Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Well, at least he's consistent.

Obama campaigns like he governs: expensively and on the public dime.
President Barack Obama is set to hold a campaign rally at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas on Wednesday, his first visit to Southern Nevada since Nevada Journal revealed that his campaign  for the costs of events at local public . Obama’s campaign, Obama for America (OFA), left the Clark County School District with nearly $25,000 in unpaid bills from two rallies at Bonanza and Coronado high schools in 2008.

Neither CCSD nor the Obama campaign would confirm for Nevada Journal the campaign’s plans to pay for Wednesday’s event. In 2008, CCSD billed the Obama campaign $53,116.12 for the Bonanza and Coronado rallies. Obama for America originally paid $28,484.40 of the bill, but left $24,631.72 unpaid. That remainder was not paid until June 2012, following multiple  Nevada Journal inquiries. The bill was for 500 hours of school police officer overtime, providing extra security for the rallies.  [snip]

Obama’s campaign isn’t the only one hosting rallies at CCSD schools. Last week, presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan held a rally at , and on July 27, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., campaigned on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at C.C Ronnow Elementary School. Mason Harrison, a spokesman for the Romney campaign’s Nevada organization, told Nevada Journal the Romney campaign paid for both the Rubio and Ryan events, and said the campaign usually pays for all events ahead of time.

The Obama campaign has been in the news several times for reportedly not reimbursing cities or other public entities for the costs of its events. In February, Obama held a fundraising breakfast in Newport Beach, Calif., and the city sent the Obama campaign a $35,043 invoice to cover extra security costs incurred by the city.
The bill was due June 9, and when Newport Beach received no payment, it sent the campaign a past-due notice.  [snip]

In June, the town of Durham, N.H., attempted to bill Obama’s campaign up to $20,000 for extra security costs. The Obama campaign declined Durham’s request, referring it to the Secret Service, just as with Newport Beach.
Stay classy, Mr. President.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Paving the road to Hell in Africa.

"Liberating" Libya might have made many of us feel better here in the US, but it was the apotheosis of Do Gooderism run amok. Our good intentions have paved the road to Hell for northern Africa.

  • Qaddafi agreed to give ups his chemical WMDs in return for American support. Obama welshed on that agreement for global meliorist reasons. In so doing, he made it much less likely that dictators will trust the US going forward when we ask them to put down their swords. 
  • The stockpile of weapons Qaddafi still had at the time of his demise has fallen into the hands of radical Muslims, including al Qaeda.
  • This led directly to the complete destabilization of Mali, by arming radical Islamist factions in the country who were otherwise kept in check. Now one of the few bright spots for democratic rule in Africa is gone.
  • Now Niger finds itself as the next domino in line to tumble. 
How many countries will fall as a result of our heedless act of Do Gooderism? The best that can be said about this experience is that Obama seems to have learned the lesson of how Do Gooderism can unleash hellish unintended consequences, as evidenced by his refusal to similarly intervene in Syria.

Of course, this is all besides the fact that Obama set a dangerous precedent by ignoring the War Powers Act in order to prosecute the war in Libya. What incentives do future presidents have to respect that limit on their foreign policy powers now that Obama has shown you can cross that line and not be held to account?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FRC shooting & Lake Placid Tolerance

I've talked before about Lake Placid Tolerance, the phenomenon, frequently found on the Left, where people claim to be tolerant of others but only so long as the "others" share their Liberal positions. If the "others" don't, then the tolerant folks frequently spew hateful, often violent, racist, or misogynistic rhetoric against them.

We're seeing another example of this today in response to the shooting at the Family Resource Council, a Conservative public policy and advocacy organization in DC. The shooter shouted messages about FRC's hateful policies being the justification for his actions before and during his shooting spree. The responses from way too many on the Left are classic Lake Placid Tolerance in action. In other words, they've been completely intolerant, classless, and hateful.

Do I feel bad that there was a shooting at the FRC? Yes. Am I surprised? Not really.— 
Amber J. (@skii_bum1985) August 15, 2012

*Please* stop shooting up Family Research Council. No need to turn these horrible, bigoted people into victims. Thanks!— 
Elon Green (@elongreen) August 15, 2012

fuck The Family Research Council, and it’s hatred and intolerance toward the LGBT community. Maybe they just needed some more Chic-Fil-A..— 
Glenn D. Sibley (@GlennSibley) August 15, 2012

Yo @EWErickson, a shooting at #FRC HQ was a long time coming. Though I'm surprised the#AFA wasn't 1st. Hate begets hate. #NOH8 #Bigotry— 
Chase J. (@Way2Blue4You) August 15, 2012

This one was particularly ironic. You brand yourself with "NOH8" and then say that attempted mass murder "was a long time coming"?

More classy tolerance:

Dear FRC: my thoughts are with you. Just don't say the things you do about your fellow Americans and expect not to be called a hate group.— 
Tom Doran (@portraitinflesh) August 15, 2012

If shooter who injured security guard did it to terrorize pro-homophobia community, it IS domestic terrorism. The FRC IS STILL a hate group.— 
Labgrrl (@labgrrl) August 15, 2012

Surprised someone went shooting up FRC? Nope. Hate begats hate. #certifedhategroup— 
Brandon Shire (@TheBrandonShire) August 15, 2012

@michellemalkin How much empathy would Cons show if Black Panther Sec guard got shot in arm? He didn't die. He got shot in arm 4 godsake— 
Josef K. (@apls452) August 15, 2012

Family Research Council …who knows maybe the hated are starting to hate back …look out TBAGGERS— 
GEOFFREY WILLIAMS (@jeffreynola) August 15, 2012

And the winning quote goes to Jon G. for insightful analysis:

FRC shooting is another reminder that the #NOH8 crowd isn't against hate at all — they just want you to hate different people.— 
Jon G. (@ExJon) August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why I'm elated Paul Ryan is Romney's VP

This is why. Listen to what this man says. He gets it. And unlike Obama, whose speeches four years ago were filled with vapid tripe and meaningless bromides, Ryan's words actually mean something. They're not just gibberish.

 Talking to Democrats about his famous budget, Paul Ryan said,
“America is having enormous trouble paying for the welfare state we already have, much less the far more ambitious one you guys want to build. If you ever find the courage, and then the language, to persuade Americans to pay much higher taxes for the sake of perpetuating and perpetually expanding our welfare state, Republicans will challenge those bad policies. We’ll acknowledge, however, that they are at least affordable bad policies.

“It will be easy to know when brave Democrats succeed in catalyzing American politics. That day will have arrived when Republican politicians have good reason to fear that the most serious consequence of opposing a tax increase will be not another denunciation by the New York Times editorial page but defeats at the ballot box. Until Democrats assemble that electoral majority of Americans insisting on higher taxes, we must devise spending plans consonant with the federal government’s existing (and effectively unexpandable) revenue stream. Republicans are proposing big changes in existing social programs and strict limits on future government outlays, to make the operations of the welfare state compatible with the government’s revenues.

“Democrats who find those changes appalling can do one of three things: persuade Americans to accept enormous tax increases; offer an alternative plan, humane and enlightened, for the federal government to address social needs by spending no more than 19 percent of GDP; convince the nation’s voters and the world’s lenders that a huge and permanently widening gap between federal revenues and spending is nothing to worry about. There is no fourth option.”

From the Dept. of "If Something Can't Last Forever, It Won't"

Investors are actively preparing for the Euro's collapse.

A peak inside the mind of The Onion readers

Specifically regarding Paul Ryan as Romney's VP:

Admit It, I Scare The Every-Loving Shit Out Of You, Don't I?

When Mitt Romney selected me as his running mate, I knew the Democratic attack dogs would come out in full force. They would say I’m a right-wing ideologue. They would say my views on entitlement programs are far too radical. They would say putting me on the ticket immediately kills Mitt Romney’s chances of becoming president because I’m a liability. But if we’re being honest with each other—if we’re able to put aside the talking points for a few minutes and say what we’re all actually thinking and feeling—I believe we can acknowledge the real truth here.

I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m smart, and I’m articulate. And that scares the ever-loving shit out of you. You can pretend like you have this thing in the bag, but you know good goddamn well that this race just got real interesting, real fast.

It’s okay to admit it. You’re frightened to death of me. It might actually be healthy for you to face your fears now rather than later, when Mitt and I are leading by a few points in the polls and it looks like this thing might end badly for you. Face it: I’m not some catastrophe waiting to happen, like a Sarah Palin or a Dan Quayle. On the contrary, you have the exact opposite fear. I’m a solid, competent, some might say exceptional, politician.
Read the rest of the article.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The new Puritans

"Liberals are often some of the least tolerant people when they are sure they are right; like the Massachusetts Puritans from whom, culturally and intellectually, much of modern American liberalism descends, they believe in freedom for God’s Elect — and force to make the heathen and the unenlightened Do Right."   -Walter Russell Mead

Filed under: Hitting the nail on the head.

What you do when you have to record to run on

You make tasteless and dishonest ads based on deliberately misleading information:

Man.  It's only August.  Mr. Hope & Change looks set to run THE dirtiest campaign in recent memory.

Jim Geraghty over at National Review provides some much-needed perspective on this issue:
After I lamented that "there was a time when presidential campaigns did not casually accuse their opponent of murder," some ninny on Twitter brought up Willie Horton.

It's kind of amazing how certain news events and controversies can come to be remembered as the precise opposite of reality. In many circles, mentioning the name "Willie Horton" is now a synonym for dirty campaigning or "below the belt" tactics, isn't it? I'll bet at this moment many readers are jumping to point out that "it was Al Gore who first mentioned Willie Horton!" (Actually, it was in one of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary debates that Gore mentioned that two furloughed prisoners had committed new murders while on weekend leave -- the same "weekends away" program that covered Horton, but different criminals.)

Permit me to attempt to shovel off massive layers of accumulated conventional-wisdom detritus here: Good for Al Gore! The Massachusetts weekend furlough program and criminals like Willie Horton completely deserved to be brought up, and it was a terrific, vivid example of bad judgment on Dukakis's part. To refresh:
Horton had been sentenced to life imprisonment and was incarcerated at the Concord Correctional Facility in Massachusetts when he was released in June 1986 as part of a weekend furlough program.

While on furlough in April 1987, Horton twice raped a woman in Oxon Hill, Md. He stabbed and pistol-whipped her fiancé.
 At the time, Michael Dukakis was the Democratic governor of Massachusetts. While Dukakis had not initiated the furlough program, he supported it as a measure to help with criminal rehabilitation. After the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that this right extended to first-degree murderers, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill prohibiting furloughs for such inmates. However, in 1976, Dukakis vetoed this bill. Thus, the program remained in effect, and Dukakis continued to support it.
Michael Dukakis thought that denying weekends away from prison from convicted murderers was a bad idea, and so he ensured that these weekend excursions would continue. And two people were murdered as a result of this policy, separately from Willie Horton's raping and stabbing rampage. This may rank as among the worst ideas in the history of the criminal-justice system. This was the precise opposite of "dirty politics" or a "smear campaign" or some nonsensical charge.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I don't think we can afford any more "success" like this

Pyrrhic doesn't even begin to describe this "victory."

Remember when the government bailed out GM? Remember how it was a temporary situation, and we -- the taxpayers -- would make money on this "investment"?

American taxpayers have 500 million shares of GM stock. We need to sell it at $53 per share just to break even. It's now trading at under $20. We stand to lose well over $40 billion, and GM looks like it's going down the toilet anyway.

So we could have saved $82 billion, avoided hundreds of politically motivated store closings, and been no worse off than we are now?

Dude, the GM bailout was totally worth it!

Remember when "secret" mean, you know, SECRET?

Over at Ace of Spades, Ace asks a very good question:
Remember when SEAL Team Six didn't exist? Or back when details of SEAL tactics were not supposed to be known by the world at large? Or back when it was a secret that the FLAME computer virus used the neat-o tactic of sending its data to nearby Bluetooth-equipped phones and laptops, to get the information transmitted from the secure (not connected to the internet) networks?

Yes, that was "secrecy" before Barack Obama needed a reelection boost, back when "secrecy" meant "we don't leak this information to our partisan agents in the media."

And now: Obama secretly orders secret help for our secret friends in the Syrian rebellion.It's in all the papers, like good secrets should be.
Well ... he did say he'd bring change, didn't he?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What to do with the heretics?

From Mr. Crunchy Con, regarding the meaning behind the Chick-Fil-A brouhaha:
Though I am a conservative and a traditional Christian, I am gratified that ours has become and is becoming a country in which gay people no longer have to fear for their livelihoods and live in the closet because of their sexuality. That was cruel and unjust, and we are a better country for leaving those days behind. But we are on our way to becoming a country in which traditional Christians have to fear for their livelihoods and live in the closet because of their religious convictions. And the most right-thinking liberals among us have no problem with that, because they believe, like the most reactionary 19th-century pope, that error has no rights.
"... error has no rights."

I have heard many of my Liberal friends say things along these lines, and, as someone who loves freedom, it chills my blood.

Liberal media bias chronicles: Biased polling

We were overseas for the 2008 Presidential election, but even from abroad the thumb-on-the-scale coverage the US media gave Obama was eminently visible. Whether it was the double standard regarding experience ("no executive experience for Obama" = no big deal, but "limited executive experience for Palin" = instantly disqualified from being President), the refusal to seriously dig into his background, or the Pavlovian cries of Racism! whenever anyone began to seriously criticize him, the media at all levels protected, fawned over, and virtually fellated Barack Obama.

And the scary thing is that they're looking to outdo themselves in 2012. The Dear Leader is in deep trouble this time around. The media are frantically searching for something ... anything ... to save their beloved.

One of their favorite tricks is conducting biased polls. There are several ways to bias polls. Asking biased questions of the "Do you still beat your wife?" variety is generally considered an amateurish way to do it. Far better to either sample "all adults" or "registered voters" instead of sampling "likely voters." "Likely voters" are, after all, the ones whose opinions we want, because they're the ones who are the most likely to actually vote. The "likely voter" sample is rarely Liberal enough for the media, though, so most of their polls generally tend to be "all adults" or "registered voters" in order to get a sufficiently Liberal result. Another tactic, much more subtle, is to skew the partisan makeup of the poll. This allows pollsters to present their results as if they represent America (or a given state) at large, and it's harder to check, which dissuades casually informed observers from looking deeper for the bias.

The upshot of biased polls is that they can create a sense of inevitable victory for one side where there's actually a close race, and they can demoralize opponents who think, "The guy I don't want to win is winning and there's nothing I can do about it."

The latest swing state poll provides a clear example of biased polling. In a year that is shaping up to be much closer to 2010 (when Republicans and Conservatives were fired up and Democrats were demoralized) than 2008 (when it was reversed), CBS and the New York Times put out a poll assuming that partisan breakdowns will be even more favorable to the Democrats in 2012 in PA, VA, and OH than they were in 2008. That is, in an election where the economy is the weakest we've seen in a generation, the incumbent is weighed down by his own wildly unpopular policies, and the opposition consistently shows itself to be much more enthusiastic than the part in power, the CBS/NY Times poll assumes that voters will vote even more Democratic than they did in 2008.

This kind of nonsense would be shot down in a research paper from a high school student. Either the people putting it out there are less competent than a high school student or they're too frightened of what the results of an actual poll would be to conduct one.

Here is what a less biased poll looks like: Obama is actually underwater in almost 75% of the country. Gallup had more integrity in conducting the poll, but they couldn't help themselves with the headline: Thirteen States and DC Give Obama Majority Approval.

Happy Healthcare Fascism Day!

The HHS mandate requiring employers to cover contraceptives and abortifacients -- even if their faith commands them to do otherwise -- goes into effect today.

Back in February, Kathleen Sebelius announced a broad, sweeping exemption for all religious organizations that are only open for business every third Tuesday when there's a full moon. No one else qualifies.

It is a sad, sad day for Americans who value religious liberty.