Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
THEY SAY ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGET, IN 1996 THEY FORGOT WHO THEY WERE; LET'S HOPE THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT IN 2011
The GOP gets a second chance
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
November 7, 2010
THE MOST encouraging thing about the Republican triumph in last week's midterm elections is that so many Republicans acknowledge that it wasn't a Republican triumph.
"We make a great mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party," Florida's impressive senator-elect, Marco Rubio, said in his victory speech Tuesday night. "What they are is a second chance, a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago."
The same sentiment was expressed by the likely next House majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia. "There isn't a lot of confidence focused on the Republicans yet," he told CBS the morning after the election. "It isn't necessarily a vote of confidence for Republican leadership."
Outside Congress, too, influential Republican strategists have been warning the victors against hubris and the temptation to gloat. "Republicans must not delude themselves," wrote political mastermind Karl Rove. "The voters didn't throw out the Democrats because they are enraptured with the GOP. . . . Republicans are on probation."
So they are. Voters have been betrayed in the past by Republicans who ran for office vowing to shrink the scope and cost and intrusiveness of government, only to end up presiding over ever-more-bloated budgets, record-setting deficits, increasingly unaffordable entitlements, and disgraceful ethical lapses.
The last time a GOP majority took control of the US House of Representatives -- under Newt Gingrich in January 1995 -- Republicans produced a list of more than 300 unnecessary federal agencies, funds, and programs that they intended to "zero out" as proof of their fiscal responsibility. Yet nearly every item on that list was still alive and well when the Republicans lost their majority 12 years later. By then the GOP had grown as addicted to pork-barrel spending and the perks of power as the Democrats they had campaigned against. In Cantor's words, Republicans had become "a party on the Bridge to Nowhere" -- a biting reference to the proposed Alaska bridge that became a national symbol of earmark sleaze and irresponsible pork-barrel politics.
Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio on Election Night: "We make a great mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party."
Indeed, according to a Rasmussen survey conducted last week, 59 percent of voters say it's likely -- 38 percent say very likely -- that Americans "will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress before the next national elections."
Intelligent Republicans know this only too well, which is why their historic gains on Nov. 2 triggered so little jubilation. "This is not a time for celebration," said John Boehner, who will become Speaker of the House when the 112th Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3.
What is it time for, then? First and foremost, it is time to reverse the destructive Obama policies that have alarmed so many voters and made businesses so uneasy. It is essential that Republicans keep tax rates from rising. They must roll back spending decisively. And they must dismantle as much of the misbegotten health-care law as a party in control of just one house of Congress can.
They must also make it clear that they have learned from the failure of the previous GOP majority. That means permanently ending the pork-and-earmark culture that has so corrupted the budgeting process. It means defunding, not perpetuating, the corporate welfare and agriculture subsidies that violate every free-market principle Republicans claim to stand for. It means keeping their promise that no legislation will be voted on until members have had sufficient time to read and understand it. It means an end to automatic congressional pay raises, which are both obnoxious and a violation of the 28th Amendment.
Power tends to corrupt, Lord Acton said. It certainly corrupted the last Republican majority, which got hooked on the pleasures of authority and came to resemble the corrupt Democratic majority it had replaced. Now Republicans are being given another opportunity to govern. Let's hope this time they stay true to their values.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
Thursday, November 4, 2010
A PATIENT PEOPLE SHOULD LEARN TO LOVE ALL THE 'GOODIES' IN OBAMACARE IF THEY WOULD JUST WAIT A DECADE OR TWO
At his post-defeat press conference, Barack Obama worked hard to project an air of somber reflection, even as his remarks revealed that he had learned nothing from the defeat.
Amidst the practiced pauses and detached narration of the crash came a litany of excuses, evasions, and arrogant denials. He more or less cast himself as the victim of a "bad economy," as if two years of sending anti-business signals to employers had nothing to do with the high jobless rate. He made sure to note that other presidents had gotten similarly clocked after two years. And he essentially blamed the American people for a lack of perception and patience.
But since he couldn't say that directly, he had to couch his self-justification in the form of patronizing blather about how he could have "accomplished" more, made better "progress," and "communicated" more effectively with the American people. He tried to make some sort of phony distinction between his "policy decisions" and his "policy outcomes," implying that the people objected to the latter but not to the former. Never mind that the exit polls demonstrated that they repudiated both.
Obama couldn't bring himself to admit the obvious, that his liberalism leaves the American people unafraid of alternatives, so instead we got the usual self-serving nonsense about how the American people like the content of liberalism but just resist it in times of distress when Democrats fall down at salesmanship and implementation. In one answer, he even had the audacity to suggest that the American people were too dumb to realize that his bailout-style socialism was only temporary and not a permanent policy. Where could they have possibly gotten that idea?
Obama was in effect saying at the press conference what Joe Biden said on the campaign trail (that liberalism is hard "to explain," but somehow wonderful to behold over time in its results) and what Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid said after the passage of the health care bill (that a patient people will learn to love all the goodies contained within it if they just wait a decade or so).
Obama received praise after the press conference for his "pensive" demeanor, but what's stunning about him is his utter lack of reflection. He either has no capacity for critical thinking or what little he once possessed has dissipated in ideological reliance upon mindless cliché and sophistry. In any case, it is scary. At the end of the day, he is nothing more than a shallow pol with little interest in or knowledge of governing. He backed into the White House through effortless luck (he ran against one of the worst Republican presidential candidates ever), and apparently assumed that running the White House would be just as easy.
His shallowness also makes him obtuse, even from a rawly political and self-interested standpoint. He suffered one of the worst defeats in decades because of his environmental, socialist, and Brave New World dilettantism, yet spent much of the press conference talking about "electric cars," gays in the military, and 26-year-olds who, thanks to his largesse, will get to stay on the health care plans of their "parents."
Obama's metaphorical "car in the ditch" is apparently an electric car which, if it ever gets out, will drive America into a glorious future by picking up 26-year-olds and depositing them at job interviews for work made possible through the "Stimulus" package.
Obama admitted that he lives in a "bubble," but that too was the fault of others. He presented himself as the passive victim of his own presidency. Near the end of the press conference, he allowed himself a particularly absurd and maudlin moment, complaining that because of the presidency's inherently insular character no one can see the depth of his concern for the people. He said that "no one is filming him reading those letters" from them which leave him so anguished and inspired. Perhaps he needs his own reality show.
By George Neumayr on 11.4.10 @ 6:09AM
THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR
The Cause of Liberty
"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions. The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny mediated against them." --George WashingtonHaving taken a moment to account for the considerable battleground gained in the most significant political offensive between Liberty and tyranny in three decades -- the fight being led by the Tea Party movement against the institution of statism headed by Barack Hussein Obama and his Socialist Bourgeoisie -- we must now press on, as there is no time for rest.
The ranks of conservatives in our national Congress, and in our state executive and legislative branches across the nation, were greatly strengthened in Tuesday's midterm election, but those campaigns were just the beginning of a movement to restore Liberty.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Excessive taxation ... will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election."
Indeed, taxation was a factor in the seating of House and Senate conservatives, but as was the case with the original Tea Party in December of 1773, these victories were driven by a renewed concern for not just taxation, but taxation without representation.
The new Tea Party movement is much more than a coalition of fiscally conservative Independents and those still under the banner of the Republican Party. This movement is, at its foundation, a philosophical federation of American Patriots who are, first and foremost, bound together by a devotion to the Essential Liberty defined in our Declaration of Independence and the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution.
The renewal of this timeless battle between Liberty and tyranny has reanimated the political contests of our era, yet the conventional spin from pundits and news-cycle talkingheads indicates that they have yet to realize that there is much more than "a political pendulum swing" afoot with the legions of American Patriots who now identify with the organic Tea Party movement.
Of course, Obama and his Leftist cadres can't comprehend it either. He insists, "The reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared." He says further that those who do not support statism have an inability to "think clearly," and that his detractors' "basic political strategy has been to count on you having amnesia."
May Obama and his ilk continue to cling to those delusions...
Likewise, there are some so-called "moderate" House and Senate Republicans who are nearly as delusional -- those who think they'll be able to return to "business as usual" with a restored Republican majority. If they try to do just that, they'll face the same formidable challenge Democrats now face, because the ranks of conservatives in the House and Senate have been refortified with outspoken constitutional constructionists like Allen West, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio and dozens of others. Some of these Patriots unseated Democrats who had held office for decades, and others tossed Republican moderates onto the trash heap of mediocrity.
Establishment Republicans in the GOP are poised to declare "Mission Accomplished" and insist that the "New and Improved GOP" will hold to its stated principles this time around. Patriots won't adopt a "wait and see" strategy, however. Establishment Republicans had their opportunity when they held both the House and Senate under George W. Bush -- and they failed miserably. Instead, we'll insist that they revitalize the Reagan Model for Restoration now.
The re-energized movement for Liberty demands that our elected representatives, regardless of their political affiliation, act in accordance with their sacred oaths to "Support and Defend" our Constitution, and that they reduce the bloated size, function and cost of the central government to comport with its limited constitutional mandate and limited authority.
In the 2012 election and those which follow, we will root up and toss out Democrats and Republicans who fail to honor their oaths. There can be no doubt, though, that Obama and his party will do everything in their power to prevent the decentralization of the Socialist regime they have created.
Beyond these entrenched threats posed by the adversaries of Liberty, there exist other more subtle dangers to the Tea Party movement.
The most significant hazard is the natural tendency by well-meaning Patriots to contain the movement, to bottle it up, to organize it under one umbrella, which would erode its grassroots strength and render it subject to the same corruption that organized political parties now embody.
To keep the Tea Party movement true to its roots, we must avoid centralization and continue to strengthen every individual link in the chain. The strength of that chain is a unified understanding and articulation of what is at stake: the contest between Rule of Law and rule of men.
To that end, The Patriot Post, since its inception, has been plowing the fields and sewing the seed for this Great Awakening, and we have a vital and essential role to ensure that the movement remains, first and foremost, about the restoration of constitutional integrity, and to support its momentum.
We have much more ground to take if we are to restore the cause of Liberty, and we need your help. For we can only restore constitutional Rule of Law if our growing tide of conservative voices makes it so. We cannot undo generations of civic negligence in one or two election cycles, but we can -- no, we must -- halt our nation's downward spiral toward the tyranny of Democratic Socialism.
Among the character traits that distinguish you, as a Patriot Post reader, from too many other Americans is the mission you share with other Patriot readers who are, in the words of Samuel Adams, "keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
I thank you for your vigilance, strength, preparedness and faithfulness.
We rely upon your generosity to help us maintain the clarion call for Liberty for countless thousands of our military, collegiate, political and mission field readers -- all of whom are vital links in the chain to hold back tyranny and restore Liberty.
So, it is with due respect to the urgency of our times that I announce our 2010 Annual Fund campaign. We typically raise about 50 percent of our annual operating revenues in the last eight weeks of each year. We do so on faith in the goodwill of Patriots like you.
I humbly request that you support The Patriot Post online today by making a contribution -- however large or small. (If you prefer to support us by mail, please use our printable donor form or print the donor guide below.) We are not sustained by any political, special interest or parent organization. Our mission and operations are funded by -- and depend entirely upon -- the voluntary financial support of American Patriots like YOU.
As always, I thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as editor and publisher of The Patriot Post. We are humbled to count you among our ranks. On behalf of our National Advisory Committee and staff, thank you and may God bless you and your family, and may He grant us victory over the formidable challenges to Liberty just ahead!
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Publisher, The Patriot Post
Your support is more critical than ever before, and as a measure of our thanks, for a donation of $26 we will send you our newest edition Tea Party Primer. Donors of $52 or more will receive four Primers and those giving $100 or more will receive 10 Primers, which you can distribute to family, friends, and associates -- spreading the flame of liberty ever wider. (Please allow approximately six weeks for delivery.)
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Tea Party Primer
Our quintessential field guide for the Tea Party movement, Tea Party Primer, is immediately available individually, in small quantity or as a bulk purchase. Inexpensively priced for wide distribution, the Tea Party Primer's purpose is to be a catalyst for the restoration of our Constitution's integrity and mandate for Rule of Law! All purchases at The Patriot Shop support our Mission of Service to America's Armed Forces.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
November 2nd was a victory for Liberty!!!! Congratulations! Victories across the country happened because of your hard work and your dedication to our core values, our Constitution, and our country! Your efforts to spread our message throughout the country have resonated with millions of Americans! Time after time you melted the phone lines, showed up at rallies, made signs, protested outside of Congressmen and Senator’s offices, lobbying the halls of Congress, and so much more. Each and every time you took one of these actions our message spread further throughout the country.
On the night of the final health care vote in the House of Representatives, so many of you were in DC protesting while millions more were emailing, calling and faxing their Representatives. You were disgusted that your government ignored your will so egregiously. For almost thirty six hours straight you stood against those who refused to listen. Those who were in DC, sang with hoarse voices, “We’ll Remember in November! Hey! Hey! Good Bye!” They thought that when November came you wouldn’t remember. But we did remember. And those who ignored you have paid the price. Take pleasure in this feeling of victory.
You deserve the accolades and you deserve to take pleasure in this feeling. Tea Party Patriots wishes to extend a special thank you to Rick Santelli for his rant on February 19, 2009, which started this entire movement. Without Rick’s rant, this movement would never have started. Many others will try to take credit but don’t be fooled. He was the spark that began this fire.
Tea Party Patriots would also like to extend a special thank you to Top Conservatives on Twitter (#tcot), Smart Girl Politics (#sgp), and DontGo (#dontgo) for taking Santelli’s rant and actually acting on it. The leaders of these three organizations planned the original local coordinator conference call on February 20, 2009. They fanned the flames that Santelli lit to begin this movement and keep it going. Without their groundwork and vision, the movement would not have spread.
Finally, and most importantly, Tea Party Patriots thanks each and every one of you for being committed to our core values. Thank you for showing up time after time even when it seemed pointless and hopeless.
The warm up is complete. Now the real fight begins!
As Samuel Adams said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.”
Tea Party Patriots is launching a Perpetual Legislative Watch/Congressional Accountability Project. We have already been watching the legislators for the past 20 months. We have no intention of letting up now. On the weekend of November 12 – 14, local coordinators from around the country will meet with the incoming Congressional freshmen for an orientation. We will have legislative experts who will guide the freshmen on how to first defund and ultimately repeal government controlled health care. We will have economic experts to help them understand the things they will need to do to reduce the federal deficit and restore fiscal sanity to the country. We will have experts who can provide guidance on how to restore Constitutional governance to the country. We will help them to bond together to restore the Constitution in the upcoming legislative session. Finally, we want them to know that if they do the right thing, they will have the support of the people.
Again, congratulations on your hard work! We are making a difference in this country and together we will continue to make a difference in this country.
Tea Party Patriots Mission Statement and Core Values
Mission StatementThe impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Constitutionally Limited Government
- Free Markets
Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of their own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect. Such runaway deficit spending as we now see in Washington D.C. compels us to take action as the increasing national debt is a grave threat to our national sovereignty and the personal and economic liberty of future generations.
Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states' rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.
Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Our current government's interference distorts the free market and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Therefore, we support a return to the free market principles on which this nation was founded and oppose government intervention into the operations of private business.
Our PhilosophyTea Party Patriots, Inc. as an organization believes in the Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. Tea Party Patriots, Inc. is a non-partisan grassroots organization of individuals united by our core values derived from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill Of Rights as explained in the Federalist Papers. We recognize and support the strength of grassroots organization powered by activism and civic responsibility at a local level. We hold that the United States is a republic conceived by its architects as a nation whose people were granted "unalienable rights" by our Creator. Chiefly among these are the rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The Tea Party Patriots stand with our founders, as heirs to the republic, to claim our rights and duties which preserve their legacy and our own. We hold, as did the founders, that there exists an inherent benefit to our country when private property and prosperity are secured by natural law and the rights of the individual.
By Fred Lucas
(CNSNews.com) -- Doing last minute campaigning on hip hop radio station KPWR 106 FM in Los Angeles today, President Barack Obama said that things have gotten better across the board in America since he has been president.
KPWR’s slogan is: “Where Hip Hop Lives.”
“Across the board, things have gotten better over the last two years,” Obama said on KPWR. “The question is can we keep that up. We can only keep it up if I’ve got the friends and allies in Congress, in statehouses. So even though my name is not on the ballot, my agenda--our agenda--is going to be dependent on whether folks turn out to vote today.”
The president made similar comments during three other interviews on hip hop and contemporary music stations in Las Vegas, Chicago and Jacksonville, Fla.
Obama cited improvements in the economy—despite the fact that unemployment has risen from 7.6 percent in January 2009 when he came into office to 9.6 percent now.
Obama also said that 100,000 troops are back from Iraq, a measure taken largely in compliance with the Bush administration’s Status of Forces Agreement in late 2008.
Obama additionally cited his health-care reform legislation and more money going for higher education funding.
“We put money that was going to big banks and we actually put it to student loan programs and the Pell Grant program so that young people can afford to go to college,” Obama told KPWR. “We passed health care reform, which means that young people can stay on their parents' health care until they are 26 if they don’t have health care, so insurance companies can’t jack you around. We passed credit card reform so that when you're out there with your credit card, the company can’t jack up your rates.”
Big Boy, the KPWR DJ who interviewed Obama, asked, “What’s your next big goal for America, Mr. President?”
Obama pointed to making college more affordable, creating more green jobs and immigration reform.
“My next big goal right now is to make sure we keep up our policies that improve education. Make college more accessible. Make college more affordable. Number one,” Obama said.
“Number two, stay focused on jobs. Creating jobs,” Obama continued. “Rebuilding our infrastructure, our bridges, our roads, transportation systems, making sure we’re working on things like clean energy, so folks can get work weatherizing buildings and building solar panels and creating whole new industries in that area. Those two things, if we can focus on those two things over the next couple of years, along with a couple of areas like immigration reform, all that stuff can make a big difference in terms of getting this country moving on the right track.”
The president encouraged voters to vote today for Sen. Barbara Boxer, facing a challenge from Republican Carly Fiorina, and asked Californians to vote for Democrat Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman in the state’s governor’s race.
He had a similar message for listeners of KVEG Hot 97.5 FM, a contemporary music station in Las Vegas, as he encouraged them to vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, struggling in polls against Republican challenger Sharon Angle.
“You look at Nevada, every poll shows that the race between Harry Reid and his opponent neck and neck,” Obama said. “So you know that if people who voted in 2008 turn out to vote in 2010, Harry will win. If they don’t turn out, he will lose.
"If I don’t have Harry Reid in the United States Senate, it is going to be much harder for me to keep making improvement in the economy that need to be made,” said Obama.
He also told WGCI in Chicago, 107.5 that Republicans would roll back new education funding because “they want to roll that back to help pay for a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.”
“So if Republicans have their way, they would be able to cut the budget by 20 percent, and that means young people directly would see their Pell Grants reduced by 20 percent, or their loans reduced by a certain percentage, especially at a time when education is expensive and necessary,” Obama said. “That’s just one example of the kinds of things that are at stake here if we’re not serious about this election and people aren’t turning out to vote.”
Congratulations to all the tea party-backed candidates who overcame a determined, partisan opposition to win their elections. The next campaign begins today. Because you must now overcome determined party insiders if this nation is going to be spared from fiscal disaster.
Many of the people who will be welcoming the new class of Senate conservatives to Washington never wanted you here in the first place. The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Consider what former GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told the Washington Post earlier this year: "As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them."
Don't let them. Co-option is coercion. Washington operates on a favor-based economy and for every earmark, committee assignment or fancy title that's given, payback is expected in return. The chits come due when the roll call votes begin. This is how big-spending bills that everyone always decries in public always manage to pass with just enough votes.
But someone can't be bribed if they aren't for sale. Here is some humble advice on how to recognize and refuse such offers.
First, don't request earmarks. If you do, you'll vote for legislation based on what's in it for your state, not what's best for the country. You will lose the ability to criticize wasteful spending. And, if you dare to oppose other pork-barrel projects, the earmarkers will retaliate against you.
In 2005, Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) offered a measure to kill funding for the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." Before the vote, Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), an appropriator, issued a warning on the Senate floor.
"If we start cutting funding for individual projects, your project may be next," she said. "When Members come down to the floor to vote on this amendment, they need to know if they support stripping out this project, Senator Bond [a Republican appropriator] and I are likely to be taking a long, serious look at their projects to determine whether they should be preserved during our upcoming conference negotiations."
The threat worked. Hardly anyone wanted to risk losing earmarks. The Senate voted 82-15 to protect funding for the Bridge to Nowhere.
Second, hire conservative staff. The old saying "personnel is policy" is true. You don't need Beltway strategists and consultants running your office. Find people who share your values and believe in advancing the same policy reforms. Staff who are driven by conservative instincts can protect you from unwanted, outside influences when the pressure is on.
Third, beware of committees. Committee assignments can be used as bait to make senators compromise on other matters. Rookie senators are often told they must be a member of a particular committee to advance a certain piece of legislation. This may be true in the House, but a senator can legislate on any matter from the Senate floor.
Fourth, don't seek titles. The word "Senator" before your name carries plenty of clout. All senators have the power to object to bad legislation, speak on the floor and offer amendments, regardless of how they are ranked in party hierarchy.
Election Night at Opinion Journal
Lastly, don't let your re-election become more important than your job. You've campaigned long and hard for the opportunity to go to Washington and restore freedom in America. People will try to convince you to moderate conservative positions and break campaign promises, all in the name of winning the next race. Resist the temptation to do so. There are worse things than losing an election-like breaking your word to voters.
At your swearing-in ceremony, you will, as all senators do, take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution." Most will fail to keep their oath. Doing these five things will help you maintain a focus on national priorities and be one who does.
Congress will never fix entitlements, simplify the tax code or balance the budget as long as members are more concerned with their own narrow, parochial interests. Time spent securing earmarks and serving personal ambitions is time that should be spent working on big-picture reforms.
When you are in Washington, remember what the voters back home want-less government and more freedom. Millions of people are out of work, the government is going bankrupt and the country is trillions in debt. Americans have watched in disgust as billions of their tax dollars have been wasted on failed jobs plans, bailouts and takeovers. It's up to us to stop the spending spree and make sure we have a government that benefits America instead of being a burden to it.
Tea party Republicans were elected to go to Washington and save the country-not be co-opted by the club. So put on your boxing gloves. The fight begins today.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NEWLY ELECTED CONGRESSIONAL CONSERVATIVES
by Jim DeMint
Mr. DeMint is a Republican senator from South Carolina.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Wednesday, 03 November 2010
Europe has turned its back on John Maynard Keynes's approach -- with good results.
MORE STIMULUS, ANYONE? Should Washington order another hefty round of Keynesian deficit spending in order to spur the limping US economy?
Absolutely, say many prominent economists.
Peter Diamond, a 2010 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, argues in favor of "pursuing valuable expenditures now," by subsidizing state and local government payrolls and pouring money into "a vast amount" of construction projects. "Between the error of doing too little and doing too much," Diamond says, "doing too little seems to me to be the much greater risk." Joseph Stiglitz, another economics laureate, agrees: "We will see in the next two years the real cost of there not being a second round of stimulus," he told the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. "We will see the economy slow down at a very high economic cost."
So a big new stimulus package is the way to go?
Absolutely not, say many prominent economists.
"Please, no more government spending!" exclaims Vernon Smith, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002. Far from being the key to economic recovery, he insists, deficit "stimulus" will only make the economy worse. His skepticism echoes that of yet another winner of the economics Nobel, Gary Becker: "There is no serious evidence," Becker wrote in July, "that the $800 billion stimulus package passed over a year ago has had much stimulating effect on unemployment or GDP."
In short, there is no consensus. And if even the world's most esteemed economic theorists cannot decide whether a huge new spending bill would make the current crisis better or worse, guidance will have to come from somewhere else.
Perhaps that somewhere is Europe, where governments have deliberately rejected Washington's embrace of massive deficit spending as the best way to rev up an ailing economy -- with better outcomes than Americans have seen.
Britain was the birthplace of John Maynard Keynes, but the British government is pursuing precisely the opposite of a Keynesian approach to fiscal policy. Rather than trying to boost demand and create more jobs through extravagant increases in spending and debt, London is practicing austerity. The coalition government headed by Prime Minister David Cameron is sharply cutting public spending, pruning back everything from welfare benefits to the military. Even the sums allocated to maintain the Queen's household will be shrunk. About 8 percent of Britain's roughly 6 million public-sector jobs, or 490,000, will be eliminated.
"We have taken our country back from the brink of bankruptcy," George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, told the House of Commons. "There is nothing fair about running huge budget deficits and burdening future generations with the debts we ourselves are not prepared to pay."
Britain is not an outlier. Across Europe, The New York Times reports, "governments from Germany to Greece are slashing public outlays. . . . The debate in Europe is more on how fast to cut government spending rather than whether such reductions are the right thing to do. . . . In Europe there is hardly a policymaker to be found who is making the argument that governments need to spend more, not less."
Results so far? Economic growth in the United States has been weaker, and the loss of jobs steeper, than in the 16-country euro zone. Especially striking is the contrast with Germany, which resisted heavy US pressure to undertake substantial new deficit spending. While the US economy has been growing at an anemic annual rate of barely 2 percent in recent month, Germany's economy is currently soaring at a 9 percent annual rate. Unemployment in Germany has fallen to 7.5 percent, the lowest it has been in 18 years. Here, it has scarcely fallen at all. What does Berlin understand that Washington doesn't?
"Governments should not become addicted to borrowing as a quick fix to stimulate demand," the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said in June, in response to the Obama administration's criticism of Germany's austerity measures. "Deficit spending cannot become a permanent state of affairs." President Obama, on the other hand, speaks blithely of "trillion-dollar deficits for years to come."
You can find economists to back up any point of view. Some will even tell you that the best way out of a hole brought on by too much debt is to dig even deeper into debt. The feeble US recovery suggests that the real world doesn't agree with those economists. Yesterday's election suggests that the voters don't, either.
EUROPE SAYS "NO: TO DEFICIT SPENDING STIMULUS
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
November 3, 2010
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." --James Madison
"Republicans celebrating yesterday's ballot-box drubbing of Democrats should not be lulled into thinking their virtues carried the day. The election was first and foremost a referendum on the policies of President Obama and congressional Democrats. That verdict was clear: The American people want change. Not the empty phrases promising 'change' that scrolled across Mr. Obama's teleprompter during the 2008 campaign. By now, voters have realized there is no difference between the statist policies of FDR and LBJ and those on offer from BHO. The public is demanding an immediate change away from the big-government direction of Congress and this administration. That's why California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi's brief four-year grasp on the speaker's gavel will come to an end in January. ... Newly elected Tea Partiers are likely to remain true to their platform of reducing taxation and regulation so that the economy might have room to grow. But if history is any guide, establishment Republicans will need to be continually reminded why they were given a governing majority. The Republican congressional sweep in 1994 promised to shake up the way things had been done for decades, and the new majority delivered in the early years. By 2006, Republicans lost their way. Instead of standing on principle, most devolved into business-as-usual politicians desperate to retain office by spreading around the public's money in earmarks and other pork. They lost sight of why they went to Washington in the first place, and their fall was inevitable. When the contest is over who can spend the most, Democrats are going to win every time. Republicans who run on a message of fiscal restraint have a chance because Americans realize families and individuals will be the ones paying for the government's spending spree for decades to come. That's why fiscal conservatism has now carried the day. Should the new Congress hold true to the principles of limited government, Republicans will build upon a lasting majority as future ballots are cast for them, rather than against their opponents." --The Washington Times
It's Morning in America
"Well, the big difference here and in '94 was you've got me." So said Barack Obama earlier this year on the campaign trail. He made a difference alright, just not the one Democrats were hoping to see.
As of this writing, Republicans are expected to pick up between 60 and 70 House seats. They needed 39 to gain control of the chamber and oust Nancy Pelosi from the speakership. In the Senate, the GOP picked up at least six seats, with three races too close to call. Democrats will hold onto the Senate, however, with at least 51 seats.
Republicans also picked up at least 10 governorships from Democrat control: Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Along with numerous state house pickups, Republicans are now in position to control redistricting after the 2010 census.
Here are a few highlights (and lowlights) from congressional races. Republicans picked up Barack Obama's former Senate seat in Illinois, but lost Joe Biden's in Delaware. Marco Rubio easily won Florida's Senate seat over two challengers, while Republicans ousted Democrat incumbents in Wisconsin (Russ Feingold) and Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln).
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beat Tea Party-backed challenger Sharron Angle. Then again, on the bright side, inept Harry Reid is still the Democrat leader.
On the House side, half of the Blue-Dog caucus of so-called "conservative" Democrats lost, dropping their numbers from 54 to 26. Of course, only 24 of those 54 voted against ObamaCare, which gives us an idea of just how "conservative" the caucus is. Numerous other Democrats went down in defeat, including longtime incumbents and even some committee chairmen.
We'll have more as the week unfolds, but to be clear, yesterday was not an embrace of the Republican Party. Far from it. But it was certainly a repudiation of Barack Obama, who personalized the election around his cult of personality. He even told Latinos that they should be inspired to "punish" their "enemies" on Election Day. More important, it was a rebuke of Democrats' hard push to the left with ObamaCare, cap and trade, financial regulation, looming tax increases for all Americans and massive deficit spending.
Yesterday, voters stood athwart history and yelled, "Stop!"
"I think that the message is unmistakable that the Obama agenda is dead. ... [N]ow it will depend on how Obama proceeds. He has now tried a two-year experiment in hyper-liberalism, and the country has said no." --columnist Charles Krauthammer
"Democrats will spin Harry Reid's victory and cling to it like the American people allegedly cling to their Bibles and guns, but I see a huge silver lining here for conservatives. ... Yes, Reid would have made a great trophy on the GOP's mantle. But cheer up: He's even better as a leader of Senate Democrats -- depending on your point of view." --columnist Stephen Spruiell
"I so want to believe that the tea party marks the beginning of a comeback for small government. But I'm probably deluding myself. I know that big government usually wins. Remember the last time the Republicans took power? They promised fiscal responsibility, and for six of George W. Bush's eight years, his party controlled Congress. What did we have to show for it? Federal spending increased by 54 percent. That's more than any president in the last 50 years." --columnist John Stossel
"[T]he GOP still faces significant challenges. Heck, an electoral bonanza notwithstanding, Republicans are still fairly unpopular. But if the first half of the Obama presidency proves anything, it is that straight-line predictions lead to political hubris. Events change and attitudes change with them, for every demographic." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
"The Constitution cannot protect us and our freedoms as a self-governing people unless we protect the Constitution. That means zero tolerance at election time for people who circumvent the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. Freedom is too precious to give it up in exchange for brassy words from arrogant elites." --economist Thomas Sowell
"America, its founding principles, its Constitution, its robust liberty tradition and its strength are being stolen out from under us by a man who has no appreciation for America's greatness and who has contempt for ordinary Americans (we're 'enemies'), whom he considers beneath him and unworthy of their sovereign prerogative to preserve this nation. The people have had enough. Consequently, absent unimaginable, comprehensive voter fraud ... we're going to see an unprecedented housecleaning." --columnist David Limbaugh
Clinging to "hope": "Across the board, things have gotten better over the last two years. The question is can we keep that up. We can only keep it up if I've got the friends and allies in Congress, in statehouses. So even though my name is not on the ballot, my agenda -- our agenda -- is going to be dependent on whether folks turn out to vote today." --Barack Obama
Delusional: "The early returns show so far that a number of Democrats are coming out and we are on pace to maintain the majority in the House of Representatives." --soon to be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Nial) early on election night
"We see high levels of energy on the Democratic side, we saw this early on in the early vote that were submitted, the Democratic votes, the early projections and now you are seeing strong turnouts by Democrats across the country in voting today. All this talk we heard from Washington trying to project the outcome of this election was so obviously immature. This is not over. Voters are sending the opposite message." --Democrat Congressional Committee Chairman Chris VanHollen (D-MD)
Huh? "I still carry this missionary zeal to transform the world." --California Governor-elect Jerry Brown, who seemed to be smoking something that didn't end up being legalized
Bitterly clinging to elitist thinking: "It's absurd. We've lost our minds. 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." --Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Faith in government: "Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive." --Joe Biden
Believable ... and scary: "We have done things that people don't even know about." --Barack Obama
Unfortunately, no: "Am I the last person in America who still adores President Obama?" --Slate columnist Curtis Sittenfeld
Who said it is? "A right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn't something to accept with indifference." --Newsweek's Jonathan Alter
Taxes are just great: "No one will talk about taxes. They are terrified. Somehow the religion, the anti-tax religion has gotten so bad that if you -- if anybody says, 'We're just going to have to [raise taxes],' I mean, it's as if, you know, you killed a baby or something." --CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl (That shouldn't be a problem for your side, which advocates killing babies every day.)
Inevitable Nazi reference: "I mean it isn't far from what we saw in the '30s, where all of a sudden, political parties started showing up in uniform." --MSNBC's Chris Matthews
Helping the GOP Get Out the Vote: "Pelosi, Among Others, Could Exit if Dems Lose House" --Time.com ++ "Obama Warns of Policy Rollback if Republicans Win" --Reuters
Questions Nobody Is Asking: "Is Obama the Problem or Is It America?" --CBC.ca
The Feeling Is Mutual: "Majority Disapprove of Incumbents, Poll Shows" --New York Times website
News of the Tautological: "Liberals a Bunch of Crybabies" --Toronto Sun
We Blame George W. Bush: "Jaguar Escaped in Hurricane Blamed in Belize Death" --Associated Press
You Call That Fair and Balanced?: "Fox Bites Off Man's Nose and Fingers in Cemetery" --Scotsman
Bottom Stories of the Day: "In San Francisco, Many Support Pelosi and Democrats" --The Washington Post
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)Village Idiots
Not so much: "The political winds blow back and forth but I think you will find that President Obama is a pretty steady captain of the ship. So no matter what happens in our election, you will see him ... continuing to promote his agenda, which I think is right for America and right for the world." --Hillary Clinton
No kidding: "There's almost an inverse relationship in how much you accomplish and what people know about it." --Bill Clinton
Hating the Tea Party: "[O]bviously, the Tea Party movement has been almost completely financed by hard-right oligarchs.... The Tea Party movement has been suborned by these very right-wing people who don't give a darn about low-class working people, but just want to feather their own nest." --Jimmy Carter on the same Tea Party folks he laughably claims elected him
Blame game: "Well, I mean, partly, it is the Democrats' fault. They don't do very good at bragging about their achievements. ... The teabaggers are all carrying the banner, really, of corporatist America. ... Somehow, their agenda, as a populist organization, is the exact same agenda as billionaires like Steve Forbes. ... Republican voters, which is basically the far Right -- it's a fringe group of people who are very forceful, even though they don't have a lot of numbers, because they have enthusiasm." --HBO's Bill Maher
"President Obama listed his accomplishments in office on Urban Radio Tuesday. No one gives him enough credit. Barack Obama took something that was in terrible shape and brought it back from the brink of disaster, and that something was the Republican Party." --comedian Argus Hamilton
"If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates." --comedian Jay Leno
"Imagine this: Obama says Boehner is a little cocky, he doesn't know if he can work with him. Boehner is a little cocky? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!" --radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh
"For America's ruling class, the scariest day of the year [wasn't] Halloween, but Tuesday -- the day we all dress[ed] up as American citizens and cast our ballots." --authors David Corbin & Matthew Parks
THE PATRIOT POST
I'm waiting for one of the liberal judges appointed by Barack Hussein Obama to declare
the Constitution of the United States unconstitutional. - Leo Rugiens
Monday, November 1, 2010
VOTE TOMORROW: THE UNITED STATES CANNOT CONTINUE ON ITS PRESENT PATH AND REMAIN ONE NATION OF FIFTY STATES
In the Nineties, the “culture wars” were over “God, guns and gays”. The overreach of the statists has added a fourth G: Government itself is now a front in the culture war, and a battle of the most primal kind. Is the United States a republic of limited government with a presumption in favor of individual liberty? Or is it just like any other western nation in which a permanent political class knows what’s best for its subjects? Pat Cadell, the former Carter adviser and Democratic pollster, surveying popular discontent over the summer distilled it to a single question:
Who is sovereign? The people or the political class?
To which the political class responds by modifying Barbra Streisand:
People? People? Who needs people?
In California, the people can pass a ballot proposition, but a single activist judge overrules them. In Arizona, the people’s representatives vote to uphold the people’s laws, but a pliant judge strikes them down at Washington’s behest. It is surely only a matter of time before some federal judge finds the constitution unconstitutional. It is never a good idea to send the message, as the political class now does consistently, that there are no democratic means by which the people can restrain their rulers. As Pat Cadell points out, the logic of that is “pre-revolutionary”.
What Judge Bolton in Arizona and Judge Walker in California have in common and share with Mayor Bloomberg’s observations on opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is a contempt for the people. The rationale for reversing the popular will in all three cases is that the sovereign people are bigots. In Arizona, they’re xenophobic. In California, they’re homophobic. In New York, they’re Islamophobic. Popular sovereignty may be fine in theory but not when the people are so obviously in need of “re-education” by their betters. Over in London, the transportation department has a bureaucrat whose very title sums up our rulers’ general disposition toward us: “Head of Behavior Change.”
Perhaps re-education camp will work, and Californians and New Yorkers will shrug and decline to take to the ramparts for gay marriage or minarets over Ground Zero. But it’s harder to ask Arizonans to live with the dissolution of the national border. To the enlighted coastal progressives, “undocumented immigrants” are the unseen servant class who mow your lawn while you’re at work and clean your office while you’re at home. The TV celebrity Joy Behar provided a near parodic example the other day when she taunted Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle about her views on illegal immigration: “I’d like to see her do this ad in the South Bronx,” said Miss Behar. “Come here, bitch, come to New York and do it.”
The bitch doesn’t need come to New York. Sharron Angle and her fellow Nevadans live on the front line of America’s evaporating sovereignty, where immigration means more than remembering to tip your Honduran busboy. In border states illegal immigration is life and death. “Those of you who have never lived in a border town have no idea what it’s like,” wrote the Hyacinth Girl:
In bigger cities you can avoid the nasty side of illegal immigration, but in the tiny towns that dot the US-Mexico border, it is unavoidable. Cartel hits are freakishly common, and with nearly zero chance of catching the murderers, since they simply skip back over the border before the bodies grow cold… For the most part, life was good in my little border town – great friends, great families, a sense of solidarity, a wonderful blend of culture, access to the best authentic Mexican food this side of the border – but the darker, uglier side was there too. Drug murders, readily available drugs of every kind, real, brutal, ugly violence. Drive-bys, executions, fear…
Don’t tell me that it’s racism to be in favor of legal immigration only. It’s easy for you north of the 33rd parallel to pass judgment, but you have no idea what it’s like to see the place you call home riddled with violence and addiction.
Consider life in a permanently poorer America with permanently higher unemployment, less social mobility, and any prospect for self-improvement crushed by the burden of government. Will that mean more or less marijuana? More or less cocaine? While America’s Big Government pursues the same failed “war on drugs” decade in decade out, Mexican cartels account for approximately 70 per cent of the narcotics that enter the United States. Arizona already has a kidnapping rate closer to Mexico’s than to, say, New England’s or the Midwest’s. Are the numbers likely to rise or fall in an ever more Mexicanized US? If you’re lucky, San Diego will seem no worse than, say, Cancun, eastern resort capital on the Caribbean Riviera and generally thought of as relatively far from the scene of Mexico’s drug wars. Yet even in Cancun, within the space of a year, the head of the city’s anti-drugs squad, one of Mexico’s most decorated military heroes, was murdered; the chief of police was arrested on drugs-trafficking charges; and then the mayor was, too. We will start to read similar stories of the wholesale corruption of local government from the cities of the American south-west. (The US is already sliding down the Non-Corrupt Hit Parade.) And similar tales of depravity, too: In 2010, the bodies of four men and two women were found in a cave on the outskirts of Cancun. They had been tortured. Three of them had their chests ripped open and their hearts removed. Over 4,000 US soldiers died in Iraq between 2003 and 2010. Between 2006 and 2010, nearly 25,000 Mexicans died in drug violence. America has no “exit strategy” for Mexico, but Mexico has an express check-in strategy for America.
What is happening on the southern border is the unmaking of America. And if a state under siege cannot pass even the mildest law of self-defense, what then are its options? Simultaneous to the federal court decision on Arizona, the International Court of Justice in the Hague declared that the province of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia two years earlier “did not violate any applicable rule of international law”. Certain European secessionist movements, in Spain and Belgium, took great comfort in the ruling. Russia and China opposed it, because they have restive minorities – Muslims in the Caucacus, and the Uighurs in Xinjiang, for example – and they intend to keep them within their borders. The United States, as is often the case, barely paid any attention to it: If the ICJ’s opinion was of any broader relevance, it was relevant to foreigners, and that was that. But, taken together, Judge Bolton and the Hague raise an interesting question: What holds the United States together? And will it continue to hold together?
In 2006, the last remaining non-Serb republic in Yugoslavia flew the coop and joined Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia …hang on, isn’t it Bosnia-Herzegovina? Or has Herzegovina split, too? Who cares? Slovenia’s independent, and Slovakia. Slavonia wasn’t, or not the last time I checked. But Montenegro is, and East Timor, and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and every other Nickelandimistan between here and Mongolia. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, big countries – the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Indonesia – and not so big countries – Czechoslovakia – have been getting smaller. Why should the United States remain an exception to this phenomenon? Especially as it gets poorer – and more statist.
For the best part of a century, America’s towns, counties and states have been ceding power remorselessly to the central metropolis. We are becoming the highly singular United State of America – even though, insofar as it works at all, Big Government works best in small countries, with a sufficiently homogeneous population to have sufficiently common interests. There’s a fascinating book by Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore called The Size of Nations, in which the authors note that, of the ten richest countries in the world, only four have populations above one million: America (300 million people), Switzerland (seven million), Norway (four million), and Singapore (three million). Small nations, they argue, are more cohesive and have less need for buying off ethnic and regional factions. America has been the exception that proves the rule because it’s a highly decentralized federation. But, as Messrs Alesina and Spolaore put it, if America were as centrally governed as France, it would break up.
That theory is now being tested on a daily basis. The United States cannot continue on its present path and hold its territorial integrity.
CAMPAIGN COUNTDOWN: SOVEREIGNTY AND TERRITORY
by Mark Steyn