Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gun Control and the Liberal Mind

I have a group of friends who meet for breakfast every two weeks. We are all conservatives except for one man who is a liberal. My liberal friend, who says there are no gun control laws in Chicago, where he’s from, also believes that Major Hasan, who murdered 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood and shot 32 others, is not an Islamic terrorist. He also seems to believe that normal, heterosexual men sexually molest young boys, not homosexuals. That’s why, according to him, it is wrong for the Boy Scouts to exclude homosexual men from being Scout Leaders. I guess that’s why we keep him around: so we are reminded occasionally just how warped the liberal mind is.  He really is a nice guy, though, who volunteers his time to help others.

Why isn't gun control working in Chicago?

January 30, 2013 Washington Examiner

One week ago, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton performed with her high school band here in Washington at President Obama's inauguration. In addition to being a majorette, Pendleton was also an honor student and volleyball player who dreamed of visiting Paris this summer.

On Tuesday, she was shot dead in a public park two blocks from her high school and less than a mile from Obama's Kenwood home in Chicago. The shooting prompted White House spokesman Jay Carney to remark, "If we can save even one child's life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence."

Pendleton was the 44th homicide victim in Chicago so far this year. That puts Chicago on pace to surpass last year's total of more than 500 murders. Chicago homicides have picked up dramatically in recent years and now outnumber killings in New York, which has three times Chicago's population. Meanwhile, in the Big Apple, fewer people were killed in 2012 than in any year since the 1960s. During a nine-day stretch this month, not a single New Yorker was murdered. Here in Washington, there have been only four murders so far in 2013. That's down 33 percent from the same period last year, when the city had the fewest killings in 50 years.

Despite the media's intense attention to mass shootings, homicides, violent crime and gun deaths are all decreasing nationally, according to the latest FBI statistics. But not in Chicago. So what is causing the unacceptable wave of gun violence in Chicago?

It's not because of lenient gun control laws. Chicago has the strongest gun control regime in the nation. Both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are completely banned in the city. And up until the 2010 Supreme Court decision that legalized them, handguns were banned too.

You can now get a permit to own a firearm in Chicago, but it requires firearms training, two separate background checks and a firearm owner's identification card. As a result of these burdensome and punitive measures, only 7,640 people currently hold a firearms permit in Chicago. But criminals couldn't care less about Chicago's gun laws. Chicago police seized 7,400 guns used in crimes in 2012 alone.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in the U.S. Capitol titled "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?" Mass-shooting victim and former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords testified, as did National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. But no one from the new murder capital of the United States, Chicago, was invited to testify.

If Senate Democrats continue to push for more gun control legislation while ignoring the failure of existing, similar gun control laws in the president's hometown, House Republicans should rectify the situation. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., should take C-SPAN's cameras on the road and hold a field hearing in one of the few American cities where gun violence is bad and getting worse. We suggest a title that gets right to the point: "Why Isn't Gun Control Working in Chicago?"

One question to address: If the real problem is that guns can be purchased in other jurisdictions, then why are America's other major cities seeing such huge declines in their murder rates, despite the fact that nearly all of them are near states with relatively lax gun laws?

If Democrats are truly interested in making Americans safer, and not just in passing feel-good laws that will do nothing to decrease gun violence, then they should welcome a closer look at what is going so horribly wrong in Obama's hometown.

Some Statistics on the Unreported War in America

• Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.

• When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.

• Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

• Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Had Forgotten Sally, Elizabeth and Juanita

Why am I attacking Hillary Clinton? Because this lying, scheming bitch is being positioned to run for president in 2016, and through her incompetence and lies, four Americans lie dead, and America is shown to be a foolish, toothless weakling to the Islamists. This woman, formerly known as the smartest woman in the world, only accomplished two things in her lifetime: marrying Bill, and then saving his presidency with her lies and schemes to cover up his immorality and attacks on women.

Incidentally, the Steve Kroft who interviewed the Clintons on 60 Minutes in 1992 showed last night that he has obviously surrendered to the CBS liberal agenda.

Hillary's First Big Lie

By Jack Cashill January 28, 2013 American Thinker

The congressional hearings on Benghazi last week led me to question just when it was that public integrity ceased to matter. After some research, I came to an unexpectedly specific answer -- January 26, 1992, the day America first met Hillary Clinton.

Earlier that month, Arkansas state employee Gennifer Flowers confessed to a tabloid that she and Bill Clinton had engaged in a 12-year affair. In a desperate attempt to save Bill's candidacy for president, the Clintons agreed to be interviewed by Steve Kroft on CBS's 60 Minutes.

Upon watching this interview, I was struck by how forcefully Kroft stuck it to the Clintons. I had all but forgotten that in days gone by news people expected the truth from public officials, even Democratic front-runners for the presidency. Starting with this interview, the Clintons would dramatically lower that expectation.

When Kroft asked Bill if he had an affair with Flowers, he answered, "That allegation is false." Hillary, her hands lovingly intertwined with Bill's, nodded in affirmation. Of course, they were both lying, Bill with much greater skill. Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey would later immortalize Bill as "an unusually good liar."

At this point in the interview, Hillary tried to explain how these allegations emerged. "When this woman [Flowers] first got caught up in these charges," she said, "I felt as I've felt about all of these women: that they had just been minding their own business and they got hit by a meteor, and it was no fault of their own."

It was Hillary's next thought that caused me to hit the pause button and replay the video. "We reached out to them," said Hillary. "I met with two of them to reassure them they were friends of ours." This was the only sentence for which I marked the time -- roughly 3:28 in the video clip -- and wrote down the quote verbatim.

Something provocative, perhaps historic, had caught my attention. No, it was not the use of "friends of ours," mob shorthand for "made guys." Rather, it was that on no other occasion had Hillary admitted an active role in silencing Bill's women. She continued, "I felt terrible about what was happening to them."

Hillary had reason to feel terrible. Among the people the Clintons reached out to that year -- in this case, through a proxy -- was Sally Perdue, a former Miss Arkansas and Clinton paramour. "[The proxy] said that there were people in high places who were anxious about me and they wanted me to know that keeping my mouth shut would be worthwhile," Perdue would later relate. "Worthwhile" meant a GS-11 or higher job with the federal government. If she turned down the offer and talked to the media, "He couldn't guarantee what would happen to my pretty little legs."

Perdue was the least of the Clintons' problems in 1992. More potentially troublesome were the women that Clinton had criminally assaulted or humiliated -- Juanita Broaddrick, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, and Paula Jones among others. Jones, though not raped like Broaddrick or attacked like Gracen, would prove Bill Clinton's undoing.

Later in the 60 Minutes interview, Bill swore, "I have absolutely leveled with the American people." Of course, he did no such thing, and Kroft knew it. Skeptically, Kroft asked Bill if he thought the interview would help quiet the furor. Clinton answered, "That's up to the American people and to some extent up to the press. This will test the character of the press. It is not only my character that has been tested."

By Clinton standards, the media would pass the test, ace it even, and at their prompting, so would the public. Clinton had given the media just enough cover to "move on." This was their turning point. After twelve years of Reagan and Bush, they embraced their inner liberal and abandoned their role as watchdogs. America has always had scoundrels, but never before had the media collectively championed them.

For the next six years, and more recklessly still after the disastrous 1994 mid-terms, Hillary lied as necessary to protect the Clinton brand. At every turn, her co-dependents in the major media enabled her. Appalled by her performance, William Safire famously designated Hillary "a congenital liar" in a 1996 New York Times op-ed, but Hillary was just learning the art of the lie.

In 1998, she had plenty of opportunity to hone her craft. That year the story of Bill's sordid sexual history broke into public view despite the major media's best efforts to conceal it. The intrepid reporting of the American Spectator and the emergence of the Internet, the Drudge Report in particular, made containment impossible.

Unwilling to abandon the Clintons, the major media savaged the truth tellers -- the whistleblowers, the prosecutors, the "bimbos" that erupted -- and shifted their protective embrace to Hillary as the future progressive torchbearer. Almost to a person, in ways big and small, they helped her survive this ordeal.

Six years and a day after she lied on 60 Minutes to protect Bill's candidacy, Hillary lied on the Today Show to protect his presidency. "There isn't any fire," she told Matt Lauer about the "smoke" surrounding her husband, and unlike Steve Kroft in 1992, Lauer allowed her to lie.

He shifted his inquiry from whether Bill had a sexual liaison with Monica Lewinsky to whether independent counsel Ken Starr's "thirty million dollar" investigation had unfairly targeted the president. This set-up allowed Hillary to establish the media narrative going forward. ''The great story here," she said for the ages, "is this vast right-wing conspiracy that been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president."

The media helped in less obvious ways as well. In 1998, the Washington Post ran an historical series on Bill's sexual misadventures. One day the Post included a transcript of the 1992 60 Minutes interview. What follows is an excerpt from that transcript.

[These women] had just been minding their own business and they got hit by a meteor . . . . I felt terrible about what was happening to them.

The ellipsis conceals from the reader the most significant quote in the interview: "We reached out to them. I met with two of them to reassure them they were friends of ours." This was the only passage of any substance edited out of the transcript. In 1998, there was no YouTube. Readers relied on transcripts. By this time, much of the public was aware that the outreach to "these women" had not been at all friendly. A Post editor had chosen to scrub Hillary's sordid role in that outreach from the record.

Hillary would later claim to have learned about Bill's affair with Monica just before his August 1998 grand jury testimony. In fact, however, it was Hillary, working through her acolytes, who had Monica booted from the White House before the story went public and branded as a stalker after it did. The media chose not to know. They allowed the smartest woman in the world to play innocent victim, and this improbable role immunized her from scandal and burnished her political star.

By 2012, the major media had become so comfortable with Clinton lies that not a single one among them pointed out the grotesque irony of having an unrepentant sexual predator keynote a Democratic Convention whose theme was the "Republican war on women."

So accustomed had Hillary grown to having her lies glossed over that she grew increasingly indignant even at the timid questions Congress threw her way at last week's Benghazi hearing. When asked by Senator Ron Johnson about her version of events, Hillary exploded in an outburst destined to be at least as famous as her "vast right wing conspiracy" jeremiad.

Said Hillary, summing up the state of public integrity in 2013, "What difference at this point does it make?" Say what you will, but today, that is a legitimate question.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Is an American Secretary of State?

The only thing more incredible than Hillary Clinton’s outrageous incompetence as Secretary of State is the fact that traitor Kerry is slated to replace her. All through the Clinton years we witnessed the spectacle of her lies and schemes to protect her womanizing, sexually harassing and rapist husband from the consequences of his actions. (Remember Paula, Gennifer, Kathleen and Monica among others?) Four Americans including an American Ambassador are dead due to her nonfeasance and collusion in the lies about the video.

3 Incredibly Outrageous Evasions by Hillary Clinton About Benghazi

Nick Gillespie Jan. 24, 2013 Reason

During a long day of testifying before House and Senate panels, outgoing Secretary of State - and presumptive Democratic Party candidate for the presidency in 2016 - Hillary Clinton batted away contentious questions from Republicans like Ted Williams at a Little League game. She also soaked up extreme adulation from Democrats (including a a not-so-coded call to run for president by Sen. Barbara Boxer, who said, "You will be missed, but I for one hope for not too long").

The scene reminded me of nothing so much as Oliver North's appearance before a joint Congressional committee investigating Iran-Contra back in the 1980s. Not because of anything Clinton said but the way that she carried herself and the ease with which she wrapped herself in the flag and tragedy to obscure the simple fact that she wasn't going to answer anything. North famously showed up to testify in a military uniform that had nothing to do with his day job of subverting the U.S. Constitution from the basement of the Reagan White House. Clinton couldn't repeat that fashion statement but she was able to pound the table and choke up at all the right moments to evade serious discussion not simply of major screw-ups, but major screw-ups that will go unaccounted for.

Three major evasions from her appearances yesterday include:

1. "I take responsiblity."

From a Fox News report of the Senate hearing:

During the opening of the hearing, Clinton said she has "no higher priority" than the security of her department's staff, and that she is committed to making the department "safer, stronger and more secure."

"As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right," Clinton said, later choking up when describing how she greeted the families of the victims when the caskets were returned.

Taking responsibility is the classic dodge in Washington, where pols assume the mantle of leadership and them promptly do nothing to address the situation for which they are in hot water. What does it mean to take responsiblity for the absolute breakdown of security at a consulate where your ambassador gets murdered (along with three others)? Judging from Clinton's subsequent actions, nothing other than showing up when the dead are brought home. Worse still is Clinton's misting up over the tragedy. That makes her a little too much like the kid who kills his parents and then asks the court to take mercy on him because he's now an orphan.

2. "1.43 million cables come to my office."

ABC News reporting from the House hearings:

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, asked Clinton this afternoon why her office had not responded to a notification from Stevens about potential dangers in Libya.

"Congressman, that cable did not come to my attention," Clinton calmly told the House Foreign Affairs Committee hours after her Senate testimony this morning. "I'm not aware of anyone within my office, within the secretary's office having seen that cable."

She added that "1.43 million cables come to my office. They're all addressed to me."

Come on, already. The question is plainly not whether Clinton is reading every goddamned communication addressed to her but whether she's got the right people in charge of assessing risk and making sure resources are apportioned accordingly. Tragically, the answer was no, especially given the fact that State had cut security in Benghazi despite attacks prior to the deadly 9/11 one! This just ain't no way to run things.

3. "What difference at this point does it make?"

From a CBS News account of a confrontation between Secretary Clinton and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.):

“We were misled that there were supposedly protests and an assault spraying out of that and it was easily obtained that it was not the fact the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said.

“The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” Clinton responded.

Clinton's statement may set a new standard for politically motivated evasions of basic truth and decency. Seriously: What difference does it make? Just for low-stakes starters, there's a guy in California who was put in jail basically because the Obama administration said his stupid, irrelevant video trailer for "The Innocence of Muslims" was to blame for anti-Americanism in Libya and beyond. President Obama went to the United Nations and bitch-slapped free expression in front of a global audience on the premise that "Innocence" was the cause of the attack on Benghazi. Our own U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, took to the talk shows to peddle a line that was either wilfully misleading or simply totally wrong (Rice was the admin's point person in early appearances about Benghazi partly because, as Clinton explained yesterday, she doesn't like doing Sunday morning shows!).

Contra Clinton, it makes a great deal of difference because understanding how this all happened is the first step to making sure it doesn't happen over and over and over again.

Congressional grillings of outgoing cabinet members are not the best forum to seek truth and justice and too many of the GOP inquisitors seem determined merely to score partisan points. Then again, the Obama adminstration, at least when it comes to Benghazi, hasn't done much to be the transparent change it says it wants in all areas of government. After a blistering Senate report on the situation found "systematic failures," essentially nothing happened (at least that we know about). Two minor staffers have been booted as a result of Clinton's taking of "responsibility."

Worse still: As Hillary Clinton leaves the high-stakes world of international intrigue, she's set to be replaced by John Kerry, who somehow manages to be an interventionist and supposedly informed by the nation's experience in Vietnam at the same time.

So things can - and likely will - only get worse.
And now comes Senator Kerry
At least Kerry has dropped the affected Boston Brahmin accent.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Answer to My Critics

Republicans are in a lose-lose situation today. It does no good to whine about the unfairness of it all, or to act as if it were not true. Obama and the Democrats have the power to head off any changes in direction and to push executive actions to the limit. However, blue states are collapsing all around us, and change is bubbling up as the liberal agenda gathers steam on the federal level, but is laid bare at the state level. Either the overall economy will improve because America is strong enough to overcome the catastrophic policies of Obama and the statists, or the economy will get much worse because of those policies. If the economy improves, the need for government programs to ease the pain of the housing crash will diminish noticeably, and more voters will start paying attention again to the financial crisis caused by the unsustainability of entitlement programs. If the economy worsens, as I think it will, even clueless Americans will put two and two together.

The key right now is not to allow Obama to blame Republicans for a government shutdown, as Clinton did to Gingrich’s House, and to hold the line on new spending. It is critical that the Republican base understand where we are right now so that we can keep the house in 2014, and have a chance at recapturing the Presidency and the Senate in 2016.

Eating our own

Sally Zelikovsky January 22, 2013 American Thinker

Whoa! Some of the comments to Mike Razar's "Lessons from the NRA Ad" were way out of line. Sometimes, I can see the conservative movement disintegrating right before my very eyes-to the great delight of lefties the world over.

Conservatives of all stripes need to take a deep breath and calm down. People are scared. Anxiety levels are flying high. Conservatives are worried about the rest of our lives in this country-will it remain the America we know and love? Will our kids enjoy the same opportunities and freedoms we had growing up? How extensive will Obama's fundamental transformation be and will we be able to reverse it once we are back in power or will the damage be done? How vulnerable will this make us to outside threats? I could go on....

We are shocked at the double speak and lies emanating from our President and the Pravda-like collaboration he enjoys from a complicit press that serves at his beck and call. The Inauguration was particularly painful for those of us who campaigned hard for a qualified, intelligent and humble man who got eaten alive not only by the President and his minions, but at times, even from his own.

We are honest to the point of fault. We carelessly air our dirty laundry for the left to steal off the lines. Our punditry often does us more harm than good with their analyses and evaluations. You don't see any of that coming from the left.

One thing we can agree on: the progressive movement in this country seeks to divide us. But with articles and comments all over the conservative blogosphere damning the Tea Party, vilifying John Boehner, cursing "establishment" Republicans, scapegoating Karl Rove, dredging up neo-cons, finger pointing at RINOs and pitting Tea Partier against Republican against Ron Paul Libertarian against social conservative, well, we don't need to worry about the left-we're doing their work for them just fine.

Mr. Razar didn't do anything wrong other than make a suggestion which is worth considering. Even though that NRA ad was hard-hitting, we took it on the chin because of the reference to the First Daughters. Perhaps, we could have had the same hard hitting message without having handed the left that victory.

In our Tea Party group we talk about messaging, language and optics ALL THE TIME. It's a fact a life. And if you needed any more proof of it, just look at this last election. Facts didn't matter. Reality was irrelevant. All that mattered was the story told-the more it hit you in the gut where it could generate a knee jerk response, the better. Reactions like "OMG! Romney puts women in binders! He's bad for gays! And the middle class! Oh, and dogs!" resonated with more people than his record on all of the above, the facts about the economy and the reality about the "recovery."

And, if this impression can be generated in a 15-30 second sound bite, conservatives will watch any democrat candidate ride that sound bite right into the Oval Office.

Not long ago, I merely suggested to a group proposing an immigration initiative in California, that they consider having the spokesperson be anyone other than a white male. In my world, whoever is best qualified should be the spokesperson, but I don't live in MY world. I live in THEIR world and it's not so much that we have to play by their rules, but we could all benefit by taking a few pages out of their playbook from time-to-time. We aren't compromising on our principles if we do that. It's just smart politics.

Two of the people heavily involved with this initiative stopped talking to me because I had the audacity to make that suggestion. We conservatives are something. Not only do we do our own dividing, we also turn around and demand civil discourse when we aren't even capable of delivering it ourselves.

How many conservative groups do you know that have broken apart because of infighting due to a difference of opinion or strategy? How many dysfunctional central committees are you familiar with? Our Tea Party group arranged CityWatch groups for all of the cities and towns in the Bay Area. Many of them failed before they even started because the participants couldn't agree on a strategy. How can we possibly win elections?

Go ahead. Disagree with one another, but do it respectfully and no matter what the ultimate outcome, stick together. And if you consider yourself a conservative but want things to go only your way all the time and will only vote R if your particular preference for a candidate is elected, decide thusly: you are either with the majority when push comes to shove or, if you cannot bring yourself to do that, instead of destroying the party from within, consider doing your own thing somewhere else.

That's what the left does and they're running the country, they own the schools, the control the media and manage the pop culture. If you want to continue living in this dystopian new-fangled America, keep up with the infighting, divisiveness, and uncivil discourse. But, if you want your freedom back, find a way to work together even when there is disagreement.

Post Script: By writing this, I am violating my own code by speaking out about dissension within the ranks, but it is out of hand and we are blindly walking into the fire. It has to stop.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, January 18, 2013

Are We Republicans in Deep Doodoo?

Establishment Republicans have a problem with the Party’s base. The Republican base wants meaningful cuts in spending and government, especially entitlements.  That can't happen now.

Neither side fully understands the extent of the disaster the housing crash caused, nor the mood of the country because of it. In my area, restaurants are still going out of business left and right, there is almost no private construction activity and the housing market is still almost non-existent.

The worse thing that can happen to the Republican Party is to overreach on the debt limit negotiations and be blamed for a government shutdown. Republicans simply do not have the power to effect major policy changes at this time. GOP leaders must convince the base to back off and bide their time.

Republican Establishment Declares War on GOP Voters

A Commentary By Scott Rasmussen

Friday, January 11, 2013 Excerpt

“Official Washington hailed the deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff as a significant bipartisan accomplishment. However, voters around the country viewed the deal in very partisan terms: Seven out of 10 Democrats approved of it, while seven out of 10 Republicans disapproved.

Just a few days after reaching that agreement, an inside-the-Beltway publication reported another area of bipartisan agreement. Politico explained that while Washington Democrats have always viewed GOP voters as a problem, Washington Republicans "in many a post-election soul-searching session" have come to agree. More precisely, the article said the party's Election 2012 failures have "brought forth one principal conclusion from establishment Republicans: They have a primary problem."

As seen from the halls of power, the problem is that Republican voters think it's OK to replace incumbent senators and congressman who don't represent the views of their constituents. In 2012, for example, Republican voters in Indiana dumped longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in a primary battle.

This infuriated establishment Republicans for two reasons. First, because they liked Lugar and the way he worked. Second, because the replacement candidate was flawed and allowed Democrats to win what should have been a safe Republican seat.” Rasmussen
Charles Krauthammer, who no-one would call a RINO or worse, lays out in his column the only sensible strategy for the GOP to follow so that we have a reasonable chance of winning in 2014 and in 2016. We cannot reform entitlement spending with Obama and a Democrat Senate solidly against it.
A new strategy for the GOP

By Charles Krauthammer, January 17, 2013 Wash. Post

It has become conventional wisdom that Republicans are suffering an internal split that President Obama is successfully exploiting to neuter the Republican House. It is not true, however, that the Republican split is philosophical and fundamental. And that a hopelessly divided GOP is therefore headed for decline, perhaps irrelevance.

In fact, the split is tactical, not philosophical; short-term, not fundamental. And therefore quite solvable.

How do we know? Simple thought experiment: Imagine that we had a Republican president. Would the party be deeply divided over policy, at war with itself in Congress? Not at all. It would be rallying around something like the Paul Ryan budget that twice passed the House with near 100 percent GOP unanimity.

In reality, Republicans have a broad consensus on what they believe, where they want to go and the program to get them there. But they don’t have the power. What divides Republicans today is a straightforward tactical question: Can you govern from one house of Congress? Should you even try?

Can you shrink government, restrain spending, bring a modicum of fiscal sanity to the country when the president and a blocking Senate have no intention of doing so?

One faction feels committed to try. It wishes to carry out its small-government electoral promises and will cast no vote inconsistent with that philosophy. These are the House Republicans who voted no on the “fiscal cliff” deal because it raised taxes without touching spending. Indeed, it increased spending with its crazy-quilt crony-capitalist tax ”credits” — for wind power and other indulgences.

They were willing to risk the fiscal cliff. Today they are willing to risk a breach of the debt ceiling and even a government shutdown rather than collaborate with Obama’s tax-and-spend second-term agenda.

The other view is that you cannot govern from the House. The reason Ryan and John Boehner finally voted yes on the lousy fiscal-cliff deal is that by then there was nowhere else to go. Republicans could not afford to bear the blame (however unfair) for a $4.5 trillion across-the-board tax hike and a Pentagon hollowed out by sequester.

The party establishment is coming around to the view that if you try to govern from one house — e.g., force spending cuts with cliffhanging brinkmanship — you lose. You not only don’t get the cuts. You get the blame for rattled markets and economic uncertainty. You get humiliated by having to cave in the end. And you get opinion polls ranking you below head lice and colonoscopies in popularity.

There is history here. The Gingrich Revolution ran aground when it tried to govern from Congress, losing badly to President Clinton over government shutdowns. Nor did the modern insurgents do any better in the 2011 debt-ceiling and 2012 fiscal-cliff showdowns with Obama.

Obama’s postelection arrogance and intransigence can put you in a fighting mood. I sympathize. But I’m tending toward the realist view: Don’t force the issue when you don’t have the power.

The debt-ceiling deadline is coming up. You can demand commensurate spending cuts, the usual, reasonable Republican offer. But you won’t get them. Obama will hold out. And, at the eleventh hour, you will have to give in as you get universally blamed for market gyrations and threatened credit downgrades.

The more prudent course would be to find some offer that cannot be refused, a short-term trade-off utterly unassailable and straightforward. For example, offer to extend the debt ceiling through, say, May 1, in exchange for the Senate delivering a budget by that date — after four years of lawlessly refusing to produce one.

Not much. But it would (a) highlight the Democrats’ fiscal recklessness, (b) force Senate Democrats to make public their fiscal choices and (c) keep the debt ceiling alive as an ongoing pressure point for future incremental demands.

Republicans should develop a list of such conditions — some symbolic, some substantive — in return for sequential, short-term raising of the debt ceiling. But the key is: Go small and simple. Forget about forcing tax reform or entitlement cuts or anything major. If Obama wants to recklessly expand government, well, as he says, he won the election.

Republicans should simply block what they can. Further tax hikes, for example. The general rule is: From a single house of Congress you can resist but you cannot impose.

Aren’t you failing the country, say the insurgents? Answer: The country chose Obama. He gets four years.

Want to save the Republic? Win the next election. Don’t immolate yourself trying to save liberalism from itself. If your conservative philosophy is indeed right, winning will come. As Margaret Thatcher said serenely of the Labor Party socialists she later overthrew: “They always run out of other people’s money.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New York's New Gun Law Not All Bad

Although there is much to ridicule in New York’s new gun laws, some provisions actually make sense and may help to reduce shootings by people who are obviously mentally ill. The law will also prevent the outrageous and dangerous behavior of a media outlet from publishing the names and locations of legal gun owners, as was done recently, if those owners choose to remove their names from public scrutiny.

All the guns that were banned have in common some feature that conveys a military use, like a bayonet mount.

Some fear that directing mental health professionals to report certain behaviors and admissions may make mentally ill persons less likely to seek help or be honest with their therapists. This does not seem to me to be reason enough not to take these obvious steps to keep guns away from persons with mental defects.

Now I hope that the ACLU will be defeated in its attempts to sabotage those aspects of this new law. Without these mental-health provisions, this new law is just smoke and mirrors and worthless in preventing terrible incidents like Aurora or Sandy Hook, while trampling on the rights of honest citizens.

New York Has Gun Deal, With Focus on Mental Ills

January 14, 2013 NY Times

ALBANY — Gov.Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers agreed on Monday to a broad package of changes to gun laws that would expand the state’s ban on assault weapons and would include new measures to keep guns away from people with mental illnesses.

The state Senate, controlled by a coalition of Republicans and a handful of Democrats, approved the legislative package just after 11 p.m. by a lopsided vote of 43 to 18. The Assembly, where Democrats who have been strongly supportive of gun control have an overwhelming majority, planned to vote on the measure Tuesday.

Approval of the legislation would make New York the first state to act in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last month.

Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, had pressed lawmakers to move quickly in response to Newtown, saying, “the people of this state are crying out for help.” And the Legislature proceeded with unusual haste: Monday was the first full day of this year’s legislative session.

“We don’t need another tragedy to point out the problems in the system,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference.

“Enough people have lost their lives,” he added. “Let’s act.”

The expanded ban on assault weapons would broaden the definition of such weapons, banning semiautomatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military-style feature, as well as semiautomatic shotguns with one military-style feature. New Yorkers who already own such guns could keep them but would be required to register them with the state.

“The message out there is so clear after Newtown,” said the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Democrat from Manhattan. “To basically eradicate assault weapons from our streets in New York as quickly as possible is something the people of this state want.”

In an acknowledgment that many people have suggested that part of the solution to gun violence is a better government response to mental illness, the legislation includes not only new restrictions on gun ownership, but also efforts to limit access to guns by the mentally ill.

The most significant new proposal would require mental health professionals to report to local mental health officials when they believe that patients are likely to harm themselves or others. Law enforcement would then be authorized to confiscate any firearm owned by a dangerous patient; therapists would not be sanctioned for a failure to report such patients if they acted “in good faith.”

“People who have mental health issues should not have guns,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters. “They could hurt themselves, they could hurt other people.”

But such a requirement “represents a major change in the presumption of confidentiality that has been inherent in mental health treatment,” said Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum, the director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, who said the Legislature should hold hearings on possible consequences of the proposal.

“The prospect of being reported to the local authorities, even if they do not have weapons, may be enough to discourage patients with suicidal or homicidal thoughts from seeking treatment or from being honest about their impulses,” he said.

The legislation would extend and expand Kendra’s Law, which empowers judges to order mentally ill patients to receive outpatient treatment.

And it would require gun owners to keep weapons inaccessible in homes where a resident has been involuntarily committed, convicted of a crime or is the subject of an order of protection.

The legislative package, which Mr. Cuomo said he believed would be “the most comprehensive package in the nation,” would ban any gun magazine that can hold over 7 rounds of ammunition — the current limit is 10 rounds. It would also require background checks of ammunition buyers and automated alerts to law enforcement of high-volume purchases.

The legislation would increase penalties for multiple crimes committed with guns, would require background checks for most private gun sales, and create a statewide gun-registration database.

Senator Jeffrey D. Klein of the Bronx, the leader of an independent faction of Democrats who have allied with the Republicans to control the Senate, said the measure met the goals of many lawmakers.

“Republicans, it’s very clear, wanted harsher criminal penalties for illegal guns, which is something I agree with,” Mr. Klein added, “but on the other hand we’re also going to ban assault weapons and limit the number of rounds in a magazine. So I think putting those two things together makes it a better bill.”

Among the other elements of the proposed legislation were a so-called Webster provision, named for the shooting deaths of two firefighters in Webster, near Rochester, just before Christmas. The provision would mandate a life sentence without parole for anyone who murders a first responder.

And, in response to a controversy that erupted after The Journal News, a daily newspaper, published the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties, the legislation would prohibit disclosure of the names in the new statewide gun-registration database, and would allow individuals to exempt their own names and addresses from being disclosed by counties that have such databases.

The guns package was negotiated privately by the governor and legislative leaders over the last several weeks, but was only completed late Monday; rank-and-file Senators had only a few minutes to read the legislation before voting on it. Mr. Cuomo, saying, “If there is an issue that fits the definition of necessity, I believe it’s gun violence,” waived the normal three-day waiting period between introduction of new legislation and a vote.

The minority leader in the Assembly, Brian M. Kolb, a Republican from Canandaigua, objected to the move to expedite the process, saying, “I don’t think we should be rushing things just for the sake of headlines.”

By the time the Senate began to discuss the bill late Monday night, the galleries that overlook the chamber were mostly empty of spectators. A parade of Democrats, who have long pressed for new gun laws, rose to praise the bill as they explained their votes.

Senator Malcolm A. Smith, an independent Democrat from Queens, said provisions of the measure could be dedicated to the family members of New Yorkers who had been victims of gun violence.

“I think today we are setting the mark for the rest of the country,” he said.

Most of the senators who voted against the bill did not speak. One who did, Senator Kathleen A. Marchione, a Republican from Saratoga County, praised some parts of the measure, like the expansion of Kendra’s Law. But she said the new restrictions on guns would not get at the problem of gun violence.

“I truly believe that the Second Amendment constitutional freedoms of every New Yorker tonight has been weakened,” she said, adding, “Law-abiding citizens who own guns are not our problem. Law-abiding citizens understand and know how to take care of their guns, not to be a danger to others.”


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Where the Heck Is Mali?

France's foreign minister said Sunday that the United States is providing communications and transport help for an international military intervention aimed at wresting Mali's north out of the hands of Islamist extremists.  CBS News

Mali is a country in North Africa just south of Algeria and lies between Nigeria and Mauritania. Once part of the French Sudan, it is one of the poorest countries in the world, although recent gold discoveries may change that.

Al Qaeda has been establishing a stronghold here.

Left-Click to enlarge

Al Qaeda’s Dangerous Play in Mali

So far, Washington has let the French take the lead in fighting jihadists in North Africa. But the terror franchise is ambitious and should be stopped.

by Bruce Riedel
January 15, 2013 The Daily Beast

When France took up the challenge of defeating al Qaeda’s franchise in northern Mali, it took on a very well-armed and well-funded group. Since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, al Qaeda hasn’t had a foothold this significant, and its offshoot in Africa poses a serious threat to not only Africa but the West, too. While Washington, for now, has elected to take the backseat in this fight, the United States has a big stake in the outcome.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is a group with ambitions. Similar to its partnership with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the group last year successfully gained the support of Ansar al Dine, a local jihadist group in Mali, and together they now control a huge expanse of territory. In the same way that al Qaeda and the Taliban destroyed Afghanistan’s historical treasures in the years leading up to 9/11, they are destroying the cultural heritage in the fabled city of Timbuktu. And as it happened in Afghanistan, jihadists from across the region are now flocking to Mali to get access to training, money, and weapons.

The jihadi offshoot in the Maghreb used to be ranked as one of al Qaeda’s weaker franchises. Created from an Algerian terrorist group in 2006, the group at first focused on petty criminal enterprises, such as kidnapping Westerners traveling in the remote deserts of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. However, the ransoms paid into what became a sizable war chest, counting over $100 million. And in 2007, it launched its first successful larger scale attack: blowing up the United Nations headquarters in Algiers with twin car bombs.

After the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the group began to accumulate huge amounts of weapons from the North African country, which remains unstable. This windfall was followed up by the strategic partnership with Ansar al Dine that allowed the two groups to sweep out government forces from northern Mali, before turning on a Tuareg independence movement, an erstwhile ally, gaining control of an area of the Sahara the size of Texas. The mix of al Qaeda in the Maghreb, Ansar al Dine, and the Tuareg rebels is combustible. After the looting of the Gaddafi arms depot in Libya, they are all very well armed; indeed, al Qaeda in the Maghreb is likely the best armed al Qaeda franchise operating in the world today.

It is also the fastest-growing al Qaeda franchise in the world today. And most of Mali’s neighbors are horrified at what is taking place in the north. The Moroccan foreign minister told me recently that the jihadists present the greatest threat to regional stability in more than a decade. As previous experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have taught us, once al Qaeda establishes a presence in a failing state, it becomes very difficult to dislodge.

So France, the former colonial ruler of Mali, has stepped into the fray. This weekend Paris stopped an advance by the jihadists on the capital, Bamako, and is now attacking bases in the north.

The intervention is a mixed blessing. The French know more about Mali than anyone else. They should—it is their creation—an artificial state whose borders Paris created. French intelligence has better insights into Tuareg and jihadi militants than their counterparts in the U.S. or the U.K. But Paris also carries a lot of baggage from the colonial era, and many Africans and Arabs resent French interference.

Algeria, Mali’s big neighbor to the north with the largest army in Africa and extensive spy networks across the Sahara, is especially sensitive and nervous about the French campaign. Algiers opposed NATO’s role in Libya and now blames NATO for starting the Mali mess.

So what should the United States do? Well, Washington can help with diplomatic efforts in the United Nations and elsewhere.

After the looting of the Gaddafi arms depot in Libya, they are all very well armed; indeed, al Qaeda in the Maghreb is likely the best armed al Qaeda franchise operating in the world today.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in with a visit to Algiers last year; after calling the French plan for Mali intervention “crap” last month, the U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has secured the organization’s blessing for fighting AQIM.

Going forward, American drones and other surveillance assets should assist the French, who also, urgently, need more smart bombs and munitions, because it is clear al Qaeda will strike back. It can kill hostages and kidnap more. A more horrifying scenario to contemplate is a mass casualty attack in France itself. The campaign launched from Paris last week is not without risk. And French intelligence services are closely monitoring the more than 5 million Algerian émigrés in the country. Al Qaeda’s emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri has been calling for a 9/11 style attack in Paris for years now.

If its group in the Maghreb has sleeper cells in France, now is the time they may be activated.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, January 13, 2013

We Fight over Trifles as Islam Conquers

America stood idly by as Islamic fundamentalists attacked everywhere, from Afghanistan, where the Taliban stoned women and destroyed priceless Buddhist artifacts, to France, where large areas are off-limits to French society and only Muslims can enter. For our ignorance and lack of concern, we were rewarded by the massacre of 3000 people and the destruction of the Twin Towers. Don’t think we weren’t warned of this, just as today students of the world and its history are warning us that Islam is determined to conquer the world, including America, and is succeeding.

We are withdrawing from Afghanistan, where a successful counter-terrorism policy was replaced in 2009 by a now failed nation-building policy; and we have given away all that our blood and treasure accomplished in Iraq due to the naïve world view now in vogue.

We see the countries in Europe cowering in fear of their Muslim populations. We see Islamic fundamentalists taking over in Libya, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. They are already well-established in Somalia, Iran, Indonesia, Palestinian areas of Israel and in large areas of the African continent; and they are on the move in Mali, the Philippines and Yemen. Other, so-far moderate, Muslim countries are also under the gun, and the list goes on and on.

Just as we stood idly by as Hitler advanced through Europe because, “It has nothing to do with us”, so are we withdrawing from confronting this deadly menace, while we pretend that Muslims in America are absolutely no threat to us, to our legal traditions or to our freedoms.

"I don't think you can overstate the importance that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism will have to the rest of the world in the century ahead-especially if, as seems possible, its most fanatical elements get their hands on nuclear and chemical weapons and the means to deliver them against their enemies." --Ronald Reagan

“Reagan made this statement before the jihad attack on the Khobar Towers, before the jihad attack on the USS Cole, before the first attack on the World Trade Center, and the 7/7 attack in London, and the 3/11 attack on a train station in Madrid. Reagan warned of a worldwide "Muslim fundamentalist revolution" before the Islamic jihad massacre committed by Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas; before the Islamic jihad massacre in Bali; before the jihad massacre in Mumbai, and before the numerous thwarted attempts at jihad attacks in the United States over the last two years. Reagan spoke before the nearly 18,000 Islamic jihad terrorist attacks that have been committed since 9/11.

Reagan spoke before there was a significant Muslim presence in Europe. Now the threat and intimidation by Muslims throughout the countries of the European Union is growing at every level.”

The following is a statement by the late Ayatollah Khomeini about the goals of Islam.

"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of other [countries] so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world...Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured [by the unbelievers]?

Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to the enemy? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

We need to do everything we can to stop Iran from acquiring the bomb; we need to give even more support to Israel as they defend their country and western values; we need to increase the pressure beyond occasional drone strikes to confront and stop the march of Islamic fundamentalists everywhere (especially in Egypt): and we need to stop any further immigration of Muslims into our country before what is happening throughout Europe happens to us.

I am not encouraged by the appointment of former Senator Hagel to Secretary of Defense that we will be able to defend our society from this menace.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dropping the Hagel Bomb

When I first learned that President Obama was going to appoint former Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to be his Secretary of Defense, I thought, “He’s signaling to Israel to ‘get lost’ and to Iran that ‘we won’t even try to stop you’”. Despite much spinning about Hagel’s exemplary war record and independent thinking, some other people obviously share my view. In an American Spectator article today, Ben Stein makes the following two points:

“You really cannot, in fairness, blame President Obama for naming “Chuck” Hagel, one of the most clearly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic members of the Senate (or ex-members in his case) to be Secretary of Defense. President Obama has not changed his views on Israel since his first speech at the Democrat convention in 2004, when he made it clear that his sympathies in the Middle East lay with the Palestinians. In a way, you have to admire his consistency. Of course, he has to pay lip service to Israel when he visits Miami Beach, but how he must laugh at the audiences that applaud him.”
“I hope the people who are supporting Chuck Hagel know that by confirming him, they are cementing at 100 percent that odds that Iran will get a nuclear capability without U.S. interference. Whether Israel can survive an Islamic bomb is questionable at best. This means a vote to confirm Mr. Hagel is a vote that expresses no interest in whether Israel survives.”
Thus some of the worse fears that we had about Obama are about to be realized, 1. that he really hates Israel and would like to see them defeated and replaced by Palestinians in that part of the world we have called Israel since 1947, and 2. that his sympathies are entirely with the Muslim world, and his world view is that it would only be ‘fair’ for a Muslim country (Iran) to have the bomb. All the pretense is over now that the election is over. Next come his ‘oops the mike was open’ promises to the Russians about ‘flexibility’.

You can expect some spin about this move being a bipartisan one, since Hagel is a Republican, and didn’t Clinton appoint a Republican SecDef. Believe me, the reasons are very different. Clinton needed a Republican appointment; Obama doesn’t. This is a clear signal to the rest of the world.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, January 07, 2013

Should Conservatives Cocoon?

I hear it every day from my friends. I’ve said it myself. I’m retired. Why fight this? What can I do to stop all these horrible things from happening? What am I talking about? – the decline in religion and civility, the increase in promiscuity, vulgarity and use of obscenities (not even disguised on some TV programs), intrusion of federal power into our private lives and our religious principles (abortion, contraception, so-called gay rights), continued collapse of the American family as welfare breeds more single moms and rudderless, fatherless boys.

Cocooning Is the Wrong Solution for Conservatives

By James G. Wiles January 7, 2013 American Thinker

Should conservatives and persons of faith simply withdraw from the public square, live our lives, and quietly await the inevitable collapse of what the indispensible Walter Russell Mead calls Blue State America?

Some people seem to think so. The question was first raised in 1996 in the journal First Things by the late Fr. John Neuhaus. In an essay called "The End of Democracy," Neuhaus talked about the possibility of civil disobedience by persons of faith as a response to unjust laws and court rulings. He was speaking of the Clinton Administration.

As Mark Judge wrote last year in RealClearReligion, however, in light of the Obama administration's open attack on freedom of conscience in the areas of same-sex marriage, contraception, abortion, and euthanasia, Fr. Neuhaus's 1996 musings seem positively "prescient." "If anything," Judge said, "the editors of First Things undersold the degree to which our government and judiciary subverted our democracy."

In the wake of the 2012 elections, the question is even more acute. Which shall it be: resistance through litigation (the course adopted, so far, by the Catholic bishops and others), civil disobedience, withdrawal from politics and the public square, or continued political engagement -- albeit even in the face of repeated defeats? And, of course, in the long run, does it truly matter what we do?

I want to talk here only about the idea of withdrawal.

In light of the November 2012 election, the accelerating vulgarity of our culture (think Kathy Griffith and Anderson Cooper), and the radical secularization of American society, it's tempting simply to decide to "tend one's own garden." That is, we should live our faith and principles (not all of us are religious) by withdrawing from government, society, and politics, because all three have now (rather like Tudor-Stuart England to recusant Catholics) become so illegitimate, tainted, and morally and religiously repugnant that we may not, in good conscience, take part in them. In colonial Pennsylvania, famously, the Quakers did exactly that -- withdrawing for generations from politics after they lost control of the colony they founded to a legislative majority determined to wage war against the Indians.

Better, the argument goes, to beat a strategic retreat -- as people of faith, patriotism, and constitutional principles -- into our own media, our own states, our own towns, our own churches and synagogues, and our own families and homes. When the wheel comes 'round again, we (or our descendants) may re-emerge.

I admit that this argument has resonance -- especially in light of American history. The Pilgrims, the Amish, the Mennonites, the Moravians, and the Quakers all came here from Europe to do exactly that -- flee to a place where they could live their faith unhindered by government. But to do so today would be a grave mistake, if not an impossibility.

It's no longer possible to flee into the wilderness, beyond the reach and the ken of government.

It's also quite clear that the Obama administration has no intention of leaving us alone, with our guns, our religion, and our patriotism. To the contrary, a withdrawal by conservatives, libertarians, and persons of faith from politics and government would almost guarantee the very outcome we seek to avoid. The last thing America needs as this moment is the emergence of conservative Bantustans.

That's not to say we can't do everything in our ability to pass on our values and beliefs within our own families and relations. The precedent for that, of course, is in the Old Testament itself. (Joshua 24:15).

But again, we do not have the option of Joshua. There is no Canaan to go to. For American patriots, this is the Promised Land.

Another option is to choose -- if you are able -- what state you live in. And you can go farther and limit what information and news sources you consume.

Thus, we have "the big sort" of Americans politically in terms of where they live and what news sources they consume -- what Juan Williams of FoxNews calls "narrowcasting." It's very much underway. Some of "the sort" is driven by economics (and state and local tax rates, as well as state right-to-work laws), climate (snow vs. hurricanes), or matters of religious faith.

But the effects, after several decades, are clear.

The separation of Americans into red states and blue states was first detailed in Bill Bishop's The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart (2007). Nate Silver, in a piece last week in the New York Times blog, presented an exhaustive update of the acceleration of that trend based on the 2012 election results.

So why not just withdraw to a red state? As the adult son of one of my friends said to him last year when he was debating a run for Congress, "Dad, you can have a good life." Why not simply -- as religious people of conviction have often done when they believe that the state has fallen into the hands of evildoers -- withdraw from public affairs and play no role in government?

The religious answer, of course, is contained in the Old Testament's Books of Maccabees 1 and 2, commemorated every year in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah. The "abomination of desolation" is to be opposed. But that answer speaks only to those of certain religious traditions.

The practical answer is one which everyone can agree on.

Those populating the Obama administration have made it only too clear that they're not going to leave us alone. Rather like with the Dred Scott Supreme Court majority, the Southern Slave Power, and the Democratic Party in 1860, it is not enough for us to tolerate slavery elsewhere -- out of sight. We must allow it into our own homes and public places as well and say we like it.

Finally, there is the political answer, which should be compelling for not just conservatives: as American patriots, we are not allowed to give up on our country -- even when its government does wrong. That is the argument which, 152 years ago, the abolitionists finally acknowledged.

And it's a good thing they did. "Wayward sisters, depart in peace" in 1861 would have meant the perpetuation and survival of African slavery on the North American continent.

For the same reason today, the United States needs its conservative leaders and activists in the public square now more than at any time in our lifetimes. If we hold on, we'll win. Blue State America is doomed, and the blue-staters represented by President Obama and his party cannot save it.

Indeed, in the last year, Wisconsin and Michigan have prefigured what's coming.

The slow-motion (and not-so-slow-motion) collapse of Blue State America and the failure of the blue social model make for the subject of a penetrating series of articles and posts by Professor Mead on his website,, sponsored by The American Interest. The question of whether the red states and the federal government will then be able to rescue, restructure, downsize, and re-orient the failed blue states to create a more perfect Union will, it seems to me, determine the future success of the American Experiment.

The answer to that question will depend on whether the red states or the blue states control the federal government. And for the red-staters to control the federal government, the urge to withdraw and retreat into a biblical "remnant" which will, in God's good time, emerge to re-colonize and re-evangelize a fallen world must be rejected. To the contrary, we red-staters must remain fully involved and fully engaged in American politics and culture.

This is especially true after a year like 2012 -- when we lose. Better to quote U.S. General Joseph Stilwell after the loss of Burma to the Japanese. "I claim," Vinegar Joe said, "we took a hell of beating[.] ... [I]t is as humiliating as hell. We need to find out what caused it, go back and re-take it."

The biggest mistake we can make is to stay in our own echo chamber and to talk only to each other. There was already too much of that in 2012. President Obama and the White House staff are not the only Americans able to live their lives largely within a bubble of agreeable personal contacts and information flow. So can we.

Thus, I dissent from the view promulgated last week by the Heritage Foundation, which you can find here. For politically engaged conservatives, it's not enough to read each other's stuff. We need to read -- and refute with facts -- the other side's stuff as well.

And engage with it.

Facts are bullets in the war of ideas. And to find facts, we have to look everywhere for them -- not just our own outlets. Winning the 2014 elections and beyond means we have to recruit and proselytize young and/or disaffected or unregistered voters.

It is necessary to go out and engage the culture. Join Democratic FB pages. Visit Progressive websites. Proselytize and organize, registering conservative voters, recruiting conservative candidates, joining in canvassing and GOTV efforts. If you live in a safe red state, go volunteer or donate in an adjoining blue state.

If you live and work in a blue state, fly your colors proudly. Every day. At the moment of truth, quote Walter Russell Mead -- who happens to be a Democrat. Here is his most recent essay.

Above all, let us project confidence. Take joy in the battle. And finally, let us prepare diligently for next time. As a middle-aged Illinois lawyer (and failed politician) once told his law partner, Billy Herndon, "I will study and get ready and maybe the chance will come." That chance, improbable at the time, came for Abraham Lincoln.

It appears increasingly probable that, just as at the beginnings of the Republican Party, we and our children will be called upon to save what Lincoln called "the last, best hope of Earth." It's worth recalling that, only thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan and another generation of Republican leaders and the American people did it once again.

We can, too.

Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, January 04, 2013

Odes to Boehner and Bush

      Conservatives gone wild

By JOHN PODHORETZ January 4, 2013 NY Post (excerpt)

“The most passionately anti-Obama Republican politicians and activists consider themselves the truest and purest of conservatives, and often unleash their scorn and fury on others who also call themselves conservative but differ on strategy and tactics.

But in the realm of philosophy, “conservatism” from Thomas Hobbes onward is a worldview dedicated to order and tradition and the proposition that disorder is dangerous and deadly.

Thus, it is the opposite of “conservative” to embrace chaos instead of order. It is the opposite of “conservative” to embrace crisis rather than accept unpleasant realities.

And yet, over the past week, that is exactly what many conservatives have done. They have violated fundamental conservative precepts.

In so doing, they have turned on other conservatives — people who agree with them on substance — and accused them of impurity and corruption for refusing to march their party and their movement over a political cliff.” NY Post

President Obama & Democrats made December 2012 a great month for President George W Bush

Silvio Canto, Jr.January 4, 2013 American Thinker

In mid-December, I got my annual Facebook Christmas card from President Bush & Mrs Laura Bush. They look great!

My guess is that President Bush, and Vice President Cheney, must be enjoying the headlines these days:

1) The Bush tax cuts are now permanent;

2) His "wiretapping" is no longer raping of our constitution. President Obama just extended them and no one is marching against him! Remember then Sen Clinton in 2006 speaking against them?


3) Rendition jails are alive and well. Again, no one is marching! In fact, renditions are the new normal under President Obama.

We always felt that history would be kind to President Bush. I just didn't know that the Democrats would be the ones adding an exclamation point to his policies.

What's next? Will President Obama tell us that younger workers should be allowed to "privatize" their Social Security contributions? President Obama may do just that after he reads the latest report from the trustees.

President Bush will have a little more "zip" next April when he throws out the opening day pitch for the Rangers! At least, he will have a bigger smile when he waves at the crowd.
Great justification for Bush 43! You can add Obama’s reauthorization of FISA to the list. Two other points can be made about the greatness of former President Bush: he responded appropriately to 9/11, and, although TARP must have gone against his conservative principles, he saw that it was necessary to preserve the western world’s financial system, and he supported it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button