Weekly Musing 11-24-13
“Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.” – Thomas Jefferson
Food for thought….
December 7, 1941 to May 8, 1945 is: 3 years, 5 months, 1 day:
The US converted the industrial base from peacetime to wartime production, mobilized and trained millions, built a global logistics system, built tens of thousands of tanks, artillery pieces, planes, jeeps, ships – carriers, battleships cruisers, destroyers, transports, PT Boats, landing craft, cargo ships – hundreds of thousands of tons of munitions, cleared the Atlantic, turned the tide in North Africa, Invaded Italy and D-Day, fought across Europe, the Battle of the Bulge, the Race to Berlin, then Germany surrenders – all while also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific and the CBI theaters. All without the internet, computers, faxes, copiers, cell phones, satellite communications etc.
March 21st 2010 to October 1 2013 is: 3 years, 6 months, 10 days.
Not enough time for this administration to build a working website
Why the Bloated Government Is Too Big to Succeed
Which part of the country is getting richer the fastest? That might seem like a strange question in the middle of a four-year economic stagnation. Chronic unemployment continues, and the American workforce participation rate remains at 35-year lows.
The US economy has not added more than 250,000 jobs in a month since February, and only twice since February 2012. Nearly a million people (932,000) left the workforce in last month’s jobs report, and over 3 million in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Household Survey. Economic growth remains mired in the 2-3 percent range, with incremental gains giving way almost immediately to incremental setbacks.
We may not be living in The Hunger Games, but we are seeing a demonstration of the inevitable result of elitism and central planning. We aren’t sacrificing our children for the amusement of the powerful, but we are sacrificing our resources to the incompetence of the self-appointed nannies that can’t even figure out the basic economics of risk pools or the mechanics of payment systems. It’s time to pull the plug on DC’s cash spigot and return to local control and private-sector solutions.
GOP governors lay out own agenda with Washington gridlocked
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a year into his job, said the contrast between his experience in Congress and working with his fellow “Republican governors has been very eye-opening.” He too said Washington is dysfunctional — “not only broke, but broken.”
“I’m more convinced than ever that the cure for what ails this nation will come from our nation’s state capitals than it will from the nation’s capital,” Mr. Pence said.
During the Reagan era in American politics, and for a while afterward, Republican governors got more national attention than now, in large part because they won media coverage and public attention as the innovators on such issues as welfare reform, workfare, school vouchers, charter schools and enterprise zones.
The big names back then included Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Michigan Gov. John Engler, among others.
So now it’s up to this generation of GOP governors to break through the din and make their case.
Scott Walker: How to Win the Obama-Walker Voters
To make a conservative comeback, Republicans need to win these Obama-Walker voters and their equivalents across the country. In the Wisconsin recall election, we mobilized conservative voters by standing up for conservative principles against enormous pressure. But we also persuaded at least some of President Obama’s supporters to support us, too.
There are independent, reform-minded voters in every state. In times of crisis, they want leadership—from either party. What I have learned is that if you step forward and offer a reform agenda that is hopeful and optimistic, they may give you a shot. More important, if you deliver, they will stick with you.
The way Republicans can win those in the middle is not by abandoning their principles. To the contrary, the courage to stand on principle is what these voters respect. The way to win the center is to lead.
Harry Reid’s Nuke Will Backfire
Viewpoints change. Allegiances shift. Voting patterns are not chiseled in stone. The GOP will again win control of the Senate and the White House – and sooner than many Democrats seem to think, thanks to the debacle that is Obamacare. When they do, and they will, they will use these new rules to their own advantage, while the Democrats and their left-liberal allies in the major media yelp like scalded dogs about the unfairness and undemocratic nature of what is going on. In the end, what Reid has done will make it easier than it has been for conservatives to put an end to the cradle-to-grave liberal welfare state that is the dream of the progressive movement.
The Republicans, ably led by the smartest and most capable GOP floor leader they have had in some time – Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell – will adapt to the change. They will find ways to continue to torment Reid’s desire to be “Speaker of the Senate” rather than simply the leader of the majority party. They will find ways to block unsuitable appointees and to impede the orderly flow of the legislative process if Reid continues to shut them out. This is not the end and the Democrats, despite what they seem to think, have not won. Nor have they put the best interests of the country first. They are just looking out for themselves, at the people’s expense.
Democrats Hypocrisy: The hatchetmen win: Harry Reid’s muscle move
The extremely peculiar rules governing the United States Senate just got a little less peculiar. After a historic vote yesterday, it will now take 51 votes — a simple majority — for most presidential nominations to be approved by the 100-member Senate.
One senator responded with outrage to the idea. The American people, he roared, “don’t expect . . . for one party — be it Republican or Democrat — to change the rules in the middle of the game.”
His name is Barack Obama.
Sen. Obama spoke those words in 2005 about a Republican proposal to do something very much like what happened yesterday — a proposal thwarted by a bipartisan deal struck by a so-called “gang of 14” that left the old order in place.
Senate Approves Rule Change to Limit Filibusters
By a vote of 52-48, the Senate invoked the so-called “nuclear option” to change the historic filibuster rules of the upper chamber. As a result, the minority party will be prevented from filibustering any nominations other than those to the Supreme Court.
“It’s time to change the Senate before the institution becomes obsolete,” Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday morning on the Senate floor ahead of the unprecedented alteration to centuries-old rules regarding the power of the minority party to contest Senate business.
The president, who opposed a change in the rule when he was a senator, noted a pattern of filibuster usage that has mushroomed during his term in the Oval Office: “Over the six decades before I took office, only 20 presidential nominees to executive positions had to overcome filibusters. In just under five years since I took office, nearly 30 nominees have been treated this way. . . .
The GOP’s Primary Shakeup Plot
The national Republican Party is considering a number of major changes to its presidential nominating process to avoid a repeat of the debacles of 2012, according to several party officials.
Most significantly, the party is considering holding a “Midwestern primary” featuring Great Lakes states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin that would come immediately after the votes in the traditional early primary states. Also being weighed and thought likely to be approved when the Republican National Committee meets in early 2014 is a plan to shorten the primary season considerably by holding the party’s convention in July, almost as soon as the last primary ballots are cast.
The move toward a “Midwestern Super Tuesday” after the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida appears aimed in part at wresting control of the nominating process from social conservatives in the South in an effort to produce a nominee more likely to carry the election in November. Nearly all the “Rust Belt” states have fallen into Democratic hands in recent elections, and GOP officials believe that showering them with more resources throughout the primary process—and ensuring that an eventual nominee is broadly popular there—could flip the Midwest into the Republican column in November.
Dem Senator: ‘We All Knew’ Obama Was Lying
On Sunday, appearing on ABC’s This Week with fill-in host Martha Raddatz, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) admitted that Democrats knew full well that Americans would be booted from their health insurance plans as an effect of Obamacare implementation.
When asked whether Democrats were misled by President Obama about whether Americans would be able to keep their plans in the individual insurance market, Gillibrand answered: “He should’ve just been specific. No, we all knew.”
She added that the whole point of Obamacare was to “covering things people need, like preventive care, birth control, pregnancy.” The redistributive nature of Obamacare, Gillibrand stated, was the point of the program; anyone claiming ignorance, therefore, is not telling the truth.
How the GOP Can Win Forget the 2016 chatter. It’s 2014 that matters.
But the fact of the matter is that we in the Republican Party are not yet prepared to take on the task of winning back the White House. And our lack of preparation has nothing to do with candidates—it has to do with our agenda. The voters know that we oppose Obama. What they don’t really know is what we would do if they gave us the car keys. How would we reform and improve education? What is our plan for health care, once we repeal Obamacare? How will we make America energy independent? What exactly will we do to stop our entitlement programs from going bankrupt? And how will we get America’s economy growing again? The voters demand answers to these questions. And they deserve them.
The Democratic Party’s control of Washington has led to devastating policies on a broad array of issues, from health care to the economy, and there are lots of voices on our side with different opinions on how to go about fixing them. But there is no question that Republicans in the federal government are not united in presenting a clear policy agenda, and the media do us no favors by highlighting party infighting every chance they get. As a result, our brand is badly damaged.
But not in the states, where Republican governors are leading the way with successful records that can help us win elections again. Gov. Rick Perry, for instance, has turned Texas into one of the best job-creation engines in the country. Gov. Brian Sandoval in Nevada has successfully passed education reform, making it easier to hold poor performing teachers accountable. Gov. Nikki Haley in South Carolina has succeeded in passing tort reform and tax relief for small businesses. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has restored fiscal sanity and added more than 350,000 new private sector jobs.
GOP Eyes Pope Francis for Divine Inspiration
For his party to survive, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes the GOP needs to broaden its appeal beyond “the infamous 47 percent.” Conservative activist Ralph Reed would rebrand the Republican Party as a force of compassion – feed the poor and clothe the naked. Republican strategist John Feehery says the GOP craves a populist leader – “a happy warrior.”
Their model: Pope Francis.
“What Francis is doing,” Reed said, “is rebalancing the Catholic Church’s message to stress the pastoral mission of good works and service to people before getting to ideology. What he’s not doing is jettisoning the Catholic doctrine. What about that is not a model for the Republican Party?”
For top Republicans, Catholics in particular, the pontiff’s headline-seizing efforts to reverse negative stereotypes of one of the world’s oldest and most ossified institutions – almost exclusively through symbolic gestures – stands as an example for the GOP. The Republican Party, according to polls, is viewed by many in the United States as insular, intolerant and lacking compassion for the poor while consorting with the rich.
The Catholic Church has the same “brand problem” – and since his election in March, Pope Francis has ruthlessly tackled it. Here are four lessons Republicans should take away from the pope’s early success:
Why the Tea Party Can’t Govern A populist spin can’t save purely negative principles
By embracing the 1970s right, the Tea Party ensures that all it can do is protest and obstruct. Conservatives are better off looking deeper and thinking more creatively about the arc of history. They might begin by rediscovering how 19th century conservatives resolved their culture wars of their time—between Catholics and kinds of Protestant—and met the challenges of the Industrial Revolution, which offers the closest parallel to the upheavals of our own age of globalization and technological disruption.
Being out of power once again, the right can afford to be entrepreneurial, to rethink its premises as well as to criticize its opponents’. Indeed, the shared assumptions of both parties—neoliberalism, militarism, and social atomism—are those that most need reconsideration. The Tea Party’s insurgency has at least cleared the way for some Republicans to attempt this: one sees the beginnings in Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Mike Lee. But the Tea Party has also injected new life—or a Frankenstein’s semblance of life—into the dead right of decades past in the shape of Ted Cruz and his tactics.
The present moment may be as much a turning point as the Roosevelt-Truman and Carter eras were. If so, this time conservatives should define themselves not as the party of reaction, but as a party with a positive philosophy of government—a philosophy to shape the age.
How Stupid is the Obama Administration? A Russian GPS Using U.S. Soil Stirs Spy Fears
In the view of America’s spy services, the next potential threat from Russia may not come from a nefarious cyberweapon or secrets gleaned from the files of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor now in Moscow.
Instead, this menace may come in the form of a seemingly innocuous dome-topped antenna perched atop an electronics-packed building surrounded by a security fence somewhere in the United States.
In recent months, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have been quietly waging a campaign to stop the State Department from allowing Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to build about half a dozen of these structures, known as monitor stations, on United States soil, several American officials said.
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