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Cinco de Mayo – I Nearly Forgot

I’m a day behind this week for some reason.  Anyway, I was going to put this post up first thing tomorrow thinking that today is May 4th.  Nope.

So to illustrate how meaningless Cinco de Mayo is to me, I’m going to link to this slasher post about the “made for beer” holiday

If it weren’t for beer companies, most Americans wouldn’t know about Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of – well, I’m just not sure. It originated as a commemoration of the anniversary of a victory on May 5, 1862, by the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. (Wow, if everyone celebrated when they defeated the French military, fighting thousands of miles from home, in a desert… half of Africa would be celebrating Cinco de Mayo.) But in recent years it’s become a celebration of victimhood, partially by those here illegally, at the hands of the evil white people who built up the Welfare, Medicare, and Education systems and wanted to spread goodwill towards those who seek a better life in America.

<…>

So, instead of this being another beer holiday where we loosely celebrate another culture such as St. Patrick’s Day… Cinco de Mayo has become a full-on assault of American culture. Speakers at rallies across the country will proclaim that the rest of us are racists and that obeying the law should be the last to do. I’m not saying that those here illegally should all be rounded up and sent back especially, as Ann Coulter said, “smoking-hot Latin guys who stand around not wearing shirts between workouts.” But at LEAST get some better border protection to mitigate against an even bigger crises.

Nor should we forget the richness that legal Mexican immigrants (and their decendants) have added to American culture. But I will not feel guilty about wanting to protect that American culture… and American laws.

I’ll drink to that!

*ducking*

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

A Glimpse Into America’s Future

Want to know what we as Americans are facing in our near future?  All you need to do is follow the news out of Greece

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Rioting over harsh austerity measures left three people dead in a torched Athens bank and clouds of tear gas drifting past parliament, in an outburst of anger that underlined the long and difficult struggle Greece faces to stick with painful cutbacks that come with an international bailout.

The deaths were the first during a protest in Greece in nearly 20 years.

Fear that the bailout won’t stop the debt crisis from spreading to other financially troubled EU countries like Portugal and Spain intensified amid the violence Wednesday, as credit ratings agency Moody’s put Portugal on watch for a possible downgrade.

The euro sank, dipping below $1.29 for the first time in over a year, on fears of crisis contagion and concerns that political upheaval might keep Greece from keeping its end of the bailout bargain.

Greece faces a May 19 due date on debt it says it can’t repay without the help. The new government cutbacks, which slash salaries and pensions for civil servants and hike consumer taxes, are being imposed as condition of getting a euro110 billion ($142.16 billion) package of rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and the other 15 European Union countries that use the euro as their currency.

Many Greeks realize some cutbacks are necessary to pull their country, which has a massive debt of euro300 billion ($387.72 billion), back from the brink of default, and reaction until now had been relatively muted by Greece’s volatile standards. But with people beginning to feel the pain of austerity measures, anger boiled over.

Greece and the entire EU are at a dangerous tipping point and I sincerely believe the bottom is about to drop out of the world economy in a way that will make 2008 look like an economic boom.  Mark my words. 

The United States Government has enabled the public sector to the point that its salaries and benefits dwarf the private sector.  That is dangerous.  Our peaceful and classy public sector unions, like SEIU, will take to the streets in a heartbeat if a dime is dared to be taken from them.

Mark my words.  My friends, we are witnessing The Fourth Turning.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Media STILL Doesn’t See The Story

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 9:05 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Media Bias

While I’m criticizing the media today, let me draw your attention to yesterday’s primaries in Ohio, North Carolina, and Indiana.

James Taranto does a fine job pointing out how the old-school media seem to be down-playing the huge turnout for the Republicans in yesterday’s primaries, noting that they consider it “Ho Hum” that the incumbents won in so many of the primary races. Taranto, fairly, concludes that, based on the higher turnout for Republican primaries than for Democratic ones (even greater increases for them):

the larger trend would seem to be the shift back to the GOP in three key states Barack Obama carried in 2008–a possible indication that voter anger over economic woes, persistently high unemployment and Congress itself is influencing elections. Sidoti and Martin’s analysis to the contrary may just be wishful thinking.

Indeed. However, I think Taranto misses an even bigger story in the “wishful thinking” of the press.

As the old-school media has attempted to minimize the Tea Party movement, attributing their motivations only to racism and Bible-thumping boogeymen, they’ve also attempted to reframe the narrative of the current mood away from anti-huge government to one of simply anti-incumbent. NewsBusters did a good piece on this a couple months back noting how CBS was attempting to divert attention from the Tea Party’s antipathy toward far-Left big-government policies and programs by casting it merely as a “throw-the-bums-out” wave of anti-Washington sentiment. (Jim had a post a few weeks back that, although more colloquial, regarding Louisiana, seems to buttress this argument.)

Funny enough, though, the phyrric victory the media seems to be enjoying by their contention that the Tea Party movement was unsuccessful in unseating enough Republican incumbents in their primary fights, all while ignoring the massive showings in those competitions (especially when compared to those of the Democrats’) will likely come back to bite them. After all, now that primaries are being decided, and Tea Partiers will have a choice, where do you think they’re going to go? I suppose we’ll see in November.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Interior Secretary Fiddles, Gulf Burns, News at…meh, Whatev’.

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 8:16 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias

Well, at least he wasn’t out shopping for shoes.

Thanks to Jake Tapper, we learn Tom Strickland, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Interior*, was on a whitewater river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with his family.

Now, I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon of harping on just how poorly the Obama Administration has responded and continues to blow it. Frankly, it’s a disaster, and it’s not going to work out perfectly anyway. Time will have to tell and it’d be more proper to judge in hindsight.

And even more frankly, I’m much more concerned about how it seems BP, who were huge contributors to Teh One seem to have also been given kid-glove treatment when it comes to environmental rules. (Oh, and there’s more!)

But instead, I’ll simply take this opportunity to once again beat the drum of indignation that there is NO WAY Bush, in a similar situation with a big contributor, a terrible disaster, and laxed oversight would have been given the pass Obama has. Yes, it’s being reported (if you cobble together enough sources). But can you imagine what this story would have looked like two years ago?

Does the old-school media really have no shame whatsoever? Are they really that devoid of honor and integrity?

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

*I’d originally mis-typed and left out Strickland’s status as Chief of Staff to Ken Salazar, a point that, apparently one of our commentors (who admits he didn’t even bother to educate himself about the story) finds more important than the fact that Obama’s Administration is being given a pass here. As an homage to his insistance, and in the spirit of keeping up with the real scandal here, I have corrected myself. Here’s hoping now that this is remedied, he’ll actually have something to say in defense and on topic. What do you think?

Tennessee & Kentucky Under Water

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:49 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Disasters (natural or "man-caused")

I have been very remiss in not blogging about the terrible flooding that has put the city of Nashville and many other communities in TN and KY under water.  Heavy rain crippled the area last week, but most of the media attention (including mine) was diverted by the oil rig explosion and then the Times Square incident.

As many readers know, I’m a big Country Music fan and PatriotPartner and I frequently attend concerts by our favorite Country singers.  In fact, this will be the second year that we attend the CMA Music Fest (aka – FanFest) in Nashville.  Which makes the stories coming from that city all the more upsetting.

The fact of the matter is that twice as many people have died in the flooding in TN & KY than died in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.  That is not to take away from those deaths in the Gulf, but just to point out that we need to pay more attention to what is going on in TN & KY.  Many Americans are suffering and need our help and attention.  The flooding is the single biggest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War.

And the news seems to get worse, not better as the days go by. 

City officials in Nashville say the area’s water supply is now “critically low” after a weekend storm dumped a record 13 inches of rainfall over two days.

Because of potential shortages, the city’s Metro Water Services utility urges residents to cut down on taking showers and is now directing its customers to “use water for drinking and food preparation only.”

The directive comes a day after local authorities reported that at least 10 people are dead from the devastation, including a father and daughter who were swept away by the flood.

Tuesday, President Obama declared four Tennessee counties — Cheatham, Davidson (which includes Nashville), Hickman and Williams — as “major disaster” zones (pdf), clearing the way for federal assistance to help restore the estimated $1 billion worth of damage caused by the flooding.

In addition to shopping malls and beloved Nashville tourist staples (such as the Grand Ole Opry) being submerged in water, at least 50 schools report some type of damage following the heaviest rainfall since Hurricane Fredrick in 1979 (that storm dumped a seemingly small — in comparison — 6.68 inches of rain).

Here is a photo of the flooding of the Grand Ole Opry — the heart and soul of Country Music. 

Finally, here is a heartbreaking video with more photos of the devastating floods in Nashville.  (h/t – SaveOurCountry on Twitter)

Please consider helping out those Americans whose lives have been destroyed and continue to be impacted by the floods.  CLICK HERE TO HELP.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Past Endora-Winning Diva to Chair GOProud’s Advisory Council

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:40 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Divas,Gay Conservatives (Homocons),GOProud,Strong Women

Today, GOProud announced that Tammy Bruce, the 2009 Conservative Blogress Diva Regent (AKA the Endora), will will chair the group’s newly formed Advisory Council.

Calling the diva talk show host “one of the most influential voices in the conservative movement today,” Christopher Barron, Chairman of GOProud’s Board, said the group is honored to have her as part of the GOProud team”:

GOProud’s Avisory Council will be made up of prominent conservative leaders in the media, public-policy and politics who will serve as a resource for GOProud’s Board and staff. Barron said, “The addition the Advisory Council as a part of GOProud’s leadership structure will allow us to draw on the talent and expertise of prominent conservative leaders from a variety of backgrounds to help us to advance our mission.”

Tammy was our guest in March at the Claremont Institute dinner honoring Vice President Cheney.

On her blog, Tammy writes:

As you all know I am an Independent Conservative without party affiliation, and despite its name GOProud is not associated with the Republican Party. It is instead a group for conservative gays who are committed to promoting the conservative agenda in all of our efforts to confront and solve our nation’s problems. Here’s some coverage of the announcement. I am excited about GOProud and my association with them.

Even the Washington Post picked up on the story.  This is another sign that GOProud is picking up steam.  Tammy will be a real asset to the organization.

Another Democrat Bites The Dust in 2010

Wow.  The dinosaurs are running like chickens these days.

In a major blow to Democrats, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey announced that he will not seek reelection, saying he is “ready to turn the page” after a four-decade House career.

The Wisconsin Democrat faces tough poll numbers at home, but until Tuesday night his staff had insisted he was running aggressively and had hired campaign staff. But a person close to him confirmed the decision to POLITICO Wednesday morning, and Obey made the announcement official at a 1 p.m. press conference.

“I’m ready to turn the page and I think frankly that my district is ready for someone new to make a fresh start,” Obey said. “… Frankly, I am bone tired.”

Elected in 1969, the liberal is a major institutional figure who played a leading role in the anti-war and reform movement of the House in the 1970’s.

Sean Duffy (R) is now very likely to win the Congressional race, providing the GOP with one more seat toward the magic number of 218 to recapture the US House. (Follow Sean Duffy on Twitter)  One less Democrat and one more lumberjack in Congress — sounds good to me.

In related news, National Journal reports today that turnout among Democrats in yesterday’s primarys in three states fell dramatically from previous years.

Turnout among Dem voters dropped precipitously in 3 statewide primaries on Tuesday, giving the party more evidence that their voters lack enthusiasm ahead of midterm elections.

In primaries in NC, IN and OH, Dems turned out at far lower rates than they have in previous comparable elections.

By contrast, GOP turnout was up almost across the board. 373K people voted in Burr’s uncompetitive primary, nearly 9% higher than the 343K who voted in the equally non-competitive primary in ’04. Turnout in House races in IN rose 14.6% from ’06, fueled by the competitive Senate primary, which attracted 550K voters. And 728K voters cast ballots for a GOP Sec/State nominee in Ohio, the highest-ranking statewide election with a primary; in ’06, just 444K voters cast ballots in that race.

Looks like a bad year for Democrats is getting increasingly worse as November approaches.  Luckily, a bad 2010 for Democrats means a good year for Americans in 2011.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Guess Obama Didn’t Rejuvenate the Democrats

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:36 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,HopeAndChange

Yesterday, three states which flipped from “red” in 2000 and 2004 to “blue” in 2008, Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio, held primaries and, as Reid Wilson reports at Hotline, “Turnout among Dem voters dropped precipitously [with] Dems turned out at far lower rates than they have in previous comparable elections“:

Just 663K OH voters cast ballots in the competitive primary between LG Lee Fisher (D) and Sec/State Jennifer Brunner (D). That number is lower than the 872K voters who turned out in ’06, when neither Gov. Ted Strickland (D) nor Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) faced primary opponents.

Only 425K voters turned out to pick a nominee against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). The 14.4% turnout was smaller than the 444K voters — or 18% of all registered Dem voters — who turned out in ’04, when Gov. Mike Easley (D) faced only a gadfly candidate in his bid to be renominated for a second term.

And in IN, just 204K Hoosiers voted for Dem House candidates, far fewer than the 357K who turned out in ’02 and the 304K who turned out in ’06.

By contrast, GOP turnout was up almost across the board. 373K people voted in Burr’s uncompetitive primary, nearly 9% higher than the 343K who voted in the equally non-competitive primary in ’04. Turnout in House races in IN rose 14.6% from ’06, fueled by the competitive Senate primary, which attracted 550K voters. And 728K voters cast ballots for a GOP Sec/State nominee in Ohio, the highest-ranking statewide election with a primary; in ’06, just 444K voters cast ballots in that race.

Looking at these numbers, Jennifer Rubin quips, “It looks like ObamaCare didn’t do much to rev up the base.

These numbers indicate that the 2008 election was not a realigning election and that the Democrat’s success had less to do with enthusiasm for his party than disgruntlement with the status quo.

Pelosi Ally Announces Retirement

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:18 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: 111th Congress,2010 Elections,Pelosi Watch

Looks like Republicans increased their chances of picking up a House seat in Wisconsin:

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey has told close associates that he will not seek reelection . . . .

Elected in 1969, the liberal is a major institutional figure who played a leading role in the anti-war and reform movement of the House in the 1970’s. As the Appropriations chairman, he has been a close Pelosi ally who came up through the same panel before moving into the leadership. And his departure follows on the death of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) this winter, a second Pelosi ally and veteran of the powerful committee.

In 2004, John Kerry narrowly carried Obey’s northwest Wisconsin district by just over 5,000 votes.  Republicans had already targeted the 20-term incumbent wit the NRCC giving high marks to the fetching Sean Duffy.  Now Badger State Democrats will be struggling to come up with a candidate.

And I’m wondering if Obey’s internal polling showed the charismatic Republican giving the outgoing Appropriations Committee chair a run for his money.   Jim Geraghty agrees, saying the Pelosi ally “Must have seen something he didn’t like in those polling numbers.

UPDATE:  Ed Morrissey, who has a more detailed reported on Obey’s retirement, observes:

Speaking of which, who will Duffy face now?  Whoever jumps into this race will have significant disadvantages on fundraising, organization, and name recognition.  They also will have the albatross of the unpopular Democratic agenda around their neck.  While Duffy had an uphill battle to unseat a powerful incumbent, he may now have to guard against overoptimism.

Social conservative “scholar” takes “Rentboy” to Europe

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:58 pm - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America

Yesterday, I caught a story via Memeorandum which had left-of-center gay bloggers practically wetting their pants; a leading social conservative extremist had been caught with his pants down.  And I gotta admit, they do have grounds for their glee, given their delight in uncovering hypocrisy on the right.  And this guy, well, he really takes the cake.

George Alan Rekers who, in 1983 founded the Family Research Council with Dr. James Dobson, returned last month from Europe accompanied by a (very) young man whom he met on Rentboy.com.

According to the Miami New Times which broke the story:

Rekers is a board member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an organization that systematically attempts to turn gay people straight. And the Huffington Post recently singled out Rekers as a member of the American College of Pediatricians— an official-sounding outfit in Gainesville that purveys lurid, youth-directed literature accusing gays of en masse coprophilia. (In an email, the college’s Lisa Hawkins wrote, “ACPeds feels privileged to have a scholar of Dr. Rekers‘ stature affiliated with our organization. I am sure you will find Prof. Rekers to be an immaculate clinician/scholar, and a warm human being.”)

Rekers lectures worldwide, from Europe to the Middle East, on teen sexuality. Yet during his ten-day sojourn with Lucien to London and Madrid, he had no lectures scheduled. Both men [Rekers and the lad from Rentboy] deny having sex on the trip, and emails exchanged between the two before their jaunt are cautiously worded.

What struck me about the story more than anything was that many of those social conservatives most obsessed with certain theories of homosexuality that we suffered from absent fathers or are unusually obsessed with teenagers seem to be projecting their own pathologies (or passions?) onto the gay community at large.

Here’s a guy who lectures on teen sexuality and is interested in a man just out of his teens–or so appearing.

Maybe Rekers didn’t have sex on the trip and does really delight in the company of young men.  But, if that’s the case, then, why did he go to a site which caters to men looking to “rent” boys for sex?

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Shrinkwrapped offers:

If he is a hypocrite, he deserves all the opprobrium he has earned; if he is a deeply conflicted and miserable individual who has attempted to externalize his conflicts, he deserves pity.

I agree.

NB:  If not for the press of my dissertation work and the preparations for my cross country journey, I would have devoted more time to this subject.  But, I do want to note that this story does help get at the pseudo-science used by some of groups affiliated with Mr. Rekers.  And the pathologies of those pushing it.  But, there is a parallel pathology at play in the places where this story has become prominent.  And I hope to address that as well.

Washington Post Co. Trying To Sell Money-Losing Newsweek

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:51 am - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias,New Media

Notice anything missing from this AP article on the possible sale of Newsweek, once a news magazine?

The Washington Post Co. is putting Newsweek up for sale in hopes that another owner can figure out how to stem losses at the 77-year-old weekly magazine.

While magazines in general have struggled with steep declines in advertising revenue because of the recession, news magazines such as Newsweek face the added pressures from up-to-the-second online news. Once handy digests of the week’s events, they have been assailed by competitors on the Web that pump out a constant stream of news and commentary.

The AP doesn’t mention that the magazine made a hard turn to the left in recent years what they call undergoing “a top-to-bottom redesign”.   Seems Newsweek‘s editors strategy to appeal to a niche market on the left has not paid off.

GayPatriot Chicago Dinner Wednesday May 19

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:57 am - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Dan's Cross Country Odyssey,Travel

I’m pretty close to finalizing the schedule for my next cross country trip.  And much as I’d love to travel without agenda, stopping spontaneously along the way to explore a beautiful landscape or an intriguing byway, I have needed to fix a schedule so that my friends and family can keep their schedules clear when I pass through their towns.

I have been able to set the first of the dinners along the way for Chicago two weeks from today, Wednesday, May 19.  I’m working with a reader to find a place in the Halsted Street Area.  (Please let me know if you have any suggestions.)  I have also invited the guys from Hillbuzz.  Drop me an e-mail to RSVP for the dinner or suggest locations.

In addition to Chicago, I have scheduled dinners for New York (Sunday May 23), Washington, DC (between May 26 and 29), Atlanta (Wednesday, June 2), Boston (Wednesday, June 9) and Brattleboro, Vermont (Sunday, June 13).  Since I’ll also be staying in Raleigh, Charlotte, Charlottesville, Nashville, Cincinnati and St. Louis, I’m open to setting up gatherings there as well.

Barbara Boxer’s California Just Isn’t a Good Place to do Business

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:54 am - May 5, 2010.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,California politics,Economy

Calling his and my adopted home state the Venezuela of North America, Bruce Kesler laments that the “June issue of Chief Executive magazine confirms that while my residence in California has wonderful climate and well-educated people, otherwise I live in a state ranked by 651 chief executives across the country as the worst state to do business”:

How is it that the nation’s most populous state at 37 million, one that is the world’s eighth-largest economy and the country’s richest and most diverse agricultural producer, a state that had the fastest growth rate in the 1950s and 1960s during the tenures of Democratic Governor Pat Brown and Republican Governors Earl Warren and Ronald Reagan, should become the Venezuela of North America?

Californians pay among the highest income and sales taxes in the nation, the former exceeding 10 percent in the top brackets. Unemployment statewide is over 12.2 percent, higher than the national average. State politics seems consumed with how to divide a shrinking pie rather than how to expand it. Against national trend, union density is climbing from 16.1 percent of workers in 1998 to 17.8 percent in 2002. Organized labor has more political influence in California than in most other states. In addition, unfunded pension and health care liabilities for state workers top $500 billion and the annual pension contribution has climbed from $320 million to $7.3 billion in less than a decade. When state employees reach critical mass, they tend to become a permanent lobby for continual growth in government.

No wonder that of “20 most economically stressed counties with populations of at least 25,000 and their March 2010 Stress scores, according to The Associated Press Economic Stress Index“, 12 are in the (once-)Golden State (including 6 of the the top 7).

(Of the 20 least economically stressed counties, only two are in states carried by Barack Obama in 2008.)