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Emmanuel Goldstein’s Chicken Chain

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - July 31, 2012.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness,Hysteria on the Left,Media Bias

A week ago today, in response to a reader’s e-mail, I had begun a post on the Chick-fil-A hullabaloo.  I agreed with Mark Hemingway that the media had invented the story that Chick-fil-A’s president had condemned gay marriage. That said, I wasn’t comfortable with what that president had said about traditional marriage:

Dan Cathy, the president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, said in a radio interview this week that same-sex marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

Appearing on “The Ken Coleman Show,” Cathy spoke of his company’s pride in its socially conservative character, but then offered an assessment of same-sex marriage that might lose the popular fast food chain a few customers.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” said Cathy.

I decided to scotch the planned post.  I wouldn’t join my fellow conservatives in castigating the chicken chain’s critics nor would I join my fellow gays in branding the Christian businessman a bigot.  I would simply refrain from buying chicken there.  The story would soon fade.  It is not a matter of pressing national interest.

Many on the left, however, wouldn’t let up.  On Facebook, some friends seemed to alternate between positing attacks on Mitt Romney and issuing broadsides against Mr. Cathy — and his company.  Soon, as Ed Morrisey summarized, “politicians in several large American cities attempted to disprove” the

. . . notion of a free country in which people can operate their businesses regardless of their religion or political point of view. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Cathy stating that “[t]here is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.” (Chick-fil-A’s website explicitly states that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in employment or in commerce, by the way.)

(Morrissey via Reynolds.)  And despite that non-discrimination policy, other urban politicians vowed o keep Chick-fil-A as far from their cities as possible.  At the same time, not a such public figure could provide a single example of a gay employee mistreated or dismissed because of his sexuality or a gay customer denied service (or otherwise denigrated) because he did not accept the biblical definition of marriage. (more…)

Happy Milton Friedman’s Centennial!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - July 31, 2012.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Economy,Freedom,Great Men

Glenn Reynolds quotes my fellow University of Virginia School of Law Federalist Don Boudreaux who in his centennial appreciation of the Nobel-prize winning economists offered this contrast between Mr. Friedman’s ideas and those of the incumbent President of the United States:

Note that Friedman would heartily agree with President Obama that no one prospers in today’s economy exclusively through his or her own individual efforts. Where Friedman would disagree – and disagree strongly – is with Obama’s suggestion that the main source of help that each of us gets from others is government. While government might supply some necessary pieces, such as highways and law courts, the vast bulk of what society supplies for each person’s sustenance and success comes not from government but from the ongoing private efforts of millions of individuals acting in free markets.

No questions on gay issues in RNC’s “Presidential Platform Survey”

Yesterday, received a “2012 Presidential Platform Survey” from the Republican National Committee. Given the number of gay leftists who argue the driving idea of the Republican Party is marginalizing gays (and other minorities), it is interesting to take a gander at the section of the survey devoted to social, er, “values” issues.

In neither these four nor the remaining twenty-four questions, did the Republican National Committee see fit to ask its faithful about homosexuality or gay marriage.

Guess that narrative about a party obsessed with the gays must exist only in the minds of its detractors.

NB:  Tweaked title to fit it on one line.

Why do some on the left insist on calling Republicans “extremists”?

One thing John Hinderaker has “never figured out is why, if the Republicans represent only an ‘extremist fringe,’” as claims a certain Mr. A. Arnold Gore, Jr., in a fundraising letter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), “there is such a grave danger that they will win a majority of the votes in this year’s presidential election.

Does seem some folks on the left are beholden to the notion of the Republican Party as run by a cabal of extremists.  And wonder if their prejudiced read on the GOP compromises its ability to reach out to people dissatisfied with the Democrats.

And compromising that ability is certainly part of the reason folks like Mr. Gore call the GOP extreme.

Romney’s successful European trip;
legacy media’s repetition of DNC talking points

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:52 pm - July 31, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Politics abroad

“For the correspondents covering Romney’s overseas trip,” write Jim Geraghty this morning in The Campaign Spot, “the big story of the day is likely to be one of Romney’s aides losing his cool and swearing at reporters. (It’s a good thing those reporters never covered Rahm Emanuel.)”  Yesterday, memeorandum dwelled not on how our Israeli allies warned to his speech, but how Palestinians who won’t commit to peace panned it.

Today, memeorandum leads with reports of the aide losing his cool, following that up by linking an article full of anonymous sources telling us how horrible, no good and very bad Mr. Romney’s trip was.  Yet, to those not beholden to Obama administration talking points, as John Hinderaker observes,

By any reasonable standard, Romney’s trip has been successful. Yet press coverage has been unrelentingly negative. This AP story sums up the press’s angle well: “Another hiccup? Romney’s foreign trip not smooth.” To hear the AP tell it, Romney has committed one blunder after another . . .

Let’s see, the presumptive Republican nominee delivered a well-received speech in Jerusalem, and another thoughtful address in Poland while receiving a warm welcome and quasi-endorsement by one of the great figures of the century just concluded.

Instead of focusing on the actual words Mr. Romney spoke and the ideas he conveyed, our friends in the legacy media have focused on one undiplomatic (but accurate) remark Romney made about the London Olympics and an angry outburst by a Romney aide.

And these same folks bemoan that Americans are paying less attention to the issues.

UPDATE:  Asking, “why exactly was Romney’s overseas trip such a ‘public relations disaster’?“, HotAir’s Erika Johnsen quotes Romney himself who opined that Obama’s friends in the legacy media would “try and find anything else to divert from the fact that these last four years have been tough years for our country.”

No, the trip wasn’t a public relations disaster; the legacy media just choose to portray it as much.  If they spent half the time on Obama’s gaffes as they do on Romney’s, that Democrat, like his Vice President, would be known as a “gaffe machine.”  And Biden has earned that honorific even with the legacy media all but ignoring his gaffes.

Watcher of Weasels — Last Winners of July 2012

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:38 pm - July 31, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Winners

No, it won’t get worse for gays if Romney wins this fall

A couple of weeks ago, a friend alerted me to a report about a “pair of liberal super PACs are teaming up on a new Web campaign that accuses Mitt Romney of advancing an ‘extreme anti-LGBT agenda’ that would make life worse for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

Those who run the “Courage Campaign Super PAC and American Bridge 21st Century” seem a lot like certain social conservatives who believe that politicians can undo the social change of the past quarter-century.  Those on the left fear the election of Republicans because they contend Republicans are dedicated to undermining that change.  Meanwhile, social conservatives wish to use the GOP as a vehicle to undermine it.

While Mitt Romney has come out in favor of the a constitutional amendment defining marriage, there is no likelihood that such an amendment could muster the necessary two-thirds majority in either house of Congress as the first step toward ratification.

Not just that, as per her comments in January during he ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR New Hampshire GOP primary debate, the presumptive Republican nominee doesn’t seem to have adopted social conservatives attitudes on gay issues.  Instead, he offered that it was “a wonderful thing” for “gay people to form loving, committed, long-term relationships”:

. . . 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.

Doesn’t sound like a man who wants to work hard to stop the social and political change that has lead to increased corporate and state recognition of same-sex relationships.   (more…)

Another symbolic gesture to scare up gay votes* for Democrats

Yahoo! is currently headlining a story that the “Democratic Party has added new language endorsing gay marriage in its platform draft, the Washington Blade reports.”

Predictably, liberal gay friends on Facebook are cooing over the report.  All the hullabaloo over this story obscures one points which most gay Democrats don’t desire to discuss:  when Democrats had solid majorities in both houses of Congress in the first two years of the Obama administration, neither President Barack Obama nor the Democratic leaders of either house made any serious effort to move forward on federal recognition of same-sex civil unions.  They didn’t even reach out to Republicans open to such recognition to try to craft a bipartisan approach.

With signs that the House will remain Republican after the current elections — and with increasing signs that the Senate will flip as well — this new platform language is meaningless.  The real question is why national gay organizations would rather demonize the presumptive Republican presidential nominee (or a chicken chain) than reach out to Republicans.

(More on this as time allows.)

* (more…)

Why did the NYT editorialist get his Churchill bust facts wrong?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:30 pm - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obama Prevarications,Obamania

Because he, by his own admission, as Charles Krauthammer explains, relied on the White House communications director:

. . . New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, who at first repeated Pfeiffer’s denunciation of the Churchill bust “falsehood,” . . . later honorably corrected himself, admitting that “I got some facts wrong, because I made the mistake of relying on a White House blog post by the communications director Dan Pfeiffer.” Rosenthal then chided Pfeiffer for posting “a weaselly follow-up comment” after the facts became clear that “fails to acknowledge that his post the previous day was false.”

Emphasis added.  Read the whole thing.  (Via Instapundit.)

Fewer people going to happiest place on earth this summer?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:36 pm - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: California politics,Economy

Yesterday, while (as I mentioned in a prior post, I took a friend to Disneyland to celebrate her birthday and noticed much smaller crowds than I had noticed last summer.  I asked a cast member if she had noticed the same thing.  She had.  And I wondered if it had to do with higher ticket prices.  She thought maybe.

Or could it also be the Obama/Jerry Brown California economy?

The crazy things Nancy says (and gets away with)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:27 pm - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,Pelosi Watch,Random Thoughts

Had an interesting thought while corresponding with a conservative blogress about House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to expostulated that Republican exploit Jews by basing their support for Israel on “tax cuts for the wealthy.”

This isn’t the first time Mrs. Pelosi has said something silly.

Our friends in the legacy media attack former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for saying things far more sensible than the liberal pabulum coming out of Mrs. Pelosi’s mouth.

Do wonder if the Democrat doesn’t watch her discourse because she knows more “mainstream” journalists won’t magnify her mistakes.

DNC’s 2012 Focus: Romney’s foibles, not Obama’s record

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:18 am - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Not too long ago, I asked some conservative Facebook friends if they had observed on that social networking site the same thing I had observed–that when posting on matters political, our liberal friends tend to attack Mitt Romney far more often than they defend Barack Obama.  Those who replied had observed the same thing.

Over the weekend, Glenn Reynolds reported a similar observation:  “PRIORITIES: CBS News: DNC Homepage Shows More Romney Attack Ads Than Obama Accomplishments“, adding, “Well, it’s not like there are a lot of accomplishments to boast of.”

If you follow the link, you’ll note something else:  it leads to the web-page of the local CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., not the national news network.  And there’s this:

A review of the DNC’s homepage shows a majority of ads mocking Romney from “Romney’s Guide To International Diplomacy” following his comments that London might not be ready for the Olympics with the Twitter hashtag “RomneyShambles,” to attack ads highlighting “Mitt Romney’s $ecret $tash” of money in Swiss bank accounts and his tenure at Bain Capital.

Interesting that the attacks are mostly personal in nature; Democrats are not primarily attacking the presumptive Republican nominee’s policies.

The reporter for CBS DC found that “Instead of having Obama’s accomplishments readily available on the homepage, visitors need to scroll over to the ‘People’ and ‘Issue’ tabs to find his successes in office.

Do wonder why Democrats are making it so hard to find evidence of Obama’s successes.

ADDENDUM:  Commenting on the same CBS report, Ed Morrissey writes:

The DNC has none-too-subtly put Obama in the role of challenger and Romney in the role of incumbent.  That’s no accident, either — the campaign made clear that they wanted to run on the “change” theme again, even though the “change” they seek is another four years of the status quo, with no discernible shift in policy.

It does seem sometimes that Obama and his team just wan to run the 2008 campaign all over again, as if Bush were still the incumbent and Obama hadn’t yet had the chance to try out his version of hope and change.

Emerging “civil libertarian” consensus on Chick-Fil-A

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:48 am - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Entrepreneurs,Freedom,Gay PC Silliness

While I was celebrating a friend’s birthday yesterday at the happiest place on earth (with seemingly fewer happy people this summer than in past years), Glenn Reynolds linked and quoted from a blogger who offered a nice succinct, synopsis of an emerging consensus on the Chick-Fil-A hullabaloo:

Among pretty much everyone with a civil libertarian, or just plain libertarian, background, the verdict on the Chick-Fil-A furor is the same: while private persons and groups are within their rights to boycott a business, it’s outrageous and dangerous for government officials to threaten to use regulation to keep the fast-food chain out of their cities because they disapprove of its president’s anti-gay-marriage views.

Exactly.  Exactly.  Read the whole thing.

Do wonder yet again why Democratic politicians were so eager to attack this private company for the opinions of its president.  And to do so when they had no evidence that the company had ever discriminated against an employee because he was gay or denied service to or otherwise denigrated a customer because of his sexual orientation.

Some perspective of Chick-fil-A Derangement Syndrome

So, Nancy, GOP’s Israel policy is about “tax cuts for the wealthy”?

In their campaign focused on attacking Mitt Romney’s personal life that he’s a rich guy who, in high school, was a bully who cut some guy’s hair, then, as a young father, put the dog on the car roof as the family motored away on its summer vacation, Democrats do occasionally hit on some policy issues, and often in the oddest contexts.

Even (especially?) in those contexts, they do seem to dwell on one issue in particular, that Republican economic policy is little more than cutting the taxes of wealthy Americans  (while ignoring the “middle class”).

As I was quickly scanning the blogs this afternoon, I caught Scott Johnson’s report on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s interview with Bloomberg’s Albert Hunt and found the top House Democrat doing just that.  When Hunt asked Mrs. Pelosi whether she thought Barack Obama “do as well with the Jewish vote this time as he did last time”, she suggested that Republican support for Israel really wasn’t about Israel:

But I – I think that he will. I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth.

. . . .

Well, that’s how they’re being exploited . . . .

Huh?  A real, “accountable”, reported would have asked her how she made that leap.   Or would have pressed her on this claim of “exploitation.”  What a narrow world view she has.

Why do top Democrats refuse to address Republican policies on the merits and always bring it back to “tax cuts for the wealthy”?

FROM THE COMMENTS:  AndyN posits that “if you trace this ‘reasoning’ back to its source, isn’t she saying that advocating for tax increases on the rich means you don’t support Israel?” Indeed!

Is that one or two degrees of Catwoman?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:37 pm - July 27, 2012.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

Anne Hathaway plays Catwoman in the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises where Matthew Modine returns to the screen as Foley.  Twenty-four years ago, Modine was in Married to the Mob where he fell for Michelle Pfeiffer who played Catwoman in Batman Returns.

Meanwhile, in the contest for cattiest Catwoman, it’s a real cat fight between Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar, with Kitt coming out first:

Perhaps, a runoff is in order between her and Hathaway?  Now, Kitt is comfortably cattier, but Hathaway is darker and more duplicitous, very much a female Han Solo with a bit more of an edge.

Is Obama’s support significantly softer than surveys suggest?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:31 pm - July 27, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

For the better part of this year, the president has enjoyed a sometimes small and sometimes significant lead in most surveys.  And while most polls show him ahead of his Republican rival, only a handful have shown him at or near 50%, a danger sign for an incumbent.

I have long speculated that his support may be particularly soft.  Four months ego, looking at the NJ/Allstate poll, Ed Morrissey found this tidbit in the NJ/Allstate poll, “Even with a skewed sample with an eight-point advantage for Democrats, only 27% of men and 32% of women say they will definitely vote for Obama in 2012, and only 31% overall.

Could the Obama campaign’s internals show something similar, support not strong, but quite soft, with fewer than 40% of Americans certain to vote for the Democrat’s reelection?  On Sunday, commenting on news about the significant sum the Obama team has spent on polling, I observed:

Even though the incumbent has generally enjoyed a slight edge in polling over his presumptive Republican rival in the race for the White House, he has not been campaigning as the frontrunner and does not seem confident on the campaign trail.

Earlier today, on Investor’s Business Daily, Andrew Malcolm offered something similar, questioning the “conventional wisdom”, i.e., the suggestion that “the  real political battle these next 102 days is for a slim middle of self-defined, so-called independents“:

But is this perhaps a false deadlock? There’s a growing suspicion among conservatives — and a latent fear among Obamaphiles — that another significant bloc of voters is hidden like double agents within the Democrat’s camp. (more…)

Democrats weren’t concerned about context of McCain’s economic commentary in 2008 campaign

Lately, the president, his campaign committee and his supporters have been attacking Republicans for supposedly taking the Democrat’s remarks out of context. “You didn’t build that“, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly A. Strassel reports

. . . is swelling to such heights that it has the president somewhere unprecedented: on defense. Mr. Obama has felt compelled—for the first time in this campaign—to cut an ad in which he directly responds to the criticisms of his now-infamous speech, complaining his opponents took his words “out of context.”

. . . .

The Republican National Committee’s response to that gripe was to run an ad that shows a full minute of Mr. Obama’s rant at the Roanoke, Va., campaign event on July 13. In addition to “you didn’t build that,” the president also put down those who think they are “smarter” or “work harder” than others. Witness the first president to demean the bedrock American beliefs in industriousness and exceptionalism. The “context” only makes it worse.

Now if you put into context remark that served to begin the sinking of the McCain campaign just shy of four years ago, it makes more sense  - and does not show a candidate indifferent to economic conditions.  Let’s look at how most some in the legacy media reported the comment.  Time has McCain saying, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong.” Note where the editors of that “news” magazine placed the period.

Let’s look at that in context:

Our economy, I think, is still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times,” McCain said. “I promise you, we will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street.

Time’s editors divided up the sentence in order to make the “fundamentals” comment a complete thought rather that part of a larger message.  Aware of the controversy his comment caused, McCain, that very day, clarified “that his earlier comments had been intended as praise for the resilience of American workers”: (more…)

Chicago Values

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:09 pm - July 26, 2012.
Filed under: Democrats & Double Standards,Gay Marriage

(H/t: Reader Chris H.)

Why Obama should be okay with eating at Chick-fil-A:
Devout Christian Owner “Didn’t Build That” Enterprise

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:41 pm - July 26, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Gay Marriage,Obama Watch

Although President Obama’s current claim to support gay marriage puts him at odds with Chick-fil-A President Dan T. Cathy, a devout Christian who supports the traditional definition of marriage, the Democrat shouldn’t have any problem enjoying a chicken dinner at one of Mr. Cathy’s franchises.  After all, the socially conservative entrepreneur didn’t build that enterprise.  Somebody else made that happen.