Eye On The Left... Farmers, haters and a happy birthday for taxpayers

Eye On The Left... Farmers, haters and a happy birthday for taxpayers

March 31st, 2014 in Opinion Free Press

I'm One Of You ... Lawyers

Iowa U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat who'd like to replace retiring fellow Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin, may have been in Washington, D.C., a little too long himself. While making the point at a fundraiser that if Republicans take the U.S. Senate in the fall, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, could be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the four-term Congressman termed Grassley just a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school." Braley, on the other hand, would be "someone with your background, your experience, your voice," he said in remarks published in the Des Moines Register. Iowa, according to Census data, has 88,631 farm operators. Since the incident was caught on tape, Braley later apologized, saying his grandfather was even a charter member of the Iowa Farm Bureau. Only time will tell if Iowans decide to stick a pitchfork in him come November.

Who's Hatin'?

A "hate map" produced by the left-leaning Southern Policy Law Center -- that included organizations such as the socially conservative Family Research Council -- was used as a prominent "resource" on the FBI's hate crime web page, but has been removed, according to the Washington Examiner. It was surprisingly scrubbed after conservative groups lobbied Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey. "It is completely inappropriate for the Department of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data," a letter explaining the situation said. In 2012, a man convicted of firing three shots into the Family Research Council's Washington, D.C., headquarters said he used the "hate map" to target the organization. For the record, Chattanooga is listed on the map three times with the Council of Conservative Citizens, said to be a white nationalist group; the Nation of Islam, a black separatist group; and the Revolutionary Order of the Aryan Republic, a neo-Nazi group.

Prison Birthday Ahead?

A judge ruled last week Pennsylvania prosecutors have enough evidence for a trial of state Sen. Leanna Washington, who is accused of ordering taxpayer-paid employees for eight years to organize an annual "birthday party" fundraiser for her. Not only did her staffers devote weeks to draw up guest lists, create invitations and take money from invitees, but some of the money was diverted to the Democrat's campaign account, according to Philadelphia TV station WPVI. Along the way, of course, they used taxpayer-paid computers, copiers and office supplies. "If you complained," testified a former staffer, "you'd be fired." The charges were one count of theft of services and one of conflict of interest, both felonies, and the monetary loss put between $30,000 and $100,000.

Don't Look At This Book, Kids

Many liberals are beside themselves with the news conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has been nominated as author of the year by the Children's Book Council for his book "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims." "It has obviously irritated some on the left who are trying to get us de-nominated," he said last week on his show, referring to the Huffington Post article "We Live in a World Where Rush Limbaugh Might Win a Children's Book Award." The DailyKos, in turn, posted this headline on its story: "America's Worst Role Model Rush Limbaugh Up for Children's Author of the Year." Even the Children's Book Council apparently felt pressured to respond that it wouldn't "change its procedure for selecting finalists after the fact" but acknowledged selections were based solely on titles' performances on best-seller lists. Limbaugh, for his part, called it "a distinct high honor."

There He Goes Again

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., went further off the deep end last week. The fact people have struggled signing up for Obamacare is, believe it or not, not Bush's fault or the fault of the unwieldy website but their lack of education on the Internet. "We have a lot of people just like this," Reid said of a 63-year-old woman, who said she keeps being cut off on the site, "through no fault of the Internet, but because people are not educated on how to use the Internet." Perhaps, he could propose a mammoth new bill, the Affordable Internet Act, that would require everyone to learn to use the Internet so they, in turn, could sign up for Obamacare. But lawmakers would need to pass it in order to see what's in it.