Tag Archives: progressives

“Progressive” Gun Control

bho gun control

bho gun controlThe Second Amendment is not about hunting.  It is about the Right of the American people to prevent the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Diane Feinstein, Andrew Cuomo et al from obtaining unrestrained power.

It is about the power of the people to prevent their being rounded up and put in gulags and/or concentration camps.

The American people are not demanding gun control.  NRA membership has increased by a quarter of a million in the past month.

The American people are demanding that the tyrannical government of Barack Hussein Obama and his “progressive” co-conspirators back away from their ongoing assault on the God given Rights protected by the United States Constitution.

A “progressive” government tyrannical enough to empower the Attorney General of the United States of America to put automatic weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels so discovering those guns at the scene of Mexican crimes would justify gun control in the United States is fully capable of the most egregious actions imaginable.  There is a high probability that the recent outbreak of mass shootings have been tactically planned and carried out as part of the long term “progressive” strategy to disarm Americans.

Gun control advocates repeatedly ask questions like: “Why should ordinary people be allowed to own semi-automatic weapons?”  “Ordinary people” are the people referred to in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution as We the People.  We the People are not “allowed” to own semi-automatic weapons.  It is the Right of the people to keep and bear arms; a Right that “shall not be infringed.”

For a tyrannical “progressive” government, which possesses the most deadly weapons in the history of human civilization to dictate that We the People cannot own the weapons necessary to prevent that very same tyrannical “progressive” government from imposing the will of an oligarchy of self-imagined, self-appointed intellectual elites upon an opposing population is as much proof of out of control un-restrained government power any Patriotic American needs to say NO.

Not one step further.

Not the passage of one more unread bill.  Not one more day without a budget.  Not one more borrowed dollar spent on “progressive” big government socialist programs.

Stop it.  Stop it now.

You have been warned.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/progressive-gun-control/
Revolution is coming.

The Progressives Push For New “Assault” Weapons Ban Is Bad Policy

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I stand firm with my fellow members at the National Rifle Association.  I couldn’t be more proud to be part of an organization that defends the Second Amendment, which is one of the most important rights within our Constitution.  Over the past forty-eight hours, the NRA has been slammed for being somehow complicit in the various incidents connected gun violence – with the most recent being that awful tragedy in Newtown, CT. As some in the media continue to inject hyper-emotionalism into this debate, liberals simply cannot control themselves. When it comes to gun violence, the left-wing’s end goal is the eradication of the Second Amendment from civil society.  However, as we obsess over carnage – and who to blame for it.  Let’s look at some facts.  Conservative Daily News colleague Kyle Becker posted on December 19 highlighting these interesting statistics:

  1. Mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, and dropped in the 2000s. Mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929. (According to Grant Duwe, criminologist with the MinnesotaDepartment of Corrections.)

  2. “States that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns enjoy a 60 percent decrease in multiple-victim public shootings and a 78 percent decrease in victims per attack.” John Lott, Jr. and Bill Landes, “More Guns, Less Crime.”

  3. “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”– John Lott, Jr. Co-author with Bill Landes of “More Guns, Less Crime.”

  4. “Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.” [John Fund, NRO. “The Facts About Mass Shootings.”]

Tobacco kills almost 500,000 Americans each year.  That’s including the 49,400 deaths from second handsmoke exposure.  Traffic accidents kill anywhere from 35,000-44,000 Americans each year – and Congress hasn’t been so emotional, or energized, to support legislation to curb Americans’ right to smoke or drive.  It’s abjectly stupid – and this is why the numbers game fails.  Liberals constantly cite the 12,996 deaths caused by guns because it’s juicy.  It grabs people’s attention, and frames a false narrative against anyone against gun control as an accomplice in mass murder.  However, as the data shows, Mr. Marlboro man has killed more Americans that guns could ever muster in a single year.

On December 19, President Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, announced a new anti-gun task force to discuss the amount of gun violence perpetrated by the mentally unstable in this country.  Joe Biden is heading this commission, but made a fast and furious move towards the exit when question time from the press arrived.

It is our imperative – as conservatives – to block any suggestions this anti-gun committee produces over the next few weeks.  This isn’t about gun control.  It’s about power.  It’s about government centralizing more control over the dynamics of our society. This is progressivism after 100 years of maturation.  A point aptly made by columnist George Will last winter.

As we’ve seen on the news, Connecticut has some of the most stringent gun control laws on the books – and they worked.  Adam Lanza was unable to buy a rifle due to his age, but even if that weren’t the case.  He was unwilling to subject himself to a background check.  He had to commit a homicide and steal the guns from his mother to unleash the depraved fury on Sandy Hook Elementary last week.

As progressives and the Democratic Party readies itself to reinstate an ‘assault weapons’ ban, which infringes on our Second Amendment rights, we should have some clarification on the language that will be used when the new Congress is convened in 2013.  It shows how little Democrats, or any anti-gun activist, knows about guns.

Hans Bader at the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote a great piece on December 19 about the futility of a new ban on so-called ‘assault weapons.’ “Semi-automatic guns, including ‘assault weapons,’ are not machine guns. They do not fire more than one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, unlike a machine gun. The sale of machine guns and fully automatic weapons has long been banned.  By contrast, much of America’s guns are “semi-automatic.” Indeed, so many guns in this country are semi-automatic — the way most cars run on gasoline — that The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney says that ‘semiauto is the norm,’ according to Bader.  He’s right.

Furthermore, he wrote that:

Congress and the president may pass an “assault weapons” ban to make themselves feel good, but I won’t expect much in the way of results for public safety if they do. As Professor Volokh notes:

So-called “assault weapons” are no deadlier than other weapons. To begin with, note that assault weapons are not fully automatic weapons (which is to say machine guns). Fully automatic weapons have long been heavily regulated, and lawfully owned fully automatics are very rare, very expensive, and almost never used in crimes. Rather, assault weapons are a subset of semiautomatic weapons, generally semiautomatic handguns and rifles. Semiautomatic handguns and rifles — of which there are probably at least about 100 million in the country, and likely more — are undoubtedly extremely deadly; but the subset that is labeled “assault weapons” is not materially deadlier than the others. One way of recognizing that is looking at the definition in the 1994-2004 federal assault weapons ban; the ban lists several types of guns by name, and then provides these generic definitions:

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(iii) a bayonet mount . . . .[see additional examples at Volokh’s web site]

Guns that fit these categories may look more dangerous; but they aren’t more dangerous. . . .

Banning assault weapons thus has basically no effect on the lethality of gun crime, or of mass shootings more specifically.

Although Volokh says that assault weapons bans would be useless, he also says that they would likely be constitutional, since “such bans leave law-abiding citizens with ample access to other guns that are equally effective, and therefore don’t substantially burden the constitutional right” to keep and bear arms.

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However, as conservatives, we should be uneasy with government banning anything.  We banned alcohol with disastrous results.  We have continued to support a ban on illicit drugs that has also produced disastrous results.  We should re-think our drug policy, but that’s for another time.

The prevalence of so-called ‘assault weapons’ was “a modest fraction of all gun crimes.’  Furthermore, the study from the Urban Institute said they:

were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim. We did find a reduction in killings of police officers since mid-1995. However, the available data are partial and preliminary, and the trends may have been influenced by law enforcement agency policies regarding bullet-proof vests.”

A ban on assault weapons is constitutional, but data shows that it isn’t worth the political capital that could be spent addressing the faults in detecting and treating mental illness in America.  Frankly, I’m against any measure by the government that limits the options for Americans in which they can defend themselves.  As such, Republicans should just say no to the new push to ban ‘assault weapons.’  It’s time to put this issue away, so our snobby New England brethren can never bring it back again.

Gun control laws, or at least Connecticut’s regulations, worked in preventing Lanza from buying a firearm to create havoc.  Yet, the left is still guns, bodies, and carnage obsessed.  People seem to forget he had to commit a crime to get those guns.  That’s an unstoppable situation, unless we’re living in a universe more to the liking of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report.

The first assault weapons ban had a negligible impact on reducing crime when it was enacted in 1994 – and had a negligible impact when it expired in 2004.  As such, we must ask ourselves why Democrats wish to pursue this matter – with a renewed optimism – if it weren’t to infringe on our liberty?  Do they just habitually sponsor and advocate bad policy?  It would also show how government spends an exorbitant amount of time debating bad policy that would yield infinitesimal results in reducing violent crime.  Well, that part is mostly tradition.  Just say no to new gun regulations.  Just say no to the assault weapons ban.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

I’m waiting for liberals to make their own 47 percent comment on guns

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In the wake of the Newtown shootings, the left is clamoring for more gun control.  They want to ban assault weapons – which is liberal speak for scary guns – and do something about high-capacity magazines because they incentivize us to be mean, vicious, and violent.  However, as John Fund noted in National Review, it’s time to talk about the mental illness aspect of this debate – and dismantle the frivolous concept of ‘gun-free zones.’  Zones that keep those within its perimeter perpetually unarmed and exposed to danger.

Fund noted that “the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century. The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning. Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.”

We’re going to have to make it more difficult for the mentally unstable to procure firearms.  That isn’t controversial.  However, the dissolution of ‘gun-free zones’ maybe more of a difficult battle.  Fund added that:

A lengthy study by Mother Jonesmagazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.”New York Times columnist David Brooks and Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson have both suggested that the ACLU-inspired laws that make it so difficult to intervene and identify potentially dangerous people should be loosened. “Will we address mental-health and educational-privacy laws, which instill fear of legal liability for reporting potentially violent mentally ill people to law enforcement?” asks Professor Jacobson. “I doubt it.”

Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.

Fund wrote that Lott noted how James Holmes could have picked a multitude of movie theaters, seven to be exact, to unleash his chaos, but chose the one that specifically barred concealed weapons on its premises.  All of the locations were within 20 minutes of his house.  Additionally, “Lott offers a final damning statistic: ‘With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) aptly noted in his op-ed in USA Today on December 14 that “gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers. That’s an insult to honest people. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one. The notion that more guns mean more crime is wrong. In fact, as gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down.”

Guns are an integral part of our nation and her history.  There are 200 million firearms in circulation, with 47% of Americans owning one.  I’m waiting for the left-wing to make their own 47% comment on this subject.  The vast majority of gun owners are decent, law abiding Americans who will be disarmed by new regulations – and leave them at the mercy of those who have no conscience when it comes to committing acts of evil.  If there is one place where gun control has failed, it’s Chicago.  With 436 homicides this year, the city is drowning in it’s own blood – and afflicting parentless young men at a disproportionate rate.

How will the left go about addressing this issue?  Will they marginalize and chastise the 47% who won guns in this country?  Will they be berated as lunatics and uneducated by liberals?  Although, it would expose them to a bit of hypocrisy.  They slammed Romney’s 47% comments to convey the narrative that he doesn’t care about half the country.  It looks like liberals are about to demonize gun owners, who represent almost half the country.  It just comes to show you how American liberalism is grounded in the politics of condescension – and they wonder why they haven’t won on the issue of guns since 2000.  It’s because people don’t like to be called names for owning a gun.  It’s because half the country doesn’t like to be slandered/libeled by the liberal elite as complicit in mass murder.

Abject union thuggery

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We’ve all seen the video of the Lansing, Michigan union protests.  They’re mad that Gov. Rick Snyder passed a right-to-work law, which would curtail the power unions have in the state.  It’s Wisconsin reloaded.  However, the level of thuggery and violence has reached a whole new level.  Union supporters thought that they could really make a difference in this debate by tearing down an Americans for Prosperity tent, which was located outside the state capitol building.  The tent had women and children inside – and one union supporter assaulted conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Steven Crowder multiple times during the chaos.  Crowder has been receiving death threats ever since he dared to cover the event.

American for Prosperity released this statement to the press on December 11:

LANSING, Mich. – Americans for Prosperity – Michigan State Director Scott Hagerstrom today released the following statement in response to the passage of Right-to-Work legislation in Michigan:“The passage of Right-to-Work is a win/win for Michigan. Not only is this legislation critical to Michigan’s economic recovery, it is a victory for workers who for too long, have been forced to join and financially support a labor union.

“This is also a win for union protestors, even though they might not know it yet, as they will have the freedom to choose to join a union, and will no longer be forced. I commend Michigan lawmakers who courageously stood up, despite union intimidation and violence, for worker rights. “This is about giving private-sector and public-sector union members in Michigan more rights, not less, by allowing workers to chose whether or not to join a union and how their hard-earned dollars are spent. At the end of the day, Right-to-Work legislation gives workers more freedom and more rights. Isn’t that what democracy looks like?

“Despite this victory, it took place amid union brutality and violence. I am saddened by union protestors’ complete disregard for safety and freedom of speech, tearing down an AFP tent and stomping on peaceful AFP demonstrators trapped under the tent.

“Angry, violent union protestors are yelling, screaming, and physically assaulting citizens they disagree with all while chanting “this is what democracy looks like.” That isn’t what democracy looks like, democracy is about free speech and peaceful assembly, not putting people’s well-being in danger just because you disagree with them.”

AFP-Michigan has taken the lead on rallying grassroots activists to contact their legislators in support of right-to-work legislation. Hundreds of activists have met with their lawmakers to stress the importance of this issue, and thousands have phoned in their support for workplace freedom.

Now, AFP released footage of attendees underneath the tent, as they tried to keep it came crashing down.

So, as unions throw a temper tantrum over their loss of political clout, they decide to take it out on decent Americans, who happen to disagree with them on the issue of labor.

O’Doyle Rules!

Repeat after me: gun control isn’t the answer

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The tragedy in Newton, CT should shake us all to our very core. Of the 26 who were killed yesterday, 20 of them were children. It’s evil. It’s grotesque. And I’m sure many mothers and fathers were holding their children a little tighter last night. Sadly, for twenty families, that will no longer be possible. Our thoughts and prayers should go out to everyone, especially to the brave teachers who sacrificed their lives to save their students. One teacher, Vicki Soto, shielded her students from the gunfire – and made the ultimate sacrifice. Recently, the full list of the deceased were released by the police.

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel Davino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Dawn Hocksprung, 47

Madeline Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Russeau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto, 27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison Wyatt, 6

Details are still being released about the shooter, Adam Lanza, but you have to be one mentally disturbed individual to kill your own mother, take her guns, and proceed to murder twenty children. These kids were no older than ten. What would possess someone to commit such an egregious act of depravity? We shall find out soon enough. However, while decent Americans mourn the loss that has devastated an entire community, the liberals in this country have seized on another tragedy to further their agenda.

Yes, the Hollywood Left, to show that they aren’t a bunch of detached narcissists, called for more gun control over Twitter – with Cher eloquently telling the NRA to F**k Off. Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Co), and Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, have all called for tighter gun regulations. After all, we know that tighter gun regulations are followed religiously by criminals and those who are mentally disturbed. Welcome to liberal logic 101. If you find it abjectly stupid, you’re not the only one.

I’m starting to see liberals as core-less and depraved beings. Sustained and guided solely by emotion – and not fact – they’re were right behind their Hollywood allies in the call for more gun control. Are liberals happy that this atrocious act occurred? I don’t know. But if the narrative changes in this country in favor of more gun control, then this could be a turning point. Hence, a good thing for American liberalism – and the media is making it all the more easier for progressives to make their point. Some are already seeing this event as a ‘tipping point.’ As Breitbart contributor Warner Todd Huston wrote on December 15, the media has been consistently flawed in their coverage.

…from the beginning, the murderer was reported as having strode through the school with a .223-caliber rifle, often referred to by the media here as an “assault weapon.” This also turned out to be untrue. In fact, he only had handguns with him in the school, not any “assault rifle.” He did have a rifle but it was reportedly left in his car and not carried into the school.

Many media outlets reported that the school principal, and a victim of the murderer, was the one that let the shooter into the building. But it turned out that the killer broke glassto gain access to the school. He wasn’t buzzed-in by the principal as was reported and there is no evidence he was recognized by anyone working at the school and allowed in as a result.

Lanza is also being said to have been wearing “combat gear.” What does this even mean? Some reports say it was a black shirt, or maybe some sort of vest and “possibly a mask.” Is a black shirt somehow automatically “combat gear,” now? This “combat gear” claim, though universally picked up by the Old Media as a description of Lanza’s appearance, is meaningless without any actual listing of that “gear.” What does “combat gear” even mean, here? We have no idea. But it sure sounds menacing, eh? Quite emotional. Whatever he was actually wearing, this descriptive term was used before any hard facts were known.

The killer’s mother was also reported to have been a teacher at the school and found dead on the premises. That also turned out to be untrue. The killer’s mother was found dead in her home and it appears she was not connected to the school. Her name does not appear on the school’s list of teachers. She may have been a substitute teacher, but even that isn’t clear. But the Old Media definitively reported that she was a teacher and was killed inside the school.

Some reporters are calling the killer’s mother an “avid gun collector.” There is no basis for this label. It is an emotional phrase meant to make the deceased mother into some “gun nut.” In truth there is no public knowledge about how many guns she owned and whether or not she considered herself a “collector.” She may have been, of course, but we just don’t have any knowledge to say so.

On the blogosphere, it wasn’t much better.

As conservatives on Twitter and Facebook urged all of us to come together and pray for the victims, liberals were already launching salvos. The Huffington Post was dominated with pro-gun control posts. Jezebel was much more tasteful with their featured ‘F**k You, Guns‘ column.

Whether it’s done in a sarcastic tone or not – I tend to disregard 99% of the material on these abysmal sites anyway – Katie J.M. Baker, who wrote the ‘F**k you Guns post, closed by saying:

F**k you, NRA. You guys are f**king murderers.

Today, we don’t need prayers. We don’t need thoughts. We need action. We need to politicize this, and we need to politicize this now. Fuck everyone who isn’t ready to talk about gun control. You’re the reason 27 people (and counting) died today. Don’t forget it.

Well, liberals are the ones who booed ‘God’ during the Democratic National Convention last summer. So, no surprise to their aversion to prayer. The key sentence is ‘we need to politicize this.’ I don’t remember the twenty-six who were killed ever signing up to be part of the left’s campaign to curb liberty and stomp all over the Constitution. In addition, to slander/libel people who are proud members of the NRA, such as myself, and those who aren’t pro-gun control, as complicit in mass murder is the reason why your argument fails.

People don’t like to be yelled at, but that’s what liberals have been relegated to do since the facts aren’t on their side. More amusingly, the most recent comments on that post were from pro-Second Amendment individuals , or people who saw this tragedy as part of a larger problem. Lastly, since Jezebel is a women’s site, it doesn’t help them dispel the sexist attitudes towards female’s monthly cycles by writing ‘f**k you’ posts, but I digress. Still, some liberals are convinced that gun control works.

CNN host Piers Morgan, a British citizen, had the temerity to give his opinion about guns in America saying, “there are nearly 12,000 murders a year from guns in this country… when are you guys going to focus on that, and stop telling me the answer is more guns? It is not the answer! How many more kids have to die, before you guys say, ‘we want less guns, not more?”

However, the UK has strict gun control laws – and they’re drowning in their own blood. Back in 2009, The Daily Mail reported that:

the latest Government figures show [at the time] that the total number of firearm offenses in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year – a rise of 89 per cent. In some parts of the country, the number of offenses has increased more than five-fold.

In eighteen police areas, gun crime at least doubled. The statistic will fuel fears that the police are struggling to contain gang-related violence, in which the carrying of a firearm has become increasingly common place. Last week, police in London revealed they had begun carrying out armed patrols on some streets. The move means officers armed with sub-machine guns are engaged in routine policing for the first time.

The UK has abjectly failed to curb gun violence. As in the U.S., crime is perpetrated by felons, who don’t live by the rule of law, and it’s the law-abiding citizens who are the ones impacted by silly legislation aimed at stopping violent crime.

Townhall’s Katie Pavlich also noted the UK’s abysmal gun control laws – but also pointed out that since the landmark D.C. v. Heller case, which struck down the District’s handgun ban, “the murder rate fell below triple digits for the first time since 1963.” On the other hand, Chicago, a bastion of corruption, liberalism, and anti-gun sentiment, had 436 homicides this year, which exceeded last year’s total of 435. Let’s open some champagne!

Dana Loesch, conservative activist and Breitbart editor, wrote on her blog – and gave a litany of reasons why gun control isn’t the issue.

Between 2008 and 2009, the FBI’s preliminary numbers indicate that murders fell nationally by 10 percent and by about 8 percent in cities that have between 500,000 and 999,999 people. Washington’s population is about 590,000. During that same period of time, murders in the District fell by an astounding 25 percent, dropping from 186 to 140. The city only started allowing its citizens to own handguns for defense again in late 2008.

A three-year prison term for violating a gun-free zone represents a real penalty for a law-abiding citizen. Adding three years to a criminal’s sentence when he is probably already going to face multiple death penalties or life sentences for a murderous rampage is probably not going to be the penalty that stops the criminal from committing his crime.

[…]

Examining all the multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 shows that on average, states that adopt right-to-carry laws experience a 60% drop in the rates at which the attacks occur, and a 78% drop in the rates at which people are killed or injured from such attacks.

Many have argued that it is the increased availability of firearms that has led to increased gun homicides, that the use of guns in the commission of violent crimes increases the likelihood of injury and lethality, or that decreased availability reduces homicide.

Although many of these positions seem intuitively obvious and have shaped arguments for increased control and restrictions on firearm availability and access, theoverall prevalence of handgun use in the commission of all violent crimes is relatively low. A handgun was used in approximately 9 percent of all violent offenses.

Furthermore, concerning Adam Lanza, Loesch wrote that this wasn’t a case of not enough gun regulation. Conservative blogger for The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, put it aptly on ABC’s This Week in the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora – that our nation suffers a deficit when it comes to detecting and treating people with mental illness in this country. It’s not about guns. It’s about those who are mentally unstable, and the people ignoring their signs of disturbed behavior. As Loesch noted:

what did recent shooters like Adam Lanza, Jared Lee Loughner, and James Holmes have in common? They were disturbed young men that no law could deter from their intended destruction. Why were the warning signs ignored? All of these men were clearly troubled, all three were on medication. Loughner’s warning signs went ignored. We don’t yet know if Lanza’s family knew he was experiencing problems or if they witnessedwarning signs. Holmes was severely medicated and apparently abused his regimen.

Lanza could not have legally obtained the firearms he used because it is illegal in Connecticut to purchase or possess a firearm under the age of twenty-one. Lanza was twenty. You must have a permit to purchase and carry a handgun in CT and pass a background check to merit a handgun eligibility certificate. He stole his mother’s firearms. That is not a failure of gun laws, it is a failure of personal responsibility. What will more, redundant laws do when the laws already in effect fail to stop a criminal — who, by the very definition of the word, has no intention of following the law anyway? More laws for criminals to not follow?

We’re a nation where guns are an integral part of our socioeconomic fabric. We’re suspicious of government, which has grown exponentially over the past four years – so don’t expect any significant moves towards more legislation aimed at curtailing law-abiding citizens ability to defend themselves curbing gun violence.

It doesn’t negate the fact that only 26% of Americans approve of a handgun ban, 47% of Americans own a firearm, and only 44% think guns laws should be more strict. Recently, the U.S. Court for Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that “Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or business is unconstitutional.” So, if the liberals – and their allies in the media – want a war, I think we should give it to them. We’ll easily retake Congress. How’s that for politicizing the issue!?

Lastly, Gun Owners of America astutely pointed out that the “CDC admits there is no evidence that gun control reduces crime. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has long been criticized for propagating questionable studies which gun control organizations have used in defense of their cause. But after analyzing 51 studies in 2003, the CDC concluded that the ‘evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these [firearms] laws.'(9)”

So, repeat after me: gun control isn’t the answer!

Jim DeMint – Change in Washington Can Only Come From the Outside

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Great conservatives like Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Rand Paul can only be topped with a Senate majority. If so, it won’t be with Senator DeMint as he moves to the Heritage Foundation. The true fight in engaging Washington and politics in general is from the outside.

…you cannot change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside. That's how I got elected. That's how the biggest accomplishments like healthcare got done was because we mobilized the American people to speak out.

Barack Obama

 

Universities indoctrinate thousands of liberals annually, these indoctrinated students are painfully brought back to reality through life experiences. Some never leave their theoretical world, only to validate their flawed concepts. As universities place these misguided in powerful positions, our society begins to deteriorate.

Media and Hollywood reinforce these false concepts with keenly worded polls and convenient news to push political agendas. Bob Costa's choose gun control over Jovan Belchers' fractured family? How convenient a Small Arms treaty is awaiting ratification rather than the destruction of unwedded parents, raising a child in a dysfunctional home. You have the perfect contributions of Hollywood when you throw in cinematography, a famous actor and a great storyline.

MI protestCommunity organizations and unions drive similar messages. Life's hard lessons are the fault of greedy bankers loaning money to the poor or business owners providing jobs rather than bad legislation. In 2010, union workers made up 11.4% of the workforce; now only 7%. Unions see private businesses fall apart because they bargain for more power, squeezing every last profit out until no business has anything to fall back on. Community organizations (also referred to as Non Governmental Organizations) such as the Sierra Club, PETA or ACORN advocate for the distressed. If negotiating or the problem was solved, community organizations and unions would no longer need to exist.

Universities, unions, community organizations and media use groupthink, authority and compartmentalization to whip mobs into frenzies so they maintain their political power. These outside agencies influence our political system through subversion and power. They use individual actions to justify their broad, collective advocacy or propaganda.

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson

     Our Constitutional Republic was created to protect individual rights from the frenzied mobs. As they lobby the collective, the repercussion destroys the individual and any opposition. Change to Washington must come from the outside. Instead of solving problems on there own, these groups demand Washington and local governments intervene through legislation.

The true power struggle is no longer in Washington DC, we must realize the front lines are in our community. Our reality and way of life is threatened as long as universities, unions, community organizations and media maintain power through manipulation and coercion. This is why Jim DeMint made a fabulous move in moving his fight to the outside.

It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions…There are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters…

Daniel Webster

The Lonely Position of Neutral

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I hate raising taxes.  I find high tax rates immoral.  However, we lost the election.  An increase in revenue is inevitable.  What’s perverse about this whole episode is that if we fall off the cliff – Democrats will get everything they want. They’ll get their tax increases, their revenue, and defense cuts.  They would complete their decade-long project of ending the Bush Tax Cuts and gutting of the Pentagon.  They have no incentive to meet us halfway, or negotiate in a meaningful way to make sure the markets don’t tank.  They don’t need to.  They won.  In the meantime, Americans should prepare for the worst.

Since the tax hikes from falling off the cliff are far more severe, I’ve written in previously that Republicans will have to swallow the concept of raising taxes.  However, there is latitude within this debate.  Republicans should press Democrats to increase the tax rate on those making $500,000 a year, instead of $250,000.   As George Will aptly noted on This Week a few months ago, a Chicago school principal with twenty years experience, who is married to a cop with twenty years experience, is almost rich in the eyes of the Obama administration.  Cops and school principals aren’t your typical fat cats, hence this is an area where conservatives on the Hill could construct a narrative that this tax increase – within this particular income bracket – a) isn’t really hitting the rich and b) effects professions associated with the middle class.

There’s been some movement towards pushing the amount of taxable income above the $250,000 bracket, and addressing other areas relating to federal spending.  As Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane at The Washington Post wrote on December 9, continued negotiations have produced the following:

●Fresh tax revenue, generated in part by raising rates on the wealthy, as Obama wants, and in part by limiting their deductions, as Republicans prefer. The top rate could be held below 39.6 percent, or the definition of the wealthy could be shifted to include those making more than $375,000 or $500,000, rather than $250,000 as Obama has proposed.

Obama wants $1.6 trillion over the next decade, but many Democrats privately say they would settle for $1.2 trillion. Boehner has offered $800 billion, and Republicans are eager to keep the final tax figure under $1 trillion, noting that a measure to raise taxes on the rich passed by the Senate this summer would generate only $831 billion.

●Savings from health and retirement programs, a concession from Democrats necessary to sell tax hikes to GOP lawmakers. Obama has proposed $350 billion in health savings over the next decade. Boehner has suggested $600 billion from health programs, and an additional $200 billion from using a stingier measure of inflation, reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.

●Additional savings sufficient to postpone roughly $100 billion in across-the-board agency cuts set to hit in 2013, known as the sequester, and to match a debt-limit increase. The sequester, perhaps paired with an automatic tax hike, could then serve as a new deadline, probably sometime next fall, for wringing additional revenue from the tax code and more savings from entitlement programs.

I like the fact that liberals are willing to increase the rates on those making $500,000, which we can fix if we retake Congress in the 2014 midterms.  However, concerning the entitlement spending, I want deeper cuts that are also immediate.  Nevertheless, the dynamic is the same – and it’s no love fest.

As Meredith Shiner and Daniel Newhauser of Roll Call wrote in the early morning hours on December 11:

…the primary differences between the two sides remain. Boehner’s office said the speaker is waiting for the White House to come back to Republicans with more spending cuts. And the White House says the president is waiting for the GOP to give more on revenue. Two years of fighting over how to rein in the federal debt is now coming down to two weeks of deal-making at best and he-said/she-said at worst.

“The Republican offer made last week remains the Republican offer, and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he’s willing to make as part of the ‘balanced’ approach he promised the American people,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, who confirmed conversations with the White House “are taking place” but declined to specify the nature of those talks.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that Obama has offered specifics on cuts — pointing to the president’s original deficit reduction plan that has repeatedly been dismissed by the GOP. Carney added that the Republicans are the ones stalling talks by not giving more detail on what they would be willing to do on revenue.

Frankly, both deals are bad. I’m not happy with either of them.  I know that caving on our principles won’t make liberals like us better.  Yet, as in the 2012 election, it’s all about messaging and making the argument.  Barack Obama pervasively made the argument that Bush ruined the economy, and raising taxes will fix it.  Mitt Romney and his communications team, which was always on defense, never made the argument against this claim. Conservatives don’t have the high ground in this fight.

Montgomery and Kane wrote that “a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll last week found that a majority of Americans would blame the GOP if talks between Obama and Boehner fail to avert more than $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to hit in January, potentially sparking a new recession.”  Now, Pew and WaPo are left-leaning polls, but it doesn’t matter. It’s almost axiomatic that the GOP will be savaged by public opinion if we go over the cliff.  While Democrats can take cover under a cloud of legitimacy and have the sober satisfaction that they’ll get what they want anyway, even if Republicans won’t budge on tax increases.

Our movement doesn’t need anymore setbacks right now.  With the debt ceiling, that’s a different debate. But for now, we may have to hold our noses and increase taxes on people making $500,000 or more, which is the only (gulp) compromise Republicans should accept on revenue.  They should also keep pressure on the White House for more immediate cuts to federal spending.  Now, while some, like NYT’s Helene Cooper, say that Obama would own the recession if we fall off the cliff, I’m still dubious if that would happen.  Some said that Obama’s extension of the Bush Tax Cuts in December of 2010 would be an albatross around his neck during his re-election campaign.  It wasn’t.  As I’ve said, I hate raising taxes, but the alternative not to, at this time, could be more damaging than the vote for them.  It should give conservatives more incentive to win in 2014.

Right now, debt talks will probably remain in neutral as the car tumbles towards the jagged rocks below.

In short:

 

Tea Party-Unite

Tax Day Protest

With the re-election of Barack Obama and the continuation of Harry Reid’s reign of terror in the U.S. Senate, these are dark times for America.

For America to survive, Americans must save it.  Expressions to the contrary notwithstanding, Americans reside within the Tea Party.

Members of the Tea Party must stop their infighting turf wars if they ever hope to successfully combat those in the GOP currently working to marginalize the Tea Party.  For so long as Tea Party members struggle to peacefully co-exist, they will experience difficulty replacing “progressives” within the Republican Party.

The Tea Party must removes “progressives” from the GOP before going against the combined forces of the institutionalized “progressive” left.

The institutionalized “progressive” left is relentless, determined, well-funded, organized and extremely aggressive. Their views of America are not fondly nostalgic. Some may have even cheered the final flight of the Enterprise with the same glee that 9/11 was celebrated by Islamo-fascists in the Middle East…and for reasons that are not dissimilar. Some may have toasted the final flight of the Enterprise as an enduring, meaningful symbol of the decline of American civilization. Their goal is to bring about, by whatever means necessary, an end to what President Abraham Lincoln called “the last best hope for man on earth”.

Tea Party principles are based on the belief in the U.S. Constitution.  Across America, a huge natural constituency exists for the bread-and-butter American issues of lower taxes, reduced government, a strong national defense, secure borders and a return to the traditional American values of: E Pluribus Unum, Liberty and in God we trust.

E Pluribus Unum means from many, one. It does not mean unquestioning acquiescence to multiculturalism and diversity. Liberty means opportunity for all, not equality of results. In God we trust means reliance upon the Creator of all things. It does not mean passive acceptance of secularism, atheism or submissive surrender to “progressive” statist mandates.

The Tea Party movement began as a peaceful protest against big government, reckless government spending, high taxes and oppressive regulations. The Tea Party’s Contract from America expressed principles held by its members. The most basic being that: “Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government.”

The principles of the Tea Party were clearly expressed in the Contract:  Protect the Constitution, reject Cap & Trade, demand a balanced budget, enact fundamental tax reform, restore fiscal responsibility and Constitutionally limited government in Washington DC, end runaway government spending, defund, repeal and replace government-run health care, pass an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy, stop the pork, and stop the tax hikes.

The American idea, the shot heard round the world, is that We The People can govern ourselves. By the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God we are entitled, by virtue of our humanity, to the maximum amount of Individual Liberties consistent with law and order, and to the Right of private ownership, not the least of which is the Right to own and decide for ourselves. These Liberties and Rights are to be equally protected by a constitutionally limited, representative government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. This is a distinctly exceptional American idea.

The “progressive” idea is that an all-powerful centrally planned government, with extreme hostility towards private ownership, forces redistribution of wealth through “progressive” policies in the name of social or economic “justice”. In order to ensure “fairness”, an oligarchy of self-imagined, self-appointed “intellectual elite” must be responsible for controlling businesses, industries and “the masses”, who are incapable of governing themselves. This idea came to America from Britain’s Fabian Socialists and Germany’s Frankfurt School. This is a European idea, not an American one.

Before the country can be united, the GOP must be united behind the American message. Before the GOP can be united, the Tea Party must be united.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/tea-party-unite/

Justice Alito Stresses Federalism As Refuge from Usurpatory Government

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With the Supreme Court and the future of constitutional government in doubt, it’s always reassuring to hear from the voices who espouse those views.  I’m an ardent optimist.  I have faith that the electorate will correct their decisions made on Nov. 6, and constrain this president’s pernicious agenda of implementing a hyper-regulatory progressive state.  The Federalist Society’s 30th Anniversary Gala last Thursday night featured Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who detailed how the legal opinions of those on the left threaten America’s constitutional bedrock: federalism.

To put it simplistically, the federal government is supreme in its sphere, as is the state government in their defined area.  There is overlap – and confusion.  However, Alito gave a robust defense of the doctrine.  While it’s seen better days, federalism in Alito’s view, promotes energetic and productive competition, protects liberty, and encourages experimentation.  He also reiterated that you do not have to buy the various treatises on constitutional law that run over a thousand pages –  and cost a considerable amount of money – to understand that congressional power is limited.  You just have to read the plain text of the U.S. Constitution to understand that point.

He then went on to detail various cases that have threatened this principle of federalism.  From the government being able to attach GPS monitors surreptitiously to your vehicles and calling it a search under the Fourth Amendment to facing the regulatory nightmare of having wetlands being designated in one’s backyard, the fight to keep the Madisonian experiment in limited government, and the principles of federalism un-imbrued continues with fragility.

We have four liberals, four conservatives, with Justice Alito included, and moderate Justice Kennedy on the bench, which isn’t a firm legal defense of the principles conservatives wish to see blemished.  And more fights will come.  One fight in particular that was highly salient – which was described more in depth by Justice Alito, concerned Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC.

In this case, Cheryl Perich was hired by the Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School, taught some lessons, contracted narcolepsy, took a leave of absence, and was subsequently replaced.  She sued under the American with Disabilities Act, however, the ministerial exception gave more latitude to religious institution in terms of hiring and firing processes.  The Court ruled unanimously that such an exception applied here, and therefore, discrimination lawsuits brought against religious institutions aren’t valid.

Well, The New York Times, to no one’s surprise, didn’t take too kindly to the decision.  But, the argument for Perich and The New York Times is disturbing.  Should courts be allowed to review cases, and make decisions based on legal and religious doctrines?  Is it up to a judge and jury to decide a termination?  If accepted, government would have been able to go deep into the dynamics of religious institutions, and the doctrines that guide them.  That’s gross overreach.For jurists to decide cases based solely on church doctrine, if this argument were accepted by the Court, and not law is insane.  As Justice Alito said at the dinner, it’s a “chilling” foray into this plausible episode of government intrusion.

This nation proudly and robustly defends the right to free speech enshrined in our First Amendment.  However, this case, and Citizens United, shows how some people on the left will try to alter the Constitution to fit their model on how they feel government should operate – or feel whole again.  Citizens United, the more controversial of the two cases, was boiled down to the government making the case the speech articulated or disseminated by the privileged few is protected, but isn’t for other parties in the country.  That’s perverse, and it doesn’t stop there.

Justice Alito concluded with a warning about the alternate vision we’re fighting against in the judiciary.  It’s a vision where federalism offers no refuge.  It’s an insufferable progressive state that stomps on religious institutions and freedoms.  It’s a government that can willingly seize private property.  Justice Alito vociferously made the case that the U.S. Constitution wasn’t meant to be malleable with a dependent, entitled society.  It was designed for the citizens operating within a socioeconomic fabric that stressed freedom and independence.  This document embeds certain rights, so that they can’t be easily removed from the political landscape.  Therefore, as Justice Alito alluded to, it’s integral to the survival of our freedom, and our commitment to be an open and prosperous society.

 

Sen. Mike Lee and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz: ‘Our Ideas Work, Their Ideas Don’t’

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Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz (R-TX) were adamant about two things when they addressed The Federalist Society’s discussion about constitutional law and the Supreme Court yesterday: “our [conservative] ideas work, their [ liberal] ideas don’t.”  Furthermore, our ideas have been winning the argument, which explains why law schools are limiting the amount of speakers – invited by Federalist Society – chapters that can come and articulate such views across the country.  Both men viewed that we must return to the government our Founders envisioned, and must guard against the progressive regulatory state advocated by our adversaries in Congress.  With the re-election of Barack Obama and the full implementation of Obamacare – the stakes couldn’t be any higher to keep the Madisonian experiment alive.

Sen. Lee first remarked about his election to the U.S. Senate in 2010, after beating incumbent Republican Bob Bennett at the state party convention.  Then, he went into rather humorous anecdotes about how security didn’t recognize him as a senator for the longest time during his first session in Congress.  However, he looked forward to two events this year that he thought would transform government, and make it more palatable to the Founder’s vision.

The first event was on June 28, the day of the Obamacare decision, which he received – along with most conservatives – warmly at first.  The court was articulating a position defining limits on the Commerce Clause – making this the third time in the last seventy-five years where the Supreme Court has done so.   However, as the reading of the opinion continued, more wind was blowing in liberal sails, as the senator described it.  The Court rewrote the law.  To make a long story short, the penalty was constitutional under the taxing authority, which was a position that wasn’t argued by the government.  Concerning the Medicaid expansion provisions, the Court ruled that the government had unjustly coerced states into accepting stipulations on the program’s funding, and that the Secretary for Health and Human Services cannot cut off the revenue stream – which funds the program – to states who refuse to expand coverage. In all, it was a limited purpose victory.  The second event was on November 6, which we know did not turn out well for conservatives.

Sen. Lee agreed that we won the argument for a limited proposal victory, but we also lost a lot too.  It showed that the Court can rewrite laws, and we lost the opportunity to write laws of our own choosing.  The checks on Congressional power was stipulated by judiciary and political restraint.  The judicial restraint has been compromised.  They seem, as Senator Lee put it, “unwilling” to exercise that check on power.  Second, the political check is rendered useless since Congress can pass unconstitutional laws, but if the Supreme Court can rewrite it – then what’s the purpose of that check on government power.

Sen. Lee believes that the Court acted in a manner where everyone got a little of what they wanted – but ended up hurting the American people as a result. Nevertheless, he feels that America’s best days are ahead.

Senator-Elect Ted Cruz also reiterated anecdotes on the campaign trail.  His win is almost a miracle.  He was polling sub 5%, and within the margin of error when he first began.  This highlights the trials and tribulations of any statewide campaign, especially one where you’re outspent three to one in a $ 50 million dollar primary, as in the case of Cruz, which is somewhat of a well-known characteristic within political circles.  It can be nasty, and Cruz’s opponent, David Dewhurst, dished out $35 million dollars in attack ads – but failed to clinch the nomination.  Why? He didn’t have the grassroots infrastructure needed to win.  This is the way politics should be decided, according to Senator-Elect Cruz.

Cruz is a good friend of Sen. Mike Lee, and thanked him for his early support in the beginning of his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.  In the wake of conservatives’ devastating defeat on Nov. 6, he said we much ask ourselves what went wrong, and what does this mean for the future of conservatism?  He was steadfast in the view that what conservatives have done in politics – we must now do in the law.  First, we must win the argument, which conservatives are doing – albeit very slowly.

The Senator-Elect was amused by the fact that the media was detailing how Republicans lost in 2012 because they weren’t like Democrats.  If they had acted, like the political left, things would’ve been great.  Well, conservatives lost because we didn’t make the argument.

The president said that he inherited a bad economy, and that it was all George Bush’s fault.  This message was pervasive. However, Cruz said that President Obama forgets history.  Between 1978-79, unemployment was in double-digits, interest rates were at 22%, gas lines around the block, and the Iranian hostage crisis – which probably left then-President Jimmy Carter regretting leaving peanut farming. But, Ronald Reagan won in a landslide in 1980.  He reduced taxes, regulations, and the scope of government, which led to an economic boom.  Again, playing into the narrative of these two men being “our ideas work, their ideas don’t.”

However, there’s a reason why Obama voters believe this economy is still Bush’s fault.  Why?  Mitt Romney’s campaign team didn’t respond.  Concerning the fatuous ‘war on women,’ the Senator-Elect vociferously denied Republicans want to curb or deny contraceptives to America’s women.  He doesn’t know a single Republican who thinks that way.  He quipped that he has two daughters, and he’s glad he doesn’t have seventeen.  However, you cannot own, change, or destroy a damaging narrative, if you don’t respond. First, win the argument, then you win the election – which is what Senator-Elect Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee plan to do in the U.S. Senate.

Financial Crisis…a “Top Down, Bottom Up, Inside Out” Designed Collapse from Home Loans to Student Loans

As the fiscal cliff looms, it is prudent to discuss how we got here. As our crisis moves from housing to student loan and then into health care, it should be noted what, how and who got us into this situation.

“…because this financial crisis just wasn’t the result of decisions made in the executive suites on Wall Street, it was also the result decisions made across kitchen tables across America by folks who took on mortgages and credit cards and auto loans,”

Barrack Obama, Wall Street, April 22, 2010

     During a 2010 speech at Wall Street, President Obama blamed Wall Street and Main Street for irresponsible financial practices but he neglected the true culprit of the housing crisis…the federal government. When third parties such as Washington politicians, bureaucrats and community organizations get involved, it perpetuated the housing disaster in what we have today.

So, how do you collapse the housing market? You start with the philosophy of “Overloading the system” with an approach known as “Top Down, Bottom Up and Inside Out. Van Jones explains this concept below. Politicians and bureaucrats wrote legislation that entice community organizations, citizens and lawyers to force banks in giving loans they should not have given. This concept begins with the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, then relaxing HUD policies with unrealistic goals. The Clinton Administration and Congress put pressure on banks, this represents the “Top Down” portion. This placed the legal ability for banks to make risky “subprime” loans. The “Bottom Up” is community organizations, like ACORN and lawyers who push the written law through the court system. These community organizations put pressure or extorted banks through threats of lawsuits. With Fannie and Freddie’s loan goals increased, pressure from federal agencies and community groups demanding risky loans to be made, this is the “Top Down, Bottom Up” scenario. The “Inside Out” scenario is where people within the system begin to work with the community organizations or replaced with people who are friendly to organizations that caused the problems.

So, what caused the subprime lending crisis? Let’s start with the Community Reinvestment Act.

In 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) established the foundation for the housing crisis and “encouraged” financial institutions to provide loans to low- and moderate-income communities. It eliminated “redlining”, a practice where banks identify and eliminate lending to certain high-risk communities. But one of the most damaging aspects of the act was the creation of a rating system that evaluated banks on several factors, one being their subprime loan record. The CRA addressed concerns of the deteriorating conditions of cities like urban flight and declining neighborhoods, this was due to limited credit availability. After the CRA was enacted, the federal government continued to tweak previsions for the next 30 years to provide loans to risky borrowers, loosen restrictions so banks were able to give these loans and provided legal grounds for community organizations and lawyers to force these loans.

After the passage of the CRA, trends of outstanding consumer credit skyrocketed. (See chart below)

     The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 kept banks in check. It limited the affiliation between commercial banks and security firms, this also eliminated financial transactions being granted within the same credit, lending and investing institutions, also known as “too big to fail.” What this would do is tie loans to the banks physical assets. Back in 1933, this act gave additional oversight authority to the Federal Reserve. In addition, the FDIC would be able to guarantee loans up to a certain amount.

     Ben Bernanke explained that the CRA encouraged many banks to make high-risk loans to low and middle-income communities at low interest rates. The Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) publicized these CRA reports public. This allowed community organizations and lawyers to “perform more-sophisticated, quantitative analyses of banks’ records.” If a bank’s ratings were not adequate, community organizations such as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) sued banks for the lack of loans in low income communities.

     In 1980, Jimmy Carter signed the HR 4986, “Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act” forcing banks to adhere to Federal Reserve rules. It allowed the merger of banks and raised deposit insurance from $40,000 to $100,000.

     In 1992, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 “establish(ed) specified housing goals for each enterprise, including goals for purchase of mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-income families”. These two Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged “subprime” lending by authorizing a “flexible” criteria whereas high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans. These GSEs were intermediaries who loan to banks and not directly to homeowners. Banks were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as “valid income sources” in qualifying for mortgages. If banks didn’t accept these documents, they could face lawsuits.

     In 1994, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted a “top down” policy where ten federal agencies adopted a policy, entitled “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending”. According to the news release “The following Federal Agencies—HUD, OFHEO, DOJ, OCC, OTS, the Board, FDIC, FHFB, FTC and the NCUA—sharing a concern that some prospective homebuyers and other borrowers may be experiencing discriminatory treatment in their efforts to obtain loans, formed an Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending to establish uniform policy against discriminatory lending.”

     Community organizations increasingly used the public comment process to pretest bank applications on CRA grounds. When applications were highly contested, federal agencies held public hearings to allow public comment on the bank’s lending record. In addition, this policy “seek(s) to promote fair lending” and “seeks to prevent lending discrimination and redlining by requiring public disclosure of certain information about mortgage loan applications.” In essence, the federal government established a grading program to evaluate how these programs lent to the poor. Due to these changes in lending practices and activism, homeownership would soar as shown below.

     According to the Chicago Daily Observer, Barrack Obama represented 186 African-Americans in a 1995 discrimination lawsuit against Citibank. These individuals were not approved loans but Citibank settled in 1997. Since then, roughly half of those represented have gone into bankruptcy or received foreclosure notices. Today, only 19 of the 186 still own their homes with a clean credit record. This demonstrates how community organizations can pressure banks into giving subprime loans.

     In 1999, President Clinton and a Republican majority Congress repealed the Glass-Steagill Act. This allowed banks, lenders and investments firms to practice across different environments, reintroducing “Too Big Too Fail.”  The bill passed the house (362-57) and Senate (90-8). At the same time, the Clinton Administration put pressure on Fannie Mae to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people. HUD increased Fannie/Freddie’s subprime lending goals to over 40 percent for low- and moderate-income families.

    Bill Clinton in an interview describes how much CRA loans were given out during his time as President.

In 1999, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s Chairman and CEO stated ”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements.” “Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.”

According to Milkeninstitute, “The rate of foreclosures on subprime loans originated increased each year from 1999 to 2007 and accounted for approximately half of all foreclosures over the same period.” When the collapse occurred in the third quarter of 2007, subprime ARMs made up only 6.8 percent of US mortgages outstanding but accounted for 43 percent of the foreclosures that began in that quarter.

In November 2000, Fannie Mae announced HUD would increase the dedicated amounts to 50%. According to CSR Press Release, to expand the secondary market, Fannie Mae committed to purchase $2 billion through a suite of flexible mortgage options purchasing one-to-four unit homes. Fannie Mae injected a process where previous loans would be negotiated on an individual basis. Dan Mudd, from Fannie Mae stated “By teaming with lenders, Fannie Mae can not only help increase lending to minorities and other underserved market segments, but we also can assist depository institutions in meeting their own community investment goals and objectives. We look forward to working with our customers to create increased liquidity for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) -eligible loans.”

In 2001, the US Department of Treasury warned, “Subprime borrowers typically have weakened credit histories that include payment delinquencies and possibly more severe problems such as charge-offs, judgments and bankruptcies. They may also display a reduced repayment capacity as measured by credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, or other criteria that may encompass borrowers with incomplete credit histories.”

Although most home loans were not subprime mortgages, their numbers rapidly grew in the early part of the 21st Century. Subprime loans accounted for 9 percent in 1996 and 20 percent in 2007, one-fifth of US home loan market. Throughout the 2000s, there were calls to reform Fannie and Freddie because they were “systemic risks”. In 2003, Barney Frank stated that Fannie and Freddie are “not in a crisis” and Republicans were crying wolf in calling Fannie and Freddie not financially sound. Democrats blocked Republican-sponsored legislation. From a servicing standpoint, these loans have a statistically higher rate of default and are more likely to experience repossessions and charge offs. Lenders use the higher interest rate and fees to offset these anticipated higher costs.

In April 2005, there was rumble of fixing the housing debacle but some lawmakers said that it undercut the ability of the CRA to “meet the needs of low and moderate-income persons and communities.” Senator Shelby introduced legislation to deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that was causing a “systemic risk for our financial system.” The carrot was subprime loans that would be purchased and backed by federal GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Community Organizations felt this legislation would only weaken CRA. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned of Fannie and Freddie’s debt. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk,” he said. Senator Charles Schumer (D) says, “I think Fannie and Freddie over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making America the best-housed people in the world.” No legislation would be passed to address the looming bubble.

On August 15, 2007, concerns about subprime mortgages caused a sharp drop in stocks across Nasdaq and Dow Jones. Record lows were observed in stock market prices across the the world. The US market recovered all those losses within 2 days. Concern in late 2007 increased as the August market recovery was lost, in spite of the Fed cutting interest rates by half a point (0.5%) on September 18 and by a quarter point (0.25%) on October 31. Stocks are testing their lows of August now.

On December 6, 2007, President Bush announced a plan to voluntarily and temporarily freeze the mortgages of a limited number of mortgage debtors holding ARMs by the Hope Now Alliance. He also asked Congress to: 1. Pass legislation to modernize the FHA. 2. Temporarily reform the tax code to help homeowners refinance during this time of housing market stress. 3. Pass funding to support mortgage counseling. 4. Pass legislation to reform GSEs like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

In 2008, Troubled Asset Relief Program was enacted in response to the subprime mortgage crisis. Citizens do not have access to Fannie and Freddie’s records because they are considered a GSE, so the Freedom of Information Act does not apply. Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still have an open checkbook in buying loans.

So, what changed to cause the subprime mortgage crisis? Was it a conspiracy contrived by the Fannie, Freddie, bankers, lawyers or community organizations? NO! Legislation and courts were used to position third parties such as federal agencies, community organizations, GSEs and lawyers who determined the validity of banks’ lending practices based off a banks’ CRA rating rather than the practice for each individual. These players used the law to force banks to lend money to people who could not afford it. The housing collapse was caused by third party intervention intervening into the free market…not capitalism!

According to Maxine Waters (5:08), “Under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines, everything in the 1992 Act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs has exceeded their housing goals. What we need to do today is focus on the regulator and this must be done in a manner so as not to impede their affordable housing mission. A mission that has seen innovation flourishes from desktop underwriting to 100 percent loans.”

According to a 2010 House Oversight Committee Report, top banks such as Countrywide, Bank of America, Chase, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo established relationships with community organizations such as ACORN. The report also stated “ACORN used provisions in the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 to challenge bank mergers and acquisitions. These challenges successfully forced banks to make lending agreements with ACORN Housing.” ACORN became a HUD approved housing counselor. According to the report, ACORN has “waged savage public campaigns and delivered subtle private threats to large banking institutions for its own financial gain, defeated former political allies…and formed powerful alliances with the SEIU, Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama.”

With federal legislation pushed banks to make high risk loans and provided upward pressure from community organizations that ensure the subprime. The problem cannot be entirely blamed on the CRA but it laid the foundation. CRA reports enabled community organizations and lawyers to force banks into making subprime loans, and this extortion probably extended elsewhere…and to some degree partnerships. Fannie & Freddie was able to guarantee and provide cheap subprime money.

Ron Paul provided some insight that the very people who was instrumental in creating the legislation are there to fix it.

The next financial  bubble will be “Student Loans” while the housing bubble’s intrinsic issues were not addressed.

OF COURSE WE SEE OUR PATH!

How Immigration Ruined The Californian Republican Party

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As we on the Right continue to ponder how we got handily beaten by a president with a dismal record, one of the areas that are salient in our rebuilding efforts rests with Hispanic voters.  About fifty thousand latinos turn eighteen every month, making this a key demographic Republicans must become competitive if we to survive as a political force.  Losing Latinos to Democratic candidates 73%-24% spells certain doom for the party.  This doesn’t mean we sell out on our principles.  Supporting full amnesty is a fool’s errand.  However, we may have to accept certain provisions on future immigration proposals. Provisions that create pathways to citizenship by creating benchmarks for immigrants who have served in the military, achieved a certain level of education, and don’t have criminal records seems like a good starting point concerning our outreach with Latinos.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s alternative Dream Act is another area where Republicans can debate whether it is sufficiently conservative, or in dire need of revision.  Regardless, if we continue with our perceived anti-immigrant ways, we are destined to become a nationalized version of the Republican Party of California, which was destroyed when Prop. 187 was passed in 1994.

The bill, detailed by Nancy H. Martis of the California Journal back in 1994, goes as follows:

Proposition 187 bans illegal immigrants from public social
services, non emergency health care and public education. Various state and
local agencies would be required to report anyone suspected of being an
illegal immigrant to the state attorney general and U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS). The attorney general would be required to
maintain records and transmit reports to INS. Manufacturing, distributing or
selling false citizenship or residence documents illegal under existing
state law would become a felony. The proposal’s fiscal impact would be
felt three ways, the legislative analyst estimates. State and local
governments would realize savings from denying certain benefits and services
to persons who cannot document their citizenship or legal immigration status,
and this could amount to $200 million annually, based on INS estimates.
However, the state, local governments and schools would incur significant
costs to verify citizenship or immigration status of students, parents,
persons seeking health care services or social services, and persons who are
arrested. This could total tens of millions of dollars annually, with
first year costs considerably higher, potentially in excess of $100 million.
Finally, there would be a potential loss of federal funds up to $15
billion annually in federal money for education health and welfare programs
due to conflicts with federal requirements.

It was introduced by Republican assemblyman Dick Mountjoy and endorsed by Republican Governor Pete Wilson – which made it a key issue during his ’94 re-election bid.  While the bill passed, it had an overwhelming negative effect on the electorate.  First, it was the death knell for Republicans concerning statewide elections.  We never became competitive again, until Governor Schwarzenegger won his gubernatorial/recall bid in 2003.  The bill was declared unconstitutional, and killed with legal action.  The election of 1988 is still the last contest where California went Republican.  An ignominious footnote since the GOP was able to carry the state in 1960, ’68, ’72, ’76, ’80, and ’84.

The effects of Prop. 187 are still felt today – with the complete collapse of the two-party system in the state.

As Michael R. Blood of AP reported on Nov. 10:

Democrats hold the governorship and every other statewide office. They gained even more ground in Tuesday’s elections, picking up at least three congressional seats while votes continue to be counted in two other tight races — in one upset, Democrat Raul Ruiz, a Harvard-educated physician who mobilized a district’s growing swath of Hispanic voters, pushed out longtime Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

The party also secured a supermajority in one, and possibly both, chambers in the Legislature.

 […]
Republican voter registration has dipped so low — less than 30 percent — that the party’s future state candidates will be hobbled from the start.

Republicans searching for a new direction after Mitt Romney’s defeat will inevitably examine whyPresident Barack Obama rolled up more than 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote, and 9 of 10 votes among blacks, essential ingredients in his victory. Women also supported Obama over Romney nationally and in California, where they broke for the president by 27 percentage points.

There is no better place to witness how demographic shifts have shaped elections than in California, the home turf of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that just a generation ago was a reliably Republican state in presidential contests.

A surge in immigrants transformed the state, and its voting patterns. The number of Hispanics, blacks and Asians combined has outnumbered whites since 1998 in California, and by 2020 the Hispanic population alone is expected to top that of whites. With Latinos, for example, voter surveys show they’ve overwhelmingly favored Democratic presidential candidates for decades. Similar shifts are taking place across the nation.

Another sign of the times:

 Today, whites make up a little more than 40 percent of the population, while 2 in 10 residents are Asian and about 1 in 3 is Hispanic, according to the census.

[…]

Romney “implemented a winning election strategy for 1980,” University of Southern California professor Patrick James said in a statement issued by the school. “If you look at the demographics and voting proportions, the Reagan coalition would not win a majority today.”

Independents now outnumber Republicans in 13 congressional districts in California, a trend analysts predict will continue.

California counted more registered Republicans in 1988 than it does today, although the population has grown by about 10 million over that time. You’d have to go back to that year to find a Republican presidential candidate who carried the state, George H.W. Bush.

Surprisingly, Democrats continued to make gains in the state even at a time of double-digit unemployment, with polls showing that voters are unhappy with Sacramento and Washington. And it could get worse for the GOP. Republicans are trailing in two other House races in which the vote counting continues.

[…]

Still, Democrats believe they have the state’s demographics on their side with a message that appeals to a younger, more diverse population.

More than half the young voters in the state, ages 18 to 39, are Hispanic, according to the independent Field Poll. Thirty-five percent are Asian. If you look into a classroom in the Los Angeles area — tomorrow’s voters — 3 of 4 kids are Hispanic.

We shall see how California Democrats exert their new power.  If you’re a mentally competent person, I wouldn’t suggest taking a bet that the economic situation will improve.

While Heather MacDonald wrote in National Review that  while “a March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration,” Califronia proves that such perceived anti-immingrant measures can lead to disastrous results.

Then again, she did touch upon our image problem with Latinos:

Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.

Yes, we have work to do.  The fact that entitlement reform will be part of our outreach strategy makes me more optimistic we can win them over, or at least enough to win an election.  Republican immigration policy needs to be smart and comprehensive.  We can start by not passing anymore legislation that takes states off the table in national elections.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

The Day After…

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Well, we lost.  Mitt Romney didn’t win comfortably.  BUT, Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives.  In one of the most ignominious highlights of the night, the GOP lost two senate seats – increasing the Democratic majority by two.  The current makeup is 55 Democrats to 45 Republicans.  In a milestone for the ladies, 20% of the U.S. Senate will be represented by women.  However, the night ended a bit like 2004 in reverse.

While the notions of GOP turnout seemed assured, it was rarely monitored, and turnout for the youth (and voter turnout in general) was unexpectedly high.  To no one’s surprise, young voters broke for the president (60-36), but represented a larger share of the electorate than four years ago.  Romney’s lead amongst independents wasn’t enough to overcome the Latino vote, which he lost to Obama miserably 72%-23%.  Lastly, Romney wasn’t able to cut into the gender gap quite as effectively as he wanted to, with the president winning women, overall, by eleven points.  However, it’s with unmarried women that Romney had a fatal disadvantage with, as they broke for Obama 67% to 31%.

On states, betting on Pennsylvania proved to another catastrophic play.  We haven’t won the Keystone State in almost a quarter century, and it may be time to part company completely.  Concerning Wisconsin, the state may have swung right on recent elections, but perhaps the ‘fairness voters’ – voters who may not agree with Walker’s policies, but are appalled that unions would want to revoke an election result – turned out to vote for the president this time.  In Ohio and Virginia, Romney’s failure to execute the war on coal narrative sooner, and formulating a response to the Bain ads, contributed to his defeat.

Without a doubt, the Bain ads – the Obama campaign’s first official salvo in their ‘Kill Romney’ strategy –  released right after Mitt unofficially clinched the Republican nomination resonated with Buckeye residents, and shame on the Governor’s communications team, who were on the defensive for most of the election cycle.  In short, like with Goldwater in ’64, the Obama campaign was able to define Romney – before Romney could define himself.  It’s another costly misfire.

However, I truly feel that Mitt Romney ran a good campaign, and did the best he could’ve with what he had regarding resources.  It’s hard to be successful when you don’t have a Karl Rove, James Carville, or David Plouffe on your side.  It also hurt that he couldn’t run on health care, since Romneycare served as the blue print for one of the most egregious affronts to the constitution since the Alien and Sedition Acts of the Adams administration.

Yet, if you looked at the field from the beginning, It was either going to be Mitt Romney or Rick Perry fighting for the nomination.  Newt and Cain treated this serious event in American politics with the maturity of eight year olds at a lemonade stand – with the lemonade being books.  For many Americans, Michele Bachmann failed the threshold question of any presidential candidate, which is do I trust this person with nuclear weapons?  Disgraced former Pennsylvanian Senator Rick Santorum failed the conservative test, in my opinion, by voting for Medicare Part D, which added $ 7 trillion to the unfunded liability of the program. That’s 20% of the entire unfunded liability, which we now have to deal with before the fiscal cliff.  He voted for Sonia Sotomayor for circuit judge. Santo voted against National Right to Work, Food Stamp reform, a flat tax, and Medicaid reform.  He voted for internet taxes, the unionization of FedEx (twice), and No Child Left Behind.  He took that one for the team.

Rick Perry, my choice for president, flamed out in one of the most epic derailments we’ve probably seen in a long time.  Jon Huntsman was too moderate.  Ron Paul was well, Ron Paul. So, we were left with Mitt Romney.  Sometimes the pickings of the field aren’t too stellar, and we have to deal with that.

Again, I don’t blame Romney for the loss.  Yes, Obama’s record of economic pain, which he has inflicted without mercy on the American people, is long, but his political team, along with the media, were able to spin it just enough to trivialize the fallout.  As Ralph Reed, Founder and former Executive Director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said at CPAC 2012 last February – we’re about to face “the meanest, toughest, most vicious political team we’ve ever faced.”  He was right, and we paid dearly for it.

Given Obama’s record, and Republicans’ inability to defeat him, it begs the question if the GOP should have any business being in American politics.  Yes, they still do, but renovations need to be made.  We need to do better with women – cough nix the rape talk cough cough – hispanics, and younger voters.  The hispanic vote ruined the California GOP back in 1994 when Prop. 187 established a citizenship screening process and barred illegals from using state services was construed as ‘anti-immigrant.’  It was really protecting the territorial integrity of the United States, a core function of a nation in the international system, but that’s a different debate. Regardless, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and California Republicans have been in the bunker ever since.

We need to find ways to protect our sovereign soil, but in a way that doesn’t come off as nativist.  Hispanics are hard-workers, religious, and pro-traditional marriage.  Or, at least, that’s what was the conventional wisdom at the time.  Heather MacDonald posted on National Review yesterday that:

a March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

So, despite Mitt’s shaky conservative credentials, without a doubt, he’s the most hard-lined presidential candidate on immigration we’ve had in the past ten years – and that didn’t hurt him with these voters.  Bain, on the other hand, probably didn’t help.

Nevertheless, I’m not saying we should be for amnesty.  We shouldn’t be.  Amnesty is unfair and unethical – as is the president’s Dream Act light, which requires illegals to bribe the government $465 from doing it’s job enforcing federal law.  However, what 2012 should show all conservatives is that our coalition, which to Paul Krugman’s chagrin truly represents the ‘Real America,’ is static.  It’s more rural, blue collar, and white.  That’s not enough to win elections.  We need to improve outreach with minorities and venture back into the cities, or places where the people are, to make these contests competitive again.  George W. Bush won 44% of the Latino vote in 2004, with increased majorities in the House and Senate.  It’s not impossible. But it’ll be very difficult trying to chip away at the government’s “role in helping people,” which in Democrat speak for getting these people so dependent on us as possible, so they’re a lock when Election Day arrives.

Concerning the ladies, we need to exert a little more discretion when we talk about rape.  While the Democratic National Convention could’ve been Abortion Fest 2012,the senate races in this cycle should have been more appropriately called Rape Fest.  It’s odd that we even have to mention this, and some blame the Tea Party for these mishaps. I don’t.  The Tea Party is the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  As George Will once noted, they’re the best thing to happen in American politics since the Goldwater insurgency.  Republicans would not be where they are now without the Tea Party, but that does not mean we should accept every one of their primary victors as serious candidates.

As Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel wrote in The Daily Caller yesterday:

The tea party believes the GOP establishment is ideologically corrupt. They’re right. But replacing the current leadership with obviously unqualified buffoons is no remedy. Republicans have lost at least five winnable Senate races in the last two cycles because they fielded candidates whose only real qualification was being anti-establishment. Many will argue the GOP can only win going forward with more liberal candidates. That’s not true. But the genuine conservatives they find will have to come with political skills, policy smarts and impressive resumes in order to get elected.

The sad truth is that even if the Republican Party did all this — sent its current leaders home and stopped nominating losers — it still wouldn’t be enough. The country is changing too fast. Most people have the sense that America is different demographically from what it was 20 years ago. But unless they’ve been reading the latest census data, they have no real idea. The changes are that profound. They’re also permanent and likely to accelerate. In order to remain competitive outside Utah, the GOP will have to win new voters, and soon.

That’s the Republican reformation plan, Stage B. They may get there. First they’ll have to tackle the basics, like finding fresh leadership and candidates who aren’t embarrassing.

That will take some serious vetting.  Furthermore, we’re Republicans.  We’re pro-life, and the American people know that about our movement.  In elections centered on the economy, you can easily pivot away from such issues.  Sadly, some of our fellow party members couldn’t help themselves, they shot their mouths off, and got trounced.  There is much intra-party work to do – and it starts now.

Meanwhile, a divided America exists and the government we elected is representative of that partisanship.  Michael Barone wrote also wrote in National Review that Americans on the right, and the others of the left, are no longer becoming culturally cohesive.

Ronald Reagan, speaking the language of the old, universal popular culture, could appeal to both Americas. His successors, not so much. Barack Obama, after an auspicious start, has failed to do so.

As a result, there are going to be many Americans profoundly unhappy with the result of this election, whichever way it goes. Those on the losing side will be especially angry with those whose candidate won.

Americans have faced this before. This has been a culturally diverse land from its colonial beginnings. The mid-20th-century cultural cohesiveness was the exception, not the rule.

We used to get along by leaving each other alone. The Founders established a limited government, neutral on religion, allowing states, localities, and voluntary associations to do much of society’s work. Even that didn’t always work: We had a Civil War.

An enlarged federal government didn’t divide mid-20th-century Americans, except on civil-rights issues. Otherwise, there was general agreement about the values government should foster.

Now the two Americas disagree, sharply. Government decisions enthuse one and enrage the other. The election may be over, but the two Americas are still not on speaking terms.

It’s sort of like this exchange between President Bartlet and Governor Ritchie.

Right now, Obama is in a good position to increases taxes, which will happen when Obamacare’s fully implemented in 2014, nominate SCOTUS appointments, which threaten to curtail our constitutional rights, and to continue this destructive surge in government spending that only shackles people to the will of the state through dependency.  It’s up to House Republicans to obstruct Democratic plans, and put forward a deluge of alternatives of their own. Granted, we won’t be able to filibuster Supreme Court appointments, but this president’s agenda, and that of the Democrats, is inherently dangerous to the socioeconomic fabric of the country and we must fight them all the way.  Concerning the fiscal cliff, maybe compromise can be reached.  Yet, we should also remember that compromise is how we got Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and the first round of federal stimulus under the Bush administration.  Policies that attributed to the near collapse of the conservative movement in this country.

I’m pessimistic that a deal will be reached.  This president’s ego would bust the marble in the Capitol dome – and he exuded poor presidential leadership as described in Bob Woodward’s new book The Price of Politics.  Yet, Mr. Will again reminds us that throughout the course of American history there is not a single thing that the American people wanted intensely and protractedly that they did not eventually get from the federal government.

My Prediction: Romney Wins Comfortably

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The day has arrived.  In about twenty-four hours, the stains of Barack Obama will be wiped clean and honor and dignity will be restored to The White House under President-elect Mitt Romney.  It hasn’t been an easy road.  Conservatives waged a brutal primary battle that left us with a scarred nominee – Romney – coming out of the gate to take on President Obama in the general.  However, he licked his wounds, redeployed his campaign assets, and was laser focused on Barack Obama’s miserable record of debt, deficits, and high unemployment.  As a result, he’s polling slightly ahead of the President on Election Eve, and I’m confident Governor Romney will be the next President of the United States.

Granted there were some bumps in the road.  The last week of August and the whole month of September were especially lackluster – but his resounding and decisive victory in the first, and most important, presidential debate altered the electoral map in a way liberals couldn’t imagine.  His surge in the polls with women decimated Obama’s double-digit lead amongst women, and Romney’s double-digit lead amongst independents will prove valuable in the generals, as well as the down ticket races in the House and Senate.  Right now, I have Gov. Romney winning the 2012 Election with 289 electoral votes to Obama’s 249.  Some pundits, like George Will, predict a 321 Electoral landslide for Mitt Romney, but I’m more reserved.

First, to even begin to contemplate such a mandate, Romney needs to win Pennsylvania – a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988.  While some polls show that the races is tied (Romney is shown trailing by 2-4 points on D+8 polls) – I’m just not ready to bet the mortgage on a state we have failed to lock up for almost a quarter century.  Granted, the 2011 county courthouse races were indicative that Democrats in the western part of the state – the bitter clingers who are mostly pro-life and pro-gun rights – were getting sick of liberal policies.  Republicans took Westmoreland County for the first time in fifty years.  Now, Republicans control 51 of the 67 counties in PA, with most of the inroads being in the western part of the state.  Republican media consultant Michael  Hudome wrote on The Daily Caller on Nov. 2 that “half of the NRA membership in the entire country is within a four-hour drive of Pittsburgh.”

Recent electoral results signal a Republican surge in the Commonwealth. Conservative Pat Toomey was elected to the Senate in 2010 despite the best efforts of the White House.

Republicans control 12 of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional seats. In the crucial Philadelphia suburbs, Democrats were only able to offer token opposition to Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan this year. In those critical counties near Philly, Governor Romney is a perfect fit for Independent and Republican women. Polls suggest there is no gender gap.

This election, voter intensity favors Republicans. Senator Bob Casey (of the Potted Plant Party) has his hands full with a challenge from businessman Tom Smith. Recent polls show that race is a toss-up.Given all these factors, it’s no wonder Romney and his allies have started an air war. In fact, Republicans have spent enough money on ads in Pennsylvania in the past week to fund a solid, month-long ad campaign in the state.

Furthermore, “semi-defrocked” Republican strategist Mike Murphy recently tweeted that if Romney is trailing by two in the PA polls – he wins Ohio.

In the end, it’ll all be about turnout, but I’m cautiously pessimistic about the Keystone State.  I think Obama will eek out a win here.  However, I will bet that  Tom Smith, the Republican Senate candidate, will defeat incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, Jr.  He made up a deficit of almost twenty points in the polls, and flooded the state with ads to hammer at Casey.  It has worked.  The race is a virtual tie. With Casey’s nonexistent campaign and low enthusiasm from Democratic voters, I think Smith will win.

Now, concerning the Buckeye State, Obama is trying to over-perform in the auto/industrial areas of Toledo and Akron.  However, in an election where Democratic enthusiasm isn’t nearly as high as Republicans, it’ll be an uphill struggle.  Whereas Mitt Romney is taking a page from George W. Bush in ’04 centering on the southeast portion of the state – coal country – and the swing suburbs around Cincinnati.  As of now, the race is tied – but The American Spectator’s Robert Stacy McCain has been on the Romney campaign crawl and posted this on Election Eve.

[ Ali] Akbar [Republican operative] stayed up all night Saturday poring over Ohio early-voting totals, comparing them to previous elections, studying recent Buckeye State polls, and crunching the numbers before waking me up before 8 a.m. Sunday to declare, “We’ve got Ohio.” His analysis of the early-vote numbers and his interpretation of the latest Columbus Dispatch poll as bad news for Obama quickly inspired an online buzz among Republicans who have been worried sick over Ohio. Even at the mid-October apex of Romney’s surge, the Republican never led the Real Clear Politics average of polls in this crucial battleground state. Although Obama’s lead has never been large — as of Sunday, he led the RCP Ohio average by 2.8 points — it has been remarkably persistent, prompting much theorizing about the factors behind it. The economy in Ohio hasn’t been quite as hard-hit as some other states; unemployment is only 7 percent. Ads from the Obama campaign have hit Romney hard for his opposition to the GM and Chrysler bailout, a reasonably popular measure in Ohio, where auto manufacturing jobs are a vital part of the state’s economy.

However, it’s a false narrative considering that Mr. Romney’s plan would have also saved the auto industry, which was reaffirmed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by auto expert Edward Niedermeyer.  However, the trend with overall early voting doesn’t favor Obama.  Gallup stated that 15% of the electorate has already voted and they’re splitting 52%-46% in Romney’s favor.


Given the Obama administration’s ‘War on Coal,’ I will hedge my bets that there will be a high turnout from these counties adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, but if Hamilton County swings Republican, we can all breath a sigh of relief.

In Wisconsin, I didn’t give this to Romney because it’s Paul Ryan’s home state, and therefore, a safe win.  As George Will aptly noted back in April:

 …in the 16 elections since World War II, 10 presidential candidates have failed to carry the home state of their vice presidential running mates. Gov. Earl Warren could not carry California for Tom Dewey in 1948; Sen. Estes Kefauver could not carry Tennessee for Adlai Stevenson in 1956; former senator Henry Cabot Lodge could not carry Massachusetts for Richard Nixon in 1960; Rep. Bill Miller could not carry New York for Barry Goldwater in 1964; Gov. Spiro Agnew could not carry Maryland for Nixon in 1968; Sargent Shriver could not carry Maryland for George McGovern in 1972; Rep. Geraldine Ferraro could not carry New York (or women, or even her congressional district) for Walter Mondale in 1984; Sen. Lloyd Bentsen could not carry Texas for Michael Dukakis in 1988; Jack Kemp could not carry New York for Bob Dole in 1996; Sen. John Edwards could not carry North Carolina for John Kerry in 2004.

No, it’s because no state has swung more to the right in the Midwest than Wisconsin.  They booted incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold for Ron Johnson, elected Gov. Scott Walker, and took tow formerly Democratic congressional districts that covers most of the northern part of the state in 2010. Additionally, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature as well.  Furthermore, Gov. Scott Walker became the only governor in American history to survive a recall attempt last June receiving more votes than he did in the 2010 gubernatorial race.  Wisconsin State Senate Republicans also faced a recall of their own on two separate occasions.  The first salvo being fired in August of 2011, where Republicans maintained the majority. The second occurred in 2012, where Democrats gained control, but turned out to be a useless exercise since the the general session will not begin until after November 2012, when the seats will be contested again.

While the race is tied, given the reaffirmation of Walker’s policies, the infrastructure Walker has built to successfully maintain his residency in the Governor’s Mansion, and the conservative swing of the state’s electorate – suffice to say that a Romney victory here is likely. Disrupting the pattern where Wisconsin has gone Democratic in nine of the last ten presidential races.

In Indiana, Romney is ahead – on average – by 9.5 points.  Safe state.

In North Carolina, Romney is up by 3.  Given that the State Democratic Party of NC was distracted by a sex scandal and was saddled with an unpopular Democratic Governor, Bev Purdue, Romney should win the state. And Republicans will take the Governor’s mansion for Pat McCrory – the Mayor of Charlotte.  When he’s elected, McCrory will be the third Republican in the past thirty-nine years.

In Florida, it looks as if “Romney has pretty much nailed [it] down,” according to Guy Benson.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air added to this sentiment noting a poll from the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald showing Gov. Romney with a comfortable six point lead.

Florida continues to look good for Mitt Romney. The Republican holds a 6-point lead in the state essential to his hopes of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll.

The poll shows slight tightening, with Romney’s 51-45 lead down 1 percentage point from the Times’ statewide poll a month ago. …

Still, nearly every key indicator in theTimes’ pre-Election Day poll reveals Romney’s advantage in a state Obama won four years ago.

Florida voters trust Romney more to fix the economy and give him an edge, 50 percent to 48 percent, on who will look out more for the middle class — a stark turn from past months when Obama and his allies unleashed a barrage of TV ads portraying Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider.

Romney even has a slight advantage on foreign policy, with 2 percent more voters saying they trust him over Obama, who has faced criticism over the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.

The Herald has an interesting analysis, one that confounds the national media narrative.  Romney now gets more crossover votes than Obama, contra to the common assumption that independents are proto-Republicans and Romney has trouble with his base:

Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Real Clear Politics Average has Romney with a 1.5 point advantage over the president going into Election Day.

 

Virginia will be a squeaker, but given the coal counties to the far western parts of the state, especially around the town of Grundy, I think Mitt will have success.   Ed Morrissey, who along with Allahpundit and most of the full-time staff, have been doing an excellent job detailing the recent polls and debunking the liberal drivel.  He wrote that:

Mitt Romney still earns 50% support in Virginia just before Election Day.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters shows Romney with 50% of the vote to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided.

This is unchanged from two weeks ago and the week before that when it was Romney 50%, Obama 47%.

This one’s tight enough to look at the internals, which are somewhat surprising given the closeness of the toplines.  Obama actually loses the overall gender gap by three points (-7 among men, +4 among women), but he’s also losing independents in Virginia by 21 points, 58/37.  In 2008, Obama had a +11 in the gender gap and won independents by one point, 49/48.  The D/R/I in this sample is D+2 at 38/36/25; in 2008 it was 39/33/27 but in 2009′s gubernatorial election it was 33/37/30.

Romney wins the economic argument by six points, 51/45 over Obama.  There’s a significant gender gap on this question as well, but it also favors Romney (+10 among men, +1 among women).  Romney has a 25-point lead among independents on this question, 58/33.  On the other hand, Obama does have a positive job-approval rating at 51/49, which is probably why the toplines look as close as they do.  I’d guess, though, that Virginia’s going to break significantly for Romney

Lastly, New Hampshire is a bet.  Obama is ahead of Romney by two points, but I will take a gamble, and say  that Romney will take the “Live Free or Die” state due to depressed turnout and a little luck.  It’s my wild card.  Either way, it doesn’t matter.  It’s for fun.

Right now, it’s all about turnout.  Republicans are more enthused to vote this cycle.The Huffington Post posted about Chuck Todd’s breakdown of  Republican voter enthusiasm.  Here’s what he said on Meet The Press on October 7, which was the Sunday after the first presidential debate.

CHUCK TODD: Well, it’s simply an enthusiasm gap. And we’re seeing it across the board. Look at here in this first one. 79% of Republicans call themselves extremely interested in this election. On a scale of one to ten, that means they said they’re a nine or a ten on interest in the election. 73% of Democrats.

Look at four years ago. It was a 13 point gap in favor of the Democrats. Let me go through some various voting groups. This is an important voting group. Seniors are an important voting group to Mitt Romney now. He leads them by about 10 points in our NBC Wall Street Journal poll. Look at this in engagement in the election. Four years ago was 81%, pretty higher. Even higher this time at 87%. And Romney’s doing better among seniors than McCain did.

Let me go to an important voting group for the president, young voters. Look at this engagement level: 52% now they call themselves, voters 18 to 34, call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago it was 72%. That 20 gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He’s winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don’t have this kind of enthusiasm, they’re not going to show up to the polls.

And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that’s Hispanics. The President’s winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.

So even though he’s going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it’s a net zero. And yet, you look at Republican enthusiasm, up, senior enthusiasm, up. It’s a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.

Furthermore, liberals are citing polls based on 2008 turnout levels that oversample Democratic voters.  A D+13 poll isn’t an accurate gauge in this election.  We’ve had an unemployment rate above 8% for over forty consecutive months – with the rate being over 9% for twenty-six of those months.  We have $6 trillion in new debt, 23 million unemployed, and a litany of new regulations.  What has Obama shown for this investment in trickle down government?   

We have seen an anemic economic recovery, with our third quarter growth at an insipid 2%.  President Obama is the personification of the dependency agenda.  A pernicious crusade to establish a hyper-regulatory progressive state and break all institutions within our nation to the will of Washington.  More women have lost their jobs under the Obama administration, and with women more on the economic frontlines, they’ve seen that the president may not be the best choice for their checkbook.

Granted, tonight will be a LONG night. So, make sure those coffee mugs are filled, Red Bulls are plentiful, and champagne fully stocked – because Republicans should be optimistic that Gov. Romney will soon be called ‘President Romney’ fairly soon.

 

 

Slate Writer: White Guys Voting for Romney ‘In Defiance of Normal Americans’

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Remember when liberals scoffed at the fact that Romney could win more than 60% of the white vote? Not only has Romney successfully tackled that hurdle, and liberals are apparently mad about it. Tom Scocca of Slate Magazine wrote on November 2 about the “tribal appeal” that Mitt Romney has with whites and why “white people think” he’ll be a better president. I’ll give you a hint: It’s R _ C I S M.

After proudly declaring his support for President Obama (and how Slate will traditionally list all its staffers’ votes for the Democrats), Scocca insists they are not in a liberal bubble. He channels the insufferable and dismissive tone American liberalism has successfully monopolized over the past years.  He claims “White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans.”

“White people don’t like to believe that they practice identity politics. The defining part of being white in America is the assumption that, as a white person, you are a regular, individual human being. Other demographic groups set themselves apart, to pursue their distinctive identities and interests and agendas. Whiteness, to white people, is the American default,” according to Scocca.

He then cited the National Journal piece stating that Obama needs to win 80% of the minority vote to win the election.  Scocca laments “again, why are “minorities” treated as a bloc here? The story mentions no particular plan by the Obama campaign to capture the nonwhite vote. Instead, it discusses how the Romney forces hope to get a bigger share of white voters than John McCain did—by “stressing the increased federal debt” and attacking “Obama’s record on spending and welfare.”  Yes, as if, spending, welfare, and debt are code words for racism.  I wonder if Scocca will share his secret race decoder because Americans don’t have enough time to drink the amount of Ovaltine for a device of their own.

In all, Romney is polling better amongst whites, especially women, which is all due to the racism of the Romney campaign.  This   is based on “the foundation of Republican presidential politics for more than four decades, since Richard Nixon courted and won the votes of Southerners who’d turned against the Democratic Party because of integration and civil rights. The Party of Lincoln became the party of Lincoln’s assassins, leveraging white anger into a regional advantage and eventually a regional monopoly.”  Or, it could be that the economy is bad.  Women are surging in the workplace, therefore, more on the frontlines of the economic decisions in the household – and they don’t like what they see from this president.  It should also be noted that Democrats in the south supported Jim Crow legislation.  Does Gov. Ross Barnett ring a bell?

Nevertheless, Scocca claims there are two races going on right now.

And so we have two elections going on. In one, President Obama is running for re-election after a difficult but largely competent first term, in which the multiple economic and foreign-policy disasters of four years ago have at least settled down into being ongoing economic and foreign-policy problems. A national health care reform bill got passed, and two reasonable justices were appointed to the Supreme Court. Presidents have done worse in their first terms. In my lifetime—which began under the first term of an outright thug and war criminal—I’m not sure any presidents have done better. (The senile demagogue? The craven panderer? The ex-CIA director?)

In the other election, the election scripted for white voters—honestly, I’m not entirely sure what the story is. Republican campaigns have been using dog-whistle signals for so long that they seem to have forgotten how to make sounds in normal human hearing range. Mitt Romney appears to be running on the message that first of all, Obama hasn’t accomplished anything, and second of all, he’s going to repeal all the bad things that Obama has accomplished. And then Romney himself, as a practical businessman, is going to … something something, small business, something, restore America, growth and jobs, tax cuts, something. It’s a negative campaign in the pictorial sense: a blank space where the objects would go. A white space, if you will.

Granted, racism does exist in the United States, but to construe this as the overall mentality of the white electorate is disingenuous, ignorant, and outright nonsensical.  In the world of Scocca, it’s all due to the alleged race baiting.  He noted how it was racist to partake in the “baiting of Obama, throughout his term, for supposedly being unable to speak without a teleprompter.”

More bizarrely, Scocca says that “Republicans predicted, over and over, that the president would be exposed and humiliated in face-to-face debate with an opponent (Newt Gingrich especially fantasized about being that foe). Eventually this led to Clint Eastwood haranguing the empty chair. And then in the first presidential debate, Obama was slack and ineffectual against a sharp Romney. See? It was true!”  Yes, it was true.  He came unprepared, and even The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank made a citation of the president’s debate performance.  Adding that Obama’s lack of press conferences – his last one was in June – contributed to an insular mindset that produced and insipid showing in Denver.  Is Dana Milbank racist?

Concerning the 47 percent comments, Scocca noted how this was a giant race baiting move to court whites.

Here, Romney is speaking fluent White. In white people’s political English, “personal responsibility” is the opposite of “handouts,” “food stamps,” and particularly “welfare,” all of which are synonyms for “niggers.” This was Ronald Reagan’s rallying cry, and it was the defining issue for traumatized post-Reagan white Democrats. Like George Wallace vowing not to be out-niggered again, the Democratic Leadership Council and the New Republic and Bill Clinton made Ending Welfare as We Know It the policy centerpiece of the 1990s.

The actual policy never mattered. Now the Romney campaign is running ads in Ohio saying that Obama “gutted the work requirement for welfare” and “doubled the number of able-bodied adults without children on food stamps.” In mixed company, Romney glosses the food-stamp lines as concern about the country’s economic status, but that’s not why “work requirement” and “able-bodied” are in there. It’s the rusty old Confederate bugle, blown one more time.

So, is this whole get out the white vote is based on coded racism and dog whistling, or is it that Scocca is so frustrated that his favorite in this race isn’t performing as well as he did in ’08?  It’s petulant.  Forgetting the fact that Democrats haven’t won the so-called “white vote” since 1964, Scocca is saying that the whites who decided to leave the president in 2012 are racists.  Therefore, they’ve lost their credibility and their sanity as well.  They’re not “normal.”

If liberals ever get a chance to look in the mirror and ask themselves why they’re so bad at winning elections, they need to go no further than Tom Scocca’s laughable attempt at ‘white people’s studies’.  It seems the seeds of the bitter narrative liberals will hurl against Republicans in a plausible post-Obama defeat have already been laid.

Originally posted on NewsBusters.

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