Hillary Clinton

Quote Of The Day, 1-15-14: Feminists Retread '70s "ERA"

There were several candidates for the 2014 Virginia General Assembly's first Quote Of The Day. But the winner doesn't come from a legislator. It comes from a liberal activist. One trade secret in the lobbying business is to keep your mouth shut in the hallways and elevators. If you're talking, you're not listening to what others are saying, and you may be giving away something to the other side no matter how insignificant you think it may be.

This morning, a few stragglers from a feminist briefing lingered not far from me as I sat on a hallway chair in the General Assembly Building and recorded notes on a meeting with a legislator. They were giddy with enthusiasm to lobby lawmakers to vote to ratify the so-called Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. No, you haven't gone back into a 1970's time warp. For the last three years it has been introduced in the General Assembly despite its decades ago expiration from failure to secure the three-quarters of the states necessary for ratification by its own deadline.

Believe it or not, in 2011, the Virginia Senate mistakenly passed it when they thought they were filming a Spielberg history movie (sic), before a House committee effortlessly punted it through the Twilight Zone and back to the Jimmy Carter-Tip O'Neil era. To hear these feminists, the original resolution's deadline, approved by a liberal dominated Congress at the time, doesn't count.

I am not making this up. Talk about "wasting time on divisive social issues."

The women talked openly about their strategy, as primitive and naive as it was, not realizing who I was. I kept my head down, finished my job and listened with great amusement — and took notes (then provided them to one of the "targeted" legislators — an unflipable conservative — before they could visit his office for a second time that morning). One woman, with colored blond hair and a blaze red stripe of hair across the front, admitted it was hard for her to concentrate solely on the ERA because "I can't prioritize. I love all these bills. I'm even all in on the animal rights bills, too!"

Rights for the animals. None for the unborn. Some definition of feminism.

That's not the QOD, though, and it's not this gem either: "I want to live until I see this passed and I will die happy."

The QOD goes to another woman who said she gave an ERA pin to Dorothy McAuliffe, our new First Lady:

She said she'd give it to Hillary. All I want for Christmas is a picture of Hillary Clinton wearing an ERA pin. That's the money shot for me.

Did I say "naive"? Honey, if you don't have Hillary in your camp by now, you might as well stick with your friend's animal rights bills.

 

(Only Conservatives) Love A (July 4th) Parade?

This is not exactly the type of pre-Independence Day post I envisioned, but when an article came to my attention earlier this week about a Harvard study that claims July 4th parades are some type of Republican pep rally, it was too much to pass up. That is, after I realized it was not a parody (see Paul Bedard's Washington Whispers Blog at USNews.com). Next, we'll find out that the "researchers" got a "stimulus" (or other government) grant to do the report. (How ironic is it that it came from Harvard, John Adams' alma mater? See the 1776 clip, below.) According to the report, conservatives are a patriotic lot. Now, that's a shock. Of course, I guess it depends on your definition of patriotism. The Left has been trying to redefine it for years, along with everything else (from marriage to the word "is"). Hillary Clinton tried to redefine the redefinition then stamp her own version of patriotism in this famous rant where she set up the conservative bogeyman and screeched against this figment of her imagination.

But the report goes beyond calling conservatives patriotic. For instance, it says:

The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century.

I didn't know American history could be appropriated. I thought the tenants of American independence — Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — that are celebrated each Independence Day were universal. If anyone has appropriated anything it is the Left which has made it a practice of apologizing for the founding of our country, what America stands for and the good we've done around the world.

The report's findings imply a brainwashing of sorts:

» Attending a July 4th parade before the age of 18 increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.

» It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent.

» It boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they'll make a political contribution by 3 percent.

That's another irony, considering what much of what public education has become, as well as the general public discourse, where the Left has reinterpreted Founding Principles to mean that more government equals more freedom, precisely the opposite reason why Americans took up arms against the British Empire.

But rather than trying to make Independence Day a partisan occasion, why doesn't the Left simply participate in it? Maybe they'll find they like it, have a good time and make new friends. That is, if they don't mind admiring the courage of the Founders, finding the magnificence of the Declaration's stirring words, and reveling in the truth of what Robert Middlekauff termed The Glorious Cause.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Make No Mistake: Abortion Coverage IS IN The Government Run Health Care Bill

Courtesy of our friends at the Family Research Council, below are eight documented facts about the inclusion of abortion funding or mandates in the so-called health care "reform" bill. You can click here, as well, to get them in a PDF document.

Eight Reasons Abortion Is in the Health Care Overhaul

1. The legislation specifically includes it. The President’s bill to amend the Senate bill leaves several abortion provisions in place. In Section 1303 it allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves the abortion surcharge in place. It maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Even worse, it would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion funding restrictions. (H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.)

2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said it is. "And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women. ... That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund." (HotAir.com: "Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund".)

3. Senate Democrats refused to ban it. Instead of allowing for an up or down vote on a Senate amendment similar to the Stupak Amendment in the House which bans federal funding of abortion, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) "tabled" the amendment, effectively killing it. This was the only amendment dealt with in this way. (Vote No. 369 S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590.)

4. House Pro-life Democrats, who support a government takeover, say it is. "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable." (U.S. Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), February 23, 2010, CBS News) … "I think abortion’s wrong. The problem is that I’ve lived too long. When they say they can keep this money separate, I just don’t believe it." (U.S. Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.), March 6, 2010, Arkansas News.)

5. House Pro-abortion Democrats say it is. "The good news is that the Senate bill does allow [abortion coverage]," (Chairwoman of the House pro-abortion caucus, Dianne DeGette (D-Colo.), March 5, 2010, Washington Post.)

6. The Abortion industry has sent out alerts in favor of it. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood sent out alerts on March 6, 2010: "President Obama’s health care reform proposal would make a real difference for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood. . . . and [the bill] significantly increase access to reproductive health care." (Planned Parenthood alert, March 6, 2010.)

7. Candidate Obama said it would be included, and the Obama administration includes it in its definition of reproductive health care. Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated he "believes that reproductive health care is basic health care." (Rhealitycheck.org questionnaire, 2008.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up on this in 2009: "Reproductive health care includes access to abortion." (The Cloakroom Blog: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.")

8. House Democratic Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has indicated he wants to "fix" the abortion coverage problem in the Senate bill. "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation." (March 4, 2010: The Briefing Room, The Hill's blog.)

But if those eight facts aren't enough to convince your "pro-life" friends who are convinced that anything out of "the annointed one's" mouth is truth, or just can't bring themselves to doubt such "moderate" and "Blue Dog Democrats" such as U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) or our own Mark Warner, here's 12 more facts and reasons, courtesy of The Cloakroom.

Still not sure? Then check out FRC Action’s resource page: "Standing Against the Government Takeover of Health Care," as well as why the Hyde Amendment does not apply to the current bill: "Q and A: Government Health Care and Abortion." Please disseminate this information by using the share program, e-mailing this link to friends and/or posting it to your own social networking sites.

U.N Treaty To Usurp Parental Rights? House Bill To Prevent It Still Alive After Crossover

Hillary Clinton may think it takes a village to raise your child — a village of her own choosing, of course. But Virginians think otherwise. Just prior to crossover, the House of Delegates passed a resolution affirming parental rights 64-31! This resolution, HJ 193, patroned by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown), urges Congress to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring that, "the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right." In case you have not yet heard about the Parents Rights amendment, let me give you the facts (see our policy brief, here). In the United States, parents have traditionally held the right to raise their own children according to their own beliefs. This right has been upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court for 70 years. However, recent court rulings on parental rights have shown that the court is becoming divided on this critical issue. In fact, the court issued 6 different opinions in the parental rights case Troxel v. Granville (2000), with only four justices acknowledging that parental rights were protected by the Constitution.

There’s another reason to be concerned about the plight of parental rights: the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (see our preivous post and video about this). Supported by people such as President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), this treaty actually has a chance of passing. Currently, the United States and Somalia are the only countries that have not passed the treaty. If this treaty is passed, it will undermine parental rights unless the Constitution clearly says otherwise.

Delegate Pogge's resolution received enthusiastic support from both sides of the aisle in the House. However, this resolution will not become law unless it is also passed in the Virginia Senate. As many of you know, the Senate is much less receptive to family issues like this than the House of Delegates. When the bill is debated in the Senate, we will ask you to contact your Senators to urge their support of this measure.

Another parental rights effort did not meet with the same success. Several legislators this year introduced bills that would have allowed home school students to participate in public school sports programs. Unfortunately, despite the fact that their parents pay for public schools and their programs through tax dollars, home school students are treated as second-class citizens.

Delegate Rob Bell’s (R-58, Charlottesville) HB 926, which would have directed the Virginia High School League to allow homes school students eligibility, was "carried over" (see vote) until next year by the House Education Committee after a lengthy debate and opposition by the VHSL. This will give Delegate Bell the opportunity to work with the interested parties to seek a solution to the problem.

Live From The GAB: TFF Asks Governor Kaine To Re-Look The Causes Of Poverty

We're live from the GAB's House Briefing Room where Delegate Bill Janis, The Family Foundation of Virginia, First Things of Greater Richmond and others are addressing the media and calling on Governor Kaine to add members to his poverty commission and look at different angles as to the cause of poverty, i.e., the governor thinks poverty is reduced by increased unemployment insurance. Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb is addressing the news conference: Solutions include more choice in education to give individuals a better chance. But the major factor is marriage! U.Va. sociology professor Brad Wilcox sent statistics that show clearly the major reason for poverty is lack of intact families. Childhood poverty could drop as much as 20 percent if we increased the marriage rate in Virginia. Each Virginia tax payers are on the hook for millions of dollars because of the results of family fragmentation.

Increasing the number of marriages and strengthening existing marriages is essential to decreasing poverty. Governor Kaine did not mention these at all when creating his commission. The Family Foundation sent the governor a letter yesterday asking him to make marriage a priority of his commission in its efforts to reduce poverty in Virginia.

The great thing about marriage is that it works and costs tax payers nothing! But divorce and illegitimacy does in crime, poverty and lack of education.

Now, Delegate Bill Janis is on: He starts by quoting then-candidate Barack Obama about the importance of fathers in children's lives. Hillary Clinton says, "It takes a village to raise a child." But it takes a dad!

The governor has set the table. We want a seat at the table and a responsible discussion. He now repeats stats from here. Two-thirds of poor children live in collapsed homes and results in higher proportions of poverty, teen pregnancy and crime. We spend a trillion dollars in means tested poverty programs every year. This doesn't count K-12 education, either.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Forget about the Swine Flu, broken families are the real epidemic.

What can be done? First thing the government should do is do no harm. In 1996, the last time this country had a serious discussion on poverty was 1996 when President Bill Clinton signed the welfare reform act. The bill's language included as goals the stablization of families, promote marriage, encourage the maintenance of two-parent families and prevent and reduce out of wedlock families. We need to get back to addressing the goals.

We have $16 million in TANF funds in Virginia that was supposed to be earmarked for these goals, but are not being used for them. Why study the problem further when we know what the problem is? Even the Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank, says that a significant percentage of single moms and their families would be instantly lifted out of poverty if they were married to the fathers of their children.

We want to take this out of the realm of partisanship and politics. The governor has led. That's good. But if he wants to try to score political points, that's a shame. If not, we want to help him, those in this room. We started this in 1996, let's finish it now. There are federal funds available now, let's go get them.

The "Liberal Street" Is Really Angry Now . . . But At Obama!

It hasn't been such a happy post-election season for the Angry Left and militant homosexual activists, despite the election of their "messiah." Perhaps he's human after all. First, militant homosexual activists took to the streets immediately (see here) — as in the next day — after Californians voted to pass Proposition 8, to constitutionally guarantee traditional marriage. They never stopped, trying to disrupt Morman church services (see here); ignorant celebrities leading protests (see here, foul language warning, but hilarious); chasing, posse style, Prop 8 supporters in the streets (see here/foul language warning); and even ranting in Virginia (read here).

It's all been the height of intolerance, viciously so in many cases, in sharp contrast both to what the Angry Left claims to be and in what it claims conservatives are.

Now it is livid at President-Elect Barack Obama's cabinet choices (see Emily Friedman of ABC News) and national security team, which includes a retired Marine general who supported President Bush, current Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton (who voted for the Iraq war) and U.S. Representative Ray Lahood (R-Ill.) as Transportation Secretary.

Didn't he run to pull out of Iraq? If that isn't enough, apparently the president-elect is turning his innaugaration into a right-wing Christian convention because he's invited Rev. Rick Warren to offer a prayer. Rev. Warren, a Californian, supported Prop 8. The Human Rights Campaign president rips the POTUS-elect in a Washington Post op-ed (see here).

Here's what the militant homosexuals did outside his Saddlesback Church after the election (could this be a scene at the Obama innaugaration?):

You think they were angry then? It must be a dust-up of epic proportions in the nut-root community now. Obama must be nothing less than a sell-out. But when you act like sheep in a crowd, that's what you get. Remember this telling essay from by Fouad Ajami in October?

"Obama and the Politics of Crowds"

They're not getting what they want, what they were promised, what was expected, so they take to the streets, just as Ajami points out Arabs do (i.e., "The Arab Street"). Do we in America now have "The Liberal Street"? Politics by protest? Can't get what you want at the ballot box, so demonstrate in the streets until you do?

It's a liberal crack-up, for sure, but how long will it last? More importantly, will it spill over into, and degrade, the culture at large?

Not So Slick Talking Bishop Biden

Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden earned the nickname "Bishop" for all the whoppers he's told trying to re-write the Catholic faith. Perhaps because of that, his gaffes on the more mundane political and policy issues seem to have escaped any serious scrutiny by the Mainstream Media. On the other hand, he makes so many gaffes, it's quite difficult to keep up and sort out. Jake Tapper of ABC News has a blog called Political Punch, surprisingly somewhat fair. About two weeks ago he tallied up Biden's gaffes at 29 (click here),although that may have been an undercount. A post by Tapper yesterday (click here) had Biden up to 32 gaffes (still low by our count). Yet all the media can focus on is Governor Sarah Palin's clothes. However, today, Tapper has a post about how much more accessible Governor Palin is to the media than the bishop.

We've wanted to document the bishop's gaffes but they fly out of his mouth faster than we can write and post the video. Thankfully, Michelle Malkin came along. Today, she published a column on Biden's gaffes, recounting some of his biggest hits, all the more relevant because Biden has been known to brag about his allegedly high IQ.

Some of our favorite Biden blusters:

» Telling Katie Couric Franklin Roosevelt was president in 1929 and addressed the nation on television about the Great Depression;

» Telling a crippled state senator to "stand up, Chuck!";

» Telling Kate Snow of ABC News that paying higher taxes is patriotic;

» Admitting that Hillary Clinton would have been a VP better choice than he;

» Just recently telling a crowd that the major issue in the campaign comes down to a "three-letter word: J-O-B-S;"

» Ridiculing Joe "The Plumber" by saying "no plumbers or cops live in my neighborhood," perhaps because Biden lives in a $3 million house (which misstated Joe's complaint anyway — Joe's not rich now, but he wants to buy a business one day and be real successful, which apparently Biden and Barack Obama think only the elites can do);

» Telling an environmentalist in Ohio that he and his running mate are against clean coal technology, while Obama told a crowd in Virginia that they are for it; and

» Admitting that if elected, "five or six" rogue regimes would start international incidents to "test" Barack Obama. Very reassuring.

This is on top of his documented 14 lies during his debate with Governor Palin.

By the way, with all the dislike the Mainstream Media says Americans have for Governor Palin, why has she set records for viewership for her convention acceptance speech (although fewer networks carried it), for the vice presidential debate and for last weekend's Saturday Night Live? All blew away any number that Senator Obama received. So, to be fair: Since we posted a video of Barack Obama's gaffes last week, here's a video of Bishop Biden's:

Let Me Get This Straight . . .

The Angry Left and its allies in Left Wing Mainstream Media think it's perfectly okay for an unelected liberal woman (Hillary Clinton) to fire an entire office of civil servants (the White House Travel Office) and falsely accuse some of them with crimes (for which they were acquitted) resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, but something's wrong when a conservative woman, the elected governor of a state (Sarah Palin), fires a political appointee, under every conceivable auspice of her power as chief executive, for insubordination on a budget matter. How pathetic.

Clintons Creep Into Virginia

The Clintons are looking to expand their political empire into Virginia. While most thought the 2009 Democrat nomination for governor would be between two established Virginia pols, Delegate Brian Moran (D-46, Alexandria) and Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25, Bath), it looks like a complete outsider to Old Dominion politics, Terry McAuliffe, the very top Clinton lieutenant — he was handpicked by Bill to run the DNC and was Hillary's presidential campaign chairman — wants to usurp the nomination from both Moran and Deeds. McAuliffe, a native New Yorker, while never active in Virginia politics, doubtless is familiar to many, showing up on any and all political television shows, even on Fox News (to the chagrin of The Angry Left). While he's floated the idea for some time, he pretty much gave away his intentions last night to a Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter:

McAuliffe, 51, who lives in McLean, is considering seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2009. He said he will make a decision after the Nov. 4 election, but he indicated he likely would run.

So, the Clintons want to creep into Virginia? Arkansas and New York aren't enough. There is a method to the madness here: Hillary lost the Virginia primary, huge. But suppose the Democrat presidential nomination is open again in 2012? Having a friendly governor here to swing Virginia's Democrat delegates her way would be significant. All of a sudden, Delegate Moran and Senator Deeds have a lot more to be concerned about than only each other.

McAuliffe has his baggage, though. He's never been fully vetted by the Mainstream Media for a get-rich-quick scheme in the Global Crossing bankruptcy scandal; and the media, for all his thousands of appearances on their networks, have never questioned him about the widely known Teamsters money laundering scheme he hatched; nor have authorities fully investigated him for it, even though several Teamster bosses went down for their participation. (Maybe because it was during Bill's presidency?) Other McAuliffe money scandals, where he enriched himself, are well documented here, at Counter Punch. He's escaped scrutiny thus far. Charmed? Or just well protected?

But does he want to risk all of it coming out in a gubernatorial campaign to a state he has little connection? For Clinton creep, apparently yes.

More On Life From Nat Hentoff

As we posted last week, liberal and pro-life columnist Nat Hentoff wrote an insightful column about liberal politicians' pro-abortion views. That column ("Democrats and abortion") is very well worth the read (click here). This week, he's followed up with another brilliant piece ("Abortion wars crescendo")  which we cannot  recommend highly enough for you to read as well (click here). In it, Hentoff highlights some astounding — and very unfortunate — shifts in the Democrats' national platform. In a telling sign of just how far left those who controlled the levers of power at its convention are, the party even eliminated the Bill Clinton abortion platform plank of "safe, legal and rare." (Wonder if Hillary would've left that in?)

It also is "strongly and unequivocally" supportive of Roe v. Wade and opposes  any attempts to "weaken or undermine it." (Which shows more than a sad policy position. It shows weakness and hypocrisy at best, and ignorance at worst. Most liberals think an overturn of Roe would ban abortions. It would not. It would return the decisions to the states. If the country is so supportive of abortion on demand, what are pro-aborts afraid of? A little democracy? Why so afraid of a little voting here and there?)

Here are some other jaw droppers from Hentoff: 

» Barack Obama is a co-sponsor of the "Freedom of Choice Act" that would make partial-birth abortion legal, contrary to a Supreme Court decision. (Why is it okay for pro-aborts to try to change a Supreme Court decision, but not for pro-lifers?)

» For you libertarians who don't think abortion is an issue, Obama is leading the way repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion. (Joe Biden also supports taxpayer funding of abortion despite what he said to Tom Brokow per his September 7 Meet The Press interview. Click here for the record. In fact, Hentoff notes from The Nation, that Biden has a perfect 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood.)

» Obama voted in the Illinois Senate to block a bill requiring the notification of at least one parent of a minor from another state seeking an abortion in Illinois.

» The well know fact, by now, that Obama voted to deny life-saving treatment to babies born despite surviving an abortion.

» Hentoff cites from an August 24 Washington Times editorial, "Planned Parenthood Targets Blacks," (read here) that one-third of all its abortions in 2007 were performed on blacks and a majority of its facilities are in minority neighborhoods.

Speaking of Planned Parenthood's apparent racial profiling, Hentoff ends by citing a black leader, a prominent Democrat, who once was fiercely eloquent in his defense of life. Until he, too, ran for president. Said this man several years ago:

"Don't let the pro-choicers convince you that a fetus isn't a human being. That's how the whites dehumanized us. ... The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong."

That man is the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Pro-Choice Divide

Hidden deep in today's Washington Post article about John Edward's much coveted endorsement of Barak Obama is a paragraph that shows yet another division in the Democrat party. This time over which presidential candidate has the best pro-abortion credentials. Apparently, NARAL Pro-Choice and Emily's List, the two competitors over pro-choice dollars, are at odds over Obama and Hillary. NARAL choosing Barak with Emily's List choosing Hillary. The division broke down into media and blog-battles yesterday and today.

Hard to pick which of these candidates is most pro-choice, since they both support abortion on demand through birth, regardless of reason. If Hillary isn't pro-choice enough for some in the Democrat party, it really makes you wonder what she would have to do to earn their support? And if Barak is even more pro-choice than Hillary . . . ?

American Idol President

If you've been paying attention to the presidential campaigns, you've no doubt heard much of the pundit analysis of the candidates. It goes something like this: Obama is "energizing" people and speaking about "change" and is bringing "excitement" to the campaign; Hillary is "mean" and having a hard time reaching "new voters" and isn't "inspiring"; McCain is about as "exciting" as tooth decay and doesn't "move" people. And on and on it goes. Of course, the missing ingredient in most analysis is obvious: what are the important issues and how are each of the candidates actually going to address them. Specifics in this race are about as hard to find as a NOVA Republican.

Truth be told, we shouldn't expect much else in our celebrity culture, where Americans seem far more interested in the latest "American Idol" than they are in Iraq. We could spend days talking about why, but syndicated columnist Robert Samuelson has an interesting take. He theorizes that we don't demand honest answers from our candidates, not because we're more interested in their latest David Letterman appearance, but because we simply can't handle the truth about the current state of affairs in America. The truth, as they say, hurts.

I think there is a lot of truth to his argument. Facing the realities of $4.00 a gallon gas, a nanny state that is on the verge of complete economic collapse (i.e., Has anyone seen my social security check?), and borders that are simply lines on paper isn't nearly as entertaining, or diversionary, as Jay Leno.

I guess the question is, how much longer can we bury ourselves in celebrity before we are forced to deal with a crumbling culture?

Bread and circuses anyone?