Monday, August 31, 2009

Conservative Commentator George Will Purportedly to Call for a U.S. Troop Pullout from Afghanistan in His Next Column.

(Link below). Having waited now for months for Obama to explain to the American people exactly what the objective and plan are in Afghanistan, and having become quite convinced that there is currently little or no coherent plan or objective over in that hellhole, I'm inclined to agree with Will at the moment. Another big question: Will anyone on the American left join Will in calling for a troop pullout? Don't hold your breath there. With a democrat in office, the American left by and large doesn't give a rat's behind about foreign wars that lack articulated plans and objectives. They only hit the streets when a republican is presiding over such wars. As I like to say, those hypocrites have run for the hills on this one!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let's Debate the Health Care Reform Bill! Oops, There Isn't One.

I have to say I love how the far right and far left pundits and blogosphere have for weeks now been pointing to this obscure provision and that obscure provision from the so-called "health care reform bill." That's because there is no such bill, but rather several different versions between the House and Senate, and, as the link below explains, there's even a version (supported by the pictured Senator Chris Dodd) that has yet to be released to the public. So I say, let the right and left have all their endless little pissing matches over isolated language from these various versions on issues like "death panels," immigration and abortions. I'm much more interested in the actual bill upon which the House and Senate ultimately vote, and right now that's impossible to ascertain. My single largest concern continues to be the so-called "public option" and the possibility that it will be utilized to gradually transition to a single payer system (i.e. total government control of the health insurance industry). But how can even that issue be reasonably discussed when we now have no idea what's going to be contained in the actual bill that's voted upon in the House and Senate?

And a separate issue here is the most concerning to me. The secret Dodd version of the bill raises the specter of a rerun of what we saw when the massive cap-and-trade bill was ram-rodded through the House: 1000 plus pages of complex statutory jargon being passed without anyone having a chance to read it first, with 300 new pages added to the bill the same day it was voted upon and passed. Folks, these dem lawmakers in Congress are out of control, and it's clear to me that most of them really don't care what we think about it. I can't recall a more dangerous time in our country during my life, I really can't. For the people who do read this blog, I don't ask that you agree with me on everything or that you even respect a damn thing I say. I only ask that you keep your eyes wide open right now. This is no time to be napping.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I've Seen Tonight Perhaps the Most Disturbing Thing I've Seen Yet From the Obama Administration.

...which is really saying something, trust me. I'm just in the early stages of looking at this, but on its face it may be much more concerning than even such things as the ram-rodding through Congress of all of these huge pieces of ultra-liberal legislation that no one has read. The "this" to which I'm referring is Obama's so-called "diversity czar" of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), a position of apparently significant power within the FCC in terms of guiding FCC policy and regulations. His name is Mark Lloyd (pictured). Now, the FCC of course is the federal government body that regulates the American television and radio airwaves, among other things.

As the linked article below first explains, Lloyd's publicly stated vision for the FCC is to move towards a scheme (1) of much greater federal regulation of the airwaves and (2) a must stronger presence on the airwaves for public (i.e. government funded and/or controlled) broadcasting. Regardless of what one happens to think of those goals, the very disturbing thing here is the person himself (Lloyd) who will apparently have a significant amount of power to use towards achieving those goals. I've seen a lot of very worrisome past quotes from this guy, and I won't try to parrot them all back here. Rather, I'll just give you a little flavor. For example, this is a guy who appears to have an absolute disregard (if not pure disdain) for the free speech and free press components of the First Amendment -- rights that are as fundamental and untouchable to us as Americans and as human beings as any set of rights set forth anywhere in our Constitution. The linked article states as follows and quotes Lloyd's words from a 2006 book that he authored:

"For those who think any or all of these recommendations [of Lloyd] might infringe on the free speech rights of broadcasters, Lloyd says his concern is not the 'exaggerated' concerns over the First Amendment. 'It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press,' he said. 'This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies . . . [T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance,' said Lloyd. '[T]he problem is not only the warp to our public philosophy of free speech, but that the government has abandoned its role of advancing the communications capabilities of real people.'"

Frankly, folks, I am dumbfounded tonight that a person who speaks with so little regard for the First Amendment has such an apparently strong position of power in the entity that regulates our airwaves, including the broadcast media on television and radio. Among other quotes from this guy that I've seen are ones expressing his apparent admiration for Hugo Chavez and the steps Chavez has taken to restrict the media and freedom of expression in Venezuela. To get down to brass tacks: Those of you folks who know me know that I'm not some right-winger, nor some conservative, who goes around crying foul and damnation at anything a democrat does. Heck, I distrust the repubs just as much as I do the dems. But this stuff here involving the kind of person we have in such a position of power at the FCC is truly frightening to me. I've just started to read about this guy tonight, so stay tuned -- more to come I'm sure.

Friday, August 28, 2009

This July, August: The Two Most Deadly Months Yet in Afghanistan.

Forty-four U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan in both July and August (link below). The American left continues to run for the hills on Afghanistan because wars without objectives are just fine with those hypocrites so long as a democrat is in office. I've heard some on the left claim recently, "Well, Obama said during the campaign we'd be staying in Afghanistan." Yes he did, but he talked about only modest troop increases, not the massive escalations in troop levels and spending that we have seen. And still I sit here -- months after first requesting it in this space -- waiting for Obama to use one of his national television appearances to explain in detail to the American people exactly what the plan is for Afghanistan. Because from everything I've read this year, there is no coherent plan, but instead just a bunch of chaos over in that absolute hellhole. So I wait. And it looks like I'll have to wait a while longer. I guess at least until the end of the year, after which (in election year 2010) Obama & The Dems probably won't have any interest in trying to ram-rod any additional pieces of massive ultra-liberal domestic legislation through the congress. Oh well, I've waited this long...

My e-mail and open challenge tonight to my Congressman, Dennis Moore, concerning his refusal to hold a townhall to listen to us.

[As sent tonight to his congressional website:]
Dear Congressman Moore,
Your lack of courage to listen to and face the opponents of the health care reform bill that you support is very disheartening. One only need to look to Missouri and Claire McCaskill for a democratic politician who has the guts to hold multiple townhalls and listen to her opponents. I am not a republican or conservative, and frankly as a proud Independent, I eschew those factions just as much as I do democrats and liberals. We Independents control the fate of elections nationwide and in individual states like Kansas. As as one of those folks, I hereby challenge you to have a backbone and actually hold a public townhall so that you can listen to what your constituents have to say about the health care reform plan that you support. Until you do, I will continue to speak loudly about your lack of courage on my blog (, which provides a rare forum for Independents in this country to sound off, and I will also continue to speak about this on Facebook, and Twitter, and on the myriad other websites with which I am connected. I'll be waiting, congressman. For months now, my blog has had a national focus. Not anymore.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kudos to Claire McCaskill

During this politically historic August in which many congressional dems have been hiding in caves (including my representative, Dennis Moore of Kansas), McCaskill has held multiple townhalls across the State of Missouri to face the often noisy opposition to Obama & The Dems' health care reform plan. Her latest town hall was in Jefferson City last night (link below). I may disagree with her support of that plan in its current form, but I respect her for not being afraid to face the opposition and listen to it, as opposed to insulting and dismissing it like so many other dems.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar Has Given Them the Call.

"Hookah bars" have become quite the rage with the 18-20 year old set these days (hit first link below for story/second link for music video). So let me get this straight: We don't allow them to drink, which is only encouraging them to go smoke it up in public with their friends? There's something very wrong there. 18-year-olds can vote, smoke and go fight in wars, but we don't allow them to drink until 3 years later? Which these days is helping the very dangerous activity of tobacco smoking make an apparent comeback? Wrong message, wrong law. My general recollection and understanding (correct me if I'm wrong here) is that the 21-year-old drinking age (a creature of statute in individual states) is largely a relic of Reagan era federal legislation that withholds substantial amounts of highway funds from any state that does not have such a law. Well, this ain't 1984, and I call on Obama & The Dems (since they have all the power in Washington these days) to take a close look at this and strongly consider changing it. And kids: Never use tobacco.

Rest In Peace tonight, Teddy Kennedy.

The news came down about 30 minutes ago that Ted Kennedy has passed away. I agreed with few of his viewpoints over the years ("the liberal Lion of the Senate"), but I must extend him a huge degree of credit: Because despite his failings whenever he tried to run for executive office, he was a man for whom I would never question his deep convictions, and he was one hell of an effective member of the legislative branch. He had the ability to sit down with opponents, negogiate, and hash out compromise agreements. That was his most wonderful skill. And there have been very few politicians in my lifetime who have had that same ability. I'm saddened that he was in ill health during the current health care reform debate, because if anyone might have been able to find some common ground between the far left, blue dogs, and even repubs, it would have been Teddy. As an American very proud of my Irish roots, and as one who considers Teddy's brother Jack to be the last great American President, I am very saddened by Teddy's passing tonight. Despite my general disagreement with many of his viewpoints, I still find inspiration whenever I listen to his 1980 concession speech at the Democratic National Convention -- it was the speech of his life. Those of us somewhere in the middle might not have ever agreed with a lot of what the Kennedy brothers espoused over the years, but we sure did love them for their conviction. Rest in peace, Teddy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Good to See They All Can Agree.

Fidel Castro is on the same page with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York Governor David Paterson and other dems on the viewpoint that anyone with the audacity to disagree with Obama on anything is a racist right-winger (links below). Now, can we get a second from Hugo Chavez?

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm changing my tune tonight on Taco Bueno.

I realize my initial blog post regarding their restaurant was a bit over-the-top (hey, you dudes that know me know that I tend to roll that way a bit too often, at least on issues that tend to get me riled up, such as restaurants offering healthy alternatives to regular menu items). But it was heartfelt. Regardless, events tonight lead me to a general impression that Taco Bueno is more or less in the earlier stages of starting to offer some healthier alternatives, and since that process seems to be a work in progress, I didn't see those things on Taco Bueno's current online menu the other night.

So what "events"? First, it occurred to me tonight that while I saw no Fresco menu either at the Taco Bueno restaurants or on their website, I hadn't actually asked a Taco Bueno employee if they had such a menu. So I called my local one tonight in the KC area, and spoke to a very courteous, personable employee who told me that they don't have a Fresco menu per se, but that they will gladly make any menu item to order. My only problem with that is that while I can order a bean burrito without cheese and without chili sauce, I still don't know exactly what fat count I'm getting and it would probably taste fairly awful (it would be only refried beans in a shell).

But the second of the "events" was then to read an e-mail received today from Taco Bueno in response to an e-mail I sent them a few days back regarding their menu. Again it was a very courteous e-mail that explained that they are starting to implement some new low fat options. Included among those are chicken tacos under 10 grams of fat, on which I commend them. But I'm not a big grilled chicken guy (wish I was taste-wise, because it's an extremely healthy food). However, the same information e-mailed to me pointed out that pico de gallo, chunky salsa, and onions are apparently items that could be included in a "made to order" order, like the one referenced by the employee in KC. I'm actually excited about this: I think that if I'm allowed to order (and I take these dudes at face value that I will be) a bean burrito without cheese, without chili sauce, but with pico de gallo and/or salsa plus onions, I will basically be receiving the equivalent of the Taco Bell Fresco Bean Burrito. THAT I can eat! So I'm going to give that a try this week.

Moral of the story: Yours Truly likely would have been better served to look into things a little further before starting to rant and rave. But none of us are without faults, are we? ;)

"Congressional crazy talk."

That's the lead item on today (link below), detailing a number of the over-the-top statements made in August by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle concerning such issues as the health care reform debate, Obama's birthplace, etc. To me, it's just business as usual in Washington. I don't name a "Deranged Right-Winger of the Day" and "Loony Left-Winger of the Day" for nothing, after all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The New Vietnam?

Tonight I'm not going to go through my usual recitation of U.S. deaths, troop escalations, etc., in Afghanistan. You guys and gals can read and watch the news just as well as me (see links below), and probably already have. But suffice it to say that things in the Afghanistan hellhole definitely do not seem to be going well and are rapidly deteriorating into an abyss. And I continue to wait (as I have been for months in this space) for Obama to use of one his myriad pressers and townhall appearances to talk to the American people in detail about Afghanistan and to tell us what the hell the plan and objective over there really are. With American men and women dying over there seemingly every day, I think Obama owes us that much. I really don't think it's asking a whole lot, do you?

Allow me to present: Perhaps THE most unhealthy fast food franchise anywhere in America: Taco Bueno (which should be ashamed of itself).

Recently when a friend was pulling through a Taco Bueno drive-thru, I was asked if I wanted to order something. I follow a very low saturated fat diet, and as I glanced over the menu, I saw nothing that looked very favorable. But I noticed the "Mexican rice" on the side order menu, and so I directed my friend just to order me that (since "Mexican" or "Spanish" rice is almost invariably always a very low fat fish). And then I proceeded to take that dish home and eat it. Come to find out tonight in looking at Taco Bueno's website, that even such a simple rudimentary dish as that had TWELVE grams of fat (at most "mexican" restaurants, it would have ONE OR TWO). So that led me to start to peruse the nutrition counter on the entirety of the Taco Bueno menu. And I have to say, it's the most PATHETIC menu that I have seen from any fast food chain in America. There are NO low fat options, NO healthy options. One needs look no further than the Beef Mucho Nachos (apparently pictured above), which they actually sell to the consuming public with a fat count of NINETY-SEVEN GRAMS OF FAT per unit. Talk about a total and utter disregard for the health of your customers. Talk about a complete disregard for the better welfare of the consuming public. Taco Bueno should be ashamed of itself. Heck, even at Taco Bell, I can order a Fresco Burrito. Even at Burger King, I can order a Veggie Burger. Taco Bueno is pathetic. I will never eat anything from that pathetic joint ever again. Is it so much to ask that our food vendors have an OUNCE of concern for their consuming public? I don't think so.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One democrat: "I've never seen anything like this."

Those were the words this week of Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) in reference to the vocal opposition he has seen at townhall meetings to Obama & The Dems' health care reform plan (see story below). But then he goes on to describe such opposition as being in the "minority." Then, the story's author, Politico's Jonathan Martin, chimes in with his own opinion, referring to the opposition we've seen at these townhalls as "the overhyped and in many cases fraudulent sense of grass-roots fervor." (By the way, Mr. Martin, when you are presenting a news story to me, I'm not really too interested in knowing your opinion, but I digress).

Well, let's see here, Mr. Martin and Mr. Boyd. Rasmussen reported August 11 that public support for Obama & The Dems' health care reform plan has fallen to a new low, with only 42% of U.S. voters now favoring the plan (second link below). Gallup reported August 13 that 49% of the public disapproves of the way Obama is handling health care policy, while only 43% approve (third link below). So the vocal opposition to the plan simply represents a "minority" viewpoint? It's "overhyped"? It's in many cases "fraudulent"? Nope. Seems pretty mainstream and bona fide to me. Or maybe you would attack the messenger and accuse those two polls of being "fraudulent"? Regardless, you two gentlemen are clueless.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Democrats: The Party of All or Nothing.

The republicans may be the "Party of No" (a moniker that at times has some truth, other times not), but democrats represent an equally unconstructive creature -- the Party of All or Nothing. Today Pelosi says that there is "no way" a health care reform bill can get through the House without a public option (see link below). It's not even negotiable. Nevermind that the public option is likely the single biggest source of the current bill's unpopularity. Even though Obama & The Dems will not admit it, many people nationwide realize that the full intention behind the public option is gradually to reach a single payer system, i.e. the end of the private insurance industry and total, complete control of the health care system by the federal government. That is the dream of the radical left, but to most Americans, the concept of federal government control of the entirety of the health care system is frightening (it sure as heck is to me).

So what we have in the public option is a very unpopular component of the dems' current plan, and they won't even discuss it. Despite the trial balloon sent out by the White House over the weekend suggesting that the public option might not be necessary to the bill, the White House reversed course on Monday and congressional dems have roared all week (like Pelosi today) that a public option must be included in the bill. It's not open to discussion or negotiation. It may be unpopular in the country, but the far left-controlled dems are determined to ram it right down our throats. That's the Party of All or Nothing. That's a party not representing any of us. That's a party to be afraid of, folks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Delusional: Obama Insinuates That Opposition to His Health Care Reform Plan Has Resulted From Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

When in doubt, I suppose, if you can't blame Bush, then blame a vast right-wing conspiracy (just like Hillary did in 1993-94). Today Obama accused republicans of getting together "early on" (what, did they have some kind of pow wow?) and hatching another one of their dreaded vast right-wing conspiracies to kill health care reform. This assertion also insinuates that popular opposition to his health care reform plan has resulted from said conspiracy (put another way, anyone opposed to the plan lacks the ability to come to his/her own intelligent conclusion and has instead been hoodwinked by sinister republican forces and "misinformation").

You know, I'm starting to think this guy will just never get it (or if he does, will never admit it): There are masses of folks like me across the country opposed to this legislation who really couldn't give much of a rat's behind what the republicans think about much of anything. Republicans have made no gains in their favorability numbers with the American public since Obama took office, as reported yesterday by Pew Research Center polling -- including during the recent period when public opinion has soured on Obama & The Dems' health care reform plan. The anger and opposition that we are seeing across the country is real and has not resulted from right-wing conspiracies, or secret special interest mobilizations, or cloak-and-dagger insurance industry maneuverings.

Instead, it's resulted from a large and diverse group of Americans who have largely come to the same conclusion that we don't want another piece of massive ultra-liberal legislation rammed down our throats. The opposition includes many Independents, many non-liberal dems, and many non-conservative repubs. There's no vast right-wing conspiracy controlling those folks or me -- I can guarantee you that, Obama. And until you finally take off your blinders and take a look at what's really going on in the country right now, you are going to continue to look as foolish in our eyes as you and your party think the American public is.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Energized! Conditions Appear Ripe for Successful Independent Candidates in Upcoming Election Cycles.

As reported today at (link below), the results of new Pew Research Center polling show that only 49% of Americans hold a favorable view of the democratic party -- falling below 50% for the first time during the Obama presidency (it was 62% right after he took office). Meantime, only 40% of Americans hold a favorable view of the republican party -- "a number which Pew noted 'has not changed all year.'"

So as Obama & The Dems' approval has plummeted in recent months, it doesn't appear that the repubs have made much in the way of any gains. To me, that's only indicative of one thing: There are a growing number of Americans out there who (like me) have become (or are becoming) disillusioned with both of these parties and who feel that they are represented by no one. I think we've seen a lot of these folks at the tea parties and townhall meetings this year -- non-liberal, non-conservative people (some true Independents, others loosely identifying themselves with one of the two parties) who (also like me) have become politically energized this year after a lifetime of mostly or only paying scant attention to politics.

In sum, it seems to me to be a very strange and unique political time and climate in this country, quite unlike any other period that I can recall during my lifetime. We may well be seeing the development of a "perfect storm" from which true Independents, as well as so-called "moderate" dems and repubs, can successfully run for political office as Independents or other third-party candidates without being tied to the conservative-controlled repubs and the liberal-controlled dems. I sure hope so. Do you know how sick and tired I am of never having anyone to vote for (sorry Jeeves for ending a sentence on a preposition)?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Robert Novak, 1931-2009. Rest in peace.

Newspaper columnist and television political pundit Bob Novak died today at age 78. He was known to be in very bad health for months now. I can still recall my first exposure to Novak, watching him in college on such shows as CNN's Crossfire. He used to absolutely enrage me. Novak often came across as a completely cold fish, and he was a rabid conservative. Neither then, nor in later years, did I ever care too much for Bob Novak the TV talking head (although he was often good for a big laugh due to some of the over-the-top things he would say). But it wasn't really until after the start of the Internet era that I was able to actually read Novak's newspaper columns in the Chicago Sun-Times. They were exceptional. Novak spent little time in his columns ranting about his far right world view. Rather, the central focus of his columns was always the inner workings of Washington (both sides of the aisle). And he had a lot of sources that he had accumulated over a long journalistic career that stretched back to before the JFK years. I can't think of any other column now or in the past that did quite what Novak's column did and did it so well. Since his health turned and he stopped writing any columns late last year, I've very much missed the insight he always brought to what was really going on in Washington. He will be missed, at least by me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Goodbye Public Option": Trial Balloon or Grounded in Reality?

As I said yesterday, let's see what Monday brings with respect to this whole "White House prepared to drop public option" story from yesterday. Sure enough, the White House today denied that such was the case. It strikes me as yet another White House trial balloon to test the reaction from both sides, only to disavow it within a day or two (as we've seen multiple times from this White House). But one of our favorite angry old left-wingers, Bob Beckel, had a different take on Hannity's panel tonight on Fox News. To give Beckel his due, he knows a lot about politics, and when he talks from a "what's going on here" political perspective, I listen.

You'll notice that when Administration folks were hinting yesterday that they'd be willing to pull the "public option" off the table, it was qualified with talk about "cooperatives" being an acceptable alternative. (BTW, getting at the truth of what such "cooperatives" would actually entail will be an endeavor of mine, and should be of yours, in the days to come, because I have no damn idea, although I have a strong suspicion that these will be bodies set up by the federal government, run by the federal government for at least some period of years, and I'm struggling to see how they might be truly any different from the "public option," although I digress). Returning to Beckel, his take seemed to be that such "cooperatives" will ultimately be a part of some sort of compromise bill between the radical leftists and the so-called "blue dogs." Beckel even went so far as to predict that some repubs will come on board because the compromise bill will involve a degree of tort reform.

My bottom line: Any tort reform = good, although I won't support a bill if I view it to be a bad one overall even if there's a measure of tort reform involved. The real question is just precisely what these "cooperatives" would entail, and since no such compromise has even been reached yet and no "cooperative" language is currently in any of the various congressional versions of the health care reform bill, it is impossible to reach right now any kind of informed opinion on the "cooperatives" issue. Sure, I've already heard right-wingers saying tonight that cooperatives are the exact same as the public option, and left-wingers saying the opposite -- but those viewpoints are as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning. If the "cooperatives" truly become a part of the bill (as Beckel predicts), all of us really need to focus on them to ascertain the truth of what's actually being proposed.

Final aside, tonight: Hilarious exchange between right-wing ideologue Hannity and left-wing ideologue Beckel. Beckel was again trumpeting his view that Obama is the "greatest American president since FDR!" Hannity's response: [Stated very slowly, calmly and deliberately] "Are you out of your mind?" Great television (and personally, I think both of those dudes, to a certain degree, are out of their minds, although as I said, I listen to Beckel when he's opining on what's really going on and what will occur in the political world).

Damn! I Still Had Plenty of "Fishy" People to Rat Out!

Talk about retreat on multiple fronts. Today, in addition to apparently pulling the plug on its push for the inclusion of a "public option" in the health care reform bill, the White House (as reported by Drudge this morning) has also apparently put the kibosh on -- that ridiculous and Nixonian e-mail address that the White House previously requested you to use to report anyone saying something "fishy" about Obama & The Dems' health care reform bill.

I agree with Camille Paglia's commentary from last week: That Obama did not immediately denounce that e-mail address shows that he was fully behind and supportive of it (heck, he even had press secretary Gibbs out there defending it in pressers). And that Obama did support it continues to be very disturbing to me even if the e-mail address has now been deep-sixed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

U-TURN ALERT: Goodbye Public Option (apparently).

"White House appears ready to drop 'public option'" from the health care reform bill (link below). Oh my, the far left must be seething today. But note my use of the word "apparently" above. Too often I've seen these kinds of stories ("White House expected to do this," "Dems appear to ready to do that") turn out to be completely wrong the next day. So stay tuned.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hey Obama: What Ruckus? I Didn't Hear Any Ruckus. Could You Describe the Ruckus?

Obama said Friday: "I know there's been a lot of attention paid to some of the town hall meetings that are going on around the country, especially when tempers flare. TV loves a ruckus. You've got to be careful about those cable networks."

Hey Obama: As a member of Generation X who grew up in middle America watching John Hughes movies, I can honestly say that you do not connect with me at all, and so please kindly stop telling me which kinds of television I should be watching and where I should be getting my news. I mean, who the hell do you think you are, anyway? And BTW, you're damn right there's a ruckus going on. It's the sound of masses of non-liberal, non-conservative folks who have never been political in their lives suddenly become politically energized. And it's all in reaction to the ultra-liberal path down which you and your party are trying to take the country and ram right down our throats. What, do you think we're just going to shut up and take it? That ain't happenin'.

It Was 40 Years Ago Today!

Woodstock. Sure, there were major sanitation and facility problems, drug use, equipment failures, etc. But it was the Zenith event of that era in my estimation. Not being born until later, I sure wish I could have attended just to take in the pure spectacle of that event, not to mention a chance to see three wonderful things that I could never see because of untimely deaths in the years that followed: (1) Keith Moon playing drums; (2) Jimi Hendrix playing guitar; and (3) Janis Joplin singing and performing. Damn right.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Twitter Fight! (Good grief.)

They had it right at first. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who obviously disagree on Obama & The Dems' health care reform plan, got on the phone to talk about it. Nothing apparently being resolved during that conversation, did they agree to just disagree? No. Did they resolve to schedule a second call? No. Instead, they start dropping 140-character tweets directed at each other. Grow up, dudes. You're elected officials, not some silly blogger (like me) or Rudy Cazooti off the street. Just because Sarah Palin has become a celebrity through this kind of foolishness doesn't mean you have to follow her lead.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bizarre comments today from Daily Beast's Tina Brown regarding Hillary's weight, lack of gym time.

As described in (link below), Brown (pictured above) made the following statement on MSNBC this morning:

"What's wrong with Hillary is one week too long on this African hellish tour that she's on. Think of it from the human point of view: she is in her second week. She's hot. She is feeling fat. She had this horrible business where she suddenly lost it a bit over the whole Bill thing. Frankly, I want to get her home now. I want to get her home. Otherwise, by the time she hits Liberia, she's going to be saying: 'what can I tell you? We had an idiot for the president!' She's letting it hang out . . . She ought to get back to the gym!"

OK, maybe Hillary has put on a few pounds, but what does Brown care? I might chalk it up to Brown being one of the many on the far left who hate Hillary, but I think there's probably something different in play here given the MSNBC context: If you hang around a loony bin, don't be surprised if you go a little bananas yourself.

Oba-ttoming Out, Part 4: Independents leaving Obama right and left (literally).

Of course the headline today is that Obama's job approval rating has hit a new low of 47% in the Rasmussen poll. But my focus is more on some of the numbers behind that number. Predictably, 77% of repubs disapprove of Obama's job performance and 78% of dems approve of it. But look at us Independents. 65% of Independents disapprove of Obama's job performance (link below), which is the lowest I've seen and almost certainly accounts for the new overall low of 47%. I try to communicate to dems all the time that middle America does not like such things as (just to list a few notable examples) (1) the White House asking citizens to turn in other citizens who disagree with Obama & the Dems, (2) multiple massive pieces of ultra-liberal legislation being ram-rodded through Congress without anyone bothering to read it, (3) politicians calling us nazis, right-wing extremists, mobs and brown-shirters if we have the audacity to disagree with them or to voice our concern with their legislation. But you folks don't listen. You just don't get it, in the words of Claire McCaskill. And you will fail as a result.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Here's one democrat who gets it.

Check out today's commentary on from author and professor Camille Paglia (pictured), a democrat. There are certainly some things in there with which I wouldn't agree, and she's a bit long-winded for my tastes. But she exhibits an independence of thought that I very much respect. Here's just a sampling:

"And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the 'mob' -- a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech. But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration's outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable 'casual conversations' to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Obama & The Dems: Stop talking to me about "special interests" being behind the townhall anger, because it only riles me up.

First, it's false. The angry people attending these events are real, not insurance company, GOP, conservative group, or "special interest" plants. Second, "special interest" lobbyists of your persuasion drafted these various massive versions for your health care reform plan. Your party is just in bed with "special interests" as the repubs, same as it ever was. I mean, stop insulting my intelligence over here! The best part of this anger and rebellion against the way you and the dems are trying to take us down a radical left path for the country: It shows that people are finally startin' to wake up! People who haven't been political their entire lives are becoming political because they realize something very extreme and radical is trying to be forced down their throats by the dems. Look no further than me for an example. I've been only nominally interested in political issues my entire life, but the stuff I saw going on from these dems from the day Obama took office actually inspired me to start a blog and get this whole thing goin'. There's something unprecedented going on right now in this country (and I'm not talking about what the dems are trying to do, although that's unprecedented too). The non-liberal, non-conservative masses are being energized. Thank God.

Smart politics.

At his townhall meeting today in New Hampshire (pictured above), it looks like Obama stacked the crowd with mostly supporters of his health care reform plan (for example, three-fourths of the tickets were given out by the White House). To be sure, it would have been great theater if a bunch of the vocal opponents had been present, but how dumb politically would it have been for the White House to allow that? And as I've credited him previously in this space, Obama makes very few political mistakes (regardless of what one might think of his policies), and today was just another example.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I bet you were anticipating another anti-Pelosi rant, weren't you? Well, not this time. Today when I saw the Drudge headline that "Pelosi/Hoyer call townhall protesters 'un-American,'" I figured I probably had my next Loony Left-Winger of the Day (Pelosi provides a lot of great material for that feature) and clicked to the story. Turns out that she and Hoyer (in an op-ed in today's USA Today) instead said "drowning out opposing views is simply un-American" -- targeting the behavior of those protesters who have tried to shout down the politicians without given them much of a chance to speak. That seems to me to be a far cry from saying that the protesters at these events, as a general matter, are all "un-American."

This is why one has to take anything seen on Drudge and Fox News with a grain of salt. ( had a similar headling stating, "In a tight spot, Pelosi calls health care critics un-American"). Those websites come at you from a right-wing slant (yes, just like such outfits as MSNBC, ABC, CNN, CBS, New York Times, etc., hit you with a left-wing slant). In this instance, the headlines used by Drudge and Fox News were downright misleading, at least in my view. And I would expect that plenty of repub politicians are putting a similarly misleading spin on this today as well.

To address the substance of what Pelosi and Hoyer actually said: I don't agree with it on its face, but it doesn't outrage me. As stated previously in this space, I don't think shouting down politicians as they try to speak accomplishes anything. I would agree that such behavior is inappropriate and uncivil. But does it rise to the level of being "un-American"? No, I think that's a gross overstatement. Sometimes we all get angry. Sometimes we all lose our tempers. Does that make all of us "un-American"? I think not.

Finally, I note that while I might not have been outraged by the statement, I do think it was pretty dumb politically (see linked Politico blog). Using the word "un-American" in any context related to the townhall protesters just gives repubs something they can spin in the same way that Drudge and Fox News did. A similar observation with respect to protesters who engage in the "shouting down" behavior: That just gives the far left material that they can spin into their propaganda. To close, I'm sorry again not to use today's statement to go on a Pelosi rant. I'll leave that to the republicans.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Obama "out of synch" with a majority of the country? No!!!

Actually, I think that's been one of my main talking points since Day 1 in this blog (with respect to both Obama and the democratic party -- although I believe the same is also true of the republican party). All you had to do was take a look at Obama's voting record in the Senate to know that this was a bona fide (and as it's turning out, radical) liberal who was not going to try to run this country from a mainstream, center-left location.

Most dems, of course, would never admit these simple truths, and that's why I credit democrat columnist and talking head Douglas Schoen (pictured) for an excellent online column today (link below) on this very subject. One highlight: "The reason for [Obama's declining poll numbers] is simple: Mr. Obama, despite his popularity, is proposing policies that are out of sync with a center-right electorate. Specifically, only two in ten Americans are liberal, close to four in ten are conservative and a third are moderate. However, a poll conducted by Scott Rasmussen last week shows that nearly half of all Americans now identify Mr. Obama as being 'very liberal' -- up 15 points from January."

Now, while I did not vote for Obama (nor McCain), I don't criticize for a minute all the non-liberals in this country who did vote for Obama. I think many of them were in part hoodwinked by Obama's little campaign act of disingenuously holding himself out as some sort of moderate. And I also know that those folks wanted change (I can't blame them) and voted for it. But they weren't voting for this, and that's why Obama has big problems in his polling numbers these days. And that's why we are seeing so much real anger coming out at so many of these town hall meetings over the last week. You won't see me celebrating if we see a repeat of 1994 in terms of huge republican congressional gains over the next few years. But I do know what I will be saying -- you brought it on yourselves, dems. Most Americans do not like extremes, and they will react very negatively if you try to run the country that way. Ain't that America!

What plan in Afghanistan? More goobledegook from the Administration.

Today Obama's national security adviser, Gen. Jim Jones, was apparently on Face the Nation (first link below) with a bunch of general, unexplained references to some "plan" and "strategy" allegedly hatched for Afghanistan back in March. That's funny -- I don't recall Obama ever articulating to the American people any plan or objective as to what we're doing in Afghanistan. Instead, he seems to be unable to do so. All we've gotten from Obama are superficial references to "our mission in Afghanistan" and "nation-building." So what was the "March plan," to whom was it announced, and who did the announcing? Regardless -- and this is important -- Jones talked today as if the "March plan" is being followed and will continue to be followed going forward (e.g., "We will see within a year whether this strategy is working and then we will adjust from there.").

Those statements by Jones simply don't jive with a report in the Washington Post today (second link below) stating that the Administration is currently "in the process of overhauling the U.S. approach" in Afghanistan. So which is it? Have we had a "plan" and "strategy" in place since March that we will continue to follow for at least a year (as Jones indicated), or are we developing a brand new plan and strategy (as per the Post report)? And was there ever really any coherent "March plan" in the first place? What a bunch of confusing jibberish from these folks.

And it circles back to a point I've been making for months: Obama needs to tell us precisely what the plan and objective are for Afghanistan. He has not done so, and I don't think it's so much to ask after 200 days in office and with our troops dying in that absolute hellhole every day. Not when we keep ratcheting up American troop levels there (expected to reach 68,000 by year's end -- which is double the 2008 troop presence). Not when many of those brave men and women are being sent for their third, fourth or fifth tours of Afghanistan/Iraq -- many with children growing up that they've barely gotten a chance to know (as discussed on the Sunday morning talk shows today). Not when the U.S. in Afghanistan "is taking on security and political commitments that will last at least a decade and a cost that will probably eclipse the Iraq war" (from the Post report).

Afghanistan is a very serious situation, and I do not see this Administration treating it like one. It appears to be taking a complete backseat to Obama's desire to ram his ultra-left domestic agenda down our throats before any of us ever know what hit us. Obama seems to think that no one is paying any attention to Afghanistan. Well, the American left sure as hell isn't. But I am and will continue to do so in this space.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A few words this weekend for the town hall protesters...

First, I know who most of you are. You are not the "right-wing extremists" or "mobs" that the democrats so dishonestly and so insultingly like to call you. No, I know that most of you are a lot like me -- just regular folks, perhaps a republican or a democrat, but neither conservative nor liberal, and very concerned about the dems' massive health care reform bill that no one has read and the general far left direction that the democrats are trying to take the country and ram right down our throats. Most of you are not GOP plants, nor insurance company operatives, nor conservative group flunkies. I know that, and believe you me, so do the disingenuous democrats. So that being resolved...

If you attend one of these events in the days and weeks to come, do your best to be civil. Shouting down politicians without giving them their chance to speak accomplishes little or nothing, and it only gives propaganda material to the democrats. Instead, let the politicians speak their minds, and politely wait for your turn to be heard. And when that point in time arrives, let 'em have it (but keep in mind also, that oftentimes the best and most biting words do not flow from a shout, but rather from a voice of calm resolve).

Finally, if one of these thugs sent by the democrats' minions shouts at you, try to ignore him/her. You're there to speak your mind, not to pay attention to them or to try to change their minds (which you can't, by the way). Ignore them. And if one punches you in the face as occurred in St. Louis, then punch 'em back. But absent a need to exercise your right of self defense, don't give those freaks the time of day.

Just a few random thoughts as I continue to digest these events and get a grasp for everything that's going on out there.