It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.

The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”

Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

Read more here.

ObamaCare lies keep on coming

The evidence continues to mount that much of what critics found wrong with ObamaCare was spot on while the administration either lied or failed spectacularly in gleaning the unintended consequences that would result from its passage.

Michael Tanner writing in the New York Post:

Does President Obama have any idea what’s in his own health-care reform law?
Since he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a bit more than 100 days ago, the president has given a number of speeches and interviews in which he continues to say things that, well, just aren’t so. Just last Friday, he told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the law “not only makes sure everybody has access to coverage but is reducing costs.”

Wrong on both counts.

The bill doesn’t come close to giving “everybody” access to coverage. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 10 years from now there will still be at least 21 million uninsured Americans. That’s an improvement over today, but it’s a far cry from the universal coverage that Obama once promised.

And nearly half of the newly covered aren’t getting access to true health insurance but are being added to the Medicaid program, with all of its attendant problems of access and quality.

Indeed, access to health care may be about to get harder. The RAND Corporation reports that the new law may result in severe overcrowding and longer waits in emergency rooms.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warn that some of the mandated cuts in Medicare could result in the closing of up to 15 percent of US hospitals.

Higher costs, longer wait times, inferior care – every nightmare scenario envisioned by Obamacare critics is coming true. But Obama won’t care; he will either be out of office or on his way out the door in 2014 when the bulk of his monstrosity becomes active.

A food czar coming to your city soon?

“There’s no department of food, federally or statewide,” laments Holly Freishtat, Baltimore’s food czar, in the Boston Globe . Not yet anyway. Michelle Obama’s efforts to insert government between your fork and your mouth may lead to a federal Department of Food someday. The effort however is already underway at the municipal level; according to the Globe, Baltimore and “other major cities have begun hiring food czars to help combat some of the ills of urban life.”

The City of Boston has recently joined the eat your broccoli brigade, creating the $75,000/year (plus benefits) position of “Food Policy Director” with an “ambitious agenda…to help increase access to fresh eats and expand opportunities for urban farming.” Baltimore has similar goals:

One of Freishtat’s first efforts in Baltimore has been pushing for changing city law to allow for urban farming, an initiative she calls “zoning for zucchinis.”

Cute name, but it’s not clear to me how growing zucchini will “combat the ills of urban life.” Put down that ho, pick up a hoe?

And is it really a good idea to devote urban space to small-scale food production? I thought greenies were against urban sprawl, that the most efficient model was a densely populated urban core, surrounded by open space and agricultural land.

Food czars also believe in the redemptive power of farmers’ markets-healthy “local” food brought into “food deserts” by organic farmers who care about the holistic nature of food, in stark contrast to industrial food conglomerates. Harvesting vegetables in cities like Boston and Baltimore is however, one might say, highly seasonal. Corn doesn’t grow well in January in Cambridge, and outdoor markets aren’t much fun in the winter either. As a result, the government subsidizes expensive local produce for two months, competing with local grocery stores that supply us year-round.

But at least we feel good about ourselves, and governments get yet another opportunity to control our lives.

Muslim Beheads Wife, Claims Victim Status

In February 2009, Aasiya Z. Hassan, a 37-year-old Muslim woman, was founded decapitated in Orchard Park, N.Y., a village near Buffalo. Her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, admits that he beheaded his wife. Yet now, in a bizarre turn in the case, Muzzammil Hassan has claimed that he was the real victim in the case, driven to murder his wife after enduring years of her emotional and physical abuse.

The case stands as a classic example of the universal tendency on the part of Islamic supemacists and jihadists to blame everyone but themselves for what they have done.

In a larger sense, Muzzammil Hassan’s attempt to claim that he was actually the victim of the woman he beheaded is exactly like the jihadis blaming American foreign policy for the global jihad, and is related to the campaign to get the West to “stop linking Islam with terrorism.”

Islamic jihadists link Islam with terrorism with consistency and religious fervor, but if a Western non-Muslim notices this, he is “hateful,” “bigoted,” “Islamophobic,” “ignorant of Islam,” etc. Never would the Muslims who accuse non-Muslims of “hate” for “linking Islam with terrorism” ever look to themselves, see the responsibility for the link as being within the Muslim community rather than outside it, and challenge those jihadists instead.

Read more here.

Tea Party Express Blasts Umbrella Group After Split Over Blog

JUNEAU, Alaska — An official with the Tea Party Express on Monday blasted its expulsion from a national coalition over its refusal to oust a former chairman who satirized the NAACP in a controversial blog posting.

The political action committee that raises money for Republican candidates was booted from the National Tea Party Federation for refusing to rebuke spokesman Mark Williams, whose posting referred to NAACP president Benjamin Jealous as “Tom’s nephew and NAACP head colored person.”

Tea Party Express coordinator Joe Wierzbicki said it was “arrogant and preposterous” for the federation to expel his group.

“Circular firing squads of groups within the tea party movement attacking one another accomplish nothing, and on this issue the Tea Party Federation is wrong,” he said in a statement.

The friction highlights fault lines within the loosely jointed tea party movement, which has no formal organization or bylaws. Internal squabbling could weaken its political clout, and it comes at a time when the NAACP and other have sought to discredit the movement.

The tea party — thousands of community groups that promote limited government, free markets and other conservative and Libertarian principles — has resisted any notion of centralized control.

Other Tea Party Express officials tried to distance the group from Williams but stopped short of expelling him.

Williams “may speak on behalf of us in some circumstances, in some situations, and we may agree on some things,” Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said during an appearance in Anchorage to help U.S. Senate hopeful Joe Miller. “This is not one of the things that we agree upon.”

Read more here.

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