Archive for May, 2009

Ms. Sotomayor: The Compelling Story & Why Must I Be The Only Feminist & Other Rantings–UPDATED

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Already posted this YouTube to Twitter, but thought I’d add it here because the whole thing is still annoying me. So Judge Sotomayor is sorry she revealed her racism and sexism. Yeah, I’m sorry, too. I’m sorry that a woman feels that way and I’m sorry that she’ll glide through to the most important job in the land unopposed for the same reason she was nominated: She’s a woman and she’s a Hispanic Puerto Rican.

You know that thing called feminism? Why must I be the only feminist around here and expect a woman to be able to handle the tough questions? Robert Gibb’s threat just pisses me off. Why had we better go carefully? Because Democrats did with Miguel Estrada or Justice Thomas or Robert Bork? Hmmmm….?? We can’t ask because she has ovaries? We can’t ask questions about her belief system because Hispanics might not understand that this woman is being put into the highest court in the land?

Who is racist again? Who is sexist again?

People should be treated the same no matter their gender, color, ideology. But not so with Democrats and now the willy-nilly D.C. Republicans who’ve drunk the MSM’s Koolaid.

NOTE TO REPUBLICAN SENATORS:

You do realize that every question you ask, no matter how trivial and soft-ball will be portrayed as a tough, penetrating and unfair question? You do get that right? Might as well take that tail between your legs and ….dare I say it, woman up and ask a useful question. Hells bells, if the Republicans had the balls of Nancy Pelosi, they wouldn’t be reviled so. Good grief.

And as to all you hypocritical dumbass Democrats, I don’t want to hear one more word out of your mouth about the mistreatment of women and minorities. Not. One. Woman after woman has cried foul on your side before a punch has been thrown. If you can’t freaking take the fight, Get. Out. Of. The. Ring. If you need a moobed guy like Robert Gibbs to run interference for you, you should be back in the kitchen baking cookies with Hillary Clinton. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Nancy Pelosi fumbles around like a deer in the headlights at a press conference about torture and she’s the toughest politician DC has got. That says something.

And since I’m ranting…you know who I miss? I’m going to miss the bloviating Joe Biden and his pompasity asking stupid questions that guys 10x smarter than him are going to have to answer with seriousness. I’m going to miss old ornery Arlen Specter for the same reason. Wow. The Judicial committee just won’t be the same without these towering intellectual giants explaining things for the judges and the rest of us dummies.

Someone will stand in the self-important, aggrandizing gap. Who will this genius be? I can hardly wait.

In the meantime, watch another American tell his sad American, come-from-nothing compelling story. I’m freaking sick of compelling stories. We’ve all got a compelling story. We’ve all experienced life. Shut. Up. About. The. Compelling. Story. We’re Americans. We all come from somewhere and we all walked uphill both ways. In snowdrifts. Barefoot. Big freaking deal.

We’ve become a nation of self-pitying, identity-politicking jerks where character and accomplishment matter less than genetics, gender and cultural identity. Blech.

UPDATED:

And now, top Republican strategist kvetch to the Huffington Post. Is anyone worried about what this woman actually believes? Her comments about her gender and race make the law about her and not the law about the law.

Does she believe the Constitution should bend to her experiences? Is the Constitution still relevant? Is it a timeless document embodying timeless values? Or, does Ms. Sotomayor believe that the Constitution should be a living, breathing document that expresses her own views? How does she feel about states rights? How would she have decided Kelo? How would she have decided in the LA child rape case? THAT’s what I care about.

And what I am afraid of is that tough questions won’t be asked because she’s a woman and Latina. And any tough questions would be perceived as racist and sexist. And I view the withholding of tough vetting as racist and sexist. The job is too important to get lost in compelling life stories.

That the Democrats are playing this game is utterly predictable. That Republicans play along is tiring and frustrating.



Israel On Their Own?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

President Obama is spending lots of his time reaching out to the Muslims of the world, but has assured Israel he’s their buddy. Do you believe him?

I don’t.

And here’s evidence that President Obama is paying lip service to Israel. From the World Tribune:

The Obama administration has blocked Israel’s request for advanced U.S.-origin attack helicopters.

Government sources said the administration has held up Israel’s request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

“During the recent war, Israel made considerable use of the Longbow, and there were high civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip,” a source close to the administration said.

The sources said Israel has sought to purchase up to six new AH-64Ds in an effort to bolster conventional and counter-insurgency capabilities. They said Israel wants to replenish its fleet after the loss of two Apache helicopters in the 2006 war with Hizbullah.

That’s right, tie the hands of the only self-sustaining Democracy in the Middle East. With a friend like President Obama, who needs enemies?



President Obama: Caesar

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Well, in the scheme of scheming back-door dealing, this is small taters, yet the story is indicative of how the President rolls. And he rolls with style, my friends. Yesterday, he spent hob-knobbing with the hoi-paloi in Beverly Hills, California.

And here we have his digs in Las Vegas. A few questions via the LA Times blog:

“The particular suite President Obama stayed in is priceless.”

What does that mean?

Well, it probably means that Caesars only comps out the room to high rollers and occasionally major celebrities. Therefore the suite is literally “priceless,” as the response indicates. (Though really that means the price would be roughly some guy who plays two hands of blackjack simultaneously at $45,000 a hand for three hours straight.) Obama falls into the major celebrity category (meaning Madonna and Oprah would rate the comp as well). Besides, if the suite was priceless before, imagine its singular worth — being able to say to the biggest gamblers at the casino (and, high rollers are notoriously status- obsessed folk) with the offer of the comp: “The president slept here.” How much is that worth to Caesars?

So, I do not think the taxpayers paid for the room. And, if the Reid campaign paid, then Caesars would have to create a dollar amount on a suite that is technically “priceless,” which I again interpret to mean not for rent to the public like a regular hotel room.

So, did the president get special treatment? Yes, I think that is safe to say; President Obama was not like another citizen guest registering in the lobby and somehow lucking out on this room assignment. This was a major celebrity. And, of course, the real reason to draw attention to these sorts of rooms is always the whale players. And, the president has drawn a lot of attention to the room, even praising it while here.

Was the president likely comped, because the casino hoped to influence the nation’s most powerful politician about, say, online gambling or some other issue? No way. I am guessing the president was likely comped for the most Vegas of reasons: because he is among the biggest celebrities in the world. Now, his name can be invoked and dropped to impress high rollers, leaving a tiny presidential gift to the Las Vegas economy.

Gotta love how President Obama and his super-mega cool entourage don’t even try to pass the smell test. You’re just lucky to smell him, oh little tax payer. Oh, and pay for his caviar dreams. Or not. Can’t figure out who’s paying for what, but I’m a guessin’ it all comes back to you.



No More Americanization

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

The impulse is to say Soto-my-er. But that wouldn’t be correct. The proper pronunciation is Soto-may-YOUR and with a opening of the mouth to get the proper fullness and roll of the tongue.

Sigh.

Remember when people Americanized their names? Partly, it made their names easier to say. Mostly, people just wanted to be American. Fully American.

When the in-laws came from Italy, Italian was most certainly not spoken. They were Americans and they spoke English. In the second generation, that would be grandma who is 92, there is not even the remotest hint of Italy in her voice though she is only the second generation here in America.

Not so now with some folks. Oh no. Acculturation is akin to living in the closet and hiding your ancestral glory. Much better to keep the Puerto Rican accent even though you’ve grown up on American soil.

My uncle is of Mexican descent. He speaks Spanish and knows five dialects. When he speaks English it is not Spanglish. It’s English. It is not English with the twang of Spanish hovering over him. I dare say, if I asked him if his Mexican heritage makes his judgment more stellar, he would say no. I’m quite sure he wouldn’t say that being a man makes him smarter. And yet, he finds a way to integrate his Mexican heritage and embrace his history.

Generations of Americans have done this. They know the language of the old country. They keep certain traditions. But they were eager to be American. They were eager to Americanize their name, even. It was symbolic. It was a blessed gift to have this country and people were proud to be a part of it. A shortened name meant becoming new and American.

So, while President Barack Obama can say Pak-ee-stahn correctly and every newscaster is embracing his inner Latina pronouncing Soto-may-YOUR with relish, I just see more of an effort to elevate other cultures in relation to the American culture.

It isn’t about proper pronunciation it’s about putting America in her place. And her place is no better than any other place, including 3rd world racist, sexist, intolerant, nuclear-armed holes like Pakistan. Well, I say America is better. America is better than Mexico. It’s safer. There are more jobs. There is less corruption (for the time being). America is better than pretty much any place in the world I can think of, actually.

People who live here, myself included, are damn lucky to be here by birthright. And those who choose to become citizens are making the best decision of their lives. Their whole future will change.

So, a kid from Puerto Rico can come to America, get educated in the best schools and be put forth as a potential Supreme Court Justice for the best country in the world. That’s America. It’s great. And America is bigger than our collective pasts. She is better than the places we came from. We do well to melt into her beauty and live to rise to her ideals.

Americanization is a good thing. Assimilating and changing to fit America’s mold is what makes this country different from the fractured and racist Europe. So those who are so intent on elevating other cultures might want to consider the outcome of their actions. America doesn’t need to turn into a place where races are Balkanized and marginalized by neighborhoods, language, religion and culture. That would be a destructive place.

America needs to continue to be a melting pot. I’m Melissa Clouthier. It is not Cloo-tee-ay. It is Cloth-ee-er. I’m American and proud of it.



New American Issues Project Column: “It’s Not Fair”

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I’ve been thinking about the root cause of this bail-out mess and the changes in our American culture. My column at AIP today sums up my thinking about things:

America, in general, and our government in particular, has been consuming more calories than it can afford and grown fat, and rather than cut back, has sought salvation by those who were responsible and by those who lived within their means.

Some who let things get away from themselves have cut back and “tightened the belt”. The government, though, seems willfully obstinate about making such challenging choices itself. President Obama put forth scorn-worthy “cuts” in the face of mammoth governmental pigging out. An already obese government is making itself morbidly huge over the next ten years. One wonders if the patient can be saved or if it will end up in a piano box and buried in the ash heap of indulgent world-power history.

And this all began as someone trying to correct an unfairness. It’s unfair that some people have health insurance and others don’t. It’s unfair that one person eats Filet Mignon and another person eats hamburger helper. It’s unfair that one person gets to drive a souped-up SUV and another person rides the bus. It’s unfair that one person has a mansion and another person has a trailer. It’s unfair that one person gets to go to Harvard and another person goes to a technical college. It’s unfair that more boys than girls are engineers. And on and on it goes.

It’s unfair. It’s unfair. It’s unfair.

So, a man who promised to make things fair got elected President. It’s not fair that America is the lone superpower. It’s not fair that there are rich and poor people. It’s not fair that “rich” people get tax breaks. The government then, will be a tool for “fairness”.

It never works out that way. Like Scar’s alliances and forced “teamwork” between natural adversaries, fairness results in depletion, loss of incentive and many more unintended consequences. Moreover, it’s a fundamentally angry and aggrieved way to look at the world.

More here.



Shocker: Tax Revenue Down By 1/3

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Some things are so predictable. Like, when the economy is in the crapper and people don’t work, there’s less tax revenue:

Federal tax revenue plunged $138 billion, or 34%, in April vs. a year ago — the biggest April drop since 1981, a study released Tuesday by the American Institute for Economic Research says.

When the economy slumps, so does tax revenue, and this recession has been no different, says Kerry Lynch, senior fellow at the AIER and author of the study. “It illustrates how severe the recession has been.”

For example, 6 million people lost jobs in the 12 months ended in April — and that means far fewer dollars from income taxes. Income tax revenue dropped 44% from a year ago.

“These are staggering numbers,” Lynch says.

Big revenue losses mean that the U.S. budget deficit may be larger than predicted this year and in future years.

Here’s what is not shocking: The Federal government predicted that it wouldn’t lose that much.

Let me go way out on a limb here and make a prediction: Taxes will have to go up in order to make up that “lost revenue”.

Another prediction: No government won’t cut services during this time of “difficulty”.



I’m Gay! I’m Hispanic! I’m Female! Meanwhile…..

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

So the Supreme Court of California upheld a law thus reinforcing the will of the people and that’s noteworthy only because the court has made such a consistent practice of making laws rather than interpreting them. There will be lawsuits. There will be outrage.

I don’t care.

So President Obama was utterly predictable and picked a Supreme Court nominee driven by identity politics that, SURPRISE!, helps him in his quest to mollify Hispanic voters since sweeping amnesty might be a tough sell since he’s also in bed with the unions–a triangulation that I’ve seen as a Democrat problem for quite some time. He was going to nominate a looney lib and she fits the bill quite nicely. It’s not about the law. It’s about me. Wheeeee!

I don’t care.

North Korea flexing it’s mentally ill muscle and conducting a sophisticated display of weaponry as a sales job on Memorial Day while the President plays his fiddle, I mean, plays a round of golf–now that I care about. A lot.

Iran sending a fleet of ships out while Israel girds herself for war while the President plays a round of golf–now that I care about. A lot.

Yes, I’m concerned that an activist will be on the Supreme Court, but I don’t see what can be done about it. Will the Senate Republicans mount the will to stop this nomination? Maybe.

Yes, the California Supreme Court made a weasely decision that kicks the problem down the road for the time being.

In the midst of this haggling, the world is on the edge of conflagration. Meanwhile, the president plays golf and issues weak statements. Who ever thought that a Supreme Court nominee could be a diversion but damn skippy if that’s not the case today.

When I look at the frenzy swirling around, I can’t help but to wonder about the confusion. It’s like trying to find one’s way in a sand storm. What really is the most important story? What will most likely change the course of history?

I fear that looking back, we’ll see the this time as a steady march toward chaos with the most important concerns ignored.

Don’t look now, but Swine Flu is spreading.



Memorial Day: Dying So We Could Live

Monday, May 25th, 2009

How do you feel when someone saves your metaphorical hide? A co-worker covers for you, maybe. Your spouse softens a story that would make you look bad. A friend forgives what feels unforgivable. A doctor finds the cause of your child’s illness. You feel grateful and indebted.

And then, there are those who actually put their lives on the line for you and gave it. Most of these people you haven’t met, but you should.

Memorial Day is about gratitude and remembering the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save yours. Was the sacrifice worth it?

What kind of life am I living that makes their death worth it? Those of us among the free and living often take for granted the time we have on this earth. We live as though the moments are cheap and expendable. We live as though what we have doesn’t matter.

We matter. Life matters.

There is a quote from Band of Brothers saying,”the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. …” That is true of all of us. If not today. If not tomorrow. It’s assured, that we’re all dead men walking.

And the life we have right now is because someone willfully marched toward death to give us a life of freedom and choices. And yet we live afraid.

It’s a myth that soldiers or winners or anyone going toward their future is unafraid. They live with fear like everyone else and govern it. They also know with more clarity, that life is incredibly short and should be lived with purpose and meaning while you have it.

Squandering life displays an incredible lack of gratitude to those who saved it. Take a risk and live life to the fullest.

Today, I’m profoundly grateful to the servicemen and women who have given their lives so I could live free and seek and pursue happiness my own way.



Obama’s Only Criteria: Is There Something In It For Me?

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Forget the little children. The little children coming to the White House don’t vote, can’t give money and really, after you’ve had one kiddie photo-op you’ve had them all, so they can’t make you even look that great. President Barack Obama dissed a bunch of crying Kindergartners:

Paty Stine said the White House staff should have made an exception. She feels the kindergarteners were snubbed for the Steelers.

“Here we have President Obama and his administration saying, ‘Here we are for the common, middle class people,’ and here he is not letting 150 5- and 6-year-olds into the White House because he’s throwing a lunch for a bunch of grown millionaires,” Stine said.

And really, the DC kids who don’t have school vouchers? They’re nothing compared to the powerful Teacher’s Union.

And the car dealerships and average workers? They’re nothing compared to the Auto Unions and environmentalist cabal.

It’s really all about who you know and what you can do for the President. A child. A common person. Well, they can’t do much for the Prez, so he doesn’t care so much for them.



Latest Pajamas Media: Rush & Powell, Cheney & Obama

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Who is the new “titular head” of the Republican party?

Rush Limbaugh announced this week that he was stepping down as the “titular head” of the Republican Party. He passed the torch to General Colin Powell.

The passing of the titular torch was symbolic. Whereas the old titular head is a conservative talk show host who staunchly holds conservative core principles, the new titular head is a moderate who endorsed Barack Obama and probably voted for him. So a man who leans so far liberal as to endorse Obama and enthuse about his “fresh ideas” now stands for the new Republican Party.

Pajamas put up my article juxtaposed against Jazz Shaw’s article titled, “Yes, Colin Powell Deserves A Spot In The Republican Party”. Jazz goes on to say this:

In terms of tossing the baby out with the bathwater, it must have been difficult to miss the better than six foot frame of General Colin Powell sloshing around on the back porch. Still, some doctrinaire conservatives have been more than willing to dump the former secretary of state with less fanfare than a greasy cheeseburger wrapper. During his remarks of May 19 in Boston, it became obvious that Powell had noticed:

Rush Limbaugh says, “Get out of the Republican Party.” Dick Cheney says, “He’s already out.” I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there’s another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again,” Powell told the crowd.

First, no one is telling General Powell to leave. By voting for Barack Obama, he left. Second, no one is telling General Powell to not come back. He is welcome to come back, but don’t expect your ideas to be taken seriously. Don’t expect anyone to trust you.

To put it in terms a soldier can understand: Don’t jump into the enemy’s foxhole, shoot your own side, praise the enemy’s tactics, missions and methods and come back to talk with “your” soldiers and expect to be embraced warmly.

Moderates: Choose a side. Fight.