An attorney with TIGTA wrote Cause of Action on Tuesday and informed the organization of “2,509 pages of documents potentially responsive to your request,” Fox Newsreported Wednesday. Of those documents, 2,043 were in fact responsive to the organization’s request. Read the rest of this entry »
Incomes fell for most families in past three years, while top 10 percent prospered
For the Washington Times, Jennifer Pompi reports: Under President Obama, the richest 10 percent were the only income group of Americans to see their median incomes rise, according to a survey released this week by the Federal Reserve.
“The wealth share of the top 3 percent climbed from 44.8 percent in 1989 to 51.8 percent in 2007 and 54.4 percent in 2013. … The share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33.2 percent in 1989 to24.7 percent in 2013.”
The Fed data covered the years 2010-2013, during which period Mr. Obama constantly campaigned against income inequality and won re-election by painting his Republican rival as a tool of Wall Street plutocrats.
“One of our biggest concerns is who is the candidate’s economic team, because if the present economic team doesn’t change, you are going get the same results.”
— AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
“Data from the 2013 [Survey of Consumer Finances] confirm that the shares of income and wealth held by affluent families are at modern historically high levels,” the report said in noting that the median income fell for every 10-percent grouping except the most affluent 10 percent.
“The 2013 SCF reveals substantial disparities in the evolution of income and net worth since the previous time the survey was conducted, in 2010,” the report stated. The SCF is conducted by the Federal reserve triennially and compiles information about family incomes, credit use, net worth and finances. Read the rest of this entry »
A lawyer in the IRS ethics office is facing the possibility of being disbarred, according to records that accuse her of lying to a court-appointed board and hiding what she’d done with money from a settlement that was supposed to go to two medical providers who had treated her client.
Ms. McGee, who recently gave a speech to the Florida bar titled “When your license to practice before the IRS is on the line,” acknowledged in a phone interview Tuesday that her own job is on the line as she fights disbarment proceedings…. (read more)Washington Times
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Tax Man’s Ethics
Sometimes real news becomes parody. Over at the Internal Revenue Service, where nobody seems to be in charge, one of the managers of the ethics office faces disbarment for unethical conduct.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect.”
— Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
Chicago’s finest not thrilled about law-abiding citizens exercising constitutional rights without their permission
Law enforcement authorities described the man as “a model citizen” who “helped others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he witnessed the holdup. The man, whose identity was withheld from the press, prevented others from entering the store during the theft.
“There’s a lot of academic research that’s been done on this, and if you look at the peer-reviewed studies, the bottom line is a large majority find a benefit of concealed carry on crime rates — and, at worst, there’s no cost.”
— John Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center
Police said the robber harassed customers and pistol-whipped one.
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.” Read the rest of this entry »
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans. Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
For the Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports: Talk of impeachment was cooked up by a White House desperate for something to rally Democrats ahead of November’s elections, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday, flatly ruling out any action on the controversial suggestion.
Matt Drudge doesn’t approve, apparently. Two things to note: One, Drudge is on record saying he thinks Republicans are colossally stupid. And two, Drudge benefits directly from controversy and conflict, whether its legitimate or not. But on the other hand: What kind of unbridled lawlessness, recklessness, and corruption is invited when a chief executive becomes impeachment-proof? And participates in fueling impeachment talk, to benefit from it?
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans.” Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
“Even with the Democrats’ strategy this transparent and obvious, the press is still covering it uncritically.”
Democrats have acknowledged impeachment talk has been good for their fundraising, but also say there’s some fire behind all the smoke. On Tuesday, congressional Democrats circulated a list of GOP candidates and sitting lawmakers who have said they want to see President Obama be impeached…(read more)
For Washington Times, Ben Wolfgang reports: Amid increasing violence in the Middle East and questions still swirling around the aircraft shot down over Ukraine last week, the White House is not considering canceling President Obama’s upcoming trip to the West Coast for Democratic party fundraisers.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to leave Washington Tuesday and headline a party event in Seattle later that night. He will then attend Democratic fundraisers in California before returning to Washington on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »
“Ignoring the core problem will only cause more hardship”
For the Washington Times, Jennifer Harper reports: Critics say Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to politicize the border crisis only to bolster a potential White House run in 2016. Yes, there could be some of that going on, but Mr. Perry also has a succinct reason for speaking out, loudly and often, about the surge of young illegal immigrants: The Lone Star State has already spent a half-billion dollars on the situation. Read the rest of this entry »
Women from Honduras traveling with their children are stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Services agents after crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas. About 90 Hondurans a day cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico. (associated press) Photo by: Rodolfo Gonzalez
For the Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports: President Obama’s new border spending request will pay for schooling, health care and lawyers for the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children surging across the border, officials told Congress on Thursday as they pleaded for quick action on the $3.7 billion package.
Homeland Security SecretaryJeh Johnson said Congress must approve the money this month, saying that if nothing is done before lawmakers leave for a monthlong August vacation, one of his agencies will have to cut its other immigration enforcement in order to hold and transport the children.
But Mr. Johnson and other officials faced bipartisan complaints that Mr. Obama’s plan is “incomplete.” Democrats said it fails to compensate local communities who are having to face the problem, while Republicans said Mr. Obama needs to spell out details of how he wants to change the law to make sure the children can be quickly deported.
Demonstrators on opposing sides of the immigration debate are separated by police officers Friday outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California. The town was the latest flashpoint for standoffs over the transport of illegal minor immigrants. (Associated Press) Photo by: Mark J. Terrill
For Washington Times, Jessica Chasmar reports: A militia has set up a command center south of San Antonio to prepare for what they say is a mission to protect the United States from the influx of illegal immigrants.
“We have patriots all across this country who are willing to sacrifice their time, their monies, even quit their jobs to come down and fight for freedom, liberty and national sovereignty.”
Major ruling updates privacy laws for 21st century
For the Washington Times, Stephen Dina writes: The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot go snooping through people’s cell phones without a warrant, in a unanimous decision that amounts to a major statement in favor of privacy rights.
Police agencies had argued that searching through the data on cell phones was no different than asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cell phone is more fundamental.
The ruling amounts to a 21st century update to legal understanding of privacy rights.
“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.”
– Harvard graduate, Senator Charles E. Schumer
While Jefferson is deemed the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was not intimately involved in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to that founding document.
Indeed, Jefferson was out of the country, serving as minister to France at the time of both the Constitution convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Washington Times, Douglas Ernst reports: The Pentagon’s research agency tasked with developing breakthrough technologies for national security has come up with a plan for dealing with shrinking budgets: robotic flight crews..
ALIAS envisions a tailorable, drop‐in, removable kit that would enable the addition of high levels of automation into existing aircraft to enable operation with reduced onboard crew. (Image: DARPA)
The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) would offer the military a “tailorable, drop-in, removable kit that would enable the addition of high levels of automation into existing aircraft to enable operation with reduced onboard crew,” DARPA said….(read more)
Wayne Dupree writes: Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are heros. Their strength and conviction to free blacks from slavery are a testament to what happens when individuals think more of their community than themselves and are willing to risk everything for a cause greater than themselves.
In comparison, modern black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson Jr. and Al Sharpton are tiny and self-serving. They don’t serve black Americans or champion freedom and liberty for all. They champion liberal politics and ideology, and that’s odd; liberals want to see blacks tucked neatly into the roles of their design.
Liberals can’t abide a black person who leaves the black plantation of poverty and handouts to stand on his own two feet; they treat with contempt a black man who turns his back on their free money to work hard to make a good life for himself and his family. How dare these dissidents show the black community what they can do with their lives if they walk away from poverty and work to better themselves?
Too many liberals think they have the black race all sewed up, and it just paralyzes them to hear of black conservatives.
FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.
“We’re just two local prosecutors but everybody who was supposed to look at this evidence above us has made a decision not to, and by default left it to us to investigate and prosecute at the state level.”
— Sim Gill, chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County
But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.
“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody…If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will step down this year, he said in an interview with the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin in the magazine’s Feb. 17 edition.
The most controversial, combative, distrusted, divisive, nakedly political, and openly partisan Justice Department in decades may be about to have an overdue transition? The Washington Times reports: In a feature article, Mr. Holder said he plans on staying in his position “well into” the year.
Last November, Mr. Holder told CBS News he didn’t have “any plans” to step down.
Mr. Holder has made voting rights the test case of his tenure, the New Yorker reported. He has been a vocal critic of the Supreme Court case that invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act and has supported Congressional action to renew and revise the law.
During his five years as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Mr. Holder has also weighed in on other controversial Supreme Court decisions…Washington Times…more…
Meanwhile, just yesterday, David Jackson at USA Today reported Attorney General Eric Holder has “no specific plans to step down by the end of 2014“, Obama administration officials say, contrary to a new magazine report.
The New Yorker, in a piece about Holder’s battles over voting rights, said President Obama’s attorney general “will leave office sometime this year.”
That is a misinterpretation of a frequent Holder comment that he plans to stay in the job until at least most of 2014, officials said….
Washington Times‘ Jessica Chasmar reports: More details are surfacing about the apparent drug overdose of Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead inside his New York City apartment on Sunday, police said.
Mr. Hoffman, a 46-year-old New York native, won an Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of American author Truman Capote in “Capote.” He starred in many other notable films, including “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Master,” and the “Hunger Games” franchise.
Investigators found more than 50 glassine-type bags containing what is believed to be heroin in his apartment, along with several bottles of prescription drugs and more than 20 used syringes in a plastic cup, sources told CNN.
Mr. Hoffman reportedly had suffered from drug addiction for years. After 23 years sober, he admitted in interviews that he relapsed and developed an addiction to heroin. He checked into a rehabilitation facility last year.
Law enforcement officials said the actor’s body was discovered in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment by an assistant and a friend, who called 911. Mr. Hoffman’s family called his death “tragic and sudden.”
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” his family said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”
Mr. Hoffman was not blessed with matinee-idol looks but his meticulous craft made him one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, able to straddle both the multiplex and the film festival audiences. He won raves for both franchise tentpoles such as the third “Mission: Impossible” film and a career-long collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson in such films as “Magnolia” and “Boogie Nights.”
“Philip Seymour Hoffman wasn’t just a great actor in great roles. He was a great actor in crap roles. He took dead material and gave it life. Probably the best example is his turn as the baddie in [Mission: Impossible III]. As written, it’s an utterly empty, generic villain character.
Historic photo of armed black panthers members on capitol steps in Seattle, 1969. Washington state is among the few very liberal states that has pro-citizen gun-rights laws that protect 2nd amendment principles. Washington is a ‘shall issue’ state, unlike ‘may issue’ laws that many states use to interfere with citizen’s right to self-protection.
Jessica Chasmar writes: Detroit’s police chief is sticking to his guns after being criticized for supporting citizens to arm themselves.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig whispers in the ear of Jayvon Felton, 9, after Felton was named Chief for A Day by Craig, at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters in Detroit on Friday Jan. 31, 2014. Felton, 9, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)
Police Chief James Craig responded Thursday to a Detroit resident who challenged his pro-gun stance. Mr. Craig made national news earlier this month after he said armed citizens could serve as a deterrent to criminals, The Detroit News reported.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig speaks with the media during Operation Mistletoe, a raid targeting drug dealers on Detroit’s west side. Violent crime is down in Detroit, police have improved their response time to 911 calls and officers are solving a greater percentage of homicides, according to the Craig. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Steve Perez, FIle)
“Mr. Steyn is representing himself after firing the magazine’s legal team over a dispute related to how the judge was handling the case.”
Often not the most advisable way to go, in court. But, who knows. Maybe he’s a better advocate than his former legal team. Steyn’s been around the block with frivolous lawsuits and harassment. We wish Mr. Steyn luck. I hope National Review turns around and sues the snot out of Michael Mann. See the Washington Times for the full article, but here’s a sample:
A climate change scientist’s defamation suit against National Review writer and frequent Rush Limbaugh fill-in Mark Steyn will proceed, a judge decided earlier this week, ruling against the magazine’s attempt to dismiss the case.
Speaking of controversial documentaries… The Washington Times‘ Valerie Richardson reports: A Minnesota film festival is being accused of pushing a political agenda by yanking a pro-fracking documentary from its lineup while keeping two anti-fracking films on the program.
Organizers of the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, Minn., decided last week to cut “FrackNation,” a widely discussed 2013 documentary about hydraulic fracturing, reportedly citing concerns about the film’s financial links to the oil and gas industry and the filmmakers’ inability to attend the screening.
The decision represents the first time the festival has pulled a film in its nine-year history. Instead, the festival plans to fill Sunday’s slot with a forum discussion, “Documentaries Today: My Fact Your Fiction?”
Filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who produced the “FrackNation” with Ann McIlhenney, said he wasn’t buying the festival organizers’ explanation.
“It’s a cover story,” said Mr. McAleer. “They’re under pressure from environmental elites not to show this film.”
He noted that while “FrackNation” was pulled, the festival is still showing “Gasland2,” a follow-up to the intensely anti-fracking 2011 documentary “Gasland,” and “Dear Governor Cuomo,” a documentary about anti-fracking protests in New York.
Is that a cannon in your backpack, or are you just glad to see me?
“It’s a very comfortable gun to shoot”
Wow. This got my attention. For fans of the Taurus Judge “Public Defender”, this is a welcome addition to the “shock-and-awe” subset of Super Handguns. Before I bought my first handgun (a Glock) a friend directed me to the Judge, for all the wrong reasons, as it turns out (shooting shotgun shells out of a pistol increases the chances that even in a panic, you’ll hit your target, even if the weapon is completely impractical, and don’t even think about conceal-carry) but mainly because he was interested in it, too. It was getting a lot of buzz, that first few years, and continues to get a range of reactions: A. It’s a solid, respectable handgun, good for a nightstand, home protection B. It’s a novelty, often dismissed as foolish, not essential. C. Holy cow I want one.
Smith & Wesson ‘Backpack Cannon” ammo: The really tall guy, on the left, is a .460 caliber bullet.
My thinking is, if Smith & Wesson is getting in the game (or maybe they’re already in, I haven’t been following closely) it’ll surely be an attention-getter. Note: Cannon balls not included. The Washington Timeshas an item about it:
Cheryl K. Chumley writes: Smith & Wesson has unveiled the monster of all monster handguns at the recent “Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show” in Las Vegas: A .460 caliber beast with a 3-inch barrel, high-visibility sights and a synthetic shock absorber on the handle — a likely necessary addition for so much firepower.
The manufacturing company is billing it as “great for a back-up gun, or for hunting,” and has dubbed it the “Backpack Cannon,” The Daily Mail reported.
Speaking out: Lukman Faily, Iraqi ambassador to the United States, says the Obama administration is not as engaged in his country’s future as was the Bush administration. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Ambassador praises Bush’s ‘ownership’ of relationship
Guy Taylor writes: Iraq’s ambassador to Washington says the Obama administration doesn’t fully grasp the consequences of failing to more aggressively combat a surging al Qaedathreat inside his country, pointedly suggesting that President Obama has been less engaged with Baghdad than his predecessor.
“The administration has to have a better understanding of any adverse impact of any delay in provision of support to Iraq,” Ambassador Lukman Faily told The Washington Times in an interview Wednesday. “It cannot afford a whole town or province of Iraq falling to al Qaeda and becoming a safe haven. It’s against the U.S. strategic interest. It’s against the U.S. national security to do that.”
Asked whether the White House could do more to facilitate a tighter relationship with Iraq, Mr. Faily said, “to a certain extent they can. But we are no longer in a period in which we had President Bush, who took ownership of that relationship.”
With al Qaeda-linked violence surging in Iraq, Mr. Faily urged U.S. leaders in both parties to stop allowing military and nation-building resources for his country to become embroiled in domestic U.S. politics even as he dismissed suggestions thatIraq is in danger of falling into a full-fledged civil war between its Shiite and Sunni populations.
“I personally think that it’s tragic that the issue of the whole American project inIraq is now becoming a ball in relations to the party politics within D.C.,” the ambassador said. “I don’t think it’s beneficial for the United States. It’s definitely not beneficial for Iraq to become a tool in Republican versus Democrat or whomever.
“This is not helpful for U.S. security, it is not helpful for us, it is not helpful for the region.”
Given word of The Times’ interview with Mr. Faily, the White House responded Wednesday evening that there is a high level of engagement between U.S. and Iraqi officials and that the U.S. is providing extensive military support to Iraq through Washington’s Foreign Military Sales program, but that the Iraqi governmentneeded to take the lead on countering terrorists in the nation.
Mr. Murray, who wrote “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible,” argues that Scotland’s decrease in quality whiskey is due to the use of sulphur candles to sanitize some barrels that have been used to age sherry, giving it a “bitter finish.”
Bourbon, however, is aged in virgin oak casks, which do not require sulphur treatment, the Telegraph said.
“The best whiskey is coming not from Scotland any more, but from Kentucky,” he said, adding that Buffalo Trace, a bourbon distillery in Frankfort, Ky., is “arguably the best distillery in the world.”
Kellan Howell reports: The Washington Times and one of its former journalists on Thursday sued the Department of Homeland Security, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper’s reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.
In a motion filed in federal court in Greenbelt, The Times and reporter Audrey Hudson asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Ms. Hudson’s home office during a raid in early August.
The newspaper alleged that federal agents accompanying Maryland State Police on the raid took materials from Ms. Hudson’s office that were not covered by the search warrant that authorized the collection solely of evidence about guns and a potato launcher allegedly possessed by her husband, Paul Flanagan.
The seized materials included documents the newspaper had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as well as notes and memos that identified confidential sources from a series of investigative stories that exposed problems inside the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.
President Obama (right) waves to members of the audience after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative with former President Bill Clinton in New York on Sept. 24, 2013. (Associated Press) Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais
I’ve had this understanding, as well, that the Democratic party’s realignment when Obama leaves office, won’t be a smooth one. Obama’s shaped the party into his image, rather than the other way around. Democrats, including Democrats in the media, have been unusually loyal and uncritical, even sacrificing their careers in some cases, in order to remain united behind their leader. Their fictionalized view of Obama’s historic legacy will begin to collapse.
When they no longer have to hide their frustration with this narcissistic, hostile, divisive president, and begin individually posturing for power–without his image to protect–the Democratic party will have their own costly wars to fight. Their traditional weaknesses and conflicts will be more fully revealed.
People underestimate the Democratic party’s natural state of disunity. Think the Republicans are fractured? The Democratic civil war is about to begin. –Butcher
Charles Hurt writes: Despite what the hysterical media will tell you, those distant blasts you heard last week rolling from New York City to Richmond were not cannon fire from the ongoing civil war within the Republican Party. They were the first shots fired in the civil war that is about to break wide open within the Democratic Party.
The hyperventilating media have gone from simply jaundiced sideline observers to outright cheerleaders, breathlessly fanning the flames of discord within the GOP at every turn. Who knew The New York Times cares so much about Republican politicians from Texas and Utah? Of course, they don’t. Unless those conservative Texans and Utahans are in a knife fight with establishment Republicans in Washington.
Rowan Scarborough reports: Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.
The investigative file made available to The Washington Times show that the helicopter’s landing zone was not properly vetted for threats nor protected by gunships, while commanders criticized the mission as too rushed and the conventional Chinook chopper as ill-suited for a dangerous troop infiltration.
Every day, Charlie Strange, the father of one of the 30 Americans who died Aug. 6, 2011, in the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade, asks himself whether his son, Michael, was set up by someone inside the Afghan government wanting revenge on Osama bin Laden’s killers — SEAL Team 6.
“Somebody was leaking to the Taliban,” said Mr. Strange, whose son intercepted communications as a Navy cryptologist. “They knew. Somebody tipped them off. There were guys in a tower. Guys on the bush line. They were sitting there, waiting. And they sent our guys right into the middle.”
Doug Hamburger’s son, Patrick, an Army staff sergeant, also perished when the CH-47D Chinook descended to a spot less than 150 yards from where armed Taliban fighters watched from a turret. Read the rest of this entry »
President Barack Obama talks about the the budget and the partial government shutdown, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in the Brady Press Room of the White House in Washington. The president said he told House Speaker John Boehner he’s willing to negotiate with Republicans on their priorities, but not under the threat of “economic chaos.” (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
No need for lectures from a debt-saddled president
Charles Hurt reports: In the seven years since President Obama voted as a U.S. senator not to raise the federal debt ceiling any higher, he and his government cronies have piled up $7 trillion in crazy new spending that even our grandchildren have little hope of ever paying off.
We citizens signed no document assuming responsibility for this unthinkable spending binge. We never co-signed any trillion-dollar loans.
Yet as reckless and inexcusable as this crowd’s behavior has been, we never missed a payment. We just keep on paying the bills and these people just keep on racking up crazy debt.
Anyone caught failing or refusing to continue paying the bills — no matter how strongly they object to them — has been fined, kicked out of their homes, imprisoned or worse.
Still, Mr. Obama and his government cronies have gone flat broke, yet again, using our credit. And like drug-addled little punks, they have come home — stinking and drunk in the night — and are now pounding on the windows demanding one more loan. They are at the height of their drug-fueled binge and they’ve just got to keep it rolling.
Seven years ago, when then-Sen. Barack Obama objected to raising the debt ceiling, he said that merely bumping up against the debt ceiling was “a sign of leadership failure.”
“It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies,” he intoned, senatorially.
The Intellectual Elite’s Doomed Romance with Barack Obama
Wesley Pruden writes:This is the question that confounds everyone; some intellectuals most of all. The late William F. Buckley Jr., a certified egghead, once said he would rather be governed by the first 50 names in the Boston telephone book than by the professors at Harvard.
Another wit observes that an intellectual is someone who so prefers theory over experience that he would sit down on a red-hot stove, twice. You can be too smart for your own good, and have the blisters on your bottom to prove it.
The intellectual romance with the clever Barack Obama continues. Having invested so much in candy and flowers, they must ignore all the evidence of being dumped.
His cultivated demeanor and carefully applied patina of synthetic sophistication, fraudulent as it may be, is what attracted the adoration of intellectuals from across the political spectrum in 2008, says Charles Murray, the social scientist and an intellectual with impressive books, studies and learned papers. He admits that he’s a dumpee.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it,” he tells an interviewer for the website Daily Caller, “but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.”
“It’s his whole way of presentation of self … of a little self-deprecation in the argument and picking out a nuance here, which is all the ways that we overeducated people have been socialized in the same way. It’s the way we carry on discourse. Along with [seeing] what was a very engaging personality, I kind of ignored things which … a lot of working-class people glommed onto right away.”
“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it, but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.”
Working-class stiffs, the people an earlier generation of political scientists called “Joe Sixpack,” having earned their blisters and calluses by heavy lifting, are too smart to take a seat on the red-hot stove even once.
Having been to some big towns and heard some big talk, they were too smart by miles to be taken in by a smooth-talking butter and egg man from Chicago.
(Stop the presses: Butter and egg man? What? I had to look this up. “Big Butter and Egg Man” is “a free spender or wealthy investor , a naive prosperous businessman”. Okay. But the source is a 1926 jazz song written by Percy Venable. Venable was a record producer at the Sunset Cafe and wrote the song for Louis Armstrong and singer May Alix. The song is often played by Dixieland bands, and is considered a jazz standard. Why Wesley Pruden chose this obscure reference, who knows. Either I’m not as culturally hip as I’d like to think I am–and this phrase is commonly known–or Wesley Pruden is intentionally screwing with us. I am inclined to believe the latter. It prompted me to visit the song on YouTube, listen here. It swings, baby, I recommend it! “Butter and egg man“? Go figure. Okay, back to Pruden‘s rant…)
“It’s not that I think he is not a patriot,” says Mr. Murray, “but remember the line, he said, ‘You didn’t build that.’ No American is going to think you can say that, no matter what your political views are, because it’s just disastrous to say that. He is clueless about this country in some profoundly disturbing ways.”
It’s within his power to avoid the ludicrous scenes of this “shutdown.”
Unify, lead, and govern a great nation? Or express hatred, burn bridges, plot revenge, settle scores, waste money, and preside over epic national decline? Decline isn’t so bad, as long as Democrats can concentrate more power.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Distilling a theretofore-untamed talking point into a single sentence, The Atlantic’s Abby Olheiser complained somewhat tenuously on Monday that the National Park Service, which has recently been running around the country doing all sorts of unconscionable things in the name of the federal shutdown, “wouldn’t have to become the next iteration of the Benghazi mantra if a bill — which is sitting in the House of Representatives and would fund the government at sequester levels — were brought up for a vote and passed, ensuring that the government, and the parks, would reopen as soon as possible.” This, suffice it to say, is rather obviously true.
It is also wholly irrelevant. Of course the executive branch would be not be playing these games if the shutdown had not happened. In that case, the government octopus would be swimming inexorably forward as it usually does, all of its tentacles intact. The more important point to grasp here is not that the various heavy-handed antics in which the Park Service has seen fit to indulge itself since last Monday are unimaginable absent a shutdown, but that almost none of them had to happen because of the shutdown. The offending behavior has, in other words, been a choice — a deliberate ploy contrived and prosecuted by a man seeking to make a public point. Read the rest of this entry »
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, tells reporters that Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Republicans are the obstacle to ending the government shutdown crisis, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. President Barack Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday for the first time since a partial government shutdown began, but there was no sign of progress toward ending an impasse that has idled federal workers and curbed services around the country. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Stephen Dinan reports: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered a striking mea culpa on the Senate floor Friday as he opened the chamber, saying he and his colleagues have simply gotten too personal and nasty in their floor debates.
A day earlier Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, had scolded Mr. Reid for attacking Sen. Ted Cruz, another Texas Republican, by name as they debated the government shutdown. Mr. Cornyn read directly from the Senate Rules that prohibit members from impugning each other’s motives or conduct.