Saturday, January 7, 2012

Last Call

John Podhoretz considers President Obama to be "weak" for making this week's recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board, which is actually kind of hysterically funny.

Maybe it’s the best hand Obama has to play, but it’s not a very good hand. For one thing, the voters who have turned on him don’t think he has exercised too little power, but rather too much — so bragging about doing things without congressional sanction may not play well.

Second, no matter how resolute he sounds, the fact that he has to act in a somewhat rogue manner is an expression of a profound loss of presidential authority — and one that he can’t successfully blame on Congress.

The hysterically funny part is that we do remember the fact that Podhoretz wrote a book about President George W. Bush expanding the powers of the executive office called "Bush Country: How Dubya Became A Great President While Driving Liberals Insane" right?  The entire premise of the book, in Podhoretz's own words?

''Love him or hate him, respect him or revile him, George W. Bush has made extraordinary use of the powers of the presidency and has changed the United States, its government and the world in ways that have made an indelible mark on the new century.''

In fact, Bush the Younger used the power quite often.  But not as much as President Reagan did.

Data from the Congressional Research Service
According to reports from the Congressional Research Service, during their time in office President Ronald Reagan made 240 recess appointments, President George H. W. Bush made 77 recess appointments, President Bill Clinton made 140 recess appointments, and George W. Bush made 171. Obama's first term has seen a paltry 28. In this context, Obama's move seems less like a power grab and more like the proverbial 98-pound weakling taking a second to wipe the sand out of his eyes.

It's okay if a Republican does it, apparently.  Funny how that works in Podhoretz's little corner of non-reality.  The GOP seems especially incensed because they claim the Senate was "in session" at the time, meaning that the appointments were unconstitutional.  Nary a peep out of the Republicans when Dubya was doing the same thing with the power of the executive.  Barely a word when Newt Gingrich last month declared he would simply ignore the Supreme Court if he didn't agree with them.

But Barack Obama makes a recess appointment, and it's TREE OF LIBERTY MUST BE REFRESHED WITH THE BLOOD OF TYRANTS time.  Hey, Republicans?  You have a recourse.  Reconvene the House.  Present articles of impeachment over this.  Let's see what you've got.

Otherwise, you're whinging about a power spelled out in the Constitution itself.  Shut it.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Out Of Des Moines

It turns out Mitt Romney may not have won in Iowa after all.

Mitt Romney received 20 fewer votes than are reported from a Moulton precinct in numbers posted by the Republican Party of Iowa, the Appanoose County GOP chairman said today.

The final vote between Iowa caucuses winner Mitt Romney was eight ahead of Rick Santorum.
“We stand by the figures that were presented by the Moulton precinct caucus,” said Lyle Brinegar, chairman of the Appanoose County GOP.

Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, continued to express confidence Friday that the order of finish will not change. He said the party would make no further comment until its two-week vote certification process is complete.

Moulton resident Edward True has signed an affidavit saying that he helped count the vote at the Garrett Memorial Library in Moulton and that the precinct had two votes for Romney, not 22, as reported online by the state GOP.

But here's the kicker: the article goes on to say that even if Santorum did win that it doesn't really change anything, we're told.  Rick's Slick is still going to lose in every other state. 

Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford said the results – even if the certification reveals a different answer – will change little other than bragging rights.

Santorum, who for months remained in the single digits in polls, wildly beat expectations, and that is the real story, Goldford said. The caucuses don’t result in an actual election, so there’s no additional harm done in terms of having to eject a candidate from a position, Goldford noted.

Now that's odd.  Republicans keep screaming how the voting process is inherently corrupt if it ever produces a Democrat as the winner because they always steal elections, therefore we must have strict voting laws in every state for every election that makes it as difficult as possible for people to vote in order to protect the integrity of the election system.  We have to pass laws to immediately protect the sacred process from the evils of those people who may try to vote 4812 times.  It's the only way one of them could end up President you know, and if you don't agree you're evil vote-stealing scum anyway.

But that election system apparently doesn't matter when it comes to the coronation of Mitt Romney as nominee as fast as possible.  Strange how that works.  Democrats aren't even American as far as most Republicans are concerned, but it's all good if Republicans fiddle with the election system.  It's just a caucus, right?  Besides, ACORN ACORN ACORN BLAH BLOOGITY BLAH CHICAGO WAY.

Everything Old Is New Again: The Clintonization Of The Obamas

Republican First Ladies are all saints, and Democratic ones are all cast iron bitches, apparently.  Two stories indicate that 2012 as an election year means Michelle Obama is fair game.  First, we get one step closer to the n-word...

Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal on Thursday apologized for an email that made fun of first lady Michelle Obama's hair style and mockingly called her "Mrs. YoMama."

The emails featured pictures comparing Mrs. Obama to the Grinch, a Dr. Seuss character, because of their similarly wind-blown hair.

"Sorry, just had to forward this latest holiday message," O'Neal reportedly wrote in the email he shared with fellow Republican lawmakers. "I've had worse hair days, but this is pretty funny."

According to The Lawrence Journal World, O'Neal forwarded from his personal computer the email that said, "I'm sure you'll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation - at our expense, of course."

Boy, I remember all the horribly racist emails about Laura Bush.  Oh wait, never happened.  And they'll keep doing it and apologizing only when they get busted as long as they can keep getting away with it.

But the story that shows that the GOP absolutely knows that President Obama and his wife are likeable people?  Michelle and Barack getting the Clinton Second Term treatment a year early with a new "White House insider" book by Jodi Kantor.

The dramatics that surrounded the passage of health care reform -- culminating in Emanuel's near-resignation -- reflect the type of struggles that routinely pitted Emanuel against the first lady during the first two years of the Obama administration. The two jockeyed for influence over the president even before he formally took office.

Kantor, who interviewed for the book 33 White House staffers (many on several occasions) but not the president or the first lady, reports that Michelle Obama had "doubts" about the choice of Emanuel as chief of staff. Emanuel, in turn, had been opposed to bringing Valerie Jarrett, the Obamas' longtime mentor, into the White House as a senior adviser.

Once the administration began, the frictions only escalated. Emanuel rejected an effort on the part of Michelle Obama's chief of staff, Jackie Norris, to be part of his 7:30 a.m. staff meeting. The administration did not outfit her with a speechwriter for some time. And the first lady's office grew so isolated from the rest of the presidential orbit that aides there began, as Kantor writes, "referring to the East Wing as 'Guam' -- pleasant but powerless."

Sam Stein, who really ought to know better, gleefully buys the portrayal of the First Lady as pretty much every awful stereotype ever associated with successful black women:  mean-spirited, arrogant, overly controlling, petty and disdainful of her "betters".  Michelle Obama is an asset to the President and to the country, and just a few days into 2012 it seems the plan is to completely trash her in an effort to sink her husband.

Where have we heard this story before?

It just gobsmacks me to see that as much as folks like Stein complain that Democrats aren't given a fair shake in the Village media (and they aren't most of the time) we have Stein guilty of breathlessly pushing this gossipy "Michelle Obama's really an awful person" nonsense.  I thought the Manic Progressive crew wanted Rahm out of the White House anyway.  Instead, we see that Michelle's a insecure screamer and the return of The Democrat In Charge Is An Emasculated Wuss from that "bastion of liberalism", FDL.

And I shake my head as I realize there's now a concerted effort at the top to lower Michelle Obama's likeability ratings as low as possible because she is such an amazing asset to the President.  Yes, official Washington hated Hillary Clinton when she was in the White House.  But they absolutely despise even the thought of an accomplished PoC in the position.

2012 is going to be an unremittingly slimy year for the Obamas.  And the worst part is I truly believe part of the reason this is being done is to get Hillary 2012 folks off the hook.  It's not racism if it happened to the Clintons too, you know.

Except as the top of the post recounts, what Michelle Obama is going through is much worse.

Read more here:

2012's First "Worst Thing I Heard All Year" Kicks Off

On December 25th, a 22-year-old woman fell and hurt her head.  She lost consciousness, and woke up in the ambulance to a sexual assault by the lone paramedic in the ambulance.  He has since turned himself in, and has been charged with sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

It is standard practice for a single person to be present in the back of an ambulance.  While they look large from the outside, once you fit in a patient and the medical equipment there isn't room for anyone else.  Patients are not in a position to give permission for cameras, but surely there must be a way to protect patients from predators, and professional rescuers from patients waking up in confusing and frightening situations.  

I spend a lot of time reading about crime, and a fair amount writing about it.  I am constantly thinking of unique ways for fictional characters to pull of crimes.  I would have never thought of this.  You know it has happened before, and that it will happen again.

Taking advantage of a woman who is injured and relying on that person for life-saving care?  We have our first Worst Thing I Heard All Year 2012 contender.

Heroes Abound

With any story like this, I tend to hold on to see if there is anything else going to come out to explain the events.  In this case, it really is as straightforward as it seems.  This young woman deserves to be recognized.  She did something incredibly brave, and she kept her wits about her the entire time.  And though she did what she was forced to, she does not go on with fake bravado or witty sayings.  Instead, she expresses remorse for having to shoot a man to death to protect her child.

"Obviously when somebody breaks into your house with a deadly weapon, they're not here for anything good," McKinley tells NewsOK. "But I am very sorry and it wasn't anything I wanted to do."

McKinley showed tremendous composure and maturity during an unimaginable holiday season that started when her husband Kenneth died of lung cancer Christmas Day and ended when two burglars, reportedly looking for any pain medications left behind, started slamming at the doors of her Blanchard, Okla. mobile home on Dec. 31.

"I walked over and got the 12 gauge, went in the bedroom and got the pistol, put the bottle in [my son's] mouth, then I called 911,” McKinley tells Eyewitness News 5, explaining she wanted the baby to remain quiet so the intruders would not know where she was standing as they charged through the door.

As she laid out the situation to dispatcher Diane Graham, McKinley said, "I've got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in my door?"

Graham responded: "You do whatever you have to do to protect your baby."

You're damn right, Miss Graham. It's unfortunate that a man had to die, but he put a baby at risk to take advantage of a teenage widow mourning her husband. When you commit yourself to a plan like that, you get what you get. I hope she continues to process the event and come to grips with the enormity of it so she can go on with a relatively normal life.

Two Plus Two Equals Bigotry

This story has been pissing me off all morning.

A math worksheet for third graders that used examples of slavery in word problems has angered some parents at a Norcross elementary school, Channel 2 Action News reports.

One word problem stated, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?" Another said, "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”

Such questions can evoke bitter memories in Georgia, where African Americans were enslaved for generations until the Civil War and the elimination of slavery.

"It kind of blew me away,” Christopher Braxton, a parent of a child at Beaver Ridge Elementary School, told Channel 2. "I was furious. … Something like this shouldn't be embedded into a kid of the third, fourth, fifth, any grade."

Another Beaver Ridge parent, Terrance Barnett, said, "I’m having to explain to my 8-year-old why slavery or slave or beatings is in a math problem. So that hurts.”

That's not the infuriating part, although it is unremittingly horrendous.  The part that's absolutely floored me is the school's response:

Gwinnett County School District officials said teachers were attempting to incorporate history into math lessons.

No.  Here's my response: You all should be fired immediately.  Any such justification is a failure on part of the administrators, plain and simple.  We have a zero tolerance policy for such behavior from students precisely because we're told it cannot be tolerated in a school environment.

I think educators and school administrators need to be held to even higher standards on setting examples for students.  This was at best, so brain-numbingly misguided that the school administration should have stepped in and stopped it immediately.

But the millisecond the administrators decided to excuse the behavior, they lost their rights to be administrators, period. Time for heads to roll.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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