Feed on Posts or Comments 28 March 2015

Category ArchiveFirst things . . .



First things . . . Richard Falknor on 03 Mar 2015

Amnesty Vote Disgrace –Can the Grand Old Party Go From Leadership Betrayal To Principled Rebirth (Part I)?

This afternoon House Speaker John Boehner, 74 of his Republican colleagues, and 182 Democratic members helped enable an increasingly lawless president to provide “illegal immigrants with work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare payments, and billions in free cash tax credits—all benefits explicitly rejected by Congress.”

The president’s actions complement his plan to continue importing a “replacement people” for you and me and our children.

Readers should click here to see the yeas and nays of the vote of shame.

Here is today’s take from Conservative Review–

“’It is abundantly clear that John Boehner blatantly lied to conservatives last December in order to lure them into voting for the over bloated Cromnibus. Nothing in our national security situation has changed since Boehner promised to fight last December. The true homeland security threat comes from Obama’s dangerous open borders policies now being rubber stamped by this bill. It is evident that we are not only dealing with people who don’t share our values; we are dealing with people who are incapable of telling the truth,’ said Daniel Horowitz.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Mr. Boehner will apparently depend more and more on a coalition of Democratic members plus his core of Crony Republicans.

Maryland’s Andy Harris, all three West Virginia House Republicans including freshman and former Marylander Alex Mooney, and seven out of eight Virginia House Republicans all voted against the Boehner “dirty” appropriations measure for the Department of Homeland Security.

We don’t necessarily believe that every “no” Republican vote was a considered vote against expanding immigration.  But it is clear that in Maryland’s First District, and throughout Virginia and West Virginia, the GOP base wants no truck with the president’s amnesty schemes.  These “no” Republican votes reflect that.

Virginia’s 10th District Barbara Comstock, however, voted aye with the Speaker. Mrs. Comstock doubtless speaks for McLean Values, but less likely for a “humble and honest populism,” senator Jeff Sessions’ vision for a reborn GOP.

Breitbart’s Tony Lee gives us Dave Brat’s (Virginia’s 7th District) perspective: “‘No Upper Bound’ on Obama Exec Authority”–

“Brat, who is fast becoming the conscience of conservatives in the House, accused Republicans of appeasing Obama on domestic issues just like Obama has been appeasing and emboldening some of America’s foreign policy enemies on the global stage.
In an appearance on The John Fredericks Show in Virginia, Brat put the executive amnesty debate into proper constitutional perspective and noted that the truth ‘came out like a stick of dynamite last night’ when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest revealed that Obama is now ‘strongly considering’ raising some corporate taxes via executive action. Brat said that if Obama is ‘strongly considering’ doing that, ‘that means there’s no upper bound on the President’s authority’ if Congress caves on his executive amnesty.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

. . . . .

“’So we [Republicans] used our money to go after our own in-House guys when we promised for the last two months that we would fight tooth and nail against President Obama’s unconstitutional overreach.’
‘So we’re taking it to our own guys, who are standing strong on principle, on the constitution,’ [Brat] said– further proving conservative icon, scholar, and talk radio host Mark Levin’s declaration at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that conservatives must understand that, ‘in order to defeat the Democrats, we have to defeat the Republicans.'”

The truth of the matter is that in spite of the Tea Party Election of November 2, 2010, the GOP Congressional Establishment shut out their voter base, the grassroots. 

The handwriting was on the wall in August of 2010 before that November election as we wrote in our “Conservatives: Put Not Your Entire Trust in GOP Princes”–

“The Republican divide [is] K Street vs. Tea Partiers” declares Timothy P. Carney in yesterday’s [August 22, 2010] Washington Examiner-–
“[Trent] Lott is the captain of the K Street team. He told a reporter last month his thoughts on the Tea Partiers: ‘We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples. As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.’”… “To the K Street wing, the Tea Party types are like the guy who’s playing too hard in a co-ed softball game — he’s sliding headfirst and barking orders at the cutoff man while you’re trying to chum it up with the boys and then maybe go home with the other team’s cute second baseman after the game.”

The Republican base is comprised of decent, traditional Americans, who have found it difficult to accept the fact that they have been rolled by highly placed members of their own party.

Here is a summary, for example, by Daniel Horowitz of the GOP Congressional Leadership’s most recent duplicity.

One sovereign remedy for GOP recovery would be that state and local GOP units become engines of accountability, not just cheering sections dominated by incumbents.

Stay tuned!

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 02 Mar 2015

Decisive Week To Keep House GOP From Buying Obama Amnesty; 63% Of VA GOP Members Stood Firm Friday But MD’s Harris Folded

“If Obama would threaten a veto and potential shutdown unless GOP members walk around naked, theyd oblige bec. ‘they’d get blamed 4 shutdown'” Daniel Horowitz Tweet

World Net Daily’s Drew Zahn captures Friday’s House of Representatives floor drama in his “Republican rebels stand fast against Boehner, amnesty: ‘If it’s illegal, it’s illegal,’ declares member of GOP resistance”–

“In the contentious voting over a Homeland Security funding bill Friday night, nearly 50 mostly conservative Republicans openly defied House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio – not once, but twice.”
. . . . . . . . . .
“Later in the evening, the proposal was put forward to pass a bill funding the DHS for just one week, and this time, 55 Republicans voted against the measure. Pelosi, however, rallied Democrats to switch their votes and agree to what she called ‘a 7-day patch.’ ‘Your vote tonight,’ Pelosi wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats, ‘will assure that we will vote for full funding next week.’”

Kudos to the five Virginia House GOP members who voted Friday here and here to hold fast on denying money for the president’s illegal executive amnesty: Robert Hurt; Morgan Griffith; Robert Wittman; Randy Forbes; Dave Brat.

The unanswered question is whether the Speaker plans to bring to the House floor this week (and pass with Democratic votes) a bill to bankroll the Department of Homeland Security through September 30 with no restrictions on the Constitution-breaking Obama executive amnesty.

National Journal’s Alex Brown reports “Democrats: Boehner Promised Us a Vote on a Clean DHS Bill Next Week”–

“House conservatives were told a shutdown-averting vote last night bought them a week reprieve to strategize a new fight against President Obama’s immigration orders. Democrats believe they’ve been promised a vote on a full-year funding bill by next Friday. A week from now, one of those groups is going to be very disappointed—and likely irate at the deception of its own leadership.”

The Fatal Consequences of Allowing Obama’s Amnesty Plans

We are talking about much more than cheap (unskilled and skilled) labor for Giant Business. Their campaign donations drive the Republican Establishment, as senator Jeff Sessions pointed out in his “Don’t Give the Masters of the Universe Their Amnesty”–

“So who are these so-called expert advocates and business leaders? They are not the law-enforcement officers; they are not our ICE officers; they are not our Border Patrol officers; they are not the American working man and woman; they are not unemployed Americans. They weren’t in the room. You can be sure of that. Their opinions weren’t sought. No, White House officials are meeting with the world’s most powerful corporate and immigration lobbyists and activists who think border controls are for the little people.
The administration is meeting with the elite, the cosmopolitan set, who scorn and mock the concerns of everyday Americans who are concerned about their schools, jobs, wages, communities, and hospitals. These great and powerful citizens of the world don’t care much about old-fashioned things like national boundaries, national sovereignty, and immigration control — let alone the constitutional separation of powers.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The End of Assimilation?

We now learn about the “Obama Task Force on New Americans: Changing America by ‘seeding’ migrants in towns everywhere.”

Ann Corcoran rounds up the background and current revelations about the immigration agenda of the Militant Left

“Obama is changing America by changing the people!  You might even say he is ‘colonizing’ America!
And, they are doing it by changing the language as well!
Yesterday several readers directed me to a segment of the Mark Levin radio program where Levin interviewed “Sue” from Maryland.
Sue had been wise enough to get on recent conference calls with the White House Task Force on New Americans, we mentioned the Task Force here and here.
In our first post we told you who was in charge and that they were not ‘assimilating’ immigrants.  They are ‘integrating’ them.  The word ‘assimilate’ is verboten in the Open Border circles.
The task force was created in November, here it is.  Now they are getting to work under the guidance of none-other than former La Raza (‘the race’) agitator Cecilia Muñoz and the Director of USCIS León Rodríguez.
In that second post, we copied verbatim the Task Force on New Americans instructions for getting on the call.  Note that they wanted to keep whatever was said from the press:
Note to the media: This engagement is not for press purposes.’
After hearing Sue’s description of what she heard, it is no wonder they didn’t want the press to know what was being said!
You can listen to Sue’s report to Levin by going to the Podcast of Levin’s February 26th show. Go here and find the February 26th show.  Start listening at 91:12 (on my version of the podcast).
***Update***  Reader Caroline sent us this link to WCBM (Baltimore) where Sue is identified as Sue Payne co-host of the Pat McDonough Radio Show.”

Main Street America is threatened not just with the importation of cheap labor by the so-called Right, but — even more dangerously — with the displacement of our civic and cultural order by the Very Hard Left as they seek to import a replacement people.

Will The Sky Fall If The Department of Homeland Security Funds Lapse?

Breitbart’s Tony Lee brings us Jeffrey Dorfman who declares, “Exec Amnesty Will Harm Economy More than Temporary Homeland Security Shutdown.” As Dorfman reminds us

“in the most recent government shutdown, ’87 percent of DHS employees kept right on working thanks to being classified as essential, while only 13 percent were sent home…under current law the reality is that a shutdown will have no noticeable effect on the important duties of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Tony Lee adds–

“But Obama’s executive amnesty is, according to Dorfman, ‘a step toward two things that will do billions of dollars in damage to our economy’–hurting American workers and imposing more costs on state and local governments:”  (Highlighting Forum’s.)

Here is Dorfman’s entire article in Forbes.

What About The Costs of Implementing Amnesty?

Appropriations expert (and recovering Congressman) Ernest Istook warns in the Washington Times, “Millions spent illegally on Obama amnesty plan; so who is going to prison? Bureaucrats obey Obama instead of following federal spending controls.” Istook declares–

“The White House claims that the massive expenses of amnesty processing will be covered by fees charged to applicants, but that fails the laugh test because: 1) expenses are already massive, but zero fees have been collected to date; 2) there have been no calculations released to match expenses with fees; and 3) the Constitution forbids spending any money unless it first is approved by Congress.”

Congressional friends of Federal employees might draw their attention to former House member Istook’s warning about “personal risk” to those working on implementing amnesty

“It’s illegal to spend federal money on purposes never approved by Congress. Yet Mr. Obama has bureaucrats going full-speed ahead to create the mechanism that would process amnesty for millions, even while a court injunction requires that actual processing cannot yet begin.
Preparations are proceeding ‘full-throttle,’ according to Judicial Watch, which works to make government accountable. The group has uncovered details about some of the tens of millions of dollars already being spent to launch Mr. Obama’s amnesty plan and called for a full investigation. Billions more in tax dollars are also on the line.
“However, there is personal risk for all who do Mr. Obama’s bidding rather than obey the laws that govern federal payments. Each person who violates what’s called the Anti-Deficiency Act (31 U.S. Code Sec. 1341) could be fined $5,000, sent to prison for two years, lose their job, or all of these. That law makes no exceptions for those who claim they merely obeyed orders from superiors, including the president.”

This Week’s Message to Your House GOP Members:
Don’t Become
An Amnesty Poodle!

Heavy GOP Establishment political pressure– think US Chamber of Commerce – is likely coming down on House GOP members to capitulate this week: to give the president money to replace American workers and to dilute the votes of Americans through the president’s lawless actions.

 Stay tuned….

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 26 Feb 2015

A message for our good Republican friends still in denial about the deeply flawed GOP Congressional leadership . . .

Allahpundit today reports further Senate GOP leadership shame in his “Senate Judiciary Committee votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as AG — thanks to three Republicans” – –

“The three defectors: Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham, both members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight on immigration, and Orrin Hatch, who sold himself as Mr. Conservative to Utah tea partiers in 2012 in order to avoid being primaried.”

         . . . . . . . . . .

“Exit question via DrewM: Why doesn’t McConnell simply refuse to bring Lynch’s nomination to the floor? If he’s serious enough about blocking Obama’s amnesty that he’d force a vote on the House’s DHS funding bill four times, he’s surely serious enough to bottle up Obama’s nominee for Attorney General. Right?”

But today’s Senate isn’t Bob Taft’s (“Mr. Republican”) United States Senate.

Nor is it Scoop Jackson’s.**

Whatever the different perspectives of these two eminent 20th-century legislators, their independence of speech and action commanded respect not only in the Senate but nationally. Their devotion to what they saw as the national interest was paramount. 

They would have scorned Senate leaders whose highest aspiration was cutting deals and who market their dark dealings as “pragmatism.”

Lest we forget how far today’s Senate has fallen, please revisit Daniel Horowitz’ illuminating December 14, 2014 Conservative Review post“GOP Elites Don’t Love the Constitution” – -

“Late Saturday night, while few Americans were paying attention, the GOP establishment abrogated the last distinguishing factor that existed between the two parties. The GOP elites in the Senate joined Democrats in declaring our Constitution null and void. 
Not only were Senate Republicans planning to rubber stamp the Cromnibus/amnesty bill – the worst and most consequential single piece of legislation since Obamacare – they wanted to get it done without compelling Democrats to take a tough vote defending Obama’s illegal actions.  After forcing the poor senators to work over the weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) finally leveraged Harry Reid into agreeing to conduct a vote on the constitutionality of Obama’s amnesty, as represented through the budget bill in the funding for immigration-related agencies.  But GOP leadership would have no part in Cruz’s bold effort.
So visceral was their hatred for Cruz for keeping them at work another day; so callous was their regard for stopping Obama’s amnesty, that 20 Republicans – including Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Cornyn (R-TX) – voted with Democrats to affirm the constitutionality of Obama’s act.
 Then, all but 13 Republicans proceeded to vote for cloture on the “Cromnibus” bill, which consummates and accelerates Obama’s amnesty.”

So, fellow conservatives, keep organizing and sending our own vision forth!

 **  Full disclosure: the author served as a young aide to senator Henry Jackson.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 25 Feb 2015

As Congressional GOP Leaders Un-Man Themselves . . . Conservatives Must Now Seriously Organize

This week we have seen the Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell doing his worst.

But only last December, we detailed how John Boehner Enables Obama To Continue “Transforming America”  —

“He did so by openly working with a skilled revolutionary who is president of the United States to secure House passage of a massive appropriations bill called the Cromnibus.
The measure gives the president’s regime money to pursue its transformative goals for our society through next September 30.
The most salient of these goals is — by lawless executive action — regularizing millions of illegal aliens and likely putting them on a path to citizenship.
This is a means of diluting our votes with those of the new citizens whom president Obama anticipates — putative new voters who already expect big government and are little used to liberty and civic order.
But the administration will also use the money approved by the House yesterday to advance the president’s many other objectives, among them:
Obamacare will sink its roots further.”

And now Breitbart’s Jonathan Strong and Caroline May declare “McConnell Caves, But Reid Wants Full Surrender From Boehner As Well” – –

“’I’ve indicated to the Democratic leader that I’d be happy to have his cooperation to advance consideration of a clean DHS bill, which would carry us through September 30,’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters Tuesday. ‘With Democratic cooperation on a position they have been advocating for the last two months, we could have that vote very quickly.’
‘This is a total victory for the Obama position,’ said a GOP senator unhappy with McConnell’s plan. ‘The House hasn’t passed it yet, so they might could come up with something. But that’s a grim prospect.’
But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid balked at the offer, saying Democrats would continue to filibuster the bill until House Speaker John Boehner indicated he was willing to also pass it through the House.”

The Conservative Review’s Gaston Mooney summed it up this morning in his “Bench McConnell” – –

“Ben Domenech, writing in this morning’s edition of The Transom, has a good run down of the current situation unfolding in the Senate.
So even when it comes to blocking funding for an executive order of dubious legality, which totally poisoned the ability to have a bipartisan immigration solution, which hasn’t even taken effect and is now the subject of a federal court injunction… Where the president did something he himself repeatedly said he didn’t have the authority to do and the federal court agreed… Republican leaders are still so afraid of the shutdown specter that they are willing to let a Democratic Senate minority have complete control over federal budget policy, so complete that they will go so far as to help Democrats avoid inconvenient conservative amendment votes to appease them. Why should Senate Democrats or Obama take the GOP leadership’s ‘ask’ on anything seriously? They have no ‘or else’. They have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no spine for these fights. They’d rather fight for things which serve their natural constituency – Washington – where the priority is Keystone, medical device taxes, and getting things done for the people who hired the money.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

What Is To Be Done?

In our view, Maryland and Virginia conservatives should organize as conservatives on a statewide basis —  not necessarily as a third party but as a third outside force through which conservative policy and program goals would be specified, conservative messages developed and disseminated, and conservative endorsements — a seal of approval —  given only to worthy candidates.

As we have been saying, the biggest challenge might be to get conservatives behind the three core conservative concerns, not just that part of one of them with which they feel most congenial: 

  • Upholding a broad range of values (not simply opposing abortion — but also strengthening the culture, defending traditional liberty, stopping Common Core, tracking taxpayer-funded school curricula and teacher training);
  • Right-sizing local, state, and the Federal government (more than lower taxes: seriously rolling back regulation by state and local government; espousing a pro-market but not a so-called “pro-business” or “crony-capitalist” agenda);
  • Strengthening homeland security (ranging from a prudent national defense, to maintaining our sovereignty by controlling immigration and our borders, to resisting national and local incursions from Civilization Jihad).

Now more than ever, however, so-called “single-issue conservatives” pursue a path to irrelevance if they do not work within the larger conservative movement. Unless they do so, they also help ensure that we shall all hang separately.

Whether conservatives of all inclinations come together on a statewide basis depends on how much they will recognize (not deny) the imminent danger. Stopping this accelerating and too-often bi-partisan transformation of America – in its Federal, state, and local versions – cannot wait until 2016.

Stay tuned:  will shall be writing on this at more length.

 

 

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 15 Jan 2015

Heads-Up: “Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America”

“November was all about Obama’s liberty-strangling, crony-coddling, financially reckless agenda. Voters emphatically defeated these policies. The American people want them stopped. That is what they sent Republicans to Washington to do. That is the mandate from the midterms.
Consequently, it is also the clarion call of the Citizens’ Mandate from the November 2014 Elections, issued on Thursday by conservative leaders from across the United States. The title of the Citizens’ Mandate is straightforward: “Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America’.” –Andrew McCarthy today on NRO (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

“Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America: Citizens’ Mandate from November 2014 Election” is an essential manifesto that grass-roots groups, and state and local GOP units should consider in detail at their next meetings.

Conservatives should make full use of this road map as a tool to hold their own members of the Congress accountable.

Moving force Ginni Thomas explained that this rallying document is a “‘collaborative effort’ from a network of conservatives (there were probably 8 writers and 3 editors over the holidays!) representing the concerns of the citizens.”

“The November 2014 election was a repudiation of the complicity of the United States Congress in President Obama’s dramatic and unconstitutional expansion of government. America’s voters demanded that the new Congress:
  • Stop the President’s promised ‘Fundamental Transformation’ of the country,
  • End Executive branch overreach,
  • Restore Constitutional balance of power among the three branches of government,
  • Bring an end to the perennially unpopular Affordable Care Act,
  • Stop the President’s Executive Amnesty initiatives,
  • Hold the Executive branch accountable for its myriad abuses of power
    and its national security failures both foreign and domestic, and
  • Put the interests of the United States of America first among nations.
The contentious vote for Speaker of the House the week of January 5, 2015 reflected the frustration of voters nationwide, who did not have confidence that last year’s Republican House Leadership would have the courage to carry out the voters’ mandate. A poll conducted in late December by Pat Caddell confirmed a growing rift between voters and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. A more detailed examination of the mandate follows.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

Click on the link below for the entire text.

“Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America: Citizens’ Mandate from November 2014 Election”

And here is a hashtag for supporters–

#NoRetreat

Read all of Andrew McCarthy’s post of this morning!

The Republican Congress Has a Mandate: It was not elected to make Washington ‘work’ but to keep Washington from working against Americans.

And stay tuned for commentary on this manifesto from more conservative heavy hitters — coming very soon!

First things . . . Michael Giere on 04 Jan 2015

The Failed Speaker

“Now the question for the entire eight-member Virginia Republican delegation – including newcomers Barbara Comstock and Dave Brat: will they vote on Tuesday to support national renewal with a new House Team — or more national failure by voting for John Boehner as Speaker?

Most often in Washington, “compromise” is a euphemism used by weak leaders to describe their own failure.

Most of us have worked for feckless bosses at some time or another.

These are people who might be fine men or women, but simply don’t have what it takes to be leaders.

They fail, they frustrate, and they invariably create more problems than they ever solve.

They may be bright enough; they may be capable in some things; they may be charming; or they may be great at public relations.

But, they aren’t leaders.

The 61st, and current Speaker of the House, John Boehner is such a fellow.

He is a failed Speaker by any standard, and he has caused much damage to his country and his party.

  • He has extended and enabled a President who openly disdains the citizens he swore to defend and protect.
  • The Speaker has folded like a cheap suit at every turn of major policy, while whining that he could do nothing.
  • When called to lead, he has shrunk from his Constitutional oath and duty. The last two years should have been a nightmare of confrontation over principle for Barack Obama – instead a reckless and dangerous man has had virtually unchallenged power to “remake” a nation fitting his collectivist radicalism.
  • Speaker Boehner is simply incompetent. Perhaps worse.

Now the question for the entire eight-member Virginia Republican delegation – including newcomers Barbara Comstock and Dave Brat: will they vote on Tuesday to support national renewal with a new House Team — or more national failure by voting for John Boehner as Speaker?

Virginians and all Americans deserve new Congressional leadership.

Leaders who put the interests of the working class citizens above the interests of the Washington potentates.

Republicans need to elect new leaders, preferably with real world experience, who understand that compromise is not a strategy, and is virtually never an effective negotiation tool unless it involves minor differences.

Most often in Washington, “compromise” is a euphemism used by weak leaders to describe their own failure.

Proactive, productive negotiations, particularly with a hostile counterpart like Obama, must be collaborative in nature, where two parties competitively advance their positions, and finally co-operatively seek to find a way forward.

Anything less than that is capitulation.

For many of us, the choice seems clear for the incoming Congress: stand up with the working men and women of America and do the right thing, for the right reason.

Here is our Virginia GOP House delegation — call them to help them be heroes for the Republic!

* * * * *

Blue Ridge Forum Contributor Mike Giere has written extensively on politics, foreign policy, and issues of faith. He is a former candidate for the U.S. House; worked for Ronald Reagan in 1976 & 1980; and served in both the Reagan and Bush (41) Administrations.
For readers with more questions about the how and why of replacing Speaker Boehner, here are two closely related stories:
Daniel Horowitz (Conservative Review) Myth vs Fact: Speaker’s Election
Richard Falknor (Blue Ridge Forum) John Boehner Enables Obama To Continue “Transforming America”

First things . . . Michael Giere on 24 Dec 2014

“God Loves Christmas”- A Hopeful Homily By Mike Giere

Christmas, I think, is a day for everyone.

Whether you’re a Christian or not.

Sure, it’s a day of special celebration that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

But it seems to me that God – as only God can engineer events – meant it for everyone.

That’s because God is primarily in the people business.

Regardless of how much we learn scientifically and intellectually about our universe and ourselves, somehow most of us end up back at God.

Pretty simple really. We love our parents because we can see that we are part of them and that they provided for us when we couldn’t do so for ourselves. We love them as the years roll by because we increasingly see ourselves in them.

Just so with God. He is obvious.

We can look around the world and can clearly observe that it is not random at all. It is an incredible symphony of material and physical creation, intricate and planned to the last molecule, the last cell, and the last atom.

We look at ourselves and see that we are each hand-crafted, molded with trillions of atoms and that we too are creators. Chips off the old block.

I believe the Christmas story.

I believe Christ was God, born into mankind as Savior and a perfect Sacrifice that would allow us to receive what we could not otherwise possess – forgiveness and life everlasting.

Christmas is also a celebration that carries across the days, the years, the centuries, and the millennia, a celebration of that which humans need most: Hope.

Hope in ourselves that we can reach for that which is bigger and better than what we are so often.

Hope that life has a meaning beyond ourselves.

Hope that the hard things we do mean that tomorrow will be better than the day we leave behind.

Hope that the evil that corrupts our own hearts and that we see in the world will someday end forever.

Hope. I think that is why we have a Christmas Day. I believe that’s why this is a day for everyone, and why the God of All Hope loves Christmas.

* * * * * * * * * *

Blue Ridge Forum Contributor Mike Giere is a member of the Falls Church Anglican in Virginia. He has written extensively on politics, foreign policy, and issues of faith. He is a former candidate for the U.S. House; worked for Ronald Reagan in 1976 & 1980; and served in both the Reagan and Bush (41) Administrations.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 12 Dec 2014

John Boehner Enables Obama To Continue “Transforming America”

“By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the identity of Republican voters and of the majority of Republican elected representatives, the Republican leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans.” — Angelo Codevilla in Forbes

Last evening the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner put flesh and blood on the phrase “bi-partisan ruling class.”

He did so by openly working with a skilled revolutionary who is president of the United States to secure House passage of a massive appropriations bill called the Cromnibus.

The measure gives the president’s regime money to pursue its transformative goals for our society through next September 30.

The most salient of these goals is — by lawless executive action — regularizing millions of illegal aliens and likely putting them on a path to citizenship.

This is a means of diluting our votes with those of the new citizens whom president Obama anticipates — putative new voters who already expect big government and are little used to liberty and civic order.

But the administration will also use the money approved by the House yesterday to advance the president’s many other objectives, among them:

Obamacare will sink its roots further.

Federal agencies will — through administrative schemes–

  • tell local police departments how to do their business,
  • tell local schools whom they may punish by ethnicity,
  • tell local zoning authorities how to exercise their powers for “fairness” in housing,

while seeking ways to curtail energy production and thus prosperity through “environmental” regulation.

Not least important, monies are made available for wars in the Middle East, whose objectives and means and metrics of victory have never been debated by the Congress.

For this president has established a reputation for injuring our allies and rewarding our enemies.

And the new 114th Congress will — thanks to Mr. Boehner and his circle — have no means of checking any of this administration’s missteps and overreaches — save for impeaching the president or his lieutenants.

So what is to be done?

First, recognize that the Beltway Republicans — those who speak for the GOP Congressional leadership and who try to shape the path to the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and who reflect the views of very large donors — simply do not share our conservative values. 

Indeed, they disdain them.

Moreover, the Beltway Republicans have too effectively carried out their plans to purge conservative candidates from the GOP and to bar conservatives from leadership positions in the House and likely soon in the Senate.

In terms of policy, the Beltway Republicans are the megaphone of the “cheap labor” interests behind Mr. Boehner’s love for amnesty.

Also recognize that many in the House Republican Conference fear Mr. Boehner and his system more than their constituents.  

Many House GOP members, moreover, simply do not see their first task as protecting Americans against a revolutionary regime — they don’t even grasp the extent of what we all face from the Obama Administration.

After yesterday’s votes, we must carefully verify before trusting any House Republican who did not vote here against the Rule on the Cromnibus. A few more “no” votes at that point would have forced major revisions.

But honor the 16 House Republicans here who did vote against the Rule which passed only 214-212.

Of the 67 Republicans who voted against the Cromnibus itself, four were from Virginia; none from Maryland. 

Nationally, states with four or more Republicans voting against the Cromnibus were Texas (14), Florida (5), South Carolina (5), Arizona (4), and Virginia (4), the last represented by the Old Dominion’s David Brat, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, and Robert Wittman.

Second, give real thought to how effective national and state-level conservative organizations can get underway, soon.

Conservatives must organize–

  • to cope with what John Boehner has bankrolled with our money;
  • to have a strong voice in the 2016 presidential election; 
  • to aim at winning the next generation as well as the next few elections.

Stay tuned. We shall have more to say on this, and always welcome your own careful analyses.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 24 Nov 2014

The GOP & Us — Time For Conservatives To Move On?

“Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.” ––Angelo Codevilla (Highlighting Forum’s.)

We must now face hard facts: the conservative base and the GOP Establishment simply have significantly different aims.

The failure of the Congressional Republican leadership to respond effectively to the president’s executive amnesty last week makes this clear as Michele Bachmann explained here.

See similar NRO reports here and here.

These lamentable developments constitute what are loosely called game-changers. For our country — our civic order, our public order, our sovereignty, our already over-expanded Federal and state welfare systems — will become radically “transformed” unless the Obama Administration’s immigration actions are reversed. Last evening Nicholas Stix in VDARE here posted The Myth Of The 11 Million: Wall Street Analyst Estimates 21-25 Million Illegals Now In U.S.”

Whatever the differences are between the key immigration numbers-crunchers, the numbers of illegals the Obama Administration is regularizing  — and likely will end up regularizing — are breathtaking. 

A supine Republican Party — see Dana Perino, a Bush Dynasty voice, here – – will be of no use to any citizen who seeks to keep and strengthen our constitutional order.

We don’t see how the conservative base and the Establishmentwithout a prompt and significant change of course by the Republican Leadership — can much longer continue sailing under the same flag.

Consequently we must weigh a conservative alternative in time for 2016.

Here, for example, is some very troubling current mischief by the GOP Establishment: their effort (via Rush’s report) to deny Jeff Sessions the chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

Recall that senator Sessions last Friday had declared here that “President’s Immigration Orders Have Sold Out The Middle Class.”

From the Establishment’s point of view, however, their effort against Mr. Sessions is quite understandable.

Sessions has a long-term vision: he speaks of a humble and honest populism; he has deconstructed not only the facts and the law of the open-borders advocates, but also exposed who they are and how they operate in both parties and in the White House; and, very important, Sessions is a senator who is not running for president. 

This allows him to be a traditional United States Senator, not having the understandable burden of constantly balancing the pressures of a national campaign with the exacting work and often controversial voting decisions of a conscientious senator.

It also makes him. as a major committee chair, relatively fireproof against the wiles of the Establishment.

For all these reasons, the Alabama senator is a threat to the incoming Senate GOP leadership unencumbered with principle, focused on short timelines, and only capable of deal-making, and to Speaker Boehner’s circle who have similar impairments.

The effort to deny Sessions his Senate Budget Committee chairmanship should tell even the most fervent Republican loyalist of the deplorable state of the GOP leadership.

We should all prepare ourselves for tumultuous developments sooner than we might wish. 

Neither the Obama Administration nor the responsibility-phobic GOP Establishment can likely cope with military, border, or public-health threats that can take on a life of their own right before our eyes.

We all have to think through how we respond as conservatives to today’s perils, and try to do so with a strong, united voice.

Very soon.

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Faithful readers may wish to revisit these posts  – -

 

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 11 Nov 2014

Veterans Day: Our Military History & Our National Conversation

Even veterans — and by derivation, Veterans Day (once known as Armistice Day) — are now under attack by the Cultural Marxists.
Breitbart’s William Bigelow here points to one offending post of last Sunday in his post “Salon: ‘Forced Troop Worship and Compulsory Patriotism Must End.'”
Unless our military and related histories are part of our national conversation, however, Veterans Day will lose its meaning for emerging generations.
But the new AP U.S. History (APUSH) Exam” will likely accelerate the disappearance of our common recollection of our history and sacrifices.
 Stanley Kurtz chronicles in NRO this woeful anti-history effort here
“Yet the most important reason for studying the Founders and the principles of our Constitutional system is that healthy republican government depends upon public knowledge of its historical and intellectual foundations. This was a central insight of the Founders, and of early American educators….” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
State and local politicians who would sail under the conservative flag must use the power of the public purse and the bully pulpit to reverse this menacing redesign of the American history curriculum. 
Kurtz cites scholar Ralph Ketcham on what must be done–
“In response to the College Board’s attempt to impose so egregiously biased and civically impoverished a curriculum on the nation — in defiance of cherished traditions of state and local control – Ketcham and his co-authors recommend that ‘state boards of education, governors, and state legislatures . . . disallow public schools to use’ the College Board’s new APUSH Framework.”
The post below is ours from November 11, 2011. (The image we just added.) We hope that on November 11, 2015 we can report some progress.

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"Two Way Traffic At Bastogne" Olin Dows (Army Center of Military History)

“Two Way Traffic At Bastogne” Olin Dows (Army Center of Military History)

Will Veterans Day Fade When Only A Few Still Grasp Why?

 

Readers likely lose patience with the endless on-line Veterans Day Weekend platitudes politicians and pundits view as obligatory around November 11.  Consequently we’ll try to get right to the point.

Our civic life is in grave danger from the neglect of our American heritage by taxpayer-supported schools and worse, taxpayer-supported schools of education.

This education malpractice in transmitting our heritage is nurtured in political correctness or cultural Marxism.

This malpractice deprives coming generations of students of any serious understanding of the history of our freedoms and institutions, our religious tradition, our achievements in enterprise, invention, and agriculture, and our military victories and setbacks.

Such popular understanding is vital to maintain support for preserving our national sovereignty in the face of fierce globalist efforts to dilute it away.

Of course, the GOP is unlikely to confront the larger problem of the Left manipulating the curriculum – – what Mary Grabar calls the “brainwashing of America.”

But that is a subject for another day.

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.

We can try to learn some lessons from the many-front struggle with Germany, Italy, and the Empire of Japan in World War II.

We can remember the fearful price we paid in Korea from post-World-War-II neglect (scroll down) of our forces.

Most of all, we can appreciate the skill and endurance of our forces from Roger’s Rangers in the French and Indian War, to Washington’s crossing to Trenton, to Joshua Chamberlain at Gettysburg, to Torpedo Eight at Midway, and to the epic Marine breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.

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.

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