AreYouLiberal.Com
29Apr/12Off

A Plumber To Snake The DC Drain

Some people enter the public consciousness willingly; others accidentally. But how one gets there has little to do with how one handles it once the national spotlight begins to shine.
Some step up. Some melt like an ice sculpture on a hot summer day. Because the spotlight doesn’t turn you into something you’re not; it accentuates who you are.
Similarly, progressives argue money corrupts politics. Not so. Money may be the means through which corruption is conducted, but honest people never seem to find themselves in those situations. They never have to ...

29Apr/12Off

Obama Losing Rock-star Status Among Young Voters

Last week, Barack Obama delivered speeches at universities in Chapel Hill, N.C., Iowa City, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo. The trip was, press secretary Jay Carney assured us, official government business, not political campaigning.
It’s part of a pattern. Neil Munro of the Daily Caller has counted 130 appearances by the president, vice president, their spouses, White House officials, and Cabinet secretaries at colleges and universities since spring 2011.
Obviously, the Obama campaign strategists are worried that he cannot duplicate his 66 to 32 percent margin among young voters back in 2008.
Recent surveys ...

29Apr/12Off

A not-friendly reminder to the Activist Left about Gitmo.

In three parts:

  1. The current President of the United States campaigned on a platform that included the closing of the prison for international terrorists at Gitmo.
  2. Gitmo is, in fact, still open. But they’ll get to it Real Soon Now (SPOILER WARNING: they won’t).
  3. The Right noted at the time that Gitmo was going to remain open. On more than one occasion. We, in fact, told people time again and again and again and again that Barack Obama was not going to close Gitmo. Which means that nobody really has an excuse for being surprised.

Why am I mentioning this now? Isn’t it obvious? Because I’m trolling, that’s why! There’s a lot of people out there who are even now trying to pretend that President Obama ran on closing Gitmo, that the Activist Left pounded the tables and shouted about closing Gitmo, that closing Gitmo was supposed to be the central moral dilemma of our generation… and that the issue of Gitmo was quietly garroted to death in a narrow, dusty room* because it became an embarrassment to the Democratic Establishment. Better and better (from the Right’s point of view): the Activist Left has to pretend that this sort of thing is just fine with them. When we know that it’s not.

Not that it really matters whether the Activist Left is happy, of course. They are, after all, commodities whose utility begins and ends with how much money and underpaid labor they can contribute to the Democratic establishment – or, as the Democratic establishment itself probably puts it in private, ‘their betters.’ And it is a measure of their degradation that progressive activists will simply swallow their bile and go on with trudging in circles. It’d be almost pathetic, except that pity is mostly wasted on people who voluntarily choose to abandon their dignity and all sense of self-respect.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: So why did I bring this all up? – Because it’s my job as a conservative blogger/New Media activist to highlight these sorts of things. Plus, as noted earlier I am a bit of a troll. Or at least I am to trolls what wolfhounds are to wolves…

*Literary reference.

 

29Apr/12Off

Solyndra is gone, but the toxic waste lives on

**Written by Doug Powers

null

*

When $535 million taxpayer dollars are vaporized so quickly, you know there must be some pretty strong chemicals still lingering about.

As you read this keep in mind that the whole pitch for projects like Solyndra revolves around “clean” energy and saving the environment — which is harder to take seriously every time the term “solar waste” is used to describe the potentially dangerous aftermath:

Three months ago, CBS 5 caught Solyndra tossing millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes used to make solar panels. Now the bankrupt solar firm, once touted as a symbol of green technology, may be trying to abandon toxic waste.

It’s a tedious process. Slowly but surely, the shattered remains of brand new solar panel tubes head to a recycling plant in Hayward.

Meanwhile the next phase of the company’s liquidation is under way. It involves getting rid of all the heavy metals left inside the building that were used to make the panels.
[...]
Swardenski told CBS 5 the disposal process is going smoothly in Fremont, but what about nearby Milpitas? Solyndra leased a building on California Circle for the final assembly of its solar panels. But the cleanup at the leased building in Milpitas is in limbo, because Solyndra doesn’t want to pay.

CBS 5 found the building locked up, with no one around. At the back, a hazardous storage area was found. There were discarded buckets half filled with liquids and barrels labeled “hazardous waste.”

The building’s owner, a company called iStar, claimed in court documents, “there may be serious environmental, health and safety issues” at the premises. According to the documents, they include, “numerous containers of solvents and chemicals… and processing equipment contaminated with lead.”

“Essentially it looks like they left a pretty big mess behind,” San Jose State Assistant Professor Dustin Mulvaney told CBS 5.

So why not double down? In this case they call it “green” energy because that’s what color your physical aura will be if you come into contact with noxious byproducts of the production the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly merchandise on the planet.

News video from CBS5 in San Francisco:

(h/t HAP)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

29Apr/12Off

Conservatives ♥ Big Government Too

medicare.government

It has been clear for a while that the liberal-tarian alliance
isn’t going anywhere fast even though
fantasies
that some day, one day, it’ll be fully consummated
simply won’t die down. But now Frank Luntz, the conservative
pollster, has a
piece
in the Washington Post that suggests that the
conserva-tarian alliance might be on its way to an annulment too.
Luntz lists five myths about conservative voters, the top one being
that they no longer – if they ever did -- give a bird’s do-do about
small government. He notes:

They may have rallied around President Ronald Reagan’s call for
smaller government three decades ago — but it’s not the 1980s
anymore. Today, conservatives don’t want a reduced government so
much as one that works better and wastes less.

In a poll we completed among self-identified conservatives just
before the 2010 elections, “efficient” and “effective” government
clearly beat “less” and “smaller” government. For conservatives,
this debate is less about size than about results, along with a
demand that elected officials demonstrate accountability and
respect for the taxpayer, regardless of whether they’re spending $1
million or $1 trillion. They are rallying behind
the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
not simply
because it cuts the size of government, but because it cultivates
accountability.

It used to be that conservatives supported smaller government on
theoretical grounds: The bigger the government, the smaller the
citizen; government should only do for people what they truly
cannot do for themselves; government isn’t the solution, it is the
problem. You’ve heard such comments from conservatives, and they’re
the mantra of the tea party movement. They’re still part of
conservative orthodoxy — which is why Republican candidates invoke
them — but the underlying conservative belief system is
shifting.

In keeping with this sentiment, conservative voters don’t want
Big Government entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security
dismantled. Writers Luntz:

Take Florida, a key swing state full of conservative seniors.
According to
an AARP poll there last year
, 70 percent of them oppose cuts to
Medicare. They want the program strengthened, not dismantled. They
know Medicare needs reform, but they want changes to be effective
and reasonable.

But if a decade of ruinous wars, kleptocratic bailouts, and
profligate and useless economic stimulus packages by Big Government
won’t shake conservative faith in Big Government, then
what will?

Maybe libertarians are just falling down on the job and can’t
find a way to effectively communicate the failures of Big
Government. Or Americans have just become too fond of their EITC
and Social Security checks to be seriously moved by cute Remy
videos. In short, a la Greece, there are too many of us on the
government dole and too few left to question it.

If there is a silver lining to Luntz’ findings, it is that even
though conservatives don’t distrust Big Government, they still
trust themselves more. Hence, when it comes to Medicare – the
greatest entitlement program on the planet, they want
patient-centric solutions to extend its solvency. He notes:

Conservatives believe in such simple principles as personal
choice and greater competition, and they are more confident than
liberals in people’s ability to make the right decisions. For
example, 78 percent agree with the statement: “Increasing patient
choice in Medicare will help save Medicare from bankruptcy. When
patients can shop for better care . . . it will force insurance
companies to compete against each other, which lowers costs and
increases care.

This is consistent with the finding of the recent
Reason-Rupe poll
that Americans want more control over their
own health care dollars with 65% of them saying that Medicare
should hand them the money that it currently spends on their behalf
so that they can purchase their own private health plan, compared
to 24 percent who don’t.


29Apr/12Off

Vimeo: Venice in a Day


29Apr/12Off

Have You Ever Wanted to Write for a Blog?

 

Thomas Paine

If you have ever wanted to write for a blog, let me know. We’ll give it a try. Here’s how we will work it.

Write a blog post or two. Send it to me via email
I’ll look it over and let you know what I think.

You need to know that sometimes I get a little cranky, so if I don’t want to post your first one, don’t give up. It’s not personal, I just might not be in a receptive mood that day.

I prefer that you have a fake author name like I do. I prefer a name like one of the Founding Fathers. I think their names are cool.

You will also need to find a picture of the particular author’s name you are using, so we can put it in your blog post. Like my fake picture at the top.  Now, if by chance someone wants to write some posts for this blog, and the name you want is already taken, you’ll have to pick another one and get another picture. First come, first served.

Generally, The Call blog is about political issues, but, we’ll consider other things. It basically comes down to whether I like it or not. That’s probably not terribly fair, but it is the truth. Not that I’m particularly proud of it. Not ashamed either.

So, sharpen your pencils, or limber up your fingers, and drop me a line at paine@thecallblog.com

Share

29Apr/12Off

Fake Outrage of the Weekend: Dan Savage, the ‘Vile Anti-Christian Bully’

They're at it again. The heirs of Andrew at Breitbart.com have launched a full-scale attack against columnist Dan Savage today. As I write this, there are nine, count \'em, nine front page hit pieces on Savage, with titles like "OBAMA WHITE HOUSE FUNDRAISES FOR ANTI-CHRISTIAN BULLY SAVAGE," and "NSFW: SAVAGE'S NASTIEST BULLYING ON TAPE."

The partisan hounds are baying for Savage's hide because they think they can tie him to President Obama, of course. In the inverted reality wingnut universe, Dan Savage becomes further evidence that Obama is an anti-Christian "other," and proves that liberals are the real bullies. (Plus, Obama eats dogs.)

This latest impressive barrage of wingnut pearl-clutching was prompted by Dan Savage's keynote speech for a high school journalism convention, titled "Journalism on the Edge." If you've ever read a single thing Dan Savage has written, you know that this is a guy who doesn't beat around the bush or mince words; but quite a few of the journalism students at "Journalism on the Edge" didn't want to hear his edgy criticism of Biblical prohibitions on homosexuality, and walked out.

Which seems a little strange for, you know, journalists to do. I'm pretty sure it was the word "bullshit" that pushed their buttons. A little too edgy.

Savage, meanwhile, has apologized for insulting the students who walked out, but is not withdrawing his critique of Biblical literalism as an excuse for anti-gay bullying and bigotry: On 'Bullshit' and 'Pansy-Assed'.


29Apr/12Off

This Week in Automotivators, April 23-29

Just a few stories from the past week, whether I blogged about them or not at the time. Click the link below each picture if you don’t get the reference. I can be a little obtuse sometimes.

Link: Trog.

Link: Trog again.

Link: Don Surber.

Link: Camp of the Saints.

Link: Laughing Conservative.

Link: Proof Positive.

Link: Questions and Observations.
And:

Previously:

This Week in Automotivators, April 9-15

This Week in Automotivators, April 16-22

Make your own automotivators.

29Apr/12Off

Video: Rachel Maddow vs. Old Republican Guy

On Meet the Press today, Rachel Maddow faced off with an old white man (GOP strategist Alex Castellanos), in a perfect illustration of the reason the Republican Party is so unpopular with women and young people.

The obvious condescension is a mask for fear; people like Castellanos are terrified of women like Rachel Maddow.


29Apr/12Off

Things I Like

This is just for fun. I am putting a few links of things that I like. Tell me what you think. Do you like them? Hate them? Don’t care? Let me know, I’m curious to see what others think.

Here’s another

Fun Girls

Let’s finish up with this one

 

 

Share

29Apr/12Off

The White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner is About as Bad as You Think, Only a Little Bit Worse and a Little Bit More Fun

Let's start with Time's head and
subhead— 

"President
Obama Outshines Jimmy Kimmel at White House Press Correspondents'
Dinner:
Do we laugh at the president because he's funny or --
because he's the president and we have to? Here's your answer."

"At Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Obama
showed that yes, he really is that funny.

[...]

The President focused, not surprisingly, on the
still-ripe-for-wisecracks Secret Service scandal, the upcoming
election and how much has changed throughout his four years in
office, all with a healthy dose of humility and self-deprecation.
“Four years ago, I looked like this,” he said, gesturing to a photo
of his fresh and sprightly self circa 2008. “Today, I look like
this,” he said, as an image of his notably wearier (and grayer)
self flashed on the screen. “And four years from now, I will look
like this.” Cue photo of Morgan Freeman. Here are some of his other
memorable quips:

On his relationship with Hillary Clinton:

 “Four years ago, I was locked in a brutal
primary battle with Hillary Clinton.  Four years later, she
won’t stop drunk-texting me from Cartagena.”

On news aggregation:

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate the Huffington Post on
their Pulitzer Prize. You deserve it, Arianna.  There’s no one
else out there linking to the kinds of hard-hitting journalism that
HuffPo is linking to every single day.”

Admittedly the last one got a hilariously pained "oooh" from the
print media in the room, including the Denver Post table
where I was sitting (they endorse none of the libertarian ranting
to come, of course).

The rest? Oh, the president admits he looks
older. Oh, someone pointed out Texts From Hillary
as the hot meme of the moment (or several weeks ago)! The president
is so aware of these things. (He's probably not aware of Texts from Drone,
though. At least someone told him to stop joking about
Predator
Drones and the Jonas Brothers like he did in 2009
.)

So why is it so jaw-droppingly wonderful that the president
manages to have enough comic timing to get some of the jokes that
he didn't write across? Why is it so exciting that it's like he's
people? Look, he can even make policy jokes!

On a potential second term:

 “In my first term, I sang Al Green; in my
second term, I’m going with Young Jeezy. In my first term, we ended
the war in Iraq; in my second term, I will win the war on
Christmas. In my first term, we repealed the policy known as ‘Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell;’ in my second term, we will replace it with a
policy known as, ‘It’s Raining Men.’ In my first term, we passed
health care reform; in my second term, I guess I’ll pass it
again.”

Priceless. Never mind the Defense of Marriage Act still
lingering and
occasionally destroying families
. And definitely never
mind
the War on Drugs
, even though the idea of winning that should
seem as absurd as winning the war on Christmas.

Here's the whole thing, if you're interested. Remember, mocking
the stupidest critiques of your presidency is the height of edgy,
self-deprecating humor.

But let's go back a bit. Let me slum it by playing FishbowlDC
for a second, may the journalism gods forgive me. Here are some
things I saw last evening.

At the ABC News pre-party I somehow found myself taking a
picture of Diane Sawyer and openly gay, extremely genial GOP
presidential candidate Fred Karger with the latter's camera at his
request. I ran into, and briefly attended Karger's CPAC party,
and the fact that I remembered his existence and talked to him
above other people probably endeared me.

We chatted a bit about Rick Santorum, who was spotted by taller
people in the room at that very party. Rick Santorum is,
apparently, a very nice guy in person. Anticipating an evening of
libertarian screaming inside my own head, I pressed Karger on
politics by saying "I hate politics." We then discussed whether
Santorum being a true believer would be better or worse. (At some
point, dear commenters, Karger also pointed out a girl who was
apparently Santorum's daughter and, well, I thought of all of you
and smiled.) 

Celebrities filed in. I saw the back of some brunette hair and a
sparkly dress and elbowed Chuck Plunkett of The Denver
Post
 saying, that's Barbara Walters, isn't it? I spent
many an hour in my nerdy youth watching 20/20, but that
was mainly for John Stossel's impassioned, libertarian requests
that someone give him a break. I was reminded of how how shoddily
ABC apparently treated Stossel during his
years as the only libertarian there
.

Eventually it was time to get started with fancy-dining and
applauding. I was unmolested by the security, passing easily
through the metal detectors and there were fewer olive-clad
examples of the militarization of police than there are at any
protest you've ever seen, but there were some, with German
Shepherds on short leashes at the ready. Black-clad men with
earpieces lurked.

The Post people and I found our table, tucked in a
corner of the epic, golden ballroom. My name, I realized,
was written down in the program. I was more
than just a nameless "guest of" and I tried not to like that too
much or hate it too much. I searched in vain for Attorney General
Eric Holder's name, since he was supposedly going to sit at the
Huffington Post's table. Not seeing his name, I resolved to make as
many jokes about the other, secret list, as I
could.

Before everything started, I wandered the room in hopes that I
would find Greg Gutfeld of the libertarian-friendly Red
Eye
, since "hey, my colleagues go on your show sometimes and
that show is pretty awesome" is an easier line than trying a
cold-opening of "the government sure is terrible, isn't it?" in
that crowd.

During my fruitless quest for Gutfeld I saw George Clooney, Kim
Kardashian, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kevin Spacey, and Bret
Baier of Fox News hobnobbing with Newt and Callista Gingrich,
and a million other people I probably knew and lots of journalists
and guests paying much, shameless attention to all the celebrities.
And then while I passed Sen. Rand Paul, looked back to maybe smile
at him for at least trying to stop the damn PATRIOT Act and the
NDAA, I almost bumped into Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland
Security; Big Sister herself. This was after myriad, cranky
jokes about who I should accidentally spill a drink on for liberty,
Holder, Ray Kelly of the NYPD, or Napolitano. I had to trap an
attack of sincerely hysterical laughter with my hand before it
escaped into the ballroom.

So here's the point; I know it's taken much longer to get to
than Hamilton Nolan over at Gawker,
whose "Fuck
the White House Press Correspondents' Dinner
" blog post is
pretty hard to argue with and maybe does say all that needs to be
said about the dinner.

But the opulence doesn't offend me. The opportunity to awkwardly
say "you're awesome!" to Aziz
Ansari from Parks and
Recreation
 doesn't offend me.
Kim Kardashian really, really doesn't offend me.

Journalists patting themselves on the back doesn't offend me much.
Hell, it's only one night a year and maybe we should pay much more
attention to the toothless White House Press corp and
their daily inability to be as ruthless
and watch-dogish as they should be. It's not that much
worse just because they're better dressed than usual for one
night.

Because it's the people who are more offended by
Kim Kardashian than Ray Kelly who are the problem.
Politics, somewhere along the line, became morally equal to
celebrity. Morally superior, even. And so when they mix, it's not
that celebrities diminish a highbrow event, it's that they blur the
lines in a way that's dangerous to understanding. Nothing
demonstrates that quite as perfectly as the ritual of the president
playing comedian and comedians oh, so gently roasting the
president.

Jimmy Kimmel, to his great credit, was at least a lot rougher on
the president than most people expected. Nobody will ever pull
another Stephen Colbert in
2006
 because you have to assume someone was fired for
that, and because, let's be honest, is there a comedian alive who
would treat a Democrat the way Colbert treated Bush? 

But Kimmel made jokes about "Fast and Furious" gunrunning and
Eric Holder, as well as the recent Department of Justice crackdowns
on marijuana. And that's half points at least, what with the
toothlessness of previous Obama-"bashing" comedians like Seth
Meyers and Jay Leno. 

Maybe the bloom is off the rose a little for Obama if a
comedian dared to go there, but the way the crowd howled at Obama's
every half-witticism, it didn't feel like it. Listening to Obama
speak in person is as infuriating as it is on television; worse,
with journalists in hysterics and me looking dour and thinking this
isn't funny.

But maybe Obama is funny. Maybe I can't tell.

Except that it doesn't matter if he's funny or not. 

It's confusing to be there among all the glitter. Seeing famous
people is fun. You've seen them in pictures and movies, you feel a
moment of recognition, yes! I know you! So you want to stare and
maybe take a picture and then you're part of all that bullshit.
Whether it's Rahm Emanuel or Steven Spielberg, you're
giving them what they want by looking and caring. But Spielberg
never said "you never want to let
a serious crisis go to waste"
 and was never in charge of a
big, corrupt city with a nasty police department. At the White
House Press Correspondents' Dinner, directors and mayors are just
one and the same. 

Even though certain breeds of celebrities want to be taken
seriously and most politicians want to be admired, politics is
power. It's not just a velvet rope, you can't come into this
nightclub, and I have a disturbing influence on what your children
think is cool type-power; it's life and death power. It's
assassinations without oversight. It's imprisonment. It's that
legalized, glamorized type of murder known as war.

The difference between politics and celebrity, the inherent
dangers of the former and the banal harmlessness and occasional
pleasures of the latter, shouldn't have to be explained; the White
House Press Correspondents' Dinner, proves, if nothing else, that
is still does. And that's the problem.

Reason on the
White House Press Correspondents' Dinner
.


29Apr/12Off

Are We Still Serious About Our Republic?

After ignoring concerns about constitutionality for over three years, Democrats are now watching the Administration of their party Leader, Barack Obama, struggling to answer serious questions before the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“….Are you serious?”

Those are three simple words that form one simple question. And the question has led us [...]

29Apr/12Off

Conservative Third Party Dreams and Realities

Constitutionalists who have had enough of the GOP establishment's manipulations must nevertheless resist the urge to throw out the baby – their teetering republic – with the bath by opting for an unrealistic third party at this pivotal moment.

Tea Partiers and other constitutionally-minded Americans for whom "Anyone but Obama" rings hollow, and who [...]

29Apr/12Off

Let us be Fair, Peaceful and Healthy

Fairness is good, unfairness is bad. Peace is good, war is bad. 'Tis better to be rich and healthy than sick and poor.

The ($60)  light we had been waiting for.

Having brought us courageously from the dark and into The Light, President Obama is also leading us out of slavery [...]

29Apr/12Off

Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism, Part One

The most outrageous part of the House Oversight’s investigation: Obama energy officials funded solar firms despite ‘junk bond’ ratings from S&P and Fitch. While the media was “tripping out” over Energy Secretary Chu giving himself “an A grade on controlling the cost of gasoline at the pump” during his testimony before a House panel last month, they [...]