Dr. Obama, Heal Thyself

Back in December, in my piece Obamacare’s Paper Tiger, I noted that while Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius inflicted blunt-force trauma to Obamacare, it did not send the behemoth bill to the great bureaucratic beyond. Hudson stopped short of striking down the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; suggesting that the proposed Minimum Essential Care penalty, while clearly an executive overstepping of constitutional bounds, was severable from the rest of the Obamacare bill.

At the time of the ruling, I suggested that Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services could ultimately be the one which would “…stuff Obamacare back in the Democrats’ pieholes.”

Monday, Vinson vindicated me; ruling that section 1501 (the MEC penalty) is not severable from Obamacare as a whole, voiding the PPACA.

In addressing President Barack Obama’s contention that the government had the authority to force Obamacare on the people through the powers enumerated in the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3), Vinson demurred:

“It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting… that compelling the actual transaction is itself commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce, [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.”

Vinson’s warning is well-taken; or at least, it should be. The statement here is that once Congress takes the stance that inactivity — not buying something — is the Constitutional equivalent of activity — they position themselves as the sole arbiter of virtually any activity; presuming they can draw an economic vertex to it. Taking this concept to its logical extreme, the government could require you to exercise, since fat people tend to place more stress on the healthcare system. Short of that, you might have to step on a scale before you can buy ice cream.

“Sorry, Mr. McBiggenhuge. Your BMI is 26. Put down the Rocky Road.”

The PPACA is the bastard child of the Democrats’ lust for power; and only tangentially related to healthcare. By decreeing that Americans must abide by Obamacare’s tenets — specifically section 1501 — Obama is creating the first tax in history levied against a non-existent transaction. You’re being taxed on a purchase you DIDN’T make.

Or, in the words of the Obama Administration:

Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us… every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers."

The President says eat your brussels sprouts; and from now on, you can drive any car you want, as long as it’s a blue Chevy.

While every observer worth his salt was aware that a loss in Vinson’s court would propel Obama to press his case to the Supreme Court of the United States, few suspected that Obama would personally overrule Vinson in advance of his administration’s appeal to the high bench. It’s worth noting that Vinson — according to 208 years of precedent — outranks the President on Constitutional matters in this arena.

Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter said:

"We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that (Obamacare) will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts.”

Well, Ms. Cutter, you’re down to your last Court. And if the Supremes find 5-4 against you — a real possibility — then the single biggest moment of Obama’s Presidency will be remembered as a defeat suffered at the hands of the Constitution.

The White House is calling Vinson’s ruling “an outlier,” suggesting that they can continue to force implementation of Obamacare as if Vinson’s ruling was some mock trial judgment. Someone in the White House Counsel’s Office should read United States v Nixon; a case which ultimately concluded with the President boarding a non-stop flight to San Clemente.

Ultimately, Obama’s argument in favor of the PPACA is rendered false by his own hand. As Vinson pointed out in his ruling, back in 2008, then-Senator Obama opposed the idea of an individual mandate. Vinson quoted Obama directly:

“‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,'”

Mr. President, it’s time for your medicine.

The Perfect Sandstorm

The Middle East is once again shrouded in the abaya of upheaval. Given the Byzantine nature of Middle Eastern politics, it’s difficult to predict whether the region will emerge from the current disarray with an improved push toward freedom, or a reactionary plunge toward Islamic fundamentalism.

The game may ultimately be the same — the quest for wealth, or power, or both — but the Middle Eastern version is played with far too many wild cards. In Tunisia, a self-immolating street vendor set the government alight. In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorial attitude, combined with a resurgent Islamofascist element, has become a perfect storm of destabilization.

While he’s no friend of freedom, Mubarak has been a redoubtable ally to the United States over the last three decades. Westerners who point to his autocratic manner tend to forget that truly democratic and/or republican leaders outside the Western world are as few and far between as truly democratic and/or republican countries; despite the overwhelming number of nations with names including one or the other adjective. And as wholly unprepared as President Barack Obama was for Tunisia, the situation in Egypt may become a far larger stain on his already-tarnished foreign policy legacy.

In 2009, as brigades of young people took to the streets of Iran in search of liberty, Obama hemmed and hawed. He proffered platitudes about Iran’s potential march toward freedom. But when Iran’s hard-line Islamofascist clerics, fronted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the Persian Ringmaster, unleashed their own version of Tiananmen Square, Obama lost the notes to his “Iranian Freedom” speech.

And the collapse of the Lebanese government, thanks to the machinations of Iran- and Syria-backed Hezbollah terrorists, has gone essentially uncommented-upon by Obama. Beirut, once nicknamed “the Paris of the Middle East,” is headed back to being the “Beirut of the World.”

This, then, would be the “Obama Doctrine.” George W. Bush’s cowboy diplomacy, a one-off of Ronald Reagan’s enormously successful style, is horrendously expensive. But Obama has turned too far in the other direction, instead emulating Carter, the losing admiral in the Battle of the Chattahoochee Bunny.

Lebanon and Tunisia, followed by Egypt, are potentially bad signs. Should fundamentalist Islamic groups like Hezbollah and Muslim Brotherhood gain control, they could destabilize — for example — the already-shuddering regime of King Abdullah II of Jordan. To cement the idea of Abdullah II as non-threatening, keep in mind that he’s such a fan of Star Trek that he once took a walk-on role on one of the spin-off shows (set phasers on AWESOME!) Hardly the stuff of jihadi dreams, considering the Enterprise fires photon torpedoes, not B-40 RPG’s.

Just to the east of Jordan sits the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are enormously wealthy and have territorial control over the heart of Islam. However, they’ve spent decades pacifying extremist Muslims with money and concessions, while maintaining friendly-ish relations with the West. Essentially, the House of Saud has been robbing Peter to pay Mohammed. If that camel lurches to a halt, the offshoot would be both economically and politically devastating.

Elsewhere in the Middle East there sit a variety of monarchies and oil-soaked baronies which would soil their dishdashas if the bad guys moved in heavy. Morocco is a fine spot, but it’s only geopolitically noteworthy for attracting filmmakers and Western tourists who want to say they’ve “been to the Middle East” without actually having to go to the more “shooty” parts. Scattered around the rest of the region are golf resorts like the United Arab Emirates, and tiny oil drums like Qatar and Bahrain: Allies, but with militaries which couldn’t stand up to a determined Girl Scout troop during cookie drive season.

Vice President Joe Biden recently told Jim Lehrer: “I would not refer to (Mubarak) as a dictator.” Imagine the response of every Tom, Dick and Akbar on the street. Obama has repeatedly been behind the curve on foreign policy. It’s high time he gets out in front, and ensures friendly relations with whatever rises there.

Let me leave you with this caveat: If Obama doesn’t encourage them to play nice, the Israelis (thought I’d forgotten them?) will definitely try. If you think the situation in the Middle East is bad NOW — just you wait.

No Thank You, Mr. President

When I talked to Mr. Livingston on Tuesday morning, I suggested that today’s edition of Outside the Asylum could be a stream-of-consciousness look at the State of the Union address and its attendant hoopla. “Sort of a ‘Twitter feed with verbs‘ thing;” I offered. Bob was thrilled with the concept. (Well, he didn’t specifically say “no.”) When I looked at my first draft, it was longer than a Democrat mayor’s rap sheet. Bob did say he wanted it to be shorter than, say, the State of the Union.

The State of the Union took 62 minutes. This should only take you about three minutes (I checked):

6:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time: I’m settling in for the annual Presidential Dog and Pony show. I have a big cup of water and some cookies. Given the entertainment value of past States of the Union, I’d probably be better off with a fifth of Scotland’s finest and a brick to throw at the TV. However, this effort needs to be marginally coherent, and the Super Bowl is coming up; so — no scotch, no brick.

7:01: MSNBC. Chris “Tingle-boy” Matthews is calling Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) stupid. He’s totally non-partisan, of course. He’s got White House spokesmodel Robert Gibbs on. Gibbs is smirking while Matthews rants about Bachmann.

7:10: Switching to Fox. Carl Cameron is talking to Shepherd Smith about bipartisan seating. MSNBC. Matthews still hates Bachmann. Fox. The Moscow airport bombing. MSNBC. Matthews STILL hates Bachmann. Why do his ratings suck?

7:16: MSNBC. Representative Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) wants to talk about the SOTU. Matthews still wants to talk about how much he hates Bachmann. Israel looks like he’d rather be anywhere else. Awkward.

7:22: Matthews is talking education with Pat Buchanan. Wait for it… wait for it… Matthews says Bachmann is stupid. Where’s that brick?

7:31: John King on CNN. King just asked David Gergen about the impact of Twitter. Gergen looks perplexed. I’ll bet his Betamax still flashes 12:00.

7:42: Quick MSNBC check. Matthews still hates Bachmann. He’s got some harpy on with him who — shocker — also hates Bachmann. *sigh*

8:00: Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC. President Barack Obama and black actors have it tough in this racist country, according to Larry. It’s rich white people decrying the plight of rich black people. Is it me, or does Larry look a lot like the Sony PlayStation® 3 guy?

8:32: MSNBC emptied the clown car: O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Matthews and Ed Schultz. Schultz just blamed the I-35 bridge collapse on the Republicans. Michele Bachmann is from Minnesota. Where was she that day?

8:50: Fox. The Senate is filling the chamber. I’m calling for a moratorium on “prom date” references to this bipartisan seating plan.

8:59: The Supreme Court and the Cabinet are filing in. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner looks uncomfortable; but I can’t tell if that’s because he’s about eight inches shorter than Attorney General Eric Holder, or if he’s thinking about this year’s 1040.

9:03: Hello, Mr. President.

The State of the Union:

  • Obama congratulates House Speaker John Boehner. Where’s Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi?
  • Obama wants a return to civility. Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) must be hiding under his chair.
  • Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) is sitting with Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.). Chambliss has the patience of Job. Either that, or all the hot Senators were taken.
  • Obama just cited the stock market as proof of an economic recovery in progress. What happened to Democrats saying “that’s Wall Street, not Main Street?”
  • Now, Obama is proud of the tax cuts he opposed. The “hostages” have been freed, folks.
  • Obama laments that China and India are ahead in science and math education. Yeah, but OUR kids are way better at putting on condoms — USA, BABY!
  • Obama cites the Internet revolution. Vice President Joe Biden, sitting right behind Obama, looks confused. I think Boehner just whispered: “In-ter-net. I’ll tell you after.”
  • The “Sputnik moment.” Obama calls for investment in… he didn’t say, exactly. “Technology.” Uh-oh. His big rhetorical bomb, and he cites a 54-year-old achievement by a country that doesn’t exist anymore. Brilliant.
  • Obama points out the Allen brothers. They’re roofers who got a government loan to make solar shingles. Obama doesn’t mention that we’d have to pave the Midwest in solar panels to light up Chicago.
  • 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. And 1 million doorstops by 2016.
  • Obama wants to pull subsidies from oil companies and give them to… the Allen brothers? He took the same shot at the oil industry last year and a Democrat-run Congress did nothing. Take THAT, stupid proven technology!
  • By 2035, Obama wants 80 percent of America’s energy to come from clean energy sources. The Allen brothers look ecstatic!
  • Switching gears to education. Obama wants 100,000 new science and math teachers. I’m thinking, we don’t have that many now.
  • Did he just say “We’ll show you the money?” Yes, he did.
  • Children of “undocumented workers” deserve to stay. The President of the United States just endorsed amnesty for anchor babies.
  • Transportation and infrastructure. Oh, joy; more “high-speed rail” babble. So now, instead of driving to Atlanta in four hours, I can… let someone else drive me to Atlanta in… four hours. But there is no functional high-speed rail here. Crap. I hate driving to Atlanta.
  • He’s calling for a Works Project Administration-sized public works project; all without laying out how we’ll fund it. How do you spell “Boondoggle?”
  • “A patient…can have a face-to-face video conference with their doctor.” Under Obamacare, it might be with someone whose first name is “Doctor.”
  • He just compared Representative Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) $2.5 trillion cuts plan to making an airplane lighter by removing the engine. Plane crash jokes? Who wrote that, Franken?
  • Obama says, “screw the millionaires.” Those jerks, they’re only paying 40 percent of the tax bill.
  • Cutting duplication and waste. This was supposed to be Al Gore’s job during the Clinton years. Al was too busy inventing the Internet, or global warming.
  • He’s going to veto every bill with earmarks. That’s a win — presuming he’s not lying.
  • “The Iraq war is coming to an end.” Still.
  • “We’re going to deny al-Qaida the stronghold which served as the launching pad for 9/11.” Saudi Arabia just peed in its dishdasha.
  • “We stand with the people of Tunisia.” Half the chamber is on their handhelds, trying to figure out where the hell Tunisia is.
  • “No American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love.” The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I’m all right with this, although I know I’m going to get flamed for it in the comments section.

Charles Krauthammer said he thought the speech was “flat.” It was more — and less — than that. It was hollow, contrived and often self-contradictory. Obama said “We do big things.” And we will again in 2012, Mr. President.

Big Budget Bingo!

By the time you read this, President Barack Obama will have delivered what may well have been his penultimate State of the Union address. While my deadline fell before this year’s Presidential Kennel Club Dog (and Pony) Show, I have no doubt that it was the usual running of the proverbial bull. (For Ben’s analysis of the SOTU, check out his Outside the Asylum column below).

Empty promises, veiled threats, and meaningless calls for civility from a Congress which is as likely to behave as I am to earn a spot in the Mets’ bullpen… let me amend that — I can reach the plate on the fly. Indubitably, the President will also tip his cap to the newly elected Republican House majority by sprinkling a few table scraps of budgetary sanity amongst his equally predictable calls for expansion of… every harebrained social program he and his liberal allies have unleashed upon us during his tenure.

Last week, the 165 members of the Republican Study Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, threw the gauntlet of fiscal responsibility at the President’s feet. Jordan introduced a bill in the House which would — if passed — lop $2.5 trillion from the Federal budget over 10 years. That’s a 13-digit bill for surgery. Even Obamacare won’t cover that.

To be sure, a review of the programs and spending targeted by Jordan’s bill reveals a Chinese phone book of wasteful spending. However, Jordan, along with his Senate counterpart Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), are going to find that the old-line GOP is about as excited about real budget trimming as Obama is about Hawaii Governor Abercrombie working “birth certificate” into every other sentence.

To the average taxpayer, most details regarding the Federal budget are as entertaining as listening to Paul Krugman explain Keynesian economics and the value of active public policy responses to macroeconomic systemic crises and blah, blah, blah…

(zzzz…”And this year’s Nobel Prize for reminding us why the Soviet Union is history goes to…”)

Nonetheless, some of this stuff is easy to figure. After all, how many of you really think $75,000 for the “Totally Teen Zone” in Albany, Ga. is a worthwhile expenditure of taxpayer dollars? No teen worth his baggy, ill-fitting pants would be caught dead in a place called “The Totally Teen Zone.” They’d rather compare nose rings with Paul Krugman.

Studying the entire Federal budget is a fool’s errand; like trying to figure out Al Franken’s appeal to Minnesota voters. You would think they learned their lesson from that whole Jesse Ventura disaster. But being the helpful sort of evil conservative, I thought I would demonstrate how trimming the budget can be at least as fun as meeting your daughter’s new boyfriend; the one with the nose ring and the baggy pants who quotes Krugman. It’s a project the whole family can enjoy!

Grab your scissors, kids! (Yep, they still print this monster out on old-fashioned paper.) Let the cutting begin:

Obviously, Obamacare deserves the ax. Although the House already saw to that; their repeal vote is going to fly like a stone balloon in the Senate. Democrat mouthpieces at The Associated Press claim the job-killer numbers are overstated, culminating in their fabulous “fact-check” piece which stated the GOP was taking a Congressional Budget Office study indicating a loss of nearly 700,000 jobs out of context.

The ultimate point of the piece was to advance the claim that there won’t be fewer jobs, just fewer people working. That’s like saying the victims of Obamacare’s death panels are not dead, just “less vital.” More unemployment means more people on the government dole — which would be good for the Democrats, except that the newly unemployed are professionals, not career parasites. They’ll remember who put them on the street.

Add to that the fact that the Secretary of Health and Human Services has issued a waiver to every union lout and heavyweight Democrat donor like mediaeval papal indulgences, and the price tag rises like the ratings of a Fox News program scheduled opposite Ed Schultz. The elimination of Obamacare represents a savings of up to $1 trillion over the next decade.

But taking Obamacare to the butcher’s block is easy. There are plenty of other areas of the Federal budget which deserve a spot in the blender.

The Department of Education gets a big, fat, red “F.” Flushing this Brobdingnagian budgetary behemoth means everyone keeps their money, and the kids learn math, instead of proper condom application. Of course, the kids will be more likely to know how much they need to steal from mom’s purse to buy more condoms, but now they won’t know how to put them on — meaning more kids. We’ll send them a check for $69 billion annually from the teachers’ unions; post-dated, of course.

Tune in to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I know, the liberals will raise an unholy hue and cry about “Sesame Street.” Bad luck, I don’t have kids. Besides, Disney has entertained legions of children for most of the past century without dining at the taxpayer trough. As for the less kiddie-centric programming, if Garrison Keillor was that interesting to people who don’t close their eyes when they talk, he’d be sorting through offers from the outlets which actually turn a profit. Sending NPR and its ilk into the private sector will save nearly $500 million.

Let’s also send a Dear John letter to the Post Office. Of course, we’ll have to send it FedEx if we want a guarantee that it will arrive as requested. I understand that we’ll all have to spend a little more to send a letter, provided the cost of a first-class stamp doesn’t continue to rise. But it will cost more than that to explain to everyone under the age of 18 what a “letter” is. And your chances of it arriving on time will triple. That will be right about the time the letter gets there. Or, in the case of the USPS, not get there. Wait a minute, Mr. Postman — the USPS is projecting a nearly $250 billion budget deficit for the next decade. Signed, sealed, delivered — you’re gone.

All aboard AMTRAK. Subsidizing the vastly under-traveled national passenger rail lines has brought the taxpayers the pride of knowing they’re paying for a system which is just as much of a joy as traveling aboard a moving fraternity house, only without the sanitation. After nearly $20 billion in taxpayer subsidies, AMTRAK represents less than 1 percent of intercity travel nationally. That’s a subsidy of more than $100 per passenger, per trip. If someone rides the rails across the country, that number jumps above $1,000. We’d be better off buying passengers round-trip airfare.

On that note, consider those multi-billion dollar airline subsidies which have eclipsed $20 billion in the last decade. That’s been a real treat for the taxpayers; and airlines have rewarded their largesse with outstanding performance — as long as you’re not particular about whether you and your luggage (for which you paid extra) vacation on the same continent.

The real joke is on us. By subsidizing both AMTRAK AND the airlines, the government is using our money to prop up two industrial black holes which are in competition with each other; and evidently battling to lose the game. Eliminating both will carve away a potential 11 figures from the taxpayers’ bill.

Many of you will take great issue with these suggestions. You’re welcome to do so — and will doubtless make your feelings known in the attendant comment section. Keep in mind, I managed to slice away nearly $150 billion per year, nearly equaling Jordan’s $2.5 trillion over a decade, and I did it in fewer than 1,500 words, while only looking at six outlays. I never even addressed the endless rogue’s gallery of politically idiotic subsidies (ACORN? REALLY?), duplicate programs and outright waste (true story: Katrina relief funds were used to pay for a SEX CHANGE OPERATION. This one’s for you, then… ma’am… sir… you there.)

The Federal budget is like a wedding, or better yet, those Sweet 16 parties you can watch on cable in which some uber-rich euro trash-type authorizes the budget of a small country for his whiny little princess to ring in her momentous 17th year (because the 16th was such a milestone for humanity).

To be fair, there are areas in which Federal expenditures are not only necessary, but laudable. We need the Federal prisons, the Interstate Highway system (whoops, might have spoken too soon on that one), and the U.S. Army; to cite a few examples. However, far too much of our money goes to programs and projects which deserve nothing more than to be dragged by the 10th Mountain Division down I-70 to Leavenworth.

I’ll tell you what: The next time you find yourself with nothing better to do — say, during the next episode of “My Super Sweet 16″ — think of a use of taxpayer money which is essentially useless. Then, grab the proverbial scissors. You’re welcome to borrow mine — and it won’t cost you thing.

The Keith To Our Hearts

It’s official, kids: MSNBC finally decided to get their heads in the game. After eight years of Democrat talking points, incomprehensible Leftist babble and the most inexplicably smug presentation outside a Michael Moore “documentary,” the official television outlet of the tinfoil-hat set has tossed Keith Olbermann onto the pavement in front of “30 Rock.”

While rumors are flying like the spittle Olbermann used to launch at the camera whenever someone pointed out Bill O’Reilly was tripling his ratings, the real story may never be told. The real reason the higher-ups at MSNBC pushed Olbermann out of the clown car is actually immaterial. Evidently, spending the better part of a decade vying with CNN for the title of “second least-watched cable news outlet” wasn’t going to cut it in the new Comcast/NBC business model.

Olbermann was the lynchpin of a roster which included Chris “Tingle-Boy” Matthews, his own nauseating mini-me, Rachel Maddow, and the worthless Ed Schultz; all helplessly locked in a ratings race with the immensely more appealing and talented crew at Fox News. To be sure, the Olbermann/MSNBC response to Fox’s dominance generally involved insulting Fox viewers, thereby guaranteeing that no one would ever jump the fence to MSNBC’s yard.

But I come not to bury Olbermann; I want to offer him some career advice. After all, I would hate to see him panhandling in Central Park. Imagine Olbermann with a hand-lettered cue card and an empty latte cup, wandering around the reservoir — “Will make fat jokes about Chris Christie for money”. That’s cruel… to the pigeons.

So, what’s next for our erstwhile ranter-in-chief?

Fox News?

Olbermann is a liberal, so pulling a doughnut in the parking lot of principle shouldn’t be a problem. This is the same guy who was pulling down close to eight figures annually while simultaneously decrying the evils of “the rich.” One small problem: Fox has about as much use for a mewling liberal never-was as the vast majority of American viewers had for… well… Olbermann. And Rupert Murdoch terminated Olbermann with prejudice the last time; calling him “crazy.” Oops. Let’s move on.

CNN?

Anderson Cooper is better looking AND better sounding. And there’s no way Olbermann could possibly pull off sincerity while interviewing the “Real Housewives of the Upper West Side.”

HLN?

Joy Behar is just as grating as Olbermann, and she’s a girl, so she looks better in EEOC filings.

PBS?

The darlings on the government dole would love to have him, but at $7 million per year, they can’t afford him. Even if they could, if they hire Olbermann, they’ll be able to time Congressional de-funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in nanoseconds.

CBS?

This one’s highly unlikely, if only because the last time they let one of their “anchors” get out of hand, Dan Rather almost brought the house down. And Andy Rooney will still be funnier after he’s dead.

ABC?

Olbermann’s infamous inability to treat his coworkers with a modicum of decency spelled doom at Disney sister ESPN; once the brass realized Dan Patrick was carrying the show. And Olbermann pretty much set fire to the bridge to Bristol on his way out, earning what even he describes as a “lifetime ban” from their Connecticut campus.

Talk Radio?

Liberals function about as well on the commercial band as Rachel Maddow would at the Miss America pageant. Besides, Ed Schultz can’t spare the listener.

New media start-up?

Look how well that worked out for Al Gore; and Gore invented both the Internet AND global warming. All Olbermann can claim is the invention of the nerdy sneer — not exactly ratings platinum.

Al Jazeera?

All right, that one’s cheap. I couldn’t resist.

O.K., so Olbermann’s days in the media may be at an end. But the world needs him. He’s a valuable contributor to… er… he’s an important part of… um… well, we certainly don’t want to see him abandoned like journalistic integrity in the newsroom he commanded until recently. It’s not as if there’s a “Plan B” for guys like Keith; getting your clock cleaned by Fox isn’t something you put on a job application.

He could always go work for the White House. If they found work for that stoner from “Harold and Kumar Buy More Weed” (or whatever), then they can certainly find work for Olbermann.

They owe him that much.

Boxing History

Ask a randomly-selected group to name an American civil rights organization, and it’s a fair bet that seven out of 10 will respond: “The NAACP.” The other three are likely busily thumbing through their copies of “Moody Loners’ Monthly.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has a rich history marked by enormous strides forward in the effort to give each taxpaying citizen of this great nation equal access to the embittered cynicism endemic to being a taxpaying citizen of this great nation.

Where once blacks were unable to vote, the NAACP helped secure their opportunity to choose from the same nest of back-slapping jacklegs that have the rest of us scratching our heads. Where once blacks were consigned to lives in decaying urban cesspools like Detroit and Washington, D.C., the NAACP has been steadfast in championing meaningful renewa… er… well… they’re against that poverty stuff.

Thusly, during the national holiday celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the NAACP should presumably take center stage in reminding us of King’s message of unity, love and peace.

Conversely, they could take advantage of their starring role in the soap opera of American race relations to press forward with a message of hatred, divisiveness and conflict.

Monday, the NAACP chose curtain No. 2 — again. At a rally at the South Carolina State Capitol, the NAACP celebrated King’s legacy by angrily protesting the display of a “Confederate” flag on the Capitol grounds as a part of a Civil War memorial. I don’t have a dog in the flag fight; I’m an interloping Yankee. While I understand the historical aspects of the Confederate flag, it has always seemed deliberately anachronistic to me, like waving a Union Jack on the 4th of July. Nonetheless, South Carolinians have repeatedly said they want to keep it around.

On King’s day, why bother singing the same tune you’ve been howling at Palmetto Staters for years? Institutional racism is dead in South Carolina, just ask James Clyburn; currently the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. For that matter, take a look at the S.C. 2008 Democrat primary, when Barack Obama did everything but park his campaign bus on putty-faced Hillary Clinton’s Presidential ambitions.

A friend recently invoked the words of a noteworthy American:

We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience.”

It’s an uncommonly erudite caution against lingering on past offenses and failures without learning from them. The speaker was an uncommonly erudite man: George Washington — our American Cincinattus, and symbol of offense to the NAACP.

You read that right. While 1,200 members of the nation’s most august civil rights organization crowded the steps of the South Carolina State Capitol on Monday, a statue of ol’ George was shrouded by a wooden enclosure, reportedly because the NAACP didn’t want to “offend anyone.”

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than some over bred descendant of King George III being offended by a bronze likeness of one of the most important architects of human freedom in history, but it’s an educated guess that race was a factor. Even if the purpose of the shroud was to make NAACP president Ben Jealous look less doughy and more telegenic, I have a hard time imagining the NAACP covering up a bronze relief of George Washington Carver.

But there it was. The same group which claims the mantle of harmonious progress handed down by King, rallying against a symbol of a movement which no longer exists, deliberately obscuring the image of a man who would be horrified by the whole dog and pony show.

Time was, the NAACP stood for the ideals for which both Washington and King lived — and in King’s case — died. Now, they whine about the Governor of Maine’s travel schedule. They bellow on behalf of cop killers. And they’re so consumed with their own place in the present that they have lost any meaningful sense of either the past or the future.

King warned: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” Behind the NAACP’s enclosure, George Washington nods in assent.

High Noon In America

Putting aside the somewhere-between-creepy-and-supremely-twisted electioneering with which the Democrats infused President Barack Obama’s “return to civility” speech last week in the wake of the Tucson tragedy, the honest observer has to offer credit where credit is due. Obama’s address — while certainly no “Morning in America” — didn’t, well, suck. Let’s call it “predictable acceptability.” Obama struck all the right notes of measured non-partisanship. He issued a reasonable call to people across the fruited plain to “use their words.”

So, it’s a bit of shame that his party missed his message. Perhaps they were too busy printing the partisan t-shirts which they issued to attendees at an event which was billed as a memorial/prayer service for the victims of a freak show reject, the accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner; but descended into a “what dead and/or injured people?” carnival atmosphere which evinced memories of the appallingly grave-dancing political rally which replaced Senator Paul Wellstone’s 2002 memorial service.

While Obama endeavored to quell the partisan fires which had little to nothing to do with Loughner’s break with reality, the Democrats kicked into high gear their desperate effort to handcuff Loughner’s murderous rampage to pretty much everyone who has ever knocked back a cup of hot Tetley’s.

Against this backdrop of finger-pointing and flame-throwing, a number of members of Congress have announced a bipartisan effort to turn the State of the Union into a Congressional love-in. Americans who have grown used to seeing the two parties (and Bernie Sanders) separate like the boys and girls at a junior-high school dance will evidently be treated to Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer holding hands with Republicans like Senator Olympia Snowe.

Some pundits have suggested that the Democrats are pushing for the mixed seating to cover up their numerical minority. That’s possible. Others claim that both sides are simply making another hollow symbolic gesture. That’s also entirely likely. We are, after all, talking about politicians.

The image of Nancy Pelosi proverbially sitting in Eric Cantor’s lap, while marginally unsettling, doesn’t fill me with a sense of burgeoning civility in American politics. I know that the moment the cameras have been turned off they’re going to head back to their respective sides of the Capitol and begin plotting to undermine each other with every tool at their disposal.

The people of this nation don’t require bipartisan symbolism from their elected representatives. We require greatness — or at least an era of limited embarrassment. Instead of vacuous pronouncements about political cooperation between adversaries from both sides of an institution which enjoys approximately the same popularity as a cat in the dog pound, perhaps those who tread the halls of American governmental authority should consider actual accomplishment.

The Republicans, their numbers swelling with the addition of Tea Party-backed conservatives, should break with their own traditions of grandiose rhetoric and actually effect real change. It goes without saying that the new Republican Congressional majority is a direct result of voter dissatisfaction with the borderline fascist government-by-fiat proclivities of the Democrats. They should seize the opportunity to reward the electorate’s trust.

Go ahead and sit with your little Democrat friends at the State of the Union, Republicans. Heck, go ahead and rework the office assignments so that Pelosi gets a little desk in the corner of Speaker John Boehner’s office. However, don’t be swayed by the plaintive cries of bipartisan cooperation from the same Democrats who have attempted to connect Loughner to every Republican since William McKinley.

You’re there to do a job. Stand up for the beleaguered victims of years of Democrat economic mismanagement. Help restore respect for the individual which is burned into the lines of the U.S. Constitution. Provide a bulwark against the statist steamroller of Obamacare, of the constant incursions against free speech, of the right to keep and bear arms, of the right to show due respect to the Almighty (or not, if that’s your choice).

If the Democrats require a boost to their self-esteem, let them seek therapy. Maybe they’ll get free t-shirts.

You Might Get It

Well, that didn’t take long. As the proverbial smoke clears in Tucson, the march on the Bill of Rights is underway.

On Monday, Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) announced a renewed push to abrogate the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, wants a return to the free-speech-killing Fairness Doctrine.

“Free speech is as free speech does… you cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.”

On the surface, any effort to bring back an assault on the Bill of Rights would seem to be standard Democrat politics. They can’t beat superstars like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly on the playing field, so they’ll change the rules. With Clyburn’s daughter, the deliciously-named Mignon, an appointee to the Federal Communications Commission, the picture takes on a grim countenance.

However, as is so often the case with liberals, Clyburn’s ham-fisted efforts to squelch opposition by nefarious means are equaled only by his hypocritical short-sightedness. Imagine the nation in which the key tenets of our national freedoms are jackhammered, rather than eroded, away in the name of public safety (or political gain, in the Democrat Party’s dystopic ideal).

If the Democrat Party’s macabre effort to profit from the tragic events in Tucson by shredding the Bill of Rights comes to fruition, what will the Fairness Doctrine produce in the future?

TIMES LATEST TO GET HIT WITH FAIRNESS RULING
Olbermann waits by phone

Homogenized Press Reports

September 9, 2016

Democrats nationwide erupted in paroxysms of rage today upon learning The New York Times lead editorial consisted of a studied endorsement of school choice, lower income taxes, heightened military strength and unqualified support for the 2nd Amendment.

The Times, a redoubtable clearinghouse for liberal thought, was forced to offer the piece following a Fairness Doctrine complaint. When asked about the increase in corporate media outlets being hit with FD rulings, Fairness Czar Charles Krauthammer said, “Look, this has been the law of the land since February of 2011 — the FAIR application thereof does not change with Presidential administrations.”

Republican Party chairman Rick Santorum said, "Turnabout is fair play. They wanted it then — now President Christie is forcing the corporate media to play by the same rules.”

Surprisingly, the Left wing appeared to have been caught completely flat-footed by the new aggressiveness of the Director of the Office of National Speech Control Policy. Krauthammer has been active since being appointed to the office by President Chris Christie in February of 2013. While the latter years of the Obama Administration saw the revived Fairness Doctrine being used as a weapon against talk radio (except for NPR) and Fox News (but not MSNBC), the new direction has been much more even- and heavy-handed.

Once-dependably liberal outlets like The Times and Newsweek have been forced to not only offer Fairness Czar-approved editorials; they are also no longer allowed to read DNC talking points memos as news copy.

The newest developments promise to incite even more ire from the Left. Director Krauthammer’s office has indicated interest in the blogosphere. Although no rulings have yet been issued regarding online opinion comment, ONSCP agents have reportedly been scrutinizing the often violent postings on liberal hate speech sites including Huffington Post, with records requests also landing in the offices of Dailykos.com, an influential Democrat site run by al-Qaida apologist Markos Moulitsas. Reached by phone while on vacation in Waziristan, Moulitsas said, “I talked to Osama and Aym….I mean, my advisers… and we are going to bomb… I mean… sue.”

To add insult to the Left wing’s deepening injuries, only last week, MSNBC announced the terminations of their entire primetime lineup following repeated violations of the Fairness Doctrine.

As a result, unable to find an outlet with conservative commentators sufficiently lacking in quality, honesty and talent, Olbermann and his lackeys remain unemployed — and possibly unemployable; ironic icons of the policy they and the rest of the liberal media once championed.

Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

“Unintentional” Co-Conspirators

I wanted to discuss how years of inflammatory, often violent, rhetoric from the far Left walked us all right up to the moment in Tucson where liberal hate led to liberal violence in one horrific afternoon. I wanted to point out how the incessant drumbeat of rage from Democrat Party outlets like MSNBC and Daily Kos was laying a welding torch to the gunpowder of Leftist anger. I wanted to expound on the fact that the endless “Worst person in the world” ranting from MSNBC’s Zen master of hate Keith Olbermann, with the defamatory efforts of his “mini-me,” the appallingly angry Rachel Maddow, would ultimately drive one of their brainless acolytes to the edge of insanity.

But none of that really matters. Today, a husband sits anxiously next to his wife’s hospital bed. Today, a family is preparing to bury their husband and father. Children have to say goodbye to parents. Parents have to say goodbye to children.

Nonetheless, while the Democrat Party urges its supplicant media to find a way to pin the murder of six people on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and the GOP by proxy; the facts reveal a vastly different picture. It’s a picture of the ultimate expression of Leftist rage, fanned by monsters like Markos Moulitsas, raging idiots like Olbermann, violent union thugs from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and possibly the anti-semitic roaring of characters like former President Jimmy Carter:

While Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was clinging to life, Democrat Party shill Paul Krugman showed up on television to offer:

“..violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.”

I’ll presume that Krugman didn’t mean statements like this one:

“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard…”

Or this one:

“I’m itching for a fight.”

Or this one:

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun…”

All of the preceding statements were made by homicidal terrorist William Ayers’
friend, Barack Obama, since he won the Presidential election of 2008.

Nonetheless, forget all of it. Forget Olbermann’s lunatic yammering on
the Democrats’ “news” channel, MSNBC. Set aside Daily
Kos
and their violent vitriol:

Daily Kos

Peruse that inset, then tell me again how appalling Sarah Palin’s ads
are. Daily Kos also scrubbed a “diary” by an acolyte who
calls himself “Boy Blue” which made repeated references to a Congresswoman
being “dead.” Make sure you keep in mind Daily Kos owner
Moulitsas’ endorsement of Islamofascist terrorism when you do.

Shuffle the SEIU’s assaults on Obamacare opponents to the back of your
mind. Lock away your images of the NAACP standing up for cop killers like Troy
Davis. And consider this:

Jared Lee Loughner appears to be Unabomber-crazy. While the Democrat Party trots
out the big media and blogosphere guns to pin the Tucson tragedy on conservatism,
their macabre effort to profit from human suffering and death rings as hollow
as an Ed Schultz “voter fraud is ok when it benefits the Democrat Party”
monologue.

The Left has developed a cottage industry built on hatred. And while the nation
united in mourning the loss of the victims of Loughner’s murderous rage, they
left the door to their asylum wide open.

But amidst the cacophony of liberal rage, I’ll simply say:

Good night, sweet Christina Green. You deserved better.

Gas’n’Go Under

While driving my hideously fuel-inefficient SUV earlier this week, I noticed the warning light on my instrument cluster alerting me that my gas tank was perilously close to “MSNBC’s primetime ratings.” Since I have access to neither the private jet nor the chauffer-driven limousine Al Gore uses when he leaves one of his multimillion dollar mansions, I pulled into the next gas station.

That’s when I noted the price of a gallon of gasoline starts with a “3.” The last time gas prices were this high, Democrats assured us it was a direct result of George W. Bush’s cozy relationship with “Big and/or Foreign Oil.”

“Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled… (because) They are too cozy with the oil industry”

California’s senior Senator Barbara Boxer offered that clever canard back in April of 2006. At the time, gas prices at the Exxon station from which she staged her shriekfest were $3.10/gallon, just over 8 cents above where they are right now. And Boxer wasn’t the only Democrat assailing Bush over the plight of the people who pay her fuel bills. According to then-junior Senator from New York Hillary Clinton:

“We are one accident or one terrorist attack away from oil at $100 a barrel!”

Actually, if the terrorists are planning this sort of petroleum-based ploy, it may already be too late. As of Tuesday, the price of a barrel of crude is just under $90, nearly $25 higher than it was while Senators Boxer and Clinton were blaming rising gas prices on the former president. Industry experts predict the price will eclipse $100 within a year.

As is the case with commodities — with the possible exception of Arkansas cattle futures — oil’s price can fluctuate wildly depending on supply. However, the supply of oil and the AVAILABLE supply of oil are not always the same thing. There is the oil which American interests pump out of the ground, then refine into useable products at reasonable profit. There is also oil which is chemically about the same as the American stuff, but is located in countries with names that contain words like “People’s Republic of” or sound like “Jihadistan” or are controlled by fascists like Hugo Chavez.

The first type of oil is fine. It makes your car go, heats your home, and gives liberals something to whine about. The second type of oil requires handing checks with more zeros than the Dailykos.com membership roster to reprobates like Chavez.

But oil is tricky stuff. It hides, either under places where caribou and polar bears pose for Sierra Club calendar shoots, or underneath the ocean, which not only presents a logistical problem, but can make seagulls yucky. When things go wrong, as it did last spring and summer during the Deepwater Horizon nightmare, it can create headaches for everyone from BP oil execs (Tony Hayward is still really, really sorry) to the President of the United States (“did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”).

Fortunately, we have President Barack Obama and the Democrat Party to protect us. Thanks to a Democrat-backed ban on pretty much every kind of drilling outside the dentist’s office, the Gulf of Mexico is closing in on being clean of every kind of oil except Coppertone. So, it’s back to foreign oil; and $3+/gallon gasoline.

According to Monday’s Wall Street Journal:

“Oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well (in the Gulf of Mexico). Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012.

But Obama lifted the ban last October, right? Sadly, he’s doing the same thing with energy as he did with Obamacare’s death panels: Using regulatory power to accomplish something he knew wouldn’t cut the mustard legislatively. The Obama Administration claims that “safety” concerns are the cause of the holdup. They used that same excuse to keep skimmers from saving manatees from an “Iffy-Lube” last summer.

Add that to the fact that Democrats have opposed virtually every effort to exploit or expand domestic resources over the last 40 years (the newest refinery in the U.S. was built in 1976; while the newest nuclear power plant dates to 1996), and the picture becomes clear.

So, Senator Boxer: When are you scheduling your “President Obama isn’t doing enough to lower gas prices” press conference?

Bad Call

This past weekend, I sat in front of the television watching football and trying to ignore the headache I’d earned on New Year’s Eve. 2010 was a wild ride for me, but just like 2009, I managed to avoid committing any felonies. I deliberately complicated no criminal investigations. I did no time at any Federal penitentiaries. And for sport, I tortured and killed exactly zero dogs.

Despite this impressive year’s worth of credentials, I received no phone call from President Barack Obama. I didn’t even get a Christmas/Ramadan/Kwanzaa card.

Before the Obama apologists begin howling about his busy schedule or my lack of sufficient import, let me point out that the President DID make time to call Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. Obama didn’t ring up Lurie to discuss the multi-millionaire’s ideas to rescue the national economy Obama and the Democrats have driven into the same swamp Nancy Pelosi neglected to drain. He wasn’t looking for tickets to an Eagles game. He wasn’t seeking Lurie’s tips on where to get a great cheese steak. He wanted to applaud Lurie for offering employment to the convict, Michael Vick.

I’m well aware that any discussion of Vick is likely to inflame some passions. Some people are appalled by the idea of hanging, drowning and electrocuting puppies, and others are all right with it, as long as the perpetrator can run 40 yards in less than 4.5 seconds (and promises he’ll never, ever electrocute Fluffy for kicks again).

Evidently, we can count Obama amongst the latter. And maybe Vick should be back in the NFL. After all, it’s not like he’s Rush Limbaugh or anything.

According to Lurie, the President said of Lurie’s hiring of Vick: “So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance.”

That’s true. Of course, so many people who serve time can’t throw a football 65 yards without a counterweight trebuchet. In fact, I’m going to throw a flag on that play. The idea of Michael Vick serving as any kind of real-life example to his erstwhile Leavenworth huddle-mates is laughable. That’s presuming the remaining population of the nation’s penitentiaries isn’t as good as Vick is at reading blitz on third down.

Vick committed unspeakably ugly acts of barbarism for laughs and then did everything but hide in the locker room in an effort to avoid the sack by law enforcement. He went to a Federal prison, got out and immediately went back to a multi-million dollar job to which most prisoners — most EVERYONE — will never get closer than the TV.

Hey, I love a comeback as much as the next guy. I think it’s terrific that MSNBC gave Rachel Maddow a gig as Keith Olbermann’s Igor after that whole hate radio thing didn’t work out. And I certainly understand the appeal of the outlaw image. I can quote “The Godfather” like every American male. However, neither moronic television personalities nor mobsters tend to get sympathetic phone calls from the President of the United States. Well, at least mobsters don’t. I hope.

Of the many ex-cons who are actually leading productive, non-Snoopy murdering lives since their release, how many of their bosses will get a Presidential back-slap?

For that matter, a question for the President: Of the millions of Americans who haven’t electrocuted puppies, how many of their bosses is he planning to congratulate?

“Is this Sam Smith? Of Sam the Sham’s Shack O’Stuff? This is President Barack Obama. Sam, I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for letting Bob Jones come back to work each day after not committing multiple felonies and then lying to investigators about it. You’re an inspiration to the bosses of people who lead law-abiding lives everywhere.”

To be fair, being President is full-time work. America is facing tough times at home and turbulent conditions abroad. And two weeks of golf, surf and sun on the taxpayer’s nickel in a tropical paradise is a serious undertaking. He barely had enough time to call the owner of a sports team to offer congratulations for generosity toward Cruella De Vil’s dream date.

Never let it be said that Ben Crystal wasn’t there to support his President in a time of crisis. Tell you what, Mr. President: I’ll handle the back nine at Luana Hills. You need to start dialing.

When We Were 234, it was a Very Strange Year

As 2010 draws to a close, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to offer a few bons mots to my fellow denizens of the Personal Liberty Digest. While it is indeed a fool’s errand to encapsulate what many might describe as an annus horribilis, there were some bright spots on the calendar we’re all about to place in the circular file in the kitchen — and not just the cute puppy on the June page.

All right, perhaps “bright” is a bit of an overstatement. Let’s say: “Less dim than MSNBC’s writing staff.” I thought about ranking my picks in order of importance, chronology or geography; but I ended up leading with the WikiLeaks story — mostly because “pasty-faced ex-cyber-criminal” is more florid than “shellacking.”

Read on, MacDuff, And damn’d be him that first cries, “But I LIKE Michael Moore!”

Springing The WikiLeaks
What fun, watching some pasty-faced ex-cyber-criminal become a worldwide celebrity. Liberals who once went into paroxysms of misguided rage over the “outing” of Valerie Plame sang the praises of Julian Assange. At the same time, al-Qaida sent him a thank-you note for leads on the next recipient of the “most likely to be stoned to death for assisting the infidel crusaders” award.

Assange was quickly discovered to have a sexual history which would make even a Kennedy blanch. In a strange turn of events, Democrat Party “documentarian” Michael Moore called rape charges against Assange “hooey,” an odd choice for a party which represents itself as being deeply gender-sensitive. In an even stranger turn of events, Moore’s statement remains just about the only substantive response to the situation from the Obama Administration.

The November To Remember
In a midterm election which even President Barack Obama called a “shellacking,” GOP candidates, many backed by the liberally-reviled (and mistakenly discounted) Tea Party, treated ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s floundering Democrat House contingent like a tackling dummy, taking a net 63 seats away from the Dems in the biggest House beat down since 1948.

While Pelosi went back to her “draining the swamp with a colander,” the GOP pulled the rug out from under the Democrats at the state level, snaring six Governor’s mansions and 780 (!) seats in state legislatures. Voters cited the Democrats’ disastrous handling of the economy and the government takeover of the nation’s healthcare system as primary reasons for the whipping. So, when Obama cast himself as a “uniter,” he meant AGAINST his own party.

It’s STILL The Economy, Stupid!
Bailouts and payoffs and tax fraud, oh my! Led by a Secretary of the Treasury who was evidently outsmarted by those clever cretins at H&R Block, the economy continued to backtrack like Michael Jackson moon walking through a Pepsi ad shoot — only in this case, it’s the American taxpayers whose hair was set ablaze.

Obama promised everything but a “chicken in every pot” in an effort to bolster consumer confidence; the administration even ordered the corporate media to refer to a “recovery summer.” Millions of For Sale signs in front of homes across the nation, along with the worst unemployment since the days of Hoovervilles, spoke volumes to the contrary. Four years of Democrat Congressional control and a President who dines with Oprah while citizens starve gives way to the aforementioned “November to Remember.”

Obama-May-Care.
The reanimated corpse of 1994’s “Hillarycare” lurched back into the spotlight with a vengeance. Although this legislative monstrosity passed after a couple of rounds, it became the biggest single factor in Democrat defeat beyond general economic malaise.

Now the clowns who make visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles such a joy will be in charge of whether you see a doctor, or someone whose first name is “Doctor.” And the death panels at which the Democrat elite scoffed are real. Have fun arguing for chemo for your aging mother with the blue-suits at the Department of Health and Human Services tasked with means-testing the viability of senior citizens. (But pray the death-panelists aren’t from the SEIU).

On The Wings Of The Turkey.
With Obama under increasing pressure to look marginally statesman-like as the world’s more unsavory nations wake up to the reality that the U.S. is now led by a second-rate pantywaist, his administration responded by… feeling up little kids at the airport.

NC-17 rated pictures of American citizens taken from “secure” machines began popping up on the Internet. Despite a spirited backlash, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stood by the plan. In November and December, reports appear revealing that the measures don’t work. Napolitano went on TV and essentially said: “Reports? We don’t need no stinking reports.” The lone bright spot in this 4th Amendment-abrogating disaster: “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”

The Ground Zero Mosque.
This ended up being Ground Zero for the whole pseudo-sensitivity crowd. An Imam with ties to Islamofascism, shadowy finances and a location which had previously served as the spot where some of the wreckage from one of the 9/11 flights landed — how could anyone object? The Democrat ruling elite responded by… fumbling the ball. Pelosi suggested Federal investigations into the GZM’s opponents, followed by talking hairdo Keith Olbermann claiming that there was no Ground Zero Mosque. Not if we have anything to do with it, brainiac.

AZ 1070
Frustrated with years of Federal refusal to deal with a flood of illegal immigrants, and overwhelmed with the illegals themselves, the State of Arizona passed a law to combat the problem on its own battlefield. Despite tremendous support from not only a majority of Arizonans, but American citizens as a whole, Arizona found itself defamed by the Democrat ruling elite who continue to deliberately confuse patriotism with racism. Obama even dispatched a report to the clown-car drivers at the United Nations implying Arizona is violating human rights. True to form, the Feds sued Arizona, hoping to find a judge who missed 10th Amendment day in Bill of Rights class.

A Taxing Compromise
The GOP won the majority in the House and agreed to a partial extension of the Bush-era tax relief without the accompaniment of spending cuts. I’m hoping this may be a ploy to show the Democrats the folly of their “tax’n’spend” stupidity. At least they got the stupid part right.

Federal Oil and Vinegar
In a flashback to Hurricane Katrina, bad Democrat decision making leads to an unmitigated environmental disaster. While oil washed ashore along the Gulf coast, Obama roared into action by… hitting the links. U.S. — and foreign-flagged skimmers sat idle while the Obama administration checked to make sure they had the appropriate number of life vests and fire extinguishers.

The State of Louisiana began building sand berms to protect itself from the spreading oil, only to be stopped by the Obama administration out of concern for… wait for it… environmental damages. Even First Daughter Malia questions Obama’s acumen: “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” If by “hole,” she meant “the 18th at Congressional,” then the answer is “double-bogey.”

Iraq ‘em Up
As August gave way to September, Obama announced the end of combat operations in Iraq. Unfortunately, few of the Islamofascists have cable so they missed the announcement. Somehow, the success of the “surge” (which Obama opposed) was missed in the corporate media’s fawning efforts to present Obama as a wartime leader. They also missed the 48,000 troops who still have boots on the ground in Iraq (not to mention the many more who contend with life in fabulous Afghanistan!)

Of course, a year like 2010 presents far more noteworthy moments than I can adequately cover in one trip Outside The Asylum. Honorable mention goes to Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Senate victory, the abominable real estate market, Obama’s repopulation attempts at the Supreme Court and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Feel free to add your own choices in the comments section. You have all year.

Pay-For-Slay

From our “statements we never want to see in an email from a U.S. Representative” file:

“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’… Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it… The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”  — Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-Ore.)

This cryptic missive issued by the gentleman from Oregon refers to the reintroduction — by Medicare regulation — of an Obamacare proposal to pay “practitioners” — §1233 (2(a)) doesn’t require “practitioner” to mean “medical school graduate” — to annually push people to consider shuffling off the final steps of their mortal coil. While end-of-life counseling became a part of Medicare during the Bush Administration, the Obamacare regulation to which Blumenauer referred in that spooky email introduces the grading and payment of “practitioners” who even the Democrat-controlled New York Times acknowledges must:

“…advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forego aggressive life-sustaining treatment.”

The same “pay-for-slay” plan was actually a part of the original version of Obamacare. After Republicans discovered the planned introduction of “death panels,” the proposal was dropped to facilitate passage of the largest government intrusion into the private sector since William Howard Taft went to the grocery store.

Now, thanks to some Blumenauer staffer’s electronic indiscretion, we learn the Democrats are planning to circumvent the legislative process and return section 1233’s allowance of annual “ready to die yet?” consultations to legal status through the regulation-writing process.

The revelation of said email raises a couple of noteworthy questions, foremost among them:

“…if this is such a grand idea, then why are Democrats trying to hide it?”

In the interests of full disclosure, I am entirely comfortable with the idea of a sound-minded human being making an informed decision to end their own suffering, as long as that decision doesn’t require me to steam-clean the drapes afterwards. But Blumenauer’s secretly-celebrated regulation doesn’t introduce the idea of paying doctors to annually press “end-of-life-planning” to alleviate the suffering of people, it introduces the idea of paying doctors to annually press Kevorkian-esque logic to alleviate the suffering of government.

Section 936 of the ObamaCare legislation actually calls for governmentally-constructed brochures and videos which will essentially serve as scripts for teaching practitioners to convince people to pull the plug.

“Hi, I’m President Barack Obama. Like members of Congress, I am never going to be subjected to the tenets of Obamacare. But, if you’re watching this, you know someone who is. Here are some tips on the best ways to talk old people into assuming room temperature…”

Yikes.

What worries me is the likelihood of Federally-prompted bureaucrat “practitioners” talking people into making rash decisions because Kathleen Sebelius has a budget line to meet. If someone is being eaten alive by bone cancer, they ought to have the option to ask someone to turn off their lights. But if some Department of Health and Human Services functionary is pushing them to hit the switch not to alleviate incredible pain, but because they need the bed, that’s seriously macabre.

We don’t generally means-test the viability of civilized people in a civilized nation. Once we do — and Obamacare clearly raises that possibility — then we will find ourselves living in a nation in which a Federal bureaucracy is making determinations on the value of individuals. We can’t even successfully accomplish that task when dealing with convicted criminals on death row. Though it is interesting how the same ideological mélange which declaims the death penalty for mass-murderers warms to the idea of smothering Grandma with a proverbial pillow.

Liberals often whine about the supposed evils of corporate culture, but they’re evidently backing a regulatory addition to Obamacare which entails the ultimate in sinister anonymity:

“Well, Mrs. Patient 423-06-4487, we COULD begin a regimen of financially burdensome treatments which may or may not cure your… let me check… hmm… 4485, 4486, AH — cancer; OR, you can take this pill, feel a little sleepy, and see your mother in the afterlife.”

In addition to the zombie-like return of the “pay-for-slay” provision, a perusal of H.R. 3200 also reveals:

“…the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization.”

Terrific. Global warming cultists are “a consensus-based organization,” and I wouldn’t ask them for a weather forecast. My potential end-of-life decision will be made in consultation with my physician — sorry — “practitioner” and my loved ones (in my case, my dog). I neither need nor want advice from any “consensus-based” anything.

Mr. Crystal, we’ve arrived at a consensus. You suck. We bribed your dog with bacon. Have fun being dead.”

Stalled From The START

If there were any doubts as to President Barack Obama’s religious affiliations, then this past Wednesday ought to roast them like chestnuts in an open fire. With assistance from the more pliable Republican spines in the Senate, Obama handed the Russian military machine one whopper of a Christmas gift.

Carrying through on his campaign promise (for once), Obama managed to push the New START treaty through the just-ended lame-duck session of the Senate. To hear Obama and the treaty’s backers tell the tale, New START will ensure a lasting peace across the planet. However, a perusal of the treaty’s provisions reveals that peace remains far from guaranteed; and may have gotten a lot more expensive — for us.

According to Senator John Kerry:

“…we move the world a little out of the dark shadow of nuclear nightmare…"

Outside Chernobyl — to which nuclear nightmare might the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts be referring? The reason huge swaths of the planetary rabble have never been subjected to a nuclear nightmare is that one nation — the United States — has been willing and able to invest in and maintain a deterrent arsenal.

Examination of New START calls to mind the warnings at some national parks: “Please don’t feed the bears.” In the case of the Russians, Obama has made what he considers a diplomatic gesture. The problem is that the Russians look at diplomatic gestures the way ursines look at roast beef sandwiches: “Nice sandwich. I wonder if we can get the whole arm.”

New START does not reduce tactical nuclear weapons, in which the Russians hold a nearly 10 to one advantage over us. Presuming the Russians abide by treaty provisions (which by itself would be a hell of thing), Obama has essentially agreed to limit shotguns, while ignoring all their AK-47s.

In addition, New START is a nuclear-powered raspberry to allies we’ve spent nearly two decades warming up after they spent a half-century enduring a long Soviet winter. In order to convince the Russians to go along with New START, Obama agreed to scrap planned missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Democrats often wax rhapsodic about their admiration for European culture. According to paragraph nine of New START’s preamble, American missile defense systems must be limited so as to:

“…not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the Parties.”

New START could potentially allow them to appreciate European culture at night; once it glows in the dark. And the Russians are already threatening to abrogate the treaty should we place new “nukebusters” in Europe. According to General Yevgeny Buzinskiy:

“… (it is) possible for us, in case the Americans increase their strategic ABM system, to claim that they are not observing… the treaty."

The President signed New START in April. The Senate ratified it last Thursday. The Russians are acting like they had their fingers crossed the whole time, with General Nikolai Makarov saying:

"The Strategic Rocket Forces will not be reduced. The forces will be armed with modern mobile missile launchers."

They’ve already found a loophole and they’re going to exploit it like a blind drunk babushka.

There’s also a minor detail regarding nuclear-armed countries which speak both English AND Russian with funny accents. New START has no effect on nations other than Russia and the United States. The Chi-coms are nearly as good at building nukes as they are at pirating DVDs and running over dissenters with tanks. They are not a party to New START. Neither is North Korea, which has nuclear weapons under the thumb of Kim Jong Il, who’s a monocle and pet cat away from being a James Bond movie villain. Neither is Iran, which is diligently working on nuclear power for peaceful means — honest! Neither is Pakistan, which is an Islamabad cricket match from being renamed “Jihadistan,” and electing “President bin Laden.”

New START also has a limited verification provision, which amounts to a “the inspectors are here, act like we’re not playing with the enriched uranium” effect. But it will have virtually no impact on movements of non-covered (read: tactical) weapons within the signatory countries. With the Russians infamously lax in the weapon-security department, the possibility exists that a Russian weapon could end up in the hands of our good friends in al-Qaida — and ultimately in a suburban shopping mall.

New START is the worst kind of flower-child diplomacy. Our co-signers are about as likely to abide by the letter of the agreement as John Kerry is to win a presidential election. (Too soon?) The treaty puts the United States at a marked, and potentially dangerous, disadvantage. While Obama’s general ineptitude is — at best — trying, this sort of muddled “peace at any price” foreign policy is somewhat frightening.

To quote Homer:

"There can be no covenants between men and lions."

Nor bears.

Happy Freaking Holidays

During an appearance on Inside Washington last weekend, National Public Radio‘s Nina Totenberg was rambling through the usual Democrat Party talking points, which she presumably thinks pass for erudite commentary, when she jerked the wheel of mendacity for a moment to offer her sincere apologies for uttering a grossly offensive word…”Christmas”:

“Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don’t know how much money they’ve got and for what. And I was at—forgive the expression—a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this…"

Oh, Nina—there are so many things wrong with that whole sentence that it’s difficult to know where to aim the bandwidth.

So—Ms. Totenberg was kicking back at Eric Holder’s place, and everyone took a break from drinking eggnog, refusing to prosecute racist election law violators and defaming the good people of Arizona in order to whine about how much jack those jerks over the Pentagon have?

Moreover, did she just apologize for attending a Christmas Party? I suppose she would have eschewed the pardon-begging if it had been a Ramadan party? I should also ask: “They’re having Christmas parties—at Obama’s Department of Justice?” Does anyone want to bet on how many times the Attorney General did “Mele Kalikimaka” on the karaoke machine?

She’s not sorry that she was playing “pin the red nose on Rudolph” with Obama Administration insiders while claiming to be an independent media commentator. She’s not even sorry she was getting her groove on at the Department of Justice. Nina is begging our pardon for saying “Christmas.”

Nina, that’s just about the only thing for which I will pardon you. Had you been doing the white-woman’s overbite on the DOJ dance floor during a Hanukkah party, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. I certainly wouldn’t have expected an apology (although the other party-goers might feel differently).

During the season of giving, I would have surmised that an open-minded and tolerant pundit such as Nina would be more than happy to offer a little tolerance to us Christians. After all, we’ve been fighting off our supposedly Inquisitorial instincts for quite some time in order to tolerate her.

I presume Ms. Totenberg’s apology was directed at the poor non-Christians in the Washington, D.C., Public Broadcasting Service affiliate’s meager audience. I was unaware that they lacked the ability to endure the indignity of hearing about a Christmas party. Just yesterday, I heard a reference to the manufactured “Kwanzaa” holiday. The individual who made the reference offered no apology; of course, I didn’t ask for one.

For almost 80 percent of the nearly 310 million Americans, Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year.” My question for Ms. Totenberg and her ilk: Why can’t it be the most wonderful time of your year? No one expects you to trim a tree, nor make sure the stockings are hung with care; and I am in no way complaining about some “war on Christmas.” I’m merely suggesting, in the tolerant vein of the Democrats’ beloved savior, Barack Obama, how about the Democrats allow us to show a little love to our Savior? As for Ms. Totenberg: Maybe your wish for Christmas 2010 doesn’t involve some Republican’s grandchildren being stricken with AIDS?

The liberal disdain for Christmas cheer clearly stems from their standard fear mongering masquerading as cultural awareness. It leaves out the right of every American to celebrate his (or her—how’s that for sensitivity?) own culture without reasonable restriction. If you want to celebrate Christmas, then go jingle your bells. If Hanukkah is your winter wonder-days, then spin that dreidel! Heck, invent your own holiday feast! (Kwanzaa has been taken since the late 60s.)

We live in what may well be the most fractured America since the end of the Civil War. It strikes me that a holiday season in which the message ought to be one of love and acceptance engenders an annual effort by some to deliberately exclude others based on religious intolerance. Ms. Totenberg—I’m not talking about the guys who wanted to put up a Nativity scene at the Fire Station.

With Christmas day less than 48 hours from now, I thought it might at least be worthwhile to simply say to Ms. Totenberg and the rest of the killjoys on the left:

“I forgive you. Merry Christmas.”

Supersizing Stupidity

Listen to some and you might think McDonald’s is as morally bankrupt as your friendly neighborhood crack dealer. Imagine Ronald and the Fry Guys slow-rolling through the ‘hood, pushing Quarter Pounders on poor Grimace and the Hamburglar. You should listen to reason instead. The belief that a multinational fast food chain would deliberately shorten the lives of their own clientele is sillier than “Nader 2012.”

Last week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announced that they had “recruited” a California woman to sue McDonald’s. Although the CSPI has been assaulting what it perceives to be threats to the public waistlines (if not the public taste buds) since its inception, its occasional shrieks have generally been met with the same yawn I expel each time Ed Schultz mimes intelligence. The CSPI’s food-Nazi forays have accomplished little more than info-taining labels on food we already knew was god-awful for us (So…Twinkies are not health food? Thanks, CSPI!).

But the CSPI’s newest ticket in the lawsuit lottery carries a twist: Instead of the usual frivolities involving some gravy-sweating hulk who blames Mayor McCheese because he can’t leave his bed without help from the Army Corps of Engineers, CSPI has Monet Parham.

When it comes to dining on McDonald’s finest fare, Parham appears to have demonstrated some restraint. However, she has ceded her children’s nutritional needs to Mickey D’s (not that they auditioned for the role). The idea that California’s CFSD hasn’t yanked her children from her care is a far better question than whether special sauce should be marked as a class III narcotic.

Parham claims that McDonald’s offer of free toys in “Happy Meals” causes her insurmountable parental problems.

“I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat… I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald’s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience.”

Parham’s daughters are 6 and 2. Perhaps she should try my mother’s sage advice:

Finish your vegetables.”

The suit claims that McDonald’s packaging of toys with their immensely popular Happy Meals is too alluring for children to resist. The suit further claims that people like Parham, therefore, require protection from what the CSPI claims is advertising which “exploits a child’s developmental vulnerability“; plus attorney’s fees (of course).

God forbid she cooks her kids a meal. Now, Parham wants to punish McDonald’s for her own inability to display rudimentary parental skills.

But there’s more to this sordid tale than meets the eye. Parham isn’t merely the CSPI’s latest stooge. Parham is also known as Monet Parham-Lee. And she works for the already-suffering taxpayers of the State of California; specifically, Parham-Lee works on a Federally-funded (your tax dollars at work, kiddies!) program designed to teach kids to eat their vegetables.

There’s a serendipitous alliance of an extraordinarily stupid woman and a liberal group which is working toward an ultimate goal of the Federal government feeding us like gerbils at some Ministry of Nutrition; and then there’s outright conspiracy.

Perhaps Parham-Lee has silly putty for a spine and really is cowering before her kids’ demands to visit Ronald, in which case she’s unfit to have children — or even a hamster. Perhaps the food Nazis at the CSPI recognized that at random, and decided to exploit her apparent unwillingness to discipline her children. However, the smart money says these two culinary crusaders met by less than chance.

McDonald’s placement of toys in the meals is obviously an effort to entice children. The Parham-Lee/CSPI suit alleges:

Children… influence the purchasing decisions of their parents. McDonald’s exploits that influence, by bombarding children with advertisements for Happy Meals with toys, knowing that it will result in kids nagging parents to purchase nutritionally poor Happy Meals for their children…”

Parham-Lee, the CSPI, and the ambulance-chasers who represent them are absolutely correct. Well-crafted advertisements DO influence children to nag their parents. However, the suit doesn’t mention the fact that well-crafted parents can — and often do — say “NO.”

Ultimately, Parham-Lee is:

  1. A sniveling idiot who lacks the fortitude to deny her children Shrek figurines.
  2. A slithering cretin who is deliberately using her children as sock puppets to push a nanny-state agenda.
  3. A sadly misguided woman who is being shamelessly exploited by the parasites at the CSPI.
  4. Some combination of the above.

CSPI needs no clarification; “nosy killjoys” fits the bill. As for the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in this waste of time, money, and justice: Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Act IV, Scene II says it best: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

I’m off to McDonald’s — and I DO want fries with that.

Obamacare’s Paper Tiger

Thanks to a well-reasoned argument by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and a thoughtful decision by Judge Henry Hudson, Obamacare may soon be joining “Carter for President 1980″ and “Keith Olbermann on Sunday Night Football” on the ash-heap of monumentally bad ideas.

In Hudson’s landmark ruling of earlier this week, he called the fundamental tenet of the misleadingly-monikered Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — specifically, the fine for non-compliance — exactly what it is: A grotesque grab for power by the same Democrats who have been lying about Obamacare’s effects all along.

Thankfully, there are Federal judges who have not only read the Constitution, but understand it. You may count Judge Henry Hudson among them. In striking down Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the part that requires you to buy comprehensive coverage or face a fine), Hudson wrote:

“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.”

Put simply: the Federal government does has not have the prerogative to force people to buy health insurance; and “policy raids by The Doctor Police” is just plain Big Brother-creepy. Democrats hoping to utilize the Constitution’s Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) to force citizens to buy into a government-run system felt the back of Hudson’s hand; he noted that section 1501 of the PPACA “exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article 1.”

And how! In addition to levying a financial penalty on citizens who choose to eschew the government’s healthcare boondoggle, Obamacare actually penalizes younger, healthier citizens who DO participate, by forcing insurance companies to cease the practice of offering lower rates to the fittest among us based on academic projections.

Fortunately, Hudson saw through the veneer of Democrat duplicity. It should be noted that the Democrats were perfectly willing to acknowledge that Section 1501 mandated a non-participation penalty right up until the Obama Administration found itself defending the bill in Federal Court, at which point the “penalty” became a “tax.” Not so fast, said Hudson:

“Having concluded that Section 1501(b)(1) is… a penalty as opposed to a tax (author’s emphasis)… Congress lacked power under the Commerce Clause… to compel an individual to involuntarily engage in a private commercial transaction… The absence of a constitutionally viable exercise of this enumerated power is fatal to the accompanying sanction for non-compliance.”

Notice Hudson said “sanction” and not “tax.” Through the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) provision, the Democrats were planning to institute the first tax in U.S. history paid by people for NOT buying something.

While Hudson’s decision DID sever Section 1501 from the PPACA as opposed to simply gunning down the whole bureaucratic monstrosity which is Obamacare, the bill can be regarded as surviving on legislative life support. More Federal cases are in the pipeline, notably in Florida, where 16 states’ Attorneys General are leading the charge to stuff Obamacare back in the Democrats’ pieholes.

Judge Roger Vinson has already ruled that the case can go forward. Vinson’s ruling is déjà vu for the Democrats; Hudson issued a similar ruling in Virginia back in August. There are also religious exemptions which are begging for a 1st Amendment challenge, the obvious 10th Amendment issues, and a privacy case regarding the PPACA’s data-mining intrusions and more — it’s a cornucopia of constitutional contentions — and just in time for Christmas!

Most importantly, without Section 1501’s penalty for failure to buy insurance at Big Barry’s, the PPACA is a legislative paper tiger. The bulk of the Obamacare power grab rested on the threat of enforcement. The Democrats wanted control of the nation’s healthcare apparatus and violated the Constitution to facilitate their greed. Now, the PPACA is little more than a 2,700-page suggestion that people purchase insurance in the manner proscribed.

The uninsured will continue to make their choices. Indigent care, Medicare and the host of other taxpayer-subsidized healthcare services will still require funding. Only now, with the PPACA and attendant layers of bureaucracy, make-work jobs and functionary excess which ALWAYS ride shotgun on overarching Federal legislation, more money will still be required. When the loss of the MEC enforcement provision is factored in — the taxpayers are going to have foot the bill anyway.

The proper response here is not: “Why not just pass it?” The proper response IS: “How about we dump the whole bill like we dumped the Democrat House majority?”

The Prodigal Bubba Returns

(The Oval Office — Thursday, December 9):

“Hey Bill, it’s Barack. Barack… Obama. Yeah, I think Michelle looks great in the stretchy pants, too. Seriously — you’ve probably noticed I make George W. Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar, and Mr. Soros mentioned YOU were a Rhodes Scholar. If you’re not too busy, do you think you could drop by the White House and, um… do my job?”

Last Friday President Obama, facing shrieking indignation from his fellow liberals over his decision to accept the GOP’s tax-rate extension, decided to remind everyone that he is farther out of his depth than a quadriplegic in Loch Ness. Obama called a press conference — on such short notice that he had to ask his spokesmodel Robert Gibbs to find someone to unlock the White House briefing room. The most inept president in American history was going to acknowledge that he and his party had driven the economy into a ditch, and the GOP was going to drive for a while.

Actually, Obama was simply going to act as if the tax policies he’d repeatedly opposed had suddenly been his plan all along. To pull off this latest charade, Obama called in some heavy artillery: Former President Bill Clinton, who is infamous for his ability to dig in against conservative ideals, then take credit for them with a methodical mendacity he calls “triangulation.” And Obama lacks Willie’s slickness, so he invited Clinton to share some tips on how to win votes and influence reporters.

Although he looked about as happy as a vegan in an abattoir, Obama claimed he was pleased with the tax-rate deal:

“The opportunity for families to send their kids to college hinges on this… The ability of parents to put food on the table while looking for a job depends on this…”

That’s a rather abrupt about-face from earlier in the week, when Obama called the Republicans “hostage-takers” over the same compromise.

And then, while Clinton loomed over Obama’s shoulder, looking very much like a disappointed parent, the scene took a turn for the weird as Obama… quit. The President (the actual one) took a powder. Claiming he had to go pound white wine spritzers with the Lady Macbeth of Chicago, Barry hit the bricks, leaving Monica’s ex-boyfriend to… run the country?

Did I miss a memo? While I’m well aware that the Democrat Party has been dealing with some fairly serious intramural dissent of late (and let’s watch the language, people — you’re on television), I was unaware that America’s worst President gave America’s creepiest President the keys to the Lincoln Bedroom.

Clinton, of course, was masterful. The man who spent eight years playing the White House press corps the way Van Cliburn played a Steinway looked as if he’d never left. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought Clinton — musing on everything from the environment to Haiti — was, well, President. Few in the room, including a number of Obama staffers who were evidently abandoned to their fates by their suddenly absent savior, batted an eye at Clinton’s endorsement of the tax-rate compromise against which both he and Obama have vociferously railed. Even fewer noted that Clinton was convincingly pontificating in support of tax rates he has openly, albeit intermittently, opposed throughout his entire career, mostly because we “wouldn’t spend them right.”

In a tableau which only Slick Willy could provide, he was now for the tax rates, after he was against them, after he was for them, after he was against them.

If he had stuck around, Obama would have called the Friday presser a “teachable moment.” Faced with a resurgent Republican House, an economy capable of fiscal super-speed reduced by Democrat policies to idling in the driveway and erstwhile allies who were now describing him in terms normally used by Tourette’s-afflicted schizophrenics, Obama abdicated.

Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign was noteworthy for a comprehensive dearth of substance. Criticism was squashed with laughable claims of racism. The former community organizer from Chicago displayed neither the expertise nor the résumé for the position. Serious, and seriously reasonable, questions about his ability were swept under the rug of liberal lust for power. Suffice it to say, the subsequent years of epic, ham-fisted incompetence have been a little… strange.

But nothing could have prepared us for last Friday afternoon, when the President of the United States, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, Community Organizer to the Stars and architect of the Audacity of Hope, faced with yet another tight spot of his own making, ran and hid behind his big buddy Bubba.

Getting Schooled

Among the less-awesome aspects of authoring analyses for the Personal Liberty Digest™ is the requirement that I actually watch the Democrat-programmed media flacks read talking points like news. I subject myself to the idiotic ranting of these drones in order to keep abreast of what the Democratic Party is endeavoring to subject my fellow Americans to. It is a frustrating but necessary task, given the venomous hypocrisy vomited across the screen by mendacious marionettes masquerading as commentators, pundits and even “anchors.”

But my frustrations are nothing compared to the experience endured by Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) this past Sunday morning when he sat down with doddering Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation.

At issue: The nation’s income tax rates, specifically the Republican effort to continue said rates in an effort to jump-start an economy which President Barack Obama and the Democrats have treated like Ted Kennedy’s 67 Oldsmobile.

To his credit, Kyl displayed the patience of Job, considering he first had to bring Schieffer up to speed on basic economics; a task akin to Stephen Hawking teaching quantum mechanics to a student who had yet to master the art of making macaroni pictures.

Schieffer: “Senator Kyl, is the Senate going to… resolve… the tax cuts?”
Kyl: “… Nobody is talking about tax cuts. We’re talking about extending the rates which have been in existence for the last decade.”

Kyl had offered an explanation even a dim bulb like Schieffer could grasp. But Kyl had underestimated just how low Schieffer’s wattage really is.

Schieffer: “Would these tax cuts be temporary…”
Kyl: “We’re not talking about tax cuts.”
Schieffer: “I gotcha.”

Evidently not:

Schieffer: “Are the votes there in the Senate…to extend these tax, uh…”
Kyl: “Rates.”
Schieffer: “…Rates, as you call it (sic)…”

Uh, Bob? What do you call “it,” rutabagas? It must be tough teaching Econ 101 to someone who prefers his talking points be written in crayon. Over at the Democrat Party’s quasi-official talking points outlet, MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell queried Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.):

“So how do you… justify going along with a larger tax cut, for those who really don’t need it?

Evidently, Mrs. Greenspan doesn’t watch CBS. Nor does she listen at the breakfast table. Nor is she alone in her obtuseness.

“49 percent say don’t give the wealthy these tax cuts”
 — Chuck Todd, NBC.

Fifty-one percent think Chuck’s hair is doing the talking.

“If all the cuts stay in place, the deficit will soar by $3.7 trillion over 10 years.”
– Katie Couric, CBS. (Katie makes eight figures annually.)

It’s no small task getting through to liberals who can’t stop parroting each other, much less overcome liberal doctrinaire talking points. Predictably, the President fell into leftist class-warfare babble:

"I’ve said before that I felt that the middle-class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high-end tax cuts… I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage-takers, unless the hostage gets harmed."

Imagine Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) threatening a parking lot full of minivans. One minor detail: The Democrats are the “hostage-takers” in this twisted tax tableau. Beyond obfuscating the obvious logical fallacy of disarming America’s elite financial troops as the nation fights a huge economic battle, the Democrats and their media are also hiding the central fact that the derided “rich” are already shouldering the lion’s share of tax payments, with the top 5 percent of wage earners paying 60 percent of income taxes, and the top percent of wage earners on the hook for nearly 40 percent.

It’s hard to know whether the Democrat ruling elite’s media are deliberately missing the point, or if they’re just that dense.

To be sure, there are aspects of the Obama-GOP compromise which leave a bit to be desired. The stabilization of the tax rates for two more years, combined with the 13-month extension of unemployment benefits necessitated by the Democrats’ four years of economic mismanagement, should have been accompanied by spending cuts, but wasn’t. Too many shovel-ready projects are already in the pipeline, presumably.

The deal isn’t done quite yet. Millionaire legislators like Senator Harry Reid are trumpeting their opposition to the compromise package like bluebloods declaiming the potential admission of an outsider to their country club.

I have a deal of my own in mind for Bob, Dick, Katie, Barack and Harry. Convince me you’re serious about tax hikes being best for the nation by paying income taxes commensurate with the higher rates you’re pushing. Be honest, and put your money where your mouths are.

For once.

Here In The Arena

Open the average high school yearbook and you’ll see at least one quote from Teddy Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic” speech.

Roosevelt’s words have become so ubiquitous that they’re approaching cliché.  Roosevelt’s homage to enduring excellence evokes the image of the gladiatorial hero; the stout-hearted warrior who carries on with dignity and courage despite the dimly-aware-but-still-withering gaze of a Forum-esque crowd.  Roosevelt was doubtless NOT thinking of a greedy wire-puller who can be fairly described as “crooked as an arthritic whippet’s hind leg.”‘

Last week, the man in the arena was no hero.  U.S. Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) strode to the fore to receive the first official reprimand of Congressional Censure for a sitting congressman in 27 years.  The way ol’ Charlie behaved throughout this sordid saga, the unenlightened observer might have thought he was about to be the recipient of a year’s worth of free airfare to his beloved Dominican Republic.   

“I leave here knowing that everyone knows I’m an honest guy.”

Evidently, “everyone” is a smaller group than “people who watch MSNBC for the quality.”

According to David Broder of the Washington Post, watching Rangel’s wrist-slap moment on the floor of the House was “painful” and made him “weep.”  I’m inclined to agree, but I bet Broder wouldn’t lend me his hankie.  If I were the weepy sort, my tears would have fallen not for Rangel, but for the Republic.

But I won’t weep for Charlie.  This moment was 40 years in the making.  Forty years of pocket-lining, game-playing, race-baiting and abuse of the public trust so blatant that even the aforementioned Romans might scratch their collective heads.

For the sake of space, and common decency, I won’t regale you with the entire roster of Rangel-ian excess.  From Harlem lease violations to failure to disclose earnings from Dominican rental income, there’s simply too much real estate to cover.  Suffice to say, Charlie is as dirty as my dog after a rainstorm.  Some might call this edition of Outside the Asylum “mud-slinging,” but I somehow doubt Charlie would notice.

Should I decide to hurl dirt at someone in Washington, I’d prefer to pitch the peat at the entire circus, rather than limit my lobs to just one sideshow.  During the course of showing Charlie who the real boss is in the House (evidently, it’s Charlie), even Republican Peter King stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the formerly un-censured Representative from New York’s 15th.  Said King:

"Let us apply the same standard of justice to Charlie Rangel that has been applied to everyone else, and that all of us would want applied to ourselves."

You’ll note King didn’t mention the standards faced by us average citizens.  He should talk to Charlie — he doesn’t even “deal in average… citizens.” 

We elect these clowns, and then re-elect them.  Rangel has been speaking for the same general geography since before I began to shuffle my mortal coil.

And don’t fall into the trap of believing the congressional beat down the Democrats endured last month had any effect on the comic corruption that has become the Democrat Party’s guiding principle.  Putting aside the comprehensive lack of remorse displayed by Charlie in standing up to his under-powered punishment for four decades of unrepentant corruption, how about that moment Charlie walked into the House chamber to take delivery on his door prize for bottom feeder of the year? 

What a Hallmark moment.  The Congressional Black Caucus rising to applaud a man who would have been staring through the bars of the Federal Government’s finest eight by 10 cell were it not for his position at the top of the Democrat Party’s leadership pile.

Lest the partisans think I am merely ruminating on liberal lack of respect for the law, I will note that while Rangel was being pusillanimously punished by Congress last week, former Majority Leader Tom Delay was listening to a jury hand down a verdict of “that guy from ‘Celebrity Dance Fever’ did it” in his money-laundering trial. 

But there is no debating the fact that the Democrats, led by their Emperor Barack, have turned our nation’s capitol more fetid than the Okefenokee.  We learned last month that the power to drain the swamp rests entirely with us.  The GOP offers philosophical superiority, but only in theory — obviously not in practice.

WE are Roosevelt’s “man in the arena.”  November was merely the opening round.  We must continue to dare greatly and teach those cold and timid souls the difference between victory and defeat. 

Rendell’s Retreat

“What more sacred, what more strongly guarded by every holy feeling, than a man’s own home.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."
— Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in
Brown v US, 1921.

“I do not believe that in a civilized society we should encourage violent and deadly confrontation when the victim can safely protect themselves (sic) [through retreat].”
— Outgoing Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.)

If your home is your castle and is so sacrosanct that 2 millennia worth of brighter lights than Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell believe you have the right to defend it, then is it not reasonable to extend the same protections to your person as your property?

Rendell thinks not, expecting “detached reflection.” Thus, he used his waning authority to veto a bill expanding Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine to include the right to use deadly force to repel attackers, even if the potential victim is outside his or her home.

The bill, which passed with overwhelming majorities in both houses of the state legislature, would have guaranteed Pennsylvanians the same rights held by the citizens of more than 30 states. By vetoing it last Saturday, Rendell ensured that the bill couldn’t be rescued from the clutches of liberalism before a state assembly veto-override deadline.

Unfortunately for the good people of Pennsylvania, they may have to wait a minute for a rescue from the clutches of an armed felon. Rendell, who spends his days surrounded by a State Police security detail, is highly unlikely to experience the sort of moment for which the bill was intended. Perhaps a stroll through South Philly after 3 a.m. might change his perspective.

And perspective is the key to the “stand your ground” philosophy of self-defense. Liberals like Rendell, irrationally terrified of firearms because of what they MIGHT represent, prefer to encourage flight over fight. But the proud citizen, imbued with the spirit of freedom tempered with responsibility, knows that flight is not only sometimes impossible, but ALWAYS illogical.

Why should a law-abiding citizen be forced to run for his life when he is perfectly capable of defending himself? For liberals like Rendell, the response is simple: The law-abiding citizen is easier to control through legislation. The armed felon isn’t likely to simply give up his life of crime and get a day job because the Governor of Pennsylvania wants him to.

In 1895, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Beard v US:

“A man assailed on his own grounds, without provocation, by a person… apparently seeking his life is not obliged to retreat, but may stand his ground and defend himself …” (emphasis mine)

A liberal would read that quote and remark that 1895 was a far different time; armed confrontations were more frequent, and less likely to draw a timely response from Pennsylvania’s finest. I would remark in turn by suggesting the liberal visit gang-ridden Allentown late on a Saturday night.

Anti-Bill of Rights Groups like the Brady Campaign and the Violence Prevention Center presume that WE can’t be trusted; that stand-your-ground laws would cause American society to degenerate into a Wild-West dystopia. The fact that society has certainly not done so is immaterial. We’re easier to effect laws upon, because we’re more likely to observe them. Perhaps the next time a Pennsylvanian is staring down the barrel of a mugger’s or rapist’s gun, he or she can call the Violence Prevention Center to ride out and leaflet the assailant into submission.

According to the Department of Justice, violent crime in the United States has dropped precipitously in the last 30 years — a decline which coincides with a rise of States adopting laws which allow the use of deadly force in self-defense. In fact, since 1993, the number of total violent crimes in the U.S. has dropped from more than 4 million to fewer than 2 million. I somehow doubt “midnight basketball” deserves the credit.

In the Constitution of the United States, the 4th Amendment states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

What more unreasonable seizure of the aforementioned security exists than the attempted taking of it by a criminal? And since the 2nd Amendment guarantees us the right to bear arms, why should any of us, from Philadelphia to Phoenix, immediately start looking for the exit when such seizure is threatened?

As for Rendell, the Brady Campaign and the Violence Prevention Center, I am fortunate to live in a state which does allow me to stand my ground. And for the thugs who might consider testing me:

“Go ahead, make my day.” — SFPD Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan