Author Archives: Michael R Shannon

Keep the Crazy Away from Sharp Objects & Sharp Comments

Turning in gunsI’m strongly in favor of keeping the mentally ill away from firearms and I’m coming around to approving any policy that keeps crazy ‘journalists’ away from a keyboard, too. Case in point is Salon.com writer Arthur Chu. His rant titled “It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males” makes Alex Jones sound like Dr. Phil.

Chu and Solon appear to be angry because most of America has a handy rule of thumb for predicting mental illness: Any white loser that goes into a prayer meeting at a black church and indiscriminately shoots nine people in the belief the killings will spark a race war — is nuts.

Besides, everyone knows if you want to create widespread civil unrest it requires a white cop to shoot a black suspect in self–defense while the suspect resists arrest.

Chu begins, “I get really really tired of hearing the phrase “mental illness” thrown around as a way to avoid saying other terms like “toxic masculinity,” “white supremacy,” “misogyny” or “racism.”

He’s more concerned with how the insanity manifests itself than the underlying mental illness. This is like criticizing coverage of Jack–the–Ripper for not pointing out his poor surgical technique.

The Charleston shooter was manifestly a crazy racist. The description has the advantage of being accurate without making the rest of white America, and gun owners in particular, responsible for the deaths.

Chu does have the distinction of being the first soft–on–sanity leftist I’ve encountered. He complains about the lack of “serious policy proposals for how to improve our treatment of the mentally ill in this country,” but he wants to exploit the mentally ill to remove guns from the law–abiding sane.

He contends that pointing out the crazy component of white mass shooters is only an excuse to begin a reign of terror among the mentally ill by requiring them to undergo treatment and possibly recover. “Elliot Rodger’s (Isla Vista) parents should’ve been able to force risperidone down his throat. Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech) should’ve been forcibly institutionalized. Anyone with a mental illness diagnosis should surrender all of their constitutional rights, right now, rather than at all compromise the right to bear arms of self-declared sane people.”

Since Rodger’s score was three killed with knives and three killed with guns, confiscating my guns wouldn’t have prevented his spree. And Cho was so nutty a professor wanted him banned from her classes before he started shooting.

The mental health component of preventing gun violence is to bar gun ownership to anyone who’s been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution. Second Amendment rights can reinstate after five years and a doctor’s clearance.

But logical consistency doesn’t matter when the end goal of the left is to control guns by confiscating guns.

To Chu calling someone mentally ill is like pulling a gun on them, so to speak. “When you call someone “mentally ill” in this culture it’s a way to admonish people not to listen to them, to ignore anything they say about their own actions and motivations…”

Sure, just ask Kathleen Willey how that works.

But why any sane person would want to listen to Seung–Hui Cho’s ranting is a mystery to me and that goes for all the rest of the mass shooters and their manifestos.

The entire piece is so full of straw men that the column constitutes a fire hazard, but I think his solution to the problem is getting rid of white men and privately owned guns.

Chu appears to believe that the white, oppressive culture that is America today — President Obama, call your office — broadcasts subliminal messages picked up by the most vulnerable among us, who aren’t crazy, just indoctrinated.

No credit is ever granted to white America. “And hundreds of years of history in which an entire country’s economy was set up around chaining up millions of black people, forcing them to work and shooting them if they get out of line? That’s just history.” The only problem with that is slavery in the US lasted less than 100 years and 400,000 Union troops died to remove that stain from our nation’s honor.

Finally, in full frothing–at–the–mouth mode, he concludes, “We love to talk about individuals’ mental illness so we can avoid talking about the biggest, scariest problem of all–societal illness.”

The entire piece reads enough like a manifesto to make me hope Chu isn’t a gun owner himself. The rational among us can be thankful that outside the fever swamp of Salon this screed will have little influence and we can mark Chu as a Bernie Sanders voter who thought the finest moment in recent history was the Occupy movement.

Rachel Dolezal’s Complexion Problem

She's either a giant Q-Tip or preparing to become a human cannonball.

She’s either a giant Q-Tip or preparing to become a human cannonball.

Elizabeth Warren meet Rachel Dolezal. Or better yet, Liawatha meet Fauxprah. Talk about your sisters from another mother! One pretends to be an Indian to exploit the racial spoils system on the East Coast. While the other undergoes what Zorro & The Blue Footballs called the “race change operation” to become black and abuse that quota system on the West Coast.

When Warren’s deception was discovered her nicknames became very colorful: Crockagawea, Fauxcahontas and Liawatha were some of the best. Dolezal and her blackface masquerade also have great potential. In just a few minutes I’ve come up with Josephine Faker, Liah Angelou, Phony Morrison, Nodetta and Fauxprah. You can create your own, but hurry, Rachel’s notoriety won’t last as long as Elizabeth’s, unless she can find enough deluded Democrats to elect her to office, too.

Dolezal’s transformation started slowly. Her parents adopted four black orphans. This act of kindness had a bizarre impact on blonde, blue–eyed Rachel. Maybe it was the attention they received. Maybe it was the melatonin.

Eventually she applied for a scholarship to historically black Howard University in Washington, DC. Family members couldn’t help but notice she sounded more like Hattie McDaniel during her phone interviews than white–bread Rachel, but their surprise was nothing compared to the shock in the admissions office at Howard when Goldilocks walked in the door.

Her time there was not without incident. She attempted a failed lawsuit against university for racial and sex discrimination. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she got tired of being called “Snowflake” and decided to do something about it.

Her mistake may have been combining Man Tan with Jheri Curl in a single session. She dozed off as Rachel and woke up as Fakey Minaj. After listening to Michelle I was under the impression life as a black woman was tough: subtle insults at state dinners, news media hanging on your every word and people at Target asking you to reach for items on the top shelf.

But here’s Rachel volunteering for duty. She had a brief marriage to a black man — it may have caused problems when he asked why a black woman had to spend so much time on the tanning bed — and then moved to Spokane to become the Al Sharpton of the organic clothing crowd.

And that proved to be the beginning of the end. Spokane is not all that far from her parent’s home in Montana and as Rachel’s profile increased it was only a matter of time before someone made the connection.

In retrospect Dolezal is almost a cliché. First she tries too hard. Rachel grew this huge, unruly mop of Rasta hair that I thought was supposed to be confined under a large knit cap. But no, she piles it on top of her head and as a result she looks like a cross between giant Q–Tip or a human cannonball testing a new shock absorption system.

She uses her chemically–induced race to become chair of the Seattle Police Ombudsman Commission where she searches for police brutality. Rachel claims her adopted black brother is actually her son. Ben Shapiro has unearthed an interview with The Easterner where she says the family lived in a teepee, dad hunted with a bow and arrow and they had to flee to South Africa where she was abused with a Boer whip.

Rachel claims to be a professor when she’s not; says she was date raped but didn’t file charges; explains her hair is blonde because she had cancer and whines that someone painted a swastika on the door of an office where she worked.

Essentially Dolezal is a leftist grievance recycling center masquerading as a human. The only thing she hasn’t claimed to justify her ethnic transformation is dad was the “black sheep” of the family.

Now it’s all come crashing down. She had to resign from the NAACP, the police stopped investigating her hate crime magnetism, the university didn’t renew her contract and the black man she claims is her father disowned her.

The only good news for our drama queen is the gullible and superficial media is flying her east to appear on network TV. And there are rumors of an endorsement deal with Fake Bake.

Before she resigned, authentic members of the NAACP were starting a petition to force Rachel to take a leave of absence during the controversy. Her resignation pre–empts that, but some alone time might come in handy. Rachel could try to get in touch with her roots. I hear Scandinavia is very nice this time of year.

Bystander Nation

Savvas & Amy Savopoulos: RIP

Savvas & Amy Savopoulos: RIP

For all intents and purposes the Savopoulos family were good, civic–minded residents of Washington, DC.

Savvas, and his wife Amy, were active in charitable causes and contributed $51,800 to both Republican and Democrat candidates since 2006. The Daily Mail reports that even though Savopoulos was very wealthy he didn’t surround himself with bodyguards or other security and the family didn’t hesitate to open the door when someone knocked.

When you live near Vice President Joe “Shotgun” Biden in a well–patrolled neighborhood, what could possibly go wrong?

In this instance, everything.

Today Savopoulos, Amy, 10–year–old Phillip and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa are all dead after someone opened the door to their murderer, ex–con Daron Wint. Over an 18–hour period Wint took the family hostage before torturing, stabbing to death and then setting their bodies on fire.

What’s most striking about this is the sheer number of people who went to the Savopoulos’ home while they were hostages or had unusual telephone contact with the family during and then did absolutely nothing.

The timeline shows there were many opportunities for someone to call the police, yet no one did.

The pizza guy is off the hook. He delivers two pizzas about 9PM Wednesday. He rings the bell and leaves the boxes on the porch. The money was waiting for him and no doubt rich people had asked for stranger things, so he leaves without incident.

Next Savopoulos calls the other housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez and leaves a strange, contradictory message, which is understandable when your family is held hostage. He tells Gutierrez his wife is going out, but then says she’s sick and Figueroa is staying overnight, so don’t come tomorrow. He concludes by saying Figueroa’s cellphone is dead and they don’t have a charger for it.

Gutierrez thinks that’s strange, but she doesn’t call Figueroa’s husband. Instead she lets the matter drop.

Early the Thursday morning Savopoulos makes a “flurry” of calls to his banker, accountant and personal assistant wanting immediate access to $40,000 cash. This should have set off alarm bells, particularly since Savopoulos wants his assistant to deliver the 40K to his home and leave it in the garage next to the recycling.

Even Joe Biden could tell this is suspicious and out of character, but again no one calls the police or even insists that Savopoulos meet them to take the money.

Forty thousand dollars is dropped off at the Savopoulos home like it’s another Domino’s pizza.

Later that morning Figueroa goes to the house to find his wife. Although he feels someone is inside, there is no answer when he rings the bell. Still curious, he starts peering into windows. And wouldn’t you know it, his cell rings and it’s Savopoulos saying Amy has gone to the hospital and Veralicia is with her.

The house feels wrong, the timing of the call is wrong and no word from his wife is wrong, but there is no indication Figueroa tried to call Gutierrez to see what’s up.

The last contact with anyone outside the home is a text at 9:30 to Gutierrez that reads: “I am making sure you do not come today.” This is her second bite at the apple. Gutierrez tries to call back and sends a reply but again no answer.

None of these individuals had the entire picture, but each of them had enough pieces for concern. They saw something, but failed to say anything.

But that’s the way society functions in the left’s Bystander Nation. Let the authorities and experts handle it, while you mind your own business. Individual responsibility is something for cowboys from Oklahoma.

If employees in the Bethesda, MD Apple store overhear a woman begging for her life in the adjacent Lululemon store and do nothing as she’s stabbed 330 times, how can we expect DC residents to call 9–1–1 before ransom money is dropped off?

In the left’s social paradise it takes a village to raise a child, but it requires only a handful to let a family die.

Even if Savopoulos had been concerned about family safety and applied for a permit to carry a gun, chances are he’d have been denied. Police Chief Cathy Lanier requires a “good reason” before she’ll issue and concern doesn’t qualify.

The good news is if the two surviving daughters want to apply on their 21st birthday, chances are good Lanier will relent.

Does This Ballistic Vest Make Me Look Fat?

The Pentagon is experimenting with a variety of female ballistic armor designs.

The Pentagon is experimenting with a variety of female ballistic armor designs.

Developments on the women–in–combat front are cause for concern, even for leftists that have made cognitive dissonance a way of life, because the women don’t seem to be holding up their end of the ideological bargain.

If Ranger Sgt. Rosie Riveter is going to be leaping out of aircraft and putting paid to ISIS misogynists — either by a well–placed burst from her rifle or silently dispatching him with the Camel Clutch (first made famous by the Iron Shiek) — it would be a big help if she’d quit complaining about her shoes.

I was under the impression that if a shoe didn’t hurt a female wasn’t interested in wearing it, but evidently that’s not the case. Females deployed in Afghanistan are complaining they lack access to combat boots designed especially for them.

This is where the dissonance really bites.

Feminists believe “gender” is a social construct and men and women are interchangeable. Lefty women, secure in Washington think tanks, contend that denying other women the opportunity to be killed on the front line is patriarchal discrimination.

Meanwhile women actually in the Army are hoping for something a little more strappy with a semi–open toe.

Even in branches of the service that have essentially struck their colors, women aren’t happy about equality. The Washington Times quotes a middie (maybe widdie?) at the Naval Academy unhappy that the unisex unis “make women look like men.”

Navy Sec. Ray Mabus — no doubt wondering if women are ever happy — replied there are “skirt options on a bunch of women uniforms,” which didn’t earn him any points either.

The idea behind uniforms is the clothing exhibits, here’s that word again, uniformity. If everyone is accessorizing their look depending on circumstances you no longer have a military, you have a pride parade.

Although women’s slacks have a certain amount of variety when it comes to placement, for men zippers need to be in the front. That goes for the rest of the clothing designs. Uniforms should only differ by size with the exception of undershirts, ballistic vests and maxi–pads. One relaxed–fit BDU design should work for both sexes.

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D–Dr. Scholls) disagrees. The WT reports she is sponsoring a bill that will require the Pentagon to “devise a strategy to ensure that women are outfitted with the best combat footwear possible.”

That would seem to fly in the face of arguments from the women–as–cannon–fodder movement that women are just as capable as men. If that fanciful contention were true, then the only difference in the shoes should be size.

But it’s not true. The WT quotes a British study that found women suffer seven times the rate musculoskeletal injuries found in men and ten times the number of hip and pelvic fractures. And those figures don’t include statistics on pregnancy that, Bruce Jenner aside, don’t affect male combat trainees.

The Marines have had a great deal of trouble finding a few good women. So far the Infantry Officer Course remains undefeated. Recruiters scoured the Corps looking for 100 women eager for the chance to die in the mud and could only persuade 29 to give it a shot. Of those 29 every woman failed the course.

The Army, seven times larger than the Marines, found 113 women to try the Ranger Training Assessment Course. Out of the 113 women, 20 passed and began Ranger training. Out of those 20 every woman failed the course.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who knows all about photons and nothing about females, is eagerly awaiting the first women volunteers for SEAL training, scheduled to begin after Sec. Mabus determines the ideal length for a neoprene skirt.

Frankly if I were Sec. of Defense it would concern me that the only militaries wholeheartedly in favor of the US integrating women into frontline combat units belong to the enemy. As his increasingly disruptive and damaging search for Wonder Woman continues, maybe Carter should contact videogame manufacturers.

They seem to have no shortage of heroic women with large busts that are ready, willing and able to kick some behind, even if they are entirely imaginary.

GOP Candidates Continue to Toss Money Down Cornhole

Gilligan-s-Island-Mr-and-Mrs-Howell-classic-television-revisited-3727152-435-326The really big difference between Republican and Democrat handout recipients is their ability to be sympathetically photogenic. When pressed, the average Democrat welfare recipient can hide the flat–screen TV, stash the cellphone in a drawer and refrain from cigarette smoking. And it’s not too much trouble to pretend to fill out the job application or limp convincingly to prove the bad back disability claim as long as photographers and media are around.

The Republican dependency class is another genus entirely. Empathy generating photo shoots and news coverage for these check–cashers is simply a non–starter. Hiding the Rolex, wheeling the executive jet inside the hangar, displacing the butler from the servant’s quarters and convincing the first wife to pretend to supervise the caterer is just too difficult to organize.

If Democrat welfare beneficiaries can avoid arrest, making jihad videos and Judge Judy the money continues to arrive completely free of social disapproval.

Not so for GOP crony capitalists. These leeches fight a two front war: Prevent competition and confuse conservatives. They are loud and proud “job creators,” economic mainstays and incubators of breakthrough technology! All the favored crony industry requires for total success is billions of taxpayer dollars in perpetuity while the people who supply the tax dollars maintain a discrete and respectful silence.

And Republican officeholders must pretend the conservative market principles they espouse in campaign commercials somehow don’t apply to this particular crony.

A disappointing number of 2016 GOP presidential candidates recently did just that in Iowa during the quadrennial Pour Money Down the Cornhole Festival otherwise known as the Iowa Ag Summit.

There Republican presidential candidates worship the ethanol subsidy and praise ethanol entrepreneurs for their selfless addiction to subsidies and environmental fairy tales.

The Renewable Fuel Standards law requires all gasoline refined in the US be 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol is the wonder product, made from corn, which makes gasoline more costly while reducing miles per gallon and increasing wear on internal combustion engines.

Diluting perfectly efficient gas with ethanol is like forcing mom to add sawdust to her cake recipe to protect our valuable flour stockpile. Sure the additional roughage keeps dad regular, but wear and tear on teeth and the occasional oven fire — not to mention that Home Depot flavor — doesn’t come close to compensating for the missing wheat.

The same is true for ethanol, all at a cost to taxpayers of $6 billion a year in handouts.

Somehow those facts didn’t make it into the spiel GOP mega contributor and summit sponsor Bruce Rastetter made.

Ethanol supporters would have one believe that before the bill was passed requiring refineries to dilute your gasoline, corn grew wild in Iowa and no one was even aware there was a use for the weed, other than the occasional frontier corn fritter. And even after wise agronomists in Washington started throwing money at corn farmers the fuel market was controlled by sinister forces that prevented innovation.

Just like the whale oil cartel prevented widespread drilling for oil until the early 60’s.

As columnist Paul Driessen wrote Rastetter’s pitch to the assembled candidates was pointed and effective: Failure to support ethanol handouts in Iowa means no victory in the 2016 caucus and no chance for the GOP nomination.

Naturally Big Government Republicans didn’t require much in the way of pressure to crumble. Jeb Bush said corny gasoline reduces the demand for imported oil. Mike Huckabee said it’s a way for the nation to “fuel itself.” (No pun intended.) And Lindsay Graham solemnly stated “Every gallon of ethanol … is one less gallon you have to buy from people who hate your guts,” which makes you wonder when Obama started pumping gas.

Rick Santorum, trying to get someone to pay attention, thought the RFS means something besides oil and natural gas “are allowed into [the energy] stream.” And Scott Walker was a profile in cowardice as he abandoned his 2006 call for an end to ethanol subsidies.

Rick Perry split the difference and wanted to end federal ethanol subsidies, but said that individual states could choose to be a foster parent for corn, which is at least a Constitutionally valid stance and would exempt most states that don’t grow corn and corn lobbyists.

The only candidates claiming to be conservative supporters of market competition and having the courage to tell Iowa voters the subsidy spigot should be turned off were Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio — although Rubio did refer to corn as “maize.”

There’s an old song about moonshiners called “White Lightening” with a refrain that goes “Mighty, mighty pleasin’ my pappy’s corn squeezin’s.” Until Republicans can stop “pleasin’” crony capitalists with subsidies at the expense of the public, taxpayers will continue to be subject to regular “squeezin.”

Bob McDonnell Gives Ingratitude a Bad Name

No, that's not Maureen & her daughter. It's the official 1st Lady portrait.

No, that’s not Maureen & her daughter. It’s the official 1st Lady portrait.

The Bob & Maureen McDonnell corruption trial is not proving to be the unmitigated disaster for the McDonnell family that I first assumed. As the trial continues Maureen is looking more and more like her official portrait, currently on display at the Richmond Salvation Army Store.

She can’t do anything about the age difference — the youngster in Maureen’s “First Lady” portrait appears to be graduating from college next fall — but the size differential is rapidly closing. There’s nothing like the Federal Corruption Trial Diet to help remove those unwanted pounds that appear barnacle–like over the years.

A few more weeks in the courthouse and Maureen will be down to her fighting weight, which may come in handy if she’s sentenced to hard time.

The McDonnell saga, which in many ways represents the typical I–won–the–lottery–and–blew–it–all story has been invaluable for those who write. If you’re interested in brushing up on the whole story here are the relevant columns:

Politicians and their lack of will power when it comes to gifts are here.

The McDonnell family’s descent into a life of dependency in the governor’s mansion is here.

And why Bob McDonnell should have resigned as governor is here.

The prosecution has now rested its case and regardless of whether or not McDonnell is guilty, the picture painted of the family is only flattering if you compare them to the Kardashians.

Trial testimony left out the thousands of dollars it cost when the McDonnell kids raided the mansion’s pantry to take food to college. (That was only tax dollars and everyone knows those are free.) Instead the trial focused on what Jonnie R. Williams showered on the governor. There is the $20,000 shopping tab Maureen ran up on her New York City shopping trip that was chaperoned by Williams. His unintentionally funny description of the outing into Women’s Territory warmed the heart of every husband who’s sat bored on a mall bench outside a clothing store as the women shopped and the credit card smoked: “It went on for hours.”

Then there is the brand new set of golf clubs, golf bag with the UVA logo and golf shoes given to Bobby McDonnell who thought the give was “excessive” but not so excessive that he sent it back. In fact he and his father and brother played multiple rounds of golf and charged hundreds of dollars in green fees, caddy fees, food and golf accessory purchases to Williams during 2011 and 2012.

There’s even a rumor they tried to flag down Marine One and invite Obama to join the threesome.

The haul from the Jonnie Williams ATM was so extensive the WaPost designed an excellent graphic that shows whom got what that you can find here. Weddings were profit centers, the family was showered with plane tickets, a trip to Cape Cod, the Final Four (ironic that, because McDonnell’s governor term was the final four years of his political career), Florida, another golf bag, flights on private planes, a watercolor and a turkey dinner (wait, sorry, that was Ken Cuccinelli’s thanksgiving gratuity from Williams). And since the McDonnells were good conservatives they would NEVER stoop to taking an Obamaphone, but they did pocket two Williams’ iPhones.

The mental image one has after reading the list is of the Beverly Hillbillies living it up in their new California mansion, but that’s completely unfair to the Clampetts, because they were using their own money.

Now that the prosecution’s story of Rent–A–Politician has concluded, the defense strategy is two–fold. First Maureen is a maniac who had hot pants for Williams and hid everything from her husband. She was the mastermind behind the plot to trade official support for Williams’ patent medicine product, Anatabloc, in return for Williams making the McDonnells his foster children.

My favorite story involving Maureen is from the WaPost and it concerns her efforts to sell Mitt Romney on the diet supplement during a trip to South Carolina. Now I’ve seen Mitt’s legs and they are about the size of a pipe cleaner, so Maureen’s instincts were good. Mitt could use some bulking up.

Staffers sensing a disaster put a stop to that plan, but they couldn’t intercept Mrs. McDonnell before she cornered Ann Romney on the campaign bus, where Maureen’s pre–trial bulk made it impossible for Mrs. Romney to escape.

Exhibiting her usual tact and concern for the feelings of others, Maureen blurted to Ann that Williams’ Anatablock was so great it could “potentially cure MS.” Ann Romney —who no doubt had a few choice words for the advance staff after the event — has multiple sclerosis, so the sales pitch was vulgar, insensitive and fit Maureen as snugly as one of Williams’ free designer dresses.

Or as McDonnell political advisor Phil Cox said on the stand, “I was horrified. I thought it was a train wreck.”

Bob’s defense is different. He’s not crazy, but he may be the biggest ingrate in Commonwealth history. Big Watch Bob’s story is reciprocation is not a word in his vocabulary. He accepted $120,000.00 in no–doc loans to shore up his failing real estate investments, wore the Rolex, presided over the acceptance of the other thousands of dollars in booty and did absolutely NOTHING in return for Williams.

He just sent all William’s calls to voice mail where they died a lingering death. It would have made more sense for Williams to forget the McDonnells and hire a lobbyist, but come to think of it 120K probably wouldn’t be enough to hire a Hamas spokesman.

As far as strategies go this is a variation of the Viet Nam defense: We destroyed the reputation in order to save it.

And just to make sure there was no doubt as to McDonnell’s ingratitude the WaPost writes, “In the afternoon, defense attorneys presented a parade of former McDonnell cabinet secretaries to testify to all the things McDonnell could have done to assist Williams and his company. In turn, each witness agreed that McDonnell never took those actions.”

In other words don’t loan Bob your lawnmower with the expectation that you can borrow his rake later.

I can see the fun couple’s social life drying up the longer the trial continues. Who wants to host a couple that will never return the favor and might ask you to take them to the mall before they leave?

Ingratitude as a get–out–of–jail strategy can’t be helping fund raising for McDonnell’s legal defense. (Lawyers are something else for which McDonnell doesn’t deign to pay.) If a signature loan for 120K doesn’t warm the cockles of Bob’s heart when he’s facing foreclosure, what is your measly 5K for lawyers going to achieve?

Peer Pressure Crushes Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Monkey bureaucratsAnne Wojcicki is one of those Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that started a “disruptive” company aiming to change how we view an established industry. But she’s not one of those brain–rich, resource–poor visionaries passing the hat among bored World of Warcraft players window–shopping on Kickstarter.com.

No, she and her partners, Lucy Page and Laura Arrillaga–Andreessen — respectively the wives of Internet billionaires Sergey Brin (Google), Larry Page (Google) and Marc Andreessen (Netscape) — didn’t have to do anything so common as asking for money.

Google kick–started the project, so to speak, with an initial investment of $3.9 million and soon other vulture capitalists jumped on the bandwagon. The company, 23andMe, made its debut among the one percent at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, rubbing elbows with the likes of Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and other political or economic plutocrats.

Alexandra Wolfe writes in The Wall Street Journal, that as guests left the annual Google blowout, they were asked by “spit coaches” for a sample of their saliva. (This is one of the major differences between a redneck party and a one–percent party. At the redneck bash no permission is necessary. You just attempt to match the various pools of vomit with the contributors.)

In return for spitting in a cup the guest would receive a free DNA analysis and report. (Yet another aside: No wonder tech companies have zero concept of customer privacy, if management gives a DNA sample to a complete stranger, it’s not surprising they expect to be able to snoop freely in our secrets.)

Whereas in the past captains of industry might have indulged the little woman in a dress boutique or tea shoppe, Internet titans and their wives think bigger. Wojcicki and partners want to “drive this revolution where an individual had more of a say in health care.” Mainly by giving them a complete DNA report and analysis of individual genetic tendencies toward disease.

I don’t have a problem with any of this. It’s Google’s money and I’m not a stockholder. If the board doesn’t see a conflict of interest is funding wifey’s company, who am I to complain? Wojcicki also travels in different circles than I do and networking at the top only makes sense.

My problem is what she’s done after the product went public.

The Sultan of Spit recently made a charm offensive trip to DC and received lavish coverage in the WaPost. Wojcicki explained, “23andMe’s customers mail a test tube containing their saliva to the company, which analyzes their DNA. And for $99 they get back a report detailing any risk for more than 240 health conditions.” Time magazine was so impressed that the product was named invention of the year for 2008.

The Post writes that “celebrities gleefully tweeted their results” letting fans know if celebrity genes made it more likely for them to die of a heroin overdose in a squalid shooting gallery, suddenly change their image from that of clean teen to sex–act–simulating slut or be prone to shouting homophobic insults when surprised by a photographer.

By June of this year Wojcicki was negotiating to sell the results from an amazing 700,000 DNA samples to Edward Snowden because information wants to be free.

And then the FDA struck.

She received a “scathing letter” ordering her to cease all sales of the DNA analysis kit because it had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In the letter the FDA threatened “seizure, injunction and civil money penalties.”

Why were the bureaucrats at the FDA so exercised? The Journal summary said, “The FDA contended that genetic results aren’t always accurate and can mislead consumers. Officials feared that, without the supervision of a physician, users of the service might have unnecessary elective surgery based on inconclusive genetic information.”

And even if they did, what hospital would let a walk–in start ordering medical procedures?

Alberto Gutierrez, head of the FDA’s Office of In Vitro Diagnostics, was quoted by the WaPost, as claiming “Results from questionable tests can be unnecessarily alarming, adding that some women have undergone surgery, for example, based on tests that purport to gauge the risk for ovarian cancer.”

And right here we discover why HealthCare.dud didn’t work. Federal bureaucrats are delusional. The reasoning behind the stop–and–desist order is surreal. I don’t take my car into the shop without talking to the service consultant first. Does the FDA really think there’s a danger of someone getting a DNA analysis and calling the hospital to schedule a mastectomy?

And the worry about unnecessary surgery is politically selective. If a deeply disturbed patient decides he wants a surgeon to vandalize his private parts to turn him into a woman — the definition of unnecessary, dangerous and permanently damaging surgery — the FDA, American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association all have no problemo with that monumentally flawed decision.

I’m wondering when the FDA is going to get around to regulating newspaper horoscopes and palm readers. Gullible consumers make all sorts of life–altering decisions based on these pseudo–sciences, to say nothing of the devastation wreaked in many families by teenage nutritionists deciding to “go vegan.”

DNA results in the mail pale in comparison.

So far I’m in Wojcicki’s corner. She wants to give consumers access to more medical information so they can make their own, informed decisions. As Wojcicki told the Journal, “For example, patients often don’t know how much a procedure at a doctor’s office costs ahead of time. “That’s why I felt we had to drive this revolution where an individual had more of a say in health care.”

Her research has shown that in India hospitals post prices lists for procedures so that patients can see what their cost options are. Rumor has it that in China organ harvesters will even price their products on a sliding scale according to the age of the replacement part.

She’s on a mission and then turf–conscious, unresponsive federal bureaucrats issue an arbitrary decision that eviscerates her business. She’s faced with months of tedious hearings, requests for documents and bureaucrat butt–kissing. And all the while she can’t sell her product. It’s all outgo and no income until the problem is solved.

Prospects for reversing the FDA edict through channels aren’t promising. The Obama administration has issued over 1,800 rules and regulations in less than three years and the WaPost reports that every single one of them are illegal since the rules violate the 1966 Congressional Review Act. Yet none of the rules have been rescinded.

This leaves Wojcicki with three options:

  1. She can file a lawsuit. This is not my favorite because it puts your fate in the hands of lawyers and judges and only serves to increase their baleful impact on modern life. I’ve never had much affection for a process that lets everyone make money from my misfortune, except me.
  2. She can try to put political and media pressure on the bureaucracy and force them to reverse the decision. If you think cockroaches scuttle for the shadows when you lift a rock and expose them to the sun, you should see a bureaucrat in the glare of publicity. For a brief time it looked like this was her intent. The WaPost coverage of her “charm offensive” and her testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee looked to be the beginning, but it seemed to peter out quickly.
  3. She can surrender and hope FDA bureaucrats, once they get around to finalizing their decision, leave her a business to operate.

But what Wojcicki choose to do appears to be the worst of all possible worlds. Five days after returning to California from the DC trip, she hosts a $32,400–a–person fund–raiser for the architect of her business problems: Barack Obama!

DC bureaucrats pull the plug on her business and she responds by raising money for the man and the party that support even more crippling regulation and expanding government intrusion. Why not just sign a quit–claim on your investment and give it to the Democrat National Committee?

Evidently being part of the leftist insider tech crowd is more important to Wojcicki than saving her business and striking a blow for the free market. If 23andMe goes out of business it will be bad news for employees and the other investors, but Wojcicki will be fine. Her money comes from a company that started too small for busybody federal bureaucrats to notice and by the time they did, it was too big to stifle.

That company is Google and it can afford to indulge the lifestyle leftism of its founders and support Obama and Democrats like the rest of the cool kids.

No Longer the World’s Policeman, We’re Now the World’s Social Worker.

ObamaUSbordersignIt’s 9AM late July and already the day is shot to hell. The temperature is over 80 and the humidity would wilt a Puritan’s collar.

You’re supposed to be taking Migra, your Mexican Water Spaniel, on a 400–hundred-mile car trip. The dog’s 14–years–old if he’s a day, and who knows if he’ll live long enough to be reunited with the rest of your family. Plus, you can’t just motor out the driveway because that’s not a good idea where you live.

It’s one of those ‘transitional neighborhoods’ that you thought was transitioning into a community where people worry about their carbon footprint, but after the real estate crash it became an area where you worry about footsteps after midnight.

That’s why it’s never a good idea for the neighbors to know you’re leaving and taking the dog with you.

So you hide him under a blanket and as you back out of the driveway you’re waving vigorously to a wife that’s not home either. Ready to hit the open road, you remember about breakfast. But that’s why 7/11 was invented.

You drive up, crack a window and tell Migra to stay on the blanket and stop barking.

Inside the store you’re confronted with time–consuming decisions. At the counter you consider taking the slowly rotating trans–fat stick. Or will you settle for the dubious breakfast pastry that looks like it covered in scorched Play–Doh? Then it’s back to the coffee bar. What size, what flavor and will ‘Irish Cream’ dilution fluid clash with Sumatra Surprise coffee?

Meanwhile, back in the parking lot, some busybody in a Prius sees Migra licking the window. That’s what dogs do. Migra washes the inside and you wash the outside. Only she thinks it’s a cry for help from a dog dying of heat prostration.

So she runs into the street and flags down a passing patrol car.

But you’re still inside visiting the new bathroom; not knowing the extra minutes are digging you deeper in the hole. By the time you get back to the car the rear window has been smashed by Fire & Rescue, the busybody is wailing about abuse as the cop is issuing a summons and telling you the dog is going to be a guest of the county, until authorities determine whether or not you are fit to be an animal parent.

So much for white privilege.

By way of contrast if you were an enterprising parent in El Salvador and decided it’s high time to find out what your relatives are doing in El Norte, it’s only natural to deputize your 14–year–old and send him north on an 1,110 mile trek to Laredo, TX.

Pedro might go by foot, by coyote or by Mexican Death Train. He might be robbed, raped, sold into sex slavery, recruited into a gang or killed. But the important thing is he memorizes the magic words that will cause the government drone in Texas to consider him for asylum.

If he makes it to the border, after being helped northward by those nice government officials in Mexico, his free enterprise traveling days are over. Now he’s on Uncle Sugar’s tab. When Migra got to the pound the first thing the staff did was check his tags, check for disease and check his shots.

When Pedro hit the border he has no tags, no shot records and, of course, no parent. But that’s no problem! The US government is here to Pander & Serve! Instead of sending him back across the border to make his way home, Uncle Social Worker takes whatever vague family history and location for relatives that Pedro gives him and prepares to reunite the boy with the same people that had no problem dispatching him on a journey that would get a gringo arrested.

And that’s another contrast. When you go to get Migra at the pound you have to show photo ID and plenty of contrition for roasting your poor dog in the parking lot while you gamboled about in 7/11. When someone shows up for Pedro there’s no ID check, no criminal check, no fingerprint check and certainly no citizenship check. Uncle Social just aids and abets the original border offense.

The staff considers itself fortunate if Pedro doesn’t join the rest of his ‘relatives’ outside and participate in the ‘No Deportations’ rally.

This entire farce just emphasizes the only people who are ignored and actually living in the shadows here are the citizens of the United States.

Two particular items stand out in this latest crisis. The Mainstream Media is focusing on the children and the human tragedy, but no one asks what kind of parents use their children for pawns, other than the Kardashians? The second is the claim that the children are fleeing dangerous neighborhoods.

Well okay, but when you are frightened do you normally flee 1,200 miles? Most of us stop running when the get out of the bad guy’s range. And isn’t it convenient they only feel safe in the new Obama welfare state?

The other is the MSM continuing chronology problem. All teenagers aren’t children, unless you fit into a leftist talking point. Many of these ‘unaccompanied minors’ are tattooed gang members that know a scam and easy pickings when they see it.

It’s also interesting how the left never quotes the Bible when discussing homosexual marriage or abortion, but let an illegal appear on the horizon and it’s instant theology class. We Christians are told by people who I doubt even own a Bible that Christ told us to welcome the stranger and alien.

Which only proves that both the devil and the leftist can quote scripture. They just don’t quote it all. Exodus and Numbers on more than one occasion discuss how the alien should be treated and sure enough it is with equality and generosity. BUT and it’s a big but, Numbers 15:15 plainly states, “The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord.”

So it’s clear the foreigner residing among us is to be held to the same rules or law as we are. When one’s first action in joining a community is to break the law, it would seem to me that the proper Biblical response would not be a warm welcome.

Obama now wants $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis he created, but only (!) $400 million of the total is to be spent on border–strengthening measures. The rest of the money will go to hire an army illegal alien facilitators, caretakers and expand the federal government.

The great Oklahoma senator and patriot Tom Coburn points out that it would be cheaper to fly the entire alien families home in a first class seat, than to let Obama sprinkle them around the country and create government jobs that cater to lawbreakers.

He’s right. It’s the sensible and Christian action to take.

Government Motors & Close Enough for Government Work

GM revolving workshopTimes have been tough at Government Motors. For a while there it looked like both Osama and GM were going to be dead after encountering the Obama regime. Just recently GM announced the recall of 8,200,000 vehicles over problems with faulty ignition switches. When added to earlier North American recalls, the total for 2014 is an astounding 29,000,000 cars and trucks.

This is almost three times the 9,710,000 vehicles GM managed to sell in 2013.

At this rate soon the only place to find GM cars will be in transportation museums. Total expenses so far for this year’s recall are $2.5 billion. So far the recalls have burned up almost two–thirds of the last year’s $3.8 billion profit. One or two more recalls and GM CEO Mary Barra will be waiting outside the Oval Office for another bail out.

But enough about GM, customers are being hit hard, too. It’s been decades since owning a Detroit car meant joint custody with the dealership’s service department. Buyers are accustomed to having their cars waiting in the driveway and not parked in the diagnostic center like a preemie, with various techs hovering about the machinery while anxious parents await a verdict.

That’s why I was encouraged to learn that GM intends to radically reshape the ownership experience so it will reflect modern Detroit manufacturing reality. Establishing realistic expectations on the part of the customer — expectations that GM knows it can meet or exceed — is an important part of reestablishing credibility with customers.

Details won’t be announced until next month, but a source inside the company has leaked this news release to me and I’ve pasted it below, with a few redactions for the sake of privacy.

 

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL AUGUST 1, 2014

Contact: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX

General Motors Media Relations Office

XXX–XXX–XXXX or email [email protected]

 

General Motors Announces New Foster Car™ Model for Automobile Ownership

(Detroit, MI) General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announced today that GM is breaking away from the restrictive ‘ownership’ model of automobile sales and will instead establish a more ‘open’ customer/manufacturer relationship based on the foster care model.

“The recalls of the past few months have been hard on both General Motors and our loyal customer base,” Ms. Barra explained. “The tearful goodbyes as customers deliver their beloved GM products to the service bay, or watch as one of our GM Neighborhood Recall flatbed trucks loads the auto, are emotionally wrenching for both our loyal owners and GM service personnel.

“To say nothing of the occasional hurried calls to 9–1–1 as emotions got the best of some of our more impassioned customers. What’s more, the expenses associated with a nationwide network of grief counselors was becoming burdensome and has a sharp impact on the bottom line.

“That’s why I’m proud to announce today that General Motors is breaking the mold and instituting a new ‘Foster Car’ ™ program that will still provide mostly reliable GM transportation without the emotional commitment of actual ownership.”

In practice the only difference families will notice between foster care of a child and foster care of a car will be that instead of the government paying you to take the child into your home, the family will pay GM a monthly fee to have the car in their garage.

Foster care families are always aware that fostering a child is a temporary situation that can spiral out of control on very short notice, much like the ownership experience with a General Motors product. And the relationship is always subject to rapidly changing government rules and obscure regulations, unevenly enforced by bored bureaucrats.

Foster Car ™will be almost the same. Foster families will only pay GM during those months when they have full possession of the automobile. During a recall there will be no charge and when the car or truck is upgraded to generally prevailing government standards, it will be returned with a full tank of gas. *

Foster Car ™ will differ from a lease in that there is no specified duration for the arrangement. Variables regarding whether or not any one vehicle model will be recalled, how many times it will be recalled and when a Foster Car ™family will want a new vehicle are simply impossible to predict. This flexible model will also prevent families from forming an unnaturally strong bond with the vehicle.

R. E. Call, Vice President of Engineering, believes the Foster Car ™to be a forward–thinking response to GM manufacturing realities, “In the past we’ve avoided large recalls. We felt the tradeoff between inconveniencing millions of owners just to prevent something bad happening to an unlucky few, simply wasn’t worth it.”

That policy has been changed under CEO Barra.

For the customers who still own GM vehicles outright and are waiting for their number in the latest recall drive to come up, Call suggests taking precautions to make sure their ignition switch does not spontaneously shut down. He recommends drivers remove any extra weight from the key ring holding the ignition key. This includes charms, lucky coins, rings, flashlights, small knives, beer–bottle openers and key tags with barcodes.

GM recognizes that removing these items will leave the vast majority of Americans unable to take advantage of frequent buyer programs or identify themselves at grocery stores, drug stores, public libraries and bagel emporiums, but ‘Safety First!’™ is now a byword at General Motors.

*Customers participating in the program are cautioned to remove all personal items from a recalled vehicle. Due to the increasing size of GM recalls, the company does not commit to returning the same vehicle that was sent back.

The Call of the RINO in Virginia and Mississippi

Stop feeding RINOsIt would be a lot easier for conservatives to tolerate the sanctimony of Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) if they weren’t so hypocritical — or in the case of Mississippi RINOs — despicably hypocritical.

‘Moderate’ Republicans never tire of telling us conservative extremists how they are inclusive and ready to reach across the aisle to get things done. While we are exclusive and alienate and people that disagree with us.

Well the Sen. Thad Cochran campaign got things done in Mississippi all right and in the process of building their ‘big tent’ party the RINOs turned race–baiting 180 degrees.

Formerly in Mississippi and other states where Jim Crow was president of the chamber of commerce, unscrupulous white bigots used the threat of black voting, lawlessness, sexual potency, you–name–it to frighten other bigots into voting against the opposition. Typically this was another Democrat that only had one parent in the Klan, as opposed to the baiter who had two.

The lurid overt and covert campaigns wielded scurrilous attacks in the primary because in the South at that time the general election didn’t count. Republicans were as scarce as black members of the Sons of the Confederacy.

This year in a new low for even bottom feeders, the RINOs in the Cochran campaign used race–baiting to scare blacks into voting against Cochran’s conservative white opponent. In the process smearing State Sen. Chris McDaniel with all the mainstream media and leftist TEA Party slanders.

None of it was true, but accuracy was beside the point when crony capitalists, lobbyists and an entitled Senate staff were working to keep their access to the government trough.

The sleazy campaign hired sleazy consultants and then denied involvement with the product. The Cochran group — lead by lobbyist Haley Barbour and his nephew Henry Barbour —denied knowing anything about the content of the robo–calls or radio ads. The nephew told The Daily Caller, “She (a discredited black consultant forced to resign from the mayor of Atlanta’s staff for filing false financial reports) and I talked message for calls, but I never heard them.”

As lies go this isn’t even as good as an Obama lie.

I’ve worked in campaigns for over 30 years and I assure you that when a campaign pays for a product, they approve it before it goes on the air. Heck, campaigns argue about yard signs for days, so you can imagine the discussion around radio advertising.

So at least Barbour knew, but I’m not so sure Cochran did. Coordination between an ‘independent’ expenditure and the campaign is illegal and even if it wasn’t, Thad occasionally has difficulty distinguishing between the days of the week.

The ads specifically warned black voters that McDaniel had a “racist agenda” and that blacks “could lose food stamps, housing assistance, early breakfast, free lunch” and all the other handout programs. The ads concluded with the ominous, “We’ve come this far, we can’t go back now!”

Say to the time when Mississippi was run by white bigots who were Democrats.

This combination of pandering and lying is actually worse than the old–fashioned race baiting, because then, after the election, the race–baiting winner was going to vote the way the bigots wanted. In fact the loser in the primary probably would have voted the way the bigots wanted.

Which lent the practice an air of twisted integrity. But the herd of RINOs, Barbour & Barbour, backing the longtime and frequently out­–of–touch incumbent Cochran will do no such thing. If the primary result stands, Cochran will go back to voting the same way that earned him a zero civil rights rating from the ACLU.

Giving ‘credit’ where ‘credit’ is due, the Cochran victory was remarkable. Typically when a long–time incumbent is forced into a runoff, he loses. Cochran trailed in the first vote by 2,000 votes and then won the runoff by 7,000 votes. The difference being the McDaniel campaign spent the runoff turning out it’s base and the Cochran campaign spent its time turning out Obama’s base.

But there is no guarantee the Cochran ‘victory’ will stand.

Mississippi law says anyone can vote in the Republican runoff as long as they did not vote in the earlier Democrat primary. If they did, those votes are illegal. McDaniel campaign representatives have already begun checking names and claim that thousands of Cochran votes came from voters that had already voted in the Democrat primary.

Meanwhile back in Virginia, those inclusive RINOs in the Cantor organization are busy making sure the Dave Brat campaign won’t have the use of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that until last week were sitting in the 7th District Republican Committee.

Eric Cantor — either ambitious or too–big–for–his–britches, take your choice — had turned the committee into an influence–peddling machine. He raised almost $400,000 for the committee so he could contribute campaign funds to other Virginia candidates and build up a bank of political chits he could call in later.

This money was in addition to any leadership PACs and his own federal campaign account that he used to buy influence with his fellow members of Congress. Of course a funny thing happened to Cantor on the way to being Speaker of the House or governor of Virginia.

He lost a primary to Dave Brat. So instead of healing the wounds and uniting for victory in November, Cantor had his lackeys on the committee give the money away in a breath–taking display of spite and poor losership.

Brat’s plan initially was to use a bit over half of the money for a grassroots get–out–the–vote effort with a dozen staffers who would supervise telephone call centers and a direct mail campaign.

Instead the RINOs charged in and gave $150,000 to the Republican National Committee, $150,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $5,000 to Ed Gillespie’s campaign for US Senate, $25,000 to a GOP state senate candidate and $13,000 to the VA GOP. And oh yes, they left a $10 gift card to Ace Hardware in the deposit box so Brat could buy a bucket to soak his head.

Once the deed was done, the lying could begin.

Cantor’s consultant assured the media the best way to insure the money will come back to the 7th district is to send it off to Washington, as opposed to leaving the money in the local bank account where is already was. Possibly he thought the money would gain momentum as it traveled through the banking system and return to Virginia with the impact of an asteroid.

But I’ll tell you what will happen. Most of the money will go anywhere but Virginia. These committees are run by 24–year–old masters of the universe that let polling do their thinking. Brat’s seat is a safe seat, so he won’t get a dime. The money will go to other House races in other states.

If Gillespie polls well, he could get some of the 150K back, minus a few miscellaneous handling fees, but that’s a big if. What is not in doubt is that Dave Brat won’t have a GOTV operation unless he raises the money for it himself.

So who are the fanatics now? The TEA party–backed candidates who worked hard and turned out conservatives or the RINOs who use sleaze and spite to get their way?

Only Obama Staffers Believe IRS ‘Lost’ Email

IRS-emails4-copyIf you’ve been skeptical about the IRS’ explanation that Lois Lerner’s email disappeared during a World of Warcraft online game that got out of control, I have good news. Particularly since you’ve also probably been a little reluctant to express that thought. No one wants to be called a racist in the latte line at Starbucks while you–know–who is in the White House.

But you are not alone. Barbara Boland of CNS News reports that an overwhelming 76 percent of the American public does not believe the email was “lost” and rumors have it Jay Carney’s support is slipping, too. This means IRS deniers aren’t bigots after all! Since only 63 percent of the total US population is white, that means 13 percent of the minority population is included among the hard drive crash skeptics. Even the trends are looking bad for Barack ‘What? Me Worry?’ Obama. In April only 7 percent of the public believed that Congress should continue investigating “until someone is held accountable.” Now that figure is at 74 percent.

Disbelief was so pervasive among poll respondents that only people who swallowed the IRS story were over 65–years–old and still using a rotary phone.

Even 63 percent of Democrats believe the potentially incriminating messages were “deliberately destroyed,” but of course they have not received any contributions from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Boland — who has been all over this part of the story, too — found that Koskinen gave a $5,000.00 donation to re–elect Obama in 2012 and a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He’s also contributed to every Democratic presidential nominee since 1980. And he even gave $3,800.00 to Hillary ‘What difference does it make’ Clinton.

I won’t bore you with pointing out that a Republican in similar circumstances would be asked to recuse himself from anything concerned with the investigation. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–MD) was so honored by the IRS commissioner’s appearance before the House committee investigating the IRS scandal that he almost pre–paid his taxes right there. Sounding like the master of ceremonies at a Kim Jong–un birthday party, Cummings gushed, “I want to thank you for being who you are. I want to thank you for giving a damn and caring about our country.”

What Koskinen is, is an arrogant, long–time laborer in the Democrat vineyard who is offended that Republicans won’t take his word for it that email on Lois Lerner and six of her henchmen’s computers suddenly came down with a bad case of digital flu that wiped out the messages. The fact that this is exactly what your ex–wife says about your email requesting a week’s grace period on the child support check is just a coincidence. It’s simply chance that time period involved in the elusive email is the exact same time period the House has subpoenaed.

Just because grandma has her data backed up on the cloud — she calls it “heaven” just for laughs — doesn’t mean a giant organization like the IRS with an annual budget of $11.2 billion has to follow even an elementary data preservation protocol.

Although the Senate appears content to sleep through this data disaster, there could be repercussions among the public. Losing information certainly does nothing to create confidence in the IRS E–File program that uses the Internet to file tax returns and make payments.

What if tax collections fall a bit short and the commissioner decides to double dip and tell you there is no record of your payment? It makes me suspicious that maybe the reason for IRS audits is not because the bureau thinks you are cheating on your taxes, it’s because they lost your tax information and are hoping you kept the records. Any revenue the auditor can gouge out during the process is a bonus.

Of course if the situation were reversed, what are the chances the IRS would accept an explanation like this from a taxpayer? You know the answer is less than zero. Lack of data would be just the same as pleading guilty, with fines and imprisonment to follow.

For that matter Koskinen’s excuse is even worse than the “I only had two beers, officer” that the drunk always gives during a DUI stop right before he participates in a field sobriety test.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R–SC) is a former prosecutor and he has had it with Koskinen’s arrogance. Last Monday he lit into the commissioner’s glib assurances that the IRS was a paragon of probity.

“You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing,” Gowdy remarked. “I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you’ve evaluated.”

“I have not looked at any,” Koskinen replied.

“Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” Gowdy shot back.

No doubt Koskinen is surprised at Gowdy’s lack of confidence in his assurances. The mainstream media treats him like the Oracle at Delphi, but this backwoods hick with the aggressive hair is attacking him in public!

Meanwhile back at the White House, it’s interesting how Obama continues to deploy the Will Roger’s Defense — All I know is what I read in the newspapers — with a straight face every time his administration demonstrates its incompetence. Why didn’t George Bush think of that during Katrina, the US Attorney firings or Iraq?

Still, I do wonder what Obama does during his daily briefings. Surely he must get tired of playing computer solitaire occasionally and look up to ask a question. During the 30 months and counting remaining of his second term, I hope no low level minion ever forgets to pay the New York Times subscription.

Otherwise Obama will have to rely on his golfing buddies to keep him abreast of current events.

Eric Cantor Picked the Wrong Base

Speaker John Boehner is among those mystified by Eric Cantor's loss.

Speaker John Boehner is among those mystified by Eric Cantor’s loss.

It’s no mystery why Eric Cantor lost his primary last Tuesday. He simply failed to turn out his new Hispanic base. And Cantor is not completely to blame for this failure, because events outside his control were also working against him.

On the day of the vote many members of his new voting block, Futuro Ciudadnos for Cantor couldn’t votar because they were waiting outside the local bus stations and airports to be reunited with younger members of their extended family. It’s really a shame Cantor lost because footage of these tearful reunions would have made great feel–good television spots in November, as long as the crew made sure no weeping taxpayers could be seen in the back of the frame.

[CULTURAL SENSITIVITY NOTE REGARDING OUR NEW NEIGHBORS: When Gringos send their unaccompanied minors to visit the ex, they complicate the process with needless rules and bureaucracy. On United Airlines — my carrier of choice — parents pay a fee of $150 each way for an unaccompanied minor, on top of what the airfare cost. The parent or guardian is required to arrive early at the airport, with photo identification and contact information and the same info regarding the person meeting little Belgium at his destination.

The child gets an I.D. badge and experiences the tender mercies of the TSA, which may include being felt up. When boarding the plane, flight attendants greet him personally, escort him to his seat and buckle him in. At the destination a United employee meets your child and escorts him to the arrivals area where the identification of the ex is checked closely to make sure there is an exact match with the data supplied before the child boarded.

Once the paperwork is complete, Belgium is handed over.

Futuro cuidadnos in need of an anchor adolescent have a much simpler system. First of all it’s a one-way trip. Jesusito — who can be a son, cousin, uncle, nephew, foster child, drinking buddy or fellow gang member — is tossed on the nearest autobus heading for El Norte. His documentation, if any, consists of tattoos and a handwritten note listing the town where his ‘relatives’ are living in the shadows doing the work US business won’t pay citizens enough to do.

Once he arrives at the border he wades, rides, walks, sneaks, jumps or runs across. If he’s not lucky enough to be captured immediately by the Border Patrol, Jesusito must track one down and inform the CBP officer of his rights and what services the officer needs to provide to avoid a UN investigation.

On the United flight the unaccompanied minor gets a bag of pretzels.

At INS Daycare Jesusito gets food, a bed, his diaper changed (only if necessary), a shower, entertainment, visits from befuddled Members of Congress and transportation that will reunite him with the family whose deportation he will prevent in the future. And it’s all free! Well, free for Jesusito since the taxpayers are footing the bill.]

So it’s no wonder Cantor lost with that kind of distraction affecting his base. Of course there is no guarantee Eric would have won even without the interference of the infant invasion. His new amigos aren’t known for displays of gratitude, in fact amnesty advocates invaded Cantor’s ‘Victory Celebration’ after he lost demanding legislation he was in no position to pass after the polls closed.

Now that he’s no longer a political factor the rumors of how hard it was to work with Cantor’s arrogant staff start to surface. This is plausible. Cantor was House Majority Leader, so he gets funding for two sets of staff members: The Congressional staff and the majority leader’s staff. I used to work for a majority leader and in DC this officer holder is not a mere congressman or representative. People address him as ‘leader’ and do so with a straight face. It’s like ruling in your own private North Korea without the really bad hair and mass starvation.

You can imagine what a shock it must have been to go back to the district were voters not only didn’t call him ‘leader,’ they asked impertinent questions and wanted college recommendations for their kids.

The same goes for the staff. In DC everyone treads lightly around these pencil necks because they have Cantor’s ear and can make your political life miserable. But they, too get no respect when some rube from Virginia calls wondering where her Social Security check is and why her son can’t get full disability after that unfortunate explosion in the meth lab.

The only portion of Cantor’s new base that came through for him was the big business money that allowed him to outspend opponent Dave Brat by 25–to–1.

Which reminds me: How many of you took my excellent advice shared here and contributed to Brat’s campaign BEFORE he won? I feel like one of those guys that bought Apple stock before Steve started using deodorant and came back to save the company.

Cantor is another one of those too–clever–by–half politicians that outgrew their voters and made the fatal mistake of letting the voters know it. His focus–group tested language and his amnesty triangulation — conservative enough to confuse the district, but not so much that the US Chamber of Commerce, agriculture lobbyists and HB–1 visa proponents would shut off the money spigot — had one fatal flaw. Clinton, the inventor of triangulation, did his in the general election, not the primary.

Brat’s campaign and his fund raising just got him over the threshold of credibility and angry voters did the rest. But Brat should take care that Cantor’s defeat doesn’t go to his head. When an incumbent loses the vast majority of voters don’t vote for the winner, they vote against the incumbent. Brat just happened to reap the whirlwind.

He must still continue to make the case for his ideas and build strong ties with the district before November.

In the meantime conservatives can enjoy watching the amnesty lobby explain how illegal immigration had absolutely nothing to do with Cantor’s loss. In fact, if Cantor had only come out stronger for amnesty and Chipotle has closed early on the day of the primary, he would still be the Congressman.

It’s like trying to explain that Noah’s flood didn’t wipe out the earth’s population. The root cause was lack of oxygen and no Corps of Engineers.

Creating Democrats One Squirrel at a Time

A lack of affordable housing forced me to move 24 miles south of the Fort Hunt area in Fairfax County, VA. I couldn’t find an affordable house that had a view of the Potomac River.

We had been renting a home there for five years and each winter, after the leaves fell from the trees in the backyard, we could catch a postage stamp–sized glimpse of the river from the dining room.

My thinking was if a glimpse was good, how much better would a year–around view be?

I wasn’t the only one with this opinion. Evidently politicians, Democrat lobbyists and environmentalists had cornered the market. The demand for river views boosted housing prices far outside my budget.

This brush with the market may have served to accelerate my departure from the Democrat party. More ‘affordable housing’ had been the battle cry and tax–dollar black hole for Northern VA Democrats since we moved here from Texas.

Yet when I needed an affordable house no concerned Democrat was to be found.

So the family moved into a house on the waterfront of Lake Montclair that we could afford. Down among the Republicans and gas–guzzler owners, many but one generation removed from the trailer park. But I’m afraid — like many California refugees that have fled to Arizona — when I left Fairfax I didn’t leave behind all my bad, leftist ideas.

Case in point: Our back deck has an excellent view of the lake. During the spring and summer (and soon maybe year around if the warmist Chicken Little’s are correct!) I sit on the deck and read the newspaper before going to work.

Three years ago I decided to spread the wealth and each morning began leaving two peanuts on the deck rail in front of my chair. Montclair is home to foxes, raccoons, beavers, hawks, many varieties of songbirds and innumerable squirrels. The peanuts were for the squirrels.

A routine was quickly established. Each morning I would replace the two nuts that had disappeared overnight and then begin with my coffee and paper. This went on for a few weeks until one morning there was a new development: A squirrel came to get the nut while I was still outside.

He/she/it watched me from the far edge of the deck and then cautiously came halfway down the rail. After a period of watchfulness, the squirrel would dart in front of me, halt long enough to snatch the peanut and then scamper away.

This was entertaining. So much so that I began exceeding my two–nut limit, replacing each snatched nut with a new one until I went back in the house.

Then the escalation really began. I started to think like a crack dealer. The squirrel is hooked on rail nuts, how about bending him to my will and forcing the squirrel to ask for the nut? So I would put the initial two nuts on the rail and wait.

After those were taken, I didn’t add replacements. Instead I waited until the squirrel returned and then I took a peanut off my table and slooowly leaned out toward the squirrel. I looked like a geriatric at the Early Bird Special reaching for the salt.

At first the squirrel wanted no part of this slow–motion enticement — much like a conservative applying for his first food stamp — but gradually I wore down his resistance. And before cooler temperatures arrived he was taking nuts out of my hand and occasionally resting one paw on my finger to steady himself as he grabs the nut, as you can see here:

http://youtu.be/e2yYF3Z2ld8

I was so proud of myself that frankly I overlooked multiple warning signs. Rocky (what other name could there be for a squirrel?) had been missing for most of a week and when he finally returned there was a bare spot on the back of his neck where the fur had been ripped away and a big gouge in the underlying skin.

I rationalized his wound and chalked it up to a domestic disturbance that got out of hand.

Then the next summer the process was repeated. A formerly sleek squirrel (Rocky II) appeared one day looking like Rodney Dangerfield. And his neck had the same ripped fur and ugly scab.

Since the average life span of a squirrel is one year, I wasn’t dealing with a rodent that had forgotten to wear his toupee. This was a different squirrel with the same wound. It’s obvious that breakfasting at the Shannon Country Buffet wasn’t exactly burning up the calories.

Rocky I & II’s weight gain had caused him to lose a step and the hawk that perches in the mimosa tree had had taken advantage of his gluttony. The only good news was his peanut–centric diet made him so fat the hawk evidently dropped him.

The new Rocky also resumed eating out of my hand. I don’t know if the previous Rocky had passed down knowledge of the peanut program by word–of–mouth, scratched a treasure map on a tree or if it is encoded in their DNA, but the word was out. Other squirrels would line up on the rail like crony capitalists waiting for a tax break. Soon the deck looked like earmark time in Harry Reid’s Senate. In fact, the goobers were so plentiful squirrels didn’t bother to eat many of the nuts and instead buried them in the flower boxes.

This spring marks the third year of my private sector peanut handout program and Rocky III is here with his neck — so far — intact. Unfortunately with his arrival I have to face the realization that I have created a culture of dependency in my own backyard.

Now when Rocky III arrives on the rail he ignores the two traditional nuts laid out for him and instead comes to a dead stop in front of me and stares until I personally give him a handout.

And I do, in spite of the fact these unearned giveaways make me the Barack Obama of Skyline Drive.

I started out with the best of intentions, feeding neighborhood animals, and wound up running a peanut kitchen for able–bodied squirrels that are entirely capable of fending for themselves.

The worst part is that I enjoy the feeling of benevolence and superiority I get from having squirrels dependent upon me. So much so that like Obama and his ever–expanding welfare benefits, I have no intention of ending the program, even though it would be better in the long run for the squirrels.

Veterans Are the Healthcare Canary in a Coal Mine

JeffDarcy VA scandalBetween today and June 6th’s 70th anniversary of the D–Day landing I want you to find a veteran and talk to him. This doesn’t mean cornering some unsuspecting vet and ambushing him with the latest insipid leftist cliché: ‘Thank you for your service,’ which manages to be both pretentious and condescending.

(However, it is an improvement over the left’s former greeting for vets: ‘How many babies did you kill today?’ But it’s still rote trivialization.)

Ideally your vet should be a veteran of either the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War. Not because the fighting was far enough in the past be non–controversial, but because this vet has had plenty of time to experience the tender mercies of the Veterans Administration health care system.

And that system should be the main topic of conversation, because if the left has its way, everyone will experience this type of health care under the coming Obamacare regime. Don’t make the mistake — encouraged by the cheerleading mainstream media — of believing the VA is a problem unto itself and has no relation to civilian health care and certainly no relevance to the future of Obamacare.

That is spin and it is completely untrue. The VA hospital system is essentially the pilot program for Obamacare. It’s been a single–payer system from the beginning and single–payer is the ultimate goal for Obamacare. The VA system was designed to accommodate a smaller subset of the population and it was immune to competition from the private sector. Think of it as the United States Postal Service with syringes.

The theory is after the bugs have been worked out of the pilot program, then a benevolent government can expand it to accommodate the entire country. Unfortunately with leftist big government, when a pilot program fails the verdict is always the failure was due to a lack of resources. The cure is to take the same program, bulk it up with taxpayer dollar injections and make it mandatory for the entire country.

So the VA is very relevant to Obamacare

Our veterans have been used as guinea pigs since 1930 when the VA was founded. One would think 84 years is long enough to get the kinks worked out of the program, but one would be wrong. VA hospital horror stories have been a staple of government scandal coverage for years.

If you fall for the ‘it’s just the VA and won’t affect civilians’ cover story then you are believing what the Obama administration wants you to believe. The goal of the White House is to keep the VA scandal bottled up in a silo off to one side. Obama wants you to think it’s just a rogue VA hospital in Arizona that cooked the books.

But it’s not just Arizona. It’s Florida, it’s West Virginia, it’s Missouri, it’s all over the country. And the problem can’t be solved because there is no real penalty for failure and no competitive pressure to excel. And the same government that runs the VA will soon be running Obamacare if the left can expand it into a single–payer system.

My family has it’s own story of an encounter with the Oklahoma – Texas VA administration. One of my uncles — a WWII veteran — fell ill and went to the VA for treatment in the 50’s. The good doctors said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and they hospitalized him in the mental wing.

Today suffering a nervous breakdown means you are forever immune to negative job performance reviews and the Angel of Downsizing will probably pass over you, too. But in the 50’s a mental problem was the kiss of death.

My uncle lost his career, his wife and his future. He was in and out of VA hospitals for two decades trying to find a cure so he could reassemble the shards of what had been a normal life. And then one fine day he got a new VA doctor. This doctor announced that my uncle had never had any mental problems and that all his difficulties had been caused by an undiagnosed and untreated brain tumor that had been growing in his skull since the first time he saw the inside of a VA hospital.

So my uncle went home to the bedroom he’d inhabited in my grandmother’s house since he lost everything he held dear. And he thought about his life. And he thought about what he had lost. And he carefully took a blanket off his bed, went over to the gas space heater, sat down on the floor, covered his head with the blanket and turned on the gas.

So my family knows all about VA medical care and we want no part of it.

These poor vets were promised first–class health care in return for going to war. Instead they received secret waiting lists, bureaucrat cover-ups, buck passing and incompetent care.

On the other hand the rest of us, that haven’t gone to war, have been promised we could keep our doctor and our insurance.

So find a veteran and ask him how the government keeps its promises.

The continual problems of the VA health care system are what the rest of the country will face if Obamacare isn’t stopped in its tracks. Government can’t run a smaller health care network and it certainly can’t run universal health care.

Our veterans have been the canary in the health care coalmine for decades, but Uncle Sam just keeps replacing the dead canaries with new ones.

Why Col. Sanders Is a Better Strategist than Col. Riley

In spite of his superior numbers, Maj. Gen. Jubal Early didn't meet with any more success than Col. Riley.

In spite of his superior numbers, Maj. Gen. Jubal Early didn’t meet with any more success than Col. Riley.

Don’t take your guns to town son,

Leave your guns at home Bill,

Don’t take your guns to town.

Johnny Cash ‘Don’t Take Your Guns to Town’

Marching on Washington, DC to change the government has not met with success. 150 years ago Maj. Gen. Jubal Early traveled up the Shenandoah Valley in an effort to outflank the Union and attack Washington from the North.

He was making excellent progress until he reached Monocacy, MD. There the campaign began to lose momentum under a blizzard of regulation and EPA requests for environmental impact statements. There was also some concern regarding the potential for Chesapeake Bay pollution due to cavalry manure runoff.

Lacking a parade permit, his 14,000 men were turned away at Fort Stevens just outside the District’s city limit.

Not only did Early fail to set foot in Washington, his march had no effect on the election that November. Abraham Lincoln was returned to office, the war continued and Early — joined by a few other ‘angry white men’ — fled the country when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the next year at Appomattox.

Now retired Army Col. Harry Riley planned to march on DC last week with a group of what The Washington Times describes as “revolutionary–style patriots.” Riley’s goal, like Jubal Early’s, is to change the government starting with Barack Obama, John Boehner, Eric Holder, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and ‘Shotgun’ Joe Biden.

“We are calling for [their] removal … as a start toward constitutional restoration,” Riley explained. “They have all abandoned the U.S. Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status.”

So far, so good, I’d take a walk, too, if getting rid of even three of the seven named was a possibility. But I’m going to sit this one out. The colonel’s effort is called “Operation American Spring” and Riley describes it as the American answer to the ‘Arab Spring’ in more ways than one.

So far he’s not calling for black flags to be flown, but the colonel does envision somewhere between 10 million and 30 million “mobilized militia members” marching down Pennsylvania Ave over the weekend. Arab Spring marchers were known mostly for their propensity to riot, toss Molotov cocktails and fire the occasional RPG. In addition, under Arab Spring rules government change does not appear to be limited to one per customer. Turnover is more like the management suite at an Obama health exchange.

According the Cheryl Chumley, “Col. Riley said he hopes the event will go forward peaceably, but that so far, peaceful protests haven’t brought citizens much luck. He also said that more than 1 million militia members have already mobilized for the event — and that projections of 10 million to attend aren’t pie in the sky.”

No, I would call that crack in the pipe.

Leaving aside Riley’s wildly delusional crowd estimate, just the mention of the word ‘militia’ is enough to cause Starbucks baristas to start calling in sick. The last thing conservatives need is for even 10 gun–toting militia members to cross the Potomac and enter enemy territory.

One picture of a rifle slung over a ‘militia’ man’s shoulder is all it takes to reinforce every misleading stereotype of 2nd Amendment supporters and conservatives. Even if the group is unarmed, when only a handful joins the colonel in his forlorn hope that too will damage our movement, since lack of numbers is an indication of lack of support.

Riley won’t even be able to claim his hardy band drove the targets out of the capital, since everyone knows the House and Senate leaves on the weekend and Obama plays golf.

It almost makes one wonder if Col. Riley isn’t an agent provocateur planted among conservatives by MSNBC.

The reality of Riley’s Raid was somewhat less impressive. His gathering was described as “tens of people” and fortunately none of them were toting weapons any more dangerous than a lawn chair. And as of the date of publication, the same crowd of pretentious hashtaggers was still in power.

Fortunately, I have a better idea for conservatives interested in changing the government and it doesn’t require extensive hydration or risk arrest. Follow my example and make a contribution to the Dave Brat for Congress campaign.

Brat is challenging Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th district primary. Cantor is a former conservative that went native in record time. As House Majority Leader he’s surrounded by people who actually call him “leader” as they shine his shoes with their tongue, so it’s no wonder the power and position have gone to his head.

He’s managed to make himself disliked by Speaker Boehner and distrusted by conservatives in the House. He’s betrayed conservative principles, backed a budget bill that gutted the sequester and has gone south on amnesty.

The incomparable Ann Coulter has endorsed Brat and the best part is Brat doesn’t have to win — although that would be best — for Cantor and the rest of the leadership squishes to get the message that conservatives are unhappy and ready to take action.

Incumbents are personally offended by primary challenges. Chamber lobbyists tell them what a great job they’re doing and then some yokel announces for his seat. The nerve of some people! So Brat already has Cantor’s attention.

If Brat can get over 40 percent of the vote, then Cantor gets a message even the self–important can’t ignore. Even if Brat doesn’t win, but is still able to raise a significant amount of money, that money talks, or in this case grumbles, and sends another type of message to Cantor.

I felt so good after giving money to Brat that I also donated to Anthony Riedel who is challenging Rob Wittman in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District where I live. After he supported the budget sellout I wasn’t voting for Wittman anyway, so rather than sit the election out, I’ll vote and contribute to Riedel. That sends two messages to Whittman, too.

So here’s my advice: If you want to visit a colonel this weekend, go to KFC. And if you want to change GOP leadership thinking in Washington, contribute to Dave Brat and Anthony Riedel.

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