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If risk of default is so great, why is Senate skipping town*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - July 22, 2011.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Where's the Scrutiny?

Wonder if the media will call Harry Reid’s bluff?  Ed Morrissey asks us to

. . . remember when Reid insisted on Wednesday that it was just terrible for the House to take the weekend off in the middle of the crisis, just in case the Senate needed them to act on a proposal from the upper chamber?  Now, apparently, it’s Miller Time, according to Politico’s Manu Raju:

Senators catching flights home now – weekend votes ain’t gonna happen, we’re told

The House has at least proposed two different plans to deal with the debt crisis.  The Senate has yet to come up with any plan.  Neither has the White House, despite the hysteria over the August 2nd deadline.  So why are Senators streaming out of Washington DC, Senator Reid?  And doesn’t that make this earlier whining a little more hypocritical?

*Without having passed a budget in 814 days — or a plan to address the debt ceiling.

UPDATE:  I expect California’s junior Senator to call her party leader to task for not scheduling weekend votes.  After all, Mrs. Boxer quoted Ronald Reagan to warn of the risks of default:

The full consequences of a default,’ he said, ‘or even the serious prospect of a default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The nation can ill afford to allow such a result.

So, Ma’am, we agree; Harry Reid should call the Senate back into session and put forward a plan to raise the debt limit and control spending?

Administration Certifies DADT Repeal

There is some good news today; the administration certified the final repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell:

Service members today welcomed a key milestone in repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), as President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, formally issued their certification to the Armed Services committees of both houses of Congress, signifying that the military is ready for the transition. In 60 days, as prescribed in the law passed by Congress and signed by the President last December, repeal will be final.

So much better to have the military certify this than have a court mandate it. The president dilly-dallied on this one, delaying this day. But, with pressure from left-wing gay bloggers and indeed some principled congressional Democrats as well as at least one Senate Republican, he finally acted.

One reason Obama succeeded where Bill Clinton failed was that the Illinois Democrat, unlike his Arkansas counterpart, made this a military issue rather than a gay rights’ issue.  Whereas Clinton moved to repeal the ban while standing beside Barney Frank, Obama sought to repeal the legislation Clinton signed by dispatching his top military aides to Capitol Hill.

Kudos to all those who worked hard to make this day come to pass.  Our nation will be more secure when it can draw on the strengths and patriotism of gay men and lesbian who wish to serve the country which has given us so many opportunities, chief among them, the ability to live free.

Terrorist Attack in Norway

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - July 22, 2011.
Filed under: War On Terror

It appears there were coordinated terrorist attacks on the ruling party and government of Norway:

At least seven people were killed in a pair of explosions apparently targeting Norway’s government buildings in Oslo and at least 10 more killed in a shooting outside the capital, police said today. . . .

Hours after the blasts, a gunman opened fire at a youth meeting on an island outside of Oslo, killing at least 10. One man was arrested in connection to both attacks. Norwegian Minister of Justice Knut Storberget said the man in custody was Norwegian but his motives are unclear at this time.

Jesse Walker at Reason’s Hit and Run links to this “possible explanation for the explosion (via J.M. Berger).”  Glenn Reynolds links this roundup.

Our prayers are with the victims and their families and our hopes are with the police and armed forces of the Scandinavian nation.  May be perpetrators be swiftly captured — and brought to justice.

UPDATE: From Michelle Malkin who also has a good roundup, “Absolute evil…At least 80 youths killed at the camp, according to police.”  She’s right.  That is absolute evil.  Jim Hoft echoes Michelle, calling this “Pure evil.” Those actions define evil.

The compulsion to label & belittle gay marriage opponents

Perhaps the most depressing thing about the debate on gay marriage is the dedication of gay marriage advocates to demonizing those who oppose state-recognition of same-sex marriages.  With their childish “No H8” campaign, they contend that people oppose their view because they hate gay people.

No, there are, I grant, some folks who oppose state recognition of same-sex marriages because of their animus against homosexuals, but they do not represent all such opponents.  Many oppose such recognition because they believe marriage should be reserved for different-sex couples.  Indeed, a good number of these folks (but, alas not all) support state recognition of civil unions, similar benefits, different name.

Should we call the legislators in Rhode Island and Illinois “haters” because they moved forward to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples without calling them marriage?

In fact, some who oppose same-sex marriage treat gay people with dignity.  Such individuals have, for exampl,e hosted me in their homes, listened to my arguments, stood with me in hours of difficulty and even let me play (unsupervised) with their kids.  They know gay people aren’t demons; they don’t disapprove of us, it’s just that their understanding of marriage differs from that of gay activists.

Which brings me to the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing earlier this week on the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill (that I support) which repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

While I believe Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) is wrong to oppose the Act pending before the current Congress, he’s spot on when he takes issue with another supporter of the measure:

One of the witnesses before us today says that DOMA was passed for only one reason: “to express disapproval of gay and lesbian people.”  I know this to be false.  (more…)

The Democrats’ Political Game
(which they can play only with full cooperation of MSM)

Wondering about the absence of media scrutiny on why “our esteemed lions of the Fourth Estate toiling in the White House Press Corps” have failed to ask the president about his opposition to a “constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget”, Mark Tapscott finds this to be. . .

. . . an illustration of why so many journalists covering the White House, Congress and national politics so frequently end up functioning like “Homers.” No, I’m not referring to the ancient author, but rather the derisive term for sports reporters who never write anything critical of the home professional teams.

Whether they intend to or not, too many journalists are little more than Homers for the Big Government team.

Via Instapundit.  But, this, as we’ve noted is not the only question they’re not asking. Yesterday in’s Political Diary (available by subscription), Paul A. Gigot wrote about one Democrat whose obstructionist tactics have generated little interest in the mainstream media:

His [Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)] role has been obvious for some time, but a revealing and generally laudatory article by Meredith Shiner in Roll Call this week lays out the Schumer strategy of assailing House Republicans as radical, in particular demonizing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in personal terms, and opposing any Democratic concessions on entitlements. Mr. Schumer also led the internal fight against releasing a Senate budget, though Democrats control that body and are supposed to pass a budget resolution under the 1974 budget law.

This is cynicism squared, but Mr. Schumer has been getting away with it because the press pack has fixated on the political narrative of House Republicans vs. President Obama. This gives Senate Democrats up for re-election next year a free pass to hide under Mr. Schumer’s brand of attack politics while pretending to favor spending cuts and debt reduction and to oppose tax increases. (more…)

Juvenile antics of gay left:
not an effective means to win friends and influence people

Yeah, this is a great strategy to show that gay people are emotionally balanced:

A horde of glitter-wielding gay “barbarians” on Thursday paid a visit to a clinic owned by GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus. . . .

Once the horde was notified that Marcus, a strategist for his wife’s presidential campaign, was not at the clinic, their leader told the group, “All right, folks, Marcus isn’t coming out so we’re gonna have to act like barbarians.”

With that, the smiling group of about 10 showered the waiting room with glitter while chanting, “You can’t pray away the gay, baby I was born this way.”

Fortunately, these juveniles in need of venting their rage in the public square and drawing attention to themselves are not representative of the gay community.  Let’s hope that gay leaders denounce their childish antics.

This is not to deny these folks the opportunity to criticize Mr. Bachmann and the practices at his clinic, but to criticize their manner of taking issue with him.  Indeed, we should take him to task for his comments on the “sinful nature” of homosexual behavior, but in a civil manner, likely to win favor for our arguments, not gain sympathy for the man under attack.

Taking issue with these clowns, Sister Toldjah contrasts their actions with GOProud’s attempts to meet with Mrs. Bachmann:

Whatever you feel about “gay rights” issues, you have to respect [GOProud Chairman Chris] Barron’s position. It’s amazing what happens once you take liberal narcissism out of the equation, isn’t it? Gay conservatives want answers about Bachmann’s various policy positions, including issues of interest to the gay community – and, unlike HRC and the like, Chris Barron is going to get them. (more…)