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Joseph Klein


FOX: Senator Boxer's Race-Baiting Backfires

2009 July 21

Barbara Boxer, the far left U.S. Senator from California, was given a stern face-to-face reprimand by the president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Harry Alford, for trying to pit one black group against another instead of addressing issues on their merits.  It’s about time.

Mr. Alford, it should be noted, does not have much use for left wing ideologues.  He believes in free enterprise — something that seems to elude Boxer.  “It is all right for black folks to begin building wealth in this country,” Alford once said. “It is not against the law, and it certainly is more enjoyable than poverty.”

In this case, instead of dealing substantively with Mr. Alford’s criticisms of the current Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade energy bill, Ms. Boxer tried to discredit Alford by pointing out how black groups such as the NAACP and “100 Black Men of Atlanta” were allegedly supporting the bill.

It should be noted that Boxer actually got her facts wrong: the NAACP is in favor of protecting the environment but is not necessarily committed to  cap-and-trade or other job-killing programs.  More importantly, Mr. Alford scolded her for her divisive, racially charged tactics:

“That’s condescending and I don’t like it; it’s racial. I don’t like it. I take offense to it. As an African American and a veteran of this country [i.e., the military], I take offense to that…. You are being racial here, and I think you’re getting to a path here that’s going to explode.”

Alford elaborated further on the O’Reilly Factor Monday night, saying that Boxer

“loves black folks in their place…. It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He’d go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. Yes, it is – it was ugly and she … opened up a pit, a mud pit that I wasn’t going to jump into.”

When O’Reilly asked Alford whether he thought Boxer had intended, from the start, to introduce racism to the hearing, Alford replied:

“Actually, Bill, I think it’s her persona. I don’t think she can help herself. When she gets caught up in a – like that up against the wall, race comes up. You know, she’s – the brainchild of Anita Hill attacking Clarence Thomas was Barbara Boxer. You go back – you mentioned 2004 and all of that garbage against Ken Blackwell, secretary of state of Ohio, saying he rigged the election, that was Barbara Boxer.”

When African Americans do not follow the left wing party line, Boxer attacks them personally, just as she attacked then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a few years ago.

The senator, for her part, was afraid to accept O’Reilly’s invitation to appear on the program with Alford.  More likely, she is hanging out at MSNBC, where her racial divisiveness would be welcomed.

FOX: Killing the Patient

2009 July 17

Socialized medicine does not work anywhere that it has been tried. 

Yet that is essentially what Obamacare has to offer.

Obamacare will mandate that everybody obtain health insurance coverage or face stiff fines.  It will set up a government-run insurance program to “compete” with the private sector.  It will add trillions more to the national budget deficit.  It will put many small businesses out of business because of onerous penalties they would be forced to pay if they do not comply with government mandates on insurance coverage for their employees, and because of crippling new taxes to fund the misguided plan.  Many more jobs in the private sector will be at risk, which will push the unemployment rate well above 10 percent.

In short, lethal dosages of Left-Wing medicine administered by the Obama quacks will  kill the American economy without solving the underlying problem in health care.

Even the Congressional Budget Office has warned of the consequences.  But the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Charles Rangel march on, taking us with them over the cliff.

Bill O’Reilly has offered some sound ideas based on the Swiss health system:  Regulate over-charging by doctors and the insurance companies, stop frivolous lawsuits, and set up more health clinics for the poor along with targeted subsidies for those who cannot afford comprehensive health insurance.  But don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg — the American economy — to engage in yet another in a string of Left-Wing wealth redistribution programs

FOX: Maureen Dowd Implies That White Republicans Are Racists

2009 July 16

The New York Times dour op-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd, went over the top yesterday in her piece entitled “White Man’s Last Stand.”  Normally, I do not read her tripe, but Bill O’Reilly gave it such a build-up in his Talking Points Memo that I could not resist. I wish I had. The article is a re-cycling of the conventional leftwing culture war against mainstream American society.

Dowd is of the baby-boomer generation, some of whom are still caught in the time warp of the 1960s and remain what David Horowitz has called “progressive narcissists.”

She is still fighting old gender- and race-based battles with comments like this one about those terrible white guys, who dared to ask Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor some probing questions about her prior statements (some of which can legitimately be perceived as racist):  “After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done.  They’ve had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.”

Dowd then proceeded to attack “W” (her own nickname for the former president) for the “disgrace” of appointing “two white men to a court stocked with white men.”   Of course, she didn’t have anything good to say about the black Justice Clarence Thomas when he was appointed by W’s  father. 

Only liberal minorities and liberal women need apply in Dowd’s world. Just look at how she skewered Sarah Palin in her “White Man’s last Stand” hit piece:

“Sarah Palin is the definition of irraional, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music.  Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.”

Doesn’t Dowd realize that with writing like that, she is only caricaturing herself?  Is she even capable of engaging in a reasoned debate on the issues rather than in her incessant, infantile name-calling?

Dowd is still resting on the laurels of her 1999 Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the Monica Lewinsky scandal that nearly broght down Bill Clinton — a story that, incidentally, broke first on Drudge. Since then, she has done nothing but sneer and snipe. 

It is time for Dowd to retire and take up a constructive hobby doing something she is intellectually capable of handling.  Commenting on politics, the Supreme Court and public policy are not among her strong suits. Nor, for that matter, is journalism.

FOX: How Al Gore is Goring the Rest of Us

2009 July 15

Al Gore is profiting obscenely from his campaign against global warming.  Bill O’Reilly reported on the Factor last night that Gore’s net worth is up some 5,000 percent.  And the former Vice President stands to make many millions more if cap-and-trade legislation (which already has made it through the House of Representatives) is passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

Meanwhile, we will all be paying the price of Gore’s radical brand of environmentalism.  Cap-and-trade amounts to a hidden tax (of multi-billion dollar proportions) on all ordinary Americans. Even President Obama admitted as much when he said, “[U]nder my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.… they [coal power plants] would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

And that is not all that would skyrocket.  Every product and service affected by cap-and-trade would increase in price.  That’s because the cost of the permits that energy companies must buy before releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will be passed on to us.  Meanwhile the trading of permits in market exchanges will enrich firms on Wall Street as well as Al Gore, who is affiliated with the cap-and-trade venture-capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

 This has the unmistakable look and smell of a blatant conflict-of-interest.

If Gore is indeed the savior of the environment that he professes to be, why doesn’t he fork over 100% of his personal profits from cap-and-trade and all other of his greenhouse business ventures, and deposit that money into a pool of funds that would be distributed to those Americans who inevitably will suffer the economic consequences of his policy recommendations?

The answer is that Mr. Gore prefers to continue living in wealth and splendor, with an enormous “carbon footprint” of his own to boot!

FOX: Race-Baiting Politics and the Sotomayor Nomination

2009 July 14

Judge Sonia Sotomayor  should repudiate the race-baiting ads of a new Latino advocacy group called Presente Action, which appears to be part of the Shadow Party manipulating the media and driving the Democratic Party agenda from behind the scenes.  If Sotomayor fails to do this , she does not deserve to be confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court.   

As Bill O’Reilly reported last night, Presente Action is starting to run radio ads in Republican-held congressional districts based on the allegation that when it comes to Sotomayor, some Republican leaders are privately encouraging racist attacks from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

Criticizing Sotomayor for her own racially charged statement that Latino women will make wiser decisions as judges than white men is not racist.  Nor is it racist to criticize Sotomayor’s cavalier Appeals Court dismissal of the race discrimination case brought by white and Hispanic firefighters in New Haven.  Sotomayor’s decision was itself reversed by the Supreme Court just two weeks ago in a 5-4 ruling where even the dissenting Justices criticized the manner in which Sotomayor’s appellate panel had handled the case.

Judge Sotomayor will have ample opportunity to clarify her positions and statements on these matters in the coming days during her confirmation hearings.  But if she does not strongly condemn the race-baiting campaign of Presente Action and tell the organization to stop invoking her name in its ads, nothing she can say about her past statements and decisions will dispel legitimate concerns about her own racist leanings. 

Who is Presente Action?  The Factor reported that it was founded by a Moveon.org alumnus.  Another leftwing organization with Moveon.org roots, called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, is helping Presente Action to raise money for its spurious ads.  While these groups hurl reckless charges of hate speech against their enemies, the worst manifestations of hate speech are actually carried out by their own spokesmen.

Supreme Court Justices must eschew group-identity politics or they cannot dispense equal justice under the law irrespective of race, sex, religion, national origin, etc.  The burden is on Judge Sotomayor to prove that she can meet this threshold qualification for the high court.

FOX: The Unfriendly Skies for God

2009 July 10

Barack Obama has taken the Left’s anti-God campaign to a whole new level.   Bill O’Reilly reported that the Pentagon has now, for the first time, decided to ban a forty-year plus tradition – the annual Airforce fly-over for Idaho’s God and Country Festival!  The reason: the fly-over would appear to endorse religion, which would violate the separation of church and state.

This radical interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment-of-religion clause puts the Obama administration squarely in the camp of those on the Left who want to ban any display of  religion in the public square.   Now the skies have become out-of-bounds for the military to honor a patriotic tradition that happens to mention God in its title.  Yet nothing is being done, by contrast, to prevent Islamic indoctrination in our public school textbooks.

O’Reilly also mentioned that when Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University , his minions made sure that the cross appearing behind him was covered up.  What’s next?  Doing away with Christmas as a national holiday?  Dropping any reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance or on our coins?

In his visit with Pope Benedict today, is Obama going to have to first issue a disclaimer of any intent to endorse religion or, better yet, chastise the Pope for daring to criticize Islam a few years ago?

The meaning, structure and history of the constitutional text of the establishment clause belie this Norman Lear school of absolutist interpretation.  The words “establish” or “establishment” are used several times in the Constitution, in the context of instituting or creating a body, enacting a law or making an appointment.   This usage conformed to the common understanding of those terms at the time of its drafting.  The drafters expressly rejected alternative language that would have omitted the word “establishment” and said simply that “Congress shall make no laws touching religion”. 

Indeed, it was reported that during discussions in the House of Representatives, one Mr. Huntington was particularly concerned that the Amendment be drafted in such a way so as “to secure the rights of conscience, and the free exercise of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all.” It was reported that James Madison assured him on this point and that the Amendment’s intent was only to address the people’s fear that “one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion, to which they would compel others to conform.  He thought if the word ‘National’ was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent”.   Ultimately, it was decided that the intent was clear enough without adding this word. (Congressional Debates: Religious Amendments, 1789).

That is too bad, in retrospect, because we have been in a judicial muddle over the meaning of this provision for the last fifty years and the Obama administration has now turned the provision inside-out completely.  Instead, the secularist progressives’ religion is made up of radical political causes that hurt everyday Americans — like radical environmentalism (whose actual goal is the demolition of technological / industrial civilization) and “social justice” (which has evolved into a code term for “communism”).

FOX: Was Sarah Palin Smart to Resign?

2009 July 9

The O’Reilly Factor‘s poll question this week involves Sarah Palin’s decision to resign as governor of Alaska.  Was it a smart move?

Palin is never going to get a fair shake from the mainstream press, no matter what she does.  So in terms of her own short-term political future, it makes no difference whether she remained the governor of Alaska or not.  She is pigeon-holed into the social conservative wing of the Republican Party, which means she will have a fiercely devoted base like Pat Buchanan did.

Conceivably, Palin could go a bit further than Buchanan and win the Republican primary in 2012, but she will be up against Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for the conservative vote.  And she never will be able to break through to win enough votes for president in the general election unless she can transform her image in a major way like Richard Nixon managed to do leading up to 1968.  And that takes time.

Palin may be planning to skip the 2012 election, when President Obama, whose iconic status among mainstream-media elites largely shields him from any serious scrutiny, is likely to win another term anyway.  Palin can use the time to burnish her credentials as a serious commentator on public policy through writing and frequent appearances on TV — perhaps Fox News.  Or she may run for Congress.  She is young enough to make a run for the presidency in 2016 and take on Hillary Clinton, who will presumably try to reclaim her “entitlement” to the role of Democratic Party standard-bearer after Obama leaves the political stage.

Michael Jackson Redux

2009 July 8

Bill OReilly’s Talking Points segment last night focused on the media hype surrounding Michael Jackson.  Unfortunately, by dwelling on the self-styled “King of Pop” – even in a critical way – and then returning to the subject during the ‘body language’ segment by showing us Brooke Shields’ tear-filled eulogy, O’Reilly simply added his voice to the din.  However, I do give O’Reilly credit for pointing out the media’s hypocrisy in harping, while Jackson was alive, on his alleged child molestation acts  — even after he was acquitted — and now elevating Jackson post-mortem to the level of Martin Luther King.  That is just the latest example of mainstream media hypocrisy – just take a look at the New York Times on a daily basis.

O’Reilly also commented on how some are using the race card against anyone who dares to question Michael Jackson’s character or his selfless devotion to peace, love, etc.  etc.  That is a valid point — just look at how Congressman Peter King‘s critical comments about Jackson were jumped on by the race-card crowd. 

But it is time for the Factor to return to more substantive issues and leave the Jackson stories to the thrill-seekers in the mainstream press.

Bill O'Reilly Returns from Vacation

2009 July 7

Welcome back, Bill.   You were right not to return from vacation to cover Michael Jackson’s demise.

Frankly, I think you still spent too much time discussing Jackson during your first show back, although I understand your twist in criticizing the media for its obsession with, and idolization of, Jackson.  But in that case you should have aimed some of your criticism at Fox News, which chose to pre-empt its regular prime-time programs on the night of his death to give us non-stop reporting on every tiny detail about the last days of the self-proclaimed “King of Rock’.  In any case, tabloid journalism is not a particularly novel theme.

The Talking Points memo correctly stressed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s  reckless spending as the main culprit behind the state’s current financial disaster.   You would have done well to point out Schwarzenegger’s reckless, budget-busting plans for expansion of health care in his state.  Our Big Spender-in-Chief, President Obama, is, in conjunction with the Democrat-controlled Congress, headed toward the same economic cliff, with the bankruptcy of America in the offing.

Obama’s socialized health plan is not only disastrously expensive.  It won’t work, unless America wants rationed care.  The Left knows this. Perhaps that is why big labor, specifically the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) (which spent $60 million trying to help get Obama elected last year), is trying to discredit ads critical of  Obamacare as nothing more than unwarranted “swift-boating.”   

Hopefully the Factor will do some timely, in-depth investigations of Obama’s health-care backers like SEIU and its links to the Shadow Democratic Party, the powerful network of George Soros-funded nonprofit activist groups whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which aactvely campaign for the Democrats. Such stories may not have as much sizzle as stories about Michael Jackson, but unlike stories about Jackson, they actually matter.

Honduras "Coup"

2009 July 6

The Left is complaining about the so-called “coup” in Honduras which resulted in the outster of its president, Manuel Zelaya, a little over a week ago. President Obama got into the act by calling the ouster “illegal.” The Organization of American States suspended Honduras’ membership in retaliation.  And the United Nations General Assembly, under the leadership of Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, passed a unanimous resolution last week demanding Zelaya’s immediate re-instatement. Brockmann, a Sandinista crony of Daniel Ortega, went so far as to accompany Zelaya on his failed attempt to fly back into Honduras and re-claim his power.  By the way, they flew on a Venezuelan plane.

I hate to be the one to break it to the hard left, but Zelaya was removed by order of Honduras’s civil highest court and was replaced by a fellow legislator.  He was ousted because he had defied a court order to desist from efforts to lift the presidential one-term limit stipulated in the Honduran constitution by means of a referendum — the same kind of technique that was used by Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s aspiring president-for-life, to consolidate his power. This technique is more subtle, but no less insidious, than Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent election theft. It’s all a sham of democracy, intended to justify and cloak the projection of extended dictatorial powers.

Honduras followed its own constitution.  And there will be new presidential elections in November as previously scheduled.  The Obama administration, the United Nations, and all other external organizations should stop trying to rewrite the Honduran constitution, or they will be rightfully crticized for attempting to stage their own coup to undermine the institutions of the Honduras republic.

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