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Can Democrats Read a Balance Sheet? Election Returns?

With deficits almost more than twice the total amount of the annual federal budget the year the president graduated from high school, you’d think Congress would get the message that it needs to hold the line on federal spending.

Not just that, voters across the country voted out big-spending Democrats and voted in Republicans who promised to cut the size and cost of the federal government.  (Well, some Democrats won election sounding like Republicans.)  Maybe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Mount Crumpit) thinks this sentiment doesn’t apply to him because he survived an electoral challenge this year (guess he’s discounting the millions he and his union allies paid to demonize and discredit his opponent).  The other day, he “dropped on his colleagues a 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2011 that no one but a few Appropriators have read, if even they have“:

The last-minute omnibus should also offend Senators who claim to have heard the voters on November 2. This jam-job is a substitute for the 12 individual spending bills that Congress was supposed to have passed during the summer. But for the first time in modern memory, Democrats never got around to passing a budget outline, much less specific spending bills. So now they want to rush one giant bill into law when no one is paying attention.

Larded up with pork, the bill reads more like a Leslie Nielsen movie* than a serious plan to fund the government.  As the editors of the National Review put it:

Rather than pass a simple “continuing resolution” to fund government operations through early 2011, Harry Reid & Co. decided to ignore the backlash against fiscal profligacy and let their pork barons run wild. The result is an orgy of earmarks, rolled out two weeks after most Senate Republicans and seven Senate Democrats voted for a temporary earmark moratorium. (more…)

Party Like It’s 1773!

A good reminder of the significance of this date…. from the Heritage Foundation.

On this day in 1773, a group of colonists disguised as Indians boarded British merchant ships and dumped into the Boston Harbor an estimated £10,000 worth of tea as a protest against British colonial policies.. John Adams declared this event, that we celebrate today as the Boston Tea Party, to be the “grandest event which has ever yet happened since the controversy with Britain opened.” What led once loyal colonists to protest the World’s leading power?  How should we think about the Tea Party two hundred thirty-seven years later?

The American Revolution began as a tax revolt. After defeating France in the Seven Years’ War (which began in North America as the French and Indian War), Great Britain gained control over vast areas of land in the Americas, but also incurred massive debts. For the first time, Parliament looked to the American colonies as a source of revenue, and so began the long train of abuses against the American colonies. The American Revenue Act (sometimes called the Sugar Act) expanded import and export duties and created new government mechanisms to enforce trade laws. The Stamp Act was the first direct tax levied on America, requiring all newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, and official documents—even decks of playing cards!—to have stamps as proof of payment of taxes.

These new policies outraged the colonists. The problem with the policies was not the amount of taxation—the taxes were actually quite low—but the process by which the British government imposed and enforced these taxes. As loyal colonists, the Americans recognized Parliament’s authority to legislate for the empire generally. But, the power to tax was a legislative power reserved to the colonists’ own assemblies rather than a distant legislature in London. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 had forbidden the imposition of taxes without legislative consent, and since the colonists had no representation in parliament they complained that the taxes violated their traditional rights. Thus the American’s rallying cry became: “No taxation without representation!”

The British rejected the Americans’ argument for self-government. The Declaratory Act of 1766, asserted Parliament’s absolute sovereignty over the Americans, including the power to make laws for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.” “No taxation without representation” meant no taxation without the approval of the British Parliament. It never literally meant—not for the Americans or even for the overwhelming majority of British citizens—representation in that body. The colonists, like all British subjects, enjoyed “virtual representation” of their interests by the aristocrats that controlled Parliament.

After repealing the earlier taxes, the British government passed a new series of revenue measures (called the Townshend Acts) in 1767, which taxed goods such as paper, glass, lead, and tea—and once again affirmed the power of British courts to issue undefined and open-ended search warrants (called “writs of assistance”) to enforce the law. Asserting that the sole right of taxation was with the colonial legislature, Virginia proposed a formal agreement among the colonies banning the importation of British goods—a practice that quickly spread to the other local legislatures and cut the colonial import of British goods in half. So Parliament eventually repealed those duties, too, except for the tax on tea.

Our forefathers did not destroy the tea cargo because of a simple tax dispute. At issue were the principles of self-government, consent, and natural rights. These principles are enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and continue to define us as a nation and inspire us as a people.

In 2010, we have our own intolerable act—Obamacare, a massive bureaucratic expansion of government over one-sixth of the American economy and many aspects of our lives and medical decisions. But there is a key difference between the situation now and that of 1773. Those early patriots had to establish their independence and to start anew. But, our task is different. “It is not about fixed bayonets but fixed principles; not about bullets but ballots. Our task is not to overthrow; it is not revolution; it is renewal and restoration of those self-evident truths of constitutional government at the heart of America.”

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Bea Arthur, The Marines & The Lebanese

Last week, the Smoking Gun reported on military files revealing that iconic actress Bea Arthur was a truck-driving member of the US Marine Corps in World War II.

DECEMBER 9–While she strangely denied serving in the armed forces, military records show that the actress Bea Arthur spent 30 months in the Marine Corps, where she was one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve and spent time as a typist and a truck driver.

The “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” star, who died last year at age 86, enlisted in early-1943 when she was 21 (and known as Bernice Frankel). In a February 1943 letter included in her Marine personnel file, Arthur gave military officials a brief account of her prior employment as a food analyst at a Maryland packing plant, a hospital lab technician, and an office worker at a New York loan company.

This news resulted in an off-line exchange of emails among some of GayPatriot’s readers and Dan & I.  Of course, whenever I think of Bea Arthur — I fondly recall the Golden Girls during my college years.  (Yeah, I had no life and was watching TV on Saturday nights; what of it?)

And whenever I think of the Golden Girls — this memorable scene is at the top of my laugh list.  It is a great piece of writing, acting, timing and portrayal of Dorothy, Sofia and Blanche.  Hoping they continue to rest in peace….

Enjoy!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

She’s Just a Parent Who Can’t Say No

When people who see my devotion to my nieces and nephews (even the adopted ones), they ask if I want to have kid of my own.  I always reply that I’d be a terrible father because I find it most difficult to say, “No,” to my niblings.

And saying, “No,” is an essential party of parenting.

Well, it seems that the Ado Annie of parenting is trying to use a California court so she doesn’t have to do that part of her job.  Doug Powers inform us that a Ms. Monet Parham is all irate that McDonald’s lures unsuspecting children into their fat factories, er, restaurants with tantalizing toys:  “According to Parham, the main reason her six-year-old daughter, Maya, asks to go to McDonald’s is to get toys based on Barbie, i-Carly, Shrek, or Strawberry Shortcake.

So, she’s doing what most irate liberals do.  She’s taking McDonald’s to court and demanding that they stop using “toys to market directly to young children.”  This leads Powers to explain Ms. Parham’s duties to her:

The next time your kids ask to go to McDonalds, try saying this: “NO!” It’ll work wonders — or you can just sue McDonalds if it’s easier. That way you’ll get the added benefit of teaching your kids exactly how they too can grow up to be crappy parents.

Dr. Froyd sums it up:

I could rip it based on the fact that she’s a horrible parent who is having trouble saying no to her kids or she’s a horrible parent who isn’t making sure that the kids know why happy meals aren’t good for you or she’s a horrible parent for wanting to make quick cash on a lawsuit instead of working for it or she’s a horrible parent for showing kids that if something’s too difficult for you, you should sue somebody.

So do Rodgers and Hammerstein: (more…)

What To Do With An American Traitor?

Uber progressive blogger and Islamic terror apologist Glenn Greenwald is whining about how PFC Bradley Manning (alleged Wikileaks source, and anti-DADT activist) is being treated.  It is cute how in the beginning of his piece, Greenwald goes to great lengths to distance Manning from the Wikileaks story; but by the end is lauding Manning’s treasonous behavior and labeling him a “hero” (cue Berkeley City Council).

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime.  Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.  Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems.  He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.

Oh boo freaking hoo.  Glenn and I had a minor dustup on the topic via Twitter yesterday:

ME:  GayPatriot: RT @GregMitch: Glenn Greenwald on Bradley Manning held under “inhumane condiitons” possibly constituting “torture.” // Aww, cry me a river.

GG response:   @ggreenwald: You’d be crying a river – and doing much more – if you were held under inhumane conditions without being convicted of anything

My response: GayPatriot: I wouldn’t have committed treason against my country while wearing the uniform cuz my boyfriend dumped me. He’s a pissy bitch.

“Lexington Concord” at RedState has the right idea as to what to do with Manning (and any other Wikileaks sources, I might add).  It is priceless…

Glenn Greenwald is constantly telling us that the reason the terrorists want to kill us is not because they are regressive degenerates who hate Western values like freedom and tolerance, but rather because they just don’t like our military policies and how we’re all meddling in their business.

Well, I am not a man without a heart, so I am willing to propose a solution to Greenwald’s problem which I am confident the Army would be amenable to. As an added bonus, it will serve as an opportunity to validate Glenn Greenwald’s views on the causes of Islamic terrorism. We will give Bradley Manning his pillow and blankie back, and remove him from solitary confinement. In fact, we’ll let him be around lots of people. We’ll call an emissary with the Taliban or Al Qaeda, and tell them that we have a political prisoner to release to them, no strings attached. We will tell them that we are going to release to them an American who thoroughly rejects our interventionist policies and our military meddling – he rejects them so strongly, in fact, that he did everything in his power to see that American soldiers were killed and that Islamic terrorists were given access to our operational details. Therefore, we have decided to let him go to be with the Taliban so that he can self-actualize and join the fight against America with them.

I’m sure that like John Walker Lindh, the Taliban will be happy to have an American like this on board. So we’ll drive Manning out there to meet them at some safe remote location in Afghanistan somewhere, and we’ll release Manning and let him rush to join his new Taliban brethren.

Then we’ll tell them he’s gay.

Sign me up to help complete this diplomatic arrangement!  I think Manning would prefer my solution anyway:  firing squad.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

 

GayPatriot LA Holiday Dinner?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - December 16, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,LA Stories

Several readers have approached me suggesting I organize a dinner in Los Angeles before the end of the year.  If you live (or will be) in Southern California and would like to attend just such a gathering next week, drop me a note and I’ll put something together. And please indicate which day of the week you prefer.