Barack Obama’s lawlessness has become so obvious that even intellectually honest folks on the Left are sitting up and taking notice:
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a frequent guest of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow during the Bush years, described the situation in severe terms.
“I really have great trepidation over where we are headed,” Turley said. “We are creating a new system here. . . . The center of gravity is shifting, and that makes it unstable. Within that system you have a rise of an uber-presidency. There could be no greater danger for individual liberty. And I really think that the Framers would be horrified by that shift.”
The situation, Turley later said, is the “most serious constitutional crisis, I believe, in my lifetime.”
That lawlessness doesn’t just rest with Obama’s recent decision to ignore statutory deadlines regarding Obamacare and, instead, to impose his own deadlines in the hope that the worst of Obamacare won’t hit until after the 2014 elections. (And you thought it was bad now….) Instead, Obama’s lawlessness encompasses everything — the laws he refuses to enforce, the executive orders he uses with abandon to run around Congress, and his deep disdain for the United States Constitution.
It’s appalling (but, of course, not surprising) that congressional Democrats would rather see the country’s constitutional framework collapse than lay a finger on a renegade politician. Indeed, they’re so excited about their agenda’s successes (despite the public’s increasing disregard for those same Leftist initiatives) that congressional Democrats openly support the way in which Obama is making Congress irrelevant.
What’s depressing (but, of course, not surprising) is that it’s unlikely that, even if Republicans control both houses in Congress (which is a possibility in Obamacare’s wake), they too will do nothing to rein Obama in. Reining Obama in, of course, means impeaching the man. There is no other way to put the brakes on his conduct. Unfortunately, though, Obama has pretty much be inoculated against impeachment because of the “racism” charge that the Left uses to respond to every critique made against the man and his policies.
Republicans suspect — and are probably right — that no matter how dreadful Obamacare proves to be, and how low Obama’s polling numbers go, the mainstream media will deliberately foment race riots should Republicans make any effort to impeach the first black president. The fact that blacks constitute less than 20% of the population, and that not all will riot, is irrelevant. Nationwide race riots would have a devastating effect on America’s fabric.
Sadly it seems, this crook is here to stay.
Here’s an old joke:
An established comedian invited a friend to join him at a very exclusive “comedian’s club.” The guest instantly noticed something peculiar. In the main room, a person would periodically stand up and shout out a number. “57,” one would say, and a few people in the room would chuckle. After a moment’s silence, someone would holler, “18,” and be rewarded with a chorus of good-natured “boos.”
This pattern continued for a while, until someone shouted out “77.” While a few people let out a short bark of laughter, one guy in the corner was utterly beside himself. He roared with laughter, until tears were rolling down his face.
The guest turned to his host and asked, “What gives? What is it with these numbers?”
“Well,” the host explained, “it’s like this. We’re all professional comedians here and, to be honest, there are only so many jokes around. It got tiring and boring for someone to tell a joke that everyone already knew, so we started assigning them numbers. It’s kind of like a joke short-hand. People still laugh — if they want — but it definitely saves time.”
“Okay,” said the guest. “I get that. But what about that guy in the corner who collapsed with laughter when someone shouted out ’77′.”
Oh, him,” answered the host. “I guess he hadn’t heard that joke before.”
Yes, it’s a surreal joke, but it also explains why I’m having problems blogging lately. When I read a story about Obamacare, I can’t add much to posts I’ve written going all the way back to 2009. I predicted then what would happen now. “You’ll find that in posts 384, 943, 6749, and 34052.” Events in the Middle East? I foresaw those too, including Obama’s love affair with Iran, and Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s entirely predictable coming together against that common enemy. “See posts 3489 and 9492.” Government data manipulation? We covered that too, as we did with gun control, amnesty, foreign policy, etc.
I’ve moved out of fresh and into “I told you so.” As a writer, “I told you so” is boring. It’s also especially boring for all of you, because you were right there with me, making the same predictions. We all saw all of this coming.
The only thing that’s kind of newsy now is watching the oh-so-smart Leftists figure out that they’ve been had. It’s not actually real news, of course, because we all saw this coming too, but it’s still fun to watch. As to these Obamabots, it’s not just that a specific politician has “had” them. Their entire ideology is disintegrating in front of their eyes. Most, of course, will plunge into frenetic denial. That’s old stuff too. For 100 years, communists have been saying that communism is perfect; it’s the implementation that’s flawed. When today’s Leftist’s rant against the president, the party, and the people, they’re foll0wing an old script.
A few Leftists, however, will draw back and say, “We were wrong. We were wrong about everything.” That’s been done too. They’ll be joining David Horowitz, Michael Medved, Thomas Lifson, David Mamet, Sally Zelikovsky, the Power Line guys, and scores of other people who already had their Road to Damascus moment when they realized that Leftism isn’t poorly implemented; it is, instead, fundamentally flawed. I certainly won’t think as highly of these new converts as I do of the older generation. The older generation didn’t need to see America’s economic collapse and her fade into international irrelevance to see which way the wind was blowing.
Since everything seems to be “same old, same old,” except even more so, what would be new and exciting news for a blase blogger in the next twelve months?
1. Obamacare’s repeal, although unscrambling that egg will be virtually impossible. Even if they wanted to, huge institutions such as heavily-regulated insurance companies and hospitals cannot turn on a dime. The somewhat functioning market will have been destroyed, which nothing lined up to take its place. Worse, we know that Republicans politicians are incapable of using the headwinds of repeal to revitalize the free market. (Remember: Democrats have bad ideas and effective politicians; and Republicans have good ideas and brain-dead cretins in office.)
2. A groundswell of popular support for Obama’s impeachment. Of course, that would leave Biden in charge, which is not a pretty thought. The likelihood is that, if he could, he’d move Elizabeth Warren into the Veep seat to stymie Hillary. It would be amusing, but just as bad for America as Obama himself.
3. Israel’s alliance with the Gulf States to launch a devastating attack against Iran’s missile systems and nuclear centers. With strong American leadership, this could actually have a good outcome, freeing Iranians from decades of appalling Islamist repression and destabilizing tyrannies in a way that leads to genuine freedom throughout the Middle East. With our current leadership, a leadership that will have made such an attack necessary in the first place, one can only imagine that the Middle East, the entire Middle East, will manage simultaneously to implode and explode. The human costs will exceed imagination and, because of oil, those costs will encompass the entire planet. Canada, Brazil, the US, and other places may be coming up as major oil producers, but losing Middle Eastern oil in a single day would have incalculable consequences on modern life.
4. The 2014 elections resulting in a Republican sweep the likes of which has never been seen in America. In a way, though, coming as it would midway through Obama’s so-far disastrous second term, this would also be ho-hum news, even if both House and Senate changed hands. What would be more interesting would be to see places such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco jettison their Democrat ruling class. I’m not holding my breath on that one. The residents in those cities routinely use elections to double down on failure.
5. Obama comes out of the closet. (And, come on, you know he’s in there.) That wouldn’t affect anything politically, but it would make for great headlines, especially if Hillary refuses to be one-upped and comes out too.
6. Schadenfreude here, but I will enjoy watching New York in the first year of the de Blasio administration. I should start running a pool taking bets as to how long it will take de Blasio to reduce New York to its 1970s status. We all know that it’s easier and faster to tear down and destroy something than it is to renew and revitalize.
7. The New York Times will declare bankruptcy. I see that as inevitable, although would actually be surprised if it happened in the next twelve months.
8. People definitively reject anthropogenic global warming. As with the New York Times’ bankruptcy, this is inevitable. I just don’t see it happening in only 12 months.
9. Oprah recants and announces that she’s no longer calling for the genocide of “racist” people who don’t support Obama.
10. Palestinians lay down their arms. The previous nine hoped-for headlines all have a possibility, even a small one, of coming true. This one does not, but it sure would be great news, and it would snap me completely out of my writer’s doldrums.
And, for those joining me in ennui, some music:
UPDATE: Hmmm. A James O’Keefe tweet suggests that tomorrow may bring some news we haven’t already heard before.
I’ve been cleaning out my email box, a process that always involves my apologizing to lots of people for appearing to have ignored their emails to me. I haven’t ignored them, which implies a deliberate effort to pretend they’re not there. Instead, I have done what I so often do: fallen behind.
The cool thing about going through the email box is finding all these gems. Some of them go back in time a while, but they’re still good opinion pieces or news stories, so I offer them to you now.
Back in August, Sultan Knish imagined what Obama’s obituary would be like were he to die in the year 2038. My only quibble is that, to the extent that Obama is exactly my age, I don’t like seeing him die at a mere 77 years. Our generation was meant to live to be older. Of course, what with Obamacare and all, maybe in 2038, a man of 77 will be freakishly old.
Rich people can be nice too: Helen Rosburg, a Wrigley Heiress, paid for a Marine’s dogs to be flown across country in a private charter when a commercial airline said the dogs were too big to fly to the Marine’s new base.
Plastic comes from oil, so it makes sense that a good way to recycle is to turn it back to oil. My only problem with this is that, because it comes from “United Nations University,” I’m assuming that it takes more electricity (i.e., coal- or oil-derived energy) to convert than each bottle actually yields. (Yes, I am cynical.)
As Americans are being pushed onto Obamacare will-she-nil-she, Congress is busy exempting its own people from the law’s increasingly onerous burdens. Maybe we ought to have a clean-slate election: everybody in Congress is automatically booted all at once, and we start from scratch.
Now that there’s no recourse, the Obama cheer-leading rats are scrambling off the ship. This time it’s David Ignatius looking at Obama’s abysmal foreign policy failures. Of course, all these people are still rats, because they knowingly deceived us, the were complicit in massive fraud (unless they were dumb as turnips when it came to the manifest failures driving Obama’s foreign and domestic policies), and the gosh-darned ship of state is still sinking. They’re running for high ground, while the rest of us are drowning . . . thanks to them.
Isn’t it good to know that a Homeland Security adviser thinks America is a Muslim county? Moreover, the Constitution is “Islamically compliant.” Well, that’s quite a trick considering that the Constitution is about small government and individual freedom, including freedom from state interference with religion, while Islam is predicated upon complete submission to the religious state.
House Republicans went to Obama and offered him everything he wants for a six-week period. That offer allows Congress to continue a debate about government spending, while ending a shutdown that, while illusory (83% of the government is working and federal workers will get all their back pay) is nevertheless inconvenient, especially for Americans who want to visit their national parks. It’s actually a win for Democrats too, because it gives them an excuse to back off the disaster that is the Obamacare rollout. Obama, however, said “No.”
And I suddenly realized what all of this reminded me of. It’s the real life version of the sadist and the masochist joke:
The masochist and the sadist are in a room together. The masochist is on his knees before the sadist, begging.
“Please, Mr. Sadist, please beat me! I want to be beaten. Oh, and yes, when you’re done beating me, get out the whip. I love the whip. Please whip me. Or maybe you’d like to walk on my prone body with spike heels. Yes, yes! That’s what I want.”
The sadist stares contemplatively at the groveling, begging masochist, and gives his answer:
Welcome to Obama’s America.
For at least a couple of hundred years in America, the “letters to the editor” section of any newspaper has been the one place where people can express views opposing a newspaper’s editorial content. Newspapers felt sufficiently strong in their viewpoints that they figured that a few crackpot letters wouldn’t be enough to damage the paper’s reputation. Now, though, the Los Angeles Times has announced that conflicting views are a bridge too far:
Regular readers of The Times’ Opinion pages will know that, among the few letters published over the last week that have blamed the Democrats for the government shutdown (a preponderance faulted House Republicans), none made the argument about Congress exempting itself from Obamacare.
Why? Simply put, this objection to the president’s healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed.
So the Los Angeles Times has taken it upon itself to pronounce anthropogenic global warming as settled science, despite the fact that even the IPCC is trying to squirm around the fact that all of its earlier data and hypotheses were wrong. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the drive-by media, which works in an ideologically closed system that makes no allowance for new, and especially conflicting, evidence.
And then there’s that other thing: the Los Angeles Times also says that it’s false that Congress exempted itself from Obamacare. That too is a giant leap of fact and faith for the Los Angeles Times. While it’s true that Congress didn’t exempt itself from Obamacare, it made sure to insulate itself from Obamacare, which is just as bad. In that regard, I think that Noel Sheppard, of Newsbusters, gives up a bit too quickly on the Obamacare point:
Of course, readers are likely just as concerned that the Times is also not publishing letters claiming Congress is exempt from ObamaCare.
I respect Sheppard for being honest enough to concede on the facts but the facts actually support conservative complaints. The CNN link is a good start explaining why Congress has effectively exempted itself: CNN purports to do a fact-check on the claim that Congress gave itself a pass:
When Obamacare was passed into law, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, attached language to the bill that mandated members of Congress and their staffers would have to buy health insurance on the newly created health insurance exchanges. What nobody accounted for at the time was that members of Congress and their staffers currently have health insurance through their employer – the federal government. No other employer has been legally required to drop its employee’s health care plan and have them buy coverage on the exchanges.
Like most other large employers, the federal government contributes a portion to the premiums of its employees. In fact, like many employers, the federal government pays most of the premiums for its workers; an average of 72 percent on Capitol Hill. The law didn’t account for the continued employer contribution for these federal workers who would now be buying their insurance on the exchanges. The exchanges were designed to help people without health insurance and people with overly expensive health insurance. It became clear that without their employer contribution, members and their staffers would essentially be getting a cut in pay and benefits equal to thousands of dollars. Even Grassley, the provision’s author, had said the government should continue to contribute to lawmakers’ and staffers’ premiums. What the Obama administration has done is ruled that the congressional workers will continue to receive the employer contribution to help them buy their insurance on the exchange.
All those words! What they boil down to is this: The Obamacare health exchange is so expensive, in large part because plans must contain expensive benefits that people neither need nor want, that requiring employees to go into it will cost them thousands of dollars out of pocket which, as a practical matter, decreases employees’ take-home pay at the end of the day. Therefore, Congress is giving employees (congress people and staffers alike) a stipend to offset that cost. So yes, congress people and their staffers, unlike other Americans, are being forced into the exchange, but Congress has made sure to insulate them from its devastating economic impact. This insulation is tantamount to an exemption, because Congress won’t feel the pain.
In this regard, it’s unlike other Americans who are feeling the pain very badly. The law’s terms mean that they too are being forced into the exchange, but without the nice little stipend to offset costs that Congresws gave itself. For example (h/t Gateway Pundit):
Across North Carolina, thousands of people have been shocked in recent weeks to find out their health insurance plans will be canceled at the end of the year – and premiums for comparable coverage could increase sharply.
One of them is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month – $980 more than he now pays.
“I’m 62 and retired,” Schwab said. “This creates a tremendous financial burden for our family.
“The President told the American people numerous times that… ‘If you like your coverage, you can keep it,’” Schwab said. “How can we keep it if it has been eliminated? How can we keep it if the premium has been increased 430 percent in one year?”
Under the new law, all insurance plans must cover 10 “essential health benefits,” including maternity care and pediatric dental and vision care. Plans must also provide certain preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies for free.
Today, people who buy individual policies often choose plans without maternity coverage, for example, to reduce premiums. That choice is gone, too.
“Now maternity is loaded into everybody’s plan,” Blount said.
That means men will generally be paying more than they did before. But women, who can no longer be charged more just for being female, will probably pay less.
Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman said Friday that large premium increases will affect about one-third of the approximately 400,000 North Carolina customers who buy Blue Cross insurance in the individual market. Some of their policies were canceled because they didn’t meet the new federal standards, he said.
Michael Hood, 46, who lives near Winston-Salem, is another of the Blue Cross customers who is suffering sticker shock after receiving a recent renewal letter.
He and his wife, who is expecting their third child, now pay $324 per month for a plan with a $10,000 family deductible. The comparable plan suggested by Blue Cross for next year would cost $895.27 per month with an $11,000 family deductible. Their annual payment would rise from $14,000 to $24,000.
Self-employed as part owner of a medical device distributorship, Hood said he and his wife “try to live a healthy lifestyle and keep our medical costs down.” They chose the high-deductible plan to keep their premium low.
Hood said his income is about $85,000 a year, which would mean he might be able to qualify for a subsidy. He said he checked the online marketplace, which has been operating only sporadically this week, and didn’t think it looked like his family would be eligible.
One of the pluses of any new plan is that it will cover maternity care, which his current plan doesn’t. But “is that really worth paying $1,000 a month more for?”
“I’m angry that legislation has been passed that is forcing me to purchase something that otherwise I would not have to purchase,” Hood said.
“The president told us Obamacare would make health insurance affordable and reduce costs. It is now impossible for our family to afford private health insurance.”
By enacting legislation that protects itself from the pain ordinary Americans are feeling, Congress has indeed exempted itself from Obamacare. And that’s no lie.
Normally, when I see the usual liberal talking points on my Facebook page, I try to ignore them lest I damage my blood pressure. Today, though, I got a wall of stupid. I’ve already written here about the profound ignorance that lies behind the progressive masses’ repeated claim that Obamacare is the “law of the land” and that the Republicans can do nothing. Aside from being grossly hypocritical coming from a party that refuses to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, it’s also ignorant. The House has the power of the purse precisely because, as a representative body with a two-year turnover, it is the best reflection of the will of the people at any given moment.
I probably could have tolerated that stupidity if I hadn’t also gotten a boatload of dumb about the gun shots fired in Washington, D.C. today. Early reports indicated that a driver who tried to slam into the White House was the shooter. Instantly, people went on their anti-gun tirades. Of course, when the dust settled, it turned out that the only shooters were the cops and that the person driving the car had a long history of mental illness. (Warning: site has autoplay video.) When I passed this information on to the Lefties claiming that guns were at the root of this, at least two of them made the identical risible argument: Even though the gal didn’t have a gun, she’s still a poster child for gun control, because she could have had a gun.
Honestly! How in the world can you counter that kind of monomania? It transcends reason and fact, and is an article of faith as profound as the Democrats’ historic belief that blacks are an inferior race who need either slavery or government welfare to function.
Given this type of irrational anti-gun lunacy, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that a Phoenix-area police officer was asked not to wear his uniform when he picked his child up from elementary school, because parents were frightened by his gun.
I love Ace’s take on this story. The article that originally reported the story presented the school’s point of view:
A district spokeswoman told the station that “some parents” voiced concern about seeing a fully armed police officer on the school’s campus. The spokeswoman apologized that Urkov perhaps took the discussion the wrong way.
“It was not the intent of the principal to offend him,” the spokeswoman said.
To which Ace provided the only response possible:
Yes yes yes yes yes. He took it the wrong way. It’s on him. He didn’t understand your intent. He’s got the problem; not you.
Of course you don’t have a problem. Hysteria is not only natural, it’s preferable.
Shall we ban Cowboy Hats next? I mean: Cowboys. They carry six-shooters.
My stock response to all those liberal Facebook friends who have insisted that the House is “unconstitutionally” holding Obamacare hostage, is that the Founders named it the “House of Representatives” and gave it the power of the purse for a reason.
The House’s members serve for much shorter terms than Supreme Court justices (life terms), executives (minimum 4 year terms) and Senators (minimum 6 year terms). This means that, if people are not pleased with the decisions made by those more entrenched bodies, they can make their displeasure known through the House, where new representatives can be rotated in every two years.
Making their displeasure known is precisely what the People did in 2010 and again in 2012, when they “shellacked” the House Democrats, which was a clear rebuff to Obama and his “care.” (It’s also entirely possible that Obama would also have been shellacked right out of office but for the IRS’s unconstitutional, illegal, unconscionable interference with free speech.)
In addition to the short term of office, which means the people can quickly punish or reward legislative conduct, the House of Representatives mirrors population dynamics. The Senate is fixed at two representatives per state, there’s only one president, and there are nine Supreme Court justices. The House, by contrast, is reconfigured every ten years to represent accurately the number of people in various population centers and deserts throughout the U.S.
The Founders deliberately gave the power of the purse to the federal branch most closely tied to American citizens, both in numbers and responsiveness: The House is meant to use that power to put the brakes on schemes cooked up by members of the other branches of government who are elected or appointed in numbers unrelated to the American population, and who have job security unrelated, or less related, to their immediate conduct. If the Founders were alive today, they’d say the roadblock inherent in the power of the purse is a feature, not a bug — and a pretty damned important feature too.
The above response came off the top of my head. If I had studied the Federalist papers recently, however, I could simply have quoted James Madison. one of the Constitution’s primary architects, writing in Federalist No. 58 (and a groveling h/t to Tom Elias, of The New Editor, for this brilliant find):
The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure. (Emphasis added.)
What the House is doing is entirely constitutional, and we conservatives should be doing our best to trumpet that fact. Moreover, given the federal takeover of the Lincoln Memorial, we should remind everyone that we live in a nation guaranteed “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Unlike a monarchy, the federal government doesn’t own the properties it is denying us. Instead, we own the federal government. The government is merely a caretaker, and a pretty damn surly, ineffectual, greedy, and tyrannical one at that.
Whew! I’ve been going straight through since 5:30 this morning, and this is my first chance to sit down and talk politics.
The big deal today as far as I can tell is that the House voted to pass a budget that funds everything but Obamacare. I’ve already discussed the fact that I like the muscularity of this move, if only the Republicans can keep hold of the narrative.
Here’s what’s going to be interesting: Once the bill hits the Senate, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are going to lead the charge against it. Their problem is that they can’t let it pass cloture. If it does, Harry Reid can strip out the defunding Obamacare bit, and sent a “clean” budget to the Senate for a vote.
Of course, even if Harry Reid does get a “clean” budget, because it’s not harmonized with the House bill, I believe that it heads right back to the House. Then, we begin the whole thing again. The longer this little Congressional dance lasts, the more opportunity the media has to paint Republicans as evil obstructionists.
I was thinking about that, though. Republicans didn’t just mysteriously appear in the House. The People elected them. They elected them to the House in 2010, when they clearly meant them as a brake on Obamacare, and against in 2012, when they presumably meant House Republicans to be a brake on Obama generally.
In other words, Obama is being as dishonest as always when he claims that the Republicans are being obstructionist with regard to a presidential agenda that the people want to see put into effect. In fact, the House’s make-up, which is the clearest evidence of the people’s will in federal government, establishes conclusively that the American people were looking for obstructionism. Some of them may like Obama as a person (although I suspect that number is dropping), but the House making is the clearest evidence possible that they disagree with his agenda.
If anyone can talk his way around the mud and other stuff the Democrats and media (but I repeat myself) are slinging, it’s Ted Cruz. I wish him the best of luck and an extraordinary degree of verbal clarity with this one.
I know a budget isn’t a bill, but I still thought this was an enjoyable ending for this post:
Darryl Issa has tweeted out one of the most appalling photographs I’ve ever seen emerge from the United States House of Representatives.
Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing about events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. You remember what happened on that day, don’t you? If you don’t, I’m happy to give you the official Obama administration version:
That was the day that a Libyan movie review got a little bit out of control. Apparently Libyan fighters coincidentally affiliated with Al Qaeda took umbrage at a poorly made seven minute YouTube trailer promoting a movie that was never actually made about Muhammad’s life. Since Libya has no popcorn to throw at the screen, these same outraged movie critics inadvertently managed to overwhelm our under-guarded diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens (and perhaps torturing him before doing so), as well as U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
The same crazed movie reviewers then shifted their attack to the nearby CIA Annex where they engaged in a several-hour-long firefight with former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Both men died at their stations.
Meanwhile, back at home, some unknown person, but definitely not Barack Obama (even though he had sole authority to do so), told nearby troops told to stand by. Also, after a single phone call early in the attack, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was sufficiently well informed about everything to vanish from the scene entirely. (And really, what difference at that point, did it make?) As for Barack Obama, well, he really did need his beauty sleep before an upcoming Las Vegas campaign stop.
The administration later assured us that, despite a slew of increasingly desperate emails from Ambassador Stevens about security concerns, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had absolutely no idea whatsoever that an American embassy outpost in a war-torn land riddled with al Qaeda operatives might need more than a couple of local guards at the front door. That’s why the Marines weren’t there to fire any of those “shots across the bow” that Obama suddenly loves so much.
In sum, the incompetence of a Democrat administration left a U.S. outpost vulnerable to a terrorist attack; that same Democrat administration could not be bothered to rouse itself to protect Americans fighting for their lives in a tiny outpost of America on foreign soil; and the Democrat administration then tried to cover-up its gross dereliction of duty by lying consistently in the days and weeks following the attack. Other than that, of course, the Democrats have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to events in Benghazi.
The Democrats’ sordid Benghazi history may explain a shocking tweet that Rep. Darryl Issa sent out two hours ago right before Patricia Smith, who is Sean Smith’s mother, and Charles Woods, who is Tyrone Woods’ father, were to have testified about their sons’ lives and deaths:
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) September 19, 2013
The far side of the room, shown empty in the photo, belongs to the Democrats. The only Democrats who stayed were Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Rep. Jackie Speier.
Absent further information about this mass retreat, it appears that the Democrats, having presided over these men’s deaths, do not have the decency to look their survivors in the face, if only to apologize.
(Cross-posted at Gateway Pundit, where I’m helping out as Jim Hoft recovers from a very scary month, health-wise.)
Keith Koffler has been around Washington, D.C., for a very long time, and he has a theory about Congress’s remarkable silence regarding both events in Syria and Obama’s huffery and puffery regarding events in Syria. Let me just say that his theory is not pretty. Indeed, it’s disgusting, and embarrassing, and really supports what many feel which is that, when it comes to Congress, we should dump anyone who’s been there more than one term in the Senate and more than two terms in the House.
In my earlier post today, I said that, in the wake of the lies the Gang of Eight told, followed by the Senate’s passage of a 1,200 page immigration bill that will go a long way to destroying the American working class, the Republicans have tearfully promised never to be fooled again. I doubt that promise. I likened them to the Charlie Brown scenario where he always believes that, this time, Lucy won’t pull the football. Having said that, I see that Trey Gowdy, a smart R from South Carolina, isn’t fooled. Maybe he can educate his fellow Rs. Plus, I like his sarcasm:
And a short anecdote regarding Gowdy’s monicker of “Trey.” When I arrived in Texas, I was overwhelmed by the number of guys I met who were named Trey. What an unusual name, I said. I’ve never heard it outside the South. My friends had a good laugh at my expense when they explained that Trey was a nickname for a guy who boasted the number III after his name (as in, he shared his name with both his grandfather and his father).
I wrote this for Mr. Conservative, but it works just as nicely here:
When the Sandy Hook tragedy occurred, Senator Dianne Feinstein ghoulishly whipped out of her filing cabinet a gun control bill that she’d had waiting for just such a moment. She shilled it endlessly. She schmoozed with British carpetbagger Piers Morgan, with both of them decrying how evil the gun owners and the NRA are. She assured Americans that all veterans suffer from dangerous PTSD, making them too mentally ill to own arms (a loathsome theory that the Veterans Administration is apparently acting upon). She even said that, in today’s America, it’s legal to “hunt humans.” She made all these statements despite being the kind of liberal hypocrite who thinks her life is worth protecting with guns – it’s your life that’s not worth protection.
In additional to almost delusional, and definitely selfish, behavior, Feinstein also put forward a nonsensical ban that attacked imaginary “military style assault weapons.” Her bill was a little bit of personal vendetta against certain guns and manufacturers, and a lot of fashion commentary about what a “bad” gun looks like. It was clear early on that her bill didn’t have a snowball’s chance of surviving.
Still, one has to give Feinstein credit for fighting on. Today, she made a last gasp push to shame her fellow Senators into voting for a bill that is meaningless, inconvenient, unconstitutional, and statistically unlikely to protect any of the nameless “families” to whom she called out:
I know how this is going to end — and the despair and the dismay of families standing out there whose safety we need to protect, and we don’t do it. I am really chagrined and concerned. If anybody cares, vote at least to prospectively ban the manufacture, the sale, the importation of military style assault weapons. Show some guts!
Fortunately, not only did those who believe in gun rights stand strong, but Democrats also recognized that, unless you’re lucky enough to be a Democrat Senator from California, voting for Feinstein’s bill would have been political suicide – proving that supporting Second Amendment rights saves lives, at least in the political sense.
I just don’t have a lot to say right now. Here are some posts I enjoyed today, though:
The Republican House’s passive-aggressive approach to Obama.
Core issues of evil regarding bombings, abortion, and the media.
And a question for you: Have you noticed that Obama and fellow Dems have been “shaming” people with the gun debate? Here are links to a bunch of speeches and hollers Dems use shaming as a form of bullying. I haven’t quite decided what to make of this, but I’d certainly be introduced in your thoughts and theories.
I could find more examples, but it seems to me that Progressives have been trying for decades to deconstruct away shame. Suddenly, though, when its an issue that impacts their “morals”, shame makes a big comeback. In that regard, this Victor Davis Hanson post about post-modern prudes seems very appropriate.
Lastly, of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the people in West, Texas, a town that, long ago, I drove through more times than I can count.
Whew! I’m finally current on my email, a pleasant state of things that should last at least two days, or maybe four. I’m sufficiently self-aware to know that my chronic procrastination damages my life, not to mention my relationships. Despite that knowledge, though, I still procrastinate. It’s very frustrating to me that I can’t seem to sum up the will to abandon a habit that’s very, very bad for me. Although I don’t have any substance abuse problems, my procrastination abuse problem gives me a certain empathy for those who struggle against drug, tobacco, or alcohol addictions.
Ooops! I’m digressing, a bad habit that accounts for a lot of the time I spend procrastinating. Back to topic….
The material in this post sweeps up the last of the January email still lingering in my inbox. Not all are links. Some are just great ideas from readers.
Soldier4110 agrees with me that we cannot win the political and culture war if we’re already convinced that we’ve lost. To that end, Soldier4110 points to some cheering signs:
I recently left a comment on an article at any other website about Scott Walker’s win at the ballot box last November and the importance of that win. I agreed with the author and added that both Indiana and Wisconsin had wins in court last week for their right-to-work legislation. I also mentioned that the Republicans did well at the ballot box in gubernatorial races and in maintaining or winning statehouses.
Surprise, surprise, a bunch of people ‘liked’ the comment. This leads me to believe that currently Republican posters and readers are looking for good news, like you say they are.
Am thinking of a couple ‘good news’ topics:
The overwhelming win of the two seals at Benghazi who were able to kill 60 of the enemy before they died. These men began fighting after Stevens was already injured and the IT guy was killed. So they saved the lives of all the others in that situation. Almost like Bowie at the Alamo, they surely knew they would die. What Heroes!
Also, the Republicans have great ‘minor league’ prospects what with the numerous statehouses and governorships. The right-to-work laws in IN and WI (and MI) are a start, but let’s hear what’s going on in other state legislatures……the reason being that these successes, when multiplied, make a difference at the ballot box, too. Now Pennsylvania is able to use their voter ID law in the next election…..that’s a good example. Also, new Indiana Governor Mike Pence is pushing two initiatives: vocational training and cutting income taxes.
So let’s give our ‘farm teams’ some notoriety and keep the good news coming. Keeping the readership aware of successes in various states will perhaps lead readers to look for and report successes in their own states, which keeps them focused on looking for the positive.
Zhombre forwards an idea that should become sticky. Just because Congress has no interest in amending the Constitution doesn’t mean that the states don’t have the power to do so when a good idea comes along:
Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.
This is an idea that we should address.
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that passed … in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever . The self-serving must stop.
If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States …”
Obama’s Pentagon got rid of Marine General James Mattis, Chief of U.S. Central Command. Rumor had it that he was let go because he kept trying to force civilians to do silly things like look at the reality on the battlefield without wearing their usual ideological blinders, or to try to imagine what the military should do if the Obama administration’s ideological hopes and dreams didn’t pan out. Mattis is a warrior, not a politician, and the politicians who tasked him with being a warrior on their behalf couldn’t stand the heat, so they fired him from the kitchen. Okay. I get that. One of the glories of America is that our military is under civilian control, rather than vice versa. Good civilians make for a good military; bad civilians . . . well, the American people get what they asked for. In any event, if you’d like to know a bit more about the endearingly plain-spoken General Mattis, this will do it.
I’m too lazy to dig through my own posts to find it, but I did post somewhere that a British choirmaster says that boys’ voices are changing earlier, not because of climate change and pollution (the reason given for girls’ early menses), but because of our excellent Western diet, which is filled with vitamins, minerals, and proteins. One of you was kind enough to send me an email noting that, in a pre-climate change hysteria era (1999, which seems so long ago), scientists had a decidedly non-PC explanation for some early menses: A daddy in the household. Better yet, a loving daddy in the household. In other words, the proliferation of unwed mothers might affect girls’ biology. Fancy that!
The female draft is coming. I can feel it gathering steam right . . . about . . . now.
Two days after I wrote my post about a Sunset Amendment that would require all laws to expire in twenty years unless Congress affirmative renewed them, I found this story about raisin farmers who are being forced to turn over 50% of their full production to the government. Why? Because of an obscure Depression-era law. If there was a Sunset Amendment, this specific type of government overreach (harassing people with obscure, outdated laws) wouldn’t happen.
The problem isn’t guns. The problem isn’t mental illness. The problem isn’t violent movies. The problem is liberalism. Really:
(To win over the electorate, conservatives have to be seen as a party with fresh ideas that benefit all Americans. This is the first in a series of Tipping Point posts, promoting ideas that will appeal to all voters, while becoming signature initiatives for conservatives and Republicans.)
Did you know that the Code of Law of the United States (USC), which contains all the operative federal laws affecting your life is around 200,000 pages long and that, if one doesn’t count case annotations, it takes up about 6 feet of shelf space? And did you know that the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which contains all the rules that agencies have enacted in order to apply thid federal law, occupies four times as much shelf space as the USC itself. In other words, in the absence of a page count, one can be reasonably sure that the CFR far exceeds 800,000 pages.
America’s common law has always held that “ignorance of the law is not excuse.” That’s all well and good, but do you actually know your federal law? I didn’t think so and, in all seriousness, nobody else does either. We all know the big laws — don’t murder people, don’t cheat on your taxes, don’t download music without permission — but the devil for everyone is in the details. The result is that citizens who believe they are law-abiding, may suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of a federal investigation.
The previous sentence implies that federal employees do know all this law. They don’t. They are reasonably conversant with the law in their area of expertise, and therefore do have that advantage over the ordinary citizen who cannot hire 24/7 legal counsel. Otherwise, no, they don’t know it any better than you do.
What actually happens at the federal level is that a person or business comes to the government’s attention because of citizen complaints, political vendettas, or because the person or business is engaging in a specifically identifiable, but hard-to-prosecute illegal activity. When that happens, the government looks at the person’s or business’s activities and then, through legal research, tries to see if those activities match anything prohibited under the federal laws and rules.
Sometimes, this random approach to federal law is a good thing. For example, back in the 1920s everyone knew that Al Capone was a mobster responsible for all manner of crimes. The problem was that he was too wily for law enforcement, and they could never make any charges stick. Some bright person in the federal government suddenly realized that, if the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, Mohamed must go to the mountain — and to that end, rather than trying to mesh Capone’s violent and offensive actions with some criminal law, decided to bring the tax code to Capone.
Capone was duly prosecuted for tax violations, and went to Alcatraz for seven years. Although this wasn’t a long sentence, considering his terrible crimes, it was long enough that, by the time he came out, his rivals had taken over his criminal syndicate, leaving him with nothing but mental decline from the syphilis he acquired during his glory days.
Certainly we can celebrate laws that bring dangerous criminals to heel. As often as not, though, the labyrinth of federal laws operates, not to haul in wily criminals but, instead, to trap the unwary.
In addition to keeping a sword of Damocles over every citizen’s head, the plethora of unknown and unknowable federal laws has two profound effects on American society as a whole: The first effect is that American’s are unable to rely on their legal system when they conduct their every-day activities. The law, instead of being a reliable framework that allows people to plan for a stable, legal, and profitable future, instead becomes an arbitrary and capricious force, stifling economic activity.
If it will cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to assemble the legislative information necessary to start a new business that won’t potentially land me in jail, I might decide that no business is worth that kind of start-up cost. Nor is starting up a new business worth the risk that if, despite knowing the the laws that affect my business, I can still be undone by other areas of legislation and regulation that seem to touch upon my activities only marginally.
The second effect of laws and regulations that run into the millions of pages is that people lose their respect for the law. Law should be seen as both the infrastructure for a stable, civil society and the lubricant that enables people to rub along next to each other without resorting to violence. These basic functions only work, however, if people are capable of knowing the law.
What has happened in America, though, is that federal law has become an impenetrable maze that allows loopholes by the thousand for those rich enough or well-connected enough to exploit all those openings. At the same time, federal law has becoming a meaningless background buzz for the ordinary citizen, who suddenly becomes aware of it only if he or she is unlucky enough to get trapped by one of its random, unknowable prohibitions or mandates.
What’s really tragic is that so many of these laws and regulations are useless or outdated. To the extent that they have no current purpose, they exist only as traps for the unwary. Until the trap is sprung, no one cares about these superfluous laws and rules and, if the trap springs in the government’s favor, the government has no incentive to purge them from the books.
Presidential candidates periodically announce that they’re going to trim back the CFR (I recall Al Gore getting this task in the 1990s), but it’s a boring job, so it never comes to anything — and meanwhile, Congress just keeps passing more and more laws, and the agencies enact more and more regulations.
That’s where the idea of a Constitutional Amendment inserting a sunset provision in all federal laws (and their accompanying regulations) comes into play. The Sunset Amendment would mandate that all federal law and their accompanying regulations automatically expire twenty years (or some other set time) after they go into effect. The only way to preserve the laws and regulations would be for Congress to act affirmatively to vote on each law and reinstate it before it expires.
Three things should happen: First, legislators will think twice about enacting laws that they’ll have to review again (and fight about again) in twenty years time. Second, legislators will take more care writing the laws, since they and their aides will be tasked with wading through them and learning about their effects, along with working on current matters. (Imagine if a Sunset Amendment had been in place when Obama’s Congress enacted all 2000+ pages of ObamaCare.) Third, rather than undertaking the tedious work of reviewing patently irrelevant, obsolete, or failed laws, Congress will simply allow them to lapse without any discussion.
Of course, a Sunset Amendment would have to include a clause dealing with those laws and rules that are already on the books. A practical approach would be to require that a specific number or percentage of laws and regulations would have to be reviewed and, if necessary, re-voted every year after the Amendment’s passage, for a set number of years, until each existing law and regulation has been voted upon or been allowed to expire.
Although cleaning up Federal laws and regulations is an issue that all Americans should embrace, and a burden that legislators should willingly shoulder as part of their job (not to mention a reasonable amount of work considering their salaries and pensions), it especially behooves Republicans and other conservatives to push for a Sunset Amendment. The whole notion of “smaller government” makes sense only if we clean up old laws, in addition to enacting fewer, and less onerous new laws — and then we make sure that the law books don’t get cluttered up all over again.
If you think this is a good “sticky” issue to help Americans reach a tipping point that turns them towards smaller government, please take this idea and run with it: talk about it on Facebook or Twitter; post it at your blogs (feel free to reprint this whole post, although I’d appreciate attribution); contact your Senators or Congressman; and bandy it about at the water cooler. Good ideas make a difference only if people spread them around and then act upon them.
(Thanks again to Mike Devx for coming up with this good idea.)
I don’t have the time (or, frankly, the inclination) to do full posts on each of these links, but they are all worthy contenders for your attention:
John Steele Gordon compares Obama’s contempt for Congress with LBJ’s respect for that institution and willingness to collaborate with it to achieve his political goals.
On a related note, Charles Krauthammer contends that Obama is not negotiating with the House in good faith. Instead, he’s trying to split it and leave Republicans to take the blame for all bad things. I agree with Krauthammer that the only reasonable thing for Republicans to do is walk away.
I do not like rap. At all. But I discovered today that I do like a rapper named Big Boi. Read this and see why.
Do you have any flotsam or jetsam to add to the list?
For many years, I have counted Andrea Shea King — the Radio Patriot — as one of my closest blog friends. By this I mean that, although I haven’t met her, I’ve corresponded with her for so many years that I’ve come to know her well and to respect her greatly. I therefore have no hesitation in passing on to you this press release Dave Weldon, Andrea’s friend and someone she strongly supports for the U.S. Senate. I’m not personally familiar with Dr. Weldon, but I urge my Florida readers to take your lead from Andrea and review his candidacy carefully to see if he is someone for whom you can cast your vote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Contact J. B. Kump, (321) 543-1608, email@example.com
POLL SHOWS WELDON LEADING NELSON
Orlando, FL – In a remarkable development Dr. Dave Weldon, retired 7-term Congressman from Florida’s 15th District has beaten incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson in the key 18 – 34 age group of most likely voters in the general election.
“At just over 7 weeks into this campaign, it is gratifying to see this kind of result,” said Weldon. “We still have work to do to get the message out to voters all across the state, but this amount of ‘traction’ shows the people who have a stake in the outcome are willing to choose my Conservative leadership over the failed liberalism that prevails in the U.S. Senate today.”
A practicing Internist who voluntarily retired from Congress in 2008, Weldon has been endorsed by such leading political figures as former Senator and Kansas Governor, Sam
Brownback and Florida Congressman Bill Posey. Also, National Conservative figures including Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, Wallbuilders David Barton, and Citizen’s United David N. Bossie.”
The scientific poll, performed by independent pollster Magellan Strategies, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.77% at the 95% confidence level. The group of 674 voters
sampled were composed of “most likely” (85%) and “very likely” (10%) voters (Republican 39% and Democrat 42%) called between July 11 and 12, 2012.
Weldon has been campaigning across Florida and has been using innovative, web-based technologies intended to energize his grass roots base. “I believe my message and my record of Conservative leadership is widely welcomed by Florida voters,” said Weldon. He encouraged all of his supporters with a “We can do it,” message recently and encouraged them to continue to work hard to get the message to all Florida voters.”
P.O. Box 361845 • Melbourne, FL • 32936-1845
Paid for By Dave Weldon for Senate
I’ve now had the chance to digest myriad analyses of the Roberts decision on ObamaCare. I think I can sum up the various conclusions that liberal and conservative pundits have reached. Here goes:
The decision is a victory for Obama and the Democrats because it keeps ObamaCare on the books. However, it’s a victory for Mitt Romney and the GOP because it reminds Americans that Democrats like to tax them. The only problem with the latter view is that Americans aren’t paying attention to things like ObamaCare and taxes and these credulous citizens will just role with whichever side looks victorious, which is either the Democrats and the Republicans.
The only exception to the rule that Obama’s role with the winner is the Tea Party, which is likely to be galvanized into action. Naturally, though, the Tea Partiers are too demoralized to do anything constructive, other than riot in the streets. We know from past Tera Party events that the smiling grannies togged-out in matching red, white, and blue outfits are especially dangerous.
ObamaCare will never be repealed because the Republicans cannot get a majority in 2012, let alone win the White House. This is a “true fact” as long as you take into consideration that Mitt Romney will almost certainly win the 2012 election on an anti-tax platform and that the House will stay Republican. The Senate, of course, can go either way, with Republicans getting either 51 seats (enough to reverse a tax) or 60 seats (enough to prevent President Obama, who will definitely win in 2012, from vetoing a repeal.
If the Republicans take over both Congress and the White House, which won’t happen, they can fully repeal ObamaCare, which won’t happen. However, if they only keep the House, they can refuse to fund ObamaCare, which is great, because it leaves it useless, except for all of the mandates that continue to exist.
Over the long haul, of course, Americans are more free because the decision restricts the Commerce Clause. This, however, ignores the fact that they’re less free, because they can be taxed for anything, including breathing or, as the case may be, not breathing.
John Roberts is someone who is suffering from a seizure disorder and is probably being blackmailed. Neither of these factors really matters, though, because the Chief Justice is clearly a Machiavellian bridge, chess, or poker player who is taking the long view and setting the Republicans up to win in 2012 on the issue of higher taxes. Or he’s taking some sort of really long view that enables Obama to do a victory dance in November 2012 because his signature legislation survived. In a second Obama term, with a Democrat House and Senate, people will really learn to hate those tax-and-spend Democrats. Those few remaining Americans who have not been sent to re-education camps or have not been disenfranchised by a vote transferring all citizenship rights from native-born Americans to illegal aliens, will have the opportunity in 2016 to make all 48,739 of their voices heard.
In the end, insane, brilliant, diseased, medicated, blackmailed, weak-spined, far-sighted, Machivellian Chief Justice John Roberts simultaneously built up and tore down American liberties. Moreover, he also ensured that both Obama and the Democrats, on the one hand, and Romney and the Republicans, on the other hand, can claim a clear victory, both today and in the November 2012 elections.
I hope everyone understood this lesson. There will be a test tomorrow.
I assume that you all know by know that President Obama has issued an executive order granting amnesty to young illegal immigrants. It’s a clever move. Marco Rubio had already proposed something similar, so Obama can say that at least some smart Republicans are already on board with the idea. The move will presumably cement Hispanic voters to his side, which could be a very big deal in Florida, where some Jewish voters are looking askance at Obama. Any Republican objections will be touted as Republican racism.
There are some downsides, though. Congress might get testy at having Obama’s challenge to its authority. The question is whether Democrats in Congress will be sufficiently testy to challenge their President in an election year. My guess is that they will not, so the only “nay” voices will come from Republicans — who will then be charged with covert racism that they’re hiding behind a thin procedural screen. Never mind the Constitution, of course. Only racists care about that document anyway.
There are two demographics, though, as to which Obama might have been too smart by half: blacks and unions. As to both, cheap Hispanic labor is a threat. In a time of seemingly intractable unemployment, for Obama to pour new competition into the market, rather than to create new jobs, might be a mistake. I’m sure, though, that the Obama-ites have already examined this problem and concluded that any potential black voter or union hemorrhage is more than offset by increases in Hispanic votes.
I said in the post caption that this is an Open Thread and I meant it. What’s your take?
We can expect tomorrow night’s State of the Union address to be an action-packed hour (or so) of vitriol and self-pity. Obama will cherry-pick a few numbers about the 1% and then whine about how he’s been trying really hard to destroy that same 1%, but that a vast array of insurmountable obstacles — Congress, Republicans, the media, the American people, the Jews — have prevented him from doing so. In a most-read piece, Joseph Curl explains what Obama will be hiding:
The unemployment rate when Mr. Obama was elected was 6.8 percent; today it is 8.5 percent — at least that’s the official number. In reality, the Financial Times writes, “if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.”
In addition, there are now fewer payroll jobs in America than there were in 2000 — 12 years ago — and now, 40 percent of those jobs are considered “low paying,” up 10 percent from when President Reagan took office. The number of self-employed has dropped 2 million to 14.5 million in just six years.
Regular gasoline per gallon cost $1.68 in January 2009. Today, it’s $3.39 — that’s a 102 percent increase in just three years. (By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, gas was $1.40 a gallon when George W. Bush took office in 2001, $1.68 when he left office — a 20 percent increase.)
Electricity bills have also skyrocketed, with households now paying a record $1,420 annually on average, up some $300.
Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as “low-income” or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.
And that’s not even the half of it. You can read the rest here.
In this target-rich environment, the tone-deaf Mitt Romney is attacking . . . Newt. This is why Newt is surging. While Mitt attacks him, Newt, although he too has taken too many time-outs for vicious internecine warfare, hasn’t forgotten that the American people care about the economy and national security. Even Newt, though, could step up the attacks on Obama. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
And here’s a judo-style suggestion for dealing with all of Obama’s victim talk:
President Obama claims that the media misrepresents him, Republicans are evil, Congress is obstructionist, and the American people are lazy. These are the reasons, he says, that he has been unable to implement his agenda. It’s not his fault; it’s everyone else’s fault.
Well, let’s assume, solely for the sake of argument, that everything the President says about the obstacles facing him is true. That assumed truth leads to one, and only one possible question: What the heck type of a leader is President Obama? By his own admission, he is unable to handle anyone or anything that stands in his way. This isn’t just an inability to handle the 3 am phone call. Instead, this is the inability even to pick up the phone.
The man who occupies the highest leadership position in the land — indeed, in the world — has repeatedly conceded that he isn’t up to the job. Since he’s not going to quit, it’s up to you, the American people, to fire him. And when you replace him, I’m the man for the job because….
Yay, there’s another Sarah Palin in American politics.
Mia B. Love – mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Those of you that have read my posts and comments (whether you agree or disagree) know that I am a huge Sarah Palin fan. Frankly, there is a certain breed of all-American women that I hugely admire in this country – those descended from the same character stock that stood side by side with their men, gun in hand, ready to fight to the death for their families. This is the type of person that Sarah Palin typifies: strong, confident, articulate with a clear sense of…common sense.
Now, in Utah, we see that Sarah Palin is hardly alone. In fact, she may have paved the way for a new, assertive voice of American women in politics. Here is Mia Love…watch the video, imagine Liberal-Lefty heads exploding, then read the link (h/t Powerline Blog)
Let a million Palins bloom! We may yet win this country back.
Besides, I think Allen West could use some help.
Some of us thought, “Yay, Barney Fwank is leaving.” Sure, we know that his constituents will elect someone equally liberal to fill his old seat, but that person will lack Barney Fwank’s seniority.
Sadly, others with Fwank’s seniority remain behind in the House of Representatives. So it very much looks as if, to fill the Fwankian vacuum on the House Financial Services Committee, the next senior-most member is already in line: Maxine Waters. Oh, yeah. It can always get worse.
If this doesn’t scare the living daylights out of voters, and lead them to turn both Congress and the White House over to the Republicans by very large margins, voters are either dumber or more addicted to risky behavior than I ever expected them to be.
Over the years, I helped win at least two major cases because I re-framed the debate. In one case, a will contest case, the opposing party claimed that our client, a housekeeper, had committed fraud and elder abuse in order to inveigle a little old lady into leaving the housekeeper a substantial chunk of the old lady’s estate.
In defending against the charges, we spent an inordinate amount of time trying to prove the negative proposition — namely, that our client hadn’t in the privacy of the lady’s house, bullied and manipulated the old lady into changing her will. It was only as I was re-reading the case documents for the umpteenth time that I suddenly had an insight: one of the contestants’ primary pieces of evidence, a letter the old lady wrote that they claimed showed she was under the housekeeper’s thumb, actually showed something quite different. It showed that the little old lady really, truly hated those family members who were now suing. More than that, if one took the letter at face value (“I hate you, because you tried to take me away from my beloved house”), instead of assuming that it might have been the product of the housekeeper’s behind the scenes manipulation, many previously disparate bits and pieces of evidence suddenly fell into place. Suddenly, after a very difficult case during the pre-trial phase, at trial, we won, and we won big.
On another case, a construction law case, the opposing party accused our client of having installed a door so badly that the building lobby routinely flooded. I spent forever analyzing and arguing about the construction agreement and the building plans in an effort to prove that our client had done precisely what the building owners asked. It was only when I was reading the security guard’s logs, logs that recorded all these floods and that were a chief piece of evidence against us, that something jumped out at me: the dates. What the heck was the guard doing noting major flooding in July? It never rains in San Francisco in July. I managed to get hold of weather records for the relevant year, and proved that defective construction could not have been the cause of the flooding because there was no rain. It turned out that the city’s street cleaning trucks were driving by and shooting high powered jets of water into the building, something that had nothing to do with construction defects.
I mention these cases because each involved taking existing facts and re-framing them so that we were in a strong offensive position, instead of a weak defensive position. Caroline Glick makes the same suggestion with regard to Israel’s current defensive position at the UN. Benjamin Netanyahu can make all the incredibly wonderful speeches he likes (and his speech before the UN was great), but that’s not going to change the game. Glick says that Israel has to bypass the UN garbage entirely:
As for Israel’s allies in the US Congress, they have responded to the PLO’s UN statehood gambit with two important legislative initiatives. First Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill calling for the US to end its financial support for the Palestinian Authority and drastically scale-back its financial support for the UN if the UN upgrades the PLO’s membership status in any way. Ros- Lehtinen’s bill shows Israel that there is powerful support for an Israeli offensive that will make the Palestinians pay a price for their diplomatic aggression.
Ros-Lehtinen’s bill is constructive for two reasons. First, it makes the Palestinians pay for their adversarial behavior. This will make them think twice before again escalating their diplomatic warfare against Israel. Second, it begins an overdue process of delegitimizing the Palestinian cause, which as is now clear is inseparable from the cause of Israel’s destruction.
Were Israel to follow Ros-Lehtinen’s lead and cut off its transfer of tax revenues to the PA, and indeed, stop collecting taxes on the PA’s behalf, it would be advancing Israel’s interests in several ways.
It would remind the Palestinians that they need Israel far more than Israel needs them.
Israel would make them pay a price for their diplomatic aggression.
Israel would end its counterproductive policy of giving the openly hostile PA an automatic seal of approval regardless of its treatment of Israel.
Israel would diminish the financial resources at the PA’s disposal for the advance of its war against Israel.
Finally, Israel would pave the way for the disbandment of the PA and its replacement by another authority in Judea and Samaria.
And this brings us to the second congressional initiative taken in anticipation of the PLO’s UN statehood gambit. Earlier this month, Rep. Joe Walsh and 30 co-sponsors issued a resolution supporting Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria.
While annexation sounds like a radical formula, the fact is that Israel already implemented a similar move twice when it applied Israeli law to Jerusalem and to the Golan Heights. And the heavens didn’t fall in either case. Indeed, the situation on the ground was stabilized.
Moreover, just as Israel remains willing to consider ceding these territories in the framework of a real peace with its neighbors, so the application of Israeli law to Judea and Samaria would not prevent these areas from being ceded to another sovereign in the framework of a peace deal.
And while not eliminating the prospects of a future peace, by applying Israeli law to Judea and Samaria, Israel would reverse one of the most pernicious effects of the 18-year-old phony peace process: the continuous erosion of international recognition of Israel’s sovereign rights to these areas.
The above quotation is just a small part of a much longer article. You would probably enjoy reading the whole thing.