Brent Bozell asks a simple, but very pertinent question. That is, “at what point will the news media decide that that the IRS scandal is news?” How much more obvious does it need to get that something is rotten in the state of DC before the media takes part?
Cover up of a cover up is absolutely accurate because the media spent dozens of hours of nightly news covering the Bush TX ANG story. However, they are so thoroughly in the tank for the Obama administration that they can’t even be bothered to cover their own polls when those polls show a strong majority of Americans find fault with the President’s foreign policy.
CNN anchors are now openly and laughingly admitting the media “are the biggest ones promoting (Hillary Clinton’s political) campaign so far.”
It’s time to stick a fork in American “journalism,” it’s done.
Hillary was out stumping for her 2016 Presidential run and burnishing her anti-2nd Amendment cred last night. In a CNN town hall she advocated for reinstating the “assault weapons” ban and attacked firearms owners, arguing that they “terrorize the majority” of Americans.
Asked by an audience member whether an assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limit would affect gun violence in the United States, Clinton answered, “We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority, of people hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”
In other words, Clinton equated gun owners and gun rights advocates with terrorists. …
But the most galling aspect of Clinton’s response is her flippant dismissal of a substantial section of the population, and her flagrant disregard for Constitutional liberties. According to her, supporting the right to bear arms and protecting that right by being vocal about our liberties is terrorism
Jake Tapper picked up on the same thing in a recent Tweet.
Referring to gun restriction bills not becoming law, @HillaryClinton in town hall refers to minority that "terrorizes" the majority
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 17, 2014
Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed.
– Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Joseph Priestley 
Seriously people, I am wondering how much worse it has to get before we can plainly state that the Obama administration–with its Keynesian sycophants, heavy-handed regulation, anti-energy, tax-and-spend policies–has completely botched the job?
The U.S. economy may have contracted more than previously thought during the first three months of 2014, private economists said Wednesday based on new health care-sector data from the government.
Some analysts said economic output may have contracted at a 2% pace in the first quarter. That would be its worst performance since the recession. …
J.P. Morgan Chase economist Daniel Silver and Pierpont Securities economist Stephen Stanley both cautioned that it’s not clear exactly how the Commerce Department will adjust GDP to account for the new health-care services data.
But they and other analysts downgraded their estimates for the first quarter based on the new survey, as well as other recently released data. Mr. Silver predicted GDP declined at a 1.6% pace in the first three months of the year. Mr. Stanley predicted contraction at a 2% pace. Macroeconomic Advisers also estimated GDP shrank at a 2% pace.
“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” –John Adams, Notes for an oration at Braintree, 1772
In the general distribution of powers, we find that of declaring war expressly vested in the Congress, where every other legislative power is declared to be vested, and without any other qualification than what is common to every other legislative act. The constitutional idea of this power would seem then clearly to be, that it is of a legislative and not an executive nature.
– James Madison, Helvidius No. 1 [August 24, 1793]
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”
–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XIV, 1781
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.”
–Patrick Henry (1778)
What … can the government do to help the poor? The only answer is the libertarian answer: Get out of the way.
“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.”
–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard M. Johnson, 1808
“The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 11, 1787
Updates at the bottom of this post.
Bernard Goldberg has an interesting column up on his site that describes the problems that can easily arise when desperate people make heroes out of polarizing or extreme figures.
Ideologically pure conservatives apparently are so desperate for heroes, so fed up with what they call the overreach of the federal government, that they have turned Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy into an American folk hero – a modern day no-nonsense cowboy who takes no guff; a 2014 version of John Wayne.
As Goldberg notes, Bundy has apparently stepped up the polarizing statements by sharing his views on African-Americans. The quotes being attributed to Bundy are,
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro … and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
I’ll start out by quoting Ayn Rand’s take on people who engage in racism,
Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. (Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness)
If Bundy is actually making this type of statement, he should be called out on it. Racism is a grotesque evil, no matter who takes part in it. It would be one thing if Bundy were discussing the American family being damaged by intrusive government, but trying to pretend that only one segment of society is impacted in this way is nonsensical. To the extent that Bundy engages in racism, he should be unhesitatingly and loudly castigated for it.
Moving forward, a key failing with Goldberg’s critique is the notion that the political right en masse idolizes or supports Cliven Bundy as a person and a political leader or hero. From what I have seen (and written myself) people have always been cautious about their support of Bundy. They have recognized that (at best) he is on tenuous legal ground, seeing how at least two courts (possibly more) have held that he has no legal claim to the land he is ranching and that he does owe (at least several hundred thousand in) back grazing fees. Bundy apparently admits this himself. However, he claims that he will only pay the fees to the State of Nevada and not the federal government.
The vast majority of those on the right who are commenting on the Bundy issue have also noted that they do not support the use of violence. Of course there are some extreme elements who have advocated violence, however, I don’t believe that they constituted any serious or significant sector of the political right or libertarian sentiment. To forestall any argument, I’ll borrow again from minds greater than mine in stating that aggression–or the initiation of aggressive physical force against persons or property–is inherently illegitimate, unless it is carried out in defense against another aggressive force. I’ll also add that I am glad that the two sides were able to back away from the situation and let cooler heads prevail, as a violent confrontation would have only inflamed passions and made this situation much worse.
Where Goldberg also fails is in his lack of attention to the overreach of the federal government–via the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Parks Service (NPS)–which is the key issue for the political right and libertarians that are commenting on this situation. He gives little more than a passing glance at the driving force behind Bundy’s stand and the support that his cause has received from around the country.
There are legitimate arguments to be made about whether the federal government should control so much land in the West. And it’s understandable that westerners – especially ranchers who live off the land – would be especially concerned.
Nowhere in his article does he make any serious attempt to address the fact that the federal government owns the vast majority of the state of Nevada (and similarly of the west). Nowhere does he attempt to address the fact that the BLM and NPS have fully outfitted and trained SWAT teams, K-9 teams, snipers–they are essentially now a para-military force, but few understand why they are or would ever think they needed to be. Nowhere does Goldberg address the issue of BLM being prepared to declare war on a single family of Americans–racist or not. Nowhere in his article does he address the fact that the federal government spent over $900,000 to hire consultant cow herders to round up Bundy’s herd for a (claimed) $1 million in back grazing fees. Nowhere does he address the fact that the federal government was able to put up fences to keep American ranchers off of the land they have managed for over a century, but cannot be bothered–after decades–to address the issue of millions of illegal immigrants crossing over very similar land only a few hundred miles south of the Bundy ranch on a daily basis. To put it another way, nowhere in the article does Goldberg seriously attempt to address the actual issues that have caused the entire situation to arise.
Cliven Bundy may well be a racist. Again, if he is, he should be called out on that point.
Whether Bundy is a racist or not, ignoring the issue of federal government abuse and overreach does not make for a strong argument by Goldberg. Wasting time on taking shots at Fox News and creating a straw man arguments about the right pushing Cliven Bundy as a political hero only distracts from his abilities as a journalist and from the larger point being discussed.
Goldberg is a much better journalist than this and his readers really deserve better than this effort.
Update: Thank you Kira Davis for doing a better job of making the same point as I tried to make this morning.
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
–Samuel Adams (1781)
“Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice.”
–Thomas Paine, Letter Addressed to the Addressers on the Late Proclamation, 1792
“As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.”
–Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
How easily we forget that many of our current battles have already been fought. So many of our current questions have already been answered.
“It was the Americans who lived and kept their fighting spirit through the hard and bitter times that followed every surge of prosperity, it was men and women who cared enough for their own personal freedom to take the risks of self-reliance and starve if they could not feed themselves, who created our country, the free country, the richest and the happiest country in the world.”
– Rose Wilder Lane
This Heritage Foundation article quite rightly describes the following statement as a “sobering” thought.
The federal government could cease all other operations (other than major entitlements), including its core constitutional duty to provide for the national defense, and would still end up in a fiscal hole within a generation.
They also provided the following graphic, which describes how each dollar is spent.
Our never-ending expansion of entitlement programs is crushing our ability to pay for what most Americans consider basic functions of government. It is clearly time for a serious overhaul and a rethinking (by people) of what one can reasonably expect government to provide, but I doubt that the country has the will to do anything serious about this situation.
It seems far more likely that our government will entertain (and eventually implement) programs like confiscating the retirement savings of citizens to “spread the wealth around” before they seriously consider cutting spending. A good example of this is the fact that, in the face of our crushing debt, and the sure knowledge that costs would skyrocket, we have gone ahead with a multi-trillion dollar expansion of public health care costs. We’ve almost doubled our debt in the past 5 years and we’re forging ahead with our tax and spend ways.
The truly unfortunate fact is that we still have an opportunity to stop this train before it reaches the cliff and we are forced to endure a far more wrenching and destructive correction. However, I can’t see that anyone in DC has the stomach for even slowing spending to kick the crash down the road a bit further.