Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Political Digest for August 11 2009

Newt Gingrich: Go to a Townhall meeting
Two-hundred and eleven years ago, the party in the White House grew frustrated with public opposition to its policies and passed a law designed to stifle dissent. The Alien and Sedition Acts made it a crime to "print, utter, or publish .. any false, scandalous and malicious writing against the federal government, including the President." The law was the reigning Federalist Party's attempt to beat back an ascendant Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson in 1798. It backfired. An outraged American public elected Jefferson president in 1800. No record survives as to whether the Jeffersonian protestors were well-dressed or not, but something frighteningly similar is happening today. For the first time in a long time, the President of the United States is actively trying to suppress public involvement in civic life. Americans have an absolute right to petition our government and express dissent. It's right there in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution….

He’s come to save the day!
More fun from JibJab

Chicago 2016 Olympics: Member of city's bid team has deal to develop land near park earmarked for the Games
I’m shocked! Shocked, I say.

How much is that old clunker on the car lift?
Excerpt: For starters, who says the smartest thing for people with working cars is to buy new ones? Personal debt is supposed to be a problem, so why not look at this as bribing consumers into taking out car loans they don't need? Even with the $4,500 subsidy, not all of these customers are going to be paying cash for their new cars. So they'll be swapping serviceable-but-paid-for cars for nicer cars that are owned by banks.

Are Health Insurance Companies the Villains?
Excerpt: So, when is the last time you heard about a life insurance company dropping someone's coverage because he got AIDS? Never happens. What about jacking up someone's life insurance premiums after the insured has a heart attack? Not a chance. How about dropping coverage just because a person changes jobs or retires? No way. Ever heard of a life insurer interfering with the doctor-patient relationship — say, pleading with the providers to keep the patient on life support so the company can delay paying the claim? Ridiculous. Then why does the market for life insurance work so well while the health insurance market seems so dysfunctional — even when the same insurers are in both markets? Answer: because of politicians. Politicians who think just like Nancy Pelosi thinks.

Is Obama Punking Us? (NYT?)
Excerpt: Yet there is real reason for longer-term worry in the form of a persistent, anecdotal drift toward disillusionment among some of the president’s supporters. And not merely those on the left. This concern was perhaps best articulated by an Obama voter, a real estate agent in Virginia, featured on the front page of The Washington Post last week. “Nothing’s changed for the common guy,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been punked.” She cited in particular the billions of dollars in bailouts given to banks that still “act like they’re broke.”

Paralympics Offer Wounded Veterans a Chance to Dream
Excerpt: When Maryland native Keith Buckman regained consciousness in a Bethesda hospital last July, he knew he would never again play football, basketball or soccer, the sports he had loved growing up in Forestville. He barely survived a 2008 suicide bombing in Iraq's Anbar province that killed 25 people, including three fellow Marines. His legs and one arm were shattered.

Wounded Soldiers Cast Off Burdens as They Fish on the Bay
Excerpt: The owners of Rod 'N' Reel, whose grandfather took wounded World War II veterans fishing in 1946, paid for the chartered fishing trips and donated the use of a refrigerated catering truck. The local hardware store offered American flags. Girl Scouts wrapped silverware. One volunteer baked 22 cakes, another drove from McLean to help grill fish, while a third showed up Saturday with a purse full of mints to hand out to the soldiers.

They were Soldiers, Scottish Soldiers (Jocks) — Tribute to our recently fallen
Great tribute

Congressmen Took Exotic 'Climate Change' Junket
Excerpt: Diving and snorkeling at Australia's Great Barrier Reef, watching New Year's fireworks in New Zealand, and sleeping in a luxury Hawaiian hotel is the vacation of a lifetime — unless you're a member of Congress. Then it's a fact-finding mission to study climate change.

C-SPAN Caller Blasts Media's Coverage of Town Hall Protests
Excerpt: "When I watch the news people stand here and tell me that I am a member of a hired mob, that I've been called up by the Republican Party, they only wish they could have done something like this. I've never been contacted by any organized group."

Key Democrat Feels the Heat after Voting for House Plan
Excerpt: BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- "The war's on," says Rep. Baron P. Hill, and he's not talking about a conflict overseas, but a battle over health care in his own back yard, where thousands of people are trying to tell him what to do, some not so nicely. Hill is a leader of the Blue Dogs, the caucus of 51 conservative Democrats whose hard-bargaining support is critical to President Obama's bid to overhaul the health system. He came home on recess to find himself a target of groups that want to steer the August conversation and the autumn vote.

Georgia Democrat yells at local doctor over health care
Excerpt: Tensions are running so high at town hall meetings that Rep. David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, yelled at a local doctor concerned about health care after mistaking him for an "astroturf" political operative looking for a fight. Mr. Scott became visibly agitated when one of his constituents, a practicing doctor, asked a few questions about health care reform during a town hall meeting. The meeting was held to discuss a road project, but was opened up for questions near the end. That's when Dr. Brian Hill stood up to speak. Dr. Hill asked Mr. Scott why he was going to vote for a health care plan similar to that implemented in Massachusetts "that is shown not to work" and if he supported a government-provided health care insurance option. The congressman replied by accusing the doctor of "hijacking" his event.

Harry Reid Will Only Do Town Halls by Telephone, Media Mum
Excerpt: The most powerful man in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), announced on Friday that as a result of recent protests at town hall meetings he won't hold any such political gatherings during this month's Congressional recess. Instead, he will only do what's called "telephone town halls" where he and his staff have complete control over the questions being asked and who's asking them. Should have been big news, right? Well, according to LexisNexis and Google news searches, not one major media outlet felt it was important enough to share with the citizenry.

Mr. President, Americans are not an 'angry mob'
Excerpt: They aren't carrying swastikas, either, contrary to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's rant about the legions of worried citizens who have been standing up in multiple town halls and congressional forums to demand straight answers from their congressmen about what they are doing under the guise of "health-care reform." Pelosi's attempt to smear honest citizens as Nazis is only the most reprehensible manifestation of a White House-directed propaganda campaign to discredit anyone who disagrees with President Obama's health-care proposal. A growing list of major national surveys suggests that the people targeted by the campaign represent a clear majority of Americans, if not something very close to it. And they are being portrayed by some in their government as its enemy.

Meet the mob
Funny by telling pictures

More on this story: Black Conservative Activist Beaten at Town Hall Meeting
By liberal thugs, wearing union tee-shirts. Kenneth Gladney, a 38-year-old conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with “Don’t tread on me” printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room of the St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was waiting to be treated for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face that he suffered in the attack. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack started. “It just seems there’s no freedom of speech without being attacked,” he said.
And an interview:

The Chutzpah of the Town Hall Libel
Excerpt: You would also conclude that we have been asking for an honest debate about the pending health care -- a debate that entertains all viewpoints and does not shut anyone out -- constituents as well as conservatives in Congress. We have been asking for town hall meetings and have been turned down long before the seeds for your article had been planted; we have been writing letters, sending faxes and emails and making calls to our elected officials and, if we receive a response, it is usually from an ignorant intern or a vapid form letter that regurgitates the congressperson's position and reveals that he/she will vote his/her conscience regardless of the constituents' opinions. This is why, Bill, we took to the streets in the first place.

You Are Terrifying Us
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204908604574334623330098540.htmlExcerpt: What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, accused the people at the meetings of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.” (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a “no” slash over a swastika.) But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans. Some of them looked like they’d actually spent some time fighting Nazis. Then came the Democratic Party charge that the people at the meetings were suspiciously well-dressed, in jackets and ties from Brooks Brothers. They must be Republican rent-a-mobs. Sen. Barbara Boxer said on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that people are “storming these town hall meetings,” that they were “well dressed,” that “this is all organized,” “all planned,” to “hurt our president.” Here she was projecting. For normal people, it’s not all about Barack Obama.

Pentagon Takes Aim at Jets for Congressional Travel
Private jest: bad for car company execs, good for Congresscritters.

Women demand law against genital mutilation
But they will face an uphill battle, with opposition sure to come from Islamic clerics. "Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)" -- 'Umdat al-Salik e4.3.

Apologists for evil

Caption: The inimitable Pat Condell excoriates the liberal Left, of which he used to be a part, for its abandonment of its own stated principles and embrace of the jihad. Along the way, he explains why opposition to Islamic supremacism is not racism, exposes the truth about the manipulative, cynical term "Islamophobia," and even skewers those who try to connect him to the BNP and to a race-based approach to the resistance to the global jihad.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.- George Bernard Shaw

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