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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
PL Booth, Contributing Author: It makes no rational sense. Even as Gaza was blowing up all around it, Hamas fired rocket after rocket in the general direction of Israel, no matter how many hit or missed or went completely astray, even falling inside Gaza itself -- as many did. The rain of rockets, after kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers, led to the latest renewal of hostilities. Like the assinine Arab-Israeli conflict in general, this round of killings seems endless, the third time the Israelis entered Gaza to stop rockets from killing Israelis in the past decade. The latest 72-hour truce didn't last even 24 before Hamas broke it with more rockets.
Our incurably stupid secretary of state, JF Kerry, may be catching on at last. He issued a statement blistering Hamas for its latest outrage -- but didn't mention its Turkish, Qatari, and Iranian sponsors. He's still too stupid to distinguish the bad guys from the good in this latest crisis.
Even if another truce is cobbled together, it's likely to prove merely temporary. Hamas lives in a bloody world of its own making. The more Hamas and Gaza is hammered, the more insistent Hamas' claims of victory grow in the midst of its defeat. Guess it has to convince itself it's winning. No one else would be fool enough to believe such considering the available evidence, namely Gaza in ruins and Hamas that can't get its story straight. Oh wait; I forgot - Democrats!
Hamas rejected several offers of cease-fires. How many did the Israelis sign on to before this latest one was accepted -- four, five, counting temporary truces for humanitarian reasons? When Hamas finally accepted a temporary, 72-hour truce, it promptly violated it. Welcome to the Middle East, Mr. Secretary.
At one point Hamas did announce some war aims. For example, Hamas demanded an end to Israeli blockades of its coast and the checkpoints Israel and Egypt set up on Gaza's borders. That way, Hamas could still import still rockets without hindrance, not to mention other weapons.
Never mind that truckloads of essential supplies, like food and medicine, daily entered Gaza from Israel during its "occupation," which Israel formally ended when it left Gaza in 2005. Israel is reaping the bloody consequences being more engaged than ever after what was to be its "disengagement."
Lest we forget, the Israelis did agree to ease restrictions on what goods might enter Gaza -- like cement. Hamas argued that such supplies were needed to rebuild Gaza's economy and let its people have a normal life. And so, after considerable coaxing, Israel agreed. Only now, after Israeli troops began to destroy Hamas' vast network of tunnels into Israel, has it become clear where all those tons of cement went -- into an underground metropolis of tunnels complete with overhead lighting, telephone lines, rail lines and even holding cells for hostages Hamas fighters might take in the course of raids on Israeli towns and villages. Cells equipped with manacles and shackles to make sure hostages don't escape. One such tunnel even had an exit conveniently close to an Israeli kindergarten.
Nice people, these Arabs of Hamas. Think of all the schools, hospitals, highways and houses that cement could have been used to build in Gaza instead of this elaborate, multimillion-dollar network with no purpose other than to infiltrate Israel and kill Jews.
Now the tunnels have been exposed and Gaza is being systematically reduced to a smoking ruin, what is Hamas' strategy? None. Fanaticism doesn't need strategy nor reason for violence, however self-destructive. For ARABS violence is their reason for being. There's no method to the madness nor any more reason to kill than any other plague has.
Hamas' diplomatic strategy has alienated every ally one after another, aligning itself with every cause in Arabdom that has failed. Hamas' headquarters used to be in Damascus and its host the equally ruthless Bashar al-Assad, son of a long line of Arab tyrants. Hamas bet on his fall, and lost. And now it's been expelled.
After being booted out of Syria, and ioffending Syria's great patron, the theocracy of Iran, Hamas next played its cards every way but right in Egypt where it fell from power as its branch of the Muslim Brotherhood did. After the military coup there, its allies were locked up by the scores in Cairo.
Now Hamas is running out of Arab powers to offend, having long ago alienated Saudi Arabia and associated little oildoms like the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait though Qatar is still a sponsor, and maybe the USA. Turkey is re-entering an Islamist phase being revived under a demagogue and dictator who may yet return Turkey to the dark ages which is where Hamas still resides.
The USA should have no interests in Hamas, Gaza, nor any other Arab terrorist group, yet we continue to pour millions of dollars into their sand. Obama and the democrats are going to have hell to pay and the USA should not have to pay that price.
------------------ PL Booth is a conservative writer and blogs at The Blue Eye View. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Arabs, Hamas, jihad, Israel, democrats, stupidity, death, terrorists, PL Booth, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Congress Needs an Exit Interview with General Flynn
by Newt Gingrich: Outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, gave an extraordinary exit interview last week with James Kitfield of the publication Breaking Defense.
The interview revealed assessments about the dangers facing the United States that are so unlike what we hear from President Obama or his national security team that relevant Congressional committees should conduct their own exit interview in public hearings with General Flynn when they return from the August recess.
For example, General Flynn says plainly the United States is not safer today than it was before 9/11:[I]n 2004, there were 21 total Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 18 countries. Today, there are 41 Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 24 countries. A lot of these groups have the intention to attack Western interests, to include Western embassies and in some cases Western countries. Some have both the intention and some capability to attack the United States homeland…
We know they [Islamic terrorists in Syria] are trying to get their hands on chemical weapons and use what they already have to create a chemical weapons capability. Remember anthrax was used in 2001 [killing five people] and pretty much paralyzed Capitol Hill. If that anthrax had been dispersed more efficiently, it could have killed a quarter million people.General Flynn describes an increasingly dangerous and chaotic world in which the American withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan does not end the danger to America:[W]hat I see each day is the most uncertain, chaotic and confused international environment that I’ve witnessed in my entire [33 year] career. There were probably more dangerous times such as when the Nazis and [Japanese] Imperialists were trying to dominate the world, but we’re in another very dangerous era. We rightfully talk about the last decade being the longest war in American history, for instance, but when we pull combat troops out of Afghanistan at the end of this year, it’s not going to feel like that war is over. To me, it feels like we’ll be facing a familiar threat and heightened uncertainty for a long time yet.General Flynn defines “core al-Qaeda” much differently than the Obama administration, emphasizing that core al-Qaeda is its ideological belief of perpetual jihad rather than its terrorists leaders:[T]he core ideology and belief system [of al-Qaeda] is spreading, not shrinking. Look at the unbelievably violent videos [of beheadings, executions and the destruction of religious places] coming out of Iraq just in recent days. I’ve physically interrogated some of these guys, and I’ve had the opportunity to hear them talking about their organizations and beliefs. These are people who have a very deeply-rooted belief system that is just difficult for Americans to comprehend.In contrast, President Obama and his team consistently repeat that core al-Qaeda is “on a path to defeat”.
In June 2011, President Obama proclaimed that the “tide of war is receding” and has based his foreign policy on that conclusion.
In that same month, President Obama’s adviser for Homeland Security (and current CIA Director) John Brennan described America’s counter terrorism strategy in these terms:Our strategy is…shaped by a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics,” Brennan claimed. “I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.Three years later, the al-Qaeda vision of a violent caliphate that Brennan dismissed as a feckless delusion was declared, not by al-Qaeda, but by the barbaric Islamic State of Levant, which is claiming authority over an area the size of Great Britain.
When asked whether he ever felt like a “lone voice in the administration warning that the terrorist threat was growing, not receding,” General Flynn responded that “when asked if the terrorists were on the run, we couldn’t respond with any answer but ‘no.’ When asked if the terrorists were defeated, we had to say ‘no.’ Anyone who answers ‘yes’ to either of those questions either doesn’t know what they are talking about, they are misinformed, or they are flat out lying.”
General Flynn has served his country for 33 years. Prior to leading the DIA, he served as intelligence chief for Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and Afghanistan. He probably knows the threats facing the United States better than almost anybody else in the Obama administration.
His description of the threats facing America is starkly different from what the American people are hearing from their elected leaders. That may explain why he was apparently forced out as DIA director and into retirement one year earlier than planned.
America needs a new strategy for global affairs. But as long as our leaders refuse to understand the emerging world as it is, not as how they want it to be, we will be stuck with a floundering foreign policy of wishful thinking. Congress can help meet this challenge by inviting General Flynn to expand on his candid thoughts in Congressional testimony about the threats we are facing and how we can keep America safe. After his 33 years of service, the American people would do well to hear his exit interview.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via an email from his Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, Congress, exit Interview, General FlynnTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges,
Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush,
Alexander Skarsgard, and Taylor Swift.
Most student in the past decade has read The Giver. For some, reading the book was just another assignment. For others, once they began reading, they couldn’t put it down. The Giver is about a young man named Jonas who lives in a future dystopian America where “Sameness” is the law and emotions have been eradicated. Jonas has been given the daunting task of taking on all the memories from the past and while doing so, begins to see through the veil of “Sameness”. Not only does he begin to feel, he begins to see that there is a need for a rebellion against the State.
A few reviews:
"The Giver will go down as one of the turning points in our ongoing efforts to protect the most vulnerable in our society. This movie beautifully articulates the dignity of the gift of life. Our pro-life generation has grown up reading The Giver; now we have the chance to experience it and share its inspiring themes with our friends and families. It’s my hope that The Giver inspires this generation to take a courageous stand like Jonas." ~ Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life of America
"The Giver is as thought-provoking as it is inspiring. It gently prods us to think anew about life, freedom, and what kind of society would really meet our heart's desire." ~ Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Former United States Ambassador to the Holy See
"The Giver is a powerful, provocative and thought-provoking movie that provides a beautiful message about the power of love and the unique value of every human life. This beautiful depiction of the enduring nature of human dignity inspired me. This is the don't-miss-it movie of the summer." ~ Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO, Americans United for Life
"No movie, in my memory, involves a more explicit depiction of infanticide, conducted at the Nurturing Center by Jonas's father with a horrifying cheerfulness. 'They hadn't eliminated murder,' Jonas realizes, 'they had brought it home. They had just called it by a different name.'" ~ Michael Gerson, The Washington Post
In practice, the push for “equal rights” becomes “equal outcomes,” as with the class-war “99 percent” movement and failed war on poverty‘s efforts to redistribute wealth. Personal choice is regulated in the name of “global warming”, national identity is undermined, and race is being exploited in the name of equality. It’s not hard to see why in this idealized world, you can’t see color-everything is torn down to sameness in the name of “equality.” This egalitarian message demonstrates the exact kind of thinking that would lead to the creation of a community like in The Giver. When a society pushes for everything to be the same, people lose their power of will and choice. The liberal fantasy world where the government has the power to equalize everyone is also the fantasy world where government has the power to remove all choice." ~ By Brad Tidwell, Americans for Limited Government
That’s an 11.4 percent increase over the previous year’s total of 866 million barrels.
“A new oil field and 170 extensions in 2012 also buoyed oil production,” wrote the editors at 24/7 Wall St., who based their survey on numbers compiled at the end of 2012 by the International Energy Agency.
In last year’s report, New Mexico slipped from No. 5 to No. 6, but the oil boom in the Permian Basin, which extends from West Texas into eastern New Mexico, put the state back into the fifth-highest spot.
Oklahoma actually saw its oil reserves increase by 55 million barrels in 2012, but it couldn’t keep up with the increase New Mexico made.
Here’s a look at the Top 10:
North Dakota made the biggest gain over last year’s numbers, leaping past California and Alaska to take over the No. 2 spot. North Dakota is home to the Bakken shale formation, which has proved to be one of the world’s most productive oil fields due in large part to advances in hydraulic fracturing.
“This is all technology driven,” Steffens said of the boom in the Permian. “It’s all horizontal drilling that’s doing it. That and tight (geological) formations.”
Overall, U.S. states turned in a banner year, combining to amass more than 30.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, up 15 percent from the end of 2011.
“As new technologies make oil easier and more affordable to extract, the United States is poised to become the world’s leading oil producer as soon as 2015,” 24/7 Wall St. said.
------------------- Rob Nikolewski is a reporter for Watchdog.org, a national network of investigative reporters covering waste, fraud and abuse in government. Watchdog.org is a project of the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski Tags:Oil Reserves, oil production, top ten states, Permian basin, Delaware basin, Bakken shale, New MexicoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Rhetoric vs. Reality | Frustration and Immigration
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Rhetoric vs. Reality - Late yesterday the Pentagon announced that observers on the ground determined that the crisis on Mt. Sinjar had eased, making a planned rescue operation "far less likely." (I wish I could say the same about America under Obama. Somebody please rescue us!)
Obama went on TV a few hours ago to pat himself on the back for easing the crisis. But a more accurate description would be that the crisis has simply moved. As the increasing ranks of homeless Iraqis and crucified Christians attest, the crisis posed by Islamic State jihadists is far from over.
President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are increasing their rhetoric regarding the nature of ISIS. For example, Kerry recently said that actions by ISIS "pose a severe threat to the United States" and "bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide."
Speaking at Camp Pendleton Tuesday, Hagel said that the Islamic State terrorists were "some of the most brutal, barbaric forces we've ever seen." And they are recruiting all over the world.
This picture of a former British rapper posing with a severed head is making headlines in England. As many as 900 people from France are reportedly waging jihad with ISIS. They have western passports and could easily return to wage jihad in their home countries, including the United States.
But even the Washington Post was forced to admit that Obama's policies in no way reflect the reality of this severe, brutal, barbaric, genocidal threat. Consider this excerpt:"Senior U.S. officials describe the threat posed by the Islamic State in chilling terms, but they have mounted a decidedly modest military campaign to check its advance through northern Iraq. … So far, though, the Obama administration's response to the group's blitzkrieg … has been defined primarily by the limits it has placed on the U.S. military's intervention."The article goes on to describe a "disconnect between the unnerving assessments of the Islamic State and the apparent lack of urgency in confronting it," noting that the Obama Administration has "no clear military strategy for reversing the group's recent territorial gains."
Frustration And Immigration Top Voter Concerns - Yesterday, Gallupreleased a poll finding that "dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians" topped the list of voters' most pressing concerns. Number two on that list was "immigration/illegal aliens." Those two issues can be reasonably combined.
The government is supposed to protect our borders. But when thousands of men, women and children are streaming across our borders every day, the government is clearly failing in its primary obligation to protect its borders and our fellow citizens.
And what is the response from Washington? We have a president who has repeatedly disregarded the law. He has encouraged the problem of illegal immigration by granting amnesty to some illegal immigrants.
The Washington Times reports that the Obama Administration broke the law by releasing hundreds of criminal illegal immigrants into communities all over the country. No wonder people are frustrated with government!
By the way, the Obama Administration is warning more than 300,000 Obamacare enrollees that they may lose coverage if they can't provide proof of citizenship. Remind me again why it is illegal and bigoted to ask people to provide proof of citizenship when they vote?
Any day now Obama is expected to order another massive amnesty by executive decree. That is not what the American people want. Last week, CBS News reported that just 31% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of immigration.
As Republicans read the polls and sense the growing anger, they are running ads on immigration and making Obama's allies feel the heat. Politico reports today that "there's palpable fear that Obama could cause trouble for the Senate's most vulnerable Democrats if he decides to circumvent Congress before the elections."
If Republicans are looking to turn up the heat, a new Rasmussen poll finds that "83% of Americans believe English should be the official language of the United States. Only 10% disagree." Put that up for a vote in Congress and watch Democrats squirm!
But far more important than just this election is the damage such a move would do to our constitutional republic. Even some liberals are acknowledging that it would be a terrible precedent. In a column entitled, "Obama's Immigration Plan Should Scare Liberals, Too," Jonathan Chait writes:"What if a Republican president announced that he would stop enforcing the payment of estate taxes? Or suspend enforcement of regulations on industrial pollution? …
"To think that the cycle [of unilateralism] will end here, and that a future president won't claim more expansive and disturbing powers to selectively enforce the law, requires an optimism not borne out by history. In the short run, we will rejoice... In the long run, we may look back on it with regret."------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:rhetoric, reality, frustration, immigration, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: A couple of weeks ago an article addressed San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer finally finding another donor to join his Super PAC committed to steeply higher energy taxes. It was none other than Herb Sandler, a San Francisco subprime mortgage lender with an even seedier past than Steyer's own.
What we couldn't have predicted is that the first thing the pair would team up to do was fund an over-the-top, blatantly false attack ad portraying two fictional out-of-state billionaires accusing Republican Joni Ernst, falsely, of supporting companies that move jobs overseas.
That's right. Steyer's hedge fund billions -- earned overseas specifically to avoid U.S. taxes -- and Sandler's ill-gotten fortune from the toxic subprime mortgages that helped destroy the U.S. economy are flooding Iowa to prop up Bruce Braley by portraying fictional billionaires buying an election.
In the new ad titled, “America’s Biggest Hypocrites,” the narrator begins by highlighting a false political ad running across Iowa in support of Rep. Bruce Braley: “You’ve probably seen this ad showing fictional out-of-state billionaires spending millions in Iowa politics.”
The ad continues: “Not only is the ad false. It’s actually funded by two real out-of-state billionaires spending millions—to support Bruce Braley.”
“Billionaire Tom Steyer made his fortune running hedge funds overseas to avoid U.S. taxes—but backs Braley raising taxes on hardworking Iowans.”
“Steyer got rich off cheap foreign coal, but supports Braley shutting down access to affordable American energy.”
“The other funder is billionaire Herb Sandler, whose toxic subprime mortgages were called the ‘Typhoid Mary’ of the housing crisis.”
“Now Sandler and Steyer are pouring millions from their overseas hedge funds and toxic mortgages into Iowa.”
The ad concludes: “Tell Bruce Braley to stand up to the REAL out-of-state billionaire hypocrites and reject their job-crushing, tax-hiking agenda.”
------------------ Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:America's Biggest Hypocrites, Tom Steyer, Herb Sandler, overseas money, Iowa race, Bruce Bailey, video, ad, American Commitment, Phil KerpenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:zero fiddles, President Obama, world crisis, America in decline, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Well, we now have another black riot to put in the books. This one, like the others, involve the death of a black American by a white police officer, but buried in the stories about the Ferguson, Missouri riot is the fact that there was an altercation between Michael Brown and the officer who shot him after having sustained an injury.
The response of some members of the black community in Ferguson was to vandalize and loot stores on Sunday night victimizing the owners of those stores, some of whom avoided it by standing fully armed in front of their place of business. Since then the rioting has continued through Wednesday, inflamed by the predictable presence of Al Sharpton who is famed for getting on the first plane available to get to the scene of riots and similar incidents.
Keeping blacks convinced of their victimization has a long history and was even commented upon by Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) who, as far back as 1895, called for avoiding confrontations over segregation by putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expanded on this theme by advocating non-violent protest during the 1950s that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
There is no question that blacks in America have had a very sorry history of slavery, segregation, and lynchings, but that was then and this is now. Fifty years past the Civil Rights Act, however, there should be no riots the likes of Ferguson.
Police officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect us have a right to self defense.
Recently, a fellow blogger cited a few of the riots since the days of civil rights protests. In 1989 there was the Overton riot in Miami, Florida, in reaction to the shooting of a black motorcyclist by a Hispanic police officer in that predominantly black community. In 1992, there were the Los Angeles riots in reaction to the acquittal of LAPD officers involved in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.
In 1996 there was a riot in St. Petersburg after a police officer stopped 18 year old Tyron Lewis for speeding and his car lurched forward toward the officer. In 2001 there was a riot in Cincinnati in reaction to the acquittal of Steven Roach after the fatal shooting of an unarmed young black male, Timothy Thomas, during a foot pursuit. And in 2009 there was a riot in Oakland, California, after another fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, by a BART transit policeman.
All of these riots have in common the shooting of a black man by a white or Hispanic officer, presumably in fear for his life, with the exception of the response to the Rodney King beating following a high speed car chase.
Lost amidst these events is the fact that black men are more likely to be murdered by other black men, fully 94 percent of such deaths, despite the fact that blacks are 13 percent of the population. They account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims in America, some 7,000 annually.
Commentator, Juan Williams, in his book “Enough”, wrote “Very few leading black voices in the pulpit or on the political stage are focused on having black people take personal responsibility for the exorbitant amount of crime committed by black people against other black people. Today’s black leaders sing like a choir when they raise their voices against police brutality and the increasing number of black people in jail…but any mention of black American’s responsibility for committing the crimes, big and small, that lead so many to prison is barely mumbled if mentioned at all.”
That puts the latest riots in Ferguson in perspective and is an indictment of men like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and others who have profited from keeping blacks in a mental state of victimization when the real problem of too many in the black community is rooted in a culture of violence and criminality. The statistics do not lie.
Whites who witness such riots since the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and Voting Rights Act in 1965 can be forgiven for concluding that too many in America’s black community have not taken advantage of the rights those laws represent. The good news, generally ignored, is the way many black Americans have focused on the benefits of education and have moved into the middle and upper classes of our population.
These riots do nothing to advance the black community and no doubt are an embarrassment that, regrettably, have occurred too often in the years since America took dramatic steps to reverse the discrimination of the past.
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs" disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:black Americans, victim mentality, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: “Great nations need organizing principles—and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” So said former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with The Atlantic. So, why is she doing stupid things? The Washington Post called her “blunt” criticism of the Obama administration “surprising.”
Well, it’s certainly not surprising to anyone who has followed her career. Don’t forget, she made her debut as a Wellesley College senior. She bluntly told off Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Brooke. Sen. Brooke, a liberal Republican, was the first black man elected to the Senate since Reconstruction. As such, and in recognition of his own massive personal dignity, Sen. Brooke was given deferential treatment by leaders in both political parties. But not by young Hillary Rodham. She sassed him good. Don’t do stupid stuff.
When her husband was running for president in 1992, Hillary made headlines by sneering that “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies.” Instead, she worked as a high-powered attorney for Little Rock’s Rose Law Firm. And when her files from her work there were subpoenaed, she managed to misplace them—for years. And she got away with it. That was how she covered up a record of doing stupid stuff.
President Obama had previously argued for a foreign policy that doesn’t “do stupid things.” He was doubtless referring to George W. Bush’s original invasion of Iraq. President Bush believed — as the whole world believed—that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We knew he had used them against the Kurds.
Bush had to go to the UN and engage in a long-protracted diplomatic run-around in order to muster the support he felt he needed to back his attack on Saddam. That lengthy run-up to war doubtless gave the Beast of Baghdad ample time to transfer his weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
We may have finally located Saddam’s weapons. Couldn’t they have been moved to Damascus?
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad admitted holding poison gas in an extraordinary interview with Fox News team, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Greg Palkot. What he did not say was where Syria got the WMD.
Now, with President Obama’s poll numbers sliding, and especially as his foreign policy doves are coming home to roost, his former chief diplomat is trying to tell Americans that she is not on board with the current direction of U.S. foreign policy. The Post describes her move as her “most forceful effort yet to distance herself from an unpopular administration.”
This attempt to swim away from the wreckage is hardly believable. She was an architect of the policies we now see so obviously failing. She boasts that the “re-set” with Russia was a brilliant stroke.” Talk about stupid stuff!
She thinks what’s wrong with our policy against ISIS or ISIL is that we failed to give adequate and timely support to the Syrian rebels. As a U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq invasion, but then turned about and berated Gen. David Petraeus as he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Gen. Petraeus is widely credited with saving the U.S. from a humiliating defeat in Iraq in 2007.
As Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, she fully supported the pullout from Iraq. And she doubtless knew that vast quantities of U.S. weapons might soon fall into hostile hands. Did she think the “good” Syrian rebels would have fought more bravely against the beheaders of ISIL than the U.S. - armed and trained Iraqis did?
Why should the Post view any of Hillary Clinton’s “blunt” talk as surprising?
We have only to consider this incredibly ugly performance by a U.S. Sec. of State when Libya’s Muammar Khaddafi was lynched by an enraged mob. “We came, we saw, he died,” she is shown cackling in a televised interview. This may be the dumbest of dumb stuff. And her gloating over the death of a notorious thug only foreshadowed our own grief in Libya as she so conspicuously failed to protect our embassy personnel there.
We do not know what was the reaction of President Truman and Sec. of State Stettinius to the shooting death of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on April 29, 1945. Shot along with his mistress and a number of cohorts by Italian partisans, Il Duce’s mutilated body was strung up in a Milan gas station.
We can be grateful that we do not have video of them exulting over a bloody death. As much as the mass murderer Khaddafi richly merited his bloody demise, no one who claims to be a diplomat and to represent this Great Republic to the world should ever put on such a disgusting display. Leave the dumb stuff to Joe Biden.
---------------------- Ken Blackwell is a member of the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Hillary Clinton, speaking, stupid things, President Obama, commentary, Ken BlackwellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:President Obama, activities, world explodes, editorial cartoon, Glen FodenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly: The highly acclaimed school standards called Common Core are becoming so unpopular that they may soon be politically untouchable. The critics are piling on from Glenn Beck to the Wall Street Journal, with senior academics and activist parents in between.
The latest is a detailed criticism of the mathematics standards by a prize-winning math professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Marina Ratner. It is refreshing that her criticisms are very specific and include examples of assignments that parents can see are ridiculous.
Professor Ratner was alerted to the stupidity of Common Core by looking at the homework assigned to her grandson in 6th grade Berkeley middle school. Fractions are taught by having the kids draw pictures of everything such as 6 divided by 8, and 4 divided by 2/7, and also by creating fictional stories for such things as 2/3 divided by 3/4. A student who gives the correct answer right away and doesn’t draw a picture or make up a story loses points.
Ms. Ratner concluded that Common Core is making simple math concepts “artificially intricate and complex with the pretense of being deeper, while the actual content taught was primitive.” The bottom line is that Common Core is inferior to the current good California standards, and the $15.8 billion spent nationally to develop and adopt Common Core was a gigantic waste.
College ready? That’s another deceit. Math experts are saying that Common Core standards are not preparing students for colleges to which most parents aspire to send their children.
The Common Core History Standards have just become available. Real scholars say they are a “stealthy” plan to teach kids a leftwing curriculum.
Scholar Stanley Kurtz says that the new plan for teaching American History is spelled out in the SAT college entrance and Advanced Placement exams. They pitch out “traditional emphasis on America’s founders and the principles of constitutional government” in favor of a leftist “emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity.”
According to Kurtz, “James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the other founders are largely left out of the new test unless they are “presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.” The text of the new AP U.S. History exam has been closely guarded, revealed only to a few certified AP U.S. History teachers who are sworn to secrecy.
Parents who are attentive to their children’s studies and homework have been up in arms against Common Core for many months. Now Common Core has become such a big issue that it’s beginning to bring the politicians into line with what the public is demanding.
Indiana was the first state to show the political power of the anti-Common Core movement. The activist moms defeated a superintendent of education and several legislators on this issue.
Oklahoma made the biggest splash when the state legislature voted to repeal the state’s earlier endorsement of Common Core. The governor signed the repeal, but the unelected state board of education impudently filed suit to nullify the repeal, and then the Oklahoma state supreme court wisely upheld the elected legislature’s repeal.
South Carolina’s Governor signed a bill repealing that state’s commitment to Common Core. North Carolina’s Governor signed a more modest bill authorizing the state school board to tweak the standards.
The state of Texas, under Governor Rick Perry, was smart enough to be one of the five states that never signed on to Common Core in the first place. But now the pressure is on to force Texas to use the new AP U.S. History Exam anyway, and Texans claim that is illegal under state law.
Louisiana was one of the original 45 states that endorsed Common Core before the standards were even written. But one day Governor Bobby Jindal actually read his son’s Common Core math homework, was shocked, and then issued an executive order to block its implementation in Louisiana.
Two more Governors have just seen the light and turned against Common Core. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that he wants the state legislature to repeal the standards when it reconvenes in January, and Governor Gary Herbert of Utah ordered his attorney general to conduct a review of the controversial standards.
Hoping to line up the support of teachers, the Gates Foundation education chief is now urging states to wait two years before using Common Core tests to make decisions about teacher performance.
Like many do-gooders, Bill Gates is obsessed with the problem of inequality. However, Common Core’s way of trying to overcome inequality is by dumbing down all U.S. students and pretending, like the Lake Wobegon kids, that all children are above average.
Reacting to the growing opposition to Common Core, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the biggest money bag for Common Core, is now urging states to have a two-year moratorium on all states and school districts about to make any high-stakes decisions based on tests aligned to the new standards.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Common Core, growing unpopularityTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
By Tom Toth, Contributing Author: Barack Obama has, at long last, discovered why his administration has been an unmitigated public policy failure. Just this week, Obama expounded upon the presently inefficient state of Washington politics in a post-election campaign speech to supporters, musing “Our politics are dysfunctional… societies don’t work if political factions take maximalist positions.”
And correct he is! With a lone pithy sentence Barack Obama uncovered the single reason behind the political breakdown of every single policy initiative pursued by his administration to date. To clarify, Obama’s quote was, unsurprisingly, a direct attack on House Republicans for maintaining the audacity to spare the country an unadulterated onslaught of “maximalist” public policy pushed exclusively by the nation’s political left.
Barack Obama has explicitly scoffed at negotiation and compromise preceding any action on his policy platform, which led — non-coincidentally — to his political impotence. Look at any issue pushed by the administration: healthcare, Wall Street regulations, immigration, environmental regulations, “Cap and Trade,” arbitrarily disengaging with Iraq and Afghanistan, education, the federal budget; at which point, and on what issue, has Obama and his party showed even the most minute willingness to compromise and negotiate across the political aisle? One will struggle to find a coherent answer. Barack Obama has maintained an unwavering commitment to pursue, with near exclusivity, comprehensive policy initiatives that contain virtually nothing supported by anyone, save the base of his own political party.
In the same speech, Obama continued, “And the more diverse the country is, the less it can afford to take maximalist positions.” Again, the President’s diagnosis is correct. To be more specific, the more polarized the country is, the less capable it will be to effectively pursue maximalist positions. Barack Obama entered office with a Congressional supermajority, with which he forced maximalist policies like the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Dodd-Frank through the people’s Congress, expending more political capital from the well of his first political mandate than he had probably anticipated. The consequence was the the “Tea Party” movement and the November 2010 midterm elections which produced a split government, and therefore a change in Obama’s ability to dictate policy decisions.
Since then, the American people have twice elected a Congress incapable of passing the maximalist legislative schemes that defined the first quarter of Obama’s administration. Barack Obama is just yet to deduce that it was, in fact, his own policies that caused the nation to vote for political gridlock in the first place. He’s rightly diagnosed the underlying purpose of Washington’s gridlock, but the man who gave his Presidential victory speech in front of Greek columns — embracing the messianic imagery associated with his candidacy — is now absurdly incapable of recognizing the fact that his political honeymoon with the American people is over.
The American people have twice voted to deny Obama a cooperative, bicameral majority in Congress, effectively killing the electoral mandate the President had on his first 24 months on the job. The President, in response, has petulantly rejected this reality and, rather than pivot toward a new operating relationship with a split Congress, he has transformed his presidency into an uninterrupted campaign trail. This embarrassing attempt to recapture the proverbial lightning of his first campaign in a bottle to rekindle his former political power in Washington has failed miserably.
Republicans, who were elected due to their opposition to Obama’s own “maximalist policies,” were not convinced by Obama’s never-ending campaign, and Obama’s approval with the American people has dropped to the lowest level it’s ever been.
It is increasingly likely that a third political statement will be delivered by the American people as Democratic supporters of Obama’s maximalist policies will likely surrender both Congressional chambers to Republican leadership. Perhaps this third election of policy rejection will convince the President that what the American people have mandated since the third year of his presidency is negotiation and compromise from the Oval Office.
But I’m not holding my breath.
------------------ Tom Toth is Digital Content Director and a contributing editor for Americans for Limited Government and his article was shared on the ALG blog NetRightDaily. Follow him on Twitter @TomToth3. Tags:Barack Obama, Own Political Worst Enemy, Tom Toth, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:President Obama, Irq, Iraq Policy, Buck Stops Here, ended war in Iraq, ISIS, Obama, not my decisions, pull troops, AF Branco, Editorial Cartoon, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Jimmy Carter was elected President for one reason—Richard M. Nixon. The feeling in the nation was that the born-again Sunday school teacher and Georgia Governor was the perfect antithesis of the President who was forced to resign over the Watergate scandal. He defeated Gerald Ford, Nixon’s Vice President who was largely punished for the 1974 pardon he gave the disgraced Nixon.
In a similar fashion Ronald Reagan was elected President to replace Carter who was widely seen as a failure for both his domestic and foreign policies. For the years since, Carter was understood to have been the worst President, but a recent Quinnipiac University poll of 1,446 registered voters ranked Obama as the worst since the end of World War II, granting Carter an approval rating four times higher than Obama.
I never liked Carter and Reagan’s election in 1980 marked the beginning of my transition from liberal to conservative; one that I suspect occurred for many others as well. Larry Bell, a NewsMax contributor, commenting on the Quinnipiac poll, noted that “Just as with Obama, the Carter administration had inherited a recession and did little to improve a weak economy.”
After Carter took office Bell noted that “unemployment continued to rise, inflation reached 13 percent, and interest rates approached 20 percent.” Reagan set about improving the economy, rebuilt our military strength, confronted the Soviet Union, and the 1980s are remembered fondly by those who lived through his two terms.
Carter faced problems with Iran that had seized twenty U.S. diplomats in 1979 and held them for 444 days, unresponsive to his efforts to free them. A military attempt failed, killing thirty soldiers when our helicopters crashed. I have always thought that the Iranians took Reagan’s measure and feared what he would do. They released the hostages the same day he was first sworn into office.
On August 5, USA Today reported that Carter had “called upon the West to recognize the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas as a legitimate ‘political actor’ that represents the bulk of the Palestine population.”
Extremely critical of Israel’s military operation to protect its citizens against the deluge of rockets coming out of Gaza, Carter and former Irish president Mary Robinson had their views published in a Foreign Policy article, saying “There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war.”
Carter has never met a despot, from Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev to Bashar Assad and his father, Hafez, to the gang that runs Hamas that he didn’t like. That is the quintessential trait of liberals who have always been attracted to despots. They’re the ones who wear Che Guevara t-shirts.
Carter, different from most evangelicals, has never given any evidence of respecting Jews or Israel. The high point of his presidency was the Egypt-Israel peace treaty known as the 1978 Camp David accords, but both parties had their own reasons for agreeing to its terms.
In his twenty-first book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, published in November 2006, Carter sided totally with the so-called Palestinians. Writing in the Middle East Quarterly’s spring 2007 edition, a longtime advisor to Carter, Kenneth W. Stein, criticized it at length, noting “egregious errors of both commission and omission. To suit his desired ends, he manipulates information, redefines facts, and exaggerates conclusions.” That’s a nice way of saying he lied a lot.
Stein pointed out that Carter’s book “omits mention that Hamas denies the right of a Jewish state to exist in the Middle East and the group’s belief that historical Palestine belongs in its entirety to Muslims.”
The book’s title reflected the libel against Israel when it used the word “apartheid”, likening Israel to South Africa’s racial oppression of blacks until it was forced to rescind it. It is comparable to the lies that Israel is the “occupier” of lands won in the wars waged against it. It’s like saying the U.S. is the occupier of land formerly owned by Mexico.
Compounding Carter’s slur is the fact that Arab citizens of Israel have always had the same rights as Jews and others who emigrated there. At present there are eleven Arabs in Israel’s Knesset (parliament). In only one respect do they differ; Israel does not require Arab citizens to serve in its Defense Force, but they may volunteer to serve if they wish.
Recognizing a terrorist group like Hamas, as Carter calls for, is not that different from saying the same of Hezbollah or the newly-arisen Islamic State that has seized land from Syria and Iraq. It’s beyond stupid. It betrays a deeply held anti-Semitism. In 2009, that was so evident Carter apologized with an open letter to the Jewish community in America.
Hamas has not disavowed its stated intention to destroy Israel and kill all of its Jewish citizens.
That Americans are comparing Obama unfavorably to Carter, lifting Carter from the basement of presidential approval, tells us a lot about his performance in office since his 2008 election and 2012 reelection.
At least Americans had the good sense to end Carter’s presidency in one term, but it virtually assures that Obama will replace Carter as the worst U.S. President ever.
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs" disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:Jimmy Carter, love for, terrorists, Hamas, others, hates Jews, Israel, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Nelson Hultberg, Contributing Author: Many in America’s freedom movement still hope that the Libertarian Party will one day become a power on the political scene to challenge the Democrat-Republican monolith. But in 42 years it hasn’t happened, and it probably won’t happen. There are some very distinct reasons why the LP and all other alternative / independent parties fail. This essay will examine them.
Let’s take, for example, the top independent parties out there: the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. Even though each of them have appeared at times to be a start toward genuine political reform, they repeatedly fail because they have structured themselves upon the mistake of instant idealism, which leads to their marginalization.
This mistake is made because these two parties both have “ideal visions” of the way they feel society should be politically organized, and they attempt to implement their visions all at once through the political process. They ignore the fact that politics is a game of incrementalism, that it is not an arena in which an "ideal society" can suddenly be voted into place. Because they try to do this, they are perceived by the public as not living in the real world.
For example, when asked what tax policy they advocate for the country, libertarians reply that the income tax should be abolished and government should be stripped down to a minimal state that can exist upon excise taxes and tariffs. This would be the limited government that the Founders advocated, which, of course, would be wonderful to have. But it is not a credible political platform to be gained through a political campaign today. It is rather an "ideal" that we can approach over the next 50-100 years. The members of the Constitution Party respond in the same way. Both of these parties wish to instantly implement their visions of the ideal. There is no acceptance of the need for incrementalism upon which all of politics is based.
As a result, both of these parties frighten the electorate with dissolution of the welfare state. Consequently they are marginalized as foolishly utopian. They end up getting at best 1% of the vote on Election Day. They remain obscure fringe voices. No national media pursue them, no nationally prominent candidates seek to run under their banner, no big money flows into their coffers, and most importantly they are never invited to the national TV presidential debates.
How We Solve the Problem
This is the crucial mistake that any independent party challenge of the establishment must avoid: instant idealism. If an independent party wishes to become viable and succeed, it must offer radical enough change to separate itself from the Democrat-Republican monopoly, but not so radical that it frightens the voters and becomes marginalized.
This is how the the National Independent Party is structured. Its Four Pillars of Reform for our tax, monetary, immigration, and foreign policy systems will stop the growth of government, but will not create fear among the voters and lead to marginalization. This will allow the party to attract a nationally prominent candidate to head the ticket who can command 30% plus in the polls (like Ross Perot in 1992), which will mandate that he be invited to participate in the national TV presidential debates. This will bring major media to hang out on his front doorstep as well as major money into the campaign’s coffers.
Blending Idealism and Practicality
To bring this about will require a blend of idealism and practicality, which means incremental policy proposals. For example, the National Independent Party candidate cannot campaign on “ending the income tax and the Fed” like Ron Paul did. This will marginalize him (as it did Ron Paul) and bring him only 10%-12% of the vote, which will keep him out of the national TV presidential debates. Absence from the debates guarantees failure.
What needs to be done is to recruit a prominent free-market conservative such as Ted Cruz or Mike Lee to campaign on the Four Pillars of Reform upon which the National Independent Party is structured. These Four Pillars are:1) Enact a simplified 15% flat tax, explaining that it is the only tax compatible with our founding principle – “equal rights under the law.” By ending progressive tax rates, we will stop the redistribution of wealth that allows government to grow so relentlessly.
2) Enact Milton Friedman’s 4% auto-expansion plan for the Federal Reserve. By ending the arbitrary expansion of money by the FOMC, we will reduce annual price inflation in our economy to zero.
3) Vigorously crack down on illegal immigration by eliminating the magnets of jobs, welfare services, education, etc. that draw illegals to America. No amnesty will be granted; self-deportation will be implemented.
4) End our militaristic, police-the-world foreign policy that is bankrupting us both financially and morally. The dangers to America do not lie in foreign lands; they lie here at home in Washington.The above four reforms do not achieve the ideal. But they will dramatically stop the runaway freight train of government growth and restore freedom and sanity to America.
Yes, Ron Paul is right. We eventually need to abolish the income tax and the Fed. But this will take 40 years to bring about, maybe longer. A whole new generation of scholars and pundits will have to be ushered in to educate the people as to the merits of such goals. These proposals are not something that a political candidate can base his campaign on today if he wishes to get into the national TV presidential debates, which he must do if he intends to be effective. No candidate or party has a chance unless they are in the debates.
This means the national “election” debates, not the primary “nomination” debates. The primary nomination debates, are viewed by only about 15 million viewers on cable TV and are minor league affairs. Also they are not mandated to give equal time to all candidates. Thus the statist moderators can ignore a freedom candidate, which is what they did to Ron Paul.
The national election debates, with 70 million viewers, are carried by the major networks and are big league affairs. Also they are mandated to give equal time to all candidates. A freedom candidate cannot be ignored. This is why the national debates are so important in the fight to save freedom; they give us a means to dramatically reach the people.
Crucial Facts of Reality
The Libertarian and Constitution Parties appear to be oblivious to these crucial facts of reality about politics in America. As a result they get only 1% of the vote on Election Day. If freedom is to be saved, it cannot be marginalized. It must be portrayed in a sane, non-threatening manner. Unfortunately, the Libertarian and Constitution Parties do not do this, and consequently they fail.
Tragically our media pundits don’t think these things through and, thus, ritualistically condemn alternative / independent political parties to the American people. They fail to see that it is not independent parties that “will never work.” It is independent parties that marginalize themselves that will never work.
Avoid marginalization, and an independent party challenge to the Democrat-Republican monopoly would sweep to victory. The American people are ready for such a challenge. The latest Gallup poll in January of 2014 shows that 42% of voters identify as “independent,” while only 31% identify as Democrats and 25% as Republicans.
The people are overwhelmingly with us, but just don’t know it yet because nobody has come along to explain it to them. This is what a National Independent Party candidate (such as Cruz or Lee) would do. Subconsciously Americans are sick to death with the Democrat-Republican monolith. An NIP candidate will bring all this to the surface in tens of millions of voters.
Ross Perot showed us the way strategically in 1992. By getting into the national TV presidential debates, a candidate can tap into the massive antagonism toward the Democrat-Republican monopoly lurking in the American voters' minds. All we need to do to improve on Perot’s performance (and win) is run a nationally prominent conservative candidate that espouses "freedom" instead of the "vague reformism" that Perot preached. The American people are ready for this. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, this revolution is coming to America. Victor Hugo said it best: “There is nothing more powerful in history than an idea whose time has come.”
--------------- Nelson Hultberg is a contributing author to the& ARRA News Service. He is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic and author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Tags:National Independent Party, Libertarian party, Constitution Party, why they fail, Instant Idealism, Four Pillars of Reform, Gallup Poll, Nelson Hultberg, Americans for a Free RepublicTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
When James Madison wrote Federalist 56, he observed that though there were 558 members of the British House of Commons, half of them had no real connection to a local constituency and served the "executive magistrate," rather than protecting the rights of the people. There may be no rotten boroughs in America today, but too much of his description applies too well to too many of our own legislators. In our latest essay, we look at what we've learned so far in the 2014 election cycle battle between the ruling class and constitutional conservatives--and what that might mean for 2016. ~ Matt Parks
What The Founders Tell Us About The GOP’s Ruling Class.
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks: For years, we’ve read a lot of stories about “anti-establishment” Republicans “attacking” their “mainstream” opponents. But the mainstream media narrative rarely runs in the opposite direction.
The coordinated ruling class surge against constitutional conservatives who don’t know their place gained force last week with both serious and farcical attacks on its presidential contenders. Rand Paul got the viral video treatment for a gotcha moment at an Iowa fundraiser for Congressman Steve King (R-IA)–a compliment of sorts for the senator regarded by many as “Democrat’s Enemy #1.” Senator Paul’s offense is his ability to draw some of the Democratic base off the Progressive reservation. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz continues to inspire a monthly attack piece for being a traitor to his Ivy League-educated class (and harboring a diabolical plan to take over the United States by burning bridges and/or building bridges).
Back in Washington, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), fresh off his rise to House Whip, has turned for hiring advice to DC lobbyist John Feehery, whose obsession with making trouble for limited government House Republicans was well-documented by The Federalist’s Ben Domenech here. This connection led Mickey Kaus to ponder whether Rep. Scalise hates his caucus as much as Feehery.
In our era of bad feelings, the one thing that seems to produce good feelings among establishment Republicans and Democrats is their mutual disdain for small “r” republicans.
While conflict is natural to man as a political animal, more problematic is the establishment belief in its divine right to govern, which it is bad form to challenge, much less overthrow. Former Congressman Steve LaTourette, who now heads the Republican Main Street Partnership, described the Republican intraparty battle in these amusingly ironic terms:Over the last few years we have seen the rise of a new grifter—the political grifter. And the most important battle being waged today isn’t the one about which party controls the House or the Senate, it’s about who controls the Republican Party: the grifting wing or the governing wing. Today’s political grifters are a lot like the grifters of old—lining their pockets with the hard-earned money of working men and women promising things in return that they know they can’t deliver.Who are these grifters, according to LaTourette? The heads of leading Tea Party groups, who make mid-six figure salaries for their efforts. Interestingly, LaTourette did not note the happy coincidence that his efforts for the Main Street Partnership have done much to advance his other work–as a newly-minted Capitol Hill lobbyist. According to The New York Times, “Mr. LaTourette, in one interview, acknowledged that his work with the Main Street Partnership may indirectly benefit his lobbying firm. ‘It isn’t bad for business,’ he said. ‘But it is not by design.’” Governing apparently allows for a little grifting too–especially when that governing is defined (as LaTourette summarized his work in the same NYT profile) as finding the twenty House Republican votes needed to push the Democratic agenda through. Given that agenda, in fact, one might say that establishment politics amounts to grifters lobbying for grafters.
When James Madison defended the republican character of the House of Representatives, he contrasted the relative purity of the American system with that of the British. Although the House of Commons had 558 members in his day, fully half of this number was elected by a grand total of 5,723 people (of a total population of 8 million). “It cannot be supposed,” Madison argued,That the half thus elected, and who do not even reside among the people at large, can add anything either to the security of the people against the government, or to the knowledge of their circumstances and interests in the legislative councils. On the contrary, it is notorious, that they are more frequently the representatives and instruments of the executive magistrate, than the guardians and advocates of the popular rights.This was the British ruling class of 1789. The American ruling class of 2014, of course, is superficially different: there are no rotten boroughs in the United States. But if each House member represents about 750,000 voters, there might still be half who “do not even reside among the people at large”–more creatures of Washington, than any hometown constituency–and serve the “executive magistrate,” rather than act as “the guardians and advocates of the popular rights.”
There are a number of reasons for this. But two are perhaps most relevant in the battle for Republican Party control that both the establishment and the insurgents acknowledge. Progressive ideology requires the centralization of power in federal and then executive hands–not to protect rights, but to right (perceived) wrongs. The ruling class, divided only between intentional (generally Democratic) and accidental (generally Republican) Progressives, naturally assimilates with the culture and power structure of the City of Government. Meanwhile, mutual interest has led both party establishments to all but gerrymander competitive House districts out of existence.
What avenue, then, is left for reform? Primary challenges, featuring thoughtful conservatives immune, as much as any human being can be, to the Potomac fever infecting the Washington governing class. According to one calculation, there are 191 House districts that are either “landslide” (125) or “strong” (66) Republican. Whatever the prudential strategy might be in the few remaining competitive districts, there ought to be a strong Tea Party candidate in every one of those 191 Republican primaries, either as the incumbent or the challenger–and no complaints from either side: the people, not the present occupants, own each House seat. The establishment in particular, despite its pretensions, has no divine right to govern.
The 2014 primary season is drawing to a close. The establishment has proven its willingness to do whatever it takes to hold on to power–and, for the most part, they have won.
Insurgents should celebrate their victories, study their defeats, and, even as they see the current election cycle through, begin to prepare to have the fullest slate of strong candidates possible in 2016. Game on.
---------------- Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks are Professors of Politics at The Kings College (NYC). They are contributors to the ARRA News Service. They edit and write for The Federalist and are on Facebook and Twitter. Tags:Congress, ruling class, Republicans, ruling class, Federalist 56, David Corbin, Matthew ParksTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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