Category ArchiveFirst things . . .
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 27 Feb 2014
Yesterday RedState’s Daniel Horowitz declared here–
“Earlier today, Boehner met with Obama at the White House to discuss several policy issues. The following tweet from ABC’s Jonathan Karl tells you everything you need to know about Boehner and the broader agenda of the GOP establishment:
It is quite evident that if we don’t get rid of Boehner and his bootlickers, we will face a bipartisan oligarchy pushing amnesty and a permanent Democrat majority. And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Explained analyst Horowitz–
“Meanwhile, this bipartisan consensus on amnesty is actually breaking our borders as we speak. The L.A. Times reported last week that there has been a surge in border crossings of Central American youths. Presumably, they have gotten the message on their smart phones that there is now a consensus to allow in any illegal who comes here as a youngster. The Times also reports that 125,000 of those youths granted amnesty by Obama are now eligible for Medi-Cal. I guess a few million more on the welfare rolls won’t make a difference.”
In our view, it’s long since time to find a new GOP Speaker. As we wrote here in December 2012–
“We also suggest a national conversation now among conservatives (before January) about whether the core of House GOP conservatives should vote ‘present’ when the House selects its Speaker on January 3 — unless the House GOP leadership commits to continuing opposition (using the House’s appropriations power) to the president’s program and commits to sharing key leadership positions with conservatives.”
Breitbart’s Tony Lee reported yesterday in his “Chamber of Commerce, Big Business to Boehner: ‘Failure to Act’ on Amnesty ‘Not an Option’”–
“The Chamber of Commerce and 635 big businesses, including Facebook, sent a letter on Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urging ‘legislative action to seize this opportunity to fix our dysfunctional immigration system by enacting meaningful immigration reforms this year.’”
When they talk, they command the Speaker’s attention.
As we pointed out last December 20 here–
“Conservatives need to expose the ‘global’ objectives of these ‘post-American’ corporate voices and their influence over the current Republican leadership.
We need to do this before next year’s primaries – and before a surrounded-by-crafty-staff Speaker precipitately brings an amnesty-based immigration bill before the whole House where it will pass with the support of all Democrats and a rump of Republicans.”
These corporate voices are the House GOP Leadership’s real constituency.
Too few House GOP members are losing any sleep over disastrous cuts in our national defense, the coming drastic erosion of the quality of our health care through the IPAB, or Federal support for multicultural teaching that is eroding our entire civic culture.
In our view, despite any earlier denials, Speaker Boehner is quite capable of suddenly bringing some “limited” amnesty and immigration-expansion bill to the floor, enabling its passage with a rump of loyalist Republicans and most Democrats. This is exactly what he just did here with the debt-increase bill.
Such a measure could be expanded in a House-Senate conference, likely approved by both chambers, and enacted.
Once served, the amnesty-immigration eggs will be impossible to unscramble.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 21 Feb 2014
UPDATES THIS FRIDAY EVENING! NRO’s Tim Cavanaugh “FCC Throws In the Towel on Explosive Content Study” – - “The Federal Communications Commission has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms as part of a ‘Critical Information Needs’ survey of local media markets.’ However, a revised version of the survey could raise new concerns: that it will trade its now-kiboshed news questions for a demographic survey that might justify new race-based media ownership rulemaking.” NRO’s David French Translating the FCC Snooping Study – “The actual research design is written in a form of language known as ‘advanced bureaucrat’ and is thus indecipherable to mere English-speakers. Fortunately for you, dear readers, I’ve spent eight years in the Army’s JAG Corps and have thus become not just fluent in ‘advanced bureaucrat,’ but something of a linguist in the field. Thus, I can confidently offer the following translation of key elements of the FCC’s snooping plan.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Clearly this scheme is now on the Left’s agenda; it is just a matter of timing when they advance it in some form or another. See our November 8, 2008 post “FCC’s ‘Localism’ Rule – Muzzling with Lipstick”
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Preserving Our Fundamental Freedoms? The Buck Stops With Us
“With full control of the House but not the Senate or the White House, Republicans lack the ability to enact positive legislation; yet they have the power to stop bad bills. Unfortunately, GOP leaders have made it clear they are willing to pass much of the Obama/Reid agenda because they don’t want confrontation with Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
– Daniel Horowitz
Mark Steyn rings the alarm here about a most serious censorship menace in his “All the News That Fits the Government Guidelines”–
“On Fox News today [Wednesday], Shannon Bream has been reporting on the Federal Communications Commission’s plans to put government monitors in TV and radio newsrooms to assess their coverage of eight ‘critical information needs’, and ‘underserved populations’.”
Explains author Steyn–
‘The state has no business determining which news stories have priorities over others, and certainly no business sending monitors into newsrooms to ensure compliance — because the essence of a functioning press is not what the state decrees the citizen has a ‘critical need’ to know but what it doesn’t think he needs to know. Why should ‘Social Solutions International’ get to determine ‘the critical information needs of the American public’? And why should the government get to enforce them? . . . As I say, the Government of the United States is increasingly corrupt. Covering that story is the ‘critical information need’.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Breitbart’s John Nolte weighs in here from another perspective in his “Lapdog That Didn’t Bark: FCC Intrudes on Newsrooms”–
“What is truly worrisome, though, is that the news of this study broke over two weeks ago and the American media is still not screaming holy hell.”
Here is the nightmarish initial blueprint for this scheme of collecting information on newsroom decisions to expand government social control –
“Social Solutions International (Social Solutions) is pleased to present this research design to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Social Solutions has been tasked with the development of a research design that can be used to identify and understand the critical information needs (CINs) of the American public (with special emphasis on vulnerable/disadvantaged populations).”
“Why is the agency studying ‘perceived station bias’ and asking about coverage choices?”
To stop this fearful overreach, the House GOP leadership can exercise its power of the purse starting next October 1.
They could also move to defund the IRS suppression of political speech and the EPA’s overreach with job-killing regulations, to say nothing of other spending cutbacks.
To do so effectively, the House GOP leadership will have to start beating the drums now and preparing the public for a confrontation early next fall.
They apparently haven’t the least intention of doing so, however. They won’t even try without serious pressure from all parts of the conservative base.
As analyst Horowitz declares, they don’t want a confrontation with the Democrats before the midterm elections in November.
In our view, however, they never wanted one.
Any confrontation this fall, moreover, would upset the House GOP timetable for amnesty and immigration expansion.
Abraham Lincoln’s Constituents Didn’t Hesitate
To Speak Bluntly To Their Politicians
“Our founding generation was very well educated.
Abraham Lincoln — Stephen Douglas debated on the highest level in front of a bunch of farmers – who understood what they were saying.
The debates were recorded by a stenographer.
The stenographer recorded the crowd saying, ‘Stick to the point, Lincoln.’ ‘No, no, Douglas — not so!’
Now can you imagine our people, our audiences, at the debates challenging the logic of the debaters?”
But as we learned after the November 2, 2010 “Tea Party” election, unless the conservative base is able to speak bluntly and to bond — day-in and day-out — with their GOP members, it won’t much matter whom we elect.
Without stronger links between GOP members and their base, we conservatives, to use Codevilla’s words, will remain political orphans.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 26 Jan 2014
UPDATE! More GOP Immigration Fables: “Were just for legalizing the illegals, but not giving them a path to citizenship!” Mark Krikorian warns here (read it all): “It’s a gimmick dreamed up by Republican lawmakers who want to join with their Democratic colleagues in delivering the amnesty and immigration increases that corporate donors demand, while at the same time appearing responsive to the concerns of Republican (and independent and Reagan Democrat) voters.” (Highlighting Forum’s). Don’t let House GOP members get away with the “no path to citizenship” whopper.
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Immigration: Confront MD & VA GOP Reps Before It Is Too Late!
“Immigration politics is at the heart of the divide between conservative populist groups, on one side, and corporate elites within the GOP on the other.” (Highlighting Forum’s.) –John Fonte
The House GOP “retreat” begins this Wednesday in Cambridge, Maryland.
There the GOP leadership is expected to push their immigration schemes which, if enacted, will change the face of the U.S.
These oligarchs nonetheless persist, in response to major business donors – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – who seek cheaper immigrant labor, both unskilled and skilled.
There will be no reversing this catastrophe which not only endangers the jobs of Americans but our entire civic culture.
Many poor immigrants know only big government, and few immigrants come from nations where the culture of liberty is paramount, as it still is in the United States. We can barely teach our own children American history and civics nor respect for traditional values. And assimilation is hardly high on the priorities of many of today’s immigrants.
Today conservative policy advocate Daniel Horowitz explains here, “This is What the GOP Establishment Thinks of You”–
“It is very easy to avert our eyes from the painful reality that is confronting us within the Republican Party. We would all love to cheer on a GOP victory in the midterm elections, win back the Senate, and live happily ever after. But as Republicans gear up for the week of amnesty, they have made it clear that the entire purpose of a Republican majority is to push the most important priority of the Democrat Party.
This is why we need to change the party during the primary season.
GOP leadership is now fully aware of our growing effort to elect Republicans who believe in the party platform and, according to the Wall Street Journal, they will time their amnesty bills accordingly:
‘House leaders hope to bring legislation to the floor as early as April, the people close to the process said, after the deadline has passed in many states for challengers to file paperwork needed to run for Congress. Republican leaders hope that would diminish chances that a lawmaker’s support for immigration bills winds up sparking a primary-election fight.’” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
How to counter this distasteful scheme?
“There is only one obvious response to this malevolent attitude on the part of party leadership. If they want to pass amnesty after the primaries under the pretense that we will already be on the plantation, we must commit to withholding support from any amnesty supporter even in a general election.”
But read all of his post here including his update where he summarizes his plan which deals with Senate primaries (and one House contest).
In addition to his plan, here is our immediate recommendation: conservative voters must confront the House GOP on immigration right away.
In Maryland and Virginia, this means getting on the phone to Republican U.S. Representatives here and here, and making it clear that no immigration legislation is acceptable while this lawless president holds office. Be sure to include House candidates such as Barbara Comstock here who is running for retiring Representative Frank Wolf’s seat.
As Mark Krikorian warns us:
“In effect, Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, and Ryan are hoping that Obama will keep enforcement promises once all the illegal aliens have received an immediate amnesty, in a change from all prior experience.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Remember if the House GOP leadership’s immigration schemes undergo “bipartisan” blending to reach enactment, there will be no way to unscramble these toxic eggs.
We shall then see an even-bigger-government America which most of us will find quite unpleasant.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 07 Jan 2014
The second session of the 113th Congress has begun in earnest.
The Senate (and national) Democratic leadership are pitching the supposed problem of income inequality.
The House GOP leadership wants to appear fiscally prudent, yet they are unlikely to confront the Administration effectively over the debt ceiling. They are now hurrying “an omnibus bill with 12 appropriations bills rolled up in one massive piece of legislation” — a sure recipe for reckless lawmaking, crony capitalism, and bloat.
Worse, these Republican sachems are cobbling together an amnesty scheme behind the scenes.
Yesterday analyst Daniel Horowitz warned–
“Immediately following the budget battle, we began to see news reports about Speaker Boehner promising a push for amnesty after the primaries are settled. We saw Rep. Eric Cantor hold up the Dream Act as a paradigm of positive conservative legislation. We watched in shock as John Boehner suddenly hired one of the key staffers involved in writing the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill to be his top policy advisor on immigration. And we saw Rep. Paul Ryan, a rabid supporter of open borders, forge a budget deal for an extra year, clearing the schedule to focus on immigration over the next two years.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
But who among the Beltway GOP leaders are pushing back against presidential lawlessness?
Of course, we don’t expect the American Left to be much concerned with constitutional niceties.
Andrew McCarthy reminds us–
“Before he took office, Obama boldly promised supporters that he would “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” That is just what he is doing. There is fraud in the uber-presidency, but no mystery: Most of Obama’s unconstitutional usurpations are happening in broad daylight. He brags that his ‘waivers’ — i.e., his unilateral amending, repealing, or non-enforcement — of statutory provisions show him to be far-seeing and pragmatic, not lawless. That, of course, is the standard dictatorial self-image.”(Highlighting Forum’s)
Neither, however, is the Beltway GOP in the “liberty business” — some of their members, and their friends across the partisan aisle, are in the business of making redolent deals as Peter Schweizer spelled out in his book Extortion.
“As a practical matter, fundamental transformation cannot occur without high crimes and misdemeanors being committed against the constitutional order that is being transformed. That’s the whole point.
So, as one would expect, President Obama is intentionally and sweepingly violating his oath of office. He is not faithfully executing federal law — he picks, chooses, ‘waives,’ and generally makes up law as he goes along. He has willfully and materially misled the American people — his Obamacare and Benghazi lies being only the most notorious examples. He has been woefully derelict in his duty to protect and defend Americans overseas. His administration trumped up a shameful prosecution (under the guise of a ‘supervised release violation’) against a filmmaker in order to bolster the ‘Benghazi massacre was caused by an anti-Muslim video’ charade. His administration has used the federal bureaucracy to usurp Congress’s legislative powers and to punish political enemies. Obama has presumed to make recess appointments when Congress was not in recess. His administration intentionally allowed firearms to be transferred to Mexican drug cartels, predictably resulting in numerous violent crimes, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent. His administration — and, in particular, the Justice Department — has routinely stonewalled lawmakers and frustrated their capacity to perform agency oversight, to the point that the attorney general has been held in contempt of Congress. The Obama Justice Department, moreover, has filed vexatious lawsuits against sovereign states over their attempts to vindicate their constitutional authorities (and, indeed, to enforce federal immigration laws), while the Justice Department itself adheres to racially discriminatory enforcement policies in violation of the Constitution and federal civil-rights laws.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Many readers have doubtless seen, moreover, that very recently “11 Attorneys General claim White House ObamaCare changes are illegal.”
Twentieth-century history tells us that lawlessness — unless promptly challenged — can be a fast-moving process.
Again and again, power-seeking public figures quickly overreach when their initial lawbreaking is ignored.
Such figures see failure to push back quickly against their first abuses as weakness on the part of those voices who are expected to speak out for lawful order.
This perception inflames power-seeking appetites — leading in the U.S. to likely political miscalculation and, worse, possible serious unrest.
At what point in the president’s “transformation” of our constitutional order will the Beltway GOP and the House and Senate GOP leadership take a serious and effective public stand against this president ignoring the rule of law?
Without the outrage of the conservative grass roots pushing these Republican figures to man up, it might soon be too late.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 31 Dec 2013
“Too often, Republicans are content to be in office rather than to be in power.”—Mark Steyn
The year 2013 saw one watershed political revelation crucial to conservatives: the institutional Republican leadership came out of its closet and openly began war on the grass roots, including the Tea Party, as well as on often allied social conservatives.
Even the most trusting members of the GOP rank-and-file now find themselves confronted by the open betrayal of what they once thought of as a-market friendly, traditional-values-oriented, defense-savvy national Republican leadership.
But today’s institutional Republican leadership can only be termed “Ruling Class.” It does not speak for us.
Clearly very large donors, some with a transnational outlook, are behind this leadership, shaping its priorities and calling the shots.
Opening our borders for cheap labor – unskilled and skilled – is their overriding goal in 2014.
But the Beltway GOP and their national allies have other troubling big-government goals as well.
It is easy to blame Karl Rove, a voice of the Bush Dynasty; to lament the values-challenged Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell; or to despair over apparently impaired Speaker of the House John Boehner.
- Only with the muscle of a statewide conservative organization will GOP state lawmakers and the state’s GOP members of the Congress pay attention.
- Only with that muscle can “sensitive” concerns — ranging from public-pension reform, to ending multicultural school curricula, to scoping out Islamist problems — get public attention.
- And only with that statewide muscle can individual conservatives begin to feel empowered.
It is unreasonable for conservatives, having watched Leviathan swell up under both parties over many decades, to expect merely by picking the right candidate for U.S. Representative or Senator or President, that all will be made well without an accompanying substantial effort on our part.
For example, a newly elected member of the Congress who won as a conservative will need significant moral and intellectual back-and-forth from his right-thinking constituents, lest that new member “go native” — that is, be swallowed up by a GOP leadership and their circle of long-time members who are themselves partly responsible for our present distress.
If we don’t master the mechanics, moreover, of today’s Leviathan — from prosperity-killing EPA regulations, to Obama’s war on the suburbs, to K-16 Federal school requirements, to our military’s war on Christians, to the adequacy of our national defenses, and to the Islamist threat – people who do not share (or are indifferent to) our values will end up in charge instead.
Taking back America all depends on how much time and effort conservatives are willing to spend, and how great they see the imminent danger to themselves and their families of the now-emerging “transformed” America.
For in the end, it is all about our freedom.
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Faithful readers have already seen us address many of these issues. All can revisit them in our earlier posts below.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 20 Dec 2013
“Candidate Smith, whether for President of the United States or dog catcher, must be able to say: ‘I am the only candidate who represents those Americans who want smaller government, who want to safeguard human life, who defend the free exercise of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and who oppose the government’s intrusion into our lives, and I am so certified by the following organizations…. My opponent is supported by the Republican Establishment. What do you think that represents? It represents the UniParty!’” – Angelo Codevilla — Breaking The UniParty
This is a call-to-arms post for the conservative grass-roots, for the advocacy organizations they belong to, for the Tea Partiers, and — not least — for those patient conservative Republican stalwarts who have reluctantly bought into the GOP Establishment’s candidates in the post-Bush years, but can no longer tolerate their ineffectiveness, and worse, their duplicity.
In our view, the operative difference between conservatives and the GOP Establishment is not merely an occasional argument over tactics, but one of profoundly contrasting visions for America.
Last Monday John Fonte in National Review on Line posted here an important guide for America’s political orphans whom we call conservatives: “Re-Branding the GOP: From the party of big business to the party of the little guy.”
Most troubling are Fonte’s revelations about American corporate leaders morphing into “economic transnationals”–
“I have been using the term ‘corporate America,’ but this moniker is something of a misnomer in an age when executives are increasingly ‘post-American’ and major businesses almost always identify themselves as global ventures. Not untypical are comments from the vice president of Coca-Cola, who said in a speech in 2005, “We are not an American company,” and from a top Colgate-Palmolive executive, who in 1989 said, ‘There is no mindset [at Colgate] that puts this country [the United States] first.’ Speaking to Atlantic reporter Chrystia Freeland in 2011, a U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds described an internal debate at his company. One of his senior colleagues had suggested that the ‘hollowing out of the American middle class didn’t really matter,’ the CEO told Freeland, adding: ‘His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and [that] meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade.’ Almost a decade ago, Samuel Huntington identified this trend as the ‘de-nationalization’ of American corporate elites. The new ‘economic transnationals,’ he said, are the ‘nucleus of an emerging global superclass.’”
We can’t do justice to Fonte’s entire piece in a summary; you must read it yourself.
But we can point to what we see as some of author Fonte’s central points (Highlighting Forum’s throughout)–
“Business leaders and conservatives often join forces for pragmatic gain on significant issues such as Obamacare, taxes, trade policy, cap-and-trade proposals, and other environmental and government regulations. This issue-by-issue alliance is tactically useful to both groups and no doubt will (and should) continue. Republicans as a party, however, and conservatives specifically, should not be subservient to corporate interests on core issues. The American electorate must come to view Republicans as the party of the middle class rather than the courtiers of big business. The GOP ‘brand’ must change.”
“In July 2013, House Republicans voted to remove some federal mandates in the No Child Left Behind Act and empower the states to formulate their own accountability systems and curricular standards. Strong opposition to this federalism-affirming legislation came from every Democrat in the House, the Obama administration, an array of leftist groups (including the ACLU, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Education Association, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the Southern Poverty Law Center) and also from business interests led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. Former Reagan education official Chester Finn Jr. rebuked the two business groups for their stance: ‘Both . . . joined the left . . . in savaging the Kline [House Republican] bill and demanding more federal regulation and control of education. . . . I suppose this is yet another sad example of corporate America succumbing to big-government-itis.’”
“Social conservatives advocating life, pro-family policy, and religious freedom; national-security conservatives defending American sovereignty, arguing for a strong military, and working to meet the challenges of China and radical Islam; national-cohesion conservatives aiming to curb racial, ethnic, and gender preferences and the pernicious ideology of multiculturalism; and free-market conservatives fighting statist measures – all these find that business leaders are often either indifferent to their concerns or lined up on the other side of the barricades, alongside the forces of the leftist establishment.”
Opposing “Coercive Diversity”
“A major weapon in the Left’s continuing campaign to ‘fundamentally transform America,’ as Candidate Obama so memorably promised to do, is what I call the coercive diversity project. This is the ongoing effort to use federal power to impose proportional representation along race, gender, and ethnic lines in all aspects of American life. . . . Corporate America was present at the creation of the coercive diversity project. Business executives provided funds and political support and collaborated with activists in promoting ‘diversity.’ Most significantly, they helped blunt opposition from principled conservatives.”
Adopting “a Humble and Honest Populism”
“Immigration politics is at the heart of the divide between conservative populist groups, on one side, and corporate elites within the GOP on the other. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote a memo in July to his fellow Republican lawmakers, calling on them to ‘flip the immigration debate on its head.’ At National Review Online, Sessions urged the GOP to ‘adopt a humble and honest populism’ and distance itself from ‘the corporate titans who believe the immigration policy for our entire country should be modeled to pad their bottom line.’ The GOP lost the 2012 election, Sessions said, ‘because it hemorrhaged support from middle and low-income Americans of all backgrounds,’ and the party must now mount an ‘unapologetic defense of working Americans.’ He noted that Americans oppose by a two-to-one margin increasing low-skilled immigration and also strongly oppose any legalization of illegal immigrants before border security is in place. Sessions made the key political point that Republicans have a golden opportunity to appeal once again to Reagan Democrats, who are, as John O’Sullivan put it in a statement lauding Sessions, an ‘electoral bloc that dwarfs any other in numerical terms.’”
The warning about corporate voices does not just come from Fonte. Once more we cite Daniel Horowitz’ parallel caution about Chamber of Commerce opposition to many conservatives goals.
Analyst Horowitz points out–
“. . . [T]he Chamber of Commerce is not conservative, pro-free-market, or even necessarily pro-growth. They support the special interests of big business. Period. When those interests intersect or overlap with free-market, pro-growth policies, such as advocacy for tax cuts and lower regulations, they will side with conservatives. But when those interests require the stewardship of big government intervention, they will side with the forces of statism. Hence, they are not paragons of free-market commerce; they support government-run commerce, albeit with tendentious policies towards their interests. Their special interests support illegal immigration, corporate welfare, increased gas taxes, and an internet sales tax. It’s not surprising that Chamber money pours into K Street coffers to lobby for those goals.”
Conservatives need to expose the ‘global’ objectives of these ‘post-American’ corporate voices and their influence over the current Republican leadership.
We need to do this before next year’s primaries – - and before a surrounded-by-crafty-staff Speaker precipitately brings an amnesty-based immigration bill before the whole House where it will pass with the support of all Democrats and a rump of Republicans.
For there will be no undoing of any amnesty-based legislation once enacted.
The GOP Establishment is likely expecting the rank and file to be wholly absorbed in the competition among — and gossip about — local political personalities, not in checking the voting records and Leadership PAC reports of their GOP politicians and having a heart-to-heart with them about a new American direction.
Maryland and Virginia conservatives need to prove them wrong.
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Readers may wish to revisit our related July 31, 2013 post – -
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 28 Nov 2013
Note to our readers: our commentary will be light during this Thanksgiving–Hanukkah season. Today we are writing from Nashville, TN.
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak in his “Obama’s Orwellian Thanksgiving” declared today here–
“The idea that politics must be brought into every family discussion and every personal relationship has been a hallmark of Obama’s style since the 2008 campaign, when he told his supporters to confront their neighbors, to get ‘in their face.’”
Senior editor Pollak continued–
“Yet [Orwell's] unique contribution was to show that totalitarianism was not just focused on repressing the individual, but on interfering with the most intimate relationships between people. It is necessary, Orwell explained, to destroy such intimacy in order for Big Brother to rule.
That is the Orwellian world of nanny-state liberals like Obama and Bloomberg–the latter even using children’s placemats to sell his anti-gun ideology. It is worth remembering that Thanksgiving was founded as a celebration of freedom by those who had escaped government repression. They recognized that the bounty of the New World went hand-in-hand with faith and liberty–something our present would-be masters have forgotten.”(Highlighting Forum’s.)
Here’s hoping that your own Thanksgiving dinner — as ours — was traditional and non-Orwellian.
Mark Steyn on Thanksgiving Eve
Hugh Hewitt reports last night from his interview here “Mark Steyn Moves Closer To Senate Announcement???”
“HH: On this Thanksgiving Eve, that of course is Mark Steyn in studio singing a little Jingle Bells in an anticipation of Black Friday shopping. Mark Steyn joins me. Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you, Mark.
MS: Hey, happy Thanksgiving to you, too, and did you know that Jingle Bells was written not as a Christmas song but as a Thanksgiving song? That guy, James L. Pierpont, he had no idea it would become a Christmas favorite. He wrote it to be the big Thanksgiving hit. So it was like Obamacare. It’s like, it had a botched rollout that was going to be fixed within six weeks.
HH: But you’ve not gone back into studio for a new release this year. Is that because the Senate campaign [link added] is taking up all your time?
MS: (laughing) Well, it was felt that the singing career would be damaging to my Senate prospects. I would be in the position, you know, where my minders would have to be explaining after my musical performance that I had mis-sung, and that wasn’t what I meant to sing.”
Obamacare and Black Friday
“MS: And they’ve got some terrific bargains, by the way. If you’re like a healthy 22 year old male, they’ve got a terrific, with no health problems at all, they’ve got a terrific deal this Black Friday only, where you can sign up for coverage at just $4,000 dollars a month. So you might want to get up early to go to Healthcare.gov this Friday, because they’ve got a lot of great deals like that.”
The Iranian Deal
“HH: Well, speaking of fraudulent, let’s turn to the Iranian deal that John Kerry magnificently oversaw, that the Iranians have now denounced as being inappropriately reported by the White House. Could it have been worse, Mark Steyn? Was there any way that you can think of that the deal could have been worse?
MS: No, because I think it, basically, each party had different objectives. The Americans and the P5 plus 1, they wanted to get an agreement. The Iranians want to get a nuclear program. Both parties in that sense are getting what they want. We already knew that Obama is never going to take out the Iranian nuclear program. And in a sense, all this agreement does is confirm it, that there is no obstacle to the Iranians going nuclear.
HH: And so I want to finish by pointing out, do you think this accelerates the obvious necessity of Israeli action?
MS: Well, I think what’s fascinating is that he’s turned, the one consequence of this is that the Israelis and the Saudi Arabians are now the bestest buddies on the planet. I mean, there are unlikely couples, and there are unlikelier couples. But King Abdullah and Netanyahu are basically arm in arm on this. The Saudis are phoning the Israelis every night.”
“Yeah, yeah, instead of getting trampled to death at Wal-Mart this Friday, you should come along to my Senate announcement and get trampled to death there.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 20 Nov 2013
YouTube:FDR’s 1933″New Deal”With The USSR:Shutting Our Eyes To Soviet Influence And Prefiguring Today’s Blindness To The MB
Last Friday, the Center for Security Policy declared here–
“Washington, DC — Eighty years ago this Saturday [November 16], President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed for the first time to recognize the Communist regime of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He did so on the basis of formal undertakings by then-Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov that the Kremlin would not engage in subversive actions in America.
The rest, as they say, is history. And a sordid and still unfolding history it is.
‘The 16th of November 1933 is a day that truly should live in infamy. This symposium will explore its significance both in terms of much of the most sordid history of the 20th Century — and as the predicate for similar forces at work in the 21st.’
The Center for Security Policy is pleased to convene a symposium to review that history — both that of the immediate post-normalization period, of World War II, of the Cold War and of today — from noon-2:00 p.m. at the headquarters of Judicial Watch in Washington, D.C.” (Highlighting Forum’s)
Upon reflection, we decided also to do a regular post on Blue Ridge Forum, which would reach all of our readers.
Yes, this YouTube is one hour and fifty-three minutes.
But it recounts the history of the damage the U.S. sustained since 1933 from serious Soviet influence — as distinguished from “spying” — at the highest levels of our government. It addresses the equally grave dangers we now face from the Muslim Brotherhood(MB) lodged in the current administration.
As long-time intelligence expert Clare Lopez explained – -
“Whereas President Bush and most of his administration insiders remained largely unaware that they had been manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama and his close advisors proactively chose to reach out to the Brotherhood, its affiliates, and supporters for advice, training, and even administration appointments.”
A common theme in this story is the hostility of the chattering classes to any public exposure of both Soviet influence then (and perhaps still), and the Bipartisan Establishment’s resistance to public discussion of Islamist influence today.
Click here to get started with the YouTube: one can hear the entire YouTube in one sitting, or perhaps break it into several sessions by topic and expert.
The YouTube is about our failures (and some successes) against the influence at the highest level of our government from a dangerous Soviet foe, and what lessons we must draw to be successful against the more open — but still widely unacknowledged — many-pointed, broad influence of today’s Muslim Brotherhood throughout the security and foreign-policy agencies of the Federal government.
Stephen Coughlin outlined the sources of facts about the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence agenda and how Federal intelligence agencies have been ordered to turn a blind eye to them. Major Nidal Hasan, for example, announced in military meetings his adherence to the doctrine laid out in MB documents, yet no one would connect the dots to prevent this Fort Hood massacre because discussion of concepts like “jihad” had been officially banned.
“I’ll tell you why this is important,” Coughlin remarked. “We could predict what was going to happen by just following their doctrine — it’s completely predictable, because they are just what they purport to be.”
The story presented in this hour-and-fifty-three-minute YouTube touches all of us — and our children and grandchildren.
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 10 Nov 2013
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UPDATE NOVEMBER 12! Mark Steyn “War and Remembrance” here — from the Steyn website:“For Remembrance Day and Veterans Day, we present this piece from the first November 11th after September 11th. . . .”
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Readers may also wish to re-visit our November 12, 2011 post–
“What we conservatives can do ourselves and do now is teach ourselves, our families, our children, about the victories, hardships, misadventures, and traditions of our fighting men and women since the colonial wars in New England and the beginnings of the Republic.
We can talk with our friends and colleagues about about the complexities of the Barbary Wars (with their implications for today) and the “Shores of Tripoli.”
We can try to understand how Abraham Lincoln managed his generals – at least that Republican didn’t promise to ‘talk to his generals’ before he could figure out his war aims.
All this military history and much more should be part of our national conversation –- not topics relegated to the archives of academics and locked away from school children.”
First things . . . Richard Falknor on 18 Oct 2013
These last weeks have been a turning point for American conservatives. Let’s see why.
Again, the Republican Establishment failed signally to preserve the Constitution and our traditional freedoms by limiting Obamacare.
But that is nothing new since the Tea Party movement brought the current House GOP leadership to power in January 2011.
Since January 2011, how many Obama policies of consequence has that cabal stopped by defunding?
And Mr. Boehner’s circle persists in bringing to the floor omnibus appropriations bill only specialists and lobbyists can read.
Angelo Codevilla explains –
“Until circa 1990, Americans had taken seriously the relationship between appropriations and democracy. House and Senate used to divide the Executive departments’ requests for funds and programs into multiple categories and sub-categories. Then many committees and subcommittees held hearings on each item, followed by ‘mark-up’ sessions in which each would be modified and voted on. Thereafter, the full House and Senate would debate, amend, approve or disapprove them, one by one. This was ‘regular order’ – more or less as described in civics books.
This changed at first gradually in the 1980s, when Democrats (and Republicans) who were resisting the Reagan Administration’s efforts to trim government figured out that individual appropriations bills delayed until the end of the fiscal year could be rolled together into “omnibus” bills. These could be advertised as merely ‘continuing’ the current year’s programs and spending levels. In reality, these all-in-one bills 1) protected current programs from scrutiny, amendment, or repeal 2) were stuffed with new favors, programs, provisions and priorities that could not have survived an open process. Since 1989, the Congress has followed mostly ‘regular order’ only twice: in 1995 and 1997. Not since 2000 have the people’s representatives voted and taken responsibility for each of the government’s activities. In this century, the US government has been funded exclusively by single, omnibus ‘Continuing Resolutions’ (CRs).” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
(We need appropriations reform, but to explore that objective further is best left for another time. Meanwhile, readers will find this Liberty Law Blog post a most valuable resource.)
Behind the scenes, the Beltway GOP including House and Senate GOP leaders and their pilot-fish consultant class and the Republican National Committee have all done their share of badmouthing conservatives — real ones — not pretend conservatives, like Karl Rove’s front groups.
That is nothing new either.
But what is new is the open declaration of hostilities toward the grass roots from big government, liberty-indifferent Republicans and their statist enablers.
Yesterday Jia Lynn Yang and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post crowed, “Business groups stand by Boehner, plot against tea party” here –
“Rather than revisit their strategy of supporting Republicans after this week’s near-disaster, influential organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are standing behind Boehner. More important, Boehner’s friends in the business community are getting ready to take sides in a few Republican primary races against tea party candidates in Michigan, Idaho and Alabama who could cause the House speaker more trouble.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Today the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty declares here –
“But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partyers.”
NewsBusters’ Tim Graham deconstructs the Tumulty piece here –
“The alliance between the ‘agreeable’ GOP and the media is getting more transparent. . . . Guess who will be very willing to ‘get damaging information in circulation’ about the Tea Party before they can win primary elections? Reporters like Karen Tumulty. They’re even more willing to put out damaging information after the primary is over. (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Snarling or mocking voices like those of policy-erratic John McCain and of the many-faced (wilfully-big-government-blind and open-borders, to name two of his faces) Grover Norquist openly attack senator Ted Cruz by name.
A raft of soi-disant conservative pundits, likely seeking advancement through the patronage of the Beltway Right, echo these attacks.
But the good news? A Maryland Tea Party friend notes that if the conservative base were powerless instead of resonating increasingly outside of the Washington. D. C. area, this kind of open GOP Establishment pushback would be unthinkable. The Establishment’s emergence from their big-government closet is a measure of their fear.
As Angelo Codevilla, a gifted teacher, points out in two short videos here and here, the GOP Establishment controls the Party’s institutions — but the Party’s energy, ideas, (and numbers) come from the base.
Third Parties & GOP Primaries
There are many compelling arguments against forming a third party.
And RedState chief Erick Erickson reminds us of the good work underway for the 2014 Congressional primaries –
“Never before have the people been less dependent on a party apparatus to play in primaries. Conservatives now have groups like Heritage Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, For America, and others to fund and rely on.”
But will this commendable effort be enough?
An extremely-well-bankrolled undertaking by Karl Rove and his confederates representing the Bush Dynasty is now making open war on GOP conservatives.
Whatever our antipathy to the Rovians, we cannot blind ourselves to their power and resources.
And these “agreeable Republicans” have natural allies in the Legacy Media and perhaps even on Fox.
Should the Rovians succeed in getting Big Amnesty enacted soon – and that is certainly a central and well-financed goal of theirs – a GOP schism in the House would certainly ensue.
And that would be the least of the consequences for America workers and our civic culture.
What Does the GOP Establishment Want?
The GOP Establishment would rather have a modest serving from the Obama Platter than fight for serious conservative goals that undercut the president’s “transformation’ of America.”
Ted Cruz’ long talk to the United States Senate was a mortal threat to the rice bowls of many in the Beltway GOP for Cruz’ path could well curtail the GOP culture of crony capitalism.
Readers might reflect on the wider implications of John Batchelor’s 2009 post here in the Daily Beast “How Obama Can Buy Off Mitch McConnell.”
A National Conservative Pow-Wow?
One seasoned conservative blogger told us that we need a national pow-wow of trusted conservative leaders now to develop a road map.
She is right.
Widely trusted and smart figures — like Ted Cruz, like Mark Levin with a detailed plan for his “Liberty Amendments,” like Sara Palin, like Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, and some other key conservative advocates — need to come together to sketch out a conservative road map.
Perhaps on a state-by-state or region-by-region level, we ourselves need to put together parallel plans especially if we find ourselves, in fact, largely driven from the Party’s institutions and if our conservative primary challenges are only modestly successful.
And we need to keep on organizing visibly to keep fighting credibly in the House: against Giant Amnesty and against Obamacare.