Dropping pebbles of thought into our conservative echo-chamber

Archive for July, 2012

Bloomberg Has Lost His Mind

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become the shining example of the reasons why we should never allow nanny-state politicians even the smallest measure of power.

Mayor Michael “Nanny” Bloomberg

From restricting the size of your soft drinks, to his inane comments on gun control, Bloomberg has typified the politicians that feel they have nothing better to do than to tell you how to live your life.  But he takes it to a whole new level…

Because none of his nanny policies make even a bit of sense.

I don’t like Michelle Obama going around the country telling us what to eat, because it isn’t her place to do that.  But at least she makes a good point; I can’t deny that my own diet is pretty poor.  However, Bloomberg’s policies are far worse, and he is actually in a position to make them law.

I don’t want to go too far into the policies I mentioned earlier except to say that nothing prevents someone from buying two 16-ounce soft drinks if they want more soda, and nobody really wants to hear a lecture about gun control policies from a man in charge of a city with an extremely high murder rate.

I’d rather focus on the latest adventures of Nanny Bloomberg.

Apparently, he has decided that he knows better than mothers how to feed their children.  He’s locking up the formula and hiding the key in the hopes that it will coerce more women to breast feed.  Sounds like something worthy of the full concentration of the mayor of one of our largest cities, right?

According to a story by Neil Munro of The Daily Caller (sorry, Neil, I didn’t set out to co-opt your work two times in one day, but I just can’t help it!) as of September 2nd, city hospitals will be required to hide the formula and encourage mothers to breast feed their newborns.  Hopefully, this policy stops at some point prior to the child entering high school.

Predictably, the reaction has been less than favorable.  Even breast-feeding advocates are shaking their heads.  But what are they going to do about it?  Probably nothing, except for maybe shooting off a few words to the comments section of The New York Times.  Like every other crazy policy in New York, it will go into effect and the people will come to accept it as part of the absurdity of life in the big city.  The politicians they elect will just move on to produce the next episode of “insane pet projects“.

Sorry New York liberals, you elected this guy and now you’re stuck with him.

Please don’t ever send him to Washington, DC.

Obama and Holder Become High School Principals

A Friday story in the Daily Caller by Neil Munro brings home to me several points; not just about liberal ideology, but about Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s race-based agenda.

AG Eric Holder with President Barack Obama

President Obama signed an executive order called the “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence” this past Thursday that is going largely unnoticed (read ignored) by the so-called mainstream media.  The order sets up a government panel (we can fix anything with a government panel!) to promote, among other things, “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”

Seems that our illustrious president and his attorney general believe that black children get into too much trouble in school.  That being so, they have decided that the problem isn’t that black children are more likely to act out or break the rules, but that the rules themselves are being unfairly applied.  Nevermind that they have zero evidence to back up that assumption.  It should be patently obvious to any good liberal that if black children are getting into trouble in school more often than children of other races, it must be because those charged with disciplining them are racist.

Now, I have long held the opinion that school discipline policies border on the edges of insanity.  Most schools have been stuck in their “zero-tolerance” mindset for so long that we see idiotic things happening, like students getting suspended for taking aspirin.  But it is far worse than that.  Schools often opt to suspend and expel students at far too high a rate for my tastes.  I believe these forms of punishment to be extremely counter-productive, not just for the student and the school, but for society at large, and that they should be used as the very last resort.  We do have a lot of real problems.

And now President Obama is going to provide us with even more…

The Daily Caller quotes the report as saying that “over a third of African-American students do not graduate from high school on time with a regular high school diploma, and only four percent of African-American high school graduates interested in college are college-ready across a range of subjects.”

Far be it for me to point out that the vast majority of these children are trapped in inner-city schools, and that the liberals are their captors.  The teachers unions have a stranglehold on city schools even stronger than the hold they have in the suburbs.  They have fought against conservative attempts to allow children to leave failing schools at every turn, and yet can not fathom why the children aren’t doing so well.

From the DC:

In February, Attorney General Eric Holder claimed that “we’ve often seen that students of color, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with special needs are disproportionately likely to be suspended or expelled.”

“This is, quite simply, unacceptable. … These unnecessary and destructive policies must be changed,” he said in his speech, given in Atlanta, Ga.

I find myself in complete agreement with Eric Holder on one thing.  Suspensions and expulsions are indeed destructive, even when ultimately necessary.  But the notion that blacks are somehow being unfairly targeted is ludicrous.

Their solution to the problem is even more destructive, and it leads one to wonder if it may actually be intended to be destructive.  After all, the more people who are dependent upon the government, the more people the government can control, and liberals actually believe that is a GOOD thing.

The president’s panel is set to force several school districts to hand out punishments in line with the racial makeup of the population, regardless of the racial makeup of those breaking the rules.  This means that white and asian students, who operate within the rules more often, are likely to be punished more harshly when compared to black students for the same offenses.

That, my friends, is Obama and Holder’s idea of “equality”.

Krauthammer Wins Battle With White House

The man the White House loves to hate

Anyone who has followed President Barack Obama at all with even an ounce of objectivity knows that he has a serious problem when it comes to honesty.

In fact, this president has been so pathological with his deceptions that a list of instances where he has been honest would be a much shorter one to create, and those rare moments of truth are nearly always political miscues that he and his campaign would prefer never to have happened.

Among his latest and greatest hits is the whole “I didn’t really say what you quoted me saying even though I quoted myself saying it in my own campaign ad” fiasco, which has the Obama campaign in full damage repair mode.  Sadly enough, the Obama campaign is so cynical that they have released another series of ads that says the exact opposite of the entire speech that was met with such a negative reaction.  Really, it was Obama’s version of the “I’m Not a Witch” ad, made famous by Christine O’Donnell.

What is more sad is that many people will believe him, and his sycophantic supporters will likely go right along with the deceit, willingly.

But the newest “how stupid does he think we are” moment, for me, came just yesterday.

Syndicated Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer wrote an article in which he rightly points out that the Obama administration returned to the British Embassy a valued and respected bust of Winston Churchill soon after Obama moved into the White House.  This was never a secret.  Anyone paying attention to politics at the time knew about it.  It made national news everywhere except for the lap-dog media.

Apparently, the Obama administration saw their chance to re-write history–again.

Dan Pfeiffer

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote a rebuttal to attack Krauthammer, saying that his claims were “ridiculous” and “100% false”.  Mediaite covered this part of the story in a Friday afternoon piece.  Within two hours they received confirmation from the British Embassy that Krauthammer was indeed correct.  The bust of Churchill had been returned to the British Embassy and currently resides in the British Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC.

Krauthammer asked for a retraction and an apology from Pfeiffer:

Not going to happen, Charles.  A brilliant man such as yourself would know that they will never admit to spreading falsehoods.  They will either ignore it and hope it goes away, or they will double down on the stupid.

The real question is, why does this administration feel the need to make such an obvious lie?  The only answer I can propose is that they are so thin-skinned that they can not bear any criticism of their actions, no matter how accurate the criticism may be, or, perhaps their reaction is in direct proportion to the accuracy of their critics.

Either way, we have got to rid ourselves of this craziness and send Obama packing back to Chicago in November.

Update – Apparently Pfeiffer has apologized!  I stand corrected.  According to the brief blurb I saw from Charles in passing on Fox a bit ago, he received a mea culpa from Pfeiffer.  He was almost as surprised as I am.  Who knew..?

Update #2 – Okay, so apparently Pfeiffer’s apology was not quite so genuine as I thought.  Yes, he did send Krauthammer an email apologizing, but…  The email was sent quietly so as to attract as little notice as possible.  Pfeiffer’s “rebuttal” is still up at the link I posted above.  He did include an addendum to “explain away the confusion”, which, in liberal terms apparently means to lie your ass off while spinning as much as humanly possible.  Pfeiffer portrays the whole incident as an innocent misunderstanding.  He claims that the bust of Churchill was lent to the Bush administration at the start of his term and they sent it back with all of the other art from Bush’s Oval Office.  In reality, as Krauthammer originally wrote, the bust was sent to us as a show of solidarity after the events of September 11, 2001, and the British were less than pleased that we unceremoniously returned it.  They were offended, and rightfully so.

Honestly, I have to return to my original belief that Pfeiffer’s only intent in all of this was to deceive and run cover for his boss.

Tax Cut War Goes Beyond Obama’s Rhetoric

Friends, I am very tired.

Tired in the sense that I am sick of liberal crap enough to want to strangle every single last one of them.

President Bush signed tax cuts in 2001 and 2003

What set me over the edge (this time)?  Believe it or not, it is the subject of the “Bush Tax Cuts”.  I weary of this battle, which is perhaps exactly the way liberals want us all to feel.  But I am not weary in the sense that they had probably hoped.

Every year or two, we are drawn back into the same old debate that should have been settled nearly a decade ago.  It isn’t the debate itself that irritates me so much as the reason for having it.  I also grate at the so-called mainstream media, who portray the issue as “tax cuts for the rich” every year, instead of what it truly is; liberal Democrats pushing for tax hikes on a full-time basis.  What further annoys me is the new liberal strategy of declaring that we should all join together to pass the parts upon which we agree, and fight over our differences later.  Like every liberal position and talking point, it sounds great on a superficial level, but in translation it amounts to “give us everything we want and we’ll just sit back and ignore you later”.

The problem is this:  Every since the original legislation was passed, Democrats who vote for–or refrain from blocking a vote on–the bill will do so only on the condition that it never becomes permanent.  Their reason for doing this is far more maddening.  It isn’t because they truly believe that the legislation is bad, or they would never have voted for it in the first place.  The real reason is that liberals and their media lap-dogs believe that they have discovered a shiny, brand new way to deceive the American public.

Throughout their entire history, the Democrats have had the desire to raise taxes and expand government.  Thus, the term “tax and spend” has haunted them, especially during election years.  Unfortunately, early in George W. Bush’s first term, the Democrats found a way to remove that stigma from themselves, and the Republicans unwittingly abetted them.

Conservatives can make the argument every time that we are not actually debating tax cuts, and the failure to extend the Bush legislation would actually amount to a massive tax increase.  However, I fear that this argument is largely lost on the American public, who are more likely to see the battle every year as one being fought over tax cuts, like the media constantly tells them.

Now every year, instead of Democrats being correctly pilloried for their constant desire to increase taxes, they are free to portray themselves as champions of the poor and the middle class, while demonizing conservatives as being beholden to those evil rich.  It a cynical ploy on the instinctive human nature, to which all of us are susceptible, for people to envy those more successful than themselves;  Class warfare.

So, what do we do about it?

There are only three paths:

1.  Make the original legislation permanent

2.  Allow the tax cuts to expire completely

3.  Give the Democrats what they claim to want

The second one is off the table entirely.  It would be a public relations disaster for Republicans, but it would also be a disaster for the American public, which is far more important.  Still, the political implications are sad, because if it had been left to Democrats, none of these cuts would ever have existed, and it is only because of the Democrats that the legislation is at risk of expiring.  But the Republicans would be the ones blamed if such a thing were actually to come to pass.

The third option is off the table largely for the same reasons as the second.  While the Republicans are far less likely to face negative political consequences in this scenario, the damage to the American economy would still be devastating.  Even the most squishy Republicans would not allow this to happen, and, oddly enough, they would likely be joined by at least a few Democrats to prevent it, despite the rhetoric coming from the DNC and President Obama.

That leaves only the first option, but how do we make it happen?

I could do with seeing less of this guy.

Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it?  Obviously, it could never happen with Obama in the White House, and so he must go.  It also could never happen with Harry Reid leading the Senate, and so conservatives must turn out in record numbers this year to take the Senate back from the Democrats.  Large as they may seem, these are not the biggest obstacles to the goal of making permanent the Bush legislation.

Even if we take back the Senate, we will almost certainly not be able to obtain a 60-vote majority.  Unfortunately, the Democrats that would be likely to join us in avoiding a massive tax hike on those evil rich people who run small businesses across the country would be just as likely to balk at the notion of making things permanent.  They’re not likely to easily let go of their pretty new political toy.  They would try to block any effort to take their toy away from them, even to the point of filibuster.

In order to get this done, we must make the notion of temporary extensions politically toxic in such a way as to prevent liberals from blocking a vote to make this legislation permanent.  That isn’t going to be easy, but I believe that it can be done.

We all know President Obama is only bringing up the matter of taxes to avoid having to address his horrible performance on the economy.  It’s just his latest in a long line of distractions.  The issue isn’t really on the table until after the elections, anyway–during the lame-duck session.

But the time to start our drum beat is still NOW.  We need to use the opening he provided us to hammer the point home, over and over, that the uncertainty caused by the constant debate over this legislation is having an extremely negative effect on our economy.  This has the virtue of being true.  I believe it will resonate, and should be repeated as often as possible.

Assuming we do take back the White House and the Senate, we must aggressively take this battle to the Democrats during the lame-duck session of Congress.  We must demand that these cuts finally be made permanent, and refuse to budge.  If the Democrats still won’t give in, then we should threaten to let the entire legislation expire, and inform the American public that we will reinstate it once our newly elected representatives are seated.  That would still be time enough to prevent a tax hike from effecting the American people in April.

My friends, it is time to reverse the roles here.  It is time for us to put the Democrats in the position that they should rightfully hold; that of being in favor of raising taxes on everyone.  We must put them on the defensive.

Do Republicans have the strength of will to act this aggressively?

I honestly do not know.

But they are our only chance to take this fight to the Democrat’s doorstep.

Why Chick-Fil-A is Different

My readers probably already know the basics: 

The Chief Operating Officer of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, has committed an unforgivable sin in the eyes of liberals and gay activists.  He has dared to disagree with them, without actually being one of them.  You see, apparently it is okay to publicly oppose something on the gay agenda as long as you are one of the people that they adore, like Barack Obama.  No such luck, there, Dan…  You’re a filthy Christian and you must be exposed as the “hate-filled bigot” that you are.  It doesn’t matter that you hold the same position that our illustrious president held a mere few months ago.  You and the business that you operate deserve to be destroyed.

I’ve wanted to write an article about the whole Chick-Fil-A debacle since the episode began.  It’s a very compelling story, and so I was hardly alone.  There have been a lot of news stories and articles on the subject.  The problem with writers, and even lowly bloggers like me, is that we want to feel unique.  We really want to feel as though we are bringing a fresh perspective to a story, even if we really aren’t.  So, I felt bad.  Here was a story about which I had very strong feelings, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to write about it because I had nothing new to bring to the table.

In a moment of weakness (which may have involved a beer or two) I reached out to my Twitter friends and voiced my frustration.  Two of my fellow Twitter conservatives, @JonahCrossing and @SundevilSal, gave me some responses that made me think about the subject a little bit more…

Why does this story bother me so damned much?  We all know that liberals love to boycott and attempt to silence anyone who goes against their ideology.  From #StopRush to Target and many others along the way, the far left always attempts to remove from the public sphere anyone that dares oppose them.  This is nothing new.  It has been happening for generations.

What is different about this that grates on my nerves..?  I didn’t put my finger on that until I asked someone else, even though the answer was always right in my face.  And, though I know that others have brought this up, and I am hardly the first, it does scratch that “journalistic itch” buried somewhere inside me.  Or, maybe I’m just a hack blogger happy to have worked out why this particular episode resonates so much more than any of the similar episodes of the past:

At no time in our history, at least that I can recall, has any politician attempted to deny a company the right to operate a private business based solely on the fact that the owners were Christian.

Liberals boycott businesses all of the time, and even seek to deny them permits to build new locations.  But even the Wal-Mart protests centered around the fact that they were non-union and supposedly mistreated their workers, or that the giant chain would kill the poor mom and pop businesses that we all know liberals couldn’t care less about.  The liberals had a smoke screen, at least!

Now they have dropped all pretense.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston have come out to make statements that they would deny Chick-Fil-A the right to operate their business in those cities.  Apparently, being Christian does not fit the values of Chicago or Boston, which isn’t really surprising, given that both cities are liberal hell-holes that are being destroyed from within by, ironically, the lack of the very Christian values that their mayors decry.  As of this writing, both mayors have had to step back somewhat from their comments, but that changes nothing.  We all know that they only did so because of the spotlight that was placed on them by the rest of the country.  They got hit by a backlash, and rightfully so.  But don’t be fooled…

We can NEVER let this happen, and this notion WILL come into their heads again.  A quote from the movie Serenity comes to mind:  “A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief…”  Malcolm Reynolds was speaking about the evils of engineering society, and I honestly think that fits here.

And, like the wayward crew of Serenity, we should all “aim to misbehave”.

Sad Reaction to Twitter Crash

So, as usual, I stayed up all damned night.  When “normal” people are just waking up, something in my body chemistry reacts to the new sunlight of the day and finally allows me to go to sleep.  Sometimes I really wonder if there wasn’t some kernel of truth to those old vampire stories.  I really do hate garlic, or to be more precise, it hates me.  Thus, I was a little surprised to find myself waking up before noon.

I crawled out of bed, slid into my chair, and rolled over to my computer; all things that I do instinctively even when I’m barely awake.  Of course, the first thing I did was type Twitter’s address into my browser.  Yes, I am still using the standard browser API, mainly because it seems to react faster than Tweetdeck does, and I haven’t gotten around to trying any of the other ones.  But Twitter wouldn’t load.  Had to be something wrong with my PC, right?  But everything else was loading just fine. 

After a quick Google check I found a plethora of articles, written just minutes before, announcing that Twitter was indeed down.

For some reason, reading three different articles was not enough for me, and I found myself skimming through the comments below.  One user was wondering how he would survive the day without Twitter.  I can relate to that sentiment.  Then someone else responded with a reply that messed my entire day up before it even got started:

“How were you surviving when Twitter had not been developed?”, he asked.

I had to read that four times.  I’m still not sure how to answer…

I CREATED MY TWITTER ACCOUNT LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS AGO!!!

Seriously, Twitter, what the hell..?  Some hardcore illegal drugs have a slower build cycle to full-blown addiction.

Oh, thank God…  Twitter is back up now.

Is Bruce Wayne Liable for the Aurora Tragedy?

There has been a lot of discussion in the media lately about the connection between the shootings in Aurora and violence in movies, video games, and other media.  Many on the left and, sadly, some on the right, have tried to draw a correlation between extreme violence in real life and the violence we see in television and movies.  I have even heard a few say that perhaps The Dark Knight Rises shares some of the blame for the tragedy in Aurora.  One of the victims, Torrence Brown, Jr.–who was not shot in the incident–is reportedly considering suing the theater and Warner Bros. for damages.  What he seeks is currently unclear.

Torrence Brown, Jr.
(picture from TMZ.com)

While he certainly has a point about the liability of the theater, I would point out that the shooter never even saw the movie, and thus could not have been influenced by any violence that was involved with it.

The theater itself could very well be liable.  They required that their patrons forgo the right to carry legally concealed firearms in order to gain entry, as is the theater’s right.  But in doing so, the theater must assume the responsibility of providing adequate security to those patrons; something that they clearly did not do.  By all accounts there was no alarm set off when the shooter propped opened the emergency exit to the theater, which allowed him to go outside and bring his weaponry into the theater with little notice.  I have not heard a single report of any armed security present at the theater.  Cinemark could easily be shown to be liable in court for its failures on those counts.

I can only guess that Brown’s lawyers are considering adding Warner Bros. to such a lawsuit because of Warner’s deep pockets and their likely unwillingness to endure a drawn-out court battle against a victim that could damage their reputation with the public.  The movie itself could not have been the cause.

But could other movies have been to blame..?

As much as I hate to admit it, I have seen many people–mostly the very young–try to imitate the things that they see in movies and music videos.  It ranges from people who act like little “gangstas” (which is largely hilarious until they get older and actually join real gangs), imitating Al Pacino’s Tony Montana character stereotype (which I find mildly offensive), to acting as though they are inside The Matrix.  We’ve all probably seen it.  Personally, I have always felt that those who imitate the Jackass movies are most deserving of a Darwin Award.

But does that have anything to do with the violence that horrified Americans and the rest of the world last week?

The answer has to be a resounding NO.

Someone like the shooter in Colorado, driven to such extreme violence, is not under the drunken influence of a mere movie or music video.  Anyone who thought it through, or watched the footage of the shooter in court (I still refuse to give his name validity) would clearly see that there is something much deeper at work here.  Something went VERY wrong along the line.  There is a much more serious issue at hand here, and we are being very foolish as a nation if we neglect to address it.

Yes, the theater may bear some of the blame for lacking adequate security, but our real focus should be on the shooter.  Why did no one bother to find out why a PhD candidate just fell off the map?  Wasn’t there anyone that picked up on any warning signs?  I can not believe that there wouldn’t be at least someone who had a few red flags raised.  But our overly-PC culture currently prevents us from pursuing such red flags, and people who attempt to do so are often castigated for their efforts.

The left continually tells me how much they care about the people, but no one at the extreme-leftist University of Colorado, a long-time home to the infamous Ward Churchill, even bothered to find out what happened to one of their own when he abruptly changed course.

As a nation, we have got to stop trying to find convenient scape-goats for violent acts, or we’re highly likely to see many more of them.  I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but no one will until we get our hands dirty and stop avoiding the real issue…

And it isn’t gun control or violence in the movies.

The Real Reason ABC Should Fire Brian Ross

If you’re reading this article, I’m sure that you’ve heard at least some of the story.  Late last Thursday/early Friday, amidst the frantic reporting on the Aurora shootings, Brian Ross of ABC implicated an innocent man on the air, guilty of having a similar name as the shooter…  and most guilty of having dared to join the Tea Party of Colorado:

George Stephanopoulos:  I want to go to Brian Ross here, because Brian you’ve been looking at…  investigating the background of Jim Holmes here and you’ve found something that might be significant.

Brian Ross:  There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, uh, page, uh, on the Colorado Tea Party site, as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party, uh, last year.  Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.

George Stephanopoulos:  Well, okay, we’ll keep looking at that.  Brian Ross, thank you very much.

Now, bear in mind that Brian Ross is ABC’s Chief Investigative Reporter.  He’s not exactly a new hire at the network.  Many people are calling for Ross’ firing for implicating an innocent man and putting his life in jeopardy, as the hispanic Holmes (the shooter was white) received so many death threats from insane ABC viewers that he had to disconnect his phone and is still in genuine fear for his life.  But that is not likely to be enough for ABC.  The fact that their Chief Investigative Reporter’s first thought was to start skimming through local Tea Party web sites is proof enough of their extreme bias.  They simply will not care if they endanger the life of some random Tea Party member that they view as violent and extremist, anyway.

But the rabbit hole goes deeper:

One of ABC’s producers contacted the shooter’s mother in the dead of night and asked her name, and if she was the mother of a James Holmes.  She replied “Yes, you have the right person”.  She hadn’t even heard of the shooting yet, and the ABC producer knew it.  She was clearly referring to herself, telling the producer he had reached the correct person.  However, ABC reported that when asked about the shooter, his mother responded “Yes, you have the right person”, and portrayed it as if the mother knew that her son would be prone to such an act as the Aurora massacre.  Now, certainly this is not *quite* as offensive to us in the Tea Party as placing an innocent man’s life, one of our own, in danger… but it may be to ABC.

First, let’s recap the journalistic malpractice of Brian Ross and the “investigative” reporting of ABC:

1:  Brian Ross decides that flipping through some local Tea Party websites is appropriate and constitutes investigation, obviously hoping for a connection, and jumps to the air with the first possible connection he finds, without actually bothering to confirm if he has the right man.  This despite the fact that all of the man’s contact information was listed on his Tea Party page.  ABC did not try to contact him, and to my knowledge, still hasn’t…  not even to apologize.

2: The man’s life is put in extreme danger by ABC viewers who were likely highly emotional in the immediate aftermath of a tragic massacre.  The innocent man receives so many death threats that he has to disconnect his phone and live with the fear that the same crazies who obtained his phone number had obtained his address, as well…  putting his family in grave danger.

3:  It takes hours for Ross to issue any sort of retraction, and even then it is only a short burst on the air and *gasp*…  He TWEETED about it…  ONCE!  Gee, what a stand-up guy you are, Brian Ross!

But none of these things are mortal journalistic sins in the eyes of ABC, and the last I saw, ABC still has Ross covering the Aurora tragedy for the network.  Any outfit with an ounce of integrity would have already suspended Ross, and he would be well on his way to being fired.  Obviously the things that I listed won’t be enough for ABC.

What might be enough is the misrepresentation of the call to the mother and her response.

Why..?  Because that news was picked up on the wire, and several other networks, trusting in ABC, repeated that information with ABC’s purposefully misleading slant intact.  ABC doesn’t care if its reputation with the Tea Party is damaged.  Clearly they don’t like us very much.  They don’t care if they put our fellow member’s life in danger.  They won’t lose any sleep.  But the other networks with egg on their face because of ABC are not likely to take them at their word again so quickly.  I highly doubt that any network will call them out publicly; they would lose credibility themselves by admitting that they allowed ABC to mislead them.  But almost certainly there will be some hot discussions behind the scenes, and some policy changes at the other alphabet and cable networks designed to insulate themselves from ABC’s recklessness.

Brian Ross caused ABC to lose face with everyone in the Tea Party, and anyone humane enough to see how wrong it was to link an innocent man to a senseless slaughter, especially while emotions were still running so high.  But the standards of “investigation” set by Brian Ross and his production team has led to ABC losing face with all of the other networks, as well.

ABC would be foolish to keep Ross in such a prominent position, if they retain him at all.

Obama’s Mute Button and MSNBC

President Obama tells supporters in Florida to hit the mute button.

“Conservatives seek to expose liberals, while liberals seek to silence conservatives.”

I don’t know who first said it.  Hell, maybe I did.  But, either way, I have been saying that phrase for as long as I can remember.  To me, it has always exemplified a crucial difference between the liberal and conservative philosophies.  We conservatives believe that liberal doctrine wilts under the light of scrutiny, while they seem to be terrified that the tenets which conservatives value will resonate with people.  That is why I was unsurprised by President Barack Obama’s recent remarks in Florida:

“Just press the mute button. That’s the good thing about the remote. Or you can use the DVR, and just fast-forward.”

Clearly he does not want anyone, especially not his current supporters, to hear what we have to say.  But he isn’t the only one…

The lap-dog media and Obama’s most sycophantic supporters are also mortified by the notion of conservative ideals being heard, lest they gain traction among the general populace.  Liberals constantly decry “Faux News” and talk radio, and even, ironically, the internet, not because these things are sources of disinformation, but because they are largely successful at breaking the liberal stranglehold on the information that gets disseminated by the public at large.

Before cable TV and the internet became staples of American life, liberals were content to silence conservative voices with the so-called “fairness doctrine”.  This misnamed doctrine required those who held a broadcast license and aired views on any controversial position to give airtime to contrasting positions, regardless of the station owner’s profit considerations.  Since liberal ideology has never found a voice in talk radio, and their shows have been unprofitable, and even costly, to station owners, the fairness doctrine squelched would-be popular conservative shows that were able to turn a profit because station owners were unwilling to risk airing them if they would also be forced to air the liberal contrast at a net loss.  The landscape changed when Reagan’s FCC eliminated vital parts of the fairness doctrine in 1987.  The move gave rise to hosts like Rush Limbaugh, a popular liberal boogeyman, and many others, but it also saw the rise of liberals warning all of us not to listen.

Since that time, liberals have largely had to forfeit the notion that they can completely eliminate conservative voices.  Sure, they have tried to silence us with boycotts, and they still tell people not to listen, but they’ve moved on to another approach; trying to compete.  One of their obvious first attempts was the disastrous “Air America”.  The radical left-wing radio network was never profitable, and never attracted many listeners, but it was just a start.

The real threat is MSNBC.

I know that many of you will laugh at that notion, but hear me out.  MSNBC doesn’t attract many viewers, but it does attract enough to keep its head above water.  Their hosts get exposed on a daily basis for fraudulent reporting.  They’re the butt of jokes, not just by conservatives, but by others in the industry.  But journalistic integrity, respect, and even profit has never been their motive.

The true goal of MSNBC is to re-position the publicly perceived news spectrum, once again placing the old-guard media in the center.

Whatever anyone might say about Fox News, they have more liberal hosts and commentators on a regular basis than there are conservatives on all of the other networks combined.  Thus, Fox is indeed the most “Fair and Balanced” among the networks, despite the fact that Fox commentary shows are almost universally biased toward conservative viewpoints.

MSNBC is often portrayed as the liberal alternative to Fox News.  This is the perpetuated lie.  ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and CNN are all already every bit as liberal as Fox News is conservative.  MSNBC might as well be placed on the dial next to Al Gore’s Current TV.

Their main goal is to further marginalize and silence conservative viewpoints, not by convincing the people that their views are correct, but simply by existing.

Why We Can Have Hope

By no means are the 2012 elections decided.  By all accounts, this election is too close to call, and, as a political analyst (or at least a self-styled one), I am fully aware that attempting to dissect the polls this far out from November can be folly.  Watching the 2010 elections unfold was as elating as watching the vast zombie turnout of the 2008 elections was depressing.  But 2012 is a completely different animal when compared to either of those.

There are a lot of things that point to a good year for conservatives.

To start, Obama’s job approval ratings are stuck.  They’re not even fluctuating as would be usual for a president at this point in a term.  I believe this is because there is a base of said previously mentioned zombies that would vote for Obama even if he came to their house and ate their family pet (which I have heard is not so far-fetched!)  But their numbers are far fewer than they were in 2008.  According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, who is very regularly accurate, Obama’s total approval ratings have been stagnant at roughly 47% since the summer of 2009, with a very few points breaching the 50% barrier briefly.  This would be very bad for any president’s re-election prospects, but it also shows that 47% is likely the low side for Obama, which probably buoys his campaign’s hopes.  The problem for Obama is the stark difference between those who strongly approve of his performance and those who strongly disapprove.  Only 25% strongly approve of this president, while 41% strongly disapprove.  This is a problem for Obama because those who feel the strongest are also the ones most likely to vote.

In 2008, conservatives had McCain on the presidential ticket, who I like on a personal level.  The man is a war hero.  He was a prisoner of war.  He has given a lot to  this country.  But many conservatives, including your’s truly, have a low opinion of him on a policy level.  The media may have slammed him in 2008 as some sort of wild-eyed conservative hack, but prior to that they were drooling all over him as a “maverick”.  McCain was the “rational” conservative that they could love, until he ran against the anointed one.  I refused to vote for McCain and I abstained from voting on the 2008 presidential ticket.  Staying home was a mistake that many of us made, and I don’t believe that mistake will be repeated.  I’m not saying that Romney is any better on a policy level.  There are certainly some things during Romney’s term as Massachusetts’ governor that would give any good conservative pause.  But the last 3 1/2 years has served to open many conservative eyes to the damage to our country that a full-blown liberal is capable of doing, and, while Romney may not be so perfect a candidate, even the hardest conservatives are coming to understand that he would be much prefered to the disaster that is the Obama administration.

In 2010, much like 1994, the public had developed a clear case of “buyer’s remorse”.  We had the wind of the Tea Party carrying us despite, or perhaps abetted by, the media attempts to villainize us at every turn.  With Obama not on the ticket, and Democrats running from him as though he had contracted leprosy, we sailed to a clear victory.  We fell short of taking the Senate, but those were very uphill odds, anyway, and we had the biggest sweep of the House in my lifetime.

Obama is on the ticket this time, and though many Democrats are still distancing themselves from him, we can not count on the afore-mentioned “Obamazombies” to stay home this year.  It’s going to be close, but we have a lot to be excited about.  The Tea Party retains influence, much to the chagrin of liberals and the old-guard media.  National polls show a dead heat between Obama and Romney, and within margin of errors for battleground states.  At this point, this is a great thing for Romney, because polls generally over-sample Democrats, but also because Romney isn’t even legally allowed to spend presidential campaign money until after the Republican convention this August in Florida.  He is still operating on funds from his primaries.  Meanwhile, the Obama campaign, undeterred by a primary contest, has been free-spending like no tomorrow on negative campaign ads in contested states, with little effect on the poll numbers, if any.  Obama has held a record number of fund-raisers, more than our last five presidents combined, and yet some reports have his campaign coffers in the red due to his profligate spending.  Most strikingly, unions, his most historically stalwart supporters, have chosen to reduce direct campaign contributions in favor of contributing to general election funds and Super-PACs, where Romney has a clear lead.

Another cause for hope is that Romney  has yet to choose a vice-presidential candidate.  Choosing a really strong one could be a huge boost for him in the polls, while even an uninspired pick would likely not be damaging, at least not in that area.  Personally, I hope that he doesn’t choose a lackluster candidate like Pawlenty or even Portman, though Portman could at least help in Ohio.  However, unless the Romney camp spins wildly and chooses someone who makes the media have a collective coronary–someone they can easily demonize such as Sarah Palin–there will be very little risk to Romney.

The primary focus in this election for likely voters is the economy, and the Obama economy is a disaster.  He has been able to hide himself from that issue most recently, but as the elections loom closer his ability to do so will wane considerably.  Even the media will not be able to shield him from his dismal economic performance.  Couple that to the fact that his signature health care legislation remains very unpopular, with the Supreme Court exposing his duplicitous claims that his mandate was never a tax, and even the most stalwart Democrat political strategist would have to admit, if only privately, that Obama is in grave danger this year.

As long as we stay vigilant, and there is no major “October surprise” to derail the elections, we have every hope of removing Obama from office this year and taking back the Senate.

Please stay vigilant.

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