I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought.The latest statistics from the FBI on hate crimes paint a disturbing picture of Islamophobic bigotry in America.Of course, you’re well aware of the Islamophobic pandemic backlash that innocent Muslims have experienced as a result of a few overachieving radical jihadists — who are not really Muslim, even thought they say they are, and draw their inspiration from the Koran, and do pretty much what Muhammed did, all the while shouting “Allahu akbar.”
I’m sure you’ve heard America leaders warn us about taking out our anger on people who don’t look like us, or don’t pray like us, and who put far too much clothing on their undoubtedly-comely women.
Well, first of all, the FBI report shows that Muslims are severely underrepresented as a hate-crime victims. Only 2.3 percent of hate crimes were anti-Islamic — that means only 135 out of 5,928 hate crimes were even aimed at Muslims.
Even Jews, on a per capita basis, received more attention from hateful criminals than Muslims did; twice as much. Clearly, President Obama has work to do if he hopes to address this savage inequality that Muslims experience as second-class hate-crime victims.
Beyond the basic unfairness to Muslims, perhaps the overriding concern about the hate-crimes statistics is the very small number of crimes that are motivated by hate at all.
About 9.8 million crimes were committed in the United States in 2013, but fewer than 6,000 were classified as hate-crimes.
This means that only one out of every 1,652 crimes is even motivated by hate.
All the rest are driven by greed, lust, boredom, or even personal hatred of a non-discriminatory nature.
Well, the psychological toll on non-hate-crime victims is perhaps anecdotal, but no less real in the absence of data.
In the words of one beating victim: “I’ve got a broken jaw, and bruised ribs, but my attacker said nothing against my religion or race — not a word. How am I gonna explain this to the kids. It’s just senseless.”
Well, I’m sure you join me in calling on President Obama to restore hate to its proper place in crime, and to elevate Muslims at least to the status of Jews.
But above all else, it’s important that we don’t let the current shortage of anti-Muslim hate crimes deter us from raising the alarm about Islamophobic bigotry in America.
I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.
It may seem like a small thing, but the lead sentence in this Dallas Morning News story nicked a nerve somewhere in my jaw.
Newly sworn in Sen. Don Huffines said Thursday the Texas Legislature would approve a bill that allows Texans to carry guns without a permit.
You saw it too: “that allows Texans to carry guns without a permit.”
Most Dallas Morning News readers will think nothing of it, and instead ponder whether they think it’s a good idea to “allow” so-called open carry (if they do any thinking at all).
Of course, some might wonder why I quibble, after all, they’d say, our U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment allows individuals “to keep and bear arms.”
It clearly does NOT. It does not ALLOW us to do anything.
Rather it forbids the U.S. government from infringing on our natural, God-given right to self-defense. We don’t need permission from the government to protect ourselves from hoodlums, from foreign invaders, or from even the U.S. government, if it should breach the constitutional wall.
The 14th Amendment applies this constitutional protection of natural rights to all citizens against encroachment by any state.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (from Amendment XIV, Section 1)
So, when Texas, or any other state, passed laws forbidding us “to keep and bear arms,” it overstepped its constitutional bounds. Sen. Huffines’ legislation will put the state government back inside the constitutional walled compound. (My beef is not with the senator, who understands that we don’t need a permit to exercise natural rights.)
The legislation, which Governor Greg Abbott says he will sign, does not “allow” anything. It restores a right that the government was not “allowed” to infringe in the first place.
There now, I feel much better. How about you?
Jewish Emigration from France to Israel 1994-Present
Some say the bad European economy, high French taxes and the inviting business atmosphere of Israel are behind the veritable exodus of French Jews from their country to Abraham’s promised land.
But it’s hard to discount Jew-hatred and the threat of violence reminiscent of 1930s Germany, as radical Islam burns with rage and is not quenched.
The surge of French Jews emigrating to Israel is unprecedented in the post-World War II era. Last year, for the first time, France exceeded the United States for Jews making aliyah — the Hebrew term for “going up” to Israel, a core element of the Zionist movement.
Pretending economic factors have driven this pattern denies decades of history, when European economic downturns did not produce such an outflow. Last year, Jews from France emigrated to Israel in numbers that exceeded the peak of 5,292 set in 1969, in the wake of Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War.
The Jews have seen this story before, and they will never forget. They know that “noble” world leaders will quibble and equivocate as Jews are surrounded “for their own protection,” and then slaughtered to satisfy the bloodlust of evil men.
But there’s open debate about whether Jews should stay or flee. Watch the Trifecta episode below to learn more about that, and hear the story of the ship St. Louis, which left Hamburg loaded with Jews on May 13, 1939.
Charlie Hebdo, the magazine attacked this week by heavily-armed Hell-bound Muslim jihadists, was run by Left-wing atheists who reveled in lampooning all religions and politicians who aren’t sufficiently socialist.
Yet despite the heathen commie content of Charlie Hebdo, those of us in the Right-wing echo chamber have offered full-throated support for their right to express their despicable views, even if they do it with tasteless, often ribald, satire. (The fact that I use the word “ribald” proves that I’m the kind of stick-in-the-mud who should despise Charlie. What’s worse: I write ScrappleFace.com, which I bill as “family-friendly satire.” Ick.)
But you see, Right-wing evangelical wackos like me tend to be people of principle. True principles, by definition, must enjoy universal application. We believe in a free marketplace of ideas where, ultimately, the truth will come to light — if not in this life, then in the one to come.
So, while one of President Obama’s press secretaries clucks his tongue about Charlie Hebdo’s poor judgement – using the bully pulpit to pressure them to still their Muhammed-mocking pens — we stand by the cartoonists’ right to lampoon the Prophet Muhammed and his morality-bereft, blood-besotted groupies. (Carney’s parsing of “right” vs. “judgment” is fine for parlor prattle, but not from the president’s spokesman standing before a global camera in the White House.)
We did not support Charlie because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It’s not because we were glad to see someone stick it to the pedophile “prophet” of the scimitar “scriptures.” After all, Charlie mocked Christians too.
We support free speech rights unconditionally — regardless of what we think of the message. If we disagree with the viewpoint or method of expressing it, the remedy for bad speech is more speech, not censorship by statute or scimitar (or presidential bullying).
The Leftist is in a quandary, because many of his movement’s brightest lights, or at least loudest speakers, want us to believe that slim difference lies between the Muslim gunmen of Paris and the average Southern Baptist.
To Lefty, we’re all dangerous religious bigots.
Yet even the “progressive” journalists and politicians know in their hearts that if they showed up at a baptist church potluck, uninvited, and started to spout their Utopian collectivism, they’d get nothin’ but love, strange looks, and perhaps some awkward but sincere attempts to share Jesus with them.
At the Baptist potluck, Lefty would be allowed to run his fool mouth until the peach cobbler ran out, signaling time to go home.
Next Sunday, someone would ask Brother Mike to pray for Lefty’s commie, heathen soul…bless his heart.
The goat-goading Muslim swineherds who emptied their AK-47 magazines into the bodies of French satirists today, send a message to you: Shut up. Sit down. Be afraid, and stand aside as we take over the world in the name of our slavemaster. Shaitan Akbar. Praise Satan. (I don’t care if they pronoun Shaitan as “Allah,” we all know whom they serve.)
Years ago, a Jewish friend asked me about my newfound faith in Jesus Christ. After hearing my salvation story, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said quite sincerely, “Is there really a God?” It was a combination of hope and disbelief. After years of rehearsing the rituals that tell the story of the one true God who saves and redeems, she seemed taken aback that He might really exist, care, love, send the Messiah to deliver the broken and needy from oppression, as she knew He had promised.
Years later, in a phone call, another friend confessed, with profound shock, that she had begun to believe that there might actually be evil in the world — not just mistakes, or misunderstandings, or bouts of misguided passion, but pure evil that lives, and moves, and strikes.
What my friends were reluctant to believe, history cannot disguise.
Yes, there is a God.
Yes, there is evil.
Though God loves us, we fear the Lord, in the sense that we are overwhelmed with wonder at his power, his love and his faithfulness toward us. We stand in awe of him, and bow before him, offering praise and thanks. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Shall we also fear Satan, and those who act in his name?
No, because the power of God within us is greater than the power of evil.
An ancient Hebrew song says that when evil men rise up — men who think they’re gods, or who follow them – God mocks them.
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
– Psalm 2:4
And this is why we will not be afraid of the latest evil manifestation of the pig-god of the jihadists — the one that used to be called Beelzebub: the lord of the flies.
Therefore, we should and many already have, rejected the tyranny of Satan over us, even with the small gesture of sharing a picture of the Prophet Muhammed, whom Islamic jihadists worship as fervently as they do the nominal deity.
Here’s my own, hand-drawn, contribution to the rebellion against evil, along with a link to a satirical story I wrote about today’s slaughter of fellow satirists at Charlie Hebdo. I hope you’ll share it, or create your own.
In the wake of the embarrassing revelation that Rep. Steve Scalise, the new House majority whip, has apologized because he very nearly spoke with a racist group 12 years ago, I feel that it’s time for me to confess a similar transgression — although, perhaps more serious, since I actually spoke with the group in question and I knew what I was doing at the time.
The group I addressed has devoted decades to advancing discriminatory policies that treat blacks and other minority groups as substandard, inferior and virtually handicapped compared with whites. What’s more they’re unrepentant, even proud of it.
Worse, the group has been responsible for racially segregating schools and neighborhoods, by literally funneling taxpayer dollars into substandard housing zones that become generational poverty traps for poor racial minorities.
In addition, the group has coordinated money, manpower and strategy with kindred organizations to block minority children from receiving a decent education, and to box out independent minority entrepreneurs from lucrative contracts that could lift them and their neighborhoods up from the bottom.
Worst of all, the group before which I spoke has successfully promoted and funded race-selective “medical procedures” which have resulted in the deaths of millions of black infants.
Yes, that’s right: I, Scott Ott, confess that some years ago, I spoke before a group of Democrats.
Also from Scott Ott:
I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought.
Lost in the vitriolic effluent of recent political news, was a story of surpassing hope for peace on earth, and a better tomorrow.
It was news of a breakthrough agreement at a global climate change conference.
For the first time in history, all of the nations of the world agreed to agree on a plan to be agreed upon at a future date.
This will, of course, halt the deadly spread of climate change, or at least to slow it down enough to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
This historic agreement to agree to agree-upon didn’t just happen over night.
Initially, environmentalists, climate experts, great thinkers and Al Gore wanted the world to just agree on a plan to reduce man-made atmospheric carbon before we all burn up under the rising ocean.
This would be accomplished by rapidly substituting solar, wind and other clean energy sources, for dirty coal and petroleum.
Essentially, it means switching from underground to above-ground energy sources. And you don’t have to be a climate scientist to like the sound of that.
After all, underground is dark, filled with worms and probably where Hell would be, if it existed, which I’m pretty sure it does not, because I don’t want to go there.
Above-ground is sunny and windy and wet and wonderful, and probably like Heaven, which is where I’m going because, I don’t want to go to Hell, which doesn’t exist anyway.
Not only is above-ground renewable energy better for the planet, but it creates millions of jobs and ushers in a new era of renewable prosperity.
However, poor countries objected to that first plan.
Poor countries — or at least the handful of wealthy politicians and academics who came to the resort conference from poor countries — said they couldn’t survive under this new renewable prosperity, since their people still need to eat food, drink clean water and try to sleep indoors at night…and eat food.
The new renewable prosperity provides mostly research grants, charter jet flights to climate conferences at resort locations, and medals and trophies for Al Gore — most of which, with the possible exception of Al Gore himself — are not edible.
The rich countries said they understood the plight of the poor — which is why they worked so hard to stop being poor countries— and they recommended that the poor countries also stop being poor too, by investing billions of dollars in renewable energy which creates millions of jobs, and keeps poor people from burning up under the ocean.
But the poor countries said, “You became rich countries by burning coal and oil. We want to do that too, because even if we could eat Al Gore, most of us are vegetarians and Al Gore is made of meat.”
So, AT the climate conference in the South American resort town of Playa Sans Swimsuit — instead of a specific plan to reduce deadly atmospheric CO2, the nations agreed to let each nation come up with its own plan and then have another in conference in Paris next year.
This is a huge breakthrough. Previous conferences would dissolve with nothing but vague promises, and a plan to get together in a lovely vacation hotspot next year.
By the way, before the conference a couple of Google engineers recently announced that they had spent several years and lots of Google money to find a way to replace coal with renewable energy for power generation.
Their research showed, that even though renewables are expensive, inefficient, and difficult to transport, we COULD use them to reverse global climate change if…magic.
Of course, research like this will never hinder global climate agreements.
Because global agreements are based on the kind of science that reinforces the known facts that previous scientists predicted might exist, under certain theoretical computer simulated conditions…along with the proper mix of research grants, resort conferences and Al Gore back bacon.
I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.
Script for Scott Ott video above…
I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought.
The magic of Christmas is how it’s all so effortless. You wake up in the morning and the tree is surrounded by colorful boxes and bags and all you have to do is open the gift.
Well, it probably hasn’t been like that for you for a few decades.
We lived in a country house that was built in the 1700′s. The wooden floorboards upstairs were thin and a bit creaky. Near one of two bedrooms shared by four boys was a small knothole in the floor. I don’t recall if we punched the knot out, but it was gone, leaving a dime-sized hole in the floor through which one might peer into the living room below.
But you had to practically get down on your belly and press your cheek against the pine to see through the knothole. And more than one of us boys did that, more than once, especially on Christmas morning.
We four boys were brought up by our grandparents, Jim and Jessica McMaster, who rose before dawn every day–Pop to drive to Philadelphia to making steel railcars and Nan to do more difficult work, managing a household full of four boys.
But despite their clockwork pre-dawn rising habit, on Christmas morning, they pulled the covers up tight to their chins and they slept in. We pleaded and whined for them to arise, and take us to the gifts, because we couldn’t go without them. That’s the rule. But we practically had to roll them out of bed, such was the extent of their yuletide lassitude. They seemed oblivious to the fact that just below these pine boards lay unimaginable treasure for the taking. It was all so effortless. How could they be tired at a time such as this?
Making things look effortless is exhausting isn’t it? They sacrificed time, and money, and sweat, and sleep, and busted knuckles to make Christmas effortless for us.
I have a Jewish friend who jokes about how easy it is to become a Christian–just believe in Jesus. Whereas, to become a Jew, he says, you need to strive to comply with a bunch of rules, and to get circumcised. The latter requirement, he says, really cuts down on the adult male recruiting pool.
But he’s right–Christianity is effortless. All you have to do is be perfect. That’s what Jesus said,”Be perfect, as your Heavenly father is perfect.”
This morning I read President Obama’s to-do list under the “normalize relations with Cuba” project.
I’m a big to-do list guy. I have an app on my computer and smartphone to list tasks by project, create dependent sub-tasks, prioritize, and track accomplishment. The sub-task and prioritize features are great, because they help me not just to get things done, but to get them done in a logical sequence. Often, that means completing prerequisite tasks before attempting dependent ones.
Near the bottom of the official White House task list for Cuba Normalizar, we find this:
Initiating a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism —
The President has instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch such a review, and provide a report to the President within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism. Cuba was placed on the list in 1982.
Now this comes after setting up a new embassy, facilitating travel to-and-from for certain people, opening up financial pipelines, and helping 95 percent of Cubans get on the Internet.
So, just as you’re thinking, “Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1961,” we find that we’re doing all of this for, and with, a nation we currently classify as a state sponsor of terrorism. Furthermore, we’re doing all of this BEFORE determining whether that classification still applies.
Of course, Secretary of State John Kerry and his staff will assiduously investigate all of the Cuban government’s potentially-suspicious international activities. And, no doubt, Cuba’s communist government will throw open the books on their clandestine affairs so we can fully vet where the money, weapons and ‘advisors’ go and what they do. If we discover that Cuba still sponsors terror, then the normalization deal is off, right Mr. President?
That has to happen, otherwise, President Obama has just committed the United States of America to linking arms with a communist dictatorship that, for all we know, is Iran in the Western Hemisphere.
Funny, you’d think that the CIA would already have a pretty good feel (in espionage jargon) for what Cuba is doing regarding international terrorism, but The Agency has been pretty busy lately, defending itself from attacks by Democrats in Congress and the White House. So, we’ll just have to wait six months and see what Kerry finds out.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I had a “Normalize Relations with Cuba” project in my to-do app, “Determine if they sponsor terrorism” would be the number one priority task, with all others dependent upon, and awaiting, the outcome of its accomplishment.
Dear Theater Owners of America,
Please resist the temptation to cancel showings of the new Seth Rogen/James Franco movie The Interview, merely because anonymous, possibly North Korean, hackers have threatened to turn your multiplexi into lakes of fire.
I’m not asking you to show this movie because I want to see it: I don’t. I won’t. From the previews, it looks like most Hollywood comedies — a plausible comedic scenario skinned bare of surprise and delight by sophomoric sex jokes and overly graphic violence. Subtlety is dead. Or as they say in Hollywood: “Subtlety is F%$&#ing dead from having its face melted off and head exploded in extreme closeup during sex with an amputee stripper.”
And I’m not even pressing you to show it on Christmas day, as planned. You should release it now, the sooner the better, for national security reasons.
That’s because Seth Rogen and James Franco — two affable mediocrities — represent the heart of what makes this country great. Only in America can you create such a tawdry and tedious work of artless, and get paid a combined $15 million for several months of work. In the process, Rogen and Franco’s debauch of Crosby & Hope has employed countless thousands of people, most of whom are vastly more skilled than the dyspeptic duo above the title.
But it’s not for economic reasons you must show it. It’s because…America!
Now, I understand why Sony is backpedaling from its own production. To a foreign firm America may simply mean fatter margins to go with the wider theater seats. But to us, America means that a man can stand up and say any cockamamy thing that passes through his public-schooled brain without fear of government retribution, and certainly without kowtowing before the porcine princeling of Pyongyang.
While the hackers have threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters and nearby subdivisions, their threat bears the earmarks of the Kim dynasty.
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.
CUT TO: Theater audience roaring with laughter.
Allah — the Most Compassionate, the Most Incendiary — has, in recent years, made it clear that he’s angry with Americans and uppity women (but I repeat myself). However over the weekend, we learned that Allah — the Nourisher, the Reliever (the latter, doubtless, while standing) — has become enraged by boutique coffee and chocolate shops.
As Australian authorities attempted to negotiate with a soldier of Allah — the Everlasting, the Attention-Deficit Disordered One — to release hostages and come out peacefully from the coffee and chocolates shop in which he has barricaded himself, I managed to secure an exclusive interview with the Muslim deity.
Below is an exact transcript of my one-on-one with Allah — the Most Candid, the Most Quotable — precisely as these words came to me from the angel, Gibreel, his official spokesman.
SCOTT OTT: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I know you’re a busy god.
ALLAH: Not at all. I run a decentralized operation, so I can focus on vision and strategy, while my agents in the field take care of the day-to-day stuff.
SCOTT OTT: Completely autonomous?
ALLAH: Well, they have the manual committed to memory, and as long as they don’t run afoul of it, they’re free to carry out my vision as they see fit. Middle managers help to head off violators.
SCOTT OTT: I see what you did there.
ALLAH: Forgive me.
SCOTT OTT: I thought that was your job.
SCOTT OTT: I can understand why you’ve been enraged by American soldiers and by women — particularly women, since they’re the greater threat — but what is it about coffee and chocolate shops that offends you?
ALLAH: Well, some think it’s the pricing, the atmosphere or the indefinable music. As for me, it’s the pretension that borders on idolatry.
SCOTT OTT: You mean it’s the hipsters?
ALLAH: In a word.
SCOTT OTT: But isn’t armed hostage-taking a bit O.T.T.?
ALLAH: I see what you did there, Scott Ott.
SCOTT OTT: Forgive me.
ALLAH: I’ll think about it.
SCOTT OTT: Seriously, why not organize a boycott of coffee and chocolate shops in the name of Allah, the Most Politically-Savvy?
ALLAH: It could backfire. I’ll give you three words: Chik-fil-A.
We awoke this morning to news of compromise at the highest levels of public servantry. A $1.1 trillion withdrawal from our bank accounts, and from those of our grandchildren, met with jubilation on the Hill and in the media. The federal government did not — will not — shut down, they sing.
And Americans say, “Prove it — prove that the government is not shut down.”
ISIS clambers across Iraq and Syria like an army of Gollums, now gaining a toe-hold in Egypt as well. Bashar Assad sits on a throne of chemically-killed corpses piled high on Obama’s “red line.”
Putin rolls through Ukraine, daring Obama to make eye contact with him, while he pockets Obama’s lunch money.
Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spin as fast as Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic remarks.
There’s still no accounting or accountability for Benghazi, Fast & Furious, NSA spying on civilians, the horrors of V.A. purgatory, IRS muscling of conservatives and the massive government bailouts that saved Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.
Business lags and the economy drags, while the under-employed and underpaid wonder why Washington doesn’t seem to suffer from “the new normal” — just us.
And if you still think a government shutdown has been averted, trying making a phone call to a government agency to solve a problem.
Out of a clear blue sky, stock brokers and janitors rained.
Contorted bodies approached terminal velocity in wind-whipped business suits.
Forced to decide between the slow agony of fire and the sudden — O, God I hope it’s sudden –slam against cement, they laid out upon the atmosphere, wishing for the whisper of angel wings to whisk them ever upward.
I called a database vendor to get a project update. He said, “Do you know what’s happening?”
“We’re under attack,” he said. “America is under attack.”
Phone slam. Dial my brother’s house — my brother, the United Airlines pilot. His wife answers.
Trying to sound calm, I say, “Where’s Jim?”
“He’s in triple-seven training in Colorado.”
She’s heard. She’s watching.
Turns out that one of the commandeered flights was a route my brother sometimes flew. Try not to think about that.
Several days later, I’m out in the yard in rural Central Pennsylvania and the eery silence of the skies gives way to the whistle of a small jet engine. I stop and stare stunned at the ordinary airplane in the glide path of the local airport. I watch it to the vanishing point — the first I’ve seen since they cleared the skies because no one knew how many more would become missiles.
America’s incredible knack for engineering and for funding seamless systems was transformed by a relatively primitive enemy, into a boomerang bomb that locked onto us, like the Russian torpedo in the climax of The Hunt for Red October.
Gas-guzzling trucks, cowboy boots, big red barns, people praying, dusty farms, the stars-and-stripes snapping in the breeze, and hot blond women on motorcycles — nothing says “Hillary 2016″ like all that, plus a bearded young hunk in a cowboy hat singing…
And now, it’s 2016
and this time I’m a-thinkin’
Guys, put your boots on and let’s
smash this ceiling.
I’ve been thinking about one great lady
like the women in my life,
she’s a mother, a daughter,
and through it all she’s a lovin’ wife …
She fights for country and my family
Now it’s time for us to stand up
The video, posted just two and a half weeks ago by SWH2016.com, already has gone viral with more than 344 views on YouTube — that’s nearly 20 views per day.
Countless dozens of people have been tapping their feet to this catchy tune and dreaming of a leader who understands that ”Our American dream is at stake, and there are some hard choices that need to be made.”
At the risk of converting some red-state Americans to the “Stand with Hillary” movement, I post the video here. (HT @iowahawkblog)
VIDEO SCRIPT: I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought.
It suddenly struck me today that Boehner and McConnell fight Obama just like Obama fights wars. Republicans in Congress use the same strategy and tactics against the Democratic president, that our Commander in Chief uses overseas.
Because this approach has become so popular among the rich and powerful, I thought you might want to try it. So, I boiled it down to 7 quick tips.
1. Draw red lines: Use bellicose rhetoric to let your base know that you’re serious about sounding serious.
2. Cave in when those lines get crossed: If you avoid invoking consequences, it saves you from having to do what you said you would.
3. Announce deadlines in advance: It’s only fair to tell your adversary how long he has to wait until he wins.
4. Fight if you must, but only to blaze a path for withdrawal: The objective of battle, after all, is to seize the moral high ground as the loser, because everybody resents a winner.
5. Use high-altitude sniping to avoid close combat: Low risk shots at high-value targets can win today’s news cycle, without the risk of triggering a more significant battle that you don’t have guts to win.
6. Blame your allies for failure: If you don’t, then people might think it was your fault, and that doesn’t feel good.
7. Take effective tactics off the table: Make sure your opponent knows exactly what you’re not willing to do in order to win.
That’s it. Scott Ott’s quick demonstration that Boehner and McConnell fight Obama like Obama fights wars.
Seven quick tips for snatching shame from the jaws of glory.
I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.
President Obama’s nomination of Colleen Bell as ambassador to Hungary was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday on a 52-42 vote. Here is the essay she submitted along with her application.
Why I Want to Live in Budapest for a Year or More
by Colleen Bell
I’m “Hungary” to spend some time in Budapest (LOL) as part of the U.S. government’s Obama Bundlers Abroad program (that part’s also a joke). While I’ve never been a diplomat, I did earn a diploma in high school and college. I hope this essay is good enough to win Senate confirmation.
As a soap opera producer, I bring a world of experience to the task of serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary. My show, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” is seen in more than 100 countries, so they probably know of me already.
Because of my job on the soap opera, I know more than most people do about the challenges of building solid, long-lasting, mutually-satisfying relationships — or at least about pretending to do so.
But if all I had to recommend me was a history of creating high-quality treacherous relationship stories for daytime TV, I could understand how you might be reluctant to send me overseas as the president’s emissary, and the official face of America.
So, you’ll be glad to know that I’m also a campaign bundler for the president, having raised millions of dollars to assure myself an appointment as ambassador. (Just kidding.)
My wealth of experience making phone calls to wealthy Liberals will serve me well in Budapest, as I’m sure they probably have wealthy Liberals over there too, and maybe even telephones. I even hosted a dinner for the president at my house and got Foo Fighters to perform there. If Hungarian government officials haven’t heard of Foo Fighters yet, they’re really good.
Finally, as if all of that were not enough to secure my confirmation, I’ve also been told that I’m an attractive woman. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have mentioned that, but when you’re trying to show the world America’s best face, it never hurts to actually have a nice face.
All the Best,
How is it possible that the latest CNN/ORC International poll shows that Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney lead the presidential packs in their respective political parties?
The short answer is because Rihanna and Chris Pratt have not (yet) announced their candidacies.
If the latter two names sounded only vaguely familiar to you, then you have the same reaction to them as normal people do to the names of politicians who want to be president.
Political geeks are societal freaks.
Which of the following does not seem likely to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016:
1. Rand Paul
2. Ted Cruz
3. Chris Christie
4. Jeb Bush
5. John Carson
6. Scott Walker
7. Rick Perry
Which ones on that list are U.S. senators and which are state governors? Sort them from most conservative to least conservative. Name their home states.
Chances are, you did all of that with near perfect accuracy.
We political geeks chuckle at videos of people who can’t name a single U.S. senator or a Supreme Court justice, or who want to ban dihydrogen monoxide. But then we see a poll that says Romney and Hillary lead the 2016 White House race, and we act like it means something.
Click to the next page to see who is most likely to be our next president…
If you have children, you understand the rhetorical value of misdirection.
When I was a boy, two of my brothers and I were in the kitchen downstairs with Nan, when we heard a loud crash upstairs.
Nan hollered up the staircase at our other brother, “What are you doing up there?”
His answer was immediate, in just two words: “Coming down.”
And so he did.
We all agreed it was a masterful answer, in that it was both true, and it deflected any real truth-telling. We never did find out what caused the crash.
President Obama is less skilled than my little brother. After all, Obama’s deflection during last night’s immigration speech took three words — 50 percent more.
Here are those three words: “Pass a bill.”
Here’s the context…
Obama: “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill. I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.
The rest of his speech comprised vague allegations of racism and hate against anyone who opposes him, along with heart-rending images (“ripping children from their parent’s arms”), straw-man arguments about mass deportations, and some tough-on-crime rhetoric about gangs and thugs.
All of this is precisely irrelevant.
The problem with Obama’s actions has nothing to do with the immigrants, their struggles and their aspirations, nor with America’s failure to effectively address its illegal immigration challenge. It has everything to do with a president setting a precedent that U.S. law can be set aside by the executive at will. He’s not “acting where Congress has failed,” he’s usurping the constitutional role of Congress to establish a “uniform rule of Naturalization.” [U.S. Constitution: Article I , Section 8, Clause 4]
He’s also not striving “to make our immigration system work better.” If that were true, he’d merely step up efforts to enforce existing law, streamline the process for the many decent, law-abiding folks eager to take the oath of citizenship, and stop beckoning illegals northward with an implied promise of amnesty.
Let me be clear (as he would say), I’m not arguing with the president.
He and I already agree that he lacks the authority to do this.
You see, if Obama had legal counsel outlining why his immigration actions were appropriate and constitutional, he would have recited chapter and verse. Instead, he raised the only real objection, and then simply set it aside without refuting it. Further, he actually blamed his opponents for forcing him to take illegal action.
Since we have his confession, before a great cloud of witnesses, here are two, very direct, words for Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell: “Repeal Obamigration.”
In 1924, H.T. Webster began drawing a comic called “The Timid Soul” for the New York World newspaper. It featured Caspar Milquetoast, a man afraid of practically everything and everybody.
Fast forward 90 years: Today’s New York Times says that Barack Obama “feels liberated” by getting past those messy elections so that he can implement is agenda on immigration, climate change and regulating the Internet, among other issues. Of course, previous election victories also liberated Obama to implement his agenda.
When you’re on a date with Barack Obama, ‘yes’ means yes, and ‘no’ means yes.
Barack Obama is no Caspar Milquetoast.
“…aides said Mr. Obama has concluded that he cannot let opposition from the other party stop him from advancing his priorities…”
In this case, “opposition from the other party” means decisive electoral defeat in the midterm elections after you explicitly said that your policies are on the ballot — every one of them.
Now, take a few steps from the White House down the National Mall to the Russell Senate Office Building and meet the leader of that oppositional other party — new Senate Majority Leader Mitch Milquetoast…uh, McConnell, reacting to Mr. Obama’s hubris.
“I had maybe naïvely hoped the president would look at the results of the election and decide to come to the political center and do some business with us,” [McConnell] added. “I still hope he does at some point but the early signs are not good.”
I had maybe naively hoped Sen. McConnell would look at the results of the election and decide to come to the front, and do what voters really want. I still hope he does at some point but the early signs are not good.
Ever helpful to Democrats, the New York Times points out today that President Obama, by kicking up the volume on immigration, climate change and regulating the Internet, merely pays homage to President George W. Bush.
Although they do not present it this way, in some ways Mr. Obama and his aides are taking a page from President George W. Bush’s playbook after his own “thumping” in his final midterm elections. Instead of pulling out of the deteriorating war in Iraq, as Democrats interpreted Mr. Bush’s election mandate, he sent more troops. Democrats like Mr. Obama, then a senator, accused the president of defying the voters. In the end, the reinforcements and a strategy change helped turn around the war.
The analogy is fundamentally, fatally flawed.
Let’s posit that the American people, by their congressional votes in 2006, sent a message to end the Iraq war. If that were true, you could say that Bush ignored the voice of the people. Although you could as easily conclude that his actions were meant to end the war.
No matter how you read the public will, George W. Bush acted within his constitutional authority as commander in chief when he ordered the successful 30,000-troop surge in January 2007.
As commander in chief, it was Bush’s role to effectively prosecute the war in Iraq, a use of military force that Congress had decisively authorized — 297-133 House, 77-23 Senate.
However, what President Obama now endeavors to do — by distilling his party’s devastating midterm losses into a steroid shot for his agenda — flies in the face of that Constitution.
- He’ll use executive orders to usurp Congress’ Article I, Section 8, authority regarding immigration.
- He uses regulatory agencies like the EPA to go beyond anything Congress authorized with regard to environmental protection.
- He pressures a board of political appointees (the FCC) to rein in the same industry that allows most of us to watch his spellbinding YouTube videos, a move that would further focus power over information in the hands of people who devote their days to boiling down policies into concentrated power.
Nearly everything on Obama’s known agenda, as he waddles into the sunset, stretches or exceeds his constitutional authority.
Post-thrashing Obama ≠ post-thumpin’ Bush.
The New York Times wants to embed more reporters in China, but the communist government won’t process the paperwork. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a news conference this week, first ignored a Times’ reporter’s question about the issue, then suggested that if the Grey Lady would play ball, the red tape might get cut.
This raised the righteous hackles of the Times editorial board, which penned an open letter to Mr. Xi.
The Times has no intention of altering its coverage to meet the demands of any government — be it that of China, the United States or any other nation. Nor would any credible news organization. The Times has a long history of taking on the American government, from the publication of the Pentagon Papers to investigations of secret government eavesdropping.
When you have to reach back 43 years (Pentagon Papers, 1971) to establish your institutional morality, you conjure the expression “the exception that proves the rule.” Nevertheless, the editors then stand in the stirrups of their high horse, and finish with a flourish.
Demanding that journalists tailor their coverage to suit the state only protects the powerful and those with something to hide. A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism.
Oddly enough, that first part could serve as the Times’ slogan: Protecting the Powerful, Since 2008.
Let me summarize the real message, in context, that the Times just sent to Xi Jinping: We won’t play ball China-style, but if you play ball NYTimes-style, we’ll both get what we want.
The context is the Times’ actual reportage and commentary about the Obama administration.
If Mr. Xi took a lesson from Mr. Obama, he would want more Times reporters, not fewer. That’s because even though NYT occasionally highlights administration malfeasance and incompetence, it’s much more likely to leap to the defense of seemingly well-intentioned Utopian centralized collectivist command structures.
In fact, President Obama should personally intervene to get a Chinese residency visa for Times’ columnist Paul Krugman — that is, if Mr. Krugman is willing to move to China, from his current duty station near Mr. Obama’s rectosigmoid junction.
First: Move to a new setting where you have the advantage.
Then: Go on the offensive.
I’ll leave it to you to apply these lessons in the comments below.
What’s the deal with the climate-change deal Obama made with Chinese President Xi Jinping?
The leaders of the world’s two most powerful nations dress up in silk teddies to do this (in 22 words):
One leader “pledges” to do what he said he’d do five years ago.
The other “pledges” to do nothing for 15 years.
Obama committed the U.S. to concrete, measurable goals — 26-28% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, from the 2005 baseline, by 2025. But Obama had already committed to similar goals back in 2009 at the United Nations. For his part, Xi “pledged” that China would “plan” to have her CO2 emissions peak by the year 2030.
On the bright side, while Chinese carbon emissions skyrocket as a result of its rapid emergence from the stone age, along with heavy reliance on coal, U.S. emissions are already in steady decline, thanks to the moribund Obama economy, and the fact that those nice Chinese folks burn the coal to make the stuff that we use, so we don’t have to soil our hands with manufacturing…or coal. So, Obama’s climate change pledge is do-able, as long as Democrats keep their boot on the throat of the U.S. economy through taxation, regulation and profligate entitlement spending.
One can’t help but hope that the New York Times is right that Democrats will make climate change the centerpiece of their 2016 president campaign.
Sgt. Jim McMaster heard the jeep, and looked up from the winch he was wrangling. Three stars on the bumper meant straighten up and acknowledge.
Gen. George S. Patton returned McMaster’s salute.
“What’s the hold up, Sargent?” Patton barked.
A truck hauling a Sherman tank had slid from the rutted frozen slurry, but still blocked the road and thus the convoy. McMaster told the General he’d get the tank off of the truck and use it to pull the truck back onto the road.
“Carry on, Sargent,” Patton said, snapping a salute before ordering his driver onward. And that was that.
Mac and his men got the tank off, the truck out, the convoy moving again.
Not a lot of celebrity moments like that in World War II, although McMaster did meet actor Jimmy Stewart, then a captain or a major, late one night over drinks during a Channel crossing.
No, war is more mud than stars.
Jim McMaster, my Pop, wound up raising his four grandsons, and we hung on his words when he told us war stories.
Setting out for the Normandy invasion, McMaster grabbed the ship’s rail to vault into the landing craft. The next soldier, also vaulting, accidentally kicked his wrist, sending McMaster sprawling on the deck, and his wristwatch sailing into the drink. He’s headed to fight the Nazis, but at the moment, he’s ticked about losing the new watch. Sixty years later, he tells his great-grandchildren about the watch. It was a good watch, and new.
As they approached the Normandy beach on D+4, the landing craft pilot, eager to avoid underwater obstacles, idled the engine and said, “Here’s where you get off.” McMaster looked out at the distance to the beach and knew the water was too deep.
“Take us in closer,” he said. The skipper refused. McMaster laid a hand on his sidearm.
“Take us in.”
The motor revved and the boat moved closer to the beach. When McMaster dropped from the craft into chest-high water something heavy landed on his pack. As he was about to swing an elbow and tell the soldier to find another ride to the beach, when he realized it was a woman — a Red Cross nurse. He waded in, with her on his back, until she could safely walk on her own. He stayed in touch with her by letter for a while. Then the letters stopped. He later learned that the Germans bombed her Red Cross hospital. And that was that.
When McMaster enlisted, he hoped to fly. Instead, he wound up in a tank, with engines originally designed for aircraft that used high-octane, highly-flammable gasoline.
One day, a Panzer surprised him from behind a barn, and shot a track off his Sherman. Able to move only in circles, with no place to hide the tank, he ordered his men to abandon. Two went out the turret hatch, under withering machine-gun fire from the Panzer. McMaster finally leaped free of the crippled tank, losing a piece of his knee to a machine gun round. Before the two men in the belly could escape through the hatch between the fuel tanks, the Panzer lit it up. McMaster watched his fuel-soaked buddies burn. The Sherman exploded, sending the entire turret to high heaven.
This wasn’t a frickin’ movie where the stars all get to go home at day’s end to drink chardonnay.
These were American farmers, mechanics and clerks — boys — shredded, severed, bloodied and burned.
Veterans Day ceremonies tend to be calm, somber, clean and peaceful.
Let’s remember the men who climbed from the mud to the stars to make it so.
Wait a minute…I thought Republicans won the election.
Here in Texas, Republicans dominate the legislature, the governor’s office and all statewide offices. Yet, that Dallas News headline offers the early word on legislative priorities for the next session.
Former House speaker Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, again filed a bill that would institute a statewide a [sic] ban on texting for all drivers—a measure that previously passed in the Legislature in 2011 but was vetoed by now departing Gov. Rick Perry. He called the bill “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”
Of course, this stalwart Republican, Craddick, doesn’t want to limit your liberty. He merely wants to “give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to make our roadways safer,” not to mention a good excuse to take a look-see at the data in your Moto X, since it’s now been used in the commission of a crime. Who knows what other crimes you might be commissioning with it?
Aw, don’t give me that smug look. I don’t think people should text-and-drive any more than you do. (And, by the way, you do it way too much.) After all, if you’re looking at your phone instead of the road and other vehicles, you could miss some great opportunities to express your God-given right to road rage.
The point is, it’s already illegal to drive recklessly. Who cares why you’re doing it — texting, eating a Whataburger, combing your big hair, tweezing your nostrils, smoking one of them vapor contraptions, or rebuking your kids because one won’t share his iPad or e-cig with the others? (Don’t make me come back there.)
If I were in the Texas House right now, I’d introduce an amendment to the Craddick bill that would make it illegal to take your hands from the 10-and-2 positions on the wheel for any reason whatsoever. It should also be forbidden to speak with one’s spouse, children, campaign manager, press secretary or other pets while driving. Needless to say, I would also press for a full ban on daydreaming, or listening to Tears for Fears…
A new study of 41 women who identify themselves as men, but who have successfully born children after “transitioning,” encourages gynecologists and obstetricians to build better rapport with their transgender patients.
That starts by getting the pronouns right. It turns out that 75% prefer to be called “he.” The others divide between “she,” “they” and “ey.” (Like the Fonz, not William Wallace.)
While study authors acknowledge that they’re on the cutting edge, they think there may be thousands of mannish women with baby bumps out there, whose hearts break when someone calls them “she” just because they’ve got a bun in the oven. Haters.
Oddly enough, some subjects felt their masculinity peaked during gestation, labor and birth.
“Pregnancy and childbirth were very male experiences for me,” said a 29-year-old respondent in a study reported Friday in Obstetrics and Gynecology. “When I birthed my children, I was born into fatherhood.
It’s one thing to have lady parts and think you’re a man, but quite another to use those lady parts for a ladylike purpose, and think that it makes you more manly than ever.
It’s reverse gender dysphoria…on steroids.
The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together,” [Sen. Harry] Reid said. “I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class.”
If Americans were tired of divisiveness in D.C., and frustrated with the failure to work together to pass legislation, Democrats would have swept Tuesday’s midterm elections. They did not.
If Americans wanted to get back to the good old days of the Clinton administration, they would have supported the candidates who Bill and Hillary backed. In the crucial Senate races in Georgia, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina (and others), they did not.
Americans would have returned Harry Reid to the Senate majority leader’s chair, with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority, if they yearned to…
- pack the courts with abortion advocates, or
- hold onto their Obamacare health plan, or
- yield their children to compulsory Common Core curricula, or
- slap down corporations through higher taxes, or
- muzzle the voice of the Koch brothers, or
- protect the bureaucrats who snoop on and target us, or
- put that hinkle dreck Netanyahu in his place. (Apologies to my Pennsylvania Dutch and Jewish brethren.)
They did not do that, because they do not want that.
In Iowa, the Joni Ernst for Senate campaign caught fire when she implied she would castrate Democrats and their cronies in D.C. — figuratively, of course.
If America wanted nothing more than peace in the D.C. pigpen, Joni would be headed home.
Instead, Senator-elect Ernst is pulling on her Carhartts and snapping on the latex gloves.
In sensational language, Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the biggest enforcement action ever against a greenhouse gas violator, as the federal government penalized automaker Hyundai Group up to $350 million.
“This will send a strong message that cheating is not profitable and any company that violates the law will be held to account,” Holder said. “This announcement illustrates that this type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated.”
What did they do to deserve the biggest spanking since the Supreme Court, in 2007, gave the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases?
Hyundai Group overestimated the miles-per-gallon rating in about a quarter of their Kia and Hyundai models.
That means they’ve had to downgrade their fleet-wide 2012 fuel efficiency average from 27 all the way down to 26 MPG.
That 1 MPG variance apparently constitutes a high crime.
According to the EPA, the fine is the largest in Clean Air Act history, which the automakers violated when they sold close to 1.2 million vehicles that will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what the automakers certified to EPA.
The biggest part of the penalty comes in the form of lost carbon credits. Hyundai already compensated some 900,000 customers for the MPG misstatement, and characterizes the settlement as a welcome end to a two-year government inquisition.
“We’re going to be working with the EPA to make sure that the guidelines are easy to follow. … So we’re getting slapped on the wrist here [but] we did have an error, and we fixed this. It’s not going to happen again. We’re paying a penalty and it’s time to move on,” [Hyundai spokesman Jim] Trainor said.
While the issue may be behind Hyundai, the rest of the industry can’t breathe easy yet.
[EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy] said Hyundai’s conduct was the most “egregious” and “systemic,” but didn’t close the door on possible investigations against Ford Motor Co. or other automakers who have overstated mpg. Ford, BMW AG and Daimler AG have restated mileage ratings on vehicles over the last year.
Of course, corporations don’t pay fines any more than they pay taxes. You and I pay for all of it. So, now that you’ve been chastised, I hope we won’t have to have this conversation again.
As frustrating as it is to be a Republican in Obama’s America, our deepest empathy should flow to our beleaguered Democratic neighbors. Not only must they bear the burden of this administration’s incompetence, corruption, and human rights violations — but they also harbor the heartache of multiple promissory notes that candidate Obama wrote, but that President Obama failed to cash.
Today in the The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf, peels back the sopping dressing from the sucking wound that is Democratic discontent with Obama.
But here’s what I find alarming: Confronted with a president who 1) spied on every American; 2) covered up torture; 3) continued a War on Drugs ruinous to minorities and whole foreign nations; 4) killed hundreds of innocents in drone strikes; 5) waged war illegally and killed an American citizen without due process (while suppressing the legal reasoning used to do so); 6) let high-ranking national-security officials break the law with impunity; and 7) persecuted whistleblowers—confronted with all of those transgressions, more than four in 10 Americans still approve of the job Obama is doing. And most of them are loyal Democrats. Partisanship and tribalism are overriding the moral compass of too many liberals, who ought to be furious with Obama. National-security policies he unilaterally pursued will be harming the U.S., its moral standing, and its most vulnerable citizens for years if not decades to come, especially since Democrats are poised to make civil illibertarian Hillary Clinton their party’s next leader.
You don’t have to agree with their ideology, objectives or worldview to feel their pain. And now, on election eve, is no time to swat them across the nose with a newspaper for their votes in 2008 and 2012.
As a few of our Democratic neighbors shuffle forlornly into the polling places Tuesday, these facts will weigh heavily on their minds. For some, it will be a bridge too far. They will not muster the strength to rise and go forth. They’ve lost the will to make excuses for this president and for the Democrats in Congress who have backed him every step of the way, but who now resort to feigning outrage at his policies.
If you back someone into corner, by bludgeoning his party or his erstwhile president, you force him to fight to avoid losing face. Instead, consider the art of war advice usually attributed to Sun Tzu: “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”
That little paragraph from The Atlantic, with a link to the article, could be part of that bridge.
If we approach our Democratic brethren with a sense of our common humanity, and with grace for a fellow sinner, then we may look back some day and realize, in the words of a once-inspiring aspiring leader, that “this was the moment - this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.“
No one cares for the black people more than college-educated white Democrats.
I know, right?
So that’s why when educated whites move into America’s most tolerant, progressive Democratic cities, blacks move out, according to Eric Tang in the Washington Post.
Between 2000 and 2010, cities like Austin, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco—places that vote majority Democrat, consider themselves socially and culturally progressive, and boast racial diversity—all lost unprecedented numbers of African Americans. San Francisco, for instance, saw a staggering 20.4 percent loss in its African American population between 2000 and 2010. Chicago and Washington D.C. also experienced double-digit losses.
Tang, an assistant professor at University of Texas, Austin, cites Stanford University research showing that as college grads become a bigger share of a Democrat-dominated city’s workforce, income inequality rises, driving out (often black) lower-wage folks.
Meanwhile, 100 percent of the big cities that Mitt Romney won in 2012 (ok, there aren’t many of them) saw their black populations grow — big time.
During that same decade, the only three major cities (populations over 500,000) that voted Republican in the 2012 presidential election— Phoenix, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma City—all saw significant increases in African American numbers; their African-American populations grew by 36.1 percent, 28 percent and 11.4 percent respectively.
Austin, known in Texas as “the blueberry in the tomato soup,” is unique among major cities in that it’s growing, but not in diversity. The actual number of black Austin residents decreased from 2000-2010 by 5.4 percent.
All of this proves at least two things:
1) reducing diversity makes the Democrat ideal of tolerance more achievable, and
2) while white Democrats may be college educated, blacks who pack up and leave are just plain smart.
In most parts of Texas, the Republican primary virtually IS the general election, or so they tell me. But Republicans are careful to add that they don’t take anything for granted.
Things are different back in the old country — my former home of Pennsylvania — as I was reminded yesterday.
I found a GOTV postcard in my Texas mailbox, addressed to my Texas home, from the ‘Tom Corbett for Governor’ campaign. Corbett is the sitting (rarely standing) governor of Pennsylvania.
Look up the word “squander” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of Tom Corbett.
The postcard headline says “Poll Shows Corbett-Wolf Race Tightening,” and the text tells me that “We need every Republican to vote, and that includes you!” I wondered how many other registered Lone Star voters Corbett counts on to put him over the top in the Keystone State.
I rejoice that I get to vote for Greg Abbott as our next Texas governor — a wheelchair-bound man who stands up more than Corbett ever has.
I would call Tom Corbett a huge disappointment — a Republican governor, with a Republican legislature — who has kowtowed and cowered before the union bosses, while equivocating about his positions, and carping about legislative obstacles in his own party…but “disappointment” is a word too glorious for Corbett.
From the moment I met him, and in several subsequent conversations, he struck me as a pathetic figure who couldn’t lead a little girl if she stood on the tops of his feet and begged him to dance.
The only circumstance that would justify reelecting Tom Corbett for governor would be if the figurative ‘wolf is at the door.’
Unfortunately, it’s worse. The literal Wolf is at the door.
Democrat Tom Wolf will make Pennsylvania’s burdensome taxation even more intolerable. Entrepreneurs and corporations will decamp from the Commonwealth more eagerly, and the outbound capital flow will grow to a torrent.
The policies and politicians of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will kiss in Harrisburg.
So, to my Pennsylvania friends: Tom Corbett sucks, and it doesn’t get any better than that…not this time.
So, suck it up and go vote for Corbett. Then go take a shower with a wire brush.
Apple CEO Tim Cook coming out as gay today packs all the surprise of most recent Apple product announcements. By the time Tim takes the stage, everything’s already been leaked.
And yet we know that for many people, Tim’s announcement carries cultural significance. They see it as bold, ennobling, inspiring, and perhaps long overdue.
I see it as just plain silly — absurd, lacking in common sense, ignorant, pitiable, and perhaps disingenuous.
“So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” — Tim Cook, Bloomberg Businessweek
First of all, Tim, “Let me be clear” is Obamese for “I’m about to lie.”
And in fact, in this context, you’re saying that you haven’t “publicly acknowledged” your “sexuality,” but you sure are proud of it. Is that like how you’re so proud of the new iPad Air 2, that you’ve just decided to keep it a secret? [By the way, when did publicly acknowledging one's sexuality become a rite of passage? Imagine if the late Steve Jobs had written an op-ed in a business publication to proclaim, "I just want everybody to know that I love women. And I'm proud of it. Thank you, Jesus, for this awesome desire."]
As Tim Cook goes on, it becomes more absurd on several levels, if you accept conventional wisdom about what it means to be gay.
How could someone be “proud” of their natural condition? Pride bespeaks achievement. But if, as GaGa say, you’re “born that way,” then what sparks pride?
Slavishly obeying your genetic predisposition is merely animal instinct, not accomplishment. Why would you talk about homosexuality as if it were a choice? (Hmmm?)
Now, if you chose to be gay, in the face of a society that rejects homosexual behavior, perhaps then you’d have something to brag about. Although it would seem silly to buck your heterosexual nature, just to tick off your neighbors.
Next, Tim says being gay is one of the “greatest gifts” from God. Setting aside any biblical interpretation of that remark, let’s just take it as Tim leaves it.
So, Tim, I guess you weren’t really born that way, God just threw in your desire for male-on-male sex as a bonus. Forgive me, I know it’s much deeper than that.
Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.
“Timmy,” the Lord seems to say, “I’m going to give you homosexual desires, so that folks will treat you badly. That way, you won’t grow up to be a bigot, and you’ll be ready to manage the world’s most respected brand.“
The rebellion begins.
SCRIPT FOR VIDEO ABOVE
SCOTT OTT: I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought…
On Tuesday, November 4th, most of the nation’s registered voters will dutifully do what they always do on the first Tuesday in November. They’ll get up a little early and head out to beat the traffic. That’s because it’s election day, and they’ve got work to do. That’s right, the majority of the nation’s registered voters will be hard at it, constructing alibis for their absence from the polls. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no good reason for waiting until then, when you can start work on your alibi now.
Fabricating an alibi for failing to vote is thirsty work, and it gets tougher all of the time.
After all, it’s not easy to make a legitimate excuse for missing a 20-minute appointment so near your home which you’ve known about for months, about which every news source has chattered since the last election day, and
upon which rests the destiny of the nation, and of all mankind.
In addition, the polls are open for roughly 12 hours on election day. And need I mention that 47 states allow absentee voting by mail and most of those require no excuse to do so. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow early voting in person, with no excuse required. In other words, most folks could literally vote today, or tomorrow, or the next day.
All of this means that patriotic Americans will have to work extra hard to craft a solid alibi, because you can’t outsource this kind of work to illegal aliens. Many of them are much too responsible to skip voting.
November 4th will be upon us before you know it, so it’s never too early to start devising an air-tight alibi.
“Things got hectic at work today,” or “Car trouble again” or “MacKenzie had a temperature.” Those excuses will of course evoke sympathy, but only from people whose own alibis sound even more hastily slapped together.
Because of the ease and brevity of voting, the advanced warning and the variety of options in most places, some folks will resort to making their alibis sound thoughtful, anchored in deep-seated concerns about the American republic, rather than admitting to laziness or self-centered indifference or addiction to gaming and porn.
Here are some examples of thoughtful alibis.
I don’t vote because…
- Big money has corrupted the system, so I’m going to drop my only weapon to fight it, or
- Nothing ever changes anyway, which is why things are such a mess compared to how they used to be, or
- My candidate lost in the primary to that cheater, so I’m going to a let bigger cheater beat him, or
- The establishment controls the system, so I’m going to let them…that’ll teach ‘em,
- I don’t trust electronic voting machines, because electrons are just so negative
- I need to stay off the grid, because the NSA knows too much about me already.
Now, some folks might even try to blend the two methods by claiming that they were too busy to research the candidates and the issues.
“I’ve always valued the electoral process too much to engage in VWI — Voting While Ignorant.”
Whatever you decide, the important thing is that you do your civic duty, and develop a credible alibi for not voting. You see, there’s no excuse for making excuses that you have time to make excuses.
I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.
Paid for by the Coalition to Maintain the Status Quo.
Irked that you pay Federal employees to goof off or surf porn on the clock when they should be working?
At least they show up.
President Obama — so enraged about the “do-nothing Congress” — might also want to find out how many of his 2.7 million executive branch employees get paid to stay home and watch “The View.”
According to the Washington Post, your tax dollars support tens of thousands of public servants on extended paid leave (a month to a year or more) while they await the adjudication of their disciplinary cases.
Unlike former Senator Barack Obama, they can’t even vote “present.”
During a three-year period that ended last fall, more than 57,000 employees were sent home for a month or longer. The tab for these workers exceeded $775 million in salary alone….While the employees stayed home, they not only collected paychecks but also built their pensions, vacation and sick days and moved up the federal pay scale. (Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2014)
That’s more than a $1 billion every four years going from the pockets of hardworking taxpayers, to the pockets of non-working bureaucrats. This accounts for only about three-fifths of the total federal workforce, since some government agencies don’t keep track of paid-leave data.
Under official rules, dating back to 1980, this “cannot” be, since employees under disciplinary review are to be sent home only in “rare circumstances.”
The extensive use of administrative leave continues despite government personnel rules that limit paid leave for employees facing discipline to “rare circumstances” in which the employee is considered a threat. The long-standing rules were written in an effort to curb waste and deal quickly with workers accused of misconduct.
And the comptroller general, the top federal official responsible for auditing government finances and practices, has repeatedly ruled that federal workers should not be sidelined for long periods for any reason.
Nevertheless, government bosses do as they please, sending bureaucrats home (with pay) for “alleged violations of government rules and laws, whistleblowing, doubts about trustworthiness, and disputes with colleagues or bosses. Some employees remain on paid leave while they challenge demotions and other punishments.”
If you work in the private sector, you know that administrative leave is granted sparingly, and only for brief bursts. Serious problems spark termination, or unpaid suspension. Oddly enough, private companies working government contracts cannot bill the government for employees on paid leave…so they don’t have many of those.
But it seems our passive-aggressive federal overlords would rather make a problem go away than deal with her.
The financial tally above does not include a calculation of productivity losses, although perhaps this is negligible for federal workers. (When Bob left, he didn’t leave no vacancy.)
By the way, one might expect a large number of disciplinary cases to happen in the Defense Department, both because of the sheer number of employees (roughly 35% of the total), and the psychological demands of the work. But only 9,623 of the extended-leavers worked (or didn’t) for the Pentagon (about 17%).