"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The New York Times Will Show You How Real Journalism Works

Take a look at the following observations from The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web by James Taranto:

The men who rank first and third in the list of longest-serving U.S. senators, Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, both died this decade. That's not the only thing they had in common. Both began their careers as segregationist Democrats but later repented and supported civil rights legislation. Both had obituaries in the New York Times written by Adam Clymer--but therein lie some differences:

The Thurmond obit, published June 27, 2003, was headlined "Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100."

The Byrd obit, published today, is headlined "Robert Byrd, a Pillar of the Senate, Dies at 92." (The early online headline said "Respected Voice" rather than "Pillar.")

The Thurmond obit mentioned the senator's opposition to civil rights in the third paragraph.

The Byrd obit, doesn't get to his opposition to civil rights--and his membership in the Ku Klux Klan--until paragraph 16, the topic sentence of which is, "Mr. Byrd's perspective on the world changed over the years."

Now it is true that Thurmond ran for president in 1948 as a "States' Rights Democrat," so that he was a more important figure in the reaction against civil rights than Byrd was. On the other hand, compare and contrast these details from deep in the two men's obits:

Byrd, paragraphs 17-18: "Mr. Byrd's political life could be traced to his early involvement with the Klan, an association that almost thwarted his career and clouded it intermittently for years afterward. In the early 1940s, he organized a 150-member klavern, or chapter, of the Klan in Sophia, W.Va., and was chosen its leader."

Thurmond, paragraph 16: "In 1940, he called on the grand jury in Greenville to be ready to take action against the Ku Klux Klan, which, he said, represented 'the most abominable type of lawlessness.' "

There was one other big difference between the two superannuated senators: Whereas Byrd remained a Democrat until his death yesterday, Thurmond became a Republican in 1964. That may account for the somewhat different treatment they got from Clymer.

Who Knew That Voluntary Recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in School Is "Controversial"?

Arlington High School in Arlington, MA, has banned the voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, which was requested by Sean Harrington, a student at the school. The school committee deadlocked 3-3 on this "controversial" issue. They expressed concern that it would be hard to find teachers willing to recite the Pledge. You know, because it's so "controversial." Also, the phrase "under God" "violates students' right to practice their own religion." Another school committee member pointed out that "Patriotism is a very personal thing for all of us, but I do not think it is in the School Committee's best interest to mandate that any of our employees recite the pledge." (Patriotism is a very personal thing. You know, some people express their patriotism by saying the Pledge, and others express their patriotism by sitting in their chair, arms folded, with a sullen expression. Who's to say which is more patriotic?)

These stories are becoming more and more common in our country. Just a few weeks ago I commented on the students at a Los Angeles area high school who were suspended for wearing a shirt with an American flag on it. There have been several examples of elementary school kids getting in trouble for religious expression on school property as well (religious drawings, bowing their head to pray in the cafeteria, etc).

All of the supposed complaints about allowing the Pledge of Allegiance in the school are red herrings. They can't find a single teacher at a public high school who is willing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? As Harrington put it, "If we cannot have a willing teacher who would want to say it, then this system of ours is cracked." The words "under God" don't violate anyone's right to practice their own religion. They are completely generic and don't endorse any religion. No one can be mandated to say the Pledge if they don't want to. Our Supreme Court has already declared it unconstitutional to force any student or any teacher to recite it. This is not an issue of forcing anyone to say the Pledge. This is an issue of denying students' right to express pride in their country on school property. And patriotism is not a personal, subjective, undefinable thing. Patriotism is very simply loving and taking pride in one's country. Either you have it or you don't. It's not complicated and it's not subjective. And if you hate America so much that you can't even stand to sit by and watch while other people recite a 20 second expression of patriotism, then you probably don't deserve to be living in America.

And the sad thing is this. Many liberals are not patriotic. I hate to say it, but it's true. The people trying to ban the Pledge and the American flag from schools are not conservatives. They are liberals. Liberals are the ones who attack our military and try to ban them from recruiting on college campuses (including our most recent Supreme Court appointment, Elena Kagan). Liberals are the ones who apologize incessantly for our "imperialistic" foreign policy, our "racist" culture, and our "shameful" heritage (including Obama and Jimmy Carter). Many people blamed the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and they were almost all liberals. Academic liberals re-write history to slander presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Liberal authors slam America's capitalistic system and religious culture. Liberal justices show an utter disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the original intent of its authors, inventing "rights" out of thin air, claiming that rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights no longer apply, and making certain Constitutional provisions so broad they could mean anything. Liberal politicians deny American exceptionalism and claim we have no right to be the leader of the free world (think Obama). They claim we are racist to defend our own borders or demand that people who want to be citizens of our country learn our language and our history. They claim they love America, but not the America as it has existed in the past and as it exists now. What they really love is an America of their own imagination that they want to create in the future through their progressive ideology. They don't love our history, our traditions, our flag, our military, our freedoms, our Constitution. Most of the time, they seem downright hostile to all those things.

I'm saying that the above things are true of all liberals. They certainly are not. Some liberals do genuinely love our country as it is now. But there is a large, aggressive wing of liberalism that has nothing but blame, hostility, and contempt for America, and it has a disproportionate influence in many of our most important institutions -- government, schools and universities, and Hollywood. Because of its influence in schools and universities, it is having a big impact on our kids. I don't know if it can be defeated or not, but if it's going to be defeated it will have to be through ordinary citizens -- like parents in Arlington, MA -- standing up and saying "Enough is enough, I'm proud of my country and I'm not afraid to say it."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Opinion Forum: Purist or Pragmatist?

Something I want to start doing on this blog periodically is opening topics of discussion that will (hopefully) invite reader participation. With all the recent and upcoming primary races, one topic that has been on my mind recently has been the issue of purism vs. pragmatism in voting. I would define a purist as someone who refuses to settle for the lesser of two evils, while a pragmatist is willing to settle for an imperfect candidate in order to keep a worse candidate from getting elected. While I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle on the continuum between 100% political purism and 100% political pragmatism, many of us are much closer to one end or the other.

For conservatives, this issue often comes into play in a general election in which the Republican candidate is deemed insufficiently conservative. For example, I have conservative friends who were unhappy with John McCain during the 2008 presidential race and chose to either vote for a third-party candidate (such as the Constitution Party candidate) or to sit out the election altogether. Others, such as myself, chose to settle for McCain because we considered him far, far better than the alternative. (In my opinion, subsequent events have demonstrated just how bad the alternative to McCain truly was!)

This issue also can be significant in deciding which primary candidate to support. Several weeks ago, I was talking politics with a friend from Pennsylvania in advance of his state's U.S. Senate primary. On the GOP side, the race was between Pat Toomey, a well-known former congressman with the entire GOP establishment behind him and a campaign warchest of $5 million, and Peg Luksik, a little-known, poorly-funded pro-life activist with past Constitution Party associations. As a matter of fact, I did not even know Luksik was in the race and assumed Toomey was unopposed. I was surprised when my friend told me that he felt Luksik was the only candidate in the race whose conservative credentials were beyond question and that he was voting for her out of principle. Although Toomey had waffled on the abortion issue back when he was first elected to Congress a decade ago, he compiled a strongly pro-life voting record in Congress, challenged liberal Republican Arlen Specter from the right during the 2004 Senate race, and was a strong advocate for the free market economy and limited government during his tenure as president of the Club for Growth. In my mind, Toomey was clearly conservative and also the only electable candidate in the race, so he was the logical choice. But in my friend's mind, the primary is the place to vote for the absolute best candidate, not to "settle."

Another example of the debate between purism and pragmatism can be found in the upcoming GOP gubernatorial primary in my home state of Maryland. Maryland is a heavily Democratic state that has only elected a Republican ONCE to a top statewide office in my lifetime -- when GOP congressman Bob Ehrlich won an upset victory in the 2002 governor's race. Ehrlich had a reasonably high job approval rating when he ran for re-election in 2006, but was swept out of office due to the anti-Bush Democratic wave that year. Now, he is running again and early polls suggest he is running neck-and-neck in his rematch with liberal Democratic governor Martin O'Malley. However, Ehrlich is a fairly moderate pro-choice Republican, and he is facing a tough, if little-known, conservative challenge in the primary from Brian Murphy. There is little doubt that Murphy's views are more in line with my own than Ehrlich's are, especially on the issue of the sanctity of life, and I have heard he is quite articulate as well. Other conservatives I have talked to (including family members) are enthusiastic about voting for him. While I too like Murphy, I have nagging doubts about whether it would be better to vote for Ehrlich, the only Republican candidate who has been able to win in Maryland in decades and possibly the only Republican with a chance of winning in the general election. While Ehrlich is pro-choice, he has supported certain restrictions on abortion like banning partial-birth abortion and parental notification for minors, which would make him far preferable to his Democratic opponent even on this issue. Ehrlich is not perfect, but he would serve as a much-needed check to our state's radically left-wing legislature. I still haven't decided who to vote for yet in the primary (although Ehrlich would certainly get my vote in the general election if he wins).

These are but two examples of an issue that most of us, as conservatives, face nearly every election year in our two-party political system: do we settle for imperfect candidates or do we choose to give our vote only to those candidates who are in complete or near-complete agreement with our values? In my opinion, there is no hard-and-fast rule, and decisions of this type must be made on a case-by-case basis.

Let me first say that, for those of us who are Christians, our voting must be done as an act of worship and obedience to Jesus Christ. We are under obligation to use our voting privilege in a way that honors God and does not violate our conscience. For example, it would be hard for me to justify voting for a Republican simply because of his party affiliation if he had a history of corruption, had proven to be blatantly dishonest and untrustworthy, or had demonstrated complete disregard for Constitutional principles, even if his opponent were just as bad or worse. Our highest loyalty must be to principle rather than political party. (For the same reason, I believe we have an obligation to educate ourselves about the candidates and their beliefs before voting. We cannot glorify God if we are uninformed or ignorant.) But of course, the Bible doesn't come with a filled-out voter card attached. We still have to use our minds and think through these issues to determine what voting decisions are most glorifying to God.

Some might argue that voting according to our conscience means we can only vote for candidates that are fully in agreement with our principles and beliefs. I disagree. In certain European countries, for example, where there are a large number of political parties with differing ideologies, it might be much more feasible to vote for a candidate whose beliefs are in nearly complete agreement with our own. But in a two-party system like the U.S., the vast majority of the time we are stuck with a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. For a conservative like myself, the Republican candidate is frequently disappointing and the Democratic candidate is almost always unacceptable for ideological reasons. But the only other options are to vote for a third-party candidate who cannot win or to refuse to vote at all, both of which are in effect forfeiting our right to impact the choice of our elected officials. Sitting out an election or voting for a third-party candidate (essentially the same thing) are only acceptable decisions if both major-party candidates are so truly awful that voting for either of them would be a betrayal of conscience -- and I think this is quite rare. (There are some very rare exceptions when strong third-party candidates emerge with a genuine chance of winning. The 2009 NY-23 special election is an example, but it was caused by the fact that the Republican nominee was so left-wing that she was unacceptable to many Republican voters who flocked en masse to the Conservative nominee. This is an example when voting for a third-party candidate is not a throw-away vote and is also the only real option if we want to stay true to our principles.)

Something important to keep in mind about our two-party system is that legislation can only come up for consideration in Congress -- not to mention become law! -- when it receives support and approval from the leaders of one of the two political parties. The Constitution Party has some great ideas, I readily concede, but it has no influence whatsoever on any real legislation because there are no Constitution Party members of Congress. If we as conservatives want to see our Constitutional vision of justice and morality triumph in the halls of Congress, we have to be willing to work through at least one of the two major political parties. And it seems pretty obvious to me that there is only one political party whose leadership is even the slightest bit open to constitutional conservative ideas.

Let's take the pro-life cause as an example (although it is only one of many that could be used). Suppose you are a pro-life conservative like me and live in a state or district that is liberal and that features a race between a moderately pro-choice Republican and strongly pro-abortion Democrat. Your first impulse might be to say, "Who cares? Politicians are all the same. Neither of the candidates is going to stand up to protect innocent human life, so why should I bother to vote?" But if you dig a little deeper, you will notice first that there is usually a significant difference between pro-choice Republicans and pro-choice Democrats in liberal districts. The overwhelming majority of pro-choice Republicans still support a ban on partial-birth abortion, support parental notification for minors, and oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. The overwhelming majority of pro-choice Democrats are against any regulation or restriction on abortion whatsoever. For example, I believe that every single Republican in the House, including a number of pro-choice ones, voted in favor of the amendment to ban taxpayer funding of abortion in the recent health care bill. A huge majority of Democrats voted against this amendment.

Another thing you will notice is that the pro-choice Republican you elect will cast his/her very first vote to elect the Republican leader to be Speaker of the House or Senate Majority Leader. They will vote to select other leading Republicans as committee chairmen. The overwhelming majority of these Republican leaders are pro-life and will use their influence to permit pro-life legislation to be voted on and to support its passage. By contrast, the very first vote the pro-abortion Democrat will cast will be to make the Democratic leader Speaker of the House or Senate Majority Leader, and they will subsequently support other leading Democrats as committee chairmen. The overwhelming majority of these Democratic leaders are radically pro-abortion and will use their influence to keep pro-life legislation on the shelf, as they have done very effectively in the current session of Congress. You could be doing a lot to protect the lives of the unborn by voting for that pro-choice Republican over that pro-choice Democrat!

Now, what about primary fights? Isn't that the time to vote solely for the candidate you like best and forget about pragmatism? Most of the time I believe that is true. Certainly if you are living in a conservative or swing state or district and you have a choice between a staunch conservative and a squishy moderate, I think it is a no-brainer that you go with the conservative. For example, I strongly supported Pat Toomey over Arlen Specter in the 2004 PA Senate primary, and was very disappointed that President Bush and Senator Rick Santorum chose to do otherwise. However, I think pragmatism may come into play in two types of primary situations. One is when two candidates have generally similar views on the issues, but one is clearly much more electable than the other. The PA primary race between Toomey and Luksik (discussed in paragraph 3) is an example of this. Yes, Luksik is probably a bit more in line with my views and certainly more outspoken about them than Toomey. But they are both clearly conservative, and my guess is that they would vote the same 95% of the time -- so it makes sense to vote for the candidate with the better chance of winning in a Democratic-leaning state to avoid the catastrophe of electing a left-wing activist like Democrat Joe Sestak.

The other primary situation where I think pragmatism may come into play is in a strongly Democratic or liberal state or district, where an outspoken conservative may find it next to impossible to get elected. An example of this situation is this year's gubernatorial primary in Maryland (discussed in paragraph 4). Yes, Murphy is more conservative, but Ehrlich is reasonably acceptable (certainly not in the Arlen Specter/Lincoln Chafee category IMO) and is the ONLY Republican that has won statewide in my lifetime. I'm not saying I will definitely vote for Ehrlich, but I am saying it is a situation when I will at least consider a more pragmatic choice. I would have a hard time voting for a staunchly liberal Republican like Specter or Chafee in the primary in any state, and possibly in the general election too.

The bottom line is that voting decisions are deeply personal, and even people who share the same commitment to conservative values will often vote in very different ways. I have presented my perspective on purism vs. pragmatism in this (much longer than intended) post. I would be curious to know what you think, so please feel free to weigh in with your opinion. I would like to get some dissenting opinions, because I know there are conservatives out there who think I'm too pragmatic!

Obama & Human Rights

Here's a great summary of Obama's pathetic record on human rights by Jennifer Rubin. And she quotes from another excellent article from The Weekly Standard which brilliantly contrasts George W. Bush's view of human rights with the Obama Administration's view of human rights. These articles help to explain why I feel so utterly alienated from Obama that I doubt that we share even the most basic values with regard to human rights, individual liberties, democracy, etc. I don't feel like he's on my team, and I haven't seen much evidence he's on America's team -- at least not the America I know and love.

In Washington, "Disclose" Means Stifle

Check out this great article by Debra Saunders about the latest unconstitutional piece of legislation to pass the House: the DISCLOSE Act. The Democrats are counting on the fact that they will be able to rig the November elections without anybody noticing. For the sake of free speech and the integrity of our democracy, let's pray they don't succeed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Breaking News: Obama Plays Politics With National Security

These days, it's an outrage a day from the Obama Administration. The latest news is that Senator Jon Kyl had a meeting with Obama in which Obama told him, ‘The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support 'comprehensive immigration reform.'" Never mind that it happens to be his constitutional responsibility to enforce immigration laws and protect our country's sovereignty and security. He would rather play politics with the issue to get his agenda passed. Read more here.

Useless Thuggery

Michael Barone has a great article today about Obama's "useless thuggery." Well worth reading. Barone points out that while Obama talks a tough game with regard to the Gulf spill, there has been virtually no real leadership or action taken by his administration even up to this moment.

What has Obama done so far with regard to the spill? First, he placed a moratorium on offshore oil drilling. This moratorium will cause the loss of many high-paying American jobs, adding an additional strain to an already bad economy. It penalizes the oil companies that have compiled much better safety records than BP. It will lead to further unhealthy dependence on foreign oil. And surprisingly, it is most strongly opposed by the very people that have suffered the most from the oil spill - Louisiana residents. I recently watched a focus group discussion moderated by pollster Frank Luntz consisting of Louisiana voters. This group consisted of Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites, supporters and opponents of Obama -- but every single person in the group without exception opposed the moratorium. Governor Jindal pleaded with Obama not to institute the moratorium as well. They know that Louisiana depends on oil production revenue, and that this moratorium will only increase the economic suffering of their state. Too bad for them that Obama couldn't care less.

Second, we now know that Obama refused --and continues to refuse -- help from foreign vessels to clean up the oil in the Gulf. It's my understanding that up to a dozen countries have offered help, but most notably the Dutch, Belgians, and Norwegians contacted the Obama Administration within three or four days of the initial oil spill and offered to send several of their highly advanced oil skimmers that were capable of cleaning up hundreds of thousands of tons of water each day. Obama used the Jones Act as justification for his refusal. The Jones Act is an outdated law requiring all ships in U.S. waters to be built and crewed by Americans -- but it has been routinely waived by previous presidents in times of crisis, and was promptly waived by Bush after Katrina in 2005. By the way, the unions vigorously support the Jones Act, and the unions gave $400 million to Obama's 2008 campaign. Think there could be a connection? To please the labor unions, Obama refused help that could have drastically reduced the damaging effects of the spill.

Third, Obama gave a weak speech from the Oval Office nearly TWO MONTHS after the spill started. After giving a few generalities about the cleanup and pretending like the government had been on top of the situation from Day One, Obama proceeded to use the spill as an excuse to push for "green energy" and the passage of his cap-and-trade bill. It is very sad to see Obama playing politics with this tragedy, especially since the oil spill has no connection to cap-and-trade at all. Cap-and-trade is a terrible legislative idea that will dramatically increase energy costs for Americans with no appreciable environmental benefit. However, it will create an additional stream of revenue for the federal government while increasing their control over energy companies -- exactly what Obama wants. Of course "green energy" sounds great, and if alternative energy sources could efficiently power my car, not to mention our factories and our overall economy, then Americans would happily use them. Unfortunately, there is no current renewable energy source that even comes close to being able to do what fossil fuels do every day. Obama admitted as much in his speech, but still wants us to tax the heck out of oil and gas producers and throw away billions of tax dollars to fund inferior sources of energy like ethanol that are incapable of being profitable without huge government subsidies. Obama lyingly claimed that we are running out of places to drill. The truth is that we have enough known oil deposits on our soil and in our waters to power our economy for hundreds of years into the future -- and that is just the deposits we know about. The Gulf spill is an immediate crisis, but our country's reliance on fossil fuels is not.

Fourth, Obama has focused relentlessly on covering himself politically by blaming BP. We elected a president to lead and find solutions, not to shift blame and engage in political attacks. Instead of focusing first on working with BP to stop the leak, Obama's Justice Department has already opened a criminal investigation into BP -- while the oil is still gushing out. This is without a doubt hindering the attempts to stop the spill, because BP has to focus on hiring lawyers and defending themselves instead of putting all their resources and focus into stopping the spill. Perhaps a criminal investigation is in order, but shouldn't it wait until the leak is stopped and the situation is somewhat under control? And Obama has forced BP to create a $20 billion escrow fund. This is an unconstitutional power grab by our federal government in transferring private property from party to another without due process of law. Congress has been playing along very effectively, hauling oil executives before their committees for political grandstanding purposes but failing to investigate the government parties responsible for allowing BP to drill without proper permits, safety procedures, and emergency plans.

There's more that could be said, but this sums up some of the more important points. I don't think Obama could have done a worse job handling the Gulf spill, and his dramatic failure underscores his utter lack of experience, leadership skills, and character.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Anti-Obama

What if voters elected an honest chief executive, somebody who was willing to tell them the truth about the government's budget crisis and looming insolvency instead of spending like there was no tomorrow? What if that politician was willing to take on the powerful special interests that have controlled the government for decades instead of appeasing them? What if that politician cared more about our future and the future of our children and grandchildren than he did about his own political future? What if that politician made himself accessible to the people through townhall meetings AFTER he was elected? It's not a pipe dream. It's really happening -- and in New Jersey of all places. Meet Governor Chris Christie, the anti-Obama. Christie is everything Obama is not: honest, tough, independent, accessible, a leader in a crisis, focused on finding solutions.

Take a look at this guy in action. These videos will make you want to stand up and cheer -- or at least engage in some exuberant fist-pumping!

--His speech just after taking office declaring New Jersey in a state of fiscal crisis.

--A townhall meeting speech about school funding and the NJ supreme court.

--Speeches taking on the powerful teachers' unions in NJ here and here.

--A townhall meeting speech about government accountability to the people.

It goes without saying that we need a leader like this in Washington as well as Trenton.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Blog I Really Like...

...is Commentary Magazine's Contentions, a politics blog with a foreign policy focus. I have been starting to read it regularly over the past couple of weeks and really like it. There are several writers who post on Contentions that I enjoy reading, including John Podhoretz and Peter Wehner, but by far my favorite is Jennifer Rubin. Check it out sometime!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Year of the (Pro-Life) Woman

Ramesh Ponnuru has a great article in the New York Times about the large number of high-profile pro-life women running for political office this year and what it means for the pro-life movement. Check it out here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

If Israel Is Not Evil, the World Is In Big Trouble

Check out this article by Dennis Prager here.

The Buck Stops...Well...Somewhere Else

I couldn't believe my ears. I was listening to the radio this morning on my way in to work, and I heard an excerpt from Obama's commencement address at a high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Obama told the kids not to blame others for their own mistakes and urged them to take responsibility instead of making excuses.

Seriously? I wish I could have seen the video to see if Obama kept a straight face. You know, the same Obama who has been viciously attacking BP instead of making his highest priority to work in cooperation with them to stop the spill (the president of BP has not spoken with Obama since the spill occurred in April). The same Obama who just said in an interview that he was talking with the brightest minds about the oil spill, not to figure out how to stop the spill and clean up the mess, but to determine "whose ass to kick." (At least he sounds presidential when he's engaging in political blame-shifting!) One could be forgiven for thinking that Obama's highest priority regarding the Gulf spill was covering himself politically.

It's instructive to compare Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill with Bush's handling of Katrina. Bush acknowledged his administration's responsibility for dealing with the hurricane fallout (even though his administration had far less to do with the hurricane than the Obama administration had to do with the oil spill). He never once attacked or blamed anyone outside of his administration, even though he could have easily done so (the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana both proved to be pathetically incompetent). He constantly thanked and praised the volunteers working around the clock to clean up the mess, which Obama has not once done to my knowledge. Don't get me wrong. The federal government's response to Katrina was slow and inefficient, but at least Bush demonstrated his leadership qualities by his response.

I was surprised when Obama harshly attacked Bush in his inaugural address. I thought he was supposed to be a different kind of president who was going to bring our country together, and frankly it's pretty unprecedented for a new president to attack the outgoing president at the inauguration ceremony. A year later, in his first State of the Union address, Obama once again blamed Bush for our country's economic woes. In October, Charles Krauthammer said this regarding Obama:

Is there anything he hasn't blamed George W. Bush for? The economy, global warming, the credit crisis, Middle East stalemate, the deficit, anti-Americanism abroad -- everything but swine flu. It's as if Obama's presidency hasn't really started. He's still taking inventory of the Bush years. Just this Monday, he referred to "long years of drift" in Afghanistan in order to, I suppose, explain away his own, well, yearlong drift on Afghanistan.

I hope the kids at that Kalamazoo high school will prove to be men and women of character and leadership who take responsibility instead of shifting blame. If they do, they will have learned it from someone other than Barack Obama.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The True Cost of ObamaCare

When The New York Times is publishing articles critical of ObamaCare, you know it must be bad. This summary in The Weekly Standard points out that the Dartmouth study that the White House is relying on for its health care facts and figures does not even take into account quality of patient care or the survival rate of patients when determining what constitutes wasteful health spending. In another words, under the Dartmouth formula good health care equals cheap health care, regardless of results. This is obviously counter-intuitive -- it makes no sense that spending less on health care would result in better health care. Now Obama has nominated Donald Berwick, a champion of the Dartmouth health care model and of the disastrous British medical system, to run Medicare and Medicaid. Our country's top-quality health care system is about to vanish before our eyes.

Israel, Disarmed

Another must-read article by Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer compellingly demonstrates that the international community's ultimate goal is to deprive Israel of any ability to defend itself, and the U.S., led by Obama, is assisting in that goal. Make no mistake about it, Israel's very existence is threatened. And if our government has anything to do with it, the end will come sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Once Again, Israel Stands Alone

Coming out of Memorial Day weekend, the big international news is Israel's raid on a group of pro-Palestinian ships sailing to the Gaza Strip to provide "humanitarian" aid. As usual, the international community, including the U.N., rushed to denounce Israel's "war crimes." Mona Charen has an excellent article in National Review debunking anti-Israel myths regarding this incident. It is clear to me this entire incident was a setup by pro-Palestinian activists to further isolate Israel.

In my opinion, nothing short of a full-throated defense of Israel is acceptable from our government. And of course, Obama has done nothing of the kind. At least the U.S. did force the U.N. Security Council to water down their condemnation of the incident to avoid singling out Israel for blame. I suppose, given this administration's anti-Israel and anti-democratic foreign policy, this is the best we could hope for, and I do give Obama a little credit for it. But with Muslim nations putting pressure on the U.S. to further condemn the attacks and with the U.N. stepping up its calls for ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip, this issue is not going away. Will our government side with Israel, one of our most loyal allies for decades, or will we yield to international pressure and side with Israel's anti-democratic, anti-semitic enemies at the U.N.? Obama's track record does not give me much reason for hope.