Posts Tagged ‘Victory’
Politics is always downstream from culture, and it’s an undeniable fact that whoever controls the language shapes the culture.
The Democrats are masters of political language, and as you may have noticed, they just won. Basically, they have two tricks. They concoct a simple negative label for anything they want to defeat and then relentlessly shriek it in unison. You know the drill: “racist,” “homophobe,” “bigot,” “right-wing lunatic,” etc.
Then, they sanctify with positive language whatever lunacy they’re in the mood to shove down our throats today. Consider the irrefutable beatific glow of “economic justice” and “social justice.” Once something is defined as “justice,” you’re automatically the bad guy for resisting. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want justice?
Thus, tomorrow if we all wake up and discover that Democrats are now demanding that squirrels be allowed to vote in the name of animal justice, you can be sure that in a few years time, squirrels will be voting. After several thousand screeching editorials, marches, rallies, rap songs, videos and Oscar-winning movies starring Tom Hanks as Bushy-tailed Ben, we’ll all agree that animal justice is the next great frontier in civil rights and go nuts for squirrels.
So what can we do about it? Now that the regime is firmly entrenched and we’ve all been downgraded from citizens to dissidents, one of the few weapons that we may have left is our language. How about if we try using it and give them a taste of their own nasty medicine?
To start, my modest proposal is that we rebrand the Democratic Party as the Destructive Party. As you’re about to see, this simple device is remarkably effective at changing the dynamics of a conversation. Immediately, the Destructive Party member is put on confused defense while you look benign and wise. Intrigued? Watch how it’s done.
DESTRUCTIVE: Well, I guess Rush Limbaugh and all the other right-wing loonies were wrong. Obama crushed Romney just like we said.
YOU: Yeah, you’re right. That was a brilliant victory for the Destructive Party.
DESTRUCTIVE: Limbaugh is eating dirt today!…Wait…The what party?
YOU: The Destructive Party. You know. The one that always destroys the economy. As soon as Obama won, the stock market crashed 400 points and 35,000 people were laid off.
DESTRUCTIVE: Come on. That had nothing to do with Obama winning. That’s just a few rich employers trying to squeeze more profits by punishing their poor workers.
YOU: Well, that’s what the Destructive Party always says, so that’s why they always destroy the economy – and a lot of people’s lives, too. Great going, Destructives!
Let’s try another topic and see how it goes. Here you inject it into the conversation with a known Destructive, in order to mimic the Destructives’ policy of politicizing everything.
DESTRUCTIVE: I’ve decided to put off knee surgery till after my sister’s wedding.
YOU: Big mistake. Call your doctor right now and get the surgery on the books.
DESTRUCTIVE: You really think so? What’s the hurry?
YOU: Obama and the Destructive Party won! That means ObamaCare is coming and they’re about to destroy the best medical care system on the planet.
DESTRUCTIVE: No, they’re not. They’re not destroying anything; they’re giving poor people access to care.
YOU: Then how come 45% of doctors say they’re quitting or retiring early? I’m telling you, the Destructives won and they’re about to destroy your knee, if you don’t move quick. Get a surgeon while there’s still a surgeon to get.
It’s crucial that Americans understand the Left’s strategy of incrementalism: they only take an inch at a time, attacking their opponents for not giving an inch and making them feel foolish for fighting over a sliver so small, so that we eventually cede the territory and consider it not important enough to fight to get back. Once the Left gains that inch, however, they NEVER give it back, and move right on to gain the next inch of ground, while Republicans are insisting that they’re not “extreme” enough to want to repeal that lost inch (the New Deal, the Great Society, the Dept. of Education, and multiple other unconstitutional power grabs).
The Left has been using this strategy effectively for over a century, and now look at us: most Americans have no idea how much freedom we’ve lost or what a constitutional republic really looks like. They passed Medicare and Medicaid insisting they didn’t want socialized medicine, but that’s what their end goal was all along. They passed Obamacare without the public option because it’s just the next step to single-payer. Americans MUST understand how dangerous it is to even give an INCH to these people!
The progressives of both parties have known all along that their agenda was too radical to be achieved all at once, but that they could continually push new incremental measures, “steps in the right direction,” until their full agenda is achieved. They successfully practiced a strategy of positive incrementalism. This means they incrementally move in a positive direction toward their agenda, taking what they can get at the time while setting a goal of reaching more of their goals in the future. When the losing side repeatedly compromises to lose a little rather than more ground, that side is practicing the politics of negative incrementalism.
For decades our two party system has been great at giving us worthless choices. When Republican establishment promoted the moderate Nelson Rockefeller for president in 1964, supporters of conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater called for, “a choice, not an echo.” Moderate Republicans, who dominate their party, have a 70-year long history of being on the losing side of negative incrementalism. At every crisis-driven point of ratcheting up the big government agenda, their response has been “can’t we have just a little less progressivism than the Democrats want” rather than debating the merits of big government and standing strongly for the alternative vision of freedom and Constitutionally-limited government.
Moderate Republicans never disputed the basic principles behind the progressive agenda of activist, big government. They only demanded a little bit less, little more gradual transition to socialism then the Democrats wanted. Sensing this mush, the Democrats have charged on, and over the last 70 years have achieved most of the major goals of socialism. Karl Marx called for, and we now have: government run schools, largely state controlled health care, more money taxed or controlled by the government than by private hands, minimum wage laws, in many places rent control laws, gun control laws, welfare and other income re-distribution programs, social security, etc. [...]
Negative incrementalism is both short-term and long-term defeat. Freedom fighters will never achieve freedom practicing the politics of negative incrementalism. Never fall for the allusion that we just cooperate and compromise, accepting partial socialism today, that the other side will somehow magically go along with incremental moves toward freedom tomorrow. It will never happen, they’ll come back to the table tomorrow asking we compromise in their direction yet again. And again and again and again, until their agenda is achieved. Until they’ve established the socialist workers paradise.
We have to vigorously debate and win the debate against socialism, and oppose it in all it forms, and in all it’s sub-agendas, including gun control, state-run education, etc. We need to turn change the direction of public policy, by winning that debate, and make the statists compromise by accepting parts of the pro-freedom agenda. We never compromise on principle and should only compromise when freedom is increased by the passage of any proposal with our support.
So where do we go from here? We take our country back the same way: inch by inch, law by law, regulation by regulation, bureaucracy by bureaucracy, until the leviathan is completely dismantled and nothing remains but a federal government that stays within the jurisdiction of the enumerated powers granted by the constitution, and NO FURTHER.
How? I’m glad you asked.
First, get involved with a grass-roots conservative activist organization like FreedomWorks or Americans For Prosperity. Unlike Leftist organizations, they rely mostly on unpaid volunteers, but they can keep you informed and give you valuable tools to fight back. What better cause can you spend your volunteer time than preserving liberty for the next generation?
Second, consider running for a local office, like city council, school board, or land use board. Many of these races go uncontested, and we desperately need conservative in those seats!
Third, become a Precinct Committee Person (PCP) and help us take over the GOP from the inside and select their candidates.
Fourth, PRAY like your nation depended on it, because it does.
It took us over 100 years to get where we are now, and there is so much ground we have to take back in order to restore our constitutional republic: eliminate the Case Study method and restore the Common Law based on the constitution and Natural Law. Reverse Cloward-Piven strategy and phase out the welfare state. Defund, defang, dismantle every federal department, program, and agency that doesn’t belong under the enumerated powers of the constitution, and return 10th Amendment powers to the states. Eliminate federal control over education, support school choice and privatization, and decertify the unions one by one. Revive the private social welfare system that was in place before the welfare state took over. Repeal the 16th and 17th amendments, add a parental rights amendment, establish term limits, and require that congress live under the same laws that they pass (equality under the law – no ruling class privileges) Defund and withdraw from the corrupt, power-grabbing United Nations, and ratify NO UN treaties. NONE.
As you can see, we have a LOT of work to do to restore our constitutional republic. It will be long and hard, and the Left will fight us every step of the way with their Alinsky playbook, trying to discredit, discourage, and defeat us. WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO LOSE.
If you’re not a union member, be prepared to be hounded and harassed…and DON’T SIGN ANYTHING, even if they claim it’s just a “petition” or “survey.”
A lot of people are going to be unpleasantly surprised when they discover that union organizers have been given their phone number, e-mail and home address without their knowledge or permission, and that union workers have no legal restrictions on how often they may contact and harass you – no matter how many times you say “no!”
President Obama’s labor regulators are preparing to give his “army” of unions the private contact information of workers employed by non-union companies, as part of an array of rules to facilitate and finance union expansion.
“The National Labor Relations Board is expected to start work on a rule that would force businesses to turn over workers’ phone numbers, emails and shift times to union organizers,” the Associated Pressreported this week.
It’s an effort to enhance the unions’ voter contact operations, in effect, as current law only requires companies to give union organizers the home addresses of the workers whom they hope will vote to unionize.
“What this is trying to do — arguably, it violates the workers’ privacy — but facilitate the union getting in touch,” The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk told The Washington Examiner. “It is just going to be a headache for workers. You tell the union organizer ‘no’ once and they just keep coming back can come back and they keep harassing you and now they’ve got your phone number that they can be calling you on — now they can be spamming your email.”
In conjunction with the regulation aiding union organizers, the Obama team appears poised to curtail company management’s ability to get outside advice in how to argue against union drives. “A new rule expected from the Labor Department would force companies to reveal relationships with so-called union-busting consulting companies even if the companies have no contact with workers,” the AP noted.
Time for non-union members to get themselves a lawyer who’s familiar with restraining orders.
I recommend signing up with a pre-paid legal plan as insurance, just in case.
Where is the State Department’s condemnation of REAL religious intolerance??
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani made international headlines and eventually won his freedom after being imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Iranian court, but several other Christians remain in the Islamic nation’s prisons simply because of their faith.
Advocates of the men and women who refuse to renounce their Christian beliefs in a nation where they are vastly outnumbered by an often hostile population say their best chance for freedom is international pressure. Less than 1 percent of Iran’s population is comprised of people of non-Muslim faith, according to CIA’s World Factbook, and Christians, Jews and Hindi face relentless persecution.
“Iran has amped up its systematic persecution of Christians over the last year, closing churches, burning Bibles, imprisoning believers, and using threats and intimidations tactics to suppress religious expression,” said Tiffany Barrans, International legal Director for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which waged a successful campaign for Nadarkhani’s release.
Nadarkhani’s dramatic release after three years in prison came Sept. 8, after an international campaign of diplomatic and online pressure prompted a judge to reduce his sentence to time served for downgraded charges of “evangelizing to Muslims.” But other Christian ministers still languish in Iranian prisons with deplorable conditions simply for professing their faith.
Pastor Farshid Fathi has been locked up in Iran’s notorious Evin prison since December 2010 for what the ACLJ describes as practicing his Christian faith. After bowing to international pressure, Iranian authorities are starting to avoid charges that appear to be based on a person’s faith, according to the ACLJ. In Fathi’s case, his Christian activity was framed as being “criminal political offenses” by the court.
Praise God! The Iranian regime released Pastor Youcef thanks to all your prayers and international pressure!
Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor who captured the hearts of millions as he stood firm in his faith while facing execution, has been acquitted of apostasy.
Two organizations that have closely been monitoring the case and have sources in Iran reported Saturday that Nadarkhani, who went on trial early Saturday, has been released from prison and is at home with his family.
“Thank you to everyone that has supported me with your prayers,” Nadarkhani said, according to Present Truth Ministries.
Though acquitted of apostasy, the Iranian pastor was found guilty of evangelizing Muslims. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment but was released because he already served this time.
“We give thanks to God for His deliverance and the answer to our prayers,” Jason DeMars, founder of Present Truth Ministries, said in a statement.
I hope he is able to leave the country! Next time they won’t bother to arrest him. I’d be very surprised if some radical Muslim in his neighborhood hasn’t already painted a target on his back.
Wish I could say I’m surprised, but unions tend to own the politicians that pass these laws. Nobody is safe from their bullying.
At least four states provide exemptions to anti-stalking laws for labor union officials conducting organizing activities, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Every state in America criminalizes stalking, generally defined as repeated unwanted contact with another individual designed to cause some sort of mental or emotional distress. But Illinois, California, Nevada, and Pennsylvania offer broad exemptions for union officials.
A law in Illinois, for instance, exempts from stalking prohibitions individuals who are engaging in “any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits . . . the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, and the terms to be included in those agreements.”
Pennsylvania law says that laws against stalking “shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute.” That could prove troubling for the owners of Philadelphia-based Post Brothers Apartments, who allege that the wife of one of the company’s owners “is routinely followed taking their toddler to pre-school by picketers” involved in a labor dispute.
The Chamber explains more generally why these exemptions are concerning:
Harassment of opponents is often part of a union’s effort to confront adversaries and pressure them to give in to its demands, and stalking is one aspect of this behavior. Unions have been known to employ this tactic even against other unions. For example, in 2008, the California Nurses’ Association (CNA) obtained a temporary restraining order against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) because the SEIU repeatedly sent activists to the homes of CNA board members during a long, acrimonious dispute between the two rival unions.
Sometimes, though, the harassment goes even further and crosses into the truly scary. The owner of a non-union electrical services business in Ohio, for example, was the repeated victim of stalking and other acts of violence against him during a bitter union organizing effort. In addition to having rocks thrown through the windows at his place of business, his car’s tires punctured multiple times, and an assault on one of his employees, this business owner was actually shot in the arm by an intruder he confronted in his front yard after he discovered the person vandalizing his car.
Some state laws exempt union activities from other criminal prohibitions, such as trespassing. As the Chamber explains, California “explicitly excludes persons engaged in labor union activities” from its strict laws against trespassing, which specify that individuals must leave another’s property when asked.
California prohibits individuals from entering or exiting a private property, or from willingly inhibiting the operations of a business, imposing fines and a potential 90-day imprisonment for those convicted of the latter. But as with its trespassing laws, the state has exempted unions from these laws.
It’s official: Americans are now being ruled – not represented – by tyrants who recognize no constitutional limits to their authority, no law but their own dictates, no checks and balances, and no separation of powers. We are moving from Constitutional Republic to Dictatorship. What is it going to take for people to wake up?
The job of the Executive Branch is to enforce the laws passed by the Legislative Branch. Obama is unilaterally refusing to enforce the law.
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
“We will not be issuing detainers on individuals unless they clearly meet our defined priorities,” one official said in a telephone briefing.
The official said that despite the increased number of calls, which presumably means more illegal immigrants being reported, the Homeland Security Department is unlikely to detain a significantly higher number of people and won’t be boosting personnel to handle the new calls.
“We do not plan on putting additional staff on the ground in Arizona,” the official said.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Arizona may not impose its own penalties for immigration violations, but it said state and local police could check the legal status of those they have reasonable suspicion to believe are in the country illegally.
That means police statewide can immediately begin calling to check immigration status — but federal officials are likely to reject most of those calls.
Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person.
Jan Brewer referred to Obama’s behavior as a “war on Arizona“:
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News today, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), the woman who signed into law SB 1070, the controversial bill dealing with illegal immigration upheld in part by the Supreme Court today, called the ruling a “victory” but added that the federal government was continuing to place Arizona “under assault.”
“I believe that this Supreme Court unanimously upheld the section that it is the heart of the bill,” she said. “It’s a victory for the rule of law and the 10th amendment.”
By the same token, Brewer recognized the threat implicit in the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to suspend cooperation with Arizona state authorities via 287(g) task force agreements. “This continued assault on the state of Arizona in regards to illegal immigration has been totally unfortunate,” Brewer said. “The bottom line is that the feds need to step up and do their job and secure our border so we can work on other issues that are a result of the borders not being secured.”
Brewer was deeply upset at the new round of federal pressure on Arizona. “At every turn,” she said, “we see the federal government putting their finger down on other places … They rescinded the 287(g) for all law enforcement in the state of Arizona immediately after this ruling came out. They’re taking away the ability for us to work hand in hand with ICE. So now instead of being able to access the [citizenship] database we’re going to have to call in and go through ICE to verify if somebody’s illegally in the state or not. That’s an assault on Arizona. And it was only rescinded in the State of Arizona.”
States seeking to take immigration enforcement into their own hands are facing an uphill climb, after the Supreme Court reined in Arizona’s disputed law and the Obama administration followed by rescinding a key partnership allowing local police to enforce federal immigration rules.
The day’s decisions further weakened efforts by Arizona, and potentially other states, to take on immigration enforcement themselves.
Depends on who you ask.
While my colleague Joel Pollak suggests this morning that the Supreme Court “struck down the form – but not the substance” of Arizona’s immigration law, the truth seems to be the opposite: the Supreme Court defanged the Arizona law to the point where it has no meaning. The case is an outright victory for the Obama administration – it allows them to complain about racial profiling without the state of Arizona having the power to actually fight illegal immigration. Beyond which, the ruling is dead wrong.
First things first: the ruling today completely removes Arizona’s ability to deal with illegal immigration. There were four provisions of the Arizona law at issue:
- Section 2(B): When Arizona law enforcement reasonably suspect that somebody they have lawfully detained is in the country illegally, they must check immigration status.
- Section 6: Arizona law enforcement can make warrantless arrests if they have probable cause to believe that the suspect is in the country illegally. The person is then turned over to federal immigration authorities to deal with.
- Section 3: It’s a crime under Arizona law for illegal immigrants to fail to carry alien registration documentation.
- Section 5(C): Unlawfully present aliens can’t knowingly apply for, solicit, or do work in Arizona.
The Supreme Court struck down all but the first of these provisions. Logically, that means that even if Arizona law enforcement pulls somebody over for a traffic stop and checks immigration status, they can’t actually arrest them for immigration status under Section 6, and they can’t even cite them for a crime under Section 3. So, what are the cops supposed to do – check immigration status, then write a ticket and let these illegal immigrants go about their business?
As for provision 5(C), federal law already puts a burden on employers to check immigration status before hiring, but the state made it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work. That provision is gone, too.
This leads to the second point: this is a big win for Obama. The heart of the law is not intact. Only the most controversial provision, which mandates illegal immigration checks by law enforcement – and which will not result in arrests in any case – remains, providing political fodder for the Obama campaign. They’re already capitalizing on it, calling the Supreme Court and the State of Arizona racist.
Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the major provision of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 immigration law is a strong rebuke of the Obama Administration.
The Administration had argued that its own immigration enforcement priorities should be treated as controlling law—that is, above the determinations of both Congress and Arizona. But the Court’s decision means that the President must go through Congress if he wishes to impede the states’ ability to enforce immigration laws within their borders.
In a judgment joined by all eight justices who participated (Justice Elena Kagan was recused), the Court found that Arizona may implement its requirement that law enforcement officers make a “reasonable attempt…to determine the immigration status” of any person they stop, detain, or arrest, if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien unlawfully present in the United States.” The Court found that three other provisions, which regulated alien registration, illegal aliens seeking employment, and arrest of individuals based upon possible removability, were preempted by federal law.
In this case, the Court recognized that the core of S.B. 1070, which requires officers to work collaboratively with the federal government to determine the immigration status of those who have been stopped or detained for a lawful purpose, need not be interpreted to conflict with federal law. With this decision, the Court has reaffirmed the important principle that, much as he might want to, President Obama cannot prevent the states from taking action to enforce federal immigration laws just by saying that he doesn’t want them to do so.
Labor unions suffered a setback in Wisconsin last week, but anyone who thinks they’ve been knocked dead is living in a dream world. There are laws on the books which ensure that the unions will always bounce back. Scott Walker knocked them down, but they will come back up like a bobo doll, and long after he is out of office, they will continue clutching for more power. All the laws are on their side.
The only certainties are death and tax [exemption]
Labor unions are categorized as tax-exempt 501(c)5 organizations. In 2010, these organizations collectively held $32,498,906,714 in assets. This number comes from the combined assets of all labor unions and farm bureaus. After all their expenses, lobbying efforts, and voter intimidation efforts, these organized labor gangsters still have more money than the entire GDP of many countries. None of it is taxed, and 92% of them are in violation of Dept. of Labor audits.
If this 32 billion were taxed at the corporate tax rate, it could pay for the entire Army Reserves budget and have 3.5 billion left over. For those counting at home, that’s about as much as the U.S. government loses in the time it takes our president to play a round of golf.
In other words, labor unions have more money that Wisconsin has. They are not afraid of Scott Walker. They will not wither up and die anytime soon. They are protected by tax exemption. If they have a bad year in Wisconsin, they will simply shift the funds around and pick a fight in another state where they can win, or they will lobby the federal government to override the states. Tax exemption guarantees that they will always have plenty of money for political work, and it is no secret that they own the soul of our president already.
Tax-exempt status was given to unions as a favor by a couple of leftist hacks during the passage of the Revenue Act of 1913, which came on the heels of the 16th Amendment (the income tax). The act was sponsored by Oscar Underwood, a career Democrat from Alabama, and Furnifold Simmons, a white supremacist Democrat from North Carolina. Tax exemption ensured that labor unions would have plenty of money on hand for political work, and that they would use it to reward the politicians who allied with them and punish those who didn’t. As long as this clause remains in the Revenue Act, unions will always have an advantage.
If there was any hope of limiting the growth and influence of tax-exempt labor unions, it was intentionally undermined in 1914 by the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. This law tightened restrictions against monopolistic business activities. However, it specifically went out of its way to include a clause giving labor unions freedom to monopolize against entire industries and spread inexorably into others. The law is a clearly stated government mandate for unions to monopolize labor markets against businesses, written into a law ostensibly about ending monopolies. This clause was added specifically to ensure that unions would always have the upper hand against businesses. Businesses pay the highest tax rate and are restrained from monopolizing. Unions pay no taxes and are encouraged to monopolize. The deck has been stacked this way for 100 years.
This is how one of our biggest unions, the AFL-CIO, has managed to accumulate over two billion in total assets and get its hands into the pockets of 57 different sectors of the U.S. economy, including nearly every teacher in the U.S. public school system, the U.S. postal service, and the National Football League without raising a single anti-trust eyebrow.
All of their political influence would be irrelevant if the unions operated as charitable organizations. Charities are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. The only stipulation on this status is that they avoid all political activity. If the pastor of a church starts telling people whom to vote for, the church loses its tax-exempt status and is taxed at the regular corporate tax rate of 35%. Labor unions, of course, participate in extremely aggressive political activism without any restraint. In 2010, during the midterm elections, the AFL-CIO put over $20 million into a budget column openly labeled the “Militancy/defense Fund.” Think about this fact for a while. Do you think an organization with 20 million “militancy” dollars will simply fade away because of Scott Walker? Do you think an organization like this deserves to be tax-exempt?
What exactly is a militancy fund for? All sorts of things. In 1973, in United States v. Enmons, the Supreme Court ruled that labor unions are exempt from prosecution for violence related to collective bargaining goals. If you are upset that none of the threats against Governor Walker’s life were prosecuted, it is because they were legal. They have $20 million in their militancy fund, and permission from the Supreme Court to commit violence without prosecution. Do you think they are afraid of a new rule in Wisconsin?
Not only do they have $20 million marked off for militancy and defense, but they have another $23.8 million in the solidarity fund. What is that for? It is for “Political and Issues Mobilization work.” Not only do they have as much money as a small country, but they also have their own political wing and their own military/defense wing. The only difference is they don’t believe that their own members should have the right to vote.
If you’re counting, that’s a total of about $44 million spent on militancy and political mobilization, or about 40% of the AFL-CIO’s total annual budget. They are awash in money they don’t know what to do with, but nobody in Washington is willing to tax them because a century ago a couple of liberal cogs got cozy with the unions and wrote it into law.
We’re just getting started…you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
For months we’ve been told the Tea Party is dead. It’s over. The Tea Party has lost its influence. We haven’t “seen big rallies” like we used to.
If you’re wondering where the Tea Party has been for the past few months, last night’s recall election in Wisconsin has your answer. If you’re wondering if the Tea Party is still relevant, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Conservative Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity played a crucial role in turning out voters for the Walker recall election, put boots on the ground to walk door to door, organized volunteers and provided crucial funding during the race.
[...] You can bet their efforts didn’t stop with Wisconsin and that they’re marching toward November.
[L]ast year, the pundits forgot about the Tea Party movement and started rhapsodizing the Occupy Wall Street movement. The Tea Party was old news — now it was the Occupiers who were going to change American politics.
That ended once journalists and pundits realized that the scruffy, anarchic — and often criminal — Occupy protesters were alienating voters and not accomplishing much. And I wrote here that Occupy Wall Street Gets The Ink, Tea Party Gets The Voters. And that’s pretty much how it’s turned out.
Occupy fizzled — the final blow came when Andrew Breitbart fearlessly waded into a crowd of Occupiers who were trying to take over a conservative blog conference, and shouted “Stop raping people, you freaks!” Since they were freaks, and Occupiers had been raping people in embarrassing numbers, there wasn’t much to say in response.
Meanwhile, the Tea Party went on being unglamorous but effective. Tea Party members got on state and local party committees. Tea Party organizers registered new voters and pushed for insurgent candidates to run. In 2010, Utah Sen. Bob Bennett was knocked out at the party caucus stage.
Some critics thought that was the high-water mark for Tea Party influence, but this year Orrin Hatch, despite being forewarned and calling in all the favors that a multidecade senator has to call in, was forced into a primary, having failed to clinch re-nomination at convention. Tea Party opponent Richard Lugar was knocked out — beaten like a drum, really — in an Indiana Senate primary. And in Texas, establishment Senate candidate David Dewhurst has been forced into a runoff with Tea Party insurgent Ted Cruz.
This has made some people unhappy. Mostly, those people are members of the Republican establishment, who were happy with things they way they were. The rise of a new, empowered voting bloc — back in February of 2010 I called it a new Great Awakening in American politics – threatens to shake things up. These are people who actually believe in the things Republican officeholders claim to support, like small government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional limits on government programs.
The Tea Party movement has come a long way. But the upending of incumbents in what by all rights should have been safe primaries demonstrates that it hasn’t lost momentum yet. So what’s next?
Well, between now and November, the emphasis will shift from defeating squishy Republicans to defeating Barack Obama — and to making sure that the people Tea Partiers backed in the primaries get elected to office. But that’s pretty obvious. The real question is what Tea Partiers will do after November.
[R]emoving Obama, while helpful, doesn’t really solve the problem. Both parties spend too much, tax too much, and regulate too much. Obama just turned the machinery of government up to 11.
Even with Obama gone, there will be a major role for the Tea Party movement. Republicans will need to have their feet held to the fire. With a budget crisis pretty much inevitable no matter what happens in November, small-government fiscal-responsibility types will still have a lot to do. And the Tea Party takeover of local and state Republican machinery will continue.
Another victory for fiscal sanity!
Voters in two major California cities overwhelmingly approved measures to cut retirement benefits for city workers Tuesday in contests being closely watched as states and local governments throughout the country struggle with mounting pension obligations.
In San Diego, 67 percent voted in favor of Proposition B while 33 percent were opposed. More than 65 percent of precincts reported.
The margin in San Jose was even wider, with 71 percent in favor of Measure B and 29 percent opposed. Nearly half of precincts reported.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed called the vote a victory for fiscal reform.
“The voters get it, they understand what needs to be done,” he said in an interview.
Supporters had a straightforward pitch: Pensions for city workers are unaffordable and more generous than many private companies offer, forcing libraries to slash hours and potholes to go unfilled.
“We believe people are tired of having services cut back because of big pensions,” San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican who is being forced from office by term limits, said recently.
Shrinking tax revenues during the recession are also responsible for service cuts, but pensions are an easy target. San Diego’s payments to the city’s retirement fund soared from $43 million in 1999 to $231.2 million this year, equal to 20 percent of the city’s general fund budget, which pays for day-to-day operations.
As the pension payments grew, San Diego’s 1.3 million residents saw roads deteriorate and libraries and recreation centers cut hours. For a while, some fire stations had to share engines and trucks. The city has cut its workforce 14 percent to 10,100 employees since Sanders took office in 2005.
San Jose’s pension payments jumped from $73 million in 2001 to $245 million this year, equal to 27 percent of its general fund budget. Voters there approved construction bonds at the beginning of the last decade, but four new libraries and a police station have never opened because the city cannot afford to operate them. The city of 960,000 cut its workforce 27 percent to 5,400 over the last 10 years.
[F]ollowing this defeat, union officials say they’ll challenge the outcome in court. Well, let them.
San Diego and San Jose are emblematic of the tidal wave of pension liabilities faced by cities across California — and, indeed, the U.S. It’s unsustainable.
Politicians took money and votes from public unions in exchange for ridiculously generous pay and benefits. They figured that sucker taxpayers would just pay the bill later — long after they were out of office.
Well, the bills have come due, and the taxpayers are mad — voting mad. As we noted in an editorial on Wednesday, polls show public sector unions have become increasingly unpopular with the general public — and even their own members — in recent years.
Now, the public unions’ day of reckoning is at hand.
For California, which has been laid low by years of obscenely excessive spending for public-sector pensions and other benefits, this can’t come too soon. If liberal California recognizes the depths of its public-sector union problems, no doubt others will too.
For the unions, this wasn’t merely an election — it was an earthquake. And, as we all know, the biggest earthquakes often happen in California.
Gov. Scott Walker’s Recall Victory Speech!
View on YouTube
The repercussions of this election will be felt nationwide.
Scott Walker has proven that it is possible to stand up to thuggish union tactics and their unsustainable demands, and get your state back onto a fiscally responsible track.
Republican leadership across the country needs to take note and grow a spine. The only way to beat the Leftist agenda is to courageously fight for conservative principles, make the argument for fiscal responsibility with no apology, and refuse to cave to disgusting, underhanded tactics.
The cheers were almost deafening at the Expo Center, Gov. Scott Walker’s headquarters, Tuesday night as CNN projected that the Republican governor had won Wisconsin’s nationally-watched recall election. Although several polls over the past week had shown Walker — a target of unions and Democrats nationwide for his controversial reforms of benefits for some public employees — running ahead of Democratic opponent Tom Barrett among likely voters, there was collective joy and relief that, by a margin of at least 52 to 48 percent, Walker’s ordeal by fire was finally over.
Walker’s fellow Republican, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, appeared headed for an easy win. However, results in the four Republican-held state senate seats on the ballot remained uncertain and a Democratic victory in either could end the GOP’s control of the now-evenly divided state senate.
Most GOP activists and state political pundits who spoke to Human Events credited Walker’s political team with energizing party activists throughout the Badger State and turning out his likely backers. In addition, national Republicans led by Republican National Committee Chairman (and Walker’s fellow Wisconsinite) Reince Priebus, weighed in for the embattled governor. All four Republican presidential candidates voiced solidarity with Walker when they stumped in the state’s presidential primary earlier this year, and GOP Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Nikki Haley of South Carolina stumped for Walker in the special election.
Along with organizational acumen, “Team Walker” was credited with an effective fund-raising drive that brought in more than $30 million to the embattled conservative’s coffers — or, as veteran Wisconsin GOP consultant Scott Becher put it, “more money than any other candidate for anything in the U.S. except Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the first quarter of the year.”
The Walker warchest was more than enough to trump the estimated $20 million that no less than 15 different committees spent to defeat him with the help of national labor unions, leftist bankroller George Soros and former President Bill Clinton, who stumped for Barrett in the closing days of the race.
[...] “When you emerge on top of what Scott Walker has gone through these past few months, you know you’re on top!” Becher told Human Events. “The Republican Party has a new superstar and they should take advantage of his stardom.” Becher has long advocated that the Badger State governor be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention this summer.
But Walker’s triumph may yield other benefits for the GOP in Wisconsin and the conservative movement overall. Although Barack Obama carried the state’s 10 electoral votes in 2008 and leads Mitt Romney in most statewide polls, Republicans are now expected to make a major effort to put Wisconsin in the Romney column in November. With the number of reliable campaign volunteers clearly enhanced and motivated by the Walker effort, the Romney camp’s chances of winning the state are enhanced.
As Steve Walters, senior producer of the Wisconsin Eye public television program, told Human Events: “I can’t believe Romney won’t make Wisconsin a priority after tonight.”
The White House is trying to spin this by saying that the unions sent Walker a “strong message.” Of what? That they’re a bunch of spoiled brats and sore losers?
In a typical display of Leftist “civility” and “tolerance,” liberals on Twitter are openly advocating for Walker’s assassination.
Anyone making death threats should be brought up on criminal charges – I don’t care who you are.
When two or more politicians agree, watch your wallet and your freedoms.
Bipartisanship, the supposed scarcity of which so distresses the high-minded, actually is disastrously prevalent.
Since 2001, it has produced No Child Left Behind, a counterproductive federal intrusion in primary and secondary education; the McCain-Feingold speech rationing law (the Bipartisan) Campaign Reform Act); an unfunded prescription drug entitlement; troublemaking by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; government-directed capitalism from the Export-Import Bank; crony capitalism from energy subsidies; unseemly agriculture and transportation bills; bailouts of an unreformed Postal Service; housing subsidies; subsidies for state and local governments; and many other bipartisan deeds.
Now, with Europe’s turmoil dramatizing the decadence of entitlement cultures, and with American governments — federal, state and local — buckling beneath unsustainable entitlements, Congress is absent-mindedly creating a new entitlement for the already privileged.
Concerning the “problem” of certain federal student loans, the two parties pretend to be at daggers drawn, skirmishing about how to “pay for” the “solution.”
But a bipartisan consensus is congealing: Certain student borrowers — and eventually all student borrowers, because, well, why not? — should be entitled to loans at a subsidized 3.4% interest rate forever.
In 2006, Democrats, trying to gain control of Congress by pandering to students and their parents, proposed cutting in half the statutory 6.8% rate on some federal student loans.
Holding Congress in 2007, and with no discernible resistance from the compassionately conservative Bush administration, Democrats disguised the full-decade cost of this — $60 billion — by pretending the subsidy, which now costs $6 billion a year, would expire in five years. The five years are up July 1, and of course, the 3.4% rate will be extended.
Barack Obama supports this. So does Mitt Romney, while campaigning against a “government-centered society.” What would we do without bipartisanship?
[...] Taxpayers, most of whom are not college graduates (the unemployment rate for persons with no college: 7.9%), will pay $6 billion a year to make it slightly easier for some fortunate students to acquire college degrees (the jobless rate for college graduates: 4%).
Between now and July, the two parties will pretend that it is a matter of high principle how the government should pretend to “pay for” the $6 billion while borrowing $1 trillion this year .
But bipartisanship will have been served by putting another entitlement on a path to immortality.
This is such GOOD NEWS!
Pray for Chen’s mother, nephew, and other relatives left behind in China who have been abused as hostages in order to punish Chen for his human rights activism!
The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has arrived to begin a new life in the United States while vowing to keep fighting against injustice in his homeland.
The moment was the final leg of a dramatic, month-long escape from house arrest in rural China that ended with him speaking to a throng of press in front New York University where he will become an academic.
“We should link our arms and continue to fight for the goodness in the world and continue to fight injustice … I hope everybody works for me to promote justice and fairness in China,” Chen said through an interpreter.
Chen’s speech attracted a small crowd of onlookers who cheered him and a few cars honked their horns. “Nothing is impossible as long as you put your heart to it. As we say in Chinese there is no small affair as long as you put your heart to it,” he said.
His flight, United Airlines UA88, had departed for Newark almost two hours late from Beijing international airport as a thunderstorm rolled in – a suitably tempestuous climax to one of the most remarkable chapters of courage and injustice in recent Chinese history.
After beatings, imprisonment, injury, embassy refuge and diplomatic wrangling between the two superpowers Chen’s departure has stirred a mixture of relief and dismay among activists in China, who are glad Chen is safe but worried that their cause could lose one of its most influential advocates.
New York University in Greenwich Village has said he will study as a fellow at its school of law. “For the past seven years I have never had a day’s rest so I have come here for a bit of recuperation in body and in spirit,” Chen said.
[...] His lawyer Liu Weiguo said it was unlikely he would be allowed to return any time soon. “The chance for him to come back is small. I fear the Chinese government won’t allow him to come back. This kind of thing has precedents.” Chen is said to be unhappy about leaving relatives behind in a village controlled by Linyi’s notoriously violent local authorities. But Liu said he did not blame Chen.
“We should look at this from his perspective. He’s mentally and physically exhausted now and has been tormented for so many years. For the Chinese rights movement he has done more than enough. We can’t ask him to do any more. Now he needs time to rest.”
The prominent human rights lawyer Teng Biao said he was happy for Chen and his family. “His safety and freedom are the priority. Whether this is a good thing for the rights movement is secondary now.”
Nicholas Bequelin of Human Rights Watch said Chen’s departure was no cause for celebration as his family remained under pressure and there may be less incentive for the central government to investigate wrongdoing by the local authorities.
More importantly, Bequelin said, it raised questions about the wider environment for activists. “This is a reflection that there is no room for human rights defenders in China. We don’t know if this will turn into a temporary stay or exile, but in either case it begs the questions why someone like Chen Guangcheng cannot freely operate in China. What is it that stops the authorities from tolerating or even embracing someone like Chen?”
The situation remains grim for those left behind. Dongshigu, where Chen’s mother and other relatives remain, is still under lockdown. His brother has described being beaten for three days after the activist escaped and his nephew Chen Kegui is to be tried for attempted murder after fighting off intruders with a knife.
Scott Walker has proven to the spineless GOP establishment that a Republican can take on the leftist union bullies and WIN, despite all the intimidation tactics…and the voters will support him for it!
With polls showing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pulling away from his challenger in the June 5 recall election, the Democratic National Committee may be waving the white flag in a race that state liberals thought they had in the bag a few months ago.Politico reports that both the DNC and President Obama’s re-election campaign have yet to kick in a dime to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s effort to knock off one of the Republicans’ chief heroes of the midterm landslide. Though Barrett faces a huge fundraising disadvantage in what turns out to be rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election, the national party seems to have decided against wasting any resources on a lost cause. By contrast, the national Republican Party is all in to help Walker turn what was once a toss-up into a GOP romp.
[...] To be fair to the DNC, the recall wasn’t their idea. It was the brainchild of Wisconsin’s state worker unions and their liberal allies. The unions were still smarting from their defeat in the legislature after Walker fulfilled his 2010 promises to enact a fundamental reform of the state budget. After failing to physically intimidate Republican legislators who were intent on passing changes in the collective bargaining laws that would stop unions from holding the state hostage, Walker’s foes conceived of a recall effort to reverse the verdict of the voters. But now that the voters are faced with the same choice the parties offered them two years ago, it looks like they haven’t changed their minds about Walker.
Unfortunately for President Obama and the DNC, it’s too late to cancel the recall effort. If, as now seems likely, Walker survives the recall, it will do more than just strengthen the rising GOP star. It will be rightly seen as a harbinger of other, even more significant defeats for the Democrats later this year. That’s why the DNC and the president are now bailing out of a Wisconsin fight that may turn out to be a huge mistake for the left.