It was said of Al Smith, a Roman Catholic, that if he won the 1928 presidential election he would take orders from the Vatican and not uphold the Constitution.
John F. Kennedy famously confronted that anti-Catholic prejudice in a 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. Kennedy said in part, "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote..."
So far, the only major accomplishment of the "Occupy Wall Street" (OWS) protesters is that they have finally put an end to their previous initiative, "Occupy Our Mothers' Basements."
Oddly enough for such a respectable-looking group -- a mixture of adolescents looking for a cause, public sector union members, drug dealers, criminals, teenage runaways, people who have been at every protest since the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Andrea Dworkin look-alikes, people 95 percent of whose hair is concentrated in their ponytails and other average Democrats -- they can't even explain what they're protesting.
Years ago it was easy to be a racist. All you had to be was a white person using some of the racial epithets that are routinely used in song and everyday speech by many of today's blacks. Or you had to chant "two, four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate" when a black student showed up for admission to your high school or college. Of course, there was that dressing up in a hooded white gown. In any case, you didn't have to be sophisticated to be a racist.
Today all that has changed. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., pointed that out back in 1994 when the Republican-led Congress pushed for tax relief. Rangel denounced Republicans' plan as a form of modern-day racism, saying, "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' anymore. (Instead,) they say, 'Let's cut taxes.'" That means the simple use of the N-word is not enough to make one a racist. If it were, blacks would be the nation's premier racists. Today it's the call for tax cuts that makes you a racist. That's why the "tea" party, short for "taxed enough already," is nothing more than organized racists. What makes tea partyers even more racist is their constant call for the White House and Congress to return to the confines of the Constitution.
Rational people realize that President Obama's policies have been an abysmal failure, which is why his only hope for re-election is to try to sow confusion among the voters, such as those populating "Occupy Wall Street."
People often say the success of democracy depends on an informed electorate. Given his record, that's the last strategy Obama can afford to embrace. Short of a fortuitous economic miracle falling into his lap, his only hope for re-election is that enough voters are misinformed.
It's enough to make all tree-hugging, EPA-loving, spotted owl seekers weep.
In August, armed federal agents raided the offices and factories of the legendary Gibson Guitar Corp. in Nashville and Memphis. It was the second time the feds had ransacked the renowned Tennessee guitar-maker since President Barack Obama took office. And what were they going after? Dirty laundering monies? Gun smugglers? Cocaine cargo that could make cartels quiver?
The death of one of the great innovators of our time, or any time -- Steve Jobs -- brings a question asked by Pete Seeger in another context. To paraphrase: Where have all the (creative) people gone; long time passing. Jobs and fellow computer innovator Bill Gates represent if not a vanishing breed, then at least one that might be classified, were it an exotic animal, as endangered.
In a country that used to encourage, promote, honor and reward innovation, why does there now seem to be far fewer innovators? In our past, they propelled us to higher standards of living and made life more enjoyable and comfortable. If you missed them while studying sex education in school, try Googling "inventors and innovators" and see what pops up.
William F. Buckley, Jr., founding father of the modern conservative movement, famously asserted his doctrine of voting for the most conservative candidate who is electable.
Let me presume to add an analytic codicil: The GOP and the conservative movement have tended to support the most conservative policies only when they are understood to be conservative and are plausibly supportable by the conservative half of the electorate.
Politicians who are principled enough to point out the fraud of Social Security, referring to it as a lie and Ponzi scheme, are under siege. Acknowledgment of Social Security's problems is not the same as calling for the abandonment of its recipients. Instead, it's a call to take actions now, while there's time to avert a disaster. Let's look at it.
The term was derived from the scheme created during the 1920s by Charles Ponzi, a poor but enterprising Italian immigrant. Here's how it works. You persuade some people to give you their money to invest. After a while, you pay them a nice return, but the return doesn't come from investments. What you pay them with comes from the money of other people whom you've persuaded to "invest" in your scheme. The scheme works so long as you can persuade greater and greater numbers of people to "invest" so that you can pay off earlier "investors." After a while, Ponzi couldn't find enough new investors, and his scheme collapsed. He was convicted of fraud and sent to prison.
I am not the first to note the vast differences between the Wall Street protesters and the tea partiers. To name three: The tea partiers have jobs, showers and a point.
No one knows what the Wall Street protesters want -- as is typical of mobs. They say they want Obama re-elected, but claim to hate "Wall Street." You know, the same Wall Street that gave its largest campaign donation in history to Obama, who, in turn, bailed out the banks and made Goldman Sachs the fourth branch of government.
This would be like opposing fattening, processed foods, but cheering Michael Moore -- which the protesters also did this week.
It's clear that Obama's re-election strategy is to demonize conservatives and his Republican opponents as extremists, "small," intolerant and morally deficient. That's a safer course, I suppose, than running on his miserable record.
Playing to his gay and lesbian audience, Obama took out his broad brush and smeared all the GOP presidential candidates in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner, saying the Republican contenders are "small" for "being silent when an American soldier is booed."
The Washington Post's stoning of Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry is journalistic malpractice. Instead of calling the newspaper to task, other national media outlets have joined in. And now, the Post is doubling down on slander.
The Post dispatched reporters to the remote hunting grounds of a Perry-linked ranch — "associated" with Perry through "his father, partners or his signature on a lease" — because it once had a rock on it somewhere that had the word "Niggerhead" painted on it. The term is an embarrassing vestige of past racism not just in Texas but on geographical landmarks across the country.
The White House's buzz words for the propaganda campaign to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations are "pay their fair share." But is President Barack Obama's pitch reflecting honest economic inequity or more dishonest spin from his bag of duck-'n'-weave political manipulations?
This year alone, nearly every member and minion of this administration (including the mainstream media) has regurgitated "pay their fair share" like cows chewing cud. They have done so to prompt Americans to feel that the wealthy are getting a free ride regarding taxation while lower- and middle-class folks pay their societal ticket.
Listening to some establishment Republicans grousing about the field of GOP presidential candidates should serve as a warning. Republicans, if they are not careful, are in danger of catching the same virus that infected Democrats in 2008.
That would be a messiah complex, the belief that one man (or woman) can deliver us from our collective economic, social and foreign policy "sins" and bring redemption to a nation from the consequences of too many wrong-headed choices.
"As much as I thought I was a freedom fighter trying to bring freedom and save lives," Chai Ling, a former student leader in the Tiananmen Square democracy protests of 1989, testified at a recent Capitol Hill hearing, "I did not realize how much I was turned into the same sinful being" as the Chinese leaders enforcing the country's one-child policy.
The jarring admission came before a House hearing marking the 31st anniversary of China's one-child policy. It was meant, also, to inspire legislative action on the China Democracy Promotion Act of 2011, which would allow the president of the United States to deny visas to officials involved in human-rights abuses.
Back in the 1970s, there was a lot of discussion about the way TV executives were grabbing ratings with female jiggle. “T&A,” it was called. The jiggle continues, but now it’s coming from somewhere else. So far, the hot new trend of the 2011 TV season is...dangling male genitalia. That’s full-frontal male nudity...hidden behind graphic effects.
CBS was thrilled the September 19 premiere of its reboot of the sleazy “Two and a Half Men” drew gonzo ratings. After all the Charlie Sheen drama, how could his TV character’s funeral not attract a crowd? But that wasn’t enough for Chuck Lorre & Co. They had to debut actor Ashton Kutcher in the nude. First, Kutcher pulled the pixilated-nudie stunt Monday afternoon on the season debut of the Ellen DeGeneres show. Then they repeated it on CBS Monday night – twice. The opening gag of the season is that Kutcher’s character has a stunning endowment.
The Obama administration's crony green subsidy scandal is erupting like a solar flare in Washington. But do you know what your kids are learning in their environmental education classes about this red-hot taxpayer eco-scam? Chances are: not much.
Instead, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Democratic apparatchiks at the National Education Association are disseminating solar power propaganda masquerading as math and science curricula.
Liberals, whose entire political strategy is the smoke and mirrors of showbiz, have concluded that Rick Perry put in a poor performance at last week's Republican debate and has got to step up his debating technique to get back in the game.
Actually, it wasn't Perry's "performance" that was a problem. It was his "answers."
Poor President Obama. His leftist backers have momentarily fallen out of love with him for not destroying the country fast enough. Obama must ask himself, "What would Hugo Chavez do?"
Obama decided to embark on a personal rehabilitation tour. He first stopped by the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus and told blacks to "stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'." Don't they realize that it's the Republicans' fault that black unemployment is nearly double the national average, at 16.7 percent? "So many people in (Washington) are fighting us every step of the way."
There isn't much about dysfunctional government that shocks me anymore, but this story did.
According to a report by the Office of Personnel Management and reported in Ed O'Keefe's "The Federal Eye" column in the Washington Post, our government has been sending checks to dead people. "In the last five years," O'Keefe writes, "the Office of Personnel Management has made more than $601 million in payments to dead federal retirees, according to the agency's inspector general. Total annual payouts range between $100 million and $150 million."
What's the common thread between Europe's financial mess, particularly among the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), and the financial mess in the U.S.? That question could be more easily answered if we asked instead: What's necessary to cure the financial mess in Europe and the U.S.?
If European governments and the U.S. Congress ceased the practice of giving people what they have not earned, budgets would be more than balanced.
For government to guarantee a person a right to goods and services he has not earned, it must diminish someone else's right to what he has earned, simply because governments have no resources of their very own.