Don't miss the surprise finish!
08/23/08: Jacob Weisberg,
Slate: "Racism is the only reason Obama might lose."
Paul Krugman, New York Times: "[T]he
driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same
cultural and racial anxiety that's behind the 'birther' movement,
which denies Mr. Obama's citizenship."
09/13/09: Jimmy Carter, MSNBC: "I think an
overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward
President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black
01/19/10: Keith Olbermann, MSNBC: "[T]he Tea
Party movement [is] perhaps the saddest collection of people who
don't want to admit why they really hate since the racists of the
South in the sixties insisted they were really just concerned about
states' rights....[I]n Scott Brown we have an irresponsible,
homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging
supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with
whom he disagrees."
Frank Rich, New York Times: "How curious
that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so
little about history that it doesn't recognize its own small-scale
mimicry of Kristallnacht....The conjunction of a black president
and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on
the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee
chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling
and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People: "Tea Party ranks [are] permeated with concerns
about race and national identity....Tea Party organizations have
given platforms to anti-Semites, racists, and bigots. Further,
hard-core white nationalists have been attracted to these protests,
looking for potential recruits and hoping to push these (white)
protesters towards a more self-conscious and ideological white
01/25/11: State Rep. Jim Moran (D-Virgina),
Al-Hurra: "[GOP success in mid-term elections] happened for the
same reason the Civil War happened in the United States. It
happened because the Southern states, the slaveholding states,
didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery. In
this case, I believe, a lot of people in the United States don’t
want to be governed by an African-American, particularly one who is
liberal, who wants to spend money and who wants to reach out to
include everyone in our society."
08/22/11: Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana): "Some
of these folks in Congress would love to see us as second-class
citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this tea party
movement would love to see you and me...hanging on a tree."
03/27/12: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate:
"And now we know the [Supreme] court is worried about freedom: the
freedom to live like it's 1804."
06/04/12: Katrina vanden Heuvel, The
Washington Post: "By attacking labor unions, flooding
Wisconsin with outside cash and trying to cleanse the electorate of
people who don't look, earn or think like him, [Wisconsin Gov.
Scott] Walker has taken aim at more than a single campaign cycle or
a series of policies; his real targets are the pillars of American
06/08/12: Cassandra Jackson, Huffington
Post: "[T]he war on affordable health care is a war on Blacks
In so many ways, the path [Barack Obama] has to walk to
re-election is similar to the path he has had to walk through his
life. It was hard not to notice the subtext present in all those
earnest warnings about hurting the fee-fees of our financial
titans. The president was stepping out of his place. The president
was being uppity again.
This is also the case with what is perhaps the most noxious idea
out there: that Barack Obama "failed" in his promise to "bring the
country together," and that he is now — Glorioski! — campaigning
like he wants to be president all over again. He is engaging in
politics. Mother of mercy, I swear David Brooks is just going to
break down and go all to pieces on PBS some evening over the
president's betrayal of his role as the country's anodyne black man
and, of course, his upcoming role as black martyr to incivility and
discord. It is his duty, dammit, to be all the things that people
like Brooks wanted him to be so that he could lose, nobly, and then
the country could go back to its rightful owners.
Still no convincing explanation for how the racist Teabagging
Republicans could have fallen
so hard for Herman Cain, but I think the most salient point is
one noted by (gasp!)
David Brooks: Barack Obama is consistently much more popular
than his policies. Mitt Romney has been consistently less
popular than his. That's a mighty odd way for a country to express
Without a government for over two decades, Somalia is the model of a failed state. It is torn apart by civil war and plagued by terrorism, among numerous maladies, and there are few countries willing send government personnel to Somalia. Yet, last November, Turkey reopened its embassy there and is eager to expand its influence in the battle-scarred country. According to C. Karin Torun, Turkey’s ambassador to Somalia, “Our aim is to show [how] a different model can work in getting help to the...
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Ray Bradbury, who died this week at the age of
91, was a man of the right, a detail sadly airbrushed out of most
obituaries this week. Like the best science fiction writers, notes
Charles C. Johnson, Bradbury imagined worlds and realms outside the
grasp of government, where the focus was always on the people that
populated them, not on the gizmos in their pockets.
Mitt Romney, the Republican Party, and right wing talk radio and blogs are all piling on in unison again (hey, wait; I thought they were supposed to be "silent" today?) about another completely bogus outrage related to guess who.
Here's what President Obama said:
President Obama: The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone.
The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.
It's blindingly obvious that Obama didn't say the whole economy is "doing fine." Ezra Klein has a good post on this if you want the wonky details, but Obama's point was that job creation in the private sector is going fairly well, while the public sector is losing jobs.
It's another one of those invented "gaffes," that only looks like a gaffe if you pluck out one phrase -- "the private sector is doing fine" -- and completely ignore the context and the point being made.
Romney's already hammering the "out of touch" angle, of course. But this is just more of the same dishonest spinning we've seen from him since the campaign began.
Obama can’t fix a problem he can’t see.
No, you heard him right. At a press conference this morning, the President of the United States actually said, “The private sector is doing fine.”
Mr. President, are you paying attention? Take off the rose-colored glasses. (Although, thanks to your fashion industry fundraising friends, I’m sure they’re very stylish rose-colored glasses.)
The private sector is small businesses. It’s middle class families that run them. It’s entrepreneurs and start ups and job creators. And it’s not “doing fine.” Incomes are dropping, prices are rising, and the future is becoming more uncertain.
Twenty-three million Americans are struggling to find work. Forty-six million are living in poverty. Families can barely figure out how to make ends meet. The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 40 months—the longest period of such chronically high unemployment since World War II.
We knew President Obama was hostile to the private sector. We knew he did not understand free enterprise. We just did not realize he was this astoundingly out of touch.
President Obama has candidly, honestly, exposed his economic worldview. He believes big government needs to create more jobs, not the private sector. Forget free enterprise, he says. We need more government! More bureaucracy! More deficit spending!
The people of Wisconsin have something to say on that matter.
This is the danger of a president who has zero private sector experience. He does not understand what policies are good for the economy because he does not even recognize what’s wrong with the economy.
So we get ObamaCare, massive regulations, and plans for higher taxes. The president’s policies are job-killers. Job creators cannot hire new workers because Obama’s policies have made hiring unaffordable and impossible.
We need a president with private sector experience. If it was not clear before, it is now painfully obvious. Thankfully, Mitt Romney has excellent private sector experience. Even former President Bill Clinton praises his “sterling business career.”
Gov. Romney knows the truth about the American economy. He knows Americans are hurting, and he has a plan to create jobs. He put his business experience to work as governor of Massachusetts and got results. He will do the same as president.
Any voter who wonders whether to vote for Gov. Romney or for President Obama in November should remember this: President Obama thinks the “private sector is doing fine.” If you don’t collect a government paycheck, he thinks you’re “doing fine.” And that means he doesn’t think you—or your neighbors, or your children looking for work—are struggling.
Is that the kind of president we want?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the nation’s most notorious diet dictator, has been outed as a hot dog man (the ingredients of which include: Beef, Water, Salt, Sorbitol, Sodium Lactate, Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn Gluten Protein and Wheat Gluten Protein, Paprika, Natural Flavorings, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite). As noted by Slate, the same guy who’s trying to ban the sale of soda in cups larger than 16 ounces is a zealous devotee of the hot dog eating...
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I know that David Weigel [excuse me: one of Dave Weigel's ...co-bloggers?] wants to pat himself on the back for
sneaking in a mild Romney slam graciously excusing Mitt Romney for making some typos by bringing up a couple of lesser typos made by Barack Obama’s staff. Unfortunately, if we’re going to be discussing that sort of thing then we should be talking about the time where the White House misspelled the President’s name on an official diplomatic agreement:
…which frankly dwarfs any previous example made, on either side. But was nonetheless oddly not revisited by Slate. Funny, that. But not as funny as watching the people who’ll want to get huffy about Romney’s lesser errors, but not Obama’s greater one…
PS: Barack (or Barak) Obama cannot win a “Who is Weirder?” contest with Mitt Romney. His people – all of his people – need to stop trying. Please. It’s getting boring.
Despite much Republican fanfare over Gov. Scott
Walker’s triumph in the Wisconsin recall, Tuesday's results are not
a harbinger for the 2012 presidential election, writes Emily Ekins.
The recall results also do not portend public union denunciation.
Instead, this week's recall showdown presages much-needed reform
throughout the country. Thanks to Scott Walker’s victory, more
governors will now tackle the problems associated with public
Obama Says Private Sector is “Fine,” Pentagon Asks After Its Gifted Guns, No Relief for Bradley Manning: P.M. Links
getting slapped up, down and sideways for his comment that the
"the private sector is doing fine," President Obama
clarified that he meant what he should have said, not what he
- House Democratic leaders are staring down lawmakers from their
own party who want to hike the cost of labor from a
minimum $7.25 per hour to an even ten bucks. Econ 101.
- The Pentagon is a bit curious about what happened to all of
those guns, aircraft, and armored vehicles it has given police
departments in recent years, and has — temporarily —
halted the program while it does a bit of an audit in 49 states
(New Hampshire gets a pass).
- With Bradley Manning the U.S. government's current
two-minute-hate target, it may be no surprise that a military judge
refused to dismiss any of the 22 charges he faces over leaks of
- The TSA heard from the House Homeland Security Transportation
Subcommittee that it should
work harder on improving its really, really awful image. Among
the suggestions? Give preferential treatment to prominent
- Latvia, yet another country to defy Paul Krugman's Keynesian
wisdom and, instead, slash government spending, is
enjoying solid economic growth — 5.5 percent last year. (HT The
- Chicago cops
tasered an eight-months-pregnant woman during a dispute over a
Zombie Max ammunition marketed by Hornady as appropriate to
"make dead permanent" is flying off the shelves after recent
reports of face-eating and other socially inappropriate and
potentially undead behavior. Yeah, it's real. (HT Ben the
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to your inbox twice a day? Sign up here for
Reason's morning and afternoon news updates.
Expect Even More Medical Marijuana Raids Now That Obama is About to be Outed as a Past Big-Time Pot Smoker.
ink-and-eyeball-grabbing revelation from David Maraniss's
forthcoming bio of President Barack Obama is that the embattled
incumbent was a big-time pot smoker back in the day:
Maraniss notes that Obama spent a lot of time at the Punahou School in
Hawaii with a “self-selected group of boys who loved basketball and
good times and called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb,
meaning "to smoke marijuana."
“As a member of the Choom Gang,” Maraniss writes, “Barry Obama
was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends.”
One of those was: “Total Absorption” or “TA”.
“TA was the opposite of Bill Clinton’s claim that as a Rhodes
scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled,” explains
Maraniss. If you exhaled prematurely when you were with the Choom
Gang, “you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the
next time the joint came around.”...
Of course, Obama has copped to his pot and drug use in his own
best-selling memoir, but I'm sure that he's freaking out that this
sort of revelation is going to bite him on the ass during what's
shaping up to be a tough re-election cycle. That Colorado and
Washington state have popular pot legalization initiatives on the
ballot has got to be worrisome to a drug war commander-in-chief who
has fully reneged on campaign promises to rethink prohibition and
in-office pledges to end raids on dispensaries that are legal under
state law. That's a move that has
"disappointed" his own party - and made the rest of us
And if his copious pot smoking isn't bad enough on its own,
there's the detail that Obama made a habit of bogarting his
Maraniss also says Obama was known for his “Interceptions”:
“When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in,
out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!,’ and took an extra hit.”
So if he's not pissing off conservatives for
having smoked pot, he'll be annoying stoners who know a glad-hander
when they see one. More
in that vein.
If recent accounts of increasing raids on legal-under-state-law
medical marijuana dispensaries are any indication, expect the Obama
administration's Justice Department, headed by also-embattled
Attorney General Eric Holder, to start cracking more heads and
display counters out in the Golden State. On Thursday, Holder
defended Obama's record-breaking
Nevertheless, those involved in large-scale marijuana growing
and distribution have "come up with ways in which they are taking
advantage of these state laws and going beyond that which the
states have authorized," Holder said in response to questions from
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. "Those are the only cases that we have
been going after."
In an article oddly headlined "Feds
in LA target more illegal pot stores," the Sacramento Bee
explains that "nearly three dozen warning letters were...sent to
pot dispensaries" telling them to close up shop or face legal
actions. (The headline is odd given that the legal status of the
stores is precisely what's at issue.)
That's classic political hypocrisy: When your going gets tough,
make life hell for the very people you said you were going to stick
Last fall, ReasonTV told the story of law-abiding California
dispensary operators vs. the feds.
decided this week not to prosecute Miami police officer Reynaldo
Goyos for manslaughter for shooting an unarmed motorist reaching
for his cell phone during a traffic stop last year, the Palm
reported. The prosecutor’s office decided they couldn’t
disprove the cop’s claim he had a reasonable fear for his life,
given that cops say the dead man, Travis McNeill, was ignoring
their commands to show his hands. Activists blame the shooting on
police’s reliance on “tactical units.” The Post
The shootings sparked furor among inner-city activists,
who claimed [then police chief Miguel] Exposito’s emphasis on
tactical units — officers, usually in unmarked cars, who actively
seek out criminals — fostered a “wild West’’ mentality among
On Tuesday, the McNeil family’s lawyer said he believed prosecutors
could have filed at least a manslaughter charge. “You have four
police agencies pulling a guy over for a DUI stop, in unmarked
cars, and they blow him away,” said Randy Berg, of the Florida
Justice Institute, who plans to file a federal lawsuit against
police. “No firearms. No drugs. They didn’t even know who he
A sheriff’s deputy in tactical gear shot the unarmed Seth Adams
last month in the parking lot of the victim’s family’s business
in nearby Palm Beach County. The use of tactical units back in
Miami, meanwhile, is on the decline:
Commissioners ousted Exposito in September for
unrelated reasons; he is appealing the firing. His successor,
Manuel Orosa, scaled back the tactical units Exposito championed,
and beefed up community patrols.
Sheila McNeil, Travis McNeil’s mother, said that, while she is “not
satisfied” with Goyos’ clearing, she has noted more uniformed
officers walking the beat these days. “I like the idea that these
officers are not just sitting in their cars, they’re getting out,”
McNeil said in an interview.
As for Exposito, he stood firm Thursday in supporting tactical
units, saying officers were well trained and vital to keeping bad
guys off the streets. He said violent crime is rising because
patrol officers are “too busy going from call to call to be
“I think the criticism level against me was unjustified and I think
time will bear that out,” Exposito said.
Unfortunately, if prosecutors keep declining to prosecute
officers involved in shootings of unarmed civilians, it just
Reason on the militarization
The Left claims that the GOP stole the Wisconsin election because they outspent the Dems by eleventy bazillion dollars. That’s how the union bosses, the Occupiers and the party leadership rationalize Tuesday’s failure.
They don’t dare accept the notion that it was their ideas, their ideology and their tactics that were rejected at the polls. They chose the battlefield, the weapons and the timing. They chose poorly.
Dollar bills don’t vote. People vote.
For too long, “Democracy as We Know It” meant secret ballots. If a little friendly arm-twisting dislocated your elbow, brother, maybe you’ll learn to be a smarter voter before the next election. Oh, by the way, pay your dues.
“Democracy as We Know It” meant that you didn’t have join a union, unless you wanted to work. “Right to Work”? Where in the First Amendment does it say that you have a right not to assemble? Oh, by the way, pay your dues.
“Democracy as We Know It” tolerated a back-scratching arrangement between public sector union bosses and the Democratic elected officials who “negotiated” their collective bargaining agreements. And vote the donkey, brother. We will be watching. Oh, by the way, pay your dues.
“Democracy as We Know It” meant legislators would slink out of state to deny a quorum to the people’s duly elected representatives.
“Democracy as We Know It” meant no ballot box integrity. What an affront that a Citizen! of these United States! be asked to identify Him- or Herself! Or only vote once!
“Democracy as We Know It” meant physical occupation of the halls of government and public places by a Leninist/anarchist mob who knew they couldn’t muster the votes. This crowd is too stupid to grok the irony of their Che Guevara designer tees.
Yes, if Tuesday’s vote marks the end of “Democracy as We Know It”, then I feel fine.
Cross-posted at Maley’s Energy Blog.
Let’s see how law enforcement agencies feel when
they’re the targets of a sweep instead of the source of them. The
Associated Press reports the Defense Department is
temporarily halting its program of giving surplus guns,
helicopters, humvees and other military equipment to police
agencies until they can adequately account for what they’ve already
gotten in the $2.6 billion program:
The department's Defense Logistics Agency ordered
state-appointed coordinators in 49 states to certify the
whereabouts of that equipment that has already been distributed
through the long-running arrangement overseen by the agency's Law
Enforcement Support Office. The temporary halt on transferring
weapons applies to all states, agency officials said Thursday.
The military decided to conduct a "one-time, clean sweep" of all
state inventories instead of reviewing them piecemeal, said Kenneth
MacNevin, a spokesman for the federal agency. While some gear,
including guns, has been stolen or otherwise gone missing over the
years, MacNevin said the reporting requirements themselves aren't
new and that the review wasn't prompted by anything specific.
Yeah, there’s no real specific reason they’ve decided to do a
big sweep right now:
The Arizona Republic reported last month that the Pinal
County Sheriff's Office has stockpiled millions of dollars' worth
of equipment through the program, distributing some of the gear to
non-police agencies, and intended to sell other property, which
would violate the program's rules.
Oh, that. MacNevin did admit that a couple of news
reports, as well as a series of public records requests by the
Associated Press, did contribute to the decision to make law
enforcement agencies inventory their wares. And it might not be
Most of the state surplus program coordinators who have
responded to records requests from the AP say they only keep paper
records, and the few states that keep electronic records only
recently made the switch from paper.
The Illinois Department of Central Management Services, for
instance, said it would take its staff members at least 500 hours
merely to review the records requested by the AP.
In May, the military warned Florida that it had not adequately
accounted for its inventory of hand-me-downs and warned that the
program would be suspended in that state later in June if they
didn’t fix the problem.
More from Reason on police
Thousands of Americans are gathering today at 160 locations across the United States to peacefully protest the federal government’s coercive trampling on religious liberty through the Health and Human Services (HHS) anti-conscience mandate. Today’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies are a continuance of the events held on March 23 in front of capitols, historic sites, and even the HHS, where the offensive anti-conscience mandate originated. The demand for protection of religious freedom...
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