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Kevin Jennings Should Resign from Education Department

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:00 pm - September 30, 2009.
Filed under: Gay America,Liberal Hypocrisy

This past month, Michelle Malkin has joined other conservatives in pointing out that Kevin Jennings (who happens to be gay), the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, had, as a young teacher, done nothing to protect of a 15-year old boy from who had told him he was having an affair with an adult (male).  That is, Jennings did not report this to authorities.  (Nor did he, as far as I can tell, confront the man.)

Today, for the first time (as far as I can figure out), he publicly expressed regret for his inaction:

Twenty-one years later I can see how I should have handled this situation differently. I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities. Teachers back then had little training and guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness. I would like to see the office of Safe & Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.

It is troubling, to say the least, that the Administration would tap such a man to serve in the Education Department who detailed the boy’s confession in a book One Teacher in 10, yet did not express regret until long after his appointment.*

The same people who got so worked up (and rightfully so) at the silence of the Catholic Church in the wake of similar conduct among its clergy are silent in the wake of Mr. Jennings’s own silence.  (I guess for such things to excite outrage, the “enabler” must come from a class of those sanctioned for condemnation.)

While Jennings’s wrong pales in comparison to that of the man having sex with the teenager, he still behaved badly, especially given that he was a teacher at the time.  And while it’s generally a good thing to have openly gay people serving in government, Jennings’s prominence does more to hurt the public image of gay people than it does to help it. (more…)

So, Ma’am, how’s this going to create jobs in California?

With nearly one in eight adults in the Golden State out of work, our junior Senator, instead of trying to reduce the burdens on California companies which create jobs seeks to increase them.  Yup, that’s right, ever loyal to her liberal basis and its “climate-change” doomsaying, Mrs. Boxer together with her Massachusetts colleague, John Kerry, “unveiled their cap-and-trade bill energy tax bill today“:

In spite of their claim that this bill will create jobs, portions of the bill suggest the Senators understand that their legislation will be costly for Americans. This is why the bill contains subsidies for people who lose their jobs as a result of the bill’s provisions. . . .

Unlike the Waxman-Markey bill, the Boxer-Kerry permits EPA to move forward with regulations.

Increased regulation will hardly lead to a more favorable business climate.  Yet, with the state she represents shedding jobs, Mrs. Boxer puts forward a bill which anticipates further job losses.

With a state in a crisis, Mrs. Boxer would rather accede to the cries of left-wing environmentalists than put forward policies to create jobs in her jurisdiction.

(H/t Michelle Malkin who has more.)

“Party Gap” cut in half since Obama’s inauguration

According to Gallup, the Democratic advantage in “leaned party identification” has been cut in half since Obama’s inauguation:

Since Barack Obama took office as president in January, the Democratic advantage in leaned party identification has shrunk each quarter, from 13 points in the first quarter (52% to 39%) to 9 points in the second quarter (49% to 40%) and 6 points in the most recent quarter (48% to 42%).

This “six-point spread in leaned party affiliation is the smallest Gallup has measured since 2005.”  During George W. Bush’s second term, “an increasing number of Americans began to align themselves with the Democratic Party.”

Once the Democrats came to power, they could no longer hide their ideology behind their primary mantra (which they’re still chanting in many quarters, particularly New Jersey) of “Bush is bad; we’re not Bush.  Bush is bad; we’re not Bush.  Bush is bad; we’re not Bush.  George W. Bush is bad, bad, bad.  He’s very bad.  So, vote for us ’cause we’re not Bush.”

Now, that people see the kinds of solutions Democrats are offering, they’re turning away from the party.  More of them might find a home in the GOP if the Republican Party were to do a more convincing job of articulating its small government principles, at a time when, Gallup has found, the American people are becoming increasingly skeptical of big government.

Pentagon Journal Airs Criticism of DADT

The winning essay from the 2009 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition criticizing the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) ban against gays openly serving in the military appears in the upcoming issue of Joint Forces Quarterly. This journal is “published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff” and with regards to this essay, The Boston Globe reports:

The views do not necessarily reflect those of Pentagon leaders, but their appearance in a publication billed as the Joint Chiefs’ “flagship’’ security studies journal signals that the top brass now welcomes a debate in the military over repealing the 1993 law that requires gays to hide their sexual orientation, according to several longtime observers of the charged debate over gays in the military.

While decisions on which articles to publish are made by the journal’s editorial board, located at the defense university, a senior military official said yesterday that the office of Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman who is the nation’s top military officer, reviewed the article before it was published.

You can read the essay in its entirety for yourself here (pdf). I found it to be an interesting and fair examination of issues involved not only with the effectiveness of DADT but also with possible results of repealing this ban. The issues addressed for repeal include not only leadership required from command personnel and some heterosexual servicemembers resistant to such a change in policy, but also the need for behavioral changes from some homosexual servicemembers when it comes to “violations of the military regulations governing fraternization between ranks”. While the essay’s author acknowledges that the ban against open service may have to led some condoning this behavior, he rightly states the principle that all proponents of repeal I know of agree with: “Ultimately, homosexuals must be held to the same standards as any others”.

Perhaps most powerful in this essay is the author’s conclusion regarding DADT, which while it may echo much of what proponents of repeal have stated over the years since the policy’s adoption, it carries more weight in my view given the forum in which it is expressed:

The 1993 “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law was a political compromise reached after much emotional debate based on religion, morality, ethics, psychological rationale, and military necessity. What resulted was a law that has been costly both in personnel and treasure. In an attempt to allow homosexual Servicemembers to serve quietly, a law was created that forces a compromise in integrity, conflicts with the American creed of “equality for all,” places commanders in difficult moral dilemmas, and is ultimately more damaging to the unit cohesion its stated purpose is to preserve. Furthermore, after a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly. In fact, the necessarily speculative psychological predictions are that it will not impact combat effectiveness. Additionally, there is sufficient empirical evidence from foreign militaries to anticipate that incorporating homosexuals will introduce leadership challenges, but the challenges will not be insurmountable or affect unit cohesion and combat effectiveness.

It will be interesting to see if White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will continue parsing his responses to questions regarding DADT as the Obama Administration still punts this down field.

— John (Average Gay Joe)

A Military Coup in the US of A? What?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:54 pm - September 30, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,National Politics

Tom Maguire calls it:

the silliest thing I read today, or maybe this year.  The military effecting a civilized, bloodless coup because they don’t like the current leadership?

Ed Morrissey echoes his thoughts and adds, “It’s a lunatic fantasy straight out of Greek theater.”  John Perry, a supposedly conservative columnist at Newsmax is talking about a military intervention here to “defend the constitution” in response to the President’s dithering on Afghanistan.  You don’t defend the constitution by making civilian authority subservient to the military.  That undermines one of its animating ideas, one which George Washington himself particularly appreciated.

In the spirit of the Father of our Country, Morrissey offers a better alternative to Obama’s dithering:

The alternative, non-violent solution is the one we’ve been using for 220 years: elections.  We have another coming in 2010.  If the American people get fed up with the direction of this government, then we will change it in the midterms.  We do not need our military to rescue us from ourselves, thank you very much.

One might excuse this kind of nihilism if it came from a college freshman who had no sense of his own nation’s history, but this comes from a man who served two White House administrations.  There is simply no excuse for this hankering for a banana republic in America from someone who should know much, much better.The alternative, non-violent solution is the one we’ve been using for 220 years: elections.  We have another coming in 2010.

Extremists on the right aren’t the only ones to harbor fantasies of military intervention.  Morrissey notes that Gore Vidal, a gifted writer, but conspiracy-minded leftist also imagines a military dictatorship.  Well, okay, then.

Obama has been blundering badly on any number of issues, but he was elected for four-year term. Military intervention is not the solution to our nation’s problems.  Not the proper response to a flailing Administration.  And that someone claiming to be a conservative would suggest as much indicates a man unfamiliar with the ideas of the ideology he ostensibly espouses.

UPDATE:  Despite left-wing attempts to call Perry a mainstream conservative (see the comments below), he is anything but:

The fact of the matter is that John L. Perry is not a conservative. In fact his bio page says that he’s worked for Jimmy Carter, a Democrat governor of Florida and other Democrat Party institutions.

Why isn’t the New York Times investigating Buffy Wicks?

This past weekend, I, like many conservative bloggers, weighed in on Clark Hoyt’s Sunday New York Times column about his paper’s sloth in reporting several stories which right-leaning websites had broken.  As Hoyt acknowledged the Old Gray Lady’s errors, you’d think the paper, in addition to appointing what James Taranto has termed, “Secret Agent Editors” to monitor the rightosphere, might show that it means business by working double time to crack open even further stories that first appeared on the web.

They might want to investigate the claim by the new chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Rocco Landesman that “former NEA Director of Communications [Yosi Sergant was acting] unilaterally* and without the approval or authorization of then-Acting Chairman Patrice Walker Powell” when he initiated a conference call urging artists (recipients of his agency’s grants) to help push Obamacare.

As far as the NEA was concerned, Yosi may well have been acting unilaterally.  But, others in the Administration knew of his actions; another Obama appointee was in on the call, Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.  If this White House official was in on a call with one federal agency and its supposedly non-partisan grant recipients, then it stands to reason she (or one of her colleagues) may have participated in other such investigations.

Why isn’t the Times delving further to see if this was an isolated occurrence or standard practice at the Obama White House?  Maybe there were other such calls–but this was the only one that happened to be recorded.

Are journalists from news outlets like the Times trying to make up for their failure to get these stories by digging deeper, perhaps trying to gain access to White House phone records–or even to probe Ms. Wicks herself to ask her why she participated on this call?  Who put her up to this?  Did other people in the White House know, say her boss, Valerie Jarrett or the President’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel? (more…)

And they say Republicans are the Party of “No”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:01 am - September 30, 2009.
Filed under: 2009 Elections,Media Bias

It is amusing how many people in my circle who delighted in the Democrats’ triumph last fall (and thus would not seem to have any interest in a Republican revival) have been telling me just what the GOP needs do to remain viable.  And from what I’ve read on the web, they’re not alone.  Other lefties lately smug in Obama’s triumph dispense reams of advice to the GOP.

They tell me the GOP can’t win if it remains the party of “No,” yet are at pains to remember what exactly the Democrats stood for in 2006 when they won congressional majorities.  (And many of them can’t really identify what Obama stood for beyond Hope and Change.  Oh, and yeah, and that he wasn’t George W. Bush.)

Well, perhaps these Democrats (and assorted leftists) should dispense some advice to the Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia.  Although he’s been Governor of the Garden State for nearly four years, Democrat Jim Corzine prefers to run against George W. Bush who’s been out of office for nearly nine months:

A cruise through the Corzine campaign Web site shows press releases referring to [Republican challenger Chris] Christie as “Bush Republican Chris Christie.” One of many Bush-themed ads carries this tag-line: “Chris Christie—the same Bush policies that got us into this mess.” And at a Corzine rally this past weekend, the Press of Atlantic City reports former Vice President Al Gore revving up the crowd with attacks suggesting that Mr. Christie represents “the George Bush wing of the Republican Party.”

Attack, attack, attack seems to be the Demorats’ New Jersey mantra. And it’s pretty much the same in old Virginia.  Weighing in on both races, Jim Geraghty offers:

. . . the two Democrats running for governor this year, Jon Corzine in New Jersey and Creigh Deeds in Virginia, have run almost entirely negative campaigns since the primaries ended. Complaints from the usual mainstream-media suspects aren’t completely missing, but they seem pretty quiet this year.

Guess these stories don’t fit the narrative that allows for left-wingers to lecture us Republicans on how we can act so as not to fit the caricature they have drawn of us.

Roman Polanski: Brilliant Filmmaker and a Criminal

In my view, Chinatown (even though the ending leaves me feeling off) ranks alongside Star Wars and Rocky as one of the best movies of the 1970s.  It earned Roman Polanski his second (of four) Oscar nominations for Best Director (and deservedly so).

He also raped a 13- year-old girl and has been much in the news lately since his arrest Saturday in Switzerland on an “arrest warrant stemming from a sex charge in California“.

I don’t have much to add to what a number of bloggers and pundits have said, highlighting the double standards of those Hollywood types who want bygones to be bygones and are outraged by the arrest.  My friend John Nolte sums it up:

Pleading guilty to unlawful sex with an underage girl — the drugging, raping and sodomizing of a 13 year-old — isn’t stopping Hollywood from ginning up an indignation campaign over the possibility of fugitive director Roman Polanski being held accountable for his crimes. Yes, these are the values of those who control the most powerful propaganda device ever created.  Which begs a question: If his unspeakable deed doesn’t meet the standard, what exactly would Roman Polanski have to do in order to become a pariah in this town … I mean, besides vote for Sarah Palin?

Read the whole thing.  Somehow if you’re a great artiste, some Hollywood types contend, you should be excused for such indiscretions.  Sorry, but no.

Yes, Polanski is a great artist, one of the most gifted filmmakers of our time.  He also raped a 13-year-old girl.  The one does not excuse the other.  He’s been accused of a serious crime, should be tried in a court of law and punished severely if found guilty. He pleaded guilty to the charge and fled the country before his sentencing. He should be punished severely for this anything but minor infraction. [Thanks to my readers for alerting me to the error in the original.] (more…)