Thursday Links

Wow!  Lots of good reads out there today.

The GOP may want to read these articles before they try to recapture the Town Hall momentum from August, which was never theirs to begin with:

Tea Parties: Misunderstood and Vastly Underrated

Who I Met at the Tea Party: A Veterans Day Tribute

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Barry’s Afghanistan Strategy:  Vote “present”.

The bottom line is Barry O is looking for a way to do nothing while appearing to do something, and looking for somebody to throw under the bus when it fails, because quite honestly I don’t think he wants us to succeed.

288.  That’s the number of U.S. causalities in Afghanistan in 2009. 

Or  277, if you prefer.  That’s the U.S. casualty count in Afghanistan since Obama was inaugurated on 1/20/2009.  Those aren’t just abstract numbers.  Read a list of the dead here.   iCasualties roster includes casualties from other countries as well: total dead 468, YTD. 

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Daniel Henninger on Why Fort Hood Really Happened.  Beyond the problem of political correctness, it was a problem of confusion .  And confusion leads to indecisiveness and inaction, which then leads to death.  

The confusion is also a consequence of the Liberal/Leftist/Progressive/Democrat insistence on politicizing everything in American life.  

Comments from Jonah Goldberg, at the National Review:

We have a real problem when much of the political and journalistic establishment is eager to jump to the conclusion that peaceful political opponents are in league with violent extremists, but is terrified to consider the possibility that violent extremists really are violent extremists if doing so means calling attention to the fact that they are Muslims.

I am more sympathetic toward this reluctance to state the truth of the matter than are some of my colleagues on the Right. There is a powerful case to be made that Islamic extremism is not some fringe phenomenon but part of the mainstream of Islamic life around the world. And yet, to work from that assumption might make the assumption all the more self-fulfilling. If we act as if “Islam is the problem,” as some say, we will guarantee that Islam will become the problem. But outright denial, like we are seeing today, surely is not the beginning of wisdom either.

I have no remedy for the challenge we face. But I do take some solace in George Orwell’s observation that “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

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Harry Reid ditching Cap-n-Trade to focus on a job creation bill?  True, it would be a tacit admission that the Generational Theft Act has been an utter failure.  But what are the odds of Reid & Co. getting it right the second time around?  They still cling to the notion that government can successfully manipulate the economy and create jobs.   Can you see this power hungry group of control freaks doing anything that might actually help the economy?  Lower taxes, perhaps?  Reduced government interference?  Getting the hell out of our lives and letting us go about the business of generating business? 

No, let’s increase taxes for Americans most likely to actually create jobs in order to pay for Obamacare.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Speaking of Obamacare…

Ben Nelson punts on the question of the Constitutionality of forcing Americans to purchase health insurance.

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Obama Administration Intends to Purge Republicans From the Civil Service

Sound a little paranoid?  The policy change is effective 1/1/10, and is retroactive for the last five years. Much ado about nothing?  No, not really.

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Unions are at it again. 

Labor unions pounced on the idea of a new jobs bill as a way to include several provisions that were cut out of the $787 billion stimulus package in order to placate a trio of Republican senators.

Keep in mind an executive order Obama signed in Feburary:

In his order, Obama calls for project labor agreements (PLAs) to be used, when the cost to the federal government exceeds $25 million. PLA’s are set up as multi-employer, multi-union, pre-existing agreements designed to harmonize labor relations between construction trade unions and contractors. 

This is a must read from Stephen Spruiell:  Unholy Union Why is the SEIU boss the White House’s most frequent visitor?

Andy Stern may have the President’s ear, but all is not well in SEIU-land as it’s union versus union.

But it’s not all bad news; there may be hope for California:

This week, the ordinary American citizens known as Tea Party Patriots— the pesky nemesis of power-drunk, spendthrift politicians—have laid down a gauntlet, building on the momentum of the protests in towns all across America as well as the 1+ million Tea Partiers who took part in rallies across the country on September 12th.

Making the transition from single-event political protest rallies to a sustained political activism campaign, the Tea Party Patriots have filed an initiative to appear on the November 2010 ballot in California.  The initiative is the first official act within the true grass roots’ political activism platform we’ve titled “The Citizen Power Campaign”.

What is the first target the Tea Party Patriots’ ‘Citizen Power Campaign?’

The heart of the political machine that is bankrupting the once Golden State: politicians extracting money from taxpayers to increase the size of government and the recipients of this largesse, the public sector union bosses rewarding these politicians with generous campaign funds. This is  a rigged game where public sector union bosses amass hundreds of millions of dollars each year in political war chests to finance candidates and liberal causes that neither the rank-and-file union member not the public at large would otherwise support.   It has created a situation where no politician, Republican or Democrat, can stand up to the enormous power and influence that taxpayer money is being used for—often against the best interests of the taxpayers!

The Tea Party ballot initiative will create a constitutional amendment making it illegal for the State of California to forcibly extract monies from public employees to give to unions for political activities.

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Finally, if you’re looking for a good fictional read, John Miller’s The First Assassin, looks promising (check out an excerpt here).  Aside from the story – it’s based on a relatively unknown, alleged conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln - the publishing mechanics Miller uses are pretty revolutionary. 

Rather than follow the usual path of knocking on publishers’ doors, Miller is striking out on his own.   Not only is he the author, he is also the publisher and publicist.  The First Assassin  is only available online through a print-on-demand service which is a subsidiary of amazon.com.  For most of us, the easiest way to get our hands on a copy is through amazon.

Unrelated:  While poking around Miller’s website I came across an article of his I remember reading  in National Review, earlier this year:  L’Amour and Reagan.  I confess I’ve never read one of L’Amour’s books, but just the mention of his name brings a smile to my face, along with fond memories of my grandfather, who always had one or two L’Amour’s paperbacks sitting on the table next to his recliner.

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