Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Will Obama Give Credit Where Credit is Due? Doubtful.

The nice thing about being on vacation, or in this case, a mini vacation, I saw the following exchange between Gretchen Carlson and Robert Gibbs as it happened.  In my rush to get things done before I return to work tomorrow, I forgot about until I came across this video at Common Cents:

Until Obama gives his big speech tonight we will not know if he gives credit where credit is do and admits that back in 2007 he, Obama, was wrong about the war in Iraq and President Bush was absolutely right.  My guess-not a chance in Hell.

Obama is a complete narcissist.  He blames everyone else for anything that goes wrong and takes credit for everything that goes right, whether he had a hand in it or not.  Problem is, videos like the one above, and so many more, document Obama's previous positions for all time.  Obama should show Bush a kindness but it really doesn't matter if he doesn't.  In the end, history will judge the two men and their presidencies.  I suspect, Bush will come out wy ahead in the long run. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Crist Flip Flop? Does a Bear ....?

Today's Charlie "Aw, Hell. Even I don't know what I believe" Crist "walk back" is courtesy of CNN:

HENRY: Another big issue, same-sex marriage. Many conservatives like Marco Rubio support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But this week, the former Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman came out and said he's gay and he called on conservatives to kind of move to the political center and be more tolerant on this issue. You have previously said in your gubernatorial campaign, you supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Now that you're trying to occupy the political center, are you still in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?

CRIST: I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that.

And I think that's where most of America is. So I think that you know, you have to speak from the heart about these issues. They are very personal. They have a significant impact on an awful lot of people and the less the government is telling people what to do, the better off we're all going to be. But when it comes to marriage, I think it is a sacred institution. I believe it is between a man and woman, but partners living together, I don't have a problem with.

HENRY: But governor, doesn't it sounds like you having it both ways by saying live and let live, but I also support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. If it's live and let live, why would you ban same-sex marriage?

CRIST: Well, everything is in a matter of degree, Ed, and when it becomes to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman, it's just how I feel.
Yeah, that's what he said but of course it isn't what he meant to say.  Cause, you know, he, um, said that yesterday, which you know, isn't today.  Note to Charlie Crist:  write your stories down so they'll be easier to remember.  Also, I realize that after all those years of pretending to be a Republican it might be easy to forget who you are pandering to now but buddy, you are really falling down on the job.  Make your mind up on something.

Rallying with Rick Scott to take back Florida

Today has been a good day!  I arrived at the Rick Scott rally at about 12:45 this afternoon.  While waiting for Scott to take the stage I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mike Prendergast, candidate for the US House here in Florida's 11th district. I have video of Mike here and here

People will tell you that Kathy Castor has a lock on the 11th district.  Nonsense.  Castor has been wrong on every issue and as a result, our unemployment in the 11th is hovering around 12 percent. 

I took some videos while at the event.  Forgive the shakiness-it was hot and crowded and I was hoping against hope that I wasn't going to embarrass myself by passing out in front of everyone. 

First up, Pam Bondi, our candidate for Florida Attorney General.  Pam is a home town girl and a home town favorite.  Pam has been endorsed by Sarah Palin.  Look to Bondi to be a standout voice for Conservatism for years to come.

Of course the man that everyone had come to see is Rick Scott, the next governor of Florida and he did not disappoint.  Scott is articulate, experienced and really, one heck of a decent guy.  Florida is facing a myriad of challenges thanks to the Obama agenda and Charlie Crist's following that agenda all the way down the path to record deficits and unemployment.  Scott is definitely the man to turn it all around.

This is no time to increase spending

Are you one of those unpatriotic ninnies who erroneously believes that you can't spend your way out of a hole?  Shame on you!  You are the reason that Barry's "Summer of Recovery" has (unexpectedly) turned into a "Summer of Bust".  Robert J. Samuelson explains:

Why is the recovery faltering? There are many explanations: a depressed housing market; weaker-than-expected exports; cautious corporations. But consumers, representing 70 percent of the economy's $14.5 trillion of spending, are the crux of the matter.

It isn't that Americans aren't behaving as anticipated. They may actually be outperforming. "Consumers are deleveraging (reducing debt) . . . and rebuilding saving faster than expected," writes economist Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley. In 2007, the personal savings rate (the share of after-tax income devoted to saving) was 2 percent. Now it's about 6 percent. Temporarily, this hurts buying. Declines in consumer spending in 2008 and 2009 were the first back-to-back annual drops since the 1930s. Since World War II, annual consumption spending had fallen only twice (1974 and 1980).
No job or worried about losing your job?  Buck up!  Don't put money in the bank for a rainy day.  Spend it. 

Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't our national spending spree the reason we are in this mess now?  People bought the government line that everyone deserved to own a home, whether they could afford it or not and whether or not their credit history indicated that they would pay for the home even if they could afford it.  As more and more people bought houses the prices went up and riskier loan schemes became necessary to put people in to homes.  Once the ball started rolling it didn't stop until it went right off the cliff and it was straight down from there.

When will people feel secure enough to start spending?  My parent, children of the Great Depression, were never spenders though they could easily afford to be.  It wouldn't surprise me if the young people of today, having watched their parents lose their jobs, then their homes and cars, end up being much more fiscally conservative than the people of my generation.  In any case, it is unrealistic to expect people to spend on random goods and services when they are not sure where the next meal is coming from.

Any talk of increased consumer spending is premature when unemployment is sitting at ten percent.  First, get the government out of the marketplace and off the backs of employers and the jobs will come.  Spending will follow, though hopefully never at the levels that spurred this crisis to begin with.

Cross posted at Pundit & Pundette

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Silliness

H/T  Don Surber

Dan Riehl has a caption contest going.  My favorite:  Here let me crouch down while you toss it over the top of the gate

Glenn Beck, Mom and Dad, and "The Media"

I came across this video from Reason TV at Instapundit.  Just an aside, earlier I was at my parent's house and they were all upset by the rally coverage, or lack thereof, in the St. Pete Times (I quit reading the Tampa Tribune about two years ago, my parents cancelled their subscription to the Trib about a year ago).  I told Mom and Dad that I had quit worrying about "the media".  That deal is sealed and frankly, there are just too many alternatives these days to lose sleep over the biases of any particular outlet.  "The media" will eventually adapt or it will die.  Either way, it doesn't affect my life.  I'm old enough, and my parents are certainly old enough, to remember when journalism was an honorable profession and when journalists, whether in print or television, were respected and trusted.  That journalists decided to flush their integrity down the toilet and become agenda pushers instead makes my parents angry.  For my part, I'm angry that my parents feel let down by so many of the institutions they once cherished.  More of my ramblings after the video:

I thought that Gillespie did a fairly good job here though I doubt that Beck rallies are "his thing".  He mentioned that some in the crowd were a bit "inarticulate" in expressing why they were at the rally or what changes they might want to see.  Hey, we're not all English majors and having a microphone and camera in one's face can throw anyone off their game.  Still, he met the "fair and balanced" criteria.  I think the message is that freedom is achieved through self-reliance and that our strength as individuals and our belief that we, each of us, has the ability to succeed comes from a higher power.  And that higher power is not Uncle Sam.

Read the rest of Instapundit's roundup.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mike Prendergast, Part II

Part one can be found here.

I'd like to make one point. At the beginning of the video a comment is made by the Tampa Tribune that Mike Prendergast seem to echo the Republican talking points and that he could just as easily be running in Iowa.  That is exactly true.  The Republican, or at least Conservative, beliefs in a strong defense and fiscal responsibility are as important to the people in Tampa as they are to the people of Des Moines or Memphis or wherever.  Conservative values don't benefit one geographic location and not another.  Is the Trib referring to Castor's ability to bring home the pork?  If so, who has that pork benefited?  Sure hasn't helped with unemployment that is standing at 12% in the Bay area. 

2010 Democratic Campaign Slogans

Via the comments at Don Surber, Drake says:

On the bright side, that provides no shortage of Democrat campaign themes for 2010:

“Stop Acting So Ignorant; We’re Really Getting Fed Up With You.”

“2010: Isn’t It Time To Listen To Your Betters?”

“The Choice is Yours: Either Shut Up Or We’ll Shut You Up.”

“Vote Democrat, You Homophobic Muslim-Hating Racists.”
Hats off to Drake.  I've got some of my own:

The possibilities are endless!

He was for it before he was against it which was after he was in favor of it but before...

Good grief, Charlie Crist!  Do you believe in anything? 

Or as Pundette says, "Does Charlie Crist have to work at being a consummate weasel or is it just a gift?"

At issue, this time, is a statement that Charlie "I can flip, I can flop" Crist made during an interview with Scott Harris on the Agenda:

When asked how Crist would have voted on the healthcare bill if in the Senate at the time, Crist responded by saying, "I would have voted for it. But I think it can be done better, I really do."
So that is where Crist stands today, as opposed as to where he stood yesterday or where he might stand tomorrow.  Actually, his position changed before the end of the same day:

"Apparently, based on an interview this afternoon, there may be some confusion regarding my position on health care," Crist said. "If I misspoke, I want to be abundantly clear: the health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.
Of course his opponents, Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek, are having a field day:

Marco Rubio's campaign sent a press release saying, "In less than 30 days, Crist has gone from voting against the bill to voting for it to now being against it again."

Kendrick Meek's campaign released a similar e-mail, saying, "Obviously, the governor is having a crisis of memory."
Now guys, be nice.  Charlie is just being Charlie.  Whoever that is today.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Charlie Should Have Done UPDATED

The short answer is that Charlie should have done the exact opposite of what he has done.  He should have run for second term as governor.  Then he should have ran against Bill Nelson for the Senate in the next go around.  Too late for that now.  Right about now Charlie is right in between the proverbial rock and hard place.  Exhibit A:
Oopsie!  What's a Oompa Loompa to do? 
Crist nightmare? Rubio agrees to seven debates

Soon after Charlie Crist agreed to participate in an Oct. 24 debate presented by CNN and the St. Petersburg Times, Marco Rubio upped the ante by agreeing to that debate - and six more. The first would be on NBC's Meet the Press Sept. 5.

Charlie Crist is almost always good on TV, but this poses a real problem for him. In a three-person debate, it would be Rubio and Meek each taking turns hitting Crist and pressing him on flip-flops and inconsistencies. It's hard to stay above the fray when you're the main target.

But skipping most of the debates is equally problematic. If Meek agrees to these debates and the networks agree to televise them with or without all three candidates, Crist would be letting Meek raise his profile as the Democratic alternative to Rubio.
Charlie has burned his bridges with the Right.  He has to have the Left to have any chance of winning.  But how does he win the Left without turning off the Middle?  Conundrum time.

This is the kind of problem a politician has when he has no actual principals to stand on.


Intrigue in the Vineyard!  Did Charlie meet Barry?  What did they talk about?  Will Barry string Charlie along or throw Kendrick under the bus?  Have you ever seen a finer looking couple?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If This is an Example of the Kind of People Who Support the Ground Zero Then There is Even More Reason to Oppose It

When I saw this video at Don Surber's I almost stopped watching because I was so disgusted by the way the filthy mouthed "progressive" spoke to the Holocaust survivor.  I am glad I kept watching because seeing the old man raise his voice in song brought tears to my eyes.  God bless you, sir.

I Guess it is a Question of Priorities

Something just isn’t adding up. First, from the Washington Examiner:

Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as “endangered” or in “critical” condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports shows.

Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered “endangered,” while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as “critical” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Unions are required to file 5500 forms that record the financial health of their retirement plans, show that union pension funds have lost their financial footing over the past several years.

Eight of the largest unions have underfunded plans, according to the most recent 5500 reports, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.

The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Less than one in every 160 workers is covered by a union pension with required assets.
A combination of factors led up to the woeful state that union pensions are in, not the least of which are fraud and mismanagement. The funds are in such a sorry state that there is talk that taxpayers will once again be asked to empty their pockets in order to bailout yet another Democratic voting block. Now the rest of us, when faced with a shortage of funds, cut back on non-essential spending. Wouldn’t it make sense for the unions to do the same thing rather than expecting others to bail them out? Which brings me to this from The Wall Street Journal:

The leaders of the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union have agreed to coordinate spending millions of dollars in the midterm elections to support pro-union candidates, most of them Democrats.

The two labor organizations say they have a combined $88 million or more to deploy in this year's election cycle. It's not clear how much of that money they will pool together.

The renewed alliance between the two big labor groups comes as Democrats are battling to retain control of both houses of Congress. The AFL-CIO and SEIU plan to target elections in 26 states, all but five of which they consider battleground territory, including California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Most of the unions' cash will be spent on behalf of Democrats, despite dissatisfaction among some union leaders and their members with the results of two years of Democratic control in Washington. While labor officials say unions haven't received everything they've wanted from the administration, they blame Republicans and some Democrats for blocking legislative progress.
It would appear that the unions have plenty of money when it comes to purchasing congressman but they are broke when comes to paying members who have dedicated a life time of service (and dues). What am I missing here?

Let's Get to Work!

The votes are in and congratulations go to Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Pam Bondi, and Mike Prendergast.  I would be totally remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Stacy and Smitty at The Other McCain, whose primary coverage was phenomenal as usual. 

I have been a Rubio supporter since before he announced as a candidate for the US Senate and I am more than ready to get this show on the road.  Here is Rubio's first commercial of the season:

Next up is Mike Prendergast.  The House race here in Florida's 11th district is important.  We can either send Kathy Castor back to the House where she will continue to vote with total disregard to the wishes and best interests of her countrymen or we can send Col. Mike Prendergrast, a true conservative who has dedicated his entire adult life to the service of this country:

Colonel Prendergast is a native of Tampa and a graduate of Clearwater Central Catholic High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1978 and earned a commission through Officer Candidate School. With more than 31 years of service, he retired in 2009 as U.S. Central Command's Provost Marshal, a military position similar to a civilian Commissioner of Public Safety and International Chief of Police. Colonel Prendergast served with distinction in various important command and staff assignments throughout the United States and abroad, to include combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo, and humanitarian missions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Cameroon, and Zaire. Prendergast also served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Defense, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Bob Graham.

Prendergast has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Special Honors and a dual major in Political Science and Sociology from Jacksonville State University; a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Psychology from the University of New York; a Bachelor of Social Science degree from Campbell University; a Master of Arts degree with a major in International Relations and a Certificate in African Studies from the University of Florida; a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Public Management from Troy State University; and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College with a major in Public Diplomacy and a concentration in Campaign and Strategic Crisis Planning.
This Part One of an interview with Prendergast.  Note that Prendergast unequivocally states that the oath of office demands loyalty to the Constitution, not to any particular political party.  I'll have Part Two tomorrow night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Primary Day in Florida!

I hit the polls at 7:00 am this morning and now there is nothing to do but wait for the polls to close and the results to come in.  Already there is some very good news via Hot Air:

Florida goes to the polls today to choose their nominees for the general election in statewide and federal offices, and the two men who have nothing to do today are the most affected. According to a new survey from PPP, Kendrick Meek should easily win his primary over billionaire self-funder Jeff Greene, who more or less imploded over the last several weeks. With Meek in the race, both Democrats and Republicans come home to their parties — which is good news for Marco Rubio and a big problem for Charlie Crist:

Democrats will get their stronger candidate if Kendrick Meek wins the Florida Senate primary tonight as expected- but the biggest winner coming out of the primary may be Marco Rubio. PPP finds he would begin the general election in the lead at 40%, followed by Charlie Crist at 32%, and Meek at 17%. If Jeff Greene were somehow able to pull off the upset tonight it would be much closer with Rubio at 37%, Crist at 36%, and Greene at only 13%.

PPP’s last poll of the race in mid-July found Crist in the lead at 35% to 29% for Rubio and 17% for Meek. Two major developments have shifted the race in Rubio’s direction though. The first is that Democrats are now going for Meek 39-38 where before they were going for Crist 44-35. As Democrats have gotten to know Meek over the course of the primary campaign they’ve generally decided they like him and that’s cut into Crist’s support for the general election.

The other big difference is that many Republican voters have moved off the fence and they’ve almost universally moved into the Rubio column. Where Rubio had a 54-23 lead with GOP voters in July, it’s now increased to 69-20. Many Republicans were up in the air between Crist and Rubio previously but whatever they’ve seen over the last month has moved them more firmly into the Rubio column.
As I've said before, Crist will pick some, but by no means anything approaching the majority of the Independent vote.  He and Meek will split the Dem vote while Marco takes the Republican and Independent vote and ultimately the Senate seat.  Crist badly misjudged the Florida electorate and moved way too far left.  There is simply no graceful way for him to move back to the center now.

In the House race in this district, Kathy Castor is considered "safe".  Really?  Whomever comes out on top tonight between Mike Prendergast and Eddie Adams, Jr., we will have a candidate who is more than capable of unseating the ninth most liberal member in the House of Representatives.

Only 20 percent of the population self identifies as "liberal" which puts Castor way outside of the mainstream.  In the coming days I will be providing a closer look at Castor's record and it will become clear that on issue after issue, Castor has voted contrary to the constituency.

Lastly, after tonight Jeff Greene will no longer be spamming my inbox.  That my friends, is a very good thing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Close But No Cigar

Timothy P. Carney got his title all wrong in his Washington Examiners post.  He wrote The Republican divide: K Street vs. Tea Partiers.  It should have been titled The You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours Club vs. The Newbies.  Carney writes:

Bob Dole, once the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, parlayed his political clout into personal wealth, and now he’s putting that wealth to work against a conservative Republican Senate candidate in a general election. Dole, now a lobbyist at Alston Bird, contributed $1,000 on Aug. 11 to the independent Senate campaign of Charlie Crist, who left the GOP in April.

Dole’s may be an extreme case — because he’s actually backing a non-Republican — but it epitomizes the fundamental split within the Republican Party.
Ya think, really?

The Old Boy's Club, AKA the You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours Club is nothing new.  It isn't Republican or Democrat, it is simply business as usual.  Its the whole reason that Stacy McCain started Not One Red Cent.

The Tea Party, if anything, is a revolt against the political establishment and the political class which for too long has taken the electorate for granted.  The idea that the voters will sit back and pull the (R) lever or the (D) lever while their hard earned tax dollars get swooshed down the political drain only to pop out of the sewer to fill some career politician's pockets are gone.  The voters want some bang for their buck and putting The Hon. Sen. Joe "High and Mighty" Blow's name on a building will no longer cut it.

The pendulum has swung too far.  Career politicians may be looking for the quick buck but we, the people, are looking at the long term health of the Nation.  For us it is no longer about "what is in it for me" but "how is this going to effect my children and grandchildren?" 

It isn't about K Street vs. Tea Partiers.  It is about who cares about the short vs. those who care about the long term.  Two words:  term limits.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Frank Rich is a Big Fat Liar

Frank Rich, knowing that he doesn't have a leg to stand on, stoops to doozie telling (emphasis added):

So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right —abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?
I know every filthy name in the book and I'm not aware of any of the finer ones, much less the lesser ones, being tossed about during "The Mosque" debate.  Who is Rich referring to?  He links both the ADL and Harry Reid, but no filthy names there. Fox News, perhaps?  After all, they did make Rich's headline, How Fox Betrayed Petraeus.  Anyone aware of Fox going potty mouth lately?  Rich doesn't cite any examples so I think it is safe to assume that there aren't any.  Aside from the glorious richness of Mr. Rich pretending to give a rat's ass about Gen. Petraeus, the entire op-ed is one big joke.

Mr. Rich is perfectly welcome to express his opinion in whatever medium is sufficiently lame to have him.  But there is a difference between expressing an opinion and lying.  Mr. Rich is a big, fat liar.  He is simply too blinded by the rainbows he imagines emanate from The Holy Unicorn's arse and therefore, he has rendered his gilded opinions useless. 

Speaking of filthy names, I've thought of several related to Rich while writing this.  I'll save them for another post.

Cross posted at Potluck

Progressives are Stuck on Anger

Writing at Ricochet, Rob Long puts an interesting spin on the liberal media's current Obama "problem":

The Liberal Media is Angry! Next Step: Bargaining

The famous Kubler-Ross stages of grief are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

I'm a people person. I care about others. So as the hapless, amateur-hour Obama administration lurches from one self-inflicted mess to another, what I really want to know is this: how's the press doing? You know, in the mental health department? How are all of those fawning, lickspittle toadies handling the collapse of their Chosen One?

Good news! They're following the textbook. For the past year, it's been a symphony of denial. But this summer, they slipped into anger.

Why is Obama such an unpopular president? It's your fault. You're too extreme. You have extreme views. Also: you're crazy. You think Obama is a Muslim. Oh, and you're a racist
The problem is that anger is the progressives' natural state.  This is why I don't bother trying to reason with them.  They view any disagreement as a personal attack.  I can't imagine a progressive ever reaching acceptance.
Many progressives never accepted that George W. Bush was the legitimate POTUS.  And I recently overheard a conversation between two progressives who were angry that the current administration still hadn't arrested GWB, locked him up and thrown away the key.  Acceptance simply is not these people's forte. 
Conservatives, or at least Republicans, are poised for a big victory in November.  Don't expect that victory to nudge progressives towards the "bargaining" stage.  I suspect they will skip straight to a short depression stage and then regress back to a prolonged stage of anger and denial.  I am also pretty darned sure that it will be a cold day in Hell before progressives accept that the majority of their countrymen reject their vision.
The good news is that progressives tend not to breed.  Eventually, we will be free of them.

Read the of Long's piece.

Cross posted at Potluck

Saturday, August 21, 2010

She's Back!

Welcome back, dear Pundette!  You have been sorely missed. 

Many thanks to Pundette for allowing me to post on her blog during her absence.  It was an honor.

Take the "Hard Hat Pledge"

Imagine that your employment had been spotty, or non-existent, for months.  Chances are if you work in the construction industry you have been sitting on the sidelines for a very long time now.  So along comes a major building project that will take many, many months to complete and suddenly the possibility of working 10s and 12s (overtime) after scraping by could be a reality.  Would you turn that job, and fat paycheck, down?  If the "project" is the Ground Zero Mosque, you just might.

A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing not to work on the mosque planned near Ground Zero.

“It’s a very touchy thing because they want to do this on sacred ground,” said Dave Kaiser, 38, a blaster who is working to rebuild the World Trade Center site.

“I wouldn’t work there, especially after I found out about what the imam said about U.S. policy being responsible for 9/11,” Kaiser said.

The grass-roots movement is gaining momentum on the Internet. One construction worker created the “Hard Hat Pledge” on his blog and asked others to vow not to work on the project if it stays on Park Place.

“Thousands of people are signing up from all over the country,” said creator Andy Sullivan, a construction worker from Brooklyn. “People who sell glass, steel, lumber, insurance. They are all refusing to do work if they build there.”

“Hopefully, this will be a tool to get them to move it,” he said. “I got a problem with this ostentatious building looming over Ground Zero.”
It is easy to take stand when it doesn't cost anything but the men and women who take this pledge do so at great personal expense.  I am proud of each and every one of them.

More at Potluck.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm Proud to be an Extremist

Who knew that agreeing with the majority of your fellow citizens makes one an extremist?  The NRSC has a video on this phenomenon:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Moral Cowardliness

George Zornick at Think Progress has his boxers in a wad:

Republican Allen West is the Tea Party candidate for House in Florida’s 22nd district, a seat currently held by Rep. Ron Klein (D). West is an extremely successful fundraiser — he raked in the most money of any GOP challenger in the second fundraising quarter of 2010 — and has become a favorite among conservatives, earning the endorsement of Sarah Palin and receiving over two million hits on YouTube for a speech he delivered to a Florida Tea Party gathering.

Last week, video surfaced of West making a series of inflammatory statements about Islam during a March 8 pubic forum. He began by criticizing the ubiquitous “Coexist” bumper stickers, which display the symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other religions. West said:

“[A]s I was driving up here today, I saw that bumper sticker that absolutely incenses me. It’s not the Obama bumper sticker. But it’s the bumper sticker that says, ‘Co-exist.’ And it has all the little religious symbols on it. And the reason why I get upset, and every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are. The liberties that we want to enjoy.”
I don't see a problem with West's remarks on the 'Co-exist' bumper sticker.  Islam isn't compatible with the freedoms that we hold dear.  Does the 'co-exist' crowd believe that Muslim taxi drivers have the right to refuse rides to disabled people with service dogs?  And if so, do they equally support ER nurses who refuse to participate in abortions because of their religious convictions or do they sniff that the nurses should find another profession while insisting that the religious beliefs of the taxi drivers should be respected?  What is the 'co-exist' position on gay marriage?  Do they think that Christians who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman are homophobic bigots while ignoring that homosexuality is punishable by death under Islam? 

Co-existance is only possible if all sides respect each other's beliefs.  I don't respect a religion that calls for the mutilation of little girls, honor killing or stoning.  None of those things is compatible with American ideals of liberty or justice.  The co-exist crowd believes in selective capitulation.  That, as far as I am concerned, is moral cowardliness.

Cross posted at Pundit and Pundette

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Did Charlie Crist Return Jim Greer's Money?

When Charlie Crist split from the Republican party he was quite clear that he would not return any money that had been donated to his campaign fund. His position was that the money had been donated to Charlie Crist the man, not Charlie Crist the RINO. There’s been a small change in plans, at least where it concerns $10,000 donated to Crist by the disgraced former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and Crist best buddy, Jim Greer. Greer has asked Crist for his money back and Crist has returned it:

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Charlie Crist's independent U.S. Senate campaign is refunding nearly $10,000 to Jim Greer after the indicted former Republican Party chairman asked for the money to help pay for his legal defense. ``As you know circumstances have caused me to need money to defend myself and take care of my family,'' Greer wrote in an Aug. 5 letter. ``I know sending the money back is hard, but with what has happened it may be politically beneficial for you to do.''

Greer, 48, faces six felony charges, including organized fraud and money laundering, after authorities said he used a secret fundraising contract to funnel party donations to a consulting firm he owned.
So Mr. and Mrs. Average Floridian, no refund for you but a rat like Greer, no problem. A hint as to why Crist would refund Greer’s money can be found in this from Greer’s letter to Crist:

``Charlie over the last three years, I did all that I was asked to do by you and others. Your goals were my goals. When all of the others abandoned you, I remained loyal.''
Greer is still, for the time being, remaining loyal. But in some circles loyalty can be bought. Actually, $10,000 sounds cheap.

Cross posted at Pundit and Pundette

Monday, August 16, 2010

Explaining My Frustration

In an email sent earlier today to Pundette I told her that I am having a hard time blogging because I am extremely frustrated.  Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, only served to up my frustration level with this (emphasis added):

This is typical of how these debates usually play out. The first America tends to make the finer-sounding speeches, and the second America often strikes cruder, more xenophobic notes. The first America welcomed the poor, the tired, the huddled masses; the second America demanded that they change their names and drop their native languages, and often threw up hurdles to stop them coming altogether. The first America celebrated religious liberty; the second America persecuted Mormons and discriminated against Catholics.
What an amazing man this Mr. Douthat is!  He and I have never met yet he knows my heart.  As a member of the "second" (or is it second class?) America, I am crude and my motives are xenophobic.  I assume the onus falls on me to disprove the negative.

But I can't disprove the negative and therefore my opinions are discounted.  How convenient for Douthat that he never has to deal with opinions with which he disagrees.  He simply slaps on the racist label and poof!  Convenient for him, frustrating for me.

Cross posted at Pundit & Pundette

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Naw, That's Not Provocation

Thanks to Doug Ross for the photo.  If your blood hasn't reached the boiling point yet read Why Won't Bloomberg Let A Church Destroyed on 9/11 Rebuild?  at Potluck.

Another Fine Example from Our Intellectual Betters

Top billing right now on Memeorandum belongs to this post (my apologies upfront):

Bill Kristol Is Invited to Eat A Bag Of Salted Dicks
This bit of cretinous smarm is the brainchild of lefty slimemaster and potty mouth extraordinaire, TBogg.  It is also a perfect example of the Left's inability to form simple coherent sentences.  Lefties no longer have positions.  They have tantrums.  Poorly reasoned, dishonest and expletive laden hissy fits.

Whether it is the now infamous Spencer Ackerman

In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
or the "So, this is what passes for 'clever' on the Left?" tee shirt

the children of the Left seem less the "intellectual betters" they think themselves to be and more Veruca Salt, the horrid little spoiled brat in Willy Wonka. 

Many lament the lack of civil discourse in our society.  I doubt we will see its return anytime soon.  One simply cannot argue with children.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Must See Video

This video is from black people for black people but the message of freedom and liberty is for all people.  Many thanks to Babalu for sharing:

Obama Votes "Present", Again-Updated

During a Ramadan soiree hosted by our Won and only, Barry took it upon himself to say:

But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
Did I miss something?  Are Muslims being treated differently or unfairly in this country?  Apparently it is unfair to suggest that it might be unwise, as well as tasteless, insensitive and insulting to build a mega-mosque within sight of the ground where 3,000 Americans were murdered by radical Muslims.  So our beloved leader, during an iftar, took the opportunity to, no doubt with noble bow to Islam, say that sensitivity to Islam takes precedence over sensitivity to America's dead.  Until he didn't:

Already getting trounced in the polls, Democrats are reeling over the President’s decision to side with the Muslim Brotherhood over the American people by endorsing the Ground Zero mosque. So he’s trying to close Pandora’s Box.

Politico reports [and thanks to John Hinderaker at Powerline for pointing this out] that Obama is now seeking “to defuse the controversy” by explaining that he was merely talking about the mosque proponents’ legal right to build at the World Trade Center site. “I was not commenting and I will not comment,” he said, “on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there” (emphasis added).

Good luck with that one. Compounding insult with cynicism and cowardice is probably not a winning strategy.
So during his Ramadan dinner Barry was merely sucking up to the Muslims gathered for the feast but once the festivities ended Obama went to his fall back position of voting "present".  I wasn't aware that anyone was arguing that the Muslims don't have a legal right to build wherever they chose. At issue is whether they have a moral right to gloat within site of our national tragedy.


Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist, rivals for the US Senate race, have each weighed in on Obama's stance (non-stance?) on the Ground Zero Mosque:

First to Marco Rubio:

"We are a nation founded on strong principles of religious freedom. However, we cannot be blind to the pain 9/11 caused our nation and the families of the victims. It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism. I strongly disagree with President Obama and Charlie Crist."
And to Crist:

"I think he's right - yeah," Crist, who was elected governor as a Republican but is now running for Senate as an independent candidate, told CNN. "We are a country in my view that stands for freedom of religion. You know, respect for others. I know there are sensitivities and I understand that, but I think Mayor Bloomberg is right and I think the President is right."
Stay tuned-Crist will update, change and twist tweak his position as necessary.  Much like Obama is trying to do.

Is Your Congressman a Member of the Democratic Socialists of America?

The Socialist Party of America has released the list of seventy Democratic congressman who are members of the Socialist Party.  Check the list at Gateway Pundit to see if your congressman is a member.  Here in Florida we have three on the list:  Corrine Brown (FL-03), Alan Grayson (FL-08) and Robert Wexler (FL-19).  No big surprise.

Keep this list in mind the next time you hear Obama scoff at the notion that he is pushing a radical socialist agenda.  Also keep in mind that this list wasn't leaked, it was released.  This means that each of the congressmen on the list feel comfortable with their affiliation with the Socialist Party and feel no need to hide that affiliation. 

These people are trying to fundamentally change the direction and character of our country.  We need to stand together in November and deliver the message that we are a free country and Socialists have no place in our government.


Marco Rubio Responds to Harry Reid's Ridiculous Comment on Hispanics

"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican” - Harry Reid

Harry Reid is a typical Democrat.  In his mind, we all belong in categories.  He doesn't seem to understand that despite our surface differences we are all Americans.  We all want a strong country regardless of our ethnicity.  Concern for the future isn't a white thing or a black thing or a brown thing.  Marco Rubio, the next senator from Florida, tell Harry Reid exactly why he is wrong about Hispanics:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prepare to be SHOCKED!

You may want to sit down for this and have an aspirin ready in case you suddenly develop chest pains.

Take a moment to recover.

What, you're not completely verklempt at the sight of a minaret on the RNC's convention logo?  Somebody is going to be very disappointed:

The extremist, left-wing site Talking Points Memo (better known as TPM) thought it had a zinger of a story about the “RNC’s 2012 convention logo.” The logo, TPM crows, seems to have *GASP* a Muslim minaret in it. TPM even helpfully added a copy of the logo with a nice red arrow to the “minaret” image to help its readers determine which graphic element was the minaret (as seen to your right).

What is the subliminal message, TPM wonders? What nefarious motives could the GOP possibly have to include a Muslim icon in their logo? What is going on here TPM demands to know!
What the RNC is "up to" is accurately depict the Tampa skyline, right down to the incredibly butt ugly "Beer Can" building on the left of the logo next to the funky palm tree. 

For those of you not from around these parts, the minaret is not part of a mosque but instead graces the Henry Plant Museum at the University of Tampa.  Actually a very nice building.  The bigger question is how desperate is the Left when they stoop to trying to create a controversy out of a logo? 

Is this the level of childish dribble we are going to be subjected to for the next two years?  How lame are these dweebs?  Check out this comment from DemConWatch:

Should this become an issue with the Tea Party it will only confirm just how crazy the Republican party has become.
And if it doesn't become an issue with the Tea Party then it shows that they have no intellectual coherence.
Yeah, cause you know, a building in Tampa and the Ground Zero Mosque are like you know, same/same.  Come on, kids.  Even you can come up with something better than this.

Taxpayer Money is Being Used to Build Mosques

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Seems pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? Apparently not:

Interesting news in a Washington Times editorial this morning. It is all worth reading, including the first part, which deals with the strong evidence that, in funding Imam Feisal Rauf’s sojourn to the Arabian Peninsula, the State Department is effectively paying for him to raise funds for the Ground Zero mosque project — broadly opposed by Americans who are also being kept in the dark about its financing.

Then there’s the next part of the editorial:

Americans also may be surprised to learn that the United States has been an active participant in mosque construction projects overseas. In April, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E. Lenhardt helped cut the ribbon at the 12th-century Kizimkazi Mosque, which was refurbished with assistance from the United States under a program to preserve culturally significant buildings. The U.S. government also helped save the Amr Ebn El Aas Mosque in Cairo, which dates back to 642. The mosque’s namesake was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt, who built the structure on the site where he had pitched his tent before doing battle with the country’s Byzantine rulers. For those who think the Ground Zero Mosque is an example of “Muslim triumphalism” glorifying conquest, the Amr Ebn El Aas Mosque is an example of such a monument – and one paid for with U.S. taxpayer funds.

The mosques being rebuilt by the United States are used for religious worship, which raises important First Amendment questions. U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to preserve and promote Islam, even abroad. In July 2009, the Office of the Inspector General published an audit of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) faith-based and community initiatives that examined whether government funds were being used for religious activities. The auditors found that while USAID was funding some religious activities, officials were “uncertain of whether such uses of Agency funding violate Agency regulations or the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution” when balanced against foreign-policy objectives.

For example, our government rebuilt the Al Shuhada Mosque in Fallujah, Iraq, expecting such benefits as “stimulating the economy, enhancing a sense of pride in the community, reducing opposition to international relief organizations operating in Fallujah, and reducing incentives among young men to participate in violence or insurgent groups.” But Section 205.1(d) of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibits USAID funds from being used for the rehabilitation of structures to the extent that those structures are used for “inherently religious activities.” It is impossible to separate religion from a mosque; any such projects will necessarily support Islam.
It seems that our government has some kind of squishy idea that if we just play nice with the Muslim community that all radicalism will disappear. Fat chance. But regardless of the merits of our current “peace through niceness” diplomacy, the government does not have the right to use taxpayer money to build mosques or any other religious facility. While I am sure that it will come to quite a surprise to this administration, they are not above the Constitution.

Cross posted at Pundit and Pundette

Quote of the Day

I'd comment on how ludicrous this is, and the degree to which it assumes his donors are rubes, but I should probably check in with Boeing first to see if that's OK.
Ben Smith writing in Politico

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Feeling the pinch? You must not be a government worker

From USA Today:

•Benefits. Federal workers received average benefits worth $41,791 in 2009. Most of this was the government's contribution to pensions. Employees contributed an additional $10,569.

•Pay. The average federal salary has grown 33% faster than inflation since 2000. USA TODAY reported in March that the federal government pays an average of 20% more than private firms for comparable occupations. The analysis did not consider differences in experience and education.

•Total compensation. Federal compensation has grown 36.9% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation, compared with 8.8% for private workers.

Bottom line: you and I get up and go to work each day and then when we get our paychecks a portion of our payroll taxes goes to pay people who do essentially the same jobs that we do only they have much better benefits and much higher paychecks thanks to you and I. Why?

Last week, President Obama ordered a freeze on bonuses for 2,900 political appointees. For the rest of the 2-million-person federal workforce, Obama asked for a 1.4% across-the-board pay hike in 2011, the smallest in more than a decade. Federal workers also would qualify for seniority pay hikes.

Congressional Republicans want to cancel the across-the-board increase in 2011, which would save $2.2 billion.

"Americans are fed up with public employee pay scales far exceeding that in the private sector," says Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the second-ranking Republican in the House.

Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., says a pay freeze would unfairly scapegoat federal workers without addressing real budget problems.
Unfairly scapegoat federal workers? Give me a break. There is no excuse for a federal employee to be paid $62,000 a year more than an employee in the private sector who is doing a comparable job. This is just another example of our government using the citizenry to enrich themselves.

In addition to a pay freeze, federal employees should take a significant pay cut. It is obscene for federal workers to get rich off the backs of taxpayers.

Cross posted at Pundit and Pundette with many thanks to Pundette for inviting me to guest post in her absence.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oh, Give Me a Break

I've said it before and I'll say it again don't piss down my back and tell me it is raining.

Lynn Sweet, writing in Politics Daily is defending the fair Lady Michelle's trip to Spain by claiming that Michelle and Sasha were there to comforting a grieving friend.  That, as Michelle Malkin would say, is snort worthy.

Mrs. Obama and her friends paid for their hotel rooms and other personal expenses. All first ladies, however, get 24-hour security and transportation on military aircraft. When Mrs. Obama flies on personal business, she pays what amounts to a first-class fare, but taxpayers pick up most of the overhead costs for the plane and security.

A reason Mrs. Obama stayed at the ritzy Villa Padierna in Marbella was security, I was told. Agents were able to secure the lush resort and a nearby beach.
Lady Michelle & friends may have paid their own expenses but they also left a tab in excess of $400,000 for the taxpayers.  Not exactly chump change, unless you consider working Americans to be chumps.  Of course, we are to believe that if it weren't for security concerns the Lady Michelle and her posse would have holed at the local Super 8.


We have a President with a long problem establishing that he is in touch with those middle Americans bitterly clinging to their guns, their religion, their hopes for a better job, and so on. Now Michelle is jet-setting in five-star hotels while Democrats strategize on getting their message out. Point One:

Democrats are on the side of the middle class.
It shows.
Dems are counting on the false belief that if say that they are on the side of the middle class often enough that eventually someone will believe it.  I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Pay up, Sucker!

“Obama often chides others for being irresponsible. When he does, the effect is a bit like Richard Nixon calling others ruthless.”

Thus writes Kyle Smith in The end of responsibility

The latest in a string of doozies since Obama took office involves the rumor that Freddie and Fannie will be directed to reduce the balances of mortgages that are deemed to be “underwater”. Smith:

That’s right. If you bet badly in the housing-market casino of the Aughties, the government is thinking of refunding some of your chips so you can play again. You may have heard something about a sub-prime real-estate bubble that popped and nearly took down the financial system with it? President Obama wants to double down.

Unlike most rumors, this one became more, not less, plausible when you examine the details. The White House has made it clear in recent months that it is frustrated by what the Framers called “the legislative branch,” what President Obama calls “politics” and what I call “the wishes of the American people.”

Obama craves a short-term sugar rush for the economy. If he feels cornered, betrayed and alone, he could use his new ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a free federal candy store and tell America to line up and pig out.

Rewarding subprime borrowers would be characteristic. In more ways than one, Barack Obama seems to want to be known as the Sub-Prime President.

So, if you are among the millions who didn’t buy more home than you could afford, didn’t fall for creative financing gimmicks aimed at setting monthly payments artificially low, and despite these hard times has kept up with your mortgage payments, the administration has a name for you, “Sucker”.

When the principal on a mortgage is crammed down that money doesn’t just disappear-it still has to be paid for. Obama is simply shifting the payment from the homeowner to the taxpayer. Once the plan goes through you will be paying your own mortgage and a portion of your neighbor’s.

Smith likens this to the auto bailout:

When they build the irresponsibility Hall of Fame, there will be a special exhibit on the autoworkers who drove GM and Chrysler into insolvency. The UAW knew it was driving up wages and benefits to unsustainable levels, but it also knew that the Democratic Party had its back. Ordinary bankruptcy would have voided its contracts. Instead, GM endured an Obama-customized restructuring that punished its lenders and left the UAW almost untouched. The UAW did suffer the gross insult of its workers being forced to report to duty on the Monday after Easter — in 2011. In 2012, they go back to getting Easter Monday as a paid holiday. Post-restructuring, their pay and benefits are still around $50 an hour.

Like a lung-cancer survivor waking up from surgery and whispering, “Bring me Marlboros,” the UAW is already hinting that it expects to be rewarded with a nice bump after its contract expires next year, and Obama has told the workers he is excited by the prospect.

Unlike the bank bailouts, the Detroit aid (which is costing 30 times the value of the 1979 lifeline to Chrysler) has no chance of breaking even, Gregg Easterbrook wrote on Reuters. To do that, stock in the new GM would have to rise to the old company’s all-time peak valuation. You’ll see George Clooney driving a Yugo before that happens. Moreover, included in the GM bailout was a gift to GM’s finance arm — a subprime lender.

Yep, Obama is faithful adherent to the “There’s a sucker born every minute” school of thought. We, the ever responsible taxpayers were put on this earth to finance whims of our better, Mr. Obama. And should we dare to complain about the burden we are being asked to bear and pass on to our children, we are quickly reminded that we are racists. Discussion over.

So, pay up Sucker, and remember, in Obamaland you can never give enough.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In the Florida Democratic Race for the US Senate it is Pot Vs Kettle

The following just popped up in my inbox:

fromJeff Greene For Florida press@jeffgreene.com

dateSun, Aug 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM
subjectKendrick Meek Should Return $5,500 Received From Rangel
For Immediate Release: August 8, 2010

Contact: Luis Vizcaino - 561-281-9703

Or email: press@jeffgreene.com


West Palm Beach, FL - Today, Jeff Greene called on Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to step down immediately in light of the ethics violations findings. Greene also called on Rep Kendrick Meek to join him and President Obama in asking Rep Rangel to resign and for Meek to immediately return the $5,500 he received from Rep. Rangel.

"Kendrick Meek should join me, President Obama and other Democrats in calling for Charlie Rangel to resign in light of clear evidence he abused his position by raising money from businesses he was trying to help in Congress," Jeff Greene said Sunday. "The allegations against Rangel are eerily similar to evidence that Meek's friends and family were getting cars and cash from a developer he was trying to help secure $4 million in taxpayer money."

Greene's action today follows the recent comments by President Obama about Rangel: "These allegations are very troubling. I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is that that happens."

Greene said Sunday: "Charlie Rangel asked Speaker Pelosi and the House ethics committee to investigate his alleged wrongdoing. Now Kendrick Meek should also ask for his colleagues to get to the bottom of the allegations against him. Kendrick Meek should follow President Obama's lead and tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it's time for Rangel to go. He should also return the $5,500 he's received from Rangel's campaign committee and leadership PAC."

Other Democrats have already returned or given to charity $650,000 in donations from Rangel. After a two-year investigation, the House Ethics Committee charged Rangel with 13 violations of House ethics rules. The charges involve blatantly corrupt use of his position as a veteran congressman to pry money from businesses he could help with legislation, as well as failures to disclose income and assets.

The St. Petersburg Times has called for an ethics investigation into Kendrick Meek for apparently using his position in Congress improperly through a potential "pay-to-play" relationship with developer Dennis Stackhouse, who has been charged with stealing more than $1 million designated for a biotech park he never built.

While Kendrick was trying to get $4 million of taxpayer money for Stackhouse, Stackhouse was giving Kendrick's mom $90,000, a new Cadillac, and free office space. Stackhouse also lent Kendrick Meek's chief of staff $13,000.
Every word that Greene says about Meek is true.  However, if there was ever a man who needs to remove the plank from his own eye before going after the speck in his opponent's, it is Jeff Greene.  If Kendrick Meek is the kettle, than surely Jeff Greene is the pot.
Greene, who become a billionaire by betting the American families would lose their homes, has some ethical lapses of his own.  Ever hear of The Oasis?  It is an apartment complex that billionaire Greene owns:
Greene's company bought Oasis the following year for $2.48 million, or about $13,000 a unit. That is less than two years' rent on a three-bedroom duplex.

Kern County records show Greene's company owes $106,384.75 in taxes on the Oasis units, with some bills dating back to 2006. Greene denies any taxes are due. He says he paid them in full.

Greene's brother, Gary, is in charge of the property, but his maintenance supervisor said there is not enough profit to fix the place up.

``The money coming in doesn't equal the money going out,'' said John Houston, who was fixing roofs on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Of 189 units at Oasis, 40 are vacant, boarded up. Some are burned out, others now squatters' party houses. Greene said he would love to rent the units but can't attract tenants.
Greene can't get people to move into a slum?  Fancy that.  Well, if you have never heard of The Oasis maybe you have heard of The Mirage:

RIDGECREST, Calif. — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene says he had nothing to do with creating the sub-prime mortgage mess that made him fabulously wealthy.

He was simply a savvy investor who "could see that the housing market was imploding" and lucky enough to make more than $500 million by betting against it.

But he wasn't just a spectator to the housing collapse. Four years ago, Greene was party to precisely the kind of deal that decimated the market.

Greene insists he did nothing wrong. Yet the way he handled the deal left an opening for massive fraud and put him uncomfortably close to a man now under federal indictment.

The setting: this remote desert town at the edge of Death Valley. At a project called La Mirage, Greene converted 1950s-era military housing from apartments to 300 condos. In the summer of 2006, just as he was starting to make his bets against the sub-prime housing market, official records show that Greene's company unloaded the units, some for as much as $165,000. The buyers turned out to be people who never intended to own the properties or pay back the loans.

Local residents, who referred to the complex of single-story duplexes and triplexes as "Criminal Gardens," were stunned at the sale prices. Even in the midst of real estate hysteria, they seemed over the top.

Within 18 months, all of the La Mirage buyers defaulted on their loans and every condo was in foreclosure. Low-income tenants, still paying rent and unaware their apartments had been sold, found themselves on the street. Lenders recouped about $25,000 per unit when the properties went up for auction. Banks — and ultimately U.S. taxpayers who bailed out the banks — were left holding the bag on nearly $34 million of worthless paper.

Now James Delbert McConville, Greene's counterpart in the transaction, is in jail facing criminal charges of conspiracy and money laundering stemming in part from the La Mirage transaction. The assistant U.S. attorney says the FBI is still trying to put a dollar figure on McConville's alleged fraud, and is ramping up its investigation of the La Mirage deal.
Kendrick Meek isn't going to get a pass from me, but I'm not sure that Greene, a man who treats his employees like subhuman garbage and even tried to get out of paying a Workman's Comp claim, should be the one tossing around charges of ethics violations.

Dennis Miller: One Very Honest Man

File this one in the "I could not have said it better myself" file.  Dennis Miller doesn't pull any punches on the Ground Zero Mosque or Arizona's SB1070.  You have to love a man who says exactly what is on his mind without cloaking his thoughts in a bunch of PC BS. 

When it Comes to Madam Michelle it isn't Either/Or, It is Both

I'm not sure I understand what Maureen Dowd is trying to say except that poor Barry has a really tough job (thanks to George W. Bush, of course) and that Michelle needs to do a little more "standing by her man".  The passage that confuses me:

Her critics used to paint her as a scary Marxist. Now they cast her as a spoiled princess.

During the campaign, she was caricatured on the cover of The New Yorker as a fist-bumping, gun-toting Black Panther. Now she’s mocked by a New York Daily News blogger as a jet-setting, free-spending Marie Antoinette. (On Spain’s Costa del Sol with Sasha on her husband’s 49th birthday, she did, in effect, say let him eat cake — alone.)
For my part, I would describe Michelle as a spoiled princess who happens to be one very scary Marxist.  It isn't either/or-it is both.  If you think that the terms "Marxist" and "spoiled princess" are mutually exclusive, consider this:

Fidel Castro's personal wealth is estimated to be in excess of $900 million dollars.  The average monthly income for the Cuban people is $18 dollars per monthNothing unusual about that.  The average per capita income in Palestine is $1,268 while at the time of his death, Yasser Arafat's personal wealth was estimated at $1.3 billion dollars.  Too often, those who champion "the people" do so while amassing great wealth at the expense of "the people".

Among those who share the Obama worldview, it is not about spreading the wealth.  They spread the misery while retaining wealth and power for themselves and their cronies.  There has been a lot of talk about the Obama's "bad optics" but in reality, they are simply being who they are.  In their view, they are entitled.

Any woman who would show up to a soup kitchen in $540 tennis shoes or claim that the only thing that the $600 Stimulus check was good for was buying a single pair of earrings isn't worried about optics.  The Obama's credo is "Let 'em eat arugula."

Cross posted at Potluck


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Eternal Short-Sightedness of Our Politicians

Retiring (thank goodness!) senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) has a great idea,  "Let's raise the federal gas tax!"  What could go wrong?

Voinovich points out that receipts from the federal gas tax has been falling and therefore, the funding for projects supported by the gas tax have fallen as well.  Fair enough, but why have the receipts fallen?  Because unemployed people have little reason, or money, to purchase gas.  The immediate effect of raising the gas tax would be to make it more expensive for those of us who do still have jobs to get to work.  Further, by paying more at the pump, consumers are left with less money to purchase other goods and services.  This is before factoring in the rise in price for goods caused by increasing transportation costs associated with the increased tax.

Voinovich sells his idea as a "jobs creator".  Perhaps, but the lag time between when the gas taxes would kick in and when the infrastructure jobs (mainly union jobs, btw) kick in would have working people seeing their purchasing power crumble further with no noticeable benefit.  Where is the upside?

Better, get government out the way and create an environment where the private sector feels confident enough to expand and create more the jobs.  Once people get back to work the receipts from the federal gas tax will increase without the need for tax increases.

For our eternally short-sighted politicians the call to raise taxes is a reflexive answer to all problems.  More money is not the solution, growth is.  We need people in DC who understand this.

Cross posted at Potluck

Friday, August 6, 2010

How are Those "Two Americas" Working Out?

Looks like it is working out pretty well if you are one of our ruling elite.  Victor David Hanson writing in The Corner:

After presidential calls for sacrifice in our rough days of recession — and coming on the heels of the Gatsby-like Clinton wedding, the H.M.S. Kerry, the Gore getaway in Montecito, and “John’s Room” — the enormous movable feast of Michelle Obama’s from Marbella to Martha’s Vineyard does not go well with “two nations,” “raise the bar,” downright mean country,” and all the other progressive complaints. What was that about one selfish America living one way and another less fortunate America living quite another? More mundanely, who says a life in government doesn’t pay?
Never forget, they "feel our pain."

Graham Goes Cheap

Republican Senator: Jesus’s ‘Golden Rule’ Inspired His Vote For Pro-Abortion Kagan

(CNSNews.com) - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that Jesus’s Golden Rule inspired him to vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court and suggested it would be a good thing for his Senate colleagues to also ponder Jesus’s words as they prepared to vote on Kagan.

“It is divine in its orientation, and it is probably something that would serve us all well if we thought about it at moments such as this,” Sen. Graham said on the Senate floor, as he pointed his colleagues to the Golden Rule and counseled them to look to the wisdom of “somebody far wiser than I am” as they cast their votes on Kagan.
The Golden Rule is a commandment to treat others with respect and honesty.  It is not a commandment to set aside one's principals or beliefs.  For Graham to use the Golden Rule as cover for his despicable vote is beyond slimy.

Christianity isn't something to be trotted out as a shield for one's behavior.  In invoking our Lord's words in such  a manner, Graham, cheapened the words and himself.  It was not the act of an honorable man.

What was Graham's purpose for using the Golden Rule is this manner?  He knew his vote would be unpopular so he thought that by using the words of Jesus as an explanation that he would soften the anger.  If that isn't the very definition of cowardly, I don't know what is.