.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, February 28, 2005

News from the Political Grapevine...

This comes from a fan of the board:

Andy, I love The Rogers Institute. I can't wait to see if there have been new posts each day. I have tried several times to comment but so far it hasn't allowed me to... It doesn't matter what user name and password I pick. I particularly like the piece about Jimmy Walker... He stated to me on the first meeting he came to after the election before he was sworn in that he would not vote to lower the tax rate after the re-evaluation. He ran on low taxes. In fact everytime I ran into him he said everywhere he went that people wanted taxes to stay low. So much for his campaign promises. He wants that King clinic going again so his daughter can get back over there to work and won't have to drive so far to work... He is also working with Jerry Mitchell of the Save Stokes Group. I sure hope we don't get more like him in the next election. He would give away the store if he could. In fact he even wanted to give the Walnut Cove Library all of the $200,000 at one time instead of over the next 5 years.

As for the Editor of the Stokes News, stay tuned next week and see if her name is still on the page listing her as the editor. I think you will start to see some changes on the paper.

Keep up the good work...

It's time for Republicans to either PUT UP or SHUT UP...

"The time has come for those we Republicans have elected to high office either to fish or to cut bait, either to decide they are conservatives or Democrat-like moderates, either to cut the size and expense of government or enlarge them, either to butt out of our lives or muscle government's way farther in, in short either to act like Republicans or admit that all this time they've been lying to us. ... Pushing for tax cuts is important but it's not enough. Endorsing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (it will never pass) is merely a sop thrown to cultural conservatives. Naming conservative judges is a step in the right direction but one cannot expect them to halt the advance of big government or block actions that affect national sovereignty. Already this year we have seen the House pass legislation that in effect, establishes a national ID card, which is one way for Big Brother to keep track of you and me. Regardless of what you call it, the president continues to push for legislation that will legitimize the presence in this country of more than 10 million illegal aliens. Likewise, he's pushing legislation to increase greatly the federal government's role in public education. ... Far from balancing the budget all he's promised is to cut the size of the annual deficit. Well, hooray! ... Now we are hearing talk that Social Security reform really means another increase in social security taxes. The Republican Party, once the party of small government, states rights, individual responsibility and, if you will, America first, is slowly coming to love Big Brother and big government and wanting to be loved internationally at the expense of American sovereignty. ... Anyone who thinks this is still the party of Ronald Reagan should think again."

-- Lyn Nofziger

The Gipper

"We want to adopt the wisdom understood in every American household: that government shouldn't live beyond its means, that it shouldn't spend more than it takes in. ...The present tax code burdens some of our citizens too heavily while permitting others to avoid paying their fair share. It makes honest people feel like cheats, and it makes cheats pose as honest citizens. It allows the underground economy to thrive and wastes millions of man-hours on needless paperwork and regulations. It drives money needed for growth, investment, and jobs into unproductive tax shelters. It acts as the single biggest obstacle to enterprise and economic expansion. To put it simply, our tax system is unfair, inequitable, counterproductive, and all but incomprehensible. I've mentioned before, and this is absolutely a fact, that even Albert Einstein had to write to the IRS for help with his Form 1040. We want to end the trauma and tangle of April 15th, and let's do it this year."

--Ronald Reagan

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Here are my principles in a nutshell...

Constitutionally limited government, a strong national defense, the prospect of restoring fiscal discipline to government, and an unwavering commitment to the traditional values of America.

I support a strong national defense and vigilant homeland security; tax reform, entitlement reform, bureaucratic reform and tort reform; a commitment to filling the federal courts with constitutional constructionist judges; and, most fundamentally, the defense and active promotion of the core values of America in marriage, life and family.

I'm now ready to hit the campaign trail... Ha!

Stokes County (NC) Commissioner Jimmy Walker: Conservative Republican or a RINO???

This is what Denise Petree (Editor of The Stokes News) wrote in an editorial titled, "Tour of schools reveals the good, the bad, the ugly."

County Commissioner Jimmy Walker said he would not oppose more funding for schools. Citing needed changes in how the state requires counties to pay a portion of Medicaid, Walker said, "It gives us an opportunity to fund schools and I would rather do that than cut the tax rate a couple of cents."

From what I saw on the tour, Walker has the right idea.

Wasn't it a few weeks ago that Jimmy was saying he wanted the county to look into keeping the health clinic open in King??? Why is it that politicians around here run as conservatives, and once elected, they start acting like liberals???

Jimmy Carter (Round 4)

Steve Brenneis responds to Robert W. Mitchell, Jr.:

As we're setting the record straight, you can suspend disbelief for a while since your assessment of Barry Lawson is accurate. I was bested by the Robertson machine and nothing that happened that year was unforeseen (nor unwelcome, but that is another story). Barry's reach was much further than his grasp and his biggest selling point to the machine was that he wasn't me. If you want a clue to the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say), start by contrasting the Stokes County power structure as it exists today in opposition to how it existed in 1996. Sometimes one must lose in order to win.

The Democrat spin (spelled o-b-f-u-s-c-a-t-i-o-n) cycle never ceases to amuse me. Faced with the irrefutable fact that Carter was the antithesis of vision, leadership, and execution, will we now hear, "Oh, well being President isn't all that important?" If everyone overestimates the power of the Presidency, why is it that both political parties expend massive quantities of time, money, and effort on attaining this most minor of offices? The vision of the Founders was indeed that the potency President be co-equal to that of the Congress and the Judiciary. However, the political party system has short-circuited that model and resulted in creating something of a pseudo-monarchy. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson wanted to ban political parties in the Constitution. Had he been successful in that and in forbidding the institution of slavery, who knows what our nation would look like today. But I digress...

Because of the party system in this country, the instance in which a single political party holds power in the legislative branch necessarily results in an almost autocratic regime when that party gains control of the executive. Such was the case during the Carter Administration. Nixon's blazing fall from power succeeded in wiping out most, if not all of the Republican power structure in Congress. Carter had nearly free reign with regard to policy. As much as Democrats and Carter sycophants want to forget it, the facts are that from Roosevelt to Carter, the Keynesian view of government's role in the economy reigned supreme. The only reason Carter didn't engage in deep statism was that Nixon had already demonstrated that those policies were disastrous.

The implication that some folks saw high returns on their investments because of the disastrous interest rates of the late 1970's is hilarious. It also demonstrates the kind of wide-eyed naivete of most liberal Democrats. In order to benefit from those interest rates in the way you suggest, financiers would have had to see their cost basis remain flat while rates of return rose. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any investor you can find will tell you that the net return on investment during the Reagan years of moderate, slow growth and lower interest rates was much higher. As I have already explained, the interest rates, inflation rates, and unemployment rates were not a cause, they were an effect. Failure to understand causality seems to be an inherent trait in most Democrats. Corollary to that, the implication that investors were holding their water until Reagan came along is technically accurate, but your presentation of it is intended to create the illusion that Reagan was a direct beneficiary of Carter's policies. That, too is technically accurate, but only in the most oblique way since it was the flamboyant failure of Carter's policies that made the modest successes of Reagan's seem larger than life. Your insinuation that Carter was a great leader because his policies resulted in the economic boom of the 1980's takes historical revisionism to an absurd extreme.

How very easy it is to belittle the dire nature of our national situation in 1980, here with the benefit of almost thirty years of hindsight. Republicans did not need to create any illusion of brinkmanship or crisis, it was a fact of life. By 1980, the Cold War had become lukewarm. Yes, Robert, people were actually dying in military encounters. Carter's policies of appeasement and weakness led the Soviets to be ever more bold and aggressive. In 1979 and 1980, a Naval standoff occurred almost weekly somewhere in the world. Were you aware, Robert, that plans were made public during Yeltsin's Presidency regarding the Kremlin's early planning stages of a strategy of surgical nuclear strikes within the US during the late 1970's? Were you aware that there are documents discussing the abandonment of that strategy in the face of the election of that "cowboy," Ronald Reagan? In what alternate reality does that become an invented hysteria?

Finally, making a direct correlation between the appeasement policies of the Carter years and our current dilemma regarding Islamo-fascism is an easy task. Carter's little magic show at Camp David and the debacle in Iran awoke them to the primary trait of liberalism in America: style over substance. Eight years of the master of that trait, Bill Clinton, finished their education and they graduated with flying colors on September 11, 2001. We can argue the pros and cons of Bush's imperialist tendencies (I see mostly cons and on that we probably agree), but the unfortunate fact is that the uncertainty created by those tendencies is about the only thing keeping us from being immolated in Jihad. The last election showed Islamists that Americans will only tolerate so much of the lazy liberalism ushered in to American politics by the Carter Administration. Not that Bush is a scion of conservatism, which he is most definitely not, but more that his centrist face is backed by a hard-line nationalism that is just evident enough to warn off Islamic opportunism. Once again, Carter's maladroit pronouncements from every corner of the globe, arm-in-arm with some despotic thug du jour, are the basis for an educational comparison that keeps Islamic extremists at bay. Negative reaction to those pronouncements by everyone but Carter-phytes and the media instructs Islamo-fascists that the next cowboy is only just around the corner. In summary, we could thank Carter for his ineptitude and its resultant net benefit, but I hardly think that is what he wants to be his legacy.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Jimmy Carter (Round 3)

Robert W. Mitchell, Jr. responds to Steve Brenneis:

Steve -- You articulate so well; you really do. It's hard to believe that a man with your political acumen was bested by Barry Lawson in an election. I do - and I may be the only Democrat to say it publicly - wish you still held office. Better yet, if the fine Mayor of Collinstown will join me, I would like to start a "Draft Brenneis for NC House '06" movement. Certainly, I am open to the sour grapes label. But I don't mind. I do also like competence and intelligence in our representatives. But that is neither here nor there. Back to the issue of Carter.

I think you, Steve, and other "Rogers Conservatives" over estimate the power of the presidency. Your points against Carter are well taken, but they do have logical responses. For instance, the high interest rates in the Carter years certainly benefited Americans with accumulated and invested wealth. A great deal of which was cashed-in and spent in the Reagan years. I say that not in defense of high interest rates but just to point it out as an unintended consequence (and if wealth creation, business start-ups, etc, were part of the successes of Reagan, then it might be unfair not to mention how and when some Americans saw high returns on their savings and investments.) In many ways the history and long term impact of any presidency rests in unintended consequences...Bin Laden, Hussein, etc, were in some ways unintended consequences of actions (or inaction) or policy that may have seemed right for a time. Someday we'll know the unintended consequences (for better or worse)of the Bush years and the war in Iraq.

Furthermore, we know that the executive branch is just one of three branches -without the powers of Congress there would be little to "execute" and enforce. Moreover, I think it is necessary for the Reagan revisionists to ignore Carter's accomplishments, exaggerate his failings, to denigrate him morally, personally, politically, and to create a grave crisis and brinkmanship situation in order to explain the supposed triumph and restoration during the Reagan years. In addition, the bulk of known "scholarship" of the Reagan administration is written by admirers, loyalists, and conservative journalists - hardly an objective critique of a complicated administration - which contained plenty of "good", but plenty of "bad" too. Especially given that many of the papers of his presidency have not yet been released, its simply too soon to write the book on RWR. Currently, there is much history being written about Carter. Good and bad - it's history. Fortunately, Carter has hastened the release of many administration documents. I acknowledge that many problems existed in the Carter years. To bring credibility to the analysis, though, it's important to admit the failures - even in those people you may heroify. I do that. Can you?

Lastly, I enjoyed what you wrote. I'm going to print it out and stick it between the pages of a book on Carter in my private collection!

Engaging Look at Reagan's Pivotal '76 Campaign

This makes me proud to be from North Carolina:

Reagan quickly lost five primaries, bringing him to the North Carolina primary on March 23, with the press and his top campaign staff having written off his candidacy.

Historic Comeback

Then came one of the greatest comebacks in American political history--Reagan's victory in North Carolina, a deliverance that saved his candidacy, propelled him to a near victory in Kansas City and made him the front-runner in 1980. Without Reagan's victory in North Carolina, there would have been no Reagan presidency, and Shirley provides a gripping account of this come-from-behind triumph.

It was a victory made possible because Reagan took off the gloves, campaigned hard and hit on such issues as defense, the Ford plan to give away the Panama Canal and the continuous encroachment of the federal government on the lives of the people. As Shirley documents, Reagan's cause was aided enormously by North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms and his political guru, Tom Ellis, who put their organization and fund-raising expertise at Reagan's disposal.

Coulter Takes on 'Christine Todd Witless'

Ann gives a book review on Christine Todd Whitman's book, It's My Party, Too...

Where's the love for Howard Dean???

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who scored a surprising win in 2002 but is a top GOP target next year, won't appear with Dean during his two-day visit. An aide noted that Sebelius remained neutral in the DNC race and backed Kerry in the presidential primary. Rep. Dennis Moore, the state's only congressional Democrat, is traveling out of the country and won't return until next week. A Moore spokeswoman declined to comment on Dean's trip. Aides to other Kansas Democrats, including state Sen. Janice Lee and Kansas City Mayor Carol Marinovich, also declined to comment on Dean's visit. Dean is likely to face a similar reception next week in Mississippi, where Rep. Gene Taylor, the state's only white Democrat in Congress, has been openly critical of his party's new chairman.

Lynn Swann files papers to run for Gov. Of Penn.

I wonder if he's a conservative Republican or a RINO???

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Will there be a Hillary in '08???

Good analysis by Dr. Larry Sabato:

Many Democrats believe that it will be impossible to stop her from securing the party nomination in 2008. The Crystal Ball disagrees for one very important reason: Senator Clinton is likely to win the general election only if 2008 turns out to be a strong Democratic year when any major Democrat would have prevailed. Despite her attempts to moderate, Senator Clinton is firmly fixed in the public's mind as a Northeastern liberal from a deep blue state--rather reminiscent of another recent nominee from Massachusetts. Those Arkansas days are far behind her, and few in the Razorback State believe she could carry the only Southern state where it is plausible she might have a chance.

Why is Clinton's ideology seen as so rigidly left, given the fact that National Journal's voting studies show her to be more moderately liberal than commonly thought? Bluntly put, Senator Clinton will never escape the stifling confines of her husband's controversial administration. A feminist in the 1992 campaign who wasn't going to stay home and "bake cookies," and who was sold as a co-president, she will always be associated with the "Hillary Care" health plan that failed disastrously, the scandals that plagued the Clinton administration from start to finish (Whitewater, Vince Foster's suicide, the missing billing records, the last-minute pardons), and the searing Monica Lewinsky impeachment debacle that raised uncomfortable questions about the Clintons' marital arrangement.

Assuming the marriage is now stable, the unavoidable fact is that Bill Clinton would be moving back into the White House with a President Hillary Clinton. Surveys have consistently shown that both Clintons still bear many scars from their time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and what has been forgotten about their many controversies will be re-investigated and refreshed during the course of a long 2008 campaign. Only a decisive rejection of the Bush regime and GOP actions in Congress could convince the electorate to overlook its raw feelings about the Clintons and to revisit that chapter of American history--one that was closed with considerable, widespread relief in early 2001.

Al Franken’s Little Fit

Can't we all just get along???

Republicans, bloggers and gays, oh my!

Another gem by Ann Coulter...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Help Save My Daughter From Starvation!

This travesty is in a hearing before a judge now. Pray for this woman. Pray for us as a nation that we have become so hard-hearted we will let a woman die in agony to prove a legal abstraction. There is nothing we can do for Michael Schiavo, he is a monster.

Jimmy Carter (Round 2)

Steve Brenneis on President Carter:

When history has been written, I feel confident in asserting that Jimmy Carter will go down as the worst President of the Twentieth Century and one of the five worst of US history. He will also go down in history as one of the worst ex-Presidents in all of History. Rather than gushing over how wonderful the man seems, let's review some facts:

Carter's economic record: This could be described as dismal at best. After the economic debacle of the Nixon Administration (wage and price controls, Keynesian tinkering with the business cycle, etc.), President Ford adopted the Eisenhower model of more or less laissez-faire economic policy (i.e. if it ain't broke, don't fix it). To his credit, he didn't institute any more intrusive government economic programs, to his detriment, he didn't do away with any that would prove to be Carter's undoing. After Carter was elected, US economic policy became all about central control. The Carter Administration brow-beat the Federal Reserve into throwing iron clamps on the money supply, not by sound monetary policy as has happened in the Greenspan years, but by imposing Byzantine interest rates on money suppliers. In the mean time, in order to fund the massive growth of Carter's social agenda, massive quantities of debt were incurred, initially by strong-arming money suppliers into providing cash at ridiculously low interest rates putting further upward pressure on the rates private lenders could offer. Along about 1977, American business decided there was an idiot at the helm and they began hunkering down to ride out the storm. That meant they started stockpiling cash and began downsizing their workforces. Unemployment shot up, the stock market went into the toilet, and Jimmy Carter's "great national malaise" was born. He accomplished something no other American President had before: the triple threat of double-digit inflation, unemployment, and interest rates.

Carter's foreign policy record: This one even embarrasses Democrats. At least Democrats with a modicum of sense. It can best be described by the word appeasement. Of course everyone but Jimmy Carter seems to understand that appeasement fails every time it is tried. It was first during the Carter Administration that the Kremlin was heard to utter the phrase "winnable nuclear confrontation." In a reversal of long-standing policy going back to Truman, Carter decided surrender was going to be the new US policy toward the Soviets. Apparently operating from some bizarre alternate universe, Carter seemed to think that if we were nice to the Russians and gave them everything they wanted, they would be nice to us and world peace would reign. I have often wondered if Carter really understood what Nikita Kruschev was talking about while he was banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Had insanity reigned supreme in the US and Carter been granted a second term in office, I have no doubt we would all have been learning to write in Cyrillic by now. This policy of appeasement didn't stop with the Russians. In a moment of complete insanity, Carter decided we should hand over the Panama Canal so that the Panamanians would like us. This put us at a strategic disadvantage that took several years and billions of dollars to overcome. Meanwhile, nothing changed in Panama. The haves still lived in fine homes in the canal zone and the have-nots still lived in filthy hovels in Panama City and Colon. Oh, and the Panamanians liked us no better than before. What about Camp David, you ask? Picture this: The Israelis had basically handed Egypt their butts between 1967 and 1977. Israel was on the verge of collapsing the entire Muslim power structure in the region and achieving its own security through total military domination. They had taught the Arabs that is was very painful to mess with them. Along comes Smilin' Jimmy and announces to Israel that we aren't going to back them in the UN any more and that we won't be providing any direct or indirect military support for them unless they agree to come to the table. Carter's drama at Camp David was completely manufactured since the outcome was known all along. It was a show for the breathless ninnies in the press. In fact, most of America greeted the whole charade with a big yawn. The crown jewel in Carter's foreign policy was what happened in Tehran, but that has more of a military aspect to it so...

Carter's record on defense: As with his fiscal policies, Carter's defense policy was all about central control. At a time in which our military needed to be exceptionally nimble in order to counter the massive stupidity of Carter's economic and foreign policies, the White House moved the entire command structure of the US military under its direct control. Essentially nothing moved without the permission of the White House. The capitol of the US is not in Moscow today simply because the Soviets were under exaclty the same military model and were not flexible enough to take advantage of it. The Chinese were still reeling from the Cultural Revolution and couldn't muster a response. In other words, sheer dumb luck was about the only thing that kept us sovereign. After Carter handed over the Panama Canal, a permanent fleet presence had to be established in the Caribbean to keep an eye on Castro. Prior to the canal handover, that duty could be effectively shared between the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. Since Carter was also engaged in the Democrat Party's other favorite pastime (besides ruining the economy), cutting defense spending. That meant ships, planes and people had to be pulled from other areas, mostly from those keeping an eye on the Russians. Meanwhile, the Carter Administration decided that the military needed to be less, well, military. Carter decided to improve our image, he would turn the US Army into the Salvation Army. And while he was making grandiose statements about caring for the poor and downtrodden in society, he was turning the US Armed Forces into a welfare state. Members of the military received subsistence wages due to the huge shift of government resources from defense to redistributionism and socialism. If people think the malaise was great in American society in general, they should have seen it in the military. Morale could not have possibly been lower. People were leaving the military in droves and there was actually discussion of reinstituting the draft. I am convinced that the only thing that saved us was the fact that Hyman Rickover had nearly autonomous control of the nuclear Navy and it was what held those who wished us ill at bay. The debacle in the the desert during the Iranian hostage "crisis" was only the inevitable result of Carter's monkeying around with the military command structure. We could no longer carry out a commando action because Carter had centralized control of every single move the military made to the White House. Carter didn't understand that a successful commando operation can't be carried out from 6000 miles away.

In my opinion, Carter brought this country closer to the brink of destruction than any other President since Lincoln. I am qualified to hold that opinion because I was there. I served in Carter's military. I was in Panama in 1978. I was on a ballistic missile submarine in the North Atlantic when the Iranian "students" overran the embassy in Tehran. Marie and I were married in 1978 and we were surviving on $500 per month, $225 of that going to just pay our rent. If history marvels at anything regarding Carter's term, it will be that the US did not actually collapse. Any sane person with a sense of dignity would be shamed into obscurity by that kind of record. The fact that the Carters had turned over management of their personal business to an incompetent surprised no one. They left the White House essentially broke. That embarrassment alone should have kept Carter's mouth shut for the remainder of his life. But not Smilin' Jimmy. In a stunning demonstration of proof that ignorance is bliss, Carter has traipsed all around the world, running his mouth at every opportunity, befriending thugs, murderers, tyrants, and petty despots. Even the Clinton Administration asked him to kindly shut his yap. Not Jimmy, Oh no. One can only assume that he is trying for a legacy that includes, "most Hated Moronic ex-President in History."

It takes more than a winning smile and a pretty speech to be a leader, Robert. It takes the integrity to stand up for what you believe, it takes the vision to have a plan and to follow that plan, and it takes the trust of those you lead, something that is earned, not granted by an academy somewhere. It takes a rational mind with the ability to see beyond the end of one's own table. Carter had none of those traits. Carter was an anomaly. He was the Alka-Seltzer tablet taken during the great national hangover from the party that was the 1960's: Lots of fizz and a big belch, but no help in the end. Carter was the media's idea of a fundamentally moral man and a leader with vision. This, if nothing else, should be proof that the media knows nothing and that Mark Twain was absolutely correct: "Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the press, for they will steal your Honour. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse." I can only add that at least one of those self-complacent simpletons fetched up in the White House on his way to ignominy.

Since we should always try to find the positive in any situation, I'll close with this thought: Carter's greatest gift to the US and the World was that his sheer incompetency virtually guaranteed the election of the greatest President of the Twentieth Century and one of the five greatest in US history: Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Contributor Ruth Anne Adams spoke to Newt Gingrich...

Good job, Ruth Anne... You should have mentioned The Bully Pulpit to him. Ha! :-)

Jimmy Carter

Robert W. Mitchell, Jr. defends President Carter:
One day, when the historical scholarship has been written, we will see that President Carter will stand as a wise, positively progessive, and humane President. Remember, his failure to react to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan allowed for the beginning of financial mismanagement by the Soviets -coupled with the resistance by the Taliban - which initiated the demise of the Evil Empire. In addition, history will prove that the relinquishment of the Panama Canal was the morally right thing to do and we have not suffered one bit for his courageous move. Third, President Carter reminded us 30 years ago of our need to find alternative energy sources and for the importance of conservation. Moreover, Carter ushered in an era of positive diplomacy with Africa and Latin America. Indeed, he had his failings and his detractors are right to point them out. Yet, can we all agree that Carter was a fine steward of the White House? He should be a darling of the religious right. I suppose he challenged some Christians (in terms of raising issues like human rights and public health)in ways that made them uncomfortable. At the same time, he reminded us that the tenets of Christianity can be complex -but that they are sacrificial, benevolent, and compassionate -and can contradict with rugged capitalism and some brands of religious fundamentalism. Come on Andy, you sat in front of the man as he taught Sunday school. Didn't the decency of this President radiate from his being?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Rangel: Don't Call it 'Islamic Terrorism'

Seems the scion of PC is at it again. So what would you like us to call them, Charlie? Lower Mesopotamian Fundamentalist Commandos? Misunderstood Middle-Eastern Freedom Fighters? Voters in Harlem apparently have a subtle sense of humor since they keep sending this clown back to Congress.

The Real Jimmy Carter (Chapter One)

Here's the book review from American Compass:

It’s common wisdom that whatever you think of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he is a fine ex-president—generous, judicious, and helpful. Richard Nixon put it pungently: “While Ford is playing golf, which he should do if that’s his idea of retirement, Carter is out there banging nails into houses for the poor.” Not so fast! says Steve Hayward. Yes, Carter’s connection with Habitat for Humanity is for real, and he has done good work in some of his overseas election monitoring. But toward his successors he is probably the most vicious ex-President in our history. And look at the foreign leaders he has been most anxious to cultivate: Hafez al-Assad, Yasir Arafat, ethnic cleanser Radovan Karadzic, Kim Il Sung, Fidel Castro. Hayward gives a lively account of Carter’s life pre-1980 on the way to showing how the “plain man from Plains” became so popular “among the nations that hate the United States the most.”

EU Fun and Games

Here is an outstanding article on the EU Constitution. This spells big trouble for the US and the author wonders why Bush and Rice are being so nice. It could be that they are walking carefully to avoid the possibility that an anti-US backlash could cause this abomination to be adopted, but it is also possible that they genuinely approve of any move toward more global statism. With the Karl Rove patented spin-cycle in place, it is hard to tell. This is one to watch.

Can a Mass. Republican become prez???

I see where Gov. Mitt Romney was visiting S.C. this past weekend...

Will 2008 be the year of the woman???

Do you think this country will elect a woman president in '08??? I don't know... Too bad we can't clone Margaret Thatcher and bring her over here to run for prez...

Edwards Mum on Future White House Run

I believe John Edwards is overrated... He's a media creation just like John McCain. I've never been impressed with Edwards.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Gipper

"You know, America sure turns out winners. And much of the credit belongs to organizations like the Boy Scouts. And so it's not surprising that yesterday's Scouts have helped to shape our today -- in business, government, the media, science, medicine, education, show business, and -- well, the list goes on and on. Former Scouts have walked on the Moon, become President, and won the Heisman Trophy. Today they serve as Cabinet Secretaries, as my Press Secretary, and in the Congress. In fact, about two-thirds of the Members of the Congress have been in the Boy Scouts. I can't help but think, two-thirds of them Boy Scouts -- how nice it would have been if the Boy Scouts had a merit badge for a balanced budget amendment." -- Ronald Reagan

Right is Wrong on Marriage

I have become increasingly convinced that we on the right are taking the wrong approach on the homosexual marriage issue. In fact, I think we have taken the wrong approach on marriage altogether.

First, let me say that I find the concept of homosexual marriage morally outrageous. Homosexuality is perverse and de-humanizing. Leave aside, for the moment, the fact that it is an abomination before God (as if that wasn't bad enough), it is reprehensible for a segment of society to identify themselves via a bodily function. Can we possibly sink to a lower common denominator?

However, I think the whole socio-political issue of homosexuals being allowed to legally marry has achieved its prominence because the American political right has taken the wrong stance. We on the political right need to change our position and take a stance on removing government involvement in marriage altogether. Government, Federal, State, and Local, has no business regulating or even recognizing the institution of marriage.

Marriage is an institution created by God, whose purpose is aptly explained by Jesus in Mark, chapter 10: "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Side note: All you biblical revisionists please note the explicit reference to marriage as an institution joining males and females. Having the government involved in marriage at all is a dire mistake. In fact, I think we can amply show that original intent is violated by government interference in marriage with more words from Jesus himself, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

The only reason homosexuals have an interest in "normalizing" marriage for their fetish is to gain certain legal and tax benefit. Imagine with me, for a moment, the upside and downside to removing government involvement in marriage.

The government issues marriage licenses in every state. Some states have marriage clauses (sometimes known as common-law marriage) that allow couples who have cohabitated for some period of time to be married de facto, but these are a minority. Consider the purpose of a marriage license. What? You say there is none? Exactly so. In the curiously circuitous logic of the bureaucracy, you need a marriage license to prove you are married in order that the bureacracy can classify you according to your marital status. Today, the only purpose of this classification is to receive certain tax benefits and, in fewer and fewer cases, allow an employer to provide you with family benefits. I say fewer and fewer cases because allowing benefits for "domestic partners" has become the norm with most large corporations. In any case, this is a private sector issue not germain to my argument.

Furthermore, the marriage license business is simply a precursor to the exceptionally lucrative divorce business. It's one of those wonderful lawyer loopholes (worm holes? black holes?). Because the government issued you a marriage license in the first place, obviously the government needs to be involved in nullifying that license, should the parties so decide. This is the kind of situation that makes lawyers salivate. In an irony that few seem to notice any more, all it takes to get a marriage license is a set of active hormones and about fifty American dollars. However, it takes a battery of lawyers, judges, clerks, and sometimes law enforcement officers to nullify the license. As in all such situations, the end result is that no one is happy and the attorneys end up with all the money. And people think Shakespeare was cynical when he wrote, "First we kill all the lawyers..."

So what have we derived from all this? Marriage as a legal standing is little more than a bureaucratic classification and a contract. This is what happens when you render to Caesar what is actually God's. I can almost hear Lucifer laughing. If the government was no longer in the business of certifying and recognizing marriage, would that make those of us who undertook it as a sacrament any less married? If, for tax purposes, we simply continued to certify that there was some sort of dependency relationship between two people, would that lessen the sanctity of marriage? I think not.

Some will say that governmental recognition of marriage also serves as a basis for certain trust systems, adoption, for instance. Supposedly, those who have gone through the bureaucratic process of certifying their married-ness are somehow going to make better adoptive parents. In what bizarre alternate universe did this thinking arise? It wasn't true a hundred years ago, it certainly isn't true now. Supposedly those who are in an officially sanctioned marriage are more likely to pay their bills, discipline their children, and brush their teeth. Sure. Right. Absolutely.

Imagine a society in which marriage was left as the religious sacrament of its original intent. I can't think of a single negative impact. As much as I would like to assert that it would put a dent in the booming divorce business (something about starving lawyers just brightens my day), I don't even see that happening. People who still feel the need to have the government sanction their cohabitation can sign "buddy" agreements, housemate contracts, or whatever they need in order to give attorneys rightful future claims to their income. The tax man has no business giving tax breaks to people based on whether or not they are legally having sex (another issue entirely!). Even adoption agencies need to base their decisions on the quality of their applicants rather than whether they have a government "chit" saying they are good people.

Of course I see little chance of this ever happening. The marriage "business" is keeping far too many lawyers and Elvis impersonaters in business, politicians in power, and journalists in ink. But I can dream, can't I?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Overcrowding solution for Stokes Co. (NC) schools...

From a reader:

The lines in the county need to be redrawn! We have South Stokes that's nearly half empty and West Stokes busting at the seams. Send the kids east of NC 66 to South Stokes to alleviate the problems. It doesn't take 25k to make that decision. What a waste of money.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Confessions of a Former FemiNazi

Thanks, Andy, for inviting me to post at your pulpit. So odd, for a Catholic woman to be invited to the pulpit! I'm a pro-life Catholic [and yes you have to use both these days, sadly] who is happily married to the man who fathered her three children.

I used to be a femi-nazi.

Oh, I wouldn't admit that then, but it's true. In an effort to be "liked" and "moderate" and "accommodating" I called myself a pro-choice Catholic. The choice for abortion is one I knew I would never make myself, but I felt unwilling to "impose my morals" on anyone else.

Then I joined the Army. Then I met David. Then we got married. Then we moved to Fayetteville. Then Operation Desert Storm happened. Then we got out of the Army. Then I began listening to Rush Limbaugh. He converted me back to what I knew to be true. He on the radio, and my husband in our home, showed me the truth that life begins at conception and that it is a right, given by God, to live.

18 months ago, we welcomed twin girls into the world at only 26 weeks gestation. They had many medical challenges, which continue today to some degree, but in all respects, they are beautiful happy little girls. They were both about 2 pounds each at birth and were considered "micro-preemies" [i.e. less than 1000 grams in weight]. They were the size and age at which many babies are aborted. If I was only theoretically pro-life before, I am practically pro-life today. I saw them for the first time all hooked up to monitors and breathing machines and tubes. I only got to hold Annie for the first time when she was 6 weeks old. But they were born with spirit and will to live and not much else. They proved to me that life, in all its stages, is a gift to be cherished.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm convinced, now. Karl Rove is an idiot

Excerpted from a New York Times story:

"Karl Rove, the political adviser to President Bush who recently became chief of staff for policy, said on Thursday that Mr. Bush had helped transform conservatism from 'reactionary' to 'forward looking,' in part by incorporating what had been liberal ideas on foreign policy."

No, Karl, it's called triangulation (a.k.a. political prostitution). Bush hasn't transformed anything. By masquerading as a conservative, he has managed to set the cause back ten years.

Keep on spinning, Karl. Just remember: simply because you say it, doesn't make it true.

Jimmy Carter and the "killer rabbit"

Here's the story & picture of the killer rabbit...

The Gipper

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." -- Ronald Reagan

Judicial nominee filibusters and Senate rules

How can a judicial nominee be rejected when they haven't been voted on in the first place???

Big government conservatives vs. Limited government conservatives

This is a good analysis by George Will...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Quick facts on Social Security...

This is from the Cato Institute...

How to talk to a liberal (Chapter 1)

Here's an excerpt from Ann Coulter's book, How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must).

Political Capital

When people heard George Bush say he was going to use some of the political capital he gained in the election in order to further his agenda, most probably thought he meant that capital would be used to beat down Democrat obstructions. Little did they suspect that what he really meant was that he would use the capital to keep the people who elected him from turning into a lynch mob.

He seems determined to push his "open borders" agenda, something over 90% of self-identiying conservatives oppose and well over 75% of Republicans oppose. In fact, better than half of the entire population opposes any kind of immigration amnesty. So, we can start by assuming that Bush intends to use some of his acquired capital to push something that most Americans oppose. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Does Bush not recall how a representative democracy works?

Now we hear that Bush has relaxed his opposition to raising the FICA income cap. Of course this represents a huge tax increase on people making over $90,000 per year. And of course, this is even being considered because old Triangulatin' George is playing games with the Social Security issue. Instead of moving the discussion about Social Security in the direction a supposed Republican and supposed conservative should: elimination of Social Security altogether, he is proposing this private accounts kludge that has a doubtful affect on the long-term viability of the program and does nothing but harm for it in the short-run. The reason the discussion of raising the cap has surfaced is that in the near term, Georgie-boy's little experiment has a whopping negative fiscal impact on the trust fund. Again, it appears Bush will be using some of his newly-gained political capital to push something almost no one appears to understand or want.

One can only wonder for what else President Bush will attempt to use his rapidly dwindling political capital.

We've got to take back the court system...

On Rush's show yesterday, he did an hour long interview with Mark Levin, who has a new book out titled Men In Black, How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America. If you didn't get to hear the interview, you can hear it here, and you can also read the transcript. We've got to do something about the courts...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Stokes County (NC) officials consider redrawing school boundary lines

What a novel idea...

(You have to register to access articles to the Journal online now)

Are the Democrats in free fall???

Let the great con begin...

Conservatives Laud Swift Boat Veterans

God bless Zell Miller & the Swift Boat Vets...

Is the President's plan for Social Security right for you...

Here's a calculator to help you figure out if keeping your money in the current Social Security system or in a personal retirement account is right for you...

The enemies of the US are living in fear now...

The Jimmy Carter Attack Sub is now on the seas...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Alan Keyes' Gay Daughter Speaks Out

Dr. Keyes has had a rough year...

Chuck McHagel

Here's somebody to watch in '08...

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Gipper

"[I]f you serve a child a rotten hamburger in America, federal, state, and local agencies will investigate you, summon you, close you down, whatever. But if you provide a child with a rotten education, nothing happens, except that you're liable to be given more money to do it with. Well, we've discovered that money alone isn't the answer." -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Political Home For Conservatives

Note -- This is reprinted from my personal blog.

Conservatives need a political home.

What's that, you say? You thought the GOP was their home? Guess again.

First, we need a working definition of conservative. Not an easy thing to do. The mainstream media portrays anyone to the immediate right of their membership as conservative. That ends up putting all sorts of strange bedfellows together. It also successfully marginalizes most of the people who would self-define as conservative and most of the rank and file of any of the more objective classifications of conservatives. Additionally, there is this absolutely bizarre dichotomy of social and fiscal conservatives. I'll save the destruction of that particular mythology for another blog entry.

For the sake of this discussion, let's classify conservatives as those who fundamentally believe in the constitutional limits placed on government by the founders. Admittedly, that can get a little fuzzy in places, but there are obvious boundaries as well. The founders would recoil in horror at what their great experiment has become, but I digress. In general, we should also include as conservative, those people who believe, as the founders did, that limited government can successfully contain the excesses of human immorality without imposing tyranny. This would include federal laws banning abortion and euthanasia and no federal sanction of homosexual relationships. Lots of shades of gray, but it works for this discussion.

As I said in the opening, these folks have no political home. Some of them think they do because of certain small gains within the Republican Party over the last twenty-five years, but the fact of the matter is that their presence in that party home causes the same uneasiness as a cigar-smoking uncle in a home full of health nuts. In fact, over its nearly 150 year history, the number of occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who fit the above descriptions has been exactly, let's see, one. That's right. Of course we can all guess that person was Ronald Reagan.

Of the 18 men who have held the office of President of the United States simultaneously with Republican Party affiliation, only one in the twentieth century consistently executed his duties within the general constraints of the United States Constitutiuon and furthered policy strictly in keeping with those constraints. Interestingly enough, that is exactly the same number of conservatives who have been President while holding Democratic Party affiliation. Within the same broad brushstrokes, Harry Truman fits the above categorization of conservative.

Right, you say, but Truman got us into the very unconstitutional "police action" in Korea. True, but Reagan had his constitutional faux pas as well. Grenada comes to mind as well as his willingness to suffer monstrous budget shortfalls. No one is perfect. In any case, the point should be clear: while the Democrats have run headlong to the left in the last century, the Republicans haven't been far behind them. Neither of these represents a comfortable political home for conservatives.

Ironically, there is a great deal of similarity in how both parties treat their minorities. Blacks and conservatives are both taken for granted by their respective majority choices in political affiliation. Both major parties undertake this attitude at their own peril. Should Blacks or conservatives decide to vacate their respective plantations, the manor house would enter decrepitude in short order. Blacks are courted heavily by the Democrats who, in return for the block vote of this group, toss them a few bones here and there to keep them interested. Unfortunately, the bones end up being detrimental to Blacks' own self-interest in that they create a dependency on the Nanny state to keep themselves alive. The same could be said for the relationship between conservatives and the GOP. Noises are made here and there about certain conservative social issues and the GOP uses tax cuts to keep conservatives hanging around like the Democrats use Affirmative Action and socialized medicine. Conservatives fall into a dependency relationship with the GOP for the few crumbs of progress on the issues they deem important. Meanwhile, the headlong pursuit of socialism in America rolls on largely unhindered.

So where can conservatives go? Stay tuned. It isn't pretty.

Friday, February 11, 2005

This came from today's Federalist newsletter...

What Social Security Crisis?

In 1935, wealthy liberal do-gooder Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the most notorious violator of Constitutional federalism in the 20th Century, found a clause in that venerable document authorizing the central government to provide retirement benefits for all Americans. Apparently, 100 years earlier, that clause did not exist. So claimed another Democrat, Tennessee's Davy Crockett, who rose on the floor of Congress and chastised his colleagues for their proposal to appropriate benefits for the widow of a distinguished naval officer.

Crockett protested: "I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we...have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity."

Crockett was echoing the words of our Constitution's author, James Madison, who said, most eloquently, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...." Madison further noted, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

However, those words were long lost on FDR, who eviscerated federalism in his relentless endeavor to make the central government the agent of salvation for all ills. In June of 1934, he announced to Congress one lasting example of that endeavor -- his intent to create a nationalized Social Security program, ushering the United States into the ranks of Europe's welfare democracies. The nation was in the midst of the Great Depression, and FDR was funding his political dynasty by redistributing wealth. After all, as noted by George Bernard Shaw, "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." FDR's plan, like all unbridled populist-entitlement programs, was popular with the democratic majority -- and helped ensure his re-election to office three times.

Social Security's first beneficiary was Ernest Ackerman of Cleveland, Ohio, who retired one day after the Social Security Act was signed into law 14 August 1935. A nickel was withheld from Ackerman's final paycheck, but he received his one-time lump-sum Social Security payment ... 17 cents.

That 12-cent return was the beginning of unforeseen things to come. Soon, congressional amendments added benefits for spouses, minor children and survivors, and by 1950 the program assured virtually universal coverage. 1972 saw the addition of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program (AKA "welfare"), and by 1975 the addition of annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) assured the SS juggernaut's exponential growth. In 1977, Medicare became an independent entitlement, spun off from the Social Security system. Today, despite its humble beginnings, the Social Security system confronts our young people with the grim prospect of paying for unfunded promises made to past generations.

Notwithstanding the "welfare reform" acts of the 1990s, when Social Security turned 65, SSI benefits covered 6,688,489 Americans at a cost of $32,165,856,000, while Social Security itself disbursed some $431,949,000,000 to 45,877,506 beneficiaries. However, those staggering numbers are mere chump change compared to what lies ahead.

President George W. Bush's modest proposal to reform Social Security appears to be a good start at diverting this behemoth from its collision course with insolvency. Predictably, though, the latest retort from the Left is, "What insolvency? What crisis?" Indeed, these do-nothing Demos claim the Fed's IOUs in Social Security's so-called "trust fund," combined with minor tweaks to the system, will keep it solvent for generations.

Well, not exactly. Unless Democrats plan to "tweak" the system by increasing both the retirement age and the current 12.4% SS tax, adding more government debt and reducing benefits, Social Security will not have the revenues to refund current IOUs and meet the SS revenue shortfall. IOUs? For generations, every dime forcibly taken from worker paychecks -- ostensibly to finance the non-existent SS "trust fund" -- has been taken from that fund and applied to other massive entitlement programs.

Social Security outlays now consume 4.28 percent of GDP but will exceed 6 percent in 20 years. There are two reasons for this growth: demographics and benefits increases.

There are 48 million Social Security beneficiaries today, but in 2030 there will be 84 million. In 1950, there were 16 SS taxpayers for every recipient. Now there are only 3.3 taxpayers for every recipient, and that will be reduced 30 percent by 2030. Additionally, when SSI was formed, life-expectancy was 61 years, which is to say, most Americans did not make it to 65. Now, however, average life expectancy is 77.

The second reason for the SSI balloon is that benefits have not been indexed to inflation. Future retirees are being guaranteed retirement increases that grow substantially faster than inflation.

Social Security, as currently managed, will incur an estimated unfunded liability of 27 trillion 2003 dollars over the next 75 years. To offset this jaw-slackening shortfall, President Bush has proposed the incremental privatization of some SSI taxes by allowing individuals under age 55 to invest in personal retirement accounts (PRAs). Additionally, Congress must resolve to index benefits to inflation.

The President's three-year PRA opt-in for SSI taxpayers born after 1950 would allow them to put up to four percent of their wages in their PRAs. At retirement, those invested in PRAs would be guaranteed to receive at least what their payout would be if they only had SSI income. But those beneficiaries whose PRAs have a higher return can share in that return, which reduces the burden on the SSI fund, and the principal balance is fully inheritable.

The PRA plan would "cost" about $664 billion in "lost" SSI revenue over the next ten years. Of course, this lost SSI revenue is merely revenue that's been moved to PRAs, and thus isn't available to "borrow" from the SSI trust fund for other entitlement programs -- and that's why the Demos are hopping mad. Still, all Americans need to understand that the PRA plan does not fully address the revenue shortfall crisis looming on the horizon. That crisis can be resolved only when Congress commits to bringing SSI benefits in line with SSI revenues. (For a comprehensive review of Social Security and the Bush Administration's proposal, link to -- http://FederalistPatriot.US/news/ssi.asp)

Libertarians going after the conservative vote...

The Republican Party needs to be careful when it appears they are compromising their principles for the purpose of creating a "bigger tent." It seems the Libertarians are going after the conservative vote...

Let's welcome Robert W. Mitchell, Jr. to the board...

We have added another contributor to the board, Robert W. Mitchell, Jr., my first cousin & good friend. As you can see, he's already making accusations toward yours truly... Ha! :-) The only things that I ask of everybody is that they stick to their principles & speak their conscience. :-)

What happened to The Lincoln-REAGAN Day Dinner???

I got a postcard in the mail yesterday saying that the Stokes County GOP will be having their Lincoln Day Dinner on Feb. 19th. I thought it was called the Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner??? Why did they drop Reagan's name from the dinner???

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Not sure how this works

Mayor Rogers, if this posts, then I will have lost my blogging virginity to you.
I look forward to your political commentary. However, I hope you will be willing to take on diverse issues and not just repeat Rush Limbaugh's latest one-liners on apple pie and motherhood. I also hope your brand of conservatism will be independent and that you won't simply propagandize for the current administration and sell the White House talking points.
I'm eager to hear discussion on "Capitalism and the sexualization of the free market" or "Flag Burning: Treason or Protected Speech" or "Wal Mart: Pawns of a new imperialist China." Perhaps even such controversial issues as whether NC State should can Sendek. In other words, more than just why liberals are the scourge of the earth.
Robert W. Mitchell, Viceroy for NC/VA Border

I want my personal account...

Today, the prez was in Raleigh promoting his personal retirement accounts plan... I would like to have a personal account... For one thing, I would own it, and second, I would draw more... My 6 month CD here at the credit union draws more than my Social Security.

The Reagan Stamp was released yesterday....

I think I'll go buy a book...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Here I am. Where's the party?