Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

anebbandflow wishes all a very Blessed Merry Christmas!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. ~ Luke 2:1-20

Christ is born! Alleluia!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Beyond the media veil on gun violence

We really shouldn't have to have this conversation on the eve of Christmas, but...our beloved media (and by 'beloved', I of course mean loathsome) not only have salivated over this opportunity ever since the first shots rang out at Sandy Hook Elementary, but anything to detract from Christmas is an added plus in their book as well. So, let's take a stroll down the incessant road of faux journalism over the weekend...then perhaps we can venture beyond...

Debunking Piers

Piers Morgan banks on Americans being ill-educated about most things, and the latest tragedy in Connecticut and the ensuing call for more gun control is no exception. However, in all of his self-agrandizement, Piers again falls short in the realm of reality...

NRO: According to the Mail, Britons suffer 1,158,957 violent crimes per year, which works out at 2,034 per 100,000 residents. By contrast the number in notoriously violent South Africa is 1,609 per 100,000.

The U.S., meanwhile, has a rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, which is lower than France’s, at 504; Finland’s, at 738; Sweden’s, at 1123; and Canada’s at 935.

As a result of both the different ways in which these statistics are collected and of varying definitions of “violent crime,” there will naturally be some discrepancies between countries. Enough to account for a 5:1 difference between Britain and the United States, though? I rather think not.


Furthermore, the deceit that Morgan, Amanpour and many others in the media project onto low information viewers (of whom are also, unfortunately, voters) utterly ignores the concrete statistics...

theRightScoop: Here are two charts. The first one is strictly homicides by firearm:


Notice that gun homicides were around 50 in 1996 the year before they banned handguns. And then notice how it never really goes below that except in 2009 and 2010. Every other year it’s at least the same or higher. Sometimes much higher. It did sky rocket after the handgun ban but it begins to descend after 2002. But I say forget about that. There still is no trend after 1996 that shows homicides by firearms decreasing below what they were before they banned handguns.

The second chart is all homicides:


Here again, notice that the homicide rate is around 600 when they banned handguns and how it never goes below 600. In fact in most years it’s much higher, just like the chart above.

If anything neither of these charts show that banning handguns has any affect on reducing homicides by firearm or by other weaponry. If anything you could make an argument that banning handguns increased it.

...instead they rely on sheer emotion, which is what these guys constantly accuse responsible Americans (gun-owning or not) of basing any and all of their arguments on. Maddening, isn't it?

And to that end, it's sometimes just easier to put it in Nuge terms...



...another excellent point that I'll use to segue into the next portion of this post...

The Gregory Contradiction

This interview is a little lengthy (and a LOT nauseating), so view at your own leisure. Wayne LaPierre once again holds his own against a liberal media mogul, but notice throughout this interrogation...err, I mean interview...how Gregory equates 'control' to 'security', as the host grows ever more frustrated that LaPierre won't concede to being boxed into Gregory's predeterminations on gun control, particularly while attempting to position LaPierre as contradictory...



It's quite peculiar that the real contradiction resides not in the guest, but in the NBC host. How ironic that Gregory appears so adamantly against actually (as opposed to theoretically) securing our schools with a policing presence, particularly when his own children are protected in just such a manner!

TheWeeklyStandard: David Gregory mocked the NRA's Wayne LaPierre for proposing that armed guards be at every school in America. But the NBC host seems to have no problem with armed guards protecting his kids everyday where they attend school in Washington, D.C.

The Gregory children go to school with the children of President Barack Obama, according to the Washington Post. That school is the co-ed Quaker school Sidwell Friends.

According to a scan of the school's online faculty-staff directory, Sidwell has a security department made up of at least 11 people. Many of those are police officers, who are presumably armed.

Moreover, with the Obama kids in attendance, there is a secret service presence at the institution, as well.

I believe that irony just transformed into another illustrative term: hypocrisy. But then again, it's always been...

Whether with Morgan or with Gregory, or with far too many for that matter, these liberal media elites continue to foster an apparatchik mentality that serves to propagandize the one-sided, closed-minded opinion of a Leftist administration who seeks more and more control over its citizenry, attacking liberty on every front, while stifling any and all opposition. I sometimes wonder how these same media propagandists might feel if the unending assault arose against the freedom provided them in that very first amendment? Eh, they'll feel it when their usefulness is one day used up, and they're no longer a necessity. But until then, they'll continue to further an agenda to disarm and strip more liberties from the average American.

Friday, December 21, 2012

LaPierre on protecting our children: the adult in the room

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

This morning, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre stared down a liberally-dominated media, along with a political class and a culture that have failed to protect our children, and called on Congress to place an armed law officer in every single school in America, pledging NRA resources and members for training and implementation...and to do it NOW to have genuine security in place as soon as our kids return to school in January.

Imagine that...real solutions!

NRA: The National Rifle Association's 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut … who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.

Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent.

Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation's children. Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one — nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?

The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

How have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.

We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.

Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!

RIGHT ON!


(Here's a link to the entire speech)

Yet...aside from the early CodeStink disruptions, it is apparent that the adults aren't running the show, with the press shouting at the end, "Is there no discussion with the White House?" followed by press jeers, with the microphones still on mind you (at least from what I heard on CSPAN), of "That was bullshit" and "Slimy." How about that objective journalism? Nowhere near either of those words...

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that LaPierre is absolutely right. We've secured all these other institutions deemed worthy of armed protection, but as a society have neglected our most precious commodity: our children. And the Left has once again seized upon another tragedy, calling for more gun control restrictions, and thinking that alone will make all of us safer. Sadly, another hideous massacre has flat out disproved that theory. The time for hiding and covering our eyes is over..."The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Abandoning 'Plan B'

The fact that the Speaker couldn't twist enough arms & muster enough votes to successfully vote in his 'Plan B' millionaire tax hike is a Blessing...

NBCNews: House Speaker John Boehner abandoned efforts to pass his ‘Plan B’ version of legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff after conservative Republican rank-and-file members refused to follow their leader. In a dramatic defeat for House GOP leadership, Boehner suddenly cancelled a planned vote on the measure late Thursday night, conceding that he could not muster enough support within his own ranks for a proposal that would have raised tax rates on those making over $1 million a year.

Republican leaders announced they would shut down the House and head home for the Christmas holiday...The House will now recess and members have been advised that they will return "when needed" before the end of the year.

"The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation's crippling debt. The Senate must now act."

The Senate is expected to return to session after the Christmas holiday on December 27.

This may be the best thing Boehner's done all year...and he had little to do with it!

Regardless of the principle Boehner was prepared to violate, this wasn't going to become law anyway. Obama vowed to veto it and Reid wouldn’t let it come up for a vote in the Senate. So in the end, it's evident who's ready to hike taxes (for thinking-Americans, that is). Unfortunately, it still wouldn't be surprising if some kind of sham deal was made before the year's end.

Nonetheless, now that Republicans bucked the leadership on this one, it's time to get serious about finding some real leadership that can take it to Obama. Time for Boehner to GO!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Memoriam: Robert H. Bork (1927-2012)

I would be remiss in allowing the evening to slip by without mentioning the loss of a magnificent legal scholar and the conservative movement’s champion of originalism, Judge Robert H. Bork.

TheFederalistSociety: Judge Bork was a legal giant, and a man of unsurpassed integrity, intellect, courage, and kindness...Our nation owes Judge Bork an enormous debt of gratitude for his irrepressible and forceful defense of the Constitution as it was written and understood by our Founding Fathers, pioneering a jurisprudence of original meaning that has had enormous influence in the legal academy as well as in the courts.

The Judge’s unparalleled wisdom and wonderful wit will be missed. Fortunately much of it will endure through his enormous body of published writings, speeches and lectures that future generations can enjoy and profit from. Robert Bork's contributions and achievements are already a part of the fabric of our country. His memory and legacy live on, and, we hope, will further help to preserve America’s exceptional commitment to limited, constitutional government and the rule of law.

With the daily tests of the current administration, it's not a stretch to say that America's in dire need of a recommitment to its Constitution and Rule of Law.

Ed Morrissey of HotAir adds...

Perhaps no jurist has had as much impact in our lifetimes as Robert Bork without sitting on the Supreme Court — and perhaps no jurist has been as unfairly maligned. After a life of public service, the US Senate under the direction of Ted Kennedy conducted a character assassination on Bork that denied him a seat on the high court and turned his surname into a synonym for smear campaigns. Bork’s reputation outshone those of his critics in the end, however, and Bork remained influential on a new generation of legal thought.

And Roger Kimball at PJMedia so boldly, and so rightfully, proclaims...

In a way, Robert Bork had the last laugh. Ted Kennedy went to his grave a rancid, lumbering, pathetic laughing stock. Bork went from intellectual triumph to intellectual triumph, contributing now-classic studies to the library of legal understanding and penning two of the most important works of social criticism of the last several decades, the aofrementioned Tempting of America and Slouching Toward Gemorrah, wild bestsellers both. I am proud to say that this spring Encounter Books will be publishing a memoir by Judge Bork called Saving Justice: Watergate,. The Saturday Night Massacre, and Other Adventures of a Solicitor General.

The following tribute video was made in 2007 by the Federalist Society, who presented it during a full-day conference honoring Judge Bork and his contributions to law.



Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew McCarthyMark Levin and many other conservatives throughout the day honored the life of this exceptional conservative mind.

Robert Bork, 85, died early Wednesday morning after a long battle with heart and pulmonary complications. His funeral is scheduled for Saturday and a memorial service is in preparations.


Tailor-made tyranny for the masses

At the same presser in which Obama announced Uncle Joe's gun control task force, the President was also asked about a tax deal and if we're likely to go over the cliff. His answer was an interwoven concoction of arrogance, victimization and shamelessness...you know, pretty much what we've become accustom to with this statist in the White House...

NationalJournal: President Obama on Wednesday said he was puzzled why Republicans have yet to embrace the deficit-reduction plan he has put forward, and he criticized the House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" to reduce the deficit.

“There’s got to be, I think, a recognition on the part of my Republican friends that, you know—take the deal,” Obama said. “They will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years to reduce the deficit, more than any other deficit-reduction package.”

“That's a significant achievement for them,” he said.

Yeah, just take the deal and tear down everything they know about both principle and truth, namely that this President hasn't done a damn thing in reducing the deficit! Obama can get away with that, Republicans won't be able to...but just listen to the 'poor me' victimization...



Obama suggested that Republicans may just be refusing to agree on a deal because they want to score political points and continue to oppose him in his second term. “I don't know how much of that just has to do with, you know, it is very hard for them to say yes to me,” he said.

Boehner has “conceded that income-tax rates should go up,” Obama added. He and the speaker are separated by perhaps “a few hundred billion dollars,” he said.

And that right there is the endgame that Obama has been after from the beginning with Boehner: the confession that tax cuts have never worked, so tax hikes must be the answer...



But Obama said he could not accept a deal that would raise taxes only on millionaires. The Plan B that Boehner has proposed would not make significant spending cuts, would raise taxes on working families, and would not extend unemployment insurance, the president said.

“I'm going to reach out to all the leaders involved over the next couple of days and find out what is it that's holding this thing up,” Obama said. “It may be that if we provide more information, or there’s greater specificity, or if we’ve worked through some of their concerns, that we can get some movement.”

Then Obama doesn't bat an eye as he piles on the shameless exploitation of tragedy as the reasons 'why' Republicans should cave on taxes, and ultimately, 'why' everyone must concede to his will...

OBAMA: They understand that they’re not going to get 100 percent of what they want. And for some reason, that message has not yet taken up on Capitol Hill. And when you think about what we’ve gone through over the last couple of months — a devastating hurricane, and now one of the worst tragedies in our memory, the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don’t make much sense. So I remain, not only open to conversations, but I remain eager to get something done. I’d like to get it done before Christmas. There’s been a lot of posturing up on Capitol Hill instead of just going ahead and getting stuff done. We’ve been wasting a lot of time. It is the right thing to do. I’m prepared to get it done, but they’re going to have to go ahead and make — make some adjustments.

Never let a crisis go to waste. Sounds like the return of Democrat civility, as well. All tailor-made tyranny for the masses to gobble up...

Uncle Joe's gun control task force (UPDATES)

Here we go...more of our money spent on more of their bureaucracy. Will this solve the problem? Some might say it depends on their focus...but that seems rather clear...

FoxNews: President Obama on Wednesday tapped Vice President Biden to lead an administration-wide effort looking at gun control and other measures in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting last week.

The move marks the first concrete step by the White House toward crafting new firearms restrictions. The president did not announce any major policy decisions on Wednesday, but said the task force of Cabinet officials and outside organizations led by Biden would submit legislative proposals to him no later than January.

Some lawmakers, in the wake of the tragedy, have called for a broad-based response, looking at everything from mental health to school security to American culture. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., in a call soon joined by others, proposed a national commission examining the entertainment industry and particularly video games.

Obama and top administration officials suggest the response to the Newtown, Conn., mass murder could include a range of recommendations. But the focus, given the debate that has accelerated on Capitol Hill in recent days, is likely to be gun control.

The president said Wednesday that he chose Biden to lead the task force in part because of his role in crafting the 1994 assault-weapons ban. Obama spoke favorably of the ban, as well as proposals to strengthen background checks and ban high-capacity magazines. The president tried to walk a line between assuring Americans that gun rights would largely be protected, while making the case for some new restrictions.

Good to see that the majority who've taken a poll associated with this article that asks, "What should the White House policy review in the wake of the Connecticut shooting focus on?" said 'Mental Health system'...note, 'Gun control' was the least favored focus...yet, you can guarantee it's this administration top priority.

ADDENDUM: A Rasmussen poll demonstrates by a 48% to 27% margin that Americans think action to treat mental illness will do more to stop another Newtown shooting than gun control legislation. Likewise, Gallup shows Americans view a police presence and mental health screenings as a more effective deterent in preventing school shootings rather than banning guns.

UPDATE I: Well, looks like another Feinstein/Reid-type flashback has arisen from the intellect of the Democratic Party...



UPDATE II: Our thinned-skin, boy wonder of a President really didn't like that last question from Tapper, did he?

Tapper: "Where have you been [on gun control]?"
Obama: "I've been President of the United States..." [translation: 'too busy']


Benghazi: It's nobody's fault!

Surprise, surprise, surprise...

Who didn't see this one coming?

TheHill: An independent review of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi made public Tuesday night faults “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” of the State Department.

The report by the Accountability Review Board says the local mission’s reliance on Libyan guards and militia members was “misplaced” and that the Libyan government’s response was “profoundly lacking.” However it “did not find reasonable cause to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her duty.”

But, it's nobody's fault...

NPR: Despite those failures, the board found that no individual U.S. official ignored or violated his or her duties and no cause for any disciplinary action.

This...


...made possible by this...

Save us from Piers Morgan, Chuck Woolery!

Picking up from Levin's education on your right to bear arms...back in November, former gameshow host, and now adamant liberty advocate, Chuck Woolery, discussed the need for Americans to have the right to bear arms...even those the Left wants to label 'assault weapons'. Chuck makes some excellent points...



Unfortunately, you've got folks, like Piers Morgan, who have, as theRightScoop puts it, 'so convinced himself of his ‘morally superior’ position that he can’t even have a debate on gun control without yelling, interrupting, and insulting his opponents.' I do however think his guest Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, handled Morgan fairly well...



Here's some additional info that folks like Piers might not get...not that they'll listen to reason at this point, but for those who will...

Some common media misnomers/promulgations about guns:
  • Semi-Automatic vs. Automatic
Semi-automatic firearms are so common, talking about them as something special would be as nonsensical as saying an automatic transmission in a car is really something unique. Also, semi-autos are not machine guns. If you fire one bullet with one trigger pull, and don't need to do anything to fire the next one with another trigger pull, you've got yourself a semi-auto. If you fire multiple bullets with one trigger pull, you've got yourself an automatic (aka, machine gun). Examples of non-semi-autos would be pump-action shotguns or muzzle-loading rifles/muskets.
  • Definition of "Assault Weapon"
What is an assault rifle? Is it a gun that fires a .223 round? Well that could be an AR-15 or a simple Winchester hunting rifle (they're not all scary looking sniper rifles like some would have you believe). Is it a gun that can fire without being cocked between each round? Well, as discussed in above, that's most guns today. The problem is, there is no one definition of a "assault weapon." It can be anything anyone could use to assault someone with. And that's the problem.
  • "You don't need an AR-15 to kill a deer."
You're more right than you know, but probably not in the way you think. The typical caliber used by an AR-15 is .223 (discussed above). The .223 in hunting is considered a varmint round (aka, rodents). To kill a deer, you'd typically need something MORE POWERFUL. In Virginia, it's actually illegal to hunt deer with .223 caliber rifles because they aren't reliable enough to kill a deer.

Levin on your 2nd Amendment RIGHTS

Levin has given some excellent monologues over the past couple of days. Cutting through all the gun control calls from the Left in the wake of the latest mass shooting, Mark first explained how we're being driven by this mob mentality to surrender our 2nd Amendment RIGHTS, all of which culminates (on Tuesday's program) in the understand that "you can’t have unalienable rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – if you can’t defend yourself and preserve life."



h/t: theRightScoop, MofoPolitics

Lanza snapped after finding out mother was committing him

So, there you go...this info was released last night. By all means this doesn't excuse anything, but rather gives us a clearer motive of what happened in the mind of this killer...



There's still a bunch of coulda-shoulda-woulda questions that come after I saw this (like, why weren't the weapons secured before informing the kid he was about to be committed?), but hindsight is always 20/20.

A particular passage in Matthew 18 continues to come to mind in the wake of this horrific event:

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Levin's fiscal cliff plan

Earlier, I mentioned some of the conservative ideas floating around out there that Boehner and the GOP leadership should consider, as Obama carries us over the cliff. Here's another from none other than the Great One.

Mark Levin's proposal is simple: Republicans should lower the bottom 3 rates, leave the top 2 rates exactly where they are, and tell the American people how they actually lowered taxes...then go home...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reid extolling the virtues of guns in 2010

Yet another hypocrite who's jumped on the gun control bandwagon for political expediency and gain...just two years ago, celebrating the use of guns for protection, recreation and hunting.

FreedomsLighthouse: It’s going to be interesting to see how Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reacts to pressure coming from the Left to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans. This is flashback video of Reid with the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre back in 2010 where they dedicated a Shooting Park in Nevada. Reid speaks glowingly about shooting sports, and says he carried a gun for self-defense when he headed the Nevada Gaming Commission. Reid was endorsed by the NRA that year in his bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
“I had a lot of bad people after me and I carried a gun every place I went. . . But for me, guns are more than that. In fact, the most important part of guns as far as I’m concerned in my personal life is the recreational aspect of guns.”


As Levin says, damn fools.

Feinstein: packin' in '95...hypocrite now

Wow. Bombshell 1995 testimony from the woman leading the effort to ban guns in America today, as if there aren't already laws on the books regulating them...

"I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me."



And this is Mrs. Gun Control now...sounded like Mrs. NRA then, didn't she?! What a condescending hypocrite. I wonder if she still has that CCW permit? Here's Feinstein on Tuesday describing her push to pass an assault-weapons ban in the next Congress...

Where the blame belongs when everyone's taxes go up

If you haven't figured out by now, all of this political gamesmanship in the fiscal cliff theater is just that...purely show. However, Obama and the liberal media are betting that Republicans will be blamed...and the way Boehner's handling things, they may have a point. Nonetheless, there are conservatives out there who've got some pretty good ideas of how to handle this situation...we just need those in over their heads, like the GOP leadership, to listen for once...

NetRightDaily: The ultimate leverage in the game of chicken now being played in the upcoming fiscal cliff is who will get blamed politically if everyone’s taxes go up at year’s end.

There are several ways to counter this. And to survive the fiscal cliff, Republicans must make the case for permanent tax relief to get us out of the economic jam we are in.

Congressional Republicans would also be wise to point out that even if rates increase on couples making $250,000, and individual filers making $200,000 and above, it would only raise an additional $42 billion of revenue in 2013 according to the Congressional Budget Office.

That would reduce the $1.2 trillion deficit by just 3.5 percent. We would come nowhere near balancing the budget, let alone being able to retire any portion of the $16.1 trillion national debt — which has grown every single year since 1957.

All of which makes raising rates on top salary earners nothing more than a punitive measure.

They need to say that they are not going to turn the American people against one another for the sake of class envy, that permanent tax relief for everyone is the only fair solution.

Besides clearly messaging its position on a daily basis, the House should pass permanent extensions of current tax rates every single day during the lame duck session and send it to the Senate.

When Harry Reid sits on the legislation, it becomes his fault for not acting on the only legislation that can end this crisis — and avert future ones.

And at the end of the day, if Obama is comfortable flying off the cliff because he couldn’t stick it to the rich, he’s ultimately the petty one who deserves all of the blame when everyone’s taxes go up.

Far more sensible than looking like a fool while enabling a statist progression, don't you think?

Fast and Furious gun found at Mexican crime scene

Gun control? Oops...

CBSNews: Another weapon from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency's controversial Operation Fast and Furious was recently recovered at a Mexican crime scene, CBS News has learned. Congressional investigators say the crime scene was likely where a recent shootout took place between reported Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military, in which Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed.

According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Justice Department did not notify Congress of the Fast and Furious firearm recovery in November, even though Grassley has requested an accounting of weapons that surface from the case. During Fast and Furious, ATF allowed more than 2,000 weapons, including giant .50-caliber guns, to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminals. Other so-called "gunwalking" operations by ATF let hundreds more guns hit the street. Most of them have never been recovered.

The latest known recovery is a Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle. It was picked up at a crime scene Nov. 23 in Ciudad Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. That's the same area and weekend of the shootout involving Flores Gamez's death. A trace report shows the rifle was purchased by Uriel Patino, the Fast and Furious suspect who allegedly bought more than 700 weapons while under ATF's watch. Records show Patino bought the rifle and nine other semi-automatic rifles at an Arizona gun shop March 16, 2010.

Yet, many still want the federal government to control guns in America.

Levin: 'How come Obama didn't mention Fort Hood?'

I didn't watch the President's address on Sunday in Newtown, because what I figured would eventually turn into more politicization of such a tragic event was something I just didn't want to hear over the weekend.  But Levin listened to it, and noticed something conveniently left out when Obama was rattling off all the other massacres that have occurred during his administration: Fort Hood.


Carney ties fiscal cliff to school shooting

In a press question that had nothing to do with the Newtown school shooting, but rather the fiscal cliff, take a listen at how WH spokesman Jay Carney addressed this yesterday (followed by a response from Rush)...

CARNEY: The president’s insistence that rates need to go up on the top 2% was based on an economic reality, which is that in order to achieve a broad deficit reduction package that puts our economy on a sustainable fiscal path in the future, a certain level of revenue gleaned from the wealthy has to be met. The balance is important because a plan that does not have it puts unduly the burden on senior citizens or on middle class Americans or on parents with disabled children.

RUSH: Parents with disabled children now get thrown into the mix. I wonder why? So now we have to raise taxes on the rich for a new reason, so that there is not an undue tax burden on parents with disabled children, which would include mentally disabled, which is meant to mean Adam Lanza-type children. So Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, has just sought to persuade the necessity of raising taxes on the rich so as not to further burden parents with disabled children. You don’t think they’re politicizing this, huh? That’s pretty brazen. That’s pretty blatant.

...and that's pretty shameless...but we've come to expect that from this administration (i.e., Fort Hood, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, etc.).

BTW, this is all BS anyway, because the amount of taxes they're talking about raising would only run the government for a mere 11 days.

Rejected: Boehner's 'Pelosi plan'

Further proof that Obama is the one driving us over the cliff. Boehner throws a Democrat plan to the White House...and it's rejected.

BeltwayConfidential: President Obama will not accept a compromise on the fiscal cliff issues outlined House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, even though it parallels a deal suggested by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Boehner discussed with the Republican conference the possibility of letting tax rates go up for millionaires in order to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, which would raise taxes on all Americans. “I believe it’s important to protect as many American tax payers as we can,” Boehner said today.

Obama rejected the plan. “[Obama] is not willing to accept a deal that doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement today. “The Speaker’s ‘Plan B’ approach doesn’t meet this test because it can’t pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle class families, and does little to address our fiscal challenges with zero spending cuts.”

That statement might come as a surprise to Pelosi. “In our caucus, there is a school of thought that says let’s get rid of all the tax cuts,” Pelosi told The Charlie Rose Show earlier this year, per Buzzfeed. “I say, let’s begin by getting rid of tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year. I’m not even saying $250,000. The president’s saying $250,000. A million and above. Who can argue with that?”

Apparently, Obama can.

Obama has no inclination of compromising, meeting anyone halfway, or working with Republicans, period. They either accept his plan or he's fine with hiking taxes on everyone and definitely fine with slashing defense. But even when we go over, he's already got a fallback plan prepared for that as well...which results in the same outcome that if Boehner and Republicans go ahead and fold now: taxes hiked on those making $250K and over, and no entitlement/spending cuts.

A message to Boehner and Republicans: At this point, it's time to fallback on Principle. Withdraw your offer to raise rates on anyone, tell the American people that Republicans stand for no tax increases, but for spending reform...and let Obama take us over. Either way, there's no win with an Obama regime and a media propaganda machine...so why not stand on Principle?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Boehner caves...and caves again (UPDATE)

Not sure if I should refer to this as a cave-in or a collapse? Definitely heading towards the latter. Unsurprisingly, and quite predictably, John Boehner, the feckless so-called Republican Speaker, has not just caved once over the weekend, but twice...and who knows how much more is to come.

On Saturday, officially breaking his Pledge to America, Boehner offered Obama a proposal for a millionaire tax hike (just what it sounds like, raising the top marginal rate on anyone making a million or more), which Obama still hasn't accepted (and likely won't). And this is called 'progress' by the media intelligentsia.

Then on Sunday, Boehner made further progress, offering a concession on the debt limit, pushing any fight over that off for a year; and with it, erasing any leverage Republicans had in the budget battle. Brilliant strategy, you numbskull.

Monday morning, Boehner had another secret meeting with Obama. This is the latest in a series of behind-closed-door talks. Who knows what the guy is conceding in that vacuum...

As Sweetness&Light so accurately articulates, "...what a cave on all fronts. And yet Obama still won’t take yes for an answer. He will still want more. And why not? Look at all Obama has gotten without giving up a thing." Precisely. Likewise, theRightScoop presents a similar sentiment, definitely one shared by this site:

We all knew this day was coming. Boehner is now conceding that Republicans will vote for a tax rate increase on those making more than 1 million as well as raising the debt ceiling for another year, but he’s still demanding 1 trillion in entitlement cuts... Boehner will give in on the entitlement cuts before too long as well. It’s just a matter of time before he sells out the Republican Party completely.

There can be no more question about the need to depose the so-called leader of the one branch of government that holds control over the purse-strings. Neither can it be more obvious that the man is well in over his head when it comes to negotiating with a statist regime. At this point, he's utterly enabling.

UPDATE: Well, it looks like our Legislator-in-Chief and feckless Speaker (who's actually supposed to be a legislator) are getting closer to a deal that really won't scratch the surface of solving our fiscal problems. The Great Obama is willing to increase his $250,000 threshold to $400,000 (how gracious), supposedly offering $1.2 trillion in tax hikes and an identical level in spending cuts (yeah, who are they kidding?)...all over the usual 10 year stretch, as if that's gonna get our fiscal house back in order. What a farce...

Tim Scott: South Carolina's next U.S. Senator!

Made it official this morning...CONGRATS!!

CBSNews: South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., has been appointed by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley to the Senate seat now held by Republican Jim DeMint. DeMint is leaving the Senate at the end of the year to run the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

Like DeMint, Scott is a tea party-backed conservative who sought repeal of the national health care law. A vocal critic of President Obama, he has said it would be "an impeachable offense" if Mr. Obama raised the debt ceiling without congressional approval.

Of course, Leftist heads are spinning and spewing with cries of 'token black' and 'house negro'...ahh, nothing like liberal tolerance.

As always, WeaselZippers zings this one, "A Republican female governor of Indian descent appointing a Republican black man to serve in the Senate, but don’t worry, we’re still a racist party or something. But unlike the Dems, at the end of the day we don’t care what the color of their skin is."

But...for those keeping score:
  • Tim Scott will be the only black person in the U.S. Senate.
  • Tim Scott will be South Carolina's first black senator.
  • Tim Scott will be the nation's 7th black U.S. Senator (breaking the tally 4 of 7 for Republicans)

I'd call that historic.

Past time for a national conversation on mental illness

I actually heard about this one over the weekend, and thought I'd share. It's past time for this national conversation, don't you think?

Breitbart: In a moving piece titled “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” a divorced mother of four, Liza Long, writes of her 13-year-old highly intelligent son, “Michael,” who vacillates from violent acts such as threatening his mother and himself with a knife after she asked him to return his library books to enjoying his snuggle animal collection and discussing Einstein’s physics.
The day of the knife incident, Long writes, after Michael’s 9- and 7-year-old siblings fled to the car and locked the door, three policemen and a paramedic were needed to force him onto a gurney to travel to the local emergency room, because the mental hospital didn’t have beds that day.
His mother writes that there have been numerous attempts to diagnose Michael, labeling him as a victim of autism spectrum, ADHD, or Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder; many different antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals have been tried, but none of them work.
Michael’s mother, who is an author and musician, halted her career so she could take a position with a local college simply to get health insurance. As she writes: “You'll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.”

Long writes,
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it's easy to talk about guns. But it's time to talk about mental illness. According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.
The only option left, one social worker told Long, was to get Michael charged with a crime and thrown into prison. She notes that prisons like Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois have the biggest treatment centers for the mentally-ill in the country.

Long concludes:
I agree that something must be done. It's time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That's the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

Unfortunately, with the leadership we currently have in D.C., it's quite unlikely that they'd actually address this problem appropriately.

ADDENDUM I: Here's an interesting accompanying discussion with Rush this morning as he talked with one caller who happened to be a psychiatrist. She elaborated on the difficulties of getting many of the mentally ill committed to the appropriate hospitals due to today's patient rights.

"...it sounds like what we need is lunatic control, and we don't have any."

Rush also read an email from another listener who theorized that because most of these mentally disturbed killers are young, white males from above-average families, which Liza Long pointed out as well, perhaps some aspects of their mental illness derive from today's societal malnourishment, displacement, and in some cases abandonment, of this demographic (i.e., what it means to be a young, white man...and not made to feel 'guilty' about everything). Something to think about.

ADDENDUM II: John Fund at NRO also wrote an interesting piece worth consideration: 'It’s time to address mental health and gun-free zones.'

Worst school massacre in US didn't even involve guns

So here comes another politician mouthing off without any historical context...

USAToday: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a longtime gun rights advocate, said Monday that he would be open to a discussion on restricting assault rifles and high-capacity magazines following Friday's mass shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at a Connecticut school.

"We've never been in these waters before – we've had horrific crimes throughout our country, but never have we seen so many of our babies put in harm's way and their life taken from them and the grief," Manchin told CNBC. "That's changed me, and it's changed most Americans I would think."

Oh, yes we have, Joe. You've forgotten about Andrew Philip Kehoe (1927). Facts are stubborn things. Something else politicians with an agenda, along with an irresponsible media, want to conveniently remove from the narrative...

FrontPageMag: No assault rifles to ban. Just dynamite and pyrotol.
An alarm clock detonates a 500 Lb dynamite and pyrotol bomb that Kehoe had hidden in the north end of the school basement. The explosion lifted part of the building several feet before it collapsed. First-grade teacher Bernice Sterling: “After the first shock I thought for a moment I was blind. When it came the air seemed to be full of children and flying desks and books. Children were tossed high in the air; some were catapulted out of the building.” Volunteer rescuer Monty Ellsworth: “There was a pile of children of about five or six under the roof and some of them had arms sticking out, some had legs, and some just their heads sticking out. They were unrecognizable because they were covered with dust, plaster, and blood. There were not enough of us to move the roof.”
The full total was 45 dead. The date was 1927. As Milton Wolf points out, “The mainstream media loves the term “school shootings” because it fits into their narrative that law-abiding citizens should be disarmed. By limiting their discussion to shootings, they ignore the worst school massacre in U.S. history which wasn’t a shooting at all.

Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–12 years of age).

Dems ready to 'exploit' school shooting for gun control

So, they don't want to have a discussion about mental illness in America...or a discussion about better protecting our schools with principles or security having access to firearms, instead of these 'gun-free zones'. Or how about our cultural glorification of violence? And if we can't even allow God into the public square anymore, by all means, we can't talk about evil in the world, can we? No conversations about good and evil, right and wrong...those are politically sensitive and incorrect. No, it's easier to scapegoat an object than to address real societal issues. And to expand on that scapegoat, some politicians are sick enough to 'exploit' the horrific massacre of little children to gain more governmental control. Is transitioning us into a society of sitting ducks not mentally deranged? I guess we can't talk about that either...

Breitbart: Dem. Rep. Jerrold Nadler is at least being honest about how he, and no doubt many Leftists, would like to feast off an unthinkable tragedy and exploit it in order to pursue a nonsensical agenda that would ensure only bad guys have guns. [Friday] night on "The Ed Show," Nadler openly called for President Obama to "exploit" the murder of 20 children, “I think we will be there if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next.”

In his statement to the country, while he wasn't specific about what action he intended to take, President Obama did make clear that action would be forthcoming. Obama also hinted that this action would be politically divisive when he warned that "meaningful action" would need to be taken "regardless of the politics."

As we all know this is a "never let a crisis go to waste" president and party. And what we now have is Nadler, a powerful Democrat, already eager to "exploit" raw emotions and the massacre of children in order to push an issue Democrats have considered politically untouchable since Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, and along with it, the White House, during his 2000 presidential bid.

Culturally, politically, intellectually, and in the Supreme Court, Democrats long ago lost in their unconstitutional crusade to grab our guns, a crusade they had been waging for decades. But as is the case with all things Leftist, the battle is never really over. These are mercenary opportunists always biding their time, always waiting to strike, and always willing to exploit even the most unspeakable of events if it means any kind of political advantage.

Besides a more lawless land coming to fruition when I think about the law-abiding being more restricted, because we know the lawbreaker will always seek lawlessness; Franklin's quote also comes to mind: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Our society has already turned away from so many liberties bestowed on us...is this really the direction we seek, America?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Remembering those eternal smiles

As more information is revealed about the victims of Friday's horrendous incident in Newtown, Connecticut, anebbandflow would like to prayerfully remember those eternal smiles on this Rose Sunday...

(Top row from left) Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Green. (Middle row from left) Dylan Hockley, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli. (Bottom row from left) Grace McDonnel, Emilie Parker, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos
On Saturday night, police released the names of all the victims. They are as follows:

Adults

Rachel Davino, 29, school staff
Dawn Hochsprung, 46, teacher
Anne Marie Murphy, 52, school staff
Mary Sherlach, 56, psychologist
Victoria Soto, 27, teacher
Lauren Russeau, 30, teacher
Nancy Lanza, 52, gunman's mother

Children

Charlotte Bacon, six
Daniel Barden, seven
Olivia Engel, six
Josephine Gay, seven
Ana Marquez-Green, six
Dylan Hockley, six
Madeleine Hsu, six
Catherine Hubbard, six
Chase Kowalski, seven
Jesse Lewis, six
James Mattiolo, six
Grace McDonnel, seven
Emilie Parker, six
Jack Pinto, six
Noah Pozner, six
Caroline Previdi, six
Jessica Rekos, six
Avielle Richman, six
Benjamin Wheeler, six
Allison Wyatt, six

O MERCIFUL Father, whose face the angels of thy little ones do always behold in heaven; Grant us steadfastly to believe that these thy children hath been taken into the safe keeping of thine eternal love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and merciful Father, who dost grant to children an abundant entrance into thy kingdom; Grant us grace so to conform our lives to their innocency and perfect faith, that at length, united with them, we may stand in thy presence in fullness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, whose most dear Son did take little children into his arms and bless them; Give us grace, we beseech thee, to entrust the souls of these children to thy neverfailing care and love, and bring us all to thy heavenly kingdom; through the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of mercies and giver of all comfort; Deal graciously, we pray thee, with all those who mourn, that, casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.