Various and Sundry

The CBO Findings-A Window into Party Perception

Let me start by saying I haven’t read the CBO report which states the ACA’s impact on future employment. All I’ve heard is the spin from both sides and it’s the spin that fascinates me.

Liberals say the CBO finding is good news. It means people will no longer be shackled to jobs they hate for fear of losing their health insurance. Conservatives say the ACA will provide yet another nanny state disincentive to work, proven by the CBO projections. I ask what is the more realistic and optimistic view?

Let’s talk reality. To afford even a heavily subsidized insurance premium people will have to work. This notion of folks just sitting back and not working doesn’t jibe with the realities of day to day life. But let’s also consider the optimistic vs pessimistic view of the American people. For all their patriotic screams of his-boom-ba, conservatives seem to view the American people as shiftless lazy loafers who will use any excuse not to work. What else could explain their reaction to the CBO report?

We WANT an economy in which number of jobs exceeds number of job seekers. It leads to lower unemployment and greater incentive for companies to make jobs more attractive to an employment pool that can now afford to be choosy. What could possibly be bad about a population that works for the joy of it and not because their health insurance is not portable?

I have to ask my conservative friends when we talk about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, what about that last one do you not understand?

The Limits of Executive Power

Conservative leaders recently said they were reticent about going forward on immigration reform because they couldn’t trust the President to execute the law as passed. Normally I’d dismiss this as Republican excuse making but this time it made me stop and think. Obama has been explicit in his intent to do as much without Congress as possible. This makes any constitutionalist rightfully quake in their boots.

Here’s the catch. I believe our founders envisioned a Congress where matters were debated and progress coupled with compromise was achieved. I don’t believe they imagined the Boehner House, the least productive in recent history or the McConnell minority in the Senate making unprecedented use of the filibuster to stall legislation. What would they say is the obligation of the executive faced with the abject failure of the legislative?

I don’t share the sky is falling view of my more conservative friends. If Obama’s acts truly violate the constitution to a criminal extent then by all means he should be impeached. I believe in the long haul justice prevails. In fact a trial of Obama would be intersecting from this perspective.

From what I understand charges against Andrew Johnson were largely trumped up. Nixon faced impeachment for covering up a burglary. Clinton was tried for covering up a blow job. A trial of Obama would put to the test the true limits of executive power not involving petty crime and sexual scandal.

I’m not sure if Obama is overstepping his bounds. I am sure that Congress by neglect of their own duties has opened the door to greater executive authority. If they want to stop Obama they need to positively legislate, not simply oppose.

Why I’m (Almost) Through With MSNBC

Ahh I miss the old thrill I would get from a self righteous Keith Olbermannn speech. He could cover so much ground and scorch all the conservative patches of it. His only true obsession besides sports was his nemesis Bill O’Reilly. To watch primetime MSNBC the past few weeks you’d think the most vital issue in America today was New Jersey Bridgegate.

My conservative friends laugh at me and mock me because I considered MSNBC a fair source of commentary especially when compared to Fox News. Now they have every right to jeer. This Christie coverage is a transparent attempt to discredit the only credible rival to a Hillary Clinton 2016 candidacy. I’m not saying Christie’s record should not be scrutinized but the MSNBC coverage is way over the top.

Sadly, the network no longer stirs the fires in my political loins. I watch it now more for pure entertainment and by habit. There are nights when I’d just as soon watch the Food Network.

Enough About Hate Crimes

Let’s start with a simple thought experiment.

A black man is deliberately killed by a white man who hates black people.

A black man is deliberately killed by a white member of the NAACP.

Which black man is more dead?

This past week I heard yet another conjecture about whether the recent murder of a black man was a “hate crime”. I don’t remember the details and it doesn’t matter. The whole concept is absurd. It is based on the nutty liberal concept that you can legislate people into loving and accepting each other.

The surest way to turn a bigot into a bigger bigot is to self righteously lecture him about his beliefs. Hearts and minds don’t change via punishment. The hate crime distinction is actually counter productive in changing hearts and minds.

Intentional murder is intentional murder. Punish the crime. For the hate, you just have to wait for the bigots to die off and the younger generation to come along. We see examples of that progress every day.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

NPR President Vivian Schiller Should be Fired

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Wow, sometimes proving political correctness gone awry doesn’t get any easier than this. Apparently on Fox, Juan Williams told Bill O’Reilly that although he gets nervous when he sees Muslims boarding his flight, he thinks we need to control our prejudices. The first half of that comment got Williams summarily fired from his gig at NPR.

Now apparently, the defense for the firing according to NPR President Vivian Schiller was that Williams violated NPR terms of employment. This from the Huffington Post:

Schiller appeared at the Atlanta Press Club, where she defended the decision, saying that Williams had violated NPR’s guidelines barring its analysts from making personal or controversial statements.

via Juan Williams On NPR Firing: No One Spoke To Me Before Firing Me

Well for starters, does NPR really want to be that much of a yawner network? No personal or controversial statements? Does NPR stand for Not Particularly Relevant? It also defies logic since Williams made the statement (taken out of context) on Fox, not NPR.

But here’s the kicker. Schiller went on to say:

… he should keep his feelings about Muslims between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist.”

Now is it just me or does that comment sound the least bit personal or controversial? Seems to me old Viv ought to be fired if we’re gonna stick by NPR guidelines. Fortunately for Viv, she’s the President so she could give herself a day to make a public apology for the comment. Apparently Williams got no opportunity at all to defend himself.

Look, I’m not a huge fan of Juan Williams. I don’t think he’s the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. But political correctness has gone too far when someone warns against prejudice by using himself as an example and then gets fired for his self-effacing candor.

When Barack Obama said that his white grandmother would sometimes make him cringe with racially insensitive comments, conservatives shouted that he threw his grandma under the bus (and some went as far as to say it proved he hates white people). We liberals came to his defense, reminding everyone of the full context of the comment, which included how much he loved the grandmother who partly raised him. If we’re going to be intellectually honest and consistent, we must now come to the defense of semi-conservative Juan Williams who made an honest and ultimately instructive comment about his views toward Muslims, when taken in full context.

Comedian Jackie Mason used to tell a joke about how he never got nervous if a bunch of Hasidim gathered behind him at an ATM machine (vs if a bunch of blacks did). The joke illustrates that we have a reason for our prejudices. It is incumbent upon us to reach deep into our better selves and overcome those prejudices. That was all Juan Williams was saying.

It’s an honest shame that Schiller and her cronies are so afraid of a fatwa being declared against them that they would not only trample on the First Amendment but do so to the detriment of a valuable discussion that we need to have in this country right now.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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Obama Oval Office Address: Even Left Says Epic Fail

I noticed recently that one of my conservative readers started quoting from liberal media sources, sources that he had previously derided. He helped me understand why and tonight I got a full blast of confirmation. You see, the liberal media is starting to turn on Barack Obama and conservative Obama-haters everywhere no longer need to seek refuge at Fox “News” to get their daily fix of Obama-ass-kicking. (That’s Obama being kicked, not the other way around.)

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Tonight, Obama spent about 15 minutes broadcasting from the Oval Office his plan of action for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. Oh wait a minute, there was no discernible plan discussed. Forget O’Reilly, Hannity or Limbaugh. Keith Olbermann, yes the left’s answer to the Fox stable of opinion-meisters, was nearly apoplectic at the conclusion of Obama’s address tonight. He wasn’t alone. His guests, Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman piled on too.

Nearly everyone on the left defined tonight as Obama’s opportunity to make the Kennedy-moon-mission speech with the new mission being energy independence. It didn’t happen. At one moment it came close. You see, Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon and bring him safely back to Earth. He threw down the gauntlet and let the details take care of themselves. That is what a President is supposed to do. He is NOT supposed to tell the American people we will change our energy policy …. I don’t know how but it is going to happen. What do you mean, you don’t know how? You don’t need to say that. That is not what we want to hear from you. Then, to add insult to injury the ghosts of George W and Sarah Palin appeared as Obama told us that with God’s help everything would work out. Is God a new cabinet appointee? Is prayer a substitute for good domestic policy? Is the Holy Father going to clean up MMS?

From day 1, Obama could kiss conservative support goodbye. His only hope of political survival is a loyal base. This base is looking for boldness. We didn’t see it tonight. Obama truly could have skipped tonight’s address and he’d be no worse off.

Memo to the President: You know you are in trouble when conservatives eagerly tune to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow to see you get eviscerated.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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