The most recent Pew Forum study found that support for abortion among the American public has declined.

Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years. In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents; now Americans are evenly divided on the question, and there have been modest increases in the numbers who favor reducing abortions or making them harder to obtain. Less support for abortion is evident among most demographic and political groups.
. . .
No single reason for the shift in opinions is apparent, but the pattern of changes suggests that the election of a pro-choice Democrat for president may be a contributing factor.

Read the entire article, which includes graphs.
From Powerline, via The Corner, facts originally from the director of the ACLU Voting Rights project in his book A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia.

Carter and the rest of the Sumter County School Board then reassured parents at a meeting on October 5, 1956, that the board "would do everything in its power to minimize simultaneous traffic between white and colored students in route to and from school."

Jimmy really should have limited his post-office activities to pounding nails. Every time he opens his mouth, as in recently calling critics of Obama racists, he diminishes his own stature and harms the body politic.
Today is Constitution Day, a working holiday in honor of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. Of course the ratification process was still to come, a hard-fought, well-argued campaign that resulted in adoption in June of 1789.

From the National Archives, a transcript of the original text of the Constitution.

Official website of Constitution Day.

Brief article on the U.S. Constitution from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.

The Founders wrestled with the issue of Power and Liberty. Power in human hands was seen as a natural threat to liberty since it tended toward tyranny. The Founders believed that history and reason demonstrated that human nature when given power almost always yielded to the temptation to become tyrannical, unless checked. But, government was necessary in order to prevent anarchy, also an enemy of freedom. The answer was to give the Federal Government the minimum amount of power necessary for its function, and to safeguard liberty from even that small amount of power through a system division and of checks and balances. The first protection was to ensure that power would be divided between the state governments and the federal government. The second protection was to divide power within the federal government, and establish a system of checks and balances between federal branches.

It is interesting this year to celebrate our Constitution in the midst of the Tea-Party Movement, which believes that the federal government has become too powerful, and wants still more power, threatening liberty.
Featured on the History News Network (HNN).

"Why It's Time to Face the Hard Truths Embraced by George Washington."

In his celebrated Farewell Address, George Washington bequeathed to us a series of shrewd observations. Reflecting the vast experience of an extremely practical national leader, as well as the prevailing philosophy of the American Revolution, his valedictory instructions include a common sense economic roadmap for long-term national strength and security.

“Cherish public credit,” Washington counseled. Employ it sparingly. Spend public money frugally. Avoid costly and unnecessary wars. Judicious spending on defense is wiser than inviting aggression through weakness, and sometimes exigencies necessitate appropriating public money, but do not mortgage the future. Always pay your own way.

Each political age bears a solemn responsibility to pay down debt during times of peace and prosperity. Do not burden future generations with your profligacy. To pay down debt, government must tax. While taxes are always inconvenient and unpleasant, in a physical world in which consequences inevitably follow actions, taxes are obligatory.

Equally important, Washington asserted, good government is responsible government. Government must be worthy of our taxes. Our elected officials are ultimately responsible for holding down spending, but, in truth, public officials are hostages to public opinion. Expenditures will reflect the popular will. We the people must demand responsible government.

While much of Washington’s advice flies in the face of modern political practice, perhaps our lifeline in this tumultuous sea of uncertainty is a return to classic common sense.

Where are we now? We currently possess a national debt that is 57 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP). According to the latest projections, we are headed for a national debt that will grow in excess of 77 percent of our GDP over the next decade (and those predictions may well be optimistic).

How did we get here? In short, well-meaning twentieth century "tax and spend" liberalism, arguably necessary and successful for a time, ultimately yielded the stagflation, systemic insolvencies, and malaise of the 1970s. As a well-intentioned alternative to over-taxation, market conservatives offered what tragically amounted to "borrow and spend," which produced another season of high times but ultimately led us to our current desperate moment of reckoning.

Is there a solution in the wisdom of the past?

First and foremost, we must heed Washington’s admonition concerning taxes. As illustrated above, we are amassing a national debt that poses an existential threat to American independence. True commitment to American liberty requires that we raise revenue and cut expenses—and do BOTH of those things in a meaningful way.

An important tenet of the twentieth century small-government-conservative economic worldview held that low taxes would starve government into more frugal behavior. With less money available to spend, the theory asserted, Congress would necessarily cut back proportionately on expenditures. Our generation witnessed the failure of that experiment. Even as tax rates plummeted, government and government spending continued to swell at an alarming pace.

Given our present emergency and current trajectory, we must fall back on a more direct approach. Reason dictates that we collect revenue commensurate with our spending plus enough extra money to retire our colossal collective debt on a feasible schedule. As a consequence of our decades-long descent into extravagance, remedial taxation will be painful.

In regard to changing long-term patterns of national behavior, perhaps the only answer lies in taxing ourselves so that we ALL feel the pain of taxation. By “all” I mean every single American—no matter his or her socioeconomic rank. For those who pay no taxes, every government program is a good one. On the other hand, if we all pay taxes, we are all invested in good stewardship and a more responsible government.

We must summon the discipline to rebuke politicians who pledge lower taxes for 95 percent of us while promising more government services for all. We must transcend the tantalizing sophistry that the masses will benefit from a tax structure that only "inconveniences" the fortunate few. It is time to face reality. Those numbers do not add up.

It is time to commit ourselves to frugality and moderation. We should embrace the manifest truth that sustainability, living within our means, is our primary national priority. The transition back to fiscal health will not be pleasant—but it is time to transform our indulgent way of life.

While George Washington certainly suffered partisan thorns in his flesh, he was the first and last president of the United States elected without the benefit of a political party. I am not advocating the demise of the two-party system in America, but maybe we can all walk to the middle together—at least temporarily. To survive, conservatives must necessarily give up the dream of a benevolent global "Empire for Liberty." Likewise, liberals will have to concede that a welfare state is impractical.

Of course, this compromise is easier suggested than implemented. The concessions will be painful, even more so for Americans unaccustomed to accepting limits. With a more modest federal government, our domestic safety net will have holes and good people will slip through the cracks.

When the United States stands down as policeman to the world, a large cohort of friendly and peaceful nations will need to militarize in order to protect their own interests. The world will be a much less stable place without American military might guaranteeing the free flow of oil and commerce all over the globe. We can only guess what chain of events this new world order will initiate.

On the other hand, what are the alternatives?
Norman Podhoretz raises the question in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

He suggests an answer by observing that non-observant Jews are the most likely to vote Democrat, while those few Jews who are Republican tend to be Orthodox. In other words, an inverse relationship between religious practice and support for Democrats. Therefore, he suggests, modern liberalism may function as a religion for "secular" Jews.

A similar observation may be made for Roman Catholics. Those who attend mass infrequently are more likely to vote Democrat.
The deal has fallen apart that would have ended a lawsuit by two condo owners on land SMU wants to use to build the George Bush Presidential Library. Story.

G.W. should have gone with Baylor.
American Exceptionalism and European Exceptionalism and White Exceptionalism are all alive and kicking.

"American Exceptionalism" refers to the belief that America is unique, chosen above all other nations by God for a special purpose in God's plan, a nation different from other nations. Historically, it is an attitude we inherited from Britain, which believed the same of itself. Allied with American Exceptionalism has been European Exceptionalism and White Exceptionalism.

We are tempted to believe that belief in the uniqueness of America and its special role in history is dead.

Not so.

Many people emphasize American Exceptionalism, European Exceptionalism, and White Exceptionalism. Just not in a postitive sense. Instead, whites seems exceptionally evil, Europeans exceptionally ruthless and imperial, and America exceptionally nasty.

From a Christian, and historical, perspective, both exceptionalisms seem the product of adolescent either/or thinking. Either a nation is wonderfully virtuous, or terrifyingly evil.

Whites do have a history of racism and cruelty: but so do other races. Europeans have been ruthless and imperial: but so were the Aztec, the Han of China, and Genghas Khan to name but a few. And American history has its nasty side, look at slavery, treaty-breaking, and treatment of Chinese, to name a few. But, every nation has its nasty side.

The strength, and historically demonstrable exceptionalism, is that in our system we can and have changed some things over time. And we have offered more people more liberty overall than any other empire I know.

St. Augustine said it best: all nations arise out of violence, but by God's providence can become restrainers of violence and protectors of peace.
Camille Paglia, my favorite lesbian-feminist-Democrat commenator, absolutely tears the Democrats in power.


Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and hope it's a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.

Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton's megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.

But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises -- or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

And she's just getting started.

What I don't get is her cognative disconnect: in her last few columns she has lambasted the Dems, including the Administration, but continues to believe Obama himself is the sober, deliberative Barack Obama.

In another sign that the tide may be turning irrevocably against Obamacare: from last night's Conan O'Brian

President Obama says he will not support a healthcare plan where the government gets to decide to “pull the plug on grandma.” Apparently Obama’s plan calls for the much quicker “pillow option.”
Here in Oklahoma we have had the tolls raised on our toll roads. To us it's a big deal because for a state our size we have a lot of toll roads.

The rates are going up because toll revenues are down. People have been driving less on the toll roads. Less overall, or less on the toll roads? I haven't seen that question addressed. As someone who lives on a highway that can be used as an alternative to a nearby toll stretch of I-44, I suspect that some folks are choosing to bypass the pay-for-use roads.

A private business, faced with declining purchases from customers, would try to upgrade service, perhaps even cutting prices. Not so government. Whatever the revenue source, and whatever the justification--think taxes on tobacco--once government develops an income it will not give it up voluntarily.

The outcome, I am guessing, may be more traffic on my highway, because even government cannot escape the laws of economics completely.
In a recent post I noted a new book that I found disturbing and interesting: an inside account of those protected by the Secret Service resulting from interviews with (not so) Secret Service members. Disturbing because it could cause future protectees to separate themselves from their detail, interesting because, well, who doesn't like to read about the lives of celebrities--in my case political figures.

Newsmax has been doing summaries of the book's content as teasers, and today's material mostly is on Reagan. And also some on Gary Hart who was even more of a tomcat than we knew.

According to the Secret Service, Reagan was the same affable, courteous man in private that he was in public. He treated those around him like he appreciated their work. Nancy? Well, let's say the Secret Service members were not her fans.