May 18, 2011

Quick Takes, May 19, 2011

ITEM: Writing in USA Today on health care, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney promised, if elected president, to immediately issue an executive order to grant waivers to all 50 states for ObamaCare and to call on Congress to repeal it. Unfortunately, for Romney and the nation, he not only refuses to repudiate his RomneyCare Massachusetts version of ObamaCare, but actually defended it. This is a fundamental and foolish mistake that could, if Romney wins the 2012 Republican nomination, hand the election to Barack Obama. A great many Republicans will not forgive Romney his ObamaCare clone, and will simply not support him regardless. They’ll stay home on election day. Pray, gentle readers, for a better nominee and do all that you can to make it happen. Go here for the story.

ITEM: Regularly, public school officials (here), by stubbornly over-reacting to unremarkable, predictable, sometimes constitutionally protected student behavior, give ammunition to those who irrationally hate the public schools. Imagine that: Teenagers actually behaving like teenagers! Such a situation recently occurred in Shelton, Connecticut where senior honor student James Tate asked a girl to the prom by means of a message taped to an exterior wall of the school in 12” high letters. She accepted. School authorities have punished Tate by refusing to allow him to attend the prom, and despite public outrage, have not relented, causing several Connecticut legislators to draft a bill that would allow Tate to attend. So we have an honor student who thinks up a creative way to do something that harms no one, that did not in any way damage public property or disrupt school, and school authorities respond with petty vindictiveness. The citizens of Shelton have reason to question their judgment, particularly at the next school board election.

UPDATE: Tate will we allowed to go to the prom after all. The school’s Headmaster, Beth Smith changed her mind. Superintendent Freeman Burr explained: "James Tate has set for us a new standard for romanticism. Principals have to make difficult decisions every day. No one could have anticipated this kind of response." So let’s review: School officials did the right thing, but only because of mounting national outrage, the community and its mayor turning against them, and the threats of legislators to write legislation that would overturn their decision. Hmm. Sounds more like cowardice than moral reasoning, doesn’t it? Congratulation to James and to the lucky young lady who will accompany him to a prom neither of them will ever forget. Who says there are no happy endings?

ITEM: So GM is profitable—for the moment. This is not, by any means, a vindication of government involvement in spending tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to pick winners and losers, and losers there were, like the shareholders who, legally first in line, were completely stiffed in favor of the unions. Go here to The Atlantic for Megan McArdle’s comprehensive analysis of the reality of such “profitability.”

ITEM: And I Thought I Had Some Really Bad Ideas! Department: From the good folks at Hot Air (here) comes news that the Pentagon is considering family visits for the detainees at Gitmo. Gitmo?! Gitmo. Gee, I wonder who is putting the military up to that? Here is a brief--and partial--list of why this is an incredibly bad idea:

(1) There is no historical precedent for giving prisoners of war such privileges and establishing such a precedent would be sheer lunacy.

(2) It would be a propaganda bonanza for jihadists who are taught to always lie about their treatment. Imagine the airtime useful idiots in the media would give to Muslim women and children weeping about the horrible treatment afforded their innocent, saintly menfolk.

(3) It would be a security nightmare. American soldiers patting down Muslim women in hijabs and burkas? Oh, that’ll play well on the news.

(4) The subhuman murderers in Gitmo should be thankful merely to be alive. Remember that these “people” would be delighted to dance on the bleeding corpses of any American man, woman or child they could slaughter, all the while invoking their deranged vision of god. American ethics require humane treatment--which they already get, in spades--nothing more.

ITEM: From Jim Geraghty at National Review Online (here) we discover that President Obama, at a town hall meeting on May 12 blamed the high unemployment rate on “huge layoffs of government workers at federal, state and local levels.” I’ve often marveled at Mr. Obama’s propensity to blatantly lie about things that are ridiculously easy to disprove. No doubt he is so used to the press covering for him that he thinks he can get away with anything. Not this time. The Facts: We are eight million below the most recent peak private sector employment, and not only has federal, state and local public sector employment not declined, it has actually increased. Visit the article for specific statistics. I suppose that one who leads from behind might be expected to deal from under the deck as well. Discuss.

ITEM: We Are Not Amused. At his El Paso immigration address, Mr. Obama adopted a mocking, condescending tone in attempting to ridicule Republicans. The residents of the border region, suffering daily from all of the problems associated with the influx of illegal aliens and drug criminals, which have recently included major fires set by aliens, were not in the least amused and have written to Mr. Obama to express their displeasure at his idea of humor. Visit Fox News (here) for the whole story. There has been speculation in the Lamestream media that Mr. Obama has a real chance to win Texas, in 2012 hence his visit. Right. You do that by denying a disaster declaration for helping with catastrophic wildfires in Texas, which of course, he has done. This is just another example of Mr. Obama’s utter cluelessness about the reality of the lives of the God and gun clingers in flyover country/red America, and of his utter lack of caring about those lives, particularly when they conflict with his Socialistic desires. But hey, the border is more secure than ever! Just ask Janet Napolitano--or Mr. Obama.

ITEM: Oh Goody! Department: The National Journal reports that Medicare will run out of cash in 2024, five years earlier than was expected, and Social Security will run out in 2036, a year earlier than expected. Go here for the entire story. But not to worry; I have no doubt that this is at the top of Mr. Obama’s “to ignore/make worse” list.

ITEM: So what’s the trouble with America anyway? Is it that Americans are rustic boobs, unsophisticated, superstitious idiots who bitterly cling to God and guns, who have no nuance, who are racist, sexist, and every other kind of “ist?” Or is our current difficulty that we are ruled by a self-imagined “elite” class of effete intellectual snobs whose stratospheric self-regard is woefully misplaced? Is it that our elite leaders actually have no common sense, believe America to be the problem in the world, and in reality, have no leadership skills at all? Go here to read an interesting essay on the topic by Walter Russell Mead.

ITEM: So Newt Gingrich is running for President? He is indeed. Boy oh boy, we finally have a genuine conservative in the race! Not so much. In an appearance on Meet The Press over the weekend, Gingrich opposed Rep. Raul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed Medicare reforms and said that he supports a “variation” of the individual mandate. In other words, he believes the Federal Government has the power to force you to buy whatever health insurance policy it prefers. Uh, so which party’s nomination is Gingrich seeking? Go here to Hot Air for the story.

GINGRICH UPDATE: From Hot Air (here), bad news from Iowa for Newt Gingrich:

“As he was getting ready to leave a speaking engagement Dubuque resident Russell Fuhrman approached him in the lobby of the Holiday Inn:

‘Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself,’ Fuhrman said directly to Gingrich.

Gingrich, visibly stunned, quickly moved forward to talk with other guests…

‘I’m a strong Republican but he’s an embarrassment to our party,’ Fuhrman said.”

Well, yeah.

ITEM: THEY DID WHAT?! Department: Via Hot Air (here) the Indiana Supreme Court has recently ruled that citizens have no right to resist an unlawful police entry into their homes. It is a long established principle of law that citizens may resist an unlawful arrest and unlawful entry onto their property, so what is the Indiana SC talking about?

““We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” David said. “We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.”

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.”

Great. In the name of preventing violence, the Bill of Rights is out the window. It would be hard to imagine what leftist public policy goal could not be implemented under that standard. Oh, and after they’ve been arrested, paid tens of thousands in bail, their homes are trashed, their property illegally seized, they pay tens, even hundreds of thousands to attorneys, after many years, citizens might receive justice. Ah gentle readers, it’s the bold new age of Obamian hope and change.

ITEM: Brief, Shining Moment of Political Clarity Department: From PowerLine (here) comes a bit of enlightenment by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah):

“They [Democrats] want to intimidate all of the corporations in this country and other businesses from giving money that might help Republicans. And they know it's unconstitutional what they're doing, they know it's wrong, but they're going to go do it anyway, because it's political time to them. And frankly, it's been political time from Day One with this president. They play politics very, very tough, they play it well, and they don't give a damn about what's right and what's wrong.”
Just so.

ITEM: Imagine a government policy so brilliant, so useful, so full of cost savings and yummy goodness that the very government that rammed it down the collective throats of the public has to grant 1372 waivers (to date) to that very policy. From The Hill (here) we discover that the Obama Administration has granted another 204 ObamaCare waivers, bringing the grand total to 1372. Many of the recipients? Labor unions. Some people might consider this to be ironic, idiotic, or just plainly wrong, but they’d likely cling to God and guns too.

ITEM: What if they came to talk about flag burning, but nobody came? A LSU student recently announced plans to burn an American flag in the name of due process, peace, justice, no bacon on hamburgers or something, but was apparently surprised to find that those God and gun clingers who happen to live and attend school in Louisana were not, as the British monarcy might put it, amused. So he showed up to speak about his ideals and was met with jeers and water balloons and had to be escorted away by the police for his own safety. Go here to Hot Air for the story, video and commentary.

Indeed, this amounts to a heckler’s veto, and did deny the flag burner an opportunity to express his views. Not a good thing. A better thing would have been to ignore him entirely, or in the face of bad speech, to provide good speech. Let’s not adopt the tactics of the Left.

ITEM: The Scales Fell From His Eyes! Department: Global warming is a fraud. Who says so? David Evans, a scientist who was in the very heart of the international global warming machine for many years. Go to Hot Air (here) for the story of a scientist whose integrity wouldn’t allow him to continue to perpetrate an expensive, manipulative fraud on the public. An example:

“The debate about global warming has reached ridiculous proportions and is full of micro-thin half-truths and misunderstandings. I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic.”
An article worth reading.

ITEM: Go here for an interesting—possibly annoying—article that essentially postulates that women don’t lie about serious matters such as rape allegations. Right. Tell that to the Duke LaCrosse players. In reality, during my police service, I discovered that about 50% of rape allegations were false, and not false because the police—including me—are misogynistic cavemen who think all women are prostitutes and deserve what they get, but because the evidence—virtually always including their confessions of falsehood—proved it. Human beings don’t lie (women are human beings, right?)? Really?

ITEM: The union is your friend; admit it or we’ll kill you! Go here for an interesting—and infuriating--story about how the Communications Workers of America treats its members who don’t appreciate union bosses looting union coffers. Beatings and death threats sound familiar? We must unionize all of America! All praise the NLRB! These are the President's allies and strongest supporters, gentle readers.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week: John Kerry thinks Syria’s dictator is “obviously not a reformer now.” I was shocked, shocked! to learn this from Jeff Jacoby (here). And to think, all Assad had to do was kill at least 1000 of his own people (to date) to change the slow-learning Massachusetts senator’s mind. It’s rather a shame that Mr. Obama has come to no similar conclusion, preferring instead his default position on foreign affairs: interminable dithering and paralyzing indecision. Read Jacoby’s short essay for more.

ITEM: Where Do I Go To Get My Reputation Back? These days, accusations of unprofessional teacher behavior are common. As a high school teacher, I am very much aware that I have a large, glowing target on my back, more so, in many ways, than when I was a police officer. Go to the Washington Post (here) to read a cautionary article on a teacher falsely accused, eventually exonerated, but never made whole.

ITEM: By the way, I hear many Republican presidential candidates saying that they want to “reform” education. Why is that the business of the Federal Government, and why should Republicans think that way? Aren’t conservatives supposed to be for small government without saying “I absolutely support small government, but X, Y and Z are so important we just have to big government them to death?” Discuss.

ITEM: Occasionally, the police screw up so obviously and badly that they confirm the generally unwarranted suspicions of their worst critics. Such a case is reported by John Stossel (here). Philadelphia stopped and badly mistreated 25 year old Mark Fiorino who was openly and legally carrying a handgun. After discovering that what Fiorino was doing was completely legal, they let him go, only to lodge charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct after Fiorino posted an audiotape he recorded of the incident on youtube. Why did they file the charges? It’s their opinion that because he told the officers he was behaving legally--and he was--he was somehow violating the law. Some people just don’t know how to quit when they’re behind.

ITEM: Is anyone else as horrified to see Sen. John Kerry (D-N. Vietnam) conducting smart diplomacy with Paahkeestaahn as I am? You know, John Kerry, the traitor who stabbed his fellow soldiers in the back, soldiers who were still on the battlefield? Kerry who attended a meeting planning the murder of Congressmen? Kerry who faked his medal citations? Kerry whose photo hung in the North Vietnamese war museum as a great hero of the glorious revolution? Kerry who repeatedly met with Communist enemies of America without government permission during the Vietnam War? Can anyone actually imagine him bargaining for American interests? Can anyone imagine him not denigrating America? Discuss.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award, Congressional Edition: From Hot Air (here) we learn that 20% of the most recent 204 ObamaCare waivers went to very toney businesses in Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional district. Imagine that! Yes, upscale eateries that charge $59 for a steak received waivers. I’m shocked, shocked! that the Obama Administration, the most transparent in history, would be involved in anything that smacks of political pay offs! Shocked!

ITEM: On a Fox News broadcast on May 16, Charles Krauthammer noted that Newt Gingrich committed a “capital offense against the 11th commandment.” Krauthammer was referring to Ronald Reagan’s commandant that thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. In the estimation of Mr. Krauthammer, Mr. Gingrich has irreparably damaged his presidential chances. I suspect he’s correct. Discuss.

ITEM: Doesn’t This Woman Ever Think Before She Opens Her Mouth? DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano recently claimed that “very, very, very few people get a [TSA] patdown.” Uh, what? On my most recent trip through the wonderful world of TSA-controlled airports, I was patted down once in four passes through checkpoints, making it a 25% matter for me. I, a 6’ tall, 57 year old, really white guy with a military-style haircut and no back-country beard or mustache, certainly observed a sufficient number of pat downs on those occasions—none of which appeared to be of people who looked even remotely like young, Muslim males about to scream “Allahu Akbar!’’—to convince me that “very, very, very few…” is a very, very very big misapprehension foisted by a woman who apparently has never been burdened by an acquaintance with reality. Visit Hot Air (here) to find additional statistical evidence of Ms. Napolitano’s residence in an alternative universe or on another planet.

ITEM: First there was Rambo, now, Rambama! A toymaker (here) has capitalized on the successful SEAL takedown of Osama Bin Laden by making a muscular, GI Joe-like version of Obama with an M1-A4. That’s rather like casting Don Knots as The Terminator, isn’t it? Some things you just can’t parody. Irony factor: Real SF operators don’t need action figures; they are action figures. "Action figures? We don' need no stinkin' action figures!" Make your Christmas gift orders now!

And on that pseudo-manly, faux-warrior-like note, I must bid all a fond farewell until next Thursday. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you then!

Posted by MikeM at May 18, 2011 10:38 PM

RE: Family visits for Gitmo detainees.

If this had come during the Bush Administration, I would have given points for a clever way to gather intelligence. You could get biometrics on all of the visitors, the search of Muslim women could be done by female guards at Gitmo, and during the search you can microchip them so that you can remotely track them after they leave . . .

But I will bet none of that has occurred to the current administration.

Posted by: Mark L at May 19, 2011 08:22 AM

I am one voter who will not stay home on election day. I will vote for anyone with an (R) beside their name, including Romney, over the current White House resident.

Posted by: Rob at May 19, 2011 12:17 PM

Last October, the Dept. of Agriculture said it was going to make more recommendations about school lunches. Well, it just did - and at least one is a real beaut.

No more than 1 cup PER WEEK of certain "starchy" foods. Potatoes, peas(!?!), Lima beans... Some (e.g. sweet potatoes, yams, and rice) are still fine in any quantity.

Posted by: John A at May 19, 2011 12:43 PM

Massachusetts is ranked the number one state in the USA when it comes to Health Care and it isnt bankrupting the State like some have tried to BS about. The requirement to have health insurance and if you cant afford it you can get Mass Health is a benefit to all the people of that state. Romney did good when he started that. I just moved back to Georgia after living in Massachusetts for about a year and a half and already had insurance when I went there but saw the Romney Heath system at work and its nothing like what people have tried to portray socialized medicine since Obamacare came into being. I like that one thing about Romney and feel that having health insurance reduces stress when it comes to the outrageous cost of health care and it keeps people healthy, which keeps most happy and working. And as far as your comments on the indiana court ruling being part of the new Obamian Hope and Change it was Bush who started with the taking away of our civil liberties . This case has nothing to do with Obama or the office of presidents duties. Hes only an executive, he doesnt legislate. And your statement about Obamacare waivers is totally misleading. The waivers are temporary and only apply to one provision of the law, which requires health plans to offer at least $750,000 worth of annual medical benefits before leaving patients to fend for themselves. Still, Republicans have assailed the waivers as a sign of both favoritism and of major problems with the law. These are only in place until insurance overhaul in 2014...I live in Atlanta and have most of my life right next to Kennesaw battleground....Although I dont agree with you on most things I appreciate the fact that even in your dislike of our president you dont go over the top here and just talk shit. I dont know how I came across your blog but I will come by and see whats up here more often. I noticed you wrote at times for Big Government, if its the Andrew Briebart site , I have to say hes a liar..peace dude

Posted by: Red Neck at May 19, 2011 02:07 PM

Dear Red Neck:

Thanks for your comment and welcome to CY! We try to keep our political commentary confined to policy rather than personality, so in that regard, we routinely point out the foolishness of conservatives as well as liberals. We don't allow ourselves to wallow in the kind of irrational hatred liberal bloggers have routinely displayed for Mr. Bush, nor would it occur to us to think that way in the first place. Do I dislike Mr. Obama? I don't know him, but I certainly dislike politicians who lie or mislead the public. Generally, I consider him to be one of the least prepared and capable, yet most arrogant people ever to hold the office, and I worry very much about the damage he has done, is doing, and may do in the future, but one can certainly talk about such things without descending into irrational hatred and obscenities.

But thanks again for dropping by, and I'll look forward to hearing from you again.

PS: I've never written for Brietbart. You must be thinking of someone else.

Posted by: Mike Mc at May 19, 2011 05:59 PM

Good food for thought here... Thank you very much for this excellent explanation.

Posted by: mujeres at May 22, 2011 08:20 AM