"Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants." --Alexander Hamilton
"Barack Obama has a new composite girlfriend, and her name is Julia. Her story is told in an interactive feature titled 'The Life of Julia' on the Obama campaign website. ... As a toddler, she's in a head-start program. Skip ahead to 17, and she's enrolled at a Race to the Top high school. Her 20s are very active: She gets surgery and free birth control through ObamaCare regulations, files a lawsuit under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and pays off her student loans at a low interest rate. We get updates at age 31, 37 and 42 -- and then the narrative skips ahead 23 years when she enrolls in Medicare. Two years later, she's on Social Security, at which point she can die at any time. ... [N]othing happens to Julia between 42 and 65. That period includes the typical peak earning years -- the time at which, assuming Julia is gainfully employed, she will be paying the biggest price for 'Obama's' generosity. ... The most shocking bit of the Obama story is that Julia apparently never marries. She simply 'decides' to have a baby, and Obama uses other people's money to help her take care of it. ... In 1999 Lionel Tiger coined the word 'bureaugamy' to refer to the relationship between officially impoverished mothers of illegitimate children and the government. 'The Life of Julia' is an insidious attack on the institution of the family, an endorsement of bureaugamy even for middle-class women." --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto
"Alas, Team Obama has omitted a few milestones from the life of Julia." --National Review's Kevin D. Williamson, who has them covered here.
For the Record
"I don't know what's creepier. The idea that Julia owes her entire life to government beneficence -- or that Barack Obama is an integral part of Julia's life from the time she's a small child until at least age 42. ... And then there are the inconvenient facts. Like the fact that Head Start has demonstrated no useful improvement in a child's educational future. The fact that our public schools have become an international embarrassment. The fact that Obamacare may be declared un-Constitutional, or the fact that this administration has a miserable record of job creation -- or the fact that funds underwriting Julia's retirement and medical expenses won't be there because the trajectory of the Obama administration's current spending habits leads inexorably to national bankruptcy. ... On to Composite Girlfriend. CG was a character from the president's 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father. Progressives are very angry that some folks finally noticed -- as opposed to noticing in 2008 -- that the president, in a book ostensibly about his life, decided to combine several women into one Composite Girlfriend, to 'move the narrative along,' as it were. ... Mr. Obama is certainly entitled to write any kind of book he chooses. What he is not entitled to do is run roughshod over some pretty clear-cut definitions separating non-fiction, aka facts, from fiction. There is another clear-cut definition for such an effort. It's called 'lying,' and lying is something this president does with an almost pathological ease." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy got beaten in his re-election try by Socialist François Hollande. According to the International Herald Tribune ... Hollande is 'seen as a challenge to the German-dominated policy of economic austerity in the Euro Zone, which is suffering from recession and record unemployment.' In Germany, President Angela Merkel's party was spanked in a regional election in the northern part of the nation. ... To add to the anti-incumbent fury in Europe over the weekend, there were parliamentary elections in Greece on Sunday which, again according to the IHT, plunged Greece 'into political uncertainty after voters bolstered the far left and neo-Nazi right in a wave of protest that saw the crushing defeat of the dominant political parties they blame for Greece's economic collapse.' ... The continuing sense of unease around the world is beginning to show itself at the ballot box. If the major parties -- on both sides of the Atlantic -- don't begin to show they can come together on programs [to] alleviate those economic fears we may see wholesale changes in local, state, and federal offices here as well." --columnist Rich Galen
Opinion in Brief
"Most presidents have talked about cutting spending, but few succeed because Congress holds the power of the purse and is reluctant to give it up. ... To borrow a song from the musical, 'Annie Get Your Gun,' commercial ventures should look at government and say about many of its functions, 'Anything you can do, I can do better' and then they should be allowed to do it. The model for this could be the government of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. During her time in office, she privatized many industries and utilities previously owned by the government because she believed, correctly, that the private economy could do a better and less expensive job of running them. Her philosophy, mostly absent from the film 'The Iron Lady,' was: 'We should not expect the state to appear in the guise of an extravagant good fairy at every christening, a loquacious companion at every stage of life's journey, and the unknown mourner at every funeral.' Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney could follow her example by challenging the country to look deep inside its Puritan DNA and rediscover the principle of what might be called the three L's: limited government, liberty, and living within our means." --columnist Cal Thomas
"America is different because it is uniquely dedicated to the universal principles of human liberty: that all are fundamentally equal and equally endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our government exists to secure these God-given rights, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed. Our Constitution limits the power of government under the rule of law, creating a vigorous framework for expanding economic opportunity, protecting national independence, and securing liberty and justice for all. ... American policy must not be driven either by the naïve notion that we can rid the world of tyranny and remake other nations in our image or by foolish claims that we can somehow withdraw from the world and isolate ourselves from threats to our sovereignty and independence. The better course -- consistent with constitutional government, under which elected leaders have an obligation to act in the best interests of the people they represent and on whose behalf they exercise power -- is to focus on America's vital national interests in light of its principles, maintaining the United States' freedom of action while prudently advancing liberty in the world." --Heritage Foundation's Matthew Spalding
"An opportunity society awaits us. We need only believe in ourselves and give men and women of faith, courage, and vision the freedom to build it. Let others run down America and seek to punish success. Let them call you greedy for not wanting government to take more and more of your earnings. Let them defend their tombstone society of wage and price guidelines, mandatory quotas, tax increases, planned shortages, and shared sacrifices. We want no part of that mess, thank you very much." --Ronald Reagan
Faith & Family
"The news coverage of Chuck Colson's recent death betrayed our secular culture's continuing discomfort with God's power to transform hearts and lives. Colson, 'born again' to a life of profound Christianity on the heels of his Watergate disgrace, founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, a life-changing ministry to prisoners and their families. He spent his life messaging the need for personal and cultural transformation in the face of sin, urging Christians to embrace and live by an authentic Christian worldview. But our secular culture -- which denies the reality of sin and the need for redemption -- tripped all over itself trying to explain Colson's life without affirming the truth that changed him. ... Calling Colson's ministry a second career -- or framing it as the next chapter in his political journey -- makes about as much sense as talking about the apostolic journeys of the apostle Paul as if they were the second career or new political trajectory of Saul of Tarsus. Spreading the Gospel in prisons wasn't Colson's second career. It was his primary calling. It's not the afterword of the story. It IS the story." --columnist Rebecca Hagelin
Re: The Left
"Nearly 1,000 protesters were arrested in New York between Sept. 18 and Oct. 15. Police collected information on each arrestee's name, age, sex, criminal charge, home address and -- in most cases -- race. The median value of the homes of the arrestees was $305,000 -- a far higher number than the $185,400 median value of owner-occupied homes of the rest of us. Ninety-five of the arrestees lived in homes valued at more than $500,000. Those who rented paid a median rent of $1,850 per month. Of the 984 protesters arrested, at least 797 are white. One Occupy Wall Street protester arrested -- presumably, if you listen to the mainstream media, penniless and from a blue-collar family -- lived in an $850,000 home in the nation's capital. Recall that while on the campaign trail, Obama promised, 'We will stand up in this election to bring about the change that won't just win an election but will transform America.' ... During the forthcoming elections, we can be assured that these people will do all they can, including violent protests, to help Obama have an additional four years to continue his transformation of our nation." --economist Walter E. Williams
"Our president is leading us in three directions. 'Forward' to additional failed policies of borrow and spend that we've had the last three years, 'downward' into the abyss of total governmental control of all of our lives and 'backward' into the dreamland of more 'hope and change' that has failed to bring us real prosperity. His idealistic belief is that government is the answer to all our problems, and, by doubling down on debt, taxes and control, he falsely believes he can make things better. If ignorant voters believe it this time, we will deserve the country he will usher in." --M. Lee
"'Forward' actually reminds me of the anthem of the Italian facist movement (Avante, Populo). I've also noticed that the president often strikes poses reminicent of Benito Mussolini." --Paul
"What should the government's energy policy look like? First and foremost get rid of federal subsidies. Second, stop targeting certain, specific sectors of the energy market (oil companies and their drilling operations most immediately come to mind). Third, open up the entire energy sector, 'green' or otherwise, to the free market and let competition, not the government, determine the success or failure of any particular type of energy production." --Scott
"As an eyewitness to the Battle of Athens, and daughter of one of the veterans involved, I must say that Mark Alexander's recounting of this story was so good I thought I could hear 'Glory, Glory Hallelujah' playing in the background!" --Tennessee Patriot
"I find it near repugnant in your very well done story of the Battle of Athens that you would list with 'awe' people like Nathan Bedford Forrest, a founder of the KKK. Not only is he despicable on that account, but he was an insurrectionist against the United States Constitution during the Civil War. Sam Davis, another insurrectionist who was rightly hanged for committing espionage against the United States, also gets mention from you. I will barely give you Andrew Jackson, who as a soldier in the War of 1812 against the Brits may have distinguished himself but later treated Native Americans brutally, both in person and in policy. In his presidency he exhibited an executive power to be one of the first 'Progressives' against the Constitution. Choosing a couple of these men to honor from the great state of Tennessee showed a complete lack of judgement in this case." --Union Man
Editor's Reply: Some comments just beg an editor's reply, and this would be one. You can read mine here.
The Last Word
"In judging any government initiative, you can't look just at the credit side of the ledger. Government is unable to give without first taking away. Inevitably, more is taken away because the government substitutes force for free exchange. Instead of a process driven by consumers weighing their preferences, we get one imposed by politicians' grand social designs, what F.A. Hayek called 'the fatal conceit.' The green schemes make energy cost more. Of course, some who push 'green jobs' want the price of energy to rise. Then we will live in smaller homes, drive less and burn fewer fossil fuels. But if the environmental lobby wants Americans to be poorer, it ought to come clean about that. ... A million petty regulations mandate surtaxes on gas, separation of garbage into multiple bins, special light bulbs, taxes on plastic bags and so on. Yet these things are of so little ecological consequence that the Earth will never notice. For this, we must surrender our freedom?" --columnist John Stossel
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team