What is happening?
The Gods of Liberalism Revisited
The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever. But how can we escape the snare?
Saturday, February 09, 2008
What is happening?
MANASSAS, Va., Feb. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, today released the results of a true random poll of 1,000 conservative activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. CPAC is the nation's largest annual gathering of conservatives, and was chosen by former Gov. Mitt Romney as the place where he announced his withdrawal from the GOP presidential race on Thursday.
The first question asked of the 1,000 conservative activists was: "In your opinion, is Senator John McCain a true conservative?"
Yes 197 (19.7%)
No 595 (59.5%)
Undecided 208 (20.8%)
The second question was: "If Senator John McCain is the Republican nominee, I will…"
- 299 29.9% "strongly support McCain"
- 279 27.9% "I will vote for McCain, but do not expect to work or contribute"
- 35 3.5% "I will vote for the Democratic nominee"
- 90 9.0% "I will vote for a conservative third party candidate if one is on the ballot in my state"
- 40 4.0% "I will not vote"
- 257 25.7% "I am undecided at this time--I need to see if Senator McCain reaches out to conservatives in a serious and meaningful way"
"From these results, it is clear that Senator McCain has a challenge in gaining the conservative support he needs in order to win the general election," says David Franke of ConservativeHQ.com. "Only 3 in 10 conservative activists strongly support him. Even if you add in the people who will limit their activity to voting for him, and all of the undecided conservatives (not likely), he will have only 83.5% of the conservative vote. Historically, the Republican presidential candidate needs more than 80% of the conservative vote in order to win. The poll results show he can possibly reach that level of conservative support, but it will be dauntingly hard."
Friday, February 08, 2008
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following is U.S. Congressman Mike Pence's (R-IN) speech to Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this morning in Washington, D.C.:
Today I come to CPAC 2008 to speak not about conservatism's past, but its future. Because, despite the obituary that is being written for conservatism in this election, I believe this movement will define the Republican Party for generations to come.
And, as the theme of this conference attests, the future of freedom and the future of conservatism is forward.
We are past the time where we can indulge in woulda, coulda, shoulda. We must look forward.
Though the odds are still 50/50 on who the eventual Democratic nominee will be, the odds are 100 percent it will be a liberal: Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
And when I think of Hillary or Barack in the Oval Office, I have to tell you, I feel like that squirrel in the Super Bowl tire commercial.
Conservatives don't have to agree on everything. But we do need to agree on one thing: There cannot be a President Obama or another President Clinton in the White House.
I know some of you are considering sitting this one out. I understand. Our disappointments are deep, and they are legitimate. There are issues on which we are deeply divided. And the events of the past 24 hours have left many of you even more conflicted.
But not liking the choice is not the same as having no choice.
In this election, we will have a clear choice for the American people:
There will be a choice between a candidate who vows to defend this nation and support our military, and a candidate publicly committed to defeat, retreat, and appeasement.
There will be a choice between a candidate who promises fiscal restraint and lower taxes; and a candidate who fervently vows to take more and spend more.
There will be a choice between a candidate who promises to protect and defend the sanctity of human life and one who will work every day to promote abortion on demand at home and abroad.
Those are the stakes.
Men and women of the conservative movement, we stand on the precipice of a national election that will define America's place in the world, the federal government's place in our lives and the very nature of life and family.
As this national contest begins anew, conservatives need to renew our commitment to the American ideals that have become ours alone to defend.
This movement and our candidates must stand for life and liberty and limited government
And make no mistake about it, the future of conservatism begins with a commitment to the unalienable right to life. Without the right to life there is no right to liberty or property.
Our candidate must be willing to stand for the unborn and commit to appointing justices to the Supreme Court who will consign Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history.
And our candidates must be willing to deny federal funding to any organization that promotes abortion at home and abroad. The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X. It is time to end all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America.
And the future of conservatism demands that we be willing to fiercely defend our liberties at home and abroad. Whether the national media will ever admit it, freedom is winning in Iraq. The Democrats have a new strategy. They have added denial to their agenda of retreat and defeat.
Our candidates must take the fight over Iraq to the opposition and tell the American people the truth. Thanks to our Commander in Chief and tens of thousands of our men and women in uniform, the surge is working, Al Qaeda is on the run, and Operation Iraqi Freedom is a widening American success.
And the future of conservatism demands that we stand for the traditional definition of marriage. Marriage was ordained by God and instituted in law. It is the glue of the American family and the safest harbor to raise children. Conservatives must defend traditional marriage by passing the Federal Marriage Amendment.
And the future of conservatism demands that we oppose censorship, whether it takes the form of the so-called Fairness Doctrine or takes the form of Campaign Finance Reform. Our freedom to speak and listen to who we want when we want is a blood-bought American right. We must not permit the Democrats to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
Talk radio makes up the signal battalion of our movement. As Democrats pledge to return censorship to the airwaves of America, conservatives should know the next President of the United States can restore the so-called Fairness Doctrine without an act of Congress. Our candidates must stand for freedom, reject the censorship of the left and commit to end the Fairness Doctrine once and for all
And the future of conservatism demands that we renew our commitment to limited government, fiscal discipline and reform. Our candidates must expose the Democrats’ plan to pass the largest tax increase in American history, explode government spending and over-regulate our economy in the name of climate change.
As we expose their big government plans, we must rededicate ourselves to a balanced federal budget that lives within its means by instituting spending discipline and pro-growth tax relief. We must renew our commitment to limited government by embracing entitlement reform built on Lincoln's adage that government not do for a man what he can and should do for himself.
We must again be the party of reform, we must end earmarking as we know it, embrace an immediate earmark moratorium and offer the American people a clear choice between the spending as usual Democrats and Republicans who have rediscovered their enthusiasm for the Contract with America.
To move forward, conservatives must recognize that Republican candidates win when they articulate conservative values. From our nominee for president on down, Republicans who win are Republicans who embrace life, liberty and limited government.
When we embrace conservative values, Americans embrace our party.
But to go forward, we need a champion who will lead our party to a victory for our values in 2008.
And now that Republican voters have essentially selected a nominee, many are asking, "What are conservatives to do?"
In the race for the nomination, I appreciate so much the pro-family stands of Governor Mike Huckabee. And let me take the opportunity to commend Mitt Romney on running a brilliant, conservative campaign.
But now I direct my comments to the frontrunner in this race, Senator John McCain.
It may come as a surprise to many of you, but I've gotten to know Senator McCain over the past few years. Despite our differences on some key issues, I've worked with Senator McCain: opposing runaway federal spending under Republican control, supporting the president's decision to surge forces in Iraq and we've even found time to do a little shopping together.
Let me be clear: I did not endorse the Senator from Arizona. We have clashed on the issues too many times for that.
But let me say from my heart, based on what I've personally seen of Senator McCain from the floor of Congress to the "watchfires of circling camps" in Baghdad and Ramadi, I could support Senator McCain for President of the United States. But he's going to have to take a little advice from a friend.
Senator McCain, after that marvelous speech at CPAC yesterday, we know you hear us. And that you know you need us. The sentiments you expressed from this podium are a very welcome start. They spoke not of mere concessions or accommodations to the conservative viewpoint, but were the positions we all hold dear.
But you know your conservative base is divided. Reluctant support for the sake of the party is not enough. In order to win, you need from the Republican base more than a half-hearted agreement to trudge to the polls and hold their noses.
You need enthusiasm. Foot stomping, flag-waving, crawl-over-broken-glass-to-vote enthusiasm.
The kind we had for Reagan.
Senator McCain, as much as it would please you to have that kind of enthusiasm from conservatives, it would please conservatives even more to have reason to give it. We long to once again feel that authentic spirit of hope and optimism for our county.
And I have to say, when you spoke yesterday, there were times that I sensed it was possible.
Your commitment to our troops and winning the war on terror was, of course, never at issue, but your unequivocal pledges on other conservative points are what hearten us most.
You promised a clear conservative approach to government:
- To make the tax cuts permanent
- To fight big government spending
- To veto any bill with earmarks and roll back entitlement programs
- To secure our borders first
- To appoint judges who will interpret the law and not make it
- To stand without apology for the sanctity of life
And you told us that you are not in the habit of making promises you don't intend to keep.
These are the specifics that conservatives need to hear and keep hearing.
But now it's time for deeds. You can begin keeping those promises today. Whether this party comes together to support you as the nominee depends on your actions. So I offer you this challenge:
If you will continue to run on conservative issues and continue to build a solid conservative team and ticket, we can and will support you and work our hearts out to elect you as the 44th President of the United States.
You've claimed the Reagan mantle. Show us you know how to use it.
Senator McCain, if you continue to embrace the right, the right will embrace you.
And let me add, to my fellow conservatives here at CPAC and throughout the nation: If we are to ask this from our nominee, we must be willing to accept it when it comes.
If we reject out-of-hand the good faith offerings of the candidates now as too little, too late, we destroy all chance for the candidate to make good on them.
Will we disagree with a President John McCain? You bet.
One year in the minority in Congress has taught me that I would rather be occasionally arguing with a friend on the inside than standing on the outside watching everything we fought for at home and abroad being dismantled before our eyes.
Most of us cherish the opportunity to lift high the Reagan standard. Yet we cannot just emulate the policies of Reagan without appreciating the politics of Reagan. Ronald Reagan knew when to fight and when to join ranks.
After a bitter and bruising battle with Gerald Ford, he accepted defeat with grace and kept his eye on the future as he endorsed the moderate Ford. While he did not give up the fight, as evidenced by his stand for a party platform that was "a banner of bold, unmistakable colors, with no pastel shades" he also recognized the necessity of unity when he stood before GOP delegates and said:
"This is our challenge and this is why here in this hall tonight, better than we have ever done before, we have got to quite talking to each other and about each other and go out and communicate to the world the message they are waiting for."
Make no mistake about it, these are challenging days for the Grand Old Party, but I still have hope.
My hope is built on a belief in the innate wisdom and goodness of the American people and on my confidence that even still, God governs in the affairs of men.
When I think of the unknowable perils that await our nation in the 21st Century, the rise of communist China, the threat of Islamic extremism, the crushing weight of public debt and the collapse of the family, I believe with all my heart that the times and providence have called forth the right man to lead our nation "for such a time as this."
This past week, I spent some time on the couch in the home of the Lahmann family, the modest home of another soldier called to duty not in public life but in Iraq.
Growing up in rural Indiana, Johnny Lahmann was an exceptional young man and the joy of his mom, Linda and dad, Alan. Johnny was handy with tools and dreamed of becoming an auto mechanic. He took his first deer when he was just 10 years old.
After 9-11, Johnny responded to the call of duty, joined the Army and deployed to Bayji, Iraq. Specialist Lahmann served in the 59th Engineering Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, part of the Army III Corp based in Fort Hood, Texas.
On December 10, 2007, at the hands of the enemy, he fell. The small army locker in the living room and bittersweet memories are all that remains of his life in the home of his youth.
When Johnny came home, his parents marveled as thousands lined the streets of Richmond, Indiana. His Dad, Alan, told me Tuesday, "I have never seen anything like that in my entire life."
And neither had we.
Johnny Lahmann was a hero because Johnny Lahmann was a soldier.
America called Johnny to be a soldier and, as has always been the case in the history of this nation, the soldier stepped forward and saved the nation.
To go forward in these troubling times, Republican voters, and no less providence, have given us a soldier.
Let us seize upon this moment in history.
Let us renew our commitment to life, liberty and limited government and in so doing let us help the soldier unite this army and do everything in our power to see him to the presidency.
Nothing less than the future of freedom may hang in the balance.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush to the Conservative Political Action Conference:
Omni Shoreham Hotel
7:21 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, all. Good morning. I thank you for coming. I apologize to my friend -- he likes to sleep in. (Laughter.)
I really do want to thank you all for adjusting the schedule. Right after the speech I'm going to get on an airplane and fly to Tennessee. I'll be taking the prayers of the American people to those who suffered from the devastating tornados. (Applause.)
Mr. Leader, thank you for that introduction -- and I appreciate your outstanding leadership in the United States Senate. (Applause.) You know, Mr. Leader, I used to think that leading a group of strong-willed senators was one of the toughest jobs in the country. I may have found one even tougher one: father of the bride. (Laughter and applause.) You know, I told Laura I was going to say that and she said, well, you might add another one: son-in-law to the President. (Laughter.)
I thank you for the invitation. I appreciate the fact that you've invited our candidates to your forum; and thank you for the hearing you gave them. (Applause.) These are good, honorable people. And I appreciate the fact you invited Vice President Cheney here. (Applause.) He is the best Vice President in history. (Applause.) Mother may have a different opinion. (Laughter.) But don't tell her I said this, but my opinion is the one that counts. (Laughter and applause.)
Since I spoke with you last, some things have changed. It seems like my hair is little grayer. (Laughter.) And my jokes are a little older. And some say my speeches are a little windier. Some things haven’t changed: the principles I believe in and my deep, abiding faith in the American people. (Applause.)
It just doesn't seem all that long ago that David invited me here, but it's been about seven years, and during that time we have stood together and we have advanced a philosophy of freedom and responsibility that's made our nation a better place and a stronger place. And today I want to talk to you about what you and I have achieved together, what it tells us about the stakes in the year ahead, and why it is so important that we keep the White House in 2008. (Applause.)
I thank the leader, David Keene. He's a good guy. You know, this is the 35th -- yes -- anniversary, which means he started the deal when he was 15. (Laughter.) At least that's what he claims. (Laughter.) But thank you for your leadership. I thank you for your board. I've got a lot of friends up here at the head table and a lot of friends in the audience, and I really do appreciate what you've done.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, George.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. (Applause.)
A lot has happened over eight years -- that was the last time I spoke to you, was eight years ago. And we've seen vigorous debates -- a lot of debates -- on nearly every conceivable issue: matters that affected the prosperity and peace.
Our views are grounded in timeless truths. During these debates we stuck to timeless truths. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens. (Applause.) We believe our culture benefits from a diversity of faith, a respect for values, and the guidance of a higher power. (Applause.) We believe in personal responsibility. (Applause.) We believe in the universality of freedom. We believe our nation has the right to defend itself -- even if sometimes others disagree. (Applause.) And we believe America remains a force of good in our world. (Applause.)
There's another philosophy, and it's advanced by decent people who see the world differently. They tend to think Washington has the answers to our problems. They tend to believe our country only succeeds under the expansive federal government. They tend to be suspicious of America's exercise of global leadership -- unless, of course, we get a permission slip from international organizations. (Laughter.)
Over the past seven years, we have engaged this opposition with a clear and consistent philosophy. We didn't take polls to decide what to say. We didn't seek the advice of editorial pages to decide what to think. And we darn sure didn't seek the approval of groups like Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do. (Applause.)
We applied our philosophy on issues relating to economic prosperity. When I took office, we inherited a recession -- and then we acted. We were guided by this principle: the best way to help our economy grow is to leave money in the hands of those responsible for our prosperity. (Applause.) That, of course, would be the American people. And so with your support, we passed one of the largest tax cuts in American history -- and then we cut taxes again. (Applause.) In all, we delivered nearly $2 trillion in tax relief over the past seven years.
Our critics wanted a different approach. They believed that the best way to keep the economy -- to help the economy was to keep taxes in Washington and expand the size and scope of the federal government. One columnist wrote this -- one columnist said this, "Tax cuts -- any tax cuts -- are the wrong way to go." A prominent newspaper said my administration was on a tax cut rampage and called our tax relief unfair and unaffordable. A think tank expert called our tax relief a reckless gamble.
Despite these dire predictions, the tax cuts we passed contributed to a record 52 months of job creation. (Applause.) They helped produce strong economic growth -- and the increased revenues from that growth have put us on track to a balance our budget by 2012. (Applause.) Here is the bottom line: tax relief works. (Applause.)
We're in a period of economic uncertainty, and we've acted again. I want to thank the members for passing a good piece of legislation which I will sign into law next week. I want you all to understand that this bill reflects our principles. It is robust. It is pro-growth. It stimulates business investment. And it puts money into the hands of American consumers. (Applause.)
In the longer run, the best way to make sure that our economy continues to grow is to make the tax relief we passed permanent. (Applause.) Unfortunately -- unfortunately, the other side still hasn't learned the lessons. They want to let the tax cuts expire -- and some are claiming, of course, this isn't a tax increase. Yet if they have their way, 116 million American taxpayers would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Listen, I'm not known for my English -- (laughter) -- but in my way of speaking it sure sounds like a tax increase to me. (Laughter and applause.)
You and I know the American people are not under-taxed. The problem is Washington spends too much of your money. (Applause.) One of the things I have done is I have set priorities. And you must understand my passion about protecting America. My number one priority is to protect you. And after 9/11, we have substantially increased spending on defense, intelligence, and homeland security. And we will continue to provide for our troops; we will make sure the men and women who wear the uniform have the best and strongest support they need to do their job. (Applause.)
And so we've worked hard to make sure we hold the line on spending in other areas. For five years in a row, my budget requests have kept the growth of non-security discretionary spending below the rate of inflation. I set clear spending limits, told the Congress I was going to veto them if they -- veto bills if they exceeded those spending limits. The Democratically-controlled Congress, at the end of last year, cut spending plans by billions of dollars. Last week, I proposed a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs. Those programs total more than $18 billion. And if Congress sends me appropriations bills that exceed the reasonable limits I have set, I will veto the bills. (Applause.)
Last month I issued an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not actually voted on by the United States Congress. (Applause.) This executive order will extend beyond my presidency -- (applause) -- it will stay in effect unless revoked by a future President. What that means is any President who wants to return to the old ways of unaccountable and wasteful spending will get to do so publicly. (Applause.) And if that happens, that President will have some explaining to do. (Applause.)
In the long run, you and I know the greatest threat to our fiscal health is the unsustainable growth of entitlement spending. We all know the painful choices ahead if America stays on this path: massive tax increases, sudden and drastic cuts in benefits, or crippling deficits. I have laid out specific proposals to reform and strengthen these programs. On Social Security, I took the issue head on -- that's what you expect a President to do. I proposed a way to make this program solvent without raising taxes and with personal saving accounts that will give individuals more control over their retirement savings. (Applause.)
On Medicare and Medicaid, I sent Congress a budget this week that saves nearly $200 billion over the next five years. (Applause.) I hear all the talk from the other side on Capitol Hill about fiscal responsibility -- but they haven't put any of their ideas on the table for programs. It is time to stop talking, it is time for them to stop acting and not pass these problems on to future Congresses and future generations. (Applause.)
On matters relating to our economy, our record is clear. You and I succeeded in cutting taxes. We're reducing wasteful spending. On these issues, both sides have made their case. The results are in. And they are proving us right. (Applause.)
We applied our philosophy to questions affecting the moral fabric of our nation. We believe that all human life is precious and deserves to be protected. (Applause.) In 2001, I had a grave decision to make on the question of embryonic stem cell research. I believed we could empower scientists and researchers to discover cures for terrible diseases -- without crossing a moral line. (Applause.) So I authorized research on existing stem cell lines, and stood against any effort to use federal tax dollars to support the destruction of human life. (Applause.)
Our critics had a different view. They thought my defense of life was short-sighted and harmful. When I vetoed two bills that sought to use tax dollars to destroy human embryos, some academics described my position as ridiculous and scientifically naïve. One publication predicted our plan would not hold up over the long haul.
Then last November, scientists announced a landmark achievement. They found a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. (Applause.) This discovery has the potential to end the divisive debate over stem cell research. It will allow us to expand the frontiers of medicine, while maintaining a culture of life. (Applause.) In the coming year, we will increase funds for this type of ethical research. And I will continue to push for a ban on the buying, selling, patenting or cloning of human life. (Applause.)
When I took office, our society was grappling with a troubling rate of drug use among our children. A new generation of young people was in danger of being swept up in a cycle of addiction, and crime, and hopelessness. We believe people should be held responsible for their actions and we know that people can change their behavior. Sometimes all it takes is the help of a loving soul -- somebody who puts their arm around a troubled person and says, I love you, can I help you. We also know that --
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) (Laughter and applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: My soul is not that troubled, but thank you. (Laughter and applause.)
We also know -- we also know that the drug crisis requires us to reduce both supply and demand. And so in 2002, I set our country on an ambitious goal: to cut drug use among young people by 25 percent over five years. Critics didn't think that was possible. Some thought the drug war had already failed. Some said we focused too much on interdiction and not enough on treatment. An influential magazine and assorted commentators wanted to declare defeat and legalize the drug trade. A left-leaning drug prevention group said that our aggressive strategy was very unlikely ... to produce any different result than we have seen so far.
We stood our ground. We worked with international partners to interdict drugs into our country. We increased funds for drug treatment programs. We helped move drug addicts from a culture of victimization to a culture of responsibility. And we have gotten results. Since I took office, the overall use of illicit drugs by young people has dropped 24 percent. (Applause.) Marijuana use fell by 25 percent, steroid by a third, the use of ecstasy by 54 percent. Methamphetamine abuse has plummeted by 64 percent since 2001. (Applause.)
On matters relating to America's moral compass, we have defended human life. We promoted strong families. We confronted the crippling cycle of drug dependency. We challenged the critics, the self-proclaimed experts, and the status quo. Both sides made their case. The results are in. And they're proving us right. (Applause.)
We've also applied our philosophy to issues of national security. Six-and-a-half years ago, our country faced the worst attack in our history. I understood immediately that we would have to act boldly to protect the American people. So we've gone on the offense against these extremists; we're staying on the offense -- and we will not relent until we bring them to justice. (Applause.) We recognized that this is a war, not just a matter of law-enforcement. We recognize that we're engaged in the decisive ideological struggle of our time.
The first battle in this war against the extremists centered on Afghanistan -- the 9/11 attackers had trained and planned in Afghanistan. We believed our military could remove the Taliban from power and that we could help aid the rise of a stable and democratic government.
Critics had a different view. One commentator said most Afghans would oppose an American invasion and fight the foreign occupiers. Another declared: "We're not headed toward a quagmire, we are already in one." Another commentator scoffed: "Afghanistan as a democracy? Forget it."
Well, we stood our ground -- and we have seen the results. Al Qaeda lost its terrorist camps in Afghanistan, and the Taliban was driven from power. The Afghan people braved threats of violence to elect a new President and a new parliament. Roads and hospitals are being built. Girls who were once forbidden from going to school are now going to school. (Applause.) America, 25 NATO allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people secure their country. The Taliban, al Qaeda, and their allies are on the run. Afghanistan has a long road ahead, but they have a future that offers promise and hope. We're going to stand with the Afghan people, we're going to help millions claim their liberty -- and we will always work to make sure Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for terrorists and extremists who want to do us harm. (Applause.)
The war against our enemies also brought us to Iraq. Our coalition confronted a regime that defied United Nations Security Council resolutions, violated a ceasefire agreement, attacked its neighbors, sponsored terrorism, and had a history of using and pursuing weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States and a threat to the world. My decision to remove Saddam was the right decision at the time -- and it is the right decision today. (Applause.)
Because we acted, 25 million Iraqis are free. We've seen them go to the polls. We've seen them elect a representative government. We've also seen an enemy determined to roll back this progress through horrific acts of violence designed to pit Iraqis one against another.
One year ago, things were not going well in that country. Terrorists and extremists were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. You see, they wanted to deny Iraqis their liberty -- they can't stand freedom; they wanted to establish safe havens in Iraq from which to launch attacks against America and its allies. I strongly believe that America's security and peace in the world depend upon defeating this enemy. (Applause.) So we reviewed our strategy. Things weren't working, I need to know why and what it would take to make things better. And that's why you review a strategy.
I made up my mind. I listened carefully to a lot of folks. And I decided to send more troops into Iraq -- (applause) -- in a dramatic policy shift -- (applause) -- and the policy shift has become known as "the surge."
Our critics had a different view. They looked at rising violence in Iraq and declared the war was lost.
THE PRESIDENT: Some concluded the surge had failed EVEN before it had fully begun. Two foreign affairs experts proposed, "a well-managed defeat ... to boost U.S. credibility."
We stood our ground -- and we're seeing Results. (Applause.) A year after I ordered the surge of forces, high profile terrorist attacks in Iraq are down, civilian deaths are down, sectarian killings are down. U.S. and Iraqi forces have captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaeda leaders and operatives. (Applause.) There is more work to be done. It takes a while for young democracies to take root -- but reconciliation is taking place. I recognize the progress in Iraq is fragile and there's going to be tough days ahead. Yet even the enemy recognizes the progress we're being [sic] making. They recognize they're on the wrong side of events. They are disheartened. They are demoralized. And they will be defeated. (Applause.)
We can have confidence in Iraq's ultimate success because we believe in the transformative power of freedom. We believe there is an Almighty God. (Applause.) And a gift of that Almighty to every man, woman and child on the face of this Earth is freedom. (Applause.) We have seen that free societies become peaceful societies. We know that a free Iraq will be a friend of America, an ally in this war against these extremists, and a source of hope and stability in a dangerous part of the world. (Applause.)
We'll fight the enemy overseas, so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.) And as we do so, we must take measures to protect America, the homeland. We must give our intelligence officials the tools they need to uncover terrorist plots and prevent new attacks. (Applause.) And one of the most important tools is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. (Applause.) My most important job is to protect the American people. In order to do that job, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to; we need to know what they're saying; we need to know what they're planning. So Congress passed the Protect America Act. This law modernized an outdated surveillance law and closed dangerous gaps in our intelligence.
Now, critics had a different view. One liberal interest group called the law an end run around the Constitution. Others falsely claimed law-enforcement officials wanted to spy on Americans. Still another summed up the initiative as, "a groupthink travesty."
We countered these critics -- and we stood our ground. Our ability to monitor the communications of terrorists overseas has helped us gain crucial elements on terrorist cells, and helped keep our country safe. (Applause.) The Protect America Act is working. The problem is that Congress set the law to expire one week from tomorrow. I don't think the al Qaeda threat is going to expire one week from tomorrow. (Laughter.) Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. (Applause.) The time -- the time for temporary fixes has ended. Congress must pass this law -- and they must pass it now. (Applause.)
On matters of war and peace, we have taken the fight to our enemies abroad and we are defending our people here at home. We're standing with new partners in Afghanistan and Iraq to help them build free nations. We refused to yield when the going got tough. And when the history of our actions is written, it will show that we were right. (Applause.)
We will face other challenges ahead that will require new energy and before long, new leadership. I'm absolutely confident, with your help we will elect a President who shares our principles. (Applause.) As we take on the challenges, we must be guided by the philosophy that has brought us success. Our policies are working. The American people support our points of view. They share our philosophy.
And consider our advantage on other great questions before us. On health care, one side says we should expand the federal government's control over your private medicine. You and I say we should expand access to health care, empower consumers to make choices, and ensure that medical decisions are left in the hands of patients and their doctors. (Applause.)
On education, one side says -- one side says we should spend your tax dollars without measuring whether or not our children are actually learning to read and write and add and subtract. You and I believe in accountability. We believe parents should have more options. And we believe in liberating children from failing public schools. (Applause.)
On the rights of the unborn -- the most vulnerable among us -- one side supports abortion on demand. You and I believe in the worth of every human being, the matchless joy of adoption, and the right to life. (Applause.)
On the federal judiciary, one side says we should confirm judges who believe in the "living Constitution" -- which basically means they can make up laws as they go along. I say we need judges who respect our values, do not follow the political winds and revere the plain meaning of our Constitution. (Applause.) We need more judges like John Roberts and Sam Alito. (Applause.)
On America's role in the world, some believe that our nation is often the cause of global turmoil -- a mentality once called "Blame America First." You and I believe that America is a leading light, a guiding star, and the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. (Applause.)
You see, I know of America's greatness because I get to see it up close, and it is a privilege to see it up close. I see it in the foot soldiers in the armies of compassion, who perform acts of kindness and hope every single day. I see it in the courage of ordinary citizens, like those who rushed toward danger when the Twin Towers fell and our Pentagon burned. I see it with military families who've lost loved ones -- and every time I come away moved and inspired by their valor, their grit, their pride, and their love of country. (Applause.) I see it when I exchange salutes with the finest young men and women our country has ever known. (Applause.) These Americans give me endless optimism about our future. And they have made my presidency a joyous experience. (Applause.)
You know, since I've come to Washington, I've been reading a lot of history. Laura notes it's probably because I'm making up for lost time. (Laughter.) Over the past few years I've read three books on George Washington -- or as I call him, the "original George W." (Laughter and applause.)
It is interesting to me that they are still analyzing the record of our first President. My attitude is if they're still analyzing Number 1, 43 doesn't need to worry about it. (Laughter and applause.) I'm not going to be around to see the final history written on my administration. The truth is that history's verdict takes time to reveal itself.
But we don't have to wait on history for one thing: in the year ahead, the pundits, the so-called experts, commentator, analysts will offer more gloomy predictions and more big government solutions. And when they do, let us remember their record: this is a group that is seldom correct -- (laughter) -- but never in doubt. (Applause.)
You and I have seen that in our own time. Ronald Reagan was called a "warmonger," "an amiable dunce," a movie actor detached from reality. Yet within a few years after President Reagan left office, the Berlin Wall came down, the Evil Empire collapsed, the Cold War was won. And over the years a strange thing has happened. A lot of people who spent the 1980's criticizing President Reagan now tell us they were with him all along. (Laughter.)
You were with him all along. (Applause.) And over the past seven years, you've been with me. I appreciate your support. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, all. I appreciate the chance that you've given me, help me get this opportunity to serve our country. It's been a fantastic experience. (Applause.) I appreciate the countless phone calls you've made. I appreciate the volunteer work you did in two tough campaigns. I'll always -- always -- be grateful [to each of you] for supporting our cause, for giving me a chance, and for loving our country. I thank you for that. (Applause.)
I look forward to working with you this year. My energy is up, my spirit is high, and I will finish strong. (Applause.) And in the meantime, we will elect a new President. We've had good debates and soon we'll have a nominee who will carry a conservative banner into this election and beyond. Listen, the stakes in November are high. This is an important election. Prosperity and peace are in the balance. So with confidence in our vision and faith in our values, let us go forward, fight for victory, and keep the White House in 2008. God bless you, and God bless America. (Applause.)
END 8:06 A.M. EST
World Net Daily has an exclusive report about a professor denied tenure solely because he does not hold to the humanist belief in protein to pianist evolution.
“Iowa State University regents, who earlier ruled against accepting evidence or hearing testimony from a professor in a dispute over the school's denial of his tenure, now have turned down his appeal.”
“The school has continued to deny the handling of Gonzalez' case was related to his support of ID [intelligent design], even though the Des Moines Register documented e-mails that confirmed Gonzalez' colleagues wanted him flushed out of the system for that reason.”
In a recent post by Bob Ellis "Creationism and Peer Review" a lively discussion ensued much of which had to do with the belief that the establishment (read “evolutionist”) scientists who control university departments and scientific journal editorial boards are biased and discriminatory when any research or ideas are presented that are counter to the accepted orthodoxy. This report about the treatment of Dr. Gonzalez is a case in point.
--Major terrorist Abu al-Liby gets killed by our nation's military,
--Bill Clinton says we should slow down the economy
--Barack Obama sets one-month fund-raising record
--Microsoft bids for Yahoo
--A church of Star Wars?
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Thursday, February 07, 2008
You know, there's probably only one thing that bothers me more than when liberals undermine values and try to steer people away from following a good moral conscience: when they misrepresent the truth in pursuit of that objective.
The cartoonist blog SouthDaCola features a post today which combines three images. The first is an image of someone sending a text message which says "scott u r fat" and below it says "mean spirited text messages" and a box marked "X" ILLEGAL. The second is an image of a birth control pill dispenser which says below it "dispensing birth control" marked "X" ILLEGAL. The third shows someone with an automatic weapon hanging around their shoulder from a strap and below it says "gun-toting college students" with "X" marked LEGAL.
The blog post comments say
I guess most of South Dakotans are wacked out religious right neo-cons that hate the first amendment, healthcare privacy, and love violence.
(I love how liberals throw around that "neo-con" term when they're talking about something that really gets them in a tiff.)
The three items obviously reference three matters being considered by the South Dakota Legislature.
The first is HB 1313 which would make it illegal to send text or email messages that , intimidate, threaten, harass or annoy such person by using obscene or lewd language or by suggesting a lewd or lascivious act, threaten to inflict physical harm or injury to any person or property, extort money or other things of value. This adds to SDCL 49-31-31 which already makes it illegal to use a telephone to do such things.
The second refers to HB 164 which was intended to override the right of pharmacists to not sell drugs that violate their conscience. That bill failed today.
The third refers to HB 1261 which would protect the Second Amendment right of college students to possess firearms on campus. This bill comes on the heels of a legislative effort to take that right away from them.
I think it's a valid point with which few would disagree that, just as telephone harassment is illegal, other forms of electronic harassment should be illegal. Since when has the First Amendment ever guaranteed the right to threaten or harass someone? I don't see a problem with this bill.
I also think it's a valid point, which some--especially those who are inherently afraid of guns--would disagree with, that the Second Amendment isn't suspended when you live on a college campus. And since when has the right to keep and bear arms equaled a love for violence (hint: they're often very useful in deterring and quelling violence against people)? And another valid point is that outlawing weapons on campus isn't going to stop a Virginia Tech-style gunman from slaughtering people anyway.
What I find puzzling/ disingenuous/ deceptive/ dishonest/ incorrect/ false is that middle part that says "dispensing birth control X illegal." Who made it illegal? Where is that law? Where is that bill? And if healthcare is so private that a pharmacist shouldn't be allowed to exercise his or her conscience in considering the sale of a product, maybe it's too private to go to the pharmacist in the first place; after all, you're already involving him by asking him for the product in the first place.
I know liberals are pretty slow sometimes, but is it really that tough to discern the difference between the moral decision made by a professional in the sale of a product they consider harmful, and a law prohibiting the sale of a product?
Since when has the decision of a business person been the same thing as a law passed by elected representatives? Though I suppose it follows if the liberals who wrote SB 164 can't figure out that pharmacists aren't "government entities" who carry out "government intrusions," then there might be other liberals who can't grasp the difference between a law and an individual decision.
You don't have to agree or disagree with these bills, but has analytical thought and logic fallen to such a low that someone actually sees a wrongful inconsistency between these three bills?
Our borders are leaking like a sponge, with the number of illegal aliens in the United States growing by half a million each year. We have no idea who these people are, we don't know where they originally come from, and we don't know what there intentions are.
Amnesty advocates would have us believe they are all just coming to the United States to get a job, to share in the American dream. While that may be true of many, even most, the fact remains they violated our borders and came here illegally, violating our laws.
But did any come here with the intention of causing harm to Americans? Did any come to peddle drugs? Did any come to commit terrorist acts? We don't know. 911 taught us that foreigners will come to the United States to do us harm; it's no stretch of the imagination that many more might slip across our scantly-defended borders. We'd never know if people on a terrorist watch list came across the border because we have no control of our borders, and no identification of the people in this country illegally.
What are our elected representatives doing about this dangerous situation? Well, last year they worked very hard to make it worse with their amnesty plans.
Can we hope that it will get better with the next president? What can the Mexican president tell us about those chances?
Eying the results so far in the U.S. presidential primary race, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said he is hopeful that the next administration in Washington will usher in reforms that would legalize the status of Mexican immigrants.
“It seems to me that the most radical and anti-immigrant candidates have been left behind and have been put in their place by their own electorate,” Calderon told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, the day after the Super Tuesday primaries.
Apparently the Mexican president understands what some Republicans can't seem to grasp.
Mike Huckabee, despite his recent attempts to sound like Congressman Tom Tancredo, has a sorry record on immigration. I don't know about you, but I put more stock in what a person has proved they will do, rather than what they say they'll do.
And there's really no difference with John McCain. McCain has recently tried to change his tune on immigration and border control, but he has a record as an amnesty-proponent. And he's being advised by a former Mexican government official who is an open-borders proponent and illegal alien advocate.
How long can a nation survive when those leading it are intent on it's dissolution?
The South Dakota Senate rejected a bill that would have legal protection from pharmacists who don't want to sell contraceptives because it violates their conscience.
SB 164 proposed that a pharmacist's refusal to sell a drug that violated his or her conscience constituted a "government intrusion" into people's "private lives" by a "government entity."
This right of the pharmacist to follow their conscience is currently protected by SDCL 36-11-70.
The bill also attempted to override the definition of "unborn child" according to South Dakota law by declaring "Neither contraception nor birth control, as defined in section 1 of this Act, is subject to or governed by the provisions of § 34-23A or 36-11-70." A provision of SDCL 36-11-70 says that the pharmacist doesn't have to sell a drug if they believe it would "Destroy an unborn child as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(50A)." SDCL 22-1-2(50A) defines an unborn child as "an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth." Since some forms of contraception prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus--and thus receiving the sustentance it needs to reach full development--it would constitute an abortion and the destruction of an unborn child according to South Dakota law.
The Argus Leader includes a quote which highlights the key reason this was a bad bill:
"We are Americans. You don't tell people they have to do something that violates their conscience," said Sen. Jay Duenwald, R-Hoven.The article also cited testimony from legislators that reiterates what I've said before: contraceptives can be obtained from another pharmacists or through the mail. There is no reason to use the power of government to force someone to violate their conscience or lose their job.
The article also cited Senator Tom Dempster of Sioux Falls who said that while he supports access to birth control, no one has presented any evidence that women are having trouble obtaining birth control in South Dakota.
Contrary to what liberals would have us believe, people aren't helpless lemmings without the power of government to protect us from another person's convictions.
When we consider using the power of the state to coerce a person to violate their conscience, we are entering a very dangerous territory.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush at National Prayer Breakfast:
Washington Hilton Hotel
9:16 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Gracias, mi amigo. Thank you, friend. Laura and I are honored to join you all here for the 56th National Prayer Breakfast. A lot of reasons to pray, and one of course, is to strengthen us against temptation, particularly this morning -- from temptation to stay in bed. (Laughter.) Obviously there's a lot of prayerful people here. And I appreciate your warm welcome.
We have a lot of distinguished guests here today -- members of Congress, military leaders, captains of industry. Yet at this annual gathering, we are reminded of an eternal truth: When we lift our hearts to God, we're all equal in His sight. We're all equally precious; we're all equally dependent on His grace. It's fitting that we gather each year to approach our Creator in fellowship -- and to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our families and our nation. It is fitting that we gather in prayer, because we recognize a prayerful nation is a stronger nation. (Applause.)
I want to appreciate -- I appreciate Senator Salazar and Enzi. Thank you for putting this deal on. Madam Speaker, Leader Hoyer, Leader Blunt, thank you all for being here. Welcome the members of Congress. I appreciate the heads of state who are here. Welcome to America, again. I thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps who have joined us. Appreciate the distinguished dignitaries, all the members of my Cabinet -- don't linger, get back to work. (Laughter.)
Admiral, thank you for your leadership. Always proud to be with the members of the United States military. I thank the state and local officials. Ward, thanks for your remarks. Those were awesome. I guess that's a presidential word. (Laughter.) Proud to be here with Michael W. and Debbie. They're longtime friends of our family. Thank you for lending your beautiful voice. Judge, I'm not going to hold the Texas thing against you. (Laughter.)
Every President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast -- and I am really proud to carry on that tradition. It's an important tradition, and I'm confident Presidents who follow me will do the same. The people in this room come from many different walks of faith. Yet we share one clear conviction: We believe that the Almighty hears our prayers -- and answers those who seek Him. That's what we believe; otherwise, why come? Through the miracle of prayer, we believe he listens -- if we listen to his voice and seek our presence -- his presence in our lives, our hearts will change. And in so doing, in seeking God, we grow in ways that we could never imagine.
In prayer, we grow in gratitude and thanksgiving. When we spend time with the Almighty, we realize how much He has bestowed upon us -- and our hearts are filled with joy. We give thanks for our families, we give thanks for the parents who raised us, we give thanks for the patient souls who married us, and the children who make us proud each day. We give thanks for our liberty -- and the universal desire for freedom that He has written into every human heart. We give thanks for the God who made us in His image -- and redeemed us in His love.
In prayer, we grow in meekness and humility. By approaching our Maker on bended knee, we acknowledge our complete dependence on Him. We recognize that we have nothing to offer God that He does not already have -- except our love. So we offer Him that love, and ask for the grace to discern His will. We ask Him to remain near to us at all times. We ask Him to help us lead lives that are pleasing to Him. We discover that by surrendering our lives to the Almighty, we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.
In prayer, we also grow in boldness and courage. The more time we spend with God, the more we see that He is not a distant king, but a loving Father. Inspired by this confidence, we approach Him with bold requests: We ask Him to heal the sick, and comfort the dying, and sustain those who care for them. We ask Him to bring solace to the victims of tragedy, and help to those suffering from addiction and adversity. We ask him to strengthen our families, and to protect the innocent and vulnerable in our country. We ask Him to protect our nation from those who wish us harm -- and watch over all who stepped forward to defend us. We ask Him to bring about the day when His peace shall reign across the world -- and every tear shall be wiped away.
In prayer, we grow in mercy and compassion. We are reminded in prayer that we are all fallen creatures in need of mercy. And in seeking God's mercy, we grow in mercy ourselves. Experiencing the presence of God transforms our hearts -- and the more we seek His presence, the more we feel the tug at our souls to reach out to the poor, and the hungry, the elderly, and the infirm. When we answer God's call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man -- and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father.
I believe in the power of prayer, because I have felt it in my own life. Prayer has strengthened me in times of personal challenge. It has helped me meet the challenges of the presidency. I understand now clearly the story of the calm in the rough seas. And so at this final prayer breakfast as your President, I thank you for your prayers, and I thank our people all across America for their prayers. And I ask you not to stop in the year ahead. We have so much work to do for our country, and with the help of the Almighty, we will build a freer world -- and a safer, more hopeful, more noble America.
God bless. (Applause.)
END 9:24 A.M. EST
OLUMBIA, South Carolina, Feb. 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- California Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation mandating that public school children be indoctrinated to accept as normal the homosexual lifestyle and other forms of sexual deviancy. In the wake of the failed effort to obtain a referendum to repeal this legislation, a broad coalition of Christian grassroots organizations have endorsed the Campaign for Children and Families' call for California families and churches to rescue their children from California's public schools.
The growing coalition includes Eagle Forum, the Campaign for Children and Families, Exodus Mandate, and ten more sponsors, five of which are based in California. These organizations will be providing information to California parents and pastors concerning the new school legislation, how it mainstream's sexual deviancy among children, and what alternatives to California's public schools are available.
According to Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum, "Many of us have worked to reform public schools. Unfortunately, SB 777 and the related legislation represent a repudiation of 2,000 years of Christian moral teaching on human sexuality, marriage, and the family. The result is that California's schools are now promoting behaviors and lifestyles that are physically and spiritually dangerous for children. Consequently, in California, parents must try to find alternatives to the public schools."
Chairman for California Exodus is Dr. Ron Gleason, theologian and pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Yorba Linda, California and stated clerk of the South Coast Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. In accepting this assignment he said: "As a parent and grandparent, I want those near and dear to me to have quality education. This country excels in every social, economical, scientific, and political category known to man, but gets low grades on the education of its children. We should be leading the world in developing well-educated young people. This role is first and foremost the responsibility of parents."
One California-based sponsor, Denise Kanter, Founder of Considering Homeschooling Ministry said, "We hope our ministry with its free resources and web site will encourage families to provide their children with a safe Biblical home education." Dr. Robert Simonds, President of Citizens for Excellence in Education, also a California organization, added, "Now is the time for the pastors and churches to fulfill their role in rescuing their own children and helping society by providing K-12 Christian education too."
Randy Thomasson of the California-based Campaign for Children and Families has witnessed the attack on parental rights and sexual indoctrination of children coming over the last several years, "First, the law allowed public schools to voluntarily promote homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality. Then, the law required public schools to accept homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual teachers as role models for impressionable children. Now, the law has been changed to effectively require the positive portrayal of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality to six million children in California government-controlled schools. To rescue their children, loving parents need to find an alternative to government schools, and every church needs to make it a priority to help parents be in charge of their children's education again."
E. Ray Moore, Jr., believes that it is urgent that the coalition make parents and pastors aware of how dangerous the new legislation is going to make public schools and that they must take up their God-given responsibilities with their children. In fact, according to Moore, "The Biblical and theological case for Christian families and churches to practice K-12 Christian schooling or home schooling is strong. Christians should begin with the belief that children belong to the Lord and are a stewardship of the family, not the state."
Bruce Shortt, author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, notes, "Christians have already become numb to the moral relativism that is taught in all public schools today. Now children will be told that their sexual orientation and gender are relative, too. No longer will children raised in these schools understand that God made us male and female with different, but complementary roles. Instead, children will be taught that sexual orientation and gender are merely a matter of personal choice. Thus, children will be told that because there are many sexual orientations and gender identities, they simply have to reach their own conclusions about which sexual orientation and gender 'possibilities' are 'right for them.' Along with this will come the message that you really can't tell whether you like something unless you have tried it. The likely consequences of this for children, the institution of the family, our churches, and our culture are horrendous."
List of sponsoring organizations: Phyllis Schlafly with Eagle Forum; Denise Kanter with Considering Homeschooling Ministry; Dr. Robert Simonds with Citizens for Excellence in Education; Star Parker with Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education; Patch Blakey with Association of Classical and Christian Schools; Dave and Kim d’Escoto with Dexios; Dan Smithwick with Nehemiah Institute; Alan Schaeffer with Alliance for Separation of School and State; Linda Harvey with Mission America; Randy Thomasson with Campaign for Children and families; and Dr. Ron Gleason with California Exodus.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
A Ronald Reagan radio address from 1975 addresses the topics of abortion and adoption. This comes from a collection of audio commentaries titled "Reagan in His Own Voice."
I listened to a compilation of Reagan's radio addresses a few years ago, and I believe it was the set referenced in this video.
Good Lord Almighty, America needs someone like this again!
by Carrie K. Hutchens
Super Tuesday proved to be a shake-up in the Clinton machine mentality that had deemed Hillary Clinton as the shoe-in Democratic nominee and the inevitable winner of the presidential bid to follow. "She couldn't be beaten" was the propaganda being fed to us. She was inevitable. Super Tuesday only reaffirmed the machine mentality was flawed. Unbeatable she is not! Hillary Clinton lost 13 states in a single night!
Clinton may be celebrating the results of Super Tuesday, but she appears to be making more of her portion of votes than is justified. After all, she has spent many, many years (probably 35) preparing for what she expected to be a shoe-in nomination and win, played upon the efforts and contacts from her husband's presidency and all that afforded her, and she couldn't even hold onto the thirteen states that went to challenger Obama on Surprise Tuesday?
Looking at all the results thus far, with supposed under-dog Obama running against an allegedly powerful political machine, what does Hillary Clinton have to brag about? She lost her claim to being the "unbeatable" candidate. She has been beaten. Beaten by someone who came into the race without all her benefits, including name recognition. Beaten by an unknown who had to try and play catch up and without all the perks. So what does Clinton have to be so excited about? That she didn't lose "all" the Tuesday states to the upcoming unknown?
Clinton can brag all that she wants that she won the New York and California majority, but she certainly didn't win everything, nor did she even win big in the scheme of things. The scheme of things that her very own propaganda machine was churning out and trying to force feed to us even a few weeks ago. She had it all sewn up and the Obama movement's intensity level was merely a figment of our imagination and meant nothing. His successes, after all, were merely a fluke, were they not? Nothing to bother ourselves with. Clinton would come to save the day and give us more years of whatever it is she thinks she supposedly does for society and claims to have been doing for the past 35 years.
Regardless of what Hillary Clinton personally said (and says) or her surrogates repeated in her behalf...
Hillary expected to win all! However, she has only been winning "some!" And now? Now she has lost 13 states in a single night. Clinton definitely had an un-super "Super Tuesday!" Super Tuesday was a day that should tell her she is as vulnerable as the other fellow--maybe even more so!
The annual threat assessment from the Director of National Intelligence for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is out.
While it continues some of the language used in the last NIE which was used to undermine President Bush's efforts to crack down on Iran and their nuclear program, it is more open in its admission that confidence levels in what Iran is doing is shaky.
The report points out that while they think Iran stopped its weaponization program in 2003, Iran is continuing efforts to produce enriched uranium--uranium that can also be used in nuclear weapons.
From the assessment:
We remain concerned about Iran’s intentions and assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. We have high confidence that Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons until fall 2003. Also, Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons. Iran continues its efforts to develop uranium enrichment technology, which can be used both for power reactor fuel and to produce nuclear weapons. And, as noted, Iran continues to deploy ballistic missiles inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and to develop longer-range missiles. We also assess with high confidence that even after fall 2003 Iran has conducted research and development projects with commercial and conventional military applications—some of which would also be of limited use for nuclear weapons.We learned just a couple of days ago that Iran has it's own space program. If you can get something into orbit, getting something on-target somewhere else on the globe is just a matter of refinement.
We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons design and weaponization activities, as well as its covert military uranium conversion and enrichment-related activities, for at least several years. Because of intelligence gaps, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that all such activities were halted. We assess with moderate confidence that Tehran had not restarted these activities as of mid-2007, but since they comprised an unannounced secret effort which Iran attempted to hide, we do not know if these activities have been restarted.
Can Iran build nuclear weapons at some point in the future? Are they inclined to?
We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons. In our judgment, only an Iranian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep Iran from eventually producing nuclear weapons—and such a decision is inherently reversible. I note again that two activities relevant to a nuclear weapons capability continue: uranium enrichment that will enable the production of fissile material and development of long-range ballistic missile systems.
By the time Iran develops nuclear weapons, it will essentially be too late to do anything about it. Once they have the weapons, it is doubtful that any American president or any other world leader would attempt military action against Iran for fear that the nuclear weapons could be used before we could get control of them.
And nuclear isn't the only threat posed by Iran:
We know that Tehran had a chemical warfare program prior to 1997, when it declared elements of its program. We assess that Tehran maintains dual-use facilities intended to produce CW agent in times of need and conducts research that may have offensive applications. We assess Iran maintains a capability to weaponize CW agents in a variety of delivery systems.
We assess that Iran has previously conducted offensive BW agent research and development. Iran continues to seek dual-use technologies that could be used for biological warfare.
Iran is a leader if not the lead supporter of international terrorism. A nation that has such little regard for innocent human life cannot be trusted with technology that can wipe out an entire city with one strike.
The United States and other civilized nations must take a stand now, before it's too late, and use whatever means necessary to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
We must heed the lessons of history. By the time the free nations realized the threat posed by Adolf Hitler, the wolf was already at the door. This time, the wolf may have nuclear weapons.
The results are in from yesterday's Super Tuesday election where 24 states held their primaries and caucuses.
Things are looking pretty good for John McCain right now. Looks like he has 514 delegates to Mitt Romney's 177--quite a spread. Mike Huckabee isn't too far behind Romney at 122, but Ron Paul brings up the rear at 11.
Things are still a little more up in the air on the Democrat side. Some of the delegates are up in the air because they held early primaries against the wishes of the Democrat National Party, but You Decide 2008 says Hillary Clinton has 671 delegates without Michigan and Barak Obama has 560.
We could still get surprised on either side of the aisle, but things are much more solid on the Republican side at this point.
Below is a video of Star Parker discussing the candidates on both sides of the political aisle.
Star Parker is president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education and author of the new book White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay. Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single welfare mother in Los Angeles, California. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a BS degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet served as a springboard for her focus on faith and market-based alternatives to empower the lives of the poor.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
The 2008 election season has wrought a disaffection among GOP voters not seen in a long time.
Somehow, it seems the Republican primary process has left the party's base, the conservatives, with no reliable candidate to support. How could this happen in a party which, despite its "mavericks," remains at the grassroots a conservative party?
Dennis Prager's column at TownHall.com on Super Tuesday today provides insightful analysis of what is going on in both the Democrat and Republican Parties this campaign season: an overweening impulse to vote not for the best candidate, but the candidate that people think can win.
This paragraph from Prager's piece says it best:
Many Americans have become so politically savvy that they are in danger of outsmarting themselves. Republicans and Democrats who vote on the basis of who will win rather than who they think would make the better president may well be making a big error. Between now and November is far too long a period of time to make any predictions.
I attended the Family Research Council's "Washington Briefing" in Washington D.C. back in October. While there, I got a chance to talk with and listen to many conservative pro-family leaders from across the country. What I heard was surprising.
Among a group from which I expected pretty uniform principle over power-politics, instead I heard a lot of talk that goes along with Prager's analysis. Instead of many pro-family leaders supporting the best, most solid, most reliable pro-family conservative candidates, I heard people strategizing over who was most electable. I heard pro-family leaders who were willing to sacrifice principle and the best candidate in favor of one they considered more electable, the one who could beat Hillary Clinton.
I didn't talk to every pro-family leader there, and every one I talked to wasn't leaning this way. But a startling number were.
Instead of getting behind a solid conservative candidate who might have been behind in the polls, many chose to "choose a winner." Never mind that if they had got behind the solid conservative, they might have boosted his poll numbers into "electable" territory. Whether or not they thoroughly checked out the records of these "winners" before getting behind them, I do not know. It turns out that some of those "winners" are unacceptable to conservatives dedicated to principle, and at best will only receive grudging votes from conservatives on election day.
Just today, Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, made a personal statement that if Senator John McCain gets the GOP nomination, he's going to sit out this election. Dobson's opinion carries a lot of weight with values voters, and many of those values voters were undoubtedly leaning this way before Dobson's announcement.
As Prager said in his piece today, I think may conservatives have "outsmarted themselves" by lending early support to some candidates without really checking out their records, and now we're stuck with a few lousy choices.
It's always better to go with principle over politics. Even if lose a battle temporarily, you leave yourself in a much better position to win the war. And you can always respect yourself in the morning.
But with many on the Right having chosen to go the other way, we're probably looking at a demoralizing route in November, no matter who gets elected.
From the Silver Lining folder, however, remember that Jimmy Carter ushered in Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton ushered in a conservative Republican congress.
While some advocate the legalization of marijuana (or at least for "medicinal" purposes, if not completely), pot has long been recognized as a dangerous drug. Not only does it intoxicate, it is often the first step to even more dangerous drugs. But new health concerns are starting to surface over its use.
It has been revealed in the last year that smoking pot increases schizophrenia.
Now, within the past few weeks, it has been reported that smoking marijuana increases the risk of lung damage (we've been told by pot advocates that *laugh* pot is actually safer than tobacco). In fact, the report from Science Daily says lung disease can hit marijuana smokers about 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers.
Now today comes a report from Yahoo News about a New Zealand study which found that smoking pot can make your gums receded and, in extreme cases, your teeth fall out.
Intoxication is unhealthy from a mental perspective, no matter whether it's a drug or alcohol producing the intoxication.
But now the evidence is coming in that even milder drugs like marijuana are harmful to physical health, as well.
Laura Ingraham read the following statement today on her radio show. It's a personal statement from Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, regarding his dissatsfaction with Senator John McCain as the GOP front runner as potential nominee for president of the United States. It is a personal statement and not necessarily the view of Focus on the Family.
I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.
I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has sounded at times more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry's running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.
But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should Sen. McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can't vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I am affiliated. They do reflect my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country.
Here is a link to Dobson's statement on Focus on the Family Action's CitizenLink.
The Denver Post features a piece from David Harsanyi which sums up nicely why conservatives have such animosity toward John McCain:
Anger towards McCain, despite the spin of his supporters, isn't exactly irrational. McCain has shown an elastic sense of principle. To conservatives, it seems like temperamental predilections are just as likely to determine his positions as poll numbers. He's a man they have trouble trusting.
Conservatives may remember that after losing the South Carolina primary in 2000, McCain derided conservative evangelical leaders as wielding "evil influence" on the Republican Party. ("Evil influence" apparently means convincing people not to vote for John McCain.)
Now, he's one of the believers.
Conservatives may wonder why McCain joined Russ Feingold in writing legislation that allows the federal government to dictate free speech in ways never before imagined. Or that he joined Ted Kennedy on an immigration bill that was opposed by most conservatives. Now, McCain sounds like he's ready to join the Minutemen.
Free-market types may wonder why John McCain supports cap-and-trade schemes. Others may wonder why he not only buys into end-of-world global warming scenarios, but opposes drilling in ANWR — comparing that stretch of tundra in Alaska to the Grand Canyon and Florida Everglades.
Fiscal hawks may wonder why McCain was one of two Republican senators to vote against Bush's across-the-board tax cuts. He justifies the position by claiming he believes it should have been tied to spending cuts.
Conservatives, while not perfect, are a pretty principled bunch. They demand as much consistency as is humanly possible of themselves and their leaders.
John McCain is, rather than the "maverick" the media paints him as, a "deceiver." He legislates Middle-to-Left and campaigns Right.
He obviously expects the American people to be too stupid or disengaged to notice. While that may be true of many middle-of-the-road voters, it isn't true of genuine conservatives. They are watching like hawks, and have found McCain to be wanting.
The South Dakota House of Representatives passed HB 1261 yesterday, affirming the right of college students to possess firearms on campus. The bill passed 63-3.
Now let's hope it makes it through the South Dakota Senate.
From the Argus Leader, legislative debate included some salient testimony on why the right to bear arms is important, especially in an increasingly lawless culture.
"The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said Rep. Thomas Brunner, R-Nisland, the main sponsor of the bill.
Brunner said he has two daughters in college, and one who just turned 18 wants a permit to carry a concealed weapon because she has to walk a half mile to her dormitory after parking her car. If criminals know law-abiding citizens might be armed, they will be less likely to consider attacking someone, he said.
Brunner said most mass shootings in recent years have occurred in areas where guns are prohibited. Murderers, such as the disturbed student at Virginia Tech last year, were able to kill many people because no one else was armed, he said.
However, House Republican Leader Larry Rhoden of Union Center said the bill does not encourage students to carry guns. It merely confirms that students have the same constitutional rights as anyone else to bear arms, he said.
Rep. Manny Steele, R-Sioux Falls, said the guard who shot and wounded a gunman at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in December helped save lives.
Knowing that potential targets might be armed could dissuade a violent person from initiating a shooting. And even if it doesn't, if there are armed citizens nearby, they have the tool to do what must be done to cut short the harm a gunman might otherwise do.
Unarmed citizens are an invitation to the criminal element.
Citizens for Life in Rapid City has filed a lawsuit against the Rapid City Area School District because the school district twice denied the group equal access to use school facilities after hours. (thanks, Sibby, for the heads-up; I was expecting a release from Citizens for Life or ADF that I so far haven't received).
Citizens for Life is being represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group which defends religious liberties. Stephen Wesolick, a Rapid City allied-attorney with ADF, is handling the case.
School officials told Citizens for Life President Al Carlson the group’s pro-life message was “too controversial.”
The lawsuit stems from the group's attempt in 2006 to use the facilities of Dakota Middle School for a talk given by abortion-survivor Gianna Jessen. After waiting two months for their application to be reviewed, they were denied.
In June 2007, Citizens for Life again requested to use the school facilities for pro-life speaker Joe Scheidler, National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, and were again denied.
According to the release posted on the Alliance Defense Fund website,
On three occasions, ADF attorneys requested copies of public records, including records showing which community groups the school district has allowed to use its facilities. School officials denied that they keep such records and have yet to fully respond to the request.
“School officials are not permitted to engage in viewpoint discrimination, nor can they continue to stonewall this group,” said ADF-allied attorney Stephen Wesolick, who is also representing Citizens for Life.
The complaint filed in the U.S District Court for the District of South Dakota, Western Division, in the case of Citizens for Life v. Rapid City Area School District can be read here.
I hope to talk to Wesolick and Carlson soon and provide further details
PEOTONE, Illinois, Feb. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- Faith and Family Flix (FFF), a company out of Peotone, Illinois, has started a family friendly alternative to Netflix and Blockbuster. FFF will offer online DVD rental with a twist. The bulk of titles are made up of family friendly, and faith based titles. CEO, Steve Thomas believes that people are ready for this type of approach to DVD rental.
"90% of all titles offered by these big-name companies would be considered morally objectionable to the majority of main stream American families." With the onslaught of questionable entertainment, Thomas says, he believes people want a change. "Even big name film producers are getting into the Faith-Based market, companies like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, New Line, and Disney, see the enormous potential." Company researcher and CTO, John Mansel-Pleydell states; "If you don't rent soft core pornography, or other questionable films, why support a company who offers them? It's time for people to let companies know this is not acceptable.
Faith and Family Flix is a part of a silent revolution that is sweeping across the country, seeking to lay claim to "basic, down to earth values", which makes up the fabric of mainstream America. FFF seeks to be THE resource center for those searching for family friendly entertainment.
Isn't it time to start a wonderful tradition of family night at the movies, a tradition you and your children will remember for years to come? So cook up some delicious popcorn, nestle into your favorite chair, and let the movie begin.
Faith and Family Flix will be offering a special, one- month free to those who sign up for one year. See movies like "Bella," and the newly animated family movie, "Ten Commandments" on our future new releases.
From our family to yours...welcome, and enjoy the show!
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