Thursday, May 9, 2013
With Day 1 of the Benghazi hearings in the can, it's hard to know where to begin: altered talking points, murdered ambassadors, State Dept. review boards, YouTube videos, orders to "stand-down," etc. If there doesn't seem to be an immediate political pay-off it's because there's been so much information coming so quickly, it's hard to absorb. Still, I think there's one inescapable conclusion that we can already draw, and it's the real Benghazi scandal:
We have a chickensh*t president and (had) a chickensh*t Secretary of State who, God help us, aspires to be president herself.
I say this with all due respect*, of course.
Obama and Hillary actively worked to depose Hosni Mubarak and Col. Qaddafi under the guise of an alleged democratic revolution sweeping the entire Middle East when in fact the "democrats" were just Islamists with Twitter accounts. The deposing of Qaddafi was supposed to be the exemplar of the sort of "lead from behind" way of war that would accomplish everything "dumb" George Bush tried to do in Iraq, but at the fraction of the cost in blood and treasure. Having overthrown the government and unleashed a typical jihadi maelstrom, Obama and Hillary deposited Amb. Stevens and three dozen diplomats and intelligence types into a hellhole and then left them for dead once the inevitable happened and the Muslims began seeking out Americans to kill.
Then they went out and blamed a video, supposedly made in America, for the violence. In other words, our American president tried to blame us and our First Amendment right to free expression for a coordinated attack by our deadliest enemies. He even went to the UN and said this. If there is another American president who would have even contemplated doing such a thing, let alone done it, I'd like to know his name.
Then, during the few precious minutes when Mitt Romney challenged Obama on his misfeasance and non-feasance, the president smugly demanded that we "look at the transcript," where you could indeed find a single generic sentence about "terror" from the one public statement he gave about Benghazi - and that settled that! As if the whole controversy was over a prepared statement in the Rose Garden and not the cold-blooded abandonment of our diplomats.
By any definition you choose, that is chickensh*t behavior.
It's probably true that there wasn't much you could do from DC to save the 4 men who died, but so what? They made no effort to save them, and actively stopped the efforts of the few people who tried to take the initiative and rescue the embattled mission. And, forget the 4 dead, what about the three dozen survivors, some of them grievously wounded, who were also abandoned to their fates by the progressive Jesus who went to sleep while his diplomats fought furiously for their lives? The Obama-ites left them to die. Say what you will about George Bush or Ronald Reagan, but they wouldn't have let this play out that way.
The million dollar question is whether this will discredit Obama and Hillary in the eyes of the public. Well, I don't know. The whole point of covering up Benghazi was to preserve the story line that al-Qaeda was dead and the Arab Spring was going great. The depressing lesson from the 2012 election is that there are tens of millions of Americans who are happy to look the other way so long as they keep getting their government money, whether for food stamps, "free" health care, condoms, abortions, Obama-phones, layabout jobs in the bureaucracy or whatever. Amb. Stevens may have died, but at least the Tsarnaev family still had their subsidized housing! (and there's a sort of grim irony in the younger Tsarnaev brother getting his US citizenship on the same day as the Benghazi attack, isn't there?)
This is the president we've got now. That's the real scandal.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I'm not in the mood for stirring up trouble, so I'll just jot down some of the obvious truths we can agree have grown out of the Boston Marathon bombing:
We got some Mighty Warriors For Allah out there: a couple yokels from Chechnya on welfare (and look like were drug dealers, too) who blew up women and children wearing jogging clothes.
Sure the mom is nuts, but she's also an instigator and as much a jihadi as her kids. That's how the dynamic works with the Palestinians - the young men do the killing, but the moms and sisters are back at home barking at them to kill more Jews.
That aunt in Toronto is something else, too. I assume she's the mom's sister.
Really, if we're going to have chain migration, we need to have chain deportation too. (except for the uncle. He's cool.)
Seeing these Muslim women's finger-jabbing, self-justifying rants, I'm reminded of what they used to say about New Dealers like Alger Hiss who were really secret Communists - the wives were more left-wing than the hubbies.
American Moms & Dads, if your cute daughter who wants to "work for the Peace Corps" ends up in an abusive relationship with a swarthy foreigner and walks around wearing one of those stupid hijab-things - she has emotional problems.
The political refugee segment of immigration law is a relic of WW2 and the Cold War. Where we once welcomed hard-working, brilliant refugees from Eastern Europe, Cuba, and Viet Nam; now we're bringing in Somalis and Chechans who are likely not even our allies in whatever political fight they are supposedly leaving behind.
There are people out there who have been educated in US schools up to the PhD level - and they have no real ability to remain in the US once their student visas are tapped out. Meanwhile the mom and younger brother seem to have been on the citizenship fast-track. That's is stupid, dysfunctional, indefensible, etc. And there is no sign that this is going to change through the immigration reform being touted by the "progressive" crowd. (unless you are an illegal immigrant DREAM-er, of course)
I'm guessing the mom and younger bro did not read the brochures they received at their citizenship ceremony.
Remember how the symbol of our pre-9/11 fecklessness was how we were giving visas to Arabs seeking flying lessons, but who didn't want to learn to take-off or land? Now we've got Tamerlan Tsarnaev: the political "refugee" (who took lengthy vacations in his land of oppression) drug dealer on welfare who was investigated by the FBI and KGB, and who was arrested for domestic violence in this country - and all we were doing was "slow walking" his application for citizenship.
I'm sure one of the reasons US Intelligence (oxymoron alert) blew off the Russians' multiple warnings about Chechan terrorists in the US is because the Russkies are viewed as the "bad guys" in the Chechan Wars. The way things have been working out, I'm thinking the Russians had the right idea from the beginning.
I don't have access to any special knowledge, and have no real specialty in foreign affairs. All I do is read the newspapers. But, even I knew the following about Chechan terrorism pre-Boston Marathon:
2. blew up some Russian airliners using female suicide bombers
3. attacked an elementary school and killed hundreds of children. (it was Newtown x 20).
4. took a theater full of the Muscovite equivalent of New York Times readers - with dozens killed as a result.
5. no direct connection to the USIs it unfair for me to say that no one in the US government, at least at the FBI, DHS or ICE knows any of the above?
UPDATE: this doesn't really fit the "non-controversial" theme, but...remember the Rand Paul question to Eric Holder? (can you use a drone on a US citizen sitting in a café in the United States?) Remember how Holder hemmed and hawed? Everyone thought the AG was being obtuse, but in retrospect, doesn't it seem likely that Holder knew that there were US citizens out there (like Bro. #2) who were connected to Muslim terrorism and wanted to keep his options open? (and didn't want to admit that the gov't is granting citizenship to terrorists or people connected to terrorists).
Sunday, April 21, 2013
4 dead, scores injured, a major American city in lock-down, a splashy explosion at one of America's premier public events; but let's focus on what's really in danger: Obama's second-term agenda.
The Boston Marathon terrorist attack allegedly hatched by two brothers from Chechnya is threatening to disrupt President Obama’s second-term agenda.
Opponents of immigration reform — the most promising priority of Obama’s second term remaining after the defeat of gun control — are already using the attack to try to slow progress on a bipartisan Senate bill.
The issues are expected to create political problems and distractions for Obama, whose fight against terrorism has largely been a political success highlighted by the killing of Osama bin Laden.
And there was gun control - what was dumber, the executive orders, (including one from Obama directing Obama to nominate a new ATF chief)? Or the legislation that would have done nothing to stop mass murderers? Or the "women's magazine"-style politicking by which Americans were emotionally blackmailed?
And great job unifying the country this week, Healer-in-Chief. The Boston Marathon was on Monday. We heard the usual/expected blather about "coming together" and how there are "no Republicans or Democrats," but on Wednesday Obama gave an angry speech denouncing his opponents in the gun control debate as liars (that's what he said!) interested in preserving the right to massacre children. Unity!
And, don't ever forget that he's the smartest guy to ever hold the office of President of the United States!
Sorry, but if Obama's second-term agenda fails - and I hope that's what happens - it will be his own damn fault.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
I wasn't going to do this, but the efforts of some (not all) of the Newtown parents to guilt-trip Americans into surrendering their Second Amendment rights have really crossed a line. Here is "Newtown mom" Francine Wheeler giving the president's weekly address:
Francine Wheeler blinked past her tears, looked straight into the camera and asked Americans to push for tougher gun laws, drawing on courage she said comes from the memory of her 6-year-old son, Ben, murdered in his first-grade classroom in Newtown, Connecticut.
"His boundless energy kept him running across the soccer field long after the game was over," said Wheeler, describing her son during what is usually President Barack Obama's weekly Saturday address to the nation.
"He couldn't wait to get to school every morning," she said, her voice breaking, her husband David beside her, sighing and swallowing hard.
The address was the culmination of a week of emotional pleas in Washington from families of the 26 people killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14.
"To us, it feels as if it happened just yesterday," Wheeler said, recounting the horror of waiting at the firehouse after the shooting "for the boy who would never come home."
The massacre has spurred Obama to propose new restrictions on guns - politically difficult measures in a country where constitutional rights to own guns are defended by powerful lobby groups like the National Rifle Association.
Obama brought the Newtown families to Washington on Monday aboard Air Force One after he gave a speech in Connecticut urging action on his plans.I'm sorry, but does Wheeler, or anyone else, honestly think her pain over losing her son is not something that would be shared by any decent parent in her position, even the dread Wayne LaPierres or Ted Cruzes of the world? What happened to Ben Wheeler and his classmates was awful. Just awful. I couldn't stand to watch news coverage of the event. Don't even get me started on the political ghouls like Michael Bloomberg and Diane Feinstein who leaped for the cameras before lunchtime on that terrible Friday morning, seeing an opportunity to "win" a political argument they had lost years ago. But, Wheeler's pain is universal. It has nothing to say about gun control, background checks, or the other ephemera that the Senate is debating.
We're not supposed to attack Wheeler and her cohort, but I have to ask what was the point of her presentation. She addresses nothing about the substance of the pending gun control bills, or how they might or might not be constitutional. I don't even know if the murder of her son has changed her views on gun control. She's an upper-income woman from suburban Connecticut. Odds are, she didn't like guns before 12/14/12, and would have supported the president's efforts at anytime, regardless of her circumstances.
And, let's talk about the president and his "efforts" to address Newtown. What's he done? Made some speeches denouncing the opposition and acting like he - the president of the United States - is being thwarted by dark forces led by the NRA and/or Mitch McConnell. I can't do anything! he seems to moan. Bullsh*t. There's plenty he could do above and beyond his flurry of executive orders. (how's it going implementing those, btw? Did he ever follow through on his order to himself to nominate a new ATF chief?) The president is, after all, the president. He runs the executive branch! He could get out there and actually go after the bad guys he claims to want to put of business: the criminals committing gun crimes and the gun runners making illegal weapons sales. He could lead a national "conversation" about violent video games and movies. He could get behind an effort to resolve the vexing mental health questions that arise from these events. (and address the unspoken question of whether psychotropic drugs have played any role in the psychoses of mass killers).
But all Obama's doing right now is making Republican Senators squirm on Meet The Press, and that might be all he accomplishes because - and this is the biggest joke - everyone knows that whatever legislation manages to pass out of Congress would not have stopped Adam Lanza or anyone else from committing mass murder.
Is that what Ben Wheeler's blood is going to buy? The temporary discomfort of some RINO's who probably secretly agree with his grieving mother anyway?
As an example of how a president who is serious about solving a seemingly intractable problem, look at how the Reagan Administration waged the War On Drugs. Sure, there was some legislating involved, especially with the notorious mandatory sentencing laws; but the president didn't sit around waiting for Congress to act. The Justice Department and other cabinet departments were mobilized to focus on drug interdiction and prosecution. On the PR side, there was Nancy Reagan's earnest and effective "Just Say No" campaign, along with a million PSA's culminating in the famous "This is your brain on drugs" commercial. We can sit around arguing how effective all of this was, but there is no doubt that an executive branch committed to a particular policy can throw a lot of resources around in a hurry.
So is Obama prosecuting gun crimes? No. In fact, such prosecutions have declined under his watch. How hard would it be to call Eric Holder and tell him to turn this around? About as hard as Ronaldus placing a telephone call to Ed Meese I would imagine.
Is the Obama administration going after gun runners or underground dealers? Are you kidding? They ran the biggest gun running operation in history! Plus, I just don't think there are any sort of large-scale underground gun dealers out there, anti-gun propaganda notwithstanding. Why would there be?
Is the Obama Administration producing PSA's about gun safety? (Moms & Dads, don't leave your freaking weapons lying around! Especially when you know your son is a nut!) Of course not, and they are demonizing the one organization out there that does, the NRA, which produces a wealth of gun safety information.
When is the First Black President going to use his bully pulpit to address the perpetrators of the vast majority of gun crimes: young black men?
It's not as if these would be controversial. Wayne LaPierre, at his much maligned post-Newtown press conference called on the president to do the above, and more. The NRA wants criminals rounded up and sent to prison whether they are Adam Lanza or anonymous South Side wanna-be's. They just don't want law abiding citizens to be hassled along the way.
Most important, maybe, the president might want to take a look at his rhetoric, and that of his fellow progressives, over the last 4 years. A lot of it has focused its vitriol on the wealthy and well-to-do, always with the subtext that their wealth is somehow misappropriated. Who did Adam Lanza target, after all? The children of the 1% whom we are told are responsible for all that is wrong in American society. Children who were born into what many on the left consider the white power structure.
Sure you can say Adam Lanza was crazy or evil, but why couldn't have this been a political act, no different than a Palestinian blowing himself up at a school bus stop?
I know there's a show biz aspect to politics, but this "Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington" routine is so bogus you can practically see the wires and the blue-screen. No one doubts her pain and anguish. How could you? But, she is going as a human shield to shut down debate, a phenomenon first identified by Ann Coulter years ago. We're not supposed to criticize her, yet she is flying around in Air Force One and is being shuttled to meetings with numerous Senators by lobbyists and a former "strategist" for Bill Clinton. (among his noble bits of strategy was navigating Slick's bimbo eruptions. Why would you want to shake hands with this guy, let alone let him shepherd you around Capitol Hill?) Are Americans supposed to watch this soap opera and collapse on to their fainting couches en masse? Apparently.
The GOP will always be the Stupid Party, but Democrats are crafting arguments designed to appeal to stupid people. I'll take honest stupidity any time.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Georgetown law prof Randy Barnett has been doing a slow-rolling study of the abolitionists writers and lawyers who provided the intellectual and moral arguments in support of ending slavery and passing the 14th Amendment. First was his "Whence Comes Section One? The Abolitionist Origins of the Fourteenth Amendment." Now comes a paper remembering Salmon P. Chase. Here is the abstract and table of contents:
The name Salmon P. Chase is barely known and his career is largely forgotten. In this Article, I seek to revive his memory by tracing the arc of his career from antislavery lawyer, to antislavery politician, to Chief Justice of the United States. In addition to explaining why his is a career worth both remembering and honoring, I offer some possible reasons why his remarkable achievements have generally unremembered today.
Introduction: Constitutional Abolitionism.............................654
I. Chase’s Rise to the Chief Justiceship ......................................656
A. Chase’s Early Years........................................................................ 656
B. Chase as an Antislavery Lawyer ...............................................659
C. Chase as an Antislavery Political Leader..............................668
II. The Chief Justiceship of Salmon P. Chase ..........................676
A. Chase’s Duties as Chief Justice..................................................676
B. Chase’s Opinions on Reconstruction.......................................677
1. In re Turner............................................................................................677
2. Texas v. White .......................................................................................679
C. Chase on the Enumerated Powers of Congress.....................683
1. United States v. Dewitt.........................................................................683
2. The Legal Tender Cases........................................................................687
D. Chase on the Privileges and Immunities of Citizens
of the United States..............................................................................694
of the United States..............................................................................694
III. Why Has Chase’s Career Been Forgotten? ..........................697
Chase was a towering figure in his day: governor of Ohio, Treasury Secretary, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He helped found no fewer than three national political parties: the Liberty Party, the Free Soil Party (even coining its slogan "Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor and Free Men"), and of course the Republican Party*. He was also an attorney who spent years refining abolitionist legal arguments. And, apparently, Chase Bank was (posthumously) named for him. It's a bit much to say he's "forgotten" - anyone who reads about the Civil War era will come across his name - but it is certainly true that Chase's accomplishments deserve more note than current historic understanding grants to him.
As Barnett notes, Chase and his cohort, whom Barnett dubs "constitutional abolitionists," successfully found a middle ground between the competing sides of the slavery question. On the one hand, Democrats insisted that slavery was constitutional, and would eventually insist that, as a matter of constitutional law, blacks were mentally inferior and slavery should spread through the territories, and even into the northern states. On the other, full-mooners like William Henry Garrison insisted that disunion - and the rending of the Constitution - was the only proper "solution" to the slavery question. Great, but what if you just want to go to work and raise a family without worrying that the government will fall apart before lunch? Chase, et al.'s middle ground preserved the Constitution through the fire and brimstone of the Civil War.
The Constitutional Abolitionists relied on close readings of the Constitution to point out that (1) there was nothing in the Constitution specifically approving slavery (read the Confederate Constitution to see how that's done); and (2) other parts of the Constitution, especially the Fifth Amendment made involuntary servitude unconstitutional. Whatever Founding Father nods and winks southerners relied on to support their arguments were meaningless as they couldn't be found in the text. These might be obvious points now, but back then they were literally dynamite. When Abraham Lincoln - the greatest of the Constitutional Abolitionists - won the presidency, the South knew the jig was up, at least with regard to the slavery question. (No, the issue of state's rights was not "resolved" by the Civil War. Only children and Ivy League graduates could believe that).
Barnett rightly laments that the Constitutional Abolitionists, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, are largely obscure as historic figures and rarely register in high or low culture. Well, join the club. Unless you are a progressive princeling or a member of an oppressed class, your would-be admirers have to actively work to seek out your biography. Plus, how can the likes of Lysander Spooner (google him) measure up to Beyonce'?
Still, there is one group of Americans who should rectify their ignorance in this area: members of the Republican Party, who are often as ignorant of the noble origins of their party and philosophy as anyone else. Read Whence Comes Section One. It is literally inspiring (and ought to provide the basis for a very good book). On the most important political questions in American history, our guys were 100% right. Modern-era Democrats might claim their pursuit of "social justice" should take pride of place, but nothing can compare to the freeing of the slaves. Republicans seeking inspiration in these times would do well to learn more about their own founding fathers.
* NB: Chase started and ended his political career as a Democrat, however, even running for the Democrat presidential nomination in 1868.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The supposedly explosive Mitch McConnell tape"scandal" has backfired on the Democrats and has become a question of whether left-wing operatives committed felonies by recording a conversation between the Senator and his campaign staff:
A secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisors was taped by leaders of the Progress Kentucky super PAC, says a longtime local Democratic operative.
Mother Jones Magazine released the tape this week. The meeting itself took place on Feb. 2.
Jacob Conway, who is on the executive committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, says that day, Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, who founded and volunteered for Progress Kentucky, respectively, bragged to him about how they recorded the meeting.
On the tape, McConnell and his advisors are heard laughing and joking about opposition research they had on actress Ashley Judd, who had been considering running against McConnell next year. Many Democratic groups blasted McConnell for the remarks yesterday, disgusted by the fact McConnell would potentially use Judd's suicidal thoughts as a child against her.
Reilly and Morrison have declined to comment for this story.
I heard Jacob Conway's interview on Fox. What a laughable clown. And what a typical modern-day Democrat. Not only was he disingenuous, claiming in this fake-exasperated tone that these darn operatives were not authorized by the Democrat Party at all; but his voice was - how can I put this - *mincing*. If you catch my drift. We are definitely a long way from the lunch pail wing of the Democrat Party.
More seriously, though, McConnell should hereby be on notice that he is Going Down on the slightest possible pre-text. Now that the "war on women" angle - McConnell and his staff were discussing Judd's well-publicized mental problems - has failed to work out, leftist activists are making a stink over possible ethics violations arising from whether McConnell was on "campaign time" or "government time." It's not going to matter so long as McConnell is injured.
Don't think that this can't happen? Read Robert Novack's description of his "role" (such as it was) in the Wilson/Plame affair. David Corn was present at the creation of that media-driven "scandal." Whatever you might say about Corn, he knows how to create the impression of law-breaking out of the carelessness of Republican officials.
(btw, you know who definitely gets hurt by these "secret tape" scandals? The tapers. Democrat politicians and journalists are happy to publicize these things, but it's the tapers who pay the bill. That kid who turned Sarah Palin's emails over to Gawker went to jail. Those two liberals who tape-recorded Newt Gingrich in 1997 - they were just a couple grandparents who thought they were hearing a bit of history! - plead guilty to federal wiretapping charges*. David Corn is going to get his awards and his publicity out of this, but it's anonymous Kentucky Democrats who will likely go to jail.)
A lot of conservatives like to dump on Mitch McConnell, but you won't hear that around here. McConnell has demonstrated over and over again an ability to lead the opposition in the Senate. His grasp of the law and the Constitution is deep and impressive. He has fought for conservative principles, going as far as to take multiple cases to the Supreme Court, where he has prevailed. He is a much steadier hand than John Boehner. That's why some of the Left's big guns are hunting McConnell.
McConnell has played this affair well so far. He instantly recognized that no one could have recorded without breaking the law. But, he's going to have to be careful out there.
* actually John Boehner sued lefty jerk Jim McDermott and won a multi-million dollar judgment against his colleague, so occasionally the bad guys do get dinged.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
We've all been annoyed by Obama's reflexive tendency to blame George Bush for everything bad in the world. But, what I find even more galling, not to mention exasperating, is how he responds to complaints about this or that bloated government program by saying said program "actually began during my predecessor's administration." Somehow, this is enough of a dodge that he doesn't have to explain how a modest program (or even something as little as a proposal sketched out in a memo) grew into a monster under his auspices. He did this with Fast & Furious, for example, even though the differences between the Bush F&F (a rogue operation in Tuscon that was quickly shut down) and the Obama F&F (a secretive smuggling program directed from the highest reaches of the Justice Department) are of orders of magnitude.
Today's example, via Casey Mulligan via GMU's David Henderson, is Obama's approach to responses to complaints about the ever-expanding food stamp program. You may recall Newt Gingrich's awesome rhetorical punch calling Obama the "Food Stamp President" because libs had so relaxed the eligibility rules, and ruined job-creation, that millions now qualified for EBT cards who once would not have. That set off howls of "racism" from the media and Dems and sent Obama back to the "blame Bush" well:
First of all, I don't put people on food stamps. People become eligible for food stamps. Second of all, the initial expansion of food-stamp eligibility happened under my Republican predecessor, not under me. Number three, when you have a disastrous economic crash that results in 8 million people losing their jobs, more people are going to need more support from government.Jeez, defensive much?
As Mulligan explains, (quoting Wikipedia) the truth was that Bush vetoed the 2008 Farm Bill that relaxed the eligibility rules, and Congress - then controlled by Democrats - overruled the veto. And, when Congress realized it had excluded 34 pages from the bill it sent up to Bush (he was the dumb one, remember), Congress passed the bill again; Bush vetoed it again; and Congress overrode it again. So, yeah, food stamp expansion began during the Bush administration, but not really because of anything Bush did.
As is typical of these things, then-Senator Obama abstained from voting on the two bills or on the two overrides; the better to preserve his moderate veneers, my pretties.
There's a lot of grousing that Bush blew up spending and paved the way for Obama, but the grousers seem to not account for the fact that, starting in 2006, Bush faced a hostile Congress filled with incipient leftists who were a couple years away from passing the Stimulus and Obamacare. (prior to that, he was clearly using domestic spending programs to hold his congressional war coalition together. Yet another reason why American wars should be short, sharp and to the point).
Yes, the TARP bill was appalling, but that at least was a panicked response to an emergency. (and passed with the votes of the supposed "moderates" whom we now deride as the Ruling Class). No one was thinking clearly in those days. It's the expansion of the welfare state that was done coolly and deliberately. As the Food Stamp story shows, Bush was often working to rein in congressional spending, but was doing so from a hopelessly weak position.
Still, liberals desperately need to be able to point to some wisp of GOP support for the failures of their programs. Former governor Schwarzennegar serves that role in California.* And, Obama is right: food stamp expansion did begin "under" Bush. It was just begun over his politically dead body.
* and already you are hearing people say that the impending bankruptcy in Stockton, CA is due to spending by former GOP mayor Gary Podesto. The unions and Democrats had nothing to do with it!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Another Republican is causing trouble with the Hispanic outreach program. Don Young, Alaska's lone House member, used the term "wetback" in a radio interview.
Rep. Don Young, who used the term “wetbacks” to describe Mexican immigrants in a radio interview Thursday night, issued a full-scale apology this afternoon for using the derogatory slur after a barrage of criticism from Republicans and Democrats.
“I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska,” Young, R-Alaska, wrote in his second statement of the past 24 hours. “There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words.”Young is, predictably, the face of the Republican Party this week despite the fact that (1) he is the sort of big-spending, non-evangelical moderate that we're supposed to elect more of and (2) most Republicans outside the Land of the Midnight Sun can't stand him. Sarah Palin even supported an effort to primary Young back in 2008! (and is there any doubt that Young would be the first House Republican to sign on to "comprehensive immigration reform?") None of this matters, of course. As long as Young is insulting Hispanics, he is Mr. Republican, Mr. Tea Party & Mr. Conservative.
But, who is being hurt by Young's slur? Nobody. Sticks and stones, and all that (plus, Ike had some kind of guest worker program back in the good old days called "Operation Wetback," so at some point the term was socially acceptable).
On the other hand, imagine all of the casualties from the latest scandal out of urban America: a conspiracy directed by the superintendent of the Atlanta School District to raise test scores by literally changing kids' answers on standardized tests:
In the two and a half years since, the state’s investigation reached from Ms. Parks’s third-grade classroom all the way to the district superintendent at the time, Beverly L. Hall, who was one of 35 Atlanta educators indicted Friday by a Fulton County grand jury.
Dr. Hall, who retired in 2011, was charged with racketeering, theft, influencing witnesses, conspiracy and making false statements. Prosecutors recommended a $7.5 million bond for her; she could face up to 45 years in prison.
During the decade she led the district of 52,000 children, many of them poor and African-American, Atlanta students often outperformed wealthier suburban districts on state tests.
Those test scores brought her fame — in 2009, the American Association of School Administrators named her superintendent of the year and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, hosted her at the White House.
And fortune — she earned more than $500,000 in performance bonuses while superintendent.
On Friday, prosecutors essentially said it really was too good to be true. Dr. Hall and the 34 teachers, principals and administrators “conspired to either cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistle-blowers in an effort to bolster C.R.C.T. scores for the benefit of financial rewards associated with high test scores,” the indictment said, referring to the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.
Reached late Friday, Richard Deane, Dr. Hall’s lawyer, said they were digesting the indictment and making arrangements for bond. “We’re pretty busy,” he said.
Am I stepping out of bounds in assuming that Dr. Hall and her confederates are liberal black women? Probably not, as Hall was feted at the White House in 2009.
(apropos of nothing, have you heard about the arrest of Elba Gordillo, presidente' for life of the Mexican teachers union? She's accused of stealing $200 million from the union with Neiman Marcus providing crucial evidence of multi-million dollar shopping sprees. For the Children, of course.)
That African-American kids are cruelly trapped in failing schools is beyond dispute. Also beyond dispute is that those failing schools are not educational institutions, but are little more than jobs programs and money pits. And the cheating is national, and systemic with similar scandals brewing in El Paso and Ohio.
Yet, somehow, Don Young is a Big Problem for Republicans, perpetually flat-footed in their effort to make in-roads into minority communities; while Dr. Hall is part of some crazy "local" scandal and everyone else involved in urban public education is great because they care so much for The Children (and vote Democrat).
Reality is that Don Young is a cheesy semi-corrupt octogenarian pol with virtually no voice in his party outside of Alaska. Reality is that Democrats, the Party of Education, have had one-party rule over urban school districts for decades and destroyed them, stunting the development of god-knows how many millions of minority kids. And, apparently, it's enough to hold up the obscure likes of Don Young as representing the tip of the spear of some sort of unspeakable GOP Jim Crow for Democrats to retain their death-grip on the votes of minorities. (those who show up at the polls at least. Urban precincts are notorious for the fraudulence of their electoral returns).
Instead of convening seminars and writing op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, Republicans eager to court black or Hispanic voters should show up at these sh*** schools and help lead a revolt by those parents who care enough about their kids to change this noxious reality.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
This excerpt from a book titled "The Mind Of the South" by Tracy Thompson (hint: the thesis of the book is that the South has no mind) recently passed through my Facebook timeline. The idea is that the South "still lies" about the Civil War, denying the War was about slavery, and playing up the states' rights angle. She tells this tale as an example of how things work in the Dear Ol' Southland:
In the course of our conversation, Yacine Kout mentioned something else—an incident that had happened the previous spring at Eastern Randolph High School just outside Asheboro. On Cinco de Mayo, the annual celebration of Mexico’s defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, a lot of Hispanic students brought Mexican flags to school. The next day, Kout said, white students brought Confederate flags to school as a message: This is our heritage.
Now, first I have to say that, if you Google "East Randolph High School Cinco De Mayo" or some other combination, the only results you get are the above excerpt and commentary thereon. I can't find anything about this supposed racist incident independent of Tracy Thompson's tendentious tract.
Second, memo to prideful southern high school students: here in Amurrica, we got this here thing called the "American Flag" AKA the "Stars & Stripes." It looks like this:
Try waving that next time, guys. That's what kids do here in California in response to displays of the Mexican flag.
Third, don't want to hurt any feelings, but if you're going to choose "Southern Heritage" versus "Mexican Heritage" (I know this is one of those "would you rather be blind or deaf?" kind of questions), wouldn't Southern heritage be the better choice? The Confederates, after all, considered themselves Americans. I don't know what message Mexican kids are trying to send by waving around the "Eagle & Snake," but it doesn't strike me as being "pro-American."
Whatever southern heritage meant 50 or 100 or 150 years ago, today - ca. 2013 - it's a combination of regional pride, bread pudding, and cussedness. It's about admiring the gallantry and bravery of the doomed southern armies who fought to the end for a cause that everyone now agrees was an awful one. One of history's ambiguous after-effects is the grudging admiration we can have for history's losers - I'm thinking of Napoleon's Grand Armee' or the Japanese in the Pacific War - who, whatever you might say, fought like hell, even if for the wrong reasons.
If southern heritage means high school students in 2013 are going to saddled with the full panoply of southern sins, then the same should apply to the yokels displaying the Mexican flag. There's the massacre and enslavement of the Aztecs; a feudal agrarian system that keeps Mexican peasants in peonage to this day; a third world political system that overlays a corrupt crony capitalist oligarchy onto a huddled mass of poor kept in the thrall of pseudo-socialist slogans; and so on. The Mexican War with the US ended with Santa Ana and his cronies taking bribes in exchange for signing away the American Southwest. If southern heritage is problematic, so is Mexican.
Then there's Mexico's frankly bizarre approach to race relations, as this graphic illustrates:
Wow! Where's a Mexican flag for me to wave?
Call me old fashioned, but Confederate history is part of American history. Mexican history? It's about as important to America as Cuban or Canadian history. One clearly outranks the other.
]I'm not going to go waving the Stars & Bars, but I won't begrudge someone else doing so; so long as they behave themselves. But the kids waving Mexican flags are just as obnoxious as any modern day neo-Confederate.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Lots of commentary on the 10th Anniversary of the start of "major combat operations" in Iraq, most of which can be summarized thus:
1. Sure we got rid of Saddam, but
2. It wasn't worth the effort and
3. War weariness + the Crash of '08 gave us Obama et al.
Well, as far as conventional wisdom goes, that's not good enough because I have yet to see anyone grapple with one incontrovertible fact: without 9/11 there would have been no Iraq War, and further that 9/11 made war inevitable (tell me Pres. Gore wouldn't have had Saddam in his sights, too).
Now, Americans, especially the leadership class, are famously ahistorical so maybe a brief history lesson is necessary. You see, a crazy thing happened one day in the past (the exact date escapes me): 19 Islamist terrorists high-jacked 4 passenger jets, killed their crews, and flew the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thousands of innocents died (and the death toll would have been greater had the planes crashed into the Twin Towers a couple hours later). The destruction in NYC was so great, the ruins were still smoldering two months later. It was a shocking event that briefly made the world's only superpower look vulnerable and helpless. It doesn't matter who was president on that day. Dennis Kucinich himself would have looked at the world map and asked, "who else on here can do this to us?" Asked that way, in the aftermath of 9/11, Saddam Hussein's Iraq raced to the top of the list.
Now, does that make the Iraq War some kind of triumph? Hell no! The Bush Administration hobbled itself repeatedly, starting with Colin Powell's invoking the previously unheard of "Pottery Barn Rule" as part of the invasion protocol. There were the fruitless months seeking permissions from the UN. There were the crazily restrictive rules of engagement. The quisling acts of supplication towards Muslim "sensibilities." There was Abu Ghraib. There was the absolute failure of communication as the liberal establishment attacked the war in the basest terms and the Bush Administration responded with Scott McLlellan. Worst of all were the seemingly endless years of drift under Gens. Sanchez, Casey & Abizaid (all of whom turned out to be liberal Democrats, for God's sake). Despite the presence of unsentimental Cold Warriors like Cheney and Rumsfeld, the Bush Administration tried to fight a politically correct war -- and only managed to engender the contempt of the politically correct types who voted for the war and then rode war opposition to power in Congress and the White House.
The Bush Administration was right to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. But, to win a war, you actually have to try to win, even if that means wrecking some minarets, or whatever, along the way. That's the real lesson of the Iraq War.
Monday, March 18, 2013
I know Michael Bloomberg's "32 oz. soda ban" is last week's news - hey! I was recovering from a grave illness! - but, I feel like all of the commentary the proposed ban inspired failed to grapple with two fundamental issues.
1. what the hell was this supposed to accomplish?
2. what, if anything, can the government do to make fatties slim down?
Now, as a threshold matter, I have to say I don't buy this idea that "America is getting fatter," nor do I accept the sort of stats you see in the media (20% of Americans are obese! is one). We could all stand to lose a few pounds, maybe, but there isn't some great epidemic of tens of millions of grotesquely overweight Americans waddling around. Instead, we have what looks like a typical media/political "problem" created via creative statistic reading and adjustments to statutory definitions of "overweight" and "obese" such that people who 20 years ago would have been fat are now treated as morbidly obese.
That's not to say, however, that there aren't more fat people out there. Go to the mall, or Target, or downtown S.F., and it's hard not to find yourself thinking America - or at least my slice of it - has a weight problem. There are some serious wide loads out there, many of them young or young-ish. As with the poor, we've always had the chubby among us, but dear God, the sheer morbid rotundity on display nowadays is ghastly. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I don't remember seeing 500 pound women riding around in carts in Safeway 20 years ago. I don't recall seeing eight year olds who look as if they weigh more than my wife. Etc. And, not to get all judgmental but many of the truly obese don't look particularly prosperous or intelligent. (I'm sure they have great personalities).
So whaddya gonna do about it, if anything?
Well, Mike Bloomberg obviously thinks things have gotten out of control and wants to keep large portions out of people's hands, but shrinking the range of available soda sizes is just pathetic. It won't do sh*t! Not when so many obese people are clearly overeating and living lives that are either indolent (the welfare fat) or sedentary (the working fat). That extra 10 oz. of soda is, what, a couple hundred calories? Out of how many thousands a day you have to pack away to maintain a 300 lb. frame? It's a joke.
No, if Bloomberg were really serious about slimming New Yorkers down, he'd go out into the neighborhoods and tell all those people on food stamps and welfare that the free ride is over and that they would need to start eating right, exercising, and going to some kind of job during the day. Instead of banning soda cups, he'd stop bodegas from selling junk food to someone flashing an EBT card. He'd have roving press gangs out there rounding up unemployed fat people and putting them to work mowing lawns in Central Park, or some such. But, of course, he is not/never going to do this because people like Al Sharpton and Charles Rangel (both of whom, it must be said, have noticeably slimmed down the last couple years) would say it was racist or some thing.
So, instead, Bloomberg bans some freakin' cups - while leaving intact high calorie latte cups at Starbuck, btw. wake me up when this starts to make sense - because it's always easier to hassle a few thousand businessmen than it is to tell several hundreds of thousands of poor people to stop treating their bodies like garbage cans.
Really, though, why should the government do anything about this in the first place? The crippling cost of providing health care to the obese is always at the top of the list of rationalizations for this sort of thing, but how can that be? Have you seen any 80 year olds on life support in the ICU weighing in at 350+ pounds? Not me. All of that weight is a down payment on an early grave. I haven't run the numbers, but intuitively it seems like the early death of the typical fat person would ultimately leave a lot of health care spending on their behalf "on the table," so to speak. If we're going broke paying for health care, it's not so we can save the lives of the morbidly obese.
Even if there was some budget conscious reason to ban this or that food or food container, what's the point? Fat people aren't fat because of a conspiracy by McDonald's and 7-11 to "super-size" Americans. They're fat because of what inside their hearts. There's some physical or psychological need inside them that keeps them in a constant state of (1) eating and (2) not moving. Are they lazy? Depressed? Big boned? victims of abuse? Sure, probably. Or they might not know how to eat right and can't imagine that eating at Burger King everyday for 20 years is not the only food option available to them. (a lot of large men I know eat out for literally every meal. Someone would have done them some good teaching them how to pack a freakin' brown bag for lunch).
What law could you pass that could possibly cope with all of this? There isn't one.
America isn't getting fat, but some Americans are getting fatter. Unless Michael Bloomberg and his ilk are willing to confront the poverty and poor education at the root of many obese people's problems, all of their feel-good bans and smarmy speeches won't amount to a hill of (delicious) beans.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Yes, in answer to your question, I am alive! But, for the past month, I felt more dead than alive, as I struggled with a relentless illness that sucked the life out of me. Seriously, all I wanted to do was lie in bed and mutter things like "I'm dying" and "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee." It wasn't walking pneumonia, but it was close. Now...I'm back (God willing).
Saturday, February 16, 2013
We're finally getting some clear-headed reporting about the Chris Dorner - uh, spree? saga? rampage? - as a counter-point to the nutty "He's like Denzel Washington" commentary we were hearing from the left. According to Dorner's enthusiastic supporters, he declared war on the "racist" "troubled" LAPD in an effort to clear his name. Let's see how the modern day folk hero did:
1.) Dorner claimed his first victims on Feb. 3.
Monica Quan, 28, was an assistant women's basketball coach at California State University, Fullerton. She was also the daughter of retired LAPD Capt. Randal Quan — the man who had represented Dorner in his disciplinary hearings.
She lived in an Irvine condominium with boyfriend Keith Lawrence — a former basketball player and University of Southern California cop whose shoes and buckles she had stayed up until the wee hours polishing when he was at the police academy. On Jan. 26, Lawrence, 27, had strewn the apartment floor with rose petals, gotten down on one knee and proposed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Just over a week later, at 9:10 p.m., Quan and Lawrence were found slumped in their car in the parking lot of their condo complex. They were fatally shot.
Around 1:30 a.m. two LAPD officers assigned to protect one of the people named in Dorner's manifesto spotted him in the Riverside County community of Corona. During a shootout, one officer was grazed on the forehead.
A short while later in nearby Riverside, SWAT team Officer Michael Crain and trainee Andrew Tachias were in the middle of a graveyard shift.
The 34-year-old former Marine had served two tours of duty in Kuwait before joining the Riverside force in 2001. As a Marine, Crain had once taught urban warfare tactics, but on this day he had no time to react.
The two were waiting at a stoplight when someone — believed to be Dorner — raced up and opened fire on them. Tachias, 27, was critically wounded; Crain was pronounced dead at a hospital.
When they walked into the upstairs living room Tuesday morning, Dorner was waiting for them with his gun drawn. He had been there at least five days — within shouting distance of a command post set up by the people hunting him.
"Stay calm," he shouted. When Karen Reynolds turned to run out, he grabbed her from behind.
Karen Reynolds said Dorner was calm and "very methodical" as he instructed them to sit, then tied their hands and legs.
"I don't have a problem with you," he told the couple. "I just want to clear my name." (just like in a movie!) Dorner moved the couple to a bedroom and shut the door.
When they felt he had gone, Karen Reynolds managed to get to her feet and, with her hands still tied behind her back, open the door. To her amazement, Dorner had left her cellphone on the living room table.
She picked it up and dialed 911. It was 12:22 p.m. Tuesday.
"I don't want to hurt you," Dorner said in a calm, businesslike voice as he pointed his rifle at the 51-year-old Heltebrake. "Start walking and take your dog."
Heltebrake sensed that Dorner, who stole his truck, was on a mission, and that he wasn't part of the agenda. Suni took his 3-year-old Dalmatian and walked away.
Heltebrake had just called police when he heard gunfire.
According to sheriff's department officials, MacKay and his partner followed where they believed the truck had gone. They were unaware that Dorner had crashed it. They spotted tracks in the snow leading to a cabin and got out of their cruiser.
The pair stopped about 30 yards from the cabin to devise a plan when shots were fired. Neither deputy had a chance to return fire. Both were hit multiple times. A doctor told Loftis death for MacKay came instantly or in "just seconds."
Collins survived but has undergone multiple surgeries. A SWAT team arrived quickly and laid down covering fire to allow the officers to be airlifted.
You also have to love the "controversy" that developed after the cabin he died in caught fire. The San Bernardino Sheriff had to practically apologize and announce that, no, his department did not set fire to the cabin. Dorner was the guy with the problem, but everyone else, especially the heads of the various jurisdictions where Dorner committed his murderous acts, had to crawl before the TV cameras.
And, once again, leftists were able to pick the scab of the "racist" LAPD and its "troubled" history, even though the department looks to have been fully justified in firing this jerk. Makes you think that maybe the LAPD is "racist" only because they go to where the criminals are: namely the ghettos and barrios in the City of Angels.
That Dorner had a reasonable political justification for his crimes is, of course, silly. But, that doesn't mean there wasn't a political element at work. The man was clearly not insane. He was acting too methodically and pragmatically to be crazy. Instead, he was angry, and the roots of his rage - as expressed in his manifesto - were the imagined "racist" slights he had endured. But, he didn't suffer from any institutional racism keeping him down. He was brought down by his own lies, caught making up a self-aggrandizing "whistleblower" story about LAPD brutality (by a lady cop!) Still, a guy can take himself pretty far telling himself that he lives in a racist society; just ask Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, whose politics inform every page of Dorner's manifesto.
The fact is that the people on the left live to whip up the sort of frenzied anger that Dorner exhibited. If you've got the president of the United States railing against the 1%, don't be surprised if some of his more excitable followers take up arms in that spirit.
The final word properly belongs to one of the few who survived a direct encounter with Dorner:
Loftis is having trouble imagining life without his friend. Coming to grips with the depth of Dorner's betrayal is even harder.
"He got the best of us. He took one of the best that we have," he said ruefully. "He lost a job because he didn't deserve it, and he takes these officers' lives, really, for nothing. It was stupid and senseless."
* even the notorious incident where some cops shot two women delivering papers happened in Orange County.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I can't say I think much of Marco Rubio - not being personal, but this "savior" stuff seems a little premature - but the following from his SOTU rebuttal is worth a highlight
But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.
Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.
The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.
And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.It's one of the great ironies of of modern politics that the "party of the rich" is filled with politicians who come from modest backgrounds. Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, John Boehner, Ronald Reagan, Dennis Hastert, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, the dread Karl Rove, and on and on all came from marginal or modest families. It's Democrat (and "moderate" Republican) politicians who are much more like to come from wealth, often ludicrous wealth.
So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.
Of course, the news media that never stopped talking about Mitt Romney's car elevator also plays along with the fiction that billionaires like John Kerry - who, btw, appears to have had plastic surgery - is a reg'lar guy, the same sort of fiction that props up the careers of so many left-liberals. But, what's stopping Republicans from pointing out this reality? Got me, but I'm glad Rubio took his moment in the spotlight - it's a rare moment indeed when a conservative can speak unimpeded or unedited - to make this basic point.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Jerry Brown has been on something of a victory lap, having declared the state budget to be balanced after years of red ink - and if you look at the numbers the right way, and assume he will collect all of the new taxes "we" (don't look at me, paleface) have have just levied on ourselves, he might be technically right. But, question him about how spending actually increases under his "austere" budget, and it's bash-the-GOP time:
Something has changed, even as our society has become wealthier. Sure businesses have to comply with regulations and millionaires need to pay taxes, but somewhere we’ve shifted from honoring success to envying it, from viewing government as a limited tool to achieve a few necessary things (infrastructure, enforcing the rule of law) to seeing it as the be-all and end-all of our society.
Why is it assumed by these moralistic Affluence Police that the rich are mainly greedy people who spend their money on luxury goods? Charities and non-profits are funded by wealthy people. Real capitalists invest millions of dollars into ideas and often create good jobs in the process. I have no idea what Mickelson does with his money, but it isn’t any of my business. Given California governmental attitudes, one can’t blame him for looking elsewhere.
For instance, during a recent Capitol press conference, the Orange County Register’s Sacramento reporter asked Gov. Jerry Brown about the spending increases in his supposedly austere budget. Brown joked about there being no hope for Orange County readers, according to a Register editorial. Then he mocked “this doctrine that government is the problem,” which he said is promoted by the “Orange County Register or whoever all these people are.”
Har! Har! Look, "Jerry" (first name Edmund), I know state liberals have been dumping on Orange County and the Orange County Register for decades. That's not surprising, as O.C. has long been a conservative enclave and the OCR one of the few reliably right-leaning newspapers of any note. And, certainly the California GOP has not covered itself in electoral glory over the past 15 years, but there's something about Orange County, and similar right-leaning communities in California that you might not want to hear about:
They work a hell of a lot better than the rest of the state, which has been in the hands of Democrats and Democrat-lite Republicans for the better part of two decades.
Now, it may be I know more about Orange County than you do, "Jerry." The Free Will grandparents lived there for decades. The Free Will Father lived there Richard Nixon-style; meaning he grew up in a house his father built. Heck, for all I know, I've visited Anaheim/Orange County more times than the current governor of the California. As far as I'm concerned, the Republican hellhole of Orange County has always been orderly, clean, and decent; the proto-typical suburban community where you would want to raise kids. Not only that, it was always more reflective of the Republican Party as the party of hard-working strivers than the cartoon image of the GOP as a plutocracy riding snake handlers and bigots to election day victory.
I hadn't been down there in several years until this past summer when the family made a pilgrimage to Disneyland. I was curious how Orange was doing after so many years of state-wide economic distress. Well, I shouldn't have worried. De-plane at John Wayne Airport, get in your rental car, head out to the highway, and what do you find? Some of the smoothest, most sophisticated highways in the world. We're talking 12-lane highways with elaborate lane markings, no doubt developed by some of the most forward thinking traffic engineers in the world. "Green" Bay Area highways have car pool lanes that are restricted during rush hour. "Evil polluter" Orange County has car pool exits with miles long off ramps. The car pool lanes are permanent, of course, set off by special lane markings. And the traffic flows smoothly. I drove into morning rush hour traffic heading to LA, and moved quickly towards my destination.
I'm sure there are "crappy" parts of Orange County, and LA sophisticates will be happy to point them out to you, but I went through a number of towns - Torrance, Long Beach, Newport Beach, & Anaheim to name a few. Each one looked safe, clean and well-organized. There is a certain sterile quality at work, which generally means (1) no gaudy "landmarks" or public art and (2) no hipster neighborhoods* with their attendant restaurants, and drunks. Frankly, I know where to go if I want to find either of the above
But, here's the best part:
When you cross the border from Orange County to LA County - that's glamorous, progressive LA County, mind - everything changes. The six-lane highway immediately narrowed to four. Traffic came to a complete standstill. The bright, shining communities suddenly turned gray and cluttered. Smoke seemed to belch all around me. The radio switched from "Fun, Fun, Fun" to "Hell's Bells." And, the traffic didn't let up for one minute of the day. It's no wonder so many Hollywood types are convinced that global warming will destroy the world. They are living in a hellhole.
LA County, in other words, doesn't "work" as well as the dread Orange. I could say the same for Santa Barbara and the Central Coast, which are also filled with Republicans, and which are also orderly and prosperous. I'm not even going to discuss the Bay Area, whose highways and public services are simply pitiful compared to what they do in "you didn't build that" Orange County.
Orange County certainly isn't perfect, and it's not nearly as Republican as it used to be, but it's clear that right-leaning governance - or at least governance that operates efficiently and economically - can work better than the grim, re-distributionist liberal model. Maybe you can gin up a crowd in the ghetto/barrio/trailer park, and get them p***ed at "the rich," but those poor people would be better off in Anaheim working at a McDonalds than they would be in LA collecting a check.
Jerry Brown and other liberals can make all the snotty comments they want about the market, the OC Register and "Tricky Dick from Yorba Linda," but they can't get away from the fact that they can't do their jobs as well as the people they disparage.
* I was amused to drive by the Vans corporate HQ, complete with checkboard facade and Warped Tour bus parked out front. Do they play the Circle Jerks over the PA system?