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What they call confidence, I call hubris. What they call happiness, I call slavery. How about you?

Recently, I have been confronted by folks accusing Your Humble Narrator of being "too negative". These words have come at me from...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, March 09, 2012

Guess which party wants us to be dependent on unreliable foreign oil.

That's an easy one.

From Roto-Reuters via Yahoo! News:

Democrats block Keystone oil pipeline bill in Senate

Senate Democrats on Thursday defeated a Republican proposal to give a permit to the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in a vote that will give Republicans more ammunition to criticize President Barack Obama's energy policies on the campaign trail.

Republicans argue the pipeline, which would ship oil from Canada and northern states to Texas, would create jobs and improve energy security at a time of surging gasoline prices.

Obama put TransCanada's $7 billion project on hold earlier this year pending further environmental review. He took the unusual step of calling some senators personally ahead of the vote, asking them to reject the proposal.

"He understood that a majority of the American public, a majority at least in the Senate, are strongly in favor of this project," said Senator Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, who sponsored the bill to take control of the pipeline decision away from Obama.

The Republicans tried to advance their plan as an amendment to a highway funding bill. It failed on a vote of 56-42, four short of the 60 needed to pass, although 11 Democratic senators voted with the Republicans.

Republicans are using the proposal to highlight Obama's delay of the project ahead of November presidential and congressional elections, linking his decision to rising gasoline prices.

"We're going to continue this fight," said Republican Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, who championed the bill.

He told reporters he hoped the measure might still be attached to the highway funding package when the Senate and House of Representatives work on a final version.

"With gas prices going up every day, with what's going on in the Middle East, I'll tell you what: the pressure is just going to increase on the administration to get this project done," Hoeven said.

Obama has supported construction of the southern leg of the pipeline, and his administration will assess a new route around an environmentally sensitive area of Nebraska once it has been identified, said White House spokesman Clark Stevens.

"Once again, Republicans are trying to play politics with a pipeline project whose route has yet to be proposed," Stevens said. The entire project will take more than two years to build once permits are granted.

GREEN GROUP: 'TEMPORARY VICTORY'

The Keystone amendment was among 30 measures - many of them energy-related - being voted on as the Senate pushes in coming days to renew funding for highways and other infrastructure projects, slated to run out at the end of March.

Earlier, the Senate defeated proposals to expand the area available for offshore oil drilling and extend the time for manufacturers to phase in new pollution regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency for industrial boilers.

But the Keystone amendment attracted the most attention. The pipeline would carry crude from Canadian oil sands to Texas refineries and would also pick up U.S. crude from North Dakota and Montana along the way.

Environmental groups have fought the project, staging large protests last year that pressured the Obama administration to block approval.

"Today's vote was a temporary victory and there's no guarantee that it holds for the long run," Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, said in a statement.

"We're grateful to the administration for denying the permit and for Senate leadership for holding the line."

With a 34-64 vote, senators also defeated a proposal from Democratic Senator Ron Wyden that would have blocked exports of oil from the pipeline, as well as refined products made from that oil.

Wyden said lawmakers need to carefully think through projects that would increase exports of oil, fuel and natural gas, lest the exports end up boosting prices for Americans.

"This is just a step in what is clearly going to be an extensive debate," Wyden told Reuters after the vote.

Democratic senators who voted for the Republican Keystone plan included Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jim Webb of Virginia.

As election day approaches, Senator Patrimony of PA pretends to be less of a criminal.

Two Republican senators were absent, and all the 45 who were present voted for the amendment.

Crazy from the heat...

...or, Hey President Tong, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn your countrymen would love.

From AP via Yahoo! News:

Entire country may pick up and move

Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji.

Kiribati President Anote Tong told The Associated Press on Friday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati's entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave.

"We would hope not to put everyone on one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it," Tong said. "It wouldn't be for me, personally, but would apply more to a younger generation. For them, moving won't be a matter of choice. It's basically going to be a matter of survival."

Kiribati, which straddles the equator near the international date line, has found itself at the leading edge of the debate on climate change because many of its atolls rise just a few feet above sea level.

Tong said some villages have already moved and there have been increasing instances of sea water contaminating the island's underground fresh water, which remains vital for trees and crops. He said changing rainfall, tidal and storm patterns pose as least as much threat as ocean levels, which so far have risen only slightly.

Some scientists have estimated the current level of sea rise in the Pacific at about 2 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year. Many scientists expect that rate to accelerate due to climate change.

Fiji, home to about 850,000 people, is about 1,400 miles south of Kiribati. But just what people there think about potentially providing a home for thousands of their neighbors remains unclear. Tong said he's awaiting full parliamentary approval for the land purchase, which he expects in April, before discussing the plan formally with Fijian officials.

Sharon Smith-Johns, a spokeswoman for the Fijian government, said several agencies are studying Kiribati's plans and the government will release a formal statement next week.

Kiribati, which was known as the Gilbert Islands when it was a British colony, has been an independent nation since 1979.

Tong has been considering other unusual options to combat climate change, including shoring up some Kiribati islands with sea walls and even building a floating island. He said this week that the latter option would likely prove too expensive, but that he hopes reinforcing some islands will ensure that Kiribati continues to exist in some form even in a worst-case scenario.

"We're trying to secure the future of our people," he said. "The international community needs to be addressing this problem more."

Tong said he hopes that the Fiji land will represent just one of several options for relocating people. He pointed out that the land is three times larger than the atoll of Tarawa, currently home to more than half of Kiribati's population.

Although like much of the Pacific, Kiribati is poor — its annual GDP per person is just $1,600 — Tong said the country has plenty of foreign reserves to draw from for the land purchase. The money, he said, comes from phosphate mining on the archipelago in the 1970s.

Golly, who knew having three "wives" could be trouble?

Don't cry for Onana Porn Laden. He got to lead the Playboy lifestyle.

From AFP via Yahoo! News:

Did jealous wife and deputy betray bin Laden?

Osama bin Laden spent his last days sidelined by Al-Qaeda and slipping into dementia, possibly betrayed to the Americans by a jealous wife and his own deputy, a Pakistani investigator says.

Retired brigadier Shaukat Qadir says he spent eight months investigating the Al-Qaeda chief's life in Pakistan, using his army connections to visit the villa where he lived and died, and securing access to confidential documents.

He says he spoke to Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents who interrogated bin Laden's wives and saw their interview transcripts, all thanks to a close relationship with Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani.

He has no evidence, but offers a tantalising image of a frail man resigned to death and betrayed through one of his wives in an Al-Qaeda plot -- which if true would shed new light on the demise of the world's most-wanted man.

"Al-Qaeda decided to retire him in 2003. He was going mentally senile. From 2001, he had some kind of degenerative disease and was coming up with fantasies," Qadir said.

That sounds like Bill Gates.

He says his theories are his alone, but admits he may have been manipulated by the army and acknowledges that his account suits the ISI, which is still fending off suspicions of incompetence or complicity in sheltering bin Laden.

Say it ain't so, Ahmed!

Pakistan was humiliated by the covert American operation that killed the Al-Qaeda leader in the early hours of May 2, practically on the doorstep of the country's elite military academy in Abbottabad where he lived for five years.

Bulldozers moved in to demolish the compound under the cover of darkness on February 25, which observers took as a sign that Pakistani authorities want to consign the physical evidence of their embarrassment to oblivion.

Qadir says his investigation took him to the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border, Al-Qaeda's chief sanctuary for the past 10 years, where he served during his time in the army before his retirement in 1998.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor often considered the real brains behind Al-Qaeda, "got fed up and decided to sideline" bin Laden when the leader started losing his mental faculties after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Qadir says bin Laden moved frequently between hiding places in northwest Pakistan before Al-Qaeda decided Abbottabad was the perfect spot and built a home shielded by a towering wall for him, two of his wives and their children.

Bin Laden moved into a bedroom on the third floor with his youngest and reputedly favourite wife, Amal Abdulfattah, the Yemeni he married in 1999 and who gave birth to two children in Abbottabad.

For years, Qadir believes, the family got on well, but things changed in March 2011 when bin Laden's older Saudi wife, Khairia, suddenly turned up for the first time since the family was separated in late 2001.

At that time, she had fled Afghanistan into Iran, rather than into Pakistan with the rest of the family.

Qadir says the Iranians released her in late 2010 and she returned to her husband, but first, spent several months in an Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

Two months after she arrived, the Americans raided the house. Qadir is convinced that Khairia betrayed her husband.

"Everything began to happen when Khairia arrived," he said. "Everybody had a problem with her. Before, the two other wives were living comfortably."

Old chicks just don't understand guys who are world historical figures. They just gotta have some young strange to continue being great men. Just ask King Goober II.

Bin Laden's grown-up son, Khalid, born to another Saudi wife, was also suspicious, Qadir said.

"He kept on asking her 'why have you come? What do you want from him?' She just responded 'I have one more duty to perform for my husband'.

"Khalid told his dad: 'I suspect she's going to betray you.' Bin Laden answered 'so be it'."

Bin Laden tried to persuade the other wives to leave for their own safety, but they refused, Qadir said.

The United States says it was tipped off much earlier by an Al-Qaeda courier. But Qadir contradicts that, stating that Zawahiri may have used Khairia as bait for the Americans.

The Americans managed to intercept one of Khairia's phone calls, leading them to believe bin Laden was in the compound, he thinks, adding that Bin Laden's long-serving Egyptian deputy was consumed by personal ambition.

Washington's other newspaper can't even line a birdcage right.

At the Washington Post, history ends in 1964

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza is a smart guy, so when he misfires as badly as he did in his March 5, 2012 column, “In GOP circles, some wonder whether the party needs to lose big to eventually win [1]” one can’t help but wonder whether if inside the liberal bubble of The Post’s newsroom, history has died, or if Cillizza intentionally chose to ignore the facts in order to manage a result – namely the nomination of moderate establishment Republican Mitt Romney.

Cillizza’s premise in the column is that when Republicans nationalize presidential campaigns and run as conservatives they are foreordained to lose -- because in 1964, Barry Goldwater ran as a conservative and lost.

The support for this argument seems to be the self-serving comment of an unnamed establishment Republican figure who warns against nominating a strictly conservative candidate (like former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum), and the assumption on Cillizza’s part that Goldwater’s opponent at the 1964 Republican convention -- New York’s liberal Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller -- would have done better against Lyndon Johnson in the ’64 general election.

Neither of those points is borne out by Republican success or failure in campaigns since 1964 or the dynamics of the present campaign.

As I pointed out in a recent column, since 1964, social conservatism has a winning track record for the GOP.

Just as a reminder to the history challenged writers at The Washington Post, as conservative writer and former Reagan official Jeffery Bell noted, social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964. The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period. When social issues came into the mix (starting with the 1968 election), the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.

Cillizza’s claim that Republicans showed they learned their lesson and “nominated establishment favorite and political pragmatist Richard Nixon” in 1968 flies in the face of history and Nixon’s central campaign theme (that he represented the “silent majority” of socially conservative Americans of whatever economic circumstance).

Far from running as an establishment-type Republican in the 1968 campaign, Nixon praised the “forgotten Americans, the nonshouters, the nondemonstrators” [2] -- hard-working, tax-paying Americans whose values were under siege by antiwar protesters, urban rioters, criminals and antipoverty liberals.”

Even more egregiously, Cillizza ignores the two victories of Ronald Reagan (the first against determined establishment Republican resistance in the primaries) that proved the viability of establishing a conservative governing majority in this country.

But one need not go back to Reagan to find elections that show the faults in Cillizza's logic. In 1994, the GOP took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, campaigning as conservatives opposed to Bill Clinton's big government policies.

And more recently, the 2010 “Tea Party election” was run on a platform of small government constitutional conservatism--the core principles of the Tea Party and modern movement conservatives.

That election saw Republicans running on a conservative agenda gaining 63 seats in the House (the largest turnover of the House since 1948) and six seats in the United States Senate. Perhaps even more importantly, a stunning 721 seats in the various state legislatures shifted into Republican hands, the largest turnover in U.S. history, granting Republicans control of 25 of this country's legislatures (compared to the 15 controlled by Democrats, and the remaining being split). After the 2010 Tea Party election, Republicans also held 29 governors' mansions [3].

As one might expect, the column also ignores the abject failures of establishment Republican candidates for president (such as Jerry Ford, Bob Dole and John McCain) to win election by uniting the mythical centrist coalition that Cillizza believes decides elections in response to content-free campaigns.

In the present campaign, the candidates have all striven to sell the public on their conservative bona fides. Mitt Romney struggles to close the deal with Republican primary voters this cycle because of his record as a moderate Governor of Massachusetts, not because he is too conservative. If the appeal of moderate establishment Republicans (like Mitt Romney) is so compelling, why the struggle to remake Romney into a conservative?

As I have noted many times, contrary to Chris Cillizza’s revisionist view of history and the wishful thinking of establishment Republicans, history proves that when Republicans run content-free establishment campaigns they lose. When they nationalize the election and run on the conservative agenda, they win.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

"Le Magnifique" is immortalized in bronze...

...along with two helpless Islander defenders.


Cry "Freedom!" Rick Santorum for President!

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Rick Santorum: Elect The True Conservative


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Corollary A of Fyodor's Rule # 7: Our destinies are not determined.

Nate Silver of the Old Gray Whore takes quite a while to paraphrase Yogi Berras's "It ain't over 'til it's over".

...the delegate count is what matters in the end.

Although there is some truth in this position, I am reluctant to embrace it fully. The reason is that the G.O.P.’s delegate-selection rules are exceptionally complicated and ambiguous. Many delegates could go to the convention in Tampa either loosely pledged or entirely unbound to any of the candidates.

That means there will be some wiggle room in the math. Doing things like winning key states, leading in the aggregate popular vote, leading in national polls and appearing to have the momentum at the end of the process may influence the behavior of these unbound delegates. If a candidate can make a credible claim to having a mandate from the voters, they might line up behind him. If his claim is poor, they could block his nomination.

There are 2,286 delegates to the Republican National Convention, of which 1,144 are required to clinch a majority. The Web site TheGreenPapers.com, which has extensive information on delegate-selection procedures in each state, divides them into two broad categories, what it calls “hard” and “soft.” Hard delegates are formally bound to a candidate on at least the first ballot at the convention, while soft delegates are not.

Although this is a useful conceptual framework, it probably simplifies things too much. Instead, Republican delegates exist along something of a spectrum between bound and unbound, pledged and unpledged, hard and soft.

Contributing to the confusion is that there are a series of three interrelated ideas about delegates which are often treated as interchangeable, even though they are not:

  • Bound vs. Unbound Delegates. Is the delegate officially bound to a particular candidate on at least the first ballot at the convention?
  • Pledged vs. Unpledged Delegates. Whether or not she is formally bound to a candidate, will the delegate’s candidate preference be known in advance of the convention and reported upon by the news media?
  • Elected vs. Selected Delegates. Was the delegate selected through some relatively direct means, such as based on the popular vote in the state’s primary? Or through some indirect means, like through the series of conventions that often take place in caucus states, and which may not correspond to the popular vote there?
  • There are delegates who will go to the convention technically unbound, but who will have pledged their support to a candidate and can probably be counted upon to vote for them. There are delegates who are selected through a complex, multistep caucus process that may bear little resemblance to the popular vote in those states, but who are formally bound to a candidate once that process has taken place.

    The following represents an effort to sort the delegates into about a half-dozen categories. One could easily pick more categories or fewer. There are a number of states whose rules are ambiguous enough to qualify as borderline cases, and which could be placed into a different category than the one I have chosen. But this ought to give you some basic sense of how the math works.

    Super Delegates

    There are 126 delegates, about 6 percent of the total, who are complete free agents. These are party leaders and elected officials, three per state or territory, who will go to the convention unbound to any candidate. Formally, these are known as “automatic delegates”; the more common term is “super delegates.” A few states do bind their super delegates to the winner of the primary or caucus, but most do not.

    Even though they are officially unbound, however, some of these delegates will indicate a candidate preference in advance of the convention. Some already have, in fact: 18 have said that they prefer Mitt Romney, while the other candidates have just 5 super delegates among them. However, these preferences are subject to change at any time.

    Unbound Delegates Chosen through Party Conventions or Committees

    In addition to the super delegates, there are 84 delegates who will be selected at state conventions, or appointed by a committee of Republican officials in the state, with no direct or indirect relationship to the popular vote in these states. States like Pennsylvania, Illinois and Louisiana select some of their delegates trough this method, for instance, even though they also pick some through their primaries.

    Like the super delegates, these 84 delegates are officially unbound. However, influential Republicans within each state will have some say about just who they are and about which candidate they are most likely to prefer.

    Unbound Delegates Chosen through Caucuses

    I distinguish this group of 84 delegates from another, larger group of 188 who are picked through a caucus process but are officially unbound to any candidate. In addition to being unbound, these delegates are usually also picked in a way that is separate from the straw poll or popular vote that is held in each state.

    All 28 of Iowa’s delegates, for instance, fall into this category. When the state held its caucuses in January, voters there held a straw poll to indicate their presidential preference; these are the results that were widely reported on in the news media and that eventually showed Rick Santorum winning a small victory. Caucus-goers took a separate vote, however, on which delegates should be appointed to county conventions that the state will hold in March. These county conventions will then pick delegates to district conventions, who will then pick delegates to the state convention, who will in turn appoint delegates to the Republican National Convention.

    As confusing as this sounds, this process is fairly typical in most Republican caucus states. There are only a couple of exceptions, like Nevada and Idaho, where delegate selection is directly related to the presidential preference vote at the caucuses.

    Although the delegates in this group are officially unbound, most can be expected to be supporters of one of the candidates. Delegates who are known to be favorably disposed toward Ron Paul, for instance, are more likely to be voted for by caucus-goers who like Mr. Paul.

    Still, the eventual delegate allocation will not always match the straw poll results in the state. For example, if one candidate’s supporters tend to stick around for the delegate-selection part of the caucus, while the rest take off after casting their straw-poll vote, that candidate could benefit. In Maine, for instance, it looks like Mr. Paul may get the plurality of delegates even though he narrowly lost the state’s straw poll.

    Unbound Delegates Chosen through “Loophole” Primaries

    Three large states, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, conduct so-called “loophole” primaries, in which voters at the primary cast one ballot for their presidential preference and another for a slate of delegates who are known to be supporters of one or another candidate. In essence, this mirrors the process in caucus states like Iowa, where there is a beauty contest vote for presidential preference coupled with a separate vote for delegate allocation.

    Most of the delegates in these states are chosen at the Congressional district level. Sometimes candidates, like Rick Santorum in three districts in Ohio, may fail to post a full delegate slate in those districts, costing themselves the opportunity to win delegates even if they win the popular vote there.

    Even though these delegates will have their names officially associated with one of the candidates on the ballot, they are not legally bound to them and are free to change their minds.

    Bound Delegates Chosen through Party Conventions

    Every case we have listed so far concerns delegates who are officially unbound on the first ballot at the convention, even though they may be unofficially pledged to a candidate. But not all bound delegates are chosen in the same way.

    Nebraska, for instance, chooses its 32 delegates through a party convention. The delegates are not required to match the preferences of voters in the “beauty contest” primary that Nebraska will conduct on May 15. Nebraska’s delegates are bound on the first two ballots at the national convention, however, once the state convention picks them.

    Bound Delegates Chosen Through Caucus Process But Not Bound by Popular Vote

    Finally, there are two states, Missouri and Washington, that pick their delegates through a multistage caucus process, as Iowa or Maine do. As in Iowa and Maine, these delegates are not bound by the results of the straw poll in each state and are instead chosen through a separate process. However, unlike in Iowa or Maine, these delegates are officially bound at the national convention once they are chosen in this way.

    All told, about 25 percent of delegates to the Republican National Convention will be officially unbound, although many of these will be informally pledged to a candidate. Another 5 percent — those in Nebraska, Missouri and Washington — are bound by the time they get to the convention but are chosen in a circuitous way.

    That leaves 70 percent of delegates who are both bound and chosen through relatively straightforward means. Even within this group, however, there exists some ambiguity.

    Ambiguous Circumstances Among Bound Delegates

    First, even if delegates are initially bound by the results of a primary or caucus, they enter a gray area if their candidate subsequently drops out and releases them. So far, this has not been a material issue, although Jon M. Huntsman Jr. won two delegates in New Hampshire. But it could become more pertinent if a candidate like Newt Gingrich, who has more delegates, were later to drop out. State laws differ on how delegates are obliged to behave once this occurs.

    Second, there is the possibility of legal or rules challenges to delegate slates. Florida and Arizona, for instance, plan to apportion their delegates on a winner-take-all basis, but this is technically in violation of Republican National Committee rules since their primaries were held prior to April 1. Other states have delegate selection rules that are confusingly written, perhaps making them fodder for legal challenges. Finally, even where the rules are relatively clear, the delegates at the convention have broad latitude to change them if they don’t like the result that they are producing.

    Another complication is that all of the delegates are human beings, and human beings can be fickle. A legal complication could arise if a delegate who was officially bound to a candidate decided later on to change his mind. How such a case would be handled is hard to predict; some delegates are bound to a candidate by the rules of the state party, but not by state law.

    The substantial amount of ambiguity in delegate selection rules presents both risks and opportunities to the Republican Party. On the one hand, in a case where one candidate had a fairly clear plurality of delegates, but not an outright majority, uncommitted delegates (especially super delegates) could align behind them to give them their majority.

    In the scenario outlined below, for instance, Mitt Romney would still be 3 delegates shy of the 1,144 that he needs for a majority after the final state (Utah) holds its primary. However, there are 170 unpledged delegates. Some of them would almost certainly declare their support for Mr. Romney in advance of the convention. This is the scenario that resulted in Walter Mondale’s nomination in 1984, for instance; he did not have quite enough delegates after the last set of primaries, but super delegates put him over the top.

    There are also cases, however, in which the substantial number of unpledged delegates could work against the convention’s ability to reach a majority. In the scenario outlined below, for instance, Rick Santorum has a narrow plurality of delegates, but is still 319 votes shy of the number that he would need for a majority, considerably more than the number of unpledged delegates. Such a deadlock would probably require several ballots to resolve.

    The most interesting scenario, however, is the case where the unpledged delegates would be sufficient to give a candidate a majority, but his claim to the nomination was somewhat tenuous. Suppose, for instance, that Mr. Romney had 43 percent of the delegates, Mr. Santorum 37 percent, and about 8 percent of delegates had not yet pledged to a candidate. Incidentally, if you assume that the Republican contest will continue to go back-and-forth and make some guesses about how each state will vote, you wind up with a lot of scenarios like this one.

    If all of these unpledged delegates aligned themselves with Mr. Romney in this case, he could win on the first ballot. But whether they would do so is an open question.

    If Mr. Romney’s plurality lead seemed to be built upon structural advantages in the delegate selection process rather than popular support — say, for instance, that Mr. Romney had the most delegates, but Mr. Santorum was 10 points ahead in national polls at he time — some delegates might conclude that it was not in the best interest of the party to give him a helping hand.

    There has not been a case in the recent past when the candidate who was ahead in delegates once the last primaries were held trailed in popular support — even George McGovern led in national polls by the time states like Michigan and California voted in May and June 1972. Such a scenario seems plausible this year, however.

    The aesthetics of how a candidate performs could be important in a case like this. If in addition to trailing in national polls, Mr. Romney had lost key states like Michigan and Ohio, it would be harder for him to claim that his nomination reflected the collective will of the Republican electorate. He would have a more credible argument, however, if he had won these primaries, which would add to his other impressive results like in Florida.

    In short, the notion that the Republican nomination process is simply a delegate-counting contest is correct on technical grounds, but somewhat misses the forest for the trees. Quite a lot of delegates to the Republican convention may go there unpledged to any candidate, or will have the wherewithal and the legal standing to change their minds. If one candidate holds a lead in the delegate count, but another seems to have the clearest mandate from Republican voters, the delegate math could change quickly.

    Who dares cling to the quaint, outdated concept of "unlawful orders" in these days of Obama the Destroyer?

    Marine Sergeant Gary Stein looks like a real man who refuses to play the Adolf Eichmann card.

    From AP via Yahoo! News:


    Marine's Facebook page tests military rules

    SAN DIEGO — Marine Sgt. Gary Stein first started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots to encourage service members to exercise their free speech rights. Then he declared that he wouldn't follow orders from the commander in chief, President Barack Obama.

    While Stein softened his statement to say he wouldn't follow "unlawful orders," military observers say he may have gone too far.

    The Marine Corps is now looking into whether he violated the military's rules prohibiting political statements by those in uniform and broke its guidelines on what troops can and cannot say on social media. Stein said his views are constitutionally protected.

    While troops have always expressed their views in private, Stein's case highlights the potential for their opinions to go global as tech-savvy service members post personal details, videos and pictures that can hurt the military's image at home and abroad.

    "I think that it's been pretty well established for a long time that freedom of speech is one area in which people do surrender some of their basic rights in entering the armed forces," said former Navy officer David Glazier, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

    "Good order and discipline require the military maintain respect for the chain of command," Glazier said. "That includes prohibiting speech critical of the senior officers in that chain of command — up to and including the commander in chief."

    According to Pentagon directives, military personnel in uniform can't sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement.

    Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the president.

    In January, an Army reservist wearing camouflaged fatigues got into trouble for taking the stage during a rally in Iowa with Republican presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul.

    Stein was first cautioned by his superiors at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego, in 2010 after he launched his Facebook page, criticizing Obama's health care overhaul. Stein volunteered to take down the page while he reviewed the rules at the request of his superiors.

    He said he determined he was not in violation and relaunched the page under the shortened account name Armed Forces Tea Party. Last week, he said his superiors told him he couldn't use social media sites on government computers after he posted the message stating he would not follow unlawful orders of the president.

    Stein said his statement was part of an online debate about NATO allowing U.S. troops to be tried for the Quran burnings in Afghanistan.

    In that context, he said, he was stating that he would not follow orders from the president if those orders included detaining U.S. citizens, disarming them or doing anything else that he believes would violate their constitutional rights.

    Another Marine alerted his command about the statement, Stein said.

    Stein said he respects the office of the president, but he does not agree with Obama's policies. He said he is within his rights to speak up.

    "Just because I'm a Marine doesn't mean I don't have free speech or can't say my personal opinion about the president or other public official just like anybody else," Stein said. "The Constitution trumps everything else."

    Stein said it's positive when service members are well-versed on the Constitution and what's going on in government.

    "When we know what we're fighting for, we fight harder," he said.

    The Marine Corps said Stein is allowed to express his personal opinions as long as they do not give the impression he is speaking in his official capacity as a Marine. Spokesman Maj. Michael Armistead said the Corps is taking a closer look to ensure Stein has not crossed that line.

    "At this time, he has not been asked to take down the statement on his page," he said.

    Stein appears in a dress shirt and tie on his Facebook page but he also describes himself as "a conservative blogger, speaker, the founder of the Armed Forces Tea Party and active-duty, eight-year Marine Corps veteran."

    Marine Sgt. Jerret Wright, who liked Stein's page, said Stein "probably skirted the line a little bit" with his latest message about not following Obama's orders, but his boldness in expressing his views has been refreshing in a community that often feels silenced.

    "People assume that we're zombies with an on-and-off switch, and that we listen to orders and do nothing else," Wright said.

    Military observers say it's not that simple. They say it is bad form to lash out at the commander in chief. Experts also say his Facebook postings appear to link his professional standing with his political views.

    They also point out that the Pentagon policy is necessary in preventing political and religious debates that could divide a unit and disrupt the strong working relationship that is needed to carry out missions, Glazier said.

    "There are plenty of examples in the world of militaries heavily involved in influencing political events that have shown that is not conducive to civilian rule of law," he said.

    The Catholic Crackup continues apace.

    It's sad, to be sure, but it's no surprise to anyone who's noticed the lack of lines outside the confessionals for the last fifty years.

    From CNN:

    Loudly Catholic Santorum loses Ohio Catholics

    Loudly? Really, CNN? Of course, they would describe Jesus himself as a fanatical papist too.

    Rick Santorum, a conservative Catholic who is outspoken about faith-based issues, lost Catholic voters by a wide margin in Ohio on Tuesday, potentially a key factor that allowed Mitt Romney to squeak out the narrowest of victories overall in the state.

    According to CNN’s exit polls, Romney took 43% of Ohio Catholics on Super Tuesday, compared to 31% for Rick Santorum, and Romney beat Santorum overall by 38% to 37%.

    Catholic voters accounted for a third of Ohio’s Republican electorate, the largest share of Catholics in any Super Tuesday state.

    “The margin of Romney's win among Ohio Catholics is surprising, given Santorum's traditional Catholicism,” says John Green, a political science professor at the University of Ohio. “Romney's margin among Ohio Catholics - especially in the three largest metropolitan areas - may account for his close win in Ohio.”

    Green notes that Romney, a Mormon, has consistently won the Catholic vote in this year’s Republican primaries. That pattern runs counter to speculation that Catholics would focus more on hot-button issues at a time when Catholic bishops are battling the Obama White House over government-mandated contraception coverage.

    Romney has denounced the Obama administration’s contraception rule but Santorum has gone further, making social issues a cornerstone of his campaign. Last week, the former Pennsylvania senator said that John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech in which the then-presidential candidate advocated an absolute separation of church and state nearly made him throw up.

    The Catholic vote is one of the largest swing blocs in the country, voting for the winning presidential candidates from both parties in recent elections. But the bloc is so diverse, including many Catholics who differ with church leaders on social issues and many who have drifted from the church, that many religious and political experts dismiss any notion of a “Catholic vote.”

    In Ohio, the most contested of the 10 states to cast ballots on Tuesday, Catholics represented one of GOP primary’s main constituencies. Another major bloc, white evangelicals, comprised almost half of the Ohio vote, and broke for Santorum over Romney by 47% to 30%.

    One progressive Catholic group made political hay out of Santorum’s weak showing among Ohio Catholics, emailing reporters a statement titled “Santorum campaigns on divisive wedge issues, promptly loses Catholic vote.”

    “Catholic voters care more about economic issues that affect their families than they do about socially divisive wedge issues like contraception,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, in the statement.

    “Mainstream Catholics want leaders who can address the moral challenges of our day like income inequality, underwater mortgages and poverty,” Salt continued, “not leaders who perpetuate a never-ending culture war that divides our community.”

    Fyodor peers into the future.

    Here's how I see it, kiddies. The Repansycans triumph and Mittens the Pompadoured Pussy [AKA John MittCain] wins the nomination. Since he's a big government, babykilling apostate lizard whisperer and not a real man, he'll get trounced in November by Dumbo the Presiphant [An Asian presiphant, of course. An African presiphant would be racist.]. But he'll take comfort in the fact he avoided being called a racist by avoiding any criticism of the Jug-Eared One. [His many millions will also help comfort him.] The Repansycans will also lose Senate seats and their majority in the House will be smaller. Everyone to the right of Olympia Snowe will be blamed.

    Emperor Haile Unlikely will then complete the elimination of the US Constitution and will rule by fiat. The Catholic Church will shut down its schools and hospitals and charities. Amnerica's first Scourge of God president will then seize said property "for the common good". But he won't stop there. Churches and seminaries will be taken and the Church's financial assets will be seized, probably as "reparations" for the depravity of pervert priests.

    When the faithful remnant [aided by whatever politically friendly forces can be mustered] pushes back, Masturbatory Mammon will set up an "official Catholic Church" [Just like in Slave China!] run by perverts, left-fascists, Big Masturbation, and womyn. This will be the final stage of our current White Martyrdom.

    Benito Insane Okhrana will then seek to produce blood red martyrs. This is not hyperbole, kiddies. This is what commies do when their vile heresy fails, as it always does. When people stand up to them, for either reigious or economic reasons, left fascists start shooting anything that moves. That's not me talking, that's History, kiddies.

    The only question that remains to be answered is this: Have Americans been so corrupted that they will massacre their fellow citizens? As for our law enforcement officers, I have no doubt Insane Hussein Insaner will find plenty willing to join a special Homeland Security Force dedicated to killing "domestic terrorists". [That means little old ladies praying the Rosary in front of Womyn's Heath Centers and anyone pissed off because the government says curing their disease is too costly and they must die "for the common good".]

    As for our military, I doubt the majority of those currently serving would gun down us fools who still believe in the promise of this nation's founding, but the trends don't look good. Many times I have typed that we will pay a heavy price for putting females in the armed forces [and the concomitant de-feminization of women in general and the emasculation of men]. I think females are much more likely to blindly obey orders to slaughter anti-government protesters. None of this is coincidental, kiddies.

    Too bleak a prognostication? I don't think so. It might start happening this November, or it could take decades. But the chances of it happening someday are excellent. It doesn't even need Bolshevik the Clown to make it happen. There are plenty of other psychotic haters of God and man out there and even more matriculating in government indoctrination centers at this very moment. Remember Fyodor's Rule #10: You do not need a conspiracy if everyone thinks the same way. [For those of you looking for earthly help, see my post Who dares cling to the quaint, outdated concept of "unlawful orders" in these days of Obama the Destroyer?]

    So what are people of good will to do?

    1) Pray. Ask the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to help you bear your crosses, whatever they may be. Pray to Our Blessed Mother to intercede for you and for all. Pray to the Holy Angels and Saints for their help as well.

    2) Go to Mass.

    3) Partake of God's great gifts, the Sacraments. Go to Confession regularly so you may properly receive the Holy Eucharist.

    4) Perform Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

    The corporal works of mercy are:

    • To feed the hungry;
    • To give drink to the thirsty;
    • To clothe the naked;
    • To harbour the harbourless;
    • To visit the sick;
    • To ransom the captive;
    • To bury the dead.

    The spiritual works of mercy are:

    5) Get your kids out of the government indoctrination centers.

    6) Do everything you can to starve Mammon of the power to corrupt and kill. You are not required to become a martyr, but you must resist as strongly as you can. Remember He who will judge you.

    7) Beware clerics and laymen who urge cooperation with Power while they only pay lip service to He who is Love. Let Blessed John Paul II to be your role model. He defied Nazis and Communists by preaching and living the Gospel.

    8) Never lose hope. If God is with us, who can stand against us? Certainly not those who build their empire on sexual perversion.

    9) Go underground! To the catacombs, kiddies!


    From AP via Yahoo! News:

    Romney, Santorum share Super Tuesday momentum
    Mitt Romney padded his delegate count on the biggest night of the GOP presidential primary season but Rick Santorum demonstrated enough strength to ensure that there's more convulsion ahead as Republicans struggle to settle on a candidate to take on President Barack Obama.

    It's International Obliterate Femininity With Chemicals Day!

    I can't wait for Take Your Daughter To The Babyttoir Day.

    International Women's Day 2012

    Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    Yesterday was Teach Your Daughter To Be A Kleenex Day. Congrats, America.

    America's newest favorite professionally nulliparous left-fascist inflatable "sex" doll hopes she can stay famous long enough to finish off the constitution and get a free boob job from Dr. Phil.

    From Real Clear Politics:

    Sandra Fluke Praises Media Matters On "The View"

    Contraception activist Sandra Fluke appeared on ABC's "The View" today to discuss her feud with Rush Limbaugh. During his appearance, she praised the liberal media watchdog Media Matters

    Fluke says she was "shocked and stunned" at first until she realized Limbaugh was trying to silence her and millions of women.

    Fluke says she has not received a phone call from Limbaugh, but is not interested in one.

    "I would encourage everyone to go to Media Matters because they have an excellent story on their website that gives a list of the various commentators who engaged in this type of language, Glenn Beck for one," Fluke told "The View" audience.

    Monday, March 05, 2012

    It makes you wonder why some keep saying Mitterand Romnoid has it all wrapped up.

    Golly, even the communards at MSNBC got it right.

    Limbaugh was being kind. Sandra Fluke is much worse than described.

    The "conservatives'" favorite serial adulterer backpedaled like crazy to keep the money flowing in. He was stupid to call her names that highlighted her promiscuous proclivities.Heck, ol' Limbo has "married" around a half a dozen such females without producing a single child. The sad truth is that most American women have been convinced by perverse men that turning their wombs into something akin to WWI's "no man's land" [hee-hee]: Desolate, devastated, empty, and filled with toxic chemicals.

    Sandra Fluke is much worse. She's a left-fascist totalitarian who fears and loathes freedom. If contraception and babykilling didn't exist, she would spend her time demanding the constitution be destroyed to protect the environment or give the poor iPads or take away our guns, et cetera.

    From Yahoo! News:

    Limbaugh says he doesn’t think Sandra Fluke is a ‘slut’ or ‘prostitute’

    Rush Limbaugh opened his syndicated radio show on Monday by reiterating the weekend apology he had made to Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student whom the outspoken host had called a "slut" and "prostitute" for her testimony about contraception the week before.

    "I descended to [the left's] level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke," Limbaugh said. "I've always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate. They were uncalled for. They distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words."

    He added: "It was way beneath me, and way beneath you. I was wrong. I genuinely apologize."

    Limbaugh claimed he was not forced into issuing an apology to Fluke, despite calls from prominent conservatives—including House Speaker John Boehner and GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum—to do so, as advertisers of his show fled in droves.

    "The apology was sincere and heartfelt ... pure, simple, heartfelt," he said. "All the theories, all the experts are wrong."

    Limbaugh's comments came a day after a seventh advertiser, ProFlowers.com, pulled its advertising from his radio show, following Quicken Loans, Sleep Train, Sleep Number, Citrix Systems Inc., Carbonite and LegalZoom. An eighth, AOL, announced on Monday that it would stop advertising, too.

    "At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," Maureen Sullivan, an AOL spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values."

    Steelers Update: Thanks James, Aaron, & Chris.

    I think Farrior still has something left, but the Steelers' front office has a good track record of knowing when players are done.

    From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

    Steelers raise ticket prices for 2012 season

    In a letter mailed to season-ticket holders, the team said the price increase was in order to "meet the challenges of remaining competitive in the National Football League." (2012-03-03)

    Farrior the latest casualty of Steelers' veteran purge

    The purge started Wednesday with receiver Hines Ward. It ended Friday when the Steelers told linebacker James Farrior, a towering figure during a championship run surpassed in franchise history by only the 1970s Steelers, that he, too, would be released. (2012-03-03)

    Smith, Kemoeatu are out

    The Steelers' offseason purge continued, as they told defensive end Aaron Smith and guard Chris Kemoeatu they would be released. (2012-03-02)


    About Me

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    First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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