Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Graffiti on the Capitol



YouTube - Anti-War Protestors Spray Paint Graffiti on Capitol Steps

Source: Family Research Council

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Duncan Hunter for President!

Rep. Duncan HunterOf all the candidates that have declared their intentions for 2008 thus far, one is making uniquely clear statements in both domestic and foreign policy: Duncan Hunter.


Foreign Policy: When he first announced his candidacy at the end of October, he declared a very simple, clear and understandable Iraq strategy: "One, two, three,
  1. stand up to free government. We've done that.
  2. Stand up to military that can protect it. We're doing that in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  3. And number three, the Americans leave.
"Now, which is it, the one or the two or the three that the liberals don't understand?"

When the Republicans controlled Congress, he chaired the House Armed Services Committee.


Inside the WombDomestic Policy: On Monday, at the Blogs for Life conference at FRC, the ABC News Political Unit reported Duncan Hunter said,
"If a judicial nominee can look at a sonogram, the picture of an unborn child, and not see, looking at that sonogram, not see a valuable human life, I'm not going to give him an appointment to the court. I am going to give him an appointment to an optometrist to get a set of eyeglasses so that he can see that."
Friends, that's the kind of clarity we need from our leaders.

Inside the Womb


If a member of the House can win the White House in 2006, we need a real one who can win the White House in 2008!

Lord willing, he will make his candidacy official tomorrow, when he also plans to relaunch his official presidential campaign Web site.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SOTU: Half and Half

Tony Snow: the first half of President Bush’s State of the Union speech would focus on domestic policy and the second half would address foreign issues.

Jonathan Alter: usually a president goes to foreign affairs issues to unite a country because domestic affairs can be so divisive. Tonight, President Bush is going to try the opposite.

Lots of Junk

From NBC Nightly News:

It’s not your imagination — spam is on the rise
Spammers fill inboxes by finding new ways to get around filters
According to one study, last year the amount of spam soared from about 30 billion messages sent per day to 60 billion.
60 billion per day is a lot!

Monday, January 22, 2007

California Prison Sentencing

WASHINGTON (AP) the Supreme Court has struck down California's prison sentencing law.

CUNNINGHAM, JOHN v. CALIFORNIA. Decided 01/22/2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Barack Obama Conflicts of Interest

Jill Stanek broke a story today about Barack Obama and why three times he defeated a bill in the Illinois legislature that made it illegal to kill a baby after it was born alive if her mother had intended to abort it.
By the third time Obama tried to snuff Born Alive, he was running for the U.S. Senate. The federal version had passed the year before unanimously in the Senate and almost unanimously in the House. Even NARAL went neutral. Pro-aborts agreed to let it pass without a fight lest they appear extreme.
Not content with the explanations for Obama's self-isolation literally out at the left-most end of the extreme end, with distance to spare between him and everyone else, Stanek went digging.

She found out that the pastor of Obama's Church, a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, served on the Board of Directors of Evangelical Health Systems which owns Christ Hospital where she exposed the practice of live birth abortion.
TUCC is the United States' largest UCC church. Ebony listed Wright as one of the 15 greatest black preachers. Advocate is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in Chicago. Talk about crossroads of power and money. Speaking of crossroads, TUCC is located five miles from Christ Hospital.
She concludes:

So, which explanation makes more sense, that the fire rose in Obama's belly to fight for what he nobly but foolishly thought was the sacred right to infanticide, that he decided, by golly, this was why he was elected, and even if he stood alone, looking like a left-wing extremist, he was going to protect that right?

Or that Advocate got to Obama through its UCC contacts?

Buses for March for Life

From MAFamily.org:


There are buses available to transport pro-life marchers down to Washington, D.C. on January 22 for the annual March for Life. Here are the details with contact information:

Red Eye Buses:

Springfield, Susan Lopes, (413) 583-5034 or (413) 592-6015

Berkshire County, Jack and Linda Kinsey (413) 663-7005

Blessed Sacrament Church, Greenfield, Larry and Maureen Filiault (413) 863-4777

Overnights

Weymouth, Donna O'Reilly (781) 337-5307

St. Margaret Church, Burlington, Janet Callahan (781) 324-3564

Dedham & Andover, Theresa Gorey, Jane Flynn (978) 475-6673, (978) 658-6115

NBC News Launches WorldBlog

NBC News launched a new blog today. At the end of their Welcome post they say, "So, please bookmark this link and continue to give us your feedback through your comments."

Uh, guys, good job on keeping up with the times on the new blog. How about keeping up with the Web technology, too? Let's also ask people to "add this site to your reader"! Maybe even give them a link to do that, too. Hark!

Women Alone?

Responding to news reporting, FRC thinks the methods of the study are a little flawed:
To inflate the percentage and advance a transparent political agenda, the Times defined "woman" as anyone over the age of 15, those who are legally separated, and anyone whose husband is not living at home (such as soldiers on deployment to Iraq).

State of the Union Response

Virginia is what happens when you mix Democrats and their response to the State of the Union.

Or at least, that's the pattern for two years running now.

Last year they tapped newly minted Governor Tim Kaine, and this year it will be newly minted Senator Jim Webb.

Hopefully Jim will ... be a little bit ... smoother in his ... delivery. :)

(If you don't get that joke, you need to go back and watch last year's response!)

Tim
10,818 days

Update, 1/22/2007: NBC's First Read noted (cue ABC News Political Unit cringe) The Washington Post picked up on this pattern today.

Oil Prices

From yesterday's CBS Evening News daily email:
Plus, oil prices dropped by $2 a barrel to new 19-month lows today. The lower oil prices come as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it expects warmer-than-normal weather in the Northern United States to continue through March. The government also said supplies of gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel remained abundant.
Weren't gas prices just dropping last year because the Republicans were up for re-election, and then they were going to go back up again?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Moved Back to Blogger!

OK, so following up about launching new blogs, but being stuck with FTP, I decided to take the plunge and move this blog over to blogger's new hosting service to see how it works.

I did it because I remembered I could test the change myself without actually showing the rest of the world first. I did that by simulating the change with my hosts file to see how it works.

I tested it on one post, and when that still worked, and the posts from 2003 still work (with the different file extension!), and the improved archives ... done! So, I'm going to hit post here, and then have my DNS entry for this blog moved post haste!

Oh, and I thought of at least one other idea for a blog to launch. So, I may set up a couple more now that it's so easy and quick. Stay tuned.

And yes, the improvements to posting times on this blog are alone enough to make the switch--no more waiting for FTP ... every ... single ... time ... I post.

Tim
10,817 days

Monday, January 15, 2007

Multiplying Blogs

For a long time, I resisted the idea of having a blog focus exclusively on one topic--particularly this blog, my first.

It reminded me of those people who have six resumes, one for each kind of company for which they want to work. I've only ever had one resume. My thinking is, I don't want to distort myself to fit into a particular kind of company. I'd rather find a company that fits me.

That didn't (hasn't) happen(ed), so I've gone into business for myself. Yet, the pattern doesn't stop with resumes. A similar observation can be made about my business name, and how I have all of my services (Web development, political writing, photography) wrapped under one label.

Given that few if any read this blog, this strategy is faulty, especially for blogging. The assumption there is people will want to read a blog that is uniquely me. The thing is, people who have a personal interest in me will use email, the telephone, or myspace--not my blog--maybe my Xanga, but that seems unlikely, too.

The other problem is, this blog's address, blog.mtopgroup.com, should be the blog for my business and its services--not current events, videos and whatever else pops up. (This blog was also started before the delicious and Yahoo! Bookmarks days.)

Therefore, I have launched two new blogs. This means two things:
  1. Some of the content that I used to post here will now be exclusively posted on those two blogs instead.
  2. These new blogs are an outlet for a lot of other content that previously went unpublished, or went crammed into other venues.
The two new blogs are:
  1. Deeper Inside the Mountain
  2. Blog Your Days
The first is a supplement to my newly christened Inside the Mountain legislative updates. It won't always have 30 to 40 posts on a weekend! I just launched it Saturday and had a back log of content to publish. Hopefully posting will be more spread out between updates. That means this will probably be my last announcement of a new legislative update on this blog.

The second is a Web service and topical blog specifically for content opportunities to highlight the Number Your Days service. This one won't be as active, but it will be just as focused on its topic, unlike my past blogging.


Mad props to Google, too. I've read several other bloggers leaving Blogger recently. However, they recently went completely live with the new Google-integrated version of Blogger, and it's nice!

The best part would be their new Custom Domains feature. Some people, perhaps rightfully, thought that a subdomain.blogspot.com address was a huge design mistake. This new Blogger feature corrects that problem.

It's supremely easy to set up a blog now. Not wanting to use a domain, but rather a subdomain of one of my existing domains, I just had my hosting company add the prescribed CNAME record for the blog's new address on Google, told Blogger the address and I was off. (Note: It's a good idea to wait until the address is in the DNS before you tell your browser to look it up. Otherwise you'll have to live with 24 hours of the wildcard DNS entry instead, first.)

It's probably easier to set up a new blog on the system than it is to convert an old Blogger blog to the new system. The new templates that are hosted on Blogger's servers are impressive. And everything can be edited directly from the blog pages--another level of impressiveness you don't even notice until you start using it. The master template has its flaws, but hopefully that can be corrected in time.

This subdomain blog was set up before the CNAME days, so it's using FTP publishing. The new features of Blogger's new advanced templates do not support FTP publishing as they are database driven off of Blogger's servers. This is great for quick publishing times and those customizing features you notice once you start to use it.

It's not great for migrating a blog. Actually, the biggest problem would be the filename extension and the linkrot it would create. Blogger doesn't explain what happens to filename extensions on their servers (likely .html) and so all my .shtml posts would be dead. (This already happened once.) So, in order to prevent linkrot, as I should do, I'll probably end up handicapping how much I use this blog.


One other blog idea I've had is to create a blog just for ideas and commentary on the innovation coming from Web sites like Google, Yahoo!, Ask, Live, MSN, etc. Frequently I have ideas, comments, frustrations, etc. that go unresolved. Just like politicians pay more attention to letters to the editor in a public newspaper than they do to private communications, so Internet companies take special notice of blogger's public comments. Yes, they read private communications, but private communications do nothing to build external momentum for getting things done.

If I launch a blog like that, I'll announce it here, too. Maybe this blog will be my new blog announcement blog!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Congress Accommodated NCAA Football Championship

From a floor discussion on the Legislative Program:


Rep. Roy Blunt [R-MO]:

On the Tuesday schedule, I have had one Member come up to me during our discussion and wanted me to ask if there is any possibility that 3 to 4 votes could slip closer to 5 just because of a number of travel concerns that Members have, particularly west coast members.

Rep. Steny Hoyer [D-MD]: We could try. But let me say in all fairness, our original intent was to meet and have votes at 6:30 on Monday. There is a very important event happening Monday night, particularly for those who live in Ohio and Florida.

In the spirit of comity, and I know if Maryland were playing, I would want to be accommodated and I want to accommodate my friend, Mr. Boehner. So we have done that; but it has put us in a position where we thought we would have come back Monday. That is not the case. We will have votes as late as possible, but we cannot guarantee. That leaves us a shorter period of time to do the work we have scheduled. So I cannot guarantee, but we are going to try to keep it for your Members' sake, for our Members' sake, and we understand the west coast travel issue, as late as we can in the day, but cannot guarantee later than 3:30 or 4 o'clock.

New Congressmen Denied Classified Information Before Voting

During the debate on the Implementing The 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act Of 2007 (H.R. 1):

Rep. John Mica [R-FL]: I thank the gentlelady for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to come to the floor during what I consider to be probably one of the most important issues that we will consider, not only in this 100 hours, but in this entire session of Congress, because this issue determines and will determine the very security, not just the security as far as a terrorist attack on this Nation, but even our economic security; and the actions that are taken here have great implications.

While I believe that my good friends on the other side of the aisle are very well intended in what they propose today, unfortunately I believe they are misguided in what they are doing.

I have a copy of the 9/11 Commission report. I chaired for some 6 years the Aviation Subcommittee. I inherited it by fate of the good Lord and circumstances here in Congress. I followed from the very beginning the creation of TSA and all of the actions that we have taken from day one in protecting this great Nation against a terrorist attack.

I have read the proposals that are brought forth here today. Unfortunately, these proposals can result in turning in the wrong direction at this time in our vulnerability against terrorist attack. Let me be very frank, and I offered before, and I am sorry that the other side did not accept it, unanimous consent requests that we resolve into a committee for 1 hour, 1 hour of a secret session to discuss the pending threats against this Nation and also the status of our security systems in place to deal with those threats, and I was denied it. As part of the record of this Congress, now, I was denied that opportunity.

There are 54 Members who were elected, new Members, Republican and Democrat, who have not had access to that classified information. They will vote in a few hours on turning the direction of the system that we have put in place and a system we are trying to make work to protect us against a terrorist attack, and we have been denied the opportunity for 1 hour in closed session, with no cameras, no public, but the classified reports.

Congress to Reduce Gravity

During the debate on Minimum Wage (H.R. 2):

Rep. Bill Sali [R-ID]: Mr. Speaker, a number of my colleagues have pointed out the problems with raising the minimum wage; that it is an unfunded mandate on small business, will likely result in the loss of over 1 million jobs for low wage earners, that it will eliminate entry level jobs and actually hurt the poor more than it helps them.

The negative impacts will result naturally from the rules and principles of the free market. In my college courses, I learned that the rules and principles of free markets are the rules and principles that every business and worker are subject to in every transaction, every negotiation and every new idea. That is, those negative effects of this bill are unavoidable with its passage. In spite of the negative effects, this bill does seem destined to pass.

As a freshman Congressman, the likely passage of this measure has taught me a new principle: The force of Congress can be brought to bear and justified to suspend those natural laws which would otherwise control important matters. The well-intentioned desire of Congress to help the poor apparently will not be restrained by the rules and principles of the free market that otherwise do restrain American businesses and workers. Apparently, Congress can change the rules that would otherwise affect the affairs of mankind.

So, Mr. Speaker, I have asked my staff to draft a measure I call the Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act. Since Congress will apparently not be restrained by the laws and principles that naturally exist, I propose that the force of gravity by the force of Congress be reduced by 10 percent. Mr. Speaker, that will result in immediate weight loss for every American. It will immediately help reduce obesity problems in America. Weight loss will also help to promote the overall health of Americans as we have been vigilantly advised by our health care.

Mr. Speaker, I thank this body for the education I have received from the passage of this bill. Since the basis for the use of Congress's power is the same with both measures, I would also ask that everyone who is supporting the measure before us consider becoming an original cosponsor of the Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act, and I have a copy.

Mr. Speaker, I close by noting that, with the new principles I have learned, it appears to me that with Congress the sky is the limit.

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
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