My latest weekly Under the Fedora column is now available at the Conservative Commune, The Minority Report, Conservatively Speaking, and NACBU.

Two excerpts

On Hagel:

Hagel gives Obama the cover to do the things he really wants to do but didn’t dare say it aloud.

I don’t want to hear a single complaint from any Jewish person who voted for the president. 20 years ago there might have been an excuse for not knowing but in this internet age the only reason to be ignorant of what was coming was to choose to be so.

and on College Football & Catholics

I don’t follow college football, but I really have to laugh when I saw my fellow Catholics going nuts over Notre Dame vs Alabama. A lot of folks were upset when they were crushed by the tide.

I wonder how many of these Catholics were outraged by Obama as the Commencement speaker or by big contributors to Emily’s (Abortion) list on the board?

Where your treasure is that’s where your heart will be.

Speaking of where your treasure and heart is, Stacy McCain’s treasure and heart are currently in training at Ft. Meade. If you don’t understand what that means he explains it:

While we were in the Ceremony Room where the swearing-in took place, I read a plaque on the wall. The plaque explained that the room was dedicated to the memory of Marine Corporal Jennifer M. Parcell, who had sworn in there two days after her 18th birthday in 2004.

In October 2006, Corporal Parcell was deployed to Iraq and assigned to the 1st Combat Logistics Group. She volunteered to search female Iraqi citizens at a checkpoint in Al Anbar Province, and was killed in an attack by a female suicide bomber on Feb. 7, 2007.

Corporal Parcell was 20 years old when she died — the same age as my son on the day he enlisted in the Army. Think about that.

Today we have an all volunteer army. Neither of my sons have chosen (so far) to serve. The reason why they have that choice is because one of Stacy McCain’s sons have.

How do you repay a debt like that?

Wednesday Congresswoman Niki Tsongas came to the Fitchburg Public Library for her first event in Fitchburg since being sworn in as the representative in congress for the 3rd district.

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The event: “Congress on your Corner” consisted of one on one (or two on one) meetings with various constituents from the district.

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The format was surprise to most of the people who arrived expecting a town hall-style event. At least one person who came decided to leave thinking the format was not conducive the type of open public debate she was looking for.

Personally I think the one on one setup is a good idea. Most people don’t get a chance to meet their representative in congress let alone get private time face to face.

The event was announced through robo-calls (I received one myself), through the local paper. and via her site. I arrived about 30 minutes early and only a handful of people were waiting but by the time Congresswoman Tsongas arrived the crowd continued to grow until it was well over 35.

Local Pols were well represented no fewer than 4 members of the Fitchburg City Counsel attended. Mayor Lisa Wong was there, and State reps Jen Flanagan & Steve DiNatale also came.
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Congresswoman Tsongas met the local pols en mass near the start She commented those meetings are important because “…they are tasked with managing the affairs of the community.”

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Due to the number of people there about 3 minutes were allocated per person (or pair who choose to go in together) but even with a short period of time the I think it’s a good thing for voters to meet their member of congress one on one.

Local republicans were well represented. A regular guest to my show Mary Lotz had some time with the congresswoman and was unimpressed

People had different agendas, the Local Imam Bashir Uddin Mehmud & his son came to introduce himself and the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the congresswoman while Robert Landry had a question concerning film-making in Devens. Both were interested in a local congressional office in the city.

The Press was well represented, the Worcester Telegram and the Sentinel & Enterprise were both there talking to both voters and Congresswoman Tsongas. When the event was over the Congresswoman gave me a few minutes of her time.

She did say she would be doing town halls both standard and electronic.

Her aides were very cooperative (one is a HUGE Dr. Who fan) and the Congresswoman took some time to speak to me as she left. As one of her constituents I stressed cutting spending first on the budget.

I’m sure over the next two years we will be disagreeing a lot and I’ll be calling her on those disagreements but as for this event, I think it was a proper use of her time. There is no more important thing a member of congress can do than meet with the people who elect them.

“The Empire grew quickly, nobody likes to have their planet blow up beneath them.”

DC Comics Presents 36 1981

I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse

The Godfather 1972

Yesterday Victor Davis Hanson wrote a bit about liberalism do as I say liberals, mentioning Hollywood

The public wonders why Hollywood is so liberal — is it the Bohemian culture surrounding the arts? The natural creative temperament of actors? The Lotus-land surf and sun of the southern-California beach milieu? Perhaps. But penance plays a role as well. For the overpaid and pampered Hollywood movie star, calling for raising taxes, banning guns, ending global warming, and legalizing gay marriage means never having to feel too bad about living on the beach and making, under our capitalist system, more money in a month than do many Americans in a lifetime.

His point is well taken but this is the carrot that he’s talking about, he is ignoring the stick.

It is the stick that makes all the difference.

It is the stick that says, if you don’t give lip service to the liberal cause you won’t get that first job.

It is the stick that says if you are publicly conservative you won’t be considered for that guest role.

It is the stick that says if you are out campaigning for conservatives you won’t get that series.

It is the stick that says if you aren’t pushing our causes will will not get the face time on the talk shows, you will not be sitting on the late night shows and you will not find yourself passed over in a million different ways.

The pattern is not unique to Hollywood. I’m sure many Democrat pols who were brought up good Catholics were asked kindly to be silent on their city councils and selectman positions on certain issues out of party loyalty, but when they decided they wanted to advance beyond that counsel seat or that selectman position they are shown the stick and if they don’t give in, they don’t advance.

Never forget while the carrot is a motivator it is the stick that really makes the difference.

Today we are hearing a lot about the baseball sports writers sending a “strong message” concerning steroids with the HOF votes today.

Roger Clemens & Barry Bonds who might have been expected to breeze into the Hall of fame both failed to manage even 40% falling behind Tim Raines at 52% in his 6th year on the ballot clearly proving that as far as the BBWA voters are concerned steroids are a whole lot worse than cocaine. This should be no surprise as Mark McGuire in his 7th year on the ballot finished with only 16.9%

I think I’ll wait till next year to make a HOF judgement as it’s not unusual for people to withhold a 1st ballot vote based on any kind of scandal but to those who are talking about how it sends a “strong signal” I laugh at you.

Bonds and Clemens and all the other players who took performance did so to enhance or extend their careers. According to Baseball Reference.com during his last 10 years in baseball Clemens made over 100 Million dollars. Barry Bonds over his last 10 years made over $140 Million dollars.

And how many other players who you’ll never see on a HOF ballot walked away from the game with millions of dollars they otherwise would never have seen because of steroid use?

Meanwhile I suspect very few of the writers who voted have ever made seven figures during any year of their lives.

I think that marginal players given the choice of making millions for a few years with the drugs or not will take the dough every time. I suspect Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro et/al given the choice of being filthy rich for life and having the baseball writers of America vote against them vs being moderately well off and getting the writers votes, will take the money and laugh.

As for my ballot if I had one; I would have voted for Biggio, Lee Smith, Schilling, Edgar Martinez and Bernie Williams. Trammel & Morris would have been close calls for me and I’m curious how the financial business affected Schilling’s numbers.

On a side note I can’t believe Bernie Williams, Yankee though he is, didn’t even manage the 5% to stay on the ballot. As a Red Sox fan I would be afraid any time he came to the plate.

Update: Ed Morrissey has some thoughts