Apparently Contractual Obligations Matter Again in Washington

so the Wahington times is reporting that the Post will be revealing top secret information and questioning the efficacy of the report. Apart from the obvious contradiction wherein it was a laudable offense to reveal top secret information during the Bush Presidency, what I find curious is the Times’ source document. It begs contractors to remind their employees of their ethical and contractual obligations to maintaining secrecy. I guess it’s nice to know that Washngtin holds contracts in such high regard considering it was just months ago that administration officials were forcing certain car companies to violate all of their obligations. Yay BHOPOTUS, your consistency is a testament to your intelligence!

Black people safe from oppressive Hallmark card

File this one as exhibit #647,825 in the case demonstrating the manifest obsolescence of the NAACP:

It’s alternately amusing and depressing to watch little old ladies strain to hear hidden racist messages in a greeting card.  But lest we forget, this is not the first time that racial neurotics have been too stupid to grasp the context of the term “black hole”.

On a lighter note, Ominous Black Whores would be a great name for a punk rock band….

Conservatism in two countries

Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered a truly remarkable speech to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.  I beg you, read the speech in its entirety.  It is, without question, the rarest of beasts to issue from a so-called Washington insider: a philosophical argument for small government, grounded in first principles, incautious in style, bold in policy proposals, and rooted in a coherent understanding of intellectual history.  Rep. Ryan, who aquitted himself so admirably at last month’s “Health Care Summit”, takes clear aim at what is often called the “dependency agenda” of the American Left:

These leaders are walking America down a new path … creating entitlements and promising benefits that model the United States after the European Union: a welfare state society where most people pay little or no taxes but become dependent on government benefits … where tax reduction is impossible because more people have a stake in the welfare state than in free enterprise … where high unemployment is accepted as a way of life, and the spirit of risk-taking is smothered by a tangle of red tape from an all-providing centralized government.

Ryan goes on to explain how succeeding generations of Progressivist policies have created a society in which the vast majority of American households receive more in federal benefits than they pay in taxes.  His argument against such a state of affairs is both practical (it has created unsustainable national debt and public entitlements), and philosophical (can we truly claim to live in a free and equal society when seven out of 10 households are dependent on government confiscation of the property of the remaining three?)

The meat of the speech includes straightforward policy proposals for how the root of the Big Government problem — the insolvent and growing public entitlement sector — can be attacked and reformed.  These are not the solipsistic tinkerings of small-minded bureaucrats, but rather public policy viewed as a means to an end — liberty — and as such, deployed against the leviathan that threatens to strangle that liberty.

Eventually, Ryan lays out his idea of what the Republican Party ought to represent against such a backdrop:

My party challenges the whole basis of the Progressivist vision of this country’s future. We challenge their attack on American exceptionalism. We challenge their claim that bureaucratic centralization is the only way the US can meet the economic and social challenges of our time.

Let us hope so.  Every candidate who hopes for the support of conservatives this November, and in the preceding primaries, ought to embrace this vision without hesitation or equivocation.

Contrast this with the situation unfolding in Britain at this very moment.  With parliamentary elections on the horizon and the Labour Party looking weaker than it has in the past four election cycles, Conservative Party leader David Cameron delivered his manifesto this past friday.  To be sure, Cameron said most of the right things.  He threatened to crush bureaucracy, fight for lower taxes, stand up to unions, and hand more power to the people (whatever that means).  But a closer look will reveal that, while it is couched in many of the same talking points, Cameron’s message is not remotely the same as Paul Ryan’s.

First, note the lack of any straightforward policy pledge or proposal.  There is perhaps one exception, albeit one that left me scratching my head:

We are setting out a positive alternative, as shown this week. Labour will kill the recovery with their tax on jobs – so we’ll cut Labour waste to stop it – a policy endorsed by business leaders with their letter to this paper on Thursday. Seven out of 10 working people will be better off with the Conservatives. And Labour’s top-down Government will make our broken society worse, not better. So we will create an army of community organisers, independent of the state, to build the Big Society – where people come together to solve their own problems.

Huh?  If they are independent of the state, what exactly is the state’s role in creating them?

Let’s leave aside for a moment this befuddling Americorps-style nod to community organizing.  The substance of Cameron’s case for Conservative government is essentially that his party will slow down the pace at which Labour manages to screw things up.  He will oppose tax increases and cut down on the “waste” within the bureaucracies and entitlements that Labour has created over the years.  Cameron’s own statement of his party’s mission is that it provides a “clear, positive, engaging agenda on public services.”

Here we have an apt encapsulation of the European center-right managerial ethos, and one that bears absolutely no resemblence to Paul Ryan’s clarion call to the GOP.  European conservatives promise to be a speed-bump on the road to socialist insolvency and bureaucratic soft-tyranny.  They will manage the Left’s programs better, and thus forestall complete collapse until the next election cycle.

The fact of the matter is that Cameron and his continental counterparts simply do not have the option of launching a wholesale, Ryan-style attack on statism, for the precise reason that Ryan articulates.  The dependency agenda in Europe is so deeply entrenched that the vast majority of Europeans do indeed have a greater stake in the state than in liberty.  The role of British government has come to be seen primarily as the provision of services.  As such, Cameron can do no more than to promise to provide those services more efficiently.

Can America avoid this fate?  We’re already a good way toward succumbing to it.  But if Paul Ryan’s vision carries the day this November, there may yet be a glimmer of hope.

FLASHBACK: Obama on Offshore Drilling

In light of Obama’s recent declaration, that he wants to drill off shore, I thought it might be appropriate to recount some of President Obama’s campaign promises. Perhaps you will remember the chants during Ms. Sarah Palin’s RNC speech. “Drill, drill, drill”.

Alas, you think that would have been such a pain point if Obama had been clear on his position. But in line with pre-BHOPOTUS, Obama made sure to take every position possible. So, while you can certainly find instances of BHOPOTUS supporting drilling, you can also find plenty of examples where Obama said…the opposite.

Remember this juicy little sound bite? WHAT? “We could save all the oil that their talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires.”

Good Friday

Crux Fidelis – Translation:

Faithful cross, above all other,
One and only noble tree:
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be.
Sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
Sweetest weight is hung on thee!

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) is very concerned…

…about global warming, of course, but also about the possibility that Guam might “tip over and capsize” due to overpopulation:

Well, thinking ahead of the curve comes at a risk.  Just ask Galileo.  This clip is full of knee-slapping moments.  For example:

CONGRESSMAN: …very small island, and about 24 miles, if I recall, long, 24 miles long, about 7 miles wide at the least widest, uh, place on the island, and about, about 12 miles wide, uh, on the widest part of the island.  And uh, I don’t know how many square miles that is, do you happen to know?

ADMIRAL: I don’t have that figure with me, sir.  I can certainly supply it to you if you’d like.

That’s what Admirals are for.  The casual observer might be concerned that his health care is now at the mercy of such flimsy reasoning.  If he doesn’t follow congress too closely, he may even be shocked at the incoherence.  The far more pressing question, though, is how the Admiral managed to keep his composure throughout the whole ludicrously meandering line of questioning.  Give that man another star!

What do they know that we don’t know?

After yesterday’s “historic” vote, I ran over to Planned Parenthood’s website to see what they’d posted. Sure enough, there was a page on their site dedicated to celebrating passage of the new allowing healthcare bill. The page declares that this is a HUGE victory for women’s health, which, it makes sure to say, includes abortion.

What’s more, Planned Parenthood gives us a little insight into something you may not have known. Yesterday, Stupak voted for the bill with the condition that BHOPOTUS (Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States), sign an Executive order mandating that this bill not fund aboritons. Guess what! The Stupak language, apparently, isn’t in the order. “WHAT?” You say. “BHOPOTUS lied to his own teammate?”

It certainly looks that way.