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Guess Barack Obama missed the Reagan Recovery*

When President Obama talks about the economy, it seems he derives his information not from historical facts, but instead from Keynesian theory.  At a campaign fundraiser in Maine, the politician once billed as post-partisan accused his partisan rivals of “madness”:

“We won’t win the race for new jobs and new businesses and middle-class security if we cling to this same old, worn-out, tired ‘You’re on your own’ economics that the other side is peddling,” Obama said.

“It was tried in the decades before the Great Depression. It didn’t work then. It was tried in the last decade. It didn’t work,” he said. “You know, the idea you would keep on doing the same thing over and over again, even though it’s been proven not to work. That’s a sign of madness.”

Well, the economics that the incumbent derides as “You’re on your own” created more jobs in September 1983 than were created in the past five months, among the best months for job creation since Mr. Obama took office.

In the decade** before the Great Depression, under the policies of Republicans Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, the United States enjoyed the “Roaring Twenties,” an era of “sustained economic prosperity.”  It was only when Coolidge’s successor, Herbert Hoover, increased federal spending and ramped up government regulation, that the economy began to collapse, leading to the Great Depression.

Under Hoover and his successor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, federal officials tried various forms of state meddling over and over again, yet none of those policies proved to work.  Throughout the 1930s, unemployment remained high.  By this president’s logic, wouldn’t it be a sign of madness to adopt economic policies similar to Mr. Roosevelt’s?  Or Mr. Hoover’s?

(H/t The Gateway Pundit.)

* (more…)

University of California system, set to judge us by the desires of our flesh & the longings of our hearts?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - March 31, 2012.
Filed under: Academia,Gay PC Silliness,Identity Politics

Now nearly fifty years ago, in one of the greatest speeches any American has ever delivered, Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed his vision of how to treat people who differ from ourselves, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

It’s not the color of their skin which defines them, but the quality of their character.  So too should it be with sexual orientation.

It seems, alas, that we’ve gone for the vision of a society where we evaluate each individual according to his qualities of character to one where his difference becomes paramount.  Two weeks ago, I blogged about a proposal being floated in the University of California system to ask “incoming freshmen to identify their sexual orientation, a move that might cement such declarations as an emerging topic in the college admissions process.

That story is getting more legs, with an LA Times report yesterday on the matter:

California’s state colleges and universities are laying plans to ask students about their sexual orientation next year on application or enrollment forms, becoming the largest group of schools in the country to do so. The move has raised the hopes of gay activists for recognition but the concerns of others about privacy.

The negatives of this,” writes, Tina Korbe,

. . . vastly outweigh the potential benefits. Not only could the information be improperly used — say to either discriminate against or give preference to LGBT students — but it also suggests sexual orientation is somehow relevant to education. The college admissions process should aim to determine what students would be able to meet the rigorous academic requirements of a university experience.

Read the whole thing.  Knowledge of an individual’s sexual orientation won’t help determine whether or not he has that ability.   (more…)

“More flexibility”: Essence of Case Against Obama’s Reelection?

This past week, I penned two posts on the president’s telling “open mic” comment to Russia’s President on how “he would have ‘more flexibility’ to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense” after the election. As I write this, both posts generated a total of 9 comments.

I wrote one piece on the Travyon Martin/George Zimmerman matter. That post has, so far, generated 80 comments.

Now, to be sure, that story offers a fascinating window into media sensationalism — and has more wrinkles than does the president’s telling comment, but has far less bearing on the state of the union, particularly given the upcoming election and the incumbent’s bid for a second term.

Calling the president’s remarks “a moment of political contempt—for the issues at hand as well as for the demos itself“, Martin Peretz, long-time editor in chief of the left-of-center New Republic, finds the important message to be . . .

. . . that the American people can’t be trusted if the president is honest with them about what he proposes. More bluntly, that the American people are not trusted by their own president. Otherwise the president would tell us the truth about his intentions. And here he is, admitting his distrust of his own people to a leader of a nasty foreign government that seeks to thwart our purposes in the Middle East and elsewhere. President Obama is in cahoots with the Russian regime against America’s very body politic.

Mr. Obama’s revealing comment, and the question of missile defense, and the question of Mr. Obama’s bizarre desire for coziness with Vladimir Putin, is a matter about which our European allies have great concerns.

Hence, we should be constantly reminding our fellow citizens of what the president said when he thought no one was listening. To that end, the folks at American Crossroads have crafted a clever ad:


Insurance mandates explained

(H/t Instapundit.)

Rick Santorum drops the (pink bowling) ball*

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - March 30, 2012.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness,Republican Embarrassments

Back in 1998, Chris Bull published a very good book, Perfect Enemies: The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s, about how social conservatives opposing gay rights and gay activists were made for each other.  Every time Rick Santorum opens his mouth and says something silly and gay activists, clutching their pearls and reaching for their smelling salts, respond (in the highest of dudgeon) behaving as if the former Senator has just demanded his legions go out and convert gay people — or threaten them with the hell-fire — it seems such folk were made for each other.

A silly statement is not (necessarily) a hateful one.  Nor does it amount to bullying, but it is often revealing.  “Even in the most private, apolitical moment of the day,” Jennifer Rubin reports,

Santorum couldn’t suppress the urge to judge.” This year it was publicly chastising a boy for using a pink bowling ball. Seriously. The world according to Rick must be preached to all of us.

I couldn’t find video of this, and maybe (as the person who alerted me to the story speculates) the former Senator “was being playful in a pseudo-macho way”, but Rick Santorum is not known for his jocular gestures.  More than anything, this comment betrays a certain insecurity — and a failure of discipline.  What does it accomplish for a man who knows he’s being followed by a gaggle of press to say such a thing?

Even though press reports provide no evidence that Santorum linked the pink ball to gay men, the folks at HRC found the former Senator contending the former Senator’s comments could harm gay people.  Really.

Almost out of breath, HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz said, “This is another example of Rick Santorum intentionally making ignorant statements that have a real impact on LGBT people“.  Give a break.  Most gay people who hear of this will laugh at the former Senator’s strangeness.  Only those who have this need to be perpetually aggrieved will feel threatened by his quip. (more…)

The American ideal:
individuals not government responsible for quality of our lives

Commenting this morning on “this analysis from Fortune editor and columnist Geoff Colvin that”, as he puts, “hits both Obama and Romney for offering agendas that are, he [i.e., Colvin] contends ultimately irrelevant to the problems generating anxiety and disappointment for America’s middle class”, Jim Geraghty concludes:

If we really can’t face the notion that we, and not the government, are principally responsible for the quality of our lives . . . are we even really Americans anymore?

Read the whole thing.

What meaningful bipartisan achievements does Obama have?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:40 pm - March 30, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Hopenchange

Obama apologists were so quick to trash outgoing Senator Olympia Snowe for reporting that the president didn’t talk to the liberal Republican on a regular basis, worried as they were that if this story got legs, it would further undermine the Democrat’s 2008 campaign rhetoric about his post-partisan potential.

But, these folks are going to have to do a lot of spinning to prevent people from seeing the reality of this most partisan president.  Commenting today on a Republican National Committee video highlighting Obama’s latest bipartisan achievement, getting “every single member of the House of Representatives” to vote “against the president’s $3.6 trillion budget”, Tina Korbe asks:

What meaningful bipartisan achievements does Obama have to his name? Adoring documentarian Davis Guggenheim might fault Republicans for Obama’s inability to arrive at bipartisan solutions to the pressing problems that face the country, but, in the end, it’s the president’s job to lead.

Indeed.  And as to that blame game, maybe the president should have taken advice from the politician who was “trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

A prison “created by their own conceit”

In his monologue yesterday, Rush Limbaugh reflected on a theme which John Podhoretz considered in his column on the Supreme Court arguments over Obamacare and, as I put it yesterday, “the failure of all too many in the chattering classes to appreciate the merits of conservative arguments“.

On the astonished reaction of liberals to the poor arguments the administration made before the Supreme Court in defense of the president’s signature initiative, the talker explained:

It’s eye-opening.  I really want to be serious about this.  They’re a bunch of overhyped know-nothings who do not have an expansive view of the world.  They’re in a prison that’s created by their own conceit.  They’re in a prison that’s the result of their own arrogance and they live in a place where there is no reality.

. . . .

Now, let me go through some of Hayward’s piece here to try to be illustrative of what I’m talking about.  “The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Month for the Left.”[*]  I’m not gonna read the whole thing.  I’m gonna take excerpts here.  “It is typical for politically engaged people to note the weaknesses and defects of their own side…” No, that’s what’s remarkable; they don’t.  There are no weaknesses. There are no defects, until they’re confronted with them.  They do not conceive them. (Continuing reading excerpt) “…while overestimating the strength and prowess of their opponents.”  That’s us.  That’s what we have always done, and hopefully no more.  There’s no reason to ever feel inferior to these people.  There’s no reason to grant them superior or elite status in any way.

Via Powerline picks.  And Rush invites the question:  why do some on the left refuse to acknowledge the weaknesses in their own arguments?  Or the merits of their opponents’?

* (more…)

Watcher of Weasels — Weekly Winners

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:02 pm - March 30, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Taking the laurel this week among the Council submissions was Joshuapundit‘s The Supreme Court Begins Hearing Arguments On ObamaCare.  Meanwhile, among non-Council submissions Sultan Knish’s It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black or White carried off the gold.

The remaining Council finishers were as follows: (more…)

Sgt. Dennis Weichel: American Hero

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:30 am - March 30, 2012.
Filed under: Great Americans,Great Men,Heroes,Military

All too often, our friends in the legacy media sensationalize the actions of rogue soldiers in the U.S. military who act against express orders or in a manner at odds with their training.  More often than not, our service members perform their duties bravely — and with honor.

And sometimes, they go beyond the call of duty and do something truly heroic.  One man who did just that was Sgt. Dennis Weichel who “died in Afghanistan last week as he lifted an Afghan girl who was in the path of a large military vehicle barreling down a road“:

Weichel, a Rhode Island National Guardsman, was riding along in a convoy in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan when some children were spotted on the road ahead.

The children were picking up shell casings lying on the road. The casings are recycled for money in Afghanistan.  Weichel and other soldiers in the convoy got out of their vehicles to get them out of the way of  the heavy trucks in the convoy.

The children were moved out of the way, but an Afghan girl darted back onto the road to pick up some more casings that lay underneath a passing MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle.  The huge armored trucks can weigh as much as 16 tons and are designed to protect the troops they carry from roadside bombs.

Weichel spotted the girl and quickly moved toward her to get her out of the way.  He  succeeded, but not before he was run over by the heavily armored truck.  The girl was safe, but Weichel later died of his injuries.

Dennis Weichel helps define the greatness of this nation.  He risked — and gave — his life to save a young girl in harm’s way.

Our hearts go out to his children.  His example inspires us all.

Will contrast with Santorum help Romney among gays?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - March 29, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Gay Politics

Among my gay friends and acquaintances, all but the most partisan Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with the president, with some moderates deeming him a failure, others seeing him not up to the task of running the federal government and serving as the nation’s chief of state.

Now, to be sure, some will end up voting for Barack Obama this fall largely because he is the leading non-Republican candidate for president, but others have shown an openness to supporting Mitt Romney, some of them (entrepreneurs themselves) citing his experience in the private sector, others because he strikes them as relatively moderate . . . particularly in comparison to his chief opponent for the Republican nomination.

In some ways, that is perhaps the greatest irony of the Santorum surge these last seven weeks.  Contrasting that former Senator’s strange statements on homosexuality to Mitt Romney’s muted expressions of tolerance makes that latter appear more compelling by contrast.  Recall the former Massachusetts governor’s answer (in the ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR New Hampshire debate) to Diane Sawyer’s question about what he would say to a gay couple “sitting down in your living room” about the longing for “gay people to form loving, committed, long-term relationships”:

Well, the answer is, is that’s a wonderful thing to do, and that there’s every right for people in this country to form long- term committed relationships with one another. That doesn’t mean that they have to call it marriage or they have to receive the — the approval of the state and a marriage license and so forth for that to occur.

There can be domestic partnership benefits or — or a contractual relationship between two people, which would include, as — as Speaker Gingrich indicated, hospital visitation rights and the like. We can decide what kinds of benefits we might associate with people who form those kind of relationships, state by state.

Certainly not the ideal answer nor even the good compromise his fellow former governor Jon Huntsman articulated, but a decent answer nonetheless.  And one which recognized the capacity of gay men and women to form loving and lasting relationships.

NB:  My suggestion that a good number of gay people are open to Mitt Romney is not based on polling data, but anecdotal evidence.   (more…)

Why do (some) liberals refuse to accept merits of (many) conservatives’ arguments?

In the New York Post today, John Podhoretz has a great piece which, in looking at some liberal commentators’ reaction to the Supreme Court arguments over Obamacare, considers the failure of all too many in the chattering classes to appreciate the merits of conservative arguments:

The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.

They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.

Read the whole thing, and as you do, ponder why all too many in the chattering classes so regularly dismiss the intelligence of conservatives and the merits of our arguments.

Via Powerline picks.

“Bipartisan” budget secures only 38 votes in 435-member House

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:46 am - March 29, 2012.
Filed under: Congress (112th),Congress (general),Media Bias

You do gotta wonder the lengths to which the headline writers at Yahoo! go in order to make House Republicans seem extreme.   Last night, caught this headline on the company’s homepage: GOP-run House easily rejects bipartisan budget:

The House voted decisively late Wednesday to reject a bipartisan budget mixing tax increases with spending cuts to wring $4 trillion from federal deficits over the coming decade.

The 382-38 roll call paved the way for Republicans to muscle through their own, more stringent budget on Thursday, a measure that would blend deeper spending reductions in safety-net programs for the poor with a plan to dramatically overhaul Medicare.

38 votes in a 435-member House?  Let’s say the plan’s Republican author Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio (who crafted the plan with Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper) voted for the bill and for argument’s sake assume that everyone else who joined him was a Democrat.  Thus, no more than 37 Democrats voted for the bill.  There are currently 190 Democrats in the House, meaning that at least 153 members of that caucus either voted against the bill or didn’t vote.

Since 12 members didn’t vote, that means at least 141 Democrats voted no.  By a margin of greater than 3-to-1, House Democrats rejected the bipartisan measure.

Now, to be sure, Yahoo!’s headline is accurate, but skewed to reflect poorly on Republicans.  Why not say that Democrats overwhelmingly rejected a bipartisan budget?  That’s also accurate, but reflects poorly on the Democrats.

Note also the language of AP writer Andrew Taylor (who wrote the article quoted above); he tries to make it appear House Republicans are forcing through a draconian budget.  (Wonder if he or his colleagues used similarly language to describe how the White House and Democratic leaders muscled Obamacare through Congress, a plan which would dramatically overhaul our nation’s health care system.)

Here’s a story that Yahoo! apparently didn’t see fit to include in its headlines:  “SMART LEGISLATION: Obama budget defeated 414-0.

That’s right, the president couldn’t secure one vote, not one single vote — even from a member of his own caucus — for his own budget.  Seems to paint a picture of a president out of touch.

UPDATE:  Over at the Corner, Yuval Levin provides “the House vote counts for the different budget proposals taken up yesterday and today“: (more…)

Well, Justice Scalia, that’s what a lot of Democrats thought . . .

. . . and they still voted for the bill.

Scalia on severability: Making us read this entire bill [i.e., Obamacare] would be cruel and unusual punishment.*

So, I guess that means he could still vote to uphold the constitutionality of the unpopular legislation.


*Well, maybe that explains why most congressional Democrats failed to read the bill before voting in favor.  Such an action would violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Why didn’t Obama focus on economy after signing “stimulus”?

Citing an article from from New York magazine, November 29, 2009, Jim Geraghty reminds us how after signing the “stimulus,” President Obama turned his attention to overhauling the nation’s health care system rather than focus on the economy, the top issue on America’s minds:

“Barack did the stimulus, and he thought he checked the box and moved on.” Of course, unemployment remained high, and the economy continued to struggle through this year. Obama moved on, of course, to Obamacare, phenomenallyunpopular legislation that may very well be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Read the whole thing.  Seems he was more interested in provided the fundamental changes he sought than in providing the changes for which Americans hoped.

More on this anon.

Bottom News Story of the Day

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - March 28, 2012.
Filed under: Biden Watch

HuffPo: Trashing Olympia Snowe To Protect Barack Obama

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:48 am - March 28, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obama Worship & Indoctrination

As further evidence of the pro-administration bias of the Huffington Post, take a gander at this article they featured yesterday in their latest headlines: Olympia Snowe Gives Obama A ‘Failing’ Grade Because He Didn’t Talk To Her Enough.

They make the outgoing Maine Republican appear to be a whiny, self-important Senator, failing the president only because he wouldn’t talk to her.  Even the condescending opening line makes her seem petty, “Olympia Snowe, having decided to quit the Senate, has apparently not yet reached the stage where you quietly go away and leave everybody alone.”  (For commentary on the Senator, he turns to left-wing pundits.)

In his eagerness to note, as he put it, “the strangeness of a centrist senator”, writer Jason Linkins misses the real point of Mrs. Snowe’s lament–what her commentary reveals about Barack Obama:  the post-partisan politician’s not making an effort to work with even the most liberal Republicans.

Remember, as a candidate, the Democrat presented himself as a new kind of politician who was going to bridge the partisan divide and reach out to Republicans.  If he wasn’t talking to one of the most liberal Republican Senators, one of the two (the third would become a Democrat a few months later) to vote for his “stimulus,” then he probably wasn’t reaching out to Republicans less willing to compromise with a liberal Democratic president. (more…)

Watcher of Weasels nominations (late March edition)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:22 am - March 28, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions (more…)

Relying on Huffington Post for its “news,”
AOL has become platform promoting administration talking points

Those of us who still use AOL for e-mail have a regular window into liberal media bias. Whenever I send e-mails, the internet services company provides links to several “news” articles (a good number little more than liberal blog posts); yesterday was no exception.

They linked an article which was basically just an administration press release filtered through a left-wing blogress. The Huffington Post headlined the piece, “Newt Gingrich’s Trayvon Martin Comments Were ‘Reprehensible,’ David Plouffe Says“. Note how they lead off with the notion of the comments being reprehensible, with the name of the person as if an afterthought.

Mr. Plouffe is, as the article informs us, “President Barack Obama’s Senior Adviser”. Since when do such an advisor’s comments about a man vying for his boss’s job merit so much attention?  It’s just not newsworthy.  Maybe it might be if the reporter covered Mr. Gingrich’s reaction, but nowhere does Miss Terkel allow the former Speaker to respond to Mr. Plouffe’s criticism, nor even indicate that she sought his reaction. (In a most helpful update, she does inform us that Plouffe also “criticized former Sen. Rick Santorum’s reaction to Obama’s comments on the Martin shooting.”)

Now, there is nothing wrong with a left-wing blogress repeating White House talking points. She may well share the administration’s outlook — and has every right to express her opinion.  But her opinion is not news.

That AOL features this piece as “news” shows that their decision to purchase the Huffington Post has prevented the internet company from becoming an unbiased source of news.

Some LA Lefties can’t get enough of Rush?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:46 am - March 28, 2012.
Filed under: Hysteria on the Left,LA Stories

Caught this poster on the electrical post at the corner of Melrose and Highland in Los Angeles:

Seems some folks just don’t want to move on from this story.