Saturday, January 26, 2013

op ed review 1/27

President Obama averaged 49.1% job approval during his first term in office, among the lowest for post-World War II presidents. Only Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford had lower job approval averages.
“Inauguration Crowd Lackluster; Smelled of Marijuana……at times seemed more interested in their cell phones than his speech.”

“Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent roughly seven hours on the Hill fielding statements lauding her brilliance, praise for how many miles she has flown around the world, and the occasional question about Benghazi. Remember that? The timeline of who decided to blame a movie, when and why, is at the center of the Benghazi cover-up. But very few Republicans and no Democrats bothered to ask her about it….”
“Aided by a ridiculous format, she outfoxed most of the Republicans with ease. Meanwhile, the Democrats, almost uniformly, seemed singularly interested in celebrating Mrs. Clinton as a global diva who somehow manages to carry the burden of her awesomeness with humility and grace. If smoking were still allowed in the Capitol, one could easily imagine her removing a cigarette from a gold case and tapping it nonchalantly on the witness table, and the entire Democratic caucus leaping over their desks for the chance to light it for her..”
VDH:  We learned today from Secretary Clinton — “What difference, at this point, does it make?” — that the actual causation and circumstances of the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi are not so important…

Never mind protecting America, now it’s all about entitlement and fairness:  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that whether they are male or female "everyone is entitled to a chance" to become a combat soldier in a military that will now adopt "gender neutral" standards.
Women in Combat 'Part of Another Social Experiment,' Says Retired Army General William G. Boykin, the former head of the U.S. Special Forces Command, says infantry and other front-line units are no place for women, and it has nothing to do with their courage or capabilities.
Get ready for “mommies in body bags”

In a case freighted with major constitutional implications, a federal appeals court on Friday overturned President Obama’s controversial recess appointments from last year, ruling he abused his powers and acted when the Senate was not actually in a recess. The three-judge panel’s ruling is a major blow to Mr. Obama. The judges ruled that the appointments he made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and the board no longer has a quorum to operate. But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to “intrasession” appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks.
France's richest man moves to Belgium and takes multi-billion pound fortune with him 'to avoid new socialist super-tax'
Tiger Woods admits he left California because of high tax rates after rival Phil Mickelson apologizes for saying he may quit West Coast

Dems introduce bill to ban the sale of 150 types of firearms, including some rifles and handguns, and includes a national gun registry.
As Washington prepares for a political battle over the Obama White House's proposals to curb gun violence a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that the NRA is more popular than the entertainment industry.
“The President has found a winning formula to push through his extreme policy views: campaign, grow support, give the appearance of action and fund raise off pseudo-action. The President is now applying this campaign tactic to gun control, giving the appearance to America that he is taking action to protect children from madmen.”

President Obama’s top political aide used an Inauguration Day interview to sketch out a provocative political strategy intended to split the Republican Party in time to impact the 2014 midterm elections
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he believes the primary goal of President Obama’s second term is to “annihilate the Republican Party.”
Pay to play?  President Obama’s reelection campaign formally announced its rebirth as “Organizing for Action,” a tax-exempt 501(c)4 on Sunday. With that designation, the group is able to accept unlimited donations and is not required to disclose the identities of those donors, though OFA says they will do so. Wal-Mart, Lockheed, Citi, Microsoft, and others will be encouraged to contribute.

FBI investigating New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes

“Reagan´s boyhood home could become a parking lot for Obama´s library”

 “Members of the RNC….are deeply divided over what ails their party.  On one end of the spectrum are those who stress the GOP’s failure to appeal to Hispanics and other minorities, arguing that the party must make fundamental changes to broaden its appeal.  On the other end are those who stress the GOP’s failure to master even the basics of voter turnout in the last election, along with the flawed candidacy of Mitt Romney, arguing that the party does not need to change its principles or message so much as learn the turnout and messaging techniques used so successfully by the competition.”

“California´s Hispanic population to outnumber whites by end of 2013”

The last time America had a gun-control debate was the early 1990s, and it was followed by the great two-decade-long decline in American crime. The irony is that gun control had very little to do with that decline. William Bratton did. Serving as New York City´s top cop for 27 months from 1994 to 1996, he helped turn around a violent, crime-ridden city with policies that later were adopted nationwide and across the globe. (Snip)in a recent chat he puts the gun debate in the context of policies that really have made America safer.

Walter Williams  1/2/13
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, said: "The British are not coming. ... We don't need all these guns to kill people." Lewis' vision, shared by many, represents a gross ignorance of why the framers of the Constitution gave us the Second Amendment. How about a few quotes from the period and you decide whether our Founding Fathers harbored a fear of foreign tyrants.
Alexander Hamilton: "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed," adding later, "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." By the way, Hamilton is referring to what institution when he says "the representatives of the people"?
James Madison: "(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
Thomas Jefferson: "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, which inspired our Constitution's Bill of Rights, said, "To disarm the people -- that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Rep. John Lewis and like-minded people might dismiss these thoughts by saying the founders were racist anyway. Here's a more recent quote from a card-carrying liberal, the late Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey: "Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. ... The right of the citizen to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible." I have many other Second Amendment references at
How about a couple of quotations with which Rep. Lewis and others might agree? "Armas para que?" (translated: "Guns, for what?") by Fidel Castro. There's a more famous one: "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing." That was Adolf Hitler.
Here's the gun grabbers' slippery-slope agenda, laid out by Nelson T. Shields, founder of Handgun Control Inc.: "We're going to have to take this one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily -- given the political realities -- going to be very modest. ... Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal -- total control of handguns in the United States -- is going to take time. ... The final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition -- except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs and licensed gun collectors -- totally illegal" (The New Yorker, July 1976).
There have been people who've ridiculed the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, asking what chance would citizens have against the military might of the U.S. government. Military might isn't always the deciding factor. Our 1776 War of Independence was against the mightiest nation on the face of the earth -- Great Britain. In Syria, the rebels are making life uncomfortable for the much-better-equipped Syrian regime. Today's Americans are vastly better-armed than our founders, Warsaw Ghetto Jews and Syrian rebels.
There are about 300 million privately held firearms owned by Americans. That's nothing to sneeze at. And notice that the people who support gun control are the very people who want to control and dictate our lives.


“President Obama’s inaugural address was a lurch to the left that scratched the itch so many of his followers have had for four years…….American households had better get ready for higher power bills as Obama unleashes regulators in pursuit of new penalties for electric companies. Businesses should hunker down and expect that lawyers will assault them with new workplace requirements as new grievances are discovered. Politically, the battle lines are being drawn, and the president is offering a vivid contrast. Now the Republicans have to do their part to offer smart policy and solutions. The left can wallow in their tiresome old slogans — I keep waiting for “Workers of the world, unite!" to return to the political stage. Rather than blurring the distinction between Republican and Democratic solutions, the 2014 elections could be shaping up as a classic battle between the old left and a new generation of conservatives.”
                  - Ed Rogers

“Forget $16.5 trillion in national debt. Forget trillion-dollar deficits. Forget government hyper-spending's toll on the private sector. ... [Margaret] Thatcher warned that socialists 'always run out of other people's money.' The president has made it clear he is nowhere near to being finished pursuing collectivism in the name of individual freedom."
                     -Investor's Business Daily

“The last year has been a tough one for conservatives. The hope that four years of failed policy would be enough to repudiate the liberal/progressive ideology of the Obama administration ended when the majority of the American public voted to maintain their entitlements -- so long as someone else paid for them. And the conservative response to the debacle has been for the various factions within the movement to declare war on each other.  It's time for conservatives to give serious thought to what they believe and how they can make a more persuasive case that conservative principles offer the best path for America. Conservatives have to do more than invoke small government, lower taxes and protection of the family. They have to explain the principles on which such policies are based and why those principles are more likely to fulfill the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on which the nation was founded. “
                       -Linda Chavez

Matt Damon’s anti-fracking movie “Promised Land” is flopping at the box office.

 “As a state senator in Illinois, Obama gave a radio interview in which he described the Constitution as defective. He lamented that courts did not “break free” from an originalist reading of it as a “charter of negative liberties.” He implied that if he had written the Constitution he would have made it a charter of positive liberties: “It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.” The fulfillment of that vision — combined with the invention of new rights to gay marriage, free contraceptives, and so on — is what he meant by “fundamentally transforming” the country. His inaugural address was a pledge not to protect the Constitution but to undo it as he seeks to enact what he considers positive liberties.”

Thousands of gun advocates gathered peacefully last Saturday at state capitals around the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms, with demonstrators carrying rifles and pistols in some places while those elsewhere settled for waving hand-scrawled signs or screaming themselves hoarse. The size of crowds at each location varied - from dozens of people in South Dakota to 2,000 in New York. Large crowds also turned out in Connecticut, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington state. Some demonstrators in Olympia, Wash., Phoenix, Salem, Ore., and Salt Lake City came with holstered handguns or rifles on their backs.

A 17-year-old boy who shot his sister and mother said that watching horror movie Halloween gave him the idea because he was ´amazed at how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had´.

As debates about guns and gun rights in America rage, truly to understand the gun, one needs to look at its history. The story of the gun is a fascinating and riveting look not only at history, but also at science, business, politics, justice, and morality. Throw in a great deal of ingenuity, a good deal of heroism, and a small dose of romance, and the story of the gun is the world´s greatest tale of human invention.

Newt Gingrich “Well, I think it’s amazing that we’re having all this discussion about gun control: The president’s hometown, Chicago, is the murder capital of the United States. Over 500 people were killed there last year. Vice President Biden doesn’t seem to want to go there. I’m trying to get the House Republicans to hold hearings there. It’s illegal to have all the guns that are killing people in Chicago. If gun control works, Chicago ought to be safe.”

In an article describing how the National Rifle Association became a political force to reckon with, the Washington Post 's Joel Achenbach, Scott Higham and Sari Horowitz show us how it was done.
1. Be firm in advancing your convictions and welcome controversy. "They are absolutist in their interpretation of the Second Amendment. The NRA learned that controversy isn't a problem but rather, in many cases, a solution, a motivator, a recruitment tool, an inspiration."
2. Don't try to be all things to all people. "The group has learned the virtues of being a single-issue organization with a very simple take on that issue. The NRA keeps close track of friends and enemies, takes names and makes lists. In the halls of power, it works quietly behind the scenes. It uses fear when necessary to motivate supporters.
3. When the old order needs changing, change it:
3. Clean House when you need to.  Don't ignore your membership and their concerns and change leaders who go wobbly, but don't go off and become some fringe organization.
4. Choose spokesmen who effectively communicate your position in words that strike a responsive chord in listeners:
5. Don't be afraid to just say no to people who want you to compromise your principles for their political advantage. ________________________________________________________________________

Let’s pretend that in the spring of 2012 Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, John Engler of the Business Roundtable, Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, and Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association began to organize an assembly of right-leaning groups. Let’s pretend that in the months since there had been not one but two meetings where these luminaries joined with representatives of Christians United For Israel, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Tea Party Express, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the American Petroleum Institute to discuss strategy and promote a series of “structural reforms” that would make it easier for them to advance conservative goals in Congress. How much press coverage would be devoted to this fictive cabal? it not unreasonable to assume that our pretend meeting of the vast right-wing conspiracy would attract far more scrutiny than was devoted to the actual, real-life, believe-it-or-not inaugural meetings of the progressive “Democracy Initiative”? …The rest of what is too generously called the “mainstream media” has not said a word…….. outlets were distracted by the glitzy baubles of nomination fights and gun control. About this major story of coordination and concerted spending among powerful lobbies, however, the press had little to say.

Glory be, it’s Obama’s inauguration day! And for some of his followers, it´s nothing less than a religious event. Fox News (who else?) reports that mega Obamaphiles are handing out posters in the streets of DC that claim Obama’s coming was predicted by the Bible. The proclamation says that “Barack” is a Hebrew word that means “flash of lightning” and Hussein means “good and handsome.” Put ‘em together and what have you got? “Barack was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”

When Federal Aviation Administration officials grounded Boeing´s fleet of 787 Dreamliner commercial jets last week due to unexplained battery fires, one of President Obama´s favorite green energy technologies got another black eye.

Wait a minute….didn’t they support it?  “Universities Slash Teachers´ Hours to Evade ObamaCare”