Canaries and coal mines

So the French have no stomach for austerity measures. Do we? This would seem a good gauge: if we aren’t capable of cutting the truly unnecessary, then those who feel robbed of their free goodies will rise up a la Cloward-Piven to ensure future reward. Via Hot Air, a test of intestinal fortitude for the GOP:

Say — how’d you like to get a free cellphone?  No strings attached, no contracts, and no payments ever.  Don’t stop at one phone, either — get two, three, five, ten, twenty or more!  The cost is covered by people who are dumb enough to pay for their own cell phones … like you and me.  We’ve been doing it for a decade or more, and it’s now costing us over a billion dollars a year, as Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) argues as he fights to bring the program to a halt.

Griffin doesn’t plan on cutting the subsidized landline access–which doeshave safety implications–but cellular only. Even then, will the GOP survive the onslaught of taking-granny’s-phone-away media? Or are we finally able to stand up to false vilification?

“The greater good”

That’s how Bruce McQuain describes the tendency of liberals to excuse any and all behavior if it’s in pursuit of “the greater good.”

Case in point: Darragh McManus praises the blood on Che Guevara’s hands. He writes [emphasis mine]:

Yes, Che was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer? No, not in the sense of a serial killer or gangland assassin. He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things.

Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in that — pure principle in a world of shabby compromise. Maybe this is why Che remains such an icon, both in image and idea.

Yes, Che is an icon, even though he was a murderous thug. He wasn’t concerned by those trifling things like, oh, morals, because he had a vision. So did Charlie Manson, but I digress.

Obama, too, is one of those “rare” people who is prepared to push boundaries by thuggery and abuse of power. Attempting to intimidate the Supreme Court counts as thuggery. It’s the Chicago way. Bryan Preston writes:

President Barack Obama used his press time today to launch a frontal assault on the judicial branch of the US government. Speaking to press in the Rose Garden, the president said “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

That “strong majority” came entirely from the Democratic Party, which was defeated in the 2010 mid-terms over dissatisfaction with the ObamaCare law. The majority of American voters did not support ObamaCare’s passage and still want the law repealed. So, the president’s call amounts to an appeal to keep an unpopular law intact just because his party passed it and he signed it.

That “strong majority” consisted of fewer than a dozen votes out of over 400. Overwhelming strength, no? Obama appealed the SCOTUS to consider the “human element.” Dear Mr. Former Constitutional Law Professor (what a joke!): there is no “human element” in deciding whether or not the law is Constitutional. But that’s what “the greater good” is all about, isn’t it?

NBC deceptively edits to help what, start a race war?

This peeves me beyond belief. What happened to reporting? I know it’s a dead art. But editing in this case didn’t provide brevity or clarity, it’s just misleading. Via Instapundit, the scoop from The Hollywood Reporter:

In the NBC segment, Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

The full version, though, unfolds like this:

Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”

Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

Instapundit quips:

It’s as if they’re pushing a predetermined narrative regardless of the evidence or something.

UPDATE:  Reader Michael Costello emails:  “ABC did the same thing.  Aren’t these the same people who accused Andrew Breitbart of deceptive editing?”  Yeah, go figure.

Predetermined narrative aside, doesn’t it give you warm fuzzies to know that millions of people trust this as truth when it’s anything but?

UPDATE: linked by Chris Wysocki at Theo Spark. Thanks!

Funny that, a lawyer caught perjuring himself

Not so funny when it’s the U.S. Attorney General, is it?

Fast and Furiously destroying the Obama administration from within. Godspeed, CBS:

New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

Dear Attorney General Holder, please note that testimony before Congress is recorded. You might not have been aware of the fact. So much for sworn testimony! Oh, maybe they didn’t teach you that in law school.

Pundette has more: Documents directly link Holder to Fast and Furious.

Allahpundit:

No code words or euphemisms there. Nice and specific. And yet Eric Holder, upon discovering that 1,500 guns had been “supplied” to Mexican drug cartels in an operation managed by the ATF, apparently didn’t demand a full explanation. Fancy that.

I’ve seen the “Holder lied, people died,” tag and it’s much more true of Holder than it ever was of Bush. Funny that, eh? Or the comparison to Watergate, except that Watergate didn’t have dead bodies strewn about.

Will this bring down Holder? Obama? It should on both counts. I’m still AWED that CBS pursues this story.

Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

 

Quandary

Byron York highlights Barack Obama’s quandary: he’s fulfilled the secret desires of liberals who now despise him. What to do, after we’ve pulled out of Iraq, passed nationalized healthcare,  and created a juggernaut of government bureaucracy, regulation and spending. York:

Meanwhile, the president’s approval ratings are hitting new lows, with his job approval rating bouncing around the high-30-percent to low-40-percent range in recent Gallup Polls. The numbers are even worse — about 70 percent disapproval — for Obama’s handling of the economy. Independent voters, the key to the president’s election in 2008, have abandoned him right and left.

Given all that, it’s no surprise that many Democrats are running away from Obama. But here’s the problem: He did what Democrats wanted him to do. Health care, stimulus, taxes, you name it — Obama did what his party wanted. Not what the public at large wanted, but what many Democrats wanted. And now, as the negative electoral consequences of their own priorities stare them in the face, those Democrats are blaming the president.

Liberalism 101: when do they not blame someone else?

It is intriguing, though, to see the failure of any recognition that their policies are the disaster, not just the President.

More:

And, by the way, the Democrats who are most unhappy with Obama are the ones who wanted him to do more of the things that have made him unpopular.

“It’s ingratitude,” says a Democratic strategist who asked to remain anonymous. “People are saying to [Obama], ‘You didn’t do everything you told me you were going to do.’ If you’re a member of a union, you didn’t get everything you wanted. If you’re an environmentalist, you didn’t get everything you wanted. But the left wants to go beyond what’s possible.”

Will that ingratitude lead to a prominent Democrat asking Obama not to run? Some  have predicted that for years. And with the mounting scandals–Solyndra, Fast and Furious, and now LightSquared–who could blame him for cutting and running as fast as he can?

Liberalism gone wild: how to reduce the stigma of free lunch

Why everyone receives one, of course, regardless of need.

This is no joke from the Detroit Free Press:

All Detroit Public Schools students will receive free breakfast, lunch and snacks in an effort to remove the stigma of being from a low-income family.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture program chose Michigan as one of three states to participate in the pilot program. Charter schools and districts in Michigan can participate if at least 40% of students are eligible for public assistance.

Who needs to pay for meals, eh? The line moves much faster when you don’t have to whip out a wallet.

“One of the primary goals of this program is to eliminate the stigma that students feel when they get a free lunch, as opposed to paying cash,” said DPS Chief Operating Officer Mark Schrupp. “Some students would skip important meals to avoid being identified as low-income. Now, all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay. Low-income students will not be easily identifiable and will be less likely to skip meals.”

Although not required to participate, parents are still being asked to fill out a survey that includes income analysis to ensure that children, schools and the district will continue to receive millions of dollars in benefits and resources from the state and federal governments, as well as private grants. Program funding dependent on the surveys includes tutoring, after-school programs, field trips, technology and equipment, DDOT bus cards, free college testing, enrichment activities and others.

The never-ending flow of other people’s money, now to those who don’t even need it.

Why am I not surprised? That free Obama money, making the rounds.

A Pundette “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

Say what?

Via Gateway Pundit, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen made a surprise stop in Afghanistan today. 

What do you tell troops in harm’s way when your boss says screw with ‘em and make ‘em worry? A soldier asks what will happen when the government defaults, and this is what he gets in return:

As we move into a changed likeness there are some other benefits … we’re pretty focused on making sure we don’t break faith with the people who are already in the military.

A changed likeness? Of what, choosing demagoguery and scare tactics and sending a four-star admiral to scare his troops over making the real decisions to put our country on a viable fiscal path again? Some other benefits? Like savaging defense spending rather than shoring up entitlement programs?  Never let a crisis go to waste.

So the military gets the shaft while Joe Biden charges rent to the Secret Service detail protecting the VP and family. Rent. $13,000 thus far and eligible to make $66,000 more. One would think Joe Biden would recognize where that money ultimately comes from, as I doubt anyone could argue that he’s seriously that stupid. He’s not. He just thinks we are.

 

Ah, a deal: does it even matter?

After reading Mark Steyn at his most scathing, no:

The Democrat model of governance is to spend $4 trillion while only collecting $2 trillion, borrowing the rest from tomorrow. Instead of “printing money,” we’re printing credit cards and pre-approving our unborn grandchildren. To facilitate this proposition, Washington created its own form of fantasy accounting: “baseline budgeting,” under which growth-in-government is factored in to federal bookkeeping as a permanent feature of life. As Arthur Herman of the American Enterprise Institute pointed out this week, under present rules, if the government were to announce a spending freeze — that’s to say, no increases, no cuts, everything just stays exactly the same — the Congressional Budget Office would score it as a $9 trillion savings. In real-world terms, there are no “savings,” and there’s certainly no $9 trillion. In fact, there isn’t one thin dime. But nevertheless, that’s how it would be measured at the CBO.

Like others, I have a hard time fathoming “trillion.” Steyn points out $9 trillion eclipses the combined GDP of Japan and Germany. Still having trouble? Try this. It adds a certain dimension to the debate, no? If we’re incapable of honestly cutting money from our budget now, then we’re headed down the tubes in no uncertain order unless we kick the charlatans out of DC. A goodly number of Republicans included. For-ev-er.

So what lies ahead? Steyn paints a rather dismal picture. Read the rest.

Related: Friday Limbaugh, “You can be proud, Conservatives: Tea Party puts country over party.”

Cross-posted at Pundit & Pundette.

“So, in case you’re wondering why Obama’s second annual Recovery Summer is a wee bit sluggish at your end…”

“Relax,” says Mark Steyn:

Stimulus dollars went to fund one federal agency to buy guns for the paid informants of another federal agency to funnel to foreign criminals in order that the first federal agency might identify the paid informants of the second federal agency.

Got that? The larger picture:

Or consider “Operation Fast and Furious,” about which nothing is happening terribly fast and over which Americans should be furious. The official explanation is that the federal government used stimulus funding to buy guns from Arizona gun shops for known criminals to funnel to Mexican drug cartels. As I said, that’s the official explanation: As soon as your head stops spinning, we’ll resume the narrative. Supposedly, United States taxpayers were picking up the tab for Mexican drug lords’ weaponry in order that the ATF could identify high-up gun-traffickers. But, as it turns out, these high-up gun-traffickers were already known to other agencies — FBI, DEA, and other big-spending acronyms in the great fetid ooze of federal alphabet soup in which this republic is drowning. And, indeed, some of those high-ups are said to have been paid informants for those various federal agencies.

[...]

Meanwhile, what did the drug cartels, the recipients of the guns, do with them? Well, they used them to kill at least one member of a third federal agency: Brian Terry of the United States Border Patrol. If that doesn’t bother you, well, they also killed not insignificant numbers of Mexican civilians. If, by this stage, you’re wondering why U.S. stimulus dollars are being used to stimulate the Mexican coffin industry, consider the dark suspicion of many American gun owners — that the real reason the feds embarked on this murderous scheme was to plant the evidence that the increasing lawlessness on the southern border is the fault of the gun industry and the Second Amendment, and thereby advance its ideological agenda of ever greater gun control.

My husband always argues that vast government conspiracies aren’t feasible, or in the words of Yeats: things fall apart, the center cannot hold. “Fast and Furious” eclipses Iran Contra and Watergate. Will Holder rightly lose his job? Will Obama? Will “Fast and Furious” fizzle in the MSM or become a campaign issue?

UPDATE: linked as a Pundit & Pundette “Featured Blog.” Thanks!

“Everyone’s standards are different, but to be elected to Congress and sit there all day on Facebook and chatting?”

So says Megan Broussard in an interview with ABC news of her Facebook “friend” Anthony Weiner.

Ain’t that the truth, eh? Weiner now admits to sexting or twitching or whatever with multiple young ladies. Busy man.

As for the Weiner presser, The Other McCain says it best: incroyable. For the minute-by-minute Weiner roast, read Stacy. He’s got it all.

A Republican would have resigned. But a Democrat? Nevah. Further proof:

The last question shouted at a Weiner as he left the podium was “Were you fully erect, Congressman?”

Dollars to donuts that Weiner ends up more popular than before among his liberal constituency. 

UPDATE: Genius at work here:

“I don’t know the exact ages of the women,” he said. “But they’re all adults, at least to the best of my knowledge, they were all adults and they were engaging in these conversations consensually. Someone could theoretically have been fibbing about [their age] and that’s a risk.”

UPDATE: A Pundette Recommended Read. Thanks!

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