Wednesday, February 23, 2011


There may be hope yet!  The first step towards recovery is admitting there's a problem, right?  Can we consider this the first step?

Considering this is coming from the network that has been, by far, the most egregious offender, this is quite
an admission, isn't it?  Mika's tangible dismay is priceless.  You can see her having a "darn it, we do it too!" (or was it a "darn it, why were they stupid enough to get caught on camera?") moment.  I'm sure she won't stymied by it for long.

Oh, and don't you just love their nonchalance about something they are normally fervently, ardently and vociferously denying?   No need to deny when you're in the echo chamber, eh boys?


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The teacher's unions in Wisconsin are protesting Governor Scott Walker's proposed stripping of their collective bargaining rights.  This is due to the contract running out - it's the state's prerogative to not renew it, and it would basically turn Wisconsin into a right to work state overnight.  There is also a proposal in the budget that would require union members to contribute to their own pensions and health care plans like the rest of us.   Educators have gone so far as to do an illegal "sick-out" two days in a row.  Numerous districts have had to close schools for two days running because more than 40% of their teachers called in sick in protest.  Thousands of children are having their education neglected by their own teachers so that those teachers can go demand more special treatment at taxpayer's expense (and claim it's for the kids!). 
There were also students in attendance, many brought to the festivities by their teachers.  Let's hope they got their permission slips signed first!  This so-called "solidarity" is bogus because many of the students don't know why they are there or what they are protesting.  Being teenagers, they just jumped at the chance to play hooky and hang out with their friends at a rally:

Fox News commentator Mary Katherine Hamm put it best when host Stuart Varney asked if this behavior was causing public opinion to shift against unions:

"I think it is, and I don't think it helps unions to be skipping their jobs and coming out and getting paid to protest to get more taxpayer money while being paid taxpayer money.  I don't think that works for them. It's not a great argument."
Using their students as human shields isn't such a great idea, either.   HotAir's Ed Morrissey sums the issue up nicely:

Most of the students marching with their teachers had no idea of the finer points of Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to bring teacher pension contributions in line with the private sector, a position the union called “slavery” just a couple of months before conceding the point.  Nor do they understand the budget gap that Walker faces, or the nuances of economic policy, tax burdens, and growth policies.  All they know is what their teachers told them — and that speaks to political indoctrination conducted in public schools by activist teachers, and the inability of parents and communities to weed out inappropriate politicking in classrooms.

Why are parents and communities unable to weed out these politically motivated teachers?  Because unions make it nearly impossible to fire a tenured teacher, and our democratic leaders block any legislation that might tie the hands of their union cronies fundraisers.  And what do we get for it?  We spend more than 5% of GDP yearly on education, and in return we enjoy a global ranking of "average".  Out of 34 countries, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and  a seriously disheartening 25th in math. 

To add to the chaos, Wisconsin state senate democrats snuck out the back door, boarded a chartered bus and are currently holed up in a Best Western in Illinois.  Seriously, I kid you not.  I sure hope they aren't using their state credit cards for this little...junket. Cowards.  Meanwhile, back in Madison, the grownups republicans were unable to make a quorum to vote on the budget due to a complete lack of democrats and so were forced to go home. 

This is what one might call a "government shutdown".  You may have heard that term recently, because congressional democrats for some reason have been saying it's allegedly what republicans are planning on doing.    Please note that the only party either talking about or doing it is the one on the left side of the aisle.  Not only do they refuse to make the hard decisions, they refuse to allow anyone else to, either.  The democrats who fled to Illinois have announced their solidarity with the unions over the greater good of the state and have, with their dereliction and defection, effectively gone on strike and should be held accountable for their actions.

Our esteemed President has also weighed in on the subject - three guesses on which side he's taking!  The DNC also apparently has a horse in this race, because they are organizing their little guts out in the Madison community these days.  Twittering twit Michael Moore has also piped up, of course, likening Wisconsin to the New Cairo, and called Gov. Walker "Mini-Mubarak".  There are plenty of "Recall Walker" signs to support Moore's idea, but it's highly doubtful Walker will resign over this, so hopefully they aren't getting their hopes up too high.   Fascinating how they are all working together, no?  Obama, unions, and the DNC all in lockstep arm in arm - how cozy....

No doubt there will be more protests tomorrow, and the democratic delegation in exile doesn't seem too keen on growing backbones and coming back and dealing with the $3+ billion budget gap their state elected them to deal with any time soon.  How in the world are we supposed to get out of the looming fiscal ruin we are facing not just in individual states but nationally if no one is willing to make the cuts?

We are all going to get hit by austerity measures eventually - on both federal and state levels in most cases, and that has to include our heretofore untouchable union members.  To paraphrase President Obama, "they are our neighbors, they are our friends" - so maybe they should chip in and help shoulder the burden instead of hold us hostage, dontcha think?  You know, as neighbors and friends?   Obama says that this is an attack on the unions.  You bet! Public sector unions have become too powerful and too expensive.  Other states are watching this closely to see if they, too, can bust the unions and save themselves.  Bottom line, unions should not have the ability to shut down a government and hold it hostage until their demands are met.  That is what the mess in Wisconsin really boils down to. 

In order to work in a public position in Wisconsin you are required to join a union.  Once you join that union, you are required to pay dues to said union - they are automatically garnished from members wages.  And yet they call being asked to kick in for their own pensions to take some of the burden off the taxpayer "slavery".   Breaking the collective bargaining agreement will break the union stranglehold, allowing members to opt out if they so choose.  Considering how membership is already slipping nationally, no doubt the unions are really sweating this prospect.  It might mean losing untold numbers of members, which, of course, means fewer dues.  This translates into smaller donations to democrat fundraisers.  Unacceptable, in other words.

What originally started out as a small protest by teachers has blown up into a near revolt by the public unions and their democrat supporters.  They should proceed carefully, however because this could really backfire in a big way.  Disapproval of unions is on the rise, and these demonstrations and shutdowns could well be a tipping point, and not in their favor.  

Taking hostages is always a tricky proposition.  It's also usually a sign of desperation - something Walker and the GOP senators should keep in mind as the pressure is applied to them.  Time for a counter protest!


Friday, February 11, 2011


So, let me get this straight.....Rep.Christopher Lee (R-NY) sent a topless photo of himself to an adult woman as part of a flirty exchange in response to a 'woman seeking man' ad on Craigslist and has resigned over the ensuing scandal.  Granted, he said he was a divorced lobbyist instead of the truth, that he's a married congressman, and no doubt he has quite a few uncomfortable nights on the sofa in the future, but in the grand scheme, the whole "scandal" is pretty, well, meh.  Still, this guy is resigning not because he broke some laws and is under investigation, but because he simply doesn't want to be a "distraction".

And yet, on the other side of the aisle, we have Rep. Charlie Rangel, who has been investigated and found to be culpable for breaking tax laws - that he helped write - and was censured by his own party, and he's still a sitting member of congress.

Sure.  Why not. 

Michael Ramirez has a somewhat different take on Lee's escapades:


Sunday, February 6, 2011


I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Ronald Reagan.  I was just eleven years old when John Hinckley shot him.  I saw the assassination attempt on tv and was horrified by it.  I felt helpless and couldn't believe that such a thing could happen.  I was too young to know about JFK, RFK and MLK - political assassination was new to me. 

I wrote my president a letter letting him know that he was in my prayers.  I sent my silly little letter to the White House, and felt better, even though I figured he would never see it.

To my surprise, two months later I received a card in the mail, and the return address was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  It was just a little white card, embossed with the presidential seal, thanking me for my concern and well wishes.  There was no personal signature, of course, but all the same, it meant a lot to an impressionable young girl worried about her president.  Ever after, I have felt a connection to and deep affection for our 40th president.  The card is long since gone, a casualty of a nomadic childhood, but the affection remains.

Reagan was the first president to survive an assassination attempt.  He came to believe that God has spared his life so that he could fulfill a greater purpose.  Many believe that purpose was fulfilled when the Iron Curtain fell in 1989 and the "Evil Empire" was destroyed, due in great part to pressure from Reagan's administration. 

Unlike the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he believed that America truly was a force for good in the world, and that our strength would help keep the peace:

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

Love him or hate him, it is hard to deny that he improved this country's place in the world.  His ideology of peace through strength was forged in a youth that saw not one but two world wars.  He saw himself as the leader of the free world and, as such, performed his duties with dignity and humility.  He was known for his wit, and even after all these years, his words still reflect his wisdom in how the world works.

Time Magazine, in it's "Ronald Reagan at 100" special edition, calls Reagan the

"mythic embodiment of all that was best about America, at a time when Americans perhaps needed it most,"
It could be argued that he is just as needed today as he was then. 

One hundred years ago today, a great man was born.  He left this world in 2004, but his legacy will remain:

Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011


San Francisco's District Six Supervisor Jane Kim, a newly elected Board of Supervisors member is stirring up controversy because of her refusal to pledge allegiance to the American flag:

"I don't think our flag represents a nation where there's liberty and justice for all," argued Kim.

"And I reserve my right to disagree or to even protest when I think our government isn't representing the best of our ideals or principles."

For a private citizen, this is a non-issue - if you want to 'protest' that way, knock yourself out.  However, Kim is an elected official who represents the government of the United States, even in the limited capacity of the Board of Supervisors.  As such, it is distasteful in the extreme that she refused to pledge allegiance to the nation that she has been elected to serve.  The question inevitably arises that if you refuse to include yourself in the country, should you really be representing it and, more importantly, do you have the best interests of the nation at heart, or your own, or even someone else's?

There is no law that compels her to say the pledge, of course, but there is an expectation of it from government employees.  One wonders how the administration of the oath of office went - after all, she has to pledge to uphold the laws of the land, doesn't she?  Did she cross her fingers behind her back?  Or is she planning to continue in the liberal fashion and just ignore the things she doesn't agree with?

In the grand scheme of things, it is probably more notable that her conduct is causing controversy at all.  This is, after all, San Francisco we're talking about.  Honestly, isn't it more surprising that they actually say the pledge before beginning than that she refuses to participate?  It's nice to know there are a few people willing to admit they still consider themselves to be part of America there.  But, then, the city does boast it's own Bay Area Tea Party chapter, believe it or not, so all hope is not lost.  I'm still expecting the city to officially secede from the union any day now, a la the Conch Republic.

As for the possibility that Kim will change her behavior, don't hold your breath:
Kim said it's a personal decision of how to honor the flag and country.
  "How to honor the flag and country" - by snubbing it.  Talk about mental gymnastics.  At least she's not completely disrespectful - she does stand up for the pledge, even if she doesn't repeat it.  But still, one just sort of expects one's elected officials to at least like the country for whom they work.  Or am I out of line here?


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