Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ON GINGRICH: A LEGACY OF SURRENDER

Same old, same old. Where is that fresh face, with the conviction to stand their ground against tyranny, corruption, and a complicit press?  We are living in a new age, where politicians openly disregard protocol, tradition, the rule of law, and the all important Constitution of the United States of America.

What we do have are a lot of old faces that didn't exactly ignite the nation, and one that should just retire, or teach, or make more DVDs, which aren't bad. Newt Gingrich, "dusting off an old playbook", has been making gestures as though he's back in the game.

Lest we forget, it's worth mentioning his positions from back in the day.  Back in the day when our country was desperate for leadership, for taking a stand against big government, and for a backbone.  But the "Reformer In Name Only" didn't have one, has a long history of caving in, and doesn't show any sign of change.  It was Gingrich who recently suggested the tea partiers and the NAACP hold a town hall in light of their accusations about racism.  Are you serious?

Do we really need another elitist in the White House?

Howard Rich writes another great piece on Mr. Gingrich in POLITICO.  Gingrich is so not the guy to bring back conservative principles and values to the Republican party.

On Gingrich: A Legacy of Surrender
by Howard Rich, July 27, 2010

The news that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich folded like a cheap suit in the wake of a brazen political attack on the tea party movement was sad. But not surprising.

As far back as his second term in Congress, in 1980, Gingrich sided with big labor interests until brought to his knees by a National Right to Work education campaign. Contrary to his image, Gingrich has demonstrated throughout his political career that he possesses no real ideological mooring.

Now, his legitimizing the NAACP’s crass political attempt to play the race card reveals him to be nothing more than a rank political opportunist – a White House-aspiring demagogue who prefers looking good for the liberal legacy media to standing up for our rights as citizens and taxpayers.

Practically-speaking, Gingrich no more subscribes to the tea party ideals of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility than President Barack Obama. At least, that’s what one could infer from his endorsement of liberal “stimulus”-supporter Dede Scozzafava in upstate New York last year.

In fact, Gingrich previously dismissed the tea party as nothing more than the “militant wing of the Republican Party” — a crude diminution of a diverse group of freedom-loving Americans.

That’s why, when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People decided to play the race card against the tea party earlier this month, it wasn’t shocking to see Gingrich immediately raise the white flag and suggest that the Tea Party should give credence to this attack by co-hosting town hall meetings with the NAACP. Rather than rebuking this unfounded attack and exposing its political motivations, Gingrich chose to cave – again – in hopes of giving America a “teachable moment.”

This policy of appeasement had disastrous results in past. In fact, it is responsible for the GOP’s fateful retreat from its limited government roots after the “Republican Revolution” of 1994.

“When the Republican Party faced withering criticism during the government shutdown of 1995 to 1996, our leaders folded instead of standing their ground,” then-former Rep. Tom Coburn wrote in his 2001 book, “Breach of Trust.” “Rather than doing the hard work of explaining to the public, or even to rank-and-file Republicans, what was necessary to reduce the size of government, our leaders retreated.”

By taking the easy way out, and bowing to the altar of political-correctness, Gingrich established a pattern of appeasement that has defined the GOP to this day. Making matters worse, it was his arrogance which precipitated the costly sellout.

"He told a room full of reporters that he forced the shutdown because Clinton had rudely made him and Bob Dole sit at the back of Air Force One,” former House majority leader Tom DeLay later wrote. “Newt had been careless to say such a thing, and now the whole moral tone of the shutdown had been lost. What had been a noble battle for fiscal sanity began to look like the tirade of a spoiled child. The revolution, I can tell you, was never the same.”

Nor was the Republican Party -- which from that moment began caving left and right to the Washington establishment it was elected to uproot.

In short order, Gingrich’s Contract with America gave way to bridges to nowhere and other big government spending outrages.

Now, in the hope of positioning himself as a legitimate presidential contender in 2012, Gingrich is again betraying the ideals of the limited government movement for his own political gains. Instead of calling NAACP leaders out as intellectual frauds, Gingrich is seeking to give their race-baiting views a national platform at the tea party’s expense.

Such appeasement is a recipe for disaster.

True limited government advocates should recognize both the NAACP and Gingrich for what they are – enemies in the fight for greater personal and economic freedom for all Americans.

That is the real “teachable moment” of Gingrich’s latest betrayal.


Howard Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.
Read his "GOP: Contractually Bound?"
.

Monday, July 26, 2010

KNOW WHEN TO HOLD 'EM

There is an ongoing struggle to maintain truth and accuracy in history today.  We see the destruction of historical truth in our schools; the anti-semite Oliver Stone has taken atrocious liberties in his upcoming 10 part Showime series (which should be boycotted) about Stalin, Mao, Hitler and the Holocaust; and our universities are rife with liberalism and their distortion of history.

The fact that the NAACP was founded by whites is not widely known, or that Martin Luther King was a Republican, or that JFK voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which was proposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhauer (R).  It was President John Kennedy who opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King.  While it was President Ronald Reagan who declared the third Monday of January to be a federal legal holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday.  President George H.W. Bush appointed Clarence Thomas as the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  President George W. Bush appointed Colin Powell the first black Secretary of State, and later Condoleezza Rice for the same position.

From Frances Rice:

It was the Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize blacks. The Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860s, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950s and 1960s.

Down through history, conservatives have been the party of no color. We want everyone to prosper, everyone to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and everyone to be allowed their God given rights. We do not look upon the world through the prism of race.

It is critical to remember all of this, in a time when this president and his administration have continually played the race card from the moment he took office.  Let us not forget that momentous speech of Eric Holder's, informing us "we are a nation of cowards".  What a stupendous way to begin a 'regime' (which Howard Dean referred this administration as on Fox News Sunday).

Here is a wonderful piece by Clarice Feldman from the great American Thinker. She lays out step by step the atrocities going on in the Obama administration and their obsession with race.

Clarice's Pieces: Know When to Hold 'Em
by Clarice Feldman, July 25, 2010

Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" is as good a start to this week's summary as I can think of:

"You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,

Know when to walk away and know when to run.

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.

There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

In my view, Obama still doesn't know when to hold or fold his race cards. Neither does the NAACP. They've been bluffing the dummies so long they think they can get away with it forever. And they are wrong.

And when "the dealin's done, the Democrats and their friends in the press will find out that their decades-long race-baiting of their political and ideological opponents has lost its power to bluff. Let's start seeing and raising them every time they try it .

Obama ran and won in large part on a theme: this was going to be a post-racial presidency. We could end the Balkanization of American and begin working together. From the outset he danced a tightrope. To appease his base -- and perhaps because it fits his worldview -- he filled his administration with people who had a decidedly racialist/ spoils system view of government. The agenda was to increase the number of racial preferences while pretending it was not doing so.

One of his most important picks was Eric Holder as Attorney General. And one of Holder's first acts was to call the United States "a nation of cowards" on racial issues. "Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we average Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about race," he said.

At the same time, his Department was dismissing a case it had won against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation and directing the staff of the Civil Rights Division to ignore similar cases in which the perpetrators of voter intimidation were black and the victims white (according to sworn and corroborated testimony). It was forcing jurisdictions still under the Voting Rights Act to adopt voting rules that would assure racial quotas were met in election outcomes. To date, the Department, instead of welcoming a debate on race and on its conduct, has refused to cooperate with any official inquiries on its conduct.

In the same vein, when the Administration stripped car dealerships from Chrysler and GM owners race was a factor in deciding who would be allowed to remain in business and who would not.

On the Hill, with Congressional assistance, new racial preferences were slipped into ObamaCare and the misnamed Financial Reform Act. All of this had the likely effect of driving further a wedge between citizens; violating our firmly held belief in equality of opportunity and creating more tensions and ill-will.

Last summer the President made an unforced error, attacking the Cambridge police Department for what he characterized as behaving stupidly in arresting Harvard Professor Gates. When it turned out that it was Gates who was at fault and Obama who had acted unfairly before the facts -- the "context" if you will -- were known, he tried to patch it over with a Rose garden Beer Summit.

This week, the President again acted precipitously in forcing the resignation of Shirley Sherrod, a USDA employee, for her remarks made in March to an NAACP group .When it appeared that her remarks -- while they were intemperate and would surely have been deemed racist if they'd been made by a white speaker, were somewhat ameliorated (but no less racist) by her claimed epiphany that the issue was class, not race -- he was forced once again to backtrack. Obama apologized and apparently another position was offered to her.

In the event you haven't watched all the ins and outs, here's a summary.

Shirley Sherrod was the USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed her to this position on July 25 of last year, days after a group she'd formed with her husband and others won a thirteen million dollar settlement of a suit they'd file against Vilsack claiming the Department had discriminated against them, a case whose claims have mushroomed and for which taxpayers have already paid out over a billion dollars plus some millions in defense costs, in some cases to plaintiffs with dubious claims.

Speaking at an NAACP dinner in Georgia, she talked about how some years before while working at a non-government organization -- she'd not done all she should have to help a struggling white farmer. Her words are clearly racist. The audience signaled agreement with them.

Andrew Breitbart received a copy of this tape.

When the NAACP falsely charged Obama's opponents in the tea party with being racist, Breitbart who has repeatedly shown the claim against the tea party to be without foundation unloaded the tape, using it to show the hypocrisy of the NAACP:

Sherrod's racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another group's racial tolerance.

In fact, Breitbart's aim was directed as much toward the media as the NAACP and Sherrod's class warfare language. He said, when presenting the video tapes:

The emerging Tea Party nation understands that the media has focused on the manufactured racial schism while intentionally ignoring the schism between free market thinkers and government expansionists, that the latter of which is brazen in its desire to transform America into a European-model welfare state with a healthy dose of socialism.

It's unfortunate that the NAACP's recent resolution and false accusations have forced us to show you video 1 when video 2 is the bigger problem. That's not to say video 1 is not a problem, but this country can ill afford, in this time of economic peril, to waste our time poking and prodding at the racial hornet's nest that was supposed to have been removed with this post-racial presidency. But now President Obama and the modern-day Democrat party reveal they are anything but post-racial.

Yet again, the juxtaposition of the real video evidence shown here versus the mainstream media's straight faced reportage of the NAACP's baseless accusations demonstrates that, once again, the American main stream media has asserted itself as the number one enemy of the truth, when the facts don't fit the left-wing narrative. Like the NAACP, it has become no better than Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in its willingness to exploit race for political ends and their unflinching support of the Obama's left-wing agenda.

Not on the version of the tape he had, but on the longer version in the NAACP's possession, Ms Sherrod later said she'd had an epiphany: Poor whites weren't the enemy. It was the rich folks who were harming the poor of all races.

Perhaps Breitbart should have made even clearer that he was not attacking her, but the NAACP. He later clarified that her admission of racist behavior concerned conduct which occurred before she was on the government payroll. It was clear nonetheless that what he'd given (two different snippets from the speech, the latter advising blacks to seek employment at the USDA here they wouldn't be fired) was not the entire tape. Fox news, signaled to its producers not to use the tape and with the exception of Bill O ‘ Reilly, they held off showing the video until she resigned though other media did run with it before the entire tape was found.

The NAACP leapt in and demanded she be fired, and the White House pressured her to resign.

When the full tape -- or at least more of it (there is an unexplained break in the tape) -- was made public, the NAACP backtracked, the White House apologized and there was a suggestion that she was going to be offered another job in "civil rights."

What Breitbart had done was a bit of judo, using the NAACP's hair trigger response to racism and its habit of using selective and not credibly evidenced reports against opponents like the tea party to embarrass the organization itself to demonstrate how careless it is in its accusations of racism. They stepped in it with both feet, embarrassing Ms. Sherrod, the White House and their own organization in the process. To my knowledge this is the first serious pushback against such NAACP techniques. There is a certain symmetry in all this.

As my friend JMH noted," They demanded that tea party leaders publicly excommunicate putative racists in their midst -- and then suddenly found themselves stumbling over their own petard."

Those who use this to attack Breitbart are wrong. He baited the hook and all the usual suspects leapt at it.

People are already hard at work trying to rewrite the history of this. In the new version Ms. Sherrod is another Dreyfus according to the laughably hyperbolic Keith Olbermann, but in her speech while on the government payroll she said,

"Now we just endured eight years of the Bushes, but we didn't do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President."
After the forced resignation the NAACP had some "context" which in its mind softened the racism in the initial video, the NAACP blamed Fox and Breitbart for their own overreaction to the video.

She, too, blamed Fox. She said Fox showed no professionalism in continuing to bother her for an interview, but failing to correct their coverage.

"I think they should but they won't. They intended exactly what they did. "They were looking for the result they got yesterday," she said of Fox. "I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person."
In sum, in the new telling of the events Breitbart's own words are ignored and he was blamed for what were the White House and the NAACP's intemperate actions. Sherrod and the NAACP both blamed Fox, the network that held back on the basis they wanted to see the whole tape and would not run the story until it could see the whole thing and get some context for her remarks.

For Sherrod and the NAACP the enemy is Fox and Republicans. Not themselves or the White House. For Obama the fault is Vilsack's.

The story gained even more traction than it might have -- at least online. (Who knows what minimal information those who rely on old media have of any of this?)

The reason for that is the Daily Caller obtained the archives of the 400 member listserv JournoList emails which reveal the connivances of this band of journalists and academics.

There's a lot of unsavory meat being exposed. Not the least of it is the plan to tar any opposition to Obama and his policies during the presidential campaign as racist even though the claims were far fetched and baseless, and to prevent news of Obama's racist and Marxist Reverend Wright from being published.

According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama's conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares - and call them racists." [Emphasis supplied.]

Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: "Listen folks-in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn't about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people."

"Richard Kim got this right above: ‘a horrible glimpse of general election press strategy.' He's dead on," Tomasky continued. "We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease."

Don Surber reviewed some of the campaign coverage and noted how often the reportage contained false accusations of racism.

One of the columnists in his hometown, Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times, frequently cried wolf, er, racist.

Consider this from an October 9, 2008, column: "Despite Palin's steady stream of hateful speech, Obama's poll numbers have gone up, while McCain's supporters are growing antsy."

What hateful speech?

She opposed Obama's policies, not his skin color. And when Palin said of Obama he "launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist," Palin was absolutely right. Only two groups have ever bombed the Pentagon: Al-Qaeda and Bill Ayers' Weather Underground.

Mary Mitchell's column also included a reference to a phantom shout of a racial epithet at a Palin rally. This set a pattern of unsubstantiated of racism at rallies against Obama any time things get tough. members of the Congressional Black Caucus trolled for racial taunts at a Tea Party. Hearing none, the rumor of an N-word against Congressman John Lewis was whispered.

Let me tell you, if it happened, Congressman Lewis would still be shouting against it. There would be videos of it.

This makes it seem as if Obama was chosen by the Democratic Party solely because his race could shield their socialistic agenda from attack. To be sure, he received the highest percentage of white votes any Democratic presidential candidate has received since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Some of that may be white guilt. Most of it was a vote against President Bush.

While liberals point to a few incidents here by fringe groups, conservatives point to Obama belonging to Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years. "Black liberation theology" turns out to be race-baiting. No patriot would return to a church after the pastor swore "God Damn America." Barack Obama wrote a book titled by that preacher.

So now Obama has a race problem?

The chickens, as Reverend Wright would say are coming home to roost.

The denouement comes too late to remedy the outrages perpetrated by the race baiters over the years. How much "context", for example, did civil rights activists give the decent Judge Pickering with a lifetime of working for better racial relations and square dealing? None, of course.

But this tactic has been so good to them, the examples of the bluffs' working are numerous. Thus Senator Byrd was given a hero's farewell in the Capitol, his role in blocking civil rights legislation for years was all but forgotten by the Democrats and most of the press when his party laid him to rest after a long career redolent of racism. But Byrd's an easy example of how public memories have been distorted by time and media disinformation. Here's a better test. Ask your family and friends if then Senator John F Kennedy, voted for or against President Eisenhower's 1957 Civil Rights Act.

When you realize how few know the correct answer, maybe you'll agree that the time to push back against this race card bluffing and media distortion of the truth is long overdue.

Read more Clarice Feldman here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON TEA PARTIES

This has been one unbelievable week, with everything being thrown at tea partiers just to see what would stick. In this administration, when you think the past week has been unbelievable -- along comes another one just as earth shaking. But, this past week has been one of the most vile.

The one thing I have learned about this incredible movement is that we are people who love this country, are gounded in its roots, and will live or die to preserve it. We want everyone to share in its riches -- our God given right to the pursuit of happiness, in all walks of life, of all colors, of all religions.

The left can throw anything they want at us, but they will never destroy the spirit of freedom on which this country was founded, and what is in our hearts, and that is what has motivated people to get involved, some [such as myself] for the first time in their life. Better late than never.

This is a moving and motivational piece by David Barton of Wall Builders that is well worth sharing:

A Historical Perspective on Tea Parties
by David Barton, July 22, 2010

In recent months, Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Parties have come under unrelenting criticism from the national media and several national organizations. (Significantly, Liberals and Progressives are the most fixated on discrediting Tea Parties.)

Yet, I find that the Tea Parties represent a welcome addition to the national political scene and public policy debate. I especially appreciate the fact that they focus more on principles than policies – that so many of their meetings are dedicated to learning more about the Constitution, American Exceptionalism, and the principles of limited government.

But like any new movement, they have made mistakes; and they have said things they did not understand that the national media would misportray; but that's understandable. The members of the Tea Parties are largely citizens who have been previously uninvolved in the political process and are therefore largely inexperienced with its lurking snares.

Is there an historical perspective on this "new" movement? I was asked by a newspaper to do an op-ed piece on that question. In case you're interested, I've enclosed that article below (which can also be downloaded). Enjoy!

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Tea Parties – Same Song, Second Verse

America's first Tea Party in 1773 was not an act of wanton lawlessness but rather a deliberate protest against heavy-handed government and excessive taxation. Its leaders took great care to ensure that nothing but tea was thrown overboard – no other items were damaged. The "Indians" even swept the decks of the ships before they left.

Tea Parties occurred not only in Boston but also in numerous other locales. And those who participated were just ordinary citizens expressing their frustration over a government that had refused to listen to them for almost a decade. Their reasonable requests had fallen on deaf ears. Of course, the out-of-touch British claimed that the Tea Parties were lawless and violent, but such was not the case.

Interestingly, in many ways, today's Tea Parties parallel those of long ago. But rather than protesting a tax on tea, today they are protesting dozens of taxes represented by what they call the Porkulus/Generational Theft Act of 2009 (officially called the "American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act"). For Tea Party members (and for most Americans), that act and the way it was passed epitomizes a broken system whose arrogant leaders often scorn the concerns of the citizens they purport to represent.

Tea Party folks agree with the economic logic of our Founders.

  • "To contract new debts is not the way to pay off old ones." "Avoid occasions of expense...and avoid likewise the accumulation of debt not only by shunning occasions of expense but by vigorous exertions...to discharge the debts." George Washington
  • "Nothing can more [affect] national credit and prosperity than a constant and systematic attention to...extinguish the present debt and to avoid as much as possible the incurring of any new debt." Alexander Hamilton
  • "The maxim of buying nothing but what we have money in our pockets to pay for lays the broadest foundation for happiness." "The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." Thomas Jefferson

These are not radical positions – nor are the others set forth in the Tea Party platform – that Congress should: (1) provide the constitutional basis for the bills it passes; (2) reduce intrusive government regulations; (3) balance the budget; (4) limit the increase of government spending to the rate of population growth; (5) and eliminate earmarks unless approved by 2/3rds of Congress. Are these positions dangerous or extreme? Certainly not. In fact, polling shows that while Americans differ on the way they view the Tea Parties, they support these Tea Party goals by a margin of two-to-one.

Citizens are angry about the current direction of government. As John Zubly, a member of the Continental Congress in 1775, reminded the British: "My Lord, the Americans are no idiots, and they appear determined not to be slaves. Oppression will make wise men mad." But does that anger automatically equate to violence? Of course not. It does equate to action, however; but instead of throwing tea overboard, modern Tea Parties are throwing out-of-touch politicians from both parties overboard.

The Tea Parties represent much of what is right in America – citizens reacquainting themselves with the Constitution and holding their elected officials accountable to its standards. Two centuries ago, Daniel Webster could have been talking to today's Tea Party rallies when he said: "Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution!"

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To make a tax-deductible contribution to WallBuilders and help us further our mission of educating Americans about our religious, moral, and constitutional foundations and how public policy can preserve those foundations, click here.

God Bless!


David Barton

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NOT OBAMA IS NOT ENOUGH

In a time of such unrest, it is distressing no clear figure has emerged that conservatives can get excited about, lift their spirits and throw their support in the ring. So far, it's the "been there, done that" crowd, and after the disasterous 2008 campaign, conservatives are not jumping on the bandwagon for any of them.

Americans have witnessed the deterioration of their country founded on Christian principles, attacks on their God given rights, and substituted with this vision of a New World Order. Conservatives want someone trustworthy, positive with a sense of humor, grounded in constitutional conservatism, and tough enough to stand up to the nonsense being thown by the radical left on a daily basis, because it is going to get really ugly.

Republicans have done little to date to declare a platform on which to run, except being against the policies of Obama and his administration. That's all fine and dandy, but there's life after that, and we need to hear it. If they are supposed to be the party of positive, get out there and show it.

Victor Davis Hanson writes an interesting piece in National Review on the fact that it's time for the GOP to make its statement, and a strong one at that.

Not Obama Is Not Enough
There are risks involved, but if Republicans are to be taken seriously, they must be willing to detail specific alternatives to the Obama agenda
by Victor Davis Hanson, July 21, 2010

Republicans will shortly need to stand for something more than just being against much of the Obama agenda. Only a superior and detailed alternative can win more lasting support than just a midterm correction.

Obama, after all — with nationalized health care, amnesty, cap-and-trade, financial overhaul, government absorption of private enterprise, takeover of the student-loan industry, and gorge-the-beast deficits that will ensure a generation of higher taxes — at least seems to have some sort of plan to change America.

The absurdity of $1.5 trillion annual deficits is easy to run on; but where in the budget should we freeze or cut spending? To restore fiscal sanity, we need details rather than vague promises to reduce red ink to a particular percentage of GDP. Is there to be an across-the-board spending freeze or targeted cuts? How much, if at all, does defense get cut? If it does, where and how?

Fairly or not, we are at the stage where, at least in the short term, each proposed dollar of tax cuts needs to be matched by a proposed dollar of spending reduction. The supply-side notion of expanding federal revenue through tax cuts and business stimulation remains of course valid. But in the here and now, the public needs concrete reality, not assurances about more money to come in within a year or two.

Amnesty — under the euphemism of “comprehensive immigration reform” — would be a disaster. But in critiquing Obama’s policies, Republicans need to explain precisely how employer sanctions, increased patrols, and the completion of the fence will result in near-zero illegal entry. Then they must detail what exactly to do with the existing population of illegal aliens, which may well exceed 12 million — of whom most are neither felons nor unemployed.

What exactly is earned citizenship, and how does it differ from amnesty? Does one have to go back to Mexico to apply for readmission for American residency or to obtain citizenship? How would fines be levied and collected? Are we to close the border first, and let various agencies incrementally deport illegal aliens over several years as they come across them?

If the Republicans are not prepared to answer these questions and more, then they will get hit with the charge of advocating “mass deportations” — and with 60 Minutes–style stories of a valedictorian Victoria Lopez or a football star Jorge Garcia detained during a traffic stop and cruelly put on a bus to Oaxaca.

Obama seems lost on Afghanistan. He avoided General McChrystal for months. He foolishly, as with his promises on Guantanamo, set an arbitrary date for phased troop withdrawals. And he is imprisoned now within his own self-created paradox of the supposed good war in Afghanistan turned bad, and the bad war in Iraq turned good.

But what is the alternative? Can Republicans articulate a simple three-step policy that will set out: (1) our objectives and aims in Afghanistan, (2) how we are going to achieve them, and (3) a rough estimate of the costs and sacrifices necessary? Can they explain why continuing the war is preferable to leaving? Without some specificity about what would constitute victory and how we can secure it, we are back to Nixon’s campaign promise of a “secret plan” to abruptly end the Vietnam War, which turned out to be Vietnamization stretched out over four years.

Obama’s reset foreign policy is heading for a Carter-like collision with reality. But so far has anyone in the opposition explicitly explained why the new alignment policy is wrong, and how it can be changed? Should we reemphasize our ties with Britain, Colombia, Israel, and India, while ceasing to talk to Iran and Syria? What would the conservative reset-button diplomacy with Russia and China look like?

It is easy to denounce the pathetic apology tours, but what exactly is the Republican vision of how to explain an exceptional America without being haughty? Instead of U.N. guidance, is there to be a determined effort to encourage democratic and free-market nations to join America in resisting autocracy? Can we hear that Guantanamo both is a humane detention center and fulfills a need in a war in which terrorist killers do not fit the traditional criteria of the Geneva Conventions, as Eric Holder himself once explained? Could a Republican explain how these new $1.5 trillion deficits cripple U.S. foreign-policy options?

Cap-and-trade looms as a calamity. The billions Obama has spent on wind and solar subsidies seem to be yet another boondoggle. Fine — but exactly how are we going to transition to new fuels without going broke? Will the Republicans explain why oil, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar power are all necessary, and state the rough percentage of our energy profile that each should make up? Can they retool “Drill, baby, drill” for the post-BP age?

The more we learn about Obama’s health-care solution, the more we see that it will be the source of vast new problems. Okay. But do the Republicans have a way to manage costs for the aged and ill, who in their last year often exceed the aggregate health-care expenditure of their entire life up until then? Can the opposition address that issue in ways other than dismissing “death panels”? Do kids between age 23 and their first job need health insurance? And if so, how are they going to get it? How does the middle-class family with a house, two cars, and a 401(k) not lose everything if the suddenly out-of-work father develops lymphoma? Or does it lose everything?

Entitlement costs are slowly strangling the American economy. Medicare and Social Security are unsustainable. We can all agree on that, and on the fact that the Democrats’ usual response is to demagogue anyone who points it out. But what exactly would Republicans do? Raise the age for Social Security eligibility? Raise Medicare premiums? The days of simply adding on prescription-drug benefits without the means to pay for them are long over. And yet the last time Republicans offered the solution of quasi-private retirement and health-care accounts, in 2005, they were massacred politically. Have they got better ideas now — or a better notion of how to present these largely good ideas?

Cannot Republicans insist on an ethics pledge, so that the careers of a Charles Rangel and a Chris Dodd are not followed by another Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham?

Republican politicos will quite accurately lecture that presenting such detailed alternative plans would be foolhardy: The key now is simply to be against what an unpopular Obama is for. I accept that offering detailed solutions might well turn the public as much against the proposed medicine as against the original malignant disease.

Yet at some point, blanket Obama-bashing without a comprehensive alternative will turn stale. Critics of Obama — if they are to be taken seriously — will have to be about more than not being Obama. Instead, conservatives must identify exactly how to undo the Obama agenda — and do so in a way that does not earn them the disdain that the Republican Congress earned between 2001 and 2006, and the Republican administration between 2005 and 2009.

We need some notion of a contracted agenda, so that conservative voters can hold conservative politicians to account in this age of anti-incumbency. Voters wanted closed borders, balanced budgets, ethical members of Congress, and less government between 2001 and 2006. They believed that all of that had been promised — and then were sorely disappointed.

In short, conservative voters want to see something specific — as much to keep their own honest as to defeat the other.


— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kagan Must Answer the Question About DOMA

This week the Senate looks to approve or filibuster Elena Kagan as another notoriously radical Obama appointment.  Again, going against the will of the people who want a conservative as the next Supreme Court justice, Obama nominates a radical ideologue.  If we have any more like Kagan, our constitutional rights, as laid out by our Founding Fathers based on years of experience, will be in serious peril.

This is why it is imperative that she be stopped.  We still do not know her position on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as she cleverly skirted around it.  DOMA has been challenged by the not-to-be-forgotten Martha Coakley, and it looks like it may go all the way to the Supreme Court.  We seriously need to know Kagan's stance on these issues, and needs to be called back to answer a few more questions.

Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum writes a brilliant piece on this, with oodles of fantastic references.  One of my favorites is the reference she makes to the devious (a la Obamacare) Obama administration as in it for the "long march", referring to the Mao dynasty in such a way that is chilling.

Anyway, be sure to get on that phone, fax or email to the Senators (Grassfire's contact list)

Kagan Must Answer the Question About DOMA
by Phyllis Schlafly, July 16, 2010

If Elena Kagan is confirmed for the Supreme Court, it will not matter that Martha Coakley failed to win her bid to fill out Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. Kagan's 30-plus years as one of nine votes on the Supreme Court is far more important than Scott Brown's three years as one of 100 votes in the Senate.

A litigation time bomb set by Martha Coakley — who remains state attorney general despite losing her Senate race — exploded last week in a Massachusetts courtroom. Federal Judge Joseph Tauro, who received his lifetime appointment from Richard Nixon in 1972, upheld Coakley's position in a lawsuit she filed a year ago against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Responding to written questions by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan answered "Yes" when asked whether she had "reviewed briefs" and/or "participated in some discussions" concerning the lawsuit that resulted in last week's anti-marriage decision. Kagan should be called back to answer more questions about her role in that case.

What position did she take on the DOMA case that resulted in overturning that law, and why didn't she defend it more aggressively? Would she recuse herself when this case, or a similar marriage case, reaches the Supreme Court?

The one-man, one-woman definition of marriage is enshrined in the laws of 45 states, and has been upheld by popular vote in 31 states from Maine to Hawaii. The 1996 federal law attacked by Martha Coakley applies this same definition to the 1,138 federal laws that refer to marriage.

It was only six months ago that the charismatic Republican Scott Brown defeated the dour feminist Martha Coakley for the U.S. Senate seat that had been held by the Kennedy family for 58 years. It was a humiliating repudiation of liberalism in its Massachusetts homeland.

Scott Brown's election meant that Democrats lost their filibuster-proof 60-vote Senate majority for the remainder of Obama's presidential term. Pundits predicted that meant the end of Obamacare, cap and trade, card check, comprehensive immigration reform, and the rest of the "hope and change" agenda.

But the Obama-Pelosi liberals are here for the "long march," and they quickly regrouped their forces. Using unprecedented parliamentary chicanery to bypass Senate rules, they managed to get another | version of Obamacare to the President for his signature at the end of March.

As soon the ink was dry but before congressmen had actually read the over-2,000-page bill, Democrats tried to pretend the debate was over because Obamacare is now the "law of the land." But polls continue to show that 60 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare, including 52 percent who "strongly favor repeal."

Missouri just became the 21st state to sue on behalf of its citizens for a ruling that Obamacare's central provision — the mandate on individuals to buy health insurance — is unconstitutional.

Judge Tauro's written | opinion has already been criticized as illogical, even by liberals who support same-sex marriage. But liberal legal scholars are already hard at work on developing a better rationale because they are so deeply invested in getting rid of DOMA.

As Justice Scalia wrote about an earlier case, the new DOMA decision is "the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda." Kagan on the Supreme Court would permanently entrench what Scalia called the "law profession's anti-anti-homosexual culture," by reading it into the U.S. Constitution.

Elena Kagan has been called Obama in a skirt. Her youth was steeped in the notoriously radical politics of the Upper West Side of New York City, absorbing "progressive" views that are reflected in the theses she wrote at Princeton and Oxford. If confirmed, she would be the 6th Justice on the current Supreme Court who was born in New York or New Jersey and the 9th who attended Harvard or Yale law schools.

The American people were hoping the next Supreme Court justice would be conservative. According to a Fox News poll in April, 52 percent said they wanted President Obama to nominate "someone who is more of a conservative" and only 29 percent wanted "someone who is more of a liberal."

We hope the Senators realize that their vote on Elena Kagan is crucial because she could be the deciding vote on the constitutionality of both DOMA and Obamacare. Despite all her non-answers to softball questions in the hearing, there is no question about how she will vote.

Abe Lincoln warned us that "if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, ... the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

Further reading:
Elena Kagan Should Be Rejected 7-10-2010
Obama Steers the Court Left 5-14-2010

Read more pieces by Phyllis Schlafly here

Saturday, July 17, 2010

U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs

The threat of shutting down free speech is growing, as in a recent report on Torrent Freak, under the guise of 'mis-use':

Indeed, 73,000 blogs is a significant number to take down in one swoop, regardless of what some users of the site may or may not have been doing. Time will tell if it was indeed a copyright complaint that took down the service but the signs are certainly there. Not so long ago the conclusion that this type of action could be taken on copyright grounds would have been dismissed out of hand, but the current atmosphere seems to be changing.

This is just the beginning of Big Government's "boot on the neck of" free speech, and the fear is more sites, along with talk radio, will soon be in their crosshairs.  The timing couldn't be more obvious in light of the upcoming November 2010 [and 2012] elections.  But, Americans are ever vigilant and more involved than ever before.  Election Day is 108 days away, and we have a choice to make.

Not that any of us fell for his garbage, but this is one of the most moving and motivating videos, and apparently the libs are trying to drive it off the "free press", aka You Tube:

Hap tip Power Line, via Mark Levin

America Rising: An Open Letter to Democrat Politicians

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black Tea Party Spokesperson Lloyd Marcus, Rebukes NAACP

As we near the all-important November elections, Democrats are running scared and pulling out all the stops. Playing the race card is what they do best.  It's their only argument, because they cannot debate on the issues.  Their only resort is name calling, and 'racist' is their most effective card.

This also includes what the libs are doing in Arizona -- in essence, playing the race card again.  What it boils down to is, if you disagree with Obama, then you are a racist.  Nothing could be more obsurd, and Lloyd Marcus writes a brilliant piece on exposing the truth about the NAACP.  He speaks about a quote of civil rights pioneer, James E. Johnson "...there are only two things that motivate people:  One is fear, and the other is love".

Mr. Marcus has attended over 200 Tea Parties across the nation. Guess he should know.........

Black Tea Party Spokesperson Lloyd Marcus, Rebukes NAACP Resolution Against Tea Parties
by Lloyd Marcus, July 15, 2010

I'm re-reading a book I read several years ago titled "Beyond Defeat" by a wonderful black civil rights pioneer, James E. Johnson. To quote Johnson, "...there are only two things that motivate people: One is fear, and the other is love".

In the early 50s, Johnson's journey as a civil rights trail blazer began when he became the first black U.S. Marine Corps NCO (Non-commissioned officer). Johnson went to see a movie at the "on base" movie theater and sat in the section reserved for staff NCOs. An MP asked Johnson to move because he was not a white NCO. Johnson refused to move stating that forcing him to move would be a violation of his Constitutional Rights. Despite numerous higher ups demanding that Johnson move from his seat, Johnson remained seated taking a stand for what he knew to be right. Johnson loved and believed in the greatness of America.

Johnson eventually became the first black Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Vice Chairman of the Civil Service Commission. Though a courageous hard working man of character, Johnson attributes his numerous firsts and extraordinary achievements to his faith in God and love. "Love is beyond defeat, and love never faileth."

Now, back to Johnson's statement that folks are motivated by love or fear.

The NAACP Resolution proclaiming the Tea Party Movement to be racist is motivated by hate and fear. Though well disguised in intellectual rhetoric, underneath festers hate and fear. Along with their underlying resentment of whites and non forgiveness of America's sins of the past, the NAACP has become zealots for the religion of Progressivism which preaches victimhood-ism and entitlement. The NAACP are the true racists whose secret motto is "Keep Hate & Victimhood-ism Alive."

The NAACP fears the Tea Parties because they are effective; getting conservatives elected and giving We The People a voice to challenge the "deaf to the will of the American people" Obama administration.

Obama and the NAACP are kindred spirits in their disdain for America and the tea parties. Speaking at an NAACP event, President Obama fed the mostly black audience red meat sure to please. Obama said racism is still very much alive and a problem for blacks in America. The audience erupted in cheers and applause. In essence the NAACP audience was saying, "Hallelujah, we're still victims in America!"

First lady Michelle Obama followed her husband's shameful lead bashing America in her recent speech at the 2010 NAACP convention. Mrs. Obama said blacks are still suffering due to "stubborn inequalities." Not only is this an outrageous lie, it continues to inspire hate and victim/entitlement mindsets.

I don't know if Mrs. Obama can sing, but her manipulation of the NAACP audience would have been complete had she ended her victim-hood speech by spontaneously breaking into an a cappella version of their 50's theme song, "We Shall Overcome". There would not have been a dry eye in the room. It would have surely won the first lady a very long standing "O."

The NAACP perceives race relations in America and functions as if stuck in a 1950's time warp. Ignoring the reality that the leader of the free world is a black man, the NAACP mantra is America sucks and we still have a long way to go.

Slandering the Tea Party patriots as racist is a disgusting, divisive and evil lie from the pit of hell. I am a black tea party patriot entertainer/spokesperson who has attended over 200 tea parties across America with Tea Party Express.

For the ga-zillionth time, the tea party attendees are not racist. They are decent hard working Americans motivated by love for their country. These patriots oppose Obama's policies, not his skin color.

America is the greatest land on the planet for all who choose to go for it via education, hard work and a dream. In areas where blacks are having difficulty, the problem is not a racist America. The true enemies of the black community are liberal Democrat policies and programs which have destroyed the black family enslaving them to government.

It is truly sad to see the once great civil rights organization acting like modern day "Uncle Tom" slaves on a liberal plantation selling out their people for a seat in the big house at the liberal democrat Massa's table.

The bottom line is the NAACP, Obama and their co-conspirators in the liberal mainstream media have no interest in the truth regarding the tea parties. Their only goal is the furtherance of their progressive agenda. Thus, they will continue lying and functioning from a place of hate and fear which will ultimately lead to their destruction.

What the anti-America zealots can not comprehend or understand is this incredible tea party movement was birthed out of and is motivated by love for our great country. Love is the source of our extraordinary strength and growing power. Motivated by love, we tea party patriots are defeating the anti-America zealots. Come November, the anti-America zealots will be devastated. How do I know this? Because love never fails.

Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American President, NAACPC

Spokesperson/Entertainer of Tea Party Movement & Tea Party Express.
The American Tea Party Anthem cd/album.
Confessions of a Black Conservative, foreword by Michelle Malkin.
President, NAACPC (National Association for the Advancement of Conservative People of ALL Colors)
Join Lloyd Marcus Facebook Page

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A SPEECH EVERY AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SHOULD GIVE

It is really so simple.  Why does it have to be so difficult?  We have truly lost our way, and I pray we get back to the school system so beautifully laid out by Dennis Prager.  Never in my lifetime have I seen such division between the races, in an age when we have come so far beyond it.

Conservatives have fought since the beginning of our country for equality for all, and this president has thrown America back generations with his race baiting administration.

Conservatives need to keep their focus, not get caught up in the muck and mire, and work towards an America so aptly described by Dennis Prager.

A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give
by Dennis Prager, July 13, 2010

If every school principal gave this speech at the beginning of the next school year, America would be a better place.

To the students and faculty of our high school:

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.

The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.

If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race- and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America, one of its three central values -- e pluribus unum, "from many, one." And this school will be guided by America's values.

This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self -- while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interesting in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the f-word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.


Read more Dennis Prager here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

WILL PRESIDENT OBAMA FACE THE FACTS?

Can you feel the momentum shifting? More and more Americans on both sides are becoming disappointed with the president and his failed policies, including the Gulf oil leak, which might have been the tipping point. Obama likes to put fancy words on his fancy redistribution of wealth, but you can't camouflage a declining economy, or a declining housing industry, or declining employment when people live it every day.

For the first time in a long time, people are frightened about the future, especially with looming tax burdens about to hit. The threat of losing tax deductions such as mortgage interest, property tax, or contributions, coupled with new taxes such as a consumption (VAT) tax and numerous other taxes makes for many sleepless nights.

You can put any kind of pretty bow on it such as "Recovery", "Reform", or "Restore", but stealing is stealing, and Obama is stealing our property, our wages, and most importantly our liberty -- all intertwined. If it looks like a tax.... if it sounds like a tax.... it IS a tax, and the way this government is spending our tax dollars, against public outcry, is highway robbery.

There was a huge jump from the end of June to early July in the polls for people who want Obamacare repealed to 60%. We cannot let this momentum fade into the sunset, especially in light of Obama's 'recess' appointment of socialist loving Donald Berwick as the new head of the CMS (one of the largest agencies in the federal government). This means we are definitely looking at the hotly denied 'Death Panels', since Berwick has stated he admires the failed British National Health Service, best known for its rationing, and rationing means death panels.

One of the most astounding aspect of Obamacare is that it creates 159 new agencies, mostly in the Department of Health and Human Services, many repetitive and all combined, a massive growth of government power. Senator Barrasso, M.D. and Senator Coburn, M.D. have introduced a new report about the strain this new law will put on America.

From Human Events, Newt Gingrich writes an interesting piece about the over-reaching Obama administration, his over-spending and the affects of Obamacare:

Will President Obama Face the Facts?
by Newt Gingrich, July 6, 2010

Three weeks ago, the White House promised America a government-spending-fueled “recovery summer.” What we’ve seen thus far, however, is big government’s true, destructive impact on the natural resiliency of the American economy: By spending too much, growing government too fast, and threatening to raise taxes, President Obama and the left-wing Democratic leadership in Congress have created a climate of fear and uncertainty amongst job creators that has decisively hurt the economy, not helped it.

Consider the jobs data for the month of June:

• 125,000 Americans lost their jobs. That means more than 3 million Americans have lost their jobs since President Obama signed the stimulus bill

• The U.S. workforce shrank by 652,000, meaning that nearly 8 people left the labor force for each private sector job created. 124,000 of those workers were simply discouraged and have given up trying to find a job. Over the past 12 months, more than 400,000 Americans gave up looking for work.

• The 83,000 private-sector jobs added in June is 209,000 jobs below the "replacement level" of 292,000 new jobs a month required to get unemployment back to 5%. In fact, for every one million Americans out of work in June, only 5,600 private sector jobs were filled.

• The average time needed to find a job rose to 35.2 weeks. This average time figure is unprecedented in the post-war era.

• The ISM non-manufacturing job index fell to a worse than expected 53.8%.

• ISM's employment index fell to 49.7% in June (below 50% means the jobs sector is declining).

(Click here for a useful graphical representation of the terrible June economic numbers from the Wall Street Journal).

Job-Killing Policies Kill Jobs

The core obstacle standing in the way of job creation in America is no longer the financial system or housing market – it is out of control big government.

As this article by Louis Woodhill makes clear, previous steep recessions have been marked by similarly steep recoveries. What makes this recession different has been the extraordinary irresponsibility of President Obama and the left wing Democrats in Congress.

Under President Obama, the national debt has increased by $2.4 trillion in less than two years. Americans look at our exploding national debt and wonder if we're going to follow in the footsteps of Greece.

Furthermore, the healthcare law signed by President Obama is so confusing that many companies cannot project the costs of hiring new employees (more on this below). Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, predicts "slower economic growth than we've had in the first and second quarter" of 2010 and cites the uncertainty caused by the President's healthcare law as a major reason why businesses are not hiring. (One wonders if Speaker Pelosi still defends the idea that it is OK to pass a major piece of legislation before knowing what is in the bill.)

Now, job creators are wondering what destructive action the Democrats will take next. The administration is cynically using the BP oil spill to advocate for a new cap-and-trade energy tax that is estimated to kill 5.1 million jobs over the next 40 years and cost the American economy $125 billion per year. That's over $1,000 per household. Also, the administration has in the past few months floated the idea of a value-added-tax, scaring job creators even more.

All this economic uncertainty, much of it caused by the actions of the government, has caused companies to hoard a record $1.8 trillion in cash reserves. Three weeks ago, I met with 24 small business owners in St. Louis and none of them said they planned to hire any new employees in the next six months. Small businesses cite government regulation and high taxes as the top two challenges facing their companies, according to a recent American Solutions Small Business survey.

Calling James Carville and Jim Jordan

President Obama and congressional Democrats must do a gut-check and recognize the destructive effect their policies and actions are having on job creation in America.

To understand how to move forward, President Obama should make two phone calls.

The first call should be to James Carville to ask to borrow his sign from the 1992 presidential campaign that said "It's the economy, stupid." President Obama should hang that sign in the Oval Office as a reminder that government policies can either help create jobs or help kill them, and every decision his administration makes going forward must favor job creation.

The second phone call should be to Congressman Jim Jordan.

Congressman Jordan has introduced the Economic Freedom Act, a series of bold tax cuts that would empower job creators to do what they do best. I've written about the Economic Freedom Act before and you can read details here.

The worsening economic data will provoke calls for Congress to take action to spur job creation. In choosing how to move forward, the administration can either repeat the same mistake they made last time and let Nancy Pelosi draft another big-government spending bill. Or he can learn from the failure of the stimulus and work with Congressman Jordan to pass the Economic Freedom Act.

If President Obama can summon the courage to recognize reality and change course, the left wing of the President's party will be furious, but the country will be thankful.

Bad Medicine

On Thursday, America will eclipse the 100-day mark since President Obama signed his massive, 2,700 page big government healthcare bill, and opposition continues to grow. A Rasmussen poll released this weekend shows that 60 percent of American voters want Obamacare repealed immediately, 49 percent of whom feel very strongly about it.

Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) and John Barrasso, M.D. (R-Wyo.) are releasing a report today entitled, Bad Medicine: A Check-Up on the New Federal Health Law, that details problems with the new law and the punishing effect it will have on hardworking Americans. As doctors by profession, Sen. Coburn and Sen. Barrasso bring a unique understanding to their role as legislators relative to the new health care law.

As they note in the report, it is a fact that millions of Americans will lose their current healthcare coverage as a result of the law. Additionally, taxes will be increased during a time of economic uncertainty and 16 million individuals will be forced into failing state Medicaid programs that are already strapped for manpower and funding.

The report is very thorough and compelling, and can be found here.

Making Sense of the Nonsense

While Americans attempt to understand the new law and the impact it will have on them and their families, the Center for Health Transformation is helping. The Center recently released two new wall charts that detail the increased bureaucracy that the law creates and a timeline of all the deadlines contained within the 2,700 pages of text.

Obamacare includes the creation of 159 new agencies, offices, and programs (most of which are housed within the Department of Health and Human Services) that are at times repetitive, and amount to an overall massive growth in power and scope of the federal government.

The timeline chart was created with information compiled by the Republican staff of the House Energy and Commerce committee and shows 50 square feet of nearly 500 deadlines contained in the law through 2020. The administration has already missed some of these deadlines and has a long way to go to achieve completion of such a complex implementation timeline. These two charts simply illustrate increased government involvement in our healthcare system. They can be viewed and purchased at the Center's website.

Your friend,

Newt


Read more Newt here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

PATRICK HENRY AT ST. JOHN'S CHURCH in 1775


In case you have doubts as to why we must remain and stay involved in fighting this soft tyranny, may I offer the famous speech of Patrick Henry's which he made at St. John's Church in 1775. I couldn't even get past the first sentence before I was overwhelmed with emotion.

PATRICK HENRY AT ST. JOHN'S CHURCH in 1775
h/t hogan at RedState

Erick [Erickson] appropriately posted the powerful words penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 earlier. As a graduate of Mr. Jefferson’s University, I am obliged to promote it yet again, of course. However, I have always felt the Declaration understandably but unfortunately overshadows the many steps that got us to that point. One of those, of course, was fellow Virginian Patrick Henry’s famous speech delivered at St. John’s Church in 1775. That speech is famous for the line, “Give me liberty or give me death,” and for good reason - but the speech in its entirety says so much more about the cause for freedom.

Of note: There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

Enjoy the speech in its entirety and God Bless America.

**************

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

THE LEGACY OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

As we celebrate the 234th Birthday of America, and the spirit of The Founders who pledged their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor to give America the founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights....

I think of what President Ronald Reagan said, and how every generation has to fight tyranny:

"Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day, we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

From Human Events, Newt Ginrich writes a beautiful piece on our legacy:

The Legacy of the Declaration of Independence
by Newt Gingrich, June 30, 2010

This Sunday, July 4th, we will once again celebrate our nation's founding, marking the day in 1776 that the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence was intended to be an official statement explaining why the 13 American colonies had declared their independence from Great Britain. In the years following its passage, however, this statement of principles about the rights of man grew to mean much more.

America became the only country in history founded, as Leo Strauss explained, "in explicit opposition to Machiavellian principles," by which he meant crass, power politics. Instead, America was founded on a set of clearly expressed "self-evident" truths. Thomas Jefferson said the Declaration was "intended to be an expression of the American mind," and indeed, no document since has so succinctly and so eloquently spelled out the spirit of America.

Our country has evolved out of the timeless truths expressed in the Declaration of Independence to develop a distinct character and set of values that distinguishes us from even other Western democracies.

This holiday, it is worth taking a look at how several key phrases from the Declaration of Independence have served as definitional statements about the aspirations of America, and how those words of our Founding Fathers' have affected America in the 234 years since they were written.

"...all men are created equal"

The Founding Fathers who authored the Declaration were the first people in the history of the world ever to express our natural equality as a principle of government in such an unqualified way. Though neither the Constitution that followed nor the Founders personally quite fulfilled the promise of those words, it has since been the project of our country to accomplish them.

America came to recognize that though we are not all literally equal -- we are born with different capabilities and attributes, and to different stations in life -- the words of the founders capture the truth that we must treat each other as equals. We are "created equal" in the sense that all men (and, we now recognize, all women) have the same natural rights, granted to them by God. We are all the same under the law.

This powerful statement of universal rights was used by abolitionists as a moral cudgel to rid the United States of slavery, an institution explicitly at odds with the truths expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln consistently evoked the phrase in his famous Peoria speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and later during the Lincoln-Douglas debates. As President, Lincoln again included the phrase in the Gettysburg Address as the moral underpinning by which the union should be rededicated. Later, during the women's suffrage movement and civil rights struggles of the 1960s, leaders such as Martin Luther King used the powerful phrase as a reminder to America that separate (treating people differently under the law based on their race) was not equal.

Leaders such as Lincoln and King believed that as America's founding political document, the Declaration of Independence is our moral guide with which to interpret the Constitution. They saw that we cannot divorce the law from the moral underpinnings that legitimize it.

But by what authority does that moral underpinning exist?

"...endowed by their Creator"

The core contention of the Declaration of Independence and the principle of natural rights upon which America was founded is that there is a higher moral order upon which the laws of man must be based. The Declaration asserts the existence of "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God," which had a clear meaning in 18th Century England and America. It referred to the will of God as displayed by the natural order of the world.

John Locke, who was widely read by the leaders of colonial America, wrote in his Second Treatise on Government: "Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule of all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions, must...be conformable to the law of nature, i.e., to the will of God."

William Blackstone, who was arguably the single greatest influence on the creation of the American legal system, wrote in Commentaries on the Laws of England, "As man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should at all points conform to his maker's will."

America's founding was heavily influenced by the English and Scottish enlightenment, which specifically included a space for God and religion in its conceptions of rights, freedom and human reason. This gave the American Revolution a distinctly different character than the French Revolution, which in its most radical phase sought freedom by casting off all authority and remnants of the existing order -- especially God.

In the American formulation as declared by our founders, man's rights come from God, not from man's ability to "reason" them into existence. Man does not depend on government to grant him rights through a bureaucratic process, but instead to secure those rights that have been granted to him by God.

In other words, power comes from God, to you, which is then loaned to government. Thus, the Declaration states, "That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

The English and Scottish enlightenment's conscious inclusion of a space for God and religion had another key influence on the American system of government. Whereas the French Revolution believed it could create a "new man" through government education and indoctrination, the American Founding Fathers had a profound sense of the fallen nature of man. Thus, they created a system of checks and balances that would serve as a restraint on those in power.

(If you want to learn more, Callista and I have developed a series of books and DVDs to explain the deep faith of the Founding Fathers called Rediscovering God in America.)

"...the pursuit of happiness"

Here again we see the influence of the English and Scottish enlightenment on the Founding Fathers. For writers such as John Locke and Francis Hutcheson, the term "happiness" meant something close to "wisdom and virtue." It did not mean hedonism or other shallow pleasures as the term is too often confused to mean today.

It is also essential to note that the Declaration does not say that we have a right to have happiness provided to us. It says we have the right to pursue happiness - an active verb. As I point out in jest to audiences in my speeches, the Declaration says nothing about a right to redistribution of happiness. It says nothing about happiness stamps. It does not say some people can be too happy and that government should make them less happy out of a sense of fairness.

The Founding Fathers understood that government could not give people happiness, that it was instead up to government to create an environment where the people could best work to achieve their dreams. As AEI's Arthur Brooks has pointed out, polls of wealthy and successful people show that the harder one works for that success, the greater happiness one derives from it.

America is a land where through hard work, determination, and entrepreneurialism, people can achieve their big dreams. The right of "the pursuit of happiness" spelled out in the Declaration is a definitional statement about the nature of America that has attracted people from all over the world to come here to pursue those dreams.

Who We Are This July 4th

A bedrock belief of American conservatism is a respect for the established traditions and values of American culture. Conservatives believe from the time the first colonists landed in Jamestown, America took on a unique culture and set of values that have set us apart from our European cousins: a belief in natural rights, strong religious faith and values, the importance of the work ethic, and a spirit of community that manifests itself in a belief in limited government and strong civic participation. It is this set of beliefs -- truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence -- that have made America so successful, and they deserve to be protected.

The modern Left -- what I describe in my book To Save America as a "secular-socialist machine" -- is using every lever of power at its disposal to dismantle our unique American civilization and replace it with a secular, bureaucratic culture in which government is big, citizens are small, and our rights are defined by the state rather than endowed by our Creator. Equality under the law is being discarded in favor of equality of results; consent of the governed is being subverted by an increasingly overbearing federal bureaucracy and imperial judiciary; and the pursuit of happiness is being undermined by a redistributive welfare state that kills the can-do, entrepreneurial spirit of America.

This July 4th, I hope you will take time to read the Declaration of Independence and consider the truths about our rights and freedoms contained within. I hope you will take time to appreciate the sacrifices made by the founding generation and generations since to secure our liberty.

But most of all, I hope you will take time to appreciate the greatness of America and how hard we must be willing to work to preserve that which makes it so special.

Happy Independence Day.

Your friend,


Newt


P.S. Healthcare Watch: The new healthcare law created a hopeless maze of new bureaucracies and laws that have a timeline for implementation - a timeline almost nobody thinks the government is capable of keeping. One of the first public deadlines to watch for comes this Thursday, July 1 when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must establish a new insurance web portal through which individuals can identify health coverage options at the state level, including the newly required high-risk pools.

Will they meet this deadline? Visit HealthCare.gov on Thursday morning to find out. And track all future deadlines with the Center for Health Transformation by clicking here.