Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where's Baron?

Maybe I'm out of the loop on this but I haven't heard much lately from Baron Hill lately.  Do you suppose after being confronted by TEA Party folks in North Vernon and Seymour in August, that he is a bit "gun shy" about public appearances in the 9th District?  I did see where he is planning another "tele-townhall" to be held September 14.  How nice!  By the way Baron, how IS that walking tour of the district going for ya?

Boot Barney Frank: Support GOP challenger Sean Bielat

From Michelle Malkin:

Spread the word and send your money. Corruptocrat Barney Frank has a strong GOP challenger who needs your help in advance of the September 14 primary.
His name is Sean Bielat. He’s a businessman. He’s a Marine. He’s a young father fed up with “systemic corruption” in arrogant Washington. He opposes cap-and-tax, will fight other oppressive Obama eco-policies that are squeezing fishermen, supports a strong national defense, and believes “It’s time for our leaders to return to and abide by the Constitution.” He launched a RetireBarney campaign back in April. Bielat’s latest campaign ad roasts Frank for his recent Fannie-Freddie flip.
His new radio ad takes on Frank and the Dems’ failed stimulus and bailout policies. Listen here.
Barney Frank has held his seat for 29 years. Three decades is enough.
As Mark Levin put it so well in his radio monologue tonight (via The Right Scoop), we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. It wasn’t the original Tea Party movement’s way. It wasn’t the Founding Fathers’ way. Says Levin: “There are candidates who have presented themselves to us. Our fellow citizens. These are patriots. And they’ve sought our help. How can we ignore them? They’ve stood up, put aside their private lives and careers, and answered our calling. They have volunteered to take on the very forces that have been destroying this nation. Are we to leave them on the political battlefield with no backup?”
Hell, no. When brave citizens step up to the plate to tackle entrenched corruptocrat incumbents, they deserve our support.

Todd Young Goes On the Air in the 9th

At Hoosier Access:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Honor of a Great People

From Doctor Zero:

Three hundred thousand people gathered in the Washington Mall on August 28, at the invitation of radio and TV host Glenn Beck, to discuss restoring the honor of the American people.  How did a great people come to lose their honor?

It certainly hasn’t been lost by all of us.  Individuals, families, and communities across America never broke faith with the noble traditions of self-reliance, responsibility, and adventure that forged this honorable nation.  Such people can be found in every neighborhood of every city… but the nation as a whole has lost its way.

We dishonor ourselves when we tolerate the use of our fighting men and women as pawns in a political game.  As long as they stand in harm’s way, we should accept no insult or slander against them.  Robust criticism of the policy makers who declare and end hostilities is fair and welcome… but there is a line between politicians and soldiers, and it is easily visible to honorable people.  We should have nothing but contempt for the likes of Code Pink.  Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s political career should have ended the day after he compared our service members to Nazis.  There is no place for such creatures in the Congress of a nation that answers the dedication and sacrifice of its veterans with love and respect.  In a rough economy with an uncertain future, Beck’s rally raised $5.5 million to help the families of special-operations soldiers killed in battle.  That is a strong step in the right direction.

We dishonor ourselves when we create massive obligations with unsustainable financing.  This shows disrespect to the future, and a craven refusal to face the realities of today.  If time is money, then madcap deficit spending steals the time of the future… draining it away like so much sand down the neck of a broken hourglass.  As parents love their children, we should be mindful of the future, and eager to shoulder our current burdens instead of passing them along, with interest.  We cannot know the shape of tomorrow, or what hardships they may be facing when the bills for our indulgences come due.

We dishonor ourselves when we declare the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens to be conditional, and subject to our needs.  Free people do not expect the State to confiscate and ration.  They don’t subcontract the design of the future to political appointees.  They understand such designs require obedience, and obedience requires compulsion.  You cannot “honor” a neighbor you deem unfit to manage his own affairs.  There is no honor to be found in the pursuit of a perfect State to rule an inadequate people.

We dishonor ourselves when we embrace death as the solution to inconvenient people.

We dishonor ourselves when we deny the possibility of progress to embrace tribal hatreds.  Race and feminist hustlers peddle a message that says the vast majority of people cannot be trusted to show common decency to minorities and women.  We’ve hadenough of this toxic superstition.  Precious lives have been wasted, and ended, because there is power and profit to be gained in pretending the Civil Rights Act happened yesterday, and slavery ended the day before that.  Where is the honor In shrieking thatpeople who disagree with your politics are “interchangeable with the KKK?”  An ideology so weak that it must resort to these underhanded tactics is garbage unfit for the intellectual consumption of a proud people.  Those who are foolish enough to ignore the evidence of their eyes and ears, and consume that garbage, will rediscover their honor after they find their self-respect.

Most crucially, we dishonor ourselves when we forget we “have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King,” as Sarah Palin said at the Restoring Honor rally.  We remain the proud inheritors of a revolutionary philosophy, the children of vision and industry.  We have not diminished into timid weaklings, unworthy of the trust of our ruling class.  Our land is still abundant, and filled with parents who want to make a better life for their children.  Why should we listen to assurances that our future will be one of decline, where children hear their parents mourn better times from distant memory?  Why should we accept that ten percent and more of our population must remain unemployed forever?  Why should we excuse the failure of an incompetent Administration by believing we became helpless and destitute in just a few short years, and are now obliged to provide limitless resources to our caretakers?

We have listened too long to the poisonous whispers of those who say we’re too old and feeble to stand up and deal with our own problems.  The doom they have written for us can be swept aside like so many cobwebs.  Honorable people do not fear risk and challenge.  We dishonor ourselves by believing we have no moral claim on the entirety of our labor, or responsibility for the maintenance of our needs.  We dishonor ourselves by paying trillions to hear the same old fairy tale about limitless entitlements distributed by friendly giants wearing power ties.  The American people have wasted enough time reading the elaborate limited warranty on the inside of the coffin lid our Left is preparing to nail shut.
We reclaim our honor by turning away from those who believe the great mass of us are beneath their contempt, and compassion is best expressed through domination.  They have no power we didn’t give them, which means they have no power we cannot take away.  Let us begin.

Biden Wrong: Obama Tax Hike is Only Thing We Can’t Afford

At Heritage's The Foundry blog:

Vice President Joe Biden is at it again, this time spouting off on his desire to raise taxes through the looming expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
The White House favors extending current tax policy—but only for individuals making under $200,000 and families making under $250,000, allowing rates to increase for the “the super rich.” (A family making $250,000 is doing well, to be sure, but super rich?)
But the bigger logical lapses lie in the White House’s arguments in support of higher taxes. The reality is thatthere is no reason or excuse to raise taxes on anyone, and it is unreal to do so during a flat economy.
Vice President Biden claims that “the country cannot afford $700 billion in cuts for the wealthy.” First of all, allowing current tax policy to continue is not a tax “cut.” When taxes go up, that’s a tax hike. And extending current tax policy for all earners would actually cost $628 billion—less than the stimulus bill and a small fraction of the $8 trillion President Obama’s budget adds to the debt over the next 10 years.
This claim also assumes that exploding deficits are due to lower revenues resulting from the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. But, as William Gale of the Tax Policy Center points out, the main culprit for currently low revenues “was the recession—and the responses it inspired. As the economy shrank, tax revenue plummeted.” As the economy recovers in coming years, tax revenue will rebound to its historical averages. By 2020, tax revenues are actually expected to be 0.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) above historical average—even if the 2001 and 2003 cuts are extended. It is skyrocketing spending—which will be 6.2 percent above its historical average in 2020—that taxpayers can’t afford, not the lower tax rates they have enjoyed for the past decade.
The Vice President goes on to say that the wealthy spend “all they’re going to spend anyway.” Whether that’s true or not is not particularly germane. Biden seems to be implying that only consumption benefits the economy, but when the wealthy save, they are making funds available for others to spend in consumption or investment. A symptom of the confusion in Washington these days is that lawmakers think saving is a bad thing. Heritage budget expert Brian Riedl explains the difference the importance of leaving earnings in the hands of investors:
Consider the 2001 tax rebates. Washington borrowed billions from the capital markets, and then mailed it to Americans in the form of $600 checks. [This] merely transferred existing income from investors to consumers. Predictably, the following quarter saw consumer spending growth surge from 1.4 percent to 7.0 percent, and gross private domestic investment spending drop correspondingly by 22.7 percent.
Finally, the Vice President makes the crucial point that, during a recession, we shouldn’t be raising taxes on small business. But that’s exactly what allowing the tax cuts to expire would do. Heritage tax expert J. D. Foster writes that “while only a small portion of taxpayers reporting small-business income would face Obama’s higher rates, those facing the higher rates are the successful and expanding small businesses that create new jobs the economy needs to grow.”

Denver Post editorial: Enough with the Keynesianism, already

At Hot Air:

The Denver Post editorial board isn’t exactly known for its rock-ribbed conservatism, but today, they have joined the small-government bandwagon.  The editorial calls for an end to Keynesian interventions that have clearly failed, and instead an effort to “restructure government to something we can afford.”  In Colorado, that call may mean trouble for Democrats looking to return to Washington, as their leadership so far is offering nothing more than a double down on the very policies that the Post blasts in its editorial today:
It looks like the Keynesian theory of infusing massive amounts of government cash into the economy has fizzled. And while many other factors also explain the lack of economic energy, the bottom line is that nearly everyone — from consumers to business owners to government decision-makers — faces tremendous unknowns.
Worries about maintaining jobs and salaries stymie consumers. Businesses are holding back money. Economists also say that likely changes to tax laws and new regulatory environments are having a chilling effect.
And that uncertainty continues to hobble our consumer-generated economy.
The news is dire and the message — we hope — is simple: We need clear-eyed action going forward. Kicking around political footballs when there is a chance the country could slip back into recession cannot be tolerated.
The Keynesian theory has fizzled, indeed — just as it did when tried in the 1930s and again in the 1970s.  Government seizure of capital for redistribution makes less efficient use of the capital than the market does, for all of the obvious reasons, and a few less obvious.  Among the latter, private capital works more quickly; the Porkulus funds took far too long to have any impact, as critics warned when Congress and Barack Obama demanded almost $800 billion in borrowed money for it.
But it’s not just the Keynesianism that is causing the problem, and the Post strongly hints at the issue.  Under Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress, regulation has exploded, much of it ambiguous and arbitrary.  ObamaCare is the biggest example; the bill contains numerous references to rules that “the Secretary shall determine,” leaving businesses without any firm path to plan for future expansion.  Cap-and-trade and Card Check, which are still sitting on deck, will introduce not just higher costs but even more ambiguities and uncertainties into the mix, and the result will be capital flight, recession, and perhaps worse.
This election, the Post concludes, is a referendum on the economy.  It should also be a referendum on federal arrogance and executive competence.

Where's Your Congressman?

At Heritage via The Hoosierpundit::

The Death of Conservatism Was Greatly Exaggerated

From Peter Berkowitz at The Wall Street Journal:

Last August left little doubt that a conservative revival was underway. Constituents packed town-hall meetings across the country to confront Democratic House members and senators ill-prepared to explain why, in the teeth of a historic economic downturn and nearly 10% employment, President Obama and his party were pressing ahead with costly health-care legislation instead of reining in spending, cutting the deficit and spurring economic growth.
Still, whether that revival would have staying power was very much open to question. A year later—and notwithstanding the Democrats' steadily declining poll numbers and the mounting electoral momentum that could well produce a Republican majority in the House and a substantial swing in the Senate—it still is.
Sustaining the revival depends on the ability of GOP leaders, office-holders and candidates to harness the extraordinary upsurge of popular opposition to Mr. Obama's aggressive progressivism. Our constitutional tradition provides enduring principles that should guide them.
In late 2008 and early 2009, in the wake of Mr. Obama's meteoric ascent, the idea that conservatism would enjoy any sort of revival in the summer of 2009 would have seemed to demoralized conservatives too much to hope for. To leading lights on the left, it would have appeared absolutely outlandish.
Associated Press
President Ronald Reagan
In late October 2008, New Yorker staff writer George Packer reported "the complete collapse of the four-decade project that brought conservatism to power in America." Two weeks later, the day after Mr. Obama's election, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne proclaimed "the end of a conservative era" that had begun with the rise of Ronald Reagan.
And in February 2009, New York Times Book Review and Week in Review editor Sam Tanenhaus, writing in The New Republic, declared that "movement conservatism is exhausted and quite possibly dead." Mr. Tanenhaus even purported to discern in the new president "the emergence of a president who seems more thoroughly steeped in the principles of Burkean conservatism than any significant thinker or political figure on the right."
Messrs. Packer, Dionne and Tanenhaus underestimated what the conservative tradition rightly emphasizes, which is the high degree of unpredictability in human affairs. They also conflated the flagging fortunes of George W. Bush's Republican Party with conservatism's popular appeal. Most importantly, they failed to grasp the imperatives that flow from conservative principles in America, and the full range of tasks connected to preserving freedom.
Progressives like to believe that conservatism's task is exclusively negative—resisting the centralizing and expansionist tendency of democratic government. And that is a large part of the conservative mission. Progressives see nothing in this but hard-hearted indifference to inequality and misfortune, but that is a misreading.
What conservatism does is ask the question avoided by progressive promises: at what expense? In the aftermath of the global economic crisis of 2008, Western liberal democracies have been increasingly forced to come to grips with their propensity to live beyond their means.
It is always the task for conservatives to insist that money does not grow on trees, that government programs must be paid for, and that promising unaffordable benefits is reckless, unjust and a long-term threat to maintaining free institutions.
But conservatives also combat government expansion and centralization because it can undermine the virtues upon which a free society depends. Big government tends to crowd out self-government—producing sluggish, selfish and small-minded citizens, depriving individuals of opportunities to manage their private lives and discouraging them from cooperating with fellow citizens to govern their neighborhoods, towns, cities and states.
Progressives are not the only ones to misunderstand the multiple dimensions of the conservative mission. Conservatives have demonstrated blind spots, too.
In 2010—in an America in which the New Deal long ago was woven into the fabric of our lives—conservatives can not reasonably devote themselves exclusively to limiting the growth of government. Government must effectively discharge the responsibilities it has had since the founding of the republic, but also those it has acquired over more than two centuries of social, political and technological change.
Those responsibilities include putting people to work and reigniting the economy—and devising alternatives to ObamaCare that will enable the federal government to cooperate with state governments and the private sector to provide affordable and decent health care.
A thoughtful conservatism in America—a prerequisite of a sustainable conservatism—must also recognize that the liberty, democracy and free markets that it seeks to conserve have destabilizing effects. For all their blessings, they breed distrust of order, virtue and tradition, all of which must be cultivated if liberty is to be well-used.
To observe this is not, as some clever progressives think, to have discovered a fatal contradiction at the heart of modern conservatism. It is, rather, to begin to recognize the complexity of the conservative task in a free society.
To be sure, the current conservative revival was not in the first instance inspired by reflection on conservative principles.
The credit for galvanizing ordinary people and placing individual freedom and limited government back on the national agenda principally belongs to President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Their heedless pursuit of progressive transformation reinvigorated a moribund conservative spirit, just as in 1993 and 1994 the Clintons' overreaching on health care sparked a popular uprising resulting in a Republican takeover of Congress.
The Gingrich revolution fizzled, in part because congressional Republicans mistook a popular mandate for moderation as a license to undertake radical change, and in part because they grew complacent and corrupt in the corridors of power.
Perhaps this time will be different. Our holiday from history is over. The country faces threats—crippling government expansion at home and transnational Islamic extremism—that arouse conservative instincts and concentrate the conservative mind.
Mr. Berkowitz is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Exclusive Video: Gov. Mitch Daniels on Obamacare’s Devastating Consequences

From Heritage:

Go to the link and read his blog post also-SP

Boehner’s Pro-Growth Message

From Larry Kudlow at NRO:

It’s a bit too early for House Republican leader John Boehner to measure the drapes and pick out new wallpaper. But the Intrade pay-to-play prediction markets are now showing a 76 percent chance of a GOP House takeover in November, along with a 60 percent probability that Republicans will capture at least seven new Senate seats. 

So Boehner’s lengthy broadside attack on Obamanomics at the City Club of Cleveland this week takes on special meaning. Headlines following the speech were all about Boehner’s call for the resignation of Obama policy generals Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner. But the more substantive question is this: What might a newly ascendant congressional Republican majority actually stand for?

Republican leaders are expected to publish a governing agenda next month, probably an updated version of the bold and successful Newt Gingrich/Dick Armey “Contract with America” of 1994. John Boehner is a key alumnus of that effort. But folks around the country are waiting to see if congressional Republicans will make a strong and aggressive case for a true economic-growth and jobs agenda now, in 2010.

The stock market, for example, has known for months that the GOP will capture the House. But investors are not yet confident that the GOP will focus onGDP, instead of mere ambiguous generalities, trying to be all things to all people. Indeed, if the Republicans borrow heavily from the tea-party “Contract fromAmerica” — and its call for constitutional limits to government, tough spending restraint, free-market reforms, and supply-side tax policies — stocks could mount a mighty rally in the weeks ahead.

Well, Mr. Boehner’s speech was a very promising beginning to all this.

Near the top he said, “Right now, America’s employers are afraid to invest in an economy stalled by ‘stimulus’ spending and hamstrung by uncertainty. The prospect of higher taxes, stricter rules, and more regulations has employers sitting on their hands.”

His first proposal to break that uncertainty? Boehner said, “President Obama should announce he will not carry out his plan to impose job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses.” In other words, extend all the Bush tax cuts. To this end, Boehner quoted former President John F. Kennedy: “An economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs.”

And Boehner was just getting started.

He called for an Obama pledge to veto any lame-duck congressional actions that would damage the economy, including the union card-check bill and a national cap-and-trade energy tax.

He called for the repeal of Obamacare’s job-killing 1099 mandate that would require small-business paperwork to show any purchases of more than $600.

He slammed Obamacare in general, noting the creation of more than 160 boards, bureaucracies, programs, and commissions, and the 3,833 pages of new regulations already in place.

He called for an aggressive spending-reduction package that would rollback non-defense discretionary expenditures to 2008 levels, before the stimulus plan was put in place.

He said he wants to end TARP and all TARP bailouts.

He bemoaned the fact that no one in the White House has any business experience, chiding Obama by saying, “We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community-organizer. It hasn’t worked. Our fresh start needs to begin now.”

He called for a freeze on federal pay and hiring. He noted that, on average, federal employees now make more than double what private-sector workers take in.

He cited Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan’s plan for $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts. He called for strict budget caps. And he argued for pro-growth tax reform that would get rid of “the undergrowth of deductions, credits, and special carve-outs in order to bring simplicity and certainty, instead of transfer payments to the favored few.”

And he spotlighted the fiscal restraint of governors Bob McConnell of Virginia and Chris Christie of New Jersey, elected Republican officials who balanced their budgets by throttling spending instead of raising taxes.

All this is good. Very good.

Instead of playing it safe, it looks like Republicans intend to be aggressive in changing the statist, government-planning, socialist-lite agenda of President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It sounds like the new Republican party intends to end the ongoing war against private-capital investment, entrepreneurial rewards, free-market incentives, and private business that is plaguing the economy and sapping the strength of the recovery.

In a little over two months, the election will take place. In a little over four months, the 2003 tax cuts will expire. And in just a few weeks, congressional Republicans will presumably put more meat on the bones of their new platform. John Boehner’s Cleveland speech was a very encouraging beginning. Now let’s see if the Republican’s next step will truly provide some much needed optimism to the economy and body politic.

The Sources of American Anger

From Victor Davis Hanson at NRO:

Behind the anger over the Arizona immigration mess, the Ground Zero mosque, the economy, and the new directions in foreign policy are some recurring general themes that reverberate in each particular new controversy. In sum, they explain everything from the tea parties to the wholly negative perception of Congress to the slide in presidential popularity.

1. Two sets of rules. The public senses there are two standards in America — one for elite overseers, quite another for the supposedly not-to-be-trusted public. The anger over this hypocrisy surfaces over matters from the trivial to the profound. Sometimes the pique arises because the spread-the-wealth, we-all-have-skin-in-shared-sacrifice presidential sermons don’t apply to those who do the preaching, as in the president’s serial polo-shirted golf excursions or Michelle’s movable feast from Marbella to Martha’s Vineyard.

More profoundly, an Al Gore, a Timothy Geithner, a John Kerry, a John Edwards, a Charles Rangel — the luminaries who call for bigger government, higher taxes, and more green coercion — now appear to the public as disingenuous, living lives in abject contradiction to the utopian bromides they would apply to others. So too with the media. The opinion makers at a failing New York TimesNewsweek, or CBS lost readers and viewers not just because of changing technologies, but because of incessant editorializing in which the educated and affluent, the winners in our system, berated the less educated and less well off, the strugglers in our system, as bigoted or selfish or both.

How, for example, can Americans be asked to pay higher power bills in a recession to subsidize wind power, when the green Kennedy clan worries about windmills marring its vacation-spot view?

2. The bigot card. In reductionist terms, the public now accepts that when particular groups fail to win a 51 percent majority on a particular issue, they resort to invoking racism and prejudice — odd, when candidate Obama promised a new climate of unity and tolerance. Moreover, that disturbing trend has something to do with the president himself, who has injected racial grievance into everything from the Skip Gates controversy to the debate over the Arizona immigration law.

When the open-borders interests, or the gay-marriage advocates, or the adherents of the Ground Zero mosque cannot convince a majority of Americans that their agenda bodes well for the country, they almost instinctively fall back on the charge that America is xenophobic, homophobic, or Islamophobic. Yet the public infers that these charges reflect sour grapes rather than honest analysis: Had Arizona legislators or California voters supported the progressive agenda, then, as with the 2008 Obama victory, they would have been praised in Newsweek and on NPR for their moral sense and compassion. In short, the bigot card has played itself out and is now not much more than a political ploy to win an argument through calumny when logic and persuasion have failed.

3. The law? What law? Americans accept that they cannot pass legislation in violation of the Constitution. But they do not believe that a single judge can nullify the electoral will of millions without good cause. Thus in Arizona and California, there is a sense that judges who favor open borders or gay marriage are willing to use the pretense of constitutional issues to enact such agendas despite their current unpopularity. In a general landscape in which contractual obligations are nullified, as in the Chrysler bailout, and punitive fines are imposed quite arbitrarily, as in the BP cleanup, many believe the Obama administration applies the law in terms of perceived social utility. What is deemed best for the country by an elite few is what the law must be molded and changed to advance.

If there are, for example, not sufficient votes in the Congress to pass amnesty through legislative means, why not bypass federal law through a cabinet officer’s executive fiat?

4. The futility of taxes. We talk of returning to the Clinton income-tax schedules. Yet in the late 1990s, those hikes ended up, along with the Republican cuts in mandates, balancing the budget — without new health-care surcharges, or talk of a VAT, or caps lifted off income subject to Social Security taxes. Not now. The public recognizes that the advocates of higher taxes are not willing to make the sort of across-the-board spending cuts that once succeeded in balancing the budget. In other words, those who will start paying much more of their income to the government in the form of taxes fret that, unlike the 1990s, this time the additional federal revenue won’t balance the budget, and will be all for naught.

Worse still are two corollaries. First, we are in a ceaseless spiral in which each new tax increase will lead to justifications for more spending and thus to still higher taxes. Public employees, fairly or not, have morphed in the public mind from civil servants to pigs at the salary and pension trough, and from disinterested government workers to members of a liberal social movement that will perpetuate a federal agenda of race, class, and gender politics and higher taxes through payback bloc voting at the polls.

Second, there is a growing suspicion that this administration believes in a “gorge the beast” philosophy, the antithesis of Reagan’s “starve the beast.” In other words, redistribution may be a desired end in and of itself. If greater spending demands higher taxes, perhaps that is socially preferable, since income is an arbitrary construct predicated on some sort of social injustice. In turn, the remedy demands that the federal government impose an equality of result to correct the inequities of the cavalier free market that so unfairly pays some too much and others too little. 

In short, are our taxes not merely paying for federal expenditures, but also quite justifiably serving to confiscate income that we did not rightfully earn?

5. Disingenuousness. There is also a growing belief that the Obama administration is advancing an agenda that it cannot be fully candid about, because that agenda does not command broad support. As a result, we are habitually asked to believe that what administration appointees or supporters say is not what they really mean, or at least was taken out of context.

Justice Sotomayor did not really mean that wise Latinas make better judges than white males. Van Jones did not really mean that George W. Bush was in on 9/11, or that white youths are more likely to be mass murderers, or that whites are chronic polluters of the ghetto. Eric Holder no more meant that Americans are cowards than one of Anita Dunn’s heroes really is the mass-murdering Mao. We should not believe that the top priority of the head of NASA is to advance Islamic outreach, or that the president himself thinks that police routinely act stupidly, stereotype, or arrest innocent people on their way to get their kids some ice cream. Imam Rauf did not really say that we created bin Laden, or that we kill more innocent Muslims than al-Qaeda kills innocent non-Muslims.

All this dissimulation started with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose mistake was not saying the outrageous things he said — Mr. Obama and the compliant media had contextualized his corpus of hate well enough — but finally insulting the media at the National Press Club. The former was seen as a misdemeanor; the latter proved a felony.

Do Obama supporters, then, reveal their true beliefs only in gaffes and unguarded moments, while filling their official statements and communiqu├ęs with pretense?

6. A culpable America? Finally, the public has added up the apology tours, the bowing, and the constant emphasis on race, class, and gender crimes, and concluded that this administration sees America, past and present, as the story of a culpable majority denying noble minorities their rights — period.

In addition, Obama and his crew see America in isolation, without comparison to the wretchedness that exists in so much of the world outside our borders. So a logical disconnect is never quite explained. If America is so xenophobic and culpable, why would millions of Mexicans or Middle Eastern Muslims wish to immigrate here — and what exactly is America doing to attract them that their own countries are not? If Michelle Obama felt that she could not be proud of America before Barack Obama’s accession, was it the free-market system that both provoked her ire and created the capital for her to jet to Marbella?

In other words, with the race/class/gender critique of the Obamians comes very little appreciation of the bounty, freedom, and affluence that they so eagerly embrace. Surely someone in the past — perhaps even white males — must have been doing something right for America to evolve into a place that our present-day critics apparently enjoy.

How will all this play out? 

There are many millions of Americans who have a rising stake either in receiving reallocated federal money or in administering its distribution. For nearly half a century, the public schools have been telling millions of children that America’s preeminence is ill-gotten, based largely on exploitation of less fortunate others, here and abroad. So the country is divided, and a president claiming to be the great healer of our age is proving to be the most divisive chief executive since Richard Nixon — and, in the view of an increasing majority of Americans, by his own intent.

EPA on lead-ammunition ban: Never mind


From Hot Air:

Not that this was going anywhere anyway, but someone at the EPA must have gotten a few phone calls about their open comment period on this truly screwy idea from either the White House, Congressional leadership, or perhaps both.  Just two days ago, the EPA announced that they would take comments until the end of October as to whether they agreed that lead-based ammunition and fishing sinkers amounted to such a dire threat to the environment that the EPA should ban both.  Looks like theyheard enough comments, at least on ammunition:
Responding to a grassroots outcry from gun owners, the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has denied a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and other radical groups that had sought to ban the use of lead in ammunition.
Agreeing with the position of the NRA and the firearms industry, the agency explained in a news release that it “does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).”  Further crushing the hopes of anti-gun and anti-hunting activists, the release added: “nor is the agency seeking such authority.”
“It’s outrageous that this petition even went this far,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director.  “We applaud the EPA for its understanding of the law and its common sense in this situation — both of which were totally missing in the petition filed by these extreme anti-gun and anti-hunting groups.”
Because the EPA has no power to regulate ammunition, it will not move ahead with a public comment period on the petition.  However, a comment period will remain open until September 15 on the other part of the petition, which asks EPA to ban the use of lead in fishing sinkers.
Be sure to watch for more coverage of this important victory in next week’s Grassroots Alert and in NRA’s magazines.
It is an important victory, mainly from the EPA’s own admission that ammunition is outside their jurisdictional reach.  Otherwise, this just brings an issue to the end it inevitably faced sooner or later.  Had the EPA pursued this in this electoral cycle, they would have risked inspiring a bipartisan effort to defund the agency, which a Republican House may do anyway to stop enforcement of their ridiculous carbon-dioxide endangerment finding.
If the EPA actually thought this would make a great trial balloon, they found yet another use for lead.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Environmental Protection Agency Reviewing Petition to Ban Lead Bullets

Will the EPA infuriate gun owners--and seal the fate of Democrats on November 2?

Will Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson make a back door move to ban lead bullets the day before the November 2 elections? 
Several environmentalist groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) are petitioning the EPA to ban lead bullets and shot (as well as lead sinkers for fishing) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Although EPA is barred by statute from controlling ammunition, CBD is seeking to work farther back along the manufacturing chain and have EPA ban the use of lead in bullets and shot because non-lead alternatives are available. But here's the catch: the alternatives to lead bullets are more expensive. A ban on the sale of lead ammunition would force hunters and sport shooters to buy non-lead ammunition that is often double the cost of traditional lead ammunition.  A box of deer hunting bullets in a popular caliber could be upwards of $55.
And the "Progressive" beat goes on!!!  These folks know no bounds! -SP

The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History

Current federal budget trends are capable of destroying this country

The United States simply seems to lack a system that can fund the government that the people say they want. We are good at crises, but we do not seem to be good at tackling chronic problems. If we wait until a crisis happens, it will be too late. It is simply not possible to close the gap entirely with the tax increases on the rich that Democratic liberals so desperately believe in. Nor can we close the gap with spending cuts, as the Republicans would like. The liberals will have to concede that benefits and spending ought to be reduced. Conservatives will have to concede the need for higher taxes.
But let's not forget, current budgetary trends are capable of destroying the country. As Bowles pointed out, according to a Washington Post report, we can't just grow our way out of this. We can't just tax our way out of this. We have to do what governors do—cut spending or increase revenues in some combination that will begin to pull us back from the cliff.
Obama must know that if he doesn't address this, he will be the president who drove us toward a debt crisis. And so too must Congress, for both have now participated in the most fiscally irresponsible government in American history.

Read it all!!-SP