« February 2012 | Main | April 2012 »

March 29, 2012

Hard Times for the Left, with ObamaCare at the Supreme Court at the Top

For all the troubles in the GOP presidential field that I've detailed here, it's easy to forget how much it sucks to be a liberal Democrat these days. And, full admission, the troubles on the left escaped me until I read a post by Steven Hayward at Powerline in which he pointed out that "It is typical for politically-engaged people to note the weaknesses and defects of their own side, while overestimating the strength and prowess of their opponents." Reading the rest of it, I immediately saw how right he was.

Regardless of the eventual ruling, opinion around the political spectrum is in universal agreement that the solicitor general's attempt to defend ObamaCare was an unmitigated disaster. Donald Verrilli was raked over the coals by justices from the right, left, and center, and left flailing in the wind. There are a zillion good articles to choose from which summarize the situation, but John Podhoretz, writing in the New York Post, is as good as any:

There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administration's advocates and the liberal members of the court.

This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court.

Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker and CNN confidently asserted on Charlie Rose at the beginning of the week that the court would rule 7-2, maybe even 8-1 in favor of ObamaCare. The previous week, he called the anti-ObamaCare arguments "really weak."

His view was echoed by an equally confident op-ed assertion by the veteran court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who in The New York Times declared the case against ObamaCare "analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection."

It was quite a change, then, to see Toobin emerge almost hysterical from the Supreme Court chamber after two hours of argument on Tuesday and declare the proceedings "a train wreck for the Obama administration."

Yesterday, after another two hours of argument, he suggested it might even be a "plane wreck."

That was the general consensus across the board. It held that the two lawyers arguing against ObamaCare -- Paul Clement and Michael Carvin -- were dazzlingly effective, while the administration's solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, put in a mediocre performance.

As my homestate Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli warned in an email to supporters, he's seen plenty of instances in which as a litigator the oral arguments seem to go your way only to see the court rule against you. The reason this can happen is pretty simple; it's not a contest to see who is the best debater. A person can do a bad job presenting an argument but still be right on the merits. More, judges/justices may work overtime trying to poke holes in a case to be sure they are correct in upholding it.

So while we can't say with certainty how the court will rule... I'll go out on a limb and say that I wouldn't be surprised to see the court strike down the entire law in a 5-4 decision but toss the individual mandate 7-2 or even 9-0.

As for the other Democrat/liberal disasters, let's go back to the Powerline post referenced at the beginning (boldtype added):

The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Month for the Left by Steven Hayward March 29, 2012

It is typical for politically-engaged people to note the weaknesses and defects of their own side, while overestimating the strength and prowess of their opponents. This is not a bad instinct, but sometimes it's worth stepping back and trying to view the whole scene from a neutral perspective. It is possible a neutral or objective observer would conclude that the Left has just had about the worst month in longer than I can recall.

First came the Sandra Fluke controversy. What looked like a well-staged triumph for the Left because of a rare overreach by Rush Limbaugh resulted instead in a ferocious blowback against Bill Maher, Louis C.K. (cancelled from the White House correspondents' dinner because of his vile comments about Sarah Palin), and HBO, while Rush's ratings have spiked and advertisers came groveling back after the anti-Rush boycott was revealed to have been trumped up by Media Matters. Meanwhile, while the media elites identify with Fluke as one of their own, it is less clear that ordinary Americans think the government owes free contraception to 30-year old college students.

Second, Obama is in full retreat and panic mode over gasoline prices, and energy generally. To be sure, the EPA is still advancing its jihad against coal, and cheap natural gas is bailing out Obama to some extent (but also driving another nail into the coffin of wind and solar power), but I've always thought that liberal opposition to domestic oil production would not survive an extended period of $4 gasoline prices. Byron York flatly predicts that Obama will be forced to approve the Keystone pipeline before the election. Obama's embrace of the GOP slogan of "all-of-the-above" energy means that environmentalists are being largely thrown under the bus. (Meanwhile, keep your eyes on the Post-It note gas pump protests, and consider joining the swarm.)

Then came the Trayvon Martin incident. But what looked like a by-the-numbers drill for the racial grievance industry has started to collapse beneath certain inconvenient facts that don't fit the narrative such as Zimmerman's ethnicity and political party registration (Democratic), eyewitness testimony that Martin was assaulting Zimmerman (perhaps with cause), and Spike Lee advocating vigilantism against Zimmerman, but tweeting an incorrect home address, endangering an innocent elderly couple. Again, while the media lap up the antics of Al Sharpton, it is doubtful most ordinary Americans are impressed with this. More blowback.

Then of course we have the Obamacare argument in the Supreme Court this week. Even if the Court ultimately upholds the Affordable Care Act, the course of the argument is extremely damaging to the Left. And if it is struck down, I predict the Left will overreact in ways that will also backfire badly. (I'll have more thoughts on this in a separate post later today.)

Finally, yesterday the House voted down Obama's proposed budget for next year by a vote of 414 - 0. Not even the most leftist members of Obama's own party are willing to go on record in support of his unserious and irresponsible budget. Political stunt by the GOP? Sure, but so what? Back in the Reagan years, when every Reagan budget proposal was pronounced "dead on arrival" when it came to Capitol Hill, it could rely on substantial GOP support, and became a fixed point from which serious budget compromises would then be hammered out. Obama's budget was dead before it left the White House, and is irrelevant to any serious effort to confront our fiscal abyss.

None of this should be taken as a sign of a decisive "turning point," or that our side has won, or even that we're winning. "There are no lost causes because there are no gained causes," T.S. Eliot wrote. This is a never-ending struggle, and these incidents just the latest skirmish lines in the hundred years war with the Left. But it's been a lousy last month for the Left. Go ahead, enjoy a smile, have a drink, and then get back in the arena.

Posted by Tom at 8:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 26, 2012

Santorum Sounds Silly

There are certainly things to like and admire about Rick Santorum, and I've said before that he's my second choice for the nomination, after which it goes very sharply downhill. But his run-in with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny was a disaster, and revealed a character flaw that his supporters should think carefully about before continuing to back him. Via NRO:

Yesterday, Rick Santorum said of Mitt Romney that, "Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama." After the speech, New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny approached Santorum, asking for clarification. A heated exchange ensued, with Santorum insisting he had meant that Romney was the "worst Republican" on the issue of Obamacare to run against Obama, and finally telling Zeleny, "Quit distorting my words. It's bull--- " Video of the exchange:


Ugh.

He tried to defend his tirade this morning on Fox and Friends:


Sounds to me like Rick knows he screwed up.

The bottom line though is that no, Republicans don't curse without a very good reason, and he most certainly did not have one. The reporter's question was appropriate, and just because it came from a publication that is hostile to Republicans in general and conservatism in particular does not justify Santorum's over-the-top reaction.

There are two explanations for his behavior, neither of them good.

  1. The whole thing was an act. He wanted to emulate Newt Gingrich's put down of CNN's John King and chose this moment to do it. If so, then it was astoundingly poorly timed and performed.
  2. He just got mad at Mr. Zeleny. If this is the case then this seriously calls into question whether he has the temperament to be our nominee, much less president.

Mitt Romney may be bland and boring, and he may not be a movement conservative, though as I've said he is a lot more conservative than most people think. Romney will run a solid campaign centered around the correct issue of jobs and the economy and will not commit these sorts of unforced errors.

Posted by Tom at 8:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2012

Paul Ryan's Leads the Charge on the Right for a Sane Fiscal Policy

Whatever else you want to think about Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI-1),when it comes to the budget the man is one of the lights of the Republican party. While many simply repeat stock slogans and the same old mantras and talking points, Ryan delves into the numbers and comes up with an actual plan. He's the Jack Kemp of our day, and someone to take seriously.

To be sure, Ryan's plan is not all that I would want it to be. It does not cut spending nearly enough, and so does not balance the budget for a few decades. It does not touch Social Security and Medicare reforms are put off for ten years.

All of this makes liberal protestations both funny and sad. While the Ryan plan seems a good place to start, the tragedy is that if implemented is not that it would starve the poor and elderly, but that even it may not be enough to prevent a debt crisis.

I'd love to take a few hours, analyze his plan completely... but have no time. So once again I'll have to let someone else to my talking for me.

Paul Ryan Leads
National Review
The Editors
March 21, 2012

Representative Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has produced another bold budget. He knows that President Obama and the Democrats will not allow his budget plan to become law this year, but he wants to recommit the Republican party to spending restraint, tax reform, and a strong defense.

Naturally, the Obama White House is already shrieking. Ryan's budget, it says, "fails the test of fairness, balance, and shared responsibility." The test of balance? Ryan's plan moves the federal budget into sustainable balance, even on the unfavorable assumptions of the Congressional Budget Office. President Obama has never produced a plan to balance the budget on any time frame. His treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, admitted as much in recent testimony before the House. Nor have Senate Democrats, who have not produced any budget at all for three years. We doubt that most Americans will find that consistently large deficits and ever-rising debt levels meet their definition of fairness, balance, and responsibility. Nor will they favor what we suspect is the president's real, though secret, plan: to allow taxes to rise on everyone, in effect cycling the middle class's money back to it through Washington for the benefit of the Democratic party.

The Ryan budget would spend $5 trillion less than President Obama plans to spend over the next decade. It repeals Obamacare. It limits Medicaid spending by offering states a capped amount of funds, ending the current practice of bribing them to expand coverage. It commits to a tax code that raises the same revenue, as a proportion of the economy, as we have historically raised, but does so with lower tax rates, less hostile treatment of capital, and fewer loopholes.

The main change Ryan has made between last year's Republican budget and this one concerns Medicare. Last year, he proposed that in the future, the government should defray the cost of whatever coverage plans senior citizens choose, with the amount of the subsidy varying by their age and health risks, and with total spending rising at the rate of inflation. If they choose more expensive plans, they will have to pay more. This year, the budget proposes that instead of rising at a predetermined rate, the size of the subsidy should depend on the results of a bidding process in which insurers in each of Medicare's administrative regions compete to cover the minimum benefits package at the lowest price. In addition, under Ryan's new proposal, one of the options seniors would be able to choose would be a traditional fee-for-service plan run by the government.

In principle, these changes could be advances for conservatism rather than concessions. If competition and price sensitivity drove costs down, a competitive-bidding model could reduce Medicare spending more than last year's proposal would have. (If the program failed miserably, spending would still be capped at the level the Obama administration has stipulated.) It would be important that the implementing legislation gave no artificial advantages to plans that operate on the fee-for-service model. But if that condition were met, the resulting reform would be a giant step toward free markets and national solvency.

Liberal attacks on the Medicare plan have not caught up with these changes. Last year, Democrats argued that since health-care costs rise faster than inflation, a subsidy that rises only with inflation will leave seniors paying an ever-higher share of those costs. They're making the same argument this year. But the new plan is immune to this critique: Seniors will always have an option to pay no more than they are paying now. Ryan can be said to be "ending Medicare as we know it" only in the sense of stopping it from being quite as centrally micromanaged, and unsustainable, as it is now.

As ambitious as Ryan's plan is -- it would accomplish more conservative reform than the last three Republican presidents combined -- it has unfortunate omissions. It says nothing about Social Security reform, and thus fails to restrain the growth in benefits for well-off seniors. Liberals would have given Ryan no credit for addressing Social Security, but it would have been the right policy. The plan is either too vague about tax reform or not vague enough: It makes no sense to commit to a tax code with a 10 percent and 25 percent rate but to remain silent on deductions and even on the level of income to which each rate would apply. The plan says nothing, for example, about the tax treatment of health-care coverage. But if Obamacare is to be repealed, that treatment should be changed to allow a market for insurance purchased by individuals to grow. In at least one area, meanwhile, the plan goes too far, imposing federal limits on malpractice suits, an area that states have traditionally and rightly governed.

Ryan and the Republicans have, nonetheless, put forward a plan to bring the federal debt under control and to avoid massive tax increases. Neither the president nor his Democratic allies have done these things. The contrast is very much to the former's credit and the latter's shame.


Posted by Tom at 6:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2012

Palin Power and the Hypocrisy of Barack Obama and the Liberals

Photobucket

Bristol Palin, second child and oldest daughter of former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, wrote this open letter to President Obama.

Mr. President, When Should I Expect Your Call?
Posted on March 18, 2012
by Bristol Palin

Dear President Obama,

You don't know my telephone number, but I hope your staff is busy trying to find it. Ever since you called Sandra Fluke after Rush Limbaugh called her a slut, I figured I might be next. You explained to reporters you called her because you were thinking of your two daughters, Malia and Sasha. After all, you didn't want them to think it was okay for men to treat them that way:

"One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on," you said. "I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens."

And I totally agree your kids should be able to speak their minds and engage the culture. I look forward to seeing what good things Malia and Sasha end up doing with their lives.

But here's why I'm a little surprised my phone hasn't rung. Your $1,000,000 donor Bill Maher has said reprehensible things about my family. He's made fun of my brother because of his Down's Syndrome. He's said I was "f---d so hard a baby fell out." (In a classy move, he did this while his producers put up the cover of my book, which tells about the forgiveness and redemption I've found in God after my past - very public -- mistakes.)

If Maher talked about Malia and Sasha that way, you'd return his dirty money and the Secret Service would probably have to restrain you. After all, I've always felt you understood my plight more than most because your mom was a teenager. That's why you stood up for me when you were campaigning against Sen. McCain and my mom -- you said vicious attacks on me should be off limits.

Yet I wonder if the Presidency has changed you. Now that you're in office, it seems you're only willing to defend certain women. You're only willing to take a moral stand when you know your liberal supporters will stand behind you.

But...

What if you did something radical and wildly unpopular with your base and took a stand against the denigration of all women... even if they're just single moms? Even if they're Republicans?

I'm not expecting your SuperPAC to return the money. You're going to need every dime to hang on to your presidency. I'm not even really expecting a call. But would it be too much to expect a little consistency? After all, you're President of all Americans, not just the liberals.

Ms Palin won't get a call from Obama because she's a conservative and it would hurt him politically. And the liberals would go nuts because they are not about protecting women but advancing their radical agenda.

Posted by Tom at 8:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The One Religion You Can Persecute

Other than my own congressman, Frank Wolf (R-VA-10), not many politicians spend a lot of time defending Christians against the horrible persecution they face around the world, especially China and around the Middle East. As I mentioned on this blog, President Bush didn't do much of anything about it, and neither did Clinton, Bush41, Reagan, Carter... on back it goes. So on the one hand this editorial in the Washington Times attacking Obama may seem unfair. On the other hand, the attacks on Christians has gotten worse in recent decades. Some will no doubt blame this on American policies, but that's rather beside the point; there was no organized effort to kill Muslims and/or burn their houses of worship before or after 9-11.

Destroy all churches
Obama silent while Saudi grand mufti targets Christianity
The Washington Times
March 16, 2012

If the pope called for the destruction of all the mosques in Europe, the uproar would be cataclysmic. Pundits would lambaste the church, the White House would rush out a statement of deep concern, and rioters in the Middle East would kill each other in their grief. But when the most influential leader in the Muslim world issues a fatwa to destroy Christian churches, the silence is deafening.

On March 12, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is "necessary to destroy all the churches of the region." The ruling came in response to a query from a Kuwaiti delegation over proposed legislation to prevent construction of churches in the emirate. The mufti based his decision on a story that on his deathbed, Muhammad declared, "There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula." This passage has long been used to justify intolerance in the kingdom. Churches have always been banned in Saudi Arabia, and until recently Jews were not even allowed in the country. Those wishing to worship in the manner of their choosing must do so hidden away in private, and even then the morality police have been known to show up unexpectedly and halt proceedings.

This is not a small-time radical imam trying to stir up his followers with fiery hate speech. This was a considered, deliberate and specific ruling from one of the most important leaders in the Muslim world. It does not just create a religious obligation for those over whom the mufti has direct authority; it is also a signal to others in the Muslim world that destroying churches is not only permitted but mandatory.

The Obama administration ignores these types of provocations at its peril. The White House has placed international outreach to Muslims at the center of its foreign policy in an effort to promote the image of the United States as an Islam-friendly nation. This cannot come at the expense of standing up for the human rights and religious liberties of minority groups in the Middle East. The region is a crucial crossroads. Islamist radicals are leading the rising political tide against the authoritarian, secularist old order. They are testing the waters in their relationship with the outside world, looking for signals of how far they can go in imposing their radical vision of a Shariah-based theocracy. Ignoring provocative statements like the mufti's sends a signal to these groups that they can engage in the same sort of bigotry and anti-Christian violence with no consequences.

Mr. Obama's outreach campaign to the Muslim world has failed to generate the good will that he expected. In part, this was because he felt it was better to pander to prejudice than to command respect. When members of the Islamic establishment call for the religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing, the leader of the free world must respond or risk legitimizing the oppression that follows. The United States should not bow to the extremist dictates of the grand mufti, no matter how desperate the White House is for him to like us.

Posted by Tom at 8:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2012

Headed Downhill and Fast: The Republican Presidential Contest

With Mitt Romneny's losses in Alabama and Mississippi we have the worst of all situations; a sort-of front-runner disliked by his party's base, and unable to pull away from his closest challenger. However second-place close challenger, the Rick Santorum, cannot pull even or ahead because the third place guy, Newt Gingrich, is taking away a significant number of votes that would probably otherwise go to him. The third place guy, Newt Gingrich, will not withdraw because his Mount Everest size ego won't let him. Then there's the fourth-place guy, Ron Paul, who nobody likes but also don't want to offend because they need to keep him from bolting the party and need his supporters votes.

If current voting trends keep up we'll go into the convention without anyone having secured enough committed delegates to win. No matter who wins at the convention, we'll come out of it broke, disorganized, and fractured because we'll have fought each other so long and hard in what will inevitably become a more and more bitter and angry internal battle.

What drives me nuts are people who actually say they want a brokered convention if that's what it'll take "to stop Romney." I think they're nuts. I think that only Romney has any chance of beating Obama, but at this point I just want us to unit around a candidate.

The bottom line is that unless we consolidate around someone before the convention - long before the convention - I see a disaster in the making.

From a story in Washington Times, whose title tells all,

Numbers offer little clarity, no closure in GOP marathon
By Ralph Z. Hallow
March 14, 2012

From one perspective, Tuesday's Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi were two more in a long series of contests this year that have left the Republican presidential nomination picture as cloudy as a 1952 DuMont TV screen with rabbit ears.

And the battle among Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich once again frustrates those looking for a consistent theme. This week's results continued a pattern where one or another of the candidates walked off as the clear winner, only to fall back to the pack in subsequent contests, going from surge to dirge.

"Overall, Santorum won one more delegate than Romney and Gingrich, so while it's nice to be the winner, it was obviously a tight three-man race with little separation between the candidates," said Mississippi GOP Chairman Joe Nosef.

"I have never been part of an election this closely divided," said longtime activist Matt Fridy, a member of the Alabama GOP Steering Committee.

This one is just as bad

Romney's delegate gain is still loss of 'cushion'
Makes it harder to wrap up race before convention
By Seth McLaughlin

Mitt Romney extended his lead in delegates in the Republican presidential nomination fight this week, but his hopes of avoiding a contested convention dimmed slightly after third-place finishes in Tuesday night's two biggest contests.

While the former Massachusetts governor won the most delegates overall in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Samoa, his three opponents -- Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul -- combined to win nearly 60 percent of the delegates awarded on Tuesday. Every night that Mr. Romney wins less than an outright majority makes it tougher for him to capture the magic number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the August convention in Tampa.

"With a handful more delegates off the table, the math got ever so slightly more difficult for Romney and even more impossible for Santorum," said Josh Putnam, a political scientist at Davidson College in North Carolina who runs Frontloading HQ, a blog about the primary race. "Santorum went from impossible to still impossible, and Romney lost a little bit of cushion after last night."

There's too much detail to post here, but there was an excellent post in NRO's The Corner today which goes through the voting trends and delegate math and the conclusion is that "if this continues onward, Romney won't get 1,144 delegates until June, if at all." Maddeningly, several commenters actually think this is a good thing.

What's supremely ironic about all this is that four years ago these same uber-conservatives told us, no insisted, that we had to vote for Mitt Romney "to stop John McCain."

I hope I'm wrong but if this continues much longer, and certainly if we get to the convention without a clear candidate, we've handed Barack Obama a second term on a golden platter.

Posted by Tom at 9:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 12, 2012

Liberals and Democrats, Especially President Obama, Have No business Lecturing Anyone about Civility

I haven't weighed in on the Sandra Fluke - Rush Limbaugh thing yet for several reasons. One, I learned long ago that doing "outrage of the day" posts is dangerous because you usually don't know all of the facts at first and mitigating factors usually emerge. Two, I've just been incredibility busy with, you know, life; it's amazing I find time to do this at all. Third, since I knew I wouldn't have time to write much I'd have to find good things that others wrote to do it for me.

I've never listened to Rush Limbaugh's rant about Fluke but am willing to accept that he was way out of line and that it was indefensible not only that he said it but that it took him so long to apologize. What I'm not willing to accept though are calls from liberals to take him off the air. That's what's insane and unacceptable.

What to say? Let's start here with President Obama's latest lecture on civility. Here's the best response to that bit of nonsense(via NRO):

This from Powerline makes an excellent folllowup:

The Party of Hate
by John Hinderacker
March 7, 2012

Millions of Americans voted for Barack Obama in the hope that he would be a trailblazer who would conduct the presidency in a new way. Well, he has: Obama has been the most divisive president in our modern history, unabashedly stirring up hate against not only his political enemies, but against private citizens who exercise their right to participate in our democracy. The most recent hatefest has been directed against Rush Limbaugh, and Obama has personally stirred the pot.

Of course, Obama has had nothing to say about the far worse invective that his own supporters have directed against Republican women. As I noted yesterday, he was asked a question about the double standard in his press conference yesterday, and ducked it. Bill Maher, who has contributed $1 million to re-elect Obama, called Sarah Palin a "c***" and a "dumb t***." (Hey, when Rush rips a Democratic Party activist, at least you can print what he said on a family web site.) Obama has never criticized Maher or any of his many other supporters and minions who have kept up a steady drumbeat of hate for years.

In this video, two Democratic Congresswomen who have joined in the condemnation of Limbaugh are asked whether they will condemn Maher's calling Palin a "c***" and a "t***." They refuse to do so, which tells you all you need to know about the "pro-woman" Democratic Party:

Barack Obama has been a terrible president in many ways, but perhaps his most poisonous legacy is his cynical fomenting of partisan hate to advance his own political interests. After three years, we have learned that "hope" is not the word that we should associate with the Obama presidency.


Photobucket

The title of John's piece is a bit over-the-top, as I'm not prepared to say that the entire Democrat Party is the Party of Hate. But given their over-the-top reaction to what Rush Limbaugh said, they deserve it.

Finally, we have this excellent post by Sister Toldjah over at her blog (which you should bookmark and make part of your regular reading)

My open declaration of #WAR against the #WarOnWomen hysterics
by Sister Toldjah
March 8, 2012

I have had it.

On this day, March 8, 2012 - also known as "International Women's Day" - I am officially declaring war on the fascistic "War On Women" movement currently being played out by perpetual left wing feminist "victims of a patriarchal society" in response to the GOP "wanting to ban birth control!!!!!!!!" and Rush's unfortunate remarks about Democrat activist Sandra Fluke.

Each day as I've watched and read about the Alinsky-esque tactics of this "movement", I have simmered - and have grown angrier by the minute as these women dare to suggest or imply on social media sites, at rallies, and on the talking head shows that they speak on behalf of ALL women nationwide, and around the world. My blood has boiled as some of these so-called "tolerant" women have even suggested in not so New Tone-y language that any woman who disagrees with their agenda/platform has been brainwashed into being "subservient" to our "male-dominated" society and therefore "doesn't know any better." Further still, I am OUTRAGED that these women almost never open their mouths in defense of conservative women when they're treated worse than they feel Sandra Fluke was. The "misogyny" didn't matter then, was easy to "overlook" - just as these shameless sell-outs for "the cause" overlooked serial liar and adulterer Bill Clinton's fondness for fondling (sometimes against their will) the help at the WH behind his wife's back, simply because he was a strong proponent of abortion on demand. In fact, we women were supposed to "get on our knees" and perform oral sex on the President as a "thank you" of sorts, according to one noted high-profile "feminist" - proving that we indeed have "come a long way, baby" ... a long way from the type of real female empowerment the original feminists in America envisioned (hint: it wasn't about man-hating, and it certainly wasn't about subservience to a man in power because of "what he could do for you"!).

These "womyn" do NOT speak for me. Nor do they speak for any other self-respecting female who can think for herself - and especially not for those of us who have the sheer audacity to think outside of the box when it comes to "feminist" pet issues like abortion, "equal pay", male-bashing, and the destruction of the traditional family unit.

Unlike these "womyn", I do not want to be known and celebrated for my female parts. That is NOT what real feminism is about. I want to be known for who I am as an individual, my contributions to my family, to society, for my devotion to God and country- and if you so happen to notice I'm a woman, too, great - thank you very much. In other words, as MLK, Jr so famously said - we should be judged by the content of our character, not our skin color (or in my case, my sex).

I AM NOT A VICTIM. I CAN STAND ON MY OWN TWO FEET. I DON'T WANT SPECIAL RIGHTS. I DON'T NEED ANY SO-CALLED "HEALER" IN GOVERNMENT TO TAKE CARE OF ME. I CAN THINK FOR MYSELF. I AM OPINIONATED. AND MY OPINION COUNTS, WHETHER OR NOT THE OPPOSITION WANTS TO HEAR IT!

This, my dear readers, will be a big focus of mine in the coming months as the phony victimhood rhetoric escalates in continued desperate attempts by liberal Democrats to woo women voters under the guise of being their "hero." For the sake of future generations of American women, the lies told by these hysterical fanatics simply cannot stand. I hope you'll come along with me on this ride. It'll be bumpy in the short term.

But in the long term, it will be worth it.

Well?

You go, girl!

Previous posts on "civility" and Democrat hypocrisy:

Spare Us the Sermons, Mr. President
The Civility Charade
The Definitive Column on the Liberal/Media Reaction to the Rep Gabrielle Giffords Shooting
President Obama Calls for Civility
Bush in Israel and the Democrat Melt Down


Posted by Tom at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2012

Obama's Policies Slow Energy Production Part II

Liberals try and blame Bush or other factors for high gas prices, but the plain truth is that Obama's anti-energy policies are hurting us now and will for some time in the future. As Mario Loyola shows, President Obama is personally responsible for choking off the flow of oil:

How Obama Is Choking Off U.S. Oil Production
By Mario Loyola
March 9, 2012

The news wires are reporting that President Obama actively lobbied Senate Democrats to defeat the Keystone pipeline yesterday. The effect of blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline is to defer 700,000 barrels of oil per day. And as I reported at The Weekly Standard recently, the president's policy of choking off oil production under federal leases will prevent another 1 million barrels of oil per day this year, and even more next year.

Obama will soon be personally responsible for preventing some 2 million barrels per day of possible North American crude oil production from reaching the American economy. The U.S. currently produces only about 6 million barrels of domestic crude oil, so that would be more than a 30 percent increase in domestic production.

The president likes to say that America is producing more oil than ever before, but that's due entirely to shale oil (e.g., fracking) and oil sands. The boom in production from private sources is currently shielding the administration from the political consequences of taking such a huge amount of oil off the market.

Two millions barrels per day of oil production would affect not just the price of gasoline in North America, but also the economics of world oil production: The president is preventing the U.S. from increasing oil production by an amount nearly equivalent to Iran's total oil exports. He insists that gasoline prices are rising because of "fears" about a disruption in Iranian supply, but he wants you to believe that gasoline prices would be unaffected by a 30 percent increase in domestic U.S. oil production in the next two years.

If you're gullible enough to believe that, consider this: The recession drove world oil demand from a peak of 86 million barrels per day in 2007 to a low of 85 million barrels per day in 2009. In the same period, the price of gasoline fell by half. We are once again entering a period of scarcity, where slight fluctuations in demand or supply will have a disproportionate impact on gas prices -- but this time the scarcity is largely the product of Obama's policies.

-- Mario Loyola, a senior analyst at the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment, is director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Previous: Obama's Policies Slow Energy Production

Posted by Tom at 9:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 9, 2012

Ruminations after Super Tuesday

The results of Super Tuesday 2012 are in, and not much has really changed. Mitt Romney continues to slog towards the nomination, Rick Santorum keeps enough momentum to keep going, Newt Gingrich continues to split the anti-Romney vote with Santorum but at a lower level, and Ron Paul solidifies his status as someone who has a hard-core base of support but in the end can't win anything.

Romney has not and never will be acceptable to the self-identified conservative base, but Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have so many flaws that they will never be able to overtake his lead.

Mitt Romney will win the nomination, and be only slightly better off than John McCain was four years ago with regards to acceptability from the base of the party. But on the other hand he will not make a maverick choice for vice president, but will rather go with someone without Sarah Palin's flaws.

More than that, mitt Romney understands economics in a way that John McCain never did. As a result, at least he will be talking about the right subject.

Romney certainly has other flaws as a candidate other than his problems selling himself to the base. there is the worry that he will not fight hard enough but will be too much of a nice-guy to Obama's thuggishness. I think this is a bit overstated, as he did take down Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum pretty effectively with his ad campaigns in Florida and Michigan respectively, but he does have a problem in this area.

Most of my conservative friends are behind Rick Santorum now, and I can understand why. Except when talking about the social issues, does make the case for our values better, and all-in-all he does have a more solid conservative record. But the "except when talking about the social issues" is the killer; he has a bad habit of saying things that are or will be portrayed to be extreme, and if he is the candidate Obama and his allies in the media will do all that they can to make the campaign about contraception and abortion. Santorum will help by continuing to make ridiculous statements, and this will turn off just enough potential voters that we will lose. That's how I see it anyway.

Ron Paul, as mentioned, has a built-in base and ceiling of support that are one and the same. He's not running to win but to make a point. He does have enough support so that if he splits and runs on a third-party ticket we lose for sure. If he's significantly alienated his supporters will stay home. On the other hand, his views on foreign policy, and the people he has surrounded himself with, are completely unacceptable to the mass of conservatives, and indeed to most people in general. So Republicans are in a quandary; we need the votes of his supporters, but can't really adopt any of his views or we lose everyone else.

It should be remembered that in 2008 Obama and Clinton slugged it out until June before their party settled on a candidate. To be sure, their process is a bit different since they award more delegates on a proportionate system rather than most Republican ones which are winner-take-all, but still. I think now that Mitt Romney is stronger for having gone though more debates and a longer process than if the matter had been settled by Florida or Michigan.

So the contest will continue, but we will have a candidate long before the convention, and it will be Mitt Romney. This is good, because the process will have made him relatively strong and he is the best choice to beat Obama. If elected, he will surprise many of my friends by governing more conservatively than they expect. I just hope he gets the chance.

Posted by Tom at 7:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Obama's Policies Slow Energy Production

The results of President Obama's anti-energy policies are predictable to everyone but the kool-aid drinking left; less energy. Less oil and gas. More expensive prices at the pump. Worse, given the lead time to production, even if a Republican is elected in November it will take time to get us back on track. Just yesterday the Democrat controlled Senate confirmed Obama's rejection of the much-needed Keystone pipeline.

The following article on the Heritage Foundation's website has details of the results of these policies:

Under Obama, Oil and Gas Production on Federal Lands Is Down 40%
by Rob Bluey
January 18, 2012

The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced on Jan. 27 that data used for its study of oil and gas production on federal lands was "incomplete." The EIA is currently reviewing information from the Department of Interior and will correct its report upon completion.

In his announcement rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline today, President Obama boasted that under his administration, "domestic oil and natural gas production is up." Obama, of course, failed to mention that his administration can't actually take any credit for the increase.

The vast majority of America's new oil and gas production is happening on private lands in states like North Dakota, Alaska and Texas.

It's not that Obama is devoid of responsibility. His administration oversees oil and gas production on federal lands by issuing leases. But when measuring oil and gas production in areas under Obama's jurisdiction, the numbers tell a different story.

Citing publicly available federal data, the House Natural Resources Committee noted these figures:

* Oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down by more than 40 percent compared to 10 years ago.

* Under the Obama administration, 2010 had the lowest number of onshore leases issued since 1984.

* The Obama administration held only one offshore lease sale in 2011.

Despite the Obama administration's restrictive policies for oil and gas production on federal lands, overall production still increased thanks to the pro-energy policies in states like North Dakota.

"North Dakota has been the poster child for what can happen when we unleash free enterprise and allow states to develop and commercialize their resources," Heritage's Nick Loris wrote recently on The Foundry. "North Dakota is drilling at record pace."

The result: North Dakota's unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, the lowest in the country. According to a recent report from IHS Global Insight, North Dakota already returned to pre-recession employment along with energy-rich Alaska. Texas is expected to do so in the first quarter of 2012, followed by Nebraska and South Dakota next year.

Those states all have something in common: energy production.

That policy aligns with recommendations from Obama's own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which yesterday issued a report calling for more energy production that includes drilling and pipelines. Here's the language from the Jobs Council report:

As a nation, we need to take advantage of all our natural resources to spur economic growth, create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. First, we should allow more access to oil, natural gas and coal opportunities on federal lands. Where sources of shale natural gas have been uncovered, federal, state and local authorities should encourage its safe and responsible extraction. While the administration has supported holding additional lease sales and evaluating new areas for drilling, further expanding and expediting the domestic production of fossil fuels both offshore and onshore (in conjunction with more electric and natural gas vehicles) will reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and the huge outflow of U.S. dollars this reliance entails. In addition, policies that encourage rapid lease development while emphasizing the highest safety standards will ensure companies responsibly drill for natural gas or oil and mine for coal or other our minerals in federal areas in a timely manner.

With the Keystone XL decision, Obama rejected that advice. "At a time when unemployment remains unacceptably high, Iran is threatening the Strait of Hormuz, and Canada is looking to take this oil elsewhere, it is difficult to understand how the President could say no to thousands of jobs and an increase in energy supply from our ally," Loris wrote in reaction to the decision.

Posted by Tom at 6:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 6, 2012

The "War on Women" is a Lie

Mona Charen has it exactly right

A Genius for Subject Changing
By Mona Charen
March 6, 2012 12:00 A.M

The Obama administration issues an edict regarding birth control that is a) blatantly unconstitutional, b) economically absurd, and c) completely unmatched to any national need, and what are we talking about? The "Republican war on women."

Democrats are geniuses at muddying the waters and twisting the debate in a direction they find congenial. They've been at this a very long time. Recall that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we found ourselves ensnared in a discussion of so-called "censorship." The National Endowment for the Arts, (a luxury no deeply indebted nation should indulge), had provided grants to two particularly obnoxious exhibits. One was a photograph by Andres Serrano called "Piss Christ" that depicted a crucifix submerged in a jar of the artist's urine. The other was a series of homoerotic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, featuring, to cite just one example, a man's anus being penetrated by a bullwhip.

A number of conservative organizations protested this use of taxpayer dollars, and some in Congress responded by threatening to cut off NEA's funding (droll, no?). The liberals were ready with a jaw-dropping claim: To deny a federal subsidy to "Piss Christ" was censorship. Or, as Obama might put it, "It's not who we are."

Conservatives and others who hadn't completely lost touch with common sense, responded that censorship had nothing whatever to do with it. No one was proposing to deny Mapplethorpe or Serrano the opportunity to sell their miserable wares to willing buyers, or to exhibit them at private galleries (which indeed happened). Certainly no one was threatening to deny employment to the artists (which happens in countries that practice censorship), or God forbid, to arrest them. The proposal was simply to refrain from offering such works taxpayer subsidies.

Today we are again invited to believe that to deny a taxpayer subsidy is to withhold a right. For no discernible reason, the Obama administration has decreed that all contraceptives must be provided "free" to those who want them (which of course means that everyone else's insurance rates must rise).

The administration demands this despite the fact that 1) most Americans can well afford their own contraception (it's less than the cost of a weekly trip to Starbucks); 2) inexpensive contraceptives are widely available at every supermarket and pharmacy; 3) Medicaid recipients already receive them free; 4) the feds also spend another $300 million annually to provide free contraceptives to those who are low-income, uninsured, or otherwise do not qualify for Medicaid; and 5) Planned Parenthood and state and local public health clinics distribute contraceptives free around the nation.

That even Catholic institutions, who object to this command on religious grounds, are to be bullied by the federal government into violating their consciences, ought to have provoked an outcry from liberals, allegedly firm guardians of the First Amendment. Instead, a compliant media has peddled the narrative of a supposed Republican "war on women." Every Sunday talk host presented the issue on the Democrats' terms. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) wailed that Republicans "want to take us back to the Dark Ages . . . when women were property." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is encouraging signatures on a petition to fight back against Republican efforts "to deny tens of thousands of American women life-saving health care services."

More bunk. Contraceptives are not a matter of life and death. But even if they were, as for example, cancer drugs are, is that an argument for forcing insurance companies to provide them free of charge? Why not force free distribution of all medicines? The mandate makes no economic, social, or moral sense.

President Obama has slyly maneuvered to participate in this subject-changing project. First, he contacted Barnard, a women's college, and offered himself as commencement speaker. They said yes, bumping New York Times editor Jill Abramson. Sisterhood is powerful, but apparently not that powerful. Next, he phoned the Georgetown Law student whom Rush Limbaugh insulted. To be sure, Limbaugh unintentionally helped the Democrats' project by offering them something that fit so conveniently into the "war on women" trope. But Limbaugh's unfortunate comments (for which he apologized) cannot obscure the absurdity of the Democrats' argument that it is an urgent national concern to provide free contraceptives to law students and everybody else.

Of course there is no Republican "war on women." But there is a Democratic war on religious liberty, taxpayers, and common sense.

Posted by Tom at 10:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 1, 2012

Andrew Breitbart: 1969 - 2012, R.I.P.

Photobucket


Rarely has their been as fearless and energetic a journalist and advocate for the conservative cause as Andrew Breitbart. He started or helped start venture after venture, fromthe Drudge Report and The Huffington Post to Breitbart.com, Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Peace, Big Journalism, and surely more than I am missing. His writing appeared in numerous journals. Ahead of his time, he proved that undercover investigative journalism was not the exclusive province of the left.

He didn't just start ventures and sit back; by all accounts he was extremely energetic, going full stream ahead all day and long into the light. Absolutely fearless, he relished the fight. He would go alone or with minimal support into the thickest crowd of liberals and debate all of them. So liberal institution or sacred cow was off limits. A pioneer in the field of "combat journalism," he exposed the multiple hypocrisies, misrepresentations, and outright lies of the left. In doing so he made all the right people mad at him.

As with everyone he had a few missteps. Even those, though, such as the Shirley Sherrod Affair, were usually misrepresented by the left. And by far and away he got it right the vast majority of the time, skewing the liberals and embarrassing them time and again in full view of the public.

His legacy is that he has inspired a generation of young conservatives. Mainstream media outlets will never practice undercover journalism against targets on the left, so it took Lila Rose to expose Planned Parenthood, and James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles to take down ACORN, and O'Keefe PBS. We don't need to wait for stories to be published by mainstream news outlets; we can drive the news ourselves. Breitbart wasn't the first, but he raised the ante and showed how it could be done better.

43 years of age is too young to die for someone so full of energy. It may sound like a cliche, but it goes to show that you never know when your time will come, so if you haven't done so get right with God now and say everything you need to say to your friends and loved ones.

Andrew Breitbart, 1969 - 2012 R.I.P. You will be missed but not forgotten.

Posted by Tom at 9:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack