Saturday, June 30, 2012

op ed review 7/1

The Supreme Court handed President Obama a major political victory on Obamacare Thursday, but the justices also provided Republicans with a sharper campaign issue by defining the law’s individual mandate as a tax. “It will be a short-lived celebration in the White House,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “Obama now goes into the fall campaign defending a law that most Americans think will increase their health care costs, their premiums, their taxes and the deficit. He also has to defend raising taxes on all Americans, which he pledged not to do.”

Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito and Thomas joined together in dissent….“What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power -- upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon the sovereign States,”

With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, the issue now shifts to the elected branches of government and raises this question: Will the intense opposition dissipate or will it lead to a fervent new effort to repeal the liberal health care law? Polls show that opposition to Obamacare has increased since it was passed in 2010.

A new KING 5 poll finds most Washington state residents don’t like the provision in the health care reform bill that would require them to carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

From March 2010 through a poll released this morning, Rasmussen has conducted 98 polls of likely voters. All 98 times, support for repeal of Obamacare  has outpaced opposition to repeal. Across 98 contests, Obamacare has gone 0 and 98.

Limbaugh:  “Obamacare is the Largest Tax Increase in the History of the World”

Conservatives upset by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the 2010 health care law are furiously cutting checks to Mitt Romney's campaign. Less than 12 hours after the high court's ruling, the GOP nominee's spokeswoman Andrea Saul tweeted that the campaign had received more than $3 million in donations in the wake of the decision.

Mitt Romney reacted to the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision by saying that, "if we want to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to replace President Obama."

The House cited Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.  The House voted 255-67 to hold him in criminal contempt. 17 Democrats joined the GOP
But the Department of Justice quickly wrote a letter to House Speaker Boehner informing him that they will not prosecute their boss for withholding documents.

Another U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, is closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy.

The Supreme Court also ruled on four provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law. The results were mixed. The Court struck down three of the four provisions it considered, siding with the Obama administration in a 5-3 vote, but by 8-0 upheld the "heart" of the bill, which is the authority for law enforcement to verify the immigration status of individuals at a traffic stop or under arrest.

Within hours of the Supreme Court's decision on the Arizona immigration law the Obama administration said it would no longer cooperate with Arizona on immigration enforcement and set up a hotline for Hispanics to report “profiling”.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that the Supreme Court decision won’t change day-to-day enforcement efforts, but he called the Obama administration’s plan to ignore calls from Arizona state police “arrogant.”

A federal judge rebuffed the Department of Justice’s attempt to stop Florida from removing people who are not American citizens from its voter registration rolls.

The Pentagon saluted open gays in the ranks, with a civilian lawyer calling on fellow homosexuals to “stretch a little” and become more visible inside the military in the drive for benefits for same-sex couples.

The Obama administration on Friday threatened to veto a defense appropriations bill in part because it does not include higher health care fees for members of the military.

Listing the reasons why Americans should vote for him, President Obama told an audience at a high school in New Hampshire that failure to subsidize abortions and contraception is the same as “restricting access” to those services.

Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna's gubernatorial campaign got a $5,000 boost this month from business executive Jeff Brotman and his wife Susan.  In the past, they have been among the state's most generous benefactors for Democrats.

Larry Brinkin, the gay activist who led the fight to get San Francisco to recognize domestic partnerships, was arrested for child pornography.

Dov Fisher, The American Thinker,  6/27

Chief Justice John Roberts has handed a remarkable victory to American conservatives by threading the judicial needle with perfect precision.  The initial disappointment collectively felt by Americans who had hoped for a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Obamacare soon will be replaced, upon further reflection, by the excitement that will come with a fuller appreciation of what the Chief Justice has wrought.

Almost completely unnoticed, the Chief Justice voted with his four conservative colleagues in drawing an unprecedented red line against Washington wielding the Constitution's Commerce Clause in the future to justify federal intrusion into the personal lives of Americans. This decision will restrict American Presidents and future Congresses for a generation and more.

Until Thursday's decision, for more than 70 years, virtually every leading Supreme Court decision on the reach of the Commerce Clause has sided with federal intrusion.

There is now a formal United States Supreme Court opinion on the books, overdue by nearly a century, holding that the federal government may not wield the Commerce Clause to impose on American citizens the obligation to buy health insurance or anything else we do not want.  An American cannot be compelled by federal mandate to eat or even to buy a proverbial stalk of broccoli. As a kosher consumer, the federal government cannot wield that clause to impose on me an obligation to purchase non-kosher food supplements. The rules guiding lower-court wrestling matches over federal power to invade Americans' private lives now have been reset remarkably by Chief Justice Roberts.  Few today notice what he has done.  Long after many of us are gone, this 5-4 opinion finally setting limits on the reach of the Commerce Clause will continue to affect American lives and protect private citizens from Washington's intrusions.

It is understandable that most Americans, who are not law school graduates, do not think in these terms, nor do most pundits outside the legal community who interpret news.  However, attorneys and certainly law professors get it.  We know what happened on Thursday.  It was subtle and below the radar, like a tsunami beginning in the middle of an ocean, still days away from the shore. Only the trained insiders know what that rumbling will cause in the future.  This was a tsunami, finally giving us our first Supreme Court precedential holding in nearly a century that reins in the federal government's unbridled abuse of the Constitution's Commerce Clause.  And the liberals, excited as they understandably are by the temporary survival of ObamaCare, do not even realize what has happened to a pillar of their enterprise….

The Chief Justice has shifted the spotlight back onto Congress, primarily focusing its glare on the Democrat-run U.S. Senate, only four months before the elections.  Congress has a massive new mess awaiting it, all as voters prepare to vote for a new Congress and for 33 United States Senate seats, 23 now held by Democrats and their two "independent" allies.  House Republicans solidly will vote symbolically to overturn the legislative monstrosity, and they will find endangered House Democrats breaking ranks with their leadership to vote with them.  Senate Democrats facing reelection will be caught in a vise.  Harry Reid will be trying desperately to prevent a vote on ObamaCare repeal from reaching the Senate floor, even as national news coverage focuses on the two national parties' conventions.  Obama's staff may be renting Greek or Roman columns, but the Republicans will be toppling the pillars of the failed Obama Presidency.  This is going to be OK, even fun.  Just wait and see.  The Chief Justice done us good.

Edited from a longer article, read it here:

A different opinion:
“Conservatives who are trying to salvage a little “hope and change” from Chief Justice John Roberts’s disastrous ruling in the Obamacare case yesterday argue that the limits the Court placed on the Commerce Clause and the power of the federal government vis à vis the states are victories for conservatives in the long run. But in this case, the short run is the long run: Obamacare will change our society forever--and not for the better.”

“Well, it could have been worse. Much, much worse. A quick overview of the good news in the decision after some quick skimming: The mandate is upheld as a tax, using the coercive — but not unlimited — power that Congress has always possessed. This is a distinction with a very big difference. Had Obamacare been upheld under the Commerce Clause, then our Constitution would have been a dead letter without limits on congressional power. We still have our Constitution.”
                   -Michael Barton

“Mitt Romney set the order of battle with the eloquence of simplicity: “What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day, if elected president of the United States.” His promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare is abundantly clear, and as unequivocal as if he had invited one and all to “read my lips.” The pith and pulp of the promise – “repeal and replace” – should be the mantra of the Republicans this year. It’s a word shorter and just as persuasive as Bill Clinton’s famous reminder that “it’s the economy, stupid.”…The Supreme Court gave Barack Obama his law and his “legacy,” such as it may be, but they gave Mitt Romney and the Republicans a cause beyond price. Running against the tax collector and the biggest tax increase in history should be so easy even a cave man could do it.”
                   -Wes Pruden

“There were two battles being fought in the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts—and Justice Anthony Kennedy—delivered victory to the right in the one that mattered.…Roberts' genius was in pushing this health care decision through without attaching it to the coattails of an ugly, narrow partisan victory. Obama wins on policy, this time. And Roberts rewrites Congress' power to regulate, opening the door for countless future challenges. In the long term, supporters of curtailing the federal government should be glad to have made that trade.”
                    -Tom Scocca

“Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is saying: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you.”
                  -Charles Krauthammer

Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time - and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all.

Photographs were circulating last week showing gay-rights activists, guests of President Obama, making obscene gestures at the portrait of President Reagan during a gay-pride reception at the White House last week. One of the two activists involved is national director of public engagement at Solutions for Progress – funded in part by George Soros.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had the following initial reaction to the [Obamacare] decision: “This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law. This is a dark day for American liberty….”

George Will:  “By persuading the court to reject a Commerce Clause rationale for a president’s signature act, the conservative legal insurgency against Obamacare has won a huge victory for the long haul……When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), asked where the Constitution authorized the mandate, exclaimed, “Are you serious? Are you serious?,” she was utterly ingenuous. People steeped in Congress’s culture of unbridled power find it incomprehensible that the Framers fashioned the Constitution as a bridle. Now, Thursday’s episode in the continuing debate about the mandate will reverberate to conservatism’s advantage…”

Conservative talker Mark Levin, attacked conservative columnist George Will for calling the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling “a substantial victory.” Levin called the article “the dumbest George Will article…..that I have ever read”

“OK, it’s hard to admit but my initial reaction to this morning’s Obamacare decision…was embarrassingly hasty. After reading and stewing about it all day, I’ve concluded that what Roberts has done is fundamentally shift the constitutional debate away from the liberal assumption since the Woodrow Wilson era that an Imperial Presidency and supine Congress can pretty much do as they please so long as it’s covered by at least one of those fig leaves known as the General Welfare, Necessary and Proper or Commerce clauses of the Constitution…”

“Justice Roberts's opinion provides a constitutional road map for architects of the next great expansion of the welfare state. Congress may not be able to directly force us to buy electric cars, eat organic kale, or replace oil heaters with solar panels. But if it enforces the mandates with a financial penalty then suddenly, thanks to Justice Roberts's tortured reasoning in Sebelius, the mandate is transformed into a constitutional exercise of Congress's power to tax.”

"The incredible irony here is that in upholding Obamacare, Roberts et. al. have formally also declared Obama to be a monumental liar…..And in the most bizarre twist of them all, they upheld the lie by declaring this to be a tax…Conservatives -- Republicans -- can now campaign on the line of attack that a) this is the greatest expansion of power in history; b) this is the greatest tax increase in history; and c) this is the greatest presidential deception in history.  From now til Election Day the GOP should simply run clips of Obama insisting this wasn't a tax."

In response to the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama's health care law, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, announced plans on Friday to spend $9 million on a campaign against the law.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare, the principal choice now facing Americans on November 6 will be whether to keep Obamacare or to repeal it. The question is a binary one, and the answer — expressed almost entirely through their presidential vote — will go a long way toward determining the future course of this great nation. Yes, the economy is extremely important; and, yes, Obamacare is hurting the economy. But the reason why this election is the most important since the Civil War is…..because we are about to decide whether to put what will soon be one-fifth of our economy under the control of the federal government; whether to funnel previously unthinkable amounts of power and money to Washington; and whether this nation conceived in liberty will continue to prioritize liberty.

Apparently tiring of US soil as a source of campaign dollars, the Obama campaign is headed overseas -- with its celebrity friends in tow. The European Obama campaign starts next week in Paris on July 4 with a reception organized by various fundraising heavy-hitters.  George Clooney will headline a fundraiser in Geneva, with 150 tickets going for $20,000 per piece.

List of Democrats Skipping the Party’s National Convention Continues to Grow

The day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of ObamaCare, a friend called me. He's an extremely dedicated, much-loved surgeon, and he was frustrated and livid in equal measure. "I've actually had a lot of experience working in all different types of environments," he began. "I've worked in a government-run socialized medical care system, and I saw the waste and inefficiency. The longer people worked in that system, the less work they wanted to do, because the more you wanted to do, the more they dumped on you. So after a while you stop doing it, because they're not paying you to do more. Why should you do a difficult case, a difficult surgery that will take you hours and hours to do?.....after a while, you just run out of energy, because there's no incentive. You'd have to be a superhuman being to continue to work in that system and not be worn down by it……Because nobody wanted to work, it would take an hour to turn over the surgical room. In my private practice now, it takes ten minutes….And I saw tremendous waste: closets of stuff that never got used. Nobody cared…”

Former MSNBC TV Producer says: ‘I’m Done’ denying Liberal Bias.  “I’m tired. Truly. I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable……You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you….”

The government is not making much headway reducing poverty despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars…“[S]ince President Obama took office, federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent….Federal welfare spending this year now totals $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains stubbornly high at nearly 15 percent – roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty. “The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable – giving poor people more food, better shelter, health care, and so forth – rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”

What it takes to be a member of the Marine Corps band.

Interesting photo.

Leno:  According to a poll by National Geographic, 65 percent of Americans said President Obama would better handle an invasion by space aliens than Mitt Romney. Well sure, once the aliens landed they'd see there's no jobs and they'd go home…… While talking about the economy, Joe Biden said it's a depression for millions of Americans. He used the word "depression" to describe the economy. I don't know if Mitt Romney has picked a running mate yet, but Joe Biden sounds like he'd be perfect … Gas prices are expected to drop to around $3 a gallon by this fall. The price drop is the result of a complicated system. It's called the election. ……..Analysts say the weak economy is causing less energy use, resulting in falling oil prices. So basically the worse the economy is, the lower the price of oil. Do you know what that means? If Obama gets re-elected, gas could be free.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
       -Ronald Reagan


Sunday, June 24, 2012

op ed review 6/24

The latest tracking polls from Gallup and Rasmussen show Governor Mitt Romney, respectively, one and four points up over President Barack Obama. This is news that is almost too good to be true. Is this a trick or what?  Citing Ronald Reagan's 15 point deficit in his 1980 race against President Jimmy Carter, Haley Barbour mused: "A lot of us anticipated that while Romney wouldn't be behind 15 points, he would start off behind."

In a move showing how politically toxic President Barack Obama has become for some Democrats, it was announced Monday that three prominent Democrats in West Virginia will not attend the Democratic National Convention in September.

The New York Times notices a problem:   “After Obama's G20 Press Conference: 'He Doesn't Seem In Command'”

The House committee investigating Fast and Furious has received more than 7,600 documents from the Justice Department, but Republican lawmakers say none addresses who approved the gunrunning probe, who failed to stop it before a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and why department officials initially lied to Congress about it.
The National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,000 of the agency’s nonsupervisory agents, called for the resignation of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for his role in the botched “Fast and Furious”.

Catholics across the country will amplify what is an already loud outcry over the federal government's so-called contraception mandate. With rallies, marches, lectures and special publications, the U.S. Catholic Bishop's Fortnight for Freedom campaign will seek to galvanize formal Catholic opposition to a rule announced in January by President Barack Obama's administration that says religiously affiliated institutions, such as universities and hospitals, must soon include free birth control coverage in their employee health insurance.

The Obama administration is using prison labor to advance its green energy agenda, enriching foreign companies and some of the president’s largest campaign donors in the process.

Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise. Last week, the FBI announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011.

President Obama has ordered a change in policy via executive edict that could allow as many as 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally not only to remain in the country without fear of being deported, but to work legally.
Seven hours after President Obama announced that some illegal aliens would be allowed to stay in the United States and could be allowed to work here, Obama’s hispanic national campaign director e-mailed a fundraising letter seeking donations to his re-election effort. The e-mail with the subject line “wonderful news,” contains links to the website, where visitors can listen to Obama’s speech on immigration.

When Tim Morris got his mail last week he found a pretty big surprise, a document asking his dog Mozart to register to vote. Not only is Mozart a dog but he's been dead for two years. What amazed Morris is that if Mozart was human he would have been eligible to vote for the first time in 2012. "He would have been 19 years old this year and he passed away two years ago," he said. "I still have no earthly idea how they got his information."

Dozens of House lawmakers accused the U.S. Air Force this week of being "hostile towards religion," citing a string of recent incidents they claim show the military is taking separation of church and state too far. "Censorship is not required for compliance with the Constitution," they wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The letter from 66 Republican members of Congress referenced a series of cases where they claim the Air Force "succumbed" to demands from outside groups.

For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation…..”With much of Europe mired in recession, governments struggling to reduce budget deficits and officials trying to combat high unemployment, the ruling is a reminder of just how hard it is to shake up long-established and legally protected labor practices that make it hard to put more people to work and revive sinking economies.”

Thomas Sowell  6/19

President Obama's latest political ploy — granting new "rights" out of thin air, by executive order, to illegal immigrants who claim that they were brought into the country when they were children — is all too typical of his short-run approach to the country's long-run problems. Whatever the merits or demerits of the Obama immigration policy, his executive order is good only as long as he remains president, which may be only a matter of months after this year's election.

People cannot plan their lives on the basis of laws that can suddenly appear, and then suddenly disappear, in less than a year. To come forward today and claim the protection of the Obama executive order is to declare publicly and officially that your parents entered the country illegally. How that may be viewed by some later administration is anybody's guess.

Employers likewise cannot rely on policies that may be here today and gone tomorrow, whether these are temporary tax rates designed to look good at election time or temporary immigration policies that can backfire later if employers get accused of hiring illegal immigrants. Why hire someone, and invest time and money in training them, if you may be forced to fire them before a year has passed?

Kicking the can down the road is one of the favorite exercises in Washington. But neither in the economy nor in their personal lives can people make plans and commitments on the basis of government policies that suddenly appear and suddenly disappear. Like so many other Obama ploys, his immigration ploy is not meant to help the country, but to help Obama. This is all about getting the Hispanic vote this November.

The principle involved — keeping children from being hurt by actions over which they had no control — is one already advanced by Sen. Marco Rubio, who may well end up as Gov. Romney's vice-presidential running mate. The Obama executive order, which suddenly popped up like a rabbit out of a magician's hat, steals some of Rubio's thunder, so it is clever politics. But clever politics is what has gotten this country into so much trouble, not only as regards immigration but also as regards the economy and the dangerous international situation.

When the new, and perhaps short-lived, immigration policy is looked at in terms of how it can be administered, it makes even less sense. While this policy is rationalized in terms of children, those who invoke it are likely to do so as adults. How do you check someone's claim that he was brought into the country illegally when he was a child? If Obama gets re-elected, it is very unlikely that illegal immigrants will really have to prove anything. The administration can simply choose not to enforce that provision, as so many other immigration laws are unenforced in the Obama administration.

If Obama does not get re-elected, then it may not matter anyway, when his executive order can be gone after he is gone. Ultimately, it does not matter what immigration policy this country has, if it cannot control its own borders. Whoever wants to come, and who has the chutzpah, will come. And the fact that they come across the Mexican border does not mean that they are all Mexicans. They can just as easily be terrorists from the Middle East.

Only after the border is controlled can any immigration policy matter be seriously considered, and options weighed through the normal constitutional process of congressional hearings, debate and legislation, rather than by presidential short-cuts. Not only is border control fundamental, what is also fundamental is the principle that immigration policy does not exist to accommodate foreigners but to protect Americans — and the American culture that has made this the world's richest, freest and most powerful nation for more than a century.

No nation can absorb unlimited numbers of people from another culture without jeopardizing its own culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, America could absorb millions of immigrants who came here to become Americans. But the situation is entirely different today, when group separatism, resentment and polarization are being promoted by both the education system and politicians.


“Just when you thought the Left's campaign of cultural degradation couldn't become any worse, Barack Hussein Obama, ostensibly the Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces, sent down a decree that the Service Branches must celebrate "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month." The purpose of this mandate is to affirm the minuscule number of homosexuals (2-3 percent) serving in the military ranks -- mostly in rear echelon positions……Obama's declaration came during the same week the DoD announced it would comply with atheist group demands that all military editions of the Bible be removed from Base Exchange centers..”
                         -Mark Alexander

"By openly affirming bisexual and homosexual behavior, military leadership is coming into direct conflict with the morals and standards held almost universally by chaplains and service members of virtually every major faith group in the military. This blatant attempt to 'celebrate' a minority view of political correctness will not endear military families to the military. I want the American public to see just where the current administration is leading our military. They have turned our Armed Forces into a social experiment at the cost of military readiness."
                        -Col. Ron Crews

"This week, Barack Obama decreed that my Marine Corps would officially 'celebrate Gay Pride Month.' The next step will be to set quotas for homosexuals in the ranks, and to offer marriages and same-sex benefits. I'm preparing for retirement after more than 30 years of service to my country, and more than a few scars to prove it. It grieves me to leave my beloved Corps in such a state, being used as a political crap pot for Obama and his socialist administrators. I have honored my oath. They have deserted theirs. Do citizens give a s--t anymore? Time to wake up. God Bless America! S/F."
                          -anonymous marine

"Give the president credit. He has thrown down the gauntlet and essentially boasted: This is my vision of the way the new America should work -- and if you don't like it, try stopping me in November, if you dare."
                         -Victor Davis Hanson

The Left has seized on our economic troubles as an excuse to “blame the rich guy” and paint a picture of capitalism and the free market as selfish, greedy, and cruel. Democrats in Congress and “Occupy” protesters across the country assert that the free market is not only unforgiving, it’s morally corrupt. According to President Obama and his allies, only by allowing the government to heavily control and regulate business and by redistributing the wealth can we ensure fairness and compassion.   Exactly the opposite is true, says Father Robert A. Sirico in his thought–provoking new book, “Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy”. Father Sirico argues that a free economy actually promotes charity, selflessness, and kindness. He shows why free-market capitalism is not only the best way to ensure individual success and national prosperity but is also the surest route to a moral and socially–just society.

“Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America” by Mark R. Levin.  Hailed by Rush Limbaugh as “the most compelling defense of freedom for our time,” and “the necessary book of the Obama era” by The American Spectator, Mark R. Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny made the most persuasive case for conservatism and against statism in a generation. In this most crucial time, this leading conservative thinker explores the psychology, motivations, and history of the utopian movement, its architects, and its modern-day disciples—and how the individual and American society are being devoured by it.  Levin asks, what is this utopian force that both allures a free people and destroys them?

“Green ‘drivel’ exposed:  The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria.”

Women march in Rio to protest 'green economy'

The University of Minnesota - Duluth (UMD) is now sponsoring an ad-campaign designed to achieve "racial justice" by raising awareness of "white privilege."  The project disseminates its message, that "society was setup for us [whites]" and as such is "unfair," through an aggressive campaign of online videos, billboards, and lectures. The ads feature a number of Caucasians confessing their guilt for the supposed "privilege" that comes along with their fair features.

The Occupy movement is preoccupied. In October, when liberal activists gathered in Washington, they had hopes that the nascent Occupy Wall Street movement would become the left’s answer to the tea party. But this time around — the annual Take Back the American Dream Conference was moved up to June this election year — the Occupy encampments are gone, and participants in the conference were pondering what went wrong.

“Obama Asks People Getting Married To Forgo Gifts, Ask Their Guests To Donate To His Campaign Instead…You can even register your wedding on his campaign website.”  They will accept birthday and anniversary gifts too…”

Malkin:  There aren't Greek columns tall or wide enough to camouflage Barack Obama's impending North Carolina catastrophe. In September, the campaigner-in-chief will travel to Charlotte for his party's presidential nominating convention…Obama's stage managers envision a triumphant, unifying coronation reminiscent of their 2008 DNC production in Denver. But the southern swing state is turning into a Democratic disaster zone.

Finally, an Obama biographer admits what the right side of the blogosphere has known for the last four years, that there was no Obama family, that the president's mother and presumed father never lived together, and that mother and baby "were long gone from Honolulu" within a month of the baby's birth. Unfortunately, no one bothered to check the record while Obama was basing his persona and his candidacy on the myth of this multicultural romance.

Eleanor Clift, writing in The Daily Beast, reports on a focus group of a dozen independent voters. The bottom line? They are souring on Obama – including many of those who voted for him in 2008. To be specific, Democratic pollster Peter Hart gathered a group (sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center) in Denver last week. Nine of the 12 people voted for Obama four years ago. Today, only three lean toward him. Among the findings: (a) independents “aren’t biting” when it comes to the attacks on Mitt Romney on Bain Capital;

“Is it time to start talking about the inevitable demise of the Democratic Party?”

“Is President Obama A Pathological Liar?......Stacked up, his whoppers would make even Bill Clinton blush. Here's a sampling…”

The maddening details of Obama’s DREAM Decree are becoming clearer. 1) The decree doesn’t just apply to illegal immigrants who were “brought to this country by their parents.” It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers. “Through no fault of their own” is a talking point for DREAM proselytizers, not an actual legal requirement. 2) The same goes for the phrase “and know only this country as home.” That’s a highly imaginative riff on the decree’s actual requirement, which is for 5 years “continuous residence.” It turns out “continuous residence” doesn’t mean what you think it means.  Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless,

We all know how the Obama administration likes to portray the auto bailout: A generous infusion of money enabled the government to save General Motors and Chrysler. Jobs that otherwise would have disappeared were rescued by this taxpayer-funded largesse. It was expensive, but we had no choice. The reality is far less uplifting: Administration officials could have ensured that the bailout didn’t cost you and me a dime. All they had to do was require the United Auto Workers to accept standard bankruptcy concessions. Instead, the UAW got special treatment.

European Debt Crisis Explained

Washington Post Fact Checker gives “4 Pinocchios for Obama’s newest anti-Romney ad”

10 things you might not know about guns

What kills us: The Leading Causes Of Death From 1900-2010

Leno:  It was 100 degrees in New York City. It was so hot, Attorney General Eric Holder was selling water guns to Mexican drug gangs… The temperatures are higher than President Obama was in high school…..
In Chicago some anti-Mitt Romney protesters told reporters they're being paid to protest. They said they're being paid by Democrats to stand outside and chant anti-Romney slogans. Well, who says President Obama isn't creating any new jobs?……According to federal reports filed yesterday, the Obama campaign spent more money than they raised in the month of May. They spent more money than they raised? Well, that's called being a Democrat…… Our space probe, Voyager 1, launched back in 1977, is 11 billion miles in space. It's on the verge of leaving our solar system on its mission to find other civilizations to try and borrow money from……President Obama is going to let certain illegal immigrants stay in this country. But there is an age requirement. You have to be old enough to vote by November……President Obama spent about four hours on Father's Day playing golf at a country club in Chicago. It was his 100th round of golf since taking office. He's played more golf than Tiger Woods in the last four years…….Actually, Obama's staff is a little concerned. They're concerned all this golf is cutting into his fund-raising.

"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired."
                      -Alexander Hamilton

Sunday, June 17, 2012

op ed review 6/17

The next time President Obama hits the links, it will be his 100th round of golf since coming to the White House. That’s quite a milestone in just 3 1/2 years. As it takes him about six hours to drive to the greens and complete 18 holes, Mr. Obama has spent the equivalent of four months’ worth of work time golfing. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been stuck in a sand trap.

President Obama’s statement Friday that the private sector is “doing fine” drew so much ridicule that he was forced to backtrack hours later. But it’s clear that Obama and many other Democrats see job problems — and solutions — starting and stopping with government employment. A quick look at payroll stats shows that’s not the case.

Americans’ wealth plummeted 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, according to the Federal Reserve.  That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were back in 1992.

The U.S. government posted a budget deficit of $125 billion in May, more than twice the level registered in the same month last year.

Vice President Biden Says the 'Great' Cities Are in China, Not America.

Two new polls out suggest that the road to reelection is getting tougher for President Obama. In the most significant, Gallup found that union member support for the president is getting weaker.

Democratic loyalists are beginning to panic about President Obama’s re-election prospects, according to this report in the Washington Post.

Romney gains momentum

A prominent conservative lawyer and high-ranking Republican national committeeman, is helping tea partyers influence the official GOP 2012 platform. Bopp, a former vice chairman of the RNC, is among those tasked with writing the platform and is using his expertise to advise FreedomWorks, a well-financed conservative advocacy organization that has taken on the tea party mantle. ...

The Senate Farm Bill should be renamed the Food Stamp bill. A document released by the Congressional Research Service, shows that a staggering 78 percent of the $995 billion of the bill's budget authority over 10 years is dedicated to food stamps and nutrition program spending.

The US Department of Justice announced Monday it will sue Florida to stop the state from purging ineligible voters from its voter rolls.

House Republicans released more documents that expose the collusion between the health-care industry and the White House that produced ObamaCare, and what a story of crony capitalism it is. If the trove of emails proves anything, it's that the Tea Party isn't angry enough.

The New York City Board of Education is defending a principal who banned the song “God Bless the USA” from being performed at a kindergarten graduation ceremony reportedly because “it might offend other cultures.”
Five classes spent months learning the patriotic song, which skyrocketed in popularity after the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was to be the rousing finale of their musical show at the June 20 commencement. The kids, dressed up for their big day, would wave tiny American flags — which, as the lyrics proclaim, “still stand for freedom.” But the principal marched in on a recent rehearsal and ordered a CD playing the anthem to be shut off, staffers said.  She told the teachers to drop the song from the program.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul broke ranks with his father's political army this week and endorsed Mitt Romney as the Republican Party presidential nominee, setting off a firestorm of outrage in the Ron Paul Universe.

Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as — or maybe better than — married mother-father parents. “The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,” University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus said in his study in Social Science Research. “[C]hildren appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day,” he wrote.

Parents in a small Washington State community are infuriated after their 11-year-old children were given graphic descriptions of oral and anal sex during a sex education class led by an elementary school principal.

Lawmakers are working to block an unprecedented power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency to use the Clean Water Act (CWA) and control land alongside ditches, gullies and other ephemeral spots by claiming the sources are part of navigable waterways.  “Never in the history of the CWA has federal regulation defined ditches and other upland features as waterways…”

Your tax dollars at work:  Senate Republicans are demanding to know why President Obama's acting budget director permitted health officials to sign a $20 million public relations contract to promote the glories of Obamacare.


Investor’s Business Daily  6/11

An incoherent press conference and contradictory explanation show that if the president thinks the answer to job-killing federal policies is boosting state and local governments with borrowed money, we're really in trouble.

'Tone deaf" fails to describe President Obama's statement at Friday's press conference that "the private sector is doing fine," when median income is down 10% in three years, family net worth has plunged 39%, 23 million Americans are out of work and the official unemployment rate tops 8% for the 40th month in a row, the longest sustained period at that level since the Great Depression. Mitt Romney's charge that the president is "out of touch" might be more accurate, but we would prefer "clueless."

Then came the walk-back at a later press event: "It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That's why I had a press conference," Obama explained to those who were wondering, and as if the two statements did not contradict one another. Cognitive dissonance has been redefined. Lost in the commotion caused by the dueling teleprompters was the president's suggestion that, aside from job-killing ATMs, the economy was in the tank because state and local governments weren't big enough and spending enough.

He opined that the "weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in." In other words, they can't print money. Yet they really don't have to, since state and local revenues have gone up 6% in the past two years. What they have to do is rein in state spending by severing the incestuous relationship between public-sector unions and the government that feeds them at taxpayer expense.

That's what GOP Gov. Scott Walker did in Wisconsin and what voters in San Diego (the nation's eighth largest city) and San Jose (the 10th largest) tried to do when they overwhelmingly approved big cuts to city workers' retirement benefits.

The answer is not to borrow money from China and send it to states that have done their best to become America's Greece.

It's Obama's public-sector political base that's doing just fine. As the Heritage Foundation notes, federal employment has grown nearly 12% since the end of 2007, and while the country suffers from 8.2% unemployment, the jobless rate for government employees is just 4.2%. What Obama proposes now is what the patron saint of cowboy poetry funding, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D—Nev., was pushing in a $35 billion bailout for state and local governments last fall. "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine," Reid argued.

Fact is, America succeeds when the private sector is unburdened by punitive taxes and regulations, when the successful are not demonized and when the public sector is as inconsequential in our lives as possible. It succeeds when the private sector picks winners and losers, and when the winners are allowed to keep and reinvest their profits, and the losers are allowed to fail.

It's no coincidence that the public sector and the unions that support it form a key part of Obama's dwindling political base. The federal Treasury and taxpayers' wallets, however, are not a bottomless campaign slush fund.
The private sector is not fine, Mr. President, largely because the behemoth government you've built and supported has sucked all the economic oxygen out of the room.


"[N]ew federal data show the rate of business startups continues to fall in this recovery. According to the Census Bureau, the startup rate, measured as a share of all firms, has plunged to 7% from 9% in 2008 and from 11% in 2006. The pace, moreover, is almost half the 1980s' peak of 13%. Of all the negative trends tracking this administration, this may be the most disturbing…….Based on a ranking of regulations, it's now easier to start a business in Slovenia, Estonia and Hungary -- three former Iron Curtain countries -- than in America.
                   -Investor’s Business Daily

“They’re leaving us swiftly now, dying at the rate of 800 every day, the last of the 16 million men who put on the khaki to march to the sound of the guns. Not much notice of the day was taken this year. President Obama forgot to say anything about their heroics and sacrifice. Maybe he was too busy, flying off to Hollywood to crack suggestive smutty jokes about Michelle and Ellen DeGeneres, and collecting campaign cash from a party for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Leadership Council. Even Michelle, who has lately been talking a lot about helping military families, was busy raising money in New York City and Philadelphia. Homage to sacrificial courage has gone out of fashion in certain circles. The new World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, a favorite of veterans, their families and everyone else, is derided for its “triumphalism.” One critic likens it to something Mussolini could have built in Rome. Another sneers at the idea of preserving “the memory of something that ripped up half the planet, killed millions of people and took six years to run its course.” Not so long ago a triumph of American arms was something for everyone to celebrate. “America hates losers,” Gen. George S. Patton said in the dreary early days of the war when nothing was going right, “and that’s why we’re going to win this war.” Nothing was more important than triumph, and no triumph was more remarkable or more complete than the triumph of the allies on the five invasion beaches of Normandy.
                   -Wes Pruden

If you're considering reading “Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity” by Michael Coren, you'll be well-suited to consider your personal biases. If you're a conservative and a Christian (and particularly if you're a Catholic), this book will go down like sweet, delicious candy. If you're a liberal and/or an atheist, on the other hand...well, it might feel rather like something else. The point of Heresy is as bitingly straightforward as Coren's writing style: the West is replete with innuendos, fabrications, and outright malicious lies about Christianity and Christians, and it's time to set the record straight.

Hilarious James Delingpole:  An open letter to the Rt Rev Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter, on the subject of his foiled wind farm scheme”

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), “Everybody knows that government creates jobs.”

Joy Behar, Al Gore's new employee at Current TV, said Tuesday "I’d like to see (Ronmey’s) house burn, one of his millions of houses burning down."

The U.S. Military has revoked its approval of a series of military-themed Bibles, reportedly over trademark issues. Now, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is demanding that all remaining versions of the Bibles be removed from base exchanges — calling them a “threat to national security.”

Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a “cascade” of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the “private sector is doing fine.”  Could it get any worse?  Early Monday morning, Obama learned that it could. His aides delivered the news to him that his commerce secretary had been cited for a felony hit-and-run after allegedly crashing his car three times over the weekend. In one incident, the previously obscure Cabinet officer apparently rear-ended a Buick, spoke to the car’s occupants, then hit the vehicle again as he left.

President Obama is rapidly losing support among African-American voters in North Carolina, a new poll out today from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows.

Why Obama's coalition is unraveling:   In 2008, Barack Obama won by assembling what has been called an “Upstairs Downstairs” coalition. Wealthy whites and lower-income minority voters brought Obama first across the finish line. Four years later, Obama’s 2008 coalition does not appear to be holding. The question is whether it will implode by Election Day.

“Suddenly, Many Ways For Romney to Reach 270 Electoral Votes”

Nearly four years after enthusiastic younger voters poured into polling booths to help push Barack Obama over the finish line and into the Oval Office, their hope has turned to fear and pollster John Zogby says that they are ready to give up on politics.

Panic is setting in among the people who ran the Democratic Party prior to the miraculous arrival on the scene of Barack Hussein Obama and the perfect storm of events that propelled him into the White House….
1. Obama has energized his opposition. Despite throwing everything they could into the game, the turnout effort in Wisconsin was handily beaten by those Tea Party nobodies and an RNC head who is actually up to the job.
2. Obama has alienated hugely important constituencies.  Labor unions, utterly essentially to the ground game in November, feel betrayed, and are starting to focus more on their own survival than the success of the Obama re-election campaign. The antiwar left feels betrayed over Gitmo, drones, rendition, domestic surveillance, and a host of other issues. They turned out in San Francisco picketing his fundraisers, and spoke of not voting.  His Bain Capital attacks are verging into a repudiation of capitalism, so Wall Street and the finance sector are getting alarmed, and the essential flow of political contributions to Democrats from them is drying up.
3. The economy is a disaster, and Obama is doing all the wrong things. The administration is reduced to making implausible claims of spending moderation based on an internet post….
4. Obama is out for himself, and himself only. He has even thrown national security under the bus, allowing the leaking of critical information to the press about intelligence operations and cyber-warfare, and feigning outrage in Friday's presser over the idea that he would do such a thing….
5. A wave election is shaping up. Democrats could be swept out of office in Congress, and on down to statehouses, city halls, and dog pounds. With the left flank threatening to stay home, union funds and enthusiasm depleted, and Obama offering nothing but negativity, while Tea Partiers mobilize nationally as never before seen on the GOP side, the electorate will skew so far right that the GOP could end up as dominant in 2013 as the Democrats were in 2009. It's already leaking into the smarter corners of the media world: Obama is killing the Democratic Party. The tipping point is here.

But we should worry about this:  “On the sixth floor of a sleek office building here, more than 150 techies are quietly peeling back the layers of your life. They know what you read and where you shop, what kind of work you do and who you count as friends. They also know who your mother voted for in the last election. The depth and breadth of the Obama campaign’s 2012 digital operation — from data mining to online organizing — reaches so far beyond anything politics has ever seen, experts maintain, that it could impact the outcome of a close presidential election. …..Launched two weeks ago, Obama’s newest innovation is the much anticipated “Dashboard” , a sophisticated and highly interactive platform that gives supporters a blueprint for organizing, and communicating with each other and the campaign. In addition, by harnessing the growing power of Facebook and other online sources, the campaign is building what some see as an unprecedented data base to develop highly specific profiles of potential voters. This allows the campaign to tailor messages directly to them — depending on factors such as socio-economic level, age and interests. The data also allows the campaign to micro-target a range of dollar solicitations online depending on the recipient. In 2008, the campaign was the first to maximize online giving — raising hundreds of millions of dollars from small donors. This time, they are constantly experimenting and testing to expand the donor base.”

“President Obama: The Biggest Government Spender In World History”

In Wisconsin:  "The media wanted Norma Rae, and got On the Waterfront, instead."

“The Chinese Kleptocracy Is Like Nothing Ever Seen In Human History, And This Is How It Works”

Bozell:  “You'd think the largest legal action in American history in defense of religious liberty would be a major news story. But ABC, CBS and NBC don't judge news events by their inherent importance as relates to the future of our freedoms. They deliver the news according to a simple formula: Does it or doesn't it advance the re-election of Barack Obama?.... This is the worst example of shameless bias by omission I have seen in the quarter-century history of the Media Research Center…..This is not an honest mistake. It was not an editorial oversight by the broadcast networks. It did not occur too late for the evening deadline. This was a deliberate and insidious withholding of national news to protect the "Chosen One" who ABC, CBS and NBC have worked so hard to elect and for whom they are now abusing their journalistic influence.

Leno:    In New Orleans, the daily newspaper has eliminated 84 newsroom jobs. But the publisher said those positions could be reinstated if this whole Internet thing turns out to be a fad…… The White House softball team played the pro-marijuana lobbyists' team and lost 25-3. Still no word yet on which side President Obama played for.... Pundits are saying that President Obama is starting to lose support among his own party. To give you an idea of how bad it's gotten, today Jimmy Carter compared him to Jimmy Carter….. Guantanamo Bay is getting millions and millions of dollars of upgrades and renovations. In fact, they're not even calling it a detention camp anymore. It's now a gated community…….Guantanamo Bay is now undergoing millions of dollars worth of renovations, including a new soccer field, cable TV, and better housing. Which is kind of ironic. The only people who say they're better off today than they were four years ago are the inmates at Guantanamo Bay.
"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."
                     -Thomas Jefferson