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Just Asking: Items and Questions About What is Going On

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

A porridge of items and questions about what is going on....

Question: Is would-be Times Square terrorist bomber Faisal Shahzad talking to federal authorities because he was water-boarded? If not, would (should?) those authorities have water-boarded him had he otherwise refused to talk?

Item: President Obama has tasked a new "bipartisan" commission to report to him by December 1 regarding how to reduce the deficit -- now $13 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the federal spending blowout of the past year will push the deficit annually upward by $1 trillion for the next decade. How refreshing it would be if the deficit commission recommended not "bipartisan" tax increases and a new (dreaded) value-added tax (VAT), but substantial spending reductions.

Michelle Malkin

Question: If Arizona had passed its measures regarding illegal immigration in the administration of Bush 43 (President Obama is the 44th president), would mainline mediaists (etc.) be ripping the president for failing to get Arizona's message -- i.e., that by failing to secure the nation's borders, particularly with Mexico, the feds had effectively forced the Arizona legislation in the interest of Arizonans' safety?

Question: Further, would they be ripping Bush for offering no constructive solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, and for terming the legislation and Arizona itself -- and Arizonans, and Arizona's governor for signing the measures -- "misguided" and "irresponsible," as Obama has?

Question: How would other countries treat a couple of Americans illegally within their boundaries, and without papers -- let alone 12 million (the estimated number of illegals here)?

Item: In his Easter message about Christianity's premier celebration, President Obama played down the occasion's Christian significance. In the spirit of a more secular humanism, he called on those of all faiths, as well as atheists, to "hold fast to those aspirations we hold in common as brothers and sisters, as members of the same family -- the family of man." And: "While we worship in different ways, we also remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all." O-kay.

Item: In his Saturday radio address nearly two weeks after the April 20 disaster and loss of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig, Obama said not a word about the Gulf of Mexico blowout -- termed by Investor's Business Daily "an Exxon Valdez-sized calamity on steroids." Instead, he urged limiting the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction in campaign finance reform -- a reaction to his detested court ruling in the Citizens United case.

Item: They raked President Bush unmercifully for not being a serious adult -- for being slow to visit the Gulf Coast during Katrina (just as, earlier, they raked him for being slow to return to Washington from Florida on 9/11). The day before Obama's Citizens United radio address, and two days before his belated visit to the Gulf Coast, he -- among other things -- hosted U2's Bono in the Oval Office. Barack, you're doing a heckuva job.

Question: Will Deepwater Horizon prove to be Obama's Katrina?

Item: The spending, debt, and deficit problems confronting such countries as Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain (the PIGS), are driving down the value of the Euro and raising questions about the viability of the European Union. Likewise, many American states and cities -- running huge deficits, facing staggering unfunded mandates such as Medicaid and ObamaCare, and their retirement plans showing massive unfunded liabilities (California's plan, e.g., shows a shortfall of half-a-trillion dollars) -- may be raising similar questions about the viability of the American federal system.

Question: With polls showing their voter-approval ratings near historic lows, why are the president and his Democratic thinkalikes pressing forward with unpopular legislation to slap more regulations on large companies and financial houses, tax carbon (global warming), fiddle further with campaign-finance laws, and raise taxes across the board?

Item: The president, recalling no one perhaps quite so much as a preening adolescent, makes a very big deal about the need for rhetorically calming down, modulating, at least sounding moderate -- you know, depersonalizing and not being so much in your face. Avoid name-calling and partisan rants, he says. And don't "throw around phrases like 'socialists,' 'big-government,' and 'Soviet-style takeover.'" Such rhetoric limits discourse, he says, threatens the spirit of compromise, and poses serious dangers to American democracy.

Item: High-tone talk. Yet the President himself undermines his own argument with his polarizing, alienating, ad-hominem intimidation of -- let's see: the Supreme Court (for its ruling in Citizens United), Massey Coal, critics of ObamaCare (especially corporate critics), Sarah Palin, Fox News, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, British Petroleum, Anthem Blue Cross, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, tea-partiers, "fat-cat bankers, and Arizona -- among other moderates and conservatives.

Item: For instance, in his September address to Congress on health care, notes The Wall Street Journal, the president "did not merely disagree with opponents but accused them of being 'cynical and irresponsible,' spreading 'misinformation,' and making 'bogus,' 'wild' or 'false' claims through 'demagoguery and distortion.' "


Question: When was the last time you ran into someone who in November, 2008 -- with his vote -- bought into Barack Obama and his congressional Democratic cronies, but who now is confessing to buyer's remorse?

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