Wednesday, April 28, 2010

George Will Bitch-Slaps Nancy Botox, then Insults Mex-Am Legal & Educ Fund for Lack of Math & English Skills!?!

George Will's best book is Men at Work about pro baseball players and he is a lifelong Chicago Cub fan. So maybe he's smart enough to explain to me why Cubs Manager has put fireballing ace Zambrano, himself of Mexican origin, in the bullpen as a setup reliever working the last couple of innings before the closer Marmel. Maybe because Notre Dame football star tight end S wasn't panning out. George is smart enough to figure out the Cubs and why they've not been World Champs since 1908. But can he figure out the brains [I use the term loosely] of Janet Napolitano and Baracko Obummer?

"Misguided and irresponsible" is how Arizona's new law pertaining to illegal immigration is characterized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She represents San Francisco, which calls itself a "sanctuary city," an exercise in exhibitionism that means it will be essentially uncooperative regarding enforcement of immigration laws. Yet as many states go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the federal mandate to buy health insurance, scandalized liberals invoke 19th-century specters of "nullification" and "interposition," anarchy and disunion. Strange.

It is passing strange for federal officials, including the president, to accuse Arizona of irresponsibility while the federal government is refusing to fulfill its responsibility to control the nation's borders. Such control is an essential attribute of national sovereignty. America is the only developed nation that has a 2,000-mile border with a developing nation, and the government's refusal to control that border is why there are an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona and why the nation, sensibly insisting on first things first, resists "comprehensive" immigration reform.

Arizona's law makes what is already a federal offense -- being in the country illegally -- a state offense. Some critics seem not to understand Arizona's right to assert concurrent jurisdiction. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund attacks Gov. Jan Brewer's character and motives, saying she "caved to the radical fringe." This poses a semantic puzzle: Can the large majority of Arizonans who support the law be a "fringe" of their state?

Popularity makes no law invulnerable to invalidation. Americans accept judicial supervision of their democracy -- judicial review of popular but possibly unconstitutional statutes -- because they know that if the Constitution is truly to constitute the nation, it must trump some majority preferences. The Constitution, the Supreme Court has said, puts certain things "beyond the reach of majorities."

But Arizona's statute is not presumptively unconstitutional merely because it says that police officers are required to try to make "a reasonable attempt" to determine the status of a person "where reasonable suspicion exists" that the person is here illegally. The fact that the meaning of "reasonable" will not be obvious in many contexts does not make the law obviously too vague to stand. The Bill of Rights -- the Fourth Amendment -- proscribes "unreasonable searches and seizures." What "reasonable" means in practice is still being refined by case law -- as is that amendment's stipulation that no warrants shall be issued "but upon probable cause." There has also been careful case-by-case refinement of the familiar and indispensable concept of "reasonable suspicion."

Brewer says, "We must enforce the law evenly, and without regard to skin color, accent or social status." Because the nation thinks as Brewer does, airport passenger screeners wand Norwegian grandmothers. This is an acceptable, even admirable, homage to the virtue of "evenness" as we seek to deter violence by a few, mostly Middle Eastern, young men.

Some critics say Arizona's law is unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" prevents the government from taking action on the basis of race. Liberals, however, cannot comfortably make this argument because they support racial set-asides in government contracting, racial preferences in college admissions, racial gerrymandering of legislative districts and other aspects of a racial spoils system. Although liberals are appalled by racial profiling, some seem to think vocational profiling (police officers are insensitive incompetents) is merely intellectual efficiency, as is state profiling (Arizonans are xenophobic).

Probably 30 percent of Arizona's residents are Hispanic. Arizona police officers, like officers everywhere, have enough to do without being required to seek arrests by violating settled law with random stops of people who speak Spanish. In the practice of the complex and demanding craft of policing, good officers -- the vast majority -- routinely make nuanced judgments about when there is probable cause for acting on reasonable suspicions of illegality.

Arizona's law might give the nation information about whether judicious enforcement discourages illegality. If so, it is a worthwhile experiment in federalism.

Non-Hispanic Arizonans of all sorts live congenially with all sorts of persons of Hispanic descent. These include some whose ancestors got to Arizona before statehood -- some even before it was a territory. They were in America before most Americans' ancestors arrived. Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 a.m.

What George tactfully omits in his short piece is that 60% of Arizona homicides are committed by those 460,000 uninvited and illegal trespassers, that most of the home invasions, carjackings, kidnappings to ATMs with guns at a customers' head, armed robberies to denude the victim of wallet and watch and jewelry, cat burglaries and other violent felonies and not-so-violent felonies committed in AZ are done by that one/tenth of uncontrolled, unmonitored populace from south of the Border.

The hands-off Federal policy up to now has been merely shameful, but Sen. John McCain, a Rino of the first water, tonight mentioned that drug cartels are now establishing their US bases in AZ, aided by the lackadaisical law enforcement and detection run by the Homeland Security Administration, led by laughingly inept Janet Napolitano. There was a sense of a build-up to a much more dangerous environment in Arizona, already suffering from declining tourism and other problems.

As soon as the libtard chattering elites proclaimed a boycott of AZ, they drew back from any real legislation on immigration reform before the election, as the 70% support numbers right now don't look encouraging for the usual waffling half-measures and hypocritical finger-pointing the libtards habitually engage in during run-ups to important immigration legislation. They are already going to get their backsides handed to them in November. They don't want to risk making it near-unanimous, despite their huge organizational edge with unions, many of whom are siphons to suck more illegals in country through the tourism and entertainment and construction industries where they have strong presences.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wall Street Journal Keeps Gaining Customers while NYT, WaPo, LAT & their pilot fish on the edge of bankruptcy?

NYT Managing Editor Keller Whines That Murdoch at WSJ is "Corrosive" as NYT loses 8.47% of PAID CIRCULATION! BooHoo Wa Wa Wa!!!

NYT Whiner-in-Chief Calls Rupert Murdoch "CORROSIVE" evidently because cry-baby Keller and his girly-Krupskaya Abramson of the Jill variety have had their paid circulation rudely rubbed off at the tune of MINUS 8.47% by Rupert's rampantly pubescent Wall Street Journal, the ONLY NEWSPAPER TO GAIN PAID CIRCULATION AND ONLINE PAID PRODUCT IN THE USA LAST YEAR!

The illiterate Butch-spawn led by Joan Walsh over at SALON have the most wonderful headline yet, displaying ignorance and apathy in giant portions with "Rise of free web news and higher prescription and newsstand costs have resulted in declining sales" indicating to Salon that higher expense of scripts from docs leading inevitably to less availability of drugs has seriously cut back on "subscription" to dead-tree delivered-at-the-door ink-stained paper. Salon has a serious medicinal marijuana problem, as an epidemic of glaucoma has evidently brightened their vision while leaving out those pesky details!

UPDATEViacom Prez. Sumner Redstone does cwybaby Keller one better and informs the Michael Milken Conference attendees of his plan
“He lives in ink, and I live in movies and television,” Redstone said. “Ink is going to go away, and movies and television will be here forever, like me.” Redstone, 86, for the second straight year told an audience at the event that he plans “to live forever,” and that he continues to “eat and drink every antioxidant known to man.” His family holding company, National Amusements Inc., was forced to sell CBS and Viacom stock in October 2008 to satisfy lenders.

Redstone might be chewing on sour grapes, and his plan for eternal life hasn't been successfully tried since Jesus resurrected himself on Easter Sunday 1980-odd years ago, And Jesus's whereabouts are in dispute ever since, although he promised to return.

1. The Wall Street Journal 2,092,523 +0.5%
2. USA Today 1,826,622 -13.58%
3. The New York Times 951,063 -8.47%
4. Los Angeles Times 616,606 -14.74%
5. Washington Post 578,482 -13.06%
6. Daily News (New York) 535,059 -11.25%
7. New York Post 525,004 -5.94%
8. San Jose Mercury News* 516,701 N/A
(1/1/10 To 3/31/2010)
9. Chicago Tribune 452,145 -9.79%
10. Houston Chronicle 366,578 -13.77%
11. The Philadelphia Inquirer** 356,189 N/A
12. The Arizona Republic 351,207 -9.88%
13. Newsday 334,809 -9.07%
14. The Denver Post*** 333,675 N/A
15. Star Tribune, Minneapolis 295,438 -7.71%
16. St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times 278,888 -1.49%
17. Chicago Sun-Times 268,803 -13.88%
18. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland 267,888 -8.14%
19. The Oregonian 263,600 -1.83%
20. The Seattle Times*** 263.468 N/A
21. The Dallas Morning News 260,659 -21.47%
22. Detroit Free Press 252,017 -13.31%
23. San Diego Union-Tribune 249,630 -4.45%
24. San Francisco Chronicle 241,330 -22.68%
25. The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. 236,017 -17.79%

Most are good only for fishwrap, but The NY Post was started in 1801 by Hamilton, I believe, and is keeping its nose close to the waterline & the SD Union-Trib is the only conservative paper on the Left Coast & has some reader loyalty. I was interviewed by The Oregonian long ago & it seems to be holding firm, perhaps the only lib paper besides the St. Pete Times to do so.

Some of them deserve death for a corporate journalistic culture of braindeath, such as the San Fran Chron, who had a map once when I was there showing Qaddafi's "Line of Death" without it's being in quotes, as though it were a feature on a map that was semi-permanent!

I'm noting the absence of the Baltimore Sun and the Atlanta Constitution---I sort of like the Sun, home of Mencken and some other real journalistic one-of-a-kinds, but the Atlanta Constitution won't be missed by many.

I am hoping Pudge Sulzberger falls off his Harly and grown-ups take over the running of what used to be a good newspaper.

Obama is Republicans' Best Recruiting Tool!!

C'mon, Y'all, Come!

Gallup has "Country DIVIDED Over Obama Re-election in '12." 46% are for Obama's re-election & 50% AGAINST.

Can you imagine the headline if it were 50% for a re-election & 46% against? Lemme guess.

"Overwhelming MAJORITY want Obama re-elected again!!"

And Gallup is an "unbiased" poll!

ObamaCare Liar Asks For Mulligan

Monstrosity Misconceived Mess nicknamed ObamaCare will need constant care and legislative nurturing to get to first base, or the first green, as the mulligan metaphor implies. The Demo-rats are the party of lies, cheating and stealing---now they do union negotiations directly in back rooms in the White House rather than through traditional channels. And now that they find that insurance companies have to raise rates to comply with the ridiculous pre-existing condition clause of the abortion of an ObamaCare bill, they rush back to Congress to amend it.

Here is fantasyland as the dusky duo, Deval & Obama, hallucinate out loud according to the WSJ:

Some 27 states currently have some form of rate review in the individual and small-business markets, but they generally don't leverage it in a political way because insolvent insurers are expensive for states and bankruptcies limit consumer choices. One exception is Massachusetts: Governor Deval Patrick is now using this regulatory power to create de facto price controls and assail the state's insurers as cover for the explosive costs resulting from the ObamaCare prototype the Bay State passed in 2006.

National Democrats now want the power to do the same across the country, because they know how unrealistic their cost-control claims really are. Democrats are petrified they'll get the blame they deserve when insurance costs inevitably spike. So the purpose of this latest Senate bill is to have a pre-emptive political response on hand.

ObamaCare includes several new cost-driving mandates that take effect immediately, including expanding family coverage for children as old as 26 and banning consumer co-payments for preventive care. Democrats are bragging about these "benefits," but they aren't free and their cost will be built into premiums. And those are merely teasers for the many Washington-created dysfunctions that will soon distort insurance markets.

In Massachusetts, Mr. Patrick says his price-control sally will be followed by reviewing what doctors and hospitals charge—or in other words for price controls on the medical services that make up most health spending. ObamaCare will gradually move in the same direction.

Or maybe not so gradually, judging by the study released last last week by Richard Foster, the Obama Administration's Medicare actuary. Mr. Foster predicts net national health spending will increase by about 1% annually above the status quo that is already estimated to be $4.7 trillion in 2019. This is one more rebuke to the White House fantasy that a new entitlement will lower health costs.

"Although several provisions would help to reduce health care cost growth, their impact would be more than offset through 2019 by the higher health expenditures resulting from the coverage expansions," Mr. Foster writes—and that's assuming everything goes according to plan. He considers it "plausible and even probable" that prices in the private market will rise as greater demand due to subsidized coverage runs into the relatively fixed supply of doctors and hospitals.

Most of ObamaCare's unrealistic "savings" come from cranking down the way Medicare calculates its price controls, and Mr. Foster writes that they'll grow "more slowly than, and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers' costs of furnishing services to beneficiaries." He expects that 15% of hospital budgets may be driven into deficits, thus "possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries." Isn't reform grand?

This is a recipe for an unprecedented fiscal disaster on a scale that makes the Great Depression that FDR prolonged for a decade until World War II pulled the US economy out of a slump. This rivals the Hindenburgh for pure spectacular insanity:

The official who will preside over this fiscal trainwreck is Donald Berwick, the Harvard professor and chief of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement who the White House has nominated to run Medicare. Dr. Berwick explained in an interview last year that the British National Health Service has "developed very good and very disciplined, scientifically grounded, policy-connected models for the evaluation of medical treatments from which we ought to learn." He added that "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly."

In fact, the real choice with medical care, as with any good or service, is between rationing via politics and bureaucratic lines or via a competitive market and prices. As Democrats are showing by trying to pass a new insurance bill, they want all U.S. health care to function like price-controlled Medicare. Dr. Berwick's job as the country's largest purchaser of health care will be to find ways to offset the higher insurance and medical costs that ObamaCare's subsidies and mandates will cause, which will inevitably mean political rationing of care.

In a 17-minute, 2,600-word answer to a question about tax increases in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this month, Mr. Obama mentioned that "what we've done is we've embedded in how Medicare reimburses, how Medicaid reimburses, all these ideas to actually reduce the costs of care." The embedding via price controls is already underway.

Welcome to Brave New World, or rather 1984, Demo-rat style.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wen Raises Eyebrows by Praising Hu Yaobang in inscrutable PRC

Wen Jiabao

The Economist has a very intriguing story about Premier Wen Jiabao in its latest issue, that raises more questions than can be answered for perhaps several years to come:

ON APRIL 15th the arcane and neglected art of reading China’s political tea leaves suddenly surged back into fashion. The Communist Party’s turgid broadsheet, the People’s Daily, published an article on the top of its second page by the prime minister, Wen Jiabao. Its glowing praise for Hu Yaobang, a politically incorrect former party chief whose death triggered the Tiananmen Square protests 21 years ago, struck a remarkably liberal note.

Hu’s death on April 15th 1989 prompted thousands of students to take to the streets in mourning. They bore aloft pictures of the late leader, who though still a member of the ruling Politburo when he died had been forced to resign as the party’s general secretary two years earlier for being too soft on dissent. Because Hu had not been fully purged, the party had no choice but to hold an elaborate funeral for him. This provided cover for the students, who soon switched their attention to demands for democratic reform.

Since the bloody suppression of the protests, Hu has been referred to sparingly by Chinese officials; and the liberalism with which he was associated has also been permitted only sparingly. Of late, it has been notably absent, as the party cracks down on human-rights activists, tightens controls on the internet and frets about unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang. Yet China’s leaders are preparing for a change of guard in 2012-13. Mr Wen will be stepping down. Could it be that, having established China as a global economic power, he and his colleagues are at last thinking of making it politically more respectable?

The speculation triggered by such an potentially historical article is positively dizzying in its ramifications. Is the Peoples' Armed Forces ready for a more liberal political arena now that the economic base of the PRC, recently named by the IMF as the world's third economic power behind the USA and Japan, appears as solid as ever? This question is not brought up by the Economist editors, who are aware that too much frank discussion of the various implications of Wen's article could arouse enmity among the more conservative---i.e., Stalinist-Maoist---elements remaining in the PRC power structure. Which in turn might invite retaliation by said atavistic elements to the detriment of the Economist's access to journalistic and other sources in the Middle Kingdom?
In any event, Wen's article does leave a very intriguing anecdote at the very end, the final para of the piece:

Bao Tong, who was a top aide to the late Zhao Ziyang, Mr Hu Yaobang’s equally liberal successor, believes there could be an ultra-subtle message in the party’s re-embrace of Hu. Officials—he points out—like to encourage the idea that Zhao helped topple Hu (though Mr Bao says he did not). Far from being a sign of yearning for reform, support for Hu could indicate repudiation of Zhao, about whom reminiscences remain strongly discouraged. Zhao was thoroughly purged after Tiananmen and died under house arrest five years ago.

Mr Wen’s article, however, does hint strongly at a huge problem in China’s political system. It describes how Hu instructed Mr Wen to sneak out of an official guesthouse and visit a village under cover of darkness, to find out what peasants were really thinking. “Remember, do not inform the local government,” Hu was quoted as saying. A quarter of a century later, Chinese leaders remain almost as prone to deception by their underlings.

Perhaps the entire gist of the piece by Wen is contained in the rather pathetic anecdote, which almost pleads for a more open dialogue among various players in the vast political arena in the economically and socially expanding PRC. Perhaps the Premier is hinting that political change commensurate with the giant social and economic growth should be a topic for consideration in the near future?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why Police Like Covering Tea Party Rallies and Hate Anti-War D-Bags

James Taranto skewers the hapless witless illiterate "journalists" at the now paper-only and soon to be s-canned CSM:
The Christian Science Monitor has a report airing another "antiwar" grievance. Title: "Are 'Tea Party' Rallies Given Preferential Treatment by Police?" The story notes that local law-enforcement agencies have sometimes applied less stringent permitting and public-safety rules to tea parties than they did to "antiwar" protests.

In the parlance of constitutional law, such regulations are known as "reasonable time, place and manner restrictions." They are permitted under the First Amendment, but they must be "viewpoint neutral," which is to say that the government may not treat one protest more leniently out of sympathy with its message.

But as notes, the Monitor buries its lead in the fourth, "to be sure" paragraph. It turns out that the disparities in rules are not driven by sympathy for the tea parties, but by differences in the behavior of the protesters:

To be sure, permitting rules and police preparedness are often developed based on past behavior at various kinds of protests. Many go back to the 1960s and 1970s when violent rallies erupted over the Vietnam War. Such protests sprung up again during the presidency of George W. Bush, when protesters clashed with police in New York City and elsewhere during large-scale demonstrations against the Middle East wars. With tea party rallies so far proving more orderly, police have given them more latitude.

Of course no one but a skilled practitioner of paralepsis would suggest that the "antiwar" movement was composed of potential Timothy McVeighs. Yet everyone from left-wing bloggers to a certain former president has advanced that claim about the tea-party movement.

D-Bag and Serial Cocksuckee ClyntOOn, the Billy Jeff of yore, demonstrated that he is in danger of losing his anointed position as Chief Purveyor of BS and CalPers and other RICO-union crime schemes and falling into describing what is now a presumed majority of Independents and Republicans---remember when this silly a-hole used to croon that the "innate wisdom of the American people" had shown itself whenever his popularity was above 50% [in his two national elections, he never won a MAJORITY, but only a PLURALITY of votes and would have been an asterisk if the MSM had not vaulted Ross Perot back into the campaign after he had demonstrated his complete insanity concerning N. Koreans disrupting his daughter's wedding]. Billy Jeff now must face the following aimed at his empty-headed nonsense:
he Democrats' nasty attitude toward skeptical voters may help explain the latest Gallup finding: The gap in partisan identification among Americans is now a single point--46% Democratic, 45% Republican--after the Democrats enjoyed a huge advantage for several years starting in 2005. There's a six-point shift from a year ago, when the figures were 51% D, 39% R. But the number of "Republican identifiers" has held constant at 28%; the swing has been entirely in the direction of "Republican-leaning independents."

Has the tea-party movement's importance been exaggerated, as Martin and Smith claim at such length that it has? Only if independent voters don't really decide American elections.

The sooner that BJ ClyntOOn and his obnoxious spouse leave the political scene the better, and ditto for Botox Queen Nancy and the Dingy Harry Reid who both will get a rapid exit along with the Demo=rats to history's memory hole.

On Wisconsin: on its Way to becoming Florida on Steroids?

Wisconsin is my native state, which I left upon full adolescence to go to college in another state. I worked in politics in Milwaukee and environs in 1968 in the Gene McCarthy campaign, bussing around 2000 students from Ann Arbor where I was in grad school at the time. My only family connections were my paternal grandfather, a judge, and my maternal great, great uncle, an alderman at the end of the nineteenth century.

My minor in getting an M.A. was Poli Sci and Wisconsin's progressive history is well-known, as the state which originated the primary and direct voting for Senators, among other innovations on the U.S. political scene. But in the sixties, two Democrat Senators Gaylord Nelson and William Proxmire, allowed the state to be hijacked to the left even further, with all sorts of state reps mimicking their Senate and House reps and allowing the most generous welfare allotments for those out of work in the country. The predictable result was a demographic deluge of poor blacks and Hispanics, many accompanied by their criminal family outliers. The result was that the Milwaukee I left in the mid '60s was virtually unrecognizable in the '90s when I fetched up with family on the north side of Chicago and visited my siblings and parents on a frequent basis. Whole neighborhoods had in the twenty-five year interim been semi-gutted, Detroit-style, and I recalled my two summers as a taxi driver in the '60s while going to grad school as a virtual Garden of Eden when black neighborhoods had yet to be swamped with crime, drugs, gangs, and drive-by violence.

John Fund in today's WSJ describes how a complete grifter like Sen. Feingold is pushing to get Wisconsin's voter registration laws completely under the control of national political parties---in this case, a criminal entity named the Wisconsin Democrat Party is trying to suborn the state's independence and throw it into a Chuck Shumer NY-sponsored national law on registering and absentee ballots, which have become RICO-type organizations like ACORN's chief means of electoral fraud and crime. As Fund puts it in his excellent piece on Wisconsin's descent into fraud, chicanery, and political trickery:

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat, has introduced federal legislation to mandate same-day registration in every state, claiming the system has worked well in his state. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is readying a bill to override the election laws of all 50 states and require universal voter registration—which would automatically register anyone on key government lists. This is a move guaranteed to create duplicate registrations, register some illegal aliens, and sow confusion.

Fund goes on to remind us citizens to beware of crime-oriented Senators like the insufferable oaf Shumer and the tricky lil Jew-boy Feingold:

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat, has introduced federal legislation to mandate same-day registration in every state, claiming the system has worked well in his state. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is readying a bill to override the election laws of all 50 states and require universal voter registration—which would automatically register anyone on key government lists. This is a move guaranteed to create duplicate registrations, register some illegal aliens, and sow confusion....The court made the obvious point that "disenfranchisement" is a two-way street. Fraud, it noted in Gonzales v. Arizona (2006), "drives honest citizens out of the democratic process. . . . [V]oters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised."

Sad that a once thriving political culture under LaFollette and others has now become a disgraceful demonstration of Three Monte at the polls on election day.

The Banality of Race and Why David Remnick is a Shallow Suck-Up

Michael Knox Beran writes a wonderful review of David Remnick's book on Obama The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. The most tragic flaw of this book is that David Remnick did not discern that Doris Kearns Goodwin, who met Obama after her own extended immersion in Lincoln, may well be right when she says, “The tragic sense doesn’t seem to be there.”

According to Knox Beran, this is history by hagiography, even worse than Game Change, a wonderful read that is as filling for as long as a Chinese meal and as meager on the Republicans, who merit less than 80 pages, as it is generous with the Democrats, who get almost 200. We knew Halperin and Heilemann were media whores, or at least tinted left on the infrared-ultraviolet spectrum. But Remnick's excellent book on the downfall of the USSR had revealed to me, anyway, a fellow who could bring in the tragic pathos of a Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy onto current events. Winning a non-fiction Pulitzer at age 35 was certainly a confidence booster. However, Knox Beran's comparison of Remnick with a somewhat analogous predecessor, Lionel Trilling, is damning. Here's Edmund Wilson and Trilling in The Liberal Imagination:

Edmund Wilson once observed that “sincere reactionaries,” from Dr. Johnson to Dostoevsky, were beset by a “vision of human sin.” The progressive reformer, by contrast, was either “free from a sense of guilt” or had “evolved a psychological mechanism which enables him to turn moral judgments against himself into moral judgments against society.” Here is a clue to the banality, the moral vacancy, in modern liberalism that The Bridge too often reflects. If conservatives can be unintelligently narrow, liberals can be insufferably sanctimonious. In vain did Lionel Trilling warn the liberals of his day that their equation of progressive reform and moral virtue was a formula for self-delusion, a self-satisfaction that threatened to blind them to the evils of the very politics—so ostensibly liberal, enlightened, and humane—on which they prided themselves. “Some paradox of our nature leads us,” Trilling wrote in The Liberal Imagination, “when once we have made our fellow men the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.”

Knox Beran goes on to give Trilling more nods in his penetrating study of the struggle for social equity and its pitfalls.

What the progressive politics of social equity was to the liberalism of Trilling’s day, the progressive politics of race is to the liberalism of our own. Both are forms of moral escapism; both represent a flight from self-knowledge and self-doubt to a dubious refuge of self-righteousness, one that Trilling associated with tragedy. If 50 or 60 years ago liberals needed courage to denounce racism, today their exaltation of the virtues of color is a painless way for them to feel good about themselves without doing any moral heavy lifting. In pretending that racism is one of the profounder evils in contemporary American life, the bien-pensant liberal not only excuses himself from the demands of what Trilling called the “moral imagination”; he also conveniently overlooks the unfruitfulness of his own progressive solutions to the problems of poverty, crime, and ghetto despair.

Is Obama a post-racial, true tragedian, or is Doris Kearns Goodwin's intuition better than the liberal sopheads Jon Meacham and David Brooks, two pseudo-moderates who are faux-poseurs to the bone who both believe that Obama's still waters run deep?

President Obama, it is true, is advertised as a different, more thoughtful kind of liberal, one exempt from what David Mamet has called liberal brain-death.....But put Obama aside. He is a practicing politician. One does not expect to find reserves of tragic doubt in those who are daily engaged in political battles and the strife of sound bites. The soldier on the front line, under whatever banner he has enlisted, has got to do his best to close his mind against a certain suppleness of thought, the luxurious latitude of imagination in which the mere civilian can safely indulge. George W. Bush displayed the unsubtle confidence of a leader in pushing the War on Terror hard—some would say too hard. Obama displayed the same unshrinking confidence in pushing nationalized health care hard—some would say too hard. It is true that Lincoln eventually achieved the tragic humility that allowed him to say, “With malice towards none; with charity for all . . .” But the transfiguration took place only at the end of his life, after he had gone through torments that he supposed were worse than those of hell.

Remnick gets the final full-barrelled
coup de grace
by being damned with faint praise.

The Bridge is disappointing precisely because it is the work of a man who might conceivably have emulated Trilling.....It is just because the political leader, called to assert his will in a life of action, cannot permit himself to be hobbled by an excess of doubt or moral subtlety that it falls to a political movement’s scribes, to its clerks and philosophers, to warn of the temptations of smugness. Trilling performed this office for liberals in middle of the last century; conservatives have got a whole library on the subject that goes back to Saint Augustine, if not to the Book of Genesis. But Trilling is a prophet no longer honored in the liberal movement to which he was devoted. ... [Remnick's] book, with all its flaws, contains much brilliant writing and a good deal of useful insight. Its author is, into the bargain, the head of a great liberal institution, and he is engaged in work that does not absolutely preclude sustained reflection. It is therefore to be regretted that he has composed a panegyric upon the president that is lazily content with the obvious but shallow story line and with what, in 2010, has become the cheap morality of racial melodrama.

If The Bridge has its strengths, it must finally be classed as another attempt to sustain the myth that racial oppression is one of the cardinal sins of today’s America. This comforting baby’s bottle of modern liberalism is a largely fabricated fantasy, yet it is not without real dangers. It has not only spawned an unhealthy obsession with the color of our skins that too often comes at the expense of a more just interest in the content of our characters; it has lulled liberals into the sort of moral complacency that they so frequently deplore in others.

This "moral complacency" is visible daily from sports page, where NFL draft dish holds Stanford running back Gerhardt discounted for being white, to the daily liberal nods in deference to three lying black congresscritters who claim with no audio or video proof that they were called racial epithets & spat upon by Tea Party demonstrators the day of the health care vote. My guess is that Remnick's book will be called what the French describe as a "succes d'estime" and tens of thousands will be sold, but often used as door jams. As one read Game Change and am not about to fork over a 672 pp. version of the same hagiography dwelling on the personification of racial equality---when in real-world fact he was raised by his white grandparents in Honolulu at an elite prep school, in a local culture where racial differences were hardly noticed in a polyglot entrepot like Hawaii.

Much of Obama's unmerited hyper-adoration comes in spite of the fact that he tried to lionize an absentee bigamist drunk of a father who deserted him at age one and placate an OC mother who drove him as hard as she drove herself before abandoning him to her white parents. (Obama's white grandparents appear to be non-existent, according to three book reviews I read besides Knox Beran's.)

Obama is a narcissistic descendent of slaveowners, from his Kansas forebears and perhaps on both sides as his father's tribal north Kenya is heavily populated by ex-slavers descended from Arabs working out of Dar Es Salaam. Obama digested all this baggage and like many young blacks who have athletic skills and academic know-how, came out rather smug and with overly-high self-regard.

In the end, Remnick keeps sucking on the race baby-bottle of liberal self-justification, and the fatuous freaks in the unwatched cable TV like Norah O'Donnell demonstrate room-temp IQ when they use it as the default position to all the conservatives' opposition to Big Government expansion and absurd power grabs by a lame-duck Democrat Congress. Obama should be given credit for achieving the American dream, but he should NOT destroy the basis on which that opportunity presented itself, a society of free individuals who pay taxes, but otherwise do not have the government interfere in their lives.

To destroy that society would be to symbolically kill his parents: one of those Freudian, Jungian drives he probably is unaware of.

Economist Bearish on Greece Without Mentioning a Major Reason Why

Greece is going to face a lot of difficulties just treading water over the next couple of years, but the NEWL BOLSHIE Economist leaves out perhaps the single most important reason---labor unions and Communists calling for general strikes to further cripple the economy---now hanging by a thread over bankruptcy. Those familiar with Greek coffee house "culture" know that only a small percentage of the males actually do productive work for a living while a larger percentage are members of "public service unions" and other faineant enterprises which entail sitting around drinking coffee and arguing politics while the women do the majority of the labor required to keep the country going.

Why doesn't the Economist, formerly a journalistic enterprise, leave out the huge unproductive sections of the population, including radical "students" who riot on cue and SEIU-type union thugs who march for a state run by the proletariat? I left a hint in the para above and perhaps the more discerning among you might sniff out the clue and look no further.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ueber-Left Mole Ambinder Shrieks: Are Conservatives Mad?

Public Education

Overton Window, Obama/Ginobli variation
The left-handed Manu Ginobili is reputed to have the best feint-right, drive-left move in the NBA, one that continually catches the opposing guard or defender off his feet, even though he's probably been faked out dozens of times before by precisely the same move. Lefty Obama also thinks he has this down, but he may have hit the ball out of bounds with his new health care fiasco, which is currently about 40-60 on the positive-negative scale.

The Overton Window, mentioned by Glenn Beck, refers to a political science concept described at length by the mentoree of Mr. Overton himself, a senior member of the Mackinac Institute. Above's also a graphic on public education---but the Obama/Ginobili variation tries to convince you it will lower taxes or keep them the same while raising them surreptitiously across the board with accounting tricks---Medicare is a prime suspect.

Ambinder omplains about the conservatives' "theories" which aren't theories at all, but most often the PRINCIPLES of fiscal soundness, national defense that puts security before the rights of alleged terrorists, and basic due diligence in putting a huge program like the sloppily-crafted health care bill that a brain-dead Dem leadership allowed to supersede their own gold-plated cushy in-house health plan FOR MEMBERS ONLY.

When Ambinder asks if the conservative base has gone mad, he puts this turd on top of his ice cream sundae I think it's because there's so much misinformation out there -- most of it spread by the conservative echo-chamber. when Harry Reid screams out in his high-pitched quivering tones in '07 that the Iraq War is lost, Nancy Pelosi snarkily promises to drain the swamp of corruption...and Barack Obama dishonestly promises the most transparent administration in history. The conservatives aren't mad, they are merely angry at the fact that the Obama Administration and its stenographers like Ambinder have gone stark raving mad!

And also, as having paid into Social Security and other benefits for forty-plus years in many cases, the conservatives feel that they are calumniated when nagged for liking social security---after paying for most of it---and also for being taxed enough already, as in TEA. This makes them angry.

It is the liberal progressive socialist leftists who are batshit crazy! Ambinder is merely batshit.

Is Laughing Boy Jon Stewart Too Chicken-Sh*t To Joke About South Park Threats

Not Really, Jon-Boy Plus With Bernie Goldberg, You Hit Below the Belt---for Which You OUGHT to be Appalled!

Comedy Channel Poseur Jon Stewart who makes faces and strikes poses about Bernard Goldberg knows that Goldberg isn't going to stick a knife in him with a note like the Islamo-fascist DOGS did to Theo Van Gogh, distant relative of the late great Dutch painter.

Jon-Boy isn't so quick with the pretentious f-you's and such to FoxNEWS, which actually does have the courage to report on the Islamo-fascist DOGS who threatened South Park with a Theo Van Gogh slice-fest last week. The stab-in-the-back cowards have a lot in common with Stewart, in fact, in that they pick on those brave enough to take the moral high ground against vicious Islamo-fascist back-stabbers and cowardly stiletto-sticking CARPET JOCKEY BOW WOWS.

Wet-a-bed piss-himself Jon-Boy only picks on the high ground types like Goldberg who would never, say, shank Jon-Boy in the Men's Room [in his case, Little Boy's Room for short equipment types] while he is relieving himself during his most productive part of his day.

You might think I'm a bit overboard in my contempt for cowardly people who pick on gentlemen and journalists, both of which Bernard Goldberg happens to be in generous portions.

It's a free country, as long as the Islamo-fascist DOGS don't take it over due to the Jon Stewarts of the Nancy-Boy "entertainment quivering coward media left" and Barack Obama of the dismantle-our-defenses-against-terrorist-Islamo-fascist-DOGS mainstream Demo-rat moral lepers of the Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi Congressional Cowardice Front.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ClyntOOn Aping SPLC in the Sky is Falling Department?

Billy Jeff is at it again, in full campaign mode, raising money for the Embezzler's Dream called the "Clinton Initiative" while piously intoning the latest BS belched from the GI tract of the Demo-rat dragon.
There's a new narrative taking hold in the wake of the recent Tea Party protests and the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing: The Tea Partiers' intense opposition to the Obama administration has led to overheated political rhetoric, which could in turn lead to violence, perhaps as devastating as Oklahoma City.
Former President Clinton is the leading voice of this new narrative. In newspaper interviews, television appearances and a widely discussed speech Friday, Clinton said it's "legitimate" to draw "parallels to the time running up to Oklahoma City and a lot of the political discord that exists in our country today." "Watch your words," warned ABC News, reporting that Clinton "weighed in on the angry anti-government rhetoric, ringing out from talk radio to Tea Party rallies."

Yes, any observer of American politics understands instinctively that CONTROL OF THE NARRATIVE and OBSESSION WITH PROCESS are the two criminal faults bequeathed on this Land Leviathan belching fire through its dependence on a room-IQ state-controlled media (MessNBC, CNN, the fossil nets witha "C" in their acronyms) as well as the INNUMERABLE LAWYERS who prove daily the old business adage "Never let a lawyer get in the mid-process of a deal, it'll never happen. These janitors of the mind should only be allowed in after a workable deal is put together. Where do the parrots get their stock of words?

(E)arlier media stories depicting Tea Party gatherings as angry mobs, accusing protesters of throwing racial epithets at black lawmakers and of making threats of violence. The implication was that all this could be part of a nationwide trend. "Just this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that it had tracked an explosion in extremist anti-government patriot groups fueled, in large part, by anger over the economy and Barack Obama's presidency," NBC's David Gregory said on "Meet the Press" in early April. "In this highly charged political atmosphere, where you've got so much passion, so much disagreement, this takes it, of course, to a different level."

David the Dunce is the sad successor of sorely-missed Tim Russert, who brought brains, hard work, and sanity into the formerly must-watch MtP. David is now allowing his "guests" to say anything without fact-checking them or contradicting them, and the MtP f0rmat is soon going to turn into a version of the Gong Show or Geraldo on steroids without adult supervision. And the SPLC is the un-factchecked source of David's dithering?

Many of the claims that extremism is on the rise in America originate in research done by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group that for nearly 40 years has tracked what it says is the growing threat of intolerance in the United States. These days the SPLC is issuing new warnings of new threats. But today's warnings sound an awful lot like those of the past.

In 1989, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of skinheads, saying, "Not since the height of Klan activity during the civil rights era has there been a white supremacist group so obsessed with violence. ..."

In 1992, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of other white supremacist groups, which it claimed had grown by 27 percent from the year before.

In 1995, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of right-wing militias.

In 1998, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of Internet-based hate groups, which according to one press account had "created the biggest surge in hate in America in years."

In 1999, the SPLC warned that the growing threat of Web-based hate groups was growing even more, with a 60 percent increase from the year before.

In 2002, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of post-Sept. 11 hate groups, which it said had grown 12 percent between 2000 and 2001.

In 2004, the SPLC warned (again) of the growing threat of skinhead groups, whose numbers it said had doubled in the previous year.

In 2008, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of hate groups overall, whose number it said increased 48 percent since 2000.

And in 2010, just a few weeks ago, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of "patriot" groups, which it said increased by 244 percent in 2009.

In the world of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the threat is always growing. Ronald Reagan's policies led to a growing threat. The first Gulf War led to a growing threat. The election of Bill Clinton led to a growing threat. The Internet led to a growing threat. Sept. 11 led to a growing threat. The war in Iraq led to a growing threat. Is it any wonder that Obama's presidency has, in the SPLC's estimation, led to a growing threat?

Byron York gives these professional Cassandras the coup de grace

Hate groups do exist across the political spectrum, and have for a long time. But they have nothing to do with the expressions of frustration over deficits, taxes and Obamacare that we have heard at so many Tea Party gatherings. That frustration, felt by Republicans, independents and even some Democrats, is an entirely mainstream reaction to the sharply activist course the president and congressional leadership have taken. While the level of frustration is indeed a threat, it is a political threat. Ask Democrats running in this November's elections.
It's important to distinguish between a political threat and a physical one. As Clinton might say, the hate accusers should watch their words.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Culture of dependence" is what Obama Wants, Tea Partiers Fight!

Where's the lipstick? Ask the pigs!

Michael Barone has a short and masterful piece on just how the original "culture of independence" is superior to the Obamacide dependants because "independence has a moral dimension." This won't mean anything to the "educated elites" who administer the government giveaways, but it means everything to people owning and running small businesses and raising nuclear families not ravaged by divorce and secularism.
If some guy is getting $400, shouldn't he just shut up and collect the money? Shouldn't he be happy that his state government, headed recently by Rod Blagojevich, was getting an extra $50 billion?

But public policy also helps determine the kind of society we are. The Obama Democrats see a society in which ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, where they need to have their incomes supplemented, their health care insurance regulated and guaranteed, their relationships with their employers governed by union leaders. Highly educated mandarins can make better decisions for them than they can make themselves.

That is the culture of dependence. The tea partiers see things differently. They're not looking for lower taxes; half of tea party supporters, a New York Times survey found, think their taxes are fair. Nor are they financially secure: Half say someone in their household may lose their job in the next year. Two-thirds say the recession has caused some hardship in their lives. But they recognize, correctly, that the Obama Democrats are trying to permanently enlarge government and increase citizens' dependence on it.

And, invoking the language of the Founding Fathers, they believe that this will destroy the culture of independence that has enabled Americans over the past two centuries to make this the most productive and prosperous -- and the most charitably generous -- nation in the world. Seeing our political divisions as a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence helps to make sense of the divisions seen in the 2008 election.

The grifters and the slackers and the unionized layabouts who make up the bulk of Obama's support are all too glad to get handouts. Add to that feminazis and deluded teenage-wasteland dwellers of all ages, and Obama got a clear majority in '08.

Interestingly, in the Massachusetts special Senate election the purported beneficiaries of the culture of dependence -- low-income and low-education voters -- did not turn out in large numbers. In contrast, the administrators of that culture -- affluent secular professionals, public employees, university personnel -- were the one group that turned out in force and voted for the hapless Democratic candidate. The in-between people on the income and education ladders, it turns out, are a constituency for the culture of independence.

Smart conservatives like David Frum, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam argued in 2009 books that modest-income conservative voters have had stagnant incomes over the last decade and that Republicans should offer them compensatory tax breaks. That seemed to make sense in the wake of the 2008 election. But it's been undercut by developments since. As Roesgen discovered, tea party supporters are not in the mood to be bought off with $400 tax credits.

They have a longer time horizon and can see where the Obama Democrats are trying to take us. Lazarsfeld saw politics as just a matter of dollars and cents. The tea party movement reminds us of what the Founders taught, that it has a moral dimension as well. They risked all in the cause of the culture of independence. The polling evidence suggests that most Americans don't want to leave that behind.

So despite Botox Queen Nancy's strident shrieks that the Tea Partiers are "astro-Turf" and not authentic, perhaps if she can bear it, Pelosi should look into the mirror and see what she looks like without botulism implants [see accompanying photo]!

Iceland Volcano Has Historical Precedent in 1783--Another Chernobyl?

Fat Al Fights Volcanoes With Fire!?

Iceland's location smack dab on the mid-Atlantic ridge separating the two tectonic plates on which Eastern North America and Western Europe lie, give it vulcanism second to none, and European history has been strongly affected by previous eruptions which have lasted much longer than from volcanoes sitting over "hot spots" like Hawaii or Sumatra. When Laki blew its top on June 8, 1783, the consequences still rock Europe today....

The 1783 event is rated as VEI 6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, but the eight month emission of sulfuric aerosols resulted in one of the most important climatic and socially repercussive events of the last millennium.....The eruption continued until 7 February 1784, but most of the lava was erupted in the first five months. Grímsvötn volcano, from which the Laki fissure extends, was also erupting at the time from 1783 until 1785. The outpouring of gases, including an estimated 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride and estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide, gave rise to what has since become known as the "Laki haze" across Europe. The consequences for Iceland—known as the Mist Hardships—were catastrophic. An estimated 20-25% of the population died in the famine and fluorine poisoning after the fissure eruptions ceased. ......

Consequences in Europe
An estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted, approximately equivalent to three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006, and also equivalent to a Mount Pinatubo-1991 eruption every three days.[6] This outpouring of sulfur dioxide during unusual weather conditions caused a thick haze to spread across western Europe, resulting in many thousands of deaths throughout 1783 and the winter of 1784.
The summer of 1783 was the hottest on record and a rare high pressure zone over Iceland caused the winds to blow to the south-east. The poisonous cloud drifted to Bergen in Norway, then spread to Prague in the Province of Bohemia by 17 June, Berlin by 18 June, Paris by 20 June, Le Havre by 22 June, and to Great Britain by 23 June. The fog was so thick that boats stayed in port, unable to navigate, and the sun was described as "blood coloured"......This disruption then led to a most severe winter in 1784, in which Gilbert White at Selborne in Hampshire reported 28 days of continuous frost. The extreme winter is estimated to have caused 8,000 additional deaths in the UK. In the spring thaw, Germany and Central Europe then reported severe flood damage.
The meteorological impact of Laki resonated on, contributing significantly to several years of extreme weather in Europe. In France a sequence of extremes included a surplus harvest in 1785 that caused poverty for rural workers, accompanied by droughts and bad winters and summers, including a violent hailstorm in 1788 that destroyed crops. This in turn contributed significantly to the build up of poverty and famine that may have contributed to the French Revolution in 1789. Laki was only a factor in a decade of climatic disruption, as Grímsvötn was erupting from 1783–1785 and a recent study of El Niño patterns also suggests an unusually strong El-Niño effect from 1789-93.

Contemporaneous accounts, including some by that indefatigable 80-ish American meteorologist Benjamin Franklin, describe the following Winter as the coldest ever, with the Mississippi freezing over with ice at New Orleans, then run by the French, and Charleston, S.C.'s harbor, then almost the largest in the newly independent colonies, freezing over for a month! In other parts of the planet, devastating famines and other weather-related disasters across North Africa and even affecting India's monsoon, which didn't happen that Fall and threw the sub-continent into famine and hardship. In Egypt, a horrible famine killed unknown thousands who starved due to the changed weather conditions and the horrible sulfur dioxide ash actually choking the NIle or altering its beneficial flood-plain hydraulics.

Another Chernobyl, this time Choking All of Western Europe?

Some American meteorologists are dismissing the potential for longer term impact of the April, 2010 Icelandic eruption, and even cite the 1783 as a much more horrific event than the recent explosions, but the weather-based predictions of these Americans are of a piece with a lot a bogus Global Warming hoax predictions. However, a Norwegian vulcanologist who has actually studied Icelandic volcanos for a decade is not at all as sanguine as the American meteorologists:
The airspace over much of northern Europe remains shut and the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, is stranded in New York City because of the threat from a volcanic ash plume being belched out of Iceland. How long will the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano continue and what other kinds of activity can we expect? A volcanologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) who has worked extensively in Iceland says a month-long eruption would not be out of the question. But the eruption could also continue for a year or more, he says.

If so, the prevailing winds would blow the nasty ash and rotten-egg gases over Norway, he says. The much greater danger is a much larger volcano buried under a glacier just to the east named Katla, which the much smaller multi-syllabic neighbor now blowing off might have alleviated pressures from the underlying magma basin to a certain extent. If that large system would blow, the effects on climate and the European economy might be very harmful, leading perhaps to a Second French Revolution?

This time around, given their feckless nanny-state cowardice, the guillotines might be manned by Muslims establishing their demographic dominance over tired-out layabouts. Srbenica in reverse, anyone, with this time the cowardly Dutch soldiers losing their heads?!?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

50% Polled by Gallup say Obama Should be S-Canned in 2012!

Clift, Mouth Akimbo Brainlock per usual

Friday NIght Comedy by Jon Stewart ain't there, but for real rib-splitting, ROTLMAO, hilarity, listen to Eleanor Clift of the soon to be defunct tabloid-mag Newsweak on the McLaughlin Group in the PBS stable of barely credible "news summaries" of the week. This ancient, less-than-five-foot-mental and physical dwarf said to buy the latest issue with the cover saying that "the economy's back," 20% REAL unemployment to the contrary notwithstanding. Time Inc. with mental midget Klein & Co. also bleats sheeple in support of BHO, though his plunge in the polls is record-setting [except for Clift, who LIES that he has 50% support. Clift's most hilarious demonstration of total solipsistic autism that only a lifer inside the Beltway would utter was when she assured us all that the Fed and Bernanke were "in charge" of the economy and wouldn't raise interest rates, thereby ensuring an economic recovery.

Anyone with an IQ higher than room temp knows that the socialist paradigm Obama and the Botox biyotch & Dingy Harry are pushing like bad acid, killer China White heroin, or name your methyl alcohol substitute for booze---including Harry's immigration reform will be passed this year, which has as much cred as "The War is Lost, stop talking about the Surge" three years ago.

Gallup points out that Clinton was at 46% in April of 1994, the year Gingrich's "Contract With America" overwhelmed the Dems, and as a state-controlled media serf of the DNC, points out that Dole was defeated by Billy Jeff in '96.

Americans became somewhat less likely to say Clinton was deserving of re-election over the course of 1994. Gallup's last measurement before the 1994 midterm elections, in October, showed 38% of Americans (and the same percentage of registered voters) saying Clinton deserved re-election, with the majority of 57% saying he did not. The Democratic Party suffered huge losses in the 1994 midterm elections, but Clinton was elected to a second term two years later by a comfortable margin over Bob Dole.

Clinton's approval sagged to 38% that November and nothing Obama is going to do with stop his steady slide in the polls unless the economy comes around.

And Bob Dole, much like McCain in '04, was a candidate more or less anointed by the state-controlled media of the time. This time around, whether or not the Republicans pick a winner, it will not be the NYT & WaPo & LAT plus Bri-boy influencing the choice.

Even a much-brain like Clift admitted that the Tea Partyiers are an authentic voice of the people, although this early-dementia hanger-on disparaged them for being "White, Male, well-off, and gun-loving" as though these were semi-legal traits at best.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The World's Worst: Political and Social Freedom Dept.

Belarus Political Prisoner

Foreign Policy is a largely left-wing mag founded by Richard Holbrooke, who pitched me at lunch to subscribe in France in the early '70s, which is still even-handed enough to reward the inveterate truffle-snuffer that I am with the occasional hiccup to right-of-center.

The always condescending, always hypocritical. sometimes hysterical Euro-left will disdain America's contributions to keeping it from becoming a Soviet slave-annex as Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Hungary became as a result of FDR's fatuous nincompoopery and Winston Churchill's grasping Realpolitik after the Second World War. But even these moral lepers cannot overlook a brutal dictator like Lukashenko,

often described as Europe's only remaining dictator. Having successfully abolished term limits, Lukashenko has ruled the country since 1994 and maintains complete control over the government, courts, and legislative process. Elections are decorative affairs, and opposition parties hold no seats in the rubber-stamp legislative assembly. Opposition activists, like the young woman above, are routinely arrested for demonstrating. Citizens need an internal passport to travel within the country.

We of course have the moral political equivalent of Lukashenko in the Castro brothers, giving Chinese and Russian offshore privileges to drill much closer to Florida that always hypocritical, often hysterical Nancy Pelosi allows the US to do---until suddenly BHO saw the light for everyone save California!

To give FP its due, Cuba and China are included among the world's worst, at 14 & 13 respectively:
Fidel Castro may have stepped down last year after 49 years in power, but Cuba remains a one-party state, now under Fidel's brother, Raúl. Freedom of movement and the right to choose one's residence and place of employment are severely restricted, and attempting to leave the island without permission is a punishable offense. Owning a cellphone and accessing the Internet from home were finally legalized in 2008, but the costs of both are far outside the reach of most Cubans.

Here's the unlucky 13's designation:
China is home to more than half of the world's "not free" population, according to Freedom House rankings. The Chinese Communist Party keeps a tight grip on political power, depriving Chinese citizens of the right to elect their leaders, participate in political opposition, or hold their government to account. China uses one of the most sophisticated and extensive systems of Internet filtering in the world and imprisons more journalists and more individuals for their online activities than any other country.

Of course, the demure FP editors don't want to mention "Chinese Take-Out," the political murder of "criminals" who are young and healthy enough that a shot to their [non-reimplantable] brains leaves potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of fungible body parts to be sold in the most gruesome secondary market ever devised by human beings.

If you have a strong stomach, a click-parade through the 21 selected most-enslaved will be a salutary excursion that will remind you how some political entities slide backwards into a Communist or Muslim hell [the majority of the 21 suffer from one or the other political/religious infections] and you will see how this has remained a most-seen and most commented on site since Independence Day of 2009.

Some of the comments show the delusionary anti-semitism of those who believe that Israel is still "in charge" of Gaza, which doesn't make the top 21. Nasty police state Syria with its 5 [FIVE] internal intelligence agencies is included, as a tribute to rational analysis on the part of the FP editors.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Organized Crime Run From the Oval Office: Hypocrisy & SEIU Thuggery

The Wall Street Journal opens up its editorial with a simple blunt statement of fact:
There's almost a direct correlation these days between the Obama Administration's complaints about "special interests" and its own fealty to such interests. Consider its latest decree that federal contractors must be union shops.

The federal rule, which went live yesterday, implements an executive order President Obama signed within weeks of taking office. It encourages federal agencies to require "project labor agreements" for all construction projects larger than $25 million. This means that only contractors that agree to union representation are eligible for work financed by the U.S. taxpayer.

Only 15% of the nation's construction workers are unionized, so from now on the other 85% will have to forgo federal work for having exercised their right to not join a union. This is a raw display of political favoritism, and at the expense of an industry experiencing 27% unemployment. "This is nothing but a sop to the White House's big donors," says Brett McMahon, vice president at Miller & Long Concrete Construction, a nonunion contractor. "We've seen this so many times now, and how many times does it have the union label? Every time."

Crime Pays, if you are a union member or a slacker union boss. The House of Lies and Crime which is located at 1600 PA Ave. has as one of its chief practitioners, a creepy political hack named Bernstein:

It's also a rotten deal for taxpayers. White House economist Jared Bernstein blogged that these agreements "significantly enhance the economy and efficiency of Federal Construction projects." In fact, the carve-outs put an end to open, competitive federal bidding, which means higher project costs. They also mean taxpayers must finance the benefits and work rules of union members.

Mr. Bernstein could check all this with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which last year commissioned an independent study showing the Obama project labor agreements would likely raise the VA's construction costs for hospitals by as much as 9% in three of five markets—Denver, New Orleans and Orlando. In two others, New York and San Francisco, the study predicted a mixture of small cost increases and small cost savings.

The study reported "strong evidence to suggest that the result of a PLA [project labor agreement] that dictates work rules, double benefits, team structure and activities on non-union type contractors will be that production costs will increase—given these union-related requirements." It also rebutted a favorite liberal argument that such agreements lead to less labor strife, noting that there are "many examples for projects where there have been strikes but also no strikes—unrelated to whether or not a PLA is in place."

Crime-Boss-in-Chief Obama may be running out of string, as he is alienating the fawning puppets called the White House Press Corps so relentlessly that eventually, these cowards and intellectual dwarfs might just dare to call him out on such complete criminal robbing of the taxpayer. On second thought, their cowardice is probably even larger than Obama's contempt for them. Here's some more facts to consider as SEIU and the other RICO operations take over the country:

The Veterans study mirrors academic work showing that project labor agreements raise the costs of construction by 10% to 20%. The Beacon Hill Institute at Boston's Suffolk University in 2006 investigated the costs of building 126 Boston-area schools. It found project labor agreements raised winning bids for school construction projects by 12% and actual construction costs by 14%.

Boston's Big Dig, Seattle's Safeco field, Los Angeles's Eastside Reservoir project, the San Francisco airport, Detroit's Comerica Park—all were built under PLAs marked by embarrassing cost overruns. We'd list more, but newsprint is expensive.

The White House went out of its way to note that the Supreme Court has upheld such agreements in the past, suggesting it has a guilty conscience. In fact, the High Court has never ruled on the legality of these agreements under federal competitive bidding laws. Industry groups are now threatening legal action to defend the rights of workers who will be denied employment for the crime of not sporting Obama-Biden bumper stickers. It's a fight worth having.

I for one hope that the quivering sissies in the Republican Party man up and actually do something besides have Boehner do another flip-out in front of the Demo-rat crime squad in Congress. Just maybe someone has some balls somewhere........

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

1946, 1994, 2010 Knock Down the Dem Ducks All in a Row

Michael Barone compares the Republican victory of 1946 with circumstances surrounding the November, 2010 elections and finds interesting similarities.

I thought it would be interesting to look back at the biggest Republican victory of the last 80 years, the off-year election of 1946. Republicans in that election gained 13 seats in the Senate and emerged with a 51–45 majority there, the largest majority that they enjoyed between 1930 and 1980. And they gained 55 seats in the House, giving them a 246–188 majority in that body, the largest majority they have held since 1930. The popular vote for the House was 53% Republican and 44% Democratic, a bigger margin than Republicans have won ever since. And that’s even more impressive when you consider that in 1946 Republicans did not seriously contest most seats in the South. In the 11 states that had been part of the Confederacy, Democrats won 103 of 105 seats and Republicans won only 2 seats in east Tennessee. In the 37 non-Confederate states, in contrast, Republicans won 246 of 330 seats, compared to only 85 for Democrats.

One large similarity:
First, Democrats were promising (or threatening) to vastly increase the size and scope of government. Government’s share of gross domestic product had risen to over 40% in World War II, and it was obvious that there would be some scaling back. At the same time, the Allied victory in World War II had enhanced the prestige of the state, just as the 1930s Depression weakened faith in free markets. In Britain, the 1942 Beveridge Report urged creating a welfare state after the war, and the Labour Party won a resounding victory in the July 1945 election and promptly proceeded to adopt the Beveridge recommendations and more.

In the United States, Franklin Roosevelt in his January 1944 State of the Union address echoed the Beveridge Report. As I pointed out in my 1990 book Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan, he called for “steeply graduated taxes, government controls on crop prices and food prices [and] continued controls on wages . . . Government should guarantee everyone a job, an education, and clothing, housing, medical care, and financial security against the risks of old age and sickness.” “True individual freedom,” Roosevelt said, “cannot exist without economic security and independence.”

Roosevelt, who declared after Pearl Harbor that he was no longer Dr. New Deal but was now Dr. Win the War, was clearly contemplating returning to his former role after the war was over. This despite the fact that in his second term the New Deal was proving unpopular. Gallup polls from 1937 to 1940 saw majorities opposing Roosevelt’s never-enacted “Third New Deal” and supporting cuts in government spending, favoring curbs in the power of labor unions, and opposing welfare programs. Majorities said that New Deal programs were deterring businesses from creating jobs. Roosevelt was evidently calculating that government’s success in the war effort would transform public opinion, as it indeed did in Britain.

There are some intriguing similarities between the political situation in 1946 and the political situation today. Democrats were promising (or threatening) to vastly increase the size and scope of government.
His successor Harry Truman took the same view. In September 1945, less than a month after the surrender of Japan, he called for continued price controls, a full-employment bill, a higher minimum wage, a public- and private-housing bill, and only limited cuts in the high wartime tax rates. In December 1945 he called for national health insurance.

The second is eerily parallel:
The second similarity is that the Democrats in 1945–1946 were closely allied with labor unions, which were deeply involved in politics and were avidly seeking more members and more bargaining power. At the end of World War II, labor unions represented 27% of the civilian labor force, up from 7% in 1934. This was primarily the result of government action. The Wagner Act passed in 1935 stimulated the growth of Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) unions, which through sitdown strikes (which were plainly illegal) and other tactics organized the major auto, steel, and tire manufacturers between 1937 and 1941. Wartime government regulations encouraged unionization in defense industries. Wartime regulations banned strikes, and John L. Lewis’s United Mineworkers was the only union to defy it. But after the war, anticipating inflation, union leaders demanded sharply higher wages and workers went out on strike. The United Steelworkers got a handsome settlement in February 1946, the United Auto Workers (UAW) did so in March, and in April the railroad unions and the United Mineworkers went out on strike. Truman called for a law allowing the drafting of strikers in May but vetoed legislation to restrict unions’ powers in June. The number one strike year in American history turned out to be 1946. Some 4.6 million workers, more than 10% of the work force, were on strike at one point or another during the year, and strikes accounted for 1.4% of total working time—more than double those in the next highest years, which at that point were all in the future.

Today, of course, the union movement is much smaller. Unions represent only 7% of private-sector employees (but also represent nearly half of public-sector employees, as compared to zero in 1945–1946). But they proved a potent political force in 2008, spending some $400 million and providing highly competent organizers to help elect Democratic candidates. Unions in the mid-1940s were using their growth to increase their political power; now they have been using their political power to try to produce membership growth.

The 79th Congress did not increase union powers, which were already broad under the Wagner Act, but Truman’s veto did prevent it from imposing restrictions on unions. The 111th Congress has refused to seriously consider their card-check bill, which would effectively abolish the secret ballot in private-sector unionization elections, but the stimulus package passed in February 2009 allotted one-third of its funds to state and local governments, which helped preserve the jobs of many public sector union members—and the flow of dues money to public-sector union leaders.

The number one strike year in American history turned out to be 1946. Some 4.6 million workers, more than 10% of the work force, were on strike at one point or another during the year. Union issues were of much higher salience in 1945–1946 than they are today, and in that earlier time Americans tended to favor higher wages for workers to compensate for the end of wartime overtime premiums. But at the same time they supported by large margins limits on union powers and the ability to strike. Gallup polls suggest that that support increased during 1946, just as recent Gallup numbers reveal that opinion about unions has become sharply more negative in 2009 and 2010. The majority seemed to feel then and perhaps feels now that unions had taken advantage of their political alliances to get better treatment for their members than the non-union majority of the population was getting.

Barone does not predict the same crushing defeat of the Democrats, but
The parallels between the political situation in 1946 and 2010 are limited but instructive. Americans once again are faced with proposals that would vastly expand the size and scope of government. And they are faced by proposals to increase the power of labor unions. Public opinion polls show that in 2010, as in 1946, most Americans reject such policies. Republicans in 1946 were prepared to advance policies that turned America away from such policies. The question is whether Republicans in 2010, with the prospect but not the assurance, of winning a majority in the House and perhaps a majority in the Senate, are similarly prepared.

CNN Swirling Downward in Porcelain Maelstrom Bowl

Anderson & Strongboy DungeonMaster out on Bike Parole [h/t: Gawker]

Anderson Cooper cut off his figurative private parts when he last year derided the Tea Party activists with a sexual slur, at once showing his own sleazy sexual orientation and his inner affinity with Keith Overbite in the classless moral leper department. Jon Klein farmed out AC to 60 Minutes so Cooper could do some Brokeback Mountain riding with Scott Pelley, a soul sister with a yen for sidesaddle sex.

Now the Doppelganger of David Brooks named Ross senses an imminent near-death experience in the offing for CNN's news division. Rats like Amanpour are beginning to crawl down the hawsers and the Klueless Klein may have to take a trip to Davey Jones' Locker as he lives out Ted Turner's confident prediction fifteen years ago when Fox went 24/7 that CNN would "crush Fox like a bug." Through his atheistic vodka haze, Ted confused just who was the windshield and who was the bug.

I for one wish a bon voyage to CNN experiment in mediocrity and after having watched Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper combine to get NEGATIVE monies on Celebrity Jeopardy [where they were kept on because celebs compete in final without fear of accountability], I can understand why this collection of second-rate Demo-rats are having such a tough time of it. I can't wait until Larry King sets a new negative dollar record, eclipsing Wolfie's who blew a question on Israel that any third grader would know [WB used to be the DC correspondent for the Jerusalem Post].

MSNBC is going down with flags flying and their freebooting is being rewarded by being hanged as knaves.

Alas, Cooper & Wolf & Campbell are doing an air dance on air for being fools!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Mark Steyn on America's Post-American President

Hillary the Crone recently slapped down the PM of Canada for not inviting Inuit to a meeting of Canadian province chiefs. Imagine if Sarah Palin were Secretary of State and her half-Inuit husband Todd accompanied her to Ottawa! Steyn hits about ten home runs in this five or six para masterpiece.

The Obama administration came into office promising to press the “reset” button with the rest of the world after eight years of the so-called arrogant, swaggering Texan cowboy blundering his way around the planet offending peoples from many lands. Instead, Obama pressed the ejector-seat button: Brits, Czechs, Israelis, Indians found themselves given the brush. I gather the Queen was “amused” by the president’s thoughtful gift of an iPod preloaded with Obama speeches — and, fortunately for Her Majesty, the 160GB model only has storage capacity for two of them, or three if you include one of his shorter perorations. But Gordon Brown would like to be liked by Barack Obama, and can’t understand why he isn’t.

Go to the link above and read the entire piece, with more mordant wit and brilliant humor than all the NYT Sunday Times columns put together---although that is NOT saying much of anything!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Karzai Corruption Echoed by Empty-Headed Lehrer & Obama's State-Controlled Media

mentions that Karza is invited to Washington in May for talks. But Karzai
should fear for his own personal safety according to a diplomat who recently spent some time in Afghanistan who tells me that the US and UN are scapegoating Karzai with highly-inflated charges of corruption which basically is the cost of doing business in Afghanistan. This official says the real problem was the dearth of funding over the last decade and a half as well as misplaced confidence in eradicating an opium poppy agribusiness too prosperous for farmers to abandon and replacing the poppy growers with traditional agricultural produce. These were only two of the many miscalculations the US has made.

The official says that two-thirds or more of the funds allocated to institutions and dispensed by the US and NGOs actually reach the intended recipients. This is under Karzai's first term and by regional standards and previous Afghani benchmarks, is a great improvement. Yet the US and its FOUR ambassadors keep bumping into each other accusing Karzai of malfeasance and incompetence. And Richard Holbrooke has overemployed his trademark bullying and browbeating to such an extent that he is persona non grata in Afghanistan and is basically regarded as a Pakistani agent.

Holbrooke is now effectively lost any cachet with India as well, leaving him pincered in a Pakistani vise which limits his effectiveness as a regional ambassador and effectively means that Hillary Clinton is the only US official able to deal with all three countries. Given her limited time and skills, this means the US regional policy is at a standstill.