Close to a month ago, Ace at Ace of Spades HQ posted a long but excellent article about the so-called neutral story lines that the mainstream media regularly uses to bash Republicans while still giving the appearance of being neutral. Here’s a snippet of Ace’s full article, for people who can’t be bothered to read the whole thing:

Mickey Kaus often notes the media likes Neutral Story Lines, as they’re easy to write, but are supposedly nonpartisan, as they usually criticize some procedural defect in both parties.

What makes the “Neutral Story Line” not neutral at all is that the media seems most interested, each cycle, in the “Neutral Story Line” that hurts the Republicans more….

And this is how media bias works 75% of the time. Most of the time, the media is selecting between several possible “rules,” many of which are arguably correct, but which are contradicted by nearly opposite rules, which are also arguably correct. The media never decides which rule is correct in the most cases; instead, they choose whichever “rule” benefits the Democrats this cycle.

Are we too interested in personal scandals which don’t really have much to do with a party’s governing philosophy? The answer is “No” if you mean Mark Foley or Mark Sanford; the answer is “Yes” if you mean Eric Massa or John Edwards.

Is it out of line for a former vice president to toughly criticize a new president of a different party? Well, if you’re Al Gore criticizing Bush, you’re just being patriotic and expressing the frustrations of millions of Americans. If you’re Dick Cheney criticizing Obama, you’re deliberately weakening a new president and endangering national security.

Have you noticed that when Republicans are in power, there are lots of news stories about the homeless? But these stories dry up when a Democrat is president. It’s certainly not because homelessness ceases to be a problem; if anything, based on the increasing number of panhandlers I’ve seen recently, it seems to be getting worse. It’s just not deemed newsworthy when a liberal is in charge. Such stories might make the liberal look bad, and we just can’t have that.

Back in 2006, I got a mass mailing from my then-Congressman. In part of his letter, he was bemoaning the increasing price of gas as it was nearing $3 a gallon. Today, I bought some gas for my lawnmower, and I paid $3.059 a gallon. (Interestingly enough, gas prices are one of the few remaining usages of the mill, valued at 1/10th of a cent.) Do you remember the nightly news stories in 2006 about the rising price of gas? Do you remember newspaper articles about hypermiling and avoiding auto use, the vilification of the oil industry, and calls for a “windfall tax” to take away their evil profits? I sure do. But here we are under a Democrat leader, and the news stories about astronomically high gas prices have vanished.

My wife has suggested that Republicans should always be in power, for one simple reason: they keep the media doing its job. When Republicans hold the reins of government, the media carefully scrutinizes everything they do. But when Democrats are in power, the media seems to relax, then becomes lazy and fails to fulfill its Fourth Estate responsibilities. It’s almost as though the reporters’ drive has vanished away, just like those “neutral” news stories.

Here’s a lovely story as reported in Politico.com recently:

President Barack Obama had exhausted most of his health care reform arguments with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a White House meeting last Thursday when he made a more personal pitch that resonated with many skeptics in the room.

One caucus member told POLITICO that Obama won him over by “essentially [saying] that the fate of his presidency” hinged on this week’s health reform vote in the House. The member, who requested anonymity, likened Obama’s remarks to an earlier meeting with progressives when the president said a victory was necessary to keep him “strong” for the next three years of his term.

Another caucus member, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), said, “We went in there already knowing his presidency would be weakened if this thing went down, but the president clearly reinforced the impression the presidency would be damaged by a loss.”

Added Serrano: “He was subtle, but that was the underlying theme of the meeting — the importance of passing this for the health of the presidency.”

This nation elected a narcissist, so we shouldn’t be all that surprised that he spends his time thinking about himself. Rather than electing a President with gravitas, we got the equivalent of Meredith from the “Bratz” movie:

With the new year, it’s time to review the many accomplishments of Pres. Obama in 2009.

  • Sworn in as President
  • Appointed Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court
  • Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

I’m trying to think of something else that could be legitimately credited to Obama as an accomplishment. I’m not counting bills signed into law as an accomplishment because the work is done by the House, and all the President has to do is scribble his signature on the dotted line.

OK, I’ll give President Obama credit for two other accomplishments in 2009: he asked for and got Congress to spend trillions of dollars, and he read lots of speeches off teleprompters.

Can you think of anything else?

I’ve been thinking about race and racism for the past few weeks, and I have come to the conclusion that at its root, racism is the result of viewing people as groups rather than as individuals. For example, it is racist to believe that purple people are lazy, and green people are smart just because they are purple or green. But it’s not racist if you think Joe is lazy because he never does anything, or Jane is smart because she’s both a brain surgeon and a rocket scientist.

Here’s my working definition of racism: the belief that a person’s race is important in judging the superiority or inferiority of that person; also viewing everything through the filter of race. The idea that purple people are better than green people is a racist idea because it judges the groups based on their race classification only. And a professor of Green Studies who sees every real or imagined insult as an attack on him personally because of his Green color is likewise a racist.

The sad news is that we have not gotten past race and racism as a nation yet. As proof, I offer President Obama. He is often referred to as our nation’s first black President, but is he really? OK, ignoring the claim that President Clinton was our first black President, President Obama’s mother was white and his father was black. That makes Obama a half-and-half mixture of the two races. To identify him as black implies that the 50% of him that is black is more important than the 50% that is white. Another example is Tiger Woods. As Wikipedia puts it, he is “one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch.” But every time he is called black or credited as the “first African American to win a men’s major golf championship,” a value judgment has been made stating that the 25% of him that is black is of greater worth and mention than the other 75% of his ethnic makeup. That is a value judgment based on his race, and to my mind that is racist.

I don’t care about the President’s family background; I care about his stated goals and policies. I disagree with his plans for government control over more and more aspects of Americans’ lives.

Is this attitude racist? How could it be racist if my disapproval of Obama has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his far-left policies? But people on the left are crying “racist!” when people criticize or lampoon our Dear Leader. Don’t believe me? The left is now worried that calling Obama and his supporters “socialists” is now code for much nastier racial epithets. Here is MSNBC host Carlos Watson, making this claim:

The second half rambles off onto immigration, but here’s the part that shocked me. Watson is paraphrasing David Brooks:

More credible conservatives have to stand up and say that there is a line that has to be drawn, that there is a line of responsibility that’s important, and that extends to the words that we chose. Including how we use even legitimate words like socialist.

Words mean things, and it is quite accurate to label Obama and other Democrats as socialists as they are trying to take over the nation’s economy, but it is also accurate to identify his plans for government control of businesses, like banking and auto industries, as fascism. Are either of these words racist? If you say that they are, I have to ask you to point out how they target a specific race. I am left to believe that they may be considered racist words solely because they are used to target Obama. Consider the two images below.

Two Jokers

Both Presidents are being compared to the Joker character as portrayed by Heath Ledger in the recent Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.” But people are calling the poster on the left racist, while there was no outcry when the same thing was done to President Bush. The same treatment was given to both Presidents, but it’s virulent racism when done to Obama and mere good humor when done to Bush. I am led to believe that to the left, any criticism directed at President Obama is racist because it is directed at President Obama. That reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus:

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15

If someone sees everything through the lens of race, that person is a racist and nothing is pure to him. I look forward to the day, as did Martin Luther King, Jr., when we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. On that day we will have put racism behind us.

I wrote earlier about the duties of the Vice President as explained in the Constitution. So I figured it would be a good time to do the same with the President’s duties. Here is a breakdown of the duties and powers of the President of the United States, as outlined in the Constitution, specifically Article II, Sections 2 and 3:

  • Veto laws passed by Congress
  • Commander in Chief of the military
  • May require in writing the opinion of any of the heads of the Executive departments
  • Grant pardons and reprieves for any crime other than impeachment
  • Make treaties with foreign nations, subject to the Senate then ratifying the treaty
  • Appoint ambassadors, judges, and other appointments, subject to the Senate consent
  • Make appointments when the Senate is recessed
  • Deliver the State of the Union address
  • Recommend laws he’d like to see passed
  • Convene and adjourn the House or Senate
  • Receive Ambassadors or Ministers, like heads of state
  • Take care that all the laws are faithfully executed
  • Commission all officers of the United States

Those are the President’s duties. If you see the President doing something that’s not in that list, it is something he has taken on beyond what is called for in the Constitution. For example, where does it say that the President needs to work on the economy of the nation? Where does it say the President needs to institute state-funded health care? Both of these fall under the category of recommending laws he’d like to see passed. But while the President may propose anything he’d like, Congress is limited to what they are allowed to pass. Article I Section 8 expressly states what Congress may pass, and neither the economy nor health care are in any of the items.

For my friend who told me that President Bush wouldn’t hand over the Presidency today, I point out the blindingly obvious: he did. It’s what we do in the United States of America, as opposed to some third-world tin-pot dictatorship. Heaven help us if we ever fall into that category.

But as President Obama took the oath of office, he became the President of my country. No, I didn’t vote for him, and I will probably disagree with much of his agenda, but he will remain my President even while I disagree wholeheartedly with him.

That’s the difference between a mature conservative like myself and the hordes of immature liberals who spent the past eight years crying, “Bush ain’t my President!”

Since Nov. 4th, people have referred to Senator Barack Hussein Obama as “President-elect Obama,” but technically, that was wrong. You may have thought that America elected Obama as President on Election Day in November, but in reality, the voters only selected electors to the Electoral College. And it is they, on December 15th, who cast their votes making Obama the President-elect.

If you are a little bit unsure about the Electoral College, here is a fun School House Rock video that covers it:

Senator Barack Hussein Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States. And while I didn’t vote for him, he will be my President because he will be America’s President. This is what separates the left “Bush ain’t my President” and the right. We recognize that the office, if not the man, deserve respect. And so come January 20th, 2009, Senator Obama will become my President. And while he is my President, I will pray for him to make wise decisions and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So, several things need to be said:

  • The next person who tells me that Americans are racist will get laughed at full in the face by me. This election should put paid to the idea that American’s are horrible racists.
  • On that day in January, President Bush will hand over the reins of power to the newly-sworn in President Obama, contrary to what some people might think. One of the reasons why America is great is the way the presidency of this nation is handed off from one political party to another without bloodshed.
  • If you are ever a candidate for President, don’t concede the race until after all the polls have closed across the nation. Don’t do what President Carter did in 1980 and Senator McCain in 2008.
  • There will be no call for voter fraud investigation of ACORN by the new powers that be.
  • America will weather the coming socialist policies that President-elect Obama will champion, but I feel really sorry for the Iraqi people when he chooses to end the war there rather than win the war there. And while we have won the war, and won the peace, it’s not too late for Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory there.
  • I am so glad the election ads are over.
  • While the Fairness Doctrine bill may not be the first one handed off to President Obama to sign, it will be within the first five. That part of the First Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” won’t matter to the Democrats when they are ready to take revenge on talk radio. >
  • Any chance of the mainstream media of doing a good job of investigating President-elect Obama has just gone out the window.
  • But in the end, I will never have to worry about paying for gas or a mortgage ever again because Obama will be our next President.

There is an old saying that children should be seen and not heard. I’m guessing it comes from the Victorian era, but I would love to see it apply to American ex-Presidents, especially Democrats since they seem to have an especially hard time keeping their yaps shut. To prove the point, here is a comment made by one-term President Jimmy Carter while overseas:

Former President Jimmy Carter said on Friday the “atrocious economic policies” of the Bush administration had caused the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Carter told reporters on a stopover in Brussels that “profligate spending,” massive borrowing and dramatic tax cuts since President George W. Bush took office in 2001 were behind the market turmoil and economic crisis.

“I think it’s because of the atrocious economic policies of the Bush administration,” said the 84-year-old Democrat, who served in the White House from 1977-1981 during a period of high inflation and energy crisis.

First, former American presidents are just that: former. Think “has been” or “old news” to get the full picture.

Second, the current turmoil comes from housing problems, not spending, borrowing or tax cuts. To lay the blame at President Bush’s feet is naive at best, and utterly dishonest at worst.

Third, the housing problems we are currently experiencing can be traced to the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, signed into law by *drumroll* President Jimmy Carter himself. Granted, it took another Democrat president (*cough* President Clinton *cough*) to really get it rolling in 1995, with the added bonus of Democrat mismanagement in Congress to upgrade the housing problem from the “meh” level to its current status of “HOLY #$%@ COW!”

Finally, it is clear from President Carter’s comments that he doesn’t adhere to the standard that internal politics end at the nation’s shores. We can argue all we want at home, but once we go abroad, we close ranks and stand united as Americans. Seems he’s more than willing to score political points in a foreign land by repeating Democrat lying talking points.

So I’m for amending the old saying — children, and has-been Presidents, should be seen and not heard.

Two things came up this week that make me question the judgment of Democrat Presidential candidate, Senator Obama. First, he used a old phrase that has caught fire in the news.

“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink. We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

People say that he was talking about the Republican Vice President candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin, but Obama maintains that he was only using a common phrase, and not targeting her at all. I question Obama’s judgment because I see two possibilities behind this phrase:

A) Obama really meant to call Palin a pig, which is sexist language, even for a Democrat, and certainly poor judgment.

or

B) Obama really wasn’t thinking of Palin, but it is easily misconstrued by others to refer to her. He should have the good judgment to recognize how his words could be viewed by others.

In either case, Obama shows a lack of judgment in the use of this phrase.

The second thing that came up this week comes from Senator Biden, Obama’s Vice President candidate, as he was singing the praises of Senator Clinton.

“She’s a truly close personal friend, and she is qualified to be President of the United States of America. She’s easily qualified to be Vice President of the United States of America, and, quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.”

I love how Ace of Ace of Spades HQ summed up Biden’s comment:

Barack Obama’s judgment was that Joe Biden was the best possible vice presidential candidate.

Joe Biden says he’s wrong.

This was Obama’s first major decision as a would-be president.

He got it wrong.

Yes, Obama got it wrong. He got it wrong with his Vice President pick, and he got it wrong with using the lipstick on a pig comment. And if he is making bad judgment calls at this point in the election, what sort of judgment will Obama have in the midst of a high-pressure crisis while President? I shudder to think about it.

So, yes, I do question his judgment.