Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stick a Fork in the RNC

Take a good look. It's The Statement. The one to which all politicians resort whenever they've been caught being naughty.

Of course they always staff it out. Michael Steele will not "dignify" this atrocious claim with a direct response. His director of communications will do that for him. The smart money says you never directly acknowledge the problems in your own house. This makes you somehow "above" the fray.

Ridiculous. Michael Steele presides over a party that is bleeding itself dry. Having turned its back on its conservative "base" (whatever the heck that means anymore) it finds itself losing the confidence of its registered voters; the very voters that it desperately needs to pull off any real victory this November. It claims to need a bigger tent, to be somehow more inclusive of fringe voters that have been artificially elevated to an ethereal status of near omnipotence at the ballot box. Yet the tent itself is damaged. Far from providing any sort of shelter within which voters may take shelter, it has been ripped, torn, slashed, and haphazardly patched back together so that it provides no cover against the force of even the smallest political storms.

So now we find that the machine behind the politicians is dirty. It's not just the grease that's getting old; there's grit in the gears, and a few cogs are even missing.

It's not that the charges themselves are overly incredible. Heck, this is what political machines do, isn't it? They spend money promiscuously and indiscreetly, then pay staff to cover their tracks, or throw themselves under the bus when they don't do a good enough job. Someone, at some point, had to see a receipt in the expense accounts for a strip club and should have raised the roof at that point. But they didn't, and we are left with Larry, Moe, and Curly pointing fingers at each other, or poking each other in the eyes, while the national press have a field day with the committee's ethical lapses.

Mark me: If Republicans do not fare well, and I'm not ready to predict any sort of significant turnover in Congress this fall, fingers will correctly point back to this incident as the beginning of the end. It won't be the failure to prevent health care reform, it won't be the decided lack of economic recovery in the face of stimulus after stimulus, and it certainly won't be Sarah Palin. It will be the complete failure of the RNC to provide any meaningful support or direction to its candidates.

In fact, I might even go out on a limb here and say that if (IF) Republicans do at all well in the upcoming elections, it will be because they did so despite the best efforts of the RNC. Michelle Malkin has a running meme of "RNC Rejection Slips" where people who are disgusted with the RNC and its current direction are sending back requests for donations with all sorts of reasons why the committee doesn't deserve their hard-earned money. Their reasons largely echo my own: the committee has demonstrated time and time again that they have no interest in fronting for true conservatives. They seem to have pinned all their hopes on moderates who will give them plenty of rope with which to hang themselves. This is why we have so many "representatives" who refuse to represent my particular interests: secured borders; fiscal conservatism; a return to constitutional limits of government power.

The RNC is more than done. They are toast.

Monday, March 29, 2010

President Obama's Expired Promises Thus Far

Courtesy of Jim Geraghty, who, unless I'm mistaken, was the one who coined the meme that all of President Obama's promises come with expiration dates.


Cameron's Gettin' All Political Again

Greg, If you don't want me posting on the blog, you better take the keys away pretty soon. I'm a-gettin' angry again.

I'm feeling a need to . . . say . . . things.

I promise to keep it clean.

Woody: Hey, the welcome mat is always out. That's probably why 'possums are always eating it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Oath of Office

Every United States Representative upon entering Congress after their election (or re-election) is administered the oath of office. The oath, once a much simpler fourteen words, was expanded in the days following the beginning of the Civil War in order to impress upon these elected officials the seriousness of their duties and responsibilities as legislators:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
In the past few days, many words have been written about the move by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to act upon the recommendation of Rep. Louise Slaughter and her Rules Committee to "deem passed" the Senate bill rather than have the members of the House actually vote upon it.

Forgive me, but I can't help wondering whether anyone else recognizes this act as a direct violation of the congressional Oath of Office. Being curious, I undertook to do a bit of research and found this nugget on the "Friends of Article V" web site:
5 U.S.C. 3333 requires members of Congress sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office as defined by the third part of the law, 5 U.S.C. 7311 which explicitly makes it a federal criminal offense (and a violation of oath of office) for anyone employed in the United States Government (including members of Congress) to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”. The fourth federal law, 18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.
If I'm not mistaken, encouraging members of Congress to "deem passed" such a major piece of legislation which is, after all, the cornerstone of President Obama's entire domestic policy, appears to "advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government." And if that is true, then certainly it would not be improper to seek the immediate removal of Nancy Pelosi, Louise Slaughter, and every single Representative who allows this blatant violation of the Constitution to take place.

Should the House of Representatives follow the recommendations of Slaughter's committee, I hope someone will have the courage to begin impeachment proceedings against, at a minimum, Pelosi and Slaughter. By extension, anyone who likewise supports this action should also be held equally accountable for their own perfidies.

That about sums up my feelings on this one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As Bad as Film Gets

So we're browsing through Blockbuster last weekend, looking for entertainment. We do that occasionally, and we're not too proud to scan the tables for bargains, either.

Whilst scanning the recent releases, I saw one called "The Bracelet of Bordeaux." Looked like one the Woodyettes might enjoy as it had a solve-the-mystery back story, and the girls tend to enjoy those. We decided to make this our dinner-time movie tonight (Del Taco taco night!) and settled in to watch.

Those in my family will appreciate this next statement. "The Bracelet of Bordeaux" is the Mrs. Miller of cinematic achievement. But less comical.

It is my habit with films of this caliber to check out IMDB for certain details. Two things caught my attention. It was previewed in 2007 at the "Austin Film Festival" (two and a half stars!). The Austin Film Festival purports to celebrate the "writers' contribution to film." This film must have been entered under the prestigious "Writers Not Yet Having Graduated Junior High School" category. The film apparently did so well that the producers required a full year and a half to recuperate enough to give the film a "limited" release last May.

Equally impressive was it's reported budget of $70,000. That's right: seven-zero thousand. I'm guessing most of that went toward bribing theaters to actually show the film. At $70K this film is clearly overpriced. I'm not entirely certain the producers didn't need to take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of pressing the two or three copies of the DVD that eventually found their way into unsuspecting homes like ours.

The thing is, it could have been fun. The premise, while not original, sounded fun: kids solve a local mystery with the aid of a magical bracelet. The set-up scene, by the way, was far more impressive than the rest of the film. A lady spy is seen at the end of World War II putting the bracelet into a trunk, after showing just a hint of the bracelet's power. Had the movie ended at that point I would have considered it a fair effort.

Sadly, they plowed ahead and finished it. Worse yet, so did we.

Now, the Woodyettes watch their fair share of fluffy kid movies. They have every kid movie of any note (that have girls in them, anyway) from the Spy Kids all the way down to every Barbie movie ever foisted on the public. They love Matilda. They lap up the American Girl films. Eloise was a big hit for them.

They could not WAIT for this one to be over.

Neither could I. In fact, I wrote this entire review in the closing fifteen minutes of the movie, including the big breakup of the dog-napping gang. At fifteen minutes, this column is entirely too generous to this film.

Avoid at all costs.