Wednesday, February 29, 2012

So, the legislature has now voted to yolk 65,000 commuters and their families with generational tolls.

In what is likely to be the only tolling vote we get county-wide, the House vote passed the Ability to Enslave the Commuter Act for Light Rail, aka the CRC.

Locally, the toll lost both big, and on a bipartisan basis: 9 to 3.

Every single legislator voted "no" for the light rail bill, save those firmly in the pockets of the downtown special interests who own them outright; specifically Senator "I think this budget has been balanced on the backs of the poor and powerless" Pridemore and Representatives Moeller and Wylie.

One wonders: Will the newspaper make note of this lopsided defeat for tolling?  Or just continue to ignore the will of the people on this subject like they have for the past several years?

As I have been saying for almost a decade, loot rail is the driver for the CRC/Bridge Replacement program.

In its entirety, the massive, multi-billion scam known as the CRC was never driven by any "need" to replace the I-5 Bridge for reasons of freight mobility or to relieve congestion.

As I have been saying, quite literally for years, the ENTIRE reason to replace the bridge was to get the camel's nose of light rail under the Clark County tent flap, and to do it without asking us.

Now, it seems, no less then the Supreme Court of Oregon agrees.... with me.
The Oregon Supreme Court has succeeded in doing what scores of public meetings, thousands of pages of reports, and endless public relations spin could not: Give us the original rationale behind the proposed $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing.
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The answer, according to the court: The massive Interstate 5 bridge and freeway project is a “political necessity” to persuade Clark County residents to accept something they previously didn’t want—a MAX light-rail line from Portland to Vancouver. (To read the Feb. 16, 2012 Oregon Supreme Court decision regarding the Columbia River Crossing Project, click here (PDF, 18 pages))
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Project opponents filed a legal challenge to the way Metro, the regional planning agency, granted sweeping land-use approval to the project. The Oregon Supreme Court sided mostly with Metro.
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But Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, writing for the majority, highlighted an inconvenient set of facts for CRC backers.
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He wrote in the Feb. 16 opinion that most of the project—namely the 10-lane freeway bridge and new interchanges—was put forward to get Clark County to agree to the light-rail line.
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De Muniz cited statements that Metro made in the land-use process and Metro’s lawyer repeated before his court.
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“It was politically impossible for the light rail project to proceed without also building new interstate bridges across the Columbia River,” De Muniz wrote.
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“Or as Metro later summarized it: ‘There is no light rail without the freeway bridge[s] being replaced.’”
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Backers have cited traffic and safety issues as the top reasons to build the CRC. But the court ruling means those and other justifications were created after officials decided to give a sop to Clark County, now worth $2.5 billion.
The irony here cannot be overlooked:

Just today, the Mayor of Vancouver (And CRC Contractor employee) Tim Leavitt, had a propaganda story printed in the Reflector... as story that now appears to be quite discredited.

But then, Leavitt has never been real big on telling the truth.

There was never any question that replacing an already paid for, perfectly serviceable bridge was driven by anything EXCEPT light rail to the downtown, Vancouver, area; the Oregon Supreme Court now says as much.

The idea that this scam was anything BUT a light rail project has been beyond belief from the get-go, the concept that adding additional bridges both northwest of the current I-5 bridge location and east of I-205 was somehow not a better, cheaper, more realistic plan and a plan that wouldn't relieve pressure on the I-5 corridor far more efficiently than tearing down a paid for bridge simply defied disbelief.

That our elected government would rape its citizens in this way gives rise to a level of disgust for the rapists I had no idea I was capable of.

There is no defense for this project, just like there is no defense for refusing to allow us to vote.

Thanks to Lew for posting it on FB.

So... now that Santorum has lost, do you suppose he'll get the memo? It's the economy, stupid.

Romney, IMHO, didn't win as much as Santorum lost.

Santorum has been knocked off message into the frightening area of social policy. As I mentioned earlier:

Memo to the presidential candidates: It's the economy, stupid.

Folks, one of the things that seems apparent in all of the political shenanigans going on is that whoever is running for anything, they have to remember one thing and one thing only:

It's the economy, stupid.

Veering off into social issues is a nightmare waiting to happen.  As a consultant, I've loved planning strategies that knock the opposition off message.  That has ALWAYS been a successful plan if properly executed, because they have to waste precious time explaining or defending or lying about the issues in question:  Jon Russell's efforts to run for state representative were an excellent case in point.

The problems confronting us do not involve social issues.   
Anyone... ANYONE devolving into that puts their candidacy at risk, either in the primary season, or the general.  It also provides the left with hooks to take the focus away from the number one issue: the economy.  The economy makes EVERYTHING else secondary... everything. 

And the GOP would do well to remember that.
Gotta wonder: has Santorum figured that out yet?

When even the Times gets it right: Judge Leighton's Plan B ruling makes constitutional sense

Originally published Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Judge Leighton's Plan B ruling makes constitutional sense

Seattle Times editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey argues that Judge Ronald Leighton got it right in his ruling, in Stormans v. Selecky, that a druggist has a right not to sell the Plan B morning-after pill.
Seattle Times (editorial columnist
Progressives were quick to dismiss the ruling in U.S. District Court in Tacoma that a pharmacist has a right not to sell the Plan B "morning after" pill. To them, Judge Ronald Leighton's ruling Feb. 22 in Stormans v. Selecky was all about religion blocking a woman's access to health care.

No doubt a druggist who refuses to sell Plan B may infuriate a woman. Her anger is probably less about the inconvenience of finding another store and more about the implied censure of behavior she feels is none of the druggist's damn business. But the Constitution offers no guarantees against a druggist's disapproval — or of "access" to health care, whatever that means. It does guarantee the druggist's free exercise of religion.

The judge is not on a campaign for prudery here. Leighton may be a George W. Bush appointee and a Republican, but he is also the judge who ruled in 2010 against the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and for the rights of gays in the military. Leighton cares about Americans' rights. Those who condemn his ruling might take the time to read it.

In it, he offers two arguments for the druggist's right to refuse. The first is that every American ought to have a right not to be compelled to take a human life.
The progressives reply that preventing the survival of a zygote, which is what Plan B does, is not really taking a life and that religious people should just get over it.

Writes Leighton, "Indeed, they view the decision that confronts people of faith as minor, even quaint... " But the disagreement between the progressive and the religious believer is not minor. It is about when a living zygote, with homo sapiens DNA, becomes a person. It is not a scientific issue. It is a matter of belief, and by the progressive as much as anyone.

Leighton considers whether "the right not to take a human life" should be constitutionally protected along with the rights to marry, to abort a fetus and to have children and direct their education. None of these is in the Constitution, but all have been declared by the U.S. Supreme Court to be fundamental to American law. Leighton wisely steps back from declaring a new right from his bench in Tacoma, and hangs his ruling instead on a second argument.

State government regulates pharmacists. In theory, the Board of Pharmacy requires drugstore owners to stock a wide assortment of drugs and to dispense them to proper buyers. The Plan B rule could be justified as part of that requirement, Leighton writes, except that in 40 years the requirement was never defined or enforced. In practice, he writes, "a pharmacy can decline to stock a drug for a host of secular reasons" including that it has a short shelf life, it is expensive, it is difficult to store, it requires special equipment, it requires extra paperwork or, in the case of oxycodone or Sudafed, the drug makes the pharmacy a target for robbery.

Leighton tells us to look beyond what the rule says. Look at what the state does. In practice it allows a pharmacy to decline to sell a drug for reasons that are commercial but not religious. The state's actions show that "access" is not what its Plan B rule is about. It is about expunging the exercise of religion from the commercial marketplace.

Really this is about the implied censure. And in a free country, that may be something you have to put up with.

Bruce Ramsey's column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times. His email address is bramsey@seattletimes.com

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More military idiocy in Afghanistan: can't get a koran unless you're a muslim.

What kind of complete idiocy is this?

BLACKFIVE sends.

Christian Soldiers Banned from The Quran in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan

Posted By Blackfive • [February 28, 2012]
 
Received more than a few emails regarding new guidance in light of the accidental Quran burnings in Afghanistan.

Now, unless your military dog tags identify you as of the Muslim faith, you cannot obtain a copy of the Quran from the military chaplain. The exception is if your commander stops fighting the war long enough to write up a memo requesting one for you including the reason why you want a Quran. 

And, if you are a Muslim and obtain a Quran, it will be accounted for like any other sensitive item.

BS Guidance
Can you order one up from Barnes & Noble?  Sure.  You just can't get one from the chaplain.

Wow. 

Does the chaplain refuse to give the bible to soldiers with Muslim on their dog tags?

This is just sad...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Michelle Obama serves up another course... of Hypocrisy.

Longer term readers have come to know my disdain for the FLOTUS, who preaches to others concerning their food intake, but then proceeds to ignore her own sermon.

Chiefly responsible for the ubiquitous school food Gestapo (Better not have a bake sale at your local school during the day!) Michelle Obama's double-standard of "...don't do as I do, but do as I say" has become legendary.  Here's the most recent example:

Michelle Lets Governors Gorge on 2,000 Calorie Dinner
by Keith Koffler on February 27, 2012, 8:26 am
The White House Sunday epically failed to practice what its first lady preaches, serving the nation’s governors a more than 2,000 calorie dinner even as Michelle Obama traverses the country promoting health eating.
While Michelle lectures children to cut out the fat and eat their vegetables unadorned with caloric sauces, she served the governors – who are in Washington for their annual meeting – a feast that included adipose-marbled steak, vegetables slathered with dairy enhancements, and dessert.
The White House has proposed mandating meals for elementary school kids that include none of these items, or anything like them. Here, for example, is the Wednesday lunch from a proposal on the White House website.
Chef’s salad: (1 cup romaine, .5 oz low-fat mozzarella, 1.5 oz grilled chicken) with whole wheat bread
Soft pretzel (2.5 oz)
Corn, cooked (1/2 cup)
Baby carrots, raw (1/4 cup)
Banana
Skim chocolate milk (8 oz)
Low fat ranch dressing (1.5 oz)
Low fat italian dressing (1.5 oz)
Here’s what the governors got:
Garden salad
Bread and butter
Ribeye steak 12 oz
Creamed spinach
Crab mac and cheese
Pear tart with ice cream
White wine
Based on conservative estimates of caloric totals for each of the items that found their way to the governors’ plates, and assuming consumption of a single glass of wine from the bottles that were placed on the tables, the total intake amounted to about 2,250 calories.
The recommended intake for an adult male during AN ENTIRE DAY is about 2,500 calories. For women, it’s about 2,000 calories.
I hope the White House included a note on its invitation to the governors to fast until dinner.
This is not the first time our First Lady has shamed her "office."  Nor will it be her last (16 vacations in the last 3 years?  Really?) but whenever I find stuff like this, you'll see it here.

Leadership has a great many components.  Among the most important is the concept of setting the example.

Mrs. Obama obviously doesn't know any more about leadership than the president knows about the military.  And that's a dangerous situation for social engineers to be in... for us.

Obama screwing the troops... again.

It's no secret that the president despises the Armed Forces.

On his first day in office, he blew off the Medal of Honor Ball, the first president to do so, ever.

That sent the sign that's been followed up with such brilliance as having wounded soldiers pay for their own health care insurance and the like... and now this:
Trashing Tricare
Obama to cut healthcare benefits for active duty and retired US military

AP Images
AP Images
The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.
The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.
The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.
Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.
“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”
More:

Words don't fail me in this case (they rarely do)  but the idea that he would cut medical care for our troops, our retirees and their families while not cutting the care of federal employees?

Why is he working so hard to punish the troops?

Why is he doing this to those who we owe the most gratitude to?

Why?

Obama's "shared sacrifice" seems to be shared among the select few.

We know HE ain't sharing it.

The dearth of candidates continuuuuues.

I was chatting with a friend of mine a couple of days ago, and he asked me:

"So, who's running for anything down there?"

I said, "Well, we have one announced candidate in the 18th, and one announced candidate in the 49th for Pridemore's seat due to his impending retirement from elective politics."

Last cycle, there were ten candidates announced by now in just the 18th. (Barnett, Bittner, Carson, Dean, Haugen, Kampe, Rivers, Russell, Vick, Orcutt)

Locally, we have precisely zero challenge candidates announced for the legislature or county commission.  Even Jaime Herrera has no serious opposition when I believe her to be particularly vulnerable because of her demonstrated lack of courage.

Where are all the candidates?  What is happening out there?

You hear rumbles out there... but that's all.  I hear the name Tanner bandied about, for example... but as a democrat with a voting record in the legislature, he needs to be careful.  This isn't going to be a democrat year in SW Washington.

Still, no names announced... just a bunch of rumors.

Time's getting critical; filing has moved back yet another month to May... that's right around the corner.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sam Reed light: why I will oppose Kim Wyman's election to Secretary of State.

Sam Reed was arguably the worst elected official in this state during his absurd tenure as Secretary of State.

His actual priorities as opposed to his promises?

Well, make sure that convicted felons get the vote.

Ignore the illegal alien vote.

Ignore illegal votes, multiple votes, fraudulent votes.

And, of course, while doing everything he can to to get the illegal alien vote registered through a motor-voter scam that doesn't require proof of citizenship... hell, our driver's license system doesn't seem to require that...

He was also doing everything he could to follow in the rather moronic steps of Oregon to ONLY count votes in the Auditor's Office by COB election night... as opposed to counting votes POSTMARKED election day... cuttting off thousands of votes.  Kind of ironic, eh?

Now, what would/does all of those policies do?

Reduce his workload.

That's not what he was supposed to be there for.

Now, Kim Wyman comes along, and in all honesty, I have to admit that I'd never heard of her until a couple of days ago.

So, I go on over to her web site, and I check out her "priorities" page.

And what don't I see?

Anything that shows her to be any different than Reed.

Well, guess what?  I didn't support Reed, so I'm not supporting Wyman, until or unless she addresses these issues... which means, never.  Additionally, she's endorsed by Reagan "I support gay marriage because I think it'll get me elected to AG" Dunn.

Bad move.

We're just now getting rid of one Sam Reed.... why on earth would I support a clone?

Criteria for my political support at the congressional, legislative, county and city level.

Its rather simple, really.  I will oppose any candidate that does not support the following:

1.  A county wide vote on the entirety of the CRC project.

2.  A pledge to vote against any rule, law or policy that does not include a referendum clause at the county level for the entirety of the CRC project or anything related to it.

3.  A complete audit of the CRC.

4.  Complete opposition to light rail.

5.  Complete opposition to any toll.

6.  Complete opposition to any income tax.

7.  Complete opposition to any effort to overturn any initiative, in court or in the legislature.

8.  Complete support for E-verify for everyone.

9.  Complete opposition to the Cowlitz scam.

10.  Complete support for requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and legal, photo ID actually to vote.

11.  Complete support for requiring a vote for any tax increase.

12.  Complete oppositon to increases in pay or benefits for public employees.

13.  A total effort to address the $20 billion or so retirement shortfall.

These are my top issues.

There are other issues, of course, but they don't apply to all candidates at every level locally.

If a candidate fails to articulate these positions or actually ignores them, I will not only refuse to support them, I will, in fact, actively oppose them.  And I can do a fairly good job of that.

For purpose of definition, "complete support" means you will either implement such changes yourself or actively support those who do.

"Complete opposition" means you will do everything you legally can to stop an activity on this list.

In case anyone is wondering.

As I was watching Act of Valor last night...

... I had a few thoughts:

1.  So, what was DOD's part in all this?

Well, I'm reading that this whole thing was "It was commissioned by the Navy's Special Warfare Command and its success will be measured not in box-office receipts, but in the number of new recruits it attracts to the Navy SEALs."

I don't know about THAT: most people applying for the SEALS are already IN the Navy and there won't be any lowering of the standards to either get in... make it through BUD's/SEAL Training.... or to stay in once you are in.... and few actually make it past the screening process.

A more aware populace... one well aware of the horrific vacuum of leadership in the upper echelon of both government and the increasingly PC military will likely not be swayed by this appeal to patriotism... if that's what it really is.

2.  With only a couple of nigglies (You really don't hang on and pass around fired, but unexploded RPG rounds that didn't have the distance to arm... they could go off at any time, there is no way a female being tortured by the bad guys would remained fully clothed in the process and jumping on a hand grenade typically gets one The Medal... not, apparently, awarded here.) this was a very realistic portrayal of how it likely is in the biz... with the possible exception of the op tempo.

3.  I was struck by the list of those SEALS who had given their all for us, shown at the end of the movie.

I was also struck by those who ignored it... got up and left.

"Act of Valor" is a solid effort.  As action flicks go, it's up at the top of the genre, with an almost flawless organization and execution.

From the FWIW file, I recommend it.

NASCAR: rain delay... are you kidding me?

My wife is a big NASCAR fan... but I'm not.

The problems with the NASCAR of today are based more on what we've apparently become as a society.

First, I never thought I would ever see NASCAR become PC.

They've banned the General Lee car from "Dukes of Hazard" because they suddenly noticed, apparently, that it has a Confederate Flag on it's roof.

Second, Danica Patrick ("Sorry.... where's Darlington, again?") is driving... not because she's earned it (She hasn't... hasn't come close), but because she is a she.

Third, the cookie-cutter cars.  The engines and transmissions and car shells are almost identical.  It's bizarre enough that a car labeled "Toyota" is racing in NASCAR; but try going on down to your Toyota dealer and buying the engine parts they used to build their race cars.

And, of course, the same can be said for any of the manufacturers out there... which means the roots of NASCAR are long since dead and rotted.

Back in the day, the stories are legendary: racers going to the show rooms of dealers, buying the cars, and racing them the next day.

The concept of "Win on Sunday, buy on Monday" has disappeared because you can't come close to buying anything like these cookie-cutters.

They need to race the cars that are being built.

If the best Toyota can do is a Corolla, then that's it.  If all Ford can run is a focus, etc, then that's what they need t do.

And every car has to be a car.  Not a custom, one-off frame.  And engines have to be built by the manufacturer.

But, of course, they're not.

And now this: a rain delay at the biggest race of the year?

Switch to rain tires like Formula One, and get out there and race.

The prima donnas behind the wheel are all that... rain shouldn't stop them from driving.

And people get excited over crap like this?

You know it's bad for the WEA when they begin chasing the democrat donors away.

One of the problems we have in politics on both sides is that the people are far too often ignored or lied too.

This happens at every level of government; here locally, the campaigns of Tim Leavitt and Steve Stuart, the indifference of Marc Boldt and Jaime Herrera.

Some in politics engage in what I refer to as "active indifference."

Active indifference is when you not only ignore the people you govern, but you actively attack them because they refuse to "stay in line."

Take our education plant in Washington State.

Did you ever wonder why no one on the left complains about special elections... elections guaranteed to bring in the least number of votes?  You know, like elections that decide bonds and levies?

We have general elections every year; off-year elections are those elections that take place when a president isn't up.  But we also have multiple opportunities for other elections... the special, the primaries and the like.

When it comes to the general elections, democrats want as many people as possible to vote... legally or illegally.

But when it comes to the rest of these elections, where school funding is at issue, the smaller the turnout, the better they like it.

That entire system counts on our apathy.  It counts on their ability to turn out their vote, and our INability to pay attention.

The result of the benevolent dictatorship in the education manufacturing plant we have is literally a trainwreck.

Our children who graduate (using the term advisedly) are so ill-prepared that most of them who bother to go on to community colleges (since so few can qualify for the ever-dwindling number of slots at, say, the University of Washington, given their concern over foreign and out-of-state students) must take remedial math and/or English classes to qualify to take regular 100-plus level classes.

I did better as a high school drop out.

This state has an amazingly-high drop out rate.  Our daily paper pays scant heed to such a quagmire, instead focusing on the idiocy contained within yet another Laird column, or beating the hell out of those opposed to their agenda while we continue to sink in the morass of ignorance that our education system "produces" today.

The teacher's union does not want accountability, yet accountability is demanded at almost every job known to man: you don't produce?

Then you're fired.

So, when our educational manufacturing system doesn't produce, what happens?

Nothing.

And in large part, that's because their union, the Washington Education Association doesn't give a damn about the people... they only care about themselves.

I believe that teachers and staff specifically, and ALL public employees generally, are overcompensated.  Their union helps them to live an overly insulated life where the reality of a suffering economy and a shrinking pool of those of us capable of paying taxes is of no concern to them, since they, as stated, don't give a damn about us.

Instead of reviewing and analyzing the fiscal situation, and offering up targeted cuts in their pay and benefits... pay and benefits that we can no longer afford (if we ever could) they, along with most public employee unions, make increasing demands of "more."

Instead of self-examination and introspection, we get militant whining and silence as to how to actually make the system better, more efficient and most importantly, more effective in educating our young.

But they know, as we all know, that the cornerstone of any such effort must involve accountability on the part of teachers... and the WEA fights any hint of such a bizarre concept.

"More" with no accountability.  A failing educational system that is not getting better... but instead seems to be inexorably declining no matter how much money we throw at it... and folks... we throw a LOT of money at education... because, as the WEA tells us, "it's for the kids."

It's just such a shame that the kids aren't the ones benefiting from it if academic achievement, classroom ability of our few graduates and the horrific drop out rate are to be any judge.

This has been going on, and on, and on.  The WEA, of course, believe they own the democrats like Mr. Lincoln never delivered the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment is, in reality, the 13th Suggestion.

As a result, the laws and policies in everything from gutting the super-majority to the complete lack of accountability are a result of their bidding as the democrats do, effectively, what their master tell them.

The taxpayers of this state spend billions every year on education.  And THIS is the best we can show for it?

It's been this way for a long time... a very long time.  The democrats have held sway here in Washington state for decades of unfettered policy and law.  Every year, it seems to get worse.  Every year we spend more and more and more.

But when your policies and rules and vision is even further to the left of our uber-leftist Administration.... then yeah, you've grown out of touch and isolated from those you allegedly serve.

To the point where many... even the most die-hard of democrats... have had enough on this issue.

And the end result of all this is in this article:
February 25, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Dems draw fire from top donors in rift over education reform

Several well-heeled Democratic Party donors have split with the state party and legislative leaders over education reform.

Seattle Times Olympia bureau
OLYMPIA — Several well-heeled Democratic donors have openly split with the state party and legislative leaders over education reform, arguing Washington is falling behind because lawmakers are afraid to buck the teachers union.
Donors say they fear the Democratic Party could lose ground to Republicans on the issue. Some even say they're on the fence when it comes to supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna or Democratic candidate Jay Inslee, given the candidates' stances on education.

It's rare for what amounts to a Democratic family fight to get aired in public, but the parties to this feud are dragging out the dirty laundry with gusto as they argue over what reform really means.

The dispute boiled to the surface this month when venture capitalist Nick Hanauer fired off a widely circulated email saying, "I have seen the enemy, and it is us. It is impossible to escape the painful reality that we Democrats are now on the wrong side of every important education-reform issue."

Hanauer, who's contributed more than $2.5 million to Democratic campaigns and causes since 2001, is particularly ticked off about what he considers a lack of progress this year on beefing up teacher evaluations and allowing charter schools. The Obama administration has advocated both on a national level.

He also contends that the Washington Education Association (WEA), the state's largest teachers union, has far too much sway with Democratic leaders and "is literally strangling our public schools to death."

State records show the WEA has contributed more than $900,000 to the state Democratic Party since 2002 and more than $300,000 to state House and Senate Democratic campaign committees alone. The union also regularly donates thousands to individual candidates and causes.
More:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Contrasting Rep. Herrera with a random democrat Congresswoman: which one holds the town hall meetings?

Readers of any particular length of time are aware that I do not hold this district's representative in Congress, Rep. Jaime Herrera Buetler (She apparently found out she was married after she was elected to Congress) in particularly high esteem.

There are a wide variety of reasons for that, but not the least of these is her apparent inability to face her constituents in a town hall setting.

Part and parcel of the job, I believe, is the courage to face the people you represent... and people you DON'T represent... even if they don't bring a checkbook for the privilege.

Here's a democrat congresswoman getting nailed in one of her, open-to-all, even-those-she-doesn't-represent town hall meetings because of her support of the President's efforts to trample the First Amendment by ending the religious exemption to the requirement that birth control services be required on the part of religious employers.

I don't in any way agree with her positions.  But compared to who we have, I can admire her courage... absent in our own representative.   .

Wow!… Democrat Booed By Christian Constituents Over Obama’s Anti-Religious HHS Mandate (Video)

Posted by Jim Hoft on Saturday, February 25, 2012, 1:03 PM

 
Wow!… Rep. Kathy Hochul wasn’t expecting this.

The far left democrat held a town hall last night expecting to focus on Obama’s failed energy and economic policies, instead she was loudly booed and harassed by Catholics over Barack Obama’s anti-religious HHS mandate.
WGRZ reported, via HotAir:
WGRZ has more on the raucous town hall:
The packed crowd was critical of Hochul for supporting President Obama’s plan to require religiously affiliated employers, such as hospitals and schools, to provide full contraception coverage to female employees.
The plan was later altered. It now calls for those workers to get free contraceptive coverage from health insurers, thus sparing religious based groups, morally opposed to paying for birth control, from having to do so.
More:

Cross posted at Jaime Herrera Watch.

Brancaccio's take on the election.

I can't particularly fault the conclusion:
Yep. You heard it here first. That’s the lead I expect to see eight months from now unless the Republicans can get their act together.
Quickly.
That, once again, the GOP campaign at the national level has devolved to what we used to call (before it became so politically incorrect) a Chinese firedrill, is par for our political course, although lately, Obama has been doing his very best to violate the First Law of Politics ("When your opponent(s) are determined to commit political suicide, your job is to quietly stand by and let them.")  the candidates running for the presidency are as sorry a lot as I ever imagined... and with every idiocy they utter... or have uttered... we become increasingly likely to lose.

A blind rock ape could see that in a minute.

No, that's not the problem here. 

The problem is, once again, that Mr. Brancaccio is doing another puff piece on himself, rife with claims of his false non-partisanship:
So institutionally, we’re not locked into one party or the other. We make a choice based on whom we think would be best for the country.
When I write this column I believe in being an equal opportunity examiner. Unlike most bloggers, you’ll see me on both ends of the political spectrum.
That is a rather well-proven untruth.

As I have, on occasion shown, in the last presidential election cycle, Brancaccio and his paper endorsed democrats and nothing but democrats for every open seat in Clark County, from the president on down.

Democrats all.

Odd, then, that in that circumstance, only democrats were, in his eyes, "what was best for the country."

The well-known white wash of former State Representative Jim Jacks (D-49) expelled from the legislature for alcohol-fueled abuse of female staffers, totally covered up by Brancaccio.

The complete and ongoing cover up of the conflicts of interest of democrat County Commissioners Steve Stuart and Marc Boldt (Boldt, of course, ran as a Republican... much like Tim Leavitt ran opposed to tolls... but he has long since left the GOP) come to mind...

Contrast those actions with Mr. Brancaccio's... and that of many others working for him... incessantly attacking State Senator Don Benton (R-17) and his attacks on other Republicans... Peter Van Nortwick... Brent Boger... or me, for that matter... I simply cannot recall any effort by Mr. Brancaccio to engage in such rampant character assassination and hypocrisy towards anyone with a "D" after their name.

It is, of course, easy to claim that you're an "equal opportunity examiner" when you're the one controlling the ink.

But an "equal opportunity examiner" would not institute a double standard such as the one in place in the daily newspaper.  An "equal opportunity examiner" would apply the same standards, the same requirements, the same respect for all people in the political realm.

The irony of editorials complaining about what state government is doing when many of those running it "benefited" from this newspaper's endorsement... and most of them running it are democrat... is something beyond a mere coincidence... unless your name is Lou Brancaccio.

Unlike our daily newspaper, THIS blog DOES do its very best to hold everyone accountable, regardless of their party affiliation.  And as a result, this blog earns Mr. Brancaccio's scorn.

Let's examine what Brancaccio calls "facts."
• Obama is ├╝berliberal and the Republicans are ├╝berconservative. But if you stack them up — side by side — the Republicans feel more like a fringe. They “feel” further out to the right than Obama feels out to the left.
Sure.  Obama kills a project (The Keystone Pipeline) that taxpayers wouldn't have to pay for; that would move the ball forward towards that energy independence Obama was babbling about during his fictional presidential campaign, a project that even the unions want... and he does it for his radical environmental fringe left vote... but Republicans "feel" (File this one under weird: Brancaccio's "feelings" equate to "facts") more like a fringe.
It seems to me that the Republican "fringe" as defined by Brancaccio seems to be much more concerned about something called "the economy" than an Obama who is busy spending future generations into bankruptcy.
• Who appears to look more presidential? Hey, don’t dismiss this point. It’s important to the masses. And, again, Obama does.
Well, yeah... if an "├╝berliberal" president is who you want in the job, as Brancaccio unarguably does (How often has he taken Obama to task.... for anything?) then of course he "looks presidential."  But then, so did Hitler when he took over Germany.

As such, "looks" pale in comparison to the substance of the matter.

Of course, I also freely admit that we have the government... at every level... we deserve.
• Who comes across as more caring about us common folk? People believe, for example, that we should tax millionaires more.
Well, in between the weekly White House parties, Michele's millions of dollars in vacations, his waste of millions and his disregard of governance so he can campaign on our time... much like, come to think of it, when he was a US Senator who missed many, many votes.

Not to mention that billions he's given many of those millionaires he (and you) claim he wants to tax... can you say "Solyndra?"  I knew you could.
• In the end, Republicans appear to be way off message. Talking about abortion and religion — important to be sure — is not what most of us want to hear. It’s the economy, stupid.
This much is true.  After the dust settles and the last man is standing, the GOP will start talking about the wreck Obama has made of our country and our foreign policy, and the democrats will talk about anything else, amping up the class warfare meme with the help of people like Mr. Brancaccio...  so that it really won't matter.

Of course, many in the GOP are just as complicit in this mess as Obama... as someone else pointed out once, the reality is this: if Congress didn't want a deficit, then we wouldn't have one.

Just sayin'.

But for Brancaccio to suggest that he is driven by the purest of altruism in his political choices when he supports almost every tax and fee increase we've seen, as he supports the massive, multi-billion dollar waste of the CRC without a vote, when he fails in his journalistic duty to investigate the illegal actions of those carrying his newspaper's water... (The few articles on the billing skulduggery by David Evans and Associates, etc, notwithstanding... but when's the last time we heard anything about that?)

Well, that tends to paint a somewhat different picture.

Once again, I've enjoyed our little chat, Mr. Brancaccio.  Have a swell week.

Friday, February 24, 2012

When my Army is stupid: it's not "injured..." it's "WOUNDED."

What's up with that?

Has the military become so moronically politically correct that they can't use accurate words to describe the bleeding, the pain, the deaths of America's finest men and women... by equating what they suffer with a sprained ankle in a basketball game?

There's something insidious about this.  I dislike it intensely.
Wayland and Jones at SAMMC
Staff Sgt. Brian Wayland and Spc. Ashley Jones recover at San Antonio Military Medical Center after they were both injured in Afghanistan.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON -- A Combat Medic who treated a Soldier in Afghanistan found herself in a role reversal after she was injured a week later and brought to San Antonio Military Medical Center where the Soldier she treated is also recovering.

A recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma with an Aerospace Engineer degree and an Infantryman with the National Guard for eight years, Staff Sgt. Brian Wayland deployed to Afghanistan on April 2011 with his unit Company C, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry, Oklahoma Army National Guard.

"I was definitely excited and nervous when I got the call to deploy. I talked it over with my wife and told her I didn't have to go but I also told her how I could not live with myself if any of my Soldiers were injured or killed and I wasn't there. So together we decided I would go," said Wayland.

On Dec. 9, 2011, Wayland was on his routine mounted patrol in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device that threw him away from the vehicle.

"It happened so fast, one minute I was backing up the mine roller vehicle from a clearing route and then the next minute I was in a ditch about 30 to 60 feet away from the vehicle," said Wayland.

He managed to move his injured body about 100 meters to the patrol base where Spc. Ashley Jones started immediate medical aid until he was air-lifted to Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan.

"As I was lying there on the back of the vehicle -- what kept me motivated to keep going was the thrill of waiting for the 'bird' to pick me up. I kept looking up, just watching, anticipating…,"chuckled Wayland.

Wayland was transferred to SAMMC nine days after he was injured and was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury and multiple facial and body injuries due to fragments from the IED.

"Everyday I'm getting better. I do wish my brain worked the same way as it did before, but this is not an obstacle that I can't overcome. There have been a lot of life lessons that were learned but if all I gave for this country is my concentration, memory problems, hearing and scars, I'm doing pretty good," said Wayland.

Jones, a 20 year-old combat medic, joined the National Guard at age 17, was assigned to Company C, 700 Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team when she deployed and often traveled on convoys to provide medical support for the Soldiers in combat.

"I don't want to have to do my job, but I will when I need to," said Jones. She further went on to explain that combat medics do their most demanding work when others are at their worst.

Coincidentally, one week after Wayland was injured, Jones' vehicle was struck by an IED, injuring her right foot. She soon realized her right foot was crushed from the blast so she immediately started self aid by applying a tourniquet to her right leg until a combat medic came to rescue.

"I was in and out of consciousness so I can't remember how bad I was hurt," said Jones.

She was medically evacuated to FOB Fenty in Afghanistan where they removed her right leg below the knee, transferred her to Germany and then to SAMMC on Dec. 24.

"Just a week ago, I had to MEDEVAC someone and now here I am," she said, reflecting on being on the other end of the patient-medic relationship.

She was the first amputee in her unit.

"I didn't know she was here [SAMMC] until I came back from my four day pass," said Wayland. "My injuries might have been worse if Spc. Jones was not there to provide first aid.

"Her calming demeanor helped me believe I was going to be okay," he added. "That is the big battle when someone gets injured. If you think you are not going to make it, there is a possibility your body might start shutting down. The mind is a powerful thing."

He and his wife visited Jones daily in the hospital until she was released Jan. 18 and plan to remain close friends, especially during their rehabilitation at SAMMC and at the Center for the Intrepid.

"After she got out, I made sure her and her family were taken care of with rides to different places and provide them with any information they need," he said. "On Valentine's Day, my commander and I took Ashley and her mom, JoDe, to dinner to try to make the day special for them. That's the least I can do."

After Jones returns home, she plans to stay in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and return back to school.

"After my rehabilitation, I wanted to transfer to Oklahoma State University to receive my degree in Nursing but after visiting and rehabbing at the CFI, I'm thinking about changing my degree to become a physical therapist," Jones said. "I don't regret my decision in joining the National Guard, its unfortunate what happened to me but I'll get through it."

Wayland would like to find a job in engineering to help other wounded warriors with their injuries.

"I hope to get a job in aerospace engineering and use engineering to better the world. I plan on doing research to help amputees to return to a more normal life through technology. They have given so much, so we as a country should strive to give them the very best," said Wayland.

Wayland and Jones both received Purple Heart medals and certificates for their bravery and courage and Jones received her Combat Medic Badge for treating a fellow Soldier while being actively engaged by the enemy.
I noticed this a long time ago. It's like all the nonsensical polite labels we use for illegal aliens.  It's as if the military does not want the public to know what's happening.

This has been going on for awhile, now.  These people are bleeding because they've been hit... hit by an enemy that wanted to kill them.

"Injuries" are what happens at home.  "Wounds" are what happen in combat.

This PC stuff drives me over a cliff.  And it's long since time that they stop it.

Caucus coming up on March 3rd... whatever will I do?

Caucus is coming up... As a PCO, I'm automatically a delegate to the county convention.  The question, then, is who else will show up from the 605?

I'll listen to the spiel from those representing the candidates... for me, it's a toss up between the only two conservatives in the race, meaning I have to decide between Santorum and Newt.

The problem is that they both have enough baggage o fill a Samsonite factory; Newt with his personal and post electoral political life; Santorum with his idiotic shift into the social realm, knocking him completely off the message that should be the most important: economic with a bit of foreign policy tossed in.

Paul is suicidal; Romney's record could comfortably be described as "moderate democrat."  Neither will get my vote.

My sense is that Ron Paul is likely to win in Washington; he's the candidate who has actually contacted people at the PCO level, and Josh Romney's presentation (Should have had coffee, Josh) only served to re-enforce my opposition to his dad (He's "proud" of Romneycare?  Really?)  as president; I cannot recall a group of candidates less inspiring, less politically aware, less the man (person?) needed to lead us out of the wilderness of Barack Obama.

If Obama manages to be re-elected (God forbid) it won't be because he won the job, since he's done absolutely nothing to merit anything except, perhaps, indictment; it will be, because, once again.... the GOP managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Sigh.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I would oppose any candidate who has people working for him like this: Romney Camp takes down hundreds of Santorum Signs; Cops Watch.

I HATE this kind of thing.  As someone who has put UP thousands of signs, I hate it when thugs from another campaign take them down; I PARTICULARLY hate it when the cops don't do anything about it. 

Busted on Video: Romney Camp Takes Down Hundreds of Santorum Signs; Cops Watch

by Rebel Pundit
In Michigan, Santorum supporters planted hundreds of campaign signs in Shelby Township prior to Mitt Romney’s appearance today.  Some of these signs were planted alongside sidewalks and roadways across from and surrounding the Romney campaign stop.  Approximately two hours before the scheduled event, Romney campaign staffers, including Dennis Lennox of Topinabee, MI, began planting Romney signs in front of the location.  Around the same time, several other people, who refused to identify themselves, began uprooting hundreds of Santorum signs along the roadway leading to the event.  Signs placed at a commercial intersection were also removed.
When asked to explain his actions, Santorum supporters were confronted with obscenities from one person removing signs.  He claimed to be unaffiliated with the Romney campaign.
One officer on the scene, Lou Francis, refused to assist in retrieving stolen campaign signs valued at over $1500.




Cross Posted at RebelPundit
Follow @RebelPundit on Twitter

Another blow to Inslee: Major Democrat donor Nick Hanauer to meet with McKenna.

Beased on my conclusions concerning the more RINO elements of the McKenna campaign, wherein his politics lean more moderate democrat than conservative Republican, this is not terribly surprising.

That said, this ongoing "death of a thousand cuts" to Inslee causes untold damage, as previously safe democrat money begins to flow to McKenna and the perception (Remembering that "perception is alwasy the political reality") that the wheels have come off Inslee's campaign and democrat buyer's remorse is becoming increasingly palpable.

All in all, a tough day for Jay Inslee.  


PubliCola
Democrat Hanauer: On Education, “McKenna Is On the Right Track, We Are Not.”

Yesterday, Washington Education Association president Mary Lindquist wrote an open letter to PubliCola criticizing major Democratic donor Nick Hanauer for denouncing the Democrats’ position on ed reform and announcing that he planned to meet with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.
Today, we’ve got Hanauer’s response to teachers’ union president Lindquist.

Dear Mary,
Thank you for your recent open letter to me and PubliCola. It will not surprise you to hear that I disagreed with some of it.

As a lifelong Democrat and committed progressive, I too believe that McKenna’s reflexive Republican positions on social issues, taxation, and the role of government are deeply misguided.
But if McKenna and Republicans are wrong in some areas, it hardly excuses us Democrats from being wrong on school reform. Here at least, McKenna is on the right track, and we are not.
Looking at the student achievement data, it’s absurd to assert that our public school system in Washington is sufficiently innovative or accountable. We may be headed in the right direction, but we aren’t in the right lane.
More:

As expected, Judge rules Plan B sales requirement unconstitutional.

Of course it is.  File this one under "what were they thinking?"  Expect the state, which has unlimited public money, to continue to pursuit this.  After all, the base has to be satiated.

Judge rules state can't force pharmacists to sell 'Plan B' contraception


Posted on February 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Updated today at 12:35 PM

by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News
Bio | Email | Follow: @schauffKING5 | Follow: @schauffKING5
KING5.com


A U.S. District judge has ruled that Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell emergency contraceptives

Retired pharmacist CJ Kahler had been fighting the state prescription rules for years.

"I'm responsible for me. Washington State isn't responsible for me. I'm responsible for me and I should be able to stand on my conscience," said Kahler. "People in the united states have fought for freedom of conscience for many years. And now pharmacists and pharmacies are doing the same."

Attorney Lisa Stone is amazed that reproductive rights are still an issue in 2012.

"Patients have a right to health care and no individual can impose his beliefs or her beliefs on that patient," she said.

It's a nasty political, social and legal battle that has raged in the streets and courtrooms since the State of Washington adopted rules requiring all non-hospital pharmacies to stock and sell (with a few exceptions) all drugs. That included so-called "morning after" contraceptives, something that didn't sit well with some pharmacists who say they should have the right to refuse to sell those items on the basis that it violates their religious beliefs.

More:

So, what's all this fuss about Plan B and the Governor's meddling?

Plan B, aka "the morning after" pill has become something of a hot button for the left as they require every pharmacy to stock and dispense it, and everyone working in a pharmaceutical situation to support that effort... whether they're opposed to the concept, the method or the drug.... or not.

I have major problems with most of what the left stands for most of the time anyway. But I am opposed to their position on this for the simplest of reasons:

Government has no more right or ability to require pharmacies to carry this, or any other drug, than they do to require gas stations to, say, sell tires.

In the article in the paper this morning, Judge to rule on Wash. pharmacies selling Plan B, we're told:
Washington requires pharmacies to sell any drug that's in demand.
Obviously untrue, "in demand" is so nebulous as to be worth very little in terms of a definition... but taking it a step further, if the state truly enforced such a rule on all medications, then it's likely that every pharmacy would be the size of an aircraft carrier.

The politics of this are frightening to some, and angering to many.  I, for one, don't have to get to the morality of this issue before I am opposed to government interference in the private sector; a firm adherent to Jeffersonian governmental philosophy ("That government is best which governs least," or words to that effect... or was it Adams?  No matter.) I believe that, like Obamacare, if government can force a private entity to sell any product, medication, type of vegetable, color of paint, brand of carburetor, type of wrench... then we will see the end of the free market.

Most of the arguments I've seen on this issue are what I refer to as "political-emotional" based, instead of "logical-free market" based.  That is, those on the left who support all forms, varieties and ages of abortion demand that conscience not be allowed to enter into the issue (As if they would be perfectly fine with being forced to do something at work that their morality opposed... whatever that might be.)  Those defending that position cover it by taking this tact:
The state argues that the rule is constitutional because it applies to all drugs and promotes the timely delivery of medicine that becomes less effective as time passes.
Of course, as previously mentioned, it does not apply to "all" drugs; an "all drugs" pharmacy would be so big it would, rhetorically speaking, have it's own zip code because of the tens of thousands of drugs out there.

The "effectiveness" argument is irrelevant, since almost every drug in the inventory can be argued to be "less effective as time passes," either taking the drug (A matter of drug tolerance) or not taking the drug (A matter of disease progression.)

To defend a factually inaccurate position is to defend a weak position that casts doubt on the entirety of one's argument.

Those on the right oppose any form of what might be construed as "abortion."
Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia and two licensed pharmacists sued in 2007, saying that dispensing Plan B would infringe on their religious beliefs because it can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Again, this is a political-emotional position, weakened by rhetoric (Kind of like Rick Santorum's candidacy of late, come to think of it) and overly complicated by a debatable issue steeped in the pro-life, pro-choice positioning that has been just one of the many divisive issues weakening us.

Those on the left demanding this, fail to tell the truth as to their motives; those on the right overly complicate the matter and cost themselves support from the center by hoisting this issue on an emotional, moral point... that clouds the rest of the issue.

The state's position is no more Constitutional than Obamacare.

The government, via Obamacare, proposes that we be forced to buy health insurance.

The government, via the Governor, who tried to ram this through by threatening the Pharmacy Board, proposes that private entities sell a specific product.

These are simple positions, simply stated:  The state is demanding, by expanding their power, the right to determine what pharmacies sell.  The power to force the sale of a product also seems to carry the inherent power to curtail the sale of a product.

The plantiffs in this case are resisting this, but doing so on moral grounds, instead of market grounds.  The government is pushing this, but on political grounds instead of legal grounds.

The idea that someone who had a sexual encounter might be inconvenienced by going down the street to another pharmacy carrying this product does not over arch the right of a private entity to sell what they want... or require someone working in a private pharmacy opposed to this to refuse to dispense it.

Here's what I believe the state can require:

I believe it can require the carrying and dispensing of Plan B products in state facilities that dispense drugs.  I believe they can require state employees to dispense this drug.

But I believe that because the employees working for the state in the pharmaceutical realm will know that dispensing this drug is a condition of their employment:  don't want to deal with it?

Then work somewhere else.

But until private pharmacies are required to operate under some sort of convenience rule, this is none of the state's business.

Don't like that a private pharmacy doesn't carry Plan B?

Then go somewhere else.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One has to wonder: why is the newspaper protecting Jim Jacks.... I mean, Marc Boldt?

The paper's ongoing effort to protect Boldt like he was Jim Jacks continues to mystify me.

Former Rep. Jim Jacks (D-49) was forced out of the legislature by his caucus for alcohol-fueled misconduct with female staffers.  The Columbian refused to report the entirety of the truth on this issue; in fact, when presented with the opportunity, never specifically asked Jacks anything about the issues in question.

It has been over 332 days since Jacks' expulsion.  The excuse repeatedly given by the Columbian is a so-called "lack of a paper trail."  It would seem that actually interviewing people in Olympia who know is somehow out of the question.  I guess those reporters doing such "solid, informative" work just couldn't find the time.

That begs this particular issue: 

The excuse of a lack of a paper trail in this issue doesn't appear to have any sway.  There is a massive and well-developed paper trail here, consisting of county contracts with Lifeline from the county commissioners, including Boldt; many of these legislative and budgetary efforts took place during Dawn Boldt's employment at Lifeline; the record will show that until this most recent episode, Boldt never revealed that employment as required by law (Contrary to Potter's assertions), it will show that he was, at a minimum, required to reveal that employment (Which he did not); it will show that even if his interest WAS "remote" (It isn't... it was, at a minimum, "indirect" because this is a community property state) he was not allowed to vote nor seek the votes of any other council member.

These things are not the fantasy of someone who wishes Boldt had not violated the conflict statues... as the Columbian obviously wished were the case.  These issues are black letter law, easily read and understood.

Which begs the issue here:  What's the deal?  Why, like Jacks, is Boldt getting a pass from the Columbian?

It's not terribly difficult to arrive at a conclusion or two.  Primarily, it has to do with Boldt's steadfast support of the CRC, the replacement of the bridge, the imposition of light rail, and the further imposition of life-long tolls to bring light rail into Vancouver... which, of course, is the only reason to replace the bridge... not to mention Boldt's efforts to make sure the people of this county can't vote on this issue... which, I believe, had much to do with the policy of protecting Jacks, particularly when combined with Jacks' party affiliation.

Conflict law is clear.  Relying on a source that may have his own conflict (who does he work for?  What office is that again?) as the final word on the matter as the Columbian is doing doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, make it so.

When the newspaper prints:
Boldt didn't violate any laws or guidelines by voting Feb. 8 but has opted to not cast subsequent votes concerning Lifeline.
Without even asking him why he isn't voting now that there can't be any conflict flies in the face of rudimentary journalism, given his years-long disregard of the Conflict laws when a conflict actually DID exist.

If Boldt did nothing wrong, then why did Dawn Boldt quit working there?

If Boldt did nothing wrong then why did the initial loan of $175,000 require Mielke's vote to go through, instead of just Boldt's in addition to Stuart's?

The newspaper claims, repeatedly, that Boldt "didn't violate any laws or guidelines."

Really?

Then why did these other things happen?

This isn't going away.  This will be one of the many reasons, I believe, that Boldt will not be re-elected.

On the first of the month, I will be requesting a formal investigation from the County Prosecutor's office, the Attorney General's Office and the State Ethics Board.

Once these people/groups have weighed in, THEN I'll accept a decision that Boldt didn't violate the law, should their conclusion be that there was no violation of the law... the law clearly and specifically laid out... the law that tends to show, that in fact, Boldt not only violated Conflict statutes in this instance... but that he had violated the law before, every time he voted to fund Lifeline during his wife's employment there without the requirements set forward in the conflict laws being considered first.

Stephanie Rice's protestations notwithstanding.

A sad sign of the times and double standards: 51 year old woman completes Army Basic Training.

Congrats.... I think.

But as the focus has shifted to women in combat, I have to wonder:  How is it that a 51 year old woman who was 30 pounds overweight when she wanted to enlist could possibly make it through Army Basic?

What does that say about Army Basic?  That you have to be a crippled moron to fail?

The story says the woman passed "with one of the highest physical fitness scores in her company."

What it neglects to mention is that the scores are based on an age curve.

To get the max scores at her age, in two minutes, she only had to do 34 push ups, (10 is passing)  66 sit ups (30 is passing)  And run two miles in 17:36 (24 minutes... that's right... 24 minutes is passing for women.)

Meanwhile, for men, 59 push ups (25 passing)  66 sit ups (30 is passing) and a 14:24 2 mile (19:30 is passing) are the age group standards.

Oddly enough, the article did not mention her actual scores, and the nebulous phrase "one of the highest scores" given how little that achievement actually took has little value without providing the scores in question.

Particularly in a combat situation, there should be precisely one standard, for all, and that standard should be gender-neutral given that first, militarily, they're attempting a gender neutral mission set and second, combat don't care. Yes, I realize, according to the article, that she will not BE in a "combat situation."  But neither will most Combat Service Support types... and we all have to meet at least some realistic minimum.

You have to be able to keep up.  You have to be able to carry your gear and that of others (the wounded) at the same time.  A unit is only as good as its weakest (slowest) member; if everyone else can run 10 minute miles with gear and it takes you 15 because you're female and that was good enough to get you through training in the PC world, then someone(s) going to pay the price because of it because they can't leave you behind.

That a 51 year-old female could make it through Army basic represents a sad commentary on how low those physical standards have become.

What is happening to us?  Have we lost our minds?  Do we really believe our Armed Forces are better with such a lax standard in place than we would be if all soldiers generally had to make the same, high, standard regardless of age or gender?

Because I believe that if you want it bad enough, you'll work hard enough to make it so.  And while people will die, it won't be because you couldn't keep up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Memo to the presidential candidates: It's the economy, stupid.

Folks, one of the things that seems apparent in all of the political shenanigans going on is that whoever is running for anything, they have to remember one thing and one thing only:

It's the economy, stupid.

Veering off into social issues is a nightmare waiting to happen.  As a consultant, I've loved planning strategies that knock the opposition off message.  That has ALWAYS been a successful plan if properly executed, because they have to waste precious time explaining or defending or lying about the issues in question:  Jon Russell's efforts to run for state representative were an excellent case in point.

The problems confronting us do not involve social issues.  Anyone... ANYONE devolving into that puts their candidacy at risk, either in the primary season, or the general.  It also provides the left with hooks to take the focus away from the number one issue: the economy.  The economy makes EVERYTHING else secondary... everything. 

And the GOP would do well to remember that.

The twisted view of the left: Pitts - Obama's "necessary hypocrisy."

Face it, Leonard Pitts is a race-based apologist for the left.

There.  I wrote it.

Pitts, who has been on the descent in the realm of credibility since the day after his undeniably brilliant column written shortly after 9/11, wrote the rather nonsensical cannard that the President's hypocrisy is, well, just a-OK.  Is that bizarre position politicaly-based... or race-based?

When it comes to race-based victimization, Mr. Pitts is hard to beat:
Monday, January 09, 2012
Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts: every effort to instill accountability in to our voting system is racist.

More properly titled: "The ongoing effort to make sure the democrats get the illegal and illegal alien vote," the very idea of holding ALL people to the SAME standard is beyond the comprehension of the inculcated, "I'm a victim" class of minorities in this country.

Hold them accountable like non-minorities (meaning white men, because every other class IS a "minority") and these clowns whip out the racist card EVERY FRICKING TIME.

The result? You get people like Pitts, who's one moment of glory was his column the day after 9/11, lying through their collective teeth, claiming that those who have no license, no bank accounts, no welfare checks are being "disenfranchised" by laws like South Carolina's ID law. You get monumental whining, bitching, sniveling and the like.

What you don't get are solutions to the problem because people like Pitts don't believe there IS a problem
More:

We've all been regaled with Obama's lack of integrity on these (and a variety of other) issues concerning money, even though it's also been said that the president will spend in excess of one billion dollars to get re-elected.

We've also been shown the video of Mr. Obama violating every known protocol by wrongly chastising the Supreme Court because they didn't rule the way he wanted in Citizens United, the case that has ultimately led to the so-called "Super Pacs" (What the rest of the political world refers to as "union politics")  and his alleged disdain for that sort of thing; now, whole-heartedly embraces the effort.

What I find problematic with that approach is that we now have established, with the support of the media, that situational ethics are justifiablewhen the practitioner is of the correct political persuasion; that the establishment of a principle can be over-ridden by other events... which, of course, means the "principle" established was, in fact, never really established at all; except, of course, to set this excuse for hypocrisy up in the first place.

Genuine integrity is not situational.  One either is, or is not a person of integrity.  There's no gray area.  One runs on a political platform designed to set forth a true perspective or a vision (say, for example, running on a platform of opposition to tolling... or running on a platform of promising to use public campaign funds... or condemning Super Pacs.) when it's convenient... only to throw it all out the window, when the TOSSING becomes convenient.

Obama's media army will do his bidding anyway.  Many blacks, who voted for him in overwhelming numbers because he shares 1/2 of that genetic trait, will do all they can to defend his actions, no matter how indefensible they are... and many of them, in fact, ARE indefensible.

Not the least of which is hypocrisy. 

And in this case, if all the money the president is concerned about corrupting the system was such a big issue then.... then it certainly remains a big issue now... the president's hypocrisy notwithstanding.

To that end, there really is no such thing as "necessary hypocrisy," except to those comfortable with the concept of hypocrisy in situational ethics... such as Mr. Pitts.