Oh, Sheila!

Few people could suggest with a straight face that the U.S. House of Representatives includes the best and brightest among us. In fact, most of the denizens of the august climes of the Personal Liberty Digest™ are already well aware that the members of the U.S. House of Representatives struggle to represent anyone but themselves.  That said, even among a group nearly as exclusive as the membership at Augusta National Golf Club, there’s always going to be one or two who manage to allow remarks to escape their flapping blowholes that are so breathtakingly stupid they make the usual jacklegs, grifters and string-pullers who stink up the Capitol look like Cincinattus by comparison.

Enter the lovely and talented Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). The Hon. Ms. Jackson Lee has already locked up the title of “Most God-awful Boss in Congress.” Since she first took her seat in 1995, her staff has sported a higher turnover rate than the Crips. One staffer quit after Jackson-Lee threw a phone at him. And Ms. Jackson Lee evidently cut geography class (among others) at liberal demagoguery school: “Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.” For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that some of her defenders claim she meant to say “two Koreas,” in which case, she’s… still wrong.

Last week, Jackson Lee was back at it, raging from the people’s pulpit about her favorite topic: racism. Granted, ever since the beginning of the Presidential campaign of a little-known junior Senator from Illinois, liberals have endeavored to use the specious charge of racism to explain everything from President Obama’s lack of executive experience to his comprehensive incompetence as Commander in Chief. Normally, any criticism is immediately dismissed by the owners of the liberal movement as racist in nature.  But “normal” and “things done, said or even imagined by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee” rarely collide in the same universe, much less the same sentence. This is a woman who once accused The Hill of racism for printing an article noting she had asked NASA staffers if the Mars rover would visit the flag planted by Apollo astronauts… on the moon.

And in her logic-impaired tirade late last week, Representative Jackson Lee suggested that opposition to Obama’s economic “plan” is a result of… well… let’s let Sheila speak for herself (as if she requires any prompting): “I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness (toward) this president…Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully?  I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president — only this one, only this one — has received the kind of attacks and disagreement and inability to work, only this one.” Of course, she and her fellow Democrats treated President George W. Bush with the utmost in collegial regard. To be fair, Bush deserved some of the barbs he faced, given his profligate spending, harebrained schemes like No Child Left Behind, and his tendency to do things to the English language for which you pay extra in Vegas.

I often wonder if liberals, including Jackson Lee, consider the fact that by laying the exhausted race card on the table every time Obama slows for a political roadblock, they are essentially saying that Obama is nothing more than some helpless racial avatar, incapable of accomplishment — or, in Obama’s case — failure as anything other than a black man. Therefore, playing the race card in order to defend his every misstep is either an admission that he needs to be rescued with prosaic hokum, a revelation that liberals — bereft of meritorious ideas — have no other cards to play, or that they’re just plain silly.

Of course, Jackson Lee in particular resides in the latter category. Her amateur astronomical observations hardly represent her only ventures beyond her limited intellectual capacity. I would be willing to venture a guess that she’s not even aware that she’s calling Obama’s critics racist for agreeing with him: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.”  (Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., March 20, 2006)

Of course, the whole thing could just be Marvin the Martian’s evil plot. Perhaps NASA can clue her in to the fact that the Illudium Q-36 is an equal opportunity Explosive Space Modulator.

The Capitol Circus

P.J. O’Rourke once noted that “the whole idea of politics is to achieve power without possessing merit.” If a better description exists of 21st century American politics in general and the Obama Administration, I have yet to read it. (All right, besides: “Obama sucks!” That’s too obvious.)

Here at Personal Liberty Digest™, we watch the Capitol Circus because we’re paid to do it. But even a casual glance Washington-ward reminds the most dispassionate observer that these guys are clowns. Unfortunately, they’re not the kind who make balloon animals and juggle milk bottles; they’re the kind who show up in Stephen King novels and live in a sewer.

In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama vocally opposed President George W. Bush’s plan to raise the United States’ debt ceiling. And he was right to do it. I’ve said before that George W. Bush spent money like a second wife. Unfortunately, now-President Barack Obama spends money like a second wife with a shopping compulsion who just found a Centurion Card, aka the American Express black card. And while Obama throws everything but that national debt clock in Times Square at the increasingly resolute Republicans in an effort to persuade them to hike the debt ceiling into the stratosphere, it’s clear that Obama expects someone else (preferably our grandchildren) to pay the bill.

What our profligate politicians fail to recognize is that a nation with a debt closing in on $15 trillion is like a poor sap who is in way over his head with the loan sharks. Hiking the debt ceiling to cover Federal spending is the political version of pawning your car title to make your car payment. Sure, you’ll keep the car for a few more days; but eventually, a guy named “Big Lou” is going to show up at your door. Truth be told, anyone who’s stretched his paycheck to the point of breaking knows this simple lesson. Perhaps our Harvard-educated President missed that day in life-outside-the-public-sector class.

With Obama growing increasingly frustrated with what he considers GOP intransigence — and what responsible people consider the reason conservatism is the most dynamic political movement — he is delivering increasingly desperate assaults on the forces of fiscal fitness. When the public didn’t bite on his demand of tax hikes on people who earn more than $250,000 per year, he claimed the GOP was sacrificing our security on behalf of the “private jet” set. When that class-warfare tack misfired, Obama started channeling our mothers: “… pull off the Band-Aid; eat our peas.” Sorry, Mr. President, Obamacare doesn’t offer Band-Aids; and when was the last time you ate peas? I doubt Oprah serves them in her palace. When the imperious tone flew like a stone kite, Obama took the expected tack for a liberal with strong ties to union thugs: threats.

Tuesday, Obama announced that thousands, if not millions, of Social Security checks due out in early August might meet Big Lou somewhere between the Treasury and your mailbox. After his Democratic Party produced an Obamacare ad that claimed conservative opposition would throw Grandma off a cliff, the Democratic President is threatening to starve her to death if he doesn’t get access to the cash under her mattress. Furthermore, it appears Obama broke into the Social Security “lockbox,” only to find a note which says “IOU $15 trillion, xoxo! —  Al Gore.”

Obama has risen to the pinnacle of power in meteoric fashion. But therein lies the problem: He didn’t earn it. All power, no merit not only makes Barack a bad President, it makes America a poor country.

The Assassination Of Old King Coal

Well, I certainly hope everyone is enjoying President Obama’s “Recovery Summer II – The Empire Strikes Out.” Unemployment hovers just below 10 percent. Of course, that’s the number the Department of Labor is willing to admit. Any economist outside the Department of Labor will acknowledge the real rate is closer to 15 percent.

Inextricably linked with the falling number of Americans who are gainfully employed is the rising number on the sign at your neighborhood Gas’n’Go. The average price of a gallon of gasoline is headed back toward $4-ville. Obama’s much-ballyhooed release of strategic reserves — predicted to fail by everyone outside the White House — failed. Oddly, the Democrats — who pointed to fuel costs nearly $1 per gallon lower as proof that President George W. Bush was blowing kisses to the dishdasha delegation — have fallen silent as Obama’s lack of a coherent energy policy has not only helped force the nation’s economy off the road, but has put it up on blocks and stolen the stereo.

Last week, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency proudly announced its plan to deliver the coup de grâce to the coal industry. You see, coal is bad. You have to dig holes in the ground to get to it, and the United States has so much of it that we’re essentially the OPEC of coal. And that’s where the problem lies. Hard work and independence from foreign-energy sources are as anathematic to Obama and the Democrats as… well… hard work and independence from foreign-energy sources.

The EPA has announced the replacement of 2005’s Clean Air Interstate Rule with an all-new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said: “By maximizing flexibility and leveraging existing technology, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will help ensure that American families aren’t suffering the consequences of pollution generated far from home, while allowing states to decide how best to decrease dangerous air pollution in the most cost effective way.”

Translation: “We’re going to turn off the lights; ask your States for candles.” It gets worse. The “flexibility” to which Obama (via Jackson) refers doesn’t exist, thanks to the Democrats’ fealty to foreign-oil interests. The “existing technology” is hampered by the same problem, at least until someone gets the keys to the Enterprise back from Captain Kirk. Before some of our liberal friends get their panties in a wad about the benefits of electric car technology, I have two words: Chevy Volt. But hey, enjoy that green living — at least until you have to recharge your $40,000 golf cart. And there’s always the “SmartCar” – as long as you don’t have to haul… anything.

Keep in mind that you won’t be hauling much; nor will anyone else, for that matter. At least the children will frolic amid green fields under blue skies, because we’ve maximized flexibility and leveraged existing technology. Granted, the children can do that now, except for in Detroit. But with this new layer of bureaucracy beamed down from the Obama mothership, they’ll be able to do it more often, since mom and dad won’t be able to afford to pay the PlayStation®Network bill. Actually, with Obama and the EPA standing on the economy’s neck and now grinding their heels down, mom and dad may be able to supervise the kiddies 24/7, since their jobs will ultimately be jeopardized by rising energy costs.

While Jackson claims that the EPA’s guillotining of the coal industry will create jobs (a dubious claim, at best), the highly regarded, non-partisan firm National Economic Research Associates has concluded that the EPA’s anti-coal rules will cost four jobs for every one it creates. Before our liberal friends get their panties in a wad about “global warming,” I have two more words: Al Gore. Also — ManBearPig! That’s an extra word. I’ll buy some rhetorical carbon credits.

What Obama and his Democrat cronies fail to acknowledge — either by socialist delusion or sinister design — is that the current tragic trifecta of rising unemployment, social unrest and general malaise has roots in energy policy (or lack thereof). In keeping with their strict policy of bowing and scraping before OPEC, the Democrats have stepped in front of every effort to maximize exploitation of domestically available resources. Now, Obama and his cronies are squeezing the trigger on the coal industry.

But that’s the future of the entire nation in the crosshairs.

The Barbecue Of Independence

This past Monday evening, I mused silently for a moment about the “reason for the season,” so to speak. The meat sizzled on the grill, the beer chilled on ice, and the salad wilted in a bowl. (Allow me a tangential thought: What the hell is it with people bringing salads to Fourth of July cookouts? We’ve got an abattoir’s worth of dead animal, potato salad made with enough mayonnaise to give Lance Armstrong a coronary, enough beer to keep Milwaukee in the black for the next century — and someone brought a bowl of yard clippings. Next time, bring some deviled eggs. Save the greens for Bastille Day; it’s next week.) A battery of recreational artillery turned the sky over the river into a palette of appropriately patriotic colors as flags fluttered in the light summer breeze. Thousands of spectators, crowded shoulder-to-shoulder into about four square blocks, oohed and aahed at the right moments. The meter maids skulked amid illegally parked cars, stuffing envelopes full of expensive souvenirs under windshield-wiper blades. Over-served tourists hollered at each other from 3 feet away. Everyone was having a grand old time. Taking in the patriotic panorama around me, I couldn’t help but wonder: How many of these people have spent a single moment wondering why we’re not at work today?

I heard a popular refrain in the months leading up to Monday’s festivities. “The Fourth of July is on a Monday this year! How awesome is that?” Um, the Fourth of July is awesome every year. Granted, the long weekend produced by a Monday Fourth does make for a nice, long holiday weekend. But that’s a happy coincidence, not the sole function of the day itself.

Two hundred and thirty-five years ago, the Founding Fathers thumbed King George III in the eye. It was the rhetorical raspberry that shocked the world as no other has before or since. And then, the most technologically, economically and geographically powerful empire in the history of the world took one right in the kisser from their lower-class cousins, the ones with the smoking habit and the funny accents.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, the English were enjoying a nearly three century-long geopolitical winning streak. By July 4, 1776, the English were coming off triumph in the Seven Years’ War, the Treaty of Paris (1763) forcing the other European colonial heavyweights to issue the mea culpa of all mea culpas. On the other side of the world, victory in the Battle of Plassey (1757) put the Brits in the driver’s seat in south Asia.

Their opponents in the nasty business in the American colonies were pure rabble. George Washington had wooden teeth and grew a lot more than just tobacco on his farm. Thomas Jefferson had a thing for miscegenation. And Benjamin Franklin would go on to bed half the women in France. Their “army” was undermanned, underfed and under-equipped. Their soldiers were flea-bitten and disease-ridden, and they had a serious problem with desertion. And yet, they thumped George III and his redcoated storm troopers like they were Appalachian State and the Brits were Michigan.

They faced longer odds than a rigged craps table, but they fought for something much bigger than a day off from work. The American Revolution (or the Yorktown Beat Down, if you’re a Tory) was the miraculous birth-cry of the Rights of Man, guided by Divine Provenance (in my humble estimation — more important, in His Flawless Estimation).

And it all started on the Fourth of July, a day to commemorate the unveiling of the Declaration of Independence. Not play-hooky-from-work,-get-sauced-and-blow-stuff-up Day, nor Bust-out-the-god-awful-stars-and-stripes-airbrushed-t-shirt-from-that-trip-to-Fort-Walton-Beach Day, nor even Get 0.9%-financing-on-some-nondescript-minivan-at-your-participating-GM-dealer Day.

I know no one really likes preachy patriotic punditry. But some things are worth mentioning with all the zeal of Jefferson’s magnificent document, worth declaring with all the fury of the Delaware River on a cold winter’s day, worth stamping into our national narrative with all the force of that first shot at the Old North Bridge in Concord (which actually happened in 1775).

Of course, if Ben Franklin were here, he would say: “Enough with the chitchat. Toss me another beer.”

Lean Forward

To suggest President Barack Obama is thin-skinned is an understatement on a par with: “Michael Moore should cut back on the Ben and Jerry’s.” In fact, as our embattled President has watched events spiral well beyond his meager talents, he appears to be developing a mild case of paranoia — even lashing out at his friends.

Last week, MSNBC’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin made a rather unfortunate choice in describing the hostility the President directed toward the White House press corps in a now-infamous press conference, saying: “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.” Obama was so infuriated by Halperin’s description that he dispatched White House spokespuppet Jay Carney to step on Halperin’s neck. Carney called MSNBC, and less than four hours after Halperin made the remark, he was suspended.

Here’s the tricky part: I have no problem with MSNBC suspending Halperin, and not just because I remember Halperin from his days as ABC News’ political director — (in 2004, Halperin instructed his staffers at ABC to tilt their coverage to favor Senator John Kerry over President George W. Bush). It’s their network; if they want to run like dogs every time Obama rolls up a newspaper, they’re welcome to it. But when did MSNBC develop such a heavy hand with their “talent?”

Let’s be honest, kids. As much as we all agree with Halperin (and as much as we all might want to laugh at Obama for dropping the hammer on the guy), Halperin shouldn’t have said it, and MSNBC was right to sit him down. Not that the word he used isn’t a fair assessment of Obama; it is. But there are so many other words he could have substituted. His choice just seems lazy to me. Halperin would have been just as accurate describing Obama as an idiot, a buffoon, a moron, a clown, a jackass, self-important, smug, arrogant, rude, a jerk, a twerp, an Alinskyite loon or (my old man’s favorite) the south end of a northbound bear.

But MSNBC’s suspension of Halperin does provide us with one of those “teachable moments” of which Obama is so fond. The same network that was willing to send Halperin to the showers for insulting Obama dithered for two days before deciding its morbidly obese misogynist Ed Schultz needed a little time-out after he interrupted his usual hate-filled lunacy to call Laura Ingraham a “slut.”

Trying to determine whether to keep a bloviating moron like Schultz on the air would be a Sisyphean task on the best of days. I don’t envy MSNBC management’s struggles after his verbal assault on Ingraham. But it is worth noting that they took two days to discipline the big fella.

Schultz is hardly the lone talking hairdo on MSNBC who has stepped across the line. Keith Olbermann has finally been consigned to Al Gore’s television gulag. But the word from inside the organization was that Olbermann’s dismissal was related to his notoriously unpleasant general demeanor (ask the boys at ESPN, but make sure you’re wearing earplugs before you do), not because of his mendacious on-air shrieking. Left behind in the wake of Olbermann’s exile is his pathetic mini-me, Rachel Maddow, who once claimed Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas) knew about the Murrah Building bombing before it happened. Maddow, who ultimately blamed the gross defamation on “an editing error,” didn’t miss a day of work at MSNBC, despite having said a then-sitting member of Congress was essentially an accomplice of Tim McVeigh.

I don’t have the space to recount the myriad examples of MSNBC’s distinct port-side lean; and Mr. Livingston doesn’t have the bandwidth. As a true conservative, I fervently believe in MSNBC management’s right to employ whomever they wish and to discipline them as they see fit. But I can’t help but notice that the same liberals who spent the eight years of President George W. Bush’s Administration calling him everything from weak-minded to a war criminal have suddenly discovered dignified discourse.

My problem with the events surrounding Halperin’s visit to MSNBC’s time-out chair has nothing to do with the events themselves and everything to do with why they occurred. Someone at a redoubtably liberal outlet like MSNBC evidently can say almost anything he wants about conservatives, and the consequences — should there be any at all–– will be slow in coming and low in severity. But take a swipe at Obama, and all hell breaks loose. If I’m going to “lean forward,” it means only that I’ve lost the remote and I’m changing the channel.

Bienvenidos A Los Estados Unidos (Welcome To The U.S.)

Thanks to the Herculean efforts of some very patient teachers, I speak Spanish. Well, I speak high-school-distracted-by-the-hot-chick-in-front-of-me-in-class Spanish. All right, I speak well enough to ask directions to the bathroom, and I can order paella without the waiter delivering a gang of picadors to the table. I’m sure I sound about as fluent to the good people of Madrid as the Scandinavians who have developed an affinity for visiting my town: “Yes, please, I am asking to directions to the River Street, and you are thank you telling me?”

But I learned a smattering of Spanish because I already had finished seven years of Latin, and my parents thought it might be worthwhile for me to learn a language spoken outside the Vatican. I learned Spanish so I could order dinner in places where English was only good for curse words and baseball. Lately, I’ve noticed I might need to start brushing up on the Español, even when I’m at home.

But I live in the United States of America. Why in the hell should I have to learn anything but English? No one asks the people in Barcelona, Spain, to learn English; they choose to. Granted, it’s a wise choice, since there’s no way they’re going to convince their neighbors to spend €5 on some colorful trinket which was lovingly handcrafted by the kindly old woman down the street… in Taiwan.

As the Democratic-led U.S. Senate again tries to push through the amnesty-for-illegal-aliens DREAM Act, more and more often I’m noticing a sizable number of people who struggle with English the way I struggle with Spanish. And while no special powers of observation are required to understand the Democrats’ reasons for wanting to grant a vote to every Tomas, Ricardo and Jorge who manage to swim, tunnel or dodge his way across the border, perhaps the rest of us should consider the endgame in a country of more than 300 million souls which has abandoned a lingual standard.

Just a few weeks ago, Principal Crespin Esquivel delivered the commencement address to the graduating senior class of Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nev. Actually, Esquivel delivered the address twice: once in English, y una vez en Español (and once in Spanish). Esquivel said: “I think it’s important for me to make sure all the families feel comfortable.”  I have no objection to Esquivel’s manners, but I think his logic is severely twisted. By offering “comfort” to those who have yet to learn Inglés, he’s reinforcing the idea that their comfort at a commencement ceremony takes precedence over their comfort on job interviews. Letting the Nation’s youths come of age without a common tongue allows for a grim outcome. The prospect is about as appealing as it would be to serve as Chris Matthews’ designated driver after Obama gets his clock cleaned in the 2012 election. The Nation would fall into Tower of Babel-type chaos, and we would all look forward to living in blessed paradise – much like the countries our Spanish-only friends fled for our shores.

We have already seen what that looks like. Last weekend, the U.S. Soccer team lost a match to Team Mexico. Given our track record on the international soccer scene, that’s not stunning. The fact that the crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Mexico shouldn’t necessarily turn too many heads, either. And I suppose it’s not too bizarre that the officials conducted the post-match ceremony in Spanish — except that the game was played in Los Angeles (yes, L.A. is still technically in the U.S.).

People in Spanish-speaking countries learn English because it helps to speak the language of the tourists without whom they would be selling colorful trinkets from Taiwan to each other. Also, while the French might be more famous for their disdain of Americans’ mangling of their language, no one really enjoys Los Gringos’ tendency to butcher languages the way President Obama butchers the memories of fallen soldiers. I’m not suggesting Americans are blameless in this cultural equation. I think learning to speak more than one language is worthwhile, especially if you want the hedges to be straight or you want to figure out which woman Ed Schultz hates the most today.

However, here at home, English is still the lingua franca of success. Should we fail to reinforce that success, then vaya con Dios, Los Estados Unidos (“Go with God, the United States).

RINOS To The Left Of Me

Recently, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-The Tanning Bed) played golf with President Barack Obama (D-George Soros’ pocket). In and of itself, a little time on the links is hard to criticize. We all know the old saw: A day on the golf course is better than a day listening to Obama read Alinskyite babble off the nearest teleprompter. I say that with the expectation that Obama probably sandbags the hell out of his opponents: from each according to his proximity to scratch, to each according to his 20+ handicap.

But Boehner has been playing a lot more than golf with Obama; and instead of a foursome, he’s been playing in a huge scramble with the Democrats. The tide of conservatism (created at least in part by a rising taxpayer recognition that the Democrats’ only plan for the nation appears to involve embittered rhetoric and assignation of blame) gave Boehner his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Yet Boehner is developing a far cozier relationship with the people who drove the nation into the ditch than he is with the people who have to winch it out. Whether it’s a vote against defunding the war in which Obama has not embroiled the United States (honest!) or dithering on raising the debt ceiling, Boehner seems to be ignoring the reality that 2010 was not a national referendum on Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, but a referendum on the increasingly unhinged liberalism of Pelosi, Obama and the Democratic Party.

The people want a conservative partner in Washington, not necessarily a Republican partner. That’s an important distinction, my friends. While Boehner has occasionally demonstrated a backbone, he has also too often run with the RINO herd. Before any of my dear readers respond with condemnations of my refusal to search for across-the-board bipartisanship, allow me to preempt your indignation:

  1. The 2010 turnover had nothing to do with bipartisanship. Voters went to polls across the Nation and told the Democrats (to paraphrase the President): “Sit down and have a Slurpee.” Recent polls indicate voters have even less faith in the Democratic Party now than they did then.
  2. I couldn’t help but notice bipartisanship suddenly became enormously important just moments after the Democrats in the House started having to beg for legislative scraps at the back door.
  3. The Democrats define bipartisanship strangely. As our own Chip Wood pointed out in his column Tossing Grandma off the Cliff and Other Democratic Lies, as opposition to Obamacare solidified, the liberal Democrat group Agenda Project produced a charming TV ad claiming the Republicans were planning the political equivalent of a mob hit on Medicare. The spot in question crossed a new Rubicon in the Democrats’ race to the bottom of the barrel. It depicted a reasonably well-groomed young fellow (whom we know to be a soulless conservative, since he’s wearing a suit, his hair is combed and he appears to have bathed) taking a wheelchair-bound old lady for a leisurely stroll — and pushing her off a cliff. If insinuating that conservatives are out to whack grandma is a Democrat’s idea of bipartisanship, then I’ll pass on the next Congressional love-in, thanks. It is worth noting that the Democrats are the ones pushing Obamacare’s death panels. And while they seem comfortable accusing conservatives of Medicare/Grandmama-cide, I can’t help but wonder where their plan to save Medicare might be. Maybe it fell off a cliff. Their rhetoric has grown exponentially more hysterical as their position has become more tenuous. I suppose hurling hate-filled tirades beats formulating a budget, a coherent foreign policy or a plan for improving the fortunes of people who don’t dine with Oprah Winfrey.

While Boehner and some members of the GOP have been putting from the Democrats’ rough at the Congressional level, another RINO has pushed to the front of the Presidential herd. Ambassador Jon Huntsman has left his post as the Nation’s envoy to the People’s Republic of China to challenge his boss for the big boy chair in the Oval Office. A former Governor of Utah, Huntsman is a well-connected, politically astute and telegenic candidate. While he remains an unknown quantity to many Republican voters (thanks in no small part to a campaign that started more slowly than my mother backing the truck out of the barn), he has access to some well-heeled financiers. And his pre-campaign hype was louder than a Who concert. (For the kiddies who don’t know who The Who is, think Lady Gaga with real instruments, real talent and real… clothing.)

Huntsman is an interesting study in the Revenge of the RINOS, if only because the hype surrounding his will-he, won’t-he, will-he campaign (he will, as it turns out) was generated without any real backing from any identifiable conservatives. In fact, the highest profile endorsement I heard directed toward Huntsman was offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): “…if I had a choice, I’d favor Huntsman” (And if I had a choice, Senator Reid, you would be making little stick figures of Sharron Angle while your ghostwriter worked on your memoirs.) While Huntsman served as Ambassador to China at the pleasure of the President of the United States, he did so not under President George W. Bush, but under President Obama. Given our increasingly lopsided relationship with the ChiComs, I hardly think that serving as the Beijing mouthpiece for Obama’s appeasement-at-all-costs-unless-you-look-like-an-easy-win foreign policy is much of a resume highlight for someone trying to convince voting Republicans that he’s the right man for the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, the man who would come in second in the “Harry Reid Endorsement Sweepstakes” is dragging his own RINO baggage. Say hello to Governor Mitt Romney, who still leads in the increasingly tight race for the GOP Presidential nomination. Romney is hardly the standard-bearer for the wave of conservatism which swept the nation in 2010. In 1994, Romney said: I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country.” Romney now says his position has changed, of course. But he’s in his second race for the White House. My Bravo Sierra detector has an odd tendency to light up like a Christmas tree (how non-p.c. of me, apologies) — Winter Solstice tree — every time a RINO like Romney starts professing his passage to the right side of the political spectrum. Granted, Romney is to Obama as the Four Seasons is to the Super 8. Of course, in Obama’s America the rest of us can’t afford the Super 8 — and we can’t even get in the door of the Four Seasons (Mrs. Obama doesn’t like the riffraff getting too close, you know). But Romney has touted his adherence to the global-warming dogma, and there’s that nagging little matter with Obamacare’s older brother. It strikes me that the same conservative revolution which gave candidates like Romney a chance against Obama can do better than candidates like Romney.

“Better than candidates like Romney” excludes a certain former Speaker of the House. Newt Gingrich is astute, shrewd and easily the best debater of the GOP candidates. But it’s hard to vouch for the conservative credentials of a guy who plays footsie with a parasite like Al Sharpton. And while he was the more attractive of the two people in that “together we can solve it” global-warming promo he did with Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-California Society of Plastic Surgeons), the fact that he did the spot speaks volumes. Tell you what, Mr. Speaker, you and Nancy go solve “it.” Let someone else handle the real issues.

It’s a bit early for me to offer an endorsement in the GOP’s 2012 horse race. Also, no one actually asked me. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m still mildly depressed that neither former Representative Tom Tancredo (R-really not Mexico) nor Governor Chris Christie (R-Joisey) came out of the gate this time around. But there are some roses among the candidate thorns. Herman Cain continues to impress me, although evidently he dents Bob Schieffer’s memory less deeply. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-liberal nightmares) has proven herself early on to be a candidate to watch, and her Tea Party Caucus leadership bespeaks the kind of sound conservative thinking the Nation desperately needs. As an added bonus, she makes liberals do that spit-when-they-talk thing; that always gives me a chuckle. Now, if someone could just get her to stop mistaking the Duke and the Killer Clown, she could really open for business.

Governor Sarah Palin (R-the Grizzly Den) has that same effect on liberals, and she may well be the most unfairly maligned political figure in recent memory. But sometimes, I can’t tell if Palin’s kidding. Of course, I keep hoping that Obama has been kidding for the past few years. And then, there’s Representative Ron Paul (R-Grassroots America). I know I am going to suffer a few slings and arrows (again) from his rather… er… spirited supporters, but I don’t see a President when I see Ron Paul. I see the economics professor I wish Obama had had in college instead of whichever Keynesian moron he listened to. I sincerely hope the Republican who wins in 2012 names Paul Secretary of the Treasury to replace Secretary “Turbo-tax™” Geithner. Paul may oppose punitive and overly Byzantine taxes, but at least we know he pays them.

The 2012 Presidential campaign has a long way to go. In the meantime, it’s a jungle out there, kids. Let’s not mistake the RINOs for the elephants.

The Politics Of Ease

As it turns out, what Billy Sunday failed to accomplish, some unruly teenagers — with some assistance from the Democratic Party — are close to finishing. That toddlin’ town, Chicago — the home of deep-dish pizza, Al Capone and a sizable number of adolescents in dire need of an extended stay at a juvenile detention center — is facing a new crime wave.

The reports have come fast and furious. Mobs of teenagers have knocked over drug stores. Mobs of teenagers have assaulted passersby. Mobs of teenagers have pillaged retail establishments and plundered the Magnificent Mile as if they were Alaric and his horde of Visigoths and the Windy City was Rome. All this adolescent rage makes me wonder about the efficacy of Bill Clinton’s “midnight basketball.”

Fret not, Chicagoland citizens. Your top cop, Police Supervisor Garry McCarthy, is on the case. McCarthy, who previously served as Police Chief in that Paris-on-the-Passaic, Newark, N.J., has identified the criminal mastermind behind the growing crime wave enveloping Chicago: Governor Sarah Palin.

Actually, according to McCarthy, Palin is the commander of a conspiracy comprised of:

  • Palin: “(Palin) was caribou-hunting and talking about the right to bear arms. Why wasn’t she at the crime scene with me?”
  • Firearm makers: “Who’s paying the price for gun manufacturers being rich and living in gated communities?”
  • And government-sponsored racism: “… the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers… that are killing black and brown children.”

Among those who didn’t make McCarthy’s list of suspects would be the actual perpetrators. Granted, in the legendary, Democratic machine-controlled political sewer that is Chicago, blaming crime on criminals is about as functional as blaming the Cubs’ World Series drought on the lights at Wrigley Field. McCarthy could blame the parents; but parents who unleash little monsters like those tearing through Chicago are as likely to accept responsibility for their progenies’ misbehavior as they are to vote for a conservative (who would likely remind them of their dereliction of parental duty). And it is possible that their good-for-nothing 15-year-old brats really did find new watches and Air Jordans™ on the side of the road. “Honest, Mom!”

I call this sort of Keystone Kops method of avoiding the real culprits in urban societal breakdown “the politics of ease.” It’s easier for a liberal like McCarthy to blame a crime wave on the former Governor of Alaska than it is to force criminals, their accomplices and their enablers to look in the mirror. More important to liberals like McCarthy, it’s easier for the Democrats to gain votes by offering the chance to blame Palin, gun manufacturers and mythological institutional racism than to suddenly develop the introspection which is as common in a place like Chicago (or Newark) as honest politicians and well-behaved teenagers.

Fortunately for the liberal establishment, decades of near-total Democratic domination of Windy City politics has — much like Newark — left Chicagoans either unwilling or unable to discern the true nature of their city’s burdens. However, unlike cesspools like Newark, Chicago boasts some significantly redeeming characteristics, not least of which is the presence of living proof that McCarthy’s charge of racism is void on its face. Surely, McCarthy and his liberal allies don’t expect us to believe that Sarah Palin, firearms manufacturers and fictional bigotry can create chaos-from-afar in the same place that boasts the residency of the most powerful individual in the free world. I find it highly unlikely that Oprah Winfrey would allow it.

Barring intervention from Oprah or some other powerful product of Illinois (ahem) who may choose to assist Chicago in escaping the grip of increasingly violent crime, the Windy City faces a grim future. If the liberal who has been ill-advisedly placed in charge of local law enforcement is more interested in explaining away antisocial behavior with anti-bill of rights demagoguery, tangential blame-shifting and pointing fingers at a woman who lives more than 3,000 miles away, then Chicago is headed down the highway to either hell… or Newark.

Looking For The Union Label

Big Labor has dug its tentacles so deeply into the Administration of Barack Obama that it has a firm grip on the President’s rather pliable spinal column. If AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka spent any more time at the White House, he would have his own closet in the Lincoln Bedroom. And we have all enjoyed watching Obama deploy Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and teachers’ union storm troopers against the taxpayers and children of Wisconsin.

However, as Big Labor has exploited its relationship with the Democratic Party, not all its slithering has been as easy to spot as a gang of thugs swooping down on anti-Obamacare senior citizens. While violent thugs have rushed out of the Democrats’ front gate, less violent (albeit more dangerous) thugs have snuck through the back.

Witness the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as it punishes the people of South Carolina for daring to live in a state that doesn’t require its citizens to sell their souls to the AFL-CIO just to hold down a steady job. The NLRB has stuck with its plan to try to force Boeing to abandon its 787 Dreamliner plant in North Charleston, S.C., because Obama’s union backers are about as excited about a non-union Boeing shop as they are about Federal grand juries.

In an America struggling to escape the gravity of the economic black hole created by Obama’s Keynesian bumbling, there’s little that worries me more than an active effort by the President and his Big Labor accomplices to keep thousands of Americans unemployed — unless it’s an active effort by the President and his Big Labor accomplices to keep thousands of Americans unemployed because they refuse to work with Big Labor’s boot on their necks.

South Carolina is a right-to-work state. That means, in essence, that the people of the Palmetto State are free to pursue life, liberty and a decent 9-to-5 job without having to deal with a protection racket engineered by the manicured K-Street parasites who control the unions from their plush offices and West Wing confabs. Boeing is pressing forward with a facility that would impact the South Carolina economy by nearly $10 billion. The NLRB, led by Lafe Solomon and Craig Becker (both of whom are union thugs in designer suits), is trying to force Boeing to abandon the project and instead take the whole operation back to the company’s home state of Washington, where the union thugs have made Boeing’s business extraordinarily difficult.

Although the NLRB is supposed to be an independent organization, its own website touts its devotion to promoting union control of American manufacturing over the rights of Americans to simply work. Becker, who has served as general counsel to both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU (and was a member of Obama’s Presidential transition team), is so radically opposed to workers’ rights that Obama had to recess appoint him to the NLRB after even some Democratic Senators expressed misgivings over Becker’s agenda.

In the most recent development, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers filed a complaint that Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) is trying to intimidate the NLRB into dropping its union-backing action. I suppose I might buy Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) showing the union thugs his teeth, but Lindsay Graham? The NLRB is trying to back an Obama play to force money back into his union thug benefactors’ pockets, and they’re claiming Lindsay Graham pushed them around? I’m trying to think of a less-intimidating Senator (much less Republican Senator) — no fair naming Senator Harry “Deputy Droop-a-long” Reid.

Choosing between union kickbacks and job creation would take me less time than choosing between an hour of MSNBC and an hour of anything short of a root canal (unless the dentist looks like Heidi Klum in a lab coat). Obama earns praise from the unions for keeping his distance from the NLRB’s war on South Carolina workers. But with Becker at the head of the NLRB column, not only is Obama leading by proxy, he’s essentially leading in person.

The Fast And The Spurious

It is one of the most famous questions in American political history. As the Watergate scandal began to consume the Administration of President Richard Nixon, Senator Howard Baker asked: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” The answer, as those who escaped victimization by the teachers’ unions know, is: Everything… from the beginning.

This same question has resurfaced fairly often during President Barack Obama’s regrettable occupation of the White House, but perhaps never more deservedly than now. While the Administration has stonewalled inquiries, denied information requests and dragged its feet in responding to Congressional demands, the outrage over the nightmarishly mishandled Operation Fast and Furious (OFF) has reached Chris-Matthews-on-crack decibels.

OFF was the now-infamous failed sting operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in an effort to track the pipeline of weapons between the United States and narco-terrorists in Mexico’s lawless border region. The cost of failure for OFF could be measured in dollars, but rattling off some nine-figure number (more than $100 million and climbing) has limited effect in the age of trillion-dollar national debt figures, double-digit unemployment figures and Michelle Obama’s room service bills. Besides, the real cost of OFF is tragically human.

In 2009, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice determined that Mexican drug cartels were engaging in illegal weapons purchases in the United States. So-called “straw men” were buying the guns and transporting them across the border. As anyone who has ever purchased a firearm knows, such schemes are a serious violation of the law. In the case of OFF, thousands of such weapons purchases and cross-border deliveries were made with full knowledge of — and sometimes in full view of — the ATF. One would presume that a competent Attorney General — not to mention a competent President of the United States — informed of a series of colossally bad decisions on the level of OFF, would immediately begin nailing subordinates’ careers to his bulletin board. At the very least, one might presume that the Attorney General — not to mention the President — would be aware of such a series of colossally bad decisions.

However, according to both Attorney General Holder and his big buddy in the Oval Office, they were unaware that Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley “orchestrated” the disastrous OFF with knowledge and approval of his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. (It should be noted here that both Hurley and Burke are Obama appointees.) And yet, the nine-figure catastrophe, which cost the lives of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, somehow escaped the notice of the highest levels of the Obama Administration. At least, that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.

If you’ve watched C-SPAN lately, then you’ve seen Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) attempting to choke a straight answer out of the Obama Administration regarding OFF with the expected amount of success (none). As far back as February, Holder denied any knowledge of OFF. As recently as last week, White House spokesmodel Jay Carney responded to press corps queries with evasions on par with: “‘Fast and Furious?’ That’s that movie with Vin Diesel, right?” Obama’s Democratic accomplices in Congress, including Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) even tried to distract Issa’s House Governmental Affairs and Oversight Committee meeting from investigating OFF with tangential anti-Bill of Rights bloviating. But testimony and documents reveal a very different story.

According to ATF agent testimony, field agents had serious misgivings about OFF from the beginning, but they were ignored. Department of Justice emails obtained by Issa’s office indicate acting ATF director Kenneth Melson actually watched illegal straw purchases taking place at Arizona gun shops while he sat in his Washington office. In fact, agent testimony indicates that even the cooperating gun shops warned that OFF was a bad plan.

Good people were killed. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent. Thousands of guns were illegally transported across the border to Mexico, most of which have yet to be recovered. And the President of the United States and the Attorney General claim to have had no knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious. Let’s take the (Olympic distance) leap that neither Obama nor Holder are lying (surely, protecting the New Black Panther Party can’t take up that much time). Instead of asking what the President and Attorney General knew and when, the question should be: Are they criminally incompetent or just criminal?

The Lucky Seven

You had a better night than I did Monday night. It’s not that watching the Republican candidates try to convince a crowd of New Hampshire voters of their bona fides isn’t a worthwhile endeavor, but Presidential debates are inherently flawed. Any single-party debate is going to lack a certain honesty, because each candidate wants to exemplify the party’s ideals. In this case, it was a race to see who was the most Republican Republican.

But it’s my job to examine those aspirants to the highest office in the land, vet them carefully and then make cheap jokes at their expense. Barring a surprise entry by a hitherto undeclared juggernaut of a candidate, the next President of the United States was onstage in Manchester Monday night. So it was a hot night of debate-watching for Ben. Luckily for me, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is seriously easy to look at. She’s attractive enough that I’m surprised Ed Schultz hasn’t called her a “slut” yet.

Meanwhile, John King was there with the hard-hitting questions. Otherwise, I would have no idea where former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stands on chicken wings. I know I could never offer my precious ballot to some mild-wing-eating pantywaist. Despite King’s insightful questions, a few surprises popped up in the process. Among them: The GOP candidates are evidently playing nice — for now. None of the attendees took a shot at their fellow Oval Office seekers.

King even tried to force the issue, challenging for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on his “Obamneycare” remark from Sunday morning. Sorry, John, nothing doing. Granted, with President Barack Obama and his liberal accomplices offering reams of material, there’s no time left to attack each other.

And they are clearly cognizant of the conservative movement’s strength. Even Romney blew kisses to the Tea Party. When abortion rights popped up, the candidates engaged in a rhetorical brawl to out-pro-life each other. At one point, I thought Bachmann might come out for the rights of unconceived fetuses.

All the candidates recognize the need to pry the fingers of government regulation off the throats of economic progress. The National Labor Relations Board’s efforts to stop the Boeing plant in South Carolina as payback to the Democrats’ union thug cronies were execrable. I have to admit I missed which candidate called for the end of the NLRB. I was in the kitchen, distracted by a Krispy Kreme Cookies-and-Kreme™ doughnut. I’m not apologizing (it was cookies and awesome!), but whoever said it got cookies-and-awesome applause from me.

With Obama and the Democrats doing everything for illegal aliens but handing them a fruit basket when they reach Laredo, Texas, all of the candidates agreed immigration reform is an absolute necessity. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave the most reasoned response, including a jocular-yet-logical plan for the Department of Homeland Security.

As for foreign policy, all of the candidates offered solid stances for a strong American global image. Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania offered an especially strong opinion on Obama, the world citizen: “He has embraced our enemies.” Well, he might not have embraced them, but I do think they are past passing notes in study hall.

Businessman Herman Cain faltered when King asked him about his comments regarding hiring Muslims, but he righted the ship when he noted that Faisal Shahzad — aka “The Times Square Bomber” — admitted he lied when he took the citizenship oath.

Meanwhile, Representative Ron Paul of Texas stood firm on his borderline isolationist beliefs. Paul boasts an academic understanding of geopolitics. However, his professorial demeanor needs work.

As far as each of the debaters is concerned, Obamacare is just waiting in line for its seat in front of the death panel. The only candidate who had real vulnerability on the issue was Romney, who played it off fairly well with his Obama-should-have-called-me;-I-could-have-told-him-what-doesn’t-work excuse.

I thought Gingrich probably turned in the best performance. But I still think his campaign’s personnel troubles, combined with his inexplicable “right-wing social engineering” smear of the budget proposed by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, may have slashed his tires before he left the parking lot.

As I mentioned earlier, debates are hardly the best candidate showcases. But if Monday’s show in Manchester taught me anything, it’s that Obama and his minions should probably have stepped away from their millionaire non-fundraising fundraisers at the White House. Had they done so, they might have discovered that Obama is in serious trouble.

Giving Peace No Chance

In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the annual Nobel Peace Prize to newly minted President Barack Obama. In its press release, the Committee noted “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Democrats hailed the announcement as a validation of their faith in the erstwhile junior Senator from Illinois. Conservatives acknowledged the most-recent addition to the untested former community organizer’s collection of accolades as proof that the Nobel Prize — which had gained considerable tarnish after being handed to Al Gore for science fiction — was rapidly becoming as precious as those fancy breath mints they have in a dish at the Chicago-area restaurants where Oprah Winfrey dines. The conservative skepticism was confirmed after it became apparent the Norwegian Nobel Committee voted to hand the medal to Obama only nine days into his occupation of the Oval Office.

But Obama is a Nobel laureate. He successfully campaigned on his opposition to war, proudly touting his stance against further combat in Iraq and promising a swift withdrawal from that conflict. With Obama in the White House, not only were we all going to be better people, but we were going to live in a more peaceful world. Obama was demonstrating “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation.”

So, more than two years later, how’s that working out for everyone?

The War in Iraq continues, although the corporate media have developed an apparent aversion to reporting on it. The War in Afghanistan has gotten more — not less — violent, although the corporate media have evidently forgotten how to find Afghanistan on a map. The Middle East has erupted in a revolutionary frenzy which seems inspiring, until closer examination of the various conflicts reveals what may well be some sort of intramural Islamofascist squabble. Instead of delivering harmonious peace to the planet, Obama has increased U.S. military obligations from two wars to four. And he has done so at a time when the U.S. economy is wheezing like Ed Schultz chasing after a date (thanks to Obama’s ham-fisted economic stewardship).

You read that correctly. In addition to the continuing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama has committed us to the dubiously progressing effort to oust Moammar Gadhafi from Libya. And thanks to a report which will probably cost The New York Times a spot on the plane the next time Michelle Obama takes a few dozen of her closest friends to a five-star foreign resort, it has been revealed the U.S. military is now conducting a “secret” — and growing — conflict in Yemen. “Cooperation between peoples” is fairly simple when one side of those “peoples” is pushing up palm trees.

To be honest, I have no issue with justifiable war. Terrorists, among others, need to die; and the U.S. military has consistently demonstrated it is second to none at killing terrorists. Plus, war looks much cooler on television than the corporate media excusing Representative Anthony Weiner’s contact with high school girls. Of course, I didn’t run for President of the United States on an anti-war platform, nor did I win the Nobel Peace Prize on spec. The Obama global doctrine appears to involve some sort of diplomatic board game: “All right, Mr. President, you rolled a five and a three. You have to go to…Yemen… with a cruise missile!”

I am, therefore, perplexed by the ability of rank-and-file liberals to rectify their beloved Obama’s anti-war promises with his decidedly belligerent (or scattershot) performances.

The whole of human history has been marked by war. Indeed, the number of war-free years since the first Neolithic tribesmen began scribbling depictions of dead other Neolithic tribesmen is, counting 2011, effectively zero. Ever since Thok figured out he could have the best cows and women by splitting Unk’s skull with a rock, we’ve been at it. In fact, there may well be only one thing that has defined man’s attempts to assert his own dominance over the world: lying.

–Ben Crystal

How To Win Friends And Influence Liberals

Hey there, Democrats. It’s your pal, Ben. I want you to know I feel just awful about the way Representative Anthony Weiner not only lied about his misadventures on Twitter, but used your devotion against you. Weiner turned out every Democratic double-talking trick from Ted Kennedy to Bill Clinton in an effort to hide his dalliances with dozens of women who he’s fairly certain were not still in junior high school. And most of you bought it. When Weiner claimed he was the real victim, you demanded justice. When Weiner told you he was hacked, you changed your passwords. When Weiner said it was a conservative conspiracy, you put on your tinfoil hats.

Let me use an old-neighborhood euphemism Weiner would recognize: Not for nothin’  — you got played.

But I’m not here to gloat. I have liberal friends who are beside themselves over Weiner’s amateur photography project. Liberals are fond of suggesting that conservatives are cruel. So I’m going to do something Weiner does only if you are female, hot and at least 18 (although he’s evidently flexible on proof of that last one): invite you to join us in the conservative ranks.

Think about it. This whole liberal thing isn’t working out all that well for you. President Barack Obama is as capable of dispensing his Presidential duties as I am of starting in place of Eli Manning next season. I’m fairly certain there’s a short in Vice President Joe Biden’s wiring. And now, your House of Representatives rising star has done a swan dive into the creepy end of the Internet.

Your party’s ideas are sillier than a little-watched cable network offering Lawrence O’Donnell an hour-long program. Obamacare seemed great, didn’t it? Resurrect Hillarycare and ram it down the nation’s throat. Too bad that pesky Constitution keeps getting in the way. Are you sure these are the guys with whom you want to share a political foxhole?

Join the conservative movement. Imagine the joy of not having to be so damned indignant all the time. You never have to watch MSNBC and pretend you didn’t notice Ed Schultz has a severe personality disorder. You never have to listen to NPR and its parade of people who obviously talk with their eyes closed. No more pretending you’re not appalled when Obama tells you to cut back while his wife cavorts around some five-star resort in a dress that cost five figures.

If you’re a conservative, you can tell elected representatives who annoy you to “get stuffed.” When our guys disappoint us, we dump them faster than Larry Craig can tap his foot. We only begrudgingly showed up for Senator John McCain, and even then only because we liked Sarah Palin — and the alternative was worse than being forced to watch four years of Chris Matthews sneering like a crack-addled movie villain.

And you will be well protected. As long as you’re not a felon or Dailykos.com-stupid, we will encourage you to get a firearm. Let me amend that. I’ve seen how some of you throw a football. We will handle the weapons. Most of us own them, and we can shoot straight. Plus, most of the military is on our side — and soldiers really can shoot straight.

And conservative food is better. You’ve sworn off animal flesh because you heard California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown likes vegetarians. I’m sure that vegan diet is really, really healthy, but have you smelled Moonbeam? Step into Smith and Wollensky the next time you get a chance and tell me you’re sticking with your… er… what is that, a dirt sandwich?

But wait, there’s more! Nothing against home brewers, but imagine a pint of something that doesn’t involve ¼ inch of beer-flavored mud at the bottom of the glass. And making that “wine” must be fun. I have two fingers of single malt that says you would prefer a wingback chair, some old amber liquor over ice and an Ashton 8-9-8. That’s right: We get to smoke, too. And our smoke doesn’t always involve the fear of Drug Enforcement Administration assault teams. And a growing number of us think the DEA should concern itself with substances that involve worse outcomes than buying out the local Papa John’s.

No more kowtowing to tin-pot dictators and Islamofascist psychopaths. No more shovel-ready projects. No more racist Attorneys General. No more class warfare as a substitute for meaningful tax policy. No more dues to support union thugs. No more protecting foreign-oil godfathers. No more bald-faced hypocrisy.

At the very least, our women are all older than 18.

An Open Letter to Sarah Palin

Dear Governor Palin:

I really do like you. I like the fact that your entrance onto the political stage has forced liberals to reveal that not only do they tend to be effete, pseudo-intellectual snobs, but also hypocrites of the highest order. I like that even when you do things which otherwise might be fairly mundane — going hunting, taking the children out for a meal, or even  heading out for a run — the Democratic Party reacts as if you are committing one of the crimes for which they readily forgive their own. I like the rather shrewd manner in which you play the left’s hatred against it. As I told a liberal friend of mine the other day, you remind me of that Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain.” You may well be “that vain,” but the song is about you.

Your presence in the political arena has raised liberal hysteria to monumental heights. Let’s be honest, ma’am, liberals hate you. And I don’t mean “hate” in the way they hate it when the barista puts too much soy milk in their lattes. I mean “hate” in the way George Soros hates it when President Barack Obama forgets his lines. Actually, I mean “hate” in the way liberals hate black people who don’t vote Democratic.

Unfortunately, Governor Palin, that means that every time you stumble, mumble or otherwise let your mouth get into gear before your brain catches up, they are going to savage you the way Ed Schultz evidently wishes he could savage Laura Ingraham. The excuse you offered Sunday morning for your recent revision of Paul Revere’s fateful ride was case and point: “… Part of his ride was to warn British that were already there. That, ‘Hey, you are not going to succeed. You are not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have.’ He did warn the British. And in a shout-out, gotcha question that was asked of me, I answered candidly. And I know my American history.”

I won’t accept it when Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) changes the tale of the tricky Twitter feed as often as the girls he follows change their BFFs. I won’t accept it when the comedian/Democratic Party mouthpiece Bill Maher tells his sheep/viewers: “… the Bush tax cuts when he was in office and now the extension it’s something like $2.8 trillion to the richest 1 percent…”

I won’t accept it when President Barack Obama says — well — almost anything. So even though your actual statement has been drastically misconstrued — in fact, even the liberal Los Angeles Times now admits your comments were historically accurate — I cannot accept your explanation. You should have known better.

You should have just let it drop. Heck, Obama claimed his parents hopped aboard the love train as a result of a march in Selma, Ala., which took place three years after he was born. Every time Vice President Joe Biden opens his mouth, he turns into a Charlie Sheen-webcam freak show. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz managed to decry foreign cars from the leather-trimmed seats of her foreign car, and then she voiced her concerns that illegal immigration might become an actual crime.

The Democratic leadership has the intellectual depth of a wading pool. But no one in the corporate media is likely to note that, because the media are too busy despising you. Look, ma’am, they are never going to like you. They are never even going to not hate you. In the interest of full disclosure, you are not my choice for President of the United States, but compared to the current President of the “57” United States, you’re a mama grizzly next to a Portuguese water dog.

I’m not asking you not to run. I’m not even asking you to stop traveling the country, giving Democrats seizures. I’m just asking you to tone it down, just a little. All this Democratic shrieking about you is making it hard for the voters to focus on sending Obama back to school in 2012.


–Ben Crystal

The Real Victim

As the killer was led from the courtroom last week, there was no epic roar of outrage from the gallery. As he shuffled down the hallway, only a few reporters made halfhearted attempts to glean some insight.  As he stumbled (hindered by the back brace he wears), there were shrieks of neither comfort nor condemnation. There were no media outside on the courthouse steps to cover the massive crowds which had gathered to shout their disapproval at this terrible miscarriage of justice; truth be told, there was no massive crowd. The corporate media at the national level barely noticed the story, and mentions were passing at best.

So the killer goes to prison; and we all go on with the rest of our lives.

It has been two years since Jerome Ersland killed Antwun “Speedy” Parker. Now Ersland, having been found guilty of the charge of murder in the first degree, will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Suppress your urge to celebrate. Ersland isn’t some predatory monster, trolling the vast fields of innocent victims for a blood fix. He isn’t cracked-out vermin, blazing into some convenience store and leaving a pile of bodies in return for $50 and a six-pack. Ersland is a disabled war veteran who worked at the Reliable Pharmacy in Oklahoma City, Okla.  A somewhat pudgy 59-year-old who would elicit nary a second glance from most of us, Ersland is hardly the stuff of crime stories, special reports and courtroom dramas.

On May 19, 2009, Ersland went from unassuming pharmacist to killer. Just before 6 p.m., 16-year-old Antwun and a 14-year-old accomplice rolled into the Reliable Pharmacy, waving guns and demanding cash and drugs. Ersland’s co-workers escaped through a back entrance. Ersland, unable to flee due to crippling disability, fought back. Ersland shot Antwun first, and then chased Antwun’s accomplice for a short time before returning to find Antwun was still alive. A terrified Ersland retrieved a second weapon and emptied it into Antwun, killing him.

Just less than a minute had passed since Antwun and his accomplice entered the store. The would-be robber Antwun was dead, and his accomplice was in the wind. A few days later, a crowd of Antwun’s acquaintances created a near-riot at the Reliable Pharmacy, hurling racist insults at Ersland while he worked behind the same counter at which he was standing when Antwun had pointed a gun at him. Then, the local District Attorney decided to charge Ersland with murder in the first degree, based on the video footage of Ersland dispatching Antwun with the second volley.

Ersland, who put his life on the line for a nation that rarely offers its veterans the gratitude they deserve, was facing not only the incomprehensible wrath of the very community which unleashed filth like Antwun upon him, but also the full weight of the justice system.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People didn’t race to Oklahoma City to stand behind Ersland in his time of need. Ben and Jerry’s™ didn’t donate a portion of its socially conscious ice cream sales to his defense fund. ESPN didn’t show up with a camera crew to produce a tenderhearted documentary short on Ersland’s battle for justice. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Innocence Project and Amnesty International were all conspicuously absent. There was no benefit rock concert, no exhortation from a cultural icon, no full-page ad in The New York Times signed by all the proper Hollywood stars.

There are no tales of Ersland harboring a deep-seated animus toward black people and no accounts of his membership in a hate group. Ersland is merely a man who left behind the life in which death shadows each step, only to discover death had followed him home. Pressed against the thin pane which separates the here-and-now from the hereafter, Ersland chose to live — even if that meant taking the life of the person who threatened his. For the crimes of refusing to be another victim, refusing to be the lead story on the evening news and refusing to give up his life to one of the ticks who feed ravenously on the blood of society, Ersland has been cast out forever.

So the victim goes to jail, and we all go on with the rest of our lives.

‘Coach’ Obama Loses Big

Imagine, if you will, a football team. It has practiced diligently. It has scouted the opposition exhaustively. It has a loyal, albeit marginally unbalanced, fan base. It has a foolproof game plan. It is ready. Then, it gets on the field and it loses — big. Final score: 97-0.

Now, imagine the reaction of the beat writers, sports-radio shriekers and television talking hairdos in the wake of such an epic beat down. The cacophony would be louder than Ed Schultz screaming at the most recent woman to turn him down for a date. And the players would have to either make a comeback for the ages or announce their plans to retire.

For President Barack Obama and the Senate Democrats, it’s a good thing liberal politics are nothing like football. Because last week, the Democrat-dominated U.S. Senate voted 97-0 to kill the $3.7 trillion budget Obama sent to Capitol Hill in February. Let that sink in for a moment. “Coach” Obama had more than three months to get his team ready to play, and it performed like a Green Bay High School junior varsity against the Green Bay Packers. Actually, that analogy is imperfect. “Coach” Obama had more than three months to get his team ready to play, and it ended up cheering for the other team.

Of course, if your only source of news is the Democrat-controlled corporate media, then you didn’t hear about last week’s Beltway beat down.The Democrats were hysterically screeching about the likelihood that Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) budget proposal was going to sneak out in the middle of the night and ax-murder your grandmother. One Democratic group even went so far as to produce an appalling attack ad depicting someone (presumably a heartless Republican like Ryan) pushing a kindly old woman off of a cliff. The corporate media, of course, were more than willing to treat the Democrat-authored talking points (read: outright lies) about the Ryan budget’s vicious assault on Medicare as if they were facts.

Ryan’s budget would do nothing of the sort, of course. Instead, it will preserve the financially flagging Medicare system for Americans older than 55 and restore some fiscal sanity to an entitlement which — barring reform — is projected to face insolvency within 15 years. Unsurprisingly, that aspect of the Ryan plan was left out of the Democratic fearmongering; and it was entirely absent from the corporate media’s sycophantic reportage on the budget-wrangling. Ultimately, the Ryan budget — and possibly Medicare’s future — lost 57-40. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a solid defeat. It was, however, an immensely better showing than the silent whitewashing Obama’s budget endured.

One might fairly presume that the Democrats, having demagogued, distorted and defeated the Ryan plan — having killed their own President’s budget — would have presented a plan to the taxpayers. Unfortunately, you would be as wrong as Lawrence O’Donnell saying… anything. Ryan’s falsely maligned proposal lost, sure. But Obama’s proposal was beaten like a red-headed step-budget. And the Senate Democrats, seizing the opportunity to show actual leadership for the first time since Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) let Senator Harry Reid (R-Nev.) put down her purse, offered… nothing.

There is no budget offered by the Senate Democrats. Granted, asking for substantive ideas from a Democratic party that has always been long on defamatory rhetoric and short on ideas is about as fanciful as hoping the aforementioned JV team will upend the Packers. But they had time to slander Ryan to the point of insinuating he’s borderline homicidal. Certainly, they had time to come up with their own (over)spending plan. Sadly, with the game on the line, the Democratic Party choked. Again.

97-0. Lest I miss the chance to stretch the football analogy a bit farther: If you lose a game like that, you unload the players for better personnel and fire the coach. And that, my friends, is the ballgame.