You Can Win A Tour Of The New Bethlehem!

August 31, 2009

Michelle Malkin is up on a new book written by Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman called 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America. Well, to each his own and all that. I happen to like the old America and don’t really want to see it banged out of all recognition, but that’s just me.

What I particularly like are the testimonials from brilliant thinkers like Jessica Alba who, in pure high school English essay fashion, rephrases the title of the book in the first line of her blurb.

Michelle believes that this book is being promoted very heavily in an effort to dislodge conservative books (like hers) from the top of the New York Times bestseller list. She may be right. The book comes complete with a contest: the grand prize is a trip for two to Honolulu for a private tour of the hospital where Obama was born. Oh my God! I can not even imagine the excitement of walking the halls of a hospital where 48 years ago Barack Obama was born! A private tour, no less! “This is the room where Baby Barack first spit up on his blankey!” “This is the maternity ward where he reached out and healed a preemie with his touch!” I don’t know how anyone could not want to enter this contest. And after the tour, you get to help out in a community service project! There’s no word on whether the other helpers will be misdemeanor offenders who have been sentenced to community service for the day.

Now, this may be some sort of bizarre rebuke to the “Birthers” who insist that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but to me it reads a lot like they’re offering a trip to the manger in Bethlehem.

All hail The One!

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Obama Speaks Truth To Kennedy

August 29, 2009

In his eulogy, President Obama said that Teddy Kennedy was “the soul of the Democratic party.”

Not for nothing, but that explains a lot.


First They Came For The Car Companies…

August 28, 2009

One of the most disturbing elements of the Obama Administration is a desire to focus more and more power into the Executive Branch. The Left (and many Libertarians) are still moaning about the Patriot Act that was passed in the months following 9/11 because they saw it as a ruthless power grab from a madman in waiting. It was no such thing, of course, but try pointing that out to people who begin and end their debates with cries of “Halliburton!” or “Cheney!” as if they were magic words that somehow made everything clearly understood and swept away all doubts.

But George W. was a piker in comparison to Barack Obama. The centralizing of power in the Oval Office, aided and abetted by a Congress too stupid to realize that they’re being marginalized by The One, is proceeding at an astounding pace.

The amount of Czars Obama has appointed (none of whom were approved by Congress, and all of whom have positions of real authority and influence) has dwarfed the number of these positions created by all previous Presidents.

And make no mistake, these people really do have power and influence. Obama’s original “Car Czar,” Steven Rattner, fired the CEO of General Motors. Where on Earth did he get that authority? (It should also be noted that Rattner resigned his position very abruptly, after it was announced that the NY Attorney General’s office started looking into some shady dealings.) Van Jones, the “Green Jobs Czar,” is a radical, self-avowed Communist who is a longtime board member of a group called the Apollo Alliance. The Apollo Alliance wrote the stimulus bill. There’s nothing quite like turning over the economy to Communists, is there?

Aside from these unelected, unvetted, and unapproved czars, the Obama Administration has taken charge of auto companies and banks. They are currently determined to take over the health care industry. The FCC Diversity Chief Mark Lloyd has openly admired Hugo Chavez’s revolution and is currently seeking to impose speech restrictions on radio via the back door. The White House set up an email address where you could tattle on your neighbors who opposed health care reform. Now they’re using the National Endowment For The Arts to gather artists of all stripes to use their art for the good of the state. Also recall that this is a President that wants to set up a “civilian security force” in order to achieve his national security objectives…a civilian security force that is as well-funded as the United States military.

What we have here is a clear pattern of an Administration that is seeking to take control over the free market and to stifle dissent wherever possible. Thank God the Internet is free and dissenting voices can still be heard.

Not so fast, partner.

Now comes word that Senators Jay Rockefeller and the always reliable RINO Olympia Snowe have a bill that would allow the President to declare a “cybersecurity emergency” and effectively seize control of the Internet.

I can actually see the rationale for something like this. The comparison is made to President Bush ordering all air traffic grounded on 9/11, and the question about how we defend ourselves against a serious cyber attack needs to be answered. The problem here is that the bill is written very vaguely, and we all know where vague language can lead us. For example, the call as to whether or not a cybersecurity emergency exists lies in the hands of one man: the President. There doesn’t seem to be anything in the bill (at least not in the brief excerpt I read) that limits this Federal power over the Internet. Once an emergency is over, will the Feds turn back control over the Internet? Or will it continue to control it “in order to prevent something like this from happening again.” The bill grants much power to the Executive branch, but where are the limits of that power enumerated?

During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the use of “Emergency Powers” was discussed. The question before Congress was: Should we allow the President to declare an emergency and take more responsibility over the handling of the crisis? Those in favor argued that in the event of an emergency or crisis, giving the President these powers would save precious time. Those opposed saw the tyranny of George III in the background and were aware of English history when Charles I disbanded Parliament. They recognized that an unscrupulous or evil man may get elected President someday, and that a President with the ability to both define and control a crisis was the first cousin to a monarch asserting the Divine Right of Kings. Such a man might use these Emergency powers to consolidate his own power. The use of Emergency powers was not allowed in the Constitution.

While I agree that the issue of cybersecurity is serious, I cringe at the concept of giving the President of the United States the kind of power that would allow him to 1) declare an emergency; and 2) seize control of private enterprises in the event of an emergency.

Rockefeller and Snowe’s bill needs to be written in clear language, detailing what the President can do and, most importantly, what the President can not do. Limits need to be specifically enumerated, including limits on how long the President can maintain control. For starters, I would suggest that the President’s powers can be enforced for no more than 72 hours before a continuation of them is voted on by Congress, with all continuations lasting no more than two months, and can never be extended beyond two month intervals without subsequent Congressional votes. I would also insist that the President not have the power to use this opportunity to impose any kind of permanent regulations on the Internet. Only by stripping away the vague language and inserting strict limitations on the use of this type of power will the bill be properly analyzed and debated.

Remember these words from Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel:

Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.

Is this who we want to give unstructured, unlimited national security emergency powers to? As it stands now, this bill is just another power hand off from Congress to a President who’s more than willing to take control whenever and wherever he can.


Ted Kennedy, RIP

August 26, 2009

The Democratic Lion of the Senate is dead. I won’t pretend for a solitary second that I agreed with Ted Kennedy’s politics, but by all accounts he was a decent person who treated his friends and staff with dignity and respect. As a politician, his primary loss to Jimmy Carter in 1980 emboldened Kennedy to put aside any notions of bipartisanship and moderation and allowed him to become a hyper-partisan. Always more liberal than his brothers John and Robert, he moved steadily Left as he got older. He lived his life recklessly and did his job effectively and ruthlessly. The time will come when history will be able to look at his life fairly, including the triumphs, scandals, and tragedies that formed him. For now, let us remember him as a man with a wife, children, friends, and admirers whose lives are sadder today and who mourn his loss. RIP.

Michelle Malkin has more, and Hot Air has a nice obituary. The Anchoress is spot on. Also on Hot Air, Laura makes an excellent point about honoring Ted Kennedy by doing what he did, not what he said.


UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Politico reports that Robert Byrd is proposing changing the name of the health care reform legislation to be named after Kennedy while simulatenously taking a shot at opponents who are “shouting and name calling.” You stay classy, Grand Dragon! Meanwhile, Pants-On-Fire Pelosi is promising that “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care” will be a reality this year and former President Bill Clinton is thanking Kennedy for his “fierce advocacy for universal health care.”

Glad to see that those on the Left can’t let their hero rest without stumping for their cause du jour.


The White House In Denial

August 25, 2009

White House budget director Peter Orszag admits that a $9 trillion dollar deficit, a national debt 3/4 the size of the United States economy, and a 10 percent unemployment rate are “higher than desirable.”

Ya think?

The scrupulously fair and balanced AP article also features this line:

For now, while the country tries to come out of a recession, neither spending cuts nor broad tax increases would be prudent deficit-fighting measures.

Really, now, would somebody please explain to me how spending cuts wouldn’t be a deficit-fighting measure? But Orszag really steps into Bizarro World with this gem:

“I know there are going to be some who say that this report proves that we can’t afford health reform,” he said. “I think that has it backwards.”

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, Pete.


UPDATE: Hot Air dismantles Peter Orszag’s economic know how.


The Republican Old Boy Network

August 25, 2009

As Barack Obama’s popularity continues to drop, and as more and more people start to wake up from the fairytale slumber they entered as Obama sang the “Hope and Change” lullaby, it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that Obama will be a one-term President.

If the Republican Party can remove its head from deep within its own posterior.

I’m not a Republican, but since Conservatism and Federalism aren’t welcome in the Democrat party, and a third-party candidacy is a ticket to defeat, the Republicans remain my best hope. You have no idea how much this fact depresses me.

When I look at the current state of the Republican party, I see a party that is starting to ascend once again. It’s a slow process, and deservedly so. The Republicans have no one but themselves to blame for their minority status. They fell in love with the idea of a Big Government under the leadership of that “Compassionate Conservative” George W. Bush (no great thinker, he). They started to spend and spend some more. They started to believe their own hype and the scandals started coming. This allowed the Democrats, who had been a minority for 12 years, to convince people that it was they who were the party of fiscal discipline. The Democrats pointed to the balanced budget of the late ’90s and reminded everyone that it was a Democrat in the Presidency. They left off the fact that it was actually the Republicans who balanced the budget; it was Bill Clinton who signed the bill. As the aftermath of 9/11 led into first one, and then a second, war, and Compassionate Conservatism became the Gospel of the Republicans, the balanced budget became a thing of the past.

Then the Democrats took over in 2006, and it’s been Spendapalooza ever since. G.W. Bush was loath to veto any spending bills because he was so wrapped up in his gauzy haze of Compassion. Now Barack Obama is in the White House and the projected deficit over the next ten years is $9 trillion dollars. And he wants to add even more money to this unsustainable debt.

The citizenry of this country is starting to get upset, at both the President and Congress. This is a golden opportunity for Republicans. But will they take it?

For 2010, the Congressional outlook for the Republicans is pretty good at this admittedly early point. Some predictions have the Democrats losing as many as 25 House seats. I think if they continue doing what they’re doing, they will lose more. The Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, is down by double digits in polling against his Republican opponents. Call out the instigators, because there’s something in the air; the revolution’s here.

What concerns me is the Republican Old Boy Network when it comes to the Presidency. The Democrat party is all about new faces. A Senator from Massachusetts, a governor from Georgia, a governor from Arkansas, a community organizer from Illinois. Leaving aside the obvious choices of a VP following his President, most of the Democrat nominees for President over the past 50 years have been people who came out of the blue. They may have had some press prior to their running, but they were still largely unknowns before the campaigns. Kennedy, Humphrey, McGovern, Carter, Dukakis, Clinton, Kerry, Obama. These were all people who rose in the ranks and then exploded on the national scene.

The Republicans, on the other hand, have a tendency to view the Presidency as the last rung on the ladder for hard working guys who have put their time in and who deserve a promotion. Eisenhower, a great general and war hero who was known by every American, Nixon who was Eisenhower’s VP, Goldwater (the exception that proves the rule), Nixon again, Reagan (ran and came in second in the primaries in 1976), Bush (VP under Reagan), Dole (a man who’d spent 28 years in the Senate, run as VP with Ford, ran for President in 1980 and 1988, and who was advanced to the Republican candidacy in 1996 despite the fact that he was older than Methuselah, stiffer than a good martini, and less articulate than Bobo the Chimp), George W. Bush (family name, heritage), and John McCain (see Dole, Robert). I excluded the accidental president, Gerald Ford.

The point is that the Republicans have a tendency to view their Presidential candidates as the guy whose turn it is to run. I can see them now advocating for Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin in 2012. None of these three are a good choice. Romney is a dubious conservative whose stiffness and unbreakable hair (and lame jokes about same) will look even worse next to the smooth huckster Obama, Huckabee is an even more dubious conservative whose down home folksiness somehow rings false, and Palin will not be able to overcome the stereotypes (at least not by 2012…let’s see her in 2020 after she’s written a few scholarly books and articles and has made a name for herself from out there in the wilderness like Reagan did in the 1970s).

But if history is a guide, the Republican party will nominate one of these three to run in 2012. Why? Because it’s their turn.


A Black Day For The UK

August 24, 2009

Oh, brother…I mean, sibling. The sheer stupidity of this is overwhelming.

These are the people on whom the Democrats and Barack Obama want us to model ourselves.

Notice this paragraph:

The clampdown in the public sector has angered some of the country’s most popular writers. (highlighting mine)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not working for The Clampdown.

Truth is, the Chairmen of these various groups and boards are taking a broad look at a major problem that, until now, has been white-washed out of the view of most of Mankind. The black hole into which this problem has disappeared has now been addressed in a masterful way. These phrases are little more than the white elephants of an old lexicon, and while the bold men who finally addressed this problem will be derided as the black sheep of a tolerant United Kingdom they can tell the shrewish harpies who lampoon them not to get their knickers in a twist. Once the population mans up and decides to accept the Newspeak, the United Kingdom will be free of black-hearted fellows who might otherwise offend with their ungentlemanly speech.


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