Monday, March 31, 2008


I thought Sen. Leahy was Pro-Choice

Not being a Democrat, their ways are often a mystery to me as I tend to confuse their words with their words. Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out the argument for why Senator Clinton should be dropping out.

I read that she can’t possibly win without the aid of the so-called super-delegates…but then neither can Senator Obama. By all accounts, both candidates will ride up to the convention well short of the pledged delegates needed to lock up the nomination…meaning they’ll both be reliant on super delegates (who are, by definition, unpledged). Now the super delegates are being “encouraged” not to vote in such a way that they’ll overturn the clear preference of the voters. Unfortunately, the ensuing primaries could make that preference less clear as to the will of the people because, if you believe the polls for many of the remaining primary states, that preference is apparently Hillary Clinton. Polls also indicate that nationally, Democrats are split fairly evenly between the two.

In other words, Democratic voters in major Democratic states like Pennsylvania are poised to express an opinion that they prefer Ms. Clinton as the Democratic nominee. Party leaders and super-delegates such as Senator Leahy believe that such expressions of support by voters are bad for the party because they don’t express what they think the voters should be expressing.

So, to sum it all up, the pressure on Senator Clinton to drop out is coming from many of the people who make up the super-delegate populace. These party leaders want the convention to reflect the people’s choice. Unfortunately, the people are having a hard time arriving at a consensus choice so these enlightened leaders want to help out by limiting their choices…to one. Thus will the people’s will be done. Most importantly, this would then allow the super delegates to vote for Senator Obama, all the while claiming that they are merely reflecting the will of their people.

This is very important because, were the convention to actually come down to the super delegate vote AND the nominee they put over the top then goes down in defeat to John McCain, well, then, those super delegates would have some ‘splainin to do. Plausible deniability is always the preferred route.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Google Cares

Over at Google, they are really raising the bar as to corporate responsibility. They’ve gone dark. Not dark as in off-line, not-doing-any-business dark; no, dark as in they’ve got a black background dark.

“Google users in the United States will notice today that we "turned the lights out" on the homepage as a gesture to raise awareness of a worldwide energy conservation effort called Earth Hour

Yep, people all over the world will be turning off their lights for one hour tonight (8-9PM local) to promote energy conservation...and probably bash Bush. But this puts me in a quandary as I will then be attending the annual MPILP auction at the Maryland Law School in Baltimore – another feel-good happening designed to promote greater awareness of some other leftist agenda.

Of course, while I’m at the auction, my lights in my home will be out so maybe I can claim credit for being socially conscious on two fronts…and if I leave early to watch the NCAAs, I’ll just go to some repressive sports bar so any carbon footprint blood will be on their hands.

Side Note: The best part of Google’s campaign:

“As to why we don't do this permanently - it saves no energy; modern displays use the same amount of power regardless of what they display.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Cop Killer Can't be Killed Yet

The Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that Pennsylvania can’t execute convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal without a new hearing. As he has been on death row for over 25 years, this isn’t exactly the equivalent of the last-second call from the governor.

Mumia’s attorney had this to say:

"I've never seen a case as permeated and riddled with racism as this one," Bryan said Thursday. "I want a new trial and I want him free. His conviction was a travesty of justice." Court: Mumia Deserves New Hearing

Is there anything more sanctimonious than a white liberal opining on race?

Mr. Bryan wasn’t the defense attorney at the original trial so his is not a first-hand reaction. The jury included 2 blacks and, as even the most casual of “Law & Order” viewers knows, a criminal conviction requires a unanimous verdict. However, this is such a cause célèbre among much of the limousine liberal set that, like with their idolatry of Che Guevara, the facts just don’t matter:

“A total of five eyewitnesses have testified that they saw Mumia Abu-Jamal run from a parking lot and shoot Officer Faulkner to death as the officer attempted to arrest Jamal's brother. None of these eyewitnesses knew each other. Each gave their accounts within minutes of the shooting, and the accounts agreed with each other in every significant detail. Several of these individuals stated that -- in some cases from less than 30 feet away -- they watched as Jamal repeatedly fired at the fallen and unarmed officer from point blank range. One even stated that Jamal took the time to bend down and fire the final shot into the wounded officer's face from less than a foot away and that the officer's "whole body jerked" when the shot hit his face. Was each and every one of these eyewitnesses - including a man called by Jamal's own lawyers in 1995, Robert Harkins - "confused" about what they saw, as Jamal and his attorneys allege?” Justice For Police Officer Daniel Faulkner

It is the height of arrogance that allows Mr. Bryan to conclude that he is a better arbiter of racist attitudes at the trial then the two blacks that were actually there and voted for conviction. Trials are never perfect but nothing has come forward to suggest that Pennsylvania doesn’t have the right person behind bars…where, hopefully – with or without a state execution – he will spend the rest of his life.

Side Notes: As noted, Mr. Bryan was not the trial attorney for Mumia. Celebrated death penalty defense attorneys rarely make their name actually defending the accused at trial. Rather, the associated glamour and fame come from the appellate work (actually, this is true of most legal work) where you don’t have to deal with the nitty-gritty and time consumption of day-to-day in-court trial work. This is not meant to disparage the work of Mr. Bryan – who, by all accounts, is quite competent in his chosen field – but instead to point out that one way to obviate the so-called incompetence of legal representation at trial is to have the critics actually pitch in and provide said missing competence themselves.


The so-called Catholic vote in PA

This article deserves more time and mockery but our governments’ annual assaults on our privacy – namely reporting for income tax purposes – is otherwise occupying much of my time. The AP has a report in the Washington Post that tells the story that ain’t: Catholic Vote Critical for Dems in Pa.

The article, centered in Scranton, is mostly anecdotal which means it really offers no meaningful insight into just how Pennsylvania Democratic Catholics – as Catholics – intend to vote. Nor can it – the days of Catholics voting consciously as Catholics has long since passed – if, in fact, it ever really was there. (Maybe when John Kennedy ran, but that was way before my voting days.)

Particularly irksome though is how the authors paint the stances of some politicians:

“…some U.S. bishops were outspoken in criticizing Catholic politicians who support abortion rights in conflict with church teaching, including 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.”

“President Bush, a Methodist who opposes abortion rights, won 52 percent of the Catholic vote against Kerry, the practicing Catholic, in 2004.”

“Like his father, the younger Casey opposes abortion rights.”

This reflects either the reporters' biases or ignorance. Opposition to abortion is fueled by the belief that the unborn child to be destroyed in the abortion process is an innocent human life deserving of our protection. It is decidedly not a haphazard “well-I-think-I’ll-oppose-this-right” stance. Even if the reporters believe the unborn child is just a clump of cells - no more deserving of state protection than a wart on a finger - you'd think they could tone down their ego long enough to recognize that other viewpoints are not just conceived in reaction to their's.

Side Notes: “In Pennsylvania, many Democrats were outraged in 1992 when party leaders denied Gov. Casey a prime-time spot to speak out against abortion at the Democratic convention that nominated Clinton's husband.”

That was 16 years ago; anyone think the Democratic Party’s tolerance for ideological diversity has increased since then? I wonder what Sen. Lieberman would say about that?

From the “We’re Everywhere” Department: The Casey’s referred to above are the late former Pennsylvania governor, Bob Casey and his son, Senator Bob Casey, Jr. – both graduates of Holy Cross. They come from Scranton, whose mayor, Chris Doherty, is also a Holy Cross grad. Mayor Doherty’s nephew, Pat Doherty, is the starting point guard for the Holy Cross basketball team.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Happy Maryland Day

Reminder – please consider helping to make Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District a more competitive one by aiding Steve Hudson in his race against Congressman Chris Van Hollen. Today is Maryland Day and we are trying to raise $25,000 on line to help fund Steve’s effort.

Click here to help: Donor Site - Steve Hudson for Congress

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Steve Hudson for Congress

Chris Van Hollen is the congressman for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Unfortunately, that is also my Congressional District so my congressman and I are kind of out of sorts on a whole wide range of issues.

Enter Steve Hudson for Congress.

Admittedly, I endorsed another friend in the primary but I have no qualms about now putting my efforts (and vote) behind Steve. A Navy man (like myself), he would bring credible and varied experiences to the House.

On March 25th (Maryland Day), the Hudson campaign will be conducting an internet fundraising effort to collect $25,000. It’s an ambitious target so whatever you can do to help: Donor Site - Steve Hudson for Congress


Maryland Politics 101

Classic Annapolis:

“General Assembly legislators have long been divided on whether to legalize slot machines in the state. But last month, they were united in condemning video bingo, poker and similar electronic games…:

Do you think this has anything to do with the fact that those evil games “…generate money for game owners but nothing for the state” ? Emergency Bill Approved to Ban Video Gambling

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Fining Montgomery County's Finest

Good for the Union!

“Among the thousands of drivers who have been issued $40 fines after being nabbed by Montgomery County's new speed cameras are scores of county police officers. The difference is, many of the officers are refusing to pay.

“The officers are following the advice of their union, which says the citations are issued not to the driver but to the vehicle's owner -- in this case, the county.” Montgomery's Finest Won't Pay Fines

The union is right; it’s the owner that is initially held responsible.

“The photographs will then be processed and the license plate will be reviewed to identify the registered owner. The owner will be sent the citation, which will include copies of the violation photos and the marked vehicle speed.” MC Department of Police - Speed Camera FAQs

But obviously, Montgomery County wasn’t driving the car – an individual police officer was. Shouldn’t the officer have to pay?

“Manger is demanding that officers pay the fines, a request that has met stiff opposition from union leaders and has been ignored by some sergeants who were asked to investigate whether officers nabbed by the cameras had a valid reason to speed.

"We are not above the law," Manger said in an interview. "It is imperative that the police department hold itself to the same standards that we're holding the public to."

That would be Police Chief J. Thomas Manger…to whom I would refer his department’s website:

Q: What if I wasn’t driving my car at the time of the violation? Am I still responsible for paying the citation?

A: The law provides that the registered owner must provide a signed affidavit that states they were not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation and provide the name, address and, if possible, the driver’s license identification number of the person who was driving at time of the violation. The police have the discretion to then forward the citation notice to the person identified by the registered owner.”

The article doesn’t mention whether the County has, in fact, provided the signed affidavit and, if so, whether his police have then exercised their “discretion” to forward the citation notice. I’m guessing they haven’t which means the union is probably giving their members good advice.

Side Notes I: Q: What is the goal of automated speed enforcement?

A: The goal is to decrease speeding violations and crashes and, as a result, prevent injuries and save lives.”

Who’s kidding who? That’s just the sales pitch. The goal is revenue enhancement. With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth here in this bastion of liberal group-think regarding monitoring of suspected overseas terrorists, you’d think actual closer-to-home examples of the state monitoring its citizenry would provoke a bit more reaction.

The Maryland state Bar is always whining about us working for social justice and doing it pro bono - if the officers need some legal help on this matter, they can contact me at

Side Notes II: You can always go online and figure out just where these cameras are: MC Department of Police - Speed Camera Locations

Friday, March 07, 2008


Yeah, what woman hasn't heard a variation of this line before...

Mayor of New Orleans: "I Am A Vagina-Friendly Mayor"

I think I'll wait to see if that line works before I use it. (H/T JP)


The more likely 3AM call...

A quick note on the infamous 3AM phone call ad for Senator Clinton: I’d like to see a version where you hear her answer the phone and a clearly young, clearly female voice is on the other line…then some rustling as Ms. Clinton turns over in bed and says: “Bill, it’s for you”.

See, this is the problem with all this stuff about a new brand of politics; legitimate cheap shots like this are probably now considered out of bounds.


Building a Religion

Catchy tune - clever video (via YouTube)

Watch & listen a few times and see if doesn't stay with you.

“To resist it is useless
It is useless to resist it”


Wednesday, March 05, 2008


McCain 2008

As is now all-but-official, John McCain will be the Republican nominee for President. Coincidently, yesterday I received some McCain 2008 paraphernalia; the usual - a ball cap, a few buttons and some bumper stickers. So, last night, mixed in with watching the returns, I scraped off my old Ehrlich and Steele stickers (2006) (which, in turn, were covering up my 2004 Bush-Cheney and “Pipkin for Senate” stickers) and affixed my first McCain 2008 sticker.

A lot is being made of Senator McCain’s continuing need to win over conservatives for fear they otherwise may just sit out the upcoming election. Well, I think I’m a fairly consistent conservative and the alternatives the Democrats are considering presenting for my vote in November put that vote in the “win’ column for John McCain.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


NOW hear this!!

Eli Saslow of the Washington Post gives vent to a collective whine by some aging NOWers about the travails of Senator Clinton’s candidacy: To Women, So Much More Than Just a Candidate

Only it turns out the problem is that the Clinton candidacy is not sufficiently “so much more” for that many women:

“Iowa, where Obama outpolled Clinton among women by five percentage points, was the first sign of trouble. Since then, he has scored nearly as many double-digit wins among women as she has, primarily because black women have voted for him in overwhelming numbers.”

Damm – that identity politics thing bites you when you least expect it.

The article is a veritable treasure trove of easily-mockable statements and observations:

"The issue that's not being talked about in this campaign is the blatant sexism," Wagner said, her words echoing off the granite walls. "There are some people who promote Barack Obama because they want anybody but a woman. Would they like a white man instead of a black man? Of course.”

Which explains why John Edwards is back home working on his acceptance speech.

"They call her a werewolf, a witch, an old hag," [Clinton fundraiser] Moresky said. "I think a lot of women are really in shock about it, and they're going to feel gypped if she loses. Barack will still be another man in charge."

Did she say “gypped”?

“They point to the way Obama pulled out Clinton's chair before each debate, immediately establishing the upper hand in their interaction. "You can bet that's a calculated move," Wagner said, "and it's absolutely demeaning."

I knew there was something about Senator Obama that just didn’t “sit” right with me.

“[NOW] hoped to generate excitement by endorsing Clinton, marking only the second time NOW has publicly backed a presidential candidate.”

To give you an idea of just how serious NOW takes these political endorsements, I offer you a snippet from the previous one:

“After considering the positions and past records of all the candidates lined up to challenge George W. Bush, one candidate stood above the rest for her lifetime commitment to feminist ideals and her 25-year record fighting for the rights of women at the local, state, national and international levels. We are particularly excited when out of a field of strong progressive candidates, the strongest feminist candidate is also a woman.”

That woman was Carol Mosley Braun – whose 25-year record of fighting for women rights, it turns out, had primarily centered on one woman: Carol Mosley Braun.

But the best part of the article was this small diatribe:

“As Wagner and other NOW executives toured Ohio last week, they repeated a resounding message: Clinton has been mistreated by an opponent who subtly demeans her, by a mainstream media that ridicules her, by voters too threatened to vote for a confident woman, by young women who no longer feel the urgency of the women's movement, by African American women for whom race is more important than gender.”

As a conservative, white, male Republican, I’d just like to point out that that subtly-demeaning opponent is Democrat Barack Obama; that the ridiculing mainstream media is certainly not a heavily Republican-populated conglomeration; that the threatened voters are primarily registered Democrats and that the young and carefree who are dissing the women’s movement are, in fact, women. Finally, I’ll let you deep-thinking identity politics aficionados tell me which should be more important – Race or Gender. I wasn’t planning on factoring those in to my November decision but if voting racial and gender pride is the new mark of enlightenment, I’ll listen.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Hamas & Israel; Israel to blame

Some violent happenings going on in the MidEast and you know things are not going well for certain factions of the Palestinians when the international whine of “excessive force” rises above the din of Hamas’s rockets red glaring.

“Early Sunday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the violence and urged both sides "to immediately cease all acts of violence." U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accused Israel of using "excessive force." After Attacks, Abbas Suspends Peace Talks With Israel

Not wanting Ban Ki-moon to have all the fun of Israeli bashing, the President of the EU jumped in:

“In a strongly worded statement, the president of the European Union, Slovenia, singled out for condemnation "the recent disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) against the Palestinian population in Gaza." The statement described Israel's policy in Gaza as "collective punishment."

(Of course, the EU President also “…reiterates condemnation of continued firing of rockets into Israeli territory and calls for its immediate end.”…but I guess that didn’t fit the theme of Griff Witte’s report)

I have yet to read what would qualify as a “proportionate” or “non-excessive” response. I’m guessing the problem here is that Hamas is fairly incompetent in their hurling of rockets at Israel. (Does anyone want to claim that Hamas is NOT trying to inflict as much damage and carnage as possible?) That they have been unsuccessful does not impose an obligation on Israel to tone it down.

Side Note: The resolve and strength now being mouthed by PM Olmert’s are of the kind many of us wished he had expressed and acted on in dealing with the (still) kidnapped Cpl. Schalit.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Maverick: not just an old TV show

Today’s Washington Post, writing about John McCain and his status as a “maverick”:

“A bad fit, claimed my old friend Maury -- a Maverick by birthright and a maverick by inclination.” A Brand of Politician: To a True Maverick, It's an Earned Label

Now Maury – as in Maury Maverick, Jr. - didn’t just claim that to Washington Post staff writer Joe Holley over a cup of coffee last week. That would be too incredible because Mr. Maverick passed away in 2003. Fortunately Mr. Holley had the foresight to discuss and record the last Maverick’s thoughts on this weighty matter – you know, just in case.

So why doesn’t John McCain deserve the vaunted ‘maverick’ status?

“But Maury insisted that any conservative Republican, by definition, adhered too closely to the status quo to deserve the hallowed label.”

(“conservative Republican”, “status quo”? Obviously, Mr. Maverick had never spent much time in Maryland.)

The term “maverick” apparently arose in reference to an ancestor:

“The eponymous transformation of the family name was pure happenstance. Samuel Augustus Maverick, Maury's great-grandfather, ran a small herd of cattle in the Texas Gulf Coast area in the 1840s. When the Mavericks moved to San Antonio, he left the unbranded animals with a trusted slave named Jack. Soon coastal settlers were referring to any unbranded cow as "one of Maverick's."

Wait a minute – the term “maverick” relates back to the actions of a SLAVE owner? Methinks Mr. Maverick Jr. then is partially correct as to a Republican's suitability for the "maverick" label...and as the Republican party was founded in opposition to the Democrats and their slave-owning ways, no conservative Republican should want such an unholy label.

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