“I think there has been a furious counter attack by loyalists who are with Trump from the beginning when it was rather unfashionable, and Romney, of course, was the lead attacker, lead critic of Trump in the late primaries and general election. So, I understand why they feel there is a matter of loyalty.”
“You know, Trump is going to have to choose. If it’s loyalty, he is not going to choose Mitt Romney. If it’s choosing who would be the best man for the job, I think probably if you had an independent panel, they might, you know, marginally prefer a Mitt Romney, simply because he has less baggage than Giuliani. And Trump himself has said: He looks the part. I mean, he look like he was born to be a secretary of state. I don’t know whether that means he would be a good one or not.”
“But I do think we should keep our eye on a third possibility that would resolve the issue by not resolving it, and that would be David Petraeus, who to the world represents America at its strongest and most decisive. He is the guy who saved the Iraq War, and is a man who has written and thought deeply about the new kind of warfare that we are involved in. And that, I think, would be a spectacular choice.”
Source: National Review
Donald Trump scored a stunning and historic upset victory in the presidential election Wednesday morning, once again defying predictions and winning key battleground states to capture the White House.
Giddy supporters at the New York Hilton — who were sullen just hours earlier — erupted in cheers as the GOP nominee closed in on victory, chanting, “President Trump,” “Drain the Swamp,” and “Lock her up!” about Hillary Clinton.
Ed Rollins, who ran Trump’s Great America Super PAC, basked in the victory.
“We won the presidency, the Senate and House. When’s the last time that happened?” Rollins told The Post. “The polls were bad! Trump is going to be president. He’s won this thing. He caught the wave of public discontent and rode it. Washington has to be stunned.”
“I’m feeling great,” Trump ally Rudy Giuliani told The Post as he strode into the party.
“If I can think of an analogous election, it would have to be Andrew Jackson. This is the people revolting against the Republican establishment,” he said.
Still, Clinton’s campaign announced early Wednesday that it would not concede.
But in a tweet to supporters, the former secretary of state seemed resigned to what had to be a heartbreaking upset after working for the former first lady — who had worked for years to become the first female president in the nation’s 240-year history.
“Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything,” she wrote. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn, National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg, and Professor of Political Science John Marini discuss presidential candidate Donald J. Trump‘s role in conservatism in America.
Hillsdale College’s annual Constitution Day event celebrates the signing of the United States Constitution with lectures and panel discussions about the history of the Constitution and constitutional issues facing the nation today.
The agreements impose years-long compliance review regimes, implementation deadlines, and regular reviews by federal bureaucrats. This makes local police directly answerable to the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ.
“The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has provided oversight and recommendations for improvement of police services in a number of cities with consent decrees. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce discrimination in law enforcement and it needs to be beefed up and increased to cover as many of the 18,000-plus local law enforcement jurisdictions.”
“The Obama administration has been pursuing the federal takeover of local police right under Congress’ nose — and Republicans in Congress were apparently unaware it was happening.”
That was United Nations Rapporteur Maina Kai on July 27, a representative of the U.N. Human Rights Council, who on the tail-end of touring the U.S., endorsed a little-known and yet highly controversial practice by the Justice Department to effect a federal takeover of local police and corrections departments.
The consent decrees are already being implemented in Newark, New Jersey; Miami, Florida; Los Angeles, California; Ferguson, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; and other municipalities.
“The federal court orders are designed to undo Rudy Giuliani-style policing tactics that were effective at reducing crime in big cities in the 1990s and 2000s.”
Here’s how it works: the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice files a lawsuit in federal court against a city, county, or state, alleging constitutional and civil rights violations by the police or at a corrections facility. It is done under 42 U.S.C. § 14141, a section of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, granting the attorney general the power to prosecute law enforcement misconduct. The municipality then simply agrees to the judicial finding — without contest — and the result is a wide-reaching federal court order that imposes onerous regulations on local police.
The federal court orders are designed to undo Rudy Giuliani-style policing tactics that were effective at reducing crime in big cities in the 1990s and 2000s.
In short, the much-feared nationalization of local police departments is already being initiated by the Obama administration’s Justice Department. And somehow nobody noticed. Read the rest of this entry »
The Republican Party was in turmoil again Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increasing alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities.
“A new level of panic hit the street. It’s time for a serious reset.”
— Veteran operative Scott Reed
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was described as “very frustrated” and stressed by Trump’s behavior over the past week, having run out of excuses to make on the nominee’s behalf with donors and other party leaders, according to multiple people familiar with the events.
“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable. Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
— Newt Gingrich
Meanwhile, Trump’s top campaign advisers are failing to instill discipline on their candidate, who has spent the past days lunging from one controversy to another while seemingly skipping chances to go on the offensive against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“A new level of panic hit the street,” said veteran operative Scott Reed, chief strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time for a serious reset.”
Trump allies on Wednesday publicly urged the candidate to reboot, furious that he has allowed his confrontation with the parents of dead U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan to continue for nearly a week. They also are angry with Trump over his surprising refusal in a Tuesday interview with The Washington Post to endorse House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) or Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — two of the party’s top elected officials — in their upcoming primary campaigns.
“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable,” Gingrich said in a Wednesday morning telephone interview. “Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
Gingrich said Trump has only a matter of weeks to reverse course. “Anybody who is horrified by Hillary should hope that Trump will take a deep breath and learn some new skills,” he said. “He cannot win the presidency operating the way he is now. She can’t be bad enough to elect him if he’s determined to make this many mistakes.”
Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, recommended that Trump “stop doing silly interviews nine times a day that get you off message” and deliver a major address seeking to reset the campaign establishing himself as the change candidate. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s looked unified compared to the fractious Republican presidential field, but contentious issues—like increasing crime—could tear it apart.
David Frum writes: Nobody explained the crack-up of the New Deal coalition better than New York Mayor Ed Koch at the 1980 Democratic convention:
When I ran for Mayor, I went up to a Bronx senior citizens center, and I told 200 senior citizens: “Ladies and gentlemen, a judge I helped elect was mugged recently. And do you know what that judge did, ladies and gentlemen? He called a press conference and he said to the newsmen, ‘This mugging of me will in no way affect my decision in matters of this kind.’ And an elderly lady got up in the back of the room and said, ‘Then mug him again.’”
It was crime more than any other single issue that drove blue-collar voters in the industrial states from the party of Truman and Johnson to the party of Nixon and Reagan. In 1974—a year of energy shock, inflation, recession, Watergate, Vietnam, and other crises—Americans told pollsters they regarded crime as the single-most important issue facing the country. That year, the Department of Justice introduced a new and more accurate method of collecting crime statistics. It found that 37 million American households—one out of four—had suffered a rape, robbery, burglary, assault, larceny, or auto theft in the previous year.
“It was crime that separated New Democrats from Old in the 1980s. Bill Clinton was determined that nobody would Willie Horton him. He backed the death penalty, endorsed longer sentences, and funded local police forces, all with a view to stopping crime by punishing criminals.”
Then the crime rate fell. It fell suddenly, it fell fast, and it fell far. By 2010, rates of crime against person and property had fallen to levels not seen since the early 1960s. In New York City, crime rates tumbled even lower. The great crime decline reshaped cities, remade the economy, and transformed American politics. Read the rest of this entry »
Source: Covers | New York Post
In spite of the media’s conspicuous silence on the matter, it is no secret that Saul Alinsky’s manual for “community organizers”—Rules for Radicals—exerted an immeasurable influence over the world’s most well recognized community organizer, President Barack Obama.
Thus, to understand why Obama does what he does, we need to be familiar with the vision that Alinsky delineated in his book.
Below are six ideas, six “rules,” that the Godfather of community organizing packs between the covers of Rules, ideas that Obama’s imbibed hook, line, and sinker.
(1). Politics is all about power relations, but to advance one’s power, one must couch one’s positions in the language of morality.
Community organizers are “political realists” who “see the world as it is: an arena of power politics moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, where morality is rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self-interest” (12).
(2). There is only three kinds of people in the world: rich and powerful oppressors, the poor and disenfranchised oppressed, and the middle-class whose apathy perpetuates the status quo.
“The world as it is” is a rather simple world. From this perspective, the world consists of but three kinds of people: “the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores.” The Haves, possessing, as they do, all of “the power, money, food, security, and luxury,” resist the “change” necessary to relieve the Have-Nots of the “poverty, rotten housing, disease, ignorance, political impotence, and despair” from which they suffer (18).
— kerry (@Kerryepp) March 24, 2015
The Have-a-Little, Want Mores comprise what we call “the middle class.” While Alinsky believes that this group “is the genesis of creativity,” (19) he also claims that it supplies the world with its “Do-Nothings.” The Do-Nothings are those who “profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change [.]” Alinsky remarks that in spite of their reputable appearances, the Do-Nothings are actually “invidious” (20).
This being so, they are as resistant to change as are the Haves.
(3). Change is brought about through relentless agitation and “trouble making” of a kind that radically disrupts society as it is.
Since both the middle and upper classes have none of the organizer’s passion for radical change, he must do his best to “stir up dissatisfaction and discontent [.]” He must “agitate to the point of conflict.” The organizer “dramatizes…injustices” and engages in “‘trouble making’ by stirring up” just those “angers, frustrations, and resentments” (117) that will eventuate in the “disorganization of the old and organization of the new” (116 emphasis original). He is determined to give rise to as much “confusion” and “fear” as possible (127).
(4). There can be no conversation between the organizer and his opponents. The latter must be depicted as being evil. Read the rest of this entry »
“If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race. And we believe that we are better than this, and we believe our country is better than this.”
To trigger the conversations, in the next week baristas will be encouraged to write the phrase “Race Together” on customers cups, which is intended to “facilitate a conversation between you and our customers,” according to Schultz.
“If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race. And we believe that we are better than this, and we believe our country is better than this,” Schultz said in a video shown to Starbucks employees, according to USA Today.
The campaign is being bolstered by an 8-page supplement that will be published Friday by the coffeemaker in USA Today. The supplement will include “conversation starters,” such as the statement “In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times.”
The campaign is said to be inspired by the controversy emanating from the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner last year, both of them black men killed by white police officers. What the initiative hopes to accomplish in the long run is unclear, though the company will be offering more information during its annual meeting on Wednesday.
The new effort is only the latest of the company’s actions that appear designed to bolster the company’s reputation as a socially conscious corporation. Last year, the company created a new program that allows employees to take free online college classes at Arizona State University.
The coffee is $4.25, the lecture is free. #Starbucks
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) March 17, 2015
— April (@ReignOfApril) March 17, 2015
And why didn’t Sharpton comply with tax and campaign filing requirements?
Jillian Kay Melchior writes: As Al Sharpton ran for mayor of New York City in 1997 and for president in 2003, fires at his offices reportedly destroyed critical financial records, and he subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements.
The first fire began in the early hours of April 10, 1997, in a hair-and-nail salon one floor below Sharpton’s campaign headquarters at 70 West 125th Street. From the start, investigators deemed the fire “suspicious” because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report.
“The 1997 fire occurred five days before Tax Day and, the New York Post reported, ‘just after Sharpton announced that he would open his financial records.’ After the fire, Sharpton said he would seek an extension because crucial financial records had been destroyed.”
As the fire crept upward into Sharpton’s headquarters, it destroyed nearly everything, including computers, files, and campaign records, the Reverend’s spokesperson at the time told Newsday, adding that “we have lost our entire Manhattan operation.” But a source knowledgeable about the investigation tells National Review Online that Sharpton’s office was mostly empty, and that the damage was not extensive.
Top city officials, including then-mayor Rudy Giuliani, said initial suspicions centered on the hair-and-nail salon, not on Sharpton’s campaign, Newsday reported. The fire department sent the case as an arson/explosion investigation to the New York Police Department. By the time of publication of this report, the NYPD had not provided the records requested by National Review Online on December 16, 2014, but it confirmed that the investigation had been closed without an arrest.
FDNY’s report references a “flammable liquid,” and firefighters’ photos of the scene show traces of an incendiary puddle. Another photo captures what appears to be a singed rag that someone is holding next to a fuse box, perhaps because that is where it was found. But a 2003 Newsday article says “the 1997 fire started when a curling iron overheated in an adjoining beauty parlor.” NRO could find no other sources referencing a curling iron as the cause, and the fire department’s reports make no mention of it, either.
As the mayoral campaign continued, Sharpton missed tax and campaign disclosure deadlines.
The 1997 fire occurred five days before Tax Day and, the New York Post reported, “just after Sharpton announced that he would open his financial records.” After the fire, Sharpton said he would seek an extension because crucial financial records had been destroyed. It’s unclear whether that extension was granted.
“During the campaign, Sharpton criticized his opponents for having a ‘penthouse mentality,’ calling one a ‘limousine liberal.’ But while his competitors had voluntarily released their income-tax returns to the media, Sharpton had not even filed his yet, much less publicly disclosed them.”
In July 1997, Sharpton also missed the deadline to file his personal financial-disclosure forms with the New York City Conflict of Interests Board, violating a legal requirement and risking a fine of up to $10,000. He said the destruction of records in the fire had prevented him from filing. When Sharpton finally filed a year later, in July 1998 — months after the November 4, 1997 elections — he paid a $100 late fee. It’s unclear what information his filing did or did not contain; in accordance with Section 12-110(f) of the administrative code, the board shredded Sharpton’s financial-disclosure forms more than a decade ago.
During the campaign, Sharpton criticized his opponents for having a “penthouse mentality,” calling one a “limousine liberal.” But while his competitors had voluntarily released their income-tax returns to the media, Sharpton had not even filed his yet, much less publicly disclosed them, Newsday noted. Read the rest of this entry »
…Government has, so far, stood up to everyone who came in promising to reform it, shrink it, or even make it perform with a modest degree of competence. Stood up to them and backed them down and chased them out of town. It is tougher and meaner than anyone it has had to deal with.
Vastly tougher than Barack Obama who retreats behind a pose of insouciance, as though running the government with a degree of managerial competence is much too pedestrian a role for him….
Scott Walker, on the other hand, seems actually to relish the role. And maybe even to enjoy the fight. The venomous quality of the attacks on him is pretty clear evidence that his enemies fear him…
They’ve had enough of the big vision stuff. Right now, they’ll take toughness and competence...(read more)
Pam Key writes: Sunday at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago during his annual Saviours’ Day speech, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan attacked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his controversial comments saying Obama doesn’t love America.
Farrakhan said, “How did you grow up, Giuliani? A privileged cracker? Or I should say, a privileged devil….(read more)
A charismatic leader derives authority from himself; from an astounding life story, from attributes possessed by no other man.
Richard Fernandez writes: One of the minor casualties of the Obama administration has been the reputation of genuine “community organizers”. Before going any further, might the reader please try this test. Please name one other “community organizer” besides Barack Obama.
“The Obama phenomenon is founded so completely on his legend that to attack the legend is to undermine the very foundations of the tower on which he stands.”
Most people will not be able to name a single one and for good reason. The overarching ethos of a “community organizer”, especially one trained in the Alinsky method, is to plant ideas in people’s minds, let them run with it and fade away. But as the New York Times recalled, the young Obama did not want to toil in obscurity and finish up like all those community organizers whose names you can’t remember — the kind who live out their old age with a cupful of money and barrel full of war stories. He wanted fame; position, to be on center stage.
Mr. Obama had risen to executive director of the Developing Communities group, but the demanding hours, small victories and low pay took a toll on him, and he decided to leave.
“‘We are not making large-scale change, and I want to be involved in doing that,’ ” Mr. Kellman said Mr. Obama had told him. … Mr. Obama had mused to friends in Chicago about one day working for unions or becoming a preacher, a journalist or even a fiction writer. While there, he wrote short stories based on people he had encountered. “The stories were beautifully crafted and evocative,” said Mr. Kruglik.
But Mr. Obama decided on law school instead. Shortly before Mr. Obama left for Harvard, about 60 people attended a farewell reception for him at Altgeld Gardens. He told associates that he intended to return to Chicago once he earned his law degree to pursue a career “in public life.”
This was the moment of clear departure from the community organizing road. But let us pause for a moment and fix in our mind the existence of these beautiful, evocative short stories which Kellman describes for we will return to it later. The purpose of this digression into Obama’s “community organizing” past is to identify the leadership model he chose which was the complete the opposite of the anonymous behind the scenes community organizer. Obama’s chosen model for greatness was to become a charismatic leader.
“Obama’s vulnerability is America’s vulnerability…American credibility — and that of its cultural elite — now rests on a single point of failure: the narrative life history of the least vetted person in recent presidential politics. No republic, especially one as great as the United States, should ever be based on the such a fragile thing as the biography of a single man.”
A charismatic leader derives authority from himself; from an astounding life story, from attributes possessed by no other man. The approach has become common and we know the sort; the Native American who became a law professor and then Senator; the single mother who wanted to be a governor. The life-story is now standard, but Obama was clearly special. From the very beginning of his career Obama argued that his unique biography — his bi-racial parentage, foreign upbringing, his literary skills etc — made him a special person. By virtue of these gifts he could heal racial divisions; reach out to the Muslim world; bridge the gap between rich and poor and serve as a link between the generations.
“What Giuliani had done was undermine Obama’s legitimacy. Because so much of Obama’s “power” comes from his special-ness that to question his patriotism is to strike at the basis for his governance. It was, as in a monarchy, tantamount to rebellion.”
By contrast most American presidents derived their greatness from the position, many simply political hacks who we remember today simply because they occupied the Oval Office. Obama marks the first time in recent memory when the office is deemed uplifted by the man and not the other way round.
Charismatic leadership has its advantages, which is why it occurs repeatedly in history. It permits the charismatic person to “be bigger than the job” and do great things. Men with this attribute, like Alexander, Caesar or Napoleon seem to rise above the rules and constraints that bind mere human beings. It’s natural that Obama would prefer to be a ‘special’ president rather than an ordinary one.
“Disrespect America, even attack it if you want, and you will not receive a tenth such voltage as did Netanyahu. The torrent of hostility poured upon Netanyahu was so out of proportion to any conceivable offense, that he probably felt obliged to persist in coming, reasoning that he must be on to something.”
Yet as someone said to a student who aspired to drop out of college “like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs”, you have to first be sure you can walk that walk before casting your academic career to the winds. Because charismatic leadership has some drawbacks. The most obvious being that since power flows from the person himself then when Rudy Giuliani publicly questioned Obama’s patriotism he was attacking the wellsprings of the administration.
When Giuliani told an audience ”I do not believe – and I know this is a horrible thing to say – but I do not believe that the President loves America,” he was inadvertently doing more than criticizing a president; he was in a manner of speaking, committing treason. The unprecedented firestorm of opprobrium that greeted Giuliani suggested that he had somehow hit a switch. It was like pushing an ordinary button in the wall and watching the skyscrapers out the window suddenly crumble in dust down into the ground.
What Giuliani had done was undermine Obama’s legitimacy. Because so much of Obama’s “power” comes from his special-ness that to question his patriotism is to strike at the basis for his governance. It was, as in a monarchy, tantamount to rebellion. The reason that similar remarks by Obama about George Bush’s patriotism evoked simple shrugs was because Bush was just an ordinary president, the latest in a line of politicians to occupy the office since George Washington. Read the rest of this entry »
Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes: Last week, Rudy Giuliani mused about whether President Obama loves America, musings that produced immediate media backlash as beyond the pale. Some thought this was proof of Republican racism. (Never mind that Obama had accused President Bush of being “unpatriotic” back in 2008). Others gloated that Giuliani had “trolled” the media into spending five days debating Obama’s patriotism.
My own take: Of course Obama loves America. After all, you always hurt the one you love.
But, seriously, why do we care? That is, why do we spend time looking at presidents — and others — based on irrational emotional attachments that are hard to assess, rather than looking at things like credentials that are easy to assess, and arguably more directly related to the job, than things like patriotism, or loyalty, or honesty? Why can’t we just be rational about these things?
“Of course Obama loves America. After all, you always hurt the one you love.”
Maybe because, as Robert Frank suggested in an underappreciated book some years ago, Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role Of The Emotions, we don’t want to be totally rational about things because, ironically, it’s not rational to be too rational.
Imagine that you’re thinking of getting married. Would you want a spouse who sticks with you for purely rational reasons, or one who forms an irrational attachment — let’s call it “love” — that doesn’t depend on rational factors?
Most people would say the latter. A purely rational attachment is nice, but if things change — say, if you become sick, or unattractive, or broke — a rationally attached person might rationally choose to leave. A person who loves you, on the other hand, might stick around anyway, because being parted from you, even if some of your charms have vanished, would cause emotional pain, while helping you feels good.
Likewise, you’d like to hire an honest employee, one who will feel guilty about stealing from you. A rational employee won’t steal if there’s a danger of being caught, but an honest one won’t steal even when he can get away with it, because if he does he will feel guilty, while if he resists temptation he will feel virtuous.
A person who is perfectly rational about costs and benefits, with no irrational constraints like loyalty or honesty (or patriotism), is a person who will lie, cheat and steal whenever he or she can get away with it. A sociopath, basically. Read the rest of this entry »
You certainly didn’t hear any reporters lecturing Obama for his uncivil rhetoric after that outrageous attack.
Source: The Gateway Pundit
[VIDEO] Giuliani Destroys Obama in Epic Speech: Netanyahu Is ‘A Man Who Fights for His People, Unlike Our President’Posted: February 21, 2015
Barack Obama Doesn’t Even Like America
Giuliani went on to say that he wasn’t questioning the president’s patriotism — angels and ministers of grace defend us! — only noting that the president’s rhetoric is decidedly low-cal on the American exceptionalism but full-fat when it comes to criticism.
“For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States…”
It may be the case that the president is a practitioner of the Smokey Robinson school of patriotism: “I don’t like you, but I love you.” Something’s really got a hold on this guy, and it is not an excessive fervor for the American order.
“…Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy…”
Questions about patriotism and love of country are, according to our self-appointed referees, out of bounds, déclassé, boob bait for bubbas, etc. Those are questions that we are not allowed to ask in polite society. Why? Because polite society does not want to hear the answers.
“There is a personality type common among the Left’s partisans, and it has a name: Holden Caulfield. He is adolescent, perpetually disappointed, and ever on the lookout for phoniness and hypocrisy.”
Does Barack Obama like America? The people around him certainly seem to have their reservations. Michelle Obama said — twice, at separate campaign events — that her husband’s ascending to the presidency meant that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” She was in her mid 40s at the time, her “adult lifetime” having spanned decades during which she could not be “really proud” of her country. Barack Obama spent years in the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church as the churchman fulminated: “God Damn America!” The Reverend Wright’s infamous “God Damn America!” sermon charges the country with a litany of abuses: slavery, mistreatment of the Indians, “treating citizens as less than human,” etc. A less raving version of the same indictment can be found in the president’s own speeches and books. His social circle includes such figures as Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, who expressed their love of country by participating in a murderous terrorist campaign against it.
[Also see – Lunatic,’ ‘Repugnant’ Rudy Giuliani says Obama doesn’t ‘love America’; Media hits the ‘fainting couches’ – punditfromanotherplanet.com]
Does Barack Obama love his country? Call me a rube for saying so, but it’s a fair question. Read the rest of this entry »
America reached new depths of depravity this year — but just wait for 2014 to outdo it.
All things considered, it was a year without shame.
Rich Lowry writes: It was the year that Miley Cyrus French-kissed a sledgehammer in the music video for her song “Wrecking Ball,” and cavorted naked on said wrecking ball. The former Disney star popularized the act of twerking in a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that was so luridly infantile, it wasn’t outrageous so much as pathetic. Yet it worked. It gained her at least another 15 minutes of fame and probably more, to have people pay attention to other insipid things she might do, usually half-clothed. Cyrus made us yearn for the good taste and restraint of the era of Lady Gaga, not to mention the golden age of classic Britney Spears.
It was the year the president of the United States posed in a selfie with other foreign leaders at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela. He evidently had a grand time, but made us nostalgic for the period before our presidents posed in selfies with other heads of state, i.e., the long stretch of American history ending on December 9, 2013.
It was the year Anthony Weiner admitted in the midst of his New York City mayoral campaign that he had continued to sext after resigning from Congress for sexting. Under the delightfully absurd alias “Carlos Danger,” he had sent pictures of his private parts to a 22-year-old woman, whose notoriety instantly launched her career in adult film and as a spokesmodel for an adultery-facilitating website. Weiner made us fondly recall the self-effacing modesty of past New York City politicians like Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani.
Will Bill de Blasio tackle New Yorkers’ real problems or undo the achievements of his predecessors?
Aaron M. Renn writes: Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1856 The Old Regime and the Revolution has recently become a surprise bestseller in China, setting off a minor flurry of news stories in the West. This lesser-known Tocqueville work suggests that improvements in society can be a prelude to revolution: “Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable when once the idea of escape from them is suggested. The very redress of grievances throws new light on those which are left untouched, and adds fresh poignancy to their smart: if the pain be less, the patient’s sensibility is greater.” Whether reform will lead to revolution in China remains to be seen, but closer to home, the rise of leftist New York City mayor Bill de Blasio might offer a test of the hypothesis.
New Yorkers, including the middle class and even the poor, have seen their overall welfare improve so much under the mayoral tenures of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg that the city’s remaining problems, which are formidable, now may seem less tolerable. Thus de Blasio was able to gain critical traction in the mayoral campaign with his “two cities” theme, holding the Bloomberg administration responsible for the city’s high levels of inequality—even as Bloomberg has governed in many ways as a “progressive.” He raised taxes and went on a massive spending spree—total spending rose by more than 70 percent on his watch—on everything from schools to parks to streets. Per pupil spending on schools grew 73 percent under Bloomberg, and teacher salaries grew 40 percent, even as test scores were mostly stagnant and polls found parents saying the schools got worse under his administration. Bloomberg also toed the progressive line on gay marriage and gun control and pledged to make New York the “world’s greatest, greenest city.” His attempt to ban the Big Gulp was perhaps the best example of his progressive vision of better living through more regulation.
The incoming de Blasio administration owes its public-employee allies dearly
Bob McManus writes: So much for the progressive commitment to transparency in government. If nothing else, the bargaining to determine a successor to departing city council speaker Christine Quinn demonstrates that the backroom backslap remains a Big Apple mainstay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, necessarily. Even as an ideal, total openness in government is a recipe for paralysis, and council-level politicking in New York is about as far from the ideal as can be, east of Chicago—or south of Albany.
The candidate with the strongest claim to the speakership is Melissa Mark-Viverito, a term-limited, hard-left bomb thrower from East Harlem. She specifically names 30 of the body’s 51 members as supporters, which would seem to seal the deal. Even so, the ascension probably won’t be settled before January 8, when the newly elected council meets to organize itself.
But how will it be settled? Without any backroom dealing on his part, says mayor-elect Bill de Blasio—which, of course, means with lots of it. No disrespect to the incoming mayor, but he is a politician, and that’s what politicians do. This is why the new assembly will resemble your grandfather’s city council, its Progressive Caucus pledges to the contrary.
Reportedly, de Blasio slapped Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman Frank Seddio on the back hard enough to cause the boss to cough up enough constituent councilmembers to put Mark-Viverito over the top. This involved separating Seddio from his fellow county leaders—most notably, Queens County chairman Joe Crowley. If the deal holds, the sun will be shining on Kings County in the New Year, when they begin to divvy up the swag. Or when the new order begins practicing “progressive” democracy—probably best defined, to paraphrase the nineteenth-century essayist Ambrose Bierce, as four unions and a hedge-fund guy voting on whom to mug.
De Blasio’s victory wouldn’t be possible without Giuliani’s successes and liberals’ short memories.
Taxi Driver: Scene where Travis describes his nights, and how he thanks god for the rain.
The Big Apple’s Left Turn
Jonah Goldberg writes: The new mayor of New York City is a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I’d expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar’s to close owing to a locust infestation before that happened.
But if de Blasio’s remarkable rise proves anything, it’s that the rules can change. A liberal’s crazy liberal, de Blasio still waxes nostalgic about the noble struggle of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, for whom he raised money in the 1980s. He violated the ban on travel to Cuba for his honeymoon with his formerly gay wife, and he often talks as if he’s handing out literature in Union Square for the left-wing New Party, for which he used to work.
It’s time to reexamine the role of government in the arts.
David Marcus writes: In 1989 Jesse Helms, the contentious and controversial conservative senator from North Carolina, launched an attack on the National Endowment for the Arts for its support of shows that included work which he deemed offensive. Ten years later as Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani engaged in a similar attack, threatening to cut off the city’s support of the Brooklyn Museum because of its show “Sensation” which featured Chris Offili’s painting “The Holy Virgin Mary”, a depiction of of the Blessed Mother emblazoned with elephant dung.
These two controversies have come to frame the perception of conservative opposition to public funding for the arts. It is viewed as a battle between liberals who value free speech and broad access to the arts and conservatives who want to censor art and cut funding to those institutions that bring art to the people. It is a battle that conservatives have been soundly losing. It is the wrong battle. The better argument against the current model of federal arts spending is much more simple, and much closer to the heart of the conservative movement. What conservatives should be saying is that the NEA and the tax exempt status of many arts organizations are hurting the very art forms they purport to support. They are in fact making American art less relevant to American’s lives. Read the rest of this entry »
According to polls, Democrat de Blasio is running ahead of Lhota, his Republican rival, by more than 40 points. With such a seemingly insurmountable lead, de Blasio is on the cusp of becoming mayor of the most populous city in the United States. But his glide path to Gracie Mansion suffered a downdraft this week when the New York Times reported that de Blasio spent the latter part of the 1980s working for a U.S.-based nonprofit that sent food aid and medical supplies to supporters of the Sandinistas, the socialists who ruled Nicaragua and fought a guerilla war against U.S.-backed Contra militias. In a 1990 interview with the New York Times, de Blasio, then known as Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm (though the Timescalls him “William Wilhelm”) and described as “a leader in the solidarity network,” praised the Marxist revolutionaries. “They gave a new definition to democracy,” he said.
Even in liberal, open-minded New York, these revelations raised eyebrows. The Big Apple is known as a progressive city, but New Yorkers have not elected a Democratic mayor in 20 years. Naturally, the de Blasio campaign has been eager to suggest that the candidate’s views have evolved, if not softened, since he was a young man. Though de Blasio won the Democratic nomination by running to the left of his primary opponents, he is transitioning now to a general-election strategy that he hopes will have broader appeal. Read the rest of this entry »
Recognizing “furtive movements” is part of basic self-preservation.
U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin’s recent decision in Floyd v. City of New York found that the NYPD’s proactive policing strategy—usually known as “stop and question” or “stop and frisk”—violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and is unfair to minorities. Judge Scheindlin sought to remedy these alleged failings by imposing new restrictions on police operations and by calling for better-trained police officers.
Pages 11 and 12 of Judge Scheindlin’s opinion cite a “particularly telling” example of “poor training.” During the trial, two police officers struggled to describe the “furtive movements” that may prompt the NYPD to stop and frisk certain individuals. Among the officers’ descriptions: “Changing direction,” “acting a little suspicious,” “making a movement that is not regular,” being “very fidgety,” “going in and out of his pocket,” “going in and out of a location,” “looking back and forth,” and “getting a little nervous, maybe shaking,” and “stuttering.” Scheindlin’s decision belittles these attempts: “If officers believe that the behavior described above constitutes furtive movement that justifies a stop, then it is no surprise that stops so rarely produce evidence of criminal activity.”
This is not a minor point of jurisprudence. The theory of proactive policing depends on law-enforcement officers being able to detect and interpret “furtive movements.” And yet Scheindlin and everyone else in the courtroom must have been aware that the officers had been asked to do the impossible. Accurately describing furtive movements and behaviors that may or may not indicate criminal intent is like explaining how you know someone is singing or playing off-key. Scheindlin might even have felt sympathy for the officers’ predicament, or perhaps even embarrassment, since she herself (along with everyone else who lives in New York) is perfectly capable of recognizing furtive movements and their potential link with danger.
Revelations concerning Benghazi, the IRS, and government probing of the Associated Press make it increasingly clear that Barack Obama was led astray by his friends in the media. They intended no harm to the president, needless to say. But by withholding the criticism that prods public officials into doing a better job, by choosing not to print negative stories and commentaries about the Obama administration, the press corps tempted the president and his staff with visions of invincibility. The pro-Obama news crew—with a boost from the Nobel Peace Prize committee—confirmed the president’s exalted view of himself. They are in part responsible for encouraging Obama to think that he could tamper with the truth about Benghazi and get away with it.
Through two presidential campaigns and Obama’s first term, mainstream editors, editorial writers, and journalists served as de facto auxiliaries for the White House press office. Certain that they were serving a noble cause, they soft-pedaled bad news about the economy and ignored or played down the president’s gaffes. Aided by one-liners from late-night talk-show hosts, they attacked and ridiculed Fox News or any reporter, radio commentator, writer, or blogger not riding Obama’s bandwagon. They hounded and harassed Sarah Palin—author Joe McGinnis even moved next door to her home—determined to destroy someone they perceived as a threat to Obama’s power. They rode shotgun as Obamacare made its way through Congress. And they led the chorus of derision that greeted early reports of political corruption inside the IRS.
Last September, when Mitt Romney raised questions about Benghazi, the mainstream media accused the Republican presidential challenger of “politicizing” the issue. Taking their leads from Democratic press releases, they kept the spotlight on Romney’s supposed missteps, giving the Obama administration time to camouflage a murderous terror attack as a spontaneous riot. And with each alibi they provided, with each news story they slanted to assist Obama at the polls, they deprived the president of the honest feedback that public officials may not want but desperately need. A biased press corps steadily pushed the president closer to the precipice where he now precariously stands.
In the morning, those who have engaged in whorish behavior—or in this case, those rewarded with invitations to insider Washington parties and access to private e-mail lists—are somehow astonished by a lack of respect. Members of the media, including Associated Press reporters, after favoring and flattering Obama for years, were stunned to discover that Obama’s Department of Justice was treating them like tarts and had targeted the AP with secret subpoenas.
The end of the affair is always painful and poignant. Unaccustomed to sunlight, fleeing suspicions of malfeasance and outright criminality, the Obama administration is pleading guilty to incompetence and ignorance. Benghazi? Hey, who knew the Libyans to whom we had been secretly running guns would turn them on us? We didn’t want to make things worse by calling the cops. Besides, we knew the media would let the story die. The IRS? Shock. Outrage. Never heard of the place.
An independent press is a compass, a vital part of the American system of checks and balances. It can provide the ship of state with mid-course corrections. But a compass that swings any way the helmsman wants is worse than useless. It points the way to disaster.
Clark Whelton was a speechwriter for New York City mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani
At a New York fundraiser for GOP congressional candidate Dan Halloran, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani blasted President Obama for his leadership failures after the terrorist attacks in Libya.
“This was for President Obama, I believe, a teaching moment. Because next year, I believe, he’ll be teaching”
Giuliani reasserted that Obama was wrong to blame the attacks on the YouTube video and criticized the president for decreasing security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“This was for President Obama, I believe, a teaching moment. Because next year, I believe, he’ll be teaching,” he joked, as the crowd laughed.
Giuliani said it was ridiculous for Obama to make a “gratuitous apology” for a video the United States had nothing to do with. “It gives a sense to people who aren’t listening or thinking very clearly that maybe we did have something to do with it,” he stated.
- Giuliani Blames Libya Attack ‘Cover-Up’ on Obama’s ‘Fantasy World’ (politicker.com)
- Giuliani Accuses Obama Admin. Of Covering Up Libya Attacks: ‘This Is A Major Scandal’ (mediaite.com)
- Rudy Giuliani Raises For Dan Halloran (timesunion.com)