Saturday, May 28, 2011

op ed review 5/29


Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told supporters in a midnight email early Sunday that he is opting against a 2012 presidential run, a decision that will again roil the GOP field and leave many party establishment figures looking for alternatives. In the end, he said, he couldn't convince his family to get on board. His wife, Cheri, was known to have concerns about a campaign.

Mitt Romney is the candidate who'll be able to build a Republican coalition, but no one does better than Sarah Palin on connecting with GOP voters on social issues, according to a new Gallup poll.

Sarah Palin has announced a "One Nation" bus tour of American historical sites and declared "I have fire in my belly," further fuelling speculation that she will run for the White House in 2012.

After months of resisting calls to join the contest, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he would consider it. That could reshape the GOP field, adding a sitting governor who has never lost an election.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced Sunday he will run for the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination. Here are some facts about him:

In a weighty case with far-reaching implications, the Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that requires all businesses to check to make sure new workers are in the country legally — and in the process signaled the states can have a greater say on immigration issues.

It's not often that the murder, rape and assault of American citizens can be tied directly to a court decision. But that's the foreseeable consequence of the Supreme Court's outrageous ruling on Monday in Brown v. Plata. Justice Anthony Kennedy's order -- joined, unsurprisingly, by his four liberal brethren -- forces California to release 46,000 convicted criminals. It is, as dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia dubbed it, "the most radical injunction issued by a court in our Nation's history." Kennedy's dangerous decision is based on the claim that California provides inadequate medical care for its convicts -- care so poor as to violate the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment." What's the main cause of this violation? According to the court, prison overcrowding. Thus, it has ordered California to reduce its prison population.

President Ronald Reagan once famously said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to the U.S. government's debt would be about 67 miles high. That was 1981. Since then, the national debt has climbed to $14.3 trillion. In $1,000 bills, it would now be more than 900 miles tall. In $1 bills, the pile would reach to the moon and back twice.

The Spanish Socialist Party has suffered its worst defeat since the country returned to democracy in 1978.

Gov. Chris Christie is pulling New Jersey out of the region’s "gimmicky" cap-and-trade program by the end of the year.

The Senate’s top watchdog on government waste, in a new report, said taxpayer money has gone to fund such programs as Jell-O wrestling at the South Pole, testing shrimp’s exercise ability on a treadmill and a laundry-folding robot, all funded by the National Science Foundation.

“The White House is hoping to strong-arm banks into paying off the mortgages of irresponsible homeowners at the expense of the rest of us. The idea is to tap financial institutions to create an unregulated $20 billion slush fund to pay off the principal for people who are upside-down and delinquent on their housing payments. Political appointees in the Obama administration would get to choose the winners and losers in the house pay-off lottery.”

Do as I say, not as I do: “U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled new fuel-economy window stickers for cars and trucks, saying "we're not just sitting around waiting for high gasoline prices to come down." His ride of choice to the unveiling: A 12-mpg Chevy Suburban SUV.”

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee appears to drive a foreign car, despite criticizing Republican presidential candidates for supposedly favoring foreign auto manufacturers.

President Obama rejected the invitation from the British Royal Society, a world-leading group of scientists, and instead chose to visit a school where pupils had won an award for designing a lunchbox which folds out into a plate. Members of the Royal Society were “deeply offended” by the snub…

The Washington State Legislature has approved changes to the state's health-care program, keeping children of illegal aliens enrolled, but raising their premiums a bit.

A democratic congressman says that President Obama is "tilting toward Hamas" – a reference to the Palestinian group the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization.

A burglar in the UK was let out of jail because locking him up breached his family’s human rights. In a staggering judgment, the Appeal Court ruled that the rights of Wayne Bishop’s five children were more important than those of his victims or the interests of justice.

This year’s election for the U.N. Human Rights Council has, once again, produced a body that has fewer “free” countries – 21 of a total of 47 – and has more than one-third of the seats held by members of the Islamic bloc.



C. Edmund Wright 5/22

In the shadow of the CNN complex and totally ignored by much of Atlanta's local drive- by media, Herman Cain officially divulged a very poorly kept secret Saturday: that he is running for the Republican nomination for President. And in case anyone is not sure exactly what Mr. Cain's intentions are, he clearly said that he is running with only one thing in mind -- which is to finish number one.

So while that idea may seem fanciful to the pundits and the mainstream media (and of course beltway bubbled conservatives like Charles Krauthammer), the impressive size and staggering energy of the 15 thousand folks at Olympic Centennial Park gave the rally the feel of a winning movement. Sure, I am hardly objective. However, as a veteran of political rallies and campaigns off and on since 1980 -- and a sometimes operative since 1992 -- I do not reach that conclusion lightly. Frankly, I've never been to a political event that had this energy. The closest thing I can think of to describe it was the televised introduction of Sarah Palin in September of 2008 and a Reagan rally I attended in 1980 in Columbia, S.C.

It is no coincidence that the feel of Cain events has been compared to Palin events and Reagan events. They have that same unmistakable energy and Cain has an "it" factor that is simply undeniable. He is a happy but intense warrior like Reagan, and can even pull off the cowboy hat look. (Memo to Mitch Daniels, don't try this at home).

Moreover, I cannot separate what I experienced Saturday from the knowledge that Cain has routed the current and expected GOP fields in several Iowa Caucus polls and has been second and first in respective Zogby Polls. Gallup, in a poll that managed to find Republican voters who had not heard of either Palin or Mitt Romney, showed Cain with a low name recognition but higher favorables than any other announced or expected candidate.

Knowing this, the atmosphere was super charged with the passion and newness of an insurgent campaign, plus the confidence gained by a remarkable few weeks that started with the South Carolina debate "win" and ended with Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee declining to run, and Newt Gingrich imploding about four times in 72 hours. The Cain campaign advanced six months in those 22 days.

In addition, in a more intimate setting I was able to find out how Cain has meticulously picked a team and implemented a plan that is extraordinarily well conceived. With the same focus and planning that one would expect from a CEO with business turnaround experience, he has launched a campaign from nothing that has now some 200 thousand internet based volunteers and a donor base growing by leaps and bounds.

Cain handpicked his internet guru for the campaign that put this plan in place, but also sports a computer science degree himself. Cain was a techie before techie was cool, one of the many impressive things about his resume lost in the "pizza man" jazz. At 65, he has a very modern campaign structure around the internet and social networking……

Thus, when announcement day in Atlanta drew larger crowds than anyone expected and the atmosphere was electric, I was not that surprised. There is more to the Cain Train than most know. And there was not just a festive atmosphere and a lot of cheering, those cheers came from many cheeks moist with tears that a Cain candidacy is actually what real hope and change should feel like for America.

I am confident that were there operatives involved with the Romney or Gingrich or Pawlenty campaigns in attendance, it is very likely that they were busy tapping out frantic emails or texts to their headquarters. In spite of the heat, the combination of white country music performers and black clergy juxtaposed with a super charged audience that was quintessential "tea party plus" was a scene unfamiliar to most of American politics. Any political veteran would instantly recognize the "scent of a winner." It's hard to describe, but if you're around this game for any length of time, you know it when you are around it. And you also know it's contagious.

Certainly, anything can happen in politics and with a fledgling campaign, the next 22 days might be as bad for Cain as the last 22 have been good……But the main reason I think Cain's candidacy will continue to develop is Cain himself, combined with the times we are in. Herman Cain is a meticulous CEO whose life story is the essence of the American dream. His campaign, like his life, will be the sum of his focused planning plus his irrepressible personality and persona. He has a connection with people that is amazing, and for some reason, he just looks and sounds exactly as a man with his experiences should. And having stared stage 4 cancer in the eye and beaten it, he is fearless -- and his "give a damn" is broke.

All of which makes him refreshingly bold and honest. You get the idea that a Cain-Obama debate would be the wise grandfather taking the arrogant silly whippersnapper to the wood shed. That thought alone will likely bring supporters Cain's way and keep his campaign relevant for a long time to come.



"All of our ruling-class institutions -- academia, courts, government, media and entertainment industries -- are teeming with closed-minded, hard-Left ideologues who seek to 'fundamentally transform America.' Consider that, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, self-identified liberals outweigh their conservative counterparts in the mainstream media by a 5-1 margin. Likewise, a 1999 North American Academic Study Survey (NAASS) of students, faculty and administrators in colleges and universities throughout the United States determined that five times as many college faculty members vote Democratic as Republican. ... Still, liberals -- or 'progressives,' as they prefer to be called -- persist in laboring under an embarrassing misconception: They honestly believe they remain the nonconformists. It's precious. In fact, today's liberals are nothing of the sort. They compliantly conform -- like little windup, patchouli-daubed lemmings -- to a carnival-prize caricature of what they imagine nonconformity to look like. You know, the usual stuff: neo-Marxism, environmentalist activism, sexual relativism, big-government nanny statism, an actions-without-consequences rendering of reproductive rights, and other such populist nonsense. Simply put, today's progressive nonconformist conforms."

-J. Matt Barber

"The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance. The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus. We have all heard the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Independence makes for a healthier society, but dependency is what gets votes for politicians. For politicians, giving a man a fish every day of his life is the way to keep getting his vote. 'Entitlement' is just a fancy word for dependency."

-Thomas Sowell



Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney appeared on Libya TV supporting Gaddafi.

Typical civility on the left: MSNBC has suspended Ed Schultz, host of the “The Ed Show,” for one week without pay for calling conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham a ‘right-wing slut’ on his syndicated radio program Tuesday.

“MSNBC is a cesspool of misogyny”

The spouse of the White House’s new “Director of Progressive Media and Online Response”, is closely tied to the infamous General Betrayus ad for



Sarah Palin has commissioned a feature-length film from director Stephen K. Bannon about her governorship in Alaska that will debut in Iowa next month and then be released nationwide. The film seeks to recast Palin in a more favorable light, and its existence--a secret until now--suggests strongly that Palin is planning to run for president.



It‘s cost $600 billion of your money. And it was supposed to rescue the economy. But has Ben Bernanke’s huge financial stimulus package, known as “Quantitative Easing 2,” actually worked as planned? Turns out the program has created maybe 700,000 full-time jobs — at a cost of around $850,000 each. House prices are lower than before QE2 was launched. Economic growth is slower. Inflation is higher.

Fat City: A retired professor exclaims: “Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life.”

The Democrats’ upset victory in New York’s special election Tuesday shows that Tea Party candidates could prevent Republicans from winning the White House and Senate, GOP senators say.

We thought that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's attempt to reform Medicare had struck a fatal blow against the "third rail" mentality in Washington -- that cultural defect whereby politicians run in terror from anything new, no matter how necessary it is. Unfortunately, we are being proven wrong -- not by voters, and not by Democrats' "Mediscare" tactics, but by Republicans who are going wobbly, distancing themselves from Ryan in search of a political advantage. Given the dire need for Medicare reform, these Republicans are imperiling the nation's future, to say nothing of the GOP's political fortunes.

A tale of two strong conservative women:

“I used to be a drunk, but now I’m bipolar.” A guy who was applying for Social Security disability benefits once said these words, which sum up the problem with this entitlement program. Thursday’s Wall Street Journal article about a “just say yes” Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) in West Virginia who granted benefits to 100% of the people on his case docket during this fiscal year highlights one problem with the program, but its roots are deeper.

Imagine the newspaper headlines if President George W. Bush had written the wrong date in the Westminster Abbey guest book; or if he had continued toasting the Queen of England after the British national anthem started playing. Obama did both of those things on Tuesday, and while media outlets reported the incidents, there was no suggestion that he is a blundering fool.

Even those conservatives who will not vote for Herman Cain to win the Republican nomination should hope that he does run -- and that his candidacy lasts a long time during the nomination process, perhaps even succeeding. Here are the top reasons to support Cain:



Dr. Thomas Sowell, distinguished economist and Hoover Institute Senior Fellow, explains “Economic Facts and Fallacies”



Jay Leno: They drive on the other side of the road there, so Obama had to switch sides — kind of like Mitt Romney is doing over here…..I don’t want to say Tim Pawlenty is boring, but Joe Biden is accusing him of identity theft. President Obama told the Irish people that America will always stand by them, to which Israel laughed……Obama was also in England, where the queen suggested that we go back to the pre-1776 borders. …….According to Osama bin Laden’s diaries, he wanted to attack Los Angeles. He changed his mind when he realized he didn’t have anything against the Mexican people.



"There are many well-meaning people today who work at placing an economic floor beneath all of us so that no one shall exist below a certain level or standard of living, and certainly we don't quarrel with this. But look more closely and you may find that all too often these well-meaning people are building a ceiling above which no one shall be permitted to climb and between the two are pressing us all into conformity, into a mold of standardized mediocrity."

-Ronald Reagan

Saturday, May 21, 2011

op ed review 5/22


In search of Hispanic votes and a long-shot immigration overhaul, President Barack Obama on Tuesday stood at the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since winning the White House and declared it more secure than ever. He mocked Republican lawmakers for blocking immigration over border security alone, saying “they won't be happy until they get a moat with alligators along the border”.

Obama administration officials turned down pleas from lawmakers and public-interest groups to place the names of Mexican drug cartels on their list of designated terrorist organizations. This would have given law enforcement agencies the authority to use such measures as the Patriot Act to crack down on suspected drug cartel members and associates. The director of Homeland Security’s counternarcotics enforcement, said that using such laws and tactics "might be too severe."

The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers to Obamacare in the last month, bringing the total to 1,372.

President Obama says “there is nothing more important” than a government job.

President Obama visited the Allison Transmission Headquarters in Indianapolis and bragged about how democrats saved the hybrid plant with $62 million in stimulus cash. The plant has approximately 2500 employees. That comes out to $25,120 per employee.

First Lady Michelle Obama scheduled a poetry evening at the White House, inviting Chicago poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., AKA “Common.” Lynn is controversial, in part because his poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush.

Donald Trump bows out of the 2012 contest.

Huckabee is also out.

The Mitt Romney campaign is voicing little surprise at the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board’s scathing critique of the potential presidential candidate and the health care plan he put into place as Massachusetts governor. The Journal’s Editorial Board lambasted what has since been called “Romneycare” as the predecessor to “Obamacare.”

You'd think that with gas prices this high, sales of hybrid or electric cars would really get charged up. Think again. So far, they make up only about two percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S.

The Senate rejected Republican-backed legislation intended to speed up and expand offshore oil and gas drilling

Republican presidential hopefuls criticized President Obama's speech on the Middle East Thursday. “President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus,” Mitt Romney charged in a statement.

Rep. Ron Paul, the eccentric Texas libertarian, spoke out against the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden. “The congressman said the operation "absolutely was not necessary," and that "respect for the rule of law and world law and international law" should apparently preclude any such operation…”

Arizona lawmakers want more fence along the border with Mexico — whether the federal government thinks it's necessary or not. They've got a plan that could get a project started using online donations and prison labor. If they get enough money, all they would have to do is get cooperation from landowners and construction could begin as soon as this year.

If you listen to the passengers and crew who flew on American Airlines Flight 1561 last weekend, there's no doubt about what happened on their harrowing trip: A Yemeni man shrieking "Allahu akbar!" at the top of his lungs more than 30 times rushed the cockpit door twice intending to take down the plane and kill everyone on board. The clammy, sweaty lone male passenger exhibited classic symptoms of what Middle East scholar and author Daniel Pipes has dubbed "Sudden Jihad Syndrome"

Legislation requiring voters to present photo ID at the polls has ignited a partisan battle, but an overwhelming majority of Minnesotans support the idea….Eighty percent of respondents said they favor a photo ID requirement….Democrats have almost universally opposed it, arguing that it will prevent members of some groups from voting.

By a 47% to 19% margin, Americans say they would want their member of Congress to vote against raising the U.S. debt ceiling.. Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling by 70% to 8% and independents by 46% to 15%. Democrats FAVORr raising the ceiling by 33% to 26%.

Increasingly, it seems that the American flag is joining toy guns and dodgeball on the banned-from-school list. The latest story on this front involves The Butterfield Elementary in Orange, Massachusetts, where a teacher told an 11-year-old boy that he may not hang his depiction of Old Glory because it might “offend” another student.

High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach CA is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city’s full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits.

Great moments in socialized medicine: the number of people in England who are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks for medical treatment has risen by 26% in the last year, while the number who had to wait longer than six months has shot up by 43%.

Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies -- if homosexual marriage is legal in the state where the unions are to be performed.

A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich. And there's nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.



Lauri Regan 5/13

Yes Mr. President, I Do Want Alligators in My Moat

In yet another one of Obama's highly touted campaign speeches (are there any other type?), the President once again chose to use derisive rhetoric to whip up the masses against those horrible Republicans. Obama attempted to put the GOP on the defensive by suggesting that Republicans not only want the country surrounded by a moat to prevent evil immigrants from entering, but that in order to ensure success, they would fill the moat with alligators…The country is in economic turmoil and is being threatened by terrorists who originate in the Middle East and Northern Africa but who are crossing our borders undetected, and our president wants to lead from behind so that he can campaign (and bash Republicans) from in front.

Well Mr. President, I am proud to say that I do want alligators in a moat that protects our country. And I hope to God that you have one or more decision-makers in your administration that understand that it will take a lot more than killing Osama bin Laden and occasional drone strikes in Afghanistan to protect the citizens who hired you for that job. For while you traverse the country spiking the football and fundraising for the 2012 election, there are way too many terrorists who want to see each and every U.S. citizen dead and who are not taking time out of their planning stages to play golf; party with hateful, racist rappers; and hobnob with the rich and famous at $35,000 a plate dinners.

In addition to the more than $500,000 that Obama spends on speechwriters, he also pays up to $100,000 to an outside public relations firm that he apparently uses for teleprompter lessons, "speech preparation training," "speech writing services," and "speech coaching services." Obama likely feels as if each of the meaningless metaphors that his speechwriters develop is worth the price we pay, but I am getting sick and tired of his kitschy, fighting rhetoric designed to pit citizen against citizen…..before joking about border security, perhaps Mr. Obama should visit the U.S. towns in the southwest that are on the front lines of dealing with the issue of illegal immigration and Mexican drug cartels. For Barack Obama cares more about picking up the votes of the millions of illegal immigrants and the American Hispanic community than he does about helping U.S. citizens in need of protection from dangerous criminals.

Of particular concern to our country's national security, however, is the growing presence of Hezbollah just south of our Mexican border. Does the President need a refresher course in the terrorist tactics of Hezbollah, "recognized by many experts as the 'A' team of Muslim terrorist organizations," according to a U.S. intelligence expert? According to this agent, "[w]e are looking at 15 or 20 years that Hezbollah has been setting up shop in Mexico...I consider Hezb'allah much more dangerous in that sense because of strategic thinking; they think more long-term." Hezbollah's long-term plans include their continued partnership with the drug cartels involving the exchange of Hezbollah expertise for cash and protection. So while Hezbollah trains Mexican drug lords in the arts of firearms and explosives and sophisticated tunnel development, President Obama believes that extensive plans to secure the southern border are just an irresistible opportunity to slap the GOP that takes the issue quite seriously.

If building a moat and filling it with alligators is what it takes to protect the American people, my children, family, neighbors, and friends, then I expect our elected leaders to do just that. What I do not expect the President of the United States to do is laugh it up at his adversaries' expense in order to gain political momentum in the face of falling poll numbers. American values, freedoms, and lives are on the line daily and I am sick of this administration calling me racist, Islamaphobic, conservative, evil, or whatever label the next hired gun comes up with to describe U.S. citizens who recognize that the country is at war and secure borders are no laughing matter. I want a President who will not demean me, his fellow citizens, the other elected officials chosen to lead at the State and Federal level, and those who disagree with him. That is beneath the office of the President and it shows contempt for the very people who elected him.

So as Obama announces yet another outreach to the world's Muslims, I await my disgust at listening to him offer carrots to a people who feel nothing but disdain for America and its President. And I have no expectation that he will call a spade a spade and denounce Islamic jihadists. I fully expect to hear Obama throw out yet another euphemism to describe the state of the Mideast's turmoil rather than use the absurd phrases "overseas contingency operation" and "man-caused disaster" to describe the war and the terrorist acts committed by members of the population to whom he will be speaking (the majority of whom either support such acts or remain silent in their face).…..we are being led from behind by a man who makes jokes about our national security. Will it take terrorist attacks in southern U.S. towns before this administration stops campaigning, stops making jokes, and takes their job seriously? From a President who labels the rapper Common as a "socially conscious" poet; who befriended terrorist Bill Ayers and anti-Semites Rashid Khalidi and Reverend Wright; and whose administration labels the Muslim Brotherhood and Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad as moderate, we can only hope that in 2012, the American people build a moat around the White House, fill it with hungry Republicans, and hang signs that say Obamas Keep Out.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



"One of the shameful hallmarks of a dictatorship is the restriction of movement -- telling citizens or groups they cannot travel or relocate freely. We are now witnessing a shocking example of that dictatorial practice at the hands of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is insisting that a major U.S. employer may not move some of its operations from one state to another because to do so might somehow violate workers' rights. The case in point involves famed aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, which is building a second assembly line for its new 787 jetliners in South Carolina. That's a no-no, says the NLRB. ... The NLRB has filed a complaint against Boeing, a firm headquartered in Chicago, for daring to choose where they may locate one of their plants. In this case, Boeing is being told it cannot make the move on the specious grounds that the move constitutes an unfair labor practice. The unfair labor practice? South Carolina has a state right-to-work law, which ensures employees the right to either join a union or not to join a union as they see fit. Imagine that, a law that allows a worker to choose whether or not to join a union! ... When a federal agency takes it into its grubby hands to dictate where a firm may locate some of its facilities America stands at the dividing line between freedom and tyranny."

-Michael Reagan

"When you look at other countries and the history of the world in general, we are all just amazingly, unbelievably wealthy in this country. We have technology and opportunities that are insane; we can't even comprehend how well off we are compared to people who used to have to live in huts and fight for every meal. When you look at it objectively, every one of us in this country is a billionaire. And what did we do to earn all this incredible wealth? For most of us, the answer is: absolutely nothing. We were just born with it. So we take it for granted. And we demand even more. There is another type of rich person, though -- the working rich. The people who create. These are the people who made all the benefits we enjoy in society today. Thanks to their creativity and initiative, we have all the technological marvels we enjoy today. Because of their hard work, we have all these companies that give us cushy 9-to-5 jobs where we earn sums of money most of the world couldn't even imagine possessing. And are we thankful? Do we say, 'Thank you, rich people, for making all these things so we can benefit from them. I can't even believe how simple and easy my life is because of you'? No, we demand more from them, because we're the idle rich, and we think the working rich owe us everything."

-Frank J. Fleming



Harry Reid: ‘The Founding Fathers Would Support Telling Boeing Where They Can Build Factories’

Why Is George Soros Spending Over $48 Million Funding Media Organizations? “… it was again proof that a strategy of funding journalism was a powerful way to influence the American public.”

Venezuelan police found the murdered body of a newspaper columnist and opposition political activist dumped on wasteland.

Dennis Prager: “How Leftism Poisoned a Psychiatrist’s Mind……In the course of my lifetime, I have surely read many thousands of columns. And since I read those with which I differ as often as I do those with which I agree, many have annoyed, some even angered, me. But I do not recall reading a column that I considered as reprehensible as Professor Klitzman’s. What other word can describe a brother using the killing of his sister’s murderer to badmouth America and hold it ultimately responsible for her death?.....Asking what America did to elicit the hatred of Muslim terrorists is morally equivalent to asking what Jews did to arouse Nazi hatred, what blacks did to cause whites to lynch them, what Ukrainians did to arouse Stalin’s hatred, or what Tibetans did to incite China’s harshly repressive treatment of them.”



“The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threatby Erick Stakelbeck. Michelle Malkin says “You are holding in your hands the unvarnished, invaluable reporting that the rest of the “mainstream media” can’t or won’t do. My friend Erick has traveled the world to interview terrorists who are plotting the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate—and who have succeeded in Islamicizing large swaths of Europe. He has investigated fifth column organizations on our soil that pledge allegiance not to our Republic, but to sharia law. In The Terrorist Next Door, he also blows the whistle on how the same reckless, open-borders policies I exposed in Invasion nine years ago continue to aid and abet jihadi-sympathizers from Somalia and elsewhere.”

“The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War” by Phillip Jennings. Jennings shatters culturally-accepted myths and busts politically incorrect lies that liberal pundits and leftist professors have been telling you for years. The Vietnam War was the most important—and successful—campaign to defeat Communism. Without the sacrifices made and the courage displayed by our military, the world might be a different place. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War reveals the truth about the battles, players, and policies of one of the most controversial wars in U.S. history.

Dick Cheney has finished his memoir, according to his daughter, and the book is scheduled to come out on Aug. 30. Liz Cheney said the book, currently being edited, will be “very straightforward,” with “a lot of in-depth analysis of really critically important issues.” Cheney’s memoir, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,” is being published by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster run by Republican strategist and former Cheney aide Mary Matalin.



For his criticism of math education in Washington State, Prof. Cliff Mass has been fired at KUOW. This is his side of the story and if it gets your goat, contact the emails at the end.



Mitt Romney has all the trappings of a GOP presidential front-runner except for one important thing: enthusiasm from party activists.

What a difference a debate makes. Businessman Herman Cain is the big winner in the latest Daily Caller/ConservativeHome presidential primary tracking poll, surging forward to become a top contender, despite generally being considered an underdog.

Jack Kemp once described Cain as having 'the voice of Othello, the looks of a football player, the English of Oxfordian quality and the courage of a lion'.

“Former House speaker Newt Gingrich threw his hat into the presidential ring on Wednesday. Republicans should toss it back onto Gingrich’s head and ask him to kindly go away. He is the wrong man to lead the GOP to victory in November 2012.”

Top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected if stronger GOP contenders do not emerge, and some are virtually begging Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to add some excitement to the slow-starting nomination race.

Why, after all this, does President Obama enjoy an approval rating near 50%? How can people even think of voting for him over the Republican nominee in 2012? Well wonder no more. The economy. The Great Recession, which began in 2007, ended in June 2009, just five months after Obama was sworn into office. Since June 2009, real Gross Domestic Product has grown in every quarter, at an average annual rate of 2.8%. In the preceding eight years, from 2000 to 2008 (4th quarter to 4th quarter), average growth was only 1.7% per year.

You can expect the revived talk of a Rick Perry for president campaign to shift into hyperdrive now that Rush Limbaugh is declaring the Texas governor the best hope Republicans have to bring life to a lackluster presidential field. Limbaugh, on Wednesday's show, declares the staunchly anti-Washington Perry has the mix of message and personality and appearance to drive Democrats "nuts" and dispel America of the notion that President Barack Obama is unbeatable in wake of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor have studied the effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the purported stimulus bill) with great rigor. Earlier this week, they reported their findings in a paper titled "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Public Sector Jobs Saved, Private Sector Jobs Forestalled." The paper is dense and rather lengthy, and requires considerable study. Here, however, is the bottom line: “Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs.”



Tell ‘em what you think…..

Rare color photos from the depression era:

If anyone is curious what I was busy with last week, this is my other civic engagement:



Leno: President Obama’s approval rating, which got a bump after killing bin Laden, has slipped again. Which is really bad news — not for the president, for Moammar Gadhafi…….Scientists say they have found the "master switch" that controls obesity. It's called the refrigerator light…….To save money, Washington State has canceled next year’s presidential primaries. If we could just get the other 49 states to do this, the candidates wouldn’t have anywhere to campaign and we would have the best election year ever……..Mitt Romney is having major trouble with endorsements. He keeps getting endorsed by President Obama. They have the same healthcare plan……..There’s talk in Hollywood about doing another “Mad Max” movie, where gas is so expensive that people steal and kill to get it. It takes place sometime in the future — like July.



"Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules."

-Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, May 7, 2011

op ed review 5/8

Note: No OER next week, I’ll be very busy out of town. -gary


Osama Bin Laden was killed not by a drone strike, but up close during a firefight with U.S. troops. He was not living in a cave when he died, but in a million-dollar mansion with seven-foot walls just 40 miles from the Pakistani capital, where U.S. forces killed him Sunday. The U.S. had been monitoring the compound in Abbottabad for months...

President Obama took SIXTEEN HOURS to make up his mind about the Bin Laden mission.

“The president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think - and disappeared out of the room. 'I'm not going to tell you what my decision is now - I'm going to go back and think about it some more,' said Obama.

Did Osama’s burial at sea “in strict conformance to Islamic requirements” include the traditional prayer for pardon and paradise, and the curse of Jews and Christians?

Editorial: It can be awkward when a dove tries to pass himself off as a war hero. From the tone of President Obama’s speech Sunday night, it’d be easy to conclude he was the one who came up with the idea that America should hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden.

After giving credit to President Obama for the successful strike, Barbara Walters giddily announced, "I would hate now to be a Republican candidate thinking of running." Liberal comedienne Joy Behar crowed, "… they should just skip the next election."

Why Bin Laden's Death May Benefit the Republicans in 2012

The debate over the use of harsh interrogation techniques during the Bush administration is being rekindled by the successful operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, which was based on information about the courier extracted from detained terror suspects.

A new Rasmussen poll shows Chris Christie and Paul Ryan running first and second, respectively, among potential Republican presidential candidates. This is one of the first national surveys to include Ryan and Christie in its list of prospective candidates. Michele Bachmann also fares well in the poll, and Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney relatively so, but the poll does not provide much good news for Tim Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels.

A poll by Quinnipiac University shows a majority of the American people would never vote for two potential Republican presidential candidates --former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and businessman Donald Trump --but they remain much more open to other GOP hopefuls, including former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Canada's Conservatives stormed to a decisive victory in Monday's federal election, winning 54 percent of the seats in Parliament and securing a stable four-year term in power after vowing to focus on the economy.

A political battle is brewing over the Obama administration's National Labor Relations Board for its "attack" on right-to-work states. On Wednesday, 19 Republican senators wrote to President Obama, warning him that they will "vigorously oppose" two of his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board -- if Obama doesn't withdraw their names.

One in 7 Americans is now on food stamps.

The Obama administration has floated a plan that would tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

In an op-ed in Roll Call, Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) explains why gas is $4/gallon and why the Obama administration intends to do nothing about it.

“Guantanamo detainees succeeded in convincing prison officials to no longer raise the American flag anywhere they could see it. Each morning on every U.S. military base around the world, the American flag is raised to a bugle. But in the interests of not offending the detainees, it was stopped at Guantanamo….”

Hezbollah may be working to establish a home base across the border in Mexico. A former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News, “They are recognized by many experts as the ‘A’ team of Muslim terrorist organizations,”

And Hamas on Monday deplored the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces, "We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior.”

There’s bad news for Washington Democrats in a new KING5/SurveyUSA poll. Attorney General Rob McKenna, a likely GOP candidate for governor next year, is running ahead of potential Democratic rival Rep. Jay Inslee as well as Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich is rumored to be interested in moving out of Ohio to seek re-election to Congress from Washington State’s new 10th district. ??



Wes Pruden 5/6/11

“Can’t anybody here play this game?”

The president, revealing himself to be Barack Obungle, has done what nobody else could have done, not even the spectacularly hapless original New York Mets, who drove Casey Stengel to his famous cry of terminal frustration.

The White House converted a picture-perfect military operation into a public-relations disaster that will be cited as what not to do and how not to do it in flackery textbooks for a hundred years. Days after the raid on Osama bin Laden’s “mansion” they still can’t get the “fact pattern,” in the language of the White House, even close to straight.

Even that ubiquitous photograph of the president, the secretary of state and assorted minions bravely watching the operation in “real time” looks now to have been a “photo-op” taken after the fact. This is the scene that the goofy John Brennan, the president’s anti-terrorism chief, described as one of unbearable tension endured heroically by the magnificent minions. Hillary seemed to be clutching her throat, choking back terror as she watched the raid unfold, but now Leon Panetta, the chief of the CIA, reveals that 24 minutes of the 40-minute video were “blacked out” by some kind of electronic malfunction. Maybe she was only wishing she had ordered pepperoni with extra cheese when the president sent out for pizza.

What a roller coaster ride: Osama bin Laden engaged the SEALs in a firefight. Well, no, actually, it turns out he didn’t. But he did seize a woman, probably one of his wives, to use as a human shield. Uh, well, actually he didn’t do that, either. But he was armed, we know that for sure. Ummm, no, not really. OK, but we’re positive that woman was killed. Uh, not exactly. But we definitely, positively, absolutely know that Osama is dead. We have the photographs to prove it and the public can see them. Er, no, not quite. The president has them but you can’t see them. Everybody will just have to take his word for it.

That won’t happen, either. There was a time when everybody took a president’s word for everything. But nobody trusts the government on anything anymore. Lies have withered public patience. Too bad, Mr. President, but you’ll have to show us the death certificate. No reasonable man can doubt that Osama is dead, dead, dead, but we’re talking now about the Middle East.

You might think the president would have rehearsed his minions in a story, even if concocted, so everybody would tell it like it is. The White House finally shut up with the explanation that “the fact pattern” is still being evaluated. It’s only now dawning on the president that he has done everything possible to guarantee an enduring worldwide harangue over whether Osama is in fact dead, how he was killed, whether dumping the body in the sea was wise, whether how he died violated the decencies of international custom, and whether burial traditions of Shariah law were followed before Osama became the ultimate fish dinner.

Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and one of the most distinguished criminal lawyers in the land, says “burying his body at sea constituted the willful destruction of evidence.” The doubts that will be contrived by Muslim red-hots would have been prevented if Osama’s body had been subjected to the usual forensic testing, extensive examination of entrance and exit wounds, and paraffin testing for gunpowder residue. “Dead bodies,” he writes in an essay in the Wall Street Journal, “often talk more loudly, clearly and unambiguously than live witnesses.” He notes that when a Muslim or a Jew is murdered in the United States “religious considerations do not trump civil circumstances.”

But the real offense of the Washington wimpery is pushing a weakling’s canard against the military, asserting that the photograph can’t be shown because it would make Muslim terrorists cross at us. But surely the Army and the Navy can take care of themselves; soldiers, sailors and Marines aren’t Campfire Girls. Can anyone imagine FDR and his generals canceling D-Day because an invasion might infuriate the Germans? Or that a Muslim terrorist will now salute an American soldier in Afghanistan and put down his rifle and grenade launcher, telling him “we really appreciate your president’s keeping that ugly photograph to himself.”

Americans come from Mars, so the witticism goes, and Europeans are from Venus. But that doesn’t include this president and his bungling minions. They’re weepy refugees from Pluto.



"Who truly reviles America the hegemon? The world that Obama lived in and shaped him intellectually: the elite universities; his Hyde Park milieu (including his not-to-be-mentioned friends, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn); the church he attended for two decades, ringing with sermons more virulently anti-American than anything heard in today's full-throated uprising of the Arab Street. It is the liberal elites who revile the American colossus and devoutly wish to see it cut down to size. Leading from behind -- diminishing America's global standing and assertiveness -- is a reaction to their view of America, not the world's. Other presidents take anti-Americanism as a given, rather than evidence of American malignancy, believing -- as do most Americans -- in the rightness of our cause and the nobility of our intentions. Obama thinks anti-Americanism is a verdict on America's fitness for leadership. I would suggest that 'leading from behind' is a verdict on Obama's fitness for leadership. Leading from behind is not leading. It is abdicating. It is also an oxymoron. Yet a sympathetic journalist, channeling an Obama adviser, elevates it to a doctrine. The president is no doubt flattered. The rest of us are merely stunned."

-Charles Krauthammer

"We are living in strange times indeed when it's not laughable to suggest that President Obama will be difficult to beat in 2012. Well, I'm not buying it, even considering any positive (but inevitably temporary) surge Obama may receive with Osama bin Laden's death. ... Provided Republicans don't forget they're in a fight for the survival of the nation and don't allow their stark policy differences with Obama to be diluted by failing to aggressively articulate their positions, 2012 will be the GOP's presidential election to lose."

-David Limbaugh

"The government that tracked bin Laden to a compound in distant Pakistan and took him out with an incredibly talented, trained and brave team of SEALs could surely secure our border, too. The difference is our political leaders took their constitutional duty to protect our country seriously when it came to finding bin Laden over there. They do not take it seriously when it comes to protecting our borders here."

-Terence Jeffrey

Here’s what Jeffrey means: “Border Patrol Officer Jesus Diaz was prosecuted and convicted of one count of excessive force and 5 counts of lying to Internal Affairs. The excessive force? He allegedly pulled on the handcuffs of his illegal alien drug smuggling prisoner (putting a strain in his shoulders)! He faces up to 35 years in prison and is currently being held in solitary confinement 23 hours per day.”



Why, that looks like a soviet flag being waved at a May Day rally in Louisville KY. “Elsewhere in the United States, AFL-CIO heavy Richard Trumka, began his remarks with: “Brothers and Sisters, May Day is our day!””

"They killed him not because there was a fire fight or something going on. They went there with the intention to kill him. That's an execution or an assassination, whatever you want to call it," Michael Moore told CNN.

This devastating then-and-now comparison from Nancy Pelosi, underscores the degree to which partisanship can ravage people’s fair-mindedness and, in the process, make them look like fools and hacks. Such things aren’t uncommon in politics—but what is rare is to see such intellectual dishonesty proven so conclusively.

For the Washington Post's Petula Dvorak the sight of American college kids celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden outside of the White House gates, on Sunday night, was "almost vulgar….my first reaction was a cringe."

The Huffington Post is quite "pro-choice" in orientation -- including Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on its blogger list. But on Monday, they published psychologist Pamela Gerloff insisting on treating each life with dignity -- when that life was Osama bin Laden's. Celebrating his demise is neither "appropriate, nor advisable," says this Obama voter: "Celebrating" the killing of any member of our species--for example, by chanting USA! USA! and singing The Star Spangled Banner outside the White House or jubilantly demonstrating in the streets--is a violation of human dignity….”



Power struggle in Iran: Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking spirits.

Sweden's Social Democrats argued on Monday for a review of Sweden's public holidays, arguing that the country's Muslim community should also be recognised. “Almost all of our public holidays…have a Christian religious connection. Sweden is today a multicultural society, and it is worth looking at how it can be done,"



How’s that global warming working out for you? The National Weather Service in Seattle said this April's average high temperature was the coldest since records began in the city.

The current high gas prices are part of a plan to get you out of your car. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, said in 2008, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."



PJ ORourke: “..lets tax government spending! The wildly ambitious career of President Obama shows that power is more valuable than money. Taxes, by their nature, are levied on things of value. If we want to close the budget gap, we should let the millionaires and billionaires have their tax breaks. Their private property fortunes are comparatively worthless. It’s that treasure beyond the dreams of avarice, public political power, which needs an excise. It’s easy to do. Like everything, power has a price. And the price is right there in the federal budget—$3.8 trillion in government spending for 2011. Tax it. The old “Bush tax cut” rate will suffice, 35 percent on high earners, or, in this case, 35 percent on high powers. What President Obama said about millionaires and billionaires will certainly hold true for congressmen, senators, and himself. “They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them.” Thirty-five percent of $3.8 trillion is $1.3 trillion. That’s most of the deficit eliminated through one small alteration in the tax code. And there’s a further benefit to our nation. Now that all three branches of government and every federal agency, department, and bureau owe back taxes, the IRS can go audit itself.”

“While it took a little while for the Republican candidates attending tonight’s debate to get going, the sheer diversity on the panel guaranteed some spirited answers, paramount among them Rep. Ron Paul’s steadfast adherence to civil liberties, which somehow concluded with him supporting legalization of heroin to raucous applause– highlighting the thick tension between conservatives and libertarians on the GOP.”

“…in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney’s health care reforms were nearly identical to President Obama’s. Romney’s reforms increased the demand for health care but did nothing to expand the supply of physicians. In fact, by cracking down on insurance premiums, Massachusetts pushed insurers to reduce their payments to providers, making it less worthwhile for doctors to expand their practices. As a result, the average wait to get an appointment with a doctor in Massachusetts grew from 33 days to over 55 days.”

Pity the pharmaceutical industry. It cut deals with the White House on the new health care law, and now its Democratic "friends" want to litigate the industry out of the country. The real losers are American consumers, because almost everyone gets sick and needs drugs.



Top ten problems for liberals on OBL’s death:



Leno: The good news: Osama bin Laden is dead. The bad news: there is no bad news…Saddam Hussein is dead, and Osama bin Laden is dead. If you’re Moammar Gadhafi, living in exile is starting to sound really good…….They said bin Laden's wife tried to shield bin Laden with her body. And today Moammar Gadhafi said to his wife, "Hey honey, did you see what bin Laden's wife Susan did? It was pretty cool, don't you think honey?"……In a stunning flip-flop, the White House says it will not release the photo of bin Laden. Now we have to wait for Donald Trump to force them to release it…….They say bin Laden lived in his compound with nine women and 23 children. I’m surprised the guy didn’t shoot himself in the head……At the royal wedding, Kate Middleton wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton and Prince William wore something from the Sgt. Pepper collection……..For their honeymoon, the royal couple wants to go somewhere they can have complete privacy and no one in the country will give away their location. I think they’re going to Pakistan.



"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."

-G. K. Chesterton

"It was self-serving politicians who convinced recent generations of Americans that we could all stand in a circle with our hands in each other's pockets and somehow get rich."

-Paul Harvey (1918-2009)