Thursday, December 31, 2009

Helping Illegal Immigrants: Moral or Illegal?

"...The immigration debate takes a technological turn with a new cell phone device that helps illegal immigrants crossing the desert into the U.S. find water. The Transborder Immigrant Tool was developed by UC San Diego prof and activist Ricardo Dominguez and UCSD lecturer Brett Stalbaum. Both believe it will save the lives of hundreds of people who die each year during their trek across "Devil's Highway."

Here's how the tool works. The phone, loaded with free GPS software, displays a digital compass that locates water stations installed by John Hunter, founder of the Water Stations project. Stations that are too far will not be displayed. The phone pinpoints "safety sites" -- such as Border Patrol station, a clinic or a church -- and includes poetry written by Amy Carroll to "welcome you to the U.S," said Dominguez. Encrypted to avoid detection by authorities, phones are $30 and should be available by summer..." (Read the entire article)

Is this like giving Kevlar to a bank robber in case SWAT needs to shoot or is that over simplifying the issue?

People seem to forget that one of the many reasons Americans are so strongly opposed to illegal immigration is about the illegal...subject to exorbitant fees, rape trees and a life with no protection once they arrive. Enabling them to cross easier by guiding them to water isn't alleviating any of the aforementioned threats...which makes you think that leading an illegal to water has no practical means in the scheme of things, but to make the GPS creator feel good about himself...

Michael Vick: Sportsmanship & Courage?

First of all, why did they choose this picture to accompany the article...?

"Recipients of this year's Ed Block Courage Award were announced Tuesday, and Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Michael Vick's name is still on the list.

Animal-rights advocates criticized the Eagles for choosing as its honoree a player who has served a prison sentence in connection with a dogfighting operation marked by the killing of canines. The award, named after a longtime Baltimore Colts trainer and humanitarian, seeks to honor players who "exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage." (source)

This recipients of this award are chosen solely by the teammates. Apparently Vick feels like he deserves it:

"I think it's pretty much self-explanatory why everybody voted for me," Vick said Wednesday. "I had to overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear. Take a look at what I've been through and if you asked certain people to walk in my shoes, they probably couldn't do it. Probably 95 percent of the people in this world (couldn't do it)." (source)

I just don't get it. I mean, maybe if the award was for overcoming adversity...self-induced adversity at that. But courage? What's courageous about returning to a job that pays you millions to play a game? Sportsmanship? I'd wager his dogs would take issue with that...

Past honorees have done things that were courageous and worthy of emulation --Like fullback Cecil Martin, who had been homeless and is now and NFL star...

A local talk show host thinks this is a show of solidarity symbolizing that the players think he got a raw deal.

Culinary Questionnaire


Can a finicky eater be a good cook?
Yes
No
  
pollcode.com free polls


One of the persons my mother used to have babysit me as a child was, well, quite culinarily challenged. This person could destroy boxed stuffing mix. Recently it dawned on me that that person is also a VERY picky eater. Correlation?

I must admit to being especially annoyed by adults that act like finicky little children. You eat what is in front of you --especially at someone else's house. I ate horse that had sat unrefrigerated in a suitcase from Uzbekistan to England for Christ's sake. My dad ate rats in Vietnam and bugs in Uganda...as not to offend. You're grown, you won't die.

I watch my baby (who is 15 months old already btw!) when he is offered a new food. He looks right to me. I mean right in my eyes as if to implore whether to trust the offered morsel and I immediately eat some of whatever it is -delicious or gross.

Is it rude for an adult to refuse or pick through food that someone else made?
Yes
No
  
pollcode.com free polls

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gender set-asides



Suzy Whaley shot a one-under-par 71 on Tuesday to win a PGA Section Championship and become the first woman ever to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
source

ALa's post about FreeMasonry and her comment that "First (of course) any group that denies women membership can't be a group worth belonging to IMO... " started me thinking about Suzy Whaley and PGA rules.

There are quite a few sports that have separate leagues for men and women. This makes sense. If all the spots were openly competitive, very few women could win a spot.

However, is it fair that women are eligible for all of the LPGA spots and, in addition, can win PGA spots while men can only compete for the PGA spots?

Let's say there are 50 PGA and 50 LPGA spots. Let's say that the top 150 golfers in the world are men and number 151 is a woman. All 50 PGA spots go to men and all 50 LPGA spots go to women. The number 51 man and the number 51 women are out of luck.

Now, let's say that the best woman golfer in the world is better than the number 50 man. She get's the number 50 PGA slot and the number 50 man, who is better than any woman golfer in the world, goes home. The number 51 woman now gets the bottom LPGA spot.

What if there were 50 women who earned the 50 PGA spots. Then there were 500 men who were better than any other women in the world. Too bad, go home. Those LPGA spots are set-asides.

I am not advocating that men should be eligible for LPGA. That would, for the most part, put women out of professional golf.

But ladies, you shouldn't get it both ways.

There Should Be No Presumption of Innocence

Searching through various articles and blogs this morning, I couldn't find any that seemed upset over the fact that the President called the Christmas Crotch Bomber's attempt "alleged."

On the positive side, he did refer to 'terrorists' and 'terrorism' as opposed to man-caused disasters and purveyors of man-caused disasters.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't we decide that 9/11 was able to take place because of terrorism being treated like a criminal matter and different branches of security being unable to mesh information?

Isn't calling this act "alleged" a clear signal that we are returning to a pre-9/11 posture with regards to treating foreign terrorists the same way we would someone that robbed your local TD bank? What does it say to the rank of file of al Qaeda that the President of the United States calls the acts of a declared radical that was caught with his pants down and the underpants to prove it..."alleged?"

Obamacare Precedent?

Just wondering, if to anyone's recollection, Reagan, Bush 41 or Bush 43 (who also had a Republican Congress) ever pushed through a bill with NO Democratic support...as in, not even one?

Is this Obamacare bill unprecedented with no bi-partisan support (I mean it's pretty bad if you can't even get an Olympia Snowe, a Susan Collins or a Richard Lugar) and being rushed through like this.

I know this gets tiresome, but what if Bush had ramrodded something as sweeping and right-wing as this is left-wing through? If the Left were inflating their scrotums over an Iraq war resolution, that 29 Senate Democrats and 81 Democrats in the House voted IN FAVOR OF), imagine a vote in which not ONE Democrat had said 'Yea?'

Kos Kid Bill's End of the Year Post


Now, Kos is the biggest of the Moonbat blogs...only rivaled by the DU forums right? You'd think that given his rockstar status in the leftosphere that Marcos could conjure up some witty contributors. You'd be wrong. Somehow, I managed to do it with Dr. Tony and Russ and I'm not privy to a quarter of the fame that Kos commands. But with 511,116 hits a day, he can't find a truly witty soul in his cadre? It really does lend weight to the claim that liberals really have no sense of humor, doesn't it?

What prompted this reflection you ask? Kos Kid contributor 'Bill in Portland Maine's' End of the Year recap --that I believe was supposed to be a humorous wrap-up of 2009.

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Republicans in the Third Quarter of 2009

Like, for instance:

>> The president is a Kenyan racist who hates white people and white culture.

>> The first Hispanic American to become a Supreme Court Justice is a "reverse-racist."

>> It's okay to call the president a liar as he's saying something true while addressing a joint session of Congress.

>> Making health care more accessible and affordable is a Nazi policy.

>> Death panels led by Barney Frank will convene in the middle of the night to decide if Grandma lives or dies.

>> Government-run healthcare programs are evil...and don’t you dare put the government in charge of my Medicare!

>> The attacks of 9/11 didn’t happen on Bush and Cheney's watch.

>> Al Franken stole Norm Coleman's senate seat.

>> Whoever shouts the loudest and angriest at a town hall meeting is a better American than people who don’t.

>> The biggest environmental threat to the planet is global cooling. (source)


Isn't this so lame? I'm sure any of us could make the list funny and we're the ones he's supposedly lampooning... Silly Kos kids, these lists don't work if you're not funny.

If you're bored at work and want a little snicker...google image "kossack meetup" or "kos convention" and see the fringe on film...

...hmmm 'fringe on film,' do I feel a Duran Duran parody coming on? ;)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Talk to me About Freemasonry


Recently, The Man was told that all of his dedication and hard work might go unappreciated in the long run. A gossiping co-worker informed him that the all the top echelon of his company are Freemasons...as are those that get promoted to all higher level positions.

I spent much of the weekend reading about Freemasonry. I read the Anti-Mason sites that make charges of everything from culthood and Satan worship to misogyny. Then I delved into the pro-Mason sites that seek to dispute the charges from the previously mentioned sites (though seemingly, not really by addressing them, but by attacking those making them). I'm looking for REAL information. I don't want people to tell me stuff I can read online, but stuff they have actually experienced --good and/or bad.

Should I be concerned about The Man being pressured to join at some point? Is this just an innocuous social frat for big boys? Or do wives out there find that it turns into something more?

Being honest, two things bother me right away. First (of course) any group that denies women membership can't be a group worth belonging to IMO... (Unless it truly is just a fraternity for 'grown' men and a place to escape their wives). Then, from all that I read (on the pro-Mason site actually) it seems that the major theme is moral relativism (called "tolerance") --and I hate moral relativism almost as much as I hate entitlement. One who tolerates everything, believes in nothing --and who wants to align themselves with people that can't make a stand on anything?

Wait, there is a 3rd misgiving. The one person we know well that is a Mason is less than impressive to me. His political knowledge is shite. His religious knowledge is shite and his morals are pretty twisted. I know this is one person out of millions, but as I said...he's the one I know.

(I also found it amusing (annoying?) that brothers must promise never to sleep with a fellow Mason's mom, wife, ex, sister or daughter...not pledge not to commit adultery...just not with another mason's woman...)

What was appealing was that all the conspiracy sites accused many of the people I admire of being Masons...Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove... And the Masons seem to really like Ayn Rand (wonder if they'd let her join?)

Anyway, give it up people. I read on a pro-Mason site that it isn't true that it's all secret so you can tell me. What am I getting into here...a cultish alliance or just new drinking buddies for The Man?

Can You be Drunk on the Senate Floor (If Your Name Isn't Kennedy)?

Did you see the Newsbusters story about a possibly drunken Max Baucus on the Senate floor? My God, this video is painful to watch. We've all been corned by 'that guy' in a bar or at a party --the guy that gets louder and louder and more belligerent even though no one is answering back. The guy that repeats an inane point 4,000 times thinking he's being profound as he stumbles over elementary thoughts...



Forget the fact that 55% of Americans are opposed to "health care reform" Democrat-style (though 67% feel certain the unpopular bill will pass, and only a paltry 27% "strongly favor" the legislation.) (source)

You know it's bad when even Obama's darling, The Gray Lady, has an op-ed calling the representation of the bill "less than honest."

At least there's talk of dropping the public option. We'll have to wait and see what happens with abortion funding...

Caption It...

Monday, December 28, 2009

CAIR Apologizes For Weekend Bomb Attempts

Yeah right. You didn't really believe that...did you?



What they actually did was quickly issue a statement urging Americans to pretend it has not been Muslim males trying to blow up planes...and to continue screening red headed two year olds as diligently as Ebrahim from Yemen.

"A Muslim advocacy group is urging passengers, crews and security personnel to avoid ethnic and religious "profiling" in the wake of the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight in Detroit on Christmas Day.

In a statement, Ibrahim Hooper of the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says, "While everyone supports robust airline security measures, racial and religious profiling are in fact counterproductive and can lead to a climate of insecurity and fear." (source)

I'm sure the passengers aboard the two flights that were targeted over this Christmas weekend would feel more at ease knowing that if their planes would have exploded in mid air...it wouldn't have been terrorism. According to our President, just a "man-caused disaster." (source)

Contraband Vetted



"Oh, homemade pumpkin bread! But... Um... Do you have the ingredient lists of all the things you used to make it?" My 3rd grader's room mother seemed embarrassed to ask.

"Crap, I had it...but carrying the bread for this class, the pizzelles for the 5th grade, presents for the teachers and the baby...I must have forgot it. Sorry! It's basically flour, sugar, eggs, pumpkin and spices though-nothing even remotely peanuty...cross my heart."

"Well, it's ok with me, but you'll have to go get a clearance from the school nurse.Sorry."

...

"Hi, I brought in pumpkin bread for the holiday party, but forgot the ingredients and was told I need a clearance from you. I's for Ms. Bing's class...there are no allergy kids in the class."

The nurse checks some big, three ring notebook and then proclaims that my contraband should be okay and would get a clearance this one time...but not to let it happen again.

"Can I ask you something? The school says they want healthy snacks but then gives parents that actually send healthy, homemade stuff the 3rd degree. Am I to infer from the new 'no homemade items' rule that you think I would lie? Am I going to tunnel peanuts into the bread and then lie? To what avail?"

"Parents have lied."

"To what avail?" I ask again.

".... You have to understand, someone could breath on this girl and she could die."

"That is absolutely not true. No offense, but please...she wouldn't have made it to 5th grade. And if it IS true and her parents send her into throngs of children that could have eaten peanut butter toast for breakfast...child protective services should remove her immediately."

"These aren't my rules."

Why can't I ever JUST STOP talking? "Yeah but you're not questioning them either and you're a registered nurse. All this and they serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the cafeteria...where she eats. But I can't have bread with NO PEANUTS in a room and grade where she is not. How does that make any sense!?"

"Because IF something happens to her we have to be able to show it was not due to anything that happened here."

And there it is. Finally the truth. CYA baby. Hundreds inconvenienced by one. The new normal.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Obama's (Mixed) Christmas Message(s)



After watching the Christmas message that the President and First Lady taped for the nation on Christmas...urging everyone to do something for the men and women of the military this holiday season, I was feeling honest to goodness good will for the Obama's. I feel this message (coupled with the Norway speech) strongly suggests the possible evolution of an ideology for a man that once condemned all war. But, a man that now finds himself a war time President getting national security information in real time and learning the nuanced dance of international affairs isn't as cut and dry as he once imagined.

Unfortunately, that good feeling was dampened a bit when I was emailed this article about the Obama's White House Christmas tree: "Transvestites, Mao And Obama Ornaments Decorate White House Christmas Tree." Ugh. Once again I have to say that (as a person that loves pomp and circumstance) I hate the 'common-ness' (crassness?)that the Obama's bring to the WH. Maybe in this case it's not common-ness, but garishness...or classlessness. Are any of these actually words? :)

I guess trannies and Mao on the White House tree isn't some end-of-the-world event, just another little thing to diminish the mystique of the Oval Office...

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Caption It...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Hard Drive...

FINALLY came. Shhh. Let's not jinx anything! SILENT HAPPY DANCE!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you, and your families, a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and many wonderful things in 2010 (not least of which...a Republican Congress...)

Enjoy the day!.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas



I know that ALa would regale us with a great Christmas emotion if her computer were working. How 'bout we give her a gift. In the comments, describe your favorite Blonde Sagacity moments. She is reevaluating the direction of the blog and hopefully we can inspire her to continue.

I'll tell you I certainly have enjoyed her thoughts and the fact that she translates them into activities. I appreciate that she lets me write her occasionally. I am way too lazy to maintain my own blog and she kindly lets me squat here.

I love the trolls that criticize her as just a pretty blond. They focus on the nice photo of her and seem to think that a good looking woman can't possibly have anything interesting to say. Guess that explains a lot when you look at their pundits.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Proof that ALa has been shopping

(Democ)Rats fleeing the ship


This guy, Rep. Parker Griffith, barely won his seat last year in a northern Alabama district considered safe for Democrats, is now the first Republican to hold that district.

He is a doctor, a radiation oncologist, and stated his opposition to ObamaCare as the prime reason to switch. Hopefully, he can drag a few of his buddies with him. He has been strongly criticized by his Democrat colleagues for his conservative voting records. Perhaps we should call him a DINO!

He was also unhappy with the administrations decision to scrap the missile defense system for eastern Europe, as his district includes Huntsville, home of many military contractors. Particularly the base for Boeing’s ground-based missile defense research.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Blackmail Free Speech?

Over the weekend I was watching a small blurb about the "blackmail" scheme that went down with David Letterman. I had known the jist of it, but had never heard the exact details of how the guy approached him.

With a play treatment. He offered Letterman first dibs on a play about Letterman's work-innapropriate infidelities...like any other play, if Letterman opted not to buy it it would be up for public sale.

Ingenious right?

I've never understood why blackmail- or extortion as it protects a crime- is illegal. I mean in, in terms of legislation...why would the federal government pass laws to protect someone from their own information becoming public? Since I am still computer-less I can't look up the history of the legislation...but I can only assume it has something to do with protecting K Street and Capital Hill.

The more I think about it, the less it makes sense. How does this not qualify under freedom of speech? And asking for money in exchange for information...doesn't that happen legally every day? My university sure raked me over the coals for information they provided. What would be the legal recourse for blackmail victims? None. Live your life above reproach and you won't have to worry...

There was a time a few years back when one of The Man's customer's had made some bad business decisions and wasn't paying the fairly substantial amount he owed us... I had two kids to take care of and he was betting $25K on the Eagles...I feel I should have been able to demand he pay or I inform authorities about his book... Once again the law protects the cad.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Excuses, Excuses...



Possible broken foot on Monday...pediatrician, x-rays, crutches. Thankfully just a bad sprain.

Stranded with the baby in 29 degree global warming with a car that won't even turn over...Wednesday.

The bus comes early yesterday morning and the kids miss it for the first time...because my car is dead in front of their school.

And last but not least, typing posts on my Blackberry is just too much for my duel carpal tunnel. We ordered the new hard drive on DECEMBER 3rd!!! Where is it!? Grrrrrr! It was bad enough when we were down to one computer, but none is unbearable. I need to Christmas shop!

Add that to the fact that - watched the movie "Obama's Hype" that Citizen's United sent me and it depressed the crap out of me... What have we done to our country?

There were so many things I wanted to post about:

Once again a total misinterpretation of the Separation of Church and State by a NJ teacher and principle that ordered a 3rd grader to put a Bible away and said it wasn't appropriate for school.

Continued attempts to create a State-mandated indoctrination as school districts in Wisconsin are ordered to teach a POSITIVE history of Unions in the US.

And what's up with WalMart? Over-charging people sending Christmas presents to APO addresses?! So, on the other side of that...props to Target for offering the lowest rates!

I am reluctant to judge the way any parent handles their grief, but as I read about a mom posting Twitter updates as her toddler is found drowned in her pool...just verifies all my negative thoughts about Mommy Bloggers...

Lieberman should feel proud being attacked by all the weirdos... Michael Moore saying he will call for a CT boycott unless constituents recall him --CT doesn't have that capability Michael... And then there's that idiot Stuart Smalley....

Keep your fingers crossed for my hard drive!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Irony of Copenhagen


As the Climate Change meetings go on in Copenhagen, the European federation has released today a dossier stating 100 Reasons Climate Change is natural. Here are the top 10 (but click link for all 100):

) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

6) Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time.

7) The 0.7C increase in the average global temperature over the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends.

8) The IPCC theory is driven by just 60 scientists and favourable reviewers not the 4,000 usually cited.

9) Leaked e-mails from British climate scientists – in a scandal known as “Climate-gate” - suggest that that has been manipulated to exaggerate global warming

10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.


And as for those talks in Copenhagen... Yesterday we talked about Al Gore's hypocrisy (private jets and his carnivorous lifestyle), but what about the other leaders and scientists professing concern for man's role in the end of the world? Did they WALK to Copenhagen?

No. In fact, the CO2 released into the atmosphere to carry on with this 'save the earth' conference is equivalent to that of 2,300 Americans FOR ONE YEAR. Oops.
5,700 tons of CO2 to hold the conference and 46,200 tons in the flights alone. (source)

Did You Know?


That Karl Rove's father left when his brother and he were very young. He was raised by his stepfather, who divorced his mother when he was 19, moved to San Fran and "came out". Rove didn't find out that Louis Rove was not his biological father until after the divorce. "Rove has expressed great love and admiration for his adoptive father and for 'how selfless' his love had been." "Rove ke[pt] a photograph of his father on his White House desk and has remarked to reporters that his father "lived life exactly the way he wanted to live it." Rove's mother committed suicide in 1981. The Architect, James Moore and Wayne Slater

I know, I know...the book was published in 1996 but I'm pretty backlogged with books being added to the list each day. I found this to be an incredibly interesting bit of info about the man the Left has painted as such a monster. Of course, I <3 Karl...so I may be a bit biased.

Caption It...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gore: Once Again Confronted With an Inconvenient Truth


I have to fist give credit where credit is due... Al Gore is certainly sticking to his faux-green guns and showed up to speak in Copenhagen despite the "hacked" climate emails and the fact that he's still eating meat and flying in private jets (possibly simultaneously...)

And lucky for us he did speak, because we know that when the Goracle speaks...blog fodder happens.

"These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years." (source)

First off, writer Don Surber asks what's was so wrong with an Arctic Ocean without ice and then rightfully points out that an ice-free Mediterranean seems to be working out... ;) (source)

But, of course that isn't the end of the story because it is Gore we're talking about... "In reaction to Gore, Dr. Maslowski: “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at. I would never try to estimate likelihood of anything as exact as this."

So even other scientists that are still claiming the world is melting are giving vague time lines and if pressed say some time around 2013...but Gore steps onto the world stage and cries the sky is falling in 2014? Wow. ...And Republicans are fear-mongers?

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Top One-Hit-Wonders of This Decade



I told you there were tons of these lists out there...

But, I have to say, this one made me feel my age a bit. There were quite a few songs that made the list that I had never heard of.

"...Artists were chosen because they managed to crack Billboard's Hot 100 Top 10 list with their first single and then never managed to crack the Top 25 for the next 10 years.

"Everybody loves to have those songs that consume their lives for a period of time," said M. Tye Comer, executive editor of Billboard.com. "You expect them to be there forever and then they go away. This list is a nice way to go back and remember those songs and find out what happened to the artists." (source)

1) Daniel Powter "Have a Bad Day"
2) Terror Squad "Lean Back"
3) Crazy Town "Butterfly,"
4) Mims "This Is Why I'm Hot"
5) D4L "Laffy Taffy"

And I hate this next one because he is SO not a one-hit-wonder--the picked his poppy, sappy song for the radio but the rest of his work is really awesome:
6) James Blunt "You're Beautiful"
7) Gnarls Barkley "Crazy"
8) BLU CANTRELL "HIT 'EM UP STYLE"
9) Bo Bice "Inside your Haven"
10) Dream "He Loves You Not"
(The entire list can be found here)

Well, maybe if I searched these on You Tube, I'd know many more of them than I think I do (such is the plight of the one-hit-wonder)--or maybe I'll just tell myself that so I don't feel old...

(And free and Jpck, before you talk crap about Blunt (pictured above:
"Blunt trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[5][8] He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Life Guards, a unit of the Household Cavalry, where he rose to the rank of Captain....In 1999, he served as an armoured reconnaissance officer in the NATO deployment in Kosovo. Initially assigned to reconnaissance of the Macedonia-Yugoslavia border, Blunt and his unit worked ahead of the front lines directing forces and targeting Serb positions for the NATO bombing campaign. He led the first squadron of troops to enter Pristina, and was the first British officer to enter the Kosovo capital. His unit was given the assignment of securing the Pristina airport in advance of the 30,000-strong peacekeeping force; the Russian army had moved in and taken control of the airport before his unit's arrival. As the first officer on the scene, Blunt shared a part in the difficult task of addressing the potentially violent international incident..." (source) so there!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anti War but Support the Troops?


Can you believe I am still getting pulled into this debate...I mean, how 2004!

Seriously though, it started with a discussion in which someone asked how they could justify helping the troops this holiday when they are vehemently anti-war...to which I said "don't." I told her to give to an animal shelter and leave the care of the men and women of the Armed Forces to those of us who appreciate what they do.

Then someone else in the conversation actually compared the ability to support the troops while you oppose war to loving Chic-Fil-A when you hate fundamentalist Christians. I swear (could I even make that up?)!

I informed him this was possibly the worst analogy I'd ever heard and that if I could overlook the comparing of our Armed Forces to fried chicken, he would've had had to have said that he didn't believe in killing chickens but loved Chi-Fil-A to have it be analogous. That would have been comparable...and, of course, equally as asinine.

I guess I could concede that you can be against a certain/specific war, while still "supporting the troops"...but I can't conceive of any way in which one could be opposed to all war and not as equally opposed to those that wage it.

I was trying to vet this conclusion --that war and the troops were not mutually exclusive-- and the only analogy I found to be serious enough for the situation was abortion. I think abortion is murder that is never justified. Abortion doctors voluntarily enter into and profit from this profession. Abortions could not happen without their willingness to perform them. I blame the doctors as much (if not more) than I hate the abstract notion of abortion as they are the tool that brings it to fruition. There is no circumstance under which I'd give to a charity for abortion doctors or espouse my support for them.

So, I think my analogy is spot on....and now the only thing I can't seem figure out is why the anti-war crowd doesn't have the conviction to make the the exact same argument about war and the troops...word for word substituting abortion with war and abortion doctors with members of our military?

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Extinct in 2010?


Tons of end-of-the-decade lists are popping up all over, but I was interested to see what would end up on a 'Gone Obsolete Since 1999' list. The general public doesn't seem to get these memos though. Case in point, you can actually still get a busy signal if you call The Man's sister... I thought that was obsolete after the close of the last decade...

So what won't be missed after this decade passes us by?

1) Answering machine
2) Lickable postage stamp
3) Foldable Road Maps
4) Cathode Ray Tube Television
5) Incandescent Light Bulb
6) Paid Pornography
7) Smoking in Bars
8) Fax Machine
9) Hydrox Cookie
10) Cassette Tape
11) French Franc
12) Floppy Disk
13) Phone Book
14) Polaroid Photo
15) Bank Deposit Slip
16) Subway Token
17) The Rolodex (source)

So how many of the 17 do you still rely on? I have an answering machine bypassing my voicemail because I always forgot to check it. I too thought faxes were obsolete and didn't replace mine when it died...only to be asked to fax something at least once every few weeks. Phone books should have been on last decade's list. I hate that they still leave them because it goes right into the recycle bin. And you can have my Rolodex when you pry it from my cold, dead hands...I will never trust technology enough to ditch that.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Close Encounters of the Drunken, Abusive Kind

Friday nights are chili night. Whoever shows up is welcome. It's our thing.

Last Friday we were in the backyard, crowding around the chiminea, when my oldest and his friends came running back talking and yelling over each other in utter panic mode.

"Oh my God someone is getting abducted out front," my oldest sputtered looking horrified.
"Yeah," his friend chimed in, "Some girl is getting pulled into a truck..."
"...and she's screaming 'help!'" they all seemed to shout in unison.

A few of us ran to the front of the house just in time to see a gold Escalade peeling from the curb and a crumbled girl in its wake. I yelled for the boys to wait in the yard and made my way to the sobbing heap of denim and yellow gold.

As I knelt down she lifted her head slightly and began to sob, "He punched me in the face!" This revelation enabled me not only to get a better look at her and the swelling lip that was beginning to drip blood onto her heavily powdered chin, but also to get a lethal whiff of the cheap perfume and pungent alcohol emanating so heavily from her being.

"Is she okay?," some dude running toward me was on his cell and looking as traumatized as my son, "I'm on the line with 911."

The girl began swabbing her bleeding lip with the sleeve of her cropped denim jacket and making feeble attempts to stand. "He threw me out of the truck!" She teetered back and forth and quickly plummeted to the blacktop. Unsure if her sea legs were a result of 4" gold-tipped heels, the abundance of alcohol she had consumed or the fact that she had just been tossed from a moving SUV...I tried to steady her without exposing myself to her freely flowing DNA.

The guy on the cell phone started pumping her for information. "They want to know his name? His date of birth? White male?"
"Who? I need a smoke. Please. He punched me in the face! I have two kids with him."

"Listen," I attempt to reason with her as she falls all over the sidewalk and continues begging for a cigarette, "that guy is talking with 911 which means the police are on their way. You wreak of alcohol...are you legal?"
"I'm 28!" she slurred back.
"Okay, now I know you probably won't remember this in the morning, but I'm going to say it to you in the hope that it seeps into your psyche. I have been with my man for 13 years and never once has he thrown me from a moving vehicle, or a stationary vehicle or punched me in the face, or anywhere else on my body...this doesn't have to be part of the repertoire. Do you hear what I'm saying?"

Blank stare.

Then, much to my dismay, I see a gold Escalade with low profile tires and spinning rims rolling up on the stop sign about 100 yards from us. Shit. It slows to a halt directly in front of us, but the over-the-legal-percentage-level of tinting on the windows obscured the driver. I could literally feel my heart pounding in the base of my throat, my kids were 25 feet away and I suddenly felt like I was a supporting (and expendable) character in a bad after school special.

In one of those rare instances of picture-perfect timing, a police cruiser turned the corner just as the Escalade came to a stop...he must have noticed the cop at the same time I did, because just like that...he was gone.

The officer got out of the car and looked at me. I shrugged in that I-am-just-here-helping-but-know-nothing way and he walked by me to the girl who was now making her way slowly down the street by propelling herself off my neighbors fence, still moaning loudly about her plight.

"Miss, are you hurt?"
"No! I just wanted a fucking cigarette, leave me alone."
"Miss, you called 911."

At this accusation she spun around like Regan in the Exorcist and spat, "I did not! I wouldn't. He's my baby daddy!"

...

One of my friends that had been watching all this transpire from my back gate put his finger in the air, paused just a second and said in a tone of wonder, "She really just said 'baby daddy.'"

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Palin Showcases Her Sense of Humor

"Sarah Palin made a surprise visit to The Tonight Show, proving she can read from a book at least as dramatically as William Shatner can. Conan O’Brien had Shatner on to do one of his periodic readings, this time from Palin’s bestseller Going Rogue. Then to the delighted screams of the audience, Palin came out and read excerpts from one of Shatner’s autobiographies, Up Till Now" (source)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama's Peace Speech...Justifying War


If you missed the speech in Norway yesterday morning, you can read the entire transcript here.

I thought this was a superb speech with some moving passages that I truly hope Obama believes and not just read from a teleprompter.

"...But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions -- not just treaties and declarations -- that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another -- that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such..."


"...We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached -- their fundamental faith in human progress -- that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey."


"...Ronald Reagan's efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroika not only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe."


I think a part of all of us have wanted a liberal to address the fact that wars have ended slavery, communism, Nazism and genocide...and finally one did. Though, of course, there were parts of the speech I would have re-written, but I was happy to hear that there are some wars he feels were necessary and actions that warrant military action--and though we might aspire to the peaceful resolutions that Martin Luther King advocated...sometimes that option isn't feasible.

So optimism says this a glimpse of an evolving ideology in a novice leader that is gradually seeing a reality he didn't previously understand...(though cynicism says it's a speech to justify the award...).

(I should add that this doesn't change my perception of Obama as a threat to a Free Market America...just that I appreciated the speech and I can say that because I'm not like the Bush-Haters...)

Reader Satisfaction?


Just wondering what the perfect mix for a predominately political blog is... I think I'm having a 5 year itch with the blog and wondering if I need to change things up... Maybe a new blog design would help...

What is the Perfect Content for a Blog?
Only the top political stories of the day
Hard news with some fluff stories here and there
More personal writing mixed in with the news
Get over yourself, no one cares either way
The perfect formula is... (in the comments)
pollcode.com free polls

Caption It...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gallup, Gibbs and His Gauche Guise


"In a blame-the-messenger moment, the press secretary, citing swings in Mr. Obama’s approval ratings in Gallup daily tracking data, said: “I am sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that.”

Gibbs continued: “I don’t put a lot of stake in, never have, in the EKG that is the daily Gallup trend. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it.” (source)

Karl Rove, who mocked Gibbs with Crayola drawings after the tirade, told FNC that Obama's administration has a two hour meeting once a week to talk about...POLLS.

And Newsbusters points out the times when Gibbs has used Gallup when the numbers were in his favor.

But the real issue is the poll in question. The LOWEST approval rating at this juncture of a Presidency (47%):

"...As per Gallup, at 10 ½ months into his Presidency, President George W. Bush was at an astonishing 86% approval, Bill Clinton was at 52%, George H. W. Bush was at 71%, Ronald Reagan despite having inherited 18% unemployment and record high interest rates was at 49%, Jimmy Carter was at 57%, Gerald Ford was at 52%, Richard Nixon was at 59%, Lyndon Johnson was at 74%, John Kennedy was at 77%, Dwight Eisenhower was at 69%, Harry Truman was at 49%.

President Obama has indeed created history, managing to fare lower than any President whose approval has been tracked by Gallup since 1938." (source)


Couple that with the fact that only 26% believe that President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize he is traveling to Norway to accept.

How will the haters explain the 39 point spread between the evil, stupid monkey chimp Bush and the chosen, Messiah of Hope and change?

Loyalty for McCain

"...Arizona politics has been buzzing in the last couple of weeks since a Rasmussen poll suggested that Republican Sen. John McCain might be vulnerable in a primary fight against a more conservative challenger. The poll, released November 20, showed McCain ahead of potential opponent J.D. Hayworth, the radio host and former congressman, by just two points -- a 45 percent to 43 percent margin. Yes, McCain -- the longtime incumbent and recent presidential candidate -- is a mere two points ahead of a challenger who isn't even a challenger yet..." (source)

I know, I know...I say we should purge the RINOs. But then I read a story like this. I know McCain has done some politically inexcusable things at times, but it's hard to just turn off the fact that I am a loyal, loyal person. He was our nominee. "...I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy….I was able to get a sense of his soul." Okay, so that might be a bit overboard, but I did shake his hand and I did get a sense of genuine-ness about him. And I don't know what I think about the possibility of ousting a Senator that (even though at times has been aligned with evil --aka Teddy Kennedy), has often times fought for the right thing...and tirelessly for the men and women of the Armed Forces. And this J.D. Hayworth, wasn't he already ousted by the people? Is this misplaced loyalty?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Caption It + Misc. Items




You can enjoy the rest of the Copenhagen protest pictures here.

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck made Barbara Walters "Most Fascinating" list--the special airs tonight at 10.

And Yes We Did! "...In October and November, the government spent $292 billion more than it took in, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said.

That was even worse than the same period last year, when the government was on its way to posting a record $1.4 trillion deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30..." (source)

Hopefully my new hard drive arrives today and I can resume normal posting...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Health Care is a Civil Right?

""Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right," Reid said Monday. "When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.'"

He continued: "When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn't quite right.

"When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today." (source)


First, we must get the obvious thing out there and done with before we even start the conversation about how incredibly asinine Senator Reid's comment was... The majority that were voting against the end of slavery WERE DEMOCRATS--over 80% I believe. So let's dispense Reid's attempt at revisionist history.

Okay, now that that's out of the way... Through all of this, I think the thing that has been bothering me the most is the synchronized and concerted effort by the President, Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to publicly encourage congress to IGNORE and/or DISREGARD the wishes of their constituents (aka their ACTUAL bosses....).

Running a close second on the annoying scale is the "What do you mean we're rushing this bill? It took 60 years" talking point. Ugh. Do they think the American people are that stupid? Are the American people that stupid?
American person: "Senator, I'm really upset that you're trying to pass the biggest legislation ever and you're not even taking the time to read the bill. I just don't think this is something that should be rushed."
Senator: "3ushed? No! This has been 60 years in the making."
American person: "oh. Okay."

Harry Reid made a not only a bad comparison...but a plain sloppy analogy. Like Charles Krauthammer said, suffrage and fighting against slavery were attempts to INCREASE FREEDOMS...not. To give the government control as the founding fathers collective roll over in their graves...

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Monday, December 07, 2009

The "New News"



Topping the little "Bo" beanie baby key chains I saw at 5 Below over the weekend, is the new "Michelle Obama Look Book."

New York Magazine has stepped up and filled a void. Now the nation has a link with a DAILY SLIDE SHOW of each and every outfit the first lady adorns! Hooray! Wait, doesn't TLC already have something similar...'What not to wear?' ba-dump dump.

Seriously though. Ugh. Call me absent minded, but I can't seem to recall Barney key chain fobs and Laura Bush coffee table, pop-up books... Has it really only been a year....? I mean can anyone tell me what one would do with a life size Michelle Obama cut out?!

The positive side is that holiday shopping ideas abound for the Lefties this year...

Pretend you're married to Obama:



Or just sleep with him:

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Climate-Gate or E-Mail-Theft-Gate?

"Global warming completely debunked via the very Internet you invented. OH. OH the irony, [John Stewart] joked. Though he blasted global warming skeptics, he still went on to criticize the scientists who sent the scandalous e-mails. "Why would you throw out raw data from the ’80s? I still have Penthouses from the ’70s! Laminated. What did you keep?" (source)

John Stewart of The Daily Show (which is a COMEDY show, not news) is the only one even talking about the "climate-gate" emails. How can something this big transpire without a peep on CBS, ABC or NBC. I guess Tiger gave them a convenient cover. Someone please me why this crap still surprises me?! I guess because I keep waiting for some semblance of JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY to kick in. Is that an oxymoron?

So the MSM is just ignoring it, but they can't do that on Capital Hill --not with Republican senators calling for investigations...so how are they dealing with it there?

"You call it Climate-gate. I call it E-mail-theft-gate." Senator Barbara Boxer (D) (source)

That was so predictable.

Apparently, there is no such thing as a 'whistle blower' on the right.

I am so sick of talking about double standards, so I won't even get into the widespread coverage when Bushy was accused of messing with climate data...

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Troops to Surge with Less Than 3/4 of Recommendation

Read the full text of President Obama's remarks last night.

"...To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda – a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda's base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban – a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

...And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.

I do not make this decision lightly. I opposed the war in Iraq precisely because I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force, and always consider the long-term consequences of our actions.

Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.

To meet that goal, we will pursue the following objectives within Afghanistan. We must deny al Qaeda a safe-haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's Security Forces and government, so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future.

We will meet these objectives in three ways. First, we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months.

The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 – the fastest pace possible – so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.

...Let me be clear: none of this will be easy. The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world. And unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve disorderly regions and diffuse enemies.

So as a result, America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict. We will have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. Where al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold – whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere – they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships..." (President Barack H Obama, December 1, 2009)

There are many more clips I could pull..the ones that stood out to me where the ones directed at his base... how it is not Vietnam because we were attacked on 9/11 and how we can't remain with the same troop levels and maintain the status quo.

Though Obama didn't give General McChrystal the minimum of 40,000 troops he asked for, I have to admit to being a bit encouraged that he went 3/4 of the way to put the good of the country and the troops over politics and his base...

Dick Cheney, on the other hand, was not impressed at all.

And now Donald Rumsfeld has replied:
"“In his speech to the nation last night, President Obama claimed that ‘Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive.’ Such a bald misstatement, at least as it pertains to the period I served as Secretary of Defense, deserves a response.”

“I am not aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006. If any such requests occurred, ‘repeated’ or not, the White House should promptly make them public. The President's assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.”

“In the interest of better understanding the President's announcement last night, I suggest that the Congress review the President’s assertion in the forthcoming debate and determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied.” (source)

The Charity of Shaquille O'Neal

Most stories printed about professional athletes deal with their very visible foibles...and in the past couple days we have seen that even the "good ones" fall... So, when my girlfriend told me this story about Shaquille O'Neal, I felt it was right to make it known when an athlete IS role-model worthy.

"...The murder of Shaniya Davis has literally touched a nation. Over 2000 people showed up at her funeral to show their love and support to her and her family. Many others have shed tears for her loss at candlelight vigils and in the privacy of their own homes.
A nation has mourned the loss of Shaniya Davis and expressed outrage as the news reports have painted a heartbreaking picture of what this beautiful child suffered through.
According to CNN, Shaquille O'Neal paid for the funeral of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, whose body was found last week.." (Read the entire story)

In local papers it was written that the story of little Shaniya upset Shaq so deeply that he called her father and asked what he could do --which led to him paying for all the funeral and viewing and costs.

(Shaniya's story here)

Shaq has always been very active with the USMC and Toys for Tots...but this particular story was especially heartwarming to hear about.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Two Suggestions for the Job Czar

It seems that in addition to Obama's Job Summit, there is an open call for citizen ideas about how to stimulate job creation. ("The attendee list for Thursday’s jobs forum includes the CEOs of Google, Comcast, Boeing, Disney, and FedEx, as well as labor leaders and prominent economists." source) It gives me a tiny bit of comfort that he is looking to the private sector for advice on economic growth...

Back to us private citizens though... Apparently, you can have your own living room summit (aka "community discussion") with questions sent to you by Rahm and the team and then you can forward them your suggestions and they claim that they'll read them...

From whitehouse.gov: "...But you don’t need to be at the event in DC to participate. Today we’re announcing nationwide community job forums that will run from November 30th through December 13th. These discussions, among neighbors, co-workers and friends, will be a source of insights and ideas that will inform the President’s approach to job creation. Through WhiteHouse.gov, hosts can upload the results of their discussions. Back here at the White House, we’ll compile the feedback into a report that will be sent to the Oval Office for review..." (source)

I don't need collaboration or a living room summit. Here are my offerings:

There was no issue with unemployment until women's lib. Since that time women have been steadily entering the work force (either by choice or under the duress of rising costs) and though the work force might have doubled, the available jobs didn't.

So, suggestion #1: Large tax breaks for stay at home moms (or dads). We give tons of money to working parents in the form of subsidized day care and that is a black hole. Subsidizing mothers to raise their own children will benefit society and produce immediate and long term benefits for taxpayer dollars. The immediate effect is job openings and the long term effect is a decline in all the negative things that rose when moms went back to work to begin with (truancy, delinquency, etc)

Then to work or not to work could truly be a choice. I know many, many parents that would love to take their kids out of day care...but feel it's not fiscally possible...so this would be a win-win.

And second recommendation (that would FLOOD the market with jobs instantaneously) we'll call "the Mark Sanford" --South Carolinians are looking to impeach the governor for carrying on an extramarital affair with a very so-so looking Argentinian woman... imagine the amount of jobs if all men that cheated on their wives were fired!!!!! ;)

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Feeling Bad for Huckabee

"...The conservative blogosphere unleashed a torrent of criticism against Mike Huckabee Monday after a man whose sentence he commuted as Arkansas governor was suspected of gunning down four police officers in Washington state over the weekend.

Maurice Clemmons, whom Huckabee granted clemency to nine years ago, remained at large after local police in Lakewood, Wash. mistakenly thought they had him trapped in a house early Monday. Clemmons is reported to have shot the officers as they were sitting at a table in a local coffee shop..." (source)

When I read that yesterday, I think I actually heard the Governor's 2012 aspirations fly out the window. This horrible tragedy coupled with the already publicized rapist Wayne DuMond pardon would be way too much to surmount.

As I blogged recently, I like Mike Huckabee a lot as a person...but his leniency as Arkansas governor is what had initially soured me toward him in the primaries. I'm sure he felt horrible about DuMond and I know this new horror is probably eating
him alive...

...I just don't know if that would be any consolation for me if I were the mother/wife/mother/daughter/girlfriend of one of the murdered Washington officers...