Senate Ethics and Pelosi’s Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence

I’ve been out most of the night aimlessly driving around in a Hummer to do my part to help save the ice-threatened citrus crops — what did I miss?

It looks like the U.S. Senate has stayed busy by passing ethics reform legislation. Don’t you wish we all had jobs where we could design the laws that govern our own organization? I’ll give Congress a break though, since they’re usually engaged in the selfless act of creating inane laws for the rest of us that they completely forget about themselves. Not this time.

I haven’t read the reform bill, as I never seem to find myself that bored, but rest assured it contains more loopholes than the wall between wood shop and the girls’ locker room at Enzyte High.

I don’t know about you, but I sleep much better at night knowing that Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, et al, can no longer accept a free toaster when they open a new bank account with our money. That should straighten things out. The Senate passing “ethics reform” is a little like if Ike Turner would have proposed a bill to combat spousal abuse that included the single measure of strengthening Tina’s jaw.

That aside, the House of Representatives has been busy as well. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has created a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming”:

“I am asking the committees that have jurisdiction over energy, environment and technology policy to report legislation on these issues by June.  We hope to have legislation on global warming and energy independence through the committees by July 4th, so that this year, Independence Day is also ‘Energy Independence Day.'”

Yes! “Energy Independence Day”! The day we as Americans celebrate our glorious victory over… power?

You would think that people so concerned with energy independence would be up north drilling Alaska with the fervor of Charlie Sheen at the Mustang Ranch, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why not? Alaska’s Senators have raked in more “road to…” pork than Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, but none of those roads will lead to ANWR any time soon. Build more refineries? Sure, and maybe Courtney Love will open a finishing school.

When Democrats speak of “energy independence,” they’re not talking about independence from the Middle East — they’re talking about liberating “big oil” from their profits. The definition of “independence” is in the eye of the beholder.

But of course, “big oil” is contributing to global warming, which is why the two issues are tied together in Pelosi’s committee. The global warming theory has its core followers, many of whom are also proud owners of Colorado swampland, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other stuff from the back of Mr. Haney’s pickup truck, but many others require a little more convincing.

Remaining skeptics of Gore-style global warming may just be a little uncomfortable hitching the direction of the future of the human race to somebody who once spent eight years kick saving morality slapshots for his boss, while his wife, Tipper, stuck parental warning stickers everywhere except where they really belonged — on Bill Clinton’s pants. Maybe this is why Gore said nary a word about the looming threat of global warming when he was actually in a position to do something about it.

Perhaps Nancy Pelosi can find a more convincing – and less laughable – angle. She may well do just that, because Pelosi sees things the rest of us can’t. That ability is bound to grow in the coming years, as Nancy is just one facelift away from having eyes on the back of her head.

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Muslims Don't CAIR For "24"

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is upset at what they say are nasty inaccuracies in the program “24,” and they’re not shaking their heads in disgust just because Jack Bauer’s cell phone battery seems to stay charged for an unrealistic amount of time.

“The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season’s premiere. “After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn’t sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality.”

Or to differentiate between a cartoon and reality for that matter, eh Rabiah? (scroll down this story two-thirds of the way)

I wonder how CAIR will feel about the new Canadian show “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” Seriously. Check it out.

Muslims Don’t CAIR For “24″

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is upset at what they say are nasty inaccuracies in the program “24,” and they’re not shaking their heads in disgust just because Jack Bauer’s cell phone battery seems to stay charged for an unrealistic amount of time.

“The overwhelming impression you get is fear and hatred for Muslims,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. She said Thursday she was distressed by this season’s premiere. “After watching that show, I was afraid to go to the grocery store because I wasn’t sure the person next to me would be able to differentiate between fiction and reality.”

Or to differentiate between a cartoon and reality for that matter, eh Rabiah? (scroll down this story two-thirds of the way)

I wonder how CAIR will feel about the new Canadian show “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” Seriously. Check it out.

American Idol and American Politics: Profiles in Parallel Contests

Okay, let’s get this out of the way immediately: I watch American Idol. I’d say that I watch it because my daughter likes the show, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. Lots of people watch American Idol for the same reason a lot of people watch car racing — for the crashes — but for me it’s a little different.

Last evening, during the second show in the new season, I pondered why exactly I enjoy American Idol. I did this as some purportedly female entity, who resembled Brian Dennehy in a moo-moo with neon lipstick that looked like it was put on by a crack addicted gorilla, was attempting to either sing, pass a bowling ball, or a little of both.

Indeed, the bad singers are fun to watch, since they make me feel a little better about my own voice. Not only can I not carry a tune, but I’m also beyond tone deaf to the point where I’d need the musical equivalent of Annie Sullivan to bring me around. The good singers are okay too, but I think it’s the entire process that catches my fancy.

After all, singing competitions, pageants and the like are not at all my taste when it comes to television programming. But there’s something about American Idol, and I think I finally figured out why I like to watch.

As a fan of politics and the political process — more aptly put, as a fan of making fun of those things — American Idol follows an eerily similar pattern to the American electoral process, especially as it concerns the presidency.

Consider these correlations

At first, there’s a buzz about a new season. People with no business near a microphone, either intellectually, aesthetically, or audibly, are often the first to throw their hats in the ring. It’s an expensive undertaking involving lots of travel and acceptance of handouts, and if you want to be a finalist, you can’t be shy about either of them.

The early rounds are a cattle call complete with weirdoes, dinks, dorks, jerks, those who think they deserve to succeed because of some sort of birthright, and yes, a few competent people. Some open their mouths and out comes something pleasing to the ears, and some open their mouths and out comes garbage. Lots of the participants claim to be seeking their dream, but many know they don’t have what it takes and are only doing so to say they were once in the running.

In both American Idol and American politics, all along the way, people with wildly varying resumes judge the contestants. Some of these judges know what they’re talking about, some don’t. Some have actually been in the game, and some haven’t. Some say “dawg,” some have funny accents, and some appear ready willing and able to sleep with the good-looking contestants. Sometimes they’re confused about whom to vote for, sometimes not. The judges are lobbied by the contestants using any means necessary, up to and including empty promises, false hopes and visions of glory that never come to pass — at least they haven’t in previous seasons.

There are lots of expensive commercials involved surrounded by incessant promotional hype. Participants are coached, advised and encouraged, often by those who have no business coaching, advising or encouraging.

Toward the end, after much hype, bewailing, controversy, name-calling and clothing changes, the contest is narrowed down to two finalists. It’s not nearly as much fun with most of the fools gone, but if we’re lucky, at least one of the finalists is still able to satisfy that need.

Then, there is one final show, and all Americans willing to make their voices heard choose a winner. After which, the victor goes on tour and meets many of the voters from a safe and respectable distance, and the decision as to how to proceed from there get more difficult with each passing day. There have been many past winners who have no doubt asked themselves, “Why did I do this?”

Then, popularity ratings fall and reality sets in just in time to make an appearance as the winner of the subsequent contest is crowned, and then it’s off to write a book, perform for big money and wade through reporters asking for your opinion of your successor.

American Idol and American politics: Crazy parallel contests in crazy parallel universes. What’s not to like?

“But where are the clowns… send in… the cloowwnnnnns… 

::cough:: uh, can I start over? I have a cold.”

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Confused Bush Helps Put Fence Around The Border Patrol Instead of the Border

There are times when those who defend us need and deserve a better defense from us in return. It’s the least we can do. This is, once again, one of those times. The police, military and border patrol risk their lives every day, but often the biggest danger they face comes from idiocy within.

I was hoping this defense would come straight from the top, in public and in smackdown fashion, but that doesn’t yet appear to be the case.

Rarely a day goes by when something that defies logic, not to mention sanity, arises.

From WorldNetDaily:

Amid protests and a flurry of last-minute efforts by congressmen, two border patrol agents are scheduled today to begin long prison sentences for shooting and wounding a Mexican drug smuggler who was given immunity to testify against them.

In an interview with WND, an angry Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., called President Bush a “disgrace” for refusing to pardon Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, who were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years, respectively, in October. With hopes for a presidential pardon dwindling, the lawmakers had requested that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez assist in a motion to keep the agents free on bond during the appeals process. But late yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, Texas, ruled the men must surrender to federal marshals at 2 p.m. Mountain Time today.

In the meantime, a petition calling for a presidential pardon for the border officers was delivered to the White House. The petition had over 225,000 signatures, but unless any of the names sound Saudi or happen to be “Vicente Fox,” don’t expect any action on the part of the president.

For these border agents who are facing over a decade in prison for stopping a criminal from entering America, I’d like to recommend what amounts to a good defense. This is what I suggest that soldiers, who are occasionally court-martialed for the grievous crime of harming an enemy combatant in a war, do in order to get more politicians on their side and calling for their release. Here are five ways to do that:

  1. Convert to Islam.
  2. “Leak” a secret to the New York Times.
  3. Compare George W. Bush to Hitler (take a number and patiently wait your turn).
  4. Convert to Islam again, just so the people who missed it the first time have a chance to see it.
  5. Call for eco-friendly hybrid patrol vehicles.

It’s painfully obvious that when the president speaks of “securing our borders,” he misunderestimated that and heard it as “securing border security.”

And to think that I was naive enough to assume that when, late last year, President Bush signed the bill authorizing 700 miles of new fence, it would be used to prevent illegal entry into the country, and not just erected around some border agents. Go figure.

Of course, the fence bill was “bipartisan,” which means that once construction is completed, ladders will be distributed to Mexicans (the more sporting types will be sent to “Bruce Jenner’s Caracas Pole-Vault Camp”) and the fence will be named after Senator Robert Byrd.

People often say that illegals will “do the work that Americans won’t.” Well, if we keep up with the aforementioned type of idiocy, one of those “jobs Americans won’t do” will be “border patrol agent” — and I don’t blame them at all.

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GOP "Dream Ticket" Finalists — So Far

Republicans are going to have to motivate the base like no other year in ’08, and the typical wishy-washy game-playing double speaking politicians aren’t going to cut it.

After reading a post at Mr. M’s blog which discussed the refreshing straight-talk and ideas that come from Newt Gingrich and John Bolton, I added them to the short list of any candidate that would excite the GOP base going into the election season. Guiliani, Huckabee, McCain, Keating and Pataki? Fuhgeddaboudit.

GOP, mix ‘n match any of these names and you’ll create a buzz among a base that’s tired of seeing their party degenerate to the point where the only way to tell a Republican from a Democrat is — well, you can’t, and that’s the point.

Put these names in a hat, pull two out, and I’ll be happy: Newt Gingrich; Ron Paul; Tom Tancredo; John Bolton.

Bolton’s the only one not eyeing a run, but hey, we got him to jump into the bureaucrat-infested swamp that is the U.N., maybe we could get him to run as a Veep. Any of these guys would give liberals the runs, which is always fun unless you’re a janitor at the Capitol.

I know, I know, I’ll get back to reality later. This stage in the game though is for dreaming.

GOP “Dream Ticket” Finalists — So Far

Republicans are going to have to motivate the base like no other year in ’08, and the typical wishy-washy game-playing double speaking politicians aren’t going to cut it.

After reading a post at Mr. M’s blog which discussed the refreshing straight-talk and ideas that come from Newt Gingrich and John Bolton, I added them to the short list of any candidate that would excite the GOP base going into the election season. Guiliani, Huckabee, McCain, Keating and Pataki? Fuhgeddaboudit.

GOP, mix ‘n match any of these names and you’ll create a buzz among a base that’s tired of seeing their party degenerate to the point where the only way to tell a Republican from a Democrat is — well, you can’t, and that’s the point.

Put these names in a hat, pull two out, and I’ll be happy: Newt Gingrich; Ron Paul; Tom Tancredo; John Bolton.

Bolton’s the only one not eyeing a run, but hey, we got him to jump into the bureaucrat-infested swamp that is the U.N., maybe we could get him to run as a Veep. Any of these guys would give liberals the runs, which is always fun unless you’re a janitor at the Capitol.

I know, I know, I’ll get back to reality later. This stage in the game though is for dreaming.

Profile of a Frustrating Presidency

As one who voted for George W. Bush twice (the first time was an accident — I was aiming for Buchanan) I often sit back and conduct a performance evaluation of sorts — which is the primary right of every voter — and the results are frustratingly perplexing.

It’s not that I regret voting for Bush, taking into account the alternatives at the time. Gore would have been an enormous disaster, especially considering the events that unfolded shortly after the 2000 election.

We can only imagine how America would have reacted had it been Al Gore to take the bullhorn shortly after 9/11, climb atop a pile of WTC rubble, and excoriate Osama bin Laden for the tragic inferno that played hell with the polar ice caps. And Kerry? No thanks. If I want to see Thurston and Lovie on a daily basis, I’ll turn on TV Land. The thought of a first lady who sounds like Eva Gabor with Tourette’s Syndrome was a big turn off as well.

That said, the Bush presidency has given me moments of nervousness — the kind of unease you would experience if you were flying with Amelia Earhart and, 10,000 feet over the Pacific, she turned to you and said “Oh, I thought you brought the compass.”

Barely a week goes by when there hasn’t been an occasion that I’ve listened to George W. Bush and thought, “what are you thinking?”

The most recent example was the president’s appearance on 60 Minutes, the show with the stopwatch that reminds viewers either how much time is left in the program, or how long some of the pre-Mesozoic hosts have to live.

Frankly, Bush agreeing to go on a CBS News program for an interview is a little like Ehud Olmert picking up Mahmoud Ahmadinead’s lunch tab. But I’m sure CBS has come around since allowing Dan Rather to run with the fake National Guard document story. Yep, no agenda there anymore. Nuh uh.

In the interview, Bush admitted to mistakes in the war in Iraq. Sure it’s true, but telling that to CBS can make us do nothing but question his judgment. Where’s the old Dubya? The cowboy whose life credo was “never give ’em the satisfaction”? Did that particular cowboy ever exist in the first place?

The frustrations of the Bush presidency are compounded by the constant passing of huge spending bills, much of it doing nothing more than helping other countries and interests. Bush has rubber-stamped more foreign paper than an overcaffeinated Ellis Island clerk on “two-for-one coupon day.” The nickname for Bush’s veto pen should be “unemployed squid,” because it’s full of ink and doesn’t do nearly enough work.

Then there’s the Bush who takes a brave stand against foreign and domestic terrorism on one hand, and on the other hand seems to have little concern for illegals who are spilling across the border so much that it looks like Mexico left the faucet running. Whenever you announce a plan for amnesty for illegals, don’t be surprised if everybody begins to clamor for position.

Speaking of Bush and fighting terrorism, how about this story that managed to stay, with some exceptions, mostly under the radar during the holiday season:

In the wake of the revelation that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the number of new students arriving in the United States plummeted from more than 4,000 in 2001 to 1,008 in 2005, according to the U.S. State Department.

But a program initiated by President Bush and Saudi King Abdullah has brought about 10,000 new students to U.S. colleges during the current academic year, bringing the number of Saudi students for the fall semester of 2006 to 10,936.

You can only wonder how much of our tax dollars are going to pay for their flight school. I don’t know about you, but I sleep better at night knowing that the chance that somebody who has a degree from an American university will kill us all is now much higher.

We send our brave soldiers to fight terrorists overseas “so we don’t have to do it here later on” and then invite their neighbors over by the thousands? In that case, we might as well bring the troops home, because if you’re going to have people setting rat traps in the basement but put the bait in your shorts, a rude awakening is on the way and the rest is futile.

These things, and many more, comprise the paradox that is the Bush presidency. It’s so confusing that Bush even confuses himself on many occasions.

Is Bush better than Gore would have been? Absolutely. Better than Kerry? For sure. But still, I can’t help but view the Bush presidency as a series of squandered opportunities punctuated by some successes that were ultimately pasteurized with consent in the name of “bipartisanship” and counterproductive conciliation. George W. Bush has guts and the willingness to do what might be necessary but nonetheless unpopular, but he also seems to have compassion and a humanitarian streak to a naive fault, which all too often trumps the nobility of the former admirable trait.

George W. Bush will not, as many like to believe, go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever, but he will most certainly be remembered as an “if only he’d have…” type of leader — which is often the difference between “great” and “eh, whatever.”

Just for the record, I couldn’t have done that job any better. Heck, I’d still be in an “undisclosed location” — which is where most politicians should stay.

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“Is it hot in here, or is Al crazy?”

Some high schoolers are about to be taught the valuable lesson that nothing in life is free, except indoctrination:

Five-hundred high school students will be able to attend for free the January 22nd speech by former Vice President Al Gore in Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University.

The kids will be shown indesputable evidence of global warming, such as this:

The forecast for next Monday in Boise, Idaho: 36 degrees … Friggin’ SUV’s!

"Is it hot in here, or is Al crazy?"

Some high schoolers are about to be taught the valuable lesson that nothing in life is free, except indoctrination:

Five-hundred high school students will be able to attend for free the January 22nd speech by former Vice President Al Gore in Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University.

The kids will be shown indesputable evidence of global warming, such as this:

The forecast for next Monday in Boise, Idaho: 36 degrees … Friggin’ SUV’s!