Archive for the ‘constitution’ Category

Obama’s Careless Disregard for Law

May 14, 2009

Anyone, said T.S. Eliot, could carve a goose, were it not for the bones. And anyone could govern as boldly as his whims decreed, were it not for the skeletal structure that keeps civil society civil — the rule of law. The Obama administration is bold. It also is careless regarding constitutional values and is acquiring a tincture of lawlessness.

By George F. Will
The Washington Post

In February, California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature, faced with a $42 billion budget deficit, trimmed $74 million (1.4 percent) from one of the state’s fastest-growing programs, which provides care for low-income and incapacitated elderly people and which cost the state $5.42 billion last year. The Los Angeles Times reports that “loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester.”

But the Service Employees International Union collects nearly $5 million a month from 223,000 caregivers who are members. And the Obama administration has told California that unless the $74 million in cuts are rescinded, it will deny the state $6.8 billion in stimulus money.
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Such a federal ukase (the word derives from czarist Russia; how appropriate) to a state legislature is a sign of the administration’s dependency agenda — maximizing the number of people and institutions dependent on the federal government. For the first time, neither sales nor property nor income taxes are the largest source of money for state and local governments.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy
n/content/article/2009/05/13/AR2
009051303014.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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Is Any System Or Party “Dead” Because of Corruption? Or is Corruption With Us Always?

May 3, 2009

“How can I believe in capitalism.  It is a corrupt system and it failed,” a friend said.

I wondered about the two words “corruption” and “system so closely allied and thought I might replace “people” with “system.”

Are systems inherently corrupt?  Some times.  But more often than not, even the best system can become corrupt because of people who become corrupt.

Over thirty years ago last month, in April 1975, the Democratic government of Vietnam failed and is no more.  That government was widely believed to be corrupt and was replaced by communism — which has itself become a model of corruption.

Yet few Americans I talk to complain that democracy is inherently corrupt — the proof is Vietnam and so this system should be cast aside as dead.

Is capitalism corrupt?  I guess when corrupt people like Bernie Madoff take advantage of the breakdown of checks and balances and others including the congress and regulators fail to do their jobs.

Is the CIA corrupt because of the “torture” of terrorists?  Hardly: President Obama has said that.  But others have said, the corruption is with Bush and Cheney and the others — or with the “system.”

So there may have been failure within the system — that doesn’t necessarily make the system a failure.

We need maybe to make our “system” as corruption free as possible.

The Obama Team seems to make the argument that capitalism is, in and of itself, corrupt and dead: the proof is in our current economic failure.

But it just could be that the system didn’t let us down as much as the people who were not doing their jobs inside the system.  And those people were of two parties; not one.

Related:
Torture: How and When Did Pelosi, Others In Congress Know?
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Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi Were Dead Wrong on Fannie/Freddie — Then Blamed “Regulators”

He Ordered The Execution of Three Somali Teens But Iran and North Korea Get A Pass? Where’s Obama’s Backbone?

April 15, 2009

Figuring out Barack Obama is still the game of the globe this year.  He talks a good game but is he game for real confrontation?  It seems not but then again….

His economic speech at Georgetown yesterday was a dusted off campaign talk with biblical references and today’s urging to take the sting out of tax day fell on the deaf ears of thousands of protesters nobody would have believed they’d ever see marching with signs: conservatives…..

Barack Obama may be popular with some but the bloom is off the rose.  He’s a tax and spend liberal socialist who has removed the word terrorist from the U.S. government lexicon….unless his Department of Homeland Security is talking about veterans and other evil conservatives….

Obama has lost his way …. if he ever had it.  Psst: Mr. President: They don’t speak Austrian in Austria and a Chinese made IPod is not a suitable gift for the Queen of England.  Iran and North Korea are big threats, Mr. President, and don’t expect the U.N. to help you on that….Your pie in the sky is spending my grandchildren to tears, Mr. President, while you goof around with a dog…..

He talks about better education for poor kids but kills the vouchers to pay for that — at the same private school that his kids attend…..

Related:
Sarkozy Calls Barack Obama, His Ideas “Unoriginal, Unsubstantial and Overrated”

 U.S. Didn’t Use All Assets To Monitor North Korean Missile

Obama Hears From Mayor: We Want The Freedom to Better Educate our Youth

 Better Education? Obama Kills Nation’s “Best” Voucher Program

 Obama Talk on Iran and North Korea Not Matched by Action, Reality


Last summer in Europe: the people were at his feet.  Now?

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By Ruth Marcus
The Washington Post

When will President Obama fight, and when will he fold? That’s not entirely clear — and I’m beginning to worry that there may be a little too much presidential inclination to crumple. For all the chest-thumping about making hard choices and taking on entrenched interests, there has been disturbingly little evidence of the new president’s willingness to do that when it discomfits his allies.
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“Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed,” Obama proclaimed in his inaugural address.

Well, not exactly. Look at the fate of various proposals in the Obama budget, and the question that arises is not Walter Mondale’s famous “Where’s the beef?” It’s “Where’s the backbone?”

Granted, it’s early — too early to know whether this anxiety is justified. No president gets everything he proposes, in the budget or elsewhere. Picking battles is part of the art of presidential politics.

Just ask Jimmy Carter, who picked the wrong one with Congress, early on, over lawmakers’ cherished water projects — and then blinked on a veto. “That convinced people that he was not willing to stick to tough positions,” Carter adviser Stuart Eizenstat recalled in a 1982 oral history.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp
-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14
/AR2009041402119.html?hpid=o
pinionsbox1

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/04/15/massive-tax-day-tea-party-usa/

Un-American Censorship By Mainstream Media?

April 15, 2009

Some are charging the mainstream media with un-American censorship today.  Some say we know more about Obama’s dog than we know about the nearly $1 trillion in stimulus and bailout spending authorized by congress since Obama became president….

US President Barack Obama's choice of a Portuguese water dog, ... 

The tea parties ongoing today are American.  What is un-American is the censorship by the mainstream media and their continued fawning over Barack Obama….

Related:
“Father of Tea Parties” Rick Santelli Calls Them American to the Core

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By Dan Gainor

If you build it, they will come. It’s a truism we’ve believed in for a long, long time. But forget the baseball reference. It is as outdated as the year “Field of Dreams” was released –- 1989.

Tea party tax protesters know why. The metaphor is a lie –- at least as far as the mainstream media are concerned. If you do something of note and the media choose not to cover it –- the issue might just as well not exist.

Such is the fate of Wednesday’s national Tax Day Tea Party. This mega-gathering of tax protesters is scheduled for every single Congressional district in the country.  More than 500 events are planned. And the national news media have either been silent or shown contempt for the effort.

That’s not journalism, its blatant censorship that would amaze even George Orwell.

The Big Three broadcast networks –- ABC, CBS, and NBC –- have only mentioned the tea parties in passing and they’ve only done it three times. This is especially ironic since NBC’s sister network CNBC gave rise to the movement when reporter Rick Santelli ranted about government overspending and talked about having a “Chicago tea party.” Now the other NBC network –- MSNBC -– has been reduced to making juvenile sexual comments about the event.

The Washington Post has been even worse than the networks. The paper has only mentioned the movement once in a news story: in a “brief” that ran in a suburban edition. Two major tea parties are planned for Washington this week and the only Post readers who have a clue about what’s going on live in Prince William County. Or, hopefully, rely on media other than just The Post.

The New York Times tried a different tack. That paper has mentioned tea parties six times -– and five of those have been to disparage and undermine them. The paper questioned Santelli’s involvement and said the rant only “appeared spontaneous.” An April 7 piece by Lawrence Downes mocked a Northport, N.Y. tea party as “a day for brandishing signs, shouting imprecations, and donning silly clothing.” Columnist Frank Rich claimed the Santelli “bonfire fizzled” and columnist Paul Krugman called the tea parties “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events.”

This tax day, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, taxpaying Americans will prove Krugman and the rest of traditional media wrong. They have had to rely on new technologies like Twitter and Facebook to do something as old as civilization itself –- protest. But they shouldn’t have to do so.

The Times famously claims it publishes “All The News That’s Fit to Print.” In practice, they publish whatever they want or whatever they agree with. Journalists are obligated to cover the news and it’s impossible to argue that nationwide protests are not news.

When California passed Proposition 8, the Times ran 11 stories detailing the pro-gay marriage protests that followed. One Associated Press story it ran was quick to point out that “about 1,000 advocates of equal rights for gay people” attended a protest. A Nov. 16 story emphasized some “4,000 people gathered at City Hall” and took pains to mention that comedian Wanda Sykes “surprised a crowd of more than 1,000.”

The Washington Post did eight stories detailing the Proposition 8 protests. The big networks did 19. Both CBS and NBC mentioned that there were “about 2,000 people” protesting at the Long Beach rally.

By contrast, attendance at the Feb. 27 tea parties was ignored by the networks. Roughly 30,000 people tried to make their voices heard at 50 events around the country. Five thousand people showed their anger over taxes and spending in Orlando and another 5,000 in Cincinnati. “One of the biggest protests so far drew 15,000 on March 8 in Fullerton, Calif.,” according to Investors Business Daily.

The Facebook page devoted to the tea parties alone has more than 30,000 members. Top conservatives on Twitter — one of the event sponsors — has more than 4,000 members. Surely someone at the major networks has a Facebook page or knows a Tweet from a Twit. If not, perhaps they can find an 8-year-old to explain it to them.

While they are at it, have that same 8-year-old go over the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Maybe that’s what it would take to remind journalists one of their primary duties is “providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” Remember, “comprehensive” means not just the issues you support.

A quick skim of the code shows that journalists are violating several of the guidelines by not covering the tea parties. “Journalists should: Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

That’s another one of those crazy old-time dreams. The only open exchange of views now occurs despite the national news media –- not because of it.

Fortunately, protest has a way of surviving even in times of media censorship. But the next time you see stories about more media layoffs or newspapers closing down, you, and hundreds of thousands of tax protesters, will know why.

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and Vice President of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum and he can be seen each Thursday on Foxnews.com’s “Strategy Room.”