Category Archives: TPNN Online

Scottie Hughes: What the GOP Can Learn from Phil Robertson

phil_robertson_duck_dynastyThe support for Phil Robertson over the past week since his indefinite suspension from Duck Dynasty has been record breaking.

With the numerous social media pages like “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back on Duck Dynasty” boasting more then 1.7 million likes and petitions like “PleaseSupportPhil.com“boasting more than 35,000 signatures, this single issue alone has been able to create a call to action that only a few social movements in history could ever boast accomplishing.

A call to action, which erupted almost immediately upon the announcement of Phil’s suspension, only continues to build in momentum. The kind of reaction that almost every person who’s ever run for office could only dream of.  Yet, the number one demographic who has responded to this issue is the one group who is consistently ignored by the political party the majority of the protestors belong to. 

Should we put the blame on the GOP who, by trying to target different demographic groups over the past few election cycles, has made their base so disenfranchised that they are not motivated to rise up and show the same passion and numbers for a candidate?

There are more than 46 million Christian faith driven citizens today and yet in the 2012 Presidential Election, very little emphasis was put on the faith vote.  This might be one of the top reasons why in traditional red states like Indiana, who saw a 6% decrease in the Evangelical vote from 2008 and Kansas who saw a 7% drop in the Evangelical vote since 2004,, the faith voter is choosing to not show up on election day.   In the end it looks like the Christian vote made up ¼ of the 2012 election and yet when the dust had settled, the GOP immediately started talking about how they were going to target traditionally left leaning demographics like minorities while almost completely ignoring the easiest group to recruit.   Not only did key GOP leadership ignore the faith voters’ potential, in many cases they blamed them for the loss because of their decision to stay home.

Yet, with only 1out of 5 Christians registered to vote, is it fair to put all of the blame on the GOP for not recognizing the power of this demographic or should we look to the faithful themselves?

If anything, the past week has shown the ability of this demographic to demand attention, encourage action, and, with the recent reversal of Cracker Barrel on its decision to remove any products related to Phil Robertson, accomplish action.  Yet, while we can be motivated to write emails to corporate offices, proudly post pictures of ourselves on social media in camouflage or stand hours in line for a chicken sandwich, rarely do we ever find ourselves publically displaying this amount of passion towards putting folks in office who will help change the laws which are creating the type of hypocritical politically correct environment we are living in. 

So who’s to blame; The GOP or the Faith Voter?  Easy –BOTH.

While the Republican Party should still be trying to recruit a wide variety of demographics in the 2014 & 2016 election cycle, I believe more importantly they should be spending their efforts motivating those within the Christian faith to register to vote, get involved in the election process and most importantly show up on election day for our candidates.  Not only does this have the most potential, but it is the easiest of all demographics for the Republican Party to motivate.  Just like the GOP is trying to recruit candidates who appeal to the different minority classes, they need to recruit candidates who appeal to the faith voter as well and are honest and not afraid to stand up for their Judeo-Christian beliefs.  These candidates will not be afraid to stand up and fight for legislation that reflects the laws as given to us by the Bible and will not back down in the name of being tolerant.

On the flip side, because of the Chick Fil A demonstration in 2012 and now the reaction to Duck Dynasty, those of faith have NO EXCUSE to sit at home and let this country continue down the path towards the eradication of God.

For too long, we have sat in our pews and been nice as our elected officials have been allowed to chip away at our country’s Christian foundation.  We have allowed our children’s education to be usurped by the Canninites of Common Core, our tax system to be corrupted as if it were being governed by the Romans, and our homes to be controlled as if we resided in ancient Egypt.

In each of those cases, the people of God were called to action and, in each case, they were victorious.

The GOP will not listen to us unless we make them.  They will continue to ignore our voice and more importantly our vote unless we demonstrate that they cannot win without our involvement.  In that same token, the Christians need to get out of the comfort zone of their safe sanctuary and start speaking out when it comes to controversial issues and holding the elected accountable for each vote they make.  

The Failing Business of ObamaCare: It was All Part of the Plan

ObamaDeceitful (1)

If there’s one thing Obamacare’s supporters and opponents can agree on, it’s that Obamacare is unprecedented. Never before did the federal government require every American to buy a commercial product. Never before did it attempt to use its spending powers to coerce states into implementing a federal program. And never before did it so fundamentally rewrite the rules of such a major economic industry – one that makes up about a seventh of the national economy.

With Obamacare, the federal government decided it would run not just a business but an entire industry of businesses. Imagine if the government decided it didn’t like how airline companies were running their business, so it started to require bureaucrats to choose flight routes and ticket prices. They would decide how much airlines could spend on everything from fuel to peanuts. They would use money from some fliers to pay for the travel of over fliers. And they would sell tickets on a government-run “exchange” that looks a lot like Orbitz or Expedia – except it takes days, weeks, or months to buy a ticket.

There were more than a few of us who believed the federal government was incapable of running one-seventh of the economy. This was the same government, after all, that couldn’t get water to thirsty Katrina victims and that couldn’t process the benefits claims of war heroes in under a year. President Obama had never run anything larger than a Senate office. Kathleen Sebelius had never seen any success that was not taxpayer funded. It didn’t take a Nobel Prize to realize they weren’t going to run a health care business as well as professional health care businessmen and businesswomen.

But what if failure was actually the plan all along? What if chaos was meant to be a part of the government-run business model? What if Obama and company decided the best strategy for paving the way to a single-payer system was to utterly destroy the existing system? That would explain the lack of testing of the website, the snowball of cancelled policies, and the lack of training of the navigators. It would also explain why it was so easy for Obamacare’s supporters to ignore those on the right, like Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Mike Lee, and almost every conservative pundit, who have been screaming about Obamacare’s recipe for disaster since day one.

President Obama told the AFI-CIO in 2003, I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal healthcare plan.” However, when he signed Obamacare, he likely thought it would take ten to fifteen years before the chaos of the industry would be severe enough for the American people to be desperate enough to surrender to full government control in order to receive relief.

The only good thing about Obamacare’s disastrous rollout is that it is allowing Americans to see the law’s catastrophe effects – or at least some of them; there are others yet to come – before it’s too late. Because the true face of Obamacare is now plain to see, conservatives have a chance to explain to the American people that if they really want to keep their health insurance, they’d better not just take the word of the President. They’d better vote Republicans in 2014 and then put a Republican in the White House in 2016.

Now is time for Republicans to band together around the policy principles that unite us, not the political tactics that sometimes divide us. We need to play and replay the smug image of Nancy Pelosi marching across the steps of the Capitol with her gavel to celebrate this deceitful legislation. We need to continue to make video and audio montages of the President saying, “You can keep your health insurance,” and replay them every chance we get. The Republican party now has smoking-gun evidence of the terrible effects of the President’s signature “achievement,” and if we can’t convince the jury of the American people to fire him and his party for bad policies, bad planning, and bad execution, then it’s our own fault.

Message to Establishment GOP: Beware of Jealousy

“Beware, my lord, of jealousy: It is the green-eyed monster….” (Othello)

Three weeks after the opening of our government, I finally realized why there is so much hatred for Senator Ted Cruz and company: Jealousy. Cruz’s words and actions served as the political equivalent of Dramamine by freeing Americans from the motion sickness that comes from Washington, DC’s normal cycle of spin. Cruz’s critics are jealous of his ability to cut through their spin, grab the American people’s attention, and draw their focus to a conservative mission.

Cruz McCain

This jealousy explains the hours between the end of the filibuster and the beginning of the government shutdown. Whereas those crucial hours could have been used to seize the momentum and expose the failures of Obama’s policies, moderates instead spent that time strategizing about how to punish the honest mavericks of the party. Then, with the momentum lost and defeat assured, they blamed Ted Cruz and the Tea Party instead of taking responsibility for their miscalculations.

This is unfortunately an old refrain – a broken record the moderates never get tired of trotting out. They lead us into the desert without water or a map, and then they blame conservatives when things go wrong. In the past, their names have included Dole, McCain, and Romney. The real shocker is not that in each case we lost on election day, but rather that the next day we allowed the moderates to not only stay in power but more importantly place the blame for the loss on conservatives.

Whether you agree with Senator Cruz and his filibuster, you must give him credit for broadening the circle of engagement on a political issue and making a policy item hard to ignore for most Americans. Those who normally couldn’t even name their own Senator saw a man standing up for twenty-two hours, and I’d bet their curiosity made them probe a bit more to find his motivation. Now, as Obamacrash is continuing on its downward spiral, those same people will think back to the man who was trying to warn them. They’ll remember him and his warning every time they get a medical bill in the mail, every time they’re forced off a health plan they like, and every time they go to file their annual taxes.

This is a whole new group of people who might never before have voted Republican, and they wouldn’t have existed without Ted Cruz and the Tea Party. They’ll be there for the Republican Party in 2014 and 2016. The question is: Will the Republican Party be there for them?

The answer depends on whether we turn the reins of the party over to the Dole-McCain-Romney crowd, or whether we move the GOP to the right of center, where it belongs and where it will win. Just as Obama won two elections without being tied down by the hawkish, socially conservative wing of the Democratic Party – yes, once upon a time, it did exist – we need to cut the puppet strings of the moderates in the GOP and then make our party once again the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan – both of whom knew a thing or two about winning presidential elections by standing up for their principles and appealing straight to the people.

One of my mentors, Monica Crowley, once said that our Constitution actually set up four branches of Government. We all know of the first three: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. However, we tend to forget the most important one: The People’s Branch. It’s time for the people to reclaim the power of this branch, and the first step is to reestablish a fearless, principled, and straight-talking party of the people, which was and can be again the Republican Party.

The Horrible, Irresponsible, Catastrophic Default That Never Will Be

bigfoot

If you believe Bigfoot roams the Pacific Northwest, you might be gullible enough to believe Barack Obama’s claim that the United States will default on its creditors if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. But if you can see the President’s propaganda for the scare tactic it is, you know there was never any chance the United States would default on its creditors.

The administration and the lamestream media have recklessly repeated the mantra that if the government can’t continue to irresponsibly spend more than it takes in, this must end in “default,” as if living within their means wasn’t even an option. Well, here are some fast facts. The government is raking in, on average, $200 billion dollars per month. Interest on the national debt is around $30 billion per month. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if a default happens, it is because Obama and his ilk want it as the final and ultimate protest.

The truth is the United States Treasury takes in enough revenue to pay its creditors such as Treasury holders, bond holders and foreign creditors, and the 14th Amendment clearly states that all creditors of the United States must be paid in full. This means that before the government pays for any program, department or subsidy, the creditor must be paid first.

It’s true that other expenditures within the government would have to be cut, but what’s so bad about that? Conservatives have been fighting for decades to cut spending. We shouldn’t fear the spending cuts we’ve been proposing for years.

If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, it would force Congress and the administration to balance a budget that hasn’t been balanced since 1998, when Titanic was in theaters, the Spice Girls were popular, and reality television meant Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. However, Democrats will never let forced spending cuts happen because they derive their power by spending more and more money to increase the scope and power of the Federal Government.

We have witnessed what happens when Senators like Ted Cruz (R- Texas) and Mike Lee (R- Utah) stand up and say enough is enough. Wendy Davis was lionized for a pointless filibuster that ultimately accomplished nothing more than a couple-days delay of a law to protect unborn children, but Ted Cruz was beaten down and belittled for an attempt to save us from a health care law America doesn’t want and can’t afford.

Last week, Obama had a (rare) press conference. I wish just one reporter had thought to ask him, “Why is it that only government must grow every year, despite the fact that taxpayers who pay their salaries have seen our incomes decline over the past several years?” The overwhelming majority of American families have had to cut back in the past five years. It would be far from the apocalypse Obama predicts if the government had to do the same thing.

Why is Violence Against Teachers Being Covered Up?

violence

Baltimore teacher Jeff Slattery struggles with fear every day. He literally has to force himself out the door as he heads to his classroom. In December 2010 at Baltimore Community High School Slattery stopped a student without a hall pass. The student got physical. Slattery let him go.

“He walked down the hallway, I turned around and went back to my classroom and he came up from behind me and once I was on the ground, he’s basically standing on top of me. He struck me multiple times. When my jaw broke, I went unconscious and I don’t remember anything after that.” The Social Studies teacher later learned it took four teachers to pull the student off him. Slattery’s broken jaw was wired shut for weeks.

Slattery’s assault by a student was just one of seven hundred that school year in Baltimore City Public Schools where its own data shows an average of four school personnel were assaulted each day in 2010. That average has held true through the past five school years with a total of nearly four thousand assaults by students on personnel — with increases in the last two years. Baltimore is one of the relatively few systems that have regular reports on such incidents.

Teachers across the country are experiencing alarmingly high rates of student violence and harassment while at school. Yet, there are surprisingly few studies of the numbers and frequency of these incidents. The reporting requirements at the school, local, state and national level are either non-existent or routinely ignored. The anemic official response to the increasing pattern of violence puts teachers in position of being victimized by the system rather than protected by it. In fact, the teachers’ union response to the Slattery attack in Baltimore was simply to encourage teachers to voluntarily fill out a form if they get attacked.

One of the few research articles conducted on this important topic was published earlier this year in the American Psychological Association’s journal, American Psychologist. The APA research found only 14 published studies that have bothered to examine violence directed at teachers in schools. The APA study found that 80 percent of the teachers they surveyed reported being victimized at school at least once in the then-current or prior year. Of those, 94 percent said they had been victimized by students – including being physically attacked, harassed, or victims of theft or property damage at school.

Governors should lead the charge to demand more comprehensive and accurate reporting of this threat to teachers as well as prompt punishment for offenders in order to provide teachers and their students with a safe working environment. The teachers’ unions should be demanding action, yet there is mostly silence from those who loudly claim to represent the interests of teachers who are being assaulted daily in American classrooms.

Some reporting requirements are already in place but are obviously ineffective. School violence directed at teachers is grossly underreported, with “official” national records claiming only 7% of teachers have been subjected to threats or violence. Other reports indicate a number much higher — in the 15-25% range. Even at 7% there would be about a quarter million teachers subjected to threats and violence each year!

Additionally, there is clearly an effort to hide the problem, whether it is the direct or indirect efforts of principals to discourage teachers from leaving a paper trail, the threat of reprisal that intimidates teachers into silence, or bureaucrats who reduce the number of reported incidents and then claim the threats and violence are receding simply because there is a lack of punishment. For example, in 2012 the Bibb County, GA school system dramatically reduced its use of evidentiary hearings that lead to expulsions, suspensions and other tough punishments for students with repeated discipline problems. One result is that more of these students remained in the classroom, often creating difficulties for teachers and other students.

Bibb County claimed that the number of “evidentiary hearings” for student misconduct had dropped from 772 during the 2010-11 school year to just 116 during the 2011-12 school year and showed “progress” in protecting teachers. Expulsions dropped from 223 to 28, and permanent expulsion and corporal punishment were eliminated!

So things are better in Bibb County, right? Not according to teachers and administrators who say they have been discouraged from — or even punished — for sending students to the office or requesting disciplinary hearings. They are not just fearful of their students; they also fear retaliation from principals and school officials for speaking up! Safe Havens International, a consulting firm hired by Bibb County to evaluate school safety, determined there was a “pervasive” problem of underreporting the violence and threats targeted at teachers.

The numbers of reported incidents in Bibb County HAVE gone down. But is it because the schools are safer for teachers or because the actual level of violence is being covered up and underreported? The same pattern is seen all across the country…violence is up but the “official” reports tell another story.

Children cannot learn in an environment of fear. When the authority figures in our schools are abused and threatened with impunity, kids do not feel protected and lose their focus and their respect for the system that cannot even protect the adults. It is past time for our nation’s Governors to ensure that our schools are safe environments for learning, which means addressing this largely hidden crisis in our schools. Covering up the problem won’t fix it.

The Other Battle to Defund ObamaCare

Once a Tea Party favorite, Ohio Governer John Kasich is under fire for promoting Medicaid expansion

Once a Tea Party favorite, Ohio Governer John Kasich is under fire for promoting Medicaid expansion

On Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz began a filibuster of the worst law passed by the worst President in American history. He vowed to “speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.” And after 21 hours on his feet, in the true fashion of an “anarchist,” as Harry Reid and the mainstream media smeared him, he politely followed parliamentary procedure, yielded the floor, and exited the Senate chamber.

The Senator knew there would come a time when he could no longer stand, but Cruz is from Texas, where you can find the Alamo, the Alamo Bowl, the Alamo Inn, the Alamo Economic Development Corporation, the North Alamo Elementary School, and the Alamo Bar and Grill. In other words, Cruz and his fellow Texans know a lot about what it means to stand boldly on principle even in the face of certain defeat.

What’s not as well known is that there’s another fight to defund Obamacare, and in this other fight, President Obama doesn’t get a veto. This is a fight completely within the reach of conservatives to win. But it’s a fight too many Republican governors are afraid to wage.

I’m talking about the decision every state government faces of whether to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Democrats wanted to coerce states into expanding their Medicaid programs to achieve his vision of universal health care, so the original version of Obamacare included a huge costly punishment of states that refused to expand Medicaid. In the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision last year, it struck down as unconstitutional Obamacare’s plan to punish uncooperative states. Now, thanks to that court decision, every state has the option of rejecting the Medicaid expansion without the threat of any punishment from Obama.

Fortunately, about half the states have refused to expand Medicaid. Unfortunately, the remaining states include Republican governors. If you hate Obamacare, you should know who they are. It’s time to name names.

Republican Governors Jan Brewer of Arizona and Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota are the most egregious offenders. They represent states that voted for Mitt Romney – very red states where rejection of the Medicaid expansion would come at little-to-no political cost for them. Those states’ constituents are conservative. It’s a shame that on this issue, their governors aren’t.

Five other Republican Governors are in the second-to-worst class of offenders. John Kasich of Ohio, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Terry Branstad of Iowa, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, and Rick Scott of Florida lead states that George W. Bush was able to carry. These are not die-hard blue states, but their governors are acting like blue-state governors by accepting Obamacare’s invitation to expand Medicaid. (Florida’s legislature has thus far succeeded in blocking Scott’s attempt at expansion, but the same sadly can’t be said elsewhere.)

Let’s be clear about what’s at stake. The Medicaid expansion is absolutely central to Obamacare. It will cost federal taxpayers at least $800 billion over the next ten years. Obamacare raises taxes by $500 billion in order to (help) pay for the expansion. Although Obamacare’s individual mandate has attracted most of the attention, there’s nothing about Obamacare, from the perspective of those of us who think government taxes too much and spends too much, that is worse than the Medicaid expansion.

Republican Governors who want to expand Medicaid make two arguments. First, they say that a rejection of the Medicaid expansion in their states would mean that federal tax dollars from their citizens fund the expansion in other states. But that’s only true if there are other states that expand. If all 30 Republican governors joined with the Democratic governors of Montana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia (5 red states that voted for Romney), there would only be 15 states expanding Medicaid – which would save federal taxpayers in all 50 states hundreds of billions of dollars.

Second, at least one Republican Governor, John Kasich, has argued that rejecting the Medicaid expansion is un-Christian. Kasich told an interviewer that “we will be held accountable” by God for not expanding Medicaid because “the right way to live is to make sure that those who do not have the blessings that we have, those who are beleaguered, those who have fallen on hard times – we can’t ignore them. We have to help them. And we’re expected to do that, and I believe the Lord expects us to do that. And it’s spelled out pretty clearly in that Old and New Testament, consistently.”

Unlike John Kasich, I’ll let the Lord speak for himself, but I have three questions for Kasich and governors like him. If spending $800 billion by a government already $17 trillion in debt is actually some kind of Eleventh Commandment prescribed by the Almighty, as Reverend Kasich apparently believes, why did Kasich campaign in 2010 in favor of repealing all of Obamacare? Why did he support a suit by 26 states in 2011 challenging the Medicaid expansion’s legality? And since nothing in “that Old and New Testament” changed between then and his Come-to-Obama moment, what did?

Roe vs. Wade: The Ugly, Unknown Story

It’s not often that I agree with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but she was right for more reasons than she probably realized when she said last year that the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade went “too far, too fast.”  Roe protected almost all abortions from the democratic process and led to four decades in which, by even the most conservative estimates, 50 million American babies were aborted and pulled from their mother’s womb.

And, now thanks to a revealing book out this week called Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade by veteran attorney Clarke D. Forsythe, we know that Roe was not just one of the most controversial decisions in the Supreme Court’s history, but also a poorly reasoned rush to judgment based on a wealth of misinformation that has since been debunked.  The first to look inside the Supreme Court Justices’ papers, Forsythe shows the liberal supporters of the decision made at least three shockingly erroneous assumptions.

First, the Supreme Court justices thought the decision was good for women’s health.  There was a widespread belief in certain quarters that “abortion was safer than childbirth.”  In the past four decades, many international studies have shown the opposite.  The incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and illegitimate pregnancies is likely higher than it would be if abortion were not available on demand.  There’s also a risk of domestic violence against pregnant women who refuse to abort their babies.  It’s no wonder that expectant mothers in countries like Ireland and Chile, where abortion is highly restricted, have better health than in neighboring nations where abortion is more widely available.

Second, abortion advocates at the time of Roe were caught up in the wake of two decades of fear about a growing world population.  A widely popular 1968 book by Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over.  In the 1970s the world will undergo famines – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.”  The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article warning “if we breed like rabbits, in the long run we have to live and die like rabbits.”  The titles of popular books spoke for themselves.  Ehrlich’s best-seller was called The Population Bomb.  Another was titled Too Many Asians.

In this vortex of fear about a near future in which there would simply be too many people on earth to feed, abortion seemed almost scientific, at least to those short-sighted enough to belief Ehrlich and his ilk.  But we now know there was no “population bomb” (nor are there “too many Asians”).  Yes, the population has grown, but famines and starvation did not.  Instead, life expectancy and average incomes rose due to trade, technology, and free enterprise – not population control.

Third, the Justices in Roe “thought they were riding a wave of cultural sentiment in favor of abortion,” says Forsythe.  They never anticipated the backlash – the push for constitutional amendments, the thousands of people who march on the Supreme Court every anniversary of Roe, or the way the decision dominates the nomination process for Supreme Court Justices.

The Justices made America one of only four countries where women can get an abortion for any reason after viability – the other countries are Canada, China, and North Korea – but polling for the past forty years shows that most Americans want abortion to be legal only in “certain circumstances” before viability.  In September 2011, 62% of respondents in a CNN poll supported making all or most abortions illegal.  Only 9% of Americans think abortion should be legal for any reason at any time.

Among the influences on public opinion the Justices did not anticipate is the modern ultrasound.  As the mother of two, I didn’t need a philosophy treatise to tell me that the child whose ultrasound picture hung on my refrigerator was a living human being.  It is a shame that Roe was decided by old men who had likely never seen an ultrasound photograph, and it’s unfortunate that they were subject to misinformation about women’s health, population control, and popular sentiment.

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.