J.E. Dyer provides a comprehensive California voting guide

If you’re in California, it’s easy to figure out which people should get your vote:  Fiorina over Boxer, Whitman over Brown (and yes, that’s something of a nose-holder), anyone over Pelosi, etc.

It gets much more confusing when you get to the numbered items on the ballot.  Prop. 23 is easy:  Vote for that unless you want the state bankrupt in a couple of years.  But all the other numbered ones, the ones about taxes and fees and assembly majorities, are ridiculously confusing, especially since some of the tax and fee propositions appear virtually identical in wording for the confused voter, but will have markedly different outcomes if passed.

Fortunately, someone sane has stepped into this confusion.  J. E. Dyer, a former military analyst, and current blogger at Commentary’s Contentions, Hot Air’s Green Room and Patheos, also has her own blog, and it’s there that she spells out the numbers. (And yes, I did mean to be silly with my words there.  This is such a serious time that a teeny bit of humor is a nice safety valve.)

If you are a California voter, and you haven’t yet cast your vote, I urge you to study Dyer’s post very, very carefully.

Math-challenged Liberal/Lefties – II

The economy is all about disposable income.

You can’t stimulate the economy by taking money away from people. Liberal /Lefties don’t get this point, I know, because math is hard. Let me try to explain.

People generally receive a fixed amount of income, let’s call it a “pie”. Some of that pie, up front, goes to paying for essentials, or “overhead”- i.e., shelter, transportation to and from work, utilities and food (although there is a lot of discretion on that last point). For most people, this number is a fixed quantity.

Another major portion of that pie goes to taxes. This fixed-and-ever-increasing quantity, I think we can generally agree, is pretty much non-stimulatory to the economy. There are reasons why government spending is very poor at stimulating the economy, the leading one being government’s inherent inefficiency (I remember learning in an economics class long ago that only $0.10 – $0.25 of every government dollar goes to its stated objective). As witness for the prosecution, I present you with the Great Obama Stimulus of 2009 – 2010.

This leaves the third portion of the pie: disposable or discretionary income. People can do two things with discretionary income: a) invest or save, both actions which make money available to the economy in the form of investments or bank loans; b) spend money on goods and services. Both of these activities are very good for the economy. The more that people invest and save, the more that is made available as capital to fund development of products, build companies and create jobs. The more that people spend, the greater the demand for goods and services, which creates jobs. I can’t think of any clearer explanation of how this works than Milton Friedman’s famous recounting of “the pencil”.

So, bottom line. It is only (and I mean only) by increasing discretionary income that one can grow an economy. So, here is the equation:

[Total Income] – [Overhead Expenses] – [Taxes] = Economic Growth.

When Liberal/Lefties declare that taxes must be raised to fuel government activity and that overhead expenses (e.g., cost of fuel, utilities) must be raised through economic costs imposed on business (e.g., environmental and cap & trade legislation), there is less and less left to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

No matter how well Tuesday’s elections turn out for those of us on the conservative-libertarian side, we still have a lot of work to do in overcoming our Liberal /Lefty friends math anxiety with some basic truths regarding jobs and the economy. I suggest that we will need to keep our arguments as simple as possible. Math is hard.

The drive-by media plots Joe Miller’s assassination *UPDATED*

Some CBS affiliated reporters got together to figure out how to sabotage Joe Miller in the last days before Alaska’s election.  Being horribly mean and vicious, though, doesn’t mean that one doesn’t make mistakes.  After all, feral intelligence isn’t a complete intelligence.  Here the mistake was that, somehow, the reports managed to leave their little conference as a voicemail message for Miller’s spokesman.  Read more about the whole thing here.  And then listen to the plot, which is exceptionally sordid, below.  Remember this one forever as an example of how the modern American media operates.

Hat tip:  Mike Devx

UPDATE:  There a certain Keystone Kops quality to the reporter’s conduct.  Yes, they plotted something truly foul, but they did so with such ineptitude they got caught and publicly humiliated.  Now, to add to the slapstick quality of the whole thing, they’re contending that they were just strategizing possible things that might actually happen, rather than trying to find a child molester to attach to the Miller campaign.  The only difference between these yahoos and the Kops, is that the Kops were innocent and funny.  These guys and gals, despite sharing the stupidity, are as malevolent as anyone you’ll find within this nation’s borders.

Left again allies itself with radical Islam

My husband has, for years, castigated me for refusing to listening to Cat Stevens’ music.  He makes two points, the first of which is valid, the second of which is not.  First, he says, the music predates Stevens’ conversion.  If I hear it on the radio, Stevens isn’t getting any royalties anyway, so there’s no harm, no foul.

This is true.  But I still hate to hear Stevens because he irritates me so much.  And why does he irritate me?  Well, that gets to the second reason my husband scolds me, and as to that reason, my husband is wrong:  “You don’t like him just because he’s a Muslim.”  No, buddy.  I don’t like him because he’s a jihadist who advocates the murder of those who disagree with Islam.

My twenty-year old mini-dispute with my husband (and it really is mini, because how often does Cat Stevens come up in daily life?) has suddenly taken on a bit more resonance for me, as my husband’s favorite comic du0 — Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert — happily and proudly hosted this jihadist at their rally to “restore sanity.”  I know I’m picky, but I don’t consider it sane for Americans, especially Jewish Americans, to cavort with jihadists.  I’m clearly out of step, though, with this “super hip” American zeitgeist.

If you want to know more, lots more, check out Ed Driscoll, who always has good stuff.

Winners at the Watchers – 10/29/10

Without further ado, this past week’s winners as the Watcher’s Council.  Not surprisingly, I’m pleased with the outcome.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

NPR’s carefully crafted tales — and why I don’t listen any more

When I left law school, a switch tripped in my brain.  Whereas before I’d listened only to top twenty music, I suddenly got bored with music and switched to news.  But not just any news.  NPR news.  Whenever I was in the car, I had my radio tuned to my local public radio station.  In those days, I spent a lot of time in the care, so I listened to a lot of the stories flowing from that station.  I considered myself extremely well-informed.  Oh, and smug.  Very smug.  As far as I was concerned, NPR made me an informed person.

One of the things that made NPR so appealing to me was the story arc.  Their news stories always came in beautifully presented, neat, tidy little packages. I’ve always loved tight narratives (i.e., stories with a beginning, a middle and an end, and, if I was lucky, a moral too), so NPR was perfectly suited to my temperament.

The guy or gal who functioned as a given show’s Master of Ceremonies would give a neat little promo in his or her warm, erudite voice:  “In the wake of last Tuesday’s midterm election, House Republicans, relying on the Contract with America, have vowed to shut down welfare, denying funds to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children.  For more on this story, we have Harvard-grad reporter Louis Liberal.”

Louis would then come on, and in that same warm, erudite tone, give a neat, three-sentence intro detailing how the House Republicans had a plan to deny necessary funding to hundreds of thousands of hungry children.  Louis would then say, “Harvard economist Pol Klugmen explains that, if Republicans are successful in ending welfare as we know it, studies show that there will be dead bodies lying in the street.”  We’d then hear Prof. Klugmen, in warm, erudite and scholarly tones, explain about all the dead bodies.  Louis would then introduce another expert, perhaps from a liberal think tank, explaining that the only way to reform welfare is to pump more money into it.  That expert, too, would give a short, sweet, scholarly statement on the subject.  Louis would then add, “Leading house Republicans deny this charge.”  Next would com a swift Newt soundbyte:  “That’s not true.”  Louis, in his erudite, patrician voice, would end this tight story-line by saying, “Only time will tell if the Republican plan can be implemented without causing catastrophic failures amongst the nation’s poor.”

Each story was such a neat little package.  There was no thinking required.  We were told the thesis; the good view was identified, with nice neat soundbytes; the bad view was identified, with meaningless soundbytes; and the wrap-up warned us of the horrors awaiting if the bad view prevailed.

I bought into these morality tales with wholehearted fervor.  The good guys, the Democrats, wanted to protect the poor; the bad guys, the Republicans, intended to leave them starving in the street.  And even worse, because the stupid American people had given those evil Republicans power, poor, long-suffering President Clinton, who’d been dogged by those nasty lies about his over-the-top sexual escapades, would be forced to put his imprimatur on a bill leaving the homeless more homeless than ever.

There was only one problem with this neatly enclosed little universe:  Israel.  You see, unlike stories about domestic politics, where my only understanding of the facts came from NPR itself, when it came to Israel, I actually knew one important thing:  Israel wanted to live peacefully on the small plot of land given her by both the League of Nations and the UN, and won by her in subsequent wars; and the Palestinians wanted every Jew in the world dead.  This meant that all the spin NPR put out about Israeli brutalities against innocent Palestinians, and the poor, suffering, peace-loving Palestinians, didn’t touch me.  I knew NPR was spinning or, worse, lying.

The problem is that, once you realize that a narrator is comfortable abandoning the truth, you start to wonder, “Where does that end?  I know NPR is lying when it tries to make a moral relativism argument re Israel or, worse, when it presents the Israeli military as an out-of-control killing machine, so I have to wonder if it’s lying about other things too.”

After 9/11, I got some further reality checks regarding the NPR world view.  I didn’t like the way NPR kept trying to exculpate Islam from the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.  That made no sense to me.  I also didn’t like NPR’s relentless negative war coverage.  I actually agreed with Bush:  when a nation supports mass murderers, you bring war to that nation.  I also had a hard time understanding how, despite the fact that Bush spent a year begging the UN for help, eventually ending up with a coalition, NPR could keep selling little story packages that presented Bush as an out-of-control, go-it-alone cowboy.  The spin was inconsistent with the facts on the ground.

Eventually, I started cross-checking NPR stories.  They’d say one thing, and I’d go on an internet search for more information.  That’s when I stumbled across conservative blogs.  What fascinated me was that, using the same facts NPR reported, or sometimes just alluded to, the conservative sites would reach conclusions  that were — surprise! — consistent with those facts.  There was no bending and stretching, there were no contortions.  Facts and conclusions flowed logically, from one to another.

The biggest surprise, though, was the way the conservative blogs opened themselves to the opposing point of view.  Where I expected an echo chamber, I got huge quotes from and links to NPR, CBS, NBC, and all other mainstream outlets, along with detailed analyses explaining the flaws in the reasoning or the factual errors and omissions.  Unlike the tight, one-world view of the NPR story packages, this was all out intellectual warfare.  Suddenly, that seemingly trite phrase “the marketplace of ideas” made big time sense.

From blogs, it was a short stop to radio, and that’s when I definitively abandoned NPR.  I realized that those neatly tied-up story lines weren’t a sign of sophistication and erudition, they were a sign of cowardice.  NPR was the intellectual (and news) equivalent of the three monkey, insofar as it religiously assured its audience that, when it came to the liberal viewpoint, there was no evil to be seen, heard or spoken.

The courage was with Rush Limbaugh, or Dennis Prager, or Hugh Hewitt, or Michael Medved, or a host of other hosts, all of whom welcomed opposing views on their program, whether in the form of actual guests, ordinary citizens calling in, or lengthy playbacks of liberal arguments and speeches.  The conservative blogs and radio shows were sufficiently secure in their viewpoints, and in their ability to support those viewpoints, that they’d take on all comers.

Suddenly, I was out of the bubble — and I’ve never looked back.  My liberal friend accuses me of still living in the bubble because I read so many conservative sites.  What he doesn’t understand, because he lives in the liberal media world, is that these conservative sites take the same news the liberal media sells, and then give added value, in the form of criticism, analysis or additional facts.  They pierce the bubble at every turn.

More than that, because conservative media openly admits its bias, I can separate facts from viewpoint with relative ease.  Such is not the case with NPR, which stridently asserts its perfect objectivity, allowing it to present its conclusions as objective facts.  As Benjamin Kerstein says:

Put simply, NPR is for coastal liberals what Rush Limbaugh is for heartland conservatives: a means of relating to the world from within the confines of a specific subculture. The difference, of course, is that Limbaugh’s admirers do not force others to pay for it.

Nor, I imagine, are Limbaugh’s listeners laboring under the same illusion as NPR’s. Most of them probably understand that Limbaugh is giving opinions based on his political point of view, which is, to say the least, well known to his listeners. NPR’s listeners, on the other hand, are quite convinced that they are receiving nothing less than the pure, unvarnished, objective truth from the network. They believe themselves to be smart and informed, and thus the network they love must also be, perhaps by definition, smart and informative.

As far as I have been able to discern from my own, admittedly subjective, encounters with the network, this is largely a convenient illusion. Put simply, NPR’s reputation seems based largely on aesthetic considerations. Its personalities are articulate and employ a more extensive vocabulary than commercial radio; its programs are professionally produced, with a slickness that conservative media cannot match; and its reporters are generally skilled at sounding calm and objective, even when they manifestly are not. The more one begins to delve into the substance of NPR’s programming, however, the more one senses that the network is neither particularly smart nor particularly informative.

As someone who listened to NPR for almost two decades, I can assure Kerstein that he is absolutely right.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

San Francisco sign threatens Fiorina and Whitman — by guest blogger Ms. GW *UPDATED*

UPDATE from Bookworm: Poor Enrico’s. Because its name features prominently on the building, people are assuming it posted the sign. It did not. From Enrico’s facebook page:

You may have received an email about a sign that says “FU (spelled out) Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina” asking you to call Enrico’s Restaurant to complain. Enrico’s is not responsible for the sign. It was put there by the Law offices of Tony Serra who has offices above Enrico’s. Enrico’s,like most businesses, doesn’t take political stands and is not responsible for the sign.

And now back to Ms. GW’s original post:

San Francisco sign threatens Fiorina and Whitman

This vulgar sign, spotted in San Francisco above a prominent restaurant at the corner of Kearney and Broadway, raises the same question one more time:

Why must the Left continue to demean female conservative candidates? How desperate is the Left?

To help answer the question, here’s some insight from a licensed psychotherapist who wrote on this very topic after observing the Left’s attacks on Sarah Palin two years ago:

As every woman knows, leering looks, lurid words, and veiled threats are intended to evoke terror. Sexual violence is a form of terrorism. In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than shield the vulnerable, Leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way.

So: Leftists are bullies, plain and simple. The Left has been in power for two years, but apparently that’s not enough. Using vulgar language is a simple, common tactic to intimidate, repress and silence others. A “f*** you!” says plenty, and its recipient is instantly diminished. Words hurt and vulgar ones stop any conversation cold and do nothing to advance civilization. As our moms used to tell us, “People use bad words when they want attention or lack the language or creativity to express themselves.”

Interestingly, although it doesn’t show up clearly in this photograph, the sign bears the name of J. Tony Serra, a well-known San Francisco criminal defense attorney who has defended Huey Newton and the Black Panthers, Chol Soo Lee, Ellie Nesler, and other “society outcasts,” according to Serra’s website. Notably, Serra’s own website says, “Tony Serra has always known how to express the poetry of the law, while fighting in the ditches and dark alleys of legal practice.”

Poetry of the law, huh? Fighting in the ditches and dark alleys? If Serra did authorize this sign, most civilized folks will find nothing poetic or courageous in the threat of sexual violence against Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Let’s hope Tony Serra and the restaurant are not behind this sign . . . talk about desperately wanting attention.

And by the way, where’s the outrage from San Francisco’s politically correct women? Where’s the outrage from the San Francisco’s politically correct media? Where’s the National Organization for Women when we need them?

Ms. GW is a long-time Bay Area resident and woman who is appalled and offended by the Left’s attacks on any female candidate, conservative or  liberal.

UPDATE II from Bookworm: Please also check out the article on this subject that Ms. GW wrote for American Thinker’s blog. It’s similar, but raises some slightly different points you may find interesting.

The good stuff from Chris Christie

Mmm, mmm, mmm:

So far, I can still imagine myself voting for him in 2012.  Maybe on a ticket with Bolton or Petraeus, for some real foreign policy gravitas.  (Although, really, when it comes to foreign policy gravitas, it’s hard to beat Joe Biden, isn’t it?  And yes, I’m being sarcastic.)

Those wacky, extreme, ill-informed, violent, dishonest Democrat politicians *UPDATED*

[Re updates, I'm just slotting them in the appropriate categories, or creating new categories, as they come my way, without special fanfare.]

My liberal friend — the same one who thinks that, politically, Tea Partiers are American Nazis — is also convinced that Tea Party candidates are nut jobs, more suited for an insane asylum or remedial education class, than for high office.  My friend’s belief is actually unsurprising, since that is the song the media is singing.  After all, Christine O’Donnell flirted with witchcraft when she was 16 — an age, as we know, when all Democrats were already wise beyond their years.

When I countered that the Democrat politicians and candidates aren’t such a pretty bunch either, my friend was affronted:  “That’s not true.”  Au contraire, my friend.  It’s very true:

Democrats who don’t seem to like blacks very much:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Manhandled an eight year old black boy and accused him of attempting to steal Moran’s campaign-subsidized car from the parking lot at a rec center.

Harry Reid (Senator, Nevada):  Exists in a bizarre world where black politicians are virtuous if they are “light skinned” and lack a “negro dialect.”

Joe Biden (Vice President):  Professed some surprise at Obama’s political persona.  Apparently he was unaware that a black man could be “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”  Fortunately for VP Joe, Obama was willing to forgive and forget.

Democrats who don’t seem to like Christians very much:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Although a self-professed Catholic, publicly screamed at a priest that “You priests don’t know anything about abortion.”

Hillary Clinton (Ex-Senator, New York):  “I have to confess that it’s crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian.”

Democrats who don’t seem to like the American military very much:

John Kerry (Senator, Massachusetts):  Said the following of his fellow American troops: “They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”  Time did not mellow his views.  More than 30 years later, he “joked” that, if students didn’t work hard in school, “you get stuck in Iraq.”

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Insists that military service does not constitute public service.

Barack Obama (President):  Without his superior guidance in Afghanistan, American troops will continue “air raiding villages and killing civilians.“  Oh, yeah!

Democrats who don’t seem to like white people very much:

Barack Obama (President):  In speaking of his (white) grandmother, manages to imply that all whites fear blacks.

Cynthia McKinney (Ex-Congresswoman, Georgia):  Accuses government of conspiring to kill black people after Katrina.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Obama’s pastor):  Accuses government of conspiring to kill black people with AIDS.

Democrats who don’t seem to like America very much:

Chris Coons (Senator, Delaware):  Considering that America is the bastion of liberty and capitalism, his ongoing attachment to Marxism bespeaks a man who dislikes America’s core values.

Dennis Kucinich (Congressman, Ohio):  A cozy, decades-long relationship with the Communist party.

Bob Bowman (Democratic nominee for Representative, 2006, Florida):  A Truther.

Jim McDermott (Congressman, Washington):  Funded by groups with terrorist ties, he jetted to Iraq in 2002, to give Saddam Hussein some moral support.

Barbara Boxer (Senator, California):  “It’s a new day.  Communism is dead.  It’s even dead in Cuba.  I hate to say it, it’s dead.

John Kerry (Senator, Massachusetts):  It’s not just that stupid Americans join the military (see above); it’s that Americans are stupid.  I always love it when the C student (from a time when an Ivy League degree still meant something) lectures everyone else about intellectualism.

Democrats who don’t seem to like Jews very much:

Joe Sestak (Senator, Pennsylvania):  I don’t have specific links, just a career long decade of anti-Israel animus, summed up in this article.

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Blamed the Iraq war on the “Jewish lobby.”  Accused former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of coming to Washington to get President Bush’s permission to use American-funded weapons to “kill at will.”

Billy McKinney (Ex-Georgia State Legislator and father of Cynthia McKinney):  When she lost her seat in the House in 2002, Billy knew why:  “J-E-W-S.

Jimmy Carter (Ex-President, current pain-in-the-neck):  Says that Israel’s “apartheid” policies are worse than South Africa’s were; grossly misrepresents facts to blacken Israel’s reputation; and just generally loathes the nation and seeks its destruction.

Democrats who don’t seem to like Asians very much:

Loretta Sanchez (Congresswoman, California):  Went on Spanish TV and gave a venom-filled speech, encouraging Hispanics in her district to hate and fear Vietnamese.

Joe Biden (Vice-President):  Mocks East Asians from India for their accents and initiative.

Democrats who don’t seem to like the handicapped very much:

Bob Reilly (Assembly, New York):  This one is so embarrassing, as Reilly imitates a speech impaired young man, that I’m almost loath to include it here, but it deserves recognition for an example of the disgusting way in which Democrats demean the handicapped, whom they consider a locked-in constituency.

Barack Obama (President):  In an unfortunate, and manifestly unpracticed, attempt at humility, Barack Obama slams the Special Olympics.

Democrats who don’t seem to like women very much:

Barack Obama (President):  Obama has been silent on the subject lately, but early in his presidency he seemed unusually obsessed with the merits of enveloping women in hijabs.  What gives with that?

Democrats who openly boast about spending other people’s money:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Boasted that, if he became chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee, he intended to “earmark the sh*t out of it.”

Democrats who think “rules, what rules?”

Alcee Hastings (Congressman, Florida):  “There are no rules.  We make ‘em up as we go along.

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  After attacking the Catholic church based upon its stand regarding homosexuality, changed the wording of his statement in the Congressional Record, an act forbidden by House rules.

Alex Sink (Candidate for Governor, Florida):  Cheated during a debate, and was stupid enough to be caught on video doing it.  If you’re going to cheat, for goodness sake, be sneaky.

Sheila Jackson Lee (Congresswoman, Texas):  Kept the campaign going at the polls and harassed poll workers.  If nothing else, you’ve got to admire her chutzpah.  And to take that one step further, clearly figuring that the best defense is a good offense, she’s asking the Holder “Justice” Department to investigate Tea Party harassment at the polls.  To clarify, she’s not claiming Tea Partiers are being harassed; she accuses them of doing the harassing.  Remember, the definition of chutzpah is the man who murders both his parents, and then throws himself on the court’s mercy because he’s an orphan.

Democrats who are comfortable consorting with and taking money from known Islamic terrorists and their enablers:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Received (and tried to keep) $11,450 in campaign contributions from Muslim donors tied to terrorism.  He was reluctantly returned $2,000 he got from another Muslim who openly supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

Barack Obama (President):  Hangs with Hamas and Hezbollah sympathizers.

Democrats who can’t keep their fists to themselves:

Cynthia McKenney (Ex-Congresswoman, Georgia):  Got into a physical scuffle with Capitol police when she tried to enter Congress without id.

Charlie Wilson (Congressman, Ohio): Repeatedly beat his wife until she collapsed.

Bob Etheridge (Congressman, North Carolina): Assaulted two young men trying to ask him questions on a public sidewalk.

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia): Has admitted, as a former boxer, that he likes to hit people, something that is okay within the realms of the boxing ring or MMS cage. Moran’s problem is that he can’t keep that urge confined to sports. At a bar fight in 1988, one of the witnesses was so frightened by Moran (who was then mayor of Alexandria), he stated “I realized I was looking into the eyes of a madman.” Moran has also attacked a fellow congressman on the floor of the House itself. Not content with just hitting people, Moran also likes violent threats, as when he screamed at Republican Rep. Dan Burton “I’ll break your nose.”

Democrats who have unusually close relationships with prostitutes:

Barney Frank (Senator, Massachusetts):  Boyfriend was running a gay prostitute ring out of Frank’s house.

Eliot Spitzer (Ex-Governor, New York):  Repeatedly engaged in sex with prostitutes, while serving as Governor.

Democrats who say crazy, mean, ill-informed and sometimes scarily honest things:

Pete Stark (Congressman, California):  Wouldn’t “dignify” a conservative (and senior) constituent by peeing on him.  Also, in a nice moment of Democrat honesty, says “the federal government can do most anything this country.”

Alan Grayson (Congressman, Florida):  Asserted that “The Republican health care plan is this: ‘Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.’”  Compounded that lack of graciousness by adding later “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.”

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  “[I]f the Republicans were running in Afghanistan, they’d be running on the Taliban ticket as far as I can see.”

Maurice Hinchey (Congressman, New York):  Believes that George Bush intentionally let Osama Bin Laden get away as a justification for invading Iraq.

Raul Grijalva (Congressman, Arizona):  Demanded a boycott of his own state.

Hank Johnson (Congressman, Georgia):  Worried that overpopulation could cause Guam to “tip over and capsize.”

Nancy Pelosi (Congresswoman, California):  Believes that natural gas (a fossil fuel) should be encouraged as an alternative to . . . yes, fossil fuels!

Patrick Kennedy (Congressman, Rhode Island):  The rant.

Anthony Wiener (Congressman, New York):  A health care rant.  (If you were on a public bus next to this guy, you’d change seats, very carefully.)

Nancy Pelosi (Congresswoman, California):  “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.“  Of course, this is the same woman who assured us that unemployment benefits are the best possible stimulus for the economy.

Maxine Waters (Congresswoman, California):  That little socialist Freudian slip.

Alvin Greene (Senate candidate, South Carolina):  There are no words.  Just no words.

Patty Murray (Senator, Washington):  Gave a loving homage to that road-building, school-building, day-care building wonder — Osama bin Laden.  And then asked, why can’t we be more like him?

Al Sharpton (Gadfly):  In 2003, on the subject of gun control, he said “”We must do whatever we can to regulate how guns are used. I’ve been the victim of a stabbing.”

Barack Obama (President):  This was a non-verbal statement, but he twice gave the finger to his political opponents, a fact instantly recognized by his audience which, both times, roared with approval.

Democrats who have, at best, only a glancing relationship with the truth:

Richard Blumenthal (Senator, Connecticut):  Lies about having served in Vietnam.

Barack Obama (President):  Explicitly denies the depth and intensity of his relationship with ACORN; lied repeatedly about his past plans for American health care and about the effect ObamaCare would have on Americans; he lied about the stimulus (lied, not just puffed, which is arguably forgivable advertising); he lied about using federal financing to fund his campaign; he lied blatantly about his before-and-after statements re negotiating with terrorists; and he’s lied about picayune things such as audience responses to his speeches.  I’ve written two long-ish essays about the nature of Obama’s lies.  If you’re interested, they’re here and here.

Democrats who have egos that go beyond doctor recommended norms for good health:

Barbara Boxer (Senator, California): “Don’t Call me Ma’am.”

Barack Obama (President):  Publicly hails his own godlike ability to control the planet.

Al Gore (Ex-Senator, Ex-VP, current climate demagogue):  He gets to leave his car idling for an hour.

Harry Reid (Senator, Nevada):  Harry saved the world.  Yes.  Yes, he did.

Joe Biden (Vice President, and plagiarizer):  He’s smarter than you are.  Much smarter than you are.  (Or he cheats better.  I’m not sure.)

Democrats who don’t know much about history (or English or geography or other exciting subjects taught in middle school):

Sheila Jackson Lee (Congresswoman, Texas):  For those of you who enjoy the alternate history book genre, you’ll be happy to know that the South Vietnam still exists.  Woo-hoo!  She was also distressed to find that the famous photo of Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on . . . Mars . . . was missing.

Corrine Brown (Congresswoman, Florida):  Gave a marvelously mangled and factually inaccurate speech congratulating the Florida gators.  Even Pat Paulson couldn’t have done better.  (Although I do like her good cheer and enthusiasm.)

Barack Obama (President):  Obama is a staggeringly ill-informed man.  Here is just a short list of his gaffes as to basic subjects:  He asserts that the U.S. has 58 states; the thinks “Austrian” is the language of German speaking Austria; Obama is unfamiliar with, and mispronounces the term corpsman; he thinks that there was a “bomb” that fell on Pearl Harbor; he claims an uncle who was part of the liberation of Auschwitz (which makes sense only if Obama’s family history really is “Red” and his uncle was in the Red Army that liberated that camp in Poland); his failure to understand economics is frightening; and he wrongly thinks that FDR directly “engaged” with our enemies during WWII.  If you have more examples, send them to me and I’ll add.

Peggy West (Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors):  Arizona doesn’t border Mexico.  (Who knew?)

Joe Biden (Vice President):  Puts FDR in the White House when the stock market crashed (which happened three years before Roosevelt was elected) and has him talking on television (which came about decades after the stock market crash).  Clearly, another one for those fans of the “alternative history” genre.

Democrats who talk to dead people (as opposed to just getting votes from dead people):

Hillary Clinton (Ex-Senator, New York):  Hillary’s famous kaffee klatches with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Democrats who say “Constitution?  We don’t need no stinking Constitution?”

Phil Hare (Congressman, Illinois):  Speaking, I’m sure, for all Democrats, when he says he doesn’t “worry about the Constitution.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Just Because Music — Village People’s In the Navy

I’m simultaneously trying to get an appellate brief ready for file (a good one, that Don Quixote wrote) and help my husband with a speech he has to give to a large group at work.  Blogging will have to wait a little.

While I was doing all this work, however, I heard the Village People sing In the Navy, and was struck by what a pro-Navy song it is.  Back in the 1970s, when it came out, I never actually listened to the lyrics.  Instead, I simply assumed that, because the group had a gay theme (although not all of them were gay), the song was a nudge-nudge, wink-wink, about floating gay nookie.  In fact, the lyrics are remarkably nice about the Navy itself.  Check it out:

Help wanted from you, my incredibly knowledgeable readers

One of the points my liberal friend has made in the last few talks we’ve had is that the Tea Party candidates are dangerous nuts (witness Christine O’Donnell’s flirtation with witchcraft when she was 16).  He claims that the Democrat candidates and politicians are models of normalcy.  I was wondering if you could help me put together a sourced list of insane, intemperate, bizarre Democrats, both candidates and elected politicians.  I’ll get it started:

Alan Grayson (D-Fla):  “The Republican health care plan is this: ‘Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.’”  “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.”

Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio):  Brutal wife beater.

Bob Etheridge (D-NC):  Assaulter of citizens.

Pete Stark (D-CA):  Wouldn’t dignify conservatives by peeing on them.

More, please?

Comparing Islamophobia to Homophobia at the NYT

I’m beginning to get a good sense of the requirements for a writing gig at the New York Times.  Their editorial and employment departments carefully cull all comers for two main traits:  an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a complete lack of common sense and logic.  Walk into the door with those, and the ability to type, and you’re in.

The most recent cause of my renewed insight about the lunatics in charge of the Times asylum is an opinion piece trying to draw an equivalence between homophobia and Islamophobia — and then urging Americans to stop fearing Islam, just as they’ve learned to stop fearing gays.  The piece is stupid on so many levels, it’s almost hard to know where to begin.  Let me start with the fact that I always get a good belly laugh out of gays aggressively defending Islamists.  You know, these Islamists:

Gays hanged in Iran

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Gays systematically gunned down in Iraq

A word of advice to those gays who reflexively make common cause with Islamists, simply because gays hate conservatives and conservatives are wary of Islamists:  Maybe the conservatives are on to something.

Having disposed, I hope, of the foolish underpinnings of the whole “I am gay, therefore I stand with Islamists” attitude, let me examine the ridiculous moral equivalence the Times opinion piece tries to draw between people who dislike gays versus people who are scared of Islamists.

A combination of fair use laws, and a desire not to have my blog serve as a forum for stupidity, means that I’ll quote just a snippet of the Times piece, just enough to give you an idea of the direction in which its heading:

As if we needed more evidence of America’s political polarization, last week Juan Williams gave the nation a Rorschach test. Williams said he gets scared when people in “Muslim garb” board a plane he’s on, and he promptly got (a) fired by NPR and (b) rewarded by Fox News with a big contract.

Suppose Williams had said something hurtful to gay people instead of to Muslims. Suppose he had said gay men give him the creeps because he fears they’ll make sexual advances. NPR might well have fired him, but would Fox News have chosen that moment to give him a $2-million pat on the back?

[snip]

When we move from homophobia to Islamophobia, the trendline seems to be pointing in the opposite direction. This isn’t shocking, given 9/11 and the human tendency to magnify certain kinds of risk. (Note to Juan Williams: Over the past nine years about 90 million flights have taken off from American airports, and not one has been brought down by a Muslim terrorist. Even in 2001, no flights were brought down by people in “Muslim garb.”)

You can read the rest here, if you’re interested.

In deference to the last paragraph quoted, which says it’s silly to fear Muslims, because there are so many of them and most aren’t violent), let me counter with a few numbers of my own:

*Number of airplanes that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of airplanes that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  6 (with a death toll in excess of 3,000)

*Number of trains or subways that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of trains or subways that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  2 (with a death toll in excess of 2o0)

*Number of military barracks that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of military barracks that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 (killing 299 people)

*Number of schools that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of schools that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 big one (that would be Beslan, killing more than 300, most of them children), plus countless attacks on schools all over Indonesia and the Philippines

*Number of naval ships that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of naval ships that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 (killing 17 people)

*Number of embassies that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of embassies that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  3 (two in Africa, one in Iran, with the former resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries, and the latter creating modern Iran)

I won’t belabor my point any further.  I’ll just note the stupidity driving the opinion piece’s snide implication that it’s irrational to fear Islam because a only small percentage of its practitioners do bad things.  That manages to obscure the real fact, which is that a large percentage of the carnage around the world — indeed, the greatest percentage of the carnage around the world — is committed by Muslims.  That therefore makes it reasonable to eye them askance in certain situations, and makes it idiotic to worry about gays in those same situations.

It’s an insult to anyone whose IQ hovers even near the 3 digits, or who exhibits logic skills greater than a small child’s, for a writer at a prestigious paper (although God alone knows why it is still held in such high esteem) to argue that American’s diminishing concerns about an individual’s sexuality should be used as a template to become less worried about Muslim violence.

I’ll tell you one thing that would go a long way to diminishing my fear of Muslims:  To hear them say, loud and clear, “I do not want sharia law in America; I condemn all acts of violence committed in the name of Islam and will do whatever I can to counter that trend amongst Muslims; I support Israel’s right to exist; and I have no intention of imposing my religious views or practices on the people in my community or country.”  This sounds remarkably simply, but you’ll find few Muslims who are willing to say that.  Instead, what you get are generic statements about love for country, but an assiduous avoidance of specific disavowals of the most ugly aspects of Islam.

Californians: Vote a straight Republican ticket

My friend Sally Zelikovsky says it in the clearest words possible:  Unless conservatives in California vote for the Republicans, we will have a Sacramento government made up entirely of San Francisco Democrats.  If that horrible outcome sounds painfully obvious to you, you don’t know California.

There are two dynamics in California that are a problem.  First, conservatives don’t like the Republican candidates.  (They’re right not to.  Fiorina is lovely — and may she get well soon — but the others are “eh” at best.)  This means California conservatives may be tempted to (a) sit this one out or (b) vote for a write-in or minor candidate.  Those are luxuries of ordinary elections, though.  In California, this election is not about a favored conservative candidate winning; it’s about making sure the Democratic candidate loses.  And the only way to do that is with vast numbers of votes for the Republican, even if that requires some nose holding.

The other dynamic is Prop. 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana.  Have you wondered by George Soros is promoting it?  Do you think George Soros gives a flying whatsit about whether Californians have legal marijuana?  I can assure you that he doesn’t.  But he knows one group that does care a great deal, and it’s a group that votes reliably Democrat:  young people.  Yup.  Prop. 19 is a “get out the youthful Democrat vote” effort.  This means that, while most young people around America are sitting out this election, there is a very good chance that California’s young people will be heading to the polls.

So if you’re a Californian, and you have memories, increasingly faint memories, of a true Golden State, VOTE and VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Good news for those who trust the government

Bad news for the rest of us, at least when it comes to medical care.  Let us hope, therefore, that AJ Strata is right about the wave, because we need a countervailing tsunami to stop the wave Obama and the Democrats put into motion.

By the way, let me add my voice to the voices of other conservatives who are warning that, if the Republicans own the House, they cannot reverse ObamaCare.  If the Republicans own the House and manage, by the skin of their teeth, to grab the Senate, the still cannot reverse ObamaCare.  As I’ve been saying for a long time now, Obama is not a Clinton.  He will not pivot.  As long as he has the veto, the fact that Republicans will lack a veto-proof majority means that he will block any efforts to repeal ObamaCare.  The most that Republicans can do — and this is what we must demand of them — is to slow Obama’s projects, refuse to enact new ones and, whenever possible, lower taxes and cut spending.

Just remember, though, that Obama is the troll under the bridge, stopping all who pass.

Watcher’s Council Winners for 10/22/10

I usually praise lavishly all the winners at the weekly Watcher’s Council votes, because they all deserve that lavish praise.  They’ll make you laugh; they’ll make you cry; they’ll make you think.  Whether council members write the posts or nominate the posts, there is good stuff out there.

This time, though, I’m going to go further.  If you haven’t read the Council winner — The Razor’s The Cold Comfort of Truth — drop everything you’re doing right now and go and read it.  It’s important.

And of course, all the others are really, really good too!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners