Saturday, March 26, 2011

op ed review 3/27

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

That was then, this is now. As a presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama emphatically stated that the Constitution does not give the president the authority to unilaterally authorize a military attack unless it is needed to stop an actual or imminent attack on the United States.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-president-does-not-have-power-unde

And here’s what Joe Biden once said about President Bush, 'If he gives authorization to war... without Congressional approval, I will make it my business to impeach him!'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adpa5kYUhCA

President Obama’s Libya mission is clouded by confusion

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_US_LIBYA_ANALYSIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-24-03-06-25

A new Reuters/IPSOS poll reveals a striking lack of public confidence in President Obama’s ability as Commander-in-Chief, with just 17 percent of Americans describing his leadership as “strong and decisive”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100081318/is-president-obama-the-weakest-commander-in-chief-in-us-history/

A Canadian general has been put in command of the NATO Libyan operation. (Owing to lack of American leadership?)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110325/ap_on_re_ca/cn_canada_libya_nato

The London Daily Telegraph asks, “Is President Obama the weakest Commander-in-Chief in US history?”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100081318/is-president-obama-the-weakest-commander-in-chief-in-us-history/

“You know the old song, “Where have all the flowers gone?” What I want to know is, where have all the moonbats gone? The preposterous president these clueless trustafarians elected has now started a war with no congressional authorization and exactly one resolution from the United Nations. George Bush got 17 U.N. resolutions before invading Iraq and the limousine liberals sneered that it was a “rush to war.””

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1325676

“What is this really about? As the price of oil skyrockets, as our debt levels rise to new highs and our housing market drops to new lows, President Obama decides that it is a fantastic time to start dropping bombs on Libya. Nobody, including Obama, seems to know what our objective is…….”

http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2011/03/24/obama_wags_the_dog/page/full/

The Obama administration’s pro-Obamacare Andy Griffith TV ad cost taxpayers $3.66 million..

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/andy-griffiths-obamacare-ads-cost-taxpayers-366-million_555417.html

Dr. Michael Newdow, an Atheist activist, has given up his six year legal fight that he hoped would have restricted California school children from saying "under God" when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/mar/23/atheist-newdow-ditches-six-year-anti-under-god-ple/

Target Corp. is suing a San Diego pro-gay marriage group to get it to stop canvassing outside its San Diego County stores, saying its activists are driving away customers.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TARGET_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-25-05-20-36

The United States is on a fiscal path towards insolvency and policymakers are at a "tipping point," a Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/42209447

As U.S. lawmakers seek a compromise on how much federal spending to cut, Tea Party activists who helped propel Republicans back into power are growing impatient with the debate. When Republicans captured the House in November, they vowed to slash $100 billion in federal spending. The figure is now $61B and may be further reduced by compromise.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/24/tea-party-movement-growing-weary-gop-budget-plan/

Senate Republicans are preparing to tell President Obama that they want a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the Constitution passed in Congress in exchange for raising the statuary debt ceiling above $14.2 trillion.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42496

One of Obamacare’s biggest supporters in Congress is now looking for a waiver for New York City.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51840.html#ixzz1HWiD6mP6

Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/24/cnn-exclusive-michele-bachmann-to-form-exploratory-committee-in-june-possibly-earlier/

Hispanic students for the first time make up the majority of students enrolled in Texas public schools.

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/03/23/hispanics-now-majority-in-texas-public-schools/

Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110324/ap_on_re_us/us_census2010_population

A substitute teacher's letter to Arizona lawmakers has reignited the state's immigration debate after he wrote that his Hispanic students hate America and just want to be gang members. “Hill wrote that a majority of eight-grade students who he taught recently at an unnamed Glendale school refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and declared that "We are Mexicans and Americans stole our land."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/22/arizona-teacher-middle-immigration-debate/#content

A former official of one of the country's most-powerful unions, SEIU, is detailing a secret plan to "destabilize" the country. Specifically, the plan seeks to destroy JP Morgan, nuke the stock market, and weaken Wall Street's grip on power, thus creating the conditions necessary for a redistribution of wealth and a change in government.

http://www.businessinsider.com/seiu-union-plan-to-destroy-jpmorgan#ixzz1HKymwpfA

A paid obituary for a Houston-area man who died of cancer recently urged mourners to, in lieu of flowers, "please make a donation to ANYONE running against" President Barack Obama.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7486644.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Maggie Gallagher 3/1

In refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, President Obama has just made a huge mistake -- a telling mistake that demonstrates what a hard-left bubble he must now be in.

President Obama's nearly unprecedented decision, based on very weak legal logic, to refuse to defend DOMA will backfire, both tactically and politically. Let's take the politics first.

Even as gay marriage advocates lose battle after battle in actual elections, they feed into the media a consistent message of despair: Their victory is inevitable. People don't care anymore, they say (and The New York Times and The Washington Post dutifully echo the theme). President Obama must actually believe those carefully worded and deeply deceptive polls that purport to indicate that a "majority" now support gay marriage.

To read the truth about public reaction to gay marriage you have to read the gay press, which actually covers what is happening. Take the battle for gay marriage in two deep blue states: Maryland and Rhode Island.

Getting a gay marriage bill through the Rhode Island House of Representatives with Gov. Lincoln Chafee's support and a new openly gay House speaker was supposed to be a cakewalk. Instead, as The Boston Phoenix (an alternative paper) reports: "The end game is proving trickier than advocates had hoped. ... They've been caught off guard by the prowess of the church, which has joined with the nation's leading anti-gay marriage group to mount a surprisingly potent defense of the status quo." (By "anti-gay group" they mean the National Organization for Marriage, which I chair). Speaker Gordon Fox suddenly pulled the bill, and its future is now uncertain.

Similarly, this week in Maryland, black Democrats from progressive districts are beginning to jump ship. First Melvin Stukes, a co-sponsor of a gay marriage bill in that state's House of Delegates, unexpectedly announced he was switching sides. A few days later, two black Democrats counted as "yes" votes suddenly went missing, refusing to show up for a committee vote, which had to be postponed.

Maryland is a deep blue state -- core Democratic territory -- but opposition to gay marriage is also surging: "With opponents, including the Maryland Catholic Conference and the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, applying enormous pressure on wavering delegates, (Maryland state Sen. Richard) Madaleno and Equality Maryland officials said support in the House might be in jeopardy," reports the Washington Blade.

Leadership may yet ram through a bill, and the people of Maryland, like the people of Maine did in 2009, will have to exercise their "people's veto" through the referendum process. But the really big newsworthy event in these blue states is the surging, unexpected opposition to gay marriage from the public at large, from the Catholic church, and most significantly, from the black church.

Politically, President Obama just nationalized the gay marriage issue, potentially alienated parts of his base and caused all major GOP presidential candidates (except Mitch Daniels) to weigh in on marriage. What did he gain? He almost certainly just helped us win the legal case for DOMA.

Here's the honest truth: I've been tearing my hair out for the last six months while strategizing behind the scenes with others to figure out some legal strategy to get someone to intervene in the DOMA case. President Obama's incredibly weak legal defense was causing DOMA to lose in court. How could we get a great lawyer in that courtroom who actually wanted to defend the law?

By pretending to defend DOMA, President Obama was blocking the door to the courthouse for marriage advocates. This week, he just removed that obstacle. The U.S. House of Representatives will intervene to protect DOMA. Our chances of winning a great victory for marriage at the Supreme Court just shot way up.

President Obama, this decision will cost you votes, energize the GOP base, and most important, dramatically increase our side's odds of legal victory on DOMA. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Maggie Gallagher is the founder of the National Organization for Marriage and has been a syndicated columnist for 15 years.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucmg/20110302/cm_ucmg/thankpresidentobamaforhisdomadisaster

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"For decades, Europe has been in the grip of an Islamist assault. Largely ghettoized Muslim populations have become dangerously alienated from the European mainstream. ... America faces the same kind of threat. Yet when anyone tries to put a spotlight on the growth of domestic Muslim extremism, liberals, Islamic lobby groups and their fellow travelers cry 'Islamophobia' and 'racism.' The latest example was the congressional hearing held by Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, who dared to examine how some U.S. Muslim youth are being radicalized and recruited by terror networks. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Democratic Party all claimed the hearing was not only unjustified and deeply discriminatory, but could spark an intense backlash among many in the U.S. Muslim community. The critics even argued that this could provide fodder for al-Qa'ida and other jihadists to commit more terrorist acts. In other words, Islam is a 'religion of peace' unless you investigate some Islamic extremists who may be plotting to kill or maim Americans; then that will compel peaceful, law-abiding Muslims to wage jihad. This is the twisted -- and perverse -- logic of the multicultural Left."

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner

"I would not have involved our military in Libya. For one thing, I see no reason why the Arab League, which gave the no-fly zone notion a big thumbs-up, doesn't take on that job. They have pilots and jets. Why is it that America and the European nations always have to do their dirty work? All it ever gets us is the ongoing hatred and resentment of Arabs and Muslims. Besides, unlike most people, I have not been sitting on the sidelines rooting for the rebellion forces in the Middle East. I do not confuse enemies of my enemies with friends. I have no reason to think that when the smoke clears, we are going to see a lot of George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons running any of those moral swamplands. It is far likelier that Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah, will fill any and all power vacuums in that part of the world, with the mullahs in Tehran pulling their collective strings. ... I am not suggesting that the U.S. military should never venture out beyond our borders, but we should have a better reason for doing so than because CNN is showing us one bunch of anti-American creeps killing another bunch of anti-American creeps. In short, we should not be letting the 6 o'clock news determine our foreign policy."

-Burt Prelutsky

"If George Bush reacted this way in an international catastrophe -- wholly irrelevant radio addresses, golf outings for the 61st time ... the left-wing media would require medically-induced sedation to keep them in check."

-Brent Bozell

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LEFTIST WATCH

In the wake of changes to government employee unions’ power in Wisconsin and elsewhere, The Communist Party USA is working in conjunction with national labor unions and other left wing political groups to organize protests in Madison, Wisconsin and across the nation on April 4th. Scott Marshall, Vice Chair of The Communist Party USA said his organization is working with the likes of MoveOn.org, the SEIU, the AFL-CIO and others to make April 4th, the anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a national day of action.

http://biggovernment.com/bhealy/2011/03/23/organized-left-plan-massive-protests-for-april-4th/

For a few days in the middle of March, the left-wing organization Media Matters for America threw a partisan boot camp where rebel forces were trained for combat on Fox News.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/media-matters-boot-camp-readies-liberal-policy-wonks-for-the-cameras-close-up/2011/03/15/AB4TI9EB_singlePage.html

“….an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51949.html

Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, says Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/22/us-venezuela-chavez-mars-idUSTRE72L61D20110322?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&rpc=22&sp=true

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ISLAM

Women arrested by the Egyptian police during protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square were subjected to forced 'virginity tests', according to Amnesty International. “They were then given 'virginity checks' and threatened with prostitution charges if medics ruled they had had sex, according to the charity.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1369259/Egypt-protests-Women-forced-virginity-checks-arrests-Tahir-Square.html#ixzz1HccAeAkP

It isn't often you hear about entire religious groups seriously interested in unidentified flying objects. But UFOs are what the Nation of Islam, led by the controversial Minister Louis Farrakhan, considers among its core beliefs.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/23/nation-of-islam-looks-to-ufos-to-save-the-world/

A Swedish court has sentenced a Muslim man to 18 years in prison followed by deportation for the honor killing of his 21-year-old daughter. During questioning, Othman told police he saw no other solution since his daughter was leading what he viewed as an "indecent" lifestyle.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/03/22/Father-draws-prison-for-honor-killing/UPI-19461300798941/#ixzz1HdbHeF4x

A member of the Canadian Parliament thinks “barbaric” is too strong a word to describe honor killings. “….in an official Government of Canada publication, there needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality.”

http://www.troymedia.com/2011/03/24/honour-killings-are-not-mere-social-nuisance/#ixzz1Hda9vhDY

Canadian authorities and school officials don’t know quite what to do about a McGill University Muslim student who has written that he’d like to “shoot everyone in the room” at a conservative student organization, that the organization is a “secret Zionist convention” to which he “should have brought an M16,” and that — in response to the club’s showing of “Indoctrinate-U,” a documentary about political correctness on college campuses — “the jihad begins today.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/262714/when-grievance-industries-collide-andrew-c-mccarthy

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ACTIVISM

“We invite you to join other conservative leaders from across Washington at the Evergreen Leadership Conference 2011” Saturday and Sunday, April 30-May 1, 2011 - Yakima, Washington

http://www.evergreenconference.org/about.htm

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ARTICLES

“Americans will have a hard time supporting President Obama's war in Libya -- because the United States is already fighting two wars, because the president never publicly made the case for involvement, because Congress never authorized the war, and because there are no identifiable American interests. But just as important, for those Americans paying close attention, is the growing realization that the president can't be trusted. His assurances that America's military role in Libya will be limited in scope and duration carry little weight after the lies and evasions of his top aides….”

http://tinyurl.com/4njlxg9

Peggy Noonan: It all seems rather mad, doesn't it? The decision to become involved militarily in the Libyan civil war couldn't take place within a less hospitable context. The U.S. is reeling from spending and deficits, we're already in two wars, our military has been stretched to the limit, we're restive at home, and no one, really, sees President Obama as the kind of leader you'd follow over the top. "This way, men!" "No, I think I'll stay in my trench."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704604704576221142167651286.html

Sun Tzu wrote that deception was one of the most important factors in warfare. He introduces deception in the first chapter of The Art of War (translated variously as "Laying Plans" and "Estimates"): So why has the U.S. thrown one of the basic elements of military success to the four winds? Not a day has gone by in the current campaign against Gaddafi but somebody prominent in the administration or military hasn't gotten up to explain what "we're not going to do".

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

Look, I’m a sensitive New Age guy — I cook, I do laundry, I choke up at movies (well, Gladiator, anyway). But does anyone think our enemies abroad are as enlightened as we are about feminism? Steyn is right that the specific lesson they’re learning is that nukes are the best insurance against invasion — but a broader one is that our commander-in-chief is an effete vacillator who is pushed around by his female subordinates. Prof. Althouse notes, “A feminist milestone: Our male President has been pulled into war by 3 women……”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/262607/they-know-who-wears-pants-country-mark-krikorian

Stossel: Want to get a check from the government for $50,000? If you’re black and willing to say you once “attempted to farm,” the money could be yours. Why? In the 80’s and 90’s, some Black farmers were allegedly discriminated against by the Agriculture Department. Department loan officers supposedly did the opposite of what Shirley Sherrod was accused of: they granted government-subsidized farm loans to whites but not to blacks. According to the census, there were 18,000 black farmers in the country when the lawsuit was filed. But 97,000 black “farmers” have applied for the money….Black farmer Jimmy Dismuke says it’s fraud. He said lawyers went to black churches and told people who had never farmed to file for the money….People say well, how do I qualify?” Dismuke told us. “And then [the lawyers] started talking about potted plants. They said if you had a potted plant, you can be a farmer. And if you have a yard and you fertilize it, you're a farmer.”

http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2011/03/25/the-real-shirley-sherrod-scandal-tonight-on-fox-news-at-10pm-et/#ixzz1HfWzvvaV

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar. Here’s the US Citizenship Test that 38% of Americans failed:

http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/take-the-quiz-what-we-don-t-know.html

7 Questions For Liberals About Obama's Libyan War

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/03/22/7_questions_for_liberals_about_obamas_libyan_war/page/full/

The 12 Worst Features Of ObamaCare

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/2532-the-12-worst-features-of-obamacare

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HUMOR

"The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona was ordered to fire only beanbags at Mexican drug runners. No one's happy. Arizonans want a wall, the cops say beanbags stop nothing, and Mexicans are demanding they use live ammunition because beans are an offensive racial stereotype."

-Argus Hamilton

Leno: For Lent, some people give up meat, and some people give up drinking. President Obama gave up conferring with Congress………Dennis Kucinich wants to impeach President Obama over Libya. There’s a very good case against impeachment. It’s called "Joe Biden."…….It’s one humiliation after another for Moammar Gadhafi. First his own people started rising up against him, then his compound was bombed, and now he’s getting beaten up by the French…….Germany has pulled its forces out of NATO over Libya. When the Germans don’t want to fight and the French do, the whole world is upside down……...The Pentagon says that U.S. operations in Libya are limited and have a definite end date. I don’t believe that. We still have troops in Germany.........We’re fighting three wars now. Imagine how many we’d be fighting if President Obama hadn’t won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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WISE WORDS

"The strongest argument for free enterprise is that it prevents anybody from having too much power. Whether that person is a government official, a trade union official, or a business executive. If forces them to put up or shut up. They either have to deliver the goods, produce something that people are willing to pay for, are willing to buy, or else they have to go into a different business."

-Milton Friedman

"If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free from slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism. ... Our task now is not to sell a philosophy, but to make the majority of Americans, who already share that philosophy, see that modern conservatism offers them a political home. We are not a cult, we are members of a majority. Let's act and talk like it. The job is ours and the job must be done. If not by us, who? If not now, when? Our party must be the party of the individual. It must not sell out the individual to cater to the group."

-Ronald Reagan

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