A current events round-up for conservatives
THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Turning back the tide of information overload with a digest of the latest developments in news conservatives need to pay attention to:
† The two faces of Mitt: Now that Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign, Mitt Romney "doesn't have to talk conservative anymore," notes radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, adding that “it won't take very long" to find out whether he will continue to. The problem is Romney “can't afford to further alienate conservatives” but “without alienating the independent voters he'll need to defeat President Barack Obama in the fall.” Social conservatives and Evangelicals who backed Santorum continue to view Romney with suspicion and are on heightened alert for any signs of flip-flopping or going wobbly on illegal immigration, ObamaCare, taxes, gun rights and other issues that strongly concern them. And right now, they are dispirited:
"There is no doubt the base is not inspired and history tells us when you don't have an inspired base you get President Obama and not President McCain. You get President Clinton and not President [George H.W.] Bush," said Robert L. Vander Plaats, an influential social conservative in Iowa who heads the social conservative group the Family Leader. "But if you do have an inspired base you get President George W. Bush and you also get President Reagan. Right now, it is not there." …
"There is a big difference between Bob Vander Plaats going into the voting booth and voting against Barack Obama, and Bob Vander Plaats actively mobilizing a network and being deliberate and intentional and inspirational about getting everyone out to the polls," he said. "That's what wins an election."
Romney will try to walk the knife edge between conservatives and moderates by focusing like a laser beam on economic issues and avoiding social issues. But if a well-timed improvement in the unemployment rate suggests that the economy is turning around – one of the perks of incumbency is that President Barack Hussein Obama’s cabinet can manipulate economic statistics and feed the favorable storyline to a gullible or complicit media – the entire rationale for Romney’s candidacy gets co-opted.
Florida Code 787.01 makes it a felony to threaten someone or abduct them with the intent to terrorize. Florida Code 777.04 further criminalizes solicitation which "commands, encourages, hires or requests another person" to engage in criminal activity such as kidnapping. Solicitation to kidnap is also a federal crime, and the fact that this was unambiguously racially-based brings it within the purview of federal hate-crime laws.
With this in mind, a member of George Zimmerman’s family has written to Attorney General Eric Holder asking why he has not arrested members of the New Black Panther Party for their hate-mongering rhetoric (related article, third item on the page), The Daily Caller reports:
“The Zimmerman family is in hiding because of the threats that have been made against us, yet the DOJ has maintained an eerie silence on this matter. These threats are very public. If you haven’t been paying attention just do a Google search and you will find plenty. Since when can a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?”
For his part, the reformed-but-regressed Mike Tyson thinks that vigilante justice is the only kind fit for Zimmerman:
It's a disgrace that man hasn't been dragged out of his house and tied to a car and taken away. That's the only kind of retribution that people like that understand. It's a disgrace that man hasn't been shot yet. Forget about him being arrested--the fact that he hasn't been shot yet is a disgrace.
Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner warns that New Black Panthers “champion black supremacy, hatred of whites, and militant Islam” and calls them “the black version of the Ku Klux Klan — bigoted thugs who practice vigilantism and mob rule.”
The Daily Caller cites a recent conference call during which “the militant group said it planned to ‘suit up and boot up’ and prepare for the next stages of the ‘race war.’”
And in what WTSP-TV describes as “a candid moment” during “an emotional interview,” Michelle Williams, chief of staff for the New Black Panther Party, spewed anti-white rhetoric with abandon during a discussion of the Trayvon Martin tragedy with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge:
Let me tell you, the things that's about to happen, to these honkeys, these crackers, these pigs, these pink people, these ---- people. It has been long overdue. My prize right now this evening ... is gonna be the bounty, the arrest, dead or alive, for George Zimmerman. You feel me?"
Williams’ colleague Chawn Kweli, the party’s national spokesman, clarified what’s about to happen (“true revolution means some bloodshed”) and the blood that will be shed will be that of “blond-haired, blue-eyed, sometimes brown-eyed Caucasians.”
Meanwhile, race-baiting rabble rouser Al Sharpton – who was praised by Holder for his “tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill” – insists that “[w]e are not running a hate campaign; this is a love campaign” on behalf of Trayvon Martin and his family.
This pink person is really starting to feel the love.
† Obama’s glad-handing gesture to women: The White House Council on Women and Girls, which President Barack Hussein Obama created in March 2009, doesn’t have to look too far to find an employer who is not treating women fairly. Having been criticized for paying female campaign staffers less than their male counterparts in 2008, Obama is continuing to underpay women on the White House staff, The Washington Free Beacon reports:
According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).
The Obama campaign on Wednesday lashed out at presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney for his failure to immediately endorse the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, a controversial law enacted in 2009 that made it easier to file discrimination lawsuits. …
“Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income,” he said in a July 2010 statement. “And with so many families depending on women’s wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole.”
It is not known whether any female employees at the White House have filed lawsuits under the Ledbetter Act.
† Is Obama already a lame duck?: Former Texas Instruments semiconductor engineer Darin Wedel “became one of America’s most famous job seekers” when his wife Jennifer participated in an gimmicky “online chat” event with President Barack Hussein Obama two months ago, but Human Events reports that after President Barack Hussein Obama promised to intervene to find him a job he remains out of work:
Obama said industry leaders have told him that the U.S. doesn’t have enough of certain kinds of high-tech engineers to meet its needs. [Jennifer] Wedel interrupted him to say that his answer didn’t match what her husband is seeing in the real world.
“If you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there,” Obama told her. “The word we’re getting is somebody in that high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away. And the H-1B should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field.”
She did indeed send the resume along, and … [t]he brief flurry of interest artificially created when the White House stepped in and decreed that job offers should rain down upon one house in Texas has subsided. …
Fortunately, Obama can count on the media to downplay this story, instead of treating it as a powerful symbolic moment in a failed presidency, as they would if he were a Republican.
† Living in these mad, mad, Madoff times: Want proof that the U.S. has become a food stamp nation? The Electronic Benefit Transfer card is a de facto form of currency that can buy just about anything (related article, penultimate item on the page). The Daily Caller reports that an outfit called Young, Black, & GettinMoney Promotions held a “Food Stamp Friday” party at a nightclub in Montgomery, AL on April 6th during which patrons were charged just $5 to get in and got “free shots” at the door if they flashed a food stamp card.
And then there’s drug dealer Kimball Clark, who was arrested and charged with distribution of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school and called a friend from jail with instructions to “get my EBT card and go to the ATM and get the money to bail me out, get me outa here tonight,” Boston Herald reports:
“It’s another outrage,” said state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton), a member of the EBT Task Force who criticized the group for failing to push tough restrictions on the use of the controversial cards. “When we were on the EBT Card Commission, I fought to get bail bondsmen on that list of places where people could not use their EBT cards. They fought me on it and told me people can’t use their EBT cards in that way.” …
O’Connell and other lawmakers filed a bill last week pushing for tougher regulations than those recommended by the EBT commission, which advised banning the cards at nail salons, tattoo parlors, strip clubs and casinos — but not at ATMs, jewelry stores, health clubs, rent-a-centers and cruise liners.
† AZ becomes the epicenter of civility: Here's another case of potentially dangerous political incivility about which the worthies who run the National Institute for Civil Discourse at University of Arizona have thus far remained silent, even though it is occurring right in their backyard: State legislators say that Rep. Daniel Patterson (D) is prone to such violent outbursts that his colleagues fear him and one of them, Rep. Margaret “Lynne” Pancrazi, has taken to sleeping with a weapon by her bedside. Patterson is being investigated for ethics violations stemming from domestic violence charges involving his estranged wife – who filed a restraining order against him – and his girlfriend/campaign manager. He is also accused of exchanging his vote in exchange for sexual favors from a lobbyist and of being a pothead. For his part, Patterson calls the ethics investigation a “jihad” against him.
† Obama is just about every U.S. president all rolled into one!: Except that Hoover Institution senior fellow Fouad Ajami makes the case that President Barack Hussein Obama is no Dwight Eisenhower:
On Nov. 6, 1956, Election Day, to be precise, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a brief message to British Prime Minister Anthony Eden: "We have given our whole thought to Hungary and the Middle East. I don't give a damn how the election goes."
Eisenhower could afford that kind of attitude – he was a genuine American hero in World War II, and there was no chance of his losing his bid for a second term to the inconsequential Adlai Stevenson. …
Ours is a different world. Barack Obama isn't to be held to the Eisenhower standard. Indeed, as a fortunate "off-mic" moment recently revealed, this president bargains with Russian errand boy Dmitry Medvedev over something as trivial as protecting Europe with a missile defense system. I will have more "flexibility," the leader of the Free World says, with my last election behind me.
Thankfully, we don't live in the shadow of a nuclear showdown. But from its very beginning, this presidency has been about the man himself and his personal ambition, and less so his duty to democracy.
And presidential historian Barbara Perry says Obama’s no FDR, either:
In his first public comments since the court wrapped up oral arguments … in its review of the 2010 law, Obama questioned the authority of the nine-member panel of unelected justices to reverse legislation that was approved by a majority vote in Congress. …
Though past presidents have occasionally inveighed against judicial activism, legal analysts and historians said it was difficult to find a historical parallel to match Obama’s willingness to directly confront the court.
Barbara Perry, a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for presidential history, said that after the Supreme Court voided 16 pieces of New Deal legislation in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt waited until after he had been re-elected to attack the court.
“The reason presidents are reluctant to take on the court is because they are a co-equal branch of government, they have lifetime tenures and they can be very powerful in their own way,” Perry said. “I would contrast that with Obama’s willingness to take on the court.”
And though Obama has likened himself to Ronald Reagan on several occasions, The Washington Times argues that he doesn’t know from Reagan:
Well, there they go again. While criticizing the new Republican budget plan … President Obama invoked the Gipper. “Ronald Reagan,” he said, “who, as I recall, was not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control - that for him to make a deal - he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases.” …
In addition to Reagan, Mr. Obama reportedly tried to associate himself with five other Republican presidents, from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush. Yet the country feels as if it is back in the days of Jimmy Carter, and the White House is cribbing talking points from Mr. Mondale.
Mr. Obama would do well not to encourage people to compare him to Reagan. At the end of the day, Reagan was the man who made big government a bad word, while Mr. Obama has made big government a bad dream. Reagan gave us morning in America, Mr. Obama has us mourning for America. When the Gipper said America’s best days were still ahead of it, the disastrous Obama presidency definitely was not what he had in mind.
For his part, FOX News legal analyist Judge Andrew Napolitano found Obama‘s attack on the Supreme Court reminiscent of Andrew Jackson.
† Rage against … whatever: Forty unions and liberal activist groups have signed on as co-sponsors for the Occupy Movement, including United Auto Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, and UNITE, who are holding “training sessions” for OWSers, Townhall.com reports. Are they training them in a skilled trade or on job-hunting strategies? No, they are training these disaffected losers in the fine art of agitation and anarchy (click here for related article).
† “Math genius” Al Franken flunks Algebra 101: Too bad Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) isn’t the math genius he thought he was. But it turns out that he is a "leading legal scholar," according to Vice President Joe Biden. So now Franken will be going around telling people he’s a polymath.