All posts by ScottieHughes

Gun Control Advocates Should Show Some Self-Control

Navy Yard 2

Yesterday, in the wake of the tragic attack at the Washington Navy Yard, Russia’s parliamentary foreign affairs chief, Alexey Pushkov, gloated about the shooting. Showing that his respect for common decency is as minimal as his government’s respect for democracy and human rights, he tweeted that the shootings prove that the United States is not an exceptional country.

We probably shouldn’t expect more from a leader in a government that hates America. But consider this question: What did that America-hating government have in common yesterday with liberal Hollywood, liberal magazine editors, and liberal pundits? The answer is that they saw nothing wrong with making a cheap political talking point out of the tragic murder of twelve American patriots.

Before we knew even the most basic facts about the shootings at the Navy Yard, American liberals were seizing on the tragedy to score political points about gun control. Washed-up Hollywood actor – and I’m using the term “actor” generously; he was hardly Lawrence Olivier – Henry Winkler tweeted, “PLEASE America do nothing to promote gun control .because thats how we roll until we have all shot each other.” Only slightly more intelligible – not to be confused with intelligent – was a tweet by an editor of The Nation: “Shooter(s) in Naval Yard reported to have AR-15s. In DMV, there’ve been constant radio ads for people to buy AR-15s NOW b4 new regs come in.” And then there was David Frum, the part-time conservative and full-time talking head, who mocked the notion that a day of mourning is the wrong time to bloviate about gun control.

Allow me to point out what should be obvious even to opponents of the Second Amendment: It is grotesque to exploit murder victims for political purposes.

At this point, we do not even know the names of those who went to work at the Navy Yard yesterday morning and did not return home. We know only that they were Americans who loved their country enough to serve its Navy. They were public servants who died working for an institution older than our republic – a Navy whose guns defied King George III, whose sailors saved Europe from Hitler and the Pacific from Japan, and whose special forces put an end to the life of Osama Bin Laden.

From today’s reporting, it appears that the gunmen stole at least two of his guns from a safe on the base. No assault weapons ban, no call for universal background checks, no ban on high capacity magazines would have changed that fact – nor would they have meant that twelve more people would be alive today because of gun violence in our nation’s capital.

Now is not the time to dwell on the fact that a semi-automatic rifle – the kind liberals want to ban – is actually less dangerous than a standard handgun, which is also semi-automatic, which is easier to conceal, and which is used far more often in crime. Now is also not the time to note, except in passing, that yesterday’s shootings happened in a gun-free zone, which might indicate that a lack of gun control was not the problem.

Instead, let’s observe that evil is as old as Eden, and murder is as old as Cain. To be sure, yesterday was a good day for evil, and soon, we can have another debate about whether to take away the freedoms of the innocent in order to target the guns of the guilty. But when we do, let’s do it with facts and figures and constitutional principles – not with hackneyed talking points from intellectually lazy liberals who can’t resist hijacking, for political purposes, the deaths of patriotic public servants.Yesterday, in the wake of the tragic attack at the Washington Navy Yard, Russia’s parliamentary foreign affairs chief, Alexey Pushkov, gloated about the shooting. Showing that his respect for common decency is as minimal as his government’s respect for democracy and human rights, he tweeted that the shootings prove that the United States is not an exceptional country.

We probably shouldn’t expect more from a leader in a government that hates America. But consider this question: What did that America-hating government have in common yesterday with liberal Hollywood, liberal magazine editors, and liberal pundits? The answer is that they saw nothing wrong with making a cheap political talking point out of the tragic murder of twelve American patriots.

Before we knew even the most basic facts about the shootings at the Navy Yard, American liberals were seizing on the tragedy to score political points about gun control. Washed-up Hollywood actor – and I’m using the term “actor” generously; he was hardly Lawrence Olivier – Henry Winkler tweeted, “PLEASE America do nothing to promote gun control .because thats how we roll until we have all shot each other.” Only slightly more intelligible – not to be confused with intelligent – was a tweet by an editor of The Nation: “Shooter(s) in Naval Yard reported to have AR-15s. In DMV, there’ve been constant radio ads for people to buy AR-15s NOW b4 new regs come in.” And then there was David Frum, the part-time conservative and full-time talking head, who mocked the notion that a day of mourning is the wrong time to bloviate about gun control.

Allow me to point out what should be obvious even to opponents of the Second Amendment: It is grotesque to exploit murder victims for political purposes.

At this point, we do not even know the names of those who went to work at the Navy Yard yesterday morning and did not return home. We know only that they were Americans who loved their country enough to serve its Navy. They were public servants who died working for an institution older than our republic – a Navy whose guns defied King George III, whose sailors saved Europe from Hitler and the Pacific from Japan, and whose special forces put an end to the life of Osama Bin Laden.

From today’s reporting, it appears that the gunmen stole at least two of his guns from a safe on the base. No assault weapons ban, no call for universal background checks, no ban on high capacity magazines would have changed that fact – nor would they have meant that twelve more people would be alive today because of gun violence in our nation’s capital.

Now is not the time to dwell on the fact that a semi-automatic rifle – the kind liberals want to ban – is actually less dangerous than a standard handgun, which is also semi-automatic, which is easier to conceal, and which is used far more often in crime. Now is also not the time to note, except in passing, that yesterday’s shootings happened in a gun-free zone, which might indicate that a lack of gun control was not the problem.

Instead, let’s observe that evil is as old as Eden, and murder is as old as Cain. To be sure, yesterday was a good day for evil, and soon, we can have another debate about whether to take away the freedoms of the innocent in order to target the guns of the guilty. But when we do, let’s do it with facts and figures and constitutional principles – not with hackneyed talking points from intellectually lazy liberals who can’t resist hijacking, for political purposes, the deaths of patriotic public servants.

2016 Preview: Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie

Christie Paul

If the 2016 presidential election were an opera, Act One began last week with sparring between two of the leading GOP candidates, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The rift exposed a yawning ideological gap in the Republican party and raised questions about who is most likely to have a fighting chance against Hillary Clinton three years from now.

It all started when Governor Christie criticized Senator Paul’s vocal opposition to warrantless federal surveillance programs, saying it hurt efforts to thwart terrorism. He even extended the invitation to “come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation.”

Senator Paul dismissed these attacks as “kind of cheap and sad” and suggested that if Governor Christie “cared about protecting this country, maybe he wouldn’t be in this “‘give me, give me, give me all of the money’ [mindset] that you have in Washington.”

The sparring continued as Governor Christie suggested that Senator Paul should “start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky…. And most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get re-elected.”

Senator Paul could not have been set up any better for a crushing retort. “This is the king of bacon talking about bacon,” he said incredulously during an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room. He clarified: “You know, we have two military bases in Kentucky. What does he want to do, shut down military bases in Kentucky?”

All of these comments were made with the coming battle royale in mind.

The GOP establishment has come to Christie’s defense, even after many of its card-carrying members swore they would have nothing to do with the Governor after his embrace of Obama post-Sandy. They prefer his expansive vision of government, if only to keep their own nests feathered. They have no objections to warrantless wiretapping and drone strikes on American citizens. They deplore the rambunctious Tea Party strain that took aim at their privilege since 2010 and was embodied that year by the surprise victory of Rand Paul over their preferred moderate Trey Grayson.

Governor Christie is ensconced with the clueless consultant class, the same gurus and political geniuses who advised Rubio to torpedo his presidential campaign before it even started with an amnesty plan with Chuck Schumer.

Rand Paul is actually in line with the grassroots. The pols inside the Beltway may not see it coming, but the movement of libertarians and Constitutionalists is ascendant within the GOP. A candidate like Christie who describes them as kooky and as wishing more 9/11s on this country is a non-starter.

Paul also has no qualms about actually reducing the size of government. He has gone on the record by saying he will eliminate government agencies like the Department of Education. He even put forth an amendment as a freshman senator which would have cut the budget by $500 Billion.

On the other hand, we have Governor Christie. To his credit, he has been willing to take on the unions. That has been eclipsed in the minds of many conservatives by his troubling lobbying for and acceptance of the $60 billion Sandy Relief Bill, which was larded with pork for special interests. Never at any point could Governor Christie provide detail about where specifically that hefty sum of taxpayer dollars was going to go and how it would be accounted for — and more to the point, how anyone who claims to be in favor of shrinking the scope of government could support such a legislative monstrosity.

Senator Paul argued for an incremental Sandy Relief Bill that would have ensured the money was spent responsibly and directly to the people who needed it most. Governor Christie missed an opportunity to show true leadership and stand up to President Obama as well as the big spenders in Congress and ask them to eliminate wasteful appropriations.

So instead he bullied Congress into passing a bill that included $10 million for FBI salaries, roof repairs at the Smithsonian, and $150 million for fisheries — just to name a few. In all, it is estimated that around $1 of every $20 appropriated from the bill will be spent on pork projects.

People respond to ideas and arguments. Rand Paul has ideas. Chris Christie has gimmicks and a shtick that may win him views on YouTube, but ultimately one that is unsatisfying for millions of Americans tired of big-government Republicanism.

Originally published on Townhall.com

President Obama’s Taxpayer-Funded UAW Event

Obama UAW Link

I can think of many great reasons to visit Chattanooga, TN. One can take a ride on the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo. Or one can see 7 states from a ledge in Rock City and if you are a fan of art and jellyfish, the Tennessee Aquarium has the perfect exhibit for you. However, of all the glorious things that should attract you to the beautiful City of Chattanooga, putting pressure on one of the most successful car companies to include an organization, which has a track record of bankrupting its host, should not be. Yet, President Obama on Tuesday will be doing just that. Under the cover of President Obama’s campaign to sell his budget, I can assure you that it is by no coincidence that his visit is occurring at the same time Volkswagen is being pressured to accept the UAW into its Chattanooga factory.

The United Auto Workers have tried every other option at this point, including calling in a favor with the union that resides in Volkswagen’s home plant in Germany. Originally, the IG Metall, which is the umbrella union for the workers in Germany, were reserved when it came to getting involved in the UAW’s plans. Recently, however, something changed in the dynamic which led to the IG Metall’s President Bertholder Huber addressing a letter to the VW workers encouraging them to welcome the UAW into their workplace. This endorsement as well as an aggressive PR campaign which includes billboards, advertisements and other marketing materials have increasingly become more prominent not only in Chattanooga, but as well as throughout the entire State of Tennessee.

But, it doesn’t look like the UAW’s normal campaign of propaganda is succeeding. Therefore, its time to call in the big dog himself and hope your investment of $148,967 into the re-election of President Obama does the trick.

However, didn’t the UAW and President Obama do their research enough to realize that Tennessee is a Right-to-Work State that is governed by predominantly Republican officials? With only the states of Oklahoma and South Carolina bleeding a deeper red than Tennessee, wouldn’t they realize the people of Tennessee are intelligent enough to not want the economic doom of GM, Chrysler, and Ford to fall on the factory which has brought more then 3,350 jobs to the Volunteer State?

Granted, many Tennessee conservatives might debate on whether Senator Corker, Senator Alexander, and Governor Haslam belong more in the RINO category than with the elephants. The fact is that all of them have an R next to their name when it comes to the voting booth. However, with Senator Corker having a 40% rating and Senator Alexander having a 41% rating by the Heritage Action Scorecard, both which are less then the Democrat Rep. Jim Cooper from Nashville, maybe the UAW thinks there might be some weakness amongst the Republican ranks and these political leaders just might be twisted to help with their plan. This might be the thought especially considering the fact that Senator Corker is the former Mayor of Chattanooga who was praised for revitalizing this once economically challenged city, as well as one of the few Republican Senators who recently dined at the White House with President Obama. In addition, he offered the Corker-Hoeven Amendment on the Immigration Bill that was not so popular with conservatives. Even in the past, Senator Corker faulted the Bush White House when it came to negotiating with the UAW in 2008. His counterpart, Senator Lamar Alexander is facing a re-election year and, while there is no serious challenger emerging, its no secret the conservative base in Tennessee as well as beyond are intensely hunting for a candidate. This makes for a very nervous senator and only a few remedies (i.e. campaign contributions) calm them down.

Regardless, the Republican Party of the Volunteer State is not taking a chance on the man who was elected as a Community Organizer of Volunteers by rolling out the welcoming mat this Tuesday. In fact, the TNGOP produced a short film, which highlights why Tennessee is succeeding in job creation, despite the liberal policies of the Obama Administration, just in case President Obama didn’t do his research.

View TNGOP Commercial “Welcome to Chattanooga-Welcome to America”.

I have faith that President Obama’s visit will not do much in this debate and organizations like Citizens for Free Markets and workplacechoice.org, who are leading the fight against the UAW, will eventually be successful in keeping the Chattanooga plant from unionizing. The facts are simple and I can guarantee the Volkswagen plant workers do not want to see the same fate which fell on their trade in Detroit fall on themselves. They also realize that if the UAW is successful in bringing their organization into the Volkswagen plant, their equivalents at the Nissan plants both in Tennessee and Mississippi will have an even more difficult time in resisting the labor unions’ disease which, eventually like most diseases, results in economic death for a company.

Obama to U.S. Military: STAND DOWN

Benghazi 2

Fires raged throughout the consulate and nearby CIA annex. In a solitary corner of the compound, the American flag lay torn, singed and soiled. Inside, Christopher Stevens struggled for his last breath of air. He could hear shouts and gunfire outside. None of that, however, was from his comrades.

There would be no help on the night of September 11, 2012.

That was because the U.S. military was given the order from Washington to “stand down.”

In closed door hearings on Capitol Hill today, Congress will ask military commanders with responsibility for forces in and around Benghazi who exactly relayed that order and why. But a closer look at this administration’s record reveals that standing down is a recurring theme. It is an implicit order that is given to the military every day in the Obama administration. It is part of a decade-long dream by the left to neuter our military and ensure that they are no longer able to be the shock troops for a nation that they believe is at the root of the world’s ills.

From Vietnam to Iraq, the left believes the military is an instrument for killing civilians and committing war crimes. The Left long has demonstrated an animus to America’s military. During the Vietnam War, left-wing activists bombed draft boards, threw blood on the Pentagon, and dug graves in the yards of public officials to protest what they saw as the depravity of America’s fighting force. In the Carter and Clinton administrations, this animus was heightened. President Clinton for example faced a stunning backlash over his attempt to allow gays to serve openly in the military, earning a rebuke from military leaders. Clinton, who never served in uniform, had a tense relationship with the military at best.

In Barack Obama, the left has a champion of the Blame-America-First worldview, and a closer look at his defense policies from military sequestration to gays in the military to women in combat reveals how openly he has embraced the politics of standing down. The goal is nothing less than eroding the mission and values of the strongest military in the world and forever reducing its capabilities.

Why, you might ask, would our President wish for this fate? Shouldn’t the Commander in Chief’s first priority be to preserve the leading military superpower in the world? Not if your allegiance is to a progressive doctrine and your associates and advisors throughout life have instilled you an animosity for the U.S. military.

Over the last five years, Americans have seen the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Obama Pentagon officials have taken the next step by celebrating a homosexual lifestyle within our Armed Forces by hosting events like this past week’s Gay Pride Day at the Pentagon and initializing gay sensitivity training in the Marine Corps.

We have watched the longstanding tradition of keeping our women off of the front lines of combat erased and wartime rules of engagement changed in the name of “gender equality.”

Under the umbrella of political correctness, our military was forced to open their arms to radical Islamists who call our military infidels and sworn enemies. Such as in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and the Ft. Hood shooting as well as in the case of Ft. Campbell’s PFC Naser Jason Addo who was convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up a restaurant filled with troops.

Other policies have been put in place to discourage the best from enlisting and becoming commissioned officers. ROTC programs have come under assault at top Colleges. Military branches like the Navy are being told they will be reducing their tuition assistance programs.

“Sequestration” and the cutting of hundreds of billions of dollars from the defense budget, an idea that was hatched inside the Obama White House, is proving devastating the military’s readiness and morale. Training exercises are being canceled. Ships are being mothballed and aircraft taken out of service.

All of this while our military is being demonized by pop culture. In 2011, well known rap artist Soulja Boy released a video which included the words “F**k the troops,” and Psy a Korean music artist whose fame came to him in America for his song Gangnam Style, released a song promoting the killing of American Soldiers.

Hollywood has also done a great job of villainizing our Military men and women with the making of movies like “JarHead,” “Three Kings,” and the upcoming release of “The Invisible War,” a documentary that aims to put a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault in the military.

The ultimate goal is clear – to neuter America’s military as an effective fighting machine and encourage the development of a global “peacekeeping” force. This is in keeping with the Harvard-Bill Ayers-Ivory Tower distrust and hostility to the American military and preference for a “multipolar” world. The result is an America unable and unwilling to defend its own borders and threats to its people. The war on the military is real. And with eight years with Barack Obama as Commander in Chief, the damage may well prove irreversible.

What I Learned From Vince Flynn

Tonight, after I put my children to sleep in their beds, I stopped for a moment in front of my fireplace mantel and stared. Some mantels are decorated with a pretty work of art, a colorful flower arrangement, or maybe just left plain. In my home, I display a selection of books from the last 10 years on my mantel.

These books remind me of the great voices within our movement, and their subjects reflect the ever-changing controversies that plague the American political landscape. I look at these books several times a day in order to remind myself that I am not alone in this fight.

Names like Palin, Breitbart, Coulter, Malkin, and Rumsfeld are just a few which I choose to put on my mantel; however, tonight, as I looked at these books, my eyes fell upon Consent to Kill by Vince Flynn, and for the first time all day, I allowed myself to cry.

Vince Flynn was a New York Times bestseller and the creator of such great characters as Stan Hurley, Irene Kennedy, Scott Coleman, and Mitch Rapp. To me, Vince Flynn was not only an amazing author; he was a friend and a mentor, never wasting an opportunity to encourage a person to find the magic of her own life story.

I first met Vince in 2005 when he was beginning his book tour for Consent To Kill. At the time, I was just starting out in conservative media and was Executive Producer for The Steve Gill Show out of Nashville. While I was constantly amazed by the people to whom I was introduced, some of them surprised me by their lack of respect for those around them — Vince wasn’t among those people.

Our original plans consisted simply of a live in-studio interview. But Vince’s enthusiasm and excitement were so contagious that pretty soon I, along with several other staff members, agreed to spend the rest of the day at the various book signings Vince had scheduled in the area.

Every person Vince met that day, regardless of how they arrived, left with a smile. Every signature he placed in a book was accompanied by a few minutes of dialogue, and I was amazed at how this man could make even the shyest people leave with a beaming smile and a sparkle of excitement in their eyes. His optimism was like wildfire, and he never expected special treatment. Vince respected every person he met as if each was the main character in his next book.

As the day came to a close, I was beyond words when Vince invited my boss, my then-fiancé (who is now my husband), and me to join him for dinner. We talked that night about patriotism and devotion, and Vince brought great humor and wisdom to the conversation. Never pretentious, always sincere, Vince’s heart of gold and love for his country shone as bright that night as they do in all of his writing.

Over the years, I would email back and forth with Vince, checking on health, family, and his latest book project. It was amazing that Vince always had words of encouragement, and in what I now realize was our last conversation, Vince gave me one of the last pushes I needed to switch from being behind the scenes and casually writing, to finding my voice and recognizing that my greatest responsibility was to listen first and represent people in whatever opportunity I was given. I have always wanted that same ability to make enthusiasm contagious, and I believe it’s only because Vince had the purest of hearts and that he was able to accomplish this.

Read any of Vince’s writing, and you will agree the pages are filled with more fact than fiction. It is apparent that long months of research and study went into every book. He knew his books were his message, and while some might have read them for recreational purposes, I think Vince figured his books would be his way to warn the American people of what will happen if our government is allowed to grow bigger than we can control.

My heart tonight aches for his beautiful wife and children, as well as for America. We lost a great visionary who used his writings, his personality, and his life to help protect the freedoms we as Americans enjoy.

As we have done in the past, we must listen to those who might have left this earth too early. We must take what words, videos, and memories we have of their message and do our best to continue the fight. Vince has now joined the ranks of many great patriots who fighting for good on a whole new level, and while I would have preferred to stand next to them as the battle continues to grow, I know that at the very least they are watching and cheering for us from above.

Bachmann Would Say YES to Secretary of the Treasury Position

MicheleBachmannWaving

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the IRS is busy. After all, they have a lot of work to do to make up the Obama administration’s $1 trillion yearly deficit.  But that hasn’t stopped them from targeting tea party groups and denying their non-profit applications. Or spending time at lavish conferences, recording Stark Trek parodies and the “Cupid Shuffle” dance. And all of this while the Americans they are “collecting” from are hard at work.

But this is what happens in an era of big government, and we should only expect it more often. Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and Benghazi are all symptoms of the bloated federal mass in Washington, too tangled in its own underwear to do anything effective.

Many of us have understood this for years, and have fought tirelessly to pull in the reigns on out of control spending and bureaucracy. Power tends to corrupt, hence the purpose of our Constitution in the first place. Pretend like the Constitution doesn’t exist on a regular basis, and what do you get? You get scandals and misuse of authority on a regular basis.

The key to restoring American’s faith in government is principled leadership of a government that is small enough to manage. Conservatives have been wronged by the IRS. The only way to restore a semblance of trust in the institution is to appoint someone that can be counted on to clean house and keep the rogue institution from overstepping its bounds again.

There’s a job listing at the IRS, with the description: “Looking for principled leader who understands the taxpayer.” I also happen to know someone looking for a new line of work, after exhausting herself fighting for the rights of the American taxpayer for an employer that just didn’t quite get it.

That person? Michelle Bachmann.

It’s time that we really put Congresswoman Bachmann to work. No move could more symbolically signal a seriousness about transparency, integrity, and commitment to the American taxpayers that Obama has claimed to represent than to appoint her as new head of the IRS.

Most importantly, it would signal that when the Obama administration wrongs the American people they are able to own up to it. When border patrol agent Brian Terry was slain by Fast and Furious weapons, the Administration stood by Attorney General Eric Holder and tried to trump facts with political spin. When Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other Americans were killed in Benghazi, the White House sank itself deeper into a hole while simultaneously trying to discredit testifiers. When the IRS unlawfully targeted the very groups that were trying to hold it to higher standards and seek more efficiency and transparency, the White House simply shuffled talking heads to offer excuses.

Conservatives, and the taxpayers that they fight for, are owed more for what they are forced to contribute. Why not a principled leader with an LLM degree in tax law from William & Mary who worked five years in the IRS as a lawyer? If the IRS is to be trusted in administering the behemoth Obamacare, it is time that they tighten their belts and get ready to actually serve the American people – not the partisan political interests of the White House.

This is Not a Scandal

Obama and Jay-Z
I’m beginning to realize that we are performing a major injustice when we call all of the events of the past year “scandals”. Scandals are what soap operas base their story lines off of. Scandals are actions of a President and his intern in the Oval Office. I will even admit that breaking into a private office to search for dirt on your opponent can be considered a scandal.

However, what we are talking about with this administration is the infringement of American’s constitutional rights, the use of the government to target our own citizens, and most importantly, the death of three former Navy Seals and an American ambassador. I consider this to be far more than just scandalous; I consider this to be more in the category of betrayal.

Read more at Townhall.

How Obama Can Restore Faith in the IRS

IRS

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the IRS is busy. After all, they have a lot of work to do to make up the Obama administration’s $1 trillion yearly deficit. But that hasn’t stopped them from targeting tea party groups and denying their non-profit applications. Or spending time at lavish conferences, recording Stark Trek parodies and the “Cupid Shuffle” dance. And all of this while the Americans they are “collecting” from are hard at work.

But this is what happens in an era of big government, and we should only expect it more often. Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and Benghazi are all symptoms of the bloated federal mass in Washington, too tangled in its own underwear to do anything effective.

Read more at Townhall.