Sunday, June 24, 2012

op ed review 6/24


THIS WEEK’S NEWS
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.”
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
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.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“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
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BOOKS
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?
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GLOBALONEY
“Green ‘drivel’ exposed:  The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria.”

Women march in Rio to protest 'green economy'
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LEFTIST WATCH
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.
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ELECTION
“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;
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ARTICLES
“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.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
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
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LATE NITE:
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.
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WISE WORDS
"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired."
                      -Alexander Hamilton

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