Sunday, January 31, 2010

RINOs, RINOs Everywhere

The 2010 elections are only nine (9) short months away, and the Tea Party movement has momentum on their side. One of the major objectives of the movement, and why it has caught on like wildfire, is to weed out the thinned down conservatives - those conservatives you thought were on your side, but voted too many times with Obama's socialist agenda. One of the most important lessons Ronald Reagan taught us is that when you stick to your core conservative principles -- you win.

It's one thing to reach across the aisle, but there is a big difference between the parties. One is for social justice, leveling the playing field, taking from those who have and giving to those who have not, and government intervention - the nanny state. The other is for national security, securing our borders, free market solutions, fiscal responsibility, energy independence, and most importantly - smaller government, with prudent restraints on power.

Now the task is to find and replace the Republicans In Name Only, and keep them out. We are perilously close to losing our sovereignty, and Americans are engaged as never before. Special attention is being paid to how Republicans have voted this past year, especially with the Cap & Trade that passed the House with the "Gang of Eight" votes.

We cling to our God, our guns and our country, and political correctness is on the decline. We are an exceptional country, founded explicitly on a belief in God and on Judeo Christian values, and will be silent no more.

Tom Blumer writes a very interesting piece on RINOs in Pajamas Media:


RINOs, RINOs Everywhere
by Tom Blumer, January 30, 2010

Although this quote comes from a guy at Public Policy Polling (PPP), an organization that ought to consider renaming itself Pretty Partisan Polling, it sadly describes sensible conservatism’s situation on the ground in all too many states:

One lesson that can be taken from the recent GOP successes in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia is that your party can be a complete mess and still win an election.
Hidebound country club go-along-get-along Republican Party establishments are indeed making a mess of things. In state after state, they are doing everything in their power to pretend that the tea party phenomenon, arguably the most important grassroots movement in decades, either doesn’t exist or must be stopped. They are also reflexively supporting problematic candidates whose most important features are their name recognition and the size of either their personal bank accounts or their campaign war chests. Substantive issue positions dealing with what the country must do to stop Barack Obama, his apparatchiks, and the Democrat-controlled Congress from bankrupting us and closing down what for now remains the land of opportunity are coming in a distant third.

In California, Carly Fiorina is the GOP establishment’s fave to go up against Barbara “Don’t Call Me Ma’amBoxer. Her accomplishments as a businesswoman consist of decimating Lucent and nearly ruining HP while walking away with $42 million for her troubles. One thing Fiorina rarely troubled with is actually voting in elections. Her campaign tells us: “She voted in six of 14 elections in California since 2000. She lived in New Jersey for the previous 10 years but never voted.” In the Golden State governor’s race, they like squishy moderate and Mitt Romney pal Meg Whitman, who also “regularly skipped elections in California and several other states where she lived and worked.” Are they trying to lose on purpose out there?

In Illinois, the Republican Party apparatus is clearing the field in its U.S. Senate primary for Congressman Mark Kirk, who voted for the monstrosity of cap and trade, and whom Democrats will likely “expose as a liar and adulterer in the general election.” In Arizona, moderate John McCain has forced Sarah Palin into a lose-lose proposition: help me fend off a primary challenge from legit conservative J.D. Hayworth or be tagged an ingrate for the rest of your life if you refuse. In Florida, Charlie Crist and the GOP establishment seem to think that pulling off the nearly impossible — dragging down Florida’s economy following Jeb Bush’s amazing stewardship — qualifies him to be the Sunshine State’s next U.S. senator. Thankfully challenger Marco Rubio begs to disagree and GOP voters are coming around.

Clearly, RINO fever is bad all over. But nothing exemplifies what Zig Ziglar would call “stinking thinking” as much as the recent GOP establishment moves in Ohio.

Just two weeks ago, the situation was at least tolerable. Though what I have been calling ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party in Name Only) was backing a residency-challenged candidate for secretary of state (more on that in a bit), it at least had the sense not to get in the way of proven fiscal conservative John Kasich’s outsider-framed effort. On January 14, Kasich selected current state auditor and rising star Mary Taylor as his running mate. This move justifiably led ORPINO chair Kevin DeWine to declare Kasich-Taylor “as strong a gubernatorial ticket as you will see on any ballot in any state.”

Then Kevin DeWine proceeded to complete his ruination of most of the rest of the ticket in the name of money and nepotism.

Until he decided he wanted to be Ohio’s next attorney general, Kevin’s relative, former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, was last seen being repudiated twice by Buckeye State voters in a 17-month span in 2005-2006. First, despite spending $1 million, his son Pat finished a distant fourth in a June 2005 GOP primary race to fill an open congressional seat. That thrashing was accurately seen as a proxy repudiation of Mike over his participation in the Gang of 14 and other conservative-betraying votes. After yet another vote in November 2005 to stop drilling for oil in Alaska and a 2006 GOP primary where two completely underfunded challengers blockaded by ORPINO nonetheless took 28% of the vote, Mike DeWine lost his U.S. Senate reelection race against far-left Cleveland-area Congressman Sherrod Brown by a stunning 12 points.

Second-cousin Kevin and the ORPINO gang decided that this awful track record justified clearing the AG field for Mike, even though DeWine’s primary opponent Dave Yost had already racked up a 5-0 record in December and January GOP county endorsement meetings and had earned an intense level of tea party and other grassroots enthusiasm.

Nobody seems to want to own up to what Kevin and ORPINO did next, but all of a sudden early this week Yost, whose campaign slogan was “A Prosecutor, Not a Politician,” decided that he wanted to run for state auditor instead. Not coincidentally, ORPINO was also unhappy with the not-beholden CPA who had just started his own auditor campaign after Kasich selected Taylor.

So let’s review:

  • At the top of the ticket, the party now has two formerly bulletproof candidates who stood around while their party apparatus rigged two down-ticket races. Their slogan is “A New Way, a New Day.” Really?
  • In the secretary of state race, the party is running Jon Husted, a guy who currently represents a state senate district he admits to not living in and owns an empty house in the district he admits to not living in, while claiming that his SOS campaign headquarters is that empty house. He is supposed to convince voters that he’ll be the state’s steadfast enforcer of election laws in a state where ACORN ran wild in 2008. Uh huh.
  • Attorney general candidate and Second Amendment skeptic Mike DeWine, four years removed from public office with no prosecutorial experience in almost three decades, is supposedly going to unseat a Second Amendment-supporting Democratic incumbent. Riiiiight.
  • Now auditor candidate Dave Yost thinks we’ll all forget his betrayal of his supporters and that voters will be jazzed about a lawyer running for head bean-counter. Don’t count on it, bud.
  • The only uncompromised candidate remaining is treasurer candidate Josh Mandel. The grassroots pray nightly that ORPINO leaves him alone.
Tea partiers who should be the Republican Party’s best friends in a state that has been horribly mismanaged during the past three years under Democratic Governor Ted Strickland are justifiably exasperated to the point where I understand that there is serious thought being given to going the third-party route in certain of the down-ticket races. I suspect that similar third-party moves are under consideration in other states and in higher-profile races. ORPINO and its compadres in other states will only have themselves to blame if this comes about.


Tom Blumer owns a training and development company based in Mason, Ohio, outside of Cincinnati. He presents personal finance-related workshops and speeches at companies, and runs BizzyBlog.com.

OBAMA RECRUITING IN HIGH SCHOOLS

This is alarming, and the line between Obama and Mao is becoming very thin. We have already seen the Obama indoctrination of our small children in public schools, and this recruiting through our schools is over the line. Another critical reason why government does not belong in our school system. From Atlas Shrugs, "Obama is using high school children to goose step on the healthcare socialism program." He has three (3) years to brainwash our children and send them out to recruit for him, and even the 2010 elections.

Is this legal? Do parents have any recourse other than to pull their children out of school, bringing hardship on their family? This brings back to mind his campaign "public service" speech:
"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set... We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded."

America needs to keep educating our children, in addition to their public school exposure. A short exposé on systems of government show just how we can lose our freedom by ignoring signs such as this. Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs has uncovered this horrific story:


ATLAS EXCLUSIVE: Obama Organizing in High School
by Pamela Geller, January 30, 2010

An Atlas reader, Chuck, has a student in the eleventh grade in an Ohio High School. Her government class passed out this propaganda recruiting paper so students could sign up as interns for Obama's Organizing for America (OFA is the former mybarackobama.com site.)

Obama is using our public school system to recruit for his Alinsky-inspired private army. Organizing for America is (and I quote) recruiting in our high schools to "build on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda" ............of national socialism.

The Ohio High School is Perry Local in Massillon, Ohio.

This is incredible. And evil. Suffer the little children -- enlisted like SS youth. This is no accident. Obama is poisoning our public school system. He acts as if it's his own private breeding farm. Once again academic learning and achievement is hopelessly abandoned, and supplanted by radical leftist activism from the leftwing Alinsky indoctrinators in the perverse public school system.

Children must be advised to expose this ugly propaganda. Children must tell their parents how they are being used and manipulated. Parents, warn your kids. Better yet, home school.

Check out the recommended reading list page 4:
  • Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky
  • The New Organizers, Zack Exley
  • Stir It Up: Lessons from Community Organizing and Advocacy, Rinku Sen
  • Obama Field Organizers Plot a Miracle, Zack Exley, Huffington Post
  • Dreams of My Father Chicago Chapters, Barack Hussein Obama
This internship program is geared towards the 2010 elections. Using our kids as their goons. Can you imagine if the Republicans attempted such a fascist stunt?

Remember the children singing heil Obama songs? The Obama youth regiment brigade.

How about being forced to listen to his creepy speech?

During the election he had those freaky kids parades.

And video after video of kids singing brainwashed tunes of Obama praise here and here.

Atlas had The Obama Childrens Book -- illustrations show rainbows, sunbeams and an aura around Obama. Rainbows and moonbeams -- got that?

Then the goosestepping kids for Obama -- a school project. And now this, high school pods for O.

And what will these "interns" be force fed? The mother's milk of the left -- anti-war agitation, anti-capitalism, Marx, Lenin, Ayers, Ellie Light activism, LGBT agenda promotion, global warming, pro-jihad, and illegal immigration. For starters.


He is using the public school system to get kids "on the ground - working to make the change we worked so hard for 2008".

Obama is using high school children to goose step on the healthcare socialism program.

"How do you plan to continue working for Obama in the future?"
"What can we do to stay connected?"
"What did you learn about organizing?"
CAMPAIGN FLASHBACK: He pulled this corrupting garbage when he was running:

Friday, January 29, 2010

HAS OBAMA BECOME BORED WITH BEING PRESIDENT?

Being the man-child Obama is, could it be possible his attention span is waning? At his 'townhall' in Baltimore today with House Republicans, Obama sounded down right petulant. His comment "I am not an ideologue" was more a defensive response to pundits than a statement, which is becoming more and more frequent.

His temper is getting shorter, which often happens when one has to keep up with all the lies, like one [of the many] he told during his SOTU address. He scolded the Supreme Court for opening the floodgates for foreign contributions to US political campaigns, which is a lie, as that section was not touched. But .... his own campaign blocked access to monitor this, and has to this day. Wonder if Mr. Holder will want to investigate this (h/t Mark Levin).

The more of this un-presidential behavior, the more America can see what Obama is made of, and Whiner in Chief comes to mind. I loved it when he tried to cover up his Marxism by shouting "I'm not a Bolshevik!" He's a smooth one.

Byron York writes an interesting piece on Obama's need for adulation in the Washington Examiner:


Has Obama Become Bored With Being President?
by Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent, January 29, 2010

This is about the time Barack Obama becomes bored with his job.

He's in his second year as president, and he's discovered that even with all the powers of office, he can't do everything he wants to do, like remake America. Doing stuff is hard. In the past, prosaic work has held little appeal for Obama, and it's prompted him to think about moving on.

Begin with his first serious job, as a community organizer in Chicago. Obama got a little done, but quickly became frustrated with small achievements. "He didn't see organizing making any significant changes in things," Jerry Kellman, the organizer who hired him, told me in 2008.

What Obama wanted was political power, and that is what sent him to Harvard Law School. "He was constantly thinking about his path to significance and power," another organizer, Mike Kruglik, told me. "He said, 'I need to go there [Harvard] to find out more about power. How do powerful people think? What kind of networks do they have? How do they connect to each other?'"

Out of law school, Obama did some civil rights work in Chicago before running successfully for the Illinois Senate in 1996. Almost immediately, Obama began "chafing ... at the limitations of legislating in Springfield," in the words of a Washington Post profile. Easily bored, and with a growing sense of dissatisfaction, he set his eyes on the House of Representatives, unsuccessfully challenging Rep. Bobby Rush in 2000. In 2002 he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate.

He won in 2004, but the Senate proved unsatisfying, too. By mid-2006, Majority Leader Harry Reid "sensed his frustration and impatience, had heard rumblings that Obama was already angling to head back home and take a shot at the Illinois governorship," write Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in the new book Game Change. Reid knew "Obama simply wasn't cut out to be a Senate lifer."

According to the book, the majority leader invited Obama to his office for a talk. "You're not going to go anyplace here," Reid told Obama. "I know that you don't like it, doing what you're doing." Reid suggested Obama run for president. Obama had been a senator for all of 18 months at the time. Soon after, he was off and running.

What drove Obama was not just ambition, although he is certainly ambitious. As he became frustrated in each job, Obama concluded that the problem was not having the power to do the things he wanted to do. So he sought a more powerful position.

Today he is in the most powerful position in the world. Yet he has spent a year struggling, and failing, to enact far-reaching makeovers of the American economy. So now, even in the Oval Office, there are signs that the old dissatisfaction is creeping back in.

At a Jan. 17 Martin Luther King Day event at Washington's Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, Obama brought up the fact that many people see him as almost preternaturally calm. "I have a confession to make," Obama said. "There are times I'm not so calm ... when progress seems too slow ... when it feels like all these efforts are for naught, and change is so painfully slow in coming, and I have to confront my own doubts."

Obama said it to be inspirational, but the fact is, in the past, that's when he looked for a new job.

A few days later, ABC's Diane Sawyer asked whether Obama would sometimes "sit and confront your own doubts."

"Yes," the president said.

"Ever in the middle of all that's coming did you think maybe one term is enough?" Sawyer asked.

Obama answered haltingly. "You know, I -- I would say that when I -- the one thing I'm clear about is that I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president."

Many observers have remarked that, even when dealing with the most momentous issues facing the country, Obama has seemed oddly removed from the hands-on work of making policy. Maybe they're noticing the same thing Harry Reid did. The president's dissatisfaction is shining through; perhaps he's not really cut out for -- or up to -- the job.

In the State of the Union address, Obama declared, "I don't quit." And of course, there's no danger he would just up and quit the presidency. But throughout his life, his reaction to frustration has been to look for a bigger job. What does he do now?


Byron York, The Examiner's chief political correspondent, can be contacted at byork@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears on Tuesday and Friday, and his stories and blog posts appears on http://www.examinerpolitics.com/

Thursday, January 28, 2010

THE STATE OF THE UNION: A HOLLOW SPEECH

In a weak attempt to keep a campaign promise about transparency, notice that Obama said he would put entitlements online for all to see, not that he would cut them (another broken campaign promise). This is supposed to be the new Reaganesque fiscally responsible Obama? His State of the Union address was truly historic -- full of contradictions, condescension, pouting, anger and lies, not to mention a historic attack on the Supreme Court. His audacity is only upstaged by his narcissism and conceit.

On national television, addressing a joint session of Congress, a State of the Union address, Obama openly ripped apart the Supreme Court justices for their recent decision to uphold freedom of speech. Who in blue blazes does this man think he is? The cameras were focused on the stone-faced Justices as Obama called them out, and Alito (just like Wilson) could not hold back his emotion. He quietly mouthed "Not true". The media, in its usual fashion, lambasted Justice Alito (as they did Joe Wilson) and not the man who lied about the ramifications of this court decision. Even the New York Times knew it was a lie, and called him out. Wow, the NYT!

In his majority opinion in the case, Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, Justice Anthony Kennedy specifically wrote that the opinion did not address the question of foreign companies. “We need not reach the question of whether the government has a compelling interesting in preventing foreign individuals or associations from influencing our Nation’s political process,” he wrote. The court held that the First Amendment protected the right of American corporations to spend money on independent political commercials for or against candidates. Some analysts or observers have warned that the principle could open the door to foreign corporations as well. President Obama called for new legislation to prohibit foreign companies from taking advantage of the ruling to spend money to influence American elections. But he’s too late; Congress passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1996, which already prohibits independent political commercials by foreign nationals or foreign companies.

The media attacks Justice Alito and Congressman Joe Wilson rather than the real culprit, Barack Hussein Obama. What is wrong with this picture? Dick Morris has an excellent review of this debacle from the New York Post:


THE STATE OF THE UNION: A HOLLOW SPEECH
by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, January 28, 2010

When President Bill Clinton faced Congress in 1995, after first losing any hope of health-care reform and then control of Congress, he used his State of the Union speech to declare, "The era of big government is over." President Obama's State of the Union speech last night only served to remind us that the era of big speeches is over.

As America struggles with a 10 percent unemployment rate, stubbornly refusing to go down even as other economic numbers seem to rise, the public will no longer believe in speeches -- only in results. As Cuba Gooding Jr. says to Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," Americans are saying, "show me the money."

In this sense, the Obama administration is remarkably similar to that of George W. Bush: There's no hope of overcoming the president's political problems by speeches, spin or posturing. It'll take results.

As long as the body count rose in Iraq, nothing Bush said mattered much. And as long as the "body count" of un- and under-employed workers remains hovering over 20 percent, the American people won't be moved by presidential speeches or even actions. Only results will matter.

Obama's proposals to address the deficit, which is what is prolonging the recession, were ludicrous. None take effect until next year. And, even when they do, they will only trim the deficit by 3 percent.

The very notion of a "jobs package" that underpins Obama's newly announced program is oxymoronic. The president still seems not to have grasped the essential point that borrowing money to spend it to create jobs in fact costs jobs. Or that increasing the deficit de creases the opportunities for businesses and consumers to borrow and cuts the number of jobs.

Ultimately, the fate of the Obama presidency depends on whether he is right or his conservative critics are. If he's correct, more spending will bring down unemployment and put people to work. If he's wrong, the deficit that results from his spending will keep joblessness high.

A lot of last night's speech was, in effect, an apology for his own policies. His lamentation of partisanship and division; his appeals for unity -- it all seemed almost to disregard his own record of polarization.

His allusion to the deficit "in which we find ourselves" was disingenuousness -- at best. He has to hope that nobody was reading the newspaper as he proposed a stimulus package costing nearly $800 billion.

When he seemed at a loss, he lapsed into easy, populist applause lines -- almost a parody of partisanship. His campaign speech, dressed up as a State of the Union, seemed irrelevant to the economic experience of our past year.

Even his forays into patriotism ("I do not accept second place for the United States of America") sounded like a return to his rhetoric of the campaign -- irrelevant to our current situation.

His threat to "send back" to Congress any regulatory reform which does not meet his specifications was reminiscent of Clinton's threat -- as he brandished a pen -- to veto any health-care reform that didn't seem sufficient. The fact is that Congress isn't about to vote to give him the power to seize any corporation that he deems is "too big to fail" and "potentially insolvent." His threat to veto is irrelevant.

The most attractive of his proposals -- and the one with the greatest potential political payoff -- was his proposal to offer a $10,000-a-year tax credit for college tuition. His accompanying suggestion that student-loan payments be capped at 10 percent of a graduate's income and that the debt be extinguished after 20 years (10 if he or she works in public service) also does him proud.

But even as Obama stumbled in embracing spending as the cure for joblessness, he failed even more in his comments about the War on Terror. Accumulating evidence is leading independents to demand that terror trials be handled by the military, not the civilian, justice system -- and without Miranda warnings.

Getting intelligence about the next attack has a priority over criminal prosecution in the minds of all Americans . . . except perhaps those of the attorney general and the president.

Go to DickMorris.com to read all of Dick's columns!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA IS RIGHT, WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM

STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

In light of the spin we will inevitably be subject to tonight, let's get some real figures down. Firstly, a freeze is not a cut, and in order to get a grip on reducing our deficit, you have to reduce spending, Mr. President, but you already know that. That's just going to be Spin No. 1, and the most critical to our existance. Everything else takes a second seat, because if this county goes backrupt, the rest cannot be dealt with.

The freeze is "not a hatchet, it's not a scalpel, it's a Q Tip", and insults our intelligence. With the trillions and trillions being thrown around by this administration, Obama's "freeze" affects less than one-seventh, while on the other hand it freezes all the outrageous salary increases Obama made earlier this year by no less than 25%. When did any one of us got that kind of raise? And it's tax payer money!!

The Heritage Foundation has some earth shattering numbers:


President Obama Is Right, We Have A Spending Problem
The Heritage Foundation, January 27, 2010

Tonight in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is expected to propose a "freeze" on government spending. Obama's spending "freeze" will only last three years, will not start until 2011, will only apply to a $447 billion slice of the federal government's $3.5 trillion budget, and will not apply to any of the unspent $862 billion stimulus plan, his health care plan or the House of Representatives' additional $156 billion stimulus plan. Despite all the loopholes, time limits and procrastination, the President should still be commended for beginning to acknowledge reality. And as a new report issued yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows, the reality is this: the U.S. government has an insatiable spending problem.

The CBO's summary of the report is bad enough: "Under current law, the federal fiscal outlook beyond this year is daunting ... accumulating deficits will push federal debt held by the public to significantly higher levels. At the end of 2009, debt held by the public was $7.5 trillion, or 54% of GDP; by the end of 2020, debt is projected to climb to $15 trillion, or 67% of GDP." But as bad as those numbers are, our fiscal health is actually worse. The CBO is forced by Congress to make a number of unrealistic assumptions about future revenue and spending changes. But their report makes up for this by including alternative projections that make more realistic assumptions. Heritage fellow Brian Riedl crunched those numbers and found:

The public debt -- $7.5 trillion at the end of 2009 -- is projected to triple to $22.1 trillion by 2020.

Over what would be President Obama's eight years in office if re-elected, baseline budget deficits are projected to total $9.7 trillion -- nearly triple the $3.3 trillion in deficits accumulated by President George W. Bush.

By 2020, the budget forecasts a $1.9 trillion annual budget deficit, a public debt of 98 percent of GDP and annual net interest spending surpassing $1 trillion.

Our country simply cannot afford to be spending $1 trillion in net interest in 2020. So what is the driving force behind these unsustainable deficits? Unprecedented rises in government spending. More Riedl numbers:

Since World War II, federal spending has generally remained between 18 and 22 percent of GDP. During the Bush Administration, spending increased from 18.4 to 20.9 percent of GDP.

Discretionary spending has increased 25 percent in three years -- not even counting the $311 billion in discretionary stimulus spending and approximately $150 billion in annual spending on the global war against terrorists.

In 2009, federal spending reached 24.7 percent of GDP -- the highest level in American history outside of World War II. Non-defense spending reached an all-time record of 20.1 percent of GDP.

Comparing our government's prolific spending habits with the decline in revenues from the recession, Riedl concludes: "Between 2010 and 2020, recession-depleted revenues are projected to gradually rebound to 17.6 percent of GDP (slightly below the 18.3 historical average). Spending is projected expand to 25.9 percent of GDP -- well above 20.7 historical average. Compared to those averages, 88 percent of all additional deficits by 2020 come from additional spending (5.2 percent of GDP above average), and only 12 percent comes from low revenues (0.7 percent of GDP below average)."

So 88% of all of our crippling debt problems come from our government's inability to control its spending habits. Put in this light, President Obama's spending "freeze" is just a drop in the bucket. A credible commitment to reduce government spending would go much farther. For starters, the remaining TARP and stimulus funds should both be rescinded. Next, instead of the President's fungible "aggregate" spending freeze, tough hard spending caps should be enacted. Finally, Congress should disclose the massive unfunded obligations of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; put those programs on long-term budgets; and enact the necessary entitlement and programmatic reforms that can keep government within those limits.

A VICTORY OVER THE POLITICAL MACHINE


Not being a lawyer, but a citizen who knows how precious our freedom of speech is, this piece by Newt Gingrich defines why the recent Supreme Court decision is monumental. There will always be people who abuse, but the right to voice an opinion, either as an individual or as a group, should never be silenced. We see that with the Tea Party movement. Does anyone not believe that Obama would use every trick in the book to silence this 'group' because he now has all the power behind him? Tea Party groups have published material, made movies, and distributed newsletters. Are they to be silenced during a campaign under the campaign finance law?

If Wall Street makes a decision you don't like, you can always sell the stock. If your company makes a decision you don't like, you can always quit. If you take the power away from the people, the people will no longer be free. In this case, you had a small company that made a critical movie about Hillary Clinton during the campaign, but the government stepped in and told him he could not air or advertise his film. Why? Sen. Clinton was a candidate for federal office, so his film was illegal under campaign finance law.

This was a monumental Supreme Court decision -- That's my opinion. Here's Newt's from Human Events:

A Victory Over the Political Machine
by Newt Gingrich, January 27, 2010

"If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."

These are the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in a historic Supreme Court decision that began with a man, a movie, and a message that bothered the bureaucratic Washington machine.

In January of 2008, as the Democratic presidential primaries between Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) were raging, filmmaker Dave Bossie set about advertising and distributing his 90-minute documentary "Hillary: The Movie." (Full disclosure: Callista and I host and produce movies with Dave.)

The film offered a critical look at the New York senator then vying for the presidency. But Bossie was stunned when government officials from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) told him the film couldn't be aired or even advertised. Their reason? Sen. Clinton was a candidate for federal office, so Bossie's film was illegal under campaign finance law.

Bossie's production company, Citizens United, sued, claiming its First Amendment right to free speech was being denied by the government. And the Supreme Court decision announced last week was not only a vindication of the free speech rights of all Americans, it was a significant step toward dismantling the incumbent-protecting political machine created by bureaucratic campaign finance "reforms" like McCain-Feingold.

By declaring that government has no business suppressing the political speech of groups like Citizens United, the Supreme Court has begun to make it easier for middle class candidates to take on the rich and the powerful.

The Bureaucratic, Anti-Freedom Model of Campaign Finance Was Wrong
Citizens United v. FEC is one more piece of evidence that the model of bureaucratic campaign finance reform – of government restricting the freedom of Americans to criticize politicians rather than maximizing our freedom to question our leadership – was wrong.

The Founders understood the importance of the unfettered right of citizens to complain about their government. They recognized the danger of politicians controlling or censoring the debate about themselves. That's why they wrote in the First Amendment to the Constitution that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech."

These words and this right have been stunningly perverted by laws like McCain-Feingold, which was explicitly a case of Congress making a law abridging our freedom of speech – of incumbent politicians attempting to censor the people's discussion of whether they should remain in office.

Government Can't Limit the Ability of Associations of Citizens to Spend in Campaigns
Citizens United was a great victory for free speech because it declared that government can't limit the right of corporations and unions – the "associations of citizens" Justice Kennedy refers to above – from spending freely to support or oppose candidates in elections.

It struck down the part of the McCain-Feingold law that censored corporate-funded political ads within 60 days of federal elections and within 30 days of primaries.

Although it left in place the prohibition on corporate donations directly to candidates and on the ability of corporations to coordinate their activities with candidates, it reversed an earlier high court ruling that allowed government to prevent corporations, nonprofits and unions from spending money independently to influence the outcome of an election.

Making it Easier for Middle Class Candidates to Take on Incumbents
The near-hysterical reaction of proponents of bureaucratic campaign finance laws such as big money fund raiser and incumbent Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) that the decision is "un-American" and "a threat to our democracy" are exactly wrong.

Laws like McCain-Feingold give incumbent politicians in Washington tremendous advantages over middle-class citizen challengers. Incumbents have literally millions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded staff, traveling and mailing privileges.

And thanks to McCain-Feingold imposed limits on what individuals can contribute to candidates, rich politicians who can spend unlimited amounts of their own money and don't have to worry about raising money in small amounts have a tremendous advantage.

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) used his personal fortune from Goldman Sachs to first buy a Senate seat and then the governorship. And New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg would have been defeated by a virtual unknown last November if he hadn't been able to spend his millions.

Citizens United v. FEC doesn't threaten our democracy. It strengthens it by making it easier for middle-class candidates to compete against the wealthy and incumbents.

Real Reform Would Be Unlimited Donations Posted on the Internet
But as significant as it was, the Court's decision wasn't real campaign finance reform.

Real reform under our Constitution will only come when Americans and associations of Americans are allowed to give unlimited amounts of after-tax money to the candidates and campaigns of their choice.

Donors should be given this freedom and required to post on the Internet every night what they're spending and how they're spending. That way, voters would know who is funding whom, and how much. Armed with that knowledge, Americans can be trusted to make an informed, truly democratic choice.

Predictably, just the prospect of voters making such a free and informed choice has the Washington establishment machine up in arms.

Can We Trust the American People Mr. President? Yes, We Can.
In a breathtaking display of hypocrisy, President Obama used his weekly radio address last week to pledge to work with Congress to reverse the decision and declared: "I can't think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections" (emphasis added).

This, from the president who negotiated back-room deals with special interests in order to force Democratic health care reform on the American people.

This, from a president whose massive expansion of government into the private sector has set off a stampede of lobbyists to Washington to claim their piece of the taxpayers' pie.

But even more glaring than the hypocrisy is the obvious contempt that supporters of bureaucratic campaign finance have for the American people.

Ultimately, the question comes down to one of trust. Can we trust the people, and not the government, to determine our political future? The answer, Mr. President, is a familiar one:

"Yes we can."

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE STATE OF OUR UNION


Prepare yourselves for the biggest staging event since the styrofoam pillars at the Democratic Party Convention, which had to be moved from the conference hall to a football stadium to handle Obama's ego. I wonder if the 'halls of congress' will be big enough. This is the man who had to stage a [teleprompter] talk before a 6th grade class.

In a word, the state of our Union sucks, Mr. President. Thank you for leading us into deficit oblivion, and promising us more. Make sure you prepare enough, 'cause this should be a two popcorn bowl event, and have enough Pepto Bismol in the medicine cabinet.

The Heritage Foundation lays out what has led up to, and what to expect in this the first of [not too many, we hope] SOTU, and suggestions on what should happen. Odds are he will only sink us deeper in debt, collapse the economy, and render America a weak 3rd world nation, unless we stop this madness:


The State of Our Union
The Heritage Foundation, January 26, 2010

The President of the United States tomorrow will inform the Congress on the State of our Union, as he is constitutionally mandated to do. The past 12 months have seen our country head down a dangerous course, and The Heritage Foundation can only hope that the President will use this time of reflection, coming on the heels of a stunning electoral loss, to change direction.

You must recognize, Mr. President, that the State of the Union is not good. You need a new approach and fresh domestic and foreign policies. The caps on spending which reports last night said you were considering are but an exceedingly modest first step, and the devil is in the details. The caps will do virtually nothing to improve the nation’s fiscal health unless you tackle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Shifting tactics and stoking populism will be both cynical and condescending to the voters, who will see through this strategy. Mr. President, it’s the policies you need to change, not the spin.

In 2008, you promised economic recovery and sound financing. You promised to keep our country safe. You also promised bipartisanship.

Instead, our nation is enduring high unemployment and slow growth, due to surging spending and government borrowing. Bailouts and a pork-ridden “stimulus” bill will not get our country back on track. High unemployment comes primarily from the lack of job creation, rather than job destruction. Our research shows that your Administration’s policies have created uncertainties that have hindered risk-taking by entrepreneurs.

And now, faced with difficulties, instead of changing course you are doubling down and promising increased regulation. The challenges you have faced in one year in office—tea parties, town halls, three tough electoral losses—should have made you rethink your policies. Americans have always preferred limited government over the expansionist kind, lower—not higher—taxes, rational policies, not punitive ones. Your advisors are misreading the public, and economic reality, if they think increased red tape and government control will cure any of our ills.

The Index of Economic Freedom, which The Heritage Foundation publishes annually alongside The Wall Street Journal, tells the story. This year, for the first time since we started publication of the Index, the United States has fallen from the top tier “free” category. Yes, about half of this fall came because of decisions taken by your predecessor, but your policies have dramatically accelerated this descent. And our Index, issued last week on the anniversary of your inauguration, does not even take account of the second half of your year in office.

Your signature health care reform initiative has been a colossal missed opportunity. It is now in free fall, while insurance and health costs continue to climb.

This was a year that should have been spent working on lowering the barriers to jobs creation. But expansionist policies have crowded out investment and are killing the great American job machine.

In foreign policy, your year in office has left the world a more troubled place. A President has to lead in the world as it is, not as he wishes it to be.

Just as creating jobs should get all your attention domestically, battling terrorism should be Job One in foreign policy. The massacre at Fort Hood and the attempted Christmas Day bombing should have been wake-up calls for Washington. Our country is not using all the tools in the tool kit to protect Americans from terrorism. Even worse, your Administration seems ambivalent over the fact that the legal authority for key investigative methods granted under the Patriot Act is about to expire.

Abroad, we simply don’t know when Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon. You seem to have thrown all your chips with an entity that does not exist—the International Community—waiting for it to impose sanctions on Iran and turn the spotlight on its horrific human rights record. This fits with your view that the Berlin Wall fell because “the world came together as one,” but just like that was bad history, your view of the present is also borderline mythical.

So right now the world has the impression that America is distracted, unable, or unwilling to lead or vigorously defend its interests. That was painfully apparent in your Administration’s decision to walk away from our missile defense commitments to Poland and the Czech Republic. The time for missile defense is now, not after a threat emerges.

Mr. President, several policy areas cry out for your attention.

Domestically, you need to show the American people the full long-term obligations of the government in your annual budget, just as the government forces private corporations to do. Bring transparency to Washington by showing the long-term debt picture on your budget.

Then you and the leaders of both parties should lay out the options for fixing the deficit crisis and conduct a national conversation on what action to take. Trust the people to help make decisions. And press Congress to put Medicare and Social Security on a 30-year budget, to give seniors certainty while forcing the tough decisions necessary to give our children a financial future.

Get the economy moving again. You need to give main street businesses and banks—our real job creators—some certainty by eliminating the threat of higher taxes, spiraling debt, and suffocating regulation. Make the tax cuts on the books permanent, to encourage more saving and investment.

Urge Congress to reform the bankruptcy laws so that supposedly “too big to fail” companies can be restructured in an orderly way rather than bailed out or regulated to a slow death. Denationalize General Motors. And please, end the TARP bailout slush fund.

On health care, you can get real reform back on track by doing what you should have done on day one: genuinely reach across the aisle as you promised your voters last November. If you proceed in this manner, you will be able to move forward with bipartisan tax reforms that provide adequate tax relief for those who have reasonable coverage today, while extending help to those taxpayers who currently do not have coverage.

Rather that trying to pass a huge health care bill that runs everything from Washington, it is time to downsize the legislation drastically and to give states much greater freedom and encouragement to put into place innovative approaches that will work best for them. The solution for Massachusetts or Vermont will be different than that for Colorado or Texas.

States need to be able to negotiate major changes in statutory programs, like Medicaid, as part of a plan to increase coverage. It should be states that set up insurance exchanges, reinsurance pools or other ways to make affordable insurance available to everyone. And if Americans in one state want to buy health insurance from another state, nothing should stop them.

In foreign policy, please stop giving captured terrorists the same constitutional rights as Americans. We should be turning over captured terrorists to Military Commissions for trial after our intelligence services have interrogated them.

America should be strong in deeds as well as in words. That is not possible without a strong national defense. We must make an irrevocable commitment to recapitalizing the U.S. military, an effort that would require another $50 billion a year to buy the new equipment and maintain the capabilities our men and women under arms need to defend us.

We need a new vision. We need to keep Americans safe. And we need to reverse the decline of American leadership and influence in the world. Our freedom and security are at stake unless we reverse the decline of American fortunes in the world.

Afghanistan is a war that must be won. Winning is more important than any deadline for withdrawal. Announce that the United States won’t quit until the job is done.

Mr. President, let’s recommit to expanding free trade and making America more competitive in the world. We need to make America the freest economy in the world, in order to have more economic growth, prosperity, and jobs. You should recalibrate the top tax rate on U.S. corporate profits so that it is no higher than the average of the top rates that prevail in our 30 largest trading partners.

We also need to recommit ourselves to our friends and allies. You have not done a good job supporting our friends. Instead, we engage our enemies and get a clinched fist in return. We should re-dedicate ourselves to the proposition that America is a beacon of freedom for free peoples of the world, and that being true to that proposition means supporting free peoples, not coddling or giving comfort to dictators.

Be a war President 24-7-365. Commit yourself to helping, rather than hurting, our economy 24-7-365. Every moment of every day you should be working to defend the nation; protect our liberties; and promote American prosperity. Your resolve must not waver. Your commitment should not falter.
If you devote all your attention to letting our private sector create jobs at home and achieving victory overseas, we will enthusiastically support your efforts, and the State of the Union in 2011 will be far better.

By Edwin J. Feulner, President of The Heritage Foundation

Video: Charles Krauthammer Speaks at Heritage on “The Age of Obama”

Dr. Charles Krauthammer is one of the most brilliant syndicated writers of our time. He is the winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, and began writing a weekly column for the Washington Post in 1985. He is also part of the distinguished panel on Fox News, and a necessary daily fix for this amateur writer.

Video: Charles Krauthammer Speaks at Heritage on “The Age of Obama”
Posted by Mike Brownfield, January 25, 2010, The Heritage Foundation

Dr. Charles Krauthammer, who described President Barack Obama’s first 12 months in office as “the year of living fecklessly,” spoke at The Heritage Foundation last week on “The Age of Obama” and gave his views of the President’s first year of foreign policy.

Watch his speech below and be inspired:

HOW STUPID DO THEY THINK WE ARE?

In this whirlwind first year we have just completed, are we ready for the second? Who could have imagined that every day would bring a new debacle, and America would scramble to keep her head above water. But, for every cloud there is a silver lining. America has never been so engaged, united and involved in learning more about how this country works. We have, in essence, gone back to school to learn about government, the law, and the deep roots our heritage.

One of the biggest mistakes the left always makes is underestimating the knowledge and the conservative values of the American people, and they have done it again. Especially after the message of the 2nd Boston Tea Party. Roger Kimball write a great piece on this in Pajamas Media:


How Stupid Do They Think We Are?
by Roger Kimball, January 25, 2010

Just how stupid do Obama and his top advisors think we are? By “we” I mean not only the American people at large but also Obama’s colleagues in the House and Senate, the folks who at the end of the day will determine exactly how much of the administration’s campaign of “shock-and-awe statism” will pass into law.

The phrase “shock-and-awe statism,” by the way, comes to us courtesy of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. He coined it early on in the reign of Obama to describe the blitzkrieg-like way the administration was pushing its socialist agenda in that dim distant past, i.e., last year.

How breathtaking it seemed! The paint was hardly dry on the Obama romper room at the White House when the president unveiled his nearly $800 billion non-stimulating “stimulus bill” that assured the United States would be entering the Guinness Book of World Records as the most profligate nation in history. Then there was the “cash for dunderheads” program that was such a gift to foreign car makers and such a boondoggle for American ones. What about the cap-’n-tax fantasy that would finally have driven the nail in the coffin of American industry if only the business community had shared the administration’s taste for economic suicide? Or just last month the fiasco of Copenhagen and the bitter chilliness that is “global warming”? And of course “health care reform”: always and everywhere health care “reform” — a stupefyingly expensive mechanism for assuring that the federal government would expropriate a sixth of the U.S. economy while eviscerating the medical profession and sharply degrading the quality and timeliness of health care in this country. What bliss it was to be alive, and to be Left was very heaven!

When did it all start going south? It’s hard to say with any exactness. I think the great C-SPAN fiasco was a kind of turning point. Some public-spirited individual — I think it was Andrew Breitbart — assembled a little medley of candidate Obama saying on seven or eight separate occasions that he would broadcast the negotiations over health-care “reform” on CSPAN “so that the American people can see what the choices are.” But in general I think more and more people have come to understand that Obama is not the Moses who was going the lead us through the sea of red ink by which we are surrounded. The victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts last week set the Good Housekeeping Seal of Disapproval on the whole enterprise: notwithstanding the feeble protest from the New York Times that the Massachusetts election was “not remotely a verdict on Mr. Obama’s presidency, nor does it amount to a national referendum on health care reform,” everyone knew it was.

So now what? Well, last week Obama played his populist card by going after Wall Street; result, the stock market promptly tanks by more than 500 points. So long, farewell, adieu, auf wiedersehen! Way to go, Barack: all those old folks nearing retirement or parents approaching a stretch of college tuition: too bad! Thanks for your masterly leadership!

But now comes something really amusing. In an effort to win back the support of “fiscal moderates,” Obama yesterday endorsed the idea of creating a special debt and deficit reducing commission. But guess what, it wouldn’t convene until after next November’s election. In the meantime, he is counting on Democrats to muster enough votes to raise the federal debt ceiling further into the stratosphere of economic irresponsibility.

Politico quotes Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the Senate Budget Committee chairman: “The president is demonstrating exactly the kind of leadership we need to tackle our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.” Right! And you, Dear Reader, are Marie of Romania. No, Politico was correct when it suggested that Obama’s latest gambit “risks being seen as just a ploy to win over swing Democratic senators.” You bet it does. Any fool can see that. So what about the White House? Do they really think we’re too stupid to see what they are up to?

I wonder. It’s not entirely clear who’s minding the shop. More and more, one hears the criticism that the president is too cool for school: that he is arrogant, disengaged, out of touch. “Narcissistic” is a term many of us used when observing candidate Obama on the hustings. Obama is the time-delay president. Something bad, really bad, happens — a Muslim fanatic guns down forty people at Ft. Hood, say, or an al Qaeda-trained terrorist tries to blow up a commercial jet over Detroit — and what does the president of the United States do? Nada. He “monitors” the situation from afar. He takes several days to respond in public, and when he does it’s all the obfuscation all the time. An “isolated extremist.” Yemen is a poor country. I’m on holiday out here, back soon. Obama’s behavior during a crisis puts me in mind of Harry Graham’s little ditty “The Englishman’s Home”:

I was playing golf the day
That the Germans landed;
All our men had run away,
All our ships were stranded;
And the thought of England’s shame
Very nearly spoiled my game.

No wonder Scott Brown is going to Washington.

Monday, January 25, 2010

AFTER MASSACHUSETTS, LIBERAL BLOODLETTING WILL CONTINUE

Seems as though the only people not receiving the message coming out of the Massachusetts special election is Obama and his administration. Obama had another 'staged' response with his water boy, George Stephanopoulos, on ABC, where he pontificated about his election wave being similar to Scott Brown's. How pompous. How disconnected. How out-of-touch can one man be? Narcissus comes to mind.

If we are lucky, Obama and his cronies will continue with business as usual, and all signs point in that direction. Nancy Pelosi is crafty enough to think she just has to wait out the honeymoon period after Scott Brown's election, and then she can ram through health care. Obama is going to play populist for awhile, like the Pied Piper he is, while telling everyone he's fighting for us. Words -- just words, and actions speak louder, not to mention the results don't match up.

If this happens, and if we survive, Obama is a one term president. After all, Obama is going to have to "create or save" some 100,000 jobs per month for the next 36 months in order to get the unemployment number back down to 8%.

Back to reality .... Victor Davis Hanson writes an excellent piece about Obama's mind-set in Pajamas Media:

After Massachusetts, Liberal Bloodletting Will Continue
They just don't understand the populist outrage
by Victor Davis Hanson, January 22, 2010

Says It All
1) A new poll revealing a vast majority of investors see Obama as anti-business.

2) Obama declaiming on what he has done and what he will do to create jobs.

3) After a year Obama still has not yet figured out that his promiscuous talk of higher income, payroll, health care, and inheritance taxes, serial demonization of finance and business, and all sorts of new regulations, create a psychological climate in which the employer pulls in his horns and decides to ride things out — and this individual reaction is being repeated millions of times over, energized by the pique at everything trivial from Van Jones to apologies abroad to “Bush did it.”

What Did They Expect?
Now that the voters of Massachusetts have splashed our hypnotized young god back into his own reflecting pool, it is almost surreal to follow the left’s sudden petulance and occasional hysteria — akin to the climate of 2005-6 among some of the right when the once pro-Iraq War neocons began bailing and heading for the exits.

Then some of the most vehement pro-war sounding zealots suddenly swore that they had never supported the invasion at all. I think I called it at the time “my victory; your defeat” to explain their chameleonism between 2003 and 2006.

This present liberal bloodletting will continue, as Obama’s polls dip even more, and the next liberal Coakley appears in the political cross-hairs. The left neither quite understands the populist outrage nor would have a clue how to deflate it if it did. (One of the most painful things to watch was Obama’s anti-Scott Brown stump speech: a perfect storm of gaffes in which he showed no knowledge of Brown’s record, slipped into his faux-black-pulpit cadences, did the old “Bush did it” whine, made silly jokes about pick-up trucks [can one imagine Obama driving up and down Illinois in one?], and reflected once again the Obama brand of thinking that the people are deluded and must be warned by a philosopher-king not to do what is not good for them.)

There is a pent-up fury that is a dividend of a year’s bad economic news, the constant presidential condescension, and the hubris of false hope and change — and we have not seen the extent of it yet. The people are weary of being talked down to as if they don’t understand climate change, as if they don’t get the inside scoop on deficit spending, as if they can’t appreciate the brilliance of massive new government entitlements, as if they need moral sermons hourly on their race/class/and gender shortcomings, and as if they can’t quite fathom why KSM, the terrorist warrior who planned the killing of 3,000 Americans and declared al-Qaeda at war with us, must be tried like a bank robber in New York. (Perhaps during the Battle of the Bulge we should have shipped back captured German saboteurs to New York for trials.)

We, the Ignorant
Meanwhile on planet earth I was thinking of Secretary’s Chu’s warning that our farms in California would “dry up and blow away” as today I chained sawed limbs from a week of horrific storms and flooding, and prepare tomorrow to go to Huntington Lake to dig out 10 feet of snow from the house.

Our populists seem to be shouting back at Washington, “We’re tired of you – at least we don’t cheat on our taxes, at least we pay our bills and don’t call maxing out the charge card ’stimulus,’ and at least when we say we are going to do something, we do it.”

Republicans must be gleeful as an inept Obama in some sort of delusion now claims that the prairie-fire pushback dovetails with his own Ascension in 2008. Oh yes, Barack — those who voted for a conservative in Massachusetts surely are the same sort of angry voters who turned out in droves for your hope and change mantra.

And, therefore, of course, fresh new liberal mavericks in places like Utah and Alabama will soon be leading grass-roots rebellions against entrenched conservative incumbents to emulate Massachusetts. And, yes, we are to believe that Obama himself never used the term “tea-bagger,” and warmly embraced the town-hallers, as he had the rural folk of Pennsylvania.

And, yes, Barack, the reason that you are experiencing an historic crash in the polls and your coattails are radioactive, is, as you said, because you did not speak often enough to the American people — not enough interviews, cover stories, photo-ops, presidential addresses, staged press conferences, and perpetual campaign teleprompted stump speeches.

This sort of unreality will ensure that the Obama flame continues to engulf the congress of liberal moths that swarm to it. Did Obama really think the laws of physics did not apply to him — that one can in a year and a half run up over $3 trillion without consequences or nominate a nut like Van Jones or bow to a Saudi royal or denigrate the police or serially break his promises or attempt to socialize medicine or claim that employment comes as manna from heaven once a rhetorician calls for so many billions to be borrowed for so many millions of jobs?

Fodder for Conspiracists
The left cannot face the truth that this is for a generation or so longer a center-right country that in defiance is rejecting the statism of Obama — and therefore it will construct a ludicrous hypothesis that Obama’s failure is predicated on his being too centrist. That way, they can disguise their own desire to distance themselves from an unpopular and, for now, losing cause by some sort of adherence to a higher principle.

Obama, again for now, will blame congressional candidates, subordinates, the media (yes, imagine that), all for matters of poor tactics and communication that prevented us dunces from appreciating the Obama godhead. In truth, he must be some sort of Manchurian candidate working under deep cover for the Republican Party, since his first year has translated into tens of millions of dollars in free conservative advertising, proselytizing, and public relations.

Politically-correctness on the Richter Scale metaphor
I confess I have no apologies to critics over my using the Richter scale metaphor in the last post. I live in California and work in the seismically-active Bay Area. In the last 50 years I can recall dozens of major earthquakes and aftershocks, and they are a way of life here. I cannot monitor my speech because of the deadly nature of such realities in Haiti, any more than I would because a city in Iran or thousands in China are leveled, and many have been in this millennium. To do so would mean because of Hiroshima we can’t use the “nuclear option” to describe congressional action, or a “political tsunami” or a “presidential hurricane” or “ perfect storm”.

Serious readers know well enough not to confuse metaphorical usage of the “Richter scale” and “aftershocks” with insensitivity toward Haiti. I don’t think we want to set rules that require suspension of metaphorical and allegorical evocation of particular natural disasters every time one strikes.

We also see the pernicious effects of PC in the latest Pentagon white paper on the Ft. Hood massacres, in which Hasan is not identified as an Islamic zealot acting out religiously-driven extremism. PC (which serves a variety of purposes from stifling free expression to claiming some mythical higher moral ground through gratuitous censure) ends only when we collectively shrug, and sigh, “Linguistic extortion has zero influence on me.” I went through all that in 2003 with Mexifornia, when I was scolded in debates and reviews for the use of “illegal alien” instead of the more ideologically correct, but imprecise “undocumented workers” — despite the fact that at least 25% of illegal aliens in California themselves were not employed and very few had documents in the first place that could become un-anything.

PELOSI AND REID PLOT SECRET PLAN FOR OBAMACARE



These sneaky ba$tard$ are ignoring the shot heard round the world, and are planning another end run around our constitution. Dick Morris spells it out, and here is the list of the 23 Democrats (phone/fax) who "voted for Obamacare and who are vulnerable in 2010. Its time to turn up the heat on them":

Harry Mitchell = AZ 5 | 202-225-2190 | 202-225-3263
Gabrielle Giffords = AZ 8 | 202-225-2542 | 202-225-0378
Alan Grayson = FL 8 | 202-225-2176 | 202-225-0999
Mark Schauer = MI 7 | 202-225-6276 | 202-225-6281
Carol Shea-Porter = NH 1 | 202-225-5456 | 202-225-5822
Mike Arcuri = NY 24 | 202-225-3665 | 202-225-1891
Mary Jo Kilroy = OH 15 | 202-225-2015 | 202-225-3529
Kathy Dahlkemper = PA 3 | 202-225-5406 | 202-225-3103
Christopher Carney = PA 10 | 202-225-3731 | 202-225-9594
Tom Perriello = VA 5 | 202-225-4711 | 202-225-5681
Ann Kirkpatrick = AZ 1 | 202-225-2315 | 202-226-9739
Baron Hill = IN 9 | 202-225-5315 | 202-226-6866
Dina Titus = NV 3 | 202-225-3252 | 202-225-2185
John Hall = NY 19 | 202-225-5441 | 202-225-3289
Stephen Driehaus = OH 1 | 202-225-2216 | 202-225-3012
Paul Kanjorsky = PA 11 | 202-225-6511 | 202-225-0764
Dan Maffei = NY 25 | 202-225-3701 | 202-225-4042
Allan Mollohan = WV | 202-225-4172 | 202-225-7564
Nick Rahall = WV | 202-225-3452 | 202-225-9061
Steve Kagen = WI | 202-225-5655 | 202-225-5729
Marion Berry = AR | 202-225-4076 | 202-225-5602
John Spratt = GA | 202-225-5501 | 202-225-0464
Zack Space = OH 18 | 202-225-6265 | 202-225-3394
and .... Republican turncoat
Joseph Cao = LA 2 | 202-225-6636 | 202-225-1988

PELOSI AND REID PLOT SECRET PLAN FOR OBAMACARE
by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, January 25, 2010

Highly informed sources on Capitol Hill have revealed to me details of the Democratic plan to sneak Obamacare through Congress, despite collapsing public approval for healthcare “reform” and disintegrating congressional support in the wake of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.

President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all have agreed to the basic framework of the plan.


Their plan is clever but can be stopped if opponents of radical healthcare reform act quickly and focus on a core group of 23 Democratic Congressman. If just a few of these 23 Democrats are “flipped” and decide to oppose the bill, the whole Obama-Pelosi-Reid stratagem falls apart.

Here’s what I learned top Democrats are planning to implement.

Senate Democrats will go to the House with a two-part deal.

First, the House will pass the Senate’s Obamacare bill that passed the Senate in December. The House leadership will vote on the Senate bill, and Pelosi will allow no amendments or modifications to the Senate bill.

How will Pelosi’s deal fly with rambunctious liberal members of her majority who don’t like the Senate bill, especially its failure to include a public option, put heavy fines on those who don’t get insurance, and offering no income tax surcharge on the “rich”?

That’s where the second part of the Pelosi-deal comes in.

Behind closed doors, Reid and Pelosi have agreed in principle that changes to the Senate bill will be made to satisfy liberal House members — but only after the Senate bill is passed and signed into law by Obama.

This deal will be secured by a pledge from Reid and the Senate’s Democratic caucus that they will make “fixes” to the Senate bill after it becomes law with Obama’s John Hancock.

But you may ask what about the fact that, without Republican Scott Brown and independent Democrats such as Joe Lieberman, Reid simply doesn’t have the 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster that typically can stop major legislation?

According to my source, Reid will provide to Pelosi a letter signed by 52 Democratic senators indicating they will pass the major changes, or “fixes,” the House Democrats are demanding. Again, these fixes will be approved by the Senate only after Obama signs the Senate bill into law.

Reid also has agreed to bypass Senate cloture and filibuster rules and claim that these modifications fall under “reconciliation” and don’t require 60 Senate votes.

To pass the fixes, he won’t need one Republican; he won’t even need Joe Lieberman or wavering Democrats such as Jim Webb of Virginia.

His 52 pledged senators give him a simple majority to pass any changes they want, which will later be rubberstamped by Pelosi’s House and signed by Obama.

This plan, of course, is a total subversion of the legislative process.

Typically, the Senate and House pass their own unique legislation and then both bills go to a conference committee. In conference, the leadership of both Democrat-dominated houses wheels and deals and irons out differences.

The final compromise bill is then sent back to the full Senate and full House for a vote and has to pass both to go to the president.

In the House, a simple majority passes the legislation. But under Senate rules, major legislation requires 60 votes to end a filibuster.

As it stands, the House bill and Senate bill have major discrepancies. Reid does not have 60 votes to pass a compromise bill that would no doubt include some of the radical provisions House members have been demanding.

But if the House passes the exact Senate bill that passed by a 60-39 Senate vote last month, there is no need for a conference on the bill. It will go directly to the president’s desk.

There is a rub to all of this.

This secret plan being hatched by Pelosi and Reid requires not only a pledge by 52 Democratic senators to vote later for the House modifications. House liberals must actually believe these Senators will live up to their pledge and pass the fixes at some future date.

A Senate source cautions: “Senators more than House members and both more than ordinary people, lie.”

Still, my Senate source and others in Washington believe that the liberals in the House, grasping at straws after the stunning Massachusetts defeat, will go along with the Reid-Pelosi plan to bypass a conference bill and ultimately will vote for the Senate version without changes.

Among the key “fixes” House liberals are demanding the Senate pass in reconciliation at some later date include a “carve out” for unions from the “Cadillac policy” insurance tax. The Senate plan funds their healthcare plan by heavy taxes on so-called “Cadillac” insurance plans that provide those insured with exceptionally good coverage including almost unlimited health access with little or no co-payments. The Senate’s view was that rich people have such plans and should be taxed for them to pay the less fortunate.

But many unions have Cadillac plans for their members, and they are furious their members will be hit with the Senate tax. The unions have told their minions in the House to oppose the Senate Cadillac plan tax.

House liberals also are requiring a fix that increases fines for those who flout the law and don’t buy health insurance (the Pelosi-passed plan includes criminal penalties, including possible jail time if a person doesn’t purchase insurance). Another fix will raise subsidies for low-income families seeking to buy insurance.

In the original House bill that passed, healthcare expansion costs would have been paid for by an income tax surcharge on the “rich.” House liberals are pushing for that fix as well.

So what is the counter-move? How do opponents of Obamacare stop this?

Opponents cannot rely on liberal Democrats in the House who might balk at passing the Senate bill with just a “pledge” from 52 senators. I have no doubt House liberals, despite their skepticism, will fade under pressure from Pelosi and Obama. They will do their duty and pass the Senate bill, whatever their current posturing.

Instead, the key to stopping the Pelosi-Reid plan lies with conservative or “moderate” Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill the first time.

There are 23 of these conservative-leaning Democratic House members who voted for Pelosi’s Obamacare back in November, which passed by just five votes, with 39 Democrats defecting to vote against the bill.

All 23 of these congressmen who did vote for the Pelosi bill are extremely vulnerable.

Opponents of Obamacare need to climb all over these 23 congressmen with TV ads and advocacy campaigns in their districts to get them to change their vote this time, to vote “no” to the Senate bill when it comes before the House.

Voters need to say, “You voted for Obamacare the first time. But your district opposes it by 2 to 1. Now it is coming up for a vote again. Listen to your constituents and vote no. We don’t want Medicare cuts or premium increases or rationing of medical care. Don’t monkey with our healthcare. Vote no this time.”

Since the House healthcare bill passed by five votes, much has happened and the political landscape has changed dramatically.

The Massachusetts election of a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat has sent shock waves through Washington. Every one of these 23 Democrats knows they will face an angry backlash in their districts if they vote for the Senate bill and go along with Pelosi-Reid plan to ram through Obamacare.

I believe now is the time for opponents to act. The truth is that Obamacare is hanging by a thread.

Opponents, if they move now, can drive a stake through its heart.

Once these congressmen hear from their aroused constituents, they won’t be able to back Obamacare.

As I mentioned, the Pelosi health bill passed the House by only 220-215. Nancy Pelosi knows she has no margin for error.

If only a handful of these 23 congressmen change their vote under public pressure, the Pelosi-Reid plan is stopped and Obamacare is dead.

WHAT NOW FOR THE TEA PARTIES?

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Yes, we won that very precious 41st vote, and thank God for that. Dennis Prager said, "We avoided a torpedo, but you don't win a war by avoiding a torpedo." Americans are not prepared to spend themselves into oblivion, and the Massachusetts election made that very clear.

Already we see that Scott Brown is endorsing John McCain for re-election in Arizona, and Brown is supporting Obama's commission to reduce the deficit, rather than the Conrad-Gregg proposal.

We needed to get someone into that congressional seat to stop the bleeding, but if it were a regular primary it might have been a different outcome. We have time for choices in upcoming primaries such as Florida, with Marco Rubio definitely the best conservative choice over stimulus and health care approving Charlie Crist. In California, Chuck DeVore is the conservative choice over moderate Carly Fiorina, and anybody is the favorite over moderate, illegal alien amnesty advocate John McCain in Arizona.

The struggle for the TEA Party movement is to get the RINOs out and core valued conservatives in, starting with Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. ( UPDATE: I'm hearing J.D. Hayworth may hang up his mic and run against McCain)

Andrew Ian Dodge writes some food for thought in Pajamas Media:

What Now for the Tea Parties?
Scott Brown will no doubt disappoint some conservatives, but does the movement really want to associate itself so closely with the GOP?
by Andrew Ian Dodge, January 23, 2010

Scott Brown has managed to take Ted Kennedy’s former seat in Massachusetts and swing the independent voters from the Democrats to the GOP.

The right is pleased with itself, especially the tea party movement. They believe that by electing Brown, they have driven a stake through the heart of the health care vampire.

Unfortunately — like any horror story — the villain may yet live. Democrats had already begun drafting contingency plans for Brown’s election when things started looking bad. They will consider every possible trick in the book before considering the white flag.

Conservatives may in fact be better positioned should the Democrats continue their arrogant ways and push through health care (which will probably be the Senate plan now). If the president and his party ignore the overwhelming anger of the American people, it will be curtains for many Democrats.

Alas, political observers — including this one — think that the liberals who control the Democratic Party are so dedicated to the cause of universal health care that they will sacrifice as many seats as necessary. They have been waiting 30 or more years for the right opportunity to push their socialist agenda, and would rather go down in flames than step back.

The tea party movement now has a big problem. They have thrown their lot behind a RINO in the form of Scott Brown, a man who voted for RomneyCare. Brown leans further left than Dede Scozzafava. Now the RINOs will point to his victory and see it as a sign that their “moderate” ways are vote winners, and all the angst that should be directed at the RINOs — for helping get us in this mess in the first place — may dissipate. Will conservatives be able to make a case for primary challengers against the RINOs for 2010? Will their short-term pragmatism prove too clever by half in the long run? After all, Brown did not thank the tea party movement in his victory speech, despite the many tea partiers who helped him win.

Will tea party movement conservatives be able to guide the Republican Party in the wake of a RINO being elected in Kennedy’s old seat? And what has this whole campaign done to the movement that tries to proclaim itself to be non-partisan? When the Republican Party needed them, the tea party movement fell into line. How can the movement proclaim its independence when it has just stumped for a Republican who is not even a conservative?

This special election has been a gift to the Republicans in their quest to co-opt the tea party. Surely it would be ironic if Ted Kennedy in death helped the Republican Party get back to electability. Yet Kennedy may have delivered lapsed Republicans back to the party, and split the tea party movement so it is no longer as big a threat to both parties.

Ultimately, if the tea party movement wants to see the House and the Senate spurn its liberal Democrats, they should hope for shenanigans. Voters have very short memories, and this vote for Brown may placate them. In victory, the tea party movement must continue to press its message of limited government, fiscal conservatism, and the free market.

They need to quickly return to the task at hand. Scott Brown’s election does not render the April 15 rallies less important. The movement needs to keep its eye and pressure on elected officials in D.C., and they also need to make sure Brown is seated as soon as possible.

It is up to the tea party movement regarding whether this will be merely a Pyrrhic victory in the long campaign against the socialist agenda. This is one small gain — possibly even a temporary one if Brown votes as he did in Massachusetts — in the long quest to return the U.S. back to its constitutional roots of prudent governance.


Andrew Ian Dodge blogs at Dodgeblogium.