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November 27, 2006

Representative Rangel, a fly in amber.

I deliberately unplugged this weekend. I needed to get stuff done, and spend some time with family. So, I left the laptop at home, didn't surf the 'net much, and certainly didn't watch an TV news.

So I missed the performance of one of those new fresh faces brimming with a new world-view and New Ideas who will be in charge next Congress.

Y'know, Representative Rangel. Who more than anything, seems to me to be a fly in amber, a preserved relic from a bygone day.

I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.

Damn you, SGT Hook! Here I thought you were quality. Turns out you're a schnook. And what about neuroscientist Prakash? Apparently he's a toad, too. Then there's professional football player Pat Tillman, he certainly had no prospects. Not to mention Dr. Holland had no prospects to speak of, either.

Hey, it's true for me. All I was gonna do was flip burgers if I hadn't joined the Army. That's why my other career choices were Policeman and Firefighter. I wasn't ever going to be an investment banker or a furniture salesman, nope. Don't have the wherewithal to do those jobs. And I so hate being over my head as a Beltway Bandit that I'm on the volunteered-for-recall roster so I can take a big pay cut and go play in the sandbox. Because I know I'm just a poser, and they only place I can succeed is if I get back in the tie-dyed clothing - which is much kewler now, anyway! Me who takes a month of weekends to do a two-day job... because of how bunged up I am from having been in for 20 years. Oh, I know, I'm just a stupid horse, running back into the burning barn, too dumb to know any better, right Representative Rangel? Thank heavens you aren't my Representative, sir - I'd have to write you a letter. Hmmmm. That said, it's probably time to write my new representative a letter and tell her the quickest way to get in my sights will be to talk like... Representative Rangel. So, Representative Boyda, what *are* your thoughts on the Honorable Mr. Rangel's characterization of military service?

To sum up, Uncle Jimbo sez it pretty well:

I guess it’s inconceivable to Chuck that there are actually people who can look at the world see the dangers we face and consciously choose to meet that threat so others don’t have to. He also repeats the repeatedly debunked BS about the poor brown kids dying so W and Cheney can make money. What a world class jackass. Enjoy your two years in the sun you sanctimonious, s**thead, You , Pelosi, Jackass Murtha, Freakin’ Lurch, Al Gore, Howard Dean, there is no way that cast of clowns doesn’t remind America that even though things have been tough, handing the keys to to a bunch of asylum inmates doesn’t make much sense either.

Sigh. New faces, new ideas. In 1969, mebbe. When we had a draft... as Mr. Rangel proposes.

Of course, Mr. Rangel proposes a draft because he knows it would make the services largely unable to be used for anything other than WWIII or Bosnia.

And, I would argue, they wouldn't be that good at WWIII kinds of things.

A fly in amber.

Discuss.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 27, 2006

November 16, 2006

Heh.

Given how some things seem to be sorting out... on both sides of the aisle, this seems to be appropriate for the times.

While walking down the street one day, a senator is tragically hit by a truck and killed. His soul arrives in Heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"There's no need! I want to be in Heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator, the doors open, and he rides the elevator down, down, down. When the doors open again, the senator finds himself in the middle of a beautiful green golf course. In the distance is a club, and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in formal dress. They run to greet him, and they reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. Also present is the Devil, who is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that, before the senator realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up, up, up, and the door reopens in Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

So 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by, and St. Peter
returns.
"Well, you've spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now, you must choose where you want to spend eternity."

He reflects for a minute and then answers, "Well, I would never would have thought it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better satisfied in Hell."

So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator, and down, down, down he goes into Hell. Now, the doors of the elevator open, and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. And it's hot, hot, hot, and the odor is just horrible. Sweltering hot. Hot and miserable. The Devil comes over to him and smoothly lays his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "The day before I was here, and there was a golf course and club, and we ate lobster and caviar and danced and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland full of garbage, and my friends look miserable."

The Devil looks at the senator, smiles, and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us."

H/t, Larry M.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 16, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

October 01, 2006

Argghhh!!!

Heh. If it turns out the Republicans *sat* on the Foley story, how does it spin any other way than they are desperate to hold on to their power, and that, at a minimum, should they actually manage to pull off retaining the House in November, that the leadership simply.must.change. I'm a squish in politics, unlike Dusty. And I'm not going to vote left to spite my face. But I find it increasingly hard to *support* this group of seeming buffoons. Sadly, the team that will take their place, from the Left, is full of its own horrors.

I wanna redo. And the Dems aren't a redo. I just want a whole new crowd. Top to bottom, soup to nuts. And yes, I know how impractical that would be. The Republic would survive it, however.

As I say for the Services, More.General.Officer.Scalps. Contrary to what the GO Corps thinks, tossing a few of their own to the wolves (when guilty of malfeasance and misprision, mind you, not just for sport), rather than just quietly retiring them - would *enhance* confidence, not undermine it. The same is true in politics. More scalps, not less. And the voters, on both sides, aren't very good at it, either - though right wing voters seem more able to toss their own than left wing. Of course, it's easier to toss the bums out when there are viable alternatives. I dunno. I'm getting to the point where I simply will vote against any incumbent who wants a fourth term - three for Senators. Federal, State, and local, and if they win the primary anyway, withhold my vote for the office in the General. These bastards, on both sides, are starting to wear my patience thin. If turnover is good for things like Boards of Directors, how can it not also be good for politicians?

Locally, Representative Ryun's operation is beginning to torque me - not because I don't get personalized responses and attention - I'm well aware I don't donate enough, nor have a big enough voice in Kansas to warrant that attention - but if all I'm going to get are boilerplate responses based on general subject, vice specific question or issue - and those weeks after the fact - I'm obviously represented by someone who either manages his staff badly, or who feels his seat is so safe he can just blow us off.

I find it interesting that I see signs, placards, and ads for his opponent, Nancy Boyda, all around (not huge numbers, but noticeable) and I don't see a single thing for Ryun. Boyda showed up for our local parade recently, Ryun did not (mind you - he does have the job, and I want him to do it, and we're a small population and apparently very safe part of his district) - but Ryun's almost complete lack of effort is telling, I think.

I'd like to see him get a real challenge in a primary.

Senators Roberts and Brownback on the other hand, have their staffs respond to questions and comments quickly, and with targeted responses (they may also be boilerplate, but are *far* more focused) and with words added that indicate the comment was in fact read, and not just scanned for General Topic. I appreciate that level of response. I don't expect phone calls and emails from the Big Kahunas themselves. But I expect some sense of them actually being read for comprehension by *someone*. I do not have that feeling from Ryun's office.

Sigh. Sadly, I judge this whole political thing more about what *doesn't* happen to me than what actually gets done. The one thing about having the Republicans in putative control means that I keep more of my money (vice when the Dems take control, when they allow me to keep some of *their* money - a telling difference in approach), the gun collection still exists, because I don't doubt that if the Dems ever get both houses and the presidency, the Arsenal of Argghhh! will be little more than a digital memory...

Geez, I'm whiny today.

Update: The Speaker's Office responds (no, I have *no* delusions it was my whining, thank you).

From: Speaker's Media Release
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2006 5:36 PM
Subject: INTERNAL REVIEW OF CONTACTS WITH THE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER REGARDING THE CONGRESSMAN MARK FOLEY MATTER

Speaker’s Press Office

United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: 202-225-2800

September 30, 2006 Ron Bonjean or Lisa C. Miller

INTERNAL REVIEW OF CONTACTS WITH THE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER REGARDING THE CONGRESSMAN MARK FOLEY MATTER

On Friday, September 29, the Speaker directed his Chief of Staff and Outside Counsel to conduct an internal review to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding contact with the Office of the Speaker regarding the Congressman Mark Foley matter. The following is their preliminary report.

Email Exchange Between Congressman Foley and a Constituent of Congressman Alexander

In the fall of 2005 Tim Kennedy, a staff assistant in the Speaker’s Office, received a telephone call from Congressman Rodney Alexander’s Chief of Staff who indicated that he had an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House page. He did not reveal the specific text of the email but expressed that he and Congressman Alexander were concerned about it.

Tim Kennedy immediately discussed the matter with his supervisor, Mike Stokke, Speaker Hastert’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Stokke directed Kennedy to ask Ted Van Der Meid, the Speaker’s in house Counsel, who the proper person was for Congressman Alexander to report a problem related to a former page. Ted Van Der Meid told Kennedy it was the Clerk of the House who should be notified as the responsible House Officer for the page program. Later that day Stokke met with Congressman Alexander’s Chief of Staff. Once again the specific content of the email was not discussed. Stokke called the Clerk and asked him to come to the Speaker’s Office so that he could put him together with Congressman Alexander’s Chief of Staff. The Clerk and Congressman Alexander’s Chief of Staff then went to the Clerk’s Office to discuss the matter.

The Clerk asked to see the text of the email. Congressman Alexander’s office declined citing the fact that the family wished to maintain as much privacy as possible and simply wanted the contact to stop. The Clerk asked if the email exchange was of a sexual nature and was assured it was not. Congressman Alexander’s Chief of Staff characterized the email exchange as over-friendly.

The Clerk then contacted Congressman Shimkus, the Chairman of the Page Board to request an immediate meeting. It appears he also notified Van Der Meid that he had received the complaint and was taking action. This is entirely consistent with what he would normally expect to occur as he was the Speaker’s Office liaison with the Clerk’s Office.

The Clerk and Congressman Shimkus met and then immediately met with Foley to discuss the matter. They asked Foley about the email. Congressman Shimkus and the Clerk made it clear that to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and at the request of the parents, Congressman Foley was to immediately cease any communication with the young man.

The Clerk recalls that later that day he encountered Van Der Meid on the House floor and reported to him that he and Shimkus personally had spoken to Foley and had taken corrective action.

Mindful of the sensitivity to the parent’s wishes to protect their child’s privacy and believing that they had promptly reported what they knew to the proper authorities Kennedy, Van Der Meid and Stokke did not discuss the matter with others in the Speaker’s Office.

Congressman Tom Reynolds in a statement issued today indicates that many months later, in the spring of 2006, he was approached by Congressman Alexander who mentioned the Foley issue from the previous fall. During a meeting with the Speaker he says he noted the issue which had been raised by Alexander and told the Speaker that an investigation was conducted by the Clerk of the House and Shimkus. While the Speaker does not explicitly recall this conversation, he has no reason to dispute Congressman Reynold’s recollection that he reported to him on the problem and its resolution.

Sexually Explicit Instant Message Transcript

No one in the Speaker’s Office was made aware of the sexually explicit text messages which press reports suggest had been directed to another individual until they were revealed in the press and on the internet this week. In fact, no one was ever made aware of any sexually explicit email or text messages at any time.

Mark Levin discusses the political side of it all, with backup from The American Thinker.

Note to J: I don't have to be balanced about this. The MSM is all over the other side of it - and I've made my feelings clear, as well, so I can be a mouthpiece for the other side on this one without a twinge of guilt.

by John on Oct 01, 2006

August 22, 2006

Argghhh!~

Okay, lemme see if I've got this straight, ladies and gentlemen. I'll add my voice to that of Cassandra and Grim. Fuzzlicious Thinking and Blackfive pile on, too.

From Military.com, quoting USA Today:

According to USA Today, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury center, which is devoted to the treatment and understanding of war-related brain injuries, is set to lose half its funding, from $14 million down to $7 million, next year. The House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain only half of the funding the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center received last year. "Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee told the paper. "They didn't have any flexibility in such a tight fiscal year." Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is becoming one of the most common injuries among soldiers fighting in Iraq. Research by the center has concluded that ten percent of troops in Iraq suffer concussions during combat.

Heh.

"Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee told the paper.

Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally?

That would be the same bleeping Senate Appropriations Committee that didn't have any trouble finding $160 Million for the VA so that the VA could pay for a service - credit monitoring - that victims of identity theft can, with a touch of a telephone keypad, get for free?

Lessee, $160 mil, minus $7 mil, equals (takes off shoes) um, $153 mil.

Y'know, it just TORQUES ME RIGHT OFF that the Honorables of this Committee could rummage about and find $160 mil for an unneeded service to cover an embarrassing faux pas by an agency of this government, but, well, there just isn't $7 mil to continue funding research into what is the Signature Injury Of This War.

Gee, Honorables, our soldiery and the medical personnel who serve them are sorry that we are surviving injuries that used to kill us - so that these injuries weren't as, um, noticeable as they are now. We beg your indulgence.

One wonders how someone can say something that bloody insensitive and bleeping ignorant with a straight face and not have their head implode? I had to stick my head in the Armorer's Helmet to keep it from exploding...

Oh, I forgot. They really do think we're simpletons with short memory spans.

Thank heavens for Google!

Note to the Kansas Congressional Delegation... I'm a medium fish in a small pond - but Kansas is a small pond too. I'll be watching this one, and I will be *very* interested in your staff's responses to my inquiries on the subject. Especially Senator Brownback, as you sit on the Senate appropriations committee in question. But I'll be interested in Senator Robert's views, as you sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Ryun, as you sit on the House Armed Services Committee.

C'mon Senator Brownback, Congressman Ryun - you both have "Support Our Troops" banners on your websites, there isn't 7 million where once there was 160 million?

I do my bit of taking care of the wounded - via Project Valour-IT. Let's hear what you gentlemen have to say.

Updates to the story:

The Washington Times gets the run-around - maybe not deliberately, but it's *still* a run-around. I'd love to hear what DoD has to say on the issue.

A letter to the Editor from a founder of the centers, Dr. George Zitnay (you'll have to scroll a bit).

And last, but not least... so, it's all wrapped up in Senatorial Snits? Really? Sigh.

And golly, I provoked a decent exchange in The Corner today! Whee!

by John on Aug 22, 2006
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January 10, 2006

The Weblog Gulag

"Annoying" someone online--anonymously--is now a felony. Can you say, "First Amendment Rights"...?

Nonetheless, you have been warned.

Sooo, if you want to rant about your boss groping you at the Holiday Eve party and you want to do it anonymously (so you don't wind up fired--which will work only if there were additional gropees), you *could* wind up arrested.

Best bet--follow my lead. Be annoying openly...

by CW4BillT on Jan 10, 2006

November 15, 2005

"Hitting the opponent in the fist with your mouth..."

Hugh Hewitt has the latest on the breaking of our will by the forces of Islamofacism.

...and I thought the Democrats were the problem...

It took the North Vietnamese more than 10 years to break our political will. Bin Laden and al Zarqawi did it in three. I wonder how Hillary will look in a burka (don't answer that).

Let's hear it for the forces of darkness.

Anyone know the plural for "Putz?"

by Dusty on Nov 15, 2005