Tag Archives: Obama

Miami gets it

Miami graffiti artists get it:

Wynwood: Obama as Bush


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Obama didn’t kill Osama.

“Obama didn’t kill Osama. A Navy SEAL did, who, less than a month ago, Obama was debating whether to pay at all.” – a Marine

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Filed under International, Law

Boys Need Fathers: The Future of Civil Rights

The following are notes taken from Kay Hymowitz’s talking points at the US Civil Rights Commission’s event “A New Era: Defining Civil Rights in the 21st Century.”  Ms. Hymowitz is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a Contributing Editor to the City Journal.

The South Side Decline Was a Direct Result of Absentee Fathers

When the South Side of Chicago began to leak industry, black families were pushed farther and farther outside of the industrial loop.  In the late 1950’s, race riots and fathers’ flight to workweeks downtown, away from their families, created a deep breach in family life.

Chicago’s South Side became descriptively “matriarchal,” i.e. single mothers were raising kids absent fathers in the home, that culture saw a sharp decline.  “South Side decline” refers to the period between the 1950’s and the late 90’s, wherein African Americans struggled to secure a place in an increasingly-competitive shrinking suburb.

President Obama and the South Side

President Obama spent nearly his entire public life in and around Chicago’s South Side.  When he was there, Barack Obama’s effect on the South Side Decline was exactly zero.

Obama could have asked: Where are the men in this neighborhood?  Instead, he ignored the utter absence of male role models — of fathers — and asked: Where are the social workers who will take care of these families?  Where are the government institutions who will provide for these single mothers raising their kids?

Marriage Civilizes Men

Marriage serves as the root of the family unit, which in turn becomes the root for strong civil society.  Men are critical for families, not only as role models for their kids, but also as providers who permit mothers to act as role models themselves.

More importantly, “marriage civilizes men.”  It’s the wooing of and providing for a wife that instills the “bourgeois habits” of self-discipline and work ethic.  Without an imposed sense of responsibility, “men remain boys.”

More from the Civil Rights Commission conference on Men and Marriage (from Heather Mac Donald, also of the Manhattan Institute).

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Oh, Mason

I cannot get enough of this car parked in Mason’s student lot.  Yesterday my Contracts seminar devolved into a discussion of which was the “best” apostle.  Today these bumper stickers.  My law school is special.

My law school is special!

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Leash SoSo Tight

Does anyone else feel a little violated to learn that the White House chose Justice Sotomayor’s confirmation outfits?

Says the WSJ blawg, citing the New Haven Register (which culled from Sotomayor’s private speech by interviewing reunion attendees):

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whom we’ve learned likes to talk, gave a speech Saturday night saying her nomination process was so tightly scripted that the White House picked out her dress.

Obvi Sonia, J.’s confirmation was just a formality.  Still, isn’t choosing her clothes a leeetle bit too much?  I get that the White House <3’s her, but when does inter-branch meddling cross the line?

Of the nomination:

Meyer recalled that Sotomayor grew teary at moments when discussing the nomination process, but kept the crowd laughing. Sotomayor even explained that she’d gone shopping for clothes to wear to her acceptance ceremony, but government officials instead told her to bring five suits, one of which they would recommend for her to wear, Meyer said.

I feel a little like this administration is a grand hand holding the Ouija guide.  We’re spelling out a message the White House assures us comes organically from beyond. But the clearer the messages gets it’s becoming patently obvious it’s not coming from anywhere but that omnipresent hand.

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Deference and Decay

Top ten signs the press is overly deferential:

The President bails out the newspapers.

Ahem.  Obama is like Self-Serving Smurf.  What’s frustrating is that rather than drown in his reflection like Narcissus he’ll just pass the buck forward.

It’ll be our children’s children who wonder: What did those old dudes mean when they kept talking about this “shining city on a hill”?

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The Flaccid Fourth Estate

Last year I asked myself repeatedly why we kept talking about Britney Spears’s ladyparts.  I wondered how an ungraceful limo entrance heard round the world could supplant everything more urgent, if not more critical, than Britney’s hoochie-cooch.

The answer, of course, is obvious: We pay for it.  Why would we seek out nebulous concepts buried in spin when Britney’s right there?  And she’s underdressed! And now she’s shaving her head!

I’m fortunate to live in a place where I have instant access to the viewpoint I prefer.  There’s no question we have some response to what’s up in this country.  There’s simply not enough of it to counter the oppressive “act first, think later” attitude that prevails.

Right now we’re looking at a unified Executive-Legislative one-two punch.  Legal scholars have added their collective voice to this collective thinking, calling for the Supreme Court to move further to the left.  Indeed, a few major left-leaning Constitutional scholars have begun to call for a Rooseveltian Court-packing scheme to “prolong [their] majority.”  Even without packing, the Judiciary may well move substantially to the left before Obama’s first term ends.

Traditionally the media provides a sort of “fourth check” to balance the government.  Arguments in the First Congress surrounding the passage of the First Amendment suggest that maintaining an objective media is a huge part of why the Bill of Rights passed at all.  The first of few enumerated rights, critical to our structure of government, is our ability to criticize.

Checks and balances have more to do with sharing powers than distributing them.  But in this past year the fourth branch has utterly failed to keep the government (“Big G”) in check.

Start with the legislature.  We’re seeing some massive bills rammed through the works.  Our unified Congress has brazenly expressed its determination to pass as much legislation as possible before 2010.  If you check Drudge this morning there is a list of pork included in the health care bill that includes actual pork: $1,191,200 for “2 pound frozen ham sliced”; $16,784,272 for — no joke! — “canned pork.”  Not only are these government-expansion measures blatant, encounter little complaint from the media.

In fact, the filibuster-proof legislature has been using the fourth estate to hasten its expansion.  Right before the first (or second, if you count Bush’s 2008 stimulus) bail-out we saw a flurry of fear-mongering propaganda among the major left-leaning news sources to stir up reactionary responses to the recession.  Without that propaganda, popular resistance would likely have hindered the bail-out from passing.  Markets may have found their way back to their feet by now.  But because so much main stream emphatically backs our otherwise-unchecked government, we see deference where there should be skepticism from the press.

Failure to check the Executive proves even more dangerous.  Honduras (Zelaya) coverage [last summer] represented perhaps the most egregious example of the media’s failure to perform its “check” duty as Fourth Branch.  Countless networks continued for months to refer to military action in Honduras as a “coup”!

If anything, that was President Obama’s greatest coup yet.  Honduras merely attempted to maintain its constitutional government and dignity abroad.  But the American president sided with such revolutionaries as Chavez and Castro to quash the rule of law in Honduras with one rhetorical fell swoop.

When former President Bush toed the Rule of Law line the media immediately – and rightly! — pounced to demand adherence.  With Honduras we should have seen a monolithic media declaiming Obama’s actions and demanding that we respect the rule of law.  We don’t want an irreverent media; we just need a press corps that does not behave like the President’s deferential interns, making a Lewinski of the Fourth Estate.

President Obama repeatedly takes advantage of media deference.  Last month he penned a Washington Post op-ed filled with rhetoric and aimed directly at latte-sipping, arugula-eating elites.  Kudos to the President for acknowledging that the bail-out failed.  But a Sunday morning “fireside editorial” is NOT the way to address those most affected by government failure.  Karl Rove mocked the president’s rhetoric in a subsequent Wall Street Journal column.  This was the extent of the fall-out calling for more action than rhetoric.

Rather than spin feeble verbal circles, the Executive branch should release its death grip on industry and permit markets to work.  As long as President Obama continues to apologize even while persevering in using Big G as a reactionary tool we will only see more problems.  An active “fourth branch” media check could demand results and halt further disingenuous appeals to elites who don’t know and don’t care.

Finally, in the least dangerous branch, an overly deferential media failed to demand soon-to-be Justice Sotomayor’s perspective on legal policy.  For the duration of last month’s hearings we all waited with bated breath to hear Sotomayor betray her position on…anything!  She never revealed a single viewpoint, and her adoring fans in the press took it in stride.

Without a media check we will inevitably see the judiciary follow the rest of Big G to spin further and further from responsibility to the political process.  With the rest of the government so united, a weak Judiciary will be a huge detriment to the future of our constitutional republic, and indeed, to the future of our Constitution.

Now is not the time to nod sheepishly and admit that we have not read the bills.  The First Amendment may cover Britney’s ladyparts better than she covers them herself, but this was not why 1A was passed.  The media can keep the government responsible, but deference is not the way.


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