Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An American's Introduction To Spicy Hot Food




Natal, South Africa, has the highest quota of Indians outside of India - and it's famous for the Natal Curry Contest.

They have the contest about June/July. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Royal Show in PMB.

Last year, Judge #3 was an inexperienced food critic named Frank, who was visiting from America.

Frank: "Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a Curry Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and so I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking for directions to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Natal Indians) that the curry wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted".

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

CURRY # 1 - SEELAN'S MANIAC MONSTER TOMATO CURRY...

Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge # 2 -- Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.

Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These people are crazy.


CHILI # 2 - PHOENIX BBQ CHICKEN CURRY...

Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chili tang.

Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre! They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.


CURRY # 3 - SHAMILA'S FAMOUS "BURN DOWN THE GARAGE" CURRY...

Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.

Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of chili peppers.

Judge # 3 -- Call 911. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drain Cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting pissed from all the beer.


CHILI # 4 - BABOOS BLACK MAGIC BEAN CURRY...

Judge # 1 -- Black bean curry with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a curry.

Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Shareen, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300 lbs. woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?


CHILI # 5 LALL'S LEGAL LIP REMOVER...

Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge # 2 -- Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the chili peppers make a strong statement.

Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them


CHILI # 6 - VERISHNEE'S VEGETARIAN VARIETY...


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. I am definitely going to shit myself if I fart and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Shareen. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone ice cream.


CHILI # 7 - SELINA'S "MOTHER-IN-LAW'S-TONGUE" CURRY...

Judge # 1 -- A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. (I should take note at this stage that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).

Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with curry which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least, during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing - it's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


CHILI # 8 - NAIDOOS TOENAIL CURLING CURRY...

Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced curry. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor man, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot curry?

Judge # 3 - No Report

(Stolen shamelessly from Oh What NOW)

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Has Obama Launched The Catholic Church On The Tenth Crusade?

The Crusades were a series of nine major military expeditions launched by the Catholic Church to defend Christianity against Islamic aggression during the Medieval period.  It has been over 700 years since a Pope felt Christendom so under threat that he launched a Crusade.  Yet Obama may have just kicked off the 10th Crusade - this one to be fought on American soil against the advance of radical secularism at the ballot box on the first Tuesday in November.

In 2008, "Catholics, who accounted for about a quarter of the electorate, supported Obama, at 54% to 46% for McCain." Thus, Catholics form a very important part of the Obama coalition. Which makes it inexplicable that he has gone to war against the Catholics over the issue of whether Catholic religious institutions and related organization will have to "provide health insurance to their employees which includes subsidized contraception, sterilization and coverage for abortion-inducing drugs. Last week, HHS ruled that they must.

But go to war Obama has. And the Catholic Church is responding in kind. The day before the HHS issued its regulations, the Pope weighed in on the "radical secularists" war on religion in the U.S. Obama ignored that shot across the bow - and now, things have escalated. In virtually every Catholic Church in the U.S., letters from the Bishops have been read from the pulpit, all identical in their gist:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less. . . .

Those are fighting words.  Read the rest of the letter at IBD.

And it is not only Catholics that Obama has to worry about.  This is going to effect all Christian organizations - and virtually all have similar opposition to abortion, if not contraception and sterilization. Obama has given the finger to each and every person of the Christian faith.

Even knee jerk uber liberal E.J. Dionne - an Obama sycophant of the highest order - is coming down on the side of the Catholics on this one. In his most recent column, he points out that Obama has violated his promises to America's religious population made in the run up to the 2008 election, as well as violating the historical tradition of government respect for the conscience of the religious. This from Mr. Dionne:

One of Barack Obama’s great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers. That is why it is so remarkable that he utterly botched the admittedly difficult question of how contraceptive services should be treated under the new health care law.

His administration mishandled this decision not once but twice. In the process, Obama threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus and strengthened the hand of those inside the Church who had originally sought to derail the health care law.

This might not be so surprising if Obama had presented himself as a conventional secular liberal. But he has always held himself to a more inclusive standard.

His deservedly celebrated 2006 speech on religion and American public life was a deeply sophisticated and carefully balanced effort to defend the rights of both believers and nonbelievers in a pluralistic republic.

Obama’s speech at Notre Dame’s graduation in 2009 was another tour de force. His visit to South Bend was highly controversial among right-wing Catholics. Yet his address temporarily silenced many of his critics because it showed an appreciation for the Catholic Church’s contributions to American life — particularly through its vast array of social-service and educational institutions — and an instinctive feeling for Catholic sensibilities. . . .

Speaking as a Catholic, I wish the Church would be more open on the contraception question. But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government, I think the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings. The administration should have done more to balance the competing liberty interests here. . . .

“The tensions and the suspicions on each side of the religious divide will have to be squarely addressed,” Obama said back in 2006. “And each side will need to accept some ground rules for collaboration.” I wish the president had tried harder to find such rules here.

This decision fully illustrates the arrogance of the left, their disdain for Christianity, and their desire to push Christianity from the public square. It is both the most recent and, perhaps, the most significant attack in the U.S., in what has been a two hundred year war on Christianity. It is a war that started during the French Revolution, was given voice by socialism's greatest philosopher, Karl Marx, and has ever since been prosecuted by the secular left.

Professor Bainbridge, linked at the bottom of the page, points out that if the Catholic charities and social services only served Catholics, than these institutions would fall within the very narrow definition of religious organizations that HHS has carved out for exemption from the new healthcare rules. It is because of the very fact that the Catholic Church gives aid and charity to all regardless of their religion - and has done so since its inception two millennia ago - that HHS has chosen to subject the affiliated Church hospitals, schools and social organizations to this new mandate.

I find it hard to believe that Obama made this unforced error.  Clearly he is pandering to his far left base.  But in doing so, he is taking direct aim at religion. How historically ignorant do you have to be not to understand that you don't screw with peoples' religion.

True, its been almost a millenium since the Catholic Church launched a Crusade against such a fundamental attack on her religion.  And it has been almost four centuries since the last of the Christian religious wars.  But to think that Christian passions have so cooled that this will not drive the religious to vote their conscience in the 2012 election is, I think, a grand error.

Obama may be trying to fire up his base, but he has just done so at tremendous cost.  If the election is close, this may prove the tipping point.

Update 2: Sen. Barbara Boxer has taken to the pages of the Huffington Post to engage in a truly Orwellian defense of a Obama's new policy. She claims that it actually advances religious freedom in America. Bookworm Room, in one of her finest efforts, has done a fisking of Boxer's column. It is a must read.

Update 1: Bookworm Room has a very thought provoking post on this topic:

There is nothing in the Constitution . . . that authorizes the Federal government (and, by extension through the 14th Amendment, any state government) to mandate that a religious institution be complicit in an act it believes constitutes murder. More to the point, the Constitutional grant of religious freedom, by which the government agrees to stay out of managing a religious institutions affairs, either practical or doctrinal, should prohibit such conduct entirely. This is one more example, as if we needed it, of the Obama administration’s fundamental lawlessness.

Nice Deb also has a great post on this issue: Obama Picks Fight With Catholic Church in an Election Year: Game On (w/videos)

Also much more on the statements issued throughout the U.S. in the comments to a post on Father Z's Blog.

Professor Bainbridge looks at the arguments of the left favoring the HHS decision and discusses how this is an attack on the charitable and social practices of the Catholic Church since its inception. It makes for a fascinating read.


Linked:  Larwyn's Linx

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Is The Florida Republican Party About To Sacrifice Congressman Allen West

Allen West is one of the Republican party's most important national assets. He is deeply conservative, highly articulate, very intelligent, intellectually honest and a darling of the Tea Party movement. That he is also black gives extra weight to his highly critical commentary on the racial politics of the left. He is, by every account, a rising star in the Republican Party with national prominence. For all of these reasons, Rep. West is at the very top of the DNC's hit list of seats to challenge in 2012.

I know the world Allen West grew up in. He was a twenty year soldier - and their is no greater melting pot than the U.S. Army. It is a true meritocracy. It is an environment where the color of one's skin is meaningless. I can well imagine that LTC West was as horrified as I by the reality of the racial politics of the left when he was forced out of the service and into the civilian world. For those who don't know, LTC West's career ended in Iraq when he received intelligence that he and members of his unit were being targeted for assassination by several Iraqis. He captured one of the plotters and fired off his weapon to induce the detainee to discuss the plot. That ended the LTC's career. When asked if he would have done it again if the same scenario presented itself, West was unapologetic, stating, "[i]f it's about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can." That is a soldier.

At any rate, Rep. West is a treasure of a Republican Party desperately in need of men and women like him. And yet, it appears that the Florida Republican Party, led by a Romney supporter, Will Weatherford, is going to sacrifice Rep. West as part of the redistricting process:

One of Governor Mitt Romney’s spokesmen was Florida Representative Will Weatherford, and during the course of his remarks in the “Spin Room”, he shed a very dim light on the ongoing redistricting process in the Florida Legislature. Over the past several weeks, many Republicans have voiced their disappointment towards the Republican legislature after the release of the preliminary redistricting maps. Much of the ire concerns the proposed boundaries of Congressman Allen West’s 22nd Congressional District that would be redrawn to include far more registered Democrats.

West’s congressional district inexplicably sheds the most Republican electoral support, in comparison to all other incumbent Republican and Democrat Congressman. A few weeks back we quoted an unnamed legislator saying that, “Allen West was screwed”, a statement which was originally made about made five months before the proposed maps were made public, leading insiders to believe that the fix was in against Allen West. But in light of Weatherford’s comment, it is increasingly clear that this is a fait accompli. (Read more- Allen West is Screwed)

According to Weatherford, those preliminary maps will not change- at the most, any additional changes would be minimal, and those changes would not make any appreciable difference from the preliminary maps. In addition, Weatherford stated that a deal was struck between him, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, and Senator Don Gaetz to finalize these maps and push them through as soon as possible. Weatherford also said that the proposed maps are in legal compliance with both the Voting Rights Act and Amendment 6.

So based on Weatherford’s comments, the 22nd Congressional District is now very much in play for the Democrat Party, and West is at an even larger disadvantage than he was previously- it will be a very difficult and expensive seat for Republicans to defend.

The only reasonable explanation for this is that the Florida Republican hierarchy has cut a deal with Democrats as part of the redistricting process. As the Shark Tank opined here:

So why would the “most conservative legislature” in Florida’s history look the other way as West’s congressional district lines are re-drawn? Is the fix really in to knock Allen West out of Congress? About five months ago, a very high ranking member of the Florida legislature gave me a very disturbing prediction regarding redistricting- “Allen West is screwed.” Take note that comment was made five months ago, long before the proposed maps were made public.

So are the poobahs in the Florida legislature really gunning to oust Allen West? Was a backroom deal made with the Democrat members of the legislature to put West’s seat into play in order to protect the other congressional seats that would favor any future runs for Congress by existing members of the Florida Legislature? The deals were struck, and the maps drawn behind closed doors.

It wouldn’t surprise us if this were the case. There is no love lost between the Florida legislature and Congressman Allen West, who has proven to be the anti-Republican establishment congressman. Back in the 2008 election cycle when West unsuccessfully ran for Congress, Republicans in the legislature did not support West. Former indicted Republican Party of Florida Boss Jim Greer and Governor Charlie Crist stayed out of the race until the very end, even after West’s Republican primary race was over.

Crist endorsed West four days prior to the general election, and Greer showed his support by writing West a personal check of $500 several weeks before the general election. This was also the case during the 2010 election cycle as state legislators sat on their hands, much like they did with Senator Marco Rubio. The Rubio saga is well documented, as the backdoor dirty deals and threats weighed heavy on the Rubio for Senate campaign against Crist.

In 2010, Will Weatherford, who is the current State House Redistricting Chairman, also supported Crist over Rubio before Crist left the GOP and ran as an Independent.

You may ask yourself why would the Florida GOP legislature not protect one of the most respected and beloved congressman in Washington D.C.? Could the reasons be as simple as sheer arrogance and self-political preservation by the Tallahassee elites?

There is rot at the heart of the Republican Party that I never knew existed until the start of the 2012 campaign season. What the Republican's are doing in Florida to Allen West is simply unforgivable. Weatherford and the Florida Republican Party needs to be condemned in no uncertain terms for this act.

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The Daily Mail Crosses The Pond - & Spanks The NYT

The UK's news paper / website, The Daily Mail, has become the premier website for trans-Atlantic readers. The Daily Mail has now launched a U.S. edition which, according to the BBC, now has more online traffic than that of the New York Times.

That is quite welcome for a number of reasons. One, the Daily Mail has a conservative bent and, indeed, publishes stories that many U.S. papers won't touch on such things as Islam and global warming. For instance, their most recent article on global warming, blogged here, should have been front page news around the world. It is a bombshell story, yet it seems that not a paper in the U.S. has touched it.

The Daily Mail also has some great opinion columnists, including the conservative Peter Hitchens, the acerbic Simon Heffer, and Melanie Phillips, author of Londonistan. The topics these columnists deal with are problems on both sides of the pond.

 But while conservative thought subsumes most of the news end of the paper, it is not the only hook that is drawing in all the readers. As the BBC points out, the Daily Mail has a large section of daily celebrity gossip, and no one does glitz better than the Daily Mail. Just visit their website and see.


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"Fairness" - The Essence Of Marx

The worth of a good pundit is that they get to the essence of things with brevity and clarity. And here is Charles Krauthammer doing precisely that in his most recent article on Obama's State of the Union Flop:

Hope and change are long gone. It’s now equality and fairness.

That certainly is a large idea. Lenin and Mao went pretty far with it. As did Clement Attlee and his social-democratic counterparts in postwar Europe. . . .

Back in 2008, Obama was asked if he would still support raising the capital-gains tax rate (the intended effect of the Buffett Rule) if this would decrease government revenue.

Obama said yes. In the name of fairness.

This is redistribution for its own sake — the cost be damned. . . .

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Are We About To See The Death Of The Global Warming Scam?

The article in today's Daily Mail

Forget global warming - it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)

- Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years

So what is the biggest bombshell in this article?

Is it that the MET and the University of East Anglia have confirmed that there has been no global warming for the past 15 years (contrary to NASA numbers from the despicable James Hansen?)

Is it that all of the IPCC computer models - predicated on the theory that the world will warm in direct proportion to increases in atmospheric CO2 - have failed utterly?

Is it that we seem to be heading into a lull in sunspot activity last seen during periods of intense global cooling - (in particular that period known as the little Ice Age that Michael Mann wiped from the historic records with his hockey stick graph?)

Or is it that we are about to see the heretical theory of Henrick Svensmark - that solar activity, not CO2, is the primary determinant of our globe's warming and cooling through cloud formation - finally given a real world trial? Note that the same theory passed its first test at CERN last year.

This from the Daily Mail:

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century. Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food. Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.

We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.

Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C. However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

Interestingly, the MET is still taking the position that there will be no global cooling because it will all be offset by increasing carbon dioxide. Cue Henrick Svensmark:

‘World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more,’ said Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute. ‘It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.’

He pointed out that, in claiming the effect of the solar minimum would be small, the Met Office was relying on the same computer models that are being undermined by the current pause in global-warming.

CO2 levels have continued to rise without interruption and, in 2007, the Met Office claimed that global warming was about to ‘come roaring back’. It said that between 2004 and 2014 there would be an overall increase of 0.3C. In 2009, it predicted that at least three of the years 2009 to 2014 would break the previous temperature record set in 1998.

So far there is no sign of any of this happening. But yesterday a Met Office spokesman insisted its models were still valid.

Talk about your deadenders. The MET is hanging onto their AGW CO2-centric models with the very edges of their bloody fingernails at this point. They won't be able to do it much longer.

‘We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.’

So is tar and feathering serious enough for these world's greatest scam artists, or is something more serious warranted? Perhaps it is for Al Gore, Michael Mann and James Hansen. What do you think, maybe permanent deportation to Siberia where they can live out their lives with a zero carbon footprint?

The real crime with all of this is that, while our governments still push global warming, the reality is that global cooling may soon be upon us - and the effects could be devastating. Unfortunately, our world will not be able to prepare for this eventuality until the AGW gravy train is brought to its final, bitter end.  And given that the global warming scam is not about science, but rather about political power, patronage and money, we will be well into global cooling before that will ever happen.

Update:  Linked by Paul in Houston

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Sixteen AGW Heretics - "No Need To Panic About Global Warming"

Earlier in the week, the WSJ published a letter from sixteen distinguished scientists, including among their number William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; and Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne. The letter was directed towards our incoming political class. To sum up the main points:

- carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; - we actually benefit from higher CO2 concentrations; - the IPCC forecasts of global warming are based on failed computer models; - global warming is not a scientific theory as much as a political one, and one not supported by the facts as we know them today; and - even accepting the dire warnings of the IPCC, there is no economic justification for taking action to combat "global warming."

Do read the entire letter.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sarah Palin: Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left

Sarah Palin, on her Facebook page, expresses the same disgust and angst that I expressed here regarding the Republican establishments efforts to demonize Gingrich and to "rewrite history."  This brutal rebuke from Ms. Palin:

We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.

We will look back on this week and realize that something changed. . . . [W]hat we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.

I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.

We know that Newt fought in the trenches during the Reagan Revolution. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out , Newt was among a handful of Republican Congressman who would regularly take to the House floor to defend Reagan at a time when conservatives didn’t have Fox News or talk radio or conservative blogs to give any balance to the liberal mainstream media. Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration “from the right” to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future. But this week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race. (I know, it makes no sense, and the GOP establishment hopes you won’t stop and think about this nonsense. Mark Levin and others have shown the ridiculousness of this.) To add insult to injury, this “anti-Reagan” claim was made by a candidate who admitted to not even supporting or voting for Reagan. He actually was against the Reagan movement, donated to liberal candidates, and said he didn’t want to go back to the Reagan days. You can’t change history. We know that Newt Gingrich brought the Reagan Revolution into the 1990s. We know it because none other than Nancy Reagan herself announced this when she presented Newt with an award, telling us, “The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century. Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.” As Rush and others pointed out, if Nancy Reagan had ever thought that Newt was in any way an opponent of her beloved husband, she would never have even appeared on a stage with him, let alone presented him with an award and said such kind things about him. Nor would Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, have chosen to endorse Newt in this primary race. There are no two greater keepers of the Reagan legacy than Nancy and Michael Reagan. What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

I spoke up before the South Carolina primary to urge voters there to keep this primary going because I have great concern about the GOP establishment trying to anoint a candidate without the blessing of the grassroots and all the needed energy and resources we as commonsense constitutional conservatives could bring to the general election in order to defeat President Obama. Now, I respect Governor Romney and his success. But there are serious concerns about his record and whether as a politician he consistently applied conservative principles and how this impacts the agenda moving forward. The questions need answers now. That is why this primary should not be rushed to an end. We need to vet this. Pundits in the Beltway are gleefully proclaiming that this primary race is over after Florida, despite 46 states still not having chimed in. Well, perhaps it’s possible that it will come to a speedy end in just four days; but with these questions left unanswered, it will not have come to a satisfactory conclusion. Without this necessary vetting process, the unanswered question of Governor Romney’s conservative bona fides and the unanswered and false attacks on Newt Gingrich will hang in the air to demoralize many in the electorate. The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up. And, trust me, during the general election, Governor Romney’s statements and record in the private sector will be relentlessly parsed over by the opposition in excruciating detail to frighten off swing voters. This is why we need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney’s chief rival.

As I said in my speech in Iowa last September, the challenge of this election is not simply to replace President Obama. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with. It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country. We truly need sudden and relentless reform in Washington to defend our republic, though it’s becoming clearer that the old guard wants anything but that. That is why we should all be concerned by the tactics employed by the establishment this week. We will not save our country by becoming like the left. And I question whether the GOP establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008. Many of these same characters sat on their thumbs in ‘08 and let Obama escape unvetted. Oddly, they’re now using every available microscope and endoscope – along with rewriting history – in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party’s primary. So, one must ask, who are they really running against?

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Friday, January 27, 2012

The Last Refuge Of The Race Hustlers - "Color Blind Racism"

"Color Blind Racism" was the title of a recent article in the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on-line publication, The Root.  Henry Louis Gates, Jr. last appeared on this blog for his outrageous charge of racism against a policeman for following protocol, and The Root was last mentioned on this blog for its list of blacks whom they would like to see erased from history.  The list was a who's who of murders, cannibals and despicable people, and included both Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and right wing black politician Alan Keyes.

So what is "color blind racism?"  According to The Root, it is "a racial ideology that expresses itself in seemingly nonracial terms. As such, it is most practiced by people who never see themselves outside their own myopic worldview. "  What that means in practice is a redefinition of racism from its actual meaning, a belief that a particular race is inherently inferior, into a wholly new arena, where, mirabile dictu, criticism directed towards blacks, and indeed, the mere mention of any inconvenient fact, is inherently racist.  The "Orwellian term, 'color blind racism.'" is, as James Taranto at the WSJ describes it, "the pithiest summation we've ever encountered of the absurdity of contemporary left-liberal racial dogma."

According to The Root, "Colorblind racism is the new normal in American conservative political thought."  Their exhibit number one, Newt Gingrich calling Obama the "Food stamp President," stating that the black community should be demanding paychecks, not food stamps.  The author does gild the lily a bit.  He goes on to tell us that the "bloodthirsty" audience actually applauded these remarks, and that Gingrich than followed up with a plan to "force" inner-city youth to work as janitors.  The author ultimately concludes that Gingrich is railing against, not the Washington elites, but the "black 'elite'" in the White House.  He finishes with the plea that "[v]oters . . . across the nation must demand that Republicans take responsibility for wallowing in a cesspool of race-baiting for political advantage, ever hiding behind a veil of colorblind ignorance and innuendo."

What I did not find in The Root was any article discussing the fact that Obama had, in fact, put more people on food stamps than any other President.  Nor did I find any discussion of the fact that Obama's policies, as bad as they are for the economy at large, are having their most destructive impact on blacks - from a rise in black unemployment to over 16%, to the destruction of the black middle class, to a rise in black poverty to over 25%, and to a rise in black youth unemployment to over 50%.  So in other words, any attempt by conservatives to actually address the problems of the black community is, ipso facto, racist.

When you see this wholesale redefinition of racism, what you are really seeing are the race hustlers of the left manning the ramparts in a last, desperate defense.  I am sure that a portion of the left is so conditioned at this point to view the world through a racial lens that the die hards will buy it.  But for everyone else, the race card is becoming ever less effective.  The device is obvious, as is the motivation.  The only thing the people at the Root care about is protecting their own political power and race based goodies, irrespective of how dire the impact on the black community as a whole.

As an aside, also from the Root, comes this great ad from Mark Oxner, a white Republican Congressional candidate in Florida:



The race hustlers at the Root claim that this ad, portraying Obama as Captain of our ship of state being rowed by children in chains is a "transparent effort to harness racial anxiety." They act as if they own the trademark on the word "slavery" and that any reference to slavery in any context other than referring to enslavement of blacks by whites (and blacks) in pre-Civil War America is inherent racism. The actual history of slavery in the world, including the fact that twice as many white Europeans and white Americans were enslaved by North Africans during the 1600's and 1700's as were blacks brought to America as slaves during that same time period is apparently of no consequence. It helps to be deliberately ignorant of history - a fact I have pointed out about Henry Louis Gates, Jr. before.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is It Time Yet For The Tea Party To Form A Third Party?

When this election season began, I felt no particular affinity for any specific candidate.  I looked forward to the Republican campaign for the nomination to shake out who was best qualified to be our President.  But that campaign has turned into an intellectually dishonest horror show that leads me to question whether the leaders of the Republican Party represent my interests as a conservative.  

As to the horror show, the story of Newt Gingrich's time in the House is ably recounted by Jeffery Lord at American Spectator. It, and the Byron York piece on the ethics complaints against Gingrich, draw an incredibly stark contrast to the screed coming out of much of the right wing punditry - NRO, Coulter, Hinderaker, etc. - and most of which you will find headlined over Drudge today. If you were to read this utterly dishonest tripe, you would think that Gingrich was a Reagan hating neo-progressive who lacked ethics above and beyond the adultery issue and who resigned from his position as Speaker of the House because of valid ethics charges.

There are many legitimate arguments for preferring Gingrich as the Republican nominee. Indeed, Thomas Sowell makes many of those arguments in his latest column. And there are many legitimate arguments for preferring Romney, particularly for the risk averse and for those comfortable with our nation as it is.  A handful of people, Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg and several others have made respectful and fair arguments in this regards.

But in the main, we are not being given honest arguments by the Republican elites. Instead, what we have been fed for months has been dishonest demagoguery and demonization of Gingrich.  And just today, that great conservative Bob Dole came out today to tell us that if we elect Gingrich, it will mean political suicide for the Republican party.  It is all nothing more or less than the same intrinsic dishonesty that we saw mirrored in the left's efforts to destroy Sarah Palin as a viable candidate and that has been aimed at delegitimizing Clarence Thomas since the day he was nominated to the Supreme Court.

And not only have the elites engaged in these disingenuous attacks, but they invariably coupled their screed with complete and utter contempt for Republican voters and the Tea Party movement especially. We are the uninformed rubes, too easily swayed by passion, unable to see reason.  We are calls for fiscal discipline are simply ridiculously unsophisticated.  It is arrogance unbound.  Apparently, it is they, not the voters, who own the Republican Party.

For the past two decades in which I have been politically informed and active, I have always believed that the single starkest difference between the left and the right was intellectual honesty. We on the right had it while those on the left dealt mostly in demagoguery and demonization. We on the right were ever willing to debate the facts, those on the left were ever willing to cherry pick the facts and use the race card or its many variants to end debate. To use the words of Bookworm Room: "Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts."

I see now, I have been fooled for decades. I feel nothing but disgust and utter contempt for much of the Republican Party today, and those who have held themselves out to be its champions. I think Mitt Romney, motivated by unlimited ambition, is willing to do or say anything to be elected President of the United States. Were it just him carrying on these disingenuous attacks against Gingrich and the rest of the Republican Party looking on with an objective eye, than my angst would be far less at the moment. But those who should be the party's neutral arbiters have wholly dispensed with intellectual honesty in an effort to destroy Gingrich.

So what of this?

The days of accepting the Republican Party as it is are over. It is not a party founded on intellectual honesty - and thus it is every bit as fatally flawed and destined to fail the American people as are Obama and the Democratic Party.  It is not a "conservative" party.  The reality is that, since the days of Gingrich, we have not not had a conservative option for government, we have had a choice between big D and small d Democrats.

We are in desperate need of a third party - an actual Conservative Party - founded upon intellectual honesty and dedicated to Constitutionalism, balanced budgets, a strong national defense, and doing away with the onslaught of progressivism in the social sphere. We are in desperate need of a party dedicated to making the systemic changes that would restore the Constitutional balance to our government envisioned by our Founding Fathers. The grass roots Tea Party is precisely the vehicle for such a third party.

The Tea Party was courted by Republicans in 2009 and, in the end, agreed to support them. That trust was badly misplaced. It should now be withdrawn and real consideration given to starting a third party at the grass roots level.  I say that irrespective of how the 2012 election ultimately turns out.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gingrich's Super-Pac $6 Million Ad Buy In Florida

This one is brutal



So what do you think, effective or ineffective? Fair or unfair?

(H/T Hot Air)

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Drudge, Crazy Nancy & Newt (Updated)

Crazy Nancy is again saying that she has something very damaging on Newt that will destroy his candidacy if Republicans are stupid enough to nominate him. And Drudge thinks this is important enough to justify the following screaming headline:

PELOSI THREAT: NEWT WON'T BE PRESIDENT
'THERE IS SOMETHING I KNOW'

The link is to the following video:




Now if Crazy Nancy actually had anything, is there any possibility at all that she would show her hand before Gingrich won the nomination? And think about what her knowledge of Gingrich was from the 90's. She was in the opposing party, a low ranker, who probably never said two words to Gingrich during his Speakership. She was part of the board that heard his ethics complaint, but he was ultimately exonerated on every one of the 84 counts. So what can she possibly have that would destroy a Gingrich bid should he become the nominee?

My guess is that the only thing that she could produce to such an effect to would be one of her old blue dresses with incriminating DNA stains.

As for Drudge, for him to run this wholly unsubstantiated claim as the lead is just incredibly unethical. I guess he is one more to add to the list of the GDS afflicted and to respond appropriately.




Update: It turns out Crazy Nancy nas no incriminating DNA evidence and knows nothing beyond what's in the public realm - but that hasn't stopped Mitt Romney from using it in a mailing today.

What a scumbag.

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The Real Story Of The Gingrich Ethics Complaints

The below article comes from Byron York at the Washington Examiner.  It is the definitive story of Newt's "disgrace," as Romney is putting it.  It is worth reading in full, for it gives the picture of just how partisan was the attack on Gingrich and just how much the MSM of the time, which then had a total monopoly on the news, hated and demonized Gingrich:

The Romney campaign has been hitting Newt Gingrich hard over the 1990s ethics case that resulted in the former Speaker being reprimanded and paying a $300,000 penalty. Before the Iowa caucuses, Romney and his supporting super PAC did serious damage to Gingrich with an ad attacking Gingrich's ethics past. Since then, Romney has made other ads and web videos focusing on the ethics matter, and at the Republican debate in Tampa Monday night, Romney said Gingrich "had to resign in disgrace."

In private conversations, Romney aides often mention the ethics case as part of their larger argument that Gingrich would be unelectable in a race against President Obama.

Given all the attention to the ethics matter, it's worth asking what actually happened back in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The Gingrich case was extraordinarily complex, intensely partisan, and driven in no small way by a personal vendetta on the part of one of Gingrich's former political opponents. It received saturation coverage in the press; a database search of major media outlets revealed more than 10,000 references to Gingrich's ethics problems during the six months leading to his reprimand. It ended with a special counsel hired by the House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses. Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong. After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated. . . .

At the center of the controversy was a course Gingrich taught from 1993 to 1995 at two small Georgia colleges. The wide-ranging class, called "Renewing American Civilization," was conceived by Gingrich and financed by a tax-exempt organization called the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Gingrich maintained that the course was a legitimate educational enterprise; his critics contended that it had little to do with learning and was in fact a political exercise in which Gingrich abused a tax-exempt foundation to spread his own partisan message.

The Gingrich case was driven in significant part by a man named Ben Jones. An actor and recovered alcoholic who became famous for playing the dim-witted Cooter in the popular 1980s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, Jones ran for Congress as a Democrat from Georgia in 1988. He won and served two terms. He lost his bid for re-election after re-districting in 1992, and tried again with a run against Gingrich in 1994. Jones lost decisively, and after that, it is fair to say he became obsessed with bringing Gingrich down.

Two days before Election Day 1994, with defeat in sight, Jones hand-delivered a complaint to the House ethics committee (the complaint was printed on "Ben Jones for Congress" stationery). Jones asked the committee to investigate the college course, alleging that Gingrich "fabricated a 'college course' intended, in fact, to meet certain political, not educational, objectives." Three weeks later, Jones sent the committee 450 pages of supporting documents obtained through the Georgia Open Records Act.

That was the beginning of the investigation. Stunned by their loss of control of the House -- a loss engineered by Gingrich -- House Democrats began pushing a variety of ethics complaints against the new Speaker. Jones' complaint was just what they were looking for.

There's no doubt the complaint was rooted in the intense personal animus Jones felt toward Gingrich. In 1995, I sat down with Jones for a talk about Gingrich, and without provocation, Jones simply went off on the Speaker. . . .

Jones and his partner in the Gingrich crusade, Democratic Rep. David Bonior -- they had been basketball buddies in the House gym -- pushed the case ceaselessly. Under public pressure, the Ethics Committee -- made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats -- took up the case and hired an outside counsel, Washington lawyer James Cole, to conduct the investigation.

Cole developed a theory of the case in which Gingrich, looking for a way to spread his political views, came up with the idea of creating a college course and then devised a way to use a tax-exempt foundation to pay the bills. "The idea to develop the message and disseminate it for partisan political use came first," Cole told the Ethics Committee. "The use of the [the Progress and Freedom Foundation] came second as a source of funding." Thus, Cole concluded, the course was "motivated, at least in part, by political goals." Cole argued that even a hint of a political motive, was enough to taint the tax-exempt project, "regardless of the number or importance of truly exempt purposes that are present."

Cole did not argue that the case was not educational. It plainly was. But Cole suggested that the standard for determining wrongdoing was whether any unclean intent lurked in the heart of the creator of the course, even if it was unquestionably educational.

Meanwhile, Democrats kept pushing to raise the stakes against Gingrich. "Anyone who has engaged in seven years of tax fraud to further his own personal and political benefits is not deserving of the speakership," Bonior said just before Christmas 1996. "Mr. Gingrich has engaged in a pattern of tax fraud, lies, and cover-ups in paving his road to the second highest office in the land…I would expect the Justice Department, the FBI, a grand jury, and other appropriate entities to investigate."

With the charges against Gingrich megaphoned in the press, Gingrich and Republicans were under intense pressure to end the ordeal. In January, 1997, Gingrich agreed to make a limited confession of wrongdoing in which he pleaded guilty to the previously unknown offense of failing to seek sufficiently detailed advice from a tax lawyer before proceeding with the course. (Gingrich had in fact sought advice from two such lawyers in relation to the course.) Gingrich also admitted that he had provided "inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable" information to Ethics Committee investigators. That "inaccurate" information was Gingrich's contention that the course was not political -- a claim Cole and the committee did not accept, but the IRS later would.

In return for those admissions, the House reprimanded Gingrich and levied an unprecedented $300,000 fine. The size of the penalty was not so much about the misdeed itself but the fact that the Speaker was involved in it.

Why did Gingrich admit wrongdoing? "The atmosphere at the time was so rancorous, partisan, and personal that everyone, including Newt, was desperately seeking a way to end the whole thing," Gingrich attorney Jan Baran told me in 1999. "He was admitting to whatever he could to get the case over with."

It was a huge victory for Democrats. They had deeply wounded the Speaker. But they hadn't brought him down. So, as Bonior suggested, they sought to push law enforcement to begin a criminal investigation of Gingrich.

Nothing happened with the Justice Department and the FBI, but the IRS began an investigation that would stretch over three years. Unlike many in Congress -- and journalists, too -- IRS investigators obtained tapes and transcripts of each session during the two years the course was taught at Kennesaw State College in Georgia, as well as videotapes of the third year of the course, taught at nearby Reinhardt College. IRS officials examined every word Gingrich spoke in every class; before investigating the financing and administration of the course, they first sought to determine whether it was in fact educational and whether it served to the political benefit of Gingrich, his political organization, GOPAC, or the Republican Party as a whole. They then carefully examined the role of the Progress and Freedom Foundation and how it related to Gingrich's political network.

In the end, in 1999, the IRS released a densely written, highly detailed 74-page report. The course was, in fact, educational, the IRS said. "The overwhelming number of positions advocated in the course were very broad in nature and often more applicable to individual behavior or behavioral changes in society as a whole than to any 'political' action," investigators wrote. "For example, the lecture on quality was much more directly applicable to individual behavior than political action and would be difficult to attempt to categorize in political terms. Another example is the lecture on personal strength where again the focus was on individual behavior. In fact, this lecture placed some focus on the personal strength of individual Democrats who likely would not agree with Mr. Gingrich on his political views expressed in forums outside his Renewing American Civilization course teaching. Even in the lectures that had a partial focus on broadly defined changes in political activity, such as less government and government regulation, there was also a strong emphasis on changes in personal behavior and non-political changes in society as a whole."

The IRS also checked out the evaluations written by students who completed the course. The overwhelming majority of students, according to the report, believed that Gingrich knew his material, was an interesting speaker, and was open to alternate points of view. None seemed to perceive a particular political message. "Most students," the IRS noted, "said that they would apply the course material to improve their own lives in such areas as family, friendships, career, and citizenship."

The IRS concluded the course simply was not political. "The central problem in arguing that the Progress and Freedom Foundation provided more than incidental private benefit to Mr. Gingrich, GOPAC, and other Republican entities," the IRS wrote, "was that the content of the 'Renewing American Civilization' course was educational...and not biased toward any of those who were supposed to be benefited."

The bottom line: Gingrich acted properly and violated no laws. There was no tax fraud scheme. Of course, by that time, Gingrich was out of office, widely presumed to be guilty of something, and his career in politics was (seemingly) over.

Back in January 1997, the day after Cole presented his damning report to the Ethics Committee, the Washington Post's front-page banner headline was "Gingrich Actions 'Intentional' or 'Reckless'; Counsel Concludes That Speaker's Course Funding Was 'Clear Violation' of Tax Laws." That same day, the New York Times ran eleven stories on the Gingrich matter, four of them on the front page (one inside story was headlined, "Report Describes How Gingrich Used Taxpayers' Money for Partisan Politics"). On television, Dan Rather began the CBS Evening News by telling viewers that "only now is the evidence of Newt Gingrich's ethics violations and tax problems being disclosed in detail."

The story was much different when Gingrich was exonerated. The Washington Post ran a brief story on page five. The Times ran an equally brief story on page 23. And the evening newscasts of CBS, NBC, and ABC -- which together had devoted hours of coverage to the question of Gingrich's ethics -- did not report the story at all. Not a word. . . . .

All of which leads to the question, just how ethical is Romney's attack on Gingrich?

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WSJ Goes Into Full GDS Meltdown

Gingrich Derangement Syndrome is causing a complete melt-down among many of the Republican elite, but few can match the meltdown we see on the pages of the WSJ today from Brent Stephens.  I will not link to this piece of excreta.

Mr. Stephen's has become so overwrought at Gingrich's victory in South Carolina - and Romney's weaknesses exposed - that it has led him to pronounce that "Republicans deserve to lose."  As to those idiot voters in S.C., Mr. Stephen's has this to say:

That's my theory for why South Carolina gave Newt Gingrich his big primary win on Saturday: Voters instinctively prefer the idea of an entertaining Newt-Obama contest—the aspiring Caesar versus the failed Redeemer—over a dreary Mitt-Obama one. The problem is that voters also know that Gaius Gingrich is liable to deliver his prime-time speeches in purple toga while holding tight to darling Messalina's—sorry, Callista's—bejeweled fingers. A primary ballot for Mr. Gingrich is a vote for an entertaining election, not a Republican in the White House.

The arrogance and the disdain just drip from the pen of Mr. Stephens.  God forbid that we, the voters who actually own the Republican Party, should think contrary to him.  To the extent that Mr. Stephens requires some reminding of that fact, let's cue up the appropriate non-verbal response.



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A Short Guide To Obama's 2012 State Of The Union Speech

This was an actual State of the Union speech rather than an obvious campaign speech. The surprise of the night - straw men survived as a species with only a few set alight by our Campaigner in Chief. Poor Pinnochio, however, his nose grew so long that he can no longer raise his head. And the number of elephants in the room ignored by Obama (trillions of them and increasing by the minute) was really quite amazing.

 At any rate, to keep this short, let's go down the checklist of the obvious:

Blame the economy on prior administration - Check

Wall Street greed caused the economic meltdown - Check

Meltdown caused by a prior administration - Check

 3 Million New Jobs - Check

 Equal Pay For Equal Work - Check

 Fairness as the key to all of our economic woes - Check

 GM Success - Check

 Oil Bad, Green Energy Good - Check

 Making Our Navy The World's Largest Consumer of Biofuels - Check

 Libya - Check

 Bin Laden - Check

 -----------------------------------------------

 Now for some of the Notable Omissions:

 Hope and Change - No

Entitlement Reforms - No

 Obamacare - No

 Stimulus - No

 Dodd Frank - No

 Unemployment Rate - No

 Real Unemployment Rate - No

 Number of Long Term Unemployed - No

 Massive Inflation in Food and Fuel - No

 $16 trillion in debt & growing by the minute - No

 GM failure to payback billions of taxpayer funds - No

Keystone Pipeline - No

Nuclear Energy - No

 Solyndra - No

 Gutting our National Defense - No

 Making Our Navy Purchase Grossly Expensive Biofuels - No

 Egypt - No

Arab Spring - No 

Obama Administration opposition to most recent Iran central bank sanctions - No

Cancelling Military Training Ops With Isral - No

The failure of the Democrat Controlled Senate To Pass A Budget For Three Years - No

Recovery Under Obama compared to recovery from all other post-WWII Recessions - No

 -----------------------------------------------

 Big, Massive Screaming Lies:

Obama taking credit for increasing oil production, reduced oil usage, and making 75% of our offshore areas available for oil exploration and development.

Obama Claims that he is reducing the regulatory burden.


 -----------------------------------------------

Request Masses of New Spending For:

Education (must keep the public sector unions in cash)

Federal employment center and Community Colleges

Green energy

Federally funded R&D for everything

 ------------------------------------------------

 Insane Proposals -

 1. Tax multinational corporations on their overseas profits not brought into the U.S.

 2. Son of Stimulus - "Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home."

 3. No Cost Refinancing Of Loans - To be paid for by a new bank tax . . . which will be paid for by you and I.

For a full discussion of many of the issues raised by Obama's inclusions and omissions, see the Heritage Foundation's Round-up

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The President's 2012 State Of The Campaign Speech



I have no inside knowledge as to what the President will say in his 2012 State of The Campaign speech.   But it may be some indication that the capitol police are rounding up straw men in droves and dousing them in EPA approved E-85 gasoline.  I expect the carnage to be extensive.

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Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Florida Republican Debate 1.0

Tonight's debate, hosted by NBC, was the first of two debates before Floridians pull out the canes and the walkers and venture out into the January chill to vote. There were no real highlights.

Out of the gate, Romny went on the attack, throwing every bit of mud he could at Gingrich, hoping that some of it would stick. He came off as angry and shrill. Gingrich refused to take the bait, staying composed. As to how that plays overall, we will have to wait to see the new polls to tell.

That said, I think Romney made a huge mistake by trying to dredge every bit of mud he could find rather than concentrate on just the worst of it all - including that he went a step too far in the attacks. Romney concluded his attack by criticizing Gingrich's support of Medicare Part D while taking money for advising pharmaceutical firms. Gingrich pounced, embracing Medicare and Medicare Part D and that he was shocked (just shocked I say) that Romney would criticize him (or the millions of elderly Floridians on Medicare) for his  support of Medicare Part D. That was not a highlight reel, but I bet it plays with a lot of registered reporters in Florida.

 The slipperiest answer of the night was from Newt, whose full support of the ethanol mandate is unconscionable. Part of the ethanol program includes large supports for Florida sugar cane farmers. Newt gave a long non-answer, bring up beet root sugar and other farm subsidies, concluding that all subsidies should be taken away, but that removing agriculture subsidies is almost in the 'too hard to do' column.

A question was brought up on the Dream Act. Romney, weeks prior to the debate, said that he would veto it.  Many thought this was going to hurt Romney in Florida, with its large latino population.  When Gingrich was asked in the debate whether he too would veto the act, he said no, that he would keep that portion of the Dream Act that would allow illegals who join our military to get citizenship through that route - which is actually a long term policy of the U.S.  Romney quickly jumped in out of turn, obviously realizing the error of his ways, and said that he agreed with Gingrich.

What really struck me, at the end of debate, was the fact that Romney still doesn't have a good narrative as to why he should be President. He was asked, "[This] is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. What have you done to further the cause of Conservativism as a Republican leader?" Romney response was anything but a cogent and stirring call to arms. He started off by talking about being a father and grandfather. He then tried to play up his private sector experience, but didn't make any of the points he could have as to why that makes him the best Presidential choice.

One of the things that was blatantly obvious during the debate is that Gingrich is courting Ron Paul in domestic policy areas. Indeed, the only thing that didn't happen on the stage was Gingrich passing folded love notes over to Paul, who in fact repeatedly had eyes for Gingrich. It was a bit stomach churning. Truly, if I was Caliska, and given Newt's history, I'd be worried.

Santorum gave good answers to the few questions thrown his way.  Ron Paul sounded sane and sage tonight.  I don't think it will help either too much.

In sum, I don't know whether tonight's debate will stop Gingrich's momentum.  Gingrich may have helped himself a little with his answers on the Dream Act and Medicare.  Let's see the polls.

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Gingrich, Communications & The GDS-Suffering Republican Elites

. . . for years now, I have been screaming that the failure to communicate and respond to these endless [leftwing] attacks was the greatest failing of the Bush Administration - and Republicans generally in all situations. I am convinced that McCain lost the election because of his failure to aggressively attack Obama in the debates and the failure of the entire Republican Party as a whole to respond to the left's outrageous charge that the right was responsible for our financial nightmare. . . .

Having watched the current crop of Congressional Republicans for years now, I am under no illusion that, come 2012, they will be able to effectively communicate. The backlash we see against Obama's policies and vast overreach today has come from the bottom up, with the Tea Parties and social networking. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Congressional Republicans. That does not bode well for the right come 2012.

That said, as I look out at the field of potential candidates who could possibly communicate effectively - those with the necessary intelligence and aggressiveness to actually call the left on their falsehoods and change our national paradigm - the only one I see today who foots that bill is Newt Gingrich. . . .

16 July 2010, Wolf Howling, Looking Ahead: Obama, 2012 & The Biggest Republican Weakness

Gingrich won South Carolina by 12 points and, going into Florida, he now leads the polling by 9 points. Hysterical dysentery has now afflicted those many Republican elites suffering full blown cases of GDS (Gingrich Derangement Syndrome). The disdain they feel for the voters - i.e., the rank and file Republicans and independents who voted in the S.C. primary - and the grass roots Tea Party movement literally drips from their mouths. It appears that before the Conservative rank and file can take back our nation from Obama, we will first have to take back our party from the Republican elites.

As so many people are today pointing out - Gingrich roars. And when he unapologetically does so with passion and eloquence in defense of conservative values, when he does so in shredding an ill thrown race card, when he does so in calling the media out for their bias, that is what the base of the party wants above all else. It is clear that the base understands that it is precisely what the party has been lacking. And it is clear that the base also understands that progressives - who have, over the past century, changed our nation in so many ways - will continue making fundamental changes to our nation until we can get someone who roars in defense of conservative values.

This is not a sudden catharsis, at least for me. I have been pointing it out as the single greatest failing of Republicans almost from the first day I started this blog. For but a few examples, see:

-  Advice On How To Lose The 2012 Election
-  Looking Ahead:  Obama, 2012 & The Biggest Republican Weakness
-  A New Cold War In America
-  Losing the Message Wars
- Republicans Ponder The Abyss

For the past eight decades, Republicans in government, with the exceptions of Ronald Reagan and then Newt Gingrich, have been fighting a rear guard action, accomplishing little more than minimizing the ever continuing advance of socialism / progressivism in our government and in our society.  As to Reagan as President and Gingrich as Speaker, they actually pushed back against the advance and managed conservative victories.  They did so because they vocally, passionately and eloquently were able to challenge the falsehoods of the left while promoting conservative ideals.

We can see much the same happening today in some of the states. Take New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for example.  He is a darling of the right today - despite the fact that he is a RINO's RINO on so many conservative issues.  But on the two intertwined issues most effecting NJ, the economy and the power of unions, Christie is firmly on the conservative side of the fence.  And he has been just a shining success in bluest of blue NJ on those issues.  Why?  Because he is an incredibly effective communicator who is vocal, passionate and eloquent in the effort to promote fiscal sanity and an end to the power of NJ's massive public sector unions.

But today, the many Republican elites suffering GDS are telling us that the ability to communicate does not matter and that the voters in S.C. were just dumb.  They now are trying to frighten the base into voting for Romeny by saying that a Gingich nomination will mean that we lose not just the Presidency, but the House and the Senate down ticket.  Let's take a look:

The voters in their infinite wisdom have just given a huge boost to perhaps the only GOP candidate who could shift the spotlight from President Obama to himself, alienate virtually all independent voters, lose more than 40 states and put the House majority in jeopardy.

Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

. . .  with Newt Gingrich you get the name calling for the president — very popular with the tea party crowd in South Carolina, not so popular with independents. He won’t put a fence on the border and wants amnesty for illegals. He took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac. But you know, he attacked Paul Ryan’s plan on Social Security. So with Newt Gingrich, you throw out the baby and keep the bath water… I think South Carolina is going back to their Democratic roots.”

Ann Coulter, Fox and Friends (via Gateway Pundit)

. . . Let’s just pray that Barack Obama’s second term didn’t start today. If Gingrich does get the nomination, this may turn out to be a year in which Republicans more or less ignore the presidential race, ceding Obama his second term, and focus instead on trying to hold the House and, if possible, picking up a seat or two in the Senate, along with doing the best we can in state races where the wipeout at the presidential level doesn’t swamp all efforts to elect Republicans.

John Hinderaker, Powerline

On the heels of Newt Gingrich’s trouncing of Mitt Romney in the South Carolina primary, Republican Party brass are privately expressing deep concerns that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s high unfavorable rating in national polls could prove catastrophic to the so-called “down ballot”–the House and Senate races under the presidential race–and may even threaten the Republican Party’s control of the House of Representatives.

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, who previously served as Sen. John McCain’s senior campaign strategist, told MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow that if Mr. Gingrich wins next week’s Florida GOP primary, there will be “a panic and a meltdown of the Republican establishment that is beyond my ability to articulate in the English language. People will go crazy.”

Wynton Hall reporting at Big Government

What these GDS-afflicted prophets of Armageddon are relying upon are polls showing that, at the moment, Gingrich has a lot of negative name recognition. Wow, no kidding? It's not like Gingrich suffers from two liabilities - the MSM of the past two decades and now the GDS afflicted right.

Does anyone reading this remember Gingrich's speakership in the mid - 90's, the balanced budgets, the welfare reform, the Contract With America, the good economy, the low jobless rate? I do. And I vividly remember a few other things. The left of the era hated Gingrich with a passion that would not be seen in America again until Sarah Palin came onto the national scene. The MSM of the time was not just as left wing as today, but they had a near complete monopoly on the news. There was no alternative media. They demonized and demagogued Gingrich unmercifully. Indeed, I kid you not when I say I remember the day I looked up the definition of the word "demagoguery" in the dictionary. I had heard the word used by Rush Limbaugh in an interview with the Speaker in response to how the left and the entire MSM was portraying one of his acts.

Update: It appears that my memory of that time - the intense partisan war against Gingrich, the bull shit ethics complaint, and the total war of the MSM declared on Gingrich is accurate. Byron York of the Washington Examiner takes us on a walk back through that time here.

As to when Republican members in the House led a coup against Gingrich, I have no inside knowledge. I do know this. What we got after Gingrich left was a disaster. We got a House that was, for the next decade, nothing more or less than Democrat-lite. There were zero conservative accomplishments, there were zero balanced budgets, but there were huge increases in spending. So was the problem Gingrich's leadership, or the fact that Gingrich took Republicans out of their comfort zone and brought a lot of bad press at the time? I have always believed it was the latter based on what I saw at the time and afterwards.

And now when it comes to negative press, it has been the GDS Republican elites who have picked up where the far left MSM dropped off near a decade ago. As I wrote in Decemeber:

The last two months of flame throwing against Gingrich [by the GDS-afflicted Republican elites] has left me wondering whether we can yet pull defeat from the jaws of victory. Precious little of what is coming from the right leaning pundits has been reasoned criticism. To the contrary, its largely been overheated hyperbole of the ilk used by the left to demonize and delegitimize Sarah Palin.

So when the GDS afflicted right now tells us that a Gingrich nomination would be catastrophe because he doesn't have positive name recognition, that is like the boy who murders his parents then asks the Court for mercy because he is an orphan.

So how are we to evaluate Gingrich's negative name recognition from some earlier national polls when matched up with the most recent polls and with the results of the SC election? First this from Gallup:

The latest Gallup polling shows Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney each trailing President Obama by exactly the same tally — 50 to 48 percent. . . .

. . . Gingrich, in particular, improved versus Obama in the swing states: While he trailed Obama by 6 points overall at that time, he led Obama by 3 points in states that are likely to be hotly contested — a swing of 9 points.

The Gallup poll is not limited Republicans, and it certainly seems that Gingrich is at least as popular as Romney. And then there was the S.C. open primary, where Gingrich not only won running away, but also took the independents.  I am just not feeling the hate . . .

In sum, all of prophecies of total Republican annihilation coming from Republican elites who hold the actual voters in utter disdain is nothing more than fearmongering. Their total immersion in GDS suggests that their problems with Gingrich run far deeper than merely wanting to see the Republican party - or conservativism, for that matter - succeed, and their total disdain for the Republican base shows arrogance unbound. Indeed, it leaves me speechless, though still with a desire to communicate clearly with the GDS-afflicted Republican elites. That said, let's cue the non-verbal response.




Update:  Doug Ross has also addressed the down-ticket argument with a rather amazing historical fact from Rasmussen. You literally have to go back in time to 1860 to see a scenario play out where an incumbent president loses the White House but his party wins "control of either house of Congress from the other party."

Update:  Linked at Larwyn's Linx.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Prophecy Of Gingrich Aide Rick Tyler

In May, 2011, the pundits pronounced Newt Gingrich's candidacy, not merely dead, but in an advanced state of decomposition. Oh, ye of little faith! This from Fox documents the Gingrich candidacy memorial service presided over by Charles Krauthammer and attended by Juan Williams.



After the death certificate was delivered to Gingrich campaign H.Q, Gingrich aide Rick Tyler penned a press release so ridiculous, so over the top, that Stephen Colbert brought in John Lithgow to give it a dramatic reading on his show.

Lithgow does Newt (on Colbert) from wally danger on Vimeo.


In case you missed any of it, here is the body of Tyler's oft ridiculed press release:

The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment's cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won't be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.

And as rdbrewer writes at Ace of Spades today;

That was all very funny at the time. At the time. Well, what did happen in South Carolina? Out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won't be intimidated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces!

Now I'm wondering who this political mastermind is. How could he have foreseen such a result? Does he travel through time? Can he get me some winning lottery numbers? And I'm thinking it looks like we all owe him an apology.

Heh. So let it be written. So let it be done.

(H/T Nice Deb)

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GDS Humor

I can't stand the screeching of the GDS (Gingrich Derangement Syndrome) crowd. But I do appreciate their humor when its well done.



(H/T American Digest)

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