Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And The Conversation Continues...

Well, this will be my last post for a while. Again, I want to thank everyone for their warm support and encouragement of me as I prepare to have my knee replaced on September 9th. It means more to me than I can say.

Before I go, I want to highlight a few of the issues that we have been discussing over the past few months. First up is the Cordoba House, the mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf wants to build close to Ground Zero. Rauf penned an Op-Ed for the NY Times on the mosque, and the desire to build it there (though it seems short on an explanation of why there). Below is a dialogue between Bill Hemmer and Father Jonathan Morris:

I think Father Morris summed it up when he said that along with rights, comes respect (paraphrasing there). Rauf's editorial may appear to be rational and reasonable, but there seem to be a few digs in there, to be sure. Read it for yourself and decide.

Next up is the issue of Obamacare, and what it is going to mean to us in the short run. Oh, I think you can guess - it is going to cost us more money. Surprise!!! Except it isn't to those of us who were paying attention. We knew this was going to cost more money than save it, and we knew the numbers the Democrats used to get this passed were, um, inaccurate. So, get ready to empty out your wallets:

Then there is Obama's homage to the Unions with his new $50 billion proposal. Why is it an homage to the unions? Because the money is supposed to go for infrastructure purposes. Which is fine - we need that. But, as you may recall, in February, 2009, Obama signed an order that federal contracts have to look to the unions first. And only 16% of construction workers are unionized. Soooooo - this $50 billion is just a payback to his major supporters. It also costs more, according to this Washington Post article. Wheee!!!!

Here's Stuart Varney to fill us in on the details:

Well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the unions are sure getting their money's worth, aren't they? Not so much the rest of us, though. Ha - there's a surprise.

Finally, the 9th anniversary of 9/11 is just a few days away. I want to leave you with this story about the World Trade Towers then, and what they plan for the future:

Brings tears to my eyes. I love the waterfalls they have planned in the foot prints of the towers. They are beautiful - soothing, yet strong.

What a day that was, one we will not soon forget. At least I hope we do not...

Again, thank you all for your loving support. It means the world to me. You will be in my heart while I am away.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gibbs Needs To Do His Homework Before Talking

This is rich. I am not sure what Spokesweasel Gibbs expects to accomplish by this recent bill of goods he is trying to sell, but wow, this is quite the revisionist history in which he is engaged. I know, I know - what else is new. But this particular issue is one that was well documented during the campaign, culminating in (yet another speech) from Obama. Not only was it a doozy, but it was a lesson to any who thought Obama might have an ounce of loyalty in him. That list just continues to grow...

And just what is this issue? Well, Gibbs is now trying to convince people that Obama is really a mainstream Christian, not one who buys into Black Liberation Theology, as this article from the Daily Caller, White House Distances Obama From Liberation Theology, highlights.

Um, what? Since when? Well, since Gibbs decided to make this ridiculous claim followng Glenn Beck's recent rally in Washington, DC:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs implied Thursday that President Obama does not subscribe to a version of Christianity dubbed as “liberation theology,” and argued that the president’s beliefs are more akin to traditional Protestantism.

“The president is a committed mainstream Christian,” Gibbs said, when asked whether Fox News personality Glenn Beck has been correct in describing Obama’s faith system as “liberation theology.”

“I have no evidence that would guide me as to what Glenn Beck would have any genuine knowledge to what the president actually does or does not believe,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs did not say outright that the president rejects liberation theology, which in general interprets the gospel of Jesus Christ as primarily a mandate to help the poor and needy, but also has many streams and variations on finer matters and points of emphasis.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Gibbs said. When pressed again, he said, “I can only imagine where [Beck] conjured that from.” [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

He doesn't know from where Glenn Beck got that idea? Really?

Well, perhaps Spokesweasel Gibbs should have watched the following video before making such an assertion:

Or maybe Gibbs should have done a little Google search on Black Liberation Theology, TUCC, and Jeremiah Wright. He would have found articles like this one, "Black Liberation Theology, In Its Founders Words." And in this particular story, he would have noted very clear connections between Black Liberation Theology, TUCC, and Jeremiah Wright.

Oh, and then there is this one from The Christian Century, "Africentric Church: A Visit to Chicago's Trinity UCC." In this particular article, Gibbs would have found this:
[snip] James Cone, the pioneer of black liberation theology, is a much-admired figure at Trinity. Cone told me that when he's asked where his theology is institutionally embodied, he always mentions Trinity. [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

Seriously, dude - it wasn't that long ago, and we are not that stupid or gullible.

I cannot help but wonder how my former professor, James Cone, feels about this new disavowal from Obama's camp. Or my former TA, Dwight Hopkins, another theology professor, and fellow congregant at TUCC. Though after the way Obama treated his former "uncle," Jeremiah Wright, maybe they aren't all that surprised. Or they shouldn't be. I know I am not. How about you?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Celebration

I hope everyone is having a good day today. If you are with family and friends, I trust you are having a lovely day. If you are traveling, stay safe. And if you are working, well, sorry!

I have a few tunes for you for the day. First up, the Judds back in the day:

Any Labor Day music selection must include this classic by Dolly Parton:

And just because it is a freaking awesome song by Carly Simon, "Let The River Run" from the movie, "Working Girl":

Have a great day, friends!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Bit Of A Follow Up On Trumka and Palin

To my recent post about Palin and the new McCarthyism. Michelle Malkin had this post about how President Obama will be spending his Labor day, "Obama spending Labor Day with real thugs." Wanna guess who? That's right, Richard Trumka.

And why would Malkin say such a thing in her post? This is why:
[snip] Trumka and Obama will cast Big Labor as an unassailable force for good in American history. But when it comes to terrorizing workers, Trumka knows whereof he speaks.

Meet Eddie York. He was a workingman whose story will never scroll across Obama's teleprompter. A nonunion contractor who operated heavy equipment, York was shot to death during a strike called by the United Mine Workers 17 years ago.

Workmates who tried to come to his rescue were beaten in an ensuing melee. The head of the UMW spearheading the wave of strikes at that time? Richard Trumka.

Responding to concerns about violence, he shrugged to the Virginian-Pilot in September 1993: "I'm saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you're likely to get burned." Incendiary rhetoric, anyone?


In Illinois, Trumka told UMW members to "kick the s**t out of every last" worker who crossed his picket lines, according to the Nashville (Ill.) News. And as the National Right to Work Foundation, the leading anti-forced unionism organization in the country, pointed out, other UMW coalfield strikes resulted in what one judge determined were "violent activities ... organized, orchestrated and encouraged by the leadership of this union." [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

Uh, yeah - just a bit. It goes on from there, and I recommend you read the rest.

The bottom line is this man, Trumka, who called for this level of violence, is now the head of the AFL-CIO, and hanging out with the President of the United States on a regular basis. There is something very wrong about that.

And how about Trumka's recent target, Gov. Palin? Well, this is something that might surprise you - and then again, maybe not. Alert NQ reader Sybill highlighted just the kind of person Sarah Palin is. This video sure says a lot:

Right? About the only other person at that level I can see jumping in and doing something like this is - you got it - Hillary Clinton. Wow.

Another alert NQ reader, Yttik, provided the following video to close this out today. Given the attacks Tea Party members and Sarah Palin have been enduring since its inception, it seems a fitting end for someone who has come to represent the Tea Party movement. And it is toe-tapping good, too:

Dang straight. That's "We, the people," and we DO have a voice.

Thanks for the links and suggestions, folks. Talk about this, or anything else on your mind today!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Palinism" Is the New "McCarthyism"?

Could be, according to the AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka, if she doesn't watch her words.

Okay - I have to stop right there. Can I just tell you how much I resent it when men tell women how they should talk? That would be a big pet peeve of mine. So, from the get-go, I am already irritated with this man. You might be, too, after you hear what he has to say:

Am I right? What a piece of work Trumka is. Never mind that Palin resigned her position because of the incessant, ceaseless hounding by Democratic operatives filing frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit, taking her time and money, as well as taking her attention away from the state for which she was supposed to be working. I imagine if someone hounded Trumka mercilessly for every word he had spoken, every deed he had ever committed, he, too, would have resigned his position, be it a mine worker or AFL-CIO president. But he has never experienced anything along those lines, not even close. Easy for him to pass judgment.

And passing judgment is exactly what he is doing. This seems to be the theme for the week with Vanity Fair publishing the worst kind of baseless smear masquerading as an article by Michael Gross on Sarah Palin, using anonymous sources, and operating from the most misogynistic point of view. Even her most outspoken detractors find this article sexist.

Just who is Richard Trumka that he feels he can arrogantly condescend to Sarah Palin and tell her to watch her mouth? Well, he's an ally of Obama's, for starters. I am sure that is not a surprise, is it? There is more to him, to be sure, as the following video highlights:

Yep - this frequent visitor to the White House also calls for a world-wide tax, and is a great "progressive" of the country. Great.

Well, as you can imagine, Gov. Palin didn't exactly take his words lying down. As the Christian Science Monitor reported in its article by Dave Cook, "AFL-CIO President to Sarah Palin: "Change Or Be Linked With McCarthyism," she had plenty to say back to Mr. Trumka:
[snip] Palin, Alaska's former governor, responded to Trumka’s comments last week on her Facebook page. She noted that her husband is a proud former union member. Addressing his criticism of her language, Palin said, “It’s kind of ironic that a union boss has the gall to accuse anyone of threatening violence. After all, we remember the violent attempts by [the Service Employees International Union] to intimidate those who wanted to make their voices heard in last year’s town halls. And unlike Trumka, I never threatened that any effort to break a picket line would lead to violence.”

Palin added, “I never called union members 'thugs.' You lie. I called some union leaders 'thugs.' And I refuse to apologize for that because they have acted like thugs – at least in this day and age.” [snip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Oh, SNAP - I think Palin took this round, don't you?

McCarthyism - good grief, how did Trumka possibly make THAT leap? No doubt, he expected a ratchet response from her, that she would tone down her rhetoric lest she be compared to someone of McCarthy's reputation. She didn't bite, and gave it right back to him.

Love her or hate her, that woman has more intestinal fortitude than most of her detractors could even imagine. What it really says to me is that they are afraid of her, hence the constant desire to tear her down, whether by the president of the AFL-CIO or some Vanity Fair writer.

We've seen this before. It is the MO of those who are threatened by powerful women. Hillary Clinton gets this a lot, too. Who can ever forget the treatment she received from her husband's presidency through the 2008 election? Only now is she starting to get her due, after so many years of doing an incredible amount of work.

It begs the question: why? Why are these people so threatened by powerful women? Powerful men are treated like gods (just look at Obamessiah), even if they have done little or nothing to have that power. It often seems that powerful women must be torn down at all and any cost. If you can use their kids to do it, so much the better. It is a disturbing trend, one I cannot wait to see end. One day, some day...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Will the DOJ End Up Suing Half The Country...Updated

Over Immigration policies? Well, if a lot of people currently running for office win, I guess the DOJ will just have to since they all want to implement an Arizona-style immigration law. Yes, fully twenty-two (22) states are looking to incorporate Arizona's law on their own books, as the report below highlights:

Wow - that is a whole lot of states - maybe Obama can use some of his Obama dollars (aka, Stimulus) to increase the staff at DOJ. He's gonna have to, if almost half the country enacts legislation to mirror federal law. (Please don't think about that one too hard - it will just make your head explode.)

And about that whole DOJ lawsuit targeting AZ...Well, I should say, ONE of their lawsuits targeting Arizona, the one directed at Sheriff Arpaio. Oh, yes - the DOJ is handing out these lawsuits in Arizona like they are candy. Not only are they suing the state, but they are suing the Maricopa Community College for - get this - discriminating against would be employees by asking for additional paperwork. And why did they do this? Because the would be employer asked for a Green Card. And the DOJ is filing suit for that? WTH?

(UPDATE) Yes, this is how the DOJ stated their, um, "concern":

[snip]The Justice Department said a valid driver's license and a Social Security card are usually sufficient to show that a person is authorized to work. Requesting a green card amounts to "immigration-related employment discrimination," said Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Federal law forbids treating "authorized workers differently during the hiring process based on their citizenship status," Perez said. He said the department's Office of Special Counsel would bring legal actions against employers who impose "unnecessary and discriminatory hurdles to employment for work-authorized noncitizens." [snip] (Click HERE to read the rest."

Again, I say, WTH??? Asking for a Green Card is discriminatory?? You have got to be kidding me. Is the DOJ aware of the law passed in 1940 requiring naturalized and legal aliens to carry their papers at all times? Good grief.

Then there is Sheriff Arpaio, who allegedly committed Human Rights violations. Except maybe he didn't, as this Daily Caller piece by Byron York indicates, "New Evidence Undermines Fed's Case Against Arizona." Oh, yeah - this is a doozy:
[snip] Despite the splash of attention from the newest lawsuit, the Justice Department's investigation of Arpaio could end badly for Holder. When the Department first informed Arpaio that a probe was under way, back in March 2009, it sent a letter saying the investigation would focus on "alleged patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures." But now we learn that just six months before that, in September 2008, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, did its own investigation of Arpaio's office -- and gave it a clean bill of health. Arpaio's lawyers recently got a copy of the ICE report through the Freedom of Information Act.


The report, crammed with acronyms and bureaucratese, is not light reading. But struggle through it, and the key sentence is this: "The OI and DRO supervisors consider the conduct and performance of the MCSO ... officers to be professional and meeting the requirement of the MOA." Translated, that means officials from the Homeland Security Department's Office of Investigation (OI), along with officials from the Detention and Removal Operations office (DRO), concluded that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), in its handling of illegal immigrants, acted in a professional manner and complied with a memorandum of agreement (MOA) under which the government gave them the authority to enforce federal law. That agreement included a ban on racial profiling.


What happens now? It's been nearly a year and a half since the investigation began, and the Justice Department has not charged the sheriff's office with violating anyone's civil rights. Instead, Thursday's lawsuit goes after Arpaio for allegedly failing to cooperate fully in the probe.


Failing to find proof of real discrimination in Maricopa County could ultimately doom the administration's entire crusade in Arizona. The much-publicized suit against the new immigration law is based on the possibility that it might result in future discrimination, but at the same time the department is struggling to find evidence of civil rights violations in Arpaio's office, which uses enforcement techniques similar to those outlined in the new law. There's a real chance that in the end Obama's war on Arizona will come to nothing. (Click HERE to read the full post.)

Honestly, the whole concept of our Department of Justice suing one of our states for enforcing federal Immigration law is so mind boggling, I hardly have words to describe it. Visualize Scooby Doo's shaking his head, and that's what I am doing.

Fortunately, a regular at No Quarter, Noogan, summed it up well with this comment:
This is the issue that crystalizes my fear and loathing of this administration. Everything about it stinks to high heaven. It's unconscionable. The Federal government suing the state of Arizona for passing a law which mirrors Federal law; at the same time allowing ICE and other government arms of the state to ignore Federal law? This is simply outrageous. It's breathtakingly tyrannical.

It's stunningly unconstitutional. Along with allowing the President of Mexico to come here, speak before Congress, maligning this country? These acts are the reason for the widely held suspicions about Obama; and no matter how many times liberals and the professional left mock the anger about it, the fact remains: The President of the United States is violating the Constitution, behaving as a dictator. That's a very good reason to suspect the man.

I simply don't have words to express my loathing of Eric Holder and Obama....

Thank you, Noogan. I couldn't have said it better myself.

One thing is crystal clear - Obama and his Department of "Justice" have it in BIG time for Arizona. They are throwing anything they can against the wall hoping SOMETHING sticks to bring Arizona down. So far, though, all they are doing is demonstrating a callous disregard for the laws they are sworn to uphold.

The DOJ and Obama Administration are sure going to have their hands full if half the country follows Arizona's lead of trying to enforce Federal law.

Wow. I have to stop now, before my head explodes...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Well, That's ONE Way To Improve The Economy...

Esteemed Director of the UVA Center for Politics, Larry Sabato, is making some major predictions for the upcoming elections. Now, many of us are pretty sure how things are going to go, but Sabato is using some pretty good numbers to make his predictions sixty days out. Oh, yes, Republicans will take some seats, but wait until you see what Sabato predicts:

Earlier today, Stuart Varney said this prediction will stabilize the stock market and help the economy. Why? Because if companies think the Republicans are going to take over control, they don't have to worry about other big spending bills.

Sabato mentioned his site, the Center for Politics, and his article, "Sixty Days To Go." Here is a snippet from his report:
[snip] We’ve been patient and cautious here at the Crystal Ball as a year’s worth of facts has accumulated. We’ve sifted the polls, cranked up the models, and watched the candidates and campaigns closely. All political observers have “gut feelings” about an election year, but feelings make for good songs and lousy predictions. Forecasting is an imprecise art. People who get too far ahead of the facts or are too insistent about what will happen are usually partisans—openly or in disguise.

The Crystal Ball’s predictions are clinical. We are fond of people in both parties. We cheer for no one.

2010 was always going to be a Republican year, in the midterm tradition. It has simply been a question of degree. Several scenarios were possible, depending in large measure on whether, or how quickly, the deeply troubled American economy recovered from the Great Recession. Had Democratic hopes on economic revitalization materialized, it is easy to see how the party could have used its superior financial resources, combined with the tendency of Republicans in some districts and states to nominate ideological fringe candidates, to keep losses to the low 30s in the House and a handful in the Senate. [snip]

I encourage you to read the rest here.

A stable economy - well, that is certainly something we have not seen of late. I guess time will tell, right?

If I may take a moment of personal privilege, two things: 1. Earl is not coming near us, but Gaston might; and 2. as I mentioned in a comment recently, I will be having a total knee replacement (right knee) on September 9th. Some of you may recall I had a partial replacement 1 3/4 years ago on my left knee (and that one will be replaced in February - the partial didn't help). My orthopedist informed me that as hard as my rehab was for the partial, it is MUCH harder for the total. That is all to say, I will be out of commission for a good bit. I am guessing at least a month. Bad timing for blogging the upcoming political season, but I cannot wait any more. Thanks for the support, and the understanding.

And Gaston? Well, my partner might be making a trip back down here to help our friend who is house/pet-sitting batten down the hatches. Like with the economy, we will wait and see.

In my absence beginning 9/9, I recommend No Quarter, The Hill, Sara In Italy, and Logistics Monster.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arizona Included In Human Rights Paper By The State Department UPDATED

To say I was shocked to learn that the State Department included Arizona in its section on Immigration in the paper the State Department presented to the Human Rights Commission. Surely, I misheard this. No way would the State Department include one of its own states on such a list to the United Nations. I did not mishear anything, or misread anything. Sadly, yes, the State Department did.

Let's be clear here: Arizona is now on the list for trying to uphold Federal Immigration Law, and for making it a law that people who have been stopped for violations can be asked for their papers.

What shocks me even more was Secretary Clinton's willingness to put Arizona in this category. Yes, she thought it would be a "model," according to this Fox News report:
[snip] Crowley said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton included the dispute in the report because she thought the U.S. could serve as "a model" to other nations.

"The universal periodic review, we believe, can be a model to demonstrate, you know, to other countries, even other countries on the Human Rights Council, this is how you engage civil society,' Crowley told reporters. [enip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

A "model"? We have girls and their teachers being gassed in Afghanistan. Women in Iran being stoned to death for allegedly committing adultery. Hundreds of women being raped in Congo. And our State Department puts ARIZONA on a Human Rights list?

As if I didn't already have a headache from my root canal.

Oh, and speaking of Iran, I trust you recall that Iran - IRAN - is on the U.N. Commission on Women's Rights. WTH???

Do I even need to tell you how upset Governor Jan Brewer is about being included on this list? Yes, she called it "offensive," and has fired off a letter to Secretary Clinton. The State Department, though, is standing by its list, as PJ Crowley states below:

How is it that PJ Crowley is the spokesman for the State Department? Good grief.

Well, for my money, I'd rather have Martha MacCullum any day of the week. At least she is someone who thinks the US should be held to a higher standard than countries which engage in such horrific human rights abuses as detailed above and by MacCullum, herself. As she said, we SHOULD be held to a higher standard than these countries, and I couldn't agree more. Do we really want to be in the same category regarding Human Rights as Iran, Afghanistan, Congo, and similar countries? Hell to the NO, and why the State Department Spokesperson doesn't get that is troubling indeed.

Bottom line, though, Arizona fits nowhere in that list the State Department presented to the United Nations. This is a States Right v. Federal Right. Perhaps Gov. Brewer should turn the tables on the State Department, and the DOJ. Their refusal to abide by their Constitutional Duty to protect the borders and uphold federal laws are creating human rights abuses for people living in Arizona. How about that, huh? Yeah. I'm sure AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu would be more than willing to testify to that effect as he essentially does below:

That Secretary Clinton saw fit to put this into a report to the UN is disturbing. She needs to rectify this now, and apologize to both Arizona, and the country, for even considering what Arizona is trying to accomplish as a "human rights abuse." That is absurd, and I cannot believe she went along with this wrongheaded move.

As someone who supported Hillary Clinton 1000%, I am disappointed in her, to say the least. And this? Well, I'm waiting for that apology, Secretary Clinton.

UPDATE: In light of a recent comment about not providing a link to the actual report, and what the report said (though I think PJ Crowley DID state what was said about Arizona. So, in the interest of full disclosure, here is the LINK to the report, and here is where AZ came into the discussion:
94. Under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, DHS may delegate authority to state and local officers to enforce federal immigration law. DHS has made improvements to the 287(g) program, including implementing a new, standardized Memorandum of Agreement with state and local partners that strengthens program oversight and provides uniform guidelines for DHS supervision of state and local agency officer operations; information reporting and tracking; complaint procedures; and implementation measures. DHS continues to evaluate the program, incorporating additional safeguards as necessary to aid in the prevention of racial profiling and civil rights violations and improve accountability for protecting human rights.

95. A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world. The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.

96. President Obama remains firmly committed to fixing our broken immigration system, because he recognizes that our ability to innovate, our ties to the world, and our economic prosperity depend on our capacity to welcome and assimilate immigrants. The Administration will continue its efforts to work with the U.S. Congress and affected communities toward this end.

Make of this what you will, but I stand by my post – I think it was irresponsible at BEST to include Arizona and the government’s case against AZ, in a report to the UN on Human Rights in this manner (making it clear that the Federal Gov’t has taken AZ to court, and all of the implications therein). I might add, I think #94 takes the wind out of the Fed’s sails in regard to suing AZ, don’t you? Could just be me, though.

I might add - I changed the title and beginning because I did not make clear what the report said. I struggled to find the words when I wrote this simply because I had a raging (post root canal) headache. I apologize for any confusion.

Anyway, there is the link – read it for yourself, and decide.