Conservative Wanderer

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.” — Ronald Wilson Reagan

Rise Of The Racers

Tony Katz adds a new term to the political lexicon:

Thus, I coined the term “Race-ers.”  Race-ers are those people who are completely consumed with race. They are the ones who believe that any opposition to Obama, his policies or him personally, is solely based on the racism of the opponent.  As political correctness exists only to silence opposition, the Race-er uses racism to silence their opposition.  Further, the Race-er sees racism everywhere.  Nothing can be judged on its merits, as the merits (for the Race-er) are simply insignificant.  My colleague at Pajamas Media picked up on this in an article he wrote yesterday.

Consider it added, Tony… we’ve had Truthers, we’ve had Birthers, now we have Racers.

Daniels Defunds Planned Parenthood

Alternate headline: Daniels Wants To Mend Fences With Social Conservatives Before 2012 Election.

NRO reports:

Mitch Daniels has just announced that he will sign the legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood and ban abortions after 20 weeks.

And then Daniels doubled down:

He had this message for Planned Parenthood, which had actively campaigned against the bill: “Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.

Of course, providing abortions is the raison d’être of Planned Parenthood, so asking them to stop is like asking Amazon to stop selling books.

And Planned Parenthood also seems to serve as a funnel for taxpayer dollars back to Democrats. The very useful website OpenSecrets.org reports about the Planned Parenthood PAC for 2010:

Total For Democrats: $656,858
Total Against Democrats: $86
Total For Republicans: $0
Total Against Republicans: $248,852

And their 2010 donations to Congresscritters is also highly indicative:

See any Republicans in that list? I don’t.

So, expect lots of lefty attacks on Daniels in the days and weeks to come. But, as the flier’s saying goes, when you start receiving flak, you know you’re over the target.

San Francisco Paper Calls Obama A Liar

File this one under “things I really didn’t expect to see,” especially from a media outlet in Nancy Pelosi’s deep blue district:

In a pants-on-fire moment, the White House press office today denied anyone there had issued threats to remove Carla Marinucci and possibly other Hearst reporters from the press pool covering the President in the Bay Area.

Chronicle editor Ward Bushee called the press office on its fib:

Sadly, we expected the White House to respond in this manner based on our experiences yesterday. It is not a truthful response. It follows a day of off-the-record exchanges with key people in the White House communications office who told us they would remove our reporter, then threatened retaliation to Chronicle and Hearst reporters if we reported on the ban, and then recanted to say our reporter might not be removed after all.

The Chronicle’s report is accurate.

If the White House has indeed decided not to ban our reporter, we would like an on-the-record notice that she will remain the San Francisco print pool reporter.

I was on some of those calls and can confirm Ward’s statement.

Messy ball now firmly in White House court.

One gets the sense that the Obama White House just expected the Chron’s management to meekly go along with disciplining one of their reporters for doing what is basically her job. Of course, of late, reporters haven’t really been doing their job, just taking the talking points and regurgitating them, but that doesn’t mean that some reporter with higher standards can’t actually do some real reporting for a change. One did, and it seems that His Obamaness is not amused, so he’s responding in the Chicago Way.

Kudos to the Chron for fighting back! You’ve earned a little bit of my respect with that one.

The E-Pamphlets Are Coming!

During the time leading up to the American Revolution, one of the best ways the Founding Fathers had to spread their concepts, ideas, and information was through pamphlets, of which one of the most famous is Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. These short, inexpensive, quickly printed, easily distributed monographs were undeniably popular–Common Sense sold half a million copies in its first year, and that’s in just the original 13 colonies–and almost certainly framed the debate over independence.

Now a conservative imprint of HarperCollins Publishers is aiming to do the same thing with e-pamphlets for the popular e-reader platforms: Introducing Broadside Books’ new line, Voices Of The Tea Party.

The series publishes short, pamphlet-like political works on topics such as Obamacare (”First Do No Harm“) and grassroots activism (”Community Organizing for Conservatives“).

At $2 per e-book, the purpose of these long essays is to “reinvigorate and democratize the conservative intellectual movement by lowering barriers to entry for citizen-activists who have something important to say,” according to Adam Bellow. Bellow, the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow, is the editor of Broadside Books.

And now, straight from the publishers’ website:

Voices of the Tea Party is a real-time collaborative forum for Tea Partiers around the country that delivers in-depth information on tactics, strategy, and policy from the on-ground activists through the use of inexpensive and easy to download e-books. The series will serve the vibrant online community of everyday American who launched and continue to drive the Tea Party movement, by taking their collaborative discussions to a much higher level. Tea Party suporters around the country will now be able to instantly access “best practices” that have succeeded elsewhere, hear the stories of others in the movement, and learn from Tea Partiers with specific policy ideas and expertise. Perhaps more important, they will be able to engage with other thought leaders by submitting their own e-book proposals for possible inclusion in the series.

I’ve already purchased and read First, Do No Harm on my Kindle. It was well worth the $1.99 I paid for it, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next entry in this series. God willing, this new idea will help spread conservative principles to the current generation.

By the way, if you don’t have a Kindle or other supported e-reader, there’s always the Kindle for PC app.

And kudos to HarperCollins for doing this!

Birthers Still Going Off The Deep End

Obama officially released his long-form birth certificate today, as just about anyone who’s not been under a rock all day should know by now.

Of course, birthers are still going nuts, trying every possible explanation of why it’s not real, it can’t be real, it must not be real, because they, the good people, can’t be wrong! Which just shows what lengths people will go to in order to avoid surrendering a belief they find comforting. As psychologist Dr. Pat Santy, who blogs as Dr. Sanity, says (emphasis in original):

Denial is an attempt to reject unacceptable feelings, needs, thoughts, wishes–or even a painful external reality that alters the perception of ourselves. This psychological defense mechanism protects us temporarily from:

-Knowledge (things we don’t want to know)
-Insight or awareness that threatens our self-esteem; or our mental or physical health; or our security (things we don’t want to think about)
-Unacceptable feelings (things we don’t want to feel)

Think of it this way. Every one of us has at one point or another in our lives had to face an unpleasant reality or painful truth and at the very least probably desperately wished it would go away. The first words out of the mouth of someone notified of the sudden death of a friend or loved one is usually an involuntary exclamation of, “NO!” And this initial–and universal– angry refusal to accept the pain we would feel if the death were real, is perfectly natural. The negative reaction gives us some time to readjust our thinking and our feelings and prepare mentally and physically for the horrible reality of death.

But if you are still saying, “No, it can’t be true!” days and weeks after the death; refusing to face the reality; then you are in serious denial.

Now, this seems to me to be exactly what the birthers are doing right now, but not to the death of a loved one, but merely to the fact that, yes, Barack Hussein Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.

There have been many attempts already to de-legitimize the .pdf image of the birth certificate, but so far the one that I’ve seen most often in my highly un-scientific perusal of the conservative blogosphere and its associated comment areas is the “pdf layers” theory, so I’ll link to an excellent debunking of that one (emphasis added):

What’s plausible is that somewhere along the way — from the scanning device to the PDF-creation software, both of which can perform OCR (optical character recognition) — these partial/pseudo-text images were created and saved. What’s not plausible is that the government spent all this time manufacturing Obama’s birth certificate only to commit the laughably rookie mistake of exporting the layers from Photoshop, or whatever photo editing software they are meant to have used. It’s likely that whoever scanned the birth certificate in Hawaii forgot to turn off the OCR setting on the scanner. Let’s leave it at that.

Now, why it took Obama so long to release it is a legitimate question. However, it’s quite easily answered: it provided him with a very handy way to paint his political opponents as nuts.

This is my first and will be my last post on the birther kerfuffle, so I’ll make my opinions crystal-clear, if the above hasn’t done that already. Anyone still holding tight to the birther theory is probably a few fries short of a Happy Meal. And anyone frantically grasping for theories about why the birth certificate isn’t legitimate is probably also missing the burger. Not to mention that if you continue to hold onto those theories, you’re doing precisely what Obama wants: allowing him to paint his political opponents as even bigger nuts. Do you really want to do that?

Go ahead and attack me now, I can take it… and all you’ll do is prove what I just said.

Another State Starts Process To Restrict Public Employee Unions’ Bargaining Powers

I’ll start with about the first paragraph and a half…

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states.

Now, can you guess the state? I’ll put the answer below the fold.
Continue reading

Docs Who Wrote Fake Sick Notes To Be Disciplined

Looks like the doctors who wrote notes to allow people–especially teachers–to skip work and attend the Madison protests are gonna face at least some discipline:

UW Health doctors who wrote sick notes for protesters at the Capitol in February face penalties up to a loss of pay and leadership positions, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health said Tuesday.

The medical school reviewed 22 UW Health doctors said to have been involved in writing medical excuses for protesters attending rallies over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposals, according to a medical school statement.

“Several” of the doctors were found not to have participated, and among those who were involved “the nature and extent of involvement varied widely,” the statement said.

“Personnel action will be based on the specific nature of the offense and the level of the physician’s involvement,” the statement said. “The consequences range from written reprimand to loss of pay and leadership position.”

Depending on what “leadership position” they lose, and how much pay gets docked, this could actually be some serious discipline for these folks… or it could turn out to be a slap on the wrist for appearance’s sake. And it appears that we may never know:

The statement didn’t identify the doctors, citing public employee records laws, and said “the school will not comment on individual cases.”

However, this isn’t the end of their possible troubles:

The Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing and the Medical Examining Board are investigating eight people who allegedly wrote notes, the agencies said last week.

The Wisconsin Medical Society criticized the doctors’ actions, saying they threatened the public’s trust in the medical profession.

Yes, when doctors put politics ahead of good medicine, that threatens the public’s trust. Too bad these doctors weren’t smart enough to figure that out before.

T-Paw Drills Obama Hard On Drilling

Looks like the quiet Midwesterner is starting to catch the fire in the belly:

Likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is using rising gas prices to poke holes in President Obama’s energy policy.

The former Minnesota governor, like other GOP hopefuls, said Monday that the Obama administration should ramp up domestic oil drilling to reduce prices at the pump, which are approaching $4 per gallon on average nationally.

“This is a president who has sat on his hands as it relates to drilling,” he said on WLS Radio in Chicago. “You know, we’ve got a country that’s got some enormous energy assets that are not being exploited or leveraged to the benefit of our country and to our people.”

He’s right, you know, as… er… someone… cough, cough… pointed out not too long ago.

…President Obama could very easily lower gas prices, just by telling his employees to stop the permitorium that’s keeping us from drilling for our own oil right here in the US. But he isn’t.

So now you know who to blame.

Indeed.

Supreme Court Denies Expedited Review of ObamaCare

The Supreme Court says, in effect, that the cases against ObamaCare have to take the normal path, through the appellate courts:

Choosing, for now, to remain on the sidelines of the national constitutional debate over the new health care law, the Supreme Court refused on Monday to put Virginia’s challenge to the law on a fast track with review by the Justices ahead of any appeals court decisions.  There were no dissents noted, and there was no comment. The Court granted no new cases.  (The full Order List is here.)

The legal side of the health care controversy will now revert to six federal courts of appeals where challenges are unfolding; the first hearing in one of those cases will be May 10 at the Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond, Va.

This isn’t really as much of a blow as it would appear, there’s still plenty of time for at least one case to work its way through the appellate courts and to SCOTUS before the 2012 elections.

H/T Volokh

Barbour Not Running For POTUS In 2012

Well, they’ve started falling away from the race

STATEMENT OF GOV. BARBOUR

“I will not be a candidate for president next year. This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.”

The folks at HotAir are speculating that Barbour will support Mitch Daniels, perhaps in exchange for a spot in a Daniels administration:

Barbour dropping out will help clarify things a bit since, if Daniels does run, he’s now practically guaranteed Barbour’s endorsement and fundraising help. Barbour might not make it to the White House on his own, but if he joins forces with Mitch the Knife, he could get there as VP, chief of staff, or in any number of other roles. He’s a bottom-line kind of guy, and that’d be a shrewd bottom-line calculation. Now all Daniels has to do is play ball.

Indeed. The spotlight is on you, Mitch.

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