June 27, 2009

Now Playing Everywhere

House Passes SECRET Green Legislation


Paul Mirengoff at Power Line explains what happened.

The House passed cap-and-trade energy tax legislation last night even though no complete copy of that legislation existed, making it impossible for our representatives to know exactly what they were voting on. The vote was 219-212.

Eight Republicans voted in favor of the legislation. They are: Mary Bono (CA), Mike Castle (DE), Mark Kirk (IL), Leonard Lance (NJ), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), John McHugh (NY), and David Reichert (WA).

It doesn't follow that these Republican votes (or at least four them) were critical to the passage of cap-and-trade. In the absence of Republican support, the Democratic leadership probably would have forced the necessary number of reluctant Dems to vote for the measure, instead of letting them off the hook.

But the eight Republicans still (a) voted for job-killing legislation rushed through before anyone could know exactly what it entails and (b) gave aid and comfort to some Democratic representatives by enabling them to avoid paying a political price for a "yea" vote they were prepared to provide if Speaker Pelosi needed it.

June 26, 2009

My saddest blogging day EVER

This has been a terrible week.

Those of you who have followed my Internet blogging for over 32 years know that I was once briefly married to actress Farrah Fawcett in 1970. We were a couple of kids, full of hope and youthful enthusiasm, who rode the roller coaster of passion and resentment. We tasted the champagne and the tears, and after 6 tempestuous days, the marriage was annulled. And now my personal Angel is gone.

This afternoon, I took a few moments to look at the 8mm films of our celebrity-studded wedding at Our Lady of the Lilacs Catholic Church in Santa Monica. When I found the formally-posed photo of the wedding party, my ample heart lodged in my throat. There Farrah and I stood next to my Best Man, jovial and generous Ed McMahon. And in the front, legs akimbo, squirming with youthful impatience sat our ring bearer, a precocious Michael Jackson. (Strangely enough, standing right behind Michael was my infamous uncle, Leo "Legs" Akimbo.)

This has been a terrible week.

Good-bye Farrah, my love. You have left me with a tattered poster, a tattered restraining order, and a bushel basket full of memories.

Good-bye Ed, my buddy. I'll never forget you and Joan Rivers having that drunken slap fight at Ye Little Club on La Cienega.

And, finally... Good-bye Michael. You've touched so many people.

June 25, 2009

In case you've forgotten what a real President sounds like...

Ya gotta give it to him - Obama doesn't "meddle"!!

Analysis: Obama's settlement focus handcuffing negotiations

Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post explains how Obama has brought the Peace Train to a grinding halt.
"So here is the status report so far on the Obama administration's settlement policy: The US has strongly called for a complete settlement freeze, Netanyahu has made clear that he will not comply and the Palestinians say that they will not begin negotiating until one is in place.

The bottom line: there will be no negotiations."
With Defense Minister Ehud Barak scheduled to fly back to Washington on Monday for another round of talks about construction in the settlements, it is instructive to ask at this point what exactly US President Barack Obama is trying to achieve by pushing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the wall on this issue.

If, as some maintain, it's a way to build his credentials in the Arab world, then - okay - the policy can be understood. US and European diplomats say continuously that everywhere they travel in the Arab world, settlement construction is the one issue that they hear about time and time again: that construction in the settlements is poisoning the atmosphere and that Obama's seriousness in charting a new policy with the Arab world will be judged in no small degree by how he deals with Israel on this issue. (more...)

ACORN Int'l Changes Name; ACORN Retains Intimidating Style

Carl Horowitz at National Legal and Policy Center Describes ACORN's efforts to tidy up their image.
"Currently, it's under investigation in at least 14 states for acts allegedly committed in the 2008 cycle alone. In several states, criminal probes resulted in indictments of and guilty pleas by ACORN members. That the group's longtime Chicago ally, Barack Obama, is now U.S. president..."
Even radical activists occasionally engage in re-branding, even if mainly for public relations. But a recent name change by an affiliate of the nation's leading radical community action network may signify more than simply a desire for a new image. Wade Rathke, founder and former longtime chief organizer of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), announced a few days ago that he has changed the name of the affiliate he heads, ACORN International. (more...)

No Country for Burly Men

How feminist groups skewed the Obama stimulus plan towards women's jobs.
by Christina Hoff Sommers
The Weekly Standard
In her March "Below the Belt" column on the NOW website, Kim Gandy could not contain her elation over "this happily-ever-after 'stimulus story.' " When she and her allies saw the final recovery package, they were amazed to find "over and over" versions of "very specific proposals that we had made." More than that, the programs NOW had proposed had vast sums of money next to them--"numbers that started with a 'B' (as in billion)," Gandy said gleefully. "It's impossible to convey just how many hours we put into this issue during December and early January and how fruitful it really turned out to be."
A "man-cession." That's what some economists are starting to call it. Of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men. Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan, characterizes the recession as a "downturn" for women but a "catastrophe" for men.

Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period. Rescuing hundreds of thousands of unemployed crane operators, welders, production line managers, and machine setters was never going to be easy. But the concerted opposition of several powerful women's groups has made it all but impossible. Consider what just happened with the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Last November, President-elect Obama addressed the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries by proposing an ambitious New Deal-like program to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. He called for a two-year "shovel ready" stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams and made reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy the goal of the legislation that would become the recovery act.

Women's groups were appalled. Grids? Dams? Opinion pieces immediately appeared in major newspapers with titles like "Where are the New Jobs for Women?" and "The Macho Stimulus Plan." A group of "notable feminist economists" circulated a petition that quickly garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the president-elect to add projects in health, child care, education, and social services and to "institute apprenticeships" to train women for "at least one third" of the infrastructure jobs. At the same time, more than 1,000 feminist historians signed an open letter urging Obama not to favor a "heavily male-dominated field" like construction: "We need to rebuild not only concrete and steel bridges but also human bridges." As soon as these groups became aware of each other, they formed an anti-stimulus plan action group called WEAVE-- Women's Equality Adds Value to the Economy.

The National Organization for Women (NOW), the Feminist Majority, the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and the National Women's Law Center soon joined the battle against the supposedly sexist bailout of men's jobs. At the suggestion of a staffer to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, NOW president Kim Gandy canvassed for a female equivalent of the "testosterone-laden 'shovel-ready' " terminology. ("Apron-ready" was broached but rejected.) Christina Romer, the highly regarded economist President Obama chose to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, would later say of her entrance on the political stage, "The very first email I got . . . was from a women's group saying 'We don't want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.' " (more...)

June 23, 2009

Obama's Actions Create New Terrorists

Dr. Dave at FEED YOUR ADHD reveals details of a story that, of course, the MSM has ignored.

Flies Revolt, Swarm White House
"The Pentagon finally called in crop dusters and strafed the entire city with secret stashes of illegal DDT, just in case there were outlying cells of flies ready to continue the fight"
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Billions of flies descended on the nation’s capital this morning, torching entire neighborhoods, looting businesses, and swarming the White House in a revolt against President Barack Hussein Obama’s brutal public execution of a fly last week.

The riots began early during rush hour. Hordes of flies could be seen flying low to avoid detection by radar in squadrons from all directions, carrying either excrement bombs or signs declaring “Exoskeletal Beings Have Rights, Too.” Sorties pummeled everything along The Mall and from Pennsylvania Avenue south to the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial. (more...)

June 22, 2009

Don't worry! We'll drive off that bridge when we come to it.

Hat Tip to Ramirez

Obama Needs to Articulate American Ideals

Over at GayPatriot, a comparison is made between Events today in Iran and twenty years ago at Tiananmen Square.
"Perhaps, if they weren’t trying so hard not to be George W. Bush, they might better understand the ideals of our great nation..."
Like many Americans on both sides of the political aisle, I follow the events in Iran sensing we are witnessing something of great historical significance. It reminds me of the fall of 1989 when I would return home from work and flip on CNN (then the only 24-hour cable news network) to learn of the events in eastern and central Europe. That year, the dominoes fell one by one, with freedom triumphing in the nations of the then-Warsaw Pact. But, earlier that year the Chinese Government repressed a similar uprising for freedom in Tiananmen Square. (More...)

June 21, 2009

Father of the Century

The story below was published in Sports Illustrated on June 20, 2005, p. 88. Be sure to watch the video at the end.
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars–all in the same day.

Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much–except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

“He’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life;” Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. “Put him in an Institution.”

But the Hoyts weren’t buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. “No way,” Dick says he was told. “There’s nothing going on in his brain.”

“Tell him a joke,” Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? “Go Bruins!” And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, “Dad, I want To do that.”

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described “porker” who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. “Then it was me who was handicapped,” Dick says. “I was sore For two weeks.”

That day changed Rick’s life. “Dad,” he typed, “when we were running, It felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!”

And that sentence changed Dick’s life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

“No way,” Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite a Single runner, and they weren’t quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, “Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?”

How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don’t you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you’d do on your own? “No way,” he says. Dick does it purely for “the awesome feeling” he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992–only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

“No question about it,” Rick types. “My dad is the Father of the Century.”

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. “If you hadn’t been in such great shape,” One doctor told him, “you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.” So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father’s Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

“The thing I’d most like,” Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.”