Working on the theme of Nancy Pelosi’s claims to bring “civility to Washington,” I am going to track some of the ‘civil’ things that occur in D.C.
Trey Gowdy is rocking the questioning in this video.
Former IRS Commissioner Shulman demonstrates clearly that he is at the (very) best a completely incompetent moron and at worst was criminally negligent in the performance of his duties at the IRS.
Peggy Noonan‘s latest WSJ blog post is a blistering attack on the Obama administration’s use of the IRS as a bludgeon to intimidate, censor, and silence political opponents. It is an essential read for anyone interested in policy and politics.
The IRS scandal has two parts. The first is the obviously deliberate and targeted abuse, harassment and attempted suppression of conservative groups. The second is the auditing of the taxes of political activists. …
This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.
This will help, at least in a small way, to restore your faith in humanity.
Fear is perhaps the greatest enemy of candor. How many men fear to follow their conscience because they would rather conform to the opinion of other men than to the truth they know in their hearts? How can I be sincere if I am constantly changing my mind to conform with the shadow of what I think others expect of me?
— Thomas Merton, From No Man Is an Island 
It’s amusing to watch the union-directed rent-a-mob that was bussed in to protest the “hate” at Right Nation 2010. Rather than simply accept the cannard that any mob of angry left-wing ranters represents the will of the people, Breitbart walked over the the crowd and started asking them some simple questions. Not surprisingly, none of the protesters had any clue about why they were there, what their sign meant, who was “hating,” or how “hate” or “racism” was being shown by members of the TEA Party. None of them could or would explain why they were allowing themselves to be led around like sheep by the group leaders (Eugene Winkler and CJ Hawking) either.
Perhaps the most enlightening portion of the video was when one of the protesters (who was in the process of being whisked away from Breitbart’s questions by Winkler) loudly opined to her friends in the that she thought Breitbart was “gay.” Who would have thought that a group of big tent “progressives” who were there to protest the “hate” and “racism” in the TEA Party would so openly take pleasure in homophobic slurs?
The video is well worth watching in full because it clearly demonstrates the lack of rational thought, as well as the hate and bigotry that is present on the progressive side. It also demonstrates that the progressive protests we see on the news every night are very likely ready-made rent-a-mobs, bussed in by local unions and left-wing special interest groups.
To steal Nancy Pelosi’s term, they are Astroturf in every sense of the word and represent nothing more than the will of a few union thugs and left-wing activists.
Looks like the big division that the MSM & Dems were hoping for ended up being much ado about nothing. Cooler and calmer heads have apparently prevailed.
“Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee’s chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
Time to get re-focused on November.
Via Hot Air – The Obama administration is boldly stating that those insurance companies who speak out against Obamacare on the issue of cost will be locked out of the system.
President Barack Obama’s top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won’t tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law.
“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.
“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.
Apparently the ONE and his plans are bigger than the First Amendment. No more redress of grievances if you happen to work in the health care industry.
Via Reason Mag – “Lady O” is back to spending our tax dollars on her latest lavish trip for her and 40 of her “closest” friends. Apparently her retinue will be taking up 60 – 70 rooms in in a posh Spanish “playground for the mega-rich” resort where rooms can run $2,500 a night.
The First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her “closest friends.” According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.
Reports are calling the lodgings of Obama’s Spanish fiesta, the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella, “luxurious,” “posh” and “a millionaires’ playground.” Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500. Method of transportation? Air Force Two.
While much of the country is counting pennies and bracing for the inevitable impact of her husbands pending tax increases, Lady O and her royal retinue are spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 to $150,000 a night on hotel rooms (70 x $2500 = $175,000). Of course then you need to add in food, transportation, etc.
For those who claim that the O’s and their “closest” friends will foot part of the bill, the Reason article rightly reminds us that there will be approximately 70 Secret Service agents accompanying Lady O, plus who knows how many other press and communications people, as well as other assorted handlers and staff.
I understand that she’s the First Lady and when they travel, they need a minimum of pomp, security, etc. I also understand that their money is theirs and they can do with it what they like. However, she and her husband are talking about the “worst economy since the great depression,” and “spreading the wealth around,” and the need for tax hikes to address the massive deficit, and when so many regular Americans are staring at multiple thousands in incoming tax hikes next year, the least the Obama’s could do is try to appear like they understand those constraints.
Update: Dana Loesch nails it with the Lady O – Dave Chappelle – MTV Cribs comparison (caution! 4-letter warning on these vids).
More and more we are seeing the real face of the extreme green movement. As the “scientific” case for climate change continues to suffer losses with more and more seeing it for what it always was – a political movement first and foremost – the extremes are growing shrill and combative.
They are now openly advocating that those with whom they disagree be silenced, forcefully stopped, jailed, or killed. In this recent Green Hell Blog post, Steven Milloy quotes two ‘respected’ left wing journalists/bloggers/environmentalists who are suggesting that climate change skeptics kill themselves.
Amid a rant on his Examiner.com blog about skeptics “carpet-bomb[ing] newspaper editorial pages with climate change disinformation…], Steven Alexander, who writes for Daily Kos under the nom-de-plume “Darksyde,” wrote that,
… if only Milloy and his buddies could check into one of the [Soylent Corporation's] lovely medical suites for a short nature movie and a glass of wine…
The reference is to the assisted suicide scene in the 1973 movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston. …
Former Washington Post reporter David Weigel was recently fired from the paper for privately writing on the Journolist listserv that Matt Drudge should “… set himself on fire.”
It’s like I’ve always said, the hardcore left and extreme green movements are all over the notion of “thinking outside the box,” or being non-judgmental and open-minded so long as your outside the box thinking is the same as their outside the box thinking. Once you come up with an idea that disagrees or questions their solutions, they reveal their new age puritanism and, pretty much to a person, demand that you be silenced, stopped, or (as this example indicates) killed.
The amusing thing about their tendencies to immediately resort to censorship or violence is that they will rarely employ their ‘logic’ in their own lives or activities. Remembering back to my undergrad environmental ethics courses, we used to discuss concepts like a “truly sustainable human population” of 500 million. Using groups like the Deep Ecologists, the eco-feminist movement, and ethicists like Peter Singer as foundations for their arguments, the more radical members of the discussion actually touched on the notion of culling portions of the human population (brain dead orphans for example), or using forced abortions, and euthanasia as a means of reducing the human population.
When others in the classes protested (me among them) that their ideas would require massive infringements on basic human rights and then we pushed them to look further into the logical outcomes of their theories, they were forced to admit that they believed the long-term survival of the planet would entail the loss of many basic rights and freedoms and that some lives would need to be sacrificed to ensure the “health” of the planet.
One notable class room discussion had a class member suggest they those in the extreme camp start us off on the right foot, or “show us the way,” by committing a principled suicide. That suggestion was immediately rejected by this group of greens. They were convinced that they were the only members of society who could capably handle the intense social and political disruptions that would result from moving toward their conception of a more sustainable lifestyle. They believed that someone else would need to go first because the world couldn’t survive without their leadership and wisdom.
Our discussions regularly seemed almost like something out of a bad movie. No one in their right mind could hold those views. Even fewer still would hold those opinions AND actually state them out loud. But there they were, making the arguments and trying to defend them as good public policy.
Sadly, we see the same sort of logic employed by the Darksyde’s and David Weigel’s of the world. They just know better than you or I, and if someone has the nerve to disagree with them, that person will need to be silenced … for the good of the planet/the children/the greater good.
As this Heritage Foundation post describes, Nancy Pelosi has no concept of what is going on in the mind of average Americans. She still believes that tax hikes and unemployment checks will somehow stimulate economic growth.
Research on the last seven recessions shows that small businesses generate about two out of every three new jobs during recoveries. Hitting small businesses with tax increases would kill this job growth. Speaker Pelosi and her allies at The Washington Post may claim that these tax hikes will hurt only a small number of small businesses. But these claims are deceptive. As Heritage Foundation analyst Curtis Dubay has detailed, while only eight percent of small businesses pay the highest two tax rates, those businesses earn 72 percent of all small business income and pay 82 percent of all income taxes paid by small businesses. In other words, those small businesses that would be hit hardest by the impending Obama tax hike earn an overwhelming majority of small business income and employ most of the workers hired by small businesses. Higher tax rates would drain these businesses of cash flow, the lifeblood of any business, and would diminish the incentives to grow and add new workers.Research on the last seven recessions shows that small businesses generate about two out of every three new jobs during recoveries. Hitting small businesses with tax increases would kill this job growth. Speaker Pelosi and her allies at The Washington Post may claim that these tax hikes will hurt only a small number of small businesses. But these claims are deceptive. As Heritage Foundation analyst Curtis Dubay has detailed, while only eight percent of small businesses pay the highest two tax rates, those businesses earn 72 percent of all small business income and pay 82 percent of all income taxes paid by small businesses. In other words, those small businesses that would be hit hardest by the impending Obama tax hike earn an overwhelming majority of small business income and employ most of the workers hired by small businesses. Higher tax rates would drain these businesses of cash flow, the lifeblood of any business, and would diminish the incentives to grow and add new workers.
One wonders why this concept is so difficult for Ms. Pelosi to understand.
I find it increasingly amusing that those who are decrying the treatment that Shirley Sherrod received as a result of the now infamous edited video, so routinely set their sites on Fox News as the main protagonist in this farcical episode. I also find it ironic (and hypocritical) that Sherrod herself, while claiming to have been mistreated throughout the affair, has no difficulty whatsoever with continuing to flog the clearly inaccurate story that Fox News had a hand in her being fired.
As Charles Krauthammer rightly notes in this video clip (via NewsBusters) from PBS’s “Inside Washington,” the concerns that Sherrod — and those who have taken up the cause to defend her — is expressing should be with the NAACP and the Obama administration. Fox news had not commented on the Sherrod issue until after she had been publicly attacked by the NAACP (who would have been in possession of the original, unedited video from the day it was filmed) and fired by Vilsack and the Obama administration.
For those still biting on the hook being trolled by so many in the MSM, here’s Krauthammer’s comments.
Even more amazing that even after Krauthammer sets the record straight, Colby King, Mark Shields, and Nina Totenberg continue to attack Fox News.
Here’s another example of the outright disdain that our elected officials have for the people they are supposed to be representing. All this student does is approach Congressman Etheridge, say “how are you?”, and ask if he supports Obama’s agenda.
And what does this young man get for completing a school assignment and for trying to get involved in political process of his country? He gets physically restrained and assaulted by what appears to be an intoxicated “representative” of the people. (I say “appears to be intoxicated” because he is slurring his speech, has puffy and bloodshot eyes, he is unsteady on his feet, and is acting in a belligerent and combative manner.)
Now there is no doubt that the young man who was assaulted would have done a lot better to say, “I’m Jim Smith, a student at XYZ University and I’m interviewing our elected representatives as part of the requirements of ABC class. May I ask you a few questions?” But a lack of street savvy on the part of this young man hardly justifies a physical assault by Mr. Etheridge.
Watch it yourself,
It’s bad enough that this representative of the people is out wandering the streets in what appears to be an incapacitated state of mind, but then he physically assaults a citizen for the simple act of asking him a question.
Etheridge is just one more example of the mindset and attitude of the Washington ‘ruling’ class. They see themselves as better than the common person and appear to believe that they are above the law. If you or I acted in the same manner, we would be charged with assault and fined or jailed, but the right honorable Congressman simply walks away, mumbles an apology a few days later, and all is good with the world.
We all saw Barney Frank parading around for the cameras during the financial meltdown over the past two years. We all heard him castigating his political opponents for their laxity in demanding more and more regulation on big banks. We all heard him lamenting how the lack of a firm hand on the country’s economic tiller had allowed the financial collapse. But, just recently uncovered video of Mr. Frank — taken only a few days before he took over as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee — shows Frank clearly stating that the banks were facing too strict a regulatory regime. He openly stated that he and his colleagues had far “more to do in the deregulation” of the big banks and that he was going to work to lessen their reporting requirements.
Everything on this video directly contradicts most of the posturing rhetoric we have heard from Frank over the past several months. The man either is too stupid to remember the things he said and did only four years ago, or he is so profoundly corrupt that standing in front of cameras and outright lying to everyone in the country about his role in the financial crisis causes him no distress or concern.
Anyone who has listened to Frank for even a few minutes knows that he is not a stupid individual. So all that remains to explain his behavior is corruption. Mr. Frank has to be an out and out liar. He has to be one of the most corrupt and deceptive politicians ever to foul the D.C. area with his presence. It is people like him and Chris Dodd that are at the base of the financial meltdown we have endured over the post few years. One hopes and prays that the people of Massachusetts have the good sense to send Mr. Frank off to his retirement this November.
Video from Humanevents.com
Phoenix is suffering under an onslaught of drug-related kidnappings and murders. Most of these crimes are committed by illegal aliens, who are involved in the drug trade.
While Phoenix, Tucson, and surrounding communities deal with this crime on a daily basis, the federal government has abdicated its legal and moral duty to address the issues of protecting the border, controlling immigration, or protecting American citizens. So Arizona was finally forced to do something and what is our President’s response? He makes jokes at our expense.
Like the video said. Mr. President, Arizonans aren’t laughing anymore. We’re sick and tired of having our friends/family/neighbors attacked or murdered. We tired of being threatened. We sick of having our law enforcement officers attacked and murdered. So you keep on making your lame jokes because with SB 10170, we’re doing something about it today. This November, we’ll do even more.
Mme. Pelosi famously stated a few weeks back that we needed to pass Obamacare before we could find out what was in it. Well, we’ve done that and now we’re finding out that among the first hits Obamacare will inflict is massive losses for American business.
For example, this Heritage Foundation blog post reports that AT&T will take a $1 billion in the first quarter of Obamacare’s existence.
AT&T, the biggest U.S. telephone company, announced that it would take a $1 billion charge against earnings thanks to tax changes buried in the 2,300+ page bill. $1 billion. That is a full third of AT&T’s $3 billion earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009.
The tax charges stem from changes Obamacare makes to the tax treatment of prescription-drug benefits for retirees. Companies used to be able to deduct part of their costs for providing drug benefits to their retirees, but Obamacare cancels that deduction.
This Bloomberg article notes that the total hit to American business could be $14 billion. 3M is looking at a $90 million hit. Verizon refused to comment, but said in an internal memo that Obamacare “may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.”
We’re still sitting at around 10% unemployment, so I’m sure that all those people who are looking for work will be happy to know that Obama and Pelosi have just sewered their chances of finding work for who knows how much longer. Simple fact of life #27, when businesses are losing money hand over fist and taking huge tax hits from “progressive” legislation and regulation, they don’t hire new employees.
And then, as if that wasn’t enough good news, Obama himself admitted that the bill was going to cost more than he had expected or admitted. “We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs.”
Have to love this guy’s chutzpah. Force your ideological nightmare on the taxpayers of the country, regardless of costs. Lie, cheat, steal, twist arms, pay people off, threaten … do whatever it takes to get it through. And then, when you’re forced to admit that you had no clue it would cost this much, promise those stuck with the bill that you’ll tinker around the edges to see if you can get them a few bucks off.
First and foremost, I want to be clear that anyone of any political persuasion who threatens someone with violence or physical retribution for voting one way or another on legislation is a coward.
Moving along. With all the media stories going around about Democrats receiving threatening emails, faxes, voice mails, and telephone calls, it is worthwhile to cast our minds back just a few years. Those who are honest will remember that death threats and threats of violence toward G.W. Bush were an almost daily occurrence. To round those out, there were also novels, movies, and other assorted works of “art” that depicted Bush being murdered, attacked, or otherwise harmed.
Funny that few if any of the Democrats who are swarming their local media outlets, trying to make political gains over this issue ever bothered to get even remotely perturbed about those violent threats against Bush. Many of them appeared to find them amusing when they were targeted toward their political adversary.
For those who are not honest enough to recall the threats, the Zomblog has a good collection of reminders.
No rules as far as the Dems in Congress are concerned. “They make it up as they go along.”
Video via Instapundit
Background here. And doesn’t it say a lot about this Congress that a guy who was kicked off the bench for corruption — by a Democratic-controlled Congress, no less — is now on the Rules Committee?