Saturday, May 25, 2013

Henricus Sixtus Rex Ora Pro Nobis! (At Kings and Eton)


Yesterday evening in the Chapel of King’s College, I attended a majestic Sung Requiem in Commemoration of the holy life and death of King Henry VI.  The musical setting was Durufle’s Requiem.  The service included a simple procession of offering roses and lilies in which Choral Scholar Sam Landman (Yes, him again I’m glad to say.) participated.

Among the highlights was congregational singing in Latin during said procession (Rex Henricus), all the parts featuring the choristers (They are sounding wonderful as usual.) and a beautiful singing of Ley’s Prayer of King Henry VI.  I’ve come to really love it and the prayer itself, which captures the humble submission and trust of Henry VI so well.  I am adopting it as my prayer.  The English translation from Latin:

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast created and redeemed me, and hast brought me unto that which now I am; thou knowest what thou wouldest do with me; do with me according to thy will, for thy tender mercy’s sake. Amen.

A last note about the service – as I was entering the Chapel, I saw a man in cassock beside those entering who looked like Dr. Rowan Williams.  I thought, Surely not.  But I looked again, and it was him, and he looked very well and in good spirits.  He attended the service.

This past Tuesday morning I attended the morning chapel service at Eton.  Remembering King Henry with 1300 Eton students, formal uniforms and all, was definitely a new experience for me.

Morning chapel is still mandatory at Eton.  And in front of me, roll was taken at random of one of the houses.  I was told punishment for skipping chapel was severe.  I dared not enquire further.

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And, yes, it is surely providential that my schedule has very naturally allowed me to attend services remembering Henry VI at both of his foundations, King’s and Eton, and where he is buried, St. George’s Chapel.  For which I give hearty thanks to God.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Henricus Sixtus Rex Ora Pro Nobis


Yesterday was my first service ever at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and it was a special one, Choral Evensong concluded with a commemoration of Henry the Sixth on the Eve of the Anniversary of his Death.

The choir was excellent.  It is smaller than some foundations, with 10 boys (and a probationer this service) and I think 8 men.  One could pick out individual voices a bit more than with larger choirs, but their singing was nonetheless exemplary.  It let me know that I missed English choral worship more than I knew!

At the conclusion of the Choral Evensong portion, there was a procession to the grave of King Henry to the right of the altar rail.  There two youths from Eton placed a yellow rose and a yellow lily on the grave.  And an official from Kings read a prayer.

I think it was immediately afterward that the choir sang Ley’s Prayer of King Henry.  It was beautiful and moving.  And it was the first time I had even heard that composition.  I need to find if a good recording is available somewhere.

After the service, I went over to the grave and prayed chiefly for two intentions.

This morning, I will go to a brief memorial service at Eton.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Housekeeping and a Personal Note


Just a note to keep readers from becoming befuddled or alarmed.  My schedule may temporarily reduce my ability to post, particularly on political matters.  I know, bad timing!  But I do actually have a life outside of politics and this blog.

I will say I am still amazed by the revelations that are coming out day after day on the various facets of Obamagate.  At this time, I do not know what is more appalling – the conduct of the Federal government, particularly under Obama, or that so many are still fine with it.

Perhaps one problem is that the conduct is so egregious that the reality and gravity of it takes a while to sink in.  For the sake of freedom in this country, I pray it sinks in and soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The IRS, Hugo Obama, and Political Fair Play


An important aspect of the IRS targeting that is beginning to get some attention, from Rush and IBD among others, is how it tilted the political playing field in 2012.

While lefty organizations were getting easy passes from the IRS, any number (Over 500 is one estimate now.) of tea party organizations and other organizations unfavored by the Obama regime, were being delayed, surveilled, threatened, and harassed by the IRS.

This served to make it more difficult for tea partiers to be involved in the 2012 elections in an organized manner.  Time and effort was wasted dealing with the IRS.  Some contributions were more difficult to get and even lost without the requested 501(c)(4) designations.  (I’m not expert on current advertising regs and policies, but perhaps it also made it more difficult to get ads out there?)  Some tea party organizers were so stressed and intimidated by the harassment that they gave up and lowered their profile.  One example:

Jennifer Stefano of Philadelphia was so intimidated by the IRS that she closed her Tea Party down:
"In the documents that were sent to me, if you did not tell the whole truth by not putting all your personal information out there by Facebook, by Twitter, of your personal relationship with candidates and parties ... it could be considered perjury and perjury carried jail time," Stefano, 39, told ABC News.
"That was frightening and that's why I shut it down. I shut my group down."

These effects were compounded by the fact that many tea party groups were and are led by those getting more politically involved in 2009 or later.  These are concerned citizens, not political veterans.  And they don’t have a phalanx of lawyers on call like more established political organizations.  They hardly have the resources and experience to do battle with predatory Feds. 

And that makes the predations that much more despicable.  I’ve tweeted that I want people in prison, high-up people.  And I meant it.

The way the IRS and the Obama regime has acted in this is not unlike how tyrants such as Hugo Chavez (R.I.H.) act.  They use government, through bureaucracy, threats, intimidation, and more, as a weapon to make it difficult for opposition to act in the political sphere.  They tilt the political playing field (and then use election fraud if needed, but don’t get me started on that).

Our Founders put the First Amendment in the Constitution in part to prevent such government abuses.  And what the IRS and the Obama regime has done in targeting tea party groups among others is an egregious violation of the First Amendment.  And, by the way, it did no doubt affect the 2012 elections . . . as intended.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BREAKING: Something Triggered IRS Targeting in Early 2010 ... and the Obama Regime is Hiding It.


Something happened in early 2010 to trigger the beginning of the IRS targeting of tea party groups and of God knows who else (Emphasis mine.):

In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked. That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn't be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months. In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows. As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.

As Ace notes, something happened early in 2010 to begin the “special treatment.”  And the Treasury Inspector General’s report acknowledges something happened on February 25th, 2010.  What is that something?  We don’t know.  Because the IG report redacts that event.  See for yourself.  Something is being hidden from us, and it may be stinking important.  It’s certainly important enough to be on the IG’s timeline if in  redacted form.

Even as more and more comes out, the Obamagate IRS cover-up continues.

(Yes, I am now calling all the various scandals together “Obamagate”.  The Obama regime has earned it.)

Scandal of the Day Already: IRS Asked for Facebook Posts


I hardly have the sleep out of my eyes early this morning when I am confronted by something that makes me shake my head to make sure I am not still having a weird dream. . . .

The IRS asked tea party groups for Facebook posts.  You read that right.  I am not kidding.  And that's not all.  IRS as Big Brother.

And, yes, this is an extension of the IRS scandal.  But it is so outrageous in its own right, it merits its own scandal designation.

And if you are not outraged, you are more asleep than I am.

By the way, you can add J. Christian Adams to the long list of those politically targeted by the IRS.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Scandal of the Day: EPA Sweetheart Fee Waivers


I have real life stuff to do, but first I have to hand it to the Ace of Spades guys.  They are good sometimes.  This morning, Andy there had some fun with this short post:

New Obama administration scandal by noon? I'll take the under.

Well, sure enough, another scandal broke this morning.  The EPA has been giving information fee waivers to favored groups, but not to evil conservative groups, of course.

Hey, some people are more equal than others, don’tcha know.

IRS Leaked Confidential Records of Conservatives


I had a very pleasant day yesterday.  I took some boys to the beach; they had a great time; and I somehow was able to keep up with them somewhat although I was not 100%.

Since I was not 100% (and the water was still cold from a freakishly cool Spring) I did not swim.

But when I finally got home and caught up on the day’s news, my head swam with the new revelations about Obama Administration misconduct (in addition to the Gosnell verdict.   Kudos to the jury.).  I am reminded of a brilliant comment I read the other day: “Can we concentrate on one impeachable offense at a time please?”

So I will concentrate on what I find the most egregious of the revelations yesterday.  The IRS leaked confidential records of conservative groups, including donor lists, to political adversaries.  One case:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today renewed its demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the employee or employees responsible for stealing the organization’s confidential Form 990 tax return and leaking it to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). At the time of the theft, the HRC had long-sought to know the identity of NOM’s major donors and its chief executive was a co-chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign. The Form 990 that was leaked to the HRC contained the identity of numerous major donors to the organization.

Given the demonstrated willingness of activists directly to make life difficult for those who oppose gay marriage, the IRS with its leak practically invited attacks on NOM donors.  Send in the brownshirts!

Other groups exposed to attacks of various sorts by IRS leaks to political enemies include the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Crossroads, and Lord knows who else.

Again, the IRS is Obama’s responsibility at the very least.  And these are the tactics of thuggish regimes . . . which is exactly what we have in the Washington at the moment.

But I’m one of those voices warning of tyranny.  So pay no attention.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Downfall VIII: Obama’s IRS


You may have noticed last week was not a very good week for the Obama Administration (or for Hillary).  The unraveling of Benghazi accelerated as I suggested it might two weeks ago.  But the admission, apology even, from the IRS that it targeted tea party political groups could be more damaging in the long run.  Here’s why.

1. Whereas one has actually to pay attention to the world to know what Benghazi is, pretty much every American knows what the IRS is.  The scandal is easier to understand and hits closer to home for most people.

2. It is a proven undisputed fact that the IRS targeted conservative groups.  The IRS itself admitted it Friday.  The only question is how high up did it go.  And that question got a lot more interesting Saturday.

3.  There is already a cover-up exposed, by AP of all people.  Whereas we were told Friday it was just low level people with no political motivation (SNORT!), now it is reported that the Chief Council knew what was going on . . . in 2011.  And if the Chief Council knew then surely then IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman knew . . . and then lied before Congress on March 22, 2012.  That’s not to mention Lois Lerner’s statement on Friday is already shown to be a lie.

And I don’t want to hear any Lefty spin that Shulman was a Bush appointee.  So what if he was?  Bush made his share of bad appointments, and this is one of them.  And Shulman being a Bush appointee makes it that much more likely that the impetus for targeting conservatives and then covering it up came from higher up still.  Heck, he even looks like a sniveling worm who does what he’s told.  Evil regimes have always been well served by spineless amoral people who “follow orders.”

Source: AP


4.  The anger over this is liable to become nuclear fast if it is not there already.  People despise the IRS.  And the IRS targeting people and groups for political ends is just not tolerated by semi-reasonable people.  Nixon was about to be impeached for this (among other things, of course).  Even the Washington Post is indignant and critical of Obama for not getting up front on this.

There is a reason this is not tolerated.  It is the stuff of totalitarian governments and banana republics.

5.  With this scandal already reaching to the IRS Commissioner at the time, we are very soon reaching the point where all but Obama sycophants and the chronically asleep will conclude that the White House was involved or at least encouraged this.  And even if he didn’t know, the IRS is part of Treasury which, of course, is under Obama (which is why I've pointedly titled this post "Obama's IRS".)  He is responsible if that word can be used about him. Even if Obama is never directly implicated, the political damage could turn him into the lamest of lame ducks.

By the way, doesn’t his admonition just the other day not to listen to voices warning of tyranny now look that much more lame?  Right under him, the IRS was using its enforcement powers for political targeting, even of those “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”  Those, such as your humble blogger, warning of tyranny and even of the Obama regime’s totalitarian streak have just been proven right!

6. Now it appears Jewish groups were targeted by the IRS.  I do not have to violate Godwin’s law to say how sensitive that is.  By the way, doesn’t it seem all totalitarians just have to beat up on the Joooos?  It’s practically required.

Not-so-by-the-way, we know of at least one Romney supporter who was targeted by the IRS and of the Labor Department:

Just months after being slimed by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.


In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ”wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website. The post, entitled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” singled out VanderSloot for being a ”litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,” reported Strassel.

Expect more episodes to come to light.  More are coming out by the day it seems.

Oh, The Dear Leader Himself joked about auditing opponents back on 2009.

It is not so funny now.

As for fools making excuses for Obama on this, they are going down, too.

MORE:
It has now come out the targeting has been going on since 2010.

I think a Special Prosecutor is called for.  Rats are going to have to be threatened with prison time before they tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


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Downfall is an ongoing series anticipating and tracking what I expect will be the self-destruction of Obama.

The first post may be found here.  The series may be found here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Benghazi Cover-up Unravels (even as it continues)


Every once in a while, the noos media commits actual journalism.  And ABC has done just that on the Benghazi cover-up no less.  The result is darn close to a smoking gun (Emphasis mine):

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department.  The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community.  They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012.  “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

So the e-mails acquired by ABC show the State Department (with White House support no doubt) covered up that they knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack and that they had been warned of terrorist attacks.  And the White House and State Department have been covering up the cover-up ever since.

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BREAKING:
Speaking of smoking guns, I came across this as I was preparing to post:

Here's the kicker: "In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned . . ."

I bet they were concerned . . . about saving their own butts.  Where was the concern when our people in Libya were begging for more protection and when there were numerous warnings about the danger?
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Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard backs up in painstaking detail that State knew it was a terrorist attack even as it was occurring then strove to obscure that afterward:

If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public. The Weekly Standard sought comment from officials at the White House, the State Department, and the CIA, but received none by press time. Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack. According to the House report, these alerts were circulated widely inside the government, including at the highest levels. The fighting in Benghazi continued for another several hours, so top Obama administration officials were told even as the fighting was taking place that U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives were likely being attacked by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. A cable sent the following day, September 12, by the CIA station chief in Libya, reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack. It was this fact, along with several others, that top Obama officials would work so hard to obscure.

And, as I mentioned, Hayes goes into detail, including talking points drafts.  So do feel free to dig into his article.  Hayes has also just revealed that then CIA head David Petraeus was not happy about the revised talking points.

And you can bet there is more unraveling of the cover-up to come.  Sen. Tom Coburn no less has pretty much telegraphed that.

But the unraveling of the cover-up is not stopping the Obama Administration from continuing to cover up.  No, not at all.  The Chairman of the House Arm Services Committee, as is his oversight duty, is investigating the (*Anglican Understatement alert*) inadequate protection of our Benghazi consulate, and has asked for relevant documents.  The Pentagon has denied his request.

And the noos media?  With a very few praiseworthy exceptions, they are spinning away as their cover-up is further exposed as just that.

Again, I think only the noos media can save Obama and Hillary now.  What a contrast with Watergate.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Benghazi Whistleblower Hearing Round-up


I was on the road yesterday to visit a sick friend, so I was able to listen to much of the Benghazi hearing on the radio.  And, to be honest, more came out than I think I can get my arms around.   But, unlike many, I cannot ignore the hearing.  So I will post some helpful links.

Bryan Preston has the best summary of the day I’ve come across.  I heartily agree with him that the Republicans tried to cram too much in one day.  Several days should have been devoted to this if possible.  I also agree that a special prosecutor is called for.  As for his main points, I find the intimidation and punishment of the whistleblowers the most damning part of yesterday’s hearing:

4. Whistleblowers were intimidated into silence. Hicks testified to a pattern of behavior that leads to the reasonable conclusion that many officials within the State Department wanted him to remain silent after the Benghazi attack. He said that on the night of the attack he was personally commended both by Secretary Clinton and President Barack Obama. But he later questioned why Ambassador Rice blamed the YouTube movie, and from that point on his superior, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones, questioned his “management style” and told him directly that no one in State should want him on their team in the field again. He was eventually demoted to a desk job after having been deputy to Ambassador Stevens, and remains in that post. Hick also testified that the Accountability Review Board, convened by Clinton last fall allegedly to determine the facts of the attack, never had stenographers in the room during his tw0-hour interview. Nordstrom concurred. Thompson was not even allowed to testify to the ARB despite having direct knowledge of the attacks due to his position on the U.S. Foreign Emergency Support Team. Thompson testified that the FEST was designed to go from zero to wheels up very quickly but was not deployed at all. He wanted to tell his story to the ARB, but was not allowed to. Hicks also testified that for the first time in his career, the State Department assigned a lawyer/minder to attend witness interviews with the ARB. He also testified that Jones told him not to be personally interviewed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican House member who was investigating the attack on behalf of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. It all adds up to a pattern of witness control and intimidation.


We did learn at least two new, relevant facts from yesterday’s testimony. One is that Beth Jones, an official in the State Department, sent an email on September 12 bluntly acknowledging terrorists participated in the attacks (“The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”) The other is that Hicks said his “jaw dropped” when he heard Rice make her claims about spontaneous protests. Hicks testified that he later confronted her about the comments, and shortly thereafter he was demoted.

It was not a good day for Hillary Clinton.  For one thing, it came out she talked to Hicks very early on, yet went out and pushed the YouTube video untruth.  For another, her right-hand woman Cheryl Mills was fingered as very much involved in the cover-up.  Expect to hear more of that name.  And, of course, the Benghazi consulate was grossly underdefended and that after pleas for more protection.

As for the noos media, it was another shameful day.  When they weren’t downplaying the significance of the hearings, they focused on lesser things, namely the Jodi Arias verdict.  (By the way, if you paid more attention to the Jodi Arias trial than to Benghazi, you are part of the problem. Just sayin’.)  It’s not for nothing that Greg Gutfield commented, “I have to say that the media is really President Obama’s scandal condom.”

I wouldn’t put it quite that way, but . . . yes.

If Obama and Hillary politically survive Benghazi, the noos media will be the reason why.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Obama Wants You to “Reject” Me


The Dear Leader does not want you listening to me or to anyone warning about tyranny in Obamamerica:

Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.

Hmmm, so Obama doesn’t want you listening to voices warning about tyranny.  Gosh, I wonder why?

I received a decent enough education that I recall that our Founders warned about “tyranny always lurking just around the corner” . . . a lot.  And they did “their best to gum up the works” and restrain government with annoying features like enumerated powers and the Bill of Rights.

But Obama wants you to “reject these voices.”  Obey!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Benghazi: The Jailing of YouTube Video Maker Should Be Investigated


My post last week about Benghazi is looking downright prophetic already, and not in a Lefty “social justice” sort of way.  Over the weekend came word that whistleblowers will give damning testimony, including that on the night of the Benghazi attack Hillary cut the State Department’s counter-terrorism unit out of the loop for some reason.

And even some in the noos media are paying attention now.

But I want to focus on something I read this morning that is a blinding flash of the obvious, but which even I have overlooked.  Now that it is that much more clear that the Obama regime knew very well that the attack was planned and prepared by terrorists and had nothing to do with a dumb YouTube video, the full outrage of the jailing of the maker of said video is that much more evident.

Corrupted law agencies allowing themselves to become brownshirts jailed the man as a scapegoat.  To what extent did the Obama regime direct and/or encourage this?  This is the sort of thing regimes do (and is among the reasons I address the Obama regime as just that).

And, as Glenn Reynolds points out, it cries out for investigation:

But here are some further lines of investigation. Some Obama-defenders will note that Nakoula was jailed for probation violations, of which he may have even been guilty. But, as I note in my Due Process When Everything Is A Crime piece — to be published next month, in substantially revised and updated form, by the Columbia Law Review — prosecutors can always find a reason to put someone away if they really want to. The question is, why, exactly, were they so eager to put Nakoula away?

The fast-tracking of Nakoula’s jailing was highly irregular. Among other things, I’d like to see the Congressional investigators get Nakoula’s prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale — and perhaps his boss, U.S. Attorney AndrĂ© Birotte Jr. — under oath about communications from the White House or the Justice Department regarding this case.

Because what it’s looking like is that Nakoula was targeted and jailed so as to provide a scapegoat/villain in a politically motivated cover story that the White House knew was false. If that’s the case, it’s extremely serious indeed, and in some ways more significant than whatever lapses and screwups took place in Benghazi. I’d also be interested in hearing from Nakoula’s attorney, Steven Seiden, about any threats made by the government to secure a plea deal.

If there’s an impeachable offense anywhere in the Benghazi affair — and at this point, I’m not saying there is — it’s more likely in what happened with Nakoula than in the problems abroad, which by all appearances are simple incompetence, rather than something culpable. Railroading someone in to jail to support a political story, on the other hand, is an abuse of power and a breach of trust.

And, to his credit, Reynolds was on this early.

It’s past time Congress or a Special Prosecutor get on this.

Friday, May 03, 2013

More on UKIP “Shockwave” UPDATED


This wave of protest . . . sends a shockwave.  UKIP leader Nigel Farage

I find so much of interest in the UKIP breakthrough in UK local elections that I will post a few updates here . . . and perhaps gloat a little.
That quote is from the Prime Minister himself recently, by the way.  He is slightly more humble and respectful now.

The UKIP has responded well to the belittling attacks.  After being called “clowns” by Tory Ken Clarke, Nigel Farage retorted, “Send in the clowns!”

As for Mr. Farage, a party leader who regularly goes to the pub for a pint is my kind of guy.  And it’s clear he was won many over in part by not taking himself too seriously.  (I do disagree with him on returning smoking to pubs, however.)

I should note that something I posted earlier may be in error.  The Daily Mail had the UKIP starting out the night with no seats, and that’s what I posted.  But the BBC had the UKIP at 7 seats.  I suspect that is correct.  Nevertheless 7 to 144 at last count is not bad.

The BBC’s projected popular vote is impressive as well.
Labour              29%
“Conservative”  25%
UKIP                23%
Lib Dems         14%
So the UKIP has not only become the UK’s 3rd party of choice, but is on the heels of the Tories.

By the way, I’ve read somewhere recently (I’m sorry I forgot where.) that the UKIP is taking votes from Labour as well as from the Tories.  I was skeptical when I read that, but the results are bearing that analysis out.  In the current political atmosphere, there is no way the Tories would have almost half the vote without the UKIP.  It is now clear the UKIP vote is not all ex-Tory.

In Dorset, Ian Smith became UKIP's first ever councillor despite not campaigning or even turning up to the count.
His name did not appear on any leaflets, he does not own a UKIP rosette and only agreed to stand three weeks ago.
He only found out he had been elected by email this morning. 'My initial reaction was "my goodness!" I was shocked but I'm very happy,' he said.

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And this is gloatworthy:



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Nigel Farage over a pint (of course) on how attacks from Tories backfired:

[Farage] said that criticism from Ken Clarke last weekend had added "three per cent to our vote share", adding: "I am going to invite him to be my guest speaker at our annual conference. Please please Conservative party, keep the abuse coming."

And do watch the interview.  It gives a good idea of the appeal of Mr. Farage.