Author Archives: Michael R Shannon

World Vision’s Secular Myopia

Even better than having 'Vision' in your name is having it in your brain.

Even better than having ‘Vision’ in your name is having it in your brain.

Maybe it was a Mexican divorce.

Last Monday World Vision President Richard Stearns walks hand–in–hand down the aisle pledging fealty to homosexual marriage until death do they part. This is big news, because World Vision is a Christian charity and the nation’s 10th largest.

Then, only 48 hours later, the happy couple is fighting over who gets to keep the china as Stearns backpedals furiously.

And through all the uproar Stearns has this slightly baffled aspect, as if he’d just spent the last two days selling flowers in Terminal A for the Moonies, and now his parents have whisked him back home where he decides joining the Jaycees isn’t that bad after all.

For those who missed the controversy, in Christianity Today World Vision announced it “will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman” — an implied endorsement of homosexual marriage.

Stearns characterized this surrender as a “very narrow policy change.” Yet AP described it as “a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive social issues facing religious groups.”

During an interview Stearns became defensive, “We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope…This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues.”

Which makes one grateful World Vision didn’t have any members of Westboro Baptist on the board.

Still you can’t help but wonder what version of the Bible Stearns and the board is consulting. “This is also not about compromising the authority of Scripture. People can say, ‘Scripture is very clear on this issue,’ and my answer is, ‘Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.”

This is sophistry. Bart Ehrman is James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the UNC and a best–selling author, yet he denies the divinity of Christ, which at the time this is written World Vision still supports. Evidently Stearns and the board pick–and–choose among theologians as they pick–and–choose among Bible verses.

Then demonstrating his utter cluelessness regarding fundamental issues of church doctrine and how the secular world views the faithful, Stearns remarked, “I don’t want to predict the reaction we will get. I think we’ve got a very persuasive series of reasons for why we’re doing this, and it’s my hope that all of our donors and partners will understand it, and will agree with our exhortation to unite around what unites us.”

I suppose this type of reasoning makes sense when your reading matter is limited to The New York Times and Sojourners.

But in the Evangelical Christian world his “persuasive series of reasons” produced a stunning backlash. In the ensuing 48 hours World Vision lost money, support and credibility. Approximately 5,000 individual sponsors and contributors canceled, costing the organization upwards of $2.1 million. 60 church partners called the office to withdraw their support. And a number of employees at headquarters resigned. Some in protest, some because of the stress of dealing with the fallout from Stearns’ colossal stupidity.

Wednesday a chastened Stearns and board chairman Jim Beré signed a contrite letter that read, “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

Later in a conference call with reporters, Stearns elaborated, “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness” and if he “could have a do-over on one thing, I would have done much more consultation with Christian leaders.”

But he just ran out of time, what will all the meetings with The New York Times editorial board, the Human Rights Campaign and the cast of The Laramie Project.

The rapid retraction is a good first step, but the fact remains World Vision’s current leadership is unfit to run the organization.

In a post–divorce interview with Religion News Service, Stearns is taken aback by the notion he bears any responsibility. “No, there have been no serious requests for my resignation. I would certainly under- stand if the board wanted to make a decision around that. Some of the board members have asked the question about their own resignation. Right now, our feeling is we were all in this together. We made certainly, in retrospect, a bad decision, but we did it with the right motivations.”

Here we agree. Stearns and the board are all in it together and they should all take the honorable path and resign.

Here’s just a brief rundown of the unnecessary havoc these morally blind people have caused:

  1. Seriously damaged a reputation in the Evangelical community it took 63 years to build.
  2. Proved themselves totally unfit to manage the reputation and public relations of a billion dollar organization by demonstrating a basic failure to understand the culture and media.
  3. Potentially endangered employees working in Africa where governments are passing laws criminalizing homosexual conduct.
  4. Cost the organization millions of dollars.
  5. Opened World Vision up to scrutiny and attack from militant homosexual organizations and a hostile Obama administration.
  6. Distracted the staff from the mission of serving the world’s poor.

Any one of these offenses is enough, but all are an indictment that only resignation, reflection and repentance will answer.

Naturally many Christian leaders are welcoming World Vision’s return to the fold and urging Christians to resume financial and prayer support.  But as for me, if I want to make a contribution to an organization run by leadership that is this slippery and disingenuous, I’ll send a check to Congress.

Ukraine Sanctions With Teeth Instead of Gums Are Still Possible

Putin-laughing-at-serious-steps-memeFor a very brief moment it looked like the White House and I were finally going to be in agreement on the topic of misrule in the United States. Obama’s White House Press Office released a statement with harsh criticism of government actions that threaten “peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.”

It appeared the president had seen the light and was finally going to stop his abuse of office and his promiscuous use of executive orders. But then I read further and saw he was talking about Vladimir Putin and his beachfront trespassing in the Crimea. I thought Obama likes trespassers. Could it be that Putin rejected his offer of in–state tuition?

Of course there are differences between the strongman’s approach and that of the girlyman. Putin’s misrule is designed to advance the interests of Russian nationalism, while Obama appears content to undermine US standing and interests in the world.

With the result that Russian oligarchs will soon have prime sites for expansive vacation homes within the border of a newly expanded Russia. While our leaders launch deadly cutting remarks that include “wrong side of history” and “19th century thinking” mimicking Harvard faculty lounge habitués criticizing the NFL 1st round draft choice that gets the millions and the girl.

I know this criticism is not entirely fair. The Obama administration has decided to impose sanctions on Russia. Out of a current population of 141,924,000, the Obama administration has singled out seven (that’s right, seven) for punishment. The original intent of White House strategists was to just single out a certain percentage of cells in each of the seven individual’s body for pinpoint sanctions — gas pains, lumbago, toenail fungus, impotence — but the surgeon general informed the White House that either those maladies took to long to manifest or present technology didn’t support the goal.

Instead the administration opted for financial sanctions that make it harder for the Moscow 7 to gain access to any funds they have deposited in Western banks. The Washington Post described the strategy as an attempt “to see whether a symbolic first gesture would be sufficient to give Putin pause….” sorta like the famous “red line” in Syria.

Like much of Obama’s strategy, whether in health care or the economy, this gambit backfired. The Russian stock market went up after the announcement, instead of going down.

But that doesn’t mean the great minds in this administration are going to give up. Much like Robert McNamara carefully calibrating just the right amount of ordinance necessary to bring North Vietnam to its knees, Obama’s financial calibrations have room for expansion.

An administration insider has leaked a plan that will escalate the impact of the next round of sanctions to an almost superhuman level of intensity, while expanding the reach of inconvenience for the Russian Revanchists beyond just the financial realm.

None of the Seven are now allowed to make wire transfers withdrawing their funds from Western banks, but after the sanctions are escalated, they will be limited to a maximum ATM withdrawal of $40 per day AND the Coinstar machine will be completely off limits.

If any of the sanctioned try to travel to the US it’s also No More Mr. Nice Guy. The TSA’s expedited ‘Pre’ lane will be off limits. The Crimean Criminals will be assigned to the rubber gloves and high–school–field trips line for the foreseeable future and they will always be relegated to the last boarding group regardless of their frequent flyer status.

Assuming the Seven can’t take a hint and come to DC in spite of Obama’s disdain, anytime they attempt to use the Uber app to arrange transportation it will result in a fast busy signal, forcing them to use DC taxis. Even worse their lodgings will be in hotels built by Sochi Olympics construction firms.

Since unrepentant aggressors like these will no doubt try to bypass this sanction, even if they rent a car both the GPS device and their E–ZPass transponder will be jammed by NSA, meaning that even if they can find a toll road, they will be forced to use the exact change booth.

And finally, to show Obama really means business, if any of these Russian Reprobates have more than 15 items in their cart when shopping, they will be ejected from the express lane.

There’s also a role in this for Vice President ‘Uncle Joe’ Biden — a nickname freighted with meaning for Russians. Proving irony isn’t dead in this administration, Biden will be visiting many of the Western nations were Obama earlier canceled plans to install anti–missile batteries after Putin objected.

While looking due East, Uncle Joe will advise these buffer states to buy shotguns and if they see any Russian troops playing footsie with their borders, go out on the balcony, point the muzzle skyward and fire a couple of rounds to scare the bear away.

How CPAC Stacked the Deck on the Amnesty Panel

illegal-aliens-obamacatchreleasevoteHere’s a handy rule of thumb: If two of the four members of an immigration panel have Hispanic surnames you can bet it’s an amnesty panel in disguise. That was certainly the case at CPAC’s ‘Can There Be Meaningful Immigration Reform Without Citizenship?’

(This phenomenon is evidently peculiar to Hispanics. If two people named Schmidt and Kruger were on a panel it would be unfair to assume they enthusiastically support bomb damage reparations from WWII.)

Alfonso Aguilar and the Rev. Luis Cortes were joined by moderator Mercy Schlapp — a veteran of the Bush White House that was pushing amnesty until 9/11. The anti–amnesty speaker was Derrick Morgan of the Heritage Foundation and the afternoon’s advocate for the feudal system was Helen Krieble.

Schlapp set the tone when she remarked on the favor illegals were doing the economy by being here. Much like burglars boost an area’s GDP when they make the rounds of pawn shops.

Sbe was followed by Kreible, president of the Vernon K. Kreible Foundation, who said the debate should be about American principles: Equal treatment under the law, individual freedom and personal responsibility. So far so good, but then she reduced our choices to a false binary: Grant amnesty or do nothing.

The realistic option is removing the job incentive for illegals. But that is not a choice Kreible will ever entertain, because that would mean business can’t import serfs. She claims it’s wrong to set “artificial” limits on the number of workers you can hire. It’s Kreible’s belief that borders are a government matter, but workers are a business matter. In practice this means the federal government can keep Mohamed Atta out, unless he plans to mow your lawn.

What Kreible objects to is that ‘citizen’ word. She wants to implement a “red card” program that puts citizens in the penalty box. She would import workers without conveying citizenship or the right to remain after the job is over. This is similar to the wildly successful Turkish guest worker program the Germans had. Only problem is the Turks are still in Germany.

And while individuals should be “responsible,” American business is exempt. Right now if a US business thinks US workers want too much money, the business is free to open a subsidiary in Mexico and hire all the Mexicans it wants. But that’s a problem for agribusiness corporations, because shipping Alabama to Chihuahua would be a logistical nightmare. What’s more, sometimes the Mexican government seizes private business, you can’t trust the cops, ‘mordida’ cuts into profit margins and there’s always that decapitation problem.

So for Kreible the business solution is to flood the labor market by bringing Mexico here and let taxpayers deal with social costs.

Unfortunately for her there is no moral, ethical or conservative justification for bringing in foreign labor when unemployment in the US is over 7 percent and labor participation rates are at an all time low.

Alfonso Aguilar, director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, evidently believes the word ‘conservative’ is a verbal spice you sprinkle on leftist policies to make them more palatable for genuine conservatives. He wants conservatives to “own” the immigration issue by out–pandering the Democrats.

Aguilar contends the entire illegal problem is a result of “big government” setting quotas and holding the quaint notion that US jobs should go to US citizens. He recycles every lame, reverse racist amnesty cliché he could find, beginning with illegals are doing the jobs Americans won’t do.

After that howler he became incoherent. Aguilar says illegals taking jobs here “creates jobs for working class Americans.” He claims that illegals did not disregard the rule of law because they didn’t come here voluntarily. Instead business brought them here. This was genuine news to me. Who would have thought coyotes were members of the Chamber of Commerce?

Aguilar also introduced the concept of “circular immigration.” Letting illegals come here and return to their home country as many times as they and Greyhound wished. Although something tells me the circle would stop abruptly in the US when it came time to collect Social Security.

He was followed by the Rev. Luis Cortes who is the president of Esperanza. The organization’s website motto is: “Strengthening our Hispanic community” meaning it’s La Raza with a Bible. Cortes’ solution is to make citizens of anyone who ranks Cinco de Mayo ahead of the 4th of July. Otherwise, “it gives Democrats an issue.” And afterwards Democrats won’t need an issue because with 9 million or so new voters they’ll never lose another presidential election.

The most insulting aspect of the panel was how the pro–amnesty participants evidently believed using the word ‘conservative’ to describe leftist policies would somehow convince a gullible audience.

A conservative immigration reform would be built on trying something new: Enhancing the law we have now. Make it a felony to hire an employee that failed an E–Verify check or hire an employee without checking E–Verify. And strictly enforce the prohibition against illegals enrolling in any welfare or social programs.

Drying up the job market will accomplish two goals. First many of the illegals will self–deport. Second it will raise wages for US workers and lower the unemployment rate. Right now many jobs go unfilled by citizens because they aren’t willing to accept the prevailing wage scale in Juarez because they don’t live in Juarez. If employers were forced to pay wages high enough to attract US citizens, more citizens would work.

That’s a conservative, free market solution that’s good for the country and preserves the rule of law. Unfortunately the ‘C’ in CPAC now appears to stand for ‘capitulation.’

Perry, Paul & Huckabee at CPAC 2014

Gen. John Bell Hood, another Texan that could get a crowd moving.

Gen. John Bell Hood, another Texan that could get a crowd moving.

Gen. Robert E. Lee used Texas infantry as his reliable shock troops during the Civil War. If Hood’s division couldn’t drive the Yankees from a position, then no troops could.

Evidently CPAC schedulers are of the same opinion.

On both of the first two days of the conservative conference Texas speakers were used to soften up the crowd for all the speakers that followed.

On Thursday it was Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX) and on Friday it was Gov. Rick Perry (R–TX).

Perry hit the stage cold to the tune of AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ and did so without anyone to introduce him. Perry is now sporting black nerd glasses that make him look more intellectual without softening him up so much that he looks like pajama boy in the Obamacare ad.

The governor began by stating that on the battlefield of ideas “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” Then there was a long pause, which started to produce debate flashbacks for me, but it proved to be just a slow Internet connection.

Besides being another step on the stairway to political redemption, the speech was a rousing defense of federalism. Perry says for the solution to the problems facing the country we should not look to Washington, but instead we should look to the states that “are laboratories of innovation.”

And the states provide a contrast between two visions. In the blue vision the state “plays an increasing roll in the lives of citizens.” Taxes are high, public employee pensions are out of control and jobs are leaving.

Perry contrasted that smothering philosophy with the red state vision where “freedom of the individual comes first and the reach of government is limited.” There taxes are low, spending is low and opportunity is high.

Then Perry did something surprising. On Friday when Chris Christie spoke the examples were mostly about him and about New Jersey. But that’s not what Perry did. He started off by giving other Republican governors credit for their good ideas and successful records.

He mentioned Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Rick Scott in Florida. Then Perry proceeded to list accomplishments particular to each.

Perry was halfway through his speech before he even mentioned Texas. He spoke first of the common denominator among all red state leaders, “Conservative governors who know freedom of the individual must come before the power of the state…the contrast is crystal clear.” He then used an example from the world of transportation. “If you rent a U–Haul to move your company it costs twice as much to go from San Francisco to Austin as it does the other way around, because you can’t find enough trucks to flee the Golden State.”

Only then did Perry say, “Let’s pick a large red state, shoot let’s pick Texas” as he began listing his accomplishments. This is one of the reasons Perry is so likable: He doesn’t appear to take himself too seriously. He, in contrast to Obama, is not The Great I Am.

His speech was full of humor, substance and energy. Perry has been on the comeback trail now for two years and he’s making progress. His demeanor and energy level is in marked contrast to that of the disastrous 2012 presidential campaign.

I have no way of knowing if he’s a terror to his staff or if he kicks the family dog, but you certainly can’t tell it from his personal appearances. If it wasn’t for his squishiness on illegals, I’d almost be ready to vote for Perry today.

I can’t say that for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Politically Huckabee is simply George Bush who can tell a joke. There are many things I admire about Huckabee: His faith, his conservative social values and his sense of humor in particular. But as president he would be spending at least as much as Bush and I see no indication that he’s ever seriously considered putting Uncle Sam on a diet.

And speaking of diets, Huckabee’s is evidently not going too well. In stark contrast to his former fit self, now if the occasion arose Huckabee could fill in quite nicely as Chris Christie’s body double.

Huckabee’s speech began on a discordant note. He was given the same 10 minutes as Rick Perry, but he wasted some of the time complaining about only getting 10 minutes. In contrast to Perry’s upbeat and dynamic address, Huckabee came off as slightly petulant.

His speech was structured around a series of “I knows” that included, “I know the IRS is a criminal organization. I know that life begins at conception. I know there’s a God and this nation would not exist if He had not been the midwife of its birth.”

He even obliquely addressed homosexual marriage when he quoted Mrs. Billy Graham who said, “If God does not bring fiery judgment on America, God will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Huckabee concluded with a final “I know” that brought back memories of his rocky beginning when he said, “I know my time is up and I must go.”

Diet jokes aside, he simply wasn’t a heavyweight on Day Two and if Huckabee is indeed running for president in 2016 this speech didn’t help his case.

Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) was the other major league presidential candidate speech of the day. He had double the time allotted to Perry, yet I don’t think his speech had the same impact. They are two entirely different personalities. Paul comes off as somewhat remote and clinical when he speaks. He certainly says the right things and delivers a polished speech, but he doesn’t have the infectious enthusiasm of Rick Perry.

Personally I wonder how many of the reporters who pronounced Chris Christie as rehabilitated after the response to his speech the day before were around for Paul’s. The packed room was on its feet and cheering before the senator could say a word. Christie on the other hand had a much smaller crowd and response was polite until very late in his performance.

Paul’s speech was about liberty but it was also about sending a message to the Mitch McConnells, John McCains, Lindsey Grahams and other establishment RINOs. Paul asked the audience to “Imagine a time when our great country is governed by the Constitution. You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans, but I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.”

“It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two equals,” Paul explained. “We must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness. There is a great and tumultuous battle underway not for the Republican Party but for the entire country.

Then in a challenge to elected leaders and party supporters alike, Paul asked, “The question is will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion or will we be sunshine patriots retreating when we come under fire?”

Paul then focused on the NSA, data mining and the entire security mindset of the government, which he believes is dangerous. He referenced the Sons of Liberty from the Revolution who stood up to King George and predicted, “The Sons of Liberty would today call out to the president. ‘We will not submit. We will not trade our liberty for security. Not now. Not ever.’”

Getting down to cases with an audience that skewed toward youth and tech savvy, Paul explained, “If you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business.”

His other examples of government overreach in the name of security included detention without a trial, individual warrants applied to a class of people, credit card data collection, cell phone metadata and other violations of the 4th Amendment.

The senator stated flatly “Government unrestrained by law becomes nothing short of tyranny.” Then he used Daniel Webster to show the fight for liberty has been an ongoing struggle that must be continued today. “Daniel Webster anticipated our modern day saviors who wish to save us from too much freedom. He wrote: ‘Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It’s hardly too strong to say the Con was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.’”

Paul wasn’t giving so much a speech, as he was Peter the Hermit asking the young people to join in a crusade. He has passionate ideas and beliefs, but Paul’s delivery is simply not as winning as that of Perry. One can be serious without being sepulchral.

It will be very interesting to follow the arc of both campaigns as I see Perry being a bigger threat to Paul than the other Texan, Ted Cruz.

CPAC Day One Part 2

Chris Christie dolls were not for sale at CPAC.

Chris Christie dolls were not for sale at CPAC.

The Curious Case of the Leaf Blower that Didn’t Roar

Sen. Marco Rubio walked on stage and contrary to rumor, he wasn’t wearing a sombrero. In fact he gave what could be called a surgical speech, because he completely buried any reference to his amnesty mistake late last year.

In fact he talked about almost everyone’s border but that of the US. Rubio is for protecting Japan’s border. Ukraine’s border. Even Israel’s border, but not a peep about the border violations Mexico encourages. We’ve being invaded, too but no one but the taxpayers seems to care.

Rubio’s new focus is obviously on foreign policy, since amnesty policy was disastrous for him. He goes East and Easter, touching no points South. He touched on the tax code, regulations and energy. And he still has that problem with words–per–gallon. In a speech that was only 15 minutes long, Rubio still had to stop to take a drink.

Verdict: Nice young man, but not ready.

In a very fitting bit of scheduling, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke just before lunch.

The bully governor used his bully pulpit to talk about his fight against public employee unions and the struggle to reform their pensions. Christie told the audience how he faced union members in their den as he went to the firefighter’s convention and walked through the crowd to get to the podium. But Christie misses the point. No one questions his courage. Conservatives question his convictions.

At the end of his firefighter’s speech he said two–thirds of the audience was cheering him. I don’t know if two–thirds of the conservative base will be cheering for a candidate who also favors amnesty. A topic Christie also failed to bring up.

Christie wants the party to start talking “about what we are for and not what we are against.” He contends that government is about “getting things done.” But that’s what intrusive Democrats say, too.

It was obvious from his speech that all the Sandy storm money is now in the bank, because the governor felt liberated to criticize his new best friend Obama, “What the hell are we paying him for, if he won’t lead?”

Christie summarized by saying under his administration there are fewer state employees, less spending and teacher tenure reforms. He added he’s pro–life but did so in the third person. But there was not a word about smaller government or less intrusive government. I get the feeling he’s Teddy Roosevelt with bariatric surgery. Activism got us in the mess we’re in today.

Christie got a standing ovation, but it was as he was leaving.

CPAC 2014 AS IT HAPPENS

 

Sen. Mitch McConnell with an item from the CPAC Lost & found.

Sen. Mitch McConnell with an item from the CPAC Lost & found.

CPAC begins in less than an hour. I’ll be covering the speeches that matter (as least to me) and the panels that are relevant (see previous).

Since I’m a one–man news team, I can’t make everything, but I’ll do my best to be your eyes & ears.

(Sorry for the delay. The CPAC/Gaylord WiFi is pathetic. Impossible to if you depend on it to work. Now that the media center has cleared out I can get a connection.

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SEN. TED CRUZ

This is my first time for an in–person Cruz speech. Not sure he needs a microphone, Cruz really projects.

He began by pointing out the obvious under an Obama administration. Liberty is under assault. But the question is how do we win?

Cruz wants to mobilize the country starting with the young who have the most to risk. He explained the two Republicans that appealed most to younger voters were two of the oldest candidates: Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul.

According to the senator, They didn’t do it because they were young, too. Their appeal was based on a strong and principled stand on the issues. Their vision appealed to younger voters, not their chronology.

Cruz wants to follow in their footsteps and to do it he outlined a 10–point program designed to “tell the truth.”

1. Defend the Constitution
2. Abolish the IRS: Simple,flat tax
3. Expand energy in this country & create high–paying jobs all over America.
4. Expand school choice
5. Repeal Dodd–Frank
6. Audit the Federal Reserve
7. Pass strong balanced budget amendment
8. Repeal every single word of Obamacare
9. Stop the lawlessness in the White House
10. End the corruption

The tenth item is where Cruz earns his reputation for not playing nice in Washington. “Ending the corruption” offends all the insiders, starting with the GOP. He wants to “eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism.” Which offends the Chamber of Commerce. Then Cruz proposes a lifetime ban on lobbying for anyone that has ever served in Congress, which includes past and current colleagues.

He completes the trifecta of tribulation for the political class by calling for a Constitutional amendment establishing term limits for Congress. Serve in Congress? Win a lifetime ban on lobbying. Which includes most of those the first two items left out.

Cruz says the DC consultant’s choice of stand up for principles and lose versus keep your head down and let the Democrats defeat themselves is false.

Cruz intends to win by taking strong stands and making a “clear distinction” between the two parties. He hopes the CPAC conservatives are with him.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
PAUL RYAN

Ryan speaking after Cruz is unfortunate scheduling for Rep. Paul ’The Compromiser’ Ryan, because his speech embodied “the DC consultant’s choice” Cruz was warning against: Keeping your head down and letting the Democrats defeat themselves, instead of giving voters a clear and distinct choice.

Ryan’s speech was more about the Obama failings in the news everyday and much less about what Republicans should stand for to win. He was more for broadcasting Obama failings rather than giving voters a clear choice. The Ryan option: Vote for us, because we aren’t charge of this disaster.

His speech was also a chance for the audience to recover from the Cruz address. No standing ovations until Ryan left and his jokes only received polite chuckles.

The congressman admitted “we have our internal disagreements, but I prefer to think of it as creative tension.” He called it a dispute over tactics and not principles. The problem with that is the election is only eight months away and it’s time to make a decision.

As Cruz pointed out 30 minutes earlier, playing it safe has been beating Republicans for decades.

Ryan is optimistic. Ironically, he used his budget work as an example of conservative progress. “In 2008 my budget only had eight co–sponsors.” Now he’s passed three budgets in a row, but what he failed to mention was his latest budget “compromise” that reversed the sequester cuts and increased spending and the deficit.

Ryan said the “left offers a full stomach and an empty soul.” His speech filled the time allotted him but left the audience empty of inspiration.

 

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Mitch McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell comes on stage brandishing a flintlock rifle. I wouldn’t have been more surprised if he’d come out dressed in a loin cloth.

My first thought was isn’t it a little early in the program to be announcing items left in the Lost & Found? Shouldn’t Mitch just send it to the Charlton Heston estate? Besides, in Maryland – site of CPAC this year – that rifle might qualify as an assault weapon since men in uniform have fired it at the enemy.

McConnell is a back room operator, a legislative technician. I could see him proudly sporting a quill pen, that’s in character. McConnell is not Ronald Reagan. Heck, Mitch isn’t even Clint Eastwood’s chair. His persona doesn’t lend itself to dramatic symbolic gestures. He says something to Sen. Tom Coburn as the senator from Oklahoma leaves the stage. Maybe the transcript, if it ever appears, will clear up this firearms mystery.

McConnell starts praising Coburn, who is leaving the Senate even before his self–imposed term limit takes effect. It seems each morning when he arrives at the office, Coburn empties his pockets and goes through the metal detector like every other regular taxpayer who visits the Hill, rather than flashing his Senate I–don’t–have–to–endure–petty–annoyances card. McConnell likes this common touch and says Coburn is the only senator that does this.

Evidently he doesn’t realize the contrast between him and Tom Coburn does not work to his advantage. On the previous panel Coburn had stressed the importance of term limits to restoring the Republic, while McConnell personifies the time servers who help grow big government.

McConnell, still tone deaf, then tells the audience how much time he’s spent filing briefs at the Supreme Court trying to thwart Obama. Which is one of the problems of his ‘leadership.’ Separation of Powers means co–equal branches of government, which means in turn that McConnell and Boehner shouldn’t be running to daddy supreme every time that bully Barack takes his lunch money.

McConnell then assures us he won’t let us down. But he already has. Mitch likes Coburn’s example. He just won’t follow it.

 

Bob McDonnell Discovers He’s Past the Sell–By Date

Baby McDonnell sell by memeIf you need additional proof that taking handouts creates dependency, look no further than the sad fate of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. McDonnell is currently under federal indictment and accused of trading government favors for money, loans and gifts from former Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr.

Williams is one of those ‘good friends’ politicians seem to acquire just about the time they win an office where it’s possible to dispense favors.

Federal charging papers list quite an inventory of gifts. They include a $17,000 NYC shopping trip for wife, Maureen, where the money was spent at Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton and Bergdorf Goodman to buy various designer dresses and jewelry befitting a former Redskins cheerleader and current 1st lady.

Then there was $15,000 for catering at the daughter’s wedding — Maureen likes round numbers — a $10,000 wedding gift to another daughter, $120,000 in no–doc loans to shore up bad vacation home investments, free family vacations at the Williams’ getaway and a $6,500 Rolex watch for Bob. They even had Williams’ brother, Donnie, mow their lawn and do odd jobs for free around the house. Bringing the grand total in the indictment to $165,000, not counting Donnie’s sweat equity.

And all this occurred because it’s so tough to make ends meet on only $175,000 a year plus free room and board.

Naturally a politician so broke he essentially functioned as the foster child of his ‘family friend’ Williams is in no position to pay for his own legal defense. And Maureen is not about to settle for the tender mercies of the public defender’s office, so McDonnell founded the Restoration Fund and began soliciting donations for his defense.

The fund’s chairman, Stanley Baldwin, told the WaPost the ‘Restorers’ (not to be confused with Donnie Williams) are “long time admirers of Gov. McDonnell and his outstanding performance as Virginia’s chief executive.”

Evidently it’s a dwindling band. During all of 2013 the fund raised a total of $11,400. Of course if McDonnell mooched off the rest of his friends the way he milked Williams, it’s no surprise he’s only raising bake sale money for his defense fund.

Another variable at work is the hard and fast reality of the political sell–by date, which causes ‘good family friends’ to become scarce just when one needs them the most. During McDonnell’s campaign, when he was still fresh and, like milk, passed the smell test, J. Douglas Perry — co–founder Dollar Tree stores — gave $75,000. Perry’s contribution to McDonnell’s legal defense fund after he left office was only $2,500, which is quite a discount rate.

To put that $11,400 in perspective, the average billing rate for a high–powered DC law firm is $662/hour. Even if Bob grabs the entire treasury, he can only buy 17 hours of legal time and you can’t plead guilty for that amount.

And in spite off all the tribulations their attempt to join the ranks of the nouveau riche brought upon the family, Bob and Maureen still have his–and–her lawyers. Although I wonder who’s footing the bill for her defense as I hear Jonnie has blocked Maureen’s cell number.

Back in the statehouse leftist Democrats see this as a perfect opportunity to expand the nanny state and pass ‘ethics’ laws that increase the size of the permanent government bureaucracy. One proposal creates a state ethics advisory council — think of it as a taxpayer–paid conscience for spineless legislators — and limits gifts to a value of $250 each. Forcing future ‘family friends’ to purchase their politicians on layaway.

The good news for the easily corrupted is law doesn’t put a value on trips, tickets or other intangible influence peddling, so if you already have a watch it’s business as usual.

The fact is Virginia’s law could use an update, but it doesn’t require putting a dollar amount on gifts. All that’s required is for elected officials to issue monthly disclosure of any gift valued over $10, with a false filing resulting in a felony perjury charge. Those covered under the new rule should now expand to include anyone in the immediate family that receives a gift: Call it chain disclosure. And any ‘S’ corporations a politician is involved in would also disclose gifts and loans.

That way voters could decide for themselves if their politician has been bought and if so, evaluate the bargain he drove. There’s no need for additional bureaucracy and pettifogging rules.

This brings us to the real scandal sitting in plain sight: Dime–store political dynasties that think the office belongs to them. Democrat John Dingell is a case in point. He inherited the Congressional seat his father warmed and then served 53 years. During which Dingell was cashing countless federal paychecks, wasting tax dollars, inflicting bad ideas on the nation and enduring what appears to be at least one facelift that left him looking like a Rugby ball with a grin.

You’d think that would be enough for any family of leeches, but you would be wrong. Now wife Debbie wants her turn at the trough. She’s already had an influence–peddling job with the American Automotive Policy Council, where I’m sure listing Detroit Cong. John Dingell at the top of her list of references had no impact.

Now Debbie wants the congressional seat — the media is calling this obscene power grab a “Dingell hat trick” — and she’ll probably win it. The same contributors who rented John all those years like to stick with a name they can trust and the interest groups he pandered to will recognize the Dingell family brand on the ballot.

Virginia governors have to move fast if they want to cash in, because they only get a single term. The likes of Dingell and the rest of an arrogant political class get their corruption over the decades on the installment plan and that’s the real scandal no one is talking about.

Conservatives Ready for Sexual Cowardice

Mainstream media closely follows the Michael Sam story

Mainstream media closely follows the Michael Sam story

When does doing something — other than charging a machine gun nest — that has been done countless times previously stop being ‘courageous?’ Sally Jenkins of the WaPost has ruled that football player Michael Sam’s advice to people interested in dating him is a monumental story: “There are great courageous sports stories being played on the international stage at the Sochi Olympics, yet nothing has resonated like this.”

Ho hum. Pardon me if I’m not vibrating like Ms. Jenkins. If Sam doesn’t want awkward situations where female groupies try to make time with him, why doesn’t he just open an account on eHomony.com?

Other than the occasional soap–on–a–rope joke whispered out of Sam and the gaystapo’s earshot, he will have smooth sailing in the locker room. The Canadian Football League may be treating Sam comments as international hate crimes. (Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Bryant Turner Jr.  was fined after tweeting: “Michael Sam locker room gonna come with complimentary robes.”)

But in the NFL he’ll be treated like Bao Bao, the new panda baby at the national zoo. For teammates and football fans, Sam will be just another seldom–seen species that has problems when it comes to reproduction. Maybe he’ll be able to share Internet bandwidth with Bao Bao after he gets his own Sam Cam.

I tell you what real courage would be in a situation like this. A married potential NFL draftee announcing that he’s open to adulterous relationships and no one’s wife, girlfriend or daughter is off limits. Now that takes some courage and would certainly create a frisson of sexual tension at home, the locker room and various team functions.

Sam, on the other hand, is just a me–too narcissist hoping for a spot as Grand Marshall in a ‘pride parade.’ He’s certainly not the first athlete to go public. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a figure skater that walks on the wild side. Then you’ve got Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, innumerable female softball players and gymnasts.

In showbiz there’s Ellen, Rosie, Jodie and Neil and that’s just the ones with ‘e’ in their name. Even superheroes are getting in on the act. Green Lantern only lets his love light shine for men. Society has reached a point where we can start hanging clothes in that particular closet because it’s now empty.

And for the sake of accuracy, Sam is in limbo right now. He’s a former college player who has yet to make an NFL team. And it’s entirely possible he won’t be the only homosexual player in the NFL, just the most vocal.

(If you ask Deacon Jones, he probably considers all NFL kickers to be gay, but at least they’ve made the team, in contrast to Sam who is merely potential.)

Besides, when is giving in to a compulsion courageous? How about a linebacker who holds a news conference announcing he’s only interested in 18–year–old cheerleaders? Is that brave? Would Woody Allen be courageous if he finally admitted to abusing Dylan? The statute of limitations is up and like Woody says, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Which is pretty much the foundational philosophy of the alternate lifestyle left.

In the wake of his proclamation Sam’s NFL draft value dropped almost a hundred points. This will be blamed on homophobia, but the real reason is how many teams — other than the Dallas Cowboys — need another narcissistic exhibitionist?

If NFL teams avoided signing Tim Tebow because of the alleged ‘distraction’ factor, what director of player personnel is going to volunteer to draft the Michael Sam three–ring circus?

The Broncos’ John Elway volunteered to lead the ‘some of my best friends…’ caucus when he said he would have no problem with Sam on his team, which is easy for Elway to say since he’s retired and showers at home.

But the real question is why announce now? Sam told his Missouri teammates that he was playing for the other side before last season. It was a simple statement that didn’t require a phone call to the New York Times. This current public relations campaign screams exploitation and not by the hetero community. It sounds like national homosexual advocacy organizations snooped into his private life and convinced Sam to take a stand that will benefit their fund raising.

If Sam has any doubts about his NFL future, and he’s not a sure thing, then his public statement guarantees a lucrative future career as a homosexual symbol. If he makes the NFL he demonstrates homosexuals are everywhere. If he doesn’t make the team he’s a living symbol of heterosexual bigotry. Either way Sam is on the speaking and interview circuit for a decade and national lobby groups stay current and in the news.

And while we’re discussing fanatics, the homosexual lobby is starting to remind me of some of the more zealous Mormons. There are groups of Latter Day Saints who baptize the dead by proxy so the deceased can enter into heaven in spite of the poor choices they made while alive. In like fashion homosexual scholars browse through history looking for notable figures they can recruit into the homosexual hall of fame.

Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind, along with Abraham Lincoln, my relative President James Buchanan and Janis Joplin to mention but a few. Something tells me activists are going to be taking a long hard look at unmarried early professional football players.

In the meantime, I’m ready for some sexual cowardice. How about returning to the days of a gentleman never tells? I know it’s unlikely, but one can dream.

So let’s close with a riddle: What do Michael Sam and Manti Te’o have in common? All their girlfriends are imaginary.

John Boehner’s Incremental Amnesty Surrender Strategy

130319-three-amigos-boehner-jeb-bush-rove5Mathematicians have long contended that if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters and an infinite amount of time, eventually the simians will produce the King James Bible. Maybe so, but why inflict such a difficult challenge from the get–go? It could severely damage monkey morale.

I suggest assigning monkey scribes the task of producing the House GOP leadership’s “Immigration Reform Principles.” They should be able to knock that out in about a day — even with frequent banana breaks — and if they don’t replicate the document exactly, what the monkeys produce can’t be much more incoherent than the steaming pile the House leadership authored.

The document begins by stating: “Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced.” Naturally, their solution is to jettison the law. I’ve already outlined why amnesty is a bad idea for Republicans in an earlier column located here. So I won’t belabor that point, but what I would like to do is analyze Boehner & Company’s strategy for any evidence that it will accomplish their misguided goals.

Based on statements to the media and the “Principles,” Speaker Boehner’s concerns focus on three main areas:

  1. Negative media coverage of Republican opposition to amnesty
  2. Pressure from farmers and corporate America who want cheap imported labor that considers insultingly low wages a big raise from what they got back home
  3. Overwhelming Hispanic voting support for Democrat politicians

What Boehner does not appear to be worried about is the loss of support from the GOP’s conservative base after amnesty is passed.

So to achieve his goal of improving the Republican image, getting lobbyists off his back and showing Hispanics that he’s a verdadero amigo, Boehner wants a “step–by–step” process that constitutes an incremental surrender to Democrats and other tribal advocates. Boehner’s document begins with a list of bromides the House GOP leadership uses in an attempt to pull the wool over conservative’s eyes: “zero tolerance,” “visa tracking,” “employment verification” and I think an end to chain migration, but the “Principles” are so vague on that point it’s hard to tell.

I guess we will have to await clarification from the monkey’s version of the document.

But the linchpin of the “principles” is the statement: “There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law.”

Instead Boehner unveils a grand public relations coup: Republicans propose to let illegals stay in the U.S. as Untermenschen. Whoops, sorry, I mean as legal residents but not citizens. They must pass background checks, pay “back taxes,” speak English (unless stopped by a policeman), give up any and all “rights” to welfare and be able to read the Constitution in Chinese. (No wait, that’s only if they want to vote in Alabama.)

This is like a land owner telling a trespasser who’s been on squatting in the house for years that he and his family can stay in the house he doesn’t own, but you won’t give him a clear title.

As they say in The Game of Thrones: You know nothing John Boehner.

After decades of being media whipping boys, elected Republicans not only don’t know how to advance an argument, they don’t even know how to avoid a public relations disaster.

Boehner — not the monkeys — will have recreated Exodus with Hispanics in the role of the Israelites. And just like the Jews trapped in Egypt, they can work all they want and the generous GOP will even give them straw for the bricks, but they will never have the vote or the dole.

And God help us, Chuck Schumer gets to be Moses.

As soon as the ink is dry on their 2nd class citizen documents, the formerly illegal are going to be demonstrating against Republican Apartheid. It’s going to be the story of the decade for the Mainstream Media and John Boehner gave it to them on a platter.

Every Election Day the 2nd classers will be demonstrating outside Republican polling places, yelling and brandishing signs for concerned network correspondents.

Queremos que el voto y lo queremos ahora! (We want the vote and we want it now!)

Estoy soñando con el voto (I’m dreaming of the vote)

Segunda clase es la ciudadanía apartheid (2nd class citizenship is apartheid)

Dicen a la familia a venir del Norte (Tell the family to come North)

Then there are the human tragedy stories that bring home the cost of Republican heartlessness courtesy of NPR. The grownup anchor babies who have to tell madre y padre they can’t go to the polls today and vote like they did in Venezuela under Chavez, because John Boehner says they’re less than citizens.

And don’t forget the groundskeeper who lost a foot to a runaway weed beater while working on some one percenter’s estate. He and his family are living in a Kelvinator box under a bridge abutment because he can’t work and he can’t collect U.S. disability checks thanks to Ebenezer Boehner. With tears in his eyes, Piers Morgan will tell viewers, “He was good enough to mow the lawn, but he’s not good enough to cash a disability check.”

That’s the kind of publicity that will have younger citizens leaving their Chipotle burritos uneaten as they run to the nearest party headquarters so they can register to vote Republican and grind the brown man down.

My prediction is six months max and Boehner will be throwing himself on Nelson Mandela’s grave and begging Obama to sign his Full Amnesty with Added Reparations bill.

Why endure the agony of an incremental amnesty? You can’t be half pregnant and you can’t pass a half citizenship bill. Boehner needs to either surrender now and line up a nice lobby job or finally start listening to his own disenfranchised conservative base.

Obama’s Trickle–Down Lawlessness

Virginia's new AG is following in the footsteps of America's #1 Constitution burner.

Virginia’s new AG is following in the footsteps of America’s #1 Constitution burner.

What Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX) refers to as Obama’s “pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat” has trickled down to the new Democrat administration in Virginia.

On Saturday, January 11th Democrat Mark Herring was sworn in as attorney general of the Commonwealth. During the ceremony Herring recited his oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as attorney general according to the best of my ability (so help me God).”

Then Herring proved he was a fast Obama study by violating that oath before he had completed his second week in office.

Instead of defending the Virginia Constitution, Herring began actively working to undermine it. He declared on the 23rd that he would not defend Virginia’s constitutional ban on homosexual marriage. “It’s time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” he proclaimed.

Then Herring compounded the offense by joining the case of the plaintiffs suing the state to overturn the ban. This is breathtakingly unethical. It’s like Zimmerman’s defense lawyer deciding George violated neighborhood watch guidelines and asking to join the prosecution team. An honorable man when presented with the choice of doing his job and defending the Constitution or “being on the right side of history” would have resigned his office, but we’re talking about Mark Herring.

By way of background the Virginia homosexual marriage ban is an amendment to the Constitution passed in 2006 by a favorable vote of 57 percent. Herring was in the Virginia Senate at the time and he voted in favor of the amendment. But you can’t hold that against him because he ‘evolved.’

But now Herring says he is relying on the precedent set by former AG Ken Cuccinelli. Except the situations are entirely different. Cuccinelli did not defend a newly passed law that allowed the state to take over failing schools, because it violated Virginia’s Constitution. Herring is saying the Constitution of Virginia is unconstitutional because it violates the Democrat party platform and makes Ellen DeGeneres sad.

In an interview posted on TheDailyPress.com, Herring explained, “What you have to do is look at the facts and precedents and ask yourself — If this went before the Supreme Court, how do I think they would rule?” But Virginia voters didn’t elect Herring to choose the winning side in a court case. They elected him to do a job he appears unwilling to perform.

By contrast North Carolina’s Attorney General is also a Democrat who supported homosexual marriage, but he is defending his state’s law. Cooper issued a statement that said, “North Carolina should change its laws to allow marriage equality, and I believe basic fairness eventually will prevail. However, when legal arguments exist to defend a law, it is the duty of the Office of the Attorney General under North Carolina law to make those arguments in court.”

As Sen. Cruz pointed out in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one [or group] …is above the law.”

Herring’s legal operating theory is no different from jurisprudence and law in Venezuela or Mexico, where the question is not do you know the law? But rather whom do you know? The law under Democrats like Eric Holder, Barack Obama and Mark Herring is now a respecter of persons. Once feelings and fads replace the law and procedure we enter uncharted territory.

Naturally the Washington Post editorial page supports Herring’s switch. “We broadly agree with Mr. Herring’s reading of the law. The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection cannot be reconciled with denying, on logically flimsy grounds, equal access to civil marriage for a group that has for centuries been singled out for discrimination.”

But the same ‘logic’ applies to other formerly acknowledged taboos including polygamy and incest. “Love is love” is a justification that can overturn almost every sexual prohibition.

The WaPost also claims that Herring is not abandoning his client because the two county clerks being sued have their own attorneys. Under this remarkable doctrine there is no need to expect the fire department to show up when your house is burning if a neighbor has already stepped in with his water hose.

To demonstrate Herring’s utter moral bankruptcy we will close with a look at his message during last year’s campaign. Herring repeatedly promised to “take politics out of the office” and he assured voters that he would not be an activist AG like Ken Cuccinelli.

That promise lasted exactly 12 days. Now he’s the newest member of Obama, Holder & Herring the law firm that specializes in picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws to enforce.

TX Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis’ Slip Is Showing

Wendy Davis memeWendy Davis is not the first Democrat to use a fetus pile as a stepping–stone to higher office. She’s only the latest. But Wendy is in such a hurry to run for governor of Texas that she’s left a lot of inconvenient facts behind.

Davis first came to prominence when she lead a filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate in favor of allowing women to abort their child as late as three months into the pregnancy. She termed it a “human right.” In contrast to Senator Ted Cruz (R–TX) who read children’s books during his filibuster, Davis essentially read the unborn the riot act.

Although Davis is ruthless when it comes to the unborn, she expects Texas voters to have enough sympathy for her climb up from a hard–scrabble background to make her the first Democrat governor since 1995. She describes herself as a divorced teenage single mom who went from living in a trailer to Harvard Law and the Texas Senate.

Like Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Falseahontas), Davis believes that redneck chic is a real vote getter among women and low information voters. And just as Warren’s tale of adolescent privation and Native American ancestry didn’t hold up to scrutiny, neither does Wendy’s.

The only element of the tale that’s entirely true is she’s a woman, of sorts. As reported by The Dallas Morning News’ Wayne Slater, Davis was 21–years–old when she divorced. After the divorce she remained in the mobile home where she’d been living with her former husband. Although she may not have been too popular with neighbors since she also received three vehicles in the settlement.

Based on those qualifications I could be governor of Texas having lived in a trailer for an entire semester at college.

Davis didn’t stay single for long. Seeing an opportunity she morphed into a dress–wearing John Kerry. Wendy had her father approach a friend of his and ask, “How do you like younger women? My daughter wants to go out with you.” Husband–to–be Jeff Davis said in an interview. “I was flattered so I took her out. We dated two or three years, then got married.”

Jeff paid for Wendy’s last two years at Texas Christian University, although her spin is, “It was community resources. We paid for it together.” Sure, Jeff wrote the check and she cashed it.

Mother–of–the–Year Wendy then applied to Harvard Law School and was accepted. (I would really like to get a look at her application essay. It would no doubt move Charles Dickens to tears.) After her acceptance at Harvard, Jeff dutifully cashed in his 401(k) retirement account to cover the initial years and then took out a loan to pay for his wife’s last year.

In the meantime Wendy was faced with a dilemma regarding the children. Her daughter from her first marriage was 8 and the daughter with Jeff was 2, so it was obviously way too late to abort them. But how would it look for a hot little blonde to be toting children that reminded her of mobile housing?

So she left both girls with Jeff back in Fort Worth while she went to pursue her dream solo.

Wendy graduated in 1993 and returned to Fort Worth where one assumes her daughters asked to see a photo ID and then welcomed her home. In 1998, running as a Republican, Davis won a seat on the city council and began her climb up the political ladder.

Ironically enough, the day after Jeff made the last payment on the loan he took out for Wendy’s Harvard Law degree, she moved out and filed for divorce. Of course Wendy takes umbrage at the thought that poor Jeff was just another stepping–stone. Slater quotes her vehemently denying any exploitation, “I was a vibrant part of contributing to our family finances from the time I graduated to the time we separated in 2003,” she said. “The idea that suddenly there was this instantaneous departure after Jeff had partnered so beautifully with me in putting me through school is just absurd.”

Vibrant? Who talks like that and what does it mean? Wendy oscillated when she got a check? Here’s a rule of thumb from a media consultant: When descriptive words are excessive for the surrounding context it means they’re lying. Like when Obama talks about “robust diplomacy.”

For his part, Jeff wasn’t feeling so beautiful. The divorce filing listed adultery on Wendy’s part and he asked for a restraining order against Ms. Vibrant requesting the court require her to refrain from the use of drugs or alcohol “within 24 hours of contact with her children.”

The divorce allowed Wendy to again demonstrate her deep concern for children as she chose to give sole custody of her 12–year–old daughter to her husband; saying it just wasn’t a good time for her to have a daughter tagging along.

So there you have it. The darling of Texas Democrats and leftist abortion supporters nationwide is a liar who won’t even agree to raise her own daughter if it interferes with her overwhelming ambition. She’s used and discarded her way into Democrat political stardom.

Maybe Wendy Davis is simply the culmination of the decades–long feminist campaign to remake America. Now a woman can be as callous and unscrupulous as male politicians and still run for office.

For her part Davis realizes she’s going to have to do something about that biography. “My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

Or she could just trying telling the truth for a change.

Amnesty: The Next GOP Leadership Betrayal

House GOP leadership prepares to negotiate amnesty with Democrats.

House GOP leadership prepares to negotiate amnesty with Democrats.

House Republican leadership is preparing to betray the base. Again. To illustrate the magnitude of the sellout I was going to use a hypothetical analogy with Democrats and their base. Initially I was going to posit that Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Secular) had changed his mind about abortion.

For years Kaine has said that although he’s personally opposed to abortion, he is not willing to impose his beliefs on a ‘woman’s right to choose.’ Essentially confessing that his Catholic faith is not strong enough to get in the way of his political ambitions. (In his last campaign he became even more weaselly, saying he didn’t want to stand in the way of a woman exercising her “constitutional choices,” unless the choice involved a handgun.)

In my hypothetical Kaine would announce he had decided that what the Catholic Church teaches and the Bible says is the truth and he will no longer support any abortion unless it is to save the life of the mother. Kaine would also declare that he will no longer vote for any taxpayer dollars to be given to Planned Parenthood since both his beliefs and opinion polls show Americans don’t think tax money should pay for or help support abortion facilities.

It’s a great analogy but it has one problem: No one would believe it. The analogy is too fantastic for even temporary suspension of disbelief. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, put it nicely this week: “So what’s the difference between Boehner and Pelosi and McConnell and Reid? Answer: The Democratic leadership honors its promises. Republican leaders have abandoned theirs.”

This House GOP leadership betrayal is passage of an amnesty bill, probably before the November election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R–Sellout) says leadership supports an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals that includes tighter border enforcement as a sop to conservatives.

Boehner pays far more attention to agitation from people who shouldn’t be in the country than they do to conservative citizens. And unprincipled businessmen who want a steady supply of imported serfs are far more influential than mere voters.

National Republicans are forever pursuing the ‘independent voter’ at the expense of the base. Democrats on the other hand solidify their base first and then move to the independents. You think that might be why they win elections?

Besides the betrayal of the base, which is bad enough, what political goal do these masterminds in House leadership (to borrow an adjective from Mark Levin) think they are going to accomplish?

Boehner has picked an issue that was a failure the last time Republicans supported it. Ronald Reagan signed a one–time–only–amnesty–that–will­–also–seal–the–border–tighter–than–a–teenage–miniskirt.

The results of that amnesty were fourfold:

  1. Granted citizenship to people who came and stayed illegally
  2. Produced millions of new votes for Democrats
  3. Legalized low–skill labor for employers & reduced wage rates for citizens
  4. Attracted another 12 million illegals who want their amnesty now.

Does Boehner expect amnesty to attract Hispanic voters? California Hispanics now make up the largest ethic group in the state as a result of amnesty and Democrat failure to seal the border. There is not one Republican statewide official. California is a GOP desert as Hispanics proved singularly ungrateful.

Does Boehner think amnesty will improve the party’s image? A Gallup poll lists a total of 3 percent of the populace ranking immigration “reform” as a top priority and I’m guessing all their names began with Jesus.

Does Boehner think amnesty will mean more contributions from big business? Possible and it may last a cycle or two, but once the amnestied voters gravitate to Democrats, Republicans will start losing. And the Business Roundtable doesn’t back or finance losers for long.

Immigration polling, which has evidently frightened the GOP leadership, is dishonest. Respondents are offered unrealistic or nebulous choices. For instance the Public Religion Research Institute proclaims, “Support for a path to citizenship has remained unchanged…an identical number (63%) supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.”

Yet their poll offers three choices that are false or too general to be useful: “become citizens provided they meet certain requirements,” “become permanent legal residents but not citizens” or “Identify and deport them.”

“Certain requirements” is not defined and therefore is useless in determining public policy. Poll respondents can interpret “certain requirements” in a number of ways ranging from “learn to speak English like Tom Brokaw” to “stand in a long line for an autographed photo of Obama.”

“Legal residents but not citizens” is an outcome that creates a permanent helot class that won’t survive the first Democrat Congress. And no sane conservative has ever advocated mass deportation. We believe they got here under their own power and they can leave the same way.

I have yet to see a poll that asks a question that offers a conservative choice. For instance: Do you support a step–by–step approach to the immigration problem that begins by removing the economic incentive for illegal immigration thru a law that makes it a criminal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens?

If illegals can’t work and they can’t collect welfare or rebates from the IRS then the invasion will begin to reverse. Presto the “immigration problem” solves itself! Sure the bill won’t pass the current Senate, but so what? It offers a conservative alternative to the amnesty now crowd and it preserves the rule of law, but that pales in comparison to Boehner’s dreams of campaign contributions from the Business Roundtable.

Before elected officials — Republicans again — got cold feet in Prince William County, illegals were fleeing after an anti–illegal enforcement act was passed. The county saved millions as they fled to nearby “sanctuary” cities and states. The same can happen in a nation that takes its own immigration laws seriously.

Unfortunately that is not this nation and it’s not this Republican Party.

Spare No Expense & Bill the Taxpayer

Artist’s rendering of the Lynn family’s preferred reburial site.

Artist’s rendering of the Lynn family’s preferred reburial site.

Prince William County, VA recently witnessed a heartwarming episode that ended in a charming example of public – private cooperation. Not too far from where I live the county is constructing a new high school that will feature all the modern conveniences for students: Olympic–size swimming pool, state of the art football field and hot–and–cold running grief counselors.

Plus it’s also a Gun Free Zone!

Last summer during preliminary construction a ground survey team discovered what appeared to be 10 to 12 abandoned graves in an overgrown portion of the site.* And making that discovery before the bulldozers arrived wasn’t easy. The plot was located in a remote area south of Manassas and covered by a tangle of third or fourth growth woods, making it impassable for vehicles and a tough slog on foot.

The graves weren’t marked with headstones, instead there were only rough fieldstones, without any inscriptions, and rectangular sunken areas in the ground. They concluded the site was an abandoned family cemetery that had not seen a burial in over 100 years.

Once the graves were discovered the school board contacted the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to obtain permission to disinter the remains. The board also followed the letter of the law and published a required legal notice in the Washington Post.

Since the high school was budgeted to be the most expensive in county history both proponents and opponents of construction had been following progress closely. After the graves were discovered the school board took the advice of community busybodies and contacted local historians to see if they could determine who was buried in the plot.

Researchers found the land had been owned by the Lynn family from approximately 1840 until the late 1890s when it was sold. Three of the graves have been identified as John Henry Lynn and his parents, William and Codelia (Keys) Lynn.

What’s more, Lynn family descendants still living in the county were surprised and gratified when the school board notified them of the discovery. After consulting with the board, Lynn representatives agreed to have the graves moved to a nearby site that would not interfere with construction.

At the conclusion of a brief, tasteful reburial ceremony Carolyn Lynn — ironically a local genealogy buff that writes a blog on Prince William County history — said, “I’m so impressed with the respect the school board demonstrated for my ancestors and my family. We had no idea there was a cemetery on the high school site and now not only do we know where the Lynns are buried, the new site is accessible and will be maintained by the county. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Wow, I’m going to have to take my wife’s advice and stop smoking crack. It’s interfering with writing my column.

Of course that’s not what happened. This is 2014, not 1965. When notified of the discovery the Lynn family was outraged the school board found graves they hadn’t bothered to visit for a century!

How dare they! To make up for 100 years of disinterest family did everything but wrap their arms around the bone fragments and demand the high school be canceled. And the Lynns did it without the tiniest, most infinitesimal bit of embarrassment or gratitude, which is a way of life in the 21st Century.

Maybe it’s just me but if I’d lost the location of pee–paw’s mortal remains for the last 150 years, I’d be embarrassed if the county found him abandoned in an overgrown poison ivy preserve. I’d also be hoping the county wasn’t going to stick me with the bill for digging him up. As far as I’m concerned you buy the plot you buy grandpa, too. Besides, some bureaucrat might decide great grandpappy operated a ‘shine manufacturing business and declare the grave a Superfund site.

No one escapes that clean up bill. Just ask Monsanto.

But the Lynns didn’t feel the least bit chagrined as they went on the offensive.

Carolyn Lynn, the genealogist with the missing cemetery, at first said she was “elated” about the discovery of the family plot, but now she’s described as “disappointed and angry. [She] want[s] to know why Prince William school officials didn’t do more to accommodate the cemetery or notify area residents about plans to disinter the graves, a process that began on Veterans Day. When they were interred, that was their home. They expected to be there forever,” Lynn said of the 11 to 13 Lynn family members – including four small children — believed to be buried at the site. “Nobody thought somebody would build a football stadium over them.”

Well, yes and no. I’m also sure the dear departed didn’t figure someone in the family would take the money and run when outsiders offered to buy the plot.

On the board’s behalf, it could have been they figured if the Lynns didn’t care enough to visit the site sometime during the last century — or at least send an illegal with a weed–whacker by — why should the board jump through hoops for the family?

Other long–lost relatives took an even harder line. Derek Lynn wants the entire cemetery restored and all the vegetation and brush the Lynn family ignored for 100 years removed and the grounds restored at taxpayer expense. “These [people] spent their whole lives trying to improve the county, and now they’re out there trying to dig them up. … All we want is for the grave sites to be put back the way they were and left alone,” Lynn explained.

No word on whether or not Derek wants interpreters wearing period clothing onsite to explain the cemetery’s evolution from burial site to briar patch.

The modern Lynns would have no problem with the county paying between $3 and $9 million dollars (depending on how fast the process went) to return the remains to the original burial place and move the high school, but I certainly do. I suppose I should count taxpayers lucky that the final resolution of the problem saw the bodies reinterred at a spot on the site that is not in the construction zone. The initial tab for this solution is $30,000, but that doesn’t count continuing maintenance or the costs of previously running Prince William CSI as an archeology firm was hired, DNA was scanned and relatives tracked down.

After the dust had settled leave it to PWC School Board Chairman Milt Johns to miss the point. His hand–wringing statement was, “I hope that these steps will help to heal any wounds inflicted by the unexpected discovery of the cemetery and the process that followed. We are certainly very sorry for the dismay that resulted.”

Note to Milt: IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT, and statements like this only serve to encourage the hypersensitive.

The people that lived on the land were named Lynn; they knew the most about the deceased and possibly helped dig the graves. But evidently they didn’t give a damn about what happened after the land sold. If they cared about the future of the cemetery they could have added a deed restriction. So why should taxpayers have to pay for the Lynn family’s shabby treatment of their own relatives? And why do weak elected officials allow themselves to be buffaloed by the ‘feelings’ crowd?

If our sensitive, modern–day Lynns have a beef with anyone, it’s the ancestors who let the burial plot become a chigger playground. My suggestion is visit their graves, assuming you know where they are, and give them a piece of your mind.

 

*Facts and quotes contained in this column come from extensive reportage in The Washington Post, InsideNOVA, Northern VA Times and the Potomac Local News, to give attribution where attribution is due.

Is the NFL Becoming the No Fan League?

just spoke my first wordThe result of NFL’s experiment in negative market dynamics has just come in and the news is not good for Commissioner Roger Goodell. Last September the NFL greatly increased the irritation factor of attending games when the league banned women’s purses that were larger than a pack of cigarettes for ‘security’ reasons. (Complete details here.)

This development was added to the existing $10 hotdog, $10 beer, $40 parking place, pauses in the action for commercials you mercifully can’t see, wildly expensive ticket prices and the owner prancing around on the sidelines.

It’s enough to make you want to dedicate your life to eradicating ‘income inequality.’

I wondered how long it would take the descending curve of a fan’s desire to attend an increasingly expensive NFL game to cross the rising nuisance curve of pettifogging NFL rules. Well now we know: It took four months.

As this is written three of the four first–round NFL playoff games have failed to sell out even though the deadlines for all three have been extended. Even in Green Bay — home of put the baby on the waiting list for season tickets — still has seats available. The important point about a playoff game failing to sell out for the fan base is not the dent in the owner’s bottom line. It’s the fact the game will be blacked out in the local viewing area.

This has not happened since 2002 when the Dolphins – Ravens game in Miami failed to sell out.

So why does the unrest surface now? Because this is the first time season ticket holders have been asked to make an additional ticket purchase since the new ‘security’ rules took effect. Up until now season tickets were already paid for and not using them would be like throwing money away. Or buying a Redskin’s ticket.

Many are finding the extraordinary cost of attending the game when added to the degrading, increasingly TSA–like experience of entering the stadium is simply too much. It’s easier, warmer and the seats are better when one watches the game at home. Assuming the rest of the sheep in your locale continue buying enough tickets to fill the stadium.

I realize the TV commentary can be annoying, but so are the observations of nearby drunks in the stadium and there’s always the off chance they may hurl on you. (Something that never happens at home. Although I’ve been known to get a touch of indigestion following Pam Oliver’s inane sideline commentary.)

Since I’m part owner of the Packers, lets look at that situation in detail. It may be as cold as 4 below at game time Sunday, but that’s not keeping the fans away. In 1967 the Ice Bowl between the Packers and the Cowboys was even more frigid, yet the stadium was full. The difference? In 1967 fans weren’t strip searched before they were seated. Now I can only imagine the lines of parka–clad fans extending outside Lambeau Field waiting for their carefully selected layering to be explored in detail by suspicious ‘security’ fingers.

And how exactly does the ‘no purse large than a pack of Marlboros’ work when both of the pockets on my parka are the size of dinner plates? I’ve seen kangaroos with smaller pouches. Are you required to stuff large pockets with cardboard to reduce carrying capacity? Or is it one of the dreaded case–by–case safety decisions?

And how about the fan that uses battery-powered gloves and boots to keep warm? He’s going to be treated like a suicide bomber when guards get a load of his power pack and the jumble of wires connecting. At the Ice Bowl you could have brought a Duraflame log into the stadium, today they confiscate your matches.

As a result there were 8,500 seats still unsold on Wednesday. This represents almost 12 percent of stadium capacity in Green Bay. In Cincinnati there were 5,000 to 6,000 unsold tickets and in Indianapolis the number was 3,000.

If these tickets were unsold in the summer for an exhibition game no one would notice. But playoff games are for all the marbles and should be of peak interest to fans. The Packers have sold out EVERY regular season game since 1959, a string of 55 years, and for part of that time the team played in two different cities. Alienating 12 percent of the base is a significant insult that does not bode well for the future.

(UPDATE: Green Bay has sold out and so have the other sites. But this does not negate my conclusion. In the Packer’s case the tickets were purchased in bulk by civic–minded businesses so the game would be televised. This only encourages long-term erosion in stadium attendance. In addition, the seats will now be given away, which means the cost portion of cost/annoyance ratio is significantly reduced, so the fans will probably attend. But the market had already spoken beforehand when 12 percent were unsold.)

Most of the commentary regarding the unsold seats focuses on the cost of attending games, which is high. But I think the straw that crippled this camel is the arrogance of the NFL owners and the constant annoyance of ‘security theatre’ drama before you get to your seat.

For fat cats like the Redskins’ Dan Snyder, fans are slightly overweight ATM machines that need to be milked regularly. If people object to being treated like cattle then let them buy their own football team. But the cattle are getting restless and the beginning of a slow motion stampede for the exits may have begun this year.

Duck Dynasty Doesn’t Duck & Cover

You watch duck dynastyThese redneck duck assassins may have the number one reality show on cable TV, but the Robertson family has proven to be completely ignorant of what elite cultural arbiters demand of backwoods celebrities when they violate trendy cultural taboos.

Instead of abjectly apologizing and disowning the Bible and his beliefs when criticized by the militant homosexual lobby, Phil Robertson is unapologetic, unbowed and unafraid, which is not following the approved script.

For example: When Chick–fil–A President Dan Cathy commented, “We are very much supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit…and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” a firestorm ensued as hysterical homosexuals cried “hate.”

Chick–fil–A customers then set a single–day sales record for the restaurant to show their support, but it made no impression on Cathy as he immediately went into bunker mode and canceled all remaining public appearances for the year. (Details here and here.)

A few months later the Rev. Louie Giglio was invited to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration. Obama supporters were suspicious since he was an evangelical Christian, heterosexual and male. Any one of which would be cause for concern, but all three set off alarm bells throughout the secular left.

Sure enough, lavender lobby researchers found a sermon from the mid–90’s where Giglio said, “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but many in the homosexual community…That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to the family.”

Giglio’s statement was prophetic, orthodox and true. But truth does not grant immunity against attacks from the left. Courage — as Robertson proved — is a defense but evidently not one available to Giglio. Instead the reverend apologized and withdrew from the event saying, “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim is meant to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean. (Complete details here.)

By not following the docile, slightly–ashamed–of–his–outdated–views template, Robertson has broken the mold. He is not apologizing for repeating what the Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament.

Before we delve any deeper, I would like to point out the blow–up should never have happened. One of my specialties is crisis prevention — an option A&E evidently doesn’t offer its stars.

Phil Robertson had no business giving an in–depth interview to GQ magazine and the A&E network representative who was present should have known better. The superficial metrosexuals that comprise GQ’s subscriber base couldn’t distinguish a duck call from a whoopee cushion.

The only hunting they do is in fashion stores. What’s more, reporters for GQ and its ilk define mainstream media arrogance and cultural elitism. They hold the people who love Duck Dynasty in utter contempt.

The only conceivable method of getting GQ readers to watch the show would be if the cast of Downton Abby joined for an episode or the Robertsons pledged to go vegan. So why give a potentially dangerous interview to a publication that will do little if anything to increase the show’s ratings?

It makes more sense to limit interviews to reporters who can prove they have a Walmart credit card.

I’m not on the PR roster for Duck Commander, but here is a free list of publications to avoid in the future: Maxim, Playboy, Details, Out, The Advocate, Pink Magazine, Harpers, Cosmo and the GLEE employee newsletter. Rule of thumb: If the magazine has ads for Glad Wrap you’re probably safe, but if the ads are for GLAAD say no.

Another problem with the interview is that Phil is evidently a graduate of the Rep. Todd Akin Academy of Anatomical Description. His language was crude and overly explicit and I doubt he would use the same terms discussing the issue at his family’s dinner table, so why regale a nationwide audience with the same language?

Once the rectum was out of the bag, A&E had to weigh in with its 2 cents. The obvious move would have been to express dismay with Phil’s language — an amorphous term that could mean either particular words or particular sentiments — and explain that Duck Dynasty is a ‘reality show’ and although what Phil said does not express the A&E corporate position, they will not censor his views.

That way the network pours KY on troubled waters, keeps the most popular reality show in history on the air and none of the A&E staff members have to remove those quaint blue and yellow equal signs from their Prius’ bumpers.

But A&E corporate misjudged the Robertson family. The meek may inherit the earth, but they don’t build dynasties. Not only did Phil not apologize, backtrack or ask to be grand marshal of the next ‘pride parade’ on the calendar, the rest of the family said no Phil, no film.

Which is a fine kettle of fish indeed, but so far the damage was confined to A&E. Then the great minds at Cracker Barrel corporate decided they wanted to alienate their customer base, too. The chain of hillbilly restaurants announced it was removing “selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests” from all company gift shops. In effect any item with Phil’s photo on it was seized.

This is the commercial equivalent of volunteering to be collateral damage in a drone strike.

But what prompted the pile on? Was the San Francisco Cracker Barrel the subject of repeated attacks by cupcake–hurling alternate lifestyle advocates? Or maybe the Times Square Cracker Barrel feared a sit–in by demonstrators chanting, “Nobody Wants to Ate Your Hate!”

But that can’t be it. Cracker Barrel doesn’t have a single location in California or in New York City. The vast majority of Cracker Barrels are located south of the Mason Dixon line, a section of the country where Duck Dynasty is most popular. So Cracker corporate decided to offend the majority of its customers to keep from offending the odd homosexual who might wander into a restaurant while on his way to Key West.

The next day Cracker corp. apologized for being caught offending while trying not to offend. Then over the weekend A&E crumbled and grabbed the nearest available fig leaf. It reinstated Phil Robertson after issuing a classic in corporate pander–speak that implied the family’s acknowledgement of the coarse language used meant they were in complete agreement with the spineless appeasers at the network.

The novel outcome of the controversy provided an interesting contrast. When presented with a choice between God and mammon, the Robertsons opted for God. A&E on the other hand chose mammon over GLAAD.

The best part is during a time when Christians celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace a family of orthodox believers took on a secular culture that celebrates sin and won, because the family was strong and united. Lets hope other high profile Christians take note.