Archive for June, 2012

Why does Obama keep doing the things he blames Bush for?

There’s one big reason Barack Obama is getting nowhere by blaming his predecessor for all that ails us today, and it’s not because Americans have short memories. No, it’s because we have long memories — long enough to recognize Obama has been doing many of the very same things he and his supporters on the left criticize George W. Bush for doing.

The pattern has been obvious for some time, but the latest examples came with yesterday’s news that Obama was claiming executive privilege to withhold certain documents from a House investigation of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.

In that 2009-10 operation, federal agents allowed about 2,000 firearms to be smuggled into Mexico. But rather than tracking down the recipients in drug cartels, the feds lost track of them — until, that is, the weapons showed up on murder scenes. The guns have been connected to the deaths of scores of Mexican citizens and a border patrol agent, Brian Terry.

Not only did then-Sen. Obama …

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Obama blocks Fast and Furious documents from House investigation

The latest from the most transparent, accountable administration ever (via CNN):

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over document sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, said a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole. The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the panel.

With that maneuver, Obama has guaranteed a story that has played out mostly under the radar of the mainstream press (including, I must acknowledge, on my own blog) will be thrust into the headlines. A House committee is holding a contempt hearing this morning over Attorney General Eric Holder’s lack of cooperation in its investigation of the operation, in which our government allowed hundreds of guns to be smuggled across the Mexican border. The guns subsequently were connected to the deaths of Mexican citizens and U.S. border agent Brian Terry.

Holder has been engaged in a standoff …

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2012 Tuesday: After the Obamacare ruling

The Supreme Court is due to rule on the constitutionality of the individual mandate in Obamacare before the end of the month. If the mandate stands, the rest of the law will, too. If it falls, however, there will also be the question of how much of the rest of the law must go with it — and, of course, what to do next.

Along the way, the issue will have an impact on the re-election chances of the man for whom the law was nicknamed. But what kind of impact, and how much?

Up to a point, I think the results have been baked into existing opinion about President Obama and Mitt Romney. The law’s supporters are largely on Obama’s side, and most of its critics are on Romney’s side. There may be some crossover voting for Obama by independents who dislike the law, and vice versa, but if so they’ll be making their decisions for reasons beyond Obamacare — which means the court’s ruling is unlikely to sway them. There may be some change in enthusiasm, but I wouldn’t expect it to be very …

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Health researchers: Bloomberg’s sugary drink ban will fail

Who thinks New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nanny-state ban on (some) large sugary drinks not only won’t work, but will backfire? The very researchers whose work Bloomberg cited as justification for proposing the ban. From The Atlantic:

Yes, we have found that when people are given larger portions, they do drink or eat substantially more. But to claim that these results imply that the ban will be effective is to ignore our larger body of work. In our experiments, subjects were given larger or smaller portions of food in a dining or party setting, where they were unlikely to notice portion size. It is exactly because participants weren’t paying attention that we got the results we did.

The mayor’s approach, however, overtly denies people portions they are used to be able to get whenever they want them. In similar lab settings, this kind of approach has inspired various forms of rebellion among study participants. For example, openly serving someone lowfat or …

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Forty years of faltering fatherhood

When I wake up each morning, chances are it is to the sound of one of my sons. Whether it’s the voice of my 3-year-old or my 4-month-old that breaks my slumber, I find out when I come to. But they’re earlier risers than I am, and more to the point, they live under my roof.

Four decades ago, six in seven kids could say the same thing. Today, it’s five in seven. At current trends, when my boys are my age, perhaps half of American children will live with their dads.

It won’t be only on Father’s Day when they notice.

Sure, many of those future children will see their dads occasionally, as do many of those today who live only with their mothers. But you’ve probably heard the statistics before: Children living with two married parents are less likely to be poor and more likely to be healthy (physically and mentally) and to do well in school than kids who live with single parents or even cohabiting adults.

There’s another obvious but overlooked way boys from …

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Obama’s unilateral change of immigration law

If you want an example of why conservatives don’t believe President Obama’s overtures about working with them, and why he actually is making partisanship worse in this country while he claims to want the opposite, look no further than his administration’s new policy toward “low priority” illegal immigrants.

The policy, first reported by the Washington Times and subsequently confirmed in a publicly released memo from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, lays out the criteria for prosecutors to exercise discretion about whether to deport an illegal immigrant. The person in question must:

  • have entered the country before turning 16;
  • have been in the country for at least five years and still be here;
  • be in school (the memo doesn’t specify k-12 or college), or be a high school graduate, or have a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed services;
  • have not been convicted of “a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses” or …

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Poll Position: Was a Texas man right to beat his daughter’s attacker to death?

While we await the trial of George Zimmerman for fatally shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, another sure-to-be high-profile case involving self-defense and a killing arose in Texas.

Last Saturday in Shiner, a small town best known to the rest of us for the beers that bear its name, a father beat to death a man whom he caught sexually assaulting his young daughter. CNN.com has the details:

According to the Lavaca County Sheriff’s Office, the 23-year-old father and his family were enjoying a barbecue last Saturday at their ranch on Shiner’s outskirts where they keep horses and chickens.

His young daughter had gone off toward the barn, to feed the chickens, the child’s grandfather — who isn’t being named, to protect the identity of his granddaughter — told CNN affiliates KSAT and KPRC.

Then her father heard screaming and ran. He found a 47-year-old man in the act of sexually abusing his daughter, according to Sheriff Mica Harmon.

The father stopped the alleged abuser, then …

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About Obama’s big economics speech

The president gave a speech today in Cleveland about his economic plans and policies. Here’s one reaction (via The Hill):

“President Obama and others in Washington need to realize that we cannot spend our way to prosperity and that to in order to create jobs, we need to address unfair trade deals that ship jobs overseas and enact policies that allow us to take advantage of our vast natural resources such as coal and natural gas in a safe and responsible manner which will lower energy costs and create jobs. Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline would be a good first step.”

And that’s from a Democrat — Pennsylvania congressman Mark Critz.

When Obama said today he would “work with anyone of any party” to improve the economy, I guess he didn’t mean Critz. Or the entire GOP caucus, which has been saying the same thing as Critz for a couple of years now.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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Bipartisanship is not a magic word

Jeb Bush caused a stir this week when he said partisanship in Washington had gone too far. If that doesn’t sound like news, what really drew attention was the former Florida governor’s apparent belief his father and Ronald Reagan would find it difficult to become the GOP nominee these days.

I say “apparent” because Bush’s statement, in an interview with Bloomberg, included one enormous qualifier. Reagan and George H.W. Bush would have trouble with today’s GOP, the younger Bush said, “if you define the Republican Party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement.”

Well, that settles that!

The notion that Reagan, at least, would be spurned by the contemporary GOP is odd. In 1980 he was considered far more conservative than the elder Bush, who succeeded him as the Republican standard bearer. Nothing about nominees Bob Dole (1996) or John McCain (2008) places them to Reagan’s right. Even George W. Bush was less aggressive than …

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New poll: T-SPLOST trails by 15 points

Whatever you think of the odds of the T-SPLOST passing, there’s an opinion poll that says you’re right.

On May 21, Channel 2 Action News reported a poll by Rosetta Stone showing 42 percent for, 45 percent against and 13 percent undecided.

A day later, the group advocating passage of the tax touted a poll of its own indicating — surprise, surprise — the tax is sailing toward passage: 51 percent for, 36 percent against and 13 percent undecided.

If you thought those two results were incompatible, get a load of a new poll out today and reported by Fox 5 Atlanta:

A new InsiderAdvantage polls shows that most people oppose the penny sales tax referendum, with 47 percent saying they plan to vote against it, 32 percent said they are in favor of it and 21 percent remaining undecided.

So, it’s either 32 percent, 42 percent or 51 percent for the T-SPLOST; either 36 percent, 45 percent or 47 percent against it; and anywhere from 13 percent to 21 percent undecided. Only the Rosetta Stone …

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