Guest Commentary – Fantasy Candidate Part 5

Tonight for the guest commentary we have the final installment of Jon Smith’s Fantasy Candidate series. I have enjoyed reading the series that Jon has offered and I have even further enjoyed the discussions that have followed. I hope that this final installment will continue that trend. As we move forward into next week, we may see some changes here at SUFA. I will be starting my new career on Monday, meaning that my schedule is going to drastically change from what I am used to. My hope is that I will not see any significant change in my posting here but until I get started over there I really cannot say for sure. I will be writing Sunday night like usual and I intend certainly to offer the open mic on Tuesday night. After that we will take it as it comes. At any rate the posts will more than likely be published earlier than they have been in the past. I simply won’t be able to stay up until 5:00 am now that I will have a set daytime schedule that gets me up early again. I imagine, however, that once I get settled into my new schedule that my postings will be more regular because of the new set schedule, something I have not had in over a decade.

Fantasy Candidate Part 5: Individual Action and Code of Conduct
by Jon Smith

I mentioned in my last installment that this would be the most important part of the series. I said that for a couple reasons. One is that in terms of who makes a good candidate, who they are and what they do as individuals is the most important and distinguishing aspect. They can say all sorts of stuff about their stance on the issues, but their personal code of conduct is the most important. The other reason is that if there are things they can do individually, rather than things that mean little if they do not pass in Congress, then that means that they are able to show that they keep their promises, and more importantly, that it is not a waste to put them in Congress even if I know they cannot get any repealing done or legislation passed or congressional limitations in place. If there are things they can do as a Senator or Member of the House that will mean something, then its not about playing strategy games, it is more about getting the right person in place. This can restore hope to the voter and actually get some truly decent representatives in place.

As far as code of conduct, the proper candidate will abide by the laws that exist, as well as the ones he is proposing as if they existed, unless those laws either conflict with the constitution or each other. If a current law violates the laws he proposes, then he should stick to the principles he proposes, as none of them involve criminal violation of any current law. He should hold himself to a standard becoming the office he is elected to, not to the standards of the rest of elected officials in Washington. This he can do regardless of what others around him do.

As far as actions, I would want a candidate to:

1) Place all legislation that comes up for a vote in congress on a website of his own, providing it does not include classified material, and in those cases he should present as much as he is able. This will be for public view. He should further put his and/or his team’s findings and summaries of any such bills so as to make them more understandable to the general public.

2) He should include on this site his vote on the bill and why, highlighting the sections in the bill that made him vote against it, or the parts that called for a favorable vote.

3) Earmarks should always result in a no vote, regardless of the rest of the bill, and those earmarks should be clearly pointed out.

4) Tag-along legislation should also result in a no vote, regardless of the rest of the bill. There is no need to play these congressional games. If a bill cannot stand on its own, it should not stand. And people need to see how much of this political game playing and favor trading is really going on. Even if it means slowing down the fantasy candidate’s own agenda.

5) Where possible, all votes on all bills should be on this site after any vote, whether a measure passed or failed, denoting who voted and which way they voted. There is no excuse for hiding one’s voting record.

6) Regular updates on all actions, such as writing or proposing legislation and the status of legislation proposed. Again, the more people see into the process, the better. They will demand the process be cleaned up once they see it.

Modern technology allows a lot better communication than is actually being utilized. It is that communication that can make all the difference, and it is that transparency that will make this candidate have great impact, no matter whether they are the only one elected or not. And it is the idea of a candidate like this that may catch on, even if the candidate does not win. It would be worth it just to run.


  1. Cool !!!

  2. 4. I’m not really clear on this one-I understand it in theory-but in reality -if we want them to pay for any new legislation, than if changing something over here is necessary to pay for the new legislation. Should they have to do these steps separately in order to be transparent?

    6. It should also give details on any tax paid trips-any missed votes or any other times he wasn’t there when he should have been(saw this one on your site)-any committee’s they are on and what’s happening in those committee’s.

    • on #4: Not necessarily, but there would have to be a direct correlation. If it is part of paying for a change proposed, that is not tag-along legislation. I am referring to legislation that is not directly related to the primary purpose of the bill. Hiding little changes to our laws and freedoms within large bills that have strong support is not acceptable.

      on #6: Absolutely. I do not begrudge a vacation here and there, but I think we would find that a lot more pleasure trips and playing is involved than most people realize, and it affects job performance, and people should be aware of it. Campaigning is an even more time-consuming things that constantly pulls from our elected officials’ time on the job. If you cannot do both, then you have to choose the job you were elected to do, not the extension of your position.

      • Okay then maybe we need another idea that will help stop issues that came up with the health care bill. Let’s look at the 1099 issue-they put it in there to help pay for the bill-but now they are talking about taking it out-which means the bill is not being paid for(it wasn’t anyway but I think you get my point). Then we have the doctors-they didn’t put in the permanent fix for their pay -but they are going to do it separately-more expense that should have been tied to the bill but wasn’t. They just have so many ways to not show the true picture and do things which change the legislation after the fact.

      • 4. So you mean like the DREAM (backdoor amnesty) being attached to the military funding bill?

        I really like #2. Here in WI, Feingold voted against that latest banking bill and at first, was given credit for “seeing the light”. When someone finally asked him why he voted against it, it was because it didn’t go far enough – even though there are something like 122 rules yet to be written on the existing bill, he wants even more regulation. As one friend that works in a Treasury Dept of a large company stated – “how is that going to ease the minds of lending institutions?”

        • Buck the Wala says:


          Curious – on DREAM, do you really view this as backdoor amnesty? If so, why?

          Here are the DREAM requirements as far as I’m aware:

          1) Have came to the US before the age of 16 (most under 16 did not have a choice as they were brought by their parents)
          2) Have been in the US for at least 5-yrs prior to enactment of the legislation
          3) Have a high school diploma or GED
          4) Either (a) complete a 2-yr college program or (b) serve 2-yrs in the military

          • It is amnesty and the way it’s presented has been backdoor – so yes.

            Immigration reform needed? Let’s discuss it – out in the open – let it stand on its own merits.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              In what way is it backdoor? The general idea/requirements of DREAM has been discussed and debated for years now.

              • It is backdoor because it was stuck into the military appropriations bill. Along with Burris putting in the part about the military paying for abortions. This backdoor bullshit is what has the public so pissed off already.

                If it is such a great and glorious bill it should stand on it’s own, should it not?

                And then if they want it voted in they should vote for it tranparently and openly.

                • Seriously, I would really like to be able to look at their voting record and be able to ascertain something about them. Along with all the other good reasons that these bills should have to stand alone.

                • Buck the Wala says:

                  I see your point; I guess I just don’t take as much issue with it as you do.

                  • You don’t this time because you don’t have a problem with the bill they are sticking into the bill-but what if you did? At what point will the things that we see are wrong, translate into something we should stop. Instead of just dismissing it as not that big of a deal. A lot of small things ignored or dismissed can create huge problems.

                    • Buck the Wala says:

                      No, I don’t have much of a problem even with bills I dislike.

                      Would I support a law to mandate that all of this is done separately; yeah, I guess so. But I’m not all that bent out of shape on the practice to begin with. Sorry.

                    • Why do you think it’s not a big deal?

                    • Buck the Wala says:

                      I don’t really know, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t bother me.

                    • Okay, it probably bothers me enough for the both of us. 🙂

              • What if Mrs the Wala went to the bank to take money out of your joint checking account, money to pay for a new fridge but ended up taking extra money out for a girls weekend away? Same thing.

                • Buck the Wala says:

                  You say that like its never happened before…

                  And of course I’ve never taken a few extra bucks out for a few beers with my friends. That’s why its a JOINT account.

                  • So you only get out extra cash for a few joints with your friends? 🙂

                    seriously though, I do not see how the practice of tacking on unrelated legislation does not bother you. Its like having your utility company tell you that you were going to be billed for a new couch. Maybe you needed one, maybe not, but they think you do, so you get a new couch, and it is included in your bill. And if you don’t want to buy a couch, well, then I guess you don’t want any heat either!

                    It’s one of those things that has been going on so long in Congress that many have gotten hardened to it. But its sort of like the Running of the Bull in Spain. Just because you have always done it does not mean its not incredibly stupid.

                    • Buck the Wala says:

                      Ah, running with the bulls – one year I’ll get there!

                      As I said, for whatever reason I don’t have a major problem with the practice, however I see the concerns and would generally support banning the practice as far as unrelated legislation is concerned.

    • Single subject bill requirements are used quite widely among the states. It should be the same for the federal government as well.

      “Forty-one state constitutions currently contain language that substantially requires a bill relate to only one subject or to matters properly related to that subject. The majority of states adopted these restrictions, along with other restraints on lawmaking procedure, during the 19th Century, in response to perceived abuses of the legislative process. Several states have modified their original provisions, some several times, but no state has deleted this rule once imposed. Thirty-two state constitutions declare that no bill may embrace more than one “subject” while five states employ the word “object.” These 37 states generally exclude appropriations, budget and codification bills from the requirement. Single subject requirements in New York and Wisconsin apply only to private or local laws. This rule pertains only to appropriations bills in Arkansas and Mississippi.”


      The sixth paragraph of the article gives the background on why these types of laws came about:

      “Single subject restrictions in state constitutions stem from the infamous Yazoo land fraud in Georgia in 1795. In that year, the Georgia legislature enacted a measure ostensibly “for the protection and support of its frontier settlements.” This law disposed of some 35 million acres of the state’s western lands (now the states of Alabama and Mississippi) for $500,000, or less than two cents an acre. Reaction to this incident, from which nearly all legislators benefited financially, resulted in the Georgia Constitution of 1798 including a provision that “no bill shall pass which refers to more than one subject or contains matter different from what is expressed in the tide thereof.”

      Once Congress is held to such a standard we may see more transparency and less of “we’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it” governing.

      At the same time as Congress is forced to accept single subject legislative bills they should be forced as well to write the bills in plain English (which I realize would make a lot of lawyers unemployed – but that’s a good thing right?).

  3. Wooo.. hijack!

    Surprisingly, I think Jon Stewart is becoming a legitimate voice in politics by virtue of the fact that he is explicitly aware of his limited role as a comedian and his very even-handed and nuanced view of politics. I strongly recommend giving this a listen.

    Yes, he’s still a lefty, but I think there’s a lot here that everyone can get behind.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I had really wanted to watch that interview. Unfortunately will have to wait until I’m home and can actually listen. You dont’ have a transcript hiding somewhere do you?

      • Nope, sorry. But it’s very worthwhile. I am honestly extremely impressed. You almost never get to hear what Stewart thinks when he’s out of character – when he’s just being himself. He’s pushing back against Maddow’s liberalism, which is very interesting.

        • It would be much more interesting to know whether he is pushing back against yours. But I am asking this without having watched the video, yet, so I’m not implying anything by the question. 🙂

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Ooh, I like where this is going — response Mathius? Again, I can’t say much here as I have no idea what Stewart had said at this point.

          • Could be.. He’s deliberately avoiding specific policy stances. Likewise, he’s not addressing small gov vs big gov vs no gov.

            (hehe, Maddow is getting frustrating with Stewart)

            I think he and eye might see eye-to-eye in that he seems to really have an appreciation for the fact that the world is not black and white. He’s really just trying to get across the point that there are shades of gray and the media is culpable and politicians are culpable and that we all need to back away from the extremism of the left and the right.

            I realize that, to many here, I may appear to be extremist left, but I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we’d say that I’m left-center with some right-leaning views. Stewart, I think, is about the same.

            (hehe, now she’s getting defensive)

            OK, I’m done talking about it until you two have listened to it as well. Then we can talk.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Definitely need to watch that tonight…

            • “I realize that, to many here, I may appear to be extremist left, but I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we’d say that I’m left-center with some right-leaning views.”

              I think Stewart said at one point, we are a combination. On some issues you are extreme left, some left-center, some right-center. He makes some good points about how the media doesn’t just report an issue, they create an issue by over-reporting it in a 24 hour news cycle.

              So, any left-of-center thoughts on our Jon’s article, or just total agreement?

            • Okay, I have watched the video-the man was really walking a tight rope. Trying hard to explain his citicism without being overly harsh. I found it a little bit funny that he continued to tell the 24 hr media that they are not supposed to be comedians. That they are in a position of power and are therefore in a position of responsibility.

              I also noticed as usual that everyone justifies their bias’s. Everything the left does is okay per Maddow because somehow they are always the poor mistreated, outnumbered minority.

              • I thought he did Ok. Maddow kept trying to compare him to her as having the same voice. He is clear that he acts as a comedian, not a commentator or reporter. And he got away with defending Bush.

                • I thought he did good too-He didn’t seem to change the ladies mind though-I do question the statement that Fox News deligitimized the news. What do you think-I wasn’t paying enough attention back then to say-who started what.

                  • More likely I wasn’t paying close attention.

                    on “Fox News deligitimized the news.” It’s an interesting thought, but screams bias to me.
                    ACORN was ignored by the networks, how is FOX wrong for pointing that out to networks that give coverage to all 12 members of code pink, but will not report on an organization linked to the President?

                    • I agree-wish he would have explained just why he believes Fox was the cause of deligitimizing the news-instead of stating it, like it was fact. Because he obviously believes that they all step over the line into sensationalism.

  4. 8)

  5. Excellent video:

    Jews for the 2nd Amendment

    • Oh, well, I’m sold.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Words cannot describe…

        • Yea.. I’m not 100% sure why, but I’m somewhat offended by that.

          I think, maybe, it’s that the rabbi is speaking with authority on behalf of all Jews. I don’t like anyone to tell me with absolute certainty what my religion does and does not say.

          He’s interpreting the data one way and proclaiming that my God sees it his way and if I disagree, then I “Oppose God’s Law” – horseshit.

          He’s saying guns = self-defense and god wants us to defend ourselves ergo gun control is opposite God’s Law. I say that gun control protects us, therefore it agrees with God’s Law. Yet he takes his personal opinion and ascribes it to God rendering opposition to him as opposition to God.

          That’s the kind of thinking that got the Jews oppressed for millennia.

          Oh, and I’m not going to bother with the (several) other transparent logical fallacies, fear-mongering tactics, and/or strawmen.

          Flag, you can do better than this.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Mathius, you should become a rabbi and preach that, as you say, since gun control protects us therefore it agrees with god’s law! Then you could be the final authority in Flag’s eyes.

            • No need. Most American Jews already agree with me.

              “So there’s no information on how many Jews own guns, or whether that number’s increasing. The last time we had any indication was when Bush was running against Dukakis. The Times Mirror did a study that said 96 percent of Jews support gun control.”

              Admittedly that was a while ago, but 96% is a margin.

          • “Flag, you can do better than this.” Indeed he could. How about a comparison of countries with strict gun control vs the US?


            By comparing criminal victimization surveys from Britain and the Netherlands (countries having low levels of gun ownership) with the U.S., Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck determined that if the U.S. were to have similar rates of “hot” burglaries as these other nations, there would be more than 450,000 additional burglaries per year where the victim was threatened or assaulted. (Britain and the Netherlands have a “hot” burglary rate near 45% versus just under 13% for the U.S., and in the U.S. a victim is threatened or attacked 30% of the time during a “hot” burglary.)

        • Your right-there are no words-I do not understand-I will never understand!

  6. From the When you thought you’ve seen it all….

    Lingerie Football League
    …women playing tackle football in lingerie…

    …can’t wait until a franchise opens locally… 8)

  7. As an extension of #5 (reporting their votes on legislation), as I wrote over on your blog (and shameless copy and paste here to cut down retyping it 😉 ):

    Also, in reporting votes of Congress persons if they are shown to be “not present” there should be an explanation of why they weren’t present. Their constituents should know why they aren’t carrying out the responsibilities they were elected to carry out.

  8. Yikes! What’sup with gold? 😯

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      not the price..

      (1,363.55 / oz)

      • OOhh! may be time for us late to the game to buy some more.

        • V.H.


          • I had a lot of fun the other day-Went on a little treasure hunt-Was talking to my best friend(my husband) a few days ago and he said-you know when I was a kid my parents bought me some coins-don’t remember what they were-but I think there in the dresser drawer. Went to look. 2-1oz silver coins 1-1/2 oz gold coin 1-1/4 oz gold 1-1/10 oz gold coin–Thank you Mom and Dad-Wonder what they paid for them.

      • Where are you looking, Matt. I’m seeing 1365

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          I have access to Bloomberg at work. I’m getting the live ticking exchange spot price. Your prices may vary.

          Also, the price is moving, so it might have gone up a couple bucks between when I typed that and when you checked. In fact, taking a look, I can see this is probably the case.

        • Your dad and brother were outnumbered too-My folks had 4 girls-My dad always joked that he was outnumbered.

          • I’ve really gotta stop moving down so I can read what I’m writing-You would think I could remember to move it back up-in the short period time that it took to write the reply. 🙂

    • The uncertainty in gold is the uncertainty of the future of the dollar – will Bernanke destroy it or let the interest rates rise (and push the US into recession/depression)

      It is a buy for those that haven’t or want to store up – it is a “hold” for those happy with their holdings.

      • We are holding….gold is in direct relation to the value of the dollar….the minute the dollar strengthens…gold will drop. It is going to be very interesting in the next couple of months, don’t ya think?

        • D13,

          It is a race to the bottom

          Here is an interesting video worth thinking about.


          • Pretty interesting….we have purchased the Panda series over the years and lack only one piece of having three complete sets…..However, I think that they will use gold like we use T bills if they are encouraging their population to buy gold….especially gold China mint coins.

            China is not stupid and they certainly do not care what the world thinks. I wonder, if they produce, which they are, a proliferation of gold coins and back their currency with it….what does that do to their currency. I see hyper inflation coming world wide…unless some drastic measures are taken by individual governments…this G20 summits are grandstanding and no one wants really free trade. BUt China has not only bought US debt but the debt of a lot of other countries as well. They are hedging and they have really rolled the dice in my opinion. I beleive that thet are drawing to an inside straight and only have the river left. Don’t know….just my speculation.

            Of interesting note….and I am not at liberty to be more forthcoming with facts due to classified info…… but it would be interesting for everyone to research the estimated gold reserves and resources for gold in China and surrounding areas……and how China, like American Oil companies, have learned how to lease and buy mineral rights in various countries…..and not for oil.

            Bears close watching….but also, loke the Hunt family trying to control the silver market at one time…gold could be the same. I just don’t know and my crystal ball is a little cloudy this morning.

            • Sorry for the typos and lack of proof reading….I am trying a new laptop and the keys are a little close….besides, even this new laptop cannot spell.

            • D13,

              No fear of “cornering” gold market – it is simply too big.

              It trades -daily- in volumes three times larger than the oil market.

              It trades the entire gold reserves of all of mankind every 4 or 5 days.

              However, in times of crisis, a sudden surge of demand will create a rapid surge in price as there is substantially more currency then gold.

              Re: China and other nations debt…

              China buys foreign debt because they are firm believers in Keynesian mercantilism.

              That is, they believe they can get rich faster by selling their products at a discount to foreigners instead of their own people -a discount paid for by their own workers-

              To do this, one must accept enormous debt of others because you do not want to import their goods if you want to be a net exporter.

              So something has to give, and it is accepting debt of others instead of production of others.

              So seeing China holding a lot of the paper of other nations is expected.

              However, one day they flip into selling their own production to their own people.

              The Chinese have been brilliant. Think about it….

              The average Chinese person has no income to be a consumer – average $5/day income, you are in no position to buy LCD TV’s.

              So the Chinese have built an enormous middle class capability and production by selling cheap to everyone else, while building the massive industrial base for themselves.

              One day, having all the money, and all the gold, and all the production, they will start selling to their own people – a couple of billion consumers – their own goods….and to hell with the rest of the world if we can’t pay for it…..

              Re: China buying up resources.
              I issues this warning nearly 10 years ago.

              I saw a calm, “under the water”, nearly unnoticeable series of acquisitions by Chinese companies directly or indirectly through subsidiaries of major trade ports, resources and production facilities.

              Of course, most of the people I told this to thought I was a conspiracy theorist and discounted my warning.

              Some days, I hate being right all the time.

              • 🙄 🙄 🙄

                But, being right is certainly better than being left.

              • BF says: “Re: China buying up resources.”

                D13 says: Yep…been watching it since 1983. We have been buying gold that long and all of the intelligence that I have read….we knew that China was doing this…but, of cours, no different than us buying oil reserves.

                The Chinese are very smart but I still see a house of cards….not bricks. I know that he gold market will not be cornered but gold can also become a commodity whose price can drop as fast as it rose.

                All depends on the strength of the dollar, I think. But if we keep prinintg it…well, you know….economics 101…chapter 1.

                • D13

                  So, let’s flesh out this a bit.

                  gold can also become a commodity whose price can drop as fast as it rose.

                  So, reach back to what economic theory you are using to base this statement upon.

                  Gold price drops…. why?

                  Is it a sudden surge of gold supply?

                  Well, no. Gold production compared to “already produced” is minuscule – less the 1% growth. In other words, most of the world’s gold is already above ground, so no sudden production will inflate the gold supply (increase in supply) to cause a drop in price.

                  Supply and demand … production will have no impact.

                  So, the next would come from a sudden sale of a large gold store – ….. but from where?

                  Most of the gold sits in jewelery or on the necks and fingers of Indians.

                  Of the remaining, most exists (in theory) under control of global central banks.

                  But we know that these banks have leased most (if not all) of their storage to the Bullion banks, who have sold it on the open market.

                  Thus, the big “dump” of gold from central banks probably has already happened.

                  Finally, there exists a reverse correlation between strength and faith in fiat currency and the price of gold.

                  Gold does not earn. So holding gold in a highly productive economy is not a wise investment. It is better to sell the gold and invest the proceeds into economic production .

                  But that raises this question: where the heck do you see a highly productive economy???

                  • Yep…….inflation is the key to watch, I think. If and that is IF the dollar regains….say……25-50%……(big if) gold drops and, I think, drops like a homesick brick……but that is MY OPINION. No facts to back me up. I do not think that China can hang on for much longer….the dice have left the hand. I think that the Euro is destined the same way as the Peso….I think that IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF …..the US is successful in re-establishing economic prowess….then gold is an after thought as a commodity and an inflation hedge. Again, my opinion. And this from someone who is invested in gold.

  9. Jon,

    Nothing you propose do I oppose, think there are details to refine. I would like Amendments requiring congress and the senate to post all current legislation
    being considered.

    plainlyspoken said
    November 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    “Single subject bill requirements are used quite widely among the states. It should be the same for the federal government as well.”

    Agree, make this a single subject amendment.

    I think the rules for the House and Senate need permanent revisions.

    November 11, 2010
    Reform the House Rules – Now!
    Mark J. Fitzgibbons, American Thinker
    Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow and self-described “recovering Congressman” Ernest Istook (Amen, brother!) has a plan that must be implemented by the House Republican Conference next week when it sets its rules for how the Republican majority and the House will be governed in the next Congress.

    Istook writes that Congress needs a “reconfiguration of the power structure to bring about a broad-based, bottom-up House of Representatives [that] would jibe with the Constitutional design of a true ‘people’s House.'”

    Read the Heritage policy paper he and his colleagues authored. The introduction explains the rush:

    Immediately after the congressional elections of November 2, new Members and re-elected Members of both parties will gather to meet (caucus) and vote on new leaders and enact internal party rules. Long before the House adopts its formal rules in January, these internal party rules will determine the allocation of power within Congress between leadership, committee and subcommittee chairmen, and rank-and-file Members.

    We recommend reforms of both parties’ internal caucus rules in order to reverse the decades-long trend whereby House leaders have acquired enormous power at the expense of rank-and-file Members.

    As I wrote earlier this week, two Republican revolutions failed to return America to constitutionally limited small government. Statism must be de-institutionalized.

    Heritage, under Mr. Istook’s wisdom and experience, recommends four reforms in particular that would de-institutionalize the power structure in the House of Representatives:

    The steering committee, rather than party leaders, should select all committee chairmen and members (including Rules, Administration, “select,” and “joint” committees).

    Party leaders should no longer dominate or control the steering committee. In practice, this would dispense with the allotment of multiple steering committee slots to party leaders and would allow rank-and-file Representatives to nominate and elect the controlling votes on each steering committee.

    Term limits should apply to all House and party leaders, including the Speaker, as well as to committee chairmen and ranking members.

    A cap should be placed on the overall size of each committee-such as a 50-member maximum-to avoid scenarios where committees wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the House

    The 1994 Gingrich Revolution produced 72 freshman representatives. The 2010 election sends 84 freshmen to Congress. The dynamics are different, but also the same.

  10. Are you talking about the Jon who wrote this article? Because I am not understanding your comment at all??????

  11. Yeah Jon! Don’t be such a leftist! 🙂

  12. Touchee BF. I’ve been following Jim Sinclair at He also likes cartoons…like this 🙂

  13. A sendoff for all the SUFA hunters. Good luck guys!

  14. Rangel ‘raided’ PACs for 393G


    Last Updated: 6:49 AM, November 14, 2010

    Posted: 12:02 AM, November 14, 2010
    Comments: 16
    More Print


    Congressman Charles Rangel, whose ethics trial starts tomorrow, appears to have improperly used political-action committee money to pay for his defense.

    Rangel tapped his National Leadership PAC for $293,000 to pay his main legal-defense team this year. He took another $100,000 from the PAC in 2009 to pay lawyer Lanny Davis.

    Two legal experts told The Post such spending is against House rules.

    “It’s a breach of congressional ethics,” one campaign-finance lawyer said.

    Washington, DC, political lawyer Cleta Mitchell said there is “no authority for a member to use leadership PAC funds as a slush fund to pay for personal or official expenses.”

    Leadership PACs are typically used by politicians to donate money to other candidates.

    But Rangel seems to have run afoul of House ethics rules. Lawmakers are generally allowed to use campaign cash to pay their lawyers, but this is limited to money in their personal campaign committee and they must ask permission first, the campaign-finance lawyer said.

    “The only campaign funds that a member may use to pay for congressional expenses are funds of his or her principal campaign committee — not the funds of a leadership PAC or a multicandidate committee,” according to the House Ethics Manual.

    Legal fees tied to a campaign, election or performance of official duties are considered congressional expenses.

    “Accepting money or payment for legal expenses from any other source, including a PAC, would be a gift and is barred by the House rules,” the lawyer said.

    The Ethics Committee had no comment. Rangel’s office refused to comment on the PAC money.

    On top of the $393,000 in PAC funds, records show Rangel yanked $1.4 million from his campaign coffers in 2009 and 2010 to pay the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, his main legal-defense team, and $100,000 in 2009 to pay Davis’ firm.

    He also spent $147,577 for Washington, DC, lawyer John Kern and $174,303 for Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co., a firm that offers forensic accounting and legal services.

    An eight-member ethics subcommittee of four Democrats and four Republicans will convene at 9 a.m. to hear the 13 charges.

    They include failure to disclose and pay taxes on his vacation home in the Dominican Republic; his use of a rent-regulated Harlem apartment as a campaign office; and using congressional stationery to raise money for the Rangel Center at City College.

    Read more:

    • Ha! Did you see Rangel walked out of his own ethics trial this morning? Shaking my head trying to understand the citizens of Harlem that just re-elected this nut.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Kathy – I saw that in the news roll today – Rangel is a piece of garbage. I am floored anyone would have re-elected him.

  15. I have read this twice and none of the reasons that InHofe raised seem to be anything but excuses to keep spending.

    Means To An End To Big Spending

    Posted 11/12/2010 06:50 PM ET

    Fiscal Restraint: Thanks to the rise of the Tea Party, a key debate within the victorious GOP has changed. The question is no longer whether to cut spending, but how.

    The big test for Republicans after their historic victory is not whether they can work with President Obama and take part in “governing.” It’s whether they can maintain long-term credibility as spending hawks.

    Think of the Tea Party as the long-suffering wife of the Republican Party, with its own history of Democrat-like spending addiction. Republicans may claim they are a Grand New Party, clean and sober in the aftermath of the big-spending Bush years.

    But the wife’s patience is wearing thin, she is watching hubby like a hawk, and she has a bag packed and placed beside the front door. It’s in that context that various conservative Republicans are competing to be seen as the most frugal lawmaker of them all.

    The House of Representatives already has a ban on the infamous practice of earmarks — local pet projects that members of Congress arrange to have financed federally. In the wake of the election, serious conservative senators such as Jim DeMint, R-S.C., are demanding such a ban in their chamber.

    With Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., against him, DeMint looks like the personification of the Tea Party revolting against the GOP’s old guard. And as far as John Q. Public is concerned — whether he’s a Tea Partyer or not — the practice looks sleazy and stopping it seems reasonable.

    DeMint considers it symbolically crucial, arguing that Congress will never reform its massive, bankruptcy-destined entitlement programs while lawmakers can cater to their own parochial interests.

    With a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of nearly 90%, however, McConnell is far from a Republican In Name Only. In resisting DeMint, he warns that banning earmarks won’t cut any spending. And worse, it would shift legislative appropriation powers to President Obama.

    The heavy lifting against banning earmarks is being done by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who spent nine lonely years fighting the political establishment, including many Republicans, on global warming, finally finding himself vindicated last year by ClimateGate.

    The National Journal’s “Most Conservative Senator” of 2009 says every single one of the famous “102 worst ways the government is spending your tax dollars” highlighted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity was a presidential, not congressional, earmark. The list includes $2 million for miniature flying robot bees in Massachusetts and $1 million to study the division of labor in ant colonies in Arizona.

    The senator points to a Hill newspaper report that found lobbyists gravitating toward executive branch bureaucrats instead of senators and congressmen for spending favors. He notes that earmarks accounted for only 1.5% of all discretionary spending last year.

    Inhofe says earmarks gave U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq improved armor and financed the anti-terrorist Predator drone, both items he says would never have been funded by Presidents Obama and Bush.

    Writing in National Review last week, Inhofe said the Obama stimulus “famously did not contain a single congressional” earmark, yet ended up funding “hundreds of frivolous items such as a clown show in Pennsylvania, studying the mating decisions of the female cactus bug, and a helicopter able to detect radioactive rabbit droppings, to name a few.”

    On Monday, Inhofe introduces a bill on the Senate floor he promises will solve the whole earmark imbroglio. It would phase in over five years a freeze on discretionary spending at fiscal-year 2008 levels for all “nonsecurity” appropriations.

    Reminiscent of the Gramm-Rudman law in the 1980s — the one spending control mechanism that worked (until it was dismantled) — Inhofe’s bill would have the teeth of an across-the-board sequester mechanism. Sixty-seven senators would have to vote against the sequester to disarm it. Emergency military and disaster relief spending would be exempt.

    Inhofe says it would save $634 billion more than enacting Obama’s proposed spending freeze by 2020, and close to $900 billion more than doing nothing.

    Welcome to the great debate on how to cut spending in the Obama era. Whoever wins — DeMint or Inhofe — the long-overdue realization that the fiscal chickens have come home to roost is, thankfully, here to stay.

    • WHY? WHY? WHY? What is so hard about not spending..

      There has to be one.some.person who could get on the stump and lay it out in regular speak that the time has come to reverse course.. A new “I have a dream” type speech..where the end result is a commitment from the citizens to get behind a plan to stop the madness.

  16. Kathy,

    Congrats to Wisconsin..but geez 83? 83? You gotta be all that? 🙂

  17. Gov Perry has succeeded in pissing of Washington..again. Turned down “green money”….does not want education funds at all now….and is pushing state’s rights really hard. Wanting to drop medicaid/medicare and social security in favor of the State of TExas taking care of their own.

    Time to load up some more ammo…..

    • Judy Sabatini says:


      I wanted to thank you for your kind words the other day, and instead of talking to a big Oak Tree, I went and beat my head on it instead. Just wanted to let you know, you’re right, and sooner or later, I will learn.

      And thank you also for the comments about my son’s, yes I am very proud of them, and would like to think we did something right in raising them. Again Thank you.

      Take Care


    • Oil up the guns boys…

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Only question D13 and TexasChem is whether Perry is grandstanding and then find a backdoor to bring the money in anyway.

      • That is not possible given our checks and balances system… Our governor does not have the authority to accept or extend debt without legislative approval……that said…..

        We will keep a wary eye….and, Ray, of course he is grandstanding….he may be a pretty good gov….BUT…..he is a politician. When they are not kissing babies..they are stealing their lollipops….

        He does not APPEAR to be a mainstream politician….but he does know how to play the game.

        I have commissioned DPM to keep an eye on him.

        I think the most interesting aspect is that Texas has been economically penalized because we do not “toe” the poverbial line. I will say that he is not taking the border issue lightly. He has allowed us to crack down significantly….and it is working. We are not stopping the killings on the Mexico side…nor will we. But we are putting such pressure on the US side…..the cartels are beginning to threaten more and more. That is our barometer. All the ranchers have posted signs on their border property about trespassing. Do not trespass or you will be shot. The Cattleman’s Association has upped the penalty for stealing and killing cattle.

        He has already been setting up special committees to explore the educational system in Texas to see about being inependent from the Federal Government.

        He is bucking the “good old boy” insurance system and is openly talking to Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, and Tennessee about opening up health insurance markets in those states for competition between states. The Feds are trying to stop that but he is doing it anyway.

        I have put my name in the mix to be on a committee on the elimination of Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security for the State of Texas and to go rogue. THIS will be interesting because it is a golden calf of the Feds. We shall see. I do not know if I will be picked but I do have the qualifications and the background to sit on his committe…just don’t know if I have the stroke.

        I think we have some good things going…..I hope he continues. I do expect resistance on the health program and SS from the Feds….time will tell.

  18. Off topic but I thought everyone may be interested in this link that contains the movie, “The Secret of Oz”.

  19. Ray Hawkins says:

    Philadelphia officials clear 19,400 fugitives

    This is one of those stories that just warms the heart – nearly 20,000 fugitives got their free pass this year – while I understand and accept that its “practice” to drop old warrants for nuisance crimes committed sometimes decades ago, when we have to quash thousands of cases that range up to aggravated assault, robbery, sex crimes, B&E – then we’re proclaiming loud and clear that criminals, if they work it right and just go on the lam, will eventually be able to pretend like nothing happened. So hey Philly – I know we have trouble winning sports championships and all – but carrying the title belt for “best place to be a criminal” is not something to be proud of. My in-laws are having a similar experience now as many are – the same lowlife has broken into their house twice – first time he stole a purse and the family to go joyriding and buy PCP. They are charging him with “Using a motor vehicle without permission”. WTF is that?

    • Ray,

      This screams at me as being an example of a government organization not doing their job. The paper tracked down several people to get their comments, why can’t the police do the same? I could applaud tearing up warrants on prostitutes and such, where no one was hurt, but not the violent.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @LOI – there is a lot of finger-pointing in Philly – however – most of the cops I know or have spoken with will tell you they run up against a DA and Court system that simply doesn’t give a shit to fix the root cause of the problem. Because of the crime problem in Philly they end up focusing on only the most violent crime since that is what makes the headlines – never mind that the minor league criminals are simply racking up experience until they do something truly egregious. The reality is that even as there are fits and starts to revitalizing Philly, there is a power elite that cannot be seen as too tough on minorities (who, in the stats, are committing more/most of the crime) less they lose the next election. So we end up in a cycle where actually fixing the problem will never be entertained because it’ll mean someone does not get re-elected. I know the answer is not simply build more prisons, and hire more LE and Judges to push everything through – but there is a reality that there is crime and it must be dealt with. The punk f’ing with my in-laws has a rap sheet a mile long with increasingly violent crime on it – its only a matter of time before he kills someone of my in-laws put a bullet in his head the next time he tries to break in.

  20. Ray Hawkins says:

    Jon – good article – I’ll simply add that we all know the technology exists for lawmaking to be completely transparent and visible to every citizens. We can do it, we just won’t do it.

  21. Buck & all,

    What do you think about the US tax code?
    Should it be simplified (again)?
    Or is there a permanent change you would advocate?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Absolutely not: I need a job.

      • 🙂

      • Come on down, Buck….I can use ya on the border.

      • So you favor adding complications to the tax code? Because it will generate more income for you?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Well, yeah, of course!

          But on a personal level, the tax code does need to be simplified to a certain extent.

          • Every time they simplify it, another congress come in and starts tinkering, often with rider bills. That’s one reason bills need to be stand-alone. The next butterfly protection bill may have included tax incentives for providing them a protected habitat.

            I think anything the government does to generate revenue should be classified as a tax. All taxes should be proposed as being a modification of the tax code, including import and export taxes, etc…

            • Buck the Wala says:

              That’s a good example of where I disagree with the stand-along legislation issue being discussed here lately. Inserting a protected habitat tax incentive along with a butterfly protection bill is clearly related. No problem with this practice in my book, so long as the process itself is transparent.

              • Buck,

                They have done this something like 75,000 times, over the years. It makes it impossible for even the IRS to keep track of what is and isn’t legal. Nothing is ever taken off the books, only added.

                If you want a simplified tax code, tax laws will have to be single issue.

    • Yes, I advocate for taking a match to the thing and starting over.

      Can the loopholes, 99% of the special exemptions, etc. Can the deductions as incentive stuff – if they want to incentivize me, do it through something other than the tax code. Make it more progressive. And above all, make it simpler.

      Oh, and one more thing. You can have my payroll taxes on April 15th. Stop taking them out of my paycheck and holding them, interest free, for a year. If I make 1,000 a week, I should take home 1,000 a week (less benefits or 401k deposits, etc). Then, I should be able to decide what to do with the 30% that I owe the government and pay it in one lump sum when it’s due. Failure to pay can result in garnishing of salary for the following year, but as long as I pay up, they should be able to take my money for free.

      Or at the very least, I should get some interest on that money.


      • Buck the Wala says:

        The tax code has always been used as a means of creating incentives for certain practices. For instance, mortgage interest deduction is a means of incentivizing home ownership. You can argue that such incentives don’t work or are unnecessary, but don’t tell me you don’t personally like being able to deduct that mortgage interest each year!

        In terms of making the tax code more progressive: Thoughts on what you would like to see?

        • I love getting my deduction. I’d love more if they just charged me less in the first place.

          As for making it more progressive, I’d be ok with higher top marginal tax rates. After, say, 1mm, I’d be good with 45%. You’d have to make tens of millions to actually make that your effective tax rate (at 70mm, you’d be approaching it, so let’s not pretend it’s going to disincentivize people.. and, cue the the counter-arguments..). I might even be able to go with 60% above 10mm, why not?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I’d agree – it does need to be made more progressive in that regard. I don’t think I could get on board with 60% (even if only over 10M) but I’d be open to arguments. There do need to be more brackets added though (such as your suggestion of 45% over 1M).

          • That line of thought, sir, is very scary…..

    • Gents!

      You guys are way off base!

      First, income tax (which I surmise you are talking about here) only applies to about 50% of the US people. Nearly half the people do not pay income tax.

      80% of the income tax is already being paid by top few percent of Americans. Increasing their marginal rate will be disastrous.

      Attacking those that earn the multi-millions is pointless, Buck.

      It will not raise much revenue as there are not *that many* super rich people to make any difference.

      It will, however, most certainly change their decisions about their earning – and that is a whole big other problem.

      When you attack the super-rich to go after their income, you create an incentive for them to leave and take their earnings (which is their company) with them.

      For a paltry few millions, you devastate the economy by billions.

      Why do you think the US is losing its industrial base today????

      The superficial thinking I see posted here is a serious issue throughout society. The advocating or presentation of ideas without any regard to the unseen, but very knowable severe consequences is how the US economy got into this state in the first place.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Not sure where I suggested attacking those that earn mega-millions. I believe it was Mathius’ suggestion, though I do whole-heartedly agree with the idea of adding in some extra brackets.

        • Buck,

          I am not interested in your “belief”.

          I am interested in fact and truth.

          What income are you considering attacking?

          How many people are in this group?

          What income tax is expected to be generated from your increase?

          Facts, sir, not your belief!

  22. Consider, on Friday’s CBS Evening News, six to seven million Americans watched a news report, and were lied to. All three networks have lost viewers, while FOX has gained. I think the reason is trust. People are figuring out the MSM will deliberately lie and distort news instead of giving factual reports.

    Read more:

    On Friday’s CBS Evening News, travel editor Peter Greenberg filed a report in which, without challenge, he passed on Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s charge that America is “the key part of the problem” of drug cartels in his country. And, even though the overwhelming majority of guns seized from Mexican drug cartels are known to originate from countries outside the U.S., Greenberg seemed to claim that all were bought in the U.S. Greenberg:

    He (Calderon) claims American drug use is financing the cartels, and smuggled American guns are arming them. This is an example of the more than 90,000 weapons the Calderon government has confiscated in the last four years – almost all of them high-powered, and all of them bought in the United States.

    But, as previously documented by NewsBusters, in April 2009 Fox News reported that 83 percent of guns recovered in Mexico originated outside the United States.

    Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, November 12, CBS Evening News:

    PETER GREENBERG: Remarkably, despite U.S. State Department travel warnings, tourism is up 20 percent in Mexico, including five million Americans. And it is America, claims Calderon, that’s the key part of the problem. He says the $40 billion drug trade exists to feed an insatiable American appetite.

    FELIPE CALDERON, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: We have a neighbor which is the largest consumer of drugs in the world, and the problem is, everyone want to sell him drugs through my window or through my door. So United States needs to reduce consumption of drugs one way or another.

    GREENBERG: He claims American drug use is financing the cartels, and smuggled American guns are arming them. This is an example of the more than 90,000 weapons the Calderon government has confiscated in the last four years – almost all of them high-powered, and all of them bought in the United States.

    CALDERON: And I’m talking like 50,000 assault weapons, machine guns, more than 8,000 grenades, almost 10 billions of bullets, which is amazing figures.

    • Yep….and we report exactly what we find. It is amazing that what we find and report is never reported. I gave you my figures on what we have found in Texas…..the majority of the guns are not American made and they are not bought in the States. Someone needs to ask Calderon…..what weapons does his Army use? I think you will be interested in the answer.

      • What I recall, most US firearms were legally purchased by their military. The deserters and corrupt in their armed services, and police are counted as being a “USA” problem. Our fault for selling the Mexican government arms……

  23. Who thinks solar panels are worth it?

    • Botoom Line says:

      Define “it”.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Dammit! I did it again!

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Hey! You and Botoom have really similar names.. small work, huh?

          • Bottom Line says:

            Yeah, we’re real close. lol.

            I keep doing that. For whatever reason, I want to press the “o” twice instead of the “t”.


      • Well, Botoom,

        “It” means meeting the following criterion:

        (A) Affordable – less than, say 10k initial investment
        (B) Reliable – I won’t have to constantly fix or maintain them
        (C) Effective – They’ll save me some money at least $50/month average
        (D) With a battery backup, they can protect me in the event of a blackout (I get these 3 or 4 times a year, it seems)
        (E) Gives me the ability to project smugness Al Gore style.
        (F) They’ll pay for themselves within the next, say, 5 years.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Well, I suppose that if you have a spare 10K, then it might be worth it.

          Once they’re paid for, it depends on the life expectancy.

          I could only justfy buying them when/IF I get my cabin in the mountains far far away from power lines.

          I’d have to have an overkill energy output though…and I’d still want other forms of energy as a redundancy.

    • I do not think they are worthwhile. They likely will pay for themselves in ten years(less for me living in the south). A onetime purchase of a gas generator is a lot less stress than a re-modeling project. Impressing my neighbors would mean getting a bigger monster truck than them.

      • They have been advertising solar generators-around 2700.00 is the price I’ve seen-Anyone have any idea if they are worth the price?

        • Not sure what that is, solar panels are usually the term used,
          photovoltaic or hot water. Photovoltaic would charge a bank of batteries that you would then use an inverter to take the 12VDC out of and make into 120VAC.

          If you have a link or more info, I’ll take a look.

    • Matt,

      Came across this as I was looking for jobs for my daughter to come home to. It’s just an announcement but I’m curious myself as I prepare to build a new home.

    • Depends on what for.

      For my RV, they are definitely worth it. Rooftop RV panels are around $350 apiece, and since there is an existing battery system, alternate power source, and everything already runs on minimal power by design, it is worth it. Not to mention most of the stuff runs on DC, there is already an inverter built in for things that don’t, etc. It will save running the generator, but the gas savings are not cost based only, they are also based on tank size and availability. Also, in some places, power alternates are not available, and even gasoline is a ways off. With the gas mileage, I do not want to drive extra just to fuel up. Also, there are situations where I would consider a generator too noisy. If I am in a quiet wilderness setting, or, more importantly, staying in a parking lot and not wanting to look occupied, it is important to minimize generator operation.

      If I were going off grid in a cabin, etc., it would also be worth it. It would require more money, since I would be building a system from scratch, but still a good option, and again, partly due to availability, transport, and storage of fuel, not just fuel cost. In pure economic terms, it is not worth it. Also, I would be gearing such a getaway with low power draw equipment. A final reason is such a case is to avoid dependence on fuel whenever possible. Fuel, even if cheap, might not be available in some situations.

      If I were putting it in my house as a carryover for outages, I would say it is not worth it. The typical household needs are too great, and the battery system needed for a 3-4 day blackout is quite large. Furthermore, many outages are combined with inclement weather, a lousy time for decent solar production. A backup generator is the way to go for that sort of thing.

      If I were putting it in for electricity bill savings, I would say no, its not worth the cost differential as yet. As for as pollution reduction, I would say look really close at the resources and byproducts of making photovoltaic cells before jumping on the bandwagon.

      If I just want a cool way to blow 10 grand, then its worth it, if that is what you are into.

  24. CA – where the illegals get in state tuition but if you are a legal citizen of any other state you pay out of state tuition!

    In-state tuition for illegal immigrants is preserved with California Supreme Court ruling [Updated]

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Sorry Kathy, but the ruling makes sense. The federal law at issue bars granting benefits to illegal immigrants. The CA law regarding in-state tuition has nothing to do with citizenship status, but merely grants the same benfit (in-state tuition) to any student who attends a CA high school for at least 3-yrs and graduates in CA. The benefit is available even to non-CA residents so long as they meet the high school requirements as well.

    • Kathy,
      It’s Kalifornia. Nuff said!

      • What’s with the K? I never understood why people have to hate on my state.

        You owe Southern California an apology. However, Northern California can go jump in a lake, you don’t have to apologize to the likes of them.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Gee, thanks Matt, was born and raised in N. California. Then moved to S. California after getting marred, and lived there from 1969 – 1990.

          • See, I always knew you were a sharp one.. you had the intelligence to move down to SoCal.. You’re just proved my point, thanks!

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              No, really didn’t prove anything, just where my husband and family lived at, and he worked for Lockheed at the time. But now, you couldn’t pay me to go back there, not for anything. But, hey, as long as you’re happy, that’s what counts, right. LOL!

            • But I take it she wised up even more and altogether moved away…just like you!

        • Matt,

          After visiting the Inland Empire, I can say they have an amazing concentration of snobs. And I have met the typical NY’er, greatest city in the world, etc. I have no problem with them saying and thinking they live in a wonderful place, happy for them. I do have an issue with so many putting down where I live. Funny, N. California was like a different state, open and friendly people(once they knew I wasn’t from LA). Hope this didn’t come off as hateful.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            In what way did you find so many NYers to be such snobs?

            • “After visiting the Inland Empire, I can say they have an amazing concentration of snobs.”

              I did not say (yet:lol:) NY’ers are snobs, but I have heard that,
              “Greatest city in the World” line a few times. (don’t ‘cha love the traffic?) And I have met some very nice people from NY.

              Overall impression, people from the NorthEast are, to Southerners, rude. Most of us don’t drop Fbombs in all conversations.

              A dinner a few years ago with the director of a service, the assistant director and his wife, all three talked the same way, f’en this, f’en that. I know some Southerners that do always talk like that, and they are either in prison, or have worked in one too long.

          • naw.. and for the record, I’m just teasing.. I have nothing against NoCal, even if they are a bunch of uncultured hicks 😉

            Adding, I get condescended to by people who live in Manhattan (I live in Westchester, just outside the city). One of them actually refers to me as a country bumpkin. I honestly believe that 99% of these mock rivalries are just that.. mock.

            1% though should get smacked in the face with a week old trout.

  25. Pennsylvania School Sued for Banning ‘Boobies’ Bracelets

    Published November 15, 2010

    | Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA — A free-speech lawsuit is being filed against a Pennsylvania school district that bans the popular “I (heart) boobies” bracelets.

    The American Civil Liberties Union says the Easton Area School District ban violates students’ First Amendment rights.

    The suit filed Monday says two middle school students received in-school suspensions last month for wearing bracelets that say,

    “I (Heart) Boobies.

    Keep a Breast.”

    School officials call the rubber jewelry distracting and demeaning.

    The ACLU says the bracelets are perhaps irreverent, but not indecent.

    School districts in Wyoming, Florida and California have run into similar disputes.

    The bracelets are sold by a California nonprofit to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer organizations.

  26. MSNBC talker Rachel Maddow whined about “Fox News’s water-carrying for the Bush Administration” during her interview with Jon Stewart last week. She also claimed that Fox “never criticized George W. Bush for anything. Even when he was doing things that were sort of not conservative. They never criticized him.”

    Unfortunately for Maddow and the legions of like-minded Fox haters making similar claims, the meme is patently false.

    Johnny Dollar, whose weekly roundup of the Fox haters is always a must-read, gathered a long – though certainly not exhaustive – list of criticisms of President Bush by Fox personalities during his eight years in office:

    Yesterday [Bush] admitted to breaking the law, because authorizing wiretaps without search warrants is against the criminal law. Judge Andrew Napolitano, FNC Senior Judicial Analyst

    I’ve been a proponent of using 50,000 Guard to back up the Border Patrol. The administration won’t even try it. Bill O’Reilly

    And it turns out that we had false information. Condoleeza Rice I think said an untruth a number of times, saying the ones Iraq has can only be used for that. So you want to talk about truth? I think this administration has a big problem with the truth.Alan Colmes

    The leadership [of President Bush] is in question. Former FEMA head Michael Brown has basically defended his agency’s dismal performance in the days after Katrina. And now we have a ballooning gas price situation that is hurting millions of Americans. Bill O’Reilly

    I, for the life of me, considering this is our No. 1 vulnerability, why would the president do this? Is it for votes? Sean Hannity

    This new Patriot Act, consistent with the old one, would allow the FBI to bypass the constitution. Wrong, dangerous, and obviously unconstitutional. Judge Andrew Napolitano

    I’m going to be against George Bush for the next four years…. I don’t agree with him. It’s in the democracy. I’ve got a right not to agree with the son of a–the guy. Bob Beckel, FNC Conributor

    Mr. Bush has two choices. He can explain the Kay report and admit the mistakes made. Or he can ignore the issue, hoping Americans will ignore it come next November. Bill O’Reilly

    FEMA should stop watching TV and get housing and emergency plans together. And if they have any extra time they should come on TV and explain what they’re doing. Are we really paying federal bureaucrats to watch TV and complain? John Gibson

    The Clinton administration decided they’d try to do something about it, then they threw up their hands and said we can’t. The Bush administration the same thing. Tony Snow

    Polls say that 70 percent of Americans want the borders tightened up. The Bush administration hasn’t done it. Bill O’Reilly

    Like Mr. Clinton, President Bush didn’t do much to protect us. Yes, they both say we should develop alternative fuel, but little concrete action has been taken. Bill O’Reilly

    And let me show you something that President Bush, a commercial that President Bush ran during his last campaign for president…. He ran a commercial using a little girl who lost her mother during 9-11 and used that and that helped sell him to the American people. Alan Colmes

    The government’s appetite for [NSA] spying on Americans is so voracious it must be restrained. This is not East Germany. Judge Andrew Napolitano

    Pat Tillman was given the third highest medal this country gives for heroism, the silver star….somebody should go to jail for lying. Col David Hunt, FNC Military Analyst

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out why President Bush isn’t more proactive on the environment. … Today we find out that the White House tried to sanitize a government study on global warming. Instead of including both points of view on the issue, the Bush people have shaded the report to the side that sees warming as bogus. Bill O’Reilly

    How the hell did this [Gitmo] happen? I mean, how did we veer so far from the constitution for so long? Shepard Smith

    Of course, as Dollar notes, there is a perfectly logical explanation for the wide chasm between Maddow’s accusations and reality: by her own admission, she never watches – and has never really watched – Fox News:

    I know very little about media. I don’t have a television. I have never watched more than three consecutive minutes of Fox News ever, ever. I’ve never even seen a single segment of a single Fox News program. So I don’t know all that much about what they do.

    Read more:

  27. You can laugh or cry(or both), at what are tax dollars are paying for…

    birth control for wild mustangs(how do they put it on, or is that why we need illegal immigrants?)
    Assistance for legal brothels?

    November 13, 2010
    The Congressional Follies, 111th Edition
    By Jerry Shenk, American Thinker
    Before the 112th Congress is sworn in, let’s review some of the lesser-known activities of the departing 111th. For every high-profile issue on which the House of Representatives votes, there are far more votes that receive scant, if any, publicity. It’s a shame, too, because these little-known votes, individually and in combination, serve to illustrate the limited utility of the body and many of those who inhabit it. By far, the House spends the greatest amount of its time on meaningless, boring inanities, but some things do stand out.

    In addition to naming scores of Post Offices and officially congratulating multitudes of successful amateur athletes, college teams, and professional sports franchises (all gender-balanced, of course), the current House turned its attention to weightier matters by passing, sometimes unanimously, some very interesting bills and resolutions, most of which were never covered by the media.

    For example, on April 29, 2009, by a nearly unanimous vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 357, “Supporting the goals and ideals of Financial Literacy Month 2009, and for other purposes” (Roll Call No. 217).

    This is the same body that, in the prior three months, committed trillions of dollars of American wealth as yet unearned by taxpayers, including by millions of taxpayers yet to be born. It’s astonishing that a group of legislators, a majority of whom cannot count well enough to be terrified by the word “trillions,” would dare urge the rest of us to become financially literate.

    Viewed only on the basis of its unwitting artlessness, the resolution is hilarious.

    Despite failing to read the massive bills on which they vote, members periodically pass similar resolutions expressing the sense of the House that Americans should learn to read, too.

    The U.S. House of Representatives proves over and over that all of Washington, but especially Capitol Hill, is an irony-free zone. It’s not surprising that voters have begun to flush out the place.

    Members of Congress are very sentimental about animals, too, and concerned about their welfare.

    Consider the ROAM Act. (Note: The medical community does not consider “persistent acronymia” a terminal disease, but merely an annoying one.)

    H.R. 1018 passed the House on July 17, 2009, by a vote of 239 to 185 (Roll Call 577).The bill, titled the “Restore Our American Mustangs” Act, is a welfare program for wild mustangs. That’s right, welfare for horses. Not only did the House squander time on this matter, but they’re willing to squander $700 million of our tax money to fund it.

    Among other provisions, the ROAM Act mandates a horse census every two years, provides “enhanced contraception” and birth control for horses, and sets aside an additional 19 million acres of public and private land for wild mustangs.

    Frankly, we were unaware that wild mustangs used birth control. The bill is not specific about what forms of birth control the House approved or why it favored those methods. Did members choose equine condoms, chemical methods, or intra-uterine devices? Will stallions or mares be responsible for birth control? Will members of Congress “administer” this new equine policy? Or will American taxpayers be on the hook for a new bureaucracy of horse pimps and procurers on the federal payroll?

    An easier, less expensive solution to the wild mustang conundrum can be captured in the following two-word phrase: “Dog food.” But when has Congress ever transformed a perceived problem into a revenue stream?

    Wait — it gets better.

    Amid the terrible problems of our times — mounting unemployment, a financial crisis, a declining dollar, two wars, and following the passage of massively expensive, ill-considered, unread, and un-debated spending legislation — the United States House of Representatives found time to honor a dude who’s been dead for more than 2,500 years.

    On October 28, 2009, the House passed a resolution marking “the 2,560th anniversary of the birth of Confucius and recognizing his invaluable contributions to philosophy and social and political thought.”

    Thought? Who thinks of this stuff? And who votes for it? Sadly, pretty much all of them do.

    Sometimes it’s what members of Congress don’t do that provides entertainment.

    Members’ failure to read bills often allows the revelation of some really funny stuff after bills are signed into law and released for public scrutiny, though one must often get past the outrage to appreciate the humor.

    The unread, failed Stimulus Bill contained some knee-slappers. According to various media reports, the Stimulus paid for, among other curious items:

    * $25,000 for The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis, a group which puts on an annual May Day Parade. Copied from its website, punctuation and all, one of the Theatre’s recent productions was titled “balloon balloon balloon, balloon balloon.”
    * Another $25,000 grant went to Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre, which calls itself a “dance-clown-theatre ensemble.” The group has staged a production of “Welcome to Yuba City,” described by their website as a “cowboy/clown odyssey presenting hilarious fragments of a mythic American desertscape.” I doubt “mythic” even begins to describe their portrayal.

    And my favorite:

    * A $2-million grant was made to extend the Virginia & Truckee Railway, a tourist train line originally built during Nevada’s silver mining boom. The grant will allow the line to be extended beyond Mound House, NV, a community housing a number of legal brothels, including the Moonlight Bunny Ranch and the Kit Kat Guest Ranch. One wonders which attractions get more tourist traffic.

    So, there you have it: May Day Parades, clowns, and whores — perfect metaphors for the 111th Congress.

    Some members who controlled the last one will return in the next Congress, so much House-cleaning remains to be done.

  28. D13

    Yep…….inflation is the key to watch, I think. If and that is IF the dollar regains….say……25-50%……(big if) gold drops and, I think, drops like a homesick brick……but that is MY OPINION.

    Correct. If the currency regains value, gold will reverse.

    But the key thinking…

    It is not so much to create hypothetical scenarios – it is key to establish the likelihood.

    The dollar has lost 95% of its value since 1970.
    It has never “gained” value (except in 1931).

    Thus, attributing a scenario that depends on what essentially will not happen leads away from a scenario that is more probabilistic.

    No facts to back me up. I do not think that China can hang on for much longer….the dice have left the hand.

    China are undergoing the same Keynesian prescription that the USA undertook and they will experience the ups and downs of Boom/Crack-up like the West…. but not today.

    The T-bills they have are worthless except for buying global resources. They know that and don’t care.

    I think that the Euro is destined the same way as the Peso….I think that IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF …..the US is successful in re-establishing economic prowess

    The question is simple:


    The government cannot cut.
    The People wants cuts, except for their stuff.

    The FED can either let the government go into default – causing massive hike in interest rates and a deep, dark depression
    The FED will bail out the government and we go into high inflation – causing a deep dark stagflation.

    There is no out, other then suffering.

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