SoS John Kerry had a Biden moment last week when he listed the fictitious country of ‘Kyrzakhstan’ as an example of a “democratic instituition” in Asia as reported in the UK Telegrahph:
In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure “democratic institutions” in the Central Asian country, which does not exist.
The newly minted diplomat was referring to Kyrgyzstan, a poor, landlocked nation of 5.5 million, which he appeared to confuse with its resource-rich neighbour to the north, Kazakhstan.
I wonder if Kerry had been asked what country bordered it if he would have said ‘Franistan’?
Some firearm companies are now hitting back at government agencies who wish to impose restriction on firearm ownership of their citizens (h/t CNS News).
A growing number of firearm and firearm-related companies have stated they will no longer sell items to states, counties, cities and municipalities that restrict their citizens’ rights to own them.
According to The Police Loophole, 34 companies have joined in publicly stating that governments who seek to restrict 2nd Amendment rights will themselves be restricted from purchasing the items they seek to limit or ban.
It looks to me like these companies have a whole lot more guts than the GOP leadership, who seems to get tongue tied trying to form a sentence defending the rights of this nation Citizens. The link has a list of those companies that have decided that if their firearms are too dangerous for the public then they must be to dangerous for the officials who seek to ban them. Here are just a couple of the statements from some of the companies:
Extreme Firepower Inc., located in Inwood, WV has had a longstanding policy that states:
“The Federal Government and several states have enacted gun control laws that restrict the public from owning and possessing certain types of firearms…If a product that we manufacture is not legal for a private citizen to own in a jurisdiction, we will not sell that product to a law-enforcement agency in that jurisdiction.”
York Arms, located in Buxton, ME released a statement following new legislation in New York:
“Based on the recent legislation in New York, we are prohibited from selling rifles and receivers to residents of New York. We have chosen to extend that prohibition to all governmental agencies associated with or located within New York.”
When I first saw this I thought for certain it had to be something out of the Onion, but no it is for real. The Postal Service has announced plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories. Via the Daily Caller:
The USPS product line will be sold under the brand name “Rain Heat & Snow,” a homage to the service’s unofficial motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
USPS signed on with the apparel company Wahconah Group, Inc. to launch the product line, which will start off with men’s apparel and add a women’s line in the future.
“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” Postal Service corporate licensing manager Steven Mills said in a statement. “The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics.
What could possibly go wrong with this latest plan to fix the postal woes?
(update): Here’s one thought of something that could go wrong. If this clothing line is emblazoned with the USPS Emblem could the clothing not be worn by identity thieves trying to steal mail from mailboxes without suspicion (especially if the clothing line looks anything like a postal workers uniform)?
(update): Thanks for the h/t from Doug Powers over at michellemalkin.com
While on his Google chat yesterday, President Obama made the following statement:
“This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency,” said Obama. “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
Two problems that are striking. First, the Founding Father’s set up our form of government precisely so that we would not have an emperor who would rule over their subjects. As a matter of fact, that is a large part of the reason we fought the Revolutionary War; therefore if it is a problem the President has ‘struggled with thought his presidency’ perhaps he ought to resign and allow for someone who does not see our chosen form of government as “the problem”.
Secondly, he stated that his job “is to execute laws that are passed”. He has been an abysmal failure in this regards. His administration is being sued by the border patrol union for ordering them (and they are an Executive Branch department) to not uphold a law when it comes to immigration. His administration has been found in contempt via the interior departments illegal oil drilling moratorium. His Justice department disregarded the laws regarding illegal gun running and the list goes on and on.
So to recap, the President of the United States laments the fact that he is not an emperor and is expected to uphold the laws passed by Congress. If these two items are the problem you are proclaiming them to be Mr. President, then do all of America a favor and resign immediately. You will no longer have these “problems” weighing on your conscience and America can once again be a nation of laws, passed by our duly elected Representatives in Congress and enforced by a President who understands that this is what makes America the greatest nation on the planet.
Simple, the MSM will yell “Look, a squirrel!”
“Zero Dark Thirsty,” “Swing and a Miss,” “Parch Madness,” “Tough Swallow,” “Just Add Water,” and “Water Under the Bridge” were a handful of the phrases used on-air by MSNBC on Wednesday to mock Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for awkwardly pausing to take a sip of water while delivering the official Republican response to the State of the Union address.
Throughout the broadcast day, between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST, MSNBC showed a replay of Rubio’s swig approximately 155 times — 101 of which came during “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which played the moment on loop at the bottom of the screen for more than 13 minutes.
Rubbio has his faults (just see his immigration stance), but he sure has scarred the left to death with his rebuttal to the State of Confusion (credit to Mark Levin) speech.
UPDATE: Compare Rubio’s media treatment over drinking water to Obama’s treatment over a fly landing on his face:
We all know about all the different bans and regulations that Bloomingidiot has foisted upon New Yorker’s and he isn’t done yet. Today he has announced that he wants to ban styrofoam (say goodbye to your morning cup of Joe) and he wants to reserve 20% of the parking in NYC for electric cars (that will do wonders for businesses and the already hectic parking problems of NYC).
It makes me wonder just what it takes to get New Yorker’s to say enough is enough.
Missouri Dem’s have intorduced legislation in their state to confiscate legally owned fire arms after 90 days by making them illegal to own retroactively (h/t Gateway Pundit):
Here’s part of the Democratic proposal in Missouri:
4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:
(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;
(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or
(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.
5. Unlawful manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine is a class C felony.
With the immigration debate heating up and more Americans than ever starting to demand that our government do their job I got to thinking about the one argument that is so often used by the proponents of illegal immigration: They are only doing jobs that Americans will not do.
Like most arguments from liberals (to include squishy republicans) this argument sounds good on face value until you dissect it and realize that only part of the statement is true. Illegal immigrants take work at far below what an American would do the job for undercutting the labor market. So in reality the argument should be, illegal immigrant do jobs for less than what Americans would do them for.
Once I figured this part of the argument out I started to look deeper into the entire economic issue. When we look at how much money we make each year it is in pay and benefits not just pay. The same could be said about the illegal alien. Sure they do not get paid much from the business they work for, but what about the benefits they receive from the state and federal government at the cost to the taxpayer? In most states they can receive welfare, free medical care, free food (i.e. food stamps), and free schooling in the form of public education for their children. This leads to school overcrowding, a burden on our healthcare system, and a constant call by politicians to raise our taxes to continue to pay for it all.
Realizing that this has lead me to think of the lack of upholding our immigration laws by our elected officials and illegal immigration in general as the very first government bailout of businesses. We are subsidizing businesses in the form of benefits for workers that they hire for pennies on the dollar.
Now I know that if they had to hire Americans to do these jobs they would have to pay more and pass the costs onto the consumer, but which would you rather pay, the $5 for a head of lettuce in a grocery store or the cost of the generous benefits package we are paying through taxation for illegal aliens?
Last month, a decorated Gulf War hero received a letter from the Veterans Affairs Administration that said: We are working on your claim for menstrual disorder.
There was just one problem: The claim was submitted for fibromyalgia.
Make that two problems: The claim was submitted by Glenn McBride, a 40-year-old man from Roanoke, Va., who most definitely does not get menstrual cramps.
It’s a bad sign when your health insurance provider can’t figure out which gender reaches for the Midol. (Hint: it’s the one without the prostate.)
The Department of Veterans Affairs is notorious for bungling health care benefits, and its Roanoke regional office, which handled McBride’s claim, has long been considered among the worst.
In September 2009 a surprise inspection found the office was collapsing under the weight of its own bureaucratic incompetence. Literally.
Its filing system — floor-to-ceiling stacks of overfilled file cabinets and loose claims folders — weighed twice as much as the building’s structure allowed, threatening the lives of everyone inside. Inspectors also found missing and improperly filed, stored and processed claims, among other problems. The regional office was ordered to overhaul the health care processing center completely.
By last month, six months later, there should have been some improvement. Instead, McBride received a letter that included this perplexing request for additional information:
“On the VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim you sent on October 8, 2009, you included menstrual disorder. Please specify what you intended to claim for this condition.”
McBride, whose 14 years of Army service included a combat tour with one of the most highly decorated units during Desert Storm — and did not include any complaints about menstrual cramps, so far as he can recall — insists this was not just a clerical error. He says it’s one more example of the VA ignoring or messing up claims in order to avoid paying benefits.
“If the VA does not actually recognize the request, they do not have to give the award,” he said. “Sort of like a perverted form of ‘See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.’ Most people just throw up their hands in frustration and walk away at this point. That is the VA’s plan.”
The VA, asked to comment about McBride’s complaint, issued a statement in which it said:
“The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) mission is to be an advocate for Veterans. VA has a responsibility to assist Veterans during the claims process. Part of that duty is to include all possible issues that a Veteran references in his or her initial claim package. VA regrets any confusion that Mr. McBride’s claim may have caused. VA Regional Office employees have reached out to Mr. McBride to clarify the confusion, determine the types of issues he wants to claim, and identify any outstanding concerns that he may have.”
Jim Strickland, a veterans advocate who writes a regular health care benefits column on VAWatchdog.org and has his own benefits-related Web site, said he wasn’t at all surprised to learn of McBride’s “menstrual” letter. “There are 57 regional offices and every one is operating in total chaos and in crisis,” he said. “Full frontal mass chaos. Every day.”
Contacted in the middle of the week, Strickland said he’d already received two e-mails from veterans who were mailed the records of other veterans. And he provided his most ridiculous example of a nonsensical claims letter, one that managed to try to collect debt and to discuss overpaying the same debt — at the same time.
For Gulf War veterans who fought during a certain time period, certain health conditions are considered presumptive, meaning that such a high percentage of that group has been diagnosed with the condition it’s presumed that it was caused by military service, and coverage is automatically granted. Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, is a presumptive one for McBride.
Because of his years of experience dealing with the VA, McBride likes to provide as much information as possible when he submits claim forms. (He also gets a signed and time-stamped receipt upon delivery.) When he sent in his claim for fibromyalgia, he typed clearly at the top of the form: “This form is an official request for SERVICE-CONNECTION for FIBROMYALGIA.” He included an extract of a VA “fast letter” regarding presumptive conditions — basically providing the VA with its own policy on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. “Menstrual disorder” is included in the VA’s list of symptoms.
“The VA just breezed right through the facts and settled on the obscure,” McBride said. “The Roanoke office clearly hasn’t changed.”
Strickland says the problem at the root of letters like McBride’s is a bonus structure paid out to VA claims employees.
“The more work, the better the bonus is,” he said. “It’s strictly volume, not quality driven. There is no accountability whatsoever.
“The art of the Teflon Jacket has been perfected at our VA. They are really totally invulnerable to your criticism.”
When the editor of VAWatchdog.org posted an April Fools Day joke — “VA DOCTOR TRIES TO GIVE PROSTATE EXAM TO WOMAN VETERAN (April Fool); VA physician: ‘Nobody told me the patient was a female. How the hell was I supposed to know that?’” — McBride sent in his “menstrual” letter.
It was posted on the same site under the heading, “Today’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? award goes to the VA’s Roanoke, Virginia Regional Office.”
The site’s editor describes the award:
“Every now and then we get a story about the VA that just can’t be. But, it is! Because, remember, we’re not dealing with regular people … we’re dealing with the VA. That’s when we throw up our hands and scream at the sky:
“‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?’”
Which is longhand for: WTF
I have been away for far too long and appreciate all the emails I have recieved asking for more. It has just been a busy time in my life with school, work, and family that I took a hiatus for a bit, but I am back and ready to go!