Saturday, May 22, 2010

op ed review 5/23


Any doubt about just how toxic the political environment is for congressional incumbents and candidates hand-picked by national Republican and Democratic leaders disappeared late Tuesday, when voters fired Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, forced Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a run-off in Arkansas and chose tea party darling Rand Paul to be the GOP nominee in Kentucky's Senate race.

For any politician with the usual instincts for self-protection, the lessons of Tuesday’s primaries could not be more clear: This could happen to you. Arlen Specter lost in Pennsylvania even though the party-switching Democrat was recruited and backed by a sitting president. Rand Paul won in Kentucky even though the Republican was regarded as an eccentric renegade by that state’s political establishment. The 2010 electorate has swallowed an emetic — disgorging in a series of retching convulsions officeholders in both parties who seem to embody conventional Washington politics.

Some Democrats on the campaign trail have hit upon a winning campaign tactic: Run against President Obama and his agenda -- especially the health care overhaul.

Campaign analysts say mounting Republican momentum has yet to peak and predict more GOP candidates will gain inroads to toppling incumbent Democrats in November's midterm elections, buoyed by independents' dissatisfaction with President Obama's policies and angry, anti-Washington voters.

An Arizona utility commissioner said he's willing to pull the plug on Los Angeles if the city goes through with a boycott of his state. In a letter to the city of LA, a member of Arizona's power commission said he would ask Arizona utility companies to cut off the power supply to Los Angeles. LA gets about 25 percent of its power from Arizona.

Is this a good thing, or a long slippery slope? Catholic Church officials said the recent creation by researchers of the first synthetic cell can be a positive development if correctly used, but warned scientists that only God can create life. Vatican and Italian church officials were mostly cautious in their first reaction to the announcement from the United States that researchers had produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. They warned scientists of the ethical responsibility of scientific progress and said that the manner in which the innovation is applied in the future will be crucial.

The new Miss USA is a pole-dancing Shi'ite Muslim who counts the Hezbollah terrorist group as part of her loyal fan base. Or, as the Los Angeles Times put it, Rima Fakih is "the poster girl for modern America." Miss Fakih, who as Miss Michigan took the Miss USA crown last weekend, was born in southern Lebanon and has extensive family connections to Hezbollah. But that reportage has been overshadowed by the more politically correct "first Arab-American Miss USA" storyline… The pageant also has taken on a hint of left-leaning political correctness. In years gone by, it was a standing joke that contestants would blather something about world peace during the question period. Now, competitors can expect to be drilled on controversial matters of public policy. This year's victim was Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, who was hit with a hot-button question regarding Arizona's new law against illegal immigrants. She said she was "a huge supporter of states' rights" and that the Arizona law was "perfectly fine." Miss Woolard had been leading Miss Fakih by a wide margin through the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition, but - like Miss Prejean last year - the Okie finished as first runner-up.

Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite allegedly collaborated with anti-Vietnam War activists in the 1960s, going so far as to offer advice on how to raise the public profile of protests and even pledging CBS News resources to help pull off events, according to FBI documents obtained by Yahoo! News.

Speculation has run rampant for months that Gen. David Petraeus is toying with the idea of a run for the White House. General Petraeus did little to squelch that speculation last week when he spoke at the annual dinner of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of Washington's premier conservative think tanks.

The Obama Administration gave the gulf spill oil rig a “safety award” last year.

“Democratic Senate candidate lied about serving in Viet Nam

More of this will come: Texas doctors are opting out of Medicare at alarming rates, frustrated by reimbursement cuts they say make participation in government-funded care of seniors unaffordable.

Two fans at a Phoenix Suns basketball game were ejected from their first row seats and removed from the arena last week after refusing orders from security guards to take off their shirts in support of Arizona’s recently passed law against illegal immigration.

A top Department of Homeland Security official reportedly said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona authorities. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, said it appeared the Obama administration is "nullifying existing law" and suggested the official may not be the right person for his post if he fails to enforce federal immigration law

Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, helped craft President Bill Clinton’s political strategy for sustaining his veto of the partial-birth abortion ban in 1997. As a result of Clinton’s successful veto that year, the ban was not enacted until 2003, when it was signed by President George Bush.

The Texas state school board gave final approval to new social studies standards. The changes, which passed in a series of 9 to 5 votes, could have reverberations far beyond the Lone Star State's schools and its 4.7 million students. The state's large textbook market has traditionally led the way for others; at minimum, Texas students will get very different history lessons than does the rest of the country, as early as next year. The seven-member conservative bloc on the board successfully pushed through changes that they said restored balance after what they called years of liberal bias in history education.



C. Edmond Wright, The American Thinker, 5/19/10

The U.S. dollar and good news for Democrats have a lot in common these days. No matter how much of either liberals print, the absolute value keeps declining. To be fair, the Jurassic media is actually half right in their group think analysis that yesterday's elections were more evidence that the prevailing mood in the country is simply anti-Washington. But the half they get wrong is very wrong indeed. As such, they are losers yesterday.

The biggest winners were Rand Paul's campaign and the Tea Party movement / philosophy. The biggest losers were Barack Obama and the current far left Democrat Congress and their notion of a large and intrusive government. Other losers include the political thinking of George W. Bush, Karl Rove, John McCain, and Bill Clinton.

As for the major parties, consider that the continued rebuke of "reach across the aisle" and "new tone" Republicanism is good news for a GOP that is rather rapidly finding its way. Conversely, the rebuke of a sitting President and Congress -- not to mention the entire governing philosophy of the Democrats -- is potentially catastrophic for them. It was an awful night for liberals.

It is true that there is fierce anti-Washington fervor. But pundits are dead wrong in claiming this means both parties are affected equally. Washington is a liberal Democrat city -- and not only by the standards of the current make up of the administration and the Congress -- though that is very true.

It goes deeper. The very notion of Washington as a control center and hub of intellectual power and great solutions is by definition a liberal ideal. Washington is Mecca to the Democrat liberal base. By contrast, the city and all it represents is anathema to progress and prosperity for the Republican base voters. You know, the tea party types. Yesterday was another sound rebuke of Washington as defined by liberals and thus another big day for the mindset of the tea party movement.

Liberal pundits.. have said that Rand Paul's Primary win is more evidence that the Republican Party is imploding. They could not be more wrong. Paul -- armed with perhaps the perfect first name for a politician in 2010 -- is the quintessential Tea Party candidate. A fierce defender of limited government, the younger Paul and many of his supporters seem unburdened by some of his Dad's most unconventional thoughts, yet he was able to tap into some of the Ron Paul cult support system. More importantly, opponent Trey Grayson, was a McCain type candidate. He seems to have borrowed the worn out phrases from Kay Bailey Hutchinson's tired campaign in Texas. Grayson's ads touted his ability to "get things done" in Washington by "working with people." I think Grayson would have lost to a blank space with such a tone-deaf campaign.

No, the party is not imploding. It is healing, and this means getting rid of cancers like Grayson (and Bennett and Crist.) Rand Paul will win the General Election, as will Marco Rubio in Florida and a Republican in Utah also.

Arlen Specter's final chapters as a Senator are object lessons in what is wrong with Washington generally and what is wrong with moderate Republicans as a concept. The most devastating turn in this campaign was the release of an ad featuring kind words from Bush 41 from days when Specter was a Republican…Bush's endorsement of Specter was a center- piece in Rove's philosophically vacant "permanent majority" strategy. The era of Arlen Specter - and of the "new tone" - is over. Now Pennsylvania will get a choice. Liberal Joe Sestak will run against Conservative Republican Pat Toomey in November. And yes, there is indeed more "than a dime's worth of difference" in those two.

You know it's bad night when a win is actually a loss. Perhaps the worst news of the night for Team Obama was the Democrat win in the special election in Pennsylvania for Jack Murtha's seat. Huh? Yep, Mark Critz is a "Rush Limbaugh Democrat" who campaigned against almost everything Obama and Murtha support. Frankly, he was more conservative than the McCain campaign of 2008 and was more apt to criticize Obama than is, say, Lindsay Graham. Republican Tim Burns had no one to run against, and the district is heavily Democrat by registration. This was hardly a race that can be celebrated by the Democrat leadership today. Critz is the type of Democrat that Nancy Pelosi was hoping to lose in November.

There is no clearer symbol of the trouble Obama is in than Blanche Lincoln. She is a sitting U.S. Senator and has the strong endorsement of the two most popular Democrats in a century - Obama and Bill Clinton. -- and she is barely hanging on in her struggle to win a primary...... Once powerful national machines are now losing intramural contests on their home fields. So what does this mean? Does it mean that people are simply fed up with Washington and all elected officials? Not exactly, though there is an element of truth in that analysis. The real meaning is that people are fed up with this President, this congress, their party and the attempt to destroy a country and an economic system that have done more for freedom and good than any country or economic system in world history.

Moreover, people are also fed up with any kind of namby-pamby opposition party that is little more than a low calorie version of the statist Democrats. And this is not new. This wave has been building since Rick Santelli had his tea party rant over mortgages in February of 2009. It built through the tea party rallies in the spring of 2009 and into the town hall meetings of the summer of 2009. The wave rolled in the fall through stunning elections of 09 in Virginia, New Jersey and then later in Massachusetts with Scott Brown. It rolled after the health care debacle and rolls today fueled by brave conservative leaders like Chris Christie and Jan Brewer.

A lot can happen between now and November's general elections, but make no mistake: Yesterday's elections were definitely an extension of the conservative ascendency that is taking hold in this country. As such, it was yet another bad day for liberal America and a good day for tea party supporters. And it matters not that the pundits do not understand it. The truth does not require validation on the "Morning Joe" program or in the New York Times.

Another good read:

From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to the mobs showing up at the homes of private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thugocracy. In one of the most aggressive and offensive intimidation tactics to date, hundreds of members of the largest union – the SEIU – stormed the front yard of a Bank of America executive. The angry mob had bullhorns, signs and even broke the law by trespassing to bully Baer’s teenage son, the only one home at the time, who locked himself in the bathroom out of fear. This is what unions do. They pressure politicians into spending too much. They push government into bad policy decisions. They sacrifice the private sector for the public sector. And now, they trespass and break the law only to scare the children of private citizens to get their way. If you think the unions are working alone, think again. These protests, the ones storming Wall Street bank lobbies and now the private homes of bankers, are likely being carefully coordinated with the White House to increase their profile against the financial fat cats and help pass disgraced Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory bill. Remember, when the White House visitor records were finally made public, it was SEIU boss Andy Stern who was the most frequent guest. There are also no coincidences in politics. The bill passed the Senate last night.



“The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world. That picture -- a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam -- is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.”

-Charles Krauthammer

"Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama's agenda). Thanks, Republicans! That's what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton's impeachment. It's what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that's what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha. Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it."

-Ann Coulter



Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gives President Barack Obama only a 20 percent chance of being reelected — and says he might be the one to give Obama the boot. Gingrich, who this week published a book called “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine,” said he thinks Obama has “about one chance in five of getting reelected.” and called him “the closest thing to Jimmy Carter I’ve seen.”

“An American Knight: The Life of Col. John W. Ripley, USMC” by Norman J. Fulkerson In our morally confused age, officers who defend traditional values tend to be the ones kept in the Pentagon closet rather than those with less normal views. Despite this political pressure, most warriors espouse a very conservative ideology. One of them speaks to us from the grave.



Woody Allen is apparently frustrated with the cumbersome operations of American democracy. He tells the Spanish-language magazine La Vanguardia "It would be good...if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.”

On his website, Reverend Jim Wallis -- ringleader of the leftist anti-poverty group Sojourners -- has outlined the mission of his organization: "... to articulate the biblical call to social justice." Further perusal of the site elicits how this "biblical call" is to be answered: By means of a government-directed redistributive effort. By spreading the wealth through taxation. By force. To this end, the Sojourners site stipulates that, "There is a biblical role for the state," and "social justice requires economic support from government."

Socialism: After 12 years in power and $960 billion in oil earnings, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is down to stealing private swimming pools to bring the good life to Venezuela's "poor." It's a new milestone on his road to ruin. Acting like Robert Mugabe on cocaine, Venezuela's dictator went on a shopping spree over the weekend, confiscating one farm and industry after another. First, a flour factory run by Mexican multinational Gruma was plundered, followed by the nationalization of a bauxite unit of U.S.-based NorPro. After that, a steel subsidiary….



Noted scientists at a Chicago climate conference declare that global warming is not only dead, but that the planet faces a big chill for decades to come.

Spain’s unimpressive experience with green energy: Spanish newspapers have finally called out the U.S. President for choosing a failed model for a “Green Economy.”



With CBS is rolling out a show this fall that hints at an expletive in its title, watchdog group the Parents Television Council is threatening the network's affiliates with a challenge to their broadcast licenses. At its upfront presentation in New York on Wednesday, CBS announced "$#*!" My Dad Says." The show will air at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday nights this fall.

An effort by Sarah Palin and Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer: 'We're all Arizonans now and, in clear unity, we say, 'Mr. President, do your job, secure our border,'" “If you want to stand up with Secure the Border - Support Arizona, please join us in showing your support by adding your name to the petition.”

You might want to sign this petition in support of the military:



Mark Steyn: You may not be interested in Islam, but Islam is interested in you. Islam smells weakness at the heart of the west. The post-World War Two order is dying: The European Union's decision to toss a trillion dollars to prop up a Greek economic model that guarantees terminal insolvency is merely the latest manifestation of the chronic combination of fiscal profligacy and demographic decline in the west at twilight. Islam is already the biggest supplier of new Europeans and new Canadians, and the fastest-growing demographic in the western world. Therefore, it thinks it not unreasonable to shape the character of those societies — not by blowing up buildings and airplanes, but by determining the nature of their relationship to Islam.......Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, "immigrant communities" were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo "female genital mutilation." So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice…..they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a "ritual nick" to young girls. A few years back, I thought even fainthearted western liberals might draw the line at "FGM." After all, it's a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam…..Der Spiegel, an impeccably liberal magazine, summed up the remorseless Islamization of Europe in a recent headline: "How Much Allah Can The Old Continent Bear?" Well, what's wrong with a little Allah-lite? The AAP thinks you can hop on the Sharia express, and only ride a couple of stops. In such ostensibly minor concessions, the "ritual nick" we're performing is on ourselves. Further cuts will follow.

Lights out in LA?: An Arizona official asks a good question: If California wants to boycott Arizona over the way it enforces federal law, what about the electricity California gets from there? The problem with righteous indignation is that when others call you on it and tell you to put your money where your mouth is, it can cause an embarrassing leak in your hot air balloon.

The essence of liberal bankruptcy can be reduced to two words: unintended consequences. Quite simply, the unintended consequences of liberalism are the result of people behaving like people actually behave--instead of how liberals believe they should behave.

One of the most worrisome social trends today is that many Americans no longer claim ownership of the Constitution. Every time I write about some constitutional issue, I inevitably hear from some smug liberal scoffing at how "Frank the Constitutional Scholar" knows more than the judges and congressmen who reign in Washington. Apparently we are supposed to be comfortable with the idea of letting President Obama, Harry Reid and the judges they appoint and confirm tell us what the Constitution means.

A Salon writer wonders, ''What's the conservative fetish with the Founding Fathers?'' It's because we read history, my sadly ignorant friend. So did the Founders. History is full of Obamas, and the people who idolized such power-hungry self-glorifying narcissists. The Founders understood human history in their very bones…

Mitch Daniels. He's got the conservative chops for it. He's run a leading conservative think tank, the Hudson Institute, and worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Yet that's not what could separate him from the pack of Republican politicians so eager to face off against formidable President Barack Obama. What separates Daniels from other Republicans is his attitude toward the populist tea party movement. He doesn't want to tame the tea party. He doesn't want to own it. He wants to keep a respectful distance. He agrees with the ideas expressed…but believes “the tea party must be authentically separate and spontaneous, which I think it is," Daniels said. "I have carefully stayed away from it — not because I don't appreciate what they are doing, because I do — but because I don't want them tainted by too close of a relationship to either party. "By being independent they have gotten the attention of their fellow citizens in a way that the existing parties, the Republican Party, let's just say, doesn't. I think it's been very constructive. I've said a little creative hell-raising on behalf of freedom is a good thing,",0,5292294,full.column

Harvard’s double standard on gay rights: “On the one hand, Harvard accepts money from Saudis. Saudi Arabia, by the way, executes homosexuals, Saudi Arabia represses women, Saudi Arabia does not allow Christians or Jews to practice their religion, but Saudi money is fine….So Harvard, for the right price, can summon tolerance even when it comes to governments’ executing people for sodomy. Yet it showed considerably less tolerance for the United States military on the matter of not allowing openly gay people to serve in the military.”

The 2012 presidential election wasn’t high on the minds of the NRA convention’s organizers, or of most of the attendees. But mainstream-media voices declared that the speaker lineup “looks like the conservative roundup for the 2012 GOP primaries,” and it’s hard to imagine a Republican winning the party’s nomination without a reasonably solid record on protecting the Second Amendment.



Oliver North, Veterans Day salute:

You’re going to like this guy’s attitude:

Ray Stevens, “Come to the USA

“I got to sit on a cliff and feel the earth move”

For dog lovers:

For stock pickers, check the IBD 100:



Jay Leno: At the White House state dinner, Mexican President Calderon said that he and President Obama have a lot in common. They’re both presidents of beautiful countries, they’re both left-handed, and they both preside over 40 million Mexican people. …….A Kansas City used car salesman has admitted sending over $23,000 to al-Qaida. Just when you thought al-Qaida couldn’t get any lower, they link up with used car salesmen……Attorney General Eric Holder has said that he may sue Arizona for their new immigration law, though he admitted that he had not read the law yet. That didn’t stop them from passing healthcare…….The Supreme Court declared that sex offenders can be held indefinitely, even after their sentence is complete if they are considered dangerous — unless they won an Oscar or they have a lot of friends that are celebrities……..For the first time, an Arab-American, Rima Fakih, won Miss USA. Rima is very excited and she hopes this will help get her name off the No-Fly list….



"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."

-Samuel Adams

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