Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Than Right Podcast 4

Conservative columnist turned filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza, is under federal indictment for violating campaign finance laws. Some believe he may have been singled out for special consideration for his box office hit “2016: Obama’s America.” Is D’Souza’s predicament a signal from the White House that it will not tolerate conservatism’s inroads into Hollywood?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Big Man, Big Mouth, Big Government

By Stephen Z. Nemo:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who many Republicans view as the savior of a confused and dying GOP, came before the press Thursday to plead ignorance of his big-government underlings using state power as a tool of intimidation. “In the end,” said Christie, “I have 65,000 people working for me every day. And I cannot know what each one of them is doing at every minute.”

The controversy concerns lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York states. One of several e-mails released Wednesday clearly indicates the traffic snarl was in retaliation over Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich’s support for Christie’s 2013 Democratic gubernatorial opponent. Sokolich, you see, supported Christie in his 2010 run for governor.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” wrote Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly to David Wildstein of the Garden State’s Port Authority.

“Got it,” replied Wildstein.

“Police and elected officials in Fort Lee, N.J., say they weren’t given warning that the Port Authority planned to reduce the number of local access lanes directly from Fort Lee to the bridge from three to one – causing traffic to back up in the borough – and are still puzzled by the official explanation that the agency was conducting a study of traffic patterns,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Fort Lee Councilman Jan Goldberg told Mother Jones magazine, “There was a missing child that day. The police had trouble conducting the search because they were tied up directing traffic.”

Thursday, Christie announced, “This morning I’ve terminated the employment of Bridget Kelly, effective immediately. I’ve terminated her employment because she lied to me.”

Now that you have the background, let’s examine the real bombshell dropped during Christie’s press conference: “I have 65,000 people working for me every day,” said the big man, “And I cannot know what each one of them is doing at every minute … I think we’ve gotten to the bottom of this, and we’re going to move forward with the new team, and – you know, I have a new team coming in as well who I’m trying to integrate now also in the next two weeks.”

If it’s impossible for Christie to know what 65,000 state government thralls are up to, including those directly under his gargantuan shadow, what difference will it make to install a “new team” of unsupervised big-government hacks?

Christie’s good friend in the White House similarly claimed ignorance when the Office of the Inspector General reported that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted Tea Party and conservative organizations for special scrutiny in the years leading up to the 2012 presidential election. “I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the [inspector general] report,” Obama told reporters. He chalked up IRS actions to “structural or management” issues and pledged to “gather up the facts and hold accountable and responsible anybody who was involved in this.”

A few days ago, the Department of Justice announced that Barbara Bosserman, a litigator with the DOJ, will be “gathering up the facts.” And councilor Bosserman is quite the gatherer. She gathered around $6,750 of her own money before handing it to Obama and the Democratic National Committee’s election efforts.
A few congressional Republicans woke from their slumber long enough to complain that appointing an Obama political supporter to investigate IRS wrongdoing might carry with it the stink of conflicting interests.

“It is contrary to [Justice] department policy and a prohibited personnel practice under federal law to consider the political affiliation of career employees or other non-merit factors in making personnel decisions,” said DOJ spokeswoman Dena Iverson in defense of Bosserman. Iverson added this gem, “Additionally, removing a career employee from an investigation or case due to political affiliation … could also violate the equal opportunity policy and the law.”

And there you have it. Government targeting of opponents – whether it be the Tea Party or the people of Fort Lee, New Jersey – will be investigated by the very government doing the targeting. If that appears to pose something of a conflict, well, sorry. In the words of the Justice Department – and Eliot Ness – “That’s the law.”

It’s likely most Republicans will miss the irony in Christie’s bridge scandal. The bridge in question, after all, is named in honor of the nation’s first president, George Washington.

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force,” said the father of our country. “Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

America’s two-party, big-government elites believe in one overriding principle: government must transform from a restrained servant into a “fearful master.”

Limiting the size and power of the state, America’s Founders understood, protects the liberties of a free people. That fundamental principle of good government escapes the enfeebled, government-dependent subjects of today’s post-Constitutional America.

Their subservience confirms another of George Washington’s astute observations, “The marvel of all history is that patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stockholm Syndrome America

By Stephen Z. Nemo:

Last weekend, I happened to be channel surfing and came upon a re-broadcast of  an ABC special on Jaycee Dugard, the young  girl who was kidnapped in 1991while walking to school in Lake Tahoe, California. She was held in captivity for eighteen years at the hands of convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy.

ABC reported that as a registered sex offender Garrido was subject to regular, unannounced home inspections by parole officers. In some cases, these inspectors walked passed Dugard without taking notice.

Why didn’t she cry out for help?

Trauma psychologist Elizabeth Carll told LiveScience.com, “Whenever an abuser shows acts of kindness toward you, it shows you some hope that you will survive. That combined with the terror of what could happen sets the stage for wanting to please the abductor, and eventually feeling positive toward the abuser as a way of coping. The longer you are held captive, the more likely you are to bond with your captor.”

Psychologists call this mental condition the “Stockholm Syndrome.”

And this condition can apply to entire societies. In 2006, Alvaro Vargas Liosa of the Independent Institute explained the electoral success of Venezuela’s late strongman Hugo Chavez: “The perception that Chavez is a redeemer who has come to save Venezuelans from their past has allowed him to do away with most checks and balances through a combination of referendums, elections and decrees that have placed everything from the Congress to the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council under his personal control… In essence, the nation has been kidnapped by Chavez. Millions of Venezuelans have come to depend on government programs known as ‘missions’ for their livelihood. These programs have placed the welfare recipients at the political mercy of the authorities. Many people are convinced that their personal future depends on handouts rather than wealth creation. Anybody who opposes the government is seen as an agent of the old elite determined to throw the poor to the wolves.”

Jaycee Dugard, who was held captive for 18 years, told ABC News, “Phillip [Garrido] gave me this image of the world as a scary place made up of pedophiles and rapists. I have come to realize this is not true...”

In other words, her sexual abuser convinced Dugard that if she left him, far worse awaited her in the outside world.

Many on the political right believe America is in the midst of a political and financial crisis. That analysis misses the point entirely. Americans are suffering profound cognitive dissonance resulting from Stockholm Syndrome.  

During the presidential campaign of 2012, the White House Captor-in-Chief fed the nation’s deep psychosis by synthesizing the beliefs of his small-government critics, “They've got a simple philosophy,” Obama said ominously, “We are better off when everybody is left on their own, everybody writes their own rules.”

The enemies of Obama’s authoritarian narcissism, then, are those that would chain the oppressive power of Washington in the service of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and reacquaint the American family with their long estranged Founding Fathers.

In Lisa Scott’s book “Surviving a Narcissist – the Path Forward,” she observes, “Narcissists isolate us from our family and friends so we become dependent on them… they use various methods of coercion, including gaslighting to cause us to doubt ourselves and become reliant on them.”

This strange psychological dependence was noticed in hostages taken by bank robber Jan-Erik Olsson in Stockholm, Sweden, in August of 1973. Their reaction to Olsson is what inspired the term “Stockholm Syndrome.” So thorough was Krisin Enmark’s  sympathy for her abductor that when Olsson threatened to shoot fellow hostage Sven Safrom in the leg, to show police he meant business, Enmark turned to Safrom and said, “But Sven, it’s just in the leg.”

“How kind I thought he was for saying it was just my leg he would shoot,” Safrom later told the New Yorker magazine.

Stockholm Syndrome Americans are a lot like old Sven: willing to see their cherished liberties trampled in exchange for government’s wounding kindnesses.

To them I say, “Enjoy the bullet, Sven.”

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The GOP Cartel

By Stephen Z. Nemo:

As President Obama’s policies move America closer to resembling Euro nanny states with chronic unemployment, meager economic growth, greater government dependency, many American conservatives and Tea Partiers wonder why the Republican Party, to whom they gave the House majority, is so willing to alienate their supporters in order to help Democrats maintain the authoritarian status quo ante.

Chalk it up to America’s two-party political cartel.

Peter Mair, along with colleague Richard Katz, came up with “Cartel Party Theory” in the 1990s. In an article that appeared in a British political science journal, Mair wrote that Britain’s “age of party democracy has passed. Although the parties themselves remain, they have become so disconnected from the wider society, and pursue a form of competition that is so lacking in meaning, that they no longer seem capable of sustaining democracy in its present form.”

Does that sound familiar?

I’ve often argued with my conservative friends that what separates the era of George W. Bush from that of Barack Obama is the scope of their big-government schemes: Bush pushed for and got a $17 billion bailout for Detroit’s automakers. Obama gave Motor City an $80 billion bailout; Bush dealt with the financial crisis of 2008 by asking Congress to pass a $152 billion economic “stimulus” package. Obama got nearly $1 trillion; Bush signed legislation that represented the most significant overhaul of Medicare in its 38-year history, creating a drug prescription program that has cost taxpayers more than a half trillion dollars to date. The expansion of Medicare under Obama’s health care monstrosity will increase Medicare and Medicaid spending by $75 billion to $100 billion annually, according to the Congressional Budget Office; Bush signed the Patriot Act into law, which allowed secret courts to rubber stamp government spying operations on Americans. Obama expanded it under his “Prism” program; Bush nominated Ben Bernanke to head the Federal Reserve, whose easy money policies created a housing bubble and toxic subprime loans. Obama reinstated Bernanke, whose quantitative easing has increased prices at the gas pump and supermarket, creating a stock market bubble for the bursting.

Obama, it seems, is Bush on steroids.

The recent battle between Tea Party and conservative Congressmen with the GOP leadership over defunding ObamaCare underscores the cozy relationship that exists between Washington’s big-government Republican and Democrat cartel members.

According to Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, the recent budget agreement reached between GOP House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murry increases government spending – with miniscule cuts slated to take place sometime in the distant future … if ever.

What concerns de Rugy is that the unfunded liabilities of federal spending were not addressed: “Although these future [unfunded entitlement] commitments are not scored by the Congressional Budget Office… economists and lawmakers of all stripes are coming to recognize the need for some honest accounting of it,” wrote de Rugy in US News and World Report. “A recent paper by Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff for the Mercatus Center argues it adds up to $205 trillion over an infinite time horizon. Other estimates of the fiscal gap range from $54.4 trillion to $86.8 trillion.”

“Many in the GOP establishment, and in particular the donor community, want him [Ryan] to think bigger and make a bid either for president or House leadership,” The Hill reported. Big money truly loves Washington’s bipartisan power cartel.

Democrat Murry and Republican Ryan are interchangeable Pez dispensers. They redistribute your income as though it were candy.

CNN reported that investment giant Goldman Sachs contributed $994,798 to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2012, Goldman Sachs contributed $1,033,204 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Last February, the New York Times reported Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, would back efforts to “put a new twist on the Republican-vs.-Republican warfare that has consumed the party’s primary races in recent years. In effect, the establishment is taking steps to fight back against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election.”

That’s an odd observation considering the Tea Party gave Republicans a major victory in the 2010 midterm elections. Establishment Republicans, on the other hand, saddled their moribund party with consecutive establishment losers in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections… and will most likely repeat the trend by nominating blue-state Republican gasbag Chris Christie in 2016.

It angers Republican Party loyalists when I point out, in the words of the late Gov. George Wallace, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats.” For them, American politics is a team sport. It doesn’t matter what the team stands for, only that they move the ball down the field. Problems arise, however, when the team in question continually runs the ball in the direction of the so-called opposition’s goal post.

I have a different take: Republican and Democratic cartel politicians are on the same team. “We the People” are the opposing team that refuses to suit up and take the field.

Frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn if Karl Rove’s GOP wins control of Congress in 2014. My main concern is that Tea Party candidates continue challenging the GOP’s cartel politicians in the Republican primaries and beyond.

Whether it’s OPEC or Mexico’s deadly Los Zetas gang, cartels are criminal organizations whose prime interest is to shake down the innocent and secure its monopoly on power by whatever means necessary.

Establishment Republicans would have you believe the contest of the 2014 midterm elections is to take control of the US Senate. In reality, it’s the GOP’s establishment cartel politicians, their deep-pocket donors, against their Tea Party and conservative challengers.

2014 may be the year bipartisan cartel politicians break the backs of outside threats to their authoritarian power. If so, it won’t be their money that wins the day. It will be the Tea Party’s lack of focus and organization.

The cartel is coming for you. Are you ready?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Covering Up Hillary’s Big Lie

By Stephen Z. Nemo:

With President Obama’s policies now alienating a majority of voters, many Democrats fear public displeasure may affect more than their control of the US Senate in 2014. It may threaten their 2016 presidential frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.  Work is underway to rehabilitate Clinton’s image, which was tarnished by her complicity in the Obama administration’s claim that the September 11, 2012 attack on America’s diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was the work of a mob angered by an anti-Islamic video produced in America. US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in that attack.

As you surely know, the assault was the work of Libyan jihadists with ties to Al Qaeda.

A December 28 New York Times article by David Kirkpatrick claimed, “Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs… contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

Then Kirkpatrick dropped this bombshell two days later in a Tweet to his followers: “We [the New York Times] had a reporter on the scene [in Benghazi] talking to the attackers during the attack- still invaluable.”

The Obama administration’s Benghazi cover-up just got a lot more interesting.

Two months before the 2012 presidential election, while Obama was telling Americans his administration had profoundly degraded Al Qaeda’s ability to wage war, its affiliated terrorists were murdering US Ambassador Chris Stevens, among others, while a New York Times reporter blithely took notes and interviewed terrorists covered in American blood.

Nearly one year ago, Hillary told inquisitive Republican Senators, “Was it [the Benghazi attack] because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

Charles Woods, father of slain Navy Seal Tyrone Woods (who died along with the US ambassador in Benghazi), told Fox’s Sean Hannity, “I would say, what difference does it make? Credibility, because in a courtroom situation we have a rule that says if a person’s testimony is proven to be false in any part, the rest of their testimony is to be disregarded on that subject.”

Lies have been the Obama administration’s most trusted and constant companion. The lies aided in pulling the wool over the eyes of disengaged Americans regarding their ability to keep truly affordable private insurance plans under ObamaCare.

The liar is confronted with a major problem, you see: one lie requires a host of lies to support the first. ObamaCare was born of many lies (“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan”).

In support of her lie concerning the motive for the attack on the US mission in Libya, Hillary said, “Now, I know it is hard for some people to understand why the United States cannot or does not just prevent these kinds of reprehensible videos from ever seeing the light of day. Now, I would note that in today’s world with today’s technologies, that is impossible. But even if it were possible, our country does have a long tradition of free expression, which is enshrined in our Constitution and our law, and we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be.”

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who produced the video “The Innocence of Muslims,” spent a year behind bars for his exercise in “free expression.”

Now the New York Times carries a story clearly designed to rehabilitate Hillary Clinton’s soiled image as an Obama  co-conspirator who deflected blame for the Benghazi attack from jihadists to an American filmmaker; a scapegoat for offending the sensibilities of hotheaded Islamists and, well, Hillary.

The lies do little to disguise the stink emanating from the White House, Hillary’s promoters at the New York Times ... or a lying,  two-bit  Arkansas chiseler.