Sunday, March 13, 2011

op ed review 3/13

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip most collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats. The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spends money. But Republicans took all the spending measures out of the legislation and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the revised bill a short time later.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_WISCONSIN_BUDGET_UNIONS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-09-19-45-22

Add Idaho to the list of states moving to end the free lunch fun of public employee unions. On the same day Wisconsin ended many collective bargaining rights of government workers there, Idaho officials moved to limit the process and phase out tenure for unionized teachers.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/idaho-ends-tenure-union-public-school-teachers

Americans believe the United States is on the wrong track by a large margin, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows. The proportion of Americans who believe the country is on the right track dropped 7 points in the past month to 31 percent, and 64 percent think the country is on the wrong track.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/09/us-obama-poll-idUSTRE7284SZ20110309?feedType=RSS&virtualBrandChannel=10102

An early spate of Democratic Senate retirements has put Republicans in solid shape to retake the majority in the upper chamber next year.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/147669-republicans-in-solid-shape-to-take-senate-next-year

The era of big government has returned with a vengeance, in the form of the largest federal work force in modern history.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/02/burgeoning-federal-payroll-signals-return-of-big-g/

Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population,

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41969508

The number of temporary healthcare reform waivers granted by the Obama administration to organizations climbed to more than 1,000 this week.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/147715-number-of-healthcare-reform-law-waivers-climbs-above-1000

Obama job approval starts down again

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/03/obama-job-approval-down-gallup.html

Vivian Schiller, the President and CEO of National Public Broadcasting, announced her resignation on Wednesday after an undercover camera caught then-NPR Vice President Ron Schiller (no relation) calling the tea party ‘racist’ and disclosing that the organization could survive without government funds.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/09/npr-board-ousts-ceo-vivian-schiller-in-wake-of-video-sting/

The video was posted Tuesday on the website for James O'Keefe's Project Veritas. O'Keefe is the conservative activist whose previous hidden-camera videos embarrassed the community-organizing group ACORN.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NPR_TEA_PARTY_CRITICISM?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US

The Seattle Office of Civil Rights is proposing legislation which would make criminals a protected class. Yes, you read that right. The proposal would make it illegal to discriminate in employment, contracting and housing based on a person's criminal history. Oh, and “…landlords would be required to rent to convicted drug users and sex offenders unless they could prove occupancy would involve unreasonable risk of substantial harm to property or to the safety of individuals or the public."

http://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/documents/DRAFT%20arrest-conviction_records_proposal-final.pdf

The Dayton, Ohio Police Department is lowering its testing standards for recruits. It's a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam. “The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That's the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.” Even the local NAACP thinks this is wrong.

http://abc.daytonsnewssource.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wkef_vid_6103.shtml

Social democratic parties across Europe are losing elections on an "unprecedented scale", according to former UK foreign secretary David Miliband. "Not since the first world war has there been this kind of domination from the right…….Left parties are losing elections more comprehensively than ever before. They are losing from government and from opposition; they are losing in majoritarian systems and PR systems…..Just for good measure, they are losing whatever position the party had on the Iraq war and they are fragmenting at just the time the right is uniting."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/mar/08/european-left-fragmenting-david-miliband

Planned Parenthood Federation of America is fighting a congressional attempt to end federal funding for the organization with a nationwide bus tour, dubbed the "Truth Tour." The organization's bright pink bus advertises various Planned Parenthood statistics and health data, but it does not include the number of abortions the organization has performed. In 2009, Planned Parenthood clinics performed 332,278 abortions, according to a fact sheet on the group’s Web site. Also, in fiscal year 2008-2009, Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in government grants and contracts.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/planned-parenthood-touts-statistics-bus

Great moments in socialized medicine: “Premature Babies Should be Left to Die due to the Cost, says UK National Health Service Chief”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1363637/Babies-born-23-weeks-left-die-says-NHS-chief.html#ixzz1G2VO1sZt

Senate John Kerry (D-Mass.) warned that spending cuts could wipe out future government achievements, like the invention of the Internet, which Kerry credited to Washington DC.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/148071-kerry-says-government-invented-internet-and-gop-cuts-would-stifle-innovation

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

David Paulin 3/13/11

America's gun-rights debate has moved into some new territory that highlights the ideological divide separating gun-hating Eastern elites from Americans in fly-over country.

Recent events in New York City, Washington D.C., and in gun-friendly fly-over states (mostly red) demonstrate how profoundly the nation's Second Amendment debate is wrapped up with its culture wars.

Consider how Americans on opposite sides of the liberal-conservative divide are viewing the gun-rights debates underway in at least nine state legislatures. According to Eastern elites, lawmakers are doing the unthinkable: They're debating whether to eliminate so-called "gun-free zones" on public college and university campuses; such zones exist in 22 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Texas is considered the most likely to pass such legislation, with a vote possible this March. Only Utah allows concealed carry holders on its campuses.

Conversely, 25 other states leave it to colleges and universities to allow or ban concealed carry holders; and so a handful of schools in the Midwest and West actually do allow concealed carry holders on campus to varying degrees. They include Michigan State, Colorado State, and the University of Colorado, schools where no concealed carry holders are reported to have been involved in campus massacres or robbery sprees. Nine of those states nevertheless introduced legislation last year to ban concealed carry on campuses, a response to shootings like the Virginia Tech massacre…..

In gun-hating New York, getting a carry permit involves a nightmare of red tape. But not so in Texas and most states, where it's relatively easy for law-abiding adults to obtain concealed carry permits after passing a course and undergoing a background check. In Texas, one part of the 10-to-15 hour course includes instruction in "non-violent conflict resolution" - to help ensure people only use their weapons for legitimate self-defense purposes.

Gun-hating liberals may be surprised to hear it, but it's virtually unheard of in Texas for people with carry permits to commit crimes or be involved in unnecessary shootings. They don't hold up convenience stores; don't get involved in shoot-outs at bars or after traffic accidents. Nor do they shoot people whom they feel have "dissed" them -- a common occurrence in gritty parts of Chicago and Detroit. It all underscores a fact that gun-hating liberals overlook: Culture plays a big role in gun violence. Switzerland, after all, is armed to the teeth, with members of its large citizen militia keeping military-issued weapons at home -- yet gun-related crimes in Switzerland are rare….

As the gun-rights debate has heated up, the New York Times recently launched an anti-gun crusade -- running a full-page article that "outed" well-known New Yorkers who own handguns….Not surprisingly, getting a handgun permit in New York is hard if not almost impossible, whether it's to carry a handgun in the street or keep at home. Even so, many well-heeled New Yorkers have actually managed to get such permits. So who are these crazies? To find out, The Times culled through thousands of names of gun owners that it got from the police after filing lawsuits and freedom of information requests. It was amazed to learn that some of the city's leading citizens were handgun owners and even had carry permits. According to The Times, the list included: "Men and women. Democrats and Republicans. Doctors, lawyers, merchants and moguls. A remarkable, if relatively small, cross-section of New Yorkers."……

In its quest for accountability from the city's gun-toting subculture, The Times then contacted a number of gun owners. Some were apparently outraged at being outed -- and told reporter Jo Craven McGinty to go screw herself. Others, apparently embarrassed at being outed, proceeded to blurt out some incredibly dumb comments; things no gun-toting bubba or hayseed in fly-over would ever be so naive to utter.

Consider not-too-bright Alexis Stewart, 45, a radio and television talk-show host. She was among a surge of New Yorkers who bought handguns after 9/11. Obviously embarrassed at being outed, the daughter of classy Martha Stewart gushed: "I keep it in my apartment unloaded in a safe. Wait. I probably shouldn't say that. It's under my pillow and ready to go." (Readers who don't know why it's dumb to say such things are obviously not among American Thinker's conservative readers.)…..

Interestingly, the same edition of the Times also featured a long story with a self-defense angle -- of sorts. "It Ended in a Suitcase," as it was titled, dealt with a "strung-out" 28-year-old hooker who called herself "Jackie" and the violent 55-year-old man who killed her, a drifter with a long criminal history named Hassan Malik. It was an utterly banal crime story, the stuff of New York's lowbrow tabloids; and it certainly wasn't what the Times normally gives its upscale readers. But apparently Times' editors felt more "diversity" was needed in its crime coverage -- and so they offered up "It Ended in a Suitcase" -- an in-depth story about two losers from the city's low-life culture.

The fates of Malik and "Jackie" (real name: Betty Williams) were completely predictable given the lives they had led. Yet reporter Alan Feuer was clearly intrigued, and he naively wrote: "Why had things turned violent? And, most important, how, in 21st-century New York, was it possible for a strangled woman to be stuffed inside a suitcase and summarily deposited on the street?" Of course, no gun-toting bubba or hayseed in fly-over country would have trouble answering that question.

Malik, incidentally, didn't dispatch Williams with a gun. He used a frying pan and a VCR cord - and he claimed he acted in self-defense. A likely story. One that raises a question: "When frying pans and VCR cords are outlawed, will only outlaws have them?"

Edited from a longer article; read it here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/second_amendment_culture_wars.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"As Obama rakes in historic campaign contributions from Wall Street money, liberals claim Republicans are beholden to 'the rich.' However that may be, it is far more true, and far less remarked upon, that the Democratic Party is the party of public sector unions. And now, the nation watches helplessly as public sector unions and their Democratic allies say to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Nice state you got there, governor. Be a shame if something bad happened to it. ... Democrats use taxpayer money to fund a government jobs program, impoverishing the middle class and harming the people allegedly helped by the programs -- by creating a vast class of voters who owe their jobs to the Democrats. This is a system designed to ratchet up costs. Look at the history of every entity where public employees have unionized, and you will find that not only are government workers paid more, but there are also a lot more of them doing a lot less useful work. ... For Democrats, the purpose of public education in this country is not to teach children; it's to create jobs for 'educators.'"

-Ann Coulter

"In the context of federal spending that will total something like $3.8 trillion this year, $61 billion is a rounding error. Yet the Democrats resisting that amount in House-approved cuts say it will wreck the economy while leaving children unschooled, taking food from the mouths of the elderly and casting disabled people into the streets. ... The cuts represent less than 2 percent of the total budget, less than 4 percent of the deficit and less than 5 percent of discretionary spending, which rose in real terms by 75 percent from 2000 to 2010 and by about 9 percent in each of the last two fiscal years. If the House-approved reductions would be 'the largest one-year cuts in history,' as the folks at Every Child Matters say, that is a sad commentary not on Republican cold-heartedness but on the fiscal incontinence of both parties."

-Jacob Sullum

"That 'clean energy' is code for 'anti-warming' is obvious, given that even Environmental Protection Agency numbers show that virtually all emissions have dropped dramatically in recent decades -- except for greenhouse gases. ... Global warming is a dying cause because the costs of the favored 'fixes' for the problem vastly outweigh the supposed benefits -- and China and India aren't going to stop industrializing, and stay poor, simply to please Western elites. Republicans should wake up and not let Obama use the guise of clean energy to keep the anti-warming crusade alive."

-Shikha Dalmia

"When you live about 3,000 miles west of the Potomac, it's impossible not to feel as if you're watching the antics of people who should be wearing big floppy shoes and big red noses on the job. The upside is that 20 of them could use a single jalopy in order to carpool to work."

-Burt Prelutsky

"Michael Moore said [last week] the nation's wealth belongs to everybody. He thinks if you divide up all our wealth you could feed all the world's hungry people. That's not going to happen, but if you divided up Michael Moore you could feed at least five hundred of them."

-Argus Hamilton

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BOOKS

Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!” by Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart talks about the key issues that Americans face, how he has aligned himself with the Tea Party, and how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on. Along the way, he details his early years, working with Matt Drudge, the Huffington Post, and so on, and how Breitbart developed his unique style of launching key websites to help get the word out to conservatives all over.

http://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Indignation-Excuse-While-World/dp/0446572829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299889726&sr=8-1

“Deconstructing Obama” by Jack Cashill

http://www.amazon.com/Deconstructing-Obama-Americas-Postmodern-President/dp/1451611110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299889862&sr=1-1

Herb Meyer reviews: “By Deconstructing Obama page by page -- and piece by piece -- Cashill brings the reader to understand that in 2008 "Barak Obama" wasn't a candidate but a carefully created myth. The leftist mainstream media bought that myth, which is why they blew off Cashill and his overwhelming amount of evidence that so much about Obama was fraudulent.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/three_cheers_for_jack_cashill.html

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GLOBALONEY

“The British have dug themselves a deep hole by embracing windmills instead of coal mines. Billions have been wasted by Spain and Germany on alternative energy sources. The anti-energy agenda will have devastating affects on life in the West. Electricity consumers in the United Kingdom were recently told by the CEO of the country’s grid operation that, by 2020, they will have to get used to having no electricity for periods during the day and night. This will put the U.K. on par with North Korea. And the U.S. is not far behind if it does not quickly reverse current energy policies.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/34371

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LEFTIST WATCH

Michael Moore and his fellow-travelers in the American version of the Socialist/Marxist cabal have picked up the mantle of defending public unionism in their demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin and other state capitals. They are vocally calling for more confiscation of the wealth of the rich to pay for the bloated incomes of government workers and openly stating that all wealth belongs to the state...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/confiscate_americans_wealth_to.html

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman doesn't believe education is the key to solving America's economic woes. Quite the contrary, the Nobel Laureate argued that the path to a more prosperous nation is for unions to have increased bargaining power and for everyone to have "free" healthcare.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/03/07/krugmans-economic-fix-isnt-education-its-more-unions-and-universal-he

A representative of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, recently told attendees at a United Nations conference on the status of women that “oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education” worldwide. The advice for promoting sexual activity among children comes as union-run schools in the U.S. continue failing to teach children basic reading and math, despite a doubling of education funding in the U.S. since the 1970s.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/nea-cant-teach-kids-read-it-will-teach-them-orgasms

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) once again attacked Republicans’ budget proposal on Wednesday, claiming its cuts target “little children” and “poor little boys and girls.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/148319-reid-republican-budget-goes-after-little-children

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ISLAM

A former television executive was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the beheading death of his wife. After an hour of deliberation, an upstate New York jury convicted Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan of second-degree murder last month after a three-week trial. Hassan founded a TV network aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/09/new.york.beheading/index.html

Last week, the Frankfurt, Germany airport jihadist and murderer, Arid Uka, who killed two American soldiers and wounded 2 others said, “I did it for Allah”

http://bigpeace.com/asparks/2011/03/13/the-end-of-the-world-is-now/#more-91444

A Jewish couple and three of their children were stabbed to death in bed in a West Bank settlement in what Israeli officials said Saturday was an attack by one or more Palestinians who broke into their home.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-palestinians-israel-violence-idUSTRE72B0B920110312

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CHINA

China is planning its own large space station around 2020. (And it won’t be an “international” effort)

http://www.space.com/11048-china-space-station-plans-details.html

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ACTIVISM

The ABC network wants to see what you will tolerate: “ABC Television is currently working on a pilot for a prime-time program called "Good Christian Bitches." It's a Christian-bashing version of ABC's current "Desperate Housewives." The show centers on a recently divorced mother of two who moves back to the affluent neighborhood where she grew up to find herself in the whirling midst of gossip, Botox and fraud. Disney-owned ABC has no reservations about creating hate speech against Christians, but you can be sure they would never consider a show called "Good Muslim Bitches" or "Good Jewish Bitches."……Even if they change the title, the content will still mock people of faith.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365037/Good-Christian-Bitches-ABCs-new-accused-tarnishing-Disney-brand.html

Brent Bozell: “If ABC picks up this pilot, it's very likely that the sour message that will resonate is that everyone who goes to church, including priests and ministers, can be exposed as a fraud and a counterfeit. That is consistent with Hollywood's long-standing hostility to the faith of its own audience.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/brentbozell/2011/03/11/good_christian_women_should_boo/page/2

Take action here:

http://abc.go.com/site/contact-us

http://secure.afa.net/afa/activism/signpetition.asp?id=1930

The Evergreen Leadership Conference 2011 “A Conservative President - How Do We Choose?”

http://www.evergreenconference.org/

Michelle Malkin's Cousin Is Missing: She is a University of Washington undergrad and she has been missing since Saturday afternoon, when she left the Rainier Beach neighborhood headed to the UW Seattle campus. Her parents have been trying to reach her all weekend; she apparently never made it to campus and has not been heard from by phone/Internet. They’ve filed a missing persons report with the Seattle Police Department.

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/03/07/missing-marizela-perez/

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42267

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ARTICLES

Yesterday Sarah Palin sent another signal that she probably won't enter the 2012 presidential race when it was announced she would be doing an event in Denver on May 2—the same day as the first Republican presidential debate.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704758904576188563631986854.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

“If (George) Will is right, then the right is in critical condition heading into 2012. Aside from Daniels, who deserves inclusion in any list of plausibles no matter the controversy he has courted by calling for a truce on social issues and owing to the fact that he has been without question America’s best governor for the past half-decade, none of the others on this list has a prayer. Romney is the man who invented the individual mandate in health care, and now seeks the presidency in a campaign that will revolve around ObamaCare? He’ll be lucky to win a single primary, let alone the nomination. I’ve enjoyed Haley Barbour since I worked with him briefly nearly a quarter-century ago in the White House, thought he did a brilliant job as RNC chairman, and I gather he’s been a very effective governor — but his lobbying record will kill him as a candidate. Pawlenty ended his tenure as governor of Minnesota with an approval rating under 50 percent, which suggests the kind of staying power he might have even with primary voters who liked him. And Huntsman? A chemical-company magnate who was governor of a small state before quitting that job to serve as Obama’s ambassador to China?........So what does this tell us? It tells us that the person who can win has either not reached the point of deciding to run or that he is biding his time until later. It could be Chris Christie. It could be Paul Ryan. It could be Marco Rubio. It could be Bobby Jindal. One hears that the 2016 GOP race will feature all these guys in a superstar battle….”

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/03/07/is-the-gop-race-really-down-to-five-candidates/

Regardless of failed economic policies, a destructive health care law that most Americans want repealed and the lack of leadership in foreign affairs, Barack Obama will have $1 billion, the support of the majority of the media and a potentially long and divisive Republican primary to assist his re-election in 2012. However, the recently elected Republican governors can assure the nation of a Republican victory by taking control of the election. By organizing now and selecting a candidate from among themselves, forcing all others to step aside for the good of the country,

http://biggovernment.com/rabonelli/2011/03/08/the-path-to-a-republican-white-house-is-through-the-state-house/

Obamacare is living on borrowed time, and even its most ardent supporters are beginning to realize it. That’s why they’re racing to implement - and entrench - as much of the plan as possible before the laws of economics and the laws of the land and voters catch up.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/7/obamacare-vital-signs-starting-to-fade/

“My colleagues and I have received substantial death threats today,” Wisconsin Sen. Randy Hopper tells National Review Online. It isn’t the first time the GOP state senators have been threatened with violence.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/261857/wis-gop-senators-face-death-threats-katrina-trinko

Sen. Rand Paul asked the DOE deputy assistant secretary on energy efficiency, “I was wondering if you’re pro-choice?” “I’m pro-choice of bulbs,” she responded. “Actually, that’s the point,” Paul said, during an appliance efficiency hearing at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The point is that most members of your administration probably would be frank and characterize themselves — and upfront — as being pro-choice for abortion,” he said, “but you’re really anti-choice on every other consumer item.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51053.html#ixzz1GJFW1jro

University of Georgia senior Chelsea Lipocky barely notices it anymore. Where did all the men go? Once the vast majority, they now make up just over 40 percent of the nation's college students. That can make women at schools like the University of Georgia sometimes feel like they go to an all-girls college.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41928806/ns/business-consumer_news/

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Top 10 Ugly Moments in the Wisconsin Union Battle

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42247

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LATE NITE

Craig Ferguson: NASA is short on cash and is shutting down some activities. It’s sad because space travel is inspiring. Who’s going to inspire the next generation — “Jersey Shore?” …….President Obama attended a parent-teacher conference. Apparently, Biden is being held back a grade.

Conan: Arnold Schwarzenegger has been offered a role in a sequel to “Terminator.” In this one, he travels back in time and kills the person that suggested he run for governor.

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WISE WORDS

"Socialism of any type leads to a total destruction of the human spirit."

-Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared."

-Thomas Jefferson

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