Friday, August 31, 2012
By George H. Wittman on 8.31.12 @ 6:07AM
Why are we still there?
In 1841 just before Christmas Sir William Hay Macnaghten, Her Majesty's Envoy and Minister of the Government of India, was shot and knifed to death while seeking to negotiate with the son of the Afghan leader, Dost Mohammed. The British envoy's remains were paraded about Kabul's bazaar -- in parts. In 1997 Taliban fighters seized the former Soviet-backed leader Najibullah. As happened to Macnaghten, Najibullah's body was cut into many pieces that were then displayed on poles in the bazaar. That was only fifteen years ago. Not much changes in Afghanistan.
In 1979 terrorists kidnapped American Ambassador Adolph Dubs. He was killed in an unsuccessful Russian-led rescue attempt specifically objected to by the American authorities. At least his body wasn't mutilated. It is estimated that from 1979-'89 close to one million Afghan civilians were killed in the war with the Soviets. Is there any sign that President Barack Obama or the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, has any awareness of these historic moments and that which has occurred in between? It might be easy to ignore the dusty history of William Macnaghten's death, but 1997 is not that long ago nor are the numerous public assassinations (such as Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Wali Karzai, and the key U.S. contact, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani) that have followed in retribution for the death of Osama bin Laden since May 2011.
And this is aside from the current calculation of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan. Should these not be a bit fresher in the minds of those who ultimately command or seek to command the 80,000 American military personnel still in Afghanistan? Nothing at all regarding American involvement in Afghanistan is part of the discussion during the current election campaign.
How exactly does Washington's leadership expect to extract our forces from a country that shows little sign of basically altering a tribally-dominated governmental structure? Waiting until 2014 was simply a political timetable constructed by President Obama to create a justification for his final "surge" of men and materiel that supposedly was deemed adequate to suppress the Taliban enemy forces while building up a new Afghan Army. In the Obama strategy these new Afghan troops would be loyal to some imagined democratic process introduced by that great democrat, President Hamid Karzai. What part of a near totally corrupt Afghan government and governmental system does Washington -- both Democrat and Republican -- not understand?
America's part-time allies, Pakistan, told us back in 2004 that military victory, as the United States usually envisioned it -- was just not possible. They said then what they had said before -- that a partial and temporary political victory might be possible, but no "European" force could dominate the tribes of Afghanistan for anything more than a short while. The bearer of the historically proven advice was their then head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the American-trained and highly respected Chief of Army Staff today.
As the military brass and their political bosses like to say, the United States has the greatest fighting force in the world today. All that is true, but it is also true that the men and women who make up that force hate to lose. America is a highly competitive nation. Our volunteer military goes anywhere in the world and fights to keep enemies away from our shores. These warriors need to know they are doing a job that will help their country. That knowledge is being lost in Afghanistan.
The politicians are unable to figure a way to get out. The foreign terrorists, al Qaeda, have been driven out, but the indigenous Islamic radicals, the Taliban, who protected them, remain. In Washington each succeeding civilian leadership is afraid they will be blamed for pulling out of a commitment. The result is that they have continued to send troops into battle to beat the enemy, the Taliban, and the troops succeed. The trouble is that the war the American troops are fighting is not the war the enemy is fighting. The U.S. forces win the battles and yet the war is never won. Nor can it be without occupying the entire country and building a new nation -- which in reality is not our business. It is the responsibility of America's civilian leadership to recognize this and withdraw our military from such situations.
The reason for going into Afghanistan was to destroy the support base for the organization that was responsible for the attack on 9/11 and planned similar destruction against Western civilization wherever it could. What's happened is that the physical side of that war against al Qaeda in Afghanistan has succeeded. Unfortunately the various sites for strategic development of jihad have grown elsewhere. The war has shifted locations and character of personnel.
As in Vietnam where U.S. troops won the battles but Washington lost the war because it never really understood the scope of the North Vietnamese Communist commitment, Afghanistan's tribal culture and in-bred ability to absorb the punishment of war survives all battles. Our intelligence analysts have been saying this all along. Wars of choice (such as Afghanistan) are won if the political goals are attainable. The battles of these wars must be fought and won with concomitant political results. When it becomes apparent that the battle victories are not aiding in gaining the desired political result, it is time to withdraw from the field. This is the case now in Afghanistan.
There is no need to hold to the 2014 timetable unless there is an intent to maintain a heavy troop presence to provide a secure forward base in western Afghanistan in expectation of assisting an Israeli attack on Iran. Is this what is really behind the Obama strategy?
To read another article about the Afghanistan War, click here.
To read another article by George H. Wittman, click here.
Posted by Brett at 4:24 PM
By: John Hayward
8/31/2012 11:11 AM
During her speech at the Republican National Convention, Ann Romney made two important references to her husband’s charitable endeavors. “I know this good and decent man for what he is: warm and loving and patient,” she said. “He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one’s fellow man. From the time we were first married, I’ve seen him spend countless hours helping others. I’ve seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.”
Later in her speech, Mrs. Romney said of her husband’s great business success: “It’s given us the deep satisfaction of being able to help others in ways that we could never have imagined. Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point. And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities. They don’t do it so that others will think more of them. They do it because there is no greater joy.”
She wasn’t exaggerating about Mitt Romney’s reluctance to discuss his charitable endeavors. “Charity” means more than just donating money to worthy causes. Romney has spent an astonishing amount of his time helping others – from small acts of personal kindness, to remarkable deeds like shutting down Bain Capital to help find the missing daughter of a partner, an action the girl’s father credits with saving her life.
Some of these stories are so astounding that they left the “fact checkers,” who set out to “debunk” what they initially assumed to be viral Internet mythology, reeling in shock. I suspect a major component of their surprise was the point Ann Romney made: unlike most politicians, Mitt never used these compassionate deeds to burnish his political credentials. He wasn’t looking for applause in July of 1996; he was looking for a missing girl.
But if there was ever a time to talk about Mitt Romney’s personal charity in public, it is now. Voters judge presidential candidates by their character. It would be silly – indeed, it would be unfair to the American electorate – to conceal these crucial aspects of Romney’s character.
And so, on Thursday night, we were introduced to Ted and Pat Oparowski, whose dying 14-year-old son David was befriended by Mitt Romney in 1979. “It’s been over 30 years since we lost our son David. The memories are still vivid and painful,” Mr. Oparowski said. “But we wanted to share them with you, because David’s story is a part of Mitt’s story.”
Click here to watch their speech:
It would be sinful to merely summarize that story. Watch it for yourself below, if you didn’t see it Thursday night. It wasn’t part of the heavily-broadcast 10:00 PM hour, so many people missed it.
We also heard from Pam Finlayson, who got to know Mitt Romney during a drive-by laundry folding in 1982. Romney and his family helped her through the difficult birth, and miraculous life, of her daughter Kate:
Click here to watch Pam's speech:
Charity takes many forms. There’s a lot of good work waiting to be done out there. It takes time, including the time concentrated and stored within dollar bills. A weak, exhausted, bankrupt, dependent nation has little strength available for the expression of compassion. For too long, we have accepted the bleak fantasy that only massive government bureaucracies, extracting money through compulsive force, can render effective assistance to the needy. We’ve poured our strength into a system that delivers only pennies on the dollar to deserving recipients. Our industry withers beneath its growing demands, which are always presented as selfless public service to the downtrodden, even though only a tiny fraction of its rusted machinery is truly dedicated to such purposes.
What good can we do, for imperiled and suffering people – within our borders, and around the world – if we sink helplessly into dependency, redistribution, and command economics? Where will the strength for tomorrow’s benevolence come from, if a shrinking private sector populated by increasingly less free people are forbidden from seeking opportunity, and denied the capital to exploit what little they can find? What room remains for voluntary charity, when a weary people must work over half the year to fulfill the mandatory obligations imposed upon them by politicians?
I used to do volunteer work for a small cancer charity. We helped a lot of people over the years. We recently made the painful decision to shut down our operation, because it became too hard to collect a meaningful amount of donations. We heard the same story, over and over again: I just can’t spare anything in this economy.
Presidential elections are about more than just selecting a new chief engineer for the immense system reaching from Washington into every American home and business. They are a chance for us to express who we are as a people, and how we want our nation to grow. It is foolish to limit our minds and hearts by childishly deciding that one particular direction, the perpetual growth of the central State, is “forward,” while all others are “regressive.” There is nothing inevitable about collapsing into weakness, obedience, and bitter division.
I don’t want to live in an America of mandates, commands, moratoriums, bailouts, confiscation, redistribution, compulsion, and obligation. I don’t want to live among able-bodied people who believe they are helpless, because someone’s ideology tells them so. I don’t want to take care of adults who spend their days living as children. I’m tired of hearing that some people shouldn’t take risks, because they don’t stand a chance. I’ve had my fill of inertia marketed as desperation, and freedom dismissed as selfishness. I’m tired of hearing that obedience is the only way to express compassion. I am sick unto death of “leaders” who presume knowledge of what I’m entitled to, what I’m capable of, and what I don’t care about.
I want to live in a nation that keeps company with dying children and nourishes their dreams. I want to live in a country strong and kind enough to carry Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas presents to people who truly need help. I want to look through tangles of plastic and tubes, to see beautiful little girls and boys. I want to be part of a country that makes time to rescue lost people from dark places. I want to invite open hearts into the joyous communion of charity. I want to be part of a great and generous American story that is written by millions of hands, not dictated by a few.
I think Mitt Romney is an extraordinary man, running for the presidency of a country filled with men and women just like him.
To read another article by John Hayward, click here.
Posted by Brett at 2:52 PM
By: John Hayward
8/31/2012 09:17 AM
There isn’t much point in trying to divine a grand strategy behind Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention. It seems strange to think that a crucial block of time would be given over to what was, by all accounts, an “improv” chat (Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom’s description), given both the tightly scripted nature of the modern political convention, and Mitt Romney’s penchant for careful planning.
But that’s what we got. Condoleeza Rice’s ability to deliver a powerful and complex speech largely from memory, with minimal reference to prepared material, is amazing… but she didn’t just amble onto the stage and let ‘er rip. I don’t know that anyone has ever previously done that at a major political convention, certainly not in the modern media age.
Naturally, Clint (it just seems wrong to refer to him as “Eastwood”) received mixed reviews for his performance. Enthusiastic Republican voters generally thought his “Invisible Obama” routine was hilarious. Obama supporters were considerably less amused. “Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic,” said film critic Roger Ebert via Twitter. “He didn’t need to do this to himself. It’s unworthy of him.”
That’s a pretty harsh curve for grading an 82-year-old man delivering an improvised speech in front of an enormous crowd, as the warm-up for a young superstar senator and the Republican candidate for President of the United States. But there’s nothing surprising about Eastwood’s jibes provoking anger among Obama supporters. I strongly suspect Clint isn’t surprised, or that he cares very much. And if a comparable roasting of Mitt Romney occurs at the Democrat convention, Republicans will probably find it much less amusing than the convention delegates and liberal spectators.
Was talking to an invisible Obama in an empty chair demeaning to the President? Good. Now Obama knows how he made millions of business owners feel.
The point of Clint’s appearance wasn’t just to loosen up the crowd with a few laughs. He was there to provide more than humor or star power. The Man With No Name rode onto the high plains of the RNC stage to deliver something else: validation.
The intended recipient was not Mitt Romney, the convention delegates, or even Republican voters, but rather wavering independents. Clint was there to tell them it’s OK to find Obama, his ugly campaign operation, and his increasingly shrill band of die-hard defenders ridiculous. It’s OK to laugh at them. (You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at the MSNBC panel’s reaction to the entire evening. It’s even funnier to think that there are people who still take MSNBC seriously as some sort of “news” network, instead of the longest Saturday Night Live skit in broadcast history.)
We already knew it was OK to make fun of the absurd Joe Biden – which should not diminish anyone’s anger that such an vicious and foolish man was placed a heartbeat from the Presidency – but Clint took it up a notch: “Joe Biden is kind of a grin with a body behind it.” Perfect.
It’s OK to dismiss the brutal slander of the Obama campaign with humor, as Clint did when Invisible Obama supposedly gave him profane insults to relay to Mitt Romney. The silly notion of Obama as a serene, cool, Spock-like figure floating above the political fray is gone forever, but Clint shoveled a little dirt on its grave with those jokes. The pained over-reaction of Obama defenders does them no credit, and will not serve them well in the election. Americans are a humorous people who value the ability to take a joke. A thin-skinned campaign that appears to be cracking walnuts with its clenched butt cheeks usually turns them off.
And it’s OK to let Obama go, as Eastwood said, in what I think will prove to be his most widely quoted line: “When somebody does not do the job, you’ve got to let them go.” The significance of that statement, coupled with the raspy straight-shooting delivery of Dirty Harry, should not be underestimated.
A good deal of the Obama campaign effort, particular from his media allies, comes down to portraying votes against him as racism – as if the public has a moral duty to re-elect the First Black President, no matter how ghastly a failure he has been. (Swing by the MSNBC comedy show and check out Chris Matthews for the extreme low-brow version of this argument. Matthews portrays even relatively mild criticism of his beloved President as coded racism. The other day, he decided references to “Chicago” are encrypted racist appeals.) Independent voters really do need some inoculation against this argument.
There are people who await cultural and social permission to express their dissatisfaction with Obama. Mitt Romney gave it during his speech, in a more expanded and refined way – he said he understood the excitement of voting for Hope and Change, but for many of those voters, a profound sense of disappointment has set in. Clint did it by describing 23 million unemployed Americans as a “disgrace,” pointing out that “politicians are employees of ours,” and reminding voters that eventually it becomes necessary to dismiss under-performing employees.
Actually, it was interesting to note how hard some of Clint’s deadly serious lines hit, because of the strange comedy surrounding them. Is that what he had in mind all along?
Who knows what impact this will have? Celebrity endorsements receive wide play with the public, thanks to the popularity of the celebs, but a lot of people tend to tune out whatever they actually say. Far more people are interested in hearing a favorite actor talk than seriously taking political advice from him. Maybe Clint will inspire more Hollywood conservatives and libertarians to come out of the closet and speak up. Or maybe his performance will ultimately be digested by the public as a strange moment of comedy, which produced a bit of short-lived controversy, but little lasting effect.
Either way, it was an interesting, amusing, and very unusual snapshot of a growing preference cascade against Barack Obama.
My comment: I always loved Clint Eastwood's movies and I thought his appearance at the 2012 RNC was awesome. I totally understand where he's coming from. He is not one to suffer fools gladly and he's surrounded by fools (democrats) in Hollywood. There has never been bigger fools in all of history than supporters of Barack Obama, and Clint just called it like he sees it. I know what it's like to be brainwashed into being a democrat, and what it's like to realize that you have been lied to by our mainstream media and our educational system. Finally I know what it's like to finally see the light. Clint Eastwood sees the light too
Click here to watch a video clip of classic Eastwood with a scene from "The Outlaw Josey Wales" - click here.
To read another article about Clint Eastwood, click here.
To read another article by John Hayward, click here.
Posted by Brett at 2:41 PM
By Robert Stacy McCain on 8.31.12 @ 6:11AM
Mitt Romney stakes his campaign on the America Dream.
TAMPA, Florida -- The polls showed a dead heat as Mitt Romney took the stage Thursday night to accept the Republican Party nomination, but the polls could not begin to capture the wild chances of improbability in what is sure to be a hard-fought campaign this fall. And the man who introduced the GOP presidential nominee Thursday night was the surest testament to how miracles happen in America.
Marco Rubio wasn't supposed to be there. In May 2009, more than 15 months before the 2010 Republican primary in Florida, the GOP establishment endorsed Rubio's opponent, then-Gov. Charlie Crist, believing him to be the "safe" choice as their party's Senate nominee. Crist had statewide name recognition and a strong fundraising base, and so he was endorsed not only by the state party chairman, but also by the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. One poll showed Crist leading Rubio by 37 points.
Crist had every tangible advantage, but what he did not have was the support of the conservative grassroots, which were just then coalescing into the Tea Party. Crist had embraced President Obama's $800 billion "stimulus" plan, and his endorsements from the GOP Establishment proved to be the kiss of death, rallying a nationwide movement behind Rubio. And so the young senator who introduced Mitt Romney on the closing night of the Republican National Convention was a living embodiment of the miraculous power of the American dream.
Rubio spoke of that dream, describing how as a nine-year-old boy in 1980 he watched the GOP convention with his grandfather, a refugee from Cuba's communist dictatorship. "As a boy, I would sit on our porch and listen to his stories about history, politics and baseball while he puffed on one of his three daily Padron cigars," Rubio told the thousands of Republican delegates gathered inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "I don't recall everything we talked about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me to never forget. The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve, but there was no limit to how far I could go, because I was an American."
The crowd went positively wild with cheers and applause, and when they calmed down, Rubio continued: "For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it's easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of the world, because he knew what life was like outside America."
What Rubio was describing was a doctrine known to political philosophers as "American exceptionalism," and the 41-year-old senator went on to describe its foundation in religious belief, that America is "special because we've been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We're bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.… Our national motto is 'In God we Trust,' reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all."
Words can scarcely describe the enthusiasm that swept through the auditorium at that moment. In a skybox suite five floors above the stage, where I was a guest of the Republican State Leadership Committee, I found myself wiping tears from my eyes. They were neutral, objective tears, because I remembered when Marco Rubio was 37 points down in the polls, and here in Tampa I was watching an honest-to-God miracle. If it had been up to the party leadership, Charlie Crist would have been up there on stage. Instead, Crist is now disgraced and discredited, an unpopular loser who will speak at next week's Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Anything can happen in America and, with less than 10 weeks to go until Election Day, it is impossible to know who will win the White House in November. The Real Clear Politics average of national polls shows a neck-and-neck race, but as of Thursday night it seemed entirely within the realm of possibility that Mitt Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, might win in a landslide. And if the Republicans do win, much of the credit will go to the ruthless efficiency of the campaign team organized by Romney. No one can deny that Romney and the Republicans put together an excellent convention. The most offbeat moment of the weeklong event in Tampa was a smashing success.
C'mon: Even the most hard-boiled liberal must admit that Clint Eastwood's Thursday night appearance was hilarious. Rambling and low-key, Eastwood improvised a comedy routine in which he "interviewed" Obama, represented by an empty chair, and drew a standing ovation when he declared, "We own this country."
The night ended with Romney's acceptance speech -- arguably his best ever, although the former governor of Massachusetts has never been famed as a spellbinding inspirational orator. But Romney made the case that inspirational oratory is no substitute for sound policy and competent leadership. "What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound," said the former CEO of Bain Capital. "It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs. What America needs is jobs -- lots of jobs." He later mocked the absurdly irrational "hope and change" rhetoric that marked Obama's 2008 campaign: "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family."
Romney closed by invoking an America that represents "the best within each of us," and made a promise: "If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it."
If Mitt Romney is elected president on Nov. 6, it won't necessarily be because America believes in Mitt Romney, but because Mitt Romney believes in America.
To read another article about the RNC Convention, click here.
To read another article by Robert Stacy McCain, click here.
Posted by Brett at 12:55 PM
By: David Harsanyi
8/31/2012 12:59 PM
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how Clint Eastwood’s rambling appearance would play with voters, though I knew immediately how it would play with most Beltway types. For me, it was, without doubt, the most entertaining convention speech in memory — hell, the most of any political event period. But let’s concede for the sake of argument that Eastwood’s performance (with an empty chair as a prop) at the Republican National Convention is all the terrible things that Democrats and many in the media have been saying it is. So what?
1. It was fun. How many potential voters actually changed their minds — or made up their minds – on the basis of an ad-libbed comedy routine by a celebrity? If anything, chances are probably higher that that some mildly curious voters found the idea of an iconic actor giving a speech — one, incidentally, that didn’t adhere to Republican orthodoxy — at the RNC as evidence that the GOP wasn’t as rigid and unapproachable as everyone’s been telling them.
2. And speaking of mildly curious voters … Though many of them may enjoy and admire someone like George Clooney, they probably don’t relate to him. Clint, on the other hand, cuts through generations and fan bases. He’s about as close to universally liked as a celebrity can get. This is why Chrysler used his voice to celebrate bailouts. Eastwood’s appearance will do nothing to amuse those who take their politics too seriously, but he certainly lightened up what is by nature an artificial and highly-scripted event. No, Eastwood didn’t lay out an eloquent, bullet-point argument against Barack Obama’s economic policies; what he did was convey a prevalent sentiment in nonpartisan language that a lot of people who don’t care much about politics understand.
Take this segment, which was probably the most effective:
You, we — we own this country. We — we own it. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours. And — so — they are just going to come around and beg for votes every few years. It is the same old deal. But I just think it is important that you realize , that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.
3. Ed Morrissey lays this argument out well, but whatever potential damage Eastwood can do, and I doubt he did much, he can make it up with eyeballs. How many people tuned in to see Eastwood? Was his shtick worth the cost if those viewers stuck around to see strong speeches by Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney?
I’m sure Republicans had hoped for something more traditional from Clint, but really, what was the downside? I don’t see one.
To watch 170 Clint Eastwood movie quotes, click here:
Gunny Highway, click here:
To read more about the RNC Convention, click here.
Posted by Brett at 12:34 PM
By: Audrey Hudson
8/31/2012 12:12 PM
UPDATE 1:10 p.m. EST: The White House has announced that Obama plans to visit hurricane-ravaged Louisiana Monday to observe recovery efforts.
Mitt Romney scrambled his schedule Friday to visit Louisiana and examine first-hand the damage caused by Hurricane Isaac and to meet with Gov. Bobby Jindal whose request for full financial assistance was snubbed by President Barack Obama.
Obama has not traveled to either Louisiana or Mississippi to view the storm’s damage.
The Category 1 hurricane killed four people in Louisiana and Mississippi and stranded 500 residents who were rescued by first responders in boats. Nearly one million homes and businesses have lost power, almost half the state of Louisiana, the Associated Press reported.
Jindal and Republican Sen. David Vitter asked Obama to fully reimburse the state for its cost to handle and clean up after the storm, but federal assistance will only supplement state and local efforts to prepare and respond.
The president was kept informed of the hurricane during a campaign swing this week across college campuses, while First Lady Michelle Obama made television appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Dr. Oz,” and “Rachael Ray.”
Wednesday marked the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which nearly devastated the City of New Orleans in 2005.
While Romney is touring Louisiana, Obama will travel to Fort Bliss Texas to mark the two-year anniversary of the end of combat in Iraq. Obama will hold a roundtable discussion with military members and their families to discuss how to responsibly end wars.
Former President George W. Bush was heavily criticized for not touring the Gulf area immediately after it was struck by Katrina.
In response to the storm, Republicans cancelled the first day of their national convention in Tampa. Jindal was scheduled to speak at the convention, but also cancelled his appearance to tend to the disaster.
Posted by Brett at 12:25 PM
Ted, right, and Pat Oparowski
By: Hope Hodge
8/30/2012 08:42 PM
Thursday night’s speech lineup included a trio of Olympians, an A-list movie star, and a powerful U.S. Senator.
But perhaps the most impressive address came from an elderly couple who had trouble reading the teleprompter and stumbled a little over their words.
Ted and Pat Oparowski, originally of Medford, Mass., talked about their young son David, diagnosed at age 14 with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Mitt Romney, then a leader in their church, befriended David as he struggled with his illness, buying the boy a box of fireworks at one point to cheer him up, and later, on David’s request, helping him write a will so he could give his prized rifle, skateboard, and fishing gear to his friends.
“You cannot measure a man’s character based on words he utters before adoring crowds during happy times. The true measure of a man is revealed in his actions during times of trouble,” Ted Oparowski said. “The quiet hospital room of a dying boy, with no cameras and no reporters – that is the time to make an assessment.”
Romney stayed with the family even at David’s death, Pat Oparowski added, delivering the eulogy at the boy’s funeral.
“We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern,” she said.
Though the couple’s emotional talk brought tears to the eyes of many, it wasn’t the only insight of the evening into a man who friend’s called deeply caring and generous with time and resources.
Click here to view their speech:
Pam Finlayson, who also was a member of Romney’s church, talked about how Romney had come to the hospital to visit her after her daughter Kate was born very prematurely.
“I will never forget that when he looked down tenderly at my daughter, his eyes filled with tears, and he reached out gently and stroked her tiny back,” she said. “I could tell immediately that he didn’t just see a tangle of plastic and tubes; he saw our beautiful little girl, and he was clearly overcome with compassion for her.”
When Kate passed away 26 years later from a congenital condition, Mitt and Ann Romney stopped their work on the campaign trail to reach out to Finlayson, she remembered.
“It is with great excitement and a renewed hope, to know that our country will be blessed as it is led by a man who is not only so accomplished and capable, but who has devoted his entire life quietly serving others,” she said.
Click here to view Pam's speech:
In every phase of his life, a stream of speakers said, Romney had embodied compassion, hard work, and principle.
The crowd thrilled when 15 Olympians, including Mike Eruzione, hockey player of “miracle on ice” fame, figure skater Scott Hamilton, and speed skater Dan Jansen took the stage to talk about how Romney had saved the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from the brink of financial disaster.
“Mitt is a brilliant leader who is committed to the highest ideals, and he is a wonderful and caring family man,” Eruzione said. “America desperately needs Mitt Romney’s leadership today. Please join me in making him the next president of the United States.”
Business leaders, including Staples founder Tom Stemberg, talked about Romney’s record of success and character while in leadership at Bain Capital, while Massachusetts political leaders including Romney’s former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey discussed his work to help the state lead the nation in education.
This extended tribute concluded with a video showing the Romney family as Mitt and Ann raised five boys, showing scenes of the Republican nominee stopping work to play with his sons, and featuring Ann telling of how Mitt chose her to carry the Olympic torch in Salt Lake City, saying that she was his hero.
Romney’s job this week was to show a more personable and genuine side of himself to the American people. By the time he took the stage at the end of the night Thursday, his work was all but done.
Click here to view a video of Jane, a liberal democrat who is a friend:
To read more from the Tampa 2012 RNC Convention, click here.
Posted by Brett at 11:23 AM
By Peter Ferrara on 8.31.12 @ 6:08AM
Nor will conservatism, if Obama wins and is left free to pursue his inner Che.
The world is dynamic rather than static, so constantly thinking ahead is the key to understanding. Recognize now that on the morning after the election, whatever the result, America will never be the same. The results themselves will have wrought basic, fundamental change for the body politic. That inevitability underlines and highlights what you should be doing now to influence those results.
Karl Marx's Last Stand
The wildly overconfident Left is least attuned to what is at stake for them. If Barack Obama is routed this fall as he should be, it will be worse for the left-wing neo-Marxist views he represents than if he had never been elected at all. For then the voters will have seen what he is offering and rejected it. In retrospect, Reagan's landslide defeat of Carter followed by his landslide reelection ushered in a generation of Reaganite dominance of national politics. Clinton figured out a way for Democrats to accommodate that dominance, enabling them to hold public office as long as they did not interfere with the ongoing Reagan revolution. But the public did not fully accept and embrace Clinton until he accepted that bargain. See 1994.
The last four years have been a coming out party for the Democrats. For over a hundred years now, Progressivism, a polite, Americanized term for Marxism, has been infiltrating and taking over the Democrat party, the national media, academia, the courts. But until now they have effectively hidden what they are all about. Under Obama, however, the heart and soul of the party has been let out of the closet and revealed (only for those paying attention, however, not the millions who so stubbornly still are not). And that heart and soul is Che.
Having attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, I saw all of this first hand. I saw all those prep school Marxists pledging to each other life long fealty to the worldwide socialist revolution, and going on to pose as "liberal" reporters and commentators, "liberal" environmentalists plotting the destruction of capitalism and its middle class prosperity from within, "liberal" candidates moderated just enough to get elected in their districts or states, "liberal" academics tutoring the next generation in the proper, socially acceptable attitudes to worker revolution, and providing cover for each other on the acceptability of more and more radical views.
Hillary Rodham Clinton from Wellesley is a classic case of the Progressive committed from an early age to fomenting revolution from within. I saw the Barack Obama types as well, more openly radicalized because they realized as minorities polite society would have to accept their grievances and philosophy as legitimate. But I never thought a majority of Americans would be so foolish as to not see where they are coming from.
Let us scrap the social diplomacy so we can communicate most effectively. Barack Obama is not just a communist infiltrator. He is communist royalty, born and bred. He hails from a self-professed communist Kenyan as his father, and from an anti-American 1960s hippie as his mother. Left to be raised by his "progressive" grandparents, he was provided a personal mentor during his adolescent years who was an open member of the Communist Party USA, Franklin Marshall Davis.
In his own autobiographies he tells us how he favored Marxist professors and student radicals in the Ivy League colleges where they are fostered. After he graduates, he becomes not just a student but an instructor in the social manipulation methodologies of openly Marxist revolutionary Saul Alinsky. In the opening pages of his worshipped masterpiece Rules for Radicals, Alinsky dedicates the book to the first true radical -- Satan. One of Alinsky's rules is to pose as an advocate for the middle class as the most effective way to overturn what he and his cohorts see as the most worldwide blood sucking class in world history. ("White folks greed runs a world in need," they say.) Obama provides these classes in the employ of the nasty Marxist street agitator organization ACORN.
And it goes on and on. Obama launches his political career in the living room of confessed, anti-American terrorists Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn. He attends the church of neo-Marxist Black Liberation Theologist Jeremiah Wright. I am not trying to break news here, just connect all the dots.
Following Alinsky, Obama campaigns today as an advocate for the middle class. But he and his compatriots see the American middle class as a moral embarrassment because we are so much richer and more prosperous than the rest of the world. That is what he was thinking when he was foolish enough to say "we just can't keep driving our SUVs, eating whatever we want, keeping our homes at 72 degrees at all times regardless of whether we live in the tundra or the desert, and keep consuming 25% of the world's resources with just 4% of the world's population, and expect the rest of the world to say you just go ahead we'll be fine."
Actually what we expect an American President to say to the rest of the world is that they have nothing to say about how we live, which stems overwhelmingly from voluntary transactions among a free people. And if you are unhappy with your standard of living, you can try that too, we are not stopping you, we are encouraging you, and probably defending you, at our expense. But Barack Obama will not say that because, wherever he was born, he is not culturally an American.
This is why Obama and his cohorts are not the least perturbed by the onrushing return to recession in 2013, first fully explained in my own Encounter Books Broadside No. 25, "Obama and the Crash of 2013," so obvious now that even the Washington establishment CBO is ringing the alarm bells. A second, double dip, recession before we have ever even recovered from the last one would just further plunder the resources and standard of living of the American people, especially the middle class. Moreover, Obama and his neo-Marxist strategists see New Deal style political benefits from that, as more and more Americans become dependent on government, and so vote to keep their paymasters in power.
Moreover, in a second Obama term, the plunder of the American middle class will accelerate well beyond this, easing the pain of the moral embarrassment over America's riches suffered by Obama and his cohorts. It is all explained further in Stanley Kurtz's new book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities. He should have said how Obama will rob the suburbs to pay for the cities, because this will really blossom into full swing in a second term agenda.
Indeed, in a second term, the rule of law will collapse as well, as the checks and balances among the branches of government break down. By the second term, Obama will have appointed a majority of federal judges. This is particularly ominous as the liberal judges he appoints believe not in applying the law as it is, but making up the law as they think it should be. And, of course, they will think the law should be whatever it needs to be to enable Obama to do whatever he wants to do.
Expect as well in a second term for the Supreme Court to break down as well as a check and balance, as it already has in the case of Obamacare. Barely five aging men on the court cannot hold the line against the Obama onslaught for four more years. Obama just needs one more appointment to seize the court for his make it up as you go along judicial activist liberals. Gone then will be any judicial check on his illegal activities, such as making recess appointments without the consent of the Senate, when Congress is not in recess. Or creating bureaucracies operating outside the rule of law, such as Dodd-Franks' Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has the power to tax and regulate with no supervision from any branch of government, or the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which has the power to cut Medicare without Congressional approval.
In a second term, Obama will be free as well to fix the second great moral embarrassment that so troubles him -- America's global military dominance. Already underway is his great military builddown, slashing America's Navy to it's lowest number of ships since 1916, or adding the fewest number of planes to America's Air Force since 1947. Most dangerous will be Obama's unilateral nuclear disarmament, which is also already underway as a result. When America's military is cut down to size, then America can sit at the table of nations as one equal among all the others, and Obama can sleep at night with the satisfaction of a job well done. Just as Reagan gave us Peace through Strength, I expect a second Obama term to give us War through Weakness, as Obama's military builddown successfully induces some foreign enemies to attack us, with battle loss size domestic casualties as a result. Don't expect any gauche effective American military response either, as that would go back to the big, bad white bullies beating up the little people, which would be another moral embarrassment keeping Obama up at night.
All of this is not just Obama. It is the heart and soul of today's Democrat party, more publicly revealed to America now then ever before, as more and more Democrats have felt free under Obama to drop their mask, and reveal their inner Che. What is now revealed is America's Democrat party as one of the most left-wing political parties in the entire world. That is why it is no longer a respectable institution that ordinary Americans can support, with their votes, their volunteer time, and their contributions.
This is what is on the ballot now for political offices all over America. If the Democrats go down to another stinging defeat this year as in 2010, then this progressive, neo-Marxist, radical left, Che Guevara vision will be more thoroughly discredited and repudiated than it ever has in any debate anywhere. The Marxists who are still fighting in reaction to the rise of capitalism centuries ago, and the industrial revolution that ushered in capitalist prosperity and dominance in the 1800s, will have been defeated for at least a generation, and maybe for good. Half of remaining Democrat office holders will turn to collaborating with the new Republican majorities and President to enact a more free market, Romney/Ryan vision than even was implemented under Reagan, ushering in a new American century of economic and military dominance.
Given how Obama has so religiously pursued the opposite of everything Reagan did, it will only be just deserts now if instead of being re-elected in a landslide and validated by the voters, as Reagan was, he is defeated in a landslide and discredited by the voters, as he deserves.
Can Conservatism Survive?
But the other half of the picture is what happens to conservatism if Obama manages to win. Obama is running an in your face campaign against conservatism. He has now openly embraced gay marriage. The Democrat theme of a Republican War on Women is morphing into an unrestrained embrace of abortion without limits. That will be featured all the more at the Democrat convention. Obama is even campaigning on forcing the Catholic Church to pay for contraceptives and medical procedures that transgress their political beliefs. Let Obama have one more Supreme Court appointment in a second term, and the historic Second Amendment victory the American people won in the recognition of an individual right to keep and bear arms in Heller v. DC will be gone in a matter of months.
If Obama wins campaigning like this, his victory will be taken as a rout of social conservatives and their pro-family values. You could expect even Republicans to start to fall from the social conservative platform, convinced it is a loser, particularly those running in the Northeast, Midwest, and Far West. Expect to see the explosive return of gun control.
Moreover, Obama is the first presidential candidate to run on a tax increase since Walter Mondale in 1984. Even in his first campaign, Obama did not run promising to increase taxes. He just promised not to increase them for singles making less than $200,000 a year, and couples making less than $250,000, a promise he broke and smashed to bits in Obamacare.
But now even more than Mondale, Obama is running on very specific, multiple tax increases for a second term. On January 1, the tax increases of Obamacare go into effect, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which Obama is pledged not to renew for the nation's successful small businesses, job creators, and investors.
Who gets hurt the most by that is, surprise, the middle class, and working people, as that will throw America back into a double dip recession before we have even had any real recovery from the last one. The unemployment rate will soar back into double digits, the deficit will soar well over $2 trillion, real wagers and income will decline further, and poverty will soar. Again, even the Washington establishment CBO is already ringing alarm bells over that.
Another problem is that rhetorically Obama is running against "the failed policies of the past" as the cause of the 2008 financial crisis. He has explicitly made clear that means Reagan style deregulation. But listen to him more carefully recently and you will see he has effectively been saying that prior tax rate cuts were the cause of the crisis and recession as well.
There is no economic theory under which tax rate cuts cause recession. Not even Marxism. Even Keynesianism recognizes tax rate reductions as expansionary. But that doesn't stop Obama from leading his Obamabots over the fiscal cliff.
If Obama wins having broken his pledge in the 2008 campaign not to raise taxes on the middle class and working people, while promising still more sweeping tax increases, and fingering tax rate cuts as the cause of the financial crisis, conservatives will have lost the tax issue as well, perhaps for a generation. The media will much more aggressively label anyone who even criticizes a reelected and therefore deified Obama in any way as a racist.
And despite what even some conservatives are saying, if Obama wins there is no way he will back down on his tax increases now already scheduled in current law for January 1. The "rich" already pay almost all the income taxes in America, and the federal income tax is already the most "progressive" in the world, and so there is no reason to Obama's charge that the rich are not paying their fair share. But raiding them still more is a major reason Obama ran for office. After winning a second term, there is no way he is going to back down from a victory he has already won. When the economy turns south again, he will just blame it again on the Bush tax cuts, and after he has been reelected, even disputing him on anything will start to look like a racist civil rights violation justifying jail time. More people on welfare as a result just means more Democrat voters to him.
Moreover, if Obama wins, Paul Ryan and his brave, courageous, innovative budgets will have been discredited and repudiated as well. Don't expect to see even Republicans bring up entitlement reform again, nor any more even the discredited tax cuts that "caused" the financial crisis. There will be no political hope or stopping point before fiscal collapse for America.
This is what is at stake for conservatives in this election. If they lose, the entire Reagan coalition will be taken as politically discredited and repudiated. These very stark different contrasts as to the future posed by this election are why this election is a decision point for the American people no less dramatic than 1776.
To read another article by Peter Ferrara, click here.
Posted by Brett at 7:33 AM
By William Tucker on 8.31.12 @ 6:08AM
On the progressive trend to declare women self-sufficient save for an occasional trip to the sperm bank.
I generally don't like to get involved in these "which-sex-is-the-best" debates, but here's a case where I'll have to make an exception. Last week the New York Times ran an op-ed entitled, "Men: Who Needs Them?" It was written -- wouldn't you know? -- by a man, a professor at Boise State. Since this article questions the very existence of people like myself and since it is filled with such misinformation and errors as might imperil the future of human society, I feel compelled to respond.
The author is one Greg Hampikian, professor of both biology and criminal justice in yet another cloistered academic community where anything can happen to a man's brain. Hampikian puts forth the premise that since men play only a very brief role in the physical conception of a new individual, and since from there until birth the burden of reproduction is carried entirely by the mother, therefore men -- or just about all men -- could be eliminated from the earth with little or no consequence. Here is the way he puts it:
If a woman wants to have a baby without a man, she just needs to secure sperm (fresh or frozen) from a donor (living or dead). The only technology the self-impregnating woman needs is a straw and a turkey baster…. If all the men on earth died today, the species could continue on frozen sperm. If the women disappeared, it's extinction.
Ultimately, the question is, does "mankind" really need men?
So intent is Professor Hampikian on this self-abnegation that he proclaims the term "Homo sapiens" represents only an "18th century masculine bias in science" and that "mankind" is a "gross misnomer." He prefers "mammals," since the term refers specifically to the mammary glands, possessed only by women.
Somehow Professor Hampikian's lack of confidence in the male role is strangely reminiscent of those men in primitive tribes who are said to live in supernatural awe of women's reproductive powers. It is often speculated that the Stone Age "Venuses," those small female statues with prominently exaggerated hips and reproductive organs, were amulets whereby men sought to control women's mysterious procreative abilities. I've always thought they might be just Stone Age pornography, but who knows? -- maybe it amounts to the same thing.
In any case, since Professor Hampikian is a biologist and presumably believes in evolution, maybe we can use a little evolutionary biology to shore up his self-esteem.
Let's start with a simple observation. Biologists have recently determined that when it comes to genetic structure, we differ from our chimpanzee cousins by only 3 percent of our genes. That means, if you believe in evolution, that there is very little distance between ourselves and the chimps. In the 5 million years or so since we branched off, only a few minor changes have occurred to separate the two species.
Now here's the interesting part. Of that 3 percent of changes, 95 percent have taken place on the Y chromosome. That's the chromosome carried only by men -- the only thing in fact that differentiates men and women. In other words, pretty much all the things that have happened to separate us from our chimpanzee ancestors have been things that happened to men. Does that make the term ""mankind" sound a little more appropriate?
Actually, to anthropologists, this isn't anything new. For decades, they have noted that, in terms of reproductive behavior, female chimpanzee and human females are not very different. Both become pregnant, nurture the fertilized egg in the womb, give birth, nurse their offspring, and then carry them around and protect them for about five years until the young are ready to venture out on their own. In behavioral terms, there's not much any difference.
What is different about human beings is the behavior of men. Male chimps band together in "brotherhoods" that are often compared to tight-knit fraternal clans or street gangs. They mark out territory and defend it against other males. This creates a safety zone in which their females can raise their young without worrying about unprovoked attacks from unrelated males. (This is critical because if other males take over the troop they will immediately kill all the young in order to put the females to work raising their own offspring.)
What male chimps do not do is: a) pair off with individual females, or b) play any role in child-rearing. In fact, it is against the code of chimpanzee society for any male and female to take too much interest in each other or pair off. Instead, the strict rule is that every male gets to mate with every female. This maintains the brotherhood and allows male chimps to cooperate among themselves without being torn apart by sexual competition. The females enforce this code as well, making sure to mate with every male, no matter how low his status. This is called "confusing paternity." The purpose is to make every adult male believe he might be the father. That prevents any of them from harming the offspring.
Now, somewhere in the mists of time, on the Savannas of East Africa, our ancestors abandoned this sexual communalism and adopted instead a system where couples paired off to form monogamous "pair bonds." This is rare among mammals, although not entirely unknown. About 5 percent of mammals practice monogamy. Among them are our distant cousins, the gibbons of Southeast Asia. Gibbon couples pair off in the jungle and live in solitude, singing weird, haunting tenor-and-soprano duets to warn other males and females out of their territory. They reproduce successfully but do not engage in co-operative effort with any other gibbons.
What was completely unique about the proto-human society of our forebears is that they learned to practice monogamy within the larger group. This occurs among gregarious flocks of birds that spend weeks or months nurturing their young but is unknown among other mammalian species. What it accomplished was to maintain the male solidarity of the chimpanzee troop under much more trying circumstances, while still providing each individual with a reasonable chance to mate. The outcome paved the way for human evolution.
Our earliest ancestors were hardly formidable creatures. They stood three feet tall, had no sharp claws or ferocious teeth, could not outrun predators and had no trees in which to escape. Yet somehow they managed to hold their own in a sea of larger, swifter predators. By sticking together in troops of about 20-25, they were able to protect themselves while scavenging the prey of other animals and eventually becoming hunters themselves. Male chimps hunt for about 5 percent of their diet and do not share with females or offspring. Hunter-gatherer males provide about 35 percent of the diet and share their kill with both mates and children. That is the difference between us and the chimpanzees. It is a legacy of which any male can be proud.
Yet pair-bonding within the group produced much more than this. It also engaged males in child rearing. This additional paternal protection paved the way for other developments -- most notably our larger brains. Anthropologists have long noted that upright posture narrowed the hips and made giving birth more difficult for early hominid females. At the same time, the social demands of maintaining the monogamous band in a more challenging environment put a premium on social intelligence. Researchers now believe it was these personal demands -- and not some inclination toward "tool-making" -- that created the selection pressure for bigger brains. But enlarged brains only made birth even more difficult. As a result all human beings are born about two months prematurely. Most mammals can walk and run within a week whereas we are completely helpless for more than two years. The only thing that would have made this long, out-of-womb period of development possible would be the care of two parents instead of one. The domestication of males into child-rearing creatures was probably the most important step in human evolution.
There is much more to the story. Read Professor Hampikian's article and you will find he lavishes most of his detail on how our mothers provide nearly all the substance of our bodies, while the male contributes "less than one-millionth of your mass."
[Y]our father's 3.3 pictograms of DNA comes out to less than one pound of contribution since the beginning of Homo sapiens 107 billion babies ago.
But as Aristotle taught us, there are both material and formal causes. That 3.3 pictograms may not amount to much on the material scale, but it represents 5 million years of hard-won evolutionary progress. And almost all of that progress has occurred on the Y chromosome.
By concentrating only on the act of reproduction, Professor Hampikian has also missed out on something else -- what we might call "civilization." Here the shape and form of our public life -- the rules and regulations by which we live, the trade and cooperation, conflict and war -- have all essentially been crafted and created by men. Women are getting very good at participating and in some cases even exceeding the performance of men. But despite what feminist historians will tell you, civilization -- in both its positive and negative aspects -- has essentially come out of the male gene.
What Professor Hampikian is paving the way for, of course, is the culture of single motherhood. Once confined to the Africa-American underclass, it is now making headway at all levels of society. Indeed, many of the responses on the Times website were from single mothers telling how proud they are to have conceived without a man. But what we are really witnessing here is the unraveling of five million years of human evolution. Professor Hampikian and others like him would do well not to get too hung up on the question of which sex provides more nourishment in the womb. After all, there's a lot more to being human than the act of reproduction.
To read another article by William Tucker, click here.
Posted by Brett at 7:14 AM
By Quin Hillyer on 8.31.12 @ 6:09AM
Rise up against the pasty white brie-eating media.
The left has us pegged. They have identified all the secret racists on our side. They know how to call a spade a spade.
If you call a black man "angry," you are a racist.
If you call a black man "arrogant," you are a racist.
If you say that a black president plays too much golf, you are a racist.
If you ever say that welfare should include work requirements, as in the law that Bill Clinton signed and spent years (falsely) taking credit for, you are a racist.
If you complain, along with the experts who helped write and pass a welfare reform law, that the law's work requirements are being gutted by an (illegal) executive waiver of, yes, the work requirement, you are a racist.
If you talk about border security, you are a racist.
If you say that a president does not harbor the traditional views about what makes America great, you are a racist.
If you note that the president often wrote and spoke movingly about the great influence that a particular preacher had on him, and that the preacher is a white-hating, America-bashing radical, then you are a racist.
If you note, accurately, that some American judges have made rulings waiving American law in favor of sharia law, you are a racist.
If you use the word "dark" anywhere within six sentences of the name "Barack Obama," you are a racist.
If you oppose policies that treat people differently, for purposes of college admissions or drawing political district lines, you are a racist.
If you say that civil rights laws are meant to protect citizens of all races, even whites, you are a racist.
If you list hundreds of examples of voter fraud and think voters should be required to show identification, just as visitors to the Justice Department are required to do, you are a racist.
If you think that a civil-rights conviction that effectively has already been won -- against ex-convict, weapon-wielding, racial-invective-spewing goons -- should not be dropped, especially without public explanation, you are a racist.
If you cite specific instances, with numerous witnesses, of Justice Department officials saying they would not apply certain civil rights laws (or not apply them equally), you are a racist.
If you note that a president claimed a well-known Communist poet as his childhood mentor, you are a racist.
If you suggest that idolizing an absentee father who was a bigamist Kenyan radical might give a person a worldview a tad unusual for most Americans, you are a racist.
If you suggest that white lacrosse players should not be convicted without proof of raping a black stripper, you are a racist.
If you suggest that an over-eager Neighborhood Watch volunteer who tragically shot and killed a young black man might have acted for reasons other than racial animus -- even if you still say the shooter might have committed a crime -- you are a racist.
If you suggest that the prevalent definition of "hate crime," and the use of statutes pertaining thereto as a way to increase sentences based not on the action itself but on the alleged thoughts motivating it, is a violation of equal justice under the law, you are a racist.
If you say there's no excuse for the establishment media to take an anti-Semitic, racial-incident-instigating, false-police-accusing scofflaw, and treat him as a legitimate and respected political leader, you are a racist.
If you note that a liberal president has severely relaxed rules for food stamps and that food stamp rolls have vastly increased on his watch, you are a racist.
If you suggest that an attorney general who happens to be black has prevaricated about a gun-running sting gone badly wrong, you are not really worried about the tragic mistake or the cover-up thereof; you are a racist.
In fact, if you object to any policies or actions of said AG or his political appointees, you are a racist.
If you even dare to suggest that the federal government should be limited, you are racist.
Especially if you suggest that federal social services are inefficient, you are not just racist, but a vicious and particularly dangerous racist.
If you are a conservative white southerner, you are by definition a racist. (And if you are a conservative black person, you are by definition an Uncle Tom.)
If you shout "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" at a party convention, especially if a Latino speaker is at the podium, you are a racist. (By some lights, if you pronounce yourself a patriot in any way, shape, or form, you are a racist.)
If you defend anybody accused of being a racist, you are a racist.
If you vote Republican most of the time, you are a racist. If you support the Tea Party movement, you are a racist. If you are a conservative of any sort, you are a racist….
Okay, then: No matter what my or your long history of fighting racism may be, I am a racist and so probably are you. And, by those lights, I am damn proud of it.
To read more about democrat's and mainstream media's racism, click here.
To read another article by Quin Hillyer, click here.
Posted by Brett at 6:53 AM
By Oliver North
MY LIVING ROOM COUCH -- It was the political convention that almost wasn't. In the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Democrats and their fellow travelers in the so-called mainstream media claimed that the GOP was waging a "war against women," depicted Mitt Romney as a heartless felon responsible for the death of a woman who lost her health insurance and blasted Romney for choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate. They then tried to define Ryan as a heartless ideologue who would eliminate Medicare and throw grandmothers off a cliff. And then a tropical storm-turned-hurricane named Isaac threatened to blow the entire convention away.
As Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico, Republican leaders and the Romney campaign revised the entire convention schedule and postponed the proceedings by 24 hours. That wasn't good enough for the potentates of the press. The GOP was castigated for going ahead with its convention while "a terrible storm" was "causing so much death and destruction." We were reminded repeatedly that Isaac had hit the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines on "the seventh anniversary of Katrina." One commentator, a former ABC and PBS political director, reporting for Yahoo News from the convention hall, said Republicans "are happy to have a party with black people drowning."
It was a perfect storm of media hostility coupled with breathless live reports of wind, rain and flooding, all timed to disrupt and distract attention from the events in Tampa. Yet when it was all said and done, the Republicans provided a remarkably effective introduction of the GOP candidates for the tens of millions of Americans who tuned in.
Big media present national political conventions as little more than expansive entertainment on the margins of expensive prepackaged political theater. But these quadrennial events, unique to the United States, are better-described as multi-day job interviews. They provide an opportunity for employers to assess whether an aspirant for a public service position should be hired or rehired. A convention provides an opportunity for job applicants to present their credentials and provide references who affirm their qualifications. Then, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, "We the People" -- the employers -- decide which candidate gets the job.
By that measure, the RNC in Tampa was as effective as any of the seven national conventions I attended -- but that's not how it's been depicted by the media elites. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized by some as self-serving. But his explanation of how Republican chief executives have effectively reined in runaway spending and reduced deficits is a telling message when contrasted with the Obama record.
And then Ann Romney stole the show. She described her husband as "humble" and "compassionate," as a "loving, faithful husband" and "wonderful father and grandfather" and as an "honest, hardworking businessman." Her remarks were as powerful as any words I have heard from a political spouse.
On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, the man who lost to Barack Obama four years ago, described the national security challenges confronting our nation -- and thanked those who serve in uniform to protect us all. His words that "we cannot afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy" were a damning indictment of the Obama administration. So, too, was his critique that "we cannot afford to have the security of our nation and the lives of those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media."
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- in one of the shortest presentations of the convention -- posed what she called "the question of the moment." She asked, "Where does America stand? When our friends and our foes alike do not know the answer to that question -- clearly and unambiguously -- the world is a chaotic and dangerous place."
Paul Ryan -- who could become the youngest vice president in a quarter-century -- put the lie to how he has been defined by the opposition. His personal story, grasp of the issues, self-deprecating humor and emotional "to this day, my mom is my role model" were nothing short of uplifting. Ryan's optimism for the future, his stand on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage as matters of faith, and his commitment that "we will not try to replace our founding principles (but) reapply our founding principles" make me look forward to the Ryan-Biden debate in October.
By Thursday evening, when Clint Eastwood -- master of the line, "Go ahead, make my day" -- and Sen. Marco Rubio introduced Romney, tens of millions of people were watching. Romney's inspiring, upbeat presentation and his acknowledgment that we really are an exceptional nation were Reaganesque.
Will the Tampa convention be enough to have the GOP prevail in November? It might be if "We the People" don't give up on "hope and change." I still hope we change -- and hire Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
To read more about mainstream media bias toward democrats, click here.
To read another article by Oliver North, click here.
Posted by Brett at 6:44 AM
By Jonah Goldberg
In 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger, then a popular figure in the Republican Party, gave an exciting, upbeat and surprisingly funny speech at the GOP convention. He covered a lot of territory: the story of how he came to America, how he became a Republican after listening to Richard Nixon, and other highlights of his life story.
Afterwards, then-CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported that Schwarzenegger "slapped John Kerry around like a hockey puck."
The only problem: Schwarzenegger never mentioned John Kerry, not even once.
I bring it up because it's hardly news that much of the press likes to report the convention as they want it to be rather than as it is.
It's also somewhat less than a thunderclap revelation that the press and the Democratic Party tend to see things the same way. Which is why it's unremarkable that the "fact-checkers" and Democratic Party press-release writers are on the same page.
Hence the relentless coverage of vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's "lies" during his convention speech. His story about a Janesville, Wis., GM plant, in particular, has stirred up a journalistic fuss:
"A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you ... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year."
The Associated Press fact-checkers were among the most restrained in their "correction."
"The plant halted production in December 2008," the AP explained, "weeks before Obama took office and well before he enacted a more robust auto industry bailout that rescued GM and Chrysler and allowed the majority of their plants -- though not the Janesville facility -- to stay in operation."
The first problem is that Ryan wasn't referencing the bailout at all, but the sorry state of the overall economy and President Obama's record of over-promising and under-delivering.
A bigger problem is that the AP didn't even look up its own reporting about the Janesville plant. "Production at the General Motors plant in Janesville is scheduled to end for good this week," the news services reported on April 19, 2009. "GM spokesman Christopher Lee says operations at the southern Wisconsin plant will cease Thursday."
And there's the small matter that everything about Ryan's statement was true if you go by the plain meaning of the words.
Or consider the media's obsession with the alleged racism of the GOP. The folks at MSNBC are particularly obsessed with the race angle. New York Magazine political reporter John Heilemann and "Hardball" host Chris Matthews concluded the other night that the word "Chicago" is racially loaded code.
"They keep saying 'Chicago,'" Matthews said. "That's another thing that sends that message -- this guy's helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods, screwing us in the 'burbs."
Heilemann nodded, adding, "There's a lot of black people in Chicago."
One standard cliché is to bemoan the fact that there are so many "white faces" among the delegates. This potted observation is usually brought up in connection with some chin-pulling insight about the GOP's problems reaching out to minorities.
Many an hour can be wasted listening to the gang at MSNBC expressing their deep concerns about this pressing issue and how the GOP must adapt to a more diverse America. Perhaps the GOP would do better if allegedly serious people stopped going on national television and saying that even the use of the word "Chicago" is now racially loaded.
Meanwhile, one thing the GOP could do is put forward some really attractive and compelling minority speakers to deliver its message. Indeed, that's what the GOP did on its first night of the convention -- and the concerned folks at MSNBC opted to stop covering the speeches whenever a minority took the stage.
If the coverage of this convention is an indication of the trajectory the media will follow for the rest of the campaign, you can be sure of three things: Lies will be defined as facts that are inconvenient to President Obama, racists will be understood to be Republicans who are winning an argument, and truth will be slapped around like a hockey puck.
To read about more mainstream media bias, click here.
To read another article by Jonah Goldberg, click here.
Posted by Brett at 6:17 AM
By: Human Events
8/30/2012 10:22 PM
Remarks as prepared for the 2012 Republican National Convention:
In 1980, I watched my first Republican Convention with my grandfather.
He was born to a farming family in rural Cuba. Childhood polio left him permanently disabled.
Because he couldn’t work the farm, his family sent him to school, and he became the only one in the family who could read.
As a boy, I would sit on our porch and listen to his stories about history, politics and baseball while he puffed on one of his three daily Padron cigars.
I don’t recall everything we talked about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me to never forget. The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve.
But because I was an American, there was no limit to how far I could go.
For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it’s easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of world.
Tonight, you’ll hear from another man who understands what makes America exceptional.
Mitt Romney knows America’s prosperity didn’t happen because our government simply spent more. It happened because our people used their own money to open a business.
And when they succeed, they hire more people, who then invest or spend their money in the economy, helping others start a business and create jobs.
Mitt Romney’s success in business is well known. But he’s more than that.
He’s a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. A generous member of his community and church.
Everywhere he’s been, he’s volunteered his time and talent to make things better for those around him.
We are blessed that soon, he will be the President of the United States.
Click here to watch Marco Rubio speech:
Our problem with President Obama isn’t that he’s a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father … and thanks to lots of practice, a pretty good golfer.
Our problem is he’s a bad President.
The new slogan for the President’s campaign is “Forward”.
A government that spends one trillion dollars more than it takes in.
An 800 billion dollar stimulus that created more debt than jobs.
A government intervention into healthcare paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare.
Scores of new rules and regulations.
These ideas don’t move us “Forward”, they take us “Backwards.”
These are old, big government ideas.
Ideas that people come to America to get away from.
Ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America.
Under Barack Obama, the only “Change” is that “Hope” has been hard to find.
Now millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other.
He tells Americans they’re worse off because others are better off. That people got rich by making others poor.
Hope and Change has become Divide and Conquer.
No matter how you feel about President Obama, this election is about your future, not his. And it’s not simply a choice between a democrat and a republican.
It’s a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.
We should remember what made us special. For most of history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few.
Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past.
If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children.
But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights.
That power belongs to the people.
That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests.
That we shouldn’t be trapped in the circumstances of our birth. That we should be free to go as far as our talents and work can take us.
We’re united not by a common race or ethnicity. We’re bound together by common values.
That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.
We’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government.
Our national motto “In God we Trust” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.
And, we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition that “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.”
We are a blessed people. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.
I know that for so many of you, these last few years have tested your faith in the promise of America.
Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement. But instead, because your savings and investments are wiped out, you have to go back to work.
Maybe, after years of hard work, this was the time you expected to be your prime earning years. But instead, you’ve been laid off, and your house is worth less than your mortgage.
Maybe you did everything you where told you needed to do to get ahead.
You studied hard and finished school. But now, you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can’t find a job in your field. And you’ve moved back in with your parents.
You want to believe we’re still that place where anything is possible. But things just don’t seem to be getting better. And you are starting to wonder if things will ever be the same again.
Yes, we live in a troubled time. But the story of those who came before us, reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings.
If we are willing to do for our children, what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been.
My mother was one of seven girls, whose parents went to bed hungry so their children wouldn’t. My father lost his mother when he was nine. He left school, and went to work for the next seventy years.
They emigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better life.
My Dad was a bartender. My Mom was a cashier, a maid, and a stock clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich.
And yet they were successful. Because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that had been impossible for them.
Many nights I heard my father’s keys jingling at the door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings, I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at K-Mart.
When you’re young, the meaning of these moments escapes you. But now, as my own children get older, I understand it better.
My Dad used to tell us: “En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos” “In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could.”
A few years ago during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar at the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who had worked so long as a banquet bartender.
He was grateful for the work he had, but that’s not the life he wanted for us.
He stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room.
That journey, from behind that bar to behind this podium, goes to the essence of the American miracle… that we’re exceptional not because we have more rich people here.
We’re special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, come true here.
That’s not just my story. That’s our story. It’s the story of your mother who struggled to give you what she never had.
It’s the story of your father who worked two jobs so doors closed for him would open for you.
The story of that teacher or that coach who taught you the lessons that shaped who you are today.
And it’s the story of a man who was born into an uncertain future in a foreign country. His family came to America to escape revolution.
They struggled through poverty and the great depression. And yet he rose to be an admired businessman, and public servant.
And in November, his son, Mitt Romney, will be elected President of the United States.
We are all just a generation or two removed from someone who made our future the purpose of their lives.
America, is the story of everyday people, who did extraordinary things. A story woven deep into the fabric of our society.
Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they lived, you find the living essence of America’s greatness.
To make sure America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday, that is what our politics should be about.
And that is what we are deciding in this election.
Do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams, or do we want them to inherit our problems?
If we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our children and grandchildren, will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world.
The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet been born.
Let’s make sure they write that we did our part.
That we chose more freedom instead of more government.
We chose the principles of our founding to solve the challenges of our time.
We chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation.
And because we did, the American Miracle lived on for another generation to inherit.
To read another article from the 2012 RNC, click here.
Posted by Brett at 5:11 AM