Monday, February 15, 2010

Going dark

Is it worth it? I doubt it. Over the past several days a few tidbits of information have converged into my life causing me to question the cost-benefit of an Internet presence, specifically blogging and comment posting.
Those tidbits are:
1) Government projects to install supercomputers around the country to analyze intel.

2) A judge in Illinois having a knee-jerk reaction because a flamboyant defendant gave his customers the judge’s e-mail address and said judge was flooded with e-mails supporting the innocence of the defendant.

3) A recent case in Illinois where the anonymity of a poster was revealed to the court so he could be prosecuted.

4) Obama administration efforts to squelch critics on the Internet.

The downside of these enforcement efforts include:
1) Libel
2) Copyright infringement
3) Contempt of court

Just the allegation of any of these could put you in court. Anyone can sue. And all they have to do is outlast you. And we all know of some crazy rulings.

One would hope that others would come to the rescue, but as Michael Savage learned recently you fight your battles alone.

Frankly, it isn’t worth the risk for an audience of 10, or 100, or even 100,000.

Good night, Mrs. Calabash.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stopping a Movement

There is a new group afoot called "The Tea Party Is Over." 
Funded by: American Public Policy Committee
Led by: Joseph Sandler, former lawyer for the DNC, and CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations)
Which is funded by: Patriot Majority
Which is funded by: The SEIU

Do you smell astroturf?

So, what is the mission of The Tea Party Is Over?
"To prevent the Tea Party's dangerous ideas from gaining legislative traction."

Their strategy?
"Our strategy is to spread the truth about their dangerous ideas and prevent their policies from taking root in America."

Well, you have to have "Targets" if you're going to defeat those "dangerous ideas."

Here's one of their "Targets"
"Randy Hultgren

"Hultgren has taken right-wing positions on spending, health care, abortion, and gay rights. He sponsored a bill to remove protections from discrimination because of sexual orientation, and claims the health care bill "will kill people." Call Randy at 630.549.0139 and tell him to reject the dangerous ideas of the Tea Party."

So, exactly what are Randy's dangerous ideas (you know, those "right-wing positions") according to the anti-Tea experts?

Spending- You mean believing that the government should live within its means?  That weird idea that Washington is spending too much and printing too much funny money to cover its bills?

Health care- You mean one of those odd weirdos who does not support socialized medicine in America?

Abortion- I think it's called pro-life; those people who think there are way too many abortions in the United States and that a fetus has human rights as well.

Gay rights- Randy believes in the definition of the traditional family.  How odd is that?  It's funny that this group implies that abortion is a choice, but living a gay lifestyle is not.  I think Randy is against the idea of establishing another protected class, especially based on a belief system.

Good luck with your campaign.  May I suggest you invest in some polling data.  You might find that Randy's "dangerous ideas" are more common than you thought.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Making Sense of Tea

The Tea Party movement is all over the place these days. First, the convention last week. Then an article in Real Clear Politics. Today, ABC News issued poll results centered around Palin and the Tea Party. And, the recent revelation that an Anti-Tea Party movement is starting on K Street to fight back.
First off, the Tea Party Movement is fueled by Internet penetration into the homes of people over 40 who have never spoken out about government before in their lives. It is social networking used to inform people like no other generation in history.

Think of it. We spent our lives watching Dan Rather, only to find out that Dan had an agenda. Now we can read a pdf of an indictment, watch the entire news conference…or congressional hearing…or a committee meeting, read as much detail as we’d like about a study or research the money behind any organization. That’s a lot more information than 30 seconds on a topic sliced and diced by NBC. What’s more, we get to analyze what we’re seeing.

And Obama realizes he is losing control of the message. He’s tried to shut out news groups like Fox, belittled talk show hosts, launched schemes to have people report negative information to the White House, sought equal time for bloggers on the Internet…and come off like Hugo Chavez as a result.

And his Saul Alinski tactics are exposed along the way, making him seem devious as well as frightened.

Since the State of the Union address and the loss in Massachusetts, Obama has tried to co-opt the message of the Tea Party, but co-opting requires some Obama supporters within the Party, and frankly, they are sparse indeed. Obama exemplifies big government.

That co-opting effort takes the form of commiserating with our dissatisfaction with politicians and the power games they play. As Obama said after the Scott Brown victory, "Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.

"People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years." ~ Barack Obama, January 20, 2010

Whenever Obama talks about voter dissatisfaction, he can’t help turning it into a chorus of that old tune, “Blame Bush.”

Mark Davis at Real Clear Politics comments that the Tea Party has support from various groups with their own hot-button issues (mine’s Immigration) but at the core is the size and scope of government. There’s room for pro-lifers, anti-Federal Reserve activists, anti-Obamacare groups, Gun Rights activists, Traditional Marriage defenders… “The people drifting toward the Tea Party movement are not extreme. They are, in fact, fighting extremism - the extremism that has brought us a government that takes far too much, spends far too much and runs our lives far too much. At long last, people who might disagree on a number of other things are uniting in a fight for strong but limited government, run responsibly and frugally.”

(Davis can be read here: )

Now, the ABC poll taken this month measures the Tea Party popularity as well as Palin’s.

When local anchor Alan Krashesky delivered the poll results, he said the Tea Party had “only” 35% support, as though that were something to be ashamed of. Clearly he doesn’t realize what a feat that was, starting from nothing on April 15th of last year!

Ross Perot got 19% of the vote after two years of campaigning and millions of dollars of his own money. 35% is extraordinary progress for a movement.

Like most, Krashesky makes the mistake of thinking it is a third party. We certainly hope not. And he’d like to bet the whole thing on the success or failure of Sarah Palin. That’s not true either.

The Tea Party will flock to candidates like Scott Brown. And Randy Hultgren. And anyone else with a platform of shrinking government. And we’ll bring our 35% of like-minded voters with us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brennan's "Can do" Attitude

I've heard that in DC and Alexandria VA they have removed the snow plows from the streets because it is too dangerous.

C'mon people, the snow is not 100 feet deep.

Not George's GOP

Republicans with a sense of humor? Who knew?

And they're capitalists as well. Send an E-card, ask for a donation. Not bad.
But with so much good material in the last year, how can you refuse?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The United States Department of Climate Change Propaganda

The word is that the Obama administration is forming a new agency. This is all true, though it sounds like I’m making it up.

According to ABC News on February 8th:
“The Obama administration on Monday proposed a new agency to study and report on the changing climate.

“Also known as global warming, climate change has drawn widespread concern in recent years as temperatures around the world rise, threatening to harm crops, spread disease, increase sea levels, change storm and drought patterns and cause polar melting.

“Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, announced NOAA will set up the new Climate Service to operate in tandem with NOAA's National Weather Service and National Ocean Service.

“The new agency will initially be led by Thomas Karl, director of the current National Climatic Data Center. The Climate Service will be headquartered in Washington and will have six regional directors across the country.”

Why do I get the feeling that Obama wants to control the message about global warming?

Well, this bunch has their minds made up.

During the State of the Union Obama firmly declared, “I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”

And how can we forget the vigorous squelching of dissent at the EPA? Back in June of last year two government scientists tried to do a little peer review of the loose UN data and were censored for it. Here’s a narrative on what took place:
“The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained an EPA study of the "endangerment" to human well-being ostensibly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, together with a set of EPA emails indicating that the study, which concludes that carbon dioxide is not a significant cause of climate change, was suppressed by the EPA for political reasons.

“You can read the comments that the CEI submitted to the EPA on EPA's proposed endangerment finding here

along with the emails. The censored report, by Alan Carlin and John Davidson, is here.

“In their report, Carlin and Davidson point out that the EPA has not done its own evaluation of the global warming theory. Rather, it has relied on analyses by others, mostly the U.N.'s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. That report, however, was a political document, not a scientific one. Knowing that current scientific research disproves the anthropogenic global warming theory, the U.N. ordered that no recent research be considered in the IPCC report. This is a scandal of which too few people are aware. As science, the U.N. report is a bad joke.

“Carlin and Davidson go on to recite the scientific work that shows rather clearly that human activity is a minor factor, at most, in climate change--which has, of course, been occurring from the beginning of Earth's history to the present. Their report is a useful summary of the evidence for those who are not familiar with it.

“If the Obama administration gets its way, Americans will not become aware of the scientific evidence: Obama's EPA suppressed the Carlin/Davidson report and tried to keep it secret for political reasons. The emails obtained by the CEI are revealing. Here, the two scientists' superior declines to make their report public because "the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment."”

Well, I think we know the position of this new agency before they even have business cards printed. So, in this time of budgetary distress in Washington, why bother?

Palin's hand

The media is going crazy over Sarah Palin. Not what she said to the Tea Party supporters in Nashville last week, but the fact that she scribbled some notes on the palm of her hand.

It's all over the Internet. Even ABC 7 local news in Chicago covered it. One fine example of the MSM did a good cop-bad cop routine. The reporter in the field did the ridiculing while the anchorwoman put on this "it isn't important" air for balance.

Palin spoke for 45 minutes and did another 10 in Q&A. She's not eloquent. But she does understand that Washington is clueless about how we feel. She is the mouth of the unwashed masses.

The East Coast media covered the convention. I can imagine using the restroom in the Nashville airport, with the signs by the door reminding people that it is state law to wash your hands.

No doubt they brought their Swiss bottled water with them. And the roast beef wasn't lean enough.

So, in this sour mood they cover the filthly, redneck, teabaggers. Even the counter-protest was a disappointment. Only four people showed up to protest.

So, Sarah's hand became ground zero. And they got plenty of mileage out of it.

Doesn't it seem funny that they would cover that, and not plaster the airwaves with Obama saying "Corpse-man" instead of Corpsman just a few days before?

As for Tea Party spokesmen, I found Andrew Breitbart to be very good.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The people have spoken...

...and been ignored.

The halftime show at the Super Bowl was extra-special in Chicago. Remember the "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004?

Well, last night in Chicago they had the "democracy malfunction" as Scott Lee Cohen announced during halftime that he was stepping down as the Democratic Party's pick for Lieutenant Governor.

Here's a partial list of people who "urged" Scott to step down:
Dick Durbin- US Senator
Danny Davis- US Congressman
Lisa Madigan- Illinois Attorney General (and daughter of IL Dem Party Chair)
Mandi Eneman- Character witness, former girlfriend and convicted prostitute
Pat Quinn- Illinois Governor (by scandal) and Gov Candidate for the Democrats
Mike Madigan- Chairman of IL Dem Party and IL House Speaker (and dad of AG above)
Alexi Giannoulias- Democrat candidate for US Senate (and Rezko's banker)

Mayor Richie Daley of all people said Cohen has every right to remain on the ticket and that it was his decision. Daley wasn't urging him to do anything.

So, the 212,902 people who voted for Scott Lee Cohen were told their votes didn't count. Second place, with 184,432 votes was Art Turner.

Here's what the Tribune is reporting from Art:
Turner said he would make a case to the state central committee that he was the most qualified of those who sought the lieutenant governor nomination — but did not believe that his second-place finish should automatically give him the spot.

"I don't think it ought to be an automatic. The fact that you finished second, I would not want to set a precedent for that," Turner said. "What I'm saying is that of the people interested in the job — others could have expressed an interest but didn't — I am the most qualified."

As you can see, it's pure power-brokering at this point. A second-place finish means nothing. Heaven forbid you set a precedent for trying to accommodate the voters' wishes.

Father knows best. And it's all in the hands of the kingmakers once again.

Hearts and Minds

Things are getting back to normal at the Obama camp. He had a nice boost in popularity from those who say they like him or really like him. The event that triggered it was the State of the Union address.

But now they are back down in the cellar again. Maybe it was the flurry of media attention and their heaps of praise for his speech. Or maybe they actually watched it. Anyway, the bleeding hearts in his own party were in love again, boosting his approval rating.

He even had a few days of shrinking "strongly disapprove" numbers.

But what about the "minds" of the voting public? What about the Independents?

That's any important group because they are thoughtful about the issues. And they are a growing group as more people don't want a party affiliation. (Who can blame them? Politicians are downright embarrassing.)

Well, according to Rasmussen, he didn't change their minds.
"January 30, 2010: Looking only at interviews conducted on the two nights following the speech, it is clear that the President enjoyed a bounce in the polls and that the bounce came from members of his own party. On the morning of the speech, 50% of Democrats Strongly Approved of the President’s performance. On the two nights following the speech, that number jumped to 65%. There was essentially no change among Republican and unaffiliated voters."

So, the cooler heads still prevail. And the magic has worn off, except for those Rasmussen calls "Very Liberal" and "Somewhat Liberal." They are still in love with #44.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Are we there yet?

Neal A. Maxwell said, “If we are not able to build into ourselves and our families the brakes of self-restraint and self-discipline, we are apt, unwittingly, to create tyranny in our government and anarchy in our citizenry. If we push onto the government the management not only of our economy, but also the management of our morals, the civil servants of the future will be neither civil nor servants.”

Friday, February 5, 2010

Never run a bluff...

...when your poke's empty

Obama is out there telling fellow dems to hang in there. Swing hard. Keep the faith.

In other words, don't be afraid to advance the Obama agenda just because it is an election year.

Then again, Obama's not on the ballot, so he's thinking more about his legacy than the midterms. He knows for sure that things will be harder for him in congress in 2011. It is almost a guarantee at this point.

But how rational is that if you are up for reelection in November? I mean, what would motivate a congressman to stick his neck out this year?

That's the downside of a republic. You can do what you think is best for your district, but now and then you get evaluated by the voters. And you can't exactly say the public likes the job congress is doing.

Specifically, there are some key Obama agenda items that aren't very popular:
Stimulus I and II
Government business control (banks and car companies)
Union power
Terrorist imprisonment
Terrorist trials
Lack of candor

So, Obama telling congress to be courageous seems a bit foolish.

It is even more foolish given Obama's track record with helping other campaigns. His appearances don't seem to be helping.

A Dark Horse with a Black Hat

The office of Lieutenant Governor in Illinois isn’t very important…unless the Governor is indicted. (Gee, how did Quinn get to be Governor?)

And the primary elections rarely include running mates, paired with the Governor. In this election only one ad campaign talked much about their slate.

So, it is a forced marriage based on the vote tally.

Along comes Scott Lee Cohen. He’s not from the machine, and outsiders are doing well these days. He used his own money to run, over $2 million worth. And his ads were focused on action, rather than a slam against the other guy.

He used a rather interesting approach. He held job fairs around the state. He said, “We can’t wait until the election to do something about unemployment.” He had a regular guy tell voters, “Scott Lee Cohen helped me get a job with one of the largest cable companies in the country.”

None of this, “I promise to fix the problems in Illinois,” or, “My opponent is lying to you.” He displayed his action mentality to fill a real need of the times.

Despite full disclosure of his past before the election, nobody paid much attention to him. His opponents were experienced politicians who would surely win.

Well, they lost. And Scott Lee Cohen is the chosen democrat candidate for Lt Governor.

Here’s what’s in his closet:
He’s a pawnbroker.
He used steroids purchased from friends, not Walgreens.
He’s divorced with a spouse abuse allegation.
His ex is currently in court over $54,000 in unpaid child support.
While going through the divorce, he dated a 24-year-old massage therapist with a prostitution conviction.
Said 24-year-old massage therapist had him charged with putting a knife to her throat and threatening her. She never showed up in court, so the charges were dropped. But the Sun-Times obtained court records that say Cohen held "a knife up to complainant's neck causing minor scars," according to the police report from his arrest. There also were "minor scars on her hand from her trying to defend herself against the arrestee swinging the knife at her." Cohen also allegedly "pushed complainant's head against [a] wall, causing a bump on the back of her head." Cohen says he never touched her.

Now that Hynes has officially conceded to Pat Quinn, the party wants Cohen out. Cohen simply needs to step down, then the state democrat committee, led by Mike Madigan, chooses a replacement. (Sure, it makes sense to just choose the one with the second-highest vote total on February 2nd, but that wouldn’t be any fun.)

And there is talk that Hynes was promised the Lt Governor spot for graciously conceding rather than mounting a recount campaign.

But first things first. Cohen needs to step aside. And so far he’s holding his ground. He’s already been on TV with his ex-wife explaining what happened.

And so, another black eye for Illinois politics.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Senate Tea

Here are the numbers for the U S Senate primary race.

Giannoulias is connected to Tony Rezko and political loans through the bank his family owns. Some say Obama will stay away from Illinois to avoid the stench surrounding Blago. Besides, Rezko sold Obama the land next door. It's easy to get something on you when you do a photo op.

If the GOP is smart, they'll hammer Alexi G on the Rezko link.

Speaking of the GOP, Don Lowery is generally considered the Tea Party candidate in the race. Ms. Thomas claimed to be but never really got much support.

Hughes didn't bother to vote for decades and became a republican in 2008. Not much to go on there.

Mark Kirk is an enigma. He's active duty military and is probably the most knowledgeable congressman when it comes to Afghanistan. He's been there, and not on a junket.

He also has taken a prominent stand against illegal aliens, though an analysis of his bills would reveal they are practically meaningless. Deporting gang members is a pretty safe position.

That's the good news. On the other side he voted for Cap-and-Trade. That can't be good.

He's also pro-choice.

He's also a member of an ad hoc group of centrist republicans in Congress called "Tuesday Club" or some such a thing.

His district (IL 10th) is politically liberal and well-heeled. That might explain some of his left-leaning votes. But he keeps them happy, even when they vote for democrat presidential candidates.

Like the other Kirk (Kirk Dillard) there isn't much hope of reconciliation between Mark Kirk and the Tea Party. The only silver lining is that Roland Burris will be gone.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The GOP and Tea in Illinois

Here it is the morning after the primary election in Illinois and there are some very close races for both parties. So how did the Tea Party candidates do? Well, not so good.

Let’s take the race for governor. There were six GOP candidates, with the totals looking like this at the moment:

Bill Brady is a pretty solid conservative, but has shied away from the Tea Party movement.

Kirk Dillard is a RINO, backed by the teachers union and too willing to increase taxes. He once did a commercial endorsing Obama.

Andy McKenna was the Illinois GOP leader until he resigned to run for governor. He’s a Bush republican. He was unable to make hay for the GOP over the Blago scandal. Does that tell you anything about his leadership?

Jim Ryan is an old GOP figure in Illinois. Sort of like Roland Burris; an elder statesman who is steeped in the old party politics.

Adam Andrzejewski is a Tea Party candidate. Lech Walesa came to town to endorse him and received almost zero coverage. Adam was also endorsed by Rush and Beck. All three of these milestones came very late in the campaign and resulted in very little money. Coulda-woulda says he would have done better with more money.

Dan Proft tried to be another Tea Party candidate, but he’s too connected as a politician and campaign manager to be considered a reformer.

Bob Schillerstrom dropped out late in the campaign and gave his vote to Jim Ryan. Pretty similar profile to Ryan.

Playing with a calculator you can visualize the Proft votes going to Andrzejewski as the Tea Party candidate and beating the old guard Republicans if they had joined forces rather than split the effort. But that is quite a stretch for a new political entity like the Tea Party Movement.

At this point the best we can hope for is a Brady win, followed by Brady courting the Tea Party. If he doesn’t do that, Quinn will surely win simply by courting the entitlement crowd in Cook County.

If Dillard wins, it is hard to imagine the Tea Party getting behind him.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Synapse gaps

There appears to be a mental malfunction in Rahm Emanuel's brain, a malfunction that causes a delayed response.
Perhaps you've heard that back in August Rahm performed a verbal hat trick:
1-He ticked off some fellow Democrats
2-He dropped the f-bomb
3-He offended people with disabilites
As for #1, he's known for being abrasive.
Number 2? Well, since the Nixon tapes America has known that the Oval Office ain't church.
But you must admit #3, using the word "retarded," is pretty low.
We ought to go easy on old Rahm. He's a slow thinker. It took him from August 18th(when he made the comment) to January 27th to apologize to the Special Olympics.
And the Special Olympics graciously accepted the apology. (Did I happen to mention that the Special Olympics is run by Tim Shriver, a member of Clan Kennedy? One wonders how gracious Tim would have been if the slur had come from Scott Brown.)
The other possible explanation for the delay is the old Clinton ethics. It goes something like this:
A) Deny the allegation.
B) If evidence comes forward, admit it.
C) Then apologize
This hope and change thing seems hopeless.

A Public Health Warning on Election Day

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of a Sexually Transmitted Disease.

The disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior.

The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim. And it's pronounced "gonna re-elect 'im."

Many victims contracted it in 2008.

Now after having been screwed for the past year, naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how destructive this disease has become since it is so easily cured.



Just Do It!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Picks for the Primary

Tomorrow is the primary election in Illinois. Here are my picks, based on the issue of immigration, and an understanding of the limited role and scope of government. Fiscal responsibility doesn't hurt, either. Nor does their reaction to the tea party movement.

US Senate (to replace Roland Burris) - Don Lowery

US House (to replace Bill Foster) - Randy Hultgren

Governor (to replace Pat Quinn) - Adam Andrzejewski

Lt Governor - I don't have a clue

Comptroller - Jim Dodge

Kane Country Treasurer - David Rickert

Kane County Judge - David Akemann

Motion Seconded

From an old Yiddish proverb:
If one person call thee a donkey,
Pay them no mind.

If a second person call thee a donkey,
Get thee a saddle.