Monday, March 31, 2014

Got Obamacare Yet?

So today is the final deadline - the cut-off date for registering for Obamacare. Those who do not register and have no insurance will be subject to a fine...  a tax... yeah, that's what Justice John Roberts called it. A tax.

The President didn't extend the deadline, nor did Kathleen Sebelius. So everyone eligible must be registered by the end of the day. Except....  what they did instead was create a "hardship waiver" that will automatically allow people to not be subject to the fine if they go to the Obamacare website and press the hardship button. According to the secret waiver plan, announced last week with no media coverage, people will be eligible for waivers if they "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable."

You don't even have to be able to prove it. This is to be done "on the honor system" and based solely on your stated belief.

From the Wall Street Journal: "This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one."

Now remember that during the Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the law the government said that the individual mandate and subsequent fines were essential to the success of the law and that the President has stated over and over that he would veto any legislation, even bipartisan, that called for it to be delayed or removed. And instead he has functionally extended the deadline indefinitely and removed the threat of the fine for anyone who doesn't want to pay it. And still people defend him.

There is really no doubt in my mind why he's doing it. Mid-term elections are coming up, people are angry about Obamacare, his poll numbers are falling and Democrat numbers for November are not looking good. Some of them are even distancing themselves from Obamacare (and Obama himself) in preparation for the election. One Democrat strategist said Democrats can honestly deny voting for the Obamacare bill since it has changed from it's original form.

The Affordable Care Act is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever signed into law. Doctors and hospitals are refusing to accept it and several hospitals have closed. Jobs are being lost and according to the Congressional Budget Office up to 1.6 million jobs could be gone by 2020. Even though Harry Reid called them liars, people are losing their doctors and insurance plans and those who sign up for Obamacare are finding it not so affordable. They're paying higher premiums and deductibles up to $12,000.

Harry says he never called people liars over losing their plans but all he really needs to do is watch the video.

And in a final instance of poetic justice - on this the last day to register, has crashed twice today - even as Jay Carney tells reporters that it's working fine. The White House touts that to date 6 million people have registered but they can't prove it, they can't show how many people have actually paid for it (there is no way for them to pay for it through the web site) and they can't really back up their numbers.

They say they're telling the truth so I guess we should believe them. After all - the President hasn't ever lied to us before...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Week In Review

The movie "Noah"was released in theaters last week to immediate controversy. Christians around the country are decrying the movie as not being Biblically accurate. Many critics are saying the same thing. And why shouldn't they? Director Darren Aronofsky, a self-admitted atheist, told The New Yorker it's “the least Biblical "Biblical" film ever made.” Yet some Christian writers are saying people are being unfair in that no movie portraying a Biblical theme, even the legendary "The Ten Commandments" is ever perfect.

Those who like the movie are critical of criticism against it, including its star, Russel Crowe. In a recent interview Crowe said people are talking “of what it could be or how bad it could be or how wrong it could be in their eyes, which I think, quite frankly, is bordering on absolute stupidity. Because now, people are seeing the movie and they’re realizing how respectful it is and how potent it is.”

Russell Crowe has never been shy about voicing his opinion, regardless of what fans might think. But I think Christians (and everyone else) have the right to decide if they want to see a movie based on what the movie is about, reviews of it, who makes it, etc., without being called stupid.

Another controversial public figure, Glenn Beck, a devout Mormon, went to see the movie at the request of Paramount Studios so he could talk about it from the perspective of someone who had actually seen it. That may have been a mistake on their part. Beck's review of the movie after seeing it was "If you are looking for a biblical movie, this is definitely not it," He said. "It's not the story of Noah that I was hoping for. If you are going for that, you will be horribly disappointed. I would love to come and report that the movie was great, but I can't," he said. "It's awful."

Beck went on to say that none of the characters, including Noah, demonstrated an authentic relationship with God. In addition, the name "God" was never mentioned in the movie. And according to Beck, the only time Noah (who did have an authentic relationship with God) prayed was when he was thinking of killing his family. 

After seeing "Son of God," which also had some "artistic licensing" but was fairly accurate in content, I'm still debating seeing Noah. I'll probably pass on it, waiting instead for "God Is Not Dead." If I'm going to go see a Biblical movie I'd prefer that it be as accurate as possible.

Harry Reid has been in the news a few times in the last week. First he denied ever saying that Republican-told stories of people losing their insurance and/or their doctors, and premiums going sky high, were all lies. Even though he made the statement on the Senate floor and it was recorded by numerous cameras, he said earlier this week that he never made such a statement. Apparently he is intelligent enough to discern from the videos that he did say it because yesterday he amended his denial and said he doesn't remember saying it. 

One of two this is possible here. Either he's developing dementia or he's lying once again. I vote for the latter. I'm actually surprised he didn't use an Obama trick and say "What I really said was...." Apparently he doesn't feel as confident in his lies as the President.

Harry was also in the news again because it seems, for the second time, there are questions about misuse of campaign funds. It seems Harry gave his granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid, nearly $17,000 in 2013 for what was described as payments for “holiday gifts.” Those payments were reportedly made to purchase items from Ryan Elisabeth Reid, who has her own line of jewelry. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday that federal disclosures show the campaign paid another $14,481 to Reid's granddaughter in 2012, bringing to $31,268 the total paid to Ryan Elisabeth in 2012 and 2013 to purchase gifts for Reid's support staff.

Harry, of course, says he did nothing wrong and has reimbursed the money from his own bank account - as if that makes what he did all better.  He then dismissed reporters saying "So it's all done. Everything was complied with beforehand. I'm not going to answer any... Read my statement."

OK, Harry. Tell that to Jesse Jackson, Junior...

Finally, President Obama is systematically destroying the strength and abilities of our military. Following the announcement that he will reduce our troop numbers to pre-World War II levels, he has now announced he will do away with the Navy's Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs and get rid of the arsenals. He apparently believes that wars can be fought and countries can be defeated using technology rather than actual people. Or else he is making us weak and less ready intentionally so that we may be destroyed as a country. I'll let you decide.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Random Thoughts On A Thursday....

I saw this picture this morning and thought "Interesting. She says access to birth control is not her boss's business yet she demands that he/she pay for it. How ironic."

The whole "free birth control" thing, championed by the left and brought to the forefront by  30 year old law student who can afford Georgetown University but wants the American public to pay for her birth control is getting rather ridiculous. There is a lawsuit before the Supreme Court right now to determine whether corporations founded by people with deep religious beliefs have the right to refuse to provide health coverage that includes birth control pills and/or the "morning after" pill.

The Hobby Lobby case was heard yesterday and a decision is expected in June. Hobby Lobby contends that because of their Christian beliefs they should not be forced by the government to pay for employee insurance policies that contain mandatory birth control and abortion stipulations. Reports from the courtroom indicate a majority of the justices seem to be leaning toward siding with Hobby Lobby. What will happen remains to be seen but the government's argument seemed pretty weak.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told justices that U.S. business owners have no religious freedom to reject government mandates forcing them to cover abortions. Justice Kennedy asked the government’s lawyer, ‘So under your argument, corporations could be forced to pay for abortions, that there would be no religious claim against that on the part of the corporation. Is that right?’ Verrelli replied "Yes.”

The only thing the defense seems to have is the notion that they don't believe corporations, regardless of their founding documents and written philosophies, have any religious rights. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the government (which is surely possible after the Obamacare legality decision) then religious freedoms in this country will take a huge hit. Must I remind anyone that Muslims got a complete waiver from Obamacare but Christian organizations did not?

In other news, Harry Reid, the illustrious and often controversial Democrat Senator and Majority Leader from Nevada, told the American people that the reason the delay was necessary for the sign-up deadline for Obamacare is because the American people are computer illiterate. Like his outlandish statements previously about how any American who says they lost their health care coverage or that their premiums went up because of Obamacare is lying - Reid ignores the truth that the website is a disaster and that many people are opting to pay the fine rather than pay huge premiums and deductibles. He instead says the American people are ignorant. I can't help but wonder how he keeps getting re-elected.

Finally -in what has become one of the greatest stories of speculation in my lifetime - anonymous sources are now saying the pilot was solely responsible for the "crash" of Malaysian flight 370. Since the declaration last week, without any real evidence other than a couple of satellite pings and the time factor, that the plane went down in the Indian Ocean, of which no debris has been found as yet, everyone is now speculating on the cause of the speculated crash. Foreign satellites keep finding "debris fields" that turn out to be false. And how long does it take to get spotter planes and ships to the area? If the debris is there it's there. If not it's just more guesswork by the authorities and particularly by the media.

I've never seen so many reporters make stuff up for so long. Is this the future of "journalism"?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Schools Gain Common Core - Lose Common Sense

This post actually has nothing to do with Common Core. That's a topic for another day that will involve some extensive research. No - this particular post is about the loss of common sense in our schools today.

A 9 year old girl named Kamryn was sent home from her Grand Junction, Colorado, school yesterday because of her dedicated friendship to one of her classmates.

That's not the reason the school gave but that's what happened. Officially, Kamryn was sent home for her "distracting" hair style... or lack thereof - a violation of the school dress code. Kamryn recently shaved her head in support of her friend Delaney, who is battling neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, and recently started chemotherapy.

Delaney's hair has fallen out and Kamryn, to show her love and support for her friend, shaved her head so Delaney wouldn't be the only girl in school with no hair. She had the approval and support of her parents who, it seems, were unaware it would be a violation of the school dress code.

Delaney's mom told the local news station she was surprised Caprock Academy refused to let Kamryn in because of the dress code.

"I didn't realize that hair was such an important aspect of a child at school," Wendy Campbell said. "For a little girl to be really brave and want to shave her head in support of her friend, I thought that was a huge statement and it builds character in a child."


Caprock Academy president and Chair of the board of directors, Catherine Norton Breman, said the dress code "was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students. Under this policy, shaved heads are not permitted."

Apparently common sense is not permitted either.

As for Delaney - she was happy to have her friend's support but saddened by the school's reaction.

"It makes me sad because she was really happy to go back to school and show people what she did, but now that she didn't get to, she's kind of sad," Delaney told reporters. 

I can understand the school writing a dress code that prevents kids from having extreme hairstyles. It is a private school, after all, and they are normally more strict when it comes to students' appearances. That said - nearly every set of rules has exceptions - or should have in cases where the person violating the rule is a nine-year-old acting in a very grown up manner and doing something for her classmate and friend out of the kindness of her heart. At least in this case.

Kamryn's mom says she is meeting today with school officials to try resolving this issue. In the meantime Kamryn was invited back to school this morning. Let's hope common sense prevails.

Re-writing History A Page At A Time

On May 14, 2008, Michelle Obama, wife of then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama, made the following statement to a group of supporters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we're going to have to change our traditions, our history; we're going to have to move into a different place as a nation."

Little by little we're seeing these things come to fruition. People are sacrificing more and more every day with more people out of work and out of the work force since the 1920s and more people on food stamps than ever before. (The Obamas themselves aren't suffering. They're taking full advantage of being king and queen.)

Our conversations are changing. Liberals are working to ban certain words and phrases from American dialogue because, in their bizarre minds, certain words are either derogatory or racist in nature. Some have even stated that Republicans have "code words" that are used to secretly level disparaging dialogue at minorities, homosexuals, etc. (I read this morning that the word homosexual is now considered a derogatory term. Go figure.)

Here's a short list of some of the words liberals think are derogatory and/or racist:

Food Stamp President
Holding down the fort
Kitchen Cabinet

The list goes on but every one of these words has been touted by some angry, half-crazed liberal as being racist and/or derogatory to some particular group of Americans. Wait - did I say "angry, half-crazed liberal?" I'm sure that's racist and derogatory. But since this is my blog I'll say what I want.

Under progressive leadership our traditions are changing. Until Barack Obama became President we were considered to be a Christian nation, founded on Judeo Christian values and principles. President Obama is trying to unilaterally changed that by pandering to Muslims around the world and telling them "Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers." Personally, I'd like to know who gave him the authority to decide we are no longer what we once were. We are still a Christian nation that allows any and all faiths to come here and thrive - as long as you're not trying to kill us.

In pandering to Islam he's destroying our relationship with Israel, one of our strongest allies until recently, funding and arming the anti-Semite Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and funding and arming Al Qaeda backed rebels in Syria.

In Illinois (I know - probably another code word) recently a school district began teaching middle school children about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Their version of the Second Amendment is as follows:

“This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison. The founding fathers included this amendment to prevent the United States from acting like the British who had tried to take weapons away from the colonists." 

Talk about changing history. That's nowhere near what the actual Second Amendment says. 

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Nowhere does it mention the type of weapons that may be kept nor that they must be registered. It doesn't say anything about being in prison either but that law was passed in an attempt to keep firearms out of the hands of violent felons.

Obama is slowly and deliberately destroying our military. He is defunding important parts of it, reducing troop levels to pre-World War II levels, cancelling the Navy's Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs and ousting top military leaders who do not follow his vision. We are becoming more and more weak militarily and the rest of the world knows it. 

President Obama has fulfilled the promise he made to his uber-liberal/progressive supporters back in 2008. He has fundamentally changed the United States of America. Fortunately, enough Americans are displeased with his changes that there is a good chance Republicans will win the House and Senate in November. Predictions have it as such right now. All we need then is a strong, outspoken conservative Presidential candidate who won't be afraid to confront the Democrats on the failures of the Obama administration and the condition of the country under progressive leadership. Failure to address reality by timid candidates led to Obama being elected twice. It's time someone once again stood up for America.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Atheists Angry At Scott Walker - Walker Unimpressed

Wisconsin's conservative Republican governor, Scott Walker, has a tendency to irritate liberals. From his initial election liberals have been fighting against him, opposing his every move, even though his policies and actions have turned the state around financially. He fought labor unions and outside protesters during a recall and won that as well.

Now it seems he has angered atheists in his state. One day last week Governor Walker apparently tweeted a Bible verse on his "official" Twitter account. The verse - Philippians 4:13 - says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It seems the atheist group takes exception with a government official revealing any type of religious affiliation. Their official statement was: “This braggadocio verse coming from a public official is rather disturbing. As governor, you took an oath of office to uphold the entirely godless and secular United States Constitution.”

The atheists are correct in the sense that the Constitution does not specifically mention God as a figure in our government. However, a little research shows that He was the center of their ideas for governing.

From "...the constitutional framers built their structure upon the foundation of Natural Law — a God-centered world view. On this the founders were in agreement. But "Natural Law" to the entire founding generation was defined as the "laws of the Creator." In a 1794 letter to the Massachusetts Legislature, Samuel Adams wrote, "In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator."

So natural law, particularly in those days when the only explanation they had for the universe and all it contained was by divine creation, meant the Creator, or God. It's not difficult to understand. But it is difficult to ignore.

George Washington, founder and first President of the newly born United States of America, said in his first inaugural address: "it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration, to execute with success, the functions allotted to His charge."

Apparently President Washington, considered by many to be the greatest President in our history, believed God was an integral part of our government. Following his inauguration, President Washington and all the members of Congress went in procession to St. Paul’s Church for Divine Service. And history shows it was Washington himself who added the words "So help me God" to the oath of office.

The Declaration of Independence, a precursor to the Constitution, speaks of our unalienable rights endowed by our Creator. Even though President Obama decided to leave the words "by our Creator" in one of his addresses (It seems God can be a political inconvenience to him at times) the words are part of the document. Samuel Adams once said of the Declaration: "Before the formation of the Constitution … this Declaration of Independence was received and ratified by all the states in the Union and has never been disannulled." So the Declaration of Independence is part of our U.S. Code.

Perhaps the atheist group is talking about the Wisconsin Constitution being "godless and secular." No - that couldn't be it because the Preamble to the Wisconsin Constitution says: "We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution."

So let's go back to the U.S. Constitution. The atheist group says the document is "godless and secular" and doesn't ever mention God. However, in Article VII the founders wrote: "done in Convention … the Seventeenth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America." 

"In the year of our Lord." That seems pretty clear. Some will say that was simply a common phrase of the times but why was it common? It was because the founders measured time from the birth of Jesus Christ, as did most of the Western world at the time.

Try as they will, atheists cannot remove God from the roots of our government. What's interesting is - they claim that Walker and other politicians who speak of their religious beliefs and/or affiliations are trying to "force religion" on them. Yet it is with great effort that they try to force their "non-religious beliefs" or denial of the existence of God on us.

Atheists' non-belief in God doesn't hurt or threaten me in any way. I feel sorry for them but they don't threaten me. That doesn't seem to be the case the other way around. The Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a letter that Governor Walker used “the machinery of the state of Wisconsin to promote personal religious views.” They say that the tweet sounds like “a threat… the utterance of a theocratic dictator.”

So a man saying he believes in Jesus Christ is now a threat? I guess it's all they have since there is no rational objection to be made other than "We don't believe in God and therefore you shouldn't either. And if you do keep it to yourself because we are offended that you disagree with us." 

If Christians got offended as easily as atheists we'd be angry all the time - just like they are. Look at some of the famous ones - Bill Mahar, Mikey Weinstein, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin....

It must be tough living a life with nothing to believe in but yourself.

Note: As of this morning it appears Governor Walker won't be intimidated. Even under the threat of a lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation he has refused to remove the Bible verse from his Twitter account. Apparently they don' understand the governor very well...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Giving America Away A Little At A Time

The web page " posted an article recently about an incredible ruling made by a liberal federal judge. Contained in the article is one of the most bizarre and ridiculous rulings I've seen from a federal court. Excerpts read as follows:

A Homeland Security initiative to put fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border could discriminate against minorities, according to an Obama-appointed federal judge who’s ruled that the Congressionally-approved project may have a “disparate impact on lower-income minority communities.”

This of course means that protecting the porous—and increasingly violent—southern border is politically incorrect. At least that’s what the public college professor at the center of the case is working to prove and this month she got help from a sympathetic federal judge. Denise Gilman, a clinical professor at the taxpayer-funded University of Texas-Austin, is researching the “human rights impact” of erecting a barrier to protect the U.S. from terrorists, illegal immigrants, drug traffickers and other serious threats.

Seriously? Securing our border is now racist? One cannot help but wonder what "low-income, minority communities" will be "disparately impacted" by securing the borders. Is she talking about communities in Mexico? The communities in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona won't suffer. In fact, they will be better off.

In Arizona, shortly after then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano declared the borders "more secure than ever", the federal government erected signs warning American citizens not to travel or recreate in areas close to the border.

So if securing the border is racist - wouldn't telling Americans not to go near the border in their own country be racist as well? Not to mention stupid. I can't imagine what Constitution this particular judge uses to make her decisions. Part of the role of government is to protect its citizens and keep them safe. Maintaining open borders and allowing human smuggling, drug smuggling and God knows what else to continue unchecked is asinine.

It won't be long, I suppose, before another liberal judge rules that Sharia law should be implemented in the United States to protect the rights of Muslims. Muslims are demanding it and they are already being awarded special privileges for prayer times, foot baths, etc. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before one of Obama's court appointees decides a Muslim accused of a crime here in the States should be tried by his own law. When that happens the Republic as we know it is doomed.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Does The President Look At The Polls?

"The problem is not that the American people disagree with us on the issues. The challenge is... is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith and finally they just say 'you know what, I’m not interested, I’m not going to bother, I’m not going to vote.'"

So President Obama told  group of donors yesterday in a private home in Miami, Florida. He went on:

"And that’s especially true during the midterms. During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote. And suddenly a more representative cross-section of America gets out there and we do pretty well in presidential elections. But in midterms we get clobbered -- either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while."

I'm not sure who "we" is that the President is talking about but I'm thinking it's many of his followers who are becoming disillusioned by his lies and failed policies. I don't believe that he actually believes what he said about the people disagreeing with him on the issues. He sees the polls. He knows he's falling continuously. 

He continued:

"We need Nancy Pelosi as speaker because folks like Nana over there, cleaning houses, may need her help and she’s going to look out for her. We need Harry Reid staying as Democratic Leader in the Senate because there are kids just like Elijah but who aren’t as lucky to have parents with the resources that Alonzo and Tracy have."

I don't know who Nana and Elijah are but for him to say that Pelosi and Reid actually care about the people is just one more of his whoppers. The only thing Nancy Pelosi would value about Nana is that she might be able to clean her house for her. And Reid caring about kids? Let's look at a recent interview he did with Dana Bash:

BASH: If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?

REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is... To have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means --

BASH: I'm just asking a question.

REID: -- you’re irresponsible and reckless.

Yup - sounds like Elijah can always count on Harry.

In other news, Michelle Obama is in China this week with her two daughters and her mother, (and probably about 100 assistants) on yet another vacation. She made this remark while visiting a school with China's First Lady:

"It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it’s even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations — with my daughters, and with my mother."

I find the first part remarkable. Michelle Obama has been on at least 16 overseas trips in the last five years. Maybe it's not an exorbitant number (Laura Bush took 17 overseas trips during her husband's first term) but it's certainly not a rare occasion. She makes that statement as though she's been deprived or something. I'm guessing she goes out of the country more as First Lady than she did as a regular civilian. I could be wrong. Either way - to say it's a rare occasion isn't exactly true.

I don't begrudge her her trips. She's the First Lady of the United States and these trips are mostly expected. Every First Lady in my lifetime has taken trips overseas. In fact, I don't begrudge the President his vacations either, except when he tells the American people they'll have to "tighten their belts and take less vacations" just before he and his family take off for Hawaii. To me that's simply privilege talking and ignoring the plight of the people. And that's king-like.

The President deserves a vacation now and then. But he doesn't have to flaunt it in the faces of those Americans who cannot afford to do the same. That's just arrogant and rude and un-befitting of the office he holds.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why The Double Standard For Democrats?

Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party members (regardless of their skin color) are constantly being called racists by liberal Democrats. It's inevitable that if a member of one of the above groups disagrees with President Obama he or she will be ridiculed and be accused of racial bias - regardless of the stated reason for that disagreement. The state-owned media is quick to tell the American people about any remark or action done by the right that can possibly be interpreted as racist. For that reason, many Americans (including some Democrats) keep their personal opinions about President Obama to themselves lest they be labeled.

Even some liberal Hollywood stars have become disillusioned by Obama but very few speak out lest they be made by the media to appear racist. However, racist comments by Democrats mostly are overlooked by the media. From former President Bill Clinton to Vice President Joe Biden to President Obama himself, racist comments made by Democrats are ignored by the main stream media.

Below I have compiled a short list of racist comments made by Democrat politicians and other well known public figures. If a Republican had made any of these statements the media would have been calling for their heads (and their jobs.) But since they were made by Democrats they were largely overlooked. Here are some examples:

"A few years ago, (Barack Obama) would have been getting us coffee." -- Bill Clinton to Ted Kennedy.

(Obama will be a good candidate because he's) "a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." - Harry Reid

"I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say to my friend from West Virginia [Sen. Robert C. Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan recruiter] that he would have been a great senator at any moment. . . . He would have been right during the great conflict of civil war in this nation." -- Former Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd (D.,Conn.)

“Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them.” -- Mary Frances Berry, former Chairwoman, US Commission on Civil Rights

"Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness." --Mary Frances Berry, former Chairwoman, US Commission on Civil Rights

"Them Jews aren’t going to let (Obama) talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office. …They will not let him talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is.” -- Jeremiah Wright

"There’s white racist DNA running through the synapses of his or her brain tissue. They will kill their own kind, defend the enemies of their kind or anyone who is perceived to be the enemy of the milky white way of life." -- Jeremiah Wright

"The white man is our mortal enemy, and we cannot accept him. I will fight to see that vicious beast go down into the lake of fire prepared for him from the beginning, that he never rise again to give any innocent black man, woman or child the hell that he has delighted in pouring on us for 400 years.” -- Louis Farrakhan

“White people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. It’s for the good of the country and for those who’re bitter for a reason and armed because they’re scared.” -- Left-wing journalist Jonathan Valania

When I was a young militant, I used to say all white folks were going to hell. ...'Then I mellowed and just said most of them were. Now, I am back to where I was.’" -- Joseph Lowery, who gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration

“You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent.” -- Joe Biden

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” -- Joe Biden

"I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street." -- Spike Lee

“I want to go up to the closest white person and say: ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing’ and then slap him, just for my mental health.” — New York City Councilman, Charles Barron

"We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go." -- Marion Barry

“The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person…” -- Barack Obama

“That’s just how white folks will do you. It wasn’t merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn’t know that they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserving of their scorn.” -- Barack Obama

“You’re not a member of the Taliban, are you?” – Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, to an Indian man, Robin Gandhi, who is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska, before Ghandi asked him a question.

“In about 18 months from now, hopefully [state Sen. Vincent Sheheen] will have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from and this country can move forward.”– Former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian

And just recently:

“It’s hard for me to explain how you work with a President who thought he could really deal with the Republican leadership. He really thought, and maybe it was the water they drink at Harvard, that he could deal with the tea party. They are mean racist people.” - Charlie Rangel, (D) Congressman, New York

The comments themselves aren't the subject of this post. It's the complete lack of reporting of these comments by the main stream media. When a Democrat makes an off-color or even blatant remark it is largely ignored by the media (except FOX, who is accused of bias if they report it, regardless of how true it is. But let that person be a Republican and they're all over it. Imagine if George W. Bush or Dick Cheney or George H.W. Bush, or Mitch McConell had made any of these statements. Chris Matthews can't even get through one show without calling Republicans racists. He would have reported on a Republican for weeks.

I know it's too much to ask but I'd like to see some honest reporting from the liberal, main stream media. When it comes to Obama and the Democrats the main stream media has no credibility. Some have even admitted being in the tank for Obama. And that's simply not journalism - it's state propaganda. You know - the kind they have in communist countries.

RNC Tells GOP To Address Immigration Reform Soon - For The Wrong Reason

In 1863, George Santayana initiated the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It has been quoted numerous times since then - the most famous being Edmund Burke's "Those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it." Apparently the Republican National Committee is about to experience the lack of learning part.

Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC, is telling Republicans in Washington to "embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform" as part of their strategy to win more seats in the November mid-term election - including amnesty as a move forward. He seems to believe Republicans will gain Hispanic votes if they do that. It seems Mr. Priebus hasn't studied history very well.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan got 37% of the Hispanic vote. In November of 1986, Reagan granted amnesty to approximately 3 million illegal aliens. Republicans believed the move would increase their numbers as far as the Hispanic vote went. In 1988, George H. W. Bush got only 30% of the Hispanic vote. Two years after amnesty was granted, Bush lost 7% of the Hispanic vote. I wonder if Mr. Priebus and the establishment Republicans know and understand this fact?

Hispanics, as a rule, vote Democrat in this country. In that 1988 Presidential election, Bush's opponent, Michael Dukakis, won 70% of the Hispanic vote. In 1992, Bill Clinton got 61% o the Hispanic vote. In 1996, Clinton got 73%. In 2000, Al Gore got 62%.

In 2004, George W. Bush got the most Hispanic votes of any Republican candidate in history with 44%%. But John Kerry still got 53%. In 2008, Obama got 67% and in 2012 it was a whopping 75%.

What would make Reince Priebus, or any other Republican, think they're going to increase their own Hispanic vote margin by granting amnesty to illegals? History proves how Hispanics vote and even though there are also illegals in the country of non-Hispanic origin, the majority are Hispanic and Democrats are the ones who offer the most and the best benefits to those who aren't gainfully employed or who have children. Why wouldn't people who recently received amnesty vote for the party that is going to give them the most free stuff?

Sometimes the Republican establishment isn't too bright. It's one of the reasons I am a conservative but not a Republican. When you combine this with the fact that Mitch McConnell recently said the establishment Republicans are going to "crush the Tea Party", it convinces me more that establishment Republicans need to go. And I will be voting to help them with that. I wonder if I use the Democrat philosophy and "Vote early. Vote often," ??

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If You Make The Statement At Least Have Some Evidence

Ever notice that people often post bold statements on the internet, often on Facebook, that they cannot defend when asked for evidence to support their claim(s)?

I was in a discussion today on a conservative Facebook page with a guy who supposedly is a conservative and who calls himself "Rowdy." It could be his name but I'm guessing he doesn't use his real name.

The discussion was about Arizona Governor Jan Brewer stepping down after the completion of this, her second term, in accordance with Arizona law. The article said that Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio is considering running to take her place. All well and good so far.

This "Rowdy" character posted the following: "Neither me nor my family, all conservatives, will vote for Joe Arpaio. He is a criminal and a murderer."

I made the comment "That's a bold statement. Do you have evidence to back it up?"

His response was "You can look it up for yourself. Google it. Search on J T Ready. He was a neo-Nazi and a friend of Arpaio who was killed when he was running for Sheriff."

I learned a long time ago that if someone makes such a bold statement then refuses to provide any evidence to back up that statement it's because they don't have any. And I informed him of such. He said again "Do your own research. You can find it."

At that point it was time to let him know how I felt about it. I told him that when someone makes such bold statements then tells those who challenge him to look it up for themselves instead of providing a link, anything, to back up their statement they have no credibility - at least with me. He responded "I see you don't want to do your own research so I'll find something for you."

He posted a link to one page that accused Arpaio of being a white supremacist because there was one picture of Arpaio in a car and a known neo-Nazi (local) standing outside the car smiling for the camera. Arpaio wasn't even looking at the man and you couldn't see what else was going on. I figured Arpaio had driven past a neo-Nazi rally and the man in the picture decided to get a photo op. When I said as much to "Rowdy" he blew me off as though if I don't believe what he posted I was simply an idiot.

I told him that anyone can post a bold statement without evidence to back it up. To prove my point I said "President Obama is the greatest President who ever held the office! Don't believe me? Look it up for yourself. Apparently you don't have to be able to prove your statements here."

He thought that was funny but still didn't provide any evidence to support his claim.

"Rowdy" kept dogging Joe Arpaio and accusing him of being crooked and a psychopath. All of the other readers on the thread supported Arpaio and also asked for proof of what "Rowdy" was saying. He reiterated that we should "do the research" and refused to provide anything.

Eventually I grew tired of his rants and said "I have learned through the years that when someone bad-mouths law enforcement, and specifically someone like Joe Arpaio, it often means they have personal experience with that law enforcement agency or officer. One can't help but wonder if "Rowdy", or one of his family members, has done some time in the Maricopa County jail."

His next response made me laugh and pretty much proved my theory at the same time. He said "I have no time for ignorant people. Blocked."

"Rowdy", who I have never spoken to before, blocked me for suspecting his hatred of Joe Arpaio may stem from some personal family contact. I'm thinking I was on the mark and he didn't much like it.

I went back to the thread a few hours later and "Rowdy" is still posting. I know this because one of the other people on the thread recently posted "Rowdy you have a right to your opinion just like the rest of us but name calling that is the Democrats way of discussing anything. Liberals do as well. Rowdy if you want to discuss then discuss. Name calling shows you have nothing intelligent to counter with."

I rest my case.

The Christian Thing To Do...

It is rumored that Fred Phelps, the controversial leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, is under hospice care and is close to death.

The Westboro Baptist Church, a cult-like group that very brashly and rudely protests against homosexuality - even to the point of protesting at military funerals saying the reason a soldier dies is because "God Hates Fags," has been in the news on numerous occasions over the last several years. The church is made up of mostly Phelps family members even though two of Phelps' sons say Phelps himself was excommunicated from the church last year. One can't help but wonder what Fred Phelps did to get excommunicated from his own hateful church.

The Westboro group got so annoying protesting military funerals that the motorcycle group "Rolling Thunder," made up of military veterans, began escorting military funerals all over the country so the Westboro group couldn't get close if they showed up. In some states legislation has been passed preventing groups like that from protesting near a funeral.

So now Fred Phelps is dying. How do you feel about that? Some on Twitter have posted tweets saying things like "Good!", "Thank God", and "Can't wait!" On Facebook a page was created called "Fred Phelps Death Watch." People are chiming in from all over the country and expressing their joy that Phelps will soon be dead. But what are Christians supposed to feel?

The Bible says we are supposed to love one another as God loves us. It doesn't say we have to like each other or like what someone else does. Can a Christian who follows God's teachings be happy about Fred Phelps' pending death?

It would be so easy to join those who are celebrating the demise of Fred Phelps. Personally, I detest what the man stands for. He and his "church" have been spreading hatred in the name of God for years. They call people derogatory names. They desecrate and dishonor the service and sacrifice of our military members and their families pretending that they are the ones who speak for God. Yet we are supposed to love them. And wouldn't celebrating his death take us down to their level?

What Fred Phelps needs is our pity and our prayers. As difficult as that may be to do, it seems obvious he needs to confess his sins, particularly the sins of hate and self-righteousness, and get his life right with God while he is still able to do so - if he is still able. Otherwise Fred is going to find himself in a place he's not much going to like; that place to which he and his followers have been condemning everyone else.

It will be a difficult prayer to pray given the life he has so publicly led and the numbers of people he has hurt. But we must remember that God loves Fred Phelps and He wants Fred Phelps to repent and spend eternity in heaven. Just as He wants for all of us.

Will you say a prayer for Fred Phelps today and ask God to forgive him? After all... it is the Christian thing to do.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Will Obama Abandon Israel?

I watched a show last night about the Israeli/Palestinian dispute and about how President Obama is attempting to force Israel into a peace agreement with Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas. President Obama apparently believes Abbas is a moderate Islamic leader who is not only willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel but will adhere to it. I'm not sure why Obama would feel that way unless he agrees with Abbas who said recently:

“We don’t love death, but we welcome martyrdom if it happens. We will march to Jerusalem in the millions, as free people and heroes.”

Referring to Israeli demands to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said, “This is a story that we have heard only in the last two years. We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel. We have many excuses and reasons that prevent us from doing so.”

Abbas said they will only negotiate until April. “After that, we are free to do what we want,” he said.

He went on to say that Jerusalem is the "occupied capital of the State of Palestine" and that “Without this, there would be no solution,” Abbas said. “No one is authorized to sign [an agreement] without this.”

Somehow that doesn't sound like a man who is committed to peace with Israel. Maybe it's just me.

President Obama seems to be committed to forcing Benyamin Netanyahu into an agreement with a nation who won't even recognize their right to exist. And rather than negotiate quietly with Netanyahu, Obama tried forcing his hand by going public with his threats against Israel. 

In an interview with Bloomberg published March 2, the President tossed out some not so veiled threats for Netanyahu and seemingly encouraged the rest of the world to boycott Israel if Netayahu does not comply with Obama's wishes. 

"But what I do believe is that if you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time — if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.

What we also know is that Israel has become more isolated internationally. We had to stand up in the Security Council in ways that 20 years ago would have involved far more European support, far more support from other parts of the world when it comes to Israel’s position. And that’s a reflection of a genuine sense on the part of a lot of countries out there that this issue continues to fester, is not getting resolved, and that nobody is willing to take the leap to bring it to closure.

If he does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach. And as I said before, it’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.

Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?

Abbas is getting older, and I think nobody would dispute that whatever disagreements you may have with him, he has proven himself to be somebody who has been committed to nonviolence and diplomatic efforts to resolve this issue. We do not know what a successor to Abbas will look like."

So Netanyahu now has Obama trying to push him into a deal with an Arab leader who refuses to recognize Israel and has threatened to take what he wants by force if necessary. And people still believe Obama is on the side of Israel? I certainly don't.

I think something big is going to happen in Israel soon. Whether or not it will be a good thing remains to be seen. But I believe if Israel decides to fight for their right to exist as a sovereign state our President will turn his back on her and leave her on her own. And that's truly sad since Israel has been our best friend in the Middle East since she was recreated in 1948, following the holocaust during World War II. It seems President Obama is more concerned about maintaining a friendship with the Muslim Brotherhood than our proven ally. Interesting how that works.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Humor For A Sunday Afternoon...

During the ride home this afternoon I was passed by a rolling contradiction. A man driving a Prius went by and I noticed he had an Obama sticker on his car. Nothing unusual about that, right? Most people who buy Priuses buy them to help protect the environment and use less fossil fuel to save us all from global warming. And everyone knows we conservatives don't care about the environment. We conservatives drive gas guzzling SUV's and trucks and cars with big, thirsty V8 engines because we believe, and rightly so, that global warming is a made-up, liberal farce.

We conservatives care the same about the environment as we do about minorities, old people, sick people, children and puppies. Ask any liberal politician - like maybe Alan Grayson. He'll tell you the truth about conservatives.

Sorry - I got carried away. I was kidding about the puppies. Everyone loves puppies.

Anyway - the contradictory part of this story is that the driver of the Prius passed me going at least 10 miles an hour over the speed limit while puffing on a cigarette. Who is going to take anyone serious about saving the environment from pollution and global warming who is using excessive gasoline by driving too fast and who pollutes the very air breathed by those around him by filling it with cigarette smoke? That would made as much sense as believing Al Gore's global warming rants - which he delivers at numerous conferences around the globe and gets there by flying in big, carbon-footprint-producing private aircraft. Al Gore himself produces one of the biggest carbon footprints (whatever those are) in the United States. He's an energy hog. Read up about his homes.

I found the Prius driver pretty funny, environmentally speaking.

In other news - there used to be a restaurant on highway 377 in Granbury, Texas, called Antonio's. It was an Italian place. I say "was" because when we drove by it today it was closed and there was a For Sale sign out front.

Arden and I never ate there but they supposedly served decent Italian food. But on their sign out front they used to advertise - "Thursday is Margharita night." Now they're closed. Who'd have seen that coming? I wonder if, when you ordered a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, they asked "Do you want chips and salsa with that?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Just How Far Will The Obama Administration Go?

Anyone who is paying attention knows that Obamacare is a disaster and has been since it was forced down the throats of the American people. From conception it has been about deception, government control and increased revenue for the government. The CBO said the overall cost of it is far more than the Obama administration claimed - something the Obama administration wasn't happy to have made public.

The President and his fellow Democrats lied repeatedly about people being able to keep their insurance policies and their doctors under Obamacare. Some Democrats have actually admitted that they knew all along it wasn't true. Of course, some of those blamed the Republicans for making it necessary to lie. Go figure.

The President has, on nuerous occasions, unilaterally changed and/or delayed implementation of parts of the law for political expediency.  Expediency: "the quality of being convenient and practical despite possibly being improper or immoral; convenience."

Die hard Obama supporters will claim the President is making those changes because he cares about the American people and is doing what is best for all. I call BS. The President is making those changes because it's an election year and incumbent Democrats are afraid of losing their seats in Washington. And they have pleaded with the President to do something to lessen the impact of Obamacare on the people until after the election. The President is in damage control mode at the request of his Democrat colleagues.

Recently the Department of Health and Human Services quietly made another change to the law. This one is interesting because it's going to decrease revenue for the government. But that's why it is not being publicized. From the Wall Street Journal:

"In 2013, HHS decided that ObamaCare's wave of policy terminations qualified as a "hardship" that entitled people to a special type of coverage designed for people under age 30 or a mandate exemption. HHS originally defined and reserved hardship exemptions for the truly down and out such as battered women, the evicted and bankrupts.

But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable."

This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one."

The bottom is falling out of Obamacare. It never should have been signed into law in the first place and everyone from Obama down to the lowest member of Congress knows it. But it's Obama's signature legislation and he's never going to let it go. He promised a health care bill. He didn't promise it would actually work. And when then-queen Nancy said "We have to pass the bill so the American people can see what's in it," she meant she didn't much care either as long as it passed.

Even as they realize the painful truth that they will never have 7 million people sign up for Obamacare by the end of March they continue to state that it is a success and working the way it's supposed to. Can you say delusional? Or, more likely, just more pathetic lies from the left.

Since they have now made the Obamacare law one which you can comply or not, (it's now up to you) I see no real reason for it not to be repealed. What is the point of keeping it on the books if it's not going to be enforced? But then - that seems to be the M.O. of the Obama administration. Enforcing only the laws they want to enforce.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Guns Are A Healthcare Issue" - Obama's Back Door Approach To Gun Control

After the resounding defeat in the Senate of his nominee for the Justice Department's head of the Civil Rights Division President Obama is at it again - this time nominating another left-wing, radical, fairly inexperienced doctor for the position of Surgeon General.

Doctor Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a 36 year old physician with only eight years of medial practice, has been nominated by the President to be the top doctor in the country. Is is that he has so much more experience than an older, more seasoned physician? Is it that he is so much more intelligent about health issues than another? Maybe. But I doubt it.

I isn't difficult for a thinking person to figure out the main reason for Murthy's nomination. It's gun control. For several years now President Obama has been working to find a way to add more and more legislation that will put more controls and limitations on Americans' right to own firearms. When Congress didn't do it he began signing Executive Orders.

Sadly for the President, but good for Americans, the Constitution limits the unilateral actions Obama can take. Or it has until recently. He steps further and further over the line each time he unilaterally modifies the Affordable Care Act.

Enter Vivek Murthy. Not just a physician, Murthy is the president and co-founder of Doctors for America - a group of anti-gun physicians who advocate making gun control a part of practicing medicine. Dr. Murthy is known for a Tweet that says “guns are a health care issue,” and another that said "blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy. #wakeup.”

Doctors for America also wants to spend more tax dollars on even more research to prove that fewer guns mean less crime, despite the fact that a number of reputable studies prove the opposite.

Like other anti-gun zealots, Dr. Murthy ignores the fact that most mass shootings occur in so called "gun free zones" where the only person armed is the perpetrator.

Dr. Murthy believes physicians should include questions about firearms during a routine medical exam. Information about gun ownership would then be entered into your medical records and become accessible to the government through the new electronic medical records program mandated by Obamacare. Murthy also believes that doctors should counsel their patients against exercising their Second Amendment rights and such counseling would also be entered into your records.

Remember when Obama's Cap and Trade bill was defeated and he simply gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to create new regulations that would, at least partially, create the same regulatory conditions as the bill? If Dr. Murthy becomes the Surgeon General look for him to create regulations on guns through his warped idea that they are a medical issue. And look for the President to say "I didn't do this. The Surgeon General of the United States did it."

Hopefully the members of the Senate will remember, during confirmation hearings, that it's an election year and so far in the United States more gun control has been frowned upon by the people. In Colorado last year a state representative was recalled and removed from office for voting to increase gun control. Senators in Washington need to pay attention to recent events if they want to keep their jobs. And since keeping their jobs, not serving the people, is their first priority - it shouldn't be a problem.

Maybe the President keeps nominating these radicals for top offices because he figures if he does it enough - sooner or later one of them will get through. Maybe one day he'll simply ignore the Senate confirmation hearing process and just put one of his radicals in place without it being official. That wouldn't surprise me either. The Supreme Court has already found that President Obama overstepped his Constitutional authority by declaring the Senate in recess and making recess appointments to the Labor Relations Board. So it's not like he hasn't done it already.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Obama Threatens Governors During White House Meeting

Texas Governor Rick Perry is a bit concerned by a threat leveled at state governors by President Obama during a recent meeting with governors at the White House.

“I was a bit troubled today by the tone of the president,” Perry said, addressing the Republican Governors Association on February 24th.

Perry was speaking about a meeting at the White House earlier in the day between several governors and President Obama. He was't finished.

“When you have governors, and we all compete against each other — we are the laboratories of innovation - and for the President of the United States to look Democrat and Republican governors in the eye and say, ‘I do not trust you to make decisions in your state about issues of education, about transportation infrastructure,’ - and that is really troubling,” Perry said.

“As a matter of fact, he [Obama] said at that meeting, he said, ‘If I hear any of you pushing back, making statements about Washington spends too much money, you’ll hear from me,” Perry said, adding, “I’m highly offended by that.”

What exactly does it mean when the President of the United States tells someone "You'll hear from me,"? 

In the case of Vladimir Putin it means "If you keep doing what you're doing I'm going to call you and try to talk you out of it then I'm going to sit back and talk tough without really doing anything else." 

But what does it mean to state governors? Could it be that the President might cut federally funded programs to states whose governors don't agree with him? That wouldn't surprise me. Or could it be something more sinister? We are, after all, living in the age of Chicago thug-style politics in the White House. One never knows what could happen.

Establishment Republicans Versus Tea Party

Senator Mitch McConnell, (R), Kentucky, said the other day about the conservative insurgents attempting to unseat a trio of Washington incumbents "I think we are going to crush them everywhere. I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”

Really, Senator? Is that logical thinking or is that a simple, desperate hope? Might I remind you of the 2010 midterms, when conservatives and Republicans in general were really angry about the deteriorating situation in Washington? Do you think we're happier about things now?

McConnell went on.

“I know this: Politics doesn’t like losers,” McConnell said. “If you don’t have anything to point to, it is kind of hard to keep it going.”

Which losers are you talking about, Sir? Would you possibly be referring to yourself and how you have caved to the Democrats over and over in the last year? In my book that would make you a loser. Remember how you refused to back Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in their opposition to the implementation of the disastrous health care bill? Remember how you failed to support the efforts of those same fellow senators (and others) in their fight against an immigration bill that would provide amnesty to illegals? Remember how you voted to break a filibuster against the debt ceiling bill, even while not voting for it in the final roll call? It seems to me you are the loser. Like John McCain, you have begun siding with your Democrat cohorts against the wishes of your conservative constituents. 

Also like Senator McCain, it seems you may have reached the end of your usefulness as an elected official and now you are simply trying hard to hold on to power that you so love. 

I must say I was disappointed to learn that Tea Party candidate Rand Paul is supporting you for re-election. In a move that seems to defy the very people who elected him, Paul's support of you against your Tea Party opponent seems to affirm my belief that once someone gets to Washington, regardless of the platform on which they ran, many become indoctrinated by politicians like you. If Rand Paul runs as the Republican candidate for President I will vote for him over any Democrat, but he won't be my choice in the primaries.

Senator McConnell, you should take a lesson from your colleagues like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. They are actually in Washington doing what their constituents elected them to do - fighting Obama corruption; fighting bigger government, more taxes and fighting against that disastrous Obamacare law that is killing jobs and wages nationwide. They are doing what you used to do, way back when... fighting for their constituents instead of for themselves.

Here's a suggestion, Senator.... how about retiring and taking a long vacation with John McCain.? Say a vacation that lasts for the rest of your life? Let the true conservatives take back the government and the nation and turn this country around from the disastrous Obamaville where it currently seems to be headed. You have had a hand in its demise and you're supposed to be on the side of right. 

If you don't like my suggestion I guess you'll be running for re-election in November. Don't be surprised, Sir, if you and your establishment colleagues get trounced by Tea Party candidates. And don't let it hurt your feelings. I you pay attention to them you might just learn something. Then again.. maybe not. I doubt you can teach an old establishment Republican anything - except maybe how to lose an election by stupidity.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A True Tale Of The Bureau Of Prisons...

A few years before I retired, at an institution that will for now remain nameless, the union wanted to create a compressed work schedule for the Correctional Services department. They believed that even though most posts on the Custody Roster are covered 24/7, they could work out a roster on which some staff could work a compressed schedule, working four 10-hour days, while the others had to remain working regular 8-hour shifts. They were going to let officers bid for the compressed schedule based on seniority. Hardly fair for all but that's another story.

The Warden, being a good sport and willing to give it a chance, told the union to create a working roster that adhered to the written roster management guidelines in the Correctional Services Manual, and that would work with the current staff complement in Correctional Services, and submit it to him for review by the resident subject matter expert. Unbeknownst to the union, at the time that subject matter expert was me.

The union got their best heads together along with the manual and created their roster. Five day posts such as the Captain's Secretary, SIS Technicians, etc., were fairly easy. That is, except for those five day posts that absolutely had to be filled all five days, such as the Visiting Room. (The Warden said the current schedules for the department, such as five day per week visiting, must also remain intact.

When the finished they were proud. They printed it out on 8-1/2 x 14 inch paper and took it to the Warden. Their numbers added up, all posts were covered and it would be a good thing for all.

The Warden gave the roster to me. I scanned it to see that indeed they had all post covered, including some that were doubly covered by people who would work 8 hours on one post then move to another post for their last two hours.

Theoretically, with some tweaking, it might just work. But then I got down to the math. The Correctional Services Manual is very specific about how to create and maintain a staff roster for adequate staff coverage of all posts 7 days a week, 365 days a year and, in many cases, 24 hours a day. There is a mathematical formula that takes into account Annual Leave days, Sick Leave days, days off and the average number of days an employee normally works.

That formula is applied to each and every position on the roster which, in turn, gives you the number of people you actually need to staff your department. That particular chapter of the manual had been updated in 1999 by myself, at the request of the Central Office, when I was the Training Specialist for the Correctional Services department at our Management and Specialty Training Center in Denver. It's one of the classes I taught weekly to Lieutenants.

I reviewed their roster. On paper it looked decent but when I began crunching numbers it didn't add up. According to the formula for computing the necessary complement for their roster they needed an additional six staff positions to make it work. I checked the numbers twice to be sure. I went back to the Warden and gave him the news. He looked at my work, asked me if I had double checked and was sure of myself, and thanked me.

The next day one of the creators of the roster came to my office, roster and manual in hand, a bit upset, and told me I was wrong about their numbers not working. The conversation went something like this:

Union: You're wrong about the numbers. We checked them and double checked them. They work.

Me: I'm sorry. I know you're not happy but using the guidelines as written in the manual they don't add up. You must have used different numbers.

Union: The formula for the complement analysis doesn't work for this roster. You have to change the numbers to accommodate the compressed schedule.

Me: You can't do that. First of all it's written policy and not open to be arbitrarily changed. Secondly, even with a compressed work schedule you have to cover the roster 24/7/365. You must take into account not only Annual Leave and Sick days but you are also giving some people three days off per week instead of two. Those are days you must cover with someone else in most cases. You have to use the formula in the manual to do that or it doesn't work. Your roster needs six more positions to cover everything properly. I'm sorry but it's the truth.

Union: We don't have to use the formula as written because it wasn't written for a compressed work schedule. You obviously don't know enough about the new roster management policy guidelines.

Me: That may be true...  although back in 1999, when I wrote the new roster management policy guidelines, while I was the instructor for that very class at the MSTC, the Central Office thought I knew enough about it. But I guess you could be right.

Union:  .................

Needless to say their roster was turned down by the Warden. I don't know if they ever figured one out but unless policy guidelines have changed since I left, it didn't happen. It was one of my most memorable union encounters....

Let's Play 'What If...."

What if the Internal Revenue Service in this great United States began quietly working to influence the outcome of  Presidential election by illegally targeting opposition groups for increased scrutiny, causing them to be unable to proceed with campaign issues because they cannot get the tax exempt status authorized them by law?

What if one of our diplomatic consulates was attacked in a Middle Eastern or African country and our ambassador and others were murdered. What if it came to light in the following days and weeks that the President of the United States lied about the cause of the attack, did nothing to prevent it and did nothing to intervene as it was occurring, and refused to talk about what, in fact, he did do during those hours?

What if the Justice Department quietly and stealthily began monitoring phone calls and e-mails of employees with a major media organization and targeted specific reporters (who often report negatively about the President) their families for intense scrutiny?

What if the Attorney General said he had nothing to do with the targeting of reporters even though he personally signed the affidavit that named that reporter as a potential criminal?

What if a federal gun running sting went bad and a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed with one of the guns involved in the sting and the Attorney General said he knew nothing about it even though there is strong evidence that he did?

What if the Health and Human Services Secretary illegally solicited funds from corporations that her department might regulate under the new health care law?

What if the Department of Agriculture paid restitution to minorities who had experienced discrimination by that agency but in the process ended up paying billions of dollars to people that were not eligible for it?

What if your Secretary of Health and Human Services made partisan remarks during a speech in direct violation of The Hatch Act?

What if the administration kept giving billions of dollars to green energy companies that within months went kept going bankrupt?

What if the President and his administration pushed through a bill that over 70% of Americans did not want, signed it into law without knowing what it said, and then, when that controversial law threatened re-election of politicians in his party, the President arbitrarily and unilaterally changed it for political reasons?

What if an Inspector General was fired by the administration after it became public knowledge that he was investigating friends of the President of the United States?

Now for the big question - really the only one that needs to be answered...

What do you suppose would happen if, instead of the President being the first African-American ever elected to the office, it was George W. Bush?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saying Good-bye Once Again

On January 21st, the light on the Earth shone a little less brightly. Thomas William Beard, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, father-in-in-law, and friend to many, passed away of natural causes. I was once married to his middle daughter and though the marriage didn't last forever, my relationship with Tom endured. Today I'd like to talk a little about him.

Tom was one of the most intelligent men I have ever known. He was self educated - a man who read anything and everything he could get his hands on. He had no college degree but if I had questions about something I would often go to Tom. He knew a lot about a lot of things.

Tom spent a career in the Air Force, working in motion picture development. He was a part of the production of many Air Force films, including missile launches, etc., that we have seen on TV. He had some great pictures, that he shared with me, of missiles, aircraft, and even the space shuttle.

Tom was so good at what he did that when he retired he worked at the photolab at Point Mugu Naval Air Station and was eventually hired back (as a civilian) as the head of the motion picture development department on Vandenburg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. he worked there until he retired, again.

When he was just a young airman stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, he met and married Patricia (Pat) Harris. Pat became an Air Force wife and mom and gave Tom three daughters; Kathy, Patricia (also called Pat) and Theresa.

Tom was a good natured man. He kept that good nature even as he grew ill in his later years. Like my own father, Tom always had a smile for you no matter how sick he was. He had developed Alzheimer's in the last few years and the last time I saw him alive, in February of 2013, he had no idea who I was. When I told him I had been married to his middle daughter his reaction was "What happened?" We sat and talked for a couple of hours that morning. Had I known I wouldn't see him alive again I would have stayed longer.

I have been divorced from the Beard family for 24 years but have stayed in touch with them as often as I could. The night Tom died I received a message from my sister-in-law to call her. My brother-in-law gave me the bad news. I waited a while then called "Mom" just to see how she was handling things. She was still Mom to me. When my own mother died in 1993, I was still a part of the Beard family. Mom called me the next day and said "I'll be your mom now." It was a simple promise from a woman who loved me. She never took that promise back - even after the divorce.

Being the strong matriarch of the family, Mom was pressing on, already making plans and preparing to move forward. Her grief certainly didn't appear in her voice, although I have no doubt she cried her tears when she was alone. They had, after all, been married for 59 years.

The funeral was to be on Sunday. I made my plans to go up on Saturday. I wasn't going to be there as long as I would have liked but would get to spend some time with the family. My two sisters-in-law were staying at a local hotel with their families. Mom would be at the house by herself and she invited me to stay there. That was good since I didn't really want her to be alone. (Her other daughter, my ex, passed away in 2010.) It gave us time to talk and do some things for her, such as prepare her a meal or two. I have always felt comfortable in that home and that hasn't changed regardless of how many years had passed.

The girls and their families were there most of the time when we weren't all sleeping. Even during this sad time it was nice to be back with these people that I care so much about. Pat and Tom's best friend, Norma, was there with her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I have known that family since I first met the Beards. Their grandchildren grew up with my son and I love them like they are my own flesh and blood. It was a painful but happy reunion.

The viewing and funeral were on Sunday, the 26th. The viewing was private, just the family (including Norma's), followed by a catered lunch for all of us in a room right there in the funeral home. The viewing was difficult, as you can imagine. Tom was greatly loved by his children, grandchildren and his extended family. There were a lot of tears. The one good point was that we all knew Tom was finally free of his illnesses and infirmities. He was no longer suffering.

Mom was solid throughout the day. Even though she would miss her life partner, his death at the same time was a release for her. She no longer had to worry about him constantly and no longer needed the live-in help that was draining on her finances.

The service began at 2pm and really just consisted of a Catholic mass. Tom was always active in his church and he would have been pleased. An honor guard from Tinker Air Force Base attended and, at the end of the service, produced an American flag. They unfolded it and opened it up then re-folded it with precision. We followed them outside for a traditional rifle salute followed by one of them playing "Taps" on the bugle. I was OK until the bugler began. Being former Air Force myself I have always loved listening to "Taps" being played on a bugle. I couldn't stop the tears that rolled down my face at that point. I looked at my sisters-in-law and they were both crying as well. I was standing right behind Mom and couldn't see her face but I'm pretty sure she was in the same condition.

When the bugler was finished the leader of the honor guard brought the folded flag over and presented it to Mom in honor of Tom's dedicated service to the Air Force and our country. One of them also picked up the brass from the rifle shots and gave them to her as a small souvenir of the funeral.

Mom greeted friends who had come to the mass as we gathered up the flowers and extra food to be transported to the house. My little car was packed to the roof with food containers and flower arrangements. We barely had room for me and Mom. But we made it.

Within half an hour the family and extended family began arriving. The food from the funeral home was actually very good. They had served brisket that was excellent and there was a lot of it. My brother-in-law brought the fixings to make a chili-cheese dip and allowed me to make it for him. Everyone ate and drank and visited and enjoyed the evening, regardless of the circumstances that brought us together.

The next morning many of us had to leave. I stayed at the house until both of my sisters-in-law arrived so I could see everyone before I headed home. I knew I'd be back to Oklahoma City but I don't know when the next time will be that I get to see them.

I headed home feeling drained but happy, content but sad. I miss Tom and have missed him since he no longer recognized me. Tom was a good man and a good friend. He never offered to be my father but soon after I met him he offered to be my friend. And he never took that back either.

I was privileged to know Tom Beard and to be a part of his family. I still am. I miss you, Tom. Thank you for all of the things you taught me with your wisdom and humor. And thanks for being my friend.

A Travesty Of Justice

Jose V. Rivera, a 22 year old Navy veteran with two tours of duty in Iraq under his belt, was murdered by two inmates at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California, on June 20, 2008. Rivera, a rookie correctional officer with only 10 months under his belt, he hadn't even finished his probationary year.

According to the records, Rivera was assaulted with an icepick type weapon by an inmate named Joseph Cabrera-Sablan while inmate James Leon Guerrero held him down. Staff intervened within minutes and Officer Rivera was taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead from puncture wounds to his heart. He didn't stand a chance.

Both inmates were already serving life sentences. Sablan was convicted of murder and attempted murder and Guerrero was serving a life sentence for conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery. Both inmates had histories of assault on staff.

Anyone who knows anything about real prison knows that staff walk around inside with inmates like this on a daily basis. It's a part of the job. Contrary to popular belief the inmates aren't locked in their cells 24 hours a day. They are out and about,working, studying, relaxing and sometimes planning the murder of another inmate or a staff member.

There are currently ongoing negotiations (and pleas) between the union and the federal government to increase staffing in all federal prisons. Budget cuts have allowed the inmate population to increase while the staffing has stayed the same or been reduced - thus putting staff in more and more danger every day. But that's a topic for another day.

Fast forward to this past week. The Justice Department has accepted a plea deal from inmate Guerrero that will allow him to be given another life sentence instead of facing a trial and the death penalty. That's not so unusual in today's justice system. Plea deals happen all the time. But this case is different and I'll tell you why.

When an inmate kills a prison staff member it affects the entire agency. Staff members get a quick and painful reminder of what they're really up against. Prison workers are a band of brothers and sisters just like police officers, fire fighters, and the military. They put their lives on the line every day to protect each other, the inmates, and the public. When one falls the rest feel it.

In 1994, the President signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the largest crime bill in United States history. In it was 60 new death penalty offenses, one of which was murder of a federal law enforcement officer. It was written, in part, for situations like this. Sablan and Guerrero should be the poster boys for the federal death penalty. Yet the DOJ instead decided to make a deal.

Inmate Guerrero will now be housed at the Administrative Maximum facility in Florence, Colorado. He'll be there with some other inmates who have killed staff and either didn't get the death penalty or have yet to stand trial for the murder(s). Millions of dollars will be spent keeping the man alive, healthy, well fed and entertained throughout his life.

Politicians in Washington are currently trying to reduce the number of inmates who are kept in what is called "Special Housing" - a form of isolation from the inmates in general population. Inmates are placed in Special Housing when they misbehave and are disruptive to the orderly running of the institution. An inmate can go to Special Housing for acts such as fighting, using intoxicants, assault, refusing to obey an order, oh.... and murder. In most cases they stay for a while, sometimes even years, then are released back to population.

Inmates who kill staff area a special breed. They cannot be released back to population because they are a constant threat to other staff members. As long as they're alive the possibility exists that they will kill again. That's why they are kept in Special Housing permanently. But given the direction our government is going that may one day change.

Inmate Guerrero has no good reason not to kill again if he so desires. He basically got away with the murder of Jose Rivera because he was already serving a life sentence. Now he's serving two. Big deal. Of course they can tell him that if he ever does it again he'll get the death penalty. But that's not a guarantee. And another staff member would be dead.

It remains to be seen what will happen to Sablan. I'm sure his attorney is working on a plea deal for him as well. Maybe he'll get two life sentences because he was the one who used the weapon. That'll take care of him.

My heart goes out to the family of Jose Rivera once again. They visit Jose's grave on a regular basis while the two men who killed him have't seen much change in their lives. And Guerrero won't be seeing any changes anytime soon.

The Justice Department blew it with this one. Some people are against the death penalty but one thing is certain - it would prevent an inmate like Guerrero from ever killing another person. And if fear of the death penalty isn't a deterrent for an inmate to prevent him from killing - an additional life sentence certainly isn't either.

Rest in peace, Jose. We won't forget.

Friday, March 7, 2014

What Kind Of Government Has Ours Become?

The more I watch honest reporting on the IRS targeting case the more I ask myself just how corrupt have the Obama administration, our government in general and the Democrat Party become.

The IRS admitted, publicly, that they had targeted conservative political action groups. They admitted it. They tried to minimize it by saying it was just "a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati but anyone with a brain knows that wasn't the case - especially when the agents in question said they were following instructions from Washington.

Enter Lois Lerner - the now-retired IRS official who has repeatedly claimed her innocence of the entire thing while invoking her Fifth Amendment rights during questioning by the House Oversight Committee.

Last night I watched an interview with Cleta Mitchell, the attorney who is representing numerous Tea Party groups who were targeted by the IRS. Ms. Mitchell said that Lois Lerner has been meeting privately with Justice Department officials and investigators, not under oath, and talking to them - even while refusing to talk to Congress. The lead investigator for the DOJ in this case is Barbara Bosserman, a known Barack Obama supporter who has contributed thousands of dollars to his campaigns. 

This morning I checked out Ms. Mitchell's story. It turns out Lerner's attorney did say she was meeting privately with Justice Department officials, not under oath.

So let's look at that for a moment. The DOJ is having a friendly chat with Ms. Lerner, possibly getting all of the information she has without consequence to her since she's not under oath to the DOJ. They're not sharing the information with Congress nor the American people. And Lerner is not cooperating in the Congressional investigation and obviously has no intention to do so. Yup - sounds completely honest and above board to me.

President Obama has already pronounced that there was no wrongdoing in the case even before his own (financial supporter) investigator has completed her investigation. "Not a smidgen of corruption," he told Bill O'Reilly on Superbowl Sunday. Apparently he has decided the targeting of 146 conservative groups during the campaign was simply an error. It was an error that helped him tremendously during the election but an error, nevertheless. That from our President. Nothing to see here.

Democrat politicians and supporters continue to turn a blind eye toward the increasingly obvious corruption inside this administration. Some even believe (and have stated) that it's OK for the IRS to target people and groups who disagree with them. I wonder if they'd feel that way if the tables were turned the other way around.

But what else should we expect from Democrats who are willing and able to disregard the Benghazi incident as no big deal and who are unwilling to hold anyone accountable for the complete non-response to it from the administration and the subsequent cover up? Even die hard liberals by now have disregarded the video story. They just don't care about the truth.

In August of 2010, President Obama said "The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide." In September of 2012, he told the American people and the world that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was caused by a video. On May 22, 2013, Lois Lerner told the House Oversight Committee that she had done nothing wrong i the IRS targeting case. She promptly followed that up by exercising her Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to answer any questions.

On Superbowl Sunday, February 2, 2014, President Obama told the American people "there is not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS." 

I guess that's it - we need to just let it go. There's no use continuing the investigation into either of those matters since President Obama would never lie. 

Oh, wait....