Monthly Archives: September 2011

Obama, Affirmative Action, and Bad Grammar

People have long wondered how dependent Barack Obama has been on affirmative action.  Both in college and as president Obama’s writings and comments give the impression that he is in over his head.  There not only are the obvious gaffes (such as Obama stating the US has 57 states) but Obama seems to lack a basic understanding of English grammar.  Jack Cashill recently pointed out a letter Obama wrote to Harvard Law Review defending affirmative action:

The response is classic Obama: patronizing, dishonest, syntactically muddled, and grammatically challenged.  In the very first sentence Obama leads with his signature failing, one on full display in his earlier published work: his inability to make subject and predicate agree.

“Since the merits of the Law Review’s selection policy has been the subject of commentary for the last three issues,” wrote Obama, “I’d like to take the time to clarify exactly how our selection process works.”

If Obama were as smart as a fifth-grader, he would know, of course, that “merits … have.”  Were there such a thing as a literary Darwin Award, Obama could have won it on this on one sentence alone.  He had vindicated Chen in his first ten words.

Although the letter is fewer than a thousand words long, Obama repeats the subject-predicate error at least two more times.  In one sentence, he seemingly cannot make up his mind as to which verb option is correct so he tries both: “Approximately half of this first batch is chosen … the other half are selected … ”

Another distinctive Obama flaw is to allow a string of words to float in space.  Please note the unanchored phrase in italics at the end of this sentence:

“No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind.”  Huh?

The next lengthy sentence highlights a few superficial style flaws and a much deeper flaw in Obama’s political philosophy.

“I would therefore agree with the suggestion that in the future, our concern in this area is most appropriately directed at any employer who would even insinuate that someone with Mr. Chen’s extraordinary record of academic success might be somehow unqualified for work in a corporate law firm, or that such success might be somehow undeserved.”

Obama would finish his acclaimed memoir, Dreams from My Father, about four years later.  Prior to Dreams, and for the nine years following, everything Obama wrote was, like the above sentence, an uninspired assemblage of words with a nearly random application of commas and tenses.

Unaided, Obama tends to the awkward, passive, and verbose.  The phrase “our concern in this area is most appropriately directed at any employer” would more profitably read, “we should focus on the employer.” “Concern” is simply the wrong word.

Scarier than Obama’s style, however, is his thinking.  A neophyte race-hustler after his three years in Chicago, Obama is keen to browbeat those who would “even insinuate” that affirmative action rewards the undeserving, results in inappropriate job placements, or stigmatizes its presumed beneficiaries.

And now the Washington Times reports on a new book, Obama Grammar: Using the President’s Bloopers to Improve Your English, by William Proctor:

Here comes “Obama Grammar: Using the President’s Bloopers to Improve Your English,” a new book that parses Mr. Obama’s command of the language, or lack thereof.

“The first wordsmith is, in fact, an occasional stem-winder who is grammatically challenged,” says author and Harvard-educated historian William Proctor, who pored over 3,000 pages of the president’s official speeches and remarks. He’s convinced that Americans — particularly students — can learn a little something from Mr. Obama.

“His speeches reveal that at this point, he is simply not in the same rhetorical-grammatical league as a Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Proctor says. “Even as we explore Mr. Obama’s errors, we should not lapse into smug, finger-pointing complacency. His mistakes should serve as a reminder to the rest of us that we, too, may need to clean up our technical language skills.”

More Judson Phillips Intemperance Regarding Ron Paul

Judson Phillips announces in his headline that Ron Paul is an “idiot.” Apparently he disagrees with Paul’s concerns about the drone killing of al-Awlaki. Here is the reply I posted.

Mr. Phillips, calling someone an idiot in the headline does not bolster your credibility as a serious commentator. (In the heat of passion I have done it in the past on my blog [mostly in response to interventionists and other Paul haters], but I now regret doing so because it is childish and harms whatever point I was trying to make.) Would it not be better to just declare that you think Rep. Paul is wrong?

In the past we had a terrorism problem with Puerto Rican nationalists? Did we bomb Puerto Rico in response? Did we treat it as a military problem? Or did we treat it as a law enforcement (and intel I’m sure) issue?

As you say yourself “Al-Qaeda and the other Muslim terrorists are not a traditional army.” This is why it cannot be dealt with by traditional military means. Bombing far off nation states does not deal with stateless domestic terrorism at home. The way to deal with domestic terrorism is with immigration restriction, border control, intel, and law enforcement.

Obama’s latest hit

So — some goons huddled in the darkened safety of a control room in California twiddle their joysticks as they stare at wide-screen monitors, push the “Fire!” button, and thousands of miles away, a drone launches a Hellfire rocket that scorches a convoy in Yemen. And I’m supposed to get misty-eyed and puffed up over this? From Fox News:

Senior Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen early Friday morning by a CIA-led U.S. drone strike, marking the highest-profile takedown of a terror leader since the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound.

Fox News has learned that two Predator drones hovering above al-Awlaki’s convoy fired the Hellfire missiles which killed the terror leader. According to a senior U.S. official, the operation was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the direction of the CIA.

Count me in with those who are not only unimpressed by this long-distance execution, but just a little worried about its wider implications.

Obama has not only expanded the president’s power to unilaterally declare war, but to eliminate enemies, citizen or no, at home or abroad, by executive order. Anwar al-Awlaki, whether we like it or not, was an American citizen with certain rights, including a right to a trial. Instead, he was snuffed by remote control. That’s something to cheer? Rather than making me think of how George Washington defeated Cornwallis, this makes me recall how Stalin got Trotsky.

The greatest enemies of our freedom lurk in the District of Corruption, not in the gritty back roads of Yemen. So this is one victory celebration I’ll have to pass up.

Chris Christie on Foreign Policy

There has been a lot of speculation about Chris Christie running for President despite his repeated denials. So where does Christie stand on foreign policy? The answer is probably better than most hawkish interventionists Republicans, but not where non-interventionist conservatives would like. He recently gave a speech about “American Exceptionalism” (an intreventionist buzz phrase).

Here is Jim Antle’s take on the speech.

Here is Daniel Larison’s take.

Here is the comment I made below Antle’s post. The fact that interventionist don’t entirely like Christie’s speech is positive.

If Mr. Smith doubts Christie’s commitment to the “War against Islamic Radicals,” then as a conservative non-interventionist I find that hopeful. The first paragraph you excerpt strikes the right note. The later babble about world leadership and not turning our back on the world, less so. (The authentic conservative wants his country to tend to its national interests and otherwise mind its own business. The crusader wants his country to “lead.”)

What this probably means is that Christie is more of a “realist.” He likely takes mainstream foreign policy assumptions about America’s role in the world for granted, but is less of a crusader and fearmonger than many interventionist Republicans. That’s an improvement, but it isn’t authentic conservative non-interventionism.

Christie strikes me as a moderate that conservatives like because he won a blue state and is whacking away at his state budget, but one thing I like about Christie is his persona. He comes off, like we discuss about Putin below,  as an alpha male*. He doesn’t come off as slick or packaged.

* see my discussion in the comments below

Rick Perry Must Be Stopped!

I’m beginning to believe that the pro-immigration, pro-war Rick Perry is the worst of all possible GOP hopefuls.  Sure, Romney  is bad, but the only thing that Romney is ideologically in favor of is Romney, which means that he might bend to grassroots pressure if he sees it as securing his base.  Perry, however, like Bush and Obama, is a true believer, a true believer in the invade-the-world / invite-the-world mantra.


The Lost Decade 2001-2011 (Update)

You’re hearing the phrase “The Lost Decade” more and more often in elite circles and I think it appropriate one to describe the U.S. starting from 9-11 and ending with its anniversary (or perhaps a totem would be the whole “Debt Ceiling” debate, tragedy ending in farce with the downgrade of U.S.’s credit rating for the first time ever) Imagine if you will Peal Harbor taking place in 1941 and by 1951 the U.S. basically cowed and surrounded (not occupied but certainly feeling like it) by totalitarian powers like Japan, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia).  After 9-11, the U.S, instead of straddling the world still like a global colossus instead has been brought as low as those Twin Towers were on Sept. 11, 2011.

I wanted to pontificate more on this around the 10th anniversary of 9-11 but found I didn’t have the time and I still don’t.  But I will say quickly that if you look at epochs of modern American history since the 20th Century you’ll find they are wrapped up neatly in 10 to 20 year increments resting largely on the ones or close to it: The Progressive Era beginning with Theodore Roosevelt’s coming to power in 1901 and ending with the inauguration of Warren G. Harding. The Roaring 20s starting in the 1921 and going to 1931. Why 1931? Because in that year Austria’s  largest bank,  the Ceditanstalt goes belly up, triggering the banking collapse in Central Europe which causes a worldwide financial meltdown and turns what’s already a severe recession in the U.S. into a Depression. The Depression era lasting from that point until, of course, Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.  This period lasted from then until the U.S. left Korea in July of 1953 (America’s rise into a global super power). Then you have relatively short period (but still historically significant) from 1953 until Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961 as the first Catholic ever in U.S. history. This period of change, optimism, and convulsion ended at the beginning of 1971 (or you can go further all the way to the end of the gold standard of that year). This period until Reagan’s inauguration and the release of the hostages from Iran in January 1981. And this epoch last until the fall of 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union (the U.S. as the sole super power in the world and the great economic boom which followed which then went 10 years until Sept. 11, 2001.

What will the next 10 years or even 20 years bring? Actually this post from Rod Dreher might provide a clue…

UPDATE: Actually I found an event in 1951 which corresponds neatly with a decade-long political epoch and an important one too. In April of 1951, then President Truman fired Douglas MacArthur as UN Commander in the Pacific. Because he was the commander of an army, especially then with China, he supported a posture which call for all out war with the Red Chinese. Truman, instead, stuck with the policy of limiting the war on the Korean peninsula. MacArthur opposed this policy and expressed his disagreement with Congressional leaders which lead to his downfall. From this moment onward the traditional U.S. way of making war, which was total war, was changed to one of limited war. And a brand new period in time, certainly for the U.S., began as a result.


Srdja Trifkovic on Putin and Russia

Trifkovic has a new article up at Chronicles on Putin. I think he does a good job of expressing what some of us are thinking regarding Putin.

In a broader geopolitical sense Putin’s return to Russia’s helm is beneficial to the American interest because he has a more acute understanding than Medvedev that North America, Europe and Russia essentially share the same civilizational genes and belong to the same cultural sphere. As Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, noted almost three years ago, “If the northern civilization wants to protect itself, it must be united: America, the European Union, and Russia. If they are not together, they will be defeated one by one.”

This statement reflects a profound understanding of the biological, cultural and spiritual commonalities shared by one billion Europeans and their overseas descendants in the northern hemisphere — an understanding evidently taken for granted in Putin’s entourage yet odious to the Western elite class. Medvedev, by contrast, has displayed occasional symptoms of the propensity of Russian reformers ever since Peter to look at “the West” with some awe, or else with a naïve hope that Moscow’s constant assurances of “cooperation” and “integration” may erode the visceral antipathy of the Western elite class toward Russia. That disdain is based on the accurate recognition that Russia is the last bastion of faith and identity which those people have done their best to destroy in their own countries.

In Washington the ruling neo-liberal humanitarian interventionists will deny that any common Euro-Russo-American civilization exists, let alone that it is worth preserving or jointly defending, and they will use Putin as proof positive that this is so. Russia is still steeped in its barbarian blood-and-soil pre-modernity while the propositional credo of the U.S. transcends the shackles of ethnicity, race, culture, and faith. If Putin still insists on a Russian physical or cultural space that does not belong to everyone—while Siberia remains under-populated—he is a bigot, and under him it is even less likely that Moscow will finally see a Gay Pride Parade.

See more…

Three Cheers: Putin to return to power

President Dmitri A. Medvedev announced Saturday at a party convention in Moscow that he would step aside for Mr. Vladimir Putin, who served as president from 2000 to 2008 but was limited by the Constitution to two consecutive terms. Mr. Medvedev is to take his place as prime minister after presidential elections in March, which Mr. Putin is assured of winning. ~ NY Times, Sept. 24, 2011

I’m sure the neocons have their panties in a wad.  How dare a Russian leader care for the well-being of ethnic Russians!  How dare a Russian leader expel foreign oligarchs controlling Russia’s assets!  How dare a Russian leader take harsh measures to curb Third World immigration!   As many other bloggers have noted, who would have guessed back in the Cold War that the most pro-Western leader in the world today would be a Russian, Vladimir V. Putin.

Obama to “allow” states to opt out of No Child Left Behind

Mainstream conservatives (translation: liberals with flag lapel pins) are just cooing about how this disastrous federal law is finally being dismantled State by State. But the details of what’s actually being implemented reveal we’re joy riding through a constitutional mine field:

States must commit to turning around failing schools and tying teacher evaluation to student achievement to sidestep the nation’s main public-education law, President Barack Obama said.

States that take those and other steps will be granted waivers from the No Child Left Behind law’s 2014 deadline for reaching 100 percent proficiency on standardized state reading and math exams, according to a White House statement yesterday.

No good can come of this. The “No Child Left Behind” legislation was a major assault on States’ Rights. There is NOTHING in the Constitution that grants the central government the power to control the States’ schools. The ONLY reaction to this illegal legislation should have been nullification. But since No Child was rammed through by George W. Bush, a mainstream conservative (see definition above), conservatives accepted it.

Obama is no dummy. Notice how he’s using the partial dismantling of a disastrous mistake as an excuse to re-affirm the sovereignty of the central government over the people of the States. Notice, also, how the State legislators are rolling over in humble compliance. The poor fools think they’ve won something.

Blurting out the unsayable…

There’s been much anticipation, both online and off, within our circle of friends on Ron Unz’s latest TAC article.  On the same TAC website their new blogger Rod Dreher asked what’s something conservative can’t say to which I replied the immigration debate is largely over with and the questions has been decided. Perhaps Mr. Unz and other conservatives (Tom Fleming said largely the same thing in Nation of Immigrants II edition of Chronicles) are also starting to blurt out the unsayable.

When Chronicles‘   first “Nation of Immigrants” issue came out in 1989 and when Alien Nation was released six years later in National Review, they came at a point int time when something could have been done in the immigration debate which would had a demographic affect to the nation as whole. This opportunity has long since past. The reason there is no national immigration policy is because there is no way such a policy could be constructed and pass Congress. So states and localities are free to do what they wish and in places like Georgia, Arizona and Alabama, they have done so. But as Unz pointed out, for all of Arizona’s restrictions, the fact of the matter is whites are a minority at the elementary school level. And has been pointed out, even if you could stop illegal immigration (which even the Obama Administration does as they have deported over hundred of thousands of illegals) even if you cut off welfare benefits for non-citizens (which one would think would be a matter of just sheer fairness), even if you raise the minimum wage to $12 as Unz proposes to prevent the kind of economic growth one sees in Texas and is passed off as a “miracle”, you still haven’t addressed “legal” immigration from around the world which takes place every day and is currently at numbers not seen since the turn of the 20th Century.

Continue reading

The truth about Rick Perry’s “Texas economic miracle”

Rick Perry has been using “Texas job growth” as a talking point in his seeking of the GOP nomination for president, but a recent report by CIS (“Who Benefited from Job Growth In Texas? A Look at Employment Gains for Immigrants and the Native-Born, 2007 to 2011“) largely deflates this claim. The report:

Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) has pointed to job growth in Texas during the current economic downturn as one of his main accomplishments. But analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) data collected by the Census Bureau show that immigrants (legal and illegal) have been the primary beneficiaries of this growth since 2007, not native-born workers. This is true even though the native-born accounted for the vast majority of growth in the working-age population (age 16 to 65) in Texas. Thus, they should have received the lion’s share of the increase in employment. As a result, the share of working-age natives in Texas holding a job has declined in a manner very similar to the nation a whole.

Among the findings:

  • Of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal).
  • In terms of numbers, between the second quarter of 2007, right before the recession began, and the second quarter of 2011, total employment in Texas increased by 279,000. Of this, 225,000 jobs went to immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the United States in 2007 or later.
  • Of newly arrived immigrants who took a job in Texas, 93 percent were not U.S. citizens. Thus government data show that more than three-fourths of net job growth in Texas were taken by newly arrived non-citizens (legal and illegal).
  • The large share of job growth that went to immigrants is surprising because the native-born accounted for 69 percent of the growth in Texas’ working-age population (16 to 65). Thus, even though natives made up most of the growth in potential workers, most of the job growth went to immigrants.
  • The share of working-age natives holding a job in Texas declined significantly, from 71 percent in 2007 to 67 percent in 2011. This decline is very similar to the decline for natives in the United States as a whole and is an indication that the situation for native-born workers in Texas is very similar to the overall situation in the country despite the state’s job growth.
  • Of newly arrived immigrants who took jobs in Texas since 2007, we estimate that 50 percent (113,000) were illegal immigrants. Thus, about 40 percent of all the job growth in Texas since 2007 went to newly arrived illegal immigrants and 40 percent went to newly arrived legal immigrants.
  • Immigrants took jobs across the educational distribution. More than one out three (97,000) of newly arrived immigrants who took a job had at least some college.
  • These numbers raise the question of whether it makes sense to continue the current high level of legal immigration and also whether to continue to tolerate illegal immigration.

Ron Unz is at it again

Ron Unz has written another piece for TAC.  Like his piece on Hispanic crime (which turned out to be statistically incorrect), this article as well trumpets the pro-immigration talking points.  This essay, however, does seem to be an improvement upon his previous article, as he does make some good points — such as about the “populaztion ponzi scheme” falling apart.  And some of Unz’s momentum seems to be in the right direction (toward immigration reduction), which is a 180 from previous essays.  Unz’s minimum wage scheme is plausible in theory (removing the cheap labor magnet), but probably wouldn’t work because big business interests (as he points out).  But also, even if there were a higher minimum wage and few economic attractions (such as free hospital visits and free education), mestizos would probably continue to come to the US simply because of the higher standard of living. They have turned Mexico into a hellhole and want out.  (In theory, we shouldn’t accept immigrants from any failed state.  If they have ruined their own state, why let them ruin ours?) After reading the article in its entirety, one is left feeling that Unz is still up to his old tricks: grasping at straws to justify mass immigration (and more of it).  What’s telling is his denouncement of restrictionist Republicans.  How dare Republicans try to stop the tide of Third World immigration!  And the glee with which he seems to celebrate the “end of white America” is quite disturbing.  Although certainly other policies would be part of a realistic immigration reduction strategy (such as reducing incentives, a policy of attrition leading toward self-deportation, ending chain migration, ending birthright citizenship, paying immigrants to leave, ending all legal immigration, etc. — many of which policies Unz doesn’t discuss), enforcement and arrests would have to be part of the overall strategy, things which Unz seems to dislike.  A display of force would help to expedite self-deportation.

A modest proposal to the Congressional Black Caucus

The almighty CBC has a well-documented record of blatant racial hypocrisy — so this shouldn’t surprise anyone:

Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus “probably would be marching on the White House” if Obama were not president, according to CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

“If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House,” Cleaver told “The Miami Herald” in comments published Sunday. “There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president.”

I have a solution for the Black Caucus — stage a noisy, angry march on the White House, but only on the distaff side.

My Obama, Ayers, American Spectator Article is Now Up at EtherZone

The article I promised below is now up at EtherZone.

On Friday, American Spectator ran this feature article on the Obama/Ayers relationship. At the time of this writing it was up to 601 comments so clearly this relationship is of interest to many. First of all, I don’t really like these sorts of guilt by association articles. Yes, Ayers has done some bad things in his life. Yes, he associated with some bad people. And yes, he probably got off with less punishment than he otherwise would have because his family is politically connected. But I don’t like this guilt by association stuff because it comes off like a right-wing version of a SPLC smear. According to SPLC style reasoning, Conservative Candidate X somehow associated with some know wrongthinker, therefore he is evil. The sleaziness of this “logic” is obvious, so we shouldn’t copy it. The fact that Obama was closer to Ayers than he let on does not mean he supports bombing the Pentagon. 

If an outside the mainstream conservative is active in outside the mainstream conservative circles, he will almost invariably come in contact with people whose views he does not share and would not want associated with him. Likewise, anyone running in certain leftist circles in Chicago was bound to run into Ayers, not to mention the fact that he lived in the same neighborhood as Obama. It seems to me that one effect of this sort of guilt by association is to drive potential future candidates into the mainstream where they aren’t as likely to run into “unsavory” wrongthinkers that some wag is later going to throw up in their face. Is this something serious conservatives want to encourage? Does it serve our interests to copy and hence validate SPLC style reasoning?

What is important about the closer than reported Ayers/Obama relationship is not to imply that Obama condones violent activism. (He might have at one time, but that isn’t established simply by the fact that he knew Ayers better than he let on.) What is important is that his association with Ayers places him in circles that are likely farther left by degree than if he was hanging out with Mayor Daley for example. It also illustrates that he lied about the extent of that relationship.

It also strikes me that this sort of guilt by association (left and right) encourages people to be uncivil for the sake of protecting themselves. Is it not possible to have relationships and friendships with people with whom you disagree? Had Obama met Ayers at a Chicago cocktail party was he supposed to run the other way in order to protect his future political viability? What should matter is what Obama or Conservative Candidate X say they believe and what their records suggest they believe, not that they scrupulously avoided any association that might later be held against them.

All that said, the most striking thing about this article is what it does not mention about the Ayers/Obama relationship. It is a long, well documented article, but it fails to mention even in passing the explosive allegation that Ayers might have ghost-written Obama’s memoir. Surely Regnery was aware of this allegation. It would be impossible to research a long article like this and not be. So that suggests that the ghost-writing allegation was intentionally not mentioned. Why? Was the evidence examined and found wanting? (If that is the case, why not say that since the allegation is already out there and well known?) Or was it not mentioned so as to avoid any association with anything that might be considered conspiratorial? (For whatever reason, while the ghost-writing allegation is a separate issue and only ancillary related to the whole “birther” thing, it has nevertheless been largely subsumed under the “birther” umbrella.) I strongly suspect the later.

American Spectator gained prominence in the Clinton era as the primary outlet for the explosive Troopergate story, so AmSpec may retain a residual reputation as a magazine willing to broach the conspiratorial (It seems to based on a few of the comments.), but as far as I know since the Troopergate backlash AmSpec seems to have actually been reluctant to tackle the conspiratorial.

While I realize that individual blog posts and articles don’t necessarily reflect the editorial beliefs of the magazine, I can’t recall any posts or articles that were sympathetic to those who have doubts about, in one way or another, the Obama narrative, and I do recall some that were not sympathetic. Did AmSpec commision a forensic evaluation of the long form birth certificate upon its released? Has AmSpec addressed the Connecticut Social Security number issue? Have they addressed the fishy draft registration card? Have they addressed the authorship issues? I will be happy to stand corrected if I am wrong, but as far as I know they haven’t. And all these issues could be addressed without embracing “born in Kenya” orthodox birtherism. All these issue could be addressed as simple curiosity about a narrative that is clouded in mystery and secrecy, hardly something that would allow any fair-minded person to brand them as a conspiratorial rag.

Far from being a magazine that conspiracy mongers, I sense in the post-Troopergate AmSpec a magazine that actually scrupulously attempts to avoid the taint of conspiracy.  How else do you explain a four page article on the Obama/Ayers relationship that doesn’t even mention the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the ghost-writing allegation?

We already have a deliberately incurious mainstream media that looks the other way and actively covers for Obama. A primary role for “respectable” right-wing journalism ought to be to examine objectively those things the mainstream media is intentionally overlooking, not serve as fellow guardians of acceptable opinion.

One problem with the whole birther debate from the beginning is that it has been almost entirely hashed out by partisans on either side, a protective deliberately incurious look the other way mainstream media along with left-wing Obama hacks vs. convinced birthers in the “outside the mainstream” right-wing blogosphere. This is not a dynamic that favors getting to the truth. If AmSpec could get over their apparent conspiracy squeamishness then maybe they could play the role of objective seekers of truth that should normally be played by the “regular” press if we had a functioning one which we don’t. A good place to start would be examining the Dreams from My Father authorship controversy. Maybe that could be part two of the Regnery Ayers/Obama relationship expose.

Originally published at EtherZone.

Ron Paul Wins California GOP Straw Poll

Here is the official California GOP press release announcing the results.

Congressman Ron Paul (374, 44.9%)

Governor Rick Perry (244, 29.3%)

Mitt Romney (74, 8.8%)

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (64, 7.7%)

Jon Huntsman (17, 2.0%)

Herman Cain (15, 1.8%)

Newt Gingrich (14, 1.7%)

Thad McCotter (7, 0.8%)

Rick Santorum (7, 0.8%)

Gary Johnson (2, 0.2%)

Fred Karger (1, 0.1%)

Write-ins (15, 1.8%)

Not to throw cold water on these results, but one thing I would keep in mind about interpreting them is that, while I’m sure the Republican Party is still strong in certain local enclaves in California, it is moribund at the state and national level. (Let this be a lesson to you pro-immigration “conservatives.”) When one of the major parties becomes electorally irrelevant it starts to more and more resemble a third party. It becomes increasingly made up of a disproportionate number of hardcore activists and proportionately less moderate, “good government,” establishment types.

Update: Here is a fair report of the event from Newsmax.


PJB: Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?

Patrick Buchanan’s new book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, is now available for pre-order at amazon.  Here’s the description:

America is disintegrating.

The “one Nation under God, indivisible” of the Pledge of Allegiance is passing away. In a few decades, that America will be gone forever. In its place will arise a country unrecognizable to our parents.

This is the thrust of Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower.

The author of six New York Times bestsellers traces the disintegration to three historic changes: America’s loss of her cradle faith, Christianity; the moral, social, and cultural collapse that have followed from that loss; and the slow death of the people who created and ruled the nation.

America was born a Western Christian republic, writes Buchanan, but is being transformed into a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation that has no successful precedent in the history of the world.

Where once we celebrated the unity, the melting pot and shared experience, that the Depression and World War gave us, our elites today proclaim, “Our diversity is our greatest strength!”—even as racial, religious, and ethnic diversity are tearing nations to pieces.

Rejecting the commitment to a God-given equality of rights for all as inadequate, our government is engaged in the manic pursuit of equality of rewards, as it seeks to erect an egalitarian utopia that has never before existed. Less and less do we Americans have in common. More and more do we fight over religion, morality, politics, history, and heroes. And as our nation disintegrates, our government is failing in its fundamental duties, unable to defend our borders, balance our budgets, or win our wars.

How Americans are killing the country they profess to love, and the fate that awaits us if we do not turn around, is what Suicide of a Superpower is all about.

Nader Seeking Primary Challenger for Obama

Newsmax has the story.

Consumer advocate and progressive liberal Ralph Nader said Thursday he will send a letter to a targeted group of 40 former university presidents, retired congressmen, progressive business leaders and civic activists and ask them to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.

“The pitch is this: Look, take six months off from your routine, form a slate, challenge Obama in the primaries,” Nader said on Fox News.

The letter will go out in “a few days,” he said.

“If he’s not challenged from the progressive liberal wing of his party that elected him, there’ll be a very dull campaign,” Nader said.

Read more…

When Nader announced earlier that he was nearly certain Obama would have a primary challenger, I assumed that that meant Nader was aware of someone who had already privately stepped forward. This story suggests no one has yet, or that someone backed out. This is disappointing.

Cross posted at IPR.

Update: A commenter at IPR, Michael Calvan RN, posted this:

I have been following this issue very closely.

There is a primary challenger. He will be announcing soon.