Briefs: Stern, Meek, Fan & Fred, the Fighting Sioux, Etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Jun 24, 2010 12:01 AM
Briefs: Stern, Meek, Fan & Fred, the Fighting Sioux, Etc.

Brief comments on a garden variety of issues in the news....

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to compel you -- or anyone -- to buy an electric toothbrush? What about a hula hoop? Rutabagas or Twinkies? A robotic vacuum cleaner? No? Then where do Congress and the Obamians get off saying the Constitution authorizes them to compel everyone to buy health insurance?

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Pollsters at the Pew Research Center asked 1,500 adults to use one word to describe their current view of Congress, now with about a 25 percent approval rating -- "just the first word that comes to mind." The most frequently volunteered response: dysfunctional. Others with a strong frequency rating: corrupt, self-serving, self-centered, selfish, self-absorbed, inept, confused, incompetent, ineffective, lazy, bad, suck(s), crook(s), crooked, disappointing, gridlock, deadlock, idiots, idiotic, slow, mess, messed-up, messy, lousy, terrible, disorganized, unorganized, divided, good, not good, stupid, children, childish, childlike, do-nothing, failure, inadequate, greedy, joke, jokers, partisan, socialist, useless, worthless, bull(expletive), chaos, clowns, frustrating, horrible, inefficient, liberal, liars, money-hungry....

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Newly-elected pols tend to do some good things, some bad. Among the more intelligent actions by Virginia's new governor, Bob McDonnell: he deleted from public employee health plans several million dollars in state funding for coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs.

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A leading Iranian mullah has located the cause of "earthquakes" in the promiscuousness of "many women who do not dress modestly (and) lead young men astray." So should we dismiss, as well, the blandishments offered by similar Iranian lofties about their peaceful intentions for the nuclear weapons they are now (the CIA says) capable of building?

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Glenn Beck

Andy Stern recently announced his retirement (after 14 years) as president of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU), government's leading union by membership. Visitor logs released by the White House in October showed Stern to have visited 22 times in the first nine months of the administration, clearly making him a favored Obamian ideological soulmate. So the President has named Stern to a federal commission weighing how to reduce the fast-rising federal deficit. He's an apt choice, having told Congress he believes "we need more...deficit spending."

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Stern also has said, elsewhere, that "workers of the world unite is not just a slogan anymore; it's a way we are going to have to do our work." He neglected to mention that workers of the world unite is a "slogan" (better, a call to the barricades) coined by that foremost advocate of deficit spending for the damage it does to capitalism -- Karl Marx.

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Here's one: Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek is the Democratic nominee for the same (Florida) U.S. Senate being sought by Republican Marco Rubio and former Republican (now independent) Charlie Crist -- the state's governor. To defeat the dread Republican Rubio, will the Democratic Obama administration support Crist and ditch Democrat Meek -- the single serious African-American candidate for the Senate this year?

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Bulletin: The Hillary Clinton State Department, evidently believing profoundly that American taxpayers should pay any price to showcase -- in Italy -- the work of American artists and architects, has committed $450,000 for two exhibitions in Venice. Says a deep-thinking State Department spokesman: "The U.S. presence at the (54th) Venice Biennale, one of the world's premier art and architectural fairs, is a demonstration of our commitment to engage with the world in the realm of culture and ideas." OK -- but for nearly half-a-million dollars?

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America grows its defense spending at about 3 percent annually, while each year China grows its defense spending by 15 to 20 percent. Why? And so: Is China friend -- or foe?

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President Obama proposes in his 2011 budget to increase by 59 percent (to $1.4 billion) the outlay for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which includes AmeriCorps. Will the principal products of this boondoggle be government-financed community organizers -- or federally funded car-washers? Last June, the administration fired AmeriCorps' inspector general after he opened an investigation into the use of AmeriCorpsmen to do such things as wash the car of a presidential friend.

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The other day, the New York Stock Exchange delisted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, those federally backed mortgage lending companies so responsible for so much of the turmoil in real estate markets nationwide. The reasons for the delisting are no secret: Now effectively run by the federal government, Fan and Fred are incompetent. They're (a) in hock to the government for $145 billion in bailouts (and counting), and (b) long protected by Sen. Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank -- two foxes drawing up yet another federal bill to rehabilitate the nation's financial regulatory chicken coop.

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North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has issued a fatwa stripping the University of North Dakota of its sports teams' nickname and logo -- the Fighting Sioux. Among those outraged by the board's actions, and distinctly uninterested in smoking any peace pipe: UND's students and North Dakota's Sioux themselves. Never mind, says the all-knowing board; in these sensitive days and times, Fighting Sioux is politically incorrect and has to go. In contrast to, oh, you know -- the Washington Redskins.