This is worth reading.
The Huffington Post isn’t happy about the administration’s decision to pick on Fox News.
Yes, The Huffington Post. This is the scandal (the media one) guaranteed to bring the administration down.
CNN reports that the Tea Party’s favorable rating is up nine points since CNN’s March poll. Read all the details here.
The Huffington Post may even be outraged.
Senator Tom Coburn might sound heartless, but his focus on eradicating profligate spending has passed the crucible of credibility on this.
From Roll Call: “The tornado damage near Oklahoma City is still being assessed and the death toll is expected to rise, but already Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says he will insist that any federal disaster aid be paid for with cuts elsewhere.”
State Senator Arthur Orr will be calling into the show tomorrow night with a wrap up of the legislative session. In the meantime, you can follow any breaking developments here.
Granted, it took blatant hard-to-ignore examples for Piers to figure it out, but we welcome him aboard the trolley of self-evident truth:
From Al.com: “Gov. Robert Bentley today cautioned that legislators ‘had better be listening to the people’ regarding private school tax credits saying most people do not favor public money going to private schools…
“’I would like to encourage the House members, as well as the senators, to reach out to their constituents and just ask them one simple question. Are you in favor of tax dollars going to support private education and being taken away from public schools? And just ask them that question. I know what the answer is,’ Bentley said during an interview in his office.”
The premise of the question is flawed. Who would be taking away tax dollars from public schools? The answer is, any parent who isn’t satisfied that her local public school isn’t educating her child.
School choice tax credits are part of the Alabama Accountability Act, which Bentley signed into law in March. Now he wants the tax credits deferred for two years. According to the story, “He said that will give schools time to improve under a policy ‘flexibility’ provision of the law and possibly avoid the ‘failing’ label.”
Competition, not tax dollars, will help failing public schools improve. The Governor ought to know that. He sounds as though the AEA has gotten to him.
I’d say. The Washington Post reports that when the CIA asked the AP not to run a story on a foiled terror plot for reasons of national security, the AP obliged for five days. Then they were assured that the coast was clear.
They were prepared to run the story, but, according to the Post piece, “the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing [it] for just one more day.
“The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.
“AP balked and proceeded to publish that Monday afternoon.”
And in doing so, the AP incurred the wrath of the administration, which wanted to be the first ones to announce that, one year after they had gotten Osama, they were still on top of taking out terrorists.
In other words, it’s not a matter of debate as to whether or not the AP threatened national security. They didn’t. They threatened the Obama administration’s re-election aspirations, and paid the price. Which is why news outlets from Left to Right won’t let this scandal go.
Literally! During the House Ways And Means Committee hearing today on the IRS scandal, Pennsylvania Republican Mike Kelly passionately said to outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller what all of us, irrespective of ideology, are thinking. If you missed the end of the show tonight, it’s a must watch.
Shocking, I know. The Daily Caller reports, “The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
If Obama plans on escaping scandal by re-branding himself as an authentic Commander-In-Chief, he needs to do his homework.
To those who say that the problem with the IRS is underfunding, I offer this, from the Fiscal Times: “A new report from the Government Accountability Office released Monday says the Internal Revenue Service must improve its internal controls to save millions of tax dollars.”
Read the whole thing. Among the things that will stand out are the tax refunds made to dead people.
Why didn’t Romney… why didn’t the Republicans… root out these Obama scandals before the last election?
It’s a legitimate question, with an interesting answer.
I look forward to hearing from those who insist that Senator Paul is an “authentic” libertarian—the ones who have given him a pass to date, and who have promised to hold him accountable should he let them down.
The story is from Reason magazine.
From today’s Washington Post: “The Common Sense Campaign, a self-described constitutionalist group based in Montgomery, Ala., aspired to be a smaller version of the National Rifle Association — powerful and influential, without having to pay federal income taxes.
“‘We wanted to have a voice too,’ said the group’s chairman, Pete Riehm. ‘The biggest difference between us and them is money.’
“But Common Sense never reached the nonprofit stage. The organization gave up seeking tax-exempt status after two years of Internal Revenue Service demands for everything from the group’s blog posts to the names of ‘anyone who gave you so much as a dollar,’ according to its officials.
“‘We were spending thousands of dollars between the filing fees and attorney fees,’ Riehm said. ‘We realized that just paying the taxes would cost a whole lot less.’
“Common Sense was one of scores of groups that faced months and even years of delays in seeking tax exemptions after the IRS started targeting groups with names containing ‘tea party,’ ‘patriot’ and other terms associated with conservatives. The practice, which appears to have lasted for about 18 months until early 2012, has set off a political firestorm in Washington and a criminal investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department.”
The average waiting time for liberal groups seeking non-profit status over the same period of time has been four months—and the endless list of intrusive questions has been absent.
This is a simple matter of whether or not this administration used to IRS to stifle free speech. And as of this morning, the President—when given the opportunity to answer whether or not he knew this was going on—has refused to answer the question.
Josh Kraushaar’s story in The National Journal bolster’s my claim that when the time comes for impeachment proceedings to begin against The President, the Clintons will be clandestinely playing a prominent role.
And Today’s Award For The Kook Liberal Most Eager To Defend The IRS’ Deliberate Targeting Of The Tea Party Goes To…
…Peter S. Goodman, the Executive Business Editor of The Huffington Post. In a ridiculous blog post today, Mr. Goodman says, “Lost in the latest political scandal is a simple fact: The Internal Revenue Service was acting in the public interest when it opted to train its auditing power on the Tea Party and affiliated groups.”
The idea that the IRS acts in the public interest is probably not going to be a talking point for the administration, nor is the sentiment that the IRS, under any circumstances, should play favorites.
So what is Goodman getting at? He explains, “Like any institution, the agency has limited resources at its disposal. The notion that everyone ought to be treated the same, with auditing powers sprayed around like a lawn sprinkler, is ridiculous. Cops concentrate patrols in high-crime areas. And while we properly decry racial profiling and odious tactics like New York City’s Stop and Frisk campaign — through which people are subject to police pat-downs for no other reason than their being black and male — no one would criticize the police for keeping an eye on people who are openly encouraging criminal behavior.”
Yes, says Goodman: “We are living in a time of startling inequality, long-term joblessness, entrenched poverty and the breakdown of middle-class opportunity. Our classrooms are crumbling. Whole cities are consumed by neglect and deterioration, while suburban communities now contend with foreclosure, homelessness and despair. Government alone cannot fix any of these problems, but government clearly has a role to play. Government must boost investment in education and spur innovation through support for research. Government must maintain a safety net for people in need. All of this costs money.”
A debate about the purpose of government is healthy, course, as is a debate about how much all of us should pay in taxes. Whether or not those of us who think that government is bloated and we should shrink it so that we can keep more of the fruits of our labor—and whether or not our position is criminal—could only be debated by delusional thugs like Huffington Post bloggers.
This video, provided here by Breitbart, makes it clear that Attorney General wants to keep any investigation of Benghazi in the family.
I hope the President has the opportunity to answer a question about this tomorrow.
More evidence that the President’s brief statement tonight was empty rhetoric, from Gateway Pundit. Remember, Commissioner Miller has only been at the helm of the IRS since November 9th of last year. He had absolutely nothing to do with targeting anyone.
It’s an overpopulation thing, says a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization—and another reason to detest the UN.
Forbes magazine has the story.
A gun saves another life and prevents a crime—right here in Athens. WHNT has the story.
Forget Benghazi or even the IRS scandal; this one will bring the administration down.
On MSNBC last night, Nancy Pelosi said, “If [Boehner] were a woman, they would be calling him the weakest speaker in history.”
That’s so convoluted on so many fronts, of course, but, if nothing else, it should encourage Speaker Boehner to man up.
What follows is a brief exchange on Saturday between MSNBC’s kook host Ed Schultz and his kook guest, Michael Eric Dyson:
“ED SCHULTZ: IRS is apologizing to conservative groups over a number of audits. I ask the question “why”? IRS says there’s been a surge of application of applications since 2010 for tax exempt status from groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their title names. So the IRS admits it’s singling out those groups for audits to make sure that they are real non-profits. Now, look, this is all because of Citizens United. All of these groups popped up, it was new to the Internal Revenue Service and the issue is how they’re spending their money.
“MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: What about the groups that have been racially profiled or ethnically profiled or profiled because of gender. So the reality here is that I think this is much ado about nothing.
“SCHULTZ: They want to plant the seed that the White House picked up the phone and called Ogden, Utah and said get on these guys.
“DYSON: Of course, and that’s ridiculous. There’s no way. First of all, we know that Obama doesn’t have that kind of juice. We know the Republicans and all of the other people in the government aren’t going to listen to him.”
There are multiple reasons why MSNBC’s ratings are in the bottom of the septic tank, with Ed Schultz being chief among them.
As The President’s Candor Is Questioned, A Flashback To His Comments In The Wake Of The Passage Of Obamacare Is In Order
Have you gotten your raise yet?
As evinced by NARAL’s statement about Kermit’s conviction, the Left will use today’s decision to try to make abortion more accessible.
Read Charles Cooke’s post at NRO’s “The Corner.”
To sum up my thoughts on the show tonight,
1) It didn’t seem possible seven months ago, but it’s been a rough start for the President’s second term.
2) Benghazi, I’ve always maintained, will be the way Obama is impeached; other things–the IRS scandal chief among them–will serve as bi-partisan motivation (it might turn out to be among the articles of impeachment, falling under the rubric of “abuse of power”).
3) Bill Clinton, who A) wants to be back in the White House, and B) is surely not thrilled about being the only elected impeached President, will be working behind the scenes to bring about impeachment when the time comes, because,
4) At the end of the day, the Benghazi cover up is going to be a battle, not between Republicans and the White House, but between Barack and Hillary’s culpability. And when it comes to managing scandals, the Clintons don’t lose.
He can start by losing the defiant, arrogant tone that he displayed during his press conference today.
It’s remarkable what the Left will say to advance their agenda. From The Washington Times: “Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in a wide-ranging magazine interview that gun-control legislation will pass eventually because several senators who voted against it are experiencing a public backlash.
“’To use the vernacular, there’s suddenly a lot of senators out there who have seen the Lord,’ Mr. Biden told Rolling Stone magazine. ‘You find out that the senator from New Hampshire [Republican Kelly Ayotte] is in trouble; she voted no. I can name you four senators who called me and said, Jesus, I guess you were right — maybe we can find some other way of doing this. Can we bring this back up?”
The lead editorial in today’s Boston Globe begins, “This state’s universal health care law was the model for the federal Affordable Care Act, but so far, Massachusetts’s experience with the new national law has proved frustrating. Certainly the experience here doesn’t fully comport with President Obama’s recent assertion that the new law is ‘working fine.’
“Bureaucratic hurdles are inevitable when attempting to reconcile local rules and practices to new federal standards. But even people who strongly support Obamacare, as many people in Massachusetts do, shouldn’t hesitate to call attention to areas where the law is unnecessarily complicated, or where local practices accomplish the same purposes in simpler ways.”
Local practices? Imagine that! Obamacare is becoming a primer on the benefits of federalism.
It’s a vulgar question, I know. But as I’ve often said, sometimes good politics and good policy intersect. This is one of those times. Good policy in the case of Benghazi would be to impeach the President.
Remember, when Bill Clinton was impeached, the Left protested that it was preposterous because it was “all about sex.”
This isn’t. It’s about national security, transparency, a cover-up (not unlike the one which properly did Nixon in), and, most importantly, the death of four Americans. The question of whether or not their lives could have been saved is an impossible question to answer, but the salient point is that the Obama administration didn’t even try; they were too busy figuring out a way to minimize the political impact that Benghazi would have on their re-election effort.
Some Republicans (Darrell Issa comes to mind) are pressing for answers—not because they are pre-emptively launching a campaign against Hillary’s 2016 ambitions, but because they want to fill in the blanks in what we already know is an untruthful narrative being promulgated by the administration.
Others in the Republican Party, when directly asked whether or not they’re accusing Team Obama of a cover up, are reluctant to answer the question with an unambiguous “yes,” choosing instead to enumerate the details of the Big Lie, ranging from the two orders that the military not respond to the attacks to the twelve changes in Susan Rice’s talking points.
As I wrote on Facebook earlier today, if I were asked whether or not I was accusing the administration of a cover up, my answer would have been short and sweet: “I’m connecting the dots. Anyone who doesn’t see a cover up here isn’t.”
That’s not a political answer; it’s the responsible one. Republicans in Congress need to be responsible—even, Heaven forbid, if it benefits them politically.
Hats off to Hot Air for providing the actual IRS demands.
When I said earlier today on Facebook that Obama had lost the press on Benghazi, I had no idea that the BBC, no enemy of Obama, was willing to tell the story.
But they are.
John Fund, writing in The American Spectator, correctly says, “Nothing Fits the Obama administration’s economic project better than high-speed rail. It’s based on visions of a utopian future, employs gobs of union labor in its construction, can be used to reward political allies and donors, and makes use of analysts eager to churn out dubious studies justifying it on economic grounds. Call it Solyndra on steroids.”
And then there’s the fact that the Left wants to tell us how to live our lives, including how to get to work. For the record, my father, the Atlanta Planning Engineer for the Georgia Power company, took MARTA, Atlanta’s subway, to work every day. He liked it, he told me, because he could read the paper, and he didn’t have to worry about traffic.
Some of us, though, would prefer to drive ourselves, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
In March of last year, Roger Hedgecock wrote a piece for Human Events cataloging the historical targeting by the IRS of groups sitting Presidents didn’t like. He included the current President:
“In the 1970s, Richard Nixon had an enemies list. Nixon asked the IRS to investigate tax returns of those on the list. Liberals were outraged. To be on Nixon’s list became a liberal badge of honor.
“In the 1990’s Bill Clinton had an enemies list too. The Clinton administration targeted for IRS audit the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, the National Review, the American Spectator, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for Honest Government, Concerned Women for America and the San Diego Chapter of Christian Coalition.
“Today, Obama has an enemies list. The IRS is investigating conservative political groups including the Tea Party who oppose Obama’s agenda.”
Nixon, Clinton, and Obama. What a trio!
You can read the whole Human Events story here.
Today, The AP reports on the IRS’s apology for targeting the Tea Party. “‘That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,’ [Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups] said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.”
Of course, as is always the case with this administration, there’s always a caveat: “Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice.”
Are you sick of this administration yet?
Nullification: More states are pushing back against federal laws and court rulings but it’s nothing new in Alabama
The word nullification has a bad connotation, given its historical use by states resisting integration in the sixties.
Which is why, when asked whether or not opposition to Common Core in Alabama amounted to nullification, State Senator Dick Brewbaker, a Republican, replied, “I might wish we had another word to describe what this Legislature and what legislatures in many states are doing. But essentially you can use the word nullification but what that means is an effort to try to push back against an overreaching federal government.”
The federal government is overreaching on multiple fronts, and to say so doesn’t imply racism.
The pendulum continues to swing away from the President and toward the Republicans, reports The Pew Research Center: “Despite GOP leaders’ poor job ratings, the Republican Party runs about even with the Democrats on leading issues such as the economy, immigration and gun control. Overall, 42% say the Republican Party could do the better job dealing with the economy, while 38% say the Democratic Party. The public is similarly divided over which party could better handle gun control policy and immigration policy.”
Specifically, lying to Congress is no different, legally, than lying under oath.
The bill has passed the Senate; it’s having problems in the House. Ed Henry Tweets: “The gun bill is going to have to wait till the 30th legislative day to be passed. The Dems are filibustering & reading every bill at length.”
— Ed Henry (@Ed_Henry_HD9)
Here’s the salient part of George Will’s column in The Washington Post today:
“Democrats are more apt to lose control of the Senate than gain control of the House. Republicans need to gain six Senate seats; Democrats are defending seven seats in states where Obama averaged just 40.5 percent of the vote in 2012. Democrats need to gain only 17 House seats, but just 17 Republicans hold seats from districts Obama carried last year, when he won 209 districts and lost 226. Analyst Charlie Cook says that the House, having reached ‘partisan equilibrium,’ has little ‘elasticity.’ Now that 96 percent of House Democrats represent Obama districts and 93 percent of Republicans represent districts that voted for Mitt Romney, ‘The House is now more sorted along partisan lines than ever.’”
From Al.com: “Gov. Robert Bentley this afternoon signed the home brewing bill into law, ending Alabama’s status the only state in the nation that bans the making of beer and wine at home.”
Congratulations to the Legislature and the Governor.
Global warming has many benefits–longer growing seasons for farmers, for example. And now there’s this.
Gregory Hicks, the number two in command in Libya, called it a “non-event.”
The AP reports, “Convicted ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s more than 24-year prison sentence for his role in the once mighty energy giant’s collapse could be reduced by as many as 10 years if a federal judge approves an agreement reached Wednesday between prosecutors and defense attorneys.
“Skilling was convicted in 2006 on 19 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors for his role in the downfall of Houston-based Enron. The company collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001 under the weight of years of illicit business deals and accounting tricks.”
For those who have forgotten or may not know, the Enron fiasco, as Time Magazine reported at the time, was primarily a Clinton scandal.
From U.S. News And World Report: “No thanks to the Washington GOP establishment but former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is once again Congressman-elect Mark Sanford. In the end it wasn’t even close. Despite the best expectations and fondest hopes of the Democrats, Sanford ended up winning this solidly Republican seat by nine points against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch who many feared was just moderate enough to win the seat when backed by the much-vaunted Obama machine.”
Sanford, in other words, despite his disgusting dalliances, is hated less by his party than is Obama by the Democrats. 2014 is going to be a Republican year.
There’s at least one member of the mainstream press who cares about getting to the bottom of Benghazi.
A lot has been said about the President’s tendentious graduation speech over the weekend, but Pilon’s piece is the Wall Street Journal is a must read on the subject.
Obviously Ambassador Bolton listens to the show. Read the story from The Washington Times here.
In case you missed the show tonight, Hot Air reports, “During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Sen. Paul made a comparison between the Gang of Eight’s proposed immigration bill and ObamaCare which, on its face, might be considered fightin’ words betwixt the circles of the GOP — but, he was really making a solid point about the intricacies and potential implementation pitfalls of massive legislative packages pushed hastily through Congress.”
A video of Senator Paul’s remarks accompanies the story.
Yesterday was a big day for the administration on the foreign policy front. First, Jay Carney said that Assad, and not the rebels, was using chemical weapons in Syria.
Today’s New York Times reports that “The Obama administration on Monday explicitly accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors, saying one motive could be to map ‘military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.’”
Both accusations are obviously true, but this White House unambiguously stating them is, well, a departure from its usual cautiousness when it comes to calling out the bad guys. Could it be that they’re trying to sound tough two days before Congressional hearings expose their fatal incompetence with regard to Benghazi?
The answer is yes, of course. Will it work? I doubt it, even with the media’s help.
This is where my libertarian instincts and cognitive dissonance kick in: I’m on the ACLU’s side.
I saw this movie over the weekend. Adam Sandler plays a man who lost his family on 9/11. Anyone who scoffs at the notion that we’re still at war should watch it, and put it in present day context—i.e. four Americans died in Benghazi last year, and three died in Boston last month. Their families are going through what Sandler’s character did.
First Senator Marsh preserves Common Core, and now, at the state level, there’s this.
The Senator from Florida is trying to backtrack on amnesty. This commercial–and its obnoxiously frequent airing–isn’t helping him.
Congratulations to Senator Arthur Orr for, in his words, being “serious about transparency in the contracting business.”
On ABC’s This Week program today, Carville had nothing but high praise for Cruz, reports The Daily Caller.
“I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” he said.
I told you last week that Jon Stewart had his reasons for trying to make a clown out of Cruz. The Texas Senator is formidable.
Barry Snell, student columnist for Iowa State University’s student newspaper, writes, “The reason we can’t have a rational gun debate is because the anti-gun side pre-supposes that their pro-gun opponents must first accept that guns are bad in order to have a discussion about guns in the first place. Before we even start the conversation, we’re the bad guys and we have to admit it. Without accepting that guns are bad and supplicating themselves to the anti-gunner, the pro-gunner can’t get a word in edgewise, and is quickly reduced to being called a murderer, or a low, immoral and horrible human being.”
He nails it. It’s kind of like saying that if you’re against affirmative action, you’re a racist, or if you favor tax cuts for everyone, you hate poor people. The object is to end the debate before it begins.
I thought I was the only one until I read Kevin Williamson’s piece in the New York Post.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who will conduct the hearings, was on CBS’s Face The Nation this morning. Take a look.
The lead editorial in today’s Washington Examiner reports on a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine: “The study compared two large samples of low-income people. Roughly half of them got expanded health benefits through Medicaid while the other half did not. Megan McArdle summarized the results in the Daily Beast: ‘People who had more generous coverage consumed more health care. But they weren’t healthier. In fact, the people who had less generous coverage reported being less worried about their health and taking less sick time, presumably because they weren’t going to the doctor to find things to worry about.’
“That result was devastating news for Obamacare advocates, because, as The Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein reported, ‘during the health care debate, liberals argued that government had a moral duty to enact legislation that expanded health insurance among lower-income individuals. This was rooted in the assumption that obtaining health insurance translates into improved health.’”
It can all be summed up with the economic apothegm “people respond to incentives.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was at Duquesne Law School recently fielding questions, one of which was whether or not he had any common ground with President Obama. His answer was a textbook explanation of the separation of powers. Watch:
Pollster Scott Rasmussen has run the numbers that explain why there is a disconnect between politicians and their constituents.
“In terms of being a good citizen,” he writes, “67 percent of voters believe it is more important to do volunteer work for church and community organizations than it is to get involved in politics and political campaigns. Only 16 percent disagree and put political involvement first… Most [of us] recognize that we’re better off when individuals make the decisions that affect their own lives. A one-size-fits-all solution will never work in a nation as diverse and vibrant as the United States.”
The mystery is why more folks don’t vote the way they think.
So asks a blogger at the Houston Chronicle.
It’s a good question. The answer is, climate change. Environmentalists, in their ongoing effort to indict us for destroying the planet, were having a hard time with the phrase “global warming,” given that the planet has been cooling for years (it’s still snowing in parts of the country now, for instance). So they decided that the term “climate change” provided the flexibility to blame any unusual weather pattern on humans. As long as the weather keeps changing, mankind can safely be blamed.
Bill Holtzclaw is one of three Republican Senators determined to kill the repeal of Common Core by crossing the isle and joining Democrats eager to federalize control of education. And he’s proud of it!
The April 22nd edition of The Madison Record quotes Holtzclaw saying “I hope it is not lost on you that as your Republican state senator that I am voting against my Republican National Committee, my state GOP and Madison County executive committee. Why did I vote against them? Because the people in this community, the people that I represent, do not see the danger of the indoctrination element of Common Core. They see a future for our children and preparing them for the workforce. We need to make sure our education standards remain very high.”
Leaving aside the fact that North Alabama’s education standards are high—the highest in the state—and leaving aside the Constitutional concerns Common Core presents, at the end of the day, Holtzclaw is wrong. His constituents do see problems (that’s putting it mildly) with the program.
He’ll hear from them next year.
I’ve said for months on my show that it’s a real possibility. Now Stephen Hayes has an exhaustive piece at The Weekly Standard about what the administration knew, and the extent to which they sought to cover it up.
Hayes writes, “Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack. According to the House report, these alerts were circulated widely inside the government, including at the highest levels. The fighting in Benghazi continued for another several hours, so top Obama administration officials were told even as the fighting was taking place that U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives were likely being attacked by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists.”
Democrat Dutch Ruppersburger, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked the intelligence community for Congressional talking points on the attack, and got them.
And then the cover up began. “State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland,” says Hayes, “worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.” So they were revised more than once to take out terrorist language and add language about the now-famous video.
The House Oversight and Government Committee is holding a hearing about all of this on the 8th. Stay tuned.
From CNN: “The United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two U.S. officials tell CNN.”
Someone has to take the lead in protecting the civilized world from the uncivilized world. And President Obama, the occasional tough speech notwithstanding, isn’t that someone.
If you haven’t watched the show “Secret Service Secrets” on the Military Channel, check it out; it’s fascinating.
My one encounter with the Secret Service came when President Bush was in town for the re-opening of Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. The men charged with protecting the President are, as you would expect, no-nonsense. I tried to strike up a conversation with one of them at the end of the event, and the reaction I got was a robotic look indicating that my best move was to shut my mouth and stay still until further notice. Others who didn’t take them as seriously as I did weren’t so fortunate.
Given the stakes, that’s as it should be.
And THEN people create a Facebook page leaping to her defense!
Read the story from The American Thinker here.
The story, from The Baltimore Sun, reveals a lot about some in the gay rights movement. Is their cause strictly about equality, or is it about shoving gay marriage in the face of anyone opposed to it?
Last November, the state of Maryland passed, by referendum, same-sex marriage. Now the Governor, a Democrat and gay marriage proponent, has decided that the partner of a gay government employee cannot receive health benefits from the state unless the two get married.
This is reasonable, since a heterosexual person who works for the state can’t cover his or her partner if the two aren’t married.
Gay rights groups are upset, while Maggie McIntosh, an openly gay member of Maryland’s assembly, agrees that what’s fair is fair.
The question has been (and one almost feels silly pondering it) whether or not the current administration is focused on keeping America safe.
Some in the libertarian camp hear a different question–something like “are we willing to give up our civil liberties?”
Try this story, breaking from the AP: “The Homeland Security Department ordered its border agents ‘effective immediately’ to verify that every international student who arrives in the U.S. has a valid student visa. The NEW PROCEDURE is the government’s first security change directly related to the Boston bombings.” (All caps mine.)
We can do a better job of keeping ourselves safe simply by applying existing laws to incoming non-citizen “students,” at no expense to the civil liberties the rest of us enjoy.
From Investor’s Business Daily: “At his press conference this week, President Obama tried to reassure Americans about ObamaCare. Instead, he displayed either an incredible lack of understanding about his own law, or something far worse.”
Take a moment to read the editorial, which examines, point by point, what the President said, and compares it to the truth. For example,
“‘A huge chunk of it’s already been implemented.’
“In fact, all that’s been implemented so far are a few PR-friendly changes like a mandate to cover children up to age 26 and a more generous Medicare drug benefit.
“Democrats put off the bulk of the law — the massive market regulations, the government-run exchanges, mandates to buy coverage, and various taxes and fees—until 2014, both to hide its true costs and to avoid any unpleasantness before the 2012 elections.”
That’s little comfort to Democrats running next year, of course.
…and in all likelihood, it will pass. Among the provisions, reports al.com, “A concealed carry permit would still be required to carry a loaded pistol in the car. A permit would not be required if the pistol is unloaded and locked in a compartment that is attached to the car and out of reach of the driver and passenger.”
Perhaps the most significant change is that the bill would ”block employers from prohibiting employees from bringing guns into workplace parking lots provided the firearm is out of sight and the car is locked. A concealed carry permit would be required for pistols.”
There is some disagreement on the parking lot provision. “Rep. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, told [Rep.] Ed Henry that while he supported gun rights, he couldn’t support the bill because it would impact the rights of business owners.
Over in the Senate, Scott Beason said that he would “like people to be able to carry pistols in their vehicles without a permit. The new bill did away with a free lifetime vehicle permit approved by the Senate.
“‘I think it was interesting it was a ‘road rage bill’ until it was fixed to have to pay for the permit,’ Beason said.”
From Human Events: ”According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, thanks to a robust stock and bond market, coupled with a lousy housing market, the recovery has meant that households with a net worth in the upper 7 percent have seen their net worth rise, on average, by nearly 30 percent in the years after the recession and that everyone else’s net worth has dropped by an average of 4 percent.”
Read the whole thing here.
Obama’s election-campaign-turned-2nd-term-agenda campaign group, Organizing For Action, is planning a bunch of pro-amnesty rallies tomorrow around the country (you can link to their website here).
Fear not; like most of the President’s 2nd term agenda, amnesty, particularly as the Boston bombing story continues to unfold, is moribund.
The former Vice President and anthropogenic global warming kook loses a little more of his mind every day as is evidenced by this tidbit on Bloomberg T.V., in which he says that he decided to accept The Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush V Gore because “There is no intermediate step between a final Supreme Court decision and a violent revolution.”
Thank You, Mr. Gore, for being a role model for the peaceful transition of power.
EXCLUSIVE: Saudi Arabia ‘warned the United States IN WRITING about Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2012′
Apparently, it wasn’t just Russia who warned us.
The UK Daily Mail reports, “Citing security concerns, the Saudi government…denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.”
An interesting column, irrespective of which side your on. It starts, “In the aftermath of the terrorist bombing—no lesser word will do—at the Boston Marathon, a major debate has broken out over the proper law enforcement procedures in two key areas: general surveillance and targeted searches. Many insist that a general right to privacy should limit the first, and that concern with racial and ethnic profiling should limit the second. Both of these overinflated concerns should be stoutly resisted.”
Got your attention? Read the whole thing.
The doctor, as usual, nails it on Special Report tonight:
Just imagine public sentiment when the other 58% figure it out!
The story is from ABC News. The details aren’t good for the administration.
Another column on the subject–this time appearing in USA Today. The good news is that, if you believe the columnist, spending cuts don’t terrify Americans as much as team Obama anticipated. As with most things, they miscalculated.
This is, well, not surprising, coming from kook Congressman Paul.
The Boston Herald reports that “The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012.”
No wonder Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was reluctant at first to divulge this outrageous tidbit.
From Al.com: “During a town hall meeting today at Alabama A&M University, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks said he considered Iran to be a greater threat to the United States than North Korea even as tensions linger between the two countries.”
He’s right, of course. As Representative Brooks explained, “The difference between the threats…is that North Korea is ‘rationally crazy’ while Iran is ‘irrationally crazy.’”
I’ve received a disturbing set of e-mails, all in their twisted way sympathetic, somehow, to the Boston bombing terrorists. The theme seems to be, as Ron Paul might say, that it’s ultimately our fault.
Which is why this video is so refreshingly right on:
The title of Al Hunt’s column today should have been “Obama’s Political Impotence,” but remember, Hunt was once the kook “on-the-left” fill-in on CNN’s “Crossfire.”
He writes, “The White House thought a comfortably re-elected president would have more clout, and face less-resistant Republicans, to strike a compromise on the deficit, avoid the mindless across- the-board sequestration cuts, pass a gun-control measure, and immigration overhaul and get Congress to embark on a broad, new agenda, including universal preschool education, a higher minimum wage, an ambitious infrastructure program and something on climate change.
“With the exception of immigration, this agenda is going nowhere.
“Democrats as well as Republicans on Capitol Hill say this is partly because of the Obama style, which is unchanged from the first administration: a reticence to negotiate, and an inability to close on what supporters think are good deals. Complaints about White House insularity are as pronounced as ever.”
I don’t see “immigration” (read amnesty) going anywhere, but that aside, Hunt is right: this President is politically detached from everyone, including members of his own party, in Congress.
The rest of Hunt’s column focuses on Republicans refusal to raise taxes (unfortunately, that’s not true), the Republicans’ propensity to lash out at gay people (is it not the Democrats who keep bringing it up, as the issue properly works its way through state legislatures?), and a vague prediction that we face gridlock for the rest of this President’s term.
Which, given his agenda, is a good thing.
From Breitbart: “Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) now each appear to be positioning themselves in the fight against the push for the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill in much the same way the Senate’s Tea Party triumvirate knocked down the left’s push for new gun control legislation.
“The three are joining Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) in questioning every painstaking detail of the bill, and reframing the narrative that those in favor of the legislation have driven including the need for a “path to citizenship” for America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants and that the bill is tough on securing the border. Together, the group is using every tool at its disposal in the Senate–public pressure, process disputes and aggressive oversight procedures, among others–to fight against the legislation.”
And then the House will slow it down in the same sort of way. In other words, the President isn’t getting an amnesty bill anytime soon.
I’ve never seen the show “House Of Cards,” but this spoof of it, “House of Nerds” from last night’s White House Correspondents dinner, was quite funny (with the help of Kevin Spacey). You’ll like it even if you, too, haven’t seen the show.
The AP runs the numbers on the 2012 election. Interestingly, “while Latinos are now the biggest driver of U.S. population growth, they still trail whites and blacks in turnout and electoral share, because many of the Hispanics in the country are children or noncitizens.”
In other words, amnesty concerns aside (for a host of reasons), the results indicate that there’s no immediate need for Republicans to cater to Hispanics to win again.
Brian Castner, an Iraqi War veteran writing in The Daily Beast, makes a convincing case that most of us who legally have guns are good people:
“The attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School restarted a long delayed national debate about guns, and their proximity to children is on many more minds. The slaughter of young innocents, a war zone transported to small-town America, touched a nerve with an intensity that even other multiple homicides in work places and Sikh Temples and movie theaters did not. In the last few months, gun-control advocates saw an opportunity to finally make some headway, while guns were purchased at frenetic pace by those who were afraid they may succeed. Whether the subsequent bombings and shoot-out in Boston will ultimately affect the gun-control debate remains to be seen, but this odd juxtaposition played out last week, nearly simultaneously: while the US Senate was abandoning a gun-control bill, the Tsarnaev brothers were engaged in a complex firefight using weapons they were not licensed to own.”
Read the whole thing.
Calvin Coolidge, says Gene Healy in a Reason Magazine book review today, was successful at cutting taxes and shrinking the government.
The conventional wisdom is that presidents have to do things—anything, in order to be noteworthy—so Coolidge, who was famous for taking naps and being hands off, is rarely mentioned by historians as one of the greats.
Healy writes, “In his influential 1972 book The Presidential Character, political scientist James David Barber argued that we should pick presidents by their personality type. The ‘active-positive’ president—the ideal voters should seek—tackles the job with manic energy and zest, and ‘gives forth the feeling that he has fun in political life.’ The ‘passive-negative’ sees the office as a matter of stern duty, and his ‘tendency is to withdraw.’ Among Barber’s ‘active-positives’ were troublemakers FDR, Truman, and JFK; his ‘passive-negatives’ included the Cincinnatus-like figures Washington, Eisenhower, and, of course, Coolidge. Maybe we should give the job only to people who are so depressed they can barely get out of bed.”
Tongue in cheek, of course, but it is true that, generally speaking, the less a president does, the better off the rest of us are.
My wife and I just watched Marley And Me, a movie that I would have hated (or at least have fallen asleep during) before I fell in love with dogs.
Trish, my wife, insisted that I like dogs when we met, and so I tolerated hers at first as a matter of unconditional love. Now I’m a dog kook, having adopted more than a few abandoned dogs during my days living out in the rolling hills of Tennessee, where “dropped” dogs were common.
At our peak, we had 18 puppies (that was short-lived); now we’re down to two, both of whom have played a huge part in my recovery in terms of…well, if you love dogs, you know what I mean; if you don’t, it won’t make sense.
If you are a dog lover, I recommend the movie.
I know these two aren’t technically American citizens, but can’t we find a way to Mirandize them?
This is entirely predictable, but it’s nice to see the media starting to write stories about it.
From The American Interest: “The trickle of Democrats getting shifty about Obamacare is quickly becoming a flood. Yesterday leading Democrats spent an hour at a senatorial lunch grilling President Obama’s Chief of Staff about the rollout of the health care law. Some were upset that the administration is paying for its publicity efforts with money from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Others were concerned that premiums could skyrocket under the new law, or that businesses will cut workers’ hours to avoid having to pay for their insurance.”
So why, exactly can’t Congress repeal it now, with a veto proof majority?
So says The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, no conservative–as is evidenced by his thesis: “Sequestration is…unbalanced: Cuts to programs used by the politically powerful will be addressed, but cuts to programs that affects the politically powerless will persist. It’s worth saying this clearly: The pain of sequestration will be concentrated on those who lack political power.”
Megyn Kelly explored the possibility today on her program with Fox’s chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge. Do we know for sure? No, because the FBI’s interrogation of the surviving bomber was shut down.
From The Daily Caller: “The new logo for the University of Connecticut’s sports teams is a terrifying husky dog that calls to mind images of sexual assault, says one student.
“The new logo was unveiled last week, receiving mixed-to-negative reviews from UConn fans who preferred the older, cuter husky dog.
“But one student went much further, criticizing the new, meaner logo for being a pro-rape symbol.
“In an open letter to UC President Susan Herbst, self-described feminist student Carolyn Luby wrote that the redesigned team logo will intimidate women and empower rape culture.”
I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how a picture of an angry dog promotes rape. I wonder if Ms. Luby has a problem with, for instance, rap music?
The furlough and ensuing delays started Monday, and tonight, The Senate unanimously passed a bill that would end them (presuming of course, that the House follows suit).
Are you ready for the punchline? The name of the bill ending the imaginary need for three days of air traffic controllers’ furloughing is “The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013.”
Read the story from The Huffington Post here.
This Heritage Foundation research report from 2010 is a pretty good primer on how we should be dealing (or, more accurately, how we should have dealt) with the Boston bomber that we have in custody.
The authors write, “In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the President has the authority to hold a U.S. citizen as an enemy combatant. Similarly, a lower federal court held that the President has the authority to designate a suspected terrorist who is an American captured in the U.S. an enemy combatant.”
Either way, though–meaning whether the administration decides to try the terrorist in a criminal court or a military commission, a thorough interrogation is entirely Constitutionally permissible.
As the Heritage duo explains, “Preserving the Miranda-less interrogation option does not preclude the government, after appropriate interrogation, from then deciding to send the suspect to trial in federal court or a military commission. Once that decision has been made, the government will want to read the terrorist (whose is now a criminal suspect) his Miranda warnings. If he waives his rights and makes a statement, the government has the option of using those statements at trial. If the terrorist invokes his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney, so be it; the government will then need to prove its case using all the other available evidence. And although Miranda warnings are not required in military commissions cases, it has been the practice to Mirandize some military commissions’ candidates.”
By not allowing the FBI to continue to interrogate the 19-year-old, in other words, we’ve gone above and beyond what precedent and The Constitution dictate. As a result, we are more ignorant of and vulnerable to another attack than we have to be.
From The Hill: “‘This bill will allow the states to ask Internet retailers when they sell in the state to collect sales tax,’ Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Thursday. ‘It is very straight forward.’”
Durbin, though, wasn’t straight forward; he failed to point out that the bill would force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes from everyone they sell to, pursuant to the laws of the purchaser’s place of origin.
In short, this is a slush fund for states. The House should kill it.
ABC News out of Salt Lake City reports that “A citizen with a gun stopped a knife wielding man as he began stabbing people Thursday evening at the downtown Salt Lake City Smith’s store.
“Police say the suspect purchased a knife inside the store and then turned it into a weapon. Smith’s employee Dorothy Espinoza says, ‘He pulled it out and stood outside the Smiths in the foyer. And just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people.’
“Espinoza says the knife wielding man seriously injured two people. ‘There is blood all over. One got stabbed in the stomach and got stabbed in the head and held his hands and got stabbed all over the arms.’
“Then, before the suspect could find another victim – a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. ‘A guy pulled [a] gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith’s grabbed him.’”
A gun owner saved lives–without a shot being fired.
…and politics aside, it was a heartwarming event.
From Debra Saunders’ latest column: “This week, the Obama administration furloughed 14,500 air traffic controllers — staffers will lose two days of work per month — ostensibly to comply with the 2011 Budget Control Act’s $85 billion in sequester cuts this year. The Federal Aviation Administration’s share is $637 million. So expect delays at the airport.”
It is stunning what this President will do just to cajole the Republicans into raising taxes.
If ObamaCare was unpopular up to now, this is certain—almost–to finish it off.
Politico reports, “Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.
“The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.”
Before we pop the corks, though, there’s still the chance that Boehner will be charmed by the President into going along with it.
The story continues, “There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a ‘brain drain’ on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.”
In other words, Boehner could be talked into thinking that those in Washington are indispensable, and since they can’t afford to join the exchanges any more than the rest of us can, they must be exempted.
Now’s the time for us to make it clear that we won’t tolerate such blatantly elitist thinking and hypocrisy. Maybe, just maybe, the Speaker will get the message, and Republicans can lead vulnerable Democrats toward repeal. Stay tuned.
We report; you decide:
Didn’t the 9/11 terrorists spend 9/10 in a strip bar doing shots? Not that I’m trying to connect any dots here; that would be far too statist.
Read the Politico story here.
His name is Richard Falk, and among the gems in his recent al jazeera column is this: “Is it not time that one among our politicians had the courage to connect these dots? Can we not ponder WH Auden’s haunting line: ‘Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return’”?
Oh, by the way, Professor Falk is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.
…a phenomenon that, at the moment, at least, it’s hard to imagine Obama enjoying at this stage of his post presidency.
Remember when Obama commented recently during a fundraiser in California that Kamala Harris, that state’s Attorney General, was the “best looking” Attorney General in the nation? The comment was no big deal, if you ask me. But the tab for the fundraiser was, if you ask the people of the town where the event was held.
From CBS News: “The town of Atherton is sending a bill to the White House, asking the Obama Administration to pay up after a fundraising visit earlier this month.
“Town leaders want someone to pick up the nearly $8,000 tab for police and other security services required during the visit.
“City officials were expected to send invoices to both the White House and Secret Service, along with the Atherton homeowners who hosted President Obama.”
The story makes you smile, even though the White House, no doubt, is laughing.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh was the only Republican to vote for his own bill, which would have allowed current senators to hold two state jobs at once even after the official ban against double dipping goes into effect next year. Congratulations to his Republican colleagues for walking the walk, and shame on Senator Marsh for tincturing an otherwise stellar Republican caucus.
From The Boston Herald: “Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.”
An idle mind–subsidized by taxpayers–is the devil’s workshop.
For those who missed yesterday’s show, here’s Senator Paul’s letter to his leadership on why immigration “reform” should be slowed down for national security reasons.
WARNING TO FAUX LIBERTARIANS: The following letter contains the phrases “intelligence failure,” “Islamic extremism,” “acts of terrorism,” and “national security protections.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that he hasn’t worked a single shift in four years. The explanation from the Nation of Islam is that “Officer Farrakhan assists the Police Department with community relations in its quest to strengthen ties between police and the community.”
The headline is from the Huffington Post; the target of the story’s author, Les Leopold, is hedge fund managers. The best (meaning worst) part of the piece is, “It’s not just that these financial gurus are filthy rich. It’s that they are the richest of the rich and we don’t even know what they do.”
Some of us at least vaguely know what they do, but that’s beside the point. Among Leopold’s solutions is this gem:
“Support the Robin Hood Tax: National Nurses United is leading the charge for a small tax on all sales of stock, bonds and derivatives. They aptly call it ‘A Sin Tax on Wall Street.’ Eleven other nations are instituting such a tax which would go a long way towards putting the high frequency vultures out of business, as well as moving significant sums from the bloated financial sector to the rest of the economy.”
To summarize, more taxes on greedy investors will make them poor, which will benefit the rest of us. Somehow, their loss will be our gain.
Who really thinks that makes sense?
The President has endorsed an Internet sales tax, which will affect all of us. This is the same President who, once upon a time, said this:
Yes, he did.
From Al.com: “At noon today Mark Kennedy becomes the former chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.
“At 12:01 p.m. Kennedy becomes chairman of the Alabama Democratic Majority, a new non-profit he has created in an effort to rebuild a party that is struggling for relevancy throughout much of Alabama.”
The move comes as tensions have been rising between Kennedy and Joe Reed, President of the Alabama Democratic Conference (the African American wing of of Alabama’s Democratic Party). As statewide Republicans continue to do well, the Dems are in an all-out civil war.
This is bound to bruise Senator Paul’s reputation with some libertarians.
Here’s the story; we’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: RT reports that “the cell phone number from which the call came belonged to an escaped inmate of Arab origin.”
The inmate has been found and detained.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has a thought-provoking piece in The Wall Street Journal today on last week’s terrorist attack. As the method of jihad here at home shifts from grand (meaning large) plots like 9/11 to the use of IED’s on soft targets, Mukasey observes, “this was obviously a suicide operation—not in the direct way of a bomber who kills all his victims and himself at the same time by blowing himself up, but in the way of someone who conducts a spree, holding the stage for as long as possible, before he is cut down in a blaze of what he believes is glory.”
And then he says (and this next part is worth reading more than once), “Until now, it has been widely accepted in law-enforcement circles that such an attack in the U.S. was less likely because of the difficulty that organizers would have in marshaling the spiritual support to keep the would-be suicide focused on the task. That analysis went out the window when the Tsarnaevs followed up the bombing of the marathon by murdering a police officer in his car—an act certain to precipitate the violent confrontation that followed.”
The number of jihadists living in our midst who are willing to provide “spiritual support” for attacks against us is growing. As Mukasey concludes in his column, we must spend less time trying to make the Muslim world like us, and more time confronting the threat that radicals right here at home pose–a threat that isn’t going away.
On Meet the Press today, Gang of Eight member Senator Dick Durbin said, “There are…specific provisions in this immigration reform bill that will make America safer. We are going to have a stronger border with Mexico. We are going to have 11 million people come forward and have an opportunity to register with our government, out of the shadows.”
The bill contains “provisions” over the next decade that will, as The New York Times put it, “allow Congress at different points to ensure that the enforcement goals are being met.” And what if the federal government drags its feet on securing the border? A commission will be set up after FIVE years to figure out how to make it work.
Meanwhile, there’s this, from a politico story a little over a week ago: “At a lunchtime briefing, Democratic senators in the Gang of Eight sought to allay concerns raised by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about the border enforcement measures that would need to be in place before the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants can obtain green cards.”
In other words (in case it’s not apparent), the bill is immediate amnesty, with an empty promise to secure the border within ten years. There’s nothing safe about that.
Brilliant as always, John O’Sullivan draws the link between the terrorist attack and immmigration. It’s well worth the read.
CNN got the initial description of the Boston bombers wrong, and Sharpton trounced upon it:
It’s been a good day In D.C., chatting with everyone from Arizona ranchers who deal with drug cartels every day to Dennis Lynch, whose film “They Come To America” and its sequel, out today on DVD, is a brilliant, captivating look at the harm caused by illegal immigration. Lynch isn’t an ideologue; he’s a guy who saw, firsthand, the harm that current policy is causing. He’s also got a great sense of humor, as you’ll hear when we play the interview on Monday. In the meantime, check out the movie website and the trailer for it here.
“Capitol Police removed what they called a ‘suspicious letter’ from Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby’s Washington office today, along with two additional suspicious letters in other parts of the Capitol – one from a so-far unnamed second senator’s office, the other from the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building.”
We’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: “A release from Sen. Shelby’s press secretary, Jonathan Graffeo, read, ‘The Capitol Police have given us the all clear (to return to the office). Sen. Shelby and staff are unharmed.’”
Today (Patriot’s Day), two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It’s a fluid tragedy, but here’s a video of the incident. Start watching around 4:20.
Dodgers fans who showed up in Arizona for the Diamondbacks home opener were told to take off their Dodgers shirts or change seats, where the camera couldn’t see them.
Yahoo Sports reports that “[Diamondbacks owner Ken] Kendrick arrived on the scene sometime during the [first] inning and could be seen (and heard) having an animated discussion with the fans.”
Mr. Kendrick bought Diamondbacks shirts and a cocktail for those who chose to keep their behind-home-plate seats, which cost just over three thousand dollars.
However the Diamondbacks do this year, their owner is a loser. (If you like the Diamondbacks, incidentally, don’t be offended; I’m a Braves fan, and our owner, Ted Turner, is an unadulterated kook—though my instinct is that he has better business sense than Mr. Kendrick.)
That Mitch McConnell audio must’ve been a bombshell after all, because the Democrats are scrambling to defuse it
We always say “tomorrow’s news today” on the show. The McConnell bugging fiasco is turning, politically, against the Denocrats.
“‘This has nothing to do with the party or even a group,’ Chris Tobe, a former state Democratic Party board member, said in a statement to The Associated Press. ‘(They’re) just creating a national media buzz by bending or breaking the rules.’”
And, we might add, the law.
To those who think the notion that the government is coming after our guns is paranoid, read this story out of Buffalo, New York.
This fascinating piece from the UK Daily Mail offers a behind-the-scenes look.
The stereotype is that those of us in the South are, on average, fatsos compared to people in other parts of the nation. As it turns out, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Kansas, and other central and northwest states take home the prizes, with Alabama being right in the “middle of the pack,” al.com reports.
From the story: “How did Southerners get such a fat reputation? Apparently because they are more truthful.
“The notion that the South is the fattest comes primarily from a nationwide telephone survey done by the Centers for Disease Control, in which the surveyor asks for height and weight, among other things.
“But UAB researchers found that when people were actually weighed, the numbers didn’t add up.”
Fraud in the nation’s blue states, apparently, isn’t restricted to voting.
This is an incredible story. Geri Halliwell, Spice Girl, tweeted a tribute to Margaret Thatcher upon news of her death.
“’Thinking of our 1st Lady of girl power, Margaret Thatcher, a green grocer’s daughter who taught me anything is possible,’ went the tweet.”
And then her uncouth fans gave her a hard time for positively eulogizing the Iron Lady, so she deleted the tweet.
The UK Guardian quotes her as saying, “I was so confused and overwhelmed by some of the feedback I received that I took my tweet down and for that I was called spineless.” She added “ that she had been afraid of upsetting people and had even been led to question her view of Thatcher.”
Thatcher went from being a hero in Halliwell’s head to a confusing historical figure because more than a few ungrateful statists in the United Kingdom celebrated her death rather than her life.
“‘Did I even really know enough about Margaret Thatcher?’ she wondered. ‘Was I just trying to be relevant? She had obviously upset a lot of people.’”
Ms. Halliwell, to her credit, concluded that Lady Thatcher was worth admiring. “‘Now I realise that I do admire a woman, whether she is right or wrong, regardless of her opinions,’ said the singer. ‘She had the courage to stand by her convictions. Not like me. I look at my behaviour, which exposed how weak I was under fire, not like Margaret Thatcher. Rest in peace.’”
She deserves commendations for at least admitting that she has no idea what she’s talking about. Other entertainers could learn a thing or two about discussing politics from the vantage point of pure, proud ignorance.
From New York: “A state lawmaker is calling for an investigation into how an Amherst man’s guns were taken away by mistake.
“State Assemblyman Ray Walter says when he saw the news coverage of David Lewis’ case, he knew immediately something was ‘seriously wrong.’ Walter wants some answers, when he meets face-to-face with the State Police Superintendent in Albany next Tuesday.”
I feel a backlash against gun control coming on.
Connecticut senator to Rupert Murdoch: You should refuse to air the NASCAR race that the NRA’s sponsoring
Me to the Connecticut Senator: You should retire from Congress, return to the private sector, and learn what “profit” and “wealth creation” is. Oh, and between jobs, re-read the 1st and 2nd Amendments.
That’s the question posed in the Washington Post’s WonkBlog today. That the blogger isn’t asking a rhetorical question is troubling.
Alabama’s own Senator Sessions is standing up to the gang of eight. We’ll be chatting with him about it next week.
…and on the spending side it doesn’t look good, even when compared to his predecessor:
“The real news is that [President Obama’s] budget ratifies much of the spending increase of the first term and tries to lock it in. He wants the feds to spend $3.78 trillion next year ($11,944 per American), which would still be 22.2% of national output nearly four years into an economic recovery. Before the financial panic in 2008, the government was spending about $1 trillion less, or closer to $2.7 trillion a year and an average of 20% of GDP—and President Bush was no slouch as a spender himself.”
Read the whole piece here.
ABC News, which ran this story, better watch its step, lest it be accused of racism.
The states–some, at least–haven’t given up taking on Washington.
No surprise here, really. From Reuters: “Britain will not invite Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral next week in a snub likely to deepen a long-running diplomatic dispute over the Falkland Islands.
“Thatcher, 87, who died on Monday, led Britain at the time of the 1982 Falklands war ordering her armed forces to repel an Argentine invasion of the contested South Atlantic archipelago which Argentina calls Las Malvinas.
“Just over 30 years later, memories of the conflict remain raw and Fernandez has mounted a campaign to renegotiate the islands’ sovereignty, lobbying Pope Francis on the issue and rejecting a referendum last month in which Falkland residents voted to remain a British Overseas Territory.”
This isn’t a snub; it’s abundantly appropriate.
UPI reports that “Cheney, who had been invited to speak by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy [to speak in a closed-door meeting], told the group that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was an unpredictable young man who could have a ‘number of reasons’ for his actions. According to Southerland, Cheney compared Kim to his own experience with Iraq’s former dictator, Saddam Hussein.”
Reasonable skeptics of the Iraq war surely don’t doubt that North Korea has weapons of mass destruction, or that President Kim is more unstable than Saddam.
Who among our current leaders has a grasp on what’s going on?
From Breitbart.com: “Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conceded Monday that implementing the Affordable Care Act has been more complicated and frustrating than the Obama administration expected, largely due to Republicans who have opposed the law’s state-based exchanges and Medicaid expansion.
“‘The politics has been relentless and that continues,’ Sebelius said. ‘There was some hope that once the Supreme Court ruled in July, and then once an election occurred there would be a sense that, this is the law of the land, let’s get on board, let’s make this work.’”
Supreme Court rulings and presidential elections don’t guarantee that anything will work.
From The Washington Times: “Apprehensions of illegal immigrants are up 13 percent this year, the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol told Congress on Wednesday as lawmakers continued to bash the Obama administration for failing to come up with a way of measuring how secure the borders are.
“The increase in apprehensions appears to contradict the administration’s assertion that the border is more secure than ever — a claim that is critical to advocates’ hopes of passing an immigration legalization bill this year.”
Yes, it appears so.
If you’re wondering whether Governor’s Bentley’s signature on the state abortion bill (story here) is good or bad, scroll through the story to this part:
“The American Civil Liberties Union issued a news release today saying that the bill ‘places onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers that could force most, if not all, of Alabama’s abortion clinics to close down.’”
Texas State Senator Dan Patrick and two students joined Morgan and a live audience to discuss the stabbings. Morgan asked the students if they had “armed security guards” on campus; the students pointed out that 8 cops can’t protect 1,000 students. Morgan retorted that if students carried guns it would “descend the school [sic] into wild west madness.” The students were respectful and effective; Morgan was condescending. Watch:
So says Robert Robb in his latest Arizona Central piece–not Reagan, but Thatcher. It’s an interesting read.
The former Congresswoman and the astronaut were interviewed by CNN recently, and CBS News, in their coverage of the interview, wrote, “The couple believes they have credibility in the gun control debate because they are longtime gun owners who support Second Amendment rights.”
Don’t bother reading it over and over again; it won’t start to make sense.
Stossel, as always, is brilliant.
“What do I mean by ‘moral hazard’? I once built a beach house on the edge of the ocean — a very risky place to build — but I did so because federal flood insurance guaranteed my investment. Eventually, a storm swept away my house, but I didn’t lose a penny. Government ‘insurance’ covered my loss. Thanks, taxpayers!
“Now that I’m wiser — and more libertarian — I’m ashamed that I took your money and understand that the whole program is a mistake.
“The same government that worries about global warming causing flooding spends billions to compensate risk-takers who live next to oceans. That’s moral hazard.”
It’s that simple, really.
Immigration expert Mark Krikorian has a post at NRO’s The Corner detailing the nascent attack by some on the Right of The Heritage Foundation as amnesty looms:
“In 2007, the report from Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation detailing how amnesty would cost taxpayers at least $2.6 trillion helped kill the McCain-Kennedy amnesty push. The pro-amnesty crowd is terrified that Rector’s upcoming update will also derail the Schumer/Rubio amnesty push.
“So they’re going after Rector (the father of the 1996 welfare-reform law), and Heritage with all they’ve got.”
Read the whole thing. It’s laughably maddening.
Today the Vice-President sternly warned during a speech that the world was watching America’s actions. With regard to North Korea or Iran? Of course not! He was talking about gun control.
These twelve words provide a clue: ““If you believe in the right to bear arms like I do…”
As sickening as it is, it’s happening.
Katrina Trinko, who writes for William F. Buckley’s National Review magazine, has a column today in USA Today that bemoans the fact that a person’s looks play a part in his or her success. Trinko is prompted by President Obama’s comment while in California during a speech that Kamala Harris was “by far the best looking attorney general in the country.”
“After taking some well-deserved criticism for his comment,” Trinko says, “the president wisely apologized to her the next day. It’s true that Obama’s faux paus isn’t as horrific as 2012 GOP senate candidate Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ remark. But Obama’s comment contributed to a male-dominated culture where it’s often seen as macho to analyze, discuss and, finally, judge female politicians’ looks ad nauseam.”
Huh?!? Akin’s comment wasn’t merely horrific, it was just plain kooky. Obama (who, it should be noted, prefaced his looks remark with praise for Harris’ dedication and brilliance) was simply being charming.
Trinko goes on to say, contradicting herself, that “voters are…influenced by appearance. According to a 2008 study published in the online journal Plos One, while ‘all voters are likely to vote for candidates who appear more competent,’ nevertheless ‘male candidates that appear more approachable and female candidates who appear more attractive are more likely to win votes.’”
That doesn’t sound like a “male dominated culture” to me. The fact is, (like it or not) that looks play a factor in one’s success. The perfect example—that involves two men—is the first televised presidential debate between Nixon and Kennedy. Voters who listened on the radio overwhelmingly concluded that Nixon won; those watching gave it to Kennedy in equally overwhelming numbers. Kennedy was better looking, and Nixon was sweating.
We all have our gifts. At the end of the day, if we refuse to whine because someone is smarter or better looking than we are, which is to say that if we all work hard at whatever we do, we will succeed.
After a series of strokes, Margaret Thatcher has died. Her legacy will be one of economic revitalization as much as her foreign policy, which earned her the title the Iron Lady. But it cannot be overlooked, as well, that she was Great Britain’s first (and, to date, only) female Prime Minister. As Ronald Reagan wrote in a piece for National Review,
“With all her strength, Margaret Thatcher is still a lady. There is an attractive humanness to her. Our annual ‘Economic Summits’ are meetings of the seven Heads of government — the United States, Canada, France, Italy, West Germany, Japan, and the United States. The meetings rotate, with each member country hosting the Summit in turn. The Head of Government of the host country chairs the meeting.
“A few years ago, when the Summit was in England with Margaret presiding, a Head of Government who is no longer holding office (and I won’t name him) launched a veritable tirade at the chair. He claimed that the meeting was not being run in a democratic manner, that the chair was dictatorial, etc. He gave no illustrations or examples to support these charges. Margaret let him have his say and then continued with the business before the meeting. She remained cool and made no effort to respond to the charges.
“When the meeting ended I caught up with Margaret. I told her what I thought of the charges he had made, that he was really out of line and had no business or right to do what he’d done. Her quiet response was, ‘Women know when men are being childish.’”
Along with Reagan and Pope John Paul II, Prime Minister Thatcher coalesced to save the world from communism and economic malaise. The book to read is The President, The Pope, And The Prime Minister by John O’Sullivan.
Lady Thatcher’s final speech in the House of Commons in 1990 still applies today. It ought to be watched by leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
The President has offered to give up a little of his pay until the sequester problem is solved. Liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank isn’t impressed:
“For a man worth millions and soon to be worth tens of millions of dollars, $20,000 is not much of a sacrifice.
“This should matter [to] Obama, who won reelection largely by beating Mitt Romney in the empathy department.”
On his show, he said this about libertarians:
“Many years ago on a television network far, far away, I expressed support for libertarianism because back then it meant I didn’t want big government in my bedroom, or my medicine chest, or especially not in the second drawer of the nightstand on the left side of my bed. And I still believe that, but somewhere along the way, libertarianism morphed into this creepy obsession with free market capitalism based on an Ayn Rand novel called Atlas Shrugged, a book that’s never been read all the way through by anyone with a girlfriend.”
Once upon a time, libertarians claimed to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Now, for many, the words “libertarian” and “liberal” are synonymous.
Fred Barnes’ latest Weekly Standard column sums up the problem with Obama’s redistributionist strategy rather nicely:
“‘He’s not a pro-saving, pro-wealth president,’ says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office. ‘So he can’t be pro-growth.’”
Stewart, you may have heard, took condign shots at the Brotherhood for cracking down on an Egyptian comedian who made jokes at their expense. This has caused a rift between the Brotherhood and Stewart (and by extension the United States).
Meanwhile David Rohde, opining for Reuters, wrote boldly that “Jon Stewart-like satire should not be a crime.”
Reuters just might dump him.
The headline should have begun with the word “yawn.” If I didn’t know any better I’d think, given the passes Bill Clinton enjoyed for much worse, that race was a factor here.
From CBS News: “For the first time since it began asking the question four decades ago, the Pew Research Center has found that a majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.
“Fifty-two percent of Americans said marijuana use should be legal, according to the national survey conducted March 13-17.”
So should the American people decide this issue (the Constitutional answer is yes), or should the Supreme Court decide it?
It’s been a bad week for the AP. First, they blamed Republicans for poverty levels not seen since the 1960′s. Then they dropped the word “illegal” from their Stylebook when describing…illegal aliens.
Now, they’ve decided to modify their definition of “Islamist,” which used to be synonymous with “jihadist.” The new definition? “An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not,” cautions the AP, “use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.”
What’s next? Will they follow Reuters’ lead and call terrorists “freedom fighters?”
So reports the UPI this morning. “Santorum amassed the second-highest number of delegates in the 2012 Republican primaries and came in third last month in a Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll.” (Italics mine.)
Santorum won eleven primaries to Newt’s two, and the former Speaker of the House (who was my guy) faces about $5 million in debt from the campaign. My sense is that it would be best for neither of the two to make a run for it; we have rising stars in the party who have already captured the attention of the youth vote (“I stand with Rand” has become the Kentucky Senator’s call to arms).
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the isle, their presidential bench, says the UPI, consists of…Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. Can we say political fossils?
The Republicans would do well to nominate fresh blood for President and, perhaps, choose Santorum to be the vice-presidential running mate. Newt would make a heck of a defense secretary, as well. Such a scenario would combine new faces with seasoned veterans who bring much needed wisdom to the table.
From The Daily Caller: “As Senate Democrats struggle to build support for new gun control legislation, the American Civil Liberties Union now says it’s among those who have ‘serious concerns’ about the bill.
“Those concerns have the capacity to prove a major setback to Sen. Harry Reid’s current gun bill, which includes language from earlier bills introduced by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer.
“In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, a top lobbyist for the ACLU announced that the group thinks Reid’s current gun bill could threaten both privacy rights and civil liberties.”
The ACLU and the NRA (albeit for different reasons) are on the same side of the gun issue.
If you missed State Senator Arthur Orr’s chat on the show tonight, read this story about the state Senate’s approval of a bill that would posthumously pardon nine African Americans convicted of rape by an all-white jury in 1931.
And tune into the podcast to hear my whole interview with Senator Orr.
It’s a good start:
Might this not be good news to Michelle Obama and Michael Bloomberg, to the extent that the strike prevents even one person from consuming a French fry?
Al.com does it here; Senator Arthur Orr will join the show by phone tonight to give us a summary of this year’s highlights.
..and the Earth’s temperatures have remained flat for the last 15 years, says Ed Rogers in his Washington Post column today.
…and Alabama’s own Senator Sessions isn’t happy about it.
Read the story from the Daily Caller here.
From CNN: “North Korea stirred up fresh unease in Northeast Asia early Thursday, threatening attacks by a ‘smaller, lighter and diversified’ nuclear force and warning, ‘The moment of explosion is approaching fast.’”
The two salient questions are, 1) Are they serious, and 2) If they are (and it’s a distinct possibility, given that the 29-year-old new leader of North Korea thinks he has something to prove), is our President up to the task of keeping us safe?
The venue was a public forum on guns, and the question addressed Colorado’s new gun control law. A local resident was worried that if more than one “bad guy” broke into his house, he might not be able to defend himself.
It’s hard to hear the question, but State Representative Diane DeGette’s answer is loud and clear:
Their “news story” begins, “The number of Americans living in poverty has spiked to levels not seen since the mid 1960s, classing 20 per cent of the country’s children as poor.”
While they don’t blame Bush (one supposes that even for the AP, that’s a stale excuse), they editorialize that the sequester–and by extension, the Republican Party–is the culprit:
“Democrats want a deficit reduction plan that includes some spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy. Republicans balk at any more tax increases and insist the problem should be addressed solely by reigning in spending.”
The “story” goes on to insinuate that the Ryan budget, which cuts nothing, will force seniors to buy private insurance (a false statement).
And then there’s this: “Some worry the gap between rich and poor in the U.S. will keep widening under the austerity measures.”
Again, the AP gets it wrong; slow growth (which inevitably occurs when taxes go up) causes income gaps between the rich and the poor. Robust growth, as JFK would say, “lifts all boats.”
Budget chairman estimates the Alabama Accountability Act could cost the state $50-60 million annually
From Al.com: “The new law, called the Alabama Accountability Act, allows families with children zoned for failing schools to receive tax credits – estimated at up to $3,500 annually — to help pay tuition at a private school or a better public school.
“Families can take the credit even if they already have their child enrolled in private school.
“The head of the Alabama Education Association, which vehemently opposed the legislation, has estimated the credits could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Here’s an idea: improve existing public schools so parents won’t be incentivized to take their children elsewhere.
Attention liberals: We’re in a domestic quagmire.
Senator Scott Beason’s proposed bill is scheduled to hit the Senate floor today, and it’s being met with paranoia among some in law enforcement. The bill, Al.com reports, would “allow people to carry pistols in their cars without a permit; let people keep firearms locked in their vehicles at work; repeal a prohibition on carrying firearms at public demonstrations; clarify Alabama’s status as an open carry state; and prohibit sheriffs from denying a pistol permit to someone without giving a documented reason.”
This is a bad deal as far as Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith, chairman of the legislative committee for the Alabama Sheriff’s Association, is concerned. “There are a lot of unintended consequences that I think they are not thinking through in a rush to slap Barack Obama in the face,” he says.
Huh? Does the Sheriff really believe that those of us who want to strengthen the spirit of the 2nd Amendment in Alabama are motivated by a desire to embarrass the President?
Perhaps. What’s apparent, in any event, is that Smith is predisposed to distrust law-abiding gun owners.
“You can’t rob a convenience store with a pistol at your home. You can with one in your car,” he says. The assumptions here are not new, and continue to be fallacious: 1) Those of us who want to carry a gun for the sake of safety are a heartbeat away from robbing a convenience store, and 2) the only reason we haven’t yet is because having a gun in our car is currently against the law.
The most amusing line in the story is, “Smith said he realizes people feel safer with their gun beside them in their cars. However, he asked that people imagine every motorist next to them with a weapon.”
I have imagined that. And in the real world, it’s a distinct possibility–which is why I would like the legal opportunity to have my own weapon next to me, in the event that the guy in the other lane, on his way to the nearest convenience store, is packing.
From The Washington Times: “A challenge filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House. Under the Origination Clause of the Constitution, all bills raising revenue must begin in the House.”
Read the whole story here.
…and the sermon is a vulgar, crass attacks on conservatives. Watch Bret Baier’s report on Fox News tonight here.
And the punch line is that the lawmaker, who was pulled over for doing 87 in a 70, is the one who complained to the trooper’s boss that the trooper was showing favoritism to state officials.
Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton to have dueling speeches in Dallas, day before George W. Bush Presidential Center’s dedication
The story is from The Dallas Morning News; the question is, which party is less enthused?
Christina Hoff Sommers shatters it in her New York Times column today:
“A serious dialogue about parity in the workplace can begin only when we liberate ourselves from the widely propagated but utterly false assertion that ‘for the same work, women receive 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.’ The 23-cent wage gap does not take into account the factors that justify different pay, like occupation, education, tenure on the job, and hours worked per week.
“Unfortunately, some activist groups cling to the wage gap, insisting that women earn less than men even after controlling for the relevant variables. For example, the AAUW’s ‘Graduating to a Pay Gap’ report classifies ‘social science’ as one college major and reports that, among such majors, women earn only 83 percent of what men earn. Horrifying—until you notice that ‘social science’ includes both ‘economics’ and ‘sociology.’ Economics majors (66 percent male) have a median income of $70,000; for sociology majors (68 percent female) it is $45,000.”
In other words, men and women do enjoy equal pay for equal work. This ought to be good news for feminists. As Hoff Sommers concludes, “if we stop indoctrinating college women with the myth that the workplace is rigged against them, more will try.”
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, A Conservative, Says That A Pro-Gay Marriage Republican Presidential Candidate is “Inevitable”
Watch his remarks on Meet The Press Today:
The Dems run their campaigns like they govern.
David Stockman’s frank piece in today’s New York Times adumbrates our
economic woes, and prescribes the cure.
Huh?!?!? The monster who yelled Allahu Akbar as he opened fire, killing thirteen people and wounding thirty others, is being protected by the Defense Department at the expense of those who survived. The reasoning (if you can call it that) for denying the Purple Hearts is that awarding them would imply that Hasan is a terrorist, which would hurt his case.
Not only are terrorists in our midst; they’re being coddled by our government.
In The Wall Street Journal’s weekend interview, David Feith talks with retired Army Lt. Colonel Timothy Thomas about the threat of Chinese cyber-attacks—and the rationale behind them.
“The essence of China’s thinking about cyber warfare is the concept of shi, [Thomas] says, first introduced in Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ about 2,500 years ago. The concept’s English translation is debated, but Mr. Thomas subscribes to the rendering of Chinese Gen. Tao Hanzhang, who defines shi as ‘the strategically advantageous posture before a battle.’
“‘When I do reconnaissance activities of your [cyber] system,’ Mr. Thomas explains of China’s thinking, ‘I’m looking for your vulnerabilities. I’m establishing a strategic advantage that enables me to ‘win victory before the first battle’ —another classic concept, this one from the ’36 Stratagems’ of Chinese lore. ‘I’ve established the playing field. I have prepped the battlefield, to put it in the U.S. lexicon.’”
The whole piece is well worth the read.
…and they sound strikingly similar to those being made today.
That’s the cover story of the latest issue of The New Republic. It’s an interesting piece–particularly the part about the head of the liberal news network’s “awe” while in the presence of Roger Ailes.
From Fox News: “A former mayoral candidate in Tucson, Ariz., is drawing heated criticism from Democrats after he launched a program this week to hand out free shotguns in high-crime neighborhoods.”
I’m not for handing out free stuff, but this makes more sense than giving away cell phones, doesn’t it?
Read the story here.
When Mitchell, a Mobile Democrat, received an e-mail from a constituent urging him not to pass new gun control laws, he wrote back:
“Your folk never used all this sheit (sic) to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed (sic), imported criminal-minded kin folk.”
My father urged me early on in life not to practice medicine without a license. One needn’t be an M.D., though, to recognize that Mitchell needs to have his head examined. He is a stain on the state legislature, and ought to pursue another line of work—rap music, perhaps.
From The Daily Mail: “A controversial Muslim cleric will not face action despite telling his followers to claim benefits and saying David Cameron should be killed.”
If you’re being subsidized by a government, you see, you don’t have to work, so you have all the time in the world to plot the assassinations of “infidels” foolish enough to prop you up. And if the government has the temerity to take away your welfare, you can claim discrimination, and enough lightweights will fight to preserve your handouts.
That’s what Anjem Choudary, the terrorist “cleric” referenced above, is counting on. The Daily Mail story reports that “The Sun newspaper secretly filmed him saying Islam will overrun Europe, David Cameron and Barack Obama should be killed, and the Queen [is] ‘ugly’.
Here in America, Islamists–i.e. enemy combatants–demand full Constitutional rights, and the Useful Idiots in our midst on the Left insist that we grant them said rights in order to prove that we are good people. Their plan here, as in Europe, is for Sharia law to “overrun” America. Our strategy, as good people, must be to resist the naive urge to accommodate those who would destroy our way of life and replace it with their primitive, barbaric practices which, among other things, aren’t good.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has released in annual state-by-state freedom report, and Alabama is ranked the 18th most free state in the union (way up from number 32 in 2001).
Click here for the entire report; click on the state of Alabama for details here at home.
Thanks to the foolish decision of Heritage Elemantary School Principal Lydia Davenport, her students won’t see an Easter egg, even from a distance.
There’s no reason why they shouldn’t enjoy their vacation; nor is there any reason why the rest of who enjoy ours should be demonized.
Carrey in foul-mouthed fashion, insulted gun owners, raising the blood pressure of The Five’s co-host:
The Federation For American Immigration Reform has produced a video reminding us of the eerie parallels between today and the amnesty of 1986:
There’s the politics of gay marriage, and then there’s the Constitutional propriety of the Supreme Court deciding the issue for all of us. Read the Wall Street Journal’s take on the subject.
An op-ed in today’s Washington Examiner begins, “Senators of both parties should be reluctant to confirm nominee Thomas E. Perez as Labor secretary because he has provided inaccurate testimony under oath.”
Read the whole thing here.
…defending his soft drink ban on Meet The Press today.
The Left is fired up about gay marriage. In a piece for The New York Times, Frank Bruni writes, “no matter what the justices say during this coming week’s hearings and no matter how they rule months from now, the final chapter of this story has in fact been written. The question isn’t whether there will be a happy ending. The question is when.”
If Bruni is right, can’t liberals confidently leave the issue up to the states and leave judges out of it?
I promise, this isn’t from The Onion:
You can read about it and listen to his new hit, “No Guns Allowed,” here.
Just the other day, a poll conducted by The Hill concluded that Americans prefer to solve our deficit problem by cutting spending as opposed to raising taxes.
Today, the Senate passed a budget (finally!). As the AP reports, “An exhausted Senate gave pre-dawn approval Saturday to a Democratic $3.7 trillion budget for next year that embraces nearly $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade but shelters domestic programs targeted for cuts by House Republicans.
“While their victory was by a razor-thin 50-49 vote, it allowed Democrats to tout their priorities. Yet it doesn’t resolve the deep differences the two parties have over deficits and the size of government.”
There is no resolving the differences, of course, and there’s nothing the Democrats can do to convince a majority of us that bigger government and higher taxes are the right approach.
As usual, Steyn combines wit with wisdom. He writes, quoting himself a decade ago, ”Iraq, I suggested, would wind up ‘at a bare minimum, the least badly governed state in the Arab world, and, at best, pleasant, civilized and thriving.’ I’ll stand by my worst-case scenario there. Unlike the emerging ‘reforms’ in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria, politics in Iraq has remained flawed but, by the standards of the grimly Islamist Arab Spring, broadly secular.”
Of course, in our absence, Iran’s presence in Iraq blossoms.
We chatted on the show this week about whether or not Rand Paul’s opaque immigration plan amounts to amnesty. My answer was yes, and, while some disagreed with me, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer sees it.
The New York Post reports, “In an interview with NY1, Schumer said, ‘Having Rand Paul come out for something not that far away from our Group of Eight is really helpful.’ After all, added Schumer, ‘he’s the hard right, he’s the Tea Party, and if he can be for it, so can most Republicans.’”
In other words, Paul’s time-released amnesty plan is just what the Left wants, and, Schumer strategizes, Paul has the power to bring other conservatives around on the issue. Paul is on the wrong side of this, and any Republican in Congress who embraces the Senator’s plan needs to go away.
From USA Today: “A possible meteor has been spotted streaking through the sky over the East Coast, The American Meteor Society and Twitter users are reporting.”
If the Left can’t be persuaded to support missile defense technology to stop bad guys from nuking us, might they support it in order to stop a meteor?
And her response is eye-opening. Read the story from The Gadsden Times here.
This was an incredible assertion on Moore’s part (made on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” tonight)–that white people aren’t afraid of their neighbors because they make “fifty or sixty thousand dollars a year.” So the answer to gun violence? Jobs. If only we had government jobs programs comparable to those in Canada, Moore asserts, we’d have less gun violence.
Watch and laugh.
He’s from Arkansas–Bill Halter is his name. And it’s not REALLY free. You have to have a 2.5 GPA after all.
As is stated on Halter’s website, “if you go to high school in Arkansas, qualify for a lottery scholarship, maintain a 2.5 GPA and plan to attend college in the state, we promise to pay your college tuition.”
Oh, and you have to maintain a pulse, as well.
The lead editorial in today’s Investor’s Business Daily catalogs the unintended consequences of food stamps as a way of life. It’s a good read.
Larry Elder’s piece at Townhall quotes Maher as saying, “ln California, I just want to say: Liberals — you could actually lose me.”
He’s complaining about the state’s ridiculous tax burden. He adds, “Rich people…actually do pay the freight in this country…like 70 percent.”
Yet another example of why Boehner should have stood up to the President during the fiscal cliff thing.
From The Chicago Tribune: “With regard to Iran, the administration [scrapped] the last phase of a missile defense system that has elicited vigorous objections from the government of Russia — which regarded the program as a threat to neutralize its nuclear weapons. The Pentagon insisted the U.S. decision was based on technical problems, which may be true. But it may also serve to pave the way to better relations and even arms reductions with Moscow.”
Good luck. This is the concession that Obama promised Russian President Medvedev before the election. He has officially caved, letting our allies in Europe–and us–down.
While faking foreign policy competence yesterday in Jerusalem, Obama had this pearl of wisdom 30 or 40 minutes ago in the West Bank–inspired by Biden, perhaps?
Michael Solon’s piece in today’s Wall Street Journal should be required reading for the Left. The whole thing is worth reading, but his conclusion says it all:
“The country’s fiscal condition thus poses a choice for Democrats. They can harvest a great deal of revenue by making peace with a profitable and growing economy and with those productive individuals who create such an economy. Or they can embrace new taxes on both upper- and middle-income earners that will restrain economic growth. The latter course will make it harder and harder to raise the revenue that Democrats demand to fund the government they love.”
Any further questions?
…and tells the Prime Minister that it’s good to get away from Congress:
Writing at The National Journal, Ron Fournier begins, “I don’t have the words to describe the cowardice of Congress or the depravity of the gun lobby, which conspired to kill the assault-weapons ban. I can’t explain the apparent impotence of President Obama who vowed to ‘use whatever power this office holds’ to convert the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School into commonsense common good.”
Fournier should have put the words “Democrats in” before “Congress” in the above excerpt, but the most significant point is that Obama, unable to exert executive power to force an assault weapons ban, stands to shoulder most of the blame on this one.
From the story: “Respondents in The Hill Poll were asked to choose which of two approaches they would prefer on the budget, but the question’s phrasing included no cues as to which party advocated for which option.
“Presented in that way, 55 percent of likely voters opted for a plan that would slash $5 trillion in government spending, provide for no additional tax revenue and balance the budget within 10 years — in essence, the path recommended by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week.
“This was almost twice as many voters as opted for a proposal that would include $1 trillion in added tax revenue as well as $100 billion in infrastructure spending, and which would reduce the deficit without eradicating it.
Only 28 percent of voters preferred this option, which reflects the proposal put forth by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) last week.”
In other words, Republicans shouldn’t fear standing up to the President.
…and some Palestinians defame a picture of him in honor of his visit.
Here’s Jay Carney this morning explaining how it is that the egg hunt can go forward:
Back in the ’90′s, the Clinton administration gave China a generation’s worth of rocket launching technology (details here).
Now, under this administration, there’s this: “GOP Rep: Obama Admin Allows Hundreds of Chinese Nationals To Access Sensitive NASA Facility.”
Read the details here:
From the AFP: “The US Central Intelligence Agency is collecting information on Islamic radicals in Syria for possible lethal drone strikes against them at a later stage, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“Citing unnamed current and former US officials, the newspaper said President Barack Obama had not authorized any drone missile strikes in Syria yet, and none were under consideration.”
The Hill reports that on Social Security, Nancy Pelosi is in a three-way Catch-22. If she accepts Obama’s desire to change the way benefits are calculated (which means, essentially, that seniors would see their checks shrink), she risks the ire of her kook base, which defiantly insists on sticking with the status quo. If she follows her base, on the other hand, she will wither away, as Americans seem to be aware that our debt is unsustainable.
So her third option? “She’s hoping to cultivate the image of Democrats as the more reasonable negotiators in the debate, the party willing to sacrifice in the name of deficit reduction and bipartisan compromise. Members of her caucus acknowledge it’s not an easy job to juggle the three.”
Translation: endless deficit spending and deficit reduction can’t work at the same time. There’s some comfort in knowing that some of Minority Leader Pelosi’s compatriots “acknowledge” that.
In 2006, Senator Obama co-signed a letter demanding restrictions on the Patriot Act. “As business groups have argued,” the letter read, “the government should be required to certify that the person whose records are sought has some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy.”
Reuters reported this week that “the Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country.”
So Obama’s latest power grab is to grant himself sole power to “certify” who is a terrorist and who isn’t. The ACLU—which has broken from the administration more than once—is sure to be outraged and alienated, as are most of us who don’t think a President has the blanket authority to flip through our checkbooks.
And it will help students, despite what you hear in cheesy AEA ads.
Read the story about it here.
…in response to North Korea.
From Fox News: “The Pentagon is beefing up the nation’s missile defense in the wake of provocative nuclear threats from North Korea and is set to deploy 14 additional ground-based interceptors at missile silos in Alaska and California, congressional and U.S. officials tell Fox News.
“The extra interceptors on the West Coast, designed to counter attacks from an intercontinental ballistic missile, would bring the total number of interceptors to 44, a plan originally proposed by the Bush administration. President Obama stopped the deployment of the additional interceptors when he took office in 2009, leaving the total number at 30.”
The conservative is Ohio Congressman Rob Portman.
Read the story here.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, the latest Census Bureau data suggest that the recession-related decline in migration is being reversed, but demographer Kenneth Johnson of the University of New Hampshire says that bad economic times still seem to be depressing the birth rate.
Last year, he calculated, 1,135 U.S. counties — 36% of all counties — recorded more deaths than births. There haven’t been so many counties with what demographics call “natural decrease” in all of U.S. history, he says. Last year for the first time in U.S history, deaths exceeded births in two entire states. More people died (12,857) than were born (12,754) in Maine, while West Virginia has had more deaths than births for a number of years.
Scott Prouty is his name, and he tells Ed Schultz that he would have felt like a coward had he not released the video.
“You shouldn’t have to be able to afford $50,000 to hear what the candidate actually thinks,” Prouty said.
I wonder if he ever followed the President around, with a camera, just to keep him honest and allow the 47% access to his each and every campaign speech?
2,600 new federal jobs have been proposed since the start of sequestration, reports Investor’s Business Daily in an editorial today.
The President met with corporate bosses to discuss the rising threat of cybersecurity.
A Lack of Swordsmen May Lead Saudis to Abolish Beheadings.
Obama Enthusiastically stands by Great Britain again. (Not!)
From the Fox News story on the landmark budget: “Alabama Sen. Jeff Session, the committee’s ranking Republican, immediately criticized the proposal.
“‘It’s anything but balanced,’ he said. ‘Raising taxes and spending is anything but balanced.’”
If you’re in San Francisco, you might run across a bus that has an ad on it with words from, for example, Osama bin Laden.
From CBS News: “’The purpose of our campaign is to show the reality of Jihad, the root causes of terrorism. Using the exact quotes [sic] and text that they use,’ said Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Institute.”
Predictably, some in San Fran have objected, including the DA, George Gascon.
“’San Francisco won’t tolerate Islamophobic bigotry,’ said Gascon. “The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to look the other way and do nothing.’”
Evil prevailed on 9/11, 2001, and now it seems that the Gascons of the world want to look the other way. The ad campaign may be a little in your face, but that’s the point, isn’t it?
And far from being bigoted, the ads speak to everyone from all religions who love America and don’t want our short memories bringing on another devastating attack.
If you haven’t checked these out yet, give them a look:
The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, friend of tax hikes, remarks on Rand Paul’s filibuster, saying, “Is patting Rand Paul on the back for his fearmongering a plausible path to the presidency for Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz? Is embracing kookiness a winning strategy for the Republican Party? We doubt it.”
At The National Journal, Michael Hirsh writes, “It’s not just that 7.7 percent unemployment is still very high and something of a grim new ‘normal,’ along with still-high long-term unemployment. The problem is also that we’ve ended up with a far less equal economy.’”
Does Mr. Hirsh realize that with lackluster growth comes less “equality” in the economy?
And finally, there’s this headline from FrontPageMag: “Man Campaigning to Ban Assault Rifles Caught Buying Assault Rifle.” The man is Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords.
Yahoo News concludes their story on the event by saying, “That means: No freedom of speech and of the press, no right to bear arms, no Fourth Amendment ban on ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ and no right to a jury trial.”
Which means for American citizens that Rand Paul’s 13-hour effort garnered no guarantee–Constitutional guarantee–against drone strikes on American soil.
From The New York Post: “An undercover TSA inspector with an improvised explosive device stuffed in his pants got past two security screenings at Newark Airport — including a pat-down — and was cleared to get on board a commercial flight, sources told The Post yesterday.”
Is it time to privatize airport security yet?
Rand Paul And Ted Cruz Follow Yesterday’s Filibuster With A Bill Explicitly Outlawing The Use Of Drones To Kill Americans Here At Home
It’s heartwarming that Attorney General Holder has finally deigned to answer Rand Paul’s question as to the Constitutionality of killing Americans on American soil with drones if they pose no imminent threat (his terse but long-awaited answer was that it isn’t). But Ted Cruz isn’t taking the administration’s word for it. He and Paul have crafted a bill outlawing the practice.
“‘Our Constitution restrains government power,’ Cruz said in a statement announcing the legislation. ‘The federal government may not use drones to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil if they do not represent an imminent threat. The Commander-in-Chief does, of course, have the power to protect Americans from imminent attack, and nothing in this legislation interferes with that power.’”
It’s incredible that this President has forced Republicans to codify the obvious.
Today, the Democratic Party lost all moral high ground with regard to civil liberties. Once upon a time–it seems like a generation ago–George W. Bush was a tyrant for signing the Patriot Act into law (never mind that the bill passed the House by a margin of 357-66, and the Senate vote was 98-1).
The Act has helped to prevent numerous post 9/11 terrorist attacks here at home, and efforts by ACLU types to unearth evidence of abuse have yielded nothing of significance.
Rand Paul’s filibuster against CIA nominee John Brennan had nothing to do with the Patriot Act, but rather with whether or not a president can kill an American citizen on American soil. Senator Dick Durbin, who in 2005 compared President Bush to a Nazi for his use of waterboarding, argued that this president could.
Whatever happens with the vote on cloture and ultimately on Brennan’s confirmation, Paul is to be commended for revealing the priorities among some on the Left. Obama’s unconditional success trumps our 4th Amendment rights.
The headline from the AP is, “Smith & Wesson’s quarterly earnings triple.”
As posted by me on Facebook:
TV Guide reports on Sean Penn’s single-digit I.Q. inspired reaction to the death of communist dictator and Iranian ally Hugo Chavez:
“‘Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had,’ Penn said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. ‘And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.’”
My thoughts, too, are with the people of Venezuela, who are no doubt celebrating the death of a monster who terrorized them, and scratching their heads as to how it’s possible that anyone could be as aggressively ignorant as America’s Useful Idiot of the week, Mr. Penn.
Yesterday the Governor was speaking at a school safety summit in Montgomery, and he indicated that he would veto a bill passed by the Legislature last month which would allow teachers and other volunteers in Franklin County, after being trained by local law enforcement, to carry guns in schools.
“’You don’t get somebody just off the street to treat your congestive heart failure when you’re sick,’ Bentley said at the summit. ’So why do you get somebody off the street to protect you with active shooters?’”
The analogy is flawed and condescending. Just as laymen can be trained in CPR to save lives before first responders arrive, teachers can be trained to stop a classroom killer while the police are on their way.
Governor Bentley’s insulting tone continued, “You know the Legislature sometimes gets excited. And sometimes they try to be relevant. And sometimes they will come up with some crazy bills. We don’t need to be crazy about this.”
The Governor sounds like our President. And THAT’s crazy.
I missed this last month, but it’s worth noting.
Harkening back to Ron Silver’s glee during Clinton’s 1992 inaugural, in which he said with a smile as military jets flew over the festivities, “those planes are ours now,” MSNBC’s Krystal Ball defended Obama’s drone program.
From Mediaite.com: “MSNBC’s co-host of The Cycle, Krystal Ball, took on the notion circulating in the media that liberal supporters of President Barack Obama are engaging in hypocrisy when they defend the executive’s authority to execute drone strikes on Americans overseas. Some claim that they would never support this power if the president were a Republican. Ball agreed with this point, conceding that she would not support President George W. Bush having this authority. However, she said that Obama is a ‘fundamentally responsible actor’ while Bush regularly ‘displayed extraordinary lapses in judgment.’”
Ball represents the wing of the Democratic Party for whom Obama can do no wrong. We’ve come to a dangerous crossroads in our thinking when an individual can win an election based on who he is as opposed to what principles he embraces.
The Washington Times reports, “Comedy and television icon Bill Cosby slammed Republicans who failed to stand for President Obama’s State of the Union speech, likening them to racists who opposed desegregation.
“‘I think we have people sitting there,’ he said, referring to the president’s SOTU speech, during a CNN television interview reported by Mediaite, ‘who are as bad as the people who were against any kind of desegregation.’”
Add Cosby’s name to the list of successful African Americans in Hollywood willing to play the race card on behalf of the President.
Weren’t there members of the Congressional Black Caucus, by the way, who kept their seat during each of Bush’s State of the Union speeches? Are they to be excused because, as Kanye West lectured, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people?”
The serious point is that Cosby et al do young African Americans a disservice whenever they insist that somehow America—which just re-elected its first black president—is somehow moving backwards with regard to race. Shame on all of them.
Arthur Brooks, president of The American Enterprise Institute, has a thoughtful column in the Wall Street Journal today well worth the read. His objective is strategic; Republicans, if they want to win anytime soon, need to brand themselves as sympathetic toward the poor.
Doing so, though, doesn’t require an abdication of conservative principles. “The left talks a big game about helping the bottom half,” Brooks writes, “but its policies are gradually ruining the economy, which will have catastrophic results once the safety net is no longer affordable. Labyrinthine regulations, punitive taxation and wage distortions destroy the ability to create private-sector jobs. Opportunities for Americans on the bottom to better their station in life are being erased.”
Bad policy—i.e. progressive policy—hurts the poor. Liberty benefits all of us. Republicans must emphasize, with equal time, both points.
…along with the rest of us. Gina McCarthy, affable enemy of coal-fired power plants, is Obama’s choice to head the EPA. As The Washington Post prophesizes, “The vast majority of President Obama’s second-term agenda on climate change and energy will go through the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Once again, this President plans to regulate where Congress refuses to legislate.
The Vice President, who once called his boss “articulate and bright and clean,” was in Selma today to commemorate Bloody Sunday, arguably the zenith of the Civil Rights Movement, and the springboard for the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the relevance of Section 5 of the act (see below), which requires that nine states with histories of discrimination check with the federal government before making any changes to their election laws. Today, Biden insisted that we “can’t let [our] guard down” when it comes to restricting access to voting. His message, essentially, was that the Court better uphold Section Five.
Jesse Jackson one-upped the Vice President, saying that “If they remove Section 5, streets cannot hold us. We’re not going back. If they remove Section 5, jails cannot contain us. We’re not going back.”
Both men insulted the state of Alabama by insinuating that racism is alive and well here, even in our voting laws, and both men insulted the Constitutional process by attempting to bully the Supreme Court into deciding the case on the basis of politics and not law.
From NPR: “Obama has been eager and willing to appear in so many different forums that it raises the question of whether it’s possible, in the modern media age, for even a president to become overexposed.”
Admittedly, 17 pardons don’t approach Bill Clinton’s numbers, but the timing and the offenses the President chose to overlook are curious.
From The Huffington Post story: “Those receiving pardons came from 13 states and had been sentenced for crimes that included falsely altering a money order, unauthorized acquisition of food stamps, drug violations, and possession of an unregistered firearm.”
Granted, giving a wink and a smile to food stamp abuse makes perfect sense, and the money order thing isn’t particularly surprising. But possession of an unregistered firearm? The only logical explanation here is cronyism, which this administration readily embraces.
Get the details here.
So…does that mitigate things? Is the murderer less culpable because homophobia didn’t motivate him?
Read the story here.
The President remains confident that despite his short-term loss over sequestration, he is poised to control the agenda for the remainder of his term, whether it be on spending, taxes, or guns. Public opinion polls, after all, indicate that he is still popular–much more so than Congressional Republicans.
And so he is commandeering Organizing For Action (which was his campaign king during last year’s election) to run ads bullying moderate Republicans into voting his way on, for starters, gun control. Susan Collins is among the moderate Republicans being targeted.
“The way to tackle this difficult issue is to continue to have a constructive dialogue,” Collins told The Hill. “Obviously ads run against me are not what I would call constructive dialogue.”
As the story points out, “The response of some of the targeted lawmakers indicates they’re not feeling any pressure — but if pushed too hard could back away from potential deals.”
The President’s ability to advance his brand of statism is in serious jeopardy. During his tenure in The White House, he has admonished his own party, Congress in general, the Supreme Court, the nation’s governors, and now Left-leaning Republicans, whose support he needs—all for not seeing things his way. His megalomania is irritating, but it’s a blessing of sorts, to the extent that it has made it virtually impossible to accomplish any of his outrageous ambitions.
It’s not my idea, nor would have I wasted resources on the study, but since a couple of folks e-mailed me after I talked about it on yesterday’s show, here’s the story, from the Times.
John Fund writes at National Review,
“Liberals had previously had a chance to remedy Section 5’s problems when it had to be renewed by Congress in 2006. As Rick Pildes, an election-law expert at New York University’s School of Law, noted on Election Law Blog: ‘The House did not even consider evidence comparing race and voting issues in the covered and non-covered jurisdictions; it did not seem to consider these comparisons necessary or relevant. The Senate Judiciary Committee was certainly told in 2006 that the failure to update the Act would put it in constitutional jeopardy . . . [but] it was politically easier for Congress to simply reaffirm the status quo, rather than confront the difficult policy and political questions posed by making judgments about where problems of race and voting rights were most acute today (are Ohio and Pennsylvania similar today to Virginia and North Carolina?).’”
Pete Du Pont sums it up in his Wall Street Journal column today:
“The primary reason today’s liberal Democratic coalition will fade is because the very policies it pushes sow the seeds of its own destruction. The coalition can survive over time only by allocating slices of our nation’s economic pie in a way that favors and placates its constituent members. But people, being human, will continually want larger slices of our economic resources, so continued success in placating those members, while at the same time adding the necessary new members, requires a continuing and ever-growing economy. A flat or shrinking economy will never generate the resources needed to feed the coalition.”
Chuck Hagel has been confirmed as the new defense secretary, with the help of four Republicans, one of whom was Senator Rand Paul. Paul voted to continue filibustering him and then, when the actual up or down vote was allowed to happen, he voted to confirm him. The Senator’s votes are confusing, but at the end of the day, anti-war folks should be thrilled with Paul.
Instead, there’s this, from Daniel Larison, writing in The American Conservative, an isolationist rag, two days ago:
“This morning, Sen. Paul voted against cloture for the second time. This afternoon, he turned around and voted for the Hagel nomination. Obviously, that’s the outcome that I and a lot of other antiwar conservatives and libertarians were hoping for, but it makes the previous votes even harder to understand…There was no good reason to join the filibuster earlier this month, and we weren’t wrong to say so. Sen. Paul was in a position almost two weeks ago to bring debate on the nomination to an end. He didn’t do that.”
Larison got the outcome he wanted, and he’s still whining.
And Obama, thanks to whiners like Larison, won a second term.
Assuming The Republicans don’t lose heart, they stand to win their first major battle of Obama’s second term. The New York Times reports:
“President Obama’s team concedes that the almost certain arrival of across-the-board budget cuts on Friday will not immediately produce the politically dramatic layoffs and airport delays that the administration has been warning about for days.
“But White House strategists say they believe that a constant drip of bad news will emerge in Congressional districts across the country in the weeks ahead, generating negative headlines and, they hope, putting Republicans on the defensive for their refusal to raise taxes.”
Message to any Republican who might be getting nervous: The New York Times is onto the White House. Hang in there.
Civility? Transparency? Not from this administration.
The headline of the story from MedicalXPress is “Study shows human brain able to discriminate syllables three months prior to birth.”
RedState reports that a state legislator in Missouri wants to make it a felony for his colleagues to propose a bill calling for Missouri to become a right-to-work state.
Jeff Roorda, himself a union guy, probably knows that his bill isn’t going anywhere. But really. Making federalism a felony?
In case you missed it, read this piece from Citizens Against Government Waste on flagrant pork barrel spending to the tune of $20.3 billion at the Department of Homeland Security—superfluous spending on things like a BearCat armored vehicle for the peaceful town of Keene, New Hampshire that, officials say, could be used during the town’s annual pumpkin festival.
After you’ve read about how much DHS continues to waste money (the infractions started under the Bush administration, but they’re alive and well today), watch Janet Napolitano’s effort yesterday to terrify us about sequestration’s effect on everything from immigration to air travel to our military readiness.
This is a political battle the administration is bound to lose.
The President kicked the press out at one point during his meeting with our nation’s governors yesterday, hoping, presumably, to persuade them in private to see things his way. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley didn’t.
“‘I could not be more frustrated than I am right now,’ Haley told reporters after the meeting. She said that when she asked Obama if he would consider a last-minute plan to shave about 2 percent from the annual federal budget without increasing taxes, the answer was ‘no.’”
“‘My kids could go and find $83 billion out of a $4 trillion budget,’ Haley said. ’This is not rocket science.’”
The decline of Obama’s political capital continues.
Senator Tom Harkin thinks that Obama’s proposal to raise it to $9.00 an hour is too stingy, and won’t help lift the poor into the middle class. So he and his colleague, California Representative have introduced a bill that would really help poor people–an increase to $10.10 instead.
Now that’s compassion.
By now it’s common knowledge that the President has…shall we say, exaggerated about the deleterious effects of sequestration. Planes will, indeed continue to fly; senior citizens aren’t going to starve to death; the flu vaccine isn’t going to disappear.
In fact, the administration’s scare tactics have reached a new low, evinced by this story from Reason Magazine which headlines, “White House Report Claims Sequestration Will Affect Federal Department That No Longer Exists.”
Obama’s Office of Management, in compliance with the Sequestration Transparency Act, passed last year, sent Congress a detailed list of the “cuts” that will occur unless an alternative plan is agreed to (read: more tax increases). Among the cuts scheduled to happen Friday according to the OMB is $2 million from the National Drug Intelligence Center, which Obama’s Department of Justice closed last June, three months before the administration sent Congress its list of cuts and costs.
It seems that the well-intentioned effort at transparency legislated last year is being used by the administration to scare us. If the NDIC line item in the President’s report to Congress was an honest mistake, the question is, how many more non-existent agencies are scheduled, according to the White House, to have their non-existent budgets cut?
Whether incompetence or fear-mongering is to blame here, the point is that the sky isn’t falling, and this story provides the Republicans with a splendid opportunity to stand up to the President without worrying about any political ramifications.
Reuters reports that the Secretary of State has begun a nine nation tour, part of which will includes a stop in Rome, where he plans to meet with Syrian opposition members to discuss ways to end Syria’s civil war. “Those talks,” writes Reuters, “appeared to be in some doubt as a result of dissension within the opposition about the utility of such international meetings given the continuing violence.”
How can that be? John Kerry is a foreign policy guru, isn’t he? He’s the man with the plan, right?
The story continues, “U.S. officials travelling with Kerry declined to say what new thoughts he may have on ending the violence.” There’s the problem of Russia, you see, which maintains that “insisting on Assad’s departure as a condition for peace negotiations between the government and the opposition would prevent such talks from ever taking place.”
Russia will also be a part of tomorrow’s meeting designed to “persuade” Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.
In other words, the new Secretary of State is wasting no time in making himself a laughing stock.
And ready to continue providing brilliant insight into what’s happening in the world.
The first thing that caught my eye today was this piece in the New Republic by Robert Draper about the rise of Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget committee. The Dems have their eyes on taking the House back, and Van Hollen, who is the head of the DCCC, is a brilliant fellow ready to replace Nancy Pelosi and other fossils in the leadership of his party.
His gift is his ability, as Draper writes, to “espouse progressive principles in moderate tonalities.” Former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell had that same gift; he was a far left-winger who came across as a reasonable moderate.
Once upon a time, Republicans had Ronald Reagan, who unabashedly “espoused” conservatism. Politically, it worked. The party has plenty of conservative people on the rise today; the question is, will they have the courage to stick to their guns when chastised by their opponents?
Bill stars in Obama’s latest, and he manages, inside of 30 seconds, to re-write history as only he could.
Here are some of today’s most interesting stories and opinion pieces:
Romney leads Obama in Florida
The Democrats’ transparency hypocrisy
John Stossel on Paul Ryan
Stimulus money spent on green advertising
In case you missed it (I did), it’s the movie Obama doesn’t want us to see.
A book out today claims that Obama passed up the opportunity to get bin Laden 3 times because of the bad advice of Valerie Jarett, who has no national security advice. Allegedly, Hillary talked him into it! Read more about it here.
In typical scatterbrain form, I was a week early on my post-op. On the positive side, I got up early and got yet more practice in going from the wheelchair to the car. And I’ve also done all of my upper body exercises (hey, it just occurred to me–does using a giant rubber band for resistance for a few minutes satisfy my four-year-old New Year’s resolution to go back to the gym? Probably not).
So, it’s onto the news of the day. The first thing that jumps out at me is that unemployment has crept up to 8.3% (from 8.2%). During his remarks today, the President’s focus was on extending the Bush tax cuts, in an effort to obscure the increase in unemployment.
Romney needs to capitalize on Obama’s vulnerability with regard to taxes. When Obama argues for a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts, he is arguing for a tax hike down the road (via an expiration of the cuts).
This is where Romney can bury Obama–by forcing him to answer the question, “when is it a good time to raise taxes?”
Let’s make it into a multiple choice thing:
1) A good time for the government to raise taxes is
A) When the economy is slowing to recession levels
B) When the economy is picking up the pace after several quarters of slow growth
C) When the economy is growing steadily in the 2% range
D) When the economy is growing steadily in the 4% range
Well, let’s see. Everyone from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama has acknowledged that raising taxes slows the economy. So that fact alone (and it is a fact; the correlation between rising taxes and slower growth is undeniable…) as I was saying, that fact alone eliminates answers A, B, and C. The only good time to raise taxes is when the economy is growing robustly; a booming economy can best withstand the strain of a tax hike without plummeting into a recession. Perhaps the question should have read “When is the safest time to raise taxes?”
Once we’ve all agreed that taxes are the kryptonite of economic growth, the next logical question is:
2) The actual purpose of raising taxes is
A) To lower the deficit
B) To lower unemployment
C) To help small businesses
D) To make sure the rich are paying their fair share
Again, the actual EFFECT of higher taxes–slamming the brakes on growth–eliminates the first three answers, and leaves us with the only non-economic answer offered. Making sure “the rich are paying their fair share” is an emotional answer–and a subjective one.
I remember when the Bush tax cuts of 2003 passed. Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader of the Senate, held a press conference in front of a Lexus proclaiming that Bush’s tax cut was tantamount to giving everyone who made a million dollars a year a brand new Lexus.
It was true that the Bush tax cuts allowed the guy making a million to keep, in round numbers, $35,000 out of the $360,000 that he was paying the federal government. Now he only had to pay Uncle Sam (in federal income tax alone) $325,000.
I said at the time of the Daschle press conference that what the Republicans should do is hold their own press conference, standing in front of ten Lexuses, with the message being. “The Clinton tax increase took ten Lexuses away from millionaires. President Bush wants to give just one back. Senator Daschle is unhappy about it. Just whose money is it, Senator Daschle?”
When the President and his party talk about how much money “rich” people pocket thanks to this or that tax cut, they never mention how much those “rich” people are paying to begin. If Romney can shift the debate in that direction, there no way Obama can win.
It wasn’t exactly front page news—it’s the lead story in the Money and Policy section—but nevertheless, the Times ran it. The headline is “Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law.”
Here’s how the story starts: “RIVERSIDE, Calif. — In the Inland Empire, an economically depressed region in Southern California, President Obama’s health care law is expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 300,000 people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area’s needs. There are not enough now.”
There you have it—yet another example of tomorrow’s news today on the show. I’ve been stressing for months that there is a difference between health CARE and health COVERAGE. As my good friend Jim pointed out a week or so ago (and he was only halfway kidding), if the nation had been fully laboring under ObamaCare, I’d still be waiting on a doctor. But by golly, I’d be covered!
Cognitive dissonance plagues me as I urge you to read the whole New York Times story—and, for once, take it seriously.
I tranferred back to Vanderbilt’s Stallworth Rehab Hospital yesterday afternoon, where I will be continuing my push to strengthen my upper body and regain my range of motion in my legs. Eventually, despite what some at first believed, I’ll be walking again normally.
Follow me on Facebook (keywords “the will anderson show”) for the latest updates, including pictures of me rehabbing and pictures of the car I was driving when I had the accident. And “like” the show page while you’re there!
Happy Saturday to all.
The Constitution allows each state to make its own election laws, and the Ohio legislature recently decided to eliminate the three days of early voting that existed there in ‘08, accounting for about 30% of all ballots cast that year (Obama carried Ohio in ’08). The Obama campaign has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to override Ohio’s law.
From The Miami Herald: “’This lawsuit seeks to treat all Ohio citizens equally under the law,’ Bob Bauer, the attorney for Obama for America, the president’s campaign committee, said during a conference call with reporters. ‘We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day.’”
The DNC and the Ohio Democratic Party are joining in the lawsuit, which stretches and contorts the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, in this case, quite transparently, to protect voter fraud in a must-win swing state.
By now we’ve all seen or read Obama’s infamous insistence that government–not individuals–makes the economy go ’round: ”If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Since he made that statement on Friday, the obvious point has been tirelessly repeated that in order for government to do anything, it needs individuals to prosper so that they can pay the taxes needed for government to build bridges and provide a “social safety net,” for example.
In other words, individuals ultimately make infrastructure “happen.”
John Podhoretz’s piece in Commentary magazine today addresses the political rock and a hard place between which Obama finds himself by running some numbers regarding individuals and businesses:
“In 2007, the last year for which we have data, according to the Census Bureau, there were 21.7 million businesses in the United States with no employees—meaning they were sole proprietorships, or free-lance businesses employing only their owner. Of the six million remaining businesses in the U.S., more than 3 million had 1 to 4 employees, and 1 million had 5 to 9. So, all in all, small businesses run by one person employing fewer than ten numbered an astonishing 25 million.”
So what? How does this threaten Obama? Podhoretz reminds us that Ross Perot scored roughly 20 percent of the vote in ’92 largely by attracting small business owners–i.e. individuals.
There is no third party candidate (no, not even Ron Paul) capable of pulling those kinds of numbers this year, leaving independents the choice between an accomplished businessman and the incumbent, who, writes Podhoretz, “revealed a degree not only of condescension but of contempt” for them on Friday.
I’ve just been told that I’ll be going back to the main hospital at 4:45 in the morning for my third surgery, this time to continue repairing the multiple fractures in my left shin (there were simply too many breaks and too much soft tissue damage to do it all at once). As far as I know, the external fixator on my left leg will be taken off (if you have a moment, this video explains in excellent detail what the fixator is, why it is used, and, roughly, how mine will be removed).
Following the surgery, I’ll spend a couple of nights in the hospital, and then return to Stallworth for a few more days of therapy. And then, if all goes according to plan, the show shall go on! We haven’t set a date yet, but it’s a matter of mere weeks. I look forward to chatting again!
First things first, though. I can’t eat or drink after midnight tonight. So I’ll be snoozing in a bit—but not before throwing in my two cents worth on a couple of stories that caught my eye between physical and occupational therapy sessions today. I think it’s safe to say, among other things, that this is evolving into one of the most animated, entertaining, and important presidential races in recent memory. I’ll elaborate here shortly…
As the press perpetuates its witch hunt over Romney’s tax returns, Obama has decided to undo, by executive fiat, one of the most important accomplishment of the Clinton years—Temporary assistance to Needy Families.
TANF, or welfare reform, required those receiving welfare who were capable of working to work. As the editors at National Review note, “In the years after reform took effect, 3.6 million people — and 2.9 million children — escaped poverty; childhood hunger was halved; employment among single mothers skyrocketed; and the rise in out-of-wedlock childbearing slowed. All of this happened even as the welfare caseload was cut in half.”
Surely Obama is aware of these FACTS, and surely he can surmise that a return to a New Deal approach to welfare will result in an increase in dependence.
Which is to say, there’s little doubt that Obama is anxious to make sure that our increasing desire to demand smaller government reverses itself.
Treasury employees cited for violations including soliciting prostitutes from work, taking corporate gifts
Perhaps the administration’s hope was that the bogus charges of felonious behavior by Romney while at Bain capital would capture the headlines, eclipsing this, from The New York Daily News.
I read the post below to one of the wonderful folks taking care of me here at Stallworth, and he objected (with a smile, of course) that I was taking things too far by suggesting that Democrats are concerned about Texas stripping minorities of the Constitutional right to vote. I referred him to this column in today’s Los Angeles Times, in which Bruce Ackerman and Jennifer Nou posit that there are “special provisions of the Voting Rights Act that prevent states with a history of discrimination from disadvantaging minority groups.”
The 1965 Act, they go on to argue, is insufficient in stopping such discrimination. “The poll tax amendment, in contrast, was focused on the very problem that now threatens again to undermine our democracy: imposing costs on the poor that prevent them from voting.”
My caretaker was confused: Was I in favor of preventing minorities from voting? Of course not, I assured him; requiring a picture ID is not tantamount to imposing a tax, and besides, I continued, states that have passed voter ID laws in the last several years have actually seen an increase in minority turnout. He was politely skeptical as he took my blood pressure.
Then I unearthed a column written back in March by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s always brilliant Jack Kelly. “In Georgia,” I read to my caretaker from the piece, “black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.”
It was probably my imagination that the BP cuff felt tighter than normal around my arm.
–Mitt Romney is still a felon.
–High unemployment is still President Bush’s fault.
–The state of Texas, by requiring picture ID on Election Day, is attempting to reverse the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
–Romney, not Obama, created jobs overseas.
–The answer to what ails us is still higher taxes on rich people because they can afford it, and by the way, Romney is rich.
It’s been a wonderful day at Vanderbilt’s Stallworth rehab hospital. I learned how to move myself from the bed to a wheelchair, thanks to the capable occupational therapy team; I’ve done a lot of core work and leg exercises with help from the folks in physical therapy; and I’ve been chosen to host an in-hospital edition of The Price Is Right (organized by the recreational therapy department). No politics there—for now I’m confined to Facebook and the website for commentary.
Crowd reaction to Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP in Houston a little while ago was mixed. He began cordially, discussing how Obama’s tax and other economic policies have disproportionately hurt the black community. He was received with polite but somnolent applause. He went on to tout the virtues of charter schools; again the audience clapped unenthusiastically. Next, he vowed to repeal ObamaCare, invoking more than a few boos.
Then Romney appealed to the emotional side of the crowd. ”I can’t promise that I will agree with you on every issue, but I do promise today that your hospitality to me will be returned.” The applause was genuine and uproarious.
And then Romney invoked his father’s extensive work on civil rights in Michigan. The energy level continued to build. By the end of the speech, he had won over his audience.
Romney won’t beat Obama with the black vote. But if he continues to build trust with the African American community as effectively as he did with his audience today, he will be better positioned to have their ear when he extols the virtues of a free market. His message (in rough draft form here) can be: despite our disputes, capitalism (my way) serves you better than socialism (the President’s way).
Former New Hampshire Governor and top campaign advisor John Sununu had Ms. Mitchell tongue-tied Tuesday night when the subject of outsourcing came up on her program.
The two salient points to be made about the subject of outsourcing is that it is a net plus for the economy, and that, regardless of the merits of outsourcing, it is Obama, mostly through taxpayer handouts to wind and solar companies, who has engaged in the practice. Sununu made the latter point compellingly and unapologetically last night.
Take a watch:
The best part comes around the 3-minute mark when Sununu, with a hearty chuckle, says, “you’re struggling, Andrea.”
Good stuff. But it’s Romney–not his surrogates–who must go on offense if Obama is to be defeated.
The President just said that 97% of small business owners will see their taxes stay “low.” That’s a new number. There’s the “98%-of-all-Americans” number always bandied about, which includes small business owners, and now there’s just small business owners, 3% of which will see a tax hike between now and November if the President gets his way.
It’s a good thing my blood pressure got checked before the President spoke.
President Obama will announce at any moment his plan to extend the Bush tax cuts. If the object is to compensate for Friday’s paltry jobs report, what (in the event that jobs numbers turn around–i.e. go up) is the case, down the road, for raising taxes?
Thanks to the compassionate and capable folks at Vanderbilt, I’m healing fast enough so that occupational and physical therapy are already being discussed. I thank everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers, and multiple acts of kindness.
Tomorrow I’m going to post some pictures and perhaps a video that follow my road to recovery. Stay tuned!
…there’s this weekend New New York Post editorial about DCCC Chair Steve Israel’s plans not to attend the convention this year, and his charge to his troops to do the same. Many are following his advice:
“That includes Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of Obama’s most visible supporters during the 2008 campaign and the first two years of his presidency. Others sending ‘regrets’: West Virginia Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, plus four-term Georgia Rep. John Barrow.
“What’s it all mean? Maybe that the rats are starting to desert a sinking ship.”
At the moment, Iowa, which went for Obama by 9.54 points four years ago, is a toss up. This year, as Jennifer Jacobs catalogs in today’s Des Moines Register, those most enthusiastic about the incumbent in ’08 are having second thoughts:
“’You may be able to pull wool over the eyes of some voters, but with Iowans, they know how to judge candidates. This is what they do,” said [Romney advisor Beth] Myers, who was Romney’s 2008 campaign manager and now leads his search for a running mate.
“If they’re giving Obama a skeptical look, ‘they may be the canary in the coal mine — they may be looking at the race closer now than the rest of the country,’ she said.
“‘When the other voters tune in after Labor Day, they may have the same feelings that the Iowans do.
If NOT buying health insurance is Constitutionally taxable, how about, asks Frank J. Fleming, a tax for NOT having a job?
My good friend and friend of the show Ginger Cochran is visiting, and she just alerted me to this–another news story I’ve missed:
I was telling my wonderful nurse today, Sara, about it, and she alerted me to something similar happening here–only arguably worse: the Rutherford County, Tennessee, schools want to give Muslim students a time and place to pray. Sara, whose children attend school in Rutherford county, is understandably incensed.
The rest of us need to be. (Read about the ordeal in Tennessee here.)
The Wall Street Journal editorial page usually breaks down complex issues and makes them imminently clear. In Monday’s paper, the subject was whether, irrespective of what the Supreme Court says, the mandate is a tax. They write, “Taxes are ‘exactions’ whose main goal is raising revenue, while penalties punish individuals for breaking the law. The boundaries can blur—legitimate taxes may also have strong punitive aims—but scarcely so in this case. ObamaCare’s mandate was designed to regulate individual conduct to help achieve universal coverage. If it succeeds perfectly, it should collect $0.”
Read the whole thing.
The stats are: I broke a total of seventeen bones in my lower body. My right foot was virtually severed; the bone in my right ankle came out, flipped around, and went back in. The two bones in my left shin were particularly hard hit; there was talk at first of amputation.
We aren’t out of the woods yet of course, but so far, so good, thanks, again, to the brilliance and diligence of the Vanderbilt trauma center. I have two surgeries under my belt with two remaining: one next Wednesday to fix the big bones in my left leg, and one the following Wednesday to fix the big bones in my right leg. Eventually, when I can actually walk again, it’s onto rehab.
It’s fascinating to see how a trauma center works, and even more fascinating to be the beneficiary of medical technology. As I write, I am hooked up to a machine that constantly monitors all of my vital signs. A blood pressure monitor is wrapped around my arm, and it automatically takes mine periodically. My oxygen intake and heart rate are monitored by a device hooked to my finger. Every now and then, a nurse comes into my room and checks those or other vitals depending on what the machine has relayed to them. A hypochondriac like me can relax in such an environment.
Such progress in medicine can’t be attributed to “government” health care; someone interested in making a profit brainstormed the technologies that are being used, in this case, to save my life. And a staff filled with people interested primarily in helping people utilize the technologies along with their ingenuity to make decisions about what the next move is for me.
If ObamaCare were fully implemented, and it lingered, and I were to have such a life-threatening accident again, the odds would be against me. The key to understanding the shortcomings of socialized medicine is in recognizing the distinction between health care and health coverage. Obama’s plan ostensibly guarantees coverage for all, and along the way, it virtually promises to drives those capable of providing the best care out of the industry. Combine that with Obama’s general hostility toward profit, which discourages the invention of new technologies, making good care more difficult, and you have the universal administration of sub-standard care.
A team of doctors just came in to check me out, so I must run. More later.
I hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of July.
As everyone realizes per the post below, on Mondzy afternoon, on the way home from the bank, I did what my father told me never to do: I took my eye off the road for a fleeting moment, and in so doing, I managed to wrap my car around a tree. I guess you can officially call me a tree hugger now.
The good news is, totaled car aside, I’m going to be fine. The bad news is, we won’t be chit-chatting for awhile.
I’ll fill you in on the details in the coming weeks.
Let me begin by saying that, when it comes to trauma care, Vanderbilt Hospital is the best there is, bar none. I’m able to post this for instance, because of the kind and gentle heart of my nurse Jennifer, who graciously offered her IPad during her shift. Thank you Jennifer!
Thank you all for your thought, prayers, and kind words. For progress reports, as well as continued commentary, stay tuned on FaceBook.
Tease: when I figure out how to do so on an IPad(sometime today) I’ll share three brilliant commentaries that I ran across on healthcare.
Dear Will Anderson show listeners,
On Monday afternoon, July 2, Will was involved in an auto accident. At this time, his program on WBHP is on temporary hiatus until such time as he is able to return. Please keep Will and his family in your thoughts and prayers, and check back for more information here and on Facebook.
Well worth reading. Economist Michael Boskin throws much needed cold wather in the President’s Face:
“In 2009, 2010 and 2011, the administration forecast average economic growth of 4% in the next two years. But the economy has not had even one quarter of 4% growth during Mr. Obama’s stewardship. Rather, our economy has experienced its longest string of consecutive quarters of economic growth below 4% since World War II. Growth has averaged 1.4% in Mr. Obama’s first 13 quarters as president.”
Read the whole thing.
Jack Lew, making the talk show rounds, falsely asserted what we’ve been hearing for a week or so–that Fast and Furious began under Bush (in fact, the program began in 2009). And during his misleading answers, he managed to slip in the preposterous claim that the Obama administration had been “the most transparent” ever. Here’s a short clip:
On Meet The Press today, David Gregory asked Nancy Pelosi if, given the shellacking that the Democrats took in 2010, they were were going to run full-throttle on health care this year. Here’s a partial transcript of her answer:
“Let me say this: I don’t buy the argument you make that we lost the election because of health care. We lost the election because of 9 and a half percent unemployment. It would have been 15 percent had Congress and President Obama, under his leadership, passed the Recovery Act, auto rescue and other initiatives. But if you don’t have a job, you don’t want to hear it could be worse.”
How incredibly compassionate she sounds!
The new Egyptian President, radical Islamist Mohammed Morsi, was sworn in today, and he has made the release by us of the Blind Sheikh, who is serving a life sentence for setting up a terrorist cell in New York in the 1980′s (the cell was responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing). Also on his resume is his signature on Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war in 1998.
Andrew McCarthy, lead prosecutor in the Sheikh trial in ’95, has a good summary of his history of terrorism, as well as the administration’s general sympathy–through provisions of visa’s into the U.S., for instance–of radicals of Morsi’s and the Sheikh’s ilk.
Holman W. Jenkins reacts to the ObamaCare ruling in The Wall Street Journal today that epitomizes pragmatism.
“GOPers, including Mitt Romney,” he writes, “immediately adopted ‘repeal’ as their mantra. But repealing ObamaCare would just leave us with the health-care system we have, which is already ObamaCare in many respects—an unsustainable set of subsidies bankrupting the nation.
“The solution is a tweak. Republicans already are lip-committed to a national health-insurance charter that allows insurers to design their own policies and market them across state lines. Republicans are also lip-committed to a tax reform to equalize the tax treatment of health care whether purchased by individuals or by employers on behalf of individuals.
“Now just modify the Affordable Care Act so buying any health policy authorized by the new charter, no matter how minimalist, satisfies the employer and individual mandate.
“What would follow is a boom in low-cost, high-deductible plans that leave individuals in charge of managing most of their ordinary health-care costs out of pocket. Because it would be cheap, millions who would opt not to buy coverage will buy coverage. Because it will be cheap, companies will direct their low-wage and entry-level employees to this coverage.
“Now these workers will be covered for serious illness or injury, getting the rest of us off the hook.”
The case can be made that Congress can both repeal ObamaCare AND implement Jenkins’ plan. But Jenkins’ plan, as he notes, would bring the health bill back in line with the fiscal reality we face as a result of runaway entitlement spending.
It must be emphasized that 17 Democrats in the House voted to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt. That makes the contempt vote more bi-partisan than the health care vote.
Here’s where the libertarian in me blossoms. This is outrageous! From ABC News: “A Houston woman’s attempt to save drivers from a speeding ticket landed her something worse: 12 hours in jail.
“As she rode her bicycle home from a grocery store last week near downtown Houston, Natalie Plummer noticed police officers pulling over speeders. After she parked her bike and turned one of her grocery bags into a makeshift sign warning drivers about the ‘speed trap’ ahead, an officer drove up and arrested her.”
Allegedly, her infraction was standing in the street as opposed to being on the sidewalk.
The site to visit is http://speedtrap.org/
And I quote: “To say that the individual mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to re-write it. Judicial tax writing is particularly troubling.”
Bets, anyone (I’m not a gambler, but I’m tempted)? he, not Romney or Obama, was first out of the gate to speak–and he was eloquent. We’ll play it and chat about it tonight.
I’m already tired of hearing that today is a “sad” day. It isn’t! It is an opportunity for Republicans in Congress to shine.
Mitch McConnell said, ““Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. … Today’s decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare’s mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want.”
The health care bill is Constitutional, says Chief Justice John Roberts, who turned out to be the swing vote. The individual mandate was upheld, not under the Commerce Clause, but under Congress’ power to tax.
Rewind to the September 20th 2009 edition of “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, in which the host said to President Obama, “[the mandate] is a tax increase.”
Obama replied, “No. That’s not true, George. For us to say that you’ve got to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.”
The administration argued otherwise before the Court, and won. It’s now time for Congress to get to work.
By the way, this new “tax” will be taken out of your tax refund.
Is Eric Holder being crucified because he wants to make sure African-Americans can vote this year, or is he culpable with regard to the il-conceived program (Fast and Furious) that resulted in the death of a border patrol agent?
The question is rhetorical of course, but Al Sharpton answered it rather forcefully last week at The Huffington Post: “As I marched this past Sunday with tens of thousands in New York in opposition to the abhorrent practice of stop & frisk,’ I couldn’t help but think of our attorney general. Tattered down and publicly humiliated, AG Holder has been mishandled just like the young Black and Latino men (and women) who are demonized on our streets everyday.”
I’m sure Eric Holder, who is as corrupt as they come, feels for the truly innocent young black and Latino men who are inadvertently questioned on a random street because of their race (an obvious bit of sarcasm).
More minority role models who are accomplished and law-abiding need to be trumpeted, so fewer Eric Holders of the world have the chance to teach that skin color can justify immorality.
The term, first used by the former Alaska Governor on Facebook in 2009, is rarely put in context. Here’s what Palin wrote back then : “And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.’”
CNN reports that yesterday (Monday) she was back on Facebook. ”Obamacare,” she wrote, “did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life and death decisions about health care funding.”
She will be, as I predicted, a forceful, consistent voice that will bolster conservatism as the center of the Republican Party.
…and Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in the Arizona case. Here’s an excerpt:
“There has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona…predicted: A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected…So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?”
When the opinion was first released, both sides were claiming victory. Maybe it was Scalia’s dissent that served as cold water in the face. But he’s right.”
I get self-identified conservative callers on the show every now and then who warn against Romney’s presidential demise because he’s a Mormon (the bigots), and others who criticize him because he’s a flip-flopper (I’m with them to a point, though not at the same level of ferocity–I plan on voting for him).
And then there are those who, I’m certain, have called the show posing as conservatives, simply trying to dissuade me from voting for Romney by claiming that certain things make him unelectable. The claims don’t have to be significant or related–just cumulative, in the long run, these folks think.
And THEN there is ridiculousness like this piece, published yesterday by Salon’s Editor-At-Large Joan Walsh, which makes me think the new slogan on the Left might end up being “anyone but Romney.”
Here are a few un-related anti-Romney excerpts from Ms. Walsh’s piece:
Walsh: “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush rebuked Romney on both taxes and immigration, telling reporters that neither Ronald Reagan nor his father could be nominated by today’s Republican Party because of their record of bipartisan compromise and raising taxes.”
Without fact-checking, Ms. Walsh, who cares what the former Governor of Florida thinks? And furthermore, if I’m not mistaken, I believe Jeb’s father did, indeed, raise taxes more than Reagan.
Walsh: “Right after he survived a recall election, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rebuked Romney for saying the recall showed Americans don’t want more teachers, cops or firefighters.”
I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word “rebuked” is.
But seriously, are you serious? Romney’s words, coming in the wake of Obama’s call to snub the private sector in favor of state and local governments, were, “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
He’s right. And he certainly wasn’t dissing fireman, teachers, and policeman. Walsh knows it.
Walsh (and this is my favorite): “Just this week Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell unintentionally revealed party leaders’ doubts again and sounded tepid about Romney’s election chances. McConnell told reporters he was waiting to hear Romney’s stance on repealing Obama’s immigration move, because “‘he’s the leader of our party from now until November.’ McConnell quickly added ‘and, we hope, beyond.’ But it was a strange way to put it in the first place.”
So we should eschew Romney because McConnell has doubts about his election chances?
Walsh’s goal is to divide the Republican Party, a chimerical undertaking, given that she thinks that pitting McConnell against Romney hurts Romney.
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana gave the Republican radio address today, talking tough against ObamaCare.
From The Hill: “‘Not only is President Obama’s health care law not working – it makes things worse by driving up health care costs, making it harder for small businesses to hire workers,’ Cassidy said. ‘The only way to change this is by repealing ObamaCare entirely.
“‘So, unless the Court throws out the entire law, we should repeal what is left and implement common-sense, step-by-step reforms that protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at the lowest cost.’”
This week, the Court will either uphold the law, throw it out, or throw out the mandate (which would essentially be the same as throwing it out).
Cassidy’s message is a nice rough draft for a plank that should read, “Regardless of what the Supreme Court says about the health care law, it is bad for businesses, which means that it’s bad for those seeking work. The answer is to repeal the entire bill–even any part that the Court might find Constitutional–with the help of a newly-elected Republican President and majority in the Senate.”
What a perfect example of non-overreach! The Cassidy hypothetical above doesn’t threaten the powers of the presidency or the Supreme Court. It simply says that the health care law is an economic disaster–one that can be overturned through the proper Constitutional channels.
Such a statement would also send the subliminal message that not everything found Constitutional by the Court is good policy–on a variety of fronts.
From CNBC: “Moody’s could downgrade the debt ratings of as many as 15 global investment banks after the closing bell today, a move that would cost the banks billions of dollars in extra collateral.”
Christopher Shea’s WSJ blog today begins, “Setting aside the contentious question of whether video games encourage people to be more violent, researchers recently explored two related questions. Do they improve people’s aim, when they later fire real guns (or, at least, non-lethal models used in police training)? And do they cause people to aim for the head more often?
“The answers were yes and yes: ‘Participants who played a violent shooting game using a pistol-shaped controller [landed] 99% more headshots and 33% more other shots than did other participants.’”
Leaving aside the tendentious tone of the author (the study didn’t address whether video games made children more violent; the WSJ blogger guy simply seems to take that as a given), is it not obvious that video games are bound to improve hand eye coordination? Predator Drones, as a matter of fact, are piloted from here in the States in what essentially simulates a video game.
I remember when Reagan gave a speech in ’83 about the virtue of video games in training our kids. At one point he said, “I recently learned something quite interesting about video games. Many young people have developed incredible hand, eye, and brain coordination in playing these games. The air force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets.” (click here to reference the quotation–it takes you a page-full of memorable Reagan lines.)
He was given a hard time about that one, just as he was about “Star Wars,” even though, in vision, he was thirty years ahead of his time on both fronts.
And I quote: “In order to provide the absolutely necessary stewardship to the Executive Branch that this President must provide on behalf of his administration and every future administration, this action was taken.”
Obama did it, you see, out of respect for the office of the presidency, and out of deference and respect for his successors.
I’m overwhelmed by his selflessness.
Carney’s on a roll of lies during today’s press conference. He blamed Bush for Fast and Furious, insisting that Team Obama recognized the program’s flaws and has tried to fully cooperate with Congress, turning over to them every document related to F & F.
Aah ha. Let’s not forget a letter that the Justice Department sent to Congress in February of ’11 which contained…inaccuracies–so many that the DOJ retracted the letter eight months later. And then there’s the timing of the claiming of executive privilege.
THIS is this year’s game of political chicken. The advantage goes to the Republicans who, politics aside, simply want to get to the bottom of a program that resulted in the death of a border patrol agent. The White House will overplay their political card, which will ultimately turn off independents.
…came from New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney, who said, “I am horrified that you are going forward with this contempt charge when the President of The United States and the administration have invoked executive privilege for [sic] the documents sought by the chairman.”
Isn’t that about like a defense attorney saying the she is horrified that the prosecution is going forward with its case because her client has pleaded the 5th?
The first line of this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story spells it out: “U.S. Rep. Mark Critz said on Tuesday he will skip the Democratic National Convention in favor of campaigning in Pennsylvania, much like top elected Democrats in neighboring West Virginia who are disgruntled with President Obama.”
November’s election will be a national referendum on Obama, no matter how much Democrats in Blue states, facing disgruntled voters, try to localize it.
UPDATE: Neil Cavuto reports that Critz’s scheduling conflicts with the DNC convention include a county fair, an agricultural fair, and a farmer’s and thresherman’s jubilee.
I have to periodically remind folks that I don’t like the TSA any better than Ron Paul’s most ardent supporters, so a story like this from ABC News makes me smile, insomuch as is eases the burden of exposing the folly and fatuousness of TSA policy.
A woman named Carol Price, formerly with the TSA, was patted down, inappropriately, she thought, while going through security in Ft. Myers, Florida.
The ABC story explains, “When she went through security, Price received a pat down that she felt involved ‘intrusive touching of her genitals and breasts,’ said her lawyer, John Mills.
“According to Mills, Price went over to Kristen Arnberg, her former supervisor, to complain about the pat down. When Arnberg asked what she meant by intrusive, Price demonstrated on her, said Mills.
“‘She used to be a TSA employee up until 2007, she obviously knows the procedure,’ said Mills.”
Now Price faces misdemeanor battery charges–for doing to her former boss exactly what she was trained to do.
The post-script to the story is that Price and her former supervisor weren’t buddies, and after Price patted down her ex-boss, she resisted arrest–a poor choice on her part, of course. But don’t let that obscure the fact that her initial infraction was re-enacting her former job, an offense that landed the battery charges.
Meanwhile, would-be terrorists, no doubt, were coasting through the TSA’s convoluted security apparatus in Ft. Meyers.
The delightfully delusional Democratic Representative from Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee, makes the case that Fast and Furious was…Bush’s fault. Take a look:
NRO’s Andy McCarthy has the piece to read for background and perspective. The program to which Representative Jackson Lee refers was called “Wide Receiver,” launched in 2006, which involved controlled delivery of weapons, as opposed to uncontrolled delivery.
McCarthy explains, “ In a controlled delivery firearms case, guns are traced in the sense that agents closely and physically follow them — they don’t just note the serial numbers…the Fast & Furious idea of “trace” is that, after violent crimes occur in Mexico, we can trace any guns the Mexican police are lucky enough to seize back to the sales to U.S. straw purchasers … who should never have been allowed to transfer them (or even buy them) in the first place. That is not law enforcement; that is abetting a criminal rampage.”
From CNN: “President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, according to a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.
“The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.
“‘I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents,’ Cole wrote in a letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.”
A few years back, in response to the administration’s assertion of executive privilege, the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee said, “ ”This unfounded assertion of executive privilege does not protect a principle; it protects a person.”
That Chairman was Democrat Henry Waxman, reacting to the Bush administration and the Valerie Plame case, in which no one was killed and no individual lives were put in danger.
Oh, and the effort on the part of the Bush administration wasn’t to smother the Second Amendment, but rather to exercise the power of a single hand, as the Founders called on the Commander-In-Chief to do during times of war.
In case you missed the story in The Washington Post story yesterday, it begins, “The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.
“The massive piece of malware secretly mapped and monitored Iran’s computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign, according to the officials.”
Note that in the Post’s story, “Flame” is talked about in past tense, much like a team’s Super Bowl strategy foolishly leaked to ESPN would be. It’s back to the drawing board.
Fox New’s Bill Hemmer, thorough journalist that he is, asked former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton if it was possible that we have moved “well beyond [Flame and Stuxnet, the other virus leaked by someone in the administration], and our ability is so advanced that we’re five, six, [or] seven steps ahead of the Iranians?”
Bolton’s answer, in part: “If I thought the administration were that sophisticated, I would cut them some slack. But that’s not what it looks like.”
Is this a result of male laziness or a bad economy? From ABC News: “While Erica Howard-Potter manages her job as a high-powered tax attorney, her husband Jake Howard-Potter manages the house, the chores and the couple’s very active 2-year-old daughter, Skyler.
“Jake, who is a sculptor by trade, is the epitome of the so-called ‘trophy dad.’ The 37-year-old stays at home and stays fit, completing triathlons one day and expertly negotiating naptime and tea parties the next. And he is not alone.”
He will be, if triathlons govern his life long enough. Ms. Howard-Potter will outgrow him, just as he’ll outgrow tea parties.
Russell Berman’s piece at The Hill today on Boehner’s reaction to Obama’s Executive overreach with regard to amnesty includes this line: “In his first comments since the president’s announcement on Friday, Boehner spoke in measured tones…”
Admittedly (from a political–not a legal perspective), it’s tricky to advocate child deportation in an election year. But if you’re a Republican leader, and your comments on anything are characterized as being “measured” as opposed to “principled,” you’re asking to lose in November. And if you equivocate on the rule of law, you deserve the loss.
Today’s James-Taranto-Wall-Street-Journal-Best-Of-The-Web thoughts begin beautifully: “Peter Baker of the New York Times,” he writes, “informs us in a ‘news analysis’ that ‘for Barack Obama, a president who set out to restore good relations with the world in his first term, the world does not seem to be cooperating all that much with his bid to win a second.’”
What planet is Peter Baker on?
The world, Mr. Baker, would love for him to win a second term, precisely to get its way. You’re a news guy. Don’t you get it?
Michael Tanner, writing at Townhall.com, nails it: “public-sector jobs must be paid for with more debt and taxes borne by the private sector. As Frédéric Bastiat wrote in 1848, public employment ‘gives jobs to certain workers. That is what is seen. But it deprives certain other laborers of employment. That is what is not seen.’ Bastiat concluded that trying to increase employment through government was ‘a ruinous hoax, an impossibility, a contradiction.’”
“A massive majority of likely voters fear America could be slipping into a second economic downturn just four years after the Great Recession, according to a new poll for The Hill.
“But people remain split over which of the presidential candidates — Barack Obama or Mitt Romney — are offering the better prescription for economic health.”
Have I missed the Great Recession? And is it just me to whom it seems obvious which candidate offers superior “economic health?”
The longtime Leftist makes the case that Obama, like Ted Kennedy in 1994, is a savvy campaigner by going negative on Mitt (Kennedy faced a challenge to his Senate seat from Romney back then).
Rich begins, “Barack Obama has made his mistakes as a politician and as a president, but here is one thing he indisputably did right: pummel Mitt Romney with a volley of attack ads once Romney sewed up the Republican nomination.”
And Rich’s long-winded piece gets better (I would encourage reading the whole thing if you’ve had enough caffeine): “Doing it right doesn’t necessarily mean doing right by the facts. An effective attack ad doesn’t require strict accuracy as long as its broad caricature rings true. It has to land a punch as propaganda, not journalism.”
In other words, in Rich’s world, truth is secondary to winning.
Sadlyno.com, an obscure kook left-wing website, reacts, ”Job posting: Charles Krauthammer is looking for someone willing to push him around in his chair for one to two years for minimum wage.”
Dr. Krauthammer probably isn’t offended, but the rest of us from Left to Right who are decent human beings are. A brilliant man who is offering to employ someone is portrayed as a cheapskate, and his handicap is, for the sad sophomores at Sadlyno.com, a source of humor. Compassion is conditional for liberals–nothing new, of course, but this is beyond the pale. Reasonable liberals shouldn’t hesitate to express outrage.
The headline is Reuters, not mine. The story begins, “With President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney delivering dueling visions for the U.S. economy in speeches on Thursday, a majority of independents said that Obama’s policies have made it harder for Americans to gain employment, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Friday.
“Fifty-two percent of independents said they agreed with the idea that the president has not helped create more jobs in America, an argument central to Romney’s campaign.
“Obama appears to have trouble convincing some members of his own party that his administration has been good for jobs: 29 percent of Democrats said they agreed with the claim that he has not been a job creator.”
Obama can be convincing, but at some point, absent any evidence, smooth talking stops working.
I got the chance to meet Roy Beck while up in Washington. He is brilliant, and his latest piece at Fox News is worth reading.
This is a great blog written by an intern at Townhall.com. Diane Feinstein has decided that hens have rights, including more space in which to roam.
The conclusion is the best part: “In a perfect illustration of out-of-control government, Senator Feinstein and many of her colleagues deem it necessary to tell every farmer in America how to properly house their hens. Disturbingly, this amendment would give bureaucrats the power to tell farmers how to raise their animals. The Senate cannot find the time to pass a budget or tackle entitlement reform, but at least they are working on regulating the living space of our hens for the next 15 years. It’s good to know that they have their priorities straight.”
Another ‘Nuff said moment, with the caveat that I saw my neighbor’s hens today, and they seemed happy.
Take a moment to digest the impact of the MSNBC headline. It wasn’t “Obama to ask Congress to grant amnesty to children,” which would have sounded better and, as a matter of process, would have at least been Constitutionally sound.
Remember, though, that re-election is the President’s goal, and he has calculated that Hispanics will show up in droves to vote for him. That’s a matter for debate, but Obama’s decision, once again, evinces political ambition that ignores the Rule of Law.
Rove has an intriguing piece in the Wall Street Journal today which examines the political ramifications of The Supreme Court decision on health care.
I think that a “yes” or a “no” benefits Republicans equally. Either way, the case can be made that government-run medicine is a recipe for diminished quality.
So if the Court’s answer is “yes,” (the bill is Constitutional in its entirety) the solution is to elect a Congress that overturns it–something that will be popular with most Americans. If the answer is no, Team Obama will ignore the decision, giving us one more reason to vote them out.
That’s the question Karen Tumulty asks in today’s Washington Post. Among her concerns are that “eight…prominent Democratic strategists interviewed described Obama’s team as resistant to advice and assistance from those who are not part of its core.”
We’ve talked about this on the show for years, of course, but it’s finally made The Post! Granted, The Post isn’t burying Obama; they’re trying to save him. And sometimes, the truth hurts. And the truth is (according to worried Democrats) that the President is flailing politically, a condition that may bring many of them down.
“The latest alarm,” writes Tumulty, “came in a memo Monday from Democracy Corps, a research group headed by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and political consultant James Carville.
“Based on their analysis of focus groups conducted late last month among swing voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, they wrote that the current campaign message — which stresses the fragile progress of the economic recovery — is out of touch with the daily pain voters are feeling.”
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida will all go for Romney this year, which is why I am confident that Obama will lose.
From The National Journal: “The Obama administration said on Tuesday that Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the Associated Press reports.
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that this latest development could escalate the 15-month conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives. Delivering a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, she called on Moscow to help end the violence.”
Showing her usual toughness, Clinton said “we are concerned.”
And for eight years as co-president, she was vocally “concerned” about the abuse of women in Afghanistan. It was only when Bush sent the military in in the wake of 9/11 that Afghan women were liberated.
So why does Russia feel compelled to help what is arguably (Iran aside) the most dangerous place on Earth?
In a word, money. Russia’s economy, historically reliant on the sale of arms to the Arab world, has suffered recently. We toppled Libya, and then there are the sanctions on Iran. Syria is Russia’s last reliable source of cash.
Meanwhile, the Russians, in an effort to get us to back away from their Syrian sugar daddy, are “accusing” us of arming rebels (the good guys) on the ground.
The reliable intelligence is that the Russians have provided 78% of all arms to the Assad regime. This imbroglio, long in the making, isn’t going away. The administration can’t simply feign concern. Look for Obama to make the case for some type of military action. It’s necessary, and it complements Obama’s effort to paint himself as a competent commander-in-chief.
In a word, the whole thing is unsettling.
…and the always lovable Jonathon Chait actually thinks that voters will go with the public sector.
You might recall that he was the guy about ten years ago who began a column for The New Republic with this: “I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it. I think his policies rank him among the worst presidents in U.S. history. And, while I’m tempted to leave it at that, the truth is that I hate him for less substantive reasons, too.”
One has to work to be an ad hominem national pundit, but back then, he managed to pull it off. There was very little substance in his diatribe. His closing lines were, “It is not the slightest bit mystifying that liberals despise Bush. It would be mystifying if we did not.”
Fast forward to his latest piece, for NYmag.com, which addresses the question about whether or not the private or the public sector is better suited to create jobs. Obama, recall, said that the private sector is doing fine, and Romney, appropriately, has used the gaffe as campaign prep.
Chait, though, has his doubts about the propriety of Romney’s approach:
“Why does Romney want to keep this debate going? It’s a way to keep the media talking about Obama’s ungainly line. And it also positions Romney on the side of cutting government bureaucrats, which is popular in the abstract.
“But there are also ways in which the debate harms Romney. Seizing on Obama’s gaffe, Romney committed a counter-gaffe, in which he declared of Obama, ‘He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.’ The flub here is one of excessive honesty.”
We all love fireman, policeman, and teachers. The question is, are our problems the result of too few of them?
I don’t mean to be too excessively honest.
The killer is still on the loose. CNN reports that the Montgomery Police tear-gassed the wrong house where the killer was suspecting to be hiding in the attic.
“‘Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson,’ says CNN, ’implored Leonard to turn himself in.
“‘This has gone on long enough,’ he said. ‘We’re going to apprehend him, sooner or later.’”
I know he is resolved. The question is, how does he plan on nabbing him?
I would suggest local human intelligence. Like on the national front, protecting ourselves locally requires convincing people who hang out with the wrong crowd to lead us, in this case, to the murderer. That’s good for us, and, unlike radicalized Islamists, potentially redeeming for the “wrong crowd” guy eager to get his life back on track.
I suppose that the mistake about who is sheltering Desmonte Leonard, the suspect, will, because of an irrational fear about the reach of The Patriotic Act, produce a backlash against going after bad guys, foreign or domestic.
Chris Stirewalt bolsters the point I made yesterday about the President’s lame excuse for not even showing up to encourage folks in Wisconsin to support big labor. On the show I remarked that he was a hop skip and a jump away, and that it wasn’t as though he’s been focused like a laser on doing his job (there’s a blessing somewhere in that, of course).
Stirewalt opines at Fox News.com that “the president is always the president, and Obama may be spending his transit time updating his kill list or haggling with his European counterparts about the next round of bailouts. But there never has been a president who, to the public eye, was more consumed so early in the year with his re-election effort.”
Clinton, perhaps. But he was a heck of a lot more subtle and skilled at perpetual campaigning. Obama, Stirewalt notes, by avoiding Wisconsin, “ended up reinforcing the image of himself as politically selfish.”
And really, it’s only just begun. As Stirewalt catalogs, “Obama picked one of the weakest of his primary opponents to be his vice president and then stocked his cabinet with non-threatening folks. Presidents usually try to sooth inter-party rivalries with administration appointments, but Obama just did his own thing.”
Which is why the same voters who were enamored with him in ’08 will be doing their own thing in November.
The Congressional Black Caucus has handed the race baton over to the administration, which, with the help of The Grio, is running fast. Yahoo news reports that The Grio ”describes itself as ‘the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing African Americans with stories and perspectives that appeal to them but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets.’”
Read the story and hear the ad here.
The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof is, at least.
The whole thing is worth the read–especially this part:
“Mr. Obama…misdiagnoses state and local government layoffs. They aren’t the result of falling state and local revenues, which have increased by 6% over the last two years, according to the Census Bureau. The problem is that the cost of worker benefits is growing faster than revenues. Governments are having to lay off workers to pay for their rising pension and health bills.
“That’s especially true in states that haven’t followed the example of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and altered their benefits or reformed collective bargaining. Think California and Illinois. Mr. Obama is asking Congress to tax Americans from every state more, and borrow more from China, to send money to states that have been the most spendthrift.”
We’ve known this was coming–just not this bluntly, perhaps.
From The Washington Examiner: “Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.
“‘This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime,’ Rye said during C-SPAN’s Q & A yesterday. ”I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is because he’s black.”
No ambiguity there.
And I’m just starting to get it! What’s next, Twitter?
From the story: “Facebook’s user growth rate in the U.S. is slowing sharply. In April, U.S. unique visitors to the website increased to 158 million, up just 5% from a year earlier, according to research firm comScore Inc.
“That was Facebook’s lowest U.S. user growth rate since comScore began tracking the data in 2008 and was down from 24% growth in April 2011 and 89% in April 2010, comScore said.”
So what? Can Facebook’s “user growth rate” continue to nearly double forever? The most salient fact in the story is that 71% of Internet users are on Facebook. That’s not shabby.
Obama is spending around twelve million on this ad. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that (he’s not, as far as I know, violating The First Amendment) but the content of the ad deserves a critique. Watch:
Jobs grew at one percent in Massachusetts while Romney was governor. That’s not sterling, to be sure, but it’s worth noting that during Obama’s time in office, with pledges to undo the wrong things that Bush did, job growth has been in negative numbers. It’s no wonder that folks trust Romney on the economy more than Obama.
Outsourcing ultimately benefits everyone. Trust me, folks. And if you doubt it, Bruce Bartlett makes my case in a piece here (written in 2004).
You should read the whole thing, including this part: “It’s also important to know that when countries outsource work to India or China, they are only doing so for very low-end operations that require little skill or training. The high-end work and wages stay here — work that might not be retained if it could not be augmented by outsourced functions in low-cost countries like China and India.”
Outsourcing is a sign of growth–not a threat. Restricting it slows growth. That’s the REAL threat.
From the AP: “Officials say a Delta Airlines flight from Reagan National Airport near Washington was held at the gate after a federal law enforcement officer on board reported to the flight crew that four passengers were acting suspiciously.
“Flight 3290 to Detroit Friday afternoon was aboard a Pinnacle Airlines regional jet. Pinnacle spokesman Eric Epperson says the captain decided to stay at the gate and all passengers were ordered off. The four suspicious passengers were questioned and removed.
“The rest of the 70 passengers and four crew members were allowed back aboard and headed for Detroit after a nearly four-hour delay.
“The FBI is investigating but released no further information.”
Before anyone laughs at me for being a paranoid flyer, note that, as the story points out, it was the captain who decided to err on the side of caution. In this case, the TSA was AWOL. In fact, a case could be made that, assuming these guys were a terrorist threat (and we have no evidence one way or the other yet), the pilot’s actions made the case that the TSA is, at best, supererogatory.
As I Tweeted (I really never thought I would write those three words) a while ago, when I got in the car to head home to play with the dogs after an inspiring morning at church, I heard the last part of an interview with an author and her mother on the topic of sex toys. The daughter was asking Mom which ones she liked; I won’t go into details.
Then I checked the headlines when I got home. I saw that two former Auburn football players were dead because of an argument about a girl at an apartment near the campus.
THEN, trying to find something to smile about, I turned on the news, and heard about an idiot who charged the cockpit door during a flight from North Carolina to California because flight attendants, sensing that he was drunk, refused to serve him another cocktail. I suppose he made their case.
My biggest problem with Libertarians is their naiveté on foreign policy. But regular readers and listeners already know that about me…
My second biggest problem with Libertarians (and the capital “L” is intentional; they too, have a version of a party establishment) is their amoral overreach. We don’t live in a vacuum; what we do affects others, which in turn affects commerce: Adam Smith, author of The Wealth Of Nations, was a moral philosopher, after all, before he codified capitalism.
A symbiotic relationship exists between virtue and prosperity. Neither will survive long without the other. The good news is, like foreign policy and the economy, the administration has gone overboard on the social issues front. And like the other two, we’re all at least thinking about social issues. It’s a start in restoring the virtue necessary to ensure our prosperity.
A few pieces and stories worth reading:
Victor Davis Hanson, brilliant as always, writes about Obama’s changing demeanor. The best line is, “Obama once called for a focus on issues rather than personal invective. But now we mysteriously hear again of Romney’s dog, his great-great-grandfather’s wives and a roughhousing incident some 50 years ago in prep school.” The word is, “desperation.”
Reuters reports, ”Lack of progress in talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency is disappointing and it shows Tehran’s continued failure to abide by its commitment to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, a U.S. envoy said on Saturday.” The word is, “naive.”
Fox News Latino’s headline is, ”Where Police Don’t Ask, and Immigrants Don’t Tell.” The word is “illegal.”
From The AP: “Conservatives at the core of the Republican Party are coalescing behind likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney faster than expected after a punishing primary season in which they loudly sought someone else — almost anybody else — to carry the fight to President Barack Obama.” The word is, “pragmatism.”
As regular listeners know, I am still acclimating myself to Twitter, so you can imagine my mild frustration (it wasn’t a noise nuisance, since I live out in the country) upon seeing this pop-up upon submitting a Tweet: ”Your Tweet was over 140 characters. You’ll have to be more clever.”
Does anyone NOT feel mildly compelled to slap him (and I don’t know that it’s a he, but better safe than sorry during the war on women, right?).
Here’s the final product that made it to Tweetville: “just got this message on first draft: ‘Your Tweet was over 140 characters. You’ll have to be more clever.’ How obnoxious! I can’t resp”
I hope cyber nerds get the joke.
Follow me on Twitter, by the way–my handle (I think that’s the correct appellation) is willandersonsho.
Dear Will: Be careful to not make a huge deal out of leaks which were definitely bad. You don’t want to scare people.
Dear [Friend], No, I don’t want to scare anyone. The possibilities of retaliation against The United States, though, thanks to the leaks, are worth pondering. We were in the process, for example, of gradually dismantling Iran’s nuclear capacity via cyberattack before a leak about the virus complicated things. We will probably find a way to continue, but it will be harder, as they are now fully aware of our strategy.
And while we’re on the subject, Iran is pretty good at cyber warfare as well. And a bunch of our stuff, from our financial system to our power grid to air traffic control, is vulnerable. Isn’t it those on the Left who always suggest that we don’t want to be aggressors, as doing so might make someone mad enough to retaliate? The book to read is One Second After. It deals with an EMP attack, but the ramifications are the same.
Newsmax ran a fine primer Thursday about the disturbing “pattern” of leaks since bin Laden’s death and the impact they have had on multiple fronts.
As we talked about on the show last week, one of the critical tools needed to win any war–a tool that Jimmy Carter foolishly shunned–is human intelligence. Carter opted for satellites, which can only tell us where the enemy is and where he is going. It is much more helpful and effective to recruit locals willing to tell us who the bad guys really are, and what they’re planning.
We were able to kill Osama, for example, with the help of a local citizen in Pakistan who decided to give us key clues, only to have his life ruined and imperiled thanks to Obama’s counterterrorism chief, John Brennan who, eager to make the President look big and bad, irresponsibly divulged the intimate details.
As Newsmax writes, “Soon after the bin Laden raid, word began leaking to the press that a Pakistani doctor had helped the CIA operation.
In fact, Dr. Shakil Afridi reportedly provided critical intelligence on the location and identify of the al-Qaida leader. He had set up a fake vaccination program to obtain DNA during a visit by bin Laden.
Following the leaks, Afridi was arrested and on May 23 he was sentenced to 33 years in prison on a charge of conspiring against the state.”
Obama, outrageously, said in his faux press conference yesterday that the notion that the White House would deliberately leak classified information was “offensive.” Tell that to Dr. Shakil.
Fortunately, even high-ranking Democrats recognize the dangers involved in tattling to the world about our war strategies solely to make a president–any president–look good, and some of them are speaking out. Diane Feinstein, The San Francisco Gate reports, “vowed Thursday to halt intelligence leaks from the administration, starting down a treacherous political path that could embarrass President Obama at the height of his re-election campaign.”
Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two U.S. attorneys to look into the leaks. The two attorneys work for and report to Holder. Feel better?
Thank you Senator Feinstein, for putting our nation’s safety above Obama’s re-election.
This time on the meaning of the Wisconsin vote. He begins, “Tuesday, June 5, 2012, will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. It will follow, and parallel, the shrinking of private-sector unions, now down to less than 7 percent of American workers. The abject failure of the unions to recall Wisconsin governor Scott Walker — the first such failure in U.S. history — marks the Icarus moment of government-union power. Wax wings melted, there’s nowhere to go but down.”
Read the whole thing here.
…wasn’t actually a press conference. It was a speech (that sounded partly inspired by Bill Clinton, frankly), in which he blamed Europe for our economic woes, called for tax cuts for small businesses who decide to hire people (he got the causality wrong there–small business owners hire because of tax cuts), and said, more than once, that the private sector was creating jobs robustly; it was state and local governments that were losing jobs.
Translation: I need more of your money so I can hire (bribe) people who will cast a vote for me in November.
He was also asked about the leaks, and he feigned outrage, threatening to prosecute, while offering no indication that he’s taking any steps to do so.
The coming months will be saturated with foreign policy achievements, designed to enhance the President’s image and obfuscate his economic calamities. Today’s “Press Conference” proves the point. Watch here.
…at least for now.
National Review has an excellent symposium on what we learned from the Walker race. Read it here.
The answer is several fold. Voters, in general, as Dr. Patrick Lappert pointed out on the show last night, are reluctant to reverse the results of an election based on policy. Walker’s transgression was his effort to check the power of unions.
Collective bargaining, in a nutshell, means that if a majority of workers in a workplace vote to unionize, every worker has to pay dues to the union–dues which, more often than not, are, in part, spent on politics. So under collective bargaining, you might be forced to pay dues that end up going toward a candidate who you don’t like.
Collective bargaining is not inherently evil; forcing employees (as Wisconsin did prior to the presence of Scott Walker) to engage in AND pay for it is antithetical to freedom, as the people of Wisconsin sensed.
Finally, if you’re former Tennessee Democratic representative Harold Ford, appearing on Morning Joe today, Walker simply “got a little lucky.”
I hope Democratic strategists believe that one.
Barack Obama, of course, is the titular head of the Democratic Party, but make no mistake: Bill Clinton still runs things, and he’s winning–because he hasn’t forgotten the art of intimately feeling the nation’s pulse and giving us what he thinks we want to hear. His recent opposition to tax cuts and his support for venture capitalism (with a healthy but brief dose of anti-capitalist rhetoric so as not to scare some in his party’s base away) are just two examples.
One of the races yesterday that hasn’t been given a whole lot of attention thanks to the Walker recall fiasco was a New Jersey primary race between Representative Bill Pascrell and Representative Steve Rothman, who were running for the new 9th district seat (after the 2010 census eliminated the 8th district seat, currently held by Pascrell).
A not-insignificant fact, as reported by NorthJersey.com, is that “The redrawn 9th District comprised about 56 percent of the registered Democrats from Rothman’s old district, and 41 percent from Pascrell’s.”
So you’d think Rothman, at least, had a numbers advantage, and, indeed, the conventional wisdom was that it was going to be a squeaker.
It wasn’t. Pascrell, endorsed by Clinton, won handily, with about sixty percent of the vote. Rothman got a robust endorsement from Obama, and garnered (do the math) around forty percent.
In a story yesterday, The LA Times described dueling campaign activity on Friday, prior to the race:
“‘Every day he has been in public life, Bill Pascrell has done what he thought was best for you,’ Clinton told supporters.
“That same morning, fellow Democrat Steve Rothman scored a coveted photo opportunity at the White House with President Obama, whose campaign he supported four years ago. The White House denied it was a formal endorsement, but Rothman told a local newspaper that the president ‘wanted everybody to know that he supported my reelection…’
“The Pascrell-Rothman fight seemed very much a Clinton-Obama battle, with some validity.
“With his wife barred from political activity as secretary of State, Clinton has spent the past four years repaying the Democrats who supported her candidacy for their loyalty. The 9th district race showed how Team Obama has been doing the same; David Axelrod came to the district to campaign with Rothman last month.”
Pascrell supported Hillary in ’08; he’s reaping the rewards of her (and Bill’s) swelling popularity among Democrats in the wake of Obama’s blunders and disappointments. Look for almost no Democrat incumbent to seek Obama’s endorsement.
And look for the Clintons to keep winning. How many of us on the Right, after all, have softened our take on Bill after three years of Barack?
With the President waging war against millionaires this election season, this story from the New York Daily News the other day ought not be passed over:
“Though there are more millionaire households in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world — 5.1 million — that number fell by 129,000 in 2011, according to a study put out last week by the Boston Consulting Group.
“Worldwide, millionaires were on the rise, the study found — particularly in China and India, thanks to growth fueled by IPOs and entrepreneurs.” (Bold mine.)
With millionaires losing out here, isn’t it time for the President to set a timetable for an end to combat operations against them via a pledge to stop the threat of higher taxes?
The BCG study, by the way, didn’t factor in those who have moved their wealth elsewhere. It dealt simply with the total financial wealth of citizens living in countries around the world.
The other interesting tidbit is that “the ultra-wealthy [the gozillionaires] saw their wealth grow by 3.6%, while the average growth across other households was 1.7%.”
The message is that the capacity of tax increases (or even the threat of them) to punish those who create wealth invariably “trickles down” to the little guy in the form of layoffs, fewer job opportunities, and higher prices at the grocery store.
On the House side, Energy and Commerce Chairman Red Upton of Michigan said that getting key documents relative to the solar energy company’s billion-dollar bankruptcy fiasco is like “pulling teeth.”
On the Senate side, Senator Sessions just spoke with Fox’s Bill Hemmer, and seemed to indicate that Congress wasn’t going to shy away from insisting that the White House provide Congress with the relevant paperwork for loans made to Solyndra and others. ”I asked about six months ago,” Sessions said, “for information relating to seven of these highly advanced loans–loans that were moved rapidly through the system–three of them over a billion dollars, and I’ve not received any response since. I think that’s unacceptable.”
He went on: “Congressman Issa in the House…has the power to subpoena, and we intend to insist that these documents be produced…some of the companies seemed to have inside political pull; some of the companies looked to be in financial difficulty…and I think the American people need an open understanding of what happened.”
Asked by Hemmer if there was a deadline for getting these documents, Senator Sessions said next Tuesday. Hemmer followed up by confirming, “If you don’t get anything by next Tuesday, you’ll go the subpoena route?” Sessions replied, in part, “The House will do so, I believe.”
Tough words from a venerable member of the Senate known for saying exactly what he means.
Hemmer, always the thorough anchor, finished the interview with a question about a $1.5 million loan given to a solar company in Massachusetts on Romney’s watch. Sessions answered, “Each loan would have to be defended or criticized on its own merit.”
I’m certainly not here to defend, philosophically, government loans made to private companies, but, as Scott Shackford points out in a blog at Reason.com,
“There are some significant differences between Romney’s solar subsidy sins and the Obama administration’s besides just the comparative dollar amount:
* The loan was actually approved before Romney took office as governor;
* Even if Romney had been in office, the program that approved the loans was not under the governor’s control;
*The company actually paid the loan back.”
So it is, as a matter of fact, apples and oranges to compare the two. But as a matter of politics, Romney, as in the case of health care, has some damage control to do.
You have to think that part of Dowd’s frustration is that she wanted, as a journalist, to be right about Obama. And she wasn’t.
And so she writes, “Once glowing, his press is now burning. ‘To a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear,’ John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine, noting that because Obama feels he can’t run on his record, his campaign will resort to nuking Romney.”
Another day, another turncoat.
Shall I make a prediction? The answer is YES.
History, among other things, is on my side. Only two other U.S. governors have been recalled, the most recent being California’s Gray Davis in 2003. Davis is a good barometer here, because his defeat came as a result of the wayward budget in his state; Walker will remain in office because he has taken on a wayward budget.
That’s half true and half tongue and cheek; tariffs are taxes, antithetical to the fundamental economic principles of lower taxes and free trade. In this case, the charge is that China is selling solar cells (the things that convert the sun to energy) at below market prices. The chief complaint was brought before the Commerce Department by SolarWorld, a German firm that makes the cells in Oregon.
The problem, whether jobs or the environment is your concern, is that, should Commerce comply, the people who make the cells will be the only happy folks, and they represent a minority of solar-related American jobs. Most Americans in the business will be hurt–those who market and install solar panels–as prices rise. That’s bad news for the economy, and, once the demand for solar panels goes down, bad news for environmentalists.
A good primer on the subject appeared in Investors Business Daily recently. It’s worth a read.
I just Tweeted about this, but the whole 140 character thing is, at times, prohibitive.
My Tweet was, “Fox says ‘Advisers for [Romney and Obama] sparred…over who was to blame for…unemployment.’ Neither, naturally, but Romney? Really?”
Brevity can sometimes be an impediment. What I wanted to do was quote the first paragraph or two of the Fox story and then comment in more than the two or three letters left. So here goes.
From Fox News: “Advisers for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama sparred Sunday over who was to blame for the latest grim unemployment rate and how it will impact November’s election.
“The latest employment report out Friday shows only 69,000 jobs were added during May – the fewest in a year, as the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April.”
Some on the Left will pull the “more-people-are-looking-for-work” argument to justify the slight increase, just as last month, when the numbers inched down, some folks said (correctly) that people no longer looking for work was the reason. The bottom line, though, is unemployment seems stuck in the eight percent range, up from around six percent when Obama took office.
Here is Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, neither of whom would have approved of the current president (that last part, for those with no sense of humor light bulb, was a joke):
Notice the delightful contrast in their voices, and Louis’ fabulous horn. There’ll never be anything equal to their chemistry.
You’d think that as a matter of politics, candidate Barack Obama would insist that his campaign give back the $7,500 donated by Bain capital, given the President’s decision to portray Bain, and by extension Romney, as putting profit over jobs. “To repeat, this [Bain] is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about,” Obama said at a Chicago press conference last week when asked about the growing number of Democrats (including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, whose state is a must win for Obama in November) who think the anti-Bain strategy is a loser.
If $7,500 doesn’t seem like that much (and let’s face it, these days, in a presidential campaign, it isn’t), try $200,000. ABC News reports, “Jonathan Lavine is a long-time Bain Capital executive and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. He is also one of President Obama’s most prolific fundraisers. He has already raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign this election, according to Federal Election Commission records.”
Why, then, would The President go after Bain?
The short answer is that he played the same game during his primary race against Hillary, and it worked. Fox’s Chris Stirewalt explains, “Recall that in the heaviest fighting of the 2008 Democratic primaries, Obama launched very similar attacks against Hillary Clinton over her family’s wealth and how she and her husband amassed it. Obama’s campaign and a sympathetic press corps hounded the Clintons for more disclosures and suggestions that the post-presidency fortune made by Bill Clinton was ill-gotten.
“The argument then, as it is now against Romney, was that the Clintons had gamed the system to profit at the expense of others.”
The debate over whether rich investors create jobs (they do, of course) shall continue. And Romney, thanks to Obama’s ’08 attacks on the Clintons, has Bill’s support. More bad news for the incumbent.
In their lead editorial today, The Wall Street Journal reports on a speech that the Attorney General gave to the Council of Black Churches in which he said, ”In my travels across this country, I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who—often for the first time in their lives—now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation’s most noble ideals.”
Why? Voter ID laws, of course, which are causing ”some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement [to] now hang in the balance.”
As usual, The Journal, even on the editorial page, states the irrefutable facts: “Black voter turnout increased in Georgia and Indiana after voter ID laws passed. Georgia began implementing its law requiring one of six forms of voter ID in 2007. According to data from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the black vote increased by 42%, or 366,000 votes, in 2008 over 2004. The Latino vote grew by 140% or 25,000 votes in 2008, while the white vote increased by only 8% from four years earlier.”
So, in the face of such facts, how can Holder spew such nonsense with a straight face?
The Journal’s answer: “If Mr. Obama is going to win…swing states again, he needs another burst of minority turnout. If hope won’t get them to vote for Mr. Obama again, then how about fear?”
…from the media’s perspective. Obama, who has used drones to kill dozens of people (including American citizens) is a war hero. Bush, who waterboarded three terrorists (all of whom are still alive) and, in doing so, extracted valuable information that saved American lives, is a war criminal.
David Sanger’s headline in today’s New York Times is “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran.”
“From his first months in office,” the story begins, “President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.”
The cyberattacks, The Times announces, started under the Bush administration and have accelerated on Obama’s watch. Unfortunately, the story goes, the word “accidentally” got out that we were going after Iran’s nuclear program, and our brave leader had to make the call as to whether or not the program should proceed.
The Times explains, “Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the [Iranian] Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet [the name given to the computer worm] was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.”
In case you have missed the pattern, this is the latest in a series of calculated leaks designed to portray Obama as tougher than Bush on the foreign policy front. The problem is that such leaks, from the Osama bin Laden raid to the Pakistani doctor who helped us find him (who’s now serving thirty years for treason) to the second foiled underwear bomb attack, make it harder to get the bad guys, and put the good guys in a world of danger.
And then there’s the fear (justified) that Iran, quite skilled at cyber operations, will retaliate, attacking one of our nuclear plants.
In short, the President, in an election year, is seeing to it that he is portrayed as a strong Commander-In-Chief, and in doing so, he is making America weaker and more vulnerable.
Friend of the show Nathan called tonight to say yes, he did. And it is true that in 1986, in exchange for a lower top marginal income tax rate, the capital gains rate went up. But when the Left says Reagan raised taxes numerous times, what they mean (or at least what they’re inadvertently referring to) is the closing of tax loopholes, a laudible goal, and an increase in revenue brought on by lower rates. For background, see this, this, and this–the last being from Wikipedia, which explains the point quite well: “As a result of [The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981] and other tax acts in the 1980s, the top 10% were paying 57.2% of total income taxes by 1988 – up from 48% in 1981 – while the bottom 50% of earners share dropped from 7.5% to 5.7% in the same period. The total share borne by middle income earners of the 50th to 95th percentile decreased from 57.5% to 48.7% between 1981 and 1988. Much of the increase can be attributed to the decrease in capital gains taxes, while the ongoing recession and subsequently high unemployment contributed to stagnation among other income groups until the mid-1980s. Another explanation is any such across the board tax cut removes some from the tax rolls. Those remaining pay a higher percentage of a now smaller tax pie even though they pay less in absolute taxes.”
So, to summarize, Reagan lowered tax rates, which increased tax revenues. The distinction is more than semantic; the lower rates encouraged more economic activity, which provided the Treasury with more dollars. Granted, the following year, parts of ERTA were repealed, and excise taxes were imposed on, among other things, cigarettes. But marginal income tax rates–the ones that grow the economy–remained lower thanks to Reagan.
Rex Nutting, who works for the Obama re-election campaign, asserted the usual liberal mantra in the Wall Street Journal last week that Bush is still to blame for our deficit woes, and Obama has made things better.
“The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress. (My italics.)
Peter Ferrera at The American Spectator explains how budgets pass, and the truth doesn’t approximate Nutting’s narrative: “The previous administration, or President, proposes a budget. The previous Congress approves a budget. And what Congress approves can be radically different from what the President proposes.
For fiscal year 2009, President Bushtual in February, 2008 proposed a budget with a 3 percent spending increase over the prior year…the budget approved and implemented by Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of the Congressional Democrat majorities provided for a 17.9 percent increase in spending for fiscal 2009! Not that President Bush was a fiscal conservative. Far from it. But Obama and Pelosi have served as drunken sailors to Bush’s comparative Boy Scout on the issue.”
Numbers can get boring, I know. Just remember, though, the difference between Bush’s 3 percent proposed spending increase in 2009 versus the actual increase of 17.9 percent. Obama, in short, inherited an acceleration in spending that he ran with.
The Wall Street Journal’s Holman W. Jenkins has the line of the week in his piece today: “Mr. Obama’s great political talent has been his knack for granting his admirers permission to think highly of themselves for thinking highly of him.”
When you’re done saying “yes, yes, precisely!”, don’t miss the thesis of Jenkins’ column, which is that private equity firms are mean (Team Obama contends) because sometimes, in the necessary world of private commerce, there are losers; government, on the other hand, can, however chimirically, spend, spend, and then spend more so that no one, irrespective of bad personal choices, has to worry about losing out.
“Mr. Romney, [Obama's Bain Capital] ads say, wants to take things away from you that he claims no longer are affordable; Mr. Obama, the ads say, will fight whoever tries to take things away. To the less sophisticated voter, the Obama message is a soothing ‘nothing has to change.’ To the more sophisticated, President Obama proposes himself as the defender of every spending interest, never favoring a cut, always pushing for higher taxes.”
As Jenkins notes, the debate here isn’t about capitalism–even Obama isn’t bold enough to take that on–but about the morality of creative destruction (my words, not his).
Romney, Jenkins concludes, “should be happy to fight on these grounds. A lot of voters—known as taxpayers—worry about the economic future. Mr. Obama’s stance of ‘let’s preserve and expand the handouts and to hell with tomorrow’ frightens them.”
Class warfare won’t do a thing to alleviate our fears, which is bad news for the President. As Michael Barone points out in a recent Washington Examiner column, “[A] 2008 exit poll told us that 26 percent of voters had household incomes over $100,000. Half of them voted for Obama. He needs those votes again.”
It’s been a tumultuous four years for those hoodwinked into thinking that President Obama gave a moment’s thought to the notion that terrorists deserve human rights (for the record, in my estimation, the only compassion that I can drum up for those being held at Guantanamo Bay is to kill them as quickly and as painlessly as possible).
In looking back on the ’08 campaign, though, it is remarkable how naive some on the Left were in thinking that the President would and, for that matter, should afford the worms that our brave soldiers perilously captured in Afghanistan anything other than, perhaps, water.
To be clear, the evil people who plotted and continue to plot to kill us aren’t legally protected under our laws. We, though, being decent, are naturally inclined to treat anyone, including a monster headed to hell, with perfunctory respect. Liberals and libertarians, after all, say, that such a mindset makes us better than the dirt bags who, if given the opportunity, would vaporize all of us.
So it is somewhat satisfying that the administration has decided to anoint John Brennan as our first ever Assassination Czar. His job will be to decide which maniacal terrorists, plotting to top 9/11 in terms of destruction, meet their virgins, with the help of our brave troops, in hell before they can kill thousands–maybe hundreds of thousands–more Americans of all ages, races, and religions.
I’m not comfortable with czars in general, of course, but in this case, the Constitution can be invoked (see James Madison’s commentary in Federalist 45), and those of us more concerned with saving human life than speciously invoking civil liberties can (assuming that Brennan, for once, will be competent and true to his new responsibilities) rest, however slightly, more easy this weekend.
In their most recent poll on the subject of whether or not liberal or conservative economic policy makes sense, Gallup says, “Americans are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as conservative rather than liberal on economic issues, 46% to 20%.”
Great news, right? It gets better: “The gap is narrower on social issues, but conservatives still outnumber liberals, 38% to 28%.”
The message? Smaller government and social conservatism are attractive to most of us. ”For the most part,” Gallup continues, “Americans fall on the same ideological side on economic and social issues. Sixty-one percent are conservative, moderate, or liberal on both dimensions, with the largest percentage, 31%, conservative on both. Fifteen percent are liberal on both social and economic issues, and 15% are moderate on both.”
Note to Boehner and his apolitical pals: conservatism, social and economic, wins elections.
The Post’s lead editorial today addresses the bogus notion that private equity is inherently bad, and takes Obama to task for claiming so:
“The president accepted $3.5 million in campaign donations from private equity executives in 2008, and additional dollars this time around, so it would have been awkward for him not to concede that private equity does ‘good work.’ As for the ad’s depiction of job destruction, economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that firms restructured by private equity suffered net job losses over five years only 1 percent greater than other comparable companies.”
“Bain,” they continue, “had its share of success stories on the former Massachusetts governor’s watch.”
One supposes that the President will have to rely on The intellectual dishonesty of The New York Times to get him through this doomed approach to going after Romney.
According to a Quinnipiac poll as reported at Politico, “Among independents, 23 percent say that they’re less likely to vote for Obama over same sex marriage. Older voters (55 and older), born-again evangelical Christians, lower income voters and military veterans are all more likely than other demographic groups to say that Obama’s backing of same-sex marriage will sway them towards Romney.”
Not mentioned in the story is the disapproval of a significant number of African American voters.
Victor Davis Hanson’s latest is worth the whole read, but here’s my favorite part: “We simply don’t mind that Google and Amazon rake in billions, but we despise Exxon and Archer Daniels Midland for doing the same. It is not that we need social networking and Internet searches more than food and fuel, but rather that we have the impression that cool zillionaires in flipflops are good while uncool ones in wingtips are quite bad.”
I challenge anyone to argue the point.
The President took the occassion of a foreign policy get together to take an opaque shot at capitalism. Take a look:
He’s speaking as I write at the NATO summit, and he just said that he’s moving forward on missile defense.
I have been saying that unions were the only Democratic base group that would be on board with the President, and while they might be the last holdout, they aren’t a given for Obama.
I ran across this blog, posted last month by Henry Payne at National Review, which points out, “look outside union strongholds like the upper Midwest, and Obama’s claimed support of the working man is highly selective. Indeed, Obama’s ideological war on the oil and coal industries is breeding angry union enemies as Obama’s green theology gets the better of his blue-collar empathy.
“This is a hostility that may well cost him the election.”
Without monolithic union support, there’s no chance of two terms for the President.
Ross Kaminsky’s American Spectator story explains, in part, why California is in an economic mell of a hess.
Consider that while California is home to one out of eight Americans, it is also home to one out of three welfare recipients (in part because the children of parents whose welfare has expired still get it).
Nevertheless, the piece proves that bad economic policy has consequences, whether in Greece or on America’s beautiful west coast. Read the whole thing, and pay attention to the eye-opening comparison between California and Greece. Oh, and pay attention to how California’s confiscatory tax code contributes to its malaise.
From the AP: “From California to Georgia to New York, children of families who live here illegally are ‘coming out’ — marching behind banners that say ‘undocumented and unafraid,’ staging sit-ins in federal offices, and getting arrested in the most defiant ways — in front of the Alabama Capitol, outside federal immigration courts and detention centers, in Maricopa County, Ariz., home of the sworn enemy of illegal immigrants, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
Since “undocumented and unafraid” is the latest slogan for some illegal aliens, it is worth it to spell out to ourselves why it is that they are unafraid as we craft policies to combat, among other things, the erosion of the rule of law.
Reach for your blood pressure medicine before you read George Will’s latest Washington Post column about a family business being confiscated by the federal goverment:
“Since 1994, about 30 [Caswell] motel customers have been arrested on drug-dealing charges. Even if those police figures are accurate — the police have a substantial monetary incentive to exaggerate — these 30 episodes involved less than 5/100ths of 1 percent of the 125,000 rooms Caswell has rented over those more than 6,700 days. Yet this is the government’s excuse for impoverishing the Caswells by seizing this property, which is their only significant source of income and all of their retirement security.”
The rub is that local governments rely on drug-related property seizures for their budget, and the federal government is perfectly willing to help those states whose laws make property seizures difficult (by having high standards of evidence). A state need only seize the property, turn it over to the feds, and wait for a kickback of as much as eighty percent.
The Washington Post reports today that the NAACP has endorsed gay marriage. ”The NAACP’s board of directors,” the story begins, “voted Saturday to endorse same-sex marriage rights – adding the influential voice of the country’s leading black civil rights organization to a debate that has divided the African-American community.”
Where do we start? With the silly notion that gay marriage is a civil right? Or the sillier notion that the NAACP will change the minds of the majority of Africans Americans who are against it?
From The BBC: “Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng – who was at the centre of a diplomatic crisis with Washington – is on his way to the United States.
“The blind activist and his family boarded a flight to Newark, near New York, after being taken from a Beijing hospital to the capital’s airport.
“Mr Chen recently spent six days in the US embassy in Beijing after escaping house arrest in north-east China.
“He has been offered a fellowship at New York University.
“A White House spokesman welcomed news of Mr Chen’s departure.
“Mr Chen, a self-taught lawyer who campaigned against forced abortions under China’s one-child policy, was jailed for four years in 2006 for disrupting traffic and damaging property, and placed under house arrest after his release in 2010.”
Naturally, Team Obama will claim credit for this as another foreign policy triumph. Yet to be answered is whether or not the Chinese government will allow Chen to return to China as a free man, and whether or not Chen’s relatives will harassed/harmed by the government in the wake of his departure.
Andrew McCarthy, writing about increased unrest in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, explains, “democracy is not a ‘process,’ it is a culture. It cannot be installed by a ‘system.’ Processes like popular elections and constitution-writing are democratic only when democracy’s principles have become ingrained in a society.
“That is an evolution that can and should be promoted, but it cannot be rushed. And the less democratic tradition there is in a country — or, for that matter, a civilization — the longer the evolution will take. If you try to hasten it by having the processes and the system drag a resistant society along, you don’t get democracy. You get the Muslim Brotherhood.”
This column, published in The Hill earlier this week, is worth a look, particularly if you’re pessimistic about Romney’s chances in November. James Carville’s “It’s the economy stupid” slogan worked for Bill Clinton twice, and if Romney borrows it, Morris contends, it will work for him as well.
Fox doesn’t actually use the words “hate crime” in their online story, of course, but they paint the portrait:
“Many of the pertinent questions remain unclear: What was in Zimmerman’s mind when he began to follow Martin in the gated community where he lived?”
It’s a ridiculous question. Zimmerman might have been thinking about his dog, or his favorite movie, or his least favorite food…
You get the point. What was on his mind isn’t pertinent. The fact (revealed in court documents released yesterday) that he had a broken nose and multiple cuts on the back of his head is.
Fox, taking Fair and Balanced to its logical absurdity, persists: “The case has become a national racial flashpoint because the Martin family and supporters contend Zimmerman singled Martin out because he was black. Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father…A distraught woman told an investigator that she stays away from Zimmerman because he’s racist and because of things he’s done to her in the past, but she didn’t elaborate on what happened between them.”
To paraphrase, while the speculation on some fronts is that Zimmerman fired the fatal shot because of Martin’s skin color, the growing body of evidence suggests otherwise.
Breitbart.com reports that Obama was born in Kenya. The evidence comes from a booklet released in the early 90′s by Obama’s literary agency, in which ninety authors were profiled.
Obama’s profile begins, “Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
Is this sufficient grounds for impeachment? Romney could beat Biden more easily than Obama, after all.
From Yahoo News: “Mitt Romney says he rejects efforts to use President Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in ads attacking the president, insisting the campaign should remain focused on the economy.
“‘I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described,’” Romney said in an interview with Townhall.com. ‘I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity—particularly for those in the middle class of America.’”
Of course, based on the primary campaign, one doesn’t see Romney losing sleep over the ad, which, to be fair is…fair.
Michael Walsh’s piece in today’s New York Post explains why the administration’s eagerness to leak the news of the foiled attack has made the world less safe.
“The leak,” he writes, “didn’t just blow our chances to nail the notorious bomb designer behind the plot, Ibrahim al-Asiri, and put the life of the double agent in mortal danger for no reason.
“It also seriously damaged Langley’s relationship with its foreign counterparts, who now understand that operational security and the lives of their operatives mean nothing to us (not in an election year, anyway).”
This blog from The Hill is delightful.
The best line is, “Apparently women’s success has all been a function of government. Whether you’re the star swimmer on your college team or the new CEO, it’s because Washington carried you there.”
The election this year, much to the administration’s dismay, won’t be about women, or the rich, or gay marriage. It will be about ideas.
From a Gallup poll/story out today: “Some six months before voters head to the polls to choose the next president of the United States, Gallup finds several indicators of the economic and political climate holding steady at levels that could be troublesome for President Barack Obama. According to Gallup polling in early May, Obama’s approval rating is below 50%, Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the country is barely above 20%, and the economy remains a dominant concern.”
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…
And most troubling: Obama will win in November, Americans predict
We’ll talk about all this and more tonight.
Reasonable folks–Paul fans or not–have been wondering when this would happen. The story comes from a blog at the Houston Chronicle. In an e-mail to his supporters, Congressman Paul said, “In the coming days, my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help, so please stay tuned.”
We will. And tune in tonight for a chit chat about why Paul cares about delegates.
First there was this ad from Team Obama, blaming Mitt Romney for layoffs in the steel industry:
And then there was the Romney camp, firing back with a steel ad of its own:
Let the games begin. When the subject is the economy and not gay marriage, Romney wins.
Check out this story from Politico, complete with a picture of the cover. Andrew Sullivan, who authors the piece, explains, “[Obama] had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family.”
So Obama, apparently, has used his tenure as president to reconcile his sexual identity with his family. No word on Michelle’s reaction.
From Gallup: “Six in 10 Say Obama Same-Sex Marriage View Won’t Sway Vote.”
And the more you read, the bleaker Obama’s re-election aspirations appear. Twice as many respondents to the poll say that they would be “less likely” to vote for Obama because of his stand on gay marriage versus those who said they would be “more likely.”
The President’s campaign implosion continues.
From Fox News: “Health-insurance companies must tell customers who get a premium rebate this summer that the check is the result of the Obama administration’s health-care law, according to federal guidelines released Friday.”
The creepiest part of this is not the administration’s megalomania, but this:
“Rules finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday instruct insurers to notify recipients of rebates in the first paragraph of the mailing by writing: “This letter is to inform you that you will receive a rebate of a portion of your health insurance premiums. This rebate is required by the Affordable Care Act-the health reform law.” (Emphasis mine.)
Think about that. One week ago, the “notification mandate” wasn’t law under Obamacare; now it is, per the “instruction” of Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Is it time yet for a tutorial on the rule of law?
A friend of mine sent me this story a little while ago. It begins, “Fifteen years ago, when advertisers got wind that Ellen DeGeneres was going to ‘come out’ on her popular sitcom show ‘Ellen,’ some advertisers fled.
“One of them was JC Penney.
“Flash forward to one of their newest clothing ads in the May catalog. It features a real-life same-sex couple. The photograph is of two models identified as Wendi and Maggie holding their two daughters.
“Both women appear be wearing wedding bands.
“Quietly, gradually and largely without protest, advertising is starting to reflect new attitudes and new realities about who we are.”
My friend demanded to know what I was going to do about this. My answer was that I was going to do nothing–an unsatisfactory answer, in his opinion.
But it’s my answer, nonetheless. What is there to do? I imagine many folks will decide not to shop at JC Penney as a result of the ad, and I imagine JC Penney has anticipated as much. May the market prevail.
How long have I been saying that this was the plan, or at least the desire?
From today’s New York Post: “Bill Clinton thought so little of President Obama — mocking him as an ‘amateur’ — that he pressed his wife last summer to quit her job as secretary of state and challenge him in the primaries, a new book claims.”
Edward Klein is the author, and he paints a picture of an angry ex-president unable to convince his wife, “loyal” to Obama, to run.
It’ll be interesting to see how the ex-president campaigns for the incumbent in light of this (if you haven’t read the book, read the column).
From Fox News: “Newt Gingrich says he will join the campaign trail for Mitt Romney next week with two events in Georgia, including the state’s GOP convention.
“Gingrich, the former House speaker who represented Georgia, last week suspended his 2012 GOP presidential campaign. Gingrich won only two primaries in his campaign – Georgia and South Carolina.
“A Gingrich campaign spokesman told CNN on Friday night about plans to help Romney, the likely GOP presidential nominee, starting at the GOP convention next weekend. He also reportedly will campaign for Romney in Las Vegas.
“Gingrich has said he fully backs Romney and did so in his May 2 exit speech, though the endorsement seemed less than overwhelming.
“‘I am asked sometimes is Mitt Romney conservative enough?’ Gingrich said. ‘And my answer is simple – compared to Barack Obama? This is not a choice between Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan. This is a choice between Mitt Romney and the most radical leftist president in American history.’”
Newt’s challenge–having clearly defined Barack Obama–will be to define Mitt Romney.
His piece in West Virginia’s “Columbian” today, arguing that the Founders would have gone along with Obamacare, includes this gem: “In 1792, [a] law signed by Washington required that all able-bodied men buy a firearm.”
I’m relatively certain that Mr. Spitzer wouldn’t feel comfortable enforcing that law today–though it is more Constitutionally justifiable (per the plain language of the Second Amendment) than a health care mandate.
…or at least the fault of voters in 9 “swing” states, all of which Obama won in 2008.
Xu Cheng, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, quoted in today’s New York Times, says, “The so-called grumpy voter effect is that despite economic improvement in a state, if the economic situation in a state is really too bad, the voters will discount the improvement.”
Translation: a vote against Obama is bad sportmanship, ignorance, and impatience. How is he supposed to REALLY “change” things without a second term?
So says The Washington Post’s Dan Balz today, in what might be the most ridiculous cheerleading presidential piece to date. My favorite part is Mr. Balz’s description of the opening of Obama’s speech in Ohio yesterday:
“Obama showed he is ready for the fight. His campaign skills have lost little in the four years since iconic rallies became the trademark of his candidacy. Introduced by first lady Michelle Obama, he walked onto a runway in the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University, paused, smiled, waved and smiled again.”
And when his speech was accomplished, he smiled and waved once more.
From ABC News: “President Obama told a largely Hispanic audience today [yesterday] that he is ready to sign the Dream Act and blamed Republicans for the failure of the legislation that would grant illegal immigrant students a path to citizenship.
“‘We’re going to keep fighting for this common-sense reform — not just because hundreds of thousands of talented young students depend on it, but because ultimately America depends on it,’ the president said at the annual Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House. ‘No’ is not an option. I want to sign the DREAM Act into law. I’ve got the pens all ready. I’m willing to work with anybody who is serious to get this done, and to achieve bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that solves this challenge once and for all.’”
Doesn’t this sound a little mob-like? I’ve got the pens ready? No is not an option?
Amnesty, Mr. President, is not an option.
Or at least Jay Carney did, in what surely was a slip of the tongue during yesterday’s daily press conference: “‘If the regime’s intransigence continues, the international community is going to have to admit defeat,’ White House press secretary Jay Carney said.”
But don’t forget, we’re tough–Obama got Osama.
From CNN: “A possible breakthrough emerged on Friday in the case of Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese activist who made a daring escape from house arrest and took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing before venturing out amid U.S.-Chinese negotiations over his future.
“The Chinese government said he could apply to travel to the United States to study — a development that the United States instantly cited as an encouraging sign of progress in what has been a thorny and controversial impasse.
“‘As a Chinese citizen, he may apply like other Chinese citizens according to the laws and normal procedures of the relevant departments,’ Liu Weimin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is ‘encouraged’ by the statement.
“‘From the beginning, all of our efforts with Mr. Chen have been guided by his choices and our values, and I’m pleased that today our ambassador has spoken with him again, our embassy staff and our doctor had a chance to meet with him and he confirms that he and his family now want to go to the United States so he can pursue his studies,’ Clinton told reporters in Beijing.”
So the news is that he wants to come to The United States, and the Chinese government has said he can fill out an application–just as I could drive to the bank and fill out an application for a million-dollar loan.
You’ve probably heard the story about Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who boldly escaped house arrest (he had no pending legal charges; his crime was simply protesting against forced abortions). He managed to outflank security surrounding his house and, with the help of human rights activists, travel 300 miles to Beijing, where he ended up in the American embassy.
And then we let him go, as far as he knew, because the Chinese government promised to a) beat his wife if he didn’t leave the embassy, and b) treat his family just fine, assuming that he complied.
When he got out, he learned otherwise, and has since been literally begging us to give him asylum here in the United States. He hasn’t heard back from us.
Meanwhile, Hillary is in China this week for a conference on, among other things, North Korea and Syria. She opened the talks with a platitude about human rights, declaring that “The United States believes that no state can legitimately deny the universal rights that belong to every human being – or punish those who exercise them.”
There was no mention of Chen. The Chinese government, after all, is outraged about our taking Chen in. From a blog at the L.A. Times:
“‘It should be pointed out that Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese citizen, was taken by the U.S. side to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing via abnormal means, and the Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with the move,’ said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.
“‘What the U.S. side has done has interfered in the domestic affairs of China, and the Chinese side will never accept it,’ Liu said at a briefing in Beijing.
“China demands that U.S. authorities investigate their handling of the Chen affair, hold anyone who violated international protocol accountable and provide guarantees that similar actions never recur, Liu said.”
This is reminiscent of the ’90′s, when Hillary spoke sternly about women’s rights in Afghanistan. Her words accomplished nothing; it took Bush’s presidential backbone and military force to improve the lives of women there. No one currently in charge of our government is willing to do whatever it takes to secure safety for Chen and his family.
Some will protest, “but Will, it’s not our job to police the world!” True enough. But each time we talk the talk without walking the walk, we look weaker and more vulnerable.
Dare I joke that there’s a looming Presidential apology to China for housing Chen?
While Obama Plays Commander In Chief, Romney Plans To Flip-Flop (Again) His Way Into The White House
This story from The Hill has made me back away from my absolute confidence that Obama is a one-termer. Romney is following the stale strategy that prescribes moving Right during the primaries and then lurching Leftward (to the center) during the general election.
Never mind that Reagan won re-election in 1984 by consistently campaigning as a conservative. Mondale, his opponent, lost all but his home state and Washington D.C. It was the biggest landslide in our history.
Romney will now be for the bailout after having been vehemently against it; for parts of the DREAM ACT, contrary to his tough primary anti-illegal-immigration stance; and in agreement with Obama that interest rates on student loans should remain artificially low (costing taxpayers $6 billion a year).
What’s next? A stump speech praising Roe V. Wade? And while we’re vetting Mitt, what, exactly, is his foreign policy–and how do we know that it won’t change according to public sentiment as opposed to public safety?
Apparently not, I found out today while doing research for Friday’s “Athens Now” column.
I ran across an NPR story from December entitled “Report: High Levels Of ‘Burnout’ In U.S. Drone Pilots.” Being in actual combat missions, the argument goes, is less stressful than piloting the drone in some ways.
From the story: “The particular nature of drone warfare is a contributor to higher stress levels. While the number is very small, officials who conducted the study said they did encounter a handful of pilots who suffered symptoms of PTSD — post-traumatic stress disorder — directly linked to their experience running combat operations. Unlike traditional pilots flying manned aircraft in a war zone, the pilots operating remote drones often stare at the same piece of ground in Afghanistan or Iraq for days, sometimes months. They watch someone’s pattern of life, see people with their families, and then they can be ordered to shoot.”
NPR is surely worried that war might not ever end if the drone program remains one of our chief tools in the war against radical Islam, and so it’s understandable that they would capitalize on some pilots’ problems with flying the drone. Never mind that the ability to take out terrorists with zero risk to the pilot is a blessing. The danger lies in the potential for Obama to lean heavily on the drone, thinking that there is no moral or strategic backlash to its overuse.
…but, like Ron Paul, perhaps, he’s definitely not out of the discussion. And he’s going after Obama in his speech in Arlington fervently as I write. On foreign policy, he just said, “It was nice that the President broadcasted from Afghanistan; the center of al Qaeda today in Yemen. I’m not sure that the White House has gotten that briefing yet, but they will eventually.”
We’ll be talking about his speech on the show tonight. My initial thoughts are that he sounds emotionless about suspending his campaign, and resolved to help Romney win. And he talked substantively about the prescriptions for America’s revival with the enthusiasm that characterized his campaign, something unusual for a concession speech. Governor Romney would be well-advised to include Newt on some front, even if it’s just regular campaign stops. Newt inspires his base in a way that Romney simply isn’t capable of matching.
Oh, and he spent a good deal of time talking, in a visionary sort of way, about the urgent need to continue pursuing space.
The South Carolina Congressman took on Kathleen Sebelius, Health And Human Services Secretary, and she lost. Watch:
Most of my fellow Tea party friends are against the Patriot Act. Until today, I thought that opposition to the bipartisan bill which has helped us stop more than a few attacks was isolated.
A piece in the Wall Street Journal today suggests otherwise. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which reaffirms the President’s authority to try terrorists in military court, is, to pacifists and Tea Party folks alike, outrageous.
So much so that states are reacting. From the Wall Street Journal Story: “This month Virginia became the first to forbid state employees from ‘assisting’ the feds ‘in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of any citizen” under the provisions of the NDAA. This means that as of July 1 in Richmond a state trooper could not arrest the likes of the late Virginia cleric-turned-terrorist-recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki because he might end up in a military brig. A U.S. missile targeted and killed Awlaki in Yemen on Presidential orders, but Virginia police couldn’t detain him.’”
When the Tea Party started, the object, I thought, was to reign government in and return it to its proper and limited tasks, one of which is protecting the nation.
Now, it seems, some in the Tea Party have decided to treat terrorists the same way that the Left treats illegal aliens. That must change.
From Fox News: “A top EPA official has resigned after coming under scrutiny for 2010 remarks in which he compared the agency’s enforcement strategy to Roman crucifixion.
“Al Armendariz, the top environmental official in the oil-rich South and Southwest region, resigned in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Sunday, saying he did not want to be a distraction for the agency. The resignation is effective Monday.”
I wonder if Armendariz was asked (euphemistic for told) to resign? Naaaa! Surely not.
In other news, from the AP: “Federal prosecutors said Friday there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges against a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the shooting death of a 15-year-old Mexican national in 2010.
“The agent didn’t act inconsistently with Border Patrol policy or training regarding the use of force in the death of Sergio Hernandez-Guereca, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement announcing the decision, which was quickly denounced by the Mexican government.”
It seems that the administration, having lost many members of its base, is starting to court conservatives.
This time it is, to quote Gallup, “the bedrock of blue-collar Democrats”–working Americans without college degrees. According to Gallup, the President’s approval rating among this key group was 66% in January of ’09, and is just 45% today.
In other Gallup Daily Tracking news, the President is down among those making $2,000 a month or less, 73% to 54% over the same time period.
Obama, inexplicably, has done better with high and low income earners than he has with the middle class. That reality is a recipe for defeat for any Democrat.
Jose Rodriguez, who ran the CIA’s counter-terrorism center, is promoting his new book, “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.” He was on “60 Minutes” last night and “CBS This Morning” today making a compelling case for the legality and the morality of waterboarding.
It’s a fascinating story; the year was 2002, and the CIA along with Pakistani intelligence captured several terrorists during a raid, including Abu Zubaydah, a top aide to bin Laden, who helped coordinate the twin embassy bombings in Africa in 1998.
The FBI began asking questions of the captured enemy, and initially he gave answers. But after regaining his strength from injuries he had suffered pre-capture, he became increasingly recalcitrant.
From CBS News: “Rodriguez said high level detainee Abu Zubaydah had provided some initial information, but then he ‘clamped up and he was not talking anymore.’”
“We needed a new approach, a new technique,’ Rodriguez said. ‘Something new, something outside the box. That’s how we came up with the enhanced interrogation techniques.’”
And they worked. Zubaydah, after being waterboarded, provided the CIA with 9/11 mastermind KSM’s code name, and more importantly, led the CIA to Jose Padilla, the dirty bomb terrorist who, as directed by KSM, was on his way to America to blow up apartment buildings using natural gas.
Padilla arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport on May 8th of ’02 and was promptly apprehended thanks to the information provided by Zubaydah while being waterboarded.
Which brings us to the conclusion that waterboarding is a moral imperative. Hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans would have died in apartment complexes had the CIA decided not to employ it and other enhanced interrogation techniques to gain valuable intelligence.
He did, of course, and if you haven’t seen it, here it is:
What’s curious is that Obama would sanction the ad, given that Bill Clinton ignored bin Laden throughout his tenure as President, from the first WTC attack in 1993 (Clinton didn’t even visit the site) up through the U.S.S. Cole attack in 2000. Oh, and let’s not forget the two fatwas (declarations of war) issued by bin Laden in ’96 and ’98 respectively.
Catching him, to be fair, was hard work; gathering intelligence, analyzing it, and acting on it successfully takes time and diligence. Clinton might be given the benefit of the doubt, except for the inconvenient truth that Sudan offered Clinton bin Laden on a silver palate twice. After Clinton was out of office, he argued in a speech that “At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America, so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him.”
Huh? Again, Sir, is orchestrating the ’93 World Trade Center bombing not a crime?
The answer is, in fact, that it was an act of war. And any president who doesn’t recognize it as such is not qualified to judge another president’s foreign policy acumen.
World Net Daily is a nice site, but no one who writes for them seems to have discovered the phenomenon known to the rest of us as “humor.”
Their story on last night’s White House Correspondents Dinner (an event where everyone takes the evening off from politics and tries to laugh a little–and no one or anything is sacred) begins with a birther rant, picking apart Obama’s jokes about his birthplace.
“Barack Obama,” WND writes, “opened last night’s White House Correspondents Dinner – an annual chuckle-fest with D.C. reporters and pop culture celebrities – with a pair of jokes and a wink about his supposed Hawaii birthplace.”
Someone call Michael Moore! Oh, wait: he’s the Left-Wing conspiratorial kook.
WND continues, “He began with more veiled joke [sic] alluding to April 28 of last year, when the White House released to the press a copy of his purported long-form birth certificate, a move prompted in part by calls from Donald Trump to see evidence of Obama’s eligibility to be president.
“’My fellow Americans, we gather during a historic anniversary,’ Obama said. ‘Last year at this time, in fact on this very weekend, we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals.’
“Video screens in the room then flashed a photo of Trump.”
As Larry The Cable Guy would say, “I don’t care who you are–that’s funny.”
But not to World Net Daily, which interrupted its own story to write–and the italics are theirs, not mine–“Join thousands of Americans in signing the petition urging Congress to take the issue seriously with an investigation of its own!”
The President, for the most part, left issues out of his opening act, taking light-hearted shots at everyone from Mitt Romney to himself.
On Mitt, he said, “I’m not going to attack any of the Republican candidates. Take Mitt Romney — he and I actually have a lot in common. We both think of our wives as our better halves, and polls show, to a alarmingly insulting extent, the American people agree. (Laughter.) We also both have degrees from Harvard; I have one, he has two. What a snob. (Laughter and applause.)”
Again, that was funny!
Kimmel, too, was refreshingly non-PC in his keynote speech. “”Mr. President,” he said, “remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow? That was hilarious.” Obama, to his credit, seemed to be genuinely laughing.
If you’re a birther, pick a night other than one in which the object is humor to express outrage. Otherwise, you’ll end up being the joke.
The headline from “The Times Of Israel” yesterday was “Obama lifts freeze on $192 million aid package to Palestinian Authority.”
The story begins, “U.S. President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. An official with the US Agency for International Development said Saturday that the money had been restored.”
The “ban” was, in fact, a bill passed by Congress in October of last year–The Palestinian Accountability Act–in response to the PA’s decision to go ahead and seek statehood despite promises that they wouldn’t. The bill reads, in part, “No funds available to any United States Government department or agency…may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.”
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor assures us that the money will be devoted to “ensuring the continued viability of the moderate PA government under the leadership of [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.”
Let’s not forget the agreement signed in February by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the leader of the terrorist group Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, calling for a Palestinian national unity government for the West Bank and Gaza. Leaving aside the Constitutional impropriety of Obama’s $192 million money grab, it will will be interesting to watch as the administration makes the case that a government which includes Hamas is moderate.
The story begins with this L.A. Times piece, published yesterday, which reported that Issa, the Chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, had drafted a 48-page contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder for having “obstructed and slowed” a Congressional investigation into the Fast and Furious program.
In short, the ridiculous F & F plan involved the Phoenix office of the ATF (part of Holder’s Justice Department) knowingly allowing illegal gun sales to thugs with the hope of tracking the thugs to prominent leaders of Mexican drug cartels. What could possibly go wrong?
Predictably, many of the guns alluded law enforcement, and two of them were found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December of 2010 (the program started in ’09). Issa and his committee, along with Senator Charles Grassley, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, have been trying to get answers from the Justice Department concerning what in the world they were thinking since late January of last year. Holder and Justice have stonewalled.
And Issa has finally had enough. “We are stalled,” he told Fox News today, “because of the cover up from the Justice Department…Getting to the truth, and the President knowing the truth and taking quick and decisive action…that’s going to take the kind of discovery we’re not getting.”
His words, while resolute, couldn’t match the mandate of sorts issued by South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, also on the Oversight Committee, who said last night that Holder’s days of holding out are numbered. “Before Memorial Day, Eric Holder will either comply or he will suffer consequences,” Gowdy told Greta, adding, for the sake of punctuation, that “[Holder's] appropriations bill is on the floor of the House in two weeks. Unless [The Justice Department] wants to sell paper clips and scrap metal to raise money,” he’d best stop “playing this game.”
Eureka! Congressional Republicans are finally challenging the White House’s presumption of extra-Constitutional power!
Not so fast, it seems. Despite the fact that the L.A. Times story cited above said that “top committee officials recently met for most of a day in the House speaker’s office and were given the green light to proceed toward a contempt citation,” The Daily Caller is reporting that Boehner may be wimping out:
“After the initial reports, a House Republican leadership aide told The Daily Caller that the LA Times and CBS reports were inaccurate. The GOP leadership aide said that ‘while there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action [holding Holder in contempt], no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders.’
“Initially, a spokesperson for Issa refused TheDC’s request for comment. But just hours after TheDC published a story detailing the appearance of infighting between Issa and Boehner, a House oversight committee spokesperson backed off and said the LA Times and CBS reports were inaccurate as well.
In other words, you’re still in the driver’s seat on this one, Attorney General Holder. Don’t be afraid to trample upon Congress; Boehner has your back.
…I ran out of time at the end of the show before I could get through the most salient parts of an interview that Leon Panetta did with NBC’s Brian Williams shortly after Osama bin Laden was taken out by our brave Navy Seals. My point in going back to the interview was to demonstrate that A) Getting Osama was a good thing, but in the big picture, it doesn’t change much in terms of the threat from radical Islamists that we continue to face, and B) He would probably still be at large had we not used waterboarding as one method of gathering valuable intelligence. Obama can’t claim credit for killing bin Laden without renouncing his opposition to the “enhanced interrogation techniques” which helped make it happen.
I didn’t get through all the clips, again, because the clock ran out, so here’s the entire interview, with the most salient parts (the ones in which Panetta makes my case) coming around the 1:15 mark and the 9:00 mark. Take a look:
Sessions’ guest editorial appears in today’s Washington Times.
An excerpt: “Under Senate rules, if a budget is opened for consideration on the Senate floor, it begins a period of extensive amendment and debate. Senators would be forced to face public accountability for how much they wish to tax and spend.
“Mr. Reid’s determination to keep a budget off the floor is part of a deliberate strategy to shield his members from tough votes and electoral risk – at the expense of duty, law and the American people.
By refusing to do a budget for three straight years – during a time of financial danger – the Senate’s Democratic majority has proved itself unworthy to lead.”
Sessions has an excellent point that more Washington Republicans should be echoing. In essence, Reid, knowing that more than a few Senate Dems are vulnerable this year, has decided to minimize their political liability by breaking the law so that they don’t have to cast unpopular votes that would go along with the post-budget amendment process. This is a cowardly abdication of leadership, and worthy of returning the Senate over to a party that would simply follow the rules.
Fox News reports that “President Obama pledged during his 2008 campaign to take a hands-off approach to medical marijuana, but four years later raids and other tactics have forced as many as 200 medical-marijuana growers and distributors to cease operations, resulting in sharp criticism from likely voters and fellow Democrats.
“Medical marijuana supporters say the reason behind the apparent policy shift remains a mystery.
“‘It’s really confusing, Kris Hermes of Americans for Safe Access said, Thursday. ‘The president’s tactics are worse than those of his predecessor, George Bush.’”
How many more of Obama’s core constituencies does he think he can alienate before his re-election chances are non-existent? He has, to date, let down environmentalists (cap and trade failed); unions (he turned down the pipeline, after all, which would have created tens of thousands of jobs), gay rights advocates (gay marriage isn’t yet a Constitutional amendment); pacifists (war still exists); and now potheads, who are…confused.
Have I mentioned that Big Bird could beat Obama?
From The Hill: “Vice President Biden ordered supporters to ‘pretend you like me’ after mocking them as ‘dull as hell’ at a campaign fundraiser in Washington on Friday.
“The vice president was speaking to Turkish and Azerbaijani donors about the potential of the region as a democratic and economic force when he noticed he wasn’t getting much of a reception.
“’I guess what I’m trying to say without boring you too long at breakfast – and you all look dull as hell, I might add. The dullest audience I have ever spoken to. Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!’ Biden said.”
What a way to talk to folks who paid $2,500 a head to be there!
From The Detroit News: “Vice President Joe Biden says the campaign’s re-election theme is simple.
“‘If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President (Barack) Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,’ Biden will say this morning in a speech at New York University, according to excerpts released by the campaign. ‘Governor Romney is counting on our collective amnesia. But Americans know that we cannot afford to go back to the future.’”
Leaving aside GM’s woes, including the death of the Chevy Volt, does the VP really think that voters give President Obama credit for killing Osama?
And if Vice-President Biden wants to make that case, isn’t he obliged to concede that “enhanced interrogation techniques”–i.e. waterboarding–played a role?
Hint: Leon Panetta say so while head of the CIA under Obama. Tune in tonight to hear Panetta’s words during an NBC interview last year in the wake of Osama’s death.
Bob Costa has a great piece at NRO discussing the Left’s latest shot to the Republican Party’s jugular: the portrayal of Paul Ryan as…an atheist, perhaps?
From the piece: “Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, recently called Ryan ‘an Ayn Rand devotee’ who wants to ‘slash benefits for the poor.’ New York magazine once alleged that Ryan ‘requires staffers to read Atlas Shrugged,’ Rand’s gospel of capitalism. President Obama has blasted the Ryan budget as Republican ‘social Darwinism.’”
This is a new twist. Republicans–and chairmen of the budget committee can be particularly vulnerable–are always characterized as the party of starving children and rendering the elderly homeless. They’re Scrooges and Grinches.
But now they’re eugenicists? Chairman Ryan, for instance, as an Ayn Rand fan (and thus necessarily an atheist) has a plan, through his budget, to weed out the undesirables. Republicans, you see, hate women, minorities (Hispanics in particular), clean air, clean water, and rich people having to pay taxes. It only makes sense to add God to the list, if you’re recipe for victory is vitriol.
This, from Washington Examiner columnist Noemie Emery: “Two years after passing their dream legislation, Democrats are in a bad place. They lose if the Supreme Court leaves it alone and gives the Republicans their dream of an issue. They lose if the Supreme Court calls it unconstitutional, as that would mean they wasted two years of effort and lost the House in exchange for nothing at all.
“How did the Democrats get themselves in this position? Jonathan Alter explains: ‘Democrats are wondering if it was worth it to lose the House … and perhaps the White House … over a bill that may be declared unconstitutional,’ he said last week in his column. ‘The answer is yes.’
“‘We need to be clear about the purpose of politics,’ he explains further. ‘It is not to win elections. … Public approval as expressed in elections is the means to change the country, not the means in itself.’ So the purpose of politics is to change the country in ways voters cannot stomach, while telling terrified congressmen it’s their moral duty to stiff their constituents by enacting a bill they abhor.”
The purpose of football, I guess, isn’t to win, but to change the country’s opinion about who should win.
From The Huntsville Times: Demos overtakes Gentle in Republican runoff for Madison County probate judge
Read the story here.
Both candidates came on my show and were exceptionally gracious, with different but equally relevant skills to bring to the table. Congratulations to Patty Demos, who is poised to handily beat Tommy Ragland in November.
Today’s government-is-inherently-corrupt tale involves drug trafficking by four members of the TSA.
From Fox News: “Two former and two current Transportation Security Administration employees have been arrested and indicted on drug conspiracy charges for allegedly allowing large amounts of cocaine and other drugs to pass through security screening at Los Angeles International Airport last year.
“Seven people face drug-related charges in a 22-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court. Other charges include paying and receiving bribes by a government official.
“The indictment says 30-year-old Naral Richardson orchestrated five incidents where TSA screeners agreed to waive narcotics through security checkpoints. In exchange, some of the screeners were allegedly paid as much as $2,400 for their involvement. The alleged incidents occurred from early February 2011 to July 2011, the release said, citing the indictment.”
For fun, trying Googling “tsa workers drug trafficking.” As I’ve always maintained, if we’re going to stop the next terrorist hijacking, it’s going to have to be with intelligence that allows us to stop the terrorist before he makes it to airport security.
It is a maxim, of course, that government is inherently inefficient. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, though, is driving home the point as well as the GSA ever could.
Panetta flew back and forth from Washington to his home in California twenty-seven times in ten months, at a cost of about $860,000, Fox News reported last week.
When asked about this at a press conference on April 16th (and to be clear, he has broken no laws here), he said, “I regret that it [my travel] does add cost that the taxpayer has to pick up. The taxpayer would have to pick up those costs with any secretary of state–er…secretary of defense.”
From heading up the CIA to heading up the defense department, he still doesn’t know what he’s doing, saying, or, for that matter, what he’s heading up.
To put it all in perspective, Panetta traveled home more in those ten months than Bob Gates, the former Secretary of Defense, traveled in five years. (Gates’ home is in Washington state.)
Writing at The Daily Beast, Beinart references a recent Gallup poll, which says that “the percentage of Americans who say they would not vote for a Catholic, a woman, an African-American, or a Jew has dropped sharply since the 1960s and 1970s. The percentage saying they would not vote for a Mormon, however, hasn’t budged. In 1967, the first year Gallup asked the question, 17 percent of Americans said they would not back a Mormon candidate. When Gallup asked again last summer, the figure had risen to 22 percent.”
So how to explain the increase in anti-Mormonism? “According to Gallup,” Beinart writes, “while only 18 percent of Republicans said they would oppose a Mormon candidate, among Democrats the figure was 27 percent.”
The question, then, is, are Democrats religious bigots, or secular rats, using religion to try to affect the outcome of the election? Either way, it’s safe to say that they’re shameful, and probably more than a little bit afraid of losing.
…comes from Peter Diamond, a Nobel prize winner in economics, and Emmanuel Saez, a UC Berkeley economics professor. In a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, they write, “we conclude that raising the top tax rate is very likely to result in revenue increases at least until we reach the 50% rate that held during the first Reagan administration, and possibly until the 70% rate of the 1970s. To reduce tax avoidance opportunities, tax rates on capital gains and dividends should increase along with the basic rate.”
Translation: We think that people don’t react to higher taxes on income by avoiding them, but in the event that they do, let’s raise taxes on capital gains, as well.
It should be noted that even Bill Clinton had enough sense to lower the capital gains tax in ’97, resulting in higher revenue.
The CATO Institute’s Alan Reynolds ran the numbers last year, examining tax rates from the fifties forward, and the resulting tax revenue. You can read his entire analysis here.
Chris Cillizza has an opinion on the subject in today’s Washington Post. ”Viewed broadly,” he writes, “it appears that the tea party may well be a victim of its own success. In 2010, it proved its powers — beating establishment-backed candidates in Senate races in Delaware, Colorado, Florida, Utah and Alaska to name a few. The result? Candidates are far more wary of crossing the tea party this time around, moving to embrace it rather than stare it down.
“’The reason for the appearance of less tea party success is that the establishment candidates have moved markedly to the right this cycle,’ said Jon Lerner, a Republican consultant. ‘As the establishment candidates have moved to the right, there is less of a gap for tea party candidates to exploit.’”
My question–and Cillizza’s–is what is the tea party’s next move? He suggests that the answer, perhaps, is fiscal austerity, a euphemism for tax hikes. I say, in a word, not.
That’s The New York Times headline. The story begins, “Reacting to the bird strike that resulted in the nearly disastrous ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January, government agencies announced new efforts on Thursday to control the region’s noisy, prolific and seemingly indefatigable Canada geese.
“A focus of the plan is the removal of up to 2,000 of the birds for the first time from more than 40 city-owned parks and other facilities within five miles of the city’s airports.”
Removal means the death of the birds. It makes sense, of course, but, as pointed out below, do the birds not enjoy the same rights that humans do?
“Of course not” is the answer. We can only hope that most folks reading this story, and the one below, value human life more than the life of birds or mice.
From Kerry Picket in today’s Washington Times: “The EPA is doing their part to research air pollution and is engaged in testing the effects of air pollution on our bodies. According to an EPA case study published in Environmental Health Perspectives in September 2011 a human test subject was used by the EPA to study the effects of air pollutants on our bodies.”
Picket’s report includes a case of a woman (there were more than 40 human “volunteers” in all) who suffered atrial fibrillation after being voluntarily exposed to an air pollutant.”
She ended up being fine, though, so why should anyone be outraged? She volunteered to study the effects of air pollution, after all, unlike the cute mice who are forced into helping us find a cure for cancer.
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a piece in The San Francisco Gate today entitled “Tax fairness would increase growth.”
Reich argues that we face a deficit in public investment, and “unless the rich pay their fair share of taxes, [it] will only become worse.”
Forget for a moment the fact that “the rich” pay a disproportionately unfair share of taxes as things currently stand; once again, we have a choice between the merits of public versus private investments.
And once again, the opportunity arises to compare and contrast Reich’s view of things to J.F.K.’s.
The former President, in a a speech on taxes in 1962, said, “every dollar that is released from taxation…will help create a new job and a new salary.”
Read Reich’s piece, and watch President Kennedy below. Kennedy is right. And Romney, surely, is relishing the debate.
This is not from “The Onion,” but rather from the AP: “Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he’s unsure whether he’ll vote for President Barack Obama or likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“In a statement Friday, Manchin said he has real differences with both Obama and Romney. He also said many West Virginians believe the last 3 ½ years have not been good.
“One of the more moderate Senate Democrats, Manchin is seeking re-election this year in a state Obama lost to Republican Sen. John McCain, 56-43 percent, in 2008. Obama fared worse in the Democratic primary against Hillary Rodham Clinton, losing 67-26 percent.
“Manchin, the former governor who won the Senate seat in 2010, remains popular in West Virginia.
“He told the National Journal that he will look at the options for president.”
This is way beyond the “please Mr. President, don’t campaign for me” that Obama will be hearing from vulnerable Senate Democrats nationawide in coming weeks.
So says Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air. Noting that 11 vulnerable Democratic Senators voted with 47 Republicans last month, nearly breaking a filibuster against the pipeline, Morrissey goes onto describe the growing disenchantment among Congressional Dems with regard to the health care bill.
Morrissey writes, “Obama has to defend ObamaCare in this election; other than Dodd-Frank and the Lily Ledbetter Act, it’s his only real legislative accomplishment…
“…Right now, though, it looks like Democrats on Capitol Hill aren’t concerned about loyalty to a sinking Obama. It’s every politician for him/herself.”
As has been pointed out for years on the show, the Democrats continue to be mired in an entrenched internecine battle.
For those who have forgotten, he was Obama’s environmental jobs czar who resigned in 2009 after several controversial diatribes.
He’s back. His latest is this interview with allhiphop.com.
Perhaps this is today’s Obama embarrassment? It’s in the running, anyway.
1) High gas prices/speculators;
2) The soldiers who posed with the bodies of terrorists who killed themselves;
3) The Secret Service Agents who partied in Colombia in advance of the President’s recent visit?
Follow-up question: Will the Secret Service, with, at least in part, its cavalier concern for safety, let Nugent have it to deflect attention away from their foibles?
So asks Stephen Marche in May’s The Atlantic magazine.
“When you sign up for Google+ and set up your Friends circle,” he writes, “the program specifies that you should include only ‘your real friends, the ones you feel comfortable sharing private details with.’ That one little phrase, Your real friends—so quaint, so charmingly mothering—perfectly encapsulates the anxieties that social media have produced: the fears that Facebook is interfering with our real friendships, distancing us from each other, making us lonelier; and that social networking might be spreading the very isolation it seemed designed to conquer.”
That may be a little extreme, but I must say, as a relative social media neanderthal, it’s irritating to be out with a group of friends, all of whom are multitasking on their Smart Phones. I feel quite lonely, and usual ending up embracing strangers.
And I must add that even though I’m not a big bumper sticker fan, I saw one not too long ago that I loved. It read (and I paraphrase) “I only said yes to being your Facebook friend, not ‘I do.’”
Watch this exchange between Department of Energy Inspector General Greg Friedman and Texas Republican Joe Barton on the question of how much money the Department of Energy spends on travel (taking place during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Wednesday):
Here’s a link to the video footage of the Iranian people having had enough of Mahmoud and the miserable state of their economy (from Fox News Wednesday morning). Make that girl who jumps up in his face our Secretary of Defense!
Holman W. Jenkins has a column in today’s Wall Street Journal addressing, brilliantly, what we talked about on the show yesterday–to wit: why do some of us hate when others might have more than we do, even if we have plenty?
Jenkins’ piece is worth reading in its entirety, but the two best parts are:
A) “If it were learned that the car driven by the average American is 10 times more likely to burst into flames than the car driven by the richest 1%, what should the policy response be? Should it be to mandate that cars driven by the rich burst into flames more often?
“Income inequality is a strange obsession, at least to the extent the obsessives focus their policy responses on trying to adjust the condition of the top 1% rather than improving the opportunities of everyone else.”
B) “One can only wonder how much faster progress on tax reform or school choice would have been if the political capital devoted to income inequality had been devoted to fighting entrenched institutional resistance to useful reforms.”
Charles C.W. Cooke, blogging today at National Review Online, unearths an excerpt from Obama’s 1995 book Dreams From My father, in which the President reflects, “With Lolo [Obama's stepfather], I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”
Add animal rights activists to the list of the Left’s base groups that are going to be outraged.
This time their lead editorial addresses his gas price speech yesterday, in which he declared war on speculators.
The Post editors write, “With gas prices high and an election looming, the president announced a very public crackdown on ‘those who manipulate the market for private gain at the expense of millions of working families.’ He asked Congress to spend $52 million on more oversight, to allow regulators to set higher capital requirements in oil markets, and to mandate a few other steps…Yet the administration can’t offer any satisfying explanation for why they are so necessary as to require emergency congressional action. The only emergency seems to be a mindless election-year war over who’s to blame for sustained high gas prices — a question for which Mr. Obama himself has repeatedly given the most reasonable answer: those shadowy actors called supply and demand.”
Yet another reason I have always called the Washington Post America’s “non-kook” liberal rag. Unlike at The New York Times, writers at the Post actually inject facts into their commentary, even if their op-eds usually reach the wrong conclusion (i.e. you won’t like the last sentence of the editorial, but the above excerpt makes perfect sense).
There’s this from today’s New York Times: “North Korea said on Tuesday that it was abandoning an agreement it made in February with the United States, in which it promised to suspend uranium enrichment, nuclear tests and long-range missile tests.
“The North Korean Foreign Ministry said that it ‘resolutely and totally’ rejected the United Nations Security Council’s condemnation of its failed rocket launching last week, and that it would continue to launch rockets to try to place satellites into orbit.
“The ministry’s statement hinted, but did not make clear, that the North may now conduct a long-range missile or nuclear test.
“No longer bound by the deal, ‘we have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures,’ the ministry said in the statement, which was carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. ‘The U.S. will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences.’”
Meanwhile to the “experts” who claim that the way to deal with North Korea’s recalcitrance is by engaging China, the story goes on, “Some analysts said on Tuesday that China may have broken a Security Council resolution by providing 16-wheel missile-launching vehicles that were seen in a military parade in Pyongyang, the North’s capital, on Sunday carrying a new type of missile.
“Ted Parsons of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly pointed out similarities to a known Chinese vehicle: ‘The same windscreen design, the same four windscreen wiper configuration, the same door and handle design, a very similar grill area. almost the same front bumper lighting configuration, and the same design for the cabin steps.’”
In other words, what’s our next move? It is unlikely (and il-advised) that we go on offense militarily.
Which is why our development of missile defense–something the President has abandoned–remains urgent.
The salient question is, if, as he said in his speech, “this presidential race is over for me,” why merely suspend the campaign?
Answer: So that he can get back in. It’s that simple. Tim Pawlenty, who officially “suspended” his campaign in August of last year, officially quit today.
Senator Santorum mentioned foreign policy more than once–Iran, for example, came up (a good thing, strategically). My guess is that, if anything plagues the Romney camp, Santorum will be right back in–hence the “suspension” status.
Whatever the case, the Senator and his family are a class act, and deserve accolades for talking about social issues, and leading by example. He remains a valuable asset to the Republican Party.
So says visiting Irish journalist Tom Clonan in his culturally ignorant piece at the Irish Times.
The author visited Alabama thanks to an exchange program. About being in Montgomery, Clonan writes that in the evenings, he and the others “attended a number of uniquely American cultural events. We watched the local Montgomery Biscuits take on Auburn University.
“Cops, cheerleaders, players and large family groups – black and white – mingled easily around hot dog stands and stalls selling ice-cold beer.”
And then, I guess, two inbreeds hopped out of a pickup and started playing “Dueling Banjos.”
Read the whole column–it can easily be laughed at sentence by sentence.
And by the way, surely there’s a goofier mascot than the “Biscuits” outside of the state of Alabama.
I hope Clonan examines racism somewhere up north the next time he visits.
It’s not going to work, reports Sunday’s Jerusalem Post: “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that Iran would continue on its nuclear path even if the whole world stands up to it, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported.
“Speaking at an event marking the country’s ‘Nuclear Technology Day,’ Ahmadinejad said Iran would defend its dignity and not bow to enemy pressure, IRNA reported.”
I would suggest that we designate a date down the road as our own “Nuclear Technology Day” just to show an increasingly recalcitrant Iran that we have it in our sites, but I’m a bit afraid of what we might find out, given the malignant negligence of the current administration.
Yes, the story is as ridiculous as it sounds: “As a community activist in Queens, Muhammad Rashid has fought for the rights of immigrants held in detention, sought the preservation of local movie theaters and held a street fair to promote diversity.
“But few of those causes brought him anywhere near as much grief and controversy as his stance on yoga.
“Mr. Rashid, a Muslim, said he had long believed that practicing yoga was tantamount to “denouncing my religion.”
“’Yoga is not for Muslims,’ he said. ‘It was forbidden.’”
And we’re supposed to talk radical Islamists (the tiny minority of Muslims who remain our enemy) out of nuclear weapons, even as there seems to be no hope for yoga?
The President, with remarkable audacity, is blaming Bush for the 2010 Vegas gathering of the GSA in which about eight-hundred-twenty-five-thousand dollars was spent on (for instance), a mind reader, and, (for another instance), the infamous video (watch the whole thing, including the awards ceremony at the end in which the guy who made the video is told “great job”).
It is true that the GSA blossomed under President Bush. President Obama, though, promised to reverse such profligate spending, and he hasn’t.
So Blaming Bush for government excess is almost like blaming Clinton for 9/11.
Almost, of course, because it is true that by the time Bush took office, he couldn’t have stopped the attacks. Obama could easily have reversed the excesses of the GSA. He didn’t.
And, as usual, the buck never stops with him.
I think I understand how delegates are assigned state by state, but I’m not confident enough to bet on it.
One thing’s for sure: no one really knows exactly how many delegates any of the candidates has at the moment. It’s wise, then, to acknowledge that nothing is decided yet.
If the delegate process confuses you, you aren’t alone. Tune in tonight–we’ll make sense of it.
Dear Will: Open your eyes, man. If Reagan were running today he would be considered a moderate by the current standards of the Republican Party.
My Answer: Perhaps. On the other hand, the Democratic Party’s icon, JFK, who was a tax-cutting-pro-military guy, would be considered a dangerous Right-winger by the Dem’s current standards.
And we wonder how it is that our government can sanction trillion-dollar deficits.
From The Kansas City Star: “U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s car wash headache is raging once again [Cleaver is a Democrat from Missouri].
“The bank that loaned the Kansas City congressman and his wife $1.3 million in 2002 to buy the Grandview Auto Wash at 12204 Blue Ridge Extension is now demanding payment of more than $1.5 million, after the Cleavers repeatedly fell behind on repaying the loan.
“The suit, filed last week in Jackson County Circuit Court, said the demand for repayment came after three attempts to delay foreclosure. Bank of America also is seeking attorney’s fees and a receiver to protect collateral.”
It’s been a while since Mo and I have chatted. I look forward to getting his take on the Constitutional showdown between The White House and the Courts, among other things. Tune in at six central on 106.5 FM, or, if you’re out of town, go to WBHPAM.com to listen live.
…and the excerpt I read on the air: “where economic regulations are at stake, judges must respect legislative decisions aimed at protecting society’s most vulnerable members.”
Read the whole thing here.
The White House is starting to lose its confidence, and in the case of the usually congenial Jay Carney, his cool. Irrespective of any premature poll putting Obama up against the Republican nominee and has him ahead, they’re getting worried.
This, the beginning of his speech yesterday, confirms it:
If arrogantly moving to the right is the game plan, we can all take comfort in my original forecast, offered up months ago, that Sponge Bob could beat Obama. The President today, in his response to the Republican budget, sounded angry, nervous, and unappealing–even to the sought-after independent voter. He mentioned Eisenhower, Reagan, and, yes, George W. Bush (all three favorably) to make his case. The desperation was unattractive.
Tune in tonight as we examine the speech, complete with the nervous laughter from a press corps that wants him to succeed.
In a piece at The Daily Beast, Begala, former Clinton advisor, is terrified that ObamaCare is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. He writes, “These are the folks who disgraced themselves in Bush v. Gore.”
And then he addresses Justice Alito’s analogy of health insurance to burial insurance, in which Alito said, “I don’t see the difference. You can get burial insurance. You can get health insurance. Most people are going to need health care. Almost everybody. Everybody is going to be buried or cremated at some point. What’s the difference?”
Begala’s answer? “The difference, you want to scream, is we don’t have a burial-insurance crisis in America. We aren’t spending 17 percent of our total national wealth on burials year after year. We aren’t bankrupting families because burial costs are out of control. Perhaps most important, if a person doesn’t get good health care, he or she will die. If someone doesn’t get a good burial, well, she or he is not going to die. Because, you jerk—I mean, your Honor—that person is already dead.”
My question to Begala is, what if, as a result of no government health care, Americans start dying in droves? Might there then be a burial-insurance crisis? And if there is, would you then be on Justice Alito’s side?
And just for fun, the follow-up question is, how does it feel to bite your nails wondering whether or not the Court will rule your way, regardless of what the Constitution prescribes?
From The Star Tribune: “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney faced a tough question about his Mormon faith while campaigning for Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary. A Ron Paul supporter asked Romney whether he agreed with a passage from the Book of Mormon that describes a cursing of people with a ‘skin of blackness.’”
I’m confused. Since when did Ron Paul acolytes develop an intolerance for those whose religious beliefs don’t square with theirs?
…Not Iraq or Afghanistan, but the trumped up effort to divide America by race, religion, and gender, there’s this piece, from Charlie Hurt, writing in the Washington Times about Obama’s bad week.
“Last Friday,” says Hurt, “Mr. Obama wandered into the killing of Trayvon Martin. Aided by his ignorance of the situation, knee-jerk prejudices and tendency toward racial profiling, Mr. Obama played a heavy hand in elevating a tragic situation in which a teenager was killed into a full-blown hot race fight.
“Americans, he admonished, need to do some ‘soul-searching.’ And then, utterly inexplicably, he veered off into this bizarre tangent about how he and the poor dead kid look so much alike they could be father and son. It was election-year race-pandering gone horribly wrong.”
Hurt’s portrayal of Obama’s comments is on the mark. The President is doing himself no favors. All of us who want him to be defeated should, after we get over our initial (and justified) indignation, recognize that he is in the process–whether on race, religion, or gas prices–of defeating himself.
From USA today: “President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side.
“In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points.
“The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.”
The war on women, apparently is working. The question is, why? I’m a Newt guy, but I want to know what Romney has done to offend women, and what the President has done to attract them.
It comes from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview with Gloria Steinem:
“Q. What if it’s a conservative Republican woman who gets elected? How would you feel?
A. I would be totally against her. The women’s movement in England was totally against Margaret Thatcher. She was a disaster.”
Leaving aside that she was one of three great leaders (the Pope and President Reagan being the other two) who brought down the Soviet Union, how dare you call her a disaster? She was (for those who didn’t notice) a woman!
The administration has announced that it is almost (but not quite) prepared to usurp the Supreme Court’s Constitutional authority in the event that the Court decides that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, Reuters reports.
“‘There is no contingency plan that’s in place. We’re focused on implementing the law,’ [White House spokesman] Josh Earnest told reporters. ‘If there’s a reason or a need for us to consider some contingencies down the line, then we’ll do it then.’”
Translation: The law is going to be fully implemented, whether the judicial branch of government sanctions it or not.
The story continues, “administration officials have spoken openly about possible contingencies in the past.
“At a Reuters Health Summit last May, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said there would be a number of ways to expand health coverage if the mandate were overturned.
“‘There are all kinds of sign-up possibilities, auto enrollment and a variety of strategies,’ she said.
“But analysts say the week’s proceedings may have left Obama in too fragile a position to speak publicly about contingencies.”
Bob Beckel weighed in on Fox News’ “The Five” Friday, saying, “Here’s the problem…if they strike down the mandate, right now there are 2.3 million kids who are getting their parents’ health insurance because of this bill; there are over two million seniors who are getting relief on their prescription drugs…it’s all going to be taken away if this goes down.”
Forget the scare tactics. The fact that the administration, bolstered by Beckel, thinks that the Court can be pressured into making a political decision in its favor (not to mention the mindset that there are ways around a “wrong” decision) demonstrates that, irrespective of what the Supremes decide, Congress must make overturning ObamaCare a priority next year.
And Obama has to go.