Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Political Digest for October 12, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

The American Left Slides into Psychosis
Excerpt: What better metaphor for the current condition of the left? Leftism suffers from an equivalent psychosis -- one that is now beginning to break out. This is not by chance, but due to the ongoing collapse of the left's epic dream. Leftists have always believed that one clear shot, one opportunity to put their policies into play without opposition from "reactionary interests," would result in a political chain reaction, success leading to further success and finally absolute triumph as the New Socialist Jerusalem came into being with almost no effort on their part. This is childish fantasy, a wish-fulfillment daydream, transparent almost to the point of contempt. (It's also extremely ahistorical -- exactly such circumstances existed in 1933 and 1964 due to historical accident. Liberals botched things then exactly as they are doing now.) But for many years, it has been the only thing keeping the left going. Leftists really believed that Obama embodied their moment. Obama held all the cards -- majorities in both houses, a slavish press that viewed him as no less than a godling, an enthusiastic public, even an acquiescent international establishment, overlooking a few holdouts such as Kim and Ahmadinejad. No left-of-center president has had a smoother road before him -- not FDR, not Lyndon Johnson. Yet Obama's efforts amount to utter failure -- not because of opposition from the "party of no," not because of circumstances, not because of sabotage, but because of Obama's "success" itself. He got the bills passed, guaranteed that their execution would be in the hands of extraconstitutional figures beholden only to him, and got them funded by means both legal and illegal. All of it was put into play with a smoothness that only Chicago thuggery combined with socialist chicanery could accomplish. He launched them, and they crashed, and they burned. They crashed and burned because they cannot work. Not in a universe with natural laws that operate the way they do and with human nature constituted as it is. They have never worked anywhere they have been tried -- not in Europe, not in Asia, not in Africa, nowhere across this wide world. Obama's grand schemes have been attempted previously. The failures were hurriedly stuffed down the memory hole, enabling the left to hope for another shot sometime down the line. (No small number of people in this country -- many of them not doctrinaire leftists by any means -- truly believe that FDR "ended" the Depression.) But today they have a problem -- several, in point of fact. The first is that the memory hole has in large part been filled in over the past decade and a half by such things as the internet and the New Media. It's no longer a simple matter to shove nationwide failures out of sight. It may not even be possible. The second is the fact that this time, they bet the house. They put everything down on Obama. Because it had to work. Because the third time was the charm. Because O was the messiah. And now they're sitting in the casino dead broke, without another dime to lay on the table, and through the doorway they can hear the shouts of the people whose money they embezzled. This is why the left is being overwhelmed by psychosis. Because they are up against the wall with no way out. Under such circumstances, the strong individual bites the bullet and runs for daylight. The weak fall apart. It's been a long, long time since anyone defined leftists as "strong." The left's psychosis, like those of many individuals, involves violence. Simply put, no left-wing regime has ever attained complete power without causing the deaths of its own citizens on a mass scale. We need simply give a short roll call of the bloody names: the USSR, Red China, "Democratic Kampuchea," Cuba, Vietnam...these speak well enough for themselves.

Canada’s Spending Cuts and Economic Growth
Excerpt: We’ve had huge federal deficit spending in recent years–$459 billion in FY2008, $1.4 trillion in FY2009, $1.5 trillion in FY2010, and now an estimated $1.4 trillion in FY2011. Despite all the spending, the economy is still sluggish, private investment remains in the tank, and the unemployment rate is stuck at near 10 percent. The Bush/Obama Keynesian spending experiment has obviously failed. Yet eminent economists Paul Krugman and Martin Feldstein think that the government hasn’t spent enough. They argue that a war-sized package of fresh spending is what the doctor orders for our sick economy. If big government spending really did spur economic growth, then the Canadian economy would be flat on its back and dying. But the Canadian economy boomed during the 1990s and 2000s as government spending was dramatically reduced. In the early 1990s, overspending had pushed the size of the Canadian government to 53 percent of GDP, and government debt was spiralling upward. But the nation turned course and began cutting spending and making pro-market reforms such as privatization and tax rate cuts. The chart shows that Canadian government spending was chopped by more than 10 percent of GDP.

Missed Trade Opportunity
Obama growing jobs—for farmers and car makers in Europe. ~Bob. Excerpt: Congratulations to the European Union and South Korea, which signed a new trade deal this week. There but for the foolishness of U.S. protectionists could have gone America. The EU-Korea deal gives U.S. companies a lot to envy. Once the deal is mostly phased in by 2016, it will eliminate annual tariffs totaling $2.2 billion a year on European exports to Korea. Roughly half of those reductions will take effect on the first day of implementation. European farmers alone will save €380 million a year on tariffs, the European Commission estimates. And those are conservative estimates assuming bilateral trade were to stay steady. In reality, freer trade itself will encourage more exporting and importing. The Commission estimates a doubling of trade over the next 20 years compared to what would happen without the deal. Korea's high barriers to auto imports have long been the bane of Detroit, and a prime excuse for blocking ratification of America's trade deal with Korea. Seoul's opening to Europe shows how self-defeating those American objections are. The EU pact eliminates Korea's 8% tariff on imported cars from Europe—a tariff American companies will continue to face—and also tackles Seoul's notorious technical trade barriers, such as safety standards that deter imports. In practice this means the price of a €25,000 European car in Korea will fall by €2,000 thanks to the duty elimination, while European car makers will not have to conduct expensive additional crash tests as long as they meet EU standards. These are similar to the terms the U.S. negotiated in its 2007 deal, which still awaits ratification in Congress. President Obama now says he wants to "renegotiate" the deal, though how he thinks he could improve it is a mystery. One thing's for sure: Nothing promotes exports like trade deals do, as the Europeans understand.

Three Reasons Obama's Education Vision Fails
Excerpt: President Barack Obama is making his bid to be "the education president." At the start of NBC's recent Education Nation summit in New York, Obama appeared on the Today Show and touted what he claimed were a wide-ranging set of reforms to improve America's K-12 schools. Yet Obama's education vision deserves an F for at least three reasons:

Obama promises Dem victory in November if supporters turn out
If we had some ham, we could have a ham and cheese sandwich, if we had some cheese. And some bread. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama urged Democrats to overcome the spending power of conservative and business groups by going to the polls in the same numbers as 2008. “If everybody who fought so hard for change in 2008 shows up to vote in 2010, I’m absolutely confident we will win, and most of the polls say the same thing,” the president said Sunday at a rally in Philadelphia. “What the other side is counting on … is you’re going to stay home.

Obama has the book thrown at him: Moment a missile narrowly misses U.S. President's head (and what's with the naked man?)
Excerpt: This is the astonishing moment a book was apparently hurled at the head of President Barack Obama during a campaign rally in Philadelphia. The flying missile narrowly missed hitting the President yesterday. It is not clear what the book was, where it came from in the crowd, or why it was thrown at Mr Obama - who did not appear to notice the danger…. The rally was clearly an eventful one - other images showed a naked man being led away in handcuffs by police. It is not clear if the man was involved in the book-throwing incident - or why he was not wearing any clothes. The bizarre incident recalled the moment in 2008 when an angry Iraqi journalist hurled a shoe at then-U.S. President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. The surprisingly nimble Mr Bush ducked the shoe - and the moment became immortalised with online parodies and internet video games. (It came after his speech. Video is here: http://www.redstate.com/california_yankee/2010/10/11/throwing-the-book-at-obama/
Obama and the media apparently didn’t notice it.)

Stone cold silence
Excerpt: Such vacuous sentiments, while well-intentioned, are utterly beside the point. "The enemy" attacking Chicago's young people is not a nameless force but something quite specific: the disappearance of paternal responsibility. All five of Albert's suspected killers, as well as Albert himself, came from fatherless families. The overwhelming majority of perpetrators and victims in Chicago's four-decades-long juvenile murder spree have come from single-parent homes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in Cook County, 79 percent of all black children were born out of wedlock in 2003, compared with 15 percent of white children; the black illegitimacy rate in inner-city Chicago is undoubtedly higher still. If anyone associated with the anniversary events — attended mostly by women — or in the press mentioned such family breakdown, much less called for an effort to change it, the record does not reflect it. (Prior to the 1960's black families were as intact as white families. The War on Poverty broke down the structure of black families by rewarding poor behavior. When able bodied people have no need or incentive to work, the results described in this editorial followed. Yet, some continue to shout for the government to give more money into black neighborhoods. The "revitalization" going in the south and west sides of Chicago is obscene. Blacks have about a 25% unemployment rate, yet the worst parts of Chicago have real estate prices going up? What that means is that developers, and bankers will get rich, the unemployed will move into BRAND NEW homes or BRAND NEW condos and in 10 to 15 years, these homes will again be slums because the mentality and behavior will not have changed. Until the pipeline of taxpayer money is slowed or stopped to the able bodied who do not work, I see the social situation continuing to decay. –Margaret)

Democrats fighting furiously to maintain hold on the Senate
Excerpt: Republicans need to take 10 seats currently held by Democrats in order to win back control of the Senate. Three weeks out from the midterm elections, this season’s pivotal Senate races can be divided into four categories. Three Democratic senate seats are all but certain to go Republican in November: Arkansas, Indiana and North Dakota. There are six Senate seats that Democrats are trying desperately to hold on to. As of this week, all of them are trending Republican: Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin and West Virginia. There are four Republican seats that have been competitive, but look likely to stay on the GOP side: Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio. Finally, there’s the Democratic firewall, the final four seats that the Party must keep if it wants to retain control of the Senate: California, Connecticut, Delaware and Washington…. Delaware: If Democrats retain control of the Senate by limiting their losses to nine seats, this race will be cited as the biggest lost opportunity for Republicans. Christine O’Donnell has failed to close the gap that has separated her from Democrat Chris Coons since her stunning in the August primary. O’Donnell rode Tea Party support to her primary win, but has done little in the last five weeks to reduce Coons’ lead from about 15 points. She showed signs of desperation in the last week, running an ad that began with the line, “I’m not a witch,” and breaking her self-imposed exile from interviews with media other than Fox News by talking to CNN.

Obama’s attack on Chamber of Commerce backfiring
Excerpt: When the New York Times punctures a White House meme, it can reasonably be considered a flop. Last week, Barack Obama himself accused the Chamber of Commerce of using foreign money to push its domestic political activism, which would violate election law. Unfortunately, as the Times reports, the White House had absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing. And Obama failed to mention that plenty of groups on the Left, especially labor unions, raise money outside the US as well. Now the White House is trying to step back from their earlier accusations of illegality, but they’re still desperately trying to hang onto the line of attack:

Bending the Cost Curve
Excerpt: In the national debate leading up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), President Obama said on several occasions that he would veto any bill that did not lower the growth rate of health care spending. So now that the Act is law, you would expect to find a lot of people focused on how that is going to work. Yet an informal scan of news stories, opinion pieces, journal articles and even conference agendas reveals that “cost control” is probably the least talked about feature of the new law. An exception is a Health Affairs study produced by analysts at the Office of the Medicare Actuary — concluding that costs will go up, not down, as a result of the new legislation. Other exceptions are all the members of Congress who voted for PPACA who are now campaigning for reelection by claiming, “If we had not passed this law, health care costs would have…”Okay, so how does the new law promise to control costs? I’m going to skip over efforts to control fraud, waste and abuse, electronic medical records, managed care, coordinated care, teamwork care, medical home care, cost effectiveness research, etc., as ideas that, however meritorious, have not been shown to control costs and probably won’t control costs. As I explained at the Health Affairs Blog the other day, that leaves us with three cost-control initiatives that are new, unique to PPACA and worth discussing…. So here’s the bottom line: The new health reform law does have three notable cost-control mechanisms — two of which are very aggressive. None of the three, however, are likely to achieve their objective.

Why Do Radical Muslims Want To Kill Europeans?
Excerpt: Al-Qaeda was established with one goal in mind: to defeat the all the non-believers, including the US and its Arab, Muslim and Western allies. Bin Laden and his friends want to kill Europeans not because of settlement construction in the West Bank ,or the blockade on the Gaza Strip; they want to kill Europeans because Europeans are not Muslims and have different values. The Europeans need to understand that their support for Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular will not help them avoid "punishment" by radical Muslims. The policy of appeasing Muslim terror groups also will not help. On the contrary, each concession by the US and its allies to Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizbullah will be interpreted as a sign of weakness that will subsequently lead to more violence.

GOP hungrily eyes Hare's seat
Excerpt: Republicans are optimistic about their chances of winning an Illinois House seat long held by Democrats. Illinois’s 17th congressional district, currently held by Rep. Phil Hare (D), is listed as “Democratic toss-up” by independent political handicapper Charlie Cook. And the national GOP political arm decided to bolster its fresh “Young Gun” candidate, Bobby Schilling, after the Republican challenger won an endorsement from the conservative-leaning Chicago Tribune and an infusion of cash from an outside organization. The National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) independent expenditure operation opted to inject $350,000 into the blue-collar district that voted for President Obama in 2008 with 57 percent of the vote, and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 with 51 percent of the vote. The ad buys will likely focus on runaway spending, seizing on recent comments that Hare made in which the sophomore Democrat called the national debt a “myth,” a source with the NRCC told The Hill.

The Economics of Drug Violence
Excerpt: President Felipe Calderón still has two years left in office. But he is already on track to go down in history as having presided over the bloodiest Mexican sexenio since the revolution of 1910. By December, when Mr. Calderón completes his fourth year as president, the national death toll from his war on the drug cartels could reach 30,000. Statistically speaking, Mexico is a relatively safe place with 12 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009. The trouble is that the violence is concentrated, and according to one economist I talked with here, that's because the drug-trafficking business is structured much like Colombia's was in the 1980s and '90s. Powerful monopoly suppliers need to control key zones so they can guarantee an army of contract employees. These "ants" carry the drugs over the U.S. border at a limited number of strategic points in small shipments. Without mafia-style terror, the cartel's domination along the route cannot be maintained. Marijuana and weapons seized in Tijuana. Monopolistic syndicates control Mexico's cross-border drug trade and could move north. Mexican law enforcement has been courageous in trying to confront these monopolies, but firepower has not done the job. That's because this is an economic problem. Lower levels of violence in the U.S., despite widespread availability of drugs, and an improved picture in Colombia, where cocaine still flows, are best explained by competition and the smaller scale of the operators. It wasn't always that way in Colombia. In Mexico it could also change.

Thanksgiving In Hanoi
Excerpt: In many ways this week's ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus Eight in Vietnam is reason to celebrate, like Thanksgiving dinner for a far-flung and fractious family. Bring defense ministers from around Asia together with their counterparts from Australia, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, China and the United States. Engage in "spirited" and "frank" conversation. Just don't talk about disagreements and disputes, and for goodness sake don't say anything that might make Cousin China or Uncle Sam storm out. Thus when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates held a private bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart, there was no mention of the international crisis between Tokyo and Beijing over a recent incident involving a Chinese fisherman and a Japanese coast guard boat near the disputed Senkaku Islands. Likewise, in Gates' bilateral talks with Vietnam, the matter of Hanoi's own disputes with Beijing over islands in the South China Sea went unmentioned. No one expects Korea to raise the sensitive issue of China's backing of North Korea after its unprovoked sinking of a Korean warship earlier this year. Nor has there been any mention of U.S. concerns about China's currency valuations. Such is China's rapidly rising status in Asia that most of the nations present are just happy to have it at such a large and multilateral table. Beijing usually prefers to deal with its regional neighbors on a one-to-one to basis, the better to leverage its outsized heft. That the United States is present to balance the guest list and encourage China to watch its table manners is widely welcomed.

I Can Afford Higher Taxes. But They’ll Make Me Work Less.
Excerpt: AN important issue dividing the political parties is whether to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year. Democrats say these taxpayers can afford to chip in a bit more. Republicans say raising taxes on those who already face the highest marginal tax rates will hurt the economy. So I thought it might be useful to do a case study on one of these high-income taxpayers. Fortunately, I have one handy: me. As a professor at Harvard and the author of some popular textbooks, I am comfortably in the income range that would be hit by this tax increase. I have been thinking — narcissistically, to be sure — about how higher taxes would affect me. Maybe these thoughts can shed some light on some of the broader policy issues. First, I have to acknowledge that the Democrats are right about one thing: I can afford to pay more in taxes. My income is not in the same league as superstar actors and hedge fund managers, but I have been very lucky nonetheless. Unlike many other Americans, I don’t have trouble making ends meet. Indeed, I could go so far as to say I am almost completely sated. One reason is that I don’t aspire for much more than a typical upper-middle-class lifestyle. I don’t fly around on a private jet. I have little desire to own a yacht or a Ferrari. I own only one home, in which I have lived since 1987. Paying an extra few percent in taxes wouldn’t create a lot of hardship. Nonetheless, as Republicans emphasize, taxes influence the decisions I make. I am regularly offered opportunities to earn extra money. It could be by talking to a business group, consulting on a legal case, giving a guest lecture, teaching summer school or writing an article. I turn down most but accept a few. And I acknowledge that my motives in taking on extra work are partly mercenary. I don’t want to move to a bigger house or buy that Ferrari, but I hope to put some money aside for my three children. They will never lead lives of leisure, but I hope they won’t have to struggle to find down payments to buy their own homes or to send their kids to college. Suppose that some editor offered me $1,000 to write an article. If there were no taxes of any kind, this $1,000 of income would translate into $1,000 in extra saving. If I invested it in the stock of a company that earned, say, 8 percent a year on its capital, then 30 years from now, when I pass on, my children would inherit about $10,000. That is simply the miracle of compounding. Now let’s put taxes into the calculus. First, assuming that the Bush tax cuts expire, I would pay 39.6 percent in federal income taxes on that extra income. Beyond that, the phaseout of deductions adds 1.2 percentage points to my effective marginal tax rate. I also pay Medicare tax, which the recent health care bill is raising to 3.8 percent, starting in 2013. And in Massachusetts, I pay 5.3 percent in state income taxes, part of which I get back as a federal deduction. Putting all those taxes together, that $1,000 of pretax income becomes only $523 of saving.

Law punishing fake heroes may go to Supreme Court
When they make these claims, they benefit from fraud, often in money, but in recognition and esteem. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Justice Department is battling to save a federal law that makes it illegal to lie about being a war hero, appealing two court rulings that the statute is an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech. The fight could be carried all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it would face an uncertain fate, legal analysts said. "This is a Supreme Court that is friendly to parties asserting speech rights and skeptical about restrictions on those rights," said Kannon Shanmugam, a former Justice Department official. Supporters of the law take the opposite view. "It could wind up being the kind of landmark decision that the Supreme Court is going to have to give very serious and very broad consideration to, and I think they'll come down on our side," said Doug Sterner, a military historian. The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have won a military medal, whether or not an impostor seeks financial gain. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and a federal district court in Denver have both ruled the law is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.

Remembering an Executioner
Excerpt: Forty-three years ago this week, Ernesto “Che” Guevara got a major dose of his own medicine. Without trial, he was declared a murderer, stood up against a wall and shot. Historically speaking, justice has rarely been better served. There was never an occasion better suited to the expression: “What goes around comes around.” “When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said former Cuban political prisoner Roberto Martin-Perez, “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” As commander of the La Cabana execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man (or boy) by firing the coup de grace himself. When other duties tore him away from his beloved execution yard, he consoled himself by viewing the slaughter from afar. Che’s second-story office in Havana’s La Cabana prison had a section of wall torn out so he could watch his darling firing-squads at work. Even as a youth, Ernesto Guevara’s writings revealed a serious mental illness. “My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any vencido that falls in my hands!” This passage is from Ernesto Guevara’s famous Motorcycle Diaries, though Robert Redford somehow overlooked it while directing his heart-warming film on Guevara. The Spanish word vencido, by the way, translates into “defeated” or “surrendered.” And indeed, the “acrid odor of gunpowder and blood” very rarely reached Guevara’s nostrils from anything other than captured prisoners — often defenseless men and boys at close-range. Carlos Machado was 15 years old in 1963 when the bullets from the firing squad shattered his body. His twin brother and father collapsed beside him from the same volley. All had resisted Castro and Che’s theft of their humble family farm; all refused blindfolds and all died sneering at their Communist murderers like thousands of their valiant countrymen. Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Cristo Rey! Abajo Comunismo! “The defiant yells would make the walls of La Cabana prison tremble,” wrote eyewitness to the slaughter, Armando Valladares.

What the Muslims in America Can Do
Excerpt: You may get a hundred different answers from a hundred American Muslims about what it means to be an American Muslim. The controversial Islamic center near ground zero, while pouring salt in a yet widely open national wound, did begin to awaken us to the yet unfought war of ideas within the "House of Islam." Many of us reform-minded Muslims have been waging that war of ideas for most of our adult life, long before 9/11. But time has shown that we cannot wage this battle alone. It may not seem to matter much for a faith community that is barely 1 percent of the population, but American Muslims carry an invaluable ability to influence the ideologies of over 1.5 billion Muslims - over a fifth of the world's population. Until middle America realizes how our national security hangs in the balance of that intellectual war within Islam, our security will never improve. The last 12 months have seen the most arrests and attacks of radical Islamists on Americans since 9/11. This was confirmed to Congress last month by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who also finally acknowledged the growing homegrown threat of radical Muslims. Sadly, many of my co-religionists called on by media to speak for American Muslims too often wallow in denial simply deflecting any responsibility by distancing themselves from radicals or myopically equating Muslim radicals to those of other faiths. They willfully ignore the main ideological conveyor belt towards radicalism - political Islam. Most Americans no longer accept these detached irresponsible dismissals from leading American Muslims. They see so many examples of American Muslim clerics who condemn terror out of one side of their mouth while deceptively amplifying victimology, Islamophobia, anti-Americanism and morally vacant justifications from the other…. DR. M. ZUHDI JASSER is the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, based in Phoenix, Ariz. Contact: info@aifdemocracy.org.

Manchin takes aim at healthcare, cap-and-trade in Senate race
If a Democrat candidate mentions Obama today, it’s probably to disagree with him in hopes of getting elected. ~Bob. Excerpt: West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) took strides on Monday to distance himself from President Obama and Washington Democrats as he tries to repair his flagging Senate bid. In an interview on Fox News, Manchin said he is open to repealing the new healthcare law — the signature accomplishment of Democrats during Obama’s time in the White House. The governor also took to the airwaves to tout his independence, releasing a TV ad in which he's shown shooting a hole through the cap-and-trade bill favored by Obama and House Democrats. The moves by the governor come amid new polls that show Manchin trailing Republican John Raese in the West Virginia Senate race. Manchin was once considered a shoo-in for the seat, long held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D), but Raese has surged ahead in polls in part by branding Manchin as a rubber-stamp for the Obama administration.

Washington Post bows to Islamic violent intimidation, pulls cartoon that mentions Muhammad but doesn't even depict him
Excerpt: If any person or group is considered off-limits for critical examination and even ridicule, that person or group has been given a privileged position in society, and has a free hand to do what it wishes. That's why the freedom of speech is an indispensable bulwark against tyranny: it prevents authoritarian rulers from arrogating to themselves and exercising unfettered power. And in this case, it rewards violent intimidation. Consider this: I have been defamed in the Washington Post twice in the last week, once by Eboo Patel and once by Keith Ellison. Would the Post have considered not running those pieces because of the possibility that they might offend me? Of course not. They should have considered not running them in the interests of truth and accuracy, but they should not have considered whether or not I would have been offended by them for one second. It is also virtually indisputable that the Post would never hesitate to run an item that might offend Christians, and would have been the first to start talking about the freedom of speech if those Christians complained. So why is the Post so solicitous of Muslims? Why the double standard? Because they know that when I get offended, no one gets killed, and when Christians get offended, no one gets killed, but when Muslims are offended, people die.

Voters still want pork in their home districts
This is, of course, the problem. They buy votes with our grandkids’ money, and too many voters are only interested in what they get, don’t realize that if a politician brings home the pork, he has to let a lot of other politicians take pork to their districts. ~Bob. Excerpt: Despite primary victories by tea party candidates running directly against increased government spending, new poll numbers out of the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest that a strong majority of voters want their own member of Congress to work to win pork for their own district. Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they wanted their own Congressman to "fight for more government spending in your congressional district, in order to create jobs" while 39 percent said they preferred their member of Congress to "fight" government spending even if it means fewer jobs in their district. A majority of independents (52 percent) said they preferred their congressman to focus on local spending to create jobs. Those numbers stand in contrast to the state of the electorate in the fall of 1994 -- less than two months before Republicans retook control of Congress with a message built on the public's distaste for government. In a September 1994 Post/Kaiser poll 42 percent said they wanted their member of Congress to fight for more government spending in their own district while 53 percent said they wanted their member to fight government spending. Similarly, in the latest Post/Kaiser poll 39 percent said they wanted their representative to do what's best for the country while 46 percent said they wanted to primarily focus on what's best for the district.

Pot calls kettle . . . .
Excerpt: Glenn Reynolds nails this one: the Obama Democrats’ campaign riff against foreign donations to Democrats is bogus—and according to the New York Times, no less. This looks like a matter of projection, since it’s well documented that the 2008 Obama campaign did not put in place address verification software that would have routinely prevented most foreign donations. In effect they were encouraging donations by foreign nationals. Here’s the Washington Post on this back in October 2008: Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed. Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged.” And here’s our own Washington Examiner editorial from the time: “Then there’s the question of whether foreign nationals are contributing to the Obama campaign. There is more than enough evidence to warrant a full-scale investigation by the Federal Election Commission, including the $32,332.19 that appears to have come from two brothers living in a Hamas-controlled Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah, GA (that’s Gaza, not Georgia). The brothers’ cash is part of a flood of illegal foreign contributions accepted by the Obama campaign.”

No comments:

Post a Comment