6/30/10

Visualizing the BP oil disaster

If it was my home

You can relocate the Gulf oil contamination to any other point, like Rocky Ford or La Junta. The spill overlay will give you a better idea of just how bad this really is.

6/29/10

Rocky Ford Sunset

On Willow Pond

We have Leece's shots of Willow Pond and the trail area around the pond. The Willow Pond Project is funded through the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. It's located at the west end of Harker's Island, North Carolina, near the Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitors' Center.

The woods around the pond are a good example of eastern maritime forest.

To see the gallery please go to:

Image galleries, click on Eastern North Carolina June 2010, and then on Gallery 5.


General "Save Us"

In September 2007, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden ... and Barack H. Obama ...
crucified General David Petraeus over his testimony.

And the rabid moonbat left outfit MoveOn.Org took out that full page ad in that paragon of Fourth Estate virtue, the New York Times. That was the infamous "General Betrayus" ad. Interestingly, since Obama nominated General Petraeus to replace McChrystal, the pinheads at MoveOn.Org has removed any reference to their advertisement from their website.

Oh, how the tides have turned. LtGen Thomas McInerney has a great piece here:

Everyone Must Go, If We Want to Win In Afghanistan

An excerpt:

Mr. President, we are in a violent war against radical Islam and your denial of this fact will ensure our defeat.

You and your administration cannot even define the ideology we are fighting against. John Brennan, your National Security adviser for counterterrorism, thinks "jihad" means "holy struggle" not a war against infidels.

Your Secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have accepted these ridiculous new definitions of the threat.

This means you, and your national security leadership team are clueless about how to defeat this violent threat against America.

They must all go and you must change your senseless strategy.

How can we expect General Petraeus to defeat the Taliban when he does not have a leadership team supporting him the way the Bush administration's team did during the surge in Iraq?

That surge worked because we had a president who was intractable in telling the Joint Chiefs and General Casey -- our commander in Iraq -- that he wanted victory not a tie even though they all had resisted the surge. His determined leadership throughout the surge while facing fierce political pressure from the left, the mainstream media and the Democratic Party was the most intense this nation has ever seen. His leadership prevailed.


General McInerney is retired. He could give a fig about Article 88, or Article 89 and its '... truth is no defense ...".

General McInerney speaks the truth. What needs to be defended, if in fact that is possible, is Barack H. Obama's childishly simplistic 'policy' in Afghanistan. If you can even call it a 'policy'.

How the Democrats see you

Congressman Pete Stark makes an ass of himself - again

Pete Stark, a Democrat from California, known for his contempt for We the People, was at it again at a town hall meeting last week.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., no stranger to controversy, mocked the idea that the borders are not secure when asked about the federal government's lack of activity on border security.

"We can't get enough Minutemen armed. We'd like to get all the Minutemen armed so they can stop shooting people here," Stark said.

Eventually, members of the audience urged Stark to offer a serious answer.

"If you knew anything about our borders, you would know that's not the case. Our borders are quite secure, thank you," Stark said, drawing jeers.

Stark resumed his hostile act, asking the Minuteman what he would do to secure the border.

"I would send about about 25,000 troops for one thing and build a wall down so vehicles could not pass," the Minuteman said.

"How high and long would it be?" Stark asked.

"As high and as long as it takes," the Minuteman said, elicting cheers.

Stark said he would start a ladder company with the Minuteman if he designed the wall and doesn't shoot the people coming over.

"But I've got to know how high the wall is and I'll sell a whole lot of ladders for people who want to come," Stark said.

"This is a very serious matter and you're sitting there making fun of it," the Minuteman responded.

"I don't have to make fun of you sir, you do a fine job all by yourself," Stark said.


Stark really thinks the borders are 'secure'.

Been at the medicinal weed, has ol' Pete, methinks.

Glen Beck OD's on chalk dust

Beck has been pinging off the walls over Barack H. Obama 'giving' $2 billion to Petroleo Brasileiro SA. a Brazilian oil company in which leftie billionaire George Soros is a major investor. On June 21, Beck announced his grand conspiracy theory involving Obama, Soros, Petrobras, and the Gulf oil disaster.

Beck, apparently confused by the effects of way too much chalk dust up the snoot, has put together a really neat conspiracy theory, wherein the Gulf oil mess is linked to a plot by Obama to enrich his pal Soros.

The sorry fact of the matter is, this is old news. Not the Beckian conspiracy theory; the loan to the Brazilians.

It was examined by FactCheck.Org last year, after a commentary - not a news story - in the Wall Street Journal:

Bogus Brazilian Oil Claims

It's been around long enough to qualify as an urban myth over on Snopes.Com:

Snopes and the Brazilian Oil Myth

Some sources say the amount is $10 billion, not a paltry $2 billion. There is a $10 billion loan in there, but it's from China, not the US ... and for what it's worth - apparently not much to Glen Beck and his entourage of chalk-sniffers - Barack H. Obama can't spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress, and in any case, the Export-Import Bank is not funded by appropriated funds from Congress. Contrary to what Glen Beck would have you believe, Ex-Im's loan sources are not funded by We the Taxpayer.

Further, if you look at the dates of all this, you'll see it was conceived by, and executed by, bipartisan appointees put in place by George Bush:

* The message falsely says the decision was due to an "executive order" by the president. No presidential order was required. Furthermore, none of President Obama’s appointees had joined the Ex-Im board at the time of the vote, which was unanimous, and bipartisan. The Ex-Im Bank states: "In fact, at the time the Bank’s Board consisted of three Republicans and two Democrats, all of whom were appointed by George W. Bush."

* The message falsely claims that "we have absolutely no gain" from the loan. In fact, the loan is being made specifically to finance purchase by Petrobras of U.S.-made oilfield equipment and services. The mission of the Ex-Im Bank is to encourage exports by making such loans.


Beck also fails to mention that Ex-Im was bagged back in 2007 for making "... least $243 million in fraudulent loans to companies doing business with Mexico, including giving loans to companies with no verifiable address and individuals who were known associates of the Sinaloa and Juarez drug trafficking cartels." That also occurred during the Bush administration.

And far from producing no benefit to this country, as Beck claims, the loan to PetroBras is for financing the purchase of American-made drilling equipment. Remember, the mission of Ex-Im is the subsidizing of U.S. exports of goods and services. From Ex-Im Bank chairman Fred Hochberg, back in July of last year:

"I chose Brazil as my first international destination for good reason: Brazil is a powerhouse among South American economies and offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters in many sectors. I want Brazilians to know that Ex-Im Bank has the will and the capacity to finance their purchases of U.S. equipment, products and services"

Is Glen Beck really the best that Fox News can do?
 

Way too much chalk dust 

Glen Beck on social justice and right wing paranoia

Strange bedfellows

Faith as a political expedient

The constitution and the state

6/27/10

Pueblo Lioness

From the Pueblo Zoo on Saturday:


"Bite me" Biden does it again

Now Our Beloved Vice-President, "Bite Me" Biden, is taking on the Custardier of Wisconsin:

Biden Calls Custard Shop Manager a 'Smartass' After Taxes Comment

Biden stopped in to rub elbows with "the small people", and snagged himself a custard at Kopp’s Frozen Custard outside of Milwaukee.

"What do we owe you?" Biden is heard saying in footage captured by WISN-TV.

"Don’t worry, it’s on us," the manager replied. "Lower our taxes and we’ll call it [the custard] even."

"Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smartass all the time?" Biden said a few minutes later.


Well, at least Biden didn't call the manager the usual names he and his far left socialist pals reserve for those who dare to question their extreme left policies and programs.

And of course, Biden later confided that he was 'just kidding'.

The manager said later in an interview with WISN that he thought Biden didn’t seem happy initially about the taxes comment, but that the vice president later whispered that he was just kidding.


And of course, he managed to blame Bush as well:

He then added that he and the current administration "inherited a god-awful mess."

So did Stanley McChrystal, who made that "Bite Me" thing one of Rolling Stone's real headliners. McChrystal was correct, of course, but as he found out, as a serving officer he really couldn't say that, even if true. "Truth is no defense".

But I can say it, and what's Biden, either "Joltin' Joe" Biden or "Bite Me" Biden going to do about that?

Well, at least he didn't use that really worn out cliche they all use when caught with their verbal pants down:

"I mis-spoke". That one covers a multitude of sins and crimes, even some crimes against nature.

6/25/10

Cajuns out in Louisiana cleanup

New Flash from the Bayou State!!!

Bulletin ... you heard it here first!

British Petroleum announced today that they will no longer hire Cajuns to help in the cleanup. Thibideaux, Boudreaux and Fontenot were told to clean as many brown pelicans as they could ...

So far, Thibodeaux has plucked and gutted over 50 birds while Boudreaux made the roux and Fontenot cooked the dirty rice.

An 'odd' moment?

Up in Milwaukee, the Board of Supervisors is talking about boycotting Arizona.

According to Supervisor Peggy West, since Arizona doesn't share a border with Mexico, and in fact is quite a ways removed from the border, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors should support a boycott.

No shi ... No kidding. Really.

Here, you can watch this asininity for yourself:

South of the border, down Mexico way ...

And here is the story:

County board of supervisors delays vote on Arizona boycott

Excerpt:

"If this was Texas, which is a state that is directly on the border with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this saying that they had a major issue with undocumented people flooding their borders, I would have to look twice at this. But this is a state that is a ways removed from the border," West said during debate.

Her colleague, Joe Rice, quickly corrected her, "I just want to assure my colleague that Arizona does in fact share a border with the country of Mexico."

While speaking at the meeting, West did go on to talk about National Guard troops on the border in Arizona. West points to that as she tells us that she simply misspoke.

"I did get a passing grade in Geography in high school and in college and I do obviously know that Arizona is on the border," West said in an interview after today's meeting.


Well, Peggy, if that is the case, then I guess the inadequacy of your state's education system seems equally as obvious.

Peggy is two-stepping all over the place. It seems she ... 'mis-spoke'.

Mis-spoke. They all do that these days.

And these are the kinds of dumbasses that are spending our tax dollars and making decisions to screw people in other states.

Dumbasses.

"Don't take your guns to town, son ..."

The Brady Bunch and the Violence Policy Center are going after concealed weapon permit holders ... again.

And as usual, they are wrong.

Here is a good commentary by John Lott:

In Debate Over Gun-Carry Laws, Critics Are Quick to Shoot Down the Facts

Some excerpts:

People walking the streets armed with guns must be dangerous, right? A newly revised study by the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center found that even those individuals who have legally obtained permits to carry concealed handguns are extremely dangerous. With millions of Americans already having been issued such permits from the various states, this is an important issue.

The gun control organizations have frequently made these claims in the press, and Dennis Henigan, the vice president of the Brady Campaign, will likely make these claims again when he and I appear on John Stossel’s FoxBusiness show today. But the gun control advocates inaccurately describe many shooting cases, choosing to ignore that the majority of incidents involve people properly defending themselves.

and

Take Florida, which currently has the most concealed handgun permit holders in the country and is one of the two most populous states with right-to-carry laws. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and May 31 this year, permits had been issued to 1.8 million people. On average, the permits had been held for quite a long time, well over 10 years. For all those individuals across the more than 22 years of legal carry, there were only 167 cases where the permit was revoked for a firearms related violation, or about 0.01 percent of permit holders. While the state doesn't provide a precise breakdown of the reason for those revocations, the vast majority were apparently for people who accidentally carried their concealed handgun into a gun-free zone, such as an airport or school.

Throughout the past 29 months, beginning January 2008, only three additional permit holders have had their permit revoked for a firearms-related violation. With more than 729,000 active permit holders, that is an annual revocation rate of 0.00017 percent.

Anti-gun proponents tend to be quite liberal in their political views. They tend to be Democrats, generally on the 'lefter' side of the party's political spectrum. And like the far left on other matters, such as environmentalism, they tend to bend facts to suit their agenda. Such is the case with gun control, and especially the case when it comes to CCW permit holders. Like the leadership of the Democratic Party, the anti-gunners are seldom if ever confused by fact.

You too can get a concealed weapons permit here in Colorado. We are a 'shall issue' state now. In other words, absent clearly defined disqualifiers, if you apply for a CCW permit, the county sheriff must issue one to you.

Here is more about that:

Concealed Handgun Permit Information Packet

6/24/10

A 'crazed sex poodle'?

Ah, poor ol' Al.

Interestingly, his separation from Tipper seems to coincide with the latest go around with this masseuse.

Ok ... ok ... so Al denies it all ... but really ... can anyone tell me another reason why Al would be looking for a late-night massage while in a hotel under an assumed name, other than looking for a 'happy ending'?

C'mon.

The Sex Poodle Papers

which contains a link so you can download the Portland police report, which is a real hoot.

Should we call this one 'Poodle-gate'?

6/23/10

Republicans and Democrats: A modern-day "Animal Farm"

The Republicans and the Libertarians continue on with their enthusiastic bashing of Obama over his demonizing of BP.

Anyone listening to them might gain the impression they are and have been beacons of righteous political morality. The Republicans, “the party of family values”, in particular seem to have forgotten - if in fact they ever realized - why they no longer hold political power in this country. Here's a reminder: Many of We the People were completely fed up with the Republicans. It wasn’t a love affair with Obama; it was a wave of disgust with the Republicans. They need to wrap their hearts and minds around that.

Obama has been doing a great job of demonizing BP. He has been hammering the company at every opportunity. And, he has been rather shrilly whining about Tea Partiers and others who want “smaller government” getting what they asked for with the Gulf oil spill, as though the company has been operating in an environment completely free of government oversight. BP stockholders have seen their holdings drop nearly 50% in value. Obama has done a good job of making sure the company takes a beating. In the process, he has deflected a good bit of anger from his administration's inept handling of the matter. He has also deflected anger away from his administration's lack of competent enforcement of safety rules and regulations already in place.

Obama has blamed the Bush administration for the incompetence and duplicity and negligence in the Mineral Management Service, which was responsible for conducting and overseeing inspections on the oil rigs. Yet, the only person to have been fired in this whole mess is an Obama appointee, former MMS director Elizabeth Birnbaum.

Deflections work two ways. Fox News' Judge Napolitano is incensed over the manner in which Obama shook BP down for $20 billion. Joe Barton took a lot of heat, especially from his fellow Republicans, for calling it a “shakedown”. Both Napolitano and Barton have a point; there is, after all that pesky little business of due process, and since when does an American president simply order the forfeiture of any private property? Then Rand Paul thinks the government should keep its nose out of BP's business. Glenn Beck, another paragon of righteous rightness ... well ... if Obama’s cronies are drinking the SEIU-purple Kool-Aid, then Beck continues to sniff the chalk dust . In any case, with all that chalk dust a-flying, we are supposed to forget that entirely too many of our Republican officials are entirely too cozy with outfits like BP.

Obama seems to think that "smaller" government is synonymous with "no" government. But most of us understand that with no government oversight, business is unlikely to demonstrate much in the way of moral responsibility. Our Federal regulatory bodies, though they have become bloated and over-powered, were necessitated by poor behavior on the part of capitalist America. BP's sorry performance emphasizes the need for continued oversight. If the Federal government had not weighed in on civil rights, many Americans would still be de facto if not de jure slaves under a feudal system of economic and political serfdom. Without such oversight, we would sink back into the days when workers were nothing more than an expendable commodity. Does anyone really think Napolitano, Paul, Beck and the Republican Party’s political machine really care about what Carl-Henric Svanberg so condescendingly referred to as "the small people"? I think they are perfectly willing to squeeze everything they can out of the American worker, just in a different way than Obama and his union cronies. There is little difference in the end between uncontrolled capitalist robber barons and socialists and unionists with their redistribution of wealth spending frenzies:

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." - George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

Both extremes give poor service to We the People, our Constitution, and our nation. We have formed and re-formed political parties many times in the past. I think now it’s time to give both parties the boot and come up with something new, something that serves We the People, and not the other way around.

Saving the world with BP

Saving the world

Where do they find these goofballs?

McChrystal and the Obamessiah

Well.

Obama did the right thing. It really was a no-brainer decision, and for once, I agree with him. His speech lines it all out very well.

McChrystal never would have tolerated such nonsense from his own subordinates; there is no reason to require Obama to tolerate it from McChrystal and his staff.

However, McChrystal's comments, and those of his staff, were quite accurate. Unfortunately, '... truth is no defense ...' when it comes to insubordination. We find that in Article 89 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and though that specifically deals with a 'commissioned officer' - which Obama is not - McChrystal is a general and Obama is the president. The concept applies in spades.

So now the question is, what's The One going to do about the 'issues' behind the comments?

McChrystal Out

6/22/10

Airport Fun Day 2010

September 18, 2010, at the La Junta Airport:

La Junta Airport Fun Day 2010



View Larger Map

6/21/10

Say it ain't so ...

This can't be true, of course ...

Fossil expands human family tree

... because as we all know, the earth is only 6,000 years old. Just ask Bob Jones or Pat Robertson.

A new partial skeleton of an early hominid known as Australopithecus afarensis was discovered in a mud flat of the Afar region of Ethiopia.

Dated about 3.6 million years ago, the find is about 400,000 years older than the famous Lucy, which was among the earliest upright walking hominids, researchers report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The bones indicate this ancestor also walked upright, but was considerably larger than Lucy, who stood about 3.5 feet tall. Because of his size -- he would have stood more than 5 feet tall -- the new specimen has been named "Kadanuumuu," which means "big man" in the Afar language

.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Leece at Pea Island NWR:

Photo galleries

and click on "Eastern NC: June 2010", and then on the Pea Island link.

See also:

Pea Island NWR

The Republican Party: Making a Stand

Making a Stand

Of course, you have to have some spine to make a stand, and the Republican Party is as spineless a collection of political opportunists as you'll find anywhere.

Losers. Republicans; Democrats, what's the difference?

6/19/10

Ohio's 'vacation' day

Chris Muir on Obama's Ohio trip, wherein dozens of workers were furloughed for the day, losing a day's pay, because they presented a 'threat' to The One:

Makin' Lemons

Obama's campaign speech costs construction workers a day's pay

President Obama went to the groundbreaking of a road project in Columbus, Ohio, Friday to show that his massive stimulus package is still churning out jobs -- a "good news" story that was anything but for some construction workers who were trying to figure out how to make up for the payday they lost due to the president's visit.

The workers were told not to report to their construction project at a nearby hospital Friday, because the Secret Service was shutting it down for security reasons. They also were told that they would not get paid for the forced day off.

Obama campaigns on the taxpayers' dimes

Mr. Obama spoke for just ten minutes and was on the ground in Ohio for just over an hour. And though his appearance was billed as official and not political, he did use his remarks to deliver attaboys to some of the Democratic politicians here including the Governor, who is up for re-election.

"You also got one of the best governors in the country in Ted Strickland," the president said at the start of his remarks.

Strickland faces a challenge for his job in November from former GOP Congressman John Kasich, who was not at the Recovery Act event. Neither was Boehner.

The trip Columbus probably cost taxpayers between $500,000 and $1 million.

Air Force One alone bills out at $100,000 per hour, and the round trip is nearly two hours. Adding to the cost are military aircraft to carry limos and secret service vehicles, Marine One on standby, Secret Service, local police and other factors.

6/18/10

AC-130 gunship crew returned from Laos

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFRNS) -- Unidentified remains of 14 fallen Air Force AC-130 gunship crewmembers were laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery here June 17, nearly 40 years after their aircraft was shot down over southern Laos.

Lt. Col. Henry P. Brauner, Lt. Col. Richard Castillo, Lt. Col. Irving B. Ramsower II, Lt. Col. Howard D. Stephenson, Maj. Curtis D. Miller, Maj. Barclay B. Young, Capt. Richard C. Halpin, Capt. Charles J. Wanzel III, Chief Master Sgt. Edwin J. Pearce, Senior Master Sgt. James K. Caniford, Senior Master Sgt. Robert E. Simmons, Senior Master Sgt. Edward D. Smith Jr., Master Sgt. Merlyn L. Paulson and Master Sgt. William A. Todd were honored in a group burial with full military honors in the cemetery's Section 60.

The crew was killed in action March 29, 1972, in the midst of the Vietnam War.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark D. Shackelford presented an American flag to the families. Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Anthony Wade and Rev. Martin McGill presided over the service.

Full military honors included a flag-draped casket and carrying team, a firing party, a band and bugler, a horse-drawn caisson and escorts from the Air Force Honor Guard. All 14 names will be included on the headstone.

Representatives from the families of 13 of the Airmen attended the ceremony. Several members of Rolling Thunder, an advocacy group for the return of all prisoners of war and those missing in action, also attended the service.

Remains for Captains Halpin and Wanzel, Chief Pearce, and Sergeants Caniford, Simmons, Smith and Todd were positively identified and returned to their families. Major Young and Sergeant Caniford were buried here individually in 2008, said Kaitlin Horst, a spokeswoman for the cemetery.

The remaining seven airmen could not be identified, but are accounted for, Larry Greer, a spokesman for the Pentagon's Joint Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Accounting Command, said in an interview with American Forces Press Service.

Forensic anthropologists and scientists from the Defense Department are confident all 14 Airmen were involved in the crash, Mr. Greer said. The scientists used identification tools, circumstantial evidence and DNA tests to match the crewmembers' remains with their families, Mr. Greer said. Scientists also used dental comparisons to identify remains.

"All of these men have been accounted for, and the families have accepted the identification," Mr. Greer said. "These final, full-honor services are to recognize the sacrifices that these men made and their families made, and all of us involved in this mission feel it an honor to bring closure to these families."

The crew's plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile during an armed reconnaissance mission. Search and rescue efforts were hindered because of heavy enemy activity in the area and were stopped after only a few days, Mr. Greer said.

The first remains were recovered in 1986 by a joint U.S.-Laos team, Mr. Greer said. Recovered items included two identification tags, life support equipment and aircraft wreckage, he added.

Between 1986 and 1998, nine members of the aircrew were positively identified. Follow-on surveys and excavations in 2005 and 2006 found more remains, personal effects and other equipment, he said.

The remains of more than 900 servicemembers killed in the Vietnam War have been returned to their families since 1972. More than 1,700 remain unaccounted-for.

In the past year, the Joint Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Accounting Command has accounted for 98 servicemembers missing from the Korean War, Vietnam War and World War II. More than 80,000 servicemembers from the three wars remain unaccounted-for. Nearly 2,000 from the same wars have been accounted for and returned to their families.

King Canute

Charles Krauthammer has a good one here:

Whose blowout is it, anyway?

An excerpt:

Federal officials who rage against BP would like to deflect attention from their own role in this disaster. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose departments laxity in environmental permitting and safety oversight renders it among the many bearing responsibility, expresses outrage at BPs inability to stop the leak, and even threatens to "push them out of the way."

"To replace them with what? asked the estimable, admirably candid Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander. No one has the assets and expertise of BP. The federal government can fight wars, conduct a census and hand out billions in earmarks, but it has not a clue how to cap a one-mile-deep out-of-control oil well.

Obama didn't help much with his finger-pointing Rose Garden speech in which he denounced finger-pointing, then proceeded to blame everyone but himself. Even the grace note of admitting some federal responsibility turned sour when he reflexively added that these problems have been going on for a decade or more -- translation: Bush did it -- while, in contrast, his own interior secretary had worked diligently to solve the problem from the day he took office.

Really? Why hadn't we heard a thing about this? What about the September 2009 letter from Obama's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accusing Interior's Minerals Management Service of understating the "risk and impacts" of a major oil spill? When you get a blowout 15 months into your administration, and your own Interior Department had given BP a "categorical" environmental exemption in April 2009, the buck stops.


The "King Canute" reference is in the last paragraph of the commentary.

The Obama shakedown as seen in Britain

Here's a taste of how the Brits see this. The fellow has a point about the Niger Delta spillage; after all, it's just a bunch of Africans drowning in oil over there:

BRITISH PENSION DIVIDENDS AXED AS OBAMA TELLS BP: PAY £14BN FOR OIL DISASTER

17.06.10, 6:11pm

Well after the witch hunt against BP conducted by the majority of the American press.

But think perhaps it is time for all those in America venting their anger and poor opinions on the headline from NBC news regarding Oil spills in the Niger Delta over a 50 YEAR PERIOD.

I have attached the web link for those interested.

Oil spill in the Niger Delta

It shows how the BP incident has been blown out of all proportion and those who do take the trouble to pick up the web link will find the villans are Exxon (AMERICAN COMPANY) and Shell.

Nobody seems to give a hoot about the people in the Niger Delta and how their lives have been ruined...oh no..Its all about the poor little Americans!

Get real all you whinging idiots, BP had an accident. Your Federal agencies KNEW EXACTLY what BP were doing and sanctioned it at all levels and now you want to look around for who to blame?

So somebody tell me what is the difference between the 50 YEAR'S worth of spills (and still ongoing) in the Niger Delta and the spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

Don't know the answer??? EASY..the one in the Niger Delta has no effect on Americans!

The shakedown and the apology

Almost everyone has their panties in a twist over Joe Barton's apology to Tony Hayward for Obama's shakedown of BP.

Well.

I don't think Barton should have 'apologized' to Hayward; after all, BP has screwed the pooch so badly that I don't think they'll ever be able to dig their way out of it. If I had any BP stock, I would have dumped it long ago. Hayward certainly did not do BP any real favors by appearing to be the most oblivious excuse for a CEO in the history of corporations. I'm not sure he is even aware at this point that he is the CEO, or that that company is British Petroleum.

The problem with listening to lawyers is that when you do, you have to essentially admit to being completely oblivious and completely brainless when you 'testify'.

But back to the shakedown.

I don't have any problem at all with that term. Because that's what it was. A good ol' Chikaga-style shakedown. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the room where the arm-twisting took place.

Too bad Obama didn't do it with Chrysler and GM and SEIU and the United Auto Workers. And the teachers' unions.

Nope. In those cases, it was fine for We the Taxpayer to take that hit. After all, the UAW and SEIU are voters. Democrats for the most part.

But in the case of BP ... well. Did you know that part of the shakedown included the detail that BP will not pay any dividends this year? To its shareholders? Can you imagine what would have happened had Obama done that with Chrysler and GM, rather than having We the Taxpayers bail out his voter pool in the unions?

BP's dividends are a big chunk of pensions - 17%- in Great Britain. That means a whole bunch of British pensioners are going to take it in the shorts. But they don't vote Over Here. They aren't Democrats. Can you imagine how The Vote would have been affected had Obama's bailout of GM and Chrysler included cutting UAW pensions by 17%?

About half of BP's shareholders are reportedly here in the US. It really isn't all that British a British company, despite the political spin Obama and his cronies are putting on it. But the pensioning arrangements are a bit different on this side of the pond. I'd love to see some demographics, political demographics, on BP shareholders. Do they tend to be Republicans over here?

Let me be perfectly clear (I love that line. Obama ain't the only one who can use it.) BP needs to pay up. BP screwed up. BP owes the people damaged by its negligence and incompetence.

But part of that finger-pointing needs to be aimed at the Obama administration, where the buck is in the pocket in the Orchid Office. Once the government sticks its nose into making sure industry complies with government-established rules and regulations, government assumes responsibility. Obama's administration failed as miserably as did BP. The evidence for that is in the reports about Mineral Management Service, and the subsquent firing of Birnbaum. Obama can go on all he wants about how all that started in the Bush adminstration. But, he was supposed to clean it up, and he had the time to do it, and he didn't.

It was a shakedown, pure and simple, in the best politically-motivated Chikaga ward boss style.

It certainly does do away with the inconvenience of due process, doesn't it? The ranchers down around Pinon Canyon better hope that Obama doesn't decide that an expansion would sit well with his voter base in SEIU, UAW, the Teamsters, and the other unions. Think of all those union jobs that a big expansion would bring. Think of all those votes.

BP's dividends account for 1/6th, 17%, of British pensions

6/17/10

Free workshop

From La Junta Economic Development:

No Cost Comprehensive Capacity Building Workshops offered in five statewide locations!

The Colorado Compassion Project (CCP) Nonprofit Workshop:

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At the CCP Nonprofit Workshop, you’ll join other leaders of area community- and faith-based organizations for four days of learning and networking. Master the tools of the nonprofit trade—from strategy to leadership to fundraising—and gain practical resources to help your organization work more effectively and efficiently. The CCP Nonprofit Workshop offers free registration and materials, and every participant will receive a complimentary copy of the Colorado Grants Guide.

Bright Mountain Foundation is pleased to offer at no cost a comprehensive 4 day workshop series on capacity building in five strategic locations statewide - Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, La Junta, and Alamosa. Designed for Colorado community- and faith-based organizations of all shapes and sizes, the CCP Nonprofit Workshop is an opportunity to learn, network, and improve your nonprofit’s capacity.

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The CCP Nonprofit Workshop focuses on key aspects of nonprofit capacity through a holistic, strengths-based approach. An intensive four day program lead by nationally-known presenter, Martha Vail, PhD, each day offers useful strategies for powerful outcomes. After participating in the workshop, you will be prepared to successfully complete a Colorado Common Grants application, confidently fill out IRS-Form 990, and have the knowledge and tools to apply Colorado Best Practices for Nonprofits.

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For the workshop agenda, schedule and registration please visit: http://www.regonline.com/the_ccp_nonprofit_workshop_2010

--
Martha Vail, PhD
Consulting, Training and Facilitation
744 St. Paul Street
Denver, CO 80206
303-819-1428 (cell)
303-399-2482 (office)
marthavail@gmail.com
www.marthavail.com

Don't touch the yard signs ...

6/16/10

The Republicans: A misplaced outrage

The Republicans and the Libertarians continue on with their enthusiastically opportunistic bashing of Obama's demonizing of BP. To hear them go on, the Republican Party and the Libertarians are beacons of sanctimonious political morality. The Republicans in particular seem to have forgotten - if in fact they ever realized - why they no longer hold political power in this country. Here's a reminder: It isn't so much that We the People were enamored of Barack H. Obama; rather, we were fed up with the Republicans. Many of us still are. They should keep that in mind.

Fox News' Judge Napolitano is incensed over the manner in which Obama shook BP down for $20 billion. Well, he has something of a point; there is, after all that pesky little business of due process, and since when does an American president simply order the forfeiture of any private property? Then Rand Paul thinks the government should keep its nose out of BP's business. Glenn Beck ... well ... Beck continues to sniff the chalk dust while Obama's cronies drink the SEIU-purple Kool-Aid.

Obama has been doing a great job of demonizing BP. He has been hammering the company at every opportunity. And, he has been rather shrilly whining about Tea Partiers and others who want 'smaller government' getting just what they asked for with the Gulf oil spill, as though the company has been operating in an environment completely free of government oversight. BP stockholders have seen their holdings drop nearly 50% in value. Obama has done a good job of making sure the company takes a beating. In the process, he has deflected a good bit of anger from his administration's inept handling of the matter, over to BP. He has also deflected anger away from his administration's lack of competent enforcement of safety rules and regulations already in place.

Obama has blamed the Bush administration for the incompetence and duplicity and negligence in the Mineral Management Service, which was responsible for conducting and overseeing inspections on the oil rigs. Yet, the only person to have been fired in this whole mess is an Obama appointee, former MMS director Elizabeth Birnbaum.

Obama seems to think that "smaller" government is synonymous with "no" government. But most of us understand that with no government oversight, business is unlikely to demonstrate much in the way of moral responsibility. Mine safety, oil rig safety, other industrial safety, securities regulation - all are necessary based on the past poor behavior on the part of capitalist America. BP's sorry performance emphasizes the need for continued oversight. Then we have civil rights enforcement, which if left up to many county and state governments would put us back into a feudal system of economic and political serfdom. Without such oversight, we would sink back into the days when workers were nothing more than an expendable commodity; the days of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". Does anyone really think Napolitano, Paul, and Beck really care about what Carl-Henric Svanberg so condescendingly referred to as "the small people"? I think they are perfectly willing to squeeze everything they can out of the American worker, just in a different way than Obama and his union cronies. There is little difference in the end between uncontrolled capitalist robber barons and socialists and unionists with their redistribution of wealth spending frenzies:

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." - George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

Both extremes give poor service to We the People, our Constitution, and our nation.

The American Dreamer?

Chris Muir's view of The Speech, over on Day by Day:

Spill it

Doing the honorable thing

Boy howdy, but Joe Cao ruffled a few feathers when he suggested that BP exec Lamar McKay do 'the right thing' and off himself over the Fiasco in the Gulf.

"Well, in the Asian culture, we do things differently. During the Samurai days, we'd just give you the knife and ask you to commit hari-kari," said Cao, who is Vietnamese-American. "My constituents are still debating on what they want me to ask you to do."

Let's forget for a moment that Cao is not Japanese and has no roots in the Samurai culture and mindset. Cao is, as noted, Vietnamese. Quite literally, having been born in Saigon (we here at BloggerCentral will never refer to it as 'Ho Chi Minh City', but that's another story) in 1967, as the war was rising to its peak. Let's also forget for the moment that the Vietnamese have no tradition of apologetic suicide as a cultural manifesto, despite Cao's comments about "Asian culture" and despite such as the story of the Trung sisters (Hai Bà Trưng), which may be more folklore than fact.

There are plenty of examples of apologetic suicide in western cultures. Rommel comes immediately to mind.

So I'm not the least outraged by the suggestion.

I could probably dig up a pistol and a single round for McKay to use, if he decides to do the 'honorable thing'.

6/15/10

Running on Empty

No, not Jackson Browne. Nope. Barack H. Obama.

From Kevin Drum, a far leftie over on the far leftie Mother Jones:

"What a terrible speech … This gives pabulum a bad name … The whole point of a prime time Oval Office speech is that it announces something big. On that score, Obama failed right from the start."

Obama was not very presidential. But then, he hasn't been, has he.

This guy is making Jimmy Carter look like a Master Statesman in comparison.

"Repeat Offenders"

Red Planet Cartoons

New York Community Board Supports Ground Zero Mosque

The Clyburn Hackers

The voters of South Carolina managed to select a semi-literate dimwit to run for the US Senate.

Alvin Greene won the Democratic primary, despite being unable to intelligently discuss any of the issues facing South Carolina, and despite facing felony charges for distributing pornography.

South Carolina CongressCritter James Clyburn is incensed over Greene's win.

He maintains that the election was rigged. Hackers got into the voting machines. The voting machines are - he insists - notoriously inaccurate (perhaps this explains how Clyburn keeps getting re-elected). The machines had magnets attached to them by members of some shadowy group, probably the Republican party. Greene won because his name was at the top of the ballot. Greene won because he has a common name.

Sounds like Clyburn needs a new AFDB.

I don't know why his knickers are in a twist. ACORN, the taxpayer-funded Democratic voter registration firm, has been working overtime to register anyone who can demonstrate some indication of life. This includes felons, dead people (who arguably don't demonstrate much life, but let's not quibble over petty details), and anyone who can scrawl an 'X' on a voter registration form. Well ... OK ... not an 'X'. Just a scrawl. And anyone who can scrawl some kind of signature on any number of voter registration forms.

In other words, ACORN and the Democrats have been working overtime to register any illiterate doofus.

And now they are complaining because their illiterate doofuses have managed to elect a semi-literate criminal doofus?

Who are they kidding?

Sounds to me like Greene will fit right in, up yonder in the Congress of these United States.

Obama no longer trusts BP

Wow!

Obama no longer trusts BP

Wow!

For weeks we've been hearing reports about how Obama's Minerals Management Service inspectors gun-decked inspections while surfing porn, negotiating for jobs with the companies they were inspecting while they were inspecting them, and otherwise behaving in criminally incompetent manner. Elizabeth Birnbaum is the Obama appointee that was canned. And we've heard for weeks about how BP ignored advice and recommendations from independent contractors and their own engineers.

For weeks, anyone who has been paying any attention at all to this has been marveling at the duplicity of the BP 'management team'.

And it's just now that Obama has decided BP isn't trustworthy?

Meanwhile, we are being treated to photo ops of Obama stumbling about on Floridian beaches, gazing pensively out at the ocean while waving his hand gently but expansively.

It's enough to give one a tingle up the leg.

The Gulf will be OK ...

That's The Obamessiah's pledge. As if he is going to walk out upon the waters, and wave his hand, and all will be well.

He talked about 'the beaches' being the easiest to clean up.

Like, wowsers. Talk about missing the point. Talk about 'not getting it'. But at least he was being 'perfectly honest'. That's what he said. Have you noticed he uses that phrase a lot these days?

Why does he have to reassure his worshipping masses that he is being 'perfectly honest'? Are there times when he is not? That's a trick question. You don't have to answer it.

James Carville, heretofore one of the primary Drinkers of The Obamessiah's Purple Kool-Aid, was quick to counter the 'perfect honesty'.

Yeah, the beaches are 'the easiest' to clean up. Relatively. The marshes are the most difficult, and suffer the most damage. And they are the most critical to the littoral and estuarine ecologies that serve as nurseries for all manner of marine species.

Louisiana's coast is not a tourist haven of pristine beaches. They only have a couple of beaches of any touristic consequence. Carville said that, and he is correct. The real value in Louisiana is in those marshlands. And they are the ones being thoroughly trashed.

The Obamessiah is now in Whine Mode. He's pointing fingers everywhere. Let this be a lesson to those Tea Partiers and whoever else wants 'smaller government'. See what it gets you?

He overlooks a few inconvenient truths, however. Like many of his ilk, he equates 'smaller government' to 'no government'. I haven't heard anyone but the most extreme libertarians and anarchists argue for 'no government'.

We require government to provide the infrastructure that supports our economy.

Contrary to Rand Paul's love affair with BP and big business, we also need government to keep an eye on blood-sucking capitalists (there are some of those, really) who would love to return to the days of sweat shops and miserably inadequate wages. Anyone remember the civil rights movement? That was a perfect example of a larger government forcing smaller governments to toe the line regarding the Constitution. Mine safety? Other forms of workplace safety? If it were up to many - not all, but many - employers, workers would be screwed.

Speaking of which ... how about well safety? The mechanisms are in place, and have been for a long time, for well inspections and forced compliance with safety requirements.

Obama likes to point out that the inspectors who were bagged surfing porn at work, making deals for jobs with oil companies, and otherwise gun-decking safety inspections, were all from the Bush era.

Well, some were, and some were not, but it doesn't matter. The person who was responsible for making sure the inspectors were doing their jobs was an Obama appointee. And she is the only person to have been fired since this mess began.

So put a sock in it, Barack, and quit whining, and quit trying to make it look like a bit of a spill at the kitchen table. And quit telling us how the buck stops in your pocket while pointing fingers everywhere else.

6/14/10

Obama the ass-kicker

First The Obamessiah was '... enraged ...'.

And then the Obamessiah was '... outraged ...'.

And then the Obamessiah was '... furious ...'.

And now the Obamessiah is an '... ass-kicker...'.

Yup.

He's a-gonna kick some serious ass. And then what? Perhaps he is going to don his cape and tights and swim down to the gusher and stick his finger in it?

But first, he would have to pull it out of where he now has it stuck.

Wait! I know! Rather than sticking his finger in it, he can stuff Robert 'Giggles' Gibbs and Rahm 'The Fish' Emanuel in it.

Yep.

But wait again! How about The Obamessiah take a lesson from The Greatest Ass-kicker of 'em All, and fashion a whip of cords, and thrash Tony Hayward with it during The Upcoming Speech.Or perhaps have a couple of those Secret Service dudes hold Hayward up while Obama does a little Chikaga-style brassknuckling.

It's all Bush's fault, you know. And before that, it's the talking heads' fault.

Because The Obamessiah was 'down there' in the Gulf a month before the talking heads.

Yep.

That's what he said in the same show as when he went into Ass-Kicker-in-Chief mode

"I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf."

Really? Doing what? Doing his imitation of Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami?

You know, like when Horatio squats down before The Scene of the Crime, runs some of that clean, white (might be blood-stained on CSI) Florida sand through his fingers, all the while gazing pensively through his Foster Grants, presenting a modern day version of The Thinker.

It was all very dramatic, and while Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Kool-Aid drinkers may have bought it, Bobby Jindal and a host of parish presidents did not.

Nor did I. Nor do I.

We just returned from another great visit to eastern North Carolina, which could give the Louisiana coast a run for its money when it comes to magnificent scenery and salt marshes and bayous and estuarine fishing nurseries and all those ecological wonders.

There is talk of the oil moving around the Keys into the Gulf Stream and up the coast as far as Hatteras. That's Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, and beaches and marshes where hundreds of thousands of people live, make their living, and living their lives.

So git on up there, Obama, and squat in the sand, and look, you know, like ... presidential. Take a look at some CSI: Miami tapes first so you get the technique right.

What a pathetic excuse for a president we have.

6/13/10

Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills

We had a great trip to Eastern North Carolina this past week. We visited historic Beaufort; Fort Macon; Atlantic Beach; New Bern's Tryon Palace; and we took the ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke and then on to Hatteras; Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge; Nags Head: Kitty Hawk; and Roanoke Island and the Lost Colony drama at Fort Raleigh near Manteo.

We have a partial gallery up, of some shots at Kill Devil Hills:

Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills: The Wright Brothers Memorial

Go to Image Galleries

and click on Eastern North Carolina: June 2010

6/4/10

Raghead?

The South Carolina gubernatorial campaigns have been quite vicious.

Nikki Haley has been accused of having at least two affairs, which she denies. Her accusers have not been forthcoming yet with anything to support their allegations.

Now, GOP state senator John M. "Jake" Knotts has called Haley a 'raghead'on 'Pub Politics', an Internet talkshow:

"We already got one raghead in the White House; We don't need another in the governor's mansion."

We here at BloggerCentral are not entirely sure what Knotts means by the 'raghead' in the White House thing, but we surmise that he is referencing the 'birther' controversy regarding The Obamessiah, which usually includes breathless revelations that The Obamessiah is really a Muslim. In our experience, the 'Christian' Right sends most of that crap around.

We could play the same game as 'Jake', and wonder if he wears shoes or has all his teeth or reads anything other than Klan newsletters. You know. Stereotyping hick from the sticks southern red necks. Or wonder, perhaps, if 'Pub Politics' meets in the local bar, and if 'Jake' was sloshing a few too many Up The Creek Extremes ... but those might be a bit too classy for Our Jake.

Knotts has since apologized:

"Bear in mind that this is a freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub. It's like a local political version of 'Saturday Night Live.' Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize. I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur."


Uh huh. Smells like the Timpas Feedlot on a hot summer day.

The Jobs Report

Our Beloved Leader is crowing from the treetops (in a manner of speaking) about the great jobs report this morning.

Unemployment dropped to 9.7%, you see.

As H.R. 'Mac' McCune would say ... "More money in circulation!"

Or some other such intellectual non-sequitur.

But ...

Most of the increase in jobs in May is from The Obamanian Voter Registration and Campaign Committee ...

Ooops.

We mean "The Census".

Census workers.

It's great that Democratic Party machine officials have some cool temp jobs - just check the Woodruff Memorial Library parking lot these mornings - but unfortunately, these are government jobs, not private sector jobs.

And while we do need some government jobs ... some ... it's really private sector jobs that drive the economy. Just ask the Greeks, who are in the economic toilet and getting swirled around for a permanent flush. In Greece about 50% of the workforce are government workers.

But that's OK with The Obamessiah:

"This report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day," Obama said in remarks to about about 50 workers at a large truck garage in Maryland. "A lot of businesses that were hit hard during this downturn, they are starting to hire again. Workers who were laid off are starting to get their jobs back," he said.
...

But U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected in May, just 41,000 after rising 218,000 in April, a setback for the labor market recovery, even as temporary Census hiring pushed overall payrolls growth to its fastest pace in 10 years.

You see that private sector job growth actually dropped by a considerable margin from April to May. The Obamessiah does acknowledge that the temp jobs are just temp jobs, and gummint jobs at that.

But that's OK. Now ... off to that rather pesky little oil leak ...

Welcome, illegal immigrants!

"Furiousity"

So now He is 'furious'.

President Obama is 'furious'

Before, He was simply 'enraged'. Well ... first, he seemed to be somewhat indifferent. Then he seemed somewhat put out because it interfered with his fund-raising and hobnobbing with basketball teams or whatever in the Rose Garden. Not to mention trying to pay off Andy Romanoff, who for some odd reason was struck - so Robert "Giggles" Gibbs says - with an urge to go off to the hinterlands as a behind-the-scenes USAID administrator.

Now He (Obama, not Gibbs or Romanoff)is 'furious'.

Yes. Those BP dudes better watch out. Obama is 'furious', and he's a-headin' for the Gulf.

I hope they have enough workers hanging around stage left to put on a good show.

Meanwhile, the goop is going to get picked up by the Gulf Stream, and slime the entire eastern seaboard from the Keys to Cape Hatteras.

But Our Beloved Leader is 'furious'.

You go, Barack. You go, dude!

Have a conference with Captain "Slow and Dumb". And whatever happened to Mary Landry? Did she get sent to Coastie Heaven?

It's enough to make one sell all the BP holdings and go with Chinese coal futures.

6/3/10

The Romanoff Two-step

Romanoff applied for job with Obama administration

It appears from this article that Romanoff applied for a job with USAID shortly after the coronation of The Obamessiah. He even - according to the article - had a chat or chats with 'White House personnel'.

But alas ... there was no joy in Mudville ... and Romanoff did not go to work for USAID.

Then he decided to run for the Senate against Obama puppet Michael Bennet. That was some nine months or so after he tried for USAID.

And that got some results. That got him three job offers, but they weren't really job offers, you see. They were positions that 'might' be available if the candidate were not a candidate. But Romanoff was never offered a job if he didn't run against Bennet, you see. They were just positions that 'might' be available if the candidate were not a candidate. Wink wink nudge nudge. You see.

Interestingly, Romanoff never mentioned his attempts for a job with USAID in his June 2 statement about who said what to whom and when.

Pesky little detail, that. If it's true. We'll have to wait and see what Romanoff has to say about that.

USAID is an interesting outfit. Most of us who were in or around the late unpleasantness in Southeast Asia remember USAID as kind of a front for the CIA, which may not have been entirely true all of the time. It was quite cloudy as an 'issue'. The most significant USAID program in-country was CORDS, or Civil Operations and Rural Development Support. You can read more about that here:

Winning Hearts and Minds

This is the origin of the phrase, "If you grab them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

USAID is in Iraq and many other countries in the middle East.

In any case, USAID is not one of the organizations that is in the forefront of media reports, and it is not rife with photo opportunities. So it is hardly the place you would think an ambitious politician like Andrew Romanoff would want to be.

So what's the deal with this?

6/2/10

Romanoff-Gate

Discussion over the revelation that the White House offered Congressman Joe Sestak a “job” if he would decline to run against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary has occupied a good deal of air time and has used up quite a bit of ink.

Opinions vary over the issue. Democrats insist that nothing illegal was done, and that the offering of “positions” within an administration to those who play the political game is nothing more than “business as usual”. Republicans, on the other hand, have been raising a ruckus, equating the event to some kind of bribe. Federal statutes have been cited and held up as proof that “Sestak-Gate” is an indication of the corruption rampant in the Obama administration.

“Sestak-Gate” proved if not more embarrassing then certainly more interesting when Sestak, having made a clear statement that he was offered a ‘job’ if he would get out of Specter’s way, became thoroughly disingenuous when further comment was sought by various news agencies. Then the White House hedged on making any statements until admitting that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had used former President Bill Clinton to offer the deal to Sestak. Whether Clinton was reduced to errand boy status or chosen because of his still significant political influence depends on which side of the aisle the observer sits. In any case, the ‘job’ offered to Sestak was apparently a non-paying position on one of many advisory boards that has access to Obama. Since nothing of tangible value was offered – other than greater access to the president - the applicability of those previously cited Federal statutes becomes somewhat less clear. The drama over Sestak-Gate continues.

Meanwhile, a “shocking” revelation has surfaced, indicating that Democratic senatorial hopeful Andrew Romanoff was also offered a “job” if he would not run against incumbent Michael Bennet. Bennet has demonstrated that he is in lockstep with the Obama agenda, making him a valuable member of the president’s “team”. Romanov, on the other hand, though a staunch Democrat, seems to possess more his own mind, making him a potential liability to the administration.

Most of the reportage on Romanoff-Gate leaves the reader with the impression that this “deal” is something recent. It is not. The Denver Post covered it in some detail on September 27, 2009. On June 2, 2010, Romanoff released a statement noting that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina had contacted him last September to tell him that the White House would be supporting Bennet. Romanoff states that he told Messina that he had decided to run, after which Messina indicated that there were three positions that might be available to Romanoff were he not running for the Senate. This was reiterated in a subsequent email from Messina to Romanoff.

Romanoff states that he was not promised a ‘job’ if he would not run against Bennet. This seems to be true in the literal sense. However, when a deputy chief of staff tells a candidate that one of three positions could be available to the candidate if he were not a candidate, one has to wonder just how detached from reality one must be not to see the intent.

So while nothing illegal may have occurred, it is certainly “crystal clear” that the Obama administration, despite promises to the contrary, is conducting “business as usual”. Add to this the backroom deals over the passage of the healthcare bill, and we seem to have a “teachable moment” for the American public about the quality of our political leadership.

The question now is whether the moment will be remembered in November.