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.

Sincerely,

–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.

Testing Your Mettle (Redux)

All right, kiddies, it’s that time again. Every now and then, Bob Livingston allows me to prod your cerebra with the proverbial sharp object. Actually, every now and then, I turn in one of my clever little civics quizzes so close to deadline that Livingston doesn’t have time to fill my space with old Herbert “Herblock” Block cartoons.

Granted, the average reader of Personal Liberty Digest™ is a veritable Rhodes Scholar compared to the low-forehead types who populate some of our dear liberal web counterparts, but I believe in encouraging you to exercise the old gray matter from time to time. “Use it or lose it,” sayeth the old sage. Plus, if you let your brains atrophy, you will start behaving foolishly. From there, it’s only a matter of time before you decay into liberalism and begin living green, speaking with your eyes closed and subscribing to Mother Jones. Being a cavalier sort, I’m here to help. So put away your laptops and iPhones and shut off the television; here comes the latest edition of the Personal Liberty Digest Citizen’s Quiz.

In constructing this examination, I tried to be fair, but firm. Don’t fret if you fare poorly. Remember: There are no stupid answers, only stupid people — and they are at Dailykos.com, waiting for Dennis Kucinich to tell them where the aliens are going to land.

Question 1:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is:

  1. The maître d’ at Oprah Winfrey’s favorite restaurant.
  2. A minor character from the film “The Boys from Brazil.”
  3. The disgraced ex-head of the International Monetary Fund.
  4. Trying to figure out if that crossbeam in his cell can hold his weight.

Question 2:

The IMF:

  1. Secretly controls the universe from its headquarters.
  2. Is the real-life basis for the DC Comics’™ Legion of Doom.
  3. An enormously influential — albeit shadowy — intergovernmental economic group.
  4. A national chain of greasy-spoon pancake joints.

Question 3:

President Barack Obama recently sold out Israel in order to:

  1. Demonstrate his commitment to continuing the peace process.
  2. Drive down real estate prices close to the beaches in Haifa.
  3. A result of his comprehensive ignorance of Middle Eastern politics.
  4. Get a discount at the DuPont Circle falafel cart.

Question 4:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intransigence in dealing with Obama is:

  1. Uncalled for. Obama is the WORLD’S President! Why can’t Netanyahu see that?
  2. Likely to knock him off George Soros’ Yom Kippur card list.
  3. A bold, statesmanlike stand by the strong leader of an embattled country.
  4. Going to give Jimmy Carter a coronary if he keeps it up.

Question 5:

Pakistan appears to be edging closer to China’s sphere of influence because:

  1. Pakistan leaders figure Islamofascism and communism are no less compatible than Islamofascism and freedom.
  2. The ChiComs ask fewer questions about trafficking in human slavery.
  3. Pakistan is as loyal to its allies as teenage girls are to fashion trends.
  4. Pakistan is taking lessons in “how to roll over dissidents with tanks and still host the Olympics.”

Question 6:

Harold Camping’s prediction of the End of Days didn’t turn out because:

  1. He skipped a couple of important pages in Apocalyptic Cults for Dummies.
  2. God was out enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
  3. Please tell me you didn’t need help with this one.
  4. The world actually DID end Saturday afternoon; it’s just that purgatory isn’t as bad as we had been led to believe.

Question 7:

Herman Cain’s decision to run for President:

  1. Is really a cynical effort to boost his radio talk-show ratings.
  2. Is really a cynical effort to widen the market for lousy pizza.
  3. Will make a somewhat-moribund race for the GOP nomination much more interesting.
  4. Will give liberals another target for their racism besides Clarence Thomas.

Question 8:

Tim Pawlenty’s decision to run for President:

  1. Was greeted with all the fanfare of double-coupon day at the Stop & Shop.
  2. Gives Mitt Romney a challenger in the “Most Stereotypical White-boy Republican” competition.
  3. Gives moderate agricultural-state denizens someone to consider besides Obama.
  4. Will redeem Minnesota’s Presidential politics image after that whole Mondale ’84 disaster.

Question 9:

Jon Huntsman is:

  1. The tennis pro at the Salt Lake City Country Club.
  2. The real-life model for the “Politician Ken” doll; coming soon from Mattel™!
  3. Still a better choice in 2012 than Obama, for whatever that’s worth.
  4. Keeping that “Just for Men™” endorsement deal in his back pocket as an insurance policy.

Question 10:

Obama’s reelection message is “We need more time” because:

  1. He spent too much of his first term kicking it with the New Black Panther Party.
  2. It looks better on a bumper sticker than: “Mr. Soros says he has enough cash left over from the Media Matters for America ‘Hatefest 2011.’”
  3. Four years isn’t enough to utterly foul up both foreign AND domestic policy.
  4. Michelle Obama wants taxpayers to foot the bill for a few more 5-star vacations.

Question 11:

Donald Trump abandoned his Presidential aspirations because he:

  1. Couldn’t face four years of competing with his hair for attention.
  2. Couldn’t face four years of competing with other world leaders for attention.
  3. Couldn’t face four years of guys like me making lame comb-over jokes.
  4. Couldn’t convince NeNe Leakes to join his cabinet as Secretary of Temper Tantrums.

Question 12:

Cynthia McKinney recently appeared on Libyan state TV in order to:

  1. Boost her chances to win the Miss Islamofascism pageant.
  2. Debut her new single: “Let your hate flow.”
  3. Remind people that she’s so much more than just the “crazy broad that even Hank Johnson’s congressional district thought was too embarrassing.”
  4. Give Green Party members something to do besides reread their dog-eared copies of Unsafe at Any Speed.

Question 13:

The floods wreaking havoc in the Midwest are caused by:

  1. Global warming (aka global cooling, aka global climate change, aka An Inconvenient Slide Show).
  2. Al Gore and the staff at Current TV.
  3. The same meteorological and geological cycles which have existed for billions of years.
  4. An evil conspiracy of Piltdown Man enthusiasts, space aliens and the International Society of Phrenologists.

Question 14:

Obama’s trip to Ireland was:

  1. A journey of self-discovery for a man in search of his roots.
  2. A result of the fact that “First Black President” doesn’t mean you can cut in the beer line on St. Patrick’s Day.
  3. A nicely staged photo-op designed to convince American voters that a small Irish village should play a big role in selecting the leader of the free world.
  4. An expensive (for the taxpayers) way to make Obama look like he drinks beer instead of white wine spritzers.

Question 15:

America’s still-declining image in the Arab World is the fault of:

  1. George Bush.
  2. Dick Cheney.
  3. Obama’s ham-fisted, spineless foreign policy and the lack of respect it engenders.
  4. America’s stubborn insistence on allowing women to drive, vote and leave the yurt without being stoned to death in an honor killing.

Time’s up, students.  Pass your papers forward so that I may collect them, grade them and then use them for heating fuel this winter when utility rates are higher than Michelle Obama’s wardrobe budget. If you fared poorly, fret not. The good folk of Detroit are still trying to remember how to spell their names at the top of their tests.

I’ll ring the bell now, as I know you have important matters which require attention. There’s the thanks-to-Obama’s-economic-‘recovery,’-we’re-vacationing-in-the-back-yard trip to plan, the kidney you need to list on eBay so you can afford baked beans next month and the new Lady Gaga video coming up on MTV. I hear she’s going to wear a dress made up of strategically placed Filipino children.

Never let it be said that Professor Crystal isn’t hip enough to know what the kids are into these days. But don’t forget: Your final exam is set for November 2012. Study hard.

The Smell of Defeat

As the parade of potential Presidents of the United States marches toward 2012, I can’t help but notice there’s a scent on the breeze. Watching the Democrats and the corporate media circle the wagons around their idol, it finally occurred to me what the putrescent odor is: fear.

And this fear isn’t the usual vote-Republican-and-you-will-end-up-freezing-to-death-on-some-street-corner-and,-by-the-way,-they-are-evil-racists fear. It’s more of the President-Barack-Obama-is-only-slightly-more-deserving-of-a-second-term-than-Jay-Carney-is-of-a-main-event-fight-with-Floyd-Mayweather-Jr. fear. So cue the corporate media.

MNSBC comedian Chris “Tingle-boy” Matthews, noteworthy for nestling most joyously in President Barack Obama’s pocket, has announced he wants nothing to do with any of Obama’s challengers. There was a time when a self-proclaimed journalist would be exiled to the celebrity-rehab beat for that sort of statement. In the age of Obama, Matthews will probably get a contract extension.

But be fair to Matthews. Unlike the rest of the tinfoil-hat brigadiers who have made MSNBC a funhouse-mirror image of a reputable news outlet, he has never even pantomimed legitimacy. During one of his “interviews” with fellow corporate media bobbleheads on his socialist shriekfest Monday night, Matthews has already made up his mind (or had it made up for him) regarding the potential 2012 GOP slate: “I don’t want an interview with any of these guys.”

Er, Chrissy, not to burst your bubble there, but you have obviously made the classic blunder which befalls most liberal media stooges: You actually think you are that important. It’s not as if Romney, Huntsman or Pawlenty are clamoring for the chance to sit at your table and drink bad coffee while you read Democratic Party-scripted talking points and refuse to let them get a word in edgewise. I also suspect that all three — along with the other, more conservative candidates — are a little too big for cable news’ never-going-to-be-ready-for-primetime crew.

And with the profoundly stupid Matthews going so far as to call former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “profoundly stupid,” conservatives will avoid his channel like Ed Schultz avoids the heart-smart section on the menu. And MSNBC’s campaign-season programming will feature Democrats talking to Democrats — meaning the rubber-room programming which has made MSNBC an industry joke will stay unchanged and unwatchable.

Over at New York Magazine (yes, it’s still alive), the most recent issue touted a long-on-words, short-on-actual-sources piece titled “The Elephant in the Green Room,” designed to continue the Democratic Party’s myth that Roger Ailes runs the GOP. While the piece was written for the liberal faithful (making you wonder why it was printed at all, considering the liberal faithful already believes Fox News and the GOP are inextricably linked), it was really just a compendium of dubious innuendo and outright nonsense: “You can’t run for the Republican nomination without talking to Roger.”

Definitive statements like that look good on paper and are easily believed by Democrats who have heard that nonsense from their dear leaders for the better part of a decade. Of course, New York Magazine is about as legitimate in the world of journalism as a junior high school yearbook, but the question is: Why now?

The answer, my friends, is fear. Obama’s unparalleled incompetence has left him highly vulnerable to a solid challenge. The sock puppets at the low-forehead media outlets are lambasting conservative candidates and anyone who won’t read Soros-authored talking points as news copy because they have realized their beloved Obama can lose. The economy has not recovered and isn’t showing strong signs of doing so to any great extent. Gas prices remain stratospheric, and Obama’s response has been to continue the Democrats’ policy of protecting foreign oil interests instead of American consumers. The execution of Osama bin Laden provided a negligible polling bump. (It should be noted that Obama may have coughed that one up himself. Hey, Mr. President: When Navy SEALS kill the world’s most wanted terrorist, try cutting references to yourself down to the mid-30s per page in your congratulatory remarks.)

In fact, Obama has even begun conducting opposition research on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — despite the fact that Christie isn’t running. But the real joke mid all this sound and fury is that a Presidential reelection campaign normally focuses on accomplishments. You have about 18 months, Mr. President. Accomplish something.

Israel, For Real…

Give President Barack Obama credit. Having proved himself the most domestic policy-impaired president since Jimmy Carter “lusted in his heart” (if not since Warren Harding got his Teapot Domed), Obama has evidently decided to set his sights overseas. Bad luck for the citizens of our best strategic ally in Middle East. As of Thursday, Israel had to take a backseat to Obama’s visceral need to appease anyone with a dishdasha and a dream.

From the opposite perspective, bad luck for Obama. Of all the populations he might have thrown under the bus, he chose the group which has won the “Most Likely to Refuse to be Annihilated” award for about 4,000 years running. The people of Israel have been around, in various iterations, since Obama’s ancestors were running the Honolulu (or Nairobi) chapter of ACORN. To put a fine point on it: They’re a tough kill.

For those who doubt the veracity of that last statement, ask most of Israel’s neighbors. When Obama submarined Israel last week, endorsing a Palestinian state which would be demarcated by what Obama called the “pre-1967” borders, he was simultaneously sticking his thumb in Israel’s eye and proving himself to be as poor a student of history as so many others who have given the mythical “Palestinian State” credit for borders which never really existed. Prior to 1967, the territory which Obama and those who would choose to appease Islamofascism didn’t belong to “Palestine,” it was simply in a region known as “Palestine.” The land Obama unsuccessfully tried to force Israel to hand over to the same people who have benefitted from the Arab world’s unremitting warmongering belonged to Jordan, Syria and Egypt in 1967.

In fact, peruse the history books, and you will discover the so-called “chosen people” have been around the Levant for the better part of four millennia, giving them a 2,400-year head start on Obama’s new best friends. True, Israel has occasionally offered less-than-magnificent moments as our allies. I’m old enough to remember Jonathan Pollard.  Nonetheless, compared to the rest of the Middle Eastern nations, Israel is a rock, a redoubt, a reliable friend in a region of the world in which most of our “friends” are flightier than the White House Press Corps.

And yet, the President of the United States cast his lot with the same lunatics who celebrate murdering Israeli children the way I celebrate getting a bottle of 18-year-old The Macallan for Christmas. These are the same folks who freely elected a terrorist group — Hamas — to run their “government.” Hamas, in turn, broadcasts a children’s television program featuring a nightmarish knockoff of Mickey Mouse™ who teaches the kiddies to kill… I’m guessing… everyone. (His name is “Farfur,” which translates from the original Islamofascist as “Unnaturally Short Lifespan.”)

To be fair, there’s a great deal about the Jewish faith which doesn’t really work for me. And I’m not just talking about the fact that my mother’s linguine with white clam sauce is verboten on the kosher menu. But Israel, which often serves as the geopolitical proxy for Judaism, faces a daily existence which entails a great deal more than simple dietary restrictions. Its neighbors want Israelis dead, and its best friend just surprised it with the news that he’s going to the neighbor’s house for dinner.

For those of you who ask “where are they (the Palestinians) supposed to live?” I would respond: “Since they find sharing a region with the Israelis so appalling, how about one of those fine countries that is so quick to bolster their efforts to annihilate Israel?” The Iranians and Syrians (among others) seem quite happy to offer training and financial assistance to Hamas and the other homicidal/suicidal circus freaks; perhaps they should be amenable to putting some fresh rugs down in the guest mosque.

Tragically, the President of the United States isn’t standing behind our strongest (and some might say “only true”) ally in the Middle East because he’s “got their back.” Instead, he’s standing there because it’s an easier way to stick a knife in their ribs. The Israelis can take it; but they shouldn’t have to.

Savannah’s Vile Visitors

During my older brother’s college years, the Ku Klux Klan planned a march through the sleepy Southern town in which his school tended the delicate young minds in its charge. As the fateful day approached, the college administrators wrung their hands over the best approach to dealing with the potentially explosive mixture of goose-stepping knot heads and a couple thousand college students drunk on school spirit and youthful vigor. The students ultimately formulated a plan to hold a giant picnic on the intramural fields located on the far side of campus from the Klan’s planned steel-toed strut. The residents of the town were all personally invited, and nearly all attended. The Klan marched through a town empty of all but the ghosts of their sad delusions.

I think the picnic idea was nothing short of brilliant, if for no other reason than that loosing my brother and his friends on the Pinhead Pageant would have generated a bigger crowd of shrieking lunatics in white dresses than the half-off sale at a Manhattan bridal superstore. Where better than college to learn that even soft-underbelly-of-society types like Klansmen have the right to hoot, holler and wear the laundry? Where better than college to learn the value of ignoring them?

But the Klan is easy to ignore. Not that its particular brand of hate isn’t noteworthy; I just can’t get that worked up about a bunch of clowns who have trouble spelling multisyllabic words but know more about thread count than a Beverly Hills madam.

This weekend in Savannah — a city that has endured my presence for years — another group of more virulently venomous villains will be smearing this lovely town with filth. Fred Phelps and his twisted minions of the Westboro Baptist Church have delivered to Savannah the dubious honor of being the latest locale to suffer their foolishness. Unlike a Klan march in a sleepy college town, the Westboro sideshow in a city of more than 250,000 is likely as difficult to ignore as a palmetto bug in your grits.

Ever since word filtered out that the Westboro crazy caravan was headed this way, all Savannah has been abuzz with plans to assemble to demonstrate against Westboro, prank them or simply gawk at the goings-on. There are Facebook groups dedicated to organizing peaceful counter protests, and there are other groups that have more “energetic” responses planned. I will be among neither the former nor the latter.

I am man enough to admit I lack the compunction to stand within range of reprobates like the Westboro flock. If one of them shoved one of those “God Hates Fags” signs in my face, I would make him eat it. (Just in case my mom is reading this, I would be polite about it. I’d offer him some sweet tea to wash it down.) One of my more spiritual friends recently reminded me that Jesus would not only tolerate Phelps and his herd, He would likely love them in accordance with Scripture. My response was a fairly colorful version of: “Do we think there’s a great deal of confusion over which one’s Jesus and which one’s Ben?” I will eschew a visit with Phelps, because I suspect writing “Outside the Asylum” while inside the big house would be fairly difficult.

Allow me to offer the inevitable caveat: As long as Phelps and his accomplices abide by local ordinances (which they seem maddeningly willing to do), they are — and they should be — allowed to make absolute buffoons of themselves. Those of us with crania larger than Georgia white shrimp are allowed likewise to either point out observable buffoonery or pointedly ignore Westboro’s cavalcade of crazy.

Whether it’s Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam or “Creepy McStalkerston” and the Montana chapter of the Moody Loners’ Militia, America endures even its most aggressively stupid children. At the very least, their presence reminds us how blessed we are to know better than cheer the deaths of men and women in uniform, 9-year-old girls and/or Ronnie James Dio.

This weekend, while the Westboro Baptist Church slithers into my neighborhood to offer its high-decibel condemnations of military heroes, children and former Monsters of Rock mid-carders, I will be playing in my flag football league’s playoffs. It’s not that I don’t have some choice words for Phelps, it’s just that I would rather sweat, wheeze and limp for three or four days than find a way to make bail.

A Black Mark For The Democrats

Herman Cain is a fascinating subject. A self-made millionaire, Cain is a deeply conservative man who recently announced his intention to seek the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. Cain is a graduate of “historically black” Morehouse College in Atlanta — the alma mater of famous African-Americans including auteur Spike Lee, actor Samuel L. Jackson, banker Walter Massey and a certain clergyman from Atlanta who made quite a name for himself back in the 1960s civil rights movement — and woe be unto the pundit who denigrates the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To put a fine point on it, Cain is black. Granted, he’s a long shot to snare a starring role in the next Lee movie about racist pizza (or whatever), but he’s an even longer shot to snare a role in the next Merchant/Ivory film about 18th century Europeans being… boring. It’s hard to imagine someone questioning the “blackness” of a man who rubbed shoulders with such notables at such an institution of higher learning; especially if the questioner is a liberal hack who’s only slightly less white than the Queen of England.

Fortunately for Bill Maher, Democrat Party mouthpieces are evidently exempt from their own standards. On his HBO bobble-head program, the nauseatingly unfunny Maher did NOT call Cain an “Uncle Tom.” However, he did employ Cain as a token to take another gratuitous swipe at the conservatives whom Maher despises more than — well — anything:

“Herman Cain, I never heard of this guy, but apparently he ran Godfather’s Pizza, and Republicans say they love him so they’re not racist — right.”

Actually, the presence of a black man (Cain is not the only African-American whose name has come up. Florida Representative Allen West isn’t exactly Swedish) in the Republican Party Presidential race has no more bearing on the racial politics of the Republican Party in general than President Barack Obama’s mixed-race heritage does on the racial politics of the Democrat Party. In fact, I would posit that a white guy — such as Maher — who would draw such a vertex is himself a racist. Maher, likely out of desperation to denigrate anyone who would challenge his beloved Obama, has attempted to reduce Cain from successful businessman to lawn jockey.

Obama’s political career has largely rested upon some of the most disingenuous race-baiting politics in recent memory. From the 2008 corporate media claiming an Obama loss equated institutional racism, to endlessly Democrat-accepted — albeit factually unsupported — claims of Tea Party racism, to the presence of unrepentant bigots like the repulsive Eric Holder in the Attorney General’s office, the Democrats have made race the centerpiece of the response to virtually every criticism of their Presidential hegemony.

Earlier this year, Democrat Party affiliated hate group Common Cause held a rally at which they unabashedly called for the lynching of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Following that outrage — which went largely unreported by the corporate media — Common Cause issued a half-hearted apology. The “apology” was accepted without question by everyone whom the Democrats consider important; a list which did NOT include the target of the racist invective — Justice Thomas himself. The lily-white Democrats who wished for Thomas to meet his end dangling from a rope made their own bigotry clear in their own words. I have a hard time believing that they’d have demanded a lynching or for Thomas to be sent “to the fields” if he looked like — say — Jay Carney.

Maher noted Cain’s Presidential campaign in an effort to repeat the tired old Democrat smear that Republicans are racist. Assuming that Maher is telling the truth about not recognizing Cain — which reveals a serious lack of professionalism on the part of Maher’s writing staff — then he only noted Cain’s political affiliation because of Cain’s race. THAT, my friends, is racist.

Herman Cain is not “my guy” in the 2012 field, although he’d be a damned sight better at dispensing the duties of the Presidency than the manufactured buffoon who’s squatting there now. But in true liberal fashion, Maher treated Cain like a politicized “Stepin’ Fetch it” in order to prove a Democrat fantasy — Republicans are racist — which doesn’t exist in fact.

–Ben Crystal

If You Can Read This…

So the economy is not exactly hitting on all cylinders of late. Unemployment hovers around the double-digit mark (the Department of Labor says 9 percent; it’s likely higher). The dollar is showing signs of losing its position in the currency market’s starting rotation (even currencies named AFTER ours — the Canadian dollar is one example — are ahead of our dollar in the batting order). And close to 15 percent of our fellow Americans receive government aid of one sort or another.

But it could be worse. In my Tuesday column “Want Fries with That?,” I mused on the tragedy of a Democratic Party that has delivered such a beating to the economy it now touts as proof of some mythic recovery the very same McJobs it once reviled.

Imagine if close to half of the work-eligible population was so ignorant that a McJob was as much a pipe dream as a winning McLottery ticket. Imagine if even the simplest tasks — especially filling out a job application — were beyond the scope of possibility for nearly half of the adult population. From the standpoint of civilization, a place saddled with a populace so helpless would be an absolute wasteland. There would be little chance of President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change.” Indeed, Hope would have pulled up stakes and hightailed it for the hinterlands long ago, while Change would consist of little more than whatever one might find on the sidewalk.

Welcome to Detroit. The Motor City’s population is 714,000. The literacy rate among adults is 53 percent. That last figure is doubtless one of the more important reasons why Detroit’s population is less than half of what it was during the heyday of (read: pre-union-thug destruction of) the American automobile industry.

I would like to believe that even among the greedy, union-thug-backed Democrats, someone would at least hesitate before employing a workforce that is incapable of real work. After all, we are discussing neither senior citizens beset by the jackbooted Service Employees International Union nor other senior citizens pleading for their lives in front of Obamacare death panels.

Much like the victims of liberal programming in New Orleans, Louisiana and Washington, D.C., the citizens of Detroit may not have made their bed, but they certainly helped fluff the pillows. Detroit, like NOLA and D.C., has long been a Democratic Party stronghold. A 2005 study by the Bay Area Center for Voter Research indicated Detroit is the most liberal large city in America.

In the past decade, despite the virtually epic decimation-from-within of their city, the goodly folks of Detroit elected the repulsive criminal Kwame Kilpatrick mayor – twice. Their school system, which is so atrocious that the entire board was once ousted by the Michigan State Legislature, recently posted the worst test scores ever reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Close to three-fourths of fourth graders in Detroit have “below-basic” academic skills. The numbers get progressively worse as students approach and enter high school.

The whole world watched in 2005 as vast numbers of New Orleans residents, left not only indigent but incapable by decades of nanny-state government, ignored warnings as Hurricane Katrina approached. Then, abandoned by their Democratic providers, they fell either upon the ground outside the Superdome or predatorily upon each other.

The residents of Detroit, similarly enslaved by the callous greed and inhuman ineptitude of liberalism, have lost not only the ability to care for themselves, but the ability to care at all.

A major urban center in the heart of the greatest Nation in history has become a graveyard of progress, littered with the broken headstones which mark nearly every place which falls victim to Democratic Party hegemony. Whether a village or a metropolis, a place in which nearly half of the adult population cannot read simply cannot survive.