A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Mark Steyn gets to the core of why the mainstream media isn't covering the unfolding scandal that is our tax payer-funded gun-running scheme known to many of you as Operation Fast and Furious:
“In this case the government of the United States is the gunrunner,” Steyn said. “That is basically what is happening here. There would be no guns running to these Mexican cartels if the United States government hadn’t instituted a program to facilitate it.”
Steyn noted the lack of media outrage compared with other scandals in the past.
“Now real Mexicans are dead,” he continued. “Does the president of the United States, does his attorney general, does CNN, does The New York Times, does NPR — do they not care about dead Mexicans?
“I mean, forget the United States Border Patrol guys that were killed about these ‘Fast & Furious’ guns. Real-live, or previously live, citizens of third world countries — the kind of people that NPR, The New York Times claim to love — are dead because of this.”
“Why isn’t that a national scandal?” he pleaded. “This is absolutely a — Iran-Contra didn’t rack of that kind of body count. Watergate didn’t rack up that kind of body count. Sarah Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s mother, or whatever stupid story they were chasing around Wasilla for months, that didn’t rack up a body count. There were hundreds of dead Mexicans from a gun running program run by the United States.”
One needs to cross the border illegally into this country rather than merely being an innocent bystander in Mexico to be afforded any legal rights and protections and/or media sympathy here stateside.
While not endorsing the protests, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have expressed understanding of the movement that has spread rapidly across the country.
Mr Obama said people were angry because Wall Street had not been “following the rules”. His vice-president even compared the movement on Thursday to the Tea Party, the conservative movement which has upended national politics in the past two years.
Aside from a ham-fisted comment regarding the Occupy Wall Street set having no one but themselves to blame for being poor and jobless, Herman Cain hit the nail on the head by saying these protests were merely a distraction from the failed statist policies of the Obama administration... and Team O sure as hell knows this as they will exploit this movement for all it's worth. We wonder if the Occupiers know they're being played and if they do, do they even care?
Son of Porkulus update:
He has presented a $447 billion plan to jolt the economy by cutting taxes and increasing spending on schools, roads and other public projects. He has proposed covering the cost of that, and therefore avoiding another pile of public debt, in part by raising taxes on wealthier people and corporations.
Good to see the Associated Press got the memo.
Victor Davis Hanson believes he has the pulse of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
The Wall Street protests, as I understand them, seem to touch on the following themes:
● Restoring public campaign financing of presidential elections — mysteriously lost in 2008 — to curb Wall Street money; asking our politicians not to beg for cash from the likes of a quid pro quo BP or Goldman Sachs.
● Rejecting the high life and living more modestly and ecologically, avoiding nests of idle privilege like Costa del Sol, Vail, or Martha’s Vineyard, or vapid excesses like tens of thousands of dollars in trinkets around one’s arm or a single blouse that costs more than the monthly salaries of most Americans.
● Lowering our profile abroad by stopping targeted assassinations, renditions, and preventive detention, and closing Guantanamo.
● Asking why middle-class taxpayers should subsidize tuition loans for the elite at tony private colleges, while the masses go to State U at a fraction of the cost.
● Anger at crony capitalism, no doubt of the sort epitomized by no-income-tax-paying Jeffery Immelt’s GE or the insider fixers at Solyndra; equal anger at the “unearned” billions of those who — rather than making money at manufacturing, farming, drilling, or construction — make their living at money manipulation and speculation of the cutthroat George Soros type or high finance and insurance, which alone lead to obscene fortunes of the Warren Buffett caliber.
● Wondering why politicians float in and out of Wall Street, always ending up at lucrative private landing pads — like Peter Orszag at Citicorp — or looting millions on the way out in the manner of Franklin Raines. Why do our elites, in the fashion of a Larry Summers, bounce about high academia, high government, and high Wall Street, profiting and power-brokering along the way?
Again, there is such an incongruity to the OWS movement that it's baffling to us that otherwise intelligent middle-class white Sociology majors can't figure out that they're being used.
Images from the front:
Nothing says "I'm anti-corporate" like a cheap, mass-produced Halloween mask made in either a totalitarian state (China) or a "developing country" (Mexico). Oh yeah, Warner Brothers (a major corporation) "owns the rights to the image and is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask.”
Though we've been generally critical of the OWS movement, fellow SLOB W.C. Varones sees things a little differently:
The originators do not see Obama as part of the solution but as part of the corrupt, two-party Kabuki theater meant to distract the public while enriching the bankers. And they are right.
While much of the conservative media has dismissed the Occupy protests as a left-wing reaction to the Tea Party, they are wrong. Yes, the Obamunists are trying to co-opt the movement. But they may not succeed. The public is rightly outraged that the banks took over Congress and the Treasury, blew up the economy, then got bailouts and big bonuses. And Obama hasn't lifted a finger to change any of that or prosecute any of the crooks.
Conservatives should join, not condemn, the Occupy protests. Libertarians and End-the-Fedsters are already there.
B-Daddy has some thoughts on the OWS movement of which we are in general concurrence:
I am sympathetic to many of the complaints that motivate the Occupy Wall Street. Indeed, bailing out Wall Street and the banks with federal money was the initial event that inspired the tea party movement's beginnings in 2009. Unfortunately, OWS appears to be getting hijacked by the usual suspects on the left, the socialists, communists, labor unions and the Green party. This results in fundamental disagreement with those in the tea party on the means by which to end the injustice of government support for privileged corporations. When OWS protesters start talking about confiscation of wealth and trampling property rights, it reminds me of the horrors of the Russian revolution. However, the outrage that all citizens feel with a political class that looks first to the interests of itself, then of its large contributors is poignant and a basis for common ground.
Go to the link where he puts together some agenda items that he believes are common to OWS and the tea party.
Leslie at Temple of Mut has a great round-up of the Occupy San Diego event that went down this weekend.
Harrison at Capitol Commentary on Why it's OK you're not Steve Jobs.
Watched portions of the worst movie ever, The Big Chill, last night just to remind us of why we detest it so much: never in cinematic history has such a degree of pathetic self-absorbtive navel-gazing been gathered in a single 2-hour setting.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. We'll be back tomorrow.