The Cliffhanger, March 6

Ever since the language of the ???fiscal cliff??? was appropriated to describe the political battle over a tax increase, it???s become increasingly clear that every issue is a ???cliff??? now.  Here are today???s snapshots from the edge???

** Better get that North Korean dream vacation in right away: Because the South Korean Yonhap news agency reported this morning that the Norks declared “no-fly” and “no-sail” zones off both coasts.  The simple pleasure of a hot-air balloon ride over the starving prisoner-citizens of the Communist state is already out of reach.

** Billionaire socialist kleptocrat succumbs to cancer and Cuban medicine: Thus passes Hugo Chavez, dictator of Venezuela, and the latest “man of the people” to siphon at least $2 billion from the public treasury into his personal treasure vault, just like the Castro boys.  The Miami Herald eulogizes him by noting he “leaves behind a country in far worse condition than when he became president, its future clouded by rivals for succession in a constitutional crisis of his Bolivarian party???s making and an economy in chaos.”  Chavez managed the neat trick of inflicting chronic electricity shortages upon an oil-rich nation.

The Herald also gripes that Chavez never fully explained his vision for “21st Century Socialism,” but it’s not hard to understand: gullible chumps gobbling up pabulum about “social justice” and “income equality” while the socialist aristocracy loots them to finance its extravagant lifestyle, and arrogantly imposes its ignorant guidance upon industries until it runs them into the ground.  Socialism works exactly the same way everywhere, including the United States.  Naturally, the people who want the U.S. to become Venezuela were heartbroken.  “My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned.  I mourn a great hero,” sobbed Chavez hagiographer Oliver Stone.  “Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,” wailed actor Sean Penn, who once suggested that Americans who referred to Chavez as a dictator should be thrown in prison.  “We came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized,” warbled former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who has never been shy about giving brutal tyrants a much-needed hug.

“You won’t hear much nice about him in the US media in the next few days. So, I thought I’d say a couple things to provide some balance,” declared Michael Moore, although the only “nice thing” he managed to come up with in the ensuing ten hours was, “We spoke for over an hour.  He said he was happy to finally meet someone Bush hated more than him.”

But while the American people have made millionaires of these socialists more-or-less voluntarily (assuming you ignore the gigantic tax breaks ladled out to Hollywood fatcats) they were also foolish enough to put a few Chavistas into elected office, most notably Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), who lauded the deceased dictator as “a leader that understood the needs of the poor” who was “committed to empowering the powerless.”  Maybe he means the people literally left without electric power, after Chavez and his cronies looted the oil companies.  It’s amazing how much a crook can get away with, provided he targets the right people for plunder, decorates himself with fashionable hatred of America, and offers pleasing noises about love for the downtrodden to nourish the moral vanity of his sycophants.  Say, does anyone know if Barack Obama ever finished reading the book Hugo Chavez gave him?

** An ominous shadow flits along the edge of the Drone Cliff: Yes, I think it’s time to declare another cliff, to join the fiscal cliff, gun control cliff, tax cliff, and other features of our political geography that make American life so exciting these days.  This one’s the Drone Cliff, and we look up from its edge to see the sky teeming with robot servants of the government, plus a few the government can’t identify.  The government’s drones, on the other hand, have been designed to identify people carrying guns, and intercept cell phone signals.  Relax, it’s not as if we have a single unitary executive claiming the authority to execute drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil.  And it’s not as if that guy was friends with Hugo Chavez.  And it’s not as if his Secretary of Homeland Security has been known to write ominous security briefs describing people who don’t like the President’s policies as potential terrorists.

** Napolitano caught lying about illegal alien sequester dump?  Speaking of the Homeland Security secretary, it looks like she’s been less than completely honest about the circumstances surrounding the release of illegal aliens from holding facilities.  She vastly under-represented the number of detainees released – she said “hundreds,” but the actual number is well into the thousands – and internal documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee reveal that this element of Obama’s Sequestration Terror had been planned for a long time, with a schedule calling for the release of a thousand detainees per week, until the total in custody fell far below the security levels mandated by Congress.  An angry House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said these documents show “Administration officials at ICE prepared cold calculations to release thousands of criminal aliens onto the streets and did not demonstrate any consideration of the impact this decision would have on the safety of Americans.”  But come now, Rep. Goodlatte, be reasonable!  How do you expect the Administration to perform such complex duties when its spending will only increase by 1.6 percent next year?  They can hardly find the money to pay for their spy drones, and those drones are programmed to target gun owners, not fugitive illegal aliens.

** A terrifying glimpse into the hell of sequestration: In the wake of sequestration, the stock market is hitting record highs, and the public supports the sequestration cuts by a 2-to-1 margin, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.  Roughly the same 60 percent majority opposes the defense cuts in sequestration, however.  Darn it, that’s the only part the President likes!  Actually, it sounds from these poll results as though even a solid majority of Democrats wants far more spending reduction than sequestration offers – well into the realm of actual cuts, not just reductions in spending growth.  But don’t feel completely left out, socialists – they’re still willing to fall for tax increases, too, so the government won’t really get much smaller if these poll respondents have their way.

** More twists and turns along the Menendez Cliff: Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is a cliff unto himself, what with all the investigations and allegations and such.  Remember how yesterday the Washington Post tried to run a big story “discrediting” the Daily Caller’s reporting on Menendez, relating a sworn affadavit from a Dominican prostitute who wanted to recant her earlier allegations of performing paid sex work for the Senator… but it turned out she wasn’t one of the hookers described in that Daily Caller story, so the embarrassed Washington Post had to surreptitiously edit its own story?  Well, it turns out the affadavit from Recanting Hooker #3 was pushed to the media by a Dominican politician named Vinicio Castillo Seman… who just happens to the be the cousin of Bob Menendez’ best friend and top donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen.  Castillo owns a yacht, where interesting things have allegedly happened while Senator Menendez and Dr. Melgen were aboard.  Will the savage austerity of sequestration throw a wet blanket over the wild atmosphere of high-living fun in the ravishing Dominican Republic?  Stay tuned!

** Reminder: taking gun control nuts seriously will get innocent people killed: It cannot be stressed enough that these people are dangerously ignorant, blissfully unconcerned with the welfare of those they wish to disarm, and so blinkered by ideology that they’ll try to refute even the most obvious cases for armed self-defense.  The gun-control zealots of Colorado have been especially weird lately, as they appear to be working out a policy of tolerating a certain number of sexual assaults as a fair price for the glory of gun control.  The latest installment in this tortured psychodrama came from Democrat state senator Evie Hudak, who informed Amanda Collins, survivor of a brutal rape: “You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experienced in Tae Kwon Do, and yet because this individual was so large, was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”

If Hudak is to be taken seriously, she just advanced a strong argument for the immediate disarming and retirement of every female police officer and soldier in the United States.  They all know karate too, but it apparently won’t help them avoid being swiftly disarmed and murdered with their own guns.  Republican state senator Ted Harvey cut to the chase by sarcastically explaining to Collins, “What we are trying to do here tonight is not to protect ourselves from violent crime.  What we are trying to do here tonight is prevent students and teachers from feeling uncomfortable by you carrying a gun to protect yourself.”  For her part, Collins sounds admirably unwilling to be sacrificed on the altar of someone else’s extremist ideology.  But the state senate Judiciary Committee went ahead and approved a college gun ban anyway.  If it passes the full Senate, Colorado college girls will be left to defend themselves with rape whistles, vomit, urine, harsh language, ballpoint pens, and similar gun-control-zealot-approved methods.

** Marizela Perez is still missing: It has now been two years since the 18-year-old cousin of conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, Marizela Perez, vanished from the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle. ” We have no news to report, no breakthroughs, no contact, no cell phone/Internet activity, no word from the police,” wrote Malkin on this sad anniversary.  “Please continue to keep her and her parents in your thoughts and prayers. Please take a look at Marizela???s missing person flyer and keep an eye out.”  Your Cliffhanger correspondent would take it as a personal favor if the reader would forward any information about Marizela’s whereabouts to Mrs. Malkin and the authorities.  The Seattle Police District Missing Persons Bureau can be reached at (206) 684-5582.