timely quote

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What you have to believe to accept gun control

You may have noticed that I shoot regularly and own several guns for sport and protection purposes. So I really enjoyed reading something I found over at No Apology. It's from Political Humor, and it is called 40 Reasons to Support Gun Control. Of course, now there are over three hundred of them, so plan for a few minutes.

Here are some of my favorites:

That incidents where people shoot criminals in self defense are very rare, and shouldn't be used as excuses to own guns, just as incidents where presidential press secretaries are shot are very rare, and shouldn't be used as excuses to ban guns.

That the Second Amendment only applies to flintlocks, just as the First Amendment only applies to quills and lead type.

That a gun with an 11 round magazine is dangerous, but a gun with fifteen 10 round magazines is much safer.

That Washington DC's low murder rate of 80.6 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, but Arlington, Virginia's high murder rate of 1.6 per 100,000 is attributable to the lack of gun control.

That "assault weapons" are "very powerful" but big game hunters oddly prefer .30-06s and .375 H&Hs.

That assault rifles are "underpowered" for hunting, but can "punch through police body armor." More powerful hunting rifles, however, cannot.

That among the hundreds of documented cases against anti-gun freaks we note that: the press secretary of Handgun Control was arrested in DC for discharging an illegal handgun, a ranking regional officer of the Million Moron March was convicted of felony assault, and other Million Morons in Colorado have been arrested for attacking firearm dealers and activists, but "gun nuts" are "obsessed with violence."

That because of the bombing at Oklahoma City and the knife-point hijacking on September 11, we should take guns away from people who weren't involved.

That families with children should not be allowed to own guns for safety reasons, just as they aren't allowed to own dogs, power tools, or toxic chemicals.

That it's wrong to politicize that the World Trade Center attackers didn't need guns to hijack a plane, but okay to politicize that the Columbine killers bought guns …illegally.

That a gun is merely an inadequate substitute for a penis, so when attacked by a mugger one should pull out a…...
And probably my favorite of all of them:
That the "Reasonable" uses for guns are hunting and target shooting, but not self-defense. In other words, it's acceptable to use them as toys but not as lifesaving devices.
It just reminds me of what happens when logic breaks down and fear and a lack of understanding takes over.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who is the most socialist?

I read this story with a chuckle.
Facing unwelcome resistance from fellow Democrats, President-elect Barack Obama is encouraging critics of his $800 billion economic recovery plan to "just show me" their own ideas. With more than 11 million Americans out of work, Obama pressed Congress for urgent action Friday and said the U.S. is undergoing "a devastating economic crisis that will become more difficult to contain with time."
It seems like Congress is saying that Obama's economic "stimulus" plan gives too much money to people and not enough to state level government projects. What's really interesting about this, is that congressional democrats are holding up Obama's $800 billion plan because they want to get credit for the bill.

But congressional Democrats are making it clear they want to put their own stamp on the revival plan, despite the inevitable delays. Some Obama ideas, like a $3,000 job creation tax credit, might get scrapped.

Many Democrats aren't thrilled with Obama's business tax cut plans and are griping that there's not enough money in the measure for traditional infrastructure projects like road construction and water projects or for tax credits to promote renewable energy.

So the democrats are trying to co-opt Obama's plan to start funding their pet projects.

A squadron of Obama officials came to the Capitol on Friday to brief House Democrats on the measure, and they again heard criticism of some of Obama's proposed tax cuts, particularly a $3,000 credit for job creation. Lawmakers pressed for more infrastructure spending and tax credits to promote renewable energy and said that more needs to be done to address the housing crisis.

"There's considerable expertise running around the halls of Congress, and this week represents the first, most significant opportunity to have good, constructive dialogue on how we build the best package," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.

Read that again. It sounded like, "We know what we're doing, and we'll tell you what we should do." Of course, with a few notable exceptions, congressional democrats have been frustrated for the last 8 years. Now they have both a democrat president incoming (to whom, it seems, they believe they can dictate), and an economy bad enough that 52% of the people are willing to accept a little socialism in the hope that it will get better.

It also looks like Barbara Boxer realized that it may look bad that the incoming democrat congress is planning on holding up the president-elect's signature plan when she talked to reporters.

"All of their priorities are ones that we share," Pelosi said. "We just want to make sure that those (ideas), when they're written in the bill, are ones that can be used immediately and can create jobs."

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., emphasized areas of broad agreement and the universal sentiment of a need to act.

"Please don't get the idea there was some sort of breakdown here," Boxer told reporters.

Sounds like there was some sort of breakdown here. The democrats in congress are asserting themselves, and how Obama handles it will really set the tone for the first year of his presidency.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama's intelligence picks short on experience

From yahoo.com.

It has been almost two months since John Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for the CIA head post. He had been taking fire from human rights groups for not protesting loudly enough about the Bush administration's intelligence gathering procedures.

Now Obama has finally released names for his intelligence directors. Although there was a very long list of highly qualified people for both posts, Obama did not want to pick anyone that had been affiliated with the Bush administration or it's policies. Obama's pick for CIA is former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta and director of national intelligence is Retired Adm Dennis Blair. Blair was the Chief of the US Pacific Forces during 9-11 and was an associate director for military support at the CIA and his selection had been expected. The choice of Panetta has brought questions and concerns from some intelligence professionals.
"I'm at a loss," said Robert Grenier, a former director of the CIA's counterterrorism center and 27-year veteran of the agency who now is managing director of Kroll, a security consulting company.

The lack of intelligence experience puts Panetta at "a tremendous disadvantage," Grenier told The Associated Press in an interview.

"Intelligence by its very nature is an esoteric world. And right now the agency is confronted with numerous pressing challenges overseas, and to have no background is a serious deficit. I don't say that he can't succeed. It may that he can compensate for the obvious deficit."

Sen Diane Feinstein has also expressed some concern about the Panetta pick.
"I know nothing about this, other than what I've read," she said. "My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time."
Panetta was Clinton's Chief of Staff, and led the search for the CIA director that led to the selection of John Deutch in 1995. Deutch served for 18 months and was later found to have stored confidential material on several unclassified laptops in his possession. He was investigated, but Janet Reno declined to prosecute. Then Clinton pardoned Duetch on his way out of office.
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Since 9-11, Bush has spent a large amount of time building the intelligence community back up, removing roadblocks between the agencies (put in place under Clinton) and helping maximize the ability of our intelligence community's ability to gather information. The number of attacks that have been thwarted is much larger than those that have been made public, and maybe that is one of the problems.

Since there have been no attacks or highly publicized failed attacks, the public perception seems to be that there is no more threat. This has led to public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, misunderstanding the necessities of intelligence gathering and the underestimation of the global threat posed at this time.

With Obama's extreme lack of executive experience (or any other real political experience), the smart money was on him picking people with substantial experience in their selected field. Unfortunately, in this time of instability and terror around the world, picking someone with a poor history and virtually no intelligence experience to run the CIA shows a lack of understanding of what is really going on in the world.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pay to Play part duex and Blago update

In the second Obama linked pay to play scandal, Gov Bill Richardson of New Mexico, has withdrawn from his nomination to be the new commerce secretary. Someone in Richardson's administration is under investigation by a grand jury about a business that won contributed over $110,000 to Richardson's political committees. The company, CDR, won a $1 million contract just before the largest contribution of $75,000.
A senior Obama adviser said that when Richardson was nominated, he gave assurances that he would come out fine in the investigation and the president-elect had no reason to doubt it. But as the grand jury continued to pursue the case, it became clear that confirmation hearings would have to be delayed for six weeks or even longer until the investigation was complete, said the adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity about the discussions because they were private.
Well, we know already what the Obama people think about "private conversations" don't we?

This comes just before Obama's meeting with his prospective cabinet about the massive "economic recovery" bill he want's to get passed first thing after his coronatio...inauguration.

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh told FOX News that with the cloud lingering over the Obama transition because of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempts to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat, the Richardson nomination would have been another unwanted distraction.

Richardson "was going to have a very difficult time getting through this nomination," Marsh said. "People really haven't looked at the Richardson situation and the more they looked at it, the more they realized" confirmation was going to be a problem.

It will be interesting to see who Obama ends up tapping for this now empty post. Probably someone from Chicago.
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In an update to the Blago scandal, apparently, Sen Harry Reid called Gov Blagojevich to voice his opposition to appointing Jesse Jackson Jr to Obama's empty Senate seat.

The Sun-Times reported Friday that during their discussion Reid pressured Blagojevich not to appoint Jesse Jackson Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones because he feared they'd lose to a GOP opponent in the next election.

In a rather ironic turn of events, Reid has been called a racist for his opposition.

William Walls of the Committee for a Better Chicago called Reid's opposition to the appointment of Jackson, Davis or Jones, all of whom are black, an act of racism.

"The U.S. Senate is an institution that is primarily white and has been forever and some people are more comfortable with people of their own kind," Walls told FOXNews.com. "Harry Reid seems to be one of those people."

Walls has vowed to rally activists in an effort to politically defeat Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Secretary of State Jesse White if they don't support Blagojevich's appointment for the seat, Roland Burris.

Since this information came out, Reid has been attacking Blagojevich and avoiding the actual questions of his motivation about the phone call:

"Gov. Blagojevich's efforts to try to tarnish others while the cloud of suspicion continues to grow over him are shameful, as are his efforts to further betray the public trust and sow seeds of division," said Reid in the prepared statement, which also called for Blagojevich's resignation.

Reid, however, stopped short of explaining his side of the conversation.

"Gov. Blagojevich appears to be trying to distract attention from his daunting legal problems and damaged credibility by distorting information about private phone calls between himself and other public officials," Reid said.

The Democratic party is really poking sticks at each other. Not the most auspicious of starts here. They should be careful or they'll start to fall apart and look like the loose affiliation of special interests that they really are. There's nothing quite like rats fleeing a sinking ship than Democrats scattering at the mention of a scandal. Wow.