A curmudgeonly, confessionally Lutheran, socially conservative, pro-tolerance, Lincoln-admiring, politically independent, more or less center-right, Seldom Trump blog on the news, politics, religion, culture, mores, and occasionally sports and astronomy by Robert Elart Waters
Rahm Emanuel, the !@#$%$#@!! mayor of Chicago who holds the First Amendment in contempt and thinks that he's a better arbiter of "Chicago values" than the city's churches, has apparently run out of ideas for curbing the epidemic of gun violence that is plaguing my home town.
Ok. Fine. Mistakes happen, and people shouldn't be blamed for the mistakes of others. But here's the question: how is acting on the basis of faulty intellegence OK for Barack Obama, but a heinous crime for George W. Bush?
If Obama gets off the hook for Benghazi because he was acting on bad information, Dubyah gets off the hook for the invasion of Iraq. On the other hand, if the buck stops on the Oval Office desk for Bush, why doesn't it at least linger on that same desk f…
The Iranian government propaganda agency, Fars, has run a story claiming that, according to a new Gallup poll, "the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than US President Barack Obama."
Its source? The Onion, an intentially outrageous humor web site "posing" as a news page!
When one follows the link on the Weekly Standard page (or the one in this sentence, for that matter) to the Fars website, the result is the message "Error For Your Request . Not Exist This Story."
The only unfunny part is that some poor Iranian journalist is probably missing an appendage or two by now.
I spent quite a bit of time the other day working on a post on how the recent Obama surge in the polls was sparked not only by the outrageous oversupply of Democrats in the samples used this year, but by his having let President Obama define him- the very strategy everybody knew POTUS was going to employ. But it seems that the Romney campaign isn't quite as inept as it has seemed.
Virtually the entire Obama campaign has been based on misrepresenting Romney's positions on everything from Social Security to taxes to outsourcing and even cancer. Backed by the Obama acolytes in the media, who have been quick to point out inaccuracies in Romney ads but virtually silent in the face of the deluge of untruth their man has unleashed, the Democratic lies have come to be at least provisionally believed by the electorate. After all, they haven't been challenged.
While Romney has been wise not to let the president put him on the defensive- the defensive is where the incumbent belongs,…
I had the portion of their conversation on The View in which Ms. Coulter pointed out how Democrats exploit race and Whoopie Goldberg thereupon lost it embedded here, but it contained a script which prevented one from leaving this page. I'm not quite that hungry for traffic, so I removed it. But the video can be watched and a transcript read at the page linked to above. A warning, though: you may have some trouble leaving the page afterward!
Now the time has come, at long last, for the American people to recognize another thing that has been patently obvious for a far longer time: that this president is utterly and completely clueless when it comes to foreign affairs.
Despite the ongoing attempt by the Obama campaign to portray Mitt Romney as some sort of space alien because he's rich (Jack Kennedy was far richer- but then, he was a Democrat, so that's OK), an interesting piece of information has come to light.
Does Romney really pay a lower tax rate than somebody making $50,000 a year?
ADDENDUM: Alas, in the last several hours I've heard this dire prediction repeated by American agricultural experts on both the local CBS station and the local Fox station. It seems that this summer's draught, with the resultant low corn and soybearn yields, have made hog feed so expensive that the only way for hog farmers to survive is to raise fewer pigs.
Expect prices for not only bacon, but for pork prices generally, to go up by about 10% in the next year or so.
Of course, Madonna- who has probably been seen naked by a larger percentage of the human race than any other woman in history- will undoubtedly also strip naked if he is not re-elected, or if the election is canceled, or if it is a tie.
Now, if she had promised not to strip naked if Romney is elected, that would have been news.
Charlie Liu, for those new to this blog, is an apologist for the Chinese government who has commented on this blog in the past. He's sort of what my good libertarian friend Jeff is to Ron Paul, except to the thugs who run China.
While I've had a number of "conversations" with Charlie, this one is probably our longest. It was initiated by an on-line article in which he falsely implied that he was a Christian, and praised religious freedom (!) in China.
He seems to be an American citizen, and claims to have been born in Taiwan. But oddly, his reaction to my speculation at one point that he's …
This election campaign has been all about the middle class.
Mitt Romney promises it (along with everybody else) a 20% tax cut. Barack Obama lies about Romney's tax plans, claiming that the Tax Policy Institute says that Romney will raise taxes on the middle class (the Tax Policy Institute- presumably employing many people who can read- denies saying any such thing).
I reported last week on the claim by Chicago's First Ward alderman, Joe Morino, that Chick-fil-A had agreed not to fund groups that oppose same-sex "marriage" in the future. Morino decided, on the basis of that concession, to OK plans for the chain to build restaurants in Chicago after all.
Last night, before I drifted off to sleep, I was thinking about my beloved first dog, Bonnie.
I dreamed that Jedstein and almost completed the rebuilding of the Cubs, and- with no insult intended to Darwin Barney- the last piece of the puzzle was second base.
So the Cubs signed my dead dog.
Bonnie stood on her hind legs at the plate, for some reason batting left-pawed. She didn't have much power, but with her speed she beat out plenty of ground balls. Being a Sheltie, she was smart, and never got caught off base, and always remembered to tag up on fly balls.
She was a great fielder, but throwing was a problem for her. Still, she was great at chasing down grounders and bad throws.
The dream ended when one of the players on the other team hit a home run, and Bonnie ran out of the stadium and chased the ball.
Obama isn't the only one who isn't working. And the heavily-cooked figures we heard at the Democratic convention (taking credit for jobs added under Bush while denying blame for jobs lost under Obama) just aren't as persuasive when confronted by numbers like these.
David Letterman in particular has been so outragiously, obviously, and openly pro-Obama that the performance below takes on additional pathos. If it was doing its job, the FCC would point out to Letterman that if he continues this sort of thing, Mitt Romney will be eligible to demand an hour of equal time every night.
Anyway, prepare to be amazed by the chutzpah of America's favorite Howdy Doody lookalike:
Chick-fil-A has apparently caved in and allowed itself to be intimidated into no longer contributing to groups opposing same-sex "marriage."
It's a sad day for the First Amendment. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Joe Morino-the latter having agreed to support permits for Chick-fil-A to build new restaurants in Chicago- have bullied the chain's owner, Dan Cathy, into surrendering his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion through the use of tactics traditionally employed by people either wearing brown shirts or waving copies of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.
This is a tragedy. Nobody wins here- least of all supporters of same-sex "marriage," whose cause has been tainted by Mayor Emanuel and Ald. Morino's totalitarian response to those who disagree with them on an issue very much in debate in America.
But the real losers area the First Amendment and freedom. And, of course, the city I love, which has once again put itself on d…
The question of the existence of a Mrs. Christ aside, funny, isn't it, how newspaper accounts of the teachings of the Catholic church (and other churches, like the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which also do not permit female ordination) always seem to locate opposition to the practice solely in the fact that none of the apostles were women? The papyrus- if a genuine quote from Jesus- would overturn that argument. But the media somehow never seem to mention 1 Timothy 2:12:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (ESV)
And oddly, church bodies like the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), which take umbrage on scriptural grounds to the ordination of practicing homosexuals, have no problem defying the authorit…
Those who continue to maintain the fiction that President Obama is a centrist, well within the mainstream of American political and economic thought, need to reflect upon this 1998 statement by the current president:
We're being deluged here in Iowa- and I assume those in other "swing states are being similarly inundated- with multiple Obama ads claiming, among other things, that Mitt Romney plans to increase the taxes of the middle class by $2,000 a head; to use the proceeds to fund a huge "tax break for his fellow millionaires;" and to institute a voucher program in place of Social Security that would force receipients to pay thousands of dollars more out of their own pockets.
Well, those claims are lies. Not spin. Not exaggeration.
Here are the facts.
Mitt Romney's tax plan is the soul of simplicity: give everybody a 20% tax cut. He makes no distinction whatsoever between the middle class and the rich. At the same time, Romney would pay for this by eliminating most deductions, but preserving those for savings and investment. He specifically promises to retain the current tax code for progressivity.
No special tax cut goes to the rich. Nor are taxes increas…
When I got up this morning, I turned on the TV to get the weather report. As it happened, the dial was on PBS, where Tavis Smiley was interviewing some left-wing author on his new book claiming that the middle class is shrinking because those evil corporations aren't paying them as much as they could easily afford to.
He pointed out that European corporations pay their employees much more, but seem to do all right. Of course, he ignored the fact that the benefits American corporations have traditionally paid are unnecessary in Europe, where the government takes care of health care and suchlike. He also ignored the fact that tax rates are so much higher in Europe than in the United States- in some cases a majority of a worker's paycheck goes to the government- in order to pay for all those government benefits, and that as a result worker salaries have to be substantially higher than they are here. It's a wash for the corporation and the worker alike.
Several polls of late have shown President Obama coming out of the Democratic convention with a three to seven point lead over Gov. Romney.
But now Gallup shows the same thing Rasmussen has been showing ever since the convention ended: a dead heat. The latest Gallup figures are Obama 47, Romney 46.
The media have been crowing about Obama's lead and how hard it will be for Romney to catch up. My guess, though, is that the figures will remain about the same until the debates- where Romney will do a great deal better than the liberal media have been predicting.
The Union commander gained access to Robert E.Lee's battle plans when a copy of them was left behind, wrapped around a handful of cigars, by a Confederate officer and later found by a Union sergeant. The dean of alternate history authors, Harry Turtledove, has the Confederate find his cigars and the orders wrapped around them before breaking camp, leading to a Confederate victory- and a superb, if lengthly, series of books about a history in which the South won the Civil War, and eventually fights on the opposite side from the United States in both of the World Wars.
The victory ended Lee's first invasion of the North, just as Gettysburg ended his second. The bloodiest single day of the war, Antietam provided Abraham Lincoln with the opportunity he'd been waiting for to issue the Emancipation Proclamation …
UN Ambassador Susan Rice claims that the attack on the American consulate at Bengazi which took the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens was 'spontaneous' and 'not...premeditated.'
At least two sources say that there was no demonstration of any kind prior to the attack, which included RPG's and mortar fire. Apparently these were being carried in the back pockets of casual passersby.
On September 11.
Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif continues to insist that the attacks were pre-planned, and the administration continues to deny reports that it had advance warning of the attacks, but did not act upon them.
And Mabrouk says that it wasn't the first time. "The situation is frightening, it scares us," he told American diplomatic personnel. But nothing was done, and Ambassador Chris Stevens and several other Americans died.
Andrew McCarthy of National Review On Lineherein explicates the absurdity of the most craven, diplomatically inept and generally feckless president since James Buchanan posing as a stalwart defender of America- with truly massive help, of course, from his equally craven and ferociously partisan allies in the TV newsrooms and other strongholds of the MSM.
Any president- any president at all- would have given the order to get Osama bin Laden. And virtually any other president but Barack Obama would have been ready for attacks on our embassies and consulates in the Middle East on the anniversary of 9/11.
Mr. Obama was not. This, of course, begging the question of whether- as the Independent has reported- the Obama administration had 48 hours warning that the attacks were coming.
Any credibility this administration may have had as a defender of America died with Ambassador Stevens.
Explain that to Ambassador Stevens' family, and the families of the dead Marines.
This administration is clueless. But as usual, the MSM will doubtless ignore this absurd statement that surely would have brought a firestorm of mockery and derision if a Republican administration or candidate had made it.
The Independent, a prominent British newspaper, is reporting that the State Department had credible warning of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi which resulted in the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens 48 hours in advance, but that the Obama administration did nothing.
The newspaper quotes "senior diplomatic sources" as saying that the State Department had "credible" information that attacks would take place on American missions in the Middle East two days before mobs stormed the Benghazi consulate and the U.S. embassy in Cairo, but issued no alerts to diplomatic personel in the region.
The attacks took place on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, yet no one in the administration thought that a heightened state of alert at embassies and diplomatic missions in the Middle East might be in order.
Marine Corps spokesmen deny reports that the marines guarding the Cairo embassy had no live ammunition.
Largely due to a non-existent offensive line, Jay Cutler spent last night alternating between sitting on the seat of his pants and throwing the ball to players wearing the wrong color jersey. The result was predictable- and ugly.
Losing to the Packers is always unacceptable. But to make matters worse, Matt Forte was hurt- again. He's out with a high ankle sprain. No word yet on when he'll be back, but these things take time.
Michael Bush now moves to number one on the depth chart at running back. Steve Slaton, formerly of the Texans, is being brought in for a workout with the Bears, and Kalil Bell, cut because of a contract dispute rather than because of his play, could also be brought back.
But it's hard to see how this offensive line is going to get Cutler the time to do his thing against anything resembling a decent pass rush. The talent just isn't there.
Packers 23, Bears 10. This season- which, like so many seasons for the Bears of late, began with so much hope- might…
Rasmussen is one of the few polls to deal with likely, rather than registered, voters. As a result it tends to be more accurate- but also to lean Republican, since a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats actually vote.
That somebody needs to pay. We're watching, Mr. Obama.
The president strongly condemned the attacks- but only after condemning Mitt Romney for criticizing a craven apology to Muslims issued by the State Department- an apology Mr. Obama himself had criticized!
Mr Obama- who has made a practice of apologizing to America's enemies- marked the eleventh anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by apologizing to Muslims- for a movie made by Coptic Christians in Egypt!
President Obama referred to Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan as "Jack Ryan" in a recent interview with Bob Woodward.
That was the name of the inner-city teacher and former husband of actress Jeri ("Seven of Nine") Ryan, Mr. Obama's original opponent in his campaign for the U.S. Senate six years ago. Ryan was forced out of the race when sexually embarassing information concerning his divorce from the actress became public.
Macht nichts, as Grandma Elart used to say. Though the Republicans do need to hit those lies about Romney raising the taxes of the middle class by $2000 a crack and lowering the taxes of the rich. The Obama ads repeating those fibs are deluging us in the border states, and need to be responded to by an equal saturation bombing with the truth.
Why this hasn't happened already I don't know, but it needs to happen fast. The lies may already have done irreparable damage here in Iowa and elsewhere. Every moment the Romney campaign delays in slapping those whoppers down makes them look truer to the undecideds.
Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys. And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again. And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger. And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning. Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities; Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness, Bareheaded…
Well, Mr. Obama did get one thing right the other night: the two campaigns represent two distinct choices of futures for Americans. He simply misidentified those choices.
On one hand is a fighting chance to return to prosperity and full employment, and a nation which does its best for the elderly and disadvantaged while recognizing that entitlements will have to be reduced to some extent if we are going to avoid becoming another Greece, while striving to ensure that better thought out programs and greater revenues available due to economic growth both reduces the need for such programs, and the revenue required to better fund them where warranted.
That is Mr. Romney's future.
Mr. Obama's is to spend ourselves silly, punish the very people whose prosperity is a precondition for economic growth, pander to the elderly and minorities- and end up in a situation in which we can no longer afford social security and other such programs at all.