Tim and Alissa Birkel

Obama Administration Clears Way for Offshore Drilling. Eventually. Sort of. Maybe.

2010 March 31

The headlines are splashy and sensationalized.  “Obama Clears Way for Drilling.” “Obama clears way for offshore drilling for oil and gas, including off Va. coast.” “Obama energy plan would open Atlantic and Gulf drilling.”

The headlines are also something else: misleading. No doubt the breathless media intend to tell the gullible reader (or casual passerby) “see, this Barack Obama guy is a moderate after all. He’s doing the things you ‘Drill, baby, drill’ crowd wanted.”

The truth is not quite so clear. read more…

HCR: Maybe There Are ‘Two Americas’ After All

2010 March 23

John Edwards liked to claim that there were ‘two Americas.’ With the passage of health care “reform” maybe he was right. There’s the America you and I have to live in, and there’s the America our elected officials who supposedly represent us live in (which apparently doesn’t include the 60% of us who were opposed to this bill).

The most appalling aspect (well, one of them anyway) of the whole HCR debacle is that Congress has just passed a bill which will impose new laws, taxes, fines, obligations, and penalties on ordinary citizens which they, of course, will not have to deal with at all. But we shouldn’t be surprised at the hyprocrisy. After all, leftists have long argued against privatization of government–oh, except when they find out that government run enterprise leads to spiraling debts, poor service, fewer choices, and higher cost, and inevitable taxpayer bailouts on something they actually care about.

What are we talking about? Why the Senate privatizing its restaurants of course. Turns out that the free market, and not government mandates, are good enough for our politicians. Just not for us.

Crunchy Conservative Parenting: On Co-Sleeping, and Actions vs. Ideology

2010 March 5

Yesterday, Suzanne Venker had a post concerning co-sleeping that may have been well-intentioned, but spends a good deal of its time attacking the wrong target. We don’t disagree that our culture at large is too concerned with being PC, and often too sensitive to children’s self-esteem (see George Will’s excellent article in yesterday’s Washington Post). But we do take issue with some of her assertions and arguments.  In response to the Stephanopoulos’ sleep issues, she has only this advice to offer:

And there’s no greater loss of control than lying in one’s bed with one’s spouse with children who refuse to leave your space. The answer to the sleep problem is simple: Never let your children sleep in your bed in the first place.

With all due respect to Suzanne, this is the same kind of rigid, one-size-fits-all parenting approach that, on the flip side, also says “never spank your children” or “always put your child’s feelings first.” read more…

Breyer’s Twisted Anti-Gun Reasoning

2010 March 3

A case currently being argued in the Supreme Court–McDonald vs. Chicago–seeks to further clarify the constitutional bounds of our Second Amendment rights. Specifically, this case deals with whether state and local authorities can impose more restrictions on gun ownership than are allowed by the federal government under the District of Columbia v. Heller decision of 2008.

The same five Justices who sided with the Constitution in the Heller case have again made arguments that the right to bear arms is a fundamental liberty–like freedom of speech–that state and local authorities cannot further abridge. Of course, the anti-gun Justices on the Supreme Court had their arguments as well. read more…

Rosen’s Broadside Hits WaPo’s Dionne Dead Center

2010 February 18

We’ve often tussled with Washington Post Columnist E.J. Dionne. Tim was in the habit of critiquing his logic as long ago as when he was a political op-ed writer for his college paper. Mark Rosen has an excellent column in today’s Denver Post critical of Dionne’s increasingly loony-left outlook. Writing mostly in response to this Dionne column, Rosen notes his descent from center-left during the Clinton years to today where,

“Bush Derangement Syndrome has metastasized into Tea Party Derangement Syndrome, which has become epidemic among lefties.”

Meet the New UN Boss, Same as the Old UN Boss

2010 February 12

The title of today’s post refers, of course, to the lyric from The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Those of you who watched last week’s Super Bowl halftime show probably heard the preserved corpses of Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend perform it. Every person in the crowd seemed to know that line. And yet, the world appears very much about to get fooled again.

Once upon a time (5 years ago) there existed the UN  Commission on Human Rights. The Comission, such as it was, was a mockery of its name. It enjoyed the membership of such paragons of human rights as China, Libya, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. In 2006, it was abolished in favor of the UN Human Rights Council.

Now, we introduce you to the new boss, same as the old boss. From its inception, the Human Rights Council has appeared interested in little else other than condemning Israel. As Claudia Rossett, writing in Forbes, notes: read more…

“Green Police” Super Bowl Commercial: Funny, and Maybe Just a Bit Frightening

2010 February 8

If you were watching the Super Bowl last night, whether for the game or the commercials, you might have seen the little ad above by Audi. For those that haven’t seen it or can’t watch the video,  the ad featured the “Green Police” arresting people for “crimes against the environment.”

A man is arrested for choosing plastic over paper (bags). A man is led away in handcuffs for using an incandescent light bulb. Roadblocks stop motorists cold while the GP monitor their gas mileage. Over these scenes and more, a light, bouncy soundtrack cheers on the GP in their crime-busting spree.

Cute? Yeah. Funny? Sure. But also more than a little creepy, given that there are plenty of people out there who would look at this commercial and say “hey, that’s a good idea”? Certainly. read more…

Space Travel: In Which We Admit to Agreeing With James Cameron and Barack Obama

2010 February 5

The Falcon 9, a privately built rocket which will supply the International Space Station

We spend the majority of our time in opposition to the policies put forth by President Obama‘s administration. Only one of us (Tim) has seen “Avatar,” but he can vouch that it’s a grab bag of leftist tropes wrapped in stunning visuals. Yet today we find ourselves in agreement with both the President and “Avatar” director James Cameron. read more…

WaPo Points Out Obama’s Two Faces on Senate Holds

2010 February 4

President Obama has given us plenty of reasons not to like him — his penchant for redistributive policies, his love of increasing the power and scope of government, and his stances on terror and security that could at best be called ambivalent. But perhaps the thing that rankles most is his attitude. This is the President. Of the United States. The “leader of the free world” and the “most powerful man in the world.” His party had a supermajority (and still maintains a hefty majority despite the recent Massachusetts election) in the Senate and a wide majority in the House.

And yet he still insists on taking a whining, hurt tone when someone disagrees with him. Obama’s act is reminiscent of a rich, star high school quarterback who’s still bitter because someone, somewhere doesn’t like him and won’t invite him to their birthday party. read more…

The Media’s Unsurprising Rush to Judgement Against James O’Keefe

2010 January 29

While the whole truth about the latest story surrounding James O’Keefe is not entirely clear, one thing is certain: he made a mistake. No, we’re not talking about whatever mistakes he may have made at Senator Landrieu’s (D-LA) office. We’re talking about the mistake of exposing the establishment media not only for being intellectually bankrupt, not only for being ideologically partisan, not only for taking down ACORN, an organization on the same side of the intellectual divide as a large percentage of the media, but also for exposing the media’s down-and-out laziness. A twentysomething kid showed the big bastions of supposed “investigative journalism” how its done. And for that, they have never forgiven him. read more…

George Will and the Left’s Hypocrisy over Citizens United

2010 January 28

With the SOTU already well-covered here at NewsReal, we will take a narrower focus. George Will’s column in today’s Washington Post must have been written before the President’s speech, but it delivers a stinging rebuke to one of Obama’s talking points, as well as the leftist media’s phony outrage over the recent Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. read more…

A Spoonful of Saccharine: Brown’s Victory Causes Temporary Memory Loss

2010 January 20

If you went looking for comedy last night, you couldn’t have done better than tuning in to the Rachel Maddow show about the time that Scott Brown officially won last night’s election to succeed Ted Kennedy as Massachusetts Senator. Host Maddow and guest Chris “Shiver Me Timbers” Matthews were beside themselves, aghast at the results. Maddow kept sputtering about Republicans being “divorced from reality” even as she tried to spin in any direction to explain her candidate of choice’s loss. It was about “anti-incumbent sentiment” or Coakley’s bad campaign. It was about moving the country in any direction except, of course, the one that’s blindingly obvious. read more…

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