A New York Times report confirms it.
The merry pranksters at ACORN —who mere days ago said ACORN was dissolving on April Fool’s Day— continue to believe that you are too stupid to understand the organized crime syndicate’s tricks.
At least one doctor refuses to supinely accept a federal takover of American medicine. And the Democrats are furious.
Florida urologist Jack Cassell posted a sign on his office door reading, “If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years.”
Cassell, a registered Republican, quickly backpedaled in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, but said he’s perfectly happy to lose business over the sign. “I’m not turning anybody away, that would be unethical,” he told the Sentinel. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”
Patients who continue past the sign on Cassell’s door find a waiting room stacked with Republican pamphlets opposing health care reform, underneath a sign reading, “This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it.”
We need a few more doctors like Jack Cassell!
My April column on Brad Ellsworth, now up on the main site, was written before Ellsworth cast a crucial vote for the Democrats’ health care bill — even before the symbolic executive order concession to the Stupak Democrats. So now Ellsworth has voted for the stimulus, for the public option, and for a health care bill that does not adequately restrict public funding of abortion, undermining his claims to be a pro-life Blue Dog. He’ll also have Taxpayer Protection Pledge violations.
So Ellsworth is going to have to run as a Democrat who cast at least one vote against cap and trade, might get to vote against amnesty, and was for the Stupak Amendment before he was against it. That’s probabaly going to be a tall order whether the Republican nominee is Dan Coats, John Hostettler, or Marlin Stutzman.
From the American Enterprise Blog I see that my friend Chris DeMuth is thinking about the Liberal Mind. As I am about to release my new book, After The Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery, I am driven to reply to Chris. Coming out April 20, the book discusses much more than conservatives’ excesses. I engage Chris’s claim that “Progressives” are driven to their political orgies because they “believe that the natural course of history is the emergence of secular rationality as the true way to think about problems.…” This is true as far as it goes.
But, Chris, there is a deeper impulse driving the so-called Progressives. In Hangover I lay down the notion that they are goaded by a “political libido,” and it is the political libido of the nymphomaniac. In the case of healthcare reform it is the political libido of a sex offender. It transforms them from Chris’s “secular rationality” to a kind of orgiastic madness.
At AmSpec the spectacle of this madness provokes horselaughs among readers and writers alike — until April 15 and tax time. We Americans pay a lot in terms of taxes and loss of freedom because of the Liberals’ political incontinence, but at least they provide us with passing amusement and the sooner they pass the better.
Throughout the health care debate, I argued that it was a huge mistake for Republicans to focus on attacking the Medicare cuts in the Democrats’ health care legislation, because it reinforces the third-rail status of the program that will need to be seriously reformed to avert the impending fiscal collapse of the United States. Now, we’re starting to see GOP candidates dig themselves in even further, by continuing to attack the Medicare cuts.
Earlier this morning, I received a press release from Chris Cox, a Republican seeking to replace Tim Bishop in New York’s 1st Congressional district. The district went for Obama by just 3 points in 2008, and is seen as competitive this time around, with Bishop’s vote for the unpopular health care bill putting him in danger of losing his seat. It’s one thing to make the much narrower argument that we’re cutting Medicare to finance a new entitlement program, but Cox goes far beyond that.
His press release began:
Supporting a bill that cuts nearly $500 billion in Medicare funding that seniors across the country depend on, Tim Bishop’s vote on government-run health care has placed thousands of New York’s seniors in a serious situation as they struggle to afford health care.
The release also reads, in bold letters, “Tim Bishop’s vote for government-run health care leads to cuts in Medicare for 800,000 New York seniors.”
The intellectual incoherence in this statement is amazing. It attacks Bishop for voting for government-run health care while arguing that the mother of all government-run health care programs cannot be touched.
The release continues with a statement from Cox in which he engages in the type of demagoguery that is typically associated with Democrats:
“Many of our grandparents, mothers and fathers depend on Medicare to receive necessary health care, but with the reckless health care bill that Tim Bishop helped pass, their benefits have been put in danger. At a time when many of our seniors have seen their retirement savings vanish during our difficult economy, additional taxes and cuts to their health care benefits is just not something seniors can afford. To cut $500 billion in funding for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens is an outrage and something that I will fight to repeal if I am given the privilege to represent Long Islanders in Congress.”
Should Republicans retake the majority with new representatives like Cox, we’ll never be in a position to repeal Obamacare because Republicans won’t be able to make a credible philosophical argument against government-run health care. And in the long-run, having already promoted themselves as defenders of Medicare, they’ll never be in a position to vote for true entitlement reform along the lines of what’s been proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan.
Cox’s defense of the sanctity of Medicare should be viewed as nothing less than a direct assault on younger generations who will be forced to grapple with the burden of unsustainable growth in entitlements. If he were really concerned about protecting “our nation’s most vulnerable citizens,” he may want to think about the grandchildren for a change, instead of trying to score short-term political points using liberal rhetoric.
The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March, the Bereau of Labor Statistics reported this morning, as the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent.
Of those job gains, 48,000 were from Census workers who had been hired temporarily.
In addition, the numbers for the previous two months were revised to show improvement, with 14,000 jobs gained in January (earlier estimate was a loss of 26,000), and 14,000 lost in February (earlier estimate was a loss of 36,000).
There were 1 million discouraged workers in June, who have given up looking for work and thus are not included in the unemployment rate.
When combining those who have settled for part-time work, the broader unemployment rate crept up to 16.9 percent.
In a typical economy, this would be considered a weak report, but given how poor the labor market has been, the White House can still claim still progress relative to where we were.
The end is nigh. Germans are growing less concerned about global warming. What’s next? A revival of concern for individual liberty and limited government?
Germans citizens are rapidly losing faith in global warming following the Climate-gate scandals, according to a new report in Der Spiegel.
The report indicates that just 42 percent of Germans are worried about global warming, down substantially from the 62 percent that expressed concern with the state of the environment in 2006.
German news site The Local analyzed the results from the poll, conducted by polling company Infratest for the German newsmagazine. Many people have little faith in the information and prognosis of climate researchers, The Local explained, with a third questioned in the survey not giving them much credence.
This is thought to be largely due to mistakes and exaggerations recently discovered in a report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the site.
It’s frustrating being a climate alarmist today. The media and most governments have bought your propaganda, but the people still don’t believe you. Indeed, you’re losing public support. And you’ve run out of big awards to give Al Gore!
I think John Coyne’s review of Game Change is brilliant, through and through, so I hate to nitpick. But one sentence — and one only, in this great review — really sticks in my craw. It is the one that ends thusly: “The F-word was apparently McCain’s trademark. And for readers of Game Change, that’s how John McCain, who deserves better, will be remembered.”
But WHY does John McCain deserve better? Coyne never explains. Nor could he, because McCain does not deserve better. Does anybody doubt that this man of volcanic and inexcusable temper uses the F-word with reckless abandon? Does anybody doubt that this man of deep grudges, reportedly flagrant infidelities, an intense mean streak, and a disdain for the actual substance of most domestic political issues would easily lend himself to caricature precisely because his own manifold flaws make him a walking caricature all on his own?
It was fellow Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, after all, who early in 2008 — not somewhere back in distant memory, but in the presidential election year itself — told The Boston Globe that “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” Cochran was talking about the same McCain who parachuted in to immigration-bill negotiations at the last minute and started yelling at Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, with frequent F-bombs, that he, McCain, knew more about the issue than anybody there, even though he had been gone from the negotiations for six weeks.
Why does John McCain deserve better? Certainly not for flyng off the handle like a lunatic on crystal meth when the financial crisis hit in September of 2008. He soon took to spluttering that it was all the fault of SEC Chairman Chris Cox, a solid conservative and all-around good guy who actually had nothing whatsoever to do with the crisis — no oversight over the things that went bad, etc. (Actually, McCain’s criticism was even more ludicrous than most: The one and only thing that he specifically blamed Cox for NOT doing was something Cox actually had already done.)
McCain certainly dos not deserve better for providing crucial support to His sidekick Lindsey Graham’s personal and petty vendetta against Pentagon legal counsel William J. Haynes, when Haynes was up for a well-deserved judgeship — when Graham and McCain in effect accused Haynes of giving approval for torture, when he had done nothing of the sort.
McCain deserves no credit for running a terrible campaign that saddled us with Barack Obama as president; he deserves no credit for choosing a not-yet-prepared Sarah Palin for Veep, tossing her to the wolves without enough support, and then letting his aides try to blame her for the campaign’s failure even before the race was over — in the process unfairly harming a rising conservative star who had and has great potential that now has been sidetracked from productive governance to show business.
McCain’s Gang of 14 was awful. His support for amnesty was awful. His opposition to some of the good Bush tax cuts was awful. And his temper, his mean streak, his bullying tactics, all are inexcusable.
McCain loves his country. He served it honorably in captivity. He was right, and showed great leadership, about needing a “surge” in Iraq (and right that we should have had more boots on the ground all along).
But he is a vicious little man. Even if Game Change is not necessarily to be believed in all its particulars, because its sourcing appears woefully sketchy, the overall image Coyne says it paints of McCain is not an image that is hard to believe. Instead, it seems to capture McCain to a “T.” Or, rather, to an “F.”
Frank Rich, the longtime liberal columnist, was mistakenly arrested late last evening at his office in The New York Times.
Hours later, ABC announced that Joy Behar, the liberal comedienne and panelist on Barbara Walters’ The View is leaving the show. In a move that has also raised eyebrows, NBC simultaneously announced the departure from the Today Show of longtime anchorette Ann Curry.
Rich was released after spending only one night imprisoned in New York’s infamous Riker’s Island jail. He had been charged with a hate speech crime in a warrant filed by the Obama Administration’s Appropriate Speech Syndrome Commission (the ASS Commission in Washington bureaucratese), the new bipartisan agency created to “bring social justice and the Venezuelan Way” to the First Amendment. The Commission, chaired by actor Sean Penn, a liberal liberal, also includes the conservative liberal Arianna Huffington and the liberal conservative Canadian David Frum. Frum admitted to the “great sacrifice” in leaving the American Enterprise Institute to “once again be at the cutting edge of our society’s most important task: how to force Americans to think like me.”
It was later discovered a Rich column saying the president was “the worst President ever” was in fact an earlier column about George W. Bush and not about Barack Obama. Charges were dropped, and Rich’s request to stay on at Riker’s to spend three extra weeks “with those who do not discriminate against the gay community” was reluctantly denied.
While Ms. Walters is tight-lipped about Behar’s departure, it appears Behar has admitted in a biography appearing on the show’s website that she is “armed.” When Behar apparently protested that the reference was to a phrase that she was “armed with an MA in English education,” it was pointed out by co-host Whoopi Goldberg that the “M” in “MA” stood for “Master” and was hence an offensive suggestion that Behar had sympathies for slave masters.
In the climate of violence engendered by political extremists (“like that Moose Killer woman over at Fox,” sniffed one ABC executive) it was considered prudent by ABC brass that Behar and her now uncovered sympathies for violence and slavery depart the show.
The move comes as the Target department store announces in response to criticism from Today Show co-host Ann Curry that it will be renaming itself the “Object Aimed At” store.
Ironically, Curry herself has been forced out after failing to comply with a demand from her NBC employers that she change her last name if she wishes to continue on with the Today Show. According to one source in the network’s executive suite, while denying pressure from the Penn’s ASS Commission, ” ‘Curry’ is a synonym for ‘beat’ and ‘thrash.’ In this climate it has been pointed out to us correctly that we simply can’t have viewers tuning in to a show hosted by someone called ‘Ann Beat and Thrash.’ It’s a ratings loser and just feels, well, kind of creepy.” Also on the way out at NBC is what one Penn Commission source described as “zat hideously sexist Tiger Voods symbol, zee P-Cock.”
The departure of Behar and Curry along with the mistaken arrest of columnist Rich comes as Washington is abuzz over the newest bureaucratic power player on the Washington scene.
Police have begun raiding book stores around America to remove copies of a new bestselling book titled Conservative Victory.
The book is said to refer to ASS Commissioner Frum as “Fee Fi Fo Frum.” The ASS police would not discuss the raids or the book, nor would they comment on charges that Frum personally signed an arrest warrant for talk radio and Fox host Sean Hannity, said to be the author of the book. The warrant was 2,753 very detailed pages long and according to insiders was “personally written by David and the same Capitol Hill staffers who wrote the health care bill.” Charges that both the warrant and Commissioner Frum were incomprehensible were dismissed with threats of arrest to the reporter. “Look, Hannity’s books are banned, OK? Hannity’s shows will be banned? OK? Hannity will be banned. OK? Ronald Reagan is banned. OK? There is no such thing as a Conservative Victory. Now move along.” When a reporter inquired about Reagan the source snapped: “Look, Reagan lives, that’s all I can tell you.”
“ASS is going to be a huge boost for the president politically,” predicted one Obama White House strategerist. He pointed out that “Commissioner Huffington is seeking the death penalty for Guantanamo Bay’s most celebrated prisoner,” a move believed certain to be popular with voters. “Once she realized his name had been deliberately changed from “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’ to ‘Khalid Sheikh-Your-Booty Mo’ for Me’ the guy was toast. She wants him fried, preferably live on MSNBC.”
If Obama needs to be in Boston for two DNC fundraisers tonight, why is he going to Maine to give today’s ObamaCare sales pitch instead of making the speech in Massachusetts where they’ve already met the enemy and it is RomneyCare?
Coal to Newcastle
By Asher Embry
Obama goes to Maine today to sell ObamaCare.
He had to be in Boston but he couldn’t do it there.
The Bay State’s healthcare’s waning and its costs and budgets grow
So O could never sell them the calamity they know.
(You can read more of Asher Embry’s Political Verse at www.politicalverse.com.)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) not only has drawn a credible primary challenger in Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, but she has fallen further behind her Republican opponents in the latest Rasmussen poll. All but one of them takes more than 50 percent of the vote against her, which is particularly bad for an incumbent.
The Miami Herald headline writers show their anti-energy development bias (NIMBY!) with today’s headline, “Obama offshore drilling plan spares South Florida,” as though it had averted some kind of disaster:
South Florida’s coastline would not be affected under the plan. Previous federal studies have found little oil and gas there.
Obama, who wants Congress to act on climate change legislation, has sought to reach out to Republicans by signaling he is open to domestic energy exploration and steps to curb global warming. But a number of Republicans panned the proposal, saying it keeps more promising areas of oil and gas exploration, including California and Alaska, off limits.
“The President’s plan is flawed because it fails to open the Alaskan and Pacific coasts to drilling but allows oil rigs off the eastern Gulf of Mexico, threatening our natural resources and tourism-based economy,” said Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota.
Recent polls have suggested that Floridians may be wavering in their opposition to drilling.
The story is loaded with quotes from opponents. Meanwhile, Daniel Kish of the Institute for Energy Research writes today in the Washington Examiner that Obama’s plan opens no new territories for drilling:
The spin from his image-makers was clear - a major shift in policy was underway, which would open new areas on the Atlantic Coast to drilling. He would even allow drilling off of Virginia. But these areas were already open for drilling, following a national outcry in the summer of 2008 when the price of oil reached $150 per barrel.
President Bush and the Democratic Congress acted then to drop the decades-long embargo on U.S. oil and gas supplies, leaving only a small area in the eastern Gulf of Mexico off limits for energy production.
The only holdup since then to leasing U.S. waters has been the foot-dragging of his choice for Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar.
Meanwhile, in other news brought to you by the Herald:
As with the whitewash we saw when Penn State University investigated Climategate scientist Michael Mann, members of a science and technology select committee within the British Parliament cleared Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia, of wrongdoing. From the Guardian:
The committee did not condemn the actions of Prof Phil Jones, the head of UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) because it said he should have been better supported by the university in dealing with requests for data under the Freedom of Information Act. It added that the scientific reputation of Jones and the CRU was untarnished.
The committee’s report entitled “The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia,” said the focus on Jones and CRU in the row about the hacked emails had been “largely misplaced” and that, “on accusations relating to freedom of information, we consider that much of the responsibility should lie with UEA, not CRU”. In evidence to the enquiry, Jones admitted that he had sent some “awful emails.”
The British MPs conducted their investigation at least as shabbily as Penn State did with Mann, who has already been cleared on three of four allegations:
The MPs admitted that their enquiry into the emails was “limited” in its scope as only a single evidence session was held and the committee’s deliberations had to be rushed through ahead of the general election. However, it also concluded:
• There was no evidence to challenge the “scientific consensus” that global warming is induced by human activities.
• The balance of evidence “patently” failed to support the view that the phrases “trick” and “hide the decline” used by Jones in one email were part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not support his view. The report reads, “[Trick] appears to be a colloquialism for a “neat” method of handling data,” while “[hide the decline] was a shorthand for the practice of discarding data known to be erroneous”.
• On peer review, “the evidence we have seen does not suggest that Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process” and academics should not be criticised for “informal comments” on papers, MPs said. However, Willis acknowledged that because of “lack of time” they were only able to scratch the surface of these allegations. The report recommends that this should be examined in detail by a separate review of CRU’s science being headed by Lord Oxburgh.
• The MPs were unable to look in detail at allegations that data had been deleted by Jones.
• The MPs expressed “regret” that the UK’s deputy information commissioner had made a statement saying, in their words, that “at least some of the requested information should have been disclosed” without his office having conducted a formal investigation. However, they agreed that there was a prima facie case for the university to answer and that the Information Commissioner’s Office should conduct an investigation.
• The report did not address the controversy over Jones’s 1990 Nature article, which used weather station data from China that has subsequently turned out to be deficient - and the allegations that Jones did not acknowledge these deficiencies in the paper.
Other than that, a complete investigation! But we all recognize that our guiding principles (as well as those of the Mother Country) dictate that thorough justice and transparent government are secondary in importance to the preparation for an election — right?
Unlike leftist shills John Atlas, Peter Dreier, and the pathologically truth-averse Brad Friedman (BradBlog), City Hall continues to provide cutting-edge coverage of the transformation of ACORN, the left’s favorite organized crime syndicate.
City Hall, which covers New York City politics, reports that as ACORN allegedly “dissolves” its national structure the group’s “affiliates will no longer provide foreclosure counseling or help low-income workers apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit, two programs that were funded in part by taxpayer dollars.”
From the newspaper report:
“We’re not going to be a service group,” said Jon Kest, the former head of the New York chapter of ACORN and now the leader of New York Communities for Change, a local successor organization run by many of the same people. “The key piece for us is going to be community organizing.”
Refusing government funding and shedding their social-services components will also allow New York Communities for Change and other ACORN successors to more easily engage in electoral politics without opening themselves up to charges of using taxpayer dollars for partisan purposes.
Nationally, the group ran a political consulting arm called Citizens Services Inc. A local incarnation called New York Citizens Services was contracted by several Council candidates and the campaign of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in last year’s elections. Going forward, though, New York Communities for Change will operate as a nonprofit organizing group focused on public policy. […]
Tim Carney reports on those who made it through the Obama administration’s “ban” on lobbyists.
Marco Rubio is on the verge of politically slaying one of the most popular Republican governors in the country, what pundits saw as an unthinkable electoral coup a few months ago.
The charismatic 38-year-old’s unlikely rise to fame in Florida’s Republican U.S. Senate primary should give conservatives assurance that not all youth are flaming liberals. They can, in fact, serve the vital function of reigning in their wayward elders — of whom Charlie Crist is a poster boy, made evident by his stimulus whoring on Sunday.
The old adage, often attributed to Winston Churchill, that young conservatives don’t have a heart and old liberals don’t have a brain doesn’t apply here. Rubio has a heart and a brain, and he applies both to policy with vigor.
The same holds true for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, 40, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, 38, among many others. They’ve emerged as champions of responsible spending and foes of the president’s spendthrift ways. And they’re young.
That’s why conservatives shouldn’t give up on the youth demographic, especially as the Obama administration’s reckless policies keep hitting the pocketbook hard. Along those lines, the Harvard Institute of Politics produced positive results in its spring 2010 survey. It found that young Republicans are energized and more likely to vote than their Democrat counterparts in the upcoming midterms.
Also important, a majority of 18-29 year-olds said Obama and Congress should keep the deficit down, even if it means a slower economy. That flies in the face of the Keynesian model the Obama/Pelosi/Reid machine are riding.
The numbers are particularly enlightening after the 2008 election cycle. That year saw the largest disparity in political views between young and old voters since exit polling began in 1972, according to the Pew Research Center. Pew identified across-the-board liberal views for voters under 30, including beliefs that the federal government should be more involved in solving the nation’s problems.
That might be shifting as the nation’s youth see the disastrous consequences of government interventions in every aspect of the economy — and realize that, in the end, they’ll be footing the bill.
Conservatism is looking pretty darn cool again.
Do my eyes deceive me? My book is up on Amazon. Adorned by the title, After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery, it is on its way to the bookstores for an April 20 pub date. Already the notion of “Hangover” has caught on. Today’s Washington Post headlines Kathleen Parker’s piece on Republican excess “The GOP’s Michael Steele Hangover.” Yes, “Hangover.” Well, in my book I note that the Republicans’ excess has been going on for some years now. Ever since the late Bush years, practically every elected Republican official whom I encountered looked like hell: blood-shot eyes, wobbly on the feet — overall quite crapulent. They had been spending like drunken sailors and veering as far from conservative principle as their insobriety would allow them. Yet in my book I offer a road to recovery. Call the book a therapeutic. Call me Doctor Tyrrell.
Yet it is a little creepy to see the term “Hangover” already being applied to the Republicans. Could it be that we are going to see a reprise of the days when my book titles, The Liberal Crack-Up and The Conservative Crack-Up inspired all the talk of various and sundry political “crack-ups”? Will “Hangover” become as popular a diagnosis of the political condition as “Crack-Up” became?
If so, remember when I apply these terms I anticipate laughter. As William Churchill said, a joke is a serious thing.
As expected, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has announced that she will stay in the Senate for the remainder of her term. She had previously pledged to resign her seat early during her ill-fated run for governor. But she never gained much ground in the primary against Gov. Rick Perry and didn’t stand to gain much from campaigning against him full time. Once she lost the primary in the first round, it stood to reason she’d stay in Washington.
While the move isn’t surprising, it is a setback for the field of candidates who were vying to replace her — one of whom would have gotten a head start thanks to an interim appointment by Perry. The Republican frontrunner was widely believed to be Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Williams is a rising conservative star who happens to be black, very popular among the the supposedly racist Tea Party activists.
Well, that’s only a small exaggeration of what Eric Holder asks us to believe. Read all about it at The Washington Times. Hint: The reason we can supposedly be safe in trying 9/11 terrorists in civilian trials is because that’s how we treat “animal enterprise terrorists.”
Marvin Olasky today discusses the debate on “social justice” between Glenn Beck and Jim Wallis, and relates his personal experience with the Leftist evangelical:
Do those historical wrinkles mean that the term should not be used? No, but it should certainly be defined. We can study the 150 or so times that mishpat in Hebrew and kreesis in Greek—words commonly translated as “justice”—appear in the Bible. Biblically, justice—tied to righteousness—is what promotes faith in God, not faith in government. Prophets criticized not entrepreneurs but those who combined economic and political power to lord it over others, as today’s bureaucrats and corporate/government partnerships tend to do.
I can understand Glenn Beck’s frustration. As the Beck-Wallis tempest swirled on March 11, I spent 3½ hours in a long-arranged debate with Wallis at Cedarville University. He kept trying to position himself as a centrist rather than a big government proponent. Furthermore, modern usage by liberal preachers and journalists is thoroughly unbiblical: Many equate social justice with fighting a free enterprise system that purportedly keeps people poor but in reality is their best economic hope.
The City of Detroit offers a perfect illustration of the effects of 50 years of government “social justice” programs, as Pajamas Media’s Steven Crowder explained in December:
As if to prove the point of my earlier post, the Associated Press reports that some “top Republicans” are already setting the stage for a Stupid Party surrender: “Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that’s roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s new health care law.”
Well, zippity-doo-dah. Perhaps instead of worrying about being scorched by their firey conservative base, Republicans should wake up and smell the smoke: it will be the GOP that is burned if this law settles into established entitlement status and the march toward an even more government-controlled health care system continues. Even an unsuccessful campaign for repeal could lead to salutary reforms of the law and will at the very least force Democrats to repeatedly go on record defending its least popular aspects, possibly even through the filibuster, continuing a debate that has hurt their standing in the polls over the past year.
The Tea Party activist should also wake up and smell the coffee: If Republicans can’t figure out a way to repeal an unpopular law that just barely passed this month, with most of its costs front-loaded and most of the benefits set to come later, while it is still in their political self-interest, then good luck expecting them to do much of anything about the rest of the mess Washington has made since the Great Society and before. The GOP has a choice between laying out the case for free-market health care reform and waiting a few election cycles to run as the party that wants to “protect” Obamacare from the next big-government Democratic proposal, the way they run as protectors of Medicare today.
Lost in the he said/he said shuffle between AEI and David Frum was this observation from Frum’s infamous “Waterloo” post:
But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.
But that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? A lot of what passes for “conservatism” in the Republican Party and Washington more generally is really anything but. Some of its adherents merely represent the right wing of the same governing class that wants to run our lives. There tends to be a huge gap between the way Republicans behave when they are in opposition and the way they govern when they are actually in power. If you don’t care for Frum’s advice to the GOP, then you should take a very hard look at the GOP itself.
Looks like Greenpeace finally got off their greenhouse gas kick and has realized that clouds have as much to do with how climate changes as anything else.
In a study issued Tuesday, environmental organization Greenpeace said the computing “cloud” powering the Internet is becoming a major source of pollution, as companies build data centers powered by coal, according to a Reuters report from Monday.
The study (PDF) singles out a Facebook facility that relies on a coal-powered utility, along with Apple’s North Carolina data center, also powered by coal.
According to Reuters, in the report Greenpeace concludes that “the last thing we need is for more cloud infrastructure to be built in places where it increases demand for dirty coal-fired power.”
The organization also points to Microsoft, Yahoo and Google as having data centers that rely on “heavy” use of coal power.
That’s right, another polluter demon has been unleashed from the pit of corporate hell: Big Internet.
In the Daily Caller today, I have an op-ed remembering the brief life of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. It was passed with far more bipartisan support than the health care bill that just became law; it was signed by a Republican president (Ronald Reagan — even Homer nods). In a year and a half, the legislation was repealed.
I’m under no illusions that repealing Obamacare will be easy or that it is analogous to the ill-fated Medicare expansion in every way. But when the focus is on angry voters paying costs rather than constituents collecting benefits, entitlements can be repealed. It has happened before.
Over the past few weeks the New York Times has twice reported that new evidence links Pope Benedict XVI to the cover-up of two separate instances of clerical child abuse under his jurisdiction: one case involving the abusive principal of a school for deaf children in Milwaukee that was referred to then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1996, and the other relating to an abusive priest’s return to full time ministry even after Ratzinger permitted the priest to be transferred to his archdiocese of Munich for therapy in 1980.
The first Times story lacks a firm basis. The Times’ own documentation doesn’t tell the story that the headline claims, the sources questioned are not very credible, and today the judicial vicar who presided over the canonical trial of the abusive priest writes that he was never contacted by the Times even though they quoted him extensively, and that they and other outlets misquoted him.
The second Times report, too, fails in what is clearly its purpose: to establish that the pope is entangled in the scandal. But it raises serious questions about what then-Cardinal Ratzinger knew and when he knew it. Further reporting could establish that Ratzinger was indeed guilty of at least negligence, or it could exonerate him completely.
What these articles have accomplished, as thinly reported as they are, is to give the pope’s usual detractors a jumping-off point for connecting Benedict’s theology to his personal involvement in sex-abuse scandals. Take as one example of many this article by Christopher Hitchens published in the National Post, which condemns the pope in the strongest terms: “Ratzinger himself may be banal, but his whole career has the stench of evil - a clinging and systematic evil that is beyond the power of exorcism to dispel.” Now, much of Hitchens’s argument is way off — Sean Murphy has provided an exhaustive and painstakingly documented account of the numerous and serious errors of fact, internal contradictions, and obfuscations. But the motivation for the piece was to try to establish how far up the Church hierarchy the responsibility for the crisis runs, and to shed a light on Benedict’s personal responsibility.
And given the Church’s recent disgraceful record in handling clerical abuse, that impetus — trying to establish Benedict’s culpability — is definitely a worthwhile one. If Benedict is in fact guilty of covering up for abusive priests, then the truth must come out and he must be held accountable. After all, even if he’s guilty of nothing more than negligence, the Church should be held to a higher standard, and that starts at the top.
On the other hand, if he’s innocent of these charges, the available evidence suggests that Benedict has done more to rid the Church of the sex abuse crisis than anyone.
Either way, the New York Times has done the truth a disservice. All that publishing these thinly-source accusations has accomplished is to create two camps: one that thinks the Vatican is guilty and is trying to poison its believers’ minds into rejecting any claim otherwise, and another that concludes that the usual collection of anti-Church bigots are mounting a coordinated smear campaign against the pope, who must be defended. Of course, what both sides really want is just the truth. But it’s not so simple now.
Again, if the Times is on to something, the pope must be held accountable. But if not, the Times must be held similarly accountable for the damage it’s done.
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — While people here are worried about the growing violence on the Mexican border — a Cochise County rancher was apparently killed by illegal aliens Saturday — the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson has other worries:
For decades now, the most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right.
That’s from a column headlined, “The Hutaree militia and the rising risk of far-right violence.” Of course, the kooks in Michigan are under arrest and charged with federal crimes, while whoever killed Arizona rancher Robert Krentz is still at large. But being a liberal means never having to acknowledge risks of violence except from the “far right.”
The Republican primary fight to succeed Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) has heated up, with Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson hitting GOP frontrunner Rand Paul hard on the causes of 9/11. Grayson has come out with an ad splicing together comments by Paul, his father Ron Paul, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright about blowback, U.S. foreign policy, and 9/11. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza notes that whatever else can be said for the theory, blowback is “a stone-cold loser in a Republican primary anywhere in the country but particularly in a state as conservative-leaning as Kentucky.”
Rand Paul immediately struck back with an ad of his own recalling where he was on 9/11, placing the blame for the attacks squarely at the feet of the terrorists “who killed 3,000 innocents,” and blasting a “desperate Trey Grayson.” Paul concludes the ad by looking at the camera and saying, “Trey Grayson, your shameful TV ad is a lie and it dishonors you.”
I profiled Rand Paul in the May issue of Reason and have written about him for the main site. He has been extremely careful during this Senate campaign to use a different tone in discussing foreign policy than his father (even when the substance is the same, though it is sometimes different). The comments in Grayson’s ad all appear to be taken from when the younger Paul was a surrogate for his father during the 2008 presidential race. It is clear that Grayson views foreign policy and 9/11 as the best ways to score what would now be an upset in the Republican primary, with hawks nationally taking notice that they have six weeks to keep a savvy Ron Paul Republican from winning a senatorial nomination.
The NY Times has a front page story on how state budgets are being crushed under the weight of a tremendous debt load that threatens to turn them into Greece, with accounting gimmicks understating the true cost of their fiscal situation, and a looming credit crunch as bond markets become more skittish about lending them money.
There are a lot of important issues here, not the least of which is the fact that it’s only a harbinger of things to come for the federal government as we enter the entitlement crisis.
But there’s another consequence of the state budget woes that is worth drawing attention to, from the article:
The states can also take refuge in America’s federalist system. Thus, if California were to get into hot water, it could seek assistance in Washington, and probably come away with some funds. Already, the federal government is spending hundreds of millions helping the states issue their bonds.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if states were literally ready to collapse, the federal government would step in and orchestrate some kind of bailout. But any massive bailout would inevitably come with strings attached and translate into a further erosion of state sovereignty. The bigger the crisis and the more states that are involved, the more significant that erosion may be — potentially erasing whatever remaining distinctions there are between state and federal government.
One of the more outlandish provisions of the health care legislation is the 10 percent tax on indoor tanning. When it was introduced into the Senate health care bill in December, it injected a bit of humor into the political and policy debate. But to a segment of small businesses across the country, it’s no laughing matter.
A local news station in Seattle has spoken to Mark Willard of a salon called Desert Sun Tanning. “Families, you know, these are people that have invested their life savings into these businesses and that’s how they make their living,” he said. “Unfortunately, now, that tax is going to be passed onto them…It could be very detrimental to their business, and certainly our customers that are going to bear the brunt of this tax.”
Another station in Indiana finds Fun Tan, which employs “a total of 40 people and the owner says they will likely have to let some people go from the salon.”
Dan Skwarcan, the owner, said, ““It’s huge. Think about the total revenue and having to write a check for ten percent of everything you make and give it to the federal government. That is tough.. plus on top of all of the taxes we are already paying today.”
People might dismiss stories like this that are being replicated throughout the country because a tax on indoor tanning only affects a relatively small segment of the population. Yet the point is that this is a perfect example of the arbitrary nature of government power. Indoor tanning has absolutely nothing to do with health care. But in December, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was scrambling to find ways to raise revenue to pay for a massive new government entitlement. An earlier tax on cosmetic surgery was dropped under protest from the Botox Lobby. And poof, just like that, families who depend on indoor tanning for their livelihood are forced to pony up for the greater good. Liberals always like to portray themselves as more compassionate. But remember, liberal compassion is rooted in a willingness to take other people’s money and have government spend it for them.
Our great friend Jerry Kane takes a look at school “discipline” solutions, 1960 vs. today. Great stuff.
An inside ACORN source has just confirmed this to me: the Texas chapter of ACORN has pretended to break off from the national group and has incorporated itself under the name Texas Organizing Project.
Remember: You read it here first.
The other five ACORN chapters that have dumped the ACORN brand are Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Missourians Organizing for Reform Empowerment (MORE), New York Communities for Change, New England United for Justice (Massachusetts) and Arkansas Community Organizations.
ACORN Housing, which operates nationwide, changed its legal name to Affordable Housing Centers of America.
There is no word yet if ACORN Housing will continue to offer a drop-in legal clinic for pimps and prostitutes.
AUL has posted a detailed rebuttal to Congressman Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) claims that the president’s executive order will effectively ban taxpayer funding of abortion under the new health care law.
The incomparable Mark Corallo sends a love note to Barry O. How about a mortgage break for a hard-working taxpayer who doesn’t live beyond his means? Or do the benefits of Barry’s paradise accrue only to the poor and/or just those rich guys who give Obama a nice back rub? Read Corallo’s piece. Great stuff.
In the midst of the current crisis in the US/Israel relationship, Obama and his apostles are having their pseudo-Seder at the White House. As they end the meal with the traditional saying “Next Year in Jerusalem,” we hope they reflect on the harm they cause America and Israel with their appeasement of Iran and their misdirected and false moral equivalencies in the way they treat Israel and its neighbors.
White House Seder
By Asher Embry
Through history, Jews at Seder meal
Would face their threats, severe and real,
By praying (to allay their fear)
For: In Jerusalem next year.
Obama’s picked a fight for show
To help his Arab street cred grow
And once again his action sends
The message he abuses friends.
Instead, he really should beware
Of those who wish the Jews weren’t there,
Who vow to solve the situation
With Israel’s annihilation.
As O enjoys his matzoh ball
In light of harm he’s caused us all
Does he detect the irony
With his misguided strategy?
(You can read more of Asher Embry’s Political Verse at www.politicalverse.com.)
I see that Frank Rich, Derrick Jackson, and Charles Blow all wrote basically the same column as Colbert King. I posted on King this weekend. A friend writes, “At this rate, the NYT/Boston Globe will be able to lay three of them off and pay the Post a syndicate fee for King.”
In reality, this kind of commentary is nothing new. We see it every time conservatives have any political momentum whatsoever. The idea is that by shouting “racist,” these liberal columnists can make their opponents shut up. But this is a very angry and polarized political climate. By racializing issues that are not inherently racial in nature, they are fanning the flames of the very hatred they claim to oppose. It is a dangerous and ugly game. It is one that, for the good of the country, shouldn’t be played.
Texas District 17 does more than just lean Republican. In 2008, 67 percent of voters chose John McCain for president. The district, which includes Waco, College Station, some southern Dallas suburbs, and President Bush’s Crawford Ranch, would seem to be an easy fit for conservative Republican Congressmen. Yet, Democrat Chet Edwards has held the seat for the last six years, and represented Texas’s 11th District prior to redistricting in 2004.
Edwards has campaigned as a moderate, conservative Democrat in the past, but recent votes and national trends have enticed several Republicans to challenge Edwards this year. Five candidates ran in the March 2 primary, of those the former oil and gas industry CEO Bill Flores came out ahead with 33 percent of the vote. The former sports broadcaster and video production owner Rob Curnock came in second place with 29 percent. With no candidate taking in over 50 percent, a runoff is scheduled for April 13.
A group that tracks earmarks is reporting that 11 Bart Stupak Democrats have requested more than $3.4 billion in earmarks for 2011. Stupak himself requested more than $578 million in earmarks. Of the eight members whose 2010 earmarks requests were available for comparison, five requested more than they did a year ago: Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) and Rep. Charles Wilson (D-Ohio).
Personally, I doubt any of these lawmakers flipped because of the earmarks — though given the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase, you can never rule it out — but their loyalty to their party’s leadership rather than their pro-life views may yet be rewarded.
American voters trust the average Tea Partier more than they do Nancy Pelosi and her congressional cohorts. Hopefully, she won’t shed too many tears over that fact.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.
When it comes to those issues, 47% think that their own political views are closer to those of the average Tea Party member than to the views of the average member of Congress. On this point, 26% feel closer to Congress.
Finally, 46% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is more ethical than the average member of Congress. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say that the average member of Congress is more ethical.
Granted, it’s easy to have a higher approval rating than Congress, which usually hovers in the single digits, or about what my IRA has earned since Obama took office. Even so, it’s ironic that voters trust those supposedly right-wing extremists in the street far more than the corrupt pols in Congress.
So much for getting a big boost out of the health care bill. Reports the Washington Post:
Shifts among core constituencies suggest that President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) may have reaped some benefit from the legislation’s passage, but the public’s take on the Democratic Party has not budged, and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) appears to be losing popularity. None of the central players in passing health-care reform appears to be winning favor with the bill’s opponents.
Poor Harry Reid. He’s not just treading water. He’s going down in popularity. Couldn’t happen to a less worthy public “servant.”
President Obama’s views on gays in the military and the potential fallout associated with his proposed policy changes have not received a lot of press attention. But there is one organization that has been out front in center of challenging administration officials who are complicit in advancing an agenda that does not square with the best interests of the U.S. military.
In response to announcement from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates regarding the results of a 45-day review of the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, has issued the following statement:
“Secretary Gates has sent a confusing message to the troops. By applying new regulations applying only to the small number of discharges that occur for homosexuality, he has invited noncompliance with the extant 1993 law, Section 654, Title 10, in future cases and those that are still pending.
“Instead of taking the opportunity to clarify the meaning and intent of the law, Secretary Gates seems to be condoning unwarranted delays. Local commanders who trying to do their duty by enforcing the law deserve support, not second-guessing by higher-level officials who seem more concerned about President Obama’s views than they are about the terms and intent of the law.”
President Obama’s speech in Afghanistan yesterday was terrific: An eloquent statement of both the reasoning behind US policy in the AfPak region and the support for our troops that transcends partisanship. If you have 20 minutes, give it a view; I found it quite refreshing to watch a presidential address without yelling at the screen for a change.
That he did not throw his fellow Climategate scientist under the bus.
Neoconservatives got all the attention for the last ten years or so as a consequence of being seen as the biggest cheerleaders for military adventurism in the Middle East.
I think the next movement deserving a lot of publicity and focus is Neocommunism. Neocommunism isn’t full-force Communism, but it definitely embraces the redistribution of wealth through the mechanism of coercive state action. Taking control of private sector healthcare would be a good example.
We should call the members of this group the Neocommunists. Or, for short, the Neocoms.
I hope to see a vigorous election season fought out between conservatives and neocoms.
*Credit for the idea to tweeter carlhk1.
Acting like a Latin American caudillo President Obama continues to thumb his nose at Congress, daring Republican members of the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against him.
His latest outrage comes in the form of a recess appointment of extremist Craig Becker, who used to represent ACORN and SEIU, to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker was decisively rejected by the Senate when his nomination came up for a vote last month.
Becker is the fellow who lied to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a confirmation hearing regarding the work he did for ACORN.
Becker also believes that all Americans should be forced to join unions whether they want to or not.
To get the preferential treatment intended for disabled veterans, Obama TSA nominee Maj. Gen. Robert Harding certified that he was a “service disabled veteran” and he was awarded a $100M Army defense contract. When it was revealed that his supposed service disability was sleep apnea, his nomination was withdrawn. Obama’s bungling vetting team strikes again. Are they clueless or just incompetent?
Obama’s Vaunted Vetting?
By Asher Embry
Obama’s “vaunted” vetting crew
Has missed some problems (one or two).
The vetting team’s been very lax
About the need for income tax.
They barely cared at all, you see,
About our head of Treasury.
Though Daschle’s bid could not go far
When he “forgot” his private car.
O’s vetting staff completely missed
The ordure on Van Jones’ list;
Holdren, Killefer, Sunstein, too;
What Jennings tells our kids to do.
The worst has been the TSA
Both nominees have gone astray.
First, Erroll Southers’ snooping eyes
Were followed by his brazen lies.
The latest, Robert Harding, claimed
A service “wound” he kept unnamed
To get the favored treatment for
Our military harmed in war.
His perfidy is truly flooring —
His “injury” was nighttime snoring.
Such bald dissembling makes Bob right
To join instead O’s health care fight.
(You can read more of Asher Embry’s Political Verse at www.politicalverse.com.)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?