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Government intervention and you

barack newmanGovernment has become a real-world game of reduced choice and freedom for the citizenry and increased power and control for politicos, “elites,” and bureaucrats. And no American president since Richard Nixon is more practiced at taking extra-Constitutional power and control than Barack Obama. Whether it’s an issue of personal choice or national-level economics, the President and his party stand by, ready to help you (assuming you’re on the correct side of the issue), all for your own good.

The President mocks “politicians who want to decide whom you can marry.” So if a man wants to have multiple wives, or vise versa, or a brother and sister beyond the age of consent want to marry one another, that would be OK, right? You say, “That’s against the law.” I say, “So was sodomy.” If two fifteen year-olds have consensual sex with one another, no one goes to jail. But If one of those same fifteen-year olds has consensual sex with a thirty-five year old teacher, it’s rape. If you prefer chicken strips over cheeseburgers, it’s an issue of personal choice but if you prefer homosexual sex over heterosexual sex, it’s your genetic destiny.

And we know the President and his party mock those who disfavor abortion on demand, that is, abortion at any point in a pregnancy and for any reason a woman determines, including changing her mind. Keep your hands off my body and all that. But then why not legalize recreational drugs? They are things—so is tobacco, for that matter—that people put in their bodies. You say, “Drugs are against the law.” I say, “So was alcohol during Prohibition.”

The President favors government “investment” in green energy, publicly funded jobs, and ‘infrastructure’ projects. I ask why not let people keep more of their own money and then they can decide for themselves where it’s “invested” (or for that matter, spent)? The answer, we know, is because the President and his fellow travelers can make better decisions for you than you can yourself. Trust me, I’ve looked at this and it’s for your own good.

The President thinks students shouldn’t pay more for college. As such, he must think the American people will be there to pay the difference should costs increase. Perhaps, Nixon-like, he could instead decree that college costs will go down by reductions in faculty costs, staff sizes, and cuts to the many bells and whistles (climbing walls and fitness centers, intercollegiate sports programs, cable and high-speed internet in dorms, common area cappuccino bars, Taj Mahal-type dormitories, overseas “study” programs, etc.) which have little to nothing to do with educational outcomes?

The President thinks he “saved” General Motors and Chrysler. Is it possible to view this effort as simple government intervention in picking winners and losers, that is, rewarding the automobile unions while destroying investor value and centuries of bankruptcy law? The fact those companies had to be “saved” to begin with, with taxpayer monies, also shows that for one reason or another—think wage, benefit, pension, and product issues—they were unable to compete in the first place.

The President thinks stealing is wrong. So is it stealing to finance our current government lifestyle with borrowing futures generations will be forced to pay? Or is it stealing to repay this debt with pennies on the borrowed dollar(s)? The President also thinks lying is wrong, but if it’s wrong to lie, then why offer the false promise of the government meeting our every cradle-to-grave need? And while we’re at it, doesn’t a “living” Constitution mean that there are no absolute standards, just shifting policies and priorities grounded in… nothing?

I’m Professor Mockumental and I approved this message.

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A benevolent weed wacker for the government garden

A benevolent weed wacker for the government garden

By ERIC CLUE and NICK HACKER

Since the days of Jesse Jackson (the elder, not the younger), we have become political prisoners of the alliterations we use, even when they are mightily misleading. Consider how our political powers talk about the economy. Last month President Obama praised immigrants as an “economic engine.” Mitt Romney says that tax cuts will “forever fuel” a recovery. Others like Joe Biden, the Administration’s leading intellectual, fear a “super scary stop” in job growth unless the nation keeps doing what it’s been doing.

But our many alliterations ignore the need for a benevolent weed wacker in “the marketplace.” We too often tend to think of markets as extremely efficient, of humans as routinely rational, of incentives as commonly clear, and of outcomes as approximately appropriate. From this a series of market-based total truths follows: regulation and taxes are rotten and terrible because they impede the market’s implicit weed wacking works. Government stimulus is wimpy, wasteful, and wishful.

Together, these compose the great gospel of the market mavens. However, according to the alliterations and mega-metaphors we’ve developed—along with our proprietary algorithms—there is simply no evidence for it. We say trickle-down economics has fatally failed. What has worked? The President’s great leveling efforts (often derisively called trickle-up poverty) which have made everything free for so many Americans: college, disability payments, health care, housing, transportation, food stamps, cable television and high speed internet, and unlimited unemployment.

The 2008 crash and the Great Recession prove irrefutably how inefficient and irrational markets really are. And there is absolutely no evidence in the heart of any properly indoctrinated liberal economist that government interference could have possibly contributed to such happenings. None.

What we require now is a friendlier framework for thoughtfully thinking and tactfully talking about a new economy, grounded in modern understandings of how we want things to work. Economies (as social scientists and even liberal arts majors understand) aren’t super simple, largely linear and perfectly predictable, but complex, nonlinear and ecosystemic. An economy isn’t a machine; it’s a garden as shown by the mixed metaphors and subtle settled science of the documentary film Being There. The economy can be fruitful if well tended, but it will be overrun by obnoxious weeds if not.

So what is needed? A new framework, which we call Gardenbrain. With Gardenbrain, markets can become both efficient and effective if managed by government gardeners armed with benevolent weed wacking policies. Where Marketbrain—the idea that the marketplace actually works—posits that individual effort and initiative should be honored, Gardenbrain recognizes that we’re all better off when none of us are better off. Where Marketbrain treats inequality as the predictable result of unequally distributed talent and work ethic, Gardenbrain reveals that sophomoric subsidies and crony capitalism can instead help create a self-licking ice cream cone.

Gardenbrain challenges any non-liberal policy. And gardens are lovely and delicious while markets are ugly and malicious.

Consider regulation. Under the prevailing Marketbrain assumption, regulation is an invasive interruption of wealth creation in a largely self-correcting economic system. But the Gardenbrain metaphor, backed by our insightful ideology, allows us to instead assert an economy cannot self-correct any more than a garden can self-tend. And regulation — the creation of government standards to raise the government-determined quality of life — is God’s work.

Is it possible to garden clumsily and ineffectively? In a word, no (excluding mismanaged economies like East Germany and the former Soviet Union). Wise regulation is how humbly humanistic societies turn a dangerous jungle of “freedom” into a prosperous government garden. According to our algorithms, this explains why wherever one finds a highly-regulated economy one also finds a large and powerful government Leviathan. And where regulation is lessened, we find widespread freedom which can be a precursor to anarchy.

Or take taxes. Under the efficient-market hypothesis, taxes are an extraction of resources from the market. Taxes are not just separate from economic activity, but holistically hostile to it. Yet if this was an accurate reflection of our self-selected reality, then given our low and lax tax rates we should be wallowing in work. (Full disclosure: our algorithms have filtered outliers that don’t confirm our hypothesis, such as the current European economic situation.)

Gardenbrain, in contrast, says taxes are the foundational fertilizer which allows us to sustain the government garden. A well-designed tax system — in which the rich (those households making anything close to $200K/year) contribute and the poor (those much-needed special interest groups and voting blocs) benefit — ensures that wealth is properly “spread around” in order to foster fairness and satisfy standards. Reducing taxes on so-called “job creators” is fantastical folly. Jobs, we now know, are the consequence of a feedback loop between government, the people, and demand—as best managed by a government controlled economy—which truly creates jobs. Good growth doesn’t trickle down; it emerges organically from the government out.

Lastly, consider spending. The word spending means literally “to use up or extinguish value,” and most Americans believe that’s exactly what government does with their tax dollars. But government spending is not a simple single-step transaction that destroys dollars as an engine burns evil and dangerous fossil fuels; instead it’s an investment that circulates the government’s money. To invest tax dollars on education, green energy, the children, clean air and water, undocumented workers, free healthcare, and the likes is to carefully circulate natural nutrients through the grand garden of government.

Humans, we existentialists say, emerged from the primordial ooze and know there is no enduring truth. Perhaps that is why we have long had a poor understanding of the relative truth needed to grow government gardens. We need to elect the right gardeners (our benevolent weed wacking and redistributional elites), have them secure the soil (through, for example, the whenever-required application of eminent domain), and then depend on their goodness and wisdom (to properly cast the seeds of investment). Of course, they’ll also fertilize, water and wack the weeds for us. Lastly, our good government gardeners must also input algorithm changes, add useful alliterations, allegories, and metaphors, and when needed, re-define language in order to create the ideological story the people should hear. When the marketplace of ideas is finally eliminated by our elites, the fine and fruitful government garden will grow greatly.

Eric Clue and Nick Hacker are the authors of “The Government Gardens of Goodness: A Story We Made Up on Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government.”

(Note: if you must, read the original here.)

Moody’s Downgrades Obama Administration

Moody’s Downgrades Obama Administration

By Duke Camel and Michael J. Monroe – Jun 22, 2012

Moody’s Government Ratings Service downgraded the Obama Administration to “junk” status with the post-Fast & Furious revelation that actual U.S. government fiscal liabilities are not merely the $50,100 for each man, woman, and child in America, but may be far higher–and worse–than acknowledged.

The most recent estimate for the difference between the net present value of federal government liabilities and the net present value of future federal revenues is $200 trillion, nearly 13 times the debt as stated by the US Treasury. Notice that these figures, too, are incomplete, since they omit the unfunded liabilities of state and local governments, which are estimated to be around $38 trillion.

While foreign and domestic financial markets reacted with alarm, the Administration shrugged the assessment off. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “We disagree with the Moody’s assessment. The Fed has a plan to deflate the value of this contingent liability to get it to a manageable level. That, in conjunction with the President’s pending Executive Order to increase tax rates for millionaires and billionaires earning over $250,000 per household, means there’s really nothing to worry about. However, the do-nothing Congress has refused to support the President’s plan for increased borrowing for more public sector and green jobs which we know from economic experts, will more than pay for themselves.”

Enrique Van Gogh, lead ECB economist and former monetary adviser to French President Francois Mitterrand said, “While this situation in America is regrettable, we’re in no position to offer a bailout of either money or leadership. Really, our political leaders are far beyond tapped out… actually, I think we’re really all in way over our heads. Could the U.S. ask China to borrow some money? And some leadership?” Substituting Chinese control for U.S. sovereignty is a well-worn suggestion advocated by unpopular New York Times writer Thomas Friedman and one other.

Shares of the nine massive federal programs affected by yesterday’s action, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Government Motors, The Affordable Care Act Holding Company, and Broken States America all collapsed to the lowest monetary and leadership valuations in more than seventy years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The ratings agencies like Moody’s are looking for a raison d’etre in the face of our self-evident leadership failure,” said David Zippo, chief market strategist at The Jeffersons & Co. in an interview on Michael Bloomberg Television’s I’ll Tell You What’s Good For You. “But I don’t think the ratings are that big a concern unless you work in the private sector and support the government.”

“The country is worse today than just three years ago,” echoed David Cassidy, an analyst with BFD Capital Markets, adding the Administration has long papered over the concerns raised by Moody’s. “Yes, the government rating is lower, but is Uncle Sugar going to have to pay an extra 50 basis points? They’ll either just take or make more money, so I don’t think so.”

The leadership downgrades reflect risks that that many voters have recognized for years, other investors said. “Moody’s is not going to detect some fundamental problem like spending more than you make for decades on end and then warn the public,” said Ken Fisher-King, chief executive officer and founder of Redbarn, California-based Fisher-King Investments. “Whether it’s a stock or a bond or a government, the free market already decided. Moody’s just tries to validate what they think voters are going to do.”

The reductions by Moody’s are “a mea culpa dating back to the 2008 elections,” said James Joyce, a government analyst in Chicago at Mourningstar. “Leadership has gotten so much worse in the last few years in terms of every stinking thing, yet their ratings never moved, except in the 2010 elections. What does that tell you? That the Administration’s ratings were wrong long before this.”

(Philup Nubia and Zerxes Jones-Smith from Bloomberg’s Mumbai Information, Research, and Translation Service enclave contributed to this article.)

Crony Capitalist Wasting Syndrome

Crony Capitalist Wasting Syndrome

By THOMAS L. FRYMOM

I was recently watching the 2012 campaign unfold on CNN International with a group of Gates Foundation sponsored third-world literature teachers. Our location? A bustling (and gleaming) solar powered Chinese-built bus station in Nairobi with excellent Wi-Fi reception. What I saw reaffirmed how much it would benefit the President were a third-party challenger to emerge.

It would have been useful to have an independent candidate siphoning votes away from Mitt Romney while also letting someone other than the media (and Democrats) defend the last three and a half years of the Obama presidency, most of which has required President Obama to focus on fundraising so he could fix all the Bush-caused failures in a second term. And it would have been equally useful to have an independent challenger acknowledging Obama’s hard work without offering the traditional campaign enticements to the Democratic Party’s core constituencies: Hollywood, homosexuals, illegals, and the 45 million Americans now on food stamps. To me, this campaign feels like a cyber war for the President with no air cover.

But there will be no third-party candidate to destroy Romney’s chances, so the only hope to get Obama to raise his game to the 2008 level, back when so many Americans assumed he’d be competent (or at least better than John McCain). To get back to 2008, the president first needs to re-write history, and second, to recognize just how badly he’s wasted Warren Buffett’s credibility. Remember that the President only used Buffett, America’s most successful crony capitalist, for a transparently lame two-week wedge-issue effort.

In exchange for red-lining the Keystone XL pipeline and a few other goodies, Obama got Buffett to endorse the “Buffett Rule”—a call for a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for all millionaire households earning $250,000 or more. The plan had no chance of passing, would have reduced the federal debt by 0.17 percent in 7.2 billion years and was decried as a gimmick that only diverted attention from what right-wing zealots say America really needs: comprehensive spending reform. Now, the Buffett Rule has largely faded away.

What a Presidential waste of Warren Buffett’s incredible credibility.

Buffett is a businessman out to make a profit through cronyism, rent-seeking, and regulatory capture—he’s no Mitt Romney—and as such, he is respected by many on the left as a useful line-toeing partisan; someone who can “change the game” with his Daddy Warbucks’-like bank account and deep pockets. What the president should have done was to follow the advice of Papilloma University sociologist and former Fed Deputy Chairperson Alan Blindpann, namely lay out a “bold three-step retox program for our nation’s fiscal policy.” Call it BP: the Barry Plan.

The BP would combine more immediate deficit spending for training to deal with the stress of being unemployed, new public sector make-work initiatives, and other programs that promote a general growth in government dependency; a second phase-in would double down on more deficit spending were the economy to survive; and finally, the plan would use a great deal of incomprehensible economist-gibberish like “bend the health care cost-curve downward” without any real ways to make such wishes happen. While Obama has already offered the gibberish; he still has not sufficiently risen to other elements of the plan which would be a natural extension of his own thinking.

Obama deserves a second look from independents who will determine this election. To get that second look, he will need voters think three thoughts regarding his record: 1) “Yes, the deficit is bad, but it isn’t Obama’s fault.” 2) “Yes, unemployment is bad, but it isn’t Obama’s fault.” 3) “Yes, Obama did something hard. He has almost destroyed the incentives, rule-of-law, and economic system that made American great. But that’s hard to do and that takes real leadership, so I’ll give him a second look.”

I’d bet anything that if the president staked out such a Barry Plan, Buffett and a lot of other business leaders like George Soros and Harvey Weinstein and Bruce Springsteen would endorse it. It would give the G.O.P. a real problem. After all, what would help Obama more right now, repeating over and over the Buffett Rule gimmick or campaigning from now to Election Day by starting every stump speech saying: “Folks, I have another plan, the BP economic plan, that Warren Buffett and other crony capitalists will make money on—and Mitt Romney doesn’t”?

Loyalists to my President often counter with: “But those Republicans are obstructionist. And evil. And racist.” Yes, the G.O.P. is not only racist, but they’re highly destructive. And evil. But why is it only the media can see this terrible problem and why have Republicans gotten away with it?

My view: It’s because not enough Americans see that Obama is working hard to lead the re-creation of our evil, racist, illegal, homophobic, imperial nation. The BP would offer an economic plan that would make our nihilists, another natural Democrat constituency, want to get off the couch and do battle with normal Americans. Our situation is far different from four years ago; this time we need to get our president re-elected.

When the Grand Bargain talks with John Boehner fell apart, Obama retreated to his bubble when he should have rallied all of us by laying out—in detail—the Barry Plan to reshape America in ways he thinks the country needs. That would have forced Romney to speak in detail about his plan to preserve America as a evil, racist, illegal, homophobic, imperial nation—that is, the Paul Ryan plan— and reveal this scheme for what it is: a radical plan the left cannot or will not grasp.

Then other Americans would see the real choice of the Barry Plan: a tough-minded-but-centrist/Marxist plan without any bipartisan support versus a dangerous radical right plan to sustain Medicare and Social Security, let people keep more of their own earnings, and to shrink discretionary spending so dramatically that nothing is left for clean water and air, veterans, children, cancer research, and women, minorities, and the poor.

And the morning after that happens—when Warren Buffett endorses the Barry Plan, not just the Buffett Gimmick—the president will have gotten his inner Mojo Nixon back.

(If you must, read the original here.)

‘Our quasi-heterosexual, not-quite, Jimmy Carter’

By CHARLES BLOWS

We liberals knew this day would come.

The New York Chime-Ins reported on Thursday that a Republican “super mega mondo PAC” was mulling a plan to resurrect Barry Obama’s spiritual chimichanga, Rev. Jeremiah B.A. Bulfraugh, as a WMD against the president.

The proposal said it would do what John McCain, whom it labels “a white-haired, malignant melanoma, Bob Dole look-alike” (Yowsah!), would not do in 2008.

It called for using Jeremiah Bulfraugh to “increase the dis-ease” and to “inflame the brain” among independents using the episode “that be never properly exploited.” How I love the use of sinister ebonics, especially if it detracts from Obamanomics.

But there was one description of the president that truly seized me:

“Obama, a quasi-heterosexual black Jimmy Carter, is a hyper-partisan, hyper-liberal, mega-politician with glimmer.”

For non-Republicans, this sentence is deliciously delicious, simultaneously sadly accurate, and non-incendiary — the perfect anti-Barry Oh! fodder.

Let’s dissect it, shall we? Scalpel!

First, there is the phrase ‘quasi-heterosexual.’ This phrase is usually defined as a man keenly interested in grooming his poodle. But despite the definition, the term isn’t all about sexuality. In its most true sense, it’s about President Obama wearing mom jeans — as he told the “Today Show” in 2009, “I don’t need a baggy crotch” — which is far more quasi-heterosexual than Mitt Romney of the big hair, traffic-cone epidermis, and Gap skinny jeans with baggy crotch.

But ‘quasi-heterosexual’ is rarely appropriately applied. On the contrary, it’s often delivered with a snicker to question real sexuality and to re-feminize my President, and feminists writ large. In a politically incorrect culture, “quasi-heterosexual” has become the non-bigot’s anti-Obama taunt.

Wait, did I get that right?

I guess it doesn’t matter, because while Obama’s bonfire of the insanities may be true, the part that rings even truer is the President’s desire for a legacy, no matter how inept his legacy may be.

As historian Dorcas ‘Weezey’ Noughgoodwin wrote in her book “Dealing with Rivals: The Political Un-Genius of Jimmy Carter” about his darkest era:

“Even in this moment of despair, the strength of Jimmy Carter was his weakness to engrave his name in television history for any reason, idiot, or if need be, sub-idiot. So like the ancient geeks, Jimmy Carter and those who fixed old computers, Obama’s ‘ideas of a person’s worth’ are tied to the way others, both contemporaries and future generations, perceive him.”

No president, regardless of ineptness, can be knocked for such a Jimmy Carter-like ambition. Or for achieving Carter’s non-success.

Now to the “hyper-partisan, hyper-liberal” accusation: somewhat false, but not very much. Yes, Obama is a non-pragmatic, left-leaning ideologue, much to the consternation of both even more devout leftists and normal Americans. But the media will fail to acknowledge this, so efforts to paint him as an extremist will never work.

And remember, Romney used to be a pragmatic, right-leaning centrist until he became a racist, which he was at birth.

So while Obama may have a “bit of the glimmer of the ‘American-past’ in him,” that is, he’ll modify his positions for expediency, Romney isn’t nearly as bad.

Wait, am I making a case against Obama or for Romney? I’m all confused.

I suppose it doesn’t matter much if you’re a dedicated reader.

Then there is my favorite phrase: “elitist.” It’s obvious to even me that Obama is hardly smart even if he’s a capable reader. But still, stupid to Barry Oh! is like lack of integrity is to Al Gore, so what’s the big deal? So maybe elitism is perhaps the most asinine charge to level against Obama considering he is the non-epitome of the phrase per its original intention.

And before I forget, it gets worse: any anti-Obama proposal is racially charged, no matter what. So anyone who criticizes my President does racial damage to America while protecting Republicans and white Hispanics.

As evidence, on Thursday, Joe Ricketts, the Warren Buffett-wannabe billionaire who had considered bankrolling one of the thousands of anti-Obama proposals, distanced himself from the anti-Obama business and later, Romney repudiated it.

There is good reason for this not very vigorous backpedaling: getting too nasty could be a net negative for Romney. After all, it’s obvious to anyone with a pulse Obama has been nasty enough to American already.

As a Fox News poll this week found, Obama, when limited to the question “Do you think the President might saved an injured puppy?” has his smallest non-large lead over Romney, minus seven points, since June 2004. According to Fox, it was partly because of the flight of “grossed-out independents” from Obama. And, as they see it:

“A nasty race suits Romney just fine; he can win nasty or he can win as-is. If the independents, especially moderate independents, continue to be disgusted with Obama’s ineptness, they may finally conclude the guy is a total idiot and isn’t worth preserving.”

So will Romney win the independent vote because Obama is an idiot? That’s a big non-no.

I think.

Fox concludes, “if either the economy or foreign policy in November look like it has for the last three years, Obama will lose in a rout.”

And should we tag quasi-heterosexual Barry with the fail? If I’m being honest, I’ll fall back on a Marv Albert quote:“Yess!!”

Hey, it could be worse. Obama could be white.

(Note: if you must, read the original here.)

Eugene Robinson smells ‘Hope and Change’

Eugene Robinson may be a reliable mainstream media word-worker, but his olfactory appears to be impaired.

How so? Because his latest three cheers for Obama! piece is entitled A Whiff of ‘Hope and Change’.

Eugene, the odor you smell is actually barnyard excrement. And it could be worse. It could be Teen Spirit.

By comparison Eugene, the Reagan-era Morning In America is not the same as the Obama-era Mourning For America.

But thanks for playing You Re-elect Your President today. As a parting gift, you’ll receive an IBM Selectric III, two Chevy Volts, and a shout-out in the latest Perez Hilton piece.

Smells like hope ‘n change?

Mental Illness and America

An interesting blurb from Not-AP News regarding mental illness in the United States:

Under the Obama administration, psychotic patients have been getting worse and neurotic patients have been getting better. Experts believe this is because neurotics have been settled by being faced with so many fewer freedoms, whereas psychotics simply suck up and magnify the prevailing mood, that of desperation.

Why I Hate the Supreme Court: the Secret Thoughts of Maureen Dowd

The deepest, darkest, innermost secret thoughts of intrepid columnist and aging snark-queen Maureen Dowd.

Why did President Obama dare to bash and threaten the Supreme Court?

Has our former community organizer, argument for affirmative action, and constitutional law instructor no respect for our venerable system of checks and balances?

Nah. He’s ignorant. We all know that. We’ve known it for years. And we don’t care. What we do care about is his politics.

So the big issue is not how the President managed to pass the bar—assuming he did; after all, all the records are still sealed—but rather, regardless of his ignorance, why shouldn’t he bash the court? What have they done for him, hmm?

This despicable and conservative court is hermetically sealed in judicial la-la land, protected by their white pillars and layers of homeland security. From this sealed location, where too few in the liberal media know what they really do, why they do it, or how to influence them, they are well on their way to becoming the most divisive court in history. How so? Duh: they’re going to roll-back Obamacare.

While I long ago squandered even the semi-illusion that I am an unbiased, objective journalist, the Supreme Court is supposed to be the honest guardian of the Constitution. Instead, it’s run by law thugs dressed in black robes (and if Robert Byrd were still alive and were a member of the court, I’ll grant there would also be one white robe).

But all the fancy-pants diplomas and supposed credentials of the conservative majority cannot disguise the fact that its reasoning on the most important decisions affecting Americans seems shaped more by a political handbook than a legal brief.

Still, Barry should never have waded into the health care thicket back when the economy was teetering. Instead, his failure to bother explaining the plan was both bizarre and self-destructive, but that’s all water over the dam now. And certainly he needs a more persuasive legal case. But the Administration’s idiocy still doesn’t exempt the court, which is the burr in my thong.

It was stunning to hear Justice Scalia talking like a Senate whipper-snapper during oral arguments last week on the constitutionality of the health care law (I guess ignore my earlier comment that the court is hermetically sealed). And, sounding like a Republican opposition-research brown shirt, he dropped politically charged terms like “Cornhusker Kickback,” referring to a sweetheart deal that was only a part of the run-up to the law. Doesn’t anyone understand only the President is allowed to use politically charged terms? (Ezra Klein even told me it’s in the oath of office.)

If Scalia is so brilliant, why is he drawing a parallel between buying health care and buying broccoli? Couldn’t he make a sophisticated point about a cable TV monosopy or monopoly or whatever it is?

The justices want to be above it all, beyond reproach or criticism. But why should they be when it too many of them were appointed by conservative drek?

And I’m still smarting from 2000, when the court’s Republican majority ignored the will of the people and instead ruled with the law. The result? We missed out on having President Gore—even if he is a sex poodle—and instead had to suffer from the George W. Bush induced Hurricane Katrina and all that other stuff as well. You know: war, the economy, massive unemployment and all that.

Regarding the 2000 election case, Anthony Lewis, a man I’m willing to quote when he helps my cause, wrote, “Not making Gore president, with such disregard for the media, invites us to treat the court’s aura of reason as an illusion.”

The 2010 House takeover by Republicans—voters are such idiots unless they vote Democrat—have shown what a fiasco the Citizens United decision is, with self-interested sugar daddies and wealthy cronies overwhelming the traditional Democrat process of vote early and vote often. The only ones who really should have a voice are the media, with our own self-interested (and enlightened) sugar daddies and our own wealthy (and enlightened) cronies. Otherwise, it’s too close to being fair.

On Monday, the court astoundingly ruled — 5 Republican appointees to 4 Democratic appointees — to give police carte blanche on strip-searches, even for minor offenses such as sexual assault by a former president from Arkansas (you know who you are), driving while blind, or violating federal anti-bazooka laws. Justice Stephen Breyer’s ice cream warning that wholesale strip-searches were “a serious downer for former presidents from Arkansas” fell on deaf ears. So much for the conservatives’ obsession with their so-called “liberty.” (Yes, those are sneer quotes.)

The Supreme Court mirrors the setup on Fox News: yes, there are liberals who make arguments, but they appear to be complete idiots, incapable of making sense, failing to draw on President Obama’s transcripted speeches or DNC talking points, and are far too often relegated to the background.

Just as in Teddy Kennedy’s Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, the liberals on the court focus on what feels good (or bad) and the conservatives focus on the constitution. John Roberts Jr.’s benign beige facade is deceiving; he’s a crimson tide partisan, more cloaked than the ideologically rigid and often venomous Scalia (who reminds me of the Emperor in Star Wars).

Just as Scalia voted to bypass that little thing called the media’s mob power and crown W. president, so he expressed phooey-ennui at the idea that, even if parts of the health care law are struck down, some provisions could be saved: “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” he asked, adding: “Are you stupid?”

Well I’ve been accused of being stupid and it hurts.

Inexplicably mute 20 years after he lied his way onto the court, Clarence Thomas, a black man I despise, proving I’m not ideologically rigid, didn’t ask a single question during oral arguments for one of the biggest cases in the court’s history. The fact he could sit there and listen is simply beyond my credulity.

When the Supreme Court building across from the Capitol opened in 1935, the architect, Cass Gilbert, played up the pomp, wanting to reflect the court’s role as the national ideal of justice.

With conservatives on that court trying to block F.D.R., and with Roosevelt prepared to make up his version of the Constitution as he went, the New Yorker columnist Howard Brubaker noted that the new citadel had “fine big windows to throw the New Deal out of.”

Now conservative justices may throw Obama’s hard-won and above-the-law law out of those fine big windows.

Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and the insufferable Samuel Alito were nurtured in the conservative Federalist Society, which asserts that “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” But it isn’t fair to overturn a major law passed by Congress in the middle of an election. The majority’s political motives seem as dark as my own soul and that’s pretty dark.

Finally, if I’ve made my word count, I’m off to lunch. Otherwise, I’ll stick in a paragraph about Dick Cheney.

(If you must, read the original here.)

Challenging the Self-Made Myth

(If you must, read the original here.)

Kristine van Grovel on March 2, 2012 – 12:53 PM ET

Over the last eighty years, Americans have developed the government dependency skills needed to survive in today’s tough global welfare state. These skills stand in stark contrast to anti-government arguments put forward by conservatives who are pushing the sad notion that lower taxes, less regulation, small government (except for defense), less debt, and more freedom are important to America’s future.

These conservative ideas are BS. As Congressman Barney Frank has said, “I’ve never seen a tax cut that I favored. I’ve never seen a tax cut build a bridge to nowhere. And I never had sex with that woman.”

Americans benefit every day from the benevolent government leviathan—from the presence of vending machines at schools with healthy snack choices for the children to the pro-green Keystone XL pipeline decision, which helps move fuel prices where they need to be to important national-level investments in the Chevy Volt and Berkshire-Hathaway. Even people who claim to be against a “huge and dominating government presence” sometimes benefit from the safety net, a safety net that we have wisely borrowed for when there are still over fourteen unemployed economists for each good government job and nearly half of all Americans don’t make enough money to pay any federal income taxes.

Republican presidential candidates are tripping all over one another trying to prove who will take the biggest axe to government the quickest and just the other day, Ron Paul fell on his way to a speaking engagement. Mitt Romney labels regulations “the hardly invisible jackboot of government to bring us all down” and argues that “we need to get the federal government out of education.” Rick Santorum fishmongers about “the narcotic of government dependency,” and if Newt Gingrich discusses the food stamp recovery, he’s a racist.

Washington Post-It columnist Courtcase Milloy is spot on in writing of Republican presidential plans to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and FEMA, “So what happens when disaster strikes? Who comes to the rescue—the local church, the Rotary Club? The National Guard? One’s friends and neighbors? Who would exist to slow-roll all these initiatives to increase American production of oil and natural gas?”

Understanding it is really government who gives and takes away should be the fundamental issue in the 2012 election. But the problem isn’t big government, it’s big conservative money. Yes, that’s correct: actual voters don’t matter at all and even if they did, they’re all sheep and are under the thumb of that vast right wing Super PAC, lobbyist, and Washington-Wall Street insider conspiracy (while the Administration does have some former Super PAC-men, lobbyists, and Washington-Wall Street insiders on their team, that’s different). Because the people need a leader, we will decide for them.

No one wants to reset the narrative on big government more than Elizabeth Warren who laid out an argument in a video clip her sponsors paid to go viral:

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. We got you rich. We, the government, your leaders. You built a factory? You only think you built a factory because we approved the paperwork. You only moved your goods to market on the roads we signed off on; you hired workers we paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because we didn’t sent our police or fire forces to destroy your business. The idea that any human need could be met without the government or that such needs could be met more effectively without us is a joke. You are totally dependent on us and you should know it. Now look, maybe that factory, our factory, was turned into something terrific, like a solar panel factory? Well, God bless and maybe we’ll let you keep a hunk of your profits. But part of the underlying social contract is that we’ll take what we need and borrow the rest because that’s what me, and others like me, think is right.”

President Obama, too, picked up on this theme in his State of the Union address when he said:

“No one built this country on their own. The leaders of government built it, often by drafting their own legislation and sometimes even by collecting their own taxes. And even though our nation is not as great as we’d like, as great, for example, as Western Europe, our leaders did their parts. We worked as a team: we think and provide the direction, and you and future generations support our initiatives and pay.”

These ideas are reflected in a book—You Didn’t Do Anything Yourself, by Unified for a Really Fair Economy’s Brian Miller-Tyme and Mike Lapdog. Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich III says, “This book challenges today’s flawed pro-freedom agenda: that an individual’s success is the result of gumption and hard work. Miller-Tyme and Lapdog demonstrate that personal success is more closely tied to self-esteem. Must reading for all who want to get our nation back on track, not that this Administration has gotten it off track or kept it that way.”

A central thesis of the book is that the greater an individual’s success, the less his or her dependence on gumption, hard work, or innovation, and the more dependent one is on regulatory capture, handouts, and crony capitalism. The two most noted business leaders referenced in the book, Warren Buffett and Jeffrey Immelt, cite these as essential to their own accomplishments.

Indeed, the profiles of other business people who recognize the important role government favoritism plays in their success are one of the great contributions of You Didn’t Do Anything Yourself. Kim Dot Com, CEO of New Brussels Brewing, talks about the government handouts that were needed to make Flat, Tired Beer. Christopher Lloyd of Fresh City Foods and Ben Dover of Ben & Barney’s ice cream discuss the confidence provided by food safety regulations and the benefits of those regulations in forming barriers for keeping potential competitors out of their businesses. Thelma-Louise-Jason Kidd, co-founder of TLJ Kidd Booksellers in Detroit, cites the importance of a Small Business Administration ruling to deed “condemned” property to her at no cost, a favor which helped her break through the glass ceiling and into the hole in the ozone. The book also debunks the tiresome claims by the likes of Donald Trump, Ross Perot and the Koch Brothers that “self-made” means getting a handout or favorable government contract “on your own, without even a lobbyist.”

The 1 percenters profiled in this book are really heroes if they are willing to let our leaders take the credit for their government provided success. Co-author Lapdog is founder of Government Makes Wealth, a network of over 700 crony capitalists and insiders that advocate for more taxation of others. There are also thousands of “high-road” businesses and medical marijuana dispensaries represented by the Stoned American Business Council, devoted to a vibrant, just and sustainable marijuana-based economy. More than five local chambers of commerce in towns like Boulder, Berkley and Ann Arbor have denounced or canceled memberships in the US Chamber because its hyper-corporatized ways fail to represent the values of small businesses and entrepreneurs who are connected and committed to their communities. What all of this means is there’s now a real and growing potential for new alliances between government leaders and the new breed of businesspeople beholden for their success.

Bud Light Presents Real Men of Genius

Background: cue Real Men of Genius music soundtrack

Narrator: Bud Light presents Real Men of Genius

Singer: Real Men of Genius

Narrator: Today we salute you mister safety choice Academy Award host.

Singer: Mister safety choice Academy Award host.

Narrator: you’ve got a face that looks like a Barbie head after 45 minutes in the microwave, eyes that are a good inch too far back in your skull, and a jet black troll hair wig. Yowsah.

Singer: I’ve had some work done.

Narrator: and even though your jokes are too lame to make it onto a popsicle stick, you manage to deliver them with the edgy sophistication of an Anime cartoon.

Singer: my lips don’t move good.

Narrator: stupid Republican-based gags, blackface three decades past its sell-by date, and a riveting aerial number from the Cirque du Soleil. What, the Blue Man Review wasn’t available?

Singer: their calendar fills fast.

Narrator: you intro’d more tributes to old things than Robert Osborne at a nursing home birthday party.

Singer: think Jethro Tull’s Living in the Past.

Narrator: all done to honor movies no one’s ever seen, to celebrate stupidity like it was an Olympic event, and to convince us that Hollywood’s best days are still ahead of it.

Singer: could Kermit the frog do this?

Narrator: so crack open an ice cold Bud Light and toast yourself, oh sycophant to the stars, because we’ll all be hanging out at home playing Just Dance instead of honoring The Artist, Part Deux at next year’s gala gig.

Singer: Mister safety choice Academy Award host.

Narrator: Anheuser Busch, Saint Louis, Missouri

Obama Hasn’t Lost It Yet

(If you must, read the original here.)

By E.D. Dijon

WASHINGTON

If the election were held right now, President Obama might win. He might even win with about the same margin that propelled him into office in 2008. But the election won’t be held right now, it will be held in November, which could be a problem.

The biggest hope for the Democrats is that voters will ignore the President’s record. This is true regardless of the fact that Republican candidates like Mitt Romney have been badly weakened in the nomination battle. So far, Obama has been left largely unmolested by the conservative super PACs. However, it appears likely that Obama’s super PACs, fueled by union dues, contributions from George Soros and Hollywood, and even taxpayer kickbacks, will hold their own. So that takes us back to the President’s problematic record.

Democrats may be disappointed by the apparent fade of Rick Santorum in the week before the Michigan primary and his surprisingly disjointed (yes, sans teleprompter) performance in last week’s debate. Still, it’s not as clear to me as it is to others that Santorum would be any less competitive than Romney as Obama’s opponent; after all, any Republican with half a mind (that’s all of them, ha!) will be running against the President’s record.

What’s also obvious to any idiot with an internet connection and a keyboard is that Democrats have an interest in the Republican contest going on indefinitely, especially past the November presidential election. Romney victories in Tuesday’s Michigan and Arizona primaries would likely shorten the process, and ending the nomination battle quickly is a precondition for a Republican counteroffensive.

They need one. Up to now, the Republican battle has played entirely into Democratic hands, driving many in the talking/typing head class to completely ignore the Obama economy, his foreign affair failures, and the cram down on social issues. The Democrats need their voters to vote early and often, casting ballots over and over again to overcome a general revulsion towards Obama’s record. Democrats also need working-class people an normal Americans to ignore other unimportant issues like freedom of religion, association, and speech. Finally, Democrats must ignore polling data which says the wealthy are already paying enough taxes and to disregard the debt millstone facing future generations of Americans.

And that’s exactly what’s happening right now. Obama won in 2008 and even though he ran 18 points behind in the working class, it mattered little, having completely locked up the non-working class. Until recently, he was running even worse than his 2008 numbers and Democrats were reminded of being crushed in what’s hoped to be a once-in-a-generation anomaly known as the 2010 elections. Obama has now regained the help he will need — and in the process strengthened himself substantially by an Executive Order allowing imported “voters” from Egypt, Syria, and Mexico — regardless of $6 gasoline, the food stamp recovery, and cooked unemployment numbers.

In the meantime, Romney’s wealth and tax status, his private equity background, and his utter tone-deafness on matters of all sorts have hurt him with the SEIU, the NEA, the UAW, and even the American Socialist Party and the Communist Party of America.

At the same time, social moderates — described by the White House Press Office as anyone who thinks like, or to the left of, Obama — have been appalled by the direction of the Catholic Church on issues such as contraception and abortion. Still, any GOP improvement anywhere should serve as a warning for Democrats. The Republicans now know how Obama is dangerous to them in ways well beyond his role as an Oval Office tripping hazard.

Moreover, although Obama has a lead 8 months before the election — in Friday’s Real Clear Politics poll averages he led Romney by one point and Santorum by less than onehis job approval ratings are still stuck in the Jimmy Carter range. However, there is good news. A recent Pew survey pegged his approval at 45 percent among independents, a big increase over his 37 percent rating last month. This means at this same rate of improvement, the President will actually have an approval rate of over 100 percent by the time the election takes place. Joy!

All this works to explain why Democrats don’t want Romney to win Michigan. With a win, Romney might even steal the President’s playbook of fear, loathing, and crony capitalism, or even address his record on the economy. On the upside, with a win, Romney might spend some quiet time with wise and moderate consultants who could tell him about global warming, being an alpha male, and green energy subsidies, distracting him from focusing on the President’s record. Finally, Obama’s super PACs, fueled by billionaires and government rent seekers, eager to keep or develop the backroom deals he has promised, could fire away freely (and free, literally) in the media, field-testing messages and exploiting Romney’s religious affiliation.

Obama is far better off than he was six months ago when government figures were less politicized and corrupted. But he cannot afford to go wobbly or to let this home-made good news go to his head. 

What Ails Europe?

By PAUL RUGRAT

(If you must, read the original here.)

Lisbon

Things are terrible here, as unemployment soars past 20 percent on its way to 30 percent or more. Things are even worse in Greece, Ireland, and arguably in Spain, while Europe as a whole appears to be sliding back into recession.

Why has Europe become the sick man of the world economy? Everyone knows the answer. They haven’t printed or borrowed enough money.

Read an op-ed piece on Europe — or, all too often, an allegedly factual news report (you absolutely can’t believe anything in the media, trust me) — and you’ll probably encounter one of two storylines, which I think of as the Republican European narrative and the German German narrative.

The Republican European story — it’s one of the themes of Mitt Romney’s campaign — is that Europe is in trouble because it has printed and borrowed too much money and that we’re watching the death throes of their so-called welfare state. This favorite right-wing fantasy falls back on the early 1920s, when Germany suffered a killer bout of hyperinflation brought on by money printing.

Did I mention that Germany (after World War I, hyperinflation, the depression, the rise of Nazism, and after the end of World War II) now has a very generous welfare state, is currently a reasonable economic performer, and depends on Turkish immigrants to perform many of its low-value and distasteful tasks?

So let’s do this systematically. Look at the European nations of my choosing who are using the Euro and rank them by the ration of their GDP to debt. Do the troubled PIIGS nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) stand out for having unusually catastrophic GDP to debt ratios? Well, yes, but the question becomes “Can’t they just inflate their debt away, as Germany did to great success long ago?” No, because they’re stuck with the Euro, having given up having their own sovereign currencies.

Next up, the post World War II German German story. It is about fiscal responsibility (that is, their free-riding on U.S. provided security throughout the Cold War and beyond) and productivity. This story seems to fit Germany, and a few other non-Euro nations like Canada.

But what about those countries that aren’t on the Euro who seem able to run massive deficits and carry these unimaginable debts without facing much of a crisis at all? For example, Britain (ignore those stories about them being out of money. Lies, all lies, believe me) and the United States can borrow long-term at interest rates of around 2 percent. Why? Because they can create ever more government debt by having their Central Banks purchase the borrowings. It’s like magic: money for nothing, chicks for free!

What about calls for austerity, like cuts, living within one’s means, or even savings? Dismissed: those things are for clueless schmucks.

In other words, the idea we’re on the road to becoming like the PIIGS nations is completely off base because the U.S. is not on the Euro. (However, it should be noted that the PIIGS nations, like the United States government, have been accused of not using generally accepted accounting procedures).

So what does ail Europe? The truth is that the story is mostly demographic and productivity driven. By stupidly having their “elites” lock them into a single currency but without having a work ethic to make that currency work (Germany is the exception that proves the rule), Europe has built an entire continent with too many takers and not enough makers. Sort of like the old Soviet Union, in a way.

Even worse, the creation of the Euro fostered a false sense of security among private investors, unleashing huge and totally unwarranted flows of capital into the nations of Europe and around Europe’s periphery. As a consequence of these inflows, costs and prices rose, they became even more uncompetitive, and nations that had roughly balanced trade as recently as 1999 began running large trade deficits instead. That was the day the music died.

If these PIIGS had their own currencies, like Germany of old, they could and would use devaluation to restore competitiveness. But they don’t, which means that they are in for a long period of mass unemployment and unless they decouple from the Euro, slow, grinding deflation. (Deflation, warranted or not, is a favorite bogey man of the hobby economist community.) Ipso facto, their debt crises are mainly a byproduct of not being able to print and borrow their own money.

Germany could help by reversing its own austerity policies and bailing out the rest of Europe, but it won’t. Here in the United States, we too should reverse the ridiculous and pathetic calls for more austere governmental policies and instead print and borrow more.

Getting the European governments to create more debt would make a huge difference, because otherwise, we in America may face a contagion used to push policies that would be cruel, destructive to the welfare state, or even both. The next time you hear people saying government debt is something that must be repaid at value, here’s what you need to know: they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Print. Borrow. Borrow. Print. Trust me; I’m a writer and an economist.

Ghastly Outdated Party To Crush Dems?

By MORONICA DOWD

(If you must, read the original here.)

WASHINGTON

IT’S finally sinking in.

We Democrats are getting ready to harvest the Obama whirlwind, savaging the Big D brand in ways that will long resonate: think 2010 on steroids and then put that on turbo.

Does it really have to be this way? Based on core Democrat principles, yes.

“Look. Democrats are for government. Big government, bigger government, huge government, bloated government of any kind. Borrowed government, corrupt government, international, federal, state, county, parish, city, whatever. It’s good. It’s all good. All government is good. Except Republican-led government,” DNC strategist Alicia Tubeiktomy told me mournfully. “If John Dillinger was alive at this moment, he’d go into government and not into robbing banks. Why? Because that’s where the money is, that’s why. But if we lose to the Republicans, that’s all likely to change.”

She said many Democrats are “coming to grips with a much weaker economy, weakened foreign policy and worsened foreign relations, reduced personal freedom, diminished buying power, greater unemployment, shocking energy costs, and ridiculous government debt” and that Democrats are going through the six stages of political grief. “We’re at No. 4,” she said. (Political sadness.) “We’ve still got one to go.” (Political acceptance.) “And then comes step six. The end.” (Political annihilation.)

No matter if the contenders in the Republican primaries are stepping all over one another trying to be everything not Barry, Democrats everywhere are now beginning to see that Obamaworld is set to destroy their political futures. And the media, you ask? Yes, they’re in the tank, but all they’re seeing Jimmy Carter with more melanin.

In fact, it seems President Obama has caused deranged conservatives, now broadly defined as anyone who fails to see the President as the greatest leader since Abraham Lincoln, to reclaim America. However, these deranged conservatives — they view Obama as an “idiot with initiative” — are wrong. Rather, based on his record, they should view him as an idiot with initiative with melanin.

Newt Gingrich, a Vietnam-era war wimp who supported George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, had the gall to tell a crowd at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., that defeating Obama — “the most inept president in modern American history” — was “important” because “he is totally inept.” Excuse me? Who killed bin Laden? And remotely from the White House video-teleconference center at that?

How can the despicable big nasty otherwise known as the Catholic Church still be represented in the public arena by warm, caring, loving Catholic Democrats who would never want to burden a woman with a disease like a child? These people are my heroes, people like Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, and John Kerry.

Still, not all is well. “All this social ram-jam, along with the economic policies of Joe Friggin’ Stalin, makes the Democrats look like we aren’t a modern party,” James Carville told CNN’s Erin Burnett, fretting about the President’s initiatives. “Doesn’t he understand that there is no free lunch; that it’s an economic fallacy?”

Following a speech in Boston on Thursday, even John Kerry recoiled at his own party: “I used to be a Democrat, then a liberal, and now I’m a progressive. Regardless of name, I look at us and I’m telling you, it would seem we’re nothing but a bunch of leftist idiots. Was everything we thought we knew wrong? Economically, all we can do is to try and let the media demolish the Republican candidates and to hope no one shows up to vote.”

Despite all the massive Obama and Democrat failures, they aren’t enough to keep me from slinging some anecdotal mud. For example, Alan Simpson, a gay ranch hand and former U.S. Senator from Wyoming, recently called Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum “rigid and homoerotic,” after seeing him in a men’s room at Reagan National, one of his (Simpson, not Santorum) favorite watering holes. Arlen Specter, who was a Democrat and then a Republican and then a Democrat (again) and finally, an ex-politician, told MSNBC: “Mitt Romney is a disgraceful flip-flopper. What he instead needs is what I had: total ideological flexibility.”

Democrats have a growing panic at the thought that Republicans will soon be directing their fire on the President’s signature economic accomplishments instead of one another and are stricken at the thought of giving back the Senate as well as even more House seats than were lost in 2010. More and more, Democrats openly yearn for a fresh presidential candidate and are even talking of Joe Biden, who could perhaps parlay his plagiarism and Senatorial experiences into presidential victory. Or maybe not.

Democrat jitters have increased exponentially as they’ve watched Obama’s fundraising limited to only two significant categories: George Soros and Hollywood. And despite the President’s taxpayer-funded Super Bowl ad, virtually no one in America believes the vacuous babble about “Detroit being back” or that because we’re at halftime in an American Depression, we need to “stay the course.” The President, sans teleprompter, looked especially unpresidential (despite the raucous applause) when he blurted out that “Michelle really loved it that they lengthened the Aspen airport to accommodate Air Force One” at a recent fundraiser held at Leonardo Dicaprio’s mansion.

Obama’s multiple slips threaten to give back all that Ted Kennedy, a dead man, once told the Chappaquiddick Chamber of Commerce: “If we can limit ourselves to being the party of crony capitalists, corrupt union and government leaders, and the vast welfare state, we should remain relevant for a good long time.”

Obama, whose name comes from the Latin root “deranged Democrat zealot,” has recently gone on The View to make his case for a second term: “I understand many Americans are suffering as a direct result of my policies, legislation, and bureaucracy, but I need them to all forget all that and focus on Hope and Change. If for any reason that doesn’t work, think about Winning the Future.”

Democrats, knowing they’ve indebted the American people with bills that can’t be paid and promises that can’t be kept while still managing to move the country backwards by every meaningful positive statistic are in danger of going the way of the Whigs and the Bull Moose party: living posthumously; drafting preferential legislation for women, minorities, and green energy; favorable jobs programs and benefits for illegal immigrants; and, celebrating the success of public education.

It’s all quite sad, but the only thing that would be worse would be Republican governance.

Real Men and Holy Underwear

By CHARLES M. BLOWS

Twitter almost claims me as another casualty.

This week, it was announced I would be suspended from my role as the Jayson Blair Chair for Journalistic Integrity at the New York Times for an innocuous Twitter message I composed and released. The tweet in question was directed towards Mormon presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. In a moment of disgust, I told Mr. Romney to “Stick that in your magic underwear.”

That “magic underwear” reference was my attempt to mock Romney’s religion, nothing more and nothing less. It was a subtle and nuanced thought, reflective of my multi-hued positions on religions. For example: would I mock a Hindu? Never. A Sikh? Perish the thought. A Muslim. Of course not; I might get in trouble for that. A Jew? Only if they live in Israel. An evangelical Christian? Absolutely. A Catholic? Game on. A Mormon? With pleasure.

See how subtle and nuanced I am?

I’ve since been asked how I would mock — or not mock — some of the other human categorizations. Anyone at Fox, white people who aren’t liberals, or blacks who don’t vote Democrat? Mock. Homosexuals, transvestites, cross-dressers, WNBA fans, and minorities (except Asians and white South Africans)? Don’t mock. Have I told you how subtle and nuanced I am?

My first Twitter message, tweeted during the Super Bowl, read: “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about Mitt Romney’s underwear, smack the ish out of him!” Another said: “Who was that New England ‘Patriot’ called Mitt Romney who’s probably wearing hot pink holy underwear? He needs to be smacked down by Captain Insano.” Well, I am Captain Insano and I show no mercy.

Intolerant people all across American said my messages advocated “inherently stupid thoughts,” “rudeness” and “classless hypocrisy” and asked the New York Times to take action against me. Of course these people’s complaints are groundless and reflect discrimination, if not outright racism. In closed meetings, my chain of command told me they viewed my messages as “idiotic, regrettable, childish, and offensive” but ultimately decided to take no action other than to suspend me from my position as the Blair Chair, with pay, for the 24-hour period after I leave the Times (whenever that may be). That was a wise decision and all I needed to hear. Therefore, Captain Underpants, you will receive no apology from Captain Insano.

There is vigorous debate online about what I meant by the attack on Romney’s religion, about America’s reaction, and about the New York Times policy on who gets suspended or fired and for what kinds of statements.

I have signaled, via Twitter, that I don’t plan to meet with anyone nor will I discuss the matter with the exception of defending my freedom to fulfill my true potential as a leftist clown. The things I say will therefore continue to be trite, childish, vindictive, unenlightened, hypocritical, and — even at no cost to the reader — a poor entertainment value.

But I don’t want to let this incident pass without using it as a “teachable moment” for us all about the way in which we define journalism and progressive thinking. At the very least, my comments, no matter how inflammatory, will probably continue to be largely ignored. On top of that, and based on the writings of my comrades, Tom Frymom, Moronica Dowd, and especially Paul Rugrat, I fit in.

You see, I follow myself on Twitter, so I know that I like to joke and tease. I even make jokes with myself. So I can believe that, in my mind, I have thought that these magic underwear comments were just hateful jokes mocking Romney’s religion, which given my great wit, was funny. After all, I’m a funny guy.

Now out there in the real world — where mocking male and female homosexuals, women, and minorities is all too real — a similar “joke” to the one I made (actually, it would then be an insult) would hold no humor. It’s an important lesson, but one we can all learn: hypocrisy only applies to the right.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether I broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with my unconscious party guests in the 1980s – I did. But you can’t hold the whole journalistic profession responsible for the reactions of one sick individual (well, a few… actually, maybe many sick individuals). For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole democratic process? And if the whole democratic process is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our economic system in general? I put it to you, readers, isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to me, but I’ll sit and listen all day if you’re willing to badmouth the United States of America.

Words, even my words, have power. And power recklessly exerted from my throne at the New York Times has consequences. Yes, I’m about being politically correct, but I’m also insensitive to the plight of those being mocked, unless they are in the protected classes. Why can’t I ask the people taking the punches to also take my innocent and often very witty jokes?

Let’s show the whole of mankind that we can mock any disfavored group in any way we want, especially those who wear magic underwear.

Obama World Versus Real World

It’s obvious there are some disconnects between the President’s thoughts and facts on the ground. Let’s review a representative, if incomplete, list:

  • Obama thinks algae can power the economy. The real world knows it needs natural gas, oil, and coal.
  • Obama thinks he’s not to blame for gas prices. The real world watched Obama blame president George W. Bush (plus Darth Vader and assorted other parts of the evil Empire) for high gas prices.
  • Obama thinks government creates value. The real world knows government can take, redistribute, regulate, and borrow, but that it cannot create value.
  • Obama ignores the fact borrowed money must be repaid. The real world expects to be repaid.
  • Obama thinks contraception and abortions are free. The real world knows someone ultimately has to pay and is well-aware of the free lunch fallacy.
  • Obama thinks GM and Chrysler are back. The real world knows creative destruction is the only cure for these sorts of “government success stories.”
  • Obama thinks raising taxes brings more money into government coffers. The real world knows raising taxes leads to tax avoidance strategies (and actions).
  • Obama thinks redistributionist policies are an issue of “fairness.” The real world knows fair is only a state of the weather, not a state of the world.
  • Obama thinks Ponzi schemes are acceptable as long as they are government sanctioned. The real world sends Ponzi schemers to jail.
  • Obama thinks it’s ok to ignore laws he disagrees with as well as creating new laws through regulation. The real world (generally) holds the law as king, not the king as law.

Additions to the above would be welcome! Tragi-comedy gold from 2008, sans teleprompter, follows:

Candidate Obama in 2008: “we’re even more dependent now on foreign oil…”

Justices Take Up Discrimination in College Entry

(If you must, read the original here.)

By ADAM LIPSMACK

WASHINGTON — In a 2003 decision said to last for 25 years, the Supreme Court allowed public colleges and universities to continue to discriminate. On Tuesday, the court signaled that was a stupid ruling and that it might end state sanctioned discrimination sooner.

By agreeing to hear another case involving institutional discrimination, this time by the University of Texas, the court thrust discrimination— now euphemistically known as affirmative action— back into the public and political discourse. Some legal critics said the court ignored the constitution and used nonsensical reasoning and flawed logic “to attempt to allow one form of discrimination to eradicate a past history of discrimination” it its 2003 decision, while other scholars agreed with that assessment. Both supporters and opponents of discrimination said they saw the announcement — and the change in the court’s makeup since 2003 — as a signal the court might be prepared to do away with discrimination in higher education.

The consequences would, all sides agree, hurt minorities and women by reducing the number of misplaced African-American and Latino-American students at selective colleges and graduate schools, with more qualified Asian-American and European-American students gaining entrance instead.

A decision barring the use of race in admission decisions would undo the Byzantine drug deal called for in the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger: that public colleges and universities could not use a point system to increase minority enrollment but could take race “into account,” viewed by all as code for racial preferences, to meet academic “diversity standards.”

Supporters of discrimination reacted with alarm to the court’s decision to hear the case. “I think it’s ominous,” said Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbian University, who as president of the University of Michigan was one of the institutional discriminators named in the Grutter case. “It threatens to undo several decades of discrimination we’ve used to build a politically correct and educationally preferential environment.”

Opponents of discrimination saw an opportunity to strike a decisive blow on an issue that many had gotten used to. “Any form of discrimination, whether it’s for or against, is wrong,” said Hans Von Helsing, a legal fellow at the Hermit Crab Foundation, who added that his daughter was applying to college. “The idea that she might be discriminated against based on her race is sad and pathetic.”

Some polls show a huge majority of Americans oppose discrimination. Other polls confirm the results of the aforementioned polls.

The new case, Fisher v. University of Texas, No. 11-345, was brought by Abigail Fisher, a European-American student who says the University of Texas denied her admission because of her race. The case has the potential to eliminate discrimination in college admission decisions — the very discrimination the court endorsed in the Grutter decision. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote discrimination “encourages lively classroom discussions, fosters cross-racial harmony and cultivates leaders seen as more-or-less legitimate.” But critics say there is no link between racial diversity and intellectual achievement and that O’Connor appears to have made her excuses up as she wrote.

The Grutter decision allowed but did not require states to discriminate based on race. Several states, including California and Michigan, forbid the practice, and more selective public universities in those states have seen a drop in less qualified minorities. However, in other states and at private institutions, officials generally look to race and ethnicity as a major factor, leading to the significantly more diversity candidates instead of basing admissions decisions strictly on academic merit.

A Supreme Court decision forbidding the use of discrimination at public universities would almost certainly mean that it would be barred at most private schools under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is tasked to forbid racial discrimination in programs that receive federal money. In her majority opinion in Grutter, Justice O’Connor said the day would come when “the use of discrimination will no longer be necessary” in admission decisions to meet educational diversity standards. She said she expected that day to arrive in 25 years, a number she later admitted as being “pulled out of my robe.” Tuesday’s decision to revisit the issue suggests the anti-discrimination deadline may arrive a mere decade after the court’s sanctioned discrimination of Grutter.

In Texas, students in the top 10 percent of high schools are automatically admitted to the public university system, no matter how well or poorly the top 10 percent performs on standardized tests. This policy does not discriminate directly, but meets political correctness needs because many high schools are racially homogenous. Ms. Fisher missed that cutoff at her high school in Sugar Bear, Tex., and then entered a separate pool of applicants which allows them to reapply for admissions while claiming to be an underrepresented race. Under those alternate procedures, she was accepted, but instead decided to sue in 2008.

Ms. Fisher is soon to graduate from South Central Louisiana State University at East Monroeville. Lawyers for the University of Texas said that meant she had not suffered from the kind of discrimination a court decision could address, meaning she does not have standing to sue. However, expecting to lose, the university has requested a 35-year stay on the case.

Ms. Fisher’s argument is that Texas cannot have it both ways. Having implemented an allegedly race-neutral (yet still discriminatory) program with the goal of increasing minority admissions, she says, Texas may not supplement it with a race-conscious one. Texas officials said the additional discrimination was needed to make sure that individual classrooms contained a “critical mass” of minority students. Scientists from the National Science Foundation have recently laid aside important global warming studies to explore exactly what constitutes a critical mass of minority students.

The lower federal courts ruled in favor of discrimination but Chief Judge Edith Head-Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, dissenting from the full appeals court’s decision not to rehear Ms. Fisher’s case, was skeptical of state officials’ rationale. “Will classroom diversity ‘suffer’ in areas like applied math, kinesiology, chemistry, Farsi or hundreds of other subjects if, by chance, few or no students of a certain race are enrolled?” she asked, prompting the University of Texas attorneys and school officials to stare at their shoes.

Justice Elena Kagan disqualified herself from hearing the case, presumably because she benefitted from discrimination in both her college admissions and in the workplace.

Religious Rick’s Fantastic Fanaticism

By Moronica Dowd

(If you must, read the original here)

Rick Santorum has been called a latter-day Savonarola.

Note: Savonarola is some sort of obscure reference from the 1400s. My editor suggested we use it with the idea it would increase my intellectual gravitas. It was a good call. Originally, I had called Santorum a latter-day Nazi.

Why do I call Santorum any name at all or for that matter, even give him the time of day? Isn’t it obvious? With the Romney and Gingrich fades, Santorum is now a credible threat to my President’s re-election and I must therefore perform my ad hominem duties. For what it’s worth, my editor also pointed out that because of these ridiculous reductio ad hitlerum rules, I instead need to call Santorum a small-town mullah. It’ll have to do.

With that out of the way, Rick Santorum is a small-town mullah.

“Obama has his sights on the United States of America,” the conservative presidential candidate warned in 2008. “Obama is attacking the great institutions of America, using those vices of envy, government power, slothfulness, vanity, and even sensuality to attack the American tradition.”

When did sensuality become a vice? Next he’ll be banning one of the leading men from my childhood, Rudolph Valentino.

Santorum is not merely engaged in a culture war, but “a spiritual war,” as he called it four years ago. “Obama has his sights on what you would think he would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country — the United States of America,” he told students at Ave Maria University in Florida. He added that mainline Protestantism in this country “is in shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”

The “Obama phenomenon” hit, one Democratic campaigner told me, when there are “soul wounds” in America like Bush-fatigue or even more so, with someone like John McCain leading the Republican ticket. Santorum, who is considered “mondo Catholic” has even obliquely and unfavorably compared President Obama to Hitler (didn’t he get the reductio ad hitlerum memo?) and accused him (Obama, not Hitler) of having “bogus theology.”

Santorum didn’t go as far as evangelist Franklin Graham, who having observed the President for three full years, doubted the president’s Christianity on “My Mourning Joe.”

Mullah Rick (yes, we checked. Muslim references are still OK) even told ABC News’s Jake Tapper that he disagreed with some Supreme Court decisions. And, in October, he said that contraception “has become a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Oh, behave!

Senator Sanitarium, as he was dubbed by the culturally-significant “The Simpsons,” sometimes tries to temper his retrogressive sermons so as not to drive away women who don’t automatically vote Democrat (and therefore deserve to serve out their days hand-scrubbing crumbling linoleum floors, barefoot and with child on hip, and wearing 70s era clothes). He shockingly told The Washington Post that, while he doesn’t want to fund contraception through the Abort America! franchises, he wouldn’t ban it: “The idea that I’m coming after your birth control is absurd. I was making a statement about my moral beliefs, but I won’t impose them on anyone else in this case.”

That doesn’t comfort me because as I mentioned, Santorum has become a threat to my President and action, more action, must be taken. I’ve spent a career (note how I deftly made the emphasis on my career versus my lifetime?) watching candidates deny they would do things to interns including the patron saints of male control–in a good way in these cases–Bill Clinton and JFK. What did they do? They went on to fulfill their personal desires (but hey, they’re Democrats… it isn’t that big a deal. Hypocrisy only works one way. Let it go, Republicans, let it go).

The AOL/Huffington Post–an excellent and highly recommended source for all your information needs, should the Times fold, fail to achieve a bailout, and I find myself in the need for work–reports that Santorum told Philadelphia Magazine in 1995 that he “was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress.” Then, he said, he read the “scientific literature.”

It simply isn’t possible that anyone could believe such pap, so Santorum must have cynically decided electoral gold lies in the ruthless exploitation of social and cultural wedge issues (and unlike anyone who embraces the opposing side of these issues, all that is good and right). Unlike the Bushes, who are to blame for all wrong in the world, Santorum has no hit squad; instead, he confronts things himself.

Why is it that Republicans don’t want government involved when it comes to the economy (opposing the auto bailouts) but they also want government to quit telling people how to live their lives by having freedom, the law as king, and free markets? It’s a mystery to me.

Can’t Santorum instead become hooah for men like Obama, LBJ, and Jimmy Carter who heroically helped create dependency, unemployment, inflation, the fatherless European welfare state, and massive government debt? Santorum, it seems, has become successful simply because he’s not ashamed to admit that he wants to take the country backward (of course, he defines “backward” as “not Obama, LBJ, or Carter”).

A potential threat to my Vice President is Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, touted as a Republican vice presidential prospect. This week, pro-abortion forces made the Virginia Legislature pause on its way to passing a bill forcing women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. Abortion favoring Democratic Delegate Latrell Sprewell hotly argued that the bill might “reduce abortions among women and people of color,” adding “I cannot believe that you would disrespect unborn children… I mean fetuses, in a manner reminiscent of a TSA screening,” he chided colleagues. “This legislation is simply mean-spirited, and it is bullying, bullying quite unlike the President’s decision to force Catholic institutions to fund abortions against their beliefs.”

In the meantime, the Democratic-controlled Maryland House of Delegates just passed a bill that would allow homosexual marriage, state-sanctioned incest, polygamy, and bestiality. Conversely, the Republican-controlled Virginia Legislature passed a bill allowing private adoption agencies to keep these heroic homosexuals, it’s-all-in-the-family types, way-open marriages, and “Here, Rover” folks from lovingly share their homes with full-term fetuses… I mean, children.

The Potomac River of my mind seems to become more divided every day.

How to judge Obama: let me count the ways

Ezra KlownPosted by Ezra Klaun at 03:54 PM ET, 02/15/2012

(If you must, read the original here.)

Look: I too get tired of defending the President non-stop; of asserting that Media Matters doesn’t write my columns; of insisting anything I post makes sense at any level. Instead, consider this column more like a diary entry, a stream-of-consciousness revelation of my deepest, most hidden, and sometimes conflicted thoughts.

In his essay on President Obama, James Fallows questions the President’s assertion that he would prefer to be “a really mediocre one-term” president than a “bad” president who served two terms. “The reality,” this Fallows fellow writes, “is that Obama has a more than a reasonable chance for re-election and could well be a historically bad two-termer. Next, our judgment about ‘mediocre’ and ‘bad’ presidents is clouded by their very competence, an issue sure to haunt Obama. Finally, a failure to win reelection can place a ‘one-term loser’ asterisk on even genuine accomplishments. Ask George H. W. Bush, victor in the Gulf War; ask Jimmy Carter, architect of the Camp David agreement.”

Of course the problem with those comparisons is our Gulf War redux is still in full bloom, albeit  migrated now to Afghanistan, and the Camp David agreement has been about as useful to Middle East peace as a tractor would be for Maureen Dowd. Still, does this mean even a one-term Barry Obama presidency is doomed to be a Barry Bonds-like asterisk in history books, or worse, a painful boil on the buttocks of the American people?

Of late, there have been a number of favorable assessments of Obama’s first term, with Andrew Sullivan’s essay in Newsweak perhaps the most clueless. Obama, he writes, plays a “long game” no one else is aware in order to claim credit for anything which seems positive in any way. “The president starts with that fake handshake thing and when others respond by ignoring his foolishness, he therefore demonstrates that they are the source of the problem.” No, iron-clad logic has never been one of Sullivan’s strengths.

Noam Scheiber’s article on “Why Obama Sucks” is somewhat more critical. He argues that “Obama’s greatest vulnerability as a leader” has been his consistent misunderstanding of things (the opposition, the issues, and timing are all mentioned). To Scheiber, Obama’s faux turn toward deficit reduction in 2011 was an unmitigated disaster. “His initial approach was too passive-aggressive, and he didn’t quit nearly soon enough.” But Obama’s saving grace is really a pattern: extended stupidity followed by miraculous recovery, which Scheiber says, has been present throughout Obama’s career. It was there in his primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, his response to Jeremiah Wright, and in having the good luck to run against John McCain. “Sooner or later, Obama may encounter a crisis that someone else can’t reverse for him at the eleventh hour,” Scheiber warns.

Fallows’s piece is perhaps the most balanced of the three. Obama, he says, “was unready for the presidency and is temperamentally and intellectually unsuited to it in many ways,” and yet, there has still been a profound “appreciation for the man by both the media and by other Democrats — an appreciation that remained pronounced despite a cluelessness that was exposed as early in his term as during the oath of office.” For Fallows, the best argument for Obama’s second term is that he may have learned what not to do during his first. “The evidence suggests that given a second term, he’d be hard pressed to be any worse than he’s been so far.”

All three pieces are illustrative but they all suffer from the same flaw: they don’t approach Obama from my perspective.

Using sneer quotes, Sullivan questions Obama’s real “accomplishments” and documents the economy’s “recovery,” but he never asks, much less answers, the question of whether a different strategy or philosophy would have led to less-bad accomplishments, a less-slow recovery, or a less-polarized political atmosphere. His essay is a superficial non-answer to Obama’s loudest and most substantive critics and it falls well short of being a persuasive defense of Obama’s record.

Scheiber harshly criticizes the administration’s handling of virtually everything and asserts the most salient fact of modern American politics — that Obama seems to prefer America’s destruction to genuine economic and foreign policy achievements. Some say this reflects poorly on the President and still others offer that America’s destruction won’t be seen as a major political accomplishment for much of the country.

Fallows believes Obama is personally aloof, emotionally cold, totally dependent on his insular “double-bubble” of advisers, and perhaps consequentially, has been unable to fully connect with anyone outside the media or liberal “elites.”

Again, through the use of sneer quotes, all three tell us of what Obama has actually “done.” Health-care “reform.” Dodd-Frank “reform.” The “stimulus” bill. The President “killing” Osama bin-Laden from the White House video-teleconference center. The “rejection” of the Keystone XL pipeline. “Solyndra.” The appointments of a “wise Latina woman” and a “wise softball player” to the Supreme Court.

We now have a better idea of what Obama wants to do. This includes raise taxes across the board on the wealthy, spend invest more on “infrastructure” and “education” and, heal global warming and hold back the tides. Also, he wants to reduce the deficit by defaulting on U.S. financial obligations (although on an accelerated path than many Republicans say they would prefer). Finally, he wants to roll back Citizens United (except for the Obama Super PAC), and end war, world hunger, and obesity.

Given that Mitt Romney is a cult member and that Eugene Robinson describes Rick Santorum as “really weird,” the question is not whether Obama “deserves” a second term, but rather if Romney or Santorum should be allowed to freely walk the streets of America. For Obama’s presidency to be remembered as one of the most consequential in recent American history (remember some will suggest that ‘most consequential’ is not necessarily the same as ‘most competent’ or ‘most accomplished’), he does not need a new strategy, or a new personality. He simply needs to win a second term.

There, I said it. Obama has a (D) by his name, so I guess I’ve worked my confliction out after all.

Wonkbag is compiled and produced with help from Dana Milkbag, Karl Schwinger, and Media Matters for America.

Religious Concerns Should Be Waved Away

(Note: if you must, read the original here)

By Eugenics Robinson

WASHINGTON — At ease, secular soldiers: the “war on religion” and the assault on the Catholic Church are no big deal. After all, a faith that has endured for a couple of thousand years should be able to survive the current administration, right?

And speaking of religion, it never occurred to me to evaluate the Grammy Awards on its theology (which is, as I like to say, their worship of the almighty dollar), so I’m amused at the not-really-that-over-the-top “exorcism” Minaj performed Sunday night. The hip-hop artist–like the guys at Subway are sandwich artists–writhed and cavorted like a copperhead on a charcoal grill while mocking Christian iconography. She is unfairly accused of anti-Catholic bigotry and is now seen as a combatant in the escalating “war on religion” being waged by “secular progressives” and “atheists,” which have become synonyms for “Democrats.” (To the progressive reader: please note my use of multiple sneer/scare quotes in the last paragraph. Good, eh?)

I think folks like Minaj are just like me after four highballs: lacking a coherent point to make, we tend to end up with full fledged idiocy or sometimes, shock value. Or, maybe both.

Among the loudest voices complaining are those despicable Republican presidential candidates who want to poison your food supply, your air, and your drinking water. But guess who they blame for the attack on all God-fearing Americans? Hint: his initials are Barack Obama and he almost got in trouble four years ago as a presidential candidate despite being a regular church-goer (they said it was his Looney Tunes preacher, a charge never really well proven).

But so what if President Obama is indeed waging a war on religion? It could be worse: we could have a President Mitt Romney who claimed last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he would rescind every Obama regulation that attacks religious liberty.

Or Newt Gingrich, who said at CPAC that Obama plans to “wage abortion” on the Catholic Church if he is re-elected and that those who don’t see this coming are not familiar with the President’s real character. Apparently, the real Obama, like Punxsutawney Phil, is about to come out of hiding any day now but say what you will, he is a man of principle and will never make women unhealthy by keeping them from their abortions.

But I think it is Rick Santorum who takes the cake by saying that secular humanists and atheists are attempting to take “faith and crushing it.” That is of course, absurd. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Environmentalists are all welcome in the Obama White House. Consider, more specifically, what Santorum went on to say:

“When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is… a government that gives you rights. What’s left are no unalienable rights. What’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it… Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.”

Wow. No one I know would vote for this man, so how is it that he’s even a viable candidate?

Just how has Obama’s “hostility to faith in America” manifested itself? Obama issued a rule requiring church-owned and church-run institutions to cover abortions and contraceptives which are not accepted by Catholic doctrine. Obama, in a display of bipartisan (that is, secularists and atheists) leadership marginally altered the rule in an attempt to placate a bunch of Catholic bishops who wear funny hats who then responded by declaring themselves implacable on issues of Catholic doctrine. Their arrogance is simply stunning.

In his speech at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama attempted to please his audience by reading New Testament scripture from his teleprompter in an attempt to argue for economic and social justice. Conservatives blasted him for misrepresenting the Bible and ignoring its context (while conceding that his reading skills are often exemplary).

So is Obama fighting a war against Christianity? Of course not: I am sure he will want at least some of their votes.

Romney and Gingrich, however, are just cynically pandering to religious conservatives, something the President would never do. Santorum, may be sincere in his beliefs, but I doubt it. Still, I don’t think a Christian worldview is an appropriate philosophy for a U.S. presidential candidate to espouse, much less a winning platform to run on.

The Founders decided to institutionalize freedom of religion and the President has more wisely seen fit to have the church fall under the purview of the state. And all those references to God, the Creator, and Divine Providence in the Declaration of Independence? Simply typographical errors according to the White House Press Office.

Within our governmental framework, religion has thrived, so more needs to be done to increase secular strength. No other large industrialized nation has nearly so many regular churchgoers as does the United States, a shame the administration is trying to change. Even though faith survives Nicki Minaj’s burlesque at the Grammys, we people most fair and objective, the media, will try and do our share to ridicule any attempts by Republicans to bring attention to the so-called “war on religion.”

Bud Light Presents Real Men of Genius

Background: cue Real Men of Genius soundtrack

Narrator: Bud Light presents Real Men of Genius

Singer: Real Men of Genius

Narrator: Today we salute you mister really, really, really bad president.

Singer: Mister really, really, really bad president.

Narrator: cheap political stunts, broken promises of all sorts, and any amount of spinning it takes to get reelected, all delivered with the skill and flair of Ron Burgundy.

Singer: I sure can read good.

Narrator: deficits beyond comprehension, millions of lost jobs, and a food stamp recovery. As soon as you start the state of the union, the taunts begin ‘Is that all you got, playa?’

Singer: free abortions and solar cars.

Narrator: you said you’d heal the planet, end war, and stop manmade global warming.

Singer: speechwriter says they’re metaphors.

Narrator: you blazed a new normal for America: alienating allies; crawling to the Chinese; Russian resets; bowing down to men in bathrobes from Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Singer: dignity is overrated.

Narrator: so crack open an ice cold Bud Light, oh deceptor of the District, because the way you play politics with the golden flame of freedom will soon leave us all in the dark.

Singer: mister really, really, really bad president.

Narrator: Anheuser Busch, Saint Louis, Missouri