Witch’s Will For A Mourning In July
I will remain in “mourning” so long as Obama’s unworthy ass sits in the Oval Office.
Quote of the day:
A new study shows that young people are becoming so reliant on electronic devices that they can no longer remember everyday details like their phone numbers. Don’t worry, kids. The NSA’s got you covered.
3 Of The Best Stories:
Where’s the shame? Scandals may no longer end political careers
They join the growing roster of comebacks, or at least serious attempts, by scandal-tarred politicians:
– Mark Sanford was elected to a South Carolina congressional seat in May, after admitting an affair in 2009 that resulted in the then-governor paying a large ethics fine and led state lawmakers to consider impeaching him.
– Newt Gingrich made a decent run at the presidency last year, even as details resurfaced about how his affairs had helped break up his first two marriages.
– Marion Barry, convicted of cocaine possession in 1990, was re-elected as the mayor of Washington four years later and still serves on its city council.
The sagas of these once-and-again-mighty political figures mirror the changing standards of behavior in society and American politics.
“The norms of society have changed,” said Brendan Nyhan, a Dartmouth College expert on political scandal.
If there’s a line of demarcation when shame lost its status as a poison dart for a political career, it came in the late 1990s. President Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was graphically described day after day. Clinton was impeached but not removed from office, and he left the presidency in 2001 with stellar approval numbers. He now is more personally popular than any other living former president.
“We have a society that’s more open to things that are not like us,” said Evans Witt, the president of Princeton Survey Research Associates. “We had always been comfortable if someone looks like me and acts like somebody I know. We’ve gotten beyond that.”
Exhibit A is President Barack Obama. Not to mention members of Congress who are openly gay.
At the same time, behavior once regarded as deviant or suspicious became commonplace. Divorce, let alone sexual affairs, were no longer career-killers. Neither was admission of drug use. Reports of such actions lost their ability to shock.
“Fifty years ago if you had an affair, it wasn’t covered,” noted John Geer, a co-director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University.
Now it’s not only covered, but such news also is so widespread that the public often becomes indifferent to matters that once would have jolted it. Baseball stars used steroids to jack up their power numbers, but the sport keeps thriving. Celebrities have children out of wedlock without tarnishing their images. Children have access well before bedtime to situation comedies whose plots revolve around who’s sleeping with whom.
With this drumbeat of what was once considered erratic or even indecent now routine, it’s hardly difficult for wayward politicians to rehabilitate.
They also have an advantage: The political system has become increasingly sophisticated, and they know how to master it. More money is needed, and veteran politicians know how to tap it. They rely on seasoned staffs schooled in managing scandal. And the same hubris that made them think from an early age that political success was attainable fuels a confidence that they can overcome darn near anything.
That said, lines remain that can’t be crossed. Violent behavior. Felony charges and convictions. Engaging in acts so egregious that even a public desensitized to outrage can’t stomach the details.
Since the Clinton era, a host of officeholders has succumbed. John Edwards, the Democrats’ 2004 vice-presidential nominee, is probably done. Not only was there an affair, but also a child, all happening as his popular wife was dying of cancer.
Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, a fierce conservative, endured the public sting of being arrested in 2007 on suspicion of lewd conduct in a Minnesota airport men’s restroom. Florida Rep. Mark Foley resigned his seat in 2006 after reports that he’d exchanged sexually charged messages with a teenage page.
Yet Sanford survived. Barry remains a Washington councilman. Conservatives Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who once solicited prostitutes, and Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais remain members of Congress. A physician, DesJarlais was fined by Tennessee’s medical discipline board for sexual relationships with two patients, and court testimony reportedly indicated that he’d encouraged his ex-wife to get abortions.
They all won after the revelations. Part of their success is that they ran in the right place. All four sought post-scandal office in heavily partisan areas.
They also succeeded because they generally asked for forgiveness and said that their troubles were behind them. Voters generally felt “it happened in the past, it’s done with,” South Carolina Republican consultant David Woodard said.
The lesson from all this: Wind up on the ever-increasing roll of tainted celebrities and re-emerge as the friendly, professional politician that vaulted you into office in the first place, and you’ll probably be OK. The Marist poll found that two-thirds of Democrats thought Spitzer should get a second chance, and a plurality, 44 percent, say he’s changed as a person. The findings fit the new political pattern.
“The Sanford case makes it crystal clear,” said Sarah Binder, a senior fellow in governance studies at Washington’s Brookings Institution. “Voters tend to forgive and forget.”
There is no shame for these scumbags because far too many of the voters have just such a lack of morals. A pervert for mayor of a major American city? No problem. I believe in redemption. I believe that people can and do change. But I don’t believe these people have changed and are sorry for any thing other than having got caught.
South Carolina should be ashamed for sending a POS like Sandford to the House Of Representative of the United States of America.
If these miscreants are truly sorry, if they truly seek redemption, let them work in hospices or soup kitchens or do other worthy works. Seeking re-election and voters accepting that simply tells me that the moral fiber of this country has totally vanished for most people, the voters as well as the scummy pols. Along with the women who stand by the spouse who has humiliated them in front of the whole country. They are as repulsive to me as the men they married.
Why Obama’s Smart-Government Initiative is Dumb
by Jonah Goldberg
President Obama wants to make government “smarter.” Who could disagree with that? After all, it’s unlikely that even the biggest fans of big government believe the way government does what it does is the very best, very smartest way imaginable. Whether you’re an anarchist, a Leninist or somewhere in between, everyone can agree that Uncle Sam could afford a few more IQ points.
Let’s put it another way. If government is going to do X, it should do X the smartest way possible. On that proposition both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party agree.
Alas, this momentary flash of consensus disappears before our eyes like a shooting star the moment we ask a related but very different question: Is it smart for the government to do X in the first place? For instance: I think it’s a dumb idea to tickle a grizzly bear cub while it’s napping on its mother’s belly. But if I’m given no choice but to do it, I’ll eagerly inquire about what’s the smartest way to do a very dumb thing. And if I’m told there is no smart way to do such a dumb thing (which I assume is true), I’ll at least ask for tips on the least dumb way to do it.
In announcing his effort to make government smarter — an idea with a very old pedigree — Obama invoked two organizations he’d like government to emulate. The first was Google. We’ll return to that in a moment.
For years, many of the president’s critics, including yours truly, have complained that he’s always in campaign mode. Obama is more comfortable whipping up enthusiasm among his fans on college campuses than he is working with his own Cabinet — never mind members of Congress — to actually get things done. So it was not without irony that the second exemplar Obama offered for the sorts of best practices the government should adopt was his own presidential campaign. It was “one of the most inclusive and most successful campaigns in American history,” he assured an audience largely comprised of his own White House staff.
“We can’t take comfort in just being cynical,” the president admonished. “We all have a stake in government success — because the government is us.”
This is among the president’s favorite formulations, and it gets to the heart of the problem. The government is not “us.” The government is — or is supposed to be — a collection of agencies that do things taxpayers and voters want done. In short, it is a tool.
Sometimes the smartest way to use a tool is not to use it at all. A garden rake is a useful tool. But it’s not useful for every task. No matter how smart the surgeon, there’s no smart way for him to use a rake to remove a kidney.
Google is a wonderful company, but Google is as relevant to the tasks of government as a garden rake is to the tasks of a surgeon. Similarly, a presidential campaign is a vital tool for electing a president. It is utterly useless for enforcing contracts or repelling foreign invaders.
One of the advantages both a presidential campaign and a company like Google have is that they can fire incompetent employees quite easily. The federal government has no such luxury. According to a study by USA Today, death is the greatest threat to job security at the EPA, HUD and dozens of other agencies. In 2012, 0.4 percent of civilian employees were fired.
Similarly, when a campaign fails, it goes out of business (at least that was the case until Obama created Organizing for America). When a business fails, it doesn’t necessarily go out of business, but it does stop selling its failed products. Coca-Cola stopped selling New Coke when no one wanted to buy it.
The day before the president announced his new initiative, the Washington Post profiled Marvin Horne, a farmer who owes the federal government $650,000 in fines. Why He failed to comply with the Department of Agriculture’s national raisin reserve program, created by the Truman administration, which even liberal Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan dubbed “just the world’s most outdated law.” The program stockpiles raisins in case of an emergency. Such emergencies — if they ever existed — ceased being a problem after World War II. It’s no surprise, alas, that government programs are as hard to fire as the employees working for them.
Which raises yet another irony. The only people in the world who don’t want the government to get much smarter are the ones working for it.
Sense of gloom deepens among Dems over immigration reform’s prospects
The White House and some of its allies on Wednesday expressed deepening gloom over the prospects that President Obama will sign a comprehensive immigration bill this year.
While the leadership of the Republican-controlled House deliberated in a closed-door session on how to handle the hot-button legislation, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney signaled that passing the measure through the House could be difficult.
“It’s always been an uphill battle,” Carney said about the prospects of the bill passing the House. “Hard things are hard.”
Democrats on the Hill, eager to pass comprehensive reform, also telegraphed a message of skepticism on Wednesday.
A senior Democratic aide said, “things have clearly unraveled in the past couple of days,” even though some lawmakers had been “slightly cautiously optimistic” about passing a comprehensive bill.
Doncha just love that Luis Gutierrez, a CHC member who’s negotiating a long-awaited bipartisan House package, said Obama must become more vocal if reform is to pass Congress this year. But then he was in one big hurry to say that he didn’t want the President to attack Republicans. Sorry Luis, that’s all the POS POTUS knows how to do, blame others and attack Republicans.
Well he definitely knows how to lie but that’s a given if his big mouth is moving.
Dems belief in Obama’s ability to “talk” folks into compliance with his agenda is SO overrated. How many years has he been beating voters over the head with Obamacare? And it still isn’t popular with the majority.
Gut Check: The Swarm
by Greg Gutfeld
Lions on the web, and lambs on the street.
So last week some conservative website posted a photo of a beloved conservative. When some readers saw that the picture was doctored, they tweeted an angry alarm (which is what you do these days; you go public with perceived injustice the moment it presents itself). The website blogger made the mistake of responding sarcastically, and his meaningless snark kicked the hive into full gear. A swarm of Internet bees chased him around the backyard that is the web until he finally apologized.
It was a sad thing to watch. When conservatives express outrage and demand scalps of contrition… over stuff like this… it kills me. It’s embarrassing. But lucky for me, I had other stuff to do. My eyebrows needed plucking. Seriously, it’s like a forest above both eyeballs.
Every day seems like there’s a new swarm of bees surrounding someone, or something. The swarm varies in intensity. Sometimes it’s mild. Other times vicious.
In one four-day span, here’s a list of outrages spawned by words, not deeds:
- Paula Deen’s 300-year-old racial slur
- Alec Baldwin’s homophobic tweets
- The use of “creepy ass cracker” in court
- Michele Obama’s “the White House is a prison” joke
Each one of these created a mini-whirlwind of agitation, one destroyed a career, others just went away.
But it’s all the same; these are events galvanizing people to attack other people because it’s easy—and because it feels pretty damn good. It’s not about sincerely desiring an apology but instead just watching someone squirm under a collective, bullying pressure. It’s gross.
I wrote about this in my book The Joy of Hate, hoping my lovely tome might reduce this craze. I was wrong. It’s getting worse. Way worse. I may have to write another. In Esperanto, so everyone gets it.
Just to remind you: there’s still a kid named Justin Carter who’s in jail in Texas for making a “joke” about shooting up a school. He made the joke while playing a video game. He’s been locked up there for months. His family cannot make bail.
There’s a similar case in Mississippi—a lad named Josh Pillault—who was arrested last October for making threats while playing something called “Runescape,” and he’s been there ever since.
And remember that anti-Islamic filmmaker falsely blamed for Benghazi? He’s still in jail too. I can’t even pronounce his name, but I care.
This place is really beginning to suck.
We now seem obsessed with words. Not their actual meanings—but we relish the power we have to reinterpret the meanings. We are now the Masters of the Misconstrue, and when our hackles are raised, we want nothing short of our intended target of outrage crawling over broken glass. It’s fun to see the reward—when you never have to leave your pod, your room, your desk, your jammies. You made an impact, in between trips to the fridge.
Let me ask you: if someone were to make a sarcastic joke that you disliked, right in front of you, what would you do to express distaste?
All You Ever Need to Know About Joe Biden.
No Shit Sherlock Department:
Worst Leader Ever: Mitch McConnell Trashes Harry Reid As Worst Majority Leader In U.S. Senate’s History
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) declared that he was prepared to move forward with the “nuclear option” and change the Senate rules so that only a simple majority vote would be required to consider and confirm President Obama’s executive branch nominees. In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called his “friend” history’s worst majority leader.
McConnell began by saying that the Reid’s plan alters the U.S. Senate’s role from an obligation to “advise and consent” to the president’s appointees to “sit down and shut up.”
McConnell expressed dismay over the fact that Reid had “broken his word” and pursued the nuclear option after he pledged that he would not. He said that there are many Democratic members of the Senate who are not pleased with the change in the rules.
“When they tell me that, the Republican I expect they would be least likely to want to tell that to, I know what’s going on here,” McConnell said.
“So, this is really a sad, sad day for the United States Senate,” he continued. “And if we don’t pull back from the brink here, my friend, the majority leader, is going to be remembered as the worst leader of the Senate ever.”
Worth a Read:
Way to Go, D.C.
by Mona Charen
Obama’s Alinskyite Administration
The Justice Department’s involvement in the Zimmerman case is highly suspect.
America Hates Journalists :’(
Actually I would put ” ;)” after that title because journalists with their bias and bullshit deserve America’s low opinion of them. Too bad the few, the very few, who do their work competently and honestly are tarred with the same brush as the rest.
Now that Obama Is Safely Re-Elected, Is Hollywood Turning Against Him?
I only think this is “worth a read” because it shows, once again, the absolute hypocrisy of the Follywood crowd. Other than that, I could give a crap less what they think or do.
CBS Plays Up ‘Inevitable’ Presidential Run of Hillary; Hypes Celebrity Endorsements
Thursday’s CBS This Morning boosted a super PAC aimed at supporting a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, and spotlighted how Mrs. Clinton is “sticking to a speaking circuit that recently included the opening of a children’s library in Arkansas bearing her name. It’s not exactly a presidential library, but it may be just another baby step toward what many believe is inevitable.”
Correspondent Jeff Pegues played up the “prominent endorsements from politicians and celebrities“, and how the former First Lady’s backers are “already building a growing campaign infrastructure, they say, whether she likes it or not.”
Anchor Gayle King hyped the super PAC’s “secret office” as she teased Pegues’ report. Co-anchor Norah O’Donnell introduced the segment by pointing out how “the campaign in waiting for Hillary Clinton’s widely-expected second run for the White House got some help this week. Two heavy hitters from the Obama campaign have joined the Ready for Hillary super PAC.”
The correspondent first outlined that the former secretary of state’s public activities “continue to fuel speculation that a White House run in 2016 looks like a go, as do prominent endorsements from politicians and celebrities.”
The on-screen graphic underlined the endorsements by displaying the pictures of four noteworthy Clinton supporters: Vogue magazine’s Anna Wintour, Missouri Senator Clare McCaskill, actress Eva Longoria, and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Oh, are all the little gushing girls gonna slobber over Hillary Clinton now that they’re done gushing over Obama?
Cockroach Of The Day:
Nuclear: Reid, Senate Democrats Poised to Change Filibuster Rules
by Guy Benson
I get it. Skirmishes over Senate parliamentary procedure are numbingly boring and arcane to most people. But please stay with me on this — it’s really important. We knew this debate was coming in July, and here it is. With an explicit blessing from the White House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has signaled that he and his fellow Democrats are preparing to execute the unprecedented power grab of changing the Senate rules to limit the minority’s long-standing filibuster rights:
A confrontation in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats over the confirmation of President Obama’s cabinet nominees edged closer on Thursday toward a showdown over changing the rules on filibusters. After a tense exchange on the floor with his Republican counterpart, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, planned to recommend to his fellow Democrats at a private lunch meeting that they should vote to take the exceptional step of barring the minority party from filibustering presidential appointees.
The step that Mr. Reid will endorse, which drew strong objections from Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, would not affect filibusters of legislation or judicial nominees. But it would prevent Republicans from being able to require a supermajority of 60 votes for the confirmation of people the president appoints to cabinet level posts or other executive-branch positions.
Republicans and Democrats have been searching for a way to avert the rule change, which is so controversial that it is nicknamed “the nuclear option.” Any altering of the long-held Senate custom of the filibuster is a rare and, some argue, perilous as one year’s majority party could be the next year’s minority. Senators in both parties also say they fear it could irrevocably change the nature of the Senate.
Republicans offered to allow votes on several highly controversial Obama nominees (a mistake, in my view — particularly on radical Thomas Perez) to head off a “nuclear” detonation. Democrats rejected the compromise:
Mr. McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans have signaled in recent days that they were willing to relent on some nominees that remain held up, including Gina McCarthy to be director of the Environmental Protection Agency and Thomas E. Perez to be secretary of labor. But Mr. Reid and Democratic leaders have rejected that compromise as unsatisfactory, aides said. Several other nominees remain in a Republican holding pattern, including ones to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board, which is of considerable importance to the labor unions that are so crucial to the Democratic Party.
One small detail: Republicans continue to hold up votes on these three nominees because President Obama illegally installed them through illegitimate “recess” appointments when Congress was not in recess. Two federal courts have ruled that these appointments were, in fact, unconstitutional. Reid is apparently willing to blow up decades of Senate precedent and comity in order to ramrod three illegally-installed nominees through the Senate.
Liberals hope this action will retroactively “legitimize” a series of decisions carried out by the NLRB’s currently-illegitimate quorum. Big Labor salivates. If he pulls the trigger on this, Reid would not only break his on-the-record, unambiguous promise to the Senate in 2011, he would also execute a ploy that he deemed “un-American” when the shoe was on the other foot. Here is a parade of Senate Democrats angrily denouncing a(n abandoned) Republican proposal to enact a similar rule change in 2005. Seriously, watch the whole thing, even if you’ve seen it before: