Saturday, June 20, 2009

op ed review 6/21

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Thus far in 2009, 40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This represents a slight increase for conservatism in the U.S. since 2008, returning it to a level last seen in 2004.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx

A Pew poll found President Obama’s economic approval rating has fallen to 52 percent from 60 percent in April. A Wall Street Journal poll found 53 percent disapprove of his handling of GM and Chrysler vs. 39 who approve.

http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2009/06/19/why-obamas-big-economic-gamble-is-failing/

Former President Bush fired a salvo at President Obama, asserting his administration's interrogation policies were within the law, declaring the private sector -- not government -- will fix the economy and rejecting the nationalization of health care. "I know it's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in….You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/18/bush-takes-swipes-at-policies-of-obama/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

Congressional Democrats and the White House are scrambling to regain their footing after a series of setbacks has stalled political momentum to reform the nation’s healthcare system.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/dems-reel-on-healthcare-2009-06-16.html

MSM to the rescue: In the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push for government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm! The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, and exclude opposing voices on the debate.

http://drudgereport.com/flashaot.htm

The Washington Times has learned that ABC employees gave 80 times as much money to Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign for president than to his rival's.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/19/abc-employees-donated-heavily-to-obama/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

RNC Chairman Michael Steele urged supporters to “fight” ABC news. “It seems that the mainstream media has finally decided to dispense with the pointless denials of favorable coverage of the Obama administration. Now one network, ABC News, has actually turned its entire programming over to President Obama and his big-government agenda.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23885.html

The belated White House explanation for firing the AmeriCorps inspector general doesn't ring true. The White House claims Inspector General Gerald Walpin was effectively away without leave from his Washington office and that he was so "disoriented" and "confused" at a May 20 meeting that it made officials "question his capacity to serve." An exclusive witness told The Washington Times both charges are baseless.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/18/a-witness-to-walpin-gate/?feat=home_editorials

President Obama's unexpected firing last Thursday of an inspector general looked suspicious. Now the story is getting worse…. another, bigger controversy, has been largely overlooked involving a longtime top Democratic donor who bundled more than $800,000 for the Obama presidential campaign and Inauguration.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/16/obamas-walpin-gate-problem/

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she's so worried that information from next year's national census will be abused that she will refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household. Rep. Bachmann said the questions have become "very intricate, very personal" and she also fears ACORN will be part of the Census Bureau's door-to-door information collection efforts.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/17/exclusive-minn-lawmaker-fears-census-abuse/

After a semi-apology last week for a joke about one of Sarah Palin's daughters, David Letterman offered an unequivocal sorry during Monday's Late Show.

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Letterman-Apology-Palin-1006911.aspx

Following a week of back and forth between David Letterman and Sarah Palin, the Olive Garden restaurant says it is cancelling all of its scheduled ads on Letterman’s “Late Show” for the rest of the year, citing the talk show host’s “inappropriate comments.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23889.html

Supporters of Gov. Sarah Palin hope to use a grassroots movement to raise more than $500,000 to help her pay her legal bills. On Monday, the Web site Conservatives4Palin launched a one-week fundraising Web-a-thon encouraging donations to the governor's legal trust fund. It includes a video that calls the ethics complaints filed against Palin "petty politics and frivolous attacks."

http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=10538354

With federal spending in 2009 at 28% of the economy and deficits heading north, Democrats are eyeing tax increases on everything from soft drinks to electricity to health benefits to charitable contributions. But the prize for creativity goes to the Internal Revenue Service, which is contemplating a new tax on the use of business cellphones.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124501952511913563.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments

A report contends the Obama administration's stimulus program is fraught with waste and incompetence -- evidenced by a turtle crossing in northern Florida that will cost more than $3 million and a snafu in which thousands of Social Security checks went out to people who had died.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-stimulus16-2009jun16,0,7085006.story

A leading health economist says President Obama delivered a subtle and unpleasant message to the American Medical Association, implying that doctors are the main problem behind rising healthcare costs.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=568898

The Anglican Church in North America will be formally founded next week, splitting from the Episcopal Church. The formalities cap a six-year progression out of the 2-million-member Episcopal Church by Episcopalians over the U.S. church's increasing doctrinal liberalism.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/17/new-anglican-church-poses-dilemma/?feat=home_headlines

President Barack Obama, whose homosexual supporters have grown frustrated with his slow movement on their priorities, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, a White House official said. The decision is a political nod to a reliably Democratic voting bloc that has become impatient with the White House in recent weeks.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=570344

Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are sketchy. The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale. “These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage would …be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a62_boqkurbI

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Gary Bauer 6/19

Palin Proves Conservatives Can Fight Pop Culture and Win

In the Age of Obama, many conservatives are consoling themselves with this thought: Conservatism wins on the issues. Polls show majorities of Americans want less government and fewer and lower taxes; they want leaders who will stand up to our enemies; they are skeptical about the science of global warming; they want public policy to show respect for human life at all stages, and, yes, most Americans still believe marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

A Gallup poll this week showed 40 percent of Americans interviewed describe their political views as conservative, while just 21 percent self identify as liberal.

Though conservative values remain popular among Americans overall, they have never been embraced by the popular culture. Hollywood, the music industry, sports and the fashion world are all overwhelmingly liberal. In these sectors of American society, conservative positions almost always lose.

These realities make the recent Sarah Palin-David Letterman dust-up quite interesting. For decades conservatives have engaged the popular culture at their peril. Whenever conservatives pushed back against the excesses of the pop culture, they risked getting labeled bigoted, ignorant or, worst of all, prudish. But Sarah Palin has proved that conservatives can fight the pop culture and win. That’s because while many Americans consume the entertainment of people like David Letterman, they embrace the values of people like Sarah Palin.

The controversy surrounds comments made more than a week ago by the "Late Show" host. Letterman joked that Palin, who was in New York City to attend an autism event, had bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her “slutty flight attendant” look. He later added that Palin had attended a New York Yankees baseball game, and that during the seventh inning stretch Palin’s daughter had been “knocked up” by Yankees’ libidinous third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Letterman claims he was referring to Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, but only Palin’s 14-year-old daughter, Willow, attended the game with her mother. So Letterman ended up joking about statutory rape.

Initially, Letterman did not apologize. While jokes that sexualize kids are “crude, sexist, perverted,” as Palin stated in response to Letterman, they have sadly become a comedic staple. Watch the most popular comedians and you’ll find many jokes are intended to humiliate, demean and tear down. Throw in some disgusting sexual references and you have a perfect recipe for big laughs in today’s popular culture. And if the target of the comedian’s demeaning sexual jokes is a conservative politician, so much the better.

There is an obvious double standard. What would have happened had Letterman made the same joke about Barack Obama and his family? We know. Letterman would have been forced into early retirement, and perhaps prosecuted under some “hate crimes” statute.

Letterman then offered a snarky non-apology apology in which he insisted he had meant to suggest that Bristol, not Willow, had been “knocked up” by A-Rod. While there is a significant legal difference, only according to our cultural elites could the addition of four years transform a beyond-the-pale insinuation into an acceptable punch-line. The target of his cruel insinuations remained a young girl who, through no fault of her own, is the daughter of a political figure.

Finally, after a week, Letterman offered something closer to a legitimate apology, which Palin graciously accepted. I doubt Letterman would have apologized had he not been forced to do so. But his jokes caused a huge backlash among his viewers, some of whom formed a campaign to urge CBS to fire him.

Viewers were so irate that one "Late Show" advertiser pulled its sponsorship. Letterman was slammed by women’s groups across the ideological spectrum. Even the National Organization for Women denounced him for “snicker[ing] about men having sex with teenage girls (or women) less than half their age…”

Despite the strong backlash……there’s deeper meaning in the incident. The cultural left lampoons Palin because her values and life are completely foreign to them. They find it bizarre that she hunts, prays and says things like “you betcha.’” They can’t fathom that she brought a child with Down syndrome to term and that she didn’t pressure her daughter into aborting an unexpected pregnancy.

Letterman may not know anyone who would vote for Palin or a family that looks like hers. But his Palin joke backfired in part because scores of millions of Americans are living lives that more closely resemble Palin’s life than Letterman’s. Like Palin, they pray in churches, hunt and fish and raise imperfect families with unconditional love. They are more than uneasy about the culture’s sexualization of children and its infantilization of adults.

The cultural left mocks Palin’s values, but its taunts often fail to gain traction, because Palin’s politics and principles are much more main-stream than those of her critics. Sarah Palin is a false target for the popular culture. It can’t resist the temptation to ridicule and lampoon her, but she offers too much common sense and inspiration to make for good jokes.

In the Age of Obama, pop culture elites may be excused for their over-the-top bashing of conservatives. Liberals have always controlled the popular culture, and now they control government too. They probably assume most of the country has shifted leftward and come round to their view of the world. But it hasn’t. Just ask David Letterman.

Edited from a longer article, read it here:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32362

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"In a time when many homes are marked by absentee fathers, the last thing we need is to be beating up on fatherhood in general. Yet, 'dad' seems to be the only person in modern society who it is acceptable to belittle. To what extent does such treatment pervert our son's developing attitudes about the men they are expected to become? And why would we teach our daughters that there's no real hope or need to marry a strong, reliable man of character? Timeless messages about the wisdom of fathers in shows like 'Father Knows Best' have disappeared. They just aren't 'politically correct.' As a wife and mother of two young men who are being raised in an anti-male culture that spews the mantra of radical feminism, I'd like to say a few words to America's dads: We need you. Loving fathers are critical to the development of children. And the truth is that every woman is a better person when she has a good man to rely on. Dads are not an 'optional' family accessory to be tossed in the corner like dirty socks or trampled on like a door mat. We should reject the attitudes of both women who treat them that way and of any man who has bought the lie and started assuming the loser role. And we need to let our boys know that one of the greatest contributions they can make as adults is to be strong fathers who are committed to their families. ... To good husbands and dads everywhere, thank you for what you contribute to your families and to society. And to wives and mothers, let's make sure we affirm the men in our lives and teach our children to respect them too. A good man is a priceless blessing from God. Let's remember to treat them like the treasures they are."

-Rebecca Hagelin

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LEFTIST WATCH

Rep. Bawney Fwank, chair of the House Banking Committee, says his successful intervention to keep a General Motors distribution center open in his Massachusetts district isn't evidence that Congress will have undue influence in running the new 60% government-owned auto company.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124502854248814207.html

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BOOKS

Glenn Beck's “Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government”

http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Becks-Common-Sense-Control/dp/1439168571/ref=pd_ys_home_shvl_1

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GLOBALONEY

The city of Seattle has temporarily stopped buying biodiesel fuel for its fleet of vehicles after discovering that ethanol production may be worse for the environment than gasoline.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/407384_fuel19.html?source=rss

“One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5525933/Crops-under-stress-as-temperatures-fall.html

Even a $600-a-year increase in utility bills would be a "hardship" for 78% of American families. If the pending Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill (HR 2454) becomes law, utility bills will soar. Farm and business energy costs will skyrocket — and be passed on to consumers, or defrayed by layoffs. Everything Americans grow, make, buy and do will be far pricier.

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=330043500143549

The Global Warming Petition Project

http://www.petitionproject.org/

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ARTICLES

Mark Steyn delivered a recent lecture at Hillsdale College. “…..When I ran into trouble with the so-called "human rights" commissions up in Canada, it seemed bizarre to find the progressive left making common cause with radical Islam. One half of the alliance professes to be pro-gay, pro-feminist secularists; the other half are homophobic, misogynist theocrats. Even as the cheap bus 'n' truck road-tour version of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, it made no sense. But in fact what they have in common overrides their superficially more obvious incompatibilities: Both the secular Big Government progressives and political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential…” Read the whole thing here:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis.asp

Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor claim that her Second Amendment rulings are examples of "judicial restraint." The problem is that she's restraining the Second Amendment. Judge Sotomayor has ruled twice that the right to keep and bear arms is not a "fundamental right." The second time was after the U.S. Supreme Court said that it is.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/sotomayors_fundamental_flaws_1.html

Krauthammer: “Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents. The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side. And what do they hear from the president of the United States? Silence. Then, worse. Three days in, the president makes clear his policy: continued "dialogue" with their clerical masters. ……where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world…”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/18/AR2009061803495.html

Free health care is a very expensive proposition. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, are sponsoring a massive health care bill to extend coverage to 50 million Americans who supposedly do not have it. On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of the Kennedy-Dodd health care bill would run to at least $1.6 trillion

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/19/the-cost-of-government-health-care/print/

Bonaparte famously said to "never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence." Thus stands the Kennedy health care bill, placeholder for the hard left dream of a government takeover of the American health system. The bill is a taxpayer-supported monument to the lethal stupidity of this statist objective that will leave Americans with fewer choices, more government control over medical decisions, higher taxes, and a smaller private health insurance market

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/06/16/a-trillion-dollars-in-incompet

“On Dec. 12, 1974, my grandparents were driving home when a vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour hit them. On March 17, 2002, I was driving home when a vehicle driving traveling 50 miles per hour hit me. My grandparents were killed instantly. I lived. My grandparents were driving an AMC Gremlin. I was driving a Dodge 3500 diesel dually pickup truck.”

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/cburgard/2009/06/15/dear-mr-president-please-dont-kill-my-kids/

“The best and the brightest on the left go into politics. The best on the right run their own businesses. So it is no surprise that the left is far more adept, even expert at the art of hardball politics. And they are telling us something profound. The left is telling us something many feel, many find as a hunch, that Sarah Palin is the most dangerous threat to the Obama administration...”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/sarah_palin_the_21st_century_i.html

Reader’s Digest’s publishers are pushing it “in a decidedly conservative direction.” It is cutting down on celebrity profiles and ramping up on inspiring spiritual stories. “It’s traditional, conservative values: I love my family, I love my community, I love my church,” said Mary Berner, the president and chief executive of Reader’s Digest Association.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/business/media/19readers.html?_r=1

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Celebrities who lean to the right:

http://wcbstv.com/slideshows/Conservative.Celebrities.20.824701.html

Lou Pritchett is a former vice president of Procter & Gamble whose career at that company spanned 36 years before his retirement in 1989. He recently wrote an open letter to President Obama that the New York Times refused to print.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/youscareme.asp

Abrams tank runs over a car bomb.

http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?displayContent=191740&page=2&ESRC=dod.nl

Grassroots fundraiser to retire Gov Palin’s legal debt:

http://www.conservatives4palin.com/2009/06/sweet-tina-brown-has-some-advice-for.html

New news service, customizable to your city:

http://seattle.fwix.com/

Astonishing photos, hard to believe they’re one hundred years old.

http://www.socyberty.com/History/The-Incredible-Century-Old-Color-Photography-of-Prokudin-Gorsky.797569/1

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WISE WORDS

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."

-James Madison, Federalist No. 51

"[T]hose who have never broken free from the mentality of tax-and-tax and spend-and-spend still think increasing taxes is the best way to solve America's problems. ... We need a tax policy that offers incentives for people to work, save, and invest -- all the things that will keep our economy growing and improve our well being. We need a basic tax reform that will permit us to bring everybody's tax rates down. ... Our country needs leadership that can see beyond the demands of the special interest groups and prepare America for a better tomorrow."

-Ronald Reagan

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The Op-Ed Review is a compilation of the week’s news and opinions of interest to the conservative activist. I follow a variety of news sources and note what I think are the important events of the week that may be underreported in the mainstream media. I also read about 50 syndicated op-ed columns each week and reprint part of what I think is the best one. The goal is to help the reader be a more effective activist for the conservative cause. If you would like to receive this as an e-mail each weekend, click here to drop me a note. mailto:garyfoss3@comcast.net

Gary Foss

47th District Republicans

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