Afternoon Links

Inside the lush lifestyle the national Thanksgiving turkeys lead before they’re pardoned. Goddamn elitists.

The original “Cowardly Lion” costume from “The Wizard of Oz” just sold for $3.1 million.

Why would a child want to put acne and stretch marks on her doll? This is so dumb.

Remember that last minute “surge” that enabled Obamacare to meet its enrollment goal? Turns out they cooked the books.

A Frenchman who joined ISIS then quit 10 days later because he couldn’t get cigarettes just got seven years in prison. This might be the most French thing ever.

What’s worse: that the government fought so hard to shut Sharyl Attkisson up or that CBS went along with it?

Having Media Matters as your go-to late night booty call is probably the saddest thing ever.

Why have the media ignored the Bergdahl case?” The same reason they ignore every single other shady thing this President does: Because they love him.

But what bathroom does Winnie use when he has to Pooh?

Here’s CNN’s take on the reaction to Obama’s executive immigration order: Obama made immigrants cry, either because they’re thrilled or because he didn’t go far enough. If you don’t love what he did, you’re elderly and racially coarse.

Burn the entire media establishment down and start over. From CNN to the NYT, these people are just terrible.

So dumb.

“Like Bill Clinton at an orgy, I don’t know where to start with this.”

Good job, Britain.

Funerals are marching to a different tune as Brits “look on the bright side of life” and pick music from personal playlists when the curtain closes and it’s time to say goodbye, new research from The Co-operative Funeralcare reveals today. For the first time in over a decade, Frank Sinatra’s My Way has been toppled from the top by Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – the comedy troupe that said farewell themselves this year after a series of reunion concerts.

This might be the dumbest fucking thing I’ve read this week. Is he joking?

“I don’t think so, because I’m not a moral imbecile.” This is so good. Gobry is so good.

The idea of the rule of law (and progressives sometimes struggle with the concept) is that countries should be governed by laws, not by the whims of individuals. If the text of the law says something, that’s what you should do, regardless of the consequences. Because if you do it any other way, the consequences of that are, over the long run, chaos: everyone overrides the law in favor of their preferred ethical principle. This disdain for the rule of law, by the way, is not an aberration of the progressive mind, but rather, the rule. In legal jurisprudence, the progressive tradition has been to interpret the Constitution as a “living document,” one that should say whatever justices want it to say, rather than what the Constitution says.

The work of the evolutionary psychologist Jonathan Haidt might be useful. He identifies five dimensions of moral intuition, and notes that self-described liberals are stunted in all dimensions but one, the care/harm dimension, which seeks to avoid the pain of others, whereas conservatives are more equally balanced. While conservatives think caring for other people is important, they also value the other dimensions of the moral universe. Progressives see only in one color.

This progressive disability leads predictably to two outcomes. The first is what I’ll call moral childishness: a petulant tendency to throw temper tantrums based on mere feelings that are totally impervious to reason. One person just might die! Therefore…therefore, what, exactly? The second is both more obvious and more pernicious: if caring for other people is the only value in your system, then, almost by definition, you will come to believe that the ends justify the means. Conservatives have a strong respect for authority, and progressives rightly point out that this, unchecked, can lead to moral atrocities. But a caring worldview leavened by a respect for authority is what allows things like the rule of law and republican governance to endure.

If it is simply unacceptable that someone somewhere might suffer, then everything else must be thrown in the fire. If the law says federal health care exchanges shouldn’t get subsidies, too bad. If you have to lie to the public to get your health care bill passed, too bad. If granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would precipitate a constitutional crisis (and give sweeping new powers to the next Republican administration!), well, someone somewhere is hurting, so we know what needs to be done. Of course, all human beings, conservative, progressive, and everything else, are susceptible to that most human of temptations. But it stands to reason that an unbalanced moral worldview will be even more susceptible to it.

Jonathan Chait has written that he wouldn’t let his daughter marry a conservative, because they “live in a different moral universe.” Perhaps they do; if so, that universe is called “adulthood.” In a temper tantrum, a small child will break even the thing he loves. The point of growing up is to be able to guide our feelings through reason. In the meantime, moral children should spare us their self-righteous lectures.

Liberal Yale Law professor (and Obama voter) argues against actually going ahead with impeachment, but acknowledges that Obama violated his oath with executive overreach and so there’s a strong case for it.

I LOVE this idea. But Boehner and McConnell are total pussies and would never do it. From Drew at Ace of Spades:

There’s one idea I’d like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address. The Constitution simply requires that “He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Nothing requires that he do so in person. The modern in person State of The Union dates back to Woodrow Wilson but Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon all gave written reports as was the custom from Thomas Jefferson to Wilson. And Presidents don’t simply show up whenever they please to address the Congress, they must be formally invited. That’s where Boehner and McConnell can strike a blow for the legislature…simply don’t invite him.

Yesterday, Boehner said, “The president had said before that he’s not king and he’s not an emperor,” Boehner says. “But he’s sure acting like one.”

Why would the Speaker invite such a man to address “the people’s house”? All Obama would do would use the time to lecture members of a co-equal branch on what they must do and what he deems acceptable work product for them. Members of the United States Congress are under no obligation to sit mutely while the President brow beats them. Obama has said he doesn’t feel compelled to listen to the voters who showed up to the polls a little over two weeks ago. The Representatives elected by those people should make it clear they are simply acting in kind, they will not listen to him.

Yes the media will be apoplectic about this. Good, that’s the point. This is a serious moment in our nation’s history. I’ve not seen a single Republican, even ones who strongly support legislative amnesty, support the President on this. The outrage caused by what is an extreme step will help to focus the nation on the threat to our constitutional order.

I like this idea too.

In Obamacareland, health insurance plan choose you!

Shakespeare First Folio – one of only around 230 still in existence – found in French town library.

SNL mocked Obama for once…

…and so the Left had a fucking fit.

Good. Do it.

School considered canceling Nutcracker trip to protect kids from Christmas tree exposure because this is the insane PC culture we live in now.

The House Intel Committee released its report on how IC handled the Benghazi attack and the media promptly responded by proving that they can’t read. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns, Literature, Politics, The Left, TV/Movies

Video of the Day

I love this man.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, Video of the Day

Your Morning Cup of Links

Progressives spent last night throwing temper tantrums and destroying people’s property. Conservatives spent last night raising over $80,000 to help Natalie DuBose rebuild her cake shop. You can donate here.

People who bring prepared talking points to Thanksgiving and try to make it about politics are the worst, just the worst.

Behold: A bunch of loony scholars walking around town towing a life-size statue of Jane Austen.

“This country is supposedly built on freedom and equality, not on the right to say whatever you want.” This person presumably wrote that sentence with a straight face, somehow.

This is the world that “progressivism” is creating. Congratulations to all you ghastly little authoritarians out there.

Good lord dude, seek help. How messed up must one be to get this riled up over something like this?

Thomas Sowell points out that the current problems facing blacks in America owe more to the Great Society than to slavery. The numbers tell the story.

Someone’s not paying their fair share!

Jonathan Turley, left-leaning law professor/one of the last honest liberals, will represent GOP House of Representatives in lawsuit against Obama administration.

Awesome. Former CIA agent and new GOP Congressman-elect from Texas ran for Congress because he discovered as an intel agent that Congressmen making decisions didn’t even know the difference between Sunni and Shia.

Unreal. At UC Davis, students can’t register until they concede it’s wrong to say “I’d hit that.”

When someone starts a sentence, “I’m all in favor of free speech…” that invariably means they aren’t. Exhibit A.

LOL. Harvard hosts “balanced” panel on boycott Israel movement, in which the pro-Israel voice is…wait for it…Noam Chomsky.

Oh fuck off. I’m so tired of these people constantly telling everyone what phrases or words they should and shouldn’t say. No one cares if you’re offended. Don’t say it if you don’t like it. Leave the rest of us alone.

Seriously, everywhere one turns these days there’s another fresh-faced young authoritarian. These frightening people will be in charge one day. It’s terrifying. God help us.

The federal government has found a new way to harass private schools on behalf of teachers unions.

70 years after fighting in World War II, a veteran girds himself to battle fascism yet again…in Florida.

This reads like a parody, but it’s not. It’s just the Guardian Guardianing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, The Left

You got your riots, media. Congratulations.

First of all, the media’s behavior last night was absolutely disgusting. They were practically cheering for riots for hours. They covered this as if it were a Super Bowl pre-game show. Shameful. Are Chris Hayes and company going to fork over some of their millions to help feed the families of the minority business owners whose livelihoods have been destroyed due to the media’s role in ginning up a mob by creating a narrative before any of the facts were in? No? They’re just going to go back to their wealthy, white neighborhoods and pat themselves on the back over finally getting some ratings? How shocking.

As for the looters and rioters. FUCK YOU. There is no excuse for what you’ve done. None. You’re all scumbags. Most of the businesses that were burned were owned by minorities. They’ve now lost their livelihoods. Their employees have lost their jobs, and right before the holidays. BRAVO. Are you proud, Lefty agitators? You just burned down a bunch of black people’s businesses. Like this woman, Natalie DuBose, who sold her cakes at a flea market until she saved up enough money to buy her own shop. It was destroyed last night.

natalie_dubose

An innocent person who did nothing to you. She was just trying to live the American dream. A self-made woman using her skills to try and provide for her family. You’ve ruined her life because “justice.”

The Left is, of course, being predictably idiotic and ridiculous about this. Here’s how grown-ups handle things like Ferguson: “I don’t know what happened. I can’t know what happened. The Grand Jury will be shown evidence that I do not have and told what the laws are that govern its evaluation. Fin.” Unfortunately, we’re severely lacking in grown-ups these days. The Left threw (is still throwing) an embarrassing temper tantrum and demonstrated their frightening lack of understanding about how laws and evidence and indictments work. The only thing that matters to them is how they feel. Facts and evidence (all laid out right here, everything the grand jury saw) matter not. It’s maddening. I swear Wilson could have been wearing a body cam, the whole thing caught on tape, and it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference to some of these people. They want it to be the 60s so damn badly. It’s incredible. There’s no point in me posting a bunch of examples, just go to the homepages of Salon, Slate, Vox, etc. and scroll.

You can yell at white people all you want, white, rich social justice warriors (SJWs), but the vast majority of us who just go to work and provide for our families everyday are not responsible for this. I’m for policing reform and demilitarization of local police forces (I also think walking a beat, wearing a regular uniform might be good for normalizing relations). I’m for vouchers to give poor parents school choice so they can get their kids out of failing schools. I’m for cutting down on the bureaucratic red tape so poor people can easily start a business when they have an idea, so they can climb the social ladder. When you want to rein in unions and government, we can talk. But you don’t, and pretty much every city you run is a cesspool of misery and violence for African Americans. Progressive policies are responsible for a lot of this stuff, not the alleged racists in the South.

However, the truth is that change has to come primarily within the African American community. They have to change the culture in which a majority of black children are born out of wedlock to single moms. They have to change the culture that indicates being a “thug” is cool and doing anything that a successful white person would do is being a “traitor” to your race. Jason Riley explores this in his indispensable book, Please Stop Helping Us. He notes that many black immigrants don’t have these latter self-caused cultural problems, and therefore often succeed at a greater rate than African Americans even though they start off no less poor (he lays out the statistical details in his book). The sad truth is African Americans are treated with more suspicion by police because African Americans commit a disproportionate amount of crime. I wish this weren’t the case, but it is. Government can’t do the basic things that parents need to do for their kids, like teach them that stealing is wrong and that if a cop tells you to stop walking in the middle of the street, your response should not be “fuck you.” No one will acknowledge (because it’s politically incorrect) that had Brown not robbed the store and not been walking in the middle of the street and not attacked the cop, he would almost certainly be alive today. Like Trayvon Martin, Brown’s own decisions put him in a bad situation that he didn’t have to be in. This of course does not mean he deserved to die. But you can’t attack a cop, go for his gun and then charge at him when he’s telling you to stop. It’s going to end badly.

I know plenty of successful black people. It is not impossible to succeed in this country if you do a few basic things: stay in school, get a job and stick with it, don’t have a baby out of wedlock. Certain things, like Democrats’ alliance with the unions, make these things more difficult than they should be, but we need to stop teaching black kids that it’s impossible for them to succeed. Once you inflict a self-defeating, “I’m a victim, I don’t have responsibility for anything I do because it’s the fault of the white man or the system,” attitude on people, it’s hard to overcome that.

There are some in the media who are making a point about overaggressive police officers, which is certainly a discussion that needs to be had. Here’s the thing. They always pick precisely the wrong cases to try and make this point. There have been two cases in the past few months that would have worked better to make this argument. The Crawford case at the Wal-Mart that I posted about a few weeks back and last week’s case in Cleveland where a 12-year-old kid playing with a bebe gun was shot and killed  by police. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, both cases are briefly described here. The role of police is to protect the public, put the public first. It is a huge problem that some cops seem to be trained primarily to protect themselves, which sometimes means shoot first, ask questions later. They need to shoot if there is actually a threat to their lives (like a gun pointed at them), not because there might be a threat (like that video I posted several weeks ago where the cop shot the guy at the gas station who was just getting his wallet out of his car). These cops need to be trained better on how to identify threats and how to react. But somehow the media always (or at least, lately) latches on to stories that turn out to be legitimate self defense. Sorry, social justice warriors (SJWs) having a fit over the Brown case, but you can’t physically attack a cop and go for his gun. You’re gonna have a bad time. I have to assume most of the special snowflake SJWs have never been physically attacked and in fear for their lives before, but if someone (especially someone who is bigger than you) is on top of you, pummeling you, you more than likely fear death or at least great bodily harm, especially when the guy is trying to get your gun. I doubt Brown just wanted to see what model it was.

Here are some links to good reads: “The Michael Brown Grand Jury process was fair“; Andrew McCarthy tackles the ludicrous argument the Left is making that Wilson should have been indicted anyway, even if he wouldn’t have been found guilty at trial; Reason explains why he would have been acquitted at trial; David Harsanyi explains to the Left that feelings aren’t facts and “justice” doesn’t exist to mollify your anger; the editors at National Review have a great editorial here; Quinn Hilyer writes what Obama should have said last night; John Hayward also takes Obama to task for his words last night and wonders where the hell the National Guard was – or anyone for that matter – protecting those people’s businesses. Here’s an excerpt from Hayward’s piece:

Where were all the National Guard units and riot response troops while the city was being burned down? Firefighters actually fell back from battling the blazes because they were taking fire from looters. All the hand-wringing about the insensitivity of “militarized police” deprived law-abiding citizens, and especially shop owners, of their protection at a time when it was most needed: a carefully-orchestrated, well-organized, media-fueled crisis everyone knew was coming. The only people with a legitimate grievance worth protesting about today are the hard-working shop owners who saw their businesses go up in smoke, and the employees who just lost their jobs. They paid exorbitant taxes to the multiple layers of flabby, useless government tottering over us – from local authorities to Barack Obama’s worse-than-useless federal apparatus – and their reward was getting to watch their property looted and destroyed, with scarcely a thought given to protecting them.

Once again, Obama had absolutely nothing to say to the People Who Work Hard and Play By the Rules. He gave a little statement that began with praise for the “rule of law” that should have come with a laugh track, given who was speaking, and rather mildly advised the protesters to eschew violence – advice they completely ignored. His entire brief appeal to the better angels of the rioters’ nature – delivered tepidly so as not to jeopardize his useful political connection with them – rested on the moral authority of Michael Brown’s parents and the self-interest of the rioters, not respect for the law itself…A robust defense of the rule of law requires a lot more than merely saying it’s important and the nation was built on it. You have to explain what it means right now. But as his own actions have amply demonstrated, the “rule of law” is an entirely abstract concept to Obama – something to be discussed in a classroom or used as a rhetorical prop during a speech, not something to be embraced and lived.

After spending an equal amount of time admonishing the police to show restraint, Obama delivered a windy homily to the “lessons that we draw from these tragic events,” assuring us “there are good people on all sides of this debate.” Really? Including the side that insists on pretending Officer Wilson is a racist killer who murdered Brown for fun, no matter what the forensic evidence and hundreds of hours of testimony say? The moral equivalence Obama engages in to make it look like he’s down with The Struggle are grotesque and disgusting. This was a moment when a real leader, a real President, would have stood tall and made it clear that there was nothing to protest, no good reason to keep a bloody myth alive because a wagonload of political issues can be hitched to it. Such a declaration would have meant a lot at this moment, coming from the First Black President. Alas, it would have crimped his poll numbers with one of the few groups that still ardently supports him, so instead of emphasizing that the “hands up, don’t shoot” stuff was a fairy tale, he went along with the idea that a long list of simmering grievances give the agitators a license to promote whatever hateful garbage they think is necessary to hold the media spotlight and keep people fired up.

Another question that needs to be answered: Whose brilliant idea was it to announce this late at night? I understand wanting to wait until people got home from work and school, but Jesus Christ, 9 p.m.??

Anyway, bottom line: Condolences to the Brown family on the irreplaceable loss of their son. Best of luck to the Wilson family after a traumatic ordeal. My heartfelt sympathies to the innocent people who had their lives ruined last night (I’ll be on the lookout for legitimate crowdfunding sites to help these business owners and I’ll post them here. I know people are working on it). Congrats to the grand jury for having integrity and making their decision based on the evidence and the law and not letting themselves be influenced by the absolute fucking circus created by the media. Good luck to the media getting its credibility back. Fin.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, The Left

Music Monday

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

Poem for the Weekend

Christian Sahner uses the following poem as “An Ode for Syria Today” in his excellent new book Among The Ruins: Syria Past and Present, which I can’t recommend highly enough if you want to understand Syria.

“Love Among the Ruins” by Robert Browning (1855)

Where the quiet-coloured end of evening smiles,

Miles and miles

On the solitary pastures where our sheep

Half-asleep

Tinkle homeward thro’ the twilight, stray or stop

As they crop -

Was the site once of a city great and gay,

(So they say)

Of our country’s very capital, its prince

Ages since

Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far

Peace or war.

Now the country does not even boast a tree,

As you see,

To distinguish slopes of verdure, certain rills

From the hills

Intersect and give a name to, (else they run

Into one)

Where the domed and daring palace shot its spires

Up like fires

O’er the hundred-gated circuit of a wall

Bounding all

Made of marble, men might march on nor be prest

Twelve abreast. […]

In one year they sent a million fighters forth

South and North,

And they built their gods a brazen pillar high

As the sky

Yet reserved a thousand chariots in full force -

Gold, of course.

O heart! o blood that freezes, blood that burns!

Earth’s returns

For whole centuries of folly, noise and sin!

Shut them in,

With their triumphs and their glories and the rest!

Love is best.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Morning Vent: Some thoughts on last night (and some links)

First of all, that speech was awful. It was a typical “You’ve disappointed me, America” Obama speech and not an especially articulate one. I know liberal pundits and the Obama cultists (but I repeat myself) were falling all over themselves last night, but let’s be honest: It was like a 6th grade essay contest entry that got 8th place. Second of all, I can’t believe the “fruit pickers” and “bed makers” line made it through a final edit. If a GOP president had said that…hooo boy. Reince better use that in some ads.

Here the AP does a somewhat brutal (for the AP) fact check of Obama’s comments last night. Conn Carroll has a great point-by-point rebuttal of the official White House Amnesty Talking Points. This is a must read if you’re confused about what Obama’s actually doing (unsurprisingly, it’s pretty nonsensical). As I’ve stated before, I’m more upset about Obama upending a centuries-old process than I am about the policies he’s enacting, though they are problematic, too (especially the potential border surge that may now come). But forget about Obama for a moment. The real problem lies in some serious issues we have with our citizenry.

A. Few people at this point seem to have even a basic grasp of civics and how our system of government works. Even Lefty bloggers who I normally disagree with, but who I don’t think are stupid (i.e. Andrew Sullivan) suddenly seem confused about this. These people seem to actually believe it when they say, “Oh, well Congress won’t pass a law, so the President must act.” No. That’s not how it works. If Congress won’t pass a law, the President must do precisely NOTHING. He does not just get to make up the new rules and demand that Congress fall in line. As Charles C.W. Cooke put it several months ago:

If next year a Republican Senate turns the tables and renders President Obama the “obstructionist,” do we expect to hear Mitch McConnell explaining that he has been forced by Obama’s “unique” intransigence to pass laws without the president’s signature? Will we see a McConnell Senate seeking to form GOP-friendly proto-treaties with other nations? Will the House of Representatives start to issue the pardons that the president won’t on the grounds that they are “too important” to wait for? Might John Boehner begin to command the armed forces and to fly around on Air Force One, justifying his appropriation on the grounds that Obama is uniquely absent on the world stage and that the consequences of his absence are too deleterious to allow? Will the legislative branch announce that it “can’t wait,” and cut the corporate tax rate on its own? Of course not. Clearly, these would all represent intolerable hijackings of the executive branch’s role. One wonders, then, why we are we expected to indulge the practice the other way round. Are appeals to expedience less problematic when the president, and not the legislature, is the one indulging in the seizure? Congress has considered the Dream Act 24 times in the last twelve years. Each time — regrettably, in my view — it has declined to pass it. In what possible universe does this suggest that the president should go it alone?

Justifying his infringements, the president typically submits that Congress has in some way abandoned its role, and that he is obliged by expedience to step in. This asseveration rests unsteadily upon the false presumption that Congress’s role is to agree with the executive branch, rather than to make law. It is not. Even if we were to agree wholeheartedly with Barack Obama that Congress’s judgment is poor, it would remain the case that there is no provision in the Constitution that makes the legislature’s absolute role conditional upon its good sense. On the contrary: If the president can’t get Congress to agree to what he legally needs them to agree to, he doesn’t get to do what he wants to do. This is so whether Congress is packed with angels or with clowns. It is so whether Congress adores the president or loathes him, whether it is active and engaged, and whether it is idle and lackadaisical. And — crucially — it is so whether Congress is popular or it is unpopular. Public opinion matters in the American system come election time, mass plebiscites serving as the basis by which our representatives are chosen and our sentiments established into law. But it has no bearing on the day-to-day legal operation of the government, nor upon the integrity of the rules that govern that operation. If one of the elected branches proves recalcitrant, steadfastly ignoring what the voters want, the remedy is electoral, not legal. The integrity of the constitutional order, suffice it to say, is not contingent upon the transient public mood. That way lies chaos.

By demonizing one’s opponents and making legal excuses in result, it is easy to make the men in the cheap seats applaud and holler. But before long, somebody else will be taking the oath, and wondering, as he promise the best of his ability, just what he might put over on the rest.

I’ve been trying to understand why people are having such trouble with this. Some parts of the Constitution are somewhat vague and open to interpretation, but Articles I and II are quite clear on which branch has the legislative powers and which branch is supposed to faithfully execute the laws. I’ve also seen the pathetic “Look at the number of Executive Orders other Presidents did” excuse reappear several times this week. This is meaningless. It’s not the number that matters, it’s the substance. Naming a government building or declaring some random day “National Something Day” is not the same as giving work permits to millions of law breakers (a part of his plan he conveniently left out of the speech last night). Anyway, we need to restore civics/government/constitution classes to our schools, pronto. Or bring back Schoolhouse Rock at least. Good grief.

B. We are really losing our “personal responsibility” values. I briefly listened to a talk radio show this morning in which the host was a conservative and the caller was a very angry progressive. He was in a fury that someone he knows could possibly be deported and separated from her children because Republicans won’t just grant amnesty. When asked what her circumstances were, the man explained that she had knowingly overstayed her visa because she thought she was going to get married but then it didn’t work out. OK. Well…too bad. That may sound harsh, but actions have consequences. We used to know this as a country. If you make the choice to break the law and put your children in a situation like that, that’s not my problem. It’s not the Republicans’ problem, it’s not America’s problem. It’s YOUR problem. And this is how we’ve gotten into the mess we’re in in the first place. There are rarely serious consequences for breaking our immigration laws (that’s why we have millions of people illegally here). People know if they can just get here, they’ll probably get to stay.

C. We need to be a little less squishy and nice if we really care about the country and our fellow American citizens. A country has to act in the interests of itself/its people. We have stagnant wages and lots of jobless people right now. We don’t need a giant outside influx of low-skill labor. Our immigration priority should be making it easier for highly skilled workers from all sorts of different countries to come here. We either need to get serious about clamping down on the borders and then figure out what to do with the people who are already here, or, if we’re going to continue with a practically open borders policy, then we need to deport people, and not just the criminals. The only way to deter people from coming illegally is to get it through their heads that they will be punished for breaking the law. If you were brought here as a little kid, through no fault of your own, and this is the only country you’ve ever known, then you can stay. But your parents knowingly broke the law, and once you’re 18, they can be sent back, as far as I’m concerned. You can’t have open borders and a giant welfare/entitlement state. It’s unsustainable. You have to pick one. I would like it if everyone who wanted to be an American could be an American. This is a wonderful country and it’s obvious why so many people want to come here. But it’s not realistic. Billions of people can’t live here. We as a country need to – and have every right to – choose who gets to become a fellow citizen. We need to stop letting the La Raza loons win. You don’t get to break our laws and then scream in our faces about what we owe you. We owe you nothing. Fuck off.

A few other points:

- Despite the angle the Left tries to take on this against conservatives, none of this has anything to do with skin color. I’m so tired of that dumb line (mostly brought to you by the La Raza SJW types). I want people here who love America and what it stands for, whether they’re black, white, brown, purple, yellow, green, whatever. I’ll trade 100 hard working Mexicans who love America for 100 white losers sitting in their mom’s basements, writing “I hate America” screeds for Salon and collecting disability checks because they’re “stressed,” any day of the week. And I don’t know a single conservative who doesn’t feel the same way. The special resistance to the southern border crossings is because A. They’re breaking the law from the first step in which, to me, isn’t something you do if you respect a country and its people. B. As I noted above, it does not help wages or the job prospects for our own working poor to import more low skilled workers. C. A number of these people are just coming for a better job, so they can send money back home, not necessarily because they really want to become Americans and assimilate into the culture. D. It’s extremely unfair to the people who spent the money, filled out the paperwork, went through the process to come here legally. They were basically told last night that they were suckers.

Republicans may have a new opportunity with legal immigrants, considering how many of them – both random ones I saw on Twitter and personal friends of mine – were NOT happy last night for obvious reasons. USCIS usually processes about one million green cards a year. Obama just added 5 million work permits to that. There are going to be a lot of angry people who have played by the rules, waiting extra long for their green cards/other documents now because of people who haven’t played by the rules. Legal immigrants had visas and green cards delayed when Obama enacted DACA. Now their process is going to be made longer yet again.

- Jay Nordlinger has a good, brief post on how, for the Left, it really is all about what they can get away with. Here’s part of it, but go read the rest.

In 2003, I was at a dinner party on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. All liberals, plus me. The Texas sodomy decision had just come down from the Supreme Court. My hostess asked me what I thought. I said that I agreed with Justice Thomas — who wrote essentially this: “The Texas law is dumb. If I were a member of the state legislature, I would vote to repeal it. But I find nothing in the Constitution that forbids a state to make such a law.” My hostess looked at me as though I had come from Mars. She did not look at me with hostility. She looked at me with incomprehension. If you’ve got the power, you use it, for good ends. If you’ve got the black robe and the gavel — why, ram home what is right!

When I was in college, and figuring things out, I noticed that the Left had a disdain for process. They would use it, if the process was to their advantage. But they would jettison it the second the process was inconvenient. What mattered was the result, period.

A friend of mine wrote me this morning saying that he feared Republicans would not “put the genie back in the bottle.” Obama has now broken free from our political process. Republicans will feel unhindered, when they have executive power. I don’t believe it. First, I don’t think Republicans in general want to abuse their power (though some do, for sure). They have a constitutional conscience, or a semblance of one. But second, the “culture” won’t let them. The media, the professors, the entertainment industry — they won’t allow anti-constitutionalism for conservative or right-wing ends. They will allow it only for “progressive” ends. If a conservative result threatens, they will be gung-ho for the process….For Barack Obama and those who share his politics, democracy is what you can get away with.

- Here’s Sam Rosado on how the Democrats created Obama’s amnesty.

- David Harsanyi: “Obama Puts The Republic Out Of Its Misery”

“This is how democracy works,” Barack Obama lectured the country before giving everyone the specifics of his expansive one-man executive overreach on immigration. If you enjoy platitudinous straw men but are turned off by open debate and constitutional order, this speech was for you. Modern Democrats aren’t the first political party to abuse power – far from it. Obama isn’t the first president to abuse executive power – not by a longshot. But he has to be the first president in American history to overtly and consistently argue that he’s empowered to legislate if Congress doesn’t pass the laws he favors. It’s an argument that’s been mainstreamed by partisans and cheered on by those in media desperate to find a morsel of triumph in this presidency.

Congress has no obligation to pass a bill. Ever. Who knows? Maybe immigration ranks 50th on the GOP’s to-do list. Maybe the GOP is dysfunctional and incapable of pulling together comprehensive legislation. Maybe the Republicans are nothing more than irrational nativists. And maybe all of that threatens the GOP’s future. That’s why we have elections for presidents to ignore.

If Congress passed a bill, Obama would veto it, anyway. So what Obama meant to say was, “I have one answer: Pass a bill I like.” No bill will pass, especially after this cynical ploy to prod clumsy GOPers into reactions that might benefit him politically. The president’s entire argument is predicated on the idea that a “broken” immigration system gives him dispensation from engaging in the process. Authoritarians, great and minor, always claim more powers to fix some unprecedented emergency. He’s not the first around these parts to do it. The thing is, our education system is also broken. Our foreign policy is broken. Our welfare system is broken, too.

I basically support most of Obama’s fixes– conceptually, at least. But what amazed me about the speech wasn’t just the hubris, or even how he shoehorned every cliché about immigration known to mankind into half an hour speech. It was that even after making it clear he answers to no one, Obama still couldn’t be honest about his intentions.

It’s difficult to believe any honest person believes that using prosecutorial discretion to exempt five million people from law (probably in perpetuity) is the sort of job the Founders had in mind for the president. It’s true that The Annenberg Public Policy Center found that only 36 percent of Americans could actually name the three branches of government, anyway. And now we’ll be adding a few millions of immigrants who believe that “democracy” is the same as a presidential edict. But of the 36 percent that understand checks and balances, most probably aren’t particularly idealistic about procedure. We’re idealistic about issues. To a progressive Democrat, permitting immigrants to come “out of the shadows” trumps constitutional stability. A shame. Because process is basically the only constant in American politics. It’s the one thing Americans should be inflexible about.

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States – unless the president says it’s super important. Then anything goes.

And a great piece by Robert Tracinski:

We have a president who has just declared his indifference to the Constitution and to the consent of the governed. You know that moment in every dystopian science fiction movie when the conniving villain—Chancellor Palpatine or the like—has been trying to subvert the system and finally takes that one extra step over the line from scheming politician to dictator? I’m beginning to think we just had that moment. The point of last night’s speech is that the law is now irrelevant, Congress is irrelevant, voters are irrelevant, and the president can do whatever he wants. What makes this feel like a turning point is not so much what President Palpatine—excuse me, President Obama—actually did, but rather the acquiescence of the press. This can be seen in the flurry of articles debating the merits of Obama’s reform of the immigration system, as if that were the issue, as if there were absolutely nothing irregular about the way those changes have been decreed.

What has Obama actually done for these “undocumented” immigrants? He has granted them permission to stay and work in America—at his sole pleasure. That’s the crucial point. Because he is acting in defiance of existing law, illegal immigrants who seek refuge under Obama’s plan will actually gain zero legal protection. Their immunity from deportation rests entirely on the will of the executive, not on the law of the land. So it ends whenever the chief executive says it does.

Those who are foolish enough to register under this program will not “get right with the law.” They will get right with the current administration, for this particular moment. But if the political winds shift—or in two years when a new president is sworn in—all bets are off. Who would volunteer to identify themselves to the government under those terms? What Obama is doing is creating a class of people—possibly millions of them—who are dependent solely on the favor of the emperor. As Eduardo Alvarez put it on Twitter: “A hostage class is born.” This is the real essence of Obama’s play for the Hispanic vote: they have to keep him or one of his gang in the White House, or cousin Felipe gets trundled back across the border.

This fits the broader pattern of Obama’s administration. By a combination of design and incompetence, he has built a system in which every part of his agenda has been accomplished primarily by executive order and can only be sustained based on the will of the executive…As Stephen Miller asks: “What’s Obama’s historical legacy if everything he does can be undone via executive order?” Look at the bind he has put his party in. If their entire agenda is enacted by executive fiat, then everything depends on an unbroken string of victories in presidential campaigns. One lesson from all those science fiction dystopias is that the dictator’s power grab always breeds discontent and rebellion. In two years, a lot of Democrats could be looking around at the wreckage of their agenda and cursing the day they embraced the temporary illusion of unilateral executive power.

That’s another thing I don’t get. How do Hispanics not just feel completely and utterly used by the Democrat party to the point of disgust? Democrats play them like pawns. They treat them as if immigration amnesty is the only issue they care about. They pander to them, but make it obvious they don’t really care about them or the issue. They’re just trying to milk them for votes. If Obama and Democrats really cared about these families and solving the problem they would have done immigration reform when they had large majorities in both houses of Congress AND the presidency a few years ago. But they need this issue on the table. They don’t want it settled. It’s gross and I think Democrats may overestimate the degree to which Hispanics are eating it up. Or at least I hope so.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, Politics, The Constitution, The Left