Thursday, February 28, 2013

Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans

Gallery from the Winter Fundraiser at Lir Irish Pub in Boston. Very nice event.

Good turnout

MACR Winter Fundraiser

Mary Z.: Winning the Urban Voter

MACR Winter Fundraiser: Mary Z. Connaughton

Paul Adams: Defining the Republican brand

MACR Winter Fundraiser: Paul Adams

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

No rest for Katie

MACR Winter Fundraiser: Katie Regan

Things getting heated? :-)

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

Brad Marston and Victor Navarro strategize the 8th Suffolk District

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

MACR Winter Fundraiser

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Never Surrender - March 2013

On the surface, FrackNation is a straightforward documentary about fracking, a natural gas drilling technique that has the potential to unleash torrents of energy wealth, but has been heavily criticized by environmentalists. The film debunks environmentalists’ claims that fracking contaminates groundwater, releases carcinogenic chemicals, and causes earthquakes.
No such film would be complete without addressing the environmentalists’ spectacular demonstrations of methane-laced tap water bursting into flames. FrackNation argues that it’s a natural phenomenon that was observed long before fracking: as far back as 1783, George Washington set fire to the Millstone River. In the words of co-director Ann McElhinney, there’s a reason there are towns in the U.S. called Burning Springs.

At a deeper level, however, FrackNation demonstrates what conservative and libertarian authors and filmmakers are up against every day. FrackNation tells the story of two documentaries: FrackNation itself, and the anti-fracking GasLand.

The latter film was directed by Josh Fox, one of the beautiful people. He frequently appears at Hollywood parties dressed in black, with trendy glasses and carefully cultivated chin stubble. He has been showered with awards and even received an Oscar nomination. The critics love him: Dave Shifflet of Bloomberg News called him “the Paul Revere of fracking.”

Contrast Fox with FrackNation filmmaker Phelim McAleer. Traveling around Pennsylvania shale country in a baggy blue pullover, the soft-spoken McAleer is a regular guy who fits right in with the flannel-clad denizens. Neither Hollywood nor the gas industry funded him: he and the other directors raised what they needed from thousands of small donations on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter; the 2,000+ donors all have producer credits at the end of the film. During the course of the movie, McAleer is shoved, threatened with lawsuits and confiscation of equipment, thrown out of several buildings, and even interrogated by the police. The finished product has played in only a handful of theaters and has been largely ignored by the critics (although, to its credit, The New York Times printed a fair review).

Most conservative and libertarian artists don’t face quite the challenges McAleer did. But they all struggle to get their projects made, and then struggle even harder to get the results in front of the public. Unlike liberals, they don’t have ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, The Washington Post, and the Academy promoting their work. What they do have is you. Please give them your support.

The work of Phelim McAleer, along with many conservative and libertarian authors, is featured in the March edition of my free e-mail newsletter, Never Surrender. To subscribe, please e-mail

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Implausible Deniability

Obama pretends he had nothing to do with the sequester.

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Pailout" against "Bailout"

In 2009, a group from the Hickory 9-12 Project in Newton, NC attempted to "stimulate" the water level in a pond by applying Keynesian economics. They drew buckets of water, carried them to another part of the pond, and poured them back in. The results, seen in this video, were entirely predictable. With Loren Spivack, "The Free Market Warrior."

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Monday, February 25, 2013

My First Annual Political Academy Awards

Photo source: Wikipedia
Everyone’s talking about the Oscars today, and it occurred to me that they ought to have similar awards for politicians. Here then, are the winners of my first annual Political Academy Awards.

The Tammy Faye Baker Thickest Makeup Award: Nancy Pelosi

The Sylvia Plath Award for most suicidal performance at a political convention: the Republican Party for its treatment of the Ron Paul delegates.

The Josef Goebbels Award for Excellence in Selective Editing: MSNBC

The Barry White Award for Best Score: David Petraeus (get it? score?)

The Veruca Salt I Want It Now Award: Sandra Fluke

The Robert Mugabe Award for policies most likely to reproduce the economy of Zimbabwe: Paul Krugman

The Mr. Ed Award for Best Performance by a Horse: John Kerry

The Fred Astaire Award for Best Choreography: Mitt Romney explaining the difference between Romneycare and Obamacare.

And finally, The John Barrymore Award for Best Actor in a Work of Fiction: Barack Obama promising not to raise your taxes.

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Friday, February 22, 2013

And the Oscar goes to…

Isaac Ross
In honor of this weekend’s Academy Awards, here’s part II of the Oscars scene from my novel Full Asylum. In this excerpt, Consolidated Industries CEO Isaac Ross accepts the award for Most Socially Responsible Studio. Any resemblance between Isaac and George Soros is purely coincidental. The one thing you'll need to know about this part is that Jon Dunn is a movie spy, similar to James Bond.

        “And the Oscar for Most Socially Responsible Studio goes to…Isaac Ross, Consolidated Studios!”
        With great dignity, Isaac rose from his chair and walked slowly up to the stage. He accepted the award and parked himself at the speaker’s podium. He removed several printed pages from the breast pocket of his tuxedo, smoothed them on the podium, and adjusted his glasses.
        “As the CEO of Consolidated Studios, I thank you for this prestigious and important award. By honoring social responsibility, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences demonstrates its recognition of the values of the cooperative society. These values inform every production released by Consolidated Studios. I seek, through the media of film, television, and the Internet, to demonstrate the role that every individual is to play in the world—whether by chronicling the struggles of interspecies couples in Consolidated’s documentary, My Stepmother is a Goldfish, or using the bully pulpit of the Universal Wrestling League to publicize the benefits of recycling. Later this year Consolidated will release Error of the Moon, the thirtieth installment in the Jon Dunn saga.”
        At the mention of Jon Dunn, a rope dropped from the catwalk above the stage. A man in a black commando sweater rappelled down the rope and landed stealthily behind the decorative fence. Unable to see the alpinist behind him, Isaac continued his speech.
        “Without giving anything away, I can tell you that this will be the most socially responsible Dunn to date. Grant Casey is the first Jon Dunn who has never used tobacco products in any of his appearances. In Error of the Moon we will push the envelope. We will see much more responsible attitudes towards the consumption of alcoholic beverages along with a newfound respect for women. Don’t worry, though, there will still be plenty of swashbuckling and derring-do.”
        The audience laughed. Isaac smiled as if the laughter was intended for his little joke and not the antics of the commando behind him. The man in black crouched behind the decorative fence. Although he could see clearly through the grillwork, he used a portable periscope to peer over the top. Completing his reconnaissance, he set the periscope down and vaulted over the barrier, landing right behind one of the life-size Oscar statues. He grabbed the statue from behind and clasped his hand over its mouth to prevent it from crying out. Removing a knife from his belt, the commando stabbed the statue through its non-existent kidney. The knife slid easily into the gold-painted Styrofoam. The man guided the statue noiselessly to the floor before sneaking up on the second statue and slitting its throat.
        “It is my fervent hope,” Isaac went on, “that by transforming Jon Dunn into a role model for the cooperative society, we can give back to the community that has done so much for Consolidated Studios and the motion picture industry.” Suddenly he felt an arm flung across his throat and the point of a knife pressed against his neck. Standing behind Isaac, the man in the commando sweater whispered something in his ear and began guiding him off the stage. The camera zoomed to a close-up, just the heads of the two men. Isaac looked genuinely terrified, as if he thought the man with the knife would really use it.

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, hospital gowns, and the movies. Check it out on

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I’d like to thank the Academy…

Photo source: Wikipedia
The Academy Awards are upon us once again. So it seemed like a good time to post this excerpt from my novel Full Asylum. It's mostly self-explanatory; the one thing that you'll need to know is sabo is short for economic saboteur. Economic sabotage is a new category of crime created in the wake of the Third Financial Crisis.

        “And the Oscar for Best Gaffer goes to…Guy Smith, Three Koala Studios.”
        Guy walked down the aisle to the stage accompanied by the Three Koala theme song and the audience’s applause. His denim vest, tool belt, and work boots were out of place among men in tuxedos and women in evening gowns. Accepting the gold statuette, he stepped up to the podium. Behind him, two life-size replicas of the trophy in his hand guarded an ornamental art deco fence. “You know,” he said with an Australian accent, “a few years ago, nobody thought there’d be an award for us gaffers.”

        On the TV at the foot of the bed, Guy Smith explained that this wasn’t just his victory; all gaffers were winners. Lacey rested her head on Gimbel’s bare chest as he poured out the last of the Volta Cola. Her hair was tousled, as were the bedcovers. On the floor, silk pajamas mingled with Gimbel’s pants and the broken pieces of his clock radio. “What’s a gaffer?” she asked.
        “Lighting,” said Gimbel as he handed her a half-filled glass. “The gaffer takes care of all the lighting for a movie.”
        “They give an award for that?” Lacey asked skeptically.
        “Well, there’s skill involved. But in any case, it’s Everyone Wins a Prize Night.”
        On the television, the presentation of awards paused for a musical number. Men in top hats and tails twirled their canes as they sang “Hurrah for Hollywood.”
        “Are they still doing that old song?” Lacey asked.
        “They updated the lyrics,” Gimbel replied. “In the mind of Hollywood, that makes it practically avant-garde.” He turned up the volume so she could hear better.

Hurrah for Hollywood.
We’re always doing good in Hollywood.
We lecture you on global warming
While we’re performing,
And sabos better beware…
        The Oscars went to commercial. Gimbel flipped through the channels. He paused when he saw Bulldozer and the Coroner facing each other across a wrestling ring.

        “WHEN I’M FINISHED WITH YOU,” the Coroner said, “THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO TELL YOU FROM A DEAD FISH AT PIKE’S PLACE MARKET.” The Seattle audience cheered the mention of a local landmark. Hearing someone sneak up behind him, the Coroner turned just in time to see Titan swing a folding chair at his midsection. The Coroner went down like he had been dropped from the Space Needle.

        “You don’t really watch this wrestling show, do you?” Lacey asked.
        “Just for the soliloquies,” Gimbel assured her. He tapped the control pad and the scene returned to Masonic Hall. A split screen appeared. Six people waited eagerly to see which one of them would win the next award. “Hey,” said Gimbel. “What’s Isaac Ross doing there?”

Tomorrow: the abduction of Isaac

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, hospital gowns, and the movies. Check it out on

Monday, February 18, 2013

Never Surrender - Special Washington's Birthday Edition

Try to remember the coldest you’ve ever been. Maybe you were out skiing or shoveling snow. Your toes felt like they were on fire inside your winter boots and you pulled the fur-trimmed hood of your down jacket over your head to warm your frigid ears until you could make it back inside for a cup of cocoa and a hot meal.

Now imagine the same cold – but you have a thin blanket instead of a down jacket, “inside” is a small, drafty log hut, and your meal is a fire cake of flour and water cooked on a rock. And you’re barefoot.

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge
Photo source: Wikipedia
Those were the conditions at Valley Forge, PA, when American rebels under the leadership of George Washington made their encampment during the winter of 1777-78. Badly outnumbered by the British - who were warm and safe in Philadelphia - the Continental soldiers were willing to endure pain, cold, hunger, and disease for two reasons: they believed in freedom – and they believed in George Washington.

In the winter of 2013, the weapons may have changed from musket balls to words, but Americans are still fighting for freedom. President Obama's State of the Union Address was a laundry list of proposals for additional government intrusion in our lives - including new restrictions on the right to bear arms and new taxes on the productive. As Obama criss-crosses the country, trying to foist his noxious agenda on the public, he can count on the support of the mainstream media and the education establishment: once again, those of us on the side of liberty are outnumbered. But we are fortunate to be able to conduct the fight under infinitely better conditions than our forbearers at Valley Forge. The life of George Washington in general, and the winter at Valley Forge in particular, help us gain both perspective and inspiration for what lies ahead.

The special Washington’s Birthday edition of my free newsletter, Never Surrender, discusses some of the best books and movies about our first president – books and movies filled with stories of what freedom is all about, and the high price that every generation must pay to secure it. Subscribe by February 28 and automatically be entered in a drawing to win a copy of your choice of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or Glenn Beck's The Overton Window. To subscribe, please e-mail

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about hospital gowns, freedom, and never surrendering. Check it out on

Friday, February 15, 2013

We can all be George Washington

Book Review: Glenn Beck's Being George Washington: The Indispensable Man, as You’ve Never Seen Him
I confess I have mixed feelings about Glenn Beck. Sometimes when I listen to him – for example during his recent interview with Penn Jillette – I say, “Yes! This is what rational discourse sounds like.” Other times, I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

My mixed feelings extend to his written work. I thought Common Sensewas rambling and dull: it failed to deliver the inspiration from Thomas Paine that it promised. In contrast, The Overton Windowwas a hugely entertaining novel with a serious message about how the liberals keep managing to win.

Being George Washingtonfalls into the second category. The book occupies the boundary between fiction and non-fiction. Beck braids history, legend, and imagination into dramatized accounts of incidents from Washington’s life: the French and Indian Wars, Valley Forge, the Constitutional Convention, and so on. These narratives contain lush descriptions of the settings and even tell us Washington's innermost thoughts: the accounts read like a novel. They appear in alternating chapters with short essays that separate the history from the legend – apparently Betsy Ross probably didn’t use her feminine wiles to distract the Hessian Colonel Carl Emilius von Donop on the eve of Washington crossing the Delaware.

The other function of the essay chapters is to draw lessons from the life of the Indispensable Man. The bottom line: We can’t all be indispensable. We can’t all lead an army or start a new nation. But we can all be virtuous, brave, civil, and persistent. We can all defend freedom when it’s under attack – and it is under attack. And if we do that, we will make a difference. In that sense, we can all be George Washington.

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about a young engineer who defends freedom when it's under attack. Check it out on

Thursday, February 14, 2013

News from the Asylum - Valentine's Day Edition

Salemwood Elementary
Photo source: Malden Patch
What's the Valentine's Day equivalent of the Grinch? Todd Starnes reports on that "Boys and girls at a Massachusetts elementary school have been banned from bringing Valentine’s Day candy or cards over cultural equality issues and federal guidelines regulating candy. Parents of students at Salemwood Elementary School in Malden, Mass, received a letter informing them of the policy...'We have many different nationalities, cultures and languages spoken,' Principal Carol Keenan told Fox News. 'Because of that we don’t honor specific holidays.'"

But doesn't she like Chris Christie? Conservative commentator Ann Coulter told Sean Hannity yesterday that the GOP should not consider "funny-looking" candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination. Well, I'm out.

Math Department. Two days after delivering a State of the Union Address in which he called on both parties to work together to trim the deficit, President Obama hit the road to promote a new entitlement, universal preschool. In a speech at a Community Recreation Center in Decatur, GA, the president warned that students who enter kindergarten without sufficient preparation "don't know their numbers."

In view of Mr. Obama's stewardship of the federal budget, it appears he's speaking from experience.


Politico reports that "Bill Maher wants 6-year president term." Well, if that's what he wants, he's just going to have to run for election like everyone else.

Valentine's Day
Photo source: Wikipedia
Today is Valentine's Day - an occasion when people all over the world will spend time with those they love the most. In Washington, the White House disputed reports that President Obama wanted to spend the day by himself.

It is of course, a painful time for those who have recently lost loved ones. My heart goes out to them, especially to those in the liberal media. Their plans for a magical evening with accused cop killer Charles Dorner are now completely ruined.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Other Thing Marco Rubio Did

By now we’ve all seen the clip of Marco Rubio taking a drink of water during last night’s GOP response to the State of the Union Address. Given MSNBC’s habit of editing video to make Republicans look mean and stupid, I can just imagine what they’ll do with it. In fact, I made a video of my own with my prediction.

I’ll get to that in a minute. But first: Sen. Rubio did something else last night – he gave an excellent speech. It is unfortunate that the MSM’s attention to his water bottle has distracted the public from the many fine things he had to say. No doubt that was the intent. As Ellsworth Toohey said in The Fountainhead, don't try to understand nonsense - ask what it accomplishes.

Anyway, by way of antidote to the MSM, here’s an excerpt from Rubio's speech:

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them....

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn't bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.

But President Obama? He believes it's the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn't tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.

This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it's just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.

And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers – that's an old idea that's failed every time it's been tried.

More government isn't going to help you get ahead. It's going to hold you back.

More government isn't going to create more opportunities. It's going to limit them.

And more government isn't going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It's going to create uncertainty. Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can't afford to follow.

Now that you've read that, here is, as promised, the Marco Rubio Drink – MSNBC Style:

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My bestest quotes of all my quotes

I was going to live-tweet the State of the Union address, but then it occurred to me I would actually have to listen to it. So instead, I spent the time tweeting the best quotes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer - or at least the ones that fit into 140 characters.

Here's the complete collection:

Buffy Tweet
Buffy Tweet
Buffy Tweet
Buffy Tweet

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on

Monday, February 11, 2013

News from the Asylum - Monday Edition

Ouch. According to the CDC, teen births hit a record low. I should hope so. It must be quite an ordeal for the mother to give birth to a teenager. baby
Photo source: Wikipedia
Photo source: White House photo
Not listening. Reuters reports that according to a Quinnipiac University poll, "Americans are eager to hear President Barack Obama address the U.S. economy and federal deficit in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday." Meanwhile, in Washington, the president is putting the finishing touches on his speech, which will focus on gun control, immigration, and how he got Charles Dorner.
Tragic day. The New York Post reports, "The distillery behind Maker’s Mark bourbon is reducing the amount of alcohol to meet a rise in global demand, company officials said today."

It would behoove Maker's Mark to heed the advice of Sonny Bunch, managing editor at the Washington Free Beacon. His alternative? Instead of "diluting their product in order to ensure that more people have access to a crappier product," apply freshman economics and "raise the price!"

Maker's Mark
Photo source: Wikipedia
Melissa McCarthy
Photo source:
Film critic Rex Reed is under fire for referring to Identify Thief star Melissa McCarthy as a "female hippo." Reed's detractors have a point. McCarthy looks nothing like a hippo. She looks like a governor of New Jersey.
Iranian Media reports that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he's ready to be the first Iranian in space. Does that even need a punchline? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Space Cadet
Photo source: Composite built from images from Wikipedia
Nancy Pelosi
Photo sources:, The Inquisitr
Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Fox News yesterday, "It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem," and "The fact is, we’ve had plenty of spending cuts." When told that federal spending actually increased $192 billion between 2011 and 2012, the former speaker said, "Math is hard."
This morning's top story is the announcement from the Vatican that Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of the month. The news came as a shock to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She thought she was in charge of the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, anonymous sources at Buckingham Palace reveal that Britain's Prince Charles spent the morning subtly planting news articles about the pontiff's resignation around his mother's wing of the palace.

Pope Benedict XVI
Photo source: Wikipedia
News from the Asylum
In an interview with CNN's "The Science Seat", astronomer James Kalirai warned that someday, "The outer layers of the sun will actually reach the Earth, and so the oceans will evaporate and our planet will be fried." In response, former Vice President Al Gore blamed global warming and renewed calls to deindustrialize the planet.

In a related story, President Obama promised to "lower the sun level."

Check back throughout the day for continuous updates.

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on