Monday, February 28, 2011

New on NewsReal - Who Asked You? "Inception" Cinematographer Decries "Madness" in Wisconsin

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Just because you did good work on a great movie does not mean your political opinions matter. Somebody should have told that to cinematographer Wally Pfister before he accepted Inception’s Academy Award for Best Cinematography; that way we might have been spared a lecture about Wisconsin’s horribly oppressed unions. Jim Hoft has the scoop on Pfister’s acceptance speech shout-out to his union crew, and his backstage elaboration:
“I think that what is going on in Wisconsin is kind of madness right now,” Pfister says. “I have been a union member for 30 years and what the union has given to me is security for my family. They have given me health care in a country that doesn’t provide health care and I think unions are a very important part of the middle class in America all we are trying to do is get a decent wage and have medical care.”
Actually, the country has given you health care, and a whole lot more. It’s given you a wage that’s much better than “decent” and the opportunity to work on movies and accept awards for them. What you really mean is that the government hasn’t provided healthcare (there’s a reason for that which has nothing to do with its heartlessness: widespread government healthcare doesn’t work).

And considering that only 6.9% of private-sector workers belong to a union, the average American isn’t getting that decent wage or medical care from one (dare I suggest they might be getting them from evil businessmen like the Koch brothers?). So much for being “a very important part of the middle class.”

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Conservatism at a Crossroads

Today my NRB colleague Chris Queen has a blog post with a good overview of important issues all conservatives should be able to agree on, but unfortunately, it rests on a deeply flawed premise:
I think the Right is at a crucial crossroads. If we have too many more moments like these, conservatives will be known for what we can’t agree on more than what we can. I believe it’s time for the Right to rally around certain issues and unite. There’s too much that true conservatives can unite around, and that’s what this list is about.

I’d like to make one note here: in this post I’m avoiding certain social issues for one particular reason. While there are plenty of conservatives who are passionate about abortion, traditional marriage, and several other issues, we often have to walk on eggshells when dealing with such issues. My intention is for this post to be a rallying cry, rather than a flashpoint for further debate, so I’m staying clear of some of these potentially more contentious issues.
Conservatism is at a crossroads, all right...but that crossroads is the choice to either stick to our principles or abandon them. Conservatism is undergoing a critical battle for its soul right now, with libertines and cultural leftists within the movement who want to stigmatize and drive out social issues, and avoiding that discussion is functionally equivalent to surrendering those issues to the Left.

Further, social issues simply cannot be separated from the first principles of conservatism. As the murder of innocent human beings, abortion is clearly a liberty issue, and to be pro-choice is nothing less than to reject the Declaration of Independence. And as for marriage, the Founders were clear that self-governing societies don't work if institutions like the family aren't strong and stable. Don't expect to make any progress making government less paternalistic if marriage goes down.

Lastly, on every "unifying" issue Chris lists, there is still intense disagreement, on philosophical, practical, and political grounds. How do fights between pro-life conservatives and pro-abortion Republicans make us "known for what we can’t agree on more than what we can," but fights between Israel supporters and Ron Paul cultists not? How is arguing against gay marriage divisive, but arguing against people like David Frum, who wants to merely "improve" ObamaCare rather than get rid of it, not?

Bottom line: whenever you stand on any principle, you are inviting division and opposition. It's unavoidable, and real principle and courage is about standing up for what's right regardless of how challenging it will be. We can't expect to get anything done as long as we're constantly obsessing over who we're going to alienate, because once you start jettisoning principles for convenience, it's only a matter of time before you have nothing left.

Friday, February 25, 2011

ALL Commercial: Planned Parenthood's Bunnies

From American Life League:

New on NewsReal - John Avlon Gives Hysterical Madison Protesters a Dose of Reality

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

John Avlon’s wingnut-hunting shtick usually takes the form of biased anti-conservative tirades, but every now and then he manages to call out the other side, too. In his latest Daily Beast column, he takes on the left-wing protestors in my home state of Wisconsin for their hysterical opposition to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to get the state budget under control and reform public-sector unions. Aptly labeling the protest “an unwelcome recurrence of politics being treated as apocalypse,” Avlon writes:
We’ve certainly seen a full range of left-wing-nuttery at the protests, from the obligatory Nazi/Hitler comparisons on signs to Democratic elected officials getting into the overheated action. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) declared his solidarity with the mob, saying “every once in a while you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” while the esteemed Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said, “There is an unbelievable parallel and a real connection that I can readily identify with the people in the streets of Cairo and Madison, Wisconsin.” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) just cut to the chase and called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker a “dictator.”

To top off the ugliness, there has been a mini-Twitter rampage of kindly folks calling for Walker’s death. They’ve forgotten about Gabby Giffords pretty fast, and the outrage should be more widespread than it’s been to date. But too often, situational ethics is the operative mode in politics, causing partisans to excuse the inexcusable as long as it comes from their side. The attitude seems to be “they may be crazy, but they’re our crazies.”
Indeed. These guys are continuing in the not-so-proud tradition of leftist vitriol and hypocrisy that has been practiced and affirmed for years by everyone from former Democrat presidents to successful media personalities.

But double-standards for extreme rhetoric is territory we’ve been over before; the more interesting question is: how can so many people (other than, of course, the ones being shipped in by SEIU and the President of the United States) be roused to such anger and displays of ignorance? How can a proposal for a state to reduce its own employees’ benefits, which “would still leave workers better off than those in [the] private sector,” lawfully submitted to the democratic process and subjected to a “61-hour debate that was the longest in living memory,” possibly be equated with the actions of a dictator who murdered six million Jews, turned his nation into a police state, and plunged the entire world into war?

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Get Conservative

The American Principles Project has been at the forefront of what I believe to be the most important fight within the Right going on today: whether or not conservatism is going to remain pro-life and pro-family, or if it's going to degenerate into a slightly less embarrassing version of libertarianism. I'd like to call your attention to their blog, Get Conservative, which has a petition you should sign to voice your support for all of conservatism's indivisible facets.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No, the Koch Brothers Aren't Pulling Walker's Strings

Give liberals a rich guy or two to hate, and like clockwork they'll conjure up the most insipid fantasies about how they're controlling everything. Such has been the pathetic spectacle of Charles and David Koch, businessmen alleged to be the puppet masters behind Scott Walker's proposed union reforms.

Unfortunately for the Left, there's no there there. As Matthew Shafer notes, "a would-be exposé from the New York Times couldn’t establish a single financial interest the Koch brothers would have in busting public-sector unions in Wisconsin." And at Power Line, John Hindraker took a look at the numbers, and found that the truth is pretty underwhelming:
Lipton leaves that claim hanging, and never tells his readers how much the Koch PAC contributed to Walker's campaign. In fact, the total was $43,000. That was out of more than $11 million that Walker raised, and $37.4 million that was spent, altogether, on the 2010 race for Governor of Wisconsin. Which means that people associated with Koch Industries contributed a whopping one-tenth of one percent of what was spent on last year's election. So why is the Times running scare headlines about the "Billionaire Brothers' Money?"
He also found that big corporate moolah isn't exactly exclusive GOP territory (click to enlarge):

So, is Koch Industries one of the largest sources of political cash, in Wisconsin or elsewhere? Not even close. In fact, nearly all of the top moneybags in politics are on the Democratic side of the aisle [...] You have to get down to number 19 before you find a big-time donor that gives significantly more to Republicans than Democrats. And at $2 million an election cycle, the Kochs have a long way to go before they can be considered big-time contributors.

What's more, of the top 20 donors, 12--more than half--are unions. Isn't there an untold story here? Aren't the Koch brothers lonely rebels who are trying to offset the monolithic power and unparalleled financial muscle of the unions, especially the public employee unions? Isn't that what the Wisconsin story is really about?
Making boogeymen out of donations from businessmen stems from the Progressive practice of labeling any policy goal or interest that doesn't line up with the Progressive agenda as a "special interest" automatically opposed to the public good. The truth is, all organizations that try to sway policy in either direction on anything - tax cuts, defense spending, health care, Israel, guns, abortion, gay marriage, environmental regulations, education, you name it - have an "interest" of some sort, and can just as easily be defined as a "special interest group."

Liberals are also alternating between glee and outrage over the audio of a call some foul-mouthed soldier hater named Ian Murphy made to Walker, impersonating David Koch. The talking points on this are that Walker's a moron for falling for it, and it proves he's in cahoots with Koch. But as Ann Althouse points out, it reveals nothing of the sort:
You could say that it's bad that the prankster got through, but that shows that he's willing to talk to a lot of people and also that David Koch isn't a frequent caller who gets special treatment and is recognized by his caller ID and his voice and manner of speaking.

Doesn't this prank call prove that Scott Walker is not close to Koch? He doesn't recognize his voice! He doesn't drift into a more personal style of speech. He treats him like a generic political supporter.
Greg Sargent summarizes the "controversial" bits:
Walker doesn't bat an eye when Koch describes the opposition as "Democrat bastards."
I wouldn't bat an eye, either. These are Democrats we're talking about.
Walker reveals that he and other Republicans are looking at whether they can charge an "ethics code violation if not an outright felony" if unions are paying for food or lodging for any of the Dem state senators.

Sounds to me like that would be worth looking into. I'm not aware that any of that is going on, and accordingly, Walker hasn't publicly made any such accusation. What's the problem?
Walker says he's sending out notices next week to some five or six thousand state workers letting them know that they are "at risk" of layoffs.

"Beautiful, beautiful," the Koch impersonator replies. "You gotta crush that union."
Walker's been saying that in public, too. As for "Koch's" reaction, I agree with Althouse: "Walker just ignores that stuff and goes on with his standard points, which is probably the standard strategy that most politicians use when people interact with them."
In a key detail, Walker reveals that he is, in effect, laying a trap for Wisconsin Dems. He says he is mulling inviting the Senate and Assembly Dem and GOP leaders to sit down and talk, but only if all the missing Senate Dems return to work.

Then, tellingly, he reveals that the real game plan here is that if they do return, Republicans might be able to use a procedural move to move forward with their proposal.

"If they're actually in session for that day and they take a recess, this 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they'd have a quorum because they started out that way," he says. "If you heard that I was going to talk to them that would be the only reason why."
Again, what's the problem? Wisconsin Democrats aren't acting in good faith. They're not doing the people's business. Walker is discussing ways to get them to do their jobs. Democrats opened this can of worms by fleeing the state instead of voting. (Besides, it's not as if the Dems don't know the quorum rules themselves.)
Then the fake Koch says this: "Bring a baseball bat. That's what I'd do."

Walker doesn't bat an eye, and responds: "I have one in my office, you'd be happy with that. I've got a slugger with my name on it."
Genuine calls to violence are over the line (except when Democrats do it, apparently), but come on. It's a private conversation. People make jokes like this ("knocking some sense into" political foes) all the time. What, do liberals think these guys were conspiring to beat up Democrats? Or to just intimidate them? (Nope, that can't be it - liberals don't have a problem with political intimidation using melee weapons.)
Murphy: "What we were thinking about the crowds was, planting some troublemakers."

Walker: "[Pause]...we thought about that. My only gut reaction to that would be, right now, the lawmakers I talk to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of this.The teachers union did some polling and focus groups [...] My only fear would be if there was a ruckus caused, is that, that would scare the public into thinking, maybe the governor's gotta settle to avoid all these problems. Whereas I'm saying, hey, y'know, people can can handle this, people can protest, this is Madison, y'know, full of the 60s liberals, let 'em protest. It's not gonna affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of the people tell us we're doing the right thing, let 'em protest all they want. Um, so that's my gut reaction is that I think it's actually good if they're constant, if they're noisy, but they're quiet, nothing happens, because sooner or later the media stops finding them interesting.
This is the only snippet of any real potential significance. And yeah, it sounds bad. If somebody in Walker's team really suggested that, I'd like a fuller explanation. However, Walker did not act on any such suggestion. Besides, the thuggery of left-wing and union protesters is so well known that it simply isn't plausible that any reasonably-competent Republican would consider it worthwhile to fake any of it.

And for what it's worth, two of Althouse's commenters have more charitable, entirely-plausible explanations. Madawaskan says, "Walker does a big pregnant pause when 'Koch' mentions the plants. You can almost tell that Walker is thinking-'crazy' to himself." And liberal Dose of Sanity says, "As far as calling the liberals bastards, 60s liberals, baseball bat, plant protesters, etc etc it seems obvious he's doing that to appease the 'Koch' caller's request - none of those were brought up unsolicited." It seems like Walker was being diplomatic with someone he thought was a supporter, and - quite reasonably - didn't think he needed to waste time with niceties in what he thought was a private conversation.
Walker appears to agree when "Koch" calls David Axelrod a "son of a bitch." Walker tells an anecdote in which he was having dinner with Jim Sensebrenner, and at a nearby table he saw Mika Brzezinski and Greta VanSusteren having dinner with David Axelrod. Then this exchange occured:

WALKER: I introduced myself.

FAKE KOCH: That son of a bitch.

WALKER: Yeah, no kidding, right?
How dare he? David Axelrod is positively the salt of the earth!
FAKE KOCH: Well, I'll tell ya what, Scott. Once you crush these bastards, I'll fly ya out to Cali and really show you a good time.

WALKER: Alright. That would be outstanding. Thanks for all the support and helping us move the cause forward.
Good Lord, Scott Walker responded politely to an invitation! Better start the impeachment proceedings right away!

If all of the above hasn't sated your Koch thirst, Allahpundit's got his own roundup of Koch coverage, including a response from Koch Foundation execs and a look at some of the foundation's not-so-conservative political causes. Bottom line: the Koch brothers are a couple of run-of-the-mill right-leaning political donors who leftists have decided to drag out of the mud to tarnish Scott Walker and his efforts without engaging the merits of the issue.

Scott Walker for President?

I've seen the idea pop up several times over the past couple weeks (see here, here, and here). Such talk is to be expected, with the boldness of his plans and the outrageousness of the opposition's theatrics catching the nation's attention. It's also an extremely appealing thought, considering the lousiness of the rest of the 2012 Republican field, the backbone Walker's shown in the face of intense opposition, and the fact that he's just a strong candidate - an experienced executive, a charismatic speaker with common-man appeal, and strong on both fiscal and social conservatism. He's basically Chris Christie with less style and more substance.

However, it's best to forget about it this time around. He just got into office (and we all remember the last time a popular Republican governor resigned to pursue a bigger platform), has a lot on his plate, and signed on to turn Wisconsin around. Sorry - we need him too much here to give him to the rest of the country just yet. But 2016 or beyond? Hmm......

So, About This Mess in Wisconsin...

Sorry I haven't been blogging on the epic battle that's been going on over the past couple weeks between Wisconsin's new governor, Scott Walker, and the public-sector unions. I've written an editorial with my take on the matter which I hope will be in the Fond du Lac Reporter in the next few days, at which point I'll put the director's cut up here on CFO.

In the meantime, here are some of the best general-overview articles I've seen on the controversy. They should all be read in full if you've got the time:

"Wisconsin Myths and Facts" by Matthew Shaffer at National Review Online

"The American Pharisees of Madison" by Marvin Folkertsma at American Thinker

"The Means of Coercion" by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal

"Public Unions Must Go" by Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online

"Lost: The common good" by the Editors of the Chicago Tribune

"The Worst Generation's war in Wisconsin" by Ruth Ann Dailey in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As for me, for now I'll just say that the reactions by all sides have yet again conclusively demonstrated that lies, violence and venom are hallmarks of the Left, not conservatives or the Tea Party; and that Governor Walker is doing the right thing and showing tremendous courage and resolve. More to come later.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New on NewsReal - Peter Beinart Confuses "Democracy" with "Freedom" in the Middle East

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

At CPAC 2011, Ann Coulter made the following claim:
Democrats are all for meddling in other countries –- but only provided a change of regime will harm U.S. national security interests.
It probably wasn’t his intention, but this week the Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart has set out to prove her right. Beinart (who, recall, doesn’t think the War on Terror is a war and says conservatives only support profiling because we don’t believe people who look like us are capable of bad things) has chosen to lecture us about “the hypocrisy of the right’s shallow rhetoric on liberty and human freedom,” allegedly displayed by those of us who aren’t all that optimistic that a post-Mubarak Egypt will be any more free or humane:
[T]he people with the biggest megaphones on the American right—people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich—are not preaching democratic idealism. They’re warning that Egypt and Bahrain are about to become Iranian- or Taliban-style theocracies. They’re comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter for not standing behind our favored strongmen. And they’re suggesting that, at the very least, America should demand that Islamist parties be banned. When it comes to Muslims and democracy, much of the supposedly idealistic American right turns out to be pretty pessimistic. It turns out that the people uninterested in the human rights of Muslims at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay aren’t all that concerned about them in Egypt or Bahrain either.

What human-rights disinterest are you referring to, Peter? The way I remember it, conservatives overwhelmingly condemned the actual abuse and the military punished those responsible all on its own, while waterboarding has saved American lives. And Beck, Palin and Gingrich’s doubts are far from groundless—the radical Muslim Brotherhood is among the factions vying for control of Egypt’s new government, and as David Horowitz sarcastically pointed out to Bill Kristol, recent history doesn’t suggest great odds for Egypt:
Perhaps the elections in Egypt will turn out better than those in Gaza where Hamas now rules a terrorist state; Iraq, which has instituted an Islamic Republic; Lebanon, where Hezbollah now rules a terrorist state; and Afghanistan, which is a kleptocracy wooing the terrorist theocracy in Iran.
Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New on NewsReal - Top 10 Parts of the Constitution Twisted or Ignored by the Left

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The United States Constitution is one of the most well thought-out works ever created by mere mortals. As the Federalist Papers make clear, America’s Founding Fathers carefully considered nearly every aspect of human nature, the demands of freedom, and the nature of government when drafting it, and created a system of government designed to effectively carry out its duties without imperiling liberty, and calibrated to properly balance society’s competing commitments to self-rule and objective morality, to liberty and security, and more. Under the Constitution, the United States became the freest, most prosperous, and most consequential nation in history.

But to the Left, this magnificent document is at best a relic of a bygone era which has outlived its usefulness; at worst the product of long-dead, bigoted elites. Philosophically, they have inherited President Woodrow Wilson’s view that the Constitution was based on a theory of government mankind has since evolved past:
The makers of our federal Constitution followed the scheme as they found it expounded in Montesquieu, followed it with genuine scientific enthusiasm. The admirable expositions of the Federalist read like thoughtful applications of Montesquieu to the political needs and circumstances of America. They are full of the theory of checks and balances. The President is balanced off against Congress, Congress against the President, and each against the courts. Our statesmen of the earlier generations quoted in no one so often as Montesquieu, and they quoted him always as a scientific standard in the field of politics. Politics is turned into mechanics under his touch. The theory of gravitation is supreme.

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.

Fortunately, the definitions and prescriptions of our constitutional law, though conceived in the Newtonian spirit and upon the Newtonian principle, are sufficiently broad and elastic to allow for the play of life and circumstance.
Accordingly, the needs of their agenda dictate a variety of approaches to the Constitution, depending on the issue. When America needs to be reminded of its irredeemably-evil history, the Constitution is an abomination. When a certain passage seems useful out of context, it becomes an example of the Founders’ wisdom (and pay no attention to that history book behind the curtain). And when a passage seems to get in the way, it’s time to break out the historical relativism.

No more. This weekend, we’re highlighting ten of the most distorted or ignored passages in the Constitution, listed in the order in which they appear in the text. Let's get started.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New on NewsReal - Paul Begala Accuses Republicans of Hypocrisy to Distract You from Obamanomics

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Former Clinton flunky Paul Begala thinks he’s discovered a novel comeback to spending cutters, but all his latest Daily Beast column really does is show how little the Democrats take fiscal discipline seriously. Begala applies a variant of the old “conservatives want to cut everything except what benefits them” routine to Tea Party favorite Rand Paul and his fellow Kentucky Republicans:

Kentucky has given us Makers Mark bourbon, Churchill Downs, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kentucky has also given us Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers. While Rogers was once dubbed the “Prince of Pork” and McConnell has hauled so much pork he’s at risk for trichinosis, they are now converts to Sen. Paul’s anti-government gospel.  McConnell says President Obama’s new budget is “unserious” and “irresponsible” because it merely cuts projected deficits by $1.1 trillion.  “The people who voted for a new direction in November have a five-word response,” McConnell said, “We don’t have the money.”
Yes, Paul. Republicans, like most politicians, often don’t practice what they preach. And your point is what, exactly? Mitch McConnell spends like a drunken sailor; therefore Tea Partiers shouldn’t be taken seriously? Nope, that doesn’t compute, since “Tea Party” and “Republican” aren’t synonymous to begin with—the Tea Party, after all, is a informal shared banner under which many Americans have united, not an organized political party with the power to enforce uniform standards on politicians; in fact, Tea Partiers and Capitol Hill Republicans clash on this very issue.

Hal Rogers was the Prince of Pork; therefore the national debt isn’t out of control? Have you taken a look at it lately? Even to a corporate fatcat shilling, war-profiteer loving right-wing monster like me, fourteen trillion dollars sounds like a lot of money.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Half of All Republicans Are Birthers...According to Democrat Pollsters

In a bid to keep their meal ticket going, WorldNetDaily is pushing a new poll that allegedly reveals that “only 3 in 10 members of the GOP believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States”:
With the issue still disputed in a number of court cases and under review by nearly a dozen states considering laws that presidential candidates document their constitutional eligibility, the poll by Public Policy Polling found that only 28 percent of the Republicans surveyed believe Obama was born in the U.S. while 51 percent do not.

Another 21 percent say they are not sure.
“Any thought that the birther theory has been put to rest can be thrown out the window,” Dean Debnam, the president of the Democratic-leaning polling firm, told Politico.

“That view is still widely held in Republican circles,” he said. [Emphasis added.]
Granted, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie’s quest to find Obama’s birth certificate once and for all ended in failure, and Obama has brought some distrust over his origins on himself—he has a record of misrepresenting details in his own biography for political gain. So it’s not completely surprising that a not-infinitesimal percentage of Republicans would have doubts. But half? I doubt it.

I've duked it out with Birthers time and time (and time and time and time) again, so I won’t revisit the merits of believing Barack Obama was secretly born in Kenya. Here I’d like to instead call attention to the words in bold. Shouldn’t the head of a left-leaning firm (check out their list of clients, which includes the National Education Association and the North Carolina chapters of Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club) discussing how their poll reflects on Republicans set off a few alarm bells?

Leftists are known for using dubious polls to smear conservatives as nutjobs, and they especially like having the Birther club to beat Republicans over the head with. During the midterms, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out memos directing candidates to try making their races about whether or not their opponents thought Obama was a natural-born citizen. Why? Because it’s easier to talk about that than the really bad ideas they want to implement in office. As Kurt Schlichter wrote for Big Journalism on February 8, 2010:
The last thing we need as the truth and power of our core beliefs in small government, a strong defense and the Bill of Rights are becoming evident again even in places like Massachusetts is to distract and discredit ourselves by tolerating weird, nutty conspiracy theories.  It’s also a dream come true for our opponents – a chance to dodge the real questions about out-of-control spending, crippling taxes and hug-a-jihadi terrorist policies and to instead focus on the irrational fixations of a few nuts.

Every time some right-wing journalist “raises a question” about the President’s birth certificate, Rahm Emanuel smiles.
One would think experienced right-wing media outlets would know the Left well enough to recognize propaganda by a hostile entity when they saw it. But instead, WND can’t embrace and disseminate it fast enough. I’m sure President Obama and the Democratic Party are most appreciative.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New on NewsReal - Evil Republicans Take Aim at "Sesame Street"

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

As we all know, the Republican Party is the single most evil organization in human history. Republicans hate the poor, hate the environment, hate teachers, hate foreigners, and generally hate joy and happiness in all its forms. And now the Daily Beast’s Samuel Jacobs says the GOP is poised to undertake their most heartless act yet: “kill Big Bird.”

Jacobs is citing a report in the New York Times which describes House Republicans’ latest batch of proposed budget cuts, meant to reduce federal spending by $100 billion. “Dozens of programs” are on the chopping block, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s government funding.

The CPB, of course, isn’t happy:
We understand the challenges to our economy as a result of increasing budget deficits, but the proposed elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) will not address this challenge in a meaningful way; it represents a disproportionate attack on public media. Further, elimination of CPB would impact millions of Americans who rely on public media for free, quality content that has a mission to educate, inform and inspire. This proposed action would directly result in cuts to the 1,300 public television and radio stations that provide this service; impact thousands of jobs in rural, suburban and urban communities throughout the country already reeling from a faltering economy; and eliminate a valued service – content that strengthens our civil society through children’s and educational programming, lifelong learning for all Americans, and quality entertainment.
First things first: This wouldn’t destroy Sesame Street. For decades, Sesame Street has been a staple of kids’ TV. Sesame Workshop boasted in 2010 that their 122-time Emmy-winning show “was rated THE NUMBER ONE favorite show of preschoolers” (emphasis in the original), and TV Squad says:
With so many choices, it’s amazing that older shows, like the long-running ‘Sesame Street,’ can still draw the attention of little folks. Yet, the four-decade-old program is still going strong — so strong, in fact, that the show has garnered its highest ratings in years.
Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New on NewsReal - The X-Men Get Political in "First Class"

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

For the better part of the past decade, moviegoers have gotten a new batch of comic-book adaptations every summer. The trend continues in 2011 with Captain America, Thor, Green Lantern, and the latest film in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class.

Set in the 1960s, First Class goes back to the origins of the mutant team, before leader Professor Xavier and archenemy Magneto became foes. And as the just-released trailer for the film reveals, this prequel has an unexpected political twist.

It seems that the X-Men intervene in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now, there are a couple different directions this could go: a) President John F. Kennedy is, for whatever reason, unable to stop Soviet aggression himself, so it’s up to our heroes to save the day, or b) the X-Men have to get involved because the United States and the Soviet Union are both hell-bent on settling their differences in the most violent way possible rather than talking to each other. Either scenario could pan out—we all know how Hollywood feels about America and Communists, but we also know how much leftists revere JFK, and may be reluctant to portray the country as too evil under him.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New on NewsReal - Sheila Jackson Lee Comes Out Against Interracial Slapstick

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

I confess: I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. My interest in pro sports is pretty much limited to whether or not anything good comes out of the big game’s annual crop of Super Bowl commercials. We got a couple winners this year, but Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has declared one ad not only a failure, but an outrage, as well.

Pepsi ran this commercial, in which a black man on a park bench smiles at a pretty white woman who sits down nearby, and his wife angrily throws a Pepsi Max can at his head, which instead hits the woman when he ducks.
Lee’s reaction:
“In this month of African-American history where we’re trying to celebrate what is good and great, it certainly seems ridiculous that Pepsi would utilize this kind of humor,” she said. “It was not humorous. It was demeaning — an African-American woman throwing something at an African-American male and winding up hitting a Caucasian woman.”

Jackson Lee said she has a sense of humor and believes in the First Amendment. She also said the Super Bowl is a great time for “fellowship” with family members.

“That is why I’m so disappointed with the Pepsi advertisement that showed a demeaning role for African American women, in an ad that showed a can being thrown and being utilized to wound someone else or hit someone else,” she said.

“I think that we can come together in a much better way, sell Pepsi, and as well talk about good nutrition,” she said. “But, frankly, I consider this insulting, and so did many other women of all colors.”
Many? Name five. It’s a little hard to pin down the Congresswoman’s objection—is she coming down on the very concept of slapstick humor, or simply that Pepsi would dare depict black people up to the same sort of shenanigans that America has been laughing at white people doing for years?

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ALL Alert: Catholics vs. Catholic Health Association

This just in, from Michael Hichborn at American Life League:

CATHOLICS URGE BISHOPS TO END RELATIONSHIP WITH CATHOLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION

Washington, DC (9 February 2011) – American Life League is urging the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to dissolve its relationship with the Catholic Health Association, following a series of reports linking CHA to support for abortion.

American Life League cited the following reasons for the USCCB to end its ties with CHA:
• CHA fully endorsed pro-abortion Obamacare, in direct opposition to the U.S. bishops
• CHA member Catholic Healthcare West gives millions of dollars to pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage organizations
• CHA’s recent Chairman of the Board was a “co-architect” in the creation of Healthy San Francisco, which covers birth control and abortion on demand
• CHA president, Sr. Carol Keehan, maintains a duplicitous position in claiming that local bishops have the authority to interpret the U.S. bishops’ ethical and religious directives (ERD), while maintaining that St. Joseph’s Hospital properly applied the ERDs in approving and performing an abortion in 2009.
“It’s clear that CHA is more interested in politics and money than maintaining Catholic teaching,” said Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League’s project, Defend the Faith.

Last month, in an online video report entitled, “Nun-Catholic Healthcare,” ALL revealed that CHA spends one fourth of its annual budget to pay its six highest paid employees, including Sr. Keehan’s $900,000 salary.

 
“When one considers that the mission of the USCCB is to ‘support the ministry of bishops with an emphasis on evangelization,’ maintaining a relationship with a group like CHA can only hinder that mission,” said Hichborn.

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Jim Sedlak at 540.659.7685.

Leon Wolf, Scourge of Pseudo-Cons Everywhere

Leon Wolf, author of a gloriously merciless review of Meghan McCain's book Dirty Sexy Politics, has a couple of excellent posts up at RedState taking to the woodshed some not-so-conservative views and figures who reside on the Right.

First, CPAC and GOProud apologists:
Of course, conservatives have always been willing to wander into the arena of ideas and engage in spirited debate with liberals. Who can forget Buckley’s famous exchanges with Gore Vidal? It positively begs the question, however, to assert that CPAC is a place where this must occur and that conservatives must be willing to attend for this purpose or they are shirking their responsibility.

Many conservatives (including myself) live their lives surrounded by combative liberals, whether in the work place or in our social circles. We are constantly on the defense of our principles. The very reason we attend CPAC is that it is healthy once a year to be around like minded individuals and recharge our batteries for the fight in the upcoming year. It is not the Free Exchange of Ideas and Debate Club Conference. It is the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Of course, the post attempts somewhat to skirt this problem by asserting that conservatives can believe in all kinds of ideas. This assertion is based on a faulty taxonomy of conservatism that could well have been pulled from an essay written by a left-wing journalist assigned to cover conservatives like they were Gorillas in the Mist [...]

It is of course the libertarian’s right to believe and think as he does, but it is important for conservatives to be honest with ourselves on this point: many areas in which the libertarian desires to reduce the size and scope of government are borne of fundamentally liberal instincts.
Second, pro-appeasement libertarians:
You see, there is almost nothing more important to Gillespie and his ilk than being blasé about Islamic terrorism. At this point, it has actually become tiresome. Yes, Nick, we are all very impressed at how very little you care about the government protecting the lives of your fellow citizens, and we are all admiringly agape at your daring suggestion that we have nothing to fear from Islamic terrorists. The victims of the families of 9/11, the USS Cole bombing, and the World Trade Center bombing I’m sure find you edgy and cool and would like to hear your views on the relative merits of The White Stripes and The Black Keys at their next cocktail party.

Of course, the real “point” of Gillespie’s post is for a hard-boiled Libertarian to lecture mainstream Republicans on what they ought to do to win elections. Ordinary people might find this as out of place as me lecturing Kobe Bryant on what it takes to win NBA titles, but Gillespie manages the trick with such panache that none of the other authors or commenters at Reason (who are also smarter and much more in tune with todays voters than anyone who might read such a pedestrian site as RedState) seem to notice what a majestic buffoon he makes of himself in the process. To recap, the Republican party has held the White House for 20 of the last 30 years with pro-life, anti-gay marriage candidates; the Libertarian party has never cracked double digits in a Presidential election, ever. Even in 2008, with Republican brand identity at generational lows and a relatively high profile candidate in Bob Barr, the Libertarians managed to get beat by Ralph Nader who was running without the Green Party nomination. If we are smart enough to follow Gillespie’s advice, someday the GOP nominee might well reach the soaring heights of barely beating Cynthia McKinney. 
Expert articulation of critical messages. Go read 'em both.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New on NewsReal - Reagan vs. Palin? Patti Davis Says the Sarahcuda Would Make Her Dad Spin in His Grave

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Leftists are generally happy to get a hold of so-called conservatives who are willing to bash the Right, but their favorite mouthpieces are the relatives of high-profile Republicans who are willing to go against the grain. A couple weeks ago, they paraded Ron Reagan Jr. around to suggest his father’s Alzheimer’s began in the Oval Office, and one of the Gipper’s other left-wing kids, Patti Davis, recently sat down for an interview with The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, in which she tried to argue that Reagan wouldn’t be much of a Sarah Palin fan if he were alive today:
When I tell her that Sarah Palin will be headlining one of the Reagan birthday celebrations, as keynote speaker of a lavish dinner at the former family ranch, Davis exclaims. “Are you kidding me?” She adds, “As far as Sarah Palin is concerned, I think he would be completely baffled at her fondness for shooting animals.”
Wait a minute—Reagan was against hunting? If that sounds surprising, that’s because Davis simply made it up. In a May 1983 speech before the National Rifle Association, the president called “America’s sportsmen, hunters, and fishermen” the nation’s “foremost conservationists of our national resources,” and said he “deeply appreciate[d]” the NRA’s efforts to teach children “marksmanship, firearms safety, and some of the values and ethics of hunting and the outdoors.” In the same speech, Reagan also laments “a kind of elitist attitude in Washington that vast natural resources must be locked up to save the planet from mankind.” Reagan would most likely say that, by hunting, Palin was participating in a proud, valuable American tradition; if he would find anything “baffling,” it would more likely be how little his own daughter understands his views.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Today would have been the late, great Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. Many rightfully remember him for his unwavering support of free markets, limited government, and those suffering under Soviet oppression, but here it seems fitting to highlight one aspect of Reagan's philosophy of liberty that the Right may be in danger of forgetting. In 1983, Reagan wrote a stirring essay called "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation" which demands to be read in full by all who call themselves conservatives. A key excerpt:
Regrettably, we live at a time when some persons do not value all human life. They want to pick and choose which individuals have value. Some have said that only those individuals with "consciousness of self" are human beings. One such writer has followed this deadly logic and concluded that "shocking as it may seem, a newly born infant is not a human being."

A Nobel Prize winning scientist has suggested that if a handicapped child "were not declared fully human until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice." In other words, "quality control" to see if newly born human beings are up to snuff.

Obviously, some influential people want to deny that every human life has intrinsic, sacred worth. They insist that a member of the human race must have certain qualities before they accord him or her status as a "human being."

Events have borne out the editorial in a California medical journal which explained three years before Roe v. Wade that the social acceptance of abortion is a "defiance of the long-held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition, or status."

Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the "quality of life" ethic.

I have no trouble identifying the answer our nation has always given to this basic question, and the answer that I hope and pray it will give in the future. American was founded by men and women who shared a vision of the value of each and every individual. They stated this vision clearly from the very start in the Declaration of Independence, using words that every schoolboy and schoolgirl can recite:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We fought a terrible war to guarantee that one category of mankind — black people in America — could not be denied the inalienable rights with which their Creator endowed them. The great champion of the sanctity of all human life in that day, Abraham Lincoln, gave us his assessment of the Declaration's purpose. Speaking of the framers of that noble document, he said:
This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on. . . They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.
He warned also of the danger we would face if we closed our eyes to the value of life in any category of human beings:
I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?
When Congressman John A. Bingham of Ohio drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the rights of life, liberty, and property to all human beings, he explained that all are "entitled to the protection of American law, because its divine spirit of equality declares that all men are created equal." He said the right guaranteed by the amendment would therefore apply to "any human being."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New on NewsReal - Lefties Poison Conservatives for the Greater Good in "The Last Supper"

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Last I checked, we were supposed to be heading towards a new Golden Age of Civility in which everyone will respect each other’s views, police their own side’s misbehavior, and, above all, make sure to never, ever, ever say anything that could possibly be misconstrued as a call to violence. Well, apparently some lefties in Madison, Wisconsin didn’t get the memo; the Mercury Players Theater is putting on a play about a group of young leftists who decide to start murdering conservatives—and not metaphorically:
Five lefty graduate students in Iowa City gather for weekly dinners to revel in their shared (and sometimes smug) world view. The first dinner we witness ignites a surprising shared mission when one of the students invites the truck driver who offered him roadside assistance to join them. This young man, a patriotic Desert Storm vet, first startles the group when he insists on saying grace before the vegan meal and then goes on to praise Hitler, alarming and repulsing the other dinners. Threats and violence ensue, and one of the hosts stabs him.

As he lies bleeding on an area rug, the quintet, after some debate and initial hand-wringing, decide that they have done society a favor by eliminating him and silencing his dangerous words. They also decide that since participating in protests and sit-ins has been a futile way to fight the power, this new dinner party/murder method may be a more effective technique in coping with right-wing adversaries.

Soon a parade of special guests is invited to dine, and when their dinner conversation proves repellent, they are given poisoned wine and buried in the backyard. Our smarty-pants grad students toast themselves for making a difference each time and feel vindicated when they learn that their first victim, the trucker, was implicated in a heinous crime.
Things come to a head when their final guest, an infamous right-wing talk show host, turns out to not fit the stereotype they expected, leading four of the five to regret their killing spree. The apparent moral of the story, that killing people over differing views is wrong, is also the defense for its shocking subject matter:
“By the end of the play, everyone turns such a corner and you realize how devastating it really is to go down that path,” said [director Doug] Holtz.

The audience seems to concur, with some saying the play jabs at extremists on both sides of the aisle.

“I think it plays on both sides,” said audience member Heather Stotts. “I think it’s obvious this is a show that pokes fun at liberals as well as conservatives.”
Okay, fine. The play isn’t telling people to go kill conservatives. But Sarah Palin wasn’t telling Republicans to kill Democrats, either, and according to our liberal betters, that didn’t matter—the very use of violent imagery in the context of political opposition was allegedly enough to put the idea into people’s heads.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Bill to Cut Abortion Funding Kneecapped by Tone-Deaf Ignorance of Left-Wing Playbook

Good politicians need firm principles, the courage to stick with them, and the common sense not to kneecap their efforts right out of the gate. You’d think that last part would go without saying…but you’d be wrong.

Case in point: Republican Congressman Chris Smith and Democrat Congressman Daniel Lipinski have introduced H.R.3, which seeks to further restrict federal funding for abortion. Under existing law, public money may be used for abortions sought due to rape or incest, but the new bill would only cover cases of “forcible rape.” LifeNews.com reports that bill is meant to “roll into one permanent law all of the many provisions and riders attached to the various bills funding the federal government that are passed each year,” eliminating the need to re-fight the same battles annually.

This, predictably, has many leftists shrieking that conservatives are trying to define rape down. At the Daily Beast, pro-abortion zealot Michelle Goldberg hysterically condemns the “GOP Abortion Bill” (no mention of its Democrat co-sponsor):

Victims of statutory rape—say, a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 30-year-old man—would be on their own. So would victims of incest if they’re over 18. And while “forcible rape” isn’t defined in the criminal code, the addition of the adjective seems certain to exclude acts of rape that don’t involve overt violence—say, cases where a woman is drugged or has a limited mental capacity. “It’s basically putting more restrictions on what was defined historically as rape,” says Keenan.

Beyond that, says Keenan, the bill would give states the option of refusing Medicaid coverage for all abortions, even in the most brutal of rape cases, or when a medical complication leaves a woman’s life at risk.
These effects are only horrendous to those who can’t envision people managing to do anything without the government subsidizing it (plus those who ignore the part about dead babies). But the bill manifestly does not bar anyone from getting an abortion for any reason; it simply restricts the circumstances under which you can make your fellow citizens fork over money for that abortion.

Because of other provisions of H.R. 3, the bill’s restrictions would also affect women who don’t qualify for Medicaid or work for the federal government. During the debate over health-care reform, Bart Stupak and Joseph Pitts put forward an amendment that would have banned health-insurance policies that cover abortion, as 87 percent do, from participating in the proposed health-insurance exchanges. The Stupak-Pitts amendment would have created an overwhelming incentive for private plans to drop abortion coverage in order to be eligible for government subsidies.

It was defeated, but the new bill, H.R. 3, goes far beyond it—NARAL calls it “Stupak on Steroids.” Under the new bill, policies that cover abortion would be ineligible for the tax breaks that individuals and small businesses get when they purchase insurance. It essentially imposes a new tax on the vast majority of health-care plans unless they drop abortion coverage, even for some victims of sexual assault.
Um, Michelle? This is one of the points conservatives were trying to get across to your side during the health care debate: the less you make health care dependent upon government subsidies and beholden to government dictates, the less need there is to argue over what should or shouldn’t be funded—in a truly free market, abortion coverage would be one of many things some companies would insure, others wouldn’t, and consumers could decide accordingly.

Goldberg concludes with a warning that H.R.3 indicates a “startling new extremism in the GOP,” a party “that is willing to go further than most people realize to force women to bear children against their will.” This is pretty pedestrian feminist garbage—right-wingers are going further right all the time, evil men want to control you, and pay no attention to that ultrasound behind the curtain—but what’s unique here is her accusation that the bill “will send a message to all women that certain kinds of sexual assault don’t count as rape at all.” And she's not the only one.

On the merits, it’s obviously not true—the bill does nothing to change the way rape is investigated, prosecuted, or punished. Alleging that someone doesn’t care about rape is about as vicious and dishonorable as politics can get, yet this brand of defamation is apparently exempt from the new culture of civil discourse demanded of us in the wake of the Tucson shooting.   

The optics, though, are another matter. Targeting remaining tax subsidies for abortion is a worthy goal, but Smith and his colleagues should have expected that going after the rape exception was going to be met with a tough counteroffensive. That doesn’t mean you don’t do it, but it does mean that you either confront the issue head-on or you don’t—trying to split the difference and float new definitions for different kinds of rape, no matter how narrow or valid the legal purpose, was just asking for trouble, and should have been recognized as such right away.

Chris Smith is no rookie; he’s a fifteen-term Republican lawmaker who really has no excuse for not being more familiar with left-wing tactics. Let this be a lesson to the current Congress’s newly-elected Tea Party candidates: don’t be afraid to stick up for your principles, but pay attention to the other side. Learn to identify the openings they exploit. Most of their venom is unavoidable and can’t destroy those with the truth on their side; the true danger to conservative principles comes from self-inflicted wounds.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today's Snapshot of Conservatism in Crisis

Steven Ertelt at LifeNews reports that GOP presidential wannabe Mitch Daniels still hasn't gotten the message on the "truce" crap:

“I guess two things,” Daniels added. “One is that, first, those remarks were directed as much to the aggressors on the other side of these questions — for instance, the proponents of gay marriage — as much directed to them as anybody with whom I’m in agreement.”

Asked if liberals have called a truce on social issues, Daniels responded, “No, obviously not. I said I was thinking of them as much as my own allies when I said it,” he said about the truce.
Wait - so you think a.) that liberals would be willing to accept a truce on social issues, and b.) that they'd be willing to do so for the purpose of enacting conservative fiscal reforms? Does anyone else see how mind-blowingly stupid this is? Mitch Daniels is unfit to be president simply for being so clueless.
“The major point, though, was something different, and it was just this: I believe…. that the arithmetic of our times says we are headed for Niagara Falls, fiscally. You cannot run any kind of enterprise — private or public — on a self-governing basis as deeply in hawk as we now are and are going to be,” Daniels added. “…. to change the whole size and scope of the federal government in a radical way, then we are going to need a very broad constituency in this country to do that…. so that’s all I meant, kind of a priority matter, first things first. Maybe we could just concentrate on that for a little while, because I think that’s the most immediate threat to the republic we’ve known.”
The fiscal crisis is already at the forefront of the conservative conversation. There are no social conservatives calling on economic conservatives to put spending, ObamaCare, or any other issues on the back burner for the sake of fighting abortion or preserving marriage. Congressional Republicans are letting us down on the fiscal front, but it's not because they're distracted by social issues; it's because they're inept and spineless across the board.
Later in the interview, The Hill transcript indicates, Daniels returned to the truce issue, saying fiscal issues should take precedence and social issues like abortion should be “muted” for awhile.

“I would like to think that fixing it and saving our kids future could be a unifying moment for our country and we wouldn’t stop our disagreements or our passionate belief in these other questions, we just sort of mute them for a little while, while we try to come together on the thing that menaces us all,” he concluded.
Let me try to explain something to you, Mitch: abortion isn't controversial because it's "sinful" or "distasteful." It's controversial because IT KILLS PEOPLE. 1.2 MILLION DEAD BABIES EVERY YEAR. It's not just another political issue; it's a human rights crisis. (You claim to be pro-life. There's no excuse for you to not already get this.) And if you really understood what our Founders thought about the conditions necessary to maintain a free society, you'd see that the fate of marriage has profound implications for America's fiscal state.

This response is dead on:

“We cannot repair the economy without addressing the deep cultural issues that are tearing apart the family and society,” said Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Project.  “The conservative movement has always been about addressing ALL issues—economic, social and national security—that are in need of repair.”

“It’s unfortunate Gov. Daniels doesn’t seem to understand the winning philosophy of Ronald Reagan that brought conservatism to victory by addressing all three issues,” said Frank Cannon, President of American Principles Project.  “If Mitch Daniels is planning to run for president by running away from social issues, he will face a grassroots revolt.”

“The national furor over the expansion of abortion coverage and efforts to re-define marriage demonstrates the resistance he will face.  There is no appetite among grassroots conservatives to run away from these critical issues,” said Mr. Blom.  “Mr. Daniels is only causing divisions in the movement by this talk of a ‘truce.’”
I often wonder how many people realize the full extent of just how screwed up the Right is these days. I'm reminded of Abraham Lincoln's words in Peoria, Illinois. Speaking of a similar cancerous confusion over first principles, he lamented that our "republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust." He said we needed to "repurify it," to "wash it in white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution":
Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south—let all Americans—let all lovers of liberty everywhere—join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations.

New on NewsReal - "WikiLeaks: The Movie(s)," Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The enemies of liberty may be gaining steam in Egypt right now, but Hollywood doesn’t seem to notice. No, to them we’re still our own worst enemy. Mike Fleming at Deadline reports that no less than seven potential film projects based on cyber-anarchist Julian Assange and his whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks are under consideration:
The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal and Management 360 have partnered with financier/producer Megan Ellison to option The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, an article about WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in The New York Times Magazine written by the newspaper’s executive editor Bill Keller. Ellison, an exec producer of True Grit, will finance development through her Annapurna Pictures and she, Boal and Management 360 will produce. Boal might write the film, but that will depend on if he has time […]


His is just the latest in a growing number of Julian Assange/WikiLeaks movies that should continue to swell as more books about the controversial figure get published. I’ve heard DreamWorks is circling Inside WikiLeaks, a book that will be released February 15. It is written by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s number 2 at WikiLeaks who defected because he wanted WikiLeaks to apply journalistic discretion in the dispersal of secret government documents while Assange wanted to release as many as he could get his hands on.

There is also the $1.5 million memoir by Assange. Movie/TV rights will be handled by CAA for lit agency Peters Fraser & Dunlop, and rumors are that The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass might come attached (insiders said that’s not definitive). Among the other Assange movies that have already mobilized, Universal  Pictures will finance and distribute an Alex Gibney-directed documentary on Assange and WikiLeaks that will be produced by Gibney and former Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger, and HBO is in talks with BBC to collaborate on a pic that would be based partly on  Raffi Khatchadourian’s New Yorker article No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency. Another documentary, WikiLeaks: War, Lies and Videotape has been picked up to be distributed by Zodiak. There are two more books available for movies: WME is handling Megaleaks by Andy Greenberg, and there is also WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy is coming from David Leigh and Luke Harding, two reporters from UK’s The Guardian who were the first to receive leaks from Assange and then shared them with Der Spiegel and The New York Times.
All of this is to be expected, of course—Hollywood has a track record of presenting the United States government as the bad guy in our conflicts abroad, from Vietnam onward. They pretty consistently bomb at the box office, but Hollywood keeps churning them out anyway, their left-wing ideology drowning out whatever good business sense or understanding of what the audience wants they may have.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New on NewsReal - Al-Jazeera Is Basically Like Fox News, Right?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The moral equivalency leftists are capable of never fails to sicken. Whether driven by intolerance of opposition or cluelessness about the real world, many think nothing of comparing those with whom they disagree—often unfavorably—to the most heinous monsters on the planet. Case in point: our old friend Ellen of the loser-packed Fox-hating blog NewsHounds is outrageously outraged that Bill O’Reilly would dare impugn the patriotism of left-wingers like Sam Donaldson and Alan Colmes for their defense of…er, Al-Jazeera:
It’s not as though Donaldson praised Al Jazeera for saying anything anti-American or attacking America. No, attacking an American or Americans is something that Fox News does every day whenever a Democrat or liberal is discussed.


Apparently, praising Al Jazeera for doing something right is completely wrong (and anti-American) because, according to O’Reilly, “Al Jazeera makes a living blaming most problems in the Middle East on the USA and Israel.”

That must be completely different from the way Fox News pundits like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and yes, Bill O’Reilly blame most problems on American liberals.

“Talking Points can provide hundreds, hundreds of examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric displayed on Al Jazeera, the network Sam Donaldson admires,” O’Reilly sneered.

And we can provide just as many examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric on Fox News. In addition to the hate mongering against Americans, there’s Sean Hannity’s friendly interview with anti-Semite Andy Martin (for which Hannity has never apologized), another lapdog interview with Mel Gibson and Glenn Beck’s anti-Semitic dogwhistles about George Soros. In fact, those dogwhistles were so offensive to so many Jews that 400 rabbis recently wrote to Rupert Murdoch asking him to rein in Beck. Fox News’ response? Calling the rabbis “a George Soros backed left-wing political organization.”
Colmes did not apologize or hedge or try to curry favor as so many other Democrats on Fox do. Noting that Egypt had shut down Al Jazeera, he said to O’Reilly, “I would think a populist like you would support Al Jazeera and freedom of the press… I would think that as a journalist, you would take the side of Al Jazeera.”

O’Reilly claimed that his beef with Al Jazeera was its lack of balance, that there was never anyone on to counter its anti-American message.

Oh, you mean the way there’s never anyone on to counter Glenn Beck’s attacks on President Obama, his former advisor Van Jones, George Soros or 78 year-old Frances Fox Piven?
First, let’s dispense with the usual stuff: the lack of balance at Fox News is a lie, and so is the anti-Semitism garbage.

No, what’s noteworthy is that Ellen doesn’t even try to argue that Al-Jazeera isn’t an anti-American, Jew-hating mouthpiece for Islamic radicalism, but says that Fox News is just as bad anyway.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.
The views expressed on this weblog are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of any other websites, blogs, campaigns, publications, or organizations where I have been employed and/or my work has been featured, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of any individuals employed by or otherwise affiliated with such groups.