Enough

December 16, 2015

I’m largely neutral in the Cruz-Rubio fight, having decided to see how things shake out, but my friend AG makes a strong case that Cruz is being –at best– disingenuous when he insists he didn’t support legalization for illegals during the 2013 Gang of 8 debate.

agconservative

Enough.

I understand that Cruz fans feel the need to defend their candidate, but there is a certain level of intellectual honesty that reasonable debates require. Several people have sent me @trscoop ‘s defense of Cruz today as if it is evidence that those accusing Cruz of lying are wrong. Amazingly, Scoop accuses Cruz’s critics of being dishonest while he tries to rewrite history and ignore damning evidence that proves his assertions are false.

Scoop, through Amanda Carpenter’s tweets, is essentially arguing that Cruz’s amendment (which would have effectively granted a path to legalization to millions of illegal immigrants) was simply a poison pill and he never actually supported a path to legalization. This revisionism requires people to ignore hundreds of statements from Cruz to the contrary. Most importantly, Cruz specifically said at the time that his amendment was not a poison pill. Cruz said the objective of his amendment…

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You are how you treat others, right @HillaryClinton?

October 1, 2015
Above the rules.

“Silence, peasant!”

In which case, she’s a witch with a capital “B.”:

In a recent book, former Secret Service agent Ron Kessler writes about the presidents, their families, and how they treated the people who are duty-bound to give their own lives to save theirs. According to the National Review article, most come off more or less well, treating their protective details and other staff with respect. The Reagan and Bush 43 households were especially well-known for that.

And then there is Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole article, but here are a few choice excerpts:

Within the White House, Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another,” says former FBI agent Coy Copeland. “In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”

One former Secret Service agent states, “If Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions.”

Hillary one day ran into a White House electrician who was changing a light bulb in the upstairs family quarters. She screamed at him, because she had demanded that all repairs be performed while the Clintons were outside the Executive Mansion. “She caught the guy on a ladder doing the light bulb,” says Franette McCulloch, who served at that time as assistant White House pastry chef. “He was a basket case.”

White House usher Christopher B. Emery unwisely called back Barbara Bush after she phoned him for computer troubleshooting. Emery helped the former first lady twice. Consequently, Kessler reports, Hillary sacked him. The father of four stayed jobless for a year.

Thanks to Hillary.

Many years ago, in his brilliant The Case for Democracy, Israeli author Natan Sharansky wrote that one could tell how a government and its rulers would behave in the international community by how they treated their own people. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten.

And, if true, then how can we expect Hillary Clinton –a self-entitled, arrogant, mean-spirited Leftist who treats her staff like filth stuck to her shoe, including the people sworn to protect her…

How can we expect her as president to treat us any better?

Character counts, and Hillary Clinton’s character is one more reason why she should never be president.


Bill Whittle: character and virtue matters

November 27, 2011

Happy end of the Thanksgiving weekend, folks. I’m sure we’re all excited to go back to work, now. 

Since this is my first post in a few days, I thought “What better way to ease back into the blogging groove than Bill Whittle’s most recent episode of Afterburner?”

Glad you agree.

It’s an interesting discussion of virtue and discipline as components of character and their role in our founding, the assumption that private virtue and self-regulating discipline made our system of self-government possible. And that their decline (which really began after the passing of the Revolutionary generation and the growth of popular democracy in the age of Jackson) lead to the growth of the State and the efforts to impose virtue and regulate behavior from above, via legislation.

And that brings to mind a pertinent quote from Cicero:

“The more laws, the less justice.”

And, perhaps, the less virtue.

I’m not sure I agree 100-percent with Bill’s arguments and examples, but that would be more in the way of a quibble, rather than substantial disagreement.

Regardless, his points are worth thinking about.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


President Pouty-Face

July 14, 2011

Great Seal of the Pouter in Chief

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about how President Barack Obama –Chief of State, Chief Executive, and Commander in Chief of the United States of America– got upset in a meeting with House Majority Leader Cantor and stormed out in a huff, because he wasn’t getting his way. But do take note of the highlighted portion:

The Majority Leader recounted that toward the end of the discussions President Obama instructed negotiators to “get in the mode” because a final decision would have to be made by Friday. Cantor said he told the president that the two sides remain so far apart at this point that he doubted they could get to $2.5 trillion in cuts (to match the debt increase requested by the administration, enough to get through the 2012 election) given the time available. President Obama has said he will not sign any increase to the debt ceiling less than that amount, and Cantor had previously insisted that the House would vote no more than one time to increase the debt limit. Cantor said he was willing to abandon his position in order to allow some kind of short-term measure to increase the debt limit and reassure credit markets while negotiations continue, and asked the president if he would be willing to consider this option.

At this point, Cantor explained, the president became “very agitated” and said he had “sat here long enough,” that “Ronald Reagan wouldn’t sit here like this” and “something’s got to give.” Obama then told Republicans they either needed to compromise on their insistence on a dollar for dollar ratio of spending cuts to debt increase or agree to a “grand bargain” including massive tax increases. Before walking out of the room, Cantor said, the president told him: “Eric, don’t call my bluff. I’m going to the American people with this.” He then “shoved back” and said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Don’t call my bluff?” Isn’t that telling Cantor that, y’know, you’re bluffing?

Mr. President, buddy, if you ever hold a poker game… invite me! 

More seriously, this says something about the character of the man in the Oval Office. Remember how, way back in 2007-08, we were told of his world class temperament, how he was “No-Drama Obama?” Or, more recently, how he’s claimed to be the “adult in the room?”

Sounds like someone doesn’t want to eat his peas.

In an update to the article, Andrew Stiles presents the Democrats side of the story, claiming that the Republicans were just “spinning.” But I wonder…

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Obama get huffy and petulant when challenged. Remember this interview in Texas? Or the archetypal “Why can’t I just eat my waffle” moment? Or this moment of glory for Captain Cool from the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009:

According to rumors in the Bella Center, US President Barack Obama at about 11 PM, had impatiently asked to speak with Wen Jiabao in order to advance the discussion. But Obama had to wait. Wen, who, it was rumored, had rarely left his hotel room, could not be found. Finally, the US delegation located him in a room set aside for negotiations. A visibly furious Obama, according to reports, stormed into the room. “Are you now ready to talk with me, Premier Wen?” he was reported to have shouted. “Are you now ready? Premier Wen, are you now ready to talk with me?” What a scene for a US president.

Far from having a world-class temperament, it appears he has a world-class temper and has trouble controlling it.

It’s hard to avoid concluding that, in the most basic sense of the word, Obama is “immature.” That is, untested, undeveloped, and lacking in experiences that would give him the emotional and character tools needed to handle the challenges of his job.

Remember, prior to becoming president, he had never held an executive job or other post with command responsibility in his life. Even as a state legislator, he mostly voted “present,” thus not taking responsibility. In the board positions he filled, his job was to hand out other people’s money, but he was never held to account for the results of that spending and he never had to make tough choices about spending priorities.

This is a man who, in my estimation, skated by until now on his charm, good looks, and the need of White leftists and liberals to assuage their guilt. For the first time in his life and in a time of crisis, Barack Obama is being held responsible for his poor decisions; for the first time in his life, he isn’t being allowed to vote “present;” and, for the first time in his life, he is being told “no.” He doesn’t like it, not a bit.

And so he throws a tantrum.

For all his faults, George W. Bush as president took responsibility for his duties and his actions. He really was the “adult in the room.”

Now, with Barack Obama, we instead have a sulking man-child.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The enigma of Barack Obama: how family shapes character

April 25, 2011

One of the great frustrations of the 2008 presidential campaign was the total failure of the establishment media to do anything resembling real journalism regarding the background and history of Barack Obama, the man who would become the Democratic nominee and eventually President. His college records were sealed, his activities while a student in New York and in Chicago as a community organizer were only glanced at, and the people he closely associated with there –Socialist academics, organizers, and former communist terrorists– were dismissed as “people he just knew, nothing special.”

And as for his family background? Well, that became wrapped up and almost impossible to look at dispassionately because of the Birther nonsense that the Obama campaign brilliantly exploited to silence legitimate critics. Whether afraid of being labeled a crank or fearful of having the race card played against them, most critics then and now stay away from looking into those personal, formative experiences that would shape the character and beliefs of a president, preferring to attack him only on policy.

Yet, how can one effectively criticize policy without knowing the man’s character and beliefs, which would tell us not only what he wants to accomplish now, but in the future? To do so is to pick at details while refusing see the grand context that gives them shape and direction.

So, since the major media won’t investigate the President’s background, the fearless Bill Whittle will. This video is part one of a multi-part series looking into the influences on the character and beliefs of President Barack Obama, starting with his parents and grandparents:

And that’s how investigative reporting should be done, neither avoiding sensitive topics nor wallowing in crank conspiracy theories.

I’m looking forward to part two.

RELATED: Some journalists did do extensive work on Obama’s history. Before the election David Freddoso wrote “The Case Against Barack Obama,” which analyzed his rise through the political machines of Cook County, Chicago, and Springfield, seemingly untouched by the mud of Illinois politics. Unfortunately, it came out too late to influence the election. Just last year, journalist Stanley Kurtz published “Radical in Chief,” which is both a political biography of Obama and a history of American Socialism since the 1970s. I reviewed the book a while back and I think it’s crucial to understanding Barack Obama as we go into another election campaign. (And, fair disclosure, I do get a few pennies when the book links are clicked.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just a guy in his neighborhood…

October 20, 2008

The Prophet Barack, when asked by George Stephanopoulos about his relationship with former (and proud) terrorist William Ayers, dismissed him as “just a guy in my neighborhood.” In other words, contact was incidental, trivial, unimportant. He hardly knew him.

Ayers was “just a guy” with whom Obama shared an office for three years.

And yet Obama never knew of Ayers’ past or his radical, anti-American views on education? The man who worked to have him hired to run the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, through which Obama then funneled over $1,000,000 to Ayers’ pet educational project? (And which happened to be run from the same address…)

Puh-lease. Talk to the hand

Again, the problem isn’t that Barack Obama worked with an unrepentant ex-terrorist and (to this day) anti-American educator whose writings he admired, or that he directed millions toward this man’s projects to no discernable good for the children of Chicago (though either alone is bad enough), it’s that he has repeatedly lied about this relationship and, when caught in one lie, rapidly shifted to another lie.

Elections are about policies and character, and Obama’s serial evasions about his relationship with Bill Ayers speak volumes about his character and integrity.

And they render him unfit to be president.

LINKS: More at Gateway Pundit.

EDIT: Fixed some old, broken links, 9/26/2010 .


Obama, lies, and education

September 24, 2008

One of the vague, fuzzy areas of Barack Obama’s resume is his time on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, both as a member and as its chairman. Given the charge that Obama lacks the executive experience to be president, one would think he’d like to tout the experience he gained running a foundation that distributed over $100,000,000 to Chicago-area educational programs during his tenure.

One would be wrong.

The reason is his connection to William Ayers, a former Weather Underground terrorist and current Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ayers (and his wife, fellow terrorist Bernadine Dohrn) have never renounced their radical left, anti-American beliefs. Ayers and Dohrn were also instrumental in launching Obama’s political career with a reception at their house in 1995. When his association with Ayers became a problem for Obama during the primaries, he tried to minimize his connection to the inactive terrorist, referring to him as just “a guy in my neighborhood” and glossing over their relationship at Annenberg.

That, in effect, was a lie.

Stanley Kurtz, a journalist who works regularly for National Review, went to Chicago to examine the records of the CAC on deposit at the UIC Daley library. After an initial stonewalling, he was granted access to the papers. What he has found is revealing about both the work of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Obama’s character.

Regarding the Obama-Ayers relationship, Kurtz writes:

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago’s public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation’s other key body, the “Collaborative,” which shaped education policy.

The CAC’s basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s “recruitment” to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

(Emphasis added)

So Ayers, a man who regrets not planting enough bombs in the 70s, was instrumental in both hiring Obama at CAC and playing a major role at the start of his political career. Sounds like more than just a “guy in my neighborhood” to me.

Sounds like Obama was trying to cover up the truth.

According to Kurtz, the records of the CAC show that Obama and Kurtz worked closely together. Just what kind of work did they do? The Chicago Annenberg Challenge ostensibly was supposed to funnel money to schools to work to improve public education. Most people, when they think “improve public education,” have in mind better test scores in reading and math, more exposure to the arts and sciences, work meant to help children lead better lives as adults.

Not at CAC under Ayers and Obama. Kurtz, again:

The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland’s ghetto.

In works like “City Kids, City Teachers” and “Teaching the Personal and the Political,” Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? “I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist,” Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk’s, “Sixties Radicals,” at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with “external partners,” which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

So, instead of teaching children how to read, the CAC under Obama and Ayers was more concerned with teaching them how to “fight oppression.” CAC’s own auditors evaluated the organization’s work and found it made no difference in the test scores of Chicago’s students. None. After spending $100,000,000.

No wonder Obama doesn’t want to talk about this.

(Side note: ACORN, which has a close relationship with Obama, is also notorious for being suspected of voter-registration fraud.)

There are two problems here. One is the work itself: not only was the CAC useless at actually improving the skill levels of Chicago’s students, it instead made them guinea pigs in a radical Left experiment that was about anything but real education. The money was wasted, those students’ time was wasted. And Barack Obama was in charge. Think about that, and then think about the federal role in education policy. The Secretary of Education is the president’s employee.

The second and, to my mind, more serious problem relates to Obama’s character. All politicians fudge their records and bend the truth to give voters what they want to hear: it’s an inescapable feature of a mass democracy — we demand it of them and shouldn’t be shocked when it happens.

But Barack Obama has done far more than fudge his relationship with William Ayers: he has been fundamentally deceptive about the nature of his relationship with an unrepentant (albeit inactive) communist terrorist, the depth of that relationship, and their work together. This goes beyond bending the truth: this is lying, and the efforts to block access to the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge are themselves indicative of a guilty conscience. Someone knew the truth of what those records would show and wanted them kept sealed, someone who feared voters would reject Obama if they knew the truth of his association with a terrorist and his support for that terrorist’s radical educational agenda.

Elections are about policy and character. Voters weigh each when making their choice. What the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge show about the policies and especially the character of Barack Obama also show that he is unfit to be President of the United States.

LINKS: More Kurtz at NRO. Pajamas Media. The Weekly Standard. Hot Air. Power Line. Sister Toldjah.

EDIT: Added WordPress tags, 9/26/2010