Live Free or Die! (When the Right Guy Is President)

I’m thrilled so many of you are causing a commotion over the creepy, occasionally amorous and always intrusive policies of the Transportation Security Administration. It’s about time. All this nonsense about our patriotic duty to surrender the Fourth Amendment to (illusory) safety deserves all the scorn Americans can muster.

But setting aside the indignities of flying, this debate also helpfully illustrates the hypocrisy of partisans.

Not so long ago, the left positioned itself as the defender of innocents against the Bush administration’s war on terror, which was “just one tiny step away from fascism.” The Constitution was sacred, especially when we faced danger — and even more especially when a Republican was president.

It was not long ago that Democrats were regularly quoting Thomas Jefferson, who never actually said that “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” (Every nanny-state initiative in existence exempted, of course.)

Yet today, left-wing pundits, typified by syndicated liberal columnist Ruth Marcus, implore Americans to grow up, become better automatons, get moving and submit. The admired liberal columnist Michael Kinsley first offers us tales of TSA kindheartedness and then tells us the same.

Many left-wing publications that cautioned us against George W. Bush’s ham-fisted intrusions now defend Barack Obama’s ham-fisted intrusions.

We all remember when Democrats passed the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act (with bipartisan support) to ensure that travelers have a right to, among other things, sit in a plane with a “comfortable cabin temperature.” Well, how about the right not to have a stranger prying into your granddad’s testicular area? Or how about making sure that the actual Bill of Rights is afforded at least the same deference as the bill of rights for passengers?

At least read the old guy his Miranda warning before confiscating his denture cream and bottle of water. Even real terrorists are given that much.

Read more here.

British Teen Arrested for Burning Koran, ‘Inciting Religious Hatred’

A teenage girl has been arrested for allegedly “inciting religious hatred” after burning a copy of the Quran and posting the video on Facebook.

According to the Daily Mail, the 15-year-old girl was filmed two weeks ago burning the Islamic religious book at school and has been released on bail. According to local police, the video was reported to the school and has since been removed from Facebook.

Just two and a half months ago, six men filmed themselves setting fire to the Muslim holy book behind a local pub. The self-described British nationalists said the Quran burning was retribution for all those who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Read more here.

To those Christians who still have their heads, Merry CHRISTmas!

Obama roughed up trying to play basketball

President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday with a group of family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement that Obama was inadvertently struck by an elbow. The elbow’s owner wasn’t identified.

Obama received the stitches under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office on the ground floor White House after he returned home.

The president had traveled to nearby Fort McNair to indulge in one of his favorite athletic pursuits, basketball. It was a five-on-five contest involving family and friends and including Reggie Love, Obama’s personal assistant who played at Duke University.

Obama emerged from the building after about 90 minutes of play, wearing short-sleeve T-shirt and gym pants, and was seen dabbing at his mouth with what appeared to be a wad of gauze. A few hours later, reporters who had gathered on the White House driveway for the arrival of the Christmas Tree saw the president in an upstairs window, pressing something white against his mouth.

“After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player’s elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the president received 12 stitches today administered by the White House Medical Unit,” Gibbs said.

Mr. Smut goes to Washington

While November’s election brought a tsunami of change to Michigan policies, some incumbents are untouchable. So untouchable, apparently, that they openly read girlie magazines on their trips to and from Washington. Detroit Congressman John Conyers was caught on camera in a late July flight to DC this summer ogling a Playboy magazine.

The video and pictures – first posted by ex-Detroit News reporter and New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie LeDuff on his Facebook page – were taken by an anonymous passenger seated in the same row as the 81-year old congressman. Conyers – in his aisle seat – is shown flipping though pages showing two nude gal pals in the August issue of Playboy. And he also apparently reads Hefner’s product for the articles! He appears to linger on an article titled “La Chatte” by Maureen Gibbon.

Of course, Mr. Conyers is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, so it is entirely possible he is preparing for a committee hearing on the legal definition of pornography. Or perhaps he is studying new TSA pat-down procedures for female passengers.

Whatever the case, the congressman doesn’t seem bashful about sharing his reading habits with nearby passengers and passing flight attendants.

From The Detroit News.

King: Pigford settlement boils down to ‘paying people for their skin color’

Americans should be outraged that the Senate approved $1.15 billion to resolve racial bias claims brought by black farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, since it sends the message that “if you’re a minority, you deserve a check from the government,” U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Monday.

The money in question was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and sent it to the House, which has passed similar legislation twice before. The black farmers’ case is an outgrowth of Pigford v. Glickman, a federal class-action lawsuit originally settled in 1999. The farmers alleged that the USDA had violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Administrative Procedure Act by maintaining a pattern and practice of discrimination against African American farmers. Such pattern and practice delayed, denied, or otherwise frustrated the efforts of African American farmers to obtain loan assistance and to engage in the vocation of farming.

The Obama administration agreed in February to provide a second round of damages to people who were denied earlier payment because they had missed the deadlines for filing. The person who pushed to allow more black farmers to join the case and for more money to be set aside for settlements was Iowa’s own U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. In a February press release, Grassley noted that “many people were shut out of the process.”

King said in an interview with WHO-AM’s Jan Mickelson that his hope is to find ways to defund the settlement when Republicans take over Congress in January, “ but it’s looking difficult now.” The bill is expected to pass the House before Thanksgiving.

“This lame-duck session is going to be characterized by the spitefulness of the left as they go out the door flailing away at the American taxpayers and the workers of America, and driving wedges between people in this country, identified a lot by skin color and race,” King said.

Read more here.

Taxpayers have become the servants in Montgomery County

After a decade-long bender, economic reality has finally forced Montgomery County officials to confront the damage caused by their irresponsible spending. It’s not a pretty sight.

A sobering report released by the county’s Office of Legislative Oversight revealed that personnel costs increased 64 percent during the past 10 years. Compensation for Montgomery County employees now consumes 82 percent of all tax-supported spending in the county’s $4.2 billion budget. And for every tax dollar the county spends on bloated salaries, it spends another 52 cents on benefits for those same employees. This is even more than the 51 cents the federal government spends on benefits for its employees — and twice as much as is typically spent in the private sector.

For 10 years, county employees’ compensation outpaced inflation and population growth by 20 percent. Most of the higher pay and benefits went to the public school system, which gobbles up more than half of all county revenue and employs two-thirds of its total work force.

Read more here.

NJ Congressman Fires Aide Over Child Sex Solicitation Charges

A New Jersey congressman has fired his chief of staff — a former Obama aide — after the aide was arrested in Maryland on a charge of soliciting sex from a minor.

Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman took the action after learning that top aide Robert Decheine was among 11 people snared in a Gaithersburg, Md., police sting. Police placed ads on a website and an undercover officer communicated with customers through phone and text messages.

Police said the 48-year-old was arrested on Nov. 17 after soliciting to have sex with an underage girl. Decheine was released on $15,000 bail. Eleven arrests were made during the operation, which came in phases. First, ads were placed online and an undercover officer began communicating with each “John,” according to the Website TMP.

The Record newspaper reports Rothman’s office issued a statement saying the New Jersey Democrat considers the alleged criminal act “to be shocking, appalling and indefensible.”

Decheine told the newspaper in an e-mail message he had no comment. Decheine was a senior advisor to the Obama campaign in 2008, according to PolitickerNJ. He previously served as chief of staff to Rep. Bill Luther (D-MN).

Decheine has run Rothmans Washington and New Jersey offices since May 2003.

NKorea warns region is on brink of war

North Korea warned Friday that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war, and appeared to launch its own artillery drills within sight of an island it showered with a deadly barrage this week.

The fresh artillery blasts were especially defiant because they came as the U.S. commander in South Korea, Gen. Walter Sharp, toured the South Korean island to survey damage from Tuesday’s hail of North Korean artillery fire that killed four people.

None of the latest rounds hit the South’s territory, and U.S. military officials said Sharp did not even hear the concussions, though residents on other parts of the island panicked and ran back to the air raid shelters where they huddled earlier in the week as white smoke rose from North Korean territory.

Tensions have soared between the Koreas since the North’s strike Tuesday destroyed large parts of this island, killing two civilians as well as two marines in a major escalation of their sporadic skirmishes along the sea border.

The attack – eight months after a torpedo sank a South Korean warship further west, killing 46 sailors – has also laid bare weaknesses in South Korea’s defense 60 years after the Korean War. The skirmish forced South Korea’s beleaguered defense minister to resign Thursday, and President Lee Myung-bak on Friday named a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the post.

Read more here.

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