America the “Amazing”

November 30, 2011

President Obama still doesn’t grasp the idea of American exceptionalism. Many of us remember his comment in a press conference in Strasbourg in 2009 when reporter Ed Luce from the Financial Times asked the President about it. Obama’s response:

“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism…”

While not necessarily in response to Obama’s remarks, the inestimable Bill Whittle hit the ball right out of the park with his video on the subject.

Clearly, the President doesn’t follow Mr. Whittle, because more than two years later, he is still unclear on the concept. Last week, while the President was in New Hampshire, he again expressed his amazement that other nations would still be looking to America as their shining example:

“I was just traveling in Asia over the last week, and let me tell you, this is the fastest-growing region in the world. But what was amazing was how everybody still looked to America. They did a poll in Asia. They said, what do you think about America compared to China? Eight out of nine countries in Asia, they said, America is the country that we look to.”

And why do you suppose that is? Is it because of Dear Leader Obama?

Of course not. It’s because the concept of America is still the quintessence of liberty, that shining city on the hill, that beacon of freedom whose radience still illuminates and beckons those who wish to be bathed in its light.

People like Obama will always be amazed by how popular America is, regardless of how often they apologize for her faults. They will never understand — deep down in the gut — just what it is that makes this nation so great.

And when you’re the President of this great land and you don’t understand such a fundamental concept, that’s just sad.

UPDATE: The amazing Star Parker had similar thoughts today.

Stoutcat


Thanksgiving 2011

November 24, 2011

Oh, that men would praise the Lord, for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth
the hungry soul with goodness.

Psalms 107: 8,9

May you all have a peaceful and joyous day.

Stoutcat


UC-D’s Morally Bankrupt “Kent State” Moment

November 23, 2011

We’ve all seen the video: The Man (in the form of local police) pepper spraying a long line of apparently peaceful “Occupy” protesters on the campus of University of California-Davis. Of course, you can always count on the usual suspects (in this case, Joy Behar and her Weird Sisters of The View) to leap to a grossly overstated moral equivalence:

“A lot of people watching are too young to remember Kent State in this country, where the police shot a couple of students,” observed Behar. “It’s outrageous, this type of behavior cannot be tolerated by the police!”

Right. Useful-idiot college kids who, in practicing their juvenile brand of civil disobedience, were warned they would be sprayed, consented to it, and then were shocked –shocked! — when it actually happened. But that was okay, because all of the news outlets picked up the video and made the kids look completely awesome!

With that in mind, I dedicate the following lyrics to Joy Behar (with absolutely no apology to Neil Young):

News cameras and SWAT teams coming,
We’re finally on NBC.
Occupying and drumming, drumming,
Pepper-sprayed at UC-D.
Gotta get down to it
Spray is making us cry
(At least it’ll kill all the fleas)
Get all the cameras
And film us crying like girls
How can we lose on NBC?
News cameras and SWAT teams coming,
We’re here for the world to see.
Idiotic and drumming, drumming,
Pepper-sprayed at UC-D.
Pepper-sprayed at UC-D.

Stoutcat


Do You Believe in SuperCommittees?

November 21, 2011

Well, it’s official. The much-vaunted supercommittee, which was appointed to try to dig us out of our mountainous debt has utterly failed to do its job.

It’s not that surprising, really. Our nation’s credit rating gets downgraded for the first time in history, and what do we do? We raise the debt limit yet again, and punt the problem to an all-knowing committee which is supposed to solve the problem. And they failed. No, really. That’s what actually happened! And in sad fact, this failure is being cheered by some.

The only folks who believed this clever plan might actually work probably also clapped their hands at this:

Hey, maybe if we all clap, they’ll actually cut something!

I think we should start calling them the Tinkerbell Congress

Stoutcat


Great Moments in Matrimonial Communication

November 18, 2011

On the topic of a new house cleaner, currently scrubbing the bathroom:

SHE: Wow, she really is conscientious–she’s doing a great job!

HE: (whispering) She’s wearing a thong.

The End

Stoutcat


Now That We Have Your Attention, Mr. President…

November 14, 2011

My long-time friend Giuliana called me from San Diego on Sunday. She mentioned that a friend of her Navy SEAL husband stationed at Coronado Island had tickets to a very special NCAA basketball game that was played on the Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson out in San Diego on Veterans’ Day. You may recall that it was the USS Carl Vinson that handled the disposal at sea of Osama Bin-Laden’s body recently.

She was told that because the tickets were for “special VIP” seats, she would be subjected to an intensive background check.  Why a background check for an NCAA basketball game? Because her seat would place her adjacent to President Barack Obama and the First Lady, who attended the game as part of their Veteran’s Day “Let’s spend more taxpayer money on an unnecessary trip to San Diego” program.

Ready To Play

The President wound up getting an earful from Giuliana, who is not one to shy away from speaking her mind. It wasn’t long before she made it clear to the President that she was proud to vote for him in 2008 (being part of history in electing our first African American President. And yes, I do have many Liberal friends). But then she told the President that now she was embarrassed that she voted for him because, “You turned out to be totally different than the way you presented himself in your campaign speeches.”  When Obama asked for some specific examples, Giuliana mentioned a number of topics.

When the President asked her what her sources of information were that she was quoting from, she said, “From a blog written by my friend Gerry Ashley… it’s called Grand Rants.”  She told me that Obama stared at her and smiled as he wrote it down.

POTUS Watches Michigan State Spartans Vs. #1 Ranked North Carolina on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson

It’s a bit unnerving to know that The President (the most liberal and dangerously close to socialist President in our nation’s history) chose to write down the name of the blog himself. We already know he and his staff are skilled Internet users.

I spoke to Alan last night by phone and he assured me there’s nothing to worry about. “Grant Rants isn’t even a blip on their radar screen,” he tried to reassure me.  I thought back to the scorching 8-part piece I wrote on the Abject Failure of the Obama Administration over a year ago.  And I replied,“Well, so far, perhaps, but then that’s because they probably didn’t know we existed. That’s all changed now. Did you hear me, Alan? Barack Hussein Obama wrote down our blog address. Do you think that’s so he could send us an invitation to a beer party in the Rose Garden?

Alan laughed and said, “The most that will happen is that he’ll give this to a low level intern with instructions to check it out at their convenience. There’s nothing to worry about.”

Reassured, I hung up. But one question still remains: Should I offer coffee and donuts to the guys in the Black SUV parked across the street?

Gerry Ashley


Conversations with Robert: The Bachmann Agenda

November 10, 2011

A friend and I were having a discussion last week, and politics crept in, as it usually does.  It was a robust conversation, with attempted comparisons between the current Occupy “rallies” and the Tea Parties (he considered them at least somewhat if not heavily fringe), and concerns about the crop of Republican candidates, with particular attention given to Michelle Bachmann. My friend (let’s call him “Robert”) ultimately had to leave, but I subsequently sent him an email with links to information he was bound to find interesting and which would no doubt change his point of view about the Tea Parties, at least.

His response, via email, covered his concerns about Ms. Bachmann, and in particular, his reference to a statement she made, which he originally described as Bachmann “wanting to do away with the entire federal government.” In his email, Robert remarks:

Re: the point about Michele Bachmann:  I found it, and it was pretty much as I vaguely remembered it in the discussion at your house.  She both did and didn’t take a position, the logical implications of which would be fatal to the Fed govt… The context was a recent debate when she was asked how she would have responded to the young Tea Party guy in CA who asked how much of his money he should get to keep… Her answer: “I think you earned every dollar, you should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That’s your money, that’s not the government’s money.”   Period.  End of sentence.  My mouth dropped a bit, and I remember thinking. ‘Zero money for the government??  Even for MB, that’s pretty wiggy. ‘ 

A few sentences later, she did qualify the remark: ‘Obviously we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government…’

My (charitable) interpretation is that the categorical ‘you keep 100 % of your earnings remark’ was just a misstatement… Even so, it does say something about her ideologically driven antipathy to govt.  

Robert cites Gawker on this, so I went to the link and discovered two things: first, it wasn’t a few sentences later, as Robert said; she followed up “it’s your money” directly with “Obviously we have to give money back to the government”. Naturally, I didn’t find that on Gawker, but searched out the text of her answer and found it that way.

The second thing is that Robert competely missed the tenor of the rest of Bachmann’s comment, by discarding it, in which she actually says this:

“Obviously, we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government. But we have to have a completely different mindset and that mindset is: the American people are the genius of this economy.”

I see nothing in any of that that implies an “ideologically driven antipathy to govt.” So there’s that.

Back to Robert’s email and a bit of reiteration. He wrote:

My (charitable) interpretation is that the categorical ‘you keep 100 % of your earnings remark’ was just a misstatement–which would not be uncommon for the woman who confused John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy, and Concord NH and Concord MA.  Even so, it does say something about her ideologically driven antipathy to govt. 

Oh, Robert. I’ll see your John Wayne vs. John Wayne Gacy and raise you Obama’s “57 states“, “corpsman“,  the “Austrian” language, and throw in Joe Biden’s three letter word, “J O B S” for good measure. They’re called gaffes, and everyone makes them. I don’t believe that Pres. Obama really thinks there are 57 states, do you?

Back to Robert’s email:

My charitable interpretation is strained a bit, in view of a remark she made in NH last June when campaigning with a libertarian who was advocating a total one-year moratorium on Fed income tax.   MB’s take?  According to an account in Forbes:  “Bachmann called the notion “awesome” and went on to say that if taxpayers could keep their own money, it would been great for the economy.”  To my knowldege, there was no ‘wouldn’t it be nice…but that proposal isn’t very realistic’ language to go along with the “awesome.”

Well considering she was a guest there, she’s a good enough politician to know that it’s not a good idea to call someone else’s idea stupid. In fact, she made reference to, and praised, a similar (and far more reasonable) proposal made by her colleague in the House, Louis Gohmert. And everything else aside, if there were a one-year moratorium on federal income tax for individuals (with that loss of revenue being made up in other ways), it would, in fact, give a huge boost to the economy.

Continuing with Robert’s email (stick with me, he’s almost done):

More broadly, as someone who self-identifies as a Republican, I hate to see the party captured by two particular currents:  a)  blind and rigid hostility to government–and to tax revenues needed to make it operate.  (I am well aware of the standard argument here about there being plenty of revenue, just too much spending.)…[we'll get to his second current--anti-scientism-- in another post.]

Once again, I don’t know of any of the current crop of candidates, or any other leading Republicans, for that matter, who has a “blind and rigid hostility to government”. And if you’re well aware of the argument about there being too much spending, well, what’s your argument against it?

All that said, I’m not sure Ms. Bachmann is the best candidate. I’m glad she’s is in the race. If she ends up being the Republican nominee, I’ll vote for her wholeheartedly. If elected, I think she’d make a decent president. But I’m keeping an open mind, and I hope my friend Robert is, too.

And if he’s not, watch this space for more conversations with him!

Stoutcat


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