Monthly Archives: May 2014

Still the Party of Lincoln

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elections 2014 postThe decisive rejection by Republican delegates of a resolution asserting a right to secede from the Union, may be seen by some as another GOP surrender to those conspiring against their liberty.

But realistically, good intentions no more excuse foolishness on the Right than on the Left. The misguided resolution exemplified what happens when people spend a lifetime ignoring politics, awake suddenly to things going wrong, and demand instant, slogan-ready solutions.

One wonders how people of conservative inclinations can get things so completely backward. In the secession crisis preceding the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln saw the survival of the American form of government dependent on keeping the states—all of them—together, and so conducted what remains the bloodiest war in America’s history in order to preserve the Union.

Had the proponents of the current secession nonsense controlled the Republican Party in 1860, they would have demanded candidate Lincoln pledge not to preserve the Union but to expel the southern states in the name of what they imagined to be a principle more valuable than the survival of a nation that would accommodate the existence of differing political views.

Nobody realizes more keenly than we do, that modern liberalism abhors competing views. The right response is not an attempt to outdo Liberals in the practice of exclusionary politics, but to defeat them with the knowledge that fair-minded people must reject Liberal intolerance as a comprehensive threat to human freedom, irrespective of political preferences.

To meet that threat with a counter-threat to abandon the field, essentially forfeiting the thing that’s supposedly being defended, is equivalent to saying I will fight to the death to preserve your freedom, so long as you’re just like me.

Sabotage from the Bench

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vote2014In seven months, honest citizens will go undefended against voter fraud in elections to decide the fate of reforms that brought order to Wisconsin government finances over the past three years.

The potential for organized fraud has grown with the known intention of national unions to spend tens of millions of dollars trying to destroy Governor Scott Walker. To think ACORN-like election fraud won’t be attempted is beyond idiotic.

Wisconsin’s continuing defenselessness in the face of this escalating threat is due to last week’s ruling by Lynn Adelman, a federal judge whose immediate prior employment was as a 20-year member of the Democratic Caucus in the Wisconsin State Senate.

Adelman ruled, preposterously, that Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the voting rights of ethnic minorities.

There are two possible explanations for this reasoning: It’s either a brazen lie serving  a partisan desire for as much fraud as possible, knowing Democrats will benefit, or an arrogant  condescension, assuming minority voters are incapable of meeting the requirements expected of everyone else.

After all, the law doesn’t compel only minorities to produce identification. If Adelman insists on his tortured logic, it suggests a belief that minority voters are so unmotivated that if anything at all is required of them, they will care too little about voting to bother following through.

One may as well file suit challenging the need to show up at a polling place to cast a ballot because it interferes with the fundamental right to stay in bed all day.

If it is to be accorded the deference due a bad decision—as opposed to the contempt due naked partisanship—then Adelman’s decision is the judicial embodiment of George W. Bush’s incandescent phrase, “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Both dangerous and shameful, in either case.

Necessarily Skyrocketing

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rising_prices“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket… because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations.  That will cost money; they will pass that money on to consumers.”

Thus spoke Barack Obama in January 2008 to the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle who, evidently grasping the implications of reporting the statement ten months before Election Day, saw fit to leave it out of the seven-or-so interview-based stories turned up by a search of Chronicle archives.

We’ll know how desperate the administration is to take credit for something if Jay Carney steps to the podium to announce that Obama got something right: The word “skyrocketed” appears prominently in a Friday Los Angeles Times story about U.S. electricity rates.

Granted, the skyrocketing occurred despite the refusal of the Democrat-controlled Congress to pass cap-and-trade and is linked to cold weather.  Still the Times makes clear that future skyrocketing will result directly from Obama’s policies rendering U.S. electricity production simultaneously more expensive and less reliable.

And remember that every bit of this is a direct result of the bogus campaign to arrest the planet-killing menace of global warming, which satellite records reveal to have self-arrested about 17 years ago, even as levels of trace gas carbon dioxide continue to climb.

Minimum Math

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oneplusoneA blast email from the Democratic Governors Association fell into our hands last week.  Hustling campaign contributions, it asked, “What do the five states that’ve raised the minimum wage this year have in common?”

The answer: “Democratic governors.”

Exhibiting the kind of childlike logic that would make Democrats almost charming if it weren’t so dangerous, the association’s pitch goes on to say, “When Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton lifted the minimum wage to $9.50 it paved the way for 300,000 workers to get raises. So, if we want good middle-class jobs and investments in our future, we know exactly what to do: Elect Democratic governors.”

That passes for positive thinking in today’s Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute noted President Obama citing the above-minimum wage compensation policy at a Michigan delicatessen—notorious for its laughably high prices—as an example for other businesses to emulate, leaving discreetly unmentioned the $14 tab for his Reuben sandwich.

Saltsman said if McDonald’s could increase its food prices 40 percent—the planned minimum wage increase—without losing customers, it wouldn’t wait around for a federal edict to do so. The problem is the feds issue edicts all the time without troubling themselves over the destructive effects, one of which is to price low-skilled workers, the supposed beneficiaries of minimum wage increases, out of the job market.

The destructive effects don’t stop there.  Last week Wisconsin Reporter unearthed the fact that Milwaukee County’s so-called “living wage” ordinance will not only force taxpayers to overpay for local government services; adding insult to injury, it will force them to cough up almost another  quarter-million annually to hire new bureaucrats to make certain the overpayment progresses according to plan.

Get set for higher housing demand in Waukesha.

Lerner’s List

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HelicoptersHeaven knows we try not to fall into the black-helicopter mentality, but hardly a week goes by without the Obama administration making it harder.

Part of the difficulty stems from our long-held conviction that the American Left would relish the malicious use of the legal system to persecute if not actually imprison its political rivals, were there no higher authority to restrain its behavior.

Another part stems from growing evidence that at this moment in history, the Left may believe it can get away with all of the above.

A couple of weeks ago, Judicial Watch got its hands on emails revealing the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department conferring on how to bring criminal prosecutions against Conservative groups that were already targeted for political harassment.  That is, prosecutions in the sense of, “you openly oppose the Liberal regime, we’ll find a way to throw you in jail.”

Would it be necessary to misapply federal law in order to bring this about?  Maybe, but no problem, judging by the performance of officials currently in power.  Last week the Washington Times reported that the IRS revoked a Conservative group’s tax-exempt status on the grounds that it had –gasp!—criticized Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

Notice anything unusual about the IRS determination that the Conservatives were engaging in impermissible political activity?  How about the fact that neither Clinton nor Kerry is a candidate for anything?

An opinion piece in Friday’s Wall Street Journal described the “Justice” Department pressuring banks to deny services to lawfully licensed businesses like payday lenders that are facing no charges, because the administration dislikes what they do.

This administration has decided if it just doesn’t like you, it’s free to wreck your business and maybe throw you in jail. Sound familiar?