Friday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesThe Taliban has hit Marin County (indirectly).  Marin County is headquarters for Roots of Peace, an admirable charity that seeks to advance agricultural development in poverty-stricken areas.  It has an outpost in Afghanistan, where it seeks to enable the Afghani people to feed themselves.  The Taliban can’t have that kind of thing happening in its country.  It therefore sent off some foot soldiers to attack the Roots of Peace Kabul office, killing a child in the process.  If radical Islam had a cable-TV station, it’s motto would be “All war, all the time.”  One wonders if this will be a bit of reality that mugs that peaceniks who are so self-centered that they cannot envision cultures that have, as their core value, a desire for perpetual warfare.

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David Clarke, Milwaukee’s Sheriff, made a splash when he encouraged Milwaukee’s beleaguered citizens to arm themselves:

Police chief get a gun

I think Clarke may have found a kindred spirit in Detroit Police Chief James Craig. During a press conference in which he discussed the rising numbers of homeowners (successfully) using arms to defend themselves, he had this to say:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a press conference last week that in his 37-year career, he’s never seen as many homeowners defending themselves by shooting intruders. Craig told The News in January he felt the crime rate could be lowered if more “good Americans” were armed, because he said criminals would think twice about attacking.

“It does appear more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered,” Craig said. “More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve seen this number of justifiable homicides. It’s interesting that these incidents go across gender lines.”

We want more law enforcement like Clarke and Craig, and less like Marin’s Second Amendment-challenged sheriff.

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I also want more of this:  An Ebony magazine editor went on a rant against conservative blacks; got called on it; claimed that the person calling her out was a white racist; when she learned that the person calling her out was black apologized for calling him white; and then doubled down on rants that were both anti-conservative black and anti-white.  (That’s not want I want to see more of.  It’s this next thing I like.)  Normally, Republicans would run away screaming from this type of confrontation, leaving the racist Leftist in control of the field.  This time, the RNC demanded an apology . . . and got it.

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Speaking of the Left’s racial obsessions:  Any half-sentient being knows that Stephen Colbert’s shtick is that he created a faux-conservative character who is pathologically dumb, racist, sexist, etc., and that Colbert, a marginally-talented generic Leftist, uses this character to claim that all conservatives are pathologically dumb, racist, sexist, etc.  That’s why it’s hysterically funny that, when his show tried to  highlight (non-existent) Republican racism by having his character ostensibly tweet out a crude anti-Asian stereotype, the Asian community got riled and demanded that Colbert be fired for being an anti-Asian racist.  Asians should stop getting their knickers in a twist about stupid TV shows and should start looking at where their real politic interests lie.  (Hint:  It’s not the Democrat Party.)

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Leland Yee has been around forever as a fixture in Bay Area politics.  As his name implies, he’s Asian, he’s hard Left, and he represents San Francisco and parts of San Mateo in the California legislature.  Since Sandy Hook, Yee’s been very vocal about being anti-guns.  He also just got indicted for gun running, including trying to sell arms to Islamist groups.  The MSM has been trying hard to ignore his story, as it’s been trying hard to ignore a bunch of other stories about spectacularly corrupt Democrat figures.  Howie Carr therefore serves a useful public service when he calls out the media, the Democrat party, and the crooks.

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Speaking of crooks, Harry Reid claims never to have called Republicans liars when it comes to Obamacare, despite footage of him calling Republicans liars because of Obamacare.  There’s some debate on the Right about whether Reid’s gone senile or is just trying out his version of The Big Lie.  My theory is that we’re seeing malignant narcissism in play.  As I’ve said a zillion times before in speaking about Obama, malignant narcissists never “lie” because their needs of the moment always dictate the truth of the moment.  That is, if they need to say it, it must be true.  (It’s nice to be your own God.)

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Keith Koffler identifies the four roots of Obama’s disastrous foreign policy.  I agree with him, although I would add a fifth, which is that Obama desperately wants to see America knocked down to size as punishment for her myriad sins.  Perhaps Obama should read the DiploMad, as he explains why Russia, the country before which Obama is now weakly doing obeisance, has always been much worse than America could ever be, both as a protector and an enemy.

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Adm. Jeremiah Denton, Jr. has died at 89.  The public learned about Denton during the Vietnam War when, during one of the forced confessions that the North Vietnamese liked to televise to the world, he blinked out a Morse code message — “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” — thereby providing the first proof America had that the Commies were torturing American POWs.  During the same interview, he bravely said he supported his country, a statement that led to more torture.  Denton was also America’s longest-held POW, spending almost 8 years in the Hell that was the Hanoi Hilton, and various related prisons.  During that entire time, he was brutally and repeatedly tortured and he spent four years in solitary confinement (where he was tortured).  My heart bleeds when I read what happened to him.  But Denton came home and he got on with a full, rich life, including six years in the U.S. Senate.  If anyone deserves to Rest In Peace, it is Adm. Denton.

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I don’t think much of Stanford.  It’s nothing personal.  I think all the big universities (and most of the small ones) have become intellectually corrupt.  However, Prof. Michael McConnell, at Stanford Law School, has somewhat restored my faith in Stanford by writing one of the clearest analyses I’ve yet seen of the problems facing the government in the Hobby Lobby case.  Of course, law and logic will not sway Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer, all of whom are activists much more concerned with making policy than with applying law.  As happens too often, Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote — a reality that places way too much power in the hands of a man who seems too often to blow, not where the Constitution takes him, but wherever his fancy for the day alights.

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And to end on a light note, two more ridiculously funny Kid Snippets, offering an inspired combination of kid wisdom lip synched by some remarkably talented adult actors:

 

Democrat gaffes, nastiness, and sheer ignorance — just a few highlights from the Democrat side of the aisle

Todd Akin’s ill-informed remarks opened the floodgates for the usual smears about the fact that all conservatives are ignorant, racist, sexist, theocratic, misogynistic tyrants.  The one that got the greatest play amongst my liberal Facebook friends was Timothy Egan’s New York Times‘ column claiming that Akin isn’t the only Republican crackpot in Congress.  He went for the usual suspects, namely those Congressmen who don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change (meaning that they acknowledge the change but deny mankind’s centrality) and those who do not believe that scientific evolution does away with God’s role in human creation.  Oh, the horror!

It occurred to me that it would be easy to put together a list of Democrats currently or recently in government positions who have also said stupid things or hold beliefs that make ordinary people (not political ideologues, but ordinary people) writhe in discomfort.  As I discovered when I surveyed my readers, it’s almost too easy.  Although the gaffes don’t make the headlines and talk shows, they’re out there, and they show a Democrat party rife with ignorance, stupidity, and nastiness.  I know that the Democrats are incapable of being embarrassed, but perhaps the swing voters out there might find this list interesting.

Before I begin, let me explain my parameters:  I excluded all quotations from Leftist entertainment figures.  Collecting examples of ignorance and nastiness from that group was like shooting fish in a barrel, and would have made this list unforgivably long.  I also excluded foolish statements driven by ideology, since those statements would include just about every thing that every Democrat in politics has ever said (see, e.g., Nancy Pelosi).  Instead, I went for sayings (or conduct) that were so stupid or mean-spirited that people unaware of politics and uninterested in ideology would still appreciate that the people saying or doing these things are pretty poor standard-bearers for their party.  Organizationally, because there are such rich pickings on the Left, I’ve divided my examples by subject matter, rather than by person.  Finally, this is hardly a comprehensive list.  I simply chose highlights, most of them suggested by you, my readers.

So, fasten your seat belts, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Ignorance/Gaffes/Crack-Pottery

Barack Obama calls a Navy corpsman a “Navy Corpse-man.

Barack Obama thinks Austrian is a language.

Hank Johnson, currently representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, is worried that overpopulation could cause the island of Guam to tip over.

Barack Obama remembers an imaginary railway running between New York and Europe:  “We used to have the best infrastructure in the world here in America. We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad.”

Without TOTUS nearby, Obama gets confused:  “I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.” Jared Monti was killed in 2006. Barack Obama’s awarded him a posthumous Medal of Honor on June 23, 2009.

While campaigning, Barack Obama looks forward to becoming President of America’s 57 (or is it 58, or 59?) states.

Joe Biden enthusiastically tells a wheel-chair bound man to “stand up.  “Stand up.  Let me see you.  Oh, God love you!  What am I talking about?”

Perhaps there’ll always be an England, but there isn’t an “English Embassy.”  Poor Obama.  No one told him that.

In July 2010, thirty-five years after the Communists unified Vietnam under their control, Sheila Jackson Lee was roused to say “Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.”

Jackson Lee’s ignorance isn’t limited to planet earth.  She takes it to the cosmos, having asked NASA about the American flag flying on Mars (and then complaining that it was racist for the story to make the news.)  (Aside from being profoundly ignorant, Jackson Lee is generally a nasty piece of work.  I would not like having her as one of the flag-bearers for my political party.)

(I’ve come to the conclusion that collating Obama gaffes is another fish-in-the-barrel proposition.  His gaffe reel could make a full, two-hour, cinema-release movie.  For a comprehensive list, check out NewsBusters.)

Racism

Sen. Robert Byrd’s past includes founding a Ku Klux Klan chapter, during which he served as Exalted Cyclops.  He later told young people that was a mistake because it was a political albatross around his neck.

Joe Biden puts on a fake Indian accent to excoriate out-sourced call centers.  Biden seems peculiarly enamored of that fake Indian accent.

Joe Biden puts on a fake black accent to attack Romney and Ryan for attempting to re-enslave blacks.

Joe Biden compliments Barack Obama for being “clean” and “articulate” — just how all black people want to hear themselves described by rich, old white men.

Sen. Harry Reid offers Obama a similar racist “compliment”:  he said that Obama could be politically successful because he is “light-skinned” and has “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Barack Obama makes it plain that he doesn’t think much of white people:  “[T]he point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, well there’s a reaction that’s in our experiences that won’t go away and can sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that’s just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it.”  (At least they’re not stupid, the way police are in Obama’s world.)

When it comes to antisemitism, you can’t beat Cynthia McKinney, Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, all of whom get mention in Larry Elder’s powerful piece about the tragedy that is black antisemitism.

Mean-spiritedness

In one of the nastiest put-downs I’ve seen, a condescending Obama tells Hillary she’s “likable enough.”  This is the same man who later cracked a joke that quite obviously called his female political opponent a pig.  Generally, Obama doesn’t seem comfortable around women.  In the White House, he’s subservient to them; on the road, condescending.

Maxine Waters states her devout wish that the Tea Party go “straight to Hell.”

Barack Obama thinks highly of ordinary Americans and the way they respond to economic hard times:  “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Despite their secularism, Democrats aren’t above citing God when it suits them.  Jennifer Granholm, for example, looking at the weather system heading towards Florida, tweets “R convention delay due to Isaac: I guess God has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

When it comes to mean (and profoundly racist), no one beats the Democrats’ own Rep. Pete Stark:

In August 1990, Stark drew controversy for calling Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Wade Sullivan, an African American, “a disgrace to his race” for supporting Bush Administration policies that Stark called “bankrupt and damaging to minority members.” Stark was criticizing Sullivan’s opposition to proposals for federally sponsored national health insurance when Stark had introduced legislation for national health insurance at the time, and said that Sullivan had been influenced by George H. W. Bush administration officials such as Office of Management and Budget Director Richard Darman and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu to change his positions on both abortion and health care. Sullivan angrily retorted, “I don’t live on Pete Stark’s plantation”,[29] and replied in a statement, saying in part, “I guess I should feel ashamed because Congressman Stark thinks I am not a ‘good Negro.’ As a Cabinet member who has spent almost four decades of my life dedicated to healing,…[I] am unable to express my own views without being subject to race-based criticism by those who are not ready to accept independent thinking by a black man.” Stark later apologized for the controversy.[30]

In May 2004, Stark responded to a constituent Army National Guard member’s letter critical of Stark’s recent vote on the war in Iraq by immediately calling the service member’s telephone and leaving a feisty response on voicemail which was later broadcast on San Francisco’s talk radio station KSFO. Stark’s harsh voicemail was transcribed as follows:

Dan, this is Congressman Pete Stark, and I just got your fax. And you don’t know what you’re talking about. So if you care about enlisted people, you wouldn’t have voted for that thing either. But probably somebody put you up to this, and I’m not sure who it was, but I doubt if you could spell half the words in the letter, and somebody wrote it for you. So I don’t pay much attention to it. But I’ll call you back later and let you tell me more about why you think you’re such a great goddamn hero and why you think that this generals [sic] and the Defense Department, who forced these poor enlisted guys to do what they did, shouldn’t be held to account. That’s the issue. So if you want to stick it to a bunch of enlisted guys, have your way. But if you want to get to the bottom of people who forced this awful program in Iraq, then you should understand more about it than you obviously do. Thanks.[31][32]

On October 18, 2007, Stark made the following comments on the House floor during a debate with Congressman Joe Barton of Texas: “Republicans sure don’t care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war? You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.”[33][34] Following the initial criticism to his statements, when asked by a radio station if he would take back any of his statements, Stark responded “Absolutely not. I may have dishonored the Commander-in-Chief, but I think he’s done pretty well to dishonor himself without any help from me.”[35] The same day, his office also issued a press release, saying in part, “I have nothing but respect for our brave men and women in uniform and wish them the very best. But I respect neither the Commander-in-Chief who keeps them in harms [sic] way nor the chickenhawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care.”[36] Five days later on October 23, after the House voted down a censure resolution against Stark sponsored by Minority Leader John Boehner, he said, “I apologize for this reason: I think we have serious issues before us, the issue of providing medical care to children, the issue about what we’re going to do about a war that we’re divided about how to end.”[37]

Other controversies include singling out “Jewish colleagues” for blame for the Persian Gulf War and referring to Congressman Stephen Solarz of New York (who co-sponsored the Gulf War Authorization Act) as “Field Marshal Solarz in the pro-Israel forces.” in 1991.[38] In 1995, during a private meeting with Congresswoman Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, he called Johnson a “whore for the insurance industry” and suggested that her knowledge of health care came solely from “pillow talk” with her husband, a physician. His press secretary, Caleb Marshall, defended him in saying, “He didn’t call her a ‘whore,’ he called her a ‘whore of the insurance industry.’”[38] In a 2001 Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on abstinence promotion, he referred to Congressman J. C. Watts of Oklahoma as “the current Republican Conference Chairman, whose children were all born out of wedlock.”[38] In 2003, when Stark was told to “shut up” by Congressman Scott McInnis of Colorado during a Ways and Means Committee meeting due to Stark’s belittling of the chairman, Bill Thomas of California, he replied, “You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake.”[38]

In an older video taped interview with Jan Helfeld concerning the size of the national debt, Stark stated that the size of the national debt is a reflection of the nation’s wealth. When pressed if the nation should take on more debt in order to have more wealth, Stark threatened Helfeld and said, “You get the fuck out of here or I’ll throw you out the window.”[39]

On August 27, 2009, Stark suggested that his moderate Democratic colleagues were “brain dead” for proposing changes to the health care reform bill being considered by Congress. Saying that they “just want to cause trouble,” Stark claimed, “they’re for the most part, I hate to say, brain dead, but they’re just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process” during a conference call.[40]

The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized on Stark, “Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Would-be challengers sometimes sense a whiff of opportunity, but the reality of taking on a 16-term Democrat in solidly liberal terrain is nothing short of daunting. Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It’s not the case now.”[41]

During a town hall meeting, a constituent who opposed Barack Obama’s health care plan told Stark, “Mr. Congressman, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” Stark responded with, “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”[42]

Corruption and crime

Maxine Waters’ family makes a fortune off the political perks she sends their way.

Ted Kennedy leaves Mary Jo Kopechne to die slowly in a submerged car while he wanders off, showers, calls political fixers, and does whatever else is necessary to hide adultery and manslaughter.

Barney Frank’s boyfriend ran a bisexual brothel in Frank’s home.  Frank claimed not to have noticed.

Gerry Studds, while serving in Congress, had a gay sexual relationship with an under-aged page.

Anthony Weiner (married) tweeted nude pictures to a variety of women.

William Jefferson used his political power to extort so much money, he eventually resorted to hiding it in his freezer.  I guess he liked cold, hard cash.

Joe Biden plagiarizes a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock.  Although it scuttled his 1988 presidential bid, no one is really surprised, because Biden already had the same habit in law school.

Five of Obama’s cabinet nominees (some of whom nevertheless get the go-ahead from a Democrat dominated Congress) have legal problems.

Obama’s safe school’s czar boasts about having protected a pedophile.