I could describe this in detail but why not just cut to the chase. First, listen to this:
Listen here (19 minutes), or go here to download the mp3 and put it on an iPod, iPhone or other mp3 player.
Now buy this DVD [both blu ray and dvd available], view it and the interviews with the director [unless you already have, of course]:
Now buy this book and read:
Sorry to be so bossy. I’m so impressed with these things I figure anyone who reads the fare offered on this blog will be also. No time now? Just click the title to this post, bookmark the page that results, and come back to it later.
With less than 100 days until the midterm elections, American voters would give the edge to Republicans by an 11 percentage-point margin if the Congressional election were today. Yet a majority doesn’t think a Republican takeover of Congress would lead to positive change.
Republicans had better not relax just yet. People still don’t think much will change under Republicans. They are wrong about that but it shows that Republicans need to make their case for change and say clearly what they will do and then, and this is the big part, actually do what they promised after the election.
In 1994 they won big and actually did carry through on most of what they promised, but true to their historical form they withered under Democrat’s snarky criticism. It was painful to watch the transformation of Newt Gingrich from hard-driving effective conservative to feckless panderer. To be successful this time the R’s will need to show some backbone and not revert to their old ways of allowing Democrats to put them on the defensive at every turn. It’s time to deprive Democrats of their traditional good fortune of having a weak and confused opposition.
The 1994 success must have frightened Republicans of that era, considering how quickly they gave it up as soon as it proved to work so well. The political stockholm syndrome of being in the minority for 40 years does that I guess. Fortunately for us and to the dismay of Democrats there is a new class of Republicans on the scene who lack those memories and handicaps and are not willing to give up the fight so easily. Republicans such a Paul Ryan and his Road Map For America, for example. Chris Christie, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio, Sharon Angle, etc. A few more Republicans of their stripe would be the Democrats worst nightmare. More like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown, John McCain and Lindsay Gramnesty is what they are hoping for.
Hell would have to freeze over for this to happen, but should Christie O’Donnell become the next Senator from Delaware we will know for sure that a new day has dawned in America.
via Jihad Watch and a reader.
The Brits as a whole are a lot smarter than their prime mininster [see post immediately below]. So, how is it that those they elect are so dense? Well, it happens here too.
See also, Cliff May’s open letter to Mayor Bloomberg:
Before this project is approved, surely New Yorkers and other Americans should know who will be picking up the more than $100 million tab. Would you not be distressed were it later to be revealed that funds had been contributed by people who also finance terrorism?
In a previous post, American Politics Has Caught The British Disease, it was said that our domestic politics now resembles the British example of gentry liberals aligning with the welfare class in a war against the middle class. This is essentially a form of liberal politics that manifests itself as social snobbery against those who question the accepted wisdom of the elite class in its advocacy of open borders, government-run healthcare, and ever-expanding welfare-state government.
The recent electoral gains by the Tories in Britain and the ascendancy of David Cameron to be Prime Minister apparently means that Britain has now caught the Obama disease of political correctness and appeasement of radical Islam as foreign policy. This is and will be an increasing disaster for Britain, the United States and other Western Democracies.
Cameron gave a speech this week in Turkey that was full of howling mistakes and misjudgments which will please Iran and the enemies of the West everywhere. It also sent the wrong message to the current Islamic regime in Turkey, encouraging it to step up its anti-Western activities and sentiments. There is an opposition in Turkey that is appalled at the direction Turkey has taken since the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan [pronounced “air-doe-wahn”] to Prime Minister in 2003. See Erdogan And The Decline of the Turks; Crisis In Turkey; Turkey: An Ally No More; Lion’s Den: Islamist Turkey Overreaches. Cameron stuck a dagger in the back of the pro-Western opposition in Turkey by his appeasement speech to Erdogan’s Islamist regime, which also insulted the legacy of Kemal Atatürk [modern Turkey’s George Washington] who instituted a pro-Western government in Turkey in 1923 based on principles of secular democracy.
Two excellent articles available online detail Cameron’s idiocy on display in Turkey. Barry Rubin, In Speech in Turkey, PM David Cameron Goes Full Idiot, explains:
Suppose you are the British prime minister going to Turkey, or to just about any country. What should you say? The theme should be: We can cooperate and do mutually beneficial things. Here’s what I can do for you; here’s what I’d like you to do for me. And here’s what you must not do in order to reap the benefits of my friendship and favor.
Obviously, you need to dress that up in appropriate language. But everything should be conditional. The message to be delivered is that it is in your interest to respect my interests.
Cameron did the precise and exact opposite. His message was: The UK needs Turkey. Turkey is wonderful. Its behavior has been perfect. We are desperate for your help.
What is the effect? A man goes into a bazaar, points to a carpet, and says, “That is the most beautiful carpet I have ever seen. I must have it no matter what the price! How much is it?”
In addition, Cameron committed some other howling mistakes, several of which will amaze you. So please stick with me as I explain and document this — you won’t be disappointed. And remember this is not just a matter of one speech; it is a fitting symbol for the entire contemporary Western diplomatic approach to the Middle East, and much more to the world as well. By the way, it is doomed to fail miserably.
Rubin continues with all the details. Read it here.
Anyone interested in foreign affairs must read Claudia Rosett on a regular basis. In No, Mr. Prime Minister, It’s Not A “Prison Camp” she offers this:
Did British Prime Minister David Cameron have some special reason for pandering to Ankara? Or is he simply clueless on Islamist terrorism and the Middle East?
Speaking Tuesday in the Turkish capital, Cameron called Gaza a “prison camp.”
No, Prime Minister. Gaza is not a prison camp. It is a terrorist camp.
Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, whose leaders seized all power in the enclave in a bloody coup in 2007 – slaughtering Palestinian rivals. Hamas is dedicated in its charter to obliterating the sovereign state of Israel, hostile generally to the values of free societies, and dedicated on its current turf in Gaza to imposing strict Islamic law. Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into neighboring Israel. The reason for the Israeli blockade is to keep weapons out of Gaza — from which Israel withdrew entirely in 2005, trusting that the “international community” would help ensure a future there of peaceful coexistence. Instead, what’s emerged is a terrorist enclave, its staple needs sustained by enormous handouts from the U.S. and European Union, while Hamas spends resources on propaganda and weapons.
The real answer for Gaza is an end to Hamas, and an end to Iran’s tyrannical regime and its toxic influence both in the Middle East and beyond — extending, apparently, to such places as London. Whatever constituency Cameron is playing to, he’s kidding himself if he fails to understand that with utterances such as this latest in Turkey, he is giving a nod to Islamist terrorism. That is all too likely to come home to roost.
David Cameron is a British Tory. That’s supposed to be the British conservative party. Cameron has so far disgraced the very idea.
Democrats and establishment Republicans, i.e., RINOs, depend upon the public’s short memory to get them through tough times. These politicians figure that no matter how much you dislike what they are doing they needn’t worry if they can get it done in an off-election year, or at least several months before the election. Voters will forget by the time the election comes around, they think, on the theory that we are all so preoccupied with the struggle to survive and live some semblance of a decent life we won’t have time to remember the foul deeds done in Washington D.C.
Obamacare was only a concept for a long time before the actual bill was passed by the House in 2009. In a short time the American people figured out that all the hope and change promised by Obama was hype and propaganda. Obamacare was finally forced through around 100 days ago with sneaky partisan maneuvering the likes of which are rarely seen because it was deeply unpopular by that time. The Democrat apparatchiks in Washington still believe it will all be forgotten by November, and they will be saved from the wrath of the American people.
They could be right. It’s happened before with unnecessary and unwanted legislation. The Medicare prescription drug program was not wanted and was largely shoved down our throats by the Bush Administration. But within a few months voters seemed to have forgotten how much they disliked it. That may not be analogous though because voters were already fed up with Bush for other reasons. Furthermore, Obamacare has some nasty surprises coming that will sucker punch us. The medicare cuts are a good example.
Medicare advantage is an extremely popular program with seniors. The benefits are good and the premiums are low. You are allowed to choose your own doctor and you can switch doctors anytime. You can visit any doctor in the country who accepts it, and a lot more do if you have medicare advantage, and the benefits are either the same or near enough to suffice. In short, it’s a very good deal for seniors. A good deal that Obamacare will begin to take away as early as this fall. Even though it has been widely reported by the alternative media [the journalistas have not been successful in covering it up] there are still a lot of medicare clients who are not aware of what is about to happen to their health insurance.
James Capretta, writing in the July 27th edition of National Review, explains:
While it is true that the program is a massive entitlement, specifically designed to get the American middle class fully hooked on another expansive government benefit, Obamacare also — unlike the Medicare drug benefit — creates millions of losers. Democrats riddled it with budget gimmicks and sleights of hand to create the illusion of a fully financed program; but what it really does is redistribute resources within the health sector away from those who have good coverage today. As millions of today’s happily insured citizens begin to find out that their current arrangements have been disrupted, and, in some cases, terminated, to pay for the Obama administration’s government-centric takeover, their views of Obamacare will only sour further.
The problems will start this fall, well before the midterm elections, when millions of seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) insurance plans start to get bad news in the mail about their coverage. The president and congressional Democrats despise the MA program because it is private, not government-run, insurance. They have wanted to cut it for years, and their supposed desire to find offsetting savings for another entitlement expansion provided the perfect cover to get out the axe. Over the next ten years, Obamacare’s cuts to MA payment rates will reach nearly $120 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
In 2009, about 10.6 million Medicare beneficiaries — nearly one in four — signed up for MA insurance. Prior to Obamacare, that number was set to rise to nearly 14 million later in this decade. But no longer. With the cuts, MA insurance plans will have no choice but to dramatically scale back their offerings and benefits. Enrollment will plummet, falling by 35 percent compared with where it would have been without Obamacare. About 2 million seniors who are now in MA will get pushed out of their current coverage. What’s worse, all 10.6 million Medicare beneficiaries now enrolled in MA plans will face deep cuts in their benefits even if they get to stay in their plan, since virtually all MA plans, to stay in business, will be forced to charge higher premiums or cut back on what they offer. By 2019, the average cut in benefits will reach $800 per year per MA beneficiary.
The Democrats’ antipathy toward MA is entirely ideological. They argue that MA plans are overpaid by today’s formula, and claim to want only a fair competition between fee-for-service (the traditional Medicare model) and the private-insurance approaches offered to Medicare enrollees — but that is plainly not the case. In 1999, the Clinton administration killed the recommendations of the bipartisan Medicare Commission to move Medicare toward a level playing field precisely because it feared that fee-for-service’s expensive and bureaucratic structure could not compete with the more efficient models the private sector would develop. Indeed, every time a proposal has been floated for Medicare to include a truly competitive system of payment for private insurance and fee-for-service, the Democrats have attacked and killed the idea. They don’t want genuine consumer choice, because that would mean an erosion of political control over the health system. They prefer instead Medicare fee-for-service’s command-and-control payment regulations, which maximize power for politicians and regulators and artificially lower costs for fee-for-service coverage.
Their solution — embodied now in Obamacare — is to tie MA rates to fee-for-service’s payment systems. The result will be a massive exodus of plans and enrollees from the MA program, and unjustified regional disparities in the incidence of the cuts. For instance, high-cost and fraud-ridden South Florida has fee-for-service costs that are 70 percent higher than those of Portland, Ore., yet Portland would face a much steeper MA cut under the revised MA formula. Under Obamacare’s perverse incentives, profligacy is rewarded and cost cutting is punished.
Obamacare’s MA cuts will also hit low-income seniors disproportionately. Most retirees view the Medicare benefit as inadequate because its cost-sharing requirements can feel expensive to someone on a fixed income. Those who worked for large corporations and/or the government (at any level) tend to have additional insurance as a retirement benefit from their former employer. Those with relatively high incomes but without a retiree plan usually buy Medigap supplementary insurance. It’s only low-income seniors who don’t have that option — which is why they often sign up with MA plans that have lower copayments and deductibles than fee-for-service. They will suffer the most in the coming MA bloodbath.
It’s hard to imagine Medicare’s beneficiaries accepting the loss of hundreds of dollars in their current benefits without a fight. The last time Congress embarked on an ideological crusade to kill private insurance in Medicare, in 1997, seniors who were facing large benefit cuts forced their elected representatives to reverse them in very short order. There’s no reason to expect things will be different this time around. Indeed, the outrage is likely to be even more intense, because the purpose of the MA cuts is not to improve Medicare’s financial outlook or to reduce the budget deficit, but to pay for an expensive new entitlement for others.
Of course, the Medicare cuts in Obamacare go well beyond MA. The new law also cuts payments to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and hospice facilities. The Democrats claim these reductions are part of a grand plan to reform the “delivery system” and force new efficiencies on those providing services. But this kind of top-down cost cutting has been tried many times before in Medicare, and has never worked. Sometimes, the cuts have been reversed in response to political pressure from groups that represent providers of health care to seniors. Other times, the cuts remained in force, but service providers found ways to work around them and get paid just as much as they were paid before, often by increasing the number of claims they filed.
It’s not just medicare patients that are going to get a royal screwing by Obamacare. Most working-age Americans are currently in employer-provided health plans and they are about to get slammed by Obamacare also. Obama promised, endlessly it seemed, that nothing in his health care plan would upset existing arrangements. Who can count how many times he told us that if we liked our current plan we could keep it. What he neglected to mention is that Obamacare sets up a perverse array of incentives that are likely to set in motion a series of events that will lead to many if not most employers dropping their present group plans and dumping their employees into the government plan. This result is not unintended. That double negative cancels and means it was and is fully intended by the those benevolent dictators in Washington who claim to care so much about our welfare. Remember, Obamacare was driven by ideology, not beneficence. Democrats have long hated private insurance and they have always aimed to destroy it. Anyone having a hard time believing that should listen to the words of Donald Berwick, Obama’s new Medicare and Medicaid director, who was sneaked into position by a recess appointment in order to avoid having to answer tough questions in a Senate confirmation hearing. It is available here.
James Capretta explains again,
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the CBO and now president of American Action Forum (AAF), and Cameron Smith, also of AAF, have analyzed the new law and found that it establishes strong incentives for employers to dump their current coverage, especially if they have a high proportion of low-wage workers. The law’s architects think they have prevented such dumping by forcing employers to make an all-or-nothing choice: They provide either for everyone, or for no one, including their higher-salaried workforce. But firms can work their way around the bureaucratic rules by reorganizing themselves into multiple companies with independent health arrangements. One way or another, employers will find a way to maximize their bottom line, even if that means terminating their health-insurance offerings.
Holtz-Eakin and Smith estimate that some 35 million people will get dumped by their employers into the government-managed insurance exchanges — which, in turn, would put the ten-year costs of Obamacare $500 billion above CBO’s projection. More important, it would force millions of people into the government-managed program, whether they wanted to be there or not, and would signal the beginning of a slow march toward an entirely government-run insurance system.
For these and other reasons fully explained by Mr. Capretta in his National Review article, the opposition to Obamacare is not likely to recede down the memory hole as has so much of the atrocious legislation foisted upon an unsuspecting public in the last 75 years. Opposition is more likely to intensify as more and more Americans discover the true effects that will hit them personally. Obamacare will not remain an abstract concept for much longer. Republicans would be wise to campaign on repeal of Obamacare.
John Kerry is getting heat for parking his
wife’s $7 Million yacht in Rhode Island to save half a million dollars in boat taxes that Massachusetts would levy if he berthed it there. OK, Kerry is fond of sticking us with high taxes whenever he can and this makes him a hypocrite. But I say he is doing the right thing by denying Massachusetts the tax revenue. That is what federalism is about. States compete for residents and business. Let Massachusetts lower its taxes and compete with Rhode Island.
Besides, its about time Rhode Island regained it historical claim to be a place where lovers of liberty can escape the oppression of Puritans and tax collectors from Massachusetts. Roger Williams is honored.
Here is what Journalism has come to: Andrew Breitbart, Michele Malkin, The Daily Caller, conservative talk radio, conservative magazines, conservative books, conservative bloggers, conservative columnists, etc. are all trying to get more information out into the open where anybody can access it. Journalists, at least the 400 or so on the Journolist listserv, are scheming and conspiring with each other to prevent information from getting out.
It hasn’t always been this way. Back before reporters were called journalists, reporters were cynical and suspicious of everyone. They assumed everyone, especially politicians of any stripe, were crooks trying to scam the public. They approached their jobs with that attitude and the result was the public was better informed of what was going on, why certain strange things seemed to be happening, and what it all likely meant. But that changed when reporters became journalists mired in groupthink, chose sides, and started treating their chosen side as saints who can do no wrong and the other side as evil racists and criminals. It’s all one-sided now and the real chicanery goes by without being noticed by the “journalists.” We learn about it, if at all, from the new sources that have sprung up to compete with journalism.
UPDATE: It strikes me that the fawning protection Democrats get from journalistas has about the same effect as all the fawning attention women blessed with striking good looks get from men; it makes them dull.
Fred Barnes writes in the Wall Street Journal about the vast left-wing media which we always knew acted in concert, but we thought it was only by tacit agreement. In other words, it wasn’t a conspiracy but rather an unstated agreement among people who simply think and act pretty much the same. But thanks to the Journolist listerv emails exposed by Tucker Carlson on his Daily Caller website, we now know that by shucks it really is a old fashioned conspiracy where the participants actively conspire on tactics to shut down free speech by those who disagree with them and to prevent any news stories that are unfavorable or embarrassing to their favorite politicians, first and foremost Barack Obama. They actively planned that they would not report anything about the America-Hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright whose church Obama attended for 20 years, in order not to jeopardize Obama’s election to the Presidency. They also expressly agreed on the strategy of making false allegations of racism against conservatives who criticized Obama because that accusation drives conservatives off their game and neutralizes them.
This week, Mr. Carlson produced a series of JournoList emails from April 2008, when Barack Obama’s presidential bid was in serious jeopardy. Videos of the antiwhite, anti-American sermons of his Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, had surfaced, first on ABC and then other networks.
JournoList contributors discussed strategies to aid Mr. Obama by deflecting the controversy. They went public with a letter criticizing an ABC interview of Mr. Obama that dwelled on his association with Mr. Wright. Then, Spencer Ackerman of The Washington Independent proposed attacking Mr. Obama’s critics as racists. He wrote:
“If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them—Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares—and call them racists. . . . This makes them ‘sputter’ with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.”
American newspapers are dying but if they paid more attention to British newspapers and tried to emulate them just a bit, they might find their circulation rising or at least holding steady instead of the free fall they are in presently. One of the best things about the rise of the internet is how easy it is to read British newspapers, which are exquisitely wonderful compared to ours. A piece in the UK Telegraph by Janet Daley, American Politics Has Caught The British Disease is a fine example. She is talking about the disdain that gentry liberals have for the middle class, which in America means those who work for a living, many with their hands, and usually have within their own memory parents or grandparents who were once poor immigrants. The aristocracy in England have long looked down their noses at those “in trade.” Starting after WW II these gentrified ones formed an alliance with the welfare class against those who still believed they had a right to keep most of what they earned with their own labor, and while always willing to help those down on their luck they had little sympathy for slackers. The British labour party slowly evolved from a working man’s party into an elitist club of pompous political opportunists using the poor as a weapon against the middle class.
Janet Daley laments that under Obama, American politics seems to be following a similar path:
When David Cameron visits the United States this week, he will find a country whose national political argument has become more like our own in Britain than probably he – and certainly I – would ever have imagined. For America has learned, thanks to Barack Obama’s crash course in European-style government, about the titanic force of class differences. The president’s determination to transform the US into a social democracy, complete with a centrally run healthcare programme and a redistributive tax system, has collided rather magnificently with America’s history as a nation of displaced people who were prepared to risk their futures on a bid to be free from the power of the state.
The open hostility of the American political class, and much of the professional class, to the Tea Party movement mirrors the British Disease, says Daley:
Liberal politics is now – over there as much as here – a form of social snobbery. To express concern about mass immigration, or reservations about the Obama healthcare plan, is unacceptable in bien-pensant circles because this is simply not the way educated people are supposed to think. It follows that those who do think (and talk) this way are small-minded bigots, rednecks, oiks, or whatever your local code word is for “not the right sort”.
She concludes with a poignant observation:
What is most depressing about this – apart from the injustice of it – is that the people who have been disenfranchised and disowned are the very ones on whom both countries’ economic recovery depends.
Read the whole thing.
America’s Ruling Class — The Perils of Revolution by Angelo Codevilla
Politico: Poll: D.C. elites a world apart
J.D. Hayworth is challenging John McCain in the Republican Senate primary August 24th in Arizona. The two squared off in televised debate Friday night and again Saturday night, along with the third candidate and tea party activist Jim Deakin. Bottom line is that while it may not be possible to declare either a clear winner in the debates, it is certain that J.D. Hayworth came off very well and probably helped himself.
Hayworth quickly went on the attack. He assailed McCain for supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, his vote for the wasteful TARP bailout, and his votes against the Bush tax cuts in 1992 and 1993. McCain defended by blatantly lying about his support for amnesty. This is a shocker considering that he sponsored the amnesty bill with open borders liberal Ted Kennedy. He must assume that Arizona voters have no memory, are too stupid to know the facts, or don’t care. Given the current high level of awareness over illegal immigration in Arizona at the present time, McCain would be wrong on all counts. It may be that Arizonans are just used to McCain becoming a temporary conservative for 6 months out of every 6 years when it is time to get re-elected to the Senate. It may work once more, but after these debates the odds seem a bit longer.
McCain’s professed conservatism during his reelection campaign in light of his clear record of attacking and undermining conservatives at every opportunity for the past 6 years is amusing. It is also disgusting because the polls have been indicating that it might be working. It enabled Hayworth to get under McCain’s skin in the first debate but McCain held his legendary temper in check. In the second debate on Saturday night some of the real John McCain came out when he called Hayworth a “pig.”
Tea party activist Jim Deakin did not shine. It is possible that some of his supporters will switch to Hayworth after these debates. The verdict on these debates won’t be known until we see whether Hayworth rises in the polls, where McCain has carried the lead until now.
The silver lining in the Obama win of the White House was that maybe we were finally rid of John McCain. It turns out that was premature. In five weeks we will know for sure.
More in depth on the McCain-Hayworth debates here:
The Gloves Come Off in Arizona by Robert Costa
John McCain Was Decimated by J. D. Hayworth in Second Debate, by Rachel Alexander
The Rachel Alexander report is persuasive, but she is part of the Hayworth Campaign.
While I motorcycle across Wyoming and Colorado and back and read all of C. J. Box, here are some timely articles you may find interesting:
Do you know who Ulysses Grant is? Sure you do, but you might be surprised to learn that a lot of young people these days don’t: Another Sign of the Apocalypse
And this video produced by the Dallas Tea Party is brilliant:
If you’re a political junkie like me you get the message. If you’re not up on all the political news because say, you have a life, let me explain. Janeane Garofalo, the dumb brunette talking about the limbic brain size, is calling anyone who criticizes Obama a racist. In her mind, she is talking about the Tea Partiers. She and her ilk are desperate to cast the Tea Partiers as racists because the race card has worked so well for them in the past. It is the best thing ever invented to allow liberals to avoid having to answer conservative arguments. But the video shows all the Democrats and liberals who have been criticizing Obama. So, Janeane, they’re racists too. Right?
UPDATE, 10:30 PM Friday: Voicemail on my cell from Mrs. TeeJaw. Last words were, “I’m so looking forward to you being back home.” I kinda like that. I’ll be on the road early tomorrow.
On this earlier post, How Obama, Unions, and Environmental Regulations Turned The BP Oil Spill From An Accident Into A Catastrophe, it was noted that soon after the Gulf oil spill the Dutch government was ready to send help in the form of special expertise and equipment which they possess and that is unlike anything else in the world, but the Obama Administration has consistently refused to allow any foreign assistance. Even if such help were accepted it would be subject to union rules and environmental regulations that make it ineffective.
Now the Heritage Foundation has sent a team of experts to Louisiana to see first-hand the crisis and the coordinated response. Based on earlier reports, their expectations were low. However, the federal government’s involvement turned out to be much worse:
We saw how entrepreneurs are being discouraged from offering solutions, and when offered, are met with months of red tape. We observed a claims process begging for transparency. Overall, we witnessed the need for a strong political leader that can be held accountable for the keystone-cop federal effort.
Ineptitude. Incompetence. Inattention. We heard these themes consistently as we traveled across the Gulf, but perhaps the best description came from a local Louisiana official who told our team that the federal response was “stuck on stupid.” Indeed.
The media seems to have forgotten the story, and so has Obama. Three weeks ago he was saying he would not rest until the problem was solved, and he was going to throw everything he can find at it and get it fixed. Since then he hasn’t mentioned it, and instead is planning his vacation.
Could it be that Obama finds the Gulf oil spill acceptable somehow, perhaps sees some political advantage in it for him? What that would be is anyone’s guess, but getting inside this man’s head is impossible. Ordinary logic will not explain his actions.
If George W. Bush were president right now, the media would be calling for his impeachment.
Obama plans his third vacation since the BP oil spill began. WCVB Boston says, “The White House says the Obamas will travel next Friday to Mount Desert Island, which is home to Acadia National Park. There will be no public events for the president during the three-day trip.”
On May 14th Obama said,
I’m not going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people in the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods.
This should become a GOP campaign ad:
Can you imagine the deafening uproar if this were George W. Bush?
These lefty bumper stickers reveal something about the owner of the car, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. I’m tempted to say it’s a statement on the order of, “I’m an ignorant left-wing whack job and I want everyone to know it!”
More charitably I might say this car is owned by a young person who is a work in progress, a future conservative awaiting the inevitable reality check. Or maybe it’s just youthful rebellion. But for most of my life being a conservative was the true rebellion. What if the car is owned by an aging sixties flower child? I give up.
I purloined this photo from Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
From the YouTube description:
Margaret Thatcher does a spot of spring cleaning and sweeps away socialism in this early rallying speech from the Conservative Party Conference of 1975. Four years later, Thatcher would become Prime Minister and this speech bodly outlines the kind of values upheld by her government and exemplifies her commitment to the free market, a property-owning democracy and the rights of the individual.
I found this video at Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Man denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon by the sheriff of Osceola County, Iowa wins his case in Federal District Court which orders the sheriff to issue the permit, and to take a class on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The case is Dorr v. Weber.
Under Iowa’s discretionary CCW statute, which is due to be replaced by a new statute of the “shall issue” type on January 1, 2011, Iowa sheriff’s could issue or not issue CCW permits at their discretion. The permits are good for only one year and the permit holder must apply for a new permit every 12 months. From the late 1990’s until 2005 Mr. Dorr had applied for and been granted a CCW permit by Sheriff Weber on an annual basis. In 2007 Dorr’s application for a permit was denied. Dorr sued the sheriff on the theory that he denied Dorr’s application in retaliation for his exercise of his First Amendment rights as an abortion protestor.
Dorr had been quite vocal against abortion for several years. His protests included writing letters to the editor of he newspaper, handing our leaflets and flyers, blocking the entrance to abortion clinics, and other non-violent activities to raise public awareness of the number of abortions being performed in Iowa and the nation. He had been arrested and convicted of various non-violent misdemeanors. He had no history of violence of convictions of violent crimes. He was considered by many members of the public as a crank, kook, whack job, etc.
Sheriff weber gave a deposition that provided proof to the court of the validity of Dorr’s claim because the sheriff laid out the reasons for the denial, all of which were directly related to Dorr’s exercise of his first amendment rights in criticizing public policy on abortion rights.
The Court opened its written decision, as follows:
After a one day bench trial, the court is called upon to decide whether Defendant Sheriff Weber’s decision to deny Plaintiff’s . . . application for [a] concealed weapons permit was in retaliation for exercising [his] First Amendment rights. Paul Dorr . . . engaged in extensive First Amendment activity like protesting, passing out leaflets, and writing letters to the editor. Although determining what went on in a decision-maker’s mind is almost always a daunting challenge, the sheriff’s honest, credible, forthright, truthful, and consistent testimony makes this task unusually simple. The court finds a tsunami, a maelstrom, an avalanche, of direct, uncontroverted evidence in Sheriff Weber’s own testimony to conclude beyond all doubt that he unquestionably violated the First Amendment rights of . . . Paul Dorr.
Sheriff Weber wrote on Dorr’s 2007 application, as the reason for disapproving the application: “Concern from Public. Don’t trust him.” In his deposition he admitted that it was Dorr’s abortion protesting that was the basis of the denial, and that there was public concern about him, which led the sheriff to distrust him.
The Court concluded:
In denying Paul a concealed weapons permit, Sheriff Weber single handedly hijacked the First Amendment and nullified its freedoms and protections. Ironically, Sheriff Weber, sworn to uphold the Constitution, in fact retaliated against a citizen of his county who used this important freedom of speech and association precisely in the manner envisioned by the founding members of our Nation who ratified the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. In doing so, this popularly elected Sheriff, who appears to be a fine man and an excellent law enforcement officer, in all other regards, blatantly caved in to public pressure and opinion and, in doing so, severely trampled the Constitution and Paul’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. This is a great reminder that the First Amendment protects the sole individual who may be a gadfly, kook, weirdo, nut job, whacko, and spook, with the same force of protection as folks with more majoritarian and popular views.
For these reasons, the court finds Paul has proved that Sheriff Weber denied his application for a concealed weapons permit in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. Therefore, the court, having found Paul proved a claim of First Amendment retaliation, will order Sheriff Weber to reconsider, and approve, Paul’s application for a concealed weapons permit.
Colorado had a discretionary issue CCW law until 2003 when it adopted a shall-issue type statute. Under the old law the 63 sheriffs of Colorado had made a diverse patchwork of policies regarding the issue of permits. Some sheriffs issued to any citizen that met certain objective criteria while others adopted all sorts of weird criteria or issued only to their political cronies. One sheriff of which I was familiar would interrogate an applicant’s neighbors until one was found that might say something derogatory about the applicant and use that as the basis for denial. Discretionary CCW statutes are well springs for all sorts of official abuse and their further demise should be welcomed by all who love freedom and honesty in government.