What young boy hasn’t wanted to pretend to be a police officer, a cowboy, a fighter pilot, or some other adult figure leading an exciting and adventurous life? At least that’s the way it used to be. Now, in this early 21st Century, where fear is a component of virtually every public policy — underlying everything from vacation travel to eating a bowl of cereal – the new hero figure being marketed for youngsters is a snooping airport TSA agent.
A few years ago, it was plastic Playmobil figures depicting airport metal detectors that hit the toy stores. Now, in a reflection of the more personal and intrusive TSA activities currently prevalent , the latest entry in this collection of Big Brother toys, is the “Spy Gear Security Scanner,” which mimics the hand-wand used by TSA agents.
In response to seeing this latest “toy” in a store, one parent wrote, “One word: ‘Unbelievable.’ We can now teach our kids early to be TSA thugs.” Ben Popken, managing editor
During a recent visit to the Rotary Club of Atlanta, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue fired a warning shot across the bow of recently elected House Republicans. Donohue explained that if they continue to oppose an increase in the debt limit, “We’ll get rid of you.”
To be clear, many Republicans in Congress do not necessarily oppose an increase in the debt ceiling. They oppose an increase without much needed reforms in spending and corresponding spending cuts to match the increase in the debt ceiling. This is hardly an unreasonable demand. In fact, Republicans seem to have a public opinion in their corner as most polls show opposition to allowing the government to keep borrowing more and more money.
The spin from the U.S. Chamber to cover for these arrogant, unnecessary and likely counterproductive comments is that Donohue was joking. But as the AJC’s Jim Galloway noted last week, the Chamber is pushing hard for an increase in the debt limit, and warned of
Anyone who watched the Republican presidential debate last Monday evening understands why there clearly is room for at least one more candidate – someone who is a proven conservative who can appeal to both the establishment GOP and to Tea Party activists. That potential candidate just might hail from the very same state that gave the country its last Republican president, the conservative-in-name-only (“CINO”) George W. Bush.
Already, the GOP has several candidates; each appealing to a particular segment or segments of the Party. Ron Paul clearly appeals to the libertarian wing. Former Gov. Mitt Romney’s obvious appeal is to the Republican establishment. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann excites the Tea Party faction. Rick Santorum is a darling of evangelical Right-to-Lifers. Businessman Herman Cain has a small, but perhaps growing following among Tea Partiers. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty enjoys support scattered among establishment types and some Tea Party
It is only mid-June a year out from the election, but already it’s been a banner month for political melt-downs.
First, we had the embarrassing spectacle of serial sexter Rep. Anthony Weiner, Democrat of Brooklyn, whose narcissism appears to be exceeded only by his ignorance of how electronic communication devices work. Then, in the very midst of the Weiner sexting scandal, we witnessed a melt-down of quite a different sort, when former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s nascent presidential campaign imploded with the mass resignation of nearly his entire campaign staff.
Weiner already has been forced to announce his resignation (a foregone conclusion once the entire Democratic leadership in the Congress at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue abandoned him). Whether Gingrich can survive his organizational melt-down remains unclear. However, both cases offer important lessons for other political figures.
For Weiner, the lessons are (or should be) obvious. Rule Number One is, do
The great pyramid of Giza, just outside Cairo, Egypt, has withstood thousands of years of natural and man-made efforts to unravel its mysteries; but stands still today as a monument to human skill and perseverance. Yet here in the United States — a nation ruled by bureaucracy rather than pharaohs — it took less than a single generation to topple the Great Food Pyramid, created by federal Nannies in 1992. It was ignominiously replaced recently by the Great Food Plate; hardly the stuff of legends, but certain to guarantee food wellness for Americans for at least a millennia.
The demise of the Great Food Pyramid was hastened by the advent of the anti-fatness drive by the administration of Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, who has taken on the scourge of obesity in America with a fervor normally reserved for presidential candidates looking for votes a month out from the election. The Great Food Plate is but the latest chapter in a 100-year effort by federal bureaucrats to
Albert Einstein, offering perhaps the most succinct definition ever of “insanity,” said it was performing the very same task repeatedly, yet expecting a different result each time. The modern world’s most famous physicist could easily have been describing the government’s five-decade old “war on drugs.”
In the past half century, one administration after another has spent billions trying to rid the country of those who choose to ingest non-government sanctioned substances. Far from achieving any measure of ultimate success, the result of this so-called “war” has been a net increase in illicit drug users, a massive increase in police powers, a huge increase in America’s prison population, and a depressing decrease in civil liberties.
Now, a breath of fresh air has wafted into the debate over whether it makes sense for governments to continue to engage in this costly conflict. A report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a panel composed of
For years, politicians have been preying on the American people’s fears of terrorism and the hysteria over illegal immigration, to push for a national ID. Concerns with government snooping and citizen privacy have taken a back seat to these efforts.
Now, they’re at it again.
In the late 1990s a national identification provision was included in an illegal immigration “reform” bill; it was later repealed. Then, in 2005, the Republican-controlled Congress passed the REAL ID Act as part of an “emergency” supplemental military spending bill. Stuck into this spending measure was a provision mandating a uniform set of driver licensing requirements for states to implement. States were required to provide the information for a database that other states could access.
As a stand-alone bill, the REAL ID Act was unable to gain much traction in the Senate; despite passing the House by a comfortable margin. But after Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) was famously criticized in 2004 by
The definition of “overreaching” in the next edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary could be a single sentence — “Over•reaching: see June 3, 2011 indictment of former presidential candidate and United States Senator John Edwards for alleged campaign finance violations.”
Every current and future candidate for federal office ought to file an amicus brief in behalf of Edwards. If the federal government succeeds in securing a conviction of Edwards in this case, the precedent will have been set for future administrations to employ federal campaign finance laws to reach and criminalize virtually any monies used by a candidate’s supporter(s) that even indirectly have the effect of protecting the “image” of the candidate.
This action by the Obama Department of Justice is similar to what the President and the Democratic majority in the last Congress did, when they passed and enacted “ObamaCare.” This massive law represents a gross expansion of the
God bless Texas. As Americans continue to face near-record high gas prices, recent interest in vast oil shale deposits in the Lone Star State could be a boon to domestic production and significantly lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Of course, this assumes that bureaucrats stay out of the way; one Texas-size assumption
According to a story published by The New York Times late last month, the area known as Eagle Ford in South Texas and other deposits around the state, could generate as many as 420,000 barrels per day by 2015. This represents possibly two or three times as much oil as in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska – the largest oil field in the nation – and could boost domestic production by as much as 25 percent. One oil expert interviewed by the Times noted this would be “like adding another Venezuela or Kuwait by 2020, except these tight oil fields are in the United States.”
Certainly, the hope of extracting the estimated three billion barrels of this valuable natural
Everyone’s favorite foreign policy expert, Sarah Palin, is finally showing some movement towards making a bid for the Republican presidential nomination. She has bought a large house in Arizona, apparently forsaking her home state of Alaska as insufficiently mainstream as a base from which to mount a presidential bid. And, she has launched a bus tour of the northeast United States.
Most importantly, perhaps, however, is the fact that Palin began her bus tour by popping in on a motorcycle gathering; and hitching a ride on a Harley-Davidson from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial over the Memorial Day weekend. The motorcycle gig made a great deal more sense than launching her “One Nation Tour” in Washington — Ground Zero for the massive federal bureaucracy that is strangling America’s economy and its future.
It has been widely speculated the former vice-presidential nominee and reality TV star would join the lackluster 2012 Republican field. While she