Witch’s Will For A February Morning
My Pick of the Litter Today
‘Skeeterism’ and Obama’s Columbia Years
Can you believe it?
Happily, the propagandists’ hard-hitting, integrity-filled attempts to shift the political presentation of the gun debate have unwittingly opened the door to very serious scrutiny of a great deal of Mr. Obama’s assertions pertaining to his own biography.
This is because the exact same standards the propagandists themselves have decided to use as justification for questioning Obama’s claim that he skeet-shoots all the time can also be applied to generate very serious suspicion about plenty of other things that we are to suppose are true about Obama.
A Feb. 2 New York Times article is clearly suspicious of Obama’s skeet claim, even though Obama has released a picture depicting himself skeet-shooting:
The skeet-shooting comment caught many off guard because it is not something the president has talked about. While other presidents have used the skeet shooting range at Camp David, database searches of Mr. Obama’s speeches and interviews turned up no prior mention of participating. No friend or guest has come forward in recent days to publicly describe shooting with the president.
Upon release of the photo, the Washington Post remarked on February 2:
The White House released this photograph of the president at the Camp David skeet range on Aug. 4, 2012. We are pleased the White House has become more forthcoming about this matter, though it does not quite answer the questions concerning the president’s “all the time” language. What do readers think?
Prior to the release of the photo, the Post had this to say:
But it is also curious that the White House refuses to provide any documentary evidence that he actually used the shooting range at Camp David, since he claims he uses it “all the time,” or that a presidential friend has not come forward to confirm the president’s comments.
We are now going to apply the above evidentiary standards to a consideration of the period in which Obama is said to have attended Columbia University — in particular, to the spring 1982 time frame.
It turns out that there is no evidence — documentary, testimonial, or otherwise — that can show that Obama was attending classes at Columbia (or even in New York) in Spring 1982, even though there is evidence of his attendance with respect to every other semester he is said to have attended Columbia.
Mr. Obama’s two autobiographies have no pictures, period. However, David Remnick’s biography of Mr. Obama contains many dated pictures (including, of course, pictures taken before and after Columbia — for example, pictures of him at Harvard in 1990), but no dated pictures from the Columbia years. Ditto David Mendell’s biography. The same is true of David Maraniss’s recent biography of Mr. Obama, as well as of the Chicago Tribune‘s collection of 106 Obama pictures.
Do any of us actually remember what “real” journalism looks like anymore? Are our memories good enough?
Harry Reid wrong on ‘$2.6 trillion’ cuts in ‘This Week’ interview
“The American people need to understand that it’s not as if we’ve done nothing for the debt. $2.6 trillion, $2.6 trillion already we’ve made in cuts. And all those cuts have come from non-defense programs. We need to keep our eye on the prize and continue doing something about spending, but I think that what we need to do is do some of the things that Mitt Romney talked about. He said there’s some low-hanging fruit; there are a lot of tax loopholes that should be closed. I agree with him. We haven’t done that.,” he said.
Later on, after host George Stephanopoulos probed the Senator on the issue, he repeated his claim saying,
“I repeat: $2.6 trillion already, all coming from non-defense. If we’re going to have a sequester, defense is going to have to do their share”
According to FactCheck.org Reid inflated the $2.6 trillion figure for the show. The senator referred to the same figure as being $100 billion less, three days before on the Senate Floor.
“We have already made nearly $2.5 trillion in historic, bipartisan deficit reduction,” he said on the floor Jan. 31.
Shackling the spenders
by George F. Will
The arguments against a constitutional amendment to require balanced budgets are various and, cumulatively, almost conclusive. Almost. The main arguments are:
The Constitution should be amended rarely and reluctantly. Constitutionalizing fiscal policy is a dubious undertaking. Unless carefully crafted, such an amendment might instead be a constant driver of tax increases. A carefully crafted amendment that minimizes this risk could not pass until Republicans have two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress, which they have not had since 1871.
Furthermore, requiring a balanced budget would incite creative bookkeeping that would make a mockery of the amendment and the Constitution. For example, New York, which like 48 other states (all but Vermont) has some sort of requirement for a balanced budget, once balanced its by selling Attica Prison to itself: A state agency established to fund urban redevelopment borrowed $200 million in the bond market, gave the money to the state and took title to the prison. The state recorded as income the $200 million, declared the budget balanced, then rented the prison from the agency for a sum adequate to service the $200 million debt.
There is, however, one sufficient argument for a balanced-budget amendment. It is: George Mason University’s James Buchanan.
This Nobel laureate economist, who died last month at 93, pioneered the “public choice” school of analysis, the premise of which is in the title of his 1979 essay “Politics Without Romance.” Public choice theory applies economic analysis — essentially, the study of how incentives influence behavior — to politics.
Public choice analysis began in the 1960s, when Washington’s social engineers were busy as beavers building a Great Society and confidence in government reached an apogee that prudent people hope will never be matched. Public choice theory demystified politics by puncturing the grand illusion that nourishes government growth. It is the fiction that elected politicians and government administrators are more nobly motivated, unselfish and disinterested than are persons acting in the private sector.
Buchanan extended the idea of the profit motive to the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats, two groups seeking to maximize power the way many people in the private sector maximize monetary profits. Public-sector actors often do this by transactions with rent-seekers — private factions trying to maximize their welfare by getting government to give them benefits, such as appropriations, tax preferences and other subsidies.
Critics have dismissed as mere anti-government ideology the injection by public choice theory of realism into the analysis of collective action through politics. Such critics cling to a comforting — and, for advocates of ever-bigger government, a convenient — theory. It is that in politics and government, people, acting as voters or legislators or administrators, do not behave as people do in markets — they supposedly are not responsive to incentives for personal aggrandizement.
Actually, Buchanan’s theory supplanted an ideology — the faith in government as omniscient and benevolent. It replaced it with realism about the sociology of government and the logic of collective action. The theory’s explanatory and predictive power, Buchanan wrote, derives from its “presumption that persons do not readily become economic eunuchs as they shift from market to political participation.”
What’s Up With the Democrats?
Maryland Governor Wants to Charge $100 for 2nd Amendment Rights
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is pushing for state lawmakers to put in place a requirement forcing citizens of that state to obtain a $100 license for ownership of a handgun.
This is not a license to carry or conceal a handgun–simply to own one.
In effect, it is the governor’s way of telling Maryland residents they don’t have 2nd Amendment rights unless they successfully jump through the hoops the state places between them and those rights first.
There are a lot of Democrats that I think are jackasses. O’Malley is definitely near the top of that list.
What Up With Republicans?
Rove Aide Calls Bozell ‘Hater’ with ‘Weird Axes to Grind’
When given the opportunity to rebut the sharp criticism leveled Tuesday by Brent Bozell directed at Karl Rove, Jonathan Collegio of Rove’s American Crossroads might have made things worse, if not personal. “Bozell is a hater and he also has a long sordid history hating Karl Rove. He has weird personal axes to grind,” said the spokesman for Rove’s influential Super PAC.
Collegio’s appearance on “Mornings on the Mall” on WMAL-FM in Washington DC was in response to Bozell’s interview Tuesday, in which the chairman of ForAmerica, took great issue with the initiative started by Rove and Steven Law, also from American Crossroads, that was reported by the New York Times Sunday.
Rather difficult to portray the left as hyperbolic and uncivil when fools like Collegio behave in the same way. And it does so delight the lefty media when the GOP engages in their petty little spats in public.
I agreed with Bozell and thought his column well written and straight forward. IMO it’s long past time for Rove to leave the spotlight. And it is certainly time for Collegio to be given the boot. He is not an asset to the Republicans in any way that I can see.
Football After Beyoncé
What can the NFL do for an encore?
WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of the Super Bowl, it is perhaps salutary to take stock of professional football and to suggest a few reforms that might make the game more wholesome.
First, let me say that in my humble estimate this past season was, if not the best in my lifetime, surely one of the best. To be a mediocre player in the NFL today is to be a marked man among giants. Then too there is another point to be made. Someone failed to pay the electric bill. It was sobering to be reminded that even the NFL is not so powerful as to intimidate a Louisiana utility company.
Next year I suggest that the NFL’s hierarchy see to it that all bills are paid before Super Bowl Sunday, even the halftime entertainments’ advances. What if Beyoncé had gone on strike or refused to sing one of her trademark songs with their dirty, albeit moronic, lyrics? Or what if she had dressed in a burka? Actually I would have found that last gesture amusing and sophisticated to the utmost, though the perpetual teenagers in the audience would probably not have shared my amusement.
Mugged By Reality on School Choice
For anyone who followed Michelle Rhee’s career since her time in Washington D.C., this latest opinion piece called “My Break With the Democrats” is no surprise. Rhee, the former schools chancellor for Washington was a breath of fresh air for a school system that has consistently produced underperforming students. Rhee’s tactics, including her support for the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, a voucher system promoting school choice in the capital, led to a rebellion from teachers and their unions in the city. The D.C. mayoral race in 2010 became a referendum on Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty’s education policies, namely having Rhee at their helm, and teacher’s unions poured $1 million into the campaign to unseat Fenty in order to remove Rhee.
Unfortunately for D.C.’s students, Vincent Gray’s campaign for mayor was successful, in large part thanks to financial support from teacher’s unions. Immediately following Gray’s election Rhee resigned, knowing her mandate for reform had expired. The ramifications of the election have been disastrous both for the city and for education in the District. A recently released report indicates that only four in 10 D.C. 3rd graders are proficient readers and even fewer are in math. Three years after Rhee’s departure the teacher’s unions have gotten their way, and it’s easy to see who the winners and losers were in their battle for control for control of education policy in the city.
In her piece in the Daily Beast, Rhee explained why she found herself breaking with her Democratic counterparts on education, in particular on school choice issues. The article, adapted from her new book Radical, closed with this commonsense argument that school choice advocates should be utilizing more often:
Think about it this way. Say your elderly mother had to be hospitalized for life-threatening cancer. The best doctor in the region is at Sacred Heart, a Catholic, private hospital. Could you ever imagine saying this? “Well, I don’t think our taxpayer dollars should subsidize this private institution that has religious roots, so we’re going to take her to County General, where she’ll get inferior care. ’Cause that’s just the right thing to do!”
No. You’d want to make sure that your tax dollars got your mom the best care. Period. Our approach should be no different for our children. Their lives are at stake when we’re talking about the quality of education they are receiving. The quality of care standard should certainly be no lower.
In comparison to the outcomes for public school students in D.C where only 70 percent of students graduate, graduates who participated in the D.C. voucher program, which Rhee ultimately lost her job defending, graduate at a rate of 94 percent per year. While it may be difficult for Rhee to find employment as a chancellor in another city because of teacher’s unions’ animosity toward her policies, her outspoken conversion to school choice advocacy adds an important voice to the conversation.
Incoherent Immigration Reform
by Victor Davis Hanson
Nothing about illegal immigration quite adds up.
Conservative corporate employers still support the idea of imported, cheap, non-union labor — in a strange alliance with liberal activists who want the larger blocs of Latino voters that eventually follow massive influxes from Latin America.
Yet how conservative are businesses that in the past flouted federal law — and how liberal are activists who undermined the bargaining power of American minimum-wage, entry-level workers, many of them minorities?
The remedies for illegal immigration under discussion are just as incoherent. If the government now plans to offer some foreign nationals a pathway to citizenship, does it also suddenly have the will to determine who among illegal immigrants does not qualify for citizenship?
Millions of illegal immigrants have resided in the United States for some time. They have not been convicted of crimes. And they have been hard-working and self-supporting. But if the majority deserves a chance to obtain legal residence and begin the process of citizenship, what about others who would not qualify under those same considerations?
There is also talk of reforming legal immigration as well. From now on we would select most immigrants for citizenship not by their place of origin, or by the fact of their prior illegal residence in the United States, but on the basis of needed skill sets and education, and their willingness to wait in line legally.
Yet are loud proponents of “comprehensive immigration reform” really willing to embrace the reforms they boast about? It might spell the end of privileging millions from Latin America to enter the United States without requisite concern about legality, education, English fluency or particular skill sets.
Chris Christie: The GOP’s Next Crummy Presidential Nominee?
Sensible conservatives have had to put up with a lot since Ronald Reagan left the White House — and to be clear, Reagan also had a few very weak moments. But expecting us to get enthusiastic about the sadly realistic prospect of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie becoming the Republican Party’s next presidential nominee is, at least for me, way beyond the pale.
If Governor Christie isn’t the most cynical, self-centered, egotistical opportunist exploiting a carefully developed but fundamentally false conservative persona on the political scene today, I don’t want to meet the person who is.
I admit to having been a Christie fan based on his slapping Teacher’s Unions and Media around. But having “seen” the real Christie as time went on, I am no longer a fan. I agree with the writer’s assessment of Chris Christie 100%!
Scarborough Gloats Over Fox News ‘Trust’ Ratings, Ignores MSNBC’s Miserable Ones
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Time for Joe Scarborough to brush up on the Sermon on the Mount?
On today’s Morning Joe, Scarborough gloated at length over survey results indicating that the public’s trust in Fox News has declined and that PBS is the only network that more people trust than distrust. But he conveniently failed to mention that Fox News remains the network that more people trust than any other . . . and that his own MSNBC trails way—way!—behind Fox News in public trust.
Cockroach AND hypocrite in one smelly little carbuncle on the ass of media!
Catholic Bishop On Planned Parenthood’s Eugenicist Founder Margaret Sanger: “Barack Obama Was Precisely The Sort Of Unfit Child She And Her Allies Would Want To Eliminate”…
Jon Stewart Tears Into Obama Hypocrisy And Secrecy On Drones: Only Transparent ‘About The Last Guy’s Secrets’
I am not a Jon Stewart fan but he does tear into Obama and his administration in this video. It’s worth a watch.
Postmaster general takes lashing over move to five-day mail
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said Wednesday that it would stop much of its Saturday mail delivery, a move that drew howls from Democrats and unions that said the move circumvented congressional will.
Under the plan, which would begin in August, the Postal Service would continue to deliver packages on Saturdays but would no longer distribute letters and other pieces of first-class mail.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told reporters the changes would save around $2 billion a year — or around 10 percent of the roughly $20 billion in annual savings the cash-strapped agency says it needs to return to profitability.
Donahoe stressed that the Postal Service needed to make the move, given how the Internet has changed how customers shop and communicate. In recent years, USPS has seen an increase in package shipping at the same time that first-class mail has dropped dramatically.
Karl Rove Super PAC Goes After Lib Actress With Brutal Attack Ad
Hey, at least they didn’t accuse her of killing someone’s wife with cancer. Welcome to American politics, Miss Judd.
I don’t “like” Karl Rove or American Crossroads much. But I “like” Hollywood liberals like Ashley Judd even less. Welcome to American politics you liberal twit!
Worth a Read:
Obama Sequester Plan: Hope Republicans Blink First
The Unscary Sequester
We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming
Anti-immigration group says polls showing support for pathway to citizenship are all wrong
QUOTE OF THE DAY: