Sunday Links Fiesta, debate-skipping edition

January 8, 2012

I still can’t bring myself to watch the Republican debates: the quiz-show format, the never-ending quest for the gotcha moment or highlight soundbite, and (usually) liberal MSM hacks asking questions of conservative Republicans. (And on that last, I say “WTF??”)

Thank God there’s NFL football on.

But there are also good articles to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Here are a few I want to commend to your attention:

Debt-Watch: Senator (and future president) Marco Rubio has had enough with debt ceiling increases and wrote a scathing letter to President Obama to announce his opposition to another increase. Key phrase: “…the first three years of your presidency have been a profile in leadership failure.” Ouch!

Operation Fast & Furious: Three key ATF officials have been reassigned pending the DoJ Inspector General’s report. More scapegoats to protect Eric Holder and President Obama?

High-Speed Railroad-mania: For some reason, the statist Left are obsessed with high-speed railroads. (I suspect it’s a control-thing for them.) China’s vaunted program has been mired in scandal, while California’s proposed high-speed boondoggle has neared $100 billion in projected costs. So, what does the supposedly conservative (and definitely broke) government of the UK propose to do? Build their own high-speed railroad! James Delingpole calls it Britain’s “latest suicidal gesture.”

American Decline-Watch: President Obama announced massive cuts in military spending and active forces. The President says this will make American forces leaner and more efficient, while meeting our defense needs. Analyst Max Boot say these cuts put America on a “suicidal trajectory.” I agree with Max. For a reminder that American decline is a deliberate choice by Obama and his allies, have a look at Charles Krauthammer’s brilliant “decline is a choice.”

ObamaCare: The Supreme Court will be holding hearings on the constitutionality of ObamaCare soon. In preparation, Mario Loyola and other conservative-libertarian scholars have filed a brief explaining why not only should the individual mandate be struck down, but other key provisions, too.

Candidates-Watch: I’ve announced my support for Governor Perry for president, but other candidates are worth looking at, too. Fred Barnes argues that Governor Romney is more conservative than we think. I’m not wholly convinced, but thought there was enough here to chew over to make it worth passing along. Meanwhile, at Conservative Commune, a conservative, pro-life, Catholic woman makes the case against Rick Santorum.

Liberal Fascism-Watch: Call it “statism,” “the Chicago Way,” the “thugocracy,” whatever, President Obama is showing an arrogance and disregard for constitutional government that I have never seen in my lifetime. (In fact, I suspect this is what a Huey Long presidency would have looked like). At City Journal, Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin write about “The New Authoritarianism.” It’s alarmist, but rightfully so. Meanwhile, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy takes Obama and the Democrats to the woodshed for violating the constitutional order and the Republicans for doing nothing to stop it.

Birthday-Watch: It was Kim Jong-Un’s birthday this weekend, though it’s a state secret as to just which day it is. The Telegraph has video of the latest Dear Leader celebrating by doing his best Michael Dukakis impression and driving a tank. Really, these NoKo propaganda videos are almost an entertainment genre themselves. My favorite is the happy soldiers jumping up and down for joy at the little Un’s visit.

Finally, food: After all those annoying or depressing articles, doesn’t some comfort food sound good? And what’s a better side dish for breakfast than potatoes? You’ll love these “Perfect Breakfast Potatoes,” from Crepes of Wrath.

Hey, I’m not all-politics, all the time, y’know!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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New Tone Watch: fellow Americans are sons of you-know-whats. UPDATED: Palin answers Hoffa

September 6, 2011

I have this vague memory of a time long ago —last January, in fact– when the President of the United States spoke at a memorial for the victims of the Tucson massacre and called for a calming of heated rhetoric and for a “new tone” in our political debates.

Silly me. That was then, this is now.

This last Labor Day, President Obama spoke in Detroit to an audience of union workers. Leading up to his speech, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., (1) spoke to the crowd and gave us an example of that new tone in action:

Um… yeah. In case you missed that due to all the marbles in this thug’s mouth, here’s the key moment via RCP:

“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Jimmy Hoffa said to a heavily union crowd.

“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa added.

(Emphasis added.)

About the only thing missing were the brown shirts and steel helmets. (And yes, I deliberately “went there.”)

Not to worry, though. Right after Hoffa’s speech, the President called him out and gave him exactly what-for:

That’s telling him! (What, you were expecting him to criticize a union boss?)

Let’s go back to that awful day in Tucson when Representative Giffords and several other people were gunned down by a delusional nut. Almost immediately, the baying hounds of the Democratic Party, their media allies, and the Left blogosphere jumped all over Sarah Palin for her supposedly violent rhetoric and an obscure campaign graphic for the 2010 election that used crosshairs to symbolize Democrats targeted for defeat. Though hunting and military imagery has been common in American politics for centuries, these sanctimonious yahoos acted as if Palin had herself whispered in the shooter’s ear, giving him orders. Hence Obama’s “above it all” call for a new tone.

Now, imagine if Sarah Palin, in Iowa and New Hampshire for rallies this weekend, had said what Hoffa said, calling fellow citizens SOBs and talking of war. How would the Democrats react? Or what would be the reaction in the media (2) if she or any Republican or conservative leader had said how proud she was of someone who cursed their political opponents and used indisputably violent rhetoric?

You and I both know they be all over this like ants at a picnic. (3)

Now, I’m not saying Hoffa was encouraging actual violence or that unions themselves are violent (Maybe. Kinda.) or that Obama ever would endorse violence (Well…), but, you see… To call it “rank, cynical hypocrisy” would be to state the obvious.

Meet the new tone, same as the old tone.

Footnotes:
(1) “Hoffa.” “Teamsters.” Now those are words any politician should want associated with his name. Yeesh. Well, maybe in Chicago…
(2) In case you’re wondering, most of the mainstream media have been silent on this story.
(3) For what it’s worth, so would most of the Right. But I doubt we’d have to, since our side doesn’t ally with legbreakers.

UPDATE: via Michelle Malkin, no wonder Jimmy Hoffa likes President Obama so much. “You scratch my back, and I’ll bust some heads for you.”

UPDATE 2: Sarah Palin answered Hoffa on her Facebook page today. No cursing, no calls to violence, just some honest  talk going over  the heads of the union bosses and straight to the membership. The key paragraphs:

To see where this leads, look at what’s happening to the working class in our industrialized cities. These cities are going to hell in a hand basket thanks to corruption, crony capitalism, and the union bosses’ greed. The union bosses derive their power from your union dues and their promise to deliver your votes to whichever politician they’re in bed with. They get their power from you, and yet their actions ultimately hurt you. They’re chasing American industry offshore by making outrageous, economically illogical demands that they know will never work. And now that they’ve chased jobs out of union states, they’re trying to chase them out of right-to-work states like South Carolina, so eventually the jobs will leave America altogether. But these union bosses will still figure out a way to keep their gig, and so will their politically aligned corporate friends. As long as these big corporations have a good crony capitalist in the White House, they can rely on DC to bail them out until the whole system goes bankrupt, which, I am afraid, is not very far off. When big government, big business, and big union bosses collude together, they get government to maximize their own interests against those of the rest of the country.

So, now these union bosses are desperately trying to cast the grassroots Tea Party Movement as being “against the workingman.” How outrageously wrong this unapologetic Jim Hoffa is, for the people’s movement is the real movement for working class men and women. It’s rooted in real solidarity, and not special interests and corporate kickbacks. It represents the needed reform that will empower workers and job creators. We stand with the little guy against the corruption and influence peddling of those who collude to grease the wheels of government power.

This collusion is at the heart of Obama’s economic vision for America. In practice it is socialism for the very rich and the very poor, but a brutal form of capitalism for the rest of us. It is socialism for the very poor who are reduced to a degrading perpetual dependence on a near-bankrupt centralized government to provide their every need, while at the same time robbing them of that which brings fulfillment and success – the life-affirming pride that comes from taking responsibility for your own destiny and building a better life through self-initiative and work ethic. And Obama’s vision is socialism via crony capitalism for the very rich who continue to get bailouts, debt-ridden “stimulus” funds, and special favors that allow them to waive off or help draft the burdensome regulations that act as a boot on the neck to small business owners who don’t have the same friends in high places. And where does this collusion leave working class Americans and the small business owners who create 70% of the jobs in this country? Out in the cold. It’s you and your children who are left paying for the cronyism of Obama and our permanent political class in DC.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Violence? Look for the union label. UPDATED: video link added

August 17, 2011

Ever notice how the Right is regularly accused of violent rhetoric, fascist sympathies, and plain-old knuckle-dragging thuggishness, but it’s from the Left that we usually see garbage like this:

Ohio Business Owner Shot For Being Non-Union, Police Investigating

With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home.

(…)

Last Wednesday, however, the attacks on Mr. John King became much more serious when he was awakened late in the evening at his home in Monroe County, Michigan and saw that the motion lights in his driveway had come on.  When he looked out his front window, he saw a figure near his SUV and went outside.

As soon as he got outside his front door, King yelled at the individual who was crouched down by King’s vehicle. As soon as King yelled, the suspect stood and, without hesitation, fired a shot at Mr. King.

Luckily for King, as he yelled, he also stumbled. If it weren’t for that, however, John King’s injuries might have been much, much worse. In fact, he might have been killed.

Upon scrambling back into his house, King got to his cell phone and called 911. However, due to the pain in his knees and shoulder from falling, King was unaware that he had been shot in the arm.

At first, King thought that his assailant was merely trying to break into his vehicle. Little did he know, however, that the perpetrator was targeting him–because of his non-union company.

The night of the shooting, police recovered a shell casing from a small caliber handgun. In addition to the shell casing, police also found a Swiss Army knife that police say was likely going to be used to slice the tires on King’s SUV.

While neither the police, nor Mr. King can say which union was behind the attack, it is very clear by the word ’scab’ scrawled on his SUV that it the attack was union-related.

Emphasis added.

What upsets the unionistas isn’t that King is exploiting defenseless workers like some caricature of an 1890s robber baron. No, they’re angry because he is providing jobs they can’t, because his union-free status allows him to charges prices in-line with a bad economy, while the labor union’s cartel’s contracts have priced them out of the market. In other words, they would rather their workers have no work at all, if it can’t be under the union’s terms.

And those who defy them get their property and even their lives threatened.

Tell me again who the fascists and the thugs are?

RELATED: I suppose Kenneth Gladney should be glad he was only beaten into a wheelchair by union thugs, and not shot. “Labor Union Report,” the author of the quoted article, maintains a very informative site that tracks union intimidation, corruption, and violence. He (or she) can also be followed on Twitter.

FOR THE RECORD: I am not opposed to private-industry* labor unions per se; the right to form one is part of our right to freely associate under the First and Fourteenth amendments. However, I am unalterably opposed to laws that force one to join a union just to have a job; not only does that deny the freedom of the individual negotiate his own contract (yes, I’m a fan of Lochner), it creates a labor cartel that enables price-fixing just as harmful to the consumer as any corporate monopoly. And when labor unions engage in intimidation and violence, they become little better than rackets and should be treated as such.

*(As for public-employee unions, I agree with that noted conservative, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)

UPDATE: Breitbart.TV has video of an interview with John King, the victim in the shooting.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Life under gangster government: Obama’s $20 billion bank heist

May 19, 2011

And a bunch of states’ attorney generals looking to pander for votes are in on the job. Karl Rove blows the whistle:

At last Wednesday’s “CBS Town Hall,” President Obama said he was “trying to . . . figure out how we can get the banks to do more” on modifying mortgage loan payments. Perhaps, he said, people whose mortgages are underwater should get a “principal reduction, which will be good for the person who owns . . . the home.”

Mr. Obama has decided that taxpayers have no appetite for bailing out homeowners who don’t make their payments, or for rescuing those whose homes are worth less than their mortgages. Instead, he’s backing a proposal by his Department of Justice and state attorneys general to force major banks to cough up the dough.

The money would come from a settlement with JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks accused of “robo-signing,” in which foreclosure documents were signed by bank employees or agents without properly certifying all the papers. The attorneys general admit that virtually no one was erroneously foreclosed upon because of robo-signing. The banks foreclosed on people who were on average 18 months delinquent, and after multiple attempts to modify the loan had been tried and failed.

But Justice and the state attorneys general are demanding $20 billion for sloppiness, which they will then be able to hand out to voters—and potential supporters. The money won’t come from the banks; it will come from their customers, millions of whom will pay more in fees and interest and will, in some cases, be denied credit.

This stinks. It’s not only corrupt, it’s bad policy.

As Rove points out, only a few people were hurt in the robo-signing “scandal,” and the proper solution would have been to make them whole with some additional compensation, including returning them to their homes.  Instead, Ali Obama and his 40 Thieves President Obama and the state AGs are abusing the law to extort billions from the banks –at the customers’ ultimate cost– that can then be used to plug state budget gaps or as bait for votes. Far from doing justice, the robo-signing problem has been an excuse to do a great injustice, both to the banks and to the original victims, whose cause has been forgotten.

Michael Barone called this “gangster government” and “thugocracy;” we know it as “The Chicago Way.”

It sure isn’t the Rule of Law.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When Texas burns, the Fed rushes into action… in Mexico??

May 11, 2011

In case you missed it, much of Texas is burned up, literally; according to Kevin Williamson at NRO, about 3400 square miles have gone up in flames, an area the size of Puerto Rico. Williamson uses this fact to excoriate President Obama for coming to Texas to raise money and sell his non-starter of an immigration plan while refusing to even tour devastated areas, let alone declaring a federal disaster area.

But he saves the cherry on the sundae for last:

To its credit, the Obama administration has dispatched aircraft to help with the firefighting . . . in Mexico.

MEXICO??

Following Williamson’s link, we find that he really did:

Two specially equipped U.S. Air Force cargo planes left Colorado on Saturday to help battle wildfires in northern Mexico.

The C-130s were requested by the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department, a U.S. Northern Command spokesman said.

The planes can spray about 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in a matter of seconds from a system of pressurized tanks called Modular Aerial Fire Fighting System or MAFFS.

The fires have burned 386 square miles in Mexico — one-ninth of what’s been destroyed in Texas — and yet the Obama administration won’t send help to Texas but will to Mexico? Mr. President… Barry… WTF??

Oh, and you want to know the best part? The planes will be flying from a base… in Texas.

That sound you heard was the sound of the back of Obama’s hand meeting Governor Perry’s face.

Look, I have no problem helping Mexico, per se; we have plenty of resources in the Western states. But it seems to me that you take care of your own people, first, and then lend what you can spare to help the neighbors. This looks like nothing more than the administration taking out its petty anger at Texas and its governor for not voting for Obama and for not supporting his policies. President Peevish apparently only helps those who help him, regardless of the duties of his job.

So, let’s consider. On the one hand:

  • He seemed indifferent to the  flooding that devastated Nashville in 2010.
  • He is ignoring fires that are ravaging Texas in 2011.
  • He is wrecking the Gulf Coast economy with his permitorium, in defiance of a federal court order.

On the other:

Three-to-one. I’d say it’s pretty clear his natural instincts are to go with the “gangster government” approach to governance: “If you play nice, you get help. But if you cross me, you can burn for all I care.”

Literally.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

CLARIFICATION: The linked article discussing planes sent to help Mexico is from April 16th, nearly a month ago. I should have noted that and apologize for any confusion. However, as an article from the Christian Science Monitor, dated just two days later, shows, Governor Perry was asking for help way back then. So, why the hold up?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


To be Black and a Tea Partier…

April 17, 2011

Makes one doubleplusungood, apparently:

It seems these exemplars of Our Betters on the Left (all bow) didn’t get the memo about the new, more civil tone their leaders demanded of us all* in the wake of the Giffords shooting. I’m sure they’re sorry and won’t ever let it happen again.†

via Legal Insurrection

LINKS: My blog-buddy ST has further examples of New Tone Patriotism in action.

*Actually, no they didn’t. Those sanctimonious hypocrites such as Pelosi, Dean, and Matthews really only demanded conservatives shut up. Because that’s the only argument they have left.

†And if you believe that one…


Public employee unions show their true face

February 18, 2011

Forget the overheated rhetoric and signs comparing democratically elected governors and legislators to Hitler and rapists. Forget the spoiled-brat demands and Athens-style protests for the unquestioned continuation of gold-plated benefits that most private-sector workers would give their eye teeth for.  You want to know just how much of a threat to democracy, representative government, and the general safety public-employee unions can be when threatened?

Try to take away their goodies, and they’ll go after your mother:

Idaho has a “superintendent of public instruction,” and his name is Tom Luna. He has proposed some measures that the teachers’ union doesn’t like, at all. And his opponents have made sure that he feels good and threatened.

Someone went to his mother’s house — his mother’s. Someone slashed his tires and spray-painted a threat onto the door. As reported in this article, Luna has said, “Family and personal property are off-limits. You don’t cross that line . . .”

Oh, yes, you do. At least some do. I will repeat what I have already said this morning: I don’t want to hear from the Left about “civility” for the rest of my life.

Neither “civility” nor “democracy.” And this is in deep-Red Idaho!

This isn’t just (or at all) a fight over benefits or economics; this is a struggle over who has power — the elected representatives of the people or union bosses and their paid-for allies in the Democratic Party. Right now it’s just Idaho, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, but the battles here and, inevitably, in other states will determine who has that power. The Left has drawn such hard lines already against any reform that the governors can’t afford to back down, lest they let Labor know the elected representatives of the people  can be intimidated through intransigence and thuggery. It’s a sad thing for decent union members who would likely have accepted reasonable compromise if the situation had been honestly explained to them, but their leaders have lead them into a battle that forces the governors to break the unions in order to keep faith with their voters — the taxpayers who are the public employees’ real bosses.

More than being about fiscal soundness, this is a battle between representative democracy and corporatism.

Regarding the President shameful insertion of himself into what is purely a matter for state governments, Matt Welch at Reason cuts through the bull and asks “Is this how a President should act?

I have written in the past about how libertarians are pretty lonely in the political scheme of things in terms of constantly being challenged to defend themselves against the “logical conclusion” of their philosophy. But I think it’s time to amend that. We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party’s philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people’s money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street’s fault. Anyone who doesn’t agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler.

The president’s heavy-handed involvement, along with House Republicans’ refusal to sign off on any new bailout of the states, means that this may very well be America’s biggest and most widespread political fight in 2011. It’s a cage match to determine first dibs on a shrinking pie. A clarifying moment.

And that clarity will not work to the unions’ benefit. The public is on to their racket.

Break them.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)