This Boy Wonder Is Building The Conservative Answer To MoveOn.org In An Illinois Garage

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Charlie Kirk
Charlie Kirk, a new breed of GOP?

Hat/Tip to IOTWReport.com and Julie Bykowicz at Bloomberg Politics.

Maybe there is hope for the GOP after all.


 

Charlie Kirk was just about to leave the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa when he spotted the multimillionaire investor Foster Friess in a stairwell. Kirk, who was 18 and fresh out of high school, had spent weeks memorizing the names and faces of the top 25 Republican political donors in case he found himself in just such a situation. He grabbed Friess into a handshake, took a nervous breath, and began his elevator pitch. Instead of going to college, he wanted to start a grass-roots organization to rival liberal groups such as MoveOn.org, which offer Democratic candidates a standing army of volunteer activists. All he needed, Kirk told Friess, was cash. Friess, who’d just blown $2.1 million on a failed quest to help Rick Santorum win the GOP presidential nomination, handed over his business card. Three weeks later, Kirk had a five-figure check. “He impressed me with his capacity to lead, intelligence, and love for America,” Friess says. “I instantly knew I wanted to support him.”

In the three years since, Kirk—who still sleeps in his childhood bedroom in Wheeling, Ill.—has built his organization, Turning Point USA, into the go-to group for reaching young conservatives. It has a presence on 800 college campuses, where fieldworkers hand out posters and collect e-mail addresses. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, the group hosted an event featuring Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who have each since announced they’re running for president. On May 8, Paul was scheduled to speak at a Turning Point rally at Arizona State University, and Carly Fiorina is on deck to speak in June at a Turning Point conference for women in Chicago. Kirk says he’s met candidate Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is considering a presidential run.

Kirk’s circle of financial backers has expanded to include Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner; Montana-based technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte, a donor to Christian causes; and Mike Miller, a suburban Chicago jeweler who’s given Turning Point $50,000. Kirk says he’s raised $1 million since January. (Because Turning Point is organized as a nonprofit advocacy group, it doesn’t have to disclose its full donor list or budget.) During the CPAC convention, Friess and Miller entertained 100 Turning Point activists over dinner at Washington’s Metropolitan Club. Kirk, Friess says, “is the ultimate role model for us all.”

Turning Point LogoTurning Point displays at campus fairs are filled with colorful posters that cheer capitalism and boo big government. The most popular one right now spells out LOL, with the “O” styled after President Obama’s iconic campaign logo. The group’s field activists approach their duties with evangelical passion. When they reel in a curious student, out comes an electronic tablet with a questionnaire. “Where do you think the most cuts should be made in the budget?” asks one multiple-choice question. The options include defense, social programs, health care, environment, or “government itself.” The survey concludes with a place for respondents to list their name, graduation year, and e-mail address.

Attracting interest is easy on campuses such as Texas Christian University. In April, Turning Point’s Texas field coordinator Stephanie Conway, who moved to Dallas after graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2014, set up a display in the student union. Dressed in a Turning Point T-shirt that read “Big Government Sucks,” she asked passersby, “Hey, who wants to talk about the debt?” A surprising number of people bit, popping out their earbuds long enough to listen. “People love our message,” she says. “We’re giving them something to think about—like, hey, maybe government is too big, maybe we shouldn’t have this huge federal debt—that they probably haven’t ever heard before in a college setting.”

Conway’s team deployed heavier-duty tactics at the University of Texas at Arlington, a larger campus that’s less right-leaning than Texas Christian.

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A staffer offered cupcakes: “These represent the federal debt. Take your share.” Others manning a dunk tank shouted carnival barker lines. “You can just go right up to the tank and push the lever,” said one, Tyler Bowyer. “There are no rules! Just like the federal government!”

The group’s paid workers are each supposed to make at least 1,500 student contacts per semester. About 20,000 people have attended a Turning Point event, posted on social media, or volunteered for the group’s events, Kirk says. Turning Point also registers voters in states that will be critical in 2016, including Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. In April the group registered 1,030 voters in Florida—30 more than the goal, says national field director Crystal Clanton.

Turning Point’s headquarters have moved out of Kirk’s parents’ house in Wheeling and into a garage in Lemont, southwest of Chicago. (“Apple and Amway also started in garages, so we’re in really good company,” Kirk says.) Behind the scenes, Bill Montgomery, a 74-year-old former restaurateur, handles paperwork—“the old guy who keeps it all legal,” says Montgomery, who met Kirk in 2012 at a panel discussion on politics at Benedictine College. The young man gave a speech that was “practically Reaganesque,” Montgomery says. An Eagle Scout who played saxophone and baseball, Kirk gained national attention for an essay he wrote for the conservative Breitbart website about liberal bias in high school textbooks, which led to an appearance on Fox Business. With Montgomery urging him to dive into full-time political activism, Kirk traveled to Tampa, leading to his fateful chat with Friess.

Turning Point remains tiny compared with MoveOn, which has about 8 million members. MoveOn started in 1998 with an e-mail campaign asking people to sign a petition demanding that Congress censure President Bill Clinton and “move on” after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. MoveOn’s success using the Internet to organize Democratic voters paved the way for Obama’s 2008 campaign, a model Hillary Clinton is trying to replicate in her 2016 bid.

Republicans haven’t come close to matching that organizational muscle, Kirk says.

When he pitches donors on Turning Point, he cheerfully describes it as “the MoveOn of the Right.” Now 21, he says it’s helpful to have an example to follow. “I don’t think I agree with them on a single issue,” he says. “But I have nothing but respect for how successful they’ve been.”

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The WHY of Obama

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why of obama

 

Hat/Tip to Cardigan at IOTWReport.com and Dave Macy at Canada Free Press.

Just an excellent, excellent article…enjoy it in it’s entirety.

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The WHY of Obama

By Dave Macy

The president is not a stupid man. He may be cunning, devious, easily given to retribution, a monstrous ideologue, an Islamic terrorist denier, and a socialist at heart. But he is not stupid.

On the other hand he is not that smart. His actions betray his intellect. What he does with executive orders and lawless edicts and vetoes shows that he is more of an accomplice than a leader.

In his measured and reluctant “fight” against ISIS, Obama shows his deference to Islam. By setting aside millions of acres of prime Alaska land, land with great natural resources that America could use to grow jobs and create energy independence, the president gifts the rabid environmentalists.

Every action taken that chips away at America’s greatness has a reason. And Obama, as much as he dislikes this country, isn’t smart enough to compile the growing list of “payback” he is heaping on the United States.

Which leads to the question, “Who really benefits from what Obama does?”

  1. When the Keystone XL pipeline was already vetoed before even reaching the Oval office, one of Obama’s cheerleaders was Warren Buffet. The oracle of Omaha benefits by not having a pipeline and transporting oil instead in his tanker cars on his railroad. Payback! Buffet’s money and influence worked its way into the decision.
  2. Illegal immigration. Everyone knows the reason behind the Obama orders. Create millions of instant Democrat voters—and then give them unearned “tax” money—-billions of dollars, the giveaway which will be fraught with corruption. Why now and not in his first term? By waiting until now Obama secured a second term and, knowing that Congress would not impeach, sees this as his legacy. He created the crisis and now tries to benefit from its resolution. But Obama doesn’t care about illegals in a humanistic and compassionate manner. Those who advise him within the Democrat party benefit the most. Payback.
  3. The decimation of the US Military. The commander in chief’s gutting of many military leaders as well as his surrender in Iraq and Afghanistan is more proof of his desire to placate Islamic countries—and to box in and marginalize Israel. Why now? Who is benefiting from a weakened military? Two possibilities. One is removing opposition that might possibly stage a coup. But the other reason has to do with his advisors both in the White House and without—who see Israel as a deterrent to a stable Middle East. And it fulfills the vision of many on the Left who “loathe” the military. Payback.
  4. More debt—and more taxation, and Obamacare? If indeed Obama see America on par with European nations, then it cannot remain economically strong and vibrant. It cannot have the great freedom to create substantive jobs through manufacturing, energy creation, and exportation. In short, a weak America is payback for what his close advisors see as US imperialism—but beyond that it’s the creation of an even larger and more dependent class of citizens beholding to an ever growing federal government. And a federal government that resembles ‘The Blob’, swallowing up state’s rights and individual freedoms (see ammo ban), leads to what we currently have in Washington. If Obamacare is not dismantled by the Supreme Court, then we will have gifted the federal government one sixth of the US economy. Tyranny!

You can compile your own list and follow the power and the money to see who, aside from Obama, benefits from actions that Obama is not smart enough to have conceived on his own.

When half the country is dumbed down with social media, amusement, entertainment, sports, and a growing expectation of government handouts, America has one foot in the declining empire grave. But the other half that will not sit idly by and watch the destruction has not given up yet.

In spite of weak leaders in “majority” parties, and in spite of their desire to use the threat of impeachment, many Americans are preparing for a major confrontation. “Conservative” state governments are fighting back. This may be our last hurrah.

The first civil war was truly about state’s rights. The next one will be also!

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Dave Macy (aka: Dave Deppisch) spent 30 years as a conservative talk host on a variety of stations in markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Toledo, and Ft. Wayne. He was drawn out of his profession into the ministry and now serves as an associate pastor. He preaches several times a year and is also available to bring his unique style of common sense conservative talk along with his faith in Jesus Christ to any setting that is looking for a speaker with humor, common sense, and Christian values.

He can be reached through the following email revdeppisch@gmail.com.

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One Chart Disproves Obama’s Claims That He Is A “Deficit Cutter” – Who Made The Chart? Obama’s Federal Reserve…

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FRED Chart 001

Hat/Tip to Doug Ross @ Journal.

Just a few short days ago, President Obama uttered these words in his 2015 State of the Union speech:

At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years.

Now I won’t spend time debunking the four lies he told in that short excerpt, instead let’s look at just his claim that he’s a “deficit cutter” in this great article from over at Doug Ross’ place:

ONE CHART IS ALL IT TAKES: The Ludicrous Claims of Obama as a “Deficit-Cutter”

Oh, and did I mention the chart itself comes from the Obama Federal Reserve?

Put simply, any claims linking President Obama to fiscal responsibility are somewhat akin to using Michael Moore as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

By the time this walking economic catastrophe has left office, the total federal debt will have doubled. All of the debts rung up in all of American history will have doubled in eight short years.

Every governmental oversight office — from the CBO to the GAO — is warning that the debt is “unsustainable”. Interest payments on the debt will double in just the next five years, from $266.7 billion currently to $578.3 billion in 2020. And the Obama administration’s forecast shows interest payments rising to $785 billion per year by 2025.

And let’s not forget Obama’s failure to even talk about the looming entitlement crisis.

The system is headed for collapse. And Obama has only added fuel to the fire.

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CBO: Obama To Leave Gargantuan Deficits For Next President

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Hat/Tip to Conn Carroll at TownHall.com.

Obama will still be screwing America and Americans even after he is out of office. His policies will explode the debt and deficits unless measures are taken to curb the insane spending his programs will incur.

Federal deficits may have been falling since the end of the recent recession, but thanks to spending increases in major health care programs, including ObamaCare, deficits are set to explode in 2017, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.

Thanks to the recent recession and President Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus, the federal budget deficit reached an all time $1.4 trillion high in 2009. Then, as the economy slowly improved and Obama’s stimulus trickled to end, the deficit began to fall. According to the CBO, the deficit will continue to fall to $467 billion in 2016. 

Immediately after Obama leaves office, however, deficits are expected to rise steadily thanks mostly to growth in mandatory health care spending programs like ObamaCare. By 2025 the CBO estimates that our nation’s federal deficits will again top $1 trillion a year. For comparison’s sake the highest deficit ever under President Bush was $458 billion.

Federal Debt Held by the Public_Deficits After Obama Is Out Of Office 001

 

The CBO reports that spending is embedded in future budgets, much like time bombs waiting to explode.

According to the CBO, in 2017 the federal government will be spending $384 billion a year on Medicaid, almost double what it spent before Obama became president. Spending on ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges is also set to rise from $15 billion in 2014 to $93 billion in 2017.

Now Obama has GOT to know this, I mean these are HIS policies that will pile the debt on the backs of hard working Americans everywhere. But does he worry? Does he suggest ways to decrease the pending tsunami of spending?

No.

In fact, he wants to put MORE debt onto the backs of those hard working Americans I just spoke of.

Despite this deficit time bomb, Obama only wants to spend more. Asked whether Obama’s 2015 budget would hike spending over current levels, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters earlier this month:

“The President has been pretty clear about the fact over the last two weeks that now is exactly the right time for us start making some policy decisions that invest in middle class families.”

Total Increase in Outlays 001
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Doomed by Debt

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debt112312

Unfortunately for the romantics out there, it is not love that makes the world go around. It’s money that makes the world go around, right? Well, if you think of money as those units of currency you carry in your wallet or pocket, then no it’s not actual money. Actual money (currency) is in relatively short supply. No, what makes the world go around is money created out of thin air; otherwise known as credit or debt. Think fractional reserve lending. Credit/debt is money that was never generated by the real economic production of a good or service. Credit/debt is, however, a claim against the future real economic production of goods and services.

Credit, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Most people could never hope to own a house or other big-ticket items, if it were not for credit. The problem comes when a nation’s economic growth becomes dependent on ever-increasing amounts of credit. Economies like ours depend on consumption. Credit allows for more consumption, which drives the producers of goods and service to expand and hire, which means more people have income and more people will use credit to consume the increased production of goods and services. Sounds great, right? Prosperity for all. A rising tide floats all boats. Unfortunately, there is always a “but” or, in the case of credit/debt, there are two “buts“. First, all debt must be paid back with interest. If it is not paid back, the lender takes a haircut and that diminishes the economy. And, this is important to understand. Although the credit money was not backed by real economic growth in goods or services, the interest and principle must be paid back from the real production of goods and services. Ouch!!! Second, as the economic pie grows, in part due to credit, it takes more credit to achieve the same result as earlier credit did. In other words, maybe there was a time when a dollar of credit generated 90 cents of economic growth. As time went by, it took $10 of credit to produce 90 cents of economic growth and then it took $100 and then $1000…. It;s the law of diminishing returns.

Today the world is buried in debt and America is no exception. If we were to ask any John or Jane Doe their opinion on debt in America today, they would likely throw up their hands and say how insane it is that our nation is more than $17 trillion in debt. It’s understandable they would talk about the national debt because that is the number that gets the most news coverage. Sadly, seventeen trillion dollars is only a small part of America’s indebtedness. If you look at the US Debt Clock, you will see in the upper right hand corner that our national debt is $17.5 trillion. But, scan down in the center ad you will see Total US Debt, the sum of federal, state, and local government debt and corporate debt and individual debt, is _ are you ready for this? _ $61.5 trillion. Now, if you look to the left on that same line, you will see that Americans are paying a whopping $2,5 trillion in interest payments on all of that debt.

Charles Hugh Smith, in this article, uses rounded numbers of $60 trillion in total debt and $2.4 trillion in interest being paid each year and points out something very disturbing. The economy, for the last several years, has been growing at a lack luster 1.5%. That means our approximately $16 trillion-dollar economy is growing at about $240 billion per year. Think about that for a moment. Our economy is growing at the rate of $240 billion per year while we are transferring  over $2 trillion from the productive sectors of our economy to the banking sector; just in interest payments. And, this is after six years of the lowest interest rates ever! Interest rates have nowhere to go but Up! Then what? ( BTW, the CBO estimates that even at present low interest rates, the interest on the national debt will double in five years and triple in eight years.)

A commenter here at Asylum Watch recently suggested that we need to pass a law to stop borrowing. The Charles Hugh Smith article uses this graphic to show what happens when the beast isn’t fed regularly:

total-credit6-14

Taking the necessary corrective measure and the pain and suffering that entails was not politically acceptable in 2008 and it certainly is even more politically unacceptable today. The status quo is unsustainable but no one has the guts to stop feeding the beast; a beast we all helped to create with our spending, borrowing, and voting habits. The consumer driven, credit driven, ever expanding economy is an illusion. It always was an illusion. The bankers knew from the beginning that they would end up with all the marbles. After the smoke clears, the bankers will be there to offer the survivors a new start (credit).

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are you thoughts?

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Over 500% increase in Federal Student Loan Debt under Obama

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Student Loan Up 517_0
Federal Student Loan Debt Up 517%

Hat/Tip to CNS News.

His poll numbers might be tanking, but there is one number that is rising for President Obama.

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the cumulative outstanding balance on federal direct student loans has jumped 517.4 percent.

The balance owed as of the end of May was $739,641,000,000.00. That is an increase of $619,838,000,000.00 from the balance that was owed as of the end of January 2009, when it was $119,803,000,000.00, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

And evidently, this isn’t fast enough, nor high enough for Obama, because he’s using his “pen” and his “phone” to make matters worse.

Earlier this month, Obama announced new executive actions to allow five million student-loan borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10% of their income, according to the White House.

“Now, I’ve made it clear that I want to work with Congress on this issue. Unfortunately, a generation of young people can’t afford to wait for Congress to get going,” Obama said. “In this year of action, wherever I’ve seen ways I can act on my own to expand opportunity to more Americans, I have. And today, I’m going to take three actions to help more young people pay off their student loan debt.”

According to the White House, “The President will direct the Secretary of Education to ensure that student loans remain affordable for all who borrowed federal direct loans as students by allowing them to cap their payments at 10 percent of their monthly incomes. The Department will begin the process to amend its regulations this fall with a goal of making the new plan available to borrowers by December 2015.”

Just in case he tries to blame this one on the previous administration, check this out.

During President George W. Bush’s time in office, the amount of outstanding loans increased from $67,979,000,000.00 in January of 2001 to $119,803,000,000 in January of 2009, an increase of 76.2%. This means that under President Obama, the amount of federal direct student loans increased 579% more than under President Bush.

Read the full story here.

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The New World “disOrder” Is On The Horizon: The Orchestrated Decline of America

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America’s world dominance since the break up of the Soviet Union is coming to an end. Pundits will write millions of words debating the “how” and the “why” of America’s fall from grace. To borrow a phrase from our current esteemed leader,  America has been  punching above its weight class, for many years. Our government has spent more than it has taken in for over three decades.

Things took a decided turn for the worse during the G. W. Bush administration. The Clinton administration had the benefit of the inflating Dot.com bubble and the inflating housing bubble and, as a result, managed to balance the budget. The Dot.com bubble burst early in Bush’s first term and the housing bubble burst late in his last term. In between he passed the costly Medicare-Part D and al Qaeda attacked America, which brought us two long, costly, and bloody wars. The national debt went up $5 trillion on Bush’s eight year watch.

Then America blessed itself by electing Barack Obama to two terms of office. His response to the Great Recession was to run up the national debt $5.5 trillion in less than five and one half years and most Americans feel like they are still living in a recession.

So, today we find America funding all of its spending programs, including its vaunted military, by having to borrow 40% of its budget from China, Japan, individual investors, and most recently from the Federal Reserve (The Fed has no money of its own, but it can create money out of thin air). Can anyone really be surprised that America is losing its influence in the world? The world’s most awesome military aside, how can a beggar nation continue to be the world’s “benevolent” policeman? It can not!

America’s decline has been evident to the rest of the world for some time. Many have been the critics of America’s dominate role in world affairs. This criticism worried Harvard history professor, Naill Ferguson, when he wrote a 2004 Foreign Policy article titled, A World Without Power.

Critics of U.S. global dominance should pause and consider the alternative. If the United States retreats from its hegemonic role, who would supplant it? Not Europe, not China, not the Muslim world — and certainly not the United Nations. Unfortunately, the alternative to a single superpower is not a multilateral utopia, but the anarchic nightmare of a new Dark Age.

Now ten years later another pundit writes a very similar opinion. Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli living in New York where he is a professional journalist. He also writes the Sultan Knish blog where you will find his recent essay titled: The Shape of a Post-American World. He starts his essay with this:

The post-American world will be many things, but multilateral isn’t one of them. There will be no world government and international organizations will be good for little except sucking up the last drops of wealth and prestige of the United States. It will be a chaotic place with everyone out for themselves.

And, he ends with this:

The civilized world faces economic, demographic and military crises that it has a limited time frame in which to meet and resolve. If it fails to do that, the civilization in which we have grown up and which we have known all our lives will die and a long interregnum of darkness will follow in its wake.

I do hope you will take the time to read the Greenfield article because, between the two paragraphs quoted above, he offers much food for thought. He talks about the coming of a new world order of China, Russia and the US. He talks at length about the demographic problems facing each of these nations and the general decline of Europe’s influence in world affairs. Greenfield also talks of a fourth power in the world that is not a nation but an ideology and the fastest growing demographic in the world _ that being Islam. He makes the point that, although it would seem reasonable for China, Russia, and the US to see Islam as their common enemy, the leaders of these countries do not see it that way. He use Russia and the US as examples:

… Putin fights some Islamists while incorporating others into his allied clergy and helping still others go nuclear. The United States bombs the Taliban, but would never consider bombing their paymasters in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

But, the Islam issue aside, Greenfield doesn’t think that China, Russia, and the US will be able to hold their positions of power in the long run. This paragraph comes close to summing up his view point:

Russia, China and the United States are all demographically unstable. Russia and the United States are both on track to become majority-minority countries. China’s demographic disaster will be the outcome of its one child policies, gender abortion and its war on the countryside. The United States will probably weather its demographic problems better than Russia or China, because the former faces a fatal Muslim demographic takeover and the latter a conflict that will tear its society apart, but like Russia and China, the demographic crisis in the United States will be exacerbated by the lack of common bonds to see it through a period of social stress.

Clearly Mr. Greenfield’s view is as dark today as that which worried Professor Ferguson in 2004. What do you think of Mr. Greenfield’s view of a post-American world? That America is losing its hegemonic role in the world seems obvious. It’s just as obvious that China and Russia will expand their spheres of influence both individually and jointly (Middle East). The big question to me is not the demographic issues raised by Mr. Greenfield but rather: will the leaders of China and Russia be wise enough to expand their spheres of influence without bringing down the fragile international financial system?

And I was so sure that my tour of duty in this life would end before the SHTF. Silly me!

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Asylum Watch

Note From Matt:  Jim is back after a brief absence, and we are glad to have him “back in action.”

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Obama Has Deep Pockets (Yours!)

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No House Limit

“You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?  The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.” – Joe Biden

“We’d all like to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate.” – Frank McKinney ‘Kin’ Hubbard

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.” — Clarence Darrow

“In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.” – Charles de Gaulle

The biggest spender in the history of history, flush with a brand new letter of credit courtesy of John Boehner and company, wants to go on another spree:

How is President Obama going to stanch the bleeding of red ink and get us on a path of fiscal solvency?

BY ADDING ANOTHER $56 BILLION IN SPENDING.

The president next month will release a political document dressed up as a budget calling for an additional $56 billion for programs in areas such as education, manufacturing and job training. (White House Dossier)

The Obama PlanPeople with an addiction like this are usually forced into a 12-step program, not installed in the Oval Office.More government programs?  That’s like hoping for more incurable diseases, the difference being that the diseases might someday be eliminated.

Bad laws are like flatulence.  The stench remains long after the need has passed.  In New Jersey for example, it’s illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.  In Washington, it’s a felony to harass a Bigfoot.  In Champaigne, Illinois, it’s against the law to pee in your neighbor’s mouth.  In Massachusetts, it’s illegal to go to bed without first taking a bath.  In the Empire State, jumping off a building is a crime punishable by death.  In Texas, it’s a felony to own more than six dildos.  And in Hawaii, it’s not permitted to place coins in your ears — a measure that may have been taken in order to prevent a future president from bankrupting the state.

What this country needs is not more laws; it’s fewer lawmakers.

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Original Post:  Be Sure You’re Right, Then Go Ahead

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Detroit: A Progessive’s Dream Come True?

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With all the scandals in Washington grabbing the headlines, the announcement that the city of Detroit is planning to default on $2.5 billion of unsecured debt is not getting the attention it should. From Fox News:

 Detroit said Friday it would stop making payments on about $2.5 billion in unsecured debt and ask creditors to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what the city owes them in a move to avoid what bankruptcy experts have said would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Detroit is not just some decaying city you are fortunate enough not live in and, therefore shouldn’t care. Detroit is a piece of America and the rot from years of Democratic leadership will soon be seen in other American cities and it affects each and every one of us in one way or another. Michael Snyder in this post at Zero Hedge tells us that “ Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.” It is hard to believe that this hell-hole of 700,000 desperate souls was once a shinning city of two million proud Americans. I recommend you all bookmark Mr. Snyder’s article. He has sixteen eye-popping statistics on Detroit and fifty-five similar stats on the nation. Here are just a few regarding Detroit:

  • Over the past 60 years, the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.
  • At this point, approximately 40 percent of all the streetlights in the city don’t work.
  • 210 of the 317 public parks in the city of Detroit have beenpermanently closed down.
  • According to the New York Times, there are nowapproximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.
  • Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
  • According to one very shocking report, 47 percent of the residents of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
  • Ten years ago, there were approximately 5,000 police officers in the city of Detroit.  Today, there are only about 2,500 and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
  • The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.

All Americans should be saddened by what has happened to Detroit. Detroit is an example of what the Democratic Party’s progressive policies will bring to other American cities in the not to distant future. Already five cities in California have gone bankrupt of which Stockton was the largest city. Talk is that San Bernardino may be next and one has to wonder how far the mega-city of Los Angeles is from being on the ropes?

When people flee a dying city, where do they go? Well, they obviously go where there is hope of finding a job, like Texas. As a result, Texas has the highest number of food stamp recipients, at 4.04 million. And, every working American is paying  for the progressive excesses. Not even the blue states can escape the fall out of the progressive folly elsewhere.

I don’t suppose it was really the dream of progressives  to destroy Detroit. But, what should alarm us is that when faced with the results, as seen in Detroit, they still can’t relate their policies with the results of their policies. Sooner or later there is nothing left for Paul to rob from Peter, is there? How hard is that to see?

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Asylum Watch

With all the scandals in Washington grabbing the headlines, the announcement that the city of Detroit is planning to default on $2.5 billion of unsecured debt is not getting the attention it should. From Fox News:

 Detroit said Friday it would stop making payments on about $2.5 billion in unsecured debt and ask creditors to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what the city owes them in a move to avoid what bankruptcy experts have said would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Detroit is not just some decaying city you are fortunate enough not live in and, therefore shouldn’t care. Detroit is a piece of America and the rot from years of Democratic leadership will soon be seen in other American cities and it affects each and every one of us in one way or another. Michael Snyder in this post at Zero Hedge tells us that “ Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.” It is hard to believe that this hell-hole of 700,000 desperate souls was once a shinning city of two million proud Americans. I recommend you all bookmark Mr. Snyder’s article. He has sixteen eye-popping statistics on Detroit and fifty-five similar stats on the nation. Here are just a few regarding Detroit:

  • Over the past 60 years, the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.
  • At this point, approximately 40 percent of all the streetlights in the city don’t work.
  • 210 of the 317 public parks in the city of Detroit have beenpermanently closed down.
  • According to the New York Times, there are nowapproximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.
  • Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
  • According to one very shocking report, 47 percent of the residents of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
  • Ten years ago, there were approximately 5,000 police officers in the city of Detroit.  Today, there are only about 2,500 and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
  • The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.

All Americans should be saddened by what has happened to Detroit. Detroit is an example of what the Democratic Party’s progressive policies will bring to other American cities in the not to distant future. Already five cities in California have gone bankrupt of which Stockton was the largest city. Talk is that San Bernardino may be next and one has to wonder how far the mega-city of Los Angeles is from being on the ropes?

When people flee a dying city, where do they go? Well, they obviously go where there is hope of finding a job, like Texas. As a result, Texas has the highest number of food stamp recipients, at 4.04 million. And, every working American is paying  for the progressive excesses. Not even the blue states can escape the fall out of the progressive folly elsewhere.

I don’t suppose it was really the dream of progressives  to destroy Detroit. But, what should alarm us is that when faced with the results, as seen in Detroit, they still can’t relate their policies with the results of their policies. Sooner or later there is nothing left for Paul to rob from Peter, is there? How hard is that to see?

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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BRIC and MIST Economies vs the PIIGGS and the US

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Rhetoric, good intentions, philosophies, ideologies, speeches- they don’t mean as much to me as good policies. Purity of candidates, good communication skills, and hard work only mean anything if they are in pursuit of public policies which work to better protect human life, liberty, and property. Recently on RealClearPolitics Alan Reynolds wrote an excellent article The Truth About Taxes and Spending in Europe comparing the results of the public policies of two different sets of nations:

…Several European countries, including Cyprus, have been mired in economic stagnation or decline for five years or more. Yet other countries in Asia and Latin America have flourished. What are the weakest economies doing wrong? What are the strongest doing right?

Economist Jim O’Neill coined the acronym BRIC in 2001 to refer to four economies which showed great potential then and now — Brazil, Russia, India and China. More recently, he added four more promising  economies — Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey.

In mid-2008, The Economist magazine drew a sharp contrast between the booming BRIC economies and four feeble PIGS — Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. By 2010, after Ireland and Great Britain bailed out their banks, that unkind acronym was stretched to PIIGGS.

All PIIGGS have two things in common. First of all, government spending grew dramatically — from an average of 43.2% of GDP in 2007 to 52.6% by 2010. Spending was modestly trimmed by 2012 in a few cases, yet the ratio of spending to GDP still remained 3 to 6 percentage points higher than it had been in 2007.

Government spending on bailouts, subsidies, grants, salaries and entitlements commands a much larger share of these economies than it did just a few years ago. European austerity has been focused on the private sector — namely, taxpayers with high incomes.

That is the second thing the PIIGGS have in common. The highest income tax rate was recently increased in every one of the troubled PIIGGS except Italy (where it was already too high at 43%). The top tax rate was hiked from 40 to 46.5% in Portugal, from 41 to 48% in Ireland, from 40 to 45% in Greece, from 40 to 50% in Great Britain, and from 48 to 52% in Spain….

…It is enlightening to compare the depressing performance of these tax-and-spend countries to the rapidly-expanding BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and MIST economies (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey).

Government spending is frugal in these countries, averaging 32.1% of GDP in the BRICs and 27.4% for the MIST group.

Rather than raising top tax rates, all but one of the BRIC and MIST countries slashed their highest individual income tax rates in half; sometimes lower. Brazil cut the top tax rate from 55 to 27.5%. Russia replaced income tax rates up to 60% with a 13% flat tax. India cut the top tax rate to 30% from 60%. Similarly, the top tax rate was cut from 55 to 30% in Mexico, from 50 to 30% in Indonesia, from 89 to 38% in South Korea, and from 75 to 35% in Turkey.

In China, statutory income tax rates can still reach 45% on paper, but that is only for high salaries and is widely evaded. Investment income is subject to a flat tax of 20%, the corporate tax is 15-25%, and China’s extremely low payroll tax adds almost nothing to labor costs.

Lower tax rates and faster economic growth in these countries didn’t mean bigger budget deficits. On the contrary, only one of of the eight MIST and BRIC countries (India) has a significant budget deficit.

In short, the world economy has become divided into two groups: (1) sickly PIIGGS with chronic fiscal crises and (2) booming BRIC and MIST economies with modest government spending, lower tax rates and vigorous growth of both the economy and tax receipts….

So there are two different groups of nations, one group successful and creating wealth and expanding opportunities for their citizens and leaving their people better off than they were previously (BRIC and MIST), and another group unsuccessful and destroying wealth through amassing debt and taking out loans and robbing from pensions and future entitlement programs and debasing their currency and leaving their people worse off than they were previously (PIIGGS).

Which of these two groups is the United States moving towards? Clearly the answer is the PIIGGS group. And that’s bad public policy.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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Obama Encouraging Banks to Make Easy Loans to People With Poor Credit to Destroy America?

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We all agree that the Great Recession of 2008 that is turning into the Obama Depression was caused by poor lending practices by the government run corporations Fannie May and Freddie Mac. There easy loan programs to people with poor credit histories predictability led to problems when these people with a history of not paying back their loans did not in fact pay back their loans and the banks were left holding more and more toxic debt. These losses, caused by government policies and encouraged by government bureaucrats, led to a lot of people losing their jobs and losing their houses, and the only good thing that emerged from this disaster of public policy was that hopefully our nation learned its lesson to never engage in this sort of behavior ever again. Or so we thought.

The news of the day is that President Obama is now purposefully encouraging the same sort of policies that led to our nation’s economic collapse only a few short years ago. From the Washington Post story Obama administration pushes banks to make home loans to people with weaker credit:

…The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place.

President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession.

In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default.

Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default.

Officials are also encouraging lenders to use more subjective judgment in determining whether to offer a loan and are seeking to make it easier for people who owe more than their properties are worth to refinance at today’s low interest rates, among other steps.

Obama pledged in his State of the Union address to do more to make sure more Americans can enjoy the benefits of the housing recovery, but critics say encouraging banks to lend as broadly as the administration hopes will sow the seeds of another housing disaster and endanger taxpayer dollars…

If it weren’t true, it would be unbelievable. Sadly the foolish decisions of voters last year to vote for this guy will lead to all of us- you and me and all of our families- being poorer, less free, and less happy.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher


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Fractional Reserve Banking and Other Things About Banks That Confuse Me

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Fractional Reserve Banking

Where do bank profits come from? If we restrict ourselves to thinking only about commercial banks and forget about investment banks (many banks are both things), I think they make money primarily by making loans and charging interest. Although banks start out life with capital from their investors, they really make money by making loans of the money deposited by you and many other people or businesses. In other words, banks only maintain a fraction of the money deposited with them on hand as reserves to cover daily operations. So, if a bank has deposits (assets) of $100 billion, they may have only $5oo million on hand as a reserve to honor checks that their depositors have written or to cover the credit card purchases their depositors have made or to hand out cash to depositors via ATMs or in person if they come into the bank to make a withdrawal. In this case, the other $99.5 billion is in outstanding loans. This system has worked fine for centuries because it is very rare that all of a banks depositors would all want to take their deposits out of the bank at the same time.

The above paragraph does not reveal the whole story of fractional reserve banking. The practitioners of the Austrian school of economics would look at what I just wrote and say that with fractional reserve banking there would be nine or ten times more loans made on those same deposits. Because I have read some of the works of people like Ludwig von Mise, Murray Rothbard, Frederick Hayek and even Ron Paul; I thought I had a good understanding of what fractional reserve banking was and why it was a bad thing. The people I just mentioned had convinced me that banks were creating money out of thin air with their fractional reserve banking. But, then I came across a blog that had a graph taken from the Zero Hedge blog that made me question what I thought I knew. The graph plots both the deposits in US banks and the loans outstanding from the years 2000 to 2012. I expected to see that there were many times more money in outstanding loans than the banks had in deposits but that was not the case. I’ve included the graph further down the page. Please scroll down and take a look and you will see what I am talking about. The total mount of deposits is often more than the total of outstanding loans. Does this mean the people like Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul are wrong about fractional reserve banking? I was confused and because I am such a nice guy, I decided to see if I could confuse you too.

Let’s see if we can create a very simple way to follow a single $10,000 deposit through the process of fractional reserve banking. Here are the assumptions we will use:

  • The initial $10,000 is deposited in Bank One
  • All the banks are very prudent lenders and all loans are collateralized
  • What ever the deposit the banks always keep $1,000 in their reserve accounts
  • Those taking out loans are creditors and are identified by the letter “C” and a number.
  • Every time a creditor spends the borrowed money, it ends up getting deposited in one single bank
  • All  loans are to be paid by one lump sum in one year of the principle plus 5% interest

Please look at the following table and then I will talk you through it.

Deposits                 Loans               Held in Reserve

Bank One                   10,000                 9,000(C1)                         1,000

Bank Two                     9,000                 8,000 (C2)                        1,000

Bank Three                 8,000                  7,000(C3)                         1,000      

*

*

Bank Nine                     2,000                 1,000 (C9)                          1,000

Bank Ten                        1,000                      0                                        1,000

Total                                                               45,000                                  10,000

Please understand that what is shown in the above table could not happen in the real world, but I think it serves to help us understand what happens under fractional reserve banking. So, let’s walk through it.

Ten thousand dollars is deposited in Bank One whose management decides they can safely lend $9,000 and put $1,000 in their reserve account. And, that is what they do. They lend $9,000 to creditor C1. Creditor C1 then buys something for $9,000 and the sellers deposit that amount in Bank Two. The Bank Two management decides they will  put $1,000 in their reserve account and loan $8,000 to creditor C2. Creditor C2 then buys something for $8,000 and the sellers deposit that money in Bank 3. This process continues until Bank Ten receives a deposit of $1,000 and puts it all in their reserve account.

If we look at the Total line, we see that the original $10,000 deposit is now in the reserve accounts of ten different banks. In the process nine people borrowed and spent a total of $45,000. So, does our little exercise prove the Murray Rothbard is right in saying that fractional reserve banking creates money out of thin air. If so, why does the Zero Hedge graph not show total loans outstanding many times greater than the total of deposits? Instead the graph shows that from 2000 to 2008 the loans and deposit are essentially in balance. Is it possible that Ludwig von Mise and a Murray Rothbard and Frederick Hayek and Ron Paul are all wrong? In our little exercise, all the loans will be paid back with interest after a year. So, maybe when one considers that there hundreds of millions of people making transactions with banks every day; some making deposits, some making withdrawals, some taking out loans and others paying back loans and in the process of so many transactions it all smooths out and there is no money being created out of thin air. I don’t know. A few days ago I thought I agreed with the Austrian economist. Now I am confused. And, there is more about this graph that confuses me. Please keep reading.

Source: Federal Reserve Board weekly H.8 report

If you look at the far right side of the graph, it shows that at the end of 2012 US banks had $2 trillion more in reserves than in outstanding loans. We said earlier that banks make money by earning interest on the loans they make. So, why haven’t they loaned that extra $2 trillion in reserves they have? This is not where my confusion comes from because several people, including John Galt at America’s Chronicles, know why. The reason, as is so often the case, is that central planning seldom if ever works. Hers is what is happening. One central planning entity, the Federal Reserve, has set interest rates at near zero in part to drive down home mortgage interest rates so more people will buy houses. But, another central planning entity, the Congress, passed the Dodd-Frank bill to keep banks from making sub-prime loans and apparently banks are having a difficult time finding qualified borrowers under the new rules. Therefore,we have  one central planning entity cancels out the effort of the other and that is why banks are not lending as much as they could. My confusion comes from the fact that banks are making record profits when they are lending less. How do they do that? Are they making high risk bets at the Wall Street Casino again? Do you have a better explanation?

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Conservatives on Fire

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The 7 Pieces of Advice by Trotsky for Obama, found in the 1934 Chicago Tribune Cartoon ‘Planned Economy or Planned Destruction’

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This image is taken from the 1934 Chicago Tribune cartoon ‘Planned Economy or Planned Destruction?’. It focuses on the character of Leon Trotsky, who is laying out a series of policy goals for the United States. The Chicago Tribute suggested in its latest reprint of this cartoon that we take a look at this cartoon and see if it rings true in today’s political and economic climate.

Whereas others have focused on simply analyzing the larger cartoon to identify all the characters in it (for the best analysis see this post), today I am going to attempt to see if this cartoon sheds some understanding on the economic and political challenges facing today and whether it gives us as voters of a free nation any sort of guidance on how to vote in upcoming elections or which way to pressure our public officials:

  1. Motivations.

    Leon Trotsky was the founder of an ideology called Trotskyism, which is an extreme left-wing political ideology that believed that although the ‘working class’ had seized power in Russia, true socialism could not be established unless there was a global and permanent revolution led by vanguard parties of the smartest and best workers who would take control of society and achieve real change that would transform society. His vision of progress forward was defeated because even the communists saw that his economic and political theories were flawed and ignored the realities of of the world and did not lead to positive results as determined objectively. It is stunning how closely his ideas and thoughts mirror those of Obama.

    Although in specific there are differences that will arise from current US President Barack Obama’s general lack of referencing specifics and although Obama is by no means is a committed follower of Trotsky (I’ve suggested previously that Obama may in fact be a fascist), in the general Obama appears to echo the same ideas and beliefs of Trotsky. During his campaign he talked often about fundamentally transforming society by giving more power to bureaucratic elites, and one of the reasons why he was initially so popular overseas is that he translated his message of change and hope for workers and the working class to make it a call for an international and permanent struggle.

    Both Obama and Trotsky appear to be motivated by a sincere belief that their economic and political policies will indeed make the world a better place- but sadly, Obama is facing the same realities and objective results that Trotsky faced. One can only hope that he doesn’t end up some day with an ice pick in his back put there by a more committed Stalinist who works in his Politiburico.

  2. Spend Spend Spend.

    Soviet economic policy, as pushed by the most progressive and idealistic of the communists, advocated for higher and higher government spending. From a low of 8784 million rubles in 1928, Soviet government spending skyrocketed 106238 million rubles by 1937 (spending)- and the Soviet economy crashed, millions of people starved to death, the ruble fell heavily in value, and the standard of living fell. Even though the government spent more and more money, things got worse, which might be shocking to those who think that more government spending is good, but is perfectly understandable to those who see unelected and accountable bureaucrats taking money and property from those who earn it and blowing it on politically connected businesses in an inefficient manner.

    President Obama also has attempted to increase the wealth of society and make people more free by increasing government spending, and the United States has seen similar results to those experienced by FDR and the Soviet Union in the 1930’s- economic depression. And the worse is yet to come- unlike past spending programs which were structured in the immediate time frame, President Obama’s spending programs are paid for through debt, promises, and IOU’s, a ticking time bomb which is going to destroy the prosperity of future generations. It simply does not work to take property from others, either via taxes or fees or through borrowing money paid for with interest or future payments, and then have it spent by politically connected bureaucrats. It destroys wealth and property because this property and wealth is spent inefficiently and in a manner that violates the unseen supply-and-demand hand of God.

    Both the rulers of the Soviet Union and President Obama may sincerely believe that their economic policies of spending more money will indeed stimulate the economy and lead to a more prosperous people. President Obama has completely unhinged from reality on this, and his reply to mounting staggering debts and deficits is to borrow more money from foreign nations and spend that as well. Sadly, these policies have led to a long and lingering recession, matched only by the Great Depression that occurred the last time these ‘spend spend spend’ economic policies were employed.

  3. Under the Guise of Recovery.

    The main reason that the people of Russia went along with the economic plans put forth by Lenin and later Stalin were that they were desperate to recover from the effects of various calamities. World War One destroyed the Russian economy and so the people desperately empowered Lenin to implement his communist policies. The results of these early communist policies proved to be devastating economically, and so everyone looked forward to Lenin’s New Economic Policies. These more-capitalistic policies proved to be successful, but took power away from the elites and politically-connected, and so as soon as Lenin was dead, the tyrant Stalin proclaimed them failures and implemented his own economic policies, which turned into even worse failures. It was by disguising these various policies as responses to some sort of crisis that made the people willing to go along with them, willing to sacrifice seeing objective positive results, willing to sacrifice their property, liberty, and eventually their lives.

    In the United States, our nation has also gone along with the ‘under the guise of recovery’ swindle, giving up freedoms and property in a desperate attempt to recover from the Bush years, which we are all told were awful but are increasingly looking good in comparison to the lingering Obama recession. In response to various crisis’, many of them provoked by Obama’s very policies or policies which he supported during his short time in elected office, our nation is embarking on a historic redirection towards more government control over industries, more government control over our lives, and more divisive class warfare and bitter partisanship. It’s a crisis, we are told, and the only response is more cowbell, and so our nation continues to empower the very man who is pushing the very policies that are making the crisis worse.

    Same excuses used in both communist Soviet Union in the 1920’s and 1930’s and those used by President Obama and the Democratic Party today. And sadly, both groups appear to be supported or intimidated or fooled by the public that they are making poorer and less free.

  4. Bust the Government.

    A little history lesson for you- with the death of Lenin in 1924, the Russian political system was in flux. Before 1924, the Politburo and other communist institutions had run the nation, which Lenin having a great amount of power but Stalin and Trotsky also having big roles to play. Lenin’s death led to a power struggle won by Stalin, who eventually excited Trotsky. Later problems in the Soviet Union were blamed on Stalin’s political enemies, who were killed off in the Great Purges of the late 1930’s. The key to understanding what was happening this time is that the government and political structures were continually being broken by the very men who were promising to fix them- Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin.

    And today, President Obama is stunning in his disregard for the historical political system that is established by the Constitution. In many instances he has violated passages of the Constitution, if not legally according to the letter of the law than in dozens of instances realistically according to the spirit of the law, from recess appointments to ignoring the War Powers Act to governing without budgets to drone attacks to appointed czars. At perhaps no point in the last century has our political system been as broken and busted as it is today, with the nation increasingly sharply divided and bitter and partisan attacks commonplace. The Democrats in the US Senate, Obama’s allies, are even going so far as to seriously contemplate removing the filibuster so that they can jam legislation past the minority because they allege that the old historic political ways of doing things in our nation need to be broken.

    Breaking government and busting society, whether you call it permanent revolution by the proletariat or the forward march of progressives, destroys property, makes people less secure in their rights, and eventually causes death. It happened in the past- and it is happening today.

  5. Blame the Capitalists for Failure.

    Trotsky blamed capitalists for both the political and economic problems facing humanity, arguing that the economic boom and bust cycle that led to the destruction of so much wealth was caused by capitalists and that the lack of political power held by workers was also their fault. He believed that private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit was at the root of the problems facing society, and that the solution to this was a genuine workers’ state where the working class controlled all the political power and the state owned and controlled the means of production. His desire was for the workers to really rule and the government to run industries for their good. But in reality what Soviet Russia ended up with was a nation ruled by a bureaucratic caste, where decisions were made by special interest groups and labor unions that controlled these various bureaucracies and made economic and political decisions to reward their supporters and not benefit the nation as a whole (or even ‘the workers’).

    The modern day Democratic Party, led by Barack Obama, has apparently subscribed to these very same ideas, and is reaping the very same results of the implementation of these ideas. Running in 2008 President Obama promised to be able to smooth out the boom and bust cycle of capitalism- especially the banking industry and investment of capital- by empowering government agencies to have stronger oversight over them. In another example, he argued that government ownership of healthcare, a major industry in the United States, would prevent healthcare costs from rising. And it was his belief that by having the government take over major automobile companies and then turn over that ownership to ‘the workers’ that both the automobile industries and the workers would benefit. And everywhere that his Trotsky-like ideas have been implemented, the results have been economic and political failure. Industries have failed to prosper- even General Motors is only profitable right now because it was bailed out by billions of dollars and given billions more in government support- and politically power has shifted farther away from the workers and increasingly towards the bureaucrats. The gulf between the rich and poor has widened, not narrowed, as as result of Obama’s Marxist policies, and this has been bad for America.

    And through all the failures of Trotsky and Obama, even as their own policies resulted in more failures, they have blamed ‘the capitalists’, ‘the rich’, ‘the bourgeoisie’, or ‘the 1%’. Deficits skyrocketed, currencies collapsed in values, the world became more unstable, civil unrest became more common, individual liberties were less protected, unemployment went up, and GDP stagnated- and yet still Trotsky and Obama blame capitalists.

  6. Junk the Constitution.

    A constitution is a body of fundamental laws that set up the principles, structures, and processes of government- and although I’ve been reading about the Soviet system of government over the last couple days, honestly I can’t really figure out how it works, especially during the 1920’s and 1930’s that are addressed in the cartoon. The principles of government appear to be ‘junked’ by the 1930’s- no longer holding to idealistic communism but instead succumbing to the reality of human nature. The structures of governing appear to be junked as well- the various political structures that Lenin may have used like the Politburo appear to have become merely tools for the people in power instead of actual structures of governing. And the process of creating laws to govern the actions of men appear to have been junked so much that in the Soviet system it really became all about decrees and directives from the ruler, whether it was Lenin or Stalin.

    And in America over the last couple of years under President Obama and his allies in Congress, we are seeing the same junking of our governmental principles, structures, and processes. The process on how the Affordable Care Act became law still confuses me- my students always ask me “just how did it get through the filibuster in the Senate” and my explanation, even though I explain it correctly, still rings hollow and untrue. In discussing how our nation is going to put in place laws to avoid the fiscal cliff or sequestration, I’m forced to spend a lot of time talking about ‘secret negotiations’ and backroom discussion between government elites, wondering the whole time where the time-honored processes involved in creating legislation through Congress and committees went. During President Obama’s run for the President, one can’t help but notice that his campaign was devoid of governing principles and that Democrats who ran for Congress also seemed to lack governing principles as well- they didn’t talk about their economic philosophies, or the politicians that they would emulate in office, or the latest political philosophies that they were students of, preferring instead discussions about power and demonetization of their opponents. And the czars and other bureaucrats who appear to be gaining more in power outside of the traditional structures of government are clearly similar to the bureaucrats and czars who ruled Soviet Russia.

    Principles, structures, and processes- look at how these are increasingly becoming junked in our nation as our nation moves away from the founding principles, the structures established in the written Constitution, and the processes of making laws and executing those laws that governed our nation for the first several hundred years. Just like the Soviets junked their Constitution as Trotsky recommended, Obama and the Democrats are junking ours today.

  7. Declare a Dictatorship.

    The last piece of advice that Trotsky wrote to Obama all those many years ago was to declare a dictatorship. This is the last step on the path to tyranny and injustice and the final attack on property and those people who create property, and is the end goal of all tyrants. Although Trotsky might have been suggesting that the dictatorship should be some sort of ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ where the political and economic power was controlled by the worker class within a democratic system, the reality is that his allies and friends and supporters and fellow Marxists eventually established a classical ‘dictatura’ where a small group of undemocratic elites control the economic and political power in the nation.

    And although President Obama sees himself as some sort of transformative community activist who is going to empower the workers or middle class or whatever he calls them, the reality that we are seeing is where an smaller group of appointed individuals are increasingly gaining in economic and political power. Trotsky saw himself as a fighter for the community too, but much like his experience, the reality that the Tea Party on the right and the Occupy Wall Street on the left can both plainly see is that political and economic power is moving father away from the common man, the middle class, or the worker and increasingly being concentrated in the hands of those who have the right political connections, who are the union bosses, those who have control over the bureaucracy, and those who have families and inherited wealth. The political classes enrich themselves while the workers become poorer, all due to President Obama and the Democratic Marxist policies which are supposed to due the opposite.

    President Obama is not declaring a dictatorship in the sense that he is going to announce that he is some sort of dictator for life- rather he is going to declare that the America and the world should embrace a new arrangement of economic and political power which empowers a smaller elite to make decisions for everyone based on some sort of notion of fairness or social justice. It’s a sneaky sort of declaration of dictatorship, but is one none-the-less, and the results will be that you personally will have less power over your own property, less power over decisions regarding your own healthcare, less choice in your own actions, and less protection of your life. It’ll be a dictatorship different than the sort that Trotsky advised, softly declared by a smooth-sounding teleprompter reading tyrant.

President Obama is not an evil person or a conspiracy theory or a giant plant or someone who is secretly planning on the destruction of the United States. He is just a guy who spews rhetoric that some people believe in, and he does it so well and campaigns so effectively that he has become the President of the strongest and most influential nation in the world. From this position, he is in place to implement his economic and political theories, which are proven failures that have driven nations into depression and war in the past, but which he is ignorant of because of his overall ignorance of economic and political history combined with his stunning conceit and confidence.

The advice and truths that Trotsky is writing in this cartoon are advice and truths on how to establish a tyranny and destroy life, liberty, and property, and it appears from an objective standpoint over the last several years that President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress (and some Republicans too) are following this advice and believing these truths. They are rejecting other truths on which our nation was built- that all men are equal, that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that the purpose of government is limited to protecting these rights from men who would take them away, that these rights are the right to live and live in freedom and earn and keep property, and that governments that abuse any of these rights are tyrannical and deserve to be abolished so that men may put in place better governments to protect these rights.

America is playing out some sort of Greek play, where our main character in his hubris thinks that he can achieve positive results by implementing the same policies in the past that only achieved negative results. Opposition to him and his agenda should be motivated by knowing that history, morality, and truth are on our side and not with him, and that where he is taking our nation and the world is to a place where life is less secure, liberties and freedoms are broken, and property and wealth are not protected.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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Liberal Education Creates Dumb People

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It wouldn’t come as a surprise that people that go to universities tend to be liberal.  And, considering that they are liberal, they must live in economic la-la-land.

And, it is true, as proven by Bookworm…

One of the things that made the rounds on my Facebook was a boastful poster saying that those states with the highest number of college-educated people all went for Obama.  The implication is that these smart Blue State people, unlike the ill-educated yahoos in Red States, are the ones who have the brains and ability to understand how Obamanomics will serve America.

What the genius who created this poster missed the fact that these smart Blue States are, not coincidentally, almost all broke.  Thus, of the list above, the following Blue States are amongst those states running the biggest budget shortfalls in America:  VirginiaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontMassachusettsMarylandNew Hampshire, and Minnesota.  In other words, 80% of the “best educated” states are in dire financial straights.  You’d think that, with all those smart people, they’d be rolling in the green stuff.

It turns out that one of the biggest indicators of Blue state-ness isn’t smarts — it’s brokes.  Here’s the list of the states Obama won, with the ones that have more than a 10% budget shortfall marked, appropriately enough, in red:*

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

It’s striking that, of the 26 states that gave their electoral votes to Obama, 84% are in debt.  (The perpetually broke District of Columbia also gave its vote to Obama, raising to 85% the number of broke jurisdictions that went true blue.) You’d think that, with all those smart people floating around, they’d manage their money better. In a way, you could say that the Blue States are actually Red States, given their financial hemorrhaging.

By the way, given that we’re still in a recession, it’s true that many Red States are also in debt.  Still, there’s no doubt that the Red States are managing their money better than the ones filled with all those educated Progressive geniuses:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
West Virginia
Wyoming

As you can see, only 41% of the “dumb” Red States are seriously in the red.  They may not have the degrees, but they have sufficient smarts to control their budgets — which is the fundamental responsibility of all viable governments.

So, for all of the alleged knowledge and wisdom in the blue states, it seems that they have great difficulty balancing their checkbooks.  Or, as Reagan said…

I would strongly recommend heading over to bookworm to read the remainder of the post there. It is well done and thought provoking.

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Newsweek to Cease Publishing: And Nothing of Value was Lost

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Today, Tina Brown, the head of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, announced that the long time magazine would stop publishing, and be a fully on-line entity.   Here is part of her announcement…

We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.

Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.

Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.

Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine—which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone—a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.

Please remember that Newsweek sold for one dollar, and the new owners had to assume the massive debt that came with the publication.  Also, it’s been geysering red ink since Brown took over, and was never going to recover.  Yes, print is pretty much dead.  Yes, other publications have faced increasing challenges as more and more people go to the internet for news.  However, Newsweek’s decline was incredibly precipitous. It didn’t have a challenge, it fell off the cliff.  And for that, there is only one possible explanation…

No on wanted to read it. 

That’s it.  It’s really that simple.  Then, we can tack on the fact that Newsweek as a publication filled to the brim with liberal propaganda.  And like other sharply liberal new sources, like CNN and MSNBC, Newsweek has faced a severe loss of audience over the last several years.  Perhaps we can say that people don’t want to be propagandized?  That perhaps they want actual news?

Of course, Brown states that site  traffic is way up but I have to ask two questions.

1.  Web traffic is one thing-revenue (and especially profitability) is another.  If Newsweek and the Daily Beast are having a ton of visitors, that’s great, but are they making money?

2.  If people were not paying to read the print version of Newsweek, will they pay for it on line?

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit put it a bit more directly…

It looks like their conservative-bashing, America-bashing, misogynist business plan did not work out so well, huh?

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In the end we will all pay for this QE3 deception

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In the Art of War Sun Tzu states that “all warfare is based on deception.”  Elections are about war; an ideological war for the hearts and minds of the electorate.  Candidates attack and counterattack each other until the day after Election Day when one emerges victorious and the other concedes defeat.  So if election campaigns can be viewed as war then one can conclude that deception is used to mask truth and divert the attention of the electorate away from the issues that truly matter.  So far this election cycle President Obama has been masterful at deflecting and deceiving the people.  He has managed to divert the attention of the electorate away from the $5 trillion in additional debt that has accumulated under his watch, the out of control spending of his administration, his failed economic policies, our anemic economic growth, 8+ percent unemployment, the downgrading of our credit rating again, the loss of taxpayer money in failed green energy companies, the fast and furious scandal, and the passage of Obamacare.

Instead he would have us believe that all of the above are less important than some conjured up war on women the GOP is waging.  He wants us to forget about the record high gas prices we’re paying this weekend and focus the GOP’s desire to extend tax cuts to the dirty rich people who create the jobs.  He needs us to focus on a narrative that he and his staff have crafted so we don’t focus on the real issues that are impacting each and every one of us.  And now just the other day another deception tactic was employed by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke when he announced a third round of open ended quantitative easing to help kick start our struggling economy.  Quantitative easing is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  It creates the illusion of a stronger economy by injecting more money into a system that is already saturated with money.  It’s a feel good act to appease Wall Street investors but does little to address spending, create jobs, or ease the pains of the average person.  It’s a terrible policy that has failed in the past and in the end will make things worse in the long term. I can’t help but wonder about the timing of this act less than two months away from a major election.

Romney has already put Bernanke on notice that if he’s elected President, Bernanke will be sent packing. So I can’t help but wonder if Bernanke is propping up Obama’s failed economy to preserve his own job for another four years while Americans are still left searching for jobs that have not materialized from the other two rounds of quantitative easing.  Obama and his team were elated with the announcement; especially with seasonal jobs coming to an end and a bleak September jobs report on the horizon.  This couldn’t have happened at a better time for team Obama.  Another masterful play by an administration running from its own record.  Now the American people will see the stock market rise and think everything is ok.  This deception just might change the minds of enough voters to propel Obama to a win in a close election.  The problem is it will be done at the expense of our purchasing power and ultimately our liberty.

You see the more money there is floating around in our system, the less it’s worth.  The less it’s worth, the less buying power each of us have.  The less buying power we have the less choice we have.  The less choice we have the less liberty we have. And the less liberty we have the more dependent we will become on the government.  In the end we will all pay for this QE3 deception and the cost will be our liberty and freedom.  I urge you to contact your elected representative and tell them to force the fed to stop QE3.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post:  The Sentry Journal

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Is It Too Late? Is It EnevitableThat The Debt Will Crush The World Economy?

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It has been a while since I have done a post on the economy and the debt bubble that has engulfed the United States and Europe and most of the world. In part this because the subject is so depressing. It is difficult for me, as I read more and more about the debt crisis, to see any way that the US or the world, for that matter, can work its way out from under the crushing weight of the debt they have incurred.

In the United States, we tend to focus on our $16 trillion national debt, which is horrendous and growing at over a trillion dollars per year. Some argue that we need only concern ourselves with the debt that is owed to the public or $11 trillion because the rest is inner-government debt and there is no legal obligation to pay it off. But, these same people never talk about the political price of not paying them off.  Other pundits would say these two numbers are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Let’s take a look at where the US is today.

Scott Powell, writing for the  Orange County Register, reminds us that it was just a year ago that America lost its AAA rating. He also reminds us that since that time our national debt has increased from $10 trillion to $16 trillion.  Here are a couple of excerpts from his article:

In fact, a debt-driven collapse of the U.S is closer than most Americans realize. Consider what has happened in Spain and Italy, respectively, the world’s 12th- and eighth-largest economies. Just ten months ago Spain and Italy carried AA ratings, but today their debt ratings have plummeted to near-junk levels, at Baa3 and Baa2, respectively, driving their 10-year bond yields above 6 percent.

Since the deficit-to-GDP ratio of the United States is worse than that of Spain and Italy, higher funding costs for U.S. debt may come sooner than Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke forecasts. Recession or war would further blow out the deficit and accelerate debt rating downgrades. Either crisis could cause U.S. debt service costs to sharply rise and potentially trigger a downward spiral ending in a failed U.S. Treasury auction and a subsequent liquidity crisis. As happened in Greece and more recently in Spain, the U.S. could face funding shortfalls only solved by money printing, which would likely trigger unacceptable inflation.

Not very encouraging, is it? If our bond interest rate was pushed to 6%, we would be done for. Our debt service cost would climb to nearly a trillion dollars annually. There are two reasons the US isn’t  in the same shape as Spain today: the dollar is the world’s reserve currency and Europe is in worse shape overall making US Bonds still the only safe heaven for investors to park their money. How long will that protect us? I can’t help but agree with Mr. Powell’s sentiment:

Sadly, things are worse today than they were a year ago when the U.S. lost its AAA rating from S&P. The national debt has grown by nearly 11 percent while the economy has grown by only 2 percent. And over the past four years of various government spending programs, debt has grown by 60 percent while GDP has grown 7.7 percent. So much for the benefits of Keynesian stimulus. Washington’s policies have left the country without shock absorbers or an effective insurance policy to counter another crisis.

Monty Pelerin, one of my favorites, writes that The Government Is Bankrupt and Will Destroy the Economy.

Most people don’t understand the unsolvable problem the U.S. government has created for itself and its citizens.  Sovereign default is beyond a likelihood; it is inevitable.

When and which (possibly all) obligations are defaulted on will be determined by panicked politicians under duress.  A complete financial and economic collapse appears unavoidable.  I hope that is the worst that will occur.

I urge you read Pelerin’s article; especially the part that talks about  The Glide Path, Treasury Obligations, and Unfunded Liabilities. He describes very well the iceberg mentioned earlier.

Estimates of the present value of these obligations range from $50 trillion to over $200 trillion, depending upon the actuarial assumptions made.  Gary North uses Laurence Kotlifkoff’s figures and explains the calculation (my italics):

The total obligation of the federal government to voters that is not funded at the present time is now $222 trillion. This does not mean that, over the entire life of the program, the government will be short $220 trillion. It means that the present value of the unfunded liability is $220 trillion. This means that the government would have to set aside $220 trillion immediately, invest this money in non-government projects that will pay a positive rate of return, and will therefore fund the amortization of this debt. I have written about the estimate here.

And, Pelerin concludes

The claimed debt of the federal government ($16 trillion) is enough to threaten its viability and that of the U.S. economy.  The current glide path of spending and revenues ensures that debt will increase.  Explicit and implicit Treasury guarantees will require additional debt to bail out failing public and private agencies.  The situation becomes hopeless when the unfunded liabilities are taken into account.

Buckle up for a very scary ride.

As I said at the beginning, trying to understand the debt crisis waiting for us and the world is very depressing. It is highly unlikely that even a Romney-Ryan administration would do enough, fast enough, to prevent the collapse of our economy. Please come back tomorrow. I will be dusting off my tin-foil-hat and will tell you what the banksters have in mind for us.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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Conservatives need to stand up, speak up, and drive the narrative

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I’m tired of the left driving the narrative this election cycle.  We have anemic economic growth, over 8 percent unemployment, little to no job growth with a bleak outlook, no budget for three years, Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform laws destroying our healthcare and economic systems, over $5 trillion more on the national credit card, the loss of our triple AAA credit rating, failed green energy companies at the taxpayer’s expense, a massive tax increase (Obamacare) on the American people, the fast and furious scandal leading to the Attorney General of the United States being held in contempt, the FED monetizing our debt and devaluing our dollar leading to inflation, the doubling of gas prices since 2009, and a President running roughshod over the rule of law and our constitution.  All these very serious problems we face as a nation; our very future hangs in the balance and the left wants us to shift our focus towards the tax returns for the past 10 years of Mitt Romney.   How has this ridiculous narrative that should insult the intelligence of most Americans, hijacked the real debate we should be having over the issues that will impact our children and grandchildren?

This is how ridiculous it has gotten.  Yesterday Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) proposed legislation that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns from the past 10 years.  Not only would they be required to release their returns but they would also have to disclose any overseas investments; those evil Swiss bank accounts.  Rep. Sander Levin said Romney should “set the example” for future candidates and release his returns. But then he said the law must be changed so release of tax information is not at the discretion of candidates.  So where exactly do they get this so call legislative power to create such a law?  The last I checked the constitution is very clear about the requirements that a candidate must meet to be eligible to run for President of the United States. I don’t recall anything about having to release their tax returns for even one year.

Article II, section I of the constitution states:  No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.   So it would actually make more sense to craft a bill that would require potential candidates to show their birth certificate to prove they are a natural born citizen and provide confirmation of their age.  To add eligibility requirements for candidates to release their tax returns and disclose overseas investments would require an amendment.  Well it would require an amendment if we actually followed the constitutional process to change the constitution.  We don’t do that anymore, our elected representatives make it up as they go and pass bills without any regard to our constitution.  My point is this insane narrative is being pushed forward by a united Democratic front with little or no resistance from the right.  Where is the right?  Why aren’t conservatives as united in defending Romney as the Democrats are in attacking him?

This is a perfect example of how the right lets the narrative slip through their fingers even though everything I stated in the first paragraph of this article is factual and is the reality many Americans live with each day.  The left has become skilled at shifting the focus away from the facts and towards their narrative.  They are emotional thugs and agitators who will lie and cheat their way to a win.  They use emotional appeal and class warfare to pretend they’re the defenders of the down trodden.  They count on emotion because when people are in an emotional state their judgment tends to be clouded.  They employ a “get the rich” tactic, tapping into the raw emotions of envy and jealously.  They say and do whatever it takes to advance their narrative and for the most part get very little resistance from the right.   Remember when President Bush was hammered by the left day in and day out not matter what he did.  I remember how frustrated I was that he didn’t fight back.  Instead he became a punching bag for the left that propelled them to retake the House in 2006 and the Senate and Presidency in 2008.  This cannot happen again.  The right must start pushing back and standing on principle.  When truth is our shield nothing can penetrate it.

We need a united conservative front at all levels.  From bloggers to elected representatives, we need to stand on principle and stop being punching bags for the left.  If they use emotional appeal, we use reason and logic with the same conviction.  If they lie then we expose them for the liars they are, because only through lies can they advance their narrative.  We must be united so we can wrestle the narrative back and remind people just how bad things have been under the Democrats watch.  As bad as things are now they can become a great deal worse if Obama is reelected.  People need to be reminded of all the above facts day in and day out.  They need to see through the political theater the Democrats are putting on in an attempt to shift their focus from the things that really matter.  And lastly we need to show how the narrative of “hating the rich” is the antithesis of everything America is supposed to be about.

Our founders wanted each of us to have an opportunity to be successful no matter where we were born on the social ladder.  It’s time we stop turning our backs on the opportunity our founders envisioned for each of us.  It’s time to advance a new narrative; one that is powered by liberty and freedom.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post: The Sentry Journal

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