Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sarkozy doesn't think much of Barry

Over at Hot Air's Green Room Michael van der Galien picks up on the interview Greta had with Jack Kelly last night. This was what was said by Mr. Kelly:

“Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical - so egotistical that no one can dent his naiveté.”

The Frenchman thinks so little of Obama, in fact, that he fears for the free world: “he’s very worried about what that means for the West because the president of the United States is the leader of the free world. And if the president of the United States isn’t going to lead the free world, it isn’t going to be led.”

As we can see, Sarkozy isn't enamoured with Barry as much as Barry is enamoured with himself. Glad to see that Sark is seeing what many people in America have already seen in the last eight-plus months. We don't see leadership from this president. We see demagoguery. We see thug tactics. We see potential corruption. We see appeasement in the face of our enemies.

We don't see a leader. We see an empty, obtuse suit that relies on empty rhetoric and sycophantic supporters.

Barry needs to shape up, if he wants to stay in office. If he continues on this path 2012 may be a watershed year for politics in DC. I don't think that we can get him out of office then, but with the 2010 midterms around the corner, and the 2012 congressional elections, we could cut Barry off at the knees. People aren't pleased with what he and the Democrat-controlled Congress is doing, and those same people are prepared to take their frustrations out on those Democrats. (Harry Reid is already facing a Waterloo moment in Nevada, and the passion of voters this year will be made evident if the voters in Nevada can Daschle him.)

Kudos to Sark for emphasizing what leaders like Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel are thinking right now. President Bush never froze our allies abroad out, never stood for appeasement, and never would have abandoned our allies the way Barry has. Sark's showing there's a growing disillusionment in Europe over Barry. They might have been dazzled by the charisma that Barry had, but they're seeing that charisma is all this empty suit has.

Publius II

On the rapist in Switzerland

I'm loathe to even focus on this insignificant issue. In my opinion, the media's focus on this is nothing more than a distraction. However I've received e-mails from readers wondering why I haven't said anything on this. (Like Hollywood give a rat's ass about what us "little people" have to say on this issue.)

I'll make this short, sweet, and to the point. Roman Polanski is a POS. He drugged and raped a 13 year old girl. How was it rape? Because she kept telling him "no." In my personal opinion I think that child molesters and rapists deserve the death penalty. They victimize the innocent to serve their own psycho-sexual deviancy. The statistics on recidivism by these predators show that the majority aren't rehabilitated in prison. They are released and end up committing their crimes again. So I firmly believe that Polanski should be put down.

Hollywood disagrees. They want his actions excused. Now it's true that he plead to a lesser offense, but the man skipped town before he was sentenced. It's also true that the girl in question (now, obviously grown up) has "forgiven" his indiscretion. That's fine. She's entitled to do that. But it doesn't change the fact that he committed a heinous crime, and hasn't served his time for that crime.

I'll be frank with readers. I dislike Hollywood. I support the First Amendment and the freedoms enshrined within it. Hollywood has the right to speak out. What I dislike is that Hollywood speaks out as if they're intelligent people. (I'm not saying their dummies, by any stretch.) I am saying that these people live in a world of fantasy, and when that life collides with reality Hollywood doesn't disappoint. They lecture the little people like they're political leaders or professors. In reality, on issues that reside in the real world, these idiots don't know their ass from a whole in the ground.

Instead of defending him, which many have using the most inane excuses ("It was the seventies, and this was commonplace"; Whoopi Goldberg yesterday tried to parse what rape was -- "It wasn't rape-rape") these people should be condemning him for his actions and the fact he fled the country. The man committed a crime and he should have to face the sentence for that crime. Some say that he will be treated unfairly, which is laughable. For people out there who think that he'll get my sentence (see above for my thoughts if you've forgotten them) think again. He'll get some time in a country-club penitentiary. Hell, he might even be able to procure some casting couch conjugal visitations. But he belongs in jail for what he did to that girl.

Publius II

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dan Rather's lawsuit tossed in appeals court

"Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Apologies to Dr. Martin Luther King for borrowing that quote, but there are a lot of people that are definitely saying this today on the heels of the breaking news that Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS has been tossed: (HT to Captain Ed)

Bad news for Dan Rather: His $70 million lawsuit against CBS is no more.

In a 19-page decision made public Tuesday, a state appeals court dismissed the legendary newsman’s suit against CBS. …

A lawyer for Rather and a CBS spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rather claims that he was terminated unfairly and that he was never fully compensated. The LA Times throws cold water all over his assertions:

But in its ruling, the appeals panel found that CBS did not violate the terms of Rather’s contract because it continued to pay him, citing the contract’s “pay or play” provision. The finding was a major blow to the longtime newsman, who had cast the suit as part of a broader effort to rein in the influence of corporations on news organizations. …

In its ruling, issued more than five months after the parties argued the case before the appellate division, the court reversed Judge Ira Gammerman’s decisions on the case.

“This Court finds that the motion court erred in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, and therefore we find the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety,” the ruling said.

The appellate division found that Gammerman should have dismissed Rather’s breach of contract claim against CBS, rejecting the anchor’s argument that he was warehoused by the network constituted a violation of his deal.

“This claim attempts to gloss over the fact that Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract,” the court wrote. Rather’s contract did not require “that CBS actually use Rather’s services or broadcast any programs on which he appears, but simply retains the option of accelerating the payment of his compensation under the agreement if he is not assigned to either program.”

In other words, Dan, you got no case! The bloggers who uncovered his lies knew that the moment he filed his lawsuit, and it didn't help that the independent panel investigating the phony story discovered that Mapes had known the story was false, including the "slacker" slander that she wove into that story. President Bush HAD volunteered to go to Vietnam and was turned down by superiors because there were more experienced pilots that were ahead of him.

This suit was about a dry, legal issue -- breach of contract. But that wasn't the only thing this suit was about. It was about him trying to repair a tattered legacy. The problem is that he was so partisan in his reporting that he accepted fake documents as true, peddled it to the public, and got caught. He has no legacy left except that of a serial liar. Remember, to this day he still firmly believes his story was true despite the evidence to the contrary.

Now he can fade into obscurity (not that he hasn't already). When he dies, his media cronies (who distanced themselves from him in the aftermath of the debacle) will click their tongues and speak of him as if he were Edward R. Murrow instead of the pain in the ass everyone knows he was. Remember that even Walter Cronkite didn't have nice things to say about him, and really didn't think he was all that great of a newsman.

Publius II

Reactions to the Iranian missile test; Sarkozy sounds off

Sorry for the lull on the site last week but we did celebrate our wedding anniversary this past Sunday, so most of last week was a run-up to that. (But just because we were prepping for our anniversary doesn't mean that we took our eyes off the news.)

Yesterday the Iranians upped the ante in this stand-off between them and the West by testing two new missiles:

Iran test-fired two long-range missiles on Monday, in a move interpreted by the Israeli defense establishment as a flexing of muscles ahead of Teheran's dialogue with Western leaders, scheduled to begin this week.

Monday's tests came on the second day of Iranian war games, increasing international concern over Iranian military activities and adding to a raised sense of urgency about the newly revealed uranium enrichment site Teheran has been secretly constructing near the city of Qom.

Iranian state television said the Revolutionary Guards, which controls Iran's missile program, successfully tested upgraded versions of the medium-range Shihab-3 and Sajjil-2 missiles. Both can carry nuclear warheads and can reach up to 2,000 kilometers, putting Israel, US military bases in the Middle East, and parts of Europe within striking distance.

This is a double-down by Tehran after the president revealed the location of another, secret enrichment site near Qom. But Barry is all set to play the appeasement game as opposed to taking a firm stand on Iran. In the story Senator Dianne Feinstein is quoted as saying there's no proof that they're constructing weapons, but the evidence towards that hypothesis is more than compelling. Give her a cookie folks! Feinstein sees there is compelling evidence, but she's dragging her feet on the issue.

Iran sits on one of the largest reserves of oil in the world, and yet they suddenly have a need for nuclear power? And right after they started rattling the nuclear saber Ahmadinejad started talking about wiping Israel off the map. They won't let the IAEA into any of their facilities, and they have completely snubbed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Intelligence has shown where Iran got the technology for nuclear weapons. It came directly from A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb. He ran a black market for nuclear technology and sold a good deal of information and technology to both North Korea and Iran. There's even speculation that the nuclear site in Syria that Israel bombed back in 2007 was being built with North Korean assistance, and Dr. Khan's information.

When Barry stood with Gordon Brown and Nicholas Sarkozy to issue a sternly-worded statement, neither man really wanted to be next to him. It was embarrassing to stand next to the next Neville Chamberlain especially after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded more like Churchill in sounding the warning, again, about Iran. President Sarkozy sounded off today about it:

President Obama wants a unified front against Iran, and to that end he stood together with Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown in Pittsburgh on Friday morning to reveal the news about Tehran's secret facility to build bomb-grade fuel. But now we hear that the French and British leaders were quietly seething on stage, annoyed by America's handling of the announcement.

Both countries wanted to confront Iran a day earlier at the United Nations. Mr. Obama was, after all, chairing a Security Council session devoted to nonproliferation. The latest evidence of Iran's illegal moves toward acquiring a nuclear weapon was in hand. With the world's leaders gathered in New York, the timing and venue would be a dramatic way to rally international opinion.

President Sarkozy in particular pushed hard. He had been "frustrated" for months about Mr. Obama's reluctance to confront Iran, a senior French government official told us, and saw an opportunity to change momentum. But the Administration told the French that it didn't want to "spoil the image of success" for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N. and his homily calling for a world without nuclear weapons, according to the Paris daily Le Monde. So the Iran bombshell was pushed back a day to Pittsburgh, where the G-20 were meeting to discuss economic policy.

Le Monde's diplomatic correspondent, Natalie Nougayrède, reports that a draft of Mr. Sarkozy's speech to the Security Council Thursday included a section on Iran's latest deception. Forced to scrap that bit, the French President let his frustration show with undiplomatic gusto in his formal remarks, laying into what he called the "dream" of disarmament. The address takes on added meaning now that we know the backroom discussions.

"We are right to talk about the future," Mr. Sarkozy said, referring to the U.S. resolution on strengthening arms control treaties. "But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises," i.e., Iran and North Korea. "We live in the real world, not in a virtual one." No prize for guessing into which world the Frenchman puts Mr. Obama.

See, Barry is ignoring the real threats to take up this idiotic notion of nuclear disarmament. President Sarkozy is right -- Let's focus on the present not some unattainable, utopian future where everyone can be trusted to stick by treaties and agreements. Iran and North Korea have a well-documented history of lying through their teeth to get what they want while foolish and rube-esque presidents blindly take them on their worthless word.

But to go back to Iran for a moment, it's time the world either stands united against the rogue regime in Tehran, or the world will be the one to pay the price. Either this will escalate into a war (and we'd rather not see it, especially if Barry lets them make a nuke), or the world is going to allow a militant Islamic state to utilize nuclear blackmail to get its way in the world. Neither prospect is a smart one.

Based on this report from the UK yesterday it does appear that some nations are taking the Iranian threat quite seriously:

The head of MI6 discussed the issue in London with Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Saudi officials after British intelligence officers helped to uncover the plant, in the side of a mountain near the ancient city of Qom.

The site is seen as a major threat by Tel Aviv and Riyadh. Details of the talks emerged after John Bolton, America’s former UN ambassador, told a meeting of intelligence analysts that “Riyadh certainly approves” of Israel’s use of Saudi airspace.

If the Saudis are prepared to let Israel use their airspace to go after Iran's nuclear sites, then the clock is ticking, and more than likely we could see a strike by year's end. It could occur sooner depending on how the meeting this Thursday goes between Iran and the five nations that hold a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and Germany. If the meeting doesn't go well for the West, Israel could strike much sooner.

Publius II

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The IRS gives ACORN the boot

The fallout from the BigGovernment expose revealing ACORN's criminal actions continues to come down the pipe. The IRS has severed ties to the corrupt organization:

The IRS says it is severing ties with ACORN, the community activist group involved in a scandal after employees were caught on video giving advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp.

The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday it would no longer include ACORN in its volunteer tax assistance program. The program offered free tax advice to about 3 million low- and moderate-income tax filers this spring.

This comes on the heels of the Congress passing legislation to strip ACORN of federal funds, the White House trying (and failing miserably) to distance itself from the organization, and investigations of ACORN that are beginning in California, New York, Washington, DC, and now Illinois. Bertha Lewis, the clueless director of ACORN, can throw all the slander out she wants to with regard to Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe, and Hannah Giles, but the accusations of racism aren't sticking to the wall. No one is buying it.

And it's pretty obvious that the IRS isn't, either. Apparently they saw that the advice on how to evade taxes and hide income didn't sit too well with Timmy the Taxman and the nutty group running the IRS. This time around it wasn't Barry throwing them under the bus. The whole bloody federal government did it for him.

There are obvious questions as to whether the congressional legislation will hold firm. Two separate bills will have to be reconciled in committee, and Harry Reid is refusing to allow any hearings on ACORN. So can the heat continue to build under ACORN's feet? You bet. Andrew Breitbart has said more videos and scoops are coming regarding ACORN. It took five days of video releases to bring us to this point, and it looks like Andrew and crew are biding their time to turn up the heat at the right moment to enact real change; change that comes in cutting ACORN off at the knees.

Publius II

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

General McChrystal to quit?

Yesterday the threat assessment from General McChrystal was leaked to the press, and it calls for an additional 40,000 troops to the Af-Pak theater of operations. Remember that for five years we heard from the Left that this was the area of the war we should've been focused on, not Iraq. Now that Iraq is a success (yes, I said "success" thanks to General Petraeus's Surge strategy) and we're devoted to Afghanistan, the commander of operations there is requesting additional troops. As Captain Ed notes (from McClatchy and The Long War Journal) General McChrystal is getting increasingly frustrated by the president's waffling on this issue:

Six months after it announced its strategy for Afghanistan, the Obama administration is sending mixed signals about its objectives there and how many troops are needed to achieve them.

The conflicting messages are drawing increasing ire from U.S. commanders in Afghanistan and frustrating military leaders, who're trying to figure out how to demonstrate that they're making progress in the 12-18 months that the administration has given them.

Adding to the frustration, according to officials in Kabul and Washington, are White House and Pentagon directives made over the last six weeks that Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, not submit his request for as many as 45,000 additional troops because the administration isn't ready for it.

In the last two weeks, top administration leaders have suggested that more American troops will be sent to Afghanistan, and then called that suggestion "premature." Earlier this month, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "time is not on our side"; on Thursday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the public "to take a deep breath."

The White House didn't respond to requests for comment. Officials willing to speak did so only on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.

In Kabul, some members of McChrystal's staff said they don't understand why Obama called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" but still hasn't given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.

Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that the McChrystal they know would resign before he'd stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.

"Yes, he'll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far," a senior official in Kabul said. "He'll hold his ground. He's not going to bend to political pressure."

This isn't smart on Barry's part. He made a case during the election that Afghanistan had to change quickly or else we'd lose the theater. And based on the increase in casualties one can safely assume we're slowly losing Afghanistan. Barry has a problem here, but it's not with the military provided he listens to his commanders on the ground. Remember that Barry virtually campaigned against President Bush on the election trail in claiming he didn't listen to the commanders fighting this war (nevermind that he was all ears for General Petraeus, and listened to his strategy for success in Iraq; he listened to the criticism from the same man on the mistakes made in Iraq). Here we see Barry not listening to General McChrystal.

We saw this in Vietnam when the Left refused to listen to the commanders on the ground as to how to win there. We did, technically, win in Vietnam. We won every engagement. It wasn't until 1995 when the Wall Street Journal held an interview with Colonel Bui Tin where the idea of a long, drawn-out conflict would demoralize the nation, and swing the momentum in their favor. (The initial quote about this is attributed to General Giap, and it's an urban legend.)

If General McChrystal has a problem with troop levels, that can be resolved in discussions between him, the Pentagon, and the president. If it's about strategy, and the troop increases seem to be key to that strategy, then General McChrystal would be justified in his resignation. Will he resign? That's a great question, and it can only be answered by the general himself. But if he resigns, it'll be a blow to the administration. To a greater extent it'll be a blow to the efforts in Afghanistan, and General McChrystal is likely considering that view.

If he's committed to success, then he won't resign out of hand unless the president signals that he won't increase the troop levels. What he has to understand (and I'm sure he does) is that Barry is trying to appeal to his fever-swamp base. He knows if he escalates this, he's going to face a serious, political backlash. But for him to abandon our soldiers there without the resources they need, it's going to cost him more than just his kook, fringe base.

It'll cost him the nation. His base can't carry his water in 2012. He needs to triangulate, and carry Independent voters. They're running from him. Republican voters that didn't think he'd be this bad have already run from him. If Barry is content on winning in 2012 he needs to give General McChrystal what he's asked for, and extend the timetables that were initially given. We can win this theater but to do so we need a president who has the resolve to do what's necessary. If he's not going to, then why be there?

We're not ones to cut and run, but if the administration isn't going to be serious about victory in Afghanistan, then the loss of life isn't acceptable.

Publius II

Americans are like children? Does anyone in the Obama administration look in a mirror?

The utter condescension from Barry's Energy Secretary is disgusting. As a matter of fact, the arrogant condescension from the entire administration makes most Americans sick, but this attitude should have Americans spitting mad at the administration:

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.” (In that case, the Energy Department has a few renegade teens of its own.)

The administration aims to teach them—literally. The Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on real children. Partnering with the Parent Teacher Organization, the agency earlier this month launched a cross-country tour of 6,000 schools to teach students about climate change and energy efficiency.

“We’re showing people across the country how energy efficiency can be part of what they do every day,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “Confronting climate change, saving money on our utility bills, and reducing our use of heavily-polluting energy can be as easy as making a few small changes.”

Still, Secretary Chu said he didn’t think that the public would throw the same political temper tantrum over climate legislation has has happened with the healthcare debate.

Asked if he expected a town-hall style pushback, Dr. Chu said he was optimistic the public would buy the administration’s arguments that energy efficiency and caps on greenhouse-gas emissions will spark an economic rebound.

“I don’t think so…maybe I’m optimistic, but there’s very little debate” that a new green energy economy will bring economic prosperity, Mr. Chu told reporters.

So we can't do it right, and the administration is going to teach us? Again, some people should take a look in the mirror before they start preaching to us:

Boy, the Energy Department is really having trouble practicing the energy efficiency it keeps preaching: The latest inspector general’s report found that the DOE often neglects to turn down the thermostat, wasting millions of dollars in energy every year.

The latest report found that “the Energy Department failed in many cases to use controls on heating, ventilation and air conditioning that are a primary means of conserving energy during non-working hours,” as Dow Jones Newswires put it. That could have cost the DOE more than $11 million.

In May, government inspectors found the Energy Department tended to leave computer monitors on, wasting electricity worth more than $1 million a year. The White House has trouble with energy efficiency as well.

In some cases, according to the latest report, DOE buildings simply didn’t have controls to automatically regulate the temperature. In other cases, they had the controls but didn’t know how to use them. Don’t look now, but that includes Los Alamos National Laboratory, whose “primary responsibility is ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.”

They're going to lecture us, and indoctrinate our kids, on an issue they can't even control themselves? Talk about chutzpah ...

Memo to the White House: This is why so many Americans aren't happy with you guys right now. Not only are they ticked at the out-of-control spending that shows ZERO signs of helping a weakened economy, the "seizure" of GM and Chrysler, the bailout of the banks, the "seizure" of the mortgage industry, at the take-it-and-like-it attitude over the health care debate, but we have to deal with the snobby, haughty, and disdainful inclination from the administration.

To them, we're kids with nary a clue on how to run our lives. For the Left they have always held the view that government should be the nanny -- cradle to grave, womb to the tomb -- oversight on our lives. We do know how to live our lives, and they think we really are clueless. Mr. Chu says "there's very little debate" on this issue of climate change which is an outright lie. Climatologists have come out in the past couple of years questioning the so-called science behind this climate change BS. Scientists have stated, on the record, that while we may have an impact on our environment, it's infinitesimal at best. Our climate is dependent on far more factors than our participation.

Should we work to keep our environment as clean as possible? Well, DUH! But this draconian, fascistic crap makes us want to gag. We don['t need the government in our lives, controlling our thermostats, and telling us we need to drive little death trap cars that are hybrids and/or electric cars. That technology isn't cost-effective for the majority of Americans. But that isn't going to stop the government from trying to mandate it for us like they are with health care. (On the health care issue, who's bright idea was it to tax Americans $3800 per family if they lack health care plans when many admit they either can't afford it, or don't need it? Oh, that's right. Max Baucus did.)

This exhibits the base ideology of today's Democrats. They don't trust us to make decisions on our own. They think that they can do better, like a doting, disappointed parent lurking over their child. We're not children. We know how to conserve energy. We sure as Hell don't need a government that can't even handle conservation policies of their own lecturing to us how to conserve energy.

Publius II

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Issue Up!!!

It's the 16th, folks, and that means the newest issue of Common Conservative is up for you all to enjoy.

The Chief kicks off this issue with his amusing look at Barry's czars.

Larry Simoneaux discusses steps for health care reform.

Marcie and I take a look at the latest victim of Barry's bus, Van Jones.

Juan A. de Hoyos takes a look at the Tea Parties, and why they truly represent democracy in action.

John Lillpop examines the Wilson affair, and compares it to how Democrats behaved towards the president before Barry was in the White House.

Carey Roberts also looks at the Wilson affair, but from the perspective of examining who the real liar in the fiasco really is.

J.J. Jackson compares Barry's push for health care reform to the hapless, lazy George Constanza.

Ralph Reiland looks into Barry's claim about uneeded surgeries, and notes the American College of Surgeons isn't pleased with the president slandering them.

Carolyn Hileman looks into what our nanny state president is doing with our hard-earned money.

As always, should there be any updates on pressing stories of the day, they are below this post so scroll down.

Have fun reading!!

Publius II

The video is authentic; the claims made don't appear to be so.

Yesterday James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles released yet another damning video in the ACORN saga. In the video, Theresa Kaelke, the ACORN worker, makes several claims. Among them -- one minute into the video -- she claims to have killed her ex-husband (in self-defense, she claims), but police have spoken with one of her former husbands who is alive and well, and unaware of any deaths his former wife may have caused: (HT to Captain Ed)

Since she claimed on the video to have killed her husband, two San Bernardino police homicide detectives interviewed her at the office Tuesday.

Police said they have been in contact with Kaelke’s former husbands and the homicide claims do not appear accurate.

“At this point, we can’t prove that there’s anything to her statement,” said San Bernardino police Sgt. Dave Dillon. “We can’t show that ever happened.”

One of her ex-husbands, Ronald Kaelke, 66, of Newberry Springs, said he was unaware of any investigation or that his ex-wife had made any claims of murder.

The couple divorced in 1987, but attempted to reconcile and lived together from 2002 to 2005, Ronald Kaelke said in a telephone interview. In 2007, the couple traded allegations of domestic violence and received separate restraining orders against each other, he said.

“As far as her murdering an ex-husband, that’s news to me,” Ronald Kaelke said. “She’s definitely got problems and goes off the wall sometimes.”

It's very clear from watching that video -- four times, mind you -- that something is definitely not right with Ms. Kaelke. Her constant movements makes one think she might be on drugs, and her rambling diatribe about being involved in prostitution earlier in her life (and utter disregard for the law) shows her to be the same sort ACORN likes to employ rather than the exception. That is, after all, what ACORN wants people to believe, that these people are anomalies. But we've seen from Baltimore, Washington, DC, Brooklyn, and now San Bernadino that these are not exceptions to ACORN's supposed rules. They seem to be the norm.

It also appears that Ms. Kaelke likes living in a fantasy world. In the video she tells the undercover duo to talk to a man named Tim Miller in the neighborhood, who does answer the duo's questions. When they return to Ms. Kaelke she tells them they have nothing to worry about from neighbors when they do get their home to run as a brothel because she tells them she'll "threaten their lives" if they talk about the brothel. This is the thuggish behavior that is commonplace with ACORN. Intimidation is the soup of the day, and no doubt ACORN has used violence in the past to have its way.

But Ms. Kaelke is clearly not a stable individual. The rest of the video she trips and falls right into the same trap that James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles had laid before for other ACORN offices. She openly discusses their prostitution plan, and is all too eager to help in all aspects. The actions that Ms. Kaelke takes in helping them are clearly illegal, including the admission she can help Mr. O'Keefe "hide" his money in his "run" for political office. Just because the most egregious claims may not be true doesn't diminish the story. This Ms. Kaelke is still breaking the law with the advice she's giving them, and willingly abetting them in criminal activity.

And as an update to the Brooklyn story New York City council has suspended all taxpayer money going to ACORN, pending an investigation; the same one launched by attorney general Andrew Cuomo:

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo yesterday launched an investigation into pork-barrel grants given to ACORN by state lawmakers, as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn froze all city funding earmarked for the scandal-scared community-activism organization.

The actions by the Democratic officials followed release of a shocking undercover video that showed employees at a Brooklyn ACORN office giving illicit financial advice to activists posing as a pimp and prostitute who wanted to start a brothel.

This was a gutsy move on Ms. Quinn's part, but she's left with no alternative because the people are outraged that ACORN is giving illegal advice to a couple looking to start a brothel; one that, as they explain to ACORN personnel, would include underage El Salvadoran girls.

Cuomo has a real problem here. He's trying to look tough, but focuses on "pork-barrel grants" as opposed to investigating the crimes, and the possibility that ACORN may be committing more behind closed doors. The Brooklyn video is a smoking gun, and could give Cuomo the back-up he needs to really go after ACORN. His problem is the upcoming election. He wants to unseat Governor David Paterson, and his largest hurdle in the way to the governor's mansion is Rudy Giuliani. If Giuliani jumps into the race Cuomo's going to need ACORN's help. So this piddley investigation will amount to little or no headaches for ACORN and that means that ACORN skates, yet again.

Publius II

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

IS ACORN operating illegally in Maryland?

That's the question of the day as Captain Ed picks up this latest bombshell in the ACORN saga. Mike Roman reports that ACORN forfeited its corporate charter in Maryland back in 2006 making it illegal for them to operate in the state. He also has this wonderful little backup in his post:

301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Telephone Balto. Metro (410) 767-1340 / Outside Balto. Metro (888) 246-5941MRS (Maryland Relay Service) (800) 735-2258 TT/VoiceFax (410) 333-7097crblnk


Department of Assessments and Taxation
Paul B. Anderson
Charter Division





R5988865301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201Telephone Balto. Metro (410) 767-1340 / Outside Balto. Metro (888) 246-5941 MRS (Maryland Relay Service) (800) 735-2258 TT/VoiceFax (410) 333-7097crblnk

Department of Assessments and Taxation
Paul B. Anderson

Whoops. No one knows right now if this was deliberate or an oversight on one part or the other, but if this isn't an oversight ACORN has some serious 'splaining to do. Before the Maryland prosecutor, Patricia Jessamy, decides to go after James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles she might want to check into ACORN a bit deeper.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: And the hits just keep on coming .... Confederate Yankee has just posted up a follow-up in the ACORN saga that involves an exclusive video that will be revealed on Big Government at 4 PM EST, and on Glenn Beck's FOX News show at 5 PM EST. This is a confirmed summary from Andrea Shea King from Radio Patriot:

Glenn Beck just wrapped up what had to be the most compelling radio I've heard... and lately, most of his shows have been pretty compelling.

Whew, where to start? Well, how about this: you should make it a point to do two things today: watch his TV show at 5 ET this afternoon on Fox News, and hit the Big Government website an hour earlier at 4 ET.

Here's what you'll find - the latest video sting of ACORN. This one in a San Bernadino ACORN office where the employee can't talk fast enough about the connections they have to politicians (naming them by name) and even an admission of murder.

If this video has that admission on it, stick a fork in ACORN. There is no way in Hell that the House can take out the amendment passed by the Senate yesterday to the HUD appropriations bill, and still maintain their cover. Too many people are aware of the ACORN scandal that is exploding all over the Internet and a choice few news outlets.

It's time to take this organization out at the knees.

Publius II

Don't pop the champagne just yet ...

Late yesterday afternoon the Senate acted to deny certain funds to ACORN from the HUD appropriation bill, and that was based on the excellent investigative journalism from Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website. James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have done a phenomenal job wounding the corrupt, criminal organization that seems to be best buddies from the president. The days of wine and roses appear to be over, maybe:

The Senate voted Monday to block the Housing and Urban Development Department from giving grants to ACORN, a community organization under fire in voter-registration fraud cases.

The 83-7 vote came as ACORN , which stands for the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is receiving bad publicity related to surreptitious videos. Two conservative activists posed as a prostitute and her pimp, then released a hidden-camera video in which ACORN employees in Baltimore advised the couple on house-buying and how to account for the woman’s income on tax forms. Two other videos, aired frequently on media outlets such as the Fox News Channel, depict similar situations in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.

If the House agrees with the Senate, ACORN could not win HUD grants for programs such as counseling low-income people on how to get mortgages.

Last week, the Census Bureau severed ties with ACORN, saying it does not want the group’s help with the 2010 count. The group, which advocates for poor people, conducted a voter registration effort last year and became a target of conservatives when some workers were accused of submitting false registration forms with names including Mickey Mouse.

Yes, the Senate did just that. Who are the partisan seven senators that decided the undercover investigations by Mr. O'Keefe and Ms. Giles wasn't enough to prove the criminal activities of ACORN? Can you say the usual suspects?

Burris (D-IL)
Casey (D-PA)
Durbin (D-IL)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Leahy (D-VT)
Sanders (I-VT)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

Nine didn't vote on the amendment:

Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Coburn (R-OK)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hutchison (R-TX)
McCain (R-AZ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Vitter (R-LA)

Byrd isn't showing up for a lot of votes these days due to his health. Graham and McCain were holding a town hall meeting in South Carolina, but information shows the town hall was held at 9 AM so there's no excuse as to why they couldn't have made it unless they decided to camp out on Graham's front porch sipping mint juleps. After all McCain has his own skeletons with ACORN so there's a distinct chance he might've missed the vote anyway.

(HT to Michelle Malkin for the bulk of the links above.)

Say it with me folks. It's real simple, very easy, and it should be the only said about ACORN:

ACORN is a criminal organization!

They should be completely defunded of ALL federal government subsidies. (I'd say taxpayer dollars, but it's one in the same with the government subsidies.) Nothing that isn't connected directly to the federal government -- cabinet posts, the military, etc. -- it shouldn't be giving money to such organizations. Organizations like ACORN, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU get government subsidies, appropriated by the Congress. These groups should be cut off from receiving taxpayer dollars. And yes, that goes for conservative groups, as well (though I should note that I can' seem to find any conservative group like The Heritage Foundation, Landmark Legal Foundation, the Anti- Defamation League etc., ever receiving such funds.) Only liberal groups seem to be receiving a helping hand from the Congress on our dime.

Why not pop the champagne just yet? Because this still has to be approved by the House. Now, does anyone in their right mind think Nancy Pelosi is going to allow this to stand? Hell no. I expect to see the Democrats in the House to continue to shoot themselves in the foot when they strip this from the HUD appropriations bill.

Memo to House Democrats (especially you Blue Dogs): DO NOT go against the will of the people on this issue. People are outraged to see that a community organizing group closely tied to the president and known for it's thug tactics is, in essence, aiding and abetting in the commitment of a crime (actually, several crimes). The MSM seems to have ignored this story, and they're whipping out the race card to silence those like Mr. O'Keefe and Ms. Giles. They're deriding critics as know-nothing racists that are intent to "hurt" poor families that have relied on ACORN's efforts.

That's a lie. We want the criminal organization investigated, from top to bottom, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Michelle Malkin has done yeoman's work in tracking all the corrupt ties Barry has and Chapter Eight of her book "Culture of Corruption" details Barry's ties to these criminal thugs ("ObamACORN: A Community of Organized Racketeers Nationwide"). The DoJ should be investigating these people but as long as Barry controls the show, that wish will never happen. But there are those that are looking into possible prosecutions. Unfortunately their target isn't ACORN. No, it's James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles for "illegally recording" their discussions with ACORN officials.

(Let them file their lawsuit. The First Amendment Center has done extensive research in the subject of press protections extended to bloggers when it comes to breaking news stories. As several Supreme Court cases have outlined press protections go beyond what we see on the news at night, or what we read daily in the newspapers. Our money is on O'Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart to win such a case should it be brought.)

But the facts speak for themselves. ACORN was caught on tape advising two people how to purchase a home to be used as a brothel, and said brothel would be utilizing underage, El Salvadoran children. Recent videos (namely the one from Brooklyn) show them advising them on how to launder money, and each one shows ACORN workers telling the duo how to avoid paying excessive taxes, and skirting the prostitution laws of the community in question. Michelle Malkin has done a phenomenal job chronicling ACORN's antics. Anyone with a brain will recognize that this organization is criminal in nature, demeanor, and action. They need to be investigated and shut down.

Publius II

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In "honor" of Barry's idiotic speech to Congress

Barry is set to give the speech that will, he hopes, will convince Congress to jump on his health care bandwagon. In fact, yesterday he had a meeting with Pelosi and Reid They claim they have the votes:

The president told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that it is important for them to pass health care reform bills soon, the sources said.

Both leaders told the president that despite the difficult rough and tumble of the legislative process in the last few weeks, they are optimistic that both the House and Senate can pass health care reform legislation.

Pelosi has the votes? She sure about that? John McCormack at the Weekly Standard notes this report from The Hill that basically says she's full of it:

At least 23 House Democrats already have told constituents or hometown media that they oppose the massive healthcare overhaul touted by President Barack Obama.

If Republicans offer the blanket opposition they’ve promised, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can afford to lose only 38 members of her 256-member caucus and still pass the bill.

Most Democrats opposed to healthcare reform argue it costs too much, imposes a new tax and fines businesses that don’t provide insurance to employees. Some fear that the bill would subsidize abortion.

Many other Democratic members, including those berated by protesters at raucous town hall meetings in August, are still undecided.

Now, the Hill claims there's 23 Blue Dogs that are opposed to this, or undecided. But John McCormack has crunched the numbers, and he's come up with a much different number:

Hill reporter Michael O'Brien adds another Democrat to the list -- Arkansas's Mike Ross, who says he'll oppose any bill with a public insurance plan.

One more opponent is Jim Cooper of Tennessee, who wrote in a July op-ed that he would vote "no" on the bill.

Also, 19 Democratic members of Congress wrote in June that "we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health plan." Twelve of these 19 congressmen aren't already on The Hill's list of "no" votes:

Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Tim Holden (Pa.)
Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
Solomon Ortiz (Tex.)
Jerry Costello (Ill.)
Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
James Oberstar (Minn.)
Steve Driehaus (Ohio)
Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
John Murtha (Pa.)
Paul Kanjorski (Pa.)
Kathleen Dahlkamper (Pa.)

So that makes 37 Democratic votes in the House against Obamacare. And I'm sure I'm missing more than a few others.

Of course, members could be induced to change their mind if the bill is changed (or if they're bought off), but as it stands there are (almost) enough Democrats on record to defeat the current health-care legislation in the House.

Remember The Hill report above. Pelosi can only afford to lose 38 Blue Dogs, and if she's staring down 37 of them right now (and as John McCormack notes, he might've missed a couple) then she doesn't technically have the votes (unless, as noted above, they're bought off). And if she thinks she's got problems, Reid is just starting to see his headaches forming. After all, when you seem to have lost one of the biggest RINOs in the Senate you know you're in trouble: (HT to Allahpundit)

I met with the Senator personally during the August recess back here in Maine when she spoke with dozens of Maine folks in a series of health care talks throughout the state. Here is what I learned: She is worried about costs and the impact on the deficit, the public option plan is “off the table”, she wants more private insurance companies in Maine (we have 3), and she doesn’t support higher taxes - especially during a recession.

Those concerns and opinions were not from “unnamed sources,” they were straight from Senator Snowe…

So, my suggestion to the White House: put away your shovels, there is no Snowe in the forecast.

While I trust that Mr. Bragdon did meet with her, and she did tell him this, I don't trust her. She's never been one of those types of senators, like Mitch McConnell or John Kyl that is true to their word. But if this is true, she is just one of the headaches Reid is likely to have. Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Mark Pryor, Ron Wyden, Kent Conrad, Tom Carper, and Maria Cantwell mark other migraines he'll be dealing with. (In case Reid lost count there, that's eleven headaches, which means he doesn't have cloture, AND he doesn't have the 51 votes for a reconciliation option.)

And after Max Baucus came up with this gem yesterday those headaches Reid is trying to avoid just might get nastier:

The plan from Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana would make health insurance mandatory, just like auto coverage. It would provide tax credits to help cover the cost for people making up to three times the federal poverty level. That's about $66,000 for a family of four, and $32,000 for an individual.

But those who still don't sign up would face hefty fines, starting at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families. The maximum penalty on individuals would be $950.

The maximum fine for families would be $3800. So, you'll either join or face fines that will hurt the average citizen financially in the middle of a seriously deep recession. In fact, one of the men who saw this recession coming and saw how long it would last is now predicting a double-dip recession. Mr. Roubini predicts that as the economy starts to show signs of rebounding next year, the second half could see those gains slip. If the president forces this health care bill down our throats, if Reid and Pelosi strongarm their colleagues into supporting this, the economic recovery will take much, much longer. (Yes, I'm aware that the reforms wouldn't begin to take effect until 2013, but if we experience that double-dip prediction, money will be much tighter for everyone. Oh, and let's not forget one of the provisions in HR 3200 would compel the IRS to levy these fines, and force your enrollment.)

Barry needs to face the fact that the majority of this nation don't want this reform. And it's not even real reform. It's an attempt by the Congress to begin the seizure of the health care industry. It will force private insurance companies out of business. It will produce rationing. It will treat the most innocent and helpless amongst us as afterthoughts. It's not right for the nation at all, and it's time the president understood that. Instead of this massive overhaul, why not start reform with real reform. Namely tort reform, and couple it with health savings accounts that are paid for by tax credits. Additionally, let people by insurance over state lines.

In short, let the consumer of health insurance find the best deal for themselves and their families. Government mandated and government run health care isn't the solution.

Publius II

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Covering up for Iran

A bombshell accusation has come from France. Mohammed ElBaradei stands accused of covering up aspects of Iran's nuclear weapons program, and for many who have criticized Mr. ElBaradei his departure at the end of the year can't come soon enough. Why is France claiming he covered up information? Because Foreign Minister Bernard Koucher informs the Times Online that he's seen the part that was removed in Mr. ElBaradei's report to the UN:

France and Israel have led the charge against Dr ElBaradei, saying that his latest report on Iran’s nuclear programme omitted evidence that the agency had been given about an alleged covert weaponisation plan.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the report did not reflect all that the agency knew about Iran’s “efforts to continue to pursue its military programme”.

France went farther, alleging the existence of an unpublished annexe that addresses the evidence that Iran may be building an atom bomb.

Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, said that France had attended a technical briefing that covered the material, so was surprised to find it missing from the report.

“In the annexes there are specifically elements which enable us to ask about the reality of an atomic bomb,” he said “There are issues of warheads, of transport.”

The published section of the report focused more on the positive, noting that Iran had slowed its production of enriched uranium and had agreed to closer monitoring of its plant.

Western intelligence agencies had given the IAEA material suggesting that Tehran secretly combined uranium processing, airborne high-explosive tests and efforts to revamp a missile cone in a way that would fit a nuclear warhead.

Mr. ElBaradei's blindness is not only willful, but he apparently gained it from Hans Blix, the man he replaced. He has been running interference for Iran, and for North Korea, since his arrival at the IAEA. He has been the chief apologist for the UN, and has had a habit of turning a blind eye to anything that might be "embarrassing" to nations like Iran and North Korea. Such information would reinforce the need for tougher sanctions on not only those two countries, but possibly on nations like Russia and China; both of which have helped both nations in their respective nuclear programs.

We'd love nothing better than to see the US demand a full and complete audit of the IAEA, but don't hold your breath, folks. Our UN ambassador is Susan Rice. And while she seems bright enough for the position, she is clearly the sort that won't rock the boat on this issue. She has worked with administration officials before who have had dealings with the UN (during the Clinton Administration), and she won't call for any investigation. However, when Mr. ElBaradei does leave (don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you, Mohammed) we can hope that the Security Council will oversee the appointment of a more open-eyed and competent nuclear watchdog to head up the IAEA.

Publius II

Friday, September 4, 2009

No, you can't keep your kids at home on the 8th

On 8 September the president will address school kids across the country, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. This is unprecedented. Never before has the president directly addressed the youth of the nation, and certainly not like the way the president will be doing so on the 8th. Needless to say, many parents across the country are concerned about this, and they have a right to be that way. After all, the president isn't releasing a transcript of what he plans on saying to them, and the initial lesson plan post-address has been leaked to the public. They have since revised those plans, but they're still of some concern to parents. There are plenty of parents that are planning to keep their children home that day. But Michelle Malkin has a link, sent to her via a reader, of a notice on the Broward County, FL school district site that is telling parents that they can't opt out of this address, and that their children are expected to attend:

On Tuesday, September 8, 2009, Broward County Public Schools students will have the opportunity to watch an online national address from President Obama on the importance of education. The Web address can be seen locally in Broward County at 12 noon on the White House Web site (www.whitehouse.gov/live), and broadcast live on BECON Channel 24.

According to Superintendent James F. Notter, there have been several calls into the Superintendent’s Office suggesting and/or requesting that alternative space and activities be provided for those students wishing to “opt out” of this activity.

“As one of the premier major school systems in America, we have consistently encouraged civics education in the broadest sense, e.g., Kids Voting, elected officials participating in Career Days, countywide broadcast of Inaugural address, etc.,” said Notter. “Therefore, providing for a separation from this Address does not align with our practices and responsibility to provide a well rounded, quality education for all students. This is the first time an American President has spoken directly to students on the importance of education and the challenge to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for one’s learning.”

Schools will have the option to record or obtain a copy of the Address for later educational use, due to individual school needs, such as, tests at that time, field trips, prior scheduled events, and other reasonable conflicts.

Now I've been critical of teachers and administrators in the past, and with good reason. Just as the news media is dominated by liberals, so are the teaching ranks. But what right do they have to compel your children to view something you find objectionable? None, as far as we're concerned, and we believe the parents have a legal standing on this with regard to their rights as a child's primary caregiver. Parents aren't just there to wipe little Johnny's nose, and to take care of the bumps, bruises, and scrapes little Sally brings home.

Parents are the first teacher a child has, and those parents instill in their children morals and a primary education that gives them the hand up they need prior to attending school for the first time. Teachers and administrators think they have some sort of control that is superior to a parent. Back in 2005, the 9th Circus Court ruled that parents had no right to sue a school over curriculum they found offensive. Then it was a history program that encouraged seventh grade students to role-play being a Muslim. So, in California at least,parents just give birth and rear the children, and have no say in what sort of curriculum is taught to their kids.

I know some are of the opinion out there that this isn't a big deal. Earlier today while I was listening to a local radio host, a caller pointed out that both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush had addressed school kids. After doing a bit of research on that I found out that they had addressed kids in school, but not the way Barry is doing it. President Reagan addressed physical education classes, on behalf of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which encouraged students to actively participate in sports activities. (I can't find where President George H.W. Bush addressed students.) Point being, given the teaching curriculum post-address parents are concerned that this address is political in nature, especially given the president's sagging numbers on health care reform.

If we had kids, our kids wouldn't be there on the 8th. To us this is a form of indoctrination and outright politicization of a literal, captive audience. Our children are already bombarded with liberal garbage by teachers nowadays. From history revisionism to global warming, teachers are busy pushing a political agenda on our kids, and parents are turned away all the time from challenging this form of indoctrination. We won't tell parents what they should or shouldn't do with their kids with regard to this address. But we would encourage parents that if they decide to pull their kids from school that day, do so, and inform the school as to why you are. If you choose to let your child attend school that day, if it's possible, attend the address yourself so you know what the president says to them.

For all we know, this could be harmless. Maybe he's going to tell the kids to study hard. Maybe he's going to tell them to get good grades. Who knows? But the concerns of parents upon hearing the news the president will be speaking directly to them shouldn't be poo-poo'd by teachers or administrators, and schools should understand if parents don't want their kids attending this address. They shouldn't be telling parents that there is no opt-out of this address. Broward County school districts are doing just that. For parents there, if you don't want your kids seeing this, then yank them out for the day, and when the school calls, tell them to pound sand. It's your right as a parent.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: HT to Allahpundit for tipping me off to the Politico story that actually found out what President George H.W. Bush did in his address to kids:

Obama isn’t the first president to be criticized this way. O’Neill recalled President George H. W. Bush made televised address to students in October 1991 as campaign season was heating up. A handful of Democrats denounced Bush’s address as pure politics. Bush asked students to “take control” of their education and to write him a letter about ways students could help him achieve his goals, strikingly similar to Obama’s messages.

I hate to agree with Democrats, but that address was unacceptable, and just as unacceptable as Barry's will be on the 8th. The president doesn't need to address school children. (I forgive Reagan for his because his was targeted specifically at making sure kids stay physically fit and healthy through sports.) But Bush's and Barry's smack too much of politics. Also, I'd like to add I agree with Allah and Michelle Malkin on this: The address may be nothing. It's what comes after the address that parents should be concerned with.

Publius II

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stevens to retire from the high court?

Granted, it's simply speculation on the part of the press, namely Mark Sherman of the AP. However if true it would give Barry his second high court pick since being inaugurated. (HT to Captain Ed)

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired fewer law clerks than usual, generating speculation that the leader of the court’s liberals will retire next year.

If Stevens does step down, he would give President Barack Obama his second high court opening in two years. Obama chose Justice Sonia Sotomayor for the court when Justice David Souter announced his retirement in May.

Souter’s failure to hire clerks was the first signal that he was contemplating leaving the court.

This is a sign that court watchers always look for. It's part of the pattern. Sandra Day O'Conner did the same when she decided to step down from the SCOTUS, and it's likely Chief Justice Rehnquist would have done similar had he not died. Stevens is the oldest member (at 89) of the high court, and it's longest serving justice right now.

Stevens has been a fairly solid liberal for the high court, and Barry will be looking for someone similar. Don't fool yourself in thinking that he'll go for a moderate. Barry's an ideologically-driven president, and there's no way in Hell he'd risk a Souter-esque or similar pick. He'll go hard Left, just as he did with Sotomayor. And we shouldn't be surprised if this pick is based on race like his first one was.

What does this mean for the court? Nothing, really. There will be no shift on the court. Both liberal and conservative blocs will be intact with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. So don't panic over this if it's true. There are still four conservative originalists, four liberal activists, and the lone guy in the middle that has tended to vote with the conservatives more often than not recently.

What should the GOP do? Go after the nominee based on their credentials and judicial philosophy, as they did before, but stay away from the empty threats of filibustering the nominee. A couple Republicans tried that with Sotomayor and everyone -- including ourselves -- knew it was bluster and hot air. Barry was going to get Sotomayor whether we liked it or not. He'll get this one, too. However it would be nice if senators like Lindsey Graham wouldn't act like Chrissy Matthews with a thrill running up his leg. Graham's performance during the Sotomayor hearings reminded us of the same sort of slobbering love affair the media seems to have with Barry.

Publius II

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Issue Up!!!

Yes, it's that time again. The new issue of Common Conservative is published and awaiting you yearning eyes and minds.

The Chief starts off this issue with the question of "Is Obamacare jinxed?" Given the resistance he's meeting with it, we'd wager our guess at "yes, it's jinxed."

Larry Simoneaux, as always, imparts wisdom we could only hope to gain in our lives, and this time around readers may want to pay attention to his lesson.

And Marcie and I, always on the cutting edge of news and current events, deal with the constitutionality of President Obama's appointed czars.

Ralph Reiland kicks off the guest columns with his opinion of President Obama's impression of the Hindenburg. Trust us, he's closer to the truth than the MSM is.

Dr. Robert Owens addresses the hoax that is Barry's health care reform.

John Lillpop "brings out his Ted" in a piece critical of the treatment Senator Kennedy received after he died. (We know it's not right to speak ill of the dead -- de mortuis nil nisi bonum -- but to whitewash his career is a tad far, and Mr. Lillpop agrees with us.

J.J. Jackson highlights how we are slowly losing our freedoms in exchange for security now. We're reminded of what Benjamin Franklin said about this, and Mr. Jackson is spot on.

Paul Ibbetson looks at life under the Obama administration, and he detects the scent of lemons in the fold.

And Carey Roberts finishes off this issue with a reflection on what it's like to argue with a guilty liberal willing to fall back on the talking points and cliches of their empty lives (and heads) when confronted by facts.

As always, should I post anything further, it will be below this post. This one stays at the top of the page for 24 hours, folks, so you have a quick reference to the columns published.

Enjoy reading!!

Publius II

Barry wants to talk to your kids without telling you what he wants to say to them

There are more than enough reasons why the Department of Education should be dissolved and the schools should be put back in the hands of the states. Michelle Malkin has another one and it involves the president using schoolchildren directly. On 8 September, kids will be compelled to watch an address tailored specifically to them by Barry himself. The Daily Paul has the skinny on the talking points that teachers are being directed to initiate with students once the address is finished:

During the Speech:

• As the President speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note-taking graphic organizer such as a Cluster Web, or students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children can draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:

What is the President trying to tell me?

What is the President asking me to do?

What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?

• Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

• Students can record any questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech. Younger children may need to dictate their questions.

After the Speech:

• Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes or stick notes on a butcher paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, i.e. citizenship, personal responsibility, civic duty.

• Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:

What do you think the President wants us to do?

Does the speech make you want to do anything?

Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?

Anyone else a tad uncomfortable with this? Why does he have to address students directly? Better question, why is he refusing to divulge his comments to the public. If I were a parent and I had a child that would be compelled to view this address I'd want to see what he's going to say before I give my permission for my child to attend this. Yes, I said "my permission." My kid would still be my responsibility, and I wouldn't want the president passing on his stupid talking points to my kid.

No offense folks, but I could whip Barry's @$$ in a stand-up debate. He's not that smart, and he can't think on his feet.

But this amounts to literal indoctrination, and I'm sure the teacher's union is all too happy to oblige. Yesterday Michael Medved had a teacher named "Carol" on his show (not her real name, folks) who has sounded the alarm about this school address. She feels it's inappropriate for the president to do this (and Hugh Hewitt yesterday raised the idea that it might be unconstitutional for him to do this). Coinky-dink, I think it's highly inappropriate and more than suspicious.

The president has the ability to make prime-time pressers whenever he asks the media to carry him. Most stations will carry him without a problem. Only a couple buck his authority in favor of their ratings and ad dollars. That's their right. But before the president decides to address the kids of this nation, it might be smarter for him to reveal what he's going to say so parents can opt their kids out, if they so choose, or he should simply make the presser at night so everyone can hear what he has to say.

We know that he put a lot of faith in the kids of this nation. (Some claim that's misplaced faith given the general attitude of kids today.) But this is beyond the pale, in our opinion. If you're a parent, you might want to keep your child at home on the 8th. Send a message to the public schools that you don't appreciate them using their authority to indoctrinate, and send a message to the White House that you can teach your kids better than the president. After all, his credentials in the brains department aren't exactly up to snuff.

Publius II