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Author Topic: The Way Forward for the American Creed  (Read 80067 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: November 10, 2010, 10:33:21 AM »

By ZOLTAN HAJNAL
Lost in the GOP's euphoria over its landslide midterm victory is the fact that the Republican Party has almost become a whites-only party. Its strategy may win seats now, but it will lose over the long run.

Republicans won big in 2010 primarily because they won big among white voters. The 60% of the white vote that Republicans garnered last Tuesday is, by most estimates, the highest proportion of the white vote that the GOP has won in any national election since World War II.

Relying on white support is not a new strategy for the party. In 2008, 91% of the votes that John McCain received in his presidential bid came from white voters.

The problem for Republicans is two-fold. First, whites may currently be the majority but they are a declining demographic. The proportion of all voters who are white has already declined to 75% today from 94% in 1960. By 2050, whites are no longer expected to be a majority of the U.S. population.

Second, Republicans are alienating racial and ethnic minorities—the voters who will ultimately replace the white majority and who they need to stay in power. In every national election in the past few decades, Democrats have dominated the nonwhite vote. Democrats typically garner about 90% of the black vote, two-thirds of the Latino vote, and a clear majority of the Asian-American vote—and 2010 didn't fundamentally alter this pattern.

Even with Democrats presiding over the worst economy since the Great Depression, racial and ethnic minorities did not turn away from the Democratic Party. Last week Latinos favored Democrats over Republicans nearly 2 to 1 (64% to 34%), blacks voted overwhelmingly for Democrats (90%), and a clear majority of Asian- Americans (56%) supported Democrats.

If minorities didn't give up on the Democratic Party last week, they are unlikely to do so without dramatic changes in the platforms of the two parties. A growing and resolutely Democratic nonwhite population is clearly a serious threat to the Republican electoral calculus.

Republicans thus face a real dilemma. They may be able to gain over the short term by continuing their current strategy of ignoring or attacking minorities. But that is short-sighted.

Over the long term—as white voters become a smaller and smaller fraction of the electorate and Latinos and other racial and ethnic minorities become a larger and larger share of the electorate—any campaign that appeals primarily to whites will be doomed.

Mr. Hajnal, an associate professor of political science at U.C. San Diego, is author of "America's Uneven Democracy" (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

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JDN
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« Reply #351 on: November 11, 2010, 08:44:57 AM »

The GOP needs to be more vocal about why their position is what it is.  The Demms have a wonderful dogma about fairness, empowerment and caring (yeah, touchy feely stuff.....)The GOP expresses the same thing but it is framed as what the numbers say and over time this is the right course...........   They need to frame things with more immediacy, and as "this puts more food on the table NOW, and in the future will provide even more....." or as "Refuse to be a slave of the state! According to this survey, in the last 5 years, the state has created more slaves by........."

Also start putting out "study guides" that are always focussed strictly on helping people getting GOOD information to make up their own mind.  Show a "selflessness" and define the party by that.  Be the "Make up your own mind party" rather than what looks like the "WASP fudy duddy party"

It will appeal to the thinkers and the honest and the producers in many more ways than they are currently appealing.  "Make up your own mind about religion, Government does not do that for you".  "Make up your own mind about an appropriate lifestyle, government does not do that for you"
When you get right down to it, the democrats and republicans are not about government- they are really just different lobbying groups for jobs for politicians.........

It's true!!!  And I think this comment could be posted in a lot of sections.  For example, do you want more Hispanic to vote Republican?  Most Mexicans I know work hard for their money; they embody the American Dream.  So get the message out....  and add a little touchy feely stuff...
And you might find a lot of Hispanics changing parties. 

The same applies to truly sealing the border and strictly enforcing the laws, but offering some
form of amnesty (sorry) for qualified (healthy and non criminal) applicants.  If presented right, many Hispanics will understand and support
the Republican party position.  The Republican party has some great ideas, they just need a little touch feely stuff to sell it....    smiley
Give them hope, the possibility of reaching their dreams through hard work.  Isn't that what the Republican Party is all about?
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ccp
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« Reply #352 on: November 11, 2010, 12:02:17 PM »

I just did a yahoo search on "why immigrants vote democrat".  Didn't find much.  Wikepedia has information when one looks at Demcrat party with regards to history and voting preferences of different groups.

For example Asians used to be more Republican - when they came from Communist countries.  That trend has changed.  I wonder if it has changed in part because thier children are going to liberal dominated American schools and thus grow up more socially liberal than their tried and true elders.

Since most Latinos are lower wage employees they are simply not going to vote for reduction in government benefits.  It just believe it could happen.

I was very disheartened frankly when I heard Dick Morris on O'Reilly last night.  Did anyone else see him explain why Repbuplicans didn't win 100 in the house and a majority in the Senate as he predicted?

He stated he studied the situation with Zogby.  And they determined that 3% of the people who had not yet decided within 6 days of the election overwhelmingly voted for Bamster et al.  Why?  Because most were already Democrat and Obama running around the country "reving" up his base worked to get them out to vote.

He nodded yes when O'Reilly asked him if that means Bamster still has considerable power.

I am not so heartened as Hannity wants to sell us the notion conservatism is back.   Still 50% do not pay taxes in this country.  That stat alone is a disaster for what this country stands/or better stood for.

And Crafty's disappointment with his Mexican mechanic who he thought would have (at least by now) *bought into* the ideals of America is exactly why IMO Reagan made a huge mistake not enforcing laws against illegals in the 80's.  These immigrants are not the same as those from Europe.  Many of them come from countries with socialist movements.  They may not like dictatorships but they are necessarily capatilists either.

I see the revolving door of Latinos going to and from the obstetrics floor in the hospital.  Their children are in our schools.  Someone who works in the system told me they were not kidding at all when they said one of the first English words they learn is Medicaid. 

I probably agree with Doug.  I prefer what GM says but it is probably political suicide.  I would not rule out Bamster giving them all amnesty.  Apparantly there is nothing that could stop him or do anything about it.  All he has to do is want to do it.

I hope I am very wrong about this - but we may already have seen the Tea Party at its peak.

The country is almost given away.  I mean if we couldn't win the Senate this time around?Huh



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G M
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« Reply #353 on: November 11, 2010, 12:03:50 PM »

Amnesty is a message to everyone in the world that aspired to become an American and showed respect for this country and it's laws, that they were stupid for believing that the rule of law is important and filling out the forms and waiting for years to come here. Let's be clear, as our president would say, do what you want, no matter what the law says. If enforcing the law seems too difficult, we won't do it. Forget waiting in line at the US embassy. Save your money for the coyotes.

The rule of law is now as dated as powdered wigs and quill pens.
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ccp
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« Reply #354 on: November 11, 2010, 12:30:07 PM »

"Amnesty is a message to everyone in the world that aspired to become an American and showed respect for this country and it's laws"

I agree with.  It doesn't help when our own President doesn't even respect this country.  I am still not clear why he think it necessary to go around apologizing for us.  For example, we need to repair relations with the Muslims.  Shouldn't they be apologizing to us?

I wonder.  Would the "Muslim world" if you will, have liked us if it weren't for our support of Israel?

Somehow I think the Jews are as usual the excuse for some other issue.
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ccp
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« Reply #355 on: November 11, 2010, 12:31:27 PM »

Not just, "I agree with"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: November 12, 2010, 08:35:58 AM »

By ARTHUR LAFFER
Since its cyclical zenith in December 2007, U.S. economic production has been on its worst trajectory since the Great Depression. Massive stimulus spending and unprecedented monetary easing haven't helped, and yet the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve still cling to the book of Keynes. It's an approach ill-suited to solving the growth problem that the United States has today.

The solution can be found in the price theory section of any economics textbook. It's basic supply and demand. Employment is low because the incentives for workers to work are too small, and the incentives not to work too high. Workers' net wages are down, so the supply of labor is limited. Meanwhile, demand for labor is also down since employers consider the costs of employing new workers—wages, health care and more—to be greater today than the benefits.

Firms choose whether to hire based on the total cost of employing workers, including all federal, state and local income taxes; all payroll, sales and property taxes; regulatory costs; record-keeping costs; the costs of maintaining health and safety standards; and the costs of insurance for health care, class action lawsuits, and workers compensation. In addition, gross wages are often inflated by the power of unions and legislative restrictions such as "buy American" provisions and the minimum wage. Gross wages also include all future benefits to workers in the form of retirement plans.

For a worker to be attractive, that worker must be productive enough to cover all those costs plus leave room for some profit and the costs of running an enterprise. Being in business isn't easy, and today not enough workers qualify to be hired.

But workers don't focus on how much it costs a firm to employ them. Workers care about how much they receive and can spend after taxes. For them, the question is how the wages they'd receive for working compare to what they'd receive (from the government) if they didn't work, plus the value of their leisure from not working.

The problem is that the government has driven a massive wedge between the wages paid by firms and the wages received by workers. To make work and employment attractive again, this government wedge has to shrink. This can happen over the next two years, even with a Democratic majority in the Senate and President Obama in the White House, through the following measures:

1) The full extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives can write legislation extending all the tax cuts in perpetuity. Of particular importance for employment is keeping the highest personal income tax rate at 35%, the capital gains tax rate at 15% and the dividend tax rate at 15%, while eliminating the estate tax permanently. If the Senate blocks this legislation or Mr. Obama refuses to sign it, House Republicans should hold firm and let voters decide in 2012. (My guess is that he'll sign it or have his veto overridden.)

2) The full repeal of ObamaCare, which allows individuals to pay only five cents for each dollar of health care. Who do you think pays the other 95 cents? As former Sen. Phil Gramm notes, if he had to pay only five cents for each dollar of groceries he bought, he would eat really well—and so would his dog. No single bill is more antithetical to growth than ObamaCare.

Repeal could take the form of Michele Bachmann's Legislative Repeal Act, and if it is blocked in the Senate or by a veto Republicans should continue bringing it up every six months. Come 2012 the public will have a clear view of what congressional candidates stand for. The end game for U.S. prosperity is the election in 2012.

3) The cancellation of all spending that punishes those who produce and rewards those who don't. This is really the distinction between demand-side economics and supply-side economics. Stimulus spending and quantitative easing don't make it more rewarding to work an extra hour. If the government pays people not to work and taxes people who do work, is it really so difficult to see why employment is so low?

So the government should sell its stakes in public companies acquired via TARP, sell government-run enterprises that lose money (e.g., Amtrak and the Postal Service), end farm subsidies that pay people not to farm, cancel the rest of the stimulus and return all spending programs to their pre-stimulus levels. Congress should also continually examine spending in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it should return the duration of unemployment benefits to the standard 26 weeks, from the current 99 weeks.

4) The enactment of stalled free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

These changes would spur recovery, but they are just the start. Elected officials should offer longer-term measures that voters can judge in 2012, when 33 senators—including 21 Democrats, two independents who caucus with the Democrats, and 10 Republicans—as well as the entire House and President Obama are up for re-election.

Beyond 2012, the ideal growth agenda would include:

1) A true flat tax, a la Jerry Brown's proposal in 1992. Congress should replace all federal taxes (except sin taxes) with two flat-rate taxes, one on personal income and one on net business sales. The personal income tax would be on all forms of income: wage income, dividends, inheritance (as proposed by Democratic Rep. Jared Polis), and all capital gains. This tax code would remove loopholes and almost all deductions, and the static revenue rate would be around 11.5%.

2) Price stability. Congress should revise the Federal Reserve's mandate, making it serve only the goal of price stability (and not also full employment). In addition, the Fed should follow a monetary rule, targeting either the quantity of money or the price level. There can be no prosperity without price stability.

3) Passage of a balanced budget amendment, without raising taxes. This would prevent government from being able to balance its budget by unbalancing the budgets of its citizens. And it would force politicians to make difficult decisions about what spending is worthwhile, just like the rest of us. (Marc:  How would the language for this read?)

4) Finally, saving the best for last, the mother of all supply-side reforms is incentive pay for politicians (which the comedian Jackie Mason called "putting the politicians on commission"). Politicians must be held personally responsible for their actions. In business, firms align the incentives of decision makers with the incentives of shareholders to ensure that they take the best course of action. Washington must begin doing the same by creating an incentive structure that pays elected officials according to factors such as stock market performance and economic growth. (Marc: For some reason I am reminded of Fannie Mae accelerating its profits in order to pump up bonuses for its executives)

Mr. Laffer is the chairman of Laffer Associates and co-author of "Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status" (Threshold, 2010).
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 10:37:55 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #357 on: November 12, 2010, 09:48:24 AM »

I question growth agenda #4 as well.
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ccp
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« Reply #358 on: November 12, 2010, 09:50:00 AM »

Crafty,
Some great ideas. Not all new but nonetheless excellent.  NOw if only we can convince enough of the electorate this is the right path for ALL of us.  We need the expert political salesmanship.  I don't know yet if we have it.  People on the dole, those who don't pay taxes are not going to be easily convinced.  See the terrible situation in Ft. Lauderdale wherein police officers are being let go.  A similar situation is happening here in Newark, NJ where a large proportion of the city work force is being let go.  I have to say the reason it is like that is the more senior employees are essentially screwing the newer employees.  They refuse to budge on their contracts so the only thing left is to fire the newer city employees.  My hunch is the same thing is happening to  private union members.  Some tell me the union "ain't what it used to be".  In other words the union bosses are screwing them to keep their cushy positions.  One union guy tells me they are having a meeting about a million dollars missing from their pension fund.  It is dog eat dog.  

The Republicans are going to have a very tough time convincing the "let the rich pay for it croud" that doing that is shooting themselves in their own heads.  I have not yet heard a single Republican convincingly address this issue.  I don't know why.  

"But workers don't focus on how much it costs a firm to employ them. Workers care about how much they receive and can spend after taxes. For them, the question is how the wages they'd receive for working compare to what they'd receive (from the government) if they didn't work, plus the value of their leisure from not working."

Absolutely.  As long as we can keep taking from the "rich" forget it.  



By TODD WRIGHT
Updated 9:44 AM EST, Fri, Nov 12, 2010
The Broward Sheriff's Office has decided to drastically cut services to Lauderdale Lakes because the city has fallen behind in its monthly payments, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

"Let me be clear, we are not abandoning the residents of Lauderdale Lakes, but during these strained economic times, I have an obligation to the taxpayers of Broward County to ensure that services are provided based on allocated funding," Sheriff Al Lamberti wrote in a Nov. 5 e-mail notifying city leaders of the pending change.

The city owes about $6 million, which in these economic times isn't pocket change for a small city. Just last week, the City Commission approved another one-year deal with BSO.
But Lamberti's stance is the city has to pay to play, or be protected. He's made similar threats to the County Commission after complaining about an extra thin BSO budget.

While Lamberti isn't abandoning the city, it certainly appears BSO is taking a leave of absence.

Nine sergeants and deputies will be transferred from Lauderdale Lakes to other BSO-served cities and the city will also lose the use of a ladder fire truck and 12 firefighters.

That could leave residents in a pinch when they call 911 when something goes up in flames, fire union officials said.

"We have no choice but to scale back services to the residents of Lauderdale Lakes," Lamberti said.
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ccp
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« Reply #359 on: November 12, 2010, 10:59:46 AM »

"• Unmarried women voted Democrat by 61-34."

No suprise.  Sure the tax payers should be their sugar daddy.  I am tired of paying for this.  Take care of your own children.

****DickMorris.com
« SMASH THE UNION THUG-OCRACYOBAMA’S EFFORTS WORKED
By Dick Morris11.10.2010Share this article
 
Published on TheHill.com on November 9, 2010

President Obama’s last-ditch attempt to turn out his voter base worked — and changed the 2010 election from a tsunami of epic proportions into a mere catastrophe for the Democrats.

John Zogby’s post-election polling reveals that voters who made up their minds about how to vote within the last week voted Democrat by 57-31 while those who made up their minds earlier backed the Republican candidate, 53-44. Zogby’s data indicated that it made no difference whether the voter decided for whom to vote two or three weeks before the election or more than a month before. Both groups backed Republicans by 10 points. But those who decided in the voting booth or in the week immediately before voting backed the Democrat by large margins.


Fortunately for the GOP, only 8 percent of the electorate were late deciders. A full 46 percent were early voters.

These Democratic late deciders were all straight from the party’s base:

• 15 percent of single voters decided late, and singles voted 64 percent Democrat.

• 14 percent of under-$25,000-income voters decided late, and voters in this income category voted Democrat by 59-36.

• 20 percent of voters 18-29 decided late, and this group backed Obama by 56-37.

So Obama’s appearances on “The Daily Show” and in youth-oriented media worked well to his party’s advantage.

Race, age and marital status were the key predictors of how a person would vote.

Racially, the Zogby poll shows that blacks cast only 10 percent of the vote and Latinos only 8 percent in the 2010 elections. In 2008, they cast 13 and 10 percent, respectively.

Obama did well among Latinos. His appeals based on immigration worked. Hispanics voted Democrat by 58-37. But, surprisingly, Zogby showed erosion among black voters, who backed the Democrat by only 72-24, well below their percentage for Obama himself in 2008.

Age played a key role in determining one’s vote:

• Among the youngest voters, 18-24, Democrats got 66 percent of the vote.

• More broadly, those aged 18-29 voted Democrat 56-37.

• Those aged 30-49 were split fairly evenly, with Democrats winning 47 percent and Republicans 50 percent.

• Voters 50-64, the baby boomers, have shifted to the Republicans, backing them by 54-43.

• And, thanks to ObamaCare, the over-65 voters backed Republicans by 57-38.

But voters under 30 constituted only 11 percent of the vote, and those 18-24 were just 3 percent. The failure of these groups to turn out in larger numbers did much to doom the Democratic candidates.

Marital status continued to be one of the key variables in our politics:

• Married men voted Republican by 60-35.

• Married women followed suit by 58-40.

• Unmarried men voted Democrat by 50-42.

• Unmarried women voted Democrat by 61-34.

Oddly, Obama’s last-minute appeal seems to have been effective based largely on demographics, not on union membership. The unions are the Democratic Party’s financial base, but not their voters. Union members broke evenly, with 49 percent backing Democrats and 47 percent voting Republican.

Historically, Democrats “come home” as Election Day approaches, and those whose involvement in politics is most marginal — who tend to be poorer, less educated and more Democrat — make late decisions to support Democrats. The 2010 election was no exception to this trend.

I had thought that it would be. Based on the solid Republican trend that continued well into October, I believed that the late deciders would tend to side more with the GOP than usual. I felt that those who normally voted Democrat would stay at home. They didn’t. And Obama’s last-minute campaigning had a lot to do with it.****
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G M
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« Reply #360 on: November 14, 2010, 01:05:44 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/12/school-reverses-course-ordering-student-remove-flag-bike/

California school has done a U-turn after it forced a student to remove an American flag attached to his bike, saying the Stars and Stripes could spur racial tensions on campus.

Cody Alicea,13, had been flying the flag on the back of his bicycle for almost two months to show support for veterans like his grandfather, Robert Alicea.

But just in time for Veterans Day, school officials at Denair Middle School told Cody he would no longer be allowed to display the flag, citing complaints from other students.
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ccp
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« Reply #361 on: November 15, 2010, 09:43:03 AM »

From Drudge:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/13/MNIG1GBD0C.DTL&tsp=1

Homeland security estimates there are around 2.6 million illegals in California.  Probably an underestimate but lets say it is remotely accurate.

There are 3 mill. self identified Latinos in California schools.  So how many of these are legal, or born to illegals? How many of the 7% of Asians are there legally?
Even asking the question would get any politician threats on his/her life. 

Obviously if most of these people were prospective Republicans than the entire Democratic Party would be building a Great Wall on the border.  But what is the stroy with Republicans?  I am not clear how much of it is they are just afraid to "offend" anyone and how much, as suggested it is due to them protecting business that rely on cheap illegal labor.  I think it is more the former.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #362 on: December 11, 2010, 01:07:00 PM »

This could go under Palin or under 2012 Presidential as well.  I post it here for substance, not personalities. I see it as the way forward, economically and politically.  These are bold proposals.  Ryan isn't some wild extremist anymore; he is the incoming chairman of the committee, and Palin is a frontrunner putting heat on other potential candidates to say more precisely where they stand on spending and deficits, the Ryan roadmap and the deficit commission.  I would like to see a couple of Democrats endorse the 'Roadmap' or publish a comprehensive plan of their own.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009322838245628.html

Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap
Let's not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president's deficit commission offers.

By SARAH PALIN

The publication of the findings of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was indeed, as the report was titled, "A Moment of Truth." The report shows we're much closer to the budgetary breaking point than previously assumed. The Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. As early as 2025, federal revenue will barely be enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our national debt. With spending structurally outpacing revenue, something clearly needs to be done to avert national bankruptcy.

Speaking with WSJ's Jerry Seib, Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI) insisted that the deal between Republicans and the White House on the Bush Tax Cuts was not a second stimulus and that the agreement would promote growth despite adding to the deficit.

The commission itself calculates that, even if all of its recommendations are implemented, the federal budget will continue to balloon—to an estimated $5 trillion in 2020, from an already unprecedented $3.5 trillion today. The commission makes only a limited effort to cut spending below the current trend set by the Obama administration.

Among the few areas of spending it does single out for cuts is defense—the one area where we shouldn't be cutting corners at a time of war. Worst of all, the commission's proposals institutionalize the current administration's new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen's report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar.

It also implicitly endorses the use of "death panel"-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board—making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.

The commission's recommendations are a disappointment. That doesn't mean, though, that the commission's work was a wasted effort. For one thing, it has exposed the large and unsustainable deficits that the Obama administration has created through its reckless "spend now, tax later" policies. It also establishes a clear bipartisan consensus on the need to fundamentally reform our entitlement programs. We need a better plan to build on these conclusions with common-sense reforms to tackle our long-term funding crisis in a sustainable way.

In my view, a better plan is the Roadmap for America's Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.). The Roadmap offers a reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs, and it does so by encouraging personal responsibility and independence.

On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.

The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission's proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.

On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap's proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs. The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.

Together these reforms help to secure our entitlement programs for the 21st century. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan's Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.

Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it's too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a "much more favorable macroeconomic outlook" for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.


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DougMacG
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« Reply #363 on: December 11, 2010, 01:40:35 PM »

Besides new strategies and new policies, the movement toward constitutional conservatism or common sense conservatism needs new 'spokesmen'.  Here's one.  Too bad that people like Marco Rubio and Kristi Noem will have essentially zero experience this coming Presidential cycle, but we need all the help and talent we can get in the House and Senate as well.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #364 on: December 13, 2010, 12:49:23 PM »

Forwarded by an internet friend:

The piece below was part of a high school writing prompt that our daughter brought home on Friday. The paragraph is from Letters from an American Farmer , written in 1782 by Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur, a naturalized American citizen, known for observations on life in pre-Revolutionary America. His most famous work, included in the Letters, is “What Is an American?”… a classic articulation of the identity of the members of that new nation. It was considered such a definitive description of the American national character that it was included in the onboard reading material for passengers on American Airlines in the 1970s!

Three parts of this one paragraph really struck me. First, in terms of our circular’s discussion about power returning to the “East”… it is now, truly, a full circle. The second highlight, “without any part being claimed,” Crevecoeur would be surprised at the extent of the claim now! My third thought was that parts of our nation are returning to the very characteristics that the early America had been a refuge from: involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labor.

I can’t help but notice how far we’ve come…afield…from what he found so promising about this new nation. This includes the switch: rather than coming to America to be changed, transformed by the opportunities…some are now coming to America to change America rather than “be melted into a new race of men.” Nothing you don’t already know…just a curious read from 228 years ago!

David
WHAT IS AN AMERICAN?

He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigour, and industry which began long since in the east; they will finish the great circle.  The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared, and which will hereafter become distinct by the power of the different climates they inhabit. The American ought therefore to love this country much better than that wherein either he or his forefathers were born. Here the rewards of his industry follow with equal steps the progress of his labour; his labour is founded on the basis of nature, self-interest; can it want a stronger allurement? Wives and children, who before in vain demanded of him a morsel of bread, now, fat and frolicsome, gladly help their father to clear those fields whence exuberant crops are to arise to feed and to clothe them all; without any part being claimed, either by a despotic prince, a rich abbot, or a mighty lord. I lord religion demands but little of him; a small voluntary salary to the minister, and gratitude to God; can he refuse these? The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions. From involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labour, he has passed to toils of a very different nature, rewarded by ample subsistence. --This is an American.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #365 on: February 18, 2011, 02:19:50 PM »

There were two big speeches this week, and I mean big as in "Modern political history will remember this." Together they signal something significant and promising. Oh, that's a stuffy way to put it. I mean: The governors are rising and are starting to lead. What a relief. It's like seeing the posse come over the hill.

The first speech was from Mitch Daniels, the Indiana governor who is the answer to the question, "What if Calvin Coolidge talked?" President Coolidge, a spare and serious man, was so famously silent, the story goes, that when a woman at a dinner told him she'd made a bet she could get him to string three words together, he smiled and said, "You lose." But he was principled, effective and, in time, broadly popular.

The other speech was from a governor newer to the scene but more celebrated, in small part because he comes from a particular media market and in large part because he has spent the past year, his first in office, taking on his state's most entrenched political establishments, and winning. His style—big, rumpled, garrulous, Jersey-blunt—has captured the imagination of the political class, and also normal people. They look at him and think, "I know that guy. I like that guy."

Both Mr. Daniels, who spoke Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and Chris Christie of New Jersey, who spoke Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, were critical of both parties and put forward the same message: Wake up. We are in crisis. We must save our country, and we can. But if we don't move now, we will lose it. This isn't rhetoric, it's real.

Here's why response at both venues was near-rapturous: Everyone knew they meant it. Everyone knew they'd been living it.

***
Mr. Daniels began with first principles—the role and purpose of government—and went to what he has done to keep his state's books in the black in spite of "the recent unpleasantness." He turned to the challenge of our era: catastrophic spending, the red ink that is becoming "the red menace." He said: "No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be." If a foreign army invaded, we would set aside all secondary disputes and run to the ramparts. We must bring that air of urgency to the spending crisis. It is "our generational assignment. . . . Forgive the pun when I call it our 'raison debt.'"

He argued for cuts and sunsetting, for new arrangements and "compacts" with the young. What followed has become controversial with a few conservatives, though it was the single most obvious thing Daniels said: "We have learned in Indiana, big change requires big majorities. We will need people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean," who don't fall asleep at night to C-Span, who are not necessarily engaged or aligned.

Rush Limbaugh, who is rightly respected for many reasons—lost in the daily bombast, humor and controversy is that fact that for 20 years he has been the nation's most reliable and compelling explainer of conservative thought—saw Mr. Daniels's remarks as disrespectful. Radio listeners aren't "irrelevant or unnecessary."

Of course they're not. Nor are they sufficient. If you really want to change your country, you cannot do it from a political base alone. You must win over centrists, moderates, members of the other party, and those who are not preoccupied with politics. This doesn't mean "be less conservative," it means broadening the appeal of conservative thinking and approaches. It starts with not alienating and proceeds to persuading.

The late Rep. Henry Hyde, he of the Hyde amendment, once said to me, "Politics is a game of addition." You start with your followers and bring in new ones, constantly broadening the circle to include people who started out elsewhere. You know the phrase Reagan Democrats? It exists because Reagan reached out to Democrats! He put out his hand to them and said, literally, "Come walk with me." He lauded Truman, JFK and Scoop Jackson. He argued in his first great political speech, in 1964, that the choice wasn't right or left, it was up or down.

That's what Mr. Daniels was saying. "We can search for villains on ideological grounds," but it's a waste of time. Compromise and flexibility are necessary, "purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers." We must work together. You've got to convince the other guy.

Mr. Christie covered similar territory in a way that was less aerial, more on-the-ground. He spoke of making change in Jersey.

Pensions and benefits on the state level, he said, are the equivalent of federal entitlements. They have powerful, "vocal" constituencies. He introduced pension and benefit reforms on a Tuesday in September, and that Friday he went to the state firefighters convention in Wildwood. It was 2 p.m., and "I think you know what they had for lunch." Mr. Christie had proposed raising their retirement age, eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment, increasing employee pension contributions, and rolling back a 9% pay increase approved years before "by a Republican governor and a Republican Legislature."

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.As Mr. Chrisie recounted it: "You can imagine how that was received by 7,500 firefighters. As I walked into the room and was introduced. I was booed lustily. I made my way up to the stage, they booed some more. . . . So I said, 'Come on, you can do better than that,' and they did!"

He crumpled up his prepared remarks and threw them on the floor. He told them, "Here's the deal: I understand you're angry, and I understand you're frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed." And, he said, they were right: "For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn't keep, and just hoping that they wouldn't be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here's what I don't understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?"

He told them there was no political advantage in being truthful: "The way we used to think about politics and, unfortunately, the way I fear they're thinking about politics still in Washington" involves "the old playbook [which] says, "lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election." He'd seen a study that said New Jersey's pensions may go bankrupt by 2020. A friend told him not to worry, he won't be governor then. "That's the way politics has been practiced in our country for too long. . . . So I said to those firefighters, 'You may hate me now, but 15 years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did, you'll be looking for my address on the Internet so you can send me a thank-you note.'"

It can be a great relief to turn away from Washington and look at the states, where the rubber meets the road. Real leadership is happening there—the kind that can inspire real followership.

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« Reply #366 on: March 07, 2011, 06:40:01 AM »


http://townhall.com/columnists/carolplattliebau/2011/03/07/a_word_of_warning_for_hill_republicans/page/full/

After the past few weeks, many GOP conservatives – and Tea Partiers – are beginning to understand how some of the Obamaphiles feel. Like Obama supporters, conservatives worked hard to secure leadership that, we believed, both understood what was best for America and had the courage to stand firm for real change. But the first months of GOP congressional control have been disappointing; if the GOP leadership continues down its current road, the disillusionment now being expressed by erstwhile Obama supporters like Matt Damon will soon be an entirely bipartisan affair.
Certainly, there’s no doubt that John Boehner and other congressional leaders have a tough job. In the interest of restoring America’s financial health, they are stuck proposing spending cuts and long-term, structural changes to well-beloved entitlement programs. What’s more, they’re forced to deal with a President whose budget reflected a fundamental unseriousness about the looming fiscal crisis -- and an obvious strategy of abdicating all budgetary responsibility in order to be able to demonize the GOP for any proposed cuts.

But still.

Last month, conservatives across the country were treated to fancy rhetorical footwork as some Republicans tried to explain away the collapse of their campaign-era commitment to a $100 billion spending decrease in this year’s budget. Further reductions were presented only after substantial push-back from the Tea Party and conservatives.

Just this week, Tom Coburn told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt that a bipartisan “working group” of senators was considering a substantial cut in the home interest rate deduction for houses costing more than $500,000. Although the proposal may hold appeal inside the ornate conference rooms of Capitol Hill, in the real world, it would disproportionately punish homeowners in states with high-value houses, even as it devastates the home-building industry.

Coburn’s revelation came even as the GAO issued a report uncovering as much as $100 billion to $200 billion being spent on wasteful and duplicative government programs each year. It’s hard not to wonder: If more is to be demanded of the already-overburdened American taxpayer, shouldn’t the request come only after government has done its part to “sacrifice” first?

The tone-deafness doesn’t stop there. Days drag on, and Americans hear little from top GOP congressional leaders. What they do hear, too often, is filtered through left-leaning cable television shows. Nowhere are GOP leaders explaining why – in contrast to the “exploding deficit” scare of the early 90’s – our current fiscal situation presents an unprecedented threat, requiring serious and quick remediation. And amid all the hints about upcoming proposals for spending cuts and tax reform, no one is “connecting the dots” to help regular Americans understand how the proposals will create the conditions that secure economic growth, prosperity and a brighter future for all of us.

Instead, it’s beginning to look, once again, like leaders in the highest ranks of the GOP are more focused on their standing inside the Beltway than the promises they made to the people outside it. But this time, that won’t cut it; it’s an invitation for Tea Partiers to form their own, third party, and a recipe for political disaster come 2012.

But above all, the GOP has to act with the understanding that falling short won’t just mean unfortunate electoral results for their politicians. It will mean real trouble for America.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #367 on: March 17, 2011, 04:32:51 PM »



WHY THE RECENTLY-PASSED CONTINUING BUDGET RESOLUTION WAS A MISTAKE - POSTED AT REDSTATE.COM

Posted by Russ Vought (Profile)

Wednesday, March 16th at 7:10PM EDT

12 Comments
Keith Hennessey critiqued opponents of the short-term CR making the case that our intransience is hurting the cause. It has been endlessly forwarded around to conservatives since yesterday. Keith argues that the short-term strategy is better because it allows the spending cut coalition to avoid the pitfalls of a public shutdown fight.

He argues that conservatives who disagree either have no strategic plan and/or want to reward themselves individually or merely play to their conservative base. Keith then argues that such conservative discontent should be channeled to “ratchet up the spending cuts in the next CR” or to “choose one funding limitation and insist that it be included.” But the gist is that conservative opponents don’t have “a complete and viable alternative strategy,” and thus instead of discarding the short-term game, it’s better to just add to the list of demands.

I respect Keith a lot. When I was cutting my teeth as a legislative aide in the Senate, Keith was one of the big dogs, and then went on to bigger and better things in the Bush White House. However, I think these arguments—because of their prevalence in Leadership and establishment circles—need to be unpacked and responded to. Read on.

FIRST, our viable alternative strategy is to force Senate Democrats to pass a bill. Currently, the very willingness of Republicans to do the short-terms absolves both Senate Democrats and the President of any responsibility. The House acted. It passed H.R. 1. The Senate has not. Harry Reid has essentially thrown up his hands and said that he can’t pass anything (notwithstanding the fact that he claims to run the Senate). We all know that he can pass something. Until the Senate passes legislation, real Congressional negotiations cannot begin. Not unlike their Wisconsin state colleagues, Democrats must participate to have a say. Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer are not, and the short-term strategy is letting them get away with it. Furthermore, it’s letting the White House get away with staying above the fray. Keith thinks this is a good thing, but why? Obama has an advantage for sure, but this debate is not a foregone conclusion, and conservatives operating on principle have bested Obama repeatedly since he has been President.

SECOND, Republicans can and must message the following argument:

a) Democrats controlled both the Presidency and the Congress and were unable to pass a budget, leaving a portion of the responsibility to Republicans.

b) House Republicans passed H.R. 1 to fully fund the government, make a down-payment of a mere $61 billion in cuts in the face of a $1.5 trillion deficit, and limit some of the main excesses of the current federal government (Planned Parenthood, EPA, Obamacare, etc.).

c) Democrats have not responded. The Democrat Senate Majority refuses to pass not just the right bill, but any bill. And the White House sent their chief negotiator to Europe and is spending more time filling out their NCAA brackets then getting serious about their shared responsibility to fund the government. Who is unserious here?

Can we be successful in making this argument while Obama has the bully pulpit? Well, what arguments have we failed to win against the Obama bully pulpit in the last two plus years? Think of the big fights that we have had with Obama—stimulus, cap-and-trade, his budgets, and of course, Obamacare. He had the bully pulpit. We won the argument. It takes message discipline, but it can be done.

THIRD, Keith is overselling the current strategy as a “complete and viable” strategy. He states that Democrats are more afraid of a shutdown than Republicans. That is simply not true. Sure, Democrats don’t want to shut the government down over $4-6 billion in cuts because they know they can’t sell that to anyone, especially when many of the cuts were proposed by their President. However, Senators Durbin and Schumer are all but rooting for a shutdown, while Congressional Republicans are petrified of that prospect.

The mere fact that no new riders were attached to the current three-week CR is evidence of that fear. For example, House Republicans had considered re-instating the Dornan Amendment (not exactly a “new” rider, I know) to bar federal and local DC funds from being used to fund abortions, as included in H.R. 1. President Obama previously signed legislation that included this rider before Democrats weakened the language in the last appropriations cycle. Republicans removed it because they were worried about giving the Democrats an opportunity to claim they were attempting to jam thru a “policy” agenda, using deficit concerns as a pretext. Simply put, the party that quakes at the thought of a shutdown has the least amount of leverage, thus Democrats have the most until Republicans find a spine. This weakness will not be on display on this three-week extension, but it will be when Republicans start packaging substantial cuts that Democrats refuse to accept. Part of the strategic reason to oppose short-terms is to regain the leverage in this fight, and to do that, you simply must be prepared to shut the government down. Not rooting for it, but prepared for it. Diplomacy without the threat of military force does not work.

FOURTH, our strategy will lead to more cuts and more riders. Currently, the short-terms are not securing any riders. Even Keith’s suggestion of attaching an EPA rider can’t happen on an upcoming short-term, because the fear of a shutdown has reduced their leverage to demand it. What about more cuts than the $2 billion per week that each short-term seem to contain? It’s important to remember a few things here. Some of these cuts are illusory. For instance, in the current short-term, of the $6 billion in cuts, $1.7 billion was to rescind excess money that was not used for the census and was not going to be spent. That is not a real cut. Others were proposed by Democrats. In addition, with every short-term extension, it makes it harder to get the full cuts that remain because there are less remaining weeks to absorb whatever haircut is being demanded. Remember when House Leadership was saying that they couldn’t cut more because they had to “pro-rate” the $100 billion for seven months? It wasn’t much of an argument at the time, but with every new short-term it is more credible.

Most importantly, as Keith points out, conservatives have exactly three leverage points to demand concessions from Democrats over the next year: a long-term FY11 CR, a debt limit increase, and the FY12 appropriations bills. Already this three-week extension will expire on April 8, the same week that Rep. Paul Ryan is unveiling his FY12 budget. The other side knows that they are best served by one big grand bargain—thus their “rope-a-dope” strategy. Conservatives need to understand they will get more concessions by keeping these three opportunities separate. That maximizes our leverage for more cuts and limited government riders.

FIFTH, it’s important to remember that most opponents of the CR have both principled and strategic reasons for their position. When you go out and promise voters that you are going to dismantle and defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, and then you exclude these issues from the negotiations on the first must-pass bill, then you’re not being very principled. Also, pretending that these short-term opponents do not have a political strategy or an endgame is simply to ignore the arguments we continue to make.

All of this requires Republicans to act and talk as if they understand the seriousness of our fiscal crisis. $2 billion here, $6 billion there does not accomplish that. They need to restore leverage to the negotiations with a willingness, but not a desire to shut the government down. They need to win the daily argument for why Democrats are fundamentally unserious about cutting spending and have chosen to repeatedly run out the clock instead. They can’t do that with the present strategy.

Republicans need to dig deep and embrace the sort of brinksmanship that shows they are playing to win.

Crossposted at Heritage Action for America

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #368 on: March 24, 2011, 05:41:41 AM »

"It is necessary for every American, with becoming energy to endeavor to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and of the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched arm of tyranny, which may appear under any mode or form of government." --Mercy Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, 1805


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« Reply #369 on: March 25, 2011, 05:43:42 AM »

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Economic growth over the past ten years has been less than 2 percent annually. And this is a mighty soft economic recovery going on right now, following the very deep recession.

So it’s appropriate enough that Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor unveiled a strong pro-growth economic plan at Stanford’s Hoover Institution this week. Cantor is afraid the Republican budget-cutting message is a little too austere, so he’s attempting to balance the necessary budget cuts with a pro-growth, tax-and-regulatory reform message.

Cantor focuses especially on getting business tax rates down to at least 25 percent. He also proposes a tax holiday to repatriate the foreign earnings of U.S. companies. So many CEOs have made the same argument. And this was done successfully in 2004-05. If enacted, maybe $1 trillion in cash will flow back home for new investment and jobs.

But no sooner did Cantor make this speech, than the Treasury shot down any idea of a corporate-tax holiday. I guess this is the same Treasury that works for the Obama 2.0 pro-business president. Or not.

Cantor is completely right on this. He’s also right on his other proposals to lower trade barriers and put a freeze on regulatory burdens.

Mr. Cantor also has an interesting proposal to deal with the backlog of 700,000 patent requests in order to speed American innovation and small-business creation. He also believes the visa system should be streamlined to bring in high-skilled workers from abroad in order to create new jobs at home.

It will be interesting to see if Cantor’s growth message is taken up by other Republican leaders, most particularly Paul Ryan. Will Mr. Ryan include tax-and-regulatory reform with his tough budget-cutting proposals?

The only thing missing from Eric Cantor’s speech was a monetary hook to stabilize the dollar. The GOP needs a King Dollar policy. Otherwise, all the best tax cuts will be blunted by a sinking dollar and rising inflation.

But bravo to Eric Cantor for getting out a growth message. And let’s see if the GOP presidential wannabes pick up on the need for growth plan.
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« Reply #370 on: May 10, 2011, 12:59:44 PM »

There were videos posted that reached out to younger people with music and video that supported liberal causes and some envy and questioning from the conservative side asking how can we reach out with the best of today' communications and technology capabilities.

Rather than answer that, Powerline blog has posed it as a contest.  Mentioned as an example is the highly informative Keynes-Hayek video posted on Economics, but the subject here is federal spending and debt which is also hard to put to song or entertainment but is costing young people every hour of every day for the rest of their lives.  Stay tuned for the many great entries that are expected.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/05/029004.php

 Announcing the Power Line Prize

May 8, 2011  John Hinderacker

Our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis. Every knowledgeable citizen understands that the fiscal path we are on is unsustainable. Indefinite continuation of the status quo is not an option. There are only two possibilities: reform and collapse.

The massive federal debt that is now being incurred represents an existential threat to America's future. In a best-case scenario, it will saddle our children with financial obligations that will cripple their ability to prosper over the remainder of this century.

What to do? Federal spending must be gotten under control, obviously. The problem is ultimately a political one. Approximately one-third of Americans understand the threat posed by the federal debt crisis, and are prepared to act to meet it. Another one-third may or may not understand the threat, but either have skin in the game--i.e., their personal financial interests in government spending outweigh concern about the national welfare--or are so blinded by ideology that they are hopeless cases.

That leaves the critical one-third, many of them young, who for whatever reason do not yet understand the threat that federal spending and debt pose to them and to the country. Data have been collected; charts and graphs have been prepared; op-eds have been written. But many millions of Americans have not yet been reached or persuaded by these sober economic analyses. We need a marketing campaign: a sustained effort to use the tools of modern communication to reach and educate every American, and to mobilize popular opinion to demand reform from the politicians in Washington.

Toward that end, we are proud to announce the Power Line Prize. Power Line, in conjunction with the Freedom Club, is offering a grand prize of $100,000.00 to whoever can most effectively and creatively dramatize the seriousness of the federal debt crisis. Any medium of communication is eligible: video, song, screenplay, television commercial, painting, Power Point, essay, performance art, or anything else. The runner-up will receive a $15,000.00 prize, and two third-place finishers will receive $5,000.00 each. Entries must be submitted by midnight on July 15, 2011. Judges' decisions are final. All submissions become the property of Power Line and the Freedom Club. Entries must be original and unique to the Power Line Prize competition; i.e., they must not have been published or made public in any form prior to the time when contest winners are announced.

The contest web site is here. You can find much more information about the contest there, including complete contest rules. You can also get there by clicking on this graphic:

We will have much more to say about the Power Line Prize over the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you are a creative sort, this is your chance to make a difference on the most critical issue of our time. (Spread the word!)
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« Reply #371 on: May 12, 2011, 11:23:31 AM »

Sunset or Sunrise on Liberty?
The Current Crisis and the Opportunity of a New Dawn for Liberty
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." --Thomas Payne

Sunrise on LibertyA few decades ago, one of the national service opportunities I pursued required a battery of examinations including a comprehensive personality profile. After three days of psychological tests, a career profiler compiled my assessment. In a later interview with said profiler, he looked at me and declared with candor, "You are crazy!"

That decree got no rise out of me. I have received that appraisal numerous times, but he did put a fresh perspective on it. He continued, "Not crazy in the pathological sense, but crazy in that you are one of very few people I have profiled who actually thrives in the midst of crisis and conflict." Apparently, most "normal people" try to avoid crisis and conflict. He labeled my folder, "Warrior."

In light of my penchant for what Sam Adams called "the animated contest for freedom," I offer the following opinion about the future of American Liberty.

On occasion I have been critical of Barack Hussein Obama, a phony "community organizer" con man, who, with the help of his Leftist puppeteers, masterfully duped 69 million Americans into giving him the most expensive public housing and benefits in the nation.

I am most critical of this charlatan's political endeavor to demolish free enterprise with a debt bomb, and from the economic rubble, resurrect a transformed USSA subject to tyrannical rule via Democratic Socialism.
Obama built his presidential campaign around the "change" theme: "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."

His former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said infamously, "Never allow a crisis to go to waste," which was the basis for Obama's assertion, "this painful [economic] crisis provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people."

By no means will the full implementation of Democratic Socialism "improve the lives of ordinary people." As I have noted previously, Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. Likewise, it seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a single-party state that controls economic production by way of regulation and income redistribution.

The success of Democrat Socialism depends upon supplanting Essential Liberty -- the rights "endowed by our Creator" -- primarily by refuting such endowment.

Indeed, Obama's mission is transformation, and economic crisis is the horse he rode in on. It can also be the horse that he and his socialist cadre are chased out on.

Truth be told, I want to "fundamentally transform" what our nation has become after years of incremental encroachment upon Rule of Law by socialist predators, the most brazen offender in history being Obama. Indeed, I do not want the current economic "crisis to go to waste," and see it as a great opportunity to "change" our economy in such a way as to improve the lives of all Americans.

Of course, the opportunity I see in the current crisis is diametrically opposed to that which Obama and his Leftist cadres envision. I see a new dawn for Liberty on the horizon.

For all Patriots, steadfast in our devotion to Freedom, the sun is rising on one of two options to preserve the legacy of Liberty for this and future generations. The first and more desirable option is the transformational restoration of constitutional Rule of Law and the second is the transformational reformation of government, in fulfillment of Thomas Jefferson's contention, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

The current economic crisis, which had its beginnings in 2006 with the surprisingly ubiquitous collapse in real estate values and subsequent banking crisis, poses an ominous threat to Liberty. The Obama administration used the cover of this crisis to implement its so-called "stimulus plan," which primarily stimulated the growth of central government at an enormous cost.

The result was accelerated accumulation of crushing national debt, now approaching $15 trillion, which has placed our economy on a collision course with catastrophic collapse, short of bold intervention.

The economic indicators foretelling that collision abound.

The Commerce Department reports that the American economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011. (You might have missed that report amid all the political campaigning over OBL's demise.)

Home values fell three percent in the first quarter and it is estimated that more than 28 percent of homeowners now owe more than the value of their property.

Energy and commodity costs are highly volatile, in large measure due to abysmal domestic economic and energy policies plus weak foreign policy. One way to devalue outstanding debt is inflation, and there are plenty of indicators that inflation is underway.

Imports are up and exports are down. The International Monetary Fund estimates that China's economy will surpass ours by 2016.

Unemployment inched back up to 9 percent last month, but the "real" unemployment rate, those who have given up the search and part-time workers seeking full-time employment, is almost 16 percent.

More Americans are dependent upon government assistance payouts than ever before. More than 18 percent of total personal income was redistributed in the form of "government benefits." Almost one in seven households receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (food stamps).

The declining status of the U.S. dollar as the world's safest fiat currency is a metaphor for the decline of our standing as the world's beacon of liberty, the decline of "American exceptionalism."

Having a good recollection of the Carter administration, I invoke Yogi Berra's sentiment, "It is like déjà vu all over again."

Despite the considerable barriers these indicators pose to economic recovery, there is still time for a transformational restoration of constitutional Rule of Law and the consequential rescaling of our central government to comport with the limits placed upon it by our Constitution. But as noted above, that will require bold intervention, and it will require that a majority of the members of Congress honor and abide by their oath of office.

At present, there are outstanding plans on the table to put prosperity over poverty, including the Republican Study Committee Budget for FY 2012 and Heritage Foundation's comprehensive plan to restore prosperity.

House and Senate leaders are stepping out with bolder propositions to cut government spending. As a prerequisite to raising the national debt ceiling to avoid default, Speaker John Boehner has drawn the line, and may even hold it: "Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase, and the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions."

Conservative Senate leaders are calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment as a condition to any agreement on increasing the national debt limit.

Of course, Obama, the consummate socialist, trotted out the class warfare card in response: "Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America, [pitting] children with autism or Down's syndrome against every millionaire and billionaire in our society."

Then, in his fatuous display of faux bipartisan, Obama insisted the budget talks must "start by being honest about what's causing our deficit."

Apparently, Obama thinks the budget deficit is caused by a lack of government spending and regulation, as he is proposing a lot more of both.

So, given the current crisis and the long odds against the restoration of Rule of Law, would you concede that this portends a Sunset or Sunrise on Liberty?

Call me crazy -- that profiler certainly did -- but I clearly see a new dawn for Liberty, whether it be transformational restoration of constitutional Rule of Law or the transformational reformation of government. Count me in for either option.

I believe, as did my mentor, President Ronald Reagan: "America's best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead."

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

That extinction will arrive only if we "shrink from the service of our country."

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

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G M
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« Reply #372 on: May 12, 2011, 11:25:44 AM »

Alexander is right on.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #373 on: May 22, 2011, 09:30:01 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AdHbmgGCyg&feature=player_embedded
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #374 on: May 28, 2011, 10:59:03 AM »

Woof All:

Of course this could have been posted in the 2012 campaign thread, but I post it here; deeper even than Presidential politics is whether this country continues to believe in the free market.

Marc
============================

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor turned the policy temperature down on austerity this week by rolling out a strong economic-growth agenda. Headlined by a 25 percent top tax rate for individuals and business, the Cantor package includes regulatory relief, free trade, and patent protection for entrepreneurs. It’s job creation and the economy, stupid.

Sounds Reaganesque? Well, Eric Cantor has a lot of Reagan blood in him. Back in 1980, while Cantor was still in high school, his father was the Virginia state treasurer of the Ronald Reagan presidential campaign. So the apple never falls far from the tree.

In fact, it looks like Cantor is restoring the supply-side incentive model of economic growth. Forget tax-the-rich class warfare. Throw out wild-eyed government-spending stimulus and dollar-depreciating Fed money-pumping. Make it pay more after tax to work, produce, and invest. Go for a growth spurt, something the economy badly needs. And -- my thought -- crown such a growth strategy with a stable King Dollar re-linked to gold.

When I interviewed Cantor this week, he made it clear that faster economic growth was crucial to holding down spending, deficits, and debt. As scored by the CBO, every 1 percent of faster growth lowers the budget gap by nearly $3 trillion from lower spending and higher revenues. “Grow the economy,” Cantor said. “It will help us manage-down the deficit and it will help get people back to work.”

This is not to say that spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms aren’t necessary. They are. But it is to argue that lately the GOP has forgotten the growth component that is so essential to spending restraint and deficit reduction.

The GOP should say: In return for substantial federal-spending cuts, we’re gonna more than make it up to you with large tax cuts. You will win. Big government will lose.

I suggested to Cantor that the GOP adopt a 5 percent national growth target, which President John F. Kennedy had when he launched his across-the-board tax cuts in the early 1960s. “That is a fantastic goal,” he told me.

Cantor’s growth plan is very timely as the U.S. economy is once again sputtering. In what is already one of the weakest post-recession recoveries in the postwar era, first-quarter GDP came in at a tepid 1.8 percent. Many economists believe the second quarter will be no better.

And consider this: Between 1947 and 2000, average real economic growth registered 3.4 percent yearly -- an excellent prosperity baseline. Yet over the past ten years -- amidst boom-bust Fed policy, a collapsing dollar, and soaring gold -- the stock market on balance hasn’t moved as the economy has averaged only 1.7 percent annually. Because of the ongoing slump, actual real GDP growth from the early 2000s through the first quarter of 2011 has dropped nearly 17 percent below the long-run historical trend. That translates to a massive output gap of $2.7 trillion.

In order to close that gap in five years the economy would have to grow 7.3 percent annually (roughly Reagan’s two-year recovery rate in 1983-84). To close the gap in ten years, the economy would have to grow near 5.3 percent annually.

Alright, so why not establish a national economic growth target of over 5 percent? That might wipe out the current spirit of economic pessimism and decline.

A 5 percent growth target might give some hope to the roughly 15 million unemployed. Or the 12 to 15 million homeowners who can’t meet their mortgages, are in foreclosure, or have upside-down property values. Or the disappointed investors who haven’t made any real cash in ten years. Or the families who are suffering from rising gas and food prices.

A 5 percent growth target might wipe out the sense that we can’t seem to right the economic ship.

For all these reasons, according to the polls, jobs and the economy are the number one political issue today. Entitlements are going to have to be fixed. But that day of reckoning is nearly 20 years away. Right now folks want work and income to pay the bills.

The brilliance of Mr. Cantor’s effort is his attempt to move the GOP back to the economic-growth high ground. It is our most urgent priority.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #375 on: June 03, 2011, 01:58:27 PM »

The 5% minimum, sustained, real growth target is correct, if not too cautious.  In the most similar circumstance of economic doldrums in our time, the growth rate coming out of it approached 8%. 

In what year of a multi-year, double dip depression do we collectively admit that growth is good?

The current emphasis on cutting medicare, cutting social security, cutting our security presence around the world might be necessary, but is what the growth crowd used to call the root canal wing of the Republican Party.  Right now, we need it all.  Downsize the public burden, yes, but also re-energize private growth.

On the other side of the coin is Krugman and few others who said all along that the stimulus was too small and too timid and needs to be doubled.  I guess that means the deficit is too small and too timid as well - for the hard core Keynesians.  Good grief.  Do the math on current and projected debt when the interest rates hit 10-15% or higher and tell us we are too timid with our spending!

Where Krugman et al are right about the stimulus being too small is the clear fact that the so-called stimuli so far are really still at zero.  The point was to stimulate the private economy and the private sector growth machine.  Growing the total cost of permanent public sector unions jobs only so far isn't temporary spending or private stimulus.

As BD pointed out elsewhere, tax policy is only one factor (and we have a thread for that).  Federal taxation is badly in need of reform, but we don't fact the same rate cutting opportunities at 30+% tax rates that we did at 70% tax rates to re-energize growth. 

The question I pose here is - yes, tax reform, but what are all the other things we can do to re-energize private growth?  I believe we have a thread for each one but we need the total package pulled together IMO in order to move forward and sell growth and confidence to voters and investors.

As the Reagan era began, we had the two-pronged problem of unemployment and inflation out of control simultaneously.  It was believed from all conventional economic thought that, for one thing that wasn't possible, and for another thing that it wasn't curable.  Conventional wisdom was wrong on both counts.  Also unnecessary damage was done in '81-'82 by having the bad tasting medicine kick in before the stimulative policies went fully into effect.  Maybe we can learn from that.

Today it is the two-pronged problem of unemployment symbolizing a sputtering economy and the outrageous levels of both current deficits and total debt that make it seem impossible to move forward.

Economists like Krugman and Reich ridicule the austerity approach alone.  Where is the stimulative effect in shrinking our spending or in shrinking our monetary expansion?

The answer is that a) austerity alone will not stimulate, and that b) austerity (sanity might be a more aptly label) is only one small part of re-building the investor confidence that is so badly needed.

If Republicans were to hold a hard line now on the debt ceiling and win that battle with the Senate and Executive Branch, deficit spending would end this summer.  The result of that move alone would not be stimulative.

Again, a multi-pronged problem requires a multi-pronged solution.  We don't need to balance our budget at the sick economy level.  We need balance atg full frowth and capacity.  That means doing 'all of the above' simultaneously in terms of addressing the economic problems we face.

Instead of ending huge programs now, they can be identified and phased back to their right size in a foreseeable and believable period of time.  If we want to send functions back to the states, that should be coupled with a stronger economy and lower federal burden so that states can handle them.  If we want to pay social spending recipients less without hurting them (60+% of spending?), then we need to reverse the policies that ran up the costs of energy, food, healthcare, tuition etc along with all the policies that chased away jobs and production.

We will never grow jobs by keeping the focus on hypenated-growth, smart-growth with anti-growth excuses like disparity obsession and class envy to win votes and lose jobs. OMG, someone else benefited from that policy!  You grow jobs by improving everything that has to do with the competitiveness of producing goods and service here, by unleashing creativity and innovation.  A complete overhaul of the tax system in the direction of simplicity, wider application and lower marginal rates is one big part of that, but this time a complete overhaul of all anti-job growth, anti-competitiveness regulations needs to be front and center as well.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #376 on: June 03, 2011, 07:50:45 PM »

Good discussion.  I would add that the US tax code is not only a matter of the marginal tax rate (as hugely important as that is) it is also a matter of mis-directing investment e.g. the housing bubble.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #377 on: June 06, 2011, 06:41:20 PM »

I have opposed the balanced budget amendment because it would do nothing to limit spending and likely require future tax increases to match growing spending.

I was wrong.  It's all in there!

Please read the text of the Senate Republican version with nearly all Senate Republicans as co-sponsors.  It limits spending to 18% of GDP.

This came to my attention through a Tom Daschle editorial opposing it. 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303657404576361911670103814.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion
------------------
http://www.scribd.com/doc/52020805/GOP-Balanced-Budget-Amendment-Text
(This didn't cut and paste very well with section nos, page nos and line nos.  Read it at the source link if you prefer.)
JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the UnitedStates relative to balancing the budget.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
1
of the United States of America in Congress assembled
2
(two-thirds of each House concurring therein),
That the fol-
3
lowing article is proposed as an amendment to the Con-
4
stitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all
5
intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when
6
 
2
JEN11494 S.L.C.
ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several
1
States:
2
‘‘ARTICLE

3
‘‘SECTION 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall
4
not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless two-
5
thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each
6
House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific ex-
7
cess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote.
8
‘‘SECTION 2. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall
9
not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of
10
the United States for the calendar year ending before the
11
beginning of such fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly
12
chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress
13
shall provide by law for a specific amount in excess of such
14
18 percent by a roll call vote.
15
‘‘SECTION 3. Prior to each fiscal year, the President
16
shall transmit to the Congress a proposed budget for the
17
United States Government for that fiscal year in which—
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‘‘(1) total outlays do not exceed total receipts;
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and
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‘‘(2) total outlays do not exceed 18 percent of
21
the gross domestic product of the United States for
22
the calendar year ending before the beginning of
23
such fiscal year.
24
 
3
JEN11494 S.L.C.
‘‘SECTION 4. Any bill that imposes a new tax or in-
1
creases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate
2
amount of revenue may pass only by a two-thirds majority
3
of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of
4
Congress by a roll call vote. For the purpose of deter-
5
mining any increase in revenue under this section, there
6
shall be excluded any increase resulting from the lowering
7
of the statutory rate of any tax.
8
‘‘SECTION 5. The limit on the debt of the United
9
States shall not be increased, unless three-fifths of the
10
duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Con-
11
gress shall provide for such an increase by a roll call vote.
12
‘‘SECTION 6. The Congress may waive the provisions
13
of sections 1, 2, 3, and 5 of this article for any fiscal year
14
in which a declaration of war against a nation-state is in
15
effect and in which a majority of the duly chosen and
16
sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide
17
for a specific excess by a roll call vote.
18
‘‘SECTION 7. The Congress may waive the provisions
19
of sections 1, 2, 3, and 5 of this article in any fiscal year
20
in which the United States is engaged in a military conflict
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that causes an imminent and serious military threat to
22
national security and is so declared by three-fifths of the
23
duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Con-
24
gress by a roll call vote. Such suspension must identify
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4
JEN11494 S.L.C.
and be limited to the specific excess of outlays for that
1
fiscal year made necessary by the identified military con-
2
flict.
3
‘‘SECTION 8. No court of the United States or of any
4
State shall order any increase in revenue to enforce this
5
article.
6
‘‘SECTION 9. Total receipts shall include all receipts
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of the United States Government except those derived
8
from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of
9
the United States Government except those for repayment
10
of debt principal.
11
‘‘SECTION 10. The Congress shall have power to en-
12
force and implement this article by appropriate legislation,
13
which may rely on estimates of outlays, receipts, and gross
14
domestic product.
15
‘‘SECTION 11. This article shall take effect beginning
16
with the fifth fiscal year beginning after its ratification.’’.
17


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #378 on: June 14, 2011, 10:51:48 AM »

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --John Adams, Address to the Military , 1798

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« Reply #379 on: June 14, 2011, 10:55:20 AM »

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --John Adams, Address to the Military , 1798


Yeah, I know....   sad
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ccp
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« Reply #380 on: June 18, 2011, 11:49:16 AM »

For conservatives, it can't get any better

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

For a conservative Texan seeking national office, it could hardly get better than this: In a recent 48-hour span, Ted Cruz, a candidate for next year's Republican Senate nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, was endorsed by the Club for Growth PAC, FreedomWorks PAC, talk-radio host Mark Levin and Erick Erickson of RedState.com. And Cruz's most conservative potential rival for the nomination decided to seek a House seat instead.

For conservatives seeking reinforcements for Washington's too-limited number of limited-government constitutionalists, it can hardly get better than this: Before he earned a Harvard law degree magna cum laude (and helped found the Harvard Latino Law Review) and clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Cruz's senior thesis at Princeton - his thesis adviser was professor Robert George, one of contemporary conservatism's intellectual pinups - was on the Constitution's Ninth and 10th amendments. Then as now, Cruz argued that these amendments, properly construed, would buttress the principle that powers not enumerated are not possessed by the federal government.

Utah's freshman Sen. Mike Lee, who clerked for Justice Sam Alito when Alito was an appeals court judge, has endorsed Cruz. The national chairman of Cruz's campaign is Ed Meese, the grand old man of Reagan administration alumni.

For anyone seeking elective office anywhere, this story is as good as it gets: At age 14, Cruz's father fought with rebels (including Fidel Castro) against Cuba's dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Captured and tortured, at 18 he escaped to America with $100 sewn in his underwear. He graduated from the University of Texas and met his wife - like him, a mathematician - with whom he founded a small business processing seismic data for the oil industry.

By the time Ted Cruz was 13, he was winning speech contests sponsored by a Houston free-enterprise group that gave contestants assigned readings by Frederic Bastiat, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. In his early teens he traveled around Texas and out of state giving speeches. At Princeton, he finished first in the 1992 U.S. National Debate Championship and North American Debate Championship.

As Texas's solicitor general from 2003 to 2008, Cruz submitted 70 briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has, so far, argued nine cases there. He favors school choice and personal investment accounts for a portion of individuals' Social Security taxes. He supports the latter idea with a bow to the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who said such accounts enable the doorman to build wealth the way the people in the penthouse do.

Regarding immigration, Cruz, 40, demands secure borders and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants but echoes Ronald Reagan's praise of legal immigrants as "Americans by choice," people who are "crazy enough" to risk everything in the fundamentally entrepreneurial act of immigrating. He believes Hispanics are - by reasons of faith, industriousness and patriotism - natural Republicans. He says the military enlistment rate is higher among them than among any other demographic, and he says an Austin businessman observed, "When was the last time you saw a Hispanic panhandler?"

The Republican future without Hispanic support would be bleak. Forty-seven percent of Americans under 18 are minorities, and the largest portion are Hispanics. One in six Americans is Hispanic. In 37 states, the Hispanic population increased at least 50 percent between 2000 and 2010. The four states with the largest Hispanic populations - California, Texas, Florida and New York - have 151 electoral votes.

One in five Americans lives in California or Texas, and Texas is for Republicans what California is for Democrats - the largest reliable source of electoral votes and campaign cash. In 2005, Texas became a majority-minority state; in five years Hispanics will be a plurality; in about two decades, immigration and fertility will make them a majority.

But, Cruz says, unlike California's Hispanics, those in Texas "show a willingness to be a swing vote." Furthermore, the three Hispanics elected to major offices in 2010 - Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio, Nevada's Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico's Gov. Susana Martinez - are Republicans.

"It took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Reagan," says Cruz, who believes the reaction against Barack Obama will give the Republican Party a cadre of conservatives who take their bearings from constitutional law as it was before the New Deal judicial revolution attenuated limits on government. This cadre is arriving: Sens. Lee and Rubio were born seven days apart, and Cruz six months earlier.

The parties' profiles are often drawn in the Senate. The Republican profile is becoming more Madisonian.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #381 on: June 18, 2011, 12:52:00 PM »

Maybe he can skip the senate.  We have an opening higher up.  smiley
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #382 on: June 18, 2011, 06:35:40 PM »

Very impressive.  Lets keep an eye out for further developments of this guy!
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« Reply #383 on: June 29, 2011, 11:18:17 AM »

Chronicle · June 29, 2011

The Foundation
"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness." --George Washington

Editorial Exegesis

Rather than drill, Obama plays games with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve"President Barack Obama has chosen a curious moment to release 30 million barrels of oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The president initially justified the release as protection against disruptions in supply caused by the conflict in Libya. Later, the administration changed the explanation, saying Obama hopes to stabilize gasoline prices going into the summer vacation driving season. Libya is an important source of oil. But the fighting there has not had a major impact on supplies. And oil prices have fallen back in recent weeks from their yearly highs. ... As we've said when previous presidents considered using the reserve to influence short-term prices, that's not what the stockpile is there for. The reserve is designed to shield the American economy from dramatic disruptions in the oil supply. Such a major cutoff hasn't happened. Using the reserve to manipulate market prices is a futile enterprise. ... The president's decision to release oil reserves, coming at a time when his approval rating is sinking, opens him to criticism that his re-election campaign is driving his economic and energy decisions. He can claim credit for future declines in gasoline prices that may have occurred naturally. If the priority of the administration is now to keep gasoline cheap, it should also drop its opposition to increased domestic oil production, which would have a larger impact on long-term oil prices than would tapping into the reserve. Likewise, that goal should also inform its current considerations of sharply higher fuel economy standards for the automotive fleet. ... In any case, the release of the oil reserves in response to fluctuations in the market is not sound policy." --The Detroit News


Upright
"On economic growth, real GDP has risen 0.8% over the 13 quarters since the recession began, compared to an average increase of 9.9% in past recoveries. From the beginning of the recession to April 2011, real personal income has grown just .9% compared to 9.4% for the same period in previous post 1960 recessions. The standard response from Obama apologists is that recession of 2008 and 2009 was different because, as former Clinton administration economist Robert Shapiro puts it, 'this was a financial crisis, and these take longer to recover from.' In fact, in most cases, the deeper the recession, the stronger the recovery to make up for lost ground." --columnist Stephen Moore

"Right now America is nothing more than Greece with better PR. And note I said right now, because at the rate we're going, we're well on our way to making that country look like amateurs by comparison." --columnist Arnold Ahlert

"The salient feature of America in the Age of Obama is a failed government class institutionally committed to living beyond its means, and a citizenry too many of whom are content to string along." --columnist Mark Steyn

"A recent poll showed that nearly half the American public believes that the government should redistribute wealth. That so many people are so willing to blithely put such an enormous and dangerous arbitrary power in the hands of politicians -- risking their own freedom, in hopes of getting what someone else has -- is a painful sign of how far many citizens and voters fall short of what is needed to preserve a democratic republic." --economist Thomas Sowell

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #384 on: June 30, 2011, 11:22:16 AM »


For the last 235 years, on the Fourth of July, Americans have celebrated the birth of the United States, and the founding ideas that have made it the most powerful, wealthiest and freest nation in the history of civilization.

But as another Fourth of July approaches, there has never been more uncertainty about the future of America -- and the anxiety transcends even the dismal economy and three foreign wars. President Obama prompted such introspection in April 2009, when he suggested that the United States, as one of many nations, was not necessarily any more exceptional than others. Recently, a New Yorker magazine article sympathetically described our new foreign policy as "leading from behind."

The administration not long ago sought from the United Nations and the Arab League -- but not from Congress -- authorization to attack Col. Gadhafi's Libya. Earlier, conservative opponents had made much of the president's bows to Chinese and Saudi Arabian heads of state, which, coupled with serial apologies for America's distant and recent past, were seen as symbolically deferential efforts to signal the world that the United States was at last not necessarily pre-eminent among nations.

Yet there has never been any nation even remotely similar to America. Here's why. Most revolutions seek to destroy the existing class order and use all-powerful government to mandate an equality of result rather than of opportunity -- in the manner of the French Revolution's slogan of "liberty, equality and fraternity" or the Russian Revolution's "peace, land and bread."

In contrast, our revolutionaries shouted "Don't tread on me!" and "Give me liberty or give me death!" The Founders were convinced that constitutionally protected freedom would allow the individual to create wealth apart from government. Such enlightened self-interest would then enrich society at large far more effectively that could an all-powerful state.

Such constitutionally protected private property, free enterprise and market capitalism explain why the United States -- with only about 4.5 percent of the world's population -- even today, in an intensely competitive global economy, still produces a quarter of the world's goods and services. To make America unexceptional, inept government overseers, as elsewhere in the world, would determine the conditions -- where, when, how and by whom -- under which businesses operate.

Individual freedom in America manifests itself in ways most of the world can hardly fathom -- whether our unique tradition of the right to gun ownership, the near impossibility of proving libel in American courts, or the singular custom of multimillion-dollar philanthropic institutions, foundations and private endowments. Herding, silencing or enfeebling Americans is almost impossible -- and will remain so as long as well-protected citizens can say what they want and do as they please with their hard-earned money.

Race, tribe or religion often defines a nation's character, either through loose confederations of ethnic or religious blocs as in Rwanda, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, or by equating a citizenry with a shared appearance as reflected in the German word "volk" or the Spanish "raza." And while the United States was originally crafted largely by white males who improved upon Anglo-Saxon customs and the European Enlightenment, the Founders set in place an "all men are created equal" system that quite logically evolved into the racially blind society of today.

This year a minority of babies born in the United States will resemble the look of the Founding Fathers. Yet America will continue as it was envisioned, as long as those of various races and colors are committed to the country's original ideals. When International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexual assault against a West African immigrant maid in New York, supposedly liberal French elites were outraged that America would dare bring charges against such an establishment aristocrat. Americans, on the other hand, would have been more outraged had their country not done so.

The Founders' notion of the rule of law, coupled with freedom of the individual, explains why the United States runs on merit, not tribal affinities or birth. Most elsewhere, being a first cousin of a government official, or having a prestigious name, ensures special treatment from the state. Yet in America, nepotism is never assured. End that notion of American merit and replace it with racial tribalism, cronyism or aristocratic privilege, and America itself would vanish as we know it.

There is no rational reason why a small republican experiment in 1776 grew to dominate global culture and society -- except that America is the only nation, past or present, that put trust in the individual rather than in the state and its elite bureaucracy. Such confidence in the average free citizen made America absolutely exceptional -- something we should remember more than ever on this Fourth of July.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #385 on: June 30, 2011, 08:42:36 PM »

second post of day:

By LEON KASS
Parades. Backyard barbecues. Fireworks. This is how many of us will celebrate the Fourth of July. In earlier times, the day was also marked with specially prepared orations celebrating our founding principles, a practice that has disappeared without notice.

It is a tribute to a polity dedicated to securing our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that we can enjoy our freedoms while taking them for granted, giving little thought to what makes them possible. But this inattention comes at a heavy price, paid in increased civic ignorance and decreased national attachment—both dangerous for a self-governing people.

For an antidote to such thoughtlessness, one cannot do better than President Calvin Coolidge's remarkable address, delivered to mark the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1926. While he celebrated the authors of our founding document, Coolidge argued that it "represented the movement of a people . . . a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them."

History is replete with the births (and deaths) of nations. But the birth of the United States was unique because it was, and remains, a nation founded not on ties of blood, soil or ethnicity, but on ideas, held as self-evident truths: that all men are created equal; they are endowed with certain inalienable rights; and, therefore, the just powers of government, devised to safeguard those rights, must be derived from the consent of the governed.

What is the source of these ideas, and their singular combination in the Declaration? Many have credited European thinkers, both British and French. Coolidge, citing 17th- and 18th-century sermons and writings of colonial clergy, provides ample evidence that the principles of the Declaration, and especially equality, are of American cultural and religious provenance: "They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit." From this teaching flowed the emerging American rejection of monarchy and our bold embrace of democratic self-government.

View Full Image

Associated Press
 
Calvin Coolidge: 'If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it.'
.Coolidge draws conclusions from his search into the sources. First, the Declaration is a great spiritual document. "Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man . . . are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. . . . Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish."

He also observes that the Declaration's principles are final, not to be discarded in the name of progress. To deny the truth of human equality, or inalienable rights, or government by consent is not to go forward but backward—away from self-government, from individual rights, from the belief in the equal dignity of every human being.

Coolidge's concluding remarks especially deserve our attention: "We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. . . . If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things which are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshipped."

Coolidge was no religious fanatic. He appreciated our constitutional strictures against religious establishment and religious tests for office, limitations crucial to religious freedom and toleration, also principles unique to the American founding. But he understood that free institutions and economic prosperity rest on cultural grounds, which in turn rest on religious foundations.

Like Tocqueville, who attributed America's strength to its unique fusion of the spirit of liberty and the spirit of religion, Coolidge is rightly concerned about what will happen to the sturdy tree of liberty should its cultural roots decay. It is a question worth some attention as we eat our barbecue and watch the fireworks.

Mr. Kass, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is a co-editor of "What So Proudly We Hail: The American Story in Soul, Speech and Song," published last month by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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« Reply #386 on: July 05, 2011, 02:16:10 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/07/05/video-walking-into-mordor/

Winning the culture war.
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« Reply #387 on: July 09, 2011, 02:59:21 AM »

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What brilliant good it can do a country when the world respects, and will not forget, one of its leaders. What was vividly true 30 years ago is true today: The world looks to America. It doesn't want to be patronized or dominated by America, it wants to see America as a beacon, an example, a dream of what could be. And the world wants something else: American goodness. It wants to have faith in the knowledge that America is the great nation that tries to think about and act upon right and wrong, and that it is a beacon also of things practical—how to have a sturdy, good, unsoiled economy, how to create jobs that provide livelihoods that allow families to be formed, how to maintain a system in which inventors and innovators can flourish. A world without America in this sense—the beacon, the inspiration, the speaker of truth—would be a world deprived of hopefulness. And so we must be our best selves again not only for us but for the world.

These are the thoughts that follow eight days of celebration, in Eastern Europe and London, of the leadership of Ronald Reagan. History is rarely sweet, but it was last week when they raised statues of him in his centenary year. People old and young stopped for a moment to think and speak of him, and to define what his leadership meant to them and their countries. The celebrations in Krakow, Budapest, Prague and London were a reminder that we are all traveling through history together, that you are living not only your own life but the life of your times, as Laurens van der Post once said. And your era can actually be affected, made better, by what you do.

The subject matter was the fall of the wall, the end of communism, the reunification of Europe—those epochal events the world is still absorbing and that in retrospect seem even more amazing. Good people picked good leaders—the Big Three of the Cold War, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Reagan—and together they pushed until walls fell. Man is not used to such kind outcomes. A feeling of awe and gratitude colored the ceremonies: "My God, look what was done, I still can't believe it. Let's talk about how it happened and take those lessons into the future." Now of all times we could use the inspiration.

In Krakow, the city from which Karol Wojtyla was called to Rome to become John Paul II, there was a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who said in his homily: "President Reagan . . . took great pains to bring about the demise of that which he so aptly named 'the evil empire.' This empire of evil denied many people and nations their freedom. It did so by way of a pernicious ideology . . . the result of this experiment was the death and sufferings of millions." "There can be no doubt," he said, that Reagan and John Paul brought about "the collapse of communism."

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Martin Kozlowski
In Budapest, in a special session of the Hungarian Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen spoke of the end of Hungary as a captive nation and its beginnings as a democracy. Reagan, he said, "helped Hungary find itself." Member of Parliament Janos Horvath spoke of Reagan's style of peaceful liberation. What America did by being strong, by being serious in its focus, by speaking plain and true, not only inspired the victims of communism but weakened their oppressors. Reagan had "the imagination" to understand that the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a historic event: "He kept quoting Harry Truman's commitment to the liberation of the captive nations. That, for Reagan, was a more important thing than for other presidents." Hungary knew Truman had been "infuriated" by what the Soviets did, "arresting people, including myself." Reagan made clear he "felt the indignation." And so, "Hungary took seriously what America meant—human rights, democracy." It left Horvath an optimist. "I have faith that the right thing prevails. This is the Ronald Reagan mentality."

I asked a member of Parliament whether the people of Hungary had felt any bitterness over the fact that President Eisenhower did not commit U.S. military forces to help the Hungarians in 1956. At first he was puzzled. Bitterness? Any residual disappointment, I said. No, he said. "We understood your position." Meaning, he explained, our position as a superpower in the nuclear age, and our position on freedom. They knew whose side we were on.

A veteran diplomat in the area, an American, said later that everything he'd heard in the speeches left him thinking how the great progress of the past quarter-century had been made not through warfare but through diplomacy, tough decisions, aid, encouragement and rhetorical clarity and candor.

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At the unveiling of the Reagan statue in Freedom Square, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Reagan "managed change wisely and preserved peace. This is why he needs to have a statue in Budapest." In tearing down "the distorted and sick ideologies of the 20th century," Reagan "remade the world for us."

Rather stunningly, the leader of Hungary's government bluntly ended his speech with a sentiment often heard in Omaha, Tucson, Morristown and Tallahassee: "We need a Ronald Reagan. Is he there, somewhere, already?" The world misses him as much as we do. It misses grand leadership as much as we do.

***
In Prague they named a street for him. In London, on the Fourth of July, 235th birthday of the United States, they unveiled a statue in front of the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Two other presidents grace that square: a heroic FDR in flowing cape, and a steely-eyed Eisenhower in army uniform. The day was nonpartisan, non-narrow. A great American was being justly honored by his British friends who, as Foreign Secretary William Hague said, "will never forget" him. A statue, he said, is not just a remembrance. With statues we come "face to face" with the great men and women of the past, and ponder their greatness.

That night, members of Parliament gathered for a formal dinner in London's magnificent Guildhall. There were speeches, some beautiful. Among the packed tables there was a former member of Mrs. Thatcher's cabinet, who in his day had taken heavy blows for his unrepentant conservatism. Now, white-haired, he listened to the speeches, as across the room a woman watching him remembered the greatest speech in English history: "Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot/ But he'll remember with advantages/ What feats he did that day."

And so Mr. Reagan's centennial nears its close. We remember him—and Thatcher, and John Paul—for many reasons. To reinforce and reinspire. To keep fresh our knowledge that history can be made better. To be loyal to the truth.

And another reason. That night in conversation, former Prime Minister John Major asked how our teaching of history was in America. Not good, I said. He said in Britain it was the same, and it concerned him. We were across from a huge, heroic sculpture of the Duke of Wellington. If we don't teach who he was and what he did, we will not make any more Wellingtons. Glory lives only when you pass it on.
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« Reply #388 on: July 09, 2011, 09:52:06 AM »



And another reason. That night in conversation, former Prime Minister John Major asked how our teaching of history was in America. Not good, I said. He said in Britain it was the same, and it concerned him. We were across from a huge, heroic sculpture of the Duke of Wellington. If we don't teach who he was and what he did, we will not make any more Wellingtons. Glory lives only when you pass it on.

Anyone know who couldn't be bothered to go to the ceremony honoring Ronald Reagan that was held in front of the US Embassy in London?
 
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« Reply #389 on: July 09, 2011, 10:22:38 AM »

Umm , , , our embassador?
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« Reply #390 on: July 09, 2011, 10:42:34 AM »

Umm , , , our embassador?
Bingo!


http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/07/obama-ambassador-to-uk-skips-event-honoring-ronald-reagan-outside-us-embassy/

Obama Ambassador to UK Skips Event at US Embassy Honoring Ronald Reagan

Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, 4:18 PM



 

 
 

The ceremony honoring Ronald Reagan was held outside in front of the US Embassy in London.
 
People take their turn to pose for photographs beside a statue of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan after its unveiling outside the U.S. embassy in London, Monday, July 4, 2011. The 10 foot bronze was unveiled Monday to mark the centenary of Reagan’s birth. (AP/Matt Dunham)
 
Sadly, the Obama ambassador to the United Kingdom skipped the event.
 He had better things to do.
 The Evening Standard reported:
 

Last night’s Guildhall dinner in honour of Ronald Reagan’s centenary was a truly glittering and warm occasion.
 
The British roasted lamb and the sunny Californian chardonnay evoked the close Anglo-US relationship of Reagan and Thatcher as much as the fine speeches by Condi Rice and William Hague.
 
But guests were left asking, where on earth was the American ambassador to London, Louis B Susman?
 
“Our ambassador should be here,” said Lynn de Rothschild, the American entrepreneur who is married to Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and was one of Hillary Clinton’s key fundraisers in 2008 as well as a supporter of several Republican presidential candidates. “This was an historic dinner to mark Reagan’s centenary and to celebrate him as the man who ended the Cold War. What could not be more important?
 
“Why is our ambassador not here on Independence Day? No excuse. How is it that America is not represented in this room by our ambassador? It is appalling that no representative of our government is in this room. This has the feel of petty partisanship.”
 
Ambassador Susman is, of course, a long-standing Democrat fundraiser, nicknamed the vaccuum cleaner for his skill at sucking donations out of the wealthy. And his efforts to fill Obama’s campaign pockets was said by many to be his main qualification to come to London.
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« Reply #391 on: July 12, 2011, 02:46:05 PM »

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/07/01/
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« Reply #392 on: July 12, 2011, 02:53:56 PM »

I think the Cloward-Pivenists misunderstand how it would play out or who would win in the end.
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« Reply #393 on: July 15, 2011, 11:58:44 AM »



Dear Republicans - It's Time for You to Choose - Choose Wisely

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

Friday, July 15th at 5:00AM EDT



“From here on out, if you lose this fight, every time you balk at expanding government, social security checks will be withheld, medicare payments will be withheld, and in just a few short years, surgeries will be cancelled, vaccinations withheld, and hospitals shuttered.”Dear House Republicans,

In the election of 2010, voters sent you to Washington to do two things: (1) End Obamacare and (2) pull us back from the brink of financial ruin.

You have failed at the first task. Obamacare remains. You never even seriously attempted to restrain its funding or implementation. Heck, you haven’t even saved the incandescent lightbulb.

Will you now fail at the second task too?

If you cave, fold, or compromise on the President’s terms, you will have failed in both your missions. If you support Mitch McConnell’s plan, you will have decisively failed.

Now is a time for choosing. Now is your time for choosing.As I pointed out to John Boehner yesterday, despite what the pundits in Washington are telling you, it is you and not Obama who hold most of the cards. Obama has a legacy to worry about. Should the United States lose its bond rating, it will be called the “Obama Depression”. Congress does not get pinned with this stuff.

But there are a few points that you need to understand.

First, as the hours go on, the doom and gloom scenarios are going to get worse. By the end of July, Goldman Sachs, Ben Bernanke, and Timmy Geithner are going to tell you the world will end unless you raise the debt ceiling.

They did it with TARP too.

And now we know that the amount of money used in TARP was far less than allocated and a lot of the TARP situation involved Hank Paulson forcing solvent banks to play along. Oh, and a great many Republicans were primaried out of office.

Do not believe the doom and gloom. Wise decisions are never made when premised on fear.

Second, understand that the pundits and talking heads people expect you to listen to probably have it wrong. Remember, in 2010, they told you that if you kept being the Party of No, you’d lose. And yet . . .

As I’ve said repeatedly, the pundits and chattering class in Washington have a bias far greater than their liberal one — it is a good government bias. They believe Republicans and Democrats should come together and do grand bargains. Evil and stupid come together and do something evil and stupid. The press heralds it as bipartisanship at its finest, damn the results. We’ve been doing these grand bargains for years. Remember the last time we had a balanced budget in DC? That was at $5 trillion in national debt and no one bothered to read the fine print that the “balance” was actually based on a 10 year Congressional Budget Office projection.

Likewise, the pundits with a good government bias for some reason tend to ignore the Democrats’ problems. In 2010, the media told us you beat the Democrats because the Democrats got their message wrong, not their policy. We know the truth. But we also know that the Democrats were willing to lose to advance socialism. Are you willing to lose to advance freedom?

Finally, and here is my big point — you have to win this fight. If you do not win this fight, there will be no more chances to turn back government. Why? Because President Obama is holding senior citizens hostage with their social security checks.

If the President can force your hand by using entitlements as a lever to punish the American people if you don’t do as he wants, you will have established this as a precedent. From here on out, if you lose this fight, every time you balk at expanding government, social security checks will be withheld, medicare payments will be withheld, and in just a few short years, surgeries will be cancelled, vaccinations withheld, and hospitals shuttered.

It will all be because if you lose this fight now, the Democrats will know for certain from here on out that they can use withholding entitlements as a tool to force your hand.

You must win this fight. You must show you are not afraid. When Ben Bernanke brings the Grim Reaper in on August 1st to tell you we are all going to die, you must mock death and choose life — not bipartisan compromises that will keep growing government and ever more rapidly turn this nation into a third class banana republic. In short, you must hold the freaking line!

Now, some of you, if you have read this far, are saying, “But in 1995, the Republicans got blamed for shutting down the government.” They did. But that’s because Americans detest losers. And Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole threw in the towel instead of fighting. Their will broke. They did not break the President’s will. Of course, the next year the GOP still only lost 9 House seats and actually gained Senate seats. Imagine what would have happened had they broken the President’s will.

House Republicans, this is a time for choosing: Do you choose to be more courageous than the Democrats who were willing to risk defeat to advance socialism? Is keeping your job more important to you than saving the country? If so, the odds are you will both lose your job and lose your country.

This is a time for choosing. Choose wisely.
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« Reply #394 on: July 15, 2011, 03:39:06 PM »

On the first redstate post (Erick Erickson) I was going to say they are pretty reliable conservative source though they looked happy to post partial facts and turn on McConnell quickly.

This, though, is unfair:

"Heck, you haven’t even saved the incandescent lightbulb."

James Tarranto, WSJ: "House Republicans failed yesterday in an effort to repeal the Bush-and-Pelosi-era ban on traditional incandescent light bulbs, which begins to take effect at the end of this year. The vote was 233-193  in favor of repeal, but the bill was introduced under a procedure that required a two-thirds supermajority."

They won by 40 votes, party line vote, I'm sure.  They didn't so much fail to repeal but they failed to convince Democrats to join them who failed to hear an uproar from the American people.  They failed to expose rules that continually allow one congress to bind a future congress against their will and against a basic tenet of freedom: consent of the governed.

Failure to save the freedom to choose your own light bulb falls squarely on the Dems and nowhere else.  Who needs friends who falsely imply otherwise.

On the rest of it the guy is entitled to his opinion but he is just as misguided as Obama is to believe you control Washington when you hold one body or one branch.  This was a two election rescue and even if the second goes perfectly, hold the House, win the Presidency and take majority with say a 55-45 margin in the Senate, Republicans still won't have full control.  You still have to be smarter and more persuasive than your opponent.  Beating up on your own doesn't get you there; it should be used wisely and sparingly.  MHO.
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« Reply #395 on: August 03, 2011, 10:39:52 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6AgL-I3PxHE

A question was posed here a while back about how to reach more people and younger people with an awareness and explanation of what is happening in this country and an idea of what needs to be done to get back on track.  Clarity, articulation and visualization always seems to be lacking.  Powerline Blog and Freedom Club responded to the DBMA challenge by offering a $100,000 prize for the best creative depiction of our spending and debt problems.  Monday they announced the winner.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/08/the-winner-of-the-power-line-prize-is.php

John Hinderacker: “Squirrels,” as we call it informally, is a beautiful piece of work. (View it on YouTube in HD here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AgL-I3PxHE&hd=1) We asked Justin to share his thoughts on the contest and his video:

Justin Folk: "When I first heard of the contest, I found it hard to believe that anyone would put up such a great prize to offer creatives a chance to dramatize the debt crisis. Most people don’t want to think about debt or the dangers it holds. Wars and environmentalism have attracted most of the attention of creative people in our culture–and not usually for a good result. But when you consider what debt can do and has done to nations throughout history, we’d be fools to not recognize our country’s solvency as the single greatest issue we face today. In my piece, I wanted to not just show how bad the problem is- which is in itself a noble effort since 15 trillion is hard for most to comprehend–but I sought to convey how we got to this point, and our choices moving forward.

    I feel the squirrel allegory allows people to absorb the story unguarded, not pointing fingers at any one political party. I wanted to reach independents, conservatives, and liberals. Our debt, after all, belongs to all of us.

    I’m grateful that Power Line and the Freedom Club saw the need to summon creative minds on this issue, and honored to have been picked as the winning entry."

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« Reply #396 on: August 07, 2011, 01:02:14 PM »


"No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm." --George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1786


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« Reply #397 on: August 09, 2011, 01:29:34 AM »

The Nation's Pulse
American Tipping Point
By Jeffrey Lord on 8.2.11 @ 6:08AM

Hush puppies and the Tea Party.

The Republican run House of Representatives passed a debt limit plan last night 269-161. With Arizona Democrat Gabrielle Giffords returning from death's door to cast a yes vote. Good for her.

You always think of these things together, right?

No? Well, you should.

Hush puppies, for those coming in late, were once the casual shoe of choice in the late 1950s. By the 1990s they were pretty much vanished, disappeared to the fashion twilight zone along with tri-corner hats and powdered white wigs for men. They sold somewhere in the neighborhood of a pathetic 30,000 pairs a year, usually out of small family-run shoe stores in the small towns of off-the-beaten path America. The company that made them -- Wolverine -- was on the verge of giving up with the once iconic shoe from the Eisenhower-era that was, in 1950s beatnik lingo, "nowheresville" by the time of Bill and Hillary.

And then something peculiar happened. Something very much like what has been happening in the House of Representatives the last several days.

Out of the blue, hush puppies were becoming hip in the hippest clubs and bars of Clinton-era Manhattan. Impatient customers began scouting those small town shoe stores and scooping up the remaining supply. A prominent fashion designer was seen clad in them, another called Wolverine wanting to feature them in his spring collection. So did another. One L.A. fashionista mounted a 25-foot inflatable basset hound (the basset hound the Hush Puppy symbol) on the roof of his store, bought and gutted the building next door and turned it into a hush puppy boutique. One movie star of the day walked in personally to pick up a couple pairs of puppies. By 1995, sales had skyrocketed from the lonely 30,000 sales a year to almost half-a-million. The shoes were winning prizes as "best accessory" from fashion big wigs. And on and on it went.

If you've read author Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling classic of a few years back called The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, you will recognize this hush puppy story as Gladwell's. Along with other seemingly odd topics like Paul Revere's ride or the sudden drop in the crime rate of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Gladwell posited the idea that:

…the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.

When three characteristics combine -- "contagiousness, the fact that little causes can have big effects… (and) that change happens not gradually but at one dramatic moment" -- a "tipping point" occurs.

Hush puppy sales take off. Crime falls through the floor. A book sails on to best seller list. Or, as Gladwell also notes, a Boston silversmith's determination to spread the news of an impending British attack "mobilizes an entire region to arms" and an entire revolution is launched. And so on.

To which, this morning, it must be said after that 269-161 vote in the House last night: America has reached a new Tipping Point.

An epidemic of conservatism is sweeping America. And thanks to the Tea Party, yesterday disgracefully accused of terrorism by Vice President Biden (he the vice president in an administration terrified of calling real terrorists terrorists -- seriously!), the country will never be the same again.

Let's start with Gladwell's point of contagiousness, or, as he says in illustrating the point, the importance of understanding that epidemics are an "example of geometric progression."

Remembering that some 40 years separated the popularity peaks of the hush puppy, it should be noted that 78 years have separated the serious and seemingly permanent rise of Big Government from today. From Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to the presidency of Barack Obama is a long time. And Big Government -- the idea that, in the vernacular, "tax and spend" can just sail on endlessly -- seemed like an impregnable fortress of an idea.

But like the hush puppy epidemic, along the way Gladwell's "little causes" began to multiply.

Some seemed insignificant in the day, others of moderate or even large consequence. Here's a partial list:

• 1938: Ohio Senator Robert Taft gains political celebrity as a devout opponent of FDR's New Deal, winning his first Senate race in the anti-New Deal election year of 1938. The same year Democrats lose a record 72 seats in the U.S. House and 6 in the U.S. Senate. Taft loses three bids for the GOP presidential nomination -- in 1940, 1948 and, most spectacularly, to the moderate Republican General Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. But the idea germinates of the GOP as the natural home of political conservative opposition to Big Government.

• 1947: Regnery Publishing, a publisher of conservative books, is created in by Henry Regnery, the father of Alfred Regnery, now the publisher of The American Spectator.

• 1951: William F. Buckley Jr. becomes an unlikely bestselling author at the age of 25 with his first book, God and Man at Yale, published by Regnery. The book is highly controversial, the first serious allegation that a major American educational institution has abandoned its cultural founding principles for a far-left leaning liberal secularism.

• 1955: Buckley creates National Review magazine, the publication designed to promote the cause of conservatism in a culture where Big Government and its left-leaning accoutrements have become the cultural norm. Famously, Buckley declares his intention of "standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'"

• 1961: Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, having delivered a speech at the 1960 Republican National Convention demanding "let's grow up conservatives," authors a bestselling book called The Conscience of a Conservative.

• 1964: Goldwater defeats liberal GOP Establishment choices, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, for the GOP presidential nomination. Losing in a landslide to Lyndon Johnson, Goldwater's nomination victory continues the Taft transformation of the GOP from a party of "dime store New Deal" moderates to conservatives.

• 1966: Actor Ronald Reagan, whose nationally televised speech for Goldwater electrified the budding conservative movement, is elected Governor of California.

• 1967: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. founds The Alternative, a conservative magazine that evolves into The American Spectator. The magazine features conservative intellectual and political thought, spotlighting writers such as Tom Wolfe, Thomas Sowell and George F. Will among many. Also appearing in its pages: Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point.

• 1976: Former Governor Reagan challenges incumbent GOP President Gerald R. Ford for the Republican presidential nomination, specifically challenging as a conservative champion. Reagan loses in a tight battle.

• 1978: New York Congressman Jack Kemp gets the Republican National Committee to endorse classical economics -- "supply-side" or "growth" economics -- as the official position of the national party.

• 1980: Reagan wins the presidency in a landslide and the 8-year "Reagan Revolution" begins.

• 1988: Rush Limbaugh begins his nationally syndicated talk radio show, quickly establishing himself as the premiere talk radio conservative in the land.

• 1990: President George H.W. Bush breaks his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge and raises taxes. Conservatives abandon him and he loses re-election, winning only 37% of the vote.

• 1994: The GOP sweeps the congressional elections in a conservative tide, making it the House majority party for the first time since 1954. Newt Gingrich becomes Speaker of the House.

• 1995: Bill Kristol creates the Weekly Standard magazine, a magazine of "neoconservative" political and intellectual thought.

• 1996: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Roger Ailes launch Fox News. It becomes the most-watched cable news channel in America, dwarfing rivals CNN and MSNBC.

• 2001: Sean Hannity's radio show begins national syndication. He is already the co-host of Fox TV's popular Hannity and Colmes. Hannity becomes the number two talk radio star in America behind his friend Rush Limbaugh.

• 2002: Mark Levin, a former Reagan aide and head of the Landmark Legal Foundation, begins his first radio show, now syndicated nationally.

• 2009: The "Tea Party" movement begins, formed by activists concerned over the size of U.S. indebtedness and the national deficit.

• 2009: Levin writes Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. The book sells over 1.2 million copies and becomes the informal bible of "Tea Party" activists, literally waved in the streets at mass rallies and saluted by Tea Party favorite Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

• 2009: Talk radio's Glenn Beck begins a television show on Fox that for a period becomes the hottest show in the five o'clock time-slot. The show lasts only two years, but in its heyday brings considerable attention to Beck and his particular brand of conservatism.

• 2009: Conservative activist film maker James O'Keefe's undercover videos of ACORN result in the congressional defunding of the controversial group after video shows members of the group aiding in prostitution and tax evasion schemes.

That's a fairly considerable if partial list of what Gladwell calls "little causes" -- some admittedly larger or smaller than others.

Yet the point remains: when you add everything on this list together, when you add the fact that one event has frequently spread its contagiousness or been pushed by, in Gladwell's vocabulary, "connectors" -- "people with a particular and rare set of social gifts" who have the ability to "spread" an idea like an epidemic, a Tipping Point is in the works. Henry Regnery, for example, published and made a star of Buckley, who befriended Reagan who inspired Limbaugh, who was befriended by Buckley and placed on the cover of National Review, with Limbaugh in turn aiding Hannity and Levin and Levin's book inspiring the Tea Party etc., etc.

What is evident in this explosive fight over the debt ceiling is what Gladwell calls the force of "geometric progression." The collective weight of it all from the election of Taft to Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin's latest radio shows and the appearance of the Tea Party marking an American "Tipping Point."

This is not the first time a "Tipping Point" has occurred in American history. The lead up to the tipping point that was the American Revolution was replete with incidents and powerful personalities stretching over a century and a half from the initial landing of the Pilgrims (literally sailing across the Atlantic to get out from under British control) to the first "Tea Party" in Boston to the rhetoric of Patrick Henry and the ride of Paul Revere. All these and more finally culminated in the "shot heard 'round the world" when Americans confronted the British militarily at Lexington and Concord. The world was never the same again, the once presumed eternal certainty of British colonial rule on its way to being shattered for good.

There are other "tipping points" -- one culminating in the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, another in the American civil rights movement, with more historical turning points beyond that. Each in their own way propelled by events large and small, championed by personalities famous and unknown.

But make no mistake.

Thanks to the Tea Party movement, Conservatism is on the verge of a major victory that dwarfs the technical and actual realities of whatever the details of the resulting deficit deal passed last night. Yes, there is a long, long way to go. But the idea that America doesn't, in fact, have to be governed for eternity as a debtor nation with a mammoth, out-of-control, ever-expanding government is winning the day. It is tipping the balance with increasing decisiveness against an idea that has become so much a part of conventional wisdom that even some conservatives, startlingly including, inexplicably, the Wall Street Journal, have displayed the wobblies at the thought of confronting the Leviathan. The WSJ's attacks yesterday against Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity, saying "sooner or later the GOP had to give up the hostage" -- follows another editorial in which the paper railed against Tea Party members as "hobbits." The paper, sounding like cranky British Tories in 1775 Boston rather than the bold, forward-looking paper that championed the much-derided ideas of Ronald Reagan, wildly bought into the liberal notion that the Tea Party from Hobbitville is somehow holding the government hostage, instead of the other way around. In fact Big Government liberalism has spent decades holding and trying to hold the average American hostage to all manner of outrageous tax rates, taxes and regulations on everything from capital gains to sex (in Harry Reid's Nevada) to soda, SUVs and poker.

Let me see if I understand this without drink, drugs or rock and roll: the Wall Street Journal is saying that because Senator DeMint, Congresswoman Bachmann and Sean Hannity are not caving to President Obama -- they are insufficiently conservative?

My oh my oh my oh my.

The view from here in Hobbitville is that our WSJ friends and other conservatives who seem inexplicably to have wanted to fold out of what Rush Limbaugh bluntly labeled "fear" are betraying nothing as much as an odd editorial-version of a Big Government, tax-and-spend Stockholm syndrome. The psychological shift where the hostage identifies with the hostage-taker. Oh please don't hurt me and I'll compromise!!!!!!!!!

The Tea Party not only would have none of this, the Tea Party's role in all of this marks the definitive and latest American "Tipping Point" -- a point when the balance is discernibly shifting and the world changes. And as that long list of conservatives and the events associated with them indicates, there are a lot of people over eight decades who deserve some thanks.

America -- and the eternally Big Government, tax and spend ideas of the American Left -- will never be seen the same way again. Which is precisely why the Left is writhing and foaming as this goes to Internet print.

The Tea Party is the new Hush Puppy. They are, to use a Gladwell example, Paul Revere. The message has been delivered with maximum impact. The revolution is here.

A new American Tipping Point


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ccp
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« Reply #398 on: August 10, 2011, 01:21:57 PM »

I think this event in Wisconsin highlights how close we are to the edge of socialist/fascist revolution in the US.  As discussed by Mark Stein and Mark Levin last night the big question is do Americans want an America like we have enjoyed for 200 years or do they want an America that is a socialist or fascist like state?

That is the question.  That is the choice.  Can a Republican candidate make it clear that IS the choice and it must be made now.
Electing Brock again will seal the fate in (my opinion) the wrong direction.  With 50% not paying Fed income taxes, illegals coming in by the millions not because so much because they love traditional American ideals but they want our benefits, with so many other benefits paid for by the state to Americans, with children who seem to have learned that it is the governments responsibility to take care of them, we are at the cross roads.  The perilous closeness of the divide seems to be highlighted with this:   

****Republicans hold off Dems in recalls, win enough seats to keep majority in Senate
Story Discussion More (2) Font Size: Default font size Larger font size Republicans hold off Dems in recalls, win enough seats to keep majority in Senate
CLAY BARBOUR and MARY SPICUZZA | Wisconsin State Journal madison.com | Loading… | Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 9:00 am

STEVE APPS – State Journal
Democratic supporters Yvonne Ziegler, of DeForest, and Lynn Nicklas and Norma Furger, both of Lodi, react to news of Republican gains in Tuesday's recall elections while watching results on a live network broadcast on the Capitol Square. Democrats gained two seats, not enough to win back control of the state Senate, with a third still undecided.
Any incumbents defeated in Tuesday's recall elections will continue to perform their legislative duties until certificates of election are issued to their successors.

Results will be certified three days after the Government Accountability Board receives the last county canvass in each district. If GAB gets all canvasses in on Thursday, spokesman Reid Magney said, it could certify results next Tuesday.

Winners could take oath of office the next day.
After tens of millions of dollars spent by outside interest groups, dozens of attack ads and exhaustive get-out-the-vote efforts, Democrats on Tuesday fell short of their goal of taking control of the state Senate and stopping the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker.

Republicans won four of six recall races, meaning the party still holds a narrow 17-16 majority in the Senate — at least until next week, when Sens. Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, and Jim Holperin, D-Conover face their own recall elections. A third Democrat, Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, easily survived a recall attempt last month.

Sens. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, successfully defended their seats Tuesday.

Challengers state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, and Jessica King unseated incumbent state Sens. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, and Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac.

Going into Tuesday, Republicans controlled the body 19-14, so Democrats needed to win at least three seats and hold onto two more next week to take over.

"The revolution has not occurred," said UW-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee, a former Democratic lawmaker. "The proletariat did not take over the streets."

Tuesday's recalls were largely seen as a test of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has drawn national attention since unveiling his controversial plan to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public workers. Proof of that was visible on election night as national news organizations broadcast from across the state and political pundits led their newscasts with result updates and discussed their ramifications on the nation's political landscape.

Republican senators were targeted for recall after backing Walker's plan. Democratic senators came under attack for leaving the state to delay a vote on the measure.

However, the focus of the recalls has since expanded, shifting away from the collective bargaining fight toward issues such as taxes and funding for public schools and seniors.

A couple thousand Democratic supporters gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday night, hopeful at first but deflated when it appeared they might fall short of the three victories they needed.

Still, some praised Democrats' modest gains.

"I think the fact that this election is going on right now is a victory in and of itself. We put them on the hot seat," said Randy Bryce, 46, of Caledonia, who came to the Capitol Tuesday with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. "I would have liked to have seen us run the table on them, but this is okay for now."

Several media reported Darling was waiting for Pasch to make a concession speech shortly before midnight, But Darling's victory allows Republicans to continue to control the Legislature and set the agenda.

"I don't think there is much of a moral victory in taking only two," UW-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin said. "This was all about taking command of the Senate."

Tuesday's unofficial results capped the most expensive elections in state history.

Cash flowing into the recalls already has approached $30 million, and total spending by third-party groups and candidates could top $40 million, election watchdogs say. That total would double spending on all 116 of last fall's state legislative races combined.

Outside interest groups have spent millions on both sides, from conservative organizations like Wisconsin Club for Growth, Wisconsin Family Action, and Citizens for a Strong America to pro-union and liberal groups like We Are Wisconsin, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America.

Many view the races as a sign of whether the next Wisconsin politician facing recall will be Walker himself. The governor remained largely absent from any public appearances with the GOP senators targeted for recall.

Tony Spencer, a 36-year-old laid-off carpenter from Shorewood, voted for Darling's challenger, Democratic state Rep. Sandy Pasch.

"I'm in a private union, so they haven't necessarily come after me," Spencer said. "But everybody should have the right to be in a union. I came out to stop all the union-bashing stuff."

But John Gill, 45, of Menomonee Falls, voted for Darling and questioned the opposition's anti-GOP rhetoric, which went far beyond collective bargaining.

"This was all supposed to be about the workers' rights, so to speak. But that has not been brought up one time. It's all been misleading, the attack ads, things like that," Gill said. "The one reason they started this recall, they didn't bring up once."

— State Journal reporter Jeff Glaze and The Associated Press contributed to this report.*****

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #399 on: August 16, 2011, 12:13:52 PM »

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." --Thomas Paine, The American Crises, No. 1, 1776


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