By Chuck Muth
December 14, 2012
Pliable “Gumby” Republicans and the media are telling us, in light of last month’s election results, that GOP candidates must move to the mushy middle to win elections. Really?
Ronald Reagan was a conservative. He ran as a conservative. He governed as a conservative. And he won as a conservative. Twice.
George H.W. Bush (41) ran as a conservative; selling his candidacy as “Reagan’s third term.” He won as a conservative. Then he broke his conservative “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge and subsequently lost his bid for re-election.
Bob Dole ran as a moderate. He lost.
George W. Bush (43) ran as a conservative. A “compassionate” conservative. The “true” heir to Ronald Reagan, we were told. He subsequently governed like a moderate on many issues (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TSA, etc.), but at least talked like a conservative, cut taxes like a conservative and ran for re-election as a conservative.
John McCain has always been a moderate. Voted like a moderate. Ran as a moderate.
And lost as a moderate.
Mitt Romney governed as a moderate in Massachusetts. He then ran as a “severely conservative” Republican in the GOP presidential primary this year. He won the primary, but no true conservative believed he was really one of us. We all knew he was, in his heart of hearts, a moderate.
Here in Nevada, John Ensign ran statewide as a conservative. Voted as a conservative. And won. Until he was caught doing…well, you know.
Dean Heller ran as a conservative for Congress. Was elected as a conservative. Voted as a conservative. Was appointed as a conservative to replace Ensign. Voted as a conservative in the Senate. Ran as a conservative this year. And won.
Jim Gibbons ran as a conservative. Governed as a conservative. Talked like a conservative. Then lost. Not because he was a conservative; but because he horribly mismanaged his administration.
Indeed, note that Gibbons didn’t lose to a Democrat; he lost in a GOP primary to Brian Sandoval, who beat him by…running as a conservative.
Sandoval, like Romney, was always suspected of being a moderate. And, disappointingly, he’s governed as a moderate after fooling enough Republicans into thinking he was a conservative. Only time will tell if he can continue fooling enough of the people to get re-elected with a limited-government Libertarian and/or an IAP candidate in his race.
Joe Heck ran as a conservative in 2010 and won in a Democrat district against a sitting Democrat incumbent. He then voted as a conservative in office. Ran as a conservative again this year in a Democrat district. And won.
So, um, tell me again why Republican candidates MUST move to the center in order to win elections?
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Last night, the Center for Security Policy sponsored a briefing to inform, most immediately, members of the Loudoun County School Board who are actively considering whether to provide taxpayer funding to a new charter school linked to Turkish Islamist Fethullah Gulen. A version of the explosive power point briefing presented by Center President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. and a former public school teacher, Rachel Sargent, at the Loudoun County School System Administration Building in Ashburn, Virginia is available below:
The briefing illuminates the pattern employed by Gulen and his cult-like Turkish supremacist Movement to induce school boards to charter and pay his followers to establish vehicles for indoctrinating impressionable American students, usually under the guise of enriched science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
At its core, this pattern involves deception with respect to the true character of the proposed school, its association with the Gulenists, and the myriad problems such Gulen academic institutions have presented to school system administrators and taxpayers from Texas to Maryland.
In the case of the so-called Loudoun Math and Information Technology Academy (LMITA), the briefing established that denials on the part of LMITA’s applicants of any relationship with Fethullah Gulen and its followers obscure the truth. On the basis of a link analysis performed by Kent Clizbe, a retired career CIA intelligence officer who has specialized in ferreting out and countering terrorist networks, at least two of the LMITA applicants have extensive ties to Gulen educational operations elsewhere across the country.
The briefing also presented the attached letter to the Loudoun School Board by Mary Addi, a former teacher in a Gulen school in Cleveland, Ohio. It draws on her own experience and that of Ms. Addi’s husband, an expatriate from Turkey who was also a teacher at that school, to make clear the Islamist character and mission of the Gulen Movement and its pedagogy.
Mr. Gaffney, whose column published in the Washington Times on December 11, 2012 addresses the danger posed by Gulenists to the students and taxpayers of Loudoun County and those of the nation as a whole, said:
The Loudoun County School Board is not the first to be subjected to the Gulen bait-and-switch. The lack of transparency fits a pattern in such applications of concealing connections to an organization promoting Turkish and Islamist agendas deeply hostile to the United States. Gulen schools prove deeply problematic to their school systems and exceedingly difficult to disestablish Armed with the knowledge that this application is, in fact, for a Gulen Movement institution, the Board has a responsibility to deny it taxpayer funding. In so doing, it can set a model for the rest of the country.
SPENDING IS THE PROBLEM: This chart prepared by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) of the House Budget Committee was the subject of Speaker Boehner’s press conference today. It shows what happens to projected levels of tax revenue (green) if President Obama’s tax increases kick in (blue), and compares that with recent and projected spending trajectory (red).
As you can see, if the president gets his tax hikes, we still face a mountain of spending-driven debt.Republicans have offered a solution that averts the fiscal cliff with spending cuts and reforming our tax code in ways the president previously supported. Unfortunately, Obama and Democrats want to punish small businesses with higher tax rates while increasing spending.
Even Erskine Bowles, Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, admits “We have to cut spending. Even if you raise the top rates back to the Clinton rates, that only creates about $400 billion over 10 years. That’s $40 billion a year. We have a trillion dollar a year deficit.”
Spending is the problem. Republicans want to make needed spending cuts; Democrats are silent. And that’s why there’s still no agreement on averting the fiscal cliff.
*** LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT!!! ***
SUPPORT SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE
TO INVESTIGATE BENGHAZI ATTACK!
Recently, Representative Frank Wolf (VA) introduced H. Res. 824, legislation that creates a special Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to conduct a thorough investigation into the terrorist attack in Benghazi. As you will recall, this heinous act against our nation resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Representative Wolf believes—and we wholeheartedly agree—that the families of the victims, as well as the American people, deserve to know what transpired last September 11th in Libya. It has been over 80 days since the attack and the American people still have not been provided answers to serious questions. This is unacceptable.
It is critical that this special Committee be convened when the 113th Congress commences in January and that will only happen if the American people register their support NOW.
The more cosponsors Representative Wolf’s legislation receives, the more it will be clear to the members of the House of Representatives—and in particular the leadership there—that the American people are demanding answers regarding the Benghazi attack.
Will you devote just a minute of your time today to ask your U.S. Representative to cosponsor Rep. Wolf’s bill? It only takes a moment, but when joined with thousands of others, it makes quite a roar—and it gets results.
ACT! for America’s grassroots are getting a solid reputation on Capitol Hill for being folks who “get the job done.” As but one example, recently we asked our members to call their legislators and ask that they sign an important letter that was being circulated on the Hill. Within 48 hours of our calls, the number of legislators who signed the letter went from 25 to 97. A Hill staffer even contacted Lisa Piraneo, our Director of Government Relations, to let us know that the phones were ringing off the hook. Your actions are WORKING.
If you’d like to lend your voice to today’s important cause, please follow these easy steps:
** IMPORTANT ACTION ITEM **
Today, please call YOUR member of the U.S. House of Representatives and ask him/her to sign on to H. Res. 824, Representative Frank Wolf’s legislation creating a special Committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. Further, please circulate this Action Alert to everyone you know and post it on your social media sites!
NOTE: If you need help locating your elected official, visit our Contact Congress page by clicking HERE. Type in your zip code where indicated to locate your U.S. legislators. Click on your Representative and you can then see his/her contact information, including the phone number of the Washington, DC office.
If you know the name of your U.S. Representative, you also can call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be put through to that particular office.
Please make your call NOW! Politely let your Representative know about H. Res. 824, Rep. Wolf’s bill, and ask that he/she sign on as a cosponsor. (Be clear that you are a constituent!)
Thank you for all that you do. Together, we are making a difference.
REMEMBER, YOUR VOICE COUNTS!
IF EACH OF US DOES JUST A LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN
ACCOMPLISH A LOT!
Cliff Notes: The Blind Side
The Treasury Department announced yesterday we’re on track for our fifth straight trillion dollar annual deficit. The report also showed that last month’s deficit was 25 percent higher than our deficit from November 2011. What’s the biggest contributing factor to those huge deficits? According to President Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and a host of experts, entitlements are driving the deficits. With the heavy focus on taxes during the fiscal cliff debate, it’s understandable that this fact has been overlooked. In fact, some in Congress have gone so far as to say entitlements are off the table. Is it any wonder our spending and deficits have exploded when Washington is turning a blind eye to the root of the problem?
ENTITLEMENTS DRIVING RECORD DEFICITS, SO LET’S IGNORE ENTITLEMENTS
U.S. On Track For Record Fifth Straight Trillion Dollar Annual Deficit:
Fifth Consecutive Trillion Dollar Deficit Projected. “The U.S. federal government’s budget deficit widened in November compared to October, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus deficit.” (“Monthly US Budget Deficit Reaches $172B In November, Up 25 Percent From A Year Ago,” The Associated Press, 12/12/12)
- Monthly Deficit Up Tens Of Billions From Last Month. “The budget gap rose to $172 billion in November, up from $120 billion in October, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. (“Monthly US Budget Deficit Reaches $172B In November, Up 25 Percent From A Year Ago,” The Associated Press, 12/12/12)
- “The November Deficit Was Also 25 Percent Higher Than The Same Month Last Year.” (“Monthly US Budget Deficit Reaches $172B In November, Up 25 Percent From A Year Ago,” The Associated Press, 12/12/12)
Five Straight Trillion Dollar Deficits A First. “Obama’s presidency has coincided with four straight $1 trillion-plus deficits the first in history and a record he had to vigorously defend during his re-election campaign. He had promised in February 2009 to cut the deficit in half by the end of this first term.” (“Monthly US Budget Deficit Reaches $172B In November, Up 25 Percent From A Year Ago,” The Associated Press, 12/12/12)
Broad Agreement That Entitlements Are Driving Deficits:
President Obama: “I believe that we have to continue to take a serious look at how we reform our entitlements, because health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President At A News Conference, The White House, 11/14/12)
“[Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner Targeted Entitlement Programs As The Key To Reducing The National Debt While Insisting That Social Security Benefits Remain Protected.” (“Geithner: Entitlement Programs Key To Cutting Deficit,” ABCNews.com, 2/15/11)
Former Sen. Alan Simpson: “I mean, the bizarre thing, not touching the entitlements. The entitlements are the engine on the train driving us to the cliff. They were on automatic pilot.” (Alan Simpson, CBS’s Face The Nation, 12/9/12)
Former Clinton Chief Of Staff Erskine Bowles: “First of all, most important thing is if we’re going to raise revenue and if we’re going to raise it in any form, then we darn well better cut spending because spending is the biggest part of this problem, and the biggest part of that problem is the fact that health care is growing at a faster rate than GDP.” (Erskine Bowles, CBS’s Face The Nation, 12/9/12)
According To The Congressional Budget Office, “Entitlement Programs Are The Biggest Driver Of The Long- Term Debt.” (Heidi Przybyla, “Democrats Hint at Entitlement Program Cuts in U.S. Budget,” Bloomberg, 12/7/12)
The Washington Post: “Entitlement Reform Must Be On The Table” (Editorial, “Entitlement Reform Must Be On The Table,” The Washington Post, 11/14/12)
USA Today: “Cut Entitlements To Control Debt” (Editorial, “Cut Entitlements To Control Debt,” USA Today, 11/14/12)
So Entitlements Are Off The Table. Wait, What?
Congressional Democrats “Oppose Almost All Cuts” To Entitlements. “Liberals are intensely — and successfully — pressing the White House to take Medicaid off the table in deficit-reduction talks. … Congressional Democrats oppose almost all cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but they’re taking an especially hard line against Medicaid cuts, including proposals President Obama has supported in the past.” (Sam Baker, “Liberals: Leave Medicaid Out Of Talks,” The Hill, 12/12/12)
Some Are “Seeking To Shield Entitlement Programs” From Reform. “Democrats are increasing their demands on what should be in a deficit deal, seeking to shield entitlement programs and insisting on raising the nation’s debt ceiling this year. In the wake of President Obama’s reelection and Democratic gains in Congress, party leaders are growing bolder as the Dec. 31 deadline for extending the Bush-era tax rates and stopping automatic spending cuts approaches.” (Alexander Bolton, “Dems Raise Their Asking Price For A Deal,” The Hill, 11/27/12)
- “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the idea of raising Medicare’s eligibility age as part of a year-end deal to reduce the deficit.” (Elise Viebeck, Pelosi: Keep the Medicare age where it is,” The Hill, 12/11/12)
- “But The White House And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Have Indicated That They Won’t Consider Cuts To Social Security As Part Of A Deal.” (Robert Schroeder, “Democrats Must Move On Entitlements In Cliff Deal, Bowles Says,” MarketWatch, 11/29/12)
- Moreover, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Who Is Close To Obama, Said On Tuesday That A Cliff Deal Shouldn’t Touch Medicare, Medicaid Or Social Security.” (Robert Schroeder, “Democrats Must Move On Entitlements In Cliff Deal, Bowles Says,” MarketWatch, 11/29/12)
Spending Cuts Have Been “Barely Discussed.” “In public statements since [Obama’s] re-election, he has barely discussed how he would pare back federal spending, focusing instead on the aspect of his plan that plays to his liberal base and involves all gain and no pain for 98 percent of taxpayers.” (Peter Baker, “Obama Tilts Tax Debate Away From Spending Cuts,” New York Times, 11/29/12)
Lansing, Michigan fixture Clint The Hot Dog Guy discusses the violent attack on the Americans for Prosperity tent at an anti Right-To-Work rally on December 11th, 2012.
Constituents from Waitsburg, Washington speak their minds on our nation’s debt, the public’s perception of Washington, DC, and what Congress should do to get our economy moving again and work together to avert the fiscal cliff.
At his weekly press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) underscored the need for serious spending cuts to avert the fiscal cliff, begin addressing our staggering debt, and support economic growth.
An important ruling came down concerning the HHS mandate that deserves more attention than it has received.
The ruling was last week in favor of the archdiocese of New York and against the government and its HHS mandate. In it the judge allowed the case to proceed, saying that penalties for non-compliance on conscience grounds are both “looming and certain” and an “actual well-founded fear.” He also said that the plaintiffs are already suffering damages in the form of preparations and diversion of funds from regular activities. Moreover he pointed out that legally there exists no “accommodation” for conscientious objectors, and doubted the government’s promise to accommodate people of faith since and ample time has elapsed and nothing has materialized.
See today’s IBD story below on the ruling and Cardinal Dolan’s reaction to the media blackout.
Here’s an encouraging update on the nationwide legal challenges to ObamaCare by religious institutions that will be forced to provide insurance coverage for such things as abortion drugs, birth control and sterilizations that violate their beliefs.
This story is a week old, actually. Strangely, you haven’t seen any real coverage of this development in mainstream media, perhaps because it concerns a crucial legal setback for Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius in a New York federal court.
As is Eric Holder’s style when his Justice Department is challenged, he attempts not to argue the typically weak legal issues he has but to challenge the standing or timing of the challengers. That’s worked in some of the 42 religious lawsuits filed over ObamaCare’s pending implementation that the churches say violate their constitutional protections for religious freedom.
But that strategy did not work in the Eastern District Federal Courtroom of Judge Brian Cogan. For the first time, a federal judge allowed this constitutional challenge of ObamaCare to proceed.
The Obama administration had sought to have the case by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York thrown out because of its so-called “temporary safe harbor” provision.
That was a statement last winter by Health and Human Services that it would not seek to enforce or prosecute religious institutions for failing to provide such controversial coverage until later next year while steps to address their concerns were developed.
There have been no concrete attempts made to provide such steps. And privately, now skeptical church officials confide the president had previously assured them even before his February news conference that their worries were already addressed, which they were not.
Judge Cogan completely rejected Obama’s argument, calling the administration’s punitive steps against the religious institutions an “actual and well-founded fear” that is “looming and certain” much like “a speeding train that is coming towards plaintiffs.”
He chided the administration as having had ample time to address the institutions’ concerns already. And then Judge Cogan let forth with this:
“The First Amendment does not require citizens to accept assurances from the government that, if the government later determines it has made a misstep, it will take ameliorative action.
“There is no, ‘Trust us, changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution.
“To the contrary, the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards governmental self-restraint and self-correction.”
New York, one of the country’s largest archdioceses, has estimated it would incur upwards of $200 million in fines and penalties for not providing the required free coverage to the 9,000 employees covered by its insurance plans.
So concerned were church officials that they issued a special pre-election letter to all Catholics, as we wrote here. It didn’t suggest support for any specific candidate but reminded congregants of the faith’s moral precepts and urged them to vote their conscience.
Since those precepts oppose abortion, for instance, the choice was pretty clearly not the fellow forcing the church to fund such insurance coverage.
A puzzled Cardinal Dolan wrote to parishioners this week:
“Did you hear about the decision last week by U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Cogan in the lawsuit brought by the Archdiocese of New York…….against the administration for the unconstitutional HHS mandate?
“You probably did not, as there seems to have been virtually no mention of the decision — in favor of the archdiocese, by the way — in any local newspaper or on television.
“As far as I can tell, and I’ve looked rather carefully, there hasn’t even been a story in the New York Times, which couldn’t wait to publish an editorial this past October, admonishing the bishops, when a federal judge in Missouri found for the administration and dismissed a similar case brought by a private, for-profit, mining company.”
Well, as a first step, at least now the Cardinal has our version to read and distribute.
Read More At IBD
Graph Courtesy of Market-Ticker.org
If at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. That seems to be the modus operandi of the Federal Reserve this week, which announced an additional round of quantitative easing. (Bloomberg). The Fed will now link its rate guidance and forecasts to the unemployment rate, dropping its traditional calendar-based time horizon. Rates will remain low as long as unemployment is above 6.5%, and that could be a very long time. Starting in January, the Fed will pump another $45 billion of liquidity into the economy via purchases of long-term bonds.
Blog Talk Radio host Ticker Guy (Karl Denninger) and his robust blog Market-Ticker.org are always go-to sources for perspective in these crazy times. (Beware of rising blood pressure at these sites and remember that meds will cost more under Obamacare.) He posted the graph shown above, which proves the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. After nearly FIVE YEARS of spectacular pump priming (let alone the stimulus spending by the federal government), where the hell are we? Answer: rising inflation, a stagnant labor force that is growing poorer by the day, a credit-starved economy for those not fortunate enough to possess blue chip balance sheets and, of course, mounds and mounds of new federal government debt to haul around and service.
No doubt the Fed will continue undaunted, confident in the efficacy of its policy nostrums. The Bloomberg piece cited above reports:
FOMC participants today lowered their forecasts for growth next year. They now see the economy expanding 2.3 percent to 3 percent, compared with 2.5 percent to 3 percent in September. Estimates for 2014 are from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, versus 3 percent to 3.8 percent in the previous projection.
Fed officials met as the economy showed few signs of reaching the pace of growth needed to put 12 million unemployed Americans back to work. While housing and auto sales have picked up, business spending and exports — two drivers of the three- year expansion — have cooled amid slowing global growth.
When will the madness stop?