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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Night Card Game (Southern Poverty Law Center)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

The Southern Poverty Law Center once served a vital role in shutting down Klan groups and dangerous white supremacist groups. Morris Dees endured death threats and was a heroic figure in the struggle for civil rights.

But as with many focused organizations, the SPLC is a victim of its own success. The reason to be of the SPLC no longer exists. The Klan and other such groups are virtually non-existent. The threat to society is from two sources, lone wolves or very small groups of people, as to which the SPLC cannot be effective, and Islamic extremists, as to which the SPLC appears not to care.

For a long time, my best estimate is that it was well over a decade, I regularly donated to the SPLC. I stopped those donations long ago, as the SPLC drifted from its original mission into left-wing politics. Take a look at the Blogroll at SPLC's Hatewatch blog; it is populated almost exclusively with left-wing bloggers and George Soros-related left-wing organizations.

Nowadays, if I see or hear of Mark Potok, the spokesman for the SPLC, it almost always is in the context of Potok trying to paint conservative groups with the white supremacist brush in order to help Democratic Party politics. Potok and others at the SLPC have politicized the SPLC needlessly, and blurred the line between those who believe in a limited role for government in the interest of personal and constitutional freedoms, and the very small fringe who espouse racist ideology.

An incident highlighted by James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal (h/t Instapundit) demonstrates that SPLC needs to reexamine and recalibrate its mission. Read the entire article, but here is the gist.

Carol Swain is a Professor at Vanderbilt Law School. I've seen her on television, and perused her website. She has a long scholarly history of writing on the role of race in society, and generally could be construed as a political conservative.

Potok of SPLC recently smeared Swain as an "apologist for white supremacists" because Swain did a review of a film which, as described by Taranto, contained controversial racial comments by the filmmaker as he interviewed people in the film. Swain's review was not an approval of these comments, but rather, an approval of the film as a valuable tool for discussing racial issues:
This outstanding film provides an opening salvo for the long-awaited national debate on race. Meticulously done, it offers people of all races a rare opportunity to engage in cross-racial dialogue. I highly recommend this film for social science courses dealing with race, class, and ethnicity.
Nothing in Swain's review, or prior writings, possibly could be considered legitimate fodder to brand her an "apologist for white supremacists." That is a highly inflammatory accusation, and one which should not be made against anyone, and particularly against a black woman, without rock solid evidence. Potok has no such evidence.

Swain's response to the accusation was right on point:
One of the most troubling facets of life today is the powerful movement by left-leaning organizations and governmental officials to engage in character assassination, by labeling anyone who disagrees with their liberal utopian vision for society as unworthy of participating in the conversation about our nation's future. A quick look at global history reveals the dangers of following such a short-sighted approach.

Today, conservatives and Christians (of which I am both) are targeted by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center that regularly seek to discredit us.
Potok and the SPLC need to apologize to Swain, and to figure out where they are going with the SPLC in the 21st Century. The SPLC quickly is becoming a caricature of an organizations which hides behind its past honorable accomplishments in order to shield its present politically-motivated use of the race card. Becoming the organizational equivalent of Jesse Jackson is not something to which the SPLC should aspire.

If all the SPLC has left is the race card, it needs to find a different game.

Related Posts:
Saturday Night Card Game (Pandagon)
Saturday Night Card Game (DownWithTyranny!)
Saturday Night Card Game

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Doug Hoffman Is Scaaary!

Dede Scazzafava's decision to drop out of the NY-23 race has evoked a round of name-calling and fear-mongering from the left-wing blogosphere not seen since ... Wednesday when the left-wing blogosphere shouted "you lie" at Joe Lieberman and called Lieberman a traitor:
  • DownWithTyrrany! - Doug Hoffman is an "ultra right extremist."
  • Andrew Sullivan - "This blood in the water will bring on more and more and deadlier and deadlier sharks."
  • AMERICAblog - "There is no room for different ideas in the modern day GOP. The teabaggers rule their world."
  • Jake McIntyre at DailyKos- Republican Party now "a wild-eyed, exclusionist, birther religio-beast."
  • Hullabaloo - Watch for the return of the "radical, paranoid right wingers."
There is a method to this madness. Hoffman has not won the election yet. Expect a full-out media blitz by the Democrats in the last three days of the campaign to portray Hoffman as the reincarnation of Timothy McVeigh.

It's a meme the George Soros crowd is dusting off as we speak.

Related Posts:
Tea Parties Are Sooo Scaaary
Looking At Tea Parties Through Binoculars, Like On Safari
Liberal Doughboys Afraid of Tea Parties

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Earthquake in NY-23 - Scazzafava Quits

There is a political earthquake breaking in the NY-23 race. Republican insider Dede Scazzafava has quit the race, as reported first by Robert Stacey McCain, who is on the scene in upstate NY. HotAir is collecting the sources and information.

This will pit Conservative Doug Hoffman against Democrat Bill Owens.

Now it is a straight-up referendum on Obama, and the future of the country. A liberal against a conservative, with party labels meaningless.

UPDATE: Some commenters are questioning whether the NY-23 race is about Obama. Here's what Owens said yesterday, in anticipation of Joe Biden's visit Monday:
“I’m honored to have the President and Vice President’s support," Owens said in a statement announcing the vice-presidential visit. "I am excited to welcome the Vice President to Watertown where we’ll discuss my plans to create jobs Upstate and my commitment to helping turn the page on the George Bush economic agenda.”

Owens made this a referendum on Obama when it was a three-way race. It still is, but even more so.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama at Dover

President Obama made a trip to Dover Air Force Base to be present when the coffins of troops and DEA agents were returned from Afghanistan.

I have no problem with it.

One thing I've learned in life is that everyone mourns in his or her own way.

I reject the attempts by some on the left to use this event as an excuse to attack George W. Bush, who chose to mourn in private with the families of soldiers killed in action, rather than greeting coffins in public.

I similarly reject attempts by some on the right to use this event as an excuse to attack Obama, who chose to mourn at the scene of returning coffins with photographers recording an event he considered important.

To each, his own.

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Chicago Comes to Honduras

The Obama administration finally got its first foreign policy victory, in Honduras. But it appears to be merely symbolic, with Chicago-style bullying still going on in the background to force Honduras to allow Manuel Zelaya back into power.

The government of Honduras has agreed -- subject to conditions -- to the return to power of Zelaya. In exchange, the international and U.S. sanctions and boycotts would be dropped, the late November presidential election would be recognized, and Zelaya would give up his attempts to eliminate term limits.

While the actual agreement text hasn't been released, here are the reported details which appear to put the ultimate decision on Zelaya's hands in the Honduran Congress:
The agreement appears to soften [interim leader] Micheletti's previous stance that the Supreme Court — which has already rejected Zelaya's reinstatement — decide the issue. Instead, the high court would make a recommendation, but the final decision would apparently be left to a vote in Congress.

The agreement would create a power-sharing government and bind both sides to recognize the Nov. 29 presidential elections. The international community had threatened to not recognize the vote if Zelaya is not reinstated, but on Thursday, OAS Political Affairs Secretary Victor Rico told reporters that "the United States and the OAS will accompany Honduras in the elections" as a result of the accord.
Hillary Clinton falsely and deceptively asserted that this deal was a restoration of Honduras' constitutional order:
“I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that, having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order, overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue.”
In fact, as documented here repeatedly, it was the Obama administration and OAS which were seeking to violate the Honduran constitutional order. If up to the Obama administration, Zelaya would have been returned to power months ago without any protection against his attempt to abolish term limits, so that he would become a Hugo Chavez-like president for life.

It is only because Honduras stood up to the Obama administration that Honduras' constitutional order was preserved.

The Obama administration's deception aside, I can't tell from the news reports if this deal is as bad as it seems. Zelaya's return is contingent upon a vote of the Honduran Congress, which supported Zelaya's ouster. It may be that the fix is in and the Congress will vote for his return, or it may simply be a way for Michelleti to appear to be caving in without giving up anything substantive.

Less optimistic views of the terms of the deal are at Fausta's Blog, while Gateway Pundit notes that the decision rests with Honduras' Congress.

Regardless, the wrong lesson will be learned by an Obama administration in search of something it can call success: Bully our friends and coddle our enemies.

In fact, this lesson already has been learned. According to La Gringa's Blogocito, the likely vote in the Honduran Congress is against Zelaya's return, but the U.S. Ambassador is pressuring Honduran Congressman to vote for Zelaya's return to power.

A phony made-for-TV compromise which allows Obama to declare victory, while the bullying of our ally continues off camera. Chicago comes to Honduras.

Related Posts:
Zelaya The Insane
I Hope Obama Fails In Honduras
Let them come to Tegucigalpa
Hands Off Honduras

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CBO Score - 18 Million Still Uninsured After Spending Over $1 Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office has released its "scoring" of the House health care restructuring bill. The CBO is required to score bills the way they are drafted, even if the assumptions in the legislation are unrealistic or politically unlikely to be fully implemented. Accordingly, the CBO score is the best case scenario.

Here are the highlights (all time periods are through 2019, unless otherwise noted):

  • The scoring "does not constitute a final and comprehensive cost estimate for the bill." (page 1)
  • There are $426 billion of cost cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs, and $572 of tax increase revenues projected. (pages 2, 6)
  • The costs of the insurance subsidies will be $894 billion after taking into account certain assumed revenue offsets. (page 3)
  • State spending on Medicaid will increase on net by about $34 billion. (page 4)
  • 18 million non-elderly people will remain uninsured, with the percentage of coverage rising from 83% to 96%. (page 5)
  • 15 million more people will be on Medicaid. (page 6)
  • 6 million people will join the public plan option, which will charge higher rates than private insurance, due to less management of utilization by patients and an unhealthier pool of patients (page 6)
  • It will cost between $5 and $10 billion for the IRS to implement "the eligibility determination, documentation, and verification processes for subsidies." These costs are not factored into the overall estimates. (page 9)
  • The deficit will be reduced by $9 billion in 2019. (page 12)
  • The "bill would put into effect (or leave in effect) a number of procedures [such as leaving physician payment cuts in place] that might be difficult to maintain over a long period of time" and which, if not followed, would require a change in the projections. "The long-term budgetary impact of H.R. 3962 could be quite different if those provisions generating savings were ultimately changed or not fully implemented." (page 14)
Now what this means. First, the cost saving assumptions built into the bill are unrealistic and unable to be sustained rendering this scoring meaningless as to future budget deficits. This is a financial shell game, but the drafters of the legislation, not the CBO, are to blame.

Second, the real costs is $1.055 trillion, not the $894 billion Democrats are touting. As explained by the NY Times analysis:
But a closer look at the budget office report suggests that the number everyone should have reported was $1.055 trillion – which is the gross cost of the insurance coverage provisions in the bill before taking account of certain new revenues, including penalties by individuals and employers who fail to meet new insurance requirements in the bill.
Third, there still will be 18 million uninsured, and of the 36 million newly insured people, 15 million will have been added to Medicaid. The CBO did not estimate how many of these newly insured people currently are eligible for federal programs but have not enrolled. The bill reflects a massive increase in Medicaid dependents, and only 21 million people gaining insurance through some other means.

Fourth, the public option will not provide lower cost coverage.

In sum, we create massive new federal bureaucracies and regulations, get IRS intrusion into health care, 15 million more people become Medicaid dependents, and we still have 18 million uninsured, and all this after spending over $1 trillion (best case scenario).

Assuming this best case scenario comes true based upon these unrealistic cost assumptions, we will have achieved very little relative to the costs. And we will have done severe damage to our health care system, something the CBO cannot score because it cannot be expressed in dollars.

Instead of getting something for nothing as promised by the politicians, we will get nothing for something.

Related Posts:
It Took Just Minutes To Find Profound Stupidity In Pelosi's Bill
Dems to Lieberman: "You Lie"
Told Ya So On Reid's Empty Hand

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Looks Like Iran Pwned Obama

The crowning achievement of Barack Obama's negotiation without precondition strategy on Iran was Iran's alleged agreement to ship its uranium abroad for reprocessing. This supposed agreement -- which was never as significant as it seemed -- was touted as proof that Obama's approach was correct.

Popular left-wing blogger and supposed Iran-guru Juan Cole wrote that Obama had "pwned" George Bush:
Barack Obama pwned Bush-Cheney in one day, and got more concessions from Iran in 7 1/2 hours than the former administration got in 8 years of saber-rattling.
I was skeptical, and felt that Obama was getting rolled by the Iranians.

Now the NY Times reveals that the Iranians have rejected any such agreement:

Iran told the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Thursday that it would not accept, in its current form, a plan its negotiators agreed to last week to send the country’s stockpile of uranium out of the country, according to diplomats in Europe and American officials briefed on Iran’s response, potentially unwinding President Obama’s effort to buy time to resolve the nuclear standoff....

“The key issue is that Iran does not agree to export its lightly enriched uranium,” [a senior European offical] said. “That’s not a minor detail. That’s the whole point of the deal.”
The Telegraph newspaper also reports that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is crowing that Iran has won the nuclear showdown:
As Iran's nuclear negotiator handed in the country's response to a proposed deal to process its enriched uranium stocks abroad, Mr Ahmadinejad hailed a change in Western policy from "confrontation to co-operation".

"We welcome fuel exchange, nuclear co-operation, building of power plants and reactors and we are ready to co-operate," he said in a speech shown live on state television. But he said he would not retreat "one iota" in his demand that the country continue with its nuclear programme, understood by most observers to mean its policy of enriching uranium.
While the book is not closed, it looks like Obama got pwned by the Iranians, at least on the issue of whether negotiations without preconditions would lead Iran to give up the elements of its nuclear weapons program.

Plan A didn't work. Now on to Plan B, if Obama has one.

Related Posts:
Obama Rolled By Iranians
What Do Juan Cole and "Death to America" Have In Common?

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It Took Just Minutes To Find Profound Stupidity In Pelosi's Bill

The drafters and supporters of the 1,990-page health care restructuring bill released by Nancy Pelosi this morning really don't understand how business works.

I've had only a few minutes to look at the bill, but one fundamental and profound stupidity jumped out at me.

The bill defines which businesses are subject to the health care tax based upon the dollar amount of employee payroll. There even is a sliding scale right in the bill (section 501, at page 276) which tops out at 8% for businesses with $750,000 of annual payroll. Annual payroll is defined as the "aggregate wages" paid by the employer.

This provision creates incentives for businesses to keep down payroll. One way would be not to hire anyone whose compensation would fall under the definition of payroll under the bill.

In other words, outsource whatever you can. Hire a software engineer in India, or ship manufacturing to China, or structure your business in such a way that you send 1099s not W-2s to the people who work for you (and hire an accountant and tax lawyer to navigate IRS rules on independent contractors).

The message of the bill is that whatever you do, if you want to grow your business without paying the health care tax, do not add employees.

Obama does not understand these provisions. Obama gave a speech this morning in which he stated that these provisions are directed at small businesses operating on thin margins. But these provisions have nothing to do with profit margins. This is a wage-based tax.

Obama does not understand the difference between profit margins and wages. This is exactly what you would expect from someone who always has been on the receiving end of wages, and never had to meet a payroll. Wages are not profits and have nothing to do with the success of a business. Just ask the auto companies.

I don't think Obama and the other Democrats are lying about this aspect of the health care tax. They truly do not understand how the private economy works. In their blissful ignorance they are designing job-killings provisions which they do not understand.

It is not an overstatement to say "be afraid, be very afraid" of this monstrosity.

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Pelosi Unveils the Balloon-Boy of Health Care Plans

I'm watching Nancy Pelosi's press conference announcing the final House Democratic health restructuring bill. It's 1990 pages.

We'll see what the bill really says once we have time to analyze it, but here's what we know from prior versions, news reports, and Pelosi's talking points. The plan is phony and false political posturing: More benefits for more people with more choice, and it costs nothing and saves money.

Here's the truth: The Democratic proposals will cost more money, raise insurance rates for everyone, cause people who already have insurance to lose coverage, get government intimately involved in our lives, eliminate any hope of introducing cost competition into the system, lead to de facto rationing, and are based on contrived financial assumptions which never will happen.

It's all hot air surrounded by hype wrapped in made-for-TV faux reality. It is the health care version of the balloon-boy hoax.

In the next 2-3 weeks we will know whether there are enough moderate Democrats to breath some sanity into the legislative process and to deflate the Democratic hot-air flying saucer before we all crash.

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Is Rhode Island's Name Racist?

My home state of Rhode Island is quirky place. We still celebrate Victory Over Japan Day in August, although the name was changed to VJ Day and then to Victory Day, in a nod to political correctness. Now there is a move afoot to change the name of the state for similar reasons.

The official name of Rhode Island is "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." Voters will have a chance in 2010 to remove the reference to "Providence Plantations" as part of a referendum pushed by advocates who argue that the reference to "plantations" is insensitive to blacks and perpetuates a racist image.

The use of the word "plantations" had nothing to do with, and predated, slavery in Rhode Island. Rather, "Rhode Island" signified the islands in Narraganset Bay and the "Plantations" were the mainland settlements:
Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence. Rhode Island was the area now known as Aquidneck Island, which now comprises the city of Newport and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay.
A supporter of the referendum gave this explanation:
CHANGING a name changes very little. Think of “Negro” to “Colored” to “Black” to African-American and how much fundamental change in human and civil rights each of these heralded!

Then there’s the matter of who controls Rhode Island’s history. Up until now, the Yankee elites have fostered a “self-image” of plantations in Rhode Island like those at Plymouth and Jamestown. However, the word “plantation” has evolved over time and evokes memories of slavery that existed in Rhode Island.
Historically, linking Rhode Island's ties to slavery to the word plantations is a mere word game. Rhode Island never had slave plantations in the Confederacy sense, as this history professor at Rhode Island College pointed out in rebuttal to the author quoted above:

The writer evidently knows little or nothing about Roger Williams, and quite misunderstands or misconstrues the complex history of Rhode Island during Williams’s time. She certainly misses the mark when she describes Williams as “a leader in justifying slavery in Rhode Island by selling Narragansett prisoners of war.”

Williams had been an opponent of what he called “permanent slavery” all his life, and he, along with Samuel Gorton, sought to prevent slavery from taking root in the colony. He believed that no one should be enslaved for life and that the condition should not be inherited.

He was certainly a man of his time, which meant that he, along with nearly everyone else, including the Indians, accepted slavery in some form. Enslavement is what happened to losers in wars, and the Indians and Africans did this just as the Europeans did. Nobody has clean hands on this issue.

Williams had sought to prevent slavery from taking hold in his colony, but he had no control over what Newport and Portsmouth did in the 17th Century. Indeed, “Rhode Island” (which we now call “Aquidneck”) was by far the more important and powerful portion of the colony, and the “Rhode Islanders” did not accept the effort by Providence Plantations to outlaw slavery. As a result, slavery did take root, and Williams was unable to prevent it.

So Rhode Island had a connection to the slave trade, but that slave trade post-dated and was unconnected to the use of the term "plantations." [Added: Rhode Island began the gradual emancipation of slaves in 1784.]

It's all academic. The referendum will fail. Few people other than activists and some politicians in Rhode Island think that name has a racist connotation. Rather it is a historical aspect of the state relating to its founding completely unrelated to slavery.

Related Posts:
Is "Gobbledygook" Racist?
Saturday Night Card Game

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Shocked To Find Stimulus Jobs Overstated

Yet another "shocked to find gambling in Casablanca" moment. This time, the AP -- yes the AP! -- checked claims of jobs "created or saved" by stimulus bill spending, and found that the number of jobs was overstated by a factor of 1 in 6:

But the 30,000 figure is overstated by thousands -- at the very least by nearly 5,000, or one in six, based on AP's limited review of some of the contracts -- because some federal agencies and recipients of the money provided incorrect job counts. The review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs were credited to stimulus spending when, in fact, none were produced.
Maybe they confused jobs with "job equivalents."

Related Posts:
Shocked To Find Lobbying In Obama Administration (Part 2)
Shocked To Find Lobbying In Obama Administration

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Need Your Help

I'm at the point where I have to figure out whether to make some changes to the format of this blog. Don't worry, it's not one of those blogger delusions of grandeur, as in, I've had a few good months so now I'm all that.

Rather, I want to make this blog more user friendly. I'm going to start running some ads so that I can hire someone to help with the upgrade. I'll have to decide whether to stick with Blogger (probably) or switch to WordPress or TypePad.

Further not to worry, I won't start screaming at you like a carnival barker to "hit the tip jar" or insisting that you buy me a Cafe Latté.

But I need to know what my readers would like to see changed, or not changed.

Background and other colors? Keep two columns or convert to three? Anything else you have noticed elsewhere and would like to see implemented here?

Please post a comment, or send me an e-mail at contact-at-legalinsurrection-dot-com. (Once again, the admonition that if you can't figure out what to change in the address configuration, I'm not sure I really want your comment.)

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In Defense of Obama's Guy Thing

Alternative headline: "Obama Critic Says It's Gone Too Far."

Let Obama play hoops and hit the links with the guys. Exactly which high-powered woman is he supposed to set a pick for, box out, or look the other way when she uses the foot wedge? Hillary? Maureen Dowd? Janet Napolitano?

Can you imagine. "Obama didn't pass to me enough." "Obama is all elbows." "Obama was moving while I was putting." "Obama called me a divet." "Does Michelle know Obama smokes when he thinks no one is looking?"

Even the Politically Correct One is allowed to have some fun once in a while.

Momentary pause

That didn't take long. All good things must come to an end:

Now we see reports that gender-insensitivity charges have resonated with the Obama White House. According to Politics Daily, the president dragged chief domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes to the golf course on Sunday, and she became the first female to join his golf foursome since he took office. The event produced a photo op of global proportions.

I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for him. Almost.

Second alternative headline: "Leave Obama Alone, He's Busy Ruining The Country."

Update: JC says The Audacity of Hope-Ocrisy. I try not to be so down on the guy as some are. That's just the way I am.

Related Posts:
The Official Guide To Obama Kitsch (get it before it's banned)
Dems to Lieberman: "You Lie"
A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President

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Dems to Lieberman: "You Lie"

Harry Reid held a press conference Monday pushing an "opt out" public option knowing full well he did not have the Democratic votes to break a filibuster.

The left-wing blogosphere, which stopped listening to Reid's press conference immediately after hearing the words "public option," celebrated a tad too early. I'm not even sure what they were celebrating, since no one actually knew what was in the bill Reid was touting. But we long ago passed the point where supporting a bill required knowledge of what was in the bill.

The next day, Joe Lieberman expressed a view, shared by several Democratic Senators, that he felt a public option would be counter-productive, and would not vote for cloture (allowing a filibuster to succeed):
"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."
Leading left-wing blogs, which just a day before had been declaring victory, have not exactly reacted with the type of civility they demanded of Republican Joe Wilson, when Wilson shouted "you lie" at President Obama:
  • Hullabaloo: "But it always seemed absurd to me to trust good old Lieb since he's become a bitter, angry, resentful, creepy, arch conservative, vengeful old fuck (which isn't all that different than he always was, but he used to be a little bit constricted by his religious image.)"
  • Crooks and Liars: "Can we strip this traitor of his chairmanships already?"
  • DownWithTyranny!: "Of course the loathsome snotrag lies with every breath he draws. He's wholly owned by the Moneyed Interests.... Okay, the gloves are off. Now that the little bug has taken his stand, it's time to squash him."
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money: "his office should be transferred to a broom closet somewhere in Camden."
  • Emptywheel: "He is either completely ignorant about health care works (unlikely, for a Senator from Connecticut). Or, he’s lying his ass off as to his rationale."
  • mcjoan at DailyKos: "Lieberman doesn't care, and knows that Politico and AP and WaPo and any number of outlets don't care, so he'll keep on lying."
  • Bill Scher at HuffPo: "Lieberman Lies About the Public Option."
  • MyDD: "Joe, you ignorant war-monger, you."
  • OpenLeft: "Liar."
Nice party you have there, Joe.

Meanwhile, in other Democratic civility news, President Barack Obama held a fundraiser for Alan Grayson, praising Grayson as an "outstanding member of Congress," just days after it was disclosed that Grayson called an adviser to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke a "whore." Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner said of Grayson: “Is this news to you that this guy’s one fry short of a Happy Meal?”

Yeah, but that doesn't mean Grayson can't be "an outstanding Democratic member of Congress."

Related Posts:
Harry Reid: "I Have Nothing to Announce, So Pay Attention"
Dems Stuck With Blog Hero Grayson
Told Ya So On Reid's Empty Hand

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California Bloggin'

For the next few days I'll be blogging from the Left coast.

Today I'm going to go see the brush fires. Tomorrow I'll go see the mud slides. Friday I'll watch as California's economy falls off a cliff into the Pacific.

Saturday I will rest.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Told Ya So On Reid's Empty Hand

Heading to the airport, but wanted to get in a quick Told Ya So.

Yesterday, when everyone to the left was cheering Harry Reid's performance, I said Reid had called a new conference to announce nothing: Harry Reid: "I Have Nothing to Announce, So Pay Attention"

I was right. Joe Lieberman just announced he would not vote for cloture based on the bill including the public option. Other moderate Dems will follow this lead.

Reid's gamble didn't pay off, unless he never wanted to win in the first place, only to show he tried. Either to move forward without a public option, or to find some excuse to use other procedural tricks.

You don't win much just for trying.

Related Post: Dems to Lieberman: "You Lie"

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Spitting Into The Mainstream Media Wind

Josh Gerstein asks a question a lot of people have been asking: What if George W. Bush had done that?

A four-hour stop in New Orleans, on his way to a $3 million fundraiser.

Snubbing the Dalai Lama.

Signing off on a secret deal with drug makers.

Freezing out a TV network.

Doing more fundraisers than the last president. More golf, too.

President Barack Obama has done all of those things — and more.

What’s remarkable is what hasn’t happened. These episodes haven’t become metaphors for Obama’s personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda.
I understand why the question is being asked. But it is spitting into the mainstream media wind.

The mainstream media still supports Obama, just slightly less openly than before. They still are in the tank, just not as deep. Their emotional and professional investment in Obama is too big to fail.

There is a double-standard when it comes to mainstream media coverage of liberals and the rest of us. Always has been, always will be.

So keep asking the question, but duck!

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J Street Shows Its Hand

I've stayed out of the controversy over J Street, the supposedly "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" group founded by out-of-popularity Israeli peaceniks and left-wing Americans.

With all my coverage of Democratic attempts to destroy the American health care system, I haven't had the time to cover J-Street's attempt to weaken Israel by delegitimizing Israel's right to self-defense and self-determination.

J-Street is a ruse. We've seen this before. Only Israel is wrong. Only Israel is brought up on charges when it defends itself. Only the Jewish people's millennial history in the Holy Land is illegitimate, while the Palestinians' 40-year old national identity is sacrosanct.

J-Street is just the latest in a long line of attempts to weaken Israel one cut at a time. "Zionism is racism" may not be the official line any more at the UN, but everything groups like J Street do is part of the same meme.

Which is why J-Street felt the need to use the slogan, "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" even though its agenda was neither. It was a slight of hand.

Now J-Street has shown its cards. As reported by the Jerusalem Post:
J Street's university arm has dropped the "pro-Israel" part of the left-wing US lobby's "pro-Israel, pro-peace" slogan to avoid alienating students.
Of course we would not want to alienate anti-Israel students on campus. That would be so politically incorrect. Pro-Palestinian groups feel no such compunction or embarrassment.

What does it tell you that J-Street has backed away so quickly from its "pro-Israel" slogan with its student arm? Let me guess; they really don't mean it.

Related Posts:
J Street: Liberal Bloggers Need To Study History, Not Memory
Will The Left Apologize To Bolton?
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Dems Stuck With Blog Hero Grayson

The left-wing blogosphere practically went orgasmic when Alan Grayson (D-Fla) took to the floor of the House of Representatives and announced that the Republican health care plan was for sick people to "die quickly." Hah hah. Money and fame flooded into Grayson's coffers and ego, respectively. Turns out Grayson may have stolen the line from a HuffPo blogger.

When Grayson agreed to apologize for his comments -- not to Republicans but to the dead -- there was joy in liberal Mudville.

When Grayson referred to Republicans as "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals," he was hailed as the one Democrat willing to stand up to Republican hissy-fits.

These left-wing bloggers practically split their collective guts when Grayson followed up with his death-list website listing the names of people who died from lack of health care insurance. It didn't matter that Grayson's figures were fictitious.

But the joy and the laughter of the left-wing blogs is becoming a nightmare for Democrats as day by day Grayson reveals himself to be an out-of-control buffoon.

Grayson referred to Dick Cheney as a vampire bat, and offered that any minute Cheney would fly away, causing even Chris Matthews to cringe. Grayson's rant may have sounded good to the blogs, but it revealed Grayson to be on the edge of sanity.

Now it has been uncovered that last month in a radio interview Grayson called an adviser to Ben Bernanke a "whore" because she disagreed with Grayson on Fed policy. Democrats in Congress are not pleased:

Republicans and Democrats slammed Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) for calling Linda Robertson, an adviser to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, a “K Street whore” in a month-old radio interview that circulated on Capitol Hill Monday night....

“Is this news to you that this guy’s one fry short of a Happy Meal?” asked Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer defended Robertson, whom he said he knows. "I think it's inappropriate and unfair," the Maryland Democrat said. He decried the "heated rhetoric" that he said interferes with the ability solve problems.

Keep it up Alan. Stay in the spotlight. You are making our lives much easier. Be the face of the Democratic Party, please.

Related Posts:
Grayson Death Number is Fiction
Hoisting Alan Grayson By His Own Fuzzy Logic

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Kerry Against Afghan Surge But May Be For It

Obama has a massive foreign policy problem. It's called John Kerry. Kerry has been running his own foreign policy mission in Afghanistan, lecturing the locals, and now is back home lecturing the locals.

Kerry has come out against the troop surge requested by General Stanley McChrystal before Obama has made his decision (at least as far as we know):
"I am convinced from my conversations with Gen. Stanley McChrystal that he understands the necessity of conducting a smart counterinsurgency in a limited geographic area," Kerry said in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. "But I believe his current plan reaches too far, too fast."
Kerry is undermining a foreign policy formulation which is of critical importance, much as he tried unsuccessfully to undermine the surge in Iraq.

Obama will find no political support from Kerry in the long run, however, because Kerry is preserving his option of flip-flopping later on:
The Massachusetts Democrat said that, despite his concerns, he may eventually support a troop surge.
I want Obama to succeed in Afghanistan, although the delays and dithering of the past months gives me concern that Obama will not make a decisive decision. A Kerryesque half-measure wih caveats and escape hatches is not what we need.

I hope Obama does not follow Kerry's two-sided approach of doing just enough to say he was for a surge, but leaving himself wiggle room to say he was against it (or vice versa).

Related Posts:
Now They're Just Starting to Ask Questions About Afghanistan?
Support Obama On Afghanistan

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Harry Reid: "I Have Nothing to Announce, So Pay Attention"

Harry Reid just completed his press conference in which he committed to pushing a "public option" through the Senate. What form of public option? The Opt-Out form. What is the Opt-Out form? Let's see what the legislative language says.

Does Reid have the votes to stop a filibuster? He would not say, except he did acknowledge that he does not have a single Republican on board. So he will need every single Democratic Senator to vote for cloture. Reid evaded a question as to whether he had the Democratic votes for cloture to move the bill to the floor.

Reid is sending the bill to the Congressional Budget Office for cost scoring. He will then use that score to lobby Senators, including Republican Olympia Snowe.

In other words, Reid has nothing. Not enough votes for cloture at this point. No cost estimates. Only a hope and a prayer that the CBO score will be favorable, and allow him to move a bill to the floor.

UPDATE: For a slightly less optimistic view - Dems to Cram 'Public Option' Down Throat of American Public

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The Most Monumental Power Grab You Never Heard About
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Avoiding The Real Health Care Questions

The Democratic push on health care restructuring focuses on costs and control. But there are some questions the Democrats are avoiding:
Instead of solely considering costs, shouldn't we ask if Americans are willing to die sooner from cancer, to give up access to specialists, to be refused safer, more accurate diagnostic imaging, to lose the most accessible screening programs, and to lose their autonomy in pursuing treatments for their families? Shouldn't we ask if Americans want to replace the most advanced and successful medical care in history with the restricted care and lower cost social programs of Europe, and insure the less than 5 percent of people who don't buy insurance but receive care anyway?
Democrats will not answer these questions because ... they have no answers.

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A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President

It's slipping away from the protectors of the Obama image. Increasingly, the mainstream media is using the term "Nixonian" in the same sentence as Obama. And all because of an unnecessary fight Obama picked with Fox News.

The term Nixonian has taken on a meaning far beyond the man Richard Nixon. While definitions vary, a common understanding is that to be Nixonian is to be both power hungry and willing to use that power to silence opponents. The particulars and mythology of what Richard Nixon did or didn't do are besides the point.

George Bush regularly was accused by liberals of being "Nixonian" whenever Bush asserted executive power, refused to acquiesce in the predominance of the legislative branch, was slow in producing documents, or attempted to stop leaks. Patrick Leahy famously invoked Nixonian imagery just two years ago:
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee today accused the Bush administration of engaging in a “Nixonian’’ brand of “stonewalling’’ in its refusal to let Karl Rove, the chief political adviser to the president, testify openly in an investigation of the firing of federal prosecutors.

“Sadly, our efforts to follow the evidence where it leads has led to Nixonian stonewalling,’’ said Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), voicing words that stem from the congressional investigation of Watergate. “The question is, what did the president know and when did he know it?’’
Being called "Nixonian" has nothing to do with any particular acts of Richard Nixon. It is a proxy for a President who uses governmental power against the press and political opponents.

Ruth Marcus, a reliably left-of-center columnist for The Washington Post used the term Nixonian recently regarding the Obama administration's attacks on Fox News:
It makes the White House look childish and petty at best, and it has a distinct Nixonian -- Agnewesque? -- aroma at worst.
For her honesty, Marcus felt the full fury of Media Matters (which is coordinating a media boycott of Fox News) and those in the left-wing blogosphere who tolerate no dissent in liberal ranks.

Ken Rudin of NPR made a similar comment, substituting "Nixonesque" for Nixonian:
Well, it's not only aggressive, it's almost Nixonesque. I mean, you think of what Nixon and Agnew did with their enemies list and their attacks on the media and certainly Vice President Agnew's constant denunciation of the media. Of course, then it was a conservative president denouncing a liberal media, and of course, a lot of good liberals said, oh, that's ridiculous. That's an infringement on the freedom of press, and now you see a lot of liberals almost kind of applauding what the White House is doing to Fox News, which I think is distressing.
Rudin was given the internet equivalent of being taken to the woodshed by Steve Benen at Washington Monthly, Media Matters, and others. Perhaps fearing a backlash, such as this call to boycott NPR fundraising, Rudin quickly apologized profusely for his heresy:
I made a boneheaded mistake yesterday, during the Political Junkie segment on NPR's Talk of the Nation, one that I'd like to correct right away.
But all the bullying in the world will not change where the public consciousness is moving on the Obama-Nixonian meme. It already is out there. Even Sally Quinn says this administration reminds her of the days when The Washington Post was under attack for its Watergate coverages.

Which brings me to the meaning of the term "Clintonian." The particular acts of one William Jefferson Clinton in or about the Oval Office in the presence of a young female intern are not the point of the term. Rather, the term Clintonian signals a willingness to play word games in order to blur the truth, as in feigning confusion as to what the meaning of "is" is.

The attempt to silence those who speak of Nixon and Obama is the same sentence has a very Clintonian quality to it. Media Matters, Steve Benen, Joe Conason and others are arguing that the Obama administration has not yet done the things Nixon did (or is claimed to have done).

This is just a word game. Of course Obama has not abused government power in precisely the manner of Nixon. Tolstoy wrote:
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
So too Nixonian politicians are Nixonian in their own ways.

What we have seen so far from this administration more than qualifies as "Nixonian." It doesn't mean that Obama is Nixon, but it does mean that Obama's desire for power is matched by his willingness to use that power to silence political enemies.

We have seen this Nixonian tendency throughout Obama's political career. Obama eliminated his state senate opponents through nominating petition challenges. He destroyed his U.S. Senate opponent by having his supporters gain access to divorce records (all the while claiming he didn't think the records should be released). It is what John Kass of The Chicago Tribune calls the "Chicago Way."

Obama then muzzled and befuddled the Clinton machine by using the race card against Bill Clinton, who was supposed to have been our first black president until Obama came along. During the general election, Obama campaigned against the top 5% of wage earners, pitting American-against-American.

There always seems to be an enemy against whom to campaign. Obama's brief 10-month tenure has seen the permanent campaign shift to the drug companies, the insurance industry, Tea Party attendees, health care protesters, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others. If you oppose Obama's policies and are willing to say so publicly, you will be demonized.

And Obama has not hesitated to use the threat of government regulatory power, much as Nixon used various government agencies as a coercive tool. During the campaign, a group of Missouri prosecutors aligned with the Obama campaign threatened prosecution against anyone who spread "lies" about Obama.

When the health care industry recently released a report claiming that Democratic proposals would raise insurance rates, the Department of Justice in conjunction with Congressional Democrats, announced an intention to examine whether to revoke a 60-year-old antitrust exemption for the insurance industry.

Everything about the history of Obama and this administration's prior conduct culminated in the attempt to intimidate and isolate the only major news organization willing to take on this administration. Fox News was attacked because it has been the sole dissenting voice in the news media.

Nonetheless, the attacks have received widespread condemnation from the mainstream media. By contrast, the George Soros crowd and the left-wing blogs have synchronized their own media campaigns with that of the administration.

The "Obama is Nixonian" meme is spreading because it is believable, even after just 10 months.

And the defense that Obama is not Nixon is so Clintonian.

UPDATE: Barack Milhous Obama

Of Interest:
Caroline Glick Not Interested in Israel's Survival?

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Obama and Rahm Emanuel: When Will You Stop Being Surprised?
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Balloon Boy Derangement Syndrome

I've been waiting patiently, armed with foresight that one of these days Bush Derangement Syndrome would work its way into the Balloon Boy hoax story (no links on the story, if you don't know about it, go back to your cave).

And I've waited. And waited. It has been almost a week. My faith tested but not broken.

Then the satisfaction of seeing my faith rewarded by none other than Frank Rich, doyen of the BDS community, guardian of the BDS crystal ball, all-knowing user of Bush as a metaphor for everything:

The Colorado balloon may have led to the rerouting of flights and the wasteful deployment of law enforcement resources. But at least it didn’t lead the country into fiasco the way George W. Bush’s flyboy spectacle on an aircraft carrier helped beguile most of the Beltway press and too much of the public into believing that the mission had been accomplished in Iraq.
Thank you Frank. Mission accomplished. For both of us.

Of Interest:
A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President

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What If He Can't?

Toby Harnden, the great columnist and blogger for The Telegraph newspaper, has an article titled Barack Obama must stop campaigning and start governing.

The thrust of the article is that the U.S., being the land of the permanent campaign, naturally gave rise to the President who is on permanent campaign:
Perhaps we should not be surprised that the land of the permanent campaign has produced a president like Barack Obama. During his White House bid, Mr Obama's staff argued that his masterful oversight of the machinery that ultimately got him elected was his highest achievement.
There definitely is truth to Harnden's observation. Having no substantive achievement in his life other than his own political career, Obama's claim to the throne was that he claimed the throne. Much like the proverbial dog chasing the car, now that Obama has caught the throne, he doesn't know what to do with it.

Harnden then notes the paradox of asking someone who never governed anything to govern a vast nation with competing interests and checks and balances:

Therein lies the problem. While campaigning could centre around soaring rhetoric, governing is altogether messier. It involves tough, unpopular choices and cutting deals with opponents. It requires doing things rather than talking about them, let alone just being.

Mr Obama is showing little appetite for this. Instead of being the commander-in-chief, he is the campaigner-in-chief....

Beyond the grand announcements, fine speeches and his eager acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr Obama has yet to achieve anything of substance. It is time for the campaign to end.
What if Obama is incapable -- psychologically, philosophically, intellectually -- of stopping the campaign? There seems to be no desire or ability to govern in the traditional sense described by Harnden. Why would we expect the One seeking revolutionary societal change to fall back on traditional methods of governance?

When it comes to governance, what if the One who campaigned on the theme of "yes we can," just can't?

UPDATE: Whoa! Even Clarence Page is sick and tired of the permanent campaign: "A deeper problem is what the [Fox News] flap reveals about Team Obama, which seems to be more comfortable with campaigning than governing."

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Night Card Game (Pandagon)

The latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

This time, it's the reaction to my post about the two South Carolina Republican county chairs who used a sterotype of Jews being penny pinchers in a misguided and failed attempt to praise Sen. Jim DeMint's frugal fiscal policies. The comments really made no sense, and the next day the two South Carolinians apologized.

The point of my post was to contrast the criticism of these comments with the warm embrace Democrats gave and still give people like Al Sharpton who never have apologized for much worse comments about Jews. The South Carolinians' comments, and my criticisms, had nothing to do with any racial issues.

Jesse Taylor at Pandagon, however, couldn't help but invoke the race card when attacking my post:
When a Republican says something that’s racist or ethnically offensive, it never actually is, so long as it’s about black people. (Or, really, anyone, but mainly black people.) If they’re in any way affiliated with any form of entertainment, it was a joke. If the slur was in any way based on any perceivable version of reality (i.e., it’s okay to say that Mexicans are lazy baby machines, because many Mexicans own beds, and the only reason you own a bed is to sleep and make Mexican babies), then really, the people being slurred have to explain why anyone would think that way about them.
I guess it's easier to play the race card than to deal with the fact -- as pointed out in my prior post -- that the Democratic Party had Al Sharpton speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 despite: The Tawana Brawley hoax, the Crown Heights "diamond merchant" incitement, the Freddie's Fashion Mart "white interlopers" slur, and all the other Al Sharpton agitations directed at Jews which predated that invitation.

One of Pandagon's commenters understood my point, even if its proprietor did not get it:
[Bamberg County GOP Chairman Edwin] Merwin’s comments were more recent, to be sure. But the anti-Semitic nature of them had nothing to do with the political point of what he was attempting to make. He was using a blatantly anti-Semitic analogy to make a point that had nothing to do with Jews qua Jews. Sharpton was unambigously playing anti-Semitic politics in a potentially violent way. Huge difference. Jacobson was presumably saying: Yeah, Merwin’s a douche, but there are bigger problems when it comes to prominent figures and anti-Semitism. You can disagree with that, but it’s not ridiculous. It’s best to let people decide for themselves what they are offended by.
As usual, the use of the race card reflected poorly on the person playing the game.

Related Posts:
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Saturday Night Card Game

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The Most Monumental Power Grab You Never Heard About

The pre-weekend information dump included an announcement by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department that the federal government proposes to extend its control over pay packages beyond financial institutions which received bailout funds.

According to the press release, the government proposes to monitor and, if need be, veto pay packages at any banking institution subject to federal regulation:

Flaws in incentive compensation practices were one of many factors contributing to the financial crisis. Inappropriate bonus or other compensation practices can incent senior executives or lower level employees, such as traders or mortgage officers, to take imprudent risks that significantly and adversely affect the firm. With that in mind, the Federal Reserve's guidance and supervisory reviews cover all employees who have the ability to materially affect the risk profile of an organization, either individually, or as part of a group.
This is an earth-shattering development in the annals of government control, yet because the information was released on a Friday, it has received little press attention relative to its importance.

One can understand the bargain made where a company receives federal funds to stay in business. By accepting the funds, which must be repaid, a measure of corporate and shareholder freedom was sacrificed.

But to base government control of salaries on mere regulatory jurisdiction would give the government control over much of the economy, essentially any business involved in interstate commerce. This is the harm which many of us feared from the Trojan horse of the bailouts.

Why not regulate law professor salaries (horrors!)? After all, educational institutions are tax-exempt and thereby receive a de facto federal benefit.

Or doctors? Particularly if Obamacare passes, there will be a federal interest in making sure doctors have the right financial incentives.

Or lawyers? At least those who are admitted to practice in federal courts. There is a federal interest in making sure that the federal resources used to fund the courts are not wasted.

Or truck drivers? They use roads built with federal highway funds (with a touch of stimulus funds thrown in).

Or airline pilots, flight crews and mechanics? Their industry is regulated by the FAA, and the TSA controls security at airports.

And the list could go on and on. But as always, politics will enter into the equation. Do not expect attempts to regulate Hollywood or music industry compensation, or the speaking fees earned by former Presidents and members of Congress.

Creeping federal regulation of every aspect of the economy now is being used as a justification for federal regulation of every aspect of our lives. And the example of regulation of banking salaries sets a precedent for regulation of our personal behaviors once Obamacare passes.

This is a monumental power grab and more.

The actions of the federal government with regard to non-bailed out banks undermine a fundamental feature of our capitalist system: Individuals get to structure their own financial lives, and shareholders and boards of directors get to structure corporate financial lives.

This is using a crisis to grab power unrelated to the crisis. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Of Interest:
Caroline Glick Not Interested in Israel's Survival?

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A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President
IRS The New Health Care Enforcer
Taxing Your Mere Existence

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Gallup: Most Against Obama Nobel Prize

Remember when Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, and Media Matters (the same entity coordinating a media boycott of Fox News) claimed that anyone who was unhappy with the award must be anti-American:
Well, at least conservatives are consistent in their open disdain for American achievement under Obama.

Reminiscent of the Friday Freakout that followed the glorious news that Chicago, and the United States, had been denied the honor of hosing the Summer Olympic Games (Hallelujah!), the same Obama-hating voices in the right-wing media are outraged that the President of the United States has won the Nobel Prize.

In other words, Obama/America loses = good. Obama/America wins = bad.

And no, unhinged critics aren't simply wondering if it's too early in Obama's first term to win such a prestigious award. They're letting loose the divisive hate rhetoric (you'd expect anything less?), and demeaning the international achievement.

In the right-wing blogosphere, Obama's global honor is unfolding like a nightmare.

Question: Why does the conservative media hate America?
Well a Gallup poll released today shows that most Americans opposed Obama getting the prize:
The majority of Americans do not believe President Barack Obama deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize (61%), but the public is split in its personal reaction to the announcement. Asked if they are "glad" Obama received the prize, 46% of Americans say yes and 47% say no.
So does this mean that most Americans hate America?

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Concern Trolls Against Fox

Joe Klein is a concern troll. In purporting to criticize Obama's attacks on Fox News, Klein devotes most of his latest post to attacking Fox News:
Let me be precise here: Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap. Some of it borders on sedition. Much of it is flat out untrue.

But I don't understand why the White House would give such poisonous helium balloons as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity the opportunity for still greater spasms of self-inflation by declaring war on Fox.
Just in case you didn't get his point, Klein repeats that "Fox News spreads seditious lies to its demographic sliver of an audience."

Sedition? A year ago when it was Keith Olbermann, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama calling George Bush names, it was called dissent, a/k/a the highest form of patriotism.

Somehow, I think Klein is working for Obama, or at least angling for a private sit down like Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

UPDATE: JammieWearingFool is more succinct - Ferret-Faced Freak: Fox News is Seditious

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Caroline Glick Not Interested in Israel's Survival?

There are many stupid things said on the internet. Add to the list of top-ten contenders the claim that author Caroline Glick is not concerned with the survival of Israel.

This claim is made in a post at the Lawyers, Guns & Money blog, a left-wing group blog which for some bizarre reason named itself after Warren Zevon's song of the same name. I guess they didn't realize that Zevon's faux-macho songs were widely viewed as self-aggrandizing and self-mocking. Or maybe they did.

Anyway, some of the LGM bloggers are apologists for those who seek to undermine Israeli security by holding Israel to unreasonable and impossible standards of self-defense. Scott Lemieux, an LGM blogger, recently lashed out when Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch, selflessly exposed the double-standard and damaging nature of the attacks by HRW and the other international "human rights" groups on Israel.

Now Robert Farley, another LGM blogger, lashes out at Caroline Glick (and indirectly me by linking to my post about Glick) for pointing out in a recent article that Turkey has slipped into the Islamist orbit.

Glick is a strong supporter of Israel who lives in Jerusalem. But her politics make her a target for the Left. Just check out her blog and bio:
I grew up in Chicago's ultra-liberal, anti-American and anti-Israel stronghold of Hyde Park. Hyde Park's newest famous resident is Barack Obama. He fits right into a neighborhood I couldn't wait to leave.

I made aliyah to Israel in 1991, two weeks after receiving my BA in Political Science from Beir Zeit on the Hudson -- otherwise known as Columbia University. I joined the Israel Defense Forces that summer and served as an officer for five and a half years.

From 1994-1996, as an IDF captain, I served as Coordinator of Negotiations with the PLO in the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In this capacity I was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians...

In its Israeli Independence Day supplement in 2003, Ma’ariv named me the most prominent woman in Israel. In December 2005, I was awarded the Ben Hecht award for Middle East reporting from the Zionist Organization of America. In January 2006, I was awarded the Abramowitz Prize for Media Criticism by Israel Media Watch.
If there is anyone on this earth who is pro-Israel and interested in Israel's survival, it is Caroline Glick.

Yet for the crime of expressing a view which is not in sync with left-wing delusions about how best to promote human rights, Glick stands accused by Farley of not being interested in the survival of Israel due to her criticisms of Turkish conduct (emphasis mine):
Here's the problem: Beating the bejeezus out of Gaza, whatever merits it may have had for Israeli security, also had costs. People, even in relatively friendly states, didn't think that the operation was sensible, or that it was conducted in a civilized manner. Endless bullying on the Goldstone Report won't change that fact. Support for every aspect of Israeli policy does not constitute the central divide between Western and Islamic civilization; Operation Cast Lead was just as unpopular in Europe as it was in Turkey, and Turkey's recent exclusion of Israel from military maneuvers only highlights the fact that Turkey has maintained a closer military relationship with Israel than just about any European country. Moreover, there's a reason why the Israeli leadership is unwilling to go as far as Caroline Glick in calling Turkey out; they are, by and large, far more concerned than she with the survival of the Israeli state.
Memo to LGM, there is a difference between columnists and politicians. Caroline Glick is free to speak the truth about what is happening in Turkey. Politicians have to play politics. These are two very different roles, and the fact that Israeli diplomats must follow diplomatic protocols does not mean that everyone else has to shut up about the reality of what is happening in Turkey.

Are American journalists and columnists limited to what Hillary Clinton says on a particular foreign policy topic? Of course not. But once again, there is a different and double standard for supporters of Israel.

Read Lawyers, Guns & Money, if you want to know how the apologists for the international campaign against Israel think. Read Caroline Glick, if you want to know the truth.

Related Posts:
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Go To CarolineGlick.com

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Mainstream Media Confronts The Monster It Created

The Obama administration's attack that Fox News is not a real "news organization" reflects on the psyche not of Fox News but of our Commander in Chief and his emissaries. It also is a pathetic re-write of history in light of the incredibly biased, pro-Obama media coverage during the election, when Fox News was the only news organization subjecting Obama to any level of scrutiny.

An op-ed by Michael Malone, a former ABC news reporter was the subject of a post by me in October 2008. It is worth repeating Malone's insightful and prophetic words:

The traditional media is playing a very, very dangerous game. With its readers, with the Constitution, and with its own fate.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer....

So, when I say I’m deeply ashamed right now to be called a “journalist”, you can imagine just how deep that cuts into my soul....

I watched with disbelief as the nation’s leading newspapers, many of whom I’d written for in the past, slowly let opinion pieces creep into the news section, and from there onto the front page. Personal opinions and comments that, had they appeared in my stories in 1979, would have gotten my butt kicked by the nearest copy editor, were now standard operating procedure at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and soon after in almost every small town paper in the U.S....

But nothing, nothing I’ve seen has matched the media bias on display in the current Presidential campaign. Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. But in the last few days, even Democrats, who have been gloating over the pass – no, make that shameless support – they’ve gotten from the press, are starting to get uncomfortable as they realize that no one wins in the long run when we don’t have a free and fair press.
The fact that the traditional networks came to Fox's defense yesterday when the White House tried to ban Fox from the White House news pool, is a good sign. But it's only sign.

Hopefully the mainstream media now realize that they created an executive branch monster by serving as sycophants for Obama. That monster -- or some Republican equivalent in the future -- could just as easily turn on any one of the mainstream news organizations as Obama recently turned on Fox.

Protecting Fox from Obama's outrageous conduct protects all news organizations, and restores some small measure of the dignity the mainstream media lost during the election coverage.

Of Interest: Caroline Glick Not Interested in Israel's Survival?

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Obama's Fox News Diversion

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