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No need for gays to keep covering for Barney Frank

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:57 pm - November 9, 2011.
Filed under: Decent Democrats,Virginia Politics

Patrick Forrest may have come up short in his race for Virginia Senate, but in an Alexandria-based district far more favorable to his political party, Democrat Adam Ebbin won by a comfortable margin.  I knew — and liked — Adam back in my Northern Virginia days.  He is very liberal and extremely partisan, but is a generally nice guy.  He was always civil when we locked horns (as we did on numerous occasions).

And when the then-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Tom Davis spoke to the Log Cabin Republican Club of Northern Virginia (while I served as the club’s president), that Democratic partisan showed up.  He braved a crowd of Republicans and listened politely when the Republican Congressman spoke, even asking a question, as I recall, and doing so in a civil tone and manner.

With Adam’s election as well as the election in successive congressional cycles of two openly gay Democrats, Colorado’s Jared Polis and Rhode Island’s David Cicilline, to the U.S. House, there’s no need for gays to keep covering for Barney Frank, the arrogant and mean-spirited Democrats from Massachusetts, unwilling to answer for his conflict of interest with a government-sponsored enterprise which he regularly defended and which now sucks cash from the federal treasury.

Polis, while very liberal, like Ebbin, appears to be a very stand-up guy.

In short, Barney is no longer the only gay man in elective office.  Unlike Ebbin, he is not the kind of man to whom others can look up; Barney is just not a good role model.  More than that, he’s an outright embarrassment. (more…)

Time to thank the 1%

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:48 am - November 9, 2011.
Filed under: Military

How much did Barney’s relationship cost taxpayers?

Although, we can’t confirm the accuracy of the allegations against Herman Cain, we do know one thing:  the Republican’s alleged dalliances didn’t cost taxpayers a dime.  And yet day in and day out, our news media promote the story as if our government weren’t in debt, the Democrat Senate had passed annual budgets in the last 925 days, the economy were booming and the world beyond our shores was calm.

CNN has become the Cain “News” Network with “breaking news” at the top of every hour (at least when I’ve been watching) on the latest woman to claim he made untoward advances toward her.  All this coverage has buried stories with real relevance to our system of government and our national economy.  Reuters reported last night that a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) with which one Democratic Congressman wanted to “roll the dice” is asking for more money from the federal government:

Fannie Mae, the biggest source of money for U.S. home loans, on Tuesday said it needed a further $7.8 billion in federal aid to stay afloat as a shaky housing market widened its third-quarter loss to $5.1 billion.

The government-controlled firm also attributed the deeper cash drain to losses on derivatives used to hedge its exposure to interest-rate swings and on expenses related to home loans made prior to the 2008 financial collapse. In the year-earlier quarter it had a loss of a $1.3 billion.

Fannie Mae has now drawn $112.6 billion in bailout funds from the Treasury Department since being seized by the government in 2008 as mortgage losses mounted, and it has returned $17.2 billion to taxpayers in the form of dividends.

Now, just a few months ago, we learned that said Congressman, a Mr. B. Frank, helped his boyfriend “land a job at [the] mortgage giant . . . in the early 1990s at the same time Congress was writing legislation to improve oversight of the lender“.  This wasn’t the first time Barney used his position to help a boyfriend.

We don’t know if Barney’s relationship caused — or even contributed to — the mortgage meltdown.  What we do know is that the story generated a little buzz for a few days and then died.  Barney bent over backwards to defend Fannie Mae, an institution at the heart of the financial crisis, a government-backed enterprise which continues to beg for cash from the federal treasury. (more…)

Rugby player suffers stroke, wakes up gay

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:06 am - November 9, 2011.
Filed under: Gays / Homosexuality (general)

Yesterday, Bruce e-mailed me an article about a straight rugby player who, after “breaking his neck and suffering the stroke”, woke to find that he preferred men to his fiancée.  After attempting a back flip, the then-straight man “fell down a grass bank” where he sustained the injuries:

He was taken to hospital where his fiancée and family spent days waiting anxiously at his bedside before he delivered the shocking news.

Mr Birch recalled: ‘I was gay when I woke up and I still am. It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different.

‘I wasn’t interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before – I’d never even had any gay friends.

It’s doubtful we could learn much about the nature of our homosexual feelings by studying images of his brain unless scans had been taken before he sustained the injury (then we could see what parts had changed).

And this is not the only case where strokes have changed individuals’ personalities — or given them (gave them access to?) skills which they previously lacked — or of which they had previously been unaware.  Wonder if there are other stories of strokes changing an individual’s sexual orientation — and what scientists learned from that.

Time to e-mail my favorite neurosurgeon (my older brother).

Why is the federal government promoting Christmas trees?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:01 am - November 9, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Holidays

At a time when one might think the federal government had better things to do than further meddle is a sour economy, we’ve got bureaucrats imposing a new tax to promote Christmas trees:

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees — the Christmas Tree Tax — to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)).

Although not a Christian, I welcome those, including the Governor of Wisconsin who wish to dub a festive pine tree decorated during the days preceding and immediately followed the Winter Solstice as a Christmas Tree. The First Amendment protects those individuals’ free exercise of religion.

It is, however, none of the federal government’s business to promote this holiday symbol.  To be sure, it should protect the rights of those individuals who wish to display it. (And the ACLU who should be opposing this silly measure has yet to get injunctions against private homeowners who proudly decorate their trees.)  It’s not just the tax that’s the issue. It’s the waste of federal resources.

And it does seem that whenever governments starts “promoting” an industry, federal officials soon start meddling.  Ed Driscoll wonders if “the administration be raiding Christmas tree dealers, a la their raids on an other famous wood-based merchant?” (more…)