Friday, August 29, 2014

Downfall XXIV: Obama’s Strong Approval/Disapproval Worse Than 2010

Yes, I haven’t been posting much in the Downfall series lately.  With Obama’s approval numbers stubbornly staying at or above 40% in spite of all his enormities, I’ve wondered what it could take for Obama and allied Democrats to be stripped of their power.  And at times I’ve also gotten rather discouraged about the persistence of his support.   Frankly, it still disturbs me.

But a poll I’ve read this morning reveals that if one goes deeper into the numbers, revulsion against Obama is at politically dangerous (for him) levels.  Gallup has looked at the percentages of those who “strongly approve” and “strongly disapprove” of Obama.  Go look at the numbers for yourself.

What I find most interesting is that while strong disapproval of Obama is only modestly higher than in 2010, strong approval is much lower, from 27% in May 2010 to only 17% now.  Therefore, strong disapproval of Obama roughly doubles strong approval.

Of course, the 2010 midterm elections were not good for Obama.  But these poll numbers are significantly worse now before this November’s midterms, particularly since those with a strong opinion about the sitting president are more likely to vote.

Now this does not guarantee a wave election turning Obama into a very lame duck (which I would consider a Downfall, by the way).  Congressional disapproval is remarkably high for one thing.  But on that, one must remember that said disapproval includes disapproval of the Democrat Senate and of Establishment Republican Speaker Boehner’s weak approach to confronting Obama.  Further, Republican Senate candidates appear to be politically stronger than in 2010.  And this time it is some of the Democrat Senate candidates who appear off the deep end, e. g. Amanda Curtis in Montana, or have foot-in-mouth disease, e. g. Bruce Braley in Iowa.

Still, leave it to establishment Republicans to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.  They have already so alienated the conservative Republican base that the base is not nearly as enthusiastic about voting as they could and should be.

But with 39% strongly disapproving of Obama and only 17% strongly approving, a wave election may come in November anyway.

Downfall is an ongoing series anticipating and tracking what I expect will be the the possible self-destruction of Obama.
The first post may be found here.  The series may be found here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yale’s Episcopalian Chaplain Blames the JOOOOS for Anti-Semitism

Yes, those - those - JEWS have the gall to defend themselves!  They do not just tolerate incoming missiles and give away their land to enemies.  No wonder there is a rise in anti-Semitism!

To the Editor:
Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

Yep, anti-Semitism is Israel’s fault.  Got it.

Anti-Semitism always has its excuses.

The Rev. Shipman is the Episcopalian Chaplain at Yale in case you could not tell already.

Proof That Something Really Is Wrong With Democrats

I am not known for having an especially high view of Democrats.  But a YouGov poll shocked even me.  So much so that I looked into the innards of it and checked YouGov’s record of accuracy.  And if there is something wrong with said poll, I have not found it.

Yes, yes, I know, on with it.  The poll that shocked me had 66% of Democrats approving of the indictment of Rick Perry.  As I’ve mentioned, the indictment is an outrage, raw political retaliation for Perry exercising his legitimate veto power in a manner displeasing to the Democrat Travis County DA.  Heck, it is Democrat retaliation for Rick Perry being Rick Perry, a strong Texas Republican Governor.  It is prosecutorial misconduct worthy of the Soviet Union or Putin’s Russia.

But about two-thirds of Democrats are fine with it.  I can be charitable and assume that most of those two-thirds are not informed enough to realize just what they are supporting.  But this still indicates a tendency to support abusing prosecutorial power to go after political opponents pretty much because they are political opponents.   These sort of people would fit in very well in the old Soviet Union.

I have never been a moral equivalency type.  But the Obama years have really brought home to me that it is not o. k. to be a Democrat, particularly since there is hardly any room left anymore in that party for a traditional conservative Democrat.   And the vast majority of Democrats still support Obama in spite of his regime using the power of the Federal government, particularly the IRS, to go after political opponents.  The Rick Perry indictment is not the only case of Democrats supporting the illegitimate use of raw government power to suppress political opposition.  There really is something wrong with Democrats, dangerously wrong.

Yes, I can and should try to be decent to them and love them even, as Jesus commands.  Yes (in case you are wondering), I still support their constitutional political rights, even as they greatly abuse them and attack my rights.

Yes, we all have something wrong with us – man is fallen and deeply flawed and sinful.  And it is wrong for me to have a superior attitude, as I do at times to my shame, because my sinful tendencies are different than someone else’s.  And, yes, someone can be a good person while still have areas that need working on like anger (mine), laziness, or being a Democrat.  Wisdom is often to appreciate the good qualities in people and overlook the shortcomings.

Those of us engaged in politics, particularly Christians during such a divisive time as this, need to remember the above lest we become downright noxious and harm our relationships.

But I refuse to pretend being a Democrat is o. k. any more than pretending that anger, laziness, or any other sin is o. k.  This poll confirms something really is wrong with Democrats.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So Those “Lost” Lois Lerner E-mails Aren’t So Lost After All

You may remember that the Obama Administration, particularly his current IRS Commissioner, has done a long song-and-dance that Lois Lerner’s e-mails were lost in a hard drive crash.  And – gosh, we’re sooooo sorry – we cannot recover them.  (Not to mention all the other perp’s hard drives that have crashed.)

Well that song-and-dance is being exposed as “a big lie.”

'The Department of Justice attorney told the Judicial Watch attorney on Friday.' Fitton said during a Monday afternoon Fox News broadcast, 'that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there is a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating.'

The catch, he added, is that the DOJ attorney also claimed 'it would be too hard to go and get Lois Lerner's emails from that backup system.'

The Justice Department is representing the federal government in the lawsuit.

'So everything we've been hearing about scratched hard drives, about missing emails of Lois Lerner, [and] other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration,' Fitton told Fox, 'it's all been a pack of malarkey.'

'They could get these records, but they don't want to. And they haven't told anyone about it, frankly, until we were able to get it out of them on Friday.'

'And there's no such thing as Lois Lerner's missing e-mails,' he insisted. 'It's all been a big lie. They've been lying to the courts, to the American people and to Congress.'

And this practically cries out for indictments for Obstruction of Justice, if not Perjury, particularly of said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

It also begs the question of why is the Obama administration engaging in such efforts to keep Lois Lerner’s e-mails from the courts and Congress, inviting the wrath of both.  I strongly suspect her e-mails would damn the White House for being behind the IRS targeting of conservatives.  Why else would the Obama regime take the risk of such a brazen cover-up?

Speaking of cover-up, the IRS wiped out Lois Lerner’s Blackberry, which also contained her e-mails.  And that months after Congressional investigations of IRS targeting began.

The Instapundit has it right – “gangster government.”  But the “mainstream” snooze media?  Nothing on this.  Nothing to see here.  It seems ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN are in on the cover-up, too.

The next thing I expect is for the Obama regime to plead that the back-ups of Lois Lerner’s e-mails are somehow “lost,” too.  And the snooze media will ignore that as well.  You can bet money on it.

Ah, I remember when the news media made a big deal about Richard Nixon’s missing 18 minutes of tape. 

But that administration was not Democrat.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Shrink Your Church in One Easy Step

The Federalist has a very helpful article on “How to Shrink Your Church in One Easy Step”.  Of course, informed readers already know that step:

… A number of Christian denominations have already taken significant steps towards liberalizing their stances on homosexuality and marriage, and the evidence so far seems to indicate that affirming homosexuality is hardly a cure for membership woes. On the contrary, every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.

I don’t want to steal Alexander Griswold’s thunder, so do go read.  He summarizes what has happened to several denominations that are going full rainbow.  But his summary of changes in North American Anglicanism particularly warms my heart.  And to avoid unseemly gloating, I better conclude with said summary:

In 2002, the number of baptized U.S. members of the Episcopal Church stood at 2.32 million.  By 2012, that number had fallen to 1.89 million, a decline of 18.4 percent. Meanwhile, attendance has fallen even more steeply. Average Sunday attendance in its U.S. churches was 846,000 in 2002, but had fallen 24.4 percent by 2012 to only 640,000. Other signs of congregational liveliness have fallen even further. Baptisms have fallen by 39.6 percent, and marriages have fallen by 44.9 percent.

As for the ACNA? It’s seen its membership rise by 13 percent and its Sunday attendance rise by 16 percent in the past five years. Since 2009, the ACNA has planted 488 new congregations. In 2012, the entire Episcopal Church managed to plant four new churches.

Ferguson Summarized

Ed Driscoll passes on a perceptive summary of what is transpiring surrounding Ferguson, Missouri:

There seems to be a pattern: 1) unarmed young black guy is shot, 2) there is a vast media outcry over the young “honor student’s” death, 3) family provides photos of the dead guy taken when he was 11 years old, well before he had opted for the ghetto thug look, 4) it comes out that the “honor student” has been committing felonies, 5) witnesses say the honor student was beating the hell out of the person who shot him, 6) Democrat politicians call for the shooter’s conviction, and 7) prosecutors, fearing rioting, black voters, or what have you, prosecute the shooter anyway.

Having closely watched the Trayvon Martin case, there seems to be a pattern indeed.  On no. 5, the reports I mentioned yesterday that Michael Brown was severely beating the policeman have been confirmed.

But that hasn’t kept Democrat Governor Nixon from prejudging the case and (no. 6) calling for the policeman to be prosecuted.  As Thomas Sowell notes,

On the eve of a grand jury’s being convened to go through the facts and decide whether there should be a prosecution of the policeman in this case, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has gone on television to say that there should be a “vigorous prosecution.”

There was a time when elected officials avoided commenting on pending legal processes, so as not to bias those processes. But Governor Nixon apparently has no fear of poisoning the jury pool.

Eric Holder is on this, too.  And if you think he is doing so for the sake of peace . . . well, you just go ahead and think that.  But do consider that his people that he has on this case have a well documented record of anti-police activism and prosecutorial misconduct.

Prosecutorial misconduct also seems to be becoming a pattern in cases like this. coughAngelaCoreycough

Can you say, “Here we go again?”

But this time, with Obama and Holder getting so involved and with the rioting and looting continuing (and being tolerated) for so long, the backlash could be hell to pay.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ferguson: So Who’s the Victim Now?

In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, there has been a lot of jumping to conclusions that this is the case of a bad cop killing an innocent unarmed young Black man.  Not to mention the portrayals of Brown as a “gentle giant”, etc. 

But then we saw footage of him robbing a store and manhandling the owner just before the shooting.  And then there were reports that he was coming after the cop when he was shot.

And now there are reports (which I am not in a position to confirm) that the cop sustained severe facial injuries.  It appears Brown smashed the policeman’s eye socket.

The more that comes out, the more the Bad Cop vs. Young Black Victim narrative seems not to be applicable here.

Now I am not going to jump to conclusions either.  There are conflicting versions out there of what happened.  But the race-baiters should be called out for jumping to conclusions and feeding the unrest in Ferguson.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The “Ridiculous” and Outrageous Rick Perry Indictment

Those who followed my twitter feed over the weekend know I can get a good rant on about the indictment of Rick Perry.  But I will try to keep this to a readable length.  As any number of good lawyers can tell you, the indictment is absurd.  The veto is part of a Texas governor’s powers, and threatening a veto is part of expected political give and take.  One prosecutor has even called out the prosecutor who talked a grand jury into the indictment:

The indictment against Perry is such a groundless, utterly shameless criminalization of politics that the prosecutor, Michael McCrum, and Travis County as a whole should be mercilessly mocked, insulted, and made to feel the pain for supporting officials willing to run the criminal justice system like a banana republic. Here is the letter that Patterico, an prosecutor himself, sent to McCrum:

Mr. McCrum,
You should be deeply ashamed of yourself. This prosecution is a joke. It is perhaps one of the most outrageous abuses of power by a prosecutor I have heard of in years. I'm a prosecutor myself - writing you on my own and not speaking for my office - and I just want you to know that your actions tar good prosecutors everywhere. Thank God you never became U.S. Attorney. I hope you lose quickly and are drummed out of public life in disgrace.
Patrick Frey
Los Angeles

Even a number of left of center people have spoken out against this indictment.  David Axelrod called it “pretty sketchy.”  Alan Dershowitz is outraged by it.  And Jonathan Chait even wrote a piece entitled “This Indictment Of Rick Perry Is Unbelievably Ridiculous”.

Which it is.  But some Democrats still have no shame and are cheerleading this travesty, namely scumbags Jim Messina and Joaquin Castro.

This indictment is part of a pattern of Democrats engaging in bogus prosecutions to take down opponents.  It is more worthy of Putin’s Russian than of America.  It also part of a problem that transcends politics – the willingness of too many prosecutors to indict for reasons other than justice and evidence.

Travis County, Texas, from whence the Perry indictment comes, has a shameful history of being a part of both patterns.  I remember that past Travis Co. DA Ronnie Earle’s indictment of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison pretty much got thrown out of court.  The trial lasted about 30 minutes with the judge instructing the jury to give a directed verdict of Not Guilty.  (I’ve never been a fan of Hutchison, by the way.)  And Earle’s conviction of Tom Delay was thrown out, but not after destroying Delay’s career.

As for the current Travis County DA, she is a corrupt drunk, convicted of DWI. (She was three times the level limit.) She should have been convicted of resisting arrest as well.  The purported reason Perry was indicted is he threatened to veto public integrity funds for her office if she did not resign.  She did not, and he did.

I thought vetoing funds to corrupt partisan power-hungry drunks is good government.  I guess to some Democrats, it is a criminal offense.

Or is standing up to Obama and running for the Republican nomination for President the real criminal offense here?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Simon & Schuster Reject Book About Bergdahl to Protect Obama

Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, has rejected a book by soldiers who knew him about Obama’s favorite disserter Bowe Bergdahl. (Remember that Bergdahl is the one Obama gave up five high-level dangerous Taliban to retrieve.)  The reason for the rejection of the book?  To protect Obama.

Don’t take my word for it.  Senior Editor Sarah Durand said so herself:

“I’m not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends,” Sarah Durand, a senior editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, wrote in an email to one of the soldiers’ agents.

“[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote, “and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’” — a reference to the group behind a controversial book that raised questions about John Kerry’s Vietnam War record in the midst of his 2004 presidential campaign. (Durand did not respond to requests for comment. “We do not comment about our editorial process,” said Paul Olsewski, vice president and director of publicity at Atria.)

Lately, big publishing houses have been whining about how the internet, particularly Amazon, has been eroding their business.  But after decades of dealing with Big Publishing as an author, after seeing some of the crap they do chose to publish, and after reading stories like this, my response to said complaints from the publishing houses is . . .


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Brief Note on Praying for the Dead

The tragic death of Robin Williams may prompt, as it does in me, the desire to pray for him even after his demise.  Is it appropriate to do so?

I would say yes.  God is not confined by time, nor by life and death.  So if we desire to pray for the dead, it is good to do so with trust that God will answer with his grace that transcends time and life and death.

Certainly, through the centuries, a lot of questionable practices and beliefs have gotten attached to prayers for the dead.  But I still think the instinct to pray for the dead is a good one and one which honors God’s transcendence over what for us are the barriers of time and death.

And it is a way our own love can reach over those barriers.

The Criminal Obama Regime Cover-up and Democrat Silence

Yes, I said it.  Someone has to.  The Obama Administration is a criminal regime.  It has gotten to the point where Obama deserves to be impeached under RICO statutes.

We are now up to 20 Obama Regime officials who have “lost” e-mails.  At least most of them were under investigation, and all are under federal law mandating retention of e-mails. What are they hiding?  What evidence did they destroy?

In the case of Lois Lerner, it is safe to assume that using the IRS, FEC, and God knows what else to attack and muzzle Obama’s political opponents is being covered up.  Have we become a Third World banana republic?

And that is not the only way Obama’s people are obstructing investigations.  Forty-seven – that’s FORTY-SEVEN – Inspectors General have signed a letter decrying Obama Regime obstruction of their access to Fed records.  The letter states:

Each of us strongly supports the principle that an inspector general must have complete, unfiltered, and timely access to all information and materials available to the agency that relate to that IG’s oversight activities, without unreasonable administrative burdens. The importance of this principle, which was codified by Congress in Section 6(a)(1) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (the IG Act), cannot be overstated. Refusing, restricting, or delaying an IG's access to documents leads to incomplete, inaccurate, or significantly delayed findings or recommendations, which in turn may prevent the agency from promptly correcting serious problems and deprive Congress of timely information regarding the agency’s performance.

It is now clear that the cover-up of Obama Regime criminality is systematic and cuts through numerous Fed agencies.

But where are the Democrats?  Under Nixon, several Republicans insisted that the truth be found out about his administration, and it was Republicans dropping their support of him that prompted him to resign.  But today’s Democrats?

The question is, where are the Democrats in the face of this obvious malfeasance?

During the Watergate scandal that brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon, a few Republicans came forward and urged the president to come clean. Yet, the silence is deafening from Democrats in both the House and Senate in the wake of this obvious obstruction of the congressional oversight function.

Where are the patriots on the Democratic side, who are willing to stand up to an executive branch that has declared them inconsequential?

The Democrats' partisan acquiescence to Obama's declaration of war against congressional prerogatives sets the precedent that future presidents can hardly be faulted for following. A precedent that makes a mockery of the legislative branch and brings into question why we bother even providing office space for Congress at all?

With 20 Obama officials from all over the government losing critical emails, one wonders what, if any, is the threshold for Democratic outrage?

When are the Democratic Party and their elected officials going to put our nation ahead of partisanship?

If the past few years are any indication, I'm not holding my breath.

Neither am I.  But if Obama and his thugs finally get the justice they deserve, the Democrats who were silent and even cheerleaded the criminality (e. g. Demorat Senators Schumer, Franken, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, and more urging IRS muzzling of conservatives) will deserve every bit of the political fall-out and more.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The Archbishop of ACNA on ISIS Genocide

Over the weekend, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, Foley Beach, issued an excellent statement about ISIS genocide against Christians.  I will let his statement speak for itself.  But I particularly appreciate his calling out government and media leaders on their looking the other way:

As Christians in the West, it is appalling how most of our government leaders and the secular press have been silent.  It is a genocide and humanitarian crisis of the likes we have not seen since WWII.  We must not be silent!

I am also thankful that we have an Archbishop who is not afraid of straight talk about the predations of Islamonazis.

His statement in full follows.

Greetings in the Name our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  May God grant you the abundance of His Grace as you follow Him day by day!

If you have been paying attention to what is happening in the Middle East in recent months, you will note that those who are Christians are being brutally murdered, women and girls raped and forced into marriage, experiencing all kinds of torture, and hundreds of thousands have been forced out of their homes and countries.  We are seeing communities who date to the 1st Century with their Christian presence being totally annihilated and killed.  Historic churches, holy sites, and tombs are being completely destroyed - all in the name of Allah.

In Syria many of our brothers and sisters are engulfed by an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Areas of Aleppo that are home to around 400,000 Christians have been besieged and surrounded by the rebels for months. Many Christians have become malnourished owing to shortages and skyrocketing prices of food and other essentials. Access to water, electricity and communications is very limited.  Hundreds of thousands of other Syrians have fled to Jordan where they are living in poverty and confined in tent cities and cardboard homes.

In Iraq hundreds of thousands of believers have fled their homes, reducing the Christian population to a quarter of the size it was in 1990. Many took refuge in Syria or Lebanon, while others are internally displaced in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, which once provided relative peace and stability. But Iraqi Christian refugees are no longer safe in Syria, as anti-Christian violence threatens all Christians in the country, while Iraqi Kurdistan is now also seeing escalating tensions; Christians also struggle to find work to support themselves there.  Recent events in Mosul have seen the city's Christian population totally exterminated by murder or the evacuation of Christians.  Pictures of heads of Christians hanging from telephone wires, crucifixions, and other acts of brutality are heart-wrenching.

This brutality is being led by a group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).  Their goal is to reinstate the Islamic caliphate and rule the whole of the Middle East and eventually the world by Sharia Law. Their tactics are pure evil, and they will stop at nothing to accomplish their purposes.

I am writing asking you to do several things.  As Christians in the West, it is appalling how most of our government leaders and the secular press have been silent.  It is a genocide and humanitarian crisis of the likes we have not seen since WWII.  We must not be silent!

1) Would you join me in prayer for our sisters and brothers?  Would you in your personal prayers and in the Prayers of the People pray for those being persecuted, those doing the persecuting, and for a solution?  Would you pour out your heart in prayer and fasting before God on their behalf? See attached prayers.

2) Would you call or write your government representatives and ask them to do something to help the situation?  They will not attempt to help if they don't think you care.  Right now, they don't think you care.

3) The following ministries are engaged in helping refugees. Please offer them your prayers and support.

•             Barnabas Fund -- "The mission of the Barnabas Fund is to support Christians where they are in a minority and suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith."
•             Voice of Ishmael (via Commission to Every Nation) -- Bringing hope that changes communities in the Middle East and North Africa.
•             Christ Church Jerusalem - Ministering to Refuges of the Crisis. Please write "Iraqi refugees" in the memo line.

Please join me in interceding on behalf of our Christian sisters and brothers.

Your brother at the Foot of the Cross,
The Most Rev. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America

Sample Prayers
Heavenly Father, we bring before you today the people of Syria and Iraq, asking you to be their defender and help in their time of need. Walk with them in their suffering and loss, and give them strength to face the days ahead.  We pray for release of the captives and freedom for those held hostage.  We pray for your intervention against the violence and evil against your people. We pray for your provision for the hungry, the homeless, and the bereaved. We pray for you to help your people who are called by your Name, Jesus' Name, and it is in His Name we ask these things.  Amen.

From the Book of Common Prayer:
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Edited from the Book of Common Prayer:

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you, especially in Syria and Iraq; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Is the IRS Hiding Monitoring of Pulpits?

I am hesitant to post on this topic.  First, I am in a fog due to allergy medicine.  Second, I am having trouble finding information as to exactly what is going on.

But this is important enough that my alert readers should be . . . alerted.  There are reports that the IRS has struck a deal with an atheist group to increase monitoring of pulpits for political content.

Perhaps one reason details are hard to come by is that the IRS is hiding them.  In fact, the Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a Freedom of Information request to find out the details.

Given the record of the IRS, especially under Obama, there is every reason to distrust and watch them on this closely.  And if readers find out more, please feel free to post in the comments.

I will say that there may be a good explanation from the IRS.  And Satan may be just misunderstood.