Witch’s Will For A February Morning
My Pick of the Litter Today
Premature Reports of GOP Death
By Jonah Goldberg
The Republicans are doomed. Conservatism is over. President Obama is conducting a mop-up operation at this point.
That’s the basic consensus in places like New York City, Washington, DC, and other citadels of blue America.
And let’s be fair, liberals have every reason to gloat — a little. The GOP has its troubles. Long-term demographic trends; often-irrational animosity from Hollywood, the media and academia; a thumbless grasp of the culture on the part of many Republicans: All of these things create a headwind for the party and the broader conservative movement.
But here’s the weird part. That’s all true of presidential politics, but less so when it comes to state politics or even other federal races. In 2010, the GOP had its best performance in congressional races since 1938.
In North Carolina, a state that’s supposed to represent the trends benefitting Democrats — it’s attracting liberal northern transplants, immigrants, high-tech workers, etc. — the GOP now has veto-proof majorities in the state House and Senate. Last November, North Carolina became the 30th state with a GOP governor.
What gives? There are a lot of possible explanations that are not mutually exclusive. Obama is more popular than his party. Mitt Romney was less popular than the ideas he had such a hard time expressing. Presidential electorates are different.
No matter the merits of these observations, they don’t fully explain why Republicans are doing so well on the policy front. In states as diverse as Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas and a half-dozen others, Republicans have been implementing impressive — even miraculous — reforms.
Progressive Failure Is On Full Display in California
Don’t follow the disastrous example set by the Golden State.
California’s modern-day progressive Democrats keep crowing about the huge success they’ve had in taming the state’s budget deficit thanks to Prop. 30’s tax increases and other “reforms,” and now are championing the Jerry Brown model as a blueprint for the nation. Be very afraid.
It’s bad enough that other states have to deal with our residents, who are fleeing our success-punishing tax and regulatory regimen, but now, apparently, they are going to have to deal with our bad ideas, promoted through smug lectures from California’s liberal politicians.
Incredibly Botched ATF Operation-Machine Gun Stolen, Gun Buyback Over Market Prices, Undercover Agents Names Leaked
WASHINGTON – Several members of Congress are calling for an investigation into an embarrassing series of blunders made by the Milwaukee arm of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after a newspaper reported this week that the agency conducted a months-long undercover operation that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and netted very few results.
“I am intent on getting to the bottom of the botched ATF sting in Milwaukee,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told FoxNews.com Thursday night.
Sensenbrenner along with Sen. Charles Grassley, and Reps. Darrell Issa and Robert Goodlatte, have sent a letter to Acting ATF Director Todd Jones asking the agency to look into allegations reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The newspaper claims that the agency conducted a deeply flawed sting operation that resulted in a still-missing machine gun being taken from an agent’s car, thousands of taxpayer dollars being lost in merchandise and angry residents saying that ATF officials reintroduced crime into their neighborhood. The operation comes on the heels of the botched Operation Fast and Furious anti-gun trafficking program.
What’s Up With the Democrats?
Mikulski Challenged by Irregular Order on Spending
Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski faces tough hurdles in her quest to return to “regular order” for handling her committee’s dozen annual spending bills.
The Maryland Democrat has to persuade leaders within her own party to give floor time for spending bills that could become vehicles for Republicans to bring up potentially controversial amendments and force some of her Democratic colleagues to take tough votes.
But Mikulski also will have to acquaint many senators on both sides of the aisle with what regular order means. Roughly half of the members of the Senate joined after 2005, the last year Congress finished annual appropriations without resorting to an omnibus.
Mikulski argues that a return to allowing greater participation in developing spending bills could result in a more efficient government. That would work better than the blunt across-the-board cuts that conservatives, limited greatly in other viable opportunities to cut spending, have put forward in both chambers in recent weeks.
“Let’s get back to regular order,” Mikulski said Jan. 28 as she argued on the floor against an amendment from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who sought to make an across-the-board cut to compensate for the Superstorm Sandy supplemental bill (HR 152). “Let’s not be kind of doing cuts du jour, cuts on the fly.”
Senate Democratic leaders have spoken often of their support for the idea of bringing spending bills to the floor one by one, with Charles E. Schumer of New York saying last month he expected a recent bipartisan agreement on the chamber’s rules to help in this cause.
But political reality stands in the way, said Peter C. Hanson, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Denver who is working on a book, “Too Weak to Govern: Omnibus Bills, Agenda Control and Weak Senate Majorities.”
The more spending bills that reach the floor, the more chances that Republicans have to bring up thorny amendments and so put Democrats in swing states to the test.
“The regular order is a double-edged sword for the majority. On the one hand, it gives members a broad opportunity to participate in legislating,” said Hanson, an aide in the 1990s to then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. “On the other, it gives the minority the opportunity to make mischief. Creating omnibus bills keeps the trains running but shuts many members out of the process.”
What Up With Republicans?
Scott Brown’s Special GOP Role: He Came From the 47 Percent
Democrats are mighty lucky they won’t be facing him in the special Senate election in June.
Scott Brown’s appeal wasn’t immediately obvious, at least to me. “You have to start dealing with reality, Martha,” he said in a 2010 debate with Democrat Martha Coakley, and it sounded patronizing.
But Brown quickly grew into a formidable political presence, one with a nearly unmatchable brand and backstory. Newly elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a celebrity in her own right, may have been the only Democrat capable of defeating him–even in a presidential year with Massachusetts Democrats turning out in force to vote for President Obama.
The Democratic Party and Senate hopefuls Ed Markey and Steve Lynch are fortunate that Brown has decided to stand down in the June 25 special election to succeed new Secretary of State John Kerry. Republicans, meanwhile, have suffered the (perhaps temporary) loss of an unusual, highly valuable candidate: One who has both charisma and firsthand familiarity with life among the 47 percent.
SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT…
Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
by Peter Wehner
While I favor a (difficult but achievable) path to legal status and citizenship for illegal immigrants in America, it also seems to me to be a good idea to build a fence/wall on the southern border, both for substantive and symbolic reasons. That is, I believe doing so would make crossing the border to America both more difficult (as it should be) and signal to undocumented workers that America is a sovereign nation that takes its sovereignty seriously.
Still, we need to bear in mind what the facts of the situation are when it comes to illegal immigration. And here Linda Chavez’s recent essay in COMMENTARY is helpful, including this:
illegal immigration actually peaked during the boom of the late 1990s, after which it declined almost steadily except for a one-year increase in 2004, after President Bush raised the issue of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. Today, illegal immigration is at its lowest since 1972. Indeed, more Mexican immigrants are now leaving the country than coming here, with net immigration from Mexico below zero for the first time since the racially motivated mass deportations of Mexicans (some of them U.S. citizens) during the 1930s. And, though conservatives are loath to acknowledge it, President Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any president in modern history.
The Obama administration in fact deported a record 410,000 people in 2012–an increase of more than a quarter from 2007.
The largely untold story of the immigration debate, then, is that in the last few years–thanks to the efforts first of President Bush and now President Obama, as well as border state governors–we’ve seen a massive increase in border enforcement. The southern border is as protected as it has ever been. That development, along with a weak economy, has led to a new outflow of people from the U.S. to Mexico. That hasn’t happened in 40 years.
I mention all that because if you listen to some critics of comprehensive immigration reform, they speak as if (a) nothing has been done to secure the border and (b) the flood of illegal immigrants to America has never been higher. That simply isn’t true. The situation, in fact, is more nearly the opposite.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take reasonable steps to do even more to secure our border. But the debate would be helped if it were informed by the reality on the ground, not claims firmly rooted in mid-air.
I didn’t believe the left when they made claims of having a more secure border and having deported more illegals than Bush. Since Peter Wehner is affirming those things I now tend to believe them. Pity that the Dems are such liars that even when they tell the truth you can’t trust, or believe them.
CBC Member Says Obama Disrespects Blacks
FORT LAUDERDALE – Rep. Alcee L. Hastings says President Obama of consistently disrespects the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Black Press, and graduates of historically Black colleges, key groups that were critical to his re-election in November.
Speaking Friday at the mid-winter convention of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Hastings, a former federal judge, said the Congressional Black Caucus carefully vetted candidates they felt would be ideal for the second Obama administration, which has come under criticism for being dominated by White males.
“The Black Caucus of Congress then sent 61 names to the White House,” Hastings recounted. “Time went by. Not one of that 61 was selected – not one.”
In a speech that had a rich blend of seriousness, humor and expletives, Hastings said during the campaign, the CBC pressed the Obama campaign about the paucity of advertising with Black newspapers in particular. He said a top campaign official said Obama initially planned to spend only $650,000 with Black newspapers, a figure that was raised under pressure to $1 million – which meant that $999 million went to others.
“If I was president of the United States, there is no way in hell that I would raise a billion dollars and don’t spend but a million dollars with people who probably had as much to do with my becoming president as anybody,” the Florida Democrat said.
Hastings, the first African-American elected to Congress from Florida since the Reconstruction Era, expressed admiration for the Black Press, saying it covers the full scope of Black life better than White-owned media.
“I spent more money in this election than I have in any election,” said Hastings, who has served in Congress since 1992. “And I believe Bobby [Henry, publisher of the Westside Gazette in Fort Lauderdale] will tell you that I spent an equivalent or more money than the Obama for America people did with his newspaper.”
Hastings said he also outspent the Obama campaign in other media in Broward County, which makes up part of his congressional district.
“I did that because I wanted Obama to win the presidency, but I particularly went to the ground in this election to prove to him and his minions that this was territory that had been watered, flowered, grown and harvested long before anybody knew his (expletive) name.”
This is what a racist looks like IMO. He doesn’t care about America, he cares only about “Black” America.
White House Iran adviser describes Hagel testimony as “somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible”
The reviews are in for Chuck Hagel’s appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. If he were a Broadway play, as opposed to a mere nominee for Defense Secretary, Hagel would close after one performance.
The Obama administration was not amused. White House officials told CBS’ Major Garrett that they were disappointed with Hagel’s performance. Indeed, one Obama staffer described Hagel’s testimony on Iran as “somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible.”
This is an unusual reaction, to say the least. As veteran reporter Bob Schieffer noted, when a nominee comes under fire during a hearing, “the White House typically will come back and stoutly defend the guy.” But yesterday this White House “started leaking all these reports, they’re disappointed.” “I’ve never seen a White House react quite the way they did to this,” Schieffer added.
Examiner Editorial: Obama blames GOP for his own economic failures
“Our economy is facing a major headwind, and that is Republicans in Congress.” This was how White House spokesman Jay Carney tried Wednesday to explain away any responsibility on President Obama’s part for the 0.1 percent economic contraction that occurred in the fourth quarter of last year. In particular, he cited Republican “brinksmanship” over spending cuts known as the sequester.
From the way he spoke, you would think that Republicans control the apparatus of government in Washington. You would think that Obama hadn’t been president for four years, or that he didn’t spend months threatening to veto any rollback of the sequester cuts, or that the sequester had not originally been his administration’s idea as a solution to the budget impasse of 2011. But as he has for so long, Obama would rather blame, in Carney’s words, Republican “brinksmanship” over the sequester.
As usual Obama takes responsibility for nothing and blames the GOP for everything. His constant finger-pointing is despicable.
I expect that, as usual, the media and a large portion of the population will allow his lies to pass. It’s the age of the Lying Obama and we should get used to it. If you’re the type that ever gets used to a liar in the highest office in our country. I just can’t quite do that.
Liberal Cockroach Al Gore
Al Gore Dreams of Electric Jeeps
Readers of the former vice president’s book might be excused for thinking that all of the evils in the world come from corporations.
There have always been two Al Gores. There is techno-enthusiast Al, who, during his 2000 run for president, proposed that an online network (“G-Bay”) be used to auction off surplus government property. I found techno-enthusiast Al beguiling when I was researching manned Mars missions for his 1988 presidential campaign. But there is also Savonarola Al, who loudly denounces the excesses of modern capitalist society and demands repentance—though, given Mr. Gore’s lucrative commercial dalliances (most recently, the sale of his Current TV network to the repressive, oil-rich Qatari regime), perhaps Jimmy Swaggart would be a closer clerical model than Savonarola.
Each of the two Als takes a star turn in “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.” In the end, alas, Savonarola Al comes out on top.
Yesterday NBC News printed this statement from Biden:
NBC NEWS – Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to 1,000 a year from what it is now,” Biden told reporters Thursday afternoon after he spent over an hour lunching with Democratic senators at the Capitol.
“But there are things that we can do, demonstrably can do, that have virtually zero impact on your Second Amendment right to own a weapon for both self defense and recreation that can save some lives,” he said.
“I’m not saying there’s an absolute consensus on all these things,” Biden said, “but there is a sea change, a sea change in the attitudes of the American people. I believe the American people will not understand — and I know that everyone in that caucus understands — they won’t understand if we don’t act.
“The visual image of those 20 innocent children being riddled with bullets has, has absolutely, not only traumatized the nation, but it has caused– like the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
audio of Levin’s response: http://www.therightscoop.com/mark-levin-biden-let-the-cat-out-of-the-bag-on-true-gun-control-agenda/
Sandra Fluke: Opposing the Contraception Mandate Is Just Like Opposing Leukemia Coverage
Fluke attended Georgetown Law, but it’s not clear that she’s particularly skilled at her craft: she’s not making a terribly logical argument, and it’s based on a false comparison anyway. Contraception is “preventative care,” in that it’s intended to head off a pregnancy, which–although at times inconvenient for the couple in question–is not a disease at all, but instead the result of a decision to have sex. Leukemia is cancer, a life-threatening illness, which requires prohibitively expensive treatment and most decidedly does not result from a decision about how to conduct one’s romantic relationship.
Watch the video is you can stomach watching this slut compare contraception to leukemia. I started and stopped within seconds. My take? Pay for your own damn contraception if you want to have sex you sleazy bimbo. Good lord we’ve come a “long way baby” if this floozy is supposed to be a spokesperson for women. Ugh!
Personally I don’t give a crap if she screws her way through the Marine Corps. I just don’t see why anyone else has to pay for her “choices”.
Scandal-Plagued Steve Capus Out as NBC News President
For months now, Breitbart News has made Steve Capus the poster boy for the ongoing scandals and instances of editorial fraud that occurred under his watch as NBC News president. During his tenure, no fewer than the equivalent of five RatherGates happened; and after two, three and four of these incidents, it became glaringly apparent that Capus was the problem. Today, action was finally taken. Capus is no longer with NBC News.
I suspect that while NBC “News” will put a new face in this division, the actions will remain the same. Sorry, I know cynicism isn’t becoming. But its realistic.
A Hill To Fight On — Not a Desk to Die Under
It really does appear that the Left wants to engage on the subject of “gun control” — or, to use their latest euphemism, “gun safety.” Led by two of the unloveliest of their specimens — Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois — the emboldened progressives clearly feel the time to strike against Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms is now, while the shooting iron is still hot.
The Right’s natural reaction when confronted is, of course, to cut and run. Being liked is far more important than being right, and as for standing on principle, that went out the window with the Gipper long ago. Indeed, the history of the modern GOP is one of pre-emptive surrender, reaching across the aisle and fleeing from any kind of direct confrontation with the Democrats in a desperate attempt to pacify them and their natural allies, the Ivy League-educated national media, better known (in Orwell’s famous phrase) as the Pansy Left. With even alleged Tea Party stalwarts like Marco Rubio earning strange new respect by coming out foursquare in favor of Amnesty Lite, movement conservatives might be forgiven for thinking they’ve been defeated across the board, and that the country they grew up has all but vanished.
The GOP Needs a General Grant
Lately there have been a number of analogies made between various liberal political positions and the abolitionist Union side in the Civil War. No doubt this is a result of the 2012 Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, and its notoriety, and the universal need to identify with the virtuous side of any historical struggle.
A few days ago, on CNN’s Piers Morgan’s show, columnist Frank Rich likened opposition to gun control to slave-owners in the pre-war South who did not want to give up their slaves. According to Rich, “I think that in some ways the gun culture is as entrenched in the American psyche as [was] slavery.”
As a gun owner, I resent the comparison. But if there are any credible analogies to be made with today’s political movements and Abraham Lincoln, it is between the Union side of the Civil War and today’s Republican Party. Hear me out on this.
I don’t mean to simply point out that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, which he was. Recall from history that during the Civil War, President Lincoln had a problem getting generals who would actively engage the Confederate army. “Some of my generals are so slow,” Lincoln once remarked, “that molasses in the coldest days of winter is a race-horse compared to them.”
Worth a Read:
Menendez allegations growing rapidly, creating headache for Democrats
A cloud of scandalous allegations is rapidly growing over Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), putting Democratic leaders in a difficult position as the integrity of their immigration point man in the Senate falls under question at a critical time.
Bozell Column: The Abortionist Saints of Sundance
I personally believe that abortion should be rare, safe and legal. I also believe that late-term abortions should only be performed if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Celebrate abortion or abortionists? My God how low have we sunk?
Aaron Swartz: The Punishment Did Not Fit the Crime
As long as prosecutors have the option to put first-time computer trespassers behind bars for decades, we will continue to see such clear injustices.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: