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In the following editorial, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist by training, delivers a succinct but thorough and trenchant analysis and refutation of the charges made by liberals against conservatives as to their influential role in the committing of the Tucson massacre. This is the coup de grace to wildly unfounded and politically motivated accusations made by liberal and Progressives against the Tea Parties and higher profile conservatives like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
He also brilliantly trivializes and emasculates the intellectually and morally corrupt and uncontrollably partisan Progressive Paul Krugman along with the NY Times in addition to highlighting their hypocrisy.
Massacre, followed by libel
Charles Krauthammer January 12, 2011;
The charge: The Tucson massacre is a consequence of the "climate of hate" created by Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Obamacare The Tucson massacre is a consequence of the "climate of hate" created by Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Obamacare.
The verdict: Rarely in American political discourse has there been a charge so reckless, so scurrilous and so unsupported by evidence.
As killers go, Jared Loughner is not reticent. Yet among all his writings, postings, videos and other ravings - and in all the testimony from all the people who knew him - there is not a single reference to any of these supposed accessories to murder.
Not only is there no evidence that Loughner was impelled to violence by any of those upon whom Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, the New York Times, the Tucson sheriff and other rabid partisans are fixated. There is no evidence that he was responding to anything, political or otherwise, outside of his own head.
A climate of hate? This man lived within his very own private climate. "His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world," said the teacher of Loughner's philosophy class at Pima Community College. "He was very disconnected from reality," said classmate Lydian Ali. "You know how it is when you talk to someone who's mentally ill and they're just not there?" said neighbor Jason Johnson. "It was like he was in his own world."
His ravings, said one high school classmate, were interspersed with "unnerving, long stupors of silence" during which he would "stare fixedly at his buddies," reported the Wall Street Journal. His own writings are confused, incoherent, punctuated with private numerology and inscrutable taxonomy. He warns of government brainwashing and thought control through "grammar." He was obsessed with "conscious dreaming," a fairly good synonym for hallucinations.
This is not political behavior. These are the signs of a clinical thought disorder - ideas disconnected from each other, incoherent, delusional, detached from reality.
These are all the hallmarks of a paranoid schizophrenic. And a dangerous one. A classmate found him so terrifyingly mentally disturbed that, she e-mailed friends and family, she expected to find his picture on TV after his perpetrating a mass murder. This was no idle speculation: In class "I sit by the door with my purse handy" so that she could get out fast when the shooting began.
Furthermore, the available evidence dates Loughner's fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to at least 2007, when he attended a town hall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin.
Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no Tea Party or health-care reform. The only climate of hate was the pervasive post-Iraq campaign of vilification of George W. Bush, nicely captured by a New Republic editor who had begun an article thus: "I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it."
Finally, the charge that the metaphors used by Palin and others were inciting violence is ridiculous. Everyone uses warlike metaphors in describing politics. When Barack Obama said at a 2008 fundraiser in Philadelphia, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," he was hardly inciting violence.
Why? Because fighting and warfare are the most routine of political metaphors. And for obvious reasons. Historically speaking, all democratic politics is a sublimation of the ancient route to power - military conquest.
That's why the language persists. That's why we say without any self-consciousness such things as "battleground states" or "targeting" opponents. Indeed, the very word for an electoral contest - "campaign" - is an appropriation from warfare.
When profiles of Obama's first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, noted that he once sent a dead fish to a pollster who displeased him, a characteristically subtle statement carrying more than a whiff of malice and murder, it was considered a charming example of excessive - and creative - political enthusiasm. When Senate candidate Joe Manchin dispensed with metaphor and simply fired a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill - while intoning, "I'll take dead aim at [it]" - he was hardly assailed with complaints about violations of civil discourse or invitations to murder.
Did Manchin push Loughner over the top? Did Emanuel's little Mafia imitation create a climate for political violence? The very questions are absurd - unless you're the New York Times and you substitute the name Sarah Palin.
The origins of Loughner's delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Krugman's?
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Since the Tucson shooting, seemingly ubiquitous “pundits” are asserting that this tragedy was the direct result of the vitriol that we have in our contemporary political discourse. Virtually all of these self acclaimed experts are of the liberal and Progressive persuasion and ascribe such incendiary rhetoric solely to the other side of the ideological spectrum: conservatives and Republicans. Even more specifically, they overwhelmingly place the blame on 3 prominent individuals: Gov. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
This has been their pattern seemingly no matter what the problem is with Sarah Palin being the object of the majority of the criticism and disparagement. We are surprised that they haven’t blamed her for global warming or the high level of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Ironically, nearly all the truly violent speech and threats have arisen from the Liberal and Progressive news media and politicians and their level of shrillness continues to escalate. (Read the post from 2 days ago: Liberals Exploit Tucson Tragedy For Political Purposes ). In fact, among the worst abusers of “metaphorically violent speech” is their “leader”, “president” Obama. He has also been habitually divisive, taunting of those whose ideology is different from his, and verbally belligerent.
A poster boy for hate, intolerance and violence.
Barry's Angry Words
Jed Babbin 1.11.11
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, overseeing the investigation the Tucson shootings that left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a coma and federal judge John Roll and five others dead, wasted little time in blaming heated political rhetoric for the crime.
Shortly after the first reports of the shootings, Dupnick said, "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital," adding "We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry." Giffords' father, asked if she had any enemies, reportedly said that the whole Tea Party was her enemy.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the attack on Giffords and the others is a result of political rhetoric. The political anger there is -- built over nearly two years of the Obama presidency -- resulted in a force that ejected of 63 House members last November. And the root cause of the anger is to be found in the man who resides in the White House.
Every president is responsible for the political climate while he is in office. Using the Bully Pulpit, controlling his agenda and in dealing with the Congress and the public, every president has at least great control -- if not sole control -- of the level of heat in American politics. When a president loses that control, like Obama did last fall, it presages a political disaster for him and his party.
President Obama is a tumultuary. He governs by inflating or inventing crises which he insists must be acted upon as he prescribes with an immediacy that tolerates no delay or debate. His signature remark -- repeated again and again -- is that "The time for talk is over. The time for action is now."
Obama derides debate, and refuses to answer critics, choosing instead to end the discussion. In January 2009, challenged by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Az) on the shape and size of the economic stimulus package he proposed, Obama cut off the discussion by saying, "I won."
And that is his style. Whether it's angry words spoken with a preternatural calm or calm words delivered in a visibly angry demeanor, he has cultivated the anger that propelled his legislative agenda through Congress in a tsunami of unread and undebated legislation.
The anger voiced at countless townhall meetings in 2009 was the first visible response to Obama's stampeding Congress to remake America. People who had never been active in politics went to tell their congressmen and senators that they felt that their government no longer represented them.
But instead of listening to the protests of those new townhall activists, Obama and his congressional allies rammed the healthcare "reform" bill through to his signing ceremony when Vice President Biden memorably called it a "big effing deal." It was, and it further distanced Americans from their government.
Too many Americans are alienated from their government because they don't trust it. And, given the record of the past decade, they shouldn't. Those who live in border states are virtually left to defend themselves against the encroachment of illegal aliens and violent crime. For all the spending that Obama has done, we still have nearly 10% unemployed (and many more in some states).
Alienation and frustration breed anger.
And so does Obama. His cultivation of anger is nearly a constant in his rhetoric.
His style uses two rhetorical tools: stating angry words calmly or stating calm words angrily. There are many examples of each. His talent for managing anger -- and his allusions to violence - first became evident in his presidential campaign.
At a June 2008 campaign fundraiser in Philadelphia, Obama calmly -- almost jokingly - said "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."
On January 31, 2009, shortly after taking office, Obama used angry words calmly. Talking about Wall Street bankers in a video, he said "The American people will not excuse or tolerate such arrogance and greed."
In December 2009 at the Copenhagen global warming summit, Obama's dream of a new global warming treaty vanished when China and other nations balked at the economy-killing nature of the proposals. Then a visibly angry Obama hurled his calm signature line at the Chinese saying "the time has come not to talk but to act."
His best use of the "angry words spoken calmly" tactic was in his June 7, 2010 blunt defense of his administration's lackadaisical response to the BP oil spill. Obama had convened a panel of experts to advise him, bragging endlessly of his energy secretary's Nobel Prize. When his academic approach to the disaster was too much for even the liberal media, Obama explained that he brought in the experts to help him decide "whose ass to kick." (Later that year, on October 31, Obama was again visibly angry, lashing back at Connecticut rally hecklers yelling about AIDS.)
It's rare for Obama to appear angry and speak angrily at the same time. The best example was his December 7, 2010 press conference at the height of the congressional fight over extending the Bush-era tax rates. There, Obama apparently adopted the angle Sen. Bob Menendez took a week earlier. Menendez had said that negotiating with the Republicans was almost like negotiating with terrorists.
In his press conference an angry -- even petulant -- Obama lashed out at Republicans, saying "It's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed...The hostage was the American people." He also kicked his liberal supporters, telling them to not be "sanctimonious" and reminding them that "this country was founded on compromise."
Anger is not malum in se: it's not an evil emotion. Anger is a strong passion or an emotion of displeasure. It is a natural response to all sorts of affronts, be they personal or political. In politics, anger stirs people to demonstrate, to speak out and to vote as they did last November. And among those who are not unhinged, it doesn't breed violence.
That is why it is perfectly understandable that Professor Obama would want to create and control anger in the electorate. And that is also why we are left to wonder why, in cultivating political anger so assiduously, he uses words of violence such as "hostage takers."
One clue can be found in Obama's first autobiography, Dreams from My Father.
Most of us remember being influenced by books in our childhood. Whether you studied the Bible or pored over the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, at least one book sticks in your mind as having influenced your view of the world and your way of thinking.
Obama mentions only one book in Dreams from My Father, the Autobiography of Malcolm X, and he mentions it twice.
In one part of the book, Obama wrote of how he sought to shake off a "nightmare vision" of racial repression, and of reading Baldwin, Ellison, Hughes, Wright and DuBois to try to understand. But "Only Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will…"
How did that influence the young Obama? We will never know, and it not of ultimate importance. What is important is how an American president manages the anger he creates.
Barack Obama is an accomplished rhetorician. His loss of control over the political climate last year has seemingly been recovered in the December lame duck session. It is up to him to heat or cool American politics. At this point, there is no reason to believe that the angry words, or the calm words stated angrily, will be fewer this year than last.
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies.
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For far too long, politicians on both sides of the aisle have refused to seriously address the looming financial apocalypse facing this nation. Escalating costs and expenditures far outpacing collections along with unfavorable demographics are taking this country to debt levels that will be unsustainable and impossible to reverse. Bankruptcy is not an option but the alternatives are marginally better. Regardless, the impact on our standard of living would be devastating.
What we need now is an aggressive, realistic and effective long term solution that can be implemented before we reach the point of no return which this country is rapidly approaching. Of course, it would need bipartisan support and some real fortitude and sacrifice in order to effect the desirable changes.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R - WI) has formulated a plan call the Roadmap for America's Future which meets this challenge head on and seems to provide the best strategy thus far and one that has a real chance for success. In contrast, the recommendations of Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are inadequate, inaccurate and misguided.
In the following editorial, Sarah Palin lucidly describes why she feels that the Ryan plan offers the best hope to rectify our financial disaster.
Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap
Let's not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president's deficit commission offers.
The publication of the findings of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was indeed, as the report was titled, "A Moment of Truth." The report shows we're much closer to the budgetary breaking point than previously assumed. The Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. As early as 2025, federal revenue will barely be enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our national debt. With spending structurally outpacing revenue, something clearly needs to be done to avert national bankruptcy.
Speaking with WSJ's Jerry Seib, Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI) insisted that the deal between Republicans and the White House on the Bush Tax Cuts was not a second stimulus and that the agreement would promote growth despite adding to the deficit.
The commission itself calculates that, even if all of its recommendations are implemented, the federal budget will continue to balloon—to an estimated $5 trillion in 2020, from an already unprecedented $3.5 trillion today. The commission makes only a limited effort to cut spending below the current trend set by the Obama administration.
Among the few areas of spending it does single out for cuts is defense—the one area where we shouldn't be cutting corners at a time of war. Worst of all, the commission's proposals institutionalize the current administration's new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen's report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar.
It also implicitly endorses the use of "death panel"-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board—making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.
The commission's recommendations are a disappointment. That doesn't mean, though, that the commission's work was a wasted effort. For one thing, it has exposed the large and unsustainable deficits that the Obama administration has created through its reckless "spend now, tax later" policies. It also establishes a clear bipartisan consensus on the need to fundamentally reform our entitlement programs. We need a better plan to build on these conclusions with common-sense reforms to tackle our long-term funding crisis in a sustainable way.
In my view, a better plan is the Roadmap for America's Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.). The Roadmap offers a reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs, and it does so by encouraging personal responsibility and independence.
On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.
The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission's proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.
On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap's proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs.
The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.
Together these reforms help to secure our entitlement programs for the 21st century. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan's Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.
Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it's too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a "much more favorable macroeconomic outlook" for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.
Is Rep. Ryan's Roadmap perfect? Of course not—no government plan ever is. But it's the best plan on the table at a time when doing nothing is no longer an option.
Let's not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president's commission offers. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make these tough decisions so that they might inherit a prosperous and strong America like the one we were given.
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The dismissive attitude with which the Obama Administration has “handled” the Wikileaks has been nothing short of stupefying. They had the best legal and technological resources available to them that might have prevented further embarrassing, damaging and top secret leaks after the initial releases back in July yet apparently did little.
The consequences of their inaction and insouciance are incalculably catastrophic and far-reaching and will have lasting effects and influences on both our allies and enemies. This newest set of leaks has been called the 9/11 of diplomacy and foreign policy.
Myriad questions need to be asked and answered on both sides of this equation including how one 22 year old Private was able to obtain access to all this information including some that were labeled top secret ones.
Is Obama so incompetent that he didn’t have the common sense or intelligence to aggressively pursue an expeditious solution?
Or is this part of his strategy to countenance the destruction of this country in every way possible and this was a perfect strategy? The ideological statements which he has made in this past support the validity of this.
Was he just too bored, detached or distracted to give this disaster its due attention?
We suspect all of these figured into the equation.
Which leads to our now almost daily call to have Obama removed from office ASAP!
There is another immensely important issue obliquely related to this saga of the inability of the government to protect and defend its deepest diplomatic and foreign policy secrets. This involves Obamacare and the mandated government’s handling of our medical records and information.
Virtually more important than anything else relating to government controlled healthcare is the protection of the confidentially of our health information. We knew before the wikileaks that maintaining our medical privacy would be next to impossible particularly given that potentially 100,000 individuals might be able to access our records due to the bureaucratic arrangement.
Well, now make that absolutely impossible!
We cannot trust the government with our medical information. Period!
The magnitude of the risk of the inadvertent release and posting, theft and even blackmail of our health care records is incomprehensibly higher compared to the stolen “top secret” government files.
This should be the number one “deal breaker” that vaporizes Obamacare.
Serious Questions about the Obama Administration's Incompetence in the Wikileaks Fiasco
Sarah Palin November 29, 2010
We all applaud the successful thwarting of the Christmas-Tree Bomber and hope our government continues to do all it can to keep us safe. However, the latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.
First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a “journalist,” any more than the “editor” of al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a “journalist.” He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?
What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?
Most importantly, serious questions must also be asked of the U.S. intelligence system. How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information? And how was it possible that he could copy and distribute these files without anyone noticing that security was compromised?
The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks like this happen again. It’s of course important that we do all we can to prevent similar massive document leaks in the future. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?
We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.
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You may or may not like Sarah Palin but she can sure simplify and deliver a message that most people can understand and relate to. Her criticism of Obama’s naive and reckless new policy of removing the nuclear reprisal deterrent in situations where the United States is attacked is unquestionably correct. The average American knows it. Even a 4th grader would tell you that Obama is dead wrong.
Fourth grader’s example: A much smaller kid comes up to you and starts arguing and threatening to punch you for no reason. You first tell him to walk away and that it is not in anyone’s best interest to fight. If he ignores you, you tell him in no uncertain terms that if he lays even one finger on you, you will beat the #!%*&! out of him until he is one bloody, swollen and deformed pulp. The smaller kid will virtually always turn around and run away.
It is Obama who is manifestly clueless and incompetent and who is placing Americans at grave risk of attack.
Obama: Palin's No Expert on Nuclear Strategy
FOXNews.com April 8, 2010
Obama was responding to a comment made on Fox News' "Hannity," comparing the president's plan to a kid asking to be punched in the face on the playground and vowing not to hit back.
Sarah Palin is no nuke expert, President Obama said Thursday in a TV interview, responding to Palin's criticism of Obama's new nuclear strategy.
Obama was asked about a comment the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee made on Fox News' "Hannity," comparing the president's plan to a kid asking to be punched in the face on the playground and vowing not to hit back.
"Last I checked, Palin's not an expert on nukes," Obama told ABC News. "If the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are comfortable, I'll take my advice from them and not Sarah Palin."
Obama has taken heat from the right for a shift in nuclear strategy that would limit the potential uses of nuclear weapons -- even in self defense -- while making exceptions for nations like Iran that have flouted international sanctions.
"It's unbelievable. Unbelievable. No administration in America's history would, I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out that President Obama is supporting today," Palin, a former Alaska governor and now a Fox News contributor, said Wednesday in an interview with Sean Hannity.
"You know that's kind of like getting out there on the playground a bunch of kids ready to fight and one of the kids saying go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me," she said. "No, it is unacceptable.
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