibility and fulfilling basic constitutional duties.
In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies - nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey...
Greece...? Spain...? Two economic basket cases...?!?!
Turkey...? Turkey opposed intervention all along and is only "going alone" with NATO because that's the only way it can have any influence. Obama's latest flip-flop towards following the lead of France and Great Britain has only served to further strain relations with Turkey.
To call Obama's statement disingenuous is to understate!
In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition...
Broad coalition...? Folks... can we be serious for a moment? Bush had approximately twice the number of "coalition partners" with him when he (with Congress' prior authorization of the use of military force as the president saw fit) invaded Iraq as Obama can point to in contrast as supporting... er... France and Great Britain's war against Qaddafi.
Recall how Bush's claim's of world support were mocked.
Folks... who does Obama think he's fooling...?!?!
I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya...
Does anyone believe him? Seriously... is there one man or woman among you who doubts that we have (and have had for some time) special forces personnel "on the ground" in Libya - SEALS... Green Berets... CIA paramilitary?
[T]he United States will play a supporting role...
How much has "enforcing the UN Security Council Resolution 1973" cost us so far? How high will the tab run by the time President Obama announces... er... Mission Accomplished?
Again, folks - we're broke. Debt and deficits as high and far as the eye can see. We're still in Iraq and regardless of the spin Obama and Clinton throw out regarding "withdrawal of forces," our uniformed military personnel in Iraq are being replaced by... er... armed contractors answerable to Madam Clinton's State Department.
Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.
Once again... this shouldn't be Obama's call! This is not "defensive." This is not a situation where there was simply no time to convene Congress and get approval (and funding).
Our Constitution simply does not authorize a President to do what Obama is doing. (And the fact that other presidents have acted in similar - yet perhaps not exact - fashion is no excuse for this president's actions. To put it as simply as I can: Two wrongs do not make a right.)
America has an important strategic interest in preventing Qaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him. ... The writ of the United Nations Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling that institution’s future credibility to uphold global peace and security. ... I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.
Even assuming all this to be true, an American president is not a king, not a dictator, not a warlord; the Founders gave us a Constitution that ceded to Congress - the Peoples Representatives (God help us...) - the power to take this nation into war. They did so deliberately, consciously rejecting the European model of Executive war-making authority.
Folks... scroll down through recent Usually Right posts. Note the posts highlighting the hypocrisy of both Obama and Biden using the two men's own past public statements. (No doubt one could find similar statements by searching through Mrs. Clinton's past public statements and those of other past and present Members of Congress...)
People. Tyranny is not necessarily synonymous with physical abuse. King George 3rd was not visiting genocide upon the people of the 13 Colonies. His "crimes" were not those of a Hitler or a Stalin. Yet I ask you to turn to our Declaration of Independence to put the matter into perspective:
...a long train of abuses and usurpations...
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
My friends, clearly President Obama has knowingly (and his past statements previously referred to prove this) usurped Congressional authority unto himself.
My friends, clearly President Obama find the Rule of Law "for thee," not "for he."
My friends... this is soft tyranny. This is power corrupting... corrupting before our very eyes.
Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Qaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes.
Yes. We remember. You signaled to Qaddafi that simply leaving office would not "save" him; that exile was not an option; that either he must retain power or "be held accountable. Yes, Mr. President... we remember.
I made it clear that Qaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.
Yes. (If memory serves this was some time after your Vice-President, Joe Biden, publicly insisted that Hosni Mubarak was not a dictator.)
But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.
Folks... is it me...?
Connect all the dots of Obama's various pronouncements. Am I the only one who sees... disconnects...?
The task that I assigned our forces - to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a no-fly zone - carries with it a U.N. mandate and international support.
But lacks a U.S. Congressional mandate and Congressional support as a matter of law.
It’s also what the Libyan opposition asked us to do.
Well there ya go, then! Who needs a Constitution, a Legislature, or Separation of Powers Doctrine when we have... er... the Libyan opposition?!
My fellow Americans... this is a sick, sad, pathetic joke. Only it's not! It's real! It's really happening!
Nan Hayworth... Chuck Schumer... Kirsten Gillibrand... each of you willingly shirk your responsibilities. Each of you know that by doing so you violate and dishonor your oaths of office.
Again, people, this is not about "supporting" vs. "opposing" the President's actions; this is about Members of the House and United States Senators taking (or rather not taking) their responsibilities under the Constitution seriously.
Unfortunately, this is the sort of partisanism over patriotism I would expect from Schumer and Gillibrand... but Nan Hayworth's actions (inactions): to me they're sadly inexplicable.
As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe.
And why couldn't you have "kept the country safe" while abiding my the Constitution as you yourself claimed to have understood it back in 2007 when you were a U.S. Senator?
My friends... every violation of the Constitution strikes at the true heart of the safety of our beloved Republic.
And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform.
And again, this president - as a senator - stipulated that decisions such as this are by Constitutional Mandate to be made only in accordance with Congressional authority.
This man is a hypocrite, a liar, and a serial violator of the Rule of Law.
Unless there is literally no time to convene Congress and request authority to attack another nation (for purposes of preemptive or after the fact self-defense) no president has unilateral power to wage war absent clear Congressional authority.
I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests.
Ah... but when it comes to our "core interests" that is where Congress has a clearly mandated role to play.
People... think upon it: The Constitution doesn't allow a president to engage this nation in a simple Treaty with a foreign nation absent two-thirds concurrence of the Senate; yet we're supposed to believe that the same Constitution which limits a president's treaty making authority bestows unlimited authority upon a president to wage undeclared war upon a sovereign foreign nation?
People... think upon it: The Constitution requires Senate confirmation of Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; yet we're to believe that no Congressional authorization is necessary for a president to launch a war against a sovereign foreign nation...???
My God... am I the only one who occasionally READS the Constitution...?!?!
The Congress shall have Power To...regulate Commerce with foreign Nations;
Yet not to regulate War with foreign nations...? Absurd!
The Congress shall have Power To...define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
The Congress! Not "the president." The Congress!
And note... even should "offenses against the laws of nations" be deemed to have occurred, it is up to the Congress of the United States to define such offenses and make determination as to punishment.
The Congress shall have Power To...declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal...
Some of you have bought into the false semantic argument concerning "declaring war" vs. "waging war." There is no argument! The key point clearly outlined within Article 2, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution concerns which branch has the AUTHORITY to commit this nation to the course of the sword. Clearly the Constitution delegates such authority to Congress and only to Congress.
My God, people... a president doesn't even have authority to grant "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" absent Congressional authority!
Folks... it's all right there in the Constitution... in black and white...
While I could highlight portions of the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and even the Constitutional Convention debates, all of these would be simply corroborating material. What's clear and undeniable is what I've just laid out from the pages of our Constitution itself!
As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. ... That's why we’re going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold. That is why we continue to fight in Afghanistan, even as we have ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed more than 100,000 troops from that country.
Both the greater "War on Terror" (operations against al Qaeda) and specific military actions in Afghanistan (as well as Iraq) were authorized by Congress prior to President Bush taking the nation to war.
Obama knows this.
My friends... Obama truly is a shameless liar and an absolute incompetent. Worse, beyond being willing to twist and manipulate the truth in order to subvert it to his aims, President Obama is undoubtedly willing to subvert our very Constitution - subvert the Rule of the Highest Law of the Land.
Monday, March 28, 2011
On your knees! Heed our masters!
Folks... it's insanity. You know it. You've gotta know it.
Is the stock market up or down today? As I type this today's closing number is anyone's guess, but one thing anyone with half a brain must understand is that the stock market is totally disengaged from reality, manipulated by politicized trading as much as by computerized trading.
We truly are living in Orwell's world... the Age of Obama...
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
"Who would be free themselves must strike the blow."
So wrote the poet Byron, who would himself die just days after landing in Greece to join the war for independence from the Turks.
But in that time, Americans followed the dictum of Washington, Adams and Jefferson: Stay out of foreign wars.
America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own," said John Quincy Adams in his oration of July 4, 1821.
When Greek patriots sought America's assistance, Daniel Webster took up their cause but was admonished by John Randolph. Intervention would breach every "bulwark and barrier of the Constitution."
"Let us say to those 7 million of Greeks: We defended ourselves when we were but 3 million, against a power in comparison to which the Turk is but as a lamb. Go and do thou likewise."
When Hungarian hero Louis Kossuth came to request a U.S. fleet in the Mediterranean to keep the czar's warships at bay, when Hungary sought to break free of the Hapsburg Empire, Webster backed him.
But Henry Clay and John Calhoun stood against it.
"Far better is it for ourselves," said Clay, "for Hungary and for the cause of liberty that, adhering to our wise, pacific system and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on this western shore as a light to all nations than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe."
When Hungarian patriots rose up against the Soviet occupation in 1956, Khrushchev sent in hundreds of tanks to drown the revolution in blood. Hungary was behind the Iron Curtain, the Yalta-Potsdam line to which FDR and Truman had agreed. There were no U.S. troops on any Hungarian border. So Eisenhower did... nothing. Indeed, that same month, Ike ordered British, French and Israelis to end their intervention in Sinai and Suez and get their troops out or face sanctions, including the U.S. sinking of the British pound. Was Ike an isolationist?
Until the modern era, the idea of sending armed forces across oceans to kill and die for moral or humanitarian causes would have been seen as an insult to the Founding Fathers, an abandonment of a vital American tradition, and ruinous to the national interest.
Why are we in Libya? Why are U.S. pilots bombing and killing Libyan soldiers who have done nothing to us? These soldiers are simply doing their sworn duty to protect their country from attack and defend the only government they have known from what they are told is an insurgency backed by al-Qaida and supported by Western powers after their country's oil.
Why did Obama launch this unconstitutional war?
Moral, humanitarian and ideological reasons. Though Robert Gates and the Pentagon had thrown ice water on the idea of intervening in a third war in the Islamic world - in a sandbox on the northern coast of Africa - Obama somersaulted and ordered the attack, for three reasons.
1) The Arab League gave him permission to impose a no-fly zone; 2) He feared that Moammar Gadhafi would do to Benghazi what Scipio Africanus did to Carthage; 3) Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power conveyed to Obama their terrible guilt feelings about America's failure to stop what happened in Rwanda and Darfur.
This is the Three Sisters' War.
But why was it America's moral duty to stop the Tutsi slaughter of Hutus in Burundi in 1972 or the Hutu counter-slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994? Why was that not the duty of their closest African neighbors, Zaire (Congo), Uganda and Tanzania? These African countries have been independent for a half-century. When are they going to man up?
The slaughter in Darfur is the work of an Arab League member, Sudan. Egypt, the largest and most powerful Arab nation, is just down the Nile. Why didn't the Egyptian army march to Khartoum, a la Kitchener, throw that miserable regime out, and stop the genocide? Why doesn't Egypt, whose 450,000-man army has gotten billions from us, roll into Tobruk and Benghazi and protect those Arabs from being killed by fellow Arabs?
Why is this America's responsibility?
When Spain had its civil war in the 1930s, in which hundreds of thousands perished, FDR declared neutrality.
A million Ibos died in Nigeria's civil war from 1967-70. No one raised a finger to help them or the million Cambodians who perished in Pol Pot's killing fields.
Since Bush I, we have intervened in Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya.
Had Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman gotten their way, we would have been fighting Russians in Georgia and bombing Iran.
Add up all those we have killed, wounded, widowed, orphaned or uprooted, and the number runs into the millions.
All these wars have helped mightily to bankrupt us.
Have they made us more secure?
O.K., kids... take a moment... take some deep breaths... do a few sets of scales...
(You know... "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do...Do-Ti-La-Sol-Fa-Mi-Re-Do")
O.K.! Let's start our Friday with a little Frank!
Belt it out... really belt it out...!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Obviously, folks, this latest posting is a companion piece of sorts to yesterday's posting (found below) "Obama: The Man Who Would Be King?"
First the video (Hat tip to Drudge).
Next... the context:
Presidential hopeful Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stated unequivocally that he will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran without first gaining congressional approval.
* AS REPORTED ON NOVEMBER 29, 2007
Biden spoke in front of a crowd of approximately 100 at a candidate forum held Thursday at Seacoast Media Group. The forum focused on the Iraq war and foreign policy. When an audience member expressed fear of a war with Iran, Biden said he does not typically engage in threats, but had no qualms about issuing a direct warning to the Oval Office.
"The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach," said Biden, whose words were followed by a raucous applause from the local audience.
* NO AUTHORITY... NONE... ZILCH... ZIPPO. THAT WAS BIDEN'S POSITION BACK THEN WHEN BUSH WAS PRESIDENT AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IRAN, NOT LIBYA.
* FOLKS... THE CONCEPT IS THE SAME. THERE'S NO DEBATE. BIDEN SHOULD RESIGN AND CALL UPON CONGRESS TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT OBAMA. (OBVIOUSLY HE WON'T... BUT I'M TALKING PRINCIPLES... ETHICS... BASIC INTELLECTUAL CONSISTENCY...)
Biden said he is in the process of meeting with constitutional law experts to prepare a legal memorandum saying as much and intends to send it to the president.
* I'M GONNA SEE IF I CAN DIG UP THAT MEMO!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
From a Boston Globe interview of then-Senator Barak Hussein Obama...
QUESTION: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites - a situation that does not involve stopping an imminent threat?
ANSWER: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action. As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Well, folks... what do you think of our unprincipled hypocrite-in-chief?
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Oh... and by the way, folks... don't take this as an attack only upon the irresponsibility and hypocrisy of Barak Hussein Obama.
Boehner and the Republicans - as well as honorable Democrats - should be all over the president on this issue.
But then again... (*SIGH*)... few in Washington give a damn about the Constitution.
These people are scum.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
No... he's not Sinatra... but man... this guy could sing!
You know he still does a concert in Florida every year...?!
I've probably noted this before, but I'll say it again... YouTube is one hell of a resource!
I hope you guys often do what I do and just browse YouTube occasionally. There's some really great old stuff on it.
History... the context of our lives...
Friday, March 18, 2011
Well, it's been awhile since we did a country newsbite theme song...
Hey! By the way... I've been remiss! Jared, Dana, LoRae and Davis are back in the U.S.A.!
(Well... California at least...)
A belated "Welcome Home" kids!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Well... on the bright side I picked up this coming weekend's beer supply in anticipation of...
The Coming of Ted...!
Yep! This Sunday marks the 49th Annual Pearl River, NY St. Paddy's Day Parade! As always, Ted's coming down to join in the festivities!
The world may be in chaos... but we persevere!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Hayworth Statement on Passage of Second Stop Gap Funding Measure
March 15, 2011
March 15, 2011
(WASHINGTON) - Rep. Nan Hayworth, M.D. (R-NY) issued the following statement after the House passed a second short-term Continuing Resolution designed to cut $6 billion in government spending over three weeks:
“When the federal government is borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar it spends, cutting spending is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. I’m proud to be a member of the House majority setting the pace for what we must do in the federal government. I hope the Senate and President Obama will recognize the will of the American people and act to put dollars back into the pockets of our citizens to buy, build, invest, and hire. Although the cuts we’ve achieved so far are real, we must do much more. With a projected $1.6 trillion deficit this year, we have just begun to do our job. Stopping wasteful government spending is a critical step in putting Americans back to work.”
My God, people... I can't believe what I'm reading.
Did Dr. Hayworth write this clap-trap herself? I pray not.
This is nothing but recycled campaign rhetoric. Dr. Hayworth totally sidesteps the question of why she choose to disregard sound policy advice from Heritage Action For America, including warnings that:
The short-term CR strategy puts at risk all of the important policy riders that conservatives have fought for in recent months.
Every short-term CR that passes funds ObamaCare, funds Planned Parenthood, and funds the EPA’s global warming regulations.
Every short-term CR that passes funds ObamaCare, funds Planned Parenthood, and funds the EPA’s global warming regulations.
My blog is titled "Usually Right" because God knows... I'm far from "always right." Perhaps Heritage is off base on this one. It's possible...
But then there was this from Club for Growth's President Chris Chocola:
It appears that fiscal conservatives in the House are walking into a spending trap with this series of short term CRs.
When the debt ceiling debate happens in a few weeks, the big spenders will offer a so-called "compromise" in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and giving them a series of new credit cards. Such a "deal" would be a complete sell-out of America's taxpayers, who deserve major spending reductions and structural reforms that will solve our debt crisis.
When the debt ceiling debate happens in a few weeks, the big spenders will offer a so-called "compromise" in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and giving them a series of new credit cards. Such a "deal" would be a complete sell-out of America's taxpayers, who deserve major spending reductions and structural reforms that will solve our debt crisis.
Or what about Family Research Council President Tony Perkins throwing down the gauntlet:
The time to bring our fiscal house in order is now, and defunding organizations that work against the principles of a majority of Americans needs to be done to show that this Congress is serious.
Well, folks... I suppose conservatives such as Tony Perkins, Chris Chocola, and Heritage Action’s Michael Needham might all be wrong and Nan Hayworth and a majority of her GOP House colleagues might be right... but as far as I can tell, the former have laid out their specific reasoning while my congresswoman, Dr. Nan Hayworth... hasn't.
If Dr. Hayworth and other Republicans find fault with the analysis provided by Heritage Action and other conservative organization's and individuals... tell us... where exactly do Needham, Chocola, and Perkins have it wrong?
Listen... conservatives are not lock-step on this issue... I understand that. Heck, Grover Norquist - President of Americans for Tax Reform - said that he is “very supportive” of continuing to chip away at federal spending by passing short-term bills. (Of course, Norquist then went on to make his case... challenging specific bits of reasoning advanced by the anti-CR forces; all I ask of Nan Hayworth is that she defend her vote by being as specific as Norquist.)
Folks, don't get me wrong. I'm not "giving up" on Nan.
What I am trying to do is get across to her that a paragraph of "red meat" posted on her congressional website just ain't gonna cut it when people such as myself - people whose votes she's gonna need if she plans to serve more than one term - are looking for genuine leadership out of her and John Boehner.
It's fine for us to disagree at times, Nan - it's natural and healthy and it's gonna happen - but neither your official statement as posted on your congressional website nor the personal email you sent me yesterday answers the basic questions I've been raising here on the blog - or in private correspondence.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a measure to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and cut $61 billion in the process.
The bill was considered under an open amendment process, and there were hundreds of amendments offered and over a hundred votes cast over the span of a week.
This after-action report will look solely at the Congressional appetite to cut spending.
Heritage Action compiled all of the votes on the amendments that proposed to cut non-security spending.
Allow me to interrupt in order to reiterate: I believe we need to cut "security" spending as well as "social" spending."
We excluded amendments that proposed to shift spending from one program to another or sought to block various Obama policies - whether it be the many amendments to defund ObamaCare or turn off the EPA’s rule making authority.
For this exercise, we chose to look solely at the unambiguous spending cuts and to see how Congress did.
Forty-seven Members (all Republicans) showed a rock-solid willingness to cut spending by voting for every spending cut:
Amash, Bachmann, Broun, Campbell, Chabot, Chaffetz, Coffman, Duncan (TN), Duncan (SC), Flake, Fleming, Franks, Garrett, Gowdy, Graves (GA), Heller, Hensarling, Herger, Huelskamp, Huizenga, Hurt, Jenkins, Jordan, Lamborn, Mack, McClintock, McHenry, Miller (FL), Mulvaney, Myrick, Neugebauer, Paul, Pence, Pompeo, Price (GA), Ribble, Rokita, Royce, Scalise, Schweikert, Scott (GA), Scott (SC), Sessions, Walsh, Wilson, Woodall, and Young (IN).
Notice whose name is not on this list, folks...
The following were the most reluctant Republicans to cut spending in descending order:
Reichert, LaTourette, Biggert, Gerlach, Simpson, Diaz-Balart, Smith (NJ), Bass, Frelinghuysen, Wolf, Wittman, Dent, Dold, Grimm, Kinzinger, Meehan, Stivers, and Young (FL).
As for Congresswoman Dr. Nan Hayworth (NY-19)...
According to Heritage Action, Dr. Hayworth presently has a rating of 86% with regard to unambiguous spending cuts.
Eighty-six percent ain't bad... it's a "B"... but a "B" ain't an "A."
Nan. You can do better. I expect you to do better!
Yep... another "Nan-gram."
While my congresswoman does indeed visit Usually Right from time to time, I know it's too much to expect her to visit the blog daily or to review each and every one of my emails to her personal account in a timely fashion.
Hey... she's a U.S. Congresswoman! She's busy!
I'm posting this "Nan-gram" in the knowledge that whether Nan herself googles her own name every day (which I'm assuming she does) or not, I have no doubt that members of her staff have her name "flagged" for internet alerts.
Just came across the following WSJ piece, "Spending Bill Breeds Dissent in GOP Ranks", authored by reporter Naftali Bendavid:
Several Republicans say they will oppose the three-week spending bill House GOP leaders are offering Tuesday to avert a government shutdown...
Nan. I hope when the time comes you'll be with these Republicans!
Republican leaders remain confident the stopgap measure will pass, in part because they expect many Democrats to support it.
Nan... reading the above sentence does not fill me with confidence concerning our "leadership."
"Now is the time to draw a line in the sand," said freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.), one of those pledging a no vote.
Now that sounds like true leadership to me!
At least eight Republicans say they will vote against the short-term funding measure, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), who heads the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives that makes up more than half of all House Republicans.
As a member of the RSC, I hope you'll be standing with Jim Jordan.
The Heritage Foundation, Club For Growth and the Family Research Council - three conservative groups - came out against any further short-term spending measures.
I know that you - like me - have been reading Heritage Foundation analysis concerning this issue. Heritage makes clear that each continuation of "temporary spending authority" is playing right into the hands of ObamaCare advocates. Nan... Republicans need to walk the walk.
A bill before Congress this week would extend funding until April 8 and cut $6 billion from 2010 spending levels. ... Some Republicans are also unhappy that the three-week spending bill does not include "riders," measures that are designed to advance policy goals rather than simply cut spending.
Nan. I'm one of those Republicans. In fact, "unhappy" doesn't begin to describe my feelings having read the aforementioned Heritage analysis.
Reps. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) and Steve King (R., Iowa), for example, vow to oppose any spending measure that does not defund President Barack Obama's health overhaul.
And God bless Bachmann and King!
Nan. Please do the right thing.
Well... this is certainly disheartening...
From today's Times Herald-Record; reported by Chris McKenna:
The latest budget skirmish is expected to play out Tuesday when House members vote on a short-term measure to keep the government running for three weeks and cut $6 billion in spending - on top of $4 billion in cuts that lawmakers have already enacted.
Some House Republicans, impatient for deeper cuts, oppose the resolution. But Hayworth said she'll support it because the Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to approve it.
"We need to send the Senate a bill that we reasonably believe they can pass," she said.
Even worse... just moments before stumbling upon this news article I had called Nan's Washington office to inquire into whether my congresswoman had made up her mind yet.
Well... either the young lady (Caitlin) who answered the phone was simply ignorant... or else Dr. Hayworth has reconsidered her position as she outlined it to Mr. McKenna.
Caitlin (???) responded to my question with a non-answer. Rather than tell me that Congresswoman Hayworth was on the record as supporting yet another continuing resolution she simply told me that the situation was, quote, "fluid."
Nan... if you're reading this... you simply can't allow staff to mislead constituents.
Nan voted "yea" on the measure. Obviously I'm very disappointed.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Jesus... even Drudge is hyping the "doomsday" nuclear plant meltdown/explosion scenario in his "coverage" of ongoing disaster mitigation efforts in Japan.
Same with Fox News and that clown Shepard Smith.
Hey... folks... remember when Congresswoman Giffords was dead... only she wasn't...?!?!
These media clowns are so eager to "break" news that often they simply jump at shadows and throw rumors and worst case scenarios at the public while claiming "that's their job."
Well, folks... no... that's not their job.
While anything can happen, I'm waiting till it does... or more likely - at least with regard to the Japanese nuke plants - doesn't.
Me? I'm hoping and praying for good news. Relatively good news. What happened to our friend, partner, and ally Japan is a tragedy and there's no diminishing the extent of the disaster. That said... I wish the media would pull back from seeming to actually root for further hell on earth to emerge.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
It's been a productive weekend folks; behold this weekend's second "stand alone newsbite" posting:
Planned Parenthood claims women get more abortions if they don’t have access to contraception - though research suggests otherwise.
During the recent debate over whether to cut off government funding to Planned Parenthood, the organization claimed that its contraceptive services prevent a half-million abortions a year. Without their services, the group’s officials insist, more women will get abortions.
* SO... IS PLANNED PARENTHOOD CORRECT? THE AUTHOR OF THIS PIECE - KIRSTEN POWERS, FORMER CLINTON ADMINISTRATION STAFFER - DID A BIT OF RESEARCH.
Turns out, a 2009 study by the journal Contraception found, in a 10-year study of women in Spain, that as overall contraceptive use increased from around 49% to 80%, the elective abortion rate more than doubled.
In the U.S., the story isn’t much different. A January 2011 fact sheet by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute listed all the reasons that women who have had an abortion give for their unexpected pregnancy, and not one of them is "lack of access to contraception."
In fact, 54% of women who had abortions had used a contraceptive method, if incorrectly, in the month they got pregnant.
For the 46% who had not used contraception, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy; 32% had had concerns about contraceptive methods; 26% had had "unexpected" sex, and 1% had been forced to have sex.
* "UNEXPECTED" SEX. GOTTA LOVE THAT ONE!
Not one fraction of one percent said they got pregnant because they lacked access to contraception.
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Lack of knowledge of contraception also isn’t a reason that American women get abortions. Guttmacher reported that only 8% of women who undergo abortions have never used a method of birth control.
* AND OF COURSE THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THIS 8% WAS UNAWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF BIRTH CONTROL, ONLY THAT THEY CHOSE - FOR WHATEVER REASON - NOT TO USE BIRTH CONTROL. (*SHRUG*)
[W]hat is truly astonishing about the Guttmacher statistics is that they are completely unchanged from a decade ago.
Over [the past decade], the U.S. government has funneled billions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, in large part because the organization claims to provide services to avoid unplanned pregnancies – a laudable goal.
Yet despite a robust budget - Planned Parenthood reported a total annual revenue of $1.1 billion in its last financial filing - the organization has done absolutely nothing to change the fundamental dynamics of the United States’ abortion rate.
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD IN DISGUST*)
To preserve its federal subsidy, Planned Parenthood continues to claim that without its contraception services the abortion rate will go up.
* AND AS HAS JUST BEEN DEMONSTRATED, THERE'S SIMPLY NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS FALSE CLAIM.
This deception smacks of a fleecing of taxpayers in an effort to promote an ideological agenda, rather than a sincere effort to help women plan families.
What is that ideology, exactly?
* GOOD QUESTION... (EXCELLENT QUESTION, KIRSTEN!)
To find out, you have to dig through Planned Parenthood’s tax forms because the group certainly isn’t going to tell you.
(*RUEFUL CHUCKLE DEVOLVING INTO A SNICKER*)
According to its most recent tax filing, the purpose of Planned Parenthood Federation of America is to provide leadership in “achieving, through informed individual choice, a U.S. population of stable size in an optimum environment; in stimulating and sponsoring relevant biomedical, socio-economic, and demographic research.”
So it is, in reality, a population-control organization.
Funny, this was never mentioned in the gauzy $200,000 advertising campaign launched last week. (It also doesn’t make it into the “About Us” section of the group’s website, which repeatedly claims its mission is to protect women’s health, when in fact the real mission is to keep the birth rate at whatever level the leaders believe it should be.)
To hear Planned Parenthood and their supporters, they exist only to provide Pap smears or breast exams or prenatal services. In fact, President Cecile Richards has gone so far as to erroneously imply that they provide mammograms. (A spokesperson for the group confirmed to me that this is untrue.)
Planned Parenthood officials are allowed to believe whatever they want and to pursue whatever goals they choose. But their dishonesty in how they present their organization to the public, along with ignoring basic statistics about their area of expertise, makes you wonder what else they are hiding.
It’s also hard to deny that they are at core a blindly ideological organization, not a run-of-the-mill charitable nonprofit.
Whatever you think of abortion rights, this is not the kind of organization that taxpayers should be funding.
* I AGREE!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Folks... I really wish I could take credit for this, but as the next best thing... allow me to pass it on!
[E]very so often a member of the chattering class issues a nugget of stupidity so egregious that no amount of mockery will suffice. (Particularly when the issuer of said stupidity holds a Nobel Prize!)
Case in point: Paul Krugman.
* HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
(*FALLING TO THE FLOOR LAUGHING*)
The Times' staff economics blowhard recently typed, re the state of education in Texas:
And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3%, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78% of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.
Similarly, The Economist passes on what appears to be the cut-'n'-paste lefty factoid du jour:
Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:
South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th
If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.
* CONTINUE READING, FOLKS... (*CHUCKLE*)... CONTINUE READING...
The point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas.
Interesting... if it wasn't complete bullshit.
* KEEP READING...
As a son of Iowa, I'm no stranger to bragging about my home state's ranking on various standardized test. Like Wisconsin we Iowans usually rank near the top of the heap on average ACT/SAT scores. We are usually joined there by Minnesota, Nebraska, and the various Dakotas; Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire...
...beginning to see a pattern?
* THINK ABOUT IT, FOLKS... JUST THINK ABOUT WHAT THESE STATES MIGHT HAVE IN COMMON...
* GIVE UP...?
[A] state's "average ACT/SAT" is, for all intents and purposes, a proxy for the percent of white people who live there.
* OH... BTW... THE AUTHOR OF THIS PIECE IS GENTLEMAN BLOGGER BY THE NAME OF DAVID BURGE.
In fact, the lion's share of state-to-state variance in test scores is accounted for by differences in ethnic composition.
[For] whatever combination of reasons, the gap exists, and it's mathematical sophistry to compare the combined average test scores in a state like Wisconsin (4% black, 4% Hispanic) with a state like Texas (12% black, 30% Hispanic).
So how to compare educational achievement between two states with such dissimilar populations?
In data analysis this is usually done by treating ethnicity as a "covariate." A very simple way to do this is by comparing educational achievement between states within the same ethnic group. In other words, do black students perform better in Wisconsin than Texas? Do Hispanic students perform better in Wisconsin or Texas? White students? If Wisconsin's kids consistently beat their Texas counterparts, after controlling for ethnicity, then there's a strong case that maybe Texas schools ought to become a union shop.
Luckily, there is data to answer this question via the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is an annual standardized test given to 4th and 8th graders around the country to measure proficiency in math, science, and reading. Participation is fairly universal; if you've had a 4th or 8th grader in the last few years, you're probably familiar with it. Results are compiled on the NAEP website, broken down by grade, state, subject and ethnicity.
So how does brokeass, dumbass, redneck Texas stack up against progressive unionized Wisconsin?
2009 4th Grade Math
White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)
2009 8th Grade Math
White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)
2009 4th Grade Reading
White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)
2009 8th Grade Reading
White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)
2009 4th Grade Science
White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)
2009 8th Grade Science
White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)
To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin.
In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade.
Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in eight...
(*SNORT*) (*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
* KRUGMAN IS SUCH AN ASS...
Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools - especially minority students.
* SERIOUSLY, FOLKS... THIS GUY BURGE IS BITCH SLAPPING KRUGMAN LIKE DAVID FLATTENED GOLIATH!
Conclusion: instead of chanting slogans in Madison, maybe it's time for Wisconsin teachers to take refresher lessons from their non-union counterparts in the Lone Star State.
* FOLKS... REALLY... READ THE FULL COLUMN. INDEED, I'M BOOKMARKING THIS GUY'S BLOG!
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
O.K., I have my problems with Walmart, but I've gotta give them props... their Prima Della deli products (available only at Walmart Superstores) are out of this world - as good as Boars Head... perhaps even better when you consider the bang for the buck.
Mary and I have become addicted to prima della pastrami. I mean, this stuff is the real deal... as good as any pastrami I've ever had - I'm talking New York Kosher deli quality!
So... Bill's recipe of the day:
Pre-heat your over to 350-degrees.
Take out a cookie sheet and "grease" it with butter.
Lay slices of pastrami flat until the cookie sheet is full. (Don't worry about slight overlap.)
Throw some sliced pepperoncini on top of the layered meat.
Bake at 350-degrees for maybe five minutes.
As baking proceeds take out a couple slices of the bread of your choice (I used whole grain with flax seeds) and lightly toast them.
One slice... Hellmann's.
The other slice... hot & sweet mustard.
"Dice" your cheese up... take the pastrami/pepperoncini out of the oven... "stir" the pastrami/pepperoncini mix around and re-spread out... "sprinkle" the cheese over the pastrami/pepperoncini... increase oven temp to 375-degrees... place on top rack and re-bake for, oh, three and a half or four minutes - till the cheese is melty.
Remove cookie sheet from oven (and turn off oven) and stir the pastrami/pepperoncini/cheese mixture around. Take half and stack on one slice of bread. Smear on some mayo. Top with the other half of the pastrami/pepperoncini/cheese and complete the sandwich using the remaining slice of bread.
Oh... my... frigg'n... GOD...
Folks... I am the kitchen God! Worship me!
Enjoy a fine microbrew with your sandwich - something with lots of hops - and imagine the cholesterol being cut..
Chomp down on a dill pickle or two and you'll be able to point to that as your "diet" side!
So... I'm still slogging through George Bush's "Decision Points."
Hey... it's my bathroom reader! (No offense, George.... it's just that I need to prioritize my library books...)
I tell ya, it's hell wading through the "thinking" of George W. Bush. Often his sincerity, compassion, and yes... goodness... bring a tear to the eye.
I'm being serious, here, folks! I'm talking the George W. Bush who insists upon personally handwriting condolence letters to the loved once of each and every uniformed casualty of the wars waged under his Commander-In-Chiefdom.
But then when it comes to policy...
Let me give you an example from page 205:
When I ran for president, I never anticipated a mission like this. In the fall of 200, Al Gore and I debate the most pressing issues facing America. Not once did the words Afghanistan, bin Laden, or al Qaeda come up. We did discuss nation building. "The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops," i said in the first debate. "...I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders.
All well and good, right?! Correct answer, George! Nation building bad...
But, no... read on... next paragraph:
At the time I worried about overextending our military by undertaking peacekeeping missions as we had in Bosnia and Somalia. But after 9/11, I changed my mind.
He changed his mind... he changed his frigg'n mind...!!!
Afghanistan was the ultimate nation building mission.
(*HEAD ABOUT TO EXPLODE*)
We had liberated the country from a primitive dictatorship, and we had a moral obligation to leave behind something better.
No! No we didn't, Georgie...!!!
We also had a strategic interest in helping the Afghan people build a free society.
(*MASSIVE MIGRAINE HEADACHE*)
Enough. You folks get the picture. A trillion dollars later and thousands of lives lost along with God knows how many Americans maimed... we see the results of Bush's... er... change of heart.
Bottom line... my blood pressure can only take a few pages of Dubya's memoirs at a time.
And now... without further adieu...