Tom Archives

Why Cops Tend to be Conservatives

An interesting observation from Jack Dunphy (not his real name), a police officer in Los Angeles:

Cops tend to be conservatives, perhaps because they spend the bulk of their day dealing with the consequences of failed liberal policies.  Whatever liberals you might find in the department can mostly be found, like the absent cubicle dweller discussed above, in bureaucratic assignments that keep them safely shielded from the hazards of actual police work, and from those pesky consequences.


Another Way to Measure Disaster’s Impact

There are all sorts of ways to measure the impact of natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes but I had never heard of the Waffle House Index:

When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.

First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the “Waffle House Index.”

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.

“If you get there and the Waffle House is closed?” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has said. “That’s really bad. That’s where you go to work.”

As the article explains, Waffle House goes to great lengths to remain open all the time. They have what is arguably one of the best disaster plans I have ever seen.

Hats off to the folks at Waffle House for going to such tremendous lengths to make life a little more normal for those affected by disaster.

Photo of the Day

Three minutes, two teleprompters.

The photo tells the whole story.

If President Bush had done something like this, well… know the rest.

Best. Ad. Ever.

Hats off to Concerned Women of America for coming up with a humorous way to address the very serious debt crisis our country is facing. This is without a doubt one of the most clever ads I have ever seen.

Hat tip: Ed Morissey

As We Celebrate Independence Day

We should reflect upon the life of the forgotten Founder, John Adams, who made independence possible.

Because This Is Working So Well For The NFL

The NBA follows the NFL’s example and heads for a lockout.

In both cases, you have millionaire team owners and players trying to figure out how to divide up billions in revenue.

Ain’t professional sports great?

Anthony Weiner and the Case for Limited Government

Scott Ott has posted a terrific column today on how the Anthony Weiner scandal makes the case for smaller government. Here’s a sample:

Constitutional Conservatives should sit down this day and write a “thank you” letter to Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY-9th) for proving, once again, that size matters.

Rep. Weiner, through his scandalous, adulterous, perverted, deceptive, and slanderous behavior, dramatized the wisdom of the Constitutional doctrines of enumerated powers and checks and balances more effectively than any think-tank white paper, talk show rant, or polemical essay could do.

Like the prophet Isaiah, walking about naked to foreshadow the coming exile of the Egyptians and the folly of Israel’s trust in her opportunistic ally, Rep. Weiner’s self-disclosure has graphically illustrated the need for smaller, limited government.

However, while Rep. Weiner should become a poster-child for the battle against large, centralized, unaccountable, bureaucratic government, he must not become an isolated exception. He’s not a freak. He’s the norm.

You see, the great risk to the Right in the midst of this sumptuous feast of Schadenfreude is that we would see it merely as Weiner’s problem, or as simply indicative of the moral vacuity of the Democrats or of the Left. It’s much more important than that. Weiner has a handicap that is shared by every lawmaker, and every voter.

Weiner is not an aberration. He typifies Congress, because he is human. And for that reason, we must move rapidly to restrain his ilk from the dangers posed by their restless, reckless, covert humanity … and by ours.

He also correctly analyzes the President’s own attitude towards the Constitution:

Mr. Obama longed for a constitution that would specify what the government “must do on your behalf.” Predictably, he wants to centralize control of our housing, banking, health care, automobile, petroleum, education, charity, and other formerly free enterprises.

As smart as Mr. Obama may be, the dullest wit in the convention of 1787 and the subsequent state-by-state ratifying conventions would put him to shame. They knew that because power is so tempting, and the concentrated consequences of transgression so devastating, we should not put all of our eggs in one basket.

By restraining the federal government to a few, specific functions, and setting it up with checks and balances, and yes, negative liberties, we mitigate the harmful effects of human nature. Smaller government is also easier to monitor, and error and evil harder to hide.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Never Forget

67 years ago today one of the most daring military operations was launched at Normandy. President Ronald Reagan had just the right words to mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary:

We should never forget their sacrifice.

Related: A Great and Terrible Day.

Also related: A Pure Miracle, war correspondent Ernie Pyle’s account of the invasion.

And, General Eisenhower’s D-Day speech.

Weekend Links

Some links of interest for your weekend reading:

Four words: He made it worse.

Making a case for tort reform.

The candidate who can win.

Time to end Medicare.

Baseball players are better athletes.

HHS to Indiana: Pay for Abortions Or Lose Medicaid Funding

The Indianapolis Star has the story:

Federal officials said Wednesday that the new Indiana law cutting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood violates Medicaid rules — a determination that could cost the state millions and possibly even billions of dollars.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services informed state officials by letter that it was denying Indiana’s new Medicaid plan because states can’t pick and choose where recipients receive health-care services.

What happens next is, at best, a guess. But almost certain is that it will add fuel to a legal and political battle likely to be watched closely across the nation.

An HHS official would not comment on what happens if Indiana does not change its law, though one possible ramification would be withholding funding.

Indiana relies on about $4 million in federal Medicaid family planning funds and more than $4 billion in total Medicaid dollars.

Sounds like gangster government at work here. From the same report:

Anti-abortion activists challenged the Obama administration’s interpretation of federal Medicaid policy, saying they believe states do have authority to defund Planned Parenthood and called the letter a strong-arm tactic.

“We’re not surprised by it,” said Indiana Right to Life Legislative Director Sue Swayze. “This is the most pro-abortion president we’ve ever had. It almost feels like they’re bullying the state of Indiana over the wishes of our legislative branch.”

President Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, said, “(HHS) Secretary (Kathleen) Sebelius is strong-arming states like Indiana to protect the administration’s powerful ally Planned Parenthood.”

According to the Associated Press report, Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller intends to continue defending the statute.

Planned Parenthood is already challenging the statute in court. The actions of HHS will only add another layer of litigation to this battle.

Hat tip: Jonathan Adler

The Useful Idiocy of Polling

Polls are commonplace these days and are often reported on as if they are actual factual snapshots. Joe Carter provides some useful analysis on why polls are pretty much worthless:

Although opinion polls are often treated as if they were harmless detritus of the news-cycle, they are powerful tools for promoting overconfidence and slip-shod reasoning. Take, for instance, two of the worst types of polls—those that purportedly measure “favorability” and the “job approval rating” of politicians such as the president and members of Congress. Such polls might be useful if the general public were aware of the president and legislators’ duties, and if we could appeal to a single, objective standard to judge polls’ relevance and faithfulness to truth. But we don’t. Instead, polls create an illusion of assurance, allowing us to fool ourselves into thinking we have precisely quantified our vague qualitative judgments.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

It’s The Little Decisions That Matter Most

I had already put Frederick Kempe’s Berlin 1961 on my list of books to read based on this review in the Wall Street Journal. But then I read this quote which makes me want to read it even more:

“I want Americans to understand how the decisions of their presidents — then and now — shape world history in ways we don’t always understand at the time of a specific event. I want readers to know that Kennedy could have prevented the Berlin Wall, if he had wished, and that in acquiescing to the border closure he not only created a more dangerous situation — but also contributed to mortgaging the future for tens of millions of Central and Eastern Europeans. The relatively small decisions that U.S. presidents make have huge, often global, consequences.”

Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds

America and Israel

Walter Russell Mead has a fascinating essay on what went wrong last week for President Obama in his latest attempts to move the Middle East peace process forward. The whole thing is worth reading. But the most striking passage comes at the end when Mead turns his focus onto what makes the relationship between America and Israel so special:

As the stunning and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Congress showed, Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth.  Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul.  The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism.  The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America.

It means more.  The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race.  For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

Being pro-Israel matters in American mass politics because the public mind believes at a deep level that to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America and pro-faith.  Substantial numbers of voters believe that politicians who don’t ‘get’ Israel also don’t ‘get’ America and don’t ‘get’ God.

Hat tip: James Taranto

What Leadership Looks Like

In a speech that has been referred to as Churchillian, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a powerful address to Congress and provided a clear example of what true leadership looks like.

There’s no doubt that this is the kind of leadership that Americans are craving. As Hugh Hewitt notes, ” No teleprompter is necessary when you believe what you say and have history, law and morality on your side.”

As Republicans consider who to nominate to run against President Barack Obama next year they should look closely at the field and ask “Who is our Netanyahu?”

Meet Herman Cain

Before last week’s Republican debate in South Carolina, a lot of people probably hadn’t heard of Herman Cain. But he made a big splash at the debate and as a result support for his candidacy is growing. Still, not a whole lot is known about him other than he was once the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Over at National Review, Robert Costa has an excellent profile of Cain that is worth reading. I’m not going to venture a guess about his future prospects but I will say that I’ve been intrigued about him since the debate and this article helped shed some light on who he is and why he could be the type of candidate that we need for President.

 Page 2 of 11 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »