Friday morning round-up

If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise — especially when the subject is Islam.

Today is the day that Obama (at extraordinary cost) flew all over the country to hype as Armageddon.  I got out of bed this morning, looked up, and saw the sky right where it belonged.  “Wow,” I said to myself.  “The sky didn’t fall.  I think someone lied to me.”  Krauthammer thinks the same.  The Dems were on to something with their “never let a crisis go to waste” policy.  Where they erred was in thinking they could use that policy effectively by faking crises.  That might have been a mistake for them — and I hope it was a big mistake.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Mia Farrow inadvertently said something very important.  “Bob Woodward burned his cloak of impartiality.”  What did Woodward do to start this conflagration?  Acting as an actual investigative journalist, he reported that Obama lied about the sequestration.  In other words, “impartiality” means “the Obama party line.”  I have a friend who loves Jon Stewart.  He cannot understand when I say that, aside from finding Stewart too puerile and crude to be funny, I don’t like his biased humor.  “Bias?  There is no bias,” says my friend.  According to him, the impartial truth is that, 90% of the time (per Stewart) conservatives are stupid, mean, and wrong, while that’s only true (maybe) about 10% of the time for Democrats.

I couldn’t agree more with this article urging that schools have children read the Bible, not as a religious book, but as literature.  The King James Bible is, without doubt, one of the most beautifully written books in the English language, and one that enriches our speech every day.  And if a little morality rubs off along the way, well, who’s to say that’s a bad thing?

Who knew that Michelle Obama had so much in common with ancient Sparta?  Following her fitness program is now a “patriotic obligation.”  Considering that Sparta was a, well, spartan, warlike, slave state, I’m not sure I like this.  It’s one thing if people want to be physically fit (as I do).  It’s quite another thing when the state makes it a civic obligation that, ultimately, as a civic obligation, will be enforced using all the state’s power.

One of my long-time blog friends, and one of the smartest women in the conservative blogosphere has a fascinating post up at PJ Media about the transition from liberal to conservative — one that sees many of us following a Churchillian political trajectory.  I think many Bookworm Room readers will recognize themselves in her post.  I certainly see myself.

Also at PJ Media, David Goldman brings some of his always interesting insights to bear on the warped, and definitely pre-modern, mental life of Obama’s favorite political leader, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan, as you may recall, is the Muslim political leader who just the other day called Zionism a “crime against humanity.”

When Whitney Houston, the pathetically drug addicted diva, died in her bath, Obama paused in his busy campaign to acknowledge her passing.  To date, Obama has said nothing about Chris Kyle, a man who fought ferociously in the military that Obama heads, given his constitutional status as Commander in Chief.  Keith Koffler rightly calls Obama out on this revolting silence.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say as the day rolls on, but this is a start.

 

Chuck Hagel — a litmus test for Republican weakness and stupidity

Hagel’s been confirmed.  As Sean Hannity keeps saying, “Elections have consequences.”

The Democrats did what Republicans never do, which is to march in lockstep formation behind their leader even when he chose as Secretary of Defense a man with an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a management history that proves his role model was the Pointy Haired Boss from the Dilbert cartoons.

We shouldn’t be surprised.  The Democrats’ world outlook is collectivist, and they behave collectively.  They have given their fealty to Obama.  If he ordered them to drink Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid, jump off a cliff, or retire from politics en masse, they would obey.  It doesn’t speak well of them that they subordinate their Creator-given gifts to party politics,  but it does make them effective.

And then we have Republicans.

Herding cats

The problem with Republicans is that they’re individualists.  Trying to get them to work together, even when pulling apart means sure death, is about as easy as herding cats.  What’s worse is that they’re not cool, sophisticated, self-assured cats.  Instead, they’re the dumb cats that John Hawkins describes:

Can you teach a cat to sit? To roll over? To come when it’s called? No, because cats are stupid. Granted, dogs are stupid, too, but they’re probably on the same level as your two-year old. A cat is closer in intelligence to a geranium — if a geranium had claws and a certain feral cunning it could use to track, torment, and kill smaller plants for its own amusement.

Hawkins had his tongue firmly in cheek when he wrote that.  As for me, when I apply those words to the flailing Republicans in Washington, my tongue is nowhere near my cheek.  Republican politicians are dumb.  Really, really dumb.

I have a few words for these dummies.  I applaud them for having the courage to run but that doesn’t make up for the fact that, once they get to Washington, the collapse in a spineless puddle the moment the drive-by media turns it sights on them.

Nerd

Here’s the deal, doofuses (doofae?):  Because the media will play everything and anything to make Obama look good and you look bad, stop trying to look good.  You are the geeks in high school, the losers at the work place, the dork at the dance.  No matter what happens, you will look stupid — in the short run.

But we smart people (and that group does not include you guys in D.C.) know that those high school geeks who stuck to their geek guns made smart decisions that made many of them rich and famous.  We know that the smart losers in the work place left their cubicles behind and became successful consultants.  And those dance floor dorks?  They’re the ones who managed to avoid the vapid blonde with STDs and, instead, find pretty young women of substance.

You idiots. . . . Sorry, I mean you Republican politicians think you’re playing a long-term game that goes like this:  “If we bend here, bow here, and scrape there, the new mandarins, especially in the media, will finally give us credit and the voters will support us.”  Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.

What you should be doing is stand up, vocally, for core conservative principles.  If those reporters ask you about rape, ignore them.  If they ask you about gay marriage, ignore them.  Right now, the media is making these pressing issues only doing so is a cheap and easy way to appeal to people’s emotions and deflect attention from the fact that we, as a nation, are going broke.  And you guys (and gals) let them get away with this shoddy tactic, simply because you’re so pathetically desperate for New York Times‘ approval.

If you were lucky enough to be a Republican who made it to (or stayed in) Congress, voters elected you pretty much for one reason:  Fiscal responsibility.  Even if the Tea Party candidates weren’t quite ready for prime time, it was the principles they asserted that created the wave that got you guys into office in 2010, and that kept some of you there in 2012.

Sequestration

So what should you be doing?  You should be harping on fiscal responsibility.  You should be screaming to the rafters at the way Obama is punishing ordinary citizens (e.g., releasing previously-arrested illegal aliens; threatening to make the TSA even worse; and threatening old people and children).  You should be reminding them that Obama is lying about the sequester.  It was his idea and it doesn’t cut past spending, but merely slows future spending.

Be loud in your conservative beliefs.  Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, WaPo, NYT, NPR, and CNN are going to ream you a new one regardless.  Stop making conservative bloggers do all the heavy lifting.  All we can do is preach to the choir.  If enough of you in Congress start making a loud noise, the media will have to report it.  At the very least, do yourself the favor of going down like a man, or a woman, not a sniveling coward.

And speaking of sniveling cowards, those Republicans who cast a yea vote for Chuck Hagel are exactly that.  Senators have a Constitutional duty to protect American citizens from a president who chooses a cabinet member who is manifestly unsuited for the post.  Hagel’s testimony and the information that started surfacing about him established conclusively that he is mean-spirited and dumb as a rock.

Hagel is anti-Israel, even though Israel is our ally; pro-Iran, even though Iran is our enemy; hostile to the American armed forces, even though he’ll now be in charge of them; antisemitic, even though his baseless canards have their roots in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, rather than the real world; devious, as was shown by his prevaricating about his past and his refusal to release documents; and really, really, really stupid.

I guess it’s that last factor — his rank stupidity — that proves that, all of his other qualities to the contrary, Hagel can still call himself a Republican.  Dems have turned on Israel, look longingly at Iran, hate the military, have a festering antisemitism in their ranks, and routinely lie about and hide information that Americans should know.  But when it comes to butt-numbing stupidity, Republicans win, hands down.  I guess you could call Hagel the double threat, seeing as he has the worst qualities of both parties.

 

The Blue Angels are about to be grounded

Blue Angels

Long-time readers know that Fleet Week is a BIG DEAL in the Bookworm household.  Thanks to our membership in the Navy League, we’ve seen the Blue Angels from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, as well as from the middle of the Bay on a Coast Guard cutter.  We even had the pleasure of attending a reception at which we got to meet members of the Blue Angels team.

The Blue Angels don’t just fly for my, and my family’s, pleasure.  They are a good will ambassador for the Navy and, for those cities that host Fleet Week, they draw tens of thousands of people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Fleet Week is one of the most profitable weeks of the year for San Francisco’s hotels and stores, and that’s because the Blue Angels are an incredible draw.
Sadly, though, while the oxymoronically publicly funded “private” Corporation for Public Broadcasting seems untouchable, and keeps grinding out Leftist pap, the military is facing spending cuts, whether from sequestering or from Obama’s knife.  So, bye-bye Blues:

As the sequester cuts Obama signed into law in August 2011 draw closer to implementation, the Navy is making plans to ground the Blue Angels during the latter half of 2013.

This was revealed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert last week, when he sent out a memo showing the Navy’s plan for complying with the cuts.

Grounding the Blue Angels for half a year will entail canceling 30 shows and will save approximately $20 million.

Greenert says the Navy is already making cuts “because of Congress’s failures to pass…spending bills last year,” and if sequester hits it will cost them an additional $4 billion for 2013 alone.

Given inevitable budget cuts, it’s reasonable to ground the Blues, which aren’t directly related to America’s defense.  I suspect, though, that the military is also making a point.  After all, as Sen. Coburn revealed, the military spends a lot of money on touchy-feely or green programs that have nothing to do with military preparedness or with connecting ordinary Americans to their military, and everything to do with PC pandering to satisfying Beltway Progressive sensibilities.  While the general public won’t care if those programs stay or go, they’ll care a great deal if the Blue Angels vanish from the scene.

Stephen Moore, of the Wall Street Journal, knows how to give a good speech

Stephen Moore by David Shankbone

When conservative writers and thinkers come to San Francisco, it’s a good bet that they’re doing so under the aegis of Sally Pipes’ Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a conservative think tank rather surprisingly located in San Francisco.  Sally’s specialty is free-market medical care, but PRI is concerned generally with free markets.  Thanks to PRI, I’ve already had the opportunity to hear Jonah Goldberg and Michael Ramirez speak.  Today, I added to my collection of scintillating conservative speakers when I attended Stephen Moore’s luncheon talk and book signing.  (If you want the book for yourself, it’s called Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.)

If you get the chance to hear Moore, seize the opportunity.  He’s a delightful speaker.  He knows his stuff, so he doesn’t bother with notes; he’s not shy, so he engages well with the room; he’s an organized thinker so, even when he goes off on a tangent, the tangents are interesting and still relate to the main topic; and he’s quite funny.  I’m still snickering over his statement that a friend of his says it’s no surprise that Republicans are the pro-Life party, because they so often end up curled into a fetal position.  That’s too true.  When the going gets tough — especially when the drive-by media gets nasty (which is always) — Republicans tend to shrink in on themselves, rather than re-taking the field with banners flying.

Moore’s primary topic, which he interspersed with funny anecdotes; ruminations on the wonders of fracking, which will make America one of the giants of the energy world; and on-point (rather than name-dropping) reminiscences about Milton and Rose Friedman and other well-known political thinkers and actors (on both sides of the aisle), was the fiscal cliff.  He had the room (and it was the grand ballroom, not some little back room) eating out of the palm of his hand when he said that Republicans should stop negotiating with Obama, because Obama is not negotiating with them.  Moreover, to the extent there are budget talks, they should take place in the open, rather than behind closed doors, a process that invites dishonesty and corruption.  (Those last two nouns are mine, not Moore’s.)

Moore said that, if he had his way, he would tell the Republicans in the House to pass two bills, one of which keeps the Bush tax cuts in place for everybody and the other of which gives Obama what he told the voters he was going to get:  namely, a tax increase on the top 2% (after all, elections do have consequences).  Then, House Republicans should pass those two bills on to Harry Reid in the Senate and stand down.  Harry Reid then has a problem, which is compounded by the fact that he’s managed to let the United States go three years without a budget.  If he has a brain in his head, he’ll realize that the best deal for American tax revenues is to keep the Bush tax cuts in place.  As John F. Kennedy (D. Mass.) said in 1962 (and Moore approvingly quoted):

John F. Kennedy

It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.

Because Reid is long on political game-playing, but short on practical knowledge, he’ll reject the reinstatement of the Bush tax cuts.  Instead, he’ll have to go with the tax increase.  You know, and I know, and Harry Reid is quickly going to figure out that the tax increase on the 2%, the same 2% that is already responsible for paying a significant chunk of taxes for our underfunded budget, won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to increased revenue and, instead, will almost certainly decrease revenue.  The pressure will then be on Obama to cut his beloved government or to be remembered as the president who led America into bankruptcy.

Moore also said that Republicans shouldn’t fight sequestration — which was Obama’s idea back during his last round of serious negotiations with the Republicans — but should, instead, embrace it.  The best thing to happen to the federal government would be belt-tightening.  Moore acknowledged concerns about the American military but, pointing to stream-lined American businesses, he said that there’s no reason why America’s public institutions can’t do the same — including the military.

Overall, Moore was optimistic about conservativism’s future.  His advice was to bypass the Republican party, which is depleted now, both financially and ideologically, and to give any monies we still have lying around after four years of Obama to innovative, energetic organizations and think tanks, such as PRI or the Heritage Foundation.  He also said that, if Republicans can manage to hold firm to true conservative values, when things go badly, as they inevitably will, Obama, not Republicans, will be on the defensive.  (Can I pat myself on the back here, since I’ve been saying the same thing?)

Moore’s message could be summed up as follows:  Be of good cheer.  Although things are inevitably going to get worse before they get better, they will get better.  Conservative ideas are better, Progressive ideas will fail once they get out of the Ivory Towers and into the market places; and fracking (assuming that Obama doesn’t put a stop to it somehow), will make us the world’s leading energy exporter and will bring production costs down across the board.

The Navy League has issued a call to action

Even if you’re not a member of the Navy League, I thought you’d find interesting this email I received (emphasis mine):

Navy League logo

Dear Navy Leaguer:
The sea services need our help. As you may be aware, The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandated $487 billion in security cuts over the next 10 years in order to resolve the 2011 debt ceiling crisis. The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have all had to delay planned acquisitions and investments in technology in order to meet these cuts and still fulfill their commitments to our national security. However, there is an even larger threat looming: sequestration.

Sequestration is the name of the additional $1.2 trillion in automatic , across the board spending cuts, scheduled over ten years to take effect beginning in January 2013. About $492 billion of that will come from defense and security budgets. These cuts will be triggered if Congress fails to produce a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in savings by that time.

This means that defense would absorb at least 41% of the sequestration costs despite only being 19% of the budget. The cuts beginning in January 2013 will be administered by the Office of Management and Budget, not the Congress. This denies the people the legislative process by not allowing judicious review of where cuts should be made or where funds should be applied to worthy purposes. It eliminates the ability to set priorities. Defense and security cuts for 2013 alone would amount to $54 billion.

Sequestration was never intended to happen. The impacts were intended to be so devastating that Congress would be forced to reach an agreement to prevent the trigger. Unfortunately, that has not yet happened—which is why the Navy League needs to act now to prevent severe weakening of our sea services.

The Navy League is issuing a call to action. We need each of our members to remind Congress of the need to support our sea services, and to realize that this issue matters to voters!

Here you’ll find links to all the materials needed to get you started. Talking points will give you necessary background to talk confidently about the issue. The phone script and draft letter will help you with your contacts with your Congressman and Senators. Slides on the subject are being added to Grassroots and CSOP presentations.

Please call your Congressman and Senators at their Washington, DC office, where their military and defense staff are located. If you have an established relationship with the local office, please contact them too. To contact your Congressman and Senators, visit their website (www.house.gov or www.senate.gov ). Each Member of Congress has a “Contact Me” page where you can get a mailing address, fax number or an email address. Many members have a web form, where you can copy and paste your message in a Comments box to submit. If you need assistance, contact your Legislative Affairs Regional Vice President or Sara Fuentes or Chris Bennett at Navy League headquarters (sfuentes@navyleague.org , cbennett@navyleague.org ;             703-528-1775      ).

Your action is needed now! We don’t have much time—these cuts go into effect in January. We need Congress to act before summer recess in July.

If you have comments or questions on this Call to Action or any Navy League matter, as always, please let me know at nationalpresident@navyleague.org .

Sincerely,
Philip L. Dunmire
National President
Navy League of the United States