In the late afternoon of Inauguration Day, January 20, 1961, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower drove north to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the 1955 Chrysler Imperial that Mamie had purchased for Ike on his sixty-fifth birthday. The outgoing President and First Lady, their personal servants, Sergeant John Moaney and Rosie Woods, and chauffeur, Leonard Dry, sat together in the roomy car. There was an eerie loneliness about the absence of motorcycle escorts and caravans of Secret Service and press cars. A single Secret Service vehicle with driver and agent led the Chrysler. When the Eisenhowers approached the entrance to their Gettysburg farm, the Secret Service honked the horn and made a U-turn, heading back to Washington.
Frantic preparations are underway for US president Barack Obama’s visit to Mumbai. Sources in the security establishment said 547 rooms and all banquet halls at the Taj Mahal hotel near the Gateway of India are likely to be booked for the president’s visit. Apart from this, 125 rooms at the Taj President in Cuffe Parade and 80-90 rooms in ITC Grand Hyatt will be booked for Obama’s entourage.
The US president is expected to arrive in the city on the afternoon of November 6 and is likely to leave the next day in the evening. “Michelle, Obama’s wife, is expected to visit an NGO in Kamathipura on the second day. We have to chalk out security plans for her visit since the area is densely populated,” a source from the security establishment said.
“Rooms at the Hyatt are for the air crew and other members who will accompany Obama. The US president will also bring his chef along,” he said.
An officer told DNA that Obama would travel to the hotel from the airport via road instead of a chopper. He travels in a Lincoln Continental, which has a thickness of four-and-a-half inches of metal. “Two jets and 45 cars will be part of Obama’s convoy. The jets will be armed with highly-advanced communication and security system,” he said.
While many within our community continue to blindly mock and ridicule gay Republicans as being self-loathing, among other hollow insults, they simultaneously refuse to see that strength through diversity means just that – diversity in everything, including political thought.
This diversity in thought led conservative icon Ted Olsen to craft a conservative constitutional argument in the Prop 8 case in California. And most recently, it is the Log Cabin Republicans, who six years ago during the Bush Administration brought a suit against the military that two weeks ago halted all discharges worldwide under DADT. It is Republicans who are winning the argument for equal rights for gays and lesbians.
And while it is very true that the GOP has a dismal record on LGBT issues, Republican leaders are engaging gays and lesbians on issues where we at least have common ground. No, I’m not talking about a pundit speaking at a party in New York City this summer. I’m talking about elected GOP officials speaking directly to gay Republicans.
The truth is, that for its regular listeners, NPR is not simply a radio network. For members of the specific subculture it serves — mostly white, middle to upper-middle class, college educated, politically liberal residents of the coastal regions of the United States — NPR is something approaching a religious icon. They relate to it with the same intense emotions with which others regard images of the Virgin Mary or the sanctified structures of Mecca and Jerusalem, and they will defend it just as passionately. Indeed, Beinart’s remark about Britney Spears is not a coincidence. In a country in which this subculture sees itself as more and more besieged by ignorance, racism, close-mindedness, and commercialism, NPR constitutes essentially the only form of media they can relate to without alienation or shame.
The extent to which NPR dominates the lives of some of its listeners is quite striking. One is put in mind of an anecdote from linguist and Democratic Party media consultant George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant. When asked whether he has heard of conservative activist James Dobson, Lakoff asks, “Is he on NPR?” indicating, albeit inadvertently, that he essentially listens to nothing else. Lakoff, I think, is not alone.
Of course, every subculture has its objects of affection. Punks and hip-hop fans have their music, Trekkies have their TV shows and movies, hipsters have mumblecore, etc. The difference, of course, is that unlike NPR, none of these are funded largely by coercive means. And this says something, I think, about the liberal mentality. Put simply, liberals constitute the one subculture in the United States that consistently and often willfully mistakes its specific and particular preferences for universal truths.
If my liberal buddies wish to hang on every word that issues forth from NPR, that is surely their right. We just should not have the government be sending taxpayer dollars to them - or, for that matter, to any media outlet.
Is the New York Times a terrible newspaper? Of course not. Reporting on science, technology, business and a variety of other topics can be in depth and well researched. Photography is generally fabulous. Even its ads are lush and lovely.
Yet, most outside the elitist leftist world will agree; the paper has shrunk in stature from its once lofty post. How could it not? With its continuing refusal to have essentially any diversity of belief and philosophy vis a vis politics and world view, both in its opinion pages and news reporting, it cannot give readers full and excellent visions of what is going on in the world.
Today's editorial is a perfect example. As I read through it, I continued to think to myself, "But!....." Alas. No one at the Times' will ever provide you with these "yes, but" - so - I shall do the dirty work below.
It wasn’t until I was working for an art organization a few years later that the blinders came off once and for all. One day, an artist came in with a commission check we’d sent her after she’d sold one of her wonderful photographs. She asked if we could take the check back and instead give her cash under the table. I explained that we couldn’t do that, and she became very upset. She explained she was receiving money from the government (disability or welfare, I don’t know which), so she technically wasn’t allowed to earn any income outside of that.
That’s when the stark reality of politics in America hit me. This talented artist in her 20s — who for whatever reason was on the government dole — didn’t want to take the opportunity to live on her own. She didn’t want to eke out a living, but play both sides — get money for her art, and still get her government check. She rejected the opportunity to compete, earn, and feel the exhilaration and disappointment of making it on her own. At least she didn’t then, or at least not honestly and out in the open. I certainly hope things have changed for her, because what a way to go through life — not exploring your potential because the government forbids it, and you’re afraid to walk away.
Thank you, Joy Behar. Who knows how many other people were bitch-slapped this week?
Ever since President George W. Bush left the White House, we've been seeing this poster. It's in emails, on the Internet - and even in billboards. Most laughed at this picture. Miss GWB? The nation's worst president evah? Ho ho ho!
According to pollster Doug Schoen, whose new poll shows vast support for the Tea Party movement among voters, the president is still liked by about half the nation. In fact, more like him personally than like his policies. Some 48 percent think he’s a nice guy, while just 42 percent approve of his job performance.
But that personal favorability doesn’t translate into re-election support when voters are asked if Obama deserves a second term. Says Schoen: “Despite voters feelings toward Obama personally, 56 percent say he does not deserve to be re-elected, while 38 percent say he does deserve to be re-elected president.” Worse, Schoen adds, “43 percent say that Barack Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, while 48 percent say Bush was a better president than Obama has been.”
I'm sure that my Democratic friends will howl long and loud about the failings of the poll, and that it simply is inconceivable that almost anyone, much less more Americans than not would grade GWB over BHO. Nevertheless, I am not shocked with these polling numbers, given how our nation has been savaged by left-wing policies in the almost-past two years that have exacerbated our difficulties.
Will next Tuesday prove this polling to be not as unbelievable as those on the left might think? Here's hoping.
Need evidence that the United Nations deserves a swift execution? Here you go.
Iran, where a woman convicted of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning, is likely to become a member of the board of the new UN agency to promote equality for women, prompting outrage from the US and human rights groups.
Some rights groups are also upset that Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive and are barred from many facilities used by men, is also vying to join the governing body of UN Women.
Recently, Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore toured again. Or maybe he does that all the time. This time, he turned up in Gothenburg (Sweden) for the usual alarmist talk. In advance, all distinguished guests were politely advised to – if possible – use any form of public transportation to go to the event, in order to minimize CO2 emissions.
Intriguingly, the Master of World Climate himself arrived in a rental car (with or without driver is unclear), from the airport, and subsequently left the engine running for the entire lecture. That is to say, about one hour. Incidentally, local legislation prohibits – for very good environmental reasons, i e pollution – any car engine running on empty for more than 60 seconds. Fines are severe. As far as I know, he was not fined.
It starts to form a pattern.
When your "own people" start to attack you, time to appreciate that the jig is up.
Can people and politicians change who they are over time? Of course. Many of us have held positions and/or beliefs on individual issues that alter. We talk, we learn, we listen - and on occasion, we may decide that what we previously thought was so was not.
The White Queen may be able to believe "six impossible things before breakfast." The rest of us, however, aren't up to trick. We can change what we believe over time - but we can't believe contradictory ideas at the same time. All we can do is lie to those we want to fool, and hope that our lies are believed.
Here's hoping that the "greater fool" is now our president, and not the voters.
Alex Sink’s fortunes appear to be falling in Florida after getting caught cheating in a debate against Republican Rick Scott. She may have made matters worse by attempting to spin it later. Rather than just admit that she checked a message from a staffer when the debate rules clearly prohibited it, Sink claimed that she thought the message was from her daughter traveling abroad and fired the staffer. That prompted CNN’s John King to go CSI and look at the forensics of the debate tape.
King reports, however, that this is not at all what happened.
Today she said she wasn’t sure what it was when the makeup artist handed her the phone. She thought it might have been a message from a daughter who she said was in college in [England]. But we listened very closely to the audio, and the makeup artist, when she approached Alex Sink, said I have a message from the staff. And at that point they looked, it was on a cell phone, it was two sentences. It was essentially advice after the last segment of the debate telling her if that question comes up again, remember this, and be more aggressive when Rick Scott questions you. It was two sentences.
Cheating is bad enough. Lying about it adds insult to injury - and makes me wonder just how bright Sink must be. Did she really think she could get away with the coverup?
Will Sink go down the drain on election night? I think that two strikes should lead to a third: the voters striking her out.
It is for these reasons, I believe, the coming November tsunami will roll across America and give the Republicans, who are undeserving of the honor, control of both Houses. The American public is enraged and wants to punish those who have been in charge of the country. They know those who will replace incumbents may be as bad or worse, but they also believe they can't do any greater damage. They are willing to put up with them until the next election to teach our elected representatives a monumental lesson -- that public service is an honorable profession and must be performed competently and honestly.
We are an optimistic, generous people, who believe in fairness and justice. And we will be heard.
Rick Kaplan, her executive producer, says that “when she’s on the road—in Iraq with David Petraeus—she has a great way with people. People like her and she likes them. There are anchors who consider being on the road a pain in the butt. She really looks for opportunities to feel the earth and touch people.”
That’s why Couric has spent recent weeks in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is touring what she calls “this great unwashed middle of the country” in an effort to divine the mood of the midterms.
I just hope a whole bunch of us "unwashed" folks show up to vote next Tuesday, don't get our election stolen away from us and get some representation in Washington that can begin to restore sanity to our system.
We may be "unwashed". But we know that Katie and her crew are taking our nation to the cleaners.
Going into the toughest economy since the Great Depression, our nation elected "The One." Handsome and charismatic, President Obama continues to give a great (teleprompter) speech and rally crowds. But the direction of the country? Our economy? The attitude of our people? Well . . . . that is something else.
The son of a South St. Paul truck driver, Pawlenty was 16 when his mother died. A short while later, his father lost his job. Nevertheless, Pawlenty became his family's first college graduate. His political message -- he calls himself a Sam's Club rather than a country club Republican -- should resonate in a social climate conditioned by voters' recoil against spending and the political class that does it. "All the stuff the country is now favoring, I've done," he says.
Tall (6 feet 3), slender and rarely strident, Pawlenty probably is the only potential president who will announce: "I'm not exactly Lady Gaga." Indeed, he must solve the problem of "Minnesota nice" -- his state's reputation for a pleasantness incompatible with today's appetite for politics with a serrated edge.
Fret not over Republican peccadilloes such as the Tea Party finding the single, solitary person in Nevada who couldn’t poll ten to one against Harry Reid. Better to have a few cockeyed mutts running the dog pound than Michael Vick.
I take it back. Using the metaphor of Michael Vick for the Democratic party leadership implies they are people with a capacity for moral redemption who want to call good plays on the legislative gridiron. They aren’t. They don’t. The reason is simple. They hate our guts.
They don’t just hate our Republican, conservative, libertarian, strict constructionist, family values guts. They hate everybody’s guts. And they hate everybody who has any. Democrats hate men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, gays, straights, the rich, the poor, and the middle class.
Democrats hate Democrats most of all. Witness the policies that Democrats have inflicted on their core constituencies, resulting in vile schools, lawless slums, economic stagnation, and social immobility. Democrats will do anything to make sure that Democratic voters stay helpless and hopeless enough to vote for Democrats.
This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. Power has been trapped, abused and exploited by Democrats. Go to the ballot box and put an end to this abusive relationship. And let’s not hear any nonsense about letting the Democrats off if they promise to get counseling.
As an Arab-American of Muslim descent, I am not offended by this because in all honesty I have had the same reaction in similar circumstances. In Berlin a couple of years ago, my flight was delayed because, we were told, one of the passengers, who was in a wheelchair, needed extra assistance. When she finally was brought into the waiting area, she was covered from head to toe in traditional Muslim dress and only her eyes were visible. What happened? I grew nervous. I got on the plane just the same, but with trepidation.
Was my response rational? Yes and no.
It was not Muslims in traditional garb who hijacked those planes on 9/11, and it certainly was not Muslim women in veils and wheelchairs. If anything, an Islamist terrorist wants to blend in, not stand out.
However, it was not a traditional sort of terrorist attack I feared in this case, but perhaps something unexpected: a traditional Muslim woman in a veil, confined to a wheelchair, who was loaded with explosives.
That may make me guilty of an overactive imagination, but perhaps not. Not that many years later, a young Muslim on an international flight into Detroit tried to light explosives in his underwear.
I mention all this for one main reason. I grew up surrounded by Islamic culture, went to Islamic events, and was used to seeing women in traditional Muslim clothing, and yet when that woman appeared at the Berlin airport, I was scared.
That's all Mr. Williams was saying. He didn't say that they should be removed from the plane, treated differently, or anything close to that. He simply said he got nervous. And for that, he was fired.
The reality is that when Muslims cease to be the main perpetrators of terrorism in the world, such fears about traditional garb are bound to vanish. Until such time, the anxiety will remain. In the long run, it's what we do with such fears that matters, not that we have them.
For those of my friends and family who stop by to read my blog yet do not stay up until 1AM perusing 37 news sources on the Internet, a brief background on moderately liberal news analyst Juan Williams being fired by NPR this week. While on Fox News, Williams ruminated about his own feelings while getting on a plane and seeing people in Muslim garb; he stated that he felt some fear. For more background on exactly what Williams said, see this Kurtz round up at the Daily Beast. "Wholly unacceptable," said NPR - and Williams was summarily fired.
If you think that Williams deserved to lose his job over these statements, then you might wonder why Nina Totenberg is still at NPR. Listen to what she had to say some years ago:
I think (Sen. Jesse Helms) ought to be worried about what's going on in the Good Lord's mind, because if there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.
In passing ObamaCare, Democrats argued that it would provide a net relief to the budget deficit in its balance of new taxes and fees, drastic cuts to Medicare Advantage, and the subsidies it would provide to Americans making $88,000 a year or less. A new study commissioned by Families USA, a group that supports ObamaCare, shows that the Democrats and the CBO badly miscalculated the level of subsidies provided. In the first year (2014), 28 million Americans would have eligibility for more than $110 billion, outstripping the Congressional/CBO estimate by almost 600%.
Who knew? Well. Lots of us knew that what the Democrats were sellling had about as much chance to be able to fly as a lead decoy. Now that the rammed-through-whether-you-like-it-or-not Obamacare is law, now that it is passed so we know what's in it - we find out that we've been given a pig in a poke.
Enough with the animal imagery. We should be all getting our little human rear ends to the voting booths on November 2nd, and vote out the clowns who are doing their best to dismantle** the most imperfect, yet greatest experiment ever created: the United States.
**(No, I don't think that almost any of these people are intentionally trying to wreck our country. The sad fact of the matter is, however, whether they're trying or not - they're doing it. The only way to stop 'em is to fire 'em. Do it on Tuesday, November 2nd.)