Marc T. Lewis’ epic, 1,383-word ode to his sad sticks begins like this:
These clubs have been with me since high school, forty pounds ago, when the world was my oyster, long before that oyster was left out in the sun to sour, uneaten and spoiled.
And the melodrama continues:
I bought these clubs before I met the girl who would become my wife. I met her eleven years ago when I was sixteen and had a stomach that no one who knows me now would believe, ripped like a little Rambo. I had these clubs when I was a young bachelor, hair down to my shoulders, tearing up the town in a 1990 Volvo 740 SEL with the sunroof open and the road before me like some great American Dream ready to be snatched, the way candy is from a baby, or a kiss from an easy and drunk woman. These clubs moved from the Volvo to the 1980 midnight blue Chevy Camaro Berlinetta, a thing unlike any other thing, and they watched me fall in love with my wife, a woman who has mastered both looking perfect and a number of delicious casseroles. (She’s heartbreakingly beautiful and comforted me each time these golf clubs kicked me in the crotch.)
The rest of the novel can be found here. The Raleigh, N.C.-based writer is asking $125, but he promises to throw in the Bazooka driver for $200.
We just got back home about 20 minutes ago. The visitation went well. Lots of hugs, a few tears, and lots of good talk about our cousin. Afterwards, a few of us went to El Rodeo for some dinner (none of us had eaten prior to the visitation). Pretty decent mexican food. Then wife and I stopped to fill up the van and get some coffee. Thought the gas prices would be lower than they were, but what the heck, still $3.22 per gallon. Funny that the Kum & Go up the street from us was sitting still at $3.26 when we left and when we got home, they were dropped down to $3.24. Still think that the prices will drop below $3.00 here at the latest the day before the 4th.
In the morning, heading back up to Des Moines. First meet family at the Machine Shed for some breakfast. Then onto the funeral home to get in line for the funeral.
If you still make a PB&J by spreading loads of greasy peanut butter and sugary jam between slices of flimsy bread, it might be time for some advice. Find out how to improve your PB&J, including a few tricks like grilling the sandwich.
Despite voting to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt ofCongress, there’s little House Republicans can do in the short term to compel him to turn over documents — unless it wanted to revisit a long-dormant power and arrest him.
The thought is shocking, and conjures up a Hollywood-ready standoff scene between House police and the FBI agents who protect the attorney general. It’s a dramatic and unlikely possibility not least becauseCongress doesn’t even have a jail any longer. But in theory it could happen.
Republicans say it’s not even under consideration, with House SpeakerJohn A. Boehner’s spokesman flatly ruling it out.
But the process, known as inherent contempt, is well-established by precedent, has been confirmed by multiple Supreme Court rulings, and is available to any Congress willing to force such a confrontation.
“The House is scared to death to use the inherent contempt power,” saidMort Rosenberg, a fellow at the Constitution Project and author of “When Congress Comes Calling.” “They’re scared to death because the courts have said … the way the contempt power is used is unseemly. It’s not that it’s unconstitutional, because it’s been upheld by four Supreme Court decisions, but unseemly to have somebody go arrest the attorney general.”
That’s why it’s been more than 75 years since either chamber has used the option though it used to be somewhat common.
The House on Thursday voted 255-67 to hold Mr. Holder in criminal contempt, and 258-95 to pursue a case against him in the courts.
But those votes do little to break the impasse over his refusal to turn over documents the House is seeking in an investigation into Fast and Furious, a botched gun-walking operation. The House issued subpoenas for the documents last year but President Obama last week asserted executive privilege in withholding them.
A court case will take time, meaning there’s little immediate effect of the two contempt votes.
Indeed, the lack of any penalty for Mr. Holder’s failure to cooperate was cited by one Democrat as his reason for voting against Thursday’s contempt motion.
“While I strongly believe that the Department of Justice should fully cooperate with Congress to ensure transparency in the Fast and Furious operation, this motion lacks an enforcement mechanism to make it anything more than politically motivated,” said Rep. Heath Shuler, North Carolina Democrat.
That’s why Mr. Rosenberg, a former analyst for the Congressional Research Service, said Congress should consider using its own police powers and should try to impose a fine rather than physically arrest someone.
Funny, Redneck go-kart.
Keyboard for retired guys…
Just how powerful is an MRI magnet?
The perils of Olympic-level gymnastics.
Congress is keeping student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year.
Apple’s Chinese suppliers are still mistreating workers.
Clocks in Heaven…
A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the
Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.
He asked, ‘What are all those clocks?’
St. Peter answered, ‘Those are Lie-Clocks.
Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock.
Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.’
‘Oh,’ said the man, ‘whose clock is that?’
‘That’s Mother Teresa’s. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.’
‘Incredible,’ said the man. ‘And whose clock is that one?’
St. Peter responded, ‘That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life.’
‘Do you have one for President Obama?’ asked the man.
‘Yes we do. Obama’s clock is in Jesus’ office……..
He’s using it as a ceiling fan.’
From Michelle Malkin at the Patriot Post:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Did you know that President Obama has been incommunicado with Colorado’s governor for more than two weeks as the nation’s worst wildfires rage across the state? Maybe he thought we were all “doing fine.” After an embarrassing Beltway press briefing revelation about our out-of-touch White House, the administration finally decided to divert the campaigner in chief from his nationwide fundraising frenzy for a quick look-see at our devastated city on Friday. It’s “leadership from behind” you can count on.
On Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that Obama hadn’t talked to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in 15 days. Holy smokes. The High Park fire, which has consumed nearly 90,000 acres and claimed nearly 257 homes west of Fort Collins, ignited on June 9 and is still active. During a campaign swing just last week, first lady Michelle Obama made a brief mention of the High Park fire before launching into her standard GOP-bashing stump speeches.
On June 23, the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs erupted. An estimated 19,000 acres and nearly 350 homes burned down to the ground on Tuesday. More than 32,000 have been displaced so far. My family was forced to abandon our home on Saturday, and our neighborhood remains in a mandatory evacuation zone. On June 27, Boulder’s Flagstaff fire broke out and has so far blazed through 300 acres.
While he made no public statements prior to the announcement of his visit, an irritated Carney told reporters on Wednesday that Obama was being “updated regularly” on the wildfires in Colorado and across the West. He then rushed out a face-saving press release heralding the president’s hasty phone call that afternoon to Hickenlooper and Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, in which he “expressed his concern about the extent of damage to homes in the Colorado Springs area, and informed both the governor and the mayor that he plans to travel to the area Friday to view the damage and thank the responders bravely battling the fire.”
As Obama sightsees overhead in this key swing state and surrounds himself with first responders for campaign-ready photo-ops, his supporters on the ground are busy spewing excuses, attacks and death wishes on their political opponents. I know. I’ve received countless numbers of them hoping that firefighters let my “mansion” burn down and gloating that God is punishing Colorado’s conservative population. Liberals took to Twitter to bash local GOP officials as “fire retardants” who should be dropped over the blaze. And jokes about Colorado social conservatives like this proliferated: “If this Colorado fire takes out the Focus on the Family campus, then God really exists.”
The sniping isn’t limited to social media. Obama strategist Rahm Emanuel said in 2008: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” On cue, Hickenlooper mocked limited-government watchdogs who questioned the Obama administration’s decision to cancel a key aerial tanker contract last summer. (It was the topic of my June 20 column last week, “How Obama Bureaucrats Fueled Western Wildfires.”) The Denver Post reported Wednesday:
“Asked about criticism from the right over the Obama administration’s canceling of the contract, Hickenlooper offered an uncharacteristically strong defense of the president. ‘Were these the same conservatives that were so worried about the Obama administration spending too much money, or were these different conservatives?’ Hickenlooper said. ‘Quite honestly, in a situation like this where over 30,000 people have been evacuated, I don’t think that (criticism of Obama) is appropriate,’ the governor said. ‘We should be focusing our support on them and on the people out there risking their lives to fight these fires.’”
Spare us the sanctimony, and lay off the firefighter human shield strategy. The conservatives in Congress and libertarians at MonkeyWrenchingAmerica.com and elsewhere on the right who called attention to the U.S. Forest Service’s aging, neglected and undercapitalized aerial tanker fleet are the same conservatives who have doggedly called attention to the Obama administration’s serial squandering of taxpayer dollars on nonessential, ineffective, crony-driven spending. We are the conservatives worried about dumping billions of dollars into bankrupt federal green boondoggles like Solyndra, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Ener1 and LightSquared at the expense of fundamental services — like fighting fires.
From Arnold Ahlert at the Patriot Post:
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide subpoenaed documents to the Congressional Committee investigating the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. Mr. Holder thus becomes the first sitting cabinet member to be held in contempt. Seventeen Democrats joined 238 Republicans in voting aye, 65 Democrats and two Republicans voted nay, and one member voted present. One hundred Democrats refused to vote and left the chamber in protest, including Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The walkout follows days of accusations by the American left that the contempt vote has racial underpinnings.
Racial arsonist Al Sharpton led the way. In a column for the Huffington Post, he accused House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of engaging in a “political witch hunt” during which Attorney General Holder was “spoken to and mistreated as if he were a child, and reminded that despite his esteemed position, he can and would be profiled,” wrote Sharpton. “AG Holder was in essence ‘stopped & frisked’ without probable cause, and after he cooperated, he was made an example of. What Issa just showed us is that no matter what our stature in this world, someone can easily try to ‘put us in our place.’”
Mr. Sharpton then reiterated the lie that “Fast and Furious was created under the Bush Administration.” We now know it’s a lie because the Justice Department itself was forced to retract Eric Holder’s sworn testimony that Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey had been briefed about the program. The DOJ claimed Mr. Holder “inadvertently” made the charge. This marked the second retraction made by the DOJ, the first being a Feb. 4, 2011, letter to Congress inaccurately stating that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — which ran Fast and Furious — “makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also injected race into the issue. “They’re going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states,” Pelosi told reporters during her press briefing on June 22nd. “This is no accident, it is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of Republicans.” Apparently that “plan” was in place long before the DOJ attempted to overturn photo voter ID laws passed in states such as South Carolina and Texas. Those particular “voter suppression initiatives” were upheld by a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in 2008, when the Court held that photo-ID requirements were both constitutional and necessary to protect “the integrity and reliability of the electoral process,” according to liberalJustice John Paul Stevens.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews also insisted that citing Mr. Holder for contempt had a racial undercurrent. After noting that the 2010 election giving Republicans control of the House gave them their “real prize” of “subpoena power,” Matthews wondered out loud if going after Mr. Holder was “sort of stop-and-frisk at the highest level? Go after the attorney general, get him to empty his pockets, stand in the spotlight as long as they can and see if anything happens?”
And then there is Mr. Holder himself. In an interview with the New York Times last December, the Attorney General claimed the “more extreme segment” of his numerous critics were really after the president and that he served as a viable substitute. “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” he said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.” Mr. Holder further contended that his being drawn into the Fast and Furious investigation was “payback” for the way former Bush administration AGs John Ashcroft and Alberto R. Gonzales were treated by their critics. “They want to go after some high-level official in the administration,” Mr. Holder said. It is worth remembering that less than one month after he began serving as Attorney General Holder also called American “a nation of cowards” regarding racial matters.
All of this calculated odiousness regarding race is designed to obscure reality. More than 2000 guns were “walked” into Mexico, unbeknownst to the Mexican government. Several of them ended up in the hands of drug cartel members. Documents obtained by CBS News reveal that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using Fast and Furious to argue for more gun restrictions. Despite DOJ claims of cooperation, less than ten percent of the documents related to the scandal have been turned over to the Committee. Wiretap applications obtained by the Committee reveal that high level DOJ officials were involved in the scandal. Mr. Holder was sent a series of memos detailing the gunwalking tactics, but he claimed he never read any of them. Mr. Holder has failed to comply with several Committee subpoenas. Two claims made by DOJ have been “retracted,” which is legalese for lying. Every effort to get at the truth has been stonewalled, first by the Attorney General, and now by president Obama himself, who issued an executive order to keep a lid on the worst government scandal since Watergate.
Racism? Tell that to the parents of slain border agent Brian Terry. They are suing the DOJ and the (ATF) for $25 million. Is it racist to want to know who is ultimately responsible for their son’s death? How about the Mexican civilians? Since most of them are non-white, why isn’t the effort to suppress information regarding their murders — numbering in the hundreds — considered racist?
From DrJohn at Flopping Aces:
History repeats itself. This story has many echoes that resonate through the country today. Barack Obama has done for the United States what he did for Grove Parc. The more things hope and change, the more they stay the same.
CHICAGO – The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can’t afford to live anywhere else.
But it’s not safe to live here.
About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale – a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.
Grove Parc has become a symbol for some in Chicago of the broader failures of giving public subsidies to private companies to build and manage affordable housing – an approach strongly backed by Obama as the best replacement for public housing.
As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.
But a Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies – including several hundred in Obama’s former district – deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.
Now the parallels begin. Obama allies profit while everyone else suffers. Sound familiar?
Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.
The players of Grove Parc?
Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which managed Grove Parc Plaza from 2001 until this winter and co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006, after city inspectors found widespread problems.
Allison Davis, a major fund-raiser for Obama’s US Senate campaign and a former lead partner at Obama’s former law firm. Davis, a developer, was involved in the creation of Grove Parc and has used government subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,500 units in Chicago, including a North Side building cited by city inspectors last year after chronic plumbing failures resulted in raw sewage spilling into several apartments.
Antoin “Tony” Rezko, perhaps the most important fund-raiser for Obama’s early political campaigns and a friend who helped the Obamas buy a home in 2005. Rezko’s company used subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,000 apartments, mostly in and around Obama’s district, then refused to manage the units, leaving the buildings to decay to the point where many no longer were habitable.
And they were key to Obama’s political future.