Monday, October 31, 2011

The Do-Everything President

The Do-Everything President
by Daniel J. Flynn
Posted 10/31/2011 ET

Barack Obama campaigns against a “do nothing” Congress. The “do everything” president is the real problem.

“The truth is, we can no longer wait for Congress to do its job,” the president announced in his Saturday radio address. “The middle-class families who’ve been struggling for years are tired of waiting.”

The White House hammers the verbiage home on its website with the ubiquitous message: “We can’t wait on Congress: The time to act is now.” For the leader of the free world, like the leader of the Heartbreakers, the waiting is the hardest part.

So the president issues a series of frenetic executive orders. One involves limiting some annual student loan payments to 10 percent of debtor income. Another establishes a website. Another encourages community health centers to hire veterans.

This is what America has been waiting for?

It’s sad to see a president employing the impatient rhetoric of dictators. This is mitigated, however, by the meek deeds of a humbled chief executive. Actions speak softer than words here.

Perhaps we should be pleased that the president is going small. Launching an unauthorized war in Libya or using the Federal Communications Commission to impose internet rules that Congress had explicitly rejected were consequential usurpations. But shaving half of a percent off of a few students’ loans is Barack Obama channeling Bill Clinton on school uniforms. Who cares?

Circumventing the legislative branch is a tacit admission of leadership failure. Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan convinced opposing party members in Congress to come along. But the president’s jobs bill—stimulus the sequel—couldn’t even make it through a Senate controlled by fellow Democrats. Barack Obama doesn’t mesmerize congressmen the way he does his cultists. The post-partisan president is really the purely polarizing president.

Meddlers long for appreciation but breed resentment. Just one in five Americans tells Gallup that they generally trust the federal government to do the right thing. Four in five don’t have faith in Washington to do the right thing. The blessing of an interventionist president is that he spoils the public’s appetite for government intervention. Interventionism is a disease that is its own cure.

The man who with “profound humility” marked his nomination to the presidency as the historic moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” has succeeded instead in reversing the tide of hubristic statism perfectly symbolized in that preposterous utterance.

Politics isn’t a panacea. A bill to create jobs is just the latest example of the administration putting its faith in Washington solutions. The problem-solver-in-chief ends up creating problems rather than solving them. Like the second baseman whose invasions of the outfield routinely transform routine pop-ups into hits, the good Samaritan often gets in the way. Some helpers become hurters. Do do-gooders do good?

President Obama made health care more expensive by taxing insurance plans, pharmaceutical companies, and medical-device manufacturers through a bizarrely named Affordable Care Act. He prolongs the housing crisis by incessant tinkering that keeps people in homes they can’t afford and encourages the reckless lending that led to the bailouts. His stimulus turned out to be a sedative.

We could have used a do-nothing Congress then. We certainly would have been better off with a do-nothing president. American enterprise needs benign neglect, not malign involvement. If a guy who had never worked for a business demanded to run your business, you would call him arrogant. There isn’t a word for a guy who has never worked for a private business seeking a hand in running all businesses.

When you try to run everything you run nothing well. This is compounded by the hastiness that characterizes the fidgety politician ever eager to be seen doing something. The real or imagined “do-nothings” he rails against actually have a better bead on matters than the restless do-everything president.

Barack Obama can’t wait. The American people can’t wait either. Election Day is twelve slow months away.

To read another article by Daniel J. Flynn, click here.

The Left Has Become Comfortably Dumb

The Left Has Become Comfortably Dumb
By David Catron on 10.31.11 @ 6:08AM

Our lips are moving, but they can't hear what we're saying.

Last week I received an email from a cycling group to which I belong. It was marked "urgent" and its subject line read as follows: "Federal Bike Funding Under Attack Again." It implored me to contact my elected representatives in Washington and demand that they oppose an amendment introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to the Transportation Enhancements program. Never heard of TE? Well, it's administered by the Federal Highway Administration and provides funding for the "provision of pedestrian and bicycle facilities," among other things. The proposed amendment, it seems, would redirect funding from such urgent national priorities to trivialities like infrastructure maintenance. The email cites the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed every year and declares, "We must defeat this amendment."

As it happens, I know a little something about cycling accidents. I was hit by a car last year and had the uniquely unpleasant experience of bashing out a windshield with my head before flying through the air upside down. This is why my few loyal readers (Hi, Mom) were deprived of my brilliant effusions for about six weeks during the Summer of 2010. However, I was wearing a helmet at the time of my surprise encounter with that wayward automobile, so my brain was not damaged so badly that I actually believe it's more important to spend taxpayer money on "Watch for Cyclists" signs than on the repair of vital infrastructure. Even when I was taking those delicious painkillers they gave me in the Emergency Room, I was never stoned enough to think that the wallets of my fellow citizens contain a limitless supply of cash.

And, make no mistake about it, that is precisely what our progressive friends believe. They are actually naïve enough to think that we can pay for all the goodies we want simply by raising taxes. Most progressives, including the journalists and politicians who promote their clueless agenda, come from upper middle class environments where everyone is pretty comfortable. They have lived their entire lives around the kind of people who actually commiserated with Barack Obama when he bemoaned the skyrocketing cost of arugula. Few have ever had a close relationship with anyone who does not enjoy a good deal of disposable income. Thus, they believe that raising taxes means nothing more draconian than fewer Gurkhas for some anonymous suit in a gleaming office building downtown.

This is why they so readily believe absurd canards about the Tea Party movement. It is far easier for them to believe the "closet racist" meme than to get their stunted intellects around the notion that there could be a genuine grassroots movement comprised of tapped out taxpayers. For progressives, "authentic" anti-government activists are well-heeled airheads like themselves. The classic example is the erstwhile Weather Underground leader and friend of the President whom Ann Coulter accurately describes thus: "[Bill] Ayers is such an imbecile, we ought to be amazed that he's teaching at a university -- even when you consider that it's an ed school -- except all former violent radicals end up teaching. Roughly 80 percent of former Weathermen are full college professors."

Obviously, if you have been educated by teachers trained at universities that employ such people, you will be less adept at calculating opportunity cost than defecating in public, waving misspelled signs, and shouting incoherent slogans. Progressives in general, and the OWS demonstrators in particular, are utterly incapable of grasping the blindingly obvious reality that life in a world of finite resources requires us to make trade-offs. Indeed, they don't understand that taxpayer revenue is a finite resource, even when more than nine percent of the work force remains unemployed. This is why they slander Tea Partiers who want nothing more than a government that controls spending and stops throwing our money away on poorly conceived and counterproductive boondoggles.

Which bring us back to my "urgent" email. Senator Paul describes the Transportation Enhancements program as a fund for "turtle tunnels and squirrel sanctuaries." He is actually being too kind. In addition to bicycle facilities, TE funds such things as the control and removal of outdoor advertising, reduced vehicle-caused wildlife mortality, habitat connectivity (turtle tunnels), establishment of transportation museums, acquisition of scenic or historic easements, landscaping and scenic beautification and historic highway programs. As much as I love cycling and my fellow cyclists, it's difficult to imagine a level of cluelessness that could actually advocate funding such things while allowing bridges to crumble. And yet my "urgent" email says TE is a "cost-effective, valuable program."

Needless to say, none of TE's "cost-effective, valuable programs" will prevent any of the pedestrian and bicycle fatalities cited in the email. It certainly wouldn't have prevented my accident, which was caused by a driver who suddenly turned left across two lanes of traffic without bothering to signal. Habitat connectivity wouldn't have helped. This is not to say that the episode was completely devoid of value. It did give me a sense of what life must be like for progressives. For a few moments after I crash-landed on the asphalt people were standing over me, talking to no effect. Like a lefty listening to Tea Partiers explaining that there isn't enough money left in their wallets to waste on turtle tunnels, I could see their lips moving but couldn't hear what they were saying. On the other hand, I wasn't as comfortable or complacent as a progressive.

To read a nother article by David Catron, click here.

Organized Ignorance

Organized Ignorance
By Robert Stacy McCain on 10.31.11 @ 6:08AM

"Occupy Wall Street" mobs know so much that isn't so.

Joe Schoffstall went to New York's Zuccotti Park last week and found a man holding aloft a hand-lettered sign with the slogan, "Arrest the Bankers." Schoffstall, a young reporter for Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, asked the man a simple question: "What are your thoughts on Israel?"

The protester's response, captured by the MRC's video camera, was memorable: "Israel is white Europe -- eastern Europeans -- who has [sic] usurped and occupied Arab land, and they have displaced the indigenous Arab Palestinian people at gunpoint. When Israel was founded in 1948… in 1949, Israel secretly began working on a nuclear… atomic nuclear program to wipe out her neighbors. So the hatred of the Arabs for Israel is understandable.… And I'll say that the Jews control Wall Street. Google 'Jewish billionaires.' Google 'Jews and the Federal Reserve bank.' Google 'Jews and Wall Street.' America's finances is [sic] controlled by the Jews. Wall Street, the media, the legal profession -- Jewish money is the engine in politics.… The Jews commit more white-collar crime than any other ethnic group on the earth and they go unprosecuted because they can buy their way out of it."

It would be unfair to conclude from this one demented example that the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is significantly motivated by, or deliberately tolerant of, paranoid anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. But the rant recorded by Schoffstall's camera crew was not the only example of such kook-fringe beliefs among the mobs that have descended on lower Manhattan and other urban spaces across America in the weeks since these anti-capitalism protests began. Documented examples of anti-Semitism among the "Occupy" crowds were sufficiently numerous to prompt the Emergency Committee for Israel to release an online ad questioning support for the demonstrations voiced by Democratic Party leaders, including President Obama, who said the movement "expresses the frustrations that the American people feel."

Obama's invocation of "the American people" and their "frustrations" might permit some other conspiracy theorists to suggest -- with far better evidence -- that the protesters camped in Zuccotti Park are part of a deliberate effort by the president and his party to undermine the free enterprise system. Several conservative commentators have interpreted "Occupy Wall Street" in light of Saul Alinsky's radical maxim: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it." Others see the anti-capitalist mobs in the context of the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" to foment a crisis that would bring about a socialist revolution. This suggestion cannot be lightly dismissed. One of the architects of that 1960s-era strategy, Professor Frances Fox Piven, is an active supporter of the movement and told a public-radio interviewer: "I think we desperately need a popular uprising in the United States." Piven also denounced the financial industry at a Sept. 29 rally in New York where, in a bizarre call-and-response speech, she told the crowd: "You've heard people say they're greedy, and they are greedy. You've heard people say that they are thieves, and they are thieves. But they're also cannibals, because they are eating their own."

Any reasonably well-informed person who listens to Piven's counter-factual assertions (e.g., that we have budget deficits "because big business and finance has stopped paying taxes") need not wonder why so many allegedly smart young people have joined the "Occupy" movement. Piven is one of the nation's most influential academics, past president of the American Sociological Association and a "Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Political Science" at the graduate school of the City University of New York. Professor Piven is not merely a teacher, but a teacher of teachers, whose former pupils are now themselves influential professors at many of the nation's most prestigious institutions. And it is perfectly plausible to say that Professor Piven's most illustrious student, dating back to the era when she taught at Columbia University, is the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Six decades after Bill Buckley warned of the academic elite's collectivist drift in , we now behold the rotten fruit of that tree: An Ivy League graduate in the God and Man at Yale White House praising the inchoate rage of anti-capitalist mobs, a rage incited by the likes of Professor Piven at rallies that draw heavily from among the brightest students at our nation's finest universities.

Whereas the anti-Semitic idiot interviewed by Schoffstall could be dismissed as a marginal kook whose views are not representative of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement as a whole, the same cannot be said of Professor Piven and the young protesters who enthusiastically echoed her words in Zuccotti Park. Those who declare that capitalists are "thieves " and "cannibals" are proclaiming doctrines propagated by the academic left for more than half a century. Students haven't been taught to understand capitalism, but rather to hate capitalism. Hating is easier than understanding, after all, and elite students nowadays are far more likely to be assigned the Marxist history of Howard Zinn than to be schooled in the economics of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.

Hostility toward the free market is one of those hateful prejudices that, to borrow a phrase from Rodgers and Hammerstein, "you've got to be carefully taught." Idiots on the fringes of the "Occupy" crowd who demonize Jews may ultimately be less dangerous than the allegedly well-educated young people who form the core of the mobs that vilify capitalism. And as Ronald Reagan once observed, "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

To read another article by Robert Stacy McCain, click here.

To read more about Obama and the Cloward-Piven Plan, click here.

My Daughter's Decision

My Daughter's Decision

My daughter just walked into the living room and said "Dad, cancel my allowance immediately, rent my room out, throw all my clothes out of the window, take my TV, and stereo, and iPhone, and iPod, and my laptop. Please take all of my jewelry to the Salvation Army or Cash Converters. Then sell my new car, take my front door key away from me and throw me out of the house. Then disown me and never talk to me again.. And don’t forget to write me out of your will and leave my share to my brother." Well, she didn't put it quite like that.. she actually said...

"Dad I have decided to work for Obama's reelection campaign."
For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I’m Really Proud of My Country
October 31, 2011 1:32 P.M. By Peter Kirsanow

. . . although, admittedly, it’s downright mean and we’ve lost our ambition and imagination and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Solyndra, which are jobs Americans won’t do because we’ve gotten as soft as those underfed obese kids whose parents act as stupidly as a typical white person or the Cambridge police, who spend most of their time air-raiding villages and killing civilians in the Midwest, causing them to become bitter and cling to guns and religion and antipathy toward people who aren’t like Republicans, who, you may have noticed, are always making plans for dirtier air, dirtier water and people without health insurance, causing us to lose our competitive edge, which is why the unemployment rate has stayed above 9 percent for 27 of the last 29 months, resulting in more rapes, more murders, more chickens coming home to roost and less revenue to the federal treasury because the rich (except Warren Buffett) won’t pay their fair share in taxes – something that’s unpatriotic and unAmerican unless you’re one of the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay any federal income taxes but believe in American exceptionalism, just like the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism and the Somalis believe in Somalian exceptionalism.

It’s a mediocre country but someone’s gotta govern it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

America should listen to Paul Ryan

America should listen to Paul Ryan
By Star Parker

Last week, one of the Republican Party’s young stars, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), spoke at the Heritage Foundation and gave forth his vision of America and what we need to do today to restore our vitality.

Listening to Ryan, I’m reminded of the late, great Congressman Jack Kemp, for whom he once worked. He talks about America as an “opportunity” society, driven by the ideals of individual freedom, limited government, traditional values, and free enterprise.

To sum up his working hypotheses: These are the values that made America great. Our economic machine is sputtering today as result of departure from these values. Today’s task is to restore them and get America growing again, which will benefit everyone.

Ryan contrasts this individual-centered, bottom-up, principles driven vision, with the take on things of our current administration. They believe everything starts in Washington, and that they can design, create, and finance with taxpayers’ money, a prosperous, just America.

But our president has had three years to work his liberal experiment, with economic recovery barely discernible today, and recent Gallup polling showing only 13 percent of Americans satisfied with how things are going.

So now, as Ryan points out, without a platform of success to run on, President Obama has opted for a strategy of class warfare.

A favorite theme being used to stroke this class warfare strategy is the alleged growing income gaps in the nation. According to this refrain, the rich are getting richer while incomes at the lower end of the spectrum stagnate.

Immediately following Ryan’s speech at Heritage, an attack piece appeared in New York Magazine by Jonathan Chait, entitled “The Ideological Fantasies of Inequality Deniers.”

President Obama has no less affection for freedom and economic success than does Paul Ryan, according to Chait. He just wants to keep the scales in balance by raising taxes on those who have been successful rather than cutting poverty and welfare programs.

In Chait’s words, “… was a lot easier for poor people to move up sixty years ago, when tax rates on the rich happened to be far higher, than it is today.”

Economist/blogger Mark Perry recently published data in which he crunched numbers from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to show demographic differences between low income and high income households.

Breaking down average household incomes from the lowest fifth to the highest fifth, Perry shows with clarity that as household income increases, the incidence of marriage, more education, and more working individuals per household increases.

Almost 80% of households with the highest average income include a married couple compared to 17% of households with the lowest average income. Sixty percent of highest average income households have earners with at least a bachelors degree, compared to 12 % of the lowest.

Those on the left who scream about income gaps choose to focus on the success of those at the top rather than the failures of those at the bottom.

They conveniently ignore that liberals are the ones who have pushed the moral relativism and welfare state dependence that has destroyed black families over the last 60 years. And it is these same liberals who fight to keep low income kids in failing public schools and fight efforts to get school choice.

Perhaps Chait is right that 60 years ago it was easier to move out of poverty. But 60 years ago the probability was much higher that a poor individual lived in a household with married parents, a work ethic, and traditional values.

Americans must recapture what made this the world’s greatest, most prosperous nation.

Paul Ryan is a man every American should be listening to. We need to get back to identifying and emulating success. Not empathizing with and subsidizing failure.

To read another article by Paul Ryan, click here.

Surprise! No warming in last 11 years

Surprise! No warming in last 11 years
posted at 6:45 pm on October 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, a research team at Berkeley led by a former climate change skeptic released a study of global temperatures that intended to set the record straight on controversial data collected by the East Anglia Project, NASA, and other organizations that have acted as advocates for action based on anthropogenic global warming. Professor Richard Muller put together a graph of the data that supposedly showed warming from 1800 (roughly the beginning of the Industrial Era in Europe) through 1975, and then a steeper rise in temperatures that appears unstopped. When this data was released, newspapers and other media proclaimed it the end of AGW skepticism and demanded capitulation from the “deniers.”

This led to an interesting e-mail exchange between myself and one of my blogging friends, whom I won’t name because (a) the e-mails weren’t really intended for publication, and (b) he’s a good guy who is passionate about doing what’s right. I got an e-mail from him challenging me on this point, saying the correlation between rising temperatures and mass release of CO2 was undeniable. I explained to him that AGW skepticism doesn’t rest on the notion that global temperatures aren’t rising, but that the AGW crowd has yet to show causation between CO2 release and actual warming. He replied that correlation was enough to prompt action, but that’s neither scientific or wise. Correlation only shows that two trends parallel each other; if one isn’t the cause of the other, then “solutions” designed to change one trend won’t impact the other anyway — and it will waste time, money, and perhaps lives while the perceived problem continues unabated.

As it turns out, the correlation isn’t exactly equal, either. A closer look at the data and a Daily Mail interview with one of Muller’s team shows that the chart hides the fact that no warming has occurred in the last 11 years, as has been repeatedly pointed out:

Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no scientific basis.

Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers. Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious ‘Climategate’ scandal two years ago. …

In fact, Prof Curry said, the project’s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties – a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.

‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’

Let’s take a look at Muller’s chart, and then compare it to the chart for the last 13 years — which the Daily Mail labels an “inconvenient truth”:

First, let’s look at the top chart. A closer reading of the top chart shows that, relative to the 1950-1980 average baseline BEST uses, temperatures didn’t actually warm at all until sometime during the Great Depression, so the entire first century of the Industrial Era apparently had no impact — in a period where the dirtiest of mass energy production processes was in widest use (coal). Temperatures then started to slowly rise during an era of significantly reduced industrial output, thanks to a lengthy economic depression that gripped the entire world. What we end up with is a 30-year spike that also includes a few years of reduced industrial output, starting in the stagnating 1970s where oil production also got restricted thanks to onerous government policies and trade wars.

In climate terms, a 30-year spike is as significant as a surprisingly warm afternoon in late October. Man, I wish we were going to have one of those today.

But then look what happens in the past 11 years in the bottom chart. Despite the fact that the world’s nations continue to spew CO2 with no significant decline (except perhaps in the Great Recession period of 2008-9), the temperature record is remarkably stable. In fact, it looks similar to the period between 1945 and 1970 on the top chart. If global temperature increases really correlated directly to CO2 emissions, we wouldn’t see this at all; we’d see ever-escalating rates of increase in global temperatures, which is exactly what the AGW climate models predicted at the turn of the century. They were proven wrong.

And in fact, Curry explains that the failure of those models finally has some scientists going back to the drawing board:

‘This is nowhere near what the climate models were predicting,’ Prof Curry said.‘Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2.’ …

‘Of course this isn’t the end of scepticism,’ she said. ‘To say that is the biggest mistake he [Prof Muller] has made. When I saw he was saying that I just thought, “Oh my God”.’

In fact, she added, in the wake of the unexpected global warming standstill, many climate scientists who had previously rejected sceptics’ arguments were now taking them much more seriously.

They were finally addressing questions such as the influence of clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation – as they should have done, she said, a long time ago.

And what of Muller? When confronted by the Daily Mail about the data from the past 11 years, he denied that temperatures had plateaued, and then admitted that the data shows exactly that:

Yesterday Prof Muller insisted that neither his claims that there has not been a standstill, nor the graph, were misleading because the project had made its raw data available on its website, enabling others to draw their own graphs.

However, he admitted it was true that the BEST data suggested that world temperatures have not risen for about 13 years. But in his view, this might not be ‘statistically significant’, although, he added, it was equally possible that it was – a statement which left other scientists mystified.

‘I am baffled as to what he’s trying to do,’ Prof Curry said.

Even perfect correlation doesn’t prove causation, and this is far from being perfect correlation. AGW scientists have still failed to prove that CO2 is responsible for the moderate rise in temperatures, nor have they proven their hypothesis that the rise is irreversible, or even bad. As I pointed out to my friend, Greenland hosted a farming community for over 200 years before getting swallowed in ice in a global-cooling period that helped spread disease, death, and starvation throughout Europe. If Greenland once again becomes farmland, then we might be entering a somewhat more remarkable climate period in human history, but until then this is more properly referred to as weather.

BEST did help settle the temperature record, an important step in climate research and a necessary corrective to the manipulations discovered in Climategate. But they didn’t “prove” anthropogenic global warming or any kind of causation, and even their correlation proves rather weak.

"A Black Man Who Knows His Place"

"A Black Man Who Knows His Place"
By Bob Beauprez

Karen Finney is not just any Democrat; she was the spokeswoman for the Democrat National Committee, served in the Clinton White House, was the press secretary for Hillary Clinton's New York Senate race, and is a veteran of four Presidential Campaigns.

Tasked with analyzing Herman Cain's surge in the GOP's Presidential campaign for MSNBC last week, Finney offered up the most outrageous, insulting, demeaning single sentence we have ever heard – particularly by someone who supposedly speaks for an entire national political party.

"I think he makes that white Republican base of the party feel okay, feel that they're not racist because they can like this guy, I think they like him because he’s a black man who knows his place."

To see video, click here.

Finney said this about a man who overcame very humble beginnings and every other road block life threw in front of him. He became a highly successful business executive, led a trade association, was the Chairman of the Board of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, a popular Radio personality, and now a leading contender to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

In her attempt to disparage both Herman Cain and the Republican Party, Finney actually told us volumes about herself and the Democrat Party for which she was the designated singular voice.

Excuse me Windbag! Which party is the racist one? Click here.

No really, isn't the democrats the racists? Well that's what the facts show.

Mitt Romney, the pretzel candidate

Mitt Romney, the pretzel candidate
By George F. Will, Published: October 28, 2011

The Republican presidential dynamic — various candidates rise and recede; Mitt Romney remains at about 25 percent support — is peculiar because conservatives correctly believe that it is important to defeat Barack Obama but unimportant that Romney be president. This is not cognitive dissonance.

Obama, a floundering naif who thinks ATMs aggravate unemployment, is bewildered by a national tragedy of shattered dreams, decaying workforce skills and forgone wealth creation. Romney cannot enunciate a defensible, or even decipherable, ethanol policy.

Life poses difficult choices, but not about ethanol. Government subsidizes ethanol production, imposes tariffs to protect manufacturers of it and mandates the use of it — and it injures the nation’s and the world’s economic, environmental, and social (it raises food prices) well-being.

In May, in corn-growing Iowa, Romney said, “I support” — present tense — “the subsidy of ethanol.” And: “I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country.” But in October he told Iowans he is “a business guy,” so as president he would review this bipartisan — the last Republican president was an ethanol enthusiast — folly. Romney said that he once favored (past tense) subsidies to get the ethanol industry “on its feet.” (In the 19th century, Republican “business guys” justified high tariffs for protecting “infant industries”). But Romney added, “I’ve indicated I didn’t think the subsidy had to go on forever.” Ethanol subsidies expire in December, but “I might have looked at more of a decline over time” because of “the importance of ethanol as a domestic fuel.” Besides, “ethanol is part of national security.” However, “I don’t want to say” I will propose new subsidies. Still, ethanol has “become an important source of amplifying our energy capacity.” Anyway, ethanol should “continue to have prospects of growing its share of” transportation fuels. Got it?

Every day, 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, from which they will receive, on average, $1 million of benefits ($550,000 from the former, $450,000 from the latter). Who expects difficult reforms from Romney, whose twists on ethanol make a policy pretzel?

A straddle is not a political philosophy; it is what you do when you do not have one. It is what Romney did when he said that using Troubled Assets Relief Program funds for the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts “was the wrong source for that funding.” Oh, so the source was the bailouts’ defect.

Last week in Ohio, Romney straddled the issue of the ballot initiative by which liberals and unions hope to repeal the law that Republican Gov. John Kasich got enacted to limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights. Kasich, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, is under siege. Romney was asked, at a Republican phone bank rallying support for Kasich’s measure, to oppose repeal of it and to endorse another measure exempting Ohioans from Obamacare’s insurance mandate (a cousin of Romneycare’s Massachusetts mandate). He refused.

His campaign called his refusal principled: “Citizens of states should be able to make decisions . . . on their own.” Got it? People cannot make “their own” decisions if Romney expresses an opinion. His flinch from leadership looks ludicrous after his endorsement three months ago of a right-to-work bill that the New Hampshire legislature was considering. So, the rule in New England expires across the Appalachian Mountains?

A day after refusing to oppose repeal of Kasich’s measure, Romney waffled about his straddle, saying he opposed repeal “110 percent.” He did not, however, endorse the anti-mandate measure, remaining semi-faithful to the trans-Appalachian codicil pertaining to principles, thereby seeming to lack the courage of his absence of convictions.

Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.

Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from “data” (although there is precious little to support Romney’s idea that in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is a powerful magnet for such immigrants) and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’s words) “competence,” not “ideology.” But what would President Romney competently do when not pondering ethanol subsidies that he forthrightly says should stop sometime before “forever”? Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?

To read a related aricle about Mitt Romney, click here.

Conservatives Who Back Romney Ignore Their Own Principals

Conservatives Who Back Romney Ignore Their Own Principals
by Brad Mahlstedt 10/30/2011

Stupidity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Conservatives need to quit being stupid.

Each election cycle, conservatives scream about how government is out of control, spending is out of whack, and the “moral majority” in Washington, D.C., bears no reflection on the moral majority of the country.

So why the hell do they keep voting for establishment (code word for moderate) candidates? In Herman Cain’s words, “How’s that working out for ya?”

It makes no difference whether a President is a Republican or a Democrat if each does the same things while in office, contributing equally to the demise of our country, albeit at differing paces.

Conservative principals work, and are time-tested. Yet we keep nominating people who are RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, at best (Bush 1 and 2) and Blue Dog Democrats at worst (McCain), all while throwing a fit when a liberal Democrat gets elected. Candidates should not get our votes just because they won't kill our country as quickly as the other guy.

If conservatives want this country to change direction, then they had better start voting that way. I’m sick of having to pick my poison. Everyone else should be too.

The idea that Mitt Romney​ is leading in most polls is astonishing. To nominate Romney would be to throw away the Tea Party movement and conservative principals. His mere consideration is an anomaly. He is for a government mandate. He says he isn’t in favor of ObamaCare, while he implemented it in his home state of Massachusetts. In other words: It's wrong to mandate something on everyone through Washington, but if the states were to do it, then that would be totally okay with Romney. He doesn’t seem to understand that the problem citizens have with the mandate is not the means by which it is achieved, but rather the mandate itself.

The illogic in Romney’s stance is obvious. It's like saying that it was wrong for FDR to intern the Japanese during Word War II, but if the states had done it individually, then it would have been okay. Huh!? Yet Romney is currently garnering 25% in virtually every poll.

Some view Romney as an outsider and businessman who hasn’t spent his entire life in office. But if this candidate had his way, he would be a lifetime politician. If lifetime politician is defined as a person who has spent his career in office, then Romney isn’t one. But if the definition includes people who have spent a lifetime running for office, he can't escape the branding. He ran for Senate and lost. He ran for governor and won, only abdicating the nomination for a second term when it became apparent that he could not win. He ran for President in 2008, and now is running in 2012. If this isn’t the resume of an aspiring career politician, I do not know what is.

Conservatives and the Tea Party need to be thirsty for a Washington outsider not merely because that person is from outside Washington, but because sending in the same old people and expecting different results didn't, doesn't and won't work. It satisfies the definition of stupid.

It seems as though people want to nominate whoever can stand a chance at defeating Barack Obama. This line of thinking throws principal out the window and is destined to disappoint.

For the first time since Ronald Reagan​, real conservatives are running for the presidency despite an uphill climb, and it's time to get behind one of them for the sake of our country. America’s future is in jeopardy. History shows us that the backward thinking that an establishment Republican can restore us to greatness … well … that dog don’t hunt.

If conservatives don’t wake up one day in the not-so-distant future, we will all be attending America’s funeral. How did she die? Death by a thousand moderates.

To read more about Mitt Romney, click here.

Top 10 Reasons Occupy Wall Street Is a Joke

Top 10 Reasons Occupy Wall Street Is a Joke
by Human Events 10/29/2011

The Left was envious when Tea Party protests popped up in 2009, and now has countered with the Occupy Wall Street gathering in New York that has spread to other cities. While Tea Party enthusiasm became an effective force during the 2010 elections, #OWS will not have the same impact and here is why: The Top 10 Reasons Occupy Wall Street is a Joke.

1. Agenda: Unlike the clarity of the Tea Party message of smaller government, the Wall Street Occupiers have a potpourri of juvenile demands, from free college education and an annual living wage to “forgiveness of debt on the entire planet.” One protester mused that the solution was to do away with money altogether. Apparently these recipients of federal student loans have yet to take Economics 101.

2. Celebrities: The usual suspects of empty-headed progressive Hollywood stars are showing up at the Wall Street rally, many arriving by limo. Millionaires Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Roseanne Barr have all made appearances. Kanye West wore gold jewelry worth more than many protesters have made in their lifetimes. If they hadn’t noticed, these stars are part of the 1%.

3. Soros: The roster of George Soros-funded entities are aiding and abetting the Occupy movement. AdBusters, an anti-consumerist publication that sounded the initial call for the protests, is funded in part by Tides, a major recipient of Soros’ funding. Another Soros venture——has rallied support for the initiative. Soros, a billionaire several times over largely through currency manipulation, says he “sympathizes with their grievances” of those protesting corporate greed.

4. Arrests: Unlike the Tea Party rallies, there have been numerous arrests at the Occupy protests, as the crowds ignore city ordinances about overnight camping on public property. Nearly a thousand were arrested in New York for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge, snarling traffic for those who work for a living, and hundreds have been taken into custody in Chicago, Boston and other cities.

5. Politics: Democrats from President Obama on down are trying to find common ground with the Occupy Wall Streeters, hoping the protests can be the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party and breathe some life into a moribund progressive movement. The hypocrisy is ripe—the President has garnered more corporate donations than any politician in the nation’s history.

6. Unpatriotic: OWS protests routinely view the United States as the enemy. The American flag is trashed, desecrated and flown upside down. A Coast Guard female officer in uniform was harassed and spit on near the Boston rally. n Portland, Ore., a speaker said, “F**k America.” The protesters would like nothing better than to see the decline of their country.

7. Extremists: It is no small feat to be praised by both the American Nazi Party and the Communist Party USA. From aging hippies who are trying to relive the glory of the Sixties to the younger anarchists who have nothing better to do, many of the OWS protesters are extremists who show up at every left-wing demonstration.

8. Trash: After Tea Party rallies, the grounds were generally swept clean of garbage by the protesters, leaving the areas cleaner than before they arrived. In contrast, at OWS protests, piles of trash are mounting, creating a public health hazard. And after several weeks, many in the crowd are in dire need of a shower.

9. Anti-Semitic: While the mainstream media pushed a fictitious story line that the Tea Party was a cauldron of racism, the OWS rallies feature plenty of examples of outright anti-Semitism. The rallies are marrying the anti-Zionist tirades of the Left with the stereotypical view of Jewish Wall Street bankers to create an ugly atmosphere.

10. Signs: The Tea Party rallies were always full of clever signs, poking fun at Big Government and Barack Obama, and honoring the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. By contrast, the Occupy Wall Street signs are characterized by misspelled words, profanity and inane statements such as, “One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich.”

To read another Top Ten article by Human Events, click here.

Do Crosses at Catholic University Violate “Human Rights” of Muslims?

Do Crosses at Catholic University Violate “Human Rights” of Muslims?
Oct 26, 2011

The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University violated the human rights of Muslim students by not allowing them to form a Muslim student group and by not providing them rooms without Christian symbols for their daily prayers.

The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

A spokesperson for the Office of Human Rights told Fox News they had received a 60-page complaint against the private university. The investigation, they said, could take as long a six months.


The complaint was filed by John Banzhaf, an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School. Banzhaf has been involved in previous litigation against the school involving the same-sex residence halls. He also alleged in his complaint involving Muslim students that women at the university were being discriminated against. You can read more on those allegations by clicking here.

Banzhaf said some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate in the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

“It shouldn’t be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus,” he told Fox News.

A spokesman for Catholic University released a statement to Fox News indicating they had not seen any legal filings — but would respond once they do.

“Our faithfulness to our Catholic tradition has also made us a welcome home to students of other religions,” said Victor Nakas, associate vice president for public affairs. “No students have registered complaints about the exercise of their religions on our campus.”

In a 2010 interview with National Public Radio, university president John Garvey acknowledged that they don’t set aside prayer rooms for Muslim students.

“We make classrooms available, or our chapels are places where they can pray,” he told NPR. “We don’t offer Halal meat, although there are always meals that conform to Halal regulations, that allow students to do what they want.”

Banzhaf said that it is technically not illegal for Catholic University to refuse to provide rooms devoid of religious icons.

“It may not be illegal, but it suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice,” he said. “They do have to pray five times a day, they have to look around for empty classrooms and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion.”

As for the creation of a Muslim student group, Banzhaf said the university has an association of Jewish students – so why not a Muslim group?

“I think they are entitled as a matter of law to be able to form a Muslim student association and to have the same privileges as associations,” he said. “I think that most of them would much prefer to have a place to pray – that they are not surrounded by various Catholic symbols – a place that is more conductive to their religious beliefs than being surrounded by pictures of Popes.”

Garvey, in his 2010 interview with NPR, addressed that issue.

“It’s just not something that we view as an activity that we want to sponsor because we’re a Catholic institution rather than Muslim,” he said.

Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization that promotes Catholic identity among Catholic schools, seemed stunned by the complaint.

“I don’t know what the attorney wants them to do – if he wants them to actually move the Basilica or if the Muslim students can find someplace where they don’t have to look at it,” he told Fox News.

Catholic University, he said, is a Catholic institution.

“One wouldn’t expect a Jewish institution to be responsible for providing liturgical opportunities for other faiths and I wouldn’t expect a Catholic institution to do that,” he said.

“This attorney is really turning civil rights on its head,” he said. “He’s using the law for his own discrimination against the Catholic institution and essentially saying Catholic University cannot operate according to Catholic principles.”

Read coverage from Catholic University’s student newspaper by clicking here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Texas Gun Store Bans Socialists & Obama Supporters

Texas Gun Store Bans Socialists & Obama Supporters in Radio Ad
Guns are for responsible people.
by Jim Hoft 10/29/2011

A Texas gun trainer released an ad this week for his handgun training class. He bans liberals from the class saying:

"If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law."


The ad also bans non-Christian Arabs and Muslims from taking the class, you know; all the deviants.

Click here to view the ad.

A radio ad for a handgun training class that bars Muslims and Obama voters has sparked an investigation in Texas.

"We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your [Concealed Handgun License]," the ad says. Then towards the end, it adds: "If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law."

And then: "If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you, and God bless America."

The ad ran for six days on KHLB, Mason's local station. It's also been heard tens of thousands of times on Youtube.

The State Department’s Obama Book Buy

The State Department’s Obama Book Buy
Give the gift of Obama to your favorite global bureaucrat this Christmas.
by John Hayward 10/28/2011

The Washington Times recently reported that the State Department​ has purchased over $70,000 of Barack Obama’s books, mostly “Dreams From My Father,” which is more than ten years old. The President’s inspiring life story found its way into Christmas stockings and libraries around the world:

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling 1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records show.

About the same time, halfway around the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than $6,000 for copies of “Dreams From My Father.”

One month later, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, spent more than $3,800 for hardcover copies of the Indonesian version of Mr. Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” records show.

Now, on the scale of trillion-dollar government waste we’ve all grown accustomed to, $70,000 barely qualifies as pocket change. The State Department probably does this sort of thing with every President, right?

Actually, no, they don’t. According to the Washington Times​, “A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton​.”

The State Department says this is all business as usual:

State Department spokesman Noel Clay said the book purchases followed regular government procurement rules. He said diplomats have long used books as a way to help broker talks on important foreign-policy matters.

“The structure and the presidency of the United States is an integral component of representing the United States overseas,” Mr. Clay said. “We often use books to engage key audiences in discussions of foreign policy.”

Another State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, later told the Times that the demand for thousands of Obama books is spontaneously arising in embassies around the world:

“It’s the embassies themselves that make the decisions what American books to buy,” she said, adding the purchases are “based on the interest in the country where they are.”

Ms. Nuland also noted that such purchases were “standard practice” and that embassies can stock libraries with books, give copies to other libraries and provide copies to diplomatic contacts. She said if people went through the libraries, they would find examples of literary works from administration figures in both political parties.

But it’s clearly not “standard practice.” There are no comparable State Department purchases of books from previous Presidents on record. It might make some minimal degree of sense for embassies to stock up on the President’s books for their libraries, and give them as gifts to foreign officials, although it seems extravagant for a government that borrows forty-odd cents of every dollar it spends. But there’s no record they’ve ever done this before – not on a $70,000 scale.

“It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer dollars to be spent on this,” Leslie Paige of Citizens Against Government Waste told the Washington Times. “This sounds like propaganda.” In fact, Thomas Jefferson went a bit further, arguing that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” It probably wouldn’t have occurred to him that one day the State Department would be spending taxpayer money to carpet-bomb foreign capitals with mass-produced copies of the President’s ghost-written personal autobiography.

The White House claims it had no knowledge of the book purchases, which probably sluiced about $6000 of taxpayer cash into the President’s pocket through royalty payments. He reported $1.8 million in income last year, making him a real honest-to-gosh millionaire, as opposed to the fake $250,000-per-year “millionaires” he’s so hungry to tax out of their “fair share.” I can’t imagine anyone in America today has much of a problem with a 50-year-old millionaire picking up a $6000 check from the government in exchange for bulk purchases of his multiple autobiographies, so this should all blow over soon enough.

Obama probably needed some money for Christmas shopping. I read both books and they really sucked. I decided after reading them that there was no way I would ever vote for this bozo!

To read another article by John Hayward, click here.

The Mob Tears at the Foundations of Civilization in London and America

The Mob Tears at the Foundations of Civilization in London and America
J. Christian Adams

Watching London burn, one cannot help but sense something has gone awry in the west. London, the cradle of our law, spins toward lawlessness.

The law, the steady framework of our civilization, seems incapable of response. Americans don’t have the luxury anymore of watching the anarchy on television, assuming distance insulates us from the Mob-prowling neighborhoods like Camberwell and Tottenham. The howling rage has even come to our own Midwest.

Hopefully time and wisdom will reveal what has fractured, but for now, we are certain of some things.

We know that the House of Reeves in Croydon, South London, is a pile of ash and rubble. This furniture business had been in the Reeves family for 141 years, surviving even Hitler’s blitz. But the Mob burned it down. “I'm the fifth generation to run this place,” said owner Graham Reeves, “I have two daughters. They would have been the sixth.” It was a fixture in Croydon, which may have been its doom. The Mob loves to devour the fixtures of civilization. The Mob also delights in the destruction of a father’s dream for his daughter. We’ll return shortly to why this may be.

We know that the Mob is forcing victims to undress, to turn over family heirlooms such as wedding rings. We know the weapon of choice for this British Mob is fire.

We now sense that the British government is hopeless. A government that as recently as 1970 made “arson in a royal dockyard” a hanging offense dithers over whether to employ water cannons against the Mob. Americans who, for generations endearingly considered England a model of civility and decorum, know something must have failed catastrophically, but what?

We also now know the Mob has visited America in recent days and years.
Consider the Wisconsin State Fair last week. The 911 tapes reveal a nightmare. “We’re outside the Wisconsin State Fair and there’s a white guy being beaten up by about 100 black people,” the panicked caller cries. “They’re jumping on our cars. . . . My mom just got attacked by a black mob.” Multiple eyewitnesses describe white fairgoers being pulled from cars and beaten by the Mob, all black. The evidence establishes a strong presumption that race was a motivating factor in the attacks. This is America?

Like in England, the law is also failing the victims in Wisconsin. “My wife comes home with a fricking black eye, and you guys ain't doin' (expletive) about it?” another 911 caller complains. “You need to get the (expletive) riot squad over there and haul them off to jail.”

We know that something similar happened in the town of California, Pennsylvania this year. We know that Darnell Harding, a linebacker for the local college football team, and Toni Whiteleather, a defensive back, were charged with attacking Michael Chambers. Chambers was an innocent bystander who had the misfortune of running into the two athletes just before Harding, the linebacker, said he was going to “hit the first white person he saw.”

As in London, the law has failed Chambers. Prosecutors dropped the state hate crimes charges in June after they failed to subpoena the victim to give evidence for a preliminary hearing. The Obama administration has also failed Chambers, as we shall see.

The law has failed Marty Marshall and his Akron, Ohio, family. On the Fourth of July in 2009, he was watching fireworks in his front yard with his wife and children. A mob of 30 to 50 black teenagers went onto his property and beat up Marshall, his wife, his children and two adult male friends. “This is our world. This is a black world,” they taunted the injured victims. Marshall spent five nights hospitalized in critical care.

Of course there are federal hate crimes laws designed for these violent racially motivated attacks, right? But a law is only as good as the people enforcing it. The Justice Department under Eric Holder has little interest in bringing hate crimes charges to protect white victims. The corrupt dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case, which I brought, made that plain.

The criminal section of the civil rights division has the responsibility to prosecute racially motivated violence. But Mark Kappelhoff, the chief of the criminal section of the civil rights division, is unlikely to act if the victims are white. He was angry that the DOJ enforced the law on behalf of white victims in the voting rights case of United States v. Ike Brown. According to the sworn testimony of former voting section chief Christopher Coates, Kappelhoff complained equal enforcement of the law to protect whites was causing problems with “its relations with civil rights groups.” He placed greater importance on political relations with civil rights groups than ending discrimination against white voters.

Through Kappelhoff’s attitude, we gain insight into a worldview that excuses wrongdoers because of whom they victimize. We glimpse the opening passages of a rotted storyline with tragic final chapters.

The Mob thrives off such moral equivocation. The Mob is decisive when the law is not.
To some, the Mob is a symptom of disenfranchisement, urban malaise or institutional hurt feelings. The Mob, after all, only awoke after a questionable police shooting in London. Excuses all, of course. Nothing justifies this behavior in nations built on the rule of law. Excuses are paralyzing those with the responsibility of enforcing the law, both in England and the United States.

Let’s return to the question of why. Many have absolute confidence about what we are witnessing. They can surely imagine the whispers of Wormwood to a thousand Patients. Delighted that the Mob has bypassed the gradual path toward evil, they can imagine him basking in the heat of burning double deckers in Peckham. They know who delights in a father’s dream for his daughter destroyed. Others perhaps imagine Legion, who admits in the Gospel of Mark, “We are many,” before being cast into the maniacal herd of pigs by Christ. No longer simply pigs, the maniacal herd for our times now roams London and stalks families in Milwaukee and Akron.

Whatever has fractured, whatever has failed, we need to discover and right it. Law, informed by a reverence for human dignity, has lifted our nation, our civilization, out of the darkness of history. The mayhem and violence we are witnessing provides a glimpse of an uncivilized age beyond our memory, before law ruled.

Perhaps the civilized will outnumber the uncivilized. Or, perhaps the burning and looting provides instead a preview of our future.

Sir Winston Churchill understood this. “Civilization will not last,” he said at the University of Bristol in 1938, “freedom will not survive, peace will not be kept, unless a very large majority of mankind unite together to defend them and show themselves possessed of a constabulary power before which barbaric and atavistic forces will stand in awe.”

That we have a President that contemptuously expelled this great man’s bust from the Oval Office only increases our task. Contributing Editor J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His forthcoming book Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department (Regnery) releases in October. His website is

To read another related article, click here.

A Potpourri of Idiocy

A Potpourri of Idiocy
By Burt Prelutsky
Saturday, October 29, 2011

In recent weeks, I have come across some news items that prove liberalism isn’t just wrong, but to paraphrase the Munchkins of Oz, it’s morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably, wrong. What’s more, it’s wrong in a great many more places than Washington, D.C. But it is also wrong there, as Rep. Henry Waxman, who has spent well over 30 years representing a predominantly Jewish district here in Los Angeles, proved when he dismissed Robert Turner’s astonishing victory in New York’s 9th congressional district as due solely to the fact that “Jews wanted to protect their wealth.”

Well, for one thing, in Obama’s economy, nobody, Jew or Christian, should be insulted for trying to protect whatever money he still has left. For another, Waxman, who owes his political career to wealthy leftwing Jews who have been willing to overlook his appearance and his arrogance, shows himself to be an unmitigated ingrate. How dare he, who has benefitted so greatly from the loyalty of Jewish voters, join the anti-Semites who, throughout history, have spread the libel that Jews are motivated solely by their lust for money? He deserves to be taught a long-overdue lesson by the voters in his L.A. district, but the sad truth is that they, unlike the orthodox Jews of New York’s 9th, are, like Waxman, essentially secular. Their religion is liberalism. Their god is FDR. Their pope is Barack Obama.

That brings me to Dakota Meyer, the 23-year-old Kentuckian who was recently awarded the Medal of Honor. He received the medal because he risked his life to save the lives of 36 others, members of both the U.S. and Afghan military, who had been ambushed by the Taliban. What makes his actions all the more heroic is that he, along with Staff Sergeant Juan Rodriguez-Chavez and Capt. Ademola Fabayo, did it in defiance of direct orders from their commanding officers. At the time, Dakota Meyer was only 21. But the Marine, now a 23-year-old civilian, was already old enough to know that “Semper Fi” is more than a motto on a plaque.

Sgt. Dakota Meyer

As for his former superiors, it’s obvious that they were creatures of the new politically correct military. Therefore, they knew that it was safer not to take risks, because sometimes risks have consequences that can inhibit promotion. Two, they were raised in a political climate that insisted the primary aim of armed conflicts was not victory, but the avoidance of collateral damage, lest the treacherous leftwing press use them as scapegoats in the media’s endless war with the U.S. military

Only an armed services that had been gutted by Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush and Barack Obama, would include nation-building as a wartime objective. For centuries, generals understood that first you crush the enemy, and only then do you offer a helping hand. It worked like a charm with Germany and Japan, but it’s never even been tried in the Middle East, although even a small child can understand that it makes no sense to re-build, at America’s expense, a building or a bridge that you have just blown up. But, then, this is a country that decided that even the benign policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was too politically insensitive. That also explains why Major Nidal Hasan was allowed to remain in the Army and murder 13 people at Fort Hood when there was ample evidence that he was a jihadist and belonged either in the brig or a loony bin.

Finally, it isn’t often that the name of a company tells you as much about itself as does Progressive Insurance. It seems that Peter Lewis, who inherited the business from his father, is dedicated to using his considerable profits by funding every leftwing enterprise that comes courting. While he has every right to donate millions of dollars to the ACLU, MoveOn.Org and America Coming Together (ACT), there’s no reason on earth why conservatives should remain with Progressive. ACT, by the way, was co-founded by Mr. Lewis and George Soros, and is basically a front group for the SEIU thugs who ran ACORN, as well as a major contributor to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Another cause to which pothead Peter Lewis has contributed millions of dollars is the legalization of marijuana.

For what it’s worth, the Federal Election Commission found ACT guilty of breaking various campaign finance laws during the 2004 presidential election, but settled the matter with a $750,000 fine. I suspect that Soros and Lewis took care of it with the loose change they found under their living room cushions.

Americans are free to do business with whomever they like, but I can’t imagine why conservatives would remain with Progressive any more than I can imagine why any Republican would stick with AARP when AMAC is available. It’s not as if America lacks for insurance companies.

Although, come to think of it, perhaps there should be one more insurance company; one that offers protection to those gullible folks who are unaware that their hard-earned dollars are going to support the pinheaded agendas of their mortal enemies.

To read another article by Burt Prelutsky, click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pujols has no reason to leave

Because grass is greener at Busch Stadium: Pujols has no reason to leave
PUBLISHED 49 minutes and 51 seconds ago
Stan McNeal Sporting News

ST. LOUIS—Ask Albert Pujols about his 445 home runs or his .328 career batting average and he looks bored. More times than I can remember, I have heard him say, "You know I'm not about the numbers. I'm about helping my team win any way I can."

Pujols is about to have the chance to walk that walk. Baseball's best player over the past decade is days away from becoming a free agent, and he easily could double the $111 million he has made on his eight-year deal that is set to expire.

Albert Pujols has won two World Series titles with St. Louis.

Some club seeking to make a splash is sure to throw a monster offer at him. Perhaps Theo Epstein will want to start his era at Wrigley Field with a new first baseman, and taking Pujols from the rival St. Louis Cardinals would be an added bonus.

The Washington Nationals are expected to hand out another nine-figure contract as they shoot to contend in 2013.

The resource-rich Los Angeles Angels are changing general managers and, who knows, could decide to change their ways of never landing the big fish.

Even the just-defeated Texas Rangers could enter the bidding. They have a TV deal on the horizon that will pump $80 million a year or more into their revenue streams. Taking the player from the team that just beat them in the World Series would ease their pain at least a little.

Expect one of these or another team to make Pujols a more lucrative offer than the Cardinals. But if winning is more important than money in his decision, Pujols will not go anywhere. He would have no other reason to leave St. Louis. He repeatedly has said he loves the place, the fans and being a Cardinal.

If he is all about winning, the Cardinals make the most sense. They play in one of baseball's weakest divisions, affording Pujols an easier route to October than he would have in the NL East or AL East. The Cardinals have made the playoffs seven times in his 11 seasons. They have won two World Series and been to three. Pujols has played in 74 postseason games since his rookie season, 18 more than any other player in the National League during that time.

The Cardinals can afford Pujols other benefits he would not find elsewhere. He never will find another manager and club that would protect and coddle him more than Tony La Russa and the Cardinals.

When an opposing team throws up and in on Pujols, retaliation from the Cardinals is as certain as it is swift. When Pujols grumbled that he could play a better third base than whoever the team was putting there in David Freese's absence earlier this season, St. Louis let him play third. When Pujols ordered a hit and run that failed badly in the World Series, La Russa went out of his way to defend the call.

"It has everything to do with what Albert has earned as far as his understanding of the game," La Russa said. "I've said over and over again that for the 11 years that we've been together, Albert has proven every year, virtually every day of the season and postseason, he is a great player, not just a great producer. He's a very smart baseball player."

In St. Louis, Pujols does not have to deal with the media demands or fan pressure that come with playing in the Northeast corridor. When Pujols didn't talk after a World Series game, the Cardinals said no problem.

With so many factors in their favor, the only way the Cardinals should lose Pujols seemingly would be to offer him so much less than the competition that he feels insulted and walks away in a huff.

The Cardinals know better than that. According to USA Today, St. Louis offered Pujols a nine-year, $195 million deal early this year. The paper reported that Pujols wanted 10 years, $230 million to give him an average take equal to Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (eight years, $184 million).

If these numbers are true, the Cardinals and Pujols already are in the same ballpark. Raising their offer when they were the only ones who could make an offer did not make business sense for the Cardinals. Once Pujols hits the market, St. Louis should have a chance to see what it is bidding against.

Then these will become the most interesting contract talks in baseball since Alex Rodriguez signed his 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers. Let's say, for example, the Chicago Cubs offer Pujols $250 million and the Cardinals refuse to go over $230 million.

Would Pujols really leave for a $20 million difference spread over eight to 10 years?

No way, unless he doesn't care as much about winning and wanting to be a Cardinal as he keeps saying.

To read about the 2011 World Series Champs - The St. Louis Cardinals, click here.

St. Louis Cardinals defeat Texas Rangers to win 2011 World Series

St. Louis Cardinals defeat Texas Rangers to win 2011 World Series
PUBLISHED 1 hour and 22 minutes ago

ST. LOUIS—When Jason Motte retired David Murphy on a fly to left Friday night, the St. Louis Cardinals had a 6-2 victory over the Rangers and an unprecedented two-month run to the top of the baseball world.

Now they should have time to reflect on their historic journey to the franchise's 11th World Series championship, the most of any club that resides outside of Yankee Stadium. Making history at nearly every turn, the Cardinals will have plenty to reflect.

The Cardinals won their 11th World Series title on Friday night. Among the highlights:

• World Series MVP David Freese became the first player to drive in 21 runs in a single postseason. Freese wasted no time delivering his clutch hit in Game 7, driving a two-run double to the left-center fence in the first inning after the Texas Rangers had jumped ahead 2-0.

• Chris Carpenter became the franchise's all-time leader in postseason wins, with his nine two more than Bob Gibson (who had only the World Series to get his). Carpenter fittingly was the winner in the clincher when he limited the Rangers to two first-inning runs before leaving in the sixth with the Cardinals up 5-2.

• Albert Pujols had the greatest World Series game in history, slamming three homers and going 5-for-6 in the Cardinals' 16-7 victory in Game 3. Pujols scored twice without getting a hit in Game 7, and, in his final at-bat before becoming a free agent, struck out swinging against Mike Adams in the seventh.

• Allen Craig hit three World Series homers, including a third-inning blast off Matt Harrison that put the Cardinals in the lead for good on Friday night. Showing he can do more than slug, Craig also made a home-run-saving catch against Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning.

• In this World Series, Lance Berkman scored nine runs, including two in Game 7. And Yadier Molina drove in nine runs, including two in Game 7.

• To get to Game 7, the Cardinals battled back from two-run deficits in the ninth and 10th innings to win a 10-9, 11-inning classic in Game 6.

And that was just October. The Cardinals had to make history just to reach the postseason, overcoming a 10 ½-game deficit by finishing the regular season 23-9 and building the momentum that carried them to their memorable season.

Click here to watch the final out!

Cardinals Win World Series: Chris Carpenter, David Freese, Allen Craig Defeat Rangers In Game 7

ST. LOUIS — Pushed to the brink, the St. Louis Cardinals saved themselves. A frantic rush to reach the postseason on the final day. A nifty pair of comebacks in the playoffs. Two desperate rallies in Game 6.

Turns out these Cardinals were merely gearing up for a gigantic celebration.
The Cardinals won a remarkable World Series they weren't even supposed to reach, beating the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7 on Friday night with another key hit by hometown star David Freese and six gutty innings from Chris Carpenter.

A day after an epic Game 6 that saw them twice within one strike of elimination before winning 10-9 in the 11th inning, the Cardinals captured their 11th World Series crown.

And following a whole fall on the edge, including a surge from 10 1/2 games down in the wild-card race, Tony La Russa's team didn't dare mess with Texas, or any more drama in baseball's first World Series Game 7 since the Angels beat Giants in 2002.
Freese, the MVP of the NLCS, was the Series MVP as well.

"This whole ride, this team deserves this. This organization is top notch. ... This is definitely a dream come true," Freese said. "This is why you keep battling. ... I'm so glad to be a part of this."

Freese's two-run double tied it in the first and good-luck charm Allen Craig hit a go-ahead homer in the third. Picked by La Russa earlier in the day to start on short rest, Carpenter and the tireless St. Louis bullpen closed it out.

"I wish everybody in the country could get to know these guys," Craig said. "It's unbelievable. I'm just glad to be a part of it."

No Rally Squirrel needed on this night, either. Fireworks and confetti rang out at Busch Stadium when Jason Motte retired David Murphy on a fly ball to end it.
The Cardinals were loose from the very beginning.

"We were all in the clubhouse and we were a loose bunch of guys," Motte said. "We were in there hanging out, dancing around, had music playing. We were all like that's the way we win and that's how we play the best and we came out we were able to do it today. It's just amazing."

This marked the ninth straight time the home team had won Game 7 in the World Series. The wild-card Cardinals held that advantage over the AL West champions because the NL won the All-Star game – Texas could blame that on their own pitcher, C.J. Wilson, who took the loss in July.

The Rangers, meanwhile, will spend the whole winter wondering how it all got away. Texas might dwell on it forever, in fact, at least until Nolan Ryan & Co. can reverse a World Series slide that started with last year's five-game wipeout against San Francisco.

Texas had not lost consecutive games since last August. These two defeats at Busch Stadium cost manager Ron Washington and the Rangers a chance to win their first title in the franchise's 51-year history.

A year full of inspiring rallies and epic collapses was encapsulated in Game 6. Freese was the star, with a tying triple in the ninth and a winning home run in the 11th. His two RBIs in the clincher gave him a postseason record 21.

The Cardinals won their first championship since 2006, and gave La Russa his third World Series title. They got there by beating Philadelphia in the first round of the NL playoffs, capped by Carpenter outdueling Roy Halladay 1-0 in the deciding Game 5, and then topping Milwaukee in the NL championship series.

By the time Yadier Molina drew a bases-loaded walk from starter Matt Harrison and Rafael Furcal was hit by a pitch from Wilson in relief, the crowd began to sense a championship was near.

The Cardinals improved to 8-3 in Game 7s of the Series, more wins than any other club. Yet fans here know their history well, and were aware this game could go either way – Dizzy Dean and the Gas House Gang won 11-0 in 1934, but Whitey Herzog and his Cardinals lost 11-0 in 1985.

On this evening, though, all the stars aligned.

Starting in place of injured Matt Holliday, Craig hit his third homer of the Series and made a leaping catch at the top of the left field wall. Molina made another strong throw to nail a stray runner. And Carpenter steeled himself to pitch into the seventh, every bit an ace.

Albert Pujols went 0 for 2, walked and was hit by a pitch in what could have been his last game with the Cardinals. Many think the soon-to-be free agent will remain in St. Louis.

Either way, he provided an image that will certainly last a long time in this town. As he scored on Freese's double, Pujols thrust both arms high in the air as he reached the plate.

Besides, Pujols already had done enough damage. His three-homer job in Game 3 was the signature performance of his career and perhaps the greatest hitting show in postseason history.

Dismissed by some as a dull Series even before it began because it lacked the big-market glamour teams, it got better inning by inning.

Craig hit a solo home run in the third, an opposite field fly to right that carried into the Cardinals bullpen and got their relievers dancing. The super-sub put St. Louis ahead 3-2 with his third homer of the Series. He was in the lineup only because Holliday sprained his right wrist on a pickoff play a night earlier and was replaced on the roster.

By then, the largest crowd at 6-year-old Busch Stadium was buzzing. The fans seemed a bit drained much earlier, maybe worn out from the previous night.

They grew hush in the first when Hamilton and Michael Young hit consecutive RBI doubles. Texas might have gotten more, but Ian Kinsler strayed too far off first base and was trapped by Molina's rocket throw.

Freese changed the mood in a hurry as St. Louis tied it in the bottom half. Pujols and Lance Berkman drew two-out walks and pitching coach Mike Maddux trotted to the mound while Freese stepped in to a standing ovation.

Freese rewarded his family and a ballpark full of new friends by lining a full-count floater to the wall in left center for a two-run double. Pujols raised both arms as he crossed the plate – another frozen moment, courtesy of Freese. Harrison was in trouble, and Wilson began warming up after only 23 pitches.

Carpenter wasn't sharp at the outset, either. All over the strike zone, he started seven of the first 10 batters with balls. Pitching coach Dave Duncan made a visit in the second to check on the tall righty, lingering for a few extra words.

NOTES: Texas set a Series record by walking 41 batters, one more than Florida in 1997. Of the 34 runs the Cardinals scored, 11 reached on walks and two more on hit batters. ... The crowd was 47,399. ... The Cardinals will play the first game of the 2012 season, opening the Miami Marlins' new ballpark on April 4.

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The British Riots: An Object Lesson

The British Riots: An Object Lesson
By Tom Bethell from the October 2011 issue

Compassionate conservatism was no match for last August's outbreak.

I happened to be in England shortly before the riots, which erupted in copycat fashion all over the country. No one saw them coming. There have been many references to the "feral underclass," a name for creatures formerly tamed but now wild. The welfare state, which has reached absurd levels in England, instructs the underclass that they are not responsible for anything that happens to them. Nothing is their fault and no one can tell them to do anything.

The automatic receipt of "benefit" tells them that nothing depends on their own effort or good behavior. Parents are severely restricted in how they can discipline their own children. If you want to read about England, keep an eye on Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday. Here is something recent from his blog. Those who want to blame parents for the misdeeds of their children "should heed the cry of one such parent this week, a respected TV cameraman," Hitchens wrote.

"I am heartbroken and totally ashamed," he said of his daughter's criminal actions. "This is the end product of a society that tells you that you can't discipline your children."

Those who do, he said, risk being reported to police or social services. He concluded: "Children now have the power over their parents, rather than the other way round."

I think all modern parents will recognize the truth in this. Except for David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

Cameron is the prime minister, nominally conservative, and Miliband the leader of the Labour Party. He is so far to the left that he acts as a kind of insurance policy for Cameron. No matter how low Cameron falls in the public esteem, Miliband is not an enticing prospect to replace him.

My brother Richard, a minor officeholder (councilman) in the Conservative Party (he lives in an unaffected part of the country, near Gatwick), warned me even before the rioting began that the prospects for David Cameron are not good. He doesn't have a conservative bone in his body. He launched his career as a PR man and that is what he remains. In fact, he has already achieved his life's ambition, which was to become prime minister. 10 Downing Street is his address. So his inclination will be to rest on his laurels. Tony Blair is his hero.

I can think of no better way of alerting American Spectator readers to the Cameron problem than to say that he is a compassionate conservative. Acutely conscious of his own privileged background -- Eton and Oxford -- his guilt feelings are easily stirred. A quick reminder that budget cuts hurt the poor will suffice to whip him into line. His post-riot comments about the "slow motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country," were seen as more PR.

The alleged budget cuts in England have yet to take effect. "Only in today's bizarre, economically illiterate political climate could such an extraordinarily large overdraft be confused for draconian belt-tightening," wrote a commentator for the (English) Spectator. One department that does face cuts is the police force. It was noted at the time that the police response to the initial rioting was tardy or nonexistent. Post-riots, you can be sure that those reductions in force will not happen. Thus do bureaucracies take care of their own. My brother showed me a chart with planned government spending increasing every year until 2016. Optimistically, revenues also projected to rise sharply in the same time. Reason: Under the Labour
government the top income tax rate was increased to 50 percent (from 40 percent) and Cameron has kept that in place.

It's assumed by all right-thinking people, including the BBC, that this substantial increase in the cost of doing business in Britain will have no effect on behavior. Richard Branson of Virgin Air, who has moved part of his operation from London to Switzerland, has already shown this assumption to be wrong. One of several errors behind the plan to raise taxes on the rich (on both sides of the Atlantic) is that the rich are exactly the ones who are the least likely to be played for suckers and can most easily move.

Few Americans realize that in forming his government, Cameron teamed up with the (leftist) Liberal Democrats who were given major cabinet posts and a great deal of influence. Cameron's Business Secretary, Vincent Cable, is anti-business, and would fit comfortably into the Obama administration. The Lib-Dems are "the yellow tail wagging the Tory dog, veto-ing or diluting mainstream Conservative policies." (Spectator again.) No real welfare reform will occur: well-advertised future cuts have been offset by immediate (and unannounced) increases. The National Health Service, regarded for some reason as a national treasure, will remain intact (there are still no charges for making an appointment to see a doctor, as there are now in Sweden and France); foreign aid goes onward and upward (giving away other people's money convinces liberals that they are morally superior people); carbon taxes have been increased to counter the global warming that humans allegedly cause (this will sharply increase the cost of energy and keep the BBC happy); and of course there will be no retreat on the new 50 percent top income tax rate.

The betting is that Cameron will also retreat from a promised reform of munificent civil service pensions, which are based on final salaries. Cameron faces "industrial action," or strikes, over his insistence that government workers make extra payments for pensions in excess of 100,000 pounds a year (about $160,000). In addition, a raft of EU measures will give temporary workers full employee rights after just 12 weeks on the job. Given that Britain employs eight million such workers, this could have a severe impact on labor market flexibility. Prudence will dictate that few such employees will be hired in the first place.

All of which means that the British economy will continue to do poorly. The main economic problem in England at the moment (as in America) is that the progressives who continue to advocate egalitarian policies have no conception that they don't work-- don't create jobs. The supposed morality of such policies blinds their advocates to their destructiveness.

YOU MAY WELL WONDER why we in the U.S. should care about Britain's pathologies. If you feel that way you have a point. The ruling class in Britain is rotten to the core. Now that they no longer rule the waves it might be better for all concerned if they were submerged beneath them. If a more fundamental rebellion in Britain were to rid us of the whole sorry lot I would quietly rejoice. But they are an object lesson.

Every time I return to the U.S. I sense that the same destructive forces are at work here as in Britain--

with the important difference that the forces of sanity are still alive and politically effective on this side of the Atlantic. They see the shoals and the hazards, and are eager to avoid them. To get an idea of politics in Britain you have to imagine a nightmare: the Democratic Party of Obama and Dick Durbin of Illinois opposed by a Republican Party led by Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. There is no equivalent to the Tea Party.

The British establishment lives in constant fear of an uprising by a party of racially aggrieved whites. But blacks in England, because (as in America) their out-of-wedlock childbearing is routine and not even discouraged, suffer more than anything from poor "elite" leadership. As for the Muslims in Britain: their families are relatively intact and their businesses are one of the few welcome sights on the nation's high streets. More often than not, they were targets for the lawless mobs. They were the victims, not the instigators of the recent rioting.

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