US Politics Obama Years Public date: 25.02.2019 20:17:58

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7 Apr 2010

Politicized Counting

President Obama s politicized, profligate U.S. Census drive is so desperate for positive press that it has now recruited former Bush senior adviser Karl Rove to do public-service announcements. Rove pleads on video: Please answer the ten easy questions. They re almost the same ones Madison helped write for the first Census back in 1790. Message: If you don t join the Census bandwagon, James Madison will have los!
President Obama s politicized, profligate U.S. Census drive is so desperate for positive press that it has now recruited...
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7 Apr 2010

A Sinking Ship of State

Last summer, President Obama spent several months publicly anguishing over what he would or wouldn t do in Afghanistan. Finally, he agreed to ramp up troop levels but warned that he intended to start getting American troops out in 18 months. After anguishing in several columns over the president s anguishing, I concluded in November 2009...
Last summer, President Obama spent several months publicly anguishing over what he would or wouldn t do in Afghanistan....

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7 Apr 2010

The Apex of Human Achievement

I think it was Earl Warren who said that the news pages of a newspaper record man's failures, while the sports pages record his achievements. I think that's largely right, although one might add that the news pages especially reflect the failures of Warren's liberals. But let's not mix politics with baseball. The 2010 season is on, and already it has given us a great fielding gem by White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle. Here it is; Paul Konerko is the first baseman:
I think it was Earl Warren who said that the news pages of a newspaper record man's failures, while the sports pages...

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6 Apr 2010

The Great Iran Charade

The rules of the great Iranian nuclear charade are simple: We pretend to punish the Iranians for the nuclear-weapons program that they pretend doesn t exist.  The Obama administration is about to go to the United Nations Security Council for a fourth round of sanctions. Remember the first three rounds? Models of collective international action, they passed unanimously (with the exception of an abstention by Indonesia in 2008) while Iran spun ever more centrifuges and enriched ever more uraniu.
The rules of the great Iranian nuclear charade are simple: We pretend to punish the Iranians for the...
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6 Apr 2010

Go Quietly, Michael Steele

How to put this politely? Michael Steele is a man of considerable talents -- it s just that he conspicuously lacks those required for his present position. He s energetic, personable, and articulate. But those are not the qualities most required of a party chairman. The job demands an administrator, a behind-the-scenes schmoozer, and a tactician. Showboating is a hindrance. It s a job that requires the talents of a stage manager, whereas Steele likes to be the star.
How to put this politely? Michael Steele is a man of considerable talents -- it s just that he conspicuously lacks those...

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5 Apr 2010

Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews and the ‘regime’ question

On Friday, I asked Rush Limbaugh for his response to President Obama's description of him as "troublesome" and of his program as "vitriol." Limbaugh told me he does not believe Obama is trying to do what is best for the country and added, "Never in my life have I seen a regime like this, governing against the will of the people, purposely." Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Rush-Limbaugh-Chris-Matthews-and-the-regime-question-89848762.html#ixzz0kCi3770w
On Friday, I asked Rush Limbaugh for his response to President Obama's description of him as "troublesome" and of his...

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2 Apr 2010

Having Information Doesn’t Stop Bad Choices

When faced with a choice that could yield either short-term satisfaction or longer-term benefits, people with complete information about the options generally go for the quick reward, according to new research from University of Texas at Austin psychologists. "You'd think that with more information about your options, a person would make a better decision. Our study suggests the opposite," said researcher Bradley Love.
When faced with a choice that could yield either short-term satisfaction or longer-term benefits, people with complete...
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2 Apr 2010

Group: Health Reform Could Ban Guns

PoliFact: The Gun Owners of America has recently taken aim at an unlikely subject: health care reform. GOA has sent out a member alert titled, "ObamaCare Could be Used to Ban Guns in Home Self-Defense." PoliFact's response: "There is nothing in the bill itself to indicate that is contemplated. We find the statement False."
PoliFact: The Gun Owners of America has recently taken aim at an unlikely subject: health care reform. GOA has sent out...
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2 Apr 2010

Job Growth at Three-Year High

The economy had its biggest jump in jobs in three years in March, according to a government report released Friday, CNNMoney reports. The Labor Department said the economy gained 162,000 jobs in the month, compared to a revised reading of a 14,000 job loss in February. That makes March only the third month since the start of 2008 that employers did not cut payrolls.
The economy had its biggest jump in jobs in three years in March, according to a government report released Friday,...

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2 Apr 2010

Oops: RNC Mailer Uses Phone Sex Number

The Republican National Committee accidentally listed the number to a phone sex line in a recent fundraising mailer. The RNC document, which appeared similar to a census form, featured Chairman Michael Steele's name and listed the RNC's return number as (800) 863-8500 instead of the correct number (202) 863-8500. Callers received a record message that begin, "Hey there sexy guy. Welcome to an exciting new way to go live one-on-one with hot, horny girls waiting right now to talk to you. ... we love nasty talk as much as you do."
The Republican National Committee accidentally listed the number to a phone sex line in a recent fundraising mailer. The...
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2 Apr 2010

March job numbers show improvement, but nothing dramatic

The March employment report contains mildly good news. According to government figures, the number of jobs increased by 162,000 last month. This is only the second month since late 2007 that the economy gained jobs. However, according to Politico, the consensus among economists was that March would show a job increase of at least 200,000. Several factors pointed to such an expansion. The government hired approximately 50,000 people to take the census. And the bounce-back from snowy February also resulted in more jobs. Despite all of the new jobs, the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent. That's because discouraged workers increasingly began looking for work. A person is not deemed unemployment if he or she has abandoned the labor force. Overall, the March report confirms that the job picture is improving, but suggests that the improvement is occurring slowly.
The March employment report contains mildly good news. According to government figures, the number of jobs increased by...

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2 Apr 2010

Doctor Turns Away Obama Voters

A Florida doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to leave. "If you voted for Obama, seek care elsewhere," the sign on Dr. Jack Cassell's door reads. "Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."
A Florida doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his...

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2 Apr 2010

O’Reilly Will Pay Phelps Case Legal Fees

On his TV show Wednesday, Bill O'Reilly said he'd pay the $16,500 in legal fees owed by the father of a soldier to Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church. An appeals judge last week ruled Albert Snyder must pay the fees after he unsuccessfully sued Phelps' church for picketing the 2006 funeral of Snyder's son Matthew, a Marine killed in Iraq. "I will pay Mr. Snyder's obligation," O'Reilly said. "I'm not going to let this injustice stand."
On his TV show Wednesday, Bill O'Reilly said he'd pay the $16,500 in legal fees owed by the father of a soldier to Fred...

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2 Apr 2010

Obama Doesn’t Like “Vitriol”?

CBS's interview with Barack Obama has to be seen to be believed. Here, Harry Smith asks Obama whether he is aware that some have called him a "socialist" or a "Nazi." The tone of the interview is remarkable; just try to imagine a network news correspondent asking George Bush in the same sympathetic manner what he thinks about the appalling excesses of the other side: Note how Obama immediately starts talking about the "vitriol" of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. This is a bad joke: has Obama never listened to Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow et al.? I've never watched or listened to Beck, but Limbaugh is a more moderate and sophisticated analyst of the political scene than, say, Paul Krugman or E.J. Dionne. As for vitriol, has Obama forgotten his own contributions? "If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun," and "Get in their face"? Or how about his many denunciations of the insurance industry, of doctors, and others involved in health care? Can you remember the last time a President insulted millions of Americans in this manner? I can't. As far as Obama is concerned, "vitriol" is entirely a matter of whose ox is being gored.
CBS's interview with Barack Obama has to be seen to be believed. Here, Harry Smith asks Obama whether he is aware that...

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2 Apr 2010

A run-away train called the EPA

Senator Lisa Murkowski has proposed a Resolution of Disapproval that would veto the legal force and effect of EPA's determination that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. The Resolution would not veto or overturn the scientific reasoning or conclusions reached by the EPA, though they are subject to question. Rather, as I said, it would veto the endangerment finding's "legal force and effect." By doing so, the Resolution would avert a train wreck. For the legal effect of the EPA's endangerment finding would be an absurdly oppressive regulatory regime. As the energy blog MasterResource explains: EPA and its state counterparts would have to apply the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) preconstruction permitting program to an estimated 41,000 previously unregulated small entities each year, and the Act's Title V operating permits program to an estimated 6.1 million previously unregulated small entities. These administratively impossible undertakings would induce regulatory paralysis, bring construction activity to a screeching halt, and force millions of firms to operate in legal limbo -- all in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. EPA acknowledges the problem but, protective of its turf, claims that it can "tailor" the PSD and Title V programs so that they apply only to large industrial facilities emitting 25,000 (or maybe even 100,000) tons per year of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases. But the Clean Air Act plainly states that a source is subject to PSD if it has a potential to emit 250 tons per year of a regulated air pollutant and Title V if it has a potential to emit 100 tons per year. EPA can evade this result only by refusing to follow the law. And if it refuses to follow the law, it will
Senator Lisa Murkowski has proposed a Resolution of Disapproval that would veto the legal force and effect of EPA's...

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2 Apr 2010

White House incompetence leaves TSA adrift

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has not had an adminstrator since President Obama took office, and apparently it will not have one for a while longer. Obama's first nominee, Erroll Southers, had to withdraw after it was revealed that he engaged in severe misconduct as an FBI agent and did not testify accurately about that misconduct during his confirmation hearings. Now a second nominee, retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding, has withdrawn. Harding's problems stemmed from a contract the company he ran after retiring from the Army had with the government to provide interrogators in Iraq. After the government ended the contract, the company, Harding Security Associates, claimed more money from termination of the contract than the Defense Department's inspector general said it was entitled to receive. The firm refunded approximately $2 million of that money in a 2008 settlement with the Defense Intelligence Agency. In addition, at least according to this account, the company was awarded a $100 million contract with the US Army under a program that gives preference to contractors headed by disabled veterans. Harding listed his disability as sleep apnea. I take no position on the quesions raised regarding Harding or about his fitness for the TSA job. But it is disconcerting that the White House has been unable, after all this time, to nominate a TSA administator capable of surviving scrutiny. First, Obama waited eight months to nominate Southers. Then, he struck out with two nominees. The TSA presumably can operate well enough for a time with an acting director. But RAND Corp. security analyst Brian Jenkins is probably correct in contending that the agency ca
The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has not had an adminstrator since President Obama took office, and...
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1 Apr 2010

Arrested Militia Member Bought Hamas Hoax

A member of the Hutaree militia charged with federal crimes was upset because she thought that President Barack Obama had signed into law this month a bill that would spend $20 billion to help the terrorist group Hamas settle in the U.S. There was never any such legislation, but Tina Stone believed it was the truth, according to her Facebook account. "I'm peeved ... when people in this country is getting kicked out of there homes everyday and our government passes a bill to spend more then 20 billion dollars to bring Hamas here and supplies them with food and homes that just wrong."
A member of the Hutaree militia charged with federal crimes was upset because she thought that President Barack Obama...

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1 Apr 2010

Alaska Has Largest Debt Burden in US

Raw Story: When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, she left the state with a 70 percent debt-to-GDP ratio -- the highest state debt burden in the United States. By comparison, crisis-stricken California has a debt ratio of less than 40 percent. All the more confounding about Alaska's debt is the fact that it is an oil-producing region with a small population to share in that wealth. Oil-rich Alberta, Canada, for example, collects no sales tax and still managed to retire its debt entirely in 2004.
Raw Story: When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, she left the state with a 70 percent...

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1 Apr 2010

Tea Party Site Leader Held Racist Sign

Though he recently said that he'd "never seen any racial slurs" at Tea Party events, TeaParty.Org founder Dale Robertson was photographed carrying a sign with the words "Taxpayer = Niggar" at an event. Robertson has been claiming the photo on his site was a fake, but he admitted in a radio interview with Alan Colmes in January that it was real. "Well, I just don't agree with what Congress is doing to the American people," he explained to Colmes.
Though he recently said that he'd "never seen any racial slurs" at Tea Party events, TeaParty.Org founder Dale Robertson...

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1 Apr 2010

Drill, ‘Bama, Drill?

President Obama got some good publicity today by purporting to open up offshore areas for oil exploration and development. But is his announcement really a step forward for our economy? The Institute for Energy Research doesn't think so: This is a huge step backward for America's energy security. Prior to today's announcement, the vast majority of OCS areas were open for business. No longer. Today, while President Obama may have stated his support for increased energy development in the Eastern Gulf (which requires congressional action) and the Southern Atlantic (which he'll study over the next year), he also announced that he would delay the development of the energy resources off Virginia's coast and lock up vast resources off the Alaskan coast. Additionally, those who cheer the President's newfound support for domestic energy resources should remember that the very same President's FY 2011 budget proposal includes upwards of $36 billion in new oil and natural gas taxes, which will discourage domestic production, especially in areas like the Southern Atlantic that have little to no existing infrastructure. While today's rhetoric made for a good news cycle, the policy is not a step forward, but a huge leap backward. Thomas Pyle, IER's President, adds: Just as he did in his State of the Union Address, President Obama cited the imperative of offshore energy exploration. But words alone will do nothing to move this country's energy policy forward in a meaningful way. It's similar to his announcement on nuclear loan guarantees--the President talked a good game, then eliminated funding for the only nuclear waste repository in the nation. ... In 2008, when Congress and then-President Bush retired the decades-old moratorium on the safe and environmentally sound practice of producing
President Obama got some good publicity today by purporting to open up offshore areas for oil exploration and...

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1 Apr 2010

The Illegitimacy of Obamacare

Many millions of Americans regard the Democrats' takeover of health care not just as bad public policy, but as illegitimate government action. This is partly, but not entirely, due to the chicanery through which the legislation was adopted. The conventional wisdom is that voters don't care about process, but Obamacare, as Byron York notes, is an exception to the rule: A new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans believes Democrats abused their power by using procedural shortcuts and controversial parliamentary tactics to pass the new national health care makeover. ... The poll asked, "Regardless of whether you favored or opposed the health care legislation Congress passed this past week, do you think the methods the Democratic leaders in Congress used to get enough votes to pass this legislation were an abuse of power or were an appropriate use of power by the party that controls the majority in Congress?" The results: 53 percent say the Democrats' methods were an abuse of power, while 40 percent say they were appropriate. The basic message of polls across a wide variety of subjects is that the Democrats have lost independent voters. We see that again here: Breaking down the results by party, 86 percent of Republicans say the Democrats abused their power, while 58 percent of independents agree. Nineteen percent of Democrats say their own leaders abused their power.... Why do voters suddenly care about process? Maybe the conventional wisdom is wrong. More likely, I think, is that this indicates how closely most Americans have followed the Democrats' attempt to take over health care.
Many millions of Americans regard the Democrats' takeover of health care not just as bad public policy, but as...
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1 Apr 2010

Is Obamacare Unconstitutional?

At PJTV, Glenn Reynolds and Randy Barnett discuss the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate. A number of states, among others, are poised to litigate that issue. Do they have a chance? My instinct is to be highly skeptical. Our courts have justified pretty much anything the federal government has undertaken involving any kind of commercial transaction under the interstate commerce clause. In order to lose that battle, Congress has just about had to go out of its way to define legislation in a way that excludes interstate commerce, like regulating firearms within so many feet of a school. What this reflects is that we, as a society, have stopped taking seriously the idea that the federal government is a government of limited powers. In this respect, I think the courts have followed, rather than led. But maybe the tide is turning. The Tea Party movement is at heart a call for limited government and a restoration of the Constitution. With the unprecedented accumulation of federal power taking place in the Obama administration, there is a growing sense that a final battle over the proper role of our national government must be fought. So who knows? Maybe the case for limited government has a chance.
At PJTV, Glenn Reynolds and Randy Barnett discuss the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate. A number of...
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23 Mar 2010

America Rising, Redux

This seems like an opportune moment to re-post the America Rising video. If you haven't seen it, you should. As we've said before, it doesn't represent our perspective in that we were never fooled by Barack Obama. But it is inspiring, now more than ever. This video has an interesting history; it hasn't garnered a lot of views on the internet per se, but via email, we have gotten close to a million hits since we originally posted the video a couple of months ago: There is only one way the uprising can be successful. That is by supporting Republican candidates in the fall. Go here to contribute to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
This seems like an opportune moment to re-post the America Rising video. If you haven't seen it, you should. As we've...

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23 Mar 2010

Health Care REACTION Bill Passes, Analysts Weigh In

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s. It s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they ll compensate for today s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. [...]
Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s. It s hard to...

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21 Mar 2010

Silver Linings

With Stupak's collapse, passage of the Democrats' government medicine bill is assured. This is a dark day in American history; one of the darkest. But there are many reasons for optimism. Here are a few: * The health care battle is just beginning. Next, the Senate will try to enact the House's "fixes" to the original Senate bill. Some Senators say that won't happen. If not, then President Obama has the option of signing the original Senate bill--now passed by the House--Cornhusker Kickback and all. I assume he would do that, but the resulting blowback from House Democrats, not to mention the American people, would be something to behold. * The health care bill's taxes will go into effect promptly, but its substantive provisions are, for the most part, deferred for four years. This means that we have plenty of time to repeal the legislation. Sure, it will take a new Congress and new President. But repealing this disaster of a bill will by a rallying cry for the American people for years to come. Moreover, even if the Republicans only take over the House in November, and not the Senate, won't it be possible to throw roadblocks in the way of the bill's implementation? Won't budget appropriations be necessary to sustain the various federal tentacles the bill seeks to establish? What will happen if the House simply refuses to fund them? * I've never been prouder to be a Republican. The party's Congressional leaders have fought this battle to the end on behalf of the American people--with intelligence, toughness, persistence and good humor. The contrast between the parties has never been starker than in today's debate. If any intelligent Democrats were watching--there must be some left--they had to be embarrassed for their party. * Paul Ryan has emerged as one of the conservative movement's strongest spokesmen. In the years to come, I think we will hear the words "I'm a Paul Ryan Republican" with increasing frequency. * The health care debate has energized the conservative mo
With Stupak's collapse, passage of the Democrats' government medicine bill is assured. This is a dark day in American...

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10 Mar 2010

Pelosi Offers Massa Top Post to Return to House

(2010-03-10) — After telling a PBS talk show host that Democrats didn’t force Rep. Eric J. J. Massa, D-NY, out of the House because he opposes their health care reform bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today said she would drive to western New York state in an attempt to persuade Rep. Massa to return to [...]
(2010-03-10) — After telling a PBS talk show host that Democrats didn’t force Rep. Eric J. J. Massa, D-NY, out of...

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5 Mar 2010

Joe Biden gets on Israel’s case

The Obama administration's policy of sanctions to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program is lapsing into farce. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration is still struggling to win China's pivotal backing for a new round of United Nations sanctions against Iran and is increasingly worried about gaining the support of some other members of the U.N. Security Council including Brazil, Turkey and Lebanon. According to the Washington Post, the administration is now pushing to carve out an exemption for China and other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council from legislation pending in the Senate and the House that would tighten sanctions on companies doing business in Iran. Other than that, the administration's purported push for sanctions is proceeding swimmingly. Given the farcical course of the administration's push for sanctions, such as it is, the administration is concerned about keeping Israel on board with its plans and interested in shoving Prime Minister Netanyahu to the side. It is accordingly dispatching Joe Biden to Israel for a three-day visit next week. In his press conference in Jerusalem this past Monday, John Kerry explained the purpose of his and other related visits. "...I am here and other people were here and Vice President Biden is coming shortly... to make sure we are all on the same page and that we are all clear about [Iran]." Caroline Glick devotes her column today to the subject of Biden's upcoming visit. Glick notes that during his trip Biden will give what is being billed as a major policy speech at Tel Aviv University. She also gives four good reasons why Biden's mission is a lost cause. The fact that Joe Biden is a pompou
The Obama administration's policy of sanctions to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program is lapsing...

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5 Mar 2010

An attack that goes too far

Earlier this week, Fox News identified the seven Justice Department officials who, prior to being brought to DOJ by the Obama administration, provided legal services to terrorists and terrorist suspects, including Osama bin Laden's driver, John Walker Lindh, and Jose Padilla. The names of two other such lawyers were already known. DOJ has confirmed that Fox News got the additional seven right. It was appropriate for Senator Grassley and others to seek this information. It is also approprirate to (1) point to the correlation between the presence of this many representatives of terrorists and terrorist suspects and the Holder Justice Department's policy on dealing with terrorists and (2) attempt to ascertain the extent to which these lawyers are making decisions about how to deal with terrorists. Finally, it is appropriate to criticize lawyers who defend terrorists and terrorist suspects. Contrary to what Walter Dellinger would like us to believe, these lawyers have no professional obligation to represent terrorists and terrorist suspects. They did so by choice and this choice, like all others, is fair game for criticism. However, it is entirely inappropriate to suggest that these lawyers share the values of terrorists or to dub the seven DOJ lawyers "The al Qaeda Seven." Unfortunately, this is what a video released by the organization Keep America Safe does. I would rather give up my law license than represent Osama bin Laden's driver, for example. And I take a very dim view of the decision by Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal to undertake that representation. However, I would not deserve to have a law license if my personal views on this matter caused me to launch vicious, unfounded attacks on lawyers who exercise
Earlier this week, Fox News identified the seven Justice Department officials who, prior to being brought to DOJ by the...

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5 Mar 2010

Pass the buck but keep the bucks coming

Critics of the Republican party are having a field day over a Republican National Committee fundraising document, obtained by Politico, that encourages operatives to use "fear" to solicit donations. In response to its own question, "What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate?" the document responds, "Save the country from trending toward Socialism!" Another portion of the document, titled "The Evil Empire," depicts the president as the Joker from Batman, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as Scooby Doo. The only thing surprising about these portions of the document is that anyone is surprised about them (if anyone actually is). As former Congressman Tom Davis says: I've been in politics over 40 years. Why would I be shocked by this? Nobody wants to be associated with this, but this is something I've seen all the time. Fundraising is never easy, it's never pretty...this goes on routinely and they do it because it's successful...You [fire up donors] through humor and some raw meat. Republican strategist John Feehery made the same point: I have seen a lot of fundraising pitches in my time and the primary goal is to scare donors into giving money to save the republic ASAP. While this presentation was pretty ugly, it is unsurprising. You don't get any money from donors saying the opponent is a nice guy. Another Republican consultant, John Harris, added: Democrats raise money by saying Republicans want to take Social Security away from seniors. They raise money by calling us war mongers. They raise money by accusing us of wanting sick patients to die. He's right, of course. The fear factor is a staple of fundraising by both parties. The RNC document is also unkind to Republican donors. It recommends raising money
Critics of the Republican party are having a field day over a Republican National Committee fundraising document,...

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4 Mar 2010

“The most interesting political phenomenon in Europe”

The Netherlands held local elections yesterday, and Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) scored a major success. The PVV came in first in Almere (with 21.5 percent of the vote) and second in The Hague (with 16.9 percent). These are two of the country's major cities. Wilders decided not to put up a slate in other municipalities. It seems clear that the PVV could have done well in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. However, as Paul Belien of Brussels Journal explains: Wilders is leading a young party which still lacks a solid local structure [these were the first local elections PVV has participated in]. Rather than concentrating on quantity and fielding candidates wherever he could, even if he was not sure about the candidates' background and talents, Wilders concentrated on quality. He could not afford to take the risk that in the three months remaining until June 9th, local PVV newcomers might discredit the PVV's good reputation. Wilders' decision was probably a wise one. "Right-wing" politics in Europe can be a hit-or-miss affair, with unsavory, racist, anti-semitic, and/or fascist elements lurking in the shadows (or at times more prominently). Wilders himself has been accused of being unsavory. The British government even barred him from entering England. However, I find nothing beyond the pale in Wilders' views, and I agree with most of the major ones I've seen or heard him express. Wilders defends Dutch sovereignty by, among other things, opposing the EU's centralizing policies. He defends Dutch identity by opposing the Islamization of the Netherlands. He seeks to accomplish this by, among other things, halting Islamic immigration. He also favors deporting immigrants who commit crimes, or who call for jihad or the imposition of Islamic law. Wilders is a harsh critic of the Koran. It was his film on the subject, "Fitna," that got him banned in Britain. I have seen "Fitna." It seems like
The Netherlands held local elections yesterday, and Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) scored a major success. The PVV...

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4 Mar 2010

Hugo Chavez: Terrorist thug?

Fausta Wertz writes: "Hugo Chavez plotted with FARC and ETA terrorists to kill Colombia's Uribe (roundup of headlines at my post)." She comments: "This is a most serious charge, especially since a Spanish judge has an indictment which has been backed up by Spain's PM Zapatero. However, it's being totally ignored by the mainstream media. It would make Venezuela a terrorist-sponsoring state." Among the stories to which Fausta links are those in this Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. Given the silence of the mainstream media, the CSM and the Journal deserve recognition for getting to the story.
Fausta Wertz writes: "Hugo Chavez plotted with FARC and ETA terrorists to kill Colombia's Uribe (roundup of headlines at...
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4 Mar 2010

Obama Urges Straight Up-or-Down Vote on Constitution

(2010-03-04) — In an effort to break through bipartisan opposition and public discontent with his latest health insurance reform proposal, President Barack Obama today called on the Senate to “take a final, straight up-or-down vote on the U.S. Constitution.” “The real obstacle to approval of my health care reform plan is this ancient charter of negative [...]
(2010-03-04) — In an effort to break through bipartisan opposition and public discontent with his latest health...

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4 Mar 2010

Let’s keep the champagne on ice

Newsweek is running a cover story about Iraq called "Rebirth of a Nation." Its thesis is: "Something that looks an awful lot like democracy is beginning to take hold in Iraq." Newsweek's piece follows Vice President Biden's claim that Iraq looks to be a major success story of the Obama (sic) presidency. Any proposition endorsed by both Newsweek and Biden is suspect, and skepticism is warranted in this case. Iraq is about to hold an important election, to be sure. But the election will be tainted by the dubious exclusion of various candidates by a panel headed by Ahmed Chalabi, an opportunist with ties to Iran. And no one really knows what will happen to Iraq's fledging democracy following the election. Iraq's democracy is, in short, entitled to only one cheer. But even one cheer in this part of the world is significant. And Peter Wehner is quite right to salute President Bush's decision in late 2006 to implement a new counterinsurgency strategy, including sending 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, at a time "when most Americans were bone-weary of the war." Without this courageous decision, Iraq in all likelihood would have continued on what Pete calls its "death spiral," and al Qaeda would probably be ascendant in Anbar province and reaping the benefits worldwide of helping to inflict an ignominious defeat on the U.S. But, as Pete warns, the successes in Iraq "remain fragile and can still be undone." I agree with Max Boot that "the key to Iraq's remarkable transformation has been the vigorous actions of American troops, and it's anyone's guess what will happen when they are withdrawn." I therefore fear that, to some extent, the triumphalism of the Newsweek-Biden line smacks of Sen. Aiken's proposed Vietnam strategy -- declare victory and leave. Boot
Newsweek is running a cover story about Iraq called "Rebirth of a Nation." Its thesis is: "Something that looks an awful...
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4 Mar 2010

Is Obama Selling Judgeships?

There has been a lot of buzz about President Obama appointing Scott Matheson, Jr, to a vacancy on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals at the very moment when he and Nancy Pelosi are leaning on Matheson's brother, Jim Matheson of Utah, to switch his vote on Obamacare. Some have not hesitated to suggest that Obama may be selling judgeships for health care votes. As to the Matheson nomination, I think the criticism is not well-founded. That doesn't mean that Obama didn't have one eye on Congressman Jim Matheson when he selected Professor Scott Matheson for the 10th Circuit. No one will ever know, probably. But Professor Matheson would be an ideal choice for Obama even if he didn't have a brother in Congress. He is a law professor at the University of Utah, a graduate of Stanford, Oxford and Yale Law School, a professor (briefly) at the Kennedy School at Harvard, an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of Utah, and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah. His credentials are unimpeachable and, more important, comprise the sort of resume that Democrats love. Best of all, Professor Matheson has just written a book on Presidential usurpations of constitutional authority--my paraphrase--titled Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times, which contrasts President Obama favorably with George W. Bush and generally offers up a conventionally liberal view on the powers of the executive. Thus, President Obama could not have found a more suitable nominee, from a liberal Democratic perspective, than Scott Matheson. It would be unfair to assume that he selected Matheson in order to influence his brother; on the contrary, if Matheson had no siblings at all he would be an ideal liberal judicial candidate. So I think we must acquit President Obama of that charge. What is sad, however, is that Matheson will replace Judge Michael McConnell, who resigned from the 10th Circuit
There has been a lot of buzz about President Obama appointing Scott Matheson, Jr, to a vacancy on the 10th Circuit Court...

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24 Feb 2010

Poker Group Elated Following Overwhelmingly Positive Reception at CPAC

The Poker Players Alliance — a million-member strong grassroots organization that defends poker rights — cosponsored the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for the second consecutive year. Poker players, still reeling over past efforts to ban online and other forms of poker, have been actively reaching out to conservatives for support for their right to [...]
The Poker Players Alliance — a million-member strong grassroots organization that defends poker rights — cosponsored...

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24 Feb 2010

DRUG LAWS having painful consequences for cancer patients.

Overzealous regulation of opioids is having a painful knock-on effect on eastern Europeans with cancer. "There are literally tens of thousands of people who are suffering unnecessarily," says lead author Nathan Cherny of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. Opioid-type drugs are potent painkillers. In fact, the World Health Organization lists two of them, codeine and morphine, as "essential medicines" that should be available worldwide.
Overzealous regulation of opioids is having a painful knock-on effect on eastern Europeans with cancer. "There are...

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24 Feb 2010

BLACKWATER CRITIC ALAN GRAYSON saved by Blackwater in Niger?

Before joining Congress, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) was the scourge of military contractors, filing dozens of whistleblower lawsuits against companies who defrauded the government in connection with their work in Iraq. In the past, the freshman lawmaker, who's known for his pugilistic style and no-holds barred remarks, has blasted the firms working on the payroll of the US government overseas: "We're not going to let the defense contractors use our money to bribe our government and take it over," he once said. And he has singled out Blackwater (now known as Xe) for special criticism: "We can't let, basically, Blackwater take over the entire government here. We have to draw the line somewhere."
Before joining Congress, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) was the scourge of military contractors, filing dozens of...

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24 Feb 2010

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE? Mike Stopa: He’s a nanotechnologist, a blogger, and a Tea Party candidate for congress

Hello, my name is Michael Stopa and I am running for The United States Congress as a Republican from the Third District of Massachusetts. I have spent my career in academics as a research physicist and I have not previously held public office. But as a citizen with, I think, a unique perspective on the ideology of the "educated class" and its maternal attitude to we citizens and our governance, I am increasingly concerned with the direction which our country has taken. I am unfailingly optimistic about the long-term future of America. However, like many of my friends and neighbors in Massachusetts, I am disturbed, saddened and/or outraged by recent economic and international developments and the response of our ruling elite to them. The real possibility exists, and I will do all I can to challenge it, that we are laying the groundwork for a lost generation; one to which I do not want my four children to belong.
Hello, my name is Michael Stopa and I am running for The United States Congress as a Republican from the Third District...

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24 Feb 2010

THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, from J. Storrs Halla.

Let s try to pull all the threads together, as futurists which is the whole point here and get some idea about when it might be reasonable to expect AI to show up. When I say AI I want to look at the entire diahuman range, so the answer would still be a range even if we were historians looking back on the process from the vantage point of the far future.
Let s try to pull all the threads together, as futurists which is the whole point here and get some idea about when it...

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24 Feb 2010

Does the Mitt fit this time? Part Two

There's been plenty of speculation about whether Mitt Romney's endorsement of John McCain in his primary battle with J.D. Hayworth will hurt Romney's prospects for the presidential nomination in 2012. Romney needs credibility with the party's dominant conservative wing -- something he lacked in 2008 -- and McCain is a bete noir to many in that wing. My sense is that Romney's endorsement of McCain won't be a problem unless McCain is re-elected and then softens his opposition to the Obama administration's liberal policies. I think it's quite likely that McCain will be re-elected, so the question becomes where he will stand thereafter. Will he be the hardliner we've seen since January 2009 or will the bipartisan McCain re-emerge? It's not easy to say. McCain's opposition to the policies of Obama-Reid-Pelosi are largely consistent with the principles he's espoused throughout his career. But it may also be driven to some degree by a combination (a) the prospect of having to seek re-election in 2010 and (b) hard feelings against Obama, like the ones he had towards President Bush that helped propel him to the left after 2000. It would be ironic if Romney takes a hit for supporting McCain. McCain was on his best behavior in 2007-08, and was typically charitable in discussing his rivals, such as Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama. But McCain was consistently contemptuous towards Romney, and attacked him mercilessly and, at times, dishonestly. Romney must have been tempted to seek revenge. But he's a measured guy and, I assume, he based his decision on forward-looking calculation. Time will tell whether he miscalculated.
There's been plenty of speculation about whether Mitt Romney's endorsement of John McCain in his primary battle with...

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24 Feb 2010

Speaking of reconciliation…

Watching this video assembling the vehement pronouncements of prominent Democrats inveighing against circumvention of the filibuster, It would be easy for a citizen to become cynical about politics. It would be easy, but it would be right. Naked Emperor News has compiled the wise words of Democratic worthies including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Christopher Dodd (who is in especially good form) and Max Baucus denouncing the threat that Senate Republicans might abolish the use of the filibuster to obstruct judicial nominations. The video leads off with Barack Obama worrying about "majoritarian absolute power" -- you know, the kind the Founders warned against. And it continues with timely thoughts from relevant actors, most of whom have continued in the Senate and will have the opportunity to adapt their past wisdom to current needs. It's a living Constitution, after all! This is an impressive and educational highlight reel.
Watching this video assembling the vehement pronouncements of prominent Democrats inveighing against circumvention of...

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24 Feb 2010

Did the bleat of the lamb excite the lion?

Hillary Clinton isn't a fool, but you wouldn't know it from this statement: People say to me all the time, what happened to Iran? ... When President Obama came in, he was very clear that he wanted to engage, and that's what he's been trying to do -- reaching out to the Iranian people, reaching out to the Iranian leadership. And you have to ask yourself, why, when so many experts thought that there would be a positive response to President Obama's outreach, has there not? To be sure, it's quite a mystery why Ahmadinejad didn't respond in kind to Obama's fellowship, as liberal experts expected him to. But Clinton thinks she has the answer: the power of the Revolutionary Guard has been growing. Thus, the administration's line is (in the words of Rick Richman) "don't blame us for the failure of our 'engagement' policy -- it was thwarted by the triumph of the Iranian hardliners." But why did the hardliners triumph? Richman argues that their victory was the predictable result of Obama's soft-line policy. In fact, this result was predicted by Bill Kristol. Though Kristol is probably no "expert" by Clinton's reckoning, he did say this in 2006: One of the bad side effects of our looking weak and hesitant is that in the last year Ahmadinejad's been running around provoking everyone, behaving like a madman, thumbing his nose at the U.S. and the West -- and he pays no price. And if one were an opponent of Admadinejad in Iran -- not a dissident, but someone in government who is kind of a more cautious type, and you've been warning, "gee, this will get us in trouble" -- and [Admadinejad] gets in no trouble at all -- it's very bad for the internal dynamics in Iran. I think we have inadvertently helped to strengthen [hardliners] in Iran b
Hillary Clinton isn't a fool, but you wouldn't know it from this statement: People say to me all the time, what happened...
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24 Feb 2010

Tax Us, Tax Us

Illinois stuck in a historic, epic budget crisis - chicagotribune.com From the comments: You know what the solution to a 13.6 billion shortfall is because the politicians are beginning to tell you — a big income and other tax increase. There are, per IL state statistics 4.6 million households. 13.6 billion divided by $4.6 million is an [...]
Illinois stuck in a historic, epic budget crisis - chicagotribune.com From the comments: You know what the solution to a...
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24 Feb 2010

More Global Warming Expected to Bury New York City

AccuWeather.com - Weather Blogs - Weather News A powerful storm of historical proportions is aiming at much of the Northeast Thursday into Friday and will follow up to a foot and a half of snow through Wednesday over upstate New York and western New England. This second storm will be nothing short of a monster. Even in [...]
AccuWeather.com - Weather Blogs - Weather News A powerful storm of historical proportions is aiming at much of the...

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24 Feb 2010

They’re Terrified

US warns Iran ‘time and patience is running out’ The United States warned Iran on Tuesday that “time and patience is running out” with its nuclear program, saying Tehran had shown no interest in allaying world fears. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Iran’s recent pronouncements showed “they have no interest in building international confidence that their [...]
US warns Iran ‘time and patience is running out’ The United States warned Iran on Tuesday that “time and patience...
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24 Feb 2010

War for the Soul of Conservatism

There's a Fight Brewing in the Conservative Movement What’s different about Ron Paul as compared to just about any other politician, is that he represents an idea, a philosophy … his movement is not about the man. So when “conservatives” attack Ron Paul, what they don’t understand is that their attacks don’t resonate as attacks on [...]
There's a Fight Brewing in the Conservative Movement What’s different about Ron Paul as compared to just about any...

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23 Feb 2010

Obamacare facing uphill battle in House

President Obama's new (sort of) plan for reforming health care received a blow today when Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich) termed it "unacceptable." Stupak was a key vote in favor of the House version of Obamacare last year. However, he cast that vote only because the legislation banned federal funding for abortions. Stupak finds the latest incarnation of Obamacare unacceptable because it "encompasses the Senate language allowing public funding of abortion." The House version passed last year by a vote of 220-215. As John McCormack of the Weekly Standard notes: Pelosi's coalition of 220 who voted yes in November is now down to 215--fewer than she needs to pass the bill--with one death (John Murtha), one retirement (Robert Wexler), one impending retirement (Neil Abercrombie), two switches from yes to no (Bart Stupak and Joseph Cao). Where will Pelosi find the extra votes? There may be a few members who were prepared to vote "yes" before were let off-the-hook because the leadership didn't need their vote. But will these members be willing to get "on-the-hook" in the aftermath of Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts? There are a few Democratic representatives who voted "no" but have since said they will not seek re-election or election to another offiice. Free from having to face voters, these members may now feel free to vote "yes." There are, according to Jim Geraghty, three of them (John Tanner and Bart Gordon of Tennessee and Brian Baird of Washington). Their votes may be back in play although I wouldn't assume they will flip. In any event, there are likely to be former "yes" voters other than Stupak and Cao who are prepared to switch to "no." For example, Stupak had at least ten members in his coalition that conditioned a "yes" vote on tough anti-abo
President Obama's new (sort of) plan for reforming health care received a blow today when Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich)...

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23 Feb 2010

Rewriting History with the AandP

Outlook no brighter for Obama’s new health plan - Yahoo! News Still, any kind of win on health care would be good for Obama right now. For a president, victory often begets victory, defeat spawns defeat. A modest achievement would allow Obama to move on to other pressing issues, claiming credit for getting something done despite [...]
Outlook no brighter for Obama’s new health plan - Yahoo! News Still, any kind of win on health care would be good for...

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23 Feb 2010

Depression Arrives: Women, Blacks, Public Employees Hardest Hit

Stimulus and Public Employees - Veronique de Rugy - The Corner on National Review Online And he is right. Check out this unemployment chart I made to show who are the losers in this recession. Not the public employees. Interestingly enough, though, the rate of unemployment among public sector employees has risen close to fifty percent, far [...]
Stimulus and Public Employees - Veronique de Rugy - The Corner on National Review Online And he is right. Check out this...

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22 Feb 2010

McDick the Maverick Admits He’s a Dumbass

Sen. John McCain: I was misled on bailout In response to criticism from opponents seeking to defeat him in the Aug. 24 Republican primary, the four-term senator says he was misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. McCain said the pair assured him that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program [...]
Sen. John McCain: I was misled on bailout In response to criticism from opponents seeking to defeat him in the Aug. 24...
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22 Feb 2010

How to Tell When the Government Is Broken

Democrats can't get their bills passed. George Will nailed it this morning on ABC: TERRY MORAN, HOST: There's a sense that something is broken in Washington summed up this week by Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) who announced his retirement. I think it's fair to say he's leaving in disgust. Here's what he had to say. SENATOR EVAN BAYH, (D-IND.): I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is much too much partisanship, and not enough progress. Too much narrow ideology, and not enough practical problem solving. Even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people's business is not getting done. MORAN: Is he right, George? GEORGE WILL: Well, it's hard to take a lecture on bipartisanship from a man who voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts, the confirmation of Justice Alito, the confirmation of Attorney General Ashcroft, the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State. Far from being a rebel against his Party's lockstep movement, Mr. Bayh voted for the Detroit bailout, for the stimulus, for the public option in the healthcare bill. I don't know quite what his complaint is, but, Terry, with metronomic regularity, we go through these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being broken. These moments have one thing in common: The Left is having trouble enacting its agenda. No one when George W. Bush had trouble reforming Social Security said, "Oh, that's terrible - the government's broken." Actually, there is one legitimate sense in which one could say that our government is broken. We are approaching a fiscal disaster because of out of control entitlements. Everyone in Washington knows it, but the government is unable or unwilling to do anything about it. Even here, though, the problem isn't a process issue. The problem is th
Democrats can't get their bills passed. George Will nailed it this morning on ABC: TERRY MORAN, HOST: There's a sense...

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21 Feb 2010

OBVIOUSLY, ANDREW BREITBART NEEDS TO START UP BIG E.U PRONTO: A comic book featuring the adventure

OBVIOUSLY, ANDREW BREITBART NEEDS TO START UP “BIG E.U.” PRONTO: A comic book featuring the adventures of two fictional European Commission bureaucrats is being sent to homes and schools at a cost of 200,000 to the taxpayer. “The EU seems to think it can buy itself popularity, but instead it simply makes itself [...]
OBVIOUSLY, ANDREW BREITBART NEEDS TO START UP “BIG E.U.” PRONTO: A comic book featuring the adventures of two...
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21 Feb 2010

Colin Powell’s Endorsement of Barack Obama Will Live… in Infamy

For more than a year after Barack Obama became president, there was no word from Colin Powell about a man he described as having great insight into the challenges we’re facing of a military and political and economic nature. Today, Powell broke his silence. Did he have the courage to admit his mistake, his blunder, his betrayal? No. [...]
For more than a year after Barack Obama became president, there was no word from Colin Powell about a man he described...

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21 Feb 2010

Jesse Jackson Sr. Blames “Unenforced Civil Rights” Law For Housing Crisis, Denies His Own Involvement Shaking Down the Banks

At a speech at Claremont McKenna to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in mid-January, the subject of Jesse Jackson Sr. s new ire was the "banksters" - Wall Street fat cats, who are causing all of our problems. Naturally, Jackson ignored his own role in housing crisis. That he made his argument against banks at one of [...]
At a speech at Claremont McKenna to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in mid-January, the subject of Jesse Jackson Sr. s new...

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21 Feb 2010

IRS Plane Attacker Part of “Right Wing” Christmas Bomber Just a ‘Lone Wolf’

No clearer difference can be seen in how the Old Media and its left-wing compatriots treat mass killers, terrorists and nutjobs than the way Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Joe Stack have been portrayed by the Old Media and the left. Abdulmutallab, the jihadi Christmas Bomber, was treated as an aberration unconnected with any larger group [...]
No clearer difference can be seen in how the Old Media and its left-wing compatriots treat mass killers, terrorists and...

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21 Feb 2010

Are the Democrats Coming After Your Savings?

Beginning around 40 years ago, the federal government implemented one of the wisest domestic policy initiatives of modern times. In an effort to equalize the tax treatment of employees and self-employed individuals, a series of statutes permitted self-employed persons to save pre-tax money for retirement and to accumulate funds in retirement accounts that are not taxed until money is withdrawn post-retirement. Those programs have been broadened over the years to include employees, as well as the self-employed, in 401K accounts. Over the last four decades, Americans have saved hundreds of billions of dollars in such retirement accounts. I haven't seen figures lately, but the total of such savings is most likely in the trillions. Now we have an improvident federal government that has spent itself into a state of near-bankruptcy. It can survive only by selling Treasury bills to Americans and foreigners, but as the government's debts accumulate, international demand for T-bills slackens. So the Democrats are looking for money. They can't help noticing that Americans have saved many billions of dollars--private property, theoretically, but under contemporary constitutional jurisprudence, subject to pretty much any whim that may come out of Washington. Argentina showed the way in 2008, as we noted here, by nationalizing private retirement funds on the ground that "the private system never achieved what was needed." Now, the Democrats may be poised to imitate Argentina's theft. Investor's Business Daily reports: You did the responsible thing. You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry. But now Washington i
Beginning around 40 years ago, the federal government implemented one of the wisest domestic policy initiatives of...
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20 Feb 2010

CPAC: Conservatives Get Ready For Battle

Yesterday, the Conservative Political Action Conference featured some of the best known conservative elected officials. Among the elected officials, Rep. Steve King and Rep. Mike Pence gave some of the most memorable and passionate speeches. With approximately 10,000 registered attendee’s, this is by far the largest conservative conference in the nations capitol. Today, the final day of [...]
Yesterday, the Conservative Political Action Conference featured some of the best known conservative elected officials....

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20 Feb 2010

Rashad Hussain Admits Cover-up of Past Comments on Terrorist Prosecutions

My suspicion earlier this week that White House attorney and Islam Envoy Rashad Hussain was involved in covering up controversial comments he made in 2004 turns out to have been well-founded. Josh Gerstein from Politico reports: President Barack Obama s new Islamic envoy, Rashad Hussain, changed course Friday admitting he made sharply critical statements about a [...]
My suspicion earlier this week that White House attorney and Islam Envoy Rashad Hussain was involved in covering up...

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20 Feb 2010

Return of the John Birch Society?

In his history of National Review, former NR senior editor Jeffrey Hart notes one consequence of the 1964 election at the magazine. "The odor of the John Birch Society had been so strong and so intolerable, and so damaging to Goldwater," Hart recalls, "that National Review decided that for the future of American conservatism, decisive distance had to be laid down irrevocably between the magazine and the society." That distance had originally been marked off in a 1962 editorial, "but that had not been enough. The distinction would now have to be made, once and for all, between a viable conservatism and the fantastic theories that energized the leadership of the JBS." Among the JBS's "fantastic theories" was the proposition that Dwight Eisenhower had been a Communist agent. NR sought to separate the JBS from the conservative movement with a "root-and-branch attack" in October 1965. That month NR published a special section of the magazine denouncing the JBS in contributions by Buckley as well as NR senior editors James Burnham and Frank Meyer, along with endorsement letters by leading conservative figures including Goldwater himself. Hart describes the opening of the special section ("The Background") as "an act of war" that "takes no prisoners." Bill Buckley provided his own account of related events in Flying High: Remembering Barry Goldwater, excerpted here by Commentary. The JBS responded in its inimitable style here. The annual Conservative Political Action Conference is a great event attended by just about everybody who i
In his history of National Review, former NR senior editor Jeffrey Hart notes one consequence of the 1964 election at...

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20 Feb 2010

Entitlements

As is so often the case these days, Michael Ramirez sums up one of the great political problems of our era; click to enlarge: Entitlements--Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the creation of "rights" without limits--are the worst idea that Congress ever came up with. Worse than the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Worse than the Smoot-Hawley tariff. Worse, even, than the NIRA. Pretty much everyone understands that entitlements are destroying the federal budget and will soon lead to the collapse of the dollar and perhaps the end of our republic. Still, hardly anyone seems willing to do anything serious to stop the runaway train. Or, in Ramirez's version, car.
As is so often the case these days, Michael Ramirez sums up one of the great political problems of our era; click to...
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20 Feb 2010

The New York Times Owes Jason Mattera an Apology

My friend Jason Mattera, Young America’s Foundation spokesman and conservative gadfly, is never afraid to speak his mind. Even if you don’t totally embrace his style, he’s thoroughly entertaining and a really great, energetic guy. What he’s not, however, is a racist. But that’s exactly what New York Times reporter Kate Zernike concludedafter attending a CPAC panel discussion [...]
My friend Jason Mattera, Young America’s Foundation spokesman and conservative gadfly, is never afraid to speak his...

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19 Feb 2010

Holder Admits Nine Justice Dept. Officials Worked for Terrorist Detainees

From Washington Examiner’s Byron York: Attorney General Eric Holder says nine Obama appointees in the Justice Department have represented or advocated for terrorist detainees before joining the Justice Department. But he does not reveal any names beyond the two officials whose work has already been publicly reported. And all the lawyers, according to Holder, are eligible [...]
From Washington Examiner’s Byron York: Attorney General Eric Holder says nine Obama appointees in the Justice...

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18 Feb 2010

Say What? Iraq Victory A Great Achievement For Which Administration?

We finally have proof that life exists beyond the confines of planet earth, although not necessarily intelligent life. How else can one explain Joe Biden other than to postulate that he comes from another planet, if not an alternate universe? The Vice President s stunning observation about Iraq last certainly defied any form of earthly logic: [...]
We finally have proof that life exists beyond the confines of planet earth, although not necessarily intelligent life....
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17 Feb 2010

Death Comes for the Democratic Moderates

Since President Obama's elevation to Intergalactic Superstar Caesar in  November 2008, the media has been busy writing obituaries for the GOP. Most of these unwelcome mourners have offered nuggets of advice along the lines of, Why don't you try being more, you know, like us? More what's the term? Oh yes, more moderate. Conservatism is [...]
Since President Obama's elevation to Intergalactic Superstar Caesar in  November 2008, the media has been busy...
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11 Feb 2010

Ahmadinejad: Iran Enriched 20% Pure Uranium, Opium

(2010-02-11) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran by announcing today that Iranian government scientists had succeeded in enriching to 20 percent purity both uranium and opium. “Our centrifuges have been humming, hum, hum, hum, hummmmm,” said Mr. Ahmadinejad, smiling broadly before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of [...]
(2010-02-11) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran by...

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10 Dec 2009

ABC uses Fox tactic to make Stewart seem like climate change denier

Keith Olbermann names ABC News producer David Wright Worst Person in the World for presenting a segment of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart out of context to make Stewart appear to be a climate change denier when in fact he said the opposite. This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast Dec. 9, 2009. Download video [...]
Keith Olbermann names ABC News producer David Wright Worst Person in the World for presenting a segment of The Daily...

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15 Nov 2009

WND’s Jerome Corsi Claims Fort Hood Shooter Advised Obama

Well, if you were wondering what paranoiac smear artist would be the first to step out and attempt to name President Barack Obama as the man who guided Nidal Malik Hasan to his murderous rampage at Fort Hood yesterday, the answer -- naturally! -- is Jerome Corsi. Corsi has a long history of lunatic, fact-averse ravings and he fails to disappoint on that regard on the pages of World Net Daily, today, in a piece entitled "Shooter advised Obama transition." Except, of course, he didn't do any such thing.
Well, if you were wondering what paranoiac smear artist would be the first to step out and attempt to name President...
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13 Nov 2009

Charles Krauthammer on the media coverage of the Fort Hood shooting

What a surprise -- that someone who shouts "Allahu Akbar" (the "God is great" jihadist battle cry) as he is shooting up a room of American soldiers might have Islamist motives. It certainly was a surprise to the mainstream media, which spent the weekend after the Fort Hood massacre playing down Nidal Hasan's religious beliefs
What a surprise -- that someone who shouts "Allahu Akbar" (the "God is great" jihadist battle cry) as he is shooting up...
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4 Nov 2009

Obama’s world outreach teetering

Just months after well received speeches in Turkey and Egypt, setbacks from Afghanistan to the West Bank to Pakistan, Iraq and Iran have seen belief plunge in the Muslim world over United States President Barack Obama and his plans for progress. With this, anti-US sentiment is back on the rise. - Jim Lobe (Nov 4, '09)
Just months after well received speeches in Turkey and Egypt, setbacks from Afghanistan to the West Bank to Pakistan,...
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18 Jan 2009

Biggest Boondoggle in American History

We are living in a historical moment that in some ways represents uncharted territory. In other respects, however, the current moment is a return to a simpler and clearer past, when the hallmark of conservatism was opposition to extravagant spending boondoggles proposed by liberals. For a variety of reasons the fiscal battle lines have been blurred in recent years, but these days we are back to the paradigm that held sway decades ago. Yesterday, Minority Leader John Boehner sent out an email on the House Democrats' ridiculous $825 billion "stimulus" bill. It is worth reproducing in its entirety: A Dozen Fun Facts About the House Democrats' Massive Spending Bill 1. The House Democrats' bill will cost each and every household $6,700 additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren. 2. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government. 3. President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year. 4. The House Democrats' bill provides enough spending - $825 billion - to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700. 5. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the U.S. $22,000. 6. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000. 7. Although the House Democrats' proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill - or three percent - is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office said that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion for infrastructure. 8. Much of the funding within the House Democrats' proposal
We are living in a historical moment that in some ways represents uncharted territory. In other respects, however, the...

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18 Jan 2009

Willful blindness, inaugural edition

In 2007 the Islamic Society of North America was identified by the government as one of the unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation. (So was CAIR.) The government identified ISNA as an entity that is or was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. HLF was of course the chief fundraiser for Hamas in the United States. The government closed down HLF in the aftermath of 9/11. This past November it was convicted along with its principals of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Josh Gerstein covered the HLF prosecution for the late New York Sun newspaper. Yesterday afternoon Gerstein reported for Politico that ISNA president Ingrid Mattson is scheduled to join clerics offering prayers for the new president and his family during the Obama inaugural prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington. Gerstein quotes the HLF prosecutor stating that exhibits introduced at trial established ISNA's intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee that devoted itself to supporting Hamas, and the HLF defendants. The prosecutor advised the court that ISNA was intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas. Winfield Myers has more on Mattson and ISNA. In a sense, the Obama inaugural's inclusion of Mattson represents continuity with the Bush administration. While one arm of the government has blown the whistle on leading American Islamic groups including CAIR and ISNA, other arms of the government have treated the groups as respectable members of civil society. This is one area where change is actu
In 2007 the Islamic Society of North America was identified by the government as one of the unindicted co-conspirators...
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17 Jan 2009

Roberts: History Will Show Bush Was Right

Andrew Roberts: "History, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the 24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Bush's presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites. ... Films such as Oliver Stone's W, which portray him as a spitting, oafish frat boy who eats with his mouth open and is rude to servants, will be revealed by the diaries and correspondence of those around him to be absurd travesties, of this charming, interesting, beautifully mannered history buff who, were he not the most powerful man in the world, would be a fine person to have as a pal."
Andrew Roberts: "History, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the...
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17 Jan 2009

Holder’s disgrace

Eric Holder illustrates the dangers of ambition married to weak character. His subservience to the interests of Bill Clinton in approving the corrupt pardon of Marc Rich and the indefensible pardons of the FALN terrorists was a disgrace. His role in these pardons should disqualify him for higher office. Holder himself does not defend his role in the Rich pardon. He concedes it was a mistake. He claims somewhat paradoxically that he learned so much from his mistake that he will be a better Attorney General. Holder makes no such concession or claim in the case of the FALN terrorists. Joseph Connor is the son of one of their victims. He testified against Holder in the confirmation hearing yesterday. In "Terrorists killed my father," Connor writes: At the time of the [FALN] pardons, Eric H. Holder Jr. was deputy attorney general. In considering his department's recommendation on clemency, he met with supporters of the terrorists but ignored their victims. He pushed staff members to drop their strong opposition to a presidential pardon for the FALN members and alter a report they had prepared for the president recommending against clemency. Today, although two turned down their pardons because they were unwilling to renounce violence, many of the convicted FALN members walk free. And a man who was instrumental in their release may become the highest law enforcer in the land. Holder said at his confirmation hearing Thursday that he thought Clinton's decision to pardon the FALN members was "reasonable." But they were bad people. During their Chicago trial, some of them threatened the life of Judge Thomas McMillen, who was hearing the case. Carmen Valentin, one of those later pardoned by Clinton, told the judge, "You are lucky that we cannot take you right now," and she told other officers
Eric Holder illustrates the dangers of ambition married to weak character. His subservience to the interests of Bill...

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17 Jan 2009

Obama in a nutshell

This is Obama's "pragmatism" in a nutshell. He wants to achieve a leftist result -- make it much easier for unions to become the bargaining representative of employees. He ignores the non-leftist objection to the mechanism he has endorsed for achieving this result -- that "card checks" are anti-democratic -- and suggests that the real objection may be the desire to keep workers out of unions. And he says he has no time for this sort of objection.
This is Obama's "pragmatism" in a nutshell. He wants to achieve a leftist result -- make it much easier for unions to...
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11 Jan 2009

The next stage in Gaza

Israel is likely to expand its operations in the Gaza Strip within the next few days, according to the Jerusalem Post. The IDF apparently has dropped leaflets throughout Gaza warning residents of the expanded operations. The expansion of operations could take either of two forms. The IDF might move deeper into Gaza City or it might push into Southern Gaza. Thereafter, Israel would have to decide whether to attempt fully to reoccupy Gaza and to topple Hamas. In the meantime, an expansion of operations certainly makes sense. Otherwise, Israeli forces will become static targets. As one officer put it, "the troops cannot just stand and wait; they always need to be on the move." And, as always, Israel must take into account that a cease fire may be around the corner. Speaking of static targets, IDF forces reportedly killed killed Amir Mansi, a senior member of Hamas's military wing and commander of its rocket division in Gaza City. Mansi, who had close ties to Hezbollah, was killed while attempting to fire mortars at IDF forces in Northern Gaza. The IDF considers it a good sign that a senior operator like Mansi was personally involved in firing mortars. According to one officer, entire Hamas companies have been wiped out, and some Hamas fighters have gone AWOL or fled the fighting, leaving Mansi to "fire rockets on his own." This may be reading too much into Mansi's demise. Nonetheless, it seems clear that the attack on Gaza is going much better than the 2006 war in South Lebanon, and that Hamas isn't acquitting itself nearly as well as Hezbollah did.
Israel is likely to expand its operations in the Gaza Strip within the next few days, according to the Jerusalem Post....
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8 Dec 2008

Parallel lives of the Democrats and Republicans, part 2

On Friday we noted Victor Davis Hanson's superb column on the parallel lives of the Democrats and Republicans. Professor Hanson employed Plutarch's method to "learn something about modern morality from the contrasts within a few matched pairs of contemporary notables, prominent in the recent news." After comparing Richard Fuld with Robert Rubin, Ted Stevens with Charles Rangel, Alberto Gonzales with Eric Holder, and Christopher Dodd with Trent Lott, Professor Hanson framed the question "why we continuously consider liberal transgressions as misdemeanors and their conservative counterparts as felonies." I thought that Professor Hanson's device of "parralel lives" could serve as everyday inspiration for many chapters yet to be written. In his weekly Washington Times column, Andrew Breitbart adapts Professor Hanson's Plutarchean method to a similar end. Breitbart considers the photo featuring President-elect Obama's chief speechwriter Jon Favreau and his colleague that turned up in the media and on the Internet last week. The photo depicted Favreau groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton while Favreau's unidentified colleague shared his beer with her. hillarygroped.JPG
On Friday we noted Victor Davis Hanson's superb column on the parallel lives of the Democrats and Republicans. Professor...

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6 Dec 2008

Weather Underground alumni: Keep the faith in Obama, baby

We know that former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are long-time supporters and allies of Barack Obama. Now Melanie Phillips alerts us to the support of Obama expressed by former Weather Underground terrorists Mark Rudd and Jeff Jones. Rudd and Jones comment on Obama's cabinet-level appointments, predicting that they will provide cover for a leftist agenda where it is politically viable. They anticipate more simpatico second-level appointments. (Compare Paul Mirengoff's analysis here.) Rudd and Jones provide ground for radicals to "Keep the faith, baby" insofar as Obama is concerned. They thus counsel forebearance toward Obama by their radical colleagues who may have felt disappointment reading the ambiguous tea leaves of Obama's prospective administration. Jones concludes: "Even Lenin would be impressed!" Via NRO's Web briefing. UPDATE: Ron Radosh finds Rudd and Jones to be peddling the delusions of the left, and Melanie Phillips to have fallen for them. We shall see. To comment on this post, go here.
We know that former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are long-time supporters and allies...

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1 Dec 2008

William Katz: Tina Fey, Kingmaker

Occasional contributor Bill Katz holds down the fort at Urgent Agenda This morning he considers the intersection of show business and politics in the recent election: We do it after every election. We try to gauge the impact that Hollywood, and celebrity endorsements, had on the outcome. We usually conclude that Hollywood's impact was minimal, and that voters weren't swayed by the word of a movie star with an overgrown ego and an undergrown talent. This year, though, was different. This year Hollywood, or show business, or whatever you call it, had a greater impact on the presidential race than ever before. The reasons are disturbing, and they're a warning for the future. There were two major moments that defined a break with past traditions. The most decisive moment in Hollywood's attempt to influence the election was Oprah Winfrey's introduction of Barack Obama on her daytime television show. This simply had never happened before. Oh yes, potential presidents had appeared on TV. Even Richard Nixon did a cameo for "Laugh-In" before the 1968 election. But Oprah not only introduced Obama, she vouched for him, she gave him what Joan Crawford once called "the big okay," her seal of approval. Almost instantly, Winfrey transformed Obama from an ambitious young politician into a cultural star. He suddenly rocketed beyond politics. He became larger than all that. And there he remained, all through the campaign and up to election day, a man who was as much culture as candidate. Other daytime entertainers had dabbled in politics. In the 1950s the Oprah Winfrey power belonged to a man named Arthur Godfrey. So popular and familiar was Godfrey that he was one of two people selected to make emergency broadcasts to the nation in the event of a nuclear attack. (The other was Edward R. Murrow.) Everyone knew Godfrey's voice. It was woven in the fabric of the time. But Godfrey never endorsed a candidate or tried to promote one. He promoted
Occasional contributor Bill Katz holds down the fort at Urgent Agenda This morning he considers the intersection of show...
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