George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in
this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military
a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed
by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge that to
"the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
FRIDAY, September 30, 2011
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
US Bishops See Common Sense in Immigration Development
Prelate Stresses Need to Respect Family Ties
WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 30, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops are
government move to direct immigration-enforcement resources toward
rather than immigrants who are considered low-priority for deportation.
Los Angeles' Archbishop José Gomez, chairman of the bishops'
Migration, affirmed this in a Thursday letter to Secretary Janet
the Department of Homeland Security.
The archbishop summarized the development of the decision, and noted
steps, including an interagency working group established between the
Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, which
review some 300,000 cases in the removal pipeline. He also praised an
announcement that all immigration-related agencies, such as border
personnel, will receive formal guidance on the policy.
Archbishop Gomez added: The U.S. Catholic bishops ask that as you
develop the criteria to review the approximately 300,000 cases in the
pipeline, and as you consider individuals prospectively for an exercise
prosecutorial discretion who are not yet in the removal pipeline, that
prioritize: (1) families, as defined under current federal immigration
vulnerable populations, including the mentally and physically disabled
victims of crimes; (3) children and individuals who were brought to the
States as minors, through no fault of their own; (4) pregnant and
women; (5) those with long-term presence in the United States and other
equities, such as U.S. citizen children or spouses and contributions to
communities through their work, faith communities, among other means,
clergy and religious who serve in faith communities.
The prelate said the decision embodies the kind of common-sense,
immigration policies that can serve to simultaneously enforce federal
immigration law while respecting the dignity and vulnerabilities of the
in our midst.
THURSDAY, September 29, 2011
TIME FOR ANOTHER
"A POX ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!"
- Governor Chris Christie is entirely
right when he says that the Obama Democrats' game plan for 2012 is to
divide the citizens of this country into opposing groups. A
Divider...not a Uniter.
- Those who are considered Obama's base
should actually be in the Republican camp: a) Middle Americans who are
seeing their standard of living and their very jobs disappear as a
direct result of this administration's profligacy; b) Latinos who are
generally family-oriented, religious and diligent working people; c)
Blacks whose students have been robbed of a chance for advancement as a
direct result of the total failure of Teachers' Union / Democratic
Party "education"; d) union members, who in the absence of their
leaders, decry the suffocating leveling rules that prohibit advancement
based on merit and individual performance.
- Meanwhile, the Republicans are in real
danger of self-destructing. The 2012 election is theirs to
lose. Follow the Commandments of Ronald Reagan and of William
Bulkley: "Never speak ill of your fellow Republicans"; and "I'm
in favor of the most Conservative candidate WHO CAN BE ELECTED".
Develop and promulgate a Moderate message: No to Abortion; No to a
Theocracy; Leave homosexuals alone, except as they try to undermine the
institution of Marriage - It's Biology, stupid; Yes to legal
immigration...and to developing a fair means of integrating the 12
million illegals who have lived honest lives here. and who are not
going away; No to more tax increases, but Yes to closing unfair
and abusive tax loopholes available only to the really rich; Yes to
cutting truly wasteful Federal expenditures, including those by the
Pentagon; Yes to repealing the Christmas tree that is ObamaCare and
then actually addressing the needed Health Industry reforms; Yes to
education reforms that integrate choice and merit and competition at
all levels; Yes to domestic drilling to remove our dangerous dependency
on the crazies in the Middle East, but with careful environmental
requirements; Yes to guaranteeing the integrity of the nation of Israel
in perpetuity...but No to the ham-handed approach to settlements and to
the ultimate status of Jerusalem; Yes to our Allies (whoever they are),
but only on a "quid pro quo" basis; Yes to reducing our financial
support of the ineffective U.N. by half;
Pay for your own accurate public information; you're not about to get
it from the totally compromised Media.
And work hard to get All Republicans out to the Primaries, and not just
the well-meaning but sometimes misguided fundamentalists. The
Boston Tea Party was not the end of the story. It was only the
WEDNESDAY, September 28, 2011
continuing to do the same thing over and over...and expecting different
TUESDAY, September 27, 2011
JUST A SHILL FOR
charleskrauthammer.com)? No. But his work always presents a logic
realism rarely found in the production of the rest of the mainstream
media...especially during election seasons - which are now perpetual.
most recent article: "The Return of the Real Barack Obama", in
The Day Saturday Sept 24, 2011,
MONDAY, September 26, 2011
the state of
our personal affairs and those of the nation and the world, we can use
help we can get...from whatever source. Please check out my
"Abortion, Morality and Ethics", sub-section "Catholic Church"
for relevant discourse regardless of your spiritual / religious bent.
SUNDAY, September 25, 2011
a Communist plot or a far-left Liberal (ie Obama) or Socialist or
"secular humanist" plot...or just the plain result of 40 years of
STUPIDITY and lack of common sense in and outside of our schools,
"they" are succeeding in a grand way.
I would just substitute Abortion for homosexuality, since in the vast
of cases the latter has been shown to be a biologic variant beginning
This reminds me of the German people in the 1930's:witnessing but not
understanding what was going on. Scary, especially if the 2012
don't turn it around. Because then, we may well have another
war. Remember: the largest standing army in the world, by far, is
SATURDAY, September 24, 2011
time I am
reminded of this, my comment is always WOW. Thomas Jefferson
considered the Abraham of this nation.
At 5, began studying under his
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
At 14, studied classical literature and
At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses..
31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights
of British America " and retired from his
At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental
At 33, wrote the Declaration of
At 33, took three years to
’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a
At 36, was elected the second Governor
of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.
At 41, was the American minister
to France and negotiated commercial
European nations along with Ben
Franklin and John Adams.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected
president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky
became the active head of Republican Party.
At 57, was elected the third president of
United States .
At 60, obtained the Louisiana
Purchase doubling the nation’s size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as
At 65, retired to Monticello .
At 80, helped President Monroe shape
the Monroe Doctrine.
At 81, almost single-handedly created
and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the
Declaration of Independence .
John F. Kennedy held a
dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in
nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is
the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time
White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson
When we get
piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall
become as corrupt
as Europe .
>>> Thomas Jefferson
will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing
and give to those who would not.
>>> Thomas Jefferson
It is incumbent
on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A
which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
>>> Thomas Jefferson
I predict future
happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from
the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care
>>> Thomas Jefferson
My reading of
history convinces me that most bad government results from too
>>> Thomas Jefferson
No free man
shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
>>> Thomas Jefferson
reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms
is, as a
last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in
>>> Thomas Jefferson
The tree of
liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
>>> Thomas Jefferson
To compel a man
to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he
and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
>>> Thomas Jefferson
said in 1802:
I believe that banking
institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than
armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to
the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by
the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks
the people of all property -
until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their
WEDNESDAY through FRIDAY,
September 21 through 23, 2011
on, and on,
and on. As I have said many times: in this country...born and
revolution, war, civil war, racial injustice, world war, regional
imperialism, depression, more world war, cold and hot wars,
more wars, and a breakdown in civil society / education in the last 40
years...things are going to have to get worse before they have a chance
ever getting better - unless we have entered the decline and fall of
with more wars - civil and otherwise. And I'm an
- You better be sitting down when you read this
you may know, Cruz Construction started a division in North Dakota just
send every Kenworth (9 trucks) we had here in Alaska to North Dakota
just bought two new Kenworth's to add to that fleet; one being a Tri
tractor and a new 65 ton lowboy to go with it.
also bought two new cranes (one crawler & one rubber tired) for
Cruz said they have moved more rigs in the last 6 months in ND than
Construction moved in Alaska in the last 6 years.
is like a gold rush town; they moved one of our 40 man camps down
there since there are no rooms available.
in ND is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I checked.
anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling
an astonishing read. Important and verifiable information:
6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of
Forbes Bros. was the guest.
host said to Forbes, "I am going to ask you a direct question and I
like a direct answer;
much oil does the U.S. have in the ground?" Forbes did not miss a beat,
said, "more than all the Middle East put together."
U. S.. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only
and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big.
was a revised report (hadn't been updated since 1995) on how much oil
this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota,
South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana..
Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe
and has the potential to
all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information
Administration (EIA) estimates
at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable( 5
billion barrels), at $107 a barrel,
looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.
I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their
jaws hit the floor.
had no idea.." says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's
sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in
the past 56 years,"
reportsThe Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred
as the 'Bakken.'
stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada.
years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end.
the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades
a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive
we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is
billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL !!!!!!
enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years
if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should -
it's from 2006 !!!!!!
S. Oil Discovery - Largest Reserve in the World
Report Online - 4/20/2006
1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest
oil reserve in the world.
is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush
three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted.
this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore
reported this stunning news:
have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on
are the official estimates:
times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
times as much oil as Iraq
times as much oil as Kuwait
times as much oil as Iran
times as much oil as Yemen
it's all right here in the Western United States !!!!!!
can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the
and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent
foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our
and our economy. WHY?
Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more oil in this
very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than 2 TRILLION
more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today,
think 'OPEC' will drop its price even with this find? Think again! It's
about the competitive marketplace, it has to.
OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?
your attention yet? Now, while you're thinking about it, do this:
this along. If you don't take a little time to do this, then you should
yourself the next time
complain about gas prices, by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to
I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you
to every one in your address book.
the way, this can be verified. Check it out at the link below !!!!!!
MONDAY and TUESDAY, September 19
and 20, 2011
this is very
good. Guess whom I favor at this time.
Front-runners Mitt Romney, Rick
Perry define two wings of Republican Party
By Philip Rucker |
The Washington Post – Sun, Sep 18, 2011
The Republican Party has produced as
front-runners for the presidential nomination two men just three years
apart in age but who otherwise are about as different as possible — in
style, substance, biography and their appeals to voters.
One was born into a privileged family in
a tony Michigan suburb; the other, onto a flat expanse of West Texas
dirt with no indoor plumbing. One spent his youth tooling around his
father’s car factory; the other, selling Bibles door to door so he
could afford to buy a car. One excelled at Harvard University, simultaneously earning
law and business degrees and swiftly climbing the corporate ladder; the
other, his hope of becoming a veterinarian dashed when he flunked
organic chemistry at Texas A&M University, joined the Air Force.
Where Mitt Romney is obedient and cautious, Rick Perry is bombastic and spontaneous. If they
had attended the same high school, they probably would have hung out at
opposite ends of the hallway. Their relationship today is said to be
frosty, if there is one at all.
“In every single possible way, they come
from different worlds,” said Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, who advised Romney in his 2008
race but is unaffiliated in the 2012 race. “You can see the playbook
pretty clearly here: It’s populist against patrician, it’s rural Texas
steel against unflappable Romney coolness, conservative versus
center-right establishment, Texas strength versus Romney’s
imperturbability, Perry’s simplicity versus Romney’s flexibility.”
In making their pitch to Republican
voters, Romney and Perry both say their life experiences have prepared
them for the presidency and for the onerous task of nursing the
country’s ailing economy. Romney is campaigning as a steady, capable
grown-up who can fix anything that needs fixing; Perry, as a
passionate, principled leader who can channel the ire of a frustrated electorate.
The twin forces within the Republican
Party are neatly manifested in the two candidates. Romney represents
both the party’s upper-crust establishment and the state —
Massachusetts — that for so long has been the GOP’s boogeyman. Perry
represents the angry grass roots that are giving the party new energy
and he personifies the state — Texas — that for a generation has been
the GOP’s soul.
Just as Obama’s 2008 victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton
helped define the modern Democratic Party, Republicans, in choosing
between Romney, Perry or perhaps someone else, will make a powerful
statement about the GOP’s identity.
Relating to voters
Romney, a former consultant who founded a
successful private-equity firm, seems at his best discussing the
intricacies of how businesses grow. When he announced his 59-point economic plan, Romney
began by saying that “this is going to be a conversation” and proceeded
to speak extemporaneously for half an hour with just one page of
It’s when Romney tries to relate to
average folks or banter about trivial things that he can struggle. His
critics poked fun at snapshots he posted to his Twitter account showing
him aboard Southwest Airlines and eating a Subway sandwich. When Romney
posed for a picture with the staff of a ’50s-themed diner in New
Hampshire over the summer, he pretended one of the waitresses had pinched his backside.
His attempt at a practical joke left those around him puzzled.
Perry tends toward just the opposite.
When he gave a short speech on jobs in California recently, he was
so focused on reading from the notecards he carried to the podium with
him that he didn’t seem to notice that a woman in the bleachers had
passed out under the hot sun or that people were shouting for
It’s in relating to people that Perry
seems most at ease. He routinely puts down elites. In last week’s
debate, Romney dismissed Perry’s jobs record as luck, saying that
governing a state with plentiful oil resources was akin to being dealt
a poker hand of four aces. Perry shot back on the stump in Iowa:
“I grew up in a house that didn’t have
running water until I was about 5 years old. My mom and dad were both
tenant farmers. For sure, I was not born with four aces in my hand.”
Perry does little to hide his disdain for
“I would no more consider living in
Massachusetts than I suspect a great number of folks from Massachusetts
would like to live in Texas,” Perry wrote in “Fed Up!” “We just don’t agree on a number of
things. They passed state-run health care, they have sanctioned gay
marriage, and they elected Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Barney Frank
repeatedly — even after actually knowing about them and what they
“Texans, on the other hand, elect folks
like me. You know the type, the kind of guy who goes jogging in the
morning, packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights and loaded with
hollow-point bullets, and shoots a coyote that is threatening his
Romney and Perry’s uneasy relationship dates to 2006, when Romney,
then the Republican Governors Association chairman, hired Castellanos
to work for the RGA. Perry viewed that as an affront, since Castellanos
was also working for Carole Keeton Strayhorn, an independent who was
trying to unseat Perry that year.
The next year, Perry endorsed Rudolph W.
Giuliani over Romney in the presidential race. In his 2008 book about
the Boy Scouts, Perry accused Romney of excluding the Scouts from
volunteering at the 2002 Winter Olympics, which Romney ran.
Republicans close to Romney and Perry
said that reports of their animosity are overstated and that in reality
they never had much of a relationship at all. Romney supported Perry’s
reelection campaign last year and, when he visited Texas this spring,
before Perry was openly considering a presidential run, lavished praise
on the Texas governor.
On the campaign trail now, both men tell
inspirational stories about their fathers. One is a tale of ambition
and achievement; the other, of honor and minimalism.
Romney’s father, George, was born to
American parents in Mexico but grew up poor, hopscotching the American
West, and eventually learned to be a lath-and-plaster carpenter.
“My dad never had the time or money to
put together a college degree, but the fact that he was a
lath-and-plaster carpenter didn’t keep him in America from becoming
head of a big car company — they made Ramblers — and then also becoming
governor,” Romney said recently at a New Hampshire town hall meeting,
not mentioning that his father never realized his ultimate ambition, to
The story Perry tells of his father,
Joseph Ray, is markedly different. “My dad was a tail-
gunner in World War II,” Perry recently told a veterans group. “He flew
35 missions over Nazi hell Germany in 1944 and ’45. He helped liberate
millions from tyranny. When he came home, he didn’t seek acclaim or
credit. He just wanted to live in peace and freedom — just farm a
little corner of land in Paint Creek, Texas.”
That corner of land is where the
mischief-making, eager-to-please “Little Ricky” was raised. Growing up,
Perry says, the only world he knew was Paint Creek. “I learned the
values of hard work and thrift and faith,” he said Friday in Iowa. “The
American dream was available to me because America was never set up as
a class society.”
At a piano recital when he was 8, Perry
met Anita Thigpen, who, 24 years later, would become his wife. When he
got to Texas A&M, Perry joined the Corps of Cadets and was elected
as one of A&M’s five yell leaders. Perry said he learned there was
more to college than fraternity parties — “Quite frankly, I struggled,”
he said recently — and graduated with a degree in animal science. To
this day, he kneels down to pet dogs when he sees them.
Perry joined the Air Force, piloting
transport aircraft from 1972 to 1977, although he was never called into
Perry has said that at age 27, when he
returned to Paint Creek to work the family’s cotton farm, he was “lost,
spiritually and emotionally.” He pondered his purpose but found God. And, in 1984,
he launched what would become a nearly three-decade political career.
He won 10 straight elections — state representative, agriculture
commissioner, lieutenant governor and, when George W. Bush became
“It’s a whole package,” David Carney,
Perry’s chief strategist, said in a recent interview. “This is not
manufactured. That’s what makes Rick Perry who Rick Perry is.”
Romney doesn’t talk about flying cargo
planes — he didn’t serve in the military — or going from rags to
riches. He’s always had the latter. The places he has lived —
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Belmont, Mass.; Park City, Utah; La Jolla,
Calif.; and Wolfeboro, N.H. — have almost nothing in common with Paint
The biography Romney shares with voters
is one of bullet points on what by any measure is an impressive
Learned French during two years in France
as a Mormon missionary. Married his high school sweetheart, Ann, at age
22. Graduated from Brigham Young University and gave a commencement
address to his class. Completed law and business degrees in four years
Became a rising star in the management
consulting world. Founded Bain Capital. Helped invest in or acquire
companies such as Staples, the office-supplies retailer. Turned around
the struggling 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Was elected governor of
Massachusetts. Ran for president.
“I don’t have all the answers to all the
problems that exist in America and around the world,” Romney has said.
“But I know how to find the answers, and I also know how to lead.”
It is perhaps in the area of personal
style that the two men are most different.
Consider how they approached the rite of
eating a corn dog when they visited the Iowa State Fair last month.
When a fair vendor handed Romney a vegetarian corn dog, he politely
took it, turned his back to the cameras following him, took a delicate
bite from the side and hurried along so he wouldn’t be photographed
sticking the deep-fried foot-long in his mouth.
Perry, meanwhile, took a big bite of his
corn dog, top first, photographic evidence of which raced around the
“A guy gave me a corny dog and it looked
beautiful,” Perry recalled a few days later in South Carolina. “I took a big
ol’ bite out of it and I thought, it kind of has an odd taste. He said,
‘It’s a vegetarian one. How do you like it, sir?’ ”
Stirring his audience of apparent meat
lovers, Perry continued his riff.
“Let’s see,” he said, “I think [I ate]
boiled egg on a stick and finished up with pork chop on a stick. So I
got my protein that day!”
SUNDAY, September 18, 2011
MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY ARE ALWAYS IN
but usually in an uninformed and fear-mongering way.
Now come two articles, one on Medicare (in addition to my offerings
ObamaCare in this section), and one on Social Security.
this is not rocket science. All it
requires is political courage...an oxymoron if there ever was one.
- See the article by Bruce Cummings,
President and CEO of Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, New London, Ct. in
First Hand, Sept. 16, 2011 (www.lmhosp.org).
- See "The Great Ponzi Debate, In
Four Parts":, by our perennial favorite Charles Krauthammer (in The
Day, Friday Sept 16, 2011, pA7).
SATURDAY, September 17, 2011
THE UNITED STATES,
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.
Three recent articles published in The Day (www.theday.com)
careen between clarity and fog on these matters. "Persistence:
No Return To A 9/10 Mentality", by Glenn Sulmasy (Sunday, Sept. 11,
2011, pE1), is a study in clarity. The article in the same edition, "A
Flawed Remembrance" by Alex Roberto Hybel is the opposite. And
there is the recent article published on Friday, Sept. 16 entitled "U.S.
Weighs Limits Of Terror Fight", by Charlie Savage (pA4). This
another ode to "Foggy Bottom", our Department of State which
continues to immerse itself in "the laws of war" and to "reach
out to European allies" while learning nothing from history. To
these latter observers, the fog will only lift if and when our homeland
citizens are again attacked - this time with much greater
and for the entire world.
FRIDAY, September 16, 2011
READ A CONCISE
SUMMARY OF WHY "FREEDOM OF RELIGION" IS NOT "FREEDOM FROM
RELIGION", WHICH IS TOXIC TO ALL RELIGIONS AND TO SOCIETY ITSELF.
ALSO, TRY TO HELP CUT DOWN A BLATANT ATTEMPT TO FOSTER THE KILLING OF
BEINGS AS A "HEALTH ISSUE", INCLUDING "MENTAL
HEALTH". THAT ARROGANCE PUTS US ALL AT RISK, FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE.
The world seen from Rome
Orthodox Leader Defends Europe's Roots
Excluding Christianity Isn't Path to a Friendlier Continent
SEPT. 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Excluding signs of Christian civilization
from Europe does not make it a place friendlier to non-Christians, says
representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's
department for external Church relations, made this claim when he spoke
opening session of an OSCE meeting on anti-Christian violence. The
held Monday in Rome.
is a simple axiom, understandable to every educated European, Hilarion
proposed. European civilization is a culture that has developed on a
foundation. Today Europe, and indeed the entire OSCE region, has
clearly expressed multicultural nature, having become a place of
between peoples and religions from all over the world. Yet, does this
the cultural and religious diversity of Europe definitely threatens her
Christian roots? Not at all.
metropolitan pointed to a basic danger of attempting to use religious
diversity as an excuse to exclude signs of Christian civilization from
public and political realities of the continent, as though this would
continent friendlier towards non-Christians.
fact, he said, this separation endangers the representatives of any
am convinced that society, which has renounced its spiritual heritage
the pretext of the radical separation of religious life from public
becomes vulnerable to the spirit of enmity in relation to
any religion, Hilarion stated. This indeed does create an atmosphere of
intolerance in relation to Christians, as well as to representatives of
Russian Orthodox representative went on to illustrate his point with
several examples, including regulations in Spain for primary school sex
education, in which pupils are indoctrinated with views on sexual
which are totally inconsistent with the religious beliefs of their
Other examples are attacks on the Christian defense of unborn children,
dying, or marriage between one man and one woman, he noted.
who ignore or infringe on the rights and legitimate interests of
Christians are often guided by secular maximalism, that is, they
the notion that religion is no more than the personal affair of the
and does not have a social dimension, he explained.
Hilarion acknowledged that a model of peaceful
inter-civilizational coexistence is a difficult theoretical and
But, he said, a model is needed not only in the OSCE region but also
the world, including those places where Christians feel themselves to
The world seen from Rome
Bishops: Defend Conscience Before Sept. 30
D.C., SEPT. 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Only two weeks remain for U.S.
citizens to protest conscience violations found in the U.S. Department
Health and Human Services directives for health insurance.
U.S. bishops have asked citizens to express their concern to the HHS
the Sept. 30 deadline.
Aug. 1, the HHS issued an interim final rule that will require
private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved
contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and related patient education
counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.
are listed among preventive services for women that all health plans
have to include without co-pays or other cost-sharing -- regardless of
the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or even the woman
objects to such coverage.
bishops have made material available to evaluate the HHS rule and to
TUESDAY through THURSDAY,
September 13 through 15, 2011
FOR LAW AND JUSTICE deserves the support of all Americans who believe
week the ACLJ has filed two amicus briefs at the Supreme Court on
issues facing our nation.
has the second largest per capita population of illegal immigrants in
nation. It is a challenge they live with every day. Where the federal
government failed, they took action and the Obama Justice Department
the ACLJ is stepping in to help, and we have brought the support of
Members of Congress and nearly 60,000 American citizens with us.
have just filed an
amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of
Arizona’s illegal immigration law and the right of
govern within their borders – including defending those borders.
Trent Franks of Arizona has signed onto our brief along with Senator
DeMint, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Randy Forbes, Thaddeus McCotter and 55
elected leaders from across the nation. Find
list of elected officials and more about our argument to the Supreme
Supreme Court must take this case. The Obama Justice Department’s suit
the Arizona immigration law challenges not only this law but also
being enacted by states across the country.
like the one enacted in Arizona are not anti-immigrant, they actually
favor of legal immigration and the aspiring American citizens who
come here legally. As I
discussed recently, and like so many Americans, I am the grandson of an
immigrant. A legal framework that enables the legal immigration
very important to me and America’s heritage.
have the privilege of raising our children in the greatest country this
has ever known, and we must protect and defend it … and them.
second amicus brief we filed at the Supreme Court of the United States
constitutional case dealing with what is broadcast on television when
are likely to be watching.
a filing at the high court, we're defending a ban on television
amicus brief defends existing law that bans public indecency, whether
or on broadcast television.
we argue in our amicus brief, “An indecent television broadcast is
an indecent public display.” The high court should make sure that any
it hands down should reaffirm the laws that already exist in all fifty
states. You can
more about this case and download a copy of our brief at ACLJ.org.
the ACLJ defends our fundamental rights in courts across the nation and
the world, we continue to focus on the Supreme Court of the United
you for continuing to stand with the ACLJ and our work.
MONDAY, September 12, 2011
Replacing Obama: Where His
Challengers Stand on Pro-Life Issues
Dear LifeNews.com Readers,
Recently, we sent to you the exclusive and extensive listing
LifeNews.com has compiled of the pro-abortion actions President Barack
Obama has taken in two and a half years since taking over the White
House. But, it's not enough to merely condemn Obama for what he's done
without offering you information about potential replacements.
Today, LifeNews is pleased to provide you a sample of information about
the Republican presidential candidates and their stances and actions
they've taken on the pro-life issues that matter to you. Because
LifeNews is the only news outlet dedicated solely to covering abortion,
bioethics issues like human cloning and embryonic stem cell research,
and efforts to protect the elderly and disabled from euthanasia and
assisted suicide, we've covered each of the candidates extensively on
where they have positioned themselves.
But, before we get to those articles on the candidates, we need to
remind you that LifeNews can't continue to provide tens of thousands of
informative and educational news stories about these candidates or any
other pro-life topics without your help. Please go here to make an
online donation to support this pro-life news and information ministry.
Our action alerts, our educational resources, and our pro-life news has
LifeNews.com saving lives and empowering pro-life people to save lives.
Please send a donation today to help us keep going!
Thankfully, pro-life voters have numerous pro-life options when it
comes to finding a candidate to replace Obama in next year's
presidential elections. Below, we have listed each candidate
alphabetically and some of the recent stories we've done at LifeNews.
You can find many more on your favorite candidate by going to
LifeNews.com and searching for "2011 candidate name" and putting the
right candidate in the search.
Michele Bachmann Hits Planned Parenthood at Faith
Bachmann: “Devastating” Miscarriage Shaped Pro-Life
Bachmann: Christian Writer Francis Schaeffer Shaped
Herman Cain Blasts Planned Parenthood, Abortion Biz
Herman Cain: Defund Racist Planned Parenthood Abortion
Herman Cain Reaffirms Pro-Life View After Not Signing
Newt Gingrich Makes 2012 Republican Presidential Bid
Gingrich Also Hits Romney on Not Signing Pro-Life
Likely GOP Presidential Candidates Want Planned
Jon Huntsman: No Truce on Abortion, Touts Pro-Life
Huntsman Confirms Opposition to Embryonic Stem Cell
Pro-Life Ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Announces GOP 2012
Ron Paul Would Sign Planned Parenthood Funding Ban
Ron Paul Blasts Obama Forcing Coverage of Abortion,
Catholics for Ron Paul Effort Supports His Pro-Life
Rick Perry Gets A Grade on Abortion From Texas
Rick Perry Signs Pro-Life Pledge on Abortion, Judges
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Signs Bill De-Funding Planned
Mitt Romney Reasserts His Pro-Life Position on
Mitt Romney Still Faces Questions Over His Pro-Life
Mitt Romney Makes 2012 Republican Presidential Bid
Pro-Life Sen. Rick Santorum Seeks GOP Presidential Nod
Santorum: Abortion to Blame for Some Social Security
Santorum Picks Up Endorsement From Iowa Pro-Life
The presidential election next year has the power to shape the
future of abortion for decades -- as the next president may have
Supreme Court appointments who could determine the future of Roe and
the status of legal abortions for many years. With a tenuous
pro-abortion majority on the high court now, a pro-life president gives
unborn children real hope for change.
SUNDAY, September 11, 2011
Subject: At a Tennessee Football
Game---not a joke
Christianity is now the target of persecution...
I FIND IT INTERESTING THAT A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL CAN SEE THE PROBLEM,
BUT OUR SOCIETY CANNOT.
This is a statement that was read over the PA sytem at the football
game at Roane County High School , Kingston , Tennessee by school
Principal, Jody McLeod
"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football
games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and
Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a
Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at
this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual
perversion and call it "an alternate life style," and if someone is
offended, that's OK.
I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and
calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.
I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an
unborn baby as a "viable! Means of birth control." If someone is
offended, no problem...
I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in
activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth"
and call it "ecology.."
I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that
depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as
"simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment.."
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to
Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case
Law is violated.
This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.
Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD
and HIS Commandments.
Nevertheless , as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and
students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree.
For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst,
hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I
certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's,"
and refrain from praying at this time.
" However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD and ask
HIM,in the name of JESUS, to Bless this event, please feel free to do
so.. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."
One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with
one another and began to pray.
They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed
at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box!
The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United
States of America- the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under
Somehow, Kingston , Tennessee Remembered what so many have forgotten.
We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the FreedomFROM
ReligionPraise GOD that HIS remnant remains!
JESUS said, "If you are ashamed of ME before men, then I will be
ashamed of you before MY FATHER.."
SATURDAY, September 10, 2011
A date seared in the collective experience of all Americans...and
those who lost loved ones in the events of that day. One identical
hear from those left behind is that there is no forgetting, no closure,
Any of us who have witnessed the passing of loved ones can relate to
that - to
a point. But the grief and sadness of these people seem to be a world
apart. I believe that the reason for this is that they and we
allowed initially to express the white - hot rage that welled
up in us
at the time. We were immediately told that we should "forgive",
in the Judeo-Christian model. The failure to traverse that
left a scar in all of us...and a festering wound in the hearts of the
That was and is unfortunate. Yes: "Vengance Is Mine, Sayeth
Lord. I Shall Repay". Yes:.."Forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us...". Yes: "Wrath
and anger are hateful things...". Yes: Peter must forgive his
brother's sins "not seven times, but seventy-seven times" according
to the Lord Jesus.
Yes, but God gave us free will. Most of us will do the right
time and in our own way. But meanwhile, let us have and
acknowledge our rage
over the actions of the bestial creatures around us. Only
the healing produce a strong scar and not a perpetually festering
wound. Let us
all pray that that time comes soon for us. Meanwhile, those who
passed on are in Good Hands.
TUESDAY through FRIDAY, September
6 through 9, 2011
So what have we learned in 2,066 years?
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be
curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work,
instead of living on public assistance."
- Cicero - 55BC
SUNDAY and MONDAY, September 4 and
It's been a busy summer, with trips and reading,
trips. tThe following are short and trenchant remarks on the
state of a
number of topics, supported by references for your documentation, if
The National Labor Relations Board has become a
subsidiary of the Obama Administration. And Unionism is running
expecially in the public sector. This has, of course, always been
the Teachers' Unions. And they are all overplaying their
See: 1) a recent WSJ editorial regarding the NLRB requiring employers
display posters about the 76 year old right to unionize; 2) the
College bulletin entitled Imprimis, the 5-6/11 edition about the
attempt of the NLRB to affect the Boeing Corp. decision to build a
a right to work State; 3) Dick Ahles article in The Day, 8/27/21; 4)
Jahncke's article in The Dady Sept. 3, 2011; 5) the WSJ editorial dated
26. And there are more.
- PUBLIC EDUCATION TURMOIL, continued
1) the NYTimes article, Sept 4, on the predicted
technology gimmicks to improve teaching and learning in the classroom;
parent's primer for the constantly failing New London, Ct. schools...in
Sept. 4; 3) Class Warfare, book review in the NYTimes August 21;
4) a way
for new teachers to avoid the usual feudal education system; 5) "Super
Teachers Alone Can't Save Our Schools, in WSJ Review, August
there are more.
- THE CATHOLIC CHURCH STILL DOESN'T GET
1) "Vatican Denies Claims by Ireland on Abuse...",
in NYTimes Sept 4; 2) Bishop Finn of Kansas City,Mo. found to have
public notificaion of clergy abuse in his Diocese...at this late date
scandal; 3) and then there was the 60 Minutes interview with Archbishop
Dunn of NYC a short time ago: a bit too approachable, but still
treating Morley Safer with kid gloves - and a stiff arm, answering all
challenges to Church Doctrine with nothing but "because"...I was
- AND THEN IS THE RECURRING THEME
REGARDING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VIEW OF THIS COUNTRY AS NOT
EXCEPTIONAL./ One thing is certain, in my opinion: if he is
returned to office in 2012, this country will indeed have become
exceptional - exceptionally mediocre.
SATURDAY, September 3, 2011
THURSDAY and FRIDAY, September 1
and 2, 2011
"Lest We forget..." GS
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
US Bishops on Deficit Debate: How Will the Poor Be Treated?
Remind Politicians That It's Not About Which Party Wins
WASHINGTON D.C., SEPT. 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops are
reminding government that reducing the debt is a moral issue, and one
that will be measured not by which party wins, but by how the poor are
Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, New York, and Bishop Stephen Blaire of
Stockton, California, leaders of the international and domestic policy
committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), affirmed
this in a statement Wednesday.
Addressing the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the bishops
stated: The moral measure of this historic process is not which party
wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how the jobless,
hungry, homeless and poor are treated.
We understand that the fiscal status quo is unsustainable, with
mounting deficits and growing debt for our children, the bishops wrote.
We also recognize the economic and moral importance of creating jobs
with decent wages and spurring economic growth as essential strategies
to improve our economy, decrease poverty and reduce future deficits and
The question is how to fulfill the demands of justice and moral
obligations to future generations and protect the lives and dignity of
those who are poor and vulnerable.
Not the time
The bishops cautioned against substantial cuts to programs that serve
families working to make ends meet and escape poverty.
They said that it is not the time to weaken the national safety net or
to make disproportionate cuts to programs that can help low and
moderate income families avert crisis and live in dignity.
They also spoke about the danger of undermining programs of
international aid, an essential tool to promote human life and dignity,
advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance global security.
And the bishops cautioned against cuts to funding for refugee
admissions and overseas refugee assistance programs.
Bishops Hubbard and Blaire observed that shared sacrifice by all is
necessary, and advocated the elimination of unnecessary military and
other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance
and retirement programs fairly.
SUNDAY through WEDNESDAY, August
21 through 31, 2011
By Lou Pritchett, Procter & Gamble
A LETTER FROM A PROCTER AND GAMBLE EXECUTIVE TO THE PRESIDENT*
SENTENCE IS THE MOST CHILLING (with
Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living
acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest
speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize
him as the
foremost leader in change management.. Lou changed the way
business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as
"partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President,
Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course
years, made corporate history.
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and
unlike any of
the others, you truly scare me.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your
League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no
signs of support.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of
up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus
understand it at its core.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned
yourself with radical extremists who hate
America and you refuse to
publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail..
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America
crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European
where the government sector dominates instead of the private
You scare me because you want to replace our healthcare system with a
government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly
our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist
lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics
certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from
on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even
opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on
everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the
Hannitys, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, Conservative
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will
not feel safe in writing a similar letter in your second term.
This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged
Big surprise. Since it hit the Internet, however, it has
had over 500,000
hits. Keep it going. All that is necessary for evil to succeed Is that
men do nothing.. It's happening right now.*
THURSDAY through SATURDAY, August
18 through 20, 2011
time that we asked George Bush to step aside so that Obama can get his
Here's an opinion piece by Chuck Green who writes "Greener Pastures"
for the Denver Post Aurora Sentinel...one of the more liberal papers in
the country. Additionally, Mr. Green is a lifelong Democrat...so this
is a rather stunning piece...
Obama is victim of Bush's failed promises!
Barack Obama is setting a record-setting number of records during his
first term in office:
Largest budget ever. Largest deficit ever. Largest number of broken
Most self-serving speeches ever. Largest number of agenda-setting
failures ever. Fastest dive in popularity ever!
Wow! Talk about change.
Just one year ago, fresh from his inauguration celebrations, President
Obama was flying high. After one of the nation's most inspiring
political campaigns, the election of America 's first black president
had captured the hopes and dreams of millions. To his devout followers,
it was inconceivable that a year later his administration would be
gripped in self-imposed crisis.
Of course, they don't see it as self-imposed. It's all George Bush 's
George Bush, who doesn't have a vote in congress and who no longer
occupies The White House, is to blame for it all.
He broke Obama's promise, to put all bills on the White House web site
for five days before signing them.
He broke Obama's promise, to have the congressional health care
negotiations broadcast live on C-SPAN.
He broke Obama's promise, to end earmarks.
He broke Obama's promise, to keep unemployment from rising above 8
He broke Obama's promise, to close the detention center at Guantanamo
in the first year.
He broke Obama's promise, to make peace with direct, no precondition
talks with America 's most hate-filled enemies during his first year in
office, ushering in a new era of global cooperation.
He broke Obama's promise, to end the hiring of former lobbyists into
high White House jobs.
He broke Obama's promise, to end no-compete contracts with the
He broke Obama's promise, to disclose the names of all attendees at
closed White House meetings.
He broke Obama's promise, for a new era of bipartisan cooperation in
He broke Obama's promise, to have chosen a home church to attend Sunday
services with his family by Easter of last year.
Yes, it's all George Bush's fault! President Obama is nothing more than
a puppet in the never-ending failed Bush administration.
If only George Bush wasn't still in charge, all of President Obama 's
problems would be solved. His promises would have been kept, the
economy would be back on track, Iran would have stopped its work on
developing a nuclear bomb and would be negotiating a peace treaty with
Israel . North Korea would have ended its tyrannical regime, and
integrity would have been restored to the federal government.
Oh, and did I mention what it would be like, if the Democrats, under
the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, didn't have the heavy
yoke of George Bush around their necks? There would be no ear marks, no
closed-door drafting of bills, no increase in deficit spending, no
special-interest influence (unions), no vote buying (Nebraska,
If only George Bush wasn't still in charge, we'd have real change by
All the broken promises, all the failed legislation and delay (health
care reform, immigration reform) is not President Obama 's fault or the
fault of the Democrat-controlled Congress. It's all George Bush's fault
Take for example the decision of Eric Holder , the president's attorney
general, to hold terrorists' trials in New York City. Or his decision
to try the Christmas Day underpants bomber as a civilian.
Two disastrous decisions.
Certainly those were bad judgments based on poor advice from George
Need more proof?
You might recall that when Scott Brown won the election to the U.S.
Senate from Massachusetts, capturing "The Ted Kennedy Seat",
President Obama said, Brown's victory was the result of the same voter
anger that propelled Obama into office in 2008. People were still angry
about George Bush and the policies of the past 10 years. And they
Yes, according to the president, the voter rebellion in Massachusetts,
was George Bush's fault.
Therefore, in retaliation, they elected a Republican to the Ted Kennedy
seat, ending a half-century of domination by Democrats. It is all
George Bush 's fault !
Will the failed administration of George Bush ever end, and the time
for hope and change ever arrive???
Will President Obama ever accept responsibility for something/anything?
( Chuck Green is a veteran Colorado journalist and former
editor-in-chief of The Denver Post.)
It's Bush's Fault!
WEDNESDAY, August 17, 2011
Well, it's happened again. I go on vacation,
time, read a lot of newspapers from other parts of the country, and
with more opinions. Here goes...
all for now, folks. These vacations
- THE ECONOMY. Retrain all of
these middle-aged workers whose jobs have become obsolete. Finally
improve the education of "The Dumbest Generation". Put a sock on
the anxious over-reaching of unions - local, State and Federal - who
have nothing to offer than the slender reed of "seniority" and the
delusion that - just because their fathers and grandfathers worked at
those jobs - they have a right to continue in the same jobs. And,
in these unsettled times, DON'T SPEND, BUT RATHER SAVE, if you want a
future. Those who are promoting spending are only looking toward
the next election.
- TALK ABOUT ELECTONS. Tim
Pawlenty...what a WHUS. He drops out after one dumb "straw poll"
in a distant small part of the country. Shame on you for wasting
our time and attention.
- Once again, WE MUST REVISE OUR
ELECTION PROCEDURES BY MEANS OF A FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION AND
AMENDMENT THAT APPLIES TERM LIMITS AND THAT ESPECIALLY ELIMINATES THE
CURRENT SPECTACLE OF THE ABILITY LITERALLY TO BUY ELECTIONS...INCLUDING
THE U.S. PRESIDENCY.
- REGARDING PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THIS
COUNTRY, de-certify every teachers' union in the country...and free
good teachers finally to determine their own future and that of their
- In Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan,
Jihadists andaal-Qaeda are alive and well. What's wrong with
that picture. "Alive and well"...that's what's wrong. And
don't give me any crap about the Geneva Convention and the Rules of
War...and especially about the worthless United Nations.
Self-defense is a basic human right...including pre-emptive
- Europe and its growing Muslim influx.
Beware. If those people don't demand and accept
integration...without loss of their heritage...the next Crusade will
- The European Union experiment.
I know the United States...and you're
the United States of Europe. Whether you can ever be...I
- Regarding the mentally ill, public
safety and the need to take psychotropic medications, that should be a
"no-brainer". Those who are a threat to public safety must take
their medications regularly or be incarcerated.
THURSDAY through TUESDAY, August
11 through 16, 2011
MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE AGAINST ABORTIONS, AND ESPECIALLY LATE-TERM
ABORTIONS. MEANWHILE, RECENT REPORTS NOTE THAT THE SEX OF A
HUMAN BEING, CAN BE DETERMINED VERY EARLY IN GESTATION, THAT EARLY
"SELECTIONS" CAN BE MADE AMONG MULTIPLE FETUSES, AND THAT
ABORTIFACIENT "MORNING AFTER PILLS" ARE NOW AVAILABLE OVER THE
COUNTER...ALL PROVIDING MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE ABOMINATION OF
ABORTION. THE ARTICLE BELOW NOTES THAT THERE IS SOME HOPE OUT
THERE. PLEASE HELP.
we are having a tremendous impact in the fight to protect life,
religious liberties, and our national security. We had an online goal
of 72,000 signatures representing the 72% of Americans that support the
Ground Zero Cross. We now have over 84,000 online signatures! Thank you
for standing up for the Cross.
there is so much turmoil in the world, and we look for opportunities to
push back and stand firm for the essential values you and I share. I
want you to know that together, we are having a tremendous impact.
just the last month, the ACLJ has:
Convinced the City of New York to reverse its earlier decision and to
now allow the showing of a 9/11 documentary at several city parks.
Persuaded the United Nations to prohibit countries from relying on
Shariah law to impose restrictions on religious expression and free
Defended the call for a public day of prayer in Texas against a Freedom
From Religion Foundation lawsuit – a lawsuit the court dismissed,
agreeing with our amicus brief, filed that same day.
Seen another appeals court declare ObamaCare’s individual mandate
unconstitutional. We provided a critical amicus brief representing 74
Members of Congress and over 70,000 ACLJ members.
Defending life by filing an amicus brief on behalf of 41 Members of
Congress and over 25,000 of you supporting Indiana’s right to defund
Obtained justice for a persecuted Christian family in Pakistan after a
member of their family was brutally murdered for his faith, ensuring
that his killers were brought to justice.
Protected the free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers, by
obtaining a temporary order preventing an unconstitutional New York
City law from going into effect – a law that threatened to shut down
our pro-life clients.
All while continuing to defend faith and liberty here at home and
around the world.
you so much for taking action in these cases and making each victory
in order to continue our efforts, we need your continued support. Last
month, I told you about our Matching Challenge – a group of donors who
have agreed to match, dollar-for-dollar, any donations we receive
online through August. We need your support today.
Please double your impact and make your tax-deductible contribution now
by following this link to our secure donation page on ACLJ.org.
We only have until August 31st to meet our $750,000 goal. We are still
several hundred thousand dollars short of our goal, and we will not be
able to take full advantage of this incredible opportunity unless you
and ACLJ members continue to stand with us in these important victories.
We are in a multi-front war in defense of life, religious freedom, and
our national security here in the United States and around the world.
Israel continues to be in the crosshairs at the United Nations and is
continually attacked for defending its borders; the ACLJ is actively
defending Israel in several cases.
In protecting the Ground Zero Cross from an atheist lawsuit, we are
filing an amicus brief, representing nearly 100,000 Americans.
We are defending the Ten Commandments at the Supreme Court on behalf of
a judge who displays the Ten Commandments as part of a “Philosophies of
Laws in Conflict” poster on his courtroom wall.
Planned Parenthood is being held accountable for its actions in a
hundred million dollar fraud suit – a case that could effectively
shutdown Planned Parenthood in California – our new court filings are
due in the next few weeks.
Our legal team is preparing to present oral arguments next month in our
case challenging ObamaCare in federal appeals court in D.C.
We are stopping the shut down of pro-life pregnancy centers in New
York, Baltimore, San Francisco, and other cities across the country
from an unconstitutional law being pushed by Planned Parenthood.
It is crucial that we have the necessary resources to continue each one
of these battles.
With the deadline for our Matching Challenge quickly approaching, we
need your generous support more now than ever.
Help us reach our $750,000 goal by making a generous tax-deductible
donation today. Every $100 becomes $200 in the fight for faith, life,
Thank you for your continued support as we continue this fight.
WEDNESDAY, August 10, 2011
citizens are constantly being criticized for every
conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know
responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.
reflection, we would like to point out that it was
senior citizens who took:
The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The Golden Rule from rulers,
The nativity scene out of cities,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,
The ambition out of achievement or
God out of government and school.
we certainly are NOT the
eliminated patience and tolerance from
personal relationships and
interactions with others!!
we do understand the meaning of patriotism,
and remember those who have fought and died for our country.
Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their
attention with their hand over their hearts!
YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!
I'm the life of the party....... even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I'm very good at opening childproof caps.... with a hammer.
I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying.
I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I THINK
I am having
the time of my life!
Green - Recycle Parliament and bring back Guy Fawkes
TUESDAY, August 9, 2011
THE WORLD HAS PROBLEMS. YOU WANT SOLUTIONS?
was that so hard?
- Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Already addressed: "Go...or get off the pot".
- China. Paper Tiger. If we stop
buying its products, it's a toothless tiger...and the Chinese know it.
- Syria. If nothing else is
working, supply the people with arms. Make it a fair fight.
The Arabs should do this themselves.
- The UN, in Syria, in Lybia, in Somalia
and elsewhere, once again has proven itself to be worthless.
Admit it, and start over with a new world dialogue.
- The EU. How do you expect to
have a common currency without a common budget?
- Britain. Get a grip!
Declare Martial Law. Call in the military. These rioters
are not only criminals; they are anarchists. Get them off the
streets - in vertical or horizontal positions.
- The U.S. fiscal "crisis": a crisis and
failure of leadership, not of the American people. The short-term
way out is for the "Super-Committee" to be believable and to declare
that they will actually come up with the austerity solutions we all
know are necessary. In the longer term, GET OUT AND VOTE FOR CHANGE YOU
CAN BELIEVE IN...IN NOVEMBER, 2012.
MONDAY, August 8, 2011
On The Debt
Deal: Before the ink is dry, another blot on our
Taxation without Representation
August 2, 2011
Eisenbeis is Cumberland’s Chief Monetary
Economist. Prior to joining Cumberland Advisors he was the Executive
President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of
is presently a member of the U.S. Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee
Financial Economist Roundtable. His bio is found at www.cumber.com.
be reached at Bob.Eisenbeis@cumber.com.
Now that I
have your attention, despite the
political euphoria that will likely accompany the deal to raise the
a more careful examination suggests that once again our elected
opted for policies dictated by their desire to ensure their reelection
than caring for the needs of the country. Before delving into
issues, however, I want to address some concerns that a few readers
about my last commentary, which focused on the “fairness” issues
the debt debate.
generated a lot of comments, many of
them passionate. While the vast majority of responses were favorable,
accused me of selectively citing data that might be interpreted as
high-income people were bearing an “unfair” proportion of the tax
ignoring data on the proportion of income earned and wealth
My point in that piece was that simply looking at the data on tax
doesn’t help one to judge what is or is not “fair.” That is a
judgment and a political assessment and is not one that I tried to
The comments, however, did pique my curiosity and triggered a more
look at the facts.
confess that my intuition wasn’t
confirmed. Let me just cite a few key figures. In that
noted that variations in revenues collected by the government were
unrelated to variations in the highest marginal tax rates. In
the most recent data suggested that those in the top 5% of the income
distribution paid 59% of the personal income tax collected and those in
1% paid 38%, while the bottom 50% paid 2.7%. Looking at the
of income, comparable data from the IRS show that the top 1%, who paid
the taxes, earned 20% of the income and the top 5%, who paid 59% of the
earned 34% of the income. In contrast, the bottom half earned
the income but paid only 2.5% of the taxes.
assumption of the critics was probably that
the top income brackets earned a larger share of the income than they
taxes, but that is not borne out by the data. I would also note
aside that out of a population of over 300 million people, 1.4 million
filers were in the top 1% of adjusted gross income. Seven million
were filed by those in the top 5% of adjusted gross income distribution
70 million returns were filed by the bottom 50% of the income
distribution. Any way one cuts it, the few are carrying the many,
fairness issue that is bothering some special interest groups is
few should assume even more of the burden.
about the distribution of wealth?
Much has been made recently about the concentration of wealth in the
the few. Again, the facts are informative. From 1920
the share of wealth held by the top 1% of the population peaked in 1929
44%. That share then fell steadily to a low of 20% in
1976. The share increased gradually and peaked at 39%
before falling off again to 35% in 2007. While
not readily available about what taxes the wealthy pay, it does seem
wealthy are not in a significantly different position today than they
the 1920s and in the mid-1960s. Indeed, the distribution of
holdings has varied significantly over time but hasn’t steadily
some might have guessed.
line from this more in-depth
exploration of the data shows that looking at either the wealth
the distribution of income taxes paid relative to income earned doesn’t
indicate that the wealthy are either significantly better off than they
long time ago or that they are paying disproportionately less in taxes
to income earned. What this implies for the debt discussion is
focusing on the distributional dimensions of the revenue side of the
issue is a second-order problem. It is a diversion of attention
critical issues of establishing criteria for determining the
of government and bringing government spending down more in line with
this backdrop, it is appropriate to take
both Republicans and Democrats to task for their conduct in dealing
current debt crises and how they have chosen to frame the issues.
present debt extension agreement makes only token cuts and punts on the
critical issue, which is the projected unconstrained growth in
spending. It leaves all the hard decisions for the future and
makes a trivial
dent in the yearly federal deficit, while continuing to add to
mind that the number being thrown around
as the cut in the deficit represents only the incremental effects that
of the “promised” spending reductions (over the next 10 years) would
the need to issue additional government debt. The cuts hardly
the new debt issuance needs will be and they are far from eliminating
yearly deficits. The numbers also don’t include the present value
those cuts and hence ignore the time value of money and the fact that a
of cuts today is worth more than a dollar of cuts in the future.
Furthermore, most of the so-called cuts are only “promises” (and those
are dependent upon the ability to deliver future spending cuts).
Truth-in-government would say that the Congress should come clean and
what the estimated cumulative total of the remaining yearly deficits
and what the likely need will be for increases in the debt ceiling in
future. The requests for increases won’t be long in coming, and
horizon for addressing the key issues will arrive long after this and
debt-ceiling crisis. On net, both sides settled for an agreement
does little to address the key problems, though it may preserve some
during the upcoming election season. This is short-termism at its
castigated Congress in general, let’s
focus next on the Republicans. Due to Tea Party influence, a line
drawn in the sand concerning cuts in spending and raising taxes as a
partially address the mismatch between spending and revenues. This is
and good, but they played Russian roulette with domestic and
financial markets. In the end they took the easy way out by
small cuts in domestic spending, whereas the real problems lie with
entitlements, namely Social Security and healthcare spending. In
the Republicans got relatively little of substance for the taxpayer,
highly-valued political ammunition to use in the coming election when
with the risks their actions posed for the country.
As for the
Democrats, their objective was to
grow the budget and fund its increase with more taxes, thus avoiding
to address either the entitlements issues or the rationale for
pet spending initiatives. Theirs was a cake-and-eat-it approach.
the group that deserves the most
criticism is the recipients of entitlements, and in particular
Medicaid, and Social Security. These are mainly the elderly and,
totally transparent, that group includes me and some of my Cumberland
colleagues. To be sure, we relied upon payments promised to us by
legislators long departed, who didn’t put in place the necessary
deliver on those promises. We relied upon the promises and
many warnings we failed in many cases to provide sufficiently for our
retirement and healthcare needs.
predecessors created a Ponzi scheme that
would make Bernie Madoff proud. They pledged tax revenues to be
from future generations under the assumption that the population would
to grow and that more people would always be available to fund the
programs. This is just like assuming that housing prices will
up, and we know what that is costing us. Now, however, the pool
taxpayers is smaller than the present one, and the burdens they must
proportionately greater. In short, this is “taxation without
recipients claim they have paid into
the plan, which they have. But their payments were not
prefunded their own retirements or their need for medical services.
Rather they were part of a pay-as-you-go scheme. Their tax
were given to those who already retired or had medical needs.
present generation of retirement age also refuses to recognize this
which is on track to absorb the whole of projected government revenues
some. Instead we seek to do what our parents did by passing on an
more burdensome set of obligations to our children and grandchildren.
isn’t “taxation without representation”
then I don’t know what is. We are making commitments today for
will have to pay but who do not have a say in what those burdens
only does this go against the grain of the sentiments that helped to
the American Revolution, it is also naïve to think that future
continue to honor promises made by past generations. What makes
believe they won’t simply decide to renege on the promises we have
them when the choice might be whether or not to put food on the table
continue to grow government and
transfer payments forever, and the time to address those issues is now,
they are still manageable. Nor can we avoid the problem by
discretionary spending, as is the approach in the current deficit
the course taken by the leaders
of both parties and the administration fails on all counts. They have
on the risky path of financial fragility rather than stability. A
downgrade might be the needed wake-up call for the country, our
its senior citizens.
Eisenbeis, Chief Monetary Economist
SUNDAY, August 7, 2011
Please see my Rapid Response offering
for July 5, 2011, and many other related comments in recent
we no longer have a strategic national interest in that "graveyard of
empires", we should get out - Now. If we do, that
interest should be clearly articulated to the American people and to
fighting and dying there, and we should fight an unlimited war to
Taliban and any supporters by all means at our disposal, including the
and permanent destruction of the opium crop and the overthrow of the
government. The choice of the Afghan people would be a democratic
Muslim nation under a guaranteed decades-long American
death. The nations surrounding that strategic region could accept
reality on the ground...or could themselves be targets of any number of
American reactions. By contrast, it would be obscene to the
Afghan peoples for this country to continue in the same current
direction. President Obama, this is your Vietnam. Don't
Stand There, Do Something!"...and do it right this time.
A vital reference in this decision is a book by Elizabeth Gould and
Fitzgerald entitled "Crossing Zero: The Afpak War At the Turning
Of Americn Empire" (Open Media Series, City Lights Books, San
Francisco, Ca., 2011).
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, August 5 and
America's political system barely works any more, having been captured
ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum and clearly for sale
highest bidder. We need a Federal Constitutional Convention to
this, a difficult process which will be resisted by the same "leaders"
who got us here.
Meanwhile, we citizens still do have the vote, still used by only 60 -
the electorate even in Federal elections...a disgrace for the "greatest
democracy in the world". Regarding Democrats, too many of them
entrenched in a view of the country that never really worked and that
certainly no longer afford. They are un-educable. Regarding
Republicans, the best I can do is to refer the reader to my comments
the day following the November 2010 election (see Rapid Response for
November 3, 2010, posted on this site). The 2012 election is for
Republicans to lose if they don't reconcile. The result is, of
the hands of the Independents...who are clearly paying attention while
through the mounds of bills on their kitchen tables.
THURSDAY, August 4, 2011
IS THE FIRST
OFFERING ON A NEW TOPIC, "AMERICA THE DISABLED", WHICH WILL BE
FOLLOWED BY MANY MORE DURING THE NEXT 15 MONTHS LEADING TO THE MOST
FEDERAL ELECTIONS IN THE LAST 20 YEARS. THE FORMAT WILL BE DIAGNOSIS
AND PRESCRIBED TREATMENT.
following articles, written by Patrick Michaels for Forbes magazine,
represent one indication of why important segments of American
manufacturing can't - or won't - compete in the new world market.
if physicians, armed with antibiotics, were still insisting on bleeding
THE REST OF THE STORY…. This is
short and real eye opening. Read it and weep….
THIS LITTLE CAR COSTS OVER $42,000. It’s not cheap to go green,
but that isn’t the half of it.
Patrick Michaels is a senior fellow in Environmental Studies at the
Cato Institute and the editor of the forthcoming Climate Coup: Global
Warming's invasion of our Government and our Lives.
His Forbes column on the Chevy Volt is a case study in the nexus
between big government corruption and big business rent-seeking.
Michaels briefly recaps the well-known consumer fraud in which GM has
touted the Volt as an all-electric mass production vehicle on the
supposed basis of which its sales receive a $7,500 taxpayer subsidy,
which still renders it overpriced and unmarketable.
Michaels notes that "sales are anemic: 326 in December, 321 in January,
and 281 in February." There seems to be a trend here.
Michaels adds that GM has announced a production run of 100, 000 in the
first two years and asks what appears to be a rhetorical question "Who
is going to buy all these cars?"
But wait! Keep hope alive! There is a positive answer to the question.
Jeffrey Immelt's GE will buy a boatload of those uneconomic GM cars.
Here the case study opens onto the inevitable political angle:
Recently, President Obama selected General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt
to chair his Economic Advisory Board.
GE is also awash in windmills waiting to be subsidized so they can
provide unreliable, expensive power.
Consequently, and soon after his appointment, Immelt announced that GE
will buy 50,000 Volts in the next two years, or half the total produced.
Assuming the corporation qualifies for the same tax credit, we (you and
I) just shelled out $375,000,000 to a company to buy cars that no one
else wants, so that GM will not tank and produce even more cars that no
And this guy is the chair of Obama's Economic Advisory Board? But of
course! Michaels includes this hilarious detail in his case
study: In a telling attempt to preserve battery power, the
heater is exceedingly weak. Consumer Reports said their tests averaged
a paltry 25 miles of electric-only running, in part because it was
testing in cold Connecticut.
The [GM] engineer at the Auto Show said cold weather would have little
effect. It will be interesting to see what the range is on a hot,
traffic-jammed summer day, when the air conditioner will really tax the
batteries. When the gas engine came on, Consumer Reports got about 30
miles to the gallon of premium fuel; which, in terms of additional cost
of high-test gas, drives the effective mileage closer to 27 mpg. A
conventional Honda Accord, which seats 5 (instead of the Volt's 4),
gets 34 mpg on the highway, and costs less than half of what CR paid,
even with the tax break.
The story of the GM Volt deserves a place in the Harvard Business
School curriculum... but of course, it won't. It's a classic tale of
the GOVERNMENT deciding what the public needs, not the marketplace.
PS: What is one of the reasons for this? Why... to keep the UAW in
business, because Obama owes them for his election.
Starting to make sense yet? Now do you understand the corruption
of the big government – big business partnership?
And guess who pays for all this corruption?
- - - - - - - - - -
Chevrolet: Where Federal Subsidies Run Deep
Mar. 31 2011 - 3:45 pm
The Chevrolet Volt sure is innovative. It’s Motor Trend’s “car of the
year.” But whether it will be successful is another story. If
it’s so great, why can’t it roll on its own four wheels without a shove
from us taxpayers?
The Volt has managed the nifty trick of being produced, in part, by the
government and being subsidized by the government at the same time – a
riff straight out of Atlas Shrugged. That’s Ayn Rand’s allegorical tale
about how metastasizing government destroys society (which will appear
as an amusing indie film on — yes — April 15).
Buy a Volt and you get to take $7,500 off of your federal tax
liability. Obviously this money doesn’t go directly to the government
or to General Motors’ new stockholders (or should we say
“riskholders”?), but it does make the $41,000+ sticker a bit less
Apparently that’s not enough. Instead of the tax credit (for which not
all buyers can qualify), Washington has upped the ante, now wanting
$7,500 cash for every purchaser. That’s in President Obama’s proposed
budget, and in legislation being circulated by Senator Debbie Stabenow
(D-Mich.). Just last week, Vice President Joe Biden sang the
praises of this subsidy at an Indiana battery plant, noting that it
would work like the “cash-for-clunkers” program. Remember that
one, where you were awarded approximately $4,000 for having your
perfectly serviceable used car summarily executed?
According to GM, the Volt is in great demand. It spends, on average,
less than two weeks on the dealer lot — the lowest dwell time of all GM
models. But only 281 cars were sold last month; quick sales are what
happen when supply is restricted.
What is holding GM back? It might be the weather. Debuting any car that
relies even partially on electric propulsion at the beginning of winter
isn’t a good idea. Optimal performance is when it is neither too
cold (the heater is a big draw off the batteries) or too hot (ditto for
a/c). With few exceptions deliveries have been made where the
weather is “springtime for GM in America.”
The cynic in me thinks that GM was very leery of introducing the Volt
in large numbers where it is cold. When the battery is depleted
(or when driven at very high speeds), the premium-gas internal
combustion engine powers the car, but its fuel mileage suffers from
having to shove around 400lbs of batteries.
In fact, the distribution map of Volt deliveries makes it seem like GM
consulted with some long-range weather forecasters, many of whom,
months ago, predicted that the upcoming winter in the eastern U.S.
would be both cold and interminable. Unfortunately, they were right.
As a result of the Volt’s scarcity, some dealers have been tacking on
hefty surcharges. Consumer Reports, which is probably pretty good
at haggling, paid $5,000 over the sticker. A dealer writing on
the car site Edmunds.com claims to be marking them up $20,000. An
unscientific sample of Volt owners indicates that nearly a quarter paid
$10,000 or more above the sticker.
So much for the subsidy winding up in the buyer’s pocket. Isn’t
it odd that the average dealer markup may be just about equal to the
subsidy? The tax credit or direct subsidy will make the Volt much more
attractive when the supply doesn’t support the surcharge.
But will this vehicle ever sell in volume? Any way you look at it, the
Volt is a niche car that is not likely to sell well. As GM has
written to me, their “customer is looking for technology that fits
their lifestyle of daily commuting, wants the latest in automotive
technology, and wants to decrease their dependence on gasoline.”
Translation: Volt buyers are likely to use the car primarily in
short-distance commutes, are “early adopters” of new technologies
(i.e. affluent), and, given that there are other cars out there that
probably will get just as good fuel economy when driven under diverse
conditions, our customers want to show off how virtuous they are.
You can buy two 41-mpg Honda Insights, loaded, for $39,800. The Insight
will (uncomfortably) carry 5, one more passenger than the Volt’s
battery pack will allow.
But, wait, we’re talking about the “car of the year” here. That alone
should make anyone ask why it needs a subsidy.
Beware. Motor Trend has a history of bestowing this prize on
path-breaking vehicles that have yet to be tested by real drivers in a
The 1971 Chevrolet Vega won this award. It now holds second place in
Car Talk’s “worst car of the millennium” competition. I
agree. Mine rusted before my very eyes and when I got rid of it,
four fenders and two engines later, the green monster was getting 50mpq
(that’s miles per quart of 40-weight oil).
In 1976 it was the Dodge Aspen. It’s in seventh place on Car Talk. My
parents’ Aspen was the only vehicle in which I have ever become carsick
And then there was the 1980 Chevrolet Citation: according to
Forbes.com, the fifth worst car ever made.
So why should we subsidize the Volt? If they are so in demand
that dealers can charge thousands over the sticker price and still they
are flying off the lots, just build the cars and they will come.
There’s no need for GM and our modern corporatist state to prove Ayn
Rand correct. Enjoy the show and hope that it remains fiction rather
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, August 1
through 3, 2011
recent months saw a contentious debate
between conservatives and far left liberals over the role of Federal
and the future health of this nation. It
was sharp and divisive because it had to be…and because this debate
happened twenty years ago – right after the collapse of the Soviet
the end of the Cold War. It was then
that our national priorities should have been re-set, as they had been
the end of WW ll. Instead, the worst
elements of our free enterprise system took hold (read “greed”), where
Street became LasVegas, where unbridled “consumerism” became the
(something Vladimir Putin recently termed “a parasite on the world”
justification)…leading to today’s problems even if 9/11 and the
had not occurred. What we have now goes
deeper than the fairly accurate analysis that follows from the
Post (below). Rather, it should be
seen as a Constitutional Crisis that can only be dealt with by means of
Constitutional Convention designed to re-work our method of electing
Federal representatives…allowing much less power for money effectively
elections, as is now the case.
Meanwhile, what has emerged from Washington in recent days - as one legislator put it – is not a
solution, but a deal. The solution is
appropriately in the hands of the American electorate in November,
clear choice between limited and responsible government proposed by
and Republicans…and ever-expanding and irresponsible government as
far left liberals and Democrats. Yes, “it’s
the Economy, stupid”. But the
present and future state of our economy is and will be directly tied to
outcome of this choice for decades to come…and perhaps permanently for
future of America.
The debt ceiling fight: What we learned
By Chris Cillizza | The Washington Post – Mon, Aug 1, 2011.
Assuming leaders in the House and Senate can wrangle majority
support for the debt ceiling deal they cut with the White House on
Sunday, it appears as though the debate that has consumed Congress —
and the political class — for the better part of this year is, finally,
Looking back, there are several lessons to be learned for
both parties going forward. A few of those lessons are below. If you’ve
got lessons learned of your own, use the comments section to offer
* Home field advantage matters: The turf on which any battle
or game is being fought matters. It’s true in war, sports and politics.
The debt ceiling debate proved that once again as Republicans took
advantage of the fact that on matters of spending, debt and the size of
government there is an innate sense among the electorate that the GOP
is better equipped to make the right decisions. Republicans knew from
the start that they started from a position of relative strength
because of those general perceptions and, as a result, were willing to
push harder and stick closer to their original negotiating position.
* Mismatched stakes = mismatched result s: Democrats feared
default far more than Republicans did. Democratic Members of Congress,
almost to a person, saw default as the first step of an international
econonomic catastrophe with wide-ranging consequences for the country.
There was a significant faction of congressional Republicans who, well,
didn’t. Republicans knew that Democrats wouldn’t ultimately accept
default as an outcome while Democrats couldn’t say the same of
Republicans. The stakes of the debt ceiling fight were decidedly
mismatched, a fact that virtually ensured that the final deal would be
more slanted to the GOP.
* Presidents are pragmatists: The idea that Obama wouldn’t
ultimately cut some sort of deal was a misread of the role of the
presidency when it comes to these sort of high-profile showdowns. Nine
times out of ten, a president will choose the pragmatic rather than the
ideological approach when the pressure is on. Why? Because the baseline
expectation that most people (read: voters) have of the chief executive
is to keep the trains running on time. Failure to do so carries huge
political risks. On the rare occasion that a president picks up his
ball and goes home — Bill Clinton during the 1995/1996 government
shutdown — it’s because they see a direct path toward political victory
in doing so. That wasn’t the case here and so Obama took the pragmatic
* Nancy Pelosi=relevant: Talk that Pelosi was largely
irrelevant in the debt ceiling fight misses the mark in one significant
way. She was able to keep her Democratic caucus entirely unified
against House Speaker John Boehner’s compromise bill on the debt
ceiling, forcing him to first postpone a vote and then cobble together
a majority by adding conservative candy that made the bill even less
palatable as a middle ground. Then Pelosi made another power play, this
one with the White House as she refused to say on Sunday whether or not
she could deliver the necessary Democratic votes for the compromise.
* Kicking the can (still) works: While Obama and
congressional leaders will undoubtedly tout their willingness to
address the nation’s debt problems in a serious way once (if?) this
compromise deal goes through the House and Senate, it’s clear with the
creation of the super committee that they have kicked some of the
toughest — and least politically popular — decisions down the road.
Cutting Medicare and defense spending, if it ultimately comes to that,
less than a year before the 2012 election will be a true “face the
music” moment. Will Congress and the White House blink?
* This is the beginning, not the end: What the debt ceiling
fight amounted to was the first major skirmish of the 2012 election.
It’s now obvious just how differently the two parties see the way
forward when it comes to healing the economy. That’s a good thing for
voters since the choice in 2012 will be crystal clear. How big should
the government be? What should it do/not do? What’s the best way to
kickstart the economy? The two parties have markedly different answers
to each of those questions, answers that were fleshed out to some
degree during the debt ceiling debate. The work of the next 15 months
for the two parties will be to further explain to voters where they
stand and why they’re right.
(c) Copyright 1999-2017, Allergy Associates of New London, PC