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Archive for April, 2010

“A deeply informed and experienced radio host, Mark Levin, has broken out in the radio world with ratings that make Glenn Beck’s real numbers look like the third tier radio host he actually is. Levin also wrote a significant New York Times bestseller, moving well over a million copies by now. But there was no Time cover, no Newsweek splash, no Katie Couric interview for that. Have you ever paused long enough to ask yourself why?

[T]he elitist media gets the joke. They are not putting him up there because they find him an effective, articulate spokesman for the right. They find him an oddity, something they can pin prick and laugh at. And consciously or not, they also know he has the potential to do tremendous damage to the right while having accomplished very little if anything much at all to help it himself.

And frankly, getting off one’s duff and getting involved in local or state party politics or actively joining up with the tea party movement is the only thing that’s going to help take back America and set the Republican Party right for the center-right.”—Dan Riehl

While I disagree with some of Riehl’s “gatekeeper” nonsense, he does make a few points that are worth noting.

I.M. Kane


I Come Not to Praise Glenn Beck, But to Bury Him

By Dan Riehl

When originally endeavoring to write an approximately 800-word opinion piece on Glenn Beck, I hadn’t taken into account what a truly difficult task it would be. I’ve no desire to alienate some of my many friends on the right currently embracing Beck. But I do have this terrible habit of usually speaking my mind. Glenn Beck deserves credit for what he is doing to hurt Obama — there is no question about that. But in thinking about the man overall as a media figure today, one allegedly aligned with the right, I also have serious concerns. I tried to do my best to address the topic fairly, and I regret that so complex a topic took me almost 1,800 words.

Given the down feeling across the right after last year’s elections, it’s almost exciting to watch Glenn Beck inject a new vitality into the nation’s political discourse. Nearly every one of Beck’s shows packs the respect, depth, sincerity, and intelligence of a good joke at a funeral parlor into one uproarious hour after another. I don’t know how anyone can keep from snickering … at least a little bit. So, what’s the harm in a good joke?

The harm as I see it is that so many seem to be taking the joke seriously. But can you blame them? No, probably not. The media culture of today has done everything in its power to prevent the right from seeing a serious, effective leadership emerge on the national stage. One need only look back to the recent — in fact, ongoing — mistreatment of Sarah Palin to demonstrate that. A deeply informed and experienced radio host, Mark Levin, has broken out in the radio world with ratings that make Glenn Beck’s real numbers look like the third tier radio host he actually is. Levin also wrote a significant New York Times bestseller, moving well over a million copies by now. But there was no Time cover, no Newsweek splash, no Katie Couric interview for that. Have you ever paused long enough to ask yourself why?

Full disclosure — yes, Mark Levin has become something of a dear and trusted friend. But please don’t mistake this as carping or defense on his behalf. Mark is the last person I know who needs or wants to be defended by someone else. My opinions in this matter have nothing to do with Levin and everything to do with the future of the right and the desperate need we have of winning a large number of state and district elections in 2010. And I am not suggesting that Glenn Beck should somehow shut up, go away, or stop pointing a finger at this out-of-control leftist White House whenever he can. Let’s be clear about that. What I am suggesting is that at least some relatively small but vocal amount of people are misunderstanding why Beck is getting the media exposure that he is.

In short, the elitist media gets the joke. They are not putting him up there because they find him an effective, articulate spokesman for the right. They find him an oddity, something they can pin prick and laugh at. And consciously or not, they also know he has the potential to do tremendous damage to the right while having accomplished very little if anything much at all to help it himself. And that’s a fact. He was given a non-prominent microphone and television show in a mostly uncompetitive time slot, replacing a very decent but relatively uncompelling and beyond-his-prime John Gibson. And piggybacking on the efforts of others, Beck has displayed tremendous marketing ability, or his handlers have, in making the absolute best use of it while also doing damage to a politically dangerous White House. He deserves praise and full credit for that.

However, we should not confuse what it is and what it is not, nor lose sight of the extremely dangerous time bombs he has planted for the right as he’s gone so thoughtlessly and carelessly on his way in doing it. First some facts as to what Beck has and has not actually done in terms of damaging the Obama administration. From the 9/12 tea party march, to Van Jones, the NEA scandal, and ACORN, none of these were the genuine work of Glenn Beck. He did no heavy lifting on any of those stories other than ginning up noise around them on his show, often milking them for days while, to genuine observers, all the facts were out there for anyone of a mind to find them out. That isn’t an insult. He has a television presence and it’s good that he’s currently using it to capitalize on stories that help the right and undermine Obama. I’m not begrudging him that.

But his attempt to co-opt the tea party movement with that silly 9/12 Project nonsense that never actually caught on was the most ham-fisted and perhaps only insulting one of them all. Nine principles and 12 values? Can anyone even name them today? They were supposed to be what it was all about once. Oh well, at least one of his marketing schemes hasn’t tracked, so we do know he’s human after all. The D.C. tea party protest was always planned to come off. All Beck did was come up with a scheme to weave into it, trying to make it his, and it failed. I know because I was there. Aside from whatever more rabid fans he may have encircled himself with for his broadcast that day, nothing about 9/12 was about Glenn Beck. The movement preceded him, just as it preceded Obama, having started under Bush. And frankly, getting off one’s duff and getting involved in local or state party politics or actively joining up with the tea party movement is the only thing that’s going to help take back America and set the Republican Party right for the center-right. In that sense, Beck is a distraction, if nothing else. But he is also something far worse. He’s a genuine danger to us and we need to sort that out. Without taking credit away from Beck for talking it up as he did, along with many, many others, the notion that 9/12 was much about Beck is a joke. The many pushing it were simply more generous in crediting the people actually involved — the little people, patriotic Americans across the country like you and me who are driving it. They stand in stark contrast to Beck, who seems to ultimately and always be about himself. As for the real meat behind the various other scandals mentioned, it was either Breitbart or blogger Gateway Pundit who did the real work on those. Beck’s great contribution was again, like others, to broadcast them. That’s a good thing. He deserves credit for that, though also unfortunately he seems so willing to make them his own. I guess that’s what so-called stars, or wannabe famous people, do.

But what else has he done? This represents my only serious concerns involving Beck. Otherwise, I doubt I’d be much interested in him at all. He’s called Barack Obama a racist, for one. I’m appalled by my friends on the right who seem so willing to pass that remark off as insignificant — almost pretending it was never said. It was outrageous, undeserved, and represents nothing but the very kind of racist cudgel the left has been falsely charging the right with being for years. Maybe Beck is one, otherwise he could never conceive of making such a remark — and so publicly at that.

I thought Barack Obama wasn’t even “really” black to many of his critics? I thought the good friend he was “pal-ing around with,” domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, was white? In fact, Obama has probably broken bread with more white people than black over the years. And forget the nuance, the rationalization around what it is he really meant or was trying to say. That doesn’t and won’t matter when the left and the media pick it back up and turn it on you, not just Glenn Beck, to call you intolerant and racist, just as they have wrongly been doing for years.

So, Beck-heads, be advised. If nothing else, don’t come crying to me about how a biased media mistreats you and calls you names you don’t deserve to be called when they tire of the right’s alleged fair-haired boy and decide to use his recklessness and lack of thought against you. And they will do it not just to you, but the entire conservative movement because he was prominently embraced and not denounced. Well, not me. And I want to be very clear and on record here. The comment was uncalled for.

And what about those internment camps? That’s a good one. When the story first broke I looked into it. It took all of an hour to read the text of the actual bill and see there was nothing to it at all. Yet somehow it took Beck, all the while stirring up his would-be masses, a month to figure it out. Really? With his supposedly dogged researchers and researching skills? Please, give me a break. So there again Beck has planted the very seed that, just as Obama’s past with ACORN is currently doing to him, is going to come back and hurt the right to a significant degree. We’ll be denounced en masse as a bunch of wild-eyed conspiracy freaks and racists. And thanks to any broad embrace of Glenn Beck and the lowest common denominator of showmanship that he represents, this time you’ll deserve it.

I understand the center-right’s frustration. For some time the Republican Party has failed us, though it does now seem to be getting on track based upon my observations here in Washington, D.C. I know how frustrating it was to watch the unfair destruction of Sarah Palin. In that sense, dare I say, I feel your pain. And I share the desperation of wanting to find someone that the media allows to stand up, to not be maligned while honestly and fairly speaking to our issues and representing our various just causes such as they are. But I refuse to accept just anyone in that role because it’s too important to me.

And I especially refuse to accept someone so reckless, uninformed, unthinking, and possibly even unserious with a very real potential to do the right more harm than good in the end.

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Obama and the Seven Dorks (H-T Dr. L)

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“Only the Obama administration could offer to release pre-scrubbed White House visitor logs while withholding tens of thousands of other records and call it transparency.  President Obama has violated his campaign promises of openness and transparency.  We hope the court will do what it has done on previous occasions and uphold FOIA law.”—Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch President


Obama Justice Department Tells Court to Shield White House Visitor Logs from Full Disclosure and FOIA Law

From Judicial Watch

Court Precedent Contradicts Obama Administration Position Justice Department Lawyers Claim Previous Court Cases “Incorrectly Decided”

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that the Obama Justice Department advanced the erroneous claim in an April 21, 2010, court filing that Secret Service’s logs of White House visitors are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  As Judicial Watch noted in its original complaint filed on December 7, 2009, this claim “has been litigated and rejected repeatedly” by the courts.

The Justice Department filing comes in Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit seeking records for all visitors to the White House from January 20, 2009, to the present.  On February 22, 2010, Judicial Watch filed a “Motion for Partial Summary Judgment” in its lawsuit, noting that the rule of law and court precedent do not support the position of the Obama administration:

“At issue here is whether Secret Service visitor logs are agency records subject to the Freedom of Information Act (‘FOIA’), 5 U.S.C. § 552.  To date, every court that has reached this issue has concluded that the requested documents are agency records and must be processed in response to a properly submitted FOIA request.  As no disputes of material fact exist as to the nature of the records, summary judgment as to this straightforward legal issue should be entered now.”

Noting court precedent, Judicial Watch argued in its motion that the visitor logs were “created by” the U.S. Secret Service and that they remain “under agency control.”  Judicial Watch also noted that the U.S. Secret Service had released the visitor logs in response to previous FOIA requests from Judicial Watch and other parties, further demonstrating that these records are under the control of the U.S. Secret Service and subject to FOIA.

However, Obama Justice Department lawyers countered in their court filing that “the district court cases on which [Judicial Watch] relies for a contrary conclusion were incorrectly decided,” and stuck by their argument that the visitor logs “are not agency (Secret Service) records subject to FOIA.”  Justice Department lawyers also repeated the blanket argument that to release these records could compromise national security and praised the Obama administration’s efforts to “voluntarily” release some White House visitor logs to the public.  (In 2009, the Obama White House began to release, in order to settle related litigation, a select number of Secret Service visitor logs to the public.  However, tens of thousands of other records continue to be withheld in defiance of FOIA law.)

The Obama White House admits in the new court filing that it is taking records from the Secret Service in order to ensure that they are not disclosed under FOIA. The Obama administration speculates that there would be “dire national security consequences” if certain White House visitors are disclosed.  The Obama White House wants to be able to withhold visitor logs until as long as 12 years after President Obama leaves office.

On October 27, at the request of the White House, Judicial Watch staff visited with senior White House officials led by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government, to discuss Judicial Watch’s pursuit of the visitor logs.  During the meeting, White House officials offered to make some accommodations to Judicial Watch on the visitor logs and encouraged Judicial Watch to publicly praise the Obama administration’s commitment to transparency.  However, the White House refused to abandon its legally indefensible contention that the visitor logs are not subject to FOIA law, prompting Judicial Watch’s lawsuit.

“The Obama administration would undermine a key transparency law in order to keep White House visitor logs secret,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. 

“Only the Obama administration could offer to release pre-scrubbed White House visitor logs while withholding tens of thousands of other records and call it transparency.  President Obama has violated his campaign promises of openness and transparency.  We hope the court will do what it has done on previous occasions and uphold FOIA law.”

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“The ruling was 5-4, with the court’s conservatives in the majority.”

Finally, the good guys win one. The highest court in the land has ruled the 8-foot white cross atop Sunrise Rock memorializing U.S. soldiers who fought in WWI will stay put. For background information on the story see my article “Such a Petty, Mean-Spirited Lawsuit.”

I.M. Kane


Supreme Court Says Mojave Cross Can Stay Where It Is

By Mark Sherman

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that a federal court went too far in ordering the removal of a congressionally endorsed war memorial cross from its longtime home in California.

In ruling the cross could stay, the justices said federal judges in California did not take sufficient notice of the government’s decision to transfer the land in a remote area of California to private ownership. The move was designed to eliminate any constitutional concern about a religious symbol on public land.

The ruling was 5-4, with the court’s conservatives in the majority.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars erected the cross more than 75 years ago atop an outcropping in the Mojave National Preserve.

It has been covered with plywood for the past several years following the court rulings. Court papers describe the cross as 5 feet to 8 feet tall.

“Here one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens agreed that soldiers who died in battle deserve a memorial to their service. But the government “cannot lawfully do so by continued endorsement of a starkly sectarian message,” Stevens said.

Six justices wrote separate opinions and none spoke for a majority of the court. The holding itself was narrow, ordering lower courts to look again at the transfer of land from the government to private control.

Lower federal courts previously ruled that the cross’ location on public land violated the Constitution and that the land transfer was, in effect, an end run around the constitutional problem. 

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“To put these rumors to rest once and for all, as we have said countless times before, Governor Crist is running for the United States Senate as a Republican. He will not run as an Independent or as a No Party Affiliation,” campaign manager Erik Eikenberg said in a prepared statement.

He blamed the rumors on Rubio’s campaign.

RINO Governor Charlie Crist has decided it is far better to lie to his countrymen and betray his Party than lose to Marco Rubio in Florida’s Republican primary August 24. Joining fellow RINOs Arlen Specter and Dede Scozzafava, Crist too proves he’s been just another progressive dressed in Republican clothing deceiving sheeple Republicans.   

I.M. Kane


Crist to Run as Independent in FL Sen Race

By Kimberly Schwandt and Carl Cameron

Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist has decided he will run as an independent in the race to fill the Florida U.S. Senate seat, Crist allies tell Fox News. The official announcement is scheduled for Thursday at 5pm ET in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Senate campaign has been rough and tumble for Crist, he was once the front-runner — but in recent months began trailing his GOP opponent, Florida State Speaker Marco Rubio.

Crist has said that under no circumstance would he drop out of the race, saying he will do what is best for the voters of Florida. The governor says Republicans in Washington want him to stay in the Republican party but voters in Florida have told him they want him to run as an independent.

His campaign and the governor’s office have not officially confirmed anything, however this move by Crist has made internal communications difficult because some staff are unlikely to continue to work with Crist as an independent candidate.

The governor is expected to use much of Thursday for courtesy calls to supporters, allies and some Republican officials nationwide. Close advisers expect him to say tomorrow that he looks forward to caucusing with Republicans but that is not a certainty, there are still some issues being worked out and discussed.

Rubio has clinched endorsements from big name Republicans including former Vice President Dick Cheney, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former 2008 presidential candidate and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

“Washington is broken and Congress is already overflowing with politicians who need pollsters to tell them what to think. It certainly doesn’t need another one. Now more than ever America needs leaders with the strength of conviction. That is why I am proud to endorse Marco Rubio,” Cheney said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who initially supported Crist, indicated Sunday that if Crist switched to run as an independent, he would no longer support him.

Crist had until Friday at noon to pick his party affiliation.

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Top 10 Reasons to Vote Democrat This November (H-T Dr. L)

10. Because you think oil companies’ profits of 10 cents per gallon of gasoline are obscene, but the 45.9 cents per gallon federal (18.4), state, and local (27.5) gasoline taxes aren’t.

9.  Because you think the government will do a better job of spending your hard-earned money than you will.

8.  Because you think freedom of speech and religion are fine as long as nobody is offended.

7.  Because you think Americans are too irresponsible to own guns for self-protection, and the police will always arrive on time to stop murderers, rapists, and thieves.

6.  Because you think that climatologists, who can’t accurately predict a two-day forecast in advance, can accurately predict the polar ice caps melting away in ten years if people don’t use compact fluorescent light bulbs and drive hybrid automobiles.

5.  Because you think it’s more important to keep convicted murders alive on death row than it is to stop the slaughter of millions of innocent babies through abortion.

4.  Because you think illegal aliens have more of a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits than American citizens do.

3.  Because you think businesses should only be allowed to break even and their profits should be confiscated through taxes and redistributed by the government to spread the wealth around to deserving minorities who will keep the Democrat Party in power in perpetuity.

2.  Because you think leftist federal judges should legislate from the bench and interpret the Constitution to placate the kook fringes whose agenda would never get past the voters.

1.  Because your head is so firmly lodged up your patoot that it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever have anything more than a narrow point of view.


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(H-T)  Chuck on the Right Side


Allen West Narrowly Leading in His Race For Congress?

By Jim Geraghty

Good news for fans of Allen West, the fiery congressional candidate running in Florida. (This YouTube of one of West’s short speeches to a conservative event in Fort Lauderdale has been watched more than 2.1 million times.)

He ran well in 2008 with almost no funding, and the rematch is going pretty well:

“Republican congressional challenger Allen West’s campaign released a poll this morning that shows West with a 44-to-42 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton. The poll of 400 “likely general election voters” was taken April 18-19 by Republican polling firm Wilson Research Strategies and has a 4.9 percent margin of error. That makes the race a statistical dead heat — which is not good news for an well-financed, well-known incumbent.”

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