Saturday, May 15, 2010

op ed review 5/15


Republicans have solidified support among voters who had drifted from the party in recent elections, putting the GOP in position for a strong comeback in November's mid-term campaign, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.. Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters—all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House. Those voter groups now favor GOP control of Congress.

That Republican wave is looking bigger: 63 Democrat-held House seats are now toss-ups, likely GOP pickups or lean Democrat. When IBD looked at that average about a month ago, it was 48.

In the first five weeks after ObamaCare's passage, Americans favored repeal by a whopping 16 points (56 to 40 percent), according to Rasmussen's poll of likely voters. Now, in the wake of developments such as the news that ObamaCare has actually prompted major corporations to discuss the possibility of dropping their employer-sponsored health plans, that number has risen to 19 points (56 to 37) -- and to 28 points among independents (60 to 32 percent). Independents actually favor repeal by more than Democrats oppose it (34 percent of Democrats support repeal, while 58 percent oppose it).

Drill, baby, drill. Even after the recent oil spill in the Gulf Coast, that’s the overwhelming sentiment from the public, with six in 10 Americans supporting more offshore drilling, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. In addition, a majority believes that the potential economic benefits of offshore drilling outweigh its potential harm to the environment.

President Obama has lost nearly half of his support among American Jews, a poll by the McLaughlin Group has shown.

Republican Sen. Bob Bennett was thrown out of office by delegates at the Utah GOP convention in a stunning defeat for a once-popular three-term incumbent who fell victim to a growing conservative movement nationwide.

“When it was announced that Bennett had been eliminated from the race, a huge ovation swept through the convention hall…”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of the Hawaii special election for Rep. Neil Abercrombie's (D) seat, effectively handing the seat to the Republicans

The Pew Research Center reports that the "public broadly supports a new Arizona law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration" by a 27-point margin. Main elements of the law, when described, are even more popular.

“NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd seemed astonished by how a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll confirmed solid agreement with Arizona's immigration enforcement law – “a whopping 64 percent support the law,” Todd marveled, “and we read them the law verbatim exactly as it's been written” and still, he repeated, “64 percent approve of it.” NBC also treated as surprising the majority backing for racial profiling to prevent terrorism…”

The law passed in Arizona is catching on nationwide, with lawmakers and others in several states considering similar legislation.

Strikingly, nearly half of Democrats like the law, under which local law enforcement officers are tasked with verifying people's immigration status if they suspect them of being in the country illegally.

Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer also signed a bill Wednesday that targets ethnic studies programs in schools that critics say unfairly demean white Americans. The law, which takes effect Dec. 31, would prohibit courses that promote resentment toward one race; that are designed for students of one race; that promote ethnic solidarity ''instead of treating students as individuals;'' and that encourage ''the overthrow of the United States government.''

Sen. Jim Inhofe says President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is not qualified for the post and says he would participate in a filibuster to prevent her confirmation. But he also admitted that she will likely be confirmed, with support from some Republican Senators.

Kagan is known for her decision to throw military recruiters off the campus of Harvard University because she opposed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

It's perfectly OK, Elena Kagan wrote in the University of Chicago Law Review, for the government to restrict free speech as long as it means well and calls it something else. She argued that the government can employ Orwellian restrictions on speech if it thinks such speech might "harm" others, either by direct action or inciting someone else to take direct action. Who gets to decide..? Why, the government, of course.

Kagan “not sympathetic” towards the Second Amendment.

"This action causes me deep distress," Kagen wrote. "I abhor the military's discriminatory recruitment policy." It is a "profound wrong - a moral injustice of the first order." Her decision was essentially overturned by the Supreme Court on a unanimous 8-0 vote, showing how far out of the judicial mainstream her thinking is.

“US faces same problems as Greece, says Bank of England”

Pope Benedict XVI called abortion and same-sex marriage some of the most "insidious and dangerous" threats facing the world today.

“Ga. Seniors Told They Can't Pray Before Meals “because of a federal guideline.”

The 7-foot-tall metal cross in a 75-year-old war memorial that withstood the heat of the Mojave Desert and a blazing battle in the Supreme Court over its legality was ripped down and stolen Sunday night, according to federal officials. "The American Legion expects whoever is responsible for this vile act to be brought to justice," said Clarence Hill, the group's national commander. "While the memorial has been attacked, the fight will continue to ensure that veteran’s memorials will remain sacrosanct."

Pioneering moonwalking astronauts Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan accused the Obama administration of hastily concocting an ill-conceived road map for manned space exploration in its move to shelve NASA's back-to-the-moon program.

Washingtonians have filed 77 ballot initiatives this year, the most ever. It blows away the previous record for filings, 60 in 2003.

If you are of the Muslim religion, you don't have to give all the new Obamacare healthcare reform regulations and penalties another thought. Because the concept of being compelled to participate in such a healthcare program offends Islamic sensibilities, Muslims are specifically exempt.



Victor Davis Hansen 4/21/10

Obama and the New Civility

During the Bush years a dangerously heated rhetoric became commonplace. Now, lo! a new age has dawned.

It was sometime early this year that Americans finally learned the rules of proper political discourse — another dividend from the Obama administration. We can all be grateful for our new bipartisan protocols, which will go something like the following.

It will be considered childish to caricature a stressed president for mangling his words, whether “nucular” or “corpseman.” If, from time to time, the commander-in-chief flubs up and says something stupid like Bush’s “Is our children learning?” or Obama’s “Cinco de Quatro,” we have learned to accept that such slips are hardly reflective of a lack of knowledge. The old “gotcha” game is puerile and, thankfully, is now a thing of the past.

Nor should we ever refer to any elected administration as a “regime” — that unfortunate habit of the likes of Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews, and various talk-radio hosts. Thank God, we in 2010 all recognize the pernicious effects of such near-treasonous rhetoric.

At last there is a return to civility. If we were confused in recent years as to whether “hate” was a permissible word in public discourse — as in the outburst of Democratic national chairman Howard Dean, “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for,” or the infamous essay by The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait that began, “I hate President George W. Bush” — we now accept that such extreme language in the public arena is not merely uncivil, but is an incitement to real violence. The use of the word “hate” at last has become “hate speech.”

With Rep. Joe Wilson’s improper outburst to President Obama — “You lie!” — we also have at last come to appreciate that those in Congress have a special responsibility not to use incendiary language to defame our government officials. That’s why we now lament Rep. Pete Stark’s slur of George W. Bush from the House floor as a “liar” — the same Rep. Pete Stark who said of our troops that they had gone “to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

But since 2009 Americans have finally learned that our soldiers are sacrosanct and must not be smeared — as in Sen. Richard Durbin’s characterization of American military personnel as synonymous with Nazis, Stalinists, or Pol Pot’s murderers; as in the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s comparison of American troops to Saddam’s lethal jailers; as in Sen. John Kerry’s smear of our soldiers as acting in terrorist fashion. Evocation of Nazi or Brownshirt imagery particularly coarsens the public discourse; it demonizes opponents rather than engage them in real debate. So we can all concur now that Sen. John Glenn, Sen. Robert Byrd, and former vice president Al Gore spoke quite improperly when they compared their president’s governance to that of the Third Reich.

Our military officers deserve special consideration. No senator should ever again accuse a wartime theater commander of telling an untruth (“suspicion of disbelief”). Major newspapers should not extend discounts to pressure groups that defame our officers with cheap slurs such as “General Betray Us.” All that is dangerous rhetoric. Indeed, it risks undermining our noble bipartisan efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We now know that environmental terrorists of the sort that spike trees, torch forestry equipment, blow up people with letter bombs, or wage anti-globalization urban violence are engaging in the same sort of behavior as are the unhinged militias. Therefore we must all be careful, left and right, in criticizing our government — lest either another Ted Kaczynski becomes too inflamed by Al Gore’s accusatory furor about environmental desecration, or a Michigan militia member goes over the top after hearing a talk-radio rant about Barack Obama.

Ever since Dwight Eisenhower hit the back nine, critics have snickered at golf-playing presidents — as if their polo shirts, shades, and splashy caps were revelations of aristocratic disdain for the rest of us, or as if they were engaging in a sort of loafing amid world crises. Not now. We have come to realize that presidents should play golf — in fact, lots of it — both for needed relaxation and as a reminder that it is no longer a sport of the elite.



"So now, I gather, our only strategy is to hope the terrorists' bombs keep fizzling. There's no other line of defense. In the case of the Times Square car bomber, the Department of Homeland Security failed, the Immigration and Naturalization Service failed, the CIA failed and the TSA failed. (However, the Department of Alert T-Shirt Vendors came through with flying colors, as it always does.) Only the New York Police Department, a New York street vendor and Shahzad's Rube Goldberg bomb prevented a major explosion in Times Square. Even after the NYPD de-wired the smoking car bomb, produced enough information to identify the bomb-maker, and handed it all to federal law enforcement authorities tied up in a bow, the federal government's crack 'no-fly' list failed to stop Shahzad from boarding a plane to Dubai….Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security should consider creating a 'Really, REALLY No-Fly' list."

-Ann Coulter

"At a high school south of San Jose, Calif., five students were sent home for causing offense to Hispanic classmates by wearing clothes emblazoned with American flags on Cinco de Mayo. ... When displaying your country's flag becomes a political statement, something is amiss. While Santa Clara County is not indicative of the American norm, the fact that there is anyplace in the country where expressions of national identity have become offensive should give us pause. That administrators would allow a claque of students to bully them into punishing other classmates is a sign of real weakness. That they would allow the American flag to be deemed an offensive symbol indicates that their weakness is rooted in a multicultural attitude that holds that all cultures are equal, except their own. Most troubling, though, is the fact that the students of Hispanic ancestry who were interviewed did not feel a part of the American experience and that they saw the two flags as antithetical. ... California continues to point to an unhappy future for the rest of the nation."

-Chris Stirewalt



President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan tells us a great deal about the Supreme Court that the president wants to create as his lasting legacy to shape the future of this country. It’s a far-left vision for America. Elena Kagan….graduated from Princeton and then Harvard, where she was an editor of Harvard Law Review. She clerked for a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, then Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. She….became dean of Harvard Law School. In 2009, she became U.S. solicitor general...Everyone else is talking about those facts. But Obama picked her for other reasons. First, she’s a liberal without a paper trail. She’s never been a judge or had to lay out her beliefs on hot-button issues. Yet, as I explain in my new book, "The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency," Obama (like President George W. Bush) has a massive vetting team in place, and the only candidates on his short list are people that have been vouched for by some of the president’s most trusted advisers, who have known her for years and have a firm grasp of her interpretation of the Constitution and what she believes the role of the courts is in our society. In fact, she’s a personal friend of President Obama, and he knows her well.

"Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," by Zev Chaffets. Even devoted Dittoheads will find there's a lot they don't know about the self-described "harmless little fuzzball" who has, over the years, taken on the giants of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party-from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama-with "half his brain tied behind his back, just to make it fair." Chafets paints a compelling portrait of Limbaugh as a master entertainer, a public intellectual, a political force, and a fascinating man.



A Palestinian husband killed his wife because an ultrasound test had revealed she was carrying a female fetus. Although this man already had three sons, he was said to envy his brother who had nine sons. Knowing nothing about biology, this as-yet-unnamed man killed his wife for failing to give him what he wanted.

Two Moroccan terrorist suspects deported from Italy last month were allegedly plotting to kill Pope Benedict XVI. Mohammed Hlal and Errahmouni Ahmed were students at the University of Perugia until their repatriation to Morocco on 29 April. ''Hlal wanted to kill the Vatican's head of state (the pope), saying he was ready to assassinate him and gain his place in paradise,''



''Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional. Britain, you chose well.'' Was that a British socialist speaking in Parliament? Nope. It was Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard professor about to face Senate confirmation as President Obama's nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid.

A California middle school and state university were both involved in the making and promotion of a video called "Environmental Police Agency" which features middle schoolers going around tackling and arresting "non-environmentalists" for crimes like having a refrigerator, leaving computer screens on, and throwing away a soda can. At the end they caution that drastic times call for drastic measures so we should institute this kind of green police state to save the world.

The battle over the American flag has reached a middle school art class in California’s Santa Rita School District where a student was told not to draw Old Glory because it was “offensive,” while another student was praised for drawing a picture of President Obama.



A great opportunity for OER readers in the Pacific Northwest: “Join the Evergreen Freedom Foundation for our upcoming Activist Mini Camp. In the last year, many Americans discovered their voice and began to vocalize their concern with irresponsible, unaccountable government. In order to make a lasting difference in our state and nation, active citizenship must become a part of our everyday lives. Come and learn the tools you need to make an impact on a daily basis.We will be covering a number of critical topics:

The Big Picture - We will be taking a look at the political climate of our state, discussing both the crises we presently face and the opportunities that arise as a result.

Mobilizing Your Community - All politics are local. We will show you the strategies and tactics necessary to create real change in your hometown.

The Art of Persuasion - If our movement is going to change the hearts and minds of people, we must learn to be persuasive in how we present our message. Our experts will demonstrate how to craft an winning argument.

Online Activism - The opportunities for communication online are too large for our movement to ignore. We will walk you through the basics of Internet activist tools and how you can get started.

Opposition Research - Knowing your opponent is key to victory. Discover several effective tactics you can utilize to dig up the truth.

Town Hall Workshop - We will stage a mock town hall meeting to help give you an idea of what works and what doesn't.

Kirby Wilbur says: “The sessions are extensive and well done, you will learn so much and you will leave a better advocate for liberty, limited government and the free market.”

Saturday, May 15 – VancouverClark Community College

Saturday, May 22 – Shoreline – Shoreline Community College

Saturday, June 5 Spokane Convention Center

Cost is $30.00 which includes lunch. If you gather a group of ten or more, the fee is $25.00 per person.



“The conservative newsletter Imprimis has nearly 2 million subscribers, which is surprising because almost no one has ever heard of it. To judge by its presence on the national media radar, Imprimis is an unknown entity. But in the conservative grass roots, among the people who populate Tea Party rallies and line up for Sarah Palin appearances, Imprimis is very well known, and is often passed from person to person like a Grateful Dead bootleg.”

“As an active participant in the conservative movement for more than 50 years, I've long thought that, even at the peak of our strength, conservatives could only slow the growth of government, not reverse it. That was the case under Ronald Reagan, who didn't have a sympathetic Congress and whose administration was plagued with officials who did not share his vision. But with the emergence of the "tea party" movement, for the first time in my life I sense that it may be possible for conservatives to actually shrink the federal government….”

Jim DeMint is becoming something of a tea party hero, even a potential conservative kingmaker, a status that is not making the freshman senator many friends among fellow Republicans in Congress. A backbencher known for his eagerness to challenge the Republican establishment, DeMint is becoming one of the most influential voices of the conservative rebellion that's shaking up GOP primaries.

Dick Morris: “Hillary Clinton Is Throwing Obama Under The Bus For A 2012 Run”

Under George Bush, the media's R-word was "recession," but under Barack Obama it's "recovery. As economic indicators plunge, the mainstream media is going to comical lengths to soften the political blow for Obama. Unemployment rose to 9.9 percent in the latest reports, but here's The News & Observer's screaming print headline this morning: “Job surge beats outlook.”

One of the constant criticisms of Barack Obama's first year is that he's making us "more like Europe." But that's hard to define and lacks broad political appeal. Until now. Any U.S. politician purporting to run the presidency of the United States should be asked why the economic policies he or she is proposing won't take us where Europe arrived this week. In an astounding moment, to avoid the failure of little, indulgent, profligate Greece, the European Union this week pledged nearly $1 trillion to inject green blood into Europe's economic vampires.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: "Why Should American Taxpayers Bail Out Greece?"

“Rumors of Gov. Gregoire's Departure Designed to Save Patty Murray?”



Long list of candy products in Washington State that will be taxed as of June 1. Why are some exempt?

YouCut – a first-of-its-kind project - is designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House enact. Vote on this page today for your priorities and together we can begin to change Washington's culture of spending into a culture of savings.

A lesson for Republicans on how to handle liberal reporters: New Jersey Gov. Christie smacks down a reporter for calling him confrontational

This really is the Russian Red Army Choir, having fun with a goofy Finnish rock band while playing “Sweet Home Alabama



Leno: A man in his 70s known as the “geezer bandit” has held up his ninth bank. He says he’s going to keep robbing banks until he finds one with money in it…….The new Coors Light case of beer has a window in it, and when it turns blue, that means you know your beer is cold. That’s way more convenient than the old way: touching the cans……Greece is a relatively small country, much like a state in the U.S. But it overspent and over-borrowed, promised expensive pension plans, overtaxed, and it over-regulated business. So the state it would be here is California.



"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife."

-Thomas Jefferson

"I want to speak to you this evening about my highest duty as president: to preserve peace and defend these United States. ... One cannot sit in this office reviewing intelligence on the military threat we face, making decisions from arms control to Libya to the Philippines, without having that concern for America's security weigh constantly on your mind. We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. 'To be prepared for war,' he said, 'is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.'"

-Ronald Reagan

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