All Things Political Today

The Blog For Conservative Political Commentary and Analysis in the United States and Around The World

Where, O, Where is Paul Revere?

April 18th, 2014

Paul Revere's RideAt the end of his inspiring but sometimes flawed poem Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has this half-stanza:

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Today, our nation is in as grave a crisis as our distant ancestor’s colonies were. Almost every issue that they were concerned about, we, too, are concerned with.

Let’s start with the main issue that inflamed colonists: taxation. They argued that they were being unfairly taxed by a distant government. The Stamp Act required stamps on almost everything.

Passed in 1765 but repealed the following year, it was used by the colonists almost ten years later as one of the grievances. The Stamp Act inspired the formation of the Sons of Liberty.

In 1767 the Stamp Act was replaced by the Townsend Act, a series of five laws whose purpose was to raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to Great Britain.

Eventually, the laws were repealed except for the tax on tea. And you know where that led.

Today we have an 80,000 page tax code that taxes almost everything that we consume. We have a system of multi-level taxation whose only purpose is to pay for the current, massive, government infrastructure.

The colonists, particularly those in Boston, took exception with the quartering of British troops in their homes. At the time of Revere’s ride about 3,000 British troops were stationed in Boston, the most rebellious American city.

How different is this practice than the NSA’s collection of phone and internet data today? In pre-revolutionary America Britain invaded our homes and privacy at will. This practice led to the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Are we secure against unreasonable searches and seizures? Not when the NSA and other government security agencies can vacuum up all of our private information under the scantiest of pretexts.

The American colonists were extremely conscious of their right to own and bear arms. They felt that their rights came from their English ancestors who were required to practice archery weekly by the crown. Where did you think the English got those thousands of archers that they used to decimate the French?

The American colonists needed weapons to defend themselves against the Native Americans who in some cases were paid by, you guessed it, the very-same French.

The main objective of Revere’s Ride was to warned the outlying villages and towns that the British Regulars were coming to seize their gunpowder.

Seizing the colonists’ gunpowder had been of overriding concern to General Thomas Gage, commander of British forces in North America and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In fact, during the winter of 1774-1775, Gage had sent several raiding parties far and wide to seize the colonists’ gunpowder stores. The raid on Lexington and Concord was the only one that sparked armed conflict and casualties.

Today, we have anti-gun advocates attempting to disarm American by every means at their disposal. These means range from millions of dollars in anti-gun ads to supporting anti-gun politicians.

I have no doubt that many gun owners see the attempts by government to infringe on their Second Amendment rights the same way that colonists viewed the sizing of the gunpowder: an attempt to disarm and control them.

So we have three major issues that we have in common with our ancestors: excessive taxation, surveillance of our citizens and gun control. Are you surprised that these issues that originated in the 1760′s are still being debated? I’m not.

Governments always wants more money. They always need to know everything that is going on. And they want to be able to carry out their programs without any armed interference.

Where are the modern-day Paul Revere’s warning us about overbearing government? Why, they’re right here. They’re you and I.

Unions Pressing Feds for a Detroit Bailout

April 17th, 2014

Detroit in declineYou knew that this was going to happen, right? Ever since the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy America has been waiting for the inevitable call for a Federal bailout of the city.

The Federal government has already given Detroit nearly $300 million in federal and private funding, largely drawn from existing resources.

Now, union leaders want $100 million in federal funding earmarked for homeowner assistance to help make up a $3.5 billion shortfall in the retirement system for city workers.

Detroit has been governed by over five decades of Democrat mayors and city councils. Until the state stepped in the city had been borrowing up to $100 million per year to meet expenses as the population decreased.

Detroit saw a huge wave of ‘white flight’ to the surrounding suburbs. The city’s population peaked in 1950 with 1,849,568 residents and began a steady decline. The 2010 census counted 713,777 residents. This is more than a 60% drop in population.

Unfortunately, the decline in Detroit’s population has not been matched by the reduction in the city’s bureaucracy. Detroit is no longer a major city but its work force still is.

Huge swathes throughout the city have been abandoned by residents. At the same time city services are nearly non-existent in these areas with police response times taking as long as 30 minutes.

As cruel as this may sound Detroit and its union workers need to take the bitter medicine of municipal bankruptcy. It’s time to pay the piper after decades of living off borrowed money.

But don’t expect Detroit’s municipal unions to accept that judgment. They have been maneuvering ever since Kevyn Orr was appointed as Emergency Manager of the city.

The city has an $816 million pledge from foundations, philanthropists and Gov. Rick Snyder to shore up pension funds and prevent the sale of city-owned art as part of Detroit’s strategy for exiting the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history.  

It seems that the elites of Michigan are more concerned about their city-owned art than they are about their city. Some are willing to do anything to avoid liquidating the magnificent art collections in the city’s museum.

This shows the level of delusional thinking that is working in Detroit and the state of Michigan. Wake up and smell the coffee.

The city is bankrupt and nearly destroyed. Its residents have been placed in extreme circumstances by irresponsible political leaders. Sell the art to the elites and keep it at the museums on loan. Unzip those tight pockets and help your city.

Detroit was once a great American city, the jewel of America’s Industrial Heartland. It was once the home of the worldwide automobile industry. Its decline has mirrored that industry’s decline in the industrial Midwest.

Band-aids engineered by the Obama administration are not the answer. Does anyone believe that the $100 million the unions are looking for is anything but a payoff to the unions by their Democrat patrons? Does anyone remember the Chrysler bankruptcy?

The city reached tentative agreements to preserve pensions for retired police office and firefighters but cut monthly payments for other former employees.

Retired police officers and firefighters would see smaller cost-of-living payments but no cut in pension benefits under the deal. Detroit’s other retirees, who have smaller pensions, would get a 4.5 percent cut and elimination of yearly inflation allowances under a separate compromise.

Retirees and city employees who qualify for a pension will get a ballot in a few weeks. If they don’t support the plan, the $816 million vanishes and deeper pension cuts are inevitable, Orr has warned.

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, who is supporting a plan to commit $350 million in state dollars to Detroit pensions, told The Associated Press the city’s unions should put money in the pot — and not just in the form of concessions from members.

They have profited from these contracts. They have collected union dues. They should step forward and join in mitigating the effects of the bankruptcy,” he said.

It’s way past time for Detroit’s city workers to bite the bullet. Make no mistake, this will happen in other municipalities across America. Whatever is decided in Detroit will be a precedent if other municipalities collapse.

The IRS: No Free Speech for You!

April 16th, 2014

The Soup NaziOne of the most successful characters on the Seinfeld show was the ‘Soup Nazi.’ He had his customers trained to follow his every order. And if they deviated one iota, he would yell: “No soup for you.” (You can see the best bits here)

Today, we have a new Soup Nazi. The IRS has become the Free Speech Nazi. If you’re a member of the Tea Party Movement, a conservative or some other right wing nut job in the eyes of the IRS then it’s ‘No Free Speech for you.’

Despite the fact that the IRS has not grown in employee count, it has grown in taxing power. The agency now has 89,500 employees as of 2014.

Barack Obama has proposed 442 new tax measures since his first inauguration. The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

He also signed the massive tobacco tax hike signed into law on the sixteenth day of his presidency. Barack Obama has made it clear he is open to other broad-based tax increases. The collectors of all of these taxes is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS has been given broad powers over the granting of tax-exempt status to all types of organizations. Starting in 2009, Tea Party groups began to apply for tax-exempt status.

In early May 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released an audit report confirming that the IRS used inappropriate criteria to identify potential political cases, including organizations with Tea Party in their names.

At almost the same time Lois Lerner who was the Director of Exempt Organizations division answered what was later revealed as a ‘planted’ question with a previously rehearsed apology for the targeting. She rehearsed her ‘apology’ with then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller.

Lerner said that the targeting was never centrally-planned but was carried out by ‘rogue agents’ in the IRS’ Cincinnati office. Then the Inspector General’s report became public.

In response Barack Obama released the following statement:

The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test. I’ve directed Secretary Lew to hold those responsible for these failures accountable, and to make sure that each of the Inspector General’s recommendations are implemented quickly, so that such conduct never happens again. But regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong.

But after almost a year of investigations during which Lois Lerner twice took the Fifth Amendment and the President said that there was not “a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, we do know some things about the scandal.

Based on Congressional testimony, the IRS carried on a campaign of suppression of conservative/Tea Party groups. Groups were targeted by the IRS and in several cases by the FBI both of whom asked about membership and published posts.

The types of inquiries carried out by the IRS were not required for approval of their applications. Leaders of these groups were in some cases targeted by IRS audits. It appears that these audits were done to harass them.

Based on emails and other communications this entire campaign appears to have been carried out by Lois Lerner and her staff. Who above her ordered the campaign is unknown at this time.

Lerner at one time was the associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office of the Federal Election Commission where she was known as for her pro-regulation beliefs. At the FEC she routinely subjected conservatives and Republicans to the sort of heightened scrutiny we now know they came under at the IRS.

It now has become clear that the IRS was able to suppress Tea Party and conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Their slow-walking of tax-exempt applications prevented these organizations from fully participating in these two critical elections.

Meanwhile, Lois Lerner and the IRS have stonewalled the House Oversight Committee. Even though she has been cited for contempt of Congress, Lois Lerner still remains mum.

And here’s real surprise. Emails have revealed that staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. Previously, Cummings denied that the communications had never happened.

Following is a video of the testimony of Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote. Ms. Engelbrecht testified that both she and the two organizations that she founded were relentlessly targeted by the IRS and the FBI.

 

I think the other fellow just blinked

April 15th, 2014

eyeball to eyeballDean Rusk was supposed to have said at the most tense moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis: “We’re eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked.”

Some historians dispute this statement but it still makes good reading. In your mind’s eye image Soviet freighters steaming toward Cuba, carrying yet more missile to be targeted on the cities of the United States.

Facing them are the destroyers of the shield of the Republic, the United States Navy. New evidence suggests that the eyeball to eyeball confrontation was not as close as originally reported but it’s still a good story.

Over the past several days we’ve what the power of steely determination can do to the Obama administration. Not only is the administration as firm as limp linguine when it comes to foreign confrontations the same holds true to domestic disputes.

Several weeks ago the Commerce Department announced that they were not going to renew a contract with ICANN, the non-profit company that controls key domain-name functions.

The uproar in both the Congress and the tech sector was immediate. After all, we created the Internet. We paid for it and we have largely maintained it since its birth. Americans have a proprietary interest in the Internet.

Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, at a hearing on the subject said:

All hyperbole aside, this hearing is about nothing less than the future of the Internet and, significantly, who has the right, the ability and the authority to determine it. Should it be decided by a few people in Washington, Beijing, Moscow, Sao Paolo or even Silicon Valley or should it be determined by those who use and stand to benefit from it?

Goodlatte suggested that other countries would try to control ICANN after the U.S. ends its contract. The U.S. can

rightly take credit for the freedom that exists the Internet today. When we let go of that final link, will that institution be safer from those efforts to regulate the Internet, or will it be more exposed because it no longer has the protection of the United States?

Former President Bill Clinton agreed with the Republicans in Congress pointing out that the United States agencies who are involved have done a good job keeping the Internet free and open.

The tech community was of the same opinion, essentially saying:’If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it.’

At the end of last week a Commerce Department official quietly walked back the original announcement. He said that further study was needed and maybe their original announcement was misunderstood.

The second incident was much more confrontational. Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, has been in a grazing dispute with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since 1993.

The Bundy Family has been grazing their cattle on certain public lands since the 1880′s. In 1934 a law was passed that forced the ranchers to pay for grazing rights. Then in the early 1990′s the desert tortoise was declared an endangered species and grazing was prohibited in the area that the Bundys use.

Bundy has lost in Federal court at least three times. He contends that the land belongs to Nevada. Meanwhile, he has continued to graze his cattle there without paying fees to the BLM.

On March 19th, BLM issued notice of intent to remove “unauthorized livestock” from 13 specific allotments in Clark County.

On March 27th, the Interior Department through the BLM publishes notice in the Federal Register of the planned temporary closure of certain public lands in Southern Nevada to allow the impoundment of livestock grazing illegally on the lands .

On April 5th, BLM begins impoundment and removal of Bundy’s livestock from public lands as authorized in two U.S. District court orders.

Cliven Bundy have a confrontation with BLM Rangers. One of the Bundy sons is tazed and a female family member is assaulted. It is all recorded and published on YouTube. The video goes viral and the government begins to reconsider its position.

On April 12th, with armed Bundy supporters massing near Bunkerville, new BLM Director Neil Kornze announces decision to conclude the gathering of cattle from federal lands and to return corralled cattle to the Bundy.

Two different incidents with the same results, the administration backs down. This should serve as a valuable lessons to all opponents of this regime. Push back work.

You’re a Racist if…

April 14th, 2014

Al Shapton accuses Republicans of Racism…you don’t believe that Barack Obama is a secular Messiah. What, you don’t believe that he can lower the oceans and single-handedly fix our climate problems? Then you’re a racist.

You’re a racist if you don’t believe the Democrat Party has all the answers. If you don’t believe in ObamaCare then you’re a racist.

If you believe that Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the NSA sweeps and the suppression of the Press are not a threat to the United States then you’re clearly a racist.

You’re a racist if you believe in charter schools, even though they largely benefit African-Americans. Why are you a racist? Because it takes money away from African-Americans in public schools and gives it to African-Americans in charter schools. Try to figure that one out.

You’re just an every-day garden variety racist if you think that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and their ilk are simply race-baiters and extortionists. After all, both have been embraced by Barack Obama, haven’t they.

You’re a racist if you believe in the United States Constitution. Why? Because it allowed slavery. Oh, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments corrected that issue?

Well, you’re still a racist because the Constitution won’t allow Barack Obama to run for a third term. It won’t allow the Mighty One to pick and choose what laws he wishes to enforce, even though he’s got really good at that with ObamaCare.

You’re a racist if you’re a Republican, according to Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY). You’re a racist if you’re a member of the Tea Party Movement, as opined by numerous members of the left. You’re also a racist if you’re a conservative, an accusation from many members of the left.

You’re a racist if you’re a member of the National Rifle Association. That’s if you believe a new study, whites who own guns do so because they harbor racist feelings towards blacks.

If you’re white and live in one of the states of the old Confederacy, then you’re a racist. That makes whites in eleven states all racists, every man, woman and child.

You’re clearly a racist if you’re black and a Republican. Accusing African-Americans who are Republicans and conservatives is clearly problematic for race baiters but they do it anyway. And if you call them on it, well, then you too are a racist.

The use of the terms, racist and racism, have become clubs that the left has used against their philosophical enemies.

Rep. Steve Israel in a matter of fact statement on CNN’s State of the Union program said: “To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. That’s unfortunate.”

When asked by the program’s host, Candy Crowley, if he thought that his Republican colleagues in Congress were racists, Israel responded: “Not all of them, no. Of course not.” But his response did allow that he thought that some were.

If you not in favor of passing a comprehensive amnesty bill that Obama can slice and dice on enforcement, then you’re a hardcore racist according to no less an authority than Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat minority leader in the House.

In a news conference last week, Pelosi said: “I think race has something to do with the fact they’re not bringing up an immigration bill. I’ve heard them say, to the Irish, ‘If it were just you, this would be easy.”

As the DEmocrats grasp at straws in the face of losing the Senate and even more seats in the House, they have ratcheted up the rhetoric against the forces of the right. The increasing use of the charge of racism is heard every day from Obama on down.

According to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ recent remarks Americans are more sensitive to race today than they were during the Civil Rights Movement.

“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up. Now, name a day it doesn’t come up. Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah.”

The Democrats have connected almost every issue to racism. Then, they cross-pollinated it with the other big issues expected to be debated in the upcoming mid-term elections: the Republican’s War on Women and ObamaCare.

Despite all of the Democrat huffing and puffing, they will be hard-pressed to convince the electorate using their oft-used arguments. Like the boy who cried wolf, the public is tuning out Obama and his minions, especially since jobs, the economy and ObamaCare are the big issues this time around.

What racist thing have you done today, you racist?  

The Militarization of the Executive Branch

April 11th, 2014

Federal Armed UnitsThe on-going dispute in Nevada over grazing rights has spotlighted the paramilitary force of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The rancher Clivan Bundy and his family have grazed cattle on the federal land since the 1880′s until the BLM closed the land due to the presence of the desert tortoise.

The BLM has brought in snipers, K-9 teams and armed officers to enforce the ruling of a Federal judge against Mr. Bundy. The use of an overwhelming show of force has incited the ranchers who have called in reinforcements.

The on-going incident is the latest use of armed paramilitaries by the Federal government. Ever since 9/11 the Federal, states and local governments have made it a practice to beef up their paramilitary units within each of the governments.

Once upon a time the police wore normal uniforms and carried handguns. Now in many urban departments there are highly-trained paramilitary units complete with snipers. In fact most of them resemble military units that we have seen in Iraq or Afghanistan.

We once criticized the government of Iraq for not only tolerating militias sponsored by their political parties but also militias within their ministries that were used for control purposes.

What difference do we have with them today? Absolutely no difference. Numerous executive branch departments and sub-departments now have paramilitary formations that are used to enforce the will of the government.

One of the definitions of an armed militia is “A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.” And that pretty much describes the armed units within the Federal government.

Are you aware that the Executive Branch has 73 different armed units within Executive Branch department. These units total over 120,000 members that enforce the laws, regulations and rules of these departments.

They carry out raids against, in many cases, ordinary American citizens. Sometimes the rules and regulations that they are enforcing are unknown to the citizens that are targeted.

Force engenders force. One spark can light a violent response. This is not how this country was founded. The underlying principle that this country was founded upon is the consent of the governed.

The day that the American people no longer consent will the day that the United States ceases to exist. We are fast approaching the day that patriotic Americans will stand up and say: “We do not consent”.

 

 

The New Totalitarians of the Left

April 8th, 2014

The totalitarians of the leftRecently, there were news stories about Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla. Mr. Eich is a long-time member of the West Coast tech community. Mr. Eich is the creator of JavaScript, a computer language that is used on web browsers.

Mr. Eich has been associated with the Mozilla Corporation since 2005. Before that he was with the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. On March 24, 2014, Eich became the CEO of Mozilla Corporation.

On April 3, 2014, Eich stepped down as CEO. In a personal blog post, Eich stated, “under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader.”

The reason for his short tenure as CEO? In 2008 Eich had donated $1,000 to the campaign for California Proposition 8. There was some controversy on social media when the contribution was revealed in March 2012.

But when Mr. Eich was appointed CEO of the Mozilla Corporation three of Mozilla Corporation’s five directors resigned after Eich’s appointment. The Wall Street Journal reported that this resignation was done in protest of Eich’s political views.

The Foundation disputed this however, stating that the board members had “a variety of reasons. Two of the board members had been planning to leave for some time, one since January and one explicitly at the end of the CEO search, regardless of the person selected.”

In the public debate that ensued, some called for a boycott of the company. A number of Mozilla employees asked him to step down, while others spoke out on their blogs in his favor.

Nevertheless, Brendan Eich who had devoted the last fifteen or so years to Mozilla was out as CEO after a mere ten days. His case is the epitome of the new totalitarianism of the left. ‘If you’re not in lockstep with our views then we’ll force you out.’

If Brendan Eich’s case was isolated then we wouldn’t be highlighting it. But it isn’t. The forces of the left have become intolerant of their political and philosophical opponents.

Lawrence Summers at Harvard

Let’s take the case of Lawrence Summers, a card-carrying liberal who was hounded from the Presidency of Harvard University in 2006 for expressing a truth that offended many of the members of the Harvard faculty.

Summers is an eminent economist who has worked in and out of government his entire life. In 2001 he was appointed as the President of Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D in economics.

In January 2005, at a Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Summers sparked controversy with his discussion of why women may have been underrepresented “in tenured positions in science and engineering at top universities and research institutions”.

…in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination.

Summers’ comments provoked a firestorm of criticism. Summers’s protégée Sheryl Sandberg, has defended him saying that “Larry has been a true advocate for women throughout his career” at the World Bank and Treasury.

Sandberg said of the lunch talk:

What few seem to note is that it is remarkable that he was giving the speech in the first place – that he cared enough about women’s careers and their trajectory in the fields of math and science to proactively analyze the issues and talk about what was going wrong.

In other words, Summers highlighted what he perceived as a problem only to be forced to resign from the Presidency of Harvard. The controversy had gone on for over a year with two votes of censure by the Harvard faculty.

The new totalitarians of the left couldn’t even allow one of their own to express the truth even in an academic setting. Like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, it was “off with his head.”

The Chick-fil-A Controversy

It seems that the latest liberal test is related to the issue of same-sex marriage. On a state-by-state basis the proponents of same-sex marriage have taken people to court because they won’t photograph a same-sex ‘marriage’ ceremony or cater the affair.

I have a feeling that they have gone out of their way to choose religious conservatives as their targets. These committed people who oppose same-sex ‘marriage’ are almost guaranteed to refuse to provide their services.

Proving that no one is immune to attack, in 2012 the fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A became embroiled in the same-sex ‘marriage’ and LGBT rights controversies.

The chain which is owned by the WinShape Foundation, a charitable endeavor of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy and his family, had made millions in donations to political organizations which oppose LGBT rights. They also supported a number of pro- marriage organizations.

As the media began to cover the stories, various LGBT and same-sex ‘marriage’ groups began to protest at Chick-fil-A locations. These protests sparked counter-protests supporting the chain and their right to support whom they chose.

The controversy came to a head on June 16, 2012, while on the syndicated radio talk show Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer (COO) Dan Cathy stated:

I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

In reaction the mayors of Boston and Chicago, both liberal Democrats, threatened to exclude the chain from building new restaurants in their cities. The mayor of San Francisco fell into line with his fellow mayors.

There were protests on college campuses across the country. In August 2012, gunman attempted to enter the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council, carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, a 9 mm handgun and a box of ammunition.

He shot a security guard in the left arm, and following his arrest he told police that he wanted to use the sandwiches to:

…make a statement against the people who work in that building … and with their stance against gay rights and Chick-fil-A”,and that he planned “to kill as many people as I could … then smear a Chicken-fil-A [sic] sandwich on their face.

Sales soared following the controversy. Sales increased “12 percent, to $4.6 billion, in 2012. In September 2012, The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) announced that Chick-fil-A has “ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.”

According to the TCRA, Chick-fil-A officials stated in an internal document that they “will treat every person equally, regardless of sexual orientation.”

According to Focus on the Family web site, CitizenLink.com, “Chick-fil-A and its charitable-giving arm, the WinShape Foundation, did not agree to stop making donations to groups that support the biblical definition of marriage in exchange for being allowed to open a franchise in Chicago.”

ObamaCare: Success or Failure?

April 7th, 2014

Rural Virginia's Health WagonLost in all of the debating about ObamaCare’s success or failure is the one salient fact that everyone is missing. Is ObamaCare helping those most in need of health insurance?

We all must understand one thing. The Affordable Care Act is not about health care, it’s about health insurance. It’s a classic case of the government using its coercive power to try to force people to buy health insurance.

Based on that parameter it’s a total failure. When the Democrats began the debate about the Affordable Care Act it was all about insuring 30, 40 or 50 million Americans (pick your number) who had no health insurance.

The Democrats attempted to frame the debate this way. ‘The health care system in the United States is broken and the Affordable Care Act will fix it.’ But the affordable Care Act has done nothing of the sort.

Instead, the original 2,700 page bill has morphed into over 20,000 pages of regulations. All of the good parts of the bill have been overwhelmed by the picayune regulations that were written by an army of bureaucrats at HHS.

Yes, the Affordable Care Act has a number of good reforms to our health care delivery system. Among them are the pre-existing condition rule which prevents the loss of health insurance.

Allowing young people to stay on their parent’s insurance plan until they’re 26 is another good reform although I would change that to enrolled students rather than the general population under 26.

Dragging hospitals, clinics and doctors into the 21st century by mandating the use of digital record-keeping is another rule that will eventually help to reduce the back-office cost of health care.

But with these good rules there a myriad number of intrusive, expensive regulations. Government, especially when implemented by the left, cannot resist their attempts to control our lives.

They also can’t resists the attempt to collect meaningless volumes of personal information that raise the cost of administering the health care system.

Currently, the medical-care providers uses the ICD-9 coding system with a total of 17,000 codes. Starting on October 1, 2014, they will switch to the ICD-10 coding system that has a total of 140,000 codes.

According to Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, the new ICD-10 code “sets provide flexibility to accommodate future health care needs, facilitating timely electronic processing of claims by reducing requests for additional information to providers.”

The most important question that Americans must ask is: ‘Has the Affordable Care Act benefited Americans who are most in need?” And the answer is a resounding no.

We have seen over 6 million Americans have their insurance cancelled because it didn’t meet the ‘standards’ set by Democrat politicians. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their staffs essentially wrote the Affordable Care Act a political document.

They, and only they, decided that older enrollees would not pay premiums set by insurance actuarials, Instead, younger, healthier enrollees would pay higher premiums to make up the difference.

They, and only they, decided on the various coercive rules which they balanced with poll-tested ones like the pre-existing conditions rule, the 26-and-under rule and the digital record-keeping rule.

They, and only they, decided that in order to pay for the Affordable Care Act the ‘standard’ insurance would not have an option for the enrollees to pick their coverages.

Thus, we have people past child-bearing years saddled with pediatric coverage. Younger Americans in their 20′s and 30′s paying for geriatric coverage. And single men paying for Ob-Gyn coverages. And the list goes on.

Most of the cancelled policies were deficient in the eyes of the Obama administration due to these lack of coverages.

Barack Obama did a victory dance in the Rose Garden when he announced that 7.1 million had signed up for insurance coverage. He neglected to point out the 6.1 million who lost their coverage. Or the 80 to 85% who signed up but have not paid.

Finally, what happened to the tens of millions of Americans who live everyday without health insurance? How about the Americans who lived in pockets of poverty all over this great nation?

The Obama administration has spent $700 million on marketing a flawed product. Billions more were spent and continue to be spent on health insurance exchanges that simply don’t work.

Couldn’t that money have been better used to help those in true need? America is the richest country in the world when we put our mind to it. Try viewing these 60 minutes videos without questioning what was the point of ObamaCare after all.

Why is Obama treating our military so badly?

April 4th, 2014

Obama and his commandersI recently listened to a podcast that featured an interview with the wife of an Air Force pilot, Allysen Efferson. She is a semi-regular member on the podcast so the audience only knew her from that role.

But few people know her from her real life role as an Air Force wife whose husband is deployed at least twice a year. She related the stresses of raising their children, the constant moves and the everyday problems of managing a home.

As I listened to the interview, I realized that the American military feels that they are being used as an ATM by the Obama administration. The Democrat party generally is suspicious of the U.S. military.

They see the Defense budget as a black hole of spending. And they salivate at the opportunity to slice money from it to spend on their favored social programs.

Need money for ObamaCare, just take it from the Navy budget. How about money for the endless unemployment benefits? Well, the Army doesn’t need those body armor upgrades, do they? Oh, and the Air Force can’t possibly want a new generation of fighter-bombers.

However hardware acquisition never suffers because they have a constituency with plenty of lobbying muscle: the defense industry. Military hardware is sometimes purchased despite military opposition. But personnel costs usually take the hits.

It’s the men and women at the tip of the spear that suffer. Many of our enlisted men with families are suffering everyday. Even though they wear the uniform of the wealthiest country on the planet, they are forced to apply for food stamps.

Patrons of military commissaries using food stamps to purchase $103.6 million worth of groceries in fiscal 2013. That’s a 5 percent rise from 2012, and almost double the $52.9 million spent in 2009.

One reason for the jump in usage is most obvious to observers. It is the relatively low pay for junior members of the military, with the least experienced active duty soldiers bringing home a little over $18,300 per year. That would qualify a soldier living in a two-person household for food stamps.

Despite all of this, the Defense Department considered closing commissaries and are now looking at raising prices. Rather than buying a little less hardware, they are actually going to take food out of the mouths of our military families.

Another significant issue facing military families is a relatively high unemployment rate for spouses, with female spouses between the ages of 18 to 24 suffering from a 30 percent unemployment rate, according to a February study published by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. That’s almost three times higher than civilians, the study found.

Barack Obama and his allies are deeply disdainful of our military. The strain of anti-militarism runs deeply within the modern Democrat Party. Don’t be fooled by the base photo ops or White House medal ceremonies. Obama doesn’t respect our military.

He has been more than willing to throw away all of the gains that were made in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to keep his base happy.

They, in turn, would like nothing better than to neuter our armed forces in order to remove them as a potential weapon in our arsenal. Have you noticed how this administration’s knee-jerk reaction to every crisis is to take any military options off the table?

The Benghazi attack was a classic case. Despite having military assets within striking distance, the options were never even considered and four Americans died at the hands of terrorists. The reason: it would have looked bad to Obama’s base and besides, he had announced that the War on Terror was over.

Remember, the military can’t lobby for themselves. They must rely on the American people to speak for them.

For an insider’s view of the Obama administration and how they view the military check out this article in Politico Magazine by Rosa Brooks. Ms. Brooks served as an Obama appointee at the Defense Department from 2009 to 2011.

The Democrats’ Blame Game

March 31st, 2014

The Democrats Blame GameHave you noticed how the Democrats have gone out of their way to blame ill and misfortune that the country has experienced since 2001 on everyone but themselves? Now, I know that it’s bad politics to do otherwise but this is ridiculous.

First, they blame the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on George W. Bush. It’s all Bush’s fault. How many times have we heard this mantra. Forgotten in this wallowing in Bush Derangement Syndrome is the fact that we were attacked by al-Qaeda on 9/11.

Instead, they pass right by that salient fact and go right to their Blame Game. It’s never anyone else’s fault. Forgotten are the eight years of  Bill Clinton and his administration’s denial that there were terrorists out to get the United States.

Forgotten is the ‘Chinese Wall’ that Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton Administration, set up that prevented the CIA and the FBI from working together on terrorist investigations. But according to the Democrats, it was all Bush’s fault even before he was President.

Moving on to the two wars. Bush asked for and received a resolution from both houses of Congress authorizing military action against Iraq.

He also asked for and received a joint Authorization for Use of Military Force against terrorists. This particular resolution received near- unanimous support with only one representative voting in the negative ten not voting and two senators voting present.

Despite this support, in later years representatives and senators who voted for the resolutions claimed that they had not voted for either or both wars. They seem to forget that their votes were recorded and that in some cases they made statements about their votes.

Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency twice and both times he blamed George W. Bush for everything that was wrong with the wars and the economy.

Once they exhausted the “It’s all Bush’s fault’ mantra, the Democrats started blamed the Republicans in the House for all of the economic ills that continue to linger. All this despite the Democrats’ throwing money at the problem.

Tell me, who passed the ‘Stimulus’ bill? Here’s a hint: it wasn’t the Republicans. The Democrats rammed through the bill and then stood by while almost a trillion dollars was spent with nothing to show for it.

Yet, the Democrats proceeded to blame the Republicans for not passing more stimulus bills that would have run up the National Debt even higher than it is today. They see nothing wrong with unchecked spending and higher taxes.

Then, they blamed everything on the 1% of the wealthiest Americans. Of course, they did this hoping that the mainstream media didn’t blow their cover by pointing out that many elected Democrats and their donors were also in the same group.

The, we have ObamaCare. Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid blame the Republicans for all of the failures of ObamaCare. The Federal Website fiasco-Republicans’ fault. The state website disasters-Republicans’ fault. Lagging insurance enrollment-Republican’ fault.

Rather than blame his own administration for the poor implementation of his signature health insurance act, it’s far easier to blame the Republicans for everything. And with an overly compliant media acting as his echo chamber, Obama sees no reason to change.

Now, we have a serious foreign crisis in the Ukraine and some on the right have pointed out that starting from his first day in office, Obama showed weakness.

After his actions on Libya, Syria and Iran Vladimir Putin saw the recent overthrow of the Ukrainian government as a golden opportunity to take the Crimean Peninsula for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid has his scapegoat after Republicans in the Senate refused to vote for a Ukrainian aid bill that also included IMF reforms.

Since a few Republicans blocked these important sanctions last work period, Russian lawmakers voted to annex Crimea and Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian military bases. It’s impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice.

There you have the very latest in the Democrats’ Blame Game. We’ve come full circle. It’s all the Republicans’ fault after all.