Saturday, February 9, 2013

op ed review 2/10



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
According to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, President Obama was completely aloof from the events in Libya on September 11. He neither asked nor ordered anything. He did not respond to information sent to the White House. He was not involved at all, during the seven-plus-hour attack that resulted in the deaths of four American government employees, including an ambassador.
It would have been nice to know this before the election:   The president was not involved, and did not wish to be involved, in the communications and decision-making processes of that day.  An ongoing terrorist attack on his administration's diplomatic mission in a volatile region on the eleventh anniversary of September 11, 2001 was not considered worthy of his direct involvement.”

The idea that anyone who refuses to disclose his sources of income from foreign governments and organizations could be confirmed as Secretary of Defense is ludicrous, even in the surreal Age of Obama…..one of the reasons that President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”
There’s just something about Nancy Pelosi and Islam. As Front Page reported last year, Nancy Pelosi hired Faiz Shakir from Think Progress, despite his troubling past, which included aiding in fundraising for a terrorist front group, to be her senior adviser and Director of New Media. Now Pelosi has appointed Nadeam Elshami as her Chief of Staff.

Good news/bad news:  Obama Approval Sinks After Reelection, Hillary Clinton Is Most Popular National Figure,”

President Obama's health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest CBO estimates.
The Duke of Edinburgh is a climate skeptic and has invited Britain’s best-known global warming heretic to give a lecture at Buckingham Palace. Last month the BBC “froze him out” when he dismissed global warming as “poppycock”.

Prepare for this if you don’t get with the program:  “The Oregon attorney general’s office is investigating a bakery after a lesbian couple filed a complaint alleging that the owner discriminated against them when he declined to make a wedding cake for their same-sex “marriage.”

Bruce Willis says he's against new gun control laws that could infringe on Second Amendment rights.

 “The GOP would potentially be helping to give millions more Democratic-leaning Latinos the right to vote. A Pew Hispanic Center study last year showed there were 24 million eligible Hispanic voters in the United States and about 16 million Hispanic kids who will be eligible to vote when they turn 18.  Pew’s polling in October showed 70 percent of registered Hispanic voters identify or lean toward Democrats, while 22 percent favor the GOP — a 48-point Democratic advantage.”
Grover didn’t get that memo:  Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist says that large-scale immigration is good for America and the Republican Party — and that critics of easy immigration should get out of the way.
Donald Trump blasted GOP efforts to clear the way for 11 million illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens, mocking the party for thinking that its bipartisan effort will boost Hispanic support.
A new poll released by the Center for Immigration Studies shows the majority of likely voters simply want illegal immigrants to head back to their home countries. A new poll using neutral language — and avoiding the false choice of conditional legalization vs. mass deportations — finds that most Americans want illegal immigrants to return to their home counties, rather than be given legal status.

A Virginia appellate court ruled that a prison trampled on an inmate’s constitutional rights by refusing to pay for the felon’s sex change operation — a procedure costing about $20,000.
Looking for a free sex change operation? Enroll at Brown University. Come August, the school will offer coverage in its student health care plan for the procedure.

President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security care more about “special interests” in the Democratic campaign base than the lives of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, the ICE union boss told Congress.

In the strongest indication yet that the next member of the Bush dynasty is planning a 2016 presidential run, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Tuesday agreed to appear at the upcoming CPAC convention, long considered the first step to running for president.

The Boy Scouts of America have announced it will not make any decision on its membership policy until its annual meeting in May. One of those leading the charge to change the policy to allow homosexuals as leaders is AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “It is time for Stephenson to resign from the BSA board.”

The battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party has begun. On one side is the Tea Party. On the other side stand Karl Rove and his establishment team, posing as tacticians while quietly undermining conservatism. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the “biggest donors in the Republican Party” have joined forces with Karl Rove and Steven J. Law, president of American Crossroads, to create the Conservative Victory Project. The Times reports that this new group will dedicate itself to “recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts ..”
Rove´s American Crossroads has started a new group to make sure the 2014 Senate races produce zero Todd Akins. But it turns out some conservatives like Rove less than Akin.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Dennis Prager  1/8
On the last day of 2012, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen inadvertently clarified two huge matters regarding the left.

The first was the ignorance about conservatives and conservatism that permeates the left. The second was the primary reason decent people identify with the left: the effective caricaturing and demonizing of the right. Were it not for caricature and demonization, most otherwise intelligent and decent people would not be on the left.

This is what Cohen wrote in his column, "Republicans Adrift:" "It is conservatism that is both intellectually exhausted and nearly indefensible. It is the movement of the ideologically ossified, of gun zealots and homophobes, of the immigrant-phobic and the adamantly selfish. It insists that government must be small (an impossibility!), education must be local (a stupidity) and that debt, no matter what the reason, is immoral and reckless. The movement has lost its reliable monster. Godless communists have been replaced by the church ladies of Planned Parenthood. History giggles."

This caricature of conservatism was penned not by some anonymous contributor to the comments section of MoveOn.org, but by a longtime liberal columnist of the Washington Post.  Let's begin:

"Intellectually exhausted and nearly indefensible. It is the movement of the ideologically ossified ... "
All one has to do to show how ignorant this description of conservatism is to cite the names of the two conservative columnists at Cohen's paper, the Washington Post: George Will and Charles Krauthammer. Are these men "intellectually exhausted" and "ideologically ossified"? Are their views really "nearly indefensible"? I mean no insult when I say that the intellectual gap between the columns of those two conservatives' and the columns of their liberal colleagues is quite substantial.

Even outside the Washington Post, where are the liberal Charles Krauthammers and George Wills? Or the liberal intellectual equivalents of Daniel Henninger and his colleagues at the Wall Street Journal; or Jonah Goldberg and his colleagues at National Review? And what about Commentary and the Weekly Standard? Are they, too, "intellectually exhausted"? And name one black liberal thinker who inhabits the same intellectual universe as Tom Sowell, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas or Larry Elder, just to name a few black intellectual giants of the right.

"... of gun zealots and homophobes, of the immigrant-phobic and the adamantly selfish."   I have never attended an NRA meeting, let alone been a member, but I happen to think that it is a good thing when good people are armed. Am I "gun zealot"? And if there are "gun zealots," are there not "anti-gun zealots"? Or is zealotry a conservative monopoly? That I suspect is exactly what Cohen believes -- just as he undoubtedly believes that there are religious zealots but no secular zealots.

As for "immigrant phobic," Cohen got carried away here, too. Virtually every prominent conservative voice wants an increase in immigration - of legal immigration, of people who can contribute to America's development. It is illegal immigration that conservatives oppose. Is that distinction too subtle for Cohen to appreciate?

"Adamantly selfish" may be Cohen's corker. Conservative Americans give more charity and volunteer more time than liberal Americans (controlling for income level). On what possible basis, then, does Cohen make the charge -- as false as it is defamatory -- that conservatives are "adamantly selfish?"

Conservatism "insists that government must be small (an impossibility!) ..." America has been great in large measure precisely because it has understood that the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. Moreover, the real "impossibility!" is not small government but the left's ever bigger government. It is neither economically nor morally sustainable, as we are seeing both in Europe and here in America.

"... and that debt, no matter what the reason, is immoral and reckless." This is just demagoguery. Conservatives have little problem with manageable debt: a level of debt that does not rob from future generations, and debt that does not jeopardize America's supremacy in the world. And "no matter what the reason" is almost a lie. It depends entirely on the reason. The last time we had the debt percentage of the GDP we have now was World War II -- and conservatives believe that was a fine reason to get into debt, just as the Cold War was.

"The movement has lost its reliable monster ... Godless communists."   What an admission by a leading liberal -- first, that communism was not a real evil, just a "reliable monster" for conservatives, on a par with "church ladies of Planned Parenthood." Second, that "Godless" is a joke, not a real threat to the moral foundations of society -- as if the death of Christianity in Europe didn't lead to Fascism, Nazism and Communism.

"History giggles."   This is pure leftism. Since Karl Marx, the left has believed with religious certitude that its views are inevitable. "Scientific socialism" Marx called it. Everything opposing the left will end up in the dustbin of history, said Lenin.

We'll see if history giggles at Cohen or Krauthammer.

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"The key to the progressive 'ratchet,' as it is often, correctly, called, is that no step forward may ever be retraced. ... The key to the success of Western socialism's 'progress' is not the periodic lurches toward the abyss. It is the art of effective stalling. All of today's political and moral outrages will be rationalized with a shrug tomorrow: 'What difference -- at this point -- does it make?'"
                          -Daren Jonescu

"Not one of the past federal amnesties was associated with a decline in illegal immigration. Instead, the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. has tripled since 1986. The total effect of the amnesties was even larger because relatives later joined amnesty recipients, and this number was multiplied by an unknown number of children born to amnesty recipients who then acquired automatic U.S. citizenship. ... You want 'comprehensive immigration reform'? Start with reliable adjudications, fully cleared backlogs, consistent interior enforcement, working background checks for the existing caseload, and efficient and effective deportation policies that punish law-breakers and do right by law-abiders."
                         -Michelle Malkin
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LEFTIST WATCH
The current debate over guns has revealed the National Rifle Association as an “insane organization,” New York Times economist Paul Krugman said on Sunday.
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ISLAM
A Saudi preacher who tortured his five-year-old daughter to death has been released after agreeing to pay a ´blood money´ fine.

A Saudi cleric has called for all female babies to be fully covered by wearing the face veil, commonly known as the burka, “for their own protection”   “Burkas for babies”
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GUN CONTROL
Gun owners lampooned President Obama as Elmer Fudd after the White House released a photo — in the middle of a fierce national firearms debate — of the commander-in-chief shooting clay targets at Camp David over the summer. While the president’s shooting skills were being mocked, his own gun-control allies privately fretted that Obama risked being ridiculed as a phony for suddenly trying to portray himself as a friend of sportsmen and hunters.

“Seven Reasons Why it´s a Photoshop”

Media Follows Obama´s Orders to Mock Skeet-Gate Skeptics
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ARTICLES
The other day, I learned that President Obama has canceled our Mars Rover explorations, along with all other planetary missions. NASA´s science mission chief just quit in disgust, and who can blame him? Apparently, even robots´ lives are too precious for us to risk these days, so America is giving up the thrill of discovering space…..Here´s a quick list of some things we´re giving up these days, with little more than a shrug: Making babies (lowest birth rate since 1920). Saturday mail delivery. The Constitution. Hostess Twinkies (though there´s a ray of hope for them)…….”

Ann Coulter:  “Having just lost an election, many Republicans are anxious to remake our party in the image of Democrats. The theory seems to be that whatever we’re doing isn’t working, so we better change everything. But in fact, whatever Republicans did in 2012 — other than an overly long primary fight — worked amazingly well, given the circumstances. In a detailed analysis of the 2012 election, William A. Galston, a fellow with the liberal Brookings Institution, makes a number of fascinating observations that Republicans would do well to consider before embracing amnesty, abortion, gay marriage and Beyonce.  In my analysis of his analysis, the single most important factor in the election was simply that Obama was an incumbent. As Galston notes, beating an incumbent president is a feat that has happened only five times since the turn of the last century. Republicans have done it only once……(lots of data)…Last year, Republicans had to run against an incumbent with a unified party and a unified media 100 percent behind him, and they had to do it after waging their own bitter, endless primary fight, providing a wealth of sound bites for Obama TV ads. Still, Obama did worse than nearly any other incumbent who has won re-election. Indeed, had the election been held a week earlier, Obama probably would have lost.   Stop running scared, Republicans. It makes you look like Democrats.”

The crisis of conservatism on both sides of the pond.  The agony of the US Republicans, engulfed by an existential crisis since the second term victory of Barack Obama, reminds me so much of the UK Conservatives’ similar crisis after the accession of Tony Blair to power in 1997.  That victory ushered in a three-term Labour hegemony. The Tories, aghast at the inversion of the natural order by which they assumed they had a divine right to rule, looked in bewildered mortification upon the upstart Blair whom they found it impossible to dislodge -- and arrived at precisely the wrong conclusion about both conservatism and British society. It was a fundamental error that I believe the Conservative Party is still making – and if they aren’t careful, the US Republicans will fall into the same trap.”

Conspiracy corner:  “DHS Insider: Obama’s cyber warriors preparing for collapse”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Sunday, February 3, is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, which makes it the one hundredth birthday of the income tax. Americans for Tax Reform commemorated the occasion by publishing a few fun facts about the income tax. Among other interesting statistics, the initial top tax bracket was only 7 percent, and it didn’t kick in until income reached a whopping $11.6 million in 2013 dollars. Only 358,000 people had to fill out 1040 forms at first, because the standard family deduction was an adjusted $93,000.

Breathtaking photos of Earth from space:

Mock & load! Web jokers Photoshop Obama pic

The REAL face of Richard III: King who died in battle at 32 is brought back to life with reconstruction of 500-year-old skull found beneath council car park 

LATE NITE
Leno:  The state of Washington is now looking for a marijuana consultant now that marijuana is legal up there. I think this is one of those green jobs President Obama is always talking about……. Some Democrats in Congress are now trying to change the marijuana laws, making it legal so it can be taxed and increase revenue. Is that what the government's come down to now? We're selling drugs to pay off our debts? When did Uncle Sam become Scarface?

Letterman: Women will be in combat now. Finally, someone in the tank who´ll stop and ask for directions.
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WISE WORDS
"The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. ... It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing."
                           -Ronald Reagan

"The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights.”
                           -H. L. Mencken

"To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good."
                          -Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

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