We’re winding down on another year. Much like recent years, 2011 represented challenges for liberty and the Constitution. These hurdles came from all sides, including the Obama Administration and Republicans in Congress, and we are ending the year a little less free than in 2010.
Below is a recap of some of bigger stories of the year that were covered here at United Liberty (though a couple are thrown in for fun). Thanks for reading in what was a record breaking year for this blog. We appreciate the readership and hope you’ll keep coming back in 2012
Happy New Year!
— The Death of Osama bin Laden (Jason Pye): On Sunday, May 1st, word broke that the White House had called notified the press of a major announcement. You could tell that it was a significant event since the president was making such a statement late on a Sunday evening.As you probably remember, wild speculation started almost immediately as many people said that it could have only meant a couple of things, either we were going to war or Osama bin Laden had finally been captured.
Around 11pm, President Barack Obama told Americans that, after nearly 10 years after murdering nearly 3,000 innocent people, Osama bin Laden was dead. Bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group, al-Qaeda, was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by a group of Navy SEALS at a compound that he had lived in for five years.
I have watched (somewhat in disbelief) the episode with Congressman Weiner unfold. When discussing it with friends, I initially argued that somebody smart enough to get elected to Congress would be smart enough to not to post those certain types of photos online – or at the very least would be clever enough not to do it from his official Twitter account.
But I was wrong. As my dad would say, common sense is apparently not too common.
In case there are others who insist on misbehaving online and who could benefit from a lesson in common sense, here are some things you should consider to obfuscate your real identity:
For the last two weeks the media has gorged on a non-stop litany of stories concerning the single most important issue facing our nation. Would that be the “unexpected” reports of almost non-existent private sector job growth and an economy that, despite Obama’s reassurances, may be on the brink of a double-dip recession? No. Is it Obama’s violation of the War Powers Act with our continued “kinetic military action” in Libya? Nuh-uh. Maybe it’s Sixth Circuit’s review of the ObamaCare case (nope) or the Federal Reserve’s warning that the political body must act responsibly in order to stave off an economic collapse? Wrong again.
Based on the 24-hour saturation in the news cycle and the sheer number of stories written and aired, clearly the most important issue facing our nation is that a skinny New Yorker with an incredibly overinflated sense of his own worth had to finally admit, after days of vehement protests to the contrary, that it was indeed he who sent the lewd photographs of his genitalia, as well as sexually charged and explicit texts, to college-aged women. These women, who include a porn star, are young enough to be his daughters.
And so unravels the scandal of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), possibly the most obnoxious and arrogant member of Congress now that former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) was defeated in the last election. Weiner, considered a rising star in the Democrat Party and a likely candidate to be the next mayor of New York, instead is tearfully admitting to the nation his indiscretions which have been going on for several years, and with at least a half dozen women. Watching his fall from glory, a Brooklyn-born Icarus plummeting towards earth, the proverbial wax of his wings melted by his own flaming ego, it is hard not to feel just a little sorry for him…at least until you remember that these indiscretions occurred both before and after his marriage to his wife Huma, who is now pregnant.
Whether it is the disastrously foolish economic policies of the Obama administration, the frightening Big Brother infringements upon our privacy rights, or the endless stories of political corruption and abuse of power, it often seems as though the America of just a decade ago might as well be a nation on another planet. The problem is, unless sane and educated people (as in, with a depth of knowledge of history, NOT the effluent that passes for education in so many schools and colleges today) stand up and vocally point out that the inmates have taken over the asylum, things will only continue to get worse.
A few recent examples:
Obama claims progress has been made on the jobs front, with the most recent jobs report showing 162,000 new jobs created in July, and the official unemployment rate dropping another 2/10ths of a point. What was curiously absent from his self-adulation was any mention of the fact that the 162k number was below the 175k economists had expected, and far, far below the number of jobs needed to actually improve job growth and the economy.
Diving deeper into the BLS (Bureau of labor Statistics) report, we find that, of the one million or so jobs created since January, only 220,000 were full-time, meaning an astounding 78% of all new jobs created this year have been part-time. It should also be noted that the small drop in the unemployment rate is, as has been the case since Obama took office, the fact that many Americans have simply given up hope of finding a job, and are no longer counted against the government’s official unemployment rate.
In related economic news, the city of Detroit recently became the largest American city to ever file for bankruptcy. Laughably, despite the fact that Detroit has been on a six-decade long run of exclusive rule by liberal Democrats, these same Democrats now claim the failure of Detroit stems from Republican policies.
As polls indicated since Friday, Bob Turner defeated David Weprin yesterday in the special election in New York’s Ninth Congressional District to replace scandal-plagued Anthony Weiner; picking up a seat for the GOP in a traditionally Democratic district:
Republican Bob Turner won a special election Tuesday in a New York City congressional district that has been held by Democrats for nearly a century — an upset that delivers a stinging rebuke to President Obama and his party.
Just before midnight, the Associated Press called the race for Turner, a cable television executive with no prior political experience. He and his supporters had billed the contest against Democrat David Weprin as a referendum on Obama.
“I am the messenger,” Turner said as he claimed his victory. “This message … will reverberate into 2012.”
Turner’s stunning win in New York’s 9th Congressional District is an ominous sign for the president. It came on the same day that the president’s party suffered a rout in another special congressional election in Nevada, and in a district where Democrats hold a 3-1 registration edge. Obama won NY09 by an 11-point margin in 2008 but his weak poll numbers there now appear to have dragged down his party’s nominee. Turner becomes the first Republican to hold the Queens and Brooklyn-area seat since 1923.
Bob Turner, the Republican running to fill the seat left vacant by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), may just pull off a huge upset over David Weprin, according to new polling out of the district. On Friday, Siena College released polling showing Turner with a 6 point lead and hitting 50% in the race.
NY-09: Bob Turner v. David Weprin
- Turner: 50%
- Weprin: 44%
- Don’t know: 6%
Turner is running away with 65% of independents. Weprin is taking 27% of the coveted voting bloc. Turner is also taking 30% of Democrats. Last month, Weprin held a 48/42 lead over Turner; and was doing much better among independents.
What happened? The National Journal explains:
Discontent with Washington and the president is at the heart of Turner’s shocking upset bid. In a district he won by 11 points just three years ago, Obama’s favorability rating is now upside down in the Siena poll, with 54 percent having an unfavorable opinion of Obama and only 43 percent viewing him favorably. A remarkable 38 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents hold an unfavorable view of the president.
Voters have a more positive view of Turner than they do of Weprin. Turner’s favorable/unfavorable ratings are in the black (48 percent favorable/34 percent unfavorable), while voters are split evenly on Weprin (41 percent favorable/41 percent unfavorable).
Voters believe Turner is running the more positive campaign, leading Weprin on that question, 43 percent to 32 percent. Correspondingly, a plurality of likely voters believe Weprin’s campaign is more negative.
David Weprin, a Democrat running to replace the House seat left vacant by Anthony Weiner, has no idea how in debt we are as a nation. The New York Daily News editorial staff recounts their discussion of this issue with Weprin from a recent meeting:
Daily News: “Right now, how big is the debt?”
Weprin: (Pause) “Trillions.”
News: “But how many?”
Weprin: (Deer in headlights look.) “I got caught up on this once before,” referring to his inability while running unsuccessfully for city controller in 2009 to state that office’s budget.
News: “This is central to what is going on in Washington.”
Weprin: “About 4 trillion.”
News: “Four trillion is the debt?”
Over at Reason, Peter Suderman notes via Roll Call that Weprin’s staff says it was a “slip of the tongue.” Uh, sure. Weprin gave the figure. They called it back to him, as you can see, making sure $4 trillion was the number he gave, and Weprin agreed.
The national debt is over $14.6 trillion. Needless to say, Weprin was off. The Daily News’ editorial board was perplexed that Weprin could be so dense (they were also unimpressed with Bob Turner, the Republican running race)
[T]his man is telling voters he is ideally suited to participate in finding solutions to America’s yawning annual deficits and crushing debtload? It’s no wonder Weprin inhabits a fantasyland in which, he says, bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq alone “will go a long way to reducing the deficit.”
There was some shouting on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday as Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) slammed Republicans and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) for opposing a bill that included funding to 9/11 first responders. Incidentally, this is the same bill that included the repeal of the 1099 provision in ObamaCare.
Of course, the reasons Republican voted against the bill was because of how Democrats wanted to make up the revenue from repealing the 1099 provision.
If you haven’t seen it, this is how you throw a tantrum on the floor of the United States House of Representatives: