“It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate…”

…giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place –p. 42

So argues Federal Judge Roger Vinson who just ruled Obamacare unconstitutional.

Read it.  Weep with joy.

UPDATE: Allahpundit explains why this is really only a moral victory but how it could potentially give “cover” to Anthony Kennedy when it reaches the SCOTUS.

UPDATE: Excellent analysis from Professor Jacobson @ Legal Insurrection.

UPDATE: The Other McCain pokes fun at the lefties crying into their tea this morning.  Yes, tea, because we all know that coffee party is a sham.

Shades of Jimmy

Headline says it all: Obama will go down in history as the president who lost Egypt.

Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as “the president who lost Iran,” which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who “lost” Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.

The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.

America’s general weakness clearly affects its friends.

Really.  Who would’ve thunk it, right?  The stakes are high. We’ve funded the Egyptian military for decades. It’s very well equipped as a result.  Pray for the Coptic Christians.  Pray for Israel.  And yes, pray for the Egyptians who will end up wondering how it all went wrong.

What is love, or Why we have children

If you read anything today, make it this. Timpothy Dalrymple, Why we have children.  A taste:

We have no choice but to give ourselves for our children, but we learn that in giving ourselves we receive our selves. In the frailty of this little form that called such an immense love out of me, this bundle of winsome life and running legs and embracing arms, I share in the quintessentially human condition of loving recklessly what is fragile, fleeting, and at risk.

Enjoy your Sunday.  The sun is out.  I have to make the most of pre-snow, pre sub-zero highs.  Will be back once sun is down.

A Friday treat: Michelle Malkin speaking on school choice

Sit back and relax–this is a long video.  Michelle Malkin begins at the 16:01 mark.  I wanted to attend, but we’ve all been sick and pjHusband has been working later than usual. Mabye I’ll get lucky and see her at the grocery store again…

H/t to a dear friend J for the video.

Related: Boehner set to revive DC school voucher program Democrats eliminated.

“She’s 5 months old, and she eats breast milk. From my actual breast. Shocking, I know!”

So says Shannon Smith, a Canadian mom of three who was asked to stop nursing her infant in public.  Near tears, she made her purchases (I wouldn’t have!) overhearing the other shop girls make rude comments unknowing that she was the boob-in-public perp. 

Then Smith went home and started a blog, Breast for the Weary, vented a little, and via the wonders of social media and the internet, a nursing flash-mob was staged in the mall in protest.

I’m always perplexed that this is still news.  Breasts make milk to feed babies.  Biology.  It really is that simple.  For those who feel moms should be relegated to a dark corner to do the somehow dirty deed: don’t stare. Why would I want to feed an infant in a dirty public restroom?  Would you sit on the toilet to eat?  No.  And neither should babies. 

Most moms are discreet.  I was while nursing in public.  Oddly enough, I think things like this function as a flashing neon light: nursing in progress (is it the kicking feet sticking out?)  I used a blanket in the beginning but then figured out that a well-placed scarf worked better, or just my arm when I nursed in my beloved Beco carrier. 

H/t: Teaching my two.

Who knew, eh? UPDATED.

Who knew the border fence–the one just cancelled by the Obami–actually worked? Mickey Kaus via Instapundit:

Here’s news, if you define “news” as something unexpected: You know that expensive “virtual” border fence the Obama administration recently cancelled? It actually worked, acording to Janice Kephart of the Center for Immigration Studies. There were big problems with the prototype, but they fixed them. No wonder it got cancelled! … I had always assumed the “virtual fence” was a fancy-sounding Bush administration scam to let the government weasel out of building a real, nonvirtual fence (of the sort that works well enough in California, which is why illegal immigrants and smugglers now cross in Arizona). But maybe both sorts of fences can work…

Who knew radical Islamists would try to slip across the Mexican border?  So much for xenophobia.  Or security.  Hot Air:

U.S. border authorities have arrested a controversial Muslim cleric who was deported from Canada to Tunisia three years ago and was caught earlier this month trying to sneak into California inside the trunk of a BMW, according to court documents.

Said Jaziri, the former Imam of a Muslim congregation in Montreal, was hidden inside a car driven by a San Diego-area man who was pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol agents near an Indian casino east of San Diego. Jaziri allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling group $5,000 to get him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a “safe place anywhere in the U.S.”

Who knew Mexican border jumpers had such taste in Iranian jihadi literature?

A book celebrating suicide bombers has been found in the Arizona desert just north of the U.S.- Mexican border, authorities tell Fox News.

The book, “In Memory of Our Martyrs,” was spotted Tuesday by a U.S. Border Patrol agent out of the Casa Grande substation who was patrolling a route known for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs.

 Makes you feel safer at night, doesn’t it?

UPDATE: Why it matters via The Other McCain.

Tell me again why any woman needs an abortion at 35 weeks?

If anyone dares say it’s to save the “life of the mother,” he’s lying. A 35 week infant is viable.  

One of Lennart Nilsson's famed in utero images. This was taken at 20 weeks.

Via Michelle Malkin, more shady doctors come out of the woodwork following Kermit Gosnell’s arrest:

Documents filed in Maryland suggest that Brigham and his staff frequently performed late-term abortions. A search of the Elkton clinic revealed a freezer with 35 late-term fetuses inside, including one believed to have been aborted at 36 weeks.

My daughter was born at 36 weeks.

8lbs, 3oz.

Read the rest.

Obama, education and the Head Start failure: why billions more will hit the drain

From Ben Stein’s column this morning:

It was as if the Bodysnatchers had gotten hold of Mr. Obama and put a sixth grader’s brain in him. There were only a few glimpses of Obama the “intellectual” socialist on display tonight. Mostly, his speech sounded as if it could have been given by any 1958 Republican elementary school student. The problem is that this is not 1958 America.

On education:

When Mr. Obama says he’s going to reform American education by setting higher standards, he is just baying at the moon. Most of the nation’s public school pupils are not achieving at even close to the rates of the students in other advanced nations. The problem is intensely concentrated among the nonwhite students of this nation. If we cannot find a way to get these kids working, and working hard, to reach basic educational standards, we will face educational and job force catastrophe. For their sake and for the nation’s sake, they have to be helped to help themselves. Unless they can be brought up to standards of other industrial nations, we will become a third world country. This remediation can be done and must be done.

True, but it begins in the home.  A home with two parents.  As long as entitlements keep 70% of black children fatherless, we won’t find any easy solution.  A hallmark study in the 90s showed a three million word gap between 3-year-olds who grew up in households of professional parents versus those in the projects because the parents of the “professional” toddlers spoke to the kids more frequently.  They heard more words

This number came from the data that showed welfare children heard, on average, 616 words per hour, while children from professional families (essentially children with college educated parents) heard 2153 words per hour.  The longitudinal research in the following years demonstrated a high correlation between vocabulary size at age three and language test scores at ages nine and ten in areas of vocabulary, listening, syntax, and reading comprehension.

Does the $7.235 billion budgeted for government preschool, aka Head Start help?  No.  Even the liberal think tank the Brookings Institute concluded earlier this week:

The study demonstrated that children’s attendance in Head Start has no demonstrable impact on their academic, socio-emotional, or health status at the end of first grade. That’s right. If you were a mother who lost the lottery, couldn’t get your child into Head Start, and had to care for her at home, she was no worse off at the end of first grade than she would have been had she gotten into Head Start. That isn’t to say that she was well off. In the critical area of vocabulary, 3-year-olds entered the study at the 29th percentile in terms of national norms and finished first grade at the 24th percentile whether or not they attended Head Start. That is not good

No, that is not good.  The War on Poverty turned into the War on the Black Family, and children are no better off than they were sans government preschool.  I’m awed by the conclusion set forth in Brookings:

The study went virtually unnoticed. You can’t find anything about it in the Washington Post or the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or any other media outlet that serves the general public. The Post has 11 reporters covering education. Why isn’t a report on the effectiveness of the nation’s largest federally administered education program, one that serves thousands of needy children within the Post’s metro area, deemed worthy of newsprint? Is Head Start so sacrosanct that bad news about it is to be ignored?

Emphasis added. In the Age of Obama, no paper will print let alone admit that billions of dollars to help “lift” poor children educationally is a waste right before The One Speaks to re-Sputnik our education system (or something). 

Can you see the headline ever appearing?  Study: Head Start a failure, billions of dollars wasted by liberals

No, this would have been printed instead: Evil Republicans want to cut 7 billion for preschool for poor, black children.

Michelle Malkin adds:

Our government already spends more per capita on education than any other of the 34 wealthiest countries in the world except for Switzerland, according to recent analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Overall inflation-adjusted K-12 spending has tripled over the past 40 years, the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out. Yet American test scores and graduation rates are stagnant. One in 10 high schools is a dropout factory. And our students’ performance in one of the most prestigious global math competitions has been so abysmal that the U.S. simply withdrew altogether.

Dumping more money we don’t have won’t solve these problems. Dumping teachers unions might help, but that won’t happen any time soon. Reinvigorating American schools will begin not with money but a renewed interest in the basics of education–real math, reading, and writing. Core Knowledge rather than patting Johnny on the head and reassuring his self-worth even though he can’t answer which of the earth’s poles has the coldest weather.

With friends like these

AP headline up at Yahoo News:  Obama and his imbalanced ledger

Heh.

The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.

Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed “we redouble these efforts.” He coupled this with a call to “freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.”

But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

That’s where Obama math will get you, eh?  An imbalanced ledger and a bankrupt country. Ed Morrissey adds more:

Color the AP … unimpressed.  Calvin Woodward notes that one proposal for an increase in tax receipts, a tax hike on oil companies, didn’t fly even when Democrats controlled Congress.  But that’s hardly the extent of the problems in Obama’s math.

  • Obama argued that his new health-care plan lowers the deficit, and that repealing it would add “a quarter of a trillion dollars” to it.  Woodward points out that this argument depends on deep cuts to Medicare payments to doctors, which Obama and his fellow Democrats later reversed, at least for now.  It’s also worth noting that the reason it works on paper is because it hikes taxes more than it cuts spending.
  • The supposed stand on earmarks doesn’t pass the smell test, either.  Obama has been vowing to stop earmark-laden bills from becoming law since he first started running for office in 2007, but Woodward recalls that Obama has not only signed every earmarked bill he’s received into law, he also praised earmarks in 2009: “Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts, and that’s why I’ve opposed their outright elimination.”
  • Obama offered to work on malpractice and tort reform, which Woodward referred to as a Lucy-with-the-football moment.  Obama keeps endorsing the idea publicly in concept, but refusing to endorse any actual reform proposals.  The CBO calculated that tort reform of the type imposed in California could save $110 billion over the next decade in the health care industry, with $54 billion in savings for the federal government.

But like all things Obama, don’t judge him by his faulty numbers.

And not to worry: Krauthammer underwhelmed by “Late Clintonian Minimalism.”  Was that before the blue dress or after?

Dean Koontz hasn’t written this horror story yet

Truth is stranger than fiction, y’all.

Via Wesley J. Smith’s bioethics blog, Secondhand Smoke, Belgian doctors eye the “pool” of handicapped as a good source of high-quality organs:

A group of Belgian doctors are harvesting “high quality” organs from patients who have been euthanased. This is not a secret project, but one which they described openly at a conference organised by the Belgian Royal Medical Academy in December. In a PowerPoint presentation, Dirk Ysebaert, Dirk Van Raemdonck, Michel Meurisse, of the University Hospitals Of Antwerp, Leuven And Liège, showed that about 20% of the 705 people who died through euthanasia (officially) in 2008 were suffering from neuromuscular disorders whose organs are relatively high quality for transplanting to other patients. This represents a useful pool of organs which could help to remedy a shortage of organs in Belgium (as everywhere else).

Smith:

I can think of few more dangerous activities then to convince people with disabilities–and society–that their deaths have greater value than their lives.  That pebble with which I was concerned has grown into a massive boulder that is generating tidal waves of harm

Or encouraging doctors to think that some human life is more valuable than that of others.  Heck, not that Obama appointees  and buddies feel the same way. 

I’ve discussed the relationship between Smith and Koontz before here.

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