NewsBusters Columns

Christine O'Donnell may have had to deny being a witch, but she wasn't the only election-year Halloween bogeyman for Democrats to trick voters with this year. Did you hear the one about how Republican candidate fill-in-the-blank, fill-in-the-district, wants to privatize Social Security? Even former president George W. Bush got thrown into that mix, for regretting his inability to get his Social Security plan passed -- which would not have privatized Social Security. But being serious is not what Halloween (or, sometimes, an election) tends to be about.


And then there is religion. The fear of God takes on a whole new meaning this time of year. Folks on the right of the political spectrum want to create a religious state, you know. We want to tear down the wall between church and state. Her blunder happened weeks before the election, but we'll be talking about Delaware senatorial candidate O'Donnell's supposed mistakes on the First Amendment for a while to come. I expect to see it in year-end wrap-ups. I expect Republican primary candidates will be asked about it in Iowa.



Why were liberals were so insanely paranoid about the alleged nefarious activities of President George W. Bush? Projection, anyone? They were mortified at Bush's alleged encroachment on our individual liberties, but now that they're in control, we see where liberty ranks on their list of priorities.

We've always known that the term "liberal," in modern parlance, is an oxymoron. Today's liberals are the exact opposite of the classical liberals of yesteryear, who actually believed in limited government and free markets.

Liberals have been seducing Americans out of their liberties for decades with false promises of security. Prior to Obama, we were on a slow march toward statism, but now we are on a rapid gallop.



My military friends have a favorite saying: "If you're not catching flak, you're not over the target." This campaign season, conservative women in politics have caught more flak than WWII Lancaster bombers over Berlin. Despite daily assaults from the Democratic machine, liberal media and Hollyweird — not to mention the stray fraggings from Beltway GOP elites — the ladies of the right have maintained their dignity, grace and wit. Voters will remember in November.

When "comedian" and "The View" co-host Joy Behar lambasted GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle this week as a "b*tch" who would be "going to h*ll" for using images of illegal alien gang members in a campaign ad, Angle responded by sending a lovely bouquet of flowers and a good-humored note: "Joy, Raised $150,000 online yesterday. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Sharron Angle."



Most people whom we elect to Congress are either ignorant of, have contempt for or are just plain stupid about the United States Constitution. You say: "Whoa, Williams, you're really out of line! You'd better explain." Let's look at it.

Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., responding to a question during a town hall meeting, said he's "not worried about the Constitution." That was in response to a question about the constitutionality of Obamacare. He told his constituents that the Constitution guaranteed each of us "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Of course, our Constitution guarantees no such thing. The expression "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is found in our Declaration of Independence.



There is an axiom that is adhered to by conservative journalists that explains at least some of what for liberals is this inexplicable election. It is the Taranto Principle. Coined by the inimitable James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, the Taranto Principle encourages the worst in liberals by reporting politics with a slavish bias. The conservatives can do nothing right. The liberals can do nothing wrong, and besides, they are always more winsome and more intelligent, and moreover they have an aesthetic and philosophical side. Even Vice President Joe Biden has an aesthetic and philosophical side. His malapropisms and goofball pronunciamentos are to be perceived from an artistic and philosophical perspective, as the artiste Chris Ofili's artful uses of elephant dung are to be perceived from an artistic and philosophical perspective.

I am serious. If the art of Ofili, the British-born hustler, were reported as not art but animal waste, he might have learned the rudiments of art a long time ago and become an acceptable street artiste. If Biden were reported to have bungled yet again, he might not say such idiotic things. According to the Taranto Principle, biased liberal reporting brings out the worst in liberals and makes them ridiculous and often unelectable.



National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, Left. Juan Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn’t liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn’t matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for terrorism.

Fired.

Today’s Left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.



Thirty-six years ago when he first ran for Congress, Lake Jackson, Texas obstetrician Ron Paul rented billboards depicting a seriously obese Uncle Sam with the caption: "Put Big Government on a Diet."

Most Americans, with the possible exception of those addicted to government benefits, would probably be happy to return to the 1975 federal debt level of a paltry $84 billion. Today, the national debt is $13 trillion and rising.

While Republican congressional candidates and many GOP incumbents are promising smaller and less costly government, the new British coalition government has decided to begin a serious restructuring of its entitlement state.



The Congressional Budget Office just reported that in the past two years since President Barack Obama took office, federal spending is up 21.4 percent.

The national deficit was $1.29 trillion in 2010 (second to the $1.4 trillion in Obama's first year in office, 2009), which means that for every $1 the federal government spent this past year, it borrowed 37 cents of it!

The feds will tell you that their outrageous spending habits were necessary to pull our economy out of its recession. But would their same rationale justify the fact that the money Congress spends on itself has soared 89 percent over the past decade, more than three times the U.S. inflation rate?

It's true. In 2000, the feds spent $2.87 billion to run Capitol Hill. In fiscal year 2010, they almost doubled the amount, to an enormous $5.42 billion. From 2000-10, while inflation went up 26 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Capitol expenses went up 89 percent.

Were all those expenditures necessary to pull the economy out of a recession, too? Will the Obama administration again blame former President George W. Bush for its contemptible spending habits in its first two years?

According to Capitol News Connection and the congressional watchdog groups Sunlight Foundation and LegiStorm, here are just some of the itemized personnel costs of your legislative branch of government, including their comparative increases from 2000:



Many are preoccupied speculating about the magnitude of the impending Republican electoral victory, but I don't think it's putting the cart before the horse to caution that we also ought to be concerned — now — about what Republicans will do if they do recapture control.

The Republicans' power will obviously be limited, even if they emerge with majorities in both chambers, because Obama will remain in charge of the coequal executive branch. So how should the GOP proceed?

The reflexive Beltway response is that it ought to compromise with Obama to produce legislation. But there are a number of problems with that premise.

Contrary to his self-portrayal as post-partisan, Obama is a dogmatic ideologue who is so determined to "fundamentally change" America that he will remain on point, even if it means relegating himself to one term. He might pretend to move to the center, but his life's mission, from which he will not be deterred, is to move America way leftward.



Rocco Landesman is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and boy, does he know how to spin the official line on offensive art. In a recent interview in Cincinnati, he was asked vaguely about controversy. “The best art taps into deep feelings, sometimes to comfort and sometimes to confront. Art can be very uncomfortable,” Landesman said. “What can lead to strong reactions -- for some of us, it draws us into the arts over our lifetimes and careers. For others, it creates strong negative feelings.”

Landesman wasn't being asked specifically about negative feelings over the Loveland Gallery in Loveland, Colorado, a taxpayer-funded art space which recently featured a controversial painting with Jesus Christ receiving oral sex from a man. He's certainly not used to critical questions about just how this blasphemy-by-numbers seems like a tiresome rerun: Jesus in urine, Jesus in chocolate, Jesus in (homo)sexual ecstasy.