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Tuesday, November 30 2010

Don't miss the excitement that's happening right now down in Cancun!  No, it's not Spring Break time yet, but it's even better: 20,000 environmentalists there to vacation, surf, and soak in the rays...most all at the expense of the American taxpayer!



 

But of course, this isn't frivolous spending.  No, these people are there to protect us all from the incineration of the world through "climate change."  What?  Did you think that Climategate and the subsequent disproving of all these global warming hysterics would prevent them from holding their annual tropical getaway?  Surely you jest. 

 

(By the way, if the earth is warming...and that's such a bad thing...why do the people who are supposedly warning us about it travel to a tropical climate in the middle of winter to do so?)

 

Anyway, here are some of the great solutions that are going to come out of this year's boondoggle:

 

Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world

Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.

...

 

In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.

 

This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ?carbon intensive' goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.


 

Yes, that makes sense, doesn't it?  Halt economic growth...but no drastic changes in lifestyle.  These neo-Marxists are a total joke.  But this joke isn't funny.  Why?  As Tom Blumer explains:

 

This would be really funny if it weren't for the fact that so many supposedly informed people, including our president and those who surround him, may actually buy into ideas being proposed at the United Nations-sponsored Cancun climate conference, and will relish the means by which they could be put into place.

 

We continue getting a close-up view of what life would be like if the conservatives left the picture and let liberals run the show.  Scary.  Completely frightening.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 30 2010

On Sunday's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," the hopelessly left-wing host devoted her program to four liberal Democratic billionaires who spent their time telling us why "the rich" should have their taxes raised.

 

Amanpour teased:

 

"Warren Buffett has been practically begging the country, begging Congress to tax him more. In fact, many of the richest Americans like Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and Ted Turner say that they should pay higher tax."

 

This is such nonsense.  Absolutely nothing is stopping these "richest Americans" from donating as much as they want to the American government.  But they don't.  When they seek to be philanthropic, they set up their own foundations or donate to private groups. 

 

Did Christiane bother to ask them why?  Did she bother to ask why, if they think "the rich" should be paying much more to the government - so much so that they are "practically begging" the government to take it - they aren't forking over billions to Congress to spend?

 

Of course not.  That doesn't fit the template.

 

The truth is that these men are rich enough to protect their assets and monies from any new taxes slapped on "the wealthy."  They are not the ones who will be hurt by the government soaking the rich.  But again, Amanpour had no desire to pursue that angle.

 

Christiane Amanpour continues to demonstrate she is no journalist.  She is a left-wing commentator who is using the cloak of reporting to push her Euro-socialist viewpoints.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 30 2010

Remember the 2008 presidential campaign?  How about the 2004 presidential campaign?  In both, the respective Democrat candidates Barack Obama and John Kerry, hammered George W. Bush for wrecking our relations with the world.

 

If only we could have a Democratic administration in power, we could get about the business of restoring our image as a nation in the eyes of the world.  Well, we got not only a Democratic administration, but we got "The One." 

 

So how's that "restoring our image" thing working out?  Courtesy of another Wikileaks document dump, you be the judge.

 

 

From the German publication Der Spiegel:

 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US President Barack Obama: Never before in history has a superpower lost control of such vast amounts of such sensitive information.

 

251,000 State Department documents, many of them secret embassy reports from around the world, show how the US seeks to safeguard its influence around the world. It is nothing short of a political meltdown for US foreign policy.

 

The truth is that very little that is coming out in the documents is all that surprising.  But nonetheless, it is a huge embarrassment for the United States diplomatic contingent worldwide...and for the Democrats whose "more respected" motto has now officially blown up in their faces.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 29 2010

Hot on the heels of Peter's recent comments on Dennis Prager's article about misery and the left come another glimpse into the mind of a liberal. This is taken from the Parade newspaper insert of 11/28/2010. Tina Fey responds to a reader's question about why she always seems shocked when she wins an award.

 

"The beauty of self-doubt is that you vacillate between extreme egomania and feeling like ?I'm a fraud,'" jokes the 30 Rock and Megamind star, 40. "You just try to ride the egomania and then slide through the imposter syndrome. I've realized that almost everyone is a fraud, so I don't feel that bad about it."

 

Though brief, her response speaks volume about the liberal entertainer mindset.


Instead of recognizing faults, failures, shortcomings, and sins, the tendency is to trivialize and pass them off as Ms. Fey does here. Instead of seeking ways for positive improvement, it becomes fashionable to declare "almost everyone" as a fraud, too, and then decide that "I'm not really so bad after all."

 

Small wonder that the tendency of the left is to despise the Christian faith. Acknowledging the revelation of God places us in the uncomfortable position of recognizing that we really are as bad as we are afraid we are. But He also offers us the solution through belief in the sacrifice of Christ.

 

Residents of the land of left-believe, though, tend to reduce almost everyone, as does Ms. Fey, to that of a fraud. So anyone who claims to overcome sin with God's grace is viewed as unauthentic and fraudulent. With this worldview, liberals decide that they then have license to mock, ridicule, and diminish those who practice Christian piety.

 

No, none of us are perfect in the light of God's standard, but that does not mean that we are left without hope. The left, unfortunately, keep failing to get that memo. No wonder they need so much therapy.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 29 2010

Since Thanksgiving passed by without me getting a submission into Liberty Tree, I was going to let my annual comments about the Pilgrims' success slide. (BTW, I hope everyone enjoyed a good Thanksgiving; we did). While catching up on my newspapers that accumulated while away, I read the published transcript of President Obama's proclamation of November 25th, 2010, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.

 

I give our president credit for encouraging us to "lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation."

 

What changed my mind about a late submission concerning the Pilgrims, however, is that the president begins his proclamation with the normal implication that their success was dependent upon the Native Americans present in their area. To be sure, those Native Americans provided significant assistance to the new arrivals. However, missing from the account are two critical realities.



 

The primary source of the Pilgrims' successful survival was their reliance upon God. Regardless of their circumstance, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God. In his journal, William Bradford writes, "What could now sustain them but the spirit of God and His grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice and looked on their adversity, etc. Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good and his mercies endure forever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord show how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderful works before the sons of men." 

 

The second source of their successful survival was the colony leaders' change of course from a communal economy to a market economy of private ownership. Destitute and on the brink of starvation even after receiving assistance from the natives, colony leaders identified the source of their problem as a particularly vile form of what Bradford called "communism." Michael Franc, vice president of Government Relations at The Heritage Foundation, writes about the fruitful results of the Pilgrim's shift in 1623 from a failed, socialist agricultural system to a free-market system of private ownership of property. This is the story of the Pilgrims that, for whatever reason, fails to make it into our curriculum. Had they not shed the system of "taking away property and bringing [it] into a commonwealth," we would not have a legacy of the Pilgrims to tell. Concerning the market economy that the Pilgrims implemented, Bradford reported, "This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious... much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." The famine of 1623 gave way to abundance.

 

America has been blessed with much abundance over the years. This is truly a reality worthy of our most humble thanks-giving.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 12:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 29 2010

When I predicted that Barack Obama would not alter course following the outcome of the 2010 elections, I wasn't lamenting that fact.  In fact, I have consistently hypothesized that Mr. Obama digging in his heals and remaining the fierce partisan that he is for liberal progressivism, might end up saving the country.

 

By that I don't mean that liberal progressivism is good for the country.  Far from it.  But Barack Obama's dogged devotion to it is highlighting in front of the entire country the difference between conservatism and progressivism.  That is what was on the ballot in 2010 (unlike 2008).  In every previous election, the voters were struggling to distinguish any difference between the two.  Now they see it.  And they are saying that unequivocally, they are on the side of conservatism.



 

It appears that if the left is hearing them, they are choosing to ignore them.  We may be witnessing the "Pickett's Charge" for the left.  Two more years of go-for-broke gambles on European style socialism.  Why do I say so?  Check out Tom Friedman:

 

We need to raise gasoline and carbon taxes to discourage their use and drive the creation of a new clean energy industry, while we cut payroll and corporate taxes to encourage employment and domestic investment. We need to cut Medicare and Social Security entitlements at the same time as we make new investments in infrastructure, schools and government-financed research programs that will spawn the next Google and Intel.

A man who envies China is telling us that Americans WANT to give more of their money to the government.  This is the left's position.  Friedman calls the Tea Party's vision "narrow and uninspired."  He's close.  The Tea Party wants an "uninspired" government's scope to be "narrow."

 

But I say, let these folks keep spreading their message.  Let Obama and his media brains like Friedman keep telling Americans what they want rather than listening to them.  When they do, 2012 will be an even bigger mess for them than 2010.  And I certainly look forward to Friedman, Obama, et al, explaining how Obama's defeat is not really a referendum on Obama's policies.


These people are marching into the abyss.  May they march alone.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 29 2010

No real surprise here from a man who cashed in his conservative card a long time ago: it seems Indiana's fickle Republican Senator Dick Lugar is waffling on the issue of homosexuality in the military.  An initial report from the Washington Blade (a newspaper catering to those practicing homosexuality) stated:

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) told the Blade last week that he isn't concerned about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal language in the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill and wouldn't support an effort to rid the legislation of the provision.

 

Asked whether he would support a substitute amendment or a motion to strike, Lugar replied, "No. I would just leave it as it is."

 

Lugar said he would "presume" that he would vote against any filibuster of the defense bill as a whole, but expressed concern about the legislation being used as a vehicle for other costly programs unrelated to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

 

 

"The defense bill, as it stands, seems to me to be a good piece of legislation, but I think the issue was the additions that were not paid for in various other ways," Lugar said.

 

Often regarded on Capitol Hill as a centrist Republican, Lugar voted in favor of hate crimes protections legislation after twice backing the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said Lugar's comments on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" are "good news."

 

"That is consistent with what we have been hearing from his staff," Sarvis said. "My view is that Sen. Lugar's response is very encouraging."

 

Lugar's support for allowing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal language to stay in the defense bill could be a sign the provision would survive the legislative process once it reaches the Senate floor.

The fact that Lugar can be this tone deaf to the views of his constituents is not surprising, given that he lives in Virginia and has made it his habit to buck conservative values consistently in the recent past.  But how he can be so clueless about the current mood of the entire country is mind-boggling.  In the midst of a powerful conservative resurgence, Senator Lugar is apparently preparing to make a dramatic and evident shift towards progressive humanism.

 

You can contact Lugar by calling his office: 202-224-4814 or email him here.

 

It appears Lugar MAY be hedging on his initial statements as the outrage from his constituents begins to pour in.  Americans for Truth is reporting that Lugar's office is now telling callers that the Senator has made no specific statements regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal.  Don't fall for it.  He doesn't need to make any statements about it.  If he votes for the bill with the repeal in place, he's for the repeal.  Period.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 29 2010

At what point will the media just wave the white flag?  Sarah Palin owns them.

 

Sure, Palin took it on the chin from the media during the presidential campaign in 2008.  But ever since, she's been getting payback.  Undoubtedly, the "lamestream media" saw a perfect opportunity to pounce on their public enemy number one when Palin made a gaffe in a live interview with Glenn Beck last week in which she referenced our "North Korean allies."  Beck corrected her and Palin quickly realized her error.


Yet, not-so-amazingly, that simple misstatement became national news across the networks.  Yes, the stable of left-wingers on MSNBC ran with it (to be expected), but Good Morning America found it newsworthy, as did the Associated Press!  Here's the first AP report:
 

Sarah Palin is drawing criticism from around the world after declaring that the United States has to stand with "our North Korean allies."

 

Palin's gaffe, made Wednesday during an interview on Glenn Beck's syndicated radio show, was quickly corrected by her host. But it drew immediate fire from liberal bloggers, who cited it as an example of the 2008 vice presidential candidate's lack of foreign policy expertise.

 

I said the "first" AP report, because this was such a hard-hitting news item, they made it a story again the next day (in case you missed it the first time):

 

While Palin's fans are loyal and legion, the prospect of her running for president alarms some Republicans. They think Palin is too polarizing and too inexperienced to defeat Obama, even if Republicans in general can maintain the momentum of their powerful performance in this month's midterm elections.

 

Her foreign policy gaffe Wednesday kept the question alive. She declared on Glenn Beck's syndicated radio show that the United States has to stand with "our North Korean allies" in connection with tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

 

But it was Palin who - again - got the last laugh by issuing a masterfully written satire on Barack Obama's recent gaffes.that for some reason, weren't newsworthy.  Behold:

 

My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate - from the FBI's 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel's. And let's face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don't know what the term is in Austrian for that. 

 

This is why I hope Palin stays in the realm of media critic and social commentator.  She owns these people and it drives them nuts! 

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2010

Well, this certainly doesn't help the public perception of your presidency:

 

The woman who told President Barack Obama that she was "exhausted" from defending him and his economic policies and waiting for the change she expected after voting for him has another reason to be put out: She's lost her job.

 

Velma Hart, the chief financial officer for Am Vets, a veteran services organization based in Maryland, said Monday in an interview with CNBC that she was laid off as part of the nonprofit's effort to cut expenses.

 

You'll remember the president responded to her frustration months ago by reciting all the positive things his administration was doing to make sure that franks and beans weren't her new normal.  This news seems to contradict that narrative a bit.

 

For her part, Hart is sounding every-bit the conservative:

 

"I want to focus on the positive and be optimistic," said Hart, who lives in Upper Marlboro, Md. "And assume that somehow things will work out, that there's an opportunity out there with Velma's name on it that's right around the corner."

 

Pray for Velma, and all those suffering during these economic times.  And pray for the president to be willing to swallow his pride and reverse his business-stifling, debt-exploding legislation that is preventing the real job creators and economic engine (the people) from getting us back on track.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2010

It appears the reaction Obama gave to his recent drubbing at the polls has not helped his image.  Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times reports:

President Obama has passed the Big 4-0 - going the wrong way.

 

Turns out voters were not simply satisfied to spank the Democrat and his party in the Nov. 2 midterm elections with historic losses in the House of Representatives.

 

Obama's job approval rating as calculated by the Zogby Poll has now sunk to 39%, a new low for his 22-month presidency that began with so much hope and excitement and poll numbers up around 70. As recently as Sept. 20, his job approval was 49%.

 

A whopping 60% now disapprove of his job, up from 51% disapproval Sept. 20.

Obama now trails in hypothetical 2012 matchups against Republicans Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the next Bush, Jeb.

 

And, oh, my! Lookee here! Obama has even fallen into a statistical tie with none other than Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor. How embarrassing that is because other polls have shown a majority of Americans believe she is unqualified for the presidency. So it appears many have now decided, on second thought, Obama looks that way too.

 

Obama began losing the support of independents in the summer of 2009, as he responded to polls showing voter concerns focused on the economy by staging 59 town hall meetings on healthcare. Independents were a crucial part of his coalition win in 2008 but have now dwindled to 39%.

 

This goes back to what I was saying when it became clear that Obama was not interested in changing course.  He can continue to shove his fingers in his own ears and pretend the American electorate is with him when it's not, but that is not going to transform him into a successful president.

 

His presidency rides on his ability to swallow his pride, admit he misread the results of his own election in pursuing an uber-left path, and change course immediately.  These recent numbers bolster that assessment.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2010

As Congressman Donnelly and soon to be ex-Senator Evan Bayh tightened their ties on Tuesday morning, you have to wonder if they didn't feel just a tinge of apprehension.  And no, I don't mean the kind that accompanies being in the presence of greatness.  I mean the kind that comes when you're preparing to do something shameless.

 

Demonstrating that no situation is too awkward for them when it comes to a photo op, Indiana's dynamic duo of political opportunism, Bayh and Donnelly, actually attended the Barack Obama visit to Kokomo, IN yesterday.

 

Why is this so shameless, you ask?  After all, they are both Democrats.  Donnelly represents a portion of Kokomo, and until January, Bayh is one of the state's two Senators.


 

Let's start with Donnelly.  This is a man who just squeaked out his re-election in a district that he should have won handily.  He did so thanks to a six month campaign of disinformation in which he pretended that his 88% voting record in support of the Obama/Pelosi agenda didn't exist.  His press releases and campaign commercials made him a national laughingstock as he told his constituents, "I don't work for [Obama], I work for you!" 

 

And yet, when that same guy he "doesn't work for" came to town for a public relations event, there was Silent Joe tagging along with a big grin.

 

Incidentally, we've contacted Donnelly's office for an explanation, but as yet have not received a returned phone call.

 

Then comes Bayh.  After endorsing and supporting the candidacy of Barack Obama, Evan Bayh was a faithful foot-soldier for the Obama agenda, including the infamous ObamaCare bill that has crushed American citizens. 

 

 

His betrayal of his conservative constituents in favor of a European-style socialism that Obama has peddled put Bayh on the hot seat for his re-election bid.  So much so, Bayh decided he had better things to do.  Lamenting the very "partisanship" that he had been such an active participant in, Bayh called it quits...too late for his own party to find a suitable replacement.  Consequently, Bayh's political temper tantrum cost Mr. Obama a valuable vote in the Senate. 

 

And yet, when Mr. O comes to the state for a public relations event, there was Indiana's Evan tagging along and trying to poke his head into every camera shot.

 

When Mike Pence or another Republican defeats Evan Bayh for the Indiana governorship in 2012, and when Jackie Walorski defeats Joe Donnelly in his re-election bid the same year, I imagine images of yesterday's event will be visible during the campaigns.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2010

It's Thanksgiving time, and if any people have reason to be thankful, it's Americans.  While our political system is always source of debate, it's impossible to come up with a better place to live, at a better time.  So here's a question to ponder this festive season: why are liberals so unhappy?



 

Dennis Prager tackled that question in his recent column:

 

According to polls ? Pew Research Center, the National Science Foundation ? and studies such as Arthur Brooks's Gross National Happiness, conservative Americans are happier than liberal Americans.

Liberals respond this way: "If we're unhappier, it's because we are more upset than conservatives over the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves."

But common sense and data suggest other explanations.

For one thing, conservatives on the same socioeconomic level as liberals give more charity and volunteer more time than do liberals. And as regards the suffering of non-Americans, for at least half a century conservatives have been far more willing to sacrifice American treasure and American blood (often their own) for other nations' liberty.

Both of these facts refute the liberals-are-more-concerned-about-others explanation for liberal unhappiness.

So if it's not the overarching concern over the plight of the suffering that is causing liberal dismay, what is it?  Prager gives four suggestions, all of which make sense:

1. Perhaps we are posing the question backwards when we ask why liberals are less happy than conservatives. The question implies that liberalism causes unhappiness. And while this is true, it may be equally correct to say that unhappy people are more likely to adopt leftist positions.

Prager gives the example of the difference in black Americans.  Black Americans who are happy are less likely to be attracted to the left.  The left preaches to blacks that society is out to get them.  Those who are content and secure are not going to be attracted to the victim message.

2. The unhappy gravitate toward the Left for a second reason. Life is hard for liberals and life is hard for conservatives. But conservatives assume that life will always be hard. Liberals, on the other hand, have utopian dreams... Utopians will always be less happy than those who know that suffering is inherent to human existence. The utopian compares America to utopia and finds it terribly wanting. The conservative compares America to every other civilization that has ever existed and walks around wondering how he got so lucky as to be born or naturalized an American.



Prager's third point is that if you take two people of exactly the same means and possessions and one of them constantly seeks government assistance while the other prefers to self-sustain, there is no question that the former will be more miserable than the latter.  He writes,

The more a man or woman feels like captain of his or her ship (as poor as that ship may be), the happier he or she will be.

Indeed.  Finally, Prager asserts:

A fourth explanation for greater unhappiness among liberals is that the more people allow feelings to govern them, the less happy they will be. And the further left one goes, the more importance one attaches to feelings.

Anyone doubting Prager on this point need only look at the sissifying of America's youth to understand.

 

All this only increases how sorry I feel for those who lock themselves into the entitlement and victim thinking of the left.  Why one would ever desire to surrender his independence and autonomy is beyond me.  It shackles the mind, the heart...and apparently (and not surprisingly) the happiness as well.

 

It makes me realize once again how thankful I am to be a conservative!

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, November 23 2010

A few years back, I worked a couple of seasons as a paid tax preparer. As a result of being on the IRS roles with a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number), I recently received a letter detailing the "new rules for federal tax return preparers."

 

One of the first rules is that ALL paid tax preparers must obtain a new PTIN through the IRS "new, online system." Along with the new PTIN comes a new fee: $64.25. And, this is now an "annual user fee." Previously, there was no fee to obtain a PTIN. In fact, it was not even mandatory to obtain a PTIN, but it made good sense to obtain and use one instead of a personal social security number on prepared returns.



 

Other new rules are on the way as well. Beginning 2011, tax return preparers will be required to file returns electronically. Preparers must pass a competency test to become a registered tax preparer. Preparers are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours annual continuing education: 3 hours of federal law updates, 2 hours of ethics, and 10 hours of "other federal tax law."

 

While the IRS is making this sound like this is a wonderful service for taxpayers by ensuring that preparers are qualified to do the job, most of these changes are not all that new. The firm I worked for required training and demonstration of competency already.

 

What these new requirements do mean for the taxpayer is that the cost of their tax preparation will increase.

 

Here's a novel idea, IRS: why not simplify the tax code? Because of the complexity of our tax code, tax preparers at all skill and experience levels make "best guess" applications of the laws on returns. Seriously. Take the time to read through the most basic tax form instructions, and you will quickly understand that no one can understand the stuff they write. Not tax preparers, not Senators and Representatives, not IRS employees, and not even Douglas Shulman, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service:

 

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman does not file his own taxes in part because he believes the tax code is complex. During an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that aired on Sunday, Shulman said he uses a tax preparer for his own returns.

 

"I've used one for years. I find it convenient. I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer," Shulman said.

 

While the irony is unavoidable, Shulman does make the valid point that tax laws are written by Congress, not by the IRS.

 

Americans are demonstrating that we are fed up with the heavy-handed nonsense of our own government. Perhaps tax law simplification will become one of those issues that will be taken seriously. Until then, though, expect the IRS to rake in more of your hard-earned cash just so that you can comply as best you can with the laws we have. Who wouldn't want a scam like that?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 01:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 23 2010

After the voters in Oklahoma approved a ballot measure by an overwhelming 70-30 majority that forbid the use of foreign or Sharia (Islamic) law in judicial proceedings, a man named Muneer Awad filed a lawsuit.  Complaining that the law would constitute an official "disapproval" of his religion, a Clinton-appointed judge ruled in his favor.

 

Now, the first obvious point to make is that the only way this Oklahoma statue would render Islam "disapproved" is if that religion requires it to be used in court proceedings.  And that's the interesting part.  It does!



 

Conservatives like myself have been shouting from the rooftops that Islam is not a religion like all the others.  It is simultaneously a religion AND a political system.  That is the danger of Islam - it uses First Amendment protection of freedom of religion to advance a political agenda that is treasonous towards the Constitution.

 

Which is why this case needs to be drawn out in the press.  Awad - a proponent of Sharia Islam, no doubt - continues telling Americans that they have nothing to fear from the spread of Islam.  He and his cohorts in the Council on American Islamic Relations continue to tell us that Islam is no threat to our Constitutional order and system.  They cry xenophobia, nativism, and bigotry when conservatives warn against the spread of Sharia.

 

And yet this very case proves that the spread of Sharia is exactly what even the supposedly "moderate" Muslim voices like Awad's are wanting.

 

Hans von Spakovsky writes:

 

If Mr. Awad wants to live his life by his perceptions of Sharia law, he is entitled to do so, to the extent that it is consistent with federal and state law. But no one has a First Amendment right to require U.S. courts to rule according to foreign laws, including those that implement religious views. (For an example of where such a requirement might lead, read this Cully Stimson post about a New Jersey trial judge excusing a husband's criminal conduct "because under Sharia law, [a] Muslim husband had a ?right' to rape his wife.")

 

Our society and legal system are flexible. We make reasonable accommodations for various religions. Throughout American history, religious principles have served as a basis for decisions in many different contexts, and our precedents and traditions recognize this. But neither Jews nor Christians are allowed to force their religious laws and views into our state court systems as a substitute for the laws passed by our elected representatives.

 

As we watch what is unfolding in Europe, we would be wise to learn the lessons emerging in front of our faces in Oklahoma.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 23 2010

There's no question that Newt's not at the top of my list for presidential candidates in 2012.  But I am glad to see him espousing what I've been calling for through two presidential election cycles now: the return of real debates. 

 

In an exchange with C-SPAN's Steve Scully, Gingrich basically echoed my call to return to Lincoln/Douglas style debates where the candidates ran the show, and not the media:

 

NEWT GINGRICH: I think that the candidates and the Party ought to organize the debates not the news media. I think that the unending tendency of the news media is to play gotcha games, and I think that we'd be much better off to have a more serious and a more substantive style of talking with each other about what we'd do to help America rather than the sort of, "You now have 30 seconds to describe your policy on Pakistan," which is an absurd way to try to run the country.

 

STEVEN SCULLY, HOST: Can you do that?

 

GINGRICH: Of course you could.

Scully's reaction is what blows my mind.  "Can you do that?"  What kind of a question is that?  There seems to be some unwritten rule that the media coordinates presidential campaigns rather than reports on them.

 

If we were serious about electing qualified and competent leaders, we would have candidates tour the country together (yes, Republican and Democrat)...put them in the same bus (this might actually foster a return to civility if they were forced to coexist)...stand them in front of large audiences and take questions about their actual positions...give them plenty of time to answer those questions and to challenge their opponent.

 

And we would tell the media, "Sorry if this doesn't fit into your hour long block before your sitcom line-up.  You can cover what you want and not cover the rest.  You can have cameras there and anchors hosting the coverage.  But you are observers just like everyone else."

 

Newt seemed on board with some of this actually:

SCULLY: Would you do it without a moderator or just among the candidates?

 

GINGRICH: I think you can do it with a timekeeper. Reagan and, I mean not Reagan. Lincoln and Douglas debated seven times for three hours and they had a timekeeper. That's all they had.

 

 

And I, I, I'd feel very comfortable, you know, I'm not saying, if we got to that point, and I was a candidate and they were candidates, people like Mitch Daniels, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Gov. Romney, I'd feel very comfortable having an agreement to behave like adults, and observe the time, and just, and figure out what the topics ought to be, and actually have a dialogue not a debate. How are we going to solve our country's problems, and how are we going to move ahead? And I'd be glad to do it at the Reagan Library, but without the kind of Mickey Mouse, you know, questions asked by hostile news media.

He's not my choice for president, but I'd put him in charge of formatting the debates in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 23 2010

It appears that George H.W. and Barbara Bush, the epitome of establishment Republicans, have little use for the Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin.

 

In a comment that was surprising only because the Bush's have excelled at keeping political jabs at a minimum, Barbara (a so-called "pro-choice" woman) let her slip show on regarding Sarah Palin (a pro-life woman):

 

"I sat next to her once," Mrs. Bush told King about Palin. "Thought she was beautiful - and I think she's very happy in Alaska - and I hope she'll stay there."



Well with opinions like that, Barbara, I'm sure Sarah would prefer you stay in Texas.  The difference is that you don't say those things publicly unless you have no class.

 

For his part, George seemed perplexed about the Tea Party movement:

 

Former President George H.W. Bush also said he is "confused" by the tea party, adding that he doesn't "know what it really is."

 

Though he did go on to say he thought some of their ideas made a lot of sense, is it any surprise that a man who departed from major tenets of conservatism is bewildered by the rise of grassroots conservatives?  Is it any wonder that a man who shrunk the Republican party by betraying its base is flabbergasted by a movement that is growing the Republican party by invigorating its base?

 

Not surprisingly, Larry didn't pursue any of these questions.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 22 2010

Ready for the next con game? How about having to pay people to take their medicine? Yes, you read right. Numerous professionals are suggesting that patients who forget and/or refuse to take their prescriptions be paid a monthly sum to do so. The New York Times reports:

One-third to one-half of all patients do not take medication as prescribed, and up to one-quarter never fill prescriptions at all, experts say. Such lapses fuel more than $100 billion dollars in health costs annually because those patients often get sicker.



 

Now, a controversial, and seemingly counterintuitive, effort to tackle the problem is gaining ground: paying people money to take medicine or to comply with prescribed treatment. The idea, which is being embraced by doctors, pharmacy companies, insurers and researchers, is that paying modest financial incentives up front can save much larger costs of hospitalization.

 

"It's better to spend money on medication adherence for patients, rather than having them boomerang in and out of the hospital," said Valerie Fleishman, executive director of the New England Healthcare Institute, a research organization, who said that about one-tenth of hospital admissions and one-quarter of nursing home admissions result from incorrect adherence to medication. "Financial incentives are a critical piece of the solution."

And who do you think ultimately gets to foot the bill for yet another social experiment? Responsible people, of course. Those who pay their bills and take their meds.

 

But it's not enough for you to pay for your own medical needs; there are others out there who are effectively telling us, "Pay me a little now to take my prescriptions, or you'll have to pay Big Medicine a lot more when I have to get treatment." There are already a few scams in place:

In a Philadelphia program people prescribed warfarin, an anti-blood-clot medication, can win $10 or $100 each day they take the drug ? a kind of lottery using a computerized pillbox to record if they took the medicine and whether they won that day.

Other patients are receiving other incentives like $10 a month.

 

Why in the world do any of us want to be responsible anymore when it pays to be irresponsible? America - home of Extortion, Inc.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 02:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 22 2010

I normally do not have any pity on those who seek the limelight of popularity - entertainers, sports figures, politicians, et al - when they begin complaining about the invasion of their privacy. Sorry, folks. You gave that up when you chose to make popularity your selling point for whatever reason. What you sow is what you reap.

 

However, I do feel a bit of sorrow for Prince William and Kate Middleton. Being a part of British society known as royalty and aristocracy, they were born into it rather than choosing to seek it. Still, they benefit from it, so they still bear some responsibility. Nevertheless, I was literally saddened to see the front page lead in a local paper direct readers to their entertainment section to read about the wedding plans of the royal couple.



 

Entertainment? Really? Is that what this is? The serious decision of a couple to form their family through holy matrimony in the solemn ceremony of their church before God and witnesses is another mere form of entertainment?

 

I know that this is not a new phenomenon, but I find it a sad commentary about our culture nevertheless. I do feel sorrow for Prince William and Miss Middleton to have to endure the voyeurism imposed upon them in the name of entertainment during their most sacred moments.

 

I hope that in spite of this intrusion, they find the time to reflect upon the holy nature of their commitment, and that they commit to honor God throughout their marriage. For what it's worth, I wish them a long and successful marriage.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 22 2010

Green is the new Red.  Many conservatives have used this phrase when referencing what they see as the ultimate objective of the environmentalist movement.  Green activists scoff at such comparisons and demand to know what evidence conservatives can produce for the idea that the environmentalist movement is nothing but renamed Marxism.

 

Well, how about this interview with the leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the driving force behind the global warming movement) for starters.



 

After being asked by online German publication NZZ Online Sunday what type of development the world's nations would experience if climate change legislation were universally adopted (the goal of the environmental left), UN IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer responded:

 

First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

 

I think that's about as much justification for the "green is the new red" mantra that anyone could ask for.  The global cooling/global warming/climate change/climate disruption movement is, in the final analysis, nothing more than an economic scheme intended to turn rich nations into poor ones by redistributing their wealth.

 

Case closed.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 22 2010

I've said multiple times on my radio program that I have a great deal of appreciation for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  And certainly anyone who reads my work or listens to it knows as much.  But I've also said that she would not be one of my top choices for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

 

Topping that list would be names like Mike Pence and Bobby Jindal.



 

But consistently praising Palin's contributions to American politics while still expressing a hesitancy about seeing her win the Republican nomination has provoked the logical question of why.  It's a good question, and there are multiple reasons.

 

Mona Charen's recent piece at National Review tackles what she sees as some of the reasons Sarah Palin should not run for the White House in 2012.  I find myself in agreement with some of these points, less agreement with others:

 

The Republican nominee should be someone with a vast and impressive record in government and the private sector. Voters chose a novice with plenty of star power in 2008 and will be inclined to swing strongly in the other direction in 2012. Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity ? not sizzle and flash.

 

I think Ms. Charen has a fair point here.  Palin will not be the candidate that exudes sober competence in the election.  Charen may overestimate the somber mood of the electorate in 2012 however.  An energetic and boisterous conservative would have faired well in 2010, so it remains to be seen what transpires over the next two years.

 

There is no denying that Sarah Palin has been harshly, sometimes even brutally, treated by the press and the entertainment gaggle. But any prominent Republican must expect and be able to transcend that. Palin compares herself to Reagan. But Reagan didn't mud-wrestle with the press. Palin seems consumed and obsessed by it, as her rapid Twitter finger attests, and thus she encourages the sniping. She should be presiding over meetings on oil and gas leases in the North Slope, or devising alternatives to Obamacare. Every public spat with Dave Letterman or Politico, or the "lamestream media," or (God help us) Levi Johnston, diminishes her.

 

Again, a fair point.  It would be wise of Palin to spend the next two years tackling the stupidity of our national policy under Obama to a greater degree than tackling the stupidity of the press.  She's won the latter battle.  Whether she can win the former is what will seal her fate.

 

Speaking of television, have you watched "Dancing with the Stars"? Calling the show cheesy would be too generous. Perhaps the former governor should not be blamed for the decisions of her adult daughter. Yet there in the audience we see Sarah and Todd Palin, mugging for the camera and cheering on their unwed-mother daughter as she bumps and grinds to the tune of "Mamma Told Me Not To Come." Her parents had advised her, the 20-year-old Bristol told an interviewer, that she had to stay "in character" if she expected to win. Being "in character" evidently meant descending to the vulgarity that DWTS peddles on a weekly basis. The mama grizzly was apparently unfazed by, or ? equally disturbingly ? unaware of, the indignity. And she is supposed to be a conservative culture warrior?

 

On this point I find myself agreeing with Ms. Charen.  Kids of politicians may be (and should be) off limits for criticism.  But when the politician encourages or embraces poor decisions of their children, it becomes a different story.  Palin's detractors lament how well Bristol has done in the voting on this show.  But an early exit for Bristol might have actually been the best thing to happen to Sarah's presidential hopes.

 

Charen closes with this assessment:

 

Palin has many strengths. I admire her fortitude and her principles. Her ability to connect with a crowd is something most politicians can only dream of. I will always remember her 2008 convention speech as a rollicking star turn. She would be terrific as a talk-show host ? the new Oprah.

 

I don't think Sarah Palin has her eyes on day time television right now.  But oh what a drastic improvement it would be to go from Oprah to Sarah. 

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:40 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Monday, November 22 2010

It's a fun thought experiment to play.  Suppose for a day, you could write the words for Obama's TelePrompter.  Anything you want it to say, you can make it say.  And obviously, incapable of departing from the script, Obama would say it in front of a national and international audience.

 

What would you type?



 

Steer clear of anything that would be embarrassing to the man personally, steer clear of any personal vindictiveness you may harbor towards him, and search your feelings.  What do you, even subconsciously, desperately want to hear from your president?

 

Columnist Jedidiah Bila gives some of her top choices:

 

1.    It's not Bush's fault. I've been your President for almost two years. If you want to be angry at someone, I'm your man. 

 

2.    I was wrong. I took your money, billions of dollars of it. And you don't have the jobs to show for it. Nothing was shovel-ready, and unemployment is well over 8%. My approach didn't work, and I'm changing course to make things right.

3.    They're not isolated extremists or man-caused disasters. They're violent, lethal terrorists who want to kill Americans and destroy everything we stand for. When it comes to defeating terrorism, all options are on the table.

4.    America is exceptional in a way that no other country is. We have proudly been the leader in protecting liberty around the world, and I'm honored to be Commander-in-Chief of this "one nation under God."

The rest of the list is worth a read.  As is the exercise.  Even if it won't happen (at least for another two years), it's nice to dream.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 19 2010

Ann Coulter is called a firebrand.  The more I read her writing, I'm coming to realize that label is primarily (though not totally) because speaking common sense is now considered "radical."

 

Consider the current realities involving airport security.  Is there anything more radical than doing full cavity searches of 80 year old Catholic nuns?  Yet that is seen as the appropriate, measured response to terror problems by our current leadership.



 

Coulter meanwhile is articulating a different tack:

You have to search for the terrorists. Fortunately, that's the one advantage we have in this war. In a lucky stroke, all the terrorists are swarthy, foreign-born, Muslim males. (Think: "Guys Madonna would date.")  This would give us a major leg up - if only the country weren't insane.

Is there any question that we'd be looking for Swedes if the 9/11 terrorists, the shoe bomber, the diaper bomber and the printer cartridge bomber had all been Swedish? If the Irish Republican Army were bombing our planes, wouldn't we be looking for people with Irish surnames and an Irish appearance?  Only because the terrorists are Muslims do we pretend not to notice who keeps trying to blow up our planes.

Everywhere else in the world, this would be known as common sense.  But here in America, under its current leadership anyway, that is somehow a radical, offensive, socially repulsive idea.

 

In my book, what is currently going on in airports is about as offensive and socially repulsive as it gets.  As Coulter calls it:

 

"Please have your genitalia out and ready to be fondled when you approach the security checkpoint."

 

We need a common sense revolution in the worst way, and Ann Coulter is at the forefront of advocating it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 19 2010

It wasn't this acknowledgement that was surprising to anyone:

 

Sarah Palin says she is seriously considering a run for the White House, and she believes she could beat President Obama in 2012, the former Alaska governor told ABC News' Barbara Walters.

 

"I'm looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing," Palin said in an interview scheduled to air in full Dec. 9 on ABC as part of Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People" of 2010.

 

Asked Walters: "If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?"

 

"I believe so," Palin said.


 

Most anyone who has been conscious the last 2 years could have predicted as much.  But what might have surprised some would have been this revelation uncovered by ABC:

 

"The reality is that Palin's direction is determined almost entirely by her instincts -- or, as [Palin's friend and former White House aide to Presidents Nixon and Ford] Fred Malek puts it, 'There is no über-strategy.' She did not game out a path forward when agreeing to two book deals with HarperCollins and then signing on with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Fox and then her television series.

 

"That same mind-set explains the lack of cohesion to Palin's virtual organization. As [SarahPAC treasurer Tim] Crawford, Van Flein, Davis and Mansour concur, the inhabitants of Palin World have loosely defined duties and thus invariably play outside their lanes."

 

Draper went on to write "there is no chief of staff - though 'there's been discussion,' Van Flein says, 'because the logistics are overwhelming and the demand is phenomenal.' Nor, since [Communications Director Meghan] Stapleton departed in February, does Palin have a press person - with the result that up to eight or nine of her functionaries will find themselves fielding (and usually pocket-vetoing) media requests at any one time.

 

"Just as Palin heavily edits or at times completely writes most of her own speeches and insists on reviewing any statement issued by SarahPAC, she also must approve all media contact by her subordinates, Van Flein told me."

 

What this means is that all the Palin decisions that were questioned by the experts, but have proven to be ingenious, came not from some Karl Rove/James Carville/David Axelrod mastermind.  They came from Sarah Palin's own personal instincts.  

 

It's apparent that she's not the political idiot the left desperately wants her to be.  Their continued perpetuation of that belief amongst their own ranks may prove the underestimation she needs to accomplish defeating their chosen one.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 19 2010

It wasn't that long ago that the media was aghast at the potential of right-wing violence.  The media had concluded that their losses in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections had prompted the Tea Parties...and led to the possibility of an outbreak of violence.

 

Literally hundreds of reports were filed, each without even a shred of tangible evidence to support the idea that the right was on the verge of political violence.

 

Yet consider what is now occurring:

 

Cliff Kinkaid, editor of Accuracy in Media, penned a column this week that warns of a leftward move towards violence in the wake of the Tea Party-Republican victories in the Congressional elections. His focus was nationally syndicated cartoonist Ted Rall who said on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show that a "revolt" is necessary. He claimed that peaceful avenues for change had been fruitless and embraced violence as a last resort. Rall was promoting his new book "The Anti-American Manifesto."


 

Have you seen any major media outlets covering this development, or the possibility of a leftist outbreak of violence?  Of course not.  Despite the possibility that:

 

A popular counter-revolution will, however, push many on the Left into the streets and some into underground terrorist cells as their leaders give up on ever winning the middle class - the hated "petty bourgeoisie" as (another radical leftist, Bob) Avakian called them, to their crusade for national suicide on behalf of world liberation.

 

...the media remains silent about the potential.  And amazingly, Janet Napolitano hasn't taken to the airwaves to warn us about the danger in left-wing radical groups.  Huh.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 19 2010

When Sarah Palin spoke at the Republican National Convention back in 2008, she warned us that a coming Obama administration would be more concerned with reading terrorists their rights than protecting the homeland.

 

She was labeled a nut.  Was she?  Consider where we are now:

 

The first Guantanamo detainee to face a civilian trial was acquitted Wednesday of most charges he helped unleash death and destruction on two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 ? an opening salvo in al-Qaida's campaign to kill Americans, according to the Associated Press. The stunning verdict is a huge blow to the Obama administration's push for putting terrorists on trial in civilian courts.

As it turns out, Palin was exactly right.  The obsession this administration has with political correctness is crippling our ability to prosecute the war...and endangering Americans in the process.

 

Remember Obama guaranteeing that those terrorists who would be tried in civilian courts would be found guilty?  Out of 285 counts of conspiracy and terrorism-related charges, this terrorist was found guilty on one of them.  One 1 out of 285.that's the success rate of Obama's mad scheme of prosecuting "combatants."



 

The report went on:

 

The trial at a lower Manhattan courthouse had been viewed as a possible test case for President Barack Obama administration's aim of putting other terror detainees ? including self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ? on trial on U.S. soil.

Ghailani's prosecution also demonstrated some of the constitutional challenges the government would face if that happens. On the eve of his trial last month, the judge barred the government from calling a key witness because the witness had been identified while Ghailani was being held at a secret CIA camp where harsh interrogation techniques were used.

 

I've been saying it for over a year now: you and your family are not safe under the leadership of this administration.  The evidence to prove as much continues mounting.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 19 2010

Here they go again. Is there no end to the mischief those Christians cause?

 

After reporting about their seasonal activities with the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child ministry, I was subjected to another example of how they just want to stir up trouble.



 

In an article for Athlon Sports, Anna McKie Jones captures the activities of one of these troublesome Christians:

 

Deep among the hills of the Dominican Republic are a people so poor, so disregarded, they all but don't exist. Of Haitian origin, they were enticed by offers of good jobs but instead were brought in to work the sugar fields and left to fend for themselves in slums known as bateyes.  Men spend long days in the fields, looking for work, or in bars. Women, many just teenagers with little to no education, have multiple children, fathered by workers passing through. Homes are metal lean-tos. No running water. Decrepit mattresses serve as beds for entire families. Farm animals wander about. Food and clothing are scarce. Medical care is minimal at best.

 

When the then-fledgling Pujols Family Foundation quietly brought a handful of dentists from St. Louis, Mo., in early 2007 to hold a much-needed clinic, the dental lights, tools and sounds frightened a number of children. So as the children waited their turn in the makeshift clinic, there was Albert Pujols, the Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals' All-Star slugger, down on one knee, his thick arms wiping away the tears and quietly comforting the children.

 

While atheists are raising money in these troubling times to buy billboard ads telling us how much better off the world would be without Christianity, those radical Christians use their resources to make a difference in people's lives. Amazing contrast, isn't it?

 

Baseball great Albert Pujols makes it clear on his Pujols Family Foundation website what it is that motivates him:

 

My life's goal is to bring glory to Jesus. My life is not mostly dedicated to the Lord, it is 100% committed to Jesus Christ and His will. God has given me the ability to succeed in the game of baseball. But baseball is not the end; baseball is the means by which my wife, Dee Dee, and I glorify God. Baseball is simply my platform to elevate Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I would also rather be known as a great husband and father than an All-Star baseball player. Perhaps one day I could be honored with an invitation into Baseball's Hall of Fame. That would certainly be a boyhood dream of mine come true, but it is a far greater honor that one day I will be in heaven with God to enjoy Him forever.

 

Included on this website is the invitation for readers to make their personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

 

Ms. Jones concludes her article with this declaration from Mr. Pujols: "Until He tells me, ?That's enough now, son, I want you with me.' That's when I'm going to be done with this."

 

Bringing medical care to Dominican Republic slums, holding children frightened by the lights and sounds of a makeshift dental clinic, helping Downs Syndrome children and adults. Makes for some frightening Christian mischief, doesn't it?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

The White House has made it official:

 

On Tuesday, November 23rd, President Obama and Vice President Biden will travel to Kokomo, Indiana, as part of their White House to Main Street tour. 


 

I'm thrilled to see that Mr. Obama has accepted my invitation to come and visit the city from which we broadcast.  Unfortunately he seems to have misunderstood my request for him to "bring Joe with him."  I meant Donnelly, not Biden.

 

Oh well...perhaps I'll have better luck having a conversation with Mr. Biden than I have had with Mr. Donnelly.

 

Although this does beg a serious question: will Joe Donnelly have the nerve to show up at this event?  After all, he does represent a portion of Kokomo.  And he does pretend to be a good friend of the auto workers (by that, of course, I mean that he does the bidding of union bosses even when that isn't good for the workers in the long run).

 

But Donnelly just got done with six months of parading around his district campaigning against Barack Obama.  Will he really slap his constituents in the face by showing up arm in arm with the man now?  We shall see.  If so, Joe is about as shameless as they come.

 

The White House announcement went on:

 

In recent years, Kokomo has been hard-hit by devastating plant closing and layoffs, but with the help of the Recovery Act and the Administration's auto restructuring plan, Kokomo is on the rebound today and unemployment has dropped by nearly 8 percentage points since mid-2009. 


 

So there you go.  Barack Obama is coming to a town that he claims to have "saved."  So here's my challenge to Mr. Obama:

Sir, you want the world to see the love and adoration you have inspired in a city you brought back from the brink.  Okay, then do it fairly.  Don't give disproportionate amounts of tickets to the UAW and the local Democratic Party.  Open this up to a real sampling of the city of Kokomo and surrounding areas.  Let the country see how much you and your policies are appreciated here.

 

If it's true this is a city you and your crew are responsible for "saving," you should have no hesitations about doing so.

But that won't happen.  This will be a photo-op stop for Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden.  They will be surrounded by those who will cheer them and further engender the arrogant attitude this administration already carries: that we miserable peons need them, our betters, to save us from ourselves and our own stupidity.  It's sad how many will cheer and applaud this anti-American philosophy.

 

I'd be happy to open up the radio studio to Mr. Obama after his speech to talk about it if he's interested.  That is, unless Mr. Donnelly calls.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

What would move a person to shoot their TV? Not working right? Poor programming?

 

According to Mr. Steve Cowan, it's all about politics:

 

It started with a reality TV show and turned into a police standoff that lasted more than 14 hours, and it is making national headlines.

 

ABC News, New York Post and TMZ are just a few news websites covering Cowan's story.

 

Police say Cowan was watching Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, on "Dancing with the Stars" Monday night.

 

Upset that a political figure's daughter was on the show when he did not think she was a good dancer, he shot at the TV.


 

Whenever decent people complain about coarse vulgarity and rudeness on TV, what is the typical liberal's response? "Turn the channel!" "That's what the on-off switch is for!"

 

In other words, when decent folks don't like what's on, tough luck. Your voice is not important enough to merit consideration.

 

Surely Mr. Cowan has a remote. Wouldn't the liberal's solution have worked out a little better?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

Though he had slipped from the public radar following a not-so-strong rebuttal to Obama's first State of the Union Address, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is once again being noticed for strong leadership after the gulf oil spill.

 

In a recent piece carried on National Review, Governor Jindal speaks a language that has been sorely missing from American politicians in recent years: the benefits of Christian principle:

 

In my family, our need to care for others ? not just our family but strangers, too ? springs from our Christian beliefs. The greatest commandment, which envelops so many others, is the voluntary obligation to love your neighbor as yourself. Government coercion is a poor and dangerous substitute for that appeal to our better angels. As Winston Churchill said just over 100 years ago, the good Lord taught us to believe "all mine is yours," not "all yours is mine." Christian charity is about giving, not taking.

Jindal goes on to highlight one of Christianity's foremost lessons to humanity...the need for personal responsibility:

 

I've also put everyone in the state on notice that all of us, as individuals, must take greater responsibility for preparing for the storms life brings us. All of us must be responsible for meeting the needs of the truly disadvantaged, people with physical or mental limitations. People who can take responsibility for themselves should not expect someone else do so. We will help you when catastrophe comes, but you'd better not sit there and just wait for someone to pull you out when you could climb out, or pick you up when you could stand on your own two feet.

And in terms of the role government is to play, Jindal is specific:

 

Government's role is to serve as an objective referee and make sure companies abide by the rules, compete fairly, and obey the law. We don't want the referee tilting the football game. But when the federal government starts bailing out individual businesses, that's exactly what it does. Of course, if you think there isn't enough backroom dealing and corruption in Washington now, then let's give big-government officials the chance to pass out more cash, loans, and contracts.

When you give Washington not hundreds of billions but trillions of dollars to hand out, you create corruption on steroids. Some will use their power and privilege to enrich themselves. Others will enrich their political allies. Either way, with new trillion-dollar pots of gold to lust after, I'm sure corruption is growing, even now, in Washington.

What refreshingly honest and accurate statements to hear from an American politician.  God only knows what the future holds for Bobby Jindal, but the entire country could undoubtedly benefit from the leadership of such a man.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

As Janet Napolitano's new airport peep show rolls on, the Washington Times has sought to point out the obvious in a piece appropriately called "Obama's Hand in Your Crotch:"

 

The Transportation Security Administration's demeaning new "enhanced pat-down" procedures are a direct result of the Obama administration's willful blindness to the threat from Islamic radicals. While better tools are available to keep air travelers safe, they would involve recognizing the threat for what it is, which is something the White House will never do.

El Al, Israel's national airline, employs a smarter approach. Any airline representing the state of Israel is a natural - some might say preeminent - target for terrorist attacks. Yet El Al has one of the best security records in the world and doesn't resort to wide-scale use of methods that would under other circumstances constitute sexual assault. The Israelis have achieved this track record of safety by employing sophisticated intelligence analysis which allows them to predict which travelers constitute a possible threat and which do not. Resources are then focused on the more probable threats with minimal intrusion on those who are likely not to be terrorists.


Yes, that is saying what you think it's saying.  They profile.  They recognize what passengers fit the look of those who have consistently carried out serious acts of terror and they give them a closer look.

 

Seem awful?  Try watching an 80 year old nun get a once-over from a TSA security official and then get back with me.

 

How nice would it be to have an administration more concerned with protecting the country and its citizens than being politically correct?  We won't know for at least another 2 years.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

We have a new update to our 2010 version of "First They Came," as the left continues its march to consolidate power in government at the cost of individual freedom:

 

Enacting one of the nation's most aggressive environmental measures, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban plastic grocery bags in unincorporated areas of the county.

 

The vote was 3-1, supported by Supervisors Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Zev Yaroslavsky, and opposed by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Supervisor Don Knabe was absent.

 

The ban, which will cover nearly 1.1 million residents countywide, is to the point: "No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag." An exception would be made for plastic bags that are used to hold fruit, vegetables or raw meat in order to prevent contamination with other grocery items.

 

If grocers choose to offer paper bags, they must sell them for 10 cents each, according to the ordinance. The revenue will be retained by the stores to purchase the paper bags and educate customers about the law.


 

Banning plastic bags and taxing paper sacks...liberal utopia.

 

As a quick aside, consider the obvious: the problem of pollution is the direct result of a lack of planetary stewardship (the belief that the earth is not ours, but that we are caretakers of something that belongs to a power that is far greater than we) and personal responsibility. 

 

These two concepts - stewardship and personal responsibility - are stressed in the Judeo-Christian worldview.the very thing the left has sought and is seeking to rip from the public square.  Hmmm.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

In a wide-ranging interview with online publication The Daily Beast, Fox News chief Roger Ailes observed what is causing Obama to have such a failed presidency.



 

It's an amazingly simple analysis, and yet one that the mainstream media seem loathe to even consider (for proof, simply watch the reaction of Howard Kurtz, the author of this piece):

 

"The president has not been very successful," the Fox News chairman says in a lengthy interview. "He just got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea, and he came home and attacked Republicans for it. He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with."

 

The 70-year-old Ailes, dressed in a lavender shirt and tie, goes on in this vein, saying the network isn't singling out Obama for criticism but that its style "tends to be more direct" in challenging presidents. Then he offers this observation about Obama:

 

"He just has a different belief system than most Americans."

 

That seems a rather loaded phrase - different belief system - even if you strongly disagree with most of Obama's policies. It fits the view of those who are trying to paint the president as being outside the mainstream. But from the big second-floor office at Fox's Midtown Manhattan headquarters, it's the rest of the media that are using a distorted lens.

 

Loaded or not, Howard, it's incredibly accurate.  The president came into office riding the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans.  He has been sorely unable to deliver on those dreams.  Why?

 

Partly because of unrealistic expectations, to be sure.  But also because what a majority of Obama-supporting Americans viewed as "hope" was not at all what Obama sees as "hope" for America.  His belief system puts him on an entirely different playing field than the vast majority of Americans.thus, his conclusions and solutions to our problems don't resonate.

 

It's a simple - and remarkably true - assessment.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 17 2010

Right before the 2010 midterm elections, Barack Obama lamented that, "facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day all the time."  In other words, Democrats have facts and science and argument on their side...Republicans only win when people ignore those things and become idiots.

 

Nice bipartisanship, Barry.

 

Anyway, Byron York has done a brief overview of four recent ways the Obama administration has shown his allegiance to science:


 

Offshore oil drilling. Recently, the inspector general of the Interior Department discovered that White House officials altered a report to claim that the administration's six-month moratorium on offshore oil drilling had the approval of the nation's foremost engineering experts.

 

...

 

The "clean-energy economy." President Obama speaks frequently about "accelerating the transition to a clean-energy economy." Neither Obama's promises of breakthroughs in solar, wind and other alternative-energy sources - which can supply only a tiny fraction of the nation's energy needs - nor his claims that his policies will create hundreds of thousands of "green jobs" in a new clean-energy world, are supported by solid economic analysis.

 

...

 

High-speed rail. The administration wants to build high-speed rail links in 13 densely populated areas around the country, at a price tag that could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars... Recently, Newsweek economic columnist Robert Samuelson concluded that the rail lines would not result in "any meaningful reduction in traffic congestion, greenhouse-gas emissions, air travel, or oil consumption and imports. Nada, zip."

 

...

 

back in 1996, while an aide in the Clinton White House, Obama Supreme Court pick Elena Kagan rewrote the opinion of an expert board of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on the subject of partial-birth abortion. The board found that it could "identify no circumstances under which this procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman." But Kagan, eager to aid the White House fight against a partial-birth abortion ban, refashioned the experts' opinion, saying the procedure "may be the best or the most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstances to save the life or preserve the health of a woman." She just made it up.

 

If Mr. Obama wants us to believe that he cherishes the sanctity of science, perhaps he should stop using it as a mere tool to advance his ideological agenda?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 01:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 17 2010

Arnold Ahlert has done an excellent job of highlighting the silliness of the left's freak-out over the alleged "censorship" of a pro-child molesting book.

 

If you haven't heard about the controversy, Ahlert explains it this way:

 

The latest flap involves "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" a self-published e-book by author Philip Greaves, a 47-year-old retired nurse's aide. Internet retailer Amazon had originally made the book available for sale, but has pulled it from the site following public outcry and calls for a nationwide boycott against the company.  Predictably, some Americans call Amazon's decision to pull the book "censorship."


And predictably, many of those Americans are on the left side of the political spectrum.  Why is it that they have no problems censoring the Bible from public schools, but when it comes to porn, homosexuality, child molesting, or any other sexually depraved activity, they have some bizarre obsession with maintaining what they call its "First Amendment rights."

 

We could draw some conclusions there, but it's best for now to stay focused on the issue at hand.  Is this censorship?  Ahlert goes on:

 

Does that move constitute censorship?  It does only if one contends that Amazon, as well as every other book-seller, is obligated to sell every book that is published.  No retail outlet can be held to such an impossible standard, and there is no question that each of them chooses which books to sell based on the simplest business consideration:  Will this product turn a profit or not?  Speech may indeed be free, but no one is constitutionally obligated to print, package, and promote that speech.

 

Exactly.  The author may have a right to write it, but he has no right to have it published by another individual or company.  Business "censorship" is not the same as government censorship.  The author isn't being prosecuted or thrown in jail for writing his sick creed.

 

Amazon has just made a business decision that the potential loss of business coming from their carrying of this work is not worth the potential gain.  In other words, the pro-family types out weigh the sick perverts, and so we're going to cater to the former rather than the latter.

 

Sadly, we may be coming to the day when our cultural numbers actually make it more beneficial to a company to cater to the degenerates, but at least at this point, Amazon doesn't think so.

 

That's what's going on here.  Not censorship.  Common sense.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 17 2010

General Motors is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday following today's pricing of the initial public offering (IPO). The IPO shares have already gotten a price boost from a range of $26-29 per share to $32-33 per share.

 

Not only is "Wall Street" jubilant over the return of GM to the Big Board, so apparently are the Chinese.

 

As General Motors starts to shake off the shackles of government control, the US automaker's new owners appeared set to include foreign investors, among them Chinese state-run firms.

 

GM's landmark initial public offering (IPO) expected Thursday has been backed by a host of large American and international banks, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and two Brazilian banks.

 

 

Yet two banks -- the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China International Capital Corporation (CICC) -- stand out as they signal the first time Chinese government-owned banks take part in a major US IPO, according to IPO tracking firm Dealogic.

 

And according to Chinese state media, GM's partner in China, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp (SAIC), will also buy a one percent stake in the largest US automaker to the tune of 500 million dollars.

 

Other investors from Asia and the Middle East may also participate in the stock offering, which could raise 18.45 billion dollars, making it the second-largest IPO in US history.

 

I drive by some union halls which declare with signs that no "foreign" vehicles are allowed in their parking lots. (I still receive smug satisfaction from parking my Plymouth Voyager with its Mitsubishi engine in their lots). It is well known the animosity of auto union leaders and their rank and file toward "foreign" (particularly Japanese) auto makers.

 

Yet, in order to stay afloat and keep their jobs, they get to potentially enrich Chinese, other Asian, and other foreign investors. Nice deal. But with a nation in so much debt, what other choices are there?

 

Welcome to China Motors.

 

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 17 2010

My wife has started watching Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC.  I can't do it.  Not because I think it's unwise of her or that it wouldn't  be a good show.  After all, I find her and her family entertaining, and she's simply following in Reagan's footsteps of utilizing the medium of television to become a household name and create her own image.

 

Politically it's smart, and from what I hear, it's pretty good television.  So why won't I watch it?  The environmentalist in me just won't allow it.

 

 

I've taken to heart the deeply concerned warnings coming from the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.  I mean, this is pretty serious stuff:

 

John Toppenberg, director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, said scenes in an online trailer for the programme appeared to show the former Republican vice-presidential candidate breaking the rules of Wolverine Creek, a famous spot where bears - and humans - come to fish. "It's clear from the video that she violated the guidelines," he said, calling her actions "a travesty".

 

In a preview of Sarah Palin's Alaska, a part nature documentary, part candid camera of the daily life of one of America's most controversial political families, the former state governor is seen fishing for salmon with husband Todd and family members. She can be seen apparently holding her rod towards brown bears on the river bank, while the party's boat appears to be closer to the bears than guidelines advise. The Alaska department of fish and game says people in a boat must not fish within 30ft of a bear. "It's clearly irresponsible," said Toppenberg. "She is encouraging the violation of important guidelines. Humans can get too close to the bears."

 

Oh sure, you could make the argument this is nothing more than the pathetic liberal establishment attacking Palin for anything she does.  You could make the argument this is about as silly as it gets.

 

But not me.  I take the guidelines seriously, and I will not stand for it.  Just who does this woman think she is? 

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 17 2010

A good test for mental stability and sanity would be to ask someone if they believe the homosexual movement in America is passive or aggressive.  If they answer the former, break out the straight jacket.  Three recent items demonstrate who is the target of their advances most often...kids:

 

On Oct. 20, [Michigan teacher Jay] McDowell told a student in his classroom to remove a Confederate Flag belt buckle. She complied, but it prompted a question from a boy about how the flag differs from the rainbow flag, a symbol of pride for the gay community.

 

"I explained the difference between the flags, and he said, 'I don't accept gays,'" said McDowell, 42, who was wearing a shirt with an anti-gay bullying message.

 

McDowell said he told the student he couldn't say that in class.

 

"And he said, 'Why? I don't accept gays. It's against my religion.' I reiterated that it's not appropriate to say something like that in class," McDowell said Monday.

 

McDowell said he sent the boy out of the room for a one-day class suspension. Another boy asked if he also could leave because he also didn't accept gays.

 

"The classroom discussion was heading in a direction I didn't want it to head," McDowell said.


 

Perhaps it wouldn't have headed that way had Mr. McDowell not decided to make an example of a student in front of the whole class.  McDowell later acknowledges that he saw this as a "teachable moment" and decided to act. 

 

In other words, he was attempting to push the message that traditional morality = bullying.  It was an opportunity for him to proselytize his pseudo-tolerance message in the classroom, even if it meant bullying other students in the name of "anti-bullying."

 

Not to be outdone, the American Library Association has decided to do their part in spreading the normalization of sexual depravity amongst young people:

 

The American Library Association put out a press release this month that read: "ALA adds GLBT youth literature award to prestigious Youth Media Award announcements."

 

...here's the ALA's stated rationale for giving out such an award, according to ALA President Roberta Stevens:  "Children's books regarding the GLBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of diversity.  Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators, and librarians to have access to quality children's books that represent a spectrum of cultures."


 

Reading the background of last year's winner is all you need to do to understand how sick and depraved this writing is.  So the American Library Association will hand out a "prestigious award" to a piece of filth every year hoping that will prompt more kids to read it.  Nice.

 

And finally, consider what just occurred in Massachusetts:

 

A pro-family group is outraged that a high school in Massachusetts allowed an event on campus at which seven teachers spoke about how they "came out" as homosexuals.

 

Brian Camenker, president of MassResistance!, tells OneNewsNow a concerned mother first alerted his group of the panel discussion that took place at Concord-Carlisle High School in late October during which seven teachers shared their "coming out" stories and encouraged the reported standing-only audience to do the same.

 

Why this extraordinary focus on kids?  Mature adults can see through the lies, manipulations and distortions of the sexual anarchy crowd.  Kids and easily drawn in by false messages of "fairness" and "tolerance."  If you can get them young, brainwashing is simple.

 

This is a rabid movement that is seeking a cultural revolution.  Stop it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 17 2010

Let's see what those devious Christians are up to again, shall we? After all, according to those living in the land of left-believe, they are the worst scourge plaguing America's shores. Since they scare the left worse than - oh, shall we say - Islamic terrorists hijacking American commercial aircraft to fly them into American buildings, then we should certainly keep up with their devious agenda.



 

Well, I turned in some Children's Shoe Boxes that my wife packed for Samaritan's Purse. Yes, right now across the fruited plains, devious Christians are feverishly completing the packing and submission of shoeboxes filled with gifts to be distributed literally around the world to children living in often squalid conditions.

 

Yes, this is just one more example of what those devious Christians are up to. Instead of out creating chaos so that liberals have an excuse to howl for more Big Government, Christians are hard at work trying to bring a little light into the dark void left by atheists and others seeking to silence them.

 

Keep a close eye on those Christians, folks. They're devious.

 

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 16 2010

File this under the "Did He Really Just Say That" heading:

 

With the GOP gaining greater say in the Senate and taking over the House, Obama said they'd have to play the game differently over the next two years.

 

"Campaigning is different than governing," Obama told reporters as he flew home from his 10-day Asia trip, suggesting Republicans will walk back some of their more adamant rhetoric in coming days as they take stock of reality.

 

Campaigning is different than governing?  Really, Mr. President?  So when should we expect you to give this "governing" thing a whirl since you have been in non-stop campaign mode since getting elected two years ago?



 

Actually what all this reveals is the hackneyed strategy the president's advisors have set for him: after two years of locking Republicans out of the room and proclaiming it's his way or the highway, now hold that Republicans refusing to go along with your strategy is them not being serious about governing.

 

Here's the $64 million question: when the Republicans send up the repeal of ObamaCare, the permanent tax cuts for all Americans, and other similarly pro-citizen legislation, and Mr. Obama vetoes it...can this same lecture be turned around on him?

 

Does he become the President of "No?"  What a foolish, transparent and trite game plan for the administration.  It's amateur hour in Washington.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 16 2010

Appearing on ABC's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman really stepped in it.

 

Here's his quote:

 

"Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes. It's going to be that we're actually going to take Medicare under control, and we're going to have to get some additional revenue, probably from a VAT. But it's not going to happen now."

Krugman was undoubtedly taking a shot at Sarah Palin with his reference to death panels, but pause to consider what his comment reveals.  In fact, take the very clarification he offered for his remarks:

 

Health care costs will have to be controlled, which will surely require having Medicare and Medicaid decide what they're willing to pay for ? not really death panels, of course, but consideration of medical effectiveness and, at some point, how much we're willing to spend for extreme care.

 

Mmmmkay, let's think this through: government controls healthcare, government decides what conditions will be paid for and what ones will not...elderly patient gets serious condition requiring surgery, government panel decides given the age of the patient it isn't cost productive, government denies funding for treatment, patient dies.  What exactly is a death panel if that's not?

 

The great irony is how often Krugman and others have mocked Palin and conservatives for warning of the very realities that they (Krugman and the left) now propose!

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 16 2010

One of the most incredible exchanges I have ever had on the radio show came a few months ago when I hosted a former Southern Baptist minister (who undoubtedly has self-shed that label) - turned - universalist (of sorts).  He proclaimed the need of Christians to contribute to the building of the 9/11 Mosque.

 

It seemed incredibly asinine to me when he said it.  I challenged him on whether a Christian is being a good steward of his/her money by contributing to the propagation of a message in conflict with the Gospel.  That's when we got to the heart of our disagreement as he explained he did not believe that Jesus' name was the only one leading to the Father (Acts 4:12).

 

 

 

So imagine my surprise when this movement among mainline (and even some evangelical) Christian churches to invite Muslim imams into the pulpit to preach all the wonderful things about Islam has caught on.
 

Dr. Michael Youseff, a man who escaped the clutches of Islam, explains the stupidity in such a move:

 

Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
 
Jesus did not say, "I want you to domesticate the wolves so you can love them." He did not say, "I want you to speak well of the wolves so that you might befriend them." Or as many in the media and some in the church would say, "I want you to tell others how peaceful the religion of the wolves is." Jesus did not say, "I want you to speak of how wonderful the wolves are." Or "I want you to declare that the wolves are just like sheep, only different."

.Jesus deliberately uses the image of the sheep - the most dependent, helpless and stupid of all domesticated animals. They are easily disturbed by harmless things, and they are easily disturbed by dangerous things. And when danger comes, sheep have only one natural defense: running. And they're not very good at it. The sheep's greatest enemy in ancient Palestine and in many parts of the world is, was and always will be the wolf.
 
In fact, the number-one task of a good, faithful shepherd is to protect his sheep from wolves. And that's why I have no understanding or even comprehension of why a pastor would turn his pulpit over to an imam to talk about the wonderful things about Islam. I have heard of it happening many times since September 11, and they are literally opening the doors for the wolves to come in.

It's one thing to see the ignorance of the politically correct left inviting and embracing an ideology that wars against freedom and whose very name means "submission."  But it's totally devastating to see it infect American pulpits, corrupting not just man's temporal freedom, but the freedom of his soul as well.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 16 2010

Last year it was the idiocy of "Be good for goodness sake" that adorned city buses and billboards as the American Humanist Association attempted to prove to everyone that one needn't believe in God to be good.



 

Working against them: the entirety of the record of human history.

 

Yet, undeterred by the very reason they proudly proclaim to be espousing, the Association has settled on a new theme this year:

 

It is spending $200,000 to "directly challenge biblical morality'' in advertisements appearing on network and cable TV, as well as in newspapers, magazines, and on public transit. The ads juxtapose violent or otherwise unpleasant passages from the Bible (or the Koran) with "humanist'' quotations from prominent atheists. For example, a dreadful prophecy from the Hebrew prophet Hosea ? "The people of Samaria . . . have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open'' ? is contrasted with Albert Einstein's comment that he "cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation.''

 

You know, cherry picking quotations to prove your consciously held dogma just never gets old.  Jeff Jacoby injects some reason into the entire discussion:

 

Can people be decent and moral without believing in a God who commands us to be good? Sure. There have always been kind and ethical nonbelievers. But how many of them reason their way to kindness and ethics, and how many simply reflect the moral expectations of the society in which they were raised?

 

In our culture, even the most passionate atheist cannot help having been influenced by the Judeo-Christian worldview that shaped Western civilization. "We know that you can be good without God,'' Speckhardt tells CNN.

 

He can be confident of that only because he lives in a society so steeped in Judeo-Christian values that he takes those values for granted. But a society bereft of that religious heritage is one not even Speckhardt would want to live in.

 

This is the same argument I tried having with then President of American Atheists, Ellen Johnson, back in 2007.  Atheism/humanism lacks any standard of moral authority by which you can declare what "goodness" or "badness" is.  Consequently, a society built upon that basis lacks any right or wrong.  That hasn't worked out so well in the past...as Jacoby went on to illuminate:

 

It may seem obvious to us today that human life is precious and that the weakest among us deserve special protection. Would we think so absent a moral tradition stretching back to Sinai? It seemed obvious in classical antiquity that sickly babies should be killed. "We drown even children who at birth are weakly and abnormal,'' wrote the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger 2,000 years ago, stressing that "it is not anger but reason'' that justifies the murder of handicapped children.

 

Reason is not enough. Only if there is a God who forbids murder is murder definitively evil. Otherwise its wrongfulness is a matter of opinion. Mao and Seneca approved of murder; we disapprove. What makes us think we're right?

 

The God who created us created us to be good. Atheists may believe ? and spend a small fortune advertising ? that we can all be "good without God.'' History tells a very different story.

 

Well said.  It's just a shame that it will have to continue to be said over and over again as the most self-described "reason" crowd persists in being totally unreasonable.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 15 2010

Political experts from Governor Chris Christie (conservative) to commentator Joe Scarborough (not so conservative) have all decided that Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint are responsible for the Republicans failing to take the Senate in this election because they backed more conservative candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell.

 

It's interesting that neither feel the need to point out that without them, the Republicans wouldn't have controlled the Senate because they would have lost in more conservative states.  It's a peculiar omission to say the least.



 

But I understand the logic behind their frustration.  I just don't agree with it.

 

Neither does Jedediah Bila:

 

O'Donnell wasn't a "perfect" candidate?and I defy anyone to find someone who is?but she was definitely the only conservative running in the Delaware Senate race. One can't help but ponder why any self-proclaimed conservative would have endorsed Castle, who has consistently received an F rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America, a 0 from the National Right to Life, and a perfect 100% from Planned Parenthood and NARAL. He also earned a 43% from Club for Growth for 2009. In fact, as RedState pointed out in September, "In every year, Castle has had the most liberal voting record of any member of the 175+ Republican [CFG] caucus."

One also can't help but wonder who would fit into [another anti-Palin voice, former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael] Gerson's label of "serious, mainstream Republican Senate candidates." Does he mean "serious" and "mainstream" as in pro-bailout, pro-abortion, pro-cap-and-tax, pro-amnesty "Republican"
Lisa Murkowski? Last I checked, plenty of "serious, mainstream" Republicans helped get us into the economic and Constitution-bashing mess we're in.

Neither does conservative radio host Mark Levin, who offered perhaps one of the best explanations of why principle matters more than party: 

"Mike Castle would've been a disaster. He's been a disaster. And now at least Delaware can work hard to find a candidate to defeat this guy Coons in two years and keep trying. You may not succeed, but you can keep trying. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a Republican Governor of California. He was a disaster. I mean, he ruled like a Democrat. This is the problem. You cannot advance core principles; you cannot take a fundamental stand against this kind of radicalism, if you're all over the map and yet pretend not to be. And I'm discussing this because we have a long way to go. This battle's gonna be very, very difficult within the Republican Party, within the conservative movement, and in the general society. And there are gonna be those who contribute to it and those who basically don't."

 

 

...

 

"And so, what's needed is perspective. [In] 1976 . Ronald Reagan was running against Gerald Ford. There were conservatives all over the country who were lining up behind Gerald Ford. ?Reagan's too extreme, Reagan is a B actor, Reagan is this, Reagan is that, he can't win, he can't win.' He almost beat Ford."

 

...

 

"He [Reagan] had no stomach for the Republican fraternity?and that's what he'd call it, none. He had to overcome them in order to get the nomination and get elected as President. . When Reagan lost in '76, the Republican establishment opposed him in 1980 again. They threw four, five candidates at him, including George H. W. Bush. It didn't work. Almost worked, by the way, but it didn't work. It didn't work. These are the sort of battles we're gonna have to continue to fight."

 

One of the major reasons Republicans lost the majority, thereby ushering in this most disastrous socialist movement, was because unprincipled Republicans began siding with the left and betraying the foundations that birthed their majority in the first place.  Had people like Castle and Murkowski and others been embraced by the Party simply to get a majority, it would only have ensured the same thing would happen again.

 

It's not purity.  It's principle.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 15 2010

When I (and others) say, "You can't parody the left," this is what is meant:

 

Members of a key panel created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus bill, have scheduled a meeting on November 22 to consider ways to prevent "fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery Act funds." The meeting will be held at the super-luxe Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

The group is the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, a sub-committee of the larger Recovery Accountability and Transparency board (sometimes known as the RAT board). The stimulus bill set up the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, or RIAP, to make recommendations to identify and prevent waste of the bill's $814 billion in stimulus spending.

 

"The purpose of the November 22, 2010 meeting is to allow the RIAP to have an open dialogue, with input from the public, on issues relating to fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery Act funds," says a notice in the Federal Register. Specifically, participants in the meeting will discuss various techniques to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as larger issues of transparency and public awareness. Portions of the meeting will be open to the public, while other parts will be closed.



 

The Ritz-Carlton is located "in the midst of the picturesque Camelback Corridor, the city's premier shopping, dining and financial district," according the hotel's website. Hungry waste-and-abuse hunters can dine in the "casual elegance, relaxed atmosphere and uniquely inviting ambiance of the European-inspired bistro 24." Or they can enjoy Afternoon Tea in the "uniquely warm and inviting" Lobby Lounge. And at any time, waste-and-abuse watchdogs who also enjoy golf will be "just minutes from some of the best courses in the world," including the Tournament Players Club, the Arizona Biltmore, and several others.

 

Charged with hunting down government waste, this group is going to convene at a luxury hotel and spend who knows how many taxpayer dollars.  How do you parody that?

 

Byron York's entire column exposes this fraud-passing-as-fraud-hunting, and is totally worth a full read.  You will undoubtedly come to the same conclusion that American Thinker's Rick Moran did:

 

So I say good luck and godspeed to all the RATs who will be living the high life at my expense. Get a massage on me, mkay?

If you're looking for another reason to limit the size and scope of government, this is exhibit 1,289,486.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 15 2010

As the ObamaCare horror show continues to roll on, it's important to highlight yet another disastrous effect of this disastrous bill.  The upcoming 2.3% annual tax to be placed on medical-device manufacturers is appalling.  And every lawmaker who voted for this travesty of a bill should be called to answer to this.


Mona Charen explains:

 

All of those fantastic prosthetic limbs, powered wheelchairs, stents, pacemakers, artificial hips, and other miraculous technologies that improve the lives of maimed soldiers will now be more expensive. Some estimates suggest that the tax will siphon off 17 percent of profits for the industry. As Ed Morrissey reported last May, Massachusetts medical-device companies have already begun to plan layoffs to cope with the new tax. According to the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council, "about 90 percent of the 100 medical-device firms said they would reduce costs due to the new tax tucked into the recently passed health-care reform bill."

 

 

Almost certainly, this will mean reductions in research and development. As the maxim goes: If you want less of something, tax it. If you want more of something, subsidize it.

 

By taxing medical devices, Obamacare has probably postponed the day my 17-year-old, Type I-diabetic son is most looking forward to: the invention and marketing of an artificial pancreas.

 

Charen goes on to explain the personal pain this law will inflict upon her family because of its overregulation and stifling effects.  But the truth is that there will be hundreds of millions of similar stories if we fail to do what must be done to the monster that is preparing to destroy the best healthcare system in the world: repeal it.

 

Totally, completely, without equivocation, capitulation, or negotiation...repeal it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 15 2010

What happens when liberals take over the government?  Well, besides a monumental power grab that results in devastating consequences at the polls, they do things like mandating grotesque pictures of death and carnage be placed on cigarettes to make sure you don't buy them.

 

It makes you wonder what's coming for salt shakers, air conditioners, and Happy Meals, doesn't it?



 

And lest you believe that this was some sort of cabal of radical leftwing bureaucrats, and not the mainstream liberals who are pursuing it, consider those who have spoken in favor:

 

Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Health and Human Services), Dr. Lawrence Deyton (director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco products), Dr. Howard Koh (assistant secretary for HHS), Dr. Margaret Hamburg (FDA commissioner), and Dr. Richard Hurt (director of the Nicotine Dependence Center of the Mayo Clinic).

 

So where did they get this idea?  Where all good liberals get their ideas.foreign regimes:

 

Among the most arresting of the proposed labels is one in which a man exhales smoke through a hole in his neck. Some smokers who suffer cancer of the larynx must breathe through a tracheotomy instead of their nose or mouth. But the proposed labels are not as gruesome as some mandated in Europe, in which ghastly photos of blackened teeth and decaying mouths give a Halloween aspect to cigarette packs...

 

But 39 other countries have gone well beyond such brief warnings and now require large, graphic depictions of smoking's effects. With Wednesday's announcement, the United States ? whose first European settlements in the 17th century helped to create and feed a global tobacco addiction ? edged a step closer to joining those nations' efforts to reduce the centuries-old epidemic of tobacco-related deaths.

 

So here's an exit question for you: how do you suppose these same folks would react to the idea of placing graphic pictures of abortion on billboards or on the literature of Planned Parenthood?

 

Exactly.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 06:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 12 2010

Many sane and rational Americans across the fruited plain are absolutely stumped when it comes to the left's fascination with ensuring Islam is not defamed. By defamed, I mean the shut-down of making certain realities and facts about Islamic customs known to the general population. Liberals Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walk off their own set in a huff because Bill O'Reilly, a guest on "The View," refuses to specify that "radical" or "terrorist" or some other adjectival modification to Muslims attacked America. Making the observation that it is young Muslim men, and now some women, declaring that their homicidal suicide attacks honor and glorify Allah is politically incorrect.



 

Similarly, it is politically incorrect, according to those living in the land of left-believe, to make observations that Islam allows for the "honor killings" of Muslim women, promotes the genital mutilation of women, and requires that non-Muslims be treated as non-citizens. In spite of Islam's overt mandate requiring adherents to pursue world domination in order to implement complete Islamic theocracy, such as forcing fleeing schoolgirls back into a burning building because they were trying to escape without their proper head coverings, the left remains bedazzled with their self-righteous attitudes of tolerance toward Islam.

 

How many American liberals do you suppose advocate censorship? They react apoplectically anytime someone reacts with disgust over a play portraying Jesus in a homosexual relationship with Judas Iscariot, yet in the Islamic theocratic center of Iran, censorship is a government mandate:

 

Writers and translators say they routinely wait for one, two or even three years for a decision on the suitability of their books.

 

The censors' work has always been shrouded in secrecy, but the word in the publishing industry is that there are never more than 20 censors working at one time.

 

To make matters worse, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005, one of his first acts was to require that all books that had been licensed under his predecessor, President Mohammad Khatami, be reviewed.

 

What drives the left into such a strange fascination and alliance with Islamic theocracy? The only answer that comes to mind is that they both detest the classic Western culture that has brought individual liberty.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 01:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 12 2010

I've heard a lot of conservatives talk about the need to repeal the egregious 16th Amendment that allows the federal government to suck away as much of your paycheck as they want to.  But this is the first time I've heard anyone talk about repealing the 26th Amendment.  Leave it to Ann Coulter:

 

Adopted in 1971 at the tail end of the Worst Generation's anti-war protests, the argument for allowing children to vote was that 18-year-olds could drink and be conscripted into the military, so they ought to be allowed to vote.  But 18-year-olds aren't allowed to drink anymore. We no longer have a draft. In fact, while repealing the 26th Amendment, we ought to add a separate right to vote for members of the military, irrespective of age.
   
As we have learned from ObamaCare, young people are not considered adults until age 26, at which point they are finally forced to get off their parents' health care plans. The old motto was "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote." The new motto is: "Not old enough to buy your own health insurance, not old enough to vote."
   
Eighteen- to 26-year-olds don't have property, spouses, children or massive tax bills. Most of them don't even have jobs because the president they felt so good about themselves for supporting wrecked the economy.
   
The meager tax young people paid for vehicle licensing fees on their cars threw them into such a blind rage that in 2003 they uncharacteristically voted to recall the Democratic governor of California, Gray Davis. Wait until they start making real money and realize they share a joint-checking account arrangement with the government! Literally wait. Then we'll let them vote.

But Coulter isn't just hurling flaming arrows here without any scientific justification:

 

Brain research in the last five years at Dartmouth and elsewhere has shown that human brains are not fully developed until age 25 and are particularly deficient in their frontal lobes, which control decision-making, rational thinking, judgment, the ability to plan ahead and to resist impulses.
   
Unfortunately, we didn't know that in 1971. Those of you who have made it to age 26 without dying in a stupid drinking game -- and I think congratulations are in order, by the way -- understand how insane it is to allow young people to vote.
   
It would almost be tolerable if everyone under the age of 30 just admitted they voted for Obama because someone said to them, "C'mon, it's really cool! Everyone's doing it!"  We trusted them, and now we know it was a mistake.

It's an interesting theory, but one I doubt will catch on.  Even if "Not old enough to buy your own health insurance, not old enough to vote" does have a nice ring to it."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 12 2010

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: so far, so good.  The Republican transition team continues to say all the right things.  Specifically, the mantra of "No exceptions, no excuses" has caught on amongst those who are taking leadership posts within the new Republican majority.

 

But while we remain guardedly optimistic about what the Republicans will do, Jillian Bandes makes an important distinction:

 

The fact is, however, that these things are simply declarations of intent until they are put into practice. Until a bill is actually authored by someone other than the Speaker, Republicans are really only talking about it. Until a camera is actually installed in the Rules Committee, it's just a lot of talk.

 

That talk can certainly be important. The GOP transition team has declared its intention to make bills available for 72 hours before they are voted on - the same thing that President Obama did when he was elected. The President clearly failed to do this. Now, though, the GOP knows what kind of fire it will face if they fail as well.


 

The promises are good:

 

"House rules will be changed to make it harder to increase spending and easier to cut it, so that we begin a new era of fiscal responsibility in Washington," said Christopher Bognanno, the communications director for Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who sits on the Floor, Committee, and House Schedule working group. "There will be an end to the practice of passing ?comprehensive' or ?omnibus' bills that package unrelated legislation together in an effort to avoid public scrutiny."

 

In other words, there won't be any 3,000 page bills, at least none with the variety of earmarks and unrelated items that you could find in the last Congress.

 

...but the immense pressure that will come on these brash new Republican leaders from the media, the interest groups and all the left will be the real test.

 

Let's hope their backbone remains as strong as their words.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 12 2010

Yesterday I noted the coming nightmare for Democrats in the 2012 and 2014 Senate electoral cycles given the stunning amount of seats they must defend.

 

By all indications, those cycles will see a massive turnover of power away from the Democrats.  I was reminded by readers and listeners however, that the House might fall back into Democrat hands depending on what happens the next two years.

 

While anything is possible in politics, such a fear ignores evidence coming from the National Journal:


Republicans have the ability to expand their congressional majorities in other battleground states. In Pennsylvania, unfettered control of redistricting will allow the GOP to draw a Democrat out of office. In Ohio, which will likely lose two House seats, Republicans will be able to better protect its five incoming freshmen, and probably will be able to force two Democrats (from the Cleveland area) to square off against each other.

 

Republican State Legislative Committee Executive Director Chris Jankowski estimated the GOP will gain between 25 and 30 additional House seats from the reapportionment and redistricting process alone, a number that makes it all the more difficult for Democrats to win back the seats necessary to retake the majority. Republicans already are slated to hold between 241 and 244 seats in the new Congress, their largest majority since 1946.

 

The Democrats misinterpreted the results of Barack Obama's election and used it as license to cram through legislation the American people despised.  The consequences of that ill-fated decision won't be fully realized for years.  But this much is sure: it will be devastating.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 12 2010

Do this as an exercise: think back through the recent Republican presidents and consider how the left and the media regarded them:

 

George W. Bush - idiot

George H.W. Bush - affably clueless

Ronald Reagan - senile and dumb

Gerald Ford - bumbling goof



 

Then consider the way the left and the media has regarded recent Democrat presidents:

 

Barack Obama - "the smartest president we've ever had"

Bill Clinton - Rhodes Scholar genius

Jimmy Carter - personable and brilliant

 

It's getting old.  Real old.  Which is precisely why this tired strategy, now being applied to rising Republican stars Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, and others, will fall so flat.

 

In fact, it's already backfiring, as columnists like Larry Elder are doing a little investigating and exposing of their own:

 

Barbara Walters gushed over John F. Kennedy Jr. and foresaw a political future for him. Never mind that the young man had flunked the New York bar exam -- twice.

 

"Dumb" former President George W. Bush, caricatured as a slacker in an Oliver Stone movie, made better grades in college than did Al Gore, his opponent in 2000. Gore dropped out of divinity school after earning five F's. Then he entered law school and dropped out. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-global warming crusade, and his documentary won an Academy Award, but Gore got a D in science at Harvard. Bush also scored higher on his verbal SAT than did Rhodes scholar and "brainy" presidential candidate Bill Bradley.

 

"Dumb" former President Ronald Reagan majored in economics. But the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who ran for the presidency, got expelled from Harvard for hiring someone to take a Spanish test.

 

"Dumb" Republican former President Gerald Ford was ridiculed as a bumbling doofus by Chevy Chase on "Saturday Night Live." Democratic former President Lyndon Baines Johnson famously quipped that Ford, who played football for the University of Michigan, "spent too much time playing football without a helmet." But Ford graduated from Yale Law School, the same school that produced Bill and Hillary Clinton.

 

 

The worldly and literate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who ran for president in 2004, didn't exactly kill on his military aptitude test. He got half the questions right and half the questions wrong -- dead average. He explained his poor showing by insisting, "I must have been drinking the night before."

 

Vice President Joe Biden's 1988 quest for the presidency evaporated when he plagiarized a speech by a British politician. When someone questioned his academic credentials at a campaign stop, the offended Biden claimed that he had a full academic scholarship at law school and graduated in the top half of his class. In fact, he had a need-based half-scholarship and graduated near the bottom -- 76th out of 85.

 

Elder's column went on from there, and is worth the read.  Democrats and leftists would be wise to abandon their "we're smart, they're dumb" routine before the curtain is fully pulled back to reveal some very uncomfortable facts for them.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2010

About two months before the November elections, I did a segment on the radio show covering how this 2010 election could only be the beginning of a massive, generational change in governing philosophy.

 

I stressed the fact that while the House would see much changeover towards constitutionalist, limited government, any advances in the Senate were gravy.  The real change in the "world's most dignified deliberative body" would come in the next two cycles (2012 and 2014).

 

This wasn't high level political scientist thinking.  It's simple common sense.  What two election cycles saw the massive influx of big-government Democrats?  It was 2006 (Bush's second term midterm election) and 2008 (when Obamania was sweeping the land).



 

Since Senators are elected for 6 year terms, that would mean the Senators up in 2010 were part of the 2004 crowd elected the year Bush was returned to office.  Democrats will be on the major defensive in 2012 and 2014...and judging by the tone-deafness of their leadership, those might be even more daunting than this cycle was for the left.

 

That was the theme being discussed in a recent piece run by the AP:

 

Last week's election was bad for Democrats. The next one could be worse. Senate Democrats running in 2012 will be trying to hold their jobs in states where Republicans just scored major congressional and gubernatorial victories - Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Virginia.

 

The Democrats' problems don't end with senators.

 

President Barack Obama carried those states in 2008, and he will need most of them to win re-election in two years. But this time they all will have Republican governors. These GOP governors can try to inhibit the president's policies and campaign operations. They also can help steer next year's once-a-decade House redistricting process in the GOP's favor.

 

Moreover, Democrats must defend Senate seats in hotly contested Missouri, and in four states that Obama has little chance of winning, assuming he even tries: North Dakota, Nebraska, West Virginia and Montana.

 

"The 2012 Senate landscape shows a daunting picture for the Democrats," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chairman of the GOP's Senate campaign committee. "They're not only defending twice as many seats as Republicans, but a number of them are in states where the Obama-Reid agenda is deeply unpopular."

 

This is truly a transformational opportunity before us.  Those of us committed to limited government, constitutional government, accountable government.this is the moment.  It is not an understatement to say that these next 4-6 years will determine the fate of our nation for generations.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2010

George W. Bush is making his rounds as he promotes his new book, Decision Points.  I think he is reminding people that he is a man of character and one who has a lot of class.

 

I've watched a couple of his interviews and appreciate the dignity with which he continues to carry himself, and think that (unintentionally) he is showing the difference between someone who understands the prestige of the presidency and someone who doesn't (its current occupant).

 

In fact, I was talking to a friend who actually voted for Obama in 2008 who said, "There isn't an Obama supporter who is honest with themselves that watches Bush and isn't a little bit embarrassed for our guy [Obama]."



 

While all of that is nice, Michelle Malkin thinks it's important to remind folks on the right not to get too nostalgic about the former president.  Remembering the class, the dignity, the statesmanship.all that is fine (and good).  But it's important not to forget that his behavior with regard to the economy is what precipitated the rise of the Tea Parties to begin with...

 

The problem, of course, is that Bush nostalgia is indelibly marred by his disastrous domestic policy legacy of big government, big spending, and betrayal of core fiscal principles ? the very impetus for the Tea Party movement upon which he now heaps glowing praise.

 

Take yourselves back to 2007. The headline on my blog on December 3, 2007:

Hillary and Bush agree: Government should bail out homeowners.

 

Two days later, Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a subprime mortgage bailout .

 

But that wasn't it:

 

In January 2008, Bush floated another massive housing entitlement package, followed by an economic stimulus plan in excess of $150 billion, and passage of the $2.7 billion Bush housing boondoggle.

 

...

 

Bush then oversaw the $85 billion bailout of AIG and prepared the $25 billion auto bailout. In October, the Republicans swallowed the Bush crap sandwich and blindly bowed to naked emperor Paulson, and John McCain proposed a $300 billion mortgage bailout that dwarfed Obama's campaign proposal.

 

As he rode into the sunset in December 2008 after pre-socializing the economy for Barack Obama, Bush wrote his own epitaph, which was one of the items on my list of things I don't miss about Bush. 

 

So be nostalgic in the sense that you miss a president who had a pervasive pride and love of country and a firm grasp on the dignity of his office.  But remember that we must oppose the tyrannical overreach of big-government when it's facilitated by Democrats...and Republicans.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2010

No matter how many times I read this, I feel a swell of emotion and pride.  From Stephen Ambrose's "The Lasting Legacy of World War II:"


 

Nineteen forty-five was the worst year in human history - more people killed, more building destroyed, more high explosives, more fires than ever before or since. In 1945, the sight of a group of teenage Germans or Japanese or Red Army troops, in uniform and armed, brought terror to civilians in France, Belgium, Holland, Korea, the Philippines, China, Germany, Poland, and elsewhere. It brought terror because those squads of teen-age soldiers meant rape, pillage, looting, wanton murder, and senseless destruction. There was an exception: a squad of teen-age soldiers of democracy, in uniform and armed - because that squad meant candy, C-rations, cigarettes, and freedom. That was true in France, Belgium, Italy, the Philippines, China, even Germany, and, after August 1945, Japan. We had sent the best of our young men halfway around the world, in both directions, not to conquer, not to destroy, not to rule, but to liberate.

 

Have another great day in the land of liberty!

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2010

Here's a shock.Mr. Obama running down his country abroad:

 

In India on Sunday, President Obama announced the decline of the United States as an economic power. "For most of my lifetime ... the U.S. was such an enormously dominant economic power ... that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms," he lamented. "And now, because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries, the U.S. remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition." Always ready to underreckon our country abroad, the president concluded that the upside to this relative decline in U.S. fortunes is that "this will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete."

 

Hmmm.  Do you suppose that Mr. Obama's recognition of our need to "compete" will prompt him to lift his over-regulatory and oppressive policies that are crippling our ability to do so?



 

Most likely not.  And I can't help but think that Mr. Obama is much more content with us being a mere "competitor" as opposed to the "dominant economic power."  It's been his crusade since day one of the American Apology Tour: we make ourselves more respected in the world not by leading the world, but by diminishing ourselves.

 

You'll remember when on the campaign trail, Mr. Obama lectured us, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK." 

 

The question Mr. Obama should have been asked then, as now, is: why does it matter what they say?

 

But that is a response built upon the groundwork of a belief in American exceptionalism.  And if Mr. Obama has taught us anything in his two years it's that he doesn't subscribe to that theory.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2010

Amazing.  I had just written my 2010 version of "First They Came," and the day it was published, this story hits the news:

 

Mayor Bloomberg's latest health campaign -- cutting salt intake -- has targeted soup as one of the big sodium offenders to be taken down with new city ads.

 

The ads, which will be plastered on subways for the next two months, feature a half-opened can of soup with a geyser of salt spewing from the top and forming a heap around the can.

 

Trying to put fear into the hearts of salt-aholics, the ads will warn that excessive sodium "can lead to heart attack and stroke" and list average amounts of salt in various foods, such as salad dressing and frozen pizza.


 

And before you're tempted to argue: "Well, but this isn't about banning people from eating salt...it's just about warning them about the dangers," read the rest of the story:

 

The campaign costs $370,000 -- $130,000 of which comes from city taxpayers. The rest is covered by the federal government, a city Department of Health spokeswoman said.

 

It appears that New York has a real life version of the Soup Nazi after all.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2010

A new study released today from a Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Professor finds that teens who "hyper-text" and spend a lot of time on social networking sites are more likely to be involved in alcohol use, sexual behaviors and drug abuse.

The study concludes that a significant number of teens who are text-messaging more than 120 times a day are very susceptible to peer pressure and also have permissive or absent parents. "If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well," said Dr. Scott Frank, the study's lead author.

The study was done at 20 public high schools in the Cleveland, OH area last year, and is based on confidential paper surveys of more than 4,200 students. It found that about one in five students were hyper-texters and about one in nine are hyper-networkers - those who spend three or more hours a day on Facebook and other social networking websites.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

I have watched a few episodes of the television program "Outsourced." The setting is an American, Todd, running a call center in India for a novelty products company (which are probably made in China, but that's not part of the show).

 

I have gotten a kick out of the casting and the humor created from the many cultural differences between the Americans and the Indians. For the most part, the Indians are characterized as living somewhat modest, moral lives. At least they are as compared to any of the Westerners portrayed in the show.



 

What disturbs me, and what may ultimately cause me to be unable to enjoy this comedy, is that the Americans, along with one Australian, are caricatured as importers of their immorality. In varying degrees, they are not interested in honoring the modesty of the host culture. The very products, which are for the most part rude and vulgar, that the Indian call center employees have to market are shocking to them. But Todd encourages them to shake that off and make the sales.

 

Todd is also attracted to one of his employees. Even though their relationship maintains some respectability, the "interludes" into Todd's imaginations indicate that he has as a goal a sexual relationship.

 

It saddens me, indeed, that this has become the image that American entertainment wants to provide the world. Those same good folks who cry aloud that any Christian witness is merely the attempt to "impose your morality" on them are certainly not shy about imposing their immorality on everyone else. Those same good folks who decry every attempt of Americans to stand up against totalitarianism as interfering with another nation's "autonomy" have no shame when it comes to assaulting their moral autonomy with immorality.

 

It is a shame that the most well-known American export is immorality.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

If you happen to love America and if you happen to honor the role of American military men and women in securing and protecting freedom around the world, then you'll want to sit down, relax, and take a few deep breaths before continuing. If you use it, make sure that you have taken your blood pressure medicine. Why preface my article with all this? Simple. This will raise your blood pressure and leave you boiling mad.

 

In July 2010, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsored a workshop entitled "History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War." College professors from across the nation were chosen to attend the seminars held at the University of Hawaii. Expecting an opportunity to visit impressive sites commemorating the American victory over tyranny, as well as meeting with other scholars who shared her interest in this facet of World War II history, Professor Penelope Blake experienced quite a different event.



 

In her own words, Professor Blake states:

 

In my thirty years as a professor in upper education, I have never witnessed nor participated in a more extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented.

 

In a letter written to her Congressman specifically requesting that taxpayer funding be withdrawn from the NEH, Professor Blake delineated several points demonstrating the intent of the presenters at this NEH sponsored workshop to disparage and dishonor the spirit and integrity of United States military personnel in general and the "Greatest Generation" in particular:

 

1. The U.S. military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force which has created and perpetuated its own mythology of liberation and heroism, insisting on a "pristine collective memory" of the war.

2. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should be seen from the perspective of Japan being a victim of western oppression.

3. War memorials, such as the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery (where many WWII dead are buried, including those executed by the Japanese on Wake Island and the beloved American journalist Ernie Pyle), are symbols of military aggression and brutality "that pacify death, sanitize war and enable future wars to be fought."

4. The U.S. military has repeatedly committed rapes and other violent crimes throughout its past through the present day.

5. Those misguided members of the WWII generation on islands like Guam and Saipan who feel gratitude to the Americans for saving them from the Japanese are blinded by propaganda supporting "the image of a compassionate America" or by their own advanced age.

6. It was "the practice" of the U.S. military in WWII to desecrate and disrespect the bodies of dead Japanese.

7. Conservatives and veterans in the U.S. have had an undue and corrupt influence on how WWII is remembered.

8. Conservatives are reactionary nationalists (no distinction was made between nationalism and patriotism), pro-military "tea baggers" who are incapable of "critical thinking."

9. Relating to the above, even members of the NEH review board are not immune to "reactionary" pro-military views.
10. Veterans' memories of their own experiences in the war are suspect and influenced by media and their own self-delusion.

11. War memorials like the Arizona Memorial should be recast as "peace memorials," sensitive to all viewers from all countries, especially the many visitors from Japan.

 

Professor Blake did a magnificent job rebutting each of the points she includes in her letter.

 

Shortly before discovering this report about the NEH workshop, I finished reading "Citizen Soldiers" by historian Stephen E. Ambrose. Early in the book, within the first one hundred pages or so, Ambrose included accounts of some atrocities committed by American soldiers. Most of the incidents centered around the shooting of surrendering enemy and unarmed prisoners. Ambrose points out throughout his book that these types of atrocities were isolated and were not systemic to the general command structure of American forces. By the end of the book, as the Allies are making their way across Germany, Ambrose relates that some of the most valiant fighting by German soldiers occurred as they sacrificed themselves to slow the Russian juggernaut so that more of their fellow citizens and soldiers alike could have a chance to surrender to the American forces. They knew that the Americans came to liberate, not dominate.



 

Even though the European and Pacific Theaters of Operation presented their respective and unique challenges to young American boys thrust into a brutal global conflict, and even though cruelties by "our boys" have been documented, the final truth is that American combatants liberated island after island from Japanese cruelty and, in the end, liberated Japan itself from the totalitarian grip of brutal Imperialists.

 

It is a particularly despicable act on the part of these so-called academics who set about to dishonor and desecrate the sacrifice of thousands of young Americans who gave so much in order to not only preserve freedom in America, but to liberate countless others subjected to the tyranny of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. It is even more despicable that they are allowed to perpetuate their revisionist messages with the aid of taxpayer funding. It should certainly be clear by now to even the most casual observer that those living in the land of left-believe ultimately intend to cripple America.

 

In both protest to this kind of nonsense and in honor of those who have served the cause of liberty and freedom, make a special effort to thank a Veteran and/or active service member this Veteran's Day.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

Although the perception is that the 2010 election was all about the economy, a new exit poll conducted on November 3rd finds that voters were also deeply concerned about moral issues. The Polling Company, Inc. and Woman Trend conducted the survey of 842 voters, 47% of whom had voted for Obama in 2008, and 46% of whom had voted for McCain.

When asked about the most important challenges facing future generations, 75% said economic decline. Coming in second at 62% of respondents (63% of women) was the decline of morality and values. This should be no surprise given the agenda of the Obama administration over the last two years. In good economic times or in bad, you cannot promote abortion, attack marriage, denigrate our Judeo-Christian heritage or promote homosexuality and not raise the ire of voters.

This poll should not be a surprise given the make-up of the Tea Party movement. A poll from the Public Religion Research Institute has found that most Tea Party activists are also social conservatives. (By the way, most social conservatives are also strong fiscal conservatives.) Two-thirds of Tea Party followers believe that elective abortions should be illegal, half believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, most don't think public officials pay enough attention to religion and, according to Zogby Polling, 82% of Tea Party activists oppose same-sex marriage. Like social conservatives, the Tea Party also strongly opposes those in the political establishment who keep trying to push aside basic conservative principles.

I have spoken to dozens of Tea Party groups this year and I have found that while there is much talk about the Constitution and liberty, most would tend to agree with John Adams, one of its key architects, who observed:

"[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand . . . The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people, in a greater measure than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty."

The front page of the state's largest newspaper, the Sunday edition of the Indianapolis Star, had a long article looking at social issues in the upcoming Indiana General Assembly. I do not see the premise of an "either / or" argument set forth in this discussion. I believe the legislature can, and every one always does, address a wide array of issues. Still, the article is worth reading because it reveals the needle AFA of Indiana has to thread to get our pro-family/pro-life agenda heard even following this recent election. You will also see why your support of AFA is important throughout the year, but particularly when the legislature is in session.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 01:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

Remember when Nancy Pelosi told us that we would find out what was in the ObamaCare bill once they had passed it?  Well, we keep finding out.  And it's one nightmare after another.

 

This time, it's vending machine owners taking the brunt:

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that it will take the food service industry 14 million additional hours each year to comply with a new regulation that mandates chain restaurants and vending machine operators label the products they sell with a calorie count in a place visible to the consumer.

 

Most of the burden of the regulation, which is buried in President Obama's 2,000 page health-care reform bill, will fall on the vending industry.

 

In the Nov. 5 edition [2] of the Federal Register, the FDA estimates "a total of 14,068,808 recurring hours, with nearly all of these for vending machine operators, including 31,408 recurring hours for recordkeeping and 14,037,400 recurring hours for third party disclosure" in conjunction with the regulation.

 

 

The recordkeeping element includes recording and keeping track of the calorie content of each item offered in a vending machine, while the vast majority of the time will be spent on third party disclosure -- actually communicating that content to the consumer.

 

The FDA says that time will have to be invested again each year, as the labels will likely "have a relatively short life and the mix of product in a machine will change over time."

 

Ned Monroe, the senior vice president of government affairs for the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), called the required time investment "absurd" and "unfair."

 

"Our industry has always understood that consumers need access to product nutritional information, but requiring an industry to invest 14 million hours annually is absurd and sure to kill jobs," he said. "We are opposed to the colossal burden these regulations impose on our industry and this report just confirms what an enormous and unfair burden it truly is."

 

Every single Democrat who voted for this mess should be called to the carpet every single time a new revelation like this emerges.  This isn't helping healthcare.it's destroying jobs by crippling business.

 

Rather than push through individual, common sense reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, Obama and the Democrats opted for this monstrosity that keeps on giving.  Why?  Because the objective was never to fix the healthcare system.  The objective has always been to get the government's nose under the tent of healthcare, so that it could begin taking it over piecemeal. 

 

That's why President Obama is talking about "tweaking" it and fixing it.  Those "tweaks" and "fixes" will further encroach the government onto territory it never belonged on in the first place.  Suddenly Mr. Obama's prediction that a government takeover of healthcare wouldn't happen overnight, but maybe take a decade or two seems prescient. 

 

If ever there has been a piece of legislation deserving total repeal, it is this one.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

What else would you expect from Vice President Biden?  From Andrew Malcolm's blog at the LA Times:

 

Possibly the most important event of the vice president's day Tuesday is to meet at 2:15 with Earl Devaney. Everyone knows him as chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board -- the top guy monitoring the gazillion-dollar stimulus and the overdue economic recovery, and ensuring that the taxpayers financing same know all about it.

 

However, no one outside the room will know what goes on in that Biden-Devaney meeting. That's because the government meeting on government transparency has been closed.


 

The most amazing thing about this is how none of those attending will see anything curious about that.  It's just like Pelosi promising to "drain the swamp" all while ethics charges against her own party rose exponentially.  Or like President Obama calling for bipartisanship as he locks Republicans out of policy-making rooms.

 

It may be physically impossible for a group of folks to be more out of touch than these geniuses are.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

We glorify the destruction of family in our embrace of homosexuality, pornography and the current entertainment industry, why not throw a celebration of divorce in there as well.

 

From the Huffington Post:

 

I've been single, I've been married, and I've been divorced. And getting divorced was the hardest of the bunch -- at least in terms of finding a way to be happily divorced (and, yes, there is such a thing!).

 

That's why I'm so excited about the launch of HuffPost Divorce. Inspired by HuffPost editor-at-large Nora Ephron, who knows a thing or two about the subject (see Heartburn), our newest section will tackle the topic from many angles, providing insight, resources, community, and some comic relief to those impacted by what Nora, in her new book, calls the Big D.

 

...

 

So whether you are divorced, divorcing, or just curious about how others manage the complexities of divorce, check out HuffPost Divorce. Breaking up is hard to do... but reading about it isn't.


 

Pretty amazing stuff.  Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters asks a great question:

 

...does a section specifically devoted to this subject increase the number of divorces by not only glamorizing the process and the outcome but also further removing what used to be a negative stigma attached to marital failure?  

 

Or am I just hopelessly old-fashioned?

 

If believing in the sanctity of marriage and protecting the children harmed by the selfish act of divorce is old-fashioned, Noel...sign me up.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010
Most everyone is familiar with the German anti-Nazi activist Martin Niemoller's renowned "First They Came" poem.  It is an ageless and frightening reminder of the need for eternal vigilance in defense of human rights and freedom.

I submit the 2010 American version:

They first came for the light bulbs, and I didn't speak up because I'm okay with fluorescents.

Then they came for the salt, and I didn't speak up because I have high cholesterol.

Then they came for the air conditioners, and I didn't speak up because I live up north.

Then they came for the Happy Meals, and I didn't speak up because I'm a Wendy's guy.

Then they came for the Oreos at school parties, and I didn't speak up because I'd already graduated.

Tyranny is timeless.  Whether it is born of good intentions or not, seeking to deprive citizens of their autonomy and independence is not a recipe for human happiness, but rather misery.

Though the outcry against it began on November 2nd, our "betters" continue trampling that which they are sworn to protect.  May our resistance be fierce.


This post first appeared at The American Thinker.


Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2010

If the NAACP exists to see the advancement of minorities, they should be thrilled with the election of two new black faces in the U.S. House of Representatives, right?  Colonel Allen West and Tim Scott are heading to Washington.  But the NAACP is not supportive of their election.



 

Why?  Because they are conservatives and were supported by the "racist" tea party movement.  This is a perfect demonstration of what is truly of most importance to groups like the NAACP.  It's not minorities...it's liberal politics.

 

Another black conservative (who lost her recent Congressional bid), Star Parker, put it this way:

 

We have arrived in post-racial America but establishment blacks - lodged in the political left - refuse to accept it and are doing all they can to get black citizens to refuse to accept it.

 

The sobering reality is that the black political establishment doesn't want Dr. King's dream. They don't want an America where people are judged by the content of their character. They want an America that is Democrat and left wing and this is what they promote today under the banner of civil rights.

 

It's a shame what the left has done to once great causes.  They have betrayed people like Dr. King and have used his legacy to consolidate their own power and advance a left-wing political agenda.

 

And in their efforts, they oppose the advancement of the very people they claim they exist to support.  That's about as egregious as it gets.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2010

I'm no conspiracy theorist.  Never have been.  In fact, conspiracy theorists freak me out.  But I've also learned that when it comes to the Clintons, assuming there's an ulterior motive isn't based on a conspiracy theory...it's experience.

 

That's why when I see this:

 

Hillary Clinton would trounce fellow Democrat President Barack Obama by a 20-percentage-point margin in a head-to-head race for the presidency, according to a Newsmax/SurveyUSA poll conducted after Tuesday's midterm elections...

 

In the poll, respondents were asked: "If there were an election for president of the United States today, and the only two names on the ballot were Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who would you vote for?"

The poll found that overall, 60 percent of respondents chose Secretary of State Clinton, while 40 percent chose Obama.

And then see old Clinton media chums like Dana Milbank write pieces that say things like this:

 

Would unemployment have been lower under a President Hillary? Would the Democrats have lost fewer seats on Tuesday? It's impossible to know. But what can be said with confidence is that Clinton's toolkit is a better match for the current set of national woes than they were for 2008, when her support for the Iraq war dominated the campaign...

 

Clinton campaign advisers I spoke with say she almost certainly would have pulled the plug on comprehensive health-care reform rather than allow it to monopolize the agenda for 15 months. She would have settled for a few popular items such as children's coverage and a ban on exclusions for pre-existing conditions. That would have left millions uninsured, but it also would have left Democrats in a stronger political position and given them more strength to focus on job creation and other matters, such as immigration and energy.

 

...I begin to wonder if she's not really prepping for a potential 2012 challenge (depending on the political winds).  Some people say, "Oh, but she's denied she's going to do it.  She said she flat-out wouldn't."


To that I simply respond by pointing out that she said she wasn't interested in running for Senate in New York.  Or running for president in 2008.  As Jeannie DeAngelis writes,

 

It's undeniable. Hillary Clinton's eyes have been riveted on the presidency ever since making off with $28,000 worth of unauthorized items gifted to the White House collection.

Two years after breaking the 2006 promise not to run for President, Clinton is again denying aspirations to place pictures of Bill and Chelsea on the credenza in the Oval Office. With Hillary, denial tends to be a good measure of intent...

 

Allegedly, Daniel Moynihan's widow Liz described dealing with Hillary in the following way: "Duplicitous...she would say or do anything that would forward her ambitions." She can look you straight in the eye and lie, and sort of not know she's lying.  Lying isn't a sufficient word it's distortion - distorting the truth to fit the case."

Moynihan's insightful analysis of Hillary's ambitious pathology explains a lot.  Why would a woman in one breath swear to be free of presidential aspirations, and in another breath tell a New Zealand interviewer that "while that someone would not be her," the United States "should be ready for a female president?"

Whether he meant to bury her in the Secretary of State position or sought to offer it to her to win her good graces, Barack Obama might want to sleep with one eye open.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2010

Anyone who has been involved in the Tea Party is undoubtedly aware of the religious overtones that seem prevalent within the movement.  And I'm not talking about Glenn Beck's event in Washington, D.C. last summer.

 

Having attended and spoken at multiple Tea Party events throughout the Midwest in the last two years, I haven't been to one where God was not mentioned, where His involvement in America's past was not noted, and where His divine providence and blessing was not sought.

 

It was therefore not surprising to me to see this story:

 

A new poll co-commissioned by Concerned Women for America (CWA) and conducted by the polling company, inc./WomanTrend points to a huge task facing the new Congress. In a survey of 842 Americans who voted in yesterday's elections, the overwhelming majority want the government to stop spending immediately and focus on the economic decline as well as the decline of morality and values.

 

...

 

When asked about the most important challenges facing future generations, 75% said economic decline. Coming in at a close second at 62% (63% women) said the decline of morality and values.


 

The Tea Party movement rightly recognizes what our Founders recognized: that morality and values affect economics and markets.  You don't fix the latter without fixing the former. 

 

That reality is perhaps why Michael Novak recently asked God - if He can't bless America any longer due to her decadence - to at least bless the Tea Party:

 

In recent years, I have wondered how much longer God would continue to bless America, that country so favored by Providence for so long. The mass-media culture of America, its movies, its glitzy magazines, and its public speech (even in churches) are becoming more and more decadent, less and less under the sway of personal moral responsibility, more relativist, less under the self-control of reason. That "superculture" of the media hangs over the nation like a miasma of moral smog. Below it, thank God, there are still tens of millions willing to resist it.

 

That is the hope of America today. It rises up from the people not yet incapacitated by the moral decline of our elites.

 

The election of 2010 signified a moral revolution, a cultural revolution, much more profoundly than a political revolution.

 

We will see how long it can endure and grow from strength to strength ? or whether it will self-destruct, as so many movements do.

 

God, if You can no longer bless the whole nation, please bless the Tea Party movement.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2010

It wasn't that long ago that the mainstream media was talking about the "civil war" within the Republican Party.  Let's just say their interest in discussing this story is not as great:

 

In the media fallout after Tuesday's elections, Western North Carolina's victorious Democratic incumbent congressman Heath Shuler has been making national headlines by declaring his plans to take on Nancy Pelosi to be House minority leader.

 

"If there's not a viable alternative [to Pelosi] ? like I said all along ? I can go recruit moderate members to run in swing districts,"  Shuler said in an interview that was reported by the Huffington Post and other outlets. "In that situation, I could do it better than she could, and that's what it's going to take. It's going to take moderate candidates to win back those seats."

 

The next day, the Los Angeles Times declared "Nancy Pelosi to Run for House Minority Leader," seemingly giving Shuler little choice but to honor his word and take her on.


 

A truly free and independent media would be frothing at the mouth over this story.  They would be interviewing every single remaining "Blue Dog" moderate Democrat to find out who they will back.

 

They'd be pursuing leads like this:

 

A Republican leader says that if Democrats keep Rep. Nancy Pelosi as their party chief in the House, then "it's almost as if they didn't get the message."

But they're not.  Make sure you grasp why: while they are wanting to stoke a civil war in the Republican Party, they don't want to fan the flames of one in the Democratic Party.

 

Of course, that doesn't mean one is not still brewing.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 08 2010

You will remember Nancy Pelosi promising to clean up the swamp in Washington.  You will also remember the explosion of ethics violations of Democrats following that promise.  You will further remember the thorough spanking at the polls delivered to the corrupt Democrats just days ago.

 

So how do the Democrat leaders respond to all this?  By ramping up the image of corruption:

 

Illinois Republican Mark Kirk [filling the seat held previously by Barack Obama] won't be seated in the U.S. Senate in time for the start of the lame duck session of Congress this month - unlike two other newly elected senators.

 

 

...

 

Two Democrats are expected to be sworn in at the start of the lame duck session. Chris Coons of Delaware will fill the remainder of Vice President Joe Biden's term, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia replaces the late Robert Byrd.

 

Yes, this will clear up any notion of impropriety amongst the Democrats: seat your two Senators immediately, but deny the Republican his seat.  Just more of that healing of the "petty grievances that have for too long strangled our politics" that Mr. Obama promised.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 08 2010

It's time for the conservative Republicans to eat their words.  You might remember in the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama and his acolytes told us that the reason Iran and others hated us was due to the cowboy diplomacy of George W. Bush.

 

We told them that they hated us because they were radical nut-jobs that were committed to a radical ideology that teaches world domination and subjugation of anyone who resists their rule.

 

But after two years of "reset" relations and Barack Obama's bowing and apologizing approach to our enemies has obviously done the trick:


 

Thousands of Iranians chanted "Death to America" as they staged a mass protest on Thursday against the "Great Satan" to mark the 31st anniversary of the capture of the US embassy by Islamist students.

 

...

 

On Thursday, waving Iranian flags and carrying anti-US banners alongside posters of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the largely young crowd also shouted anti-Israel slogans outside the US embassy site.

 

Banners saying "I will give my life for the leader (Khamenei)" and another quoting Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as saying "If you want to shout, shout at the US" were displayed at the embassy compound.

 

The results speak for themselves, don't they?  The president's outreach is clearly working.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 08 2010

They may be two different networks, but they're part of the same movement.

 

On CBS, reporter Nancy Cordes conveyed the new talking point of the leftist media: that the Republicans are about to engage in an investigation-happy witch hunt:

 

[Eric] Cantor, Cordes asserted, has called "for more investigations into the administration, with quote 'one major oversight hearing each week.' That worries Democrats, who remember what happened the last time Republicans controlled the House during a Democratic presidency." She then challenged Darrell Issa, now the ranking minority member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: "Democrats  have said that you're going to start a witch-hunt against the President if Republicans take control."


 

So we have fears of a Republican witch-hunt on CBS.  Meanwhile, on MSNBC:

 

In an attempt to re-litigate the past, MSNBC contributor Cenk Uygur indicted former President George W. Bush for war crimes.

 

Bellowing today from his regular perch on late afternoon Dylan Ratigan Show, Uygur mischaracterized the 43rd President's position on the waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as "go ahead and torture him basically" before demanding that Bush be prosecuted for allegedly violating Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

 

"Now it seems to me we have a confession here of a war crime and a clear violation of international and United States law," proclaimed Uygur. "President George W. Bush should go to jail for at least 10 years."

 

Seeking to imprison a former president on the indictment of "war crimes."  Witch-hunt, anyone?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 08 2010

My column this week discusses how Barack Obama gave political thinkers less than 24 hours to debate and discuss how he should move to the center to salvage his presidency before announcing his intentions: leftward, full steam ahead!

 

Here's further proof of that conclusion:

 

President Barack Obama may have expressed humility during his conciliatory news conference Wednesday over the shellacking he took in the midterm elections, but just hours after speaking to the nation, he made it very clear in a phone call to left-leaning activist group MoveOn that he is not willing to compromise his core beliefs.


"We always knew bringing about change in Washington wouldn't be easy, and it might get tougher in the days ahead," Obama told the liberal organization's supporters a day after Republicans won the House in a landslide. "The message I took away from the elections is very simple: The American people are still frustrated. They still want change; we just have to work harder to deliver the change the American people want."

Obama said he and activist organizations like MoveOn must work harder pushing the progressive agenda "until every American sees real change in their own lives . . . We didn't sign up for doing what was easy, we signed up for doing what was right," he said of his policies to fix America. "We are going to continue to take all the time it takes -- and all the effort it takes -- to get our country back on track."

 

Is it cluelessness or intentional ignoring of the electorate?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, November 06 2010

In a world filled with extremely difficult problems, let's create some college courses that really address critical challenges.

 

Like "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame" offered by Professor Mathieu Deflem at the University of South Carolina.



 

Sure, why not? This is evidently an issue we need to address in this time of high unemployment, our erosion of Constitutional liberties, and crushing deficits.

 

Some poor students are going to be a lot poorer: they will actually fund this course through their college loan and come away with nothing to show for it. Guess we're being geared up for the nationalizing of the student loan industry. Oh joy.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 05 2010

Hopefully, one of the consequences of the Republican/conservative tidal wave in these recent elections will be the defunding of tax dollars to the country's largest abortion mill, Planned Parenthood.

 

Proving the evil inherent in their founding, their operation, their mission, their cause is achievable by anyone with a functioning brain.

 

But it goes beyond evil.  It goes to the point of sheer stupidity.  If you don't believe me, or if that seems an aggressive charge, simply watch the video below.

 

It beautifully depicts how committed the left really is to "science."  Keep in mind, the "science" about what is conceived in the womb is not a question.  Science undoubtedly proves the humanity of the unborn.



 

So in order to advance their unholy crusade to kill humans, Planned Parenthood and their apologists on the left start talking about philosophical definitions of "viability" and "personhood."  It's insane.  The people who claim to be people of science literally scoff at science in pursuing their own religious commitment to abortion.

 

Listen to and watch these idiotic quotes from Planned Parenthood's College Outreach Group "Advocates for Choice as they discuss Colorado's Personhood Amendment.  It's unbelievable.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 05 2010

One of the most maddening arguments you hear from the cowards who defend the right to kill infants for convenience is, "I don't think the government should be telling people what to do with their bodies."  What a joke.

 

Generally speaking, these cowards who make these claims hail from the Democrat Party...a Party dedicated to using government to tell you what to do with your body.  For evidence to support that charge, see their legislative agenda of the last two years.

 

Or consider what they do when they have total control over localities and municipalities:

 

San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to pass a law that cracks down on the popular practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children.

 

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed the law on Tuesday on a veto-proof 8-to-3 vote. It takes effect on December 1.


 

Yes, these power hungry liberals are convinced you are so stupid, you can't figure out not to feed your kids Happy Meals every day.  And further, they are convinced that by denying children toys they are going to solve the obesity problem.  This is the wisdom of the left.

 

You aren't wise enough to choose to buy a toy with your cheeseburger, but no one should be prevented from choosing to kill an infant.  Welcome to the incoherency of the left.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, November 05 2010

The great fear for many-a-tea-partier has been that after putting trust in Republicans as they promised, "We know we screwed up last time, but we'll remain true to our convictions this time," they would go wobbly.

 

No doubt that it could still happen - particularly after facing months of withering assault from the mainstream media as they attempt to reverse the Obama damage.  But at least at this point, I'm heartened.

 

Why?  Take Jim DeMint:


 

"We can't have 500 congressmen and senators who think it's their job to bring home the bacon - and that's what's going to change," South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint told CBS' "The Early Show. "One of the first thing we'll do in the House and Senate is ban earmarks as Republicans - that'll get our eyes back on fixing our tax code, fixing social security and Medicare, getting America back to work."

DeMint called earmarks "that parochial interest I think gets that the focus of interest off national interests onto paving local parking lots." He said in an editorial Tuesday that the dozens of GOP congressional newcomers "can't be bribed if they're not for sale."

 

And don't forget John Boehner:


 

Representative John Boehner, expected to be named the next speaker of the House of Representatives, vowed on Wednesday to repeal health care reforms pushed into law by the Obama administration.

 

"I believe that the healthcare bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best healthcare system in the world, and bankrupt our country," Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told a news conference. "That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.

 

The words are right...the backbone appears to be there.  So far, so good.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, November 05 2010

As the massive repudiation leftists just received from American voters sinks in, the liberal progressives are faced with a choice: either acknowledge that they are the ones far out of the mainstream.or come up with reasons so bizarre they are hysterical in an attempt to explain away the obvious meaning of the election.

 

They have, of course, chosen the latter.

 

A couple of the best so far include this explanation from the Daily Kos crowd:


 

But this "Republican wave" - how scary, brrrrrr - is not about that. It's not about the "deficit", it's not about "government spending" - they couldn't care less about all this when they were in power. It's not about health care reform or Wall Street reform either. This is about the black man in the White House.

...

And it's not just the average ignorant teabagger. Their people in Washington are all students of John "that one" McCain. Bone-Head and the rest of the gang just can't stand the sight of a black man calling the shots in this country.

Ah yes, the tried and true method.  If you're losing the argument, just cry Raaaaaacism!  How sad that the left has completely removed any meaning from that serious charge with their politically charged overuse of it.

 

There was also this howler that came in from Newsweek:


 

The abstraction was the mental gymnastics that Democrats asked voters to perform?the idea that as bad as things are, they could have been much worse. The fact that we didn't have a depression, that unemployment isn't at 20 percent, is not a selling proposition in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society. It's what historians (and the president) call a "counterfactual." Most Americans don't know what that word even means, and fewer are able to absorb the concept when they're hurting. Franklin Roosevelt succeeded because he came into office in 1933 when the Depression was more than three years old and at its bottom, with 25 percent unemployment. Any improvement, even if it didn't end the Depression, was easy to credit to FDR's efforts. Obama became president when the deep recession was only beginning to show up in the statistics. The economy was losing nearly 800,000 jobs when he became president. If we had stayed on that pace, we would have had another Great Depression by the end of 2009. Most Americans have short memories. To be grateful for not being laid off requires a leap of imagination that most voters, frightened about the state of the economy, aren't willing to make. (emphasis added)

 

Got that?  If you're laid off, it was inevitable.  If you're not, you should be kissing Obama's boots because you would have been without him!  Proof?  Who needs it! 

 

While this may be annoying, don't be angry with the left's unwillingness to acknowledge how firmly their agenda was rejected.  Their denial only ensures that they will continue to put their failed message in front of Americans and exposing what the left really wants.  That bodes well for all of us going forward.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2010

Is the Party over?  I don't know a conclusive answer to that question, but I know what I'm guessing: nope.

 

It is highly likely that the major rallies and external expressions of discontent will lay dormant for awhile.  But over the last 2 years, the Tea Party movement has formulated from the ground up an amazing system of interconnectedness, contacts and financiers.

 

In other words, they have accomplished in 2 years time what liberal community organizers have been attempting to develop for decades.  Pretty impressive for a bunch of country bumpkins.



 

The truth is (as much as those wanting a break from politics may not want to hear this), in political terms, 2012 is not far away.  For Republicans it begins almost immediately.  (For Obama, though it has been on his mind since inauguration day, the real work will begin in 6-8 months.)

 

That means the Tea Party movement most likely shifts its focus right now from public rallies and demonstrations to email updates, social networking, fundraising, vote-watching, communication and education.

 

Again, I could be wrong, but I don't think this movement was about a one-time electoral fix to our problems.  I think it has always been about our foundations, the Constitution, and accountability of our leaders.  Fixing those problems isn't a one election wonder.  It's a generational movement.

 

Party on.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 01:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2010

Not that we needed any proof that alleged comedian-turned-political-philosopher Janeane Garofalo was a mean-spirited agitator, but it has emerged nonetheless.

 

Garofalo, remember was the genius who announced on Olbermann's show that the Tea Party movement was "about hating a black man in the White House...that is racism, straight up...a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks."  Ah, the civil discourse inspired by the great minds of the left.



 

Not that I think it will come up on the Olbermann show, but Guy Benson has pointed out some interesting realities about the supposedly racist tea-party (warning: if you dwell in the land of make believe of the left, the following facts will melt down your biases and shatter your glass house):

 

Nevada Governor - In a deliciously ironic twist, a Hispanic Republican - Brian Sandoval - defeated Rory Reid, son of the very man who suggested that people like Sandoval don't, or shouldn't, exist. It wasn't close: Sandoval dominated Rory Reid and secured a double-digit victory.

 

New Mexico Governor - Suzanna Martinez became the first female Hispanic Governor of a US State in history - from either party. She ran a disciplined campaign, torched her opponent with one of the most devastating attack ads of the entire cycle, and won by a substantial 8-point margin.

 

South Carolina Governor - Overcoming nasty rumors about her religion and alleged marital infidelity, Nikki Haley became America's second Indian-American Governor. (The other, of course, is Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, also a Republican).

 

SC-01 - After JC Watts retired from Congress in 2002, the House Republican caucus lost its lone African-American member. Until last night. Republican Tim Burns, a strong conservative, won the open seat in South Carolina's first Congressional District. He pulled off this feat in the deep south, and did so in a romp - winning by approximately 35 percentage points.

 

FL-22 - Another black Republican was elected to the House last night: Conservative superstar Col. Allen West. The Iraq War hero handily unseated Rep. Ron Klein, who threw the kitchen sink at West, but to no avail. When this race was called, supposedly "racist" tea partiers and grassroots conservatives rejoiced across the country.



 

WA-03 - Jaime Herrera chose not to highlight her Hispanic origins in her battle against Democrat Denny Heck for the open seat in Washington's third Congressional District. She ran a very strong, issues-based campaign, and won comfortably.

 

ID-01 - Raul Labrador, a Puerto Rico-born attorney, pulled an upset victory over incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick in Idaho's first Congressional District. Minnick tried to boost his bleeding poll numbers by airing a dishonest, racially charged ad during the final week of the race. The tactic seems to have backfired, resulting in Congressman Raul Labrador.

 

Florida Senate - Two words: Marco Rubio. The most celebrated rising star in the Republican Party after last night is freshly-minted Senator-elect Rubio, a dynamic Cuban-American conservative.

 

Hey Janeane - head back to the local comedy club and leave serious political analysis to those who actually know what they're talking about.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2010

Some liberal observers are comparing the Republican landslide in 2010 to their victory in 1994, in the hopes that it will turn out the same way: Republicans become enamored with power, the Democrat President carefully triangulates and wins re-election.

 

But there is a huge difference they are not acknowledging when making this comparison.  Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton.  Michael Medved compares Clinton's tactical moves following his embarrassing defeat in 94 to what we've seen of Obama to this point:


 

In a much-quoted State of the Union address (after the Republican sweep of 1994), Clinton announced that "the era of big government is over"; Obama insists the expansion of big government is just beginning.

 

Clinton pushed a pro-business agenda of deregulation and free trade; Obama bashes business and pledges to impose new regulation and a more protectionist trade policy, regardless of GOP opposition in Congress.

 

Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act and, after abandoning an early push for gays in the military, instituted "Don't Ask, Don't Tell'; Obama wants to repeal both Clintonian policies.

 

Clinton worked with the Republican Congress to achieve welfare reform, ending a dysfunctional federal entitlement; Obama enacted new and even more costly Washington entitlements, like the trillion-dollar health care bill.

 

Clinton dropped his plans for a government takeover of health care in face of ferocious public opposition; Obama rammed through an even more poorly designed "health care reform" and ignored the even more fervent resistance of an engaged electorate.

 

In the end, Clinton- under pressure from the Gingrich Congress?turned big deficits from the first president Bush into surpluses; Obama took moderate deficits from the second president Bush and tripled them.

 

I wouldn't argue with anyone who says that the Republican victory in the House on Tuesday provides Barack Obama with a lifeline and an opportunity to transform himself into something other than the bitter partisan he has been to this point.

 

But I do have serious questions about what would make someone think that Barack Obama is interested in swallowing his pride and taking advantage of that opportunity.  Barack Obama is comfortable where he is: firmly entrenched on the far left side of the American political spectrum.  He thinks Americans should be comfortable with that too. 

 

I suspect in 2012 he will find out they're not.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2010

After seeing liberal progressivism thoroughly trounced in the polls, liberal progressives are continuing to give their liberal progressive president some great advice: continue cramming liberal progressivism down people's throats.

 

Tina Brown recently wrote at The Daily Beast:

 

Obama has, as he wanly insists, accomplished a lot in the last two years-ended torture, got us out of Iraq, extended health care, and prevented another Great Depression, all with absolutely no help and nothing but obstruction from [Republicans].


 

Totally oblivious.  It's remarkable, really.  Tina Brown is a smart individual and yet she is so enamored with radical leftism that she can't even conceive of how it might not be embraced by others.

 

The truth is that Obama has done none of those things she mentions, and yet she and other leftists attribute it to him.  The disconnect then, in the minds of average Americans who haven't sipped the Kool-aid, is profound.

 

The problem has been the policy, not the politics.  If Obama listens to these left-wing voices to continue pushing the policy, he will be ignoring the obvious message of 2010 and will unquestionably be a one-term president.

 

As Joseph Ashby writes,

 

In short, it isn't about politics, Obama is simply wrong. No amount of talking (and those limits were certainly tested) could change that fact.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2010

I offer you what I consider the most inspiring event of November 2, 2010: Marco Rubio acceptance speech.

 

 

It's about 12 minutes, but listen to it. And anytime you begin to feel overwhelmed by others who do not carry the sense of America's exceptionalism, listen to it. That's all I have to say.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 03:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2010

The Republicans have regained control of the Indiana State House of Representatives for only the third time in over 20 years. This shift is significant for many reasons. Although a majority of Hoosiers (between 53-56%) have consistently cast votes for Republican General Assembly candidates, the Democrats have held the House in eight of the last ten elections due to how they drew the district lines. That will change with the redrawing of new district lines next year.

 

Much more important to AFA of Indiana than the political realignment is the change in leadership that will occur this January. No longer will South Bend Representative Patrick Bauer and other Democrat leaders be able to unilaterally stand in the way of pro-life, pro-family and virtually any other conservative policy idea. The days of Speaker Bauer the obstructionist are over!



 

At the time of this writing, many of the election results are still coming in but it appears as though the GOP will have at least 53 seats and at least two more in the Indiana Senate, giving them a likely two-thirds, "super-majority."

 

I believe a lot of this change at the state level is due directly to the leftist policies of President Obama. Many of the GOP gains occurred in Southern Indiana where it seems likely that many conservative, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-2nd amendment Democrats could no longer stand the liberalism of their party leaders, much like the realignment we observed in the southern US a few years ago.  However, this did not play out as much in northern Indiana.

 

There have been some notable exceptions tonight. In Kokomo, voters chose Mike Karickhoff over Ron Herrell who had talked a good talk on life and marriage among other issues, but seemed to leave his values in Howard County during the legislative session. (He had an 80% pro-abortion voting record with Planned Parenthood a few years ago.)

 

In Delaware County on the Senate side of the statehouse, Democrat Senator Sue Errington, a former policy director for Planned Parenthood, lost to Doug Eckerty.

 

Most of the other changes appear to be coming in from Southern Indiana. One of note is AFA of Indiana PAC-endorsed Senate candidate Jim Tomes whom many AFAIN supporters know as the leader of a group called the 2nd Amendment Patriots.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2010

Mr. President. Now that the mid-term campaigns and elections are over, what are you going to do?

 

"I'm going to - India!"

 

Barack Obama's trip to India next month will be the biggest by any US President - with a staggering 40 aircraft and six armoured cars.

 

Details of the elaborate arrangements for the tree-day presidential visit on November 6 were leaked to Indian newspaper earlier this week.

 

Forty aircraft - including the Air Force One military plane - and six heavily armoured cars will follow the president around the country.

I do not fault the President for making a diplomatic visit to a major player in the international scene, but must it be so extravagant?

 

The US would be spending a whopping $200 million per day on President Barack Obama's visit to the city.

 

Seems like a family trip to Disneyland would make a little more economic sense in these troubling times.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:27 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2010

Hot on the heels of my article revealing liberals not living up to their own standards comes another report which finds liberals taking heat from liberals. The controversy stems from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard's new comedy film "The Dilemma."

 

That slight moment comes from actor Vince Vaughn, whose character calls electric cars "gay" during a meeting in the movie.

 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, electric cars are gay," Vaughn's character Ronnie Valentine says. "I mean, not ?homosexual' gay, but ?my parents are chaperoning the dance gay."


 

From that remark comes the politically correct firestorm:

 

That, however, does not go far enough for GLAAD ( the Gay and Lesbian Aliance Against Defemation) President Jarret Barrios.

 

"At a time when so many in our country are speaking out against the bullying of gay youth, Universal was right to acknowledge the offensive nature of this ?joke' when it removed it from trailers," he said in a statement reported by the New York Daily News.

 

"Hopefully in the future, Universal and Ron Howard will recognize the power of their words and use their films to bring people together rather than drive us apart."

 

In response, both Howard and Vaughn defend the remark:

 

Vaughn has defended the joke: "Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together."

 

"If storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought," Howard, who says he owns electric cars, added.

 

Which is it, then? Comedy that "brings us together" or "drive[s] us apart?" Whichever it may be, we can be certain that the left intends to pursue political correctness until it invades our daily lives and restricts our individual ability to engage in the free expression of restricted thought.

 

"I believe in sensitivity but not censorship," Howard responded on Friday.

 

Sorry, Howard, but the way affairs are proceeding, your own kind intend to require submission to politically correct approval panels before scripts can be published and performed.

 

Quite "The Dilemma" indeed.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:02 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2010

Almost always forgotten, or never learned, from our own American history of revolution is the codification of a never-ending revolution within our first significant founding document, the Declaration of Independence. Yet here it is before our very eyes:

 

[W]henever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

 

Praise God, the very Creator whom our Founders recognized by name, that the vision of those earliest American patriots included the mechanism by which the American Revolution could continue without the destructive violence they had to endure.



 

Instead of blood in our streets on this election day, Americans simply made their way to ballot boxes and, in an orderly process, altered our government.

 

This remains unheard of still in most parts of our world! Since its foundation, America has been and still remains the exception to the way men and women are governed. That exception is once again codified in our great Declaration of Independence:

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

 

Two years ago, due to a confluence of many disparate factors and events, a political change swept over our landscape. In spite of the new hope which accompanied this change, it soon became obvious that the changes being wrought upon us were antithetical to the American principles we dearly love. Citizens - patriots - across the fruited plains gathered to express dissatisfaction with the policies and laws being passed that threatened the freedoms laid out in this precious founding document.

 

In all too many places in this world, bringing about a political change of this magnitude would have required the spilling of much blood. However, thanks to the Providential vision of those brave souls who crafted what ultimately became known as the United States of America, no blood needed to be spilled in order to protect and defend our "unalienable rights." It remains nothing short of an overwhelming miracle.

 

There is much yet to be done. None of us know with any degree of certainty how this new political landscape will impact American citizens today and tomorrow. But I do know this:

 

On this election day, we have brought about once again an American Revolution.
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

Key Senate Races

NV (D) Reid vs. (R) Angle

Sharron Angle has been portrayed as a cook, a fanatic, a radical, and outside the mainstream, but has still persisted in the polls.  Meanwhile, Reid has been consistently polling at about 45%.  This boxer hasn't been able to put away his opponent and weeks before the election was facing a four point deficit in the polls.  Early voting reports has been more dismal news for Reid.  Angle has become a figurehead for the TEA party supporters, so a win, particularly a convincing win, would be a strong statement. 

 

CA (D) Boxer vs. (R) Fiorina

Good news for Barbara Boxer: polls have shown her consistently holding a lead in the late stretch.

Bad news for Barbara Boxer: polls have shown Fiorina closing in the late stretch. 

This race may be key in determining whether the Democrats or Republicans hold the Senate and it looks like things are running down to the wire.



 

WA (D) Murray vs. (R) Rossi

Poor Dino Rossi.  After losing two of the closest elections in American history he finds himself in a similar position this election against Patty Murray.  Early voting has shown good signs for Rossi, but polls have put Murray ahead with a very, very slim lead.  Will Rossi face a close disappointment again or will he finally taste victory?

 

AK (R) Miller vs. (D) McAdams vs. (I) Murkowski

When Joe Miller toppled Lisa Murkowski in the primary, it looked like he was a lock for the seat.  But Murkowski flexed her political muscles and threatens to either win the seat or split the vote.  So who will prevail?  Will Miller overcome his late stretch blunders and hold for the win?  Will Murkowski defy the odds to win as a write in?  Or will Scott McAdams sneak in after a split vote?   

 

Key House Races

AZ - 7 (D) Grijalva vs. (R) McClung

This race would be a clear indication of the impact of several of the issue specific areas that could impact this election.  Ruth McClung, a rocket scientist, has little financial background, little political experience, and no business winning as a Republican against an experienced Democrat challenger in a Democrat-leaning district.  But even Democrats in the state have reason to be hot and bothered when their own representative calls for a boycott of their own state due to the immigration law.  There has been precious little polling, so where the race stands is anyone's guess, but the only polling data that exists suggests that this race is surprisingly close.

 

ID - 1 (D) Minnick vs. (R) Labrador

Even though this is a solidly Republican district, Democrat Walt Minnick has had the luxury of facing woefully inept opponents.  This year is no exception, but this is an exceptional year.  Despite a weak opponent in Raul Labrador, Minnick has held a very thin lead.  Is the Republican wave big enough to overcome candidate deficiencies?

 

HI - 1 (R) Djou vs. (D) Hanabusa

Hawaii is a solidly Democrat state and Charles Djou managed to sneak into the House after a special election saw a divided Democrat vote.  He has shown to be surprisingly resilient, though, and could pull off the win.  Will the Republican wave reach the Hawaii shores or is this just a fluke?

 

Key Governor Races

OR (D) Kitzhaber vs. (R) Dudley

Former NBA star has gone from four point underdog, to poll leader, to trailing by two right before the election.  He represents one of many candidates (including one of two former professional athletes) who has decided to enter the political arena.  He could pull off the underdog story or he could come up just short.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 02:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

Key Senate Races

CO (D) Bennet vs. (R) Buck

In 2006 and 2008 independent voters started to swing strongly for the Democrat party.  Nowhere is this more evident than Colorado which holds one largest percentage of independent voter.  One of the major themes of this election has been the mass exodus of independent voters from the Democrat to the Republican party.  If Ken Buck downs Michael Bennet, this would be an obvious confirmation of this mass migration. 



Key House Races

LA - 2 (R) Cao vs. (D) Richmond

Anh Cao initially won this race after the disgraced William Jefferson was booted from Congress, but he is the most identifiable target for a Democrat pickup.  Cao represents an extremely liberal region of the south.  Any Republican would struggle to hold this seat.  This is an obvious Democrat pickup, so if Cao holds his seat, it means the Democrats are in for a very long night.

 

MN - 8 (D) Oberstar vs. (R) Cravaack

The Minnesota 8th district represents the typical working class Whites district that has been a staple for the Democrat party for decades.  A Democrat has represented this district since the 1940's.  That's why a late poll showing Jim Oberstar in a dead heat with underfunded political unknown Chip Cravaack has a lot of Democrats nervous as to what kind of election this will be.  If Cravaack topples Oberstar, it may represent a dramatic shift in the attitudes of the working class towards the party they have so often identified themselves with.  If Oberstar is in trouble, how many other surprise races like his will pop up on election day?

 

NY - 1 (D) Bishop vs. (R) Altschuler

NY - 2 (D) Israel vs. (R) Gomez

NY - 4 (D) McCarthy vs. (R) Becker

NY - 13 (D) McMahon vs. (R) Grimm

NY - 19 (D) Hall vs. (R) Hayworth

NY - 20 (D) Murphy vs. (R) Gibson

NY - 22 (D) Hinchey vs. (R) Phillips

NY - 23 (D) Owens vs. (R) Doheny

NY - 24 (D) Arcuri vs. (R) Hanna

NY - 25 (D) Maffei vs. (R) Buerkle

NY - 27 (D) Higgens vs. (R) Roberto

NY - 29 (D) Zeller vs. (R) Reed

 

I post these races to demonstrate just how up in the air this election is.  This is one state.  These are the races that are considered competitive.  The same could be said and done for Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  How many of these seats could be picked up?  Who knows.  But a few percentage points in the national trend could very well mean the difference between a massive turnover and a slim majority.

 

Key Governor Races

CO (D) Hickenlooper vs. (I) Tancredo

The TEA party movement has sent shockwaves down the spines of both parties.  Initially, there was fear of a potential third party but quite the opposite happened.  Instead you see Charlie Crist and Lisa Murkowski running independently after what would have been their demise in the primary.  The one exception has been Tom Tancredo who entered the race for governor after his disgust with the field of Republican candidates.  It looked like Hickenlooper was going to sneak in with a divided Republican vote but more and more Republicans have fled from Maes and jumped onto the Tancredo express.  Polls now show a neck and neck race with Hickenlooper in the lead but Tancredo with the momentum.

 

RI (D) Caprio vs. (R) Robitaille vs. (I) Chafee

The Rhode Island governor race has to be one of the most bizarre in the nation.  Democrat Frank Caprio looked in control, but a brush-up with President Obama and late floundering has seen him plummet in the polls.  This propelled Lincoln Chafee into the lead.  It also appears that as Caprio has crashed, so has John Robitaille surged.  Each candidate has a legitimate claim to a path to victory. 

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 01:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

John Kerry has climbed off his swift boat to lecture us all on how stupid we are.  Nothing new there.  But what is ironic is not how off-base he is...most Americans wouldn't recognize him if he weren't.

 

What is intriguing is how his explanation for what is going on in America fits what is actually going on in the Democrat Party.

 

With his party braced for defeats in the midterm elections, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce that a Republican machine ? fueled by talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck ? has undermined progress and misled the public into believing Democrats created the country's current economic problems.
[...]
"It's absurd. We've lost our minds," said a clearly exasperated Kerry. "We're in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don't weigh in. It's all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics."

 

Malkin blogger Doug Powers responds to Kerry's rant perfectly:

 

Could it be that some of the hypnotized hopeful who believed harmonic convergence would be free and that clean air, world peace, free gas and kick*** careers had finally arrived in the form of catch-phrases and campaign slogans eventually awakened to the fact that they were duped?

 

Yep.  And the fact that Kerry and the Democrats don't see that - or won't admit it - only proves who the real "know-nothings" are.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

Key Senate Races

IL (D) Giannoulias vs. (R) Kirk

In the battle for Barack Obama's old Senate seat you have Alex Giannoulias, a candidate who is the epitome of Chicago politics, and Mark Kirk, a moderate Republican.  In most states the corruption charges would sink a candidate, but this is Illinois, and Giannoulias is a Democrat.  But in this election cycle anything can happen, and polls have consistently demonstrated a tight race.  This is certainly one to watch. 

 

PA (D) Sestak vs. (R) Toomey

For a time it looked like Pat Toomey was starting to walk away with the race, but as we've approached election the polls have tightened.  Toomey still holds an edge in the polls, but a loss here would be a deflation of the high expectations for Republicans. 



 

Key House Races

MA - 4 (D) Frank vs. (R) Bielat

This is liberal Massachusetts and this is an entrenched incumbent in Barney Frank.  Safe seat, right?  But when polling showed things surprisingly close, Frank dumped $200,000 of his own money into his re-election bid.  I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I would still put my money on Frank.  If he is upset or if it is even close, it's a bad, bad sign for Democrats nationally.

 

IL - 10 (R) Dold vs. (D) Seals

This is one of the few seats that the Democrats could feasibly win.  This is a moderate district previously held by Mark Kirk, a moderate Republican who is currently running for Senate (see above).  Dold hasn't run a particularly effective campaign and polling has shown a tight race.  Is this a potential Democrat pickup?

 

MS - 4 (D) Taylor vs. (R) Palazzo

MO - 4 (D) Skelton vs. (R) Hartzler

TN - 4 (D) Davis vs. (R) DesJarlais

 

I'm lumping these races together because they all represent a similar issue.  If Republicans win these races it means that the traditional understanding of "vote for the person, not the party" simply doesn't apply in this election.  Each of these races holds conservative Democrats in solidly Republican areas.  Each race has a Democrat who has weathered election after election by being an "independent" voice.

 

SD - AL (D) Herseth-Sandlin vs. (R) Noam

In the obscure state of South Dakota is one of the most expensive races in the nation.  Conservative Democrat Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin faces arguably the most conservative candidate in the nation in Kristi Noam.  It's been an election where both candidates have run to the right to argue their case as to who would be the most effective conservative voice in congress.  It should be a close race. 

 

Key Governor Races

CT (R) Foley vs. (D) Malloy

While much of the attention in Connecticut has gone to the Senate race between Blumenthal and McMahon, flying under the radar has been a very tight race between Tom Foley and Dan Malloy.  For most of this election season Malloy looked to coast to victory.  But in the past few weeks, Foley has surged fifteen points in a month and a half to steal a lead.  Polling is still neck and neck, so anything could happen today.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

A devastating article has appeared in the Washington Post, highlighting President Obama as "the most divisive president" in modern history.

 

This isn't a difficult conclusion to come to.  He has locked Republicans out of meetings, condescended towards anyone who hasn't agreed with him, pompously assumed that disagreement with his policies is born out of fear and ignorance, engaged in childlike pokes at his political opposition, incessantly trampled the presidential honor code by relentlessly bashing his predecessor, and so on.



 

But what makes this particular assessment so astounding is that it comes from Democrats.  Ripping Obama for "Nixonian" rhetoric, Pat Caddell - a Jimmy Carter man - and moderate Democrat Doug Schoen write:

 

Obama is walking a knife's edge. He has said that the 3.5 million "shovel-ready jobs" he had referred to as justification for the passage of the stimulus bill didn't exist - throwing all the Democratic incumbents who had defended the stimulus in their campaigns under the proverbial bus.

 

Although he said, as part of his effort to enact health-care reform, that the health-care mandates were not taxes, now his administration acknowledges in court papers that they are, in fact, taxes.

 

As Election Day approaches, the president and others in the Democratic leadership have focused on campaign finance by moneyed interests - an ancillary issue serving neither party nor country. They have intensified attacks on business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individual political operatives such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie - insisting that organizations are fronting for foreign campaign money and large secret donations and campaign expenditures. Even the New York Times has noted that "a closer examination shows that there is little evidence" that these organizations have engaged in activities that are "improper or even unusual."

 

It astounds us to hear such charges from the president given that his presidential campaign in 2008 refused to disclose the names of all of its donors, and in past election cycles many liberal groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress, refused to disclose their contributors.

 

Democrats can thank the President's arrogance and unparalleled divisiveness for what happens in these midterms.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

I confess that I feel a smug satisfaction whenever liberals are assailed by liberal ideology. Such was the case when I read the AP report that Peruvians are offended by a recent "Modern Family" episode.

 

The offending dialogue comes during an argument between Jay, played by Ed O'Neill, and his Colombian wife Gloria, played by Sofia Vergara.

 

"Now, maybe in Colombia ..." Jay begins.

 

"Ah, here we go," Gloria interrupts. "Because, in Colombia, we trip over goats and we kill people in the street. Do you know how offensive that is? Like we're Peruvians!"

 

 


We have a very left-leaning and typically crude TV show, "Modern Family," unable to apply liberal ideological political correctness standards. Once the error is pointed out, though, our liberal friends recognize their transgression and make amends and trip over themselves to volunteer for diversity refresher training. Right?

 

Peruvian cyberspace lit up with criticism of ABC, which airs "Modern Family," and Vergara, who brushed aside a torrent of insulting tweets. After one Twitter user asked her to clarify what happened with the script, the actress responded in Spanish: "Get a life!!!!!!"

 

ABC did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

 

My oh my! I hope that Vergara does not receive an invitation to "The View." We would hate to see Goldberg and Behar have to walk off their own show again.

 

"It's incredible that in a country where everything is politically correct, ABC would have a line of this sort," said Milagros Lizarraga, founder of Peru USA Southern Ca, an online community that communicates through social media.

 

"Many Peruvians think this is no coincidence, that she knew what she was saying, because an actress has the power to say, 'No, I can't say this because it would hurt my image,'" Lizarraga said. "Unless she agrees with what she said."


 

The reality of liberal ideology is that it applies only to those who have not attained the status of a liberal elite. Once that coveted social position has been reached, one no longer needs to worry about liberal standards.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

Key Senate Races

Initially there appeared to be a handful of competitive Senate races in these regions.  But first Evan Bayh decided not to run, then Marco Rubio started pulling away in Florida, then Portman in Ohio, and finally a despicable ad by Conway sealed his loss against Rand Paul in Kentucky.  About the only competitive race left in these states is the West Virginia race.

 

WV (D) Manchin vs. (R) Raese

Conventional wisdom said that Manchin would walk off with this race, but when Raese started polling ahead of him, Manchin had to adjust his strategy.  He ran from his party as quickly as possible, distancing himself from President Obama and his agenda and publicly coming out against Obamacare and Cap and Trade.  Is it enough to push him back over the top?  Polling shows this race neck and neck, with differing polls as to who's on top.



 

Key House Races

IN - 2 (D) Donnelly vs. (R) Walorski

Polls show this race very close and it's obviously an important race for many of us here in Indiana who want to have a Representative who actually (heaven forbid) speaks with their constituents.  If Donnelly wins, it probably means that Republican gains will be moderate (40's).  If he loses close, it means Republican gains will be as expected (50's).  But if Walorsky wins by more than 5 points, it is probably an indication of a Republican tsunami (60+ gains). 

 

FL - 22 (D) Klein vs. (R) West

The contrast between candidates here nearly rivals the FL - 8 race between leftist firebrand Alan Grayson and mild mannered Daniel Webster.  Ron Klein is a white liberal.  Alan West is a black conservative.  The district is moderate.  Lots of money has been thrown into this race and it's about even for both sides.  This race is as indicative as any as to whether this election is a referendum on the national agenda or not. 

 

NC - 11 (D) Shuler vs. (R) Miller

Confident or desperate?  Blue Dog (or lap dog) Democrat Heath Shuler boldly came out a few days ago and said that he intends to throw his name in the hat to replace Nancy Pelosi as an alternative for Speaker of the House.  There's a couple of assumptions here: first, the Democrats have to win enough seats to retain the majority and second, that he wins his election.  Both assumptions are in serious doubt, which is probably why he's making such a statement.  Will the Blue Dog coalition hold, or will they be lumped in with the leadership of the party?  This race will be a good indication.

 

Key Governor Races

I haven't covered the Governors races as closely, but there are certainly several races here worth mentioning.  In Florida, Rick Scott (R) and Alex Sink (D) have been neck and neck for months.  Just when it seems that one is pulling away, the other has rebounded. 

 

Much like in Indiana where there is a good contingent of Democrats despite a very nationally Republican voting record, Vermont has a strong number of Republicans despite the state being one of the most liberal in national voting.  The governor race is very close with (D) Peter Shumlin and (R) Brian Dubie polling very close to each other. 

 

Finally, in Ohio incumbent (D) Ted Strickland spent much of the past few months trailing dismally in the polls.  He has since rebounded and is within a few points of Republican challenger John Kasich.  If he wins, it could be a disappointing election for Republicans.  If Kasich wins by more than five points, it could be an indication of a Republican tidal wave.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

Watching President Obama and his staff attempting to spin the results of intermittent gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as the Senate race in Massachusetts - all of which went against his chosen candidate - was beyond entertaining.

 

The attempt to suggest that the voters, by choosing candidates he opposed, were actually affirming his leadership and continuing the wave of discontent that brought him into power was better than anything you'd see on Comedy Central.

 

So what about today?  What will the response be after the polls close tonight?



 

Daniel J. Flynn writes what he thinks will be the three narratives:

 

Excuse Narrative #1 blames the voters. Americans are too ignorant and afraid to fully appreciate President Obama's greatness.

...


Excuse Narrative #2 blames big money....[Never mind that] spending on Democrats has outpaced spending on Republicans $856 million to $677 million this election cycle.

 

...


Excuse Narrative #3 blames the Democratic Party's "centrism." For academics Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, the Democrats' problems stem not from going too far to the Left, but from not going far enough.

 

Pretty good guesses, all.  But regardless, here's to hoping that Mr. Obama will take this advice that is already coming from his die-hard liberal supporters:

 

Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich counsels, "Message to Obama: Whatever happens Nov. 2, don't move to the center. Push even harder for what you believe in."

 

Please, Mr. President, take that advice.  Continue demonstrating the stark contrast between conservatism and liberalism.  It could end up making you the President who saved America.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2010

It would be hard to pinpoint a single race that is taking place today that is most important.  The answer would depend largely on an individual's local interests.

 

Further, there are multiple races that are being highlighted as "bellweather" races - ones that tell us how the day will shake out by demonstrating the mood and energy of the electorate.

 

In terms of symbolism, few races are as significant as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's race against Sharron Angle in Nevada.  Reid is one of the architects (albeit a bumbling, clueless role) of the Obama-Pelosi agenda.



 

But more than that, he is the man who exemplifies all that is most wrong in American politics.  Ronald Wieck documents:

 

Harry Reid tried very hard to cause his own country to lose a war, bending all the powers of his high office to that ignoble end. And it is not an issue that can be raised in his re-election campaign.

Harry Reid wanted America to be defeated in Iraq to embarrass a president who belonged to the other party and to gain seats in Congress for his party, thereby enhancing his own prestige.   And he is quite comfortable putting party ahead of country.

 

After highlighting that Harry's actions would have once been regarded as treasonous, Wieck notes how this behavior has become par for the course:

 

No, Harry's behavior is no longer beyond the pale. He was merely doing what politicians nowadays are expected to do. Say anything at all to savage the other side. It doesn't matter if you're lying through your teeth; it doesn't matter if you endanger the lives of the young men and women overseas; it doesn't matter if you weaken the nation's security. The paramount issue here is partisan gain. Will what I say help my side to achieve ephemeral gains? If the answer is yes, then the gloves come off and no blow is too low.

 

Harry Reid probably didn't believe that we were losing the war. He couldn't possibly have regarded the surge as a failure before the effects of the surge were felt. But he and Nancy Pelosi hammered away relentlessly, utterly heedless of the dire consequences that would necessarily attend the success of their campaign. They asserted things they didn't know, hurled baseless and slanderous charges, and made predictions that turned out spectacularly wrong. (For an invaluable study of the Democrats' mendacity and irresponsibility, see Party of Defeat (Spence 2008) by David Horowitz and Ben Johnson.) What they did not do was initiate a substantive debate on the Iraq War, and they didn't for a good reason.

 

Wieck goes on from there to outline why Nancy and Harry would have lost that debate.  It's a good read if you're interested.  But the case against Harry Reid's dangerous partisanship and unprincipled leadership is already made...and won.

 

Let's hope the people of Nevada make it a decisive victory today.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 07:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

An editorial from The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Indiana) so earthshakingly important that it merited being reprinted in my more local newspaper (or perhaps because they are linked by common ownership) provides a ready demonstration of media bias and hypocrisy.

 

I recognize that an editorial is not the same as a news article, and that an editorial can contain some bias from the columnist, but it does not mean that hypocrisy cannot be identified.

 

The Herald Bulletin editorial staff comment on the report that President Obama, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh are related.

 

According to news reports, genealogist Anastasia Tyler said Obama and Palin are 10th cousins through a common ancestor named John Smith, a pastor and early settler in 17th-century Massachusetts. Obama is related to Smith through his mother, as is Palin, Tyler said.

"Smith was against the persecution of the Quakers," Tyler said in an interview. "He was a very socially conscious man."


 

Naturally, the editorial staff could not bring itself to let that revelation stand on its own.

 

Socially conscious? Palin? Before we run around declaring that some perverse gene left her without a conscience or that the same gene has socialistic tendencies, let's remember that even in the closest of families, political differences can be divisive and deep.

 

Ah, yes. Sarah Palin, the pro-life mother who is also an enormously successful career woman, is obviously the "family member" void of social conscience. Funny, I do not recall it being Ms. Palin who votes to allow infants born alive following attempted abortions to be allowed to die afterwards from neglect.

 

As our stellar editorial staff conclude their article, they write:

 

People are good and bad, black and white, crazy and smart and all of the above. People are ambiguous and cannot be reduced to simple labels and types.

 

Do these people have any clue whatsoever that they constantly and consistently demonstrate their inability to express themselves with any presence of logic? They are certainly unable to refrain from editorial hypocrisy.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

This election has all of the experts in a state of panic.  There is so much uncertainty about what will actually happen on Tuesday that even the most seasoned of analysts are throwing up their hands.  Time will tell what really will happen, but in the meanwhile I can throw out my speculations as to what this election brings.  Here are five bold predictions about what we will see happen this election.

 

1.  Republicans will win a majority of the women vote. 

 

This may not seem that bold until you realize that Barack Obama won the women vote in 2008 by a percentage of 56 to 43%.  A fifteen point swing would represent a major, major shift in the electorate.  Women traditionally have sided with the Democrat party over the Republicans, but the introduction of a host of female Republican candidates (Angle, Fiorina, Whitman, Ayotte, Haley, O'Donnell, etc.), the influence of Sarah Palin, and the nastiness with which these candidates have been treated by the media and Democrats has softened women to the Republican party.  I predict a Republican majority in the female vote. 



 

2.  Democrats will receive less than 80% of the Black vote.

 

Again, this may not sound like a big deal until you realize that President Obama won more than 95% of the Black vote.  Historically, African-Americans have voted for Democrats 85% of the time.  But the unending charge of racism is starting to lose its charge and more and more Blacks are identifying themselves as conservative.  I predict that 2012 will see a brief revival out of loyalty to President Obama, but 2010 could represent the signs of fracturing of this solidly Democrat voting block.

 

3.  The suburbs will come out for Republicans.

 

In recent elections, the rural areas have been trending Republican while the suburbs have been trending Democrat.  This has led to states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio taking a decidedly Democrat shift while states like New Jersey, which has traditionally been a purple state, has turned solid blue.  I predict that states like Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York will make the most drastic swing to the right.

 

4.  The largest percentage of Democrats in recent electoral memory will vote Republican.

 

In many states, particularly in the south and mid-west, a large group of Democrats have continued to vote Democrat out of loyalty.  These individuals are typically socially conservative, fiscally centrist.  The kind of Democrats they back are what has been popularly termed "blue dog" Democrats.  But increasingly these Democrats are feeling that they don't have a voice in the party.  They didn't approve of Obamacare and they feel that spending is beyond what they feel comfortable with.  Roughly 90% of Democrats went for President Obama.  I predict that to fall to below 85%. 

5.  The wealthy vote will once again return to Republicans.

 

The Republican party has been called the party of the rich.  Unfortunately, the facts would argue that the Democrat party has been the party of the rich in recent elections.  In 2008, the income groups that President Obama won were all groups under $50,000 AND those making over $200,000.  Both the middle class and the upper class should swing decidedly Republican, but the most notable shift is a return of the wealthy to the Republican party.

 

So these are the five surprises of the 2010 election.  I'll get into the most surprised group later, but I can already predict two responses.  I expect the "experts" to be stunned by the results Tuesday and I predict liberal commentators to be confident that the results are a product of congress and President Obama not being liberal enough in their agenda. 

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 03:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

Perhaps John Boehner has it in him after all.  The man who potentially will yank the gavel from Nancy Pelosi's Constitution-shredding hand is set to deliver a powerful condemnation of Barack Obama's shocking declaration during a Univision radio interview.

 

For those that missed it, the President said:

 

"If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ?We're gonna punish our enemies, and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us' ? if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election ? then I think it's going to be harder. And that's why I think it's so important that people focus on voting on November 2nd."


 

Boehner will appropriately fire back:

 

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a president in the White House who referred to Americans who disagree with him as ?our enemies.' Think about that. He actually used that word. When Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush used the word ?enemy,' they reserved it for global terrorists and foreign dictators ? enemies of the United States. Enemies of freedom. Enemies of our country.

 

"Today, sadly, we have president who uses the word ?enemy' for fellow Americans ? fellow citizens. He uses it for people who disagree with his agenda of bigger government ? people speaking out for a smaller, more accountable government that respects freedom and allows small businesses to create jobs. Mr. President, there's a word for people who have the audacity to speak up in defense of freedom, the Constitution, and the values of limited government that made our country great. We don't call them ?enemies.' We call them ?patriots.'"

 

Go get ?em, John.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 01:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

It happens in newsrooms across America, and yet rarely is captured and disseminated for the masses to see...until now.

 

The media bias faced by conservative candidates is remarkable.  But typically manifesting itself in ways like questions asked vs. questions not asked, leads that become front-page news vs. stories that are buried, photos that are chosen vs. those that are not...very rarely do people take the time to lay these differences side by side to see it.

 

That's why examples like this are so important to highlight:

 

Reporters from a CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska, allegedly left a voicemail by mistake at the campaign of the state's Republican nominee for Senate, Joe Miller, in which the journalists can be heard plotting to "find" a "child molester" among the politician's supporters.



 

The reporters are also overheard hoping for violence against Miller so they can "send out a tweet" and Facebook alert that "Miller got punched" at a rally he held four days ago.

 

The apparent accidental voicemail message was left on the cell phone of Miller's spokesperson, Randy DeSoto.

 

In the recording, the assignment editor for the CBS Anchorage affiliate, KTVA, Nick McDermott, along with other reporters, can be heard openly discussing concocting the two stories about Miller.

 

They work for the Democrats.  Or at least for the more liberal of the two candidates.

 

When you realize how this is happening so often on the local level as well as the national level, you begin to understand why more and more people are having their eyes opened to why a center-right country ends up with left wing leadership.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

After the left hyperventilating at the thought of the Chamber of Commerce and other pro-business groups spending money in this election cycle, word comes that AFSCME alone has poured $90 million into this campaign for Democrats.  No similar concern has been forthcoming.



 

The actions of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) or NEA (National Education Association) are more irritating because they are public sector entities - meaning they are taxpayer financed.


A private union is different.  Consider:

 

There is no self-generating check on their voraciousness. "In the private sector, the wage demands of union workers cannot exceed a certain threshold," Daniel DiSalvo writes in a compelling essay on public-sector unionism in the journal National Affairs. "If they do, they can render their employers uncompetitive, threatening workers' long-term job security. In the public sector, though, government is the monopoly provider of many services, eliminating any market pressures."

The public-sector unions exemplify a government that is self-serving and out of control. They take government dollars paid to them and use them to elect management that will pay them even more, in a perpetual feedback loop of large-scale patronage.

 

In other words, there is a never-ending supply of money to be pillaged for public sector unions.  It's just "government money" after all.  Of course, "government money" is your money.



 

There's just something particularly egregious about this cycle that happens every election year: you pay your taxes, your taxes indirectly go to fund things like AFSCME and the NEA, those groups take that money and use it to get Democrats elected to office, those Democrats tax you more to give to groups like AFSCME and NEA.

 

Pardon me for taking sides, but that seems far more contemptible than the Chamber of Commerce's campaigning.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

In the arena of political talk, there's certainly no shortage of opinions.  The key to maneuvering through the clutter is to recognize when you come across someone who puts truth above ideology and honesty above agenda.  I can tolerate someone who is upfront with their own perspective and how it might influence their leanings, even if I'm ideologically opposed to them.  Everyone brings their own bias.  The key is to recognize that you have one.  This is why it is so refreshing when you do happen across an individual with the intellectual honesty to let the facts simply be the facts. 

 

Nate Silver is a poll analyst for the New York Times.  He's very good at what he does, but like virtually everyone at the NYT, he's got a liberal perspective.  At times I've been critical of Mr. Silver when I felt he's been blind to certain things, but I recognize that his ultimate goal is to provide accurate, honest consideration of polling data and trends.  My instincts regarding Mr. Silver were confirmed in a recent blog post that he has written.



 

In this blog entry, Mr. Silver provides five reasons why Republicans could very well exceed all the expert expectations this election.  It's a very, very compelling read, but in essence what it argues is that this election could see a lot more people come out and vote in certain ways than anyone is anticipating. 

 

One could argue that in this case he's hedging his bets, but I don't think so.  He's holding to his prediction of 53 House seat and 8 Senate seat pickups for the Republicans but is open to this doomsday scenario.  He is also arguing in a convincing fashion as to how this could happen should indeed this be the case. 

 

Far too often we've seen science corrupted by those who put their agenda over the pursuit of truth.  This can happen subtly and unintentionally in the interpretation of the data or the selection of the variables, but it can also be done overtly in the hiding of results or ignoring counter-evidence.  One needs only to look at the global warm.er.climate change debate to see what I'm talking about.  It's very easy to let your bias or ideology dictate how you interpret results, particularly when you have an audience.  This is why I find this piece by Silver so impressive. 



 

I can respect the fact that Silver's a liberal.  I can respect the fact that he's sticking to a low projection (by election prognosticator standards) as to the gains Republicans will have this election.  I can respect the fact that we have drawn differing conclusions from the very same polls in the past.  I can respect his unique perspective and observations because he has demonstrated the integrity to let his analysis be driven by a willingness to engage in honest dialogue rather than letting his ideology determine the direction of his analysis.

Posted by: Joel Harris AT 07:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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