Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Obama Policy Shift on Offshore Drilling

In Economy, Environment, Obama on March 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

Drill, baby, Drill!

The New York Times reports:

The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

The proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.

Hold the celebration for a bit, though. Opening more coastline to oil exploration is something that Obama promised during his campaign and brought up again during his state of the union address. However, as with anything the Obama administration does, this will surely come with a catch. Further on in the NYT article, the catch may have appeared:

The Senate is expected to take up a climate bill in the next few weeks — the last chance to enact such legislation before midterm election concerns take over. Mr. Obama and his allies in the Senate have already made significant concessions on coal and nuclear power to try to win votes from Republicans and moderate Democrats. The new plan now grants one of the biggest items on the oil industry’s wish list — access to vast areas of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling.

Sister Toldjah‘s take:

The upcoming cap and tax battle is close at hand, and with this being an election year, Obama and Democrat mis”leaders” in the House and Senate don’t want the political headaches and nightmares that came with the drawn out process of them trying to shove the trillion dollar ObamaCare “reform” plan down the throats of the American people, so they’re throwing a bone to “moderate” Republican and Democrat Senators and House reps in hopes of avoiding a prolonged battle and winning their votes on cap and tax

While this move may anger Obama’s pro-environment, “green-er” base, it’s a move that he can afford. It’s the base after all, where else are they going to go? In the mean time, he can build capital with the moderates and allow Democrats to repair some of the damage done by the health care reform process.

Doug Powers predicts

…that new drill sites will end up being like Obama’s sudden embrace of building nuclear power plants — and that is to construct them as sweetheart deals for big labor, but never really use them.

This as-for-now merely symbolic lurch to the middle can also be taken as a sign that Obama knows Democrats are in serious trouble in the upcoming election, as well as in 2012.

The potential for emptiness in this gesture is significant. Any leases in the newly opened areas are subject to approval by the Department of the Interior after environmental and geological studies. None of these studies will be available until after 2012, allowing the administration to maintain the illusion until conveniently after the next presidential election.

I’ll let Moe Lane at Red State take it home because he sums it up nicely:

Let me put it another way: the White House is implying the promise of jam tomorrow – in reality, it’s just a study to revisit the denial of jam yesterday – in exchange for jam today. Only the jam today is actually a swarm of angry wasps.  Try again, Mr. President.  Start with rescinding your interference with the Bush drilling permits, and expect to give up more.  A lot more: your opponents are not interested in indulging the Greenies’ quaint, somewhat primitive religious sensibilities.

h/t memeorandum


Canadian Troops Will Leave Afghanistan In 2011

In Afghanistan on March 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Royal Canadian Mounted Patrol

via Breitbart: The Canadian Prime Minister announced to Secretary of State Clinton that Canada will withdraw their forces from Afghanistan in 2011. Canada’s Foreign Minister has confirmed, dismissing Clinton’s suggestion that Canada switch to a training role.

Still awaiting word from U.S. commanders as to whether the loss of two RCMP and one bomb-sniffing moose will affect overall operations.

h/t Drudge Report

Democrat Senator Admits Obamacare ‘Folly’

In Democrat, health care on March 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Marching in lock-step with the party has it's consequences

Before even buyer’s remorse can set in with the minority of Americans who supported the health care reform legislation, a Democrat Senator has “vote remorse”.

Gaggle via Hot Air:

A Democratic senator I can’t name, who reluctantly voted for the health-care bill out of loyalty to his party and his admiration for Barack Obama, privately complained to me that the measure was political folly, in part because of the way it goes into effect: some taxes first, most benefits later, and rate hikes by insurance companies in between…

…On the day the president signed into law the “fix-it” addendum to the massive health-care measure, two new polls show just how fearful and skeptical Americans are about the entire enterprise.  If the numbers stay where they are—and it’s not clear why they will change much between now and November—then the Democrats really are in danger of colossal losses at the polls.

Father of Marine Killed in Iraq Must Pay Hate Group That Targeted Son’s Funeral

In First Amendment on March 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, USMC

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, to pay over $16,000 to the hate group that disrupted his son’s funeral. “It’s like kicking you in the face when you’re down”, says Snyder of the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church. The church, more aptly described as a cult or a hate group, disrupts military funerals with shouts and signs celebrating the Improvised Explosive Devices that kill soldiers and Marines in Iraq.

Military drivers in Iraq move fast for all the reasons you might imagine. With the constant threat of IED’s and ambush, a slow target is an easy target. To get an idea of what that’s like, watch the video here. You’ll hear at 1:48, “oncoming, maybe?” from inside the vehicle as they find themselves blocked in traffic and decide it’s safer to drive the wrong way into oncoming traffic than it is to stop even for a moment. Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder was killed in a Humvee accident in Anbar Provice, Iraq on March, 03 2006. Matt was manning the gun mounted atop the Humvee when it rolled in what the military calls a “non combat related accident”.

This is who Matt was:

Julie Snyder, Matthew’s mother, was too saddened to talk, but she allowed her sister, Cathy Menefee, to speak for the family. She told The (Baltimore) Sun of his keen sense of humor and an unwavering sense of responsibility, which culminated in his decision to join the military. “It’s sounds so cliche, but he died doing what he wanted to do,” Menefee said. “He always wanted to be a Marine.”

David Brown, an assistant principal at Westminster High School where Matthew graduated in 2003, said he was “devastated” upon hearing of Snyder’s death. Brown said he had coached Snyder in an intramural basketball league, from kindergarten through second grade.

“The first image that clicked back in my head was that 6-year-old boy, in the team picture, with the big green shirt that said ‘Terrors,’ kneeling in the front row. I can still see the photograph,” Brown said. “I’ve known him as a much younger child, and as a high school student, so it’s difficult. You see faces and you hear on TV, but it’s always kind of distant until it comes home. And now it’s home.”

On the day that Matthew Snyder’s body was returned home to his family, the church announced to officials in his home town their intent to protest at his funeral. In both the announcements in the form of fliers distributed to police and media outlets and in the protest outside Matthew’s funeral, Westboro Church members blamed military deaths on America’s acceptance of homosexuality. The fliers heralded the IED’s used by Iraqi insurgents as God’s wrath and the signs at the protest said “God Hates Fags”. The shouts and jeers from the protesters during the somber, deeply personal time of mourning were equally hateful and appalling. The church then followed up several weeks later with a diatribe posted to the internet in which they accuse Matthew’s parents of “raising [Matthew] for the devil” among other slanderous and despicable accusations. See more in this interview.

So disruptive were the actions of the Westboro group that Snyder’s father filed suit for invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion, intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”), and civil conspiracy. Courts awarded Snyder multiple millions of dollars but the judgment was overturned in the Fourth Circuit Court. Snyder is appealing to the United States Supreme Court.

In the mean time, the Baltimore Sun reports:

On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered that Albert Snyder of York, Pa., pay costs associated with Fred Phelps’ appeal. Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at the funeral of Snyder’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, in Westminster in 2006.

Lawyers for Snyder say the Court of Appeals has ordered him to pay $16,510.80 to Phelps for costs relating to the appeal, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.

They say that Snyder is also struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is utterly deplorable that a group granted the right to free speech would use that freedom to assault the families of those who protect it. Albert Snyder’s attorneys have taken his case without fee. The costs of filing with the Supreme Court as well as the judgment for Westboro’s legal fees, however, do not appear to be within Snyder’s financial means. If Westboro seeks to collect (and they will) Snyder’s wage can be attached to satisfy the court imposed debt.

If you are as outraged by this entire affair as I am, I strongly encourage you to contribute to Snyder’s legal fund.

Donations can be made here.

Matthew’s web site is here.

Checks payable to “Al Snyder Fund” can be mailed to:

Barley Snyder LLC
100 East Market Street
York, PA 17401

From the “Unbelievable But True” File:

In Humor on March 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm


Ricky Martin is no longer denying the rumors: He’s gay.

In a statement posted via Twitter in both Spanish and English, Martin said: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”

For many, Monday’s announcement will come as no surprise; the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” singer’s sexuality has been speculated about for years. But the Puerto Rican star, who got his start as a child in the teen group Menudo, never directly addressed it and was usually seen at events with beautiful women on his arm.

Confirmation of Ricky Martin’s sexual orientation was the last barrier to lasting world peace. Now the world can move on.

Tea Party Rally Draws Thousands In Support of Washington State AG

In health care, Tea Party on March 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Tea Party crowd gathers in Olympia in support of Attorney General Rob McKenna (photo: South Sound Tea Party)

Washington State Tea Parties, on two day’s notice, drew thousands to the capital building in Olympia on Saturday to show support for Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna. According to South Sound Tea Party, Washington State Patrol personnel on scene estimate attendance at two to three thousand. Speakers at the rally included Washington State Senators Mike Carrell and Val Stevens, state Representative Tom Campbell, Washington 3rd District candidate David Castillo as well as McKenna himself.

McKenna, a Republican, has joined a group of fourteen state attorney’s general filing suit over unconstitutional insurance mandates in the Obama health care law. Washington State’s Democrat governor, Christine Gregoire, and Democrat state legislators have expressed vehement opposition to McKenna’s decision and have vowed to fight the move by restricting McKenna’s budget. In an interview with Seattle’s King 5 News, Gregoire states that “He did not call and consult me, I don’t know who he represents. He does not represent me.”

Blogger It’s Only Words has a take on Gregoire’s “I don’t know who he represents” statement:

The staggering arrogance of that statement leaves me (nearly) speechless and I assure you, I am rarely at a loss for words. I am wondering why Gregoire feels that the job of the Attorney General is specifically to represent her personal interests?

Gregoire, having been elected to three terms as Washington State’s attorney general before running for governor in 2004, should have no confusion as to who the attorney general represents. It was during her less than illustrious tenure as AG that the people of Washington State lost over $40 million dollars in two separate lawsuits due to missed deadlines, botched jury instructions and mismanagement of her department.

CNN Reports ‘Dozens’ Attend Tea Party Rally in Searchlight, NV

In Media, Tea Party on March 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

Dozens, I tell ya!

"At least dozens" estimates CNN

The Other McCain has on the scene coverage:

What was my own estimate of the crowd size? Well, Bob Engstrom of Human Events had told me that the organizers had figured they could accommodate about 6,000 in the main area in front of the stage, while law enforcement was concerned that a crowd of 10,000 might completely overwhelm their traffic-control efforts.

Colbert I. King Has No Respect for Civil Rights Pioneers

In Racism, Tea Party on March 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school’s first black student, bravely tried to walk to class.

So begins Colbert I. King’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post. King continues to gather all the indignities suffered by civil rights pioneers, men and women who put their very lives on the line for their cause, into a giant spit-ball and hurls it at those protesting health care reform. The trouble with King’s association is that there is no real link. It is disappointing that King would abuse the righteous cause of the civil rights movement to serve his own petty political ends.

But… ad hominem attacks like King’s can be fun. Let’s play with them a little:

The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street outside of Coca-Cola’s corporate headquarters in 1985 as Bob Woodruff, the company’s CEO, bravely tried to walk to his office after announcing “New Coke”.

Or, how about:

The angry faces at the Copenhagen Climate Summit protests are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school’s first black student, bravely tried to walk to class.

Racially motivated Climate Change protesters

This one might work:

The angry faces at anti-free speech rallies in Canada are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school’s first black student, bravely tried to walk to class.

Students protest free speech in Canada

Oops! I guess that one doesn’t fit. But, maybe King’s analogy doesn’t fit so well, either:

Racist Tea Party protesters

Dan Riehl sums up King’s baseless playing of the race-card, which American Spectator calls “disgraceful“:

It is truly sad to see an allegedly free man squander so much of his life and thinking invested in so much racism, hate and non-existent victimization.

Fake “Tea Party Candidate” May Qualify For a Cabinet Position

In Senate, Tea Party on March 27, 2010 at 4:35 am

The Clark County, Nevada District Attorney’s office plans to seek an arrest warrant for Scott Ashjian, a candidate running for Harry Reid’s Senate seat from the freshly minted “Tea Party of Nevada”. Ashjian is accused of bouncing a $5000 business check last year.

Since February, other Tea Party groups have declared Tea Party of Nevada a liberal front group and a fake from its inception, even going so far as to say Tea Party of Nevada is a liberal ploy to siphon votes away from a Republican candidate. Twenty Nevada tea party groups have issued a joint statement denouncing Tea Party of Nevada (TPN) and rejecting the notion of a third party candidate:

-o The TPN is not a conservative party who speaks for grassroots and tea party activists in Nevada.
-o The TPN is not now, has never been, and will never be affiliated with grassroots efforts in Nevada.
-o The term “Tea Party Candidate” will no longer be used to indicate grassroots support for a candidate or candidates.
-o The TPN will not be invited to or allowed to represent themselves at conservative grassroots events and functions across Nevada.

In addition to the warrant for the bad check (a felony theft charge), Ashjian recently lost his contractor’s license for failing to appear before a disciplinary board in a matter of another bad check to a supplier. Mr. Ashjian has also faced foreclosure on more than a million dollars in home loans and, among other debts, reportedly owes the IRS $200,000.

A conviction on the felony theft charge will disqualify Ashjian from elected office but, combined with the rest of his reported transgressions, he’s a shoo-in as an Obama appointee. Perhaps he could serve as Obama’s “Opponent Marginalization” Czar.

H/T Dan Riehl

Does Nancy Pelosi Weigh More Than a Duck?

In Humor on March 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm


Pelosi witchcraft. It’s frightening.  Seriously, how do you think she managed to get health care through that chamber not once, but twice? She has supernatural powers to compensate for her, uh, beauty.

I don’t know whether or not Nancy Pelosi is a witch or whether it was witchcraft that she used to ram health care through the House. Apparently there’s a surefire way to tell. Scientific analysis and detailed instructions in the video: