Texas Governor Rick Perry raised a few eyebrows recently when he used the “S” word in public. Secession, he said, was always an option on the political table as far as Texas was concerned.
In the New Republic, writer Alvaro Vargas Llosa tears into Open Veins of Latin America, the anti-market book that Hugo Chavez handed to President Obama when they met at a summit last week:
President Obama marked the 94th remembrance day for the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Turks during World War I. As a candidate, Obama called the killings genocide. On a trip to Turkey as president last month, he shied away from that description.
This may not seem like much, but it is a ballsy move on the part of President Obama to call what happened an “atrocity.” However, it’s not ballsy enough. Why is Obama unwilling to use the g-word now that he is president, while, as a senator, he called for President Bush to recognize Turkey’s crimes by sponsoring the Armenian Genocide Resolution?
Apparently, we’ve forgotten the Nuremberg Trials. If it is wrong, it is wrong. The excuse of “I was just following orders” cannot justify the torturors.
Attorney General Eric Holder said:
It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department,
President Obama said:
For those who carried out some of these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance that had been provided from the White House, I do not think it’s appropriate for them to be prosecuted.
That is the question asked by Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. Besides noting the obvious anti-tax and anti-big government rhetoric, Silver notes a few subtle shifts in policy:
— Republican insiders are increasingly uncertain about whether gay marriage, which was such an important issue for the party over 2000-2004, is any longer a winning issue at all for them. Reaction to the Iowa Supreme Court decision was surprisingly muted in conservative circles. Meanwhile, at least one prominent Republican presidential candidate, Utah’s John Huntsman, has come out in favor of civil unions (although not gay marriage itself).
It should not be terribly surprising that Earth Day was first established by a U.S. politician. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) was the driving force behind the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. I suppose I’m not terribly surprised that the government maintains an official Earth Day website at EarthDay.gov - from the site:
President Barack Obama saved the taxpayers from 15 minutes of government spending, according to Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union:
“The federal government spends a total of $100 million approximately every 15 minutes of the year,” Pete said. “What Mr. Obama is doing is basically telling his departments, ‘Come up with enough spending cuts to give the taxpayers an extra 15 minutes.’”
“That is a drop in the bucket,” he said.
Back during the presidential debates, Obama wanted perspective on earmarks by saying they were a small part of the budget:
President Obama is asking for budget cuts from his Cabinet:
President Obama plans to convene his Cabinet for the first time today, where he will order members to identify a combined $100 million in budget cuts over the next 90 days, according to a senior administration official.
The budget cuts, while they would account to a minuscule portion of federal spending, are intended to signal the president’s determination to cut spending and reform government, the official said.
Obama’s order comes as he is under increasing pressure to show momentum toward his goal of eventually reducing the federal deficit, even as he goes about increasing spending in the short run to prop up the economy and support his priorities.
Over at Michelle Malkin’s group blog Hot Air an informal poll was taken of readers, asking their views on whether or not the federal government should legalize marijuana. The results were a little surprising to me. 48% said yes, 13% said yes but that states should ban or put limits of their own on the drug and 39% said no. While a substantial amount opposed legalization, altogether 61% said they support reform of some kind.
One of the biggest holes within mainstream Republicans’ espoused support of free markets is their perpetuation of the military industrial complex. Whole towns in this country revolve around the military, including service jobs on bases, office jobs and weapons manufacturing in addition to soldiering. That sort of collective governmental dependency makes the large cities of their Democratic counterparts look laissez-faire in comparison.