Odds and ends number 74

Believe it or not, this feature which used to be a staple of my site has gone dormant for over 18 months. But I decided to resurrect it because all these financial reports I’ve been doing as well as other regular features have taken up my time and allowed my e-mail box to become dangerously full of items which were rapidly running out of shelf life. So here you go: the return of odds and ends for what promises to be a cameo appearance.

As evidence of that shelf life, I wanted to bring up a thoughtful piece by my friend Rick Manning – not to be confused with the former Cleveland Indians outfielder – regarding the prospect of a continuing resolution for federal spending which would expire in December, necessitating a lame duck session.

Manning is right in believing that the strategy is fraught with peril, and if the pre-election polling is correct and Republicans take over the Senate come January this only invites Democrats to lay a few traps as they back out the door. Of course, if Congress (read: the Senate) would actually do its job and get the budget work done before the federal fiscal year begins on October 1, this wouldn’t be a problem.

One Senator, Rand Paul, received some criticism from Timothy H. Lee of the Center for Individual Freedom, who noted Paul’s flip-flop on foreign policy neatly coincided with a shift in public opinion regarding the Islamic State.

Returning to the fold of NetRightDaily – which has been on a content roll lately – I found someone who agrees with me on the Seventeenth Amendment. Tom Toth lays out the case, although I think we should do a couple other amendments first. Obviously this would probably change the composition of the Senate rather quickly to an almost perpetually Republican body, but someone needs to look out for the states and that element is missing in modern politics.

Something else Congress should get to (but probably won’t) are curbs on civil forfeiture, the subject of a recent push by the Institute for Justice. The bills themselves were introduced back in July by Sen. Paul and Rep. Tim Walberg, but while IJ has been doggedly against what they call “policing for profit” for several years, this latest offensive stems from a petition drive and video the group has done detailing abuses of the process in Philadelphia.

It’s clear the libertarian-leaning group doesn’t like the idea, and with good reason. Think of it as the step beyond speed cameras.

Philadelphia also figures prominently into my next piece. I’ll explain this more on Sunday, but there were a number of pieces I was perhaps intending to use for my American Certified site but instead will be mentioned in brief here.

One group which has made it to those pages a lot is the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Certainly they complain a lot about the trade deficit with China but AAM President Scott Paul (no relation to Rand Paul) also made a great point about the continuing lack of manufacturing jobs.

This jobs report is a big disappointment for factory workers. While we can never read too much into just a month’s worth of data, a goose egg for manufacturing doesn’t look like progress to me. And it will be hard to consistently move the manufacturing jobs number up unless our goods trade deficit with China comes down.

Two years ago President Obama campaigned on a pledge to create one million new manufacturing jobs in his second term. Our #AAMeter shows progress toward that goal is stalling. A national manufacturing strategy could help get us back on track.

Yes, they track the progress toward that elusive one million jobs, and Obama stands at a puny 193,000. It’s surprising because as Rick Manning stated in an earlier piece, we have the energy resources to bring American manufacturing back. We’re now number 1 in natural gas production, and our energy dominance serves to stabilize world prices, says Mark Green of API.

Looking at it from the perspective of state government, a recent video by Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan explained his thoughts on creating opportunity.

The key phrase in this video comes early on, when Hogan talks about his appointments. This is an opportunity which is rarely discussed, but when Democrats have run this state for all but four years of the last forty, the pool of those who get to be department heads becomes ossified. The Glendening appointee to one office may have been O’Malley’s point guy somewhere else and would be on the short list for Anthony Brown.

But if Larry Hogan can resist the temptation to overly rely on his buddies from the Ehrlich administration, we have the potential for real reform and new ideas at the department level.

Another reform is being pushed by the Maryland Liberty PAC, and Republicans will be pleased to know they are firing in the right direction by attacking the “toxic track record” of District 34A Democratic nominee Mary Ann Lisanti. They didn’t catch this gem, though.

Finally, I wanted to promote something a fellow blogger is trying. Peter Ingemi (aka DaTechGuy) has a radio spot for you:

It’s near the end of the year when everyone’s ad budgets are pretty empty so as I’ve got some ad space left on my radio show I’ve got an offer to make exclusively to the bloggers, advocates & folk on my e-mail blast.

Produce a 15 second plug for your blog, podcast or web site and for only $30 I’ll include it on my radio show DaTechGuy on DaRadio for a FULL MONTH.

That’s not only 70% off the normal price but it also means your plug will be included on broadcast replays, my own podcast replay, the live replay on FTR Radio and all four weekly replays on the 405media Tuesday through Friday. And if you want an even better deal I’ll give you 30 seconds for just $50 a month (or I’ll replay your 15 second spot twice).

This is a great chance to get your blog some national exposure on multiple platforms that you might not currently be reaching. (His emphasis, not mine.)

He’s the consummate salesman, is he not? But I have him beat, at least in terms of price. I’m not doing a radio show anytime soon, though.

And I may not be doing another odds and ends soon either. But it was fun to go back and put one together for old times’ sake.

Friday night videos – episode 59

Another edition of this long-running series is upon us, and the star doesn’t need rehab! Let’s see what we’ve got this time.

The recent CPAC event was a gold mine of video inspiration for conservatives. For example, Human Events interviewed Ann Coulter before she made her remarks.

Not to be outdone, Townhall.com latched onto Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her take.

And on it went, as both entities catalogued dozens of interviews there.

Since the last time I did this, a number of videos have looked at the battle between TEA Party stalwarts on one side and Big Labor on the other, in Wisconsin and elsewhere. I have four different videos on the subject, beginning with Wisconsin’s protest.

Americans for Limited Government has its take on the Madison protests, then covered the event in Annapolis.

Expanding on the coverage was Renee Giachino and CFIF’s Freedom Minute.

But there’s one more protest which comes from inside the Wisconsin state house.

Sore losers. Wonder what would happen if Maryland Republicans adopted the same style of tactics?

This is different and a humorous take on overbearing nanny state governance from CEI, who is usually good at this sort of thing.

I don’t wear makeup but I sure don’t drink coffee with soy milk either.

Okay, there’s no music video this time because next week will be an all-music edition. So that’s it for this edition of FNV.

Friday night videos – episode 58

A few things for yet another Friday evening.

This is pretty interesting stuff from 1979. If you recall the old Phil Donahue Show, you may recall this discussion he had with economist Milton Friedman on greed.

If you can get by the obvious differences in fashion style, it’s interesting to note how attentive both the host and audience were – now it’s doubtful Friedman could get a word in edgewise on the talk shows of this era.

Especially when you come across this Common Cause bunch.

Granted, the interviewer asked a bunch of leading questions and could use the footage he wanted but this is still a crowd much different than the Donahue one.

Then again, union bosses aren’t all that politically correct either.

Again, a bit of ‘gotcha’ journalism that’s being used as an Americans for Prosperity fundraiser. But, as this upcoming video shows, Big Labor has its powerful friends too. Americans for Limited Government has this to add.

And we still have the Reagan hangover, as this Freedom Minute shows.Reagan’s worth celebrating for a little extra time, though.

I debuted this video back in October but felt like using it again. This is the local pop-rock group Naylor Mill.

In a few weeks I’ll do my regular all-music edition, but for now this will have to suffice.

Friday night videos – episode 57

The things I have sent to me…oh boy.

Of course, a sore subject on our side is President Obama’s State of the Union address, to which Renee Giachino of the Center for Individual Freedom responds.“Tired and disproven ideas.” Got that right. By the way, the owner of that building needs a handrail on that stair in the background.

But maybe the President was trying for one of these, great moments in liberal history.Let’s hope that works right or it’ll be a bad moment in monoblogue history.

Americans for Limited Government pays homage to Ronald Reagan by pointing out “taxes should hurt.”

Yes, he would have been 100 years old Sunday.

Since it was Groundhog Day earlier this week, the people at the Sunlight Foundation found it the ideal time to seek lobbying reform.

My idea of lobbying reform: get the money out of Washington through lower taxes! See how I tied those together?

The next video deserves a warning label for graphic violence, definitely NSFW. This is the punishment Islam metes out for adultery?

Since this is from Afghanistan, I would hope this is representative of the Taliban enemy and not our allies there – otherwise, there’s little point in staying.

I’d prefer a little more cheer in a war zone, and this video reminds us that making our soldiers laugh is important for morale.

To finish, here’s one from someone more representative of tolerance. Recorded at the Refuge, here’s Not My Own with “Giver Take.”

Until next time…

Friday night videos – episode 56

Coming back at’cha with a lot about Obamacare and the prospects for repeal.

How about beginning with this commercial brought to you by the “Defeat Obama Campaign” – it’s a part of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC umbrella:

I’m all for defeating Obama. Newt Gingrich doesn’t wish to stop there, though. He has his ideas on what else the House should do. This comes from Human Events.

Targeting the 23 Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2012 may be working – at least two (Kent Conrad of North Dakota and former VP candidate Joe Lieberman) have decided to retire rather than run again.

And the Center for Individual Freedom claims this the beginning of the end of Obamacare.But what would replace Obamacare? Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia has some ideas, and he spoke to Americans for Limited Government about it recently.

You may need blood pressure medication yourself after watching this video. It’s from last February but represents how Washington watches out for itself – corporatism at its finest.

Nice work if you can get it, right?

Some of you may be familiar with the term “Darwin Award”, facetiously given to someone who offs him- or herself in some bizarre manner before they can damage the gene pool by passing on stupidity. Well, this person may be one to watch as a future recipient.

On the original post I saw this at, people are debating whether he hit 195 mph as he claims. Me, I’m debating whether he’ll take someone out with him or manage to only kill himself when he wraps a car around a tree. I guess it’s a good thing he’s trying to sell the Corvette.

I was in the mood for something I hadn’t heard in awhile, so I picked out something from October 2009. This was one of my first music videos from my friends in Semiblind, and I believe it’s the only one where they’re doing one of their original songs. Yes, the sound is a bit rough.

If you know an agent who specializes in getting bands a place to play, please hook Semiblind up so they can write more originals! Love that guitar lick in the middle of the song.

Well, until next time, enjoy the rest of your Friday night!

Friday night videos episode 54

Well, one last edition for 2010. I’m feeling these days like the proverbial old man wheezing to his end and yielding to a baby New Year, but still I’m finding a little bit of interesting stuff to share.

A couple weeks back, President Obama gave a Medal of Honor to SSgt. Sal Giunta for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in Afghanistan – the first time this century a living person received the honor. But there was one complaint about the treatment his family received.

Third row my ass. Speaking of unethical Congressmen, this is an amusing take on a familiar commercial from PJTV.

Americans for Limited Government notes how Congress is holding itself accountable to recent election results.

Something Congress did sometime ago is now beginning to manifest itself, as the Center for Individual Freedom’s Renee Giachino explains.

Enough politics. Let’s rock.

This is the local cover band Vivid Season doing their version of Smile Empty Soul’s ‘Bottom of a Bottle.’

I don’t know who finally got smart at YouTube but I’m enjoying the easier embed. (Well, I was until I found out the embed code doesn’t work after the post came up – grrrrrr.) Thanks a lot people!

Well, that’s a wrap on FNV for 2010, since both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on Friday nights this year – I’ll bring it back in January for its third smash year.

Friday night videos – episode 53

It’s sort of slim pickings now that the election is over, so even though I have had a three-week hiatus there’s still not a lot in the old mailbox. But since I’m away enjoying the company of fellow Maryland Republicans the rest of you can watch this.

We all know the unemployment rate edged up last week to 9.8 percent. Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, had his comments on this.


Yet illegal immigrants can easily find work, at least according to FOX News/Boston. Aramark, who provides the concession staffing for Fenway Park, was busted for hiring illegals.

I would imagine that people from North Korea would love to become immigrants to America, legal or otherwise. We still have to deal with their leaders, though.

Another President who proved inept in dealing with North Korea is featured in this video.

I decided to use this video as a transition to the musical portion of the program. If you remember Soft Cell, you know the song.

The music this week is provided by Not My Own, a frequent performer here. This song is a little different since they’re doing a cover of  the Alice in Chains song ‘Would?’ from the Brass Monkey in Baltimore.

Next week I’m going to see if I can’t toss some new stuff in there.

Friday night videos – episode 52

Well, this should be fun. I don’t mind collective bargaining, but now Big Labor is big business. So how do they spend their money? Certainly not on dividends.

Can you say right-to-work? Sure you can.

It’s not big business, but small business that bears the brunt of estate taxes. And they’re back with a vengeance in 2011, as this video from ALG shows.

Obama’s ‘Midterm State of Denial’ is the title of this week’s ‘Freedom Minute.’They always run a little over a minute, don’t they? But that’s okay, I don’t mind.

My friend Jane Van Ryan of API gets the hat tip for this video.

Isn’t government overreach fun? The only good job seems to be a government job.

It was sort of a slow week for videos, but I decided to do this version of FNV because I didn’t want to wait another week or two to spring this on you again. I dig this version of the song.

I’m not going to have a FNV next week (come on, it’s Thanksgiving weekend – you’ll be lucky to get a daily post) so look for the next edition in 2 weeks!

Friday night videos – episode 51

Back to political stuff with this one.

The new big thing is telling the GOP what to do, although I think the voters gave them a pretty good idea. This first one comes from the group Bankrupting America.

And just as a reminder, the Center for Individual Freedom looks at the last two years.Just don’t forget this, new majority!

I really love the Republican Study Committee. They tell it like it is.

So does the Institute for Justice. You know, they use the most egregious examples but I suspect things aren’t all that different here in the People’s Republic of Maryland.

And now for something completely different…

As I say in the description, if you want to drink beer and watch this all day I guess that’s to each his or her own.

Or you could go see a band. This is the local cover band Cherrybud.

With that, another edition of FNV is in the books.

Friday night videos episode 48

It’s back again, with something new at the end.

We are coming to an election where the most important number is in doubt: is the unemployment rate really 9.6% as the government says or 10.1% as Gallup postulates? Americans for Limited Government thinks they have an answer.

But the group Bankrupting America says neither figure tells the story.

Maybe one solution would be to stop regulating us to death? Ben Lieberman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains on FOX News.

Yet our elected leadership simply doesn’t get it. They create straw men to pass blame to, for one.

Yes, that was recorded at Obama’s Bowie State appearance. Do you think the man has that feeling about someone like moveon.org?

I don’t think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gets it either. Ron Futrell of Liberty.org tells the story.

In the most recent Freedom Minute, Renee Giachino describes how liberals are running scared.The guy who should be running scared is Chris Coons; otherwise Delaware voters may be the ones frightened by their tax increases.

I’m still laughing about that one.

I think over the next two weeks I’m going to devote my FNV series to candidate videos – not necessarily the ones done by other media outlets who may or may not have their own agenda, but done by the candidates themselves. Here’s an example from County Executive hopeful Joe Ollinger.

Okay, time to shift gears. Last weekend I was at the Good Beer Festival and I brought my camera. This is an up-and-coming young local band called Naylor Mill. (With a name like that, they have to be local.)

The sound is just a touch overmodulated on the video (it sounded better on my computer before I uploaded it) but you get the idea. In a future FNV episode I’ll feature other stuff from the band.

But for the next couple weeks it’s going to be primarily candidates on themselves.

Friday night videos episode 46

I wasn’t done yet, it was simply a dearth of decent video and some other plans taking up my Friday nights. Here you have the return of FNV after a two-week hiatus.

How about we start with this one? This could be a great movie, although it tells us what we already know.

Another thing we already know is that Sarah Palin remains popular, despite all the naysayers. That and she has her own political action committee.

And we also know that the stimulus is a boondoggle. It’s a little tougher to steal these political roadside signs than to take the neighbor’s O’Malley one – not that I condone the activity.

I may reuse this one in a few weeks.

I will be at the polling place on November 2nd with bells on. There could be a hurricane blowing and I’d be there.

Shifting gears, there’s a little surprise at the end of the Freedom Minute. But I’m curious why they used that particular hospital as a backdrop.I came across this a couple weeks back, and you know, it fits in with the mindset of many perfectly. Besides, the series of commercials from Progressive Insurance (which is owned by uberlefty Peter Lewis) really desperately needed to be made fun of.

It’s not quite Halloween, but here is some more scary stuff in a serious vein to close this edition. Whether you come down in favor of amnesty for illegals or not, this is a good case for closing the borders.

Since I crammed this one sort of full, I’ll skip the music this time. Maybe I’ll do a double dose on the next one.

Friday night videos – episode 45

Call this the primary edition. It’s some of the interesting things which have come across my screen lately and I want to share with you.

First, I love the smell of hypocricy in the evening as much as I do in the morning.

Yep, let’s hire non-union people to protest on behalf of a union. Unless there’s full employment within the union (in which case they shouldn’t need the work anyway) why can’t they use their own members?

In the meantime, the administration they blindly support is killing other union and non-union jobs in the energy industry.

It’s interesting – 5,500 people came of their own accord to speak out on their jobs but providing a handful of jobs to the members of the union who instead paid scab labor to picket was out of the question.

The statewide races for Governor and Senate are quite interesting, with Jim Rutledge and Eric Wargotz fighting out the U.S. Senate nod and Brian Murphy closing the gap on Bob Ehrlich. Here’s a little something from each, beginning with Rutledge. Someone came up with a great video on Jim’s behalf.

I still like the bearded look on Jim. Meanwhile, his opponent Eric Wargotz hit the airwaves with this last week.

It’s a humorous ad, and certainly gets the point across. But is appearing in safari garb Eric’s ‘Dukakis moment’?

A more conventional message comes from Brian Murphy in his TV spot.

It sounds pretty Eastern Shore to me, since that’s where he grew up. Meanwhile, Bob Ehrlich vows to kill the expansion of the sales tax to 43 services.

Oh, I remember the bill – they’ve tried to sneak it through but didn’t have the cajones to do it back then. We fought it tooth and nail and won.

Finally, this week wouldn’t be complete without mentioning something about tomorrow. It’s this week’s Freedom Minute from the Center for Individual Freedom.I decided to skip the music video this week because I may just have fresh ones next week if I’m able. We’ll have to see on that; otherwise enjoy the rest of your night!