April 14, 2012

AP’s Babington Can’t Understand Why Anyone Would Think Obama Doesn’t Support ‘Backburner Issue’ of 2nd Amendment Rights

In covering GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s appearance at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis yesterday, Associated Press aka Adminstration’s Press reporter Charles Babington pretended to know nothing about President Barack Obama’s opposition to basic Second Amendment rights. At least I hope he was pretending, because Obama’s hostility to the right to keep and bear arms is longstanding, well-known, and did not stop when he swore an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution” on January 20, 2009.

I have excerpted Babington’s first four paragraphs plus three others. I will follow that with a rundown of Obama’s pre-2008 gun-hostile record, his meeting with the Brady group in May 2011, and this “little” thing called Operation Fast and Furious Babington and his establishment media colleagues have mostly deliberately ignored for well over a year (bolds are mine throughout this post; HT to a frequent emailer):

Romney: Obama will erode the rights of gun owners

The presidential campaign briefly veered from the emotional Mommy Wars on Friday to the back-burner issue of gun rights, with Mitt Romney telling the National Rifle Association that President Barack Obama is not protecting gun owners – even though the topic has rarely arisen during his time in office.

Without offering details, Romney said that Obama would like to erode gun owners’ rights.

“We need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners,” Romney told thousands of NRA members in St. Louis for their annual convention. “President Obama has not. I will.”

Obama has said relatively little about firearms, deeply disappointing gun-control groups. Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president’s record “makes clear the he supports and respects the Second Amendment, and we’ll fight back against any attempts to mislead voters.”

… Asked for details to support the claims, Romney’s campaign said Obama has appointed judges, including Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, who have supported moves such as placing temporary limits on importing semiautomatic assault weapons. The campaign said Attorney General Eric Holder has not adequately backed people’s rights to own and use firearms.

But gun-control groups such as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have expressed dismay over the lack of attention to their concerns. In its most recent assessment, in 2010, the group flunked on Obama on all seven issues it deemed important.

Campaigning in 2008, Obama said: “I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. … There are some commonsense gun safety laws that I believe in. But I am not going to take your guns away.”

Well, Charles, if it’s “details” you want, details you’ll get.

Here is a rundown of Obama’s gun-hostile history which I posted in late October 2008 by reference to a more complete rundown prepared by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action:

  • Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.
  • Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.
  • He voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.
  • He has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.
  • Obama also supports local gun bans in Chicago and other cities.
  • Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.
  • Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.
  • Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.
  • Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.
  • Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping, one-gun-a-month sales restrictions, a ban on inexpensive handguns, gun owner licensing and gun registration, and mandatory waiting periods.
  • Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.

My post also notes that Babington’s then-colleague Nedra Pickler wrote in February 2008, with no sense of irony, that Obama “said he does not intend to take away people’s guns,” but “voiced support for the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns.” But after the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling overturning the DC ban in late June, Obama said “he supports the decision.”

My post goes reference another very important and less-known matter, namely that Obama worked with a group which conspired to create the artificial appearance of legal scholar-based opposition to Second Amendment rights, and almost succeeded:

During Obama’s tenure, the Joyce Foundation board planned and implemented a program targeting the Supreme Court. The work began five years into Obama’s directorship, when the Foundation had experience in turning its millions into anti-gun “grassroots” organizations, but none at converting cash into legal scholarship.

The plan’s objective was bold: the judicial obliteration of the Second Amendment.

Joyce’s directors found a vulnerable point. When judges cannot rely upon past decisions, they sometimes turn to law review articles. Law reviews are impartial, and famed for meticulous cite-checking. They are also produced on a shoestring. Authors of articles receive no compensation; editors are law students who work for a tiny stipend.

In 1999, midway through Obama’s tenure, the Joyce board voted to grant the Chicago-Kent Law Review $84,000, a staggering sum by law review standards. The Review promptly published an issue in which all articles attacked the individual right view of the Second Amendment.

(The Review) solicited only articles hostile to the individual right view of the Second Amendment. ….. Joyce had bought a veto power over the review’s content.

….. The plan worked smoothly. One court, in the course of ruling that there was no individual right to arms, cited the Chicago-Kent articles eight times.

….. The Joyce Foundation board (which still included Obama) ….. expand(ed) its attack on the Second Amendment. Its next move came when Ohio State University announced it was establishing the “Second Amendment Research Center” as a thinktank headed by anti-individual-right historian Saul Cornell. Joyce put up no less than $400,000 to bankroll its creation.

….. The Center proceeded to generate articles denying the individual right to arms.

….. The Joyce directorate’s plan almost succeeded. The individual rights view won out in the Heller Supreme Court appeal, but only by 5-4. The four dissenters were persuaded in part by Joyce-funded writings, down to relying on an article which misled them on critical historical documents.

If that’s not enough for Mr. Babington, let’s look at a May 2011 example of Obama stealth (HT Hot Air) which seems to run in the same vein as his promise to Russia’s Medvedev that he’ll have more flexibility” after winning reelection (internal links were in original):

While the Obama administration said it is committed to gun rights, a gun control advocate has spilled the beans, saying Obama is using stealth to work on firearms restrictions.

The Washington Post did a story on Steve Croley, the White House gun control czar. Croley is considered to be an expert on regulation and tort law. His approach to gun control appears to be a regulatory one.

According to the article, Jim and Sarah Brady visited Capital Hill on March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan; to push for a ban on “large magazines.”

The couple reportedly were meeting with press secretary, Jay Carney, when, according to Sarah Brady, the President came in. She said the President told her he wanted to talk about gun control and “fill us in that it was very much on his agenda.”

She went on to say Obama told her, “I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

The statement reinforces an article in the Huffington Post describing how the administration is exploring ways to bypass Congress and enact gun control through executive action.

The Department of Justice reportedly is holding meetings discussing the White House’s options for enacting regulations on its own or through adjoining agencies and departments. “Administration officials said talk of executive orders or agency action are among a host of options that President Barack Obama and his advisers are considering. “

I guess Mr. Babington might be able to claim that he wasn’t really lying when he wrote that the topic of gun control “has rarely arisen,” and that “Obama has said relatively little.” But, as just seen, at least one time when the topic arose and Obama said something, it was to make the point that he is “working on” gun control.

Finally, a bit on Fast and Furious from Darrell Issa, who also spoke at the NRA convention, as relayed by Katie Pavlich at Townhall, including its relationship to the administration’s just-described gun control goals:

Entering the Edward Jones arena to an applauding audience at the NRA Annual Convention in downtown St. Louis Friday, Congressman Darrell Issa made it clear his congressional investigation into the Operation Fast and Furious scandal isn’t going away until the Obama Justice Department comes clean.

“The investigation of Operation Fast and Furious will not end until the full truth is exposed to every American,” Issa said, adding senior officials at the Department of Justice will be held accountable for the lethal program, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Eric Holder’s contempt for Congress and his failure to comply will not go unanswered, and you can count on me,” Issa said as a woman yelled, “Thank you!”

Issa also touched on the motivations behind Operation Fast and Furious and how liberal Democrats in Congress have reacted to revelations in the scandal.

“Fast and Furious can be seen as nothing else but a needless attack on our right to keep and bear arms,“ Issa said. “When the facts began to come out about Fast and Furious, no surprise, Democrats in Washington, immediately seized on the opportunity to talk about the need for additional gun control laws.”

For months, I have been stressing the importance of understanding Operation Fast and Furious was not a “botched” program or an accident. Instead, DOJ officials made calculated decisions to allow some of the most ruthless criminals in the world to help themselves to American guns, while throwing law abiding gun dealers under the bus.

The bottom line for Charles Babington is that Mitt Romney is right. He either should know this and doesn’t, making him extraordinarily ignorant, or he does know it and won’t acknowledge it. All in all, it’s just another typical Obama-supportive report from the Adminstration’s Press.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Time’s Joe Klein Says the Election Isn’t About Obama’s Record

Yesterday, Time’s Joe Klein may have produced the single dumbest analysis post ever. Absurd as it is, it’s still important, because it probably betrays Barack Obama’s election strategy, with which the press will gleefully cooperate. The strategy is: Make it about anything and everything besides what I and my administration have and haven’t done, because it hasn’t impressed anyone, and we know it.

Klein’s entry (HT Hot Air Headlines) at Time’s Swampland, which should be named Fever-Swampland, was so brain-dead that he failed to cite a single example of an incumbent facing reelection (vs. a successor seeking election for the first time) in attempting to make his case:

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An Open Letter Concerning Bob McEwen, the Ohio Stupid Party’s ‘Branding’ Designee

Filed under: Activism,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:30 am

NoToMcEwen2012Friday evening during the TIB radio show, I became aware of this item at Seth Morgan’s Facebook haunt:

congrats to Bob McEwen for being asked to lead in the branding of the OH GOP and be a leading spokesperson

It was followed this morning by a forwarded email from elsewhere originally sent last night, which read in part (spelling errors in original fixed):

During his remarks, Bennett described a special role for former Congressman Bob McEwen, one of our SCC candidates who won in 2010. He envisioned McEwen, whose speaking skills are considered to be on the Reagan/Palin/Rubio level, fulfilling a new function as spokesman. The role will not be directed so much to “preaching to the choir”, except as necessary for motivational purposes, as to educating and persuading the pubic about our conservative beliefs, especially on college campuses and in “swing” communities. If your organization is in such an area or can stage an event in such an area, Bob McEwen is your guy.

(Aside: McEwen is nowhere near any of the three people mentioned in speaking skills. His conservative message is powerful because conservatism is powerful, but in delivery he’s on a par with a better-than-average corporate trainer, and I’m being generous. But I digress.)

My response to the emailer, leaving out that person’s name and slightly reformatted for a blog post, follows:
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Obama’s Slow-Motion Social Darwinism

Projection.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Thursday.

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On April 3, President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the annual media luncheon sponsored by the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press. Obama, whose proposed budget in February was so farcical that Congress rejected it unanimously in late March, bitterly criticized Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan — which the House did pass but Harry Reid’s Senate has refused to consider, “despite the Senate Parliamentarian’s finding … that the law requires it” – as “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

According to WikipediaThe Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics tells us that “A ‘social Darwinist’ could just as well be a defender of laissez-faire as a defender of state socialism, just as much an imperialist as a domestic eugenist.” Historially, left-wing regimes have resorted to “survival of the fittest” social Darwinist offenses against humanity far more frequently than those on the right, especially if one classifies Nazi Germany as the predominantly leftist enterprise that it was.

In light of that history and current reality, Obama’s “social Darwinism” accusation directed at Ryan and the GOP is especially outrageous, coming from a guy whose administration has in so many ways been engaging in a slow-motion variant of it for over three years. The harm to relatively vulnerable and powerless groups arguably began with the advent of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy almost four years ago as Obama’s general election campaign shifted into high gear.

Take the job market. The most disproportionately unfit for gainful employment are those who haven’t obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for those in this group who are 25 or older reached 15.9% in November 2010, and is still 12.6%:

UnempRate25plusNoHSdiplomaTo0312

In the 20 years the government has tracked this statistic, all 38 of the highest (i.e., worst) readings have been during each of the Obama administration’s 38 full months in office. Also note that the monthly reading for this challenging group fell to its lowest level on record in October 2006 during a Republican administration.

That’s not even the whole story. During the first quarter of 2012, this group’s seasonally adjusted average employment-population ratio of 40.2% was three points, or almost 7%, below the same ratio during fourth quarter of 2007, and has barely budged since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Oh, and because certain ethnic categories are heavily represented in the over-25 high school dropout category, the statistics just cited demonstrate yet again that the Obama economy has hit blacks and Hispanics the hardest.

The long-term unemployed are also extraordinarily vulnerable. In a normal recovery, risk-averse employers who are understandably reluctant to hire from this group end up doing so anyway as the job market tightens. The trouble is that this job market, except in certain professions, hasn’t appreciably tightened in over four years. If we added those who are sitting on the sidelines who would really like to be working but who aren’t considered part of the workforce to the current unemployment rolls, the jobless rate would be between 9.4% and 10.5% instead of the reported 8.2%.

While acknowledging that poverty as defined in the U.S. is nothing like the misery seen in so much of the rest of the world, the official poverty rate increased from 13.2% to 15.1% during Obama’s first two years to a level not seen since the early 1990s. The deterioration has been so dramatic that the Census Bureau has created a rigged contraption called the Supplemental Poverty Measurement whose purpose appears to be to create an artificial impression in future years that things are improving when they really aren’t.

Social Security is unsustainable in its current form, yet Obama has no answer other than to let it keep going and going. Social Security’s actuaries have told us that the system will be forced to permanently cut benefits by about 25% in 2036 if nothing is done. Those for whom Social Security is their only or predominant source of income would be hurt the most if that occurs. Every year the economy continues to underperform will move the benefit-reduction date closer.

Medicare and Medicaid are unsustainable in their current forms. Congress’s “solution,” ObamaCare, with its spiraling projected costs, work-demotivating and marriage-destroying subsidies, byzantine bureacracy, and individual liberty- and religion-disrespecting compulsions, would make matters far worse.

This brings us to the administration’s most fundamental “survival of the fittest” elements.

Rather than fretting over out-of-power Paul Ryan and the Republicans making decisions about who will live and who will die, the people we have to worry about are in the White House or advising it right now:

  • Ezekiel (“Zeke the Bleak“) Emanuel would prefer to ration medical treatment based on the following priorities: “youngest-first, prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value.” Emanuel has also written that we should “not (be) guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia,” and that in emergency situations with scarce resources medical professionals should use a “cycle of life” priority in deciding who should get treatment, giving preference to people 13 to 40 years old (as long as they are reasonably healthy, of course).
  • Science czar John Holdren co-wrote a book advocating forced abortions, mass sterilization, and a “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens, and has never unequivocally disavowed his attachment to these ideas.
  • Barack Obama himself infamously told the daughter of an elderly woman who received a pacemaker that it would be more appropriate from here on out that people in such situations be limited to taking pain pills.

The prospect of full-fledged “social Darwinism” is far more real under a continuation of our autopilot government combined with the implementation of ObamaCare than it is under anything Ryan or Republicans have proposed.

Taking it even one step further, if you want to see social Darwinism in its rawest form, just wait until a government which runs trillion-dollar deficits until it falls off the financial cliff has to radically slash everything in sight to survive. You don’t want to think about what it will be like once everyone starts fighting over the leftovers in a country which has become largely if not mostly detached from its Judeo-Christian moral roots. If it ever comes to that, it surely won’t be Paul Ryan’s fault.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:45 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Pro-life campaign saves over 800 babies during Lenten outreach

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:20 am

From Fredericksburg, Virginia:

Apr 12, 2012 / 03:58 am

The 40 Days for Life spring campaign of pro-life advocacy, prayer and community outreach ended on April 1 after saving hundreds of babies from abortion.

“This was the largest number of ‘saves’ that we’ve ever had in the 40 Days for Life campaign,” director Shawn Carney told CNA April 11.

With local reports still being compiled, the pro-life group says that participants convinced the mothers of 804 babies not to have abortions.

“We’re giving God the glory for that,” Carney said.

“We saw five abortion clinic workers have conversions and leave their jobs. We are still working with a number of abortion workers who are also considering leaving their jobs,” he added. “We saw two abortion facilities close their doors forever.”

The 40 Days for Life campaign, which began in fall of 2007, gathers volunteers to pray, fast, perform pro-life outreach and hold peaceful vigils outside of abortion clinics. This spring witnessed events in 258 cities.

Carney said the events are having cumulative effects.

“A lot of these abortion facilities are having their fourth, fifth, sixth 40 Days for Life campaign in front of them. It’s wearing on the community, it’s certainly wearing on the consciences of those who work in the industry,” he said.

He noted the example of Sue Thayer, a former director of the Storm Lake, Iowa Planned Parenthood who had a “conversion” and left the industry after 17 years in 2008. She decided to lead the 40 Days for Life campaign in front of her former clinic, which closed on March 1.

Carney said the clinic closed for lack of business, though Planned Parenthood has portrayed the closure as a consolidation move. …

Go here for the rest of the story.