Sunday, November 30, 2008

Part 3 of the Leadership

What's next for the GOP?

People usually think more about what went right and what went wrong after a loss than after a victory. Accordingly, Republicans will have a lot of thinking time over the holidays.

We would be wise to start with the biblical notion of first taking the log out of your own eye before worrying about the splinter in someone else’s. In other words, Republicans would do well to first focus on how we were beaten in November not by Democrats, but in many cases by those in our own party.

Our party took nothing short of a shellacking nationally. Some on the left will say our electoral losses are a repudiation of our principles of lower taxes, smaller government and individual liberty. But Election Day was not a rejection of those principles — in fact, cutting taxes and spending were important tenets of Barack Obama’s campaign.

Instead, voters rejected the fact that while Republicans have campaigned on the conservative themes of lower taxes, less government and more freedom, they have consistently failed to govern that way. Americans didn’t turn away from conservatism, they instead turned away from many who faked it.

As such, I believe rebuilding our party starts with three key principles.

The Future of the GOP
Reports of GOP death exaggerated
GOP needs 'courage of convictions'

First, let’s go back to the principle of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. A political party is much like a brand, and brands thrive or wither based on how consistently they deliver on what they promise. Along those same lines, it’s important for brands to stick to their knitting. If John Deere’s tractor sales are declining, they don’t say, “Tell you what, let’s make cars and airplanes, too.” Instead, they focus on producing better tractors.

I make that point because there’s a real temptation in Republican circles right now to try and be all things to all people. We tried that already — it was called “compassionate conservatism,” and it got us nowhere.

Second, our loyalties need to be to ideas, not to individuals. Ted Stevens in many ways personified the opposite of what the GOP is supposed to be about, reveling in his ability to secure pork and turning a blind eye to ethical lapses.

There needs to be a high standard for our franchisees. In other words, I believe Republicans and conservatives must agree on our core principles. St. Augustine called for “unity in the essentials, diversity in the nonessentials, and charity in all things,” and while I believe there should always be a big GOP tent, there must also be a shared agreement on the essentials — including expanding liberty, encouraging entrepreneurship and limiting the reach of government in people’s everyday lives.

In this regard, the tent cannot be so big as to include political franchisees who don’t act on the core tenets of conservatism — and as a consequence harm the brand and undermine others’ work on it.

Finally, we need to look toward the states for answers, rather than toward Washington.

I am struck by how many of my colleagues around the country were quietly advancing the kinds of reforms and conservative principles that Washington politicians would do well to emulate.

In Louisiana, Bobby Jindal is making market-based reforms to his state’s Medicaid program, while over in Georgia, Sonny Perdue is tackling health care affordability with a Health Savings Account program. Sarah Palin has cut spending and fought corruption in Alaska. Rick Perry in Texas has balanced the budget while cutting taxes, creating more than a million jobs in the process. Mitch Daniels in Indiana is innovating when it comes to building infrastructure.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that you don’t have to look far to find examples of how sticking to conservative principles not only yields a better-working government but, frankly, yields electoral success as well.

It’s not only imperative that our party returns to its fiscally conservative roots but that we do so soon. As a nation, we’re on the hook for $52 trillion, and that represents an invisible $450,000 mortgage owed by every household in America.

We’ve thrown $2.3 trillion toward bailouts and a stimulus this year with little to show for it in the way of results, with seemingly hundreds of billions more being contemplated by Congress each day. Borrowing from Medicare, Social Security, our grandkids and the Chinese to remedy a problem created by too much borrowing strikes me as odd, and hardly the “change” Americans really want.

Where change must come, though, is in once again making our party one that governs on the principles it professes. That change starts with each of us in elected office, and more importantly, with each person who cares about returning to conservative principles making their voices heard.

Mark Sanford is governor of South Carolina. He previously served three terms in the House of Representatives, from 1995 to 2001.

Part 2 of Leadership Opinion

GOP needs 'courage of convictions'

The election has come and gone, and we’ve all seen the reports of the Republican Party’s untimely demise. Some say Republicans were too conservative, that we’ve become a regional party and that we’re clinging to an old playbook. As a Republican, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth, and we are alive and kicking.

That doesn’t mean the Republican Party isn’t in need of new ideas, new messengers and a new focus in order to move forward as a party. Losing elections brings change, and change is coming to the Republican Party. What really cost Republicans at the ballot box during the past two election cycles was forgetting a lesson many of us learned from our parents - say what you mean and mean what you say.

As a small business owner, I know first-hand the power of this principle. You can’t say you offer superior customer service when complaints are piling up against you at the better business bureau. You can’t say you offer the best value in town when your products are defective. It’s not good enough to talk the talk; you’ve got to walk the walk.

This is why the Republican Party finds itself in the minority in Washington and in many of the 3,141 counties in America. Our elected officials, candidates and party leaders dutifully repeated the principles of our party, but once in office, too many abandoned those principles. Whether it was abandoning our commitment to fiscal responsibility, turning a blind eye to serious character flaws in some of our candidates, or providing a handout to big business at the expense of the American taxpayers, we seemed to lose the courage of our convictions. As President Reagan’s speechwriter Peggy Noonan has been quoted, “part of courage is simple consistency.”

The Future of the GOP
Reports of GOP death exaggerated
What's next for the GOP?

Our principles are sound, but we need to refresh the Republican Party brand if we are to earn the trust of the American public to govern once again, and that is why I am a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

There are several steps that we must take to renew, reform and restore the greatness of the Republican Party.

Renew our commitment to our Party’s timeless principles…by reconfirming our commitment to be the party of smaller government, lower taxes, individual freedom, strong national security, respect for the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, the importance of family and the exceptionalism of America.

We must reform our tactics…by utilizing the social networking and information technology that Americans use in every aspect of their lives.

We must restore our grassroots network…by regaining footholds in regions where we have lost ground, such as the Northeast and Midwest.

For the Republican Party to succeed we can’t rely on a targeted or regional approach - we need a nationwide approach. That’s why, as the next chairman of the RNC, I will implement Project 3141 - a campaign to establish our brand in every one of the 3141 counties in our 50 states. In my experience as a state chairman, you cannot have successful state parties without successful county and local parties. As chairman, we will focus our efforts to grow state parties by helping them be competitive in each of their counties. We will have a goal to field candidates in each of the 435 congressional districts, ensuring that every voter in America will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for at least one Republican in 2010. This goal will also help in our efforts to regain footholds in New England and the Rust Belt, while reaching out to non-traditional Republicans in the Deep South and Sun Belt.

I am a strong believer in the spirit of collaboration. There are a number of well-qualified individuals seeking the RNC chairmanship, and if I am elected I would be certain to include these leaders in our effort to help grow and strengthen the Republican Party. But in order for the Republican Party to move forward, the next generation of leaders cannot be tied to Washington and the culture of the entrenched inside the Beltway campaign consultants. We need to look more to our farm team of elected officials and party leaders throughout the country.

While I share with many Republicans the disappointment of another election defeat, I have great optimism for the future. Great political movements begin in times of great adversity, and I believe the Republican Party will experience an era of rebirth if we stay true to our principles and offer a positive vision for the future of our country. I believe we will find new ways of applying our time-tested principles to current-day challenges and opportunities. I believe we will become again the party that inspires Americans from all walks of life to do great things. I believe that’s our calling and our destiny.

Katon Dawson is chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and a candidate for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

The First of a Series of Republican Leaders that think they know why we lost.

Reports of GOP death exaggerated

Sure, Republicans have had a hard couple of elections. But you’ll excuse me for suggesting that reports of our death have been more than a little exaggerated.

In fact, the electorate shifted only about 4 points from Republicans to Democrats since 2004. That year, George W. Bush took 48 percent of the vote against Barack Obama’s approximately 52 percent in this election. Now, don’t get me wrong, that 4-point shift produced the best vote tally for a national Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson.

But the admittedly major defeat for the home team that resulted from a mere 4-point shift need not send Republicans to the locker room just yet. The fact is that despite dire predictions to the contrary, turnout in 2008 was about the same as it was in 2004. The real problem was that Republican turn-out pitched down while Democrat turnout surged.

We can get those votes back and then some. But we have both strategic and tactical improvements to make.

Return to timeless Republican principles. And include a positive, optimistic message that envisions a new, stronger, more prosperous American future. Ronald Reagan spoke to our deepest longing as a people. He gave a voice to principles that are true for all people in all times. Retool our message, but base it on those proven conservative principles for which our party has always stood: Our freedom is from God, not government. Our prosperity comes from a free people in a free market, not overtaxing, free-spending bureaucrats. We celebrate and protect life, born and unborn. And our best hope for a brighter future is in the empowerment of individuals and families, not in the constraints imposed by a bloated bureaucracy.

The Future of the GOP
What's next for the GOP?
GOP needs 'courage of convictions'

Organize in every state. Our successes are mostly centered in Appalachia, the South and the Great Plains. We’ve been nearly completely shut out in New England, and we’re only slightly better off in the mid-Atlantic. Things don’t look any better in the Rust Belt or the West Coast either. Democrats have done a great job of outworking us in these areas. We need a new approach that assures Republicans play in every state; take nothing for granted. We may not win everywhere we play, but we certainly won’t win if we don’t play everywhere we can.

Appeal to the forgotten middle class. Obama beat us in the cities, suburbs and exurbs. We beat him in the rural areas. Our message of economic growth, lower taxes, more accountability in education, personal responsibility and fiscal restraint will appeal, but we have to refine it and do a lot better job of getting it out.

Build a broader coalition. Obama’s coalition consisted of a broad cross-section of Americans. Young voters went for Obama 68 percent to 30 percent. He beat us among Hispanics by a 2-1 ratio. He won the votes of Asians, women, African-Americans and seniors. This doesn’t have to be the case. We have the message, but we have to improve our credibility with these voters.

Stop the blame game. We have to stop trying to lay blame for our losses. It’s embarrassing to see what unnamed McCain aides are saying about Sarah Palin. Worse, it’s not fair, relevant or productive. Instead, we have to recognize we have all contributed to the problem and it will take us all — working together — to repair it.

Use new communication tools. Not only was our message stale, the means by which we’ve conveyed our message has been lackluster — at best. Television advertising is great, but it’s not enough in this new age of Facebook, YouTube, bloggers and Twitter. In addition to updating our message, we have to update the means by which we communicate it.

The Republican Party needs an overhaul not just an adjustment if we’re to create a new Republican majority. Once again, we need to speak directly to the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Americans. So let’s stop telling Americans what we’re against and instead articulate a compelling vision of what we’re for, how we’ll lead and where we want to go.

And we need to do it in a far more powerful, relevant and credible way. The result of this election gives us the chance to take a step back, reassess, re-engineer and figure out how to do that. And that’s good news.

Michael Steele served as lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007 and is currently a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee


Excellent article by Chris Booker on Obama's eco-suicide plans..

"If the holder of the most powerful office in the world proposed a policy guaranteed to inflict untold damage on his own country and many others, on the basis of claims so demonstrably fallacious that they amount to a string of self-deluding lies, we might well be concerned. The relevance of this is not to President Bush, as some might imagine, but to a recent policy statement by President-elect Obama."

Say it ain't so...

"Tomorrow, delegates from 190 countries will meet in Poznan, Poland, to pave the way for next year's UN conference in Copenhagen at which the world will agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. They will see a video of Mr Obama, in only his second major policy commitment, pledging that America is now about to play the leading role in the fight to "save the planet" from global warming. Mr Obama begins by saying that "the science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear". "Sea levels," he claims, "are rising, coastlines are shrinking, we've seen record drought, spreading famine and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season." Far from the science being "beyond dispute", we can only deduce from this that Mr Obama has believed all he was told by Al Gore's wondrously batty film An Inconvenient Truth without bothering to check the facts. Each of these four statements is so wildly at odds with the truth that on this score alone we should be seriously worried."

I fully agree with Chris Booker when he concludes..

"Alarming though it may be that the next US President should have fallen for all this claptrap, much more worrying is what he proposes to do on the basis of such grotesque misinformation. For a start he plans to introduce a "federal cap and trade system", a massive "carbon tax", designed to reduce America's CO2 emissions "to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 per cent by 2050". Such a target, which would put America ahead of any other country in the world, could only be achieved by closing down a large part of the US economy.

Mr Obama floats off still further from reality when he proposes spending $15 billion a year to encourage "clean energy" sources, such as thousands more wind turbines. He is clearly unaware that wind energy is so hopelessly ineffective that the 10,000 turbines America already has, representing "18 gigawatts of installed capacity", only generate 4.5GW of power, less than that supplied by a single giant coal-fired power station.

He talks blithely of allowing only "clean" coal-fired power plants, using "carbon capture" - burying the CO2 in holes in the ground - which would double the price of electricity, but the technology for which hasn't even yet been developed. He then babbles on about "generating five million new green jobs". This will presumably consist of hiring millions of Americans to generate power by running around on treadmills, to replace all those "dirty" coal-fired power stations which currently supply the US with half its electricity.

If this sounds like an elaborate economic suicide note, for what is still the earth's richest nation, it is still not enough for many environmentalists."

Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 12:24PM by David Vance

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Freedom isn't Free and we give Thanks

Today my nation stops to give thanks to God for all his blessings. We truly are the land of plenty.

We get our families together, and sit down to a big Turkey diner. We say Grace, and give thanks for our personal blessings. We eat and drink and indulge in our feasts and family.

Tomorrow the women will descend on the malls and shopping centers in an orgy of Christmas shopping on what is lovingly called black Friday, because it is the day that most stores show their first profit for the year.

We also give thanks to those that are standing at the gates of hell for us. Laying down their lives and laying down the fire. Freedom isn't free. The majority of the worlds governments hate us and so truly do a third of it's people. Yet one third of the worlds people still want to flee where they are and come here.

This song is for those that can't be with their families today, and those that will never be with them again. We give thanks to them for they pay for our freedom. Even if by some it is not appreciated.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Al-Qaeda message to Obama

Al-Qaeda Deputy Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Message on Islamist Websites

In an audio message posted on Islamist websites on November 19, 2008, Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri criticized U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.

The 11 minute 23 second message, in which the audio plays against a background of still images, is the first statement by an Al-Qaeda official relating to Obama's presidential win.

The following is the transcript, from the message's English subtitles.

"First, a Message of Congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the American People's Admission Of Defeat In Iraq"

"In the Name of Allah, and all praise is due to Allah, and prayers and peace on the Messenger of Allah and on his family, Companions and allies:

"Muslim brothers everywhere: Peace be upon you and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings. As for what comes after:

"Barack Obama has won the presidency of the United States of America, and on this occasion, I would like to send several messages.

"First, a message of congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the American people's admission of defeat in Iraq. Although the evidence of America's defeat in Iraq appeared years ago, Bush and his administration continued to be stubborn and deny the brilliant midday sun. If Bush has achieved anything, it is in his transfer of America's disaster and predicament to his successor. But the American people, by electing Obama, declared its anxiety and apprehension about the future towards which the policy of the likes of Bush is leading it, and so it decided to support someone calling for withdrawal from Iraq."

"What You've Announced About How You're Going to Reach an Understanding With Iran and Pull Your Troops Out of Iraq to Send Them to Afghanistan is a Policy... Destined for Failure"

"The second of these messages is to the new president of the United States. I tell him: you have reached the position of president, and a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you. A failure in Iraq to which you have admitted, and a failure in Afghanistan to which the commanders of your army have admitted.

"The other thing to which I want to bring your attention is that what you've announced about how you're going to reach an understanding with Iran and pull your troops out of Iraq to send them to Afghanistan is a policy which was destined for failure before it was born. It appears that you don't know anything about the Muslim Ummah and its history, and the fate of the traitors who cooperated with the invaders against it, and don't know anything about the history of Afghanistan and its free and defiant Muslim people. And if you still want to be stubborn about America's failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and Pervez Musharraf, and the fate of the Soviets and British before them. And be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them.

"As for the crimes of America which await you, it appears that you continue to be captive to the same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims. The Muslim Ummah received with extreme bitterness your hypocritical statements to and stances towards Israel, which confirmed to the Ummah that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims."

"You Were Born to a Muslim Father, but You Chose to Stand in the Ranks of the Enemies of the Muslims... in Order to Climb the Rungs of Leadership in America"

"You represent the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like Malik al-Shabazz, or Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him). You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America. And so you promised to back Israel, and you threatened to strike the tribal regions in Pakistan, and to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, in order for the crimes of the American Crusade in it to continue. And last Monday, your aircraft killed 40 Afghan Muslims at a wedding party in Kandahar.

"As for Malik al-Shabazz (may Allah have mercy on him), he was born to a black pastor killed by white bigots, but Allah favored him with guidance to Islam, and so he prided himself on his fraternity with the Muslims, and he condemned the crimes of the Crusader West against the weak and oppressed, and he declared his support for peoples resisting American occupation, and he spoke about the worldwide revolution against the Western power structure.

"That's why it wasn't strange that Malik al-Shabazz (may Allah have mercy on him) was killed, while you have climbed the rungs of the presidency to take over the leadership of the greatest criminal force in the history of mankind and the leadership of the most violent Crusade ever against the Muslims.

"And in you and in Colin Powell, Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning 'House Negroes' are confirmed."

"You Are Neither Facing Individuals nor Organizations, But... a Jihadi Awakening and Renaissance... This is the Fact Which You and Your Government And Country Refuse to Recognize"

"You also must appreciate, as you take over the presidency of America during its Crusade against Islam and Muslims, that you are neither facing individuals nor organizations, but are facing a Jihadi awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see."

"To The Muslim Ummah...: America, the Criminal, Trespassing Crusader, Continues To Be the Same as Ever, So We Must Continue to Harm It"

"As for the third message, it is to the Muslim Ummah. I tell it: America, the criminal, trespassing Crusader, continues to be the same as ever, so we must continue to harm it, in order for it to come to its senses, because its criminal, expansionist Crusader project in your lands has only been neutralized by the sacrifices of your sons, the Mujahideen. This, then, is the path, so stick to it."

"To the Lions of Islam, The Mujahideen...: Your Enemy's Stagger Has Begun, So Don't Stop Hitting Him"

"As for the fourth message, it is to the lions of Islam, the Mujahideen. I tell them: may Allah reward you in the best way for your historic heroics, which have ruined America's plans and rendered its projects ineffective. So be firm and resolute. Your enemy's stagger has begun, so don't stop hitting him.

"And I say to my brothers the Mujahideen in Iraq in general and the Islamic State of Iraq in particular, and to its Amir, the towering mountain Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi: your enemy has admitted defeat, and the forthcoming stage is expected to be dominated by conspiracies and betrayals in order to cover the American withdrawal, so you must persevere, for victory is in an hour of perseverance.

"And I tell my brothers, the lions of Islam in Somalia: rejoice in victory and conquest. America is gathering its wounds in Iraq, and Ethiopia is looking for a way out, and for this reason, the stage of conspiracies and machinations has begun. So hold tightly to the truth for which you have given your lives, and don't put down your weapons before the Mujahid state of Islam and Tawheed has been set up in Somalia.

"And I tell all Mujahideen everywhere: the Hubal of the age has begun to falter and recede, and Allah has granted you success and honored you by making you the most important cause of that, so be resolute on the path of Jihad until you meet your Lord while He is pleased with you."

"America Has Put On a New Face, But Its Heart Full Of Hate, Mind Drowning In Greed, And Spirit Which Spreads Evil, Murder, Repression And Despotism Continue To Be the Same As Always"

"And my fifth message is to all the world's weak and oppressed. I tell them: America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always. And the Mujahideen of Islam, by the grace of Allah, continue to be the spearhead of the resistance against it to restrain it from injustice, aggression and arrogance.

"As for my final message, it is to the American people. I tell it: you incurred defeat and losses from the foolish actions of Bush and his gang, and at the same time, Shaykh Usama bin Ladin (may Allah preserve him) sent you a message to withdraw from the lands of the Muslims and refrain from stealing their treasures and interfering in their affairs. So choose for yourself whatever you like, and bear the consequences of your choice, and as you judge, you will be judged.

"And our final prayer is that all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and may Allah send prayers and peace on our Master Muhammad and his family and Companions."

Liberals ready to take over Washington

As they await his ascension, Republicans are reassuring themselves that President-elect Barack Obama, worried about winning re-election in four years, will shake off a lifetime of liberal allegiance and govern the nation from the middle.

They're delusional. Little that Obama has said or done since Election Day supports that theory. Rather, there's every indication that Obama will enthusiastically lead the liberals who now firmly control Washington in enacting a far-left agenda.

Take as proof last week's unwarranted dumping of Dearborn's John Dingell as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The libs scored their first major victory by replacing the moderate Dingell with environmental extremist Henry Waxman of California, and Obama didn't intervene.

That's because his own views on the environment fall closer to Waxman's than to Dingell's. He's already promised to rescind the executive order opening Utah's promising oil shale fields to exploration and will fully undo the domestic oil production expansion Democrats reluctantly agreed to before the election.

Since the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter, most Democrats who've won office have done so by dodging the liberal label and declaring themselves pro-growth moderates. Even true liberals eschewed that word, insisting that they be called "progressives."

And while Obama hasn't embraced the liberal label, he has endorsed the ideology.

Listen to what he's saying. On the economy, he's calling for a stimulus package that will create jobs through massive government spending on new projects and programs, rather than by cutting taxes and improving the business climate. Start packing, Adam Smith; welcome home, John Maynard Keynes.

Also on his early schedule is a promise to push through the Freedom of Choice Act, which will exempt abortion from all reasonable regulation by the states.

Big Labor has been assured he'll fight to make it easier to organize workers and harder to adopt free trade agreements.

His early appointments indicate he'll staff his administration with Washington's old Democratic insiders, rather than the fresh new faces voters might have thought they'd get when they plunked for change.

And he'll use the economic collapse as cover for tighter regulation of industries ranging from banking to automotive.

Still, commentators continue to praise Obama for his moderation. His plans qualify as moderate only if the whole political map has tilted sharply to the left.

For nearly 30 years, liberals have been waiting for their time to get back into the light. It's here, and Obama is their sun.

Voters can't claim to be misled when the historically discredited policies Obama is promising inevitably go bust. He told them exactly what he was during the campaign, and they chose either not to hear him or to pretend the left was really the middle.

I've quoted H.L. Mencken many times since the election and will do so again:

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."

The problem with Obama's economic team is that they are over 40 and Democrats

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform:
This means they do not understand economics. They think you can tax work without causing unemployment. They think raising the capital gains tax will raise money and not hurt capital investment. They think regulatory costs are paid by Santa Clause or Tinkerbell.

They believe that taxing energy companies reduces rather than increases the cost of energy to consumers. Those in Congress voted for everything that failed in the 1970s and against free trade, flexible labor markets and lower tax rates. They defend their Enron-- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--because crooked accounting done in the name of social justice is virtuous and doesn't really have costs.

They believe you can take money from one part of the economy and put it elsehwere and you have created wealth. That stealing from Peter to pay Paul increases the GNP. And if any economic sense crept into the administration, Cerberus, the three headed monster of trial lawyers, labor union bosses and big city machines that rules the modern Democrat party will stop any common sense from interfering with the goals of the parasites.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Creation of a Banana Republic

As the Obama administration takes shape I see some very troubling signs. The first is the appointment of so many former Clinton administration people to key positions.

The actual pick of the Dragon Lady herself as Secretary of State I believe is a good choice. The cronies that she has in place at state may actually stop leaking, accomplishing anything will be another matter all together. The historical record of foreign policy failures of the Clinton's combining with the future ones of Obama will be fun to watch.

Tom Daschle is being slated to Shepard in Universal Health Care the seizing of the government of 1/7th of our economy, the take over of the banking industry by the very people that caused the collapse and finally the grabbing of control of the Detroit auto industry.

When Government controls so much of a nations economy decisions are not based on economics but politics. That is a Banana Republic or a dictatorship. We may never be a dictatorship but we are becoming a Banana Republic through Crony capitalism.

Crony capitalism is when government controls significant parts of the economy. Under this kind of bureaucratic micromanagement, politicians -- not the free market -- call the shots. And that means that the decisions that control the economy are of necessity political decisions, not economic ones.

Of course the bureaucratic micromanagement has done such a wonderful job with the budget, medicare and social security. How can we argue with such shining examples of success, hell there even going to take control of our 401ks

We can all look forward to prosperous future Praise the Messiah

Bringing Fannie Mae-Style Accountability to the Auto Industry

There’s a term that’s commonly applied to the economic systems of some Asian and Latin American countries. It’s “crony capitalism.”

Crony capitalism is when government controls significant parts of the economy. Under this kind of bureaucratic micromanagement, politicians -- not the free market -- call the shots. And that means that the decisions that control the economy are of necessity political decisions, not economic ones.

Crony capitalism is bad for government. Economic power in the hands of politicians breeds corruption.

Crony capitalism is bad for democracy. Individuals and businesses outside favored industries have an unequal voice in self-government.

Crony capitalism is bad for business. Politicians wedded to the status quo stifle growth and innovation.

And there’s one more thing about crony capitalism: It’s come to America.

Predatory Politicians Practicing Crony Capitalism Created the Economic Crisis

It’s the nature of crony capitalism to expand -- for government to acquire more and more of the economy.

The agents of this expansion are elected officials. Call them “predatory politicians.”

Crony capitalism practiced by predatory politicians is at the root of the current financial meltdown.

In exchange for campaign cash and support for favored constituents, predatory politicians aided and abetted the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they created and fed the subprime mortgage market.

Now Predatory Politicians Are About to Make It Worse

And to fix the mess they created, what have predatory politicians turned to? Why, more crony capitalism of course.

First, they designed Wall Street bailouts in which a former chairman of Goldman Sachs got a blank check to disburse hundreds of billions of dollars to his former colleagues on Wall Street.

Then they took over an insurance company at a hugely inflated cost.

Now predatory politicians want taxpayers to fund a bailout of three bloated, stagnant companies that have been losing money for years, one of which is currently hemorrhaging over $1 billion a month.

The Detroit Three: An Investment Only a Predatory Politician Would Propose

To reward the unions that helped produce its electoral victory, the newly empowered Democratic Congress is proposing that American taxpayers pony up $25 billion to bail out the Detroit Three automakers, Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Democrats are using the current financial crisis as their excuse to bailout the autos. But in fact, the Detroit three were unprofitable long before the current crisis hit.

According to one economist, GM and Ford made more money-losing investments in the 1980s than any other U.S. companies. And the Detroit money pit only got deeper in the ensuing two decades. Since 1998, GM has been losing an astonishing $1.5 billion a month.

That’s an investment only a predatory politician would propose.

Bringing Fannie and Freddie Style Accountability to the Auto Industry

One of the things that makes crony capitalism so profitable for politicians is that Washington exempts itself from the economic and financial rules it imposes on private industry.

For example, in 2003, federal regulators discovered that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had engaged in Enron-style accounting fraud. But while executives at private companies who engaged in similar fraud went to prison -- and Congress responded by imposing the draconian and business-killing Sarbanes-Oxley bill on private businesses -- Fannie and Freddie executives barely received a slap on the wrist.

One of the reasons was House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank fought tenaciously against the regulation that would have held Fannie and Freddie executives accountable and might have averted the financial crisis.

Now Chairman Frank wants to bring his particular style of crony capitalism to the auto industry.
Any Detroit Bailout Government Board Should Be Subject To Sarbanes-Oxley

On “Face the Nation” this Sunday, Chairman Frank announced that not only would he push for a taxpayer bailout of the Detroit Three during the special session of Congress this week, but he would also create a government oversight board for the three companies -- in effect, a board of directors made up of predatory politicians.

I believe that it would be a mistake for the taxpayers to be forced to bail out Detroit. Companies at which union workers make $71 an hour in wages and benefits -- compared to just $47 an hour at Toyota’s U.S. plants -- are not going to be saved by a $25 billion government check.

But if Democrats do find the votes to bring crony capitalism to Detroit, Americans should at the very least insist that any government board of directors created for the auto industry be subject to the criminal penalties and lengthy prison sentences in Sarbanes-Oxley.

What’s fair for the rest of us is fair for predatory politicians.

A Chance For President-Elect Obama to Deliver Real Change

The solution to our economic problems, be they in Detroit or on Wall Street, isn’t more crony capitalism; it’s economic growth.

While politicians in Washington are constantly calling on taxpayers to put up more and more money to bail out flagging businesses, there are practical things that wouldn't cost the taxpayers a penny that we could do to make America a better place to create jobs.

One of these things is to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. As my wife Callista and I outline in more detail in this video, Sarbanes-Oxley has had the unintended consequences of stifling innovation, killing new business start-ups and driving listings overseas.

President-elect Obama won an historic victory two weeks ago on the promise of delivering change to the American people. Bailing out the Detroit auto dinosaurs is not change. It is crony capitalism in service of a failed status quo.

President-elect Obama should stand up to congressional Democrats and say “no” -- “no” to saddling future generations of Americans with the bill for today’s crony capitalism.

That would be change we could believe in.

Your friend,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time to deploy another fleet

Pirates seize another ship in Gulf of Aden
By Andrew England in Cairo and Robert Wright in London and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

Published: November 17 2008 13:11 Last updated: November 18 2008 16:26

A Hong Kong cargo ship loaded with 36,000 tonnes of wheat bound for Iran was hijacked on Tuesday by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, near the Yemeni coast.

The latest example of piracy came as a Saudi supertanker, seized by pirates on Monday and laden with an estimated 2m barrels of oil, was confirmed to be anchored off the coast of Somalia.

Meanwhile, the official Xinhua agency, citing China’s maritime search and rescue centre, said that a Hong Kong cargo ship called Delight with 25 crew members bound for Bandar Abbas port in Iran had been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.

Pottengal Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau, said on Monday that the only cargoes that had interested Somali pirates previously were the shipments of World Food Programme aid.

Instead, pirates seize vessels to extort ransoms – often of about $2m – from shipowners desperate to have their crews returned.

How much longer is this nonsense going to be tolerated. Deploy the armada and engage these Pirates.

What happened to the law of the sea? You sink and kill Pirates

What's Soros up to ?

Enemy of the West creates Obamma Idea Tank

Thanks in part to funding from benefactors such as
billionaire George Soros, the Center for American Progress has become in just
five years an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including
many that are shaping the agenda of the new Obama administration.

president and founder, John Podesta, 59, former chief of staff to President Bill
Clinton, is one of three people running the transition team for president-elect
Barack Obama, 47. A squadron of CAP experts is working with them.

of the group's recommendations already have been adopted by the president-elect.
Withdrawal of Troops

These include the center's call for a gradual
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and a buildup of forces in Afghanistan, a
plan for universal health coverage through employer plans and proposals to
create purchasing pools that allow small businesses to spread the cost among a
larger group of workers. Obama has endorsed much of a CAP plan to create ``green
jobs'' linked to alleviating global climate change.

CAP also is
advocating the creation of a ``National Energy Council'' headed by an official
with the stature of the national security adviser and who would be charged with
``transforming the energy base'' of the U.S. In addition, CAP urges the creation
of a White House ``office of social entrepreneurship'' to spur new ideas for
addressing social problems.
To help promote its ideas, CAP employs 11
full-time bloggers who contribute to two Web sites, ThinkProgress and the Wonk
Room; others prepare daily feeds for radio stations. The center's policy
briefings are standing-room only, packed with lobbyists, advocacy-group
representatives and reporters looking for insights on where the Obama
administration is headed.

``Others strive to be objective, we don't,''
said Jennifer Palmieri, CAP's vice president for communications.

likes to say, ``we're not a think tank, we're an action tank,'' said Dan Weiss,
an environmental activist who joined CAP last year.

CAP may be the most
influential. In addition to Podesta, at least 10 other CAP experts are advising
the incoming administration, including Melody Barnes, the center's executive
vice president for policy who co-chairs the agency-review working group and
Cassandra Butts, the senior vice president for domestic policy, who is now a
senior transition staffer.
You can be sure the ideas comming out of this group are anything but good for the Country

Monday, November 17, 2008

Iraq's government approves security pact with US

Poor BO cut out of the deal before he gets a chance LOL

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's Cabinet overwhelmingly approved a security pact with the United States on Sunday, ending prolonged negotiations to allow American forces to remain for three more years in the country they first occupied in 2003.
The deal detailing the conditions of the U.S. presence still needs parliamentary approval, and lawmakers could vote as soon as Nov. 24. For Iraqis, the breakthrough was bittersweet because they won concessions from the Americans but must accept the presence of U.S. troops until 2012.
"It's the best possible, available option," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. He was referring to the conflict between Iraq's desire for full sovereignty and control over security and its need for American support and cooperation to achieve that goal.
Al-Dabbagh described the pact - intended to supplant the U.N. mandate expiring Dec. 31 - as an "agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops," and Washington welcomed the Cabinet's approval.

Obama Accuses American Soldiers of Torture

In one of his first interviews President Elect BO said last night that upon taking office he would close Guantanamo Bay and ban torture by the American military. The best part is he just said it off hand in a laundry list of things he wants to do. This is our new Commander in Chief. Be prepaired for a rough 4 years of a socialist agenda that will collapse our economy while making us more vulnerable to attack. Well Hail to the Chief we picked him.

He also said it would be "a disaster" if the US car industry were to collapse in the midst of today's economic crisis.
Mr Obama provided America with a glimpse of both the problems his administration will face and the bipartisan tone he intends to adopt once he takes office. The President-elect, joined by his wife, Michelle, discussed his priorities and the impact of the election on his family.
His first priority, he said, was appointing a new national security team to ensure a smooth transition to power. But the wide-ranging interview focused largely on the threats to the US economy. "It's my belief that we need to provide assistance to the auto industry," Mr Obama told CBS's 60 minutes, adding "But I think that it can't be a blank check."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Truth

The Audacity of Victory: How To End a War [Steve Schippert]

Let's get right to the heart of the matter. Barack Obama said famously, "I am the only major candidate who has opposed this war from the beginning. And as president, I will end it." What he really meant was "I will disengage U.S. forces from it." An enemy not yet defeated will have decidedly chosen not to "end it," and therefore likely claimed an abandoned victory for their own.

In 2004, President Bush was the only major candidate who supported the war. And as president, he won it. He might get a footnote in the immediate contemporary history to be written in the coming months and years, while Obama will be awarded full credit for withdrawing U.S. forces — now that, as Michael Yon describes to Glenn Reynolds via phone from Iraq, in "the 10th Mountain Division . . . about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months."

"THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:" Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. "There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything. I've been asking Iraqis, 'do you think the violence will kick up again,' but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they're usually dour." There's a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that's a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.
To be sure, the murderous enemies of al-Qaeda, remnant insurgents and Iranian-backed Special Groups led, trained, armed and funded by the IRGC's Quds Force were not sitting back cowering in hopes of relief through talks without preconditions by then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

No, they were defeated on the battlefield by American forces, Iraqi forces, Coalition allies and an emboldened and protected citizenry. All of this made possible by one man's steadfast determination to win the war: President George W. Bush. He was about victory when victory wasn't cool.

The absence of the concept of "Victory" (let alone the word) or any recommendations geared toward actually achieving victory in the over-hyped and under-performing Iraq Study Group Report was palpable. It was the spark that inspired Marvin Hutchens, Michael Tanji and me to shut down all other activities for several weeks upon reading the ISG Report and construct a counter-study; one that was geared toward achieving victory in Iraq. In fact, so central was victory to each of the 40 recommendations, that's exactly what we titled the 33-page report: Achieving Victory In Iraq. It was well-received where it was distributed.

You might be saying now, "Way to congratulate yourself, Schippert," right? Wrong. I am trying to illustrate a few things with that self-reference above.

There is no way to end a war but through victory or defeat. Defeat is embraced through various forms of nuanced language, such as "end it," "honorable withdrawal" and "redeploy." Victory requires no such trickery or vocabulary. Victory is victory.

No victory is ever assured, and not every idea or strategy is a good one. If such were the case, there would have been no need for an Iraq Study Group Report or The Surge® which ultimately defied it. But the drive for victory must remain constant; learning, adapting, lopping off the bad ideas not working and implementing new ones in their place. Likewise, an American public and political leadership must expect and demand the same rather than giving up and embracing defeat under the guise of "ending it," seeking honorable withdrawal or redeployment without defeating the enemy first.

There is no monopoly of good ideas (or bad) held within Washington, DC. There is nothing special in the Beltway water, nor anything intellectually disabling on such matters in the water elsewhere. Take personal ownership of and responsibility for your own understanding and knowledge base. Build it. Discuss it openly along the perpetual path of learning, unafraid of (and open to perhaps) being wrong and without seeking personal credit and recognition when you are correct. This is where ideas come from, not a special Fountain of Brilliance nestled in some undisclosed DC-area location. And ideas shape strategies implemented by brave and humblingly capable men and women. Ideas produce victories. You can contribute.

There are many who deserve credit for the successful strategy that has brought victory in Iraq (one which must, naturally, be maintained and preserved), such as General David Petraeus, Fred Kagan, Jack Keane, Aussie David Kilcullen, Dr. Mary Habeck, and the list could go on to include every man and woman in and out of uniform who contributed and sacrificed. But the fact remains that only President George W. Bush made or would have made the command decision he made. Only President George W. Bush, derided and vilified, had the conviction and determination to allow a path to victory when nearly everyone else had written Iraq — and her people — off to defeat. Call it "The Audacity of Victory."

Imagine life as an Iraqi in Baghdad or Ramadi or even Fallujah or Najaf or Baquba and all points between had President Bush relented to common popular domestic and international wisdom, opinion and sentiment and left the Iraqi people to the wolves among them, only to abandon them by "ending it," executing an "honorable withdrawal," or "redeploying" our forces. Our defeat would have been theirs ten-fold. Ask one.

Our current narrative-defining trifecta of media, political elite, and academia will surely not credit George W. Bush with achieving victory in Iraq while they are afforded the more palatable option of crediting a President Barack H. Obama with a draw-down of forces. But it is with certainty afforded by said trifecta's predictability that without President George W. Bush's steadfast determination and leadership, the events, discussion and reporting surrounding Iraq today would be horrific in nature.

The audacity of victory. You have to want it.
(Also see Greyhawk and Bob Owens weighing in on Michael Yon's assessment, as well as a compelling before-and-after video by JD Johannes via Blackfive.)

Time Bomb

The Iranian aspiration to nuclear weaponry is causing this complex problem to assume the dimensions of a time bomb. Internal struggles within the Bush administration have blocked the momentum toward a military operation. In Israel, there has been more serious consideration of such an option, but it has not matured into a decision. However, the political reality has changed more than the military-technological situation. The agonies of grappling with the decision have been transferred to the new holders of the same offices - more than anyone else, to president-elect Barack Obama, to the person who will head the government of Israel and, in addition, to their cabinet ministers, top intelligence and air force professionals and various military advisors.

A week ago, Obama expressed public lack of confidence in American intelligence when he refused to be impressed by the quality of the briefing he received from the Central Intelligence Agency. Even if he replaces the experts and the chiefs, Obama will have to deal with two eternal verities: Iran is continuing to progress along its road to nuclear-weapons capability, and Israel will not agree to this. Some people will tell Obama they doubt whether it is a foregone conclusion, but Obama will be compelled to assume that the scenario liable to be realized is at the grave end of the spectrum. Iran is conducting a series of miniature, and for the most part unilateral, wars in the region. That its victims have refrained from inflicting damage in return has increased the appetite of Suleimani and his colleagues, who behave as though they are immune from what happened to Mughniyeh.

Prior to Obama's inauguration, at least three regular U.S. situation assessments are slated to relate to the Iranian issue: a National Intelligence Estimate, a review of the military situation (the "threat" versus the "response") by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a reexamination of the Middle East strategy, which Petraeus announced at the Senate hearing prior to his appointment as commander of CENTCOM, the central command of the U.S. Army. It is in the space between these documents and Obama's campaign platform that a new American policy will find its place: more flexibility in the envelope of contacts with Iran, without a relaxation of the aggregate of pressures to stop its military nuclearization, its indirect war on Israel and the United States, and its bullying activity to achieve supremacy in and around the Persian Gulf.

Obama will also quickly come up against the interlocking realities of foreign policy. His election promise of a quick evacuation from Iraq will melt away in a graduated timetable, in part because the promise has already been perceived as hasty in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In Iran he prefers dialogue, followed by defense, with attack only treated as a last resort. Defense against Iran, however, complicates matters vis-a-vis the Russians, who are more and more vociferously opposed to the deployment of American interception missiles and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The two most important spokesmen for the U.S. Army on the question of Iran are Petraeus and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen. In a lecture after Obama's victory, Mullen said that the Middle East is his top concern, that three-quarters of the available American military force is invested there, and that Iran is undermining the region's stability, both as a catalyst for a nuclear arms race and as the benefactor of terror organizations. Petraeus, in his responses to the Senate committee, said similar things.

The first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991, in Obama's opinion, was the model of a successful war: diplomatic alliances, few losses, low costs (he ignores 12 dry years of attrition in air strikes that followed the cease-fire). In that war, the American alliance was joined not only by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but also by Syria. Today, the assessment of the Israel Defense Forces is that Syria, for the very same reason of competition with Iraq, which borders it, will maintain its alliance with Iran. In order to convince himself - and the public and Congress - that a confrontation with Iran is inevitable, Obama will first try to carry out a dialogue with the Iranian leadership. The U.S. Army supports this. Petraeus has suggested reaching out, "to help moderate, pragmatic elements that might influence the internal Iranian debate over Iran's foreign policy and long-term security interests."

If the previous president, Mohammad Khatami, who fits Petraeus' qualifications, participates in the election next spring, and defeats his provocateur successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Obama will lift the precondition for dialogue that was established by the Bush administration: the cessation of uranium enrichment. Iran will present to the world a more relaxed and demure face, one that is no longer calling for the destruction of Israel, and at the same time it will consistently move closer to a bomb, because in Tehran it isn't the president who decides what happens, but rather Khamenei and the Islamic clerics, and alongside them Suleimani and the Revolutionary Guard.

The next government in Tehran will be established in June. By the end of the year Iran will have in its hands sufficient weapons-quality nuclear material for a bomb. Thus the autumn of 2009 will be the time for decision, in Washington and in Jerusalem. If there are those (in Iran, Europe, America or Israel) who are toying with the illusion that the election of Obama will change the face of the Bush policy and prevent the use of military force to thwart the Iranians' nuclearization, they are destined to find themselves disabused of that notion.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maybe they're getting the message

Boehner to Face Leadership Challenge

ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: A conservative California congressman announced Friday that he's mounting a leadership challenge to House Minority Leader John Boehner, as the GOP continues to assess the fallout from last week’s election losses.
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., becomes the first rank-and-file House member to announce his intent to challenge the top House Republican in next week’s leadership elections. The No. 2 and No. 3 House Republicans have said they’re stepping down from their posts, but Boehner is seeking another term as minority leader.
“I am embarking on this effort because I think our Party is in trouble,” Lungren wrote in a letter to colleagues Friday afternoon. “If we don’t admit our difficulties and address them aggressively, we not only run the risk of becoming a permanent Congressional Minority but we will do a disservice to our nation.”

Lungren even though he is from California represents a much larger concern for conservative values than Minority Leader John Boehner. I wish him well in his challenge and hope other more conservative Representatives step up to the plate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Full Article

And better commentary on it!

We Blew It
A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered.

by P.J. O'Rourke
11/17/2008, Volume 014, Issue 09

Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy. (pure bullshit, what was missed was the opportunity to explain to the people, why the GOVERNMENT and particularly the Democrat party was to blame for the current financial crises, the very claim that Mr O'Rourke makes that conservatism is gone along with Bear Sterns shows part of the systemic problem inside the beltway. The balls to speak the truth)

An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected. And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honor, truth, trust, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue, or mosque? It lies in ruins at our feet, as well it might, since we ourselves kicked the shining city upon a hill into dust and rubble. The progeny of the Reagan Revolution will live instead in the universe that revolves around Hyde Park.(because the Party Elite abandoned it's principals along with the people who they were supposed to represent)

Mind you, they won't live in Hyde Park. Those leafy precincts will be reserved for the micromanagers and macro-apparatchiks of liberalism--for Secretary of the Department of Peace Bill Ayers and Secretary of the Department of Fairness Bernardine Dohrn. The formerly independent citizens of our previously self-governed nation will live, as I said, around Hyde Park. They will make what homes they can in the physical, ethical, and intellectual slums of the South Side of Chicago. (Whiner)

The South Side of Chicago is what everyplace in America will be once the Democratic administration and filibuster-resistant Democratic Congress have tackled global warming, sustainability, green alternatives to coal and oil, subprime mortgage foreclosures, consumer protection, business oversight, financial regulation, health care reform, taxes on the "rich," and urban sprawl. The Democrats will have plenty of time to do all this because conservatism, if it is ever reborn, will not come again in the lifetime of anyone old enough to be rounded up by ACORN and shipped to the polling booths. (Once again bullshit, as the economy goes into complete collapse which the above measures will bring. Conservatives not middle of the road lost all hope republican politicians will Act)

None of this is the fault of the left. After the events of the 20th century--national socialism, international socialism, inter-species socialism from Earth First--anyone who is still on the left is obviously insane and not responsible for his or her actions. No, we on the right did it. The financial crisis that is hoisting us on our own petard is only the latest (if the last) of the petard hoistings that have issued from the hindquarters of our movement. We've had nearly three decades to educate the electorate about freedom, responsibility, and the evils of collectivism, and we responded by creating a big-city-public-school-system of a learning environment. (In other words instead of speaking the truth and educating the masses of how the real world works, mealy mouthed politicians worried about what would be printed about them in the NY Times)

Liberalism had been running wild in the nation since the Great Depression. At the end of the Carter administration we had it cornered in one of its dreadful low-income housing projects or smelly public parks or some such place, and we held the Taser gun in our hand, pointed it at the beast's swollen gut, and didn't pull the trigger. Liberalism wasn't zapped and rolled away on a gurney and confined somewhere until it expired from natural causes such as natural law or natural rights. (Wrong it was ZAPPED Reagan cut taxes breathed life back into the American dream and when he left, not one person picked up the ball for the gipper instead the folded and ran instead for good press instead of good policy)

In our preaching and our practice we neglected to convey the organic and universal nature of freedom. Thus we ensured our loss before we even began our winning streak. Barry Goldwater was an admirable and principled man. He took an admirably principled stand on states' rights. But he was dead wrong. Separate isn't equal. Ask a kid whose parents are divorced. (Oh give me a break, You betray state rights with that statement advocate federal control and use a symptom of Democrat policy results as your example)

Since then modern conservatism has been plagued by the wrong friends and the wrong foes. The "Southern Strategy" was bequeathed to the Republican party by Richard Nixon--not a bad friend of conservatism but no friend at all. The Southern Strategy wasn't needed. Southern whites were on--begging the pardon of the Scopes trial jury--an evolutionary course toward becoming Republican. There's a joke in Arkansas about a candidate hustling votes in the country. The candidate asks a farmer how many children he has.

"I've got six sons," the farmer says.

"Are they all good little Democrats?" the candidate asks.

"Well," the farmer says, "five of 'em are. But my oldest boy, he got to readin'  .  .  .  " (yeah he must have been home schooled)

There was no need to piss off the entire black population of America to get Dixie's electoral votes. And despising cracker trash who have a laundry hamper full of bedsheets with eye-holes cut in them does not make a man a liberal. (yeah ask Senator Byrd or Al Gores father)

Blacks used to poll Republican. They did so right up until Mrs. Roosevelt made some sympathetic noises in 1932. And her husband didn't even deliver on Eleanor's promises.

It's not hard to move a voting bloc. And it should be especially easy to move voters to the right. Sensible adults are conservative in most aspects of their private lives. If this weren't so, imagine driving on I-95: The majority of drivers are drunk, stoned, making out, or watching TV, while the rest are trying to calculate the size of their carbon footprints on the backs of Whole Foods receipts while negotiating lane changes. (but where are the Politicians on the right with the BALLS to point this out?)

People are even more conservative if they have children. Nobody with kids is a liberal, except maybe one pothead in Marin County. Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns. (The last is optional and includes, but is not limited to, me, my friends in New Hampshire, and Sarah Palin.) (or the entire inner city black population who have been taught the opposite and rewarded for abandoning those children to drugs and the system, Look at any city that has been run by Democrats for more than 5 decades and they are all at the top of the list of unemployment, illiteracy, murder, drug consumption, and dept)

Reagan managed to reach out to blue collar whites. But there his reach stopped, leaving many people on our side, but barely knowing it. There are enough yarmulkes among the neocons to show that Jews are not immune to conservatism. Few practicing Catholics vote Democratic anymore except in Massachusetts where they put something in the communion wafers. When it comes to a full-on, hemp-wearing, kelp-eating, mandala-tatted, fool-coifed liberal with socks in sandals, I have never met a Muslim like that or a Chinese and very few Hispanics. No U.S. immigrants from the Indian subcontinent fill that bill (the odd charlatan yogi excepted), nor do immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, or East Asia. And Japanese tourists may go so far as socks in sandals, but their liberal nonsense stops at the ankles. (yet the wimps that run on the right don't reach out and convey those facts to these groups instead they allow them to fall to the democrat propaganda of race, color and group politics preached by the left that have no proof of success to back up their claims yet they go unchallenged by the right)

We have all of this going for us, worldwide. And yet we chose to deliver our sermons only to the faithful or the already converted. Of course the trailer park Protestants yell "Amen." If you were handling rattlesnakes and keeping dinosaurs for pets, would you vote for the party that gets money from PETA? (just another piece of foolish filler in this article of crap)

In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy. (more lack of understanding Abortion is a states issue it should have never been a Federal one, the whole issue is a red herring)

The real message of the conservative pro-life position is that we're in favor of living. We consider people--with a few obvious exceptions--to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, and clothe them and to pick up the trash around their FEMA trailers and to make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources. (just fluff to add to the article)

If the citizenry insists that abortion remain legal--and, in a passive and conflicted way, the citizenry seems to be doing so--then give the issue a rest. Meanwhile we can, with the public's blessing, refuse to spend taxpayers' money on killing, circumscribe the timing and method of taking a human life, make sure parental consent is obtained when underage girls are involved, and tar and feather teenage boys and run them out of town on a rail. The law cannot be made identical with morality. Scan the list of the Ten Commandments and see how many could be enforced even by Rudy Giuliani. (once again the only way to do this is turn it back to the states)

Our impeachment of President Clinton was another example of placing the wrong political emphasis on personal matters. We impeached Clinton for lying to the government. To our surprise the electorate gave us cold comfort. Lying to the government: It's called April 15th. And we accused Clinton of lying about sex, which all men spend their lives doing, starting at 15 bragging about things we haven't done yet, then on to fibbing about things we are doing, and winding up with prevarications about things we no longer can do. (He was the President and he lied under oath to avoid charges of rape, once again the lack of balls to state facts instead of letting the press frame the issue let a man who should be serving time walk away and brag about it instead)

When the Monica Lewinsky news broke, my wife set me straight about the issue. "Here," she said, "is the most powerful man in the world. And everyone hates his wife. What's the matter with Sharon Stone? Instead, he's hitting on an emotionally disturbed intern barely out of her teens." But our horn rims were so fogged with detestation of Clinton that we couldn't see how really detestable he was. If we had stayed our hand in the House of Representatives and treated the brute with shunning or calls for interventions to make him seek help, we might have chased him out of the White House. (Although this probably would have required a U.S. news media from a parallel universe.) (or members of the house with principals and the balls to stand by them)

Such things as letting the abortion debate be turned against us and using the gravity of the impeachment process on something that required the fly-swat of pest control were strategic errors. Would that blame could be put on our strategies instead of ourselves. We have lived up to no principle of conservatism. (the first true statement in the article)

Government is bigger than ever. We have fattened the stalled ox and hatred therewith rather than dined on herbs where love (and the voter) is. Instead of flattening the Department of Education with a wrecking ball we let it stand as a pulpit for Bill Bennett. When--to switch metaphors yet again--such a white elephant is not discarded someone will eventually try to ride in the howdah on its back. One of our supposed own did. No Child Left Behind? What if they deserve to be left behind? What if they deserve a smack on the behind? A nationwide program to test whether kids are what? Stupid? You've got kids. Kids are stupid. (because of the policies that have been allowed to govern education, once again led by the left. Remember it was Teddy Kennedy who really wrote no child left behind)

We railed at welfare and counted it a great victory when Bill Clinton confused a few poor people by making the rules more complicated. But the "French-bread lines" for the rich, the "terrapin soup kitchens," continue their charity without stint. (The true propaganda babbling of the left never stated it better)

The sludge and dreck of political muck-funds flowing to prosperous businesses and individuals have gotten deeper and more slippery and stink worse than ever with conservatives minding the sewage works of legislation. (and you blame conservatism for that? Your a fool)

Agriculture is a business that has been up to its bib overalls in politics since the first Thanksgiving dinner kickback to the Indians for subsidizing Pilgrim maize production with fish head fertilizer grants. But never, since the Mayflower knocked the rock in Plymouth, has anything as putrid as the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 been spread upon the land. Just the name says it. There are no farms left. Not like the one grampa grew up on. (The Legacy of Tom Daschel)

A "farm" today means 100,000 chickens in a space the size of a Motel 6 shower stall. If we cared anything about "nutrition" we would--to judge by the mountainous, jiggling flab of Americans--stop growing all food immediately. And "bioenergy" is a fraud of John Edwards-marital-fidelity proportions. Taxpayer money composted to produce a fuel made of alcohol that is more expensive than oil, more polluting than oil, and almost as bad as oil with vermouth and an olive. But this bill passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was happily signed into law by President Bush. Now it's going to cost us at least $285 billion. That's about five times the gross domestic product of prewar Iraq. For what we will spend on the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 we could have avoided the war in Iraq and simply bought a controlling interest in Saddam Hussein's country. (but were saving the planet by burning our food)

Yes, we got a few tax breaks during the regimes of Reagan and W. But the government is still taking a third of our salary. Is the government doing a third of our job? Is the government doing a third of our dishes? Our laundry? Our vacuuming? When we go to Hooters is the government tending bar making sure that one out of three margaritas is on the house? If our spouse is feeling romantic and we're tired, does the government come over to our house and take care of foreplay? (Actually, during the Clinton administration  .  .  .  ) (sorry but the government is screwing us and it's more like 53% while they now plot to steal our 401ks)

Anyway, a low tax rate is not--never mind the rhetoric of every conservative politician--a bedrock principle of conservatism. The principle is fiscal responsibility. (Which starts with low taxes and controlled spending you ASS)

Conservatives should never say to voters, "We can lower your taxes." Conservatives should say to voters, "You can raise spending. You, the electorate, can, if you choose, have an infinite number of elaborate and expensive government programs. But we, the government, will have to pay for those programs. We have three ways to pay. (no they have one way "make us pay for it)

"We can inflate the currency, destroying your ability to plan for the future, wrecking the nation's culture of thrift and common sense, and giving free rein to scallywags to borrow money for worthless scams and pay it back 10 cents on the dollar. (which thanks to the Dems messing with the banking regs, we are in the process of doing now)

"We can raise taxes. If the taxes are levied across the board, money will be taken from everyone's pocket, the economy will stagnate, and the poorest and least advantaged will be harmed the most. If the taxes are levied only on the wealthy, money will be taken from wealthy people's pockets, hampering their capacity to make loans and investments, the economy will stagnate, and the poorest and the least advantaged will be harmed the most. (which has already begun)

"And we can borrow, building up a massive national debt. This will cause all of the above things to happen plus it will fund Red Chinese nuclear submarines that will be popping up in San Francisco Bay to get some decent Szechwan take-out." (this to has long been the policy since Bill Clinton's imaginary surplus)

Yes, this would make for longer and less pithy stump speeches. But we'd be showing ourselves to be men and women of principle. It might cost us, short-term. We might get knocked down for not whoring after bioenergy votes in the Iowa caucuses. But at least we wouldn't land on our scruples. And we could get up again with dignity intact, dust ourselves off, and take another punch at the liberal bully-boys who want to snatch the citizenry's freedom and tuck that freedom, like a trophy feather, into the hatbands of their greasy political bowlers. (which will happen quicker than the idiots in office think)

But are we men and women of principle? And I don't mean in the matter of tricky and private concerns like gay marriage. Civil marriage is an issue of contract law. A constitutional amendment against gay marriage? I don't get it. How about a constitutional amendment against first marriages? Now we're talking. No, I speak, once again, of the geological foundations of conservatism. (No you don't because you don't understand that those foundations are the people NOT the idiot Politicians that call temselves Republicans)

Where was the meum and the tuum in our shakedown of Washington lobbyists? It took a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives 40 years--from 1954 to 1994--to get that corrupt and arrogant. And we managed it in just 12. (Who says Republicans don't have much on the ball?) (and with the last two elections the people of the right made them pay for it with lack of support, when will they and you realize that?)

Our attitude toward immigration has been repulsive. Are we not pro-life? Are not immigrants alive? Unfortunately, no, a lot of them aren't after attempting to cross our borders. Conservative immigration policies are as stupid as conservative attitudes are gross. Fence the border and give a huge boost to the Mexican ladder industry. Put the National Guard on the Rio Grande and know that U.S. troops are standing between you and yard care. George W. Bush, at his most beneficent, said if illegal immigrants wanted citizenship they would have to do three things: Pay taxes, learn English, and work in a meaningful job. Bush doesn't meet two out of three of those qualifications. And where would you rather eat? At a Vietnamese restaurant? Or in the Ayn Rand Café? Hey, waiter, are the burgers any good? Atlas shrugged. (We would, however, be able to have a smoke at the latter establishment.) (that paragraph is pure stupidity it buys into the lefts confussion of immigration and following the law)

To go from slime to the sublime, there are the lofty issues about which we never bothered to form enough principles to go out and break them. What is the coherent modern conservative foreign policy? (Help our Friends and Kill our enemies)

We may think of this as a post 9/11 problem, but it's been with us all along. What was Reagan thinking, landing Marines in Lebanon to prop up the government of a country that didn't have one? In 1984, I visited the site where the Marines were murdered. It was a beachfront bivouac overlooked on three sides by hills full of hostile Shiite militia. You'd urge your daughter to date Rosie O'Donnell before you'd put troops ashore in such a place. (ahh now an arm chair general that summed up lebenon totaly wrong)

Since the early 1980s I've been present at the conception (to use the polite term) of many of our foreign policy initiatives. Iran-contra was about as smart as using the U.S. Postal Service to get weapons to anti-Communists. And I notice Danny Ortega is back in power anyway. I had a look into the eyes of the future rulers of Afghanistan at a sura in Peshawar as the Soviets were withdrawing from Kabul. I would rather have had a beer with Leonid Brezhnev. (Well go buy him one)

Fall of the Berlin wall? Being there was fun. Nations that flaked off of the Soviet Union in southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus? Being there was not so fun. (Especially after we abbandoned them)

The aftermath of the Gulf war still makes me sick. Fine to save the fat, greedy Kuwaitis and the arrogant, grasping house of Saud, but to hell with the Shiites and Kurds of Iraq until they get some oil. (We followed International law and the UN mandates we kept our word)

Then, half a generation later, when we returned with our armies, we expected to be greeted as liberators. And, damn it, we were. I was in Baghdad in April 2003. People were glad to see us, until they noticed that we'd forgotten to bring along any personnel or provisions to feed or doctor the survivors of shock and awe or to get their electricity and water running again. After that they got huffy and began stuffing dynamite down their pants before consulting with the occupying forces. (More arm chair genneraling)

Is there a moral dimension to foreign policy in our political philosophy? Or do we just exist to help the world's rich people make and keep their money? (And a fine job we've been doing of that lately.) (That's the Democrats Line)

If we do have morals, where were they while Bosnians were slaughtered? And where were we while Clinton dithered over the massacres in Kosovo and decided, at last, to send the Serbs a message: Mess with the United States and we'll wait six months, then bomb the country next to you. Of Rwanda, I cannot bear to think, let alone jest. (more Democrat policy of war and when it should be used)

And now, to glue and screw the lid on our coffin, comes this financial crisis. For almost three decades we've been trying to teach average Americans to act like "stakeholders" in their economy. They learned. They're crying and whining for government bailouts just like the billionaire stakeholders in banks and investment houses. Aid, I can assure you, will be forthcoming from President Obama. (Because he is a marxist and his chief of staff was running Fannie Mae when it cooked the booked for Billions)

Then average Americans will learn the wisdom of Ronald Reagan's statement: "The ten most dangerous words in the English language are, 'I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help.' " Ask a Katrina survivor. (Yes Katrina the failure of a Democrat Mayor and a Democrat Govenor blamed on Bush because no one had the balls to state the facts)

The left has no idea what's going on in the financial crisis. And I honor their confusion. Jim Jerk down the road from me, with all the cars up on blocks in his front yard, falls behind in his mortgage payments, and the economy of Iceland implodes. I'm missing a few pieces of this puzzle myself. (He doesn't know because our leaders are to cowardly to tell him)

Under constant political pressure, which went almost unresisted by conservatives, a lot of lousy mortgages that would never be repaid were handed out to Jim Jerk and his drinking buddies and all the ex-wives and single mothers with whom Jim and his pals have littered the nation. (and even today the Republicans have refused to scream the truth)

Wall Street looked at the worthless paper and thought, "How can we make a buck off this?" The answer was to wrap it in a bow. Take a wide enough variety of lousy mortgages--some from the East, some from the West, some from the cities, some from the suburbs, some from shacks, some from McMansions--bundle them together and put pressure on the bond rating agencies to do fancy risk management math, and you get a "collateralized debt obligation" with a triple-A rating. Good as cash. Until it wasn't. (Lead by Barney Frank and Chris Dodds encouragement from congress)

Or, put another way, Wall Street was pulling the "room full of horse s--" trick. Brokerages were saying, "We're going to sell you a room full of horse s--. And with that much horse s--, you just know there's a pony in there somewhere." (but the government told them for every horse they better sell at least 2 ponies)

Anyway, it's no use blaming Wall Street. Blaming Wall Street for being greedy is like scolding defensive linemen for being big and aggressive. The people on Wall Street never claimed to be public servants. They took no oath of office. They're in it for the money. We pay them to be in it for the money. We don't want our retirement accounts to get a 2 percent return. (Although that sounds pretty good at the moment.)

What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That's not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. "Jeeze, 230 pounds!" But you can't pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters--all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs--think so too. (supply and demand is the only true gospel yet where are it's preachers)

We, the conservatives, who do understand the free market, had the responsibility to--as it were--foreclose upon this mess. The market is a measurement, but that measuring does not work to the advantage of a nation or its citizens unless the assessments of volume, circumference, and weight are conducted with transparency and under the rule of law. We've had the rule of law largely in our hands since 1980. Where is the transparency? It's one more job we botched. (Blocked at every turn to do so be the left in the House and Senate)

Although I must say we're doing good work on our final task--attaching the garden hose to our car's exhaust pipe and running it in through a vent window. Barack and Michelle will be by in a moment with some subsidized ethanol to top up our gas tank. And then we can turn the key. (you turn the key you worthless bastard, the rest of us will fight for the truth, the constitution and true capitalism. Our best hope is if half the elected republicans crawl into that garage before you turn the key)

P.J. O'Rourke is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.