It’s Always ‘Too Soon’

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when the “right” time to delve into so-called “gun control” has arrived. Once the smoke clears, we all step back into the rhetorical ring for another round of debate about what liberals call “gun violence” and conservatives call either “crime” or the lyrics to a rap album.

Of course, the actual debate takes a moment to get under way. First, the media have to descend on the bereaved and gorge themselves on misery like buzzards feasting on roadkill. In the Newtown, Conn., nightmare, ABC News editorial producer Nadine Shubailat began stalking victims’ families and friends on Twitter, begging for face time, until outraged respondents buried her Twitter feed in an avalanche of spam. Meanwhile, the Democrats had to take a moment to adhere to Rahm Emanuel’s famous adage: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Barack Obama’s creepy little pet, David Axelrod, even tried hyping Obama’s gun-control speech (which was ostensibly supposed to comfort the Nation) to direct people to donate to Obama’s 2012 Presidential campaign. Nothing says “we care” like exploiting dead children to grub for cash for an electoral effort that ended six weeks ago.

Among the citizenry, emotions run high, often obfuscating reason. Some proffer laughable conspiracy theories, my favorite involving both the Aurora theater shooter and the Newtown murderer being stooges for a secret gun-lobby conspiracy trying to create an artificial spike in prices. Others try to resurrect the ridiculous talking point about the 2nd Amendment referring only to flintlock muskets and blunderbusses. They blissfully ignore that abortion is now Constitutionally protected.

And we must not forget magazine capacity. Anti-2nd Amendment zealots suggest that no one needs high-capacity magazines. But Connecticut already bars the sale thereof. In fact, Connecticut is a liberal’s paradise regarding gun laws. Capacity makes no real difference. A determined shooter with even moderate training can cycle through 10- or even 5-round magazines in rapid succession. When the shooter is spurred on by the voices in his head and the victims are 5- and 6-year-olds, he doesn’t even have to be all that proficient. Hell, terrorist Timothy McVeigh was highly proficient with firearms — as an Army veteran, he was probably better with an M4 than Adam Lanza ever hoped to be — and he didn’t need a firearm at all. In China, some hopped-up lunatic went after a couple dozen schoolchildren with a knife about 18 hours before Lanza proceeded with his grisly plan. The Chinese, who have gun control to quail the hearts of even the Brady Campaign, have seen a number of such attacks in just the past few years.

Still others took advantage of the situation to press an assault against the National Rifle Association. Twitter was set ablaze by concerned liberals issuing death threats to not only the group’s members, but their children as well.

Liberals are so opposed to violence that they’re positively homicidal over it.

Gun control is really people control. And people can be controlled a lot more simply than an ill-advised frontal assault on the Bill of Rights. When I first offered my curriculum vitae to Bob Livingston, I remarked that gun control requires nothing more than common sense: You don’t allow criminals, illegal aliens or the guy down the street with a tinfoil hat access to firearms. Imposing draconian measures on the only part of the populace likely to abide by them merely tilts the field in favor of the criminal element. For those who remain unconvinced, take a look at Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. (I suggest you do so from inside a tank.)

So-called “assault rifles,” high-capacity magazines, the NRA and one or two really intricate conspiracy theories might qualify as meaningful debate among liberal audiences who are as receptive to dissent as a Third World dictator, but they aren’t really the topics we ought to be discussing in the wake of Sandy Hook or any significant tragedy. From Newtown to Oklahoma City to China, the problem is on full display; and that problem isn’t guns.

Gun-grabbers claim they want to have a meaningful discussion about societal violence. I’m fine with that. Let me know when they’re ready to start.

–Ben Crystal

Angels Among Us

I probably started and aborted a dozen different columns before I wrote this one. What happened Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., doesn’t lend itself to easy expression. After all, the massacre which stole away the lives of 27 people, including 20 children, so exceeds the capacity of mere words that even remarks like “words fail me” seem trite and clichéd.

Yet words dominate the discourse in the wake of the tragedy. Of course, the nature of this unimaginable horror engenders the usual debates about gun control. And the usual suspects tread far beyond the borders of dignity in trying to exploit the misery for ideological purposes. I even found myself participating in a fairly civilized discussion featuring a wide variety of viewpoints.

But my heart just wasn’t in it. To be honest, I still can’t bring myself to examine the root causes and long-term ramifications of Friday morning’s waking nightmare. I’m not suggesting the inevitable debates are not worth the time; they are. If we 2nd Amendment supporters want to be heard on topics such as abortion, then we have to be willing to listen to the opposite side on firearms. And there will be time for that talk. I just don’t feel like having it yet.

Don’t mistake my hesitation for excessive emotion; I’m neither avoiding the topic, nor am I trying to attach myself to the tragedy like one of those “victim-by-proxy” types from whom we hear way too much in the wake of every public horror. There is an issue that I want to address, and I think it offers a bit of light in this latest darkness into which a madman has plunged us. A friend of mine, an unrepentant atheist, took to expressing his rage at Friday’s horror by citing it as proof that God doesn’t — couldn’t — exist. Now, this friend of mine is neither stupid nor evil. And I’m willing to cede some space to him. After all, who among us can honestly say in moments like Friday morning that we haven’t shaken our fists and thundered at the Almighty?

But His voice was audible above the din. To be sure, the events which unfolded do quail even the stoutest of hearts. Twenty babies stolen from the world by a soul consumed by darkness; six adults who sacrificed everything to protect those they could. Every bit of the story is sad. It’s hard to imagine finding even a kernel of joy amid such unrelenting pain. Yet the proverbial rose blooms amid the thorns. Those six teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary gave up their very lives in an effort to save their charges. Against unstoppable evil (not to mention the basic instinct to preserve one’s own life), they charged an armed assailant; they threw themselves into a hail of bullets; they placed themselves directly between certain death and young life.

That’s magnificent. That’s beautiful. That’s miraculous. A world which occasionally produces a monster like Adam Lanza also produced six angels named Victoria Soto, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel D’Avino and Mary Sherlach. I will bask in the spiritual light of their heavenly sacrifice rather than squat in the shadow of the murderer’s onslaught. Lanza made noise, but theirs are the voices I will hear.

We ask God to tell us why animals like Lanza exist; He answers with Soto, Hochsprung, Murphy, Rousseau, D’Avino and Sherlach. To those who refuse to believe: You’re welcome to deny Him based on what happened Friday morning in Newton. But that doesn’t mean He denies you. And to those who ask how He could allow Lanza to commit such crimes: Without villains, the world has no heroes. Without demons, there can be no angels. Without the crimes of the worst of us, we might never know the grace of our best.

The Almighty allows us the gift of free will. Some squander it, even desecrate it. Others rise to new heights of greatness. I choose to gaze just a while longer at the latter, if only to remind myself that they are — and that they carry me — closer to Him.

–Ben Crystal

An Unholy Union

During the course of the pitched battle Tuesday between union thugs and the people of Michigan, the Democratic Party, which usually pretends its union storm troopers are no more prone to violence than my Labrador retriever, took an unusual step by actually tweeting its endorsement of the union thugs’ physical tactics: “There will be blood.” The tweet, which was deleted far too late for the blogosphere to miss it, represented a none-too-subtle statement of support as the unions — notably the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — tried to undo Michigan’s decision to join 23 other States in declaring right-to-work conditions.

Michigan has struggled mightily in recent years. Thanks to endless Democratic hegemony and the death-grip unions have used to choke the life out of former economic cornerstones like the automotive industry — not to mention the usual suffocation created by almost unbelievable corruption in places like the dying hulk of Detroit — Michiganders face 9.1 percent unemployment. Thus did the State Legislature push to open the labor pool to people unwilling to pay a fee to some union crime syndicate for the right to work. And thus did the unions respond by unleashing the kind of violence usually seen only in the Detroit mayor’s office and the late, unlamented “Occupy” movement.

Tweet

Perhaps bolstered by the Democrats’ tweets of endorsement, the unions went on an even more mindless than usual rampage throughout the day, attacking a FOX News contributor on camera and trampling a conservative group’s tent while the conservative group was still inside. And with the Democratic Party of Michigan’s call to arms still echoing, Barack Obama mouthpiece Jay Carney said about its incitement: “I’m not sure (the offending words) mean what someone interprets them to mean.”  Jay Carney is neither the Merriam nor the Webster of the modern age, but it’s tough to imagine “there will be blood” is open to all that much interpretation. In essence, Carney’s dismissal of the unions’ tactics is Obama weighing in on the chaos by hiding in the closet.

And yet “there will be blood.” The tweet was deleted hastily; I’m guessing after party functionaries realized they could be held liable should their union thug brethren start sending their enemies to that great New Jersey Turnpike rest stop in the sky. And the media certainly didn’t fall all over themselves to squawk in outrage over the overt threat of politically motivated violence — perhaps because they were waiting for instructions from their Democratic masters on how to spin and/or ignore it. Nonetheless, the message was clear: The people of Michigan want to pursue work without the added nightmare of required union involvement, and the Democrats and the union thugs will draw blood — or worse — to stop them.

The battle between the people of Michigan and the Democratic Party ought to serve as a reminder — and not just of the danger of allowing too many union members to congregate without responsible supervision. Obama’s re-election despite scandals like Operation Fast and Furious and Benghazi, Libya, has given the Democrats the impression that minor details like the rule of law and common decency no longer apply. In turn, they’ve green-lit an all-out assault on everyone who stands up to them. In Michigan, the unions not only got physical with the people they perceive to be enemies, but the teachers’ unions walked out on the kids to back their fellow Big Labor brute squad members.

The war between the unions and the people of Michigan calls to mind the similar battles fought in Indiana earlier in 2012 and in Wisconsin last year. More importantly, it reveals that the Democrats’ reliance on lies, cover-ups and corporate media excuse-making and demagoguery may be replaced by outright violence. Should that be the case — and the union thugs’ behavior certainly indicates it is — then life in the good ol’ U.S. of A. is about to get a lot more interesting.

–Ben Crystal

Not Worth The Effort

Last week, word filtered back from the Mideast: Syria, normally a veritable Shangri-La, loaded chemical weapons into warheads for deployment against rebels in the civil war which has torn the land asunder and absorbed billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives. While initial reactions focused on details such as the source of the weapons of mass destruction and/or how feisty Israel might respond to the news, the bigger question loomed: whither the United States?

Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned the regime of Bashar Assad against doing an impression of Saddam Hussein circa 1988, cautioning him against crossing what she called a “red line.” Assad should be careful. After the “red line” comes the yellow line. Beyond that lies the dreaded fuchsia line… I think. Actually, Clinton’s warning on behalf of President Barack Obama is no laughing matter. If I were Assad, I’d be quaking in my keffiyeh.

Obama’s once-lauded stance against war has, ahem, evolved. And the installation of the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and absolute chaos in Libya prove that Obama’s evolutionary progression is taking him farther from the Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t earn. He seems to have developed an enjoyment of war without any sense of responsibility for the outcome. Hell, he and his cronies are behind the deaths of no fewer than five Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador. And rather than admit that he and his accomplices hit the guardrail, he led an effort to leave the scene of the accident.

Should Syria — one of the world’s top supporters of terrorism — engage in chemical weapons attacks on its own people, the eyes of the world will turn toward the United States. Like Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush before him, Obama has made it clear he won’t tolerate such tactics — hence Clinton’s “red line” remark.  But what form would the U.S. response take? As Libya taught everyone outside Obama’s coterie of cretins, aerial strikes and material support serve only to destabilize an already wobbly situation. Giving guns and ammo to the slightly less bad guys is the diplomatic version of kicking out a table leg. In a worst-case scenario (as Obama should have learned from Benghazi), covering up the murders of Americans at the hands of Islamofascists armed by America is a real hassle.

Eliminating half-assed regime change efforts — and we should — seemingly leaves only two options: do nothing or roll heavy into Damascus like we’re Notre Dame and they’re the Crimson Tide’s cheerleaders. However, dropping the proverbial house on Assad and his goons requires justification. We can’t really say it’s about human rights (ask George W. Bush how well that blarney flies). We can’t even really say it’s about securing oil; Syria is hardly a spigot — and the country’s intramural squabble has severely dented what little petroleum it does manage to squeeze from the bedrock. Heck, if we wanted oil that badly, we could invade Mexico.  Considering the success of the Democrats’ votes-for-amnesty-for-votes plan, invading our Southern neighbor would take considerably less effort; most of their population is seemingly on our side of the border already.

What about a third option? Perhaps we could give our boys and girls in uniform a break.  Instead of committing them to fighting in their third hellhole inside a decade, we could task them with securing a reasonable defensive perimeter around Syria (we could use some of those troops we’re pretending we don’t still have in Iraq). Then we can sit back and let the Islamofascists kill the other Islamofascists. That’s a win-win for the whole world.

Syria is a dump. Its leaders have wrecked their own economy, and the place is a mess. Think: Detroit with sand. Sure, there’s some cool old stuff; Jordan, Israel and Egypt have cooler old stuff. With a resurgent Russia, a still-sinister China and a host of other issues facing us here and abroad, let’s allow Syria to shake itself out… or apart.

–Ben Crystal

An American Hero

On Thursday, I shared with you the story of Devin McLean and the decision by his former employer, AutoZone, to terminate him due to his violation of its policy forbidding firearms on company property. I shared with you the tale of McLean racing to his car to retrieve a gun and then racing back into his store in order to confront a miscreant known colloquially as the “fake beard bandit.” And I related the tale of McLean’s heroic actions, preventing not only a robbery by a known offender, but the possible murder of his store manager.

That McLean, an Air Force veteran and father-to-be, is a hero is hardly a debatable point. However, McLean himself called the offices of Personal Liberty Digest Thursday afternoon to correct some details that have raced across the Internet. McLean asked — and we happily agreed — to inform you all that he is 22, not 23. He did serve in the Air Force, but he was not deployed to Afghanistan. And while the assailant did threaten his store manager, there were no customers in the Yorktown, Va., AutoZone at the time of the attempted robbery. McLean also expressed concern that I described him as “sending the would-be assailant scrambling for cover.” He felt that verbiage indicated that he opened fire, which he did not do.

I am happy to pass along McLean’s concerns and correct details as he requested. But I’d be remiss were I not to draw attention to the fact that McLean worried that he was being depicted as more heroic than he felt was warranted.

Mr. McLean, if there were any doubt about the sort of man you are before, there certainly isn’t now. You’re a 22-year-old Air Force veteran, proud papa-to-be, former AutoZone employee. You’re sharp and humble beyond your years. You, sir, are a hero.

Get Out Of The Zone

Devin McLean is 22 years old. A veteran of the Air Force, McLean served his country and countrymen with pride and honor. After departing the Air Force, McLean went to work at AutoZone. Were you to drop by the Yorktown, Va., AutoZone location where McLean was employed, you likely wouldn’t have noticed him except to ask for directions to the spark plugs. Like hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of his fellow veterans, McLean had almost seamlessly reintegrated into civilian life. Indeed, his concern for his fellow servicemen and servicewomen had been replaced by concern for family; McLean is due to be a first-time father soon.

Last month, as McLean and his manager faced an armed robbery attempt by a man believed to have carried out nearly three dozen similar crimes throughout the region, McLean put his training to good use. He ran to his truck, retrieved his firearm and pointed it at the would-be robber, who then fled the scene. Given the criminal’s alleged history, McLean likely saved a number of lives.

But AutoZone isn’t promoting McLean. It isn’t throwing a party in his honor. He will receive no certificate of appreciation for his valiant efforts. Indeed, instead of accolades for bravery, he received a pink slip for violating corporate policy.

As it turns out, AutoZone has a strict corporate policy forbidding firearms on company property. When McLean moved to defend himself, his coworkers and his customers, he violated that policy. When AutoZone management learned of his heroism, they terminated him. And Devin McLean the hero became Devin McLean the unemployed hero.

The sorry saga of Devin McLean spread across the Web like gonorrhea rocketed through Zuccotti Park during the height of the so-called “Occupy” movement. While most interested parties shared their outrage over AutoZone’s silly stringency, some pointed out that the AutoZone policy was likely motivated by fear of collateral damage arising from an exchange of gunfire in one of the shops. I expect random shootouts are as common at AutoZone as they are at most auto parts supercenters — meaning a no-gun policy is more a result of a corporate fear of lawyers than a corporate fear of warfare breaking out in the brake pad aisle.

If an employee squeezes off a couple of rounds in the parking lot to show off for the transmission guy, then showing him the street is not only reasonable, but required. If an employee saves the transmission guy with a gun he would otherwise have left in his glove box, then firing him is not only silly, but sad. Sure, he violated policy; but had he not done so, the Yorktown store manager might have changed his last fuel filter. Corporate policy is one thing; human life is another. In favoring the former at the potential expense of the latter, AutoZone isn’t acting beyond the realm of corporate reason. After all, it has the right to maintain any policies it wishes, within the bounds of the law. Leave it to the hero himself to offer his former bosses some perspective: “If I can save somebody’s life, I put that way above a store policy.”

AutoZone ought to consider that while it is quite free to enforce a no-gun policy beyond the borders of rigidity, I am likewise free to buy everything from wiper blades to tail lamp bulbs at NAPA.

–Ben Crystal

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Update: This article was corrected to reflect Devin McLean’s correct age and to remove language that indicated he served in Afghanistan (he did not) and that there were employees or customers in the store (there were not), as well as to properly describe the events as McLean said they occurred.

Before The Body Goes Cold

While Jovan Belcher’s final act appalls me, that revulsion is nothing compared to how I feel about the ghouls who jumped on the situation in order to push political ideologies. Writing for FOX Sports, Jason Whitlock managed to turn the orphaning of a 3-month-old into a bizarre rant against the 2nd Amendment.

Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. … What I believe is, if he didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

A man takes a 22-year-old woman’s life, orphans their child and then kills himself, and Whitlock “believes” guns are to blame. Granted, Whitlock is well-known for allowing his political ignorance to obstruct his reason; witness his infamously racist attack on NBA star Jeremy Lin. But he’s hardly the only commentator who has seized on tragedy to promote an assault on the Constitution like a vulture seizing on roadkill. I find it fascinating that pseudo-journalists like Whitlock and his allies in hate groups like the Brady Campaign either can’t or won’t learn that a culture that excuses virtually every perversion, every failure and every crime as somehow being the fault of inanimate objects, YouTube videos or “the rich” might produce exactly this sort of outcome.

Whitlock wasn’t the biggest player to “Belcher” his own credibility on the altar of anti-Constitutional hate; he was simply the first to do so. Sunday night, NBC’s Bob Costas committed what should have been career suicide thusly:

You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.

Oh, poor little Bobby; you went from respected sportscaster to left-wing buffoon in less time than it takes an NFL trainer to tape an ankle. I didn’t expect much from Whitlock; I did expect more from you.

The President and at least two of his accomplices, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice,  have participated in paper-thin cover-ups involving murder, weapons trafficking, perjury and outright lying; and we’re told that anyone who notes their crimes is racist for doing so. Professional athletes behave like steroid-addled gladiators who’ve just been furloughed from the Thunderdome, and we’re supposed to ignore their behavior because they sell tickets and jerseys and/or show up for the occasional charity event. Hell, Charlie Sheen, who is the poster boy for Dionysian self-indulgence, has parlayed coke binges and domestic abuse into wink-nod ad campaigns for Fiat.

It’s important to recognize that there is no such thing as gun control. Gun control is merely a convenient rhetorical camouflage for the real goal of so-called “gun control” proponents’ parent philosophy: “people control.” It’s more important to recognize that the people who desire such control over their fellow citizens are poor choices to wield it. Furthermore, it’s important to recognize that there is no such thing as “gun violence.” There is violence — on the football field, in Chicago and in programs run by the Departments of Justice and State. But that’s all “people” violence.

When agitators like Whitlock and Costas turn a tragedy into a podium from which to expound on their own personal political causes, they not only diminish the suffering of the victims and their loved ones, they distract — often deliberately — from the real root causes of violence and pain. And their macabre attempts to spin political thread from human suffering only compound the real pain being suffered by the real victims.

–Ben Crystal

Ron Paul Told Us There’d Be Days Like This

On Tuesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decried President Barack Obama’s continued refusal to address the “fiscal cliff” toward which their Republican and Democratic accomplices are currently driving us at terminal velocity. According to McConnell, Obama needs to get off “the campaign trail.”

For what it’s worth, McConnell is right. Obama ought to care a great deal more about the crushing debt with which he will burden future generations of Americans — especially considering they’re already going to be saddled with the hassle of learning English as a foreign language. But Obama won, so he doesn’t care about much beyond fixing his putting stroke and making sure Susan Rice wins the State Department’s annual “Miss Benghazi” pageant. Come to think of it, add Obamacare to the list and that’s nearly everything Obama ever cared about. Waiting for him to wise up about combining spending increases with tax hikes at a time when the national debt has increased under his reign from “humongous” to “broken calculator” is about as worthwhile as expecting the first lady to shop in the discount section.

Meanwhile, McConnell — who is supposed to be able to wrangle some sort of unity from the Republican minority — appears to be doing so with all the skill of a blind quadriplegic herding tigers. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) actually seems proud to have abandoned his post as one of the few Horatios at the American economic bridge.

With GOP resistance requiring a B12 injection to reach “token,” it looks like the rest of us ought to prepare ourselves for tax hikes across the board. Obama and the Democrats will claim the hikes will only affect the “rich.” But 401(k)s and mortgage deductions have hit the table, meaning the definition of “rich” is about to get a lot more expansive. On the plus side, the Senate may finally pass a budget for the first time since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was still rigging land deals.

With the Democrats planning to rifle through our sock drawers for loose change and the Republicans cowering like Rahm Emanuel at a tanning salon, to whom will fall the duty of protecting what little we are allowed to keep? The answer is the same as it has been since the days of the founding of our Republic: you (also, me). Upon being asked by a citizen what he and his fellow Framers had wrought, Benjamin Franklin reputedly responded: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” It was our job to preserve and protect ourselves then, and it remains so today.

When the Democrats claim that our fiscal crises are somehow the fault of some amorphous group of wealthy folks, they do so for the sole purpose of pitting the proverbial us against the proverbial them. As they roar their tired class-warfare clichés, the corporate media dutifully make idiotic “fair share” debates the focus. When Republicans concede ground on punitive tax rates and spending cuts (let’s get rid of the Marine Corps, but keep funding Greenandbankrupt.com — or whatever), the Democrats see that as a green light to roll heavy into our wallets.

If Obama’s trouncing of the only-slightly-more-conservative-than-Obama Mitt Romney should have taught the Republicans anything, it’s that Americans are seriously disinterested in replacing pathologically dishonest Democrats with mewling, moderate, milquetoast Republicans. Yet the GOP appears well on its way to flunking “What The Voters Want 101” — again.

And now, both parties are engaged in an attempt to keep the economy from falling off a cliff by yanking the wheel and stepping on the throttle at the same time — meaning we’re still going to take the plunge, but now we’ll be doing it backward. 401(k)s? Mortgage interest deductions? Why not go whole hog and bring back the Democrats’ infamous attempt to tax imputed income from potential room rentals? When the Beatles wrote a song about this in the late 1960s, they were only kidding. Yet I half expect some Internal Revenue Service suit to hand me a bill for sitting down.

A quick glance at the Federal budget reveals no shortage of programs which can and should be cut. The idea that the Feds would respond to a fiscal crisis by ignoring those programs and instead start drooling over our homes, our savings and our future is neither more nor less shameful than the idea that any of these clowns, Republican or Democrat, are allowed to manage a piggy bank, much less our national economic future.

–Ben Crystal

Playing It Straight

They complain endlessly about what they perceive as a conservative bias among certain outlets. They call FOX News “faux news.” They whine about Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck in terms that generally involve the sort of language that used to earn me dinner at the Bar of Soap Saloon. Recently, their beloved Democratic Party super-donor Bill Maher even invited Hannity to commit suicide. Liberals don’t just hate conservatives; they loathe them with every twitching, twisted fiber of their beings.

Of course, liberals are defined by their white-hot hate. Their whole movement is based on pitting Americans against each other. The poor should hate the rich. The weak should hate the strong. The black should hate the white. And opinions that differ from their own are not merely incorrect, they’re deplorable, racist and even criminal. But their opinions are different. Indeed, a perusal of left-wing hate speech sites like Dailykos and media outlets like Current TV reveals that liberals don’t consider their opinions to be opinions at all. Instead, there are opinions, and then there are Democratic talking points; and the latter are actually facts.

Nowhere can the American left’s spectacular self-overestimation be better observed than the NBC Universal brand of news coverage. The outlet’s varsity brand, NBC News, has spiraled into insignificance with an only occasionally lifelike Brian Williams as the lead talking hairdo and the simpering twerp David Gregory transforming the once-respected “Meet the Press” into a softball-pitching machine for President Barack Obama and his accomplices. But the decline and fall of NBC News pales in comparison to the positively Gibbonesque free fall of the second teamers on MSNBC (aka the Democrat Channel).

Nonetheless, while Williams, Gregory and even Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb actually consider themselves real bastions of journalism (with the latter pair actually the closest to fitting the description), they’re predictably defensive when anyone points to their shameless cheerleading-as-reportage. Last week, Democrat Channel President Phil Griffin — whose network tilted its coverage of the election so far to port that it nearly capsized (not one critical story about Obama in the final days before the election and not one positive story about Romney during the same time frame) — actually said the following out loud: “This channel has never been the voice of Obama.”

In a sense, he’s right. Although given how often Obama’s voice says contradictory things, it must be a challenging job to stick with; just ask Chris Matthews. MSNBC is a mere echo of the voice of Obama. A network that willingly pays parasites like Al Sharpton, idiots like Rachel Maddow, violent racists like Larry O’Donnell and plain old lunatics like Matthews just can’t reach high enough to make the travel squad. But Griffin’s remark is especially telling, offering one of those teachable moments of which their beloved Obama is so fond. There is no rational argument for the existence of an unbiased corporate media. But liberals, who never stop roaring their displeasure with the rightward lean of outlets that readily identify themselves as such, not only don’t admit to their own slant, they evidently can’t.

I suppose it’s possible that the hatred and hypocrisy that define American liberalism cloud their thinking so much that the left isn’t aware of its own extreme bent. It’s also possible that liberals have a clear sense of their own biases but consider lying about them a necessity — a spooky parallel to Obama’s own behavior.

When I write, I share with you my opinion. I don’t present myself as a reporter; Personal Liberty Digest offers straight news and identifies it as such. The same could be said by my colleagues here, right up to Bob Livingston himself. I don’t prevaricate about my purpose; nor am I interested in doing so. I like my job, and I am proud to have it. But Griffin’s minions at the Democrat Channel never stop trying to present themselves as journalists. The same can be said for The New York Times, The Washington Post and most any other mainstream outfits that claim to offer “the news.”

Hey, if they can keep their bills paid by shilling shamelessly for Obama and the Democrats, I say more power to them. They’re welcome to sacrifice their dignity in whatever way they see fit. I’m just suggesting they try to emulate, ahem, me a bit more and be honest about who they are.

–Ben Crystal

The Long November

The month of November was nothing if not exciting. War in the Mideast, approaching fiscal cliffs and a scandal involving a cover-up at the highest levels of the Administration and the intelligence community all dominated headlines around the world. Oh, and some guy named Barack Obama won a second Presidential term.

The penultimate month of 2012 opened amid a Presidential campaign that turned out to be about as climactic as a football game between Notre Dame and the Pop Warner champs from one of those Northeastern States where most of the kids play soccer and their parents refer to football as “American football.” As November screeches to a close, Obama is still the President and Notre Dame remains undefeated. But those stories are merely bookends. Let’s bid the month a fond adieu with a stroll down short-term memory lane. For those of you in Colorado or Washington, enjoy your short-term memories while you can. You know what I mean.

With apologies to my crew on The Great Eight, from the studios of the Personal Liberty Digest, it’s time for the top 8 stories of November 2012.

8. Lena Dunham, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Lena Dunham. Dunham used to be another profanely left-wing television writer for profanely left-wing outlet HBO. Now, she’s a profanely left-wing television writer who sold her dignity for a piece of Obama’s coattails. Dunham produced the repulsive YouTube video in which she compared voting for Obama to losing her virginity. It’s hard to say whether Dunham’s efforts had any real effect (the sort of person who could be swayed by such nonsense was probably going to vote for Obama either way), but it certainly made her a rising star in the Democrat ranks. Not long after “My First Time” hit the Web, Dunham was named “woman of the year” by Glamour magazine. So, after Sandra Fluke whored herself out and endured a deserved firestorm of criticism for demanding the taxpayers fund a shockingly promiscuous lifestyle, all she got was second place? I almost feel bad for her — almost. Remember, kids: Sexualizing your politics in support of the Democrats is totally cool. Making fun of people who do is apparently less so.

7. Remember 2005, when Hurricane Katrina rolled into New Orleans? Remember how a population held under the Democrats’ thumbs for more than a century suddenly realized being incapable of self-preservation was a bad thing — albeit too late to do anything beyond whine about their plight? Remember how the Democrats managed to blame their own enforced ignorance on President George W. Bush while carefully ignoring the reprehensible failings of New Orleans Mayor Ray “Chocolate City” Nagin and then-Governor Kathleen “Alligator Tears” Blanco? Remember the people wading through chest-deep waters to save themselves — or at least to get to the shopping center before all the really good stuff got looted? Now think about the Atlantic seaboard during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy’s arrival. Remember how the media couldn’t stop showing us images of helpless citizens, bereft of hope, gathering at the Atlantic City Convention Center, desperately hoping for a rescue? Remember how the Nation roared with rage not only over the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hapless response, but also over Obama’s apparent lack of concern? Remember how hip-hop poseur and drunken idiot Kanye West made headlines with his pointed criticism of Obama’s snail’s pace of a reaction? Yeah, me neither.

6. Good news, everyone. Attorney General Eric Holder — patron of the New Black Panther Party, architect of the Operation Fast and Furious cover-up and Congressional perjurer — will be staying in Washington for the foreseeable future. The good news: If Holder is in Washington, he’s less likely to kill people who live elsewhere. The bad news: He’s the Attorney General. If he wants you dead, he can get to you almost anywhere. And following his Obama-endorsed perjury regarding the disastrous OFF and its attendant body count, it would appear that he won’t be facing any consequences. And let this be a lesson to us all. If you want to get somewhere in life, there are two choices: Work hard and avoid murderous mendacity, or be a Democrat.

5. Now that we’ve put election 2012 in the rearview mirror, we can all take a deep breath and ponder the direction of the Republic. There are no offensive campaign ads, no idiotic mailers piling up in the box and no ludicrous attempts by either major party to obfuscate their man’s obvious failings in an attempt to fool us into casting our ballots in his direction. Enjoy the holidays, kids; no one is begging for your vote today! All right, I’m lying like a Democratic National Committee chairperson. Hillary 2016! Rubio 2016! Jeb Bush 2016! (Really? Really.) We don’t even get time off for bad behavior anymore.

4. Retired Gen. David Petraeus defines tough guy. And I base that not just on the chest full of medals and walls full of accolades. How tough is Petraeus? He once convinced doctors to discharge him from the hospital by doing 50 pushups less than a week after he was shot in the chest. Bullets don’t scare him. Bombs don’t scare him. But broads probably should have set him to running up the white flag. Petraeus, who was confirmed by a 94-0 Senate vote, is off the public payroll for the first time in four decades following the discovery of his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell. Obviously, Petraeus had to go following such a public disgrace. He cheated on his wife of 38 years. He allowed his hormones to potentially threaten national security. He lied. Actually, none of those are generally considered black marks on a Democrat’s resume; normally, such behavior earns you a Senate seat, if not the Presidency itself. Come to think of it, I’m not entirely certain why Petraeus was forced to resign. By the standards of the Democratic Party, he’s fairly unremarkable. There must be some reason why he’s on the bricks. I wonder what it could possibly be?

3. Oh, right. Obama needed a scapegoat for his fatal blundering in Benghazi, Libya. As if the sad saga of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow victims didn’t make you want to shade your eyes already, leave it to Obama to make a terrible situation 10 times worse. Petraeus has fallen on the proverbial sword for the disaster; but so many seminal questions remain unanswered regarding the mishandling of the whole affair, it may take years to untangle the web of deceit. Terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound and murdered Stevens and the others in a coordinated operation. And then, all hell broke loose. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice took to the talk circuit to repeat the Obama lie that some YouTube video was to blame. Obama and his accomplices changed the story so often they actually began to struggle to keep the lies straight. At one point, Obama’s sock puppets at MSNBC reverted to the YouTube fable even as Obama was acknowledging its fallacy. The smoke still hasn’t cleared, but here’s what we know: YouTube had nothing to do with it. Rice lied repeatedly. Obama lied repeatedly. Petraeus resigned. The Democrats are now saying that anyone who points out Obama and Rice’s dishonesty is somehow racist. And the Benghazi Four are still dead.

2. Apparently, God has an ironic sense of humor. What else could explain ushering in the holy season with holy war in the Holy Land… again? While they’re pretending to abide by a cease-fire, the Israelis and their islamofascist enemies are trading blows; getting after each other like it’s the intifadeh all over again. The Muslims fire rockets from launching vehicles and pads hidden among civilian neighborhoods, and the Israelis fly over and level the whole area each time they do. Lessons come hard in the Levant; they’ve been killing each other since the late 1940s. Actually, they’ve been killing each other since Joshua won the battle of Jericho. Actually, the battle of Jericho is still under way. Obama seems either disinterested or incapable of exerting any influence over the warring parties, and the Russians and the Chinese glower menacingly behind the islamofascists they’ve armed. The Mayans can’t have known about the Mideast, right?

1. Obama won. He didn’t just beat Mitt Romney; he cleaned his ballot box. Much as it pains me to acknowledge, Obama’s victory was a full-on, alpine-disaster-movie landslide. Despite record joblessness, record numbers of Americans on food stamps, record personal and national debt, record division among the people and virtually record-setting levels of overt lying to the American people on issues as grave as human life, Americans chose to allow Obama to keep the keys to the Oval Office. In return, Obama offers four more years of Obamacare, tax hikes, class warfare, lying and death. But don’t blame Obama. Blame your fellow Americans. He didn’t do it alone.

So, that’s November. December can’t possibly be worse, nor can it be weirder. Of course, I said that last month.

–Ben Crystal

The Reason For The Season

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to eat enough turkey and dressing to feed the victims of Sandy and Katrina combined. It’s time to wonder why anyone thinks topping sweet potatoes with marshmallows is a good idea. It’s time to fall asleep on the couch while the Lions lose and the Cowboys (hopefully also) lose. It’s time to hit the rack early so we can wake up early enough for a good place in line at Best Buy on Black Friday. And lest I forget: It’s time to give thanks for those we love, that which we have and this free Nation in which we are so blessed to live.

But, as is so often the case with holidays from the patriotic to the religious, there’s always someone who wants to poop on the proverbial parade. Thanksgiving, traditionally associated with a sort of idyllic multicultural fairy tale, is now regarded by many college professors, vegan hippies and face-in-the-crowd losers as an ersatz celebration of genocide and religious repression. Every year, those same ivory-tower eggheads, rotting beatniks and permanently outraged nobodies ramp down from their courtroom hand-wringing over Fourth of July commemorations and warm up for their annual assaults on fire station Christmas trees and city hall nativity scenes by shrieking like crack-addled teenagers about the evils of the “real” Thanksgiving. But their outrage is predictably misplaced.

Thanksgiving isn’t a celebration of the near-extermination of Squanto and his pals any more than it’s a celebration of shoes with buckles and stupid hats. In fact, to most Americans Thanksgiving is a celebration of being annoyed by your mother-in-law and tryptophan-induced comas. Much like Easter and even Christmas, the “real” reason for the season has disappeared behind a veneer of Peeps and shopping mall Santas.

While I’m not as obsessed with wallowing in historical pain like the liberals who have yet to thumb past the next chapter in one of those weird Howard Zinn manifestos, I am a student of history. And I’m willing to acknowledge that a little perspective never hurt anyone.

The year was 1620. A small group of men and women, tired of the societal and religious scene in 17th century England and Holland, boarded a ship headed for the New World. The Pilgrims, as they’ve come to be known, were hardly the blue-blooded upper crust of New England society that their descendants define today. In fact, they were a pretty miserable group. Members of the Puritan evolution of Calvinism, they believed in “total depravity,” meaning they believed that the fall of man pretty much doomed us all. To put a finer point on it, they were not a fun bunch at a party. After all, no one ever uses the word “puritanical” when they’re describing their wacky neighbors. These people were aggressively dour. They were hard on their contemporaries and hard on themselves. No booze, no music, no dancing. But compared with some modern day sects, the Pilgrims are hardly the only sad-face game in town. I think we’d all rather spend endless hours torturing ourselves over minor spiritual infractions than give up bacon, force women to wear burkhas and tailor our suicide bomb vests.

Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t a celebration of the actual Pilgrims. There is no way retail chains could work self-flagellation and scurvy into a marketing campaign. Nor is it a celebration of the ridiculous tableau of Pilgrims and Wampanoags sitting down to a long table covered in gourds and maize, because that never happened.

Thanksgiving is a manufactured holiday. Its current date, the fourth Thursday in November, wasn’t even fixed until President Franklin Roosevelt marked it off the national calendar in 1941. In truth, it’s not even in the right season. In November of 1620, the Pilgrims were cold, tired and starving. The only “thanks” being given involved things like, “I give thanks for not having typhus.” And, of course, the “Pilgrims” have benefitted greatly from a backstory that has been exaggerated nearly as wildly as President Barack Obama’s bona fides.

But all that is immaterial. Why join the frozen-in-time liberals in anti-Holiday outrage? Why whine about a crappy time nearly four centuries past? Why ruin the party? Why not spend this year simply giving thanks? Give thanks for the food, for the family or just for the football. Give thanks that you live in a country that allows you to think, to speak and to read whatever you wish.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

It Isn’t Racist If It’s Right

Let me get this out of the way first: By thinking (much less typing, proofing and emailing) the following remarks, I’m a racist. Most of you who read it are racist as well. I know this because the Democratic Party says so. Granted, the Democratic Party and its corporate media minions say that about anyone who doesn’t think and do exactly what they’re told by, well, the Democratic Party. But, according to the Democrats, that’s immaterial.

Criticize President Barack Obama and/or his accomplices for whatever disgrace they’re currently visiting upon the Nation, and you’re a racist. Since I’m writing today about the latest developments in the Benghazi, Libya, scandal (which has deservedly enveloped the Democrats of late), I’m fairly certain I qualify under the liberal strictures on the subject. In fact, far less conservative fellows than I have earned the slanderous sobriquet from Obama’s horde. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is to conservatism what cough medicine is to good scotch, found himself tagged as the latest to suffer the baseless charge by an Obama machine. Last week, McCain and some of his Senate colleagues joined the chorus of people leveling criticism at U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for her repeated lying about the source and progression of the murders of four Americans in a Libya torn apart by Obama-backed strife.

Backed by a cohort of shrieking liberal harpies at a Friday press conference, Representative Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said: “There is a clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments being made by unfortunately Sen. McCain and others. And I strongly stand by that statement.”

Fudge, who is the incoming chairwoman of the racist-by-deed-and-definition Congressional Black Caucus, is welcome to stand by whatever statements she wishes. Since she’s a Democrat, the statements by which she stands don’t even have to be true. But she wasn’t finished, making a number of similarly false barbs about McCain — even working in some meaningless attacks on McCain’s nearly six-decades-past academic career. At no point during her ridiculous rant did she even approach the undeniable fact that Rice, along with the rest of the Obama Administration, spent weeks brazenly lying to the world about Benghazi.

Fudge and her wacky friends in the estrogen army are hardly alone in trying to cover the increasingly appalling post-Benghazi cover-up. Obese multimillionaire and Democratic icon Michael Moore put down the Twinkie to tweet: “Yo! McCain — The ‘attacking women strategy’ didn’t go so well last Tues, did it? So now this week, let’s try ‘attack the black woman’! #Rice”

Yo! Fat, rich, white guy — Where was your outrage when liberals launched a series of racist attacks on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Did you leave it at the dessert buffet? #RealRice.

Obama himself actually abandoned the back nine to shake his fists thusly: “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.” Hold your questions until the President putts out, though.

Rice lied repeatedly. That doesn’t make her stupid. Surrounded by an Obama Administration in which lying is apparently a job requirement, it doesn’t even make her particularly remarkable. While Democratic attempts to besmirch her critics with the venerable smear of racism are similarly unremarkable, they are absolutely stupid and somewhat offensive.

Real people have suffered, and they do and will suffer under the yoke of racism. As I write this, the racist attempts to steal the election from Representative Allen West (R-Fla.) have yet to reach a resolution. Across the Sunshine State, so-called “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman’s fate hangs in balance following a Presidentially endorsed lynch mob’s attempt to murder him the way Islamofascist terrorists murdered the Benghazi four, albeit with fewer rocket-propelled grenades. (I’m guessing at that last one. I wouldn’t be stunned if race pimp Al Sharpton got his hands on a B-40.) To point out an already established fact that Rice lied isn’t racist. It’s right.

–Ben Crystal

Gunning For Liberty

Regular Personal Liberty Digestreaders likely noted Bob Livingston’s article detailing the U.N.’s plan to lean into America’s sovereign affairs and abscond with the 2nd Amendment. Those who took the time to peruse Livingston’s work likely noticed the fact that President Barack Obama and his cabal of accomplices in Washington are happily helping them steer the getaway car, signing us up for renewed talks on the gun grab this spring.

Indeed, Obama has made clear his support of the U.N.’s plans, waiting mere hours after his re-election to do so. Hearkening back to his 2008 campaign, Obama clearly holds gun owners in low regard. After all, we’re just “bitter” and we “cling to guns or religion.”

But fret not, my dear patriot friends. I bring you glad tidings: No matter how many affirmative votes it holds on the issue of sovereignty-violating, internationally administered gun programs (the most recent went 157-0 with 18 abstentions), the U.N. has no chance to grab so much as an air rifle from your fists. For an organization whose members rarely do more than blow hot air at each other, the effort would be unimaginably complex.

First, the same U.N. pseudo-military clowns under whom our soldiers enjoyed serving in various theaters of war over the past 60 years would have to secure the active support of our military for such an operation. After all, every time the U.N. does anything involving force, it has to secure our participation, and that still doesn’t guarantee it won’t fumble the ball.

I have a number of friends in the 1st Ranger Battalion and the 3rd Infantry Division. I know these guys. I’m not saying I oppose the idea of some 15-star generalissimo from East Ongoolia (or wherever) trying to direct our own soldiers to violently abrogate the Bill of Rights; I’m just saying I want to be there when he tries — mostly so I can laugh at him while he tries to run in his jodhpurs.

Once violating the Posse Comitatus Act falls on its face, the next step would be to enlist law enforcement. But a huge number of law enforcement officers are also veterans. Good luck breaking that bond, U.N. You’ll end up being force-fed your darling blue helmets. And while there might not be a shortage of agents of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who will step up for a Ruby Ridge redux, an internationally coordinated invasion (and that’s what such a gun grab would entail) would have to contend with literally millions of resisters. And, in this case, they would all be armed. There’s no proof Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto ever actually said that “there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass,” but the lesson remains just as true whether the invaders march under the Rising Sun or the Big O.

And let’s not forget the single most perfectly defining characteristic of not only Democrats, but all politicians: an insatiable lust for authority. While the terrorism financiers, dictatorship apologists and Third World trash at the U.N. might harbor fantasies of a disarmed American populace bowing and scraping before their goose-stepping legions in their goofily overadorned dress uniforms, even the most repulsively left-wing stuffed suit knows the downside. A gun grab led by Americans would fail; a gun grab led by a U.N. force sans American muscle would result in a bigger beat down for the bad guys than the really cool parts of “Red Dawn.”

I say let Obama and his U.N. circus freaks give it the old college try. Give a shot at the high plains to a U.N.-force led by some Wesley Clark knockoff from Kazakhstan (think Borat with an infantry), and then see if it can match the killed-in-action totals from Little Big Horn. Give a Jordanian colonel a lift to downtown Detroit and see how he does disarming the gangbangers. For that matter, give some blue-helmeted peacock an order to come to my house and see who leaves wearing the fancy headgear.

I’m not suggesting we laugh off the internationalist threat to our God-given rights. Any time liberals start making time with the buffoons at the East River School for Scofflaws, every citizen’s ears ought to perk up. But the time for hunkering down in the underground bunker is not quite at hand. Go about your business, fellow patriots. However, to borrow a phrase from my colleague Chip Wood: “Keep some powder dry.”

–Ben Crystal

Old Generals Don’t Fade Away, Either

Just to be clear on this: We’re against politicians keeping a “girl Friday” on the side? I’m asking only because the sudden resignation of retired Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director has me a bit perplexed. While I have no doubt that Petraeus’ extramarital affair and subsequent admission thereto are real and sincere, I don’t remember the directive suggesting that extramarital affairs were cause for concern. After all, the list of Washington politicians who have dined out on their spouses is longer than the list of union thugs with felony convictions.

This is the guy whom the Democrats used to refer to as “David Betray-us.” Therefore, it’s unlikely that the vermin in the Administration of President Barack Obama withheld information regarding his misbehavior out of any concern for his endangered dignity. These are the same clowns who shrieked bloody murder when former President Bill Clinton faced impeachment for perjury over his lies regarding his tendency to treat the Oval Office like a crash pad. They threw an epic tantrum when many demanded the resignation of Anthony Weiner for turning Twitter into an unmarked, windowless van parked too close to the high school. To be honest, a Republican opposition that looked the other way on the extracurricular activities of Senator David Vitter and former Senator Larry Craig (I still get nervous when nature calls while I’m in the Minneapolis Airport) can hardly object.

But why cut Petraeus loose now? Why not months ago, when the FBI allegedly “stumbled” upon the affair? If the CIA director opened the door to a security breach at the highest level, why would Obama allow him to continue potentially jeopardizing national security during an exceptionally fiery time? Some people might suggest that Obama (who brazenly lied to the American people about virtually everything from the budget to Benghazi, Libya) simply doesn’t care as long as it doesn’t interrupt his golf games. But I think the answer is simpler: protecting the campaign.

Obama held back on dropping the hammer on Petraeus until he knew his re-election was clear.  The irony lies in the fact that an electorate that displayed no qualms over Obama’s bald-faced lying about Benghazi and Operation Fast and Furious (for starters) is hardly likely to pull the handbrake over Petraeus’ peccadillos.

When Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself in front of Congress, he did so with Obama’s full endorsement. When Obama changed the tale of Benghazi more often than Al Sharpton changes the oil in his hair, Democrats sang along to every new refrain. Last Tuesday, 62 million Americans (51 percent of those who cast ballots in the 2012 election), laid down their dignity and patriotism in support of a President whose dubious accomplishments on fronts economic and diplomatic pale in comparison to his arrogant mendacity. If Obama forced Petraeus out in order to quash any potentially damaging testimony he might deliver to Congress over Benghazi, then the President’s efforts were not only another example of his usual bumbling, but they were entirely wasted.

In Obama’s America, people care as much about marital infidelity as much as they do about dead ambassadors, dead Navy SEALs, dead Border Patrol agents and dying liberty. And the Republican-controlled House will drag Petraeus out of a spider hole if they have to in order to force him to testify.

The idea of a member of the Washington reprobates’ club getting the bum’s rush for something as mundane as a an affair seems as strange as a Presidential Administration making Richard Nixon look like George Washington — and getting away with it. Here’s the curveball: I don’t think Petreaus’ resignation has anything to do with Obama’s re-election racket; I think he stepped down because he knew he had disgraced himself, and he wanted to rescue what little dignity he had left. Tragically, that means the lone member of Obama’s crew who is worth a plugged nickel is headed for the door.

–Ben Crystal