And they wonder why voters are angry

As Mitt Romney assumes the role of presumptive Republican nominee, polls suggest a competitive general election matchup between the former Massachusetts governor and President Obama. Typically, both candidates poll in the mid-40s, while 10 to 12 percent remain uncommitted to either side.

Among these uncommitted voters, Rasmussen Reports polling shows that just 22 percent approve of the way the president is handling his job. Seventy-two percent (72 percent) disapprove. As for intensity, just 2 percent strongly approve, and 40 percent strongly disapprove.

At first glance, this seems like good news for Romney. These uncommitted voters will be difficult for the president to win over. But it raises another question: If these uncommitted voters are so unhappy with the president, why aren’t they already Romney supporters?

The data suggest that voters are less than thrilled with the choices they’ll have in November. The lack of enthusiasm for Romney among GOP voters has been well documented. Among Democrats, enthusiasm for their candidate is noticeably down, as well. Among young voters, for example, just 20 percent strongly approve of the job the president is doing.

Most young voters, of course, will still end up voting for the president just as most disgruntled Republicans will end up voting for Romney. But neither candidate connects well with white working-class voters. Romney has struggled to win over these voters in his primary contests, and Obama lost them to Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries. For many, Election 2012 is shaping up to be another choice between the lesser of two evils.

One reason can be found in the issue that stirred more political passion than any other over the past four years. The bailouts remain the most hated pieces of legislation in recent American history. They spurred both the Tea Party and the Occupy movements and convinced millions that a corrupt relationship exists between big government and big business. But both Romney and Obama are supporters of the bailouts. Given the public mood, it is almost beyond comprehension that neither party could come up with a presidential candidate opposed to the bailouts.

Read more here.

Mark Steyn: Liberals ‘conformity enforcers,’ ‘stupefyingly intolerant’

“‘Celebrate diversity’ — the great bumper sticker — actually means ‘celebrate stultifying homogeneity,’” Canadian best-selling author and columnist Mark Steyn said.

In an interview this week, Steyn railed against liberal “diversity”-speak and the lack of tolerance for traditional values.

“As you know, if you go to the average American newsroom you can have diversity of race, diversity of gender, diversity of orientation — everything except the only diversity that matters, which is diversity of thought,” he said. “And the left does not want to celebrate diversity of thought. They rage against so-called intolerance, yet they themselves are stupefyingly intolerant.”

“They are conformity enforcers,” he explained,” but they’ve co-opted all the light, fluffy, happy, smiley-faced buzzwords.”

“That’s the classic trick taught to us by Orwell explicitly in ’1984.’ People of a conservative disposition read that book and think he’s warning of a dystopian future. People of the left read it and use it as a manual.”

America: A Government Out Of Control

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have”
Thomas Jefferson

Are there really Neo-Nazis patrolling Sanford?

Not according to the Sanford police who, one would think, might have an inkling if “10-20 locals and volunteers” were riding around the small community armed and loaded for bear.

The idea that the Neo-Nazis had set up shop in Sanford came from a blog at the publication Miami New Times, and was based on an interview with some fanatic from Detroit who claims his storm troopers are patrolling Sanford to protect white people from a race riot.

Neo-Nazis are currently conducting heavily armed patrols in and around Sanford, Florida and are “prepared” for violence in the case of a race riot. The patrols are to protect “white citizens in the area who are concerned for their safety” in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting last month, says Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement. “We are not advocating any type of violence or attacks on anybody, but we are prepared for it,” he says. “We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over.”

Because nothing diffuses racial tension like gun-toting racial separatists patrolling an already on-edge community.

Schoep, whose neo-Nazi group is based in Detroit, tells Riptide the patrols are a response to white residents’ fears of a race riot.A group called the New Black Panther Party recently offered $10,000 for a citizens’ arrest of George Zimmerman, Martin’s shooter. Schoep said the bounty is a sign that “the possibility of further racial violence… is brimming over like a powder keg ready to explode into the streets.”

The patrols are comprised of between 10 and 20 locals and “volunteers” from across the state, including some from Miami, he added. He couldn’t go into specifics on what kind of firepower, exactly, the patrols had with them.

“In Arizona the guys can walk around with assault weapons and that’s totally legal,” Schoep said, referring to the group’s patrols of the US-Mexico border. “What I can tell you is that any patrols that we are doing now in Florida are totally within the law.”

What a great story. A real scoop. Except that the idiot blogger never confirmed the lying loony’s story with the Standford police – something William Jacobson did:

My initial e-mail (which included an embedded link to the Memeorandum thread):

“There are a number of reports in the media that Neo-Nazis are conducting armed patrols in Sanford. Can you confirm or deny whether this is true, and provide any information you have on the subject? If someone is able to get back to me as soon as possible (and before Monday) that would be appreciated, since such rumors are spreading.”

Response from Sanford Joint Information Center:

“At this time the City of Sanford has not confirmed the presence of Neo-Nazis groups.”

My follow up:

“You say “not confirmed.” Is there any indication of such patrols that the Department is aware of?”

Further Response from Sanford Joint Information Center:

“We have no indication of any such patrols at this point in Sanford. The only large gathering was the children and their parents at the Easter egg hunt.”

Read more here.

Government Surveillance Crackdown On Internet Goes Into Overdrive

In a New York Times editorial, former government cybersecurity czar Richard A. Clarke has called for the creation of customs checks on all data leaving and entering US cyberspace.

Clarke makes the call in relation to Chinese hackers stealing information and intellectual property from US firms.

“If given the proper authorization, the United States government could stop files in the process of being stolen from getting to the Chinese hackers.” Clarke writes.

“If government agencies were authorized to create a major program to grab stolen data leaving the country, they could drastically reduce today’s wholesale theft of American corporate secrets.”

While Clarke may well be coming at this subject well intentioned, the fact that government has a long history of attempting to crackdown on internet freedom and control the web will mean his words are a cause of concern for many.

“Under Customs authority, the Department of Homeland Security could inspect what enters and exits the United States in cyberspace…” Clarke continues.

“And under the Intelligence Act, the president could issue a finding that would authorize agencies to scan Internet traffic outside the United States and seize sensitive files stolen from within our borders.”

We have seen with the recent attempts to pass legislation such as SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA, that the federal government is hell bent on skirting around legal oversight in order to seize more control over web content and communications.

While those particular bills have more of a focus on copyright protection, there is a huge move afoot to use the issue of cybersecurity as a means to crack down on the free internet.

The Obama administration is going all out to muster support in Congress for a bipartisan cybersecurity bill co-sponsored by Republican Senator Susan Collins and Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman and Democratic Senators Jay Rockefeller and Dianne Feinstein.

Critics contend that the bill contains several provisions that represent a sweeping power grab on behalf of the federal government.

A measure recently added to the bill by Collins and Lieberman, and supported by Obama, would empower the Department of Homeland Security to conduct “risk assessments” of private companies in sectors deemed critical to U.S. national and economic security, forcing them to comply with expensive mandates to secure their systems.

ISPs AT&T and Comcast have denounced the provision, declaring that federal oversight will stifle innovation.

Read more here.