CHICAGO - All four GOP gubernatorial candidates participated in a debate hosted by ABC7, League of Women Voters and Univision. Part 1 below:
CHICAGO - All four GOP gubernatorial candidates participated in a debate hosted by ABC7, League of Women Voters and Univision. Part 1 below:
In 1964, Hollywood placed a call: The recently retired James Cagney was offered one of the greatest character roles in musical theater: Alfred Doolittle, the wastrel father of Eliza. It turned out for the best, as the role then went to Stanley Holloway, the talented actor who had originated the role on the stage.
Cagney would have loved to play it (who wouldn’t?), but Cagney had publicly announced his retirement after filming Billy Wilder’s magnificent but taxing comedy, “One, Two, Three” in 1961. On principle, Cagney refused to be one of those actors (and he had known many!) who retires, then returns, again and again, using retirement as a publicity and negotiating ploy rather than as the life choice that Cagney believed it should be.
For an actor, such a principle makes sense. But in the field of politics, the best principle may sometimes turn the other way. For as much as we all like to think that politics should be a temporary calling – “serve your country, then go home before the power corrupts you” – there are indeed times when the personal preference to retire to one’s back porch, with a rocking chair and the restful view of a river, must be sublimated to the greater good.
So it was, again and again, with a country gentleman from Virginia named George Washington.
Illinois Democrats have proposed a penny-per-ounce “sodapop tax” – a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.
Now, when you propose a number like “a penny,” it sounds small, and many people tend to dismiss it as inconsequential. But let's do the math.
A 20 oz bottle of cola, lemon-lime, or root beer, sold alone at a gas station, might be $1.69 or so. Another twenty cents added on to that might seem unimportant, on its own, though it’s a brand new 12% tax on the purchase (and remember, there are still other taxes, like the state and local sales tax, in addition).
A typical large 32 oz soda at a fast food place (which is often half ice) might run $1.75. The thirty-two cents the Democrats want to add to that drink constitute a brand new 18% tax. You might not notice it at first, but your budget will show the shrinkage a lot faster than it did when Illinois’ already-high sales taxes were the only government paws in your lunchbreak wallet.
NOTE: Teri's show will begin 1 hour earlier, at 3 pm Central, to make sure you're ready for kickoff
Like most Americans, I love the Super Bowl, and I want to publicly declare here and now, that, despite years of warnings from feminists, I don't fear being slapped around by the Husband today. Their war on football is gaining traction, but for now, we can still enjoy the game.
It's also Groundhog Day, which is an AWESOME movie, by the way, and in the age of the most lawless regime in American history, is also another way of saying it's another day. While the last century media wants to talk about Chris Christie, Justin Beiber and Amanda Knox, a leftist ideologue continues lying, shucking and jiving to accomplish his "remaking" of America. It's hard to keep track of all the lies and broken promises from the One, but since we watch so you don't have to, we'll remind you of some you may have forgotten, a veritable Super Bowl of lies. Speaking of how we watch so you don't have to, we witnessed Barack Obama's "virtual road trip" on Friday, a Google+ hangout. Based on what we saw there, and in the interview with CNN's Jake Tapper—and I know you may find it difficult to believe—but he may be talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue of "comprehensive immigration reform." His PR flacks, sometimes called "journalists," are expressing despair after his latest borefest, last Tuesday's State of the Union speech. Is he a "shrinking president," playing small ball instead realizing his ambitious 1st-term agenda? That sort of thing happens when your approval rating drops into the high thirties, but there could be a lot more to it than that. We'll unpack it for you.
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With the mandated formality of threadbare assurances by President Barack Obama that state of the union is strong, stronger, confident and strong, or the strongest it's ever been finally at hand, the incongruity between the State of the Union and the State of OMG – How Am I Going To Dig My Family Out of This Disaster is perhaps starting to bite at the heels of Washington insiders in a way that's unprecedented in American history. I wonder if Washington insiders are smart enough to take notice of these winds of change no matter how faint the winds seem.
Just for the record, I'm not a big fan of the term unprecedented when it comes to reflecting on the State of the Union. Bring me some precedent as far as I'm concerned. Let's see something along the line of proven free market solutions… Even so, you and I both know that no second term president would stand before Congress to report that the state of the union reeks like untreated sewage. That too would be unprecedented albeit true, so what do I know? The president…any president will always report that America is better than it has ever been. When it comes to the State of the Union, what has true got to do with the price of tea in China? Or the price of American debt in China for that matter.
This morning, according to an ABC News poll, only 37 percent of Americans trust Barack "I've got a pen and a cell phone" Obama to make the right decisions for the country. Thirty seven percent? I didn't know Barack Obama had that many relatives, at least not in this country. No worries, though, Obama Kool-Aid drinkers, I'm sure that he'll fix everything when he applies that sure-fire cure to all that ails the country, or even the planet; that is, a Barack Obama speech! Demagoguery to the rescue again! As we watch, the One lament the horrors of income inequality, we'll know what it feels like to watch an arsonist arrive to tearfully witness the clean up of the house he burned down.
With the Obamacare debacle shining a huge spotlight on the failure of liberal arrogance and hypocrisy, you'd think that the GOP would seize the chance to make the case for free markets, liberty and limited government. Instead, the Speaker of the House John Boehner squandered a golden opportunity to introduce millions of low-information citizens (and one low information comedian) to do that. Seriously? We watch so you don't have to, and we'll share some truly cringe-inducing segments of this ridiculous performance.
Technorati Tags: 2nd amendment, Academy Awards, amnesty, amnesty, Attorney General Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Benghazi, Chicago Way, Elections, Glen Doherty, Hillary Rodham Clinton, immigration, income inequality, J. Christopher Stevens, Jay Leno, Lame Stream Media, Medicaid, Michelle Bachman, Michelle Obama, Motor Voter, NRA, Obamacare, race card, radio, reparations, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Sean Smith, Solomon Northup, Speaker of the House John Boehner, State of the Union Speech, the skin game, The Teri O'Brien Show, Tonight Show, Twelve Years a Slave, Tyrone Woods, Vote Fraud, Wendy Davis, WLS
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Do a Bing search for the term "celibacy syndrome" and you will get 564,000 results returned on the subject of sekkusu shinai shokogun. If this is the first time you have been hearing about this growing Japanese cultural phenomenon, The Week online can sum up the problem for you in this way:
The Japanese now have one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, and at the same time, one of the highest longevity rates. As a result, the population is dropping rapidly, and becoming increasingly weighted toward older people. After peaking seven years ago, at 128 million, Japan's population has been falling — and is on a path to decline by about a million people a year. By 2060, the government estimates, there will be just 87 million people in Japan; nearly half of them will be over 65.
According to that online post, Japan's problem of a dwindling population is twofold. A) In the past, Japanese marriages were business arrangements between two families. They had very little to do with love. Since the 1990s, the population has gotten away from those traditions regarding arranged marriages and this leaves Japanese men uncertain about how to find spouses. Instead of procreating, the Japanese men retreat into their parents' basements and peruse porn sites or online gaming because there doesn't seem to be an alternative B) in the past; Japanese women would stop working after they began having children. Modern Japanese women much prefer their economic freedom. They recognize that the alternative will bring about a decrease in their standard of living. They liken marriage and motherhood to death.
During one of my first host appearances on Chicago's radio home for Rush Limbaugh, after which I would enjoy several years of terrestrial radio fun there, I expressed my disgust over the fact that feminists had sold young women a bill of goods. Misery loves company, after all, and this bitter, unattractive bunch, with their institutional-style haircuts and their sensible shoes, wanted to make sure if they couldn't get a date, none of us could. The ultimate gulag for women, they explained, was "patriarchy" as embodied by traditional marriage. Many young women dallied with this foolishness during their early twenties, but most outgrew it by graduation. Sadly, many of those who did not found themselves unhappy, lonely and confused as they approached age 40, despite their outward "success."
Today's guest, Chicago writer and school psychologist Bernard Chapin has addressed about the havoc the feminists have wreaked on society, both in his book, Women: Theory and Practice, and at his YouTube channel, Chapin's Inferno.
Technorati Tags: 2nd amendment, amnesty, amnesty, Attorney General Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Benghazi, Bernard Chapin, Brian Terry, Chicago Way, Chris Christie, education, Fast and Furious, feminism, Fort Lee, Glen Doherty, Hillary Rodham Clinton, homosexuality, immigration, J. Christopher Stevens, Janet Reno, Lame Stream Media, marijuana, Medicaid, Michelle Obama, New Jersey, Obamacare, race card, radio, reparations, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Smith, so-called same sex marriage, The Teri O'Brien Show, Tyrone Woods, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, WLS
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Month after month, the reports are announced: Job losses outpace job gains, every month. Hundreds of thousands leave the workforce, every month. The new jobs – what few there are – are more likely to be part-time than full-time, and to be lower-paying than the ones lost. Too often, the new jobs are the career-enders, not the career starters that new jobs need to be.
The story of the cooked books of the unemployment statistics is old news. For years now, the government reports have been leaving out the “non-participation” rate, so the unemployment percentage today bears no resemblance to the unemployment percentages reported a decade or two ago. Calculated the old way, today’s unemployment rate would fluctuate between twelve and fifteen percent, but that would horrify the low-information voter, so such a truth must never be reported.
But the key difference – the one that matters most to our nation’s legal voters (since the illegal votes are already determined) – is the difference between conservatives and liberals, in how they each respond to the persistent, desperate joblessness of the Obama economy.
When His Highness returned from his lavish Hawaiian holiday, he left something, or I should say, someone behind, his wife Michelle. The White House explained "As part of her birthday gift from the President, the first lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday." Birthday gift from the President? Isn't the minimum $63,000 it will cost for her to fly back separately actually a gift from you and me, one of a seemingly never-ending series of perqs enjoyed by these two grifters, who have been living large on our dime for over 5 years? It's one thing to watch them live out their belief that reparations have to start somewhere. It adds insult to injury to endure the ridiculous spectacle of people who enjoy a standard of living unheard of in human history repeat threadbare platitudes about "income inequality," when it is their policies that have destroyed opportunity. At least most of the wealthy that they want to steal from to buy votes from their mascot groups have earned what they have. They live in luxury with their money. The Obamas live in even greater luxury on ours.
Technorati Tags: 2nd amendment, amnesty, Barack Obama, Bill DeBlasio, conservative movement, education, Hawaii, homosexuality, immigration, marijuana, Medicaid, Michelle Obama, New York City, Obamacare, Phyllis Schafly, pre-kindergarten, race card, Rand Paul, reparations, Sandinistas, so-called same sex marriage
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Every New Year’s, we write personal lists of resolutions for ourselves. Lose the weight, advance the career, learn a skill, write that book. A good concept, especially if we really do accomplish some of them!
But the problems America faces today aren’t going to be resolved that way. We are being impoverished by a leviathan state, and problems caused by government action can only be solved by government action.
There’s no point in my proposing any resolutions to the Democratic Party; as a non-member, I have no right to expect them to listen to me.
But as a lifelong Republican, I hereby respectfully submit my recommendations to the candidates, officeholders, and party leaders of the Republican Party, here:
By Irene F. Starkehaus -
No surprise to most of us, I guess. Fifty-four percent of Americans believe that 2013 was a particularly bad year and a full forty percent have declared 2013 to be a grand scale disaster for their families. So it has been written in the article entitled Excedrin headache No. 2013 (Washington Examiner). So it shall be done. I'm not being flippant either. Keep in mind that this Washington based paper had to look to an Economist/YouGov poll in order to figure out what the rest of us have been learning through life experience lo these many months. If that's not the best illustration of what is broken in Washington then I just don't know what is.
I suppose it is in the smallest way satisfying when the MSM confirms what conservatives have been saying right along in spite of all the .gov evidence to the contrary. Sadly, "I told you so" doesn't make up the household budget gap created by the Affordable Health Care Act that was established to make our health care more…affordable (I'm sorry. What was it about the Affordable Health Care Act that made you think it would be affordable?) and it won't produce jobs for the millions of willing producers who are stuck in a holding pattern waiting for the economy to return to what most of us consider normal levels of growth and prosperity.
Many are complaining this week – mostly the typically anti-business leftists, who can never resist a chance, legitimate or not, to attack the private sector – because some presents weren’t delivered by Christmas. Some are even calling for class-action suits, perhaps because they think that this certain type of predatory lawyer needs a stimulus program.
Now, it should be obvious that there’s no conspiracy by the private sector to sadden spouses and children or to defraud businesses. A lot of orders were placed at the last minute, more than the transportation network could handle. We could leave it at that.
But as long as some leftists are indeed trying to make it a political issue, let’s consider the real, legitimate political facts behind some of the various components to this issue, shall we?
NORTHFIELD - After just two years in a newly-renovated 75 thousand square foot building in Northbrook, Nestle' Pizza division is moving to Ohio's Cleveland, taking 250 jobs and pizza brands Digiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s and Delissio along.
The company's decision to move involved a stunning amount of secrecy, Ohio-based corporations working together to entice the Illinois-based operation, tax incentives and thousands of volunteer hours, Crain's Cleveland reports. The process began with dissatisfaction in Chicago's northern suburbs, developed into real estate and talent queries and ended with a big move to Ohio, where Republican Governor John Kasich is leading the state away from higher taxes, deeper debt and burdensome regulations.
Bottom line? Another well-respected source of employment and taxes is on its way out of Illinois to greener pastures, just two states east.
For the past three days, we have been subjected to the predictably lame, bed wetter coverage of the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela. It has been simplistic, celebrity-obsessed, superficial, agenda-driven, and of course, all about Barack Obama. Isn't everything? Still, there is actual news that you need to know, including about Nelson Mandela, that you aren't hearing from the legacy media. For example,
Technorati Tags: African National Congress, Al Sharpton, amnesty, apartheid, Barack Hussein Obama, bone marrow donors, Che Guevara, Chris Matthews, civil rights movement, Cold War, communism, Department of Homeland Security, Economy, Edward Perkins, F.W. DeKlerk, forgiveness, gratitude, immigration, income inequality, Jobs, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, Reagan, Ronald, Sec. of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, socialism, Soviet Union, The Left, Unemployment
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Will the Obamacare debacle, a cynical purely political power grab enacted by using bribes, background deals, broken promises, and outright, pre-meditated lies, be the death knell of liberalism? Wouldn’t it be ironic if the election Barack Hussein Obama, the first genuine radical leftist to occupy the Oval Office, exposed once and for all the folly of big government redistributionist policies with his signature “achievement”? Some commentators are suggesting just that. What say you? Listeners to last week’s show heard a montage, over 3 minutes long, in which our Sham WOW (Walks on Water) Pitchman-in-Chief endlessly repeated one of the signature lies he used to con the gullible into accepting this socialist scheme; specifically, that “if you like your current plan, you can keep it.” Now American people are learning the ugly truth, not only about this lie, but others, told in the service of tricking them. In these days just after Halloween, it’s clear that the (Un)Affordable Care Act is all tricks, and for those other than the beneficiaries of “Barack’s stash,” no treats. We’ll hear another montage today, and ask “where’s my $2500?”
Many believe that the current administration – or perhaps more broadly, the current Democratic regime, by the triumvirate Obama, Pelosi, and Reid since the 2006 elections – will be remembered and condemned for its “unforced errors”… that is, for the unnecessary mistakes it has made, through mishandling programs and clumsily creating needless trouble by misreading economic cause-and-effect or societal trends.
But were they truly errors at all? Were they mistakes?
Much of the damage done by this administration has in fact been intentional – either out of some arrogant belief that “we elites know better than you do” or out of a vengeful desire to punish the Republicans, or the conservatives, or the entrepreneurs, or the bourgeoisie, or whoever they choose to detest most at any given moment. Upon reflection, few of the nation’s ills during the Obama administration can honestly be called anything but their conscious plans.
Reverend Wright warned Barack Obama about chickens coming home to roost. Now that the endless litany of lies that he told while conning gullible people about his health care scheme are on prominent display, even Democrats are scrambling to distance themselves from this rolling disaster. You can keep your doctor? You can keep your plan? Signing up will be as easy as buying a book from Amazon.com? Not so much. The only defense for these whoppers is that any fool could plainly see that they were untrue the minute Obama told them. "You believed that stuff? Seriously?"
Even the application of the universal cure for every ailment, an Obama TelePrompTer reading, hasn't quelled the outcry. During last Monday's Rose Garden appearance, the One spoke about "marketplaces" where people can purchase health insurance for a monthly premium less than the cost of their cellphone or cable bills. He called that a "good deal."
Technorati Tags: Barack Obama, Congress, Congress, Cuba, Fidel Castro, GOP, Humberto Fontova, Kathy Shaidle, Liberalism, Mark Steyn, Obamacare, Political Elites, Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen.Mike Lee, Speaker John Boehner, Talk Radio, The Teri O’Brien Show
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The apparatchiks, you see, are different from you and me…
As the Government Shutdown of October 2013 fades away into the history books, there are two lessons that the American Left desperately wants the country to forget.
Oh, the Left is fine with American voters retaining a vague memory of the event – “The government was closed; people didn’t get their checks, it was the Republicans’ fault, of course” – but the Left doesn’t want every aspect remembered. They certainly don’t want the really important lessons to be retained. They’re praying that we forget, as soon as possible.
So, while it’s all still fresh in our minds, let’s remember:
It’s official. Everyone,and by “everyone” I mean all the East Coast Brain Rot afflicted elites in the Establishment GOP and the legacy media, hates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and everyone knows that he has destroyed the “Republican brand.” Sen. John McCain (R-Amnesty) says that Sen. Cruz and his ally, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) were on a “fool’s errand” that took attention away from the Obamacare rollout fiasco.
Is he right? Isn’t it more likely that Sen. Cruz is correct when he says that if the Senate Republicans had stood united with the House GOP, and went out across the nation highlighting the ridiculous disaster of the “Affordable Care Act” website, and explaining that it was Barack Obama who refused to negotiate? Of course it is! Just how much did that Obamacare website cost? The number is staggering, especially when you consider that the technology used is not exactly state of the art.
Technorati Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Brink’s Robbery, Congress, Congress, debt ceiling, Deconstructing Obama, GOP, government shut down, Jack Cashill, Kathy Boudin, Liberalism, national debt, Obamacare, Political Elites, Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen.Mike Lee, Speaker John Boehner, Talk Radio, Tea Party, technology, The Teri O’Brien Show
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By Irene F. Starkehaus -
HuffPo has a thought-provoking article on its site entitled How to End the Gridlock which discusses solutions to the government shutdown crisis that's brewing in Washington over spending and debt and Obamacare…oh, my! It's written by Richard Parker who is a lecturer on public policy at Harvard's Shorenstein Center. He's also Senior Fellow of Harvard's Kennedy School. Parker offers a markedly unorthodox resolution to Congress's gridlock at least from the Left's point of view:
"Suspend Obamacare and cut the budget--just as House Republicans have demanded--but here's the compromise: do all the cutting in just the 80 or so congressional districts of the most ardent Tea Party members.
Cut Social Security and Medicare payments in just those 80 districts. Cut Food Stamps and defense spending (for national security, transfer military personnel to other districts; some would be Democratic, some Republican other than the Tea Partiers'.) Close any national parks, science labs, or public schools in these 80 districts that rely on federal aid. Cut the 80 districts' share of aid to Israel and Egypt, and of military expenditures in Afghanistan and for the NSA and CIA and FBI…and tax them at, say, 6%"
Follow the link to read Richard Parker's detailed proposal. Parker believes that by doing this…by giving the Tea Party exactly what he perceives it wants in removing the Federal Government's economic stranglehold, the Tea Party will die over the financial, social and spiritual collapse within their communities because economics "are very, very complicated things--so complicated that, as a profession, we're still very poor at predicting results, especially over any extended period of time."
CHICAGO - In a city Michelle Obama has referred to as hosting an urban "food desert," it may soon get even more difficult to find fresh veggies, milk and fruit. Safeway, Inc. announced this week they're abandoning the Chicago grocery market, closing 72 stores throughout the area.
Not to panic, ABC News 7 says, four of those stores will be bought up by Jewel-Osco. As for the other 68, the news isn't so positive, because about 6000 soon-to-be-out-of work Dominick's employees work at the the stores yet to be sold.
It's all about corporate greed, area union reps say.
As conservatives continue observing a government crisis that would have been anathematic to the traditions of American self-determinism even some 100+ years ago, we must persist in obstinately, repetitively, annoyingly contributing to the most important discussion of this century. The miscarriage of this monumental opportunity to educate Americans about the power that our increasingly centralized government wields would be tantamount to our Founders winking and nodding over the Quartering Acts because that's just how the Crown needed to get things done.
The point that conservative representatives should continue to drive home with whatever parliamentary procedure is left to them is actually far more important than the injustices done by the British Crown in Colonial America because England's crimes against independence were not committed with our constitutional liberties already recognized and ratified. Our natural right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was still not completely understood because crisis had only just forced the Founding Fathers to consider the repercussions of acquiescing to tyranny.
Ordinarily, in a presidency lasting four, or even eight, long years, the strengths and weaknesses of an administration become evident through trends and statistics. Relatively few are the single defining moments, like Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall, or George W. Bush at Ground Zero, when a lasting truth of a particular presidency is instantly framed for the world to see.
Historians will look back at the October Shutdown of 2013, however, and see an opportunity for worthwhile study, as so many aspects of this era have been crystallized in these unusual days of budget stalemate in Washington, D.C.
While it will surely be a treasure trove far beyond these few examples, here for your consideration are four lessons that have been clearly demonstrated for all to see, in this early October, 2013:
When budget negotiations come down to the wire – sorry, I mean the “Continuing Resolution” negotiations, since we haven’t had an actual budget in forty years – the Democrats always use the same mantra: “Those Wascally Wepublicans are forcing a government shutdown!”
As if we should all be shaking in our boots at the prospect of the federal government shutting down for an hour, let alone a few days, or even a week or two.
But should we really worry, and should we really hold the more adult party – the only one, after all, actually trying to RESOLVE our deficit and debt problems – responsible for the shutdown, as the Democrats hope a terrified public will do?
Last week our glorious Dear Reader traveled overseas to put on a fascinating, albeit a bit frightening, display of his narcissistic personality disorder in two separate news conferences. Responding to questions about Syria, he made the bizarre claim that his credibility isn’t on the line, and that the “red line” that has been crossed is not his. By Friday, I realized that he is so delusional that he probably believes these bizarre claims, which makes it even scarier. Barack Obama has achieved what seemed impossible; that is, he’s turned the Middle East into an even bigger disaster than it was before he was able to apply the power of his magnificent charm and intelligence to the situation. Libya, Egypt and now Syria. Heckuva of job, Barry!
Speaking of narcissism, Michelle “First Klingon” Obama has decided that her “Let’s Move” initiative has created a “cultural shift.” Seriously?
The American people are burning up telephone wires expressing their extreme unwillingness to go along with this war designed to rescue Obama from the consequences of his own ineptness. This is not the time to give up. If you haven’t called your member of Congress, you need to do so tomorrow, or Tuesday. For inspiration, here’s the script that I used for my call last Friday.
Technorati Tags: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Benghazi, chemical weapons, Congress, Dennis McDonough, Full Ginsberg, Iraq, Israel, Kevin Jackson, Leader Eric Cantor, Lebanon, Let’s Move, Michelle Obama, obesity, Russia, Sec. of State John Kerry, Sexy Brilliance and Other Political Lies, Speaker John Boehner, Syria, Turkey, United Nations, Vladimir Putin, War Powers Act, weapons of mass destruction
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The “Road to Damascus” has long served as a term signifying discovery and conversion, a reframing of one’s attitude toward life. It may be gradual, or it may be instantaneous, just as one may spend a long time traveling a road, hundreds of miles even, or one may just turn a corner onto a new road, and be immediately overwhelmed.
Known as the “City of Jasmine,” Damascus is the capital of Syria, and has therefore been identified as one of America’s key enemies for many years. Bashir Assad, like his father before him, has supported terrorist organizations – Hezbollah in particular – for decades. They have been at the heart of every attack on Israel since 1948, ruining the once prosperous and peaceful nation of Lebanon, serving as a client state of Iran.
When journalists report on this country, rather than repeating themselves by naming the same dictator again and again in the same paragraph, they often refer to the capital city, saying “Damascus attacked…” or “Damascus declared…” or “Damascus threatened…” Fairly or not, we Americans therefore think of Damascus as a synonym for the government of Syria and the administration of Bashir Assad.
As America’s president has spent the summer of 2013 rattling a saber for war with Syria, it is perhaps instructive to think of the irony of Damascus’ involvement in our language and culture, as well as its current literal location as the planned target of President Obama’s current fury.
Too many government school districts begin the year with the threat of teachers’ strikes looming around the corner. Children wonder if they’ll start on time, parents wonder if they’ll need to arrange alternate child care options for a day, a week, even a month. And still such schools don’t lose customers, because it’s “free” – the parents pay for it in their taxes anyway, if they even pay property taxes at all; in any case, they may as well go. So the districts that employ “teachers” who would rather march, chant and yell than do their jobs are never immediately punished by the market through a loss of clients. And they go on.
But here in sunny Chicago, this isn’t the risk as we awaken to the scorching heat of the hottest week of the year. This year, the teachers are at school; it’s the students who are striking.
By Sam Pierce -
There are a plethora of complaints about our federal and state governments. I think we can ignore the complaints from those who believe government is too small or does not do enough, as those complaints are equivalent to lamenting that the level of damage is too low. On the other hand, reasonable complaints, those dealing with big spending and overreach, need to be addressed. The problem with addressing those complaints is that too often, those who complain don't really want to stop the actions they decry... or they seek to only limit those governmental oversteps that don't comport with their personal philosophies or desires.
Focusing on the federal government first, we must examine the means to a good government end. Perhaps we don't need to engage in root cause analysis, at least not initially, to stem the flow of waste, burden, and strangling regulation from those who enjoy the power and perks of federal elected office. I think the late Ronald Reagan was on the right track when he uttered the following:
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
RONALD REAGAN, New York Times, Nov. 14, 1965
Our nation is faced with a mountain range of serious, self-inflicted problems. We are damning future generations to suffocating debt, by choice. We are sacrificing precious American lives in far away lands under the very thin masks of "defense" or foreign relations. We take from the producer and use the ill-gotten gain to further erode the foundation of the country. We outsource the management of daily life to a far off bureaucracy. We move toward some variation of the life depicted in Orwell's "1984" without much resistance. We have almost entirely succumbed to the subtly deadly weapon of political correctness, which has been employed magnificently by the enemies of liberty.
I know the popular, at least among those who claim the elastic moniker, "conservative," solution would be to place our noses adjacent to the proverbial grindstone in support of Republican candidates. Of course, they are correct that none but Democrat or Republican candidates can win in the big elections (a situation they toil to perpetuate). Even so, electing Republicans has proven to be no solution, at least, not in itself.
As might be expected around the Fourth of July holiday, there have been a couple of times this week that I have stumbled upon internet postings bemoaning government's snowballing influence over our personal lives. Bloggers and journalists are frequently reiterating the sentiment that our modern understanding of government would cause the Founding Fathers heartburn as would witnessing what Americans have done with their God given right to liberty. I suspect that our Founders would indeed be shocked at our slothful and slovenly pursuit of happiness…but then, what's the difference between pursuit and government mandated contentment as long as we're all equally happy? Don't the ends justify the means?
Is the constitutional protection of privacy…the very same protection which vaulted imaginary abortive rights beyond all others in our national love affair with hierarchical relativism…so important that we can't stand a little internet surveillance or drone interaction over our backyard barbeque to ensure safety? Government, stay out of our wombs but, by all means, feel free to monitor our phone calls without a warrant? Nice.
To echo CS Lewis, what do we teach in our schools these days that abortive freedom is analogous or preferable to actual freedom? Certainly not philosophy, logic or civics, I must say.
On Wednesday, June 19, CTU President Karen Lewis delivered a speech in which she accused Illinois’ white people, and particularly Chicago’s businessmen, of merely feigning their concern for the students of the Chicago public schools.
I paraphrase, of course, as it’s unlikely that many modern union presidents are familiar with such good, accurate verbs as “to feign.” In the same speech, in fact, she admitted that she devoted her after-school hours as a youth much more to baseball practice than her studies. One might expect a person in the education profession to be embarrassed about such an admission, but once a profession is unionized, much that one would take for granted in areas like preparedness and honor are thrown out the window, so an admission that should have been shocking raised nary an eyebrow.
Ms. Lewis accused Chicago’s “rich white people” of claiming to love the kids while hating the parents, and she happily used this claim of her opponents’ alleged racism as her Louisville Slugger to beat up the taxpayers who would surely agree that they have been robbed more than enough already over the years, as Ms. Lewis prepares to call for further shakedowns.
Conservatives as a voting bloc have yet to figure out how to reconcile the values that a candidate declares on the stump to what his intentions are once he gets swept into office on a conservative platform. Let us be clear. Reagan's words have been pilfered by the RINOs on multiple occasions for the sole purpose of gaining power when they have no intention of following through on their election promises. ~part two
Conservatives recognize the challenges that we are facing politically, but still fail to produce a meaningful plan for energizing people to vote for our preferred solutions to the troubles our nation faces. We are guilty of the worst kind of crisis resolution when it comes to facing down the growth big government. We long for solutions, but our go-to strategy for breaking the Left's stranglehold is to unearth the outmoded bones of compromise that were fashioned for resolving conflict with people who don't view the US Constitution as an obstacle. We expect that our concessions with progressivism will produce happily-ever-afters and kinship with the opposition party and we are stunned when this strategy doesn't work.
A great example of this is Marco Rubio – rising star of the conservative coalition…rarely do we find such a person who is capable of so articulating conservative values, but he doesn't want to be accused of heartlessness when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration so what is his solution? Give Dems everything that they want and hope they will reciprocate our good faith compromises? Good heavens, why would they? But his answer to that question is, "Trust me. I'm not going to do anything that will hurt America's future."
By John F. Di Leo -
Reflecting on the real-life impact of the IRS "Questionnaire-Gate" scandals…
You’ve just signed a lease on a great property. It’s a beautiful restaurant, just the right size, with a modern kitchen, and a terrific location with plenty of parking. You start decorating – painting, ordering window treatments, maybe updating the floor a bit, bringing in a custom bar that you found at an auction, re-upholstering the chairs, no, every other chair, to make it distinctive. You’re making it your own.
You’ve had the menu in mind for a while, so you start outfitting the kitchen to meet your needs – removing the deep fryer, adding more ovens or ranges, whatever fits your chosen cuisine. You start hiring, signing contracts for perishables and meats and alcohol and sodapop. You get your local business license, the approval of the health department, and now only one barrier remains:
Your liquor license hasn’t come in yet.
By John F. Di Leo -
On May 11, 1996, 105 passengers boarded a ValuJet flight in Miami, bound for Atlanta. They never made it.
Shortly after takeoff, a small explosion in the airtight cargo hold developed into a fire, which should have burned out quickly, but didn’t. The 27-year-old plane’s crew of five, and all 105 passengers, were killed as the plane plummeted into the Everglades.
Many chalked this up to the dangers of plane travel and the poor maintenance record of ValuJet, which, as a budget carrier, certainly gave plausible grounds for the argument… but it wasn’t a lack of maintenance that caused this crash; it was maintenance by the wrong maintenance crew.
The plane didn’t crash because of bad upkeep or failed systems or old or broken parts. It crashed because a maintenance worker put a box of Hazardous Materials in the cargo hold, and, apparently out of sheer ignorance, did everything wrong.
By John F. Di Leo -
Hundreds of hourly employees of fast food restaurants and clothing shops, radicalized by the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, walked off the job last week, to protest the fact that the minimum wage isn’t a “living wage,” to encourage further unionization, and especially, to do their day’s service to the Democratic Party that keeps them in bondage.
This periodic saber-rattling of the American Left – about the alleged “need” to force other people to pay employees more than they think a job is worth – masquerades as a show of solidarity with the underpaid denizens of America’s lower class. But it’s malicious and destructive, as it warps the public understanding of the market, and it undermines a desperately-needed understanding of the right paths needed to reach the American Dream.
Friday’s economic growth numbers continued the disappointing trend that many clichè repeating news readers have dubbed with the irritating phrase “the new normal,” with a pathetic 2.5%. While reporting on this rotten economy, the Lame Stream Media attempts to cover for Barack Obama and the destructive effects of his policies by blaming the sequester, a decline in government spending that amounts to a rounding error, and which, as they always conveniently neglect to mention, was Obama’s idea.
While we serfs struggle in Obama’s economy, the political glitterati continue their endless whirl of celebrity-studded, luxurious parties, dinners and self-congratulatory celebrations, including last night’s White House Correspondence Dinner aka "the Nerd Prom," an annual Hollywood-Washington mashup that gets more embarrassing every year. The One took the occasion to perform an alleged “comedy” routine, which has been greeted by the sycophantic stenographers in the press as delightfully self-deprecating, but which on closer examination is just more on the same finger in the eye to the bitter clingers.
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"In this terrible situation, let's be very grateful that we had a well-funded, functioning government. It is very fashionable in America, and has been for some time to criticize government, belittle public employees, talk about their pensions, talk about what people think ... of [their] health care. Here we saw government in two ways perform very well. ... I never was as a member of Congress one of the cheerleaders for less government, lower taxes. No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive."
~Barney Frank on CNN via the Weekly Standard
So you see, it doesn't matter if Monday's terrorist act at the Boston Marathon was committed by an Islamo-fascist of Saudi descent or if this was the kind of homegrown terrorism associated with Tim McVeigh or the Unabomber. Either way, the message that the Democrats are looking to convey is that this never would have happened were it not for the sequester. If only conservatives would stop looking to curtail government spending, the world would be a safer place.
And before we get too far into our discussion, I just want to state this for the record. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not merely fashionable in America for some to criticize government, government policies, government spending as Barney Frank has chosen to weakly characterize our nation's ongoing political dialog. This kind of criticism is part of American tradition. This is how America has operated since well before its founding. We would all be singing "God Save the Queen" right now if our founders hadn't expressed a tendency to criticize government and its spending.
National Security Issues Don’t End at the Border
For over a decade, the British Crown had been at war with the American colonies. One could argue that April 6, 1776 was the day that the American colonies had finally had it.
The sundering of the bonds between two peoples is not something that happens in a day. The relationship between Great Britain and what was to become the United States of America began as a close-knit bond. The link between these frontier territories and their mother country was tight and fond at first; Americans were proud to think of themselves as British citizens, and even our most rabid patriots regretted having to give that up in the end (with only the odd Francophile as exceptions). But so they did, and the events of April 6, 1776 were a turning point.
After the costly French and Indian War, the British government was broke. They decided, understandably, that the American colonists should contribute to that burden more directly, through some form of taxation. Fair enough. The American colonies all had their own state legislatures, and had for a century or more; reasonable discussions about how America might share the burden would certainly have been justified.
If you didn't understand this critical fact before, understand it now because Barack Obama and his PR flacks do understand it very very well. Their low-information supporters are so completely ignorant about serious public policy matters that they are incapable of understanding the destruction he is inflicting on this country.
How else to explain the ridiculous spectacle of a man who once derided his predecessor as "unpatriotic" for adding $4 trillion to the national debt over 8 years, and who then preceded to add $5 trillion in less than 39 months, a man who pledged to "cut the deficit in half by the end of [his] first term in office," issuing proclamations about financial responsibility? Anyone with the slightest grasp of the facts could have only one of three reactions to that charade; specifically, either open-mouthed shock, uncontrollable laughter, or both.
Today's job report makes painfully clear that Mr. Financial Responsibility's constant repetition of the fairy tale that our economy is "recovering" is another cruel joke, sort of like those "shovel ready jobs that weren't so shovel ready.
The Washington Post had an interesting article last Sunday about Woonsocket, Rhode Island. One third of the people in this town are on what used to be called, in a less sensitive time, food stamps, but which are now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The name changed and so did the stigma involved in presenting food coupons. Now, government dependents just swipe a card that looks just like your ATM card, Peasant. Recipients in Woonsocket call the first of the month “Check Day,” and they don’t mean paychecks.
At precisely one second after midnight, on March 1, Woonsocket would experience its monthly financial windfall — nearly $2 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Federal money would be electronically transferred to the broke residents of a nearly bankrupt town, where it would flow first into grocery stores and then on to food companies, employees and banks, beginning the monthly cycle that has helped Woonsocket survive.
Say what you want about former Congressman Joe Walsh, but you can’t say that he pulls his punches. He will join us, and I’m sure that he won’t mince words as we talk about his new Freedom Movement, and his comments at Sunday’s townhall meeting. Once again, he’s in a center of a controversy of his own making, due to remarks he made at that event, in which he stated that Americans “have grown stupid,” and are “lazy,” and “easily manipulated.” Is he right? If so, what does he suggest that we do about it?
First off - I am possibly the last person in the world that ought to be suggesting solutions to the pension chaos in Illinois. I just want to make that clear. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't care about the issue. It's just that my eyes kind of glaze over when people start talking unfunded liabilities and COLAs. COLAs? Seriously, I'm thinking, "Why is Michael Bloomberg involved with this? He doesn't have enough to do in New York? He's gotta come here and mess up my soft drink consumption too?"
Right. COLA? I looked it up. My Big Gulp is safe for now.
Yeah, I'm kidding but the point is valid. The average citizen most likely understands what a cost of living increase is but when they hear a vague term like COLA, the idea becomes extricated from real meaning – disjointed and more unapproachable than it actually is…they may assume at first blush that it refers to some kitschy and intricate accounting term like SARBOX or FICA.
The 2013 spending cuts known to horror fans everywhere as “The Sequester” are not really spending cuts, because the Continuing Resolution form of government financing allows annual increases of over $85 billion per year. These adjustments of the automatic budget increases are therefore only a cut in the rate of growth, which, anywhere but the Bizarro World in which we now live, would still be called spending increases.
Still, the WAY in which the money is being cut will have victims in the short term.
The Executive Branch could be responsible, and spread the cuts in the rate of increase evenly. A net freeze in government spending at the prior year’s level would accomplish even more in cuts, with minimal pain. But the Executive Branch has instead chosen to gouge the programs with the most visibility, while leaving the rate of growth unchecked in areas less noticeable or less likely to tug at the heartstrings.
“Dumb, inexcusable and unnecessary.” That’s what Barack Obama called the unthinkable, the thing that he declared last fall would never happen, the so-called, “sequester,” mandatory reductions in the rate of growth for various federal agencies. Dumb, inexcusable, unnecessary, and also his idea, as it is now universally acknowledged.
Here’s the reality: The One rolled the dice and he lost. He bet that the Republicans would be unwilling to allow the Defense Department, which is taking the brunt of the “cuts,” to see its budget reduced, and he was wrong. Now, he is engaging in a cringe-inducing, passive-aggressive game, one in which he says "If you don't do what I want, and send more money to Washington for me to throw down various ratholes, I'm going to inflict as much pain as possible on the American people."
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By John F. Di Leo -
For one brief moment on Sequester Day – March 1, 2013 A.D., a day that will live in insolvency – President Barack Obama let down his guard. In one of his rare real press conferences, he accepted questions, and soon wished he hadn’t. Asked a very softball question – whether there was anything he might have done differently, or might do differently in the future, to break the gridlock and make progress on the government’s budget – Obama snapped back “Well, Julie, give me an example of what I might do!”
Simply incredible. All over the nation, people stared at their televisions, radios, and computer screens, and began to shout. This was more than just a moment of truth, in which he acknowledged how far he was out of his depth in this office, how unprepared he was for the job a gullible nation had twice granted him.
This was a virtual plea for captions, a straight line begging for a punchline.
Let's start this out by reaffirming that I am not a doctor. I am not here to advocate for or against any particular medical decision or medical treatment. I do not know enough about biology or chemistry to advocate for anything other than a good night's sleep and the wellbeing that moderation has been known to produce, but since I have also disregarded both sleep and moderation from time to time, that makes me (at best) a hypocrite so take that particular medical advice with a grain of salt…just a grain, mind you. We wouldn't want to get the hypertension crowd riled.
There is a new study out by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that links the Pandemrix flu vaccine with a sleep disorder known as narcolepsy – this condition apparently occurs primarily in children and young adults who have received the flu vaccine. Upon further research, the vaccine principally causes problems for people of European descent who are for some reason more genetically prone to narcolepsy in the first place.
From Chris Matthews: "If you're watching, Madam Secretary, all three of us have brilliant ideas. All of us have great ideas. And I especially put myself in that group with Joan and David. We know how to do this; we'll get you in there."
Well, there you go. What more do you want to know? Quote Chris Matthews, "Nevermore" and now let's get back to the important work of the people by creating new jobs that don't exist, making sure that everyone has the contraception that they need, and ensuring that each child has a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner at triple the cost that it could be provided if it came from the private sector. Nothing to see here. Move along.
I do understand your doubt while you stare out the window upon that wind torn, subarctic prairie scene which unfolds around you. It may not feel like it will ever be warm again, but spring is most certainly about to be sprung. I'm certain of it. The groundhog was quite specific on this point and he has never steered us wrong before.
I can almost see the crocuses…crocuses? Crocusi?...bursting from their winter slumber as nature thrums with the warmth and beauty of a world reborn. A glorious time of the year to be sure, we look forward to the reawakening of nature while we roll along to that most glorious season of Earth Month; we prepare ourselves for the promise of governmental overreach as we partake in the sacrament of Tax Day; we ready ourselves for a few thousand Working People's protests…you know that winter is over when the first OWS protester returns to his urine stained tent.
On a winter day in 2013, Barack Obama flew home to Chicago and tried to channel Jack Kemp.
As the Democratic Party and the Main Stream Media do his bidding, focusing their coverage on the “gun violence” of America’s cities, Obama attempts to ride this manufactured PR wave with a new political issue as his snowboard, the establishment of Promise Zones.
The idea is to take the worst neighborhoods – the cities most in need of help – and revive them with a public-private partnership of new businesses and more – much more – government assistance. The plan is to use government largesse to drive mini-recoveries in the cities, providing tax credits for new businesses to move in, and more federally funded pre-K schooling, mandated increases in the minimum wage, and focused job training for the jobs he dreams might someday appear in their midst. Surely such a program will save these troubled neighborhoods, right?
Surely these gang recruiters wouldn’t have been successful in attracting children to their gang lifestyle of drugs and luxury cars, gold jewelry and cool clothes, if only the kids had been introduced to “See Spot Run” and “Meet Dick and Jane” at four instead of at five. That year of pre-school simply must make all the difference…