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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Obama's Domestic Agenda Gains Clarity--Stark Clarity

I stopped reading Peggy Noonan toward the end of the 2008 elections. I found her a milk toast friend of free enterprise. I decided she will side with the establishment, and throw commoners overboard in a heart beat. She's poetic and flowery but I don't trust her judgement or her convictions. I deemed her elitist. I have acquaintances, one, a friend, who defend being elitist. They don't trust il popolo, or the pleb. But she rides the niche market of 'conservative' opinion for her living. She betrays herself as when she was apoplectic when we rebelled against Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. She defended Bush, when he deserved a tongue lashing for betraying capitalism while posing as a a proponent and defender. And she all but pledged allegiance to Obama after Palin's arrival on the stage.

In her latest op-ed, the first by her I've read since September of '08, I found both puff and some very poignant detail. First the fluff. In a tone deaf joke, as if for a Vogue copy, she writes of the First Lady, in Europe, "Michelle Obama enjoyed a well-deserved triumph, representing her country with grace and elegance. She continued to signal a secret conservatism by demonstrating support for the right to bare arms. I very much wish that were my joke and not that of the editor Jason Epstein."

I wish I could enjoy the humorous banter here. I might be more inclined to chuckle or smile, if I could add something like "All she needed was her Smith & Wesson pistol with designer grips, in a designer holster to really pull that conservative look together." Alas, I'm one of those plebs who feels more than just a bit uneasy about Lady Obama's and her husband's real opinion on the people's right to bear arms.

Another joke that falls flat for my ruffian sensibilities: Mr. Obama's actions since February have left him not so much more deeply defined as tagged. They can arguably be understood not as a conglomeration of moderate impulses but an expression of a kind of grandiosity. He thinks big!
I guess it's a very good sign if Peggy feels bold enough to take a sarcastic swipe at him. That's a very good sign.

From Bloomberg News this week: "The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent or lent or committed $12.8 trillion" in new pledges. This they note is almost the value of everything the United States produced last year. The price tag comes to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

I shudder for my children.

She reminds us of Obama's words in, The Audacity of Hope, in which he impuned President Bush for contributing to a national debt that amounted to a $30,000 bill for each American. Those were the days!

We were so gullible.

A great find is an op-ed she cites by Senator Tom Coburn, published Thursday in Real Clear Politics. She cites:

"I believe President Obama has proposed the most significant shift toward collectivism and away from capitalism in the history of our republic. I believe his budget aspires to not merely promote economic recovery but to lay the groundwork for sweeping expansions of government authority in areas like health care, energy and even daily commerce. If handled poorly, I'm concerned this budget could turn our government into the world's largest health care provider, mortgage bank or car dealership, among other things."


Let those words roll off your tongue, and dance in your head. Thanks Peggy. Good point. You can read her piece here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123870823076484093.html

I recommend you read Dr. Coburns piece. A choice pull quote: What the American people want, and what they voted for in November, is an end to the petty, partisan and pre-scripted exchanges in Congress. The American people want a real debate and a fair fight between competing philosophies. What they detest from both sides is hypocrisy and partisan gamesmanship. Here! here!
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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