What’s New in New York City

New York City is a nice place to visit, in our experience, but in accordance with the old cliché we wouldn’t want to live there. Despite all the undeniable attractions that make the Big Apple such an appealing place for a short vacation, our feelings about the city were best expressed by Buck Owens and his Buckaroos when they sang “I Wouldn’t Live in New York City (If They Gave Me the Whole Dang Town).”
One could go on at length about the traffic and crime and overcrowding and high rents and excessive taxation and regulation, as New Yorkers so often do, but perhaps the most telling example of how very unlivable New York City has become is its upcoming municipal election. Currently leading in the mayoral race is a former Congressman who was forced to resign his office after photographs of his underwear-clad genitalia that he had “texted” to various to women surfaced. In the race for Comptroller, a position that is apparently of potential importance, a former governor who was forced to resign his office after revelations of his whoremongering is leading a field that includes his former madam. In a city with more than eight million people, there are apparently no equally qualified candidates for these posts who are not tainted by sex scandal.
At the risk of sounding like some bitterly Bible-clinging prairie denizen, which we admittedly are, this strikes us as an especially sorry state of affairs. An argument can be made that public exhibitionism and a predilection for prostitutes do not preclude talent for municipal politics or comptrolling, but surely such a large city should include few candidates of similar abilities who are not exhibitionists or whoremongers. Even in our own provincial outpost of Wichita, with a population of about one-sixteenth of New York City’s, we manage to comptrol ourselves without assistance from a known whorehound or his procurer. Our mayor is prone to those fishy “public-private partnerships” that are currently fashionable and is nothing to brag about, we must confess, but at least we’ve never been exposed to any self-portraits of his private parts.
Perhaps we are being oh-so-parochial in our harsh judgments of soliciting prostitutes and transmitting semi-pornographic image to casual social media acquaintances, but we’ll not allow any New Yorker to say that it’s because our hometown is so unreasonably prudish. Smoking has been banished from the bars but it is still tolerated on the sidewalks, salt shakers are still found on every restaurant table, fat people are not a matter of public concern, and all manner of political opinions that would be considered beyond the pale by polite New York City opinion are not only tolerated but regarded as common sense. We can also muster an appropriately feminist argument against whoremongering and exhibitionism, and not just some musty appeal to millennia-old wisdom, and do not feel that our hipness is diminished by an aversion to prostitution and smutty pictures imposed upon young social acquaintances.
Besides, we are old enough to recall a pre-Bill Clinton era when our hairy-legged feminist girlfriend was railing against Sen. Bob Packwood’s undeniably and creepy off-color comments made him unfit for public service. Old-timers will recall that Packwood was a Republican, and the whoremonger and the exhibitionist in the New York City elections are Democrats, so perhaps that explains the difference. In any case, it seems that both traditional and progressive standards of behavior are being compromised by the elections in New York City.
It’s none of our business, we suppose, except that even around here someone will occasionally say that “Well, that’s the way they do it in New York City.”

— Bud Norman

Zimmerman and the Immigration Issue

We’ve been scouring the internet all day in search of something to write about other than the George Zimmerman trial, partly because we’ve already had our say on this open-and-shut case of self-defense and the racial hysteria that has been whipped up in its aftermath, and partly because we can’t shake a nagging worry that we’re falling for an ingeniously contrived distraction from more important issues, but it’s proving inescapable. Now seemed a good time to check back in on that pesky immigration bill, which is still winding its way through the House of Representatives and might yet become law, but even that seemed to somehow tie to the Zimmerman trial.
As we understand the argument being advanced by the anti-Zimmerman lynch mob, America is an irredeemably racist land where the average citizen is a gun-toting redneck whose murderous rage against “the other” can only be restrained by the tireless activism of such enlightened souls as can be found among the anti-Zimmerman lynch mob. The claim is familiar from every previous racial morality play that has played itself out in the media in the past few decades, from Tawana Brawley to the Duke lacrosse team to the latest headlines, and somehow persists even after the narrative is betrayed by the facts of each case. Usually spoken with the chin upraised to emphasize the speaker’s morality superiority to the average American, the argument almost always works itself into any discussion of racial or ethnic issues.
Which is why we couldn’t help noticing that the immigration reform debate is a conspicuous exception. In this peculiar case many of the same people who are insisting that the federal government revoke Zimmerman’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy, lest the murderous racism of the average American be emboldened, are now assuring us that many millions of foreigners can be introduced into America’s communities without any worry of uncomfortable cultural conflicts. The very same average Americans thought to be itching for a pot-shot at some random black teenager wandering through the neighborhood, we are told, will embrace their newfound brown brothers and sisters with all the multi-cultural zeal of a conflict-resolution major college student fresh from diversity indoctrination.
Those largely unskilled and uneducated millions of immigrants, we are further assured, will be just as eager to embrace American cultural values. Not too eager, of course, as we wouldn’t want them turning into gun-toting racists like the average American, and of course we’ll want them to retain their own cultural values so that they might add them to the rich cultural tapestry that is gun-toting racist America, but eager enough that it will all work out like on one of those precisely diverse sit-coms. That many of them will be young, single, rootless males, and that young, single, rootless males of all races and ethnic categories tend to be troublesome, are facts that only a racist would take into consideration.
Being average Americans ourselves we have no snobbish concerns about how average Americans might cope with a sudden infusion of millions of people from starkly different cultures, and we eagerly anticipate the culinary choices that will inevitably result, but the below-average Americans raise the worry that a stubborn human nature will make such a transformation of the country’s ethnic make-up problematic. It can be assumed that there will be some below-average immigrants among those millions, too, and at the risk of sounding racist we think it should be taken into account what problems they might cause. Those immigrants will also be encountering Americans of all hues, too, and it’s not just the white folks who are toting guns and racial animosities. Drawn inexorably back to that darned Zimmerman trial story, we note that a Hispanic man suffered a vicious beating from some people in Baltimore who were apparently upset by the verdict, an unhappy reminder that racial tensions are already too high.
The average American is not a gun-toting racist eager for racial war, not in our experience, but in times of high unemployment and heightened racial division he might not be up to the high expectations of his newfound liberal fans.

— Bud Norman

Keeping Your Eyes Off the Prize

Two stories pertaining to racial relations have been prominent in the news lately, despite assurances that we would be done with all that unpleasantness if we only elected the right president, and neither one suggests that the old animosities and suspicions have diminished. Both, though, seem a distraction from the even uglier truth.
We have not previously commented on the controversy about celebrity chef Paula Deen’s admitted use of racial slurs and other offenses against racial etiquette, partly because we are not especially au courant on celebrity chefs or any other food fads and never heard of the woman until her remarks became the fodder of an inescapable number of new stories, but mostly because it seemed of such little consequence. Although we do not condone the use of racial slurs or the sorts of offenses against racial etiquette of which Deen stands accused, it seems to us that things must be going quite well in black America if the rude rantings of a 66-year-old southern woman we had previously never heard was all that the race industry had to complain about. Deen will forever be subjected to the sort of social stigma that was once reserved for unmarried motherhood — although her notoriety seems have had a salutary effect on sales of her cookbooks, which for all we know contain good recipes, her apparent racism notwithstanding — and any other celebrities inclined to fling about racial slurs will be thus forewarned. The usual double standards will still apply to any slurring his own racial group and those whose liberalism is well established, of course, but when the whole brouhaha is long forgotten and supplanted by some other celebrity’s outburst little harm will have been done.
Of more significance by far was the recently concluded trial of George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watchman who was acquitted of second-degree murder or manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman admitted firing the fatal shot but claimed he did so in self-defense as the teenager attacked him and was pounding his head against the pavement, a story corroborated by physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, which was believed by both the investigating police officers and ultimately by a jury of his peers, but because Zimmerman is at least nominally white and his assailant was black political pressure to prosecute was brought to bear by protestors, the press, and even the President of the United States and his Justice Department. Even with the facts pointing to Zimmerman’s innocence clearly established and confirmed by the verdict of a jury, pressure to expose Zimmerman to double jeopardy in a federal civil rights continues by everyone from the Senate majority leader to the lowliest “tweeters” sending threats of riots and revenge killings across the internet.
The noise is such that one might suppose the most pressing problem facing black American youth today, aside from the foul language and outdated opinions of semi-famous celebrity chefs, is that they are being gunned down en masse by the “white Hispanic” neighborhood watch volunteers whose heads they are pounding against the pavement. Someone knew to the country and unfamiliar with its heartbreaking racial realities would be surprised to learn that young black men die violently at a rate far exceeding any other group, overwhelmingly at the hands of one another, and that their deaths go largely unremarked by protestors, the press, or the President of the United States. It’s almost a certainty that they’ve not heard the name of Darryl Green, a black 17-year-old recently beaten to death in the president’s hometown of Chicago not because he attacked a neighborhood watch volunteer but rather because he tried to avoid such violent behavior and refused membership in a game. His tragic death has gone unmentioned by protestors, the press, and the President of the United States, and we only heard it because of the Breitbart.com web site, supposedly a bastion of ranting right-wing racism.
Nor would anyone who knows America only through the media be aware that the black unemployment is a Depression-level 13.7 percent, with a worse-than-Depression-level rate for black teenagers, or that the income of the average black household has dropped 11.1 percent since the beginning of the supposed economy, or that any number of economic indicators show that it’s 1936 in black America. To the scant extent these facts provoke any discussion in the mainstream media it is even less commonly discussed that solving these dangerous disparities is complicated by a 72 percent illegitimacy rate in the black community and a vast gap in educational performance compared to Hispanics, whites, and Asians which will make economic equality all but impossible without quota systems and preferential hiring and educational policies that can only exacerbate the racial resentments of all other groups. Any mention of these harsh realities is also considered a breach of racial etiquette, and the polite people prefer to avert their eyes from the tragedies that don’t have an easily scapegoated white villain.
It’s easy enough to see why the president and the rest of the political class would prefer that the likes of Paula Deen and George Zimmerman dominate the news, rather than the more pressing problems that their policies have manifestly failed to alleviate, but it’s time that the rest of the country stopped being polite and started insisting on a more honest racial dialogue that could lead to real solutions.

— Bud Norman

Another Day in Post-Racial America

The post-racial America that was promised with the election of President Barack Obama feels as racial as ever. The case of George Zimmerman, currently on trial in Florida on a charge of second-degree murder for killing Trayvon Martin, is an especially glaring example.
By now the facts are widely known. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community that had recently suffered a rash of burglaries and home invasions, shot the unarmed 17-year-old Martin with a licensed handgun during a struggle that followed Zimmerman observing the unfamiliar teenager’s suspicious behavior and calling police to report it. Although Zimmerman has always admitted firing the fatal shot to Martin’s chest, he has contended from the outset that he acted in self-defense after being attacked and while fearing for his life. Eyewitness testimony introduced by the prosecution has described Martin on top of Zimmerman “raining down punches” during a struggle, which is corroborated by injuries found on Zimmerman immediately after the incident, and no evidence or testimony introduced during the trial contradicts the defendant’s story. During a rambling and illogical closing statement the prosecution nonetheless asserted that “Martin did nothing wrong,” and spent the rest of the lengthy oration conceding the legality of Zimmerman’s actions prior to the shooting but making appeals to the jury’s emotions.
The case would have never been brought to trial, as the investigating police officers recommended, if not for the fact that Martin is black and Zimmerman has a white-sounding name and enough white lineage that The New York Times and other news outlets were forced to create the previously unknown racial category of “white Hispanic” to describe him. These facts, which should be entirely irrelevant to the legal disposition of the matter, led to widespread protests and much media hysteria following the original police decision not to bring charges, and it was all based without a shrewd of evidence on the racist assumption that the “white” shooter had killed Martin because of a racial animus and that institutional racism was responsible for his freedom. It was the same sort of racial politics that had been at play in Tawana Brawley’s false charges of rape and kidnapping, the discredited charges of rape against the Duke University lacrosse team, a Mississippi teenager’s suicide that activists insisted was a lynching, and countless other real-life cases as well as the plot of Tom Wolfe’s masterpiece novel “The Bonfire of the Vanities.”
The protestors insisted that Martin was a peaceable lad who had been targeted merely because of his skin color and a “hoodie” sweatshirt that is apparently a uniform of the hip-hop sub-culture, the media usually chose to run pictures of Martin as an angelic-looking 12-year-old, and much emotion was invested in the narrative. NBC News aired a story with a tape of Zimmerman’s call to the police that was edited to make him sound racist, a “Million Hoodie March” drew participants around the country, countless people took to social media outlets to promise riots and the murder of Zimmerman in the case of an acquittal, and the President of the United States weighed in with the comment that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
Subsequent revelations that it was all a simplistic lie did little to cool the emotions. Friends of various ethnicities testified to the press about Zimmerman’s cordial and even close relationships with black people, while stories surfaced of Martin’s drug use and penchant for street fights. Sending “tweets” under the handle of “No_Limit_Nigga,” Martin joshed with a cousin about punching a bus driver, and more recent photographs — including one self-portrait of Trayvon defiantly blowing marijuana smoke at the camera — are probably not what the president had in mind he claimed a family resemblance.
None of which is necessarily relevant to the case, either, and a trial is supposed to focus the jury’s and the public’s attention on what is pertinent. Race issues proved inescapable in the media’s coverage, however, with all the predictable guilt-mongering appearing in countless commentaries. A witness who described being on the telephone with Martin until shortly before his death was inconsistent, curt, unable to read a letter she had signed because “I don’t read cursive,” insisted that Martin’s description of Zimmerman as a “creepy-ass cracker” was not intended as a racial slur, and was clearly hostile to the court throughout her testimony, and because she was black several pundits propounded that anyone who noticed these things must be a racist. Other writers groused that the prosecution wasn’t emphasizing Zimmerman’s racial motives for the killing, as if he had any evidence to do so. The “tweets” threatening riots and revenge killings continued, although the president has lately been silent. A good story about a racist white man killing a young black choir boy has proved too appealing for mere facts to get in its way.
More frightening, though, is that so many people who will accept the facts as they have been shown in the courtroom and still feel justified in rioting or murder if Zimmerman is acquitted. A sizeable sub-culture of black youth, supported by a multi-billion dollar rap music industry and countless academicians and journalistic grandees, which Martin clearly claimed membership in, believes that any form of disrespect must be punished with severe violence. When Martin correctly perceived that Zimmerman had suspected him of potential misbehavior, the rules of the sub-culture dictate that he administer a beating on the “creepy-ass cracker” and Zimmerman therefore had no right defend himself with lethal force. Race might or might not have played some part in Zimmerman’s suspicions, and it might or might not have been reasonable if it if had, but the rules of the sub-culture insist on a presumption of racist motivation.
The consequences of an American court endorsing such rules would be catastrophic, of course, not matter how much it might satisfy the sub-culture’s sense of retributive justice. A conviction of Zimmerman should worry anyone who feels entitled to defend himself by any means possible if they find themselves in the all-too-possible position of being beneath a strapping young man and having his head slammed against the pavement, even in the all-too-possible case that it’s a strapping young black man, although we don’t worry that the people who feel this way will riot in the case of a conviction.

— Bud Norman

Inside the Insider Threat Program

The latest scandal to beset the Obama administration is the ominously-named Insider Threat Program, an executive order issued shortly after the Wikileaks scandal that attempted to plug such national security leaks by having federal employees and contractors rat on one another for any suspicious behaviors. This information comes courtesy of the McClatchy newspaper chain, which also reports that agencies having nothing to do with national security were also affected and that experts believe the suspicious behaviors that are to be reported are not reliable predictors of any illegal acts, and it’s attracted enough attention from the other media that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was forced to admit that he was “stumped” by the insistent questions at a news conference and was completely unaware of the program’s existence.
Although we never actually worked for the McClatchy company it has somehow acquired the obligation to pay us a pension in our old age, so we take its reporting seriously. The company’s reporting has been annoyingly pro-Obama for the most part, at least by the measure of the local newspaper that it bought a few years ago, but in this case it raises several troubling questions. One might well wonder, for instance, why it took so long — after the election, in fact — for a directive that was issued to some five million people to come to light. One might also wonder why Carney didn’t get the memo, given that he’s a federal employee who has surely witnessed enough strange behavior to fill a warehouse of files, and there are more significant questions as well.
As satisfying as it is to know that government workers have been subjected to the same level of insufferable co-worker snoopiness as their private sector counterparts, there is something troubling about the idea that they have been asked to tattle-tale for such easily explained behaviors as financial difficulties, odd working hours, or “unexplained travel.” Combined with the revelations of the Internal Revenue Service harassing the administration’s political opponents, the Department of Justice treating investigative reporting as a criminal conspiracy, the National Security Agency combing through the phone and internet records of millions of Americans, requests that the public report “fishy” information about Obamacare to a White House web site, attempts to silence whistle-blowers on Benghazi and other scandals, as well as a frankly stated view that “the government is the only thing we all belong to,” it starts to give a claustrophobic feeling to life in the age of Obama.
The program doesn’t seem to have been a success, either. It was in effect well before the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, but the officers who witnessed the crazed Islamist rantings and ravings of the shooter but apparently didn’t find it suspicious enough to overcome their fears of being thought Islamophobic by reporting it. Nor did it prevent the scandalous information about the NSA’s far-reaching data-gathering from being leaked by an unshaven 29-year-old with a stripper girlfriend and a penchant for Latin American satrapies. If the intent was to prevent any information embarrassing to the Obama administration from reaching the public, it must be judged an abject failure.
One might also wonder, for that matter, if Obama got the memo. Prior to the election there were a series of leaks about classified national security programs such as the weekly “kill lists” that the president approved to order drone strikes on suspected terrorists which bolstered his reputation as a tough-on-terrorism hawk rather than a Nobel Prize-winning peacenik, and all of them were attributed to “high-ranking administration officials” whose suspicious behaviors were presumably apparent to Obama. One of the leaks resulted in the imprisonment of a Pakistani doctor who had been helping the Central Intelligence Agency’s fight against terrorism, but it was one of those pre-election scandals that got little attention from the press. Perhaps Obama was every bit as outraged about those leaks as the ones that embarrassed rather than glorified administration, but that’s another thing one might wonder about.

— Bud Norman

Some Help from the Left

You hear a lot of weird things on the late-night “Coast to Coast” radio program, from UFO sightings to demonic possessions to every variety of conspiracy theory, but an advertisement we heard last night from “Progressives For Immigration Reform” might have topped them all.
From both the “Progressive” and the “For Immigration Reform” parts of the name you would expect the spot to be in support of the Senate’s bill calling for some phony-baloney border enforcement and a very real “path to citizenship” allowing millions of illegal immigrants to vote for the Democrats in upcoming elections, but the weird part was that group was against it. The group is not only against the border enforcement portions of the bill, something they seem to take seriously, they also argue against the idea of bringing in more illegal immigrants. All of the arguments were couched in terms of environmentalism and the depressing effects of mass immigration on the wages of low-skilled workers, which accounts for the “progressive” portion of the name, and apparently the sort of immigration reform that they are for is quite different than what the Senate has in mind.
There’s nothing surprising about progressives finding reasons to oppose mass immigration, which has traditionally been opposed by labor leaders ranging from Samuel Gompers to A. Phillip Randolph to Cesar Chavez, and which is an affront to the anti-population-growth elements of the environmental movement, but we were nonetheless surprised to hear any of them come right out and say so. The Democratic party has collectively concluded that the Senate bill serves its interests, and all of the factions within usually fall in line. This is most conspicuously true in Congress, where it takes some extreme home state or home district political pressure to get a Democrat to buck the party line, but even the rank-and-file members of our acquaintance are almost always willing to accept the party’s position even when a favored is clearly against their self-interest.
Plenty of Republicans have endorsed the Senate’s bill, always giving ostensibly conservative reasons for doing, but conservatism is an individualist philosophy and party discipline is therefore less reliable. The rank-and-file of the GOP seem to be overwhelmingly opposed to the Senate bill, though, and we expect that few Republicans in the House will be willing to swim against that surging tide. Throw in a few Democrats more beholden to the black, green, and labor lobbies than the Hispanic vote and it might be enough to defeat the bill in the House.
The conservative arguments against the bill seem more persuasive to us than what the progressives are peddling, but we’re happy to have their help nonetheless. Their support is especially helpful because no one is going to accuse them of racism, and the notion that one needn’t be a Meskin-hatin’ redneck is a significant contribution to the debate.

— Bud Norman

The Whole Tooth

A grueling day of dental work, which we hate more than anything else in life, has left us too worn-out and doped-up for our usual insightful take on the news. Knowing how our loyal readers rely on our weekday rants we summoned the strength for a cursory look at the Drudge Report in search of something to say, but it was all so weird we couldn’t be sure if it was the actual news or just the after-effects of nitrous oxide.
After a good night’s rest and a few more pain-killers and antibiotics we should be back to our normal vituperative selves, however, so please accept our apologies and an invitation to drop by again tomorrow.

— Bud Norman

A Part-Time Nation

Perhaps the best measure of how badly things are going is what people now regard as good news. Consider the case of last Friday’s jobs report, which was greeted with popped bottles of champagne and much jubilation.
Those who are temperamentally inclined to search for good news anywhere they can will be able to find some in the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly report, which showed that the nation gained 195,000 jobs in June. The number was better than most economists expected, which isn’t saying much, but anything that exceeds even the low expectations for the economy always rallies the stock market, heartens the press, and is assumed to be good news by the general public. Although the unemployment rate remained at an unpleasant 7.6 percent, a record-setting 54th month above the 7.5 level, the optimists could boast that was because the booming economy is luring workers back into the work force and are thus officially counted as unemployed.
Whatever psychic benefits those idled workers might gain from being officially counted as unemployed, a closer look at the numbers reveals that they’re not more likely to find full-time employment. Indeed, the household survey shows that full-time employment actually declined by 240,000 in June, and the same jobs report that has all those champagne bottles popping showed that the U-6 rate that includes discouraged and underemployed workers actually increased from already dire 13.8 percent to a downright depressing 14.3 percent. The vaunted economic recovery seems to be on a part-time basis.
Apologists for the Obama administration will insist this has nothing to do with its recent decision to postpone until after the mid-term elections an employer mandate in the Obamacare law that provides huge financial incentives for businesses not to hire anyone for more than 29 hours, and we expect that some people will even believe it. Anyone who is not obliged to toe the Obama line will conclude that Obamacare is part of the problem, however, and will wonder why the government will settle for postponing the disastrous consequences rather than averting them altogether by repealing the mandate. While they’re at it they might also wonder why the government’s deep thinkers think now is a good time to bring in another 10 million or so low-skilled workers to compete for those part-time jobs, or to impose a variety of costly regulations intended to drive up energy costs, or why the political class seems more concerned with same-sex marriage or gun-grabbing than the plight of the unemployed.
On the other hand, perhaps one should just go with the media-approved flow and be satisfied. About 47 percent of American adults have a full-time job, and that’s got to be beating somebody’s expectations.

— Bud Norman

Obamacare on Ice

If it were merely one of those Irwin Allen disaster movies from the ‘70s, without the real-life consequences, the history of Obamacare would make for a most entertaining spectacle. Even with our inevitable death by bureaucratic bungling looming over us, however, there’s still something slightly amusing about the whole debacle.
The latest joke in this ongoing comedy is the government’s oh-so-quiet announcement on the eve of Independence Day that it will wait another year to begin enforcing a key provision that mandates all businesses with more than 50 employees provide them with a health insurance plan. Critics of the Obamacare scheme had warned from the outset that the provision provided a disincentive for any business with 49 employees to ever hire another one, and that a good many businesses would be forced to lay off the suddenly more expensive employees already on the payroll, but supporters of the law responded that this was a lie told by lying liars who hated poor people and only wanted what was worst for everybody. Employers across the country have lately made it quite clear that the prediction is already coming true, though, and the administration’s decision is an acknowledgement of the fact. The administration doesn’t mind the dire economic consequences, of course, but it would prefer to put them off until after next year’s mid-term elections.
Some observers regard this as a political masterstroke which will help the Democrats regain the House of Representatives and thus ensure that Obamacare remains the law of the land forever and ever, and given how little attention is paid by the average American they might be proved right. Still, there is reason to be hopeful that they won’t pull it off. The delay will likely forestall many firings, as even the most hard-hearted businessmen are inclined keep an employee on the payroll so long as it’s economically beneficial to do, but it won’t do much to spur hiring by businessmen who are looking past the next election, which is one of those strange habits businessmen have which the political class finds so incomprehensible. Obamacare’s job-killing traits should be so apparent by election day that even a Republican can make the case, and with insurance premiums on the rise, doctors fleeing the health professions, and millions of Americans still without insurance and suddenly have to pay for the lack of it, defending the law will be a daunting challenge.
Democrats are convinced that the public can be persuaded to like something awful if only enough advertising dollars are spent and enough celebrities are on board, a theory that was proved true in the ’08 and ’12 elections, but the strategy hasn’t worked well for Obamacare yet. A tax-payer-funded advertising campaign has prevented a steady slide in the law’s approval rating in all the opinion polls, which showed that it was widely unpopular to begin with, and it’s gotten to the point that the National Football League and other intended propaganda outlets are declining to participate. Even such friendly press outlets as the Washington Post seem to have tired of touting Obamacare’s promised benefits, and we would venture a prediction that least a few of those Democratic candidates hoping to re-take the House will also jump ship. As a last resort the Democrats can blame Republican obstructionism for the law’s complete failure to deliver on any of its extravagant promises, but that will also be an acknowledgement that it didn’t work.

— Bud Norman

Fourth of July

Chaos reins in the streets of Cairo, more cars have gone off the track in the great Obamacare train wreck, and the case against George Zimmerman also seems to be crashing, but there will be time enough for that later. Today is Independence Day, and it should be spent savoring the blessings of being an American.
So turn off the news, fire up the grill, light a firework, put some patriotic music on the stereo, and maybe take a moment to be grateful to the extraordinary men and women who set the country on its path to glory on this day back in 1776. Setting things back on course will require the values those men and women championed, and we’ll also need to be well rested.
Happy Independence Day.

— Bud Norman