The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Top Ten Lies President Obama Has Told

May 28, 2009

Remember way back in 2008 when George Bush was still the President and everyone on the left was screeching about lies?  If you can’t remember that far back just flip over to MSNBC and wait a few minutes they’ll be happy to remind you. I thought I would write a short piece about the lies we have already heard from President Obama. I did little research and there are plenty of web sites that focus on a lot of picayune stuff and things from long ago.

I decided to stick to direct quotes from the President made within the last 18 months. Some I have commented on, the others as they say at Harvard Law, res ipsa loquitur.    

1)  “…not because I believe in bigger government — I don’t — not because I’m not mindful of the massive debt we’ve inherited — I am.”   Speech to congress, February 24, 2009

2) “And that is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists…” Speech to congress, February 24, 2009

3) “My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs.” I wonder if the President knows he doesn’t have a line item veto.  

4)  “My immediate task is making sure that the second half of that money, $350 billion, is spent properly. That’s my first job.”  Press conference February 9, 2009, talking about TARP money.

5)  “It also contains an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability, so that every American will be able to go online and see where and how we’re spending every dime. What it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, not a single earmark, and it has been stripped of the projects members of both parties found most objectionable.” Press conference February 9, 2009  talking about his own economic bill.

6)  “Second is recognition of the limits of the judicial role, an understanding that a judge’s job is to interpret, not make law, to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice…” I thought about putting this first because he was introducing Sotomayer who is on tape saying judges make policy, among other things.

7) “It’s not just enough to change the players. We’ve gotta change the game.” He has appointed over 150 recycled Clintionistas

8) “I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying.”  Either this is a lie or his later position where he opposes gay marriage, take your pick for number eight.

9) “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.” In reference to Rev. Wright 42 days before he disowned him.

10) “To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn: I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President, too.”


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Buy Seeds!

May 26, 2009

Not too long ago I wrote a criticism of ads that are popular on Conservative talk radio which encourage people to buy gold. The undertone of those ads is that in the coming collapse of the world economy you’ll need your gold coins and bullion when “fiat” currencies are worthless. My conclusion was that if you think gold is a good investment at almost $1000 an ounce be my guest. If you’re buying gold because you think you’ll be able to use it in some sort future orderly bartering system you’re kidding yourself.

farm field

Recently the apocalyptic gold ads have been outdone by ads to buy seeds. That’s right friends, seeds! In case you haven’t heard the ads it seems these new scaremeisters are telling the public that the “world elites” are storing seeds in secret vaults in the Arctic. The “elites” are preparing for the coming apocalypse by storing these “non-hybrid” seeds so they will have a food supply in the post-crisis world. The ads further inform us that in the past seeds have outperformed gold as an investment and would be a great thing to barter in a post-collapse society. They also claim these seeds could provide you and your family with an endless supply of “nutrient dense” food. Buy their seeds and you will have enough to plant an acre “crisis garden.” The ads also assure the public that the product has not been genetically altered in any way.

When I first heard these ads I thought they were a parody. When I figured out they were serious I realized they show two important things; that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America and that P.T. Barnum was right. These ads reaffirm my belief in the greatest right we have as Americans: You are allowed to be as stupid as you want to be!

I suppose that there may be some sort of government seed bank in the icy north. To be honest I didn’t care enough to do an internet search to find out. I love the whole “non-hybrid” and “not genetically altered in any way” pitch. Imagine a bleak future where you and your family are starving to death, you take out one of your gold coins to barter for some food but first you ask, “Was this corn grown from a genetically altered seed?”

I also love the pitch that you can plant a “full acre crisis garden.” First, how many of you know anything about farming? Exactly! Now, even if you know a little something about farming how are you going to till your acre? Do you own a tractor? Let’s say you have John Deere sitting around, how are you going to get fuel in a post- collapse world? Are you going to turn over and plant an acre by hand? Oh yeah, do you have an acre of land sitting fallow somewhere? Exactly how many people will an acre of farmed land feed for a year?

Look, if you want to buy some seeds either for an investment or to grow some food in an emergency go right ahead. Save yourself some money and buy them at your local feed and grain or garden store and not from some huckster on the radio. If you really want to be prepared to feed and protect your family buy some guns and lots of ammo. You’ll need them to protect your acre of food if things get that bad.

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: It’s our Birthday!

May 22, 2009

Just wanted to thank the thousands of folks who have read “The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”  in our first year!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Do something corny like go to a parade and salute the flag or visit a cemetery and tell your kids about the heros buried there. Fly the flag at your house and enjoy the weekend  with a cookout or see a ballgame. My son and I are going to see a college game. College baseball is a great time, family friendly and easy on the wallet!

Next week the Conspiracy goes back to work with blogs on seed buyers, Norway and looking at the Greek tragedy called the Obama Administration.

I like my burger medium well with spicy mustard and a pickle!

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: American Idol

May 19, 2009

I have never really watched American Idol until this season. My wife is a huge fan and every year I would watch the first few “audition” weeks with her for the same reason people slow down near a car accident. I want to see the blood and ugliness! I love the people who didn’t have any friends to tell them they couldn’t sing and other train wrecks that show up with the delusion that they might be the next Kelly Clarkson.  

My major problems with these talent shows is they try to give the impression that all of the contestants are just diamonds in the rough that took an hour off from the Burger King to come down and give it a shot. The people at American Idol want you to believe they have discovered some guy with a day gig and a dream and they helped polish up their act and transformed them into stars. Adam Lambert and Kris Allen did not go stand in line with the rest of the mob. They were somehow prescreened and told when and where to report. Is there anyone in American who thinks that Adam Lambert wasn’t a professional singer before he was on American Idol? 

The same is true of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. The people who are going to make the top twenty or ten or whatever it is are all long time professional comics. Many already have deals in place with NBC, or an agent and a manager before they “audition” to be on the show.  

Here’s my point, after a certain point the show gets boring for me because all of the people have chops and a reasonable shot at winning. After a point in the elimination rounds all of the people on the show are already show business professionals who are acting out a charade for your entertainment.

I have noticed an embarrassing trend on the show this year. A few times this season if the “star” guest singer had been in the competition they would have been voted off of the show! Several of the guests were, as Randy Jackson might put it, a little pitchy.

Enjoy the final tonight, American Idol fans and rest easy because no matter who comes out on top they are both going to have great careers.  Besides the real winner has already been determined, the producers of American Idol and Fox who are raking in billions. Hey Congress, how about a windfall profits tax?

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: The Beauty of Modern Airline Travel

May 17, 2009

I am a stand- up comic and I love what I do for a living but I hate traveling to get there. I do between 125 and 150 road dates a year. Fortunately for me I can drive to a lot of my gigs and I would rather be at the mercy of the potholed, drunk driver infested, revenue enhancing state police filled interstate highway system than under the thumb of our crack security force the TSA.

Isn’t it nice that after 9/11 the government, under a supposed small government conservative president, decided to take over a large portion of the airlines business and provide security at all airports? I don’t know why they stopped there. Aren’t Major League Baseball games potential terrorist? Why doesn’t the TSA provide security for MLB and its patrons? In Israel terrorist often target restaurants and shopping centers so why isn’t Homeland Security saving the businesses at the mall a few bucks and having the TSA chase the skateboarders out of the food court.

I have never like the term “Homeland Security Agency” it has a strange ring that falls somewhere between “brown shirts” and “big brother” for me. The TSA was founded under the premise that the security of the nation was too important to trust to minimum wage, undereducated folks in bad blue blazers. It was time to have our security in the hands of unionized, $14 an hour professionals. Alright, it’s the same people but now they have nice uniforms and now we are paying their heath care and retirement. I don’t know about you but I feel much more secure.

If you are of a certain age you can remember when flying was a little nicer than it is today. There was a time, my children, when people didn’t front up to the airport in an Under Armour t-shirt and matching boxer shorts and nothing else. There was also a time when the airline companies had, and I hate to use this word, standards! Before every third person in America was a tort attorney companies had policies which they enforced. That meant your “companion cat” went into baggage and if you didn’t like it they would call Greyhound for you. Now, Miss “My cat is more than a pet and it has rights” will sue the pants off of anyone who wants to try to stop her from taking her cat everywhere she goes. Maybe that’s what happened to Mr. Under Armour?

There was a time when if you were taking a forty minute flight from St. Louis to Chicago you could get to the airport thirty minutes early and be in the Windy City two hours after you left your home. Now you have to be at the airport two hours before the flight and if you are not on the plane 15 minutes before scheduled departure time you can be denied boarding. Your 11:00 A.M. flight is really a 10:45 flight so make yourself comfortable next to Mr. “I was partying pretty heavy last night and didn’t shower or brush my teeth this morning,” for an extra quarter of an hour.

Right now Janet Napolitano or one of her toadies is probably adding my name to the “do not fly list” for doubting the need for the agency she heads up and talking trash about the TSA. I may be driving a lot more next month.

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Recommended Reading

May 15, 2009

Dear Readers

I had to take a few days away from The Conspiracy and Big Hollywood to write to corporate shows that I am doing this week and next. I will be back to my usual blathering next week.

For today enjoy this inspiring lecture to the graduates of Hillsdale College by writer and radio personality Mark Steyn

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: All Politics is Local

May 14, 2009

As much as I hate quoting a Democrat Boss Daley was right, all politics is local. I have been spending a lot of time this week e mailing back and forth with the superintendentof our local school system. Over the past five years he has wasted millions of dollars instituting a program he calls an “equity” training program in our schools. The idea behind this program is rooted in failed educational philosophy from the late sixties and early seventies. The idea is that the achievement gap between White and Asian students and urban African-American students can be overcome if White teachers in the schools are more sensitive to so callled “Black” culture.  There has been no closing of this achievement gap in our schools in the five years of this program. There are other programs that seem to be working,  notably Geoffrey Canada’s program in NYC  ( see David Brooks in the NYT May 8th 2009 ) 

I have written several opinion pieces for our local paper which have been highly critical of the superintendent and the program. He has recently defended the program’s philosophy but has not supported it with any studies or data.  He recently answered a question about the cost in print. I thought his answer was evasive and disingenuous I am publishing my fourth pinion piece below.

Fourth Editorial Education

I read Dr. Price’s reply to a sound off question with my critical thinking skills engaged. The questioner asked Dr. Price to how much money had been spent on the equity program in the last three years. Whenever you deal with a public official you need to analyze the words very carefully.  

Since the questioner only asked about the last three years Dr. Price gave information only about those years. Public officials seldom volunteer information that is not in their favor. He did give a lot of information for which he was not asked. Information about total dollars spent on professional development and how the percentage he claims that was paid to PEG compares to that total.  He did this in order to make the taxpayer think he isn’t really wasting a lot of out money. Even if we accept the $426,125 figure as accurate we must also ask what Dr. Price considers “total expenses?”

I have an analogy.  Let’s say you took your son to a Reds game. I might ask you how much it cost you. You might think, two seats at $22 each, the game cost $44. In a way that would be accurate. Maybe you bought some sodas and a couple of hot dogs. You bought a hat and a program. You paid to park and burned a few gallons of gas going down there, so what did you really spend on the Reds game? Maybe it was more like $150. I am just wondering if during the equity training, Dr. Price bought any hot dogs.

Does Dr. Price include textbooks bought for the equity program for teachers and students as part of total costs? Does it include expendables like workbooks and other material which get used up? What about airfares, hotels and meals? Have teacher spent time away from their classes to participate in equity work? If so are the expenses for substitutes included? Does he include other professional development activities that grow out of the equity work like trips to present papers about “othering” at conferences?

Dr. Price also shows us something about the way he thinks about our money. He makes three references to federal grant money as if that is somehow “free” money. Where does Dr. Price think federal grant money comes from? Federal dollars are also our money, Dr. Price. The federal government doles a few of our tax dollars back to us as grants and in programs and we are supposed to think we are getting something for free.  This Washington D.C. run Ponzi scheme makes Bernie Madoff look like a small time grifter.

There is more important question here than the money spent; does this program produce results? I think most of the citizens of Middletown would pony up a more that few extra dollars if they had some solid evidence that their schools were producing real improvements. In my articles I have asked Dr. Price to show data from his tenure as our superintendant supporting that what he is doing actually works.  As of yet I have seen no data. I have e-mailed PEG and asked them to reference any independent studies that support their program. As of this writing I have received no reply.

I did however find some information about a program that is closing the achievement gap. I hope you saw the column by New York Times writer David Brooks touting the Harlem Children’s Zone charter schools that was reprinted in the Middletown Journal on Monday May 11th.  If you missed it please find it online and read it!  These schools, in an urban area, are producing real results. The secret to their success isn’t cultural awareness but an emphasis on basics and creating, “a disciplined, orderly and demanding counterculture to inculcate middle-class values.”  The schools are also described as, “no excuses schools (that) pay meticulous attention to behavior and attitudes.”  At the end of his piece Mr. Brooks challenges other cities to adopt this system. I say, why not here and why not now.  Let’s bring this system to the attention of our school board and our next superintendant. The original column by David Brooks was printed in the New York Times on May 8th, 2009. The same date as Dr. Price’s latest reply. Again, I love irony!