Archive

Archive for November, 2012
November 30th, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Texas’ Ted Cruz in the Mix for 2016?

Politico excerpts some of an intriguing speech by U.S. Senator-Elect Ted Cruz (R-TX) to a conservative audience last night in Washington, D.C.:

While the 41-year-old Cuban-American warned that Republicans need not abandon their principles in order to rebound electorally, he did suggest the party should retool its rhetoric on economic and cultural issues.

“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder,” he said.

While he conceded the party’s harsh tone on immigration was undoubtedly a factor, Cruz cited Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment as the main reason the president performed so well with Hispanics.

“I think far more important was 47 percent. … Republicans nationally, the story we conveyed was that 47 percent are stuck in a static world. We don’t have to worry about you, what that clip famously said. I cannot think of an idea more antithetic to the American principle,” Cruz said.

“We embraced in that comment, and in the narrative we made to this country, the Democrat notion that there is a fixed and static pie. … The rich are the rich, the poor are the poor, and all that matters is redistributing from one to the other. The essence of the conservative message should be we want a dynamic nation where anybody with nothing can achieve anything,” he added to cheers from the audience. “We did an incredibly poor job at articulating the message of opportunity.”

If Cruz jumps into the 2016 presidential contest with other possibilities like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan, the GOP – and the conservative movement that animates it – will be better for it.

November 30th, 2012 at 11:15 am
This Week’s Liberty Update
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Center For Individual Freedom - Liberty Update

This week’s edition of the Liberty Update, CFIF’s weekly e-newsletter, is out. Below is a summary of its contents:

Lee:  “Fiscal Cliff?” Don’t Liberals Constantly Claim Fealty to Clinton-Era Rates?
Senik:  The Arab Spring … In Flames
Hillyer:  Pentagon Has Role in Homeland Crises
Ellis:  Public Unions, Collective Bargaining Drive California’s Deficit

Podcast:  Unions Threaten Two American Staples: Twinkies and Walmart
Jester’s Courtroom:  A Very Expensive Parking Spot

Editorial Cartoons:  Latest Cartoons of Michael Ramirez
Quiz:  Question of the Week
Notable Quotes:  Quotes of the Week

If you are not already signed up to receive CFIF’s Liberty Update by e-mail, sign up here.

November 30th, 2012 at 9:45 am
Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Cliff and Broken Promises
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Elizabeth Harrington, Reporter at CNSNews.com, discusses the implications of America’s fall over the fiscal cliff and what may come from the pressure in Washington to make a deal.

Listen to the interview here.

November 29th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
Obama, Under Hypnosis
Posted by Troy Senik Print

My new piece out today looks at the Obama Administration’s culpability in allowing Mohamed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood to drive Egypt to the brink of a new dictatorship — one far less liberal than its predecessor.

Those of us observing foreign policy from the outside have a tendency to think of it in abstract terms — conflicting ideas, interests, and values. But, as anyone who has ever observed diplomacy up close will tell you, the human factor is also vitally important. And sometimes it actually obscures those far more important considerations. Writing at Politico, Rich Lowry nails this one:

Morsi staged his latest power grab on Thanksgiving Day in the immediate aftermath of working with Obama to get a cease-fire in hostilities between Hamas (a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot) and Israel. In a New York Times piece that ought to be preserved in amber as a record of 21st-century liberal naiveté, the paper reported that in his talks with Morsi, “Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection.” How sweet.

“He was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence.” And who can resist the lure of pragmatic confidence?

“He sensed,” the paper continued, in a gushing tone, “an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology.”

This is the most embarrassing man-crush misjudgment of a noxious foreign leader since George W. Bush claimed to have peered into Vladimir Putin’s soul.

November 28th, 2012 at 8:37 pm
More Thoughts on Partisan Polarization
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Ashton correctly notes below that the Democratic Party is incapable of discovering “diversity” anywhere other than in the melanin count or chromosomal pairings of its members, beyond which measures the party is remarkably homogeneous. I want to add one note to that, which plays into my longstanding irritation with the raw deal that African-Americans get from the Democratic Party.

While Debbie Wasserman-Schultz crows about the greater diversity in Democratic ranks, what goes unspoken is that the process by which minorities get elected to the House of Representatives actually thwarts their ability to move into higher office. Consider: in the outgoing Congress (the 112th), there are 44 black members, or just over 10 percent of the body. Blacks are 12.6 percent of the nation’s population, but there’s no iron-clad law by which we should expect them to achieve elected office in perfect proportion to their share of the population. Still, this is pretty close.

Now, how many black senators are there? 0

How many black governors? 1, Massachusetts’ Deval Patrick

When you consider that the House often acts as a feeder to both of these higher offices, the discontinuity only gets stranger. So what’s the cause?

Of the 44 black House members, 26 (59 percent) come from congressional districts where the majority of the population is black (as a bit of a trivia on the side, it’s worth noting that there’s one district — the Tennessee 9th, located in Memphis — where a majority black population is represented by a white member, liberal Steve Cohen). An additional four come from districts where the black population is over 40 percent. And the representatives who come from districts with smaller black populations include some of the most left-wing members of the House, including Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Keith Ellison.

The problem is that Democrats have long agitated for lawmakers to gerrymander these minority-majority districts as a means to ensuring electoral success for black candidates. That’s worked so far as it goes, but it’s also generated a generation of black politicians who have no experience appealing to anyone other than their fellow urban blacks. Since that group represents a small population in statewide races (even in Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of African-American residents, blacks make up only a little over 1/3 of residents), these House members end up being precisely the wrong kind of figures to obtain higher office. Indeed, it’s notable that Governor Patrick and President Obama, the two most prominent black public-sector executives in the nation, never served in the House (Obama lost a bid for the Democratic nomination in the First District of Illinois in 2000).

The vast majority of Americans agree that we should be striving for a color-blind nation. We’ve made remarkably brisk progress towards that goal in civil society for the past several decades. But, if anything, we’re lagging behind on the political front. Segregating black politicians from non-black voters is not the solution.

November 28th, 2012 at 4:56 pm
Susan Rice Seems Cooked

Another day of congressional testimony for Susan Rice comes with more indications the Ambassador to the United Nations will not become the next Secretary of State.

But do pity Ms. Rice, at least a smidge.  With the finger-pointing circus around the Benghazi, Libya fiasco, it’s hard to keep the story straight on what exactly happened and who was responsible for hiding that information from the American people.

To clarify things, The Blaze website (quoting Buzzfeed) lists at least five official versions of the truth from the Obama Administration:

  1. References were removed to not tip off al-Qaeda and were substituted with “extremists,” according to David Petraeus.
  2. The links to al-Qaeda were too “tenuous” to make public by the Directorate of National Intelligence because the source wasn’t trusted.
  3. “The talking points were debated and edited by a collective of experts from around the intelligence community,” not just DNI, according to a DNI spokesman.
  4. The CIA told Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte the FBI removed references to al-Qaeda from the talking points “to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.”
  5. The CIA later called Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte back, saying they had misspoken to them and that they – not the FBI – had edited the talking points.

On the bright side for Ambassador Rice, so far none of the misrepresentations have implicated her or her office as the source of the misinformation.  At most (so far), we’ve got diplomatic (Rice and Hillary Clinton) personnel parroting information from the intelligence community whose job it is to resource diplomats.

As I understand it, it’s the DNI, CIA, etc.’s job to gather, interpret, and communicate information so that the diplomatic arm of the federal government can use it.  Sure, more and better questions seemingly should have been asked by Clinton and Rice, but ultimate responsibility for knowing and articulating what happened in Benghazi rests somewhere in the alphabet soup of the intelligence community.  Those lines of responsibility won’t change if Rice replaces Clinton at State.

Cold comfort, though, since it looks like scuttling Rice’s nomination will be the only chance the Administration’s critics get to actualize their displeasure.  Welcome to Washington.

November 28th, 2012 at 11:41 am
Party Polarization on Display in U.S. House

Tony Lee over at Breitbart.com highlights some interesting divergences between the Republican and Democratic caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Wednesday said to “take a good look when the House convenes after this next Congress is sworn in” to see that the Republican party has gotten “white and more male,” while Democrats are “majority minority and female.”

But a University of Minnesota study found that when the 113th Congress convenes, a whopping 29.4% (59 of 201) of Democrats in the House will hail from California (38 members) and New  York (21 members).

As any number of post-election analyses has shown, liberals have been very successful at defining politics in terms of gender and ethnic identities.  What is striking about the Minnesota study is how much those identities – and the ideology of government activism that supports them – are anchored in America’s two most populous coastal states.

Remember this reality the next time you hear an MSNBC talking head decry the Southern hegemony in the GOP.  As always, the parties are defined by powerbases that offer a glimpse into what each group’s policy goals might look like if the candidates promoting them are successful at the ballot box.

The Democratic Party is becoming increasingly defined by high-tax, high-spending states like California and New York.  Like European socialism, that model isn’t sustainable.  It remains to be seen if a Southern-oriented conservative can articulate not only the reasons to reject a statist future, but also the rational benefits of limited government.

November 27th, 2012 at 1:47 pm
The Hypocrisy of Warren Buffett
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Kudos to Adam J. White at The Weekly Standard for hoisting Warren Buffett on his own petard. Buffett is out with a new New York Times op-ed agitating for — what else — higher taxes. His condescending opening reads as follows:

Suppose that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”

Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.

An addendum: only in Grover Norquist’s imagination and Warren Buffett’s biography. White catches him thusly:

Early in his career, Buffett invested heavily—almost one third of his early fund’s capital—in Sanborn Map, a company that mapped utility lines and such. But he soon grew frustrated with the company’s leadership, which “operated more like a club than a business,” and which refused to return greater dividends to investors. So Buffett amassed more and more stock, and with control of the company finally in hand he pressed the board of directors to split the company in two (one for the mapping business, and one to hold the company’s other outsized investments).

Finally, the board capitulated. But with victory finally at hand, Buffett nearly scuttled the deal because of … taxes. As [Buffett biographer Alice] Schroeder recounts, quoting Buffett, one director proposed that the company just cleanly break the company, despite the tax consequences—”let’s just swallow the tax,” he suggested.

To which Buffett replied (as he recounted to Schroeder):

And I said, ‘Wait a minute. Let’s — “Let’s” is a contraction. It means “let us.” But who is this us?  If everyone around the table wants to do it per capita, that’s fine, but if you want to do it in a ratio of shares owned, and you get ten shares’ worth of tax and I get twenty-four thousand shares’ worth, forget it.’

Buffett was willing to walk away from a deal because the taxes would have taken too much of a bite out of it. Fortunately for him, the board gave in and allowed him to structure the deal that he liked, saving him from his own Norquistian response.

So is Warren Buffett an irrational businessman or an irrational policy analyst? All the evidence points in one direction.

November 26th, 2012 at 6:30 pm
A Sooner State Win for School Choice

Rachel Sheffield of the Heritage Foundation shows the depths sunk to by opponents of school choice:

Last Tuesday, Oklahoma’s special-needs students received a pre-Thanksgiving win. The state’s Supreme Court ruled that two school districts that had challenged the legality of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program—a voucher program for special-needs students—were out of line in bringing the lawsuit.

The school districts had challenged the scholarship program on the basis that it violated the state’s Blaine Amendment by allowing scholarship money to be used at religious schools. Other opponents of school choice programs have time and again brought similar claims to the courts.

Eric Baxter of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said that the Supreme Court’s decision in this case “is a great victory for both religious freedom and the disabled.”

“Let’s hope the school districts drop their paranoia that allowing disabled kids to go to a private religious school of their choice somehow creates an official state church for Oklahoma,” said Baxter. “The message from the Supreme Court today is unequivocal: These school districts should stop spending taxpayer dollars suing their most vulnerable students and focus on what they are supposed to be doing—teaching kids.”

Here, here!

No one seriously thinks that allowing a college freshman to spend taxpayer money on tuition at a religious university violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.  The same holds true when a high school senior attends a sectarian primary or secondary school.  That school choice opponents would try to deny disabled children the same freedom of choice available to able-bodied adults shows how badly the public sector wants to maintain its monopoly on students.

November 26th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
White House Stays Quiet Amidst Egyptian Turbulence
Posted by Troy Senik Print

From the Daily Caller:

White House officials remained silent during the extended Thanksgiving weekend, as Egypt’s pro-democracy groups called on President Barack Obama to condemn Thursday’s power grab by their country’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi decreed Nov. 22 that his pronouncements and edicts were beyond the reach of judicial review. The announcement was met by resistance from the nation’s top judges, who said they would fight Morsi’s unusual self-elevation to near-dictator status.

Not to kick our Egyptian friends when they’re down, but point to any random spot on a map and chances are that you’ll be within hailing distance of a nation that has been disappointed waiting for the Obama Administration to do the right thing. Whether it’s supporting dissidents in Iran, protecting constitutional government in Honduras, or providing missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic, the president has a real gift for making himself scarce when the stakes get high.

If the devolution of Egypt continues apace, the implications for Obama’s legacy are decidedly negative. This president, after all, promised a new start for the Islamic world in 2009. And he did so in Cairo.

November 26th, 2012 at 11:38 am
Liberty Case Advances by Going Back

Last week I blogged here about the decent prospects for several remaining court challenges to ObamaCare. One of those cases I mentioned was that of Liberty University. Today, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit to be reconsidered — which, as ScotusBlog explains, is a step forward for the case, by keeping it very much alive.

Summary paragraph:

The Supreme Court on Monday arranged for a Virginia university to go forward with new challenges to two key sections of the new federal health care law — the individual and employer mandates to have insurance coverage.  The Court did so by returning the case of Liberty University v. Geithner (docket 11-438) to the Fourth Circuit Court to consider those challenges.  The Court last Term had simply denied review of Liberty University’s appeal, but on Monday wiped out that order and agreed to send the case back to the appeals court in Richmond for further review.

This is very good news to those of us who believe in liberty — and, of course, for Liberty, too.

November 23rd, 2012 at 5:23 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Fiscal Cliff
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 am
Romney DID at Least Get More Votes Than McCain

Votes continue to trickle in. But as of now. Mitt Romney has received 59,995, 405 votes. Four years ago, in a poor effort, John McCain received 59,948,323. So, by 47,000 votes, Romney at least has surpassed McCain. Of course, this is hardly a great accomplishment: McCain ran under much more difficult conditions. The real comparison should have been to GW Bush’s 62 million votes in 2004, when there were 19 million fewer Americans. Bush’s total should have been a floor for Romney, not a ceiling. So Romney terribly underperformed. But at least critics can no longer say he didn’t match McCain’s raw vote total.

November 22nd, 2012 at 11:50 am
We Interrupt This Thanksgiving….

We interrupt this Thanksgiving to consider the opening portion of Ronald Reagan’s first official Thanksgiving Proclamation as president, in the midst of a recession, when things looked bleak:

America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history. In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving thanks to god for all of His blessings.

On this day of thanksgiving, it is appropriate that we recall the first thanksgiving, celebrated in the autumn of 1621. After surviving a bitter winter, the Pilgrims planted and harvested a bountiful crop. After the harvest they gathered their families together and joined in celebration and prayer with the native Americans who had taught them so much. Clearly our forefathers were thankful not only for the material well-being of their harvest but for this abundance of goodwill as well.

In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. Americans have always understand that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in 1981, we should reflect on the full meaning of this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do sass individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.

Please note the bolded portion. Also note that charity was a private affair, not something done at the confiscatory force of a government gun. Let us commit ourselves to giving not just thanks but alms of the right sort, through private initiative. And let us pray that government does not interfere with such good works by trampling the freedoms with which faith-based groups use their own initiative to provide aid according to the dictates of their own consciences.

November 21st, 2012 at 7:26 pm
Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

As you gather round the turkey with family, may this remembrance of blessings past enkindle joy and peace for those being enjoyed now.

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

H/T: Heritage Foundation

November 21st, 2012 at 4:47 pm
Thankful for Armed Services

At a conference in Colorado earlier this week on defense and foreign-policy issues — a conference sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and the El Pomar Foundation — there was plenty of food for thought on a host of topics. But as we move into Thanksgiving, I’ll focus here on how we should give thanks — and more than thanks, give the right sort of assistance — to those, less than 1 percent of the population, who wear this nation’s colors while bearing arms to protect us.

One of the most galvanizing speakers at the conference was Col. David W. Sutherland (Ret.), former special assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and now a full-time advocate for service personnel and veterans.

“We’re not victims,” he said. “We’re veterans. We don’t need pity; we need opportunity.” Veterans, he said, need “recognition and ‘connection’.”  They need education, employment, and access to health care. The approximately 50 percent of veterans who emerge unscathed from their service make better workers, have more education already, earn more money, and overall just make better citizens. But some 50 percent of veterans suffer from wounds physical or mental; they too can, and usually do, make more productive workers and citizens, but they need outreach from the community to help get them re-engaged with civilian life.

An average of 350,000 active-duty service members transition out of the military every year — but next year, some 1 million will do so. The Veterans Administration does a good job providing services to vets once the vets are in the VA system — but, alas, the average time for processing initial claims is an astonishing three years. Those just happen to be the three most important years during which a veteran either does or doesn’t re-engage productively. Obviously, in addition to improving the VA’s screening process to make it more helpful, more efficient, and in some cases less outright antagonistic, the VA should also do a much better job at helping veterans connect with the tens of thousands of non-profits and other agencies that provide all sorts of assistance, opportunities, etcetera.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can reach out to veterans by helping them navigate their return to civilian life. Business owners and human resources professionals, in particular, should recognize that  the training veterans receive and the character they build mean they often have far higher “upsides” as employees than the ordinary job applicant might offer — even if, on the front end, for those 50 percent who are somehow wounded by their experiences, it might take a little extra effort to integrate them into private-sector systems.

All of this is by way of poor summary of the gist of the powerful message, based on a galvanizing presentation, from Col. Sutherland. I’m actually not doing justice to the tenor of his message, which was far more upbeat than I can capture — far more focused on how veterans make superb assets to almost any organization or community.

So let’s be thankful for their service — and let’s show our gratitude by reaching out in every way we can to bring those veterans back more fully into our workplaces, our communities, our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 20th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
Holder’s Replacement Could be Massachusetts Governor

With Fox News reporting that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will “stay around” for another year before stepping down, names are already circulating about his possible replacement.

Among those mentioned is Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the official told Fox News.

Other names being mention on Capitol Hill are Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a former state attorney general.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s name also has been mentioned, a source told Fox News.

Of these, my bet would be on Deval Patrick.  In his second term as Massachusetts’ governor, he’s probably looking for something else to do now that he’s put Romneycare on the way to bankruptcy.  Also, as a former Clinton era Department of Justice official, Patrick’s resume checks the right box to lead DOJ.

Most importantly, would Patrick be worse than Holder?  That’s hard to imagine.  In the Obama Administration, that’s a potential improvement worth supporting; the sooner the better.

November 20th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
Holder and Rice Under Fire? Republicans Must be Racists
Posted by Troy Senik Print

As regular readers know, I’m something of a collector of asinine punditry. In the past, Tom Friedman, Joe Klein, and Gail Collins have all secured their place in my pantheon. But look out for the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, who has been breaking land speed records for inanity of late. Here’s an excerpt from his latest, defending U.N. Ambassador (and likely Secretary of State nominee) Susan Rice:

… Are [Republicans] really considering filibustering the president’s choice to be the nation’s leading diplomat? That would constitute, among other things, an interesting form of minority outreach from the party that now says it’s so serious about winning over people of color. That party’s only two targets right now are Rice and Attorney General Eric Holder. Gee, what might they have in common, d’you think?

A couple points:

  • Ignoring professional incompetence on the basis of race is not a form of ‘minority outreach.’ It’s a form of moral cowardice.
  • These rabid right-wing bigots are masters of disguise. Tea Party enthusiasm for the likes of Allen West, Mia Love, and Herman Cain was obviously an elaborate misdirect. And we should probably add Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Susana Martinez to that list, since the hatred must extend to brown people as well.

The rest of Tomasky’s analysis has to be read to be believed.

He defends the choice of Rice to be the Administration’s public face on Benghazi (despite the president’s concession that she had nothing to do with the issue) by noting that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should have been the one to do those shows, and she was asked first, but she said no.” Oh, well, that explains that. Of course, why wouldn’t the Secretary of State be indisposed to respond to a security disaster involving American diplomats?

Defending Rice’s complete misrepresentation of what happened in Benghazi, Tomasky trots out the Administration’s excuse de jure: “David Petraus has confirmed that while he knew or sensed from the start that it was a terrorist attack, America’s 16 intelligence agencies weren’t ready to say that publicly, mostly for fear of tipping off the bad guys. So Rice said what she was told to say.”

It doesn’t matter if it came from Petraeus or not — this is an incredibly stupid excuse. You worry about tipping off terrorists when you have intel before an attack and think that keeping it quiet could thwart the plot and/or bring the terrorists to justice. You don’t do it after an attack, when said terrorist group is telling you they did it. Acting like you don’t know who’s responsible at that point doesn’t make you calculating; it makes you an idiot. And if the Administration wants to claim that it knew what was going on all along, then it behooves them to explain why they chose an affirmative lie rather than a policy of relative silence.

The upshot for Tomasky: ‘Benghazi … was a terribly sad tragedy, but the kind of thing that, in a dangerous world, happens.” A man who responds to avoidable homicide with fatalistic detachment. That about says it all.

November 19th, 2012 at 6:20 pm
Overturn ObamaCare

Fred Barnes has a great column at the Weekly Standard about various ways conservatives can “push back” against the Obama regency on numerous fronts. It is well worth a read. But one point merits a bit more elaboration — and, indeed, more elaboration than it will receive in this particular blog post, although this will be a down payment on said elaboration. Anyway, Barnes leads with ways that smart people can continue to push back particularly against ObamaCare, and specifically mentions the state governors fighting against the insurance “exchanges” in the program. Barnes mentions there is a lawsuit pending against the administration’s implementation of the federal version of the exchange. What needs emphasis, though, is that the lawsuit, filed by the state of Oklahoma, actually has the potential to unravel a large chunk of the whole ObamaCare scheme. Read about it here.

And that’s not the only suit outstanding against ObamaCare. When the dozens of lawsuits against the liberty-destroying HHS mandate, for example are finally consolidated and heard, I predict a very, very, very heavy likelihood that the mandate will be thrown out. Now, granted, that won’t overturn the whole law, but only that particular regulation. It does, however, allow some other, technical questions to be piggybacked upon the challenge, and those questions, too, can help unravel parts of the superstructure of the law.

Then there is Liberty University’s suit, which for now has been resurrected after wrongly being thought mooted by Chief Justice Roberts’ awful decision on the “individual mandate.” There is certainly a scenario under which a win by Liberty could actually lead to the whole law being adjudged unconstitutional. This bears watching.

Finally, and most importantly, the Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit, especially including its challenge to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, is still alive — and I believe it has tremendous merit. Indeed, I predict that Goldwater will win this case of Coons v. Geithner. And if IPAB is thrown out, there is at least an even chance, in my estimation, that the justices determine it is not severable from the rest of the law, which would mean the whole law would be ruled unconstitutional.

That lawsuit merits a full column of its own, and will receive one soon, here at CFIF.

November 19th, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Geithner’s Solution to Debt Crisis: Eliminate Debt Ceiling
Posted by Troy Senik Print

There is a certain logic to this. Why have laws, after all, that exist purely for the purpose of being broken? That being said, it’s telling that the Treasury Secretary (he of “We don’t have a plan, but we don’t like yours.”) seems more interested in eroding even the weakest checks on the national debt than in doing something to arrest — or, heaven forfend, even reverse — it’s growth.