Thursday, February 28, 2013

White House Still Throwing Fastballs at Insubordinate Journalists


White House Still Throwing Fastballs at Insubordinate Journalists
By David Limbaugh
3/1/2013

It's most gratifying that people are beginning to wake up to the bullying tactics of the White House toward those in the press who occasionally stray from the government-owned media model, but this has been going on for a while.

Veteran reporter Bob Woodward has said in interviews with Politico and CNN that a White House official warned him he would "regret" publishing a story reporting that the sequestration was President Obama's idea.

"(The White House aide) yelled at me for about a half-hour," said Woodward. The aide later apologized to Woodward in an email and claimed he was not making a threat but merely observing that Woodward would regret "staking out that claim."

Does the aide's story sound credible in light of the context? He was yelling at Woodward, not making a casual observation about Woodward's journalistic accuracy. Why? Because Woodward's account undermines Obama's credibility on the story dominating the political landscape now: the sequestration.

Obama is on another campaign tour, jetting about the nation on the people's dime, accusing Republicans of putting the nation's essential services in jeopardy because they want to protect the rich.

In fact, Republicans have already compromised on raising taxes on the "wealthy," and it is Obama who won't move from his intransigent position, refusing to make spending cuts and reform entitlements. It is simply undeniable that it is Obama who is changing the rules in the middle of the game; tax increases were not to be part of the sequester cuts, and Woodward's reporting confirms this.

Similarly, former Bill Clinton aide Lanny Davis, an Obama supporter, said that a White House official once threatened to revoke The Washington Times' White House credentials over columns Davis had written for the paper. "I couldn't imagine why this call was made," said Davis.

These accounts of White House press intimidation are nothing new. In my books Crimes Against Liberty and The Great Destroyer, I chronicle many other examples of this practice, which is especially bizarre given the unprecedented support the media have lavished upon Obama. Could fear of reprisals be part of the reason?

Let me share a few of the examples.

In Crimes Against Liberty, I relate the White House's war on Fox News Channel, including Obama's snubbing the network by refusing to call on Fox reporters at his press conferences because Fox wouldn't kowtow to his demands to air his third prime-time presser. White House communications director Anita Dunn described Fox as "part of the Republican Party" and "opinion journalism masquerading as news" and recommended a "rapid response" to counteract "Fox's blows" against the administration.

When the White House was upset with The Washington Post for running an op-ed from a Republican politician decrying Obama's 32 czars without challenging it, the White House, according to Time magazine, developed a new strategy to attack pundits. "The White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims." Further, "Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to 'call 'em out.'"

The White House blog also began regularly denouncing the administration's critics, but the most outrageous development was the reaction to all this by the White House press secretary at the time, Robert Gibbs, who said: "The only way to get somebody to stop crowding the plate is to throw a fastball at them. They move."

In The Great Destroyer, I report that when the Pleasanton Weekly, a small newspaper in California, ran a story that reflected poorly on first lady Michelle Obama (she allegedly acted dismissively toward a Marine One pilot), a White House official asked the paper's president to cut the reference from the article. The first lady's press secretary denied contact with the paper, but the paper stuck by its story and removed the offending sentence "because it was not worth making a fuss over."

The White House also reportedly banished the Boston Herald from an Obama event in Boston as punishment for printing a front-page op-ed by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

When White House press secretary Jay Carney personally called MSNBC to object to certain comments political analyst Mark Halperin had made about Obama, MSNBC immediately suspended Halperin indefinitely, according to The Daily Caller.

The White House blacklisted San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci for posting to the Internet a cellphone video of protesters at an Obama fundraiser in the Bay Area. Characteristically, the White House denied it had threatened the banishment, but the Chronicle's editor, Ward Bushee, stood by the story. Phil Bronstein, another Chronicle reporter, corroborated Bushee's story. Also, numerous other journalists confirmed that the White House had issued implied threats of additional punishment if the story of its banishment of Marinucci became public.

And so it goes.
_________________________________________

To read another article by David Limbaugh, click here.
_________________________________________

To read more about Obama Thug Media tactics, click here.

The unanswered questions of Benghazi


The unanswered questions of Benghazi
By: John Hayward
2/28/2013 01:41 PM

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News is among the few mainstream media reporters to pursue the Benghazi story seriously. On Wednesday evening, she used her Twitter account to run through the questions posed by CBS, but still unanswered by the Administration. She also reviewed the few questions that have been answered. The whole stream of messages has helpfully been collected here by Jimmie Bise, Jr.

Here are Attkisson’s unanswered questions of Benghazi:

1. What time was Ambassador’s Stevens’ body recovered, what are the known details surrounding his disappearance and death, including where he/his body was taken/found/transported and by whom?

2. Who made the decision not to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) the night of the Benghazi attacks? We understand that convening the CSG a protocol under Presidential directive (“NSPD-46”). Is that true? If not, please explain. If so, why was the protocol not followed?

3. Is the Administration revising the applicable Presidential directive? If so, please explain.

4. Was the President aware of Gen. Petraeus’ potential problems prior to Thurs., Nov. 8, 2012? And What was the earliest that any White House official was aware? Please provide details.

5. What is your response to the President stating that on Sept. 12, he called 911 a terrorist attack, in light of his CBS interview on that date in which he answered that it was too early to know whether it was a terrorist attack?

6. Is anyone being held accountable for having no resources close enough to reach this high-threat area within 8+ hours on Sept. 11?

7. A Benghazi victim’s family member stated that Mrs. Clinton told him she would find and arrest whoever made the anti-Islam video. Is this accurate? If so, what was Mrs. Clinton’s understanding at the time of what would be the grounds for arrest? If true, what is the Administration’s view regarding other videos or future material that it may wish were not published, but are legal?

8. White House still will not respond to our request for any White House photos taken Benghazi night.

9. Admin. still hasn’t provided Benghazi surveillance video originally promised for public release around last Thanksgiving.

10. Admin. hasn’t provided accounting of Benghazi survivors or the transcripts of their interviews done shortly after the attacks.

Attkisson also observed that “so far, not one piece of paper generated by [the NSA, State Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, or CIA] on Benghazi night is deemed a document the public is entitled to see.”
________________________________________

To read another article about Benghazi, click here.
________________________________________

To read another article by John Hayward, click here.

And now a message from your demagogue-in-chief


And now a message from your demagogue-in-chief
By: David Harsanyi
2/28/2013 06:27 PM

President Barack Obama, champion of Washington comity and national unity, just sent out this message to the American people:

Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit. And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families. They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.

In reality, both Democrats and Republicans had plans on the table – and both failed. Senate Democrats, to the surprise of no one, proposed a minimum 30 percent tax on millionaires with some small cuts to defense and agriculture spending.

Republicans offered the president more authority (the kind he asked for when it came to the debt ceiling) over implementing the supposed $85 billion in cuts in any way he saw fit. So rather than slashing vital services for children, seniors, men, women, the poor, those in uniform and their families, the president would have had the power to cut back on an array of “investments” we keep funding for no discernible reason or other government waste. He had the opportunity to spare many the imaginary hardship of a 2 percent cut, and he could have kept America’s unsuspecting children completely out of harm’s way. If anyone chose to target the most vulnerable, he has, and for political purposes.

He goes one:

I believe we should do better. We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way – by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes. That’s exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed. But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote – threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.

Today we learned that the economy grew 0.1 % in the fourth quarter last year so, really, how much more can the recovery slow down? Two recent studies – one by International Monetary Fund another by the National Bureau of Economic (via the Heritage Foundation) – find that when nation’s reach higher debt status, subsequently they see depressed growth. So maybe a little trimming would help? Spending clearly hasn’t.

And there’s no need to rehash how little we’re actually cutting here, anyway. There is around $85 billion (or as Nick Gillespie has been pointing out, really only $44 billion) this year. The total sequester “cut” means that the federal government will be spending over two trillion dollars more in 10 years than it does now. Austerity, indeed.

And by the way, the Democrat plan “to reduce our deficit in a balanced way” the Democrats plan adds $7.2 billion to the debt according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Obama finishes:

I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward. As a nation, we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.

Sure, after informing America that Republicans have chosen the Koch Brothers over our children, seniors, military, families, mentally ill, the poor and apple pie, why wouldn’t Republicans want to meet up and hug it out?

Maybe someone at this meeting can ask Obama why he continues to falsely claim that Washington has cut the federal deficit by $2.5 trillion when it fact its added $5.9 trillion to the debt? Even more importantly, as I’ve argued, Republicans should simply tell the president, thank you, and move on. Once you sign a bill, it’s the law. That’s how democracy works.
__________________________________________

To read another article about the Sequester, click here.
__________________________________________

To read another article by David Harsanyi, click here.

Korea Update - The Issue on the Travel Requirements

Korea Update - The Issue on the Travel Requirements
http://mpakusa.blogspot.com/2013/02/korea-update-issue-on-travel.html
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013

I made a couple of calls to Korea last night to find out what the status is regarding the adoption process for those waiting families that are adopting children from Korea. I am sorry to say that the news is not good for now. I am somewhat reluctant in sharing this, but you have to know what is going on and be prepared for it.

It has to do with the travel requirements, which will strain and burden many adoptive families, especially those with children in their care already. The travel is necessary for the parents to go over to pick up their children and finalize adoption in Korea before the judges of the Family Court. They (the agencies) are predicting that adoptive parents can expect to wait 3 – 4 weeks in Korea while adoption is being finalized. Today I spoke with a friend of mine who was adopting from Puerto Rico, and he was told that he and his wife had to be in Puerto Rico for six weeks. So this wait is not unique to Korea apparently.

The great bulk of this waiting is due to the reconsideration period requirement of 14 days. During this time the parents are expected to be in Korea, at least that is the latest policy, but the agencies will be meeting with the judges and lawyers to discuss the impact that this regulation would have upon the visiting parents in terms of their time and expenses, not to mention the impacts upon the other children in the families.

Once the adoptive parents stand before a judge to interview through a process of questions and answers, and if the judge finds the parents acceptable based on all the paper works submitted and reviewed, then the judge declares adoption to go forward and the 14-day waiting period begins. This waiting period is designed to give chance to birthmothers to take back their children should they change their minds.

Birthmothers will not be present during the time when the adoptive parents stand before the judge. However, a separate inquiry will be made by the court beforehand to confirm birthmothers’ intention of giving up their children. Even if a birthmother confirms her intention to give up the baby, the judge will issue the 14-day waiting period when the prospective adoptive parents stand before a judge. After the 14-day reconsideration period is over, then the judge finalizes adoption and grants the parents to take the child home.

As of now, there are still some adoptions that have not been finalized based on 2012 quota. In other words, the 2012 quota has not been met and it is close to March 2013. There are about half dozen cases where EP has been granted and these cases are still being processed by the Family Court. There are another half dozen cases that are still waiting to receive the EP approvals, and another half dozen that are waiting to be submitted to start the EP approval process. These cases are all from the 2012 quota and they cover all three agencies. I don’t have the breakdown on the number of cases belonging to a particular agency.

So the intercountry adoption picture gets uglier due to the Special Adoption Law, which seems to focus on giving the birthmothers as much chance as possible for them to raise their own children. Nobody can deny the well-intentioned purpose of the law, but the reality just does not support it. What concerns me is that some of these birthmothers may decide on a moment to raise their children, but once the reality and hardship strikes them on their everyday lives, they may give up their babies later. There have been many in the past where the birthmothers gave up their children as they realized that raising children requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice that they were not prepared for.

It is entirely possible that during the 14-day waiting period some birthmothers may decide to take back their babies (just got an email today from a woman where this has just recently happened to her). Some may last longer than 14 days, but some will give up before the 14-day period is over. In this case the patience of the waiting parents may be rewarded.

But for now, I wish to turn to you folks who are reading this blog. I wish to compile a list of reasons why the 3-4 weeks wait in Korea may be too hard on you. I wish to submit a compiled list to the Family Court and see if something can be done to shorten the wait. The judges and lawyers in the court need to hear your voice.

Some of the hardships I have already mentioned. You may ask, “Can just one of the parents travel while the other takes care of the family?” or “Is there a way to shorten the waiting period if a birthmother is very sure of her decision?” or “I have a limited vacation days and this travel requirement is too difficult.” You may submit your comments along this line, and I am looking for some reasons that will really project the hearts and mind of all the waiting parents who are caught in this mess, and hopefully the powers that be in Korea will listen, and reach a favorable compromise that will work for all.
_____________________________________________

For more on this subject, click here.

How Obama Wins


How Obama Wins
By Ben Shapiro
2/27/2013

President Obama is one of the great political knife-fighters in modern history. He is a failed president -- his economy is bleak, his foreign policy bleaker, his vision for American even bleaker still. But he wins.

He wins by losing.

President Obama has only had two major policy victories during his tenure: the stimulus package and Obamacare. Both are massively unpopular. The stimulus package launched the tea party movement. Obamacare led to the Republican wipeout of 2010.

Then Obama began to lose. He wasn't able to push forward climate change legislation or immigration reform or gun control or increased taxes before the election of 2012. And he won a sweeping electoral victory. The strategy was -- and is -- simple. Obama pursues policies that are widely popular and then purposefully sinks them by casting Republicans as obstructionists.

He is not truly interested in immigration reform; Republicans are fools to think that he is. Obama wants to raise the issue of immigration reform so that he can demonize Republicans as anti-Hispanic. That's why Obama ignores the broad support for an immigration plan that would provide border security once and for all and then deal with the illegal immigrants who live here. Instead, he proposes an immigration plan that would do nothing for border security while essentially granting gradual amnesty to those already here -- and to millions more who will cross the border unmolested.

By doing so, Obama puts himself in a no-lose situation: If immigration reform passes, he takes credit; if not, he blames Republicans as racists who simply don't like Hispanics. The media will abet this little game. Suddenly a failed proposal from Obama becomes a political winner for him.

The same holds true of the sequester. President Obama originated the sequester. It was his idea to put into place an automatic cut in the rate of spending increase, and it was his idea to focus those cuts on the defense industry. Republicans, idiotically believing that Obama was interested in honest negotiation, voted for sequestration. Now Obama runs to the cameras to suggest that if these cuts go forward, the world will end. All he asks to avert this earth-shattering crisis is a few tax increases. The media helps him pimp this narrative.

Again, it's a no-lose for Obama. If sequestration is averted, Obama takes the credit. If not, he gets to cast Republicans as hard-hearted Scrooges who want Tiny Tim to starve to death. Another failed proposal, another victory for Obama.

What does all this achieve? It achieves electoral victory. Once Democrats have enough votes in the House and Senate to ram through their agenda, the game is over: Obama forces through his policies. America moves to the left.

Obama understands what Republicans do not: Politics is a waiting game. If nothing gets done with a split government, Obama is happy to live with that. Meanwhile, he'll demagogue each and every issue until he gets the votes he needs to truly transform America.
__________________________________________________

To read another article by Ben Shapiro, click here.

America’s Three Greatest Presidents


America’s Three Greatest Presidents
By Peter Ferrara on 2.27.13 @ 6:08AM

All of them born in February.

Turns out the shortest month on the calendar is actually the most significant for American history. For our three greatest Presidents were all born in February.

George Washington

Born on February, 22, 1732, George Washington displayed a character that continues to define our nation. The General of the victorious army that defeated the most powerful nation on earth at the time, he could have led a march on the Congress and declared himself the King, or Emperor of the Americas. But almost unique in world history, he had the character to decline to do that, and stay the course with the principles of liberty for which he fought.

It was also the character of his judgment that won the Revolution. If you read the military history of the Revolution, he was the master of the strategic retreat, picking fights he knew he could win. He intimidated the British out of Boston in March 1776, with the difficult maneuver of laboriously hauling heavy cannon, seized by Yankee militia from Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York, to the commanding Dorchester Heights overlooking the city. But he spent the rest of 1776 retreating in the face of overwhelming British land and sea power from Long Island, to Manhattan, to New Jersey, then all the way across New Jersey to Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia, into the less settled climes of Pennsylvania.

Knowing that he needed a victory to keep the nation’s hopes alive, he engineered a Christmas Day counterattack at a weak point of the British occupation, at Trenton, New Jersey, capturing the entire thousand-man garrison. Washington then pressed his advantage, a week later attacking the main British army in the field, at Princeton. Bravely rallying his more scattered troops personally on the field of battle, he kept the fight up until the British regulars in the end ran.

The British settled into the cities of New York and Philadelphia for the winter of 1777. But Washington was left to hold together his dwindling force in the relative wilds at Valley Forge for the winter. By the spring of 1778, Americans grateful that Washington had kept the Revolution alive flocked in droves to Washington’s encampment.

The army had spent the winter becoming newly professionalized, drilled by veteran volunteers from European militaries sympathetic to Washington’s cause. Emerging with a disciplined force newly uniformed, Washington laid siege to the main British force in New York. When he learned that Cornwallis marching up from the south had encamped on the Yorktown peninsula in Virginia, with a French fleet heading there to cut off retreat by sea, Washington deceived the British by leaving a skeleton force at New York, and stealing away by forced march to Virginia. He surprised Cornwallis by arriving along with the French to trap the British army there into surrender. With the capture of this third British force of the war, the British gave up the fight.

Abraham Lincoln

Born February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln made a career out of devotion to the principles of America’s founding. Foreshadowing the civil rights struggle a century later, Lincoln emphasized the principled language of the Declaration of Independence as the foundation of his argument against slavery.

In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln focused on the Declaration’s recognition that “All men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” He teased crowds with the suggestion that maybe we should rip these words out of the document, engendering cries of “No, No,” in response. He replied, “Well, let’s follow it then.”

In doing so, Lincoln put the lie to today’s anti-American “Progressives,” who deride the Founders as hypocritical slaveholders. The Founders did not have the power to abolish slavery when America was born. America would fight a brutal civil war 100 years later to do that. But what they did was lay the intellectual and moral foundation for abolition, and 100 years beyond that for civil rights.

Those American founding principles have reverberated across the globe ever since then, providing the foundation for liberation of enslaved people everywhere. And they continue to resonate to this day, inspiring the Resistance to the Progressive rejection of America’s founding, and their attempted transformation of America from the freest and most prosperous nation in world history.

Lincoln used the moral force of the founding to hold America together though the long suffering of the Civil War. Just as in the Revolutionary War, the forces of liberty got stronger and stronger with each passing year. And the liberation of America from slavery was consequently achieved.

It is a reflection of the perversity of American culture today that the Republican Party that was founded to liberate the slaves, and that went on to support civil rights 100 years later, over a Democrat party then still entrenched in the South that often opposed civil rights, now finds 95% of African Americans voting against it in every election. It is not that the Democrat party has delivered for black America. What it has delivered is poverty perpetuated by the slavery of welfare, rather than economic growth and prosperity lifting up from poverty.

So we see in Detroit, and Chicago, and Watts, and the Bronx, and everywhere where there is no competition against Democrat political monopoly, the welfare state destructively bringing everyone down, instead of a rising tide of capitalist prosperity that lifts all boats, as Kennedy envisioned. Detroit is actually disappearing under the feet of the Democratic socialists of America. But democracy is not functioning there, as the incumbents effectively carpet bombing the predominant black community in Detroit never face even the threat of being voted out.

Ronald Reagan

Born on February 6, 1911, Reagan was a preservationist of the principles and vision of the Founders, opposed to the “Progressive” revolt against the founding principles of American freedom and prosperity that gained so much steam during the past century. Reagan restored those founding principles, and the freedom and prosperity they engendered, just when they were slipping away.

We have forgotten today what Reagan faced, what he overcame, and what he achieved. Reagan transformed double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates, with subpar growth about half the long-term U.S. average, declining real wages and incomes, and soaring poverty, to a 25-year boom restoring the long-term U.S. growth trend line, and ultimately full employment, while slaying an historic inflation that remains tamed to this day, with rising real wages and incomes, and persistently declining poverty.

The Reagan recovery grew into a 25-year economic boom, from 1982 to 2007, what Art Laffer and Steve Moore rightly called in their book, The End of Prosperity, “the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of the planet…. [M]ore wealth was created in America in the twenty-five year boom than in the previous two hundred years.” The economic growth during the first seven years of the boom alone was equivalent to adding the entire economy of West Germany, the third largest in the world at the time, to the U.S. economy. During the boom’s last seven years, the growth was the equivalent of adding the entire economy of China to the U.S. economy.

As George Washington University economist Henry R. Nau recently explained in the Wall Street Journal, by 2007 the entire 25 year economic boom had created 50 million new jobs, and restored the long term U.S. economic growth rate to 3.3%, twice the rate of the 1970s. As Nau elaborated:

[T]he U.S. grew by more than 3% per year [in real terms] from 1980 to 2007, and created more than 50 million new jobs, massively expanding a middle class of working women, African-Americans and legal as well as illegal immigrants. Per capita income increased by 65%, and household income went up substantially in all income categories. (emphasis added).

He added, “In the past three decades [1980 to 2007], the percentage of households making more than $105,000 in inflation adjusted dollars doubled to 24% from 11%.”

The magnitude of the turnaround and these results are what make it the greatest economic boom in world history, and a heroic achievement deserving of much greater recognition and award for the major policymakers who led its creation.

That should be enough for any one President. But Reagan also won the Cold War without firing a shot, in Margaret Thatcher’s famous phrase, with the Soviet Union actually breaking up and disintegrating.

By their fruits, ye shall know them, the Bible wisely tells us. Barack Obama, by contrast, following exactly the opposite of everything Reagan did, has forced America to suffer the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression. And doing the same in foreign policy and national defense, Obama seems on track to reopen the Cold War as well, this time with America losing, and a lot more than shots fired.
_____________________________________________________

To read another article by Peter Ferrara, click here.

Equating Christians With Racists


Equating Christians With Racists
By George Neumayr on 2.27.13 @ 6:09AM

That is the Washington Post’s official policy.

Last Sunday, the Washington Post’s ombudsman casually revealed that the official policy of reporters at the paper is to treat opponents of gay marriage as the moral equivalent of racists.

Addressing the complaint that the paper is a propaganda sheet for gay activists, ombudsman Patrick Pexton disclosed an e-mail exchange between a reader and a Post reporter. The reader had asked the reporter why the paper covers the gay marriage debate so one-sidedly.

“The reason that legitimate media outlets routinely cover gays is because it is the civil rights issue of our time. Journalism, at its core, is about justice and fairness, and that’s the ‘view of the world’ that we espouse; therefore, journalists are going to cover the segment of society that is still not treated equally under the law,” responded the reporter.

In other words, reporters don’t cover debates but decide them. On the basis of their notions of “justice and fairness,” they tailor all coverage and determine in advance the winners of debates. This admission—that there is no difference between the paper’s front page and editorial page—would have been bad enough on its own. But then the reporter dug the hole deeper by telling the reader that opponents of gay marriage are no more legitimate than segregationists: “As for accuracy, should the media make room for racists, i.e. those people who believe that black people shouldn’t marry white people? Any story on African-Americans wouldn’t be wholly accurate without the opinion of a racist, right?”

“Of course I have a bias. I have a bias toward fairness,” he added.

Pexton seemed only mildly concerned by this reporter’s bald advocacy. He tried to explain it sympathetically (while hoping for more “detachment and objectivity”), but ended up just reiterating that reporters see traditional Christians as modern-day racists: “They see people opposed to gay rights today as cousins, perhaps distant cousins, of people in the 1950s and 1960s who, citing God and the Bible, opposed black people sitting in the bus seat, or dining at the lunch counter, of their choosing.”

That a major American newspaper likens Christians to racists would once have generated outrage. Now it inspires little more than a shrug. The paper’s outnumbered ombudsman blandly notes it, wishes for a little more “objectivity,” and then moves on.

The bias has never been more open and unapologetic, and yet a supposedly serious figure like NBC’s Chuck Todd can say with a straight face, as he did last week, that its existence is “mythology.”

Operating under its typical bias, the Post got excited this week at the news that Keith O’Brien, a Scottish cardinal accused of misconduct, had resigned his office and bowed out of the upcoming conclave. The story received above-the-fold treatment and was shoehorned into familiar liberal categories.

“O’Brien, one of the church’s most strident voices against homosexuality, abruptly stepped down amid allegations of ‘intimate’ acts with priests,” said the story. That line conforms to the paper’s preconceptions nicely. The only problem is that it is not true. Had the reporter done even a minimal amount of research, he would have known that O’Brien is not one of the “church’s most strident voices against homosexuality” but a supporter of gay teachers in Catholic schools. “If there happens to be a gay teacher and he does happen to be living with a partner, that’s their personal, private life. I don’t see it as a problem,” said O’Brien in 2005. Does that sound like a strident voice against homosexuality? It sounds like the voice of a permissive post-Vatican II bishop.

To report the story in those terms would have undercut the “hypocrisy” angle. So the reporter, if he did know about those remarks, made sure not to let them complicate his story. Only late in the piece does the reporter acknowledge that “his positions were not always easy to define,” breezily noting his comment last week in favor of relaxing clerical celibacy. In paragraph two, he was presented as a bastion of conservatism. By the end of the piece, we find out that he doesn’t even support priestly celibacy.

The real story is not conservative hypocrisy but liberal decay in the Church. It could have just as easily been titled “Opponent of Clerical Celibacy Quits in Homosexual Scandal.” But reporters at the Post know not to pursue such an ideologically inconvenient angle. That doesn’t comport with their “view of the world.”
____________________________________________________

To read another article by George Neumayr, click here.
____________________________________________________

To read more about Gayness and bigotry/bullying, click here.

Maxine Waters: Sequester Could Cost 170 Million Jobs


Maxine Waters: Sequester Could Cost 170 Million Jobs
By Matt Purple on 2.28.13 @ 2:45PM

Her figure seems a little bit low to me. With all the aircraft carriers coming home and nursery schools being shuttered, who’s to say it won’t cost 300 billion jobs?

View here:

In other news, Bryan Preston over at PJ Media has the scoop on another sequestration horror story falling apart.

Do Democrat's complete stupity know no boundaries?

__________________________________________

For more Sequester stupidity, click here.

GOP Elites and the Abolition of Marriage


GOP Elites and the Abolition of Marriage
By Jeffrey Lord on 2.28.13 @ 6:10AM

Republicans join push for gay Roe v. Wade.

Well, this is helpful.

A clutch of Republican elites have run to the Supreme Court demanding the judiciary shut off debate on gay marriage.

The story has predictably been front page news at the New York Times and in the world of the liberal media, the Times leading with this:

More than two dozen Republicans — including a top adviser to Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, and a former congresswoman who made banning same-sex marriage her signature issue — have added their names to a legal brief urging the Supreme Court to declare that gay couples have a constitutional right to wed.

The brief comes as the White House is considering whether to weigh in on the same-sex marriage case; at this point, the Republicans who signed the document are taking a more expansive stance than President Obama, who favors same-sex marriage but has said he would leave it to the states, as opposed to making it a constitutional right.

The list of Republicans on the brief now tallies more 100, organizers say. It now includes Beth Myers, who ran Mr. Romney’s 2008 campaign and was a senior adviser to him in 2012, and Marilyn Musgrave, a retired Colorado congresswoman who was once rated the most conservative member of the House by the American Conservative Union.

Ms. Musgrave, who lost her bid for a fourth term in 2008, was an unsuccessful sponsor of a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex couples from marrying; she once warned that if gay couples were allowed to wed, “the next step is polygamy or group marriage.”

The brief, organized by Ken Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who is gay, will be filed on Thursday as a friend-of-the-court, or amicus, brief to a lawsuit that seeks to overturn Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that bars same-sex marriage, and all similar bans.


Some of the signatories’ names are published here at the Blaze. The group — including names such as Ted Olson (the Bush 43 Solicitor General), Meg Whitman (the last GOP nominee for Governor of California), Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York, ex-Bush-appointed RNC chairman (and 2004 Bush campaign manager) Ken Mehlman, Bush national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, Bush commerce secretary Carlos Guitierrez, Bush deputy attorney general James B. Comey and Reagan budget director David Stockman — has decided to force gay marriage on the American people without their consent.

Effectively making of this case a gay Roe v. Wade.

They are asking the Court to force an elitist world view on a nation in which thirty states have chosen by state constitutional amendment, referendum or legislation — this is called “consent of the governed” — to support marriage between a man and a woman.

Doing so in exactly the same fashion that the infamous Roe v. Wade abortion decision was designed to make abortion the law of the land without the consent of the governed. Thus launching 50 years of violence — abortion providers have been variously murdered, targeted for murder, assaulted, kidnapped and stalked — not to mention all those marches and angry protests. Let’s not forget the sheer vitriol directed at pro-lifers and, for that matter, the venomous tone of any debate on the topic.

Not to mention that this move to have the Court stop debate by overruling state legislative action on the issue is exactly the sentiment that was behind the infamous Dred Scott slavery decision. That would be Dred Scott v. Sandford, which the late Judge Robert Bork once described as “the worst constitutional decision of the nineteenth century” until, yes, Roe v. Wade. Dred Scott was designed to write slavery into the Constitution — without the consent of the governed — and thus helped launch the Civil War.

Gee. What a nice thing for Republicans to wish on the gay community. Decades of violence and vitriol.

But they’re so cool, yes? So with it. So sensitive.

Nuts.

What is it with this elitism business?

Why the contempt for the American people?

There are two questions that this issue surfaces, neither of them new. But the first is deeply politically incorrect, and the second is shamefully ignored.

So let’s get into both.

Issue One.
That would be the substance of the issue of gay marriage itself.

It is unbelievably dishonest, not to mention foolish, to paint opponents to gay marriage as bigots.

To use my own opposition as a case in point, like many I am blessed with beloved relatives and friends — some of whom happen to be gay. I could not possibly care less about their sexual orientation. It is, in fact, none of my business. Certainly I understand the issues that swirl around things like health care, hospital visits and a parade of other issues. Bluntly put, it is insulting to say of those who stand up for marriage between a man and a woman that we are all just a bunch of hateful bigots. Are there people out there who hate gays? Of course. But so too are there those who hate heterosexuals, white males, women, blacks, Latinos, Catholics, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives and a whole host of others in various categories. One of the sidebars to the presidential campaign last year surfaced those — like MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell — who had no hesitation in expressing their contempt for Mormons.

Newsflash: There are haters in this world.

But this conversation should be between and about those of us who have genuine concern for the survival and vitality of American society as expressed through the stability and values transmitted in the age old institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

And in that regard — attention you 100-plus Republicans who are asking the Court to shut the rest of us up — these proponents of gay marriage do their cause an enormous disservice by ignoring the central issue that so many of us see as at the core of this debate.

Which is?

Which is that to accede to gay marriage is inevitably going to wind up ending the institution of marriage itself. Making marriage worthless, useless, and eventually a goner. A societal version of the Dodo bird. As in: extinct.

That extinction doing to the entire nation what the lack of a stable man-woman relationship has visited in horrifying fashion upon America’s black community.

Years ago (November of 1965) the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan (at the time a Labor Department official under LBJ and later a Harvard professor and longtime liberal Democrat Senator from New York) had the audacity to apply his considerable intelligence to a look at what happens when the stability of the male-female family vanishes.

Moynihan noted in what became known — controversially in the day — as “The Moynihan Report” that

The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence — not final, but powerfully persuasive — is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.

Moynihan added: “[T]the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated.”

Which is to say specifically, Moynihan, who had done relentless research on the subject, concluded the stability provided by a male-female, married, two-parent household was vanishing from black America — decidedly undermining the very underpinnings of black American communities. Suffice to say, while the report ignited a huge controversy, events since 1965 would prove Moynihan all too accurate.

As but one example, a couple year’s back, in 2010, liberal columnist Clarence Page (who works, take note for the Chicago Tribune in President Obama’s home town) himself an African-American, wrote up the Moynihan Report and quoted Brown University history professor emeritus James T. Patterson as saying of Moynihan’s 1965 prediction:

“Sadly, its predictions about the decline of the black family have proven largely correct.”

Page notes: “Today, black nonmarital births have soared to more than 72 percent among non-Hispanic blacks, compared with about 28 percent for whites.”

There is no accident that the all those gun deaths in Chicago are in the black community, where the dissolution of the black family has hit so hard.

This dissolution of family is precisely the concern of many of those who see gay marriage as the harbinger of a future in which the American “fabric of conventional social relationships” (to use Moynihan’s phrase) will, as with that of black America, disintegrate.

In 2003, Stanley Kurtz, now a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, researched and wrote an extensive article on gay marriage for the Weekly Standard titled “Beyond Gay Marriage: The road to polyamory.”

In which Kurtz wrote:

Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and “polyamory” (group marriage). Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals (however weakly and temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female. A scare scenario? Hardly. The bottom of this slope is visible from where we stand. Advocacy of legalized polygamy is growing. A network of grass-roots organizations seeking legal recognition for group marriage already exists. The cause of legalized group marriage is championed by a powerful faction of family law specialists. Influential legal bodies in both the United States and Canada have presented radical programs of marital reform. Some of these quasi-governmental proposals go so far as to suggest the abolition of marriage.

Note the phrase well: The abolition of marriage.

This was in 2003.

Eight years later, in 2011, the New York Times published this op-ed from George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.

The title? “One Big, Happy Polygamous Family.”

In which Professor Turley discusses a case in which he is the attorney — a case demanding for a polygamous Utah family the right to have that relationship. And what did Mr. Turley use to justify this law suit that effectively demands recognition of a polygamous relationship?

That’s right: gay marriage. Wrote Turley (and I have bolded for emphasis):

While widely disliked, if not despised, polygamy is just one form among the many types of plural relationships in our society. It is widely accepted that a person can have multiple partners and have children with such partners. But the minute that person expresses a spiritual commitment and “cohabits” with those partners, it is considered a crime.

One might expect the civil liberties community to defend those cases as a natural extension of its campaign for greater privacy and personal choice. But too many have either been silent or outright hostile to demands from polygamists for the same protections provided to other groups under Lawrence.

The reason might be strategic: some view the effort to decriminalize polygamy as a threat to the recognition of same-sex marriages or gay rights generally. After all, many who opposed the decriminalization of homosexual relations used polygamy as the culmination of a parade of horribles. In his dissent in Lawrence, Justice Antonin Scalia said the case would mean the legalization of “bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality and obscenity.”

Justice Scalia is right in one respect, though not intentionally. Homosexuals and polygamists do have a common interest: the right to be left alone as consenting adults. Otherwise he’s dead wrong. There is no spectrum of private consensual relations — there is just a right of privacy that protects all people so long as they do not harm others.


So there it is.

Now an actual court case — this demand to legalize polygamy is undoubtedly only the beginning of a legal and cultural tidal wave. On the cultural front, between 2006-2011 HBO ran Big Love, injecting the idea of polygamy into the mass media culture with a fictional show starring actor Bill Paxon. Today, as we have noted before, there is a reality show called Sister Wives featuring real-life polygamist Kody Brown (who also stars in the Turley real-life court case) and his five wives. Take a look at this clip from the Ellen show, in which Mr. Brown and his wives arrive to greet celebratory fanfare on the Ellen set.

The drums are already beating, demanding the legalization and acceptance of not just polygamy but, as Turley correctly quotes Justice Scalia, relationships such as “bigamy… adult incest, prostitution… adultery.”

Scalia left out another relationship that Kurtz discussed in detail: polyamory.

Wrote Kurtz:

America’s new, souped-up version of polygamy is called “polyamory.” Polyamorists trace their descent from the anti-monogamy movements of the sixties and seventies—everything from hippie communes, to the support groups that grew up around Robert Rimmer’s 1966 novel “The Harrad Experiment,” to the cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Polyamorists proselytize for “responsible non-monogamy”—open, loving, and stable sexual relationships among more than two people. The modern polyamory movement took off in the mid-nineties—partly because of the growth of the Internet (with its confidentiality), but also in parallel to, and inspired by, the rising gay marriage movement.

Unlike classic polygamy, which features one man and several women, polyamory comprises a bewildering variety of sexual combinations. There are triads of one woman and two men; heterosexual group marriages; groups in which some or all members are bisexual; lesbian groups, and so forth. (For details, see Deborah Anapol’s “Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits,” one of the movement’s authoritative guides, or Google the word polyamory.)

Taking a leaf from the gay marriage movement, (polyamorist advocate Joy) Singer suggested starting small. A campaign for hospital visitation rights for polyamorous spouses would be the way to begin. Full marriage and adoption rights would come later. Again using the gay marriage movement as a model, Singer called for careful selection of acceptable public spokesmen (i.e., people from longstanding poly families with children). Singer even published a speech by Iowa state legislator Ed Fallon on behalf of gay marriage, arguing that the goal would be to get a congressman to give exactly the same speech as Fallon, but substituting the word “poly” for “gay” throughout. Try telling polyamorists that the link between gay marriage and group marriage is a mirage.


Then there’s another push beginning.

All of America is now familiar with the horrifying saga of Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, now doing 45 years in prison for molesting underage boys. Which is to say committing pedophilia.

But over in England — similarly engulfed in a pedophilia crisis involving a now deceased BBC entertainer — the subject is now being discussed as to whether pedophilia, with men sexually preying on young boys as did Sandusky, is really is a crime at all. In this story from leftist UK paper the Guardian we are being told that:

But there is a growing conviction, notably in Canada, that paedophilia should probably be classified as a distinct sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality. Two eminent researchers testified to that effect to a Canadian parliamentary commission last year, and the Harvard Mental Health Letter of 2010 stated baldly that paedophilia “is a sexual orientation” and therefore “unlikely to change.”

So in other words, the question now floats: is Jerry Sandusky wrongfully imprisoned? The ex-Penn State coach merely has a “distinct sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality.” Thus: what’s the big deal?

Back in 2006 we wrote a column in this space focusing on then House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s participation in a San Francisco gay pride parade in which the grand marshal was Harry Hay. Hay, now deceased, was a prime mover not just in the gay rights movement — he was an enthusiast of NAMBLA — the North American Man Boy Love Association. Among Hay’s famous wisdom’s was this gem:

…the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world.

Other than in this space — and picked up by Sean Hannity — there wasn’t a peep about Pelosi participating in a celebration of a man who was a hero in San Francisco — for advocating precisely what has sent Jerry Sandusky to jail in Pennsylvania.

Thus the push, however subtle, from England and San Francisco to acclimate us all to the idea that pedophilia is not a crime at all but a “sexual orientation.”

Now.

Where are the views of all these 100 Republicans on all this?

Silent as church mice.

And there’s a reason, which leads to Issue Two.

The Constitution and Federalism.
Let’s recall that the genesis of this court case all these Republicans are signing on to came about because California voters passed “Proposition 8.” Proposition 8 was a 2008 ballot initiative that made the definition of marriage between one man and one woman part of the state constitution. Take particular note that in 2008 — the year President Obama was running for president for the first time and was being wildly well received — Californians voted for Obama over John McCain by a margin of 60.94% to 36.91%. A landslide, with lots of liberals and African Americans turning out for Obama. Yet at the very same time, lo and behold, Proposition 8 passed — the idea of amending the state constitution to ensure marriage was defined as between one man and one woman winning 52.24% of the vote to the pro-gay marriage vote of 47.76%. No landslide, to be sure. But at 4.48% larger than the 51.1% to 47.2% margin Obama scored nationally over Mitt Romney in 2012. And that Obama margin is being hailed as a convincing win and a mandate for all manner of Obama policies in his second term.

So the people of liberal California spoke — and suddenly our Republican friends are running to the Supreme Court to overturn their decision.

Which poses the obvious question.

I was under the impression the GOP was the party that had a basic understanding of the Constitution of the United States. That it was the GOP that was the strong supporter of federalism and saw the states as, in that old phrase, laboratories of democracy.

Suddenly, not so.

The obvious question: why are these Republicans so terrified of making the case for gay marriage in their own states? What is it about gay marriage that these GOP elites feel cannot pass muster in an adult conversation with the American people?

It is more than odd that the American people in the course of their history have, through their elected representatives, voted favorably for the Constitution itself not mention for every one of the amendments that are now part of that Constitution. Americans have chosen voluntarily to end slavery (the 13th Amendment), give ex-slaves and all blacks due process, among other things (the 14th Amendment), give blacks the right to vote (the 15th Amendment), create the income tax (the 16th Amendment), elect U.S. Senators by popular vote (the 17th Amendment), and give women the right to vote (the 19th Amendment). Not to mention they have shown an ability to change their mind, voting to ban alcohol (the 18th Amendment) — and then lift the prohibition (the 21st Amendment).

So?

So Americans can decide for themselves on all these highly controversial subjects (and they have rejected a whole host of amendments as well) — but suddenly Republicans — Republicans!!! — now are saying the American people can’t be trusted to make a decision on gay marriage?

The gay marriage movement is called by its supporters a “civil rights issue.”

Fair enough. While there are many who disagree, let’s run with that here.

The fact of the matter is that civil rights for African Americans came about by trusting the American people to pass all those civil rights amendments to the Constitution. By trusting their elected representatives to pass all of those post-Civil War civil rights laws — laws that were effectively undone by, yes, the Supreme Court of the United States (can you say Plessy v. Ferguson?). Those rights, by the way, were correctly restored by the Court in the role it should play (Brown v. Board of Education).

The civil rights laws of the 1960s worked precisely because Americans voted for them through their representatives in the House and Senate — with Republicans playing a leading role.

You would think that the contrast between the success of those civil rights laws — and the abject failure of Roe v. Wade would tell these Republicans that the worst thing you can possibly do if you really support the rights of gays is to have the Supreme Court make this decision.

Sadly, what’s really going on here is that this list of Republicans on this brief, some of whom I know and certainly have high regard for as former colleagues — have suddenly decided they can’t trust the American people.

Indeed, one of the Republican signers of this brief is former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. Who makes his case for signing over at the American Conservative. Read closely and you will see the problem. Huntsman says he tried to persuade the people of Utah to support civil unions — but that “70 percent of Utahns were opposed.”

So Huntsman is joining Mehlman and this GOP crew and running to the Supreme Court of the United States to join in yet another left-wing bid to have a handful of un-elected judges make this decision for the rest of us. Do Utahans oppose gay marriage? Tough cookies is Huntsman’s response. He will no longer try to persuade — he will get the Court to do his bidding.

Just as that same Court made that decision on abortion. And yes — slavery.

One would think that these Republicans would know that the absolute best way to win over the mind of the American people on a controversial issue is to go them directly and make the case. To have enough respect for their intelligence and sense of fairness. And if they fail — not to give up. To engage in what Abraham Lincoln called: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

It is fair to say that there are serious Republicans and conservatives out there who have zero problem with gays. Who, like myself, have their share of wonderful family members and friends who happen to be gay.

But who nonetheless are very concerned that in this rush to political correctness, not to mention appealing for votes, the GOP elites who have signed this brief are oblivious to the idea that they are seen as signing not a Supreme Court brief — but a death warrant.

A death warrant that down the road means one thing, and one thing only. One thing that will, to say the least, hardly be celebrated at campaign time:

The effective abolition of marriage in America.
___________________________________________________

To read another article by Jeffrey Lord, click here.

Are Libertarians…Pansies?


Are Libertarians…Pansies?
By Matt Purple on 2.28.13 @ 6:08AM

Conservatism’s friendly, occasionally strained relationship with libertarianism.

Pussies, not pansies. But the higher powers tell me Ann Coulter is allowed saltier language than our headline writers.

If you missed it, Coulter appeared on John Stossel’s Fox News show last week to discuss libertarians, and specifically why she wasn’t one. Asked about the drug war, Coulter exclaimed, “You libertarians and pot!” Pressed by Stossel, she added, “Look, this is why people think libertarians are pussies.”

The video quickly went viral and sparked an internet discussion on the merits of libertarianism. Nick Gillespie of the decidedly libertarian Reason.com pinned the p-word to his coat: “It may not have the rhetorical power of ‘I am Spartacus!’ but I’m happy to declare ‘I’m a pussy!’” Glenn Beck discussed how he was coming around to the idea of “maximum freedom” before blasting the libertarian movement for being too exclusive. Alexander McCobin, president of Students for Liberty, then wrote an open letter to Beck, questioning the radio host’s libertarian street cred.

Verbal warfare between conservatives and libertarians feels strange since, over the past two years, the two groups have often marched shoulder-to-shoulder against the left’s statism.

Libertarianism saw a bubble of interest in 2008 thanks to the Ron Paul Revolution, the pack of libertarian activists who gathered behind Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. After years of both political parties neglecting individual liberty in favor of war and breakneck government growth, libertarianism suddenly seemed a fresh alternative. The Tea Party, which sprang up in opposition to Obamacare in 2009, is regarded as a conservative movement. But many of its ideas found voice for the first time with Paul’s presidential campaign, leading Joshua Green to dub Paul the Tea Party’s “intellectual godfather.”

This created some intellectual shifting on the right, as many conservatives became more libertarian in their outlook. A CBS News poll taken in November 2011 found that nearly half of Republicans thought that the Iraq war wasn’t worth it. And many conservatives are increasingly uneasy about the Obama Administration’s civil liberties abuses and endless drone strikes.

Libertarianism, then, acted as a third path for disgruntled conservatives, allowing them to maneuver around the government activism of both the Bush-era Republicans and Democrats. Were it not for the Ron Paul-inspired Tea Party, Republicans never would have found their way out of the political wilderness in 2010. And as the economy crashed and debt piled up, libertarianism seemed a rational solution. Rolling back government is, to borrow one of the commentariat’s most grating phrases, an idea whose time has come.

Libertarianism and conservatism are often grouped under the same tent. The most consequential definition of modern conservatism came from political philosopher Frank Meyer, who saw it as a fusion of traditional and libertarian values. But while Meyer rapped thinkers like Russell Kirk for not putting enough emphasis on individual liberty, he also called on libertarians to admit the existence of an “organic moral order,” defined not by government, but by God, community, and objective truth.

There are, then, crucial distinctions between conservatism and libertarianism that stretch down to the most theoretical level. Libertarians tend to see politics as a dichotomy between the free individual and the oppressive government. The purpose of state power is to protect the individual’s rights, nothing more.

Conservatives believe in individual freedom too, but see it as a product of order. People can be free, but they’re not born that way as Jean-Jacques Rousseau surmised. Instead they become free under the architecture of good institutions that educate men and tamp down their worst impulses. These institutions include families, churches, and local communities. They also include what Edmund Burke called “little platoons” and Alexis de Tocqueville called “voluntary associations” – the local groups and organizations that provide our lives with structure. When this structure, along with Meyer’s “organic moral order,” start to recede, big government creeps in to fill the void.

This leads conservatives to examine not just the relationship between the individual and his government, but also the body politic as a whole. Is it healthy? Does it strive for virtue and elevate our best values? Russell Kirk, citing Eric Voegelin, argues that our great political division “is not between totalitarians on the one hand and liberals (or libertarians) on the other: instead, it lies between all those who believe in a transcendent moral order, on the one side, and on the other side all those who mistake our ephemeral existence as individuals for the be-all and end-all.”

This distinction can be seen on many social issues. While libertarians almost always select the position of individual liberty, conservatives tend to weigh that against the cost to civil society. Thus libertarians tend to favor marijuana legalization not to accommodate their “liberal friends,” as Coulter puts it, but because they see it as an individual choice, while many conservatives worry it will make civil society more indolent and expensive. The line is even more emblazoned on prostitution. Libertarians see no reason why a woman shouldn’t be able to sell her body. Conservatives might point to Amsterdam, where legalized prostitution has led to a degeneration of public morality, as well as unintended consequences like human trafficking and organized crime.

To illustrate the distinction further, consider Ayn Rand, the thinker and novelist lionized by many libertarians, and her view of the family. Conservatives consider the family to be perhaps the most precious unit of civil society and a necessity for individual freedom. Rand saw forced familial relations as a shackle on the individual. In Atlas Shrugged, she portrays steel tycoon Hank Reardon’s family – his cloying wife, his scolding mother, his leech of a brother – as an irritating obstacle to his success, “an unreality that would not become real to him” for whom he feels nothing but “the merciless zero of indifference.” Elsewhere Rand derided “the worship of the family” as “merely racism” and something that “places the accident of birth above a man’s valor and duty to the tribe above a man’s right to his own life.”

Many conservatives would shudder upon reading those quotes. So why have so many of them flirted with libertarianism and even embraced Rand?

Because, given our current problems, these differences seem abstract. Our most immediate political issue is a rampaging federal government burying its citizens in debt. This gives conservatives common cause with libertarians. We may have different philosophical foundations, but right now our houses are on the same side of the street. And when Republicans set our garage on fire, libertarians helped with the hoses, muttering acerbically.

They’re not pussies. They’re allies and they’ve been right about a lot. But there are differences between us and we should make sure we understand them.
___________________________________________

To read another article by Matt Purple, click here.

On the Woodward Affair


On the Woodward Affair
By Guy Benson
2/28/2013

The CNN clip seen 'round the blogosphere dominated our homepage for hours last night, and Kate had more on this controversy this morning. As more information comes to light, some context is in order: Bob Woodward, a fixture on American journalism's Mount Rushmore, has been at the forefront of national reporting over the current budget fight. He's repeatedly asserted that it was the White House -- not Congress -- that proposed the automatic spending cuts known as "sequestration," which has complicated Democrats' preferred narrative. Woodward's fact-gathering has been confirmed by a senior elected Democrat, and Republicans have widely cited his work while pushing back against the president's efforts to blame them for his idea. The president has criss-crossed the country denouncing his own plan, demanding that Republicans agree to replace the sequester (an act he once threatened to veto) with an alternative package that includes new tax increases. If the current set of cuts is implemented, he's argued, the pain will be searing and widespread. Despite weeks of fear-mongering, the public remains skeptical-to-ambivalent. Now that the moment of truth is near, administration officials have been caught lying and misleading about the consequences of the looming cuts -- and some are accusing the White House of purposefully targeting some of the most important services for immediate cuts, entirely for political reasons. Woodward sharply criticized this approach on MSNBC yesterday morning, singling out one particular decision as "a kind of madness I haven't seen in a long time:"

Between Woodward's accurate reporting on their sequestration blame game and his exposure of their reckless political stunts, the White House had seen enough. A "very senior" Obama administration official sent what Woodward characterized as a thinly-veiled threat via email, warning the legendary reporter that he would live to "regret" his actions:

View here:

(Oh yes, I'm sure the president would be horrified to learn that this sort of thing has been done in his name. He's never transparently allowed others do his dirty work while pretending to hover above the fray). Buzzfeed's Ben Smith scoops the official's identity: White House Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, who apparently berated Woodward at length over the phone before fashioning an apology email that included the "regret" phrase:

The aide "yelled at me for about a half hour," Woodward said, and then sent a follow-up email that read, in part: "You're focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim." Officials often threaten reporters that they will "regret" printing something that is untrue, but Woodward took the remark as a threat. "They have to be willing to live in the world where they're challenged," he told Politico. "I've tangled with lots of these people. But suppose there's a young reporter who's only had a couple of years — or 10 years' — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, 'You're going to regret this.' You know, tremble, tremble. I don't think it's the way to operate."

Though it appears that Woodward may have oversold the severity of the so-called "threat," this is an important point. Bob Woodward has a platinum journalistic reputation, especially among the establishment press. He's been around the block a few times and has the stature and confidence to stand up to powerful, overbearing officials. But how many younger reporters have been cowed into silence by the Obama White House? What stories haven't been printed on account of aggressive intimidation? The Left's initial explanation was that the word "regret" was employed to suggest that Woodward had made a factual error, and was not a threat at all. That's certainly plausible, given the full context of Sperling's missive. But the Politico story referenced above makes it very clear that the email's recipient saw no such ambiguity. Is the suggestion that Bob Woodward, of all people, can't properly identify a threat from a hostile White House? This isn't his first rodeo; and his most prominent White House showdown had much higher stakes than partisan finger-pointing over the provenance of a budget mechanism. (Say, how did that episode turn out for the administration involved?) Also, the notion that the Obama White House would never stoop to berating or threatening a respected reporter is easily refuted. At least two administration officials heaped abuse upon CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson for daring to report on the Fast & Furious scandal. Liberal Democrat Lanny Davis also says his editor was threatened by the White House over critical columns he's written.

Just as interesting as the White House v. Woodward skirmish itself was liberals' (including many journalists) real-time response throughout the brou-ha-ha. Mobilizing to protect their demigod, online lefties quickly began a campaign to denigrate and mock Woodward, suggesting that he'd (a) suddenly become an anti-Obama partisan, (b) gone off the deep end, or (c) become senile. David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager a long-time White House senior advisor, conspicuously entered the fray with this eye-opening tweet:

That's not some obscure lefty troll. That's a powerful Obama ally and confidante making a deliberate statement for public consumption. His message: Woodward's old and washed up -- so what does he know? The lesson: No matter who you are, if you question Barack H. Obama, your reputation, your integrity and even you lucidity will be instantly impugned. Remember, the Nixon White House leveled threats against Woodward's newspaper over stories about presidency-threatening criminal acts. Team O went semi-nuclear on Woodward for reporting budget minutiae that has made their political posturing a little bit harder. I'll leave you with this incisive analysis from National Journal's Josh Kraushaar:

To understand why the White House is aggressively contesting Bob Woodward’s account of who’s responsible for the sequester, you only have to take a look at how high the political stakes are for President Obama. Instead of tactically conceding on a short-term fix that would provide for smarter spending cuts -- as the Republicans did during the fiscal-cliff fight, when the White House held more leverage -- Obama has chosen to pick a fight over the fairness of deep spending cuts, at the expense of more significant items on his plate. Now the White House’s entire agenda, from guns to immigration, is in jeopardy, and the president’s approval is taking a hit, with much more on the line in the coming month.

Read the whole thing.
_____________________________________________________

To read another article about the Sequester, click here.
_____________________________________________________

To read more by Guy Benson, click here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Finally a Republican Talks Back — Rep. Pompeo Shows How


Finally a Republican Talks Back — Rep. Pompeo Shows How
By Wlady Pleszczynski on 2.26.13 @ 6:39PM

The President Travels Everywhere but Harry Reid's Office.

Earlier today, aboard Air Force One, Obama press secretary Jay Carney called out Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo in these terms, regarding the pending sequester:

MR. CARNEY: … Unfortunately, on the other side of the ledger, we’ve seen comments, as we did from Congressman Pompeo, a Republican Congressman, that suggests a different course of action. He said it would be a home run politically for Republicans to see sequester implemented. I wonder if he would say that to the 90,000 Defense Department workers in Virginia who would see their pay cut because of furloughs, or the thousands of Virginians who would lose their jobs because of sequester if it were allowed to be implemented. We certainly don’t think that’s a home run for ordinary Americans, even if that Congressman thinks it would be for him politically.

Here’s the response Rep. Pompeo’s office has sent out:

What Rep. Pompeo Would Say To Government Workers Facing Furlough

Congressman Responds to Today’s Misguided White House Attacks

Washington—Today, White House Spokesman Jay Carney asked during a press briefing what Congressman Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, would say to defense workers facing furlough because of the President’s sequester plan. The following is his statement:

“Mr. Carney doesn’t understand that not every public official is willing to play games with lives of hard-working Americans for political gain like his boss, President Obama. I said that the sequester is a home run not because it is good politics, but because it begins to put America back on the right fiscal track.

“I would welcome the opportunity to tell the 90,000 furloughed workers, the ones President Obama is choosing to let go of, that they need to know several things:

“First, the sequester does not have to mean furloughs. The President is choosing to make this minor reduction in spending painful—by furloughing people—in order to pursue his twin goals of raising taxes and increasing the size of the federal government. The President wasted $1 trillion dollars of stimulus money that did nothing to grow our economy and create jobs. Now, he is needlessly using a decrease in federal spending amounting to less than a few percent to harm even more American workers and their families.

“Second, there are fewer Americans working in America today than when the President took office. I find it bizarre that Mr. Carney would ask me about talking to furloughed workers. I’ve been talking to and representing thousands of furloughed and laid-off workers in Kansas who have lost their livelihood because of this President’s failed economic policies and his consistent attacks on the general aviation industry. Before President Obama’s wreckless deficits, general aviation was a robust manufacturing jewel providing high-paying jobs in the Air Capital of the World. Today, he continues to cause it pain.

“Third, Mr. Carney says that this isn’t a home-run for average Americans. He is wrong. While there will surely be dislocations, the President’s $6 trillion in new federal debt have been a strikeout for our country. Most Americans understand the need to stop year-on-year trillion dollar deficits. For them, we should have done even more to reduce the size of our federal government. The sequester is a solid first step. Growing American prosperity will require us to hit a grand slam on reducing spending, taxation, and regulation. I look forward to being part of making that happen.

“Finally, the President proposed, signed, and threatened to veto changes to, the sequester. It was his plan. Not once, but twice, Congressional Republicans have provided alternatives. We have seen nothing from Carney’s boss. If it is really that bad, why has he not sent a different set of cuts? The President’s actions—claiming to be upset about the sequester and traveling to Virginia to confuse workers there—are at best disingenuous and at worst just plain mean.”
____________________________________________

To read more about the Sequester, click here.

Environmentalism and Human Sacrifice


Environmentalism and Human Sacrifice
By Dennis Prager
2/26/2013

Last week, Bjorn Lomborg, the widely published Danish professor and director of one of the world's leading environmental think tanks, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, published an article about the Philippines' decision, after 12 years, to allow genetically modified (GM) rice -- "golden rice" -- to be grown and consumed in that country.

The reason for the delay was environmentalist opposition to GM rice; and the reason for the change in Philippine policy was that 4.4 million Filipino children suffer from vitamin A deficiency. That deficiency, Lomborg writes, "according to the World Health Organization, causes 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind each year. Of these, half die within a year."

During the 12-year delay, Lomborg continues, "About eight million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency."

"Golden rice" contains vitamin A, making it by far the most effective and cheapest way to get vitamin A into Third World children.

So who would oppose something that could save millions of children's lives and millions of other children from blindness?

The answer is people who are more devoted to nature than to human life.

And who might such people be?

They are called environmentalists.

These are the people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT. It is generally estimated this ban has led to the deaths of about 50 million human beings, overwhelmingly African children, from malaria. DDT kills the mosquito that spreads malaria to human beings.

US News and World Report writer Carrie Lukas reported in 2010, "Fortunately, in September 2006, the World Health Organization announced a change in policy: It now recommends DDT for indoor use to fight malaria. The organization's Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah explained, 'The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.'"

Though Lukas blames environmentalists for tens of millions of deaths, she nevertheless describes environmentalists as "undoubtedly well-intentioned."

I offer two assessments of this judgment.

First, in life it is almost always irrelevant whether or not an individual or a movement is well intentioned. It is difficult to name a movement that has committed great evil whose members woke up each day asking, "What evil can I commit today?" Nearly all of them think they're well intentioned. Good intentions don't mean a thing.

Second, while environmentalists believe they have good intentions, I do not believe their intentions are good.

Concern for the natural environment is certainly laudable and every normal person shares it. But the organized environmentalist movement -- Lomborg specifically cites Greenpeace, Naomi Klein and the New York Times -- is led by fanatics. The movement's value system is morally askew. It places a pristine natural world above the well-being of human beings.

The environmentalist movement's responsibility for the deaths of tens of millions of poor children in the Third World is the most egregious example. But there are less egregious examples of the movement's lack of concern for people.

Take the Keystone XL pipeline, the pipeline the Canadian government wants built in the US in order to send Canadian crude to American refineries. It would be a 1,179-mile, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, beginning in Alberta, and ending in Nebraska. The pipeline will be able to transport about 830,000 barrels of oil per day to Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries, reducing American dependence on oil from Venezuela -- Iran's base in the Western Hemisphere -- and the Middle East by up to 40 percent. It will also provide Americans with many thousands of well-paying jobs.

Approving this pipeline is a moral and economic necessity.

The American economy needs the pipeline -- even big labor wants it; it vastly reduces American dependency on countries that wish to hurt us; it helps our ally and biggest trading partner, Canada; and if America doesn't use that oil, China will.

But the Obama administration may (again) veto the Keystone XL pipeline -- for one reason: environmentalist fanaticism.

The employment of thousands of Americans, the well-being of the American economy and American national security -- all of these concerns are secondary to the environmentalist movement's view of nature uber alles.

There are many fine people who are concerned with the environment. Indeed, we should all be. But the movement known as environmentalism is not only a false religion, it is one that allows human sacrifice.
_____________________________________________

To read another article by Dennis Prager, click here.

Obama's Game Playing Is Wearing Thin


Obama's Game Playing Is Wearing Thin
By David Limbaugh
2/26/2013

President Obama told a meeting of the National Governors Association: "At some point, we've got to do some governing. And certainly, what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis." Really?

Yes, really. He added, referring to the sequestration: "These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise."

Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not consider himself bound by a duty of good faith to square with the American people. He has shown that he is unafraid to utter the most egregious distortions and exaggerations; he has no fear of being called on them.

Just consider the few assertions I've cited. "At some point, we've got to do some governing." Does he mean that at some point, he needs to quit using every possible opportunity to play golf on the public's dime, that he should stop treating the people's White House as a platform for permanently campaigning, that he intends to forgo his Alinskyite tactics of bullying and demonizing in lieu of dealing with issues on the merits, that he aims to quit flouting his legal obligation to present a budget and that he will begin to exercise leadership over his party and pressure its leaders in the Senate to pass a budget? I didn't think so.

How about his statement that we can't keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis? Does he mean that he is finally going to renounce his policy, first divulged by his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, not to let a crisis go to waste, that he regrets having painted a false picture of crisis about the nation's uninsured to force Obamacare through Congress, that he is sorry that he used the 2008 financial collapse as an excuse to enact recklessly irresponsible bills to spend more borrowed money under the guise of stimulating the economy, that he is sorry he leapt on the Sandy Hook shootings to begin a frantic manufactured-crisis-driven crusade to ratchet up his effort to severely restrict the rights of gun owners, that he plans to repent for falsely laying the blame for our disgracefully unbalanced budgets on the "rich," who are already contributing more than their fair share, that he is going to square with the American people about the shameless hyperbole and corruption in his environmental agenda and cease and desist from his dishonest fear-mongering about carbon emissions to advance that agenda, that he is sorry for exaggerating the effects of the Gulf oil spill in order to justify breaching his promises to remove restrictions on offshore drilling and that he is going to quit pretending that America's infrastructure is in a crisis state of repair in order to fuel his case for ever-greater government control and the creation of public-sector jobs? I didn't think so.

Indeed, if Obama is so weary of crisis governance, of which he is the peerless master, then why is he using these very same speeches to manufacture a phony crisis over the sequestration? We are talking about very small-percentage cuts here, mostly in the rate of spending increases.

If Obama were interested in changing his MO from crisis-mongering to governance -- instead of doubling down on his effort to expand the scope, reach and control of the federal government at any cost, literally -- then he would quit characterizing every single activity of the enormously wasteful federal government as an essential service.

Private-sector businesses don't enjoy the luxury of simply injecting public funds into their ailing enterprises to avoid cutting expenditures they can't afford. Are private-sector businesses and employees that much less important to Obama than public-sector services and employees? Silly question.

In his ongoing crisis-stoking, Obama never laments the real economic destruction his own policies have already caused. When he does deign to acknowledge economic difficulties, he callously understates the dismal conditions we're experiencing -- and the hardship people are already enduring as a result of his ideological intransigence against cutting spending and reforming entitlements.

But what makes Obama's oratorical flurry against crisis governance an even more insulting farce is that we do have a real, wholly unmanufactured crisis looming that will affect far more than a limited number of government jobs and programs. At the risk of breaking an already broken record, I'd like to point out again that we are going bankrupt because Obama won't agree to spending cuts and entitlement reform.

It is time that he quit playing games and insulting our intelligence by blaming Republicans for the sequestration he authored and for allegedly refusing to compromise when they are the ones who have compromised. They have done so on taxes, whereas he has refused to compromise on spending and entitlements. You make a deal with Obama, and he moves the goal posts.

Seriously, how can Obama continue this charade with a straight face? How long will the public tolerate it?
__________________________________________

To read another article by David Limbaugh, click here.