In the 1970s, a radical coalition gained control of the municipal government of Berkeley, California. Shortly afterward, a shopkeeper put a sign in his window sarcastically describing the new order: “That which is not forbidden is mandatory.”
Radicalism is intolerant of ambiguity and has a way of imposing its demands in Manichean terms. One is either a Jacobin or l’ennemi du peuple. One is either a Bolshevik or a counter-revolutionary. And now, radicalism having come to America and taken up the task of re-arranging sexual morality, one must either endorse the gay-rights agenda or be condemned as a homophobic bigot.
The eagerness of intellectuals to avoid inclusion in the latter category has drawn the attention of Washington Times columnist Robert Knight:
On ABC’s This Week on May 30, [George] Will agreed with colleague Matthew Dowd that apart from a few glitches, homosexuality will soon be a non-issue in the military… .
Will: “For people of Matt’s son’s generation, being gay is like being left-handed. … The Supreme Court has a famous phrase it used in some opinion, the evolving standards of decency that mark a maturing society. Clearly these are evolving, and the case is over, basically.” …
What we are witnessing among the intelligentsia is a catastrophic case of groupthink: because they all repeat the same thing, it must be true. They ignore biology, morality, history, common sense, and grim health statistics because they are smarter than anyone.
Charles Krauthammer, who has written some of the best critiques of Obamacare and the rest of the Left’s assault on America , is also aboard the gay express. He’s smarter than God. So, too, are Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes, Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover, and American Spectator columnist Philip Klein, all of whom have called for repealing the military ban. Klein called it a “no-brainer.” …
Knight’s reference is to a Feb. 3 blog post in which Phil wrote:
I happen to be a heterosexual living in a neighborhood with a large gay population, and don’t feel at all threatened by it. I see gay couples when I buy groceries, eat at nearby restaurants, or enter the elevator to my apartment building. . . . I just don’t see it as a big deal one way or the other. So, quite honestly, I have to strain to try and understand why people are so concerned about gays serving in the military.
Of course, no one has proposed that Phil and his D.C. neighbors be rounded up, shipped to Parris Island for six weeks and then loaded onto a C-130 for deployment against the Taliban. However, the radicals have managed to frame the debate so that any critic is instantly met with the challenge: “What have you got against gay people?”
This has the effect of preventing examination of potential negative ramifications of the policy under consideration, as J.E. Dyer explained at Commentary:
Most advocates want to make the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) about fairness and feelings, but for those in the military, that’s not what it’s about. … One can have every sympathy for gays and still oppose the repeal of DADT, because what it portends in daily practice is administering a forced accommodation to gay behavior.
The feminist slogan, “The personal is political,” has been applied in the obverse here. The political is now the personal, so that we can no longer discuss the policy on its merits. Instead of debate, we have a moralistic melodrama in which the enlightened advocates of tolerance triumph over the benighted adherents of hate.
Rather than endeavoring to debunk the radical narrative, however, it seems George Will, et al., have decided to stand athwart history muttering, “Never mind.”
Conservatives who warn of unintended consequences ought not be dismissed lightly as America continues, to borrow a phrase from David Horowitz and Peter Collier, “Slouching Toward Berkeley.” Chronicling that city’s descent into radical madness, Horowitz and Collier noted that Berkeley activists had established an exemption to the leash law in Ohlone Park. The idea was that freeing pets from human control would permit the dogs to “exist harmoniously once separated from their owners’ ethic of possessiveness.” Alas, as one dog owner explained, this prophecy fell short of fulfillment:
“Some people were sure that the dogs would prove to be egalitarians… . But they aren’t. They come here and immediately join the pack, which is a strict hierarchy controlled by the top dog. The upshot is that they have a great time, but they aren’t really very progressive. It was a hard lesson for some of the radical pet owners around town to swallow. Not only have we failed to create the New Man in Berkeley; we haven’t even created the New Dog.”
Failure of Berkeley’s canine liberation agenda was predictable, of course, but one supposes all skepticism was suppressed because skeptics didn’t want to risk being denounced as “anti-dog.”
Well, I don’t hate dogs and I don’t hate Philip Klein’s neighbors, either, although I fail to see what relevance that has to the policy debate over gays in the military. What troubles me is the possibilities of where this Berkeleyization of the military may eventually lead.
Homosexuality may no longer forbidden, but it is not mandatory — yet.
Somewhere in the Obama/Podesta/Soros Axis of Feeble it was decided to launch an attack on the Koch family of companies, since the renowned libertarians “have been looming in the background of every major domestic policy dispute [last] year,” according to the Center for American Progress, and are guilty of “a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform.” Oh, and they are part of Big Oil.
So the Chicago Way has been unleashed against their ideological opposition with Greenpeace serving as a primary vehicle. The watermelon group made a big splash a couple of months ago with a report on Koch’s “secret” funding of the “climate denial machine.” Now they’ve moved into the mockery stage, except they’re not very good at it:
Really funny: drop into the middle of Manhattan as some “climate cop” character and act like you’re trying to find the two ninth-richest people in the country, as though you were making some comedic point about intentional elusiveness on the Kochs’ part. They might as well expect to find David Letterman or George Steinbrenner walking down a public street. Har.
But Greenpeace doesn’t stop with that one. The hilarity ensues following the same theme, as a cheerful young gal (look — I’m polite!) attempts to deliver a letter of inquiry about their philanthropy — don’t bust a gut — to Koch Industries’ NYC headquarters!
Note how Aliya wants to give the appearance that Greenpeace wants to debate, but only on the subject of the Kochs’ funding of “climate denial science.” Meanwhile the watermelons continue to avoid debate over the science itself.
If Greenpeace really wants to find David Koch, they need not look far: he hangs out with their liberal friends. Isn’t that funny?
It is a bit awkward to write about a book written by the editor of the publication on whose site one is writing, but I feel impelled (NOT compelled, externally, but impelled, from within) to recommend to all readers the latest ouevre from AmSpec founder R. Emmett Tyrrell. I just finished earlier this week reading Tyrrell’s After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery, and I really do recommend it most highly. It is a recommendation not based on any sense that Tyrrell has come up with many earthshaking new prescriptions, but more on the observation that his descriptions of how conservatives have reached where we are today, and of exactly what the current landscape looks like, are both insightful and delightful. Much of the book, indeed, shows more of a mastery of the lost art of the raconteur, and the old-fashioned virtues of the extended, example-filled essay, than it does a policy-heavy game plan for the future. Modern conservative readers have been both spoiled and numbed by the current habit of best-selling conservative writers of organizing their books into easily digestible, Gingrich-like 10-point lists and five-concept theories and 3-fold “moral underpinnings of the new millennium,” and other such marketing tools that in lesser hands can descend into tommyrot. But Tyrrell doesn’t go there, except in a final, brief chapter called “an agenda for a conservative future” that is well focused and presented.
Instead, After the Hangover is strongest in describing, with oft-amusing stories and scattered gems of witticism, the intellectual history of conservatism (including, at great length, a series of recollections of the great William F. Buckley). In the process, he takes some hard shots at “crabs” and “Benedict Arnolds” of the conservative movement, which for purposes of this blog post I neither endorse nor denounce, because out of Tyrrell’s context they are immaterial to his broader aims. (I also happen to like, on a personal level, a couple of the people Tyrrell criticizes — which is of no import in adjudging the validity of the criticisms, but is instead just my one caveat for the sake of those friendly acquaintanceships.) One of those broader aims Tyrrell stresses most, and most effectively and most correctly, is to re-establish, within the ethos of the conservative movement, a sense that conservative thinkers and writers and doers are all on the same team and should consistenly give each other boosts, recognition, and other aid, rather than, crab-like, trying to pull each other down into the bucket so we individually can climb to the top of the bucket in their place. In short, he says, conservatives have forgotten that we should not be each others’ rivals for fame but instead each others’ mutually-supportive friends with our eyes on the larger objectives of our cause. That larger objective is to protect and defend our nation and its principles by winning its political battles not for the sake of the win but for the sake of those principles — AND (this is crucial!), to recognize that we should compete with the left not merely in the realm of politics but in the realm of the broader culture. We should no longer cede academia and establishment media to the left, but use our own institutions and talent to dominate the culture, including, eventually, academica and the establishment media as well.
A note of my own on helping each other rather than crab-pulling each other: I have definitely observed some of the unhelpful behavior of which Tyrrell warns, and it is despicable; but I also have been heartened that in the “new media,” i.e. the blogosphere etc., I have seen an encouraging amount of mutual aid and support. Especially among self-starter bloggers, the willingness to cross-link and praise other blog posts and essays is strong and it is good. I know I try as hard as possible to hand out bouquets for the work of others, and I have been incredibly grateful to have had so many bloggers do the same for me.
One of the greatest contributions of The American Spectator through the years is that it has made a habit of being the first national outlet to publish, or to publish extensively, the works of so many writers who eventually became conservative leading luminaries. On that evidence, for what it’s worth, Tyrrell has clearly lived up to his prescription for the rest of us: Find talent and promote it as mutual aid and succor, for a common and worthy cause.
Anyway, again, I urge you to read After the Hangover, published by Thomas Nelson — and, to my fellow bloggers and writers out there, to not just read it but also to promote it. And I would write the same thing even if TAS never published my work.
The self-descriptive online propaganda tool SolveClimate selectively “reports” that despite a new rule implemented last year by the Texas Board of Education, which would allegedly require “teachers to cast doubt on human contributions to climate change,” that students and educators are largely ignoring it:
In fact, dozens of inquiries failed to turn up one science teacher in Texas whose approach to the subject of climate change has been at all affected by the amendment to the state science curriculum. The standard has also done nothing to turn students against the consensus view of man-made global warming, according to educators.
As proof ClimateSolver Julia Harte interviewed three science teachers — one of which was not subject to the new rule because he teaches at a private Catholic school in Houston — who testify that their teaching, and students’ views, haven’t changed much:
Some even said that their students are more receptive than ever to the established science.
“It’s too ‘in the news’ for it to go away,” said Paul Caggiano, an environmental science teacher at St. Pius X High School in Houston. “When I ask a kid to do a current events report, they’re not going to come up with a skeptical view of climate change. They’re going to see it for what it is.”
Wonder why that is?
Nor does Caggiano think spending more class time on climate change skepticism would change students’ ultimate conclusions on the topic. The evidence for dangerously quick climate change is too ubiquitous for students to ignore, he said.
After teaching the basic principles that govern Earth’s climate and the various ways humans have affected the environment, Caggiano shows his students two documentaries about man-made climate change, An Inconvenient Truth and The Eleventh Hour, and asks them to take pro or con sides on the messages in the films.
Even in Houston, “a big oil and gas town, and very much entrenched in that mentality,” 95 percent of his students agree that human activity is the cause of the current rapid changes in the climate by the end of the course, Caggiano said.
I guess he shows DiCaprio’s film to balance out Gore’s film, and then he bludgeons the students into submission in the pro-or-con debate. See? One man can change an oil town!
In an interview that just aired with Fox News anchor Jane Skinner, Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff admitted to Skinner that the e-mail address redacted on the e-mail sent to him by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina was in fact sent from a White House account. Not the Democratic National Committee or a personal account.
The address is important as those probing the incident of “jobs for favors” surrounding the candidacy of Romanoff and Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak will seek to determine if laws were violated — laws that include the illegal use of the federal government in offering the jobs.
That use would include government e-mail accounts. Like the one Messina used to contact Romanoff.
Charles Krauthammer does a great job recounting the defensive measures that Israel has taken over the years that have drawn condemnation from the international community. In the end, what else is left for them to do? “Nothing,” Krauthammer writes. “The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.”
Exactly. And to Krauthammer’s list of things Jews can’t do to defend themselves, I’d add targeted assasinations of terrorist leaders.
In the wake of the Sestak Jobsgate Affair, a new Rasmussen poll out today shows Republican Pat Toomey defeating Congressman Joe Sestak 45%-38%, a seven point lead.
Tellingly, the poll says three out of four Pennsylvanians have been following news accounts of the scandal. While Sestak had gained a 4-point bounce from his victory, briefly putting him ahead, that lead has now vanished and Toomey is once again out front.
Drudge among others today are headlining the continuing reality that, when jobs are created under Obamanomics, they generally turn out to be temporary make-work jobs.
But it’s worse than is beind discussed today. This Big Government item, “Census Workers Blow Whistle on Hiring Fraud”, actually reminds us of one of the Obama administration’s related scams, the “green jobs” industry. That is something that sounds a little weedy but is really quite simple, a failure to homogenize the data. This practice is employed in order to make soaring claims of jobs “created” from taking taxpayer money and mandating something politically desired. The truth is that the jobs (briefly) created are a fraction of the number claimed.
Consider what we have uncovered in the latter, which I detail in Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America in a discussion that reminds us as well how “green jobs” even more closely resemble census (and of course “stimulus”) jobs in that they are temporary jobs, “bubble” jobs existing only so long as the government (taxpayer) transfer of wealth continues:
“But the most glaring similarity [between ‘green jobs’ and ‘stimulus jobs’], and indeed feature of ‘green jobs’ is that they are temporary. Before you find comfort in this, recall that the unions don’t stand for such notions, and the enactment of green jobs schemes ensures further infusions of taxpayer money into the bubble to make the make-work permanent.
We saw how some jobs supposedly created under the ‘stimulus’ actually reflected funding of a position that lasted, in some cases, only a week. The reason you hear of enormous numbers of projected jobs is because those pushing them do not ‘homogenize the data.’ Homogenizing, or harmonizing, the claimed green jobs figures annualizes them, translating the thousands of days-, weeks- or months-long gigs (i.e., ‘jobs created’) into the equivalent of fulltime jobs. So a sexy claim of half a million jobs, which are sixty-day installation contracts, is homogenized at around 75,000 ‘jobs created.’
But make-work and mandating that federal buildings get new caulk is not creating positive economic activity, or growth, as few if any of those jobs will exist in a year without a doubling down on the subsidy just to keep the wards of the state going. Regardless of its intellectual integrity, this is a favorite game of the statist set hell-bent on pretending the state is the source of wealth creation and good times.
This is given deeper meaning when you consider, as detailed later, the real jobs both avoided and outright killed from this sort of make work.” (from Power Grab Chapter 6, “Green Eggs and Scam: the Wholesale Fraud of ‘Green Jobs’; citations are omitted)
And of course the “green jobs” claims are distinct in that they are part and parcel of an agenda that kills many more jobs, real jobs traded for far fewer temporary jobs (obvious examples of which we are starkly reminded of again today), on top of the opportunity cost of moving resources from productive to uneconomic uses.
All of which is to say that the same crowd is using the same tricks to fool the same people into accepting the same agenda of massively transferring wealth and liberties from you to the state.
“Our government shouldn’t try to guarantee results,” this politician said, “but it should guarantee a shot at opportunity for every American who’s willing to work hard.”
That sentence struck me as a pretty good foundation for a political philosophy. It was delivered by President Obama at the University of Michigan commencement last month.
Obama administration policies haven’t always hewed to this limited but energetic approach. But there is one area where they sure have: education.
Almost anyone could endorse the vague political philosophy Obama expresses here. And Race to the Top certainly has its merits, especially in the way that it breaks the usual interest group dynamics that block charter school and voucher reforms, which, as Brooks explains, is a credit to Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Then again, it also has its drawbacks, which RiShawn Biddle discussed in our May issue.
But how can you argue that Obama’s education policy reflects a political philosophy that government should guarantee a shot at opportunity for every American who’s willing to work hard? Is Brooks not aware that Obama and the Democratic Party let the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program expire in order to appease the teachers’ unions? And that this program, as its name suggests, was created to give kids from tough backgrounds real opportunities, while at the same time saving some money for the taxpayers?
Obama’s political philosophy, premised on ensuring opportunity for all, is pretty useless if it doesn’t extend to the people who really do lack opportunities. Yet Obama gets paeans for his stump speeches, while disadvantaged kids in D.C. get robbed of their scholarships for no reason.
Okay, I tried for over a week to resist commenting on the sleazy charges being hurled at South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, but the flesh is weak and my fingers just started typing all by themselves. Let me preface this to say that there is NO REASON to believe the charges against Mrs. Haley. And there is every reason to ostracize Will Folks and Larry Marchant (the accusers of Mrs. Haley) from polite society for the rest of their lives and their afterlives as well. Gentlemen do not kiss and tell (if there even was a kiss). And if these tales are FALSE, as most of us believe, then these two men have committed not just false witness, but one of the sleaziest, rankest, vilest, most unforgivable sorts of false witness imaginable: They will have, in front of a whole state (and now country), accused an innocent woman of adultery, thus embarrassing her, interfering with her marriage, harmed her innocent children, and smeared her reputation in what for most good people is one of the worst ways possible. If this is what these two men did, they should book their tickets to Hades and expect no redemption, no mercy, no relief.
That said, there is this one caveat: If in the highly unlikely event they are telling the truth and Mrs. Haley has been lieing, then it behooves Mrs. Haley, as a matter not just of personal conscience but of an absolute duty to her state, her party, and the conservative movement, for her to withdraw from the race. The simple fact is that if she wins the nomination and then, between nomination and election, is shown to have lied, she will have immediately ceded the state’s governorship to the Democratic opposition. This, she cannot risk. This, she cannot do. Her political career is not worth more than the ability of the usually right-leaning citizens of South Carolina to have a governor dedicated to policies they favor and that they best think will affect their lives. Yet if she is shown to have lied, she will almost certainly lose the election, relegating the governorship to somebody the voters otherwise would not choose.
I repeat, this is written NOT in the belief that she is lying. Quite the contrary. She is almost certainly innocent of the allegations, and she therefore would not deserve ever to have faced them. But it must be said that when a whole state has been roiled by an internationally embarrassing sex scandal, it would take unmitigated selfishness for somebody with similar skeletons to press ahead in search of the same office.
Obviously, she knows the truth. If the truth is on her side, as we believe, then may she be twice blessed, because those falsely accused are due extra credit for merit from men and angels alike.
Another inspiring performance by the young governor from New Jersey:
As discussion picks up in wonder as to what in the world explains the Obama administration’s dithering about mitigating consequences from the Gulf oil spill, be aware that earlier this week I sent Freedom of Information Act requests to four offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeking “all records, documents, emails, internal communications, and other relevant covered materials addressing the issue of building, dredging for, or whether to permit the construction of barrier islands/barrier shoals off of Louisiana’s coast as requested by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, particularly though not exclusively the role ‘environmentalist’ groups played in these deliberations.”
Last week I had already filed with NOAA, EPA and the Coast Guard seeking information on apparent (according to information in the public domain) green group influence leading to the Obama administration’s odd refusal to execute its pre-approved plan-in-place to burn off the oil before the volatiles evaporate and the oil becomes too well mixed.
Both decisions inarguably allowed vast quantities of oil to reach the shores, and otherwise foul the environment and cause further economic harm — and provide more grist for a cynical administration and its political allies, who admittedly design their pushes around crises, and fundraising for green groups who never do so well as when hyping real, if temporary, environmental harms such as this.
If you want to know why to suspect that there’s some disturbing there there, read Chapter 3 of Power Grab, “Van Jones Was No Accident: The Obama Administration’s Radical Green Activists”. This crowd is not merely appeasing, but captured by, seriously radical elements of the left-wing political movement.
Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Center for Responsive Politics have produced a report that reveals how much in campaign contributions members of Congress have received from their earmark beneficiaries. The Washington Post reports:
House and Senate lawmakers have received nearly $2 million in campaign contributions this election cycle from organizations for which they had sponsored earmarks, according to a new report by two nonpartisan watchdogs.Over half of the members of the House and Senate accepted money for the November elections from recipients of their earmarks, according to the report, released Thursday by the Center for Responsive Politics and Taxpayers for Common Sense. Thirteen senators and nine House members received more than $20,000 from companies and organizations that were beneficiaries of their earmarks.
Pretty good stuff these guys put out, and as you might expect, the late John Murtha is near the top of the list. Sort by name, state, amounts, ruminate, chew, spew accordingly.
Today on the Main Site:
The Empress of ObamaCare by Philip Klein
Don’t Put the Cart Before the Elephant by Ford O’Connell & Steve Pearson
Perfect Sportsmanship by Andrew Cline
Stop START by Ken Blackwell
War Pyongyang Style by George H. Whittman
The Language of God by Christopher Orlet
Wyoming Bound by G. Tracy Mehan, III
Rush to the Altar by Jay D. Homnick
Commandos — Reader Mail
What to Watch for:
Obama returns to the Gulf Friday (Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times)
Japan elects new prime minister (CNN)
World braces as new ship heading to Gaza to confront Israeli blockade (NY Times)
International regulators advance towards agreement to increase required reserves of banks (WSJ)
Library of Congress releases “tens of thousands” of Elena Kagan’s Clinton-era emails (Politico)
Clip of the Day:
Conservative muckraker James O’Keefe, previously of ACORN fame, alleges fraud at the Census Bureau for misreporting hours worked in order to boost pay at the expense of the taxpayer.
ClimateWire reports the following:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to debate a “comprehensive clean energy bill” next month and today asked key Democrats to offer up ideas for how to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In a letter to eight Democratic committee chairmen today, Reid directed the senators to by July 4 either mark up bills or submit recommendations aimed at dealing with the oil spill in the Gulf, in order to be included in a larger energy package to be debated on the floor before the August recess.
Oddly, Reid wants all eight committee chairs to have hearings, draft their portion of the legislation and draw lots of attention to the gulf spill to build momentum for…his global warming bill, to which he will append their ideas for lots of new rules to stop what hasn’t happened in 40 years from happening for another 40 years, I suppose. By stopping offshore drilling, is probably the plan.
And that latter bill, the utter dog of a global warming cap-and-tax energy rationing bill to be wagged by this tail? Well, Reid told the press last month that he was suspending the committee process for that, and would write the — “comprehensive”, mind you — bill himself. His rationale was that the global warming bill would invoke the jurisdiction of up to six Senate committees and, well, apparently the poor dears would get confused. Which you should read as developing a public record on this in the tax-writing Finance Committee just sends the wrong signal.
So, six committees looking into a big ol’ energy tax and a global warming scheme that — as I detail in Power Grab — Democrat pollsters told them the public wasn’t buying and needed to be rebranded, as “clean energy” and “green jobs”? Nope. That’s just too many committees. Eight committees to grandstand on the tail that’s supposed to wag that dog? Why, that’s just fine.
And some people still wonder how our energy and economic policies end up in such a mess.
The White House — at 6:30 this morning — released a statement on the revelations from Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff is the second candidate in the Jobsgate Sestak Affair to have been offered a job in the Obama Administration if he withdrew his candidacy.
Defensive in nature, the White House insisted there was nothing wrong.
The question that shrieks here is why it has been silent on this since February. Obviously, there is much more to come and Congressman Issa is on the case.
Today on the Main Site:
Israel, Right and Long by Quin Hillyer: Triumphant through blockades, stockades, and countless decades.
Romanoff Cracks: Secret White House Jobsgate E-Mail Revealed by Jeffrey Lord: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Messina discussed three jobs with Colorado Senate candidate.
Crist Majordomo Charged by Larry Thornberry: Former state party chairman Jim Greer busted.
John Kerry’s Big Business Buyoff by William Yeatman & Jeremy Lott: Cashing in on cap-and-trade the Kerry way — shamelessly.
The Religion of Peace Activists by George Neumayr: Israel lacks John Brennan’s superior understanding of Islam.
Provincial Times by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: There’s no reason to rejoice at the present sickliness of newspapers like the nerdy New York Times.
Reagan Days by Lisa Fabrizio: Too much water has flowed under the proverbial bridge
What to Watch For:
Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama will resign in face of plummeting approval, scandal, and tensions with U.S. military; elections set for Friday (The Japan Times)
WH Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers to meet with interest and consumer groups to discuss consumer protections in upcoming financial overhaul bill (Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times)
Blagojevich trial begins Thursday (USA Today)
Clip of the Day:
Press secretary Robert Gibbs “understands” the concerns about the Obama administration withholding information regarding the Sestak affair; encourages press to “refer to the memo” and that he will “check” on how Sestak could possibly have accepted an unpaid position on a Presidential Advisory Board while still a member of the House. (Politico) How have 14 weeks (!) not been enough time to get all the facts together? Byron York of the Washington Examiner details some ringing contradictions between Sestak and White House memo here.
I have a collecting buddy who seems to buy the most items when he has the least cash. Of course, that’s what credit is for. As he explains, “It’s only money!”
That obviously is Uncle Sam’s position. Reports the Washington Times:
The federal government is now $13 trillion in the red, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday, marking the first time the government has sunk that far into debt and putting a sharp point on the spending debate on Capitol Hill.
Calculated down to the exact penny, the debt totaled $13,050,826,460,886.97 as of Tuesday, leaping nearly $60 billion since Friday, the previous day for which figures were released.
At $13 trillion, that figure has risen by $2.4 trillion in about 500 days since President Obama took office, or an average of $4.9 billion a day. That’s almost three times the daily average of $1.7 billion under the previous administration, and led Republicans on Wednesday to place blame squarely at the feet of Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats.
$13 trillion in debt? The administration and Congress obviously share my friend’s view: It’s only money!
Republican politics in South Carolina has been a rough sport since the era of the legendary Lee Atwater, but the dirty games have descended to a new low in the past 10 days.
On May 24, GOP consultant/blogger Will Folks claimed that he had an “inappropriate” relationship in 2007 with Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, who had surged to the front of the four-candidate primary field after being endorsed by Sarah Palin.
Folks was unable to substantiate his accusation, which seemed likely to fade away until Wednesday when — mere hours before the final televised debate leading into next Tuesday’s primary — a campaign staffer for one of Haley’s GOP rivals claimed that he had a one-night stand with Haley in 2008.
Larry Marchant, the latest accuser, is a consultant and lobbyist who was reportedly asked to resign Wednesday from the campaign of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. In Wednesday’s debate, Haley flatly accused Bauer of pushing the smear:
“Y’all were fishing the story (Tuesday) night and you didn’t fire him (Tuesday),” Haley said to Bauer. “It was only when no one was taking the story seriously, because he was a paid consultant, that you decided to fire him.”
Folks had originally hinted that his May 24 “admission” of a Haley affair was in response to pressure from allies of another GOP gubernatorial candidate, Gresham Barrett. On Friday, however, Red State’s Erick Erickson pointed to connections between Folks and the Bauer campaign. The Columbia, S.C., State provided further details of those connections Wednesday:
Folks, Marchant and Bauer have had business relationships. Long-time Bauer advisor Rod Shealy hired Folks in 2006 to work for former state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel’s campaign. Folks said Wednesday that Marchant also hired him to work on school-choice issues but that work ended in 2005.
The political ties between Folks and Marchant make their claims tougher to believe, said Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon… .
“More names with no more proof is certainly going to make it look like Nikki Haley is under attack,” Huffmon said. “It’s probably going to end up, in the mind of the public, needing a higher level of proof.
“What we have irrefutable evidence of in South Carolina is political incest.”
Marchant’s political consulting firm has collected more than $50,000 from the Bauer campaign in the past 18 months. And one alert South Carolina resident sent me this photo Wednesday:
The reader says this photo shows Bauer’s campaign bus parked in front of Larry Marchant’s office at 4 p.m. Wednesday — four hours after Marchant reportedly was asked to resign from the Bauer campaign.
On Wednesday President Obama gave the latest in a series of speeches to show his friends in the media that he is, too, angry and engaged about the Gulf oil spill; he’s so upset that he’s willing to use the Gulf spill as the latest excuse for him to do what he’s been trying without success to do!
Profiles in Courage has nothing on a man who uses this occasion to bravely cite the spill as proof that how the country must finally succumb to his “cap-and-trade” scheme taxing the carbon content of and, through a quota system, rationing energy sources that work. It is safe to assume that this also means copying — as the president himself said on eight occasions — Spain’s now bankrupt and admittedly bankrupting model of forcing us onto those energy sources that don’t.
If the logic is a little hazy, here’s a translation:
On Wednesday President Obama faced the reality that he and those sharing his agenda and beleifs cannot make their “global warming” case, that after billions of taxpayer dollars trying to make it stronger they only find themselves in a deeper hole of public resistance. So he lapsed into saying that a company’s negligence and governmental incompetence finally, somehow, provide that elusive reason to cede lifestyle decisions great and small to the state, through a scheme that is according to all parties climatically meaningless. But that’s ok, the issue’s not “global warming” anymore.
You see, the public aren’t buying “global warming”, so the issue is no longer the issue. It never was anyway. The issue is whatever might work. So far, the Senate’s global warming bill has been called “not an environment bill” by Sen. John Kerry, who instead says it’s a jobs bill, and a national security bill. Yeah, that’s it.
And, now, it is an I’m-mad-and-engaged-lookout-world bill.
President Obama is trying to make some lemonade out of a crisis whose worsening state he takes responsibility for. So, we were told, let it serve as the liberating influence for the state to finally prevail over those stubborn laws of physics, and bring about what the profit motive (and Europe’s own disastrous run with cap-and-trade) failed to.
Now that we know President Obama has tried to solve the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster by consulting with “Waterworld” star Kevin Costner and “Titanic” director James Cameron, we figured: why stop there?
Obama’s Slick Helpers
By Asher Embry
With Cameron and Costner, O’s started a list
Of off-the-wall big shots he’s asked to assist.
There are Beau and Jeff Bridges of Sea Hunt
The Perfect Storm crew (although all of them drown).
Captain Ahab, of course, since he stalked Moby Dick
Would be perfectly suited to tame this oil slick.
Obama gets help keeping BP in check
With Ken Salazar putting Das Boot on their neck.
And if BP’s next cap-and-recovery plan fails
Will O call Captain Bligh with his cat-o’-nine-tails?
Then there’s Captain Jack Sparrow and young Nemo too.
The actors from Lost now have nothing to do.
Love Boat’s Isaac and Gopher and Stubing and Doc
(Whose maritime skill’s surely nothing to mock).
Both Scheider and Dreyfuss could help in the fight
With the lessons they learned when they chased that Great White.
That’s a start, though we’re certain there’s still plenty
Just be thankful O never consulted Al Gore.
Though Obama insists that his head’s in the game,
It clear he’s most focused on shifting the blame.
But maybe the threat’s not as bad as we feared
Since the future’s now bright: Eric Holder’s appeared.
(You can read more of Asher Embry’s Political Verse at www.politicalverse.com.)
This just breaking from the AP:
WASHINGTON — Administration officials dangled the possibility of a job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forego a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, his rival in an Aug. 10 primary, administration officials said Wednesday.
These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations.
The episode follows a similar controversy in Pennsylvania, where the White House last year turned to former President Bill Clinton to suggest Rep. Joe Sestak back out of another primary in favor of an unpaid position on a federal advisory board.
TPM has created an index of the “Shadow Congress” of former congressmen who have cashed out of their elected offices for jobs at D.C. lobbying firms. By their count 172 congressmen have exited through the revolving door and are currently working for lobbies, and you can search them by state.
From the report:
Members of this Shadow Congress — not all of whom are registered lobbyists — hail from 41 of 50 states (Texas has the most, with 17) and they’re almost as likely to be Democrats as Republicans…..
…some of the members of the Shadow Congress are ensconced at brand-name law and lobbying firms like Alston & Bird or Patton Boggs, or they run powerful trade associations. But a surprising number have chosen, essentially, to hang out a shingle, setting up eponymous one- or two-person shops built around their principals’ connections. One firm, Advantage Associates, has taken that concept to a new level, bringing together nine former lawmakers — all white men, four of whom are named Bill — under one roof. As Advantage puts it on their website: “No one knows the way around Capitol Hill better than those who have previously served in Congress.”
TPM claims that this is a “close-to-comprehensive” list of former lawmakers now working for D.C. lobbies, but of course it doesn’t include the numbers of congressional aides who go straight from the Hill to K Street. And the revolving door isn’t one-way — it would be interesting to see how many former lobbyists are currently working for congressmen.
If you want to know why some of us have difficulty taking seriously the chorus blaming Israel for conditions in Gaza, look no further.
Today, Israel attempted to transfer the aid that was onboard the flotilla, supplies that we were led to believe were intended to alleviate suffering of Palestinians in Gaza.
Yet now the Jerusalem Post reports that, “Hamas refused on Wednesday to allow the aid equipment that was captured by the IDF aboard the flotilla ships earlier this week to enter the Gaza Strip.” Hamas is calling the Israeli aid transfer “deception,” and claiming that batteries were removed from wheelchairs. Ynet has additional details.
And remember, the Palestinians democratically-elected Hamas.
More evidence, if any were needed, that the flotilla was not a humanitarian mission to deliver aid to suffering Palestinians, but a carefully coordinated stunt to make Israel look bad.
Labor bosses who have failed to secure pension obligations for their membership have successfully schemed with the Obama White House to coerce non-union workers into underfunded plans.
On May 13, an unheralded executive order that would pressure federal agencies into accepting Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on construction projects that exceed $25 million officially went into effect at the expense of private industry and U.S. taxpayers.
PLAs stipulate that projects be awarded to contractors and subcontractors who agree to recognize unions as representing their employees during that particular job. Although nonunion contractors are permitted to bid on PLA projects, the reality is that the projects are awarded almost exclusively to unionized contractors, critics point out.
Only 15.6 percent of the nation’s private construction work force is unionized, Labor Department statistics show. This means PLAs could be used to discriminate against the more than eight out of 10 construction workers who are not part of a union. Moreover, PLAs put non-union contractors a great disadvantage where pension requirements are concerned because they are forced to pay twice.
Under PLA agreements, private shops must pay into union pension plans and existing 401 (k) company plans. Moreover, as a general rule non-union contractors cannot typically suspend and restart contributions to individual 401 (k) accounts meaning they must take double payments into account on their contract bid.
The PLA hex is also put onto individual workers since the employer contributions that are sent to union pension plans will not materialize as benefits unless they agree to leave their non-union company and join with the union until they are vested.
This unappetizing arrangement raises important questions about motivations. After posturing as strong advocates for retirements benefits, why would labor bosses insist on a provision precludes workers from receiving benefits unless they join with the union?
One of the most bizarre pieces of misinformation being spread in the wake of the flotilla incident is this idea that by taking the action it did, Israel has alienated a key ally and friend in the region. It’s disappointing to see that even Megan McArdle, whose work on domestic issues I usually agree with, has bought into this spin, writing that, “Israel royally pissed off their one ally in the region by illegally boarding Turkish-flagged ship, forcing Turkey to abandon its basically friendly stance.”
This myth of a strong Israeli-Turkey friendship has often been presented without context, even though what alliance did exist has been eroding for years. The mere fact that Turkey would help sponsor a flotilla of ships whose stated goal was to break an Israeli naval blockade — no matter your view of the blockade — should in itself be enough to undermine the claim of a close Israel-Turkey relationship. To start, it’s important to see this as part of the broader trend of Turkey under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has moved his nation in a more Islamic and less secular direction, and forged alliances with other Muslim leaders.
Just a few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal’s Brett Stevens, reporting from Turkey, wrote:
Today, Mr. Erdogan has excellent relations with Syrian strongman Bashar Assad, whom the prime minister affectionately calls his “brother.” He has accused Israel of “savagery” in Gaza and opened a diplomatic line to Hamas while maintaining good ties with the genocidal government of Sudan. He was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his fraudulent victory in last year’s election. He has resisted intense pressure from the Obama administration to vote for a new round of Security Council sanctions on Iran, with which Turkey has a $10 billion trade relationship. And he has sabotaged efforts by his own foreign ministry to improve ties with neighboring Armenia.
Erdogan has such close ties to Sudan, that last fall he actually denied reports of rape, torture, and genocide in Darfur. “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide,” he said. He also stated: “If there were such a thing in Darfur, we would be chasing this to the end.” Even if the reports of genocide in Darfur were true, he said, Israeli crimes against Palestinians in Gaza are worse anyway.
As prime minister, Erdogan has publicly scolded Israel whenever it takes actions taken to protect itself. In 2004, when Israel carried out a targeted assassination of the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Erdogan condemned the move as “an act of terrorism.” Erdogan blasted Israel’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza aimed at preventing terrorists from firing rockets at Israel civilians as a “crime against humanity.” Erdogan not only sided with Hamas, but warned that Allah would punish Israel for its actions.
Erdogan has also called on Western countries to stop pressuring Iran over its nuclear program, even as the Islamic regime pursues those weapons within the context of denying the Holocaust and vowing to wipe Israel off of the map. And last October, Turkey canceled an air force drill because Israel was participating in it, which the Associated Press described at the time as, “a move that sent strained relations between the two nations to a new low.” Meanwhile, Turkish television has consistently featured vehement anti-Israel propaganda, such as a popular soap opera series depicting Israeli Mossad agents kidnapping Turkish babies.
While it is true that Turkey has historically maintained closer ties with Israel than other Muslim nations, only within the context of global hatred for the Jewish state could Turkey’s more recent posture be seen as consistent with a close alliance. In a sane world, Turkey’s involvement in sending ships of terrorist-linked extremists posing as peace activists to break up a blockade, would, at the minimum, be seen as a provocation of Israel, and arguably, an act of war. But instead, the international media has seized on Erdogan’s declaration of the Israel’s response as an act of “state terrorism,” reporting as if it’s coming from an objective source. (The UK’s Guardian even used the phrase in a headline without attributing the statement: “Israel accused of state terrorism after assault on flotilla carrying Gaza aid.”) Anybody familiar with Erdogan’s history, however, would know that these sort of statements are nothing new — as I noted, 6 years ago, he even called Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas’s leader an “act of terrorism.”
Whatever one’s views on the flotilla incident, it’s simply absurd to suggest that the event alienated a steadfast Israeli ally in the region.
Former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer has been busted on fraud and money-laundering charges:
Greer was arrested by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents this morning at his Oviedo home about 9:15 a.m. and booked into the Seminole County jail about 45 minutes later.
At a lunchtime press conference in Orlando, Statewide Prosecutor William Shepherd said Greer developed a scheme to take money from the Republican Party through a shell company he created, Victory Strategies. He used the money for his personal expenses — at least $100,000, Shepherd said… .
Greer was backed for the chairmanship job in 2006 by then-Gov. elect Charlie Crist, and an Orlando Sentinel analysis of party spending found Greer dramatically increased spending and the use of American Express charge cards during his three-year tenure.
The high spending, frequent national travel, and Greer’s decision to endorse Crist in his U.S. Senate primary against Marco Rubio ultimately prompted party leaders to seek his ouster.
After he endorsed his patron Crist in May 2009 — 15 months before the August 2010 primary — Greer attempted to invoke “Rule 11” to allow the national GOP to fund Crist’s Senate campaign, arguing that “the governor should be treated basically as an incumbent.” Greer, who resigned the state party chairmanship in January, seems to have been rewarded lavishly for his loyalty:
His $465,000 home, finished in early 2006, is a showplace: 3,700 square feet, with a wine cellar, swimming pool and a two-story entry that features a sweeping, curved staircase and chandelier. He also owns two others: a $240,000 condo and $125,000 town house, both at the beach in Brevard County. He bought a plane, although he’s not a pilot. His children … had a live-in nanny. He drives a black Mercedes-Benz, his wife a white Lincoln Navigator.
Greer’s old boss, Charlie Crist, quit the GOP and is now running as an independent, but refuses to give back Republican donations. Now, Crist has to worry about what Greer might decide to tell investigators about Crist’s knowledge of Victory Strategies.
As has been reported here regularly, global warming alarmists have been losing to their opponents on the facts, on their credibility, in the public’s eyes. Now there’s the possibility they could actually lose a Congressional seat to a climate realist, and that really scares them.
Dr. Art Robinson, co-founder of the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine and director of the Global Warming Petition Project which has collected the signatures of more than 31,000 scientists who dissent from climate catastrophism, is the Republican nominee to challenge Rep. Peter DeFazio in Oregon’s 4th District. The prospect of a Robinson victory in this year of Tea Party momentum has the state’s official climatologist (and data-fudger) Philip Mote in a tizzy, as he expressed in an email from his Oregon State University account to a listserv of other academics and students. The Oregon Politico reports:
Mote began the e-mail by acknowledging that Art Robinson was chosen during last week’s Republican primary race to run against incumbent Democrat Congressman Peter DeFazio, who represents the Eugene area. Robinson gained fame with his work on the Oregon Petition Project, a list of scientists worldwide who disagree with the premise that climate change is caused by humans.
“A robinson [sic] victory would put us in the tragic ranks of our climate colleagues at University of Oklahoma (Senator ‘global warming is a hoax’ Inhofe) and Univ of Alaska (Rep. ‘scientists have their opinion, I have mine’ Young),” wrote Mote.
Phil Mote…published a cherry picked data analysis allegedly linking western snowpack to global warming….Mote’s paper while state climatologist for Washington State was published readily by the sadly advocacy driven [American Meteorological Society]. The much more qualified Oregon state climatologist he subsequently replaced, George Taylor, and the Assistant Washington State Climatologist Mark Albright (who Mote stripped of his title for questioning Mote’s hypothesis) — and even UWA warmist Professor Cliff Mass — published papers that showed by analyzing the entire record you see no trend but a cyclical change related clearly to the [Pacific Decadal Oscillation]. See how with the recent change to the negative PDO, heavy snow has returned to the Pacific Northwest. Given the imminent return to La Nina and forecast for deepening of the negative PDO stage, another wild winter with deep snowpack is likely.
Mote apparently received a wrist-slap from OSU, as he wrote a later email to the listserv to apologize and calling the original one “a mistake.”
How is it so many of these activist climate scientists are so gaffe-prone?
Update 12:18 p.m.: My friend Todd Myers at the Washington Policy Center calls attention to another instance two years ago, when Mote had to recant incorrect testimony he gave to the state legislature.
For a blissfully quiet look at the Rolling Thunder riders who visited our nation’s capital this Memorial Weekend, you won’t want to miss our advertising manager (and professional photographer) Katherine Ruddy’s slideshow, available here.
Stacy McCain beat me to the punch. My next post was going to be about the Alabama results. Yes, party switchers and Washington establishment choices got spanked. That’s probably good — although, frankly, I would have liked to see Les Phillip take the nomination from party-switching Parker Griffith. Nothing against Mo Brooks, other than that I don’t think the Fair Tax is politically feasible or politically wise, but I have a soft spot for self-made, legally naturalized citizens who served honorably in our armed forces and developed conservative ideals while forging a successful career — people like Les Phillip, apparently, although I only know about him what I read in the papers. Anyway, Brooks is an accomplished conservative, too, and should be a good congressman if he wins in the fall.
Now, allow me to mourn the loss of Artur Davis for the Dem nomination for governor. While Davis clearly is not as conservative as he campaigned — yes, he positioned himself for the conservative general election campaign before securing his Dem primary — he also is legitimately a moderate liberal, not a lefty, and he is earnest and thoughtful and appears to be honest. He also was the only Democrat who had the grace to own up to having been mistaken about Fannie and Freddie (in the infamous hearing where Dems beat up on those who demanded greater oversight and greater reins on the two government-backed financial institutions), and to apologize for it. The Barney Franks of the world still haven’t acknowledged their serious errors on this front, but David did. Anyway, it is a crying shame to see such a big loss by a thoughtful, intellectual, black moderate who dared to buck the groupthink of the black political bosses. We need people like that to be rewarded, not punished. He would never have been my choice in the general election, but he would have been no disaster. The Dem winner, Ron Sparks, always has struck me as sleazy, and he was utterly in hock to the unions and the left wing. Artur Davis is a better man than he.
Now, as for the GOP race for governor, which Stacy doesn’t mention. I clearly favored former state senator and former two-year-college chief Bradley Byrne, and he made the runoff with 28 percent of the vote. Stacy’s guy Tim James (son of former Gov. Fob James), who really turned me off in my years in Mobile, looks to have barely missed the runoff by about 140 votes to late-surging conservative state Sen. (and medical doctor) Robert Bentley…. but there almost certainly will be a runoff. Any of them will enter the general election as the favorite over Sparks, but Sparks has a populist touch and cannot be taken lightly. UPDATE: FINAL UNOFFICIAL RESULTS, pending recount: Bentley leads for the second runoff spot by 208 votes.
Finally, GREAT news in the race for attorney general. Republican incumbent Troy King has been such a disappointment that his affable and intelligent opponent, Luther Strange, earned the support of both U.S. Senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, along with the tacit support of just about every other major Republican office-holder. Strange absolutely routed King in the primary, and will be favored in the general election. This is good news. Strange also is a personal friend of the estimable Fred Barnes, our famous conservative comrade-in-arms at the Weekly Standard. He could be real rising star for conservatives.
So, all in all, not a bad night, although the Davis loss was a bummer…..
Coming out of Tuesday’s primaries, the big headline at the New York Times is that Rep. Artur Davis lost his bid to become Alabama’s first black governor, being defeated in the Democratic primary by state agriculture commissioner Ron Sparks.
The basic problem for Davis was that he ran a general-election campaign in the Democratic primary. Davis voted against ObamaCare and, when I traveled to Alabama in February and covered a gubernatorial candidate forum in Montgomery, I was struck by how conservative Davis’s rhetoric was. Sparks ran as a liberal populist, and got endorsed by the major black political organizations in the state.
In the Alabama 5th District Republican primary, meanwhile, party-switcher Parker Griffith lost badly to Madison County commissioner Mo Brooks. Griffith’s change from “D” to “R” did not placate the district’s conservative voters and enraged local Democrats, prompting an unusual bipartisan grassroots protest when House Republican leader John Boehner came to Huntsville for a Griffith fundraiser.
The GOP establishment also got a shock in Alabama’s 2nd District, where the National Republican Congressional Committee’s hand-picked candidate Martha Roby failed to get a majority in the primary and will face a July 13 runoff against Tea Party-backed candidate Rick Barber.
From a friend who asked to remain anonymous comes this message (if the internal links don’t work when I paste it, I’ll try to come back and insert them later), in full:
A bunch of left wing groups have asked the FCC to monitor “hate speech,” “misinformation” in the media - both online and in broadcast/print media - and look into options “for counteracting or reducing” it.
“FCC asked to monitor “hate speech,” “misinformation” online
The coalition has asked the agency to request public comments on hate speech in the media, inquire into its extent, explore “the relationship between hate speech in the media and hate crimes,” and look into options “for counteracting or reducing the negative effects of such speech.”
In addition, the groups wants the FCC to examine “the prevalence of misinformation” in the media, since misinformation “creates a climate of prejudice.””
“Free Press goes all-in on censorship
Posted by Neil Stevens (Profile)
Tuesday, June 1st at 12:03PM EDTIt’s now out in the open: the Internet censors are on the march. The neo-Marxists at Free Press promised us that Net Neutrality had nothing to do with censorship. But as I’ve warned, once the FCC did their Title II Deem and Pass reclassification of ISPs as phone companies, in direct contravention of the Telecommunications Act, censorship was fully within their reach.Even as Republicans have come out strongly against the FCC’s excesses and opposition is even growing from House Democrats, with total opposition now accounting for a majority of the House, Free Press and their pet commissioner Michael Copps are trying to control the whole Internet in the name of preventing “hate speech.”Free Press ally the National Hispanic Media Coalition also claims that commissar-defined hate speech has no first amendment protection, per Ars Technica:“The NHMC understands that those who would prefer hate speech to remain under the radar will claim that such an inquiry violates the First Amendment,” the group added. “No doubt they will raise the red herring of the restoration of the ‘fairness doctrine,’ trying to divert the attention of the vast majority of Americans who find hate speech reprehensible.”Ars Technica asks the obvious followup question:Finally, why would the FCC want to run an inquiry on Internet content at a time when, in pursuit of revised net neutrality rules, its chair is trying to convince the public that the agency doesn’t want to regulate Internet content?My answer: because this is why Free Press has been driving Net Neutrality the whole time. Their goal is state control of the mass media. It always has been, and they’ve always been open about it. “Media reform,” as they call it, is no different from “Health care reform,” and we know how “well” that turned out.”
Quin’s comment: I hate these speech-denying jerks described here. I hate their ideology. I hate their authoritarian/proto-totalitarian tendencies with regard to free speech. I hate this naked attempt at state censorship.And if they want to come after me for this “hate” speech, so be it. Come on. Hit me with your best shot. And watch what a free society will do to the likes of you.
The Media Research Center pulled this enlightening report from the Tuesday CBS Evening News. Near the end, the reporter demurely suggests, through a source, that Gore’s win of the popular vote in 2000 but loss of the electoral vote could be a reason he and his wife are now separating.
In other words, it’s George W. Bush’s fault.
In related Bush-bashing news, Chris Dodd tried to blame the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Dubya. By the end of the interview, it looks like even he’s not buying his own garbage-of-the-mouth.
The Gallup poll that Doug pointed to not only gives Republicans a 6-point advantage in the generic ballot (which is 13 points among independents), but it also finds that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting by a 15 point margin. As Gallup points out in its analysis of the results, typically Republicans do better in turnout in midterm elections than polling models predict, so a even a tie in the generic ballot would normally suggest Republicans winning a higher percentage of the actual vote. So a six-point lead, if it holds up, could mean an overwhelming victory by the GOP in November. Yet Gallup notes that, “it is not clear whether the recent shift marks the beginning of a lasting change in the structure of the race or perhaps a short-term response to political events such as the Obama administration’s handling of the BP oil spill. The latter appeared to be the case earlier this year as Republicans built a small lead after the healthcare bill’s passage into law, but the slight bump for the GOP among registered voters did not last.”
The latest Gallup Poll is out and it’s bad news for the Democrats. People favor the GOP for Congress 49% to 43%, and Republicans are a lot more enthusiastic about voting.
Michael Barone explains what this means:
There’s no way to sping this except as bad news for Democrats. Yes, Democratic candidates may be able to beat Republican challengers here and there by attacking them as wackos. But Democrats are in trouble, as I argued in my Sunday Examiner column, on both competence and ideology-a pretty lethal combination.
It’s still a long-time to November, but public attitudes on spending and health appear to be moving ever more against the Democrats. So the ensuing months might not help the Prez and his buddies on Capitol Hill.
Today on the Main Site:
Tina Fey Isn’t Funny by Aaron Goldstein: Going after Sarah Palin has its reward.
The Coming Resignation of Barack Obama by Peter Ferrara: It’ll come as Democrats abandon him.
High Under the Big Sky by Bill Croke: Medical marijuana has found its Treasure State.
Not for Sale by Roger Scruton: We have allowed too many things in our world to be priced.
70 Is All You Get to Go by Eric Peters: the unofficial Motorists Tax will see to that.
Artful Shape Shifting by John R. Coyne, Jr.: David Remnick believes in Barack Obama.
Please Give by James Bowman: Please Give is Sex and the City for real people.
What to Watch For:
GOP digs in heels against Berwick nomination for administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Berwick expresses self-proclaimed “love” of British National Health Service system (Politico)
Clip of the Day:
Bill Maher wishes Obama were a “real” black president with a gun in his pants.
Karen Travers of ABC News today referred to the recently liquified Shaikh Sa’id al-Masri a.k.a. Mustafa Abu al-Yazid as al-Qaeda’s “chief operating officer.”
Since the Islamist frappe formerly known as al-Yazid is referred to as COO perhaps we should start referring to Osama bin Laden as al-Qaeda’s CEO.
Who knows: this seeming legitimization of the now-putrefying pool of slop previously called al-Yazid might event prompt Hugo Chavez to give his friends at al-Qaeda a corporate charter.
Noah Pollak has a strong post elaborating on how Israel’s public relations effort in the wake of the flotilla incident is insufficient because it focuses on beating down lies that are being spread by the anti-Israel media, rather than going on the offense.
Among his suggestions for what such an offensive strategy may look like:
1. Expel the Turkish ambassador and declare his return contingent on a full, credible, and public Turkish investigation of the terrorist organization that planned and funded the “aid flotilla.”
2. Publicly demand reparations from Turkey for the costs of the operation, including the medical bills of the thugs and Jew-haters who have been given such lovely medical care in Israeli hospitals.
3. Demand a UN investigation of why Turkey is funding terrorist organizations that are involved in attacks on Israel.
4. Fund a Kurdish human-rights NGO in Israel — there are lots of Kurdish Jews who I’m sure would be happy to help — that raises awareness of the plight of Kurds in Turkey. (Short answer: they are treated horribly.) This organization must publicize the apartheid conditions of Kurdish life in Turkey and churn out op-eds, studies, videos, and press releases denouncing Turkey’s brutal and racist treatment of its own minorities.
5. Fund a Turkish-language documentary on the Armenian genocide, upload it to YouTube, and promote it heavily in Turkey. If Erdogan wants to call Israel a criminal and a murderer, there’s no reason why Israel shouldn’t return the favor on this most sensitive of issues.
I’d just add another observation. Following the incident, Israel and many of its defenders have been trying to respond to criticism of conditions in Gaza, by either emphasizing the humanitarian aid Israel provides and lets in, or arguing that conditions in Gaza aren’t as bad as advertised. But this strikes me as largely irrelevant. The reason why there’s a blockade in place in Gaza is that the area is run by a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction that is stockpiling weapons to further its goal. And the reason why Hamas is running the show is that it was popularly elected by the Palestinian people. So it’s very hard to view Palestinians as a whole as innocent victims in this. If they don’t want to encounter problems importing the supplies they want, then they shouldn’t vote terrorists into power. And if they choose to elect terrorists, then it’s pretty outrageous to suggest that anybody other than Palestinians themselves are responsible for their plight.
Southern California’s public radio station, KPCC, and its syndicated program “Marketplace” will host a daylong townhall Webcast next Wednesday to salve the wounded psyches of global warming paranoiacs everywhere. The symposium is entitled “Climate and Sustainability: Moving By Degrees,” and is “aimed at bringing together journalists and the public online and at Southern California Public Radio’s (SCPR) Crawford Family Forum to decipher fact from fiction, to learn how our scientific understanding has evolved, and to understand where politics, science and business agree and diverge on how to create a sustainable future.”
That’s right: this public radio station has its own venue where it can stage its own version of news, which it will do by inviting only those scientists, activists and journalists who are sympathetic to The Inconvenient Cause. Those attending:
- Dr. Michael E. Mann, Pennsylvania State University
- Dr. Benjamin Santer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Review
- Andrew Revkin, award-winning New York Times Dot Earth blogger
- Joe Romm, Center for American Progress and ClimateProgress.org blogger
- Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres
- Naomi Oreskes, author of “Merchant of Doubt”
- Dr. Stephen Schneider, Stanford University
- Elizabeth Kolbert, award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker
According to the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media:
Program managers say the Marketplace workshop, in concert with the Gary Comer Global Agenda, is designed to address “the need for public understanding and tough reporting around energy, climate, and the economy.” They say the disappointing Copenhagen international talks last December and “high-profile scandals and corrections” involving leaked e-mails and IPCC’s mistaken Himalayan glaciers report have left the public “confused and bewildered,” with public opinion largely out of sync with scientific understanding.
Who’s bewildered? It’s the climate realists who’ve historically received the “tough reporting” from this bunch while the Society of Environmental Journalists have carried the alarmists’ water. But despite all the media’s efforts to frame the narrative, Copenhagen failed, Climategate clarified, and the public is in sync with reasonable doubt. When they promote their questionable agenda to call for massive increases in energy costs (cap and trade), that’s not confusion; that’s discernment.
On the Today show this morning, an aspiring old author, Mr. Joe McGinniss, hoping to write a book and cash in on the left’ s obsession with the dazzling former Governor of Alaska, Mrs. Sarah Palin, defended his locating next door to the home of the subject of his planned diatribe. McGinniss cleared matters up for viewers. He is the victim. Mrs. Palin has turned loose the “hounds of hell, and now they’ re out there slavering and barking and growling,” McGinniss said. “That’s the same kind of tactic — and I’m not calling her a Nazi — but that’s the same kind of tactic that that the Nazi troopers used in Germany in the '30s, and I don’t think there’s any place for it in America.”
Nazi tactics employed by Mrs. Palin include taking Mr. McGinniss’s picture, a posting on Facebook, describing the creep as a creep, and the building of a large fence by a real man, Mr. Palin, to allow a modicum of privacy
For me, the self-pity and horrors of Mr. McGinniss’ s travails would all be amusing, if not for the continued trivialization of the historic reality of the Nazis. For the longest time, anything not approved of by liberals and leftists has been branded Nazi. Arizona’s state law designed to enforce federal immigration law has met with this same stupid usage. A good question for Mr. McGinniss is which Jewish victim of the Holocaust, and all other victims of Nazi terror, would mind sharing his suffering and trading places? The man is more than a creep. He’s an ignorant whiner.
Former Vice President Al Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, is separating from his wife Tipper after 40 years of marriage.
According to an e-mail circulated among the couple’s friends and obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, the Gores said it was “a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration.”
Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the statement came from the Gores, but declined to comment further.
Following up on John’s excellent post on the Israeli flotilla incident, I’d just like to add that this is yet another example of how Israel gets itself into trouble when it tries to play nice and goes out of its way to appease the international community. In this case, terrorist-linked extremists posing as a human rights workers were seeking to prevent Israel from enforcing a Naval blockade that is in place to stop a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction from importing weapons. Yet instead of preparing to confront violent extremists, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was more concerned with world opinion, so he sent commandoes into a situation in which they were being beaten by a mob, and only authorized to use paint guns.
Had Israelis actually planned for how to deal with violent passengers and shown from the get go that they meant business, it’s less likely they would have ended up needing to use lethal force. But once the IDF was forced to choose between letting its soldiers get beaten to death or opening fire, lethal force was the obvious consequence.
In a strong piece, Caroline Glick documents the all the warning signs that the flotilla would be filled with suicide protesters who were part of a Turkish terrorist group posing as a human rights organization, and explains why Israel lost the information war:
(I)t is clear that Israel’s information strategy for contending with the flotilla was ill-conceived. Rather than attack Turkey for its facilitation of terrorism, and openly prepare charge sheets against the flotilla’s organizers, crew and passengers for their facilitation of terrorism in breach of both Israeli domestic law and international law, Israel’s information efforts were largely concentrated on irrelevancies. Israeli officials detailed all the humanitarian assistance Israel has provided Hamas-controlled Gaza. They spoke of the Navy’s commitment to use non-lethal force to take over the ships.And now, in the aftermath of the lethal takeover of the flotilla, Israel’s leaders stammer. Rather than demand an apology from the Turkish government for its support for these terrorists, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called his Turkish counterpart to talk over what happened. Rather than demand restitution for the terrorist assault against Israeli troops, Israel has defended its troops’ moral training in non-violent crowd control.
These efforts are worse than worthless. They make Israel appear whiny rather than indignant. And more depressingly, they expose a dangerous lack of basic comprehension about what has just occurred and a concomitant inability to prepare for what will most certainly follow.
In the wake of the flotilla incident, Israel has managed to look weak and confused, while still earning the condemnation of the world. We saw this on a much larger scale in the 2006 Lebanon War, as then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s indecisiveness hindered the operation against Hezbollah, and triggered the fury of the international community anyway. With Obama in the White House, Israel has lost its one reliable ally. Israeli leaders would be better off simply concentrating on getting the job done right, rather then attempt to win over a world that is consumed with hatred for the Jewish state.
From Politico’s Morning Energy e-mail:
- During the congressional recess, advocates of a comprehensive energy bill plan to spend SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND on radio ads opposing Sen. Lisa Murkowki’s resolution [S.J.Res. 26], due for a vote June 10, seeking to rein in EPA’s regulation authority on greenhouse gases. BOTH SIDES say this vote will be a crucial canary-in-the-coalmine on the vote for a broad energy [sic; that’s the cap-n-trade and gas tax bill] bill - if she gets 55 votes, passage of a big bill becomes UNLIKELY. The spots begin Wednesday, with these states/targets/sponsors: VA (Webb): Sierra Club; MO (McCaskill): Missouri Votes Conservation; ND (Conrad/Dorgan): League of Conservation Voters; AR (Pryor): League of Conservation Voters; IN (Bayh): League of Conservation Voters; MA (Brown): TBD; ME (Collins/Snowe): TBD
So now is a good time for the following reminder: Industry is lobbying to allow EPA to do this to us through the backdoor (even if the advocacy groups aren’t all industry, but also greens including those that industry is propping up in this battle since the days that none other than Enron and BP invented carbon cap-n-trade…I was in the room with both scheming about how to make it happen, thirteen years ago this month).
Viewed slightly differently, because rent-seeking industry would prefer the Kerry-Lieberman legislation that even Kerry admits they helped write (to ensure those rents and that any costs are passed-through to the consumer as smoothly as possible), industry is lobbying to keep alive the false urgency declared by cynics in Congress as the reason “we must act!” and adopt cap-n-trade, or else that mean EPA will do something even worse.
A reasonable public servant would respond to this inanity by replying that we should just pass a one-liner taking away/affirming the lack of EPA’s claimed authority to do so. Like the Murkowski resolution, which simply ensures deliberation. This agenda and campaign is nothing if not unreasonable, however, and would not survive a deliberate, reasoned debate. Hence the decade-plus of “we must act now!”. Big. Red. Flag.
Relevant to this note in Politico is that Greenwire last week reported, buried in a story, that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has apparently succeeded in his publicly telegraphed effort to convince the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute to not air ads against cap-n-trade. One can only assume they got something for that. And whatever it was would be by definition designed to come out of your pocket. Early betting is that it is revenues from the gas tax for projects they like.
It’s too bad the BPs of the world and its allied groups are left with open field running to push their scheme. Unless, of course, you have email, a telephone, and/or a fax machine.
After his sentencing in the Mary Landrieu phone caper case limited his travel to New Jersey, Big Government undercover video reporter James O’Keefe decided to see what the Census Bureau is up to in his home state. It looks like at least one region is looking the other way as employees falsify their time sheets.
As you’ll see, he took it up the chain of command where he received a consistent response of “don’t worry about it.” Just a few bad apples? O’Keefe writes, “As to whether this is an “isolated incident” or if there are more Census videos showing more waste, fraud, and corruption, we’ll let you take a wild guess.
Today on the Main Site:
Joe to Joe by The Prowler: Joe Biden goes missing in the Joe Sestak revelations. Also: Cantor’s McCarthy Site.
Rahm’s Subpeona Dodging White House Strategy? by Jeffrey Lord: Pew study exposes internal “no notes” Clinton legal policy: Obama’s Sestak Defense?
It’s TACAMO Time Again by Jed Babbin: Where are the guys and gals whom the president insists were on deck and on duty from day 1?
A Long Memorial Day by Ben Stein: Topped off by Israel doing what it had to do.
An Incurable Romantic by David Catron: Donald Berwick’s love affair with the NHS may render you incurable.
Rededicating New York’s ‘God Box’ by Mark Tooley: Fifty years ago America had no problem celebrating its civic faith.
Obama Plays the Credit Card by Jay D. Homnick: If every second sentence is “Bush stinks” then inevitably the first sentence must be “I am great.”
What to Watch for:
U.S. Military formally withdraws from Green Zone, Baghdad (NY Times); Haiti (WSJ)
Meeting with Netanyahu cancelled, Obama set to meet President Garcia of Peru (Chicago Sun-Times)
Poll of the Day:
PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ favorable ratings of the Democratic and Republican parties are near record lows for each. The current 36% favorable score for the Republican Party is five percentage points above the low established in December 1998 as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Clinton. The Democratic Party’s 43% is two points higher than its record low measured in March.
…After showing improvement in recent months, Republican Party favorable ratings are down again. The current 36% rating represents a significant decline from the 42% measured in late March, and is nearly back to the 34% readings from late 2008 and early 2009.
Favorable ratings of the Democratic Party are down from last year, but after a sharp 10-point drop in late March to a record-low 41% — perhaps in response to the passage of health care reform— its rating appears to have stabilized now at a still low 43%.
The current poll marks the second successive sub-50% rating for the Democrats after the party had been consistently above that mark since July 2006.With the decline in Republican favorable ratings and stabilization of Democratic ratings, the net result is that the Democratic Party once again has an advantage over the Republican Party on this measure, 43% to 36%, after the parties were essentially tied in late March.
Right now IDF soldiers are in the hospital because they walked into an ambush aboard the Mavi Marmara carrying paintball guns, with orders to unholster their firearms only as a last resort. Here’s video that clearly shows them being attacked as soon as they hit the deck of the ship.
Predictably, quite a few members of the violent floating mob ended up dead. This is being widely portrayed as a brutal Israeli attack on peaceful activists attempting to deliver humanitarian aid. There are angry protests in capitals all over the world (“Saw anger at London protest at Israeli embassy I’m more used to seeing in Mid-east than Europe,” says ABC News correspondant Jim Sciutto on Twitter). The UN has convened an emergency session for the extremely urgent purpose of condemning the Jewish State just one more time.
Make no mistake: This is a fiasco for Israel. Former US Mid-East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller lays it out for Eli Lake of the Washington Times: “This feeds the efforts of those in the international community who seek to delegitimize Israel. This has undermined Mahmoud Abbas, who will have to toughen his position in negotiations or even suspend them. This hands Hamas a huge political windfall.”
Israeli commentator Avi Trengo blames Defense Minister Ehud Barak for “ordering the IDF to adopt an impossible policy: Stopping the flotilla using force, while doing it without using force”:
So how would any other navy enforce a naval blockade? First, a clear warning in English: Turn back or we shall fire. Next, A shot across the bow - a last warning to show the seriousness of our intentions. Finally, firing at the vessel’s propeller, in a bid to paralyze the ship’s sailing and steering capabilities.
Only then, and only after allowing the ship to be tossed from side to side under the sun, the time would come for taking over the vessel using massive force: Clearing away the decks using water hoses, splashing oil on its windows, ramming into the vessel, and finally staging the takeover.
This is how any self-respecting Navy would conduct itself. However, there is only one problem here: The utilization of force and fire, which is precisely what Barak wanted to avoid. He feared the images, and therefore ordered the takeover to get underway at early morning hours, much before the ships crossed into Gaza’s territorial waters.
If Israel had proceded that way, is there any doubt that we’d hear exactly the same chorus of condemnation? As British media watchdog Just Journalism points out, the flotilla to Gaza was openly spoiling for a fight, with one ‘activist’ declaring before they set sail ‘We are now waiting for one of two good things - either to achieve martyrdom or to reach Gaza.’ Short of ending the blockade — which would mean allowing the delivery of weapons that would be used to kill Israeli civilians — there was no way for Israel to win. Barak’s kid-glove approach (which, to be fair, did succeed at bloodlessly intercepting five of the six ships in the flotilla) earned Israel exactly no credit in the eyes of her critics, for whom Israel is ipso facto in the wrong whenever she defends herself.
Traditionally, Israel has had a friend in the United States. A large majority of the American people support Israel’s right to exist, and most American presidents have understood the strategic importance of our alliance. To the Obama Administration’s credit, they’ve been much more cautious than most goverments in responding to this incident, issuing a statement that “The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals. The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.” This compares favorably with the statement by William Hague, the UK’s new Foreign Secretary, whose first instinct was to “call on the Government of Israel to open the crossings to allow unfettered access for aid to Gaza.” (Actually, Israel allows lots of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.)
A meeting between President Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had to be cancelled so that the latter could return home to deal with the fallout. There’s been tension between the US and Israel in recent months that’s been contrary to the interests of both nations. If the Obama Administration can now step up and support Israel in this time of crisis, it will do more to repair the frayed relations between our two countries than any meeting could have.
From the ridiculousness of my previous blog post to the sublime of this one….. please, please read this moving column by my friend Gary Palmer, head of the Alabama Policy Institute, on a young man from Alabama who recently gave his last full measure of devotion. This is what Memorial Day is about. Semper Fi. RIP. And the thanks of a grateful nation.
Everybody in journalism at one time or another misses a typo and lets it into print. It just happens. I once was saved at the very last minute from having published something about a health department’s division of public affairs that left the ‘l’ out of public. Now comes a great column by my charming fellow New Orleanian Lurita Doan, a one-time victim of the lib hit gangs and establishment media when she headed the General Services Administration under George W. Bush. Anyway, the column talks about how the Obama obsequiousness to unions certainly didn’t help the performance of the Minerals Management Service. But what caught my eye was this sentence: “What the White House will not do is hold accountable onionized federal employees that have performed poorly.”
Yes, you read that right. Onionized employees. I wonder if this will lead to the White House being peppered with questions? Did it make it hard for somebody to de-liver the bad news to Obama? The column says some workers were on drugs, but were any of them merely pickled with alcohol instead? And if the employees are onionized, does that mean that the other employees not so afflicted are running rings around them? And if you try to lay them off, is it you who cries when you cut them? With all of these possibilies running around in my head, I think my brain is getting fried….
On this Memorial Day, I see yet another story triggering in my mind the cavalier (mis)use of our nation’s finest to advance a political agenda, and a dangerous one at that. As the year progresses I’m confident we will have occasion to revisit another, the effort to push military officials into claiming wisdom is found by ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty — subjecting us to an international tribunal with express jurisdiction over U.S. domestic energy and transport policy and activities, among other menaces.
Today’s example, however, begins with the report by Grenwire on something about which, at least thematically, I can honestly say I told you so. Specifically, regarding former MMS head Liz Birnbaum:
Birnbaum acquaintances, angered by the sudden ouster, said she had not been ordered to clean house at the scandal-stained agency, but to promote renewable energy. In particular, she was tasked with handling the politically charged issue of siting the 25-mile “Cape Wind” wind farm off Cape Cod, the MMS issue where Salazar was most active before the spill. In April, Salazar ended nearly a decade of regulatory battles by green-lighting the project.
Now with Obama’s Interior team taking heat for not cleaning house at an agency notorious for its cozy ties with industry, they say she took the fall.
“She’s being made a scapegoat,” said one acquaintance.
Her focus on the Cape Wind project is supported by the fact that it was the first thing Salazar mentioned about Birnbaum as he praised her service to the committee.
“She helped us on issues of offshore wind in the Atlantic,” Salazar said. “All I can really tell the committee is she is a good public servant.”
For the military angle, stay with me here. In ”Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America”, I detail absurd stances articulated by senior administration officials which if followed — as this and other activities indicate was the case — would doom us to the unhappy and thoroughly avoidable fate of others who have blazed this reckless trail. In the United Kingdom, for example, that lot are now confronting its looming blackouts, to come possibly in time for the summer 2012 Olympics in London if their economy recovers in time (that particular chapter, Chapter 2 “Renewable Fools, begins with a rollicking exposé of the even more witless scribblings of the NYT’s green scold and windmill fetishist Tom Friedman).
The Brits pursued the, er, “plan” of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Obama’s appointee to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Jon Wellinghoff, both of whom have declared the United States has no need of new nuclear or coal base-load electricity generation. They sneer at building coal and nuclear — which work and provide baseload power —on the promise of some massive, future littering of the Atlantic seaboard with massive windmills.
And in pursuit of this agenda, the administration just this month sent Navy officials out to say that drilling rigs off Virginia’s coast would interfere with naval operations, posing a national security issue, and we’d better not do it. Yet this was timed, with breakthaking hypocrisy, with a push to say that we really ought to litter the the same space with wind farms which, as you might imagine, pose a slightly greater navigational challenge and for far less and absurdly uneconomical gain.
The Virginia OCS and surrounding area, was the only region actually left open for consideration by Obama for the next five-year plan (beginnin in 2012…no, despite the spin lapped up by the press, he opened not one area for drilling but effectively re-imposed moratoria). And that was before Obama’s latest decision to shelve those few offshore drilling projects that had made it through the pipeline in recent years and appeared imminent. A further compounded element of this, kicking the Gulf’s economy when it’s down, included shuttering 33 existing rig operations; the scarce rigs which will now head off to China, Brazil, wherever their political class are less unserious about the critical issue of energy. Probably not to be seen in these parts for quite some time.
To put the economic and security concerns represented in Obama’s offshore drilling policy decision-making into a very tight and rudely blunt nutshell, being left to import oil from the Saudis and Venezuelans is apparently preferable to importing shrimp from the Vietnamese. That his MMS head was tasked with forcing symbolic windfarms instead of core operations — Minerals Management — is reminiscent of BP, and its old global warming Doppelganger Enron, and what happened when they, too, lost the plot and spent their time and resources on similar frivolites. Nothing good comes of this lack of seriousness.
What to Watch For:
Chinese Premier set to meet with Japan, South Korea at third trilateral summit; hints at cautiously holding North Korea responsible for sinking of South Korean ship (Xinhua News Agency) (Wall Street Journal)
House Dems hope to push jobless benefits and tax measures bill to Senate floor as current benefits set to expire May 31 (Reuters); CBO estimates it will add roughly $115 billion to deficit over FY 2010 and 2011, and roughly $84 billion over 2010-2015 and 2015-2020 time periods (Congressional Budget Office)
Clip of the Day:
So much for the end of “politics as usual.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee contrasts Obama’s criticisms of Katrina with the handling of the current Gulf crisis.
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?