Monthly Archives: January 2012


Late yesterday, I saw a television ad that says “Liberal Congressman Tim Murphy voted to expand government-sponsored health care.”

There is NO citation of a source (i.e. a roll call vote) on this screen, so it’s automatically as substantial as saying “Tim Murphy is an alien from Pluto.”

While not saying it explicitly, the ad is (deceptively) suggesting that Murphy voted FOR Obamacare, a statement that is a total (and demonstrable) falsehood. MURPHY VOTED AGAINST OBAMACARE twice and spoke against it, before, during, and after Obamacare’s passage. He voted for its repeal and has consistently opposed Obamacare ever since. That is not open to interpretation or debate.

I can more easily prove that TIM MURPHY DID NOT VOTE FOR OBAMACARE that I can that Murphy is not from Pluto. In fact, I will document Murphy’s record against Obamacare until the verification is coming from Uranus.


Here’s why I’m so ticked about this ad. Suggesting that someone voted for Obamacare is not like an everyday political slander, because Obamacare is not just your everyday bad law. It is literally the endgame of all individual liberty. That would be why lower courts have ruled it unconstitutional and the Supreme Court is willing to devote SIX HOURS to hear it.

Voting for Obamacare was telling American citizens that they could be forced to purchase a product they don’t want or might very well despise under penalty of a federal law, with no option of escape. It did no less than the make the Constitution completely irrelevant. The people who crafted the law and rammed it through also publicly and mercilessly mocked those who opposed it. It represented a complete failure of representative government that resulted in a backlash that ended some long Washington careers.

Murphy was NOT one of them, and if his Washington career is to end, it WILL NOT be over a brazen lie of this magnitude.

I have tried to stay as neutral as I can during the primaries, but I absolutely will not let a lie like this stand.

Obviously, I can’t correct every lie told this year but I will happily correct this one as soon as possible after seeing the false assertion made (against anyone).



“We got government out of the way and began the process of giving the economy back to the people, but I don’t take credit: The American people did it themselves, responding to incentives inherent in the free enterprise system. I watched in wonder and awe as they responded and excelled and produced. There is no limit to what a proud, free people can achieve.”

–Ronald Reagan, from his 1990 autobiography, reflecting on the increases in manufacturing output and productivity generated by Americans during the economic expansion of the 1980’s.

As you could easily see for yourself if you go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and look at the annual average civilian unemployment rates for previous years, Reagan inherited a 7.1 unemployment rate in 1980. It increased slightly in 1981 and jumped to over 9.5 in 1982 and 1983. But in 1984, it went back down, resting at 7.5. Then unemployment went down year after year that decade, ending in 1989 with a rate of 5.3.

Reagan cites the tax cuts of 1981 and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 as being instrumental to that. He says that with those two items, he had accomplished a lot of what he’d “come to Washington to do.”

The leaders of the Congress Reagan wrestled with were Democrats. But he was able to work with them, sometimes using creative approaches to force their hand, advocating strongly for what he believed in and taking what he could get from them.

But he succeeded because he understood that the key to policy that would deliver results in America is based on unleashing the potential of Americans, not constraining them.

He understood the correct role of the presidency in that regard.

There are those who pine openly for the “next Reagan” but the first Reagan obviously wasn’t waiting for that.

He understood what America is, and what makes America so great. He believed in us. Do we still believe in ourselves?

A New York Times article published today quoted Steve Jobs as telling President Obama: “I’m not worried about the country’s long-term future…This country is insanely great. What I’m worried about is that we don’t talk enough about solutions.”

I don’t know what Jobs meant specifically by his comment, but I actually am worried about our long-term future if Obama were to be reelected.

The first step is to replace him in 289 days.


“…I told Brazilian leaders that America would rebound from its recession and get its economic house in order:

‘Somewhere along the way the leaders of the United States forgot how the American growth miracle was created. We substituted government spending for investment to spur productivity; a bulging bureaucracy for private innovation and job creation; transfers of wealth for the creation of wealth, rewards for risk-taking, and hard work; and government subsidies and overregulation for discipline and competition from the magic of the market place.'”

–Ronald Reagan, reflecting on an address he gave in southeastern Brazil in December 1982

The challenges that face us in America are not the results of an unfortunate series of events. They are, in fact, the direct results of decisions we have made. In 2008, we (I include myself because at that time, I didn’t speak up forcefully enough about my concerns) gave complete control of the federal government to those who represent a literal incarnation of the substitutions Reagan referenced, trading away freedom for promises of an insatiable bureaucracy. The people who chose the ultimate expansion of bureaucracy over economic liberty as the path to a better day made virtually every one of the substitutions Reagan decried, and you see the results.

I cited Reagan’s 1982 Sao Paulo address to remind you that our country has faced serious challenges before and overcome them. We know how to do it. But we have to choose it. I trust it’s clear which choice I’ve made. If you haven’t decided whether you want to take control of your own destiny or trust your fate to the whims of people in Washington, you have 290 days to figure it out.


My friends from West Virginia were upset about ESPN disrespecting the Mountaineers and the state. Apparently at least one on-air personality didn’t even seem to realize WV was a state. Like much modern media, even sports networks seem unable to distinguish between actual reality and their perception of it.

I believe I can top that one. Let me share something I read in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s from an article about the president’s recess appointment of a consumer watchdog. Please read the following quote:

“He portrayed the Republican-controlled Congress as looking out for the wealthy and well-connected, while he argued that he has the back of middle-class America.”

–This is from Jim Provance, writing for the Block News Alliance, in a story reprinted in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This was a news story, NOT AN EDITORIAL OR COMMENTARY.

His reference to a “Republican-controlled Congress” is FACTUALLY INCORRECT. After the 2010 elections, Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives, but they only gained enough Senate seats to acquire the option of the filibuster. Republicans DID NOT take control the U.S. Senate. “Control” of either the House or Senate is a phrase used EXCLUSIVELY to refer to one party having a majority in that chamber. Later in the same article, the author quoted the president as describing Republicans as the “minority in the Senate.”

Could the author have been using the term “Congress” and “House of Representatives” interchangeably? It doesn’t matter. This entire article was about the conflict between the president and the Democrat-controlled Senate, which is exactly why the author quoted the president as calling the Republicans the “minority in the Senate.”

The only semblance of “control” Republicans have over the Senate is that they can filibuster now.

So there is NO interpretation of the phrase “Republican-controlled Congress” that can be considered even remotely true. Provance and the Post-Gazette have published a false statement, and it remains to be seen if either will offer a retraction.

I post this because I suspect you may hear the phrase “Republican-controlled Congress” again in other media reports as the president attempts to distance himself from the 112th Congress as part of his reelection campaign. But I say without reservation that ANYONE who uses the phrase “Republican-controlled Congress” is either ignorant or lying about the current configuration of the federal legislature.

Feel free to ask that person which of those is the case.


Dear Xbox Live decision makers:

Since I purchased an Xbox 360 in 2009, I have been an Xbox live subscriber. My gamertag is Scales2012. On December 25, 2011, my XBL subscription lapsed and for the first time, I did not renew it.

I had heard during the previous week that a ban on avatar weapons would go into effect on January 1, 2012. I was waiting to see if you actually went through with it. Today, I reviewed the props available to my avatar, and sure enough, almost any device resembling a gun (with at least one inexplicable exception) was no longer there.

As an Xbox 360 owner and Xbox live subscriber, I feel that I should have had some input on this decision, but my opinion on the matter was never solicited. So now I give it to you in the most direct way I can, by informing you of its potential impact on my intentions regarding future Xbox-related purchases.

First, there is no possibility of me purchasing anything to dress up my avatar as long as the ban on avatar weapons remains in effect.

Second, I am not currently intending to renew my Xbox Live Gold subscription while the ban is in place.

Third, given that the Xbox Live play (for which I no longer intend to pay) is so important to some games, I will carefully scrutinize the purchases of 360 games while the ban is in place.

Fourth, if the ban remains in effect, it will necessarily influence my decisions regarding future systems.

Since you appear to me moving in an undesirable direction with this type of limitation on the options gamers have, if the ban of avatar weapons is lifted, I intend to renew my subscription in 1-3 month increments until I am confident there’s not going to be a similar ban put into place for some other reason.

I feel that this response is necessary because the ban on avatar weapons encroaches on my Xbox Live experience. It limits my options for customizing my own avatar. It is going to disturb me when I look at friends’ avatars and see them sporting apparel and props of their favorite games, because I will wonder if they would have purchased the weapon props that have been removed due to the ban.

I invite you to do what you apparently have not done…to step back and look at this objectively, to see just how surreal it is that you would actually ban weapons from the available avatar props for games that are so heavily centered around real guns, fictional guns, or weapons and devices that merely resemble guns.

Real guns are a crucial part of Call of Duty/Modern Warfare, Battlefield 3, and Red Dead Redemption.

Fictional guns are critical to games such as Gears of War, Halo, and Borderlands.

Weapons and devices that merely resemble guns are inseparable from games like Portal, Ghostbusters, and Raving Rabbids. I found it interesting that there wasn’t a catalog of Portal items available, so I guess you realized how absurd it would appear to offer Portal props without the portal launchers. I also saw that the Ghostbusters ghost-trapping devices were not available, but somehow the Raving Rabbids brush launcher survived the expunction of offensive avatar props. If that wasn’t an oversight, I’d love to hear the rationale behind that.

Now that I have expressed my disappointment with the ban on avatar weapons, explained why it offends me, and outlined what impact it will have on my Xbox-related purchases if the ban remains in effect, I would like to ask you a few questions. I really would appreciate answers.

Did those for whom this ban was crafted actually tell you they would cut back spending on XBL if you DIDN’T ban avatar weapons?

Did you anticipate that gamers like me would be willing to push back on this by cutting back spending on XBL if you DID ban avatar weapons?

Do you have any intention of reexamining this policy if enough gamers respond in similar fashion? I’m confident that I’m not the first and won’t be the last to push back on this ban in some tangible way.

If you do not reconsider this new policy, will the benefits outweigh the cost to you?


Christopher Clay