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Sometimes a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - January 31, 2011.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness,GOProud

You know, I always thought that for someone to be anti-gay, they had to make clear, through words or actions, their animus against gay people.  We do see such folks from time to time.  A few of them will not be participating in CPAC next week.

Seems some on the gay left have different standards.  Many seem to believe that someone is anti-gay merely because he doesn’t support state recognition of same-sex marriage.  David Harsanyi disagrees, calling it “deceitful to dismiss legitimate arguments for preserving traditional marriage and ugly to smear everyone making them as homophobic Neanderthals.”  I agree.

That hasn’t stopped some people from bandying about the accusation:

Southern fried-chicken chain Chick-fil-A has recently been accused of anti-gay sentiment for providing sandwiches and brownies to an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a “traditional, foundational” family based group that has rallied against gay marriage in the past, the “New York Times” reported Saturday.

So, they provided food to a socially conservative group.  So, what?  Did they prevent or otherwise discourage gay men from partaking of their offerings?  Did they deny lesbians admission to their restaurant?  Did they post signs in said restaurants calling homosexuality a sin?

While supporting traditional marriage, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy said that he and his family “love and respect anyone who disagrees.”  Sounds like a voice for civil discourse to me.

In the face of all the hullabaloo, our pal Chris Barron, chairman of the board of GOProud, said:

With the gay left it’s all stick and no carrot.  Instead of working to change hearts and minds the angry gay left would rather go on witch hunts. . . .  The witch hunts by the professionally outraged gay protestor class may feel good, but I think they are incredibly counter-productive.  To most of the world a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich and folks who try to politicize everything usually end up doing more harm to their cause at the end of the day.

That people are getting upset over a restaurant providing meals to a socially conservative group shows that things are not as bad as some would make them out to be.   (more…)

Reagan & Obama — NO COMPARISON

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 1:36 pm - January 31, 2011.
Filed under: Reagan Centennial,Ronald Reagan

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Ground Zero Mosque Imam: ‘Gays Are Like Animals’

Remember, the American Left wants you to believe the GZM is good, nothing to worry about, and Islam is the “Religion of Peace”.

The new imam at the Ground Zero mosque and cultural center believes people who are gay were probably abused as children and that people who leave Islam and preach a new religion should be jailed.

Abdallah Adhami’s remarks on homosexuals, religious freedom and other topics have brought renewed criticism of the proposed community center and mosque near the World Trade Center site, which purports to be an inclusive organization.

Adhami, in a lecture on the Web site of his nonprofit, Sakeenah, says being gay is a “painful trial” caused by past trauma.

“An enormously overwhelming percentage of people struggle with homosexual feeling because of some form of violent emotional or sexual abuse at some point in their life,” he says. “A small, tiny percentage of people are born with a natural inclination that they cannot explain. You find this in the animal kingdom at some level as well.”

Charming.  The Gay Left would be taking to the streets if this Imam’s last name was “Palin”.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

 

GayPatriot DC Happy Hour, Tuesday February 1

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:40 am - January 31, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Travel

As I‘ll be am now in Washington in a few days for a meeting, I’m organizing a Happy Hour together with our good friends at GOProud. Please drop me a line if you’d like to join us this coming Tuesday, February 2nd.

(Bumped and updated)

Obama: Political Adolescent (when it comes to federal spending)?

Perhaps the greatest sign that the president is out of touch with the national mood is that at a time when people are increasingly concerned with the growing national debt, the Democrat believes we need to “invest” (i.e., spend taxpayers’ money) in new government initiatives to improve the economy.  He can’t seem to understand that, thanks in large part, to the budget-busting legislation of his first two years in office, the government is running a river of red ink.   

Simply put, we don’t have the money for any new programs.  

That’s why the Jewish Athena believes we need a Republican “grown-up who is both tough and appealing” to take on the president in 2012.  “As exemplified by the State of the Union address,” she writes, we learn that the president doesn’t have a plan.  “Obama turned out to be a political adolescent, full of himself, but, ultimately, irresponsible and lightweight. He is unable or unwilling to face up to our greatest domestic challenge: our fiscal mess.”

It’s Jennifer Rubin.  Read the whole thing.

Seems that members of the president’s administration share this naive take on things, with “U.S. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner” echoing “the president’s State of the Union speech, acknowledging the need for fiscal responsibility but warning against making deep cuts to government spending.”  Warning against making deep cuts in government spending?!?  Given our massive debt, there is no other way to meet that need for fiscally responsibility.

You Mean, Himalayan Glaciers Aren’t Melting?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:02 pm - January 30, 2011.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming)

Remember all the dire warnings about how growing carbon emissions were warming the environment and causing the glaciers to melt, seas to rise and people to become mean.   Well, that turns out not to be the case, at least about the glaciers in the Himalayas:

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.

The discovery adds a new twist to the row over whether global warming is causing the world’s highest mountain range to lose its ice cover.

It further challenges claims made in a 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the glaciers would be gone by 2035.

You mean the ice flows are growing rather than shrinking!?!?!   Al Gore could not be reached for comment.

Heritage’s Ever-Changing Explanations for CPAC Non-participation

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - January 30, 2011.
Filed under: Conservative Movement,CPAC,GOProud

Via Reader that Gay Conservative, we find the Heritage Foundation making explicit what many (including yours truly) believed was implicit in its decision not to participate in this year’s CPAC:

The move, however, has been seen that way by insiders and outsiders, and Heritage — a pillar of the conservative movement – shifted its public stance in a Times article up this evening:

“GOProud was one element in the decision,” said James Weidman, a foundation spokesman.

Heritage, which isn’t primarily identified with opposition to gay rights or with social issues more generally, is the biggest surprise among the CPAC boycotters, and making its move public deepens the rift on the right.

First of all, I’m not sure this deepens any rift.  What it really does is expose the me-tooism* of Heritage’s leadership. It seems the leaders of this conservative foundation (as opposed to many (if not most) of the scholars and policy expects who work there as well as those who contribute to their studies and other publications) are eager to curry favor with social conservatives.  This may well be a fundraising strategy, a means to distinguish Heritage from the many conservative groups who are participating in the confab.

Whatever the case, this move does not look good for Heritage.  Their ever-changing explanations show an organization struggling to appease social conservatives without distancing themselves from more mainstream elements in the Leave Us Alone Coalition.  They might better be served by taking part while pointing out that participation in CPAC doesn’t indicate agreement with all the other participants and leave it at that. (more…)

Is MSM missing the real story in CPAC/GOProud kerfuffle?

On Friday, Bruce e-mailed me a link to Aaron Blake’s must-read piece in the Washington Post on The GOP’s quiet evolution on gay rights. Now I would tweak some of Blake’s language, including his title; it’s not that the GOP is evolving on gay rights per se, but that American conservatives, including many Republicans, are welcoming openly gay people into the fold.

That said, he does get at the essence of the story that all too many media outlets have been missing in their coverage of the handful of social conservative groups boycotting CPAC.   The real issue is not those groups who have chosen not to attend because of GOProud’s participation, but is instead the number of groups who are willing participate in the conservative confab together with a gay conservative outfit.

They may not agree with us on every issue, but are willing to work with us for common conservative purpose.  Americans conservatives simply don’t fit into the narrative of right-wing intolerance as propagated by many on the political left.

While Blake may be a little fuzzy on his history of the GOP, he does get its current condition:

Now, though, gay rights issues are largely under the national political radar. And Christopher Barron, chairman of the board at GOProud, said that has worked in his favor. He said his group launched at an “unbelievably fortuitous” time in 2009, given that another movement was sprouting that was generally indifferent to social issues.

“Our organization got started at the exact same time that the tea party movement was getting started,” Barron said. “It was a natural fit, because the party has been laser-focused on fiscal issues. There’s been no interest in going back to the well on the social issues.” (more…)

America’s Worst Days Sometimes Turn Out To Be Its Best

It is very hard for me to believe that it was 25 years ago this morning when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff.  It was a snow day for me in my senior year of high school on January 28, 1986.  I was home and bored and flipping channels.  I had completely forgotten about the “Teacher In Space” on the Shuttle that day until I came upon the live NASA feed being simulcast on the then-called “Learning Channel”.

So I stuck with it.  One problem, there were no commentators… just the NASA flight announcer.  After the explosion, I just stared at the TV.  When the NASA guy said “Obviously a major malfunction….”, I switched to CNN.

That day is etched into my memory and was a day I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.  It was raw, visual, scary, sad and very emotional to watch the TV coverage.

But then the President addressed the nation in the early evening.

This was one of Ronald Reagan’s finest moments as our President. Remember, this was the man who had steered us out of the greatest economic downturn since WWII (until 2008), restored America’s national defenses, and was on the verge of bringing down the Soviet Union and Eastern European Communism. America was back — until the Challenger explosion rocked our world that day.

This was also probably one of Reagan’s last great moments in office. Within the year, the Iran-Contra scandal would cripple his administration up until nearly the day he left office in 1989. Only his farewell speech would bring back the vintage Reagan that we saw 25 years ago tonight.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

New York Times discovers GOProud

Taking an interest in the handful of conservative groups boycotting CPAC because of the participation of our friends from GOProud,  the New York Times‘s Erick Eckholm becomes the latest reporter to make a minor divide on the right appear to be a major schism, still he does treat the rapidly growing gay conservative group fairly and even gives Chris Barron the last word:

But Mr. Barron, the GOProud chairman, said he was confident that the Conservative Union would not reverse course. “I think 10 years from now,” he said, “people will forget there was ever a discussion over whether a truly conservative gay group should participate.”

Read the whole thing.

Chris is right.  Ten years from now.  This won’t even be an issue.  Heck, we might not even have to wait that long. 

Do hope all this hullabaloo causes people to focus on the real goals of modern American conservatism, that the ideas undergirding this movement are not rooted in animosity against those who differ from the norm, but born from the ideal of freedom for all those who wish to partake of the American dream

GOP enjoys its most positive image since 2005

Bruce alerted me yesterday to a poll which shows that for the first time since 2005, more Americans “have a favorable than unfavorable opinion” of the GOP:

Trend Since 2000: Favorable/Unfavorable Opinions of the Republican Party

The really good news for the GOP is that the uptick continued even after the fall elections. Indeed, the party’s negatives have continued to slide since then — during a time when the media coverage hasn’t always been favorable.

If elected Republicans continue to hold the line on federal spending and stand firm to the ideals espoused by Ronald Reagan, expect those numbers to hold up — if not improve.

No, Time Magazine, Obama does not “Heart” Reagan*

Well, maybe the “news” magazine is trying to do some p.r. for the prez now that a one-time correspondent for the periodical is taking over as White House Press Secretary.  Jay Carney, currently “communications director for the Vice President . . .  reported for Time Magazine from 1993 until 2008, based in places such as Moscow and working his way up to Washington, DC, bureau chief in 2008.

So, this guy goes from Time to the Obama-Biden White House  only to have his one-time employer tells us that Obama Hearts Reagan.

First, talk about a revolving door, fascinating how many folks from the mainstream media go on to jobs in Democratic Administrations.

Anyone who think that Obama is like the Gipper has virtually no knowledge of Reagan’s political career or philosophical bent.  Just compare the speeches which catapulted each man to leadership in his party.  Reagan’s, in 1964 on behalf of Barry Goldwater’s bid for the White House, outlined a series of conservative principles to explain his support for that year’s Republican nominee. Obama’s in 2004 to the Democratic National Convention was mere fluff, offering uplifting, but ultimately empty words of praise for that year’s Democratic ticket.

Or compare the Gipper’s first inaugural address to Obama’s most recent State of the Union address.  The Republican, the most successful domestic policy president of the last century, reminded us that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”  The incumbent, by contrast, believes we need more government spending, er, investment, to get out of the current economic malaise.

To be sure, both invoke American exceptionalism, but only Reagan understood the concept.  He knew that we didn’t need a government initiative to meet the challenges of a dynamic society.  Obama, by contrast, can’t seem to imagine a pressing social problem that doesn’t require additional federal intervention.

Can any contrast be greater?

* (more…)

Where were liberal rabbis when Democrats compared Republicans to Nazis?

Because I’ve been traveling, I have not had the time to blog as much as I would like nor to follow the news.  I was flying from LA to DC and my flight got diverted to Charlotte.  Unfortunately, I was unable to connect with Bruce until it was too late to meet and ended up overnighting with a close friend from college before catching a later flight into Washington.

As you can probably guess, given my faith and my interest in civil discourse, I have attempted as best I can to follow the story about the 400 rabbis who

. . . purchased a full page in the Wall Street Journal demanding an apology from Glenn Beck for the repeated use of Nazi and holocaust imagery he used on his Fox News TV show; and for the attacks he made on George Soros – a Jew, who was an adolescent during the Nazi occupation of his native Hungary.

Roger Simon reminds that the left-wing financier doesn’t have any sense of guilt for living with a Nazi collaborator who took the then-teenager with him when he confiscated property from Hungarian Jews. 

As is often the case, the blogress I have dubbed the Jewish Athena offers a viewpoint nearly identical to my own:

I have no sympathy for Beck and have in the past expressed my view that he harms the causes he claims to champion. His is not the image or tone that conservatives should seek to emulate. I don’t think the rabbis’ letter is out of bounds in the least. Beck in this instance has plainly gone over the line.

However, what I DO object to is the selective outrage. They were mute when Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) compared Republicans to Goebbels. Where were they when Holocaust language was used to score points against their political adversaries? (more…)

Bruce, isn’t this where you went to college?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:02 pm - January 27, 2011.
Filed under: Academia,Free Speech

“THE TWELVE WORST COLLEGES FOR FREE SPEECH. Syracuse is No. 1.”

Via Instapundit.

Obama’s Dogmatic Dissonance

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:40 am - January 27, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,National Politics

With word now that the federal deficit is set to pass $1.5 trillion this year, one wonders why the president, supposedly committed to deficit reduction, proposed new spending initiatives, er investments, in the State of the Union address earlier this week.

Maybe he just can’t help it.

Unlike his most recent Democratic predecessor who, like him made a rhetoric pivot to the center, he cannot make a similar policy pivot.  Evidence notwithstanding, he really does believe that increased government spending, er, investment, represents the only way to promote innovation, spur economic growth, make American more competitive in the world economy and to create jobs.

Beholden to the idea of a benevolent big government, the Democrat doesn’t have much confidence in the free market to effect the kinds of changes and create the types of breakthroughs we need to confront the challenges of a global marketplace.  To President Obama, the age of Big Government is not over, it has only just begun.

That’s one reason, I believe, he’ll lose next fall.  He’s out of touch not just with economic reality but with the emerging consensus of the American people who have seen the government’s balance sheet and know we need to hold the line on federal spending.  They understand and appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit which built this country.  To be sure, they share the president’s rhetorical confidence in the American spirit, but are skeptical of his conviction that that spirit needs federal support to spur it on.

“Civility” Is Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose

(With apologies to Bobbie McGee for the headline….)  (And h/t to Instapundit for the articles that inspired this post)

You may recall that in the early days following Jaren Loughner’s (the pot-smoking anarchist) shoot-up in Tucson, I joined with Glenn Beck in his challenge.  I ask you to read it again carefully.  What I am about to write, in my opinion, does not violate that challenge.  But I’m open to interpretation.

Ladies and gents, this call from the Progressives and the liberal media for “civility” is total bullshit.  Please note I rarely use profanity in my posts or comments here.  But yes, I call total and utter bullshit.  This is a ploy by the Left to silence the 40% of Americans who told Gallup last year that they hold conservative principles.

It is easy for Progressives and Democrats to ask for “civility” when they are the ones who call for violent revolution and have been since their halcyon flower-sniffing, pot-smoking, anti-American days of yore.  Us GenXer’s refer to those days as The Sixties.  When we say “The Sixties” — it is with the derisive tone of voice usually reserved for the phrase: “um… this is escargot?”

Oh yeah, and “civility” is easy to call for when your Marxist-taught President’s best buddies are an admitted terrorist (William Ayers) and a black liberation preacher who repeatedly damns this nation (Rev. Whose-Name-Must-Never-Be-Uttered-By-Media).

One calls for “civility” when one’s ideas are soundly rejected in an historic legislative landslide the likes of which few living Americans are cogent enough to remember.

Now those same people are asking that the free peoples of the United States of America disarm themselves in favor of the tyranny of “civility”.  Well, I say HELL NO!  I don’t want violence, but I certainly don’t want these people dictating the terms of my Constitutional surrender.

So I invoke THIS passage of Glenn’s challenge:

  • I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle that sees violence as a viable alternative to our long established system of change made within the constraints of our constitutional Republic.
  • There can be, in my view, nothing more violent in the long-term than straying from the limited government principles of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  What the Left has systematically proposed to do since the Progressive movement was born is to violently shred our American Republic and tell you to shut up while they do it.

    Not on my watch.

    -Bruce (GayPatriot)

    A spending freeze is not enough

    Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:54 am - January 26, 2011.
    Filed under: 112th Congress,Big Government Follies

    “Hours before” the president proposed a spending freeze in in the State of the Union address, the Republican House took a small, but significant step in the direction of real spending control, voting “256-165 to slash spending this year to 2008 levels ‘or less’“:

    Seventeen Democrats, mostly from the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, joined 239 Republicans in approving the measure. No Republicans voted against it.

    Recall that a Democratic Congress (albeit one subject to a veto from a Republican president) set the spending levels for 2008.  Too bad they didn’t go back to 2006 levels before Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats increased spending at a greater rate than did the prior spendthrift Republican Congresses.

    This “proposed partial budget freeze” would be “on non-security related discretionary spending“:

    The FY 2011 budget was $3.8 trillion; $1.415 trillion of which was discretionary spending. The president’s proposal would save, according to estmates, roughly $400 billion.

    Last year President Obama proposed a three-year hard freeze on non-security discretionary spending, which White House officials said would save $250 billion over the next decade. (Non-discretionary spending includes items such as Social Security and Medicare

    Ed Morrissey calls this freeze “a fallback position by a President afraid of losing his buying power with the public.”  (Read the whole thing.)

    This spending freeze will only lock the increased spending in place — and not just the increases of the past two years, but also of the two before that — not to mention the previous six years when George W. Bush governed with Republican Congresses (well, for the better part of the 107th Congress, Democrats ran the Senate). (more…)

    State of the Union thoughts

    Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:32 pm - January 25, 2011.
    Filed under: Big Government Follies

    I didn’t watch the entire speech.  What parts I did catch I found to be dull. I did catch the panel on FoxNews.  Juan Williams liked the speech, but Charles Krauthammer did not, calling it one of the president’s worst, contending the Democrat failed to address the major issues.

    That sage columnist found that the president defended the expansion of government despite the shellacking his party took in November.  The content of the speech, Krauthammer said later, undermined his line that we do big things.

    As the speech was beginning, Bruce emailed me a link to this post:

    In an excerpt from President Obama’s state of the union address, Obama refers to this as “our generation’s Sputnik moment.”

    A sharp operator on the Hill points out to me that the total cost of the Apollo program — America’s long-form response to Sputnik — was $25 billion, or $113 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Also known as one seventh of the stimulus bill.

    REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WIS)’s RESPONSE FOR GOP: Not as upbeat as I would like. He started in a kind of staccato, but hit his stride (at least tone-wise) as he spoke. Nice critique of Obama’s big-government policies.

    Now, with his reference to Lincoln, he’s becoming more upbeat, more Reaganesque (with the Gipper’s velvet voice and smooth delivery.)

    (Brit Hume called this address “workmanlike.” I agree.)

    UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin offers a nice analysis of Ryan’s brief address and a devastating critique of the claims of Obama’s centrism.

    UP-UPDATE:  Over at the Daily Caller, video of Krauthammer and a partial transcript of his commentary.  (H/t:  Instapundit.)

    Why Mike Huckabee Will Never Win the GOP Nomination

    Glenn Reynolds has the goods: “MIKE HUCKABEE SNORTS WITH DERISION AT LIBERTARIANS.

    The one-time Arkansas governor was never much of a free-marketeer.  If you’re going to deride the most dynamic force in Republican circles today, you’re not going to have an easy time advancing in the GOP.  Recall what the man who all but defined the modern Republican Party, with his speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and his own successful run for the White House sixteen years later, said, “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.

    Sorry, Mike, with your disdain for the philosophy which animated modern American conservatism, you’re the “faux-con” while those with libertarian inclinations follow in the footsteps of the Gipper.

    So, attempts to rebrand Obamacare didn’t make it more popular?

    Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:01 pm - January 25, 2011.
    Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

    Glenn Reynolds reports that ObamaCare Unpopularity Jumps By 9 Points. “Fifty percent of Americans have unfavorable views of the law, according to a joint survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Opposition to the law jumped 9 percentage points from last month and is the highest since April, when Kaiser began asking the question every month.”

    Looks like Democratic efforts to rebrand the bill didn’t pan out.

    Even if Obama pivots to the center, come November 2012, he’ll still have this albatross hanging around his neck.  As the Baseball Crank reminds us, “As unpopular as the Clinton Administration’s health care plan was, it wasn’t a major issue in the 1996 campaign because it had failed and, with Republicans controlling both Houses of Congress, it wasn’t coming back.”  (Via Instapundit.)