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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #100 on: April 27, 2009, 10:42:18 AM »

Republicans lost another Congressional race on Friday, as Democratic newcomer Scott Murphy was declared the victor by some 400 votes in the March 31 special House election in New York state. But you wouldn't know it from the response of House Minority Leader John Boehner, who declared that GOP candidate Jim Tedisco "forced the Democratic Party to invest heavily and defend a seat they should have had in the bag."

I-yi-yi.

New York's 20th Congressional district is precisely the kind the GOP will have to win if it wants to regain a majority. It is one of the few Northeast districts where Republicans retain a party registration advantage, and Republican John Sweeney had held it for four terms before Democrat (and recently appointed Senator) Kirsten Gillibrand won in 2006. George W. Bush carried it twice.

Republicans lost because they fielded a poor candidate who ran a lousy campaign. While Mr. Murphy was a fresh face who could plausibly argue he'd assist President Obama's call for change, Republicans picked an Albany careerist who personified more of the same. GOP power broker (and Al D'Amato pal) Joe Mondello rigged the nomination to deny a real contest, thus cutting out the likes of former state Assembly minority leader John Faso.

At one point, Mr. Tedisco had a 20-point lead but squandered it by waffling on the Obama stimulus plan, running anti-Wall Street ads that confused the Republican base, and waiting until the last few days to criticize pro-union "card check" legislation. In other words, Mr. Tedisco betrayed that he wasn't all that different than the other politicians who have made Albany the tax and spend center of America.

The fact that the race was so close shows that, had Republicans run a credible candidate, they had a chance to send a message to Blue Dog Democrats in Congress that Mr. Obama's agenda is less popular than he is. Mr. Boehner would do better to stop spinning defeat and start looking for candidates who believe in something beyond their own careers.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #101 on: April 28, 2009, 07:23:47 PM »

As proverb goes, when a Republican senator crosses the aisle and joins the other side, the average intelligence of both sides improves...  I will not miss Sen. Specter and no one should read anything more into this than the fact that he was trailing challenger Pat Toomey by 20 points in his bid to be endorsed for reelection.  Pat Toomey was Club for Growth president the past several years and will do more for conservatism by running IMO than Sen. Specter can ever do by winning.

----

Interesting story about Newt regarding 'cap and trade', maybe one of the two biggest domestic issues facing the country (nationalized healthcare being the other.)  Newt previously favored some version of cap and trade.  Is it really a flip flop to decisively move from the wrong side of an issue to the right side? Anyway, here is a hate piece from a left wing publication, Mother Jones, attacking him: it was money from the coal lobby, not logic, honesty, principles or wisdom that changed his position, according to the left.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/04/gingrich-v-gingrich

Gingrich v. Gingrich
— By Kevin Drum | Mon April 27, 2009 11:59 AM PST

It's hard to get too worked up when a politician turns out to be opportunistic, but Media Matters documents a pretty stunning case of cynicism from Newt Gingrich today.  Last week Gingrich vilified a Democratic cap-and-trade plan for carbon emissions as a "command-and-control, anti-energy, big-bureaucracy agenda, including dramatic increases in government power and draconian policies that will devastate our economy."  But two years ago, when he was in his "big ideas for conservatives phase," he was cap-and-trade's biggest fan:

    I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there's a package there that's very, very good.  And frankly, it's something I would strongly support....The caps, with a trading system, on sulfur has worked brilliantly because it has brought free-market attitudes, entrepreneurship and technology and made it very profitable to have less sulfur.

Well, that's Newt for you: he dumps policy positions as quickly as he dumps wives.  But it also goes to show how fleeting conservative support for "market-oriented solutions" like cap-and trade is.  A lot of the liberal enthusiasm for cap-and-trade over the past decade has been based on the idea that it might be more acceptable to conservatives than a straight tax, but obviously that hasn't turned out to be the case.  Basically, they just don't want to do anything, full stop.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 10:30:38 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2009, 11:00:34 AM »

The mostly feeble and unprincipled Rep response to the explosion of liberal economic fascism continues to diminish the Rep's credibility with me.  That said, here's this from Buchanan.
==============
Glimmers of Hope for the GOP
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

05/05/2009


For conservatives fretful over the future of the party to which they have given allegiance, "How Barack Obama Won: A State by State Guide to the Historic 2008 Election" reads like something out of Edgar Allan Poe.

Co-authored by NBC's Chuck Todd, it is a grim tale of what happened to the GOP in 2008, and what the future may hold.

Yet, on second and third reads, one discerns, as did Gen. Wolfe's scouts 250 years ago, a narrow path leading up the cliff to the Plains of Abraham -- and perhaps victory in 2012. First, the bad news:

Obama raised the national share of the black vote to 13 percent, then swept it 95 percent to 4 percent. The GOP share of the Hispanic vote, now 9 percent of the electorate, fell from George W. Bush's 40 percent against John Kerry to 32 percent. Young voters ages 18 to 29 went for Obama 66 percent to 31 percent. And Obama ran stronger among white voters with a college education than did either Al Gore or Kerry.

 Put starkly, the voting groups growing in numbers -- Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, folks with college degrees, the young -- are all trending Democratic, while the voters most loyal to the GOP -- white folks and religious conservatives -- are declining as a share of the U.S. electorate. And demography is destiny.

Other grim news: As noted here recently, 18 states and Washington, D.C., with 247 electoral votes -- all New England save New Hampshire; New York and New Jersey; the mid-Atlantic states, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland; Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota; the three Pacific Coast states plus Hawaii -- have all gone Democratic in all of the last five presidential elections. And John McCain lost every one of them by double digits.

In this Slough of Despond, where is the hope?

Despite all of the above, John McCain, two weeks after the GOP convention, thanks to the surge in energy and enthusiasm Sarah Palin brought to the ticket, was running ahead of Obama.

It was the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the crash and the panic that ensued, which McCain mishandled, that lost him all the ground he never made up. Had the crash not occurred, the election might have been much closer than seven points, which in itself is no blowout.

Second, an astonishing 75 percent of voters thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. Obama won these voters 62 percent to 36 percent. But if the country is seen as headed in the wrong direction in 2012, it will be Obama's albatross.

Third, only 27 percent of voters approved of Bush's performance as of Election Day; 71 percent disapproved. Only Harry Truman had a lower rating, 22 percent, and Democrats were also wiped out in Washington in 1952.

Here is Todd's dramatic point: "With the single exception of Missouri, which barely went for McCain, Obama won every state where Bush's approval rating was below 35 percent in the exit polls, and he lost every state where Bush's approval was above 35 percent."

Obama rode Bush's coattails to victory. Had Bush been at 35 percent or 40 percent, McCain might have won. But, in 2012, Obama will not have Bush to kick around anymore.

On candidates' qualities, the situation looks even rosier for the GOP. In 2008, no less than 34 percent of the electorate said that the most important consideration in a candidate was that he be for "change."

Obama was the "change candidate." He patented the brand, and he carried this third of the nation 89 percent to 9 percent.

But in 2012, Obama cannot be the candidate of change. That title will belong to his challenger, the Republican nominee. Obama will be the incumbent, the candidate of continuity.

The second most critical consideration of voters in choosing a president was "values." No less than 30 percent of the electorate said this was their primary consideration in voting for McCain or Obama.

Among values voters, fully 30 percent of the electorate, McCain won 65 percent to 32 percent, or by two to one.

What these numbers demonstrate is that liberals and neocons instructing the GOP to dump the social, moral and cultural issues are counseling Republicide. When African-Americans, who gave McCain 4 percent of their votes in California, gave Proposition 8, prohibiting gay marriage, 70 percent of their votes, why would the GOP give up one of its trump cards -- not only in Middle America but among minorities?

A conservative who could have sharpened the social, moral and cultural differences might, from the exit polls, have done far better.

McCain's diffidence on life, affirmative action and gay rights, his embrace of amnesty and NAFTA, all help explain the enthusiasm gap. Twice as many voters were excited about the prospects of an Obama presidency as were about a McCain presidency.

Lastly, on Election Day, only 7 percent thought the U.S. economy was doing well, while 93 percent rated it as not so good, or poor. The GOP will not have to wear those concrete boots in 2012.

The tide is still running strong against the GOP. But there may be one or two more White Houses in the Grand Old Party yet.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #103 on: May 07, 2009, 11:02:55 AM »

The Republican Party's unending tale of woe sounds like a friend's account of sitting through the New York Yankees' 22-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians at the new Yankee Stadium April 18.


In the 14-run second inning, three Indians hit home runs into the right-field seats, including a grand-slam. One ball hit a woman in the head because the fans had stopped watching the game. A nasty fight broke out in the stands. After the fourth inning (16-2), the subway trains taking Yankee faithful back to Manhattan were packed. Republicans know the feeling.

Rookie President Barack Obama has been pounding policy after policy through the Republicans' hapless defense. His approval is out of the park. He's teeing up his first Supreme Court appointment. Al Franken -- in a "say-it-ain't-so" moment if ever there was one -- is close to giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority. And Republican voters are heading for the exits, with a puny 31% willing to tell a pollster they belong to the party.

During downturns in sports, three rules of thumb are: Don't panic, stay within your game, play to your strengths. This being politics, the Republicans naturally are violating all three.


Should Republicans return to Reaganism? Daniel Henninger explains. (May 7)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made headlines last weekend suggesting it's time for the party to get over its glory days: "I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [GOP] messaging. I mean, it's great, but it doesn't draw people toward your cause." Joyful Democratic bloggers put this more clearly in five tight words: GOP Needs to Forget Reagan.

Is this true?

The answer to that historic question is an apt subject this week as the GOP, looking for a path from the wilderness, says farewell at National Cathedral tomorrow to Jack Kemp, who remained a Reaganite to the end.

Jack Kemp, anyone who spent time around him will tell you, stayed on message. That message, like Reagan's, had a number of parts, but it is not possible to even guess how many times Jack Kemp summarized his explanations of that message in three words: "Work, save and invest." Republicans should think hard about building a governing philosophy on the foundation of those three words, ideas that most voters understand.

The full Kemp phrase, of course, was "incentives to work, save and invest." Those incentives were to be the result of a government willing to admit the social benefits of modesty -- in taxation and regulation of the economy. For now, the American public has elected an immodest government. This government says that circumstance forced it to spend $787 billion on stimulus. Its $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget, however, will by choice take spending to 25% of GDP next year.

Podcast
Listen to Daniel Henninger's Wonder Land column, now available in audio format.
Last weekend, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor began a GOP "listening tour." What's to hear? People want what they always want: a job that will let them build a life and family. What they want from Republicans is leadership toward that goal.

Today Mr. Obama releases the details of his $3.5 trillion budget, his path to the same goal. Rather than drown as usual in this accounting morass, Republicans should contrast the Obama-Pelosi budget with the Reagan-Kemp philosophy of how a striving nation works, saves and invests.

Republicans can start by taking the time to read the first Obama budget document, "A New Era of Responsibility." The word "investment" occurs over 140 times in its 142 pages. But this "investment" isn't private capital invested in private start-ups, what Mr. Kemp constantly called "entrepreneurial capitalism" and what most parents hope their children will join. Mr. Obama's document genuflects to "the market economy," then argues that it won't endure unless we "sacrifice" (through tax increases) to make "overdue investments" (which literally only means public spending) on four explicit goals: green energy, infrastructure, public health care, and education.

This calls to mind the way Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry guided that economy from 1949 to 2001. The Obama-Rattner strategy for GM and Chrysler -- a rescue if the companies agree to the government's desire to build more small "green" cars, presumably sold with a large tax credit -- is industrial policy. Why be postwar Japan?

It is not conceivable that a Reagan or Kemp would have directed the U.S. economy's legendary energies into building hybrid cars, windmills and bullet trains. It would not have occurred to them that America's next Silicon Valley -- Apple, Intel and Oracle -- could grow out of "investments" listed in the federal budget. This would not have occurred to either man because their politics were rooted in the 300-year-old, singularly American tradition of individuals freely deciding how to spend their productive hours and money inside a public system that mainly provides security and safety.

Mr. Obama won the election and deserves time to see what his vision adds to the nation's productive life. If while it awaits that, the Republican Party can't renew what Reagan and Kemp gave them, its listening tour could last a very long time.
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ccp
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« Reply #104 on: May 10, 2009, 02:33:52 PM »

I recall a Dem pundit saying it was time to short Sarah Palin after her approval ratings soared after the Rep convention.
He was right.
I don't know if it is yet time to short Dems but I feel it is time to start ling term investment with Republicans.  When we start hearing talk about how the party is finished it is probably time to invest.

Yet the reps have alot of work to do to get it right and to work to appeal to the changing demographics.  They also need to find the right spokespeople.  Out of the darkness someone will emerge.  How about a Latino?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #105 on: June 20, 2009, 02:48:01 PM »

Must steal this Milton Friedman wisdom from BBG post in the healthcare debate and apply it to all issues:

What should we do about it? Ideally, Friedman argued, we should reverse the mistake that started all the trouble... Yet Friedman was a realist. Vested interests, he recognized, would make such a radical reform impossible. Instead he believed we should seek incremental changes, asking of each proposal simply whether it would move [the issue in question] "in the right direction."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #106 on: August 05, 2009, 10:25:16 PM »

Crafty: :To quote my mocking description of the demagogues philosophy during my most recent run for Congress (in 1992)  "We had a vote.  You're paying."

 sad

Marc, maybe 2010 is your time.  There is a political pendulum that swung far too far in the wrong direction for all the wrong reasons and it seems to be swinging back - ready to knock down incumbents in its path.  Run as a Republican, not for what they used to be but for what they ought to be.  I will give my last dollar to the campaign. (Announce soon because that's about all I have.)  Let's take back our country the old fashioned way.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #107 on: August 06, 2009, 05:36:38 AM »

I am deeply honored by your offer of support.  I think I would like very much to mount a serious campaign to win. 

Unfortunately, I am reminded of a nearly two hour conversation I had (in 1985 IIRC) with then Congressman Dan Lungren of the district (the 42d?) now held by Dana Rohrabacker (sp?).  Lungren had just helped his brother run in the neighboring district against long-time pork barrel Dem Congressman Glenn Anderson who headed the "Public Works Committee".  In my run as a Libertarian in 1984 against Anderson I caught the eye of his top aide, retired Col. Mike Gravel.  Col. Gravel set up the meeting with Lungren.

Long story short-- if I had $100,000 of my own money to kick off my campaign (and the ability to support myself while campaigning), Lungren would support my candidacy.   This was in the context of a House of Representatives that at the time had an imcumbency rate of over 98%  shocked and a district that was so outrageously gerrymandered that its silhouette was regularly featured in WSJ editorials (this when the editorial page of the WSJ was still a genuine intellectual heavyweight and not like it is now that Murdoch bought it out) on the subject of gerrymandering and the Congress's shockingly low rate of turnover.   

In short, I would have to cough up $100,000 of my own money (remember, this was in 1985 dollars) in order to surely lose-- and support my single self.  Now, I am a family man and I still don't have a spare $100k (or probably a spare million at this point).




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DougMacG
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« Reply #108 on: August 06, 2009, 11:03:42 AM »

The money requirement is unfortunate but I didn't hear the door slam shut very hard  smiley.  In some ways it seems that it could be done today without all the outlays but congressional districts are in particularly hard to reach because they don't line up nicely with media markets.  Besides campaign cash, supporting your family during the run is of course the issue that doesn't go away.

OTOH: a) When if not now? Obama-Pelosi overstepped so badly that some new voices will be heard and noticed.  b) There are ways to get some free traditional media coverage not to mention web-ads and youtube videos clever enough to draw attention.  Draw enough attention nationally to get noticed locally. c) You are obviously able to put out amazing effort just observing the breadth of your readings  and the times of posts. d) People yearn for non-traditional candidate and may be open to a back-to-the-founding-fathers, limited government / libertarian message - even in sunny southern Cal. d) The more that people or media or opponents question your credentials, the more publicity and interest you generate for your business.  e) You can advance your political philosophy by reaching more people even without winning.  f) Experience with previous runs, knowledge of the issues and the founding principles, studying law under Ruth Ginsburg and leaving the profession of law all make a compelling story. g) The image of a fighter has proven political appeal.  h) You were more available to run or serve when you were single, but will look more mature and responsible when photographed with the beautiful bride and smiling children... i) The job pays $174k per year plus a pretty good health plan!

While knowing it would be nearly impossible financially, maybe still set out at least part way with some exploratory work.  Just like with the pilot television programs, publish a few trial runs both video and written and approach a few people.  My guess is that that are some people and groups out there with means might get behind the right messenger with the right message.  Who knows?

(No reply required - I'll drop the subject until I hear the announcement)
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #109 on: August 06, 2009, 12:08:40 PM »

IMO, this is where Republicans fail miserably. Rather than learn the lessons of their thrashing, forging coalitions that have some demographic momentum, and speaking in a straightforward manner about the damage being done to this nation's founding principles many opt to embrace a status quo that seeks to drive stakes through the heart of the limited government ethos. These timid souls are not that upon which foundational change is precipitated.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #110 on: August 06, 2009, 12:12:25 PM »

Doug:

Although you make good points, my realities simply do not permit.

BBG:

Exactly so.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #111 on: August 08, 2009, 07:49:27 AM »

Various clips of people challenging their Congressman at town hall meetings

http://www.clubforgrowth.org/protests/texas_1/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #112 on: August 08, 2009, 11:00:05 PM »

Miscellaneous political thought:  Arkansas is a conservative state with a Dem Senator Blanch Lincoln up for reelection, in need of a prominent R. challenger.

Mike Huckabee doesn't know it right now but he will never be President.  My sister lived in Arkansas when Huckabee was Governor and thinks he is wonderful (I don't, but that's another story).

If anyone knows Mike, give him a call and tell him his country needs him - in the Senate.
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ccp
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« Reply #113 on: August 10, 2009, 02:18:11 PM »

I think Buchanan rejoices way too soon.
BO does not continue to crash in the polls like constantly stated by the right pundits.  Yes he is down but stabilizing.
And I think that they underestimate there are many people who do want a "public option" (not me), and do want a government nanny.
And I think he underestimated the Dems ability to spin this right back.
And there is still no spoke people for the Republicans.
Palin has a lot of studying to do if he thinks she can attract more than her base.
Who can convince the skeptical that the job of government is to keep level and honest the playing field and then GET OUT OF THE WAY?

The cans are still singing to the choir IMHO.

****A GOP That Can Say No
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

08/07/2009


Reports of the death of the Republican Party appear to have been premature.
     
Not since Sen. Bob Griffin derailed LBJ's scheme to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren with crony Abe Fortas, before Nixon got to the Oval Office, has the GOP defied this city and voted to reject a liberal judicial activist for the court.
     
In 1970, after revelations of scandal forced Fortas to resign, Rep. Gerald Ford moved to impeach "Wild Bill" Douglas on similar grounds. Then the fire went out -- for 40 years.
 
     
Meanwhile, Democrats trashed Republican nominees Clement Haynsworth, Harrold Carswell and Robert Bork, forced Reagan to withdraw Douglas Ginsburg, and made Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito run an Iroquois gauntlet.
     
Finally, yesterday, Senate Republicans, defying threats of an Hispanic backlash if they voted to reject the first Hispanic nominee, stood up and said no more EZ passes for any liberal judicial activist.
     
And this is only the most recent act of defiance by a party that, at long last, seems to have found its conservative compass and to be finding its way home.
     
Recuperation began when House Republicans stood beside Middle America and rejected the Bush-McCain-Kennedy-Clinton amnesty for illegal aliens, inflicting a humiliating defeat on the establishment.
     
The next sign of recovery was the decision of John McCain to damn the torpedoes and put Sarah Palin on the ticket. The smashing reception Palin received stunned mainstream media, vaulted McCain into the lead, and signaled the party what America wants it to become again.
     
The next act of defiance was the Republican rebellion against the $700 billion bank bailout of last September. Though House resistance was swiftly broken, Republican instincts were subsequently proven right.
     
Next came rock-solid Republican opposition to the mother of all pig-outs, the Pelosi stimulus package. Not one Republican voted for it in the House and only three went over the hill in the Senate. How many Blue Dogs are back home bragging about having supported that beauty?
     
Then, yesterday, mirabile dictu, the Republican minority in the Senate voted four-to-one to send Sonia back to Greenwich Village.
     
Wailed retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, "We have allowed ideology to hold a preeminent role as opposed to qualifications. I find it very, very appalling."
     
But what is truly appalling is the senator's inability to understand what is going in his country.
     
For decades, a leftist ideology has permeated the Supreme Court. Protected by lifetime appointments, liberal justices have imposed upon this once-democratic republic a social, cultural and moral revolution no Congress could ever have survived imposing and no majority would ever vote for.
     
Prayer, Bible study, the Ten Commandments were purged from public schools of a nation whose coins bear the inscription "In God We Trust" and whose Constitution never mandated any kulturkampf on the birth faith of the West.
     
Pornographers were awarded First Amendment protections. Abortion, a crime in every state half a century ago, was declared a constitutional right. New shackles were put on police and prosecutors. The death penalty was outlawed for 20 years because Bill Brennan and friends did not like it. Forced busing for racial balance was imposed, generating white flight, destroying urban schools, and tearing communities apart.
     
For decades, federal judges and justices were on a rampage. For decades, we lived under a judicial dictatorship.
     
As for Sotomayor, she was a political activist whose academic and legal career is marked at every step by clamors for raced-based hiring, promotions and admissions. As a judge, she trashed the appeal of Frank Ricci and the New Haven firefighters who had been robbed of promotions they had earned in competitive exams solely because they were white.
     
She declared the New York state law denying voting rights to convicts a violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act because it had a disparate impact on minorities, who are overrepresented in prison. Using that yardstick, Justice Sotomayor would have to vote to outlaw the death penalty.
     
Suddenly, in national politics, the momentum has shifted.
     
The Republican Party is stirring. Its poll numbers are rising, as support for Obama has fallen to 50 percent in the Quinnipiac Poll, support for his handling of the economy and deficit has fallen into the 40s, and support for his health insurance scheme has plunged to 39.
     
Of his big initiatives, the stimulus bill is looking like a loser, cap-and-trade may not survive the Senate, and national health insurance may have to be pared back -- or be killed by nervous Blue Dogs.
     
In both big races three months off, the Virginia and New Jersey governors' contests, Republicans are running 14 points ahead.
     
As they say in the press box, "Fans, we have a brand-new ball game."
     
And the reason is that some exasperated Republicans decided to declare independence of the White Houses of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- and "dance with the girl what brunt ya."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."****

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #114 on: September 01, 2009, 12:25:11 PM »

The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the Citizen
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
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Those of us who oppose a massive increase in the role the national government plays in health care ("ObamaCare") do so because we fear the immense and unsustainable national debt it would incur and because we are certain that medical care in America would deteriorate. But there is a bigger reason most of us oppose it: We believe that the bigger the government becomes, the smaller the individual citizen becomes.



Here are five reasons why bigger government makes less impressive people.

1. People who are able to take care of themselves and do so are generally better than people who are able to take care of themselves but rely on others. Of course, there are times when some people have absolutely no choice and must rely on others to take care of them. Life is tragic and some people, despite their best efforts and their commitment to being a responsible person, must have others support them.

Even if one believes, as the left does by definition, that the ideal society is one in which the state takes care of as many of our needs as possible, one must acknowledge that this has deleterious effects on many, if not most, citizens' moral character. The moment one acknowledges that the more one takes care of oneself, the more developed is his or her character, one must acknowledge that a bigger state diminishes its citizens' characters.

Presumably one might argue that there is no relationship between character development and taking responsibility for oneself. But to do so is to turn the concept of character, as it has been understood throughout Judeo-Christian and Western history, on its head. The essence of good character is to care of oneself and then take of others who cannot take care of themselves.

2. The more people come to rely on government, the more they develop a sense of entitlement -- an attitude characterized by the belief that one is owed (whatever the state provides and more). This is a second big government blow to character development because it has at least three terrible consequences:

First, the more one feels entitled, the less one believes he has to work for anything. Why work hard if I can look to the state to give much of what I need, and, increasingly, much of what I want? Second, the more one feels entitled, the less grateful one feels. This is obvious: The more one expects to be given, the less one is grateful for what one is given. Third, the more entitled and the less grateful one feels, the angrier one becomes. The opposite of gratitude is not only ingratitude, it is anger. People who do not get what they think they are entitled to become angry.

3. People develop disdain for work.

One of the effects of the welfare state on vast numbers of European citizens is disdain for work. This is in keeping with Marx's view of utopia as a time when people will work very little and devote their large amount of non-working time writing poetry and engaging in other such lofty pursuits. Work is not regarded by the left as ennobling. It is highly ennobling in the American value system, however.

4. People become preoccupied with vacation time.

Along with disdain for work, one witnesses among Western Europeans a preoccupation with not working. Vacation time has become a moral value among many Europeans. There have been riots in countries like France merely over working hours. In Sweden and elsewhere, more and more workers take more and more time off from work, knowing they will be paid anyway. In Germany and elsewhere, it is against the law to keep one's store open after a certain hour, lest that give that store owner an income advantage and thereby compel a competing store to stay open longer as well. And, of course, Americans are viewed as working far too hard.

5. People are rendered more selfish.

Not only does bigger government teach people not to take care of themselves, it teaches them not to take of others. Smaller government is the primary reason Americans give more charity and volunteer more time per capita than do Europeans living in welfare states. Why take care of your fellow citizen, or even your family, when the government will do it for you?

This preoccupation with self includes foreign policy: Why care about, let alone risk dying for, another country's liberty? That is the view of the world's left. That is why conservative governments are far more supportive of the war efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan than left-wing governments of the same country. The moment the socialists won in Spain, they withdrew all their forces from Iraq. The new center-left government in Japan has promised to stop helping the war effort in Afghanistan.

Of course, there are fine idealistic individuals on the left, and selfish individuals on the right. But as a rule, bigger government increases the number of angry, ungrateful, lazy, spoiled and self-centered individuals. Which is why some of us believe that increased nationalization of health care is worth shouting about. And even crying over.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #115 on: October 01, 2009, 10:44:37 AM »

Alexander's Essay – October 1, 2009

Not Yours To Give

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..." --James Madison


David CrockettMy paternal ancestors settled in East Tennessee about 10 years before it was admitted to the Union (1796). Not far from where they settled lived a fellow who was the region's most famous frontiersman.

David Crockett was his name.

He has been immortalized as a folk hero, known for his battles with the Red Stick Creek Indians under Andrew Jackson, and his last stand at the Alamo with fellow Patriots James Bowie from Kentucky and William Travis from South Carolina.

Crockett battled the Creek side-by-side with fellow Tennessean Sam Houston, but both men were friends to the Cherokee clans, which were composed of highly civilized native peoples living in the border regions between Tennessee and North Carolina.

At the end of his formal service as a soldier, he was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Tennessee Militia.

Crockett is less known for the several terms he served in Congress between 1827 and 1835 during the presidency of his old commander, Andrew Jackson. Crockett's friend, Sam Houston, had been elected governor of Tennessee. (Houston, who would later become governor of Texas, is the only American in history to serve as governor of two states.)

Though he had little formal education, Crockett exuded a commanding presence and was feared, if not loathed, by his more refined congressional colleagues for his backwoods rhetoric.

In one of his more legendary orations, Crockett proclaimed: "Mr. Speaker ... the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Everett] talks of summing up the merits of the question, but I'll sum up my own. In one word I'm a screamer, and have got the roughest racking horse, the prettiest sister, the surest rifle and the ugliest dog in the district. I'm a leetle the savagest crittur you ever did see. My father can whip any man in Kentucky, and I can lick my father. I can out-speak any man on this floor, and give him two hours start. I can run faster, dive deeper, stay longer under, and come out drier, than any chap this side the big Swamp. I can outlook a panther and outstare a flash of lightning, tote a steamboat on my back and play at rough and tumble with a lion, and an occasional kick from a zebra."

Crockett continued, "I can take the rag off -- frighten the old folks -- astonish the natives -- and beat the Dutch all to smash, make nothing of sleeping under a blanket of snow and don't mind being frozen more than a rotten apple. I can walk like an ox, run like a fox, swim like an eel, yell like an Indian, fight like a devil, spout like an earthquake, make love like a mad bull, and swallow a Mexican whole without choking if you butter his head and pin his ears back."

What I wouldn't give to hear a tad more of that on the floor of the House these days!

Though his rhetoric may have been unorthodox, Crockett was a man of principle.

His fervent opposition to Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 (forcing removal of the peaceful Cherokee tribes along the infamous "Trail of Tears") cost Crockett his congressional seat, but he declared, "I bark at no man's bid. I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the White House no matter who he is."

But it was Crockett's stalwart opposition to unconstitutional spending that is most worth noting given today's congressional penchant for such spending in the trillions.

According to the Register of Debates for the House of Representatives, 20th Congress, 1st Session on April 2, 1828, Crocket stood to challenge the constitutionality of one of the earliest welfare spending bills.

While the exact text of his speech was not recorded in full (as that was not the practice of the time), the spirit of his words was captured years later under the heading "Not yours to give" in the book "The Life of Colonel David Crockett" by Edward Ellis.

Ellis wrote, "One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose..."

According to Ellis, Crockett said, "Mr. Speaker; I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

Though the measure was expected to receive unanimous support, after Crockett's objection, it did not pass.


Be sure you are right...Ellis recounts that Crocket was later asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, and he replied: "Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done."

Crocket explained, "The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.

"I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and..."

His constituent interrupted, "Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again."

Crockett replied, "This was a sockdolager ... I begged him to tell me what was the matter."

The farmer said, "Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is."

Crocket responded, "Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did."

But the farmer fired back, "It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man. ... So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people."

Thus, Crockett explained of his opposition to support the widow of that distinguished naval officer: "Now, sir, you know why I made that speech yesterday."

Today, there are but a handful of Senate and House incumbents who dare support and defend the Constitution as Crockett did. But there are candidates emerging around the nation who, with our support, will deliver orations as brazen and eloquent, and stand firm behind those words.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

(To submit reader comments
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DougMacG
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« Reply #116 on: October 04, 2009, 11:42:04 AM »

We Should Vote for Anyone . . .

Who offers a coherent systematic agenda of reform. What do most want? Not necessarily a Republican or Democrat, or at this 11th hour to be mired in messy issues like gay marriage (I’m opposed to it), but rather fundamental matters of finance, investment, and defense. Here are ten random suggestions; dozens more could be adduced.

I will add one, McCain should have picked VDH for running mate and so should the next nominee.  That would keep the issue and policy debates on track.

1)   Fiscal sanity that leads to federal spending freezes and a balanced budget that in turn soon allows a paying down of the debt.

2)   An oil/nuclear/coal/natural gas rapid development effort (again, to exploit especially new fields in Alaska, California, the Gulf, and North Dakota) to tide us over until alternate energy and new conservation lessen dependence. The alternative is to dream on about “green jobs” while we go broke trying to pay for scarcer imported oil, and lose our autonomy in the next price hike or Mideast crisis, even as we suffer amoral rants from oil-rich unhinged thugs like Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Gaddafi, and Putin.

3)   A new national consensus on security to decide that when and if we go to war, to see the effort through, on the principle that whatever the mistakes we commit in battle are far outweighed by the cost of defeat.

4)   A bad/worse choice gut check reform on entitlements, especially concerning those unsustainable like Social Security and Medicare, that calibrates payouts in terms of incoming capital—whether by raising age eligibilities or curbing automatic cost of living hikes.

5)   Clear, demarcated, and enforced national borders, and an end to illegal immigration through greater enforcement, employer sanction, border fortification, and a change in national attitudes about unlawful entry.

6)   Zero tolerance on government corruption. There is no reason why someone like a Charles Rangel is still the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

7)   Tort reform, including limits on personal injury settlements and loser-pays law suit reform.

Cool   A renewed commitment to national and regional missile defense, on the expectation that the next two decades are going to be terribly dangerous, as lunatic regimes may well threaten to hold an American city or ally as nuclear hostage.

9)   Federal investment in hard infrastructure projects, not redistributive entitlements or Murtha-like earmarks, such as freeways, dams, water projects, electrical grids, ports, rail, etc., with regional needs adjudicated by national bipartisan boards.

10)       A move to lower taxes, preferably by alternatives to the present income tax system, whether by a consumption tax or flat taxes, calibrated to commensurate spending cuts.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #117 on: October 10, 2009, 01:27:19 PM »

Decline is a Choice, by Charles Krauthammer is a fairly long read.  I recommend reading it slowly - in its entirety.  Krauthammer does a nice job of showing how Obama's policies favor American decline for both economic and foreign policies.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/056lfnpr.asp

Decline Is a Choice
The New Liberalism and the end of American ascendancy.
by Charles Krauthammer
10/19/2009, Volume 015, Issue 05

(go to the link, article didn't fit in a post)
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ccp
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« Reply #118 on: October 12, 2009, 11:05:05 AM »

Actuall I personally like and agree with a lot of what Levin and Beck say.
I used to agree with 90% of LImbaugh but I would guess it might be down to 65% now.  I don't find him winning over any new converts.
O'Reilly I agree with most of the time.  Hannity I am not a fan of.

I haven't read much about this guy but I notice MSNBC is happy to have him on criticizing many on the right for not being inclusive.
That tells me something about him.  So I don't yet have a real opinion of him yet, but he now has my ear.

DAVID BROOKS
Published: October 2, 2009
Let us take a trip back into history. Not ancient history. Recent history. It is the winter of 2007. The presidential primaries are approaching. The talk jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest are over the moon about Fred Thompson. They’re weak at the knees at the thought of Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, they are hurling torrents of abuse at the unreliable deviationists: John McCain and Mike Huckabee.

Yet somehow, despite the fervor of the great microphone giants, the Thompson campaign flops like a fish. Despite the schoolgirl delight from the radio studios, the Romney campaign underperforms.

Meanwhile, Huckabee surges. Limbaugh attacks him, but social conservatives flock.

Along comes New Hampshire and McCain wins! Republican voters have not heeded their masters in the media. Before long, South Carolina looms as the crucial point of the race. The contest is effectively between Romney and McCain. The talk jocks are now in spittle-flecked furor. Day after day, whole programs are dedicated to hurling abuse at McCain and everybody ever associated with him. The jocks are threatening to unleash their angry millions.

Yet the imaginary armies do not materialize. McCain wins the South Carolina primary and goes on to win the nomination. The talk jocks can’t even deliver the conservative voters who show up at Republican primaries. They can’t even deliver South Carolina!

So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as “The Wizard of Oz,” of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.

But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by this story. Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again. Back in 2006, they threatened to build a new majority on anti-immigration fervor. Republicans like J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, both of Arizona, built their House election campaigns under that banner. But these two didn’t march to glory. Both lost their campaigns.

In 2008, after McCain had won his nomination, Limbaugh turned his attention to the Democratic race. He commanded his followers to vote in the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton because “we need Barack Obama bloodied up politically.” Todd Donovan of Western Washington University has looked at data from 38 states and could find no strong evidence that significant numbers of people actually did what Limbaugh commanded. Rush blared the trumpets, but few of his Dittoheads advanced.

Over the years, I have asked many politicians what happens when Limbaugh and his colleagues attack. The story is always the same. Hundreds of calls come in. The receptionists are miserable. But the numbers back home do not move. There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not.

But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 3, 2009
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DougMacG
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« Reply #119 on: October 12, 2009, 12:33:36 PM »

David Brooks is from the Obama wing of the Republican Party IMO.  He is infatuated with Huckabee only as it relates to a split among conservatives.  There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Brooks would vote for Huck.   Rush is a radio show based on one person's opinion.  He doen't hold Get-out-the-Vote rallies.  To the extent that his views resonate with others he attracts and holds listeners.  That he doesn't change minds could be said about any of them including Obama whose electoral win didn't translate into support for his policies.  I listened to Rush more than Brooks did and Rush DID NOT ENDORSE ANYONE for President in the primaries. Even Oprah took a side.  Fred Thompson was largely ignored.  No one trashed Huckabee.  Plenty of conservatives exposed his policies and rhetoric that is/was not conservative.  Isn't that what a conservative, opinion commentator should do?  No one melted over Romney.

Social conservatives felt threatened by Giuliani but Huckabee knocked him out (and Thompson) in the first state.  Then Republicans held their nose and nominated the most centrist and anti-Republican of all the choices hoping that would bring moderates, centrists and independents to the cause in a bad year.  The opposite happened.

Huckabee is interesting to the left because his charisma and partial success help to widen the divide among conservatives. 

Brooks: "So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power."  - In this case "everyone" refers to the people he shares elevators with at the NY Times.  He perhaps should take Rush's advice that the NY Times should send 'foreign correspondents' out to the heartland and find out what the people there really think.

On the right, people are fascinated with the so-called tea party movement that really is the groundswell without a leader.
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ccp
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« Reply #120 on: October 12, 2009, 12:54:05 PM »

"On the right, people are fascinated with the so-called tea party movement that really is the groundswell without a leader."

It seems to me many participants in the tea party would find Levin and Beck appealing.
I really don't know how much they are simply preaching to the choir or are actually finding growing support among independents.
Couldn't they be leaders of the tea party?
They may actually be catching moderate/independent ears unlike IMO Limbaugh/Hannity.
Doug perhaps you, or another poster may have heard if they are catching on or simply popular with those who already subscribe to the right.

I am not a fan of Huckabee at all.
I wish Fox would come up with something better on the wknds rather than inundate us with his boring show.

Brooks is also placing all these names in the same vein but they are not the same.
O'Reilly is certainly far more moderate than Limbaugh.

I will have to read Brooks a little more to ascertain what his RX is or if he is just critical without an alternative.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #121 on: October 12, 2009, 02:24:01 PM »

CCP: "It seems to me many participants in the tea party would find Levin and Beck appealing.
I really don't know how much they are simply preaching to the choir or are actually finding growing support among independents.  Couldn't they be leaders of the tea party?"

Not speaking for the movement but if I get to choose a leader from among the right wing punditry I think I will go with Prof. Victor Davis Hanson.

Let the left wing media try to take him apart.  Katie Couric can ask him what he reads, Charlie Gibson can see if he understands the Bush Doctrine, and maybe George Stephanopoulos can try to trip him up on the names of leaders around the world.   smiley
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ccp
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« Reply #122 on: October 19, 2009, 09:49:33 AM »

Caveat:  this comes from Princeton NJ.  Not the bastion of liberal academia but I am not sure how objective Gallup is either.
Remember 42% want the health reform as it now is proposed.  To me this says at least 42% want huge government, huge handouts, and their perception of social justice which is to take from successful and hard working and give it out.
If one has ever been to a Democrat political rally one knows who I mean.  So from the getgo these folks will never change their opinion (unless they win lotto).  So how do Republicans appeal to independents?  I would think if Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the crew could do it they would have by now. 

****GOP Losses Span Nearly All Demographic GroupsOnly frequent churchgoers show no decline in support since 2001by Jeffrey M. Jones
PRINCETON, NJ -- The decline in Republican Party affiliation among Americans in recent years is well documented, but a Gallup analysis now shows that this movement away from the GOP has occurred among nearly every major demographic subgroup. Since the first year of George W. Bush's presidency in 2001, the Republican Party has maintained its support only among frequent churchgoers, with conservatives and senior citizens showing minimal decline.

So far in 2009, aggregated Gallup Poll data show the divide on leaned party identification is 53% Democratic and 39% Republican -- a marked change from 2001, when the parties were evenly matched, according to an average of all of that year's Gallup Polls. That represents a loss of five points for the Republicans and a gain of eight points for the Democrats.

The parties were also evenly matched on basic party identification in 2001 (which does not take into account the partisan leanings of independents), with 32% identifying themselves as Republicans, 33% as Democrats, and 34% as independents. The 2009 data show the GOP losing five points since then, with identification increasing three points among both Democrats and independents.

As was shown earlier, the GOP's loss in leaned support over this time is evident among nearly every subgroup. The losses are substantial among college graduates, which have shown a decline in GOP support of 10 points. (The losses are even greater -- 13 points -- among the subset of college graduates with postgraduate educations.) This may reflect in part Barack Obama's strong appeal to educated voters, a major component of his winning coalitions in both the Democratic primaries and the general election.

Aside from education, for which the parties were basically at even strength in 2001, the Republicans' losses tend to be greater among groups that were not strong GOP supporters to begin with. These include self-identified liberals and moderates, church non-attenders, and lower-income and young adults. Thus, a big factor in the GOP's overall decline is the Democratic Party's consolidating its support among normally Democratically leaning groups.

In turn, the GOP has generally avoided significant losses among only its most loyal groups, including frequent churchgoers and self-identified conservatives. The Republican Party maintains majority support among these two groups.

Two exceptions to this general pattern are senior citizens, and racial and ethnic minorities. Republican support among blacks and the larger group of nonwhites has not changed much in the past eight years, but these groups have shown only very limited support for the Republican Party. And while Obama's candidacy seemed to attract young voters to the Democratic Party during the 2008 presidential campaign, it did not have the same effect on older voters. As a result, the share of older voters aligned with the Republican Party has generally held steady.

Implications

The Republican Party clearly has lost a lot of support since 2001, the first year of George W. Bush's administration. Most of the loss in support actually occurred beginning in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina and Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court -- both of which created major public relations problems for the administration -- and amid declining support for the Iraq war. By the end of 2008, the party had its worst positioning against the Democrats in nearly two decades.

The GOP may have stemmed those losses for now, as it does not appear to have lost any more support since Obama took office. But as the analysis presented here shows, the losses the GOP has suffered have come among nearly all demographic groups apart from some of the most ardent Republican subgroups.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 7,139 national adults, aged 18 and older, in Gallup polls conducted January-April 2009. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

Margins of error for subgroups will be larger.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).****

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #123 on: October 19, 2009, 10:41:53 AM »

Well, I for one no longer take the Republican Party seriously.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #124 on: October 19, 2009, 11:19:15 AM »

Gallup, like a lot of polls, samples all Americans not likely voters to get their numbers.  Still their Obama approval spread fell from about 60 points to 12.

Rasmussen measures Strongly approve versus strongly disapprove, groups more likely to show up.  Strongly disapprove numbers stand at about 40% which would be a pretty good combined measure of the different types of conservatives out there.

The commentators don't need more than 40% market share to be very successful.

The Obama vote included people not fully sold on the agenda.  The excitement of blacks which went 95% to Obama is not likely to be energized in the off-year of 2010.  I wouldn't think the Jewish or Israel supporting groups would be energized either.  Obama has had double digit losses of popularity in the 18-24 groups among others as hope and change starts to get specific.  Gallup story is a little slow since the Republican losses were well known since 2006.  The Obama slippage and Pelosi congress disaster polls stories would be more timely stories.

The Republican brand name hasn't meant anything specific or positive, especially to conservatives, for a very long time.  (Crafty just expressed that very succinctly.) Bush cut tax rates twice and never articulated why.  The so-called Bush Doctrine was dropped by the Bush administration at about the time of the Harry Whittington shooting.

Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism.

This board has a wide enough range of conservative and libertarian thought to come up with the next Contract with America to steer next year's candidates in the right direction.  Anyone care to take a stab at it?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #125 on: October 19, 2009, 11:32:43 AM »

"Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism."

Exactly why I don't take them seriously.
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ccp
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« Reply #126 on: October 19, 2009, 11:40:09 AM »

Doug,
Personally I agree with you.
This statement though I am not sure:
Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism.
What I am not sure about is how many Americans this really appeals to.
There is clearly a large number of Americans and those others who reside here who don't seem to have problem with bigger and bigger government.  Obviously they think this will help them get through their miseries.
I would suggest that any Contract with America which on face value is an excellent idea, has to address this point:
That bigger government is going to hurt all of us. That Obama is trashing 200 years of what made this country the greatest in the world.
These people cannot ID with Limbaugh and Hannity and the rest.   
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DougMacG
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« Reply #127 on: October 19, 2009, 02:46:18 PM »

Crafty: "Exactly why I don't take them seriously."

   - And the other way forward for conservatives is ....... ?

----
CCP: "What I am not sure about is how many Americans this [limited government] really appeals to."

   - Yes.  That's a big problem, but so is credibility.  You don't persuade people in the middle when they see you don't believe in what you say either.  George H.W. Bush was kicked out mostly for breaking his pledge of no new taxes.  He was replaced with someone who admitted he would raise taxes.  Bill I-didn't-inhale/Gennifer-Flowers Clinton was perceived as more honest?  I don't know, just know that the brand name didn't stand for anything at that point and people were open to change and compassion instead.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #128 on: October 20, 2009, 09:51:30 AM »

http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=1134
I liked this one:


Also: "Don't tell Obama what's after a trillion"
        "Put the Constitution on your Teleprompter"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #129 on: October 26, 2009, 10:58:10 AM »

The Foundation
"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." --John Adams

You can either support Democrat health care or the Constitution ... but not both

"At the heart of the American idea is the deep distrust and suspicion the founders of our nation had for government, distrust and suspicion not shared as much by today's Americans. Some of the founders' distrust is seen in our Constitution's language such as Congress shall not: abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, violate and deny. If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given rights, they would not have provided those protections. After all, one would not expect to find a Bill of Rights in Heaven; it would be an affront to God. Other founder distrust for government is found in the Constitution's separation of powers, checks and balances and the several anti-majoritarian provisions such as the Electoral College and the requirement that three-quarters of state legislatures ratify changes in the Constitution. The three branches of our federal government are no longer bound by the Constitution as the framers envisioned and what is worse is American ignorance and acceptance of such rogue behavior. Look at the current debate over government involvement in health, business bailouts and stimulus packages. The debate centers around questions as whether such involvement is a good idea or a bad idea and whether one program is more costly than another. Those questions are entirely irrelevant to what should be debated, namely: Is such government involvement in our lives permissible under the U.S. Constitution? That question is not part of the debate. The American people, along with our elected representatives, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, care less about what is and what is not permissible under our Constitution. They think Congress has the right to do anything upon which they can secure a majority vote, whether they have the constitutional or moral authority to do so or not." --George Mason economics professor Walter E. Williams

Liberty
"Can President Barack Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy broccoli? If so, where did they get that authority? What provision in the Constitution empowers the federal government to order an individual to buy a product he does not want? This is not a question about nutrition. It is not a question about whether broccoli is good for you or about the relative merits of broccoli versus other foods. It is a question about the constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. It is a question about freedom. Can President Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy health insurance? They might as well order Americans to buy broccoli. They have no legitimate authority to do either. Yet neither Obama nor the current leadership in Congress seems to care about the constitutional limits on their power. They are now attempting to exert authority over the lives of Americans in a way no president and Congress has done before. ... All versions of the health care bill under consideration in Congress would order Americans to buy health insurance. If any of these bills is enacted, the first thing it would accomplish is the amputation of a vital part of our Constitution, and the death of another measure of our liberty." --columnist Terence Jeffrey

Faith & Family
"Hard work and self-denial were part of our national character -- actually our Christian heritage. In recent years, the 'sound economic values' have eroded. ... But the problem, you see, is that values and the character they produce aren't divisible. People will not exercise restraint in their economic dealings while casting off restraints in their sexual and social ones. ... Or turn on the television. There, people are indulging every sexual desire in the midst of a consumerist paradise -- big homes, expensive cars and fashionable clothes. You can do anything you want. The 'Calvinist restraint' ... didn't preach chastity or thrift; rather it preached chastity and thrift. That's because it saw both as proceeding from a common source: the Christian understanding of man's nature and the purpose for which God created him. If you try to have the one without the other, you will get neither. Far from being obsolete, the old culture war is more relevant than ever. Restoring moral values across the board is essential to rescue a sagging economy as well as renew our nation's spirit." --author Chuck Colson


Culture
"Quick: when I say 'Matthew Shepard,' what do you think? A man killed because he was gay? Or just some poor sap in the wrong place at the wrong time? More on that in a minute. Hate crime legislation aimed at making it a federal crime to assault someone for being a homosexual passed the House last week, and could be on its way to becoming law. It sounds great, doesn't it? Who wouldn't be against a law that would prosecute someone for targeting another person based on bigotry and bias? What could be wrong with this scenario? Plenty. I'm all for prosecuting criminals for their acts, especially violent criminals. I'm pro-death penalty, if truth be told. I figure that if you deliberately take someone else's life, you should pay by forfeiting yours. Not very PC of me, but there you have it. However, it bothers me that individuals may soon be prosecuted for not just the crime, but the 'behind the scenes' thoughts that may have contributed to that crime. ... When we begin to prosecute for the thoughts behind the crime, we open a very wiggly can of worms that can't be shut again. ... Thanks to the pop culture myth that helped perpetrate the false reason for Matthew Shepard's senseless death, we could now all be facing regulations that resemble '1984' more than they do 'Land of the Free.' Is this really the direction in which we want to head?" --columnist Pam Meister

The Gipper
"Our party must be the party of the individual. It must not sell out the individual to cater to the group. No greater challenge faces our society today than ensuring that each one of us can maintain his dignity and his identity in an increasingly complex, centralized society. Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business ... frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite. Our party must be based on the kind of leadership that grows and takes its strength from the people. Any organization is in actuality only the lengthened shadow of its members. A political party is a mechanical structure created to further a cause. The cause, not the mechanism, brings and holds the members together. And our cause must be to rediscover, reassert and reapply America's spiritual heritage to our national affairs. Then with God's help we shall indeed be as a city upon a hill with the eyes of all people upon us." --Ronald Reagan

Opinion in Brief
"President Obama keeps roaring out deadlines like a lion -- only later to meow like a little kitty. Remember, for example, how he bellowed to cheering partisan crowds that he would close down the detainment facility at Guantanamo within a year? The clock ticks -- and Guantanamo isn't close to being shut down. It once was easy for candidate Obama to deplore George W. Bush's supposed gulag. Now it proves harder to decide between the bad choice of detaining non-uniformed terrorist combatants and the worse ones of letting them go, giving them civilian trials or deporting them to unwilling hosts. Going back further to September 2007, candidate Obama postured about Iraq that he wanted 'to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year -- now!' That 'now!' sure sounded macho. On Iraq, candidate Obama also railed that 'the American people have had enough of the shifting spin. We've had enough of extended deadlines for benchmarks that go unmet.' Talk about 'unmet' deadlines and 'spin'-- here we are in October 2009, and there are still 120,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The reason why Obama fudged on his promised deadline is that the surge in 2007 worked. American deaths plummeted. The theater is quiet. Iraqi democracy is still there after six years. Obama cannot quite admit these facts, but on the other hand he does not want to be responsible for undermining them. ... The list of what a melodramatic Obama threatens or promises to do and what he actually does is endless." --Hoover Institution historian Victor Davis Hanson


 

For the Record
"
  • n Thursday, the administration tried to make [the MSM] complicit in an actual boycott of Fox. The Treasury Department made available Ken Feinberg, the executive pay czar, for interviews with the White House 'pool' news organizations -- except Fox. The other networks admirably refused, saying they would not interview Feinberg unless Fox was permitted to as well. The administration backed down. This was an important defeat because there's a principle at stake here. While government can and should debate and criticize opposition voices, the current White House goes beyond that. It wants to delegitimize any significant dissent. The objective is no secret. White House aides openly told Politico that they're engaged in a deliberate campaign to marginalize and ostracize recalcitrants, from Fox to health insurers to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There's nothing illegal about such search-and-destroy tactics. Nor unconstitutional. But our politics are defined not just by limits of legality or constitutionality. We have norms, Madisonian norms. [James] Madison argued that the safety of a great republic, its defense against tyranny, requires the contest between factions or interests. His insight was to understand 'the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties.' They would help guarantee liberty by checking and balancing and restraining each other -- and an otherwise imperious government. Factions should compete, but they should also recognize the legitimacy of other factions and, indeed, their necessity for a vigorous self-regulating democracy. Seeking to deliberately undermine, delegitimize and destroy is not Madisonian. It is Nixonian." --columnist Charles Krauthammer
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DougMacG
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« Reply #130 on: October 26, 2009, 11:16:43 PM »

A thought sparked by the B.O. & friends thread:  It is not enough to point out when these people, President Obama and his inner circle, are Marxists, support terror against our country, believe our country deserved attacks of 9/11, were never proud of our country, think Americans are cowards, respected and admired Chairman Mao, want to disarm America, want to curtail free speech, stop out investment incentives, nationalize industries, subsidize the press, bankrupt our energy sources, etc etc etc.  Unfortunately, you/we must always also take the time on each point to say or write the part we think goes without saying --- why that is a bad idea!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #131 on: October 27, 2009, 09:19:53 PM »

Freki, all,  We should add this wonderful list of truths (from Freki) to 'the way forward' thread as well.

What clarity!

The 10 Cannots

1.  You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
3.  You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
4.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
5.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
6.  You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
7.  You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
8.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
9.  You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
10  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

(1942 by William J. H. Boetcker)



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #132 on: October 29, 2009, 11:18:12 AM »

Alexander's Essay – October 29, 2009

'Nobody Questions That'?
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." --Thomas Jefferson
Never before has there been more evidence of outright contempt for our Constitution than under the current liberal hegemony presiding over the executive and legislative branches of our federal government.

The protagonist of this Leftist regime is, of course, Barack Hussein Obama, who promised his constituents, "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America. And generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was our time" [emphasis added].

Obama proclaimed, "Everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- to lay a new foundation for growth."

In his inaugural speech, Obama declared, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works," signaling his rejection of the old paradigm, which pitted the conservative position, "government is the problem," against the liberal position, "government is the solution."

Thus, by virtue of his election to the presidency nearly one year ago, he believes he has the authority to establish a new paradigm to "fundamentally transform" our nation by creating "a new foundation."

However, if we are a nation of laws with a national government limited by our Constitution, and, indeed, we are, then Obama has no legal authority to "transform" our government.

Those who laid our constitutional foundation were very clear about its limits on government.

Our Constitution's principle author, James Madison, wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce."

Concerning the legislature's authority, Thomas Jefferson asserted: "[G]iving [Congress] a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them. [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."

Madison added, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

But too many among us have become so fixated on the superficial parameters of today's political debates rather than demand an answer to that most essential question: What is the constitutional authority for Obama's proposals now being debated in Congress?

For example, amid all the acrimony over Obama's transformation of health care, the debate should not be centered on which plan is better, but whether constitutional authority exists for any of the plans under consideration.

Unfortunately, such inquiry is scarce, and hardly noted.

Last week, however, three leading Democrats in Congress were asked during news conferences to cite the constitutional authority for their healthcare proposals. To a one, they responded with answers that betrayed unmitigated arrogance and a disdain for our Constitution second to none in our nation's noble history.

"Are you serious? Are you serious?" replied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked specifically about the constitutional authority for Obama's health care proposal. Pelosi's spokesman later clarified, "You can put this on the record: That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question." (Apparently, there was an echo in the chamber.)

Democrat House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer attempted to answer the question by demonstrating his illimitable ignorance on the subject: "Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect [a mandate that individuals must buy health insurance]. The end that we're trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility."

Perhaps Hoyer should take a basic civics course on the "General Welfare" clause in Article 1, Section 8, as written by James Madison. On the limitations of the Constitution, Madison wrote: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..."

Finally, Democrat Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (where Rule of Law once prevailed), responded to the question of constitutional authority by insisting, "We have plenty of authority. ... I mean, there's no question there's authority. Nobody questions that. Where do we have the authority to set speed limits on an interstate highway? The federal government does that on federal highways." (No, actually, the states set speed limits, and only misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause by judicial activists could be construed to give the federal government such authority.)

As for Obama, his publicist, Robert Gibbs, claimed, "I won't be confused as a constitutional scholar, but I don't believe there's a lot of -- I don't believe there's a lot of case law that would demonstrate the veracity of [questions about constitutional authority]."

For sure, nobody will confuse Gibbs with a scholar of any stripe. And, we would remind Gibbs that when the Clintonistas attempted to nationalize healthcare (18 percent of the U.S. economy) back in 1994, the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued this piece of analysis: "The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate ... would impose a duty on individuals as members of society [and] require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government."

Remarkably, neither Obama's bęte noire, Fox News, nor any nationally syndicated conservative column, devoted air time or print to these egregiously errant responses.

To be sure, there are a few Republicans who have questioned Obama's authority. Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch proposed an amendment requiring swift judicial review of the health care folly if it is ultimately passed into law. Not surprisingly, Democrat Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, refused to take up Hatch's amendment, insisting that it was a matter for the Judiciary Committee -- the very committee chaired by the aforementioned Senator Patrick "We have plenty of authority" Leahy.

In order to divine the real source the Left claims as its authority for "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," consider this congressional inquiry from last March.

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann dared ask Obama's tax cheat Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, "What provision in the Constitution could you point to gives authority for the actions that have been taken by the Treasury since March of '08?"

Geithner responded, "Oh, well, the -- the Congress legislated in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act a range of very important new authorities."

Bachmann tried again: "Sir, in the Constitution. What in the Constitution could you point to gives authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary actions that have been taken?"

Geithner's response: "Every action that the Treasury and the Fed and the FDIC is -- is -- has been using authority granted by this body -- by this body, the Congress."

The "authority granted by this body, the Congress."

In every successive Congress since 1995, conservative Arizona Republican Rep. John Shadegg has sponsored the Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359), which requires that "Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act."

The measure continues to fail, however, because of a dirty little secret: There is no legitimate constitutional authority for almost 70 percent of current federal government programs, and, thus, no authority for the collection of taxes to fund such activities.

Though Obama swore to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," and every member of Congress has pledged "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and "bear true faith and allegiance to the same," Democrats, and too many Republicans, have forsaken their sacred oaths.

In doing so, they have inflicted grievous injury upon our Constitution, thereby placing our Essential Liberty in eminent peril.

In May 1775, at the onset of the hostilities that gave rise to our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution calling on the states to prepare for rebellion. In its preamble, John Adams advised his countrymen to sever all oaths of allegiance to the Crown.

Since that time, generations of American Patriots have honored their oaths, shed their blood, given their lives -- but not to the crown of any man or a partisan sect. Instead, these sacrifices have been made to support and defend our Constitution and the Rule of Law it established.

Put simply, there is no authority for a "constitutional rewrite" by Barack Hussein Obama, nor Nancy Pelosi, nor Steny Hoyer, nor any like-minded revisionists. Such contempt for our Constitution, such willful violation of their sacred oaths is a disgrace to the selfless dignity of generations of Patriots before them.

At present, we have a gang of outlaws at the helms of the executive and legislative branches. Under such despots, we are being unlawfully taxed without lawful representation. Sound familiar?

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

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DougMacG
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« Reply #133 on: October 29, 2009, 12:20:01 PM »

From the previous post: ""If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one..." - James Madison

Perhaps the upcoming referendum on the direction of congress should be entitled:

Pelosi-Reid vs. Madison
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Freki
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« Reply #134 on: October 29, 2009, 11:22:45 PM »

Alexander's Essay – October 29, 2009 is very good.  Hat tip to Crafty!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 11:26:47 PM by Freki » Logged
Rarick
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« Reply #135 on: October 30, 2009, 07:45:52 AM »

One of the other boards I frequent has an "Oathkeepers project" going I understand it made some appearances on MSM recently.  It is just reminding Law and Military about their oaths to protect and defend the constitution.  It may provide some wiggle room if and when the break with these jokers finally comes? rolleyes

I just hope that not too much damage is done by this apparent "print it, see if we can get away with it" policy.  He was elected president, not king.



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #136 on: October 30, 2009, 12:09:48 PM »

The new economic statistics put growth at a healthy 3.5% for the third quarter. We should be dancing in the streets. No one is, because no one has any faith in these numbers. Waves of money are sloshing through the system, creating a false rising tide that lifts all boats for the moment. The tide will recede. The boats aren't rising, they're bobbing, and will settle. No one believes the bad time is over. No one thinks we're entering a new age of abundance. No one thinks it will ever be the same as before 2008. Economists, statisticians, forecasters and market specialists will argue about what the new numbers mean, but no one believes them, either. Among the things swept away in 2008 was public confidence in the experts. The experts missed the crash. They'll miss the meaning of this moment, too.

The biggest threat to America right now is not government spending, huge deficits, foreign ownership of our debt, world terrorism, two wars, potential epidemics or nuts with nukes. The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened, that this condition is reaching critical mass, and that it afflicts most broadly and deeply those members of the American leadership class who are not in Washington, most especially those in business.

It is a story in two parts. The first: "They do not think they can make it better."

I talked this week with a guy from Big Pharma, which we used to call "the drug companies" until we decided that didn't sound menacing enough. He is middle-aged, works in a significant position, and our conversation turned to the last great recession, in the late mid- to late 1970s and early '80s. We talked about how, in terms of numbers, that recession was in some ways worse than the one we're experiencing now. Interest rates were over 20%, and inflation and unemployment hit double digits. America was in what might be called a functional depression, yet there was still a prevalent feeling of hope. Here's why. Everyone thought they could figure a way through. We knew we could find a path through the mess. In 1982 there were people saying, "If only we get rid of this guy Reagan, we can make it better!" Others said, "If we follow Reagan, he'll squeeze out inflation and lower taxes and we'll be America again, we'll be acting like Americans again." Everyone had a path through.

Now they don't. The most sophisticated Americans, experienced in how the country works on the ground, can't figure a way out. Have you heard, "If only we follow Obama and the Democrats, it will all get better"? Or, "If only we follow the Republicans, they'll make it all work again"? I bet you haven't, or not much.

This is historic. This is something new in modern political history, and I'm not sure we're fully noticing it. Americans are starting to think the problems we are facing cannot be solved.

Part of the reason is that the problems—debt, spending, war—seem too big. But a larger part is that our federal government, from the White House through Congress, and so many state and local governments, seems to be demonstrating every day that they cannot make things better. They are not offering a new path, they are only offering old paths—spend more, regulate more, tax more in an attempt to make us more healthy locally and nationally. And in the long term everyone—well, not those in government, but most everyone else—seems to know that won't work. It's not a way out. It's not a path through.

And so the disheartenedness of the leadership class, of those in business, of those who have something. This week the New York Post carried a report that 1.5 million people had left high-tax New York state between 2000 and 2008, more than a million of them from even higher-tax New York City. They took their tax dollars with them—in 2006 alone more than $4 billion.

You know what New York, both state and city, will do to make up for the lost money. They'll raise taxes.

I talked with an executive this week with what we still call "the insurance companies" and will no doubt soon be calling Big Insura. (Take it away, Democratic National Committee.) He was thoughtful, reflective about the big picture. He talked about all the new proposed regulations on the industry. Rep. Barney Frank had just said on some cable show that the Democrats of the White House and Congress "are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area." The executive said of Washington: "They don't understand that people can just stop, get out. I have friends and colleagues who've said to me 'I'm done.' " He spoke of his own increasing tax burden and said, "They don't understand that if they start to tax me so that I'm paying 60%, 55%, I'll stop."

He felt government doesn't understand that business in America is run by people, by human beings. Mr. Frank must believe America is populated by high-achieving robots who will obey whatever command he and his friends issue. But of course they're human, and they can become disheartened. They can pack it in, go elsewhere, quit what used to be called the rat race and might as well be called that again since the government seems to think they're all rats. (That would be you, Chamber of Commerce.)

***
And here is the second part of the story. While Americans feel increasingly disheartened, their leaders evince a mindless . . . one almost calls it optimism, but it is not that.

It is a curious thing that those who feel most mistily affectionate toward America, and most protective toward it, are the most aware of its vulnerabilities, the most aware that it can be harmed. They don't see it as all-powerful, impregnable, unharmable. The loving have a sense of its limits.

More Peggy Noonan
Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns

click here to order her new book, Patriotic Grace
.When I see those in government, both locally and in Washington, spend and tax and come up each day with new ways to spend and tax—health care, cap and trade, etc.—I think: Why aren't they worried about the impact of what they're doing? Why do they think America is so strong it can take endless abuse?

I think I know part of the answer. It is that they've never seen things go dark. They came of age during the great abundance, circa 1980-2008 (or 1950-2008, take your pick), and they don't have the habit of worry. They talk about their "concerns"—they're big on that word. But they're not really concerned. They think America is the goose that lays the golden egg. Why not? She laid it in their laps. She laid it in grandpa's lap.

They don't feel anxious, because they never had anything to be anxious about. They grew up in an America surrounded by phrases—"strongest nation in the world," "indispensable nation," "unipolar power," "highest standard of living"—and are not bright enough, or serious enough, to imagine that they can damage that, hurt it, even fatally.

We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.
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ccp
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« Reply #137 on: October 30, 2009, 04:42:52 PM »

Noonan expresses the feelings I expressed in my last post under the health care thread.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #138 on: October 31, 2009, 09:40:32 AM »

The new GOP model
By RICH LOWRY
Last Updated: 4:39 AM, October 31, 2009
Posted: 12:25 AM, October 31, 2009
The Republican Party has no national leaders. Its stand ing with voters is at an all- time low. It battens itself on an ideological purity that turns off the center and can't appeal to an increasingly suburban and diverse electorate. If it is not fated to go the way of the Federalists or the Whigs, it is certainly a spent force.

This is the rote obituary for the GOP that the left can't resist. It is all the more alluring for its elements of truth: A party that holds neither the presidency, the House nor the Senate won't be stacked with national leaders. In polls, the GOP is still suffering from its Bush-DeLay hangover.

Yet, in Virginia this year, this death notice has been shown to be both dated and premature. It foolishly extrapolates from political conditions a year ago that have already drastically changed and assumes that Republican candidates will never adjust to new circumstances. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has run a model campaign for the Obama era, energizing the right and winning the center in a tour de force directly on President Barack Obama's doorstep.

The battle over how to interpret the imminent defeat of the Democrat in the race, Creigh Deeds, has already begun. Democrats want to shrug it off as not surprising in essentially a red state, home to the former capital of the Confederacy.

Except Virginia has been trending blue. Obama won it 53-47. Since 1997, The Washington Post notes, a million more people live in the state, most of them minorities and many in the affluent northern suburbs. Democrats hold both US Senate seats; they won a majority in the state Senate in 2007; and they picked up three US House seats in 2008. Virginia is a swing state, even if Democrats don't like the way it's now swinging.

McDonnell is benefiting from some factors outside his control. Since 1977, Virginia has always elected governors from the opposite party as the president. And the Deeds campaign has often matched strategic purposelessness to tactical incompetence. McDonnell, however, has mostly made his own good fortune.

The White House contends Deeds fumbled badly by not basking enough in the reflected brilliance of Barack Obama. It fails to understand the reason he didn't. The cataract of spending at the federal level has turned off independents and created a political opening for limited-government conservatism that hasn't existed since Bill Clinton won the government shutdown fights of the mid-'90s. McDonnell has effectively hit Deeds on Obama-Pelosi issues that are unpopular in Virginia -- deficit spending, card check, cap-and-trade and the ban on offshore drilling.

While tough on Deeds, McDonnell has stayed upbeat, both substantively and in tone. He has unleashed a flurry of policy proposals. Focusing on the pocketbook issues of jobs, transportation and education, his ideas emphasize regulatory reform, competition and private-public partnerships. They are conservative but pragmatic, meant to appeal to nonideological voters. Polls have McDonnell beating Deeds on taxes, economic development, education, transportation and even "issues of special concern to women."

A few weeks ago, that last datum would have been a shocker. When a 20-year old graduate thesis McDonnell had written at Pat Robertson's university came to light, Deeds fastened for weeks on its inflammatory language. He managed only to convince voters he was running an issueless, negative campaign. Deeds narrowly leads on the issue of abortion. But guess what? People care about jobs more.

McDonnell's comportment has perfectly complemented his campaign -- relentlessly cheerful and moderate in demeanor. He's been gracious about Obama personally, even while excoriating him on issues. When a GOP candidate for the House of Delegates unleashed lunatic comments about resorting to "the bullet box" if Obama can't be stopped at the ballot box, McDonnell instantly rebuked her.

After Obama's sweep last year, liberals have talked as if Republicans will never win elections again. They will, and Bob McDonnell shows how.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_new_gop_model_vFAi2C4GhhScc531sd7TxK
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DougMacG
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« Reply #139 on: November 01, 2009, 10:30:47 AM »

Republican is a brand name that is supposed to be larger than its conservative base to include moderates that share some of the philosophy (and  oppose Democrats).  There is always a struggle between factions in the party of whether to choose candidates with core conservative principles or to choose more centrist, compromising candidates for electability by appealing to moderates, independents and conservative Democrats.  In spite of media hype and conventional wisdom to the contrary, the centrists generally dominate, at least once they are elected,  because they know the more conservative base has nowhere else to turn while moderates can cross over any time they choose.

Another strategy would be for the candidate to have clear principles, limited government etc, and set a contrast with the opponent, then try to persuade voters in the middle why this philosophy is a better course.  There is always a risk that the opponent will move to the middle, but in this environment, with Pelosi-Obama and the Czars, that doesn't look like the case.

Individual Democrat incumbents and candidates for congress and senate make their own cases for independence and moderation especially in conservative districts and red states but their defining vote is really the first one when they decide on the leadership and who will control the committees.

Strange that with all the negative polling of the Pelosi congress, the generic ballot of the two parties is pretty even.  Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Dems about a 5 point edge consistently, but they are averaging polls that count anyone who answers the phone with other polls that attempt to measure likely or registered voters and get very different results.

Adding confusion to it all is that no one really knows what the tarnished brand name Republican means today.  In 2006 and 2008 it probably meant something akin to how well do you like the scorned President George W. Bush who was unable to communicate and all over the map with his stands on different issues from taxes, spending, deficits, entitlements, immigration, war, security, etc. and a congress that increased spending faster than anyone imagined possible.

What it most interesting today is that the 'conservative' brand name has never been better.  Take a look at this Gallup poll:


There was only a slight surge in liberalism during the elections of the Pelosi congress and the Obama adminstration and a great surge in conservatism now.  Latest numbers have Conservatives at 40%, Moderates at 36% and Liberals at 20%. 

Rasmussen has likely voters choosing more trust in Republicans over Democrats on ALL of the top ten issues in the country (story follows). 

It should NOT be a long shot or impossible task to paint this congress and this administration as too liberal/socialist for the nation and to form a winning coalition with some kind of consensus on some other way of governing this great country.   - Doug
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http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/trust_on_issues


Trust on Issues
Voters Trust Republicans More On 10 Top Issues

For the first time in recent years, voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The GOP holds double-digit advantages on five of them.

Republicans have nearly doubled their lead over Democrats on economic issues to 49% to 35%, after leading by eight points in September.

The GOP also holds a 54% to 31% advantage on national security issues and a 50% to 31% lead on the handling of the war in Iraq.

But voters are less sure which party they trust more to handle government ethics and corruption, an issue that passed the economy in voter importance last month. Thirty-three percent (33%) trust Republicans more while 29% have more confidence in Democrats. Another 38% are undecided. Last month, the parties were virtually tied on the issue.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

A recent Rasmussen Reports video report finds that voters are more disappointed lately with Obama’s performance in dealing with corruption in Washington.

Among unaffiliated voters who see ethics as the most important issue, 26% trust the GOP more while 23% trust Democrats more. Most (51%) are not sure which party they trust.

On the highly contentious issue of health care, voters now give the edge to Republicans 46% to 40%. The parties tied on the issue last month, after Republicans took the lead on it for the first time in August.

Separate polling released today shows 49% of voters nationwide say that passing no health care reform bill this year would be better than passing the plan currently working its way through Congress. Most voters (54%) oppose the health care reform plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats, but 42% are in favor of it.

On taxes, Republicans are now ahead of Democrats 50% to 35%, nearly doubling their September lead on the issue. Prior to July, the percentage of voters who trusted the GOP more on taxes never reached 50%. It has done so three times since then.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters say cutting the federal budget deficit in half in the next four years should be the Obama administration's top priority, while 23% say health care reform is most important.

Republicans are down to a seven-point lead on immigration after enjoying a 13-point advantage last month. Recent polling shows that 56% think the policies of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally.

Voters trust Republicans more on Social Security by a 45% to 37% margin, after the GOP trailed Democrats by two points on the issue in the last survey.

The president is proposing a one-time $250 payment to seniors who for the first time in years won't be getting a cost of living increase in their Social Security checks because inflation's down. While half of voters support this idea, they are more skeptical when told how much it will cost.

Republicans lead on the issue of education 43% to 38%. Last month Democrats had a five-point lead.

Voters also trust Republicans more on the handling of abortion 47% to 35%.

The GOP advantage over Democrats increased from two points to five in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. Forty-two percent (42%) would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

But 73% of GOP voters nationwide think Republicans in Congress have lost touch with their voting base.
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Rarick
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« Reply #140 on: November 10, 2009, 02:33:04 PM »

Maybe if the Republicans moved to a more Libertarian stance, they would gain some more traction.
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« Reply #141 on: November 15, 2009, 01:39:24 PM »

Rarick wrote: "Maybe if the Republicans moved to a more Libertarian stance, they would gain some more traction."

Not just libertarian as if that were just one possible direction to turn, but to truly make the honest reading and adherence to founding principles and constitutional limits on government that these elected officials are already sworn to uphold; that is what I would like to see.  Unfortunately, constitutional and libertarian labels remind people of candidates that tend to win about a half percent of the vote.  People see them as uncompromising on principles (a compliment in my book) but unworkable in today's society.  In other words, if you were sworn to these principles you could do nothing but dismantle most of the 'government' as we know it.  People envision disruption and riots in the streets.  The dependency we have created over the last half century or so is very real and not easy to repeal.

Another concept comes from the NY Pravda article just posted about Palin is the term 'common sense conservatism'.  One commentator during the last campaign looked at Palin's record as Governor and called it 'pragmatic conservatism' with the idea that supporters who expect her to govern with uncompromising conservatism will be sadly disappointed.

The key poiint in my mind is for the candidate or the leader to always know we need to turn, even with very small steps, in the right direction, toward limited government, founding principles, individual liberties and responsibilities and private sector solutions, not to pretend that we can dismantle huge programs overnight.

Another active non-candidate of this type is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who has been visiting Iowa, New Hampshire etc.  He is NOT a sweep you off your feet, charismatic candidate, but he is a level-headed, common sense conservative that opponents easily underestimate.  After plenty of ground testing efforts he hasn't broken out of the lower single digit support and probably won't until the bigger name, front runners start beating each other up.  What he has done is run, win and govern in a medium sized, blue to purple state - 2 terms. 

In terms of his home state polling, half of Minnesotans predict that he will win the nomination.  Amazing number considering most Americans haven't even heard of him, also a higher percentage than actially plan to vote for him if he is the nominee.

Picking Pawlenty wouldn't guarantee you a win in MN; his wins were against second rate candidates, not the leader of the free world with the support of the Chicago machine.  Picking Palin doesn't deliver you Alaska because that is already a red state.  Picking Mitt doesn't bring you Massachesetts (or Utah) nor does picking Huck bring you Arkansas, those are not swing states.  So this will all come down to political skill, positioning and presentation that can be effective across the heartland and in all the usual key states.
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Rarick
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« Reply #142 on: November 16, 2009, 05:31:54 AM »

Given Schwarzaneggers recent moves, I was wondering what he was up to, President is out because he isn't a citizen- right, but could he get rep. or senate?  I would not be surprised if the Kennedy clan finds a way to lever him in there.
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« Reply #143 on: November 16, 2009, 08:56:02 AM »

Why on earth would we be discussing that pussified weenie in the context of The Way Forward for the American Creed?!?
=================
The Foundation
"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please." --Thomas Jefferson


PelosiCare is not about compassion -- it's about controlFor the Record
"Last Saturday [Nov. 7], at 11 o'clock in the evening, the House of Representatives voted by a five vote margin to have the federal government manage the health care of every American at a cost of $1 trillion dollars over the next ten years. For the first time in American history, if this bill becomes law, the Feds will force you to buy insurance you might not want, or may not need, or cannot afford. If you don't purchase what the government tells you to buy, if you don't do so when they tell you to do it, and if you don't buy just what they say is right for you, the government may fine you, prosecute you, and even put you in jail. Freedom of choice and control over your own body will be lost. The privacy of your communications and medical decision making with your physician will be gone. More of your hard earned dollars will be at the disposal of federal bureaucrats. It was not supposed to be this way. We elect the government. It works for us. How did it get so removed, so unbridled, so arrogant that it can tell us how to live our personal lives? Evil rarely comes upon us all at once, and liberty is rarely lost in one stroke. It happens gradually, over the years and decades and even centuries. A little stretch here, a cave in there, powers are slowly taken from the states and the people and before you know it, we have one big monster government that recognizes no restraint on its ability to tell us how to live." --Judge Andrew Napolitano

Liberty
"Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi's constitutional contempt, perhaps ignorance, is representative of the majority of members of both the House and the Senate. Their comfort in that ignorance and constitutional contempt, and how readily they articulate it, should be worrisome for every single American. It's not a matter of whether you are for or against Congress' health care proposals. It's not a matter of whether you're liberal or conservative, black or white, male or female, Democrat or Republican or member of any other group. It's a matter of whether we are going to remain a relatively free people or permit the insidious encroachment on our liberties to continue. ... In each new session of Congress since 1995, John Shadegg, R-Ariz.,) has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act, a measure 'To require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws, and for other purposes.' The highest number of co-sponsors it has ever had in the House of Representatives is 54 and it has never had co-sponsors in the Senate until this year, when 22 senators signed up. The fact that less than 15 percent of the Congress supports such a measure demonstrates the kind of contempt our elected representatives have for the rules of the game -- our Constitution. If you asked the questions: Which way is our nation heading, tiny steps at a time? Are we headed toward more liberty, or are we headed toward greater government control over our lives? I think the answer is unambiguously the latter -- more government control over our lives." --economist Walter E. Williams

The Gipper
"The difference between the path toward greater freedom or bigger government is the difference between success and failure; between opportunity and coercion; between faith in a glorious future and fear of mediocrity and despair; between respecting people as adults, each with a spark of greatness, and treating them as helpless children to be forever dependent; between a drab, materialistic world where Big Brother rules by promises to special interest groups, and a world of adventure where everyday people set their sights on impossible dreams, distant stars, and the Kingdom of God. We have the true message of hope for America." --Ronald Reagan


Political Futures
"Barack Obama told the House Democratic Caucus before the roll call vote on health care on Nov. 7 that they would be better off politically if they passed the bill than if they let it fail. Bill Clinton speaking to the Senate Democrats' lunch on Nov. 10 cited his party's big losses in 1994 after Congress failed to pass his health care legislation as evidence that Democrats would suffer more from failure to pass a bill than from disaffection with a bill that was signed into law. These were closed meetings, but we can safely assume that the two Democratic presidents also assured their fellow partisans that health care legislation would do all sorts of good things for the American people. We know Obama did say that Democrats should 'answer the call of history,' even though America has gotten along pretty well without government-run health insurance for some 220 years. But political calculations are always on politicians' minds. The two presidents were urging passage of legislation that has become increasingly unpopular as its provisions become more widely known. They were speaking at a time when Gallup tells us that only 47 percent of Americans think providing health insurance is a government responsibility, down from 69 percent just two years ago. So despite their assurances, it's unclear whether Democrats will be better off passing a bill or seeing one fail. In political discourse, it's often assumed that there is some clear path to a favorable outcome. But sometimes both paths lead down." --political analyst Michael Barone

Government
"As an American, I am embarrassed that the U.S. House of Representatives has 220 members who actually believe the government can successfully centrally plan the medical and insurance industries. I'm embarrassed that my representatives think that government can subsidize the consumption of medical care without increasing the budget deficit or interfering with free choice. It's a triumph of mindless wishful thinking over logic and experience. The 1,990-page bill is breathtaking in its bone-headed audacity. The notion that a small group of politicians can know enough to design something so complex and so personal is astounding. That they were advised by 'experts' means nothing since no one is expert enough to do that. There are too many tradeoffs faced by unique individuals with infinitely varying needs. Government cannot do simple things efficiently. The bureaucrats struggle to count votes correctly. They give subsidized loans to 'homeowners' who turn out to be 4-year-olds. Yet congressmen want government to manage our medicine and insurance." --columnist John Stossel


 

Re: The Left
"In the late 1930s, the noted economist Friedrich Von Hayek wrote his landmark pamphlet 'Road to Serfdom,' laying bare the diseased skeleton of socialist/utopian thought that had permeated academia and the salons of his day. With an economy of words that showcased the significance of his conclusion, he pointed out the Achilles heel of collectivist dogma: for a planned economy to succeed, there must be central planners, who by necessity will insist on universal commitment to their plan. How do you attain total commitment to a goal from a free people? Well, you don't. Some percentage will always disagree, even if only for the sake of being contrary or out of a desire to be left alone. When considering a program as comprehensive as a government-planned economy, there are undoubtedly countless points of contention, such as how we will choose the planners, how we will order our priorities when assigning them importance within the plan, how we will allocate resources when competing interests have legitimate claims, who will make these decisions, and perhaps more pertinent to our discussion, how those decisions will be enforced. A rift forming on even one of these issues is enough to bring the gears of this progressive endeavor grinding to a halt. This fatal flaw in the collectivist design cannot be reengineered. It is an error so critical that the entire ideology must be scrapped." --columnist Joe Herring

We Depend on You
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« Reply #144 on: November 18, 2009, 03:54:27 PM »

The Chronicle · Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Foundation
"The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite." --Alexander Hamilton


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Editorial Exegesis

"[Attorney General] Eric Holder's move to try the 9/11 masterminds in Manhattan makes it official: This administration has reverted to pre-9/11 'crime' fighting. Amid all the talk during the attorney general's surreal press conference of the 'crime' committed eight years ago, the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon wasn't even mentioned. Lest anyone forget, the military headquarters of the United States was attacked that day along with the Twin Towers. An entire wedge of the Ring was gutted when the Saudi hijackers slammed American Airlines Flight 77 into it. Nearly 200 military personnel were killed, along with the passengers and crew of the hijacked jet. The jet was a weapon used to attack the very center of our military. That was not a 'crime,' as some say. It was an act of war. And 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with the four other al-Qa'ida terrorist co-conspirators Holder wants to try, are no mere criminals. They are enemy combatants -- and should be treated as such. ... Holder clucked that the 'trials will be open to the public and the world.' And they will turn into circuses, playing right into the hands of the enemy. These trials will drag on for years, perhaps even decades, as defense lawyers file endless motions and appeals. Meanwhile, valuable intelligence about interrogation techniques and other methods we've used against al-Qa'ida will be revealed to the enemy during trial discovery. This move to a civilian court makes no sense at all, except viewed through a political prism. ... It will only remind people how much America has shrunk in the last nine months." --Investor's Business Daily

Insight
"The malice of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous" --British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst." --Irish novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

"If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave." --author John "Birdman" Bryant (1943-2009)

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Upright
"From indictment to trial, the civilian case against the 9/11 terrorists will be a years-long seminar, enabling al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies to learn much of what we know and, more important, the methods and sources by which we come to know it. But that is not the half of it. By moving the case to civilian court, the president and his attorney general have laid the groundwork for an unprecedented surrender of our national-defense secrets directly to our most committed enemies." --columnist Andrew McCarthy

"In the string of amazing decisions made during the first year of the Obama administration, nothing seems more like sheer insanity than the decision to try foreign terrorists, who have committed acts of war against the United States, in federal court, as if they were American citizens accused of crimes." --economist Thomas Sowell

"After 9/11, we fought back, hit hard, rolled up the Afghan camps; after the [Danish] cartoons, we weaseled and equivocated and appeased and signaled that we were willing to trade core western values for a quiet life. Watching the decadence and denial on display this last week, I think in years to come Fort Hood will be seen in a similar light. What happened is not a 'tragedy' but a national scandal, already fading from view." --columnist Mark Steyn

"President Obama traveled all the way to China to praise the free flow of information. It's the only safe place he could do so without getting heckled. With a straight face, Obama lauded political dissent and told Chinese students he welcomed unfettered criticism in America. Fierce opposition, he said, made him 'a better leader because it forces me to hear opinions that I don't want to hear.' How do you say 'You lie!' in Mandarin?" --columnist Michelle Malkin

"In the U.S., the call is for government control, through regulations, as opposed to ownership. Unfortunately, it matters little whether there is a Democratically or Republican-controlled Congress and White House; the march toward greater government control continues. It just happens at a quicker pace with Democrats in charge." --economist Walter E. Williams
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« Reply #145 on: November 19, 2009, 11:47:58 AM »

Alexander's Essay – November 19, 2009

The BIGGEST LIE Yet
"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. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." --Patrick Henry
Sometimes the biggest lies come under cover of a truth.

Such was the case this week, when Barack Hussein Obama proffered this observation about deficits: "I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession."

"Keep on adding to the debt"? From this, one might conclude that Obama has never suggested such a thing, and is truly concerned about deficits.

His revelation came amid discussion of tax reductions engineered to increase employment, as if our Constitution has a provision for that, anymore than for Obama's other proposals.

Obama is feigning concern about deficits now that there is discussion of tax cuts, which he concludes would increase deficits.

"At some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy"? Like the Red Chinese, who hold more U.S. government debt than any other nation ($800 billion), and upon whom we are depending to fund more of our debt. No coincidence that Obama's remarks were made while on his most recent appeasement tour in Beijing.

"Even in the midst of this recovery"? What recovery?

Oh, the one that his $787 billion "hope-n-change" big-government payout package was supposed to ensure?

At the time of that proposal, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office offered this summary: "In the longer run, the [Obama] legislation would result in a slight decrease in gross domestic product compared with CBO's baseline economic forecast." Put another way, the CBO static scoring projected that Obama's big government pork giveaway would hinder economic recovery. Dynamic scoring by economists shows a much worse destiny.

But Obama warned, "If nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."

Now, after a quick assessment of the Obama Recovery through October, one is stuck with the conclusion that his spending spree has resulted in 10.2 percent unemployment -- except, of course, in such places as Washington, DC, where government jobs are immune to recession.

That would be double-digit unemployment -- so now you know why Obama cleverly framed his recovery program in terms of jobs "created or saved." His administration announced that through October, the American Recovery Act had "created" or "saved" 640,329 jobs. However, a growing number of skeptics, even among his once-adoring media, found some very questionable accounting methods used to come up with that figure.

Asked about some of the discrepancies, Obama's Recovery Czar, Ed Pound, responded, "Who knows, man, who really knows?"

Recovery reality check: Remember when Obama claimed, "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction"?

That is a reference to Obama's v Reagan's policies, big government solutions v. free enterprise solutions.

Ronald Reagan's economic policies unleashed an unprecedented period of growth, which continued right up until the financial sector collapse in '08, a calamity resulting from policies implemented during the Clinton years, which undermined the values of derivatives used as collateral due. Those policies, as we now know, gave license for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back high-risk loans to unqualified buyers, thereby setting the stage for the subprime mortgage meltdown and the crash of 2008.

Recall that in 2005, Sen. John McCain sponsored the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act, saying, "For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ... and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. ... If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole."

McCain noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulators concluded that profits were "illusions deliberately and systematically created by the company's senior management."

McCain was right, but Democrats, including Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, ensured that nothing would be done to alter current practices at Fannie and Freddie. "These two entities ... are not facing any kind of financial crisis," Frank said at the time.

The net result of the derivative dilution was a crisis of confidence in the U.S. economy, second only to that which led to the Great Depression.

Remember when Obama claimed, "We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America"? Well, we're in mid-transformation, and how are things looking now?

Obama also said, "Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was our time."

Indeed, his time to saddle them and their children with unprecedented debt, not only from his "stimulus" folly, but next up, ObamaCare, and then his job-killing cap-and-tax scheme.

If you think you can count on the administration's estimates of the true cost of ObamaCare, think again. The Washington Times recently reminded us of the estimated cost of Medicare shortly after Democrats implemented it in 1965. Then, it was predicted to cost $12 billion by 1990. In actuality, it cost $98 billion, which is to say the original estimate was short by more than a factor of seven.

In my home state of Tennessee, we've already been there and done that. Our state's version of ObamaCare, known as TennCare, implemented by Democrats in 1994 ostensibly to contain healthcare expenses, has quickly grown to consume more than a third of state revenues.

The CBO now says that the $1 trillion estimated cost of ObamaCare is "subject to substantial uncertainty." How's that for qualifying understatement?

As for the big picture, U.S. National Debt topped the $12 trillion mark this week, or approximately $39,000 for every man, woman and child in America, and the federal deficit that Obama now pretends to be concerned about hit a record high $1.42 trillion for fiscal year 2009.

Obama's administration projects that the national debt will top $14 trillion by this time next year, and my sense is that they're being modest. At the current pace, within 10 years our national debt will exceed our Gross Domestic Product.

Of these staggering debt figures, Obama now claims, "I intend to take serious steps to reduce America's long-term deficit because debt-driven growth cannot fuel America's long-term prosperity."

But, what's his real endgame?

We can be certain that Obama's solution to deficits will not be less government. Instead, it will be unprecedented tax increases, a.k.a., socialist redistribution of wealth, a.k.a., "the fundamental transformation of America."

The Tax Foundation now estimates that to offset deficits, "Federal income tax rates would have to be nearly tripled across the income spectrum," with the lowest bracket at 27 percent and the highest at 95. Even the CBO estimates that rates would have to exceed 80 percent, and that's before state and local taxes.

Do you get the picture, folks?

Obama will succeed in his effort to socialize the U.S. economy, using the tax code as his hammer and sickle, unless growing ranks of Americans object to the fact that he has no constitutional authority to do so.

In the meantime, Patriots, keep your powder dry.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

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« Reply #146 on: November 20, 2009, 10:44:44 AM »

Digest · Friday, November 20, 2009

The Foundation
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." --Thomas Jefferson

Government & Politics
Health Care Cost Nightmare

Harry Reid claims his 2,000-page bill will reduce the deficit. He's quite the comedian.It's an accepted fact that no government program comes in on budget, and this maxim likely won't change with the health care legislation that recently passed the House. Republican analysis of the bill in the Senate Budget Committee reveals that a more realistic price tag for the House version, after the benefit provisions are figured in, comes to $3 trillion over 10 years, not $1 trillion as Democrats claim. The disparity comes from the fact that the taxes and fees meant to pay for the bill occur immediately, while major aspects of "reform" won't be implemented until at least 2013. Thus, the true cost of the plan won't reveal itself until well after the current president has stood for re-election.

Despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) assurances that the bill will lower health care costs, another report released this week by the nonpartisan Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that the House plan would actually raise costs by $289 billion over 10 years. Furthermore, Medicare would be cut by half a trillion dollars, leading to reduced benefits and services.

On that note, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Senate's 2,074-page, $849 billion version of the health care takeover plan. Reid has laid out an ambitious plan to pass HarryCare by Christmas.

The Senate bill clocks in a tad cheaper than the House version in part because many major provisions, such as the public option, would be delayed until 2014 -- one year later than the House bill. Reid also claims the bill will reduce the federal deficit by $650 billion in its second 10 years. A 2,000-page bill will reduce the deficit? That Reid is quite the comedian. Besides, while the Congressional Budget Office says the bill will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years, CBO cautions that its effect on the deficit over the following decade would be "subject to substantial uncertainty." That's comforting, isn't it?

Notably, the Senate bill includes a 40 percent tax on high-deductible "Cadillac" insurance plans (though, naturally, Congress' Cadillac plan is exempt) as opposed to the House's tax on the "rich." It also includes a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgeries (how will Nancy feel about that?), which apparently helps pay for providing -- surprise -- federal subsidies for abortion.

Reid wants to hold a vote to begin debate as early as this weekend. He has "promised" not to use the procedural tactic of reconciliation, which would allow him to pass the bill with only 51 votes instead of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster -- but experience shows how little we should trust Democrats' promises.

As for that prized debate, Harkin referred to a Republican call to read the full bill on the Senate floor as a political tactic, and he threatens that Democrats will hold a live quorum to keep everyone in the chamber while the reading is taking place -- which sounds awfully like a political tactic to us.

It's interesting that both parties seem to view the public reading of the bill as some sort of parliamentary game. Perhaps if public readings of proposed legislation took place all of the time, we would actually know what Congress is up to. What a novel idea.

Democrat senators who pride themselves as being deficit hawks will have a tough choice to make in the coming days and weeks. Will they support HarryCare, which makes them look like hypocrites when they face the voters next year and in 2012? Or will they do the right thing and stop this runaway entitlement before it shoots out of the gate?

The BIG Lie
Where is the constitutional authority for a federal mandate that individuals must buy health insurance?

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says that one's easy: "The very first enumerated power gives the power to provide for the common defense and the general welfare. So it's right on, right on the front end."

For those who don't follow Sen. Merkley's brilliant explication, he refers to the Constitution's Preamble, which, among several other things, says that the Constitution was written to "promote the general Welfare," though the Preamble doesn't list enumerated powers.

Furthermore, James Madison, primary author of the Constitution, vehemently disagreed, writing, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

Thomas Jefferson likewise stated that if Congress could "do anything they please to provide for the general welfare ... t would reduce the whole instrument [the Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please." For the simpletons in Congress, Jefferson concluded, "Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them." Regardless of what Senator Jeff Merkley says.

This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award
"We even have blacks voting against the health care bill. You can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man." --race hustler Jesse Jackson, calling out Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus who dared to stray from the Democrat Plantation by voting against PelosiCare

Faith and Family: Shut Up, She Explained
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), like every other Democrat, could use a constitutional education. Oddly enough, though, the part of the Constitution DeGette needs brushing up on is the Left's favorite part: The First Amendment. Leftists have abused it for decades to hammer their agenda into our laws and culture. But they have also intentionally ignored its guarantee of the free exercise of religion. To them, the Constitution is just a scrap of paper written by dead white men. It's old and irrelevant today except for the few phrases that can be used to promote their socialism.

Regarding the health care legislative monstrosity working its way through Congress and the input of religious groups, DeGette said that "religiously-affiliated groups ... should be shut out of the process" because of their opposition to federal funding of abortions. "Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country," she sulked. "I've got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn't have input."

As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins observed, "According to her, if a group of people who are in association with one another because of their Christian faith, they should not have a voice in the crafting of public policy. What she is asserting is that if your ideas and actions are a product of your faith, you're a second class citizen and your voice should not be heard."

New & Notable Legislation
The House passed Medicare "doc fix" by a vote of 243-183 Thursday. The bill would permanently fix the way doctors who provide care for Medicare patients are reimbursed. The projected cost of the fix is $210 billion over 10 years and it doesn't include a way to pay for it, meaning that while Barack Obama has changed his tune and is now decrying the deficit, the House is busy adding to it.

Legacy of the American Revolution
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood. ... A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives." --John Adams

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #147 on: November 23, 2009, 10:30:43 AM »

Brief · Monday, November 23, 2009

The Foundation
"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." --James Madison


Passing major legislation on Saturday night is a symptom of Potomac Fever

"Here's a new maxim: Nothing good ever happens when the Congress is in session on a Saturday night. As you know, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev) cajoled, coerced, and co-opted Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) into adding the 59th and 60th necessary votes to prevent a GOP filibuster of Reid's health reform bill. Reid and Obama Administration officials relied on the time honored method (used by Republicans and Democrats) of getting recalcitrant Members to vote a certain way: Bribery which, in the real world, is a felony but in Washington it is called 'hardball.' In Sen. Landrieu's case the bribe was $300 million in Medicaid benefits to Louisiana. It's not even a close call. According to the website 'Total Criminal Defense,' 'Bribery is an attempt to influence another person's actions, usually a government or public official employee, by offering a benefit in exchange for the desired decision.' Three hundred million in return for a vote to proceed. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... Landrieu is a better bribee than she is an accountant. She said in her floor speech that there was $100 million in the bill specifically to pay for Medicaid in Louisiana and only Louisiana. Talking to reporters afterward, she said, 'I will correct something. It's not $100 million, it's $300 million, and I'm proud of it and will keep fighting for it.' No reports, yet, on how angry White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel was when he found out she had been satisfied with the $100 million and he overpaid by a factor of three." --political analyst Rich Galen

Liberty

"The 'reformers' in the White House and the House of Representatives have made all too plain their vision of the federal government's power to coerce individual Americans to make the 'right' health-care choices. The highly partisan bill the House just passed includes severe penalties for individuals who do not purchase insurance approved by the federal government. By neatly tucking these penalties into the IRS code, the so-called reformers have brought them under the tax-enforcement power of the federal government. The Congressional Budget Office stated on October 29 that the House bill would generate $167 billion in revenue from 'penalty payments.' Individual Americans are expected to pay $33 billion of these penalties, with employers paying the rest. Former member of Congress and Heritage Foundation fellow Ernest Istook has concluded that for this revenue goal to be met, 8 to 14 million individual Americans will have to be fined over the next ten years, quite an incentive for federal bureaucrats. ... By transforming a refusal or failure to comply with a government mandate into a federal tax violation, the 'progressives' are using the brute force of criminal law to engage in social engineering. This represents an oppressive, absolutist view of government power. ... The idea of imprisoning or fining Americans who don't knuckle under to an unprecedented government mandate to purchase a particular insurance product should outrage anyone who believes in the exceptional promises and opportunities afforded by our basic American freedoms. ... Unless this paternalistic juggernaut is stopped, Americans will lose some of their most fundamental freedoms, and the power of the federal government to impose novel requirements in every facet of our personal lives will have become virtually unlimited." --Brian W. Walsh & Hans A. von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation


Culture
"Tragically, this administration seems hell-bent to avoid seeing acts of terrorism against the United States as acts of war. The very phrase 'war on terrorism' is avoided, as if that will stop the terrorists' war on us. The mindset of the left behind such thinking was spelled out in an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, which said that 'Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be tried the right way -- the American way, in a federal courtroom where the world will see both his guilt and the nation's adherence to the rule of law.' This is not the rule of law but the application of laws to situations for which they were not designed. How many Americans may pay with their lives for the intelligence secrets and methods that can forced to be disclosed to Al Qaeda was not mentioned. Nor was there mention of how many foreign nations and individuals whose cooperation with us in the war on terror have been involved in countering Al Qaeda -- nor how many foreign nations and individuals will have to think twice now, before cooperating with us again, when their role can be revealed in court to our enemies, who can exact revenge on them." --economist Thomas Sowell

Opinion in Brief
"By the time Obama came to office, KSM was ready to go before a military commission, plead guilty and be executed. It's Obama who blocked a process that would have yielded the swiftest and most certain justice. Indeed, the perfect justice. Whenever a jihadist volunteers for martyrdom, we should grant his wish. Instead, this one, the most murderous and unrepentant of all, gets to dance and declaim at the scene of his crime. [Attorney General Eric] Holder himself told The Washington Post that the coming New York trial will be 'the trial of the century.' The last such was the trial of O.J. Simpson." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

Re: The Left
"In modern America, the guilty are sanctified, while the innocent never stop paying -- including with their lives, as they did at Fort Hood [recently]. Points are awarded to aspiring victims for angry self-righteousness, acts of violence and general unpleasantness. But liberals celebrate diversity only in the case of superficial characteristics like race, gender, sexual preference and country of origin. They reject diversity when we need it, such as in 'diversity' of legal forums. After conferring with everyone at Zabar's, Obama decided that if a standard civilian trial is good enough for Martha Stewart, then it's good enough for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. So Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is coming to New York! Mohammed's military tribunal was already under way when Obama came into office, stopped the proceedings and, eight months later, announced that Mohammed would be tried in a federal court in New York. In a liberal's reckoning, diversity is good when we have both Muslim jihadists and patriotic Americans serving in the U.S. military. But diversity is bad when Martha Stewart and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are subjected to different legal tribunals to adjudicate their transgressions." --columnist Ann Coulter

For the Record

"[There are] uncanny parallels between George W. Bush and Herbert Hoover: Both were president during a time of economic crisis; both presided over vast expansions of government that helped cause the crisis or at least make it worse than it might have been otherwise; finally both were (inaccurately) portrayed by their political opponents as dogmatic free market advocates, when in fact both were highly statist. After leaving the presidency, Bush is unconsciously imitating Hoover in yet another way -- by rhetorically supporting free markets and criticizing the even more interventionist policies of his Democratic successor (which in both cases built on the expansions of government initiated by the Republicans who preceded them).... Bush's belated support for free markets follows in Hoover's footsteps. After leaving office in 1933, Hoover wrote books and articles defending free markets and criticizing the Democrats' New Deal. Some of his criticisms of FDR were well-taken. Many New Deal policies actually worsened and prolonged the Great Depression by organizing cartels and increasing unemployment. But by coming out as a free market advocate, the post-presidential Hoover actually bolstered the cause of interventionism because he helped cement the incorrect impression that he had pursued free market policies while in office, thereby causing the Depression. Bush's post-presidential conversion creates a similar risk: it could solidify the already widespread impression that he, like the Hoover of myth, pursued laissez-faire policies which then caused an economic crisis. ... The greatest contribution Bush can now make to free market policies is to dispel the impression that he pursued them while in office." --Ilya Somin, Associate Professor at George Mason University School of Law

 
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Faith & Family
"[W]hy is religious freedom such a concern to us as Christians? Freedom of religion is called the first freedom for a reason. Our Founding Fathers recognized that without freedom of conscience, no other freedom can be guaranteed. Christians, in fact, are the greatest defenders of religious freedom and human liberty -- not just for Christians, but for all people. Compare religious freedom in those countries with a Christian heritage to the state of religious freedom in Islamic nations, Communist countries, and Buddhist and Hindu nations, and you will see my point. The reason that Christians place such a high value on human freedom is that freedom itself is part of the creation account in the Bible. God made humans in His image. He gave us a free will to choose to love, follow, and obey Him, or to follow our own way. That free will, given us before the Fall, is part of human nature itself. Perhaps more than anything else, it was this understanding of individual freedom that turned me into the kind of patriot who would willingly give his life for his country. It was the words of the Declaration of Independence that inspired me to join the Marines: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' So this question of human freedom goes to the very heart of who we are as Christians and as Americans." --author Chuck Colson

We Depend on You
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DougMacG
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« Reply #148 on: November 26, 2009, 10:09:54 PM »

Clarity

If we don't want to go down this rat hole of socialism and decline, we better get clear right now about what it is exactly that we want, why that is a better path than the one we are on, and start speaking out, and writing, showing up, etc.  Whatever it takes.

The word for Republicanism of recent past might have been fogginess.  Sometimes the principles were ignored; sometimes sold, almost always they were compromised or invisible and inaudible.  Sometimes the policies were right but the explanations were wrong, missing or mumbled. 

We need clarity as in easy to understand, distinctness, precision.  Clarity as a consequence of being explicit.  Clarity where actions and words are consistent with clear, stated principles that our great nation has already agreed on.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #149 on: November 27, 2009, 10:07:16 AM »

YES!!!
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