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Trivial Gossip and Uninformed Speculation

Posted by V the K at 2:12 pm - April 23, 2014.
Filed under: Divider-in-Chief,Obama Watch

Hmm, so first, the FLOTUS goes to China without the POTUS.

Then, the POTUS goes to Japan without the FLOTUS.

And they travel to Hawaii and Martha’s vineyard on separate jets.

Do you think there’s any substance to those rumors that their marriage is… not happy.

I know it’s a trivial matter, idle gossip, speculation, NUNYA D. Business, but what the heck, not everything has to be about the obnoxiousness of the left wing or the impending fiscal and economic collapse of the United States.

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Obama Never Plays the Race Card

Posted by V the K at 7:11 pm - January 20, 2014.
Filed under: Divider-in-Chief

After Obama whined to David Remnick of The New Yorker that part of the reason for his bad poll numbers was because racist racists hate him because racism, some on the left are called foul, and protested that Obama had never… ever… in his whole entire life… ever … leveraged the melanin content of his epidermal layer for political gain (i.e. played the race card). And, gee, it seems like they are right, Obama never has played the race card.

  • Except in 2008 when he said that Republicans would use his race to stir up fear in white voters. (“They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”)
  • Except in 2009, when… after admitting he had no knowledge of the case other than that the cop was white and the suspect was black.. concluded that the Police had “acted stupidly” in arresting Professor Henry Louis Gates and went on to add, “race remains a factor in this society.”
  • And except in 2010 when he told guests at a dinner party that the Tea Party only opposed his policies because of racism.
  • And except in 2013 when Obama inserted himself into another local crime story by asserting, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” and “There are probably very few African-American men who have not had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me – at least before I was a senator,” and “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
  • And except when M’Chel Obama said, “as a black man . . . Barack can get shot going to the gas station.”
  • And except in Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, when “he” quoted Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “White folks’ greed runs a world in need.”
  • And also except in Dreams From My Father: “That’s just how white folks will do you. It wasn’t merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn’t know that they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserving of their scorn.”
  • Also… “Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.”
  • And when he told Essence magazine, “I don’t believe it is possible to transcend race in this country. Race is a factor in this society. The legacy of Jim Crow and slavery has not gone away. It is not an accident that African-Americans experience high crime rates, are poor, and have less wealth. It is a direct result of our racial history.”
  • And when he attacked the “racism” of the grandmother (“a typical white woman”) who raised him.

So, you see, by a fair reading of the evidence, Obama doesn’t really exploit the theme of race any more than the producers of Glee exploit the theme of gay.

Barack Obama’s Endless Racial Pity Party

From the New Yorker, apparently:

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.” – Barack Obama

As though I despise Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, Martin O’Malley and Andrew Cuomo because they’re black.

Are we ready for eight years of Hillary whining that all of her opposition is because she’s a woman?

The Dawn Davenport Presidency

By way of Michelle Malkin’s excellent website Twitchy, I’ve learned of two great hashtag nicknames for Obama and his administration in the past few days: #PresidentStompyFoot and #SpiteHouse.  As appropriate and amusing as those are, in thinking about his behavior, I’ve come up with another one lately which I like to imagine is just as good: President Cha-Cha Heels.

The reference, for those who don’t recognize it, is to Dawn Davenport, the spoiled teenager in John Waters’ 1974 film Female Trouble.  Although the film is one of Waters’ earlier efforts and is therefore full of the sort of rude, crude, and just plain gross humor and incidents which assured it an NC-17 rating, in some respects it is a useful parable about the evils of modern liberalism.

Here’s a brief synopsis: Dawn Davenport wants nothing more than a pair of “cha-cha heels” for Christmas, but when her parents refuse to get her any on the grounds that “nice girls don’t wear cha-cha heels,” she throws her mother into the Christmas tree, runs away from home, gets pregnant, and eventually becomes a criminal before being discovered by Donald and Donna Dasher, a couple who loves to photograph women committing crimes.  They make her famous, and she becomes even more notorious as a result.  The Dashers are the sort of liberals who embrace transgression as art and dysfunction as beauty, until Dawn goes berserk and then they try to pretend that they had nothing to do with it.

So what does this have to do with Obama?  Well, our petulant President seems rather like Dawn Davenport throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get any cha-cha heels to wear with his Mom jeans.

As Thomas Sowell wrote in an excellent article that appeared last Friday: “You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.”

In any case, Obama doesn’t care.  He didn’t get his cha-cha heels, and so he’s determined to “walk all over you,” in the words of this catchy tune inspired by the story of Dawn Davenport and performed by Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat:

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Unfortunately, like the Dashers, his enablers in the press and the liberals who voted for him are rallying around him as though there’s nothing offensive, disturbing, or troubling about his dishonest and spiteful behavior.

 

What ARE the aims of Obama’s foreign policy?

Victor Davis Hanson published a memorable piece in the National Review last week entitled “America as Pill Bug.”  The pill bug or the roly-poly bug is one that turns itself into a ball when it feels threatened.  Hanson writes:

That roly-poly bug can serve as a fair symbol of present-day U.S. foreign policy, especially in our understandable weariness over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the scandals that are overwhelming the Obama administration.

On August 4, U.S. embassies across the Middle East simply closed on the basis of intelligence reports of planned al-Qaeda violence. The shutdown of 21 diplomatic facilities was the most extensive in recent American history.

Yet we still have over a month to go before the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, an iconic date for radical Islamists.

Such preemptive measures are no doubt sober and judicious. Yet if we shut down our entire public profile in the Middle East on the threat of terrorism, what will we do when more anti-American violence arises? Should we close more embassies for more days, or return home altogether?

Hanson makes an excellent point about the way the Obama administration’s closure of embassies is likely to be viewed in the Arab world and around the globe.  Although, as Jeff pointed out in a post last week, the administration may have ulterior motives–by trying to create a distraction–by closing the embassies in this manner, the reality is that the interpretation of the administration’s actions by our international foes is likely to proceed in a manner similar to that Hanson envisions in his article.

Hanson looks at the example of Libya and Syria to illustrate that the administration’s “lead from behind” strategy is not working, and that it appears to be counterproductive:

Instead, the terrorists are getting their second wind, as they interpret our loud magnanimity as weakness — or, more likely, simple confusion. They increasingly do not seem to fear U.S. retaliation for any planned assaults. Instead, al-Qaeda franchises expect Americans to adopt their new pill-bug mode of curling up until danger passes.

Our enemies have grounds for such cockiness. President Obama promised swift punishment for those who attacked U.S. installations in Benghazi and killed four Americans. So far the killers roam free. Rumors abound that they have been seen publicly in Libya.

Instead of blaming radical Islamist killers for that attack, the Obama reelection campaign team fobbed the assault off as the reaction to a supposedly right-wing, Islamophobic videomaker. That yarn was untrue and was greeted as politically correct appeasement in the Middle East.

All these Libyan developments took place against a backdrop of “lead from behind.” Was it wise for American officials to brag that the world’s largest military had taken a subordinate role in removing Moammar Qaddafi — in a military operation contingent on approval from the United Nations and the Arab League but not the U.S. Congress?

No one knows what to do about the mess in Syria. But when you do not know what to do, it is imprudent to periodically lay down “red lines.” Yet the administration has done just that to the Bashar al-Assad regime over the last two years.

Hanson sees the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a disastrous replay of the Carter doctrine, once again illustrating Glenn Reynolds’ frequent observation that a replay of Jimmy Carter is simply the “best-case scenario” for Obama.

While I believe Hanson is right in his characterization of the big picture and the likely consequences of Obama foreign policy, I’d differ from him in seeing Obama as being as feckless and weak as Carter.  I’d maintain that Carter’s foreign policy was guided by a number of naive precepts about the nature of the world.  At least during the years of his presidency, I’d contend that Carter “meant well” in the way the phrase is commonly used to describe a hopelessly incompetent bumbler who seems incapable of recognizing his own shortcomings.  Likewise, early in the Obama administration, Tammy Bruce started referring to Obama as Urkel, the nerdy, awkward, inept kid from the TV show “Family Matters” who had an uncanny ability to mess up almost everything he touched.  That certainly is one narrative for what Obama is doing in the world of foreign policy, but I’m not sure it is the right one.

As I contemplate Obama foreign policy, though, particularly in the Middle East, I find myself thinking more and more that although incompetence might be the simplest explanation, it might not be the best or the right one.  I see no good intentions in the administration’s domestic policy, so why should its foreign policy be exempt from charges that it is motivated more by malevolence to the United States and its role in history than by a supposed set of “liberal” ideals?

This is an administration that seems bent on alienating all of our historical allies as quickly as possible, while taking it easy on our geopolitical foes.  Obama seems to want our allies to view us as unreliable and untrustworthy while making sure our enemies view us as weak, indecisive, and either unable or unwilling to use force to protect our interests or to enforce our stated policy goals.  If there is a better explanation of the administration’s ultimate foreign policy goals, I’d sure like to know what it might be.

 

“4 in 5 in USA face near-poverty, no work’

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 4:21 pm - August 2, 2013.
Filed under: Depression 2.0,Divider-in-Chief,Economy

…at some point in their lives. From an AP / USA Today article earlier this week:

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives…

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

More than one angle here is worth exploring, and I may do so in future posts. But for now, I’ll try to keep it brief.

Most obvious (and important) is the simple failure of President Obama’s economic policies. It’s not a matter of giving him more time; he’s had more than four years. The problem is that his policies can never work, because they are the wrong policies.

As a committed leftist, the man simply does not understand how the real economy works, how the American middle class came to be, or what produces good jobs and rising living standards for large masses of people.

Obama gave a speech on the middle class this week which was as misguided as any he’s given, and which I may review later in more detail. For now, let’s just say that Obama’s Big Government, debt-inflating policies are the thing causing the conditions that he decries (rising wealth inequality, loss of manufacturing jobs, etc.).

Another possible angle, on the above article, is race – specifically, “the stupidity of race” (as I almost titled this post). Because it goes on to be fairly obsessed with race, saying: (more…)

Obama: Racial Divider

I’ve avoided weighing in on the George Zimmerman trial, out of deference to the judicial process. But now the jury has spoken: George Zimmerman is not even guilty of a lesser charge such as assault, child abuse or manslaughter; still less is he guilty of any degree of murder. It’s official.

My sympathy, and I’m sure all of our prayers and sympathies, continue to go out to Trayvon Martin’s family for the tragic loss of their son and brother.

But I believe they “lost him”, so to speak, before his lethal encounter with Zimmerman. On the total weight of evidence, I believe that Martin was an aggressor, and I agree with the jury that it would have been wrong to send Zimmerman to prison, on the strong possibility (if not likelihood) that Zimmerman acted in reasonable self-defense.

I want to go beyond what Kurt and Roger L. Simon have said about President Obama. He didn’t just besmirch his office by taking public sides in a painful criminal matter where the utmost caution was needed. And he didn’t just lose politically (by taking the side that lost on trial), nor win politically (by revving up his base). No, it’s worse than that. Obama has lost morally by saying things in this matter that, in all likelihood, are morally wrong.

The latest would be Obama’s call to “honor” Travyon Martin:

President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking “ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence.”

…Obama said in a statement on Sunday…”We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

Let’s be clear. Just as the weight of evidence suggests that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, so it also suggests that Travyon Martin used excessive physical force, acting in illegal, criminal aggression. (Otherwise, how could Zimmerman’s action have been self-defense – objectively?)

Physical aggression, especially that which threatens another’s life to the point where he may be justified in taking drastic action, is morally wrong. And self-defense, IF it is genuinely called for, is morally right. And “honor” ought to be given, if at all, to the person, philosophy or action which is in the right.

I really don’t believe that either party should be “honored” here. But, if one of them absolutely had to be, wouldn’t it be Zimmerman? Certainly not because he killed; but because he was – on the weight of the evidence, and as now officially determined by a jury – likely reasonable to have killed, under the law and circumstances; likely the party who was more in the right.

That President O’Pander ignores the moral implications of what the jury found (after their intensive study of the matter), and even presents the opposite to people as that which is good and true, is typical.

Tragically, it is also divisive beyond words, a terrible injury to our nation. Why? Because it sends many people in the wrong direction – with their emotions and their sense of injury inflamed, on behalf of that which is likely wrong. Honoring the wrong does not bring healing – especially in racial matters.

The Zimmerman Verdict and Obama

Over at PJMedia, Roger L. Simon has a piece with the catchy title “Obama Big Loser in Zimmerman Trial.”  Simon writes:

By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.

 It is also the work of a narcissist who thinks of himself first, of his image, not of black, white or any other kind of people. It’s no accident that race relations in our country have gone backwards during his stewardship.

It’s a clever premise, and in ideal world, it should be true, but in the world we live in, the one where Obama got re-elected, I suspect it doesn’t hurt Obama one bit.

These are just a few quick thoughts on my part, so they won’t be fully fleshed-out, but as I see it, Obama got most of what he wanted from the Zimmerman trial.   Zimmerman wasn’t convicted, but as far as Obama and Holder are concerned, that only would have been the icing on their toxic cake.

As suggested in this great article by Karen McQuillan at American Thinker, Obama and Holder are masters at using race and division to advance their agenda.  And when this incident occurred, Obama was showing some softening of support among black voters who were not faring well in the Obama economy.  McQuillan writes:

Once the president of the United States weighed in, Zimmerman had a target on his back.  An ounce of election advantage to our privileged, Ivy League president versus the ruination of a Hispanic man’s life — it was an easy choice for Obama.  Obama’s great appeal to voters in 2008 was his self-presentation as a black man without animus or grievance, eager to move the country beyond divisions of all sorts — black and white, red and blue.  In reality, Obama is obsessed with divisions — race, class, gender — and is expert at fueling war between us, to his political advantage.

Obama has used accusations of racism before, to rally his troops and attack his political opponents.  Opposition to ObamaCare?  Racist.  Opposition to big government?  Racist.  His core liberal supporters like this stuff, and the other voters give him a pass on this, as on everything.  The election analysts were predicting that even black turnout could dip in 2012.  Obama moved from racial slurs on opposition groups to attacking a particular individual citizen.  Zimmerman was sacrificed.

In other words, by weighing in on the Zimmerman case, Obama shored up support among his base and among the black activist class, and thereby helped pave the way to his re-election by those groups.  Not only did he help win support among those voting blocs, he further poisoned the well for race relations in this country, and he added still more fuel to the fire behind his anti-gun agenda.
Now you may think I’m being too clever by half by imputing those kinds of motives to Obama and Holder, but simply look at his statement about the verdict:
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.
Now while on the surface it looks like he is calling for “calm,” and for respect for the rule of law, he’s doing so in the context of his (and Holder’s) earlier statements about race and “gun violence,” effectively giving one message to his supporters and sympathizers, and another message to everyone else.  It is classic leftist misdirection.
At the link above, there’s also a statement from Holder’s Justice Department saying that the FBI and federal prosecutors are weighing options for federal charges against Zimmerman.  Translation: this isn’t over, as long as Obama and Holder believe they can continue to profit from racial demagoguery.
In one of the comments on my last post, our regular commenter Heliotrope provided a skillful analysis of Al Sharpton’s statement about the verdict, relating it back to Alinsky’s rules.  Heliotrope observes:
Libtards lust for power in order to control the sheeple according to their current, faddish view of “correctness.” They are prideful and lash out with the politics of personal destruction against those who stand in their way. Their wrath is both verbalized and implanted by way of insidious actions meant to undermine their opposition. They have lying tongues. They scheme and devise wicked plots. They sow discord. They plant festering mischief. They twist the context to fit their version of the truth and justify their lies. They refuse to practice circumspection and correct their errors in any sense of obedience to promoting a better solution.
I’ve seen a lot of those behaviors in the reactions to the verdict I’ve been reading by various Obama supporters today.  There are lots of calls, a la Obama, for “calm reflection,” but, in the minds of the Obama supporters weighing in on this case, none of those reflections are to start from the premise that Angela Corey and the prosecutors in Florida had a weak case to begin with–and that they lost because they failed miserably in presenting the case in a way that made any of the charges stick.  None of those reflections are to start from the premise that perhaps Zimmerman had a right to have a weapon with him and to use it to fight back when he was knocked down and attacked.

From the comments: What we must acknowledge about the left

In the comments for my last post on Obamacare commenter Ignatius began his discussion of the legislation’s undesirable albeit unstated aims with the observation: “I believe that political discussions would be much easier if those on the right jettisoned this quaint idea that leftists have good intentions.”  I highlighted that sentence in a subsequent comment, and other commenters took up the theme, as well.

Commenter Eddie Swaim observed:

While reading the comments about “the left,” it suddenly occurred to me that after listening to Rush Limbaugh for 25 years, he has always been careful to separate “the left” politicians in D.C. from “the left” common everyday folk. I always agreed with him but now I’m not so sure. Most of the gay male liberals that I know fall right in line with the D.C. politicians. Anything and everything is o.k. if it hurts [conservatism] or wins them a battle against the right, whether or not their action is legal or ethical. The ends always justify the means.

Likewise, commenter Steve linked to this video of Ann Coulter discussing the tendency of liberals and the lamestream media to fall back on “racial demagoguery” to advance their agenda in cases like the Zimmerman trial.

I thought of all three comments when I came across another link to an article by John Hawkins dated March 27, 2012.  Hawkins’ article is entitled “5 Uncomfortable Truths About Liberals,” and I encourage everyone to read the whole thing.  For the moment, though, I’ve summarized his five points below.  Hawkins writes that:

1) Most liberals are hateful people.

2) Liberals do more than any other group to encourage race-based hatred.

3) Most liberals are less moral than other people.

4) Most liberals don’t care if the policies they advocate work or not.

5) Most liberals are extremely intolerant.

Now while the language in those observations is strong enough that Hawkins could be accused of engaging in hyperbole, I think a certain amount of strong language is necessary for describing leftist rhetoric and means of argumentation.  There’s no need to take my word for it, though, read the whole thing and decide for yourself.

I would say, though, that in both the Zimmerman case and in the debates (and protests) over late-term abortion restrictions in Texas, we’ve seen many of the traits Hawkins describes displayed quite openly by many leftists.

Likewise, consider this article in The Advocate which a Facebook acquaintance brought to my attention.  The article focuses on the “mighty change of heart” which many Mormons have undergone on the issues of gay rights and gay marriage.  True to what both Hawkins and our commenters noted, most gay leftists will have none of it, as is very evident from their comments on the Advocate article.  Rather than welcome the changes underway in the LDS church, they are expressing their hatred and intolerance for the Mormons in very hostile language.  Read the comments there and see for yourself.

Now while I know a number of our readers might believe that the Mormons brought the hatred on themselves through the church’s advocacy against Proposition 8 in California in 2008, I’d point out a few things that the left never will, namely: 1). Despite what the HRC and its allies would have us believe, opposition to gay marriage isn’t necessarily motivated by hate, however easy or convenient it may be to believe that, and 2). Individuals are and should be defined by more than their affiliation with some group or collective.  The gay left is always up in arms about what this group or that group said or did about some gay issue, but they never have qualms about denouncing or smearing or insulting members of that group in a similar manner.

The Obamacare implosion

A number of conservative commentators and writers have been speculating for some time how long it will be from the time it is implemented until Obamacare collapses under the weight of its own poorly-conceived structure.  I think few have anticipated the situation we’ve been witnessing in the past two weeks, where first the administration announces that businesses won’t have to comply with the “employer mandate” until January 2015, and more recently, that the administration won’t be investigating eligibility for Obamacare subsidies, thereby opening the door to massive fraud and abuse.

Although the reasons that the Obama administration is making these changes are cynically transparent to anyone who realizes that the Democrats don’t want to lose big in the 2014 election cycle when voters will have a chance to express their displeasure with Obamacare at the ballot box once again, the more interesting question at the moment concerns the meaning and implications of the administration’s latest maneuvers for its ability to enact policies and govern going forward.

I think some people believe the public is paying closer attention to all this than is most likely the case, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the triumphalism and mockery of the administration’s opponents.  After the last election, it’s refreshing to see the administration increasingly on the defensive over the actions it has taken with regard to its signature piece of legislation.  Even better is getting to watch the likes of Dick Durbin (D-IL) admit that the disastrous bill “needs changes and improvements.”

But beyond getting to see and hear the bill’s defenders feel the heat, it is gratifying to see pieces like this one speculating that the Republicans in Congress may wise up enough about the administration’s actions to finally kill “immigration reform”:

“They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., told National Review‘s John Fund about the impact of the Obamacare delays on the immigration debate, “and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like.”

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and had been a member of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, echoed Roe’s concerns on Meet the Press. “In fact, if you look at this Obamacare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about. If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law … what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.”

Even the Wall Street Journal is writing about the administration’s actions in language reminiscent of that we saw with the rise of the Tea Party four years ago:

President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”

Needless to say we can certainly hope that this lively piece by Tony Katz on Townhall.com is more than just a humorous reflection on the administration’s latest foibles:

For years the Right has said that the Obama Administration was thuggish, was hell bent on revenge, and was vindictive.

The IRS scandal was perhaps the tipping point. At first, The Left tried claimed that not just conservative and tea party groups, but progressives as well had been targeted. But, as the Inspector General’s report showed, that was not the case. Obama’s minions attacked Americans who disagreed with him. The Left knows they voted for hate.

Obama is not the man (messiah) they thought he was. The Left was blinded by his skin color and duped by mainstream media.

But now they know he lies. And now they know he surrounds himself with sycophants, ready and willing to lie for him, in poetry and prose.

Lets not let them ever forget it.

The Changing IRS Scandal Timeline….by The White House

From Politico:

The White House on Monday once again added to the list of people who knew about the IRS investigation into its targeting of conservative groups — saying White House chief of staff Denis McDonough had been informed about a month ago.

Press secretary Jay Carney said again that no one had told President Barack Obama ahead of the first news reports: not his top aide McDonough, nor his chief counsel Kathy Ruemmler, nor anyone from the Treasury Department.

Monday’s revelation amounts to the fifth iteration of the Obama administration’s account of events, after initially saying that the White House had first learned of the controversy from the press.

Various folks that I follow on Twitter have asked important questions over the past few days such as this one:

And my observations regarding the multi-scandals now enveloping our supposed brilliant and awesome President?

 

Scandal central? Or a whole lot of talk that will amount to nothing?

As the scandals engulfing the Obama Administration have proliferated and “gotten legs” this week, many of the conservatives I know or whom I hear on the radio have started drawing comparisons with what happened under Nixon, bringing up the word “impeachment,” and hoping that as  it becomes evident that these activities were not accidents but part of a coordinated strategy, Obama will eventually resign, or at least some of those who hold key posts of power in this administration–such as Eric Holder–will resign and that the Administration will be hopelessly tainted as the truth becomes known.

I hear that talk, and I think, it would be nice, but I can’t see it happening.  Maybe Holder will resign.  Maybe.

I can imagine the press starting to subject the Obama Administration to a little more scrutiny in the future, but “a little more” than none is still only a little bit of scrutiny, hardly enough to make a significant difference in public opinion.  While the outrage surrounding all of this may be enough for the Republicans to hold the House and to gain control in the Senate in 2014, there will still be formidable problems, and we’ll still have a very divided country.  The low-information voters in the electorate will still be willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because most of them are either unwilling to see him for the cynical, partisan character he is, or they are unable to do so.

It is possible that after a year or two of scandals and after the outrage that is sure to follow the full implementation of Obamacare, Obama will end his second term with even lower approval ratings than George W. Bush ended his, but at this point, I think that’s about the most we can hope for, that, and maybe Holder’s resignation.  I’m not even sure any of this will derail the immigration bill, which is looking more and more like the next legislative disaster coming down the pike.

I’m not trying to be pessimistic, merely practical.  In the lead-up to the election in November, I knew that what happened  with the administration’s lies about Benghazi was an outrage, but after the election, it seemed evident to me that Obama, Hillary, and the entire administration were going to get away without any consequences.  The American voters had failed to demand answers and accountability and had just re-elected Obama.

Now that the scandals are starting to illustrate the kinds of things conservatives have been saying about Obama for years and years now, some liberals are upset with Obama, but others are busy trying to find more ways to blame conservatives for making an issue of the problems.   In one of the most ironic defenses of Obama I have encountered so far, David Axelrod offered the “incompetence” excuse, namely, that the government is just too big for Obama to really know what’s going on, an excuse we are sure to hear echoed in the days ahead.  Forgive me if I can’t forget that in November the American electorate rejected a man who was renowned for his management skills and his ability to lead large organizations successfully, all so they could re-elect the “community organizer.”

So what do our readers think?  Am I just being pessimistic about all this?  Is the investigation of these scandals likely to have real and significant consequences for our government, or are they a lot of talk that will amount to nothing, or at least nothing much?

Capricious Enforcement: A sign of the times

Back in October 2010, blogger Tigerhawk recalled what one of his Princeton classmates, who was originally from Romania, said about the nature of life under socialism:

One recurring tool of socialist tyranny is the capricious enforcement of unworkable laws.

He quoted the passage in making a point about the “capricious enforcement” which was an inevitable feature of the unworkable mess better known as Obamacare.

But two and a half years later, it’s evident that observation could just as easily have been applied to our byzantine tax code, our environmental regulations, and even laws pertaining to press freedoms under the Obama administration.  As Dan wrote earlier today, the only folks who are surprised by any of these scandals are the ones who haven’t been paying attention to what has been going with our government since January 20, 2009.

In the case of the Obama administration, though, it’s not strictly capricious enforcement, but selective enforcement, always with a partisan goal in mind.  The IRS targeting of the Tea Party and conservative organizations is appalling, but one would have to be naive not to believe, as ABC’s Trey Hardin noted today, that it wasn’t authorized by someone in the West Wing.  Hardin observed (audio at the link):

I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it. It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization.

And it’s not just the IRS.  Earlier today it came out that the EPA waived fees for leftist organizations and leftist journalists who requested information, but not for conservative ones:   “Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”  Yes, this would be the same EPA that has classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant, making the mere act of exhaling potentially troublesome.

A coincidence?  I think not.  This is the same administration committed to picking winners and losers on most matters.  Hence, it should surprise no one that while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of eagles and other protected species, the bird-killing wind farms are naturally given a pass.   Clearly, some energy companies are more equal than others.

It’s the same with journalists.  Just a day after the AP snooping scandal broke, the administration is playing favorites again.  Jake Tapper has gained a reputation as one who can be counted on to ask tough questions of the White House with greater frequency than the reporters at most of the other lamestream news organizations.  Well, today Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is reporting that the White House played Jake Tapper by selectively leaking one e-mail with the apparent aim of creating a diversion in the reporting about the Benghazi cover-up.  Jacobson writes: “Like I said, this entire diversion of leaking a single email out of a chain of emails to Tapper was simply meant to put critics of the administration back on their heels and to provide an excuse for White House defenders to throw around words like ‘doctored.’”

And so what else do we see today?  Well, all of a sudden the administration’s lackeys in the press such as Hilary Rosen are now out expressing their sympathy for poor Jay Carney.  I guess they’re afraid of ending up as the subject of a DOJ snooping scandal or an IRS investigation or a selective leak.

 

Filtered History vs. the Political Wheel of Fortune

Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.”  I thought of that recently in seeing some of the media pushback against the publicity generated by the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas this week.  Thoreau’s quote is as true as ever about the state of contemporary philosophy, but it is also true about the state of historical inquiry:  these days we have professors of history more than historians.

The professoriate is a class with its own interests and its own agenda, an agenda that largely overlaps with that pursued by the majority of our lamestream media.  That agenda does not include the practice of history in the abstract, insofar as that involves presenting the evidence, weighing the options, employing reason, and drawing conclusions.  To most professors of history and folks in the media these days, history is only useful insofar as it serves their left-wing agenda.  Hence their resistance to the displays in the Bush library.

Consider this article from Yahoo! News:

DALLAS—As former President George W. Bush prepares to officially open his presidential library on Thursday, a question arises as it has for his predecessors: How objective will it be about his time in the White House?
Bush left office five years ago as one of the most unpopular presidents in history, his poll numbers weighed down by public discontent over his handling of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and worries about the economy.
But the former president wanted to take the controversies about his presidency head-on, say several former aides who worked closely with him on the library. One way of addressing the challenge is an interactive exhibit allowing visitors to see what it was like for him to make decisions as leader of the free world. People will hear information Bush was given by aides, then be asked to make their own choices. Afterward, the former president’s image will appear on a screen to explain what decision he ultimately made and why.
“He really wants people to go in there and get a sense of what it was like to be president during that time and to use that to make an informed decision about his presidency,” said Karen Hughes, a longtime Bush adviser.

In some respects,  the article strives to be slightly more balanced than I’m giving it credit for being, since it does point out controversies over the presentation of material in both the Clinton library and the LBJ library, as well, but I think it is materially different, too, in that Bush is trying to present the information that influenced his decisions and both the media and some so-called historians are crying foul over the fact that he is doing so.

One reason they don’t want Bush to tell his version of the story is that as the nightmare that is the Obama administration continues to develop, Bush is regaining popularity.  While I don’t often share Dan’s enthusiasm for Peggy Noonan’s writings, I was intrigued to see her recognizing the depth of the differences between the two men in her column this week where she wrote:

But to the point. Mr. Obama was elected because he wasn’t Bush.

Mr. Bush is popular now because he’s not Obama.

The wheel turns, doesn’t it?

Here’s a hunch: The day of the opening of the Bush library was the day Obama fatigue became apparent as a fact of America’s political life.

And she isn’t the only one.  Writing for Politico this week, Keith Koffler complained  about “Obama’s hubris problem,” prompting Neo-Neocon to ask the question that is on many of our minds: “And he thinks it’s only a second-term phenomenon? Where has he been, on planet Xenon?”

It seems like the media is unhappy this week because Bush is getting a fresh chance to tell his story independent of their filter, whereas the public is increasingly growing tired of the combination of arrogance, divisiveness, imperiousness, incompetence, and the need to politicize everything for which President Obama is increasingly known.

Perhaps, to modify Noonan a bit, the opening of the Bush library was uncomfortable for many of his admirers because, in seeing all five living presidents together again, the public got a chance to see them and to size them up, and as Joseph Curl wrote in the Washington Times W. easily outclassed Obama.

 

 

Was George W. Bush the postpartisan leader Obama claimed to be?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - April 23, 2013.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Divider-in-Chief,Random Thoughts

In many ways, George W. Bush was the kind of president Barack Obama, in his 2008 campaign (at least rhetorically), aspired to be, an individual who would transcend partisan acrimony and speak in unifying terms to the nation.  And while that Democrat may have promised a new kind of politics, he delivered the same old/same old with the addition of a full measure of the tricks he learned working his way up in the Chicago machine.

Last week, with his temper tantrum after the defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate, the Democrat demonstrated (once again) that he would rather demonize his political (and partisan) adversaries than engage them in debate and discussion.  Instead of acknowledging the arguments (of those opposing gun control), Obama claimed they had none (“no coherent arguments” were his exact words) and accused them of lying (without providing any specific examples of their dishonesty).

Can George W. Bush’s critics (or anyone for that matter) provide one single example of that good man accusing his domestic political opponents of lacking arguments or engaging in deceitful practices?  Did he lash out at Democrats when they obstructed his attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or at liberal special interest groups who helped scuttle his efforts to reform Social Security?

Did that Republican accuse good-faith Democratic efforts to control federal spending as “thinly veiled social Darwinism“?  (Did Democrats, in the Bush Era, even make any good faith efforts to balance the budget even as they faulted the Republican for his deficit spending?)

Maybe had the 2000 election not been so close and, thanks, in large part, to Al Gore’s decision to delay his concession, controversial, would people have appreciated George W. Bush for what he was, a good man who respected his ideological adversaries and political opponents, and was acting in what, he believed to be, the national interest.

SORT OF RELATED: Bush is back

DEFINITELY RELATED:  ”Bush’s policies aside,” writes Guy Benson, “those who know him best have always been struck by his kindness, integrity and humanity.  Who among us wouldn’t be proud of such a legacy?”

Federal Employee in NC Told To Exaggerate Sequester Impact

From my other editorial venture, WatchDogWire.com…

The latest actor in the drama known as sequestration is none other than Charlie Brown.  Actually, it’s Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office in Raleigh, N.C.

Mr. Brown sent an email to his superiors at the US Agriculture Department in Washington, DC, asking “if there was any latitude” in how he should spread the sequester cuts across his region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.  Mr. Brown’s response from DC is now making national headlines.

Read the whole thing!

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

The president who prefers campaigning to governing

In an article posted today on the Natonal Review’s website, Mona Charen quips that there “are two major parties in the United States: the party that wishes to govern, and the party that wants only to campaign.

And to show that the latter party is that of the incumbent President of the United States, one need not turn to the commentary on various conservative blogs, but instead to the reporting of the left-of-center Washington Post:

After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to Israel and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker.

Israel said Obama told him “how focused he would be on winning a House majority for the Democrats,” many of whom complained that the president did not do enough during his first term to help members on the Hill.

In other words, in the immediate aftermath of his election victory this past November, the president already started looking ahead to the next election.  Since the people didn’t elect the Congress he wanted, he chose to start focusing on electing that Congress, even if the 2014 elections were two years hence.

No wonder he is blaming the sequester on the current Republican House even though he made little effort to work with the leaders of that chamber after it passed the “fiscal cliff” legislation at the end of the last Congress, delaying the sequester until last week.

RELATED: GOP accusation confirmed: Obama out to break it

Our nation’s one-trick president

If President Obama were serious about preventing the supposedly draconian cuts in the sequester, instead of demagoguing Republicans in campaign-style events, he wouldn’t be waiting until the after the last minute to sit down with congressional Republicans.

But, as Jim Geraghty reminds us, campaign-style events are this Democrat’s modus operandi:

How did Obama try to pass his stimulus? Campaign-style events. How did Obama try to pass Obamacare? Campaign-style events. How is Obama pushing for amnesty legislation? Campaign-style events. How is Obama pushing for gun control? Campaign-style events. Fiscal cliff? Campaign-style events. This is all separate from his actual presidential campaign.

Geraghty cites Moe Lane who observes that

Barack Obama knows how to do one thing: elect Barack Obama to public office.  And that’s not ‘elect Democrats.’  Or ‘elect liberals.’  Or even ‘elect people that Barack Obama likes.’  It’s just him: his team is trying pretty hard right now to figure out how to use their over-specialized skill more generally, but they don’t have much time to figure it out and the system is actually rigged against them in this case.

Perhaps, Republicans can be more effective in standing up to this Democrat if every time he attacks them, they respond by pointing out the problem and asking for his plan to fix it, in this case, out-of-control federal spending.

They might also remind Americans of Barack Obama’s promise of a “net spending cut” and pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Not until Friday?

Obama, Top Lawmakers to Meet Friday on Budget Cuts

Why are you waiting until the last minute, Mr. President?

FROM THE COMMENTS: “Actually”, writes Ted B. (Charging Rhino), correcting me, “he’s waiting for AFTER the last minute. The Sequester starts tomorrow-night at Midnight.”

Obama: still blaming after all these years

The incumbent President of the United States has decided to lay off blaming his predecessor for the nation’s sorry economic and fiscal situation and is now blaming someone else:

Facing an end of the week deadline, President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress can avert sweeping across-the-board cuts with “just a little bit of compromise,” as he sought to stick lawmakers with the blame if the budget ax falls.

Obama’s always trying to stick someone else with the blame.  He tries to pin the blame on Congress even while, as Jim Geraghty reports, he “has not met any congressional leaders face-to-face to discuss avoiding sequestration yet.

If he really wanted to avoid these cuts, he’d been holding regular meetings with these leaders.  Seems he’d rather blame Congress than sit down with its leaders.

And this from the guy who four years ago told Jay Leno that one thing he wanted “to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

Physician, heal thyself.