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We’re Back!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:34 pm - April 30, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging

Sorry to those of you who had to endure being directed to some Russian porn cite.  Someone hacked our site in the wee hours of the morning.  Our webmeister extraordinaire is looking into this and we hope to track down who did this and press charges if necessary.

Political Self-Interest Made Charlie Do It

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:36 am - April 30, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Marco Rubio

I don’t much care for opportunists.  When New York Mayor MIchael Bloomberg left the GOP and became an independent, I wrote:

Except for the people who are deliberately mean and hateful, seeking to harm others — and those who are inconsiderate, indifferent to the feelings of others, I find opportunists to be the most irritating sort of human being. They don’t seem to believe in anything but their own advancement.

With his announcement yesterday, Florida Governor Charlie Crist showed himself to be just an individual, putting himself above all else.  His erstwhile rival for the GOP nomination (and current rival for the U.S. Senate) Marco Rubio nailed it when he told ABC’s Terry Moran that the switch

. . . has nothing to do with ideas or principles or ideology; it’s about, quite frankly, political convenience. It’s about someone who wants to continue his career in politics and doesn’t believe he can do that this year within the Republican Party.

Former Florida Jeb Bush agrees, “This decision is not about policy or principles.  It is about what he believes is in his political self-interest.


And I don’t think his opportunism is going to pay off.  With video clips showing the Governor saying he has no intention of leaving the GOP, declaring  to support his then-party’s nominee, he’s going to be hard pressed to justify his move as a matter of principle.  Republican policy has shifted significantly in the past three weeks.

If anyone’s changed, it’s Charlie, suddenly vetoing bills he once supported, calling a political system “broken” that once nurtured him.  (According to Daniel Foster that was “the one billionth time an American political candidate has used that particular phrase to justify the pursuit of a personal ambition.“) (more…)

This is what violent protest looks like

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:03 am - April 30, 2010.
Filed under: Anti-Western Attitudes,Hysteria on the Left

Protesters were waiting for Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to Britain Talya Lador-Fresher outside a lecture hall at the University of Manchester

. . . but this did not deter her from entering as planned. Immediately upon her exit, the protesters lunged at the diplomat, prompting security guards to whisk her back into the hall. Following a consultation on the site, it was decided to escort her out of the premises in a police car.

The deputy ambassador was removed from the hall and into the police vehicle. However, this did not block the protesters, who surrounded the car and climbed on the hood, trying to break the windshield.

Have we ever seen Tea Party protesters so gang up on a spokesman for or defender of the Obama Administration?  Climbing aboard a police vehicle and trying to smash its windshield?

So, do you think we might get a media narrative about the violence of anti-Israel protesters?  And hear some criticism of this angry extremists from our talking heads, you know, like the hectoring we hear about the Tea Parties?

(What) Was Connie Mack Thinking?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 7:28 pm - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: Illegal Immigration,Republican Embarrassments

You’re subscribing to NRO‘s Morning Jolt from Jim Geraghty (I always have to cut-and-paste his name…that spelling is beyond me), right?

Yesterday he had a great piece in his daily newsletter that outlined the much more moderated, level-headed, and sober criticism of Arizona’s new immigration law. (You know, the one MSNBC declared “Makes it a Crime to be [an] Illegal Immigrant”.) I’ll cut and paste at length below the jump.

Well, leave it to Connie Mack, a guy who represents the 14th CD of Florida (which includes not a border with a dangerously unstable narco-nation, but, rather Naples) to destroy the concept of a temperate and reasoned objection (of which, admittedly, there are some):

This law of ‘frontier justice’ – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause

Perhaps Representative Mack should do some investigating before he opened his mouth. The part I highlighted above is completely untrue and misrepresents the law totally. It could have come from Keith Olbermann. Maybe it did.

Clearly put, the law requires law enforcement to check citizenship only while engaged in “lawful contact, i.e., pulled over already for, say, speeding or hazardously driving. Can this law perhaps be abused by bad cops? Abso-freakin’-lutely. But so can all the laws up to now. Not that this isn’t a legitimate concern, but to characterize this as some sort of Hitler-esque Stasi move is ridiculous and below a Congressman. Espeically a Republican one. Having an issue with this and it making one feel uncomfortable is fair. I’m not totally sold on it myself. But come on, Connie.

(more…)

Will The UN Now Elect Ahmadinejad Grand Marshal of its Gay Pride Parade?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:08 pm - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: Useless Nations

I believe this is the first time I have even chosen to put one of my posts in a category Bruce created, “Useless Nations.” Well, today the UN seems pretty useless, given the election of “Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged ‘immodest.’

Asking us to ”have a look at what the newest defender of international women’s rights is up to these days”, Allahpundit opines:

This is the same group whose Human Rights Council includes luminaries like China and Saudi Arabia. See now why Ahmadinejad always includes a passage in his annual speech about expanding the number of permanent members in the Security Council or giving more power to the General Assembly? In the interest of “equality,” there’s no laugh test for exerting influence at the UN.

Jennifer Rubin notes one nation that didn’t object to this choice:

The U.S. couldn’t muster a word of opposition — not even call for a vote. That would be because . . . why? Because our policy is not to confront and challenge the brutal regime for which rape and discrimination are institutionalized policies. No, rather, we are in the business of trying to ingratiate ourselves, and making the U.S. as inoffensive as possible to the world’s thugocracies. We’d no sooner object to Iran on the UN Commission on the Status of Women than we would leave the UN Council on Human Rights.

Gosh, it sure helps having women at the helm of our nation’s foreign policy and representing us at the UN.

Money Bomb for Matthew Berry

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:48 pm - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Noble Republicans,Virginia Politics

Over at On the Right in Virginia, Garrett Watson has launched a Money Bomb for Matthew Berry.

Matthew is the first candidate this blog endorsed in the 2010 elections. Openly gay and fiscally conservative, this smart young man clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and is running against Jim Moran, one of only 15 House members to vote this past Tuesday to raise his own pay.

So, instead of supporting a Congressman who wants to increase the federal debt by raising his own salary, join me in helping fill the coffers of Berry’s campaign so he can amplify his conservative message in a very blue district in Northern Virginia.

To hold together the “Coalition of the Oppressed,”
European Gays Largely Silent about Anti-Gay Islamic Bigotry

In contrast to modern American conservatism which is a movement based on an idea, modern liberalism appears more a coalition based on a series of grievances.  We on the right strive to promote policies which promote freedom at home and abroad.  Those on the left seek to promote policies which punish (or otherwise constrain) the “oppressors,” be they corporations, Western militaries or white men in general, particularly those of the heterosexual Christian sort.

The dilemma for the left comes when elements of their coalition of the oppressed come into conflict.  In the British publication, the Standpoint, Peter Whittle offers a hypothetical about a gay man teaching “in a state school in an area with a large Muslim population“:

It throws into sharp relief the dilemma which has petrified the Left and its fellow-travellers within the social, educational and cultural establishment. When two parts of your worldview collide, when your traditional support for gay rights conflicts with your staunch and uncritical support of ethnic minority cultures, what do you do? Relativism has tied your hands. You conjure the possible intellectual somersaults you could perform to justify your reasoning. And then you stay silent.

This silence, Whittle writes,

. . .ignores the widespread intolerance of homosexuality throughout the Muslim communities, which in Britain are growing up to ten times the rate of the rest. This community can only increase in power and predominance, especially when faced with a weak, vacillating establishment which will do anything to avoid making a scene, let along stand up for Western liberal values.

And it seems that for many gays on the left, those “liberal values” only kick in when the oppressor is not an approved “victim” group as, to many, Muslim groups have become:

Gays are pretty sensitive when it comes to detecting possible future persecution, which makes the relative silence about Islam — whether from denial or simple ignorance — all the more worrying. I’ve certainly found, when bringing up the subject on my travels around gay London, that one is usually met with the response: “Ah, well: it’s those Christian fundamentalists that worry me.” (more…)

Ol’ Opportunistic Charlie

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:14 pm - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Marco Rubio

“Nobody,” Jim Geraghty writes in this morning’s Jolt, “switches parties when they’re a winner.”

The outgoing Florida governor’s decision to bolt the GOP, as Nick put it yesterday, has everything to do with ambition and little to do with the best interests of the Sunshine State.  Oh, well, except in the mind of Charlie Crist who somehow believes that he and he alone has the capacity to represent Florida in the United States Senate.

The one-time Republican has already, tin cup in hand, reached out for support the one of the most partisan members of this Administration. Rahm Emanuel didn’t pick up.

Expect him to lose the endorsements of prominent Republicans who have previously backed him.  Expect previously fence-sitting Republicans in the state, like the popular former Governor (and future presidential contender?) Jeb Bush to come out for Marcio Rubio.  Crist’s fundraising was already slowing down.  It may well start drying up.  And some Republicans who supported the candidate when he was making a bid for the GOP nomination will be asking for their money back.

It didn’t have to come to this; Jim Geraghty looks at all the mistakes this once-popular politician made in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

With most Florida Republicans likely to rally around Rubio, it’s hard to see where Crist will draw his support. To be sure, he may still have a reservoir of good will among certain Sunshine State voters.  But, will they stay with him if Marco  Rubio surges in the general election matchups as he has in the Republican primary?   Charlie’s only real path to victory is to push the Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek out of the race — or somehow make him irrelevant and pick up the slack among center-left voters.

A year ago, Charlie Crist was in many ways the future of the GOP, a handsome man with a winning smile and a knack for getting things done, elected on the Republican ticket in a swing state in a Democratic year.  Unless he manages to eke out a victory this fall (a possibility, to be sure, but one I wouldn’t bet on), a year hence, he’ll be little more than a footnote in Florida history, a one-term governor with little prospect for higher office or national prominence.

UPDATE:  Peter Wehner doesn’t mince words when commenting on Crist’s decision:

People like Charlie Crist, consumed by personal ambition and devoid of scruples about breaking their word, make the public cynical about politics. Crist will, I suspect, pay a high price for what he has done, since his motivations are so transparent and unprincipled.

Is Log Cabin burning down?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:36 pm - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: Log Cabin Republicans

Over at GayConservative.org, Mark has a post on the declining fortunes of the Log Cabin Republicans.  Interesting he doesn’t mention the last head of the organization, Patrick Sammon, who might have been able to save the group had his predecessor, Patrick Guerriero, not so depleted its coffer and destroyed its credibility among rank-and-file Republicans.  Or maybe Guerriero had just done the honorable thing and stepped down immediately after, his best efforts notwithstanding, George W. Bush won reelection in 2004.

Mark contends that, “Guerriero is single-handedly responsible for igniting the fire currently burning down the log cabin.”  Now, I don’t entirely agree, but agree he’s onto something.  The rot had already begun to set in before Guerriero took over.  He just made it worse.  He bent over backwards to repair the damaged relations between Log Cabin and the various gay organizations.

He didn’t understand the difference between being civil with (and keeping open lines of communication to) those groups and carrying water for them.  During the 2004 election, first the Democratic vice presidential nominee, then the presidential nominee himself gave Log Cabin leaders a chance to show that their non-endorsement of Bush really was a statement of neutrality in the presidential race.

When each candidate successively brought up the sexuality of then-Vice President’s daughter, instead of just chastising John Kerry and John Edwards, Guerriero’s Log Cabin devoted more space in their press release on the topic to trashing George W. Bush and Karl Rove.  It’s as if they saw their mission as attacking their fellow Republicans.  Why did they feel it incumbent upon themselves to trash their party in a release on the errors of the other party’s nominee?

It seems they were more eager to get media attention than to change the party.  For we all know how the media loves stories about Republican division.

Mark, however, contends that a gay GOP should work from within:

The fact is, when you claim to be a Republican organization, you should be supporting Republicans – especially when you are the only Republican organization representing gays. Even when Republican gays and Republican candidates don’t see eye to eye on LGBT issues, it is far better to work for change from within the party, than by attacking the party.

There’s more to Mark’s piece and I recommend you just read the whole thing.   (more…)

The Coming End of Liberals Who “Cry ‘Racism’ at Every Turn”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:00 am - April 29, 2010.
Filed under: New Media

Back in 1996, I had a telling conversation with a liberal acquaintance over Proposition 209, then pending before the voters of California.  The initiative provided that the state “state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

When I defended the proposition, holding that the state should not discriminate on the basis of minority status, my interlocutor told me that its passage meant that public universities in the Golden State would as a result be overwhelmingly Asian.  So, I replied, if that’s the demographic breakdown you get when you judge by merit, then so be it.

He was stunned, assuming that I had supported Prop 209 for racial reasons.  He assumed I had wanted a mostly white student body at California public universities.  (I identified one of this man’s prejudiced assumptions.  See if you can spot another.)

This conversation came to mind when I read today a Christian Science Monitor article linked on at least two of my favorite blogs.

“A bright line was crossed on the 20th [of March],” says Christina Botteri, a spokeswoman for the Tea Party Federation. “The left constantly attacks conservatives as racist, as dumb, as evil, but what happened on the 20th is a sitting congressman, with the full voice and credibility of the House of Representatives, accused a group of citizens with whom he philosophically disagrees of assault and then refused to help find the persons responsible. They need to help us find the people responsible or apologize for making it up.”

Emphasis added. It seems, as Elizabeth Scalia puts it, “strange how Democrats in power seem to be incapable of doing anything, anymore, but cry “racism” at every turn? This is not the sign of a party (or an ideology) secure in itself.”

And maybe now we’re seeing what some have called a “paradigm shift” with conservatives having gained the media clout to stand up to the oft-repeated and long inaccurate accusation.  From the Monitor: (more…)

The Obamacare Folly & the 2010 Elections

Just getting to my (Wednesday) morning e-mail and caught this in Jim Geraghty‘s Morning Jolt where he pondered the possibility that 2010 could be an even bigger GOP year than 1994:

At Red State, Moe Lane breaks down the numbers and concludes, “The Democrats’ problem is not that the youth vote is less enthusiastic about voting against Republican candidates: it’s that their support from voters between 30 and 64 has apparently taken similar nosedives. And that over-65 voters appear even more ready to vote Republican this go-round.”

Or maybe it’s by the memo from Carville’s firm declaring: “Health care’s passage did not produce even a point rise in the president’s approval rating or affection for the Democratic Congress. Virtually every key tracking measure in April’s poll has remained unchanged, including the Democrats’ continued weakness on handling of the economy.” I concluded that the Democrats convinced themselves that they would get a bounce from passing Obamacare because they simply couldn’t face the alternative.

Now, I’m on record predicting that an 80-seat GOP pickup would not be out of the question if congressional Democrats passed the president’s unpopular health care overhaul.  And I never believed passage would improve the president’s popularity — or that of Congress.

What Jim’s post really did was remind me (yet again of the arrogance of the Obama Democrats.  They, as numerous bloggers and pundits on the right have said, misread their mandate.  They saw in a vote for change and against George W. Bush, a vote to give their party carte blanche for legislative action.  And just assumed the people would go along because it was they who were acting and not W and those nasty Republicans.

In short, they projected their own prejudices onto the American people, thinking that they hated the GOP as much as they did.  They saw the GOP’s low numbers in 2008 and well into 2009 and just assumed people weren’t ready to return to the Republican fold. (more…)

Crist Bolts

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 1:53 pm - April 28, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

I woke up this morning and a random thought hit me: What the hell is going on lately with Charlie Crist in Florida?

You know he’s been being trounced by actual conservative Marco Rubio in the Republican primary race. Thoughts and suspicions and even an errant poll were flying around about a possible independent run by Crist if he didn’t gain the nomination. But time has been a factor: The deadline to apply to run would have been this Saturday.

Crist, with only a few days to spare today declared himself an independent candidate for the Senate seat.

Doesn’t look good for him anyway, as the latest poll throws cold water on the second-most-recent one that had him running barely ahead of Rubio in a three-way race. The most recent numbers show him coming in second currently, with Rubio at 37%, Crist at 30%, and Hopeless Democrat (and aply named) Kendrick Meek at 22%.

Seems to me Crist’s bolting of the GOP (not to mention his recent sop to the teachers’ unions) will likely curry favor with the Left in Florida. IF that’s the case, it seems more likely he’ll split not the conservative vote, but the Democrat votes.

Keep in mind, of course, that these were his words:

Question: Are you ruling out that you will file as an Independent by the April 30th dealine?
Crist: That’s right.

Question: Will you support the winner of the GOP primary, whether it’s you or Marco Rubio?
Crist: Of course I will. Of course I will.

Question: You will not run on the NO Party Affiliation line?
Crist: That’s right. That’s right. That’s what I’m saying.

Do you suppose such integrity will curry much favor with Florida voters? We’ll have to wait to see, but it’s sure heating up down in the Sunshine State. I do believe a new poll is due out from Rasmussen tomorrow, but it likely won’t be reflective of the new landscape in this race. Stay tuned!

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Yawn! FoxNews Hits 100th Month of Ratings Dominance

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:58 am - April 28, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias,New Media

Guess there will always be a market for something that’s not being sold, but for which people have long been clamoring:

Fox News Channel has been the top-rated cable news network for a long time, but until this month it was only for double-digit months.

Well it’s now official – FNC is number one in April for the 100th consecutive month.

The streak began in January 2002, when FNC became the most watched cable news channel in prime time and total day in total viewers, surpassing industry leader CNN. It hasn’t looked back.

And this all could have been avoided if CNN and the new divisions of the broadcast networks had been a little more, well, fair and balanced.

Bar a “gay” dog, pay a fine, attend sensitivity training seminar

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:07 pm - April 27, 2010.
Filed under: Dogs,Gay PC Silliness,Liberalism Run Amok

Something escaped me when I read Bruce’s post on the Australia restaurant “refused a blind man entry because a waiter thought his guide dog was “’gay’”.  It hadn’t registered when I first read the post that a government panel is requiring that the bozos at the restaurant pay a fine for their strange behavior:

The Equal Opportunity Tribunal ruled that the Thai Spice restaurant in Adelaide must pay Ian Jolly [blind man] almost $1,400 for barring him from eating because of confusion about the sexuality of his guide dog, Nudge. . . .

The tribunal ruled that on top of the fine, workers at the restaurant — which reportedly displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign — must send Jolly a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course.

Now, of course, Bruce had all this stuff in his post, but I focused more on his clever concluding comment than on the statist aspect of this action.

And as I read it again and check it against other coverage of the event, this state-sanctioned punishment strikes me as silly as the exclusion.  I would never patronize a restaurant which refused to serve a blind man because he had a gay guide dog.  I believe that people should “punish” the restaurant by similarly refusing to eat there.  But, that punishment is not the province of the state.

But, now we’ve got a state tribunal requiring the restaurant and its employees to (1) pay a fine; (2) issue an apology and (3) attend an education course.  Seems like someone is carrying things just a little too far.  But, then, state officials don’t want to be seen as anything less than perfectly PC.

Did Obama officials delay release of report on costs of health care overhaul until after House vote (on Obamacare)? (bumped)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:04 pm - April 27, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obama Health Care Tax/Regulation

While Nick reports more surprises for businesses in the Democats’ health care overhaul, David Freddoso at the Washington Examiner reports that the Administration may have deliberately delayed the release of a report showing the legislation would increase costs.  The analysis done by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary may have been on Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ desk “a week before the vote“.

According to the Prowler:

The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.

The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”

Emphasis added.  Can you imagine the media outcry if evidence had emerged that the Bush Administration suppressed a report on the cost of one of its programs?  Come to think of it I do recall some story emerging about officials cooking the books on the costs of his prescription drug plan.

Let’s see if this story makes any mainstream media outlet and see if they investigate to see what Obama officials knew and when they knew it.  I expect the media will show the same diligence with this story as they did with reports of violence and name-calling at rallies against government policies.

UPDATE:  Over at Ace, the fetching Gabriel Malor has more:

So in addition to midnight votes and bribes to reluctant Congressmen, the Obama folks sat on government reports, reports that the taxpayers paid for, which would have shined a light on the President’s healthcare reform lies. And that’s what they were. He can’t plead ignorance. His own actuaries were telling him it would raise premiums while he was going on TV and saying the opposite.

UP-UPDATE: The answer to the question posed in the title may be in the negative.

About General Jones’ Joke: UPDATED

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 6:03 pm - April 27, 2010.
Filed under: Humor,Nick Doesn't Get It

As Dan blogged yesterday, National Security Advisor General James Jones over the weekend started his remarks to the Washington Institute For Near East Policy with a joke I heard when I was in grade school.*

Quite the furor from all sides. Nobody seems to be giving the guy a pass here. As usual, I find I’m the only one who seems to feel the way I do. Which is:

Two things:
First: Um, it was a joke. Without getting into a long discussion of the use of hyperbole and stereotype in humor, I’ll leave it at: Some stuff’s funny, some stuff’s not. I don’t think Jones did a great job with his delivery (took way too long), and perhaps any joke with racial or cultural overtones would be inappropriate if you’re representing your boss. But it was a joke. Have we grown so calous as a Nation to the actual things going on around us that it’s peoples’ choice of humor that drives us so mad with indignation? Isn’t that (granted, on a much, much smaller scale) what we’re fighting against?

Second: I have much more problem with this Administration’s anti-Israel positions than the jokes his NSA tells. Here’s a guy who brow-beats Israel for building apartments in Jerusalem. (Um, is there any part of the “peace process” that takes that off the table?) Here’s a guy who is cuddling up with Syria. Here’s a guy who seems, shall we say, cavalier about Iranian nukes. Here’s a guy who treats their head of state like some sort of pariah. Looking for some sort of “undertone” or “hidden anti-Semitic agenda” in a silly joke is along the lines of the old sledge-hammer analogy. Obama’s anti-Israel agenda is pretty clear to see.

What I care about is what he’s doing. There’s enough there to not spend my energy getting too wound up about a joke.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

*(Full disclosure, when I was a kid, I knew an old Jewish guy. He loved his Jewish jokes, thus early on I was exposed to the self-depricating humor one appreciates when he’s a wise old guy. Methinks this has a lot to do, also, with my historic lack of sensitivity to most charges of “racism” based only on things someone says, rather than his actions. Perhaps having been raised out West and among tolerant people, I developed my aw, get over it reaction to perceived slights.)

UPDATE (from Dan): Nick, it’s one thing for a Jew to tell a self-deprecating joke. It’s quite another for a man with a questionable record on Israel telling the joke. Not just that, given the Administration’s anti-Israel positions, it showed a terrible absence of judgment. There’s no problem with telling a joke. That’s not the issue here. The issue is the context which you get at with your second point.

There is an emerging tension between this Administration and its Jewish supporters as per its Israel policies. (See e.g., this Jewish Obama supporter‘s lament.) And this joke exacerbated the tensions while playing into the worst stereotypes of Jews.

Ol’ Yellow Dog Waxman Won’t Suffer for his Latest “Fail”

If my Congressman, Henry Waxman, were in any other line of work, he would long since have lost his job, but alas for us, he’ll remain in Congress.  The wily Henry is the modern day equivalent of a “Yellow Dog” Democrat.  (“The term ‘yellow dog’ derives from the saying, ‘I’d vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic ticket.’“)

Like Chris Dodd, Waxman was first elected to Congress before the president entered high school.  He represents a district that regularly votes for Democratic presidential candidates by a two-to-one margin.  The 18-term Democrat always wins more than 60% of the vote, with his lowest tally being 61% in 1992.  As long as he keeps that (D) after his name, ol’ Henry will keep his job.  To paraphrase Edwin Edwards, he wouldn’t lose an election even if he were “caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.

No wonder that he, in the wake of Obamcare’s passage, companies “declared that a provision of the new health care law would hurt earnings”, rushed to judgment, summoning “some of the nation’s top executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment that the new national health care reform law will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses.”  He knew he would suffer no electoral consequences for what Glenn Reynolds (who alerted me to the New York Times article linked above) called a “fail,” should this rush to judgment prove too hasty.

Times reporter Robert Pear notes that “after investigating, House Democrats have concluded that the companies were right to tell investors and the government about the expected adverse effects of the law on their financial results.”

In the business world, Waxman would at minimum be disciplined, more likely demoted, maybe even fired for his hasty action.  But, I doubt Speaker Pelosi will relieve him of his position as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Nor will he suffer at the ballot box.  In a district such as ours, the (D) after his name relieves him of all responsibility for mistakes as egregious as this; it’s like a “Get out of Jail Free” card.

So, even if, as per Ed Morrissey’s sarcastic suggestion that Waxman demand “his own Democratic colleagues in the House appear before his Oversight committee to explain why they have corroborated thoseeeeeeeeeeeevil corporations who announced writedowns after ObamaCare passed“, he won’t suffer any political consequences. (more…)

Businesses Fleeing Barbara Boxer’s California

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:53 pm - April 27, 2010.
Filed under: California politics,Economy

in a post where the Campaign Spot’s Jim Geraghty reported how the the Washington Post, can find No Good News in Bob McDonnell’s Virginia, he shows where the real bad news is in Barbara Boxer’s California:

How much does the Washington Post hate Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell? Well, Northrup Grumman, one of the 100 largest companies in the country, announced yesterday that it is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to northern Virginia.

(Emphasis added.)  That’ll help boost the unemployment figures in Los Angeles County where currently one in eight citizens are out of work.

In another post, Jim made a video of a number of empty store fronts in Northern Virginia, reminding me that I need to do the same in southern California.

Now, I wonder what, if anything, Mrs. Boxer did to prevent Northrup Grumman from leaving.  And what plans she has to make California a more attractive place for business.

Of group blogs & gratuitously offending (bumped)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:12 pm - April 27, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Freedom

Just because Bruce, Nick and I write for the same blog doesn’t mean we always agree.  Nor does it mean that we always approve of the others’ posts.  To be sure, there are times when we coordinate — or share a draft with one another before publishing it, but more often than not (like in about 97.43% of the time), each just posts his piece without consulting the others.

I did  not think it appropriate for him to use this blog promote Draw Mohammed Day.  In the comment thread I agreed with Banzel:

Not a good idea to gratuitously offend tens of millions of people (think depictions of Christ in urine or dung, or blackface displays). All it accomplishes is showing how shallow and unimaginative the purveyor is.

Put some thought into it. There’s got to be a better way to respond to hate than by fanning the flames of a pretext it uses to thrive on.

Since this story broke, I chanced upon Ann Althouse’s take and agree wholeheartedly with this Badger State blogress diva:

I have endless contempt for the threats/warnings against various cartoonists who draw Muhammad (or a man in a bear suit who might be Muhammad, but is actually Santa Claus). But depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats. In pushing back some people, you also hurt a lot of people who aren’t doing anything (other than protecting their own interests by declining to pressure the extremists who are hurting the reputation of their religion).

I don’t like the in-your-face message that we don’t care about what other people hold sacred. Back in the days of the “Piss Christ” controversy, I wouldn’t have supported an “Everybody Dunk a Crucifix in a Jar of Urine Day” to protest censorship. Dunking a crucifix in a jar of urine is something I have a perfect right to do, but it would gratuitously hurt many Christian bystanders to the controversy. I think opposing violence (and censorship) can be done in much better ways.

I agree.  Read the whole thing.

More Surprises for Businesses in the SoHCA2010

Apparently, tucked away inside the Stalinization of Health Care Act of 2010 was yet another little tidbit that will make doing business in America a nightmare of headaches. No, this isn’t even the Stalinization of student loans…

When an independent contractor (say, a business consultant or interior decorator, etc.) does work for another business, he’s paid on contract and the client usually issues an IRS Form 1099. A 1099 (to simplify) basically takes the place of a W-2. Since the independent businessman doesn’t have a “boss” who issues him checks, this is how the IRS keeps track of his income through this work. Now, a 1099 isn’t like writing a receipt. It’s a very intrusive document that collects information like Tax ID numbers, addresses and contact information, state and federal tax witholdings. The simple IRS instructions only take eight pages, though. Fortunately, however, these forms aren’t needed for every contractor or service provider or person from whom you buy something. Oh, until now:

Thanks to SoHCA2010, there are new and much more onerous regulations for anybody who runs a business and purchases goods and services–which is every business. An accounting firm called RIA reports:

The 2010 Health Care Act adds “amounts in consideration for property” (Code Sec. 6041(a) as amended by 2010 Health Care Act §9006(b)(1)) and “gross proceeds” (Code Sec. 6041(a) as amended by 2010 Health Care Act §9006(b)(2)) to the pre-2010 Health Care Act categories of payments for which an information return to IRS will be required.

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